January 15, 2019 - 11:00 am
TaylorMade M5 and M6 clubs with injected twist face, Callaway Golf Epic Flash created with artificial intelligence and the second generation of Parsons Extreme Golf (PXG) 0811X and XF drivers featuring Hot Rod technology.
The latest golf club release frenzy is upon us, and the experts believe the new technologies will help golfers hit the ball longer and straighter. Local stores such as Las Vegas Golf and Tennis, PGA Tour Superstore, Golf Galaxy and Bob Allen Golf have TaylorMade and Callaway demo clubs available. But among the new clubs, PXG is available exclusively at Las Vegas Golf and Tennis.
Callaway experts promote the Epic Flash line of woods as having “faster than humanly possible” Flash Face technology that was created with the help of artificial intelligence. They said it is the first known time that “machine learning” was used to create a golf club.
The researchers used computers to cycle through 15,000 face architecture iterations, learning from each, before arriving at Flash Face. According to Callaway, the technology allows for “a significant ball speed boost for a noticeable distance increase when you make solid contact, helping make your longest drives go even longer.”
Tour players using the new Flash Face technology include Xander Schauffele, who recently won the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Marc Leishman and Francesco Molinari.
As for TaylorMade, the company has extended the “M” line with the release of M5 and M6 woods that feature “Injected Twist Face” technology. Among the tour pros playing it are Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Tiger Woods will also use the technology that features a proprietary algorithm to tune each clubhead when he makes his 2019 tour debut, most likely at the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines Jan. 24.
“What TaylorMade has done with Injected Twist Face is allow us to have a hotter face that feels more stable,” Woods said in a press release. “The fact that it’s at the legal limit and that’s as fast as you’re gonna get … you’ll have the confidence to blow it by your competition.”
The second generation PXG 0811X driver was designed to provide more distance by decreasing spin and increasing adjustability, while the latest 0811XF was built to maximize forgiveness and help players hit straighter tee shots. According to Forbes, the GEN2 drivers, fairway woods and hybrids feature Hot Rod technology that was inspired by the look and extreme performance of American muscle cars that PXG founder Bob Parsons drives.
Another change/improvement is pricing. Previous PXG drivers were $850. The new generation is $575. Las Vegas’ Ryan Moore plays PXG.
Buy a $199 2019 Elite Golf player’s card and get five free rounds plus ongoing discounted rates. Eligible courses: Primm Valley, Legacy, Mountain Falls, Wildhorse, Aliante.
Stars on, off course
On the Jim Rome radio show, Schauffele, 25, credited former UNLV All-American Charley Hoffman, 42, for instilling confidence that helped him win four times since 2017. Both are San Diego-area natives.
The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @LVGolfInsider.
Thursday: SNGA/USGA Rules Seminar, Wildhorse
Thursday: SNGA Social Series, Bali Hai
Saturday, Sunday: U.S. Kids Western Cup, Boulder Creek
Saturday-Monday: Rebel Jr. Golf Camp, Las Vegas National
Jan. 29: SNGA Tournament of Champions, Reflection Bay
Jan. 30, Feb. 1: Golf Channel Duel in the Desert, Paiute
What: Desert Classic.
Where: La Quinta, California; Stadium Course at PGA West (7,113 yards, par 72); La Quinta CC (7,060, 72); Nicklaus Tournament at PGA West (7,159 yards, par 72).
When: Thursday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $5.9 million. Winner’s share: $1,062,000.
Defending champion: Jon Rahm.
What: Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.
Where: Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando (6,645 yards, par 71).
When: Thursday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m-noon (Golf Channel), Noon-2 p.m. (KSNV-3).
Purse: $1.2 million. Winner’s share: $180,000.
What: Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Where: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Abu Dhabi GC (7,583 yards, par 72).
When: Wednesday, 3-5 a.m. (Golf Channel); Thursday, Midnight-5 a.m. (Golf Channel); Friday, Midnight-5 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 12:30-5 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Tommy Fleetwood.
PGA Tour Champions
What: Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
Where: Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii; Hualalai GC (7,107 yards, par 72).
When: Friday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $1.8 million. Winner’s share: $300,000.
Defending champion: Jerry Kelly.
What: Bahamas Great Abaco Classic.
Where: Great Abaco, Bahamas; The Abaco Club on Winding Bay (7,111 yards, par 72).
When: Sunday, 9-11 a.m. (Golf Channel); Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $600,000. Winner’s share; $108,000.
Defending champion: Adam Svensson.
Augusta National, USGA and R&A
What: Latin American Amateur Championship
Where: Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic; Teeth of the Dog.
When: Thursday-Friday, Noon-2 p.m. (ESPN). Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-Noon (ESPN).
At stake: Exempt spot for The Masters, final stage of U.S. Open and British Open qualifying.
The Associated Press