It’s that time of year when equipment writers’ inboxes crash under the weight of press releases sent out by manufacturers eager to persuade consumers this new gear is the best they’ll ever play, and is the best each company has ever made. We pulled four worthy products from the pile to feature on this week’s equipment page: Vokey SM7 Slate Blue wedge, Adidas Tour360XT golf shoe, the Srixon Z-Forged iron & the XXIO Prime woods.
By Tony Dear
Vokey SM7 Slate Blue
“A player has to love their wedge when they look down at it,” says Canadian wedge-specialist Bob Vokey who adds that the new Slate Blue finish on the SM7 wedge combines what few others can – beauty and durability. “Not only will golfers love their wedge when they see it in the shop,” says Vokey. “The finish will last through the course of normal play.”
Like all SM7 wedges, Slate Blue is available in all 23 loft, bounce, and grind options (both RH and LH), while supplies last. To identify your ideal configuration, visit the Wedge Selector Tool on Vokey’s web site.
Available – 1/31/19
Stock set-up – Nippon Modus3 125 shaft. Most custom shafts available at no extra charge. Character stamping available for an additional fee.
The tenth generation of Tour360 models which comes 14 years after the first appeared, gets its name from the X-shaped lugs on the sole which adidas says provide “multi-directional grip” that will help players “feel more locked in throughout the swing”. The new version will come in three different models – the original Tour360 XT, the spikeless Tour360 XT-SL, and the Tour360 XT-SL BOA. All three feature a new INSITE sockliner which improves stability and balance by cupping the heel. That, says adidas, promotes better posture. The TOUR360 XT and TOUR360 XT SL come in both medium and wide options while the TOUR360 XT BOA comes in a medium-wide fit. All three models are offered on a brand new last which gives more forefoot width and a slightly lower ceiling.
The XT-SL is the franchise’s first spikeless model. The X-Torsion through the mid-sole is designed to provide more stability, and the midsole also features the company’s popular BOOST material to enhance comfort.
The Tour360 XT features a new TPU outsole with eight spikes instead of the ten on the previous model. This increases flexibility and saves weight, says adidas. New lower-profile BOOST pieces have also been re-engineered from heel to toe. The Tour360 XT has a rich new leather upper and a two-year waterproof guarantee.
The Tour360 XT-SL BOA features all the benefits of the XT-SL and comes with a premium microfiber leather upper and a one-year waterproof guarantee.
Tour360 XT-SL – $170
Tour360 XT-SL BOA – $180
Tour360 XT – $200
Available – 1/28/19 online, 2/1/19 at select retailers in Cloud White, Core Black, or Scarlet
Srixon Z-Forged Iron
Srixon’s new Z-Forged is a handsome muscle-back iron forged from a single billet of soft 1020 carbon steel that better players are going to love.
“The new Z-FORGED irons are the most compact, most workable irons in our line,” said Dustin Brekke, Srixon’s Engineering Manager. “They were created to give professionals and advanced amateur golfers confidence to hit every shot, while featuring a sole that glides through the turf for better contact and stable spin under any condition.” The updated VT sole is engineered to provide more consistent ball-striking while maintaining maximum versatility.
$143/iron, $1,000 for seven-piece set, or $1,143 for eight-piece set
Available – 2/1/19
XXIO Prime Woods
Chuck Thiry, vice-president of XXIO USA, is fairly bullish about the company’s new Prime line. “XXIO Prime is, quite frankly, the most unique and beneficial product ever available to moderate swing speed players. Period,” he says, adding “People might think that is marketing hype, but they simply haven’t hit Prime yet.”
Both the driver and fairway woods feature a new hosel structure and reduced stiffness at the tip of the shaft which enables golfers with moderate swing speeds to shut the face at impact for longer, straighter drives. The lightweight, but consistent, SP-1000 shaft with TORAYCA T1100G carbon fiber and NANOALLOY resin, makes XXIO Prime woods light and fast, and a thin but strong forged cup face made from Super-TIX PLUS Titanium increases ball speed, says Thiry.
“The speed increases, higher launch angles, and draw bias of the new Prime will show immediate results from swing one,” he adds. “It’s legit lightweight power for the players that absolutely need it the most.”
The hybrid features an expanded COR for greater ball speed from all points on the face.
Driver – $850; 10.5°, 11.5°
Fairway woods – $580; 15°, 18°, 21°, 24°
Hybrid – $380; 23°, 26°, 29°
Available – 3/1/19
Colorado AvidGolfer Magazine is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.