The Equipment Insider

Molinari's perfect timing; Golf balls evolve

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TaylorMade Golf's new TP5 Pix features 12 evenly-spaced images that provide feedback on the "amount of spin being generated and the direction of that spin on shots on and around the green,” according to the company. [Photo: TaylorMade Golf]

While Francesco Molinari’s transition to playing a complete bag of Callaway product was months in the making, his winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational came just days after it was announced that he is all in with Callaway.

“My first week as a Callaway player, so happy to see that the switch I made wasn’t as crazy as some people thought,” said Molinari, who closed with an 8-under 64 to shoot a 12-under 276 and win by two strokes. “I know the clubs are good for me and I showed it this week.” 

Playing an Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab putter, Molinari said his final round was “probably the best putting round of my career.” He recorded a 4.237 in Strokes Gained Putting for the final round.

LONG AND FAR
Callaway is banking on James Wiltshire to be a big hit in more ways than one. 

Wiltshire, 28, has more than 28,000 YouTube followers, making him of the United Kingdom’s top golf influencers, and is an up-and-coming name on the European Long Drive scene.

That combo led Callaway to sign Wiltshire to an endorsement agreement earlier this week. Wiltshire turned professional at age 19 and earned his PGA accreditation three years later. His YouTube postings are predominantly about long driving, fitness and conditioning. 

"James is a really exciting and entertaining character within the world of golf content,” said Owen Davies, Callaway’s content manager. “His authentic and unique style aligns well with the Callaway family of brands and we look forward to working on some great collaborations in 2019. James is well positioned to highlight not only the market-leading innovations offered by Callaway and Odyssey, but also the unique products that Ogio and TravisMathew bring to the golf and lifestyle market."

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Tour Edge has re-signed Phillis Meti to play Exotics drivers in World Long Drive competition. Meti won the 2018 World Long Drive Championship with an Exotics driver, her second such championship in the last three years playing Exotics. She hit a 313-yard drive in the 2018 final.

Also, Meti will provide tips on how to hit the ball long and straight via Tour Edge’s social media channels. She will be a featured guest at next year’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.

BALLS TAKE ON NEW LOOK 
All golf balls look alike or pretty the same, right?

Well, not quite.

Earlier this week, TaylorMade Golf Co. announced the launch of its TP5 Pix golf ball, which uses advanced visual technology to offer more visibility.

Per TaylorMade: “Pix is easier to see than a normal white golf ball. The human eye processes lighter colors more efficiently when it’s darker and darker colors when it’s lighter. It’s this phenomenon that led designers to the two-color design of TP5 Pix. Whereas most competitive products have only one color within a single image or shape, TP5 Pix’s unique design features two colors within one shape, further enhancing visibility and delivering a product that’s easy to see, regardless of the time of play during the day.

“Pix’s unique pattern with 12 evenly-spaced images allows the product to show spin when putting and chipping. The feedback the ball provides allows the golfer to immediately see the amount of spin being generated and the direction of that spin on shots on and around the green.”

TP5 Pix will be available in North American retail sites starting March 22 and will retail for $44.99 per dozen. 

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Titleist’s Pro V1 and Pro V1x are now available today in a new color option — high optic yellow.

The Yellow was first debuted by Bubba Watson in January at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. On Sunday, Kirk Triplett, playing Pro V1x Yellow, outlasted Woody Austin in a sudden-death playoff to win the PGA Tour Champions’ Hoag Classic. 

The Yellow can also be personalized online at Titleist.com. The balls retail for $47.99 per dozen.

TITLEIST TOUR NOTES
 Ben An tied for 10th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational aided by a switch in the loft in his Titleist TS3 driver. He lowered the loft from 9.5 to 8.5 degrees, creating lower spin and increased ball speed when combined with the new Pro V1x golf ball. An finished the week second in driving distance at 312.9 yards.

 Rafa Cabrera Bello, who tied for third at Bay Hill, put two new TS3 fairway metals into play for the first time. According to Titleist tour rep Jim Curran, Rafa replaced both of his Titleist 915F fairways, switching out his 15- and 18-degree metals with the same lofts in the new TS3 model. Bello played the same PX X10A2 shaft in his new fairway metals.

 Sungjae Im returned to the Scotty Cameron 009M putter at Bay Hill after switching to the Cameron T5.5 at the Honda Classic. Im, who has played the 009M every other week this season, finished eighth in Putts Per Greens in Regulation (1.659) after returning to the Scotty Cameron putter.


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