Much is made of how touring professionals are hitting the ball farther than ever. At the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show, many equipment manufacturers are signaling a trend toward designs that help moderate swing speed golfers unlock more distance in their games – making the game more fun for the average player.
A number of high-profile new product releases at this week’s PGA Show and in recent months are aimed squarely at the majority of players with sub-100mph swing speeds. For example, Titleist’s new T400 irons and TS1 drivers are both meant to assist players with slower swing speeds through lightweight materials and aerodynamic designs that emphasize more ease in hitting the ball higher and farther.
In fact, Titleist has even coined a new word for the approach: “Fargiveness.”
“It really is a combination of hitting it farther with forgiveness in these clubs – easy to get up in the air, easy to get distance,” says Corey Gerrard, Titleist’s Product Marketing Manager. “A lot of our designs are for better players and aspirational golfers, but we all want to make equipment that all players can enjoy. The feedback from the players who are using these new clubs that they really think it’s fun to hit the ball a little farther.”
Similar distance-oriented products can be found around the PGA Show floor this week, including versions of Cobra’s Speedzone woods and irons, Callaway’s MAVRIK driver, Ping’s G710 irons, Mizuno’s ST200 metalwoods, XXIO’s Eleven drivers, Bridgestone’s new Tour B line of golf balls and the new Tour Edge EXS 220 line.
“We have a lot of golfers who are getting a little older, and they fit really well into the new lightweight designs,” says Randy Towner, PGA General Manager at Firekeeper Golf Course in Mayetta, Kansas, who spent time browsing different equipment options this week. “They need a little more help as they lose swing speed, and we can fit them into these lighter clubs to bring back a little of that enjoyment that comes from seeing the ball jump off the face.”
Other equipment trends noted by PGA Show attendees include the ongoing interest in brightly colored golf balls, multi-material putter designs that promote more accuracy on the greens, and wedges with a variety of novel sole grinds.
“There’s a lot of really great product out there right now,” Towner says. “The PGA Show gives you great chance to see it all in one spot, then take that knowledge home to your players.”