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Equipment: Spoilt For Choice - Australian Golf Digest Equipment: Spoilt For Choice - Australian Golf Digest

Golf’s equipment silly season has arrived. Here’s a selection of the best new gear to help you play your best golf ever this year

Paradym Ai Smoke driver

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke family of drivers features four distinct faces designed through big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, all fuelled on the details of some 250,000 swings of golfers of all types. Each model mixes varying degrees of adjustability and precise weight distribution tailored to how the drives of certain player groups fly. That weight savings is made possible by a body made almost completely of carbon composite, aside from the face. That face is designed with specific thicknesses and sworls and edges that create “micro-deflections” that can do everything from enhancing off-centre ball speed to optimising spin and launch. 

PRICE: $1,069.99. All feature an eight-way adjustable hosel, except for Max Fast. Available for pre-sale now, at retail from January 26.

Paradym Ai Smoke fairway woods

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke family of fairway woods is vast, featuring 18 options across four distinct models. But those choices are so specific because the designs are built on distinct platforms developed through the analysis of thousands of swings. Fundamental to each of those offerings are the unique face designs that maximise distance and ball-flight needs for four distinct golfer groups, ranging from tour players to grandparents.

PRICE: $629.99. Available for pre-order now, at retail from January 26.

Paradym Ai Smoke irons

Callaway’s latest irons line – the Paradym Ai Smoke – combines advanced machine learning with big data. The result is a face designed with a unique “topology” for every iron that creates a series of sweet spots across the face. The line features three models geared towards specific player types. The standard Ai Smoke targets average to high swing speeds; the Max Fast is for those needing to generate more swing speed and launch; and the HL model is for players who need a height boost.

PRICE: $259.99 per iron (steel), $289.99 per iron (graphite) for all models. Available for pre-sale now, at retail from February 9.

Chrome Tour, Chrome Tour X and Chrome Soft golf balls 

Callaway’s three new tour-level balls – Chrome Tour, Chrome Tour X and Chrome Soft – reveal new strides in speed thanks to an improved core formula, and in aerodynamics thanks to a new dimple pattern. The latter mixes the company’s trademark hexagonal and pentagonal shapes with spherical dimples to increase stability in flight. The Chrome Tour (“a softer, more penetrating version of Chrome Soft X”) and Tour X (the fastest ball in the line-up with the most greenside spin) target elite players, while the Chrome Soft provides the proven softer feel of the company’s most popular model with higher flight and longer total distance for what Callaway’s team calls “the aspirational player looking for a tour-quality ball”.

PRICE: $94.99 per dozen, in white and yellow, as well as Truvis, Triple Track and TruTrack optical alignment graphics. In stores from February 2.

G430 Max 10K driver

The G430 Max 10K is Ping’s straightest and highest MOI driver to date, eclipsing the 10,000g-cm2 combined moment of inertia threshold first surpassed by the G400 Max five years earlier. Three main visible technologies and differences distinguish the G430 Max 10K: a fixed back weight, a larger head profile and a Carbonfly Wrap on the crown.  

The fixed back weight allows for the record-setting MOI as it drives mass down and back to increase forgiveness and optimise the centre of gravity position, lowering spin and ensuring ball speed preservation across the clubface for added distance. The heavier backweight (28 grams) is in part achieved by weight savings of 5g from the carbon crown (13g fully installed) to create a powerful combination of accuracy and distance to meet the performance needs of all golfers – from tour professionals to everyday golfers.

The shallower and thinner forged face is optimised for more flexing to ensure faster ball speeds and relies on Spinsistency, a variable roll radius innovation, to optimise spin across the face for added distance.

Ping’s biggest head profile to date maximises the R&A-allowable heel-toe and front-back dimensions while staying within the 460cc volume limit. This eye-pleasing shape helps square the golfer to the target and inspires the confidence to hit longer, straighter tee shots.

PRICE: $1,150. In stores from January 26.

Blueprint T irons

For the accomplished golfer who relies on control and precision, Ping’s Blueprint T delivers a single-piece, 8620 carbon steel forging that puts a premium on workability, trajectory control and superb feel. 

A shorter heel-face height allows the hosel transition to blend smoothly into the top rail, creating a clean, distraction-free appearance at address. The narrow soles enable consistent turf interaction from all conditions. 

Save for the slight MOI boost from tungsten toe screw and tip weights, it’s a purely forged iron, concentrating mass through the impact zone to ensure a pleasing sound and feel with the workability to take on any shot. 

The lofts match the Blueprint S and i230 irons to allow golfers to create blended sets within Ping’s’s precision iron offerings. In tour-player testing, Blueprint T produced more ball speed than previous generations while increasing max height for green-holding performance. 

PRICE: $420 (available in steel only). In stores from January 26.

Blueprint S irons

Developed after extensive testing with top tour pros to meet their “must haves” – control and precision – Ping’s Blueprint S delivers the score-lowering performance demanded by the best players in the world.

The compact shape fits the discerning eye with a thin top line and minimal offset. The 8620 carbon steel head boasts a clean cavity design, distinguished by an eye-catching forged textured pattern and hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish. 

What further sets this iron family apart is the split-set construction technology called “precision pocket forging”. This patented forging technique allows Ping to forge a pocket into the cavity of the 3, 4 and 5 irons. The pocket saves 10 grams of weight, which is re-allocated to increase the MOI and optimise the centre of gravity position for more distance and trajectory control. 

PRICE: $420 per iron (steel), $440 per iron (graphite). In stores from January 26.

Qi10 Max, Qi10 LS and Qi10 Drivers 

TaylorMade Golf has released the most forgiving family of drivers the company has ever produced with the ground-breaking line-up of Qi10 Max, Qi10 LS and Qi10. This cutting-edge series unlocks a new frontier of forgiveness, with the Qi10 Max hitting the elusive total MOI (Moment of Inertia) of 10,000g-cm2. What does 10K MOI mean for you? In its simplest form, higher MOI equals more forgiveness. Higher MOI reduces head rotation on off-centre impacts, protecting ball speed on mis-hits and delivering more consistent launch conditions. This is measurable forgiveness.

The Qi10 Max driver boasts a combined total MOI of 10,000g-cm2 (10K), a feat that is the result of advanced lightweight materials, a reinvented head shape and strategic placement of mass. 

Qi10 LS delivers a lower spin and lower launch that is engineered to optimise performance for players with faster swing speeds and higher spin rates. With a deep face and a more compact overall head shape, Qi10 LS will be the preferred driver for many of Team TaylorMade’s Tour athletes. 

Meanwhile, The Qi10 driver has been strategically engineered to help players optimise distance and maximise forgiveness, wrapped in a clean, confidence-inspiring package. Qi10 features lower CG projection and higher MOI than previous TaylorMade drivers in this category, creating a driver aimed at golfers seeking the ultimate blend of distance and forgiveness. 

PRICE: Qi10 Max ($1,019), Qi10 LS ($1,119) and Qi10 ($1,119). Available for pre-order now and in stores from February 2. Qi10 Max also comes in a women’s version at 10.5° and 12.0° lofts with Fujikura Speeder NX TCS 40 shaft. 

Qi10 Irons

It’s no secret that many golfers in the game-improvement category have a propensity for the slice. So, why do the leading game improvement irons have a fade bias in the long irons? Don’t worry, it didn’t make sense to TaylorMade’s engineers either. That’s why they designed the all-new Qi irons to have significantly less right bias, for straighter and more accurate shots. 

At the heart of the Qi iron is individual head optimisation, organic face designs and “FLTD CG” – a strategic design that positions the centre of gravity lowest in long irons and progressively shifts it higher throughout the set – all working in unison to help golfers minimise the right miss. Now in its second generation, Cap Back DesignTM with Toe Wrap Construction blends the advantages of a hollow-body iron with those of a traditional cavity back, replacing the steel back with a more efficient composite badge. 

PRICE: $269 per iron (steel); $299 per iron (graphite). Available for pre-order now and in stores from February 2.

Limited-Edition MGI Zip Navigator AT 30th Anniversary

MGI Golf has released its Limited Edition MGI Zip Navigator AT 30th Anniversary motorised buggy. This strictly limited release features a fresh new look showcasing a seductive harlequin coloured frame, complemented by a striking gloss top box, chassis cover and battery, and finished off with some impressive new wheels. Other upgrades include a newly designed screen, a wider range of speed options and a new lithium battery – perfect for the modern golfer. It will also include the company’s top selling accessories; umbrella and drink holders for your convenience, along with a bonus set of black wheel inserts to customise your look. There will only be 1,000 available in Australia, so be quick! 

PRICE: $2,549. Order at mgigolf.com

PXG 0317 T irons

Better players have different demands when it comes to irons. Although no one wants to hit it short, they’ll sacrifice a couple of metres for better distance control and a tighter dispersion. And while most everyday players benefit from less spin to reduce wayward shots, those more skilled want additional spin in order to be able to manoeuvre the ball because, well, they can.

It is with that player in mind that PXG introduced its latest iron – the 0317 T. A sharp-looking iron that undergoes a robotic polishing process to ensure consistent geometries and a flawless finish on every club, the irons feature a hollow body with a new S COR polymer (the S stands for stability) inside the head. A new, 15-gram internal tungsten weight is located in the toe area. As tungsten is more than twice the density of steel, the weight enables PXG not only to boost the forgiveness factor, but also optimise the centre-of-gravity so it stays in line with face centre – an important trait for those
who find the centre of the face often.

PRICE: $419.95 per iron. For more information, visit pxg.com.au

Mizuno Pro irons

The highly anticipated Mizuno Pro irons – the Pro 241, Pro 243, Pro 245 and Pro Fli-Hi – signify a revolutionary leap in golf club design, blending technological advancements with more streamlined playing profiles.

The Pro 241 irons come with a thinner, tour preferred topline thanks to increased input from some of the game’s best players, while the set offers more compact short irons, increased bounce angle for improved turf interaction and a soft copper underlay for enhanced feel.

The Pro 243 is the model that’s advanced the most, mainly due to evolution on the manufacturing side. It’s one thing for the R&D team to design a thinner face iron with stronger materials in the CAD world but something else to have it Grain Flow Forged to those specifications and strength requirements. The Pro 243 boasts 4120 Chromoly with Flow Microslot (4 to 7-iron), Harmonic Impact Technology for a soft muscle-back feel and a Wrap-Around Sole Grind for improved turf interaction.

There’s so much to the Mizuno Pro 245 for an iron of its size and shape. A multi-piece Grain Flow Forged Chromoly construction, suspended Tungsten weight, and multi-thickness face – all impossible without Mizuno evolving its Grain Flow Forging process in Hiroshima, Japan.

The Fli-Hi has become a fixture on tour – not just with Mizuno’s contracted players. The new version is a little slimmer but does everything the original did, just better. It flights a little higher and goes further, making it the perfect addition to any set.

PRICE: $369 per iron; Pro Fli-Hi $449 per iron. In stores now. 

Fatplate

The FatPlate promotes correct ball striking and provides instant feedback. Used by tour pros and PGA coaches, FatPlate helps you to bring your strike point closer to the ball, giving you the crucial ‘ball then turf’ strike. Perfect for practising on a range mat and on natural grass, where FatPlate also gives instant path, length and depth feedback of your divots. The ball positioning guides have been precisely measured to encourage the appropriate angle of attack for the club being used. Toughened polycarbonate gives auditory feedback when struck. Comes with 25 StrikeStrips, giving visual strike-point and path feedback of your heavy shots.

PRICE: $119.95. Order at newygolfstore.com.au