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GolfWRX’s most-read equipment stories of the year

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It’s that time of year, GolfWRXers, when we take a backward glance at some of the best content published over the past 12 months.

As 2023 approaches, we’re counting down the 10 most-read equipment stories of the year on GolfWRX. And after much internal discussion and impassioned debate (read: my editorial whims), we’ve decided to include WITB articles in the list.

But you didn’t come here to read an intro from the EIC, so let’s get to the list.

10. TOUR REPORT: This dominant PGA pro is using hybrids (and irons) from 11 years ago

In February, our tour reporter Andrew Tursky filed a look at the incredible clubs South Florida PGA Hall of Famer Alan Morin’s had in play.

Read the story.

9. Best driver 2022: Most forgiving driver

No surprise here, but GolfWRXers were keenly interested in our Best driver: Most forgiving shortlist.

Read the story.

8. Best fairway woods of 2022: By expert club fitters for you!

Eighth on our list is our expert panel of fitters’ picks for the best fairway woods of the year.

Read the story.

7. Justin Thomas WITB 2022 (January)

JT’s sticks from January were of great interest to GolfWRXers.

Read the story.

6. Rory McIlroy WITB 2022 (February)

Rory’s adoption of Stealth woods and MG3 wedges brought plenty of eyeballs to his February WITB.

Read the story.

5. John Daly says this is the modern-day piece of golf equipment that changed everything

Whenever JD offers his opinion, it’s of interest to the golf audience at large. This take was a good one.

Read the story.

4. Cameron Smith’s winning WITB: 2022 Players Championship

Cam Smith’s Titleist gear from The Players Championship comes in fourth on our list.

Read the story.

3. ‘Tiger was paying attention…even if the world wasn’t’ – Chamblee hits back at former major champ’s Woods ball claim

Cool story here in which Brandel Chamblee offers his opinion in the “significance of Tiger Woods’ golf ball in 2000” debate.

Read the story.

2. Bettinardi issues statement after putters appear on shelves in Costco

Arguably the most unexpected equipment story of the year/on our list: When Bettinardi putters started showing up on the shelves of a discount retailer, the folks in Tinley Park had to put out a message.

Read the story.

1. Best driver 2022: Expert club fitters recommend the best driver for you

No surprise here: topping the list is the fruit of 1,000s of fittings conducted by our expert panel of fitters: Best driver 2022.

Read the story.

Happiest of holidays and absolute best wishes for you and your families in the year ahead!

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GolfWRX Editor-in-Chief

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brandon

    Dec 29, 2022 at 9:15 am

    This “story” has been up at the top of the page for a week. Be less lazy.

  2. Pingback: 2022 rules controversies - Fly Pin High

  3. Pingback: Morning 9: Augusta won’t ban LIV pros | 2022 rules controversies | Millionaires abound – GolfWRX

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Equipment

‘Engineered for extreme backspin’ – Mizuno unveils new S23 wedges

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Mizuno has today unveiled its new S23 wedges, which the manufacturer says are “comprehensively engineered for extreme backspin.”

The wedges are designed to combine the precision and playing profile of a player’s bladed wedge with the aggressive performance of a toe-weighted design and feature a centralized sweet spot for maximum control.

The S23 wedges showcase a shorter hosel and a heel-orientated cavity allowing greater mass to be pushed towards the toe. This creates a centred sweet spot, as opposed to a heel-side location in conventional wedges. 

The centred sweet spot is designed to contribute to longer impact time, less head deflection and higher spin from both full and partial shots.

“That check and spin you see from the pros isn’t purely because of newer grooves – most of us don’t have the consistency of strike to get that kind of action. For the vast majority, a centralised sweet spot makes it much easier to find and get that repetitive action.” – David Llewellyn, Director of R&D for Mizuno

The S23 wedges are One-piece Grain Flow Forged HD at Mizuno’s facility in Hiroshima, Japan – where Mizuno irons have been produced since 1968. They have a Tour-ready design with a player’s preferred, versatile look at address. But, with weight pushed to the toe, a partial heel cavity and a short hosel, they offer a centralised sweet spot designed to offer a more consistent strike and reliable high-spin numbers.

The wedges offer a loft-specific profile with stronger lofts featuring a tear-drop straight edge, flowing into a more rounded lob wedge, with grinds to suit throughout.

The precise grooves in the S23 wedges are quad-cut milled and loft specific, cut into Boron infused 1025 mild carbon steel for a longer effective lifespan. In addition, Mizuno’s HydroFlow Micro Grooves are laser etched to release moisture in a bid to reduce spin drop-off in wet conditions.

The S23 wedges come in either a white satin brush chrome or copper cobalt finish and will be in retail from February 2023 at a price of $160 per wedge.

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GolfWRX Launch Report: Mizuno ST-Z 230, ST-X 230 drivers, fairway wood, hybrid

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What you need to know: The product of Mizuno’s Speed Technology (ST) Metalwood Project — four years of rapid-fire metalwoods development — 2023 Mizuno ST-Z 230, ST-X 230, and ST-PLTNM feature the centerpiece Cortech Chamber, within which a steel weight is positioned for increased ball speed and spin reduction. The technology extends to the ST-Z 230 fairway wood and hybrid as well.

Mizuno ST-Z 230, ST-X 230: What’s new, key technology

Cortech Chamber: Through slot provides additional COR area by providing sole flex filled with elastomeric TPU material for additional flexure and face stress reduction. Inside the TPU is a stainless steel weight, which is positioned close to the clubface for increased speed and spin reduction. Also contributes to a solid feeling at impact.

SAT 2041 Forged Beta Titanium Face: More flexible and stronger than 6-4 titanium.

Additional model details

ST-Z 230

  • Billed as a “straight, stable, and low spinning” driver. Designed for stability on off-center hits.
  • Engineers focused on positioning CG location being as close as possible to the Z-axis or neutral axis for lower spin, straight performance, and higher MOI.
  • Forged SAT 2041 Beta Ti face, aided by the Cortech Chamber, enhances ball speed and reduces spin
  • 14-gram back weight
  • Shallower CG for a more penetrating ball flight

ST-X 230

  • Billed as a “more workable, mild draw-biased” driver
  • Higher spinning, higher launching than ST-Z 230
  • Deeper CG and shorter CG distance for a balance of workability in both directions
  • 14-gram heel weight
  • Toe side composite for shorter CG to shaft axis distance
  • More rounded, deeper profile

ST-X PLTNM 230

  • An ultra lightweight driver for slower swing speeds
  • High launching
  • Draw biased
  • The ST-X PLTNM is 30g lighter overall than any possible custom option of the ST-X 230
  • High spec Helium Platinum Shaft and lightweight grip

What Mizuno says

“Our player testing over the years shows that placing extra weight close to the face results in faster ball speeds and low spin rates,” says David Llewellyn, Director of R&D for Mizuno. “We’ve been steadily working towards the CORTECH Chamber, which is incredibly effective at that job. Encasing the steel weight within the TPU Chamber means that we’re moving weight close to the face at the same time as creating an additional source of energy. Steel is twice the density of Titanium but won’t weld directly, which is where the TPU has a second role.”

More photos

ST-Z 230

ST-X 230

ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood

  • A mid-low spinning, high launching, adjustable fairway wood
  • Mid-sized and playable for all levels
  • High energy MAS1C steel face boosted by Mizuno’s Cortech Chamber
  • The carbon composite crown for a low center of gravity
  • Quick Switch hosel offers 4 degrees of adjustability

ST-Z 230 Hybrid

  • A mid-low spinning, high launching, adjustable hybrid
  • High energy MAS1C steel face boosted by Mizuno’s Cortech Chamber
  • Waffle crown, thick sole weight create a deep center of gravity for high launch
  • With respect to the CLK, the ST-Z 230 is slightly larger

Price, specs, availability

Drivers

ST-Z

Availability: Right Hand – 9.5 and 10.5 degrees
Left hand – 9.5 degrees only

ST-X

Availability: Right Hand – 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees

Fairway wood

Right Hand – 3 wood (15) and 5 wood (18)
Left hand – 3 wood (15)

Hybrid

Availability: Right Hand – 2H (16), 3H (19), 4H (22) and 5H (25)
Left Hand – 3H (19) and 4H (22)

Pricing

ST-Z 230 Driver / ST-X 230 Driver: $499.95
ST-Z 230 PLTNM Driver: $549.95
ST-Z 230 Fairway Woods: $299.95

At retail: February

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Equipment

Titleist adds low-bounce T Grind to its Vokey Design SM9 family

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Titleist has today added the low-bounce T Grind to its Vokey Design SM9 lineup.

Previously available only as a WedgeWorks custom order, the T Grind will now be widely available in both stock and custom options as an extension to the existing SM9 family, being offered in SM9 58.04T and 60.04T models.

As a low-bounce wedge with a narrow crescent surface and wider back flange, the T grind is designed to allow for shot making under any condition. Compared to the L Grind, SM9’s other low-bounce option, the T Grind features a narrower forward sole and more aggressive heel, toe and trailing edge relief.

“Wedge play is an art, and the T Grind brings out the best in the artist. The leading edge stays low to the playing surface as the wedge is rotated, which allows the golfer to hit a variety of shots from tight lies. This is the wedge that really made Vokey Grinds an important part of our process – and is still a great option to this day.” – Bob Vokey

The new T Grind features a CG that has been raised vertically by adding weight to the topline design, where a tapered pad at the back of the toe helps align the CG properly without being visible from the playing position – promoting a more controlled ball flight and solid contact.

A new Spin Milled cutting process in the SM9 models – which includes tightening our allowable tolerances – produces consistently sharper grooves wedge after wedge in design for a higher, more consistent spin.

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S200
  • Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 White
  • Lofts, Bounce 58.04T RH/LH, 60.04T RH/LH
  • Color Codes: Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, Jet Black finishes. Raw finish available for custom only.
  • Availability: March 10
  • Price: $179 (Steel), $195 (Graphite)
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