We look at pieces of pioneering golf equipment, from the Ping Anser putter to the Titleist Pro V1 golf ball
Iconic Golf Equipment Of The Modern Era
Below, we look at pieces of iconic golf equipment, from the Ping Anser putter to the Titleist Pro V1 golf ball.
These items have either started new trends in the golf industry or spent an extended period of time as category leaders over the last couple of decades.
Without further ado...
Titleist Pro V1 golf balls:
The Titleist Pro V1 golf ball first appeared on the scene at the PGA Tour's Investys Classic in 2000.
Some 47 players put it in play that week and, in March 2000, it became the best-selling ball in the amateur sphere just three months after its launch into the consumer marketplace.
Related: 2015 Titleist Pro V1 review
The Titleist Pro V1x followed in 2003, and, since then, both Pro V1 models have been the most-played on tour and the best-selling golf balls around the world.
TaylorMade R11 driver:
TaylorMade's R11 driver will was the first mass-market white-headed driver. It made waves on Tour and was followed by further white headed clubs from TaylorMade like the R11s, Burner Superfast RBZ, RBZ Stage 2, R15 and Aeroburner.
Callaway Big Bertha driver:
The shift from wooden to medal drivers was expedited in 1991 when Callaway Launched the Big Bertha - one of the most iconic drivers in golf's history.
Its neckless design was the catalyst for oversize driver heads, and even though its 190 cubic centre volume seems miniscule by today's standards, it was truly revolutionary.
Ping Anser putter:
The Ping Anser putter first appeared in 1967. Okay, that's not technically 'the modern generation', but it still exists today in various guises.
Since then, it's recorded more than 500 pro victories, making it the most successful putter franchise of all time on the worldwide professional tours.
Wilson Staff Fybrid:
Wilson Staff's Fybrids were a new way of looking at fairway woods and hybrids - by combining the two.
They filled the gap between traditional fairways and hybrids, featuring smaller heads and technology like a rallied sole plate to push the ground impact point further forward and stop the club bouncing.
Padraig Harrington used Fybrids in both his Open Championship wins in 2007 and 2008.
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TaylorMade Penta TP ball:
The TaylorMade Penta TP was a ground-breaking ball - it was the first ever five-piece Tour golf ball.
It was coated with a soft urethane cover and each layer was optimised for a differet part of your golf game - driver, long irons, mid irons, short irons and short wedge shots.
Martin Kaymer won the 2010 USPGA Championship with the Penta TP.
FootJoy Reelfit Boa shoes:
In 2006, FootJoy revealed the first ever golf shoe featuring the BOA closure system. The technology is still used today.
The Reelfit shoes were launched with the tagline “Embrace technology. And sometimes it embraces you back.”
The shoes were said to offer a nearly custom-like fit, reduced pressure points, and stability.
Cobra Baffler MultiMetal irons:
Cobra's Baffler MultiMetal irons were one of the first hybrid designs - combining features from long irons and fairway woods to make it easier to get the ball in the air.
Strategic placement of tungsten copper sole weights and a bronze alloy backweight helped move the centre of gravity low and deep to promote a higher ball flight.
It was one of the first utility clubs on the market, helping forge a path for hybrid clubs, which are now utilised by the vast majority of amateur and professional players.
TaylorMade R7 SuperQuad:
The TaylorMade R7 SuperQuad was truly pioneering as it introduced moveable-weight technology into the marketplace for the first time. You only have to glance at today's driver offering to understand the significance of adjustability.
The R7 Quad arrived in 2004. It had four variable-weight screws in the crown, allowing golfers to alter ball flight, spin and trajectory.
Counterbalanced putters haven't even been around for 10 years and they already look like they're here to stay.
Early models like the Odyssey Tank and TaylorMade Daddy Long Legs helped golfers with a higher MOI (Moment of Inertia) for a more stable putting stroke.
Put simply, CB putters are heavier and longer - with more weight put atop the grip and above the hands.
Callaway ERC Fusion driver:
Callaway's ERC Fusion driver was launched in 2003 and the company's Chairman and CEO said, "We believe the ERC Fusion Driver is the most technologically advanced driver ever made."
That was because the driver 'fused' together the best elements of titanium and composites by taking full advantage of both materials - resulting in an ultra-lightweight carbon composite body, the first of its kind.
Mizuno MP irons:
Mizuno has always had a reputation for producing the most aesthetically pleasing irons - most notably the MP series.
TaylorMade RBZ fairway wood
The TaylorMade RBZ fairway wood was the first to offer a coefficient of restitution (face bounciness) of .830 - the maximum allowed.
It was also the first fairway wood to feature a cavity behind the face, helping boost ball speeds and ultimately distance.
It promised players more than 17 additional yards, and duly delivered.
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Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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