Looking back on some of the hottest golf equipment of 2022
By Tony Dear
Readers know that at CAG’s equipment blog, we focus on one new gear item every week. Readers are also aware that several new products might be unveiled in the same week meaning we can’t get to them all. To pick the item we think deserves the space during busy times, such as the weeks immediately pre and post the PGA Merchandise Show and in the fall, we employ a complex algorithm that throws out items from a product category we’ve featured a lot in preceding weeks, favors an assortment of manufacturers, allows for products designed for both low and high handicappers (and everyone in between), and features an increasing number of women’s products. During quiet periods, we’ll cover items you might consider somewhat, er, random. They might be something a basement inventor has spent years perfecting and has no money left with which to market his/her product. It might be something that doesn’t naturally fall into any of the recognized product categories but will be appreciated by someone somewhere. Or it might just be a great story.
In 2022, we featured 39 new products (some weeks were set aside for gift guides, summaries, previews, profiles…), and these were our favorites:
Driver – Titleist TSR
Titleist’s commitment to generating more speed in its drivers bore quick results. The original TS drivers (2018) and subsequent TSi (2020) enjoyed great success on the PGA Tour and increasingly in the marketplace. And though 2022’s TSR (the ‘R’ apparently stood for ‘Redefined’) – TSR2, TSR3 and TSR4 – didn’t quite match the advances made previously, perhaps, it is a beautifully-sleek club whose ultra-thin face generates impressive ball-speed and, in the TSR2, a slightly shallower ball-flight. The Multi-Plateau VFT Face enables off-center strikes to maintain ball-speed. The TSR3’s Speed Ring boosts ball-speed on center-strikes, and the 430cc TSR4 is a low-spin, low-MoI model for the high-swingspeed golfer.
Honorable mention – Cobra LTDx
Iron – Edel SMS
Hollow-bodied with a maraging steel face and a proprietary foam to improve feel, the Swing Match System (SMS) irons featured three weights positioned low in the back to boost the club’s MoI and, by moving the heaviest of the weights, promote your desired shot-shape.
Honorable mention – Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal
Wedge – Vokey SM9 T-Grind
The SM9 Wedge surfaced in January with an almost dizzying array of finish, grind and loft options, and progressive hosel lengths to create loft-appropriate CG position. The T-Grind appeared (or rather re-appeared having been introduced for the first time in 2008) in June. With its low-bounce and narrow crescent surface, the T-Grind is ideal for a shallow angle of attack in firm conditions.
Honorable mention – PXG 0311 3X Forged
Putter – Wilson Staff
Precision-milled and made with soft-feeling 304 Stainless Steel, the four-model line is extremely attractive and features one of history’s most beautiful putters – the 8802.
Honorable Mention – Cleveland HB Soft-Milled
Ball – Titleist Tour Speed
Titleist’s only injection-molded (TPU) urethane ball, the Tour Speed is a three-piece ball with 346 dimples that flies relatively high with low spin. While a notch below the Pro-V1 certainly, we think the Tour Speed is a good option for mid-handicappers and better looking to save a little cash.
Honorable Mention – Mizuno RB Tour X
Shoe – Adidas Tour360
Seventeen years after the original Tour360 was introduced, the 2022 version arrived in January with a range of new features with techy-sounding names – SPIKEMORE (traction system), DUALSTACK with EVA Stability Foundation (midsole), GEOFIT (Collar Pad), 3D TORSION SYSREM (improves footing), and INSITE (sockliner, producing an elevated ‘solace’). However strange the names, the features contribute to another exceptional Tour360 shoe which those who purchased a pair in January are no doubt still enjoying.
Honorable Mention – Ecco Biom G5
Apparel – True Classic T-Shirts and Polos
The Calabasas, CA-based company went from $0 to $150m in about three years thanks to the quality and fit of its products – simple, unadorned tees, polos, hoodies and sweatpants when we discovered them earlier in the year but whose inventory now also includes joggers, jeans , shorts, jackets, chinos, hats and underwear. We’re very glad we found them and, if you haven’t yet discovered what a True Classic T or polo can do for you, we recommend you google them asap.
Honorable Mention – Radmor Fall/Winter 2022 Collection
Tech – Shot Scope ProLX+
The ProLX+ became available in March and was a Godsend for those who prefer not to wear distance-giving GPS watches. The ProLX laser rangefinder coupled with the handheld H4 GPS/Shot-tracking unit that attached to the rangefinder by way of a magnet gave you all the distance-measuring and shot-tracking capabilities you could ever need (for now obviously – you know how quickly tech becomes outdated these days).
Honorable Mention – Arccos Smart Caddie Sensors and updated Caddie Link
Five more favorite products:
GOLFFOREVER Swing Trainer
Cobra T-Rail Hybrid Irons
Tour Edge C523/E523 Drivers
Ping i230 Irons
Honma TW757 Vx Irons
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