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ClubTest 2019: 28 new hybrids and fairway woods to transform your long game

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For this installment of ClubTest 2019, we thoroughly tested 28 new hybrids and fairway woods to create the ultimate guide of the best long clubs out there.

Below you’ll find the resulting reviews of all those new hybrids and fairway woods, which will help you navigate the offerings and find the best clubs for you. We also tasked some professional clubfitters to offer up their words of wisdom on each model.

ClubTest 2019: 29 new iron models that can change your game

And remember, to truly maximize your performance on the course, a custom club fitting is essential. Even if you don’t invest in a fully customized set, spending time with an experienced fitter will help you better understand your swing and the gear that optimizes it. It’s the smartest money you’ll spend on your game.

Bridgestone Tour B JGR

Price: $230
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚
Shafts: Wide variety of premium models


The JGR fairways eschew titanium for stainless steel, yet are built on the same principles as the JGR driver, offering the same flexible crown, stiff sole, and variable face thickness. The milling pattern on the face is designed to limit spin on mis-hits. Another noteworthy addition is a power slit in the bottom of the clubface that works in conjunction with the power slit in the crown to increase COR and ball speed for players of all ability levels.

Fitter comments: Ideal for mid- to high-handicappers who want balanced performance from the fairway and tee.

Callaway Epic Flash

Price: $300
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 18˚, 20˚, 21˚, 23˚, 25˚
Stock shafts: Project X Even Flow Green 50 and 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 and 80, Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 70


Epic Flash fairway woods boast the same Flash Face tech as the drivers, but are built with forged Carpenter steel inserts that, when combined with Face Cup technology, produce more speed and more forgiveness. Jailbreak technology is also featured—internal bars behind the face stiffen the body for more face flex. Rounding out the club’s assets are a new OptiFit hosel to fine-tune loft and face angle.

Fitter comments: Just about any level of player can benefit from the Epic Flash, although faster swingers should look at the Sub Zero.

Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero

Price: $300
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 18˚
Stock Shafts: Project X Even Flow Green 40 and 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 and 80, Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 60 and 70


This model delivers Flash Face and Sub Zero benefits for players who require slightly lower spin rates for optimum performance. The lower-spinning Sub Zero also features adjustable sole weights (16g and 2g) that can further adjust performance: placing the heavier weight closer to the clubface lowers launch angle and spin rate, while placing it in the rear position increases launch angle and spin rate. This model is aimed at stronger players, and is likely to deliver slightly less forgiveness on off-center hits.

Fitter comments: Provides super-high ball speeds for faster swingers and those who need to reduce spin.

Cleveland Launcher HB

Price: $219
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚
Stock shaft: Miyazaki C. Kua


The Cleveland Launcher HB Fairway woods borrow heavily from the Launcher HB driver, making it a solid choice for golfers who want maximum distance and forgiveness from the fairway (or off the tee, for that matter). Virtually every one of the clubhead’s features—such as the Flex-Fins, HiBore crown, and ultra-lightweight hosel—are designed to promote one thing: a low and deep center of gravity (CG) for a higher launch angle and added forgiveness. Speaking of the HiBore crown—aesthetically, it makes the clubhead look slimmer, and the dual-tone paint makes aligning your shots even easier.

Fitter comments: Can work for mid-and high-handicap players who want max forgiveness and launch from all lies.

Cobra King F9

Price: $269
Lofts: 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 (adjustable heads)
Stock shafts: UST Helium 60, Fujikura Atmos Blue 7


The carbon fiber crown of the F9 Fairway helps lower the CG, while the CNC-milled face helps increase ball speed—but it’s the Baffler technology that really has us pumped. Baffler technology has been around for decades, helping to keep the clubhead stable and resist twisting, especially when played from the rough or uneven surfaces. For the uninitiated, Baffler tech refers to the twin rails on the sole. Other sweet features in the F9 include adjustable weights, a MYFLY adjustable hosel, a CNC-milled face and an optional Cobra Connect grip. A Tour model for greater workability is also available.

Fitter comments: Like the driver, the F9 fairway is aimed at the full spectrum of players who desire max ball speed with extra forgiveness.

Ping G410

Price: $310
Lofts: 14.5˚, 17.5˚, 20.5˚, 23.5˚
Stock shafts: PING Alta CB Red 65 and Tour 65/75


For players who don’t spin the ball like crazy or need major all-around performance, the standard G410 fairway wood is a rock-solid option. Featuring a similar low and deep CG location as the previous G400 for impressive stability and forgiveness, the new fairway wood has a bit more zip due to a slightly more forward weight concentration in the lower-profile clubhead. Like the driver, the G410 fairway is also fitted with a lighter, more aerodynamic hosel sleeve that offers eight fitting positions for customized trajectory through on-the-fly loft and lie adjustment. The G410 is also available in a slice-busting SFT model and low-spin LST version.

Fitter comments: Like the driver (right), the G410 fairway wood can work for a wide variety of players looking for exceptional stability, enhanced ball speeds and easy launch in a handsome overall package.

Srixon Z F85

Price: $249
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 18˚
Stock shaft: Project X HZRDUS Red 65


Golfers who want a fairway wood that enables them to both shape shots from the fairway and hit controlled drives from the tee generally seek a model that combines both a penetrating trajectory with a touch of forgiveness. Which is exactly what you get in Srixon’s Z F85 fairway wood. The Crown Step geometry lowers the steel chassis’ center of gravity for more distance, and the lightweight carbon crown improves the club’s MOI, making it more forgiving on off-center hits. These woods are a great choice if you like to put English on the ball from either the fairway or tee but still require plenty of forgiveness across more points on the clubface. The Crown Step design on the crown and the visible carbon fiber looks great—and we love how it matches the head cover.

Fitter comments: Solid choice for any player looking for exceptional sound, feel and looks with very good ball speeds and ample forgiveness.

TaylorMade M5

Price: $399
Lofts: 14˚ (Rocket), 15˚, 19˚
Stock shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 65 and 75


Featuring a multimaterial design with a titanium body, carbon composite crown and 65g moveable steel sole weight, the M5 fairway is also the first of its kind to incorporate TwistFace technology for increased forgiveness on high-toe and low-heel hits. The combination of lightweight titanium and carbon composite allows for the extra large sole weight, which accounts for more than 30 percent of the total weight of the clubhead, creating the desired low CG location for easy launch and forgiveness. The M5 fairway can be customized for shot shape by simply sliding it toward the heel or toe, or by adjusting the 12-position loft sleeve in the hosel by two degrees in either direction.

Fitter comments: Innovative design that can work for almost any player, but best for low- and mid handicappers who are looking for custom-tuning options and tons of distance.

TaylorMade M6

Price: $299
Lofts: 14˚ (Rocket), 15˚, 18˚, 21˚, 24˚
Stock shafts: Fujikura Atmos Orange 5 Fairway and 6 Fairway


The new M6 fairway woods also represent a significant improvement over previous M models, featuring not only TwistFace technology but also a new Speed Pocket in the sole to enhance both ball speed and turf interaction at impact. Like its namesake driver, the M6 fairway wood is constructed with a larger carbon composite crown that allows for a lower CG location and more stability on off-center hits. An M6 D-Type model that provides up to 15 yards of slice correction is also available.

Fitter comments: Tour players and high-handicappers alike can fit into the M6. Expect max distance with enhanced feel.

Titleist TS2

Price: $299
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 16.5˚, 18˚, 21˚
Stock shafts: KuroKage Black Dual Core 55, Tensei AV Blue 65, HZRDUS Smoke Black 70, Even Flow White 75


The TS2 Fairway borrows much of the same technology found in the TS2 driver, including an ultra-thin titanium crown, a Speed Chassis, a SureFit hosel and variable face thickness. In addition, these woods have an adjustable swingweight and an improved Active Recoil Channel for greater flex at impact and more distance and forgiveness—especially on shots hit lower on the face (where most people miss). Its modern shape looks easy to handle at address, inspiring golfers to swing away with loads of confidence.

Fitter comments: Excellent combination of distance and forgiveness that can work for the full spectrum of players who use fairway woods from both the fairway and the tee.

Titleist TS3

Price: $299
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 16.5˚, 18˚
Stock shafts: KuroKage Black Dual Core 55, Tensei AV Blue 65, HZRDUS Smoke Black 70, Even Flow White 75


Designed for advanced players seeking a traditionally shaped fairway wood for added shotmaking capabilities, the TS3 fairway woods include Titleist’s redesigned Speed Chassis, Active Recoil Channel 3.0, SureFit hosel and SureFit CG weighting system, and more. Tech aside, what matters most to competitive golfers is how the club performs. The TS line doesn’t disappoint, yielding a customized ball flight thanks to a very maneuverable mid-launch, low-spin trajectory. In other words, it’s the kind of fairway wood that makes for an accurate driver alternative off the tee, but that still has plenty of maneuverability from the fairway.

Fitter comments: Best for better players who want an all-around performer with enhanced control and custom tuning options.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS

Price: $229
Lofts: 13˚, 15˚, 17˚, 18˚, 21˚
Stock shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 2G 50, 60, 70


Fairway woods carry a lot of responsibility these days: they’re asked to be versatile from the fairway and long off the tee. The Exotics EXS meets the demands nicely, thanks to a variety of technologies including a new, high-strength Carpenter steel Cup Face, hexagonal variable face thickness, carbon fiber sections and adjustable weights. Also, a wavy SlipStream Sole for less turf friction through impact. It’s a long and forgiving fairway wood sure to please mid- to low-handicappers who want a penetrating flight that doesn’t balloon in the wind.

Fitter comments: Very good ball speeds with ample forgiveness and turf interaction.

Wilson Staff D7

Price: $199
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚, 21˚
Stock shaft: UST Mamiya Helium


Taking a page from the driver, Wilson’s D7 fairway woods were created with a lightweight design and materials that make it easier to get the club through the hitting area with a bit more pop. The thin 455 stainless steel face insert mitigates ball-speed loss on shots that don’t catch the center of the face. And while it isn’t visible at address, Wilson designers tweaked the crown design with four “thin cast pockets”—thinned-out sections in the crown—that offer structure while minimizing the overall weight typically found in most conventional fairway woods. Three lofts (15, 18 and 21 degrees) are available, but with non-adjustable hosels.

Fitter comments: The light overall weight is best for mid- and high-handicappers who need more speed and forgiveness. Great for moderate swingers.

XXIO X

Price: $400
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚, 20˚, 23
Stock shaft: MP1000 lightweight


Just like the X driver, the fairway woods are designed with True-Focus Technology to optimize swing speed and contact for moderate swingers. The lighter overall weight and low swing MOI take stress off the body during the motion, allowing not only faster swings but a lot more of them with less effort. In addition, a high-strength rolled cup face design improves ball speeds and distance across a larger area of the clubface. Slower swingers rejoice!

Fitter Comments: A top-notch lightweight option that can work for anyone with moderate speed who desires max-game-improving performance.

Bridgestone Tour B JGR

Price: $219
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚
Shafts: Wide variety of premium models


Consistent with the fairway woods, the JGR hybrids are built with multiple power slits in the lower portion of the clubface and in the crown for a higher COR and distance. The crown itself is designed to flex at impact for improved launch from either the tee, fairway or rough. Users will enjoy more speed and less spin, especially on mis-hits, thanks to the JGR’s unique milling pattern.

Fitter comments: A versatile player in the hybrid segment that delivers the enhanced launch and speed it promises.

Callaway Big Bertha

Price: $270
Lofts: 18˚, 21˚, 24˚, 27˚, 30˚, 33˚
Stock shafts: UST Mamiya Recoil ZT9, ESX 460


Big Bertha hybrids are all about ease, high-launch and distance, and the technologies used to build the clubs reflect the goal nicely. Callaway’s Jailbreak Technology, which features internal bars that create a stiffer clubhead, promotes more face flex, COR and ball speed. In addition, an extremely thin Carpenter steel clubface and Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face Cup design increase ball speeds across a larger area of the face, not only yielding longer shots on solid strikes, but also on those hit away from the sweet spot. The new Big Bertha hybrids are also the first to feature both Jailbreak and an adjustable hosel. Your reward: customized launch angles and spin rates.

Fitter comments: This hybrid is aimed at golfers who want to launch the ball high and straight with max forgiveness. Moderate speed swingers should give them a try.

Callaway Apex

Price: $270
Lofts: 18˚, 20˚, 23˚, 26˚
Stock shafts: Project X Catalyst 70 and 80


Aimed at better players who desire the control, workability and spin rates of a long iron with the playability of a hybrid, the new Apex hybrid is a serious stick. More traditional shaping hides Callaway’s innovative Jailbreak Technology, which creates a stiffer body, more face flex at impact and faster ball speeds. A forged Carpenter steel face cup also enhances distance across the clubface, with added flexibility away from the sweet spot.

Fitter comments: Definitely for more authoritative ballstrikers and faster swingers who want the ability to control longer-distance shots.

Cleveland Launcher HB

Price: $199
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚
Stock shaft: Miyazaki C. Kua


No matter what lie you’re faced with, most hybrids are designed to help you shoot the ball up and away as fast as possible. The Launcher HB model does just that, with CG locations that are the lowest and deepest possible. The HiBore crown, Flex-Fins and ultra-lightweight hosel combine for a high-launch, high-spin trajectory, resulting in shots that soar to provide plenty of stopping power on the greens.

Fitter comments: Can launch the ball high and straight—works well for mid- and higher-handicaps.

Cobra King F9

Price: $219
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 24˚
Stock shaft: Fujikura Atmos


The new F9 Hybrid has the most to gain from Cobra’s new spin on its Baffler Technology. The two rails help the clubhead glide through the turf with minimal speed loss, helping golfers of any skill hit longer, more accurate shots from anywhere on the course. The 455 stainless steel face insert increases flex for greater distance. Also distinguishable is the lowered toe and square leading edge, which make this hybrid a cinch to align. The F9 is also 10 percent bigger than the previous F8 for—you guessed it—more distance and forgiveness. It also comes in a one-length option for all you Bryson DeChambeau admirers.

Fitter comments: One of the better all-around hybrids, with the added benefit of sole rails.

Ping G410

Price: $270
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 26˚, 30˚
Stock shafts: PING Alta CB Red 70, others


The G410 is PING’s first-ever adjustable hybrid that allows trajectory and spin rates to be customized eight different ways through different loft (plus or minus 1.5 degrees) and lie combinations. The maraging steel face was also thinned out to make it more flexible at impact to generate higher launch angles and more speed and distance than the previous G400. The profile of the new clubhead was made a bit taller as well to give it a more playable look at address—something that should appeal to mid- and high-handicappers who need a little more confidence when standing over the ball. True to PING’s design philosophy, a larger high-density backweight increases stability and forgiveness on off-center hits.

Fitter comments: One of the best all-around hybrids available for stability and forgiveness with enhanced launch and ball speeds. Works for all level of handicaps.

Srixon Z H85

Price: $229
Lofts: 16˚, 19˚, 22˚
Stock shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 85


The Z H85 hybrids have a unique Crown Step crown design that lowers the CG for added forgiveness and helps promote a higher trajectory—the two things most desired in a hybrid club. Better players will appreciate how this hybrid allows for some shotmaking versatility, but still retains a larger profile for added forgiveness on off-center hits. It’s all-black matte-gloss finish is one of the prettiest you can find.

Fitter comments: Can work for most players, particularly those discerning low and mid-handicappers who appreciate workability with enhanced launch and distance.

TaylorMade Rescue

Price: $249
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚, 31˚
Stock shaft: Fujikura Atmos Orange


Rounding out the M6 family of woods is the M6 Rescue, a superb hybrid that carries on the rich tradition of TaylorMade Rescue clubs. Features include TaylorMade’s innovative TwistFace technology—never before applied to a Rescue club—and a low CG for improved launch from a variety of lies. For added ball speed and distance, even on mis-hits, TaylorMade engineers designed a more flexible Speed Pocket in the sole for a bigger COR area.

Fitter comments: The most advanced Rescue yet is aimed at the full spectrum of players or any golfer who values easy launch and distance.

TaylorMade GAPR LO

Price: $250
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚
Stock shaft: KBS Hybrid graphite


The GAPR line was created to bridge the gap between your shortest fairway wood and longest iron. The LO is the most iron-like and produces the most boring trajectory, a boon for better players. The low and forward CG location is the key to the driving ball flight. A loft sleeve allows for adjustability, while a hollow construction with SpeedFoam promotes better sound, feel and speed.

Fitter comments: The LO model is clearly best for faster swingers.

TaylorMade GAPR MID

Price: $250
Lofts: 19˚, 21˚, 24˚
Stock shaft: KBS Hybrid graphite


The MID model of the GAPR line is most likely the one that will appeal to the widest variety of players—it features a CG that’s very low, a bit deeper and forward, producing a mid-high flight that can work for any number of people. The sole of the MID is also medium-wide for greater playability and less dig than the LO model, while the clubface shape is fairly iron-like. The same loft sleeve for adjustability found in the LO is here as well, as is the hollow construction, SpeedFoam filler and speed pocket in the sole.

Fitter comments: The MID can fit a wide variety of players—it promotes a medium-high trajectory and very good ball speeds and forgiveness.

TaylorMade GAPR HI

Price: $250
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚
Stock shaft: KBS Hybrid graphite


Of all the GAPRs, the HI is easily the most forgiving. It’s the one that most resembles a wood, and it has the largest clubhead profile. The low and deep CG placement also delivers the highest shot trajectory among the group. A wider sole allows for a steeper angle of attack, improved turf interaction, and forgiveness on mis-hits. Other GAPR tech (SpeedFoam, loft sleeve, speed pocket, etc.) is also included.

Fitter comments: Mid- and high-handicappers can’t miss with the HI.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS

Price: $199
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚
Stock shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 60, 70, 80


This is the kind of utility club that better players will love. It’s easier to hit than a long iron but provides an iron-like ball flight, which means you can shape shots with the EXS without ballooning. The Cup Face tech with hexagonal variable face thickness adds forgiveness on off-center hits; the SlipStream Sole glides through turf with ease; and the Flight Tuning System makes it easy to fine tune swingweight and ball flight. The aesthetics are top-notch, too.

Fitter comments: Best for low- and mid-handicappers.

Wilson Staff D7

Price: $179
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚, 31˚
Stock shaft: UST Mamiya Recoil 460


Outside of the smaller head shape, the D7 hybrids share many design traits with the D7 woods—both strive to achieve a lighter overall weight to increase speed. Four sections of the crown were thinned out to reduce bulk while maintaining the structural integrity of the design. We like the 455 stainless steel face insert—just thin enough to produce a rebound effect across the face.

Fitter comments: Mid- and high-handicappers take note: an all-around performer.

XXIO X

Price: $300
Lofts: 18˚, 20˚, 23˚, 26˚
Stock shaft: MP1000 lightweight


You guessed it: the XXIO X hybrid features the same low swing MOI and lightweight overall design as the driver and fairways, making it one of the easiest-to-swing hybrids available today. Distance is also increased by variable clubhead and clubface thicknesses, as well as a rolled cup face that maximizes rebound at impact. A friendly sole design adds to the package, making the X playable from a wide range of lies in addition to the tee.

Fitter comments: Best fits moderate swingers looking for all-around performance in a lighter overall package.

ClubTest 2019: 28 new hybrids and fairway woods to transform your long game was originally posted at https://www.golf.com/gear/2019/02/27/28-new-hybrids-fairway-woods-reviewed-clubtest/ by GOLF Editors

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Pro golfer disqualified at Honda Classic for violating new greens-reading regulations

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Alex Cejka was disqualified in the first round of the Honda Classic on Thursday for violating the new greens-reading regulations that went into effect at the start of the new year.

Cejka’s disqualification, which came after he had already played 14 holes of golf on Thursday, was a result of him using “greens-reading materials that did not fit the new scale” permitted by the new Rules of Golf, according to PGA Tour rules officials.

USGA, R&A chiefs differ on success of new rules rollout

While it’s still unclear which of the new greens-reading regulations Cejka violated, the USGA implemented a new rule on what materials can and cannot be used when reading the greens during a competitive round.

The new rule of limiting the usage of greens-reading materials on the course was made with the USGA’s belief that “the ability of golfers to read greens using their own judgment is an essential skill that should be maintained,” and the interpretation “limits the size and scale of detailed putting-green maps and any similar electronic or digital materials that a player may use during a round to assist with reading his or her line of play on the putting green.”

Pro golfer disqualified at Honda Classic for violating new greens-reading regulations was originally posted at https://www.golf.com/news/2019/02/28/golfer-disqualified-violating-new-greens-reading-regulations/ by Pat Ralph

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Myrtle Beach Golf: The ultimate guide to America’s ultimate golf destination

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Myrtle Beach, S.C., is as much an idea as a place, and for many that idea can be boiled down to three phrases: Myrtle Beach golf, Myrtle Beach golf, Myrtle Beach golf. But take a step back, crouch, and get a read on the place itself, and it’s clear that Myrtle isn’t just a matter of abundance. For those in the know, there is tremendous quality on offer, too. More and more, that extends beyond the fairways and greens to all aspects of a Myrtle Beach golf trip — dining, nightlife, attractions, you name it. Here’s how to ensure that you make the most of your next Myrtle golf getaway.


WHERE TO PLAY: PREMIUM GOLF

Barefoot Resort & Golf

Myrtle Beach’s Fab Four, with designs from Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye; players looking for a true golf-resort experience should venture no further. Love is a GOLF Top 100 You Can Play course, while Dye hosts Hootie & the Blowfish’s annual post-Masters pro-am. Fazio is sneakily tough, while Norman may be Barefoot’s most playable 18. barefootgolf.com; 866-638-4818

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

The first solo design by the late, great iconoclast Mike Strantz and another GOLF Top 100 You Can Play course, Caledonia is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Its biggest highlight may be its last one, with the 18th green sitting practically in the shadow of its graceful antebellum clubhouse. Without doubt a must-play for anyone coming to the area. caledoniagolfandfishclub.com; 800-483-6800

The Dunes Golf & Beach Club

A grand dame of the Grand Strand and yet another Top 100 You Can Play, the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed Dunes Club is the area’s most storied 18 — and arguably better now than it’s ever been. Rees Jones has overseen renovations to the course in recent times, including a new bunker project in 2018, a year that also saw the clubhouse remodeled. thedunesclub.net; 843-449-5236

Grande Dunes

Smack-dab in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Grande Dunes, designed by longtime RTJ Sr. protégé Roger Rulewich, this links-style layout is set on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, with forgiving fairways leading to subtle, vexing greens. Six holes play along the Intracoastal, including the downhill par-3 14th, among Myrtle’s most photogenic holes. grandedunesgolf.com; 877-283-2122


Myrtle Beach National Golf Club (King’s North)

The premier course at this 54-hole facility, King’s North was redesigned by Arnold Palmer in 1996 and features one of Myrtle Beach’s most memorable holes: Its par-5 6th, dubbed “The Gambler,” sports a second, island fairway that if reached makes hitting the green in two a good bet. The island-green par-3 12th is another do-or-die hole not soon forgotten. myrtlebeachnational.com; 877-283-2122

Pawley’s Plantation Golf & Country Club

This Jack Nicklaus Signature Design is one of the most prestigious courses on the Grand Strand, and its back nine may be the prettiest, too. The highlight: the gorgeous, terrifying par-3 13th, which plays to a peninsula green surrounded by a saltwater marsh. Pawley’s plentiful 200-year-old moss-draped oaks are as Southern as sweet tea, too. pawleysplantation.com; 877-283-2122

Pine Lakes Country Club

A must-play for history buffs — it’s the area’s first course and remains a highly enjoyable layout. Home to the Myrtle Beach Golf Hall of Fame, Pine Lakes was designed by Robert White, a native of St. Andrews, Scotland, as well as the first president of the PGA of America. During the winter, free chowder’s on offer at the turn; the rest of the year, it’s mimosas. pinelakes.com; 877-283-2122

Surf Golf & Beach Club

A classic 1960 layout from George Cobb, who co-designed Augusta National’s Par-3 Course with Bobby Jones, the Surf Club is private but permits guest play in partnership with certain local hotels. Appropriately enough, its most memorable hole is a peninsula par 3, No. 6, but the entire course hangs together gracefully, all of a piece. surfgolfclub.com; 843-249-1524


Tidewater Golf Club

GOLF’s Best New Public Course in the U.S. in 1990, Tidewater is as scenic as it is strong. Holes 3 and 12 comprise Myrtle’s most handsome pair of par 3s, both of which play along Cherry Grove; eight holes in total play along this inlet or the Intracoastal Waterway. A recent greens renovation has helped make Tidewater among the area’s best conditioned courses. tidewatergolf.com; 843-466-8754

TPC Myrtle Beach

For those desiring a stern challenge, TPC Myrtle Beach is the place. This spring, the course will host both an NCAA Regional Championship and the fourth-annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship. (DJ is South Carolina-born and went to college in the Myrtle Beach area.) Tom Fazio’s design team oversaw a bunker renovation project last summer. tpcmyrtlebeach.com; 877-283-2122

True Blue Golf Club

Still another Top 100 You Can Play layout and, as another Mike Strantz design, a sister course to Caledonia. The theme as True Blue is bigness, from the generous fairways to the large, tilting greens to the yawning waste bunkers. A former indigo and rice plantation, True Blue sports impressively varied terrain with some significant elevation changes. truebluegolf.com; 888-483-6800

WHERE TO PLAY: VALUE GOLF

Arcadian Shores Golf Club

Rees Jones’s first design, Arcadian Shores underwent a major renovation two years ago that included new greens, cart paths, bunkers and a new clubhouse. A very good layout at a very good price. arcadianshoresgolf.com; 843-449-5217

Arrowhead Country Club 

Just five miles from the Myrtle Beach International Airport and with 27 holes, including a couple on the Intracoastal, it’s hard to beat Arrowhead for convenience — or value for money, given how reliably good the conditioning is. arrowheadcc.com; 800-236-3243

Legends Resort (Heathland)

An early Tom Doak solo design done in a links style, with nods to courses such as St. Andrews, Cruden Bay and Lahinch, here is your chance to view a portrait of the architect as a young man, and for a reasonable fee. legendsgolf.com; 800-299-6187

Prestwick Country Club

Maybe not a hidden gem to the degree of Scotland’s Prestwick, nonetheless this Pete and P.B. Dye design hides in plain sight in the heart of Myrtle Beach. It’s a stern test whether tackled from the 7,000-yard-plus tips or otherwise. prestwickcountryclub.com; 843-293-4100

For those in the know, there is tremendous quality on offer in Myrtle Beach.


WHERE TO PLAY: RELAXED GOLF

So, you’re looking to take it easy on yourself, maybe post a career-best round, enjoy a good walk not spoiled by double-bogeys? Here are the five best area tracks with low slope ratings and high fun factors.

Crown Park Golf Club
crownparkgolf.com; 843-756-3200

Meadowlands Golf Club
meadowlandsgolf.com; 910-287-7529

Myrtle Beach National (West)
myrtlebeachnational.com; 877-283-2122

The Witch Golf Club
witchgolf.com; 843-347-2706

The Wizard Golf Course
wizardgolfcourse.com; 843-236-9393


WHERE TO STAY

Savvy travelers will generally choose the courses on their itinerary first and work their way backward from there, selecting a hotel, resort or condo that’s convenient to golf. There are, naturally, other potential considerations — a villa might be perfect for a buddy trip, while players with their family in tow might want to be right on the beach in a place with a pool and on-site activities. No matter the logic, these accommodations are all well above par.

Anderson Ocean Club and Spa

Condo accommodations overlooking the water in the heart of Myrtle Beach, with easy access to golf and nightlife. andersonoceanclub.com; 844-887-9452

The Inlet Sports Lodge

Boutique property located in Murrells Inlet and a short walk to the outstanding food, entertainment and scenery at Marshwalk — ideal for a South Strand trip. inletsportslodge.com; 877-585-9360

Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort

Oceanfront resort located just minutes from Pawleys Plantation and Caledonia; large property with on-site restaurants, great spot for big groups. litchfieldbeach.com; 888-734-8228

Marina Inn at Grande Dunes

Four-Diamond property with condo accommodations located along the Intracoastal Waterway and across from the Grande Dunes Resort Course; has a Ruth’s Chris among its restaurants, and its open-air bar along the waterway, Anchor Cafe, is a lively happy hour spot. marinainnatgrandedunes.com; 843-913-1333

Marriott OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes

One of the area’s nicest properties, with villa accommodations overlooking the Atlantic, it’s located in Myrtle Beach, just steps from Dunes Golf & Beach Club. marriott.com; 843-692-5500

Mar Vista Grande

Four-Diamond oceanfront property with 3- and 4-bedroom condos that make it perfect for groups; set in the heart of Myrtle Beach, it’s just minutes from Tidewater Golf Club. elitemanagementandrealty.com; 843-877-0413

Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes

Great waterfront location, indoor and outdoor pools, pool bar, full-service spa—what’s not to love? marriott.com; 843-449-8880

North Beach Plantation

Across from Barefoot Resort, its entrance conjures Atlantis in the Bahamas. Six pools, including a swim-up pool bar, and a spa, help make it a premium North Myrtle Beach property, as does its outstanding restaurant, 21 Main. northbeachrentals.com; 855-904-4858


WHERE TO EAT

Aspen Grill

The name may suggest Colorado, but this is traditional Carolina cuisine to the core. While the menu changes seasonally, if the scallops over wild mushroom risotto with fried spinach is available, it’s a must. aspen-grille.com; 843-449-9191

Chive Blossom Restaurant & Bar

Part of a thriving restaurant scene on Pawleys Island that also includes Bistro 217 and Perrone’s, Chive Blossom leans Southern but also brings in Asian, French and Mediterranean flourishes. Its soups are renowned, as are its signature cocktails. chiveblossom.com; 843-237-1438

New York Prime

Turning meat and potatoes into the extraordinary is what the best steakhouses do, and New York Prime (which also has locations in Atlanta and Boca Raton) does just that. Its steaks are aged 28 days, and you’ll remember them much longer than that. newyorkprime.com; 843-448-8081

WHERE TO PLAY (OFF THE COURSE)

Brookgreen Gardens

Let’s say you tweak your back, or you’re of the opinion that a little culture won’t kill you. If so, visit Brookgreen Gardens, which holds the country’s largest collection of American figurative sculpture, showcased in a lovely garden setting, as well as a botanical gardens, a zoo, and historical exhibitions and excursions. brookgreen.org; 843-235-6000

 Hawaiian Rumble MiniGolf

For players with kids in tow, or those still a kid at heart, miniature golf is a Myrtle Beach must. You can putt-putt away in a tropical setting at Hawaiian Rumble, an 18-hole course that wends its way through a garden straight out of Maui, with a 40-foot volcano at the center and Hawaiian music wafting through the air. hawaiianrumbleminigolf.com; 843-272-7812


WHERE TO PARTY

Barefoot Landing on the Waterway

For golfers on the Grand Strand’s north end, the waterfront Barefoot Landing offers the House of Blues, Dick’s Last Resort and Bully’s Pub & Grill for those still energized after the sun has set on 36 holes of golf. bflanding.com; 843-272-8349

Broadway at the Beach

This outdoor complex is a major shopping, entertainment and dining hub. Its recently renovated nightlife district offers everything from dancing to dueling pianos to a Dave & Buster’s. broadwayatthebeach.com; 800-386-4662

Topgolf Myrtle Beach

Got something to work out in your swing? Just want to eat and drink in the presence of others hitting balls? The new Topgolf in Myrtle Beach will have you covered once it opens, slated for this March. topgolf.com; 843-945-3318


Myrtle Beach Golf: The ultimate guide to America’s ultimate golf destination was originally posted at https://www.golf.com/travel/trips/2019/02/28/myrtle-beach-golf-ultimate-guide/ by Evan Rothman

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What’s with the odd-shaped Directed Force putter Adam Scott’s using at Honda?

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Even since the anchor-ban went into effect at the start of 2016, Adam Scott has been searching for a suitable replacement for the 52-inch Scotty Cameron Futura X putter he used to win the 2013 Masters. He’s floated the long putter to stay within the rules, tried a myriad of conventional-length mallets and blades with different grips, and even dabbled with the arm-lock method in his last few starts.

So far, nothing has caught on.

At the Honda Classic, Scott added another putter to the list in the form of L.A.B. Golf DirectedForce’s oversize mallet, which features a maroon-colored head and arguably one of the most interesting shapes on the market. The putter is essentially designed to reduce head twisting through a lie-angle balanced design that keeps the face straight to the path during the stroke.

Increasing head weight can reduce twisting, but according to L.A.B. Golf DirectedForce, dialing in the center of gravity, lie angle, length and grip can have an even more profound effect. The putter manufacturer touts their toe and heel weights — which are installed on each side of the face as well as the sole — work in conjunction with the position of the shaft to eliminate twisting.

Adam Scott giving DirectedForce’s putter a shot at Honda. pic.twitter.com/V5ASqDsNZ5

— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) February 28, 2019

In addition to Scott, Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Dufner have given L.A.B. Golf DirectedForce a chance over the last few years, but outside of a few notable names, the putter hasn’t generated much traction on tour.

The timing of Scott’s switch is actually quite curious given that he was coming off a stretch with the arm-lock method where he ranked 14th and 15th in strokes gained: putting at the Farmers Insurance Open and Genesis Open. Scott ranked 165th and 89th in the statistical category the past two seasons.

Even the crew handling this week’s PGA Tour’s Live coverage from the Honda Classic admitted they were surprised with Scott’s decision to go away from arm-lock. “We watched him for a couple of weeks and he looked reborn on the greens,” said announcer John Swantek.

Scott was spotted testing L.A.B. Golf DirectedForce putters in two different head colors on Monday at PGA National but told the Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe that he didn’t have plans to put it in play. Apparently, the former Masters champion had a change of heart and decided to give it a try.

Adam Scott says he doesn’t plan to add one of these new putters to his bag this week but is constantly testing and trying to gather info. pic.twitter.com/RpgTJ4w54b

— Chantel McCabe (@ChantelMcCabeGC) February 26, 2019

His first round with the putter didn’t go according to plan, as Scott shot 2-over 72 and missed par putts from inside 8 feet on two of his last three holes. He only made 62 feet worth of putts during the first round.

What's with the odd-shaped Directed Force putter Adam Scott's using at Honda? was originally posted at https://www.golf.com/gear/putters/2019/02/28/adam-scott-honda-classic-directed-force-putter/ by Jonathan Wall

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