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Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Photo: Courtesy of TaylorMade

TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball; TaylorMade Project (a) Golf Ball; TaylorMade Tour Preferred X Golf Ball


The new Tour Preferred golf ball ($47.99/doz. (MSRP)) features 4-layers with an inner mantle that's about 65% softer than that used in the previous Tour Preferred model, making the new ball feel significantly softer without losing any speed or performance.

The new version launces higher and spins more on long irons than the new Tour Preferred X ($47.99/doz., (MSRP)) but provides the same distance and short game spin as the X. Both models are built with a very soft, cast urethane cover and both also features low drag dimples that improve performance in windy conditions.

Photo: TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball

The new Tour Preferred X features a 5-layer construction and is slightly firmer (87 compression vs. 80 compression for the Tour Preferred) feeling than the standard Tour Preferred. A thicker cast urethane cover than the past X model improves short game performance for players like Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jason Day, and Justin Rose, all of whom played the previous Tour Preferred X.

"We developed forty three Tour Preferred X prototypes throughout our exhaustive pursuit to engineer a better golf ball and put them in the hands of our Tour players," said Eric Loper, TaylorMade's Director of Golf Ball Development. "They were unanimously drawn to the ball that produced more control around the greens, and that was the new Tour Preferred X. We're excited by their initial reactions to its performance and look forward to their transition into the new models for the '15-'16 PGA TOUR season."

Photo: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X Golf Ball

TaylorMade Tour Preferred X Golf Ball

If you're wondering which Tour Preferred model is right for you, here's the breakdown: The standard Tour Preferred offers a softer overall feel and more spin on mid and long irons shots, as well as a higher trajectory on approach shots. The Tour Preferred X provides a firmer feel, a more penetrating flight and slightly less spin on mid and long irons shots.


Photo: TaylorMade Project (a) Golf Ball

TaylorMade Project (a) Golf Ball


In addition to the new Tour Preferred models TaylorMade also has a new version of the Project (a) ($34.99/doz. (MSRP)). Like the original, the new model is aimed at recreational players who want Tour-like performance with a soft feel and extra shot-stopping spin around the greens. 


The new model, which features an overall compression of 70 as compared to the previous iteration's 88 compression, also has a 33% softer core that creates low spin rates and plenty of distance off the driver and long clubs. A cast urethane cover, which is the softest and most durable in the TaylorMade lineup (same cover as the new Tour Preferred models), helps crank up spin rates on short shots from 30 yards and in as well as mid-iron approaches, allowing non-Tour players hit shots just like the guys they watch on TV.

All of the new TaylorMade golf ball models will be available at retail on November 6th.



Thursday, September 10, 2015

TaylorMade Golf Company Unveils PSi Irons


Blending form and function, PSi delivers on the demands of the better playerShare on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on printMore Sharing Services


CARLSBAD, CALIF. (September 9, 2015) - TaylorMade Golf, the industry leader in iron innovation, has taken a new approach to the better player iron category with the introduction of the PSi™ and PSi Tour irons. Players have long been subjected to choosing an iron with either premium sound and feel or distance. With PSi, TaylorMade has found the perfect blend of form and function; an iron that delivers a rare balance of elegant design and superior feel combined with increased ball speed and distance. In doing so, TaylorMade has brought innovation to the better player iron category in a way that benefits those discerning players who seek the most out of their irons.

In designing TaylorMade's most advanced players irons to date, engineers integrated the company's new, proprietary Dynamic Feel System (DFS). Comprised of a HYBRAR™ blend compression damper and a multi-material cavity badge, this system works to reduce vibration across the face without sacrificing ball speed. Combined with redesigned head geometries, tungsten weighting in the long irons (3-5), and forged short irons (8-SW), the result is a truly dynamic approach to feel management in an iron that delivers on its promise for superior sound and feel throughout the set.

New to the PSi iron is a revolutionary new Speed Pocket - now a cut-thru slot that feeds directly into the cavity undercut. The Speed Pocket with the cut-thru slot yields more effective slot performance resulting in faster ball speeds for shots struck lower on the face. PSi also utilizes Face Slot Technology, a feature that debuted last year with the RSi series of irons. Face slots, located on the heel and toe of the clubface, protect ball speed and generate more consistent distance on shots struck off-center.

Consistent distance on shots across the face was a key deliverable in ensuring this iron met the demands of better players. Finally, an ultra-thin face (sub-2mm) contributes in supplying this compact iron with amazing distance. The 360° undercut expands the unsupported face area and lowers the CG to generate the optimal combination of speed, spin and launch angle, giving better players the trajectory they want and the distance they need.

The PSi irons also utilize a progressive spec package, ensuring each iron throughout the set delivers optimal performance. Blade length, topline thickness and offset increase progressively from the wedges down through the long irons, delivering golfers a confidence-inspiring, aesthetically appealing look at address.

"In creating the PSi, we wanted to make sure we understood the true needs of the better player before deciding how best to approach its design," said Tomo Bystedt, Director of Iron Product Creation. "The total performance package had to meet or exceed the player's expectation on look and feel while giving them performance they had never seen before. The consistency, workability and distance are something we think will be a revelation to all better players."

PSi Tour

In addition to the PSi, TaylorMade also announced the PSi Tour iron, designed with input from and engineered for the best players in the world. Featuring forged 1025 Carbon steel and precision milled face slots and Speed Pocket, PSi Tour features a more compact head size and tour-inspired shaping and workability for the best of ball strikers. Additionally, PSi Tour has a thinner topline, less offset and narrower sole than the PSi and its progressive CG position allows for higher trajectory in the long irons while retaining optimum workability. The PSi Tour is expected to be TaylorMade's #1 played iron model on the PGA TOUR in '16.

Pricing and Availability

Available at retail on November 6, PSi ($1099 steel; $1299 graphite) will be offered in 3-iron through PW with AW and SW also available. Golfers will have a choice of KBS Tour C-Taper 105 steel shafts (R, S & X) or MRC Kuro Kage Iron graphite shafts (80/R, 90/S or 100/X) in addition to numerous additional custom shaft options.

PSi Tour ($1299) will be available at retail on December 20, and will be offered in 3-PW with Dynamic Gold S300 shafts in addition to a variety of custom shaft options.

For more information, visit

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Monday, August 10, 2015


3 Reasons Taylormade Is Tanking

Since this time last year there have been reports that several major adidas shareholders want out of the golf business altogether. That means likely selling off Adams Golf, Ashworth and possibly even Taylormade.  While it may be a bit premature to talk about adidas unloading the entirety of its golf division, if recent trends continue, the likelihood is that adidas will look to completely exit the golf business.

If you’re wondering what the actual probabilities of that happening are, I can’t give you a number. What I can tell you is that despite promises to the contrary, little (other than personnel) has actually changed at TaylorMade.

  1. The marketing has grown stale
  2. The products are uninspiring
  3. And perhaps most difficult to overcome, TaylorMade simply isn’t cool anymore.

You may not think that last bit matters, but in the golf industry, when you’ve lost your mojo, as TaylorMade has, it’s exceedingly difficult to get it back.

Just ask Callaway.

Of course, the resurgence at Callaway proves that with enough time, humility, and motivation to fundamentally change how your business operates, it is possible to recover.


 After a 2nd quarter that showed double-digit declines from the previous year, the adidas Group has vowed to undertake major efforts to stabilize its golf division.


 Apart from Adams HQ, what other action did TaylorMade-adidas Golf take?

With an eye towards clearing the retail channel of heavily discounted product from previous years, the company refrained from releasing any new product for the remainder of 2014. That was only the beginning.

There was a round of layoffs. Several long-time TaylorMade executives…holdovers from the Mark King era were dismissed. Internal teams were realigned, and realigned again (and again). Some prominent members of the TaylorMade team saw the writing on the wall and left of their own accords.

None of them appear to regret it.

The executive branch, marketing and PR departments…effectively gutted.

2015 rolled around and TaylorMade launched R15, AeroBurner, and RSi while the repurposed Adams brand launched red and blue.

The golf world mostly yawned, and when none of the above failed to turn the tide, adidas and TaylorMade CEO Ben Sharpe parted ways less than one year into his tenure. In a publicly-traded world, patience is an uncommon virtue.

Former Adams guy, David Abeles was brought back to replace Sharpe. One of the last true bonafide TaylorMade guys, Executive VP Sean Toulon, left. The company was hit with another round of layoffs.

It has been a difficult year for those inside TaylorMade…those that are left, anyway.

For all of its efforts, what adidas got in return was a 2nd straight year of double-digit declines in Q2 revenue, a 2nd straight year of significant declines in retail market share, and the harsh reality that TaylorMade can no longer, by any reasonable measure, call itself the leader of the golf equipment industry.

The mighty has fallen far – and it may not yet have reached bottom.

How Bad is it Really?

From a numbers perspective, it’s bad. The two most meaningful bullet points from the latest report:

  • Q2 revenues down 26% on a currency neutral basis
  • Revenue down 17% for the year (hard goods down 13%)

If you’re wondering what, other than unstable leadership, poor marketing, and mind-blowing arrogance, is at the heart of TaylorMade’s most recent incarnation of its annual decline, the adidas report places the blame on “sales decreases in most categories, in particular metalwoods and irons”.

Revenues are down because sales are down. Obvious enough, right?


By Hainer’s own admission, R15 and AeroBurner didn’t resonate with consumers, and that’s reflected in TaylorMade’s tenuous hold on the #1 spot for driver market share. The company considers its #1 Driver in Golf position as a birthright, and that’s about to slip away (although I suspect it will continue to reference its Tour use long after the market position is gone).

 Callaway, the golf industry's metaphorical phoenix, has usurped TaylorMade to lay claim to the #1 spot in fairways, hybrids, and irons.

How Much Has Changed in 2 Years?

How much has changed in 2 years? Here’s a brief summary.


And here’s the proverbial kicker: It’s actually worse than it looks.

TaylorMade’s grip on the #1 spot in total driver and total metalwoods sales is rapidly slipping away, and what little lead they have left is again being driven by sales of heavily discounted models from previous seasons.

Despite being Job #2 (after shutting down Adams), TaylorMade still has a comparative abundance of old, low margin, product sitting on store shelves. Burdened with the old, retailers didn’t buy nearly the amount of the new that TaylorMade had projected.

When the old eventually runs out, so too, I suspect, will be TaylorMade’s #1 position in the driver category.

In case it isn’t abundantly clear by now, let me spell it out for you; last year’s massive reorganization and restructuring plan failed miserably.

And so, as you might expect, adidas is hatching a new, improved, and more aggressive plan to fix the ongoing problems at TaylorMade-adidas Golf.

 Translation: we’ve hired experts to tell us how much of the nearly 143 million we spent on Ashworth (2008) and Adams (2012) combined we can get back, and who might be actually be willing to give it to us.

Both brands failed to find an identity under TaylorMade, and now both appear likely to be jettisoned.

Adams most likely will eventually continue its slow death as a house brand logo for a national or even regional sporting goods chain. Ashworth, who knows, and more to the point; given how TaylorMade-adidas Golf has managed the brand since acquisition; who – other than perhaps Freddy Couples and John Ashworth himself - cares?

Do They Even Have What It Takes To Be #1 Again?

Given what we’ve seen over the last 2 years, TaylorMade doesn’t seem capable of reinventing itself as the lean, mean, profit machine adidas envisions. A year’s worth of restraint, reorganization and realignment, and the bottom line is still scribbled in increasingly darker red.

The products are disinteresting. The marketing is uninspiring, and most troubling, the systemic hubris that long ago convinced decision makers that just being TaylorMade is all that’s necessary to dominate an industry, vigorously persists.

For the last 2 years TaylorMade has been a portrait of insanity, and even if new leadership can somehow figure out how to stop heads from butting walls, it’s unlikely that adidas shareholders have the patience for a complete turnaround.

I’d wager that adidas’ long-term plan for TaylorMade is to stabilize the brand, offload it when there’s a semblance of upside, and let the new buyers worry about growth.

A 3rd straight August promising big changes at a struggling TaylorMade almost assuredly won’t fly with adidas shareholders. If the latest and greatest plan to fix TaylorMade fails, the only realistic next step will be for adidas to rid itself of its greatest liability.

TaylorMade without adidas is a very different golf company and that would for a very different golf equipment industry.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


TaylorMade Golf Company Introduces Daddy Long Legs+ Counterbalance PutterIn partnership with SuperStroke, next-generation counterbalance putter is company's most stable offering to dateShare on twitterShare on tumblrShare on facebookShare on emailMore Sharing Services0



Carlsbad, Calif. (June 29, 2015) - Two years ago, TaylorMade Golf Company changed the golf industry by releasing the then-most advanced putters the company had ever created - the Daddy Long Legs and Spider Blade counterbalanced putters. In 2014, engineers upped the ante with the release of the Spider Mallet counterbalance and ultra-stable Ghost Spider Si. Today, TaylorMade has changed the game in putter technology and performance with the announcement of the release of the new Daddy Long Legs+ Putter; the most technologically-advanced and stable putter the company has ever created.

The DLL+ putter features the new SuperStroke XL 2.0 grip with 125 gram counter weight and a True Temper lightweight steel shaft for extreme counterbalancing to maximize stability during the stroke. The DLL+ puts 200% more weight above the hands to raises the balance point 2" to allow greater control of the heavier head. Combine this new balance point with the 8856 MOI of the DLL+ head creates the most stable overall putter TaylorMade has ever created.

Crafted incorporating feedback from TaylorMade Tour Professionals, the new design of the DDL+ features updated styling with a sleek matte black finish with premium accents including a new non-glare tour satin grey finish and contrasting alignment lines for enhanced alignment and confidence at address. The complex construction of the Daddy Long Legs+ features 17 individual pieces, meticulously engineered to create the highest-performing, most stable face-balanced putter in the TaylorMade lineup.

Another feature found on the Daddy Long Legs+ putter is TaylorMade's new deep-milled 6061 13-gram aluminum insert, inspired by Tour player feedback and engineered to deliver a crisp, clean feel off the putter face and a smooth, accurate roll. The rough surface of the insert also softens the sound at impact, delivering more auditory feedback preferred by better players.

"With Daddy Long Legs+, the stability and performance of our counterbalance putters have been taken to the next level," said Clay Long, Senior Director of Product Creation, Putters. "We've taken one of our most popular putters of all time and added performance features to deliver a remarkably stable putting stroke, which golfers of all abilities can benefit from."

Pricing, Options and Availability
Available domestically July 15, the Daddy Long Legs Plus is priced at $249, and is offered in a single bend 34.5", 36" or 38" shaft with SuperStroke XL 2.0 grip. For more information, visit

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

 First quarter sales at TaylorMade came in at 280 million euros versus 264 million euros in 2014. Foreign currency translation effects positively impacted TaylorMade sales in euro terms, the company reported. Its revenues declined 9% on a currency-neutral basis in the first quarter of 2015, it said. TaylorMade’s parent company, adidas, reported sales declines in metalwoods and the iron categories, which couldn’t offset a double-digit increase in golf apparel sales.

“At TaylorMade-adidas Golf, where both the market and our business are emerging from the challenges we faced in 2014, we have also seen strong response to out first major product launches in over a year,” wrote Herbert Hainer, adidas Group CEO to shareholders. “There is no doubt our strong product line up as well as a cleaner market environment puts us up for growth going forward. But here too, we have learned our lesson from the past. We will definitely not sacrifice the long-term success of our TaylorMade-adidas Golf business for short-term goals. Instead, we will very closely monitor the industry and only slowly increase the volumes we are bringing to market. So while our first quarter performance definitely reflects a sequential improvement, it also shows that every decision we make and every product we launch needs to be for the long term benefit of out business.”

In the first quarter of 2015, TaylorMade introduced the R15 driver, Aeroburner metalwoods along with adipower Boost golf shoes and Red hybrid under the Adams Golf brand. adidas is projecting that TaylorMade will see major product launches in core categories such as metalwoods and irons throughout the year. In addition, new product introductions in footwear should support growth in the golf division, according to its parent company.

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