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Driver Test: XR Speed vs M4

Callaway XR Speed v TaylorMade M4 driver

If you’re in the market for a brand new driver, but don’t want to spend more than £350, there are some great options – and the latest is Callaway’s XR Speed, launched in May 2018.

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Callaway’s “jailbreak” technology (two titanium rods attaching the sole to the crown) features in its Rogue and Epic drivers, but the tech is costly to produce, which means those two models are some of the most expensive on the market.

So, in a bid to have a more competitively priced driver on the market, Alan Hocknell, Callaway’s chief of R&D, challenged his design team to create the best non-jailbreak driver they could. And the new XR Speed is the fruit of their labours. Callaway says the new XR Speed is faster and longer than any competitor’s driver it’s tested, even though ball speeds are 1-2mph slower than the Rogue, which launched earlier this year.

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To see if the claims stand up, the Uk’s #1 Golf Magazine – Todays’s Golfer, pitted the new XR against TaylorMade’s similarly-priced M4.

HOW THEY DID IT

TG test pro Andy Thorpe hit both Drivers with their standard stock shafts (and 10.5° of loft) on a launch monitor. They wanted to replicate how the majority of golfers who’d buy these drivers would buy straight off the rack. Thanks to Andy’s repeatable swing it ensured an accurate comparison between both models. After all shots were hit, the data was compared to see how each performed.

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HOW THE XR SPEED COMPARES TO M4

To hit mass market golfers (and sell in decent numbers), drivers need a combination of a good technology story alongside strong performance and a competitive price (just like the TaylorMade M4 and Ping G400), so the XR scores highly on all fronts.

The XR’s head looks great sat behind the ball, it sounds decent and it comes with a quality Project X HZRDUS shaft.

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The data (SEE BELOW) suggested it’s every bit a match for the M4. But while M4 has already won on tour in the hands of Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm, the XR is unlikely to make it into the top players’ hands.

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Callaway’s jailbreak tech certainly delivers more ball speed, but we know it becomes more effective as swing speeds increase. Callaway worked out how the R&A and USGA conformity tests are run at relatively low swing speeds.

That means a head can conform at the designated test speed, but perform differently at higher speeds. For average golfers, that should increase the XR Speed’s attractiveness even more, as it’s likely to perform much like a Rogue, but also save you over £100.

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The US Open 2018 – Who do you think will win?

Another Major tournament is on the horizon once again, following on from The Masters – The US Open.

This year, it is taking place at the Shinnecock Hills Golf club for the fifth time, with a truly exceptional field of players.

Here at GolfGearDirect.co.uk, we are intrigued to find out who will come out on top, so we have highlighted some of the top picks for 2018.

With that in mind, you must be wondering who is on the cards to win this year?

We take a look at the US Open favourites from the Bookies

Dustin Johnson 9/1

Dustin_Johnson (1)The world number 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Dustin Johnson is the favourite to win this years’ US Open.

The 2016 US Open held at Oakmont was his first Major that he won with an excellent previous record within previous tournaments, with a T4th finish in 2014 and a T2nd in 2015.

Is he your favourite to win?

 

Rory Mcllroy 11/1

Rory_McllroyHis first US Open win was in 2011 along with another 3 Major’s. He is looking good for this year since winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational

He has had many chances to win other tournaments this year, showing his track record is looking better for this year than 2017, including two seconds, a T3, T5 and T8th.

 

 

Jordan Spieth 11/1

Jordan_SpiethThe winner of the 2015 US Open and was third in The Masters 2018.

However, Jordan Spieth needs to improve his putting abilities, where he is currently 186th in the PGA Tour’s Strokes Gained.

With that in mind, he consistently is fancied to win at the Majors.

Do you think he’ll improve?

 

Justin Thomas 15/1
Justin_ThomasFrom being the number 1 golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking, he now falls 2nd behind Dustin Johnson.

He came very close to winning last year at Erin Hills, finishing at a tie for 9th.

Similar to Jordan Spieth, his putting does need some work, however he is the most prolific winner on tour.

One to keep your eye out for!

 

Jason Day 15/1

Jason_DayHis track record for previous US Open’s prove that he has a chance this year, with 5 top 10s in 7 US Open appearances.

For 2018, he has already won the Farmers Insurance Open and Wells Fargo Championship.

With two runner-ups in previous US Opens, do you think he will triumph this year?

 

 

Tiger Woods 16/1

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The Tiger is back!

The 42 year old holds the 14-time Major winner. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of his last US Open victory in 2008.

For 2018, he has had an impressive comeback with a T2nd at the Valspar Championship and T5th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

 

 

Justin Rose 16/1

Justin_RoseRose is currently 3rd in the world, recently having the chance to become number 1.

Since the 2013 US Open, he has has 15 top 10 finishes and has won four times since October 2017.

Some may agree that he is at the best form of his life, so only time will tell if he can reach the number 1 spot!

 

 

The US Open starts Thursday the 14th June, so get glued to your screens and find out who will win this years Major!

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Odds are for illustrative guidance only.

Callaway Tour News and Stats – June 2018

This week at Callaway Golf Europe, we’re all delighted with the news that we’ve maintained our position as Europe’s #1 Hard Goods and Ball Brand for the calendar year to date. This success has been built on the combination of great performing product, outstanding support from our partners, plus visibility and success on Tour… and this weekend was no exception.

Shop: Callaway XR Speed Driver

At the Italian Open and the U.S. Women’s Open, the Callaway product range was again leading the way. Rogue Sub Zero was the #1 Driver Model in Italy (with Rogue Standard #2) while, across the pond, Rogue was #1 at Shoal Creek with an impressive 47 models in play.

Following yesterday’s final qualifiers for the 2018 US Open in eight days‘ time, we have several more Callaway Staffers in the mix hoping to seal a Major victory (including James Morrison who headed qualifying from Walton Heath).

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#1 ON MAJOR WORLDWIDE TOURS

Rogue achieved more success on Tour this weekend, with Rogue Sub Zero the #1 Driver Model in the field at the Italian Open. Just as per the BMW PGA Championship last weekend, a Callaway Driver was also the #2 Driver Model in play with Rogue Standard.

As well as topping the model count in the Drivers category, Rogue was also the #1 Fairway Wood Model at Gardagolf CC, while our new X Forged UT and X Forged ’18 Irons captured the #1 Irons and #1 Utility Irons categories.

Over on the LPGA Tour, Callaway was the #1 Driver Model and the #1 Fairway Wood Model at the U.S. Women’s Open. Incredibly, of the 47 Rogue Drivers in the field, 40 were used by non-staffers who chose to play the model based on its performance alone.

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The Callaway Rogue Drivers have proven themselves on Tour, with Staffers Phil MickelsonMichelle WieSergio Garcia, and many others, finding the winners circle in 2018. But how does Rogue perform against its competition for the amateur golfer? GolfWRX and MyGolfSpy put that to the test in their 2018 Fitters Choice2018 Member’s Choice and Most Wanted Reviews features, and these are some of the highlights:

  • Rogue was voted the best driver of 2018 in the Fitters Choice survey and said to be “extremely forgiving, very long, fits the broadest demographic of players”
  • Rogue Sub Zero was voted by members as the best driver of 2018 and dubbed “the real deal”
  • Rogue Sub Zero awarded the most-wanted driver for golfers with ‘moderate swing speeds’ (90-104) and ‘high swing speeds’ (105+)
  • Rogue Draw received 63% of the vote for the questions “What would you recommend to a 12-handicapper who slices?”​ and “What driver would you recommend to a better player who wants low spin?”

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ODYSSEY TOPS THE LPGA LEADERBOARD

Odyssey continues to dominate across the worldwide Tours and, this weekend, it was the #1 Putter Brand on the European Tour and LPGA Tour. It was at the U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club where Odyssey really stole the show though, finishing 1-2-3 at the top of the leaderboard.

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Back on the European Tour, Odyssey also maintained its status as the #1 Putter Brand on Tour with 43% of golfers choosing to put an Odyssey flatstick in the bag.

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Major Accuracy: Kim Averages Over 90% Fairways Hit with Yonex GT

U.S. Women’s Open — Hyo-Joo Kim and EZONE GT hit 91% of fairways to force thrilling four-hole playoff.

 

Shoal Creek, Alabama — Hyo-Joo Kim shot her way back from a seven-shot deficit the USGA U.S. Women’s Open this past weekend, hitting the fairway more than 91% of the time and sinking some impressively long putts, to force a two-hole playoff, which became four before a winner was decided. 

 

Yonex Ezone GT - by DJ Design and Media

At the end of the first nine of the final round, Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand appeared to have things locked up, as she led the pack by seven shots. But due to a pair of bogeys and one triple bogey she opened the way up for Kim, who shot an impeccable 5-under with her EZONE GT series of clubs, to end the day tied and force a two-hole aggregate playoff. 

 

 

Kim would go on to birdie the first hole and bogey the second, leaving both women tied and forcing sudden death. They both parred the next hole, but on the fourth playoff hole, Kim hit only her second bogey of the day, opening the way for Jutanugarn’s victory. 

 

Yonex Ezone GT Type X Driver - by DJ Design and Media

 

Hyo- Joo has already been in the spotlight back in 2014 when she broke the record for the lowest round (inclusive off men’s and women’s tours) in a major with a first round of 10-under (61) on her way to claiming her first major at the Evian Championship. 

In Hyo-Joo Kim’s bag: 

Woods: EZONE GT 

Irons: EZONE GT Irons

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BRYSON CAPTURES SECOND PGA TOUR WIN

COBRA PUMA GOLF Pro DeChambeau Captures Second PGA TOUR Win with
COBRA Golf’s KING Forged ONE Length Irons in the Bag

COBRA PUMA GOLF athlete Bryson DeChambeau is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, capturing his second win at this weeks’ Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

DeChambeau emerged from a crowded leaderboard on Saturday, shooting a third-round 66, to take a one-shot lead headed into the fourth round.

He continued his steady play Sunday, shooting a 1-under 71 to tie the lead, eventually winning the event on the second playoff hole!

DeChambeau who tied #1 in strokes gained total and sand saves, #1 in scrambling and #5 in driving distance this week, won with full bag of COBRA Golf equipment including a KING LTD Driver and KING Forged ONE Length irons, and dressed head to toe in apparel, accessories and footwear from PUMA Golf including the celebrated PWRADAPT Leather golf shoes.

The Memorial Tournament Presented By Nationwide - Final Round
DUBLIN, OH – JUNE 03: Bryson DeChambeau plays a shot on the fourth hole during the final round of The Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 3, 2018 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Since signing with COBRA PUMA GOLF in early 2016, DeChambeau has become known for his scientific approach to the game, his unique style, and his use of ONE Length irons.

He worked with COBRA Golf’s R&D team to launch its first sets of ONE-length irons, including the new KING F8 ONE Length and the KING Forged ONE irons he currently has in the bag.

With Tour proven performance, these irons are optimised for performance providing the soft feel, distance and precision demanded by the best golfers. The KING FORGED ONE LENGTH TM utilises a 5-step forging process that ensures precise iron shaping, a more refined grain structure, along with unparalleled feel for better players.

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The set is comprised of constant length irons that have been re-engineered for 7-iron weighting and are designed with optimised geometries, to provide consistent trajectory and distance gapping from long irons to wedges.

Details of the COBRA Golf Clubs in DeChambeau’s bag:
Driver: KING LTD PRO 8.5° | Ture Temper HZRDUS T1100 75x | 45.5
FWY: KING LTD 3/4 Fwy; 14.5 degrees | True Temper HZRDUS Black | 85x @ 43
FWY: F8+ Baffler 5wd | 17.5 degrees | True Temper HZRDUS Black | 85x @ 41”

Irons: COBRA KING ONE Length Utility (4 & 5) | Forged ONE Length | 6-P | True Temper X7 | 37.5″ for all

Wedges: COBRA KING V Grind | 50° | KING WideLow Grind 55° and 60° | True Temper
X7 | 37.5″ for all

DeChambeau’s PUMA Golf apparel, accessories and footwear are from the brands 2018 Spring Summer Collection showcasing fresh, fashionable patterns, a versatile color palette and cutting-edge technical elements, that are designed to enhance on-course performance and provide looks that turn heads whether golfers are in bunkers or at the bar.

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IGNITE PWRADAPT Leather Shoes feature revolutionary and proprietary PWRADAPT
Technology for more traction with every move. Additionally, the shoes deliver
sophisticated style and crazy comfort with a premium leather upper combined with a
mesh hybrid bootie lining for excellent fit.

The Pounce Aston Golf Polo: A signature PUMA Golf piece loved by the Bryson, the
Aston Polo boasts subtle tonal high and low stripes and comes in a variety of color
options.

And his signature TOUR Driver Cap: Dapper and distinctive, the Driver Puma Cap can be styled for any on or off-course occasion. Features include a moisture-wicking performance sweatband to protect sweat from affecting your game and a classic brim designed to shield your face from the sun.

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Magnifico! Spikeless Shoes – Italian Style

Who would have thought Spikeless golf shoes would be more popular than traditional? Not many, but it’s happening.

Spike marks are less of a problem, greenskeepers are happier and spending your Sunday afternoon unclogging dirt from your shoes, is thankfully a thing of the past.ss18_kuba_original_a3_-_whitenavydemin_-_1_2__1ss18_kuba_original_a3_-_whitenavydemin_-_5_2_

Within the last 2-3 years, the spikeless, and dare I say it… ‘trainer style‘ golf shoe, has now been rightfully accepted by the majority of golfers worldwide.

Taking inspiration from award-winning Italian designs, the Duca del Cosma bring you a sophisticated and fashionable touch on the traditional style golf shoe in 2018.

Under new ownership since 2016, Duca del Cosma has a wealth of market experience behind them, to combine innovation with heritage designs.

 

“Golfers who try them comment that our shoes are extremely comfortable from the very first time they wear them,”

“We pride ourselves on being the brand that pioneered the spikeless golf shoe and we continue to move forward with new shoe technologies, as well as an exceptional range of colours and design styles,” Tony Eccleston, Duca del Cosma 

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Leading styles for Men include the Camelot, Kuba and La Spezia designs, while the Ladies collection also boasts a stylish range including the Palm Springs , Porto Ercole and Olbia models.

ss8_porto_ercole_-_white-sand_-_4_2_ss8_palm_springs_-_white-sand_-_1The design, detail and quality of the Duca del Cosma range is matched with advanced technology.

A waterproof ‘microfibre’ system acts like a breathable protective ‘sock’ within the shoe.

The waterproof ‘membrane’ keeps your feet dry during play and is supported by a soft PU sole insert to provide that extra comfort for those long rounds.

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Ladies Porto Ercole – White/Sand

Duca del Cosma’s innovative SKY-FLEX technology is featured on the outsole. Built around an ergonomic design, Sky-Flex provides the ultimate grip during your swing for the best possible strike.  The shoe also features special channels that allow bend and flex, to offer a natural roll-off motion on your feet.

aw17_kuba_original_a3_-_navy-red-_6Duca del Cosma’s 2018 Men’s and Ladies range is available Online and In-Store at Golfgeardirect from May 2018 

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👀 Callaway XR Speed: Coming 8.5.2018

Replacing the popular XR16 rangeCallaway XR Speed is set to take aerodynamic performance and club-face effectiveness to new levels.

The XR Speed Driver sits nicely in the market of a simple, hot-faced, high-speed Driver that’s also affordable. Priced at £299, the XR Speed is fully adjustable and comes with bundles of technology.

Callaway claim the XR Speed is the longest and most forgiving Callaway XR Driver to date. Big statement? We put it to the test.

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Using FlightScope technology, our guys tested the XR Driver against their own Drivers at the Golfgeardirect Weald of Kent – Performance Fitting Centre.

On average, Three Golfgeardirect staff were +8 yards longer with the XR Speed Driver.

The feedback from the guys was that the club has great looks and feel, along with the obvious bonus of 8 added yards.

It has that classic Callaway look that will appeal to many fans of the Californian giants.

(…want to try XR Speed yourself? contact us here)

Where does this extra distance comes from?

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XR Speed benefits from a brand new VFT (Variable Face Thickness) design to maximise ball speeds across the entire face.

The company claim that the New XR Speed is the lightest, most flexible and the Hottest club-face ever designed in a Callaway Golf Driver

 

A Carbon Composite Crown is 45% lighter than the titanium crown on the previous XR16 model. Weight saving in the crown significantly improves the mass properties of XR Speed and lowers the COG (centre of gravity) for improved forgiveness with increased distance.

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Refined aerodynamics and an improved airflow comes from the latest Speed Step on the crown, near the driver face, for faster club-head speeds and more distance.

 A trademark of many Callaway Drivers, the shallow face design makes XR Speed forgiving and easy-to-use for all levels. Callaway added the popular Project X HZRDUS shaft as a standard option and is available at 45.5” as standard length.

XR Speed Drivers (£299) and Fairway Woods (£199) are now available to PRE-ORDER in both Men’s and Ladies at Golfgeardirect.co.uk, Golfgeardirect – Rainham and the Weald of Kent Golf Course & Hotel 

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Who’s Your Money On?

Probably the most eagerly anticipated and most exciting week of the golfing year has finally arrived. It’s Masters week. With Tiger back and three European Winners in the last four weeks on the PGA Tour (Casey, McIlroy & Poulter) and two time winner Bubba Watson fresh off his WGC Matchplay Win and here at golfgeardirect.co.uk we really feel it could be a memorable masters in 2018.

The bookies have spoken and here are their top 10 selected odds:

Dustin Johnson 10/1

Rory McIlroy 10/1

Justin Thomas 10/1

Tiger Woods 10/1

Jordan Spieth 12/1

Justin Rose 12/1

Bubba Watson 14/1

Jason Day 16/1

Phil Mickelson 16/1

Rickie Fowler 18/1

JohnsonDustin Johnson. The current World Number 1 has not shown great form of late and his record at The Masters is nothing to be proud of. His best finish to date being T4 in 2016 when Danny Willet won. In his last 22 rounds at Augusta he has only broken 70 once so for me he doesn’t get my vote this year.

 

 

 

McIlroyRory McIlroy. Which Rory will turn up? If it’s the one who demolished all comers in the last round at The Arnold Palmer Invitational three weeks ago then the rest may as well not bother to turn up! However you just never know with Rory. His stats for the season so far would not lead one to believe he will prevail. He is 121st in driving accuracy and you certainly need to be in the fairway to score well at Augusta. He is 188th in Greens in regulation too but his pitching game must be hot as he ranks in the top 10 for most elements of putting!

ThomasJustin Thomas. He’s the most prolific winner on tour of late so you would have to fancy him in the first Major of the year and his last two rounds at Augusta showed that he may be getting the hang of the golf course and learning how to play it. One suspect area is his inconsistent putting but it didn’t stop Sergio from Winning last year!

 

 

WoodsTiger Woods. Can he, can he really? I would say recent showings, yes he can. He is a course expert, his record is incredible even throughout his long barren spell and his short game seems to be a good as it ever was. Watch out field. Tiger’s back, argh!!

 

 

 

SpiethJordan Spieth. Here’s one of my picks. He seems to be returning to form just at the right time and he certainly knows how to play Augusta. 7 rounds under par out of his last 12 rounds including a 64 and two 66’s. If his putting is ‘on’ then he’s going to be hard to beat.

 

 

 

RoseJustin Rose. This player is so consistent at Augusta. He just needs to find his form on the greens and the Green jacket is his. Tee to green he will be number one for that’s for sure.

 

 

 

 

WatsonBubba Watson. The two time Masters Champion has recently returned to form after a barren 2017. With his power, incredible creativity and record at Augusta he is a firm favourite in my book.

 

 

 

 

DayJason Day. His odds at 16/1 look way too short to me. No form to speak of. He has performed consistently at Augusta over the last few years so he clearly knows how to handle the vagaries of the course but he will need to find some form very quickly if he is to triumph on Sunday.

 

 

 

MickelsonPhil Mickelson. What will Phil do next? You just never know! His recent win demonstrates that there’s ‘life in the old dog yet’. His driving may be one area to challenge him though as even with his creative genius it’s hard to score unless you are in prime position on most holes at The Masters. One thing’s for sure and that’s that Phil will create excitement, no matter where he finishes.

 

 

Fowler

Rickie Fowler. Similar to ‘JDay’ his odds seem far too short to me. His is out of consistent form and he missed the cut by a margin last year after an opening round of 80. He has managed a few good rounds over the years at Augusta so he clearly knows how to score there so he needs a good start and then who knows, he may be in the mix come Sunday afternoon.

 

 

There are many players with longer odds who are worth a look too. Henrik Stenson 45/1, Hideki Matsuyama 40/1, defending Champion Sergio Garcia 25/1, Patrick Reed 50/1 and John Rahm 28/1 to name but a few.

Let’s just hope the ’the back nine on Sunday’ at Augusta lives up to it’s billing and we are all glued to our TV’s until the early hours cheering on a worthy winner.

Opinions are those of the author and odds are for illustrative guidance only.

Visit our website here: golfgeardirect.co.uk

WILSON GOLF BACKS YOUNG GUNS ON CHALLENGE TOUR

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Exciting crop of players keen to succeed with Wilson Staff clubs

by DJ Design Media

Wilson Golf, the company associated with more Major winners than any other, has
signed an exciting crop of talented young golfers on the European Challenge Tour to
play Wilson Staff woods, irons and wedges this season.

 

 

In total, there are nine players in the group of Challenge Tour hopefuls from four
different countries being backed by the brand that counts Major winners Padraig
Harrington and Paul Lawrie in its ranks on the main European Tour, along with Paul
Waring, Anthony Wall and new signing Joakim Lagergren.

The younger crop includes 22-year- old Richard Mansell, who less than two years
ago shot a course record 58 at Fort Lauderdale Country Club and was selected for
the European team in the 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup.

 

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“It’s great to be part of the team that Wilson Golf is creating,” said Richard. “I’ve seen a
lot of younger players out there using the equipment and I’m so glad to be playing
with such fantastic Wilson Staff clubs. The brand has been associated with some of
the greatest players in history and I’m really pleased to become part of that special
golfing heritage.”

Richard, who turned professional last August and comes from Chase Terrace,
Staffordshire, will be playing Wilson Staff V6 irons, PMP wedges and the new C300
driver.

“The new C300 driver is awesome and went straight into my bag. It’s super straight
and long and I can shape it so easily. It performs as good as it looks, which is great
for me and my prospects this season,” added Richard, who helped Nova
Southeastern University win the national team championship in 2015.

 

 

Another newcomer is James Allen, 23, from Chelmsford, who was a winner of
the Abu Dhabi Open on the MENA Tour in 2015. James will be playing with
Wilson Staff V6 irons and PMP wedges.

Gary King from Sutton, 27, is a former winner on the Challenge Tour having won
the Montecchia Open in 2016. Attached to Tyrrells Wood, he will be playing
Wilson Staff V6 irons, PMP wedges and a V4 driving iron this season. So too will
William Harrold, 29, from Norwich, who won the Belgian Challenge Tour event
in 2016 and has an Asian Tour card.

Also retained as a Wilson Staff player this season is Jack Senior from
Morecambe, who won the SSE Hydro Scotland title three years ago and was a
member of the winning GB&I Walker Cup team in 2011.

There are two promising Danish players in the new group – Martin Oveson, 26,
and Victor Østerby, 25. They will both play with V6 irons and PMP wedges,
although Martin will also use the new C300 Hybrid.

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Joao Ramos, 23, was ranked in the top five in Portugal last year and he will play
the FG Tour 100 irons, PMP wedges, C300 Hybrid and C300 fairway woods,
while Spaniard Juan Sarasti, 29, from San Sebastian will also play the FG Tour
100 irons this season.

Doug Wright, Global Commercial Director at Wilson Golf, commented:
“Giving support to these talented players on the European Challenge Tour is very
important for the Wilson Staff brand and provides an ideal platform for showing
just how well our clubs perform in competition.”

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