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Waste Management Phoenix Open: TOUR REPORT, Gallery, and Breakdown of ALL the TOUR Heads PLUS Ai-One Cruisers hit PRE-Order.

It was quite an interesting week at TPC Scottsdale. Interesting in the fact that it wasn’t an elevated event, not a major, nor was the weather any good, but damn if the place wasn’t on fire every day this week. Hell, even Monday was banging. This event is truly unique and, in my opinion, the most exciting vibe of any non-major we travel to. It’s simply electric.

Not many changes hit bags this week, but some testing occurred with Ai-Smoke, Odyssey putters, and whatnot. Some tweaks could happen in the coming weeks, but we shall see.

Here are some of the highlights…

Ai-One (JailBird) Cruiser hits the TOUR and Pre-Sale.

What is a Cruiser, and what are the benefits?

Our cruiser line was made popular last year, winning multiple tournaments, including the U.S. Open. The counterbalanced or longer length design typically lives in the 36-39 inch realm with head weights between 360-380+ depending on the model and weight configuration.

This design is great for players who are trying to smooth out the pace of the stroke and prefer a heavier overall feel to a putter. Conventional putters, although heavier nowadays, can feel light to some players, causing inconsistencies in stroke and strike patterns. The next time you go in for a putter fitting and want to try something “new,” this is a great way to go.

Per Odyssey Golf Website:

The Jailbird CRUISER is a classic Odyssey shape that made a major splash on Tour last year. This version has a 380-gram head and is built at 38” with a 17” grip intended to be choked up on. This configuration makes this face-balanced putter extremely stable. This putter features our Ai-One insert with an aluminum backer and White Hot urethane striking surface, and our new SL 140 Stroke Lab steel shaft.

More…

Akshays Max D search continues.

On-range testing has been REALLY good, but still not 100% there. Some may ask how that happens. Well, on the course, swing speed increases, targets and finish lines change, and obviously, conditions.

Johnny Thompson is still working, and I’m sure the answer is coming. Shay did try it at 46 inches and picked up 4 MPH ball speed…which is fun.

I’ll keep you posted.

Min eyeballs a Jailbird Mini Ai-One CH.

This is just a backup plan in case the gamer goes south; he wanted something with a different look…

This thing is so awesome.

Sam Burns tests a new Ai-Smoke TD HL 3-wood.

The Paradym TD T HL worked REALLY well until it didn’t. Sam hates a left ball, and with the shorter heel/toe length of that head, it had a little left in it based on his path and AOA. The goal is 165MPH@265 carry off the floor with a spin window of 3200-3600RPM on all shapes.

The AIS TD HL seemed to remedy most of it, but time will tell if it checks off all the boxes; I think it will go into play this week.

Tour Head Breakdown

Same as the last two years. I get a MILLION questions about the what, why, and how of “Tour Parts.” My explanation in 2022 is the same as it is today…

DISCLAIMER: YES, we have multiple TOUR-specific heads for our staff. WHY? Well, for one, these are the best players in the world, and some require a level of nuance that most of us mere mortals don’t need. The other reason is to support a particular shot shape, spin window, etc. Remember that TOUR players hit the middle of the face SUBSTANTIALLY more than weekend amateurs do. US weekend or avid golfers need SPEED, FORGIVENESS, and STABILITY. On TOUR, that’s still true, but it’s also making sure that a draw (for example) launches at the right number, flies out of the exact window the player with the correct spin, and the MISS is relatively consistent. That type of nuance requires some adjustments, and we offer it. On the performance trailer, we have a driver head to accommodate ANY player walking through the door. True Story. 

Every OEM has TOUR head/s, whether optically adjusted, CG adjusted, smaller, heavier, lighter, spins more, etc. The difference is that we actually talk about ours AND offer them in many forms, IE 💎💎💎. It also needs to be said that many of our staff across the globe play RETAIL heads. For example, Alex Noren put a Max D in his bag this year…the perception of that club is it’s for high handicaps… obviously not, and if you pay attention, you’ll see this happen with other OEMs and their Tour Staff. The more forgiving (Higher MOI) heads are becoming way more of a thing.

If there is one stark difference, our TOUR heads have thicker/heavier faces. The reason, simply, is durability. TOUR players hit thousands of balls and hit the same spot on the face repeatedly. That level of consistency requires sustainability, ESPECIALLY if the player is in a Driver that they LOVE. The last thing Min Woo Lee wants is to get into May/June and crack the face of a driver that he has been successful with.

So, NO. Tour heads are not faster, juiced up, or filled with Unicorn sprinkles. Honestly, they start slower than the heads you see in the store.

AIS Max (Retail) (460CC, Neutral CG, Center start line, Easy to draw, sliding weight in the back and weight port in front, mid/low spin) Available on TOUR in 9, 9+, 10.5, 10.5+, 12

AIS Max D (Retail) (460 CC, higher toe at address, left start line, heel side CG, VERY fast, Mid Spin) Good for Right start line drawers and pull cutters. Available on Tour in 9, 10.5, 12.

AIS TD (Retail) (450CC, neutral/fade bias CG, right start line, low spin w/ weight forward, mid spin weight back) Available on Tour in 8.5, 9, 9+, 10.5, 10.5+

It is preferred by players who like to hit hard cuts or straight balls that fall right. Some high spin players like Xander, who hit a draw and are also neutral AOA (0-1 up), like it as well. Get fit, people.

AIS TD MAX (TOUR Only…) (455CC, Neutral CG, center start line, easier to draw than TD, slightly higher MOI, TD shape in a slightly larger head) Available on Tour in 8.5, 9, 9+, 10.5, 10.5+.

For players that prefer the TD shape but want a neutral start line, more spin, and the ability to turn it over.

AIS TD+ (TOUR ONLY) (450CC, TD head with no weight forward, Mid Spin, more spin than TD with more ability to turn over due to the increased spin.) Available on Tour in 8.5, 9, 9+, 10.5, 10.5+.

It is preferred by players who like the TD shape and size but want the spin to turn it over.

AIS TD S (TOUR Only) (420CC, Mid Spin, Mid Launch, easy to curve, pretty neutral CG with center to right start line) Available on TOUR in 8.5, 9, 9+, 10.5, 10.5+.

There are not a ton of these in play this year, It’s ideal for the shot shapers who like a deeper face profile and like to move it in all directions.

Fairways (TOUR Only Models)

AIS TD Bonded 3-wood (15 and HL) ADJ 3-Wood (HL) and 5-Wood

TD Fairway platform, in simple terms, is our low spin, lower launch profile. Bonded vs. ADJ comes down to the player essentially: Either they require loft/lie adjustments that live outside the COG, OR they prefer a bonded hosel’s slightly increased head stability. In some cases, players just prefer the look over ADJ.

AIS Max Bonded (15 w/ Tour Scoring Lines)

The Max platform has a higher MOI and a higher launching profile than TD. The shallow face look can be bothersome to some on TOUR so we incorporated TD lines on the face to give it that deeper look appearance. Just a test as of now. TOUR players want easy launch and spin, but sometimes, the shallow look discourages them from delivering the club the way they want.

AIS TD T (14, 16HL, 18) (Similar DNA to Epic Speed 💎💎💎T, touch lower in spin, extra camber in the sole for turf interaction, neutral CG, weight in the back has been re-introduced for slightly more spin)

AIS TD U (Still too early to comment on this as the only person I know that has really tested is Emi Grillo)

Potential 3-wood replacement idea that will offer a different look, adjustability, more spin, and an easier time turning over. HUGE TBD

I will be at RIV next week…

Happy Hunting

LFG

JDub

12
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. J Taylor

    February 8, 2024 at 4:57 pm

    I really hope that the AIS TD Max makes its way to retail, I ordered and have demoed the AIS retail TD and it was great, but I could always use a little more forgiveness.

    The AIS “U” wood is super interesting too.

    Keep up the great work, I enjoy your instagram live feeds and all of the content you share with us golf equipment junkies.

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