The Three Most Expensive Pieces of Golf Equipment Currently on the Market
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-03-04
15+ yards on mishits, 25-40 yards on center hits = $1,200?
Seven Dreamers Laboratories Golf Shaft
The Seven Dreamers Laboratories Golf Shaft is the innovator of the worlds most advanced and expensive golf-club shaft.
Their USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is “Autoclaving”. Autoclaving is traditionally used in manufacturing high-precision carbon products and helps the carbon fiber retain its quality without adding “unnecessary resin and paint or polishing and grinding”. FYI, most shafts are oven-baked.
The autoclaving process is traditionally used for manufacturing high-precision carbon products, including those utilized in the building of satellites and aircraft.
This pioneering approach helps the carbon fiber retain 100 percent of its quality and eliminates common practices used by other manufacturers, including grinding or polishing to achieve weight and flex specifications, as well as adding 3-5 grams of useless paint weight to the structure.
The surface condition of the shaft is perfect – no broken fibers, no fiber tears and no fiber bullets. The resulting design provides golfers with incredibly smooth feel and near-perfect transfer of energy for more distance with tighter shot dispersion.
Gone are the fancy paint color schemes found in most all other shafts that help TV viewers identify brands. This has a pure carbon fiber look with only the serial number and “Seven Dreamers” monogram.
The company offers 28 different bend profiles, ranging from 40 grams to 80 grams, which they identified as the most common bend through thousands of club fittings. However, it is imperative that a customer, to find the correct shaft, will need to be custom fitted at a Seven Dreamers authorized dealer: Seven Dreamers sells its products through select retailers, club fitters and “high-profile” green-grass shops. The shafts debuted in Japan in 2014, and have been endorsed by Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, who won 94 times on the Japan Tour.
Our testing group, those who had slower speed swings specifically and average drives of 165 to 175 yards, used the J-50, 40 R High Launch in the new XXIO driver. Overall, every tester was enthralled with the shafts’ performance. On their missed hits, they averaged 15 yards further and center hits increased their distance from 25 -40 yards over their existing drives! They all agreed that the shaft gave them a better and smoother feeling than their current shafts, and they loved the ball flight as well!
Since its introduction in Japan in 2014, and the US in 2017, Seven Dreamers has gained a large and loyal following among the most discerning and affluent golfers. The ultra-premium, custom-fit shafts, which start at $1,200 each (J Global Design series), have been adopted by members of Cypress Point Golf Club, Riviera Country Club, Oakmont Country Club, Seminole Golf Club, San Francisco Golf and Country Club, Southern Highlands, TPC of Boston and hundreds of other golf and country clubs.
For those who must have their very own custom shaft built for them personally, this can be arranged for $2500 and a visit to their Tokyo studios.
“Much like fine-quality, bespoke suits, our shafts are designed to complement the user by perfectly reacting to his or her unique swing profile,” says Shin Sakane, President and CEO of Seven Dreamers. “No other manufacturer in the world has the resources or manufacturing knowledge to create the superior shafts our labs produce.”
Iron, hybrid and putter shafts are also available for the market.
Sacks Parente Series 54 Mallet Putters
As it is written and said, “Drive for show and putt for dough.” Not really, here you need the dough to purchase this putter! This putter is for anybody who wants to play better.
At the 2019 PGA Show in January, this company’s booth was consistently busy. There, the Sacks Parente Golf Company, builders of exceptional putters that defy convention, introduced its innovative new Series 54 mallet putter.
The Series 54 features Sacks Parente’s patented Ultra Low Balance Point (ULBP) technology that lowers the balance point along the shaft between the sole and a point not more than 5 inches above the sole, causing the putter head to square and release at impact, delivering exceptional rollout and accuracy. Sure, there was resistance to the pricing, but when one considers what a driver cost these days and how often one uses a driver compared to a putter, rationalizing became a subject of conversation.
The ULBP feature is also available in the Series 39 Blade and the Series 18 Cavity putters by Sacks Parente.
This putter performed unbelievably well for our testing group at Torrey Pines and Desert Willow in Palm Desert. It achieved rave reviews. I personally sunk 18 out of 20 putts which I primarily attribute to the putter head squaring and releasing at impact without any manipulation on my part.
The Series 54 is available in both a Players Edition ($600) and a Tour Edition ($1,200) and features a perfectly flat crown that starts low at the back of the putter and ramps up to the full height of the face to optically eliminate mis-alignment. To further aid alignment, the putter is available with either a Striped Crown (SC) or a Vernier Acuity (VA) crown to help the eyes follow to the target and visually simulate a track to it.
Multiple stripes have a history of making visual alignment easier. The SC is designed to help the eyes follow the ramped shape towards the intended target, enabling golfers to line up putts more consistently and make more putts.
The VA model was designed for golfers who don’t find the striped crown beneficial. Vernier Acuity is defined as the ability to see dis-alignment between two lines. This is enhanced when the outside lines are of a different color from the inside line and having outside lines slightly thinner than the inside line. Simply put, the Vernier Acuity system will help some players maintain focus on the center target line and make it easier for them to aim, resulting in more putts made.
Strategically placed tungsten weighting in the Series 54 head creates an extremely high MOI and moves the center of gravity towards the face to counter the detrimental result of gear effect present in other mallet putters. The exceptional weighting and alignment systems will enable golfers to accurately line up and make more putts. In addition, the Series 54 hosel position is offered in center shaft or heel shaft locations. What is very noticeable is that the shaft is very close to the face as possible. 65% of the weight of the putter is in the first third going from front to back.
A variety of hosel types are available to meet every golfer’s need. In many models, hosels are replaceable and adjustable for lie angles. The loft is 3.2°.
Sacks Parente uses a standard head weight of 350-360 grams (350g without the neck, 11-12 grams with the neck) and has focused on technologically advanced shaft and grip design to solidify their ULBP. Sacks Parente shafts have been engineered from the ground up to meet specifications never before contemplated in a putter shaft. These carbon fiber shafts weigh between 30-35 grams, are extremely stiff, and transmit a feel not achievable with steel. Carbon fiber shafts, such as the Olympic shaft used, cost more than most current putters cost themselves. Achieving this level of performance at less than 1/3 the weight of a typical steel shaft is an engineering marvel.
At an average weight of 30 grams, Sacks Parente grips are less than half the weight of typical grips found in today’s market. These unique grips are designed and engineered to enable the ULBP technology and to also meet the SPG specific requirements for feel and comfort. They come in three variations, to meet every golfer’s unique grip style.
XXIO Prime Driver
XXIO, pronounced ZEK-si-oh, is not only one of the bestselling drivers in Japan, but has gained a strong foothold in the States since their introduction about 7 years ago. Ernie Els is the brand ambassador and the”Big Easy’s” seemingly slow, but powerful swing encapsulates and aligns with the XXIO brand.
Inbee Park also uses XXIO. The XXIO series has been number one in annual sales in Japan for 18 years since it first debuted.
This 460cc niche driver is highly favored by the male baby boomer and fits, according to Chuck Thiry VP of XXIO’s North America headquarters, almost all women. This driver performs exceptionally well for those golfers, like myself, who really do swing slower (below 90 mph) and for Thiry, the phrase ”easy does it” translates into high-end sales for well-heeled golfers. I personally have gained between 10-15 yards with the XXIO Prime!
Not only will you own one of the most expensive drivers on the market, but you will increase your distance with the XXIO Prime Driver. XXIO is renowned for their use of luxurious materials and quality products.
Amateur golfers, especially the ego centric and well-heeled players usually have very simple tastes in life – only the best!
With their Japanese counter parts spending up to $70,000.00 for a set of custom clubs (Honma), these three products should not have a problem finding buyers. As long as the user gets golf lessons, these products will improve their golf game.
This driver is, for lack of a better word, an absolutely awesome driver in many aspects, but specifically for a player with a moderate speed swing and an open checkbook.
The 252 gram driver includes a 36-gram shaft and a standard 46.5 inch shaft. The 460 cc Prime driver produces high-launching shots that produce excellent distance and balls tend to fly straighter. The Prime is one of those few drivers that produces the sensation of swinging itself. This super feeling comes from the club’s special SP-1000 Graphite shaft.
Additionally, the hosel has been shifted 2 millimeters closer and 2 degrees more upright creating a more rectangular appearance.
The SP-900 shaft, aka the engine of the club, is a TORAYCA T1100G Carbon and NANOALLOY Resin shaft which allows the tip section of the shaft to be extremely soft, which results in the clubhead being able to remain square just at the moment of impact. This effect is so powerful that it can reduce or even eliminate your slice after just one swing.
The powerful Forged Super TIX Plus Winged Cup-face, with 8-2 titanium, is forged from exotic titanium and maraging steel. Married together, the face expands the size of the high COR (Coefficient of Restitution) area in the heel and toe for a wider sweet spot, where you can expect exemplary distance performance. Combined with the new Sole Channel Structure, which allows for better face flexibility at impact – especially in the lower face – the new XXIO PRIME driver provides increased forgiveness to promote faster, more consistent ball speed. The 6-gram weight in the back of the sole helps lower the center of gravity which encourages a higher launch angle and more spin.
The Prime is extremely light weight compared to other drivers. The driver imbues the user with the feeling of confidence at address, together with the feeling you are swinging faster and easier. Shots fly off the face, and as the golf pundits and coaches always say, lighter clubs are faster clubs.
Having personally used the XXIO “X” driver predominantly in 2018, switching to the Prime model, has kept my drives straighter and longer, especially with the Seven Dreamers shaft installed. This is not a knock on the standard shaft, rather just another option to be considered.
The driver is available in both a 10.5° and 11.5° in both a regular and stiff regular flex only. Currently, only right-handed models are available. XXIO Prime officially launches March 1, 2019.
Prime golf balls are also available for $47.99 per dozen.
Bottom Line: these products truly perform exceptionally well and will improve your golf game to a higher level.
About the Writer
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. Visit www.facebook.com/PGTAA to see all the latest mental strategies and equipment reviews.
He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book, “How to Build Business Relationships Through Golf,” updated for 2011, is still in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list.
His latest book, “The Right Mind for Golf,” is now in its 7th reprint is available on Amazon and at the Torrey Pines golf course.