By Rob Sauerhaft
Monday, June 06, 2011

Yonex, a global company that's been relatively quiet in the U.S. market over the past few years, looks to hit it big with EZONE Type drivers. (Expect high-end clubfitters to offer the sticks.)

The EZONE Type 420 and EZONE Type 450 heads are made from a titanium alloy that's 5 percent lighter than the titanium blends typically used in drivers. (EZONE Type 380 has the same material as in most drivers.) The club's graphite crown (5 grams lighter than titanium) helps to lower the center of gravity (CG) location, too. Yonex claims that the combination creates a CG in the center of the face. According to the company's test data, shots spin less (by 300 to 500 rpm) and travel 3 to 6 yards farther on center and off-center hits compared to some leading competitors' drivers.

The drivers get progressively larger with more draw bias and higher launch. The EZONE Type 380 checks in at 380cc and 45", with a fade bias, low launch and spin, and max workability. The EZONE Type 420 is 420cc, 45.5", neutral bias, mid- to low launch and low spin; and the EZONE Type 450 tips the scales at 450cc and 45.5", with a draw bias, high launch, low to mid spin and max forgiveness.

The titanium face insert—thickest in the center (3.2 mm) and thinnest in the perimeter (1.7-2.0 mm)— boosts ball speeds on off-center hits.

In addition, Yonex is one of the few club companies to make shafts. In this case, the company co-developed a carbon composite "nanotube" technology with Applied Nanotech Holdings. Nano particles run from the middle of the Nanopreme 50 shaft to the head. This strengthens the lower part of the shaft while maintaining its flexibility. The result: Improved bend properties, stability (less deformation) and energy transfer.

The Nanopreme 50 shaft is engineered to launch higher shots with more spin. Rexis Tour M-1 and M-2 series shafts (custom order only) produce lower-spinning shots due to a higher kickpoint, less torque, etc. The M-1 and M-2 (slightly higher kickpoint and less torque than M-1) come in multiple weights, torques and flexes to suit most golfers.

$399, graphite;


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