Sub 70 Golf Update – Key Takeaways
- New releases from this summer include the 799 super game-improvement irons.
- The company has also added five new putters and the new 849 Pro driver.
- A draw-biased version comes out this fall along with a new line of fairway woods.
Three years into its journey, Sub 70 Golf is knee-deep in idioms.
You could say the company is hitting its stride and is on a roll. It’s been growing by leaps and bounds as savvy, bargain-hunting golfers jump on the bandwagon. And while it’s not king of the hill, it does find itself ahead of the curve.
But there’s a problem with idioms. As figures of speech go, they set the table but don’t tell the whole story. Sub 70 Golf has firmly established itself as both a performance-driven and a price/value alternative to the major OEMs. The last 19 months have been crazier than anyone could have possibly imagined and Sub 70 has dealt with its fair share of challenges.
And despite a worldwide pandemic, a global supply chain crisis and unprecedented increases in shipping costs, Sub 70 continues expanding and updating its product arsenal.
Which just goes to show, a smooth sea has never made a skilled sailor.
OK, we’ll stop. But let’s take a look at Sub 70’s latest.
Sub 70 Golf Update: Rough Seas and Open Water
“Our first three years have been a learning process,” Sub 70 Golf Marketing Director Jay Armour tells MyGolfSpy. “We haven’t had any major stumbling blocks but there are things we’ve had to find solutions for.”
Specifically, Sub 70 has dealt with shaft and grip shortages as well as shipping delays, which has made new product introduction an ad hoc proposition.
“This year has been difficult with inventory and predicting timelines for new products,” says Armour. “We’ve had to make sure we had options. We offer customers free upgrades if we don’t have the shaft they want, for instance.”
Over the past six weeks, Sub 70 has introduced several new putters, a new iron set and an updated driver. And in the coming weeks, you’ll see yet another driver and a new set of fairway woods.
“2022 should be an absolutely fantastic year for us,” insists Armour.
Sub 70 799 Irons
Our first Sub 70 Golf update features the company’s first foray into the super game-improvement category, the new 799 irons.
“We always planned on doing SGI irons; it just wasn’t something we felt we needed right out of the gates,” says Armour. “We wanted to do it pre-COVID but we had to put it on hold.”
On the one hand, the 799 irons are typical SGI irons—oversized, wide-soled and extra-forgiving. But there’s a typical Sub 70 twist.
“It’s a 455-carpenter steel face with a hollow body and TPE injected into the cavity,” says Armour. “These are great for the player who’s new to the game or who just doesn’t have the time to commit to practicing like crazy and just wants to have fun.
“Why struggle with clubs that might be too demanding?”
The typical SGI golfer needs help with both distance and getting the ball up in the air. The 799 irons very much follow the recipe for delivering both with aggressive perimeter weighting, a low CG and a high MOI. And strong-ish lofts help slower swing speed golfers get the ball a little farther down the fairway, which helps.
Pricewise, the Sub 70 799 irons run $500 for a 5-PW set. While Sub 70 builds everything custom, the KBS Max 80 is the standard shaft and the Lamkin Crossline 360 is the standard grip. The KBS Tour 90, 105 and 110 are no upcharge options and several upgrades are also available.
Sub 70 Golf: Putters Galore
Sub 70 has also added four new standard putter models this summer: the wide blade 005 (both heel- and center-shafted), the rounded 006 blade (or mini-mallet, take your pick), and the 8802-like 007. Each is CNC milled from a single block of 1045 carbon steel.
“The 007 comes with a little martini glass on the head cover,” says Armour. “It’s a little hat tip to James Bond. I mean, how could you not?”
Armour says Sub 70 customers have been asking for an 8802-style putter almost since Day One.
“It took some work on our side as far as testing and getting the weighting right,” he says. “It’s really cool to see how many people really enjoy that look. You don’t usually see that shape in a CNC milled head.”
One challenge with that style is striking a balance between length and head weight. If a golfer prefers a shorter shaft, say 33 inches, an 8802-style head is too light. Sub 70 made the 007 head a full 370 grams, so a shorter shaft should be workable.
Both 005 heads and the 006 head all come standard with an additional weight kit at no extra charge. Two 10-gram weights are installed and the kit includes two five-gram, two 15-gram and two 20-grams weights. You’ll be able to adjust the head weight to anywhere from 370 to 405 grams.
Each 00-series putter features Sycamore leaf graphics, an homage to Sub 70’s hometown of Sycamore, Ill. At first glance, they look like maple leaves, which Armour says makes Sub 70’s Canadian customers happy.
“They’re like, ‘Yeah, that’s awesome. It has a maple leaf.’ And we’re like, ‘Yeah, it can be a maple leaf if you want it to be.’”
A TAIII Addition
Earlier this year, Sub 70 Golf introduced its TAIII irons, a collaboration between Sub 70 founder Jason Hiland and PGA TOUR pro Tommy Armour III (no relation to Jay). This summer, the company has added a putter to the TAIII lineup, the TAIII 254 WB.
“Jason and Tommy have become pretty good friends over the last couple of years,” says the unrelated Jay Armour. “Tommy was playing the 005 on Tour but he wanted a dot alignment mark instead of a line, as well as some different graphics.”
Fundamentally, the TAIII WB is identical to the 005 other than the dot (which, depending on the golfer, can make a difference). Armour (Tommy, not Jay) grew up in Las Vegas so there’s a Vegas-themed graphic on the sole. And the 254 is a nod to Armour’s 72-hole PGA scoring record of 254, which he set in winning the 2003 Valero Texas Open. That record stood until 2017 when it was broken by Justin Thomas.
The TAIII WB has 15-gram weights installed and does include the weight kit and tool. It features a double-bend shaft and 40 degrees of toe hang for those with a straight-back, straight-through stroke. It sells for $169.
The 005 center-shaft model also sells for $169 and is also available in right-handed only. The heel-shafted model runs $159 and is available for both lefties and righties. The 006 and 007 are both righty only and sell for $149. A variety of standard and upcharge grips are available. Length, loft and lie adjustments are no extra charge.
Sub 70 Golf Update: New Drivers
Another Sub 70 summer release, the 849 Pro driver, is a noticeable departure from the previous 839D. First off, it’s 450cc and, second, it’s proudly fade-biased.
“Yeah, it’s a bit smaller than the maximum but it doesn’t look intimidating,” says Armour. “It sits a bit open with a little flatter lie angle. It’s very much low spin and anti-left.”
The 849 Pro also comes with a weight kit and is adjustable seven ways to Sunday. You can buy either a 9-degree or 10.5-degree model and each can be adjusted two degrees up or down in 0.5- to 0.75-degree increments. At its lowest loft setting, the face angle sits 4.5 degrees open and, as you loft up, it reaches 3.5 degrees closed. It has three sole weights: a 12-gram weight in the rear and two three-gram weights in the heel and toe. The weight kit includes a six-, eight- and 10-gram weight, allowing you to adjust further for shot shape and launch.
One common issue with the old 839 driver was the sound. It was LOUD.
“We’ve added a full carbon-fiber crown,” says Armour. “That’s really helped. I’d say it still has a really strong ‘pop’ to it but it’s not nearly as loud or as high-pitched as the original.”
The no-upcharge shaft options include the Project X Evenflow Riptide, the HZRDUS Smoke Black and a Sub 70 Project X High Launch. Additional shafts are available at an upcharge.
Coming in November will be the higher-launching 849D, a 460cc high-MOI version of the 849 Pro. As the name would suggest, the 849D features a slight draw bias and spreads its extra 10 cubic centimeters more heel to toe and front to back compared to the Pro model.
Both drivers are $299 with standard shafts.
Fairways Woods Are Coming
To round out the Sub 70 Golf update for 2021, look for a new fairway wood lineup this November. The new 949X series will replace the nearly three-year-old 939X.
“They’re going to be very similar to the drivers—a very blacked-out look with a clean-looking finish,” says Armour.
Sub 70 is going full monty with the 949X fairways, offering them in 3-, 4-, 5- and 7-wood models for righties, as well as 3- and 5-woods for lefties. As with the drivers, they’ll feature a carbon-fiber crown, full hosel adjustability and a weight kit.
They’ll sell for $169 with a variety of standard and upcharge shaft options. The Tour and Tour Pro fairways will remain in the Sub 70 lineup.
The 2022 Outlook
“Going into 2022, we really have our feet under us,” says Armour. “There was a lot of heavy lifting we had to do on the front end. We put considerable time, energy and resources into things that maybe weren’t big revenue producers but needed to be done to set us up for the long-term.”
On the product front, Sub 70 is a card-carrying follower of the Paul Masson winery philosophy: “We will sell no wine before its time.”
“We’re not going to release a new product unless we think there’s a noticeable improvement,” says Armour. “We’re always developing and tweaking. Our 699 irons have been out for nearly three years now. There’s no need to come out with new stuff every year. We’re just going to ride what we have until we have something better.”
The success of Sub 70 Golf and its direct-to-consumer compatriots Ben Hogan and New Level shows the concept works and isn’t going anywhere. Others, such as Haywood Golf and Scott Golf, have fared well in Most Wanted Testing.
Maybe we’re not that far off from telling Alexa to order a set of irons, after all.
For more information, visit the Sub 70 website.