A number of months in the past, Proto Idea introduced the C03 TC cavity-back iron which changed the unique C03 CB mannequin that it launched a bit over a yr in the past. As one would possibly anticipate, the JDM (Japanese home market) upstart can also be changing the first-generation C01 muscle-back iron with the C01 TB. Technically, the moniker is C01 TBic—we’ll deal with that “ic” half momentarily.
If you realize me, you’re conscious that I’ve a fever for Japanese gear and the one remedy is extra Endo-forged irons and wedges (although I wouldn’t balk at a solid cow bell, I suppose). That apart, the target of the C01 TBic is to supply golfers with a real muscle-back iron that may be paired with the C03 TC, although the C01 TBic is obtainable from 5-iron by way of pitching wedge for many who want to play a full set of blade-style irons.
It’s additionally truthful to notice that the C01 TBic is the embodiment of a distinct segment product. It caters to extremely expert ball-strikers who aren’t simply dissuaded by an elevated price ticket, like $450 per membership elevated. That stated, the usual pricing disclaimer applies: If costly items draw your ire, you’re seemingly not the goal shopper. Furthermore, the existence of luxurious gadgets doesn’t eradicate the provision of lower-priced alternate options.
Proto Idea Refresher
Loads of golfers know the title Lydia Ko. Critical followers would possibly acknowledge Haeji Kang or Ryuji Imada. What they’ve in frequent is that they’re a part of a rising contingent of pros taking part in Proto Idea gear.
With that, Proto Idea isn’t as acknowledged as JDM stalwarts Miura, Epon or Yonex. Rising a model takes time, notably whenever you received’t discover it in your native massive field retail retailer. So there’s that.
Different salient speaking factors embody:
Golf Companion is the biggest golf retailer on this planet. It boasts almost 400 retail areas and 550,000 in-stock golf equipment. It’s one thing just like the Japanese equal of Starbucks however for golf gear. I point out this primarily for instance that the corporate has a singular perspective and breadth of JDM data. Its management has a eager understanding of what works, what doesn’t and, most significantly, what resonates with the audience.
The Endo forging home is an business benchmark. Past Proto Idea and its home model, Epon, Endo counts a litany of manufacturers as purchasers. Srixon, Yamaha, Mizuno, Honma, Bridgestone, Tourstage, S-Yard, Daiwa, Callaway and Titleist have all, at occasions, relied on Endo to forge their premium traces of golf irons and wedges. A number of nonetheless do.
Endo is the restaurant the place all of the cooks go to eat.
Proto Idea C01TBic Iron Tech Speak
The primary little bit of the tech story is boilerplate muscle-back iron stuff. Put otherwise, the tech speaking factors focus on supplies, mass properties and design aesthetics. As such, irons on this class don’t depart a lot room for superior polymers, uber-thin faces or an excessive perimeter weighting structure.
That apart, the Proto Idea C01 TBic isn’t void of know-how. Somewhat, it’s a bit extra delicate and nuanced. That is the place the “ic” enters the chat.
Whereas the Proto Idea C03TC irons function a milled pocket cavity within the 4- to 7-irons to exactly place the CG location (middle of gravity), the CO1 TBic makes use of an “Internal Ceramic” to perform an identical end result.
Within the first Proto Idea C01 mannequin, engineers impregnated the metal billet with a titanium rod to release a little bit of weight which was reallocated to the perimeter of the physique to reasonably increase heel-toe MOI (forgiveness). Successfully, the internal ceramic materials replaces the titanium rod whereas attaining two necessary efficiency advantages: further forgiveness and an even-more exact CG location.
Why swap it up? The one reply is Muneyuki Matsuyoshi, aka “Q”. On the earth of CAD design, “Q” is held in excessive esteem and a few gear insiders even toss across the “savant” label. After his time at Fourteen Golf (which mysteriously disappeared from the North American gear panorama), he began his personal model, Juice. From there, Proto Idea enlisted “Q” to design its second technology of irons, beginning with the CO3 TC and now the CO1 TBic.
I get the Twinkie analogy isn’t good nevertheless it’s adequate.
Most single-piece solid irons begin with a billet of carbon metal which is heated after which subjected to a number of strikes from giant hydraulic hammers. The place the “ic” know-how differs is that every spherical billet of S20 carbon metal is impregnated with an inner ceramic bar. From there, the forging course of is comparatively just like different high-end, single-piece solid irons. Nonetheless, guaranteeing that the ceramic cavity maintains its exact place all through the method is a activity requiring the experience of the aforementioned Endo forging home. The idea of built-in materials forgings is quite complicated and, so far, Endo seems to be, as soon as once more, on the forefront of the dialog.
Proto Idea C01 TBic Iron Efficiency
As we acknowledged, the interior ceramic materials serves two functions. The primary is to generate a extra exact CG location which, in flip, has a big impression on ball flight. In line with Proto Idea, the CG of every iron is uniquely positioned to account for contemporary shafts and variation in impression loft (dynamic impression).
The simplified model is that the modified CG location within the C01 TBic ought to permit golfers to hit lengthy irons increased and brief irons decrease. This was a direct request based mostly on suggestions gathered from PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour gamers who used Proto Idea irons in competitors.
Concerning heel-toe MOI (forgiveness), I don’t suspect we’ll see substantial enchancment from the Proto Idea C01. That stated, incremental advantages are all golfers ought to fairly anticipate from the participant’s iron class.
In earlier Most Needed testing, Proto Idea irons appeared to favor accuracy over distance. In addition they acquired excessive reward from testers for sound and really feel. As a shopper group, that is according to what higher gamers are inclined to search for in a set of irons.
Full disclosure: I haven’t but hit the C01 TBic however I’d guess a pleasant steak dinner (with dessert after all) that it doesn’t stray too removed from this formulation. As well as, we don’t embody muscle-back irons as a separate class throughout our annual testing. That stated, we’ll take a better take a look at the C01 TBic as soon as we get them in hand. We’re excited to place them on our Foresight GC Quad launch monitor.
As with the Proto Idea C03 TC, the baseline goal of the C01 TBic is sort of similar, i.e., to generate enough distance, constant launch circumstances, and a fascinating steadiness of forgiveness and workability. The small tweak is that relative to the C03 TC, the C01TBic ought to be barely much less forgiving however extra workable.
Proto Idea C01 TBic Aesthetics
The Proto Idea C01 TBic is usually what golfers anticipate from a conventional single-piece solid, muscle-back iron.. Mainly, this consists of minimal offset, skinny toplines and a compact footprint. My single level of rivalry is that I may do with out the “internal CERAMIC” label within the cavity. On the whole, I like my muscle-back cavities like I like my checks—clean.
I’ve a set of the CO3 TC irons in play and the early outcomes are promising. If we use that as a proxy (coupled with testing knowledge), I’m optimistic that the C01 TBic ought to supply marginal however noticeable enhancements over the mannequin it replaces, the C01.
It may appear odd that we’re already speaking a couple of new model of the Proto Idea C01, provided that JDM product cycles are typically longer than mainline U.S. manufacturers. My hunch is that Proto Idea noticed a possibility to get “Q” on the Proto Idea crew (which is a significant win). And whenever you add somebody like that to the roster, you don’t wait round to place them within the sport.
Additionally, Proto Idea isn’t making an attempt to realize market share by pumping out an enormous quantity of apparatus. So it’s not as if they’re sitting on a lot, if any, previous stock.
When it comes to the place the C01 TBic suits within the Proto Idea iron array, it’s the consummate “How do you want your participant’s iron cooked?” story. Proto Idea payments the C01 TBic as a blade-style iron with cavity-back stage forgiveness. Conversely, the C04 TC is a cavity-back iron with workability to approximate a muscle-back iron. Little question, it’s splitting hairs however the selection between the 2 seemingly hinges on which is extra necessary to you: workability with a splash of forgiveness or stability with some trajectory management.
Pricing and Availability
Proto Idea wedges are at present out there by way of approved sellers.
The MSRP for the Proto Idea C01 TBic is $450 per membership. Pricing will range based mostly on location and chosen parts.
For extra data, go to protoconceptgolf.com