The clubs have changeable weights in their head soles so players can select from 15 center-of-gravity (COG) settings and change the trajectory of fades or draws by about 13 yd. To get a better grip on the design of a new driver, Mizuno Corp. in Japan turned to Pro/Engineer 3D software from PTC in Needham, Mass. The manufacturer says the software helped it develop the new Mizuno MP-600 Fast Track driver.

Initially, the project was put on hold because the company’s development method couldn’t hit target production costs. But Pro/E turned things around by giving designers a way to easily communicate with overseas manufacturing sites. “The software helped us create countless virtual prototypes while we developed the best-performing design,” says Golf Product Development Department Director Masao Nagai. “Designers constantly adjusted the driver’s shape, depth, and track location. 3D CAD let them almost instantly simulate new designs as well as define the optimal COG.”

With the ability to collaborate on designs and verify 3D models, the designers styled a club head that could be mass produced with less time and effort than they once spent creating and verifying wooden molds each time the design changed. “The software lets us pair advanced digital-product development with our renowned oldworld craftsmanship,” says Nagai. We plan on eventually connecting everything from design through production to better geometries, dimensions, drafts, and other information.

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A Pro/Engineer model of a driver with changeable weights provides a virtual prototype of a golf club that will let players select from 15 center-of-gravity settings.