Equipment & Product Reviews


Best New Products of the 2019 PGA Show - Part 1 (Equipment) PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

The 2019 PGA Show is now in the rear view mirror and there are so

many new products and innovations to discuss in this our 10th Annual

Best New Products feature. In Part 1, we present who impressed in

the driver, irons, wedges, putter and golf ball categories?


Coming soon, in Part 2 we'll present the finest in Tech Gear,

Apparel, Footwear, Eyewear and Accessories.



PGA Show week for most of the industry kicks off at Demo Day located

at Orange County National each year. Displays like this elaborate one

from Cleveland/Srixon are popular spots to catch a glimpse of the new

equipment and take them for a test spin.




Drivers

There were half dozen or so OEM's that impressed in the Big Stick category,

some of the usual industry heavyweights, and a few surprises from those

that you might not expect to find making waves in the driver marketplace.

With industry titan TaylorMade opting out of the 2019 PGA Show, those on

hand presented well. Lynx (yep Lynx), Tour Edge/Exotics, Mizuno, Ping,

Callaway, Cobra & Titleist led the way.



Tour Edge / Exotics EXS

David Glod and the Tour Edge/Exotics team keep introducing high-

performance quality metals and at the best value to consumers. Their

latest, the EXS line features a flight tuning system consisting of two

interchangeable weights - 9-gram weight in the heel and 3 gram in

the rear. The stock configuration is a draw bias ball flight, simply

switch the weights to achieve a more neutral shot shape. Available

in 9.5 & 10.5 lofts and adjustable via their advanced hosel system

(change loft + or - 2 degrees). Roll Face technology tightens up

dispersion, while their dual carbon technology enables weight to be

re-distributed lower and further back - increasing MOI. Mitsubishi

Tensei CK Blue is the stock powerplant for the EXS driver. MSRP $299


 

*Stay tuned for a full review on Exotics EXS coming soon - product has already

arrived for testing.






Callaway EPIC FLASH

Callaway's follow up to the super popular Epic and Rogue drivers of the

last two years is the new Epic Flash. The big story for Epic Flash is the

new face. According to Senior Director of Brand Management Dave Neville,

"Epic Flash is the first driver ever designed using AI (artificial intelligence)

and machine learning. This is a huge innovation that we've been working

on for a number of years. In a typical driver face, you'll have 5 to 7 proto-

types and pick the best one. With this new technology, we were able to

have 15,000 virtual prototypes," Neville said. "So we know we have the

fastest possible face to go along with the body of this driver."

Xander Schauffele reportedly picked up 3mph of ball speed and nearly

10 yards of carry in his first week using Epic Flash to win the Sentry

Tournament of Champions. A 16-gram movable rear weight offers the

ability to fine-tune shot shape. Available in standard version and Sub-

Zero model. MSRP $529


*Stay tuned for a full review on Epic Flash, as of this writing we have

already received product for review.





PING - G410

PING's new G410 driver looks to improve on the huge success of

last year's G400, and that won't be an easy task. So what has PING

brought to the marketplace to improve what many considered the

driver of the year in 2018? From the address position you'd say not

much, the matte black Dragonfly crown returns with a slight variation

- a new "Creased Crown" design. It's the back end where you notice

the changes . . .






Movable weight is not a new concept in driver technology, but is a

new addition to PING drivers. The ultra high density movable rear

weight has 3 settings fade - neutral - draw to influence shot shape.







Available in SFT and Plus versions, the G410 has a plethora of shafts

available at no upcharge, including Ping Tour 65 & 75 gram, Project X

Even Flow Black 75 and Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 60. MSRP $499



 

 




LYNX - Prowler VT

So if I told you that perhaps the biggest driver innovation at the show

was the Lynx Prowler VT driver, what would you say? It's true, and it's

all because of their SWITCHFACE technology. In the past 6-8 years or

so, adjustability in drivers has allowed you to change loft quite easily

with the quick turn of a wrench. However, this came with a catch,

when you moved the shaft sleeve into your desired loft it also changed

lie and face angle. The folks at Lynx have developed a new way to change

loft without the side effects. Let's say you live in a region where you need

max carry (because it rains so often that roll is non-existent), in that

case a 10 or 11 degree driver might be the right choice. Now you plan

a trip to Bandon or Scotland where the wind usually is a serious influence

on carry distance and the ground is firm - where you may need a lower

ball flight with max roll out. Do you go buy buy a new driver or adjust

your loft sleeve (knowing that it will also change the face angle and lie

angle? If you chose option 1, it's very expensive. Option 2, can and

will likely change your normal shot shape. The new Prowler VT allows

these changes independently, with the only change being the loft

(via a different lofted faceplate). Simply determine the course

conditions and install the desired lofted face.








The assigned loft is printed onto the face in the upper toe section as

required by the USGA and R&A. Only testing will determine if the

Prowler VT stands up to the larger brands.


I do have one pet peeve with this new offering, the Prowler VT is a

glue-in shaft/head design, and in this age of instant shaft removal

convenience, a glue-in shaft should be converted at the very least

to a straight adapter installation . . .







Mizuno ST190

Mizuno's new ST 190 and ST 190G Drivers were created for more ball

speed, and using SP700 titanium (10% stronger than typical titanium

used in most driver faces) the ST190 driver faces are created to regain

their original shape faster after flexing at impact. Mizuno's "Amplified

Wave" sole was created to improve sound and allow the face to flex

better on strikes located low in the face. ST190 is available in 9 & 10.5

loft choices, while ST190G is only available in 9 degrees. MSRP $399



 


Crown view of the ST190, pretty sporty.







While the rear weighted ST190 is created for max forgiveness, the

ST190G model is the company's more adjustable model featuring

two 7 gram tungsten weights that can be moved to shift CG.

MSRP $499



 

 




Titleist TS Metals

The latest TS Line to come from Titleist is getting plenty of gametime

on tours around the globe including in house staffers Adam Scott, Justin

Thomas and Jordan Spieth.


While nearly every large OEM has moved to carbon fiber crown construction,

Titleist claims to have the lightest titanium crown in the game. TS models

come in two different designs built to bring you more speed. TS2 offers Max

forgiveness, while TS3 features a tuning port to dial in your desired ball flight.

Stock shaft offerings include Mitsubishi Kuro Kage (Dual Core 50) and Tensei

Blue (AV series 55) as well as HZRDUS Smoke (Black 60) and Project X Even

Flow (T1100 White 65). MSRP for both TS models - $499




 




Cobra SpeedBack

Cobra's new Speedback driver is a combination of aerodynamics, low CG

and their CNC milled face - creating optimal club and ball speed. 14 gram

and 2 gram sole weights allow you to dial in trajectory and backspin to

dial in your desired launch specs. Cobra Connect by Arccos returns to give

your game all of the flight data after each shot.






Cobra is the industry's first to create a carbon wrap crown, this new

design produces a 12% larger Carbon fiber area - saving an additional

10 grams from typical titanium driver crowns. According to Cobra's

Mike Yagley, "Polymer directional crown trips reduce drag and increase

clubhead speed."


Available in Yellow or White trim in 9, 10.5 & 12 degree lofts. Stock shaft

choices include UST Helium, Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue 6, Project X

HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 & Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Black 7. MSRP $449







Fairways




Titleist TS Fairways

Titleist TS Fairways share traits and the same technology of their

more voluminous & less lofted tee box launchers. TS Fairways also

pack some additional goodies like adjustable swingweight and speed

inducing features like an Active Recoil Channel to enhance max ball

speed and forgiveness. MSRP $299








Mizuno ST190 F

Mizuno's ST190 Fairways feature a high-energy H1770 maraging steel

face. According to Mizuno's Jeff Crawford, "The chassis helps produce

more face flex like a driver to maximize speed and distance. The carbon

crown allows weight to be relocated lower in the clubhead, while the

Amplified Wave Sole balances stability and provides more forgiveness

on off-center hits. MSRP $299








XXIO - X Fairways

XXIO's new X Fairway metals are the poster child for the company's

"Easy Distance" mantra (for players who want the finest quality

equipment but don't possess tour player swing speeds). The XXIO X

Fairways feature a lightweight crown, variable thickness sole and a

rolled cup face that produces big distance. MSRP $399








Hybrids




Exotics CBX119

On our must have list (and should be on yours) for 2019 is the Exotics

CBX 119. According to Tour Edge/Exotics Founder and Master Club

Designer David Glod, "the new CBX 119 hybrid design was based on

feedback from tour players and led to a more compact design and

deeper face that produces hotter ball speeds and less spin." The

shorter heel to toe clubhead is a favorite of shotmakers on the PGA

Tour Champions. Stock shafts: Project X Even Flow and HZRDUS.

MSRP $249









Cobra F9 Hybrids

According to Cobra's Manager of Innovation Chad DeHart, "The new F9

hybrid has a large clubhead profile that increases MOI and forgiveness.

Baffler & Speedback Technologies optimize clubhead speed and lower

the center of gravity, resulting in the best combination of distance

and speed in a hybrid." Equipped with Fujikura's Atmos 7 shaft and

Cobra Connect by Arccos to track shot data. MSRP $219


 

 

 

 



Shafts:



Aldila Rogue 130 M.S.I

The Aldila ROGUE Silver 130 M.S.I is the latest edition of the popular

line of low launch/low spin driver and fairway shafts. Rogue 130 M.S.I

features a low torque tip-section, a higher balance point, and perhaps

the finest aesthetics of any premium shaft in the game - a brilliant ion

plating finish. MSRP $425






Fujikura Ventus

Fujikura's newest offering - Ventus was designed to significantly tighten

shot dispersion and optimize ball speeds. According to Fujikura Product

Marketing Manager Austin Tudor, "Ventus was inspired by tour players.

The VeloCore technology has an accelerated taper and ultra-stiff tip

profile that transfers maximium energy, thus boosting performance."

MSRP $350







Irons:



SRIXON Z-FORGED

Srixon's new Z-FORGED is a classic blade in muscle back form that

offers maximum shot shaping and versatility due to the new Tour V.T

sole. Forged from 1020 carbon steel, Z-FORGED is the company's pure

players iron. Available in 40 different custom shafts and grips at no

upcharge. 4-PW MSRP $999.99



 

 



SRIXON Z785

Srixon's Z785 might be the iron that captures the greatest interest for most

players who prefer forged but want a touch of forgiveness. Z785's Tour Cavity

provides additional mass behind the sweet spot offering the best of both worlds

for a variety of players. Srixon allows consumers to create their dream set by

mixing different models. Perhaps a ZU85 long iron or two, Z585 or Z785 mid

irons and Z-FORGED blades for your short irons. The choice is yours . . .

4-PW MSRP $999.99





ZU85

Srixon's Z U85 is our selection for the cleanest looking utility iron, but

is there technology to go with it's good looks? Ultra soft 1020 Carbon

steel gives buttery feel, while hollow body construction and SUP10 face

provide forgiveness and big distance. MSRP $199








Callaway - APEX Forged / APEX PRO

Callaway's newest Apex forgings are some serious head turners.


Apex Forged is a new tungsten infused multi-piece construction that's

engineeered to optimize ball speed and trajectory. Forged 1025 mild

carbon steel combines with the chevron's 360 Face Cup and proprietary

urethane microspheres (that absorb unwanted vibrations - without

affecting the dynamics of the clubface at impact). 4-PW $1225


Apex Pro 19 was designed for better players who desire the benefits of

a tour inspired forged design without giving up distance or performance.

The Apex Pro can be combined with Apex Forged to create your own

custom set up. 4-PW $1225 (Combo set starts at $1400)


 

 




MIZUNO - JPX TOUR 919 / JPX 919

JPX 919 Tour & JPX 919 Forged is the latest in Mizuno's highly sought

after line of forgings. According to Associate Brand Manager of Mizuno

Golf - Jeff Crawford, "The JPX 919 Tour is the benchmark for elite level

shotmakers. Grain Flow Forged High Density from a single billet of 1025E

Pure Select mild carbon steel for the softest feel of any forging." The

subdued satin silver finish is a different look for a Mizuno forging, and

it's a sharp look.  3-PW MSRP $1200


The JPX 919 Forged features a milled clubface boasting the brand's fastest

measured ball speed. Being positioned as their most versatile iron of the

lineup, the JPX 919 Forged sacrifices nothing in the way of feel with their

Grain Flow Forged HD makeup. Although it carries a deeper cavity then the

JPX 919 Tour, it still maintains a streamlined appearance with its brilliant

chrome finish. 4-GW MSRP $1300







Wedges:



CLEVELAND RTX4

Cleveland's RTX 4 grabbed our attention right away, with their multiple

grind offerings, tour inspired clubhead shape and stylish finishes.






The sharpest Zip Grooves face milling is Cleveland's most precise laser

milling ever for more spin and shortgame control.







RTX4 is avialable in lofts of 46 - 64 degrees in three different finishes

Tour Satin, Black Satin and Tour Raw finish. Dynamic Gold Tour Issue

shafts come stock with all RTX4 wedges. MSRP $139







Callaway - PM GRIND 19

Above - Roger Cleveland shows off his latest creation, the PM Grind 19

(Phil Mickelson) Wedge line and explains the collaboration process

with "Lefty" on these new shortgame sticks and the feature they call

the "Bounce behind the Bounce".






Although this image may not show it in detail, Roger Cleveland was

explaining to me how the new laser milling on the face has been angled

20 degrees so open face shortgame shots will have the benefit of less

side spin that will lead to shots finishing closer to the targe (instead of

the typical cut spin you often get from an open faced shot, Brilliant.





Notice where Phil is pointing, this is that narrow portion in the center

rear portion of the grind that he refers to as "the bounce behind the

bounce" that he says stabilizes the club as it enters the turf for just the

right amount of skid vs dig. Available in 54 - 64 degree models.

MSRP $159.99







Cobra - MIM Wedges

Cobra's new MIM wedges feature a process known as Metal-injection

molding which is different then traditional methods. This process ensures

a precise shape that is softer than either cast or forged metals. The face

milling pattern is concentric - circling out from the center. 50-60 degree

lofts available. MSRP $150.



 




BRIDGESTONE - TOURB XW-1

Featuring a "Biting Rail Milled Groove" design, Bridgestone's new TourB

XW-1 wedges were designed for better players - forged from 1020

carbon steel for superb feel. Compact in size with sole grind relief in

both the heel and toe for complete versatility on all types of shortgame

shots. Available in 50-60 degree lofts - MSRP $139





Tour B XW-1 features







Putters:



SCOTTY CAMERON - PHANTOM X

Scotty Cameron's new Phantom X line consists of nine new modern

mallets, offering a variety of set ups to each player. Five different

head shapes and styles made from 303 stainless and precision milled

aluminum faces. Phantom X is more compact from the Futura line.

With a plethora of alignment options built-in, Phantom X offers a

choice for any set up preference.






Phantom X is available in Low bend, mid bend and straight, offering

options for your preferred amount of toe-flow. Phantom X features

stepless steel shafts and customizable stability sole weights positioned

on the heel/toe. Available April 5th - MSRP $429








Odyssey - STROKE LAB

Odyssey's latest putter line - Stroke Lab is technology that's born

from the idea that most golfers have very inconsistent strokes.

Putter innovations have been concentrated on improving alignment

and quality of roll, with Stroke Lab Odyssey seeks to improve your

stroke through a radical change in weight distribution.





Stroke Lab's shaft is 40 grams lighter by using a multi-material graphite

body and steel tip section. The saved weight is moved - head weight is

increased by 10 grams and with a grip that itself is 10 grams lighter than

standard, they added a 30 gram weight to grip-end - thus increasing the

counter-balance grip cap weight by 40 grams. According Odyssey Chief

Putter Designer Austie Rollinson, "Everyone would love to have a smoother

putting stroke, studies indicate that Stroke Lab improves backswing time,

impact position, ball speed and direction. It's created a more repeatable

stroke for most players."






The Stroke Lab line incorporates the White-Hot insert combined with

micro-hinge technology to provide superior forward roll and the softest

feel in the game. MSRP $249

 

 

 

 

 



PING SIGMA 2

Ping's new Sigma 2 line is a stable of 10 models for the player who

prefers a flatstick on the softer side, but with the response of a firm

face. Ping's Pebax insert is comprised of a firmer front layer and firmer

rear layer, that according to PING, has a softer feel on shorter putts

improving touch. While the rear layer comes into play more on longer

length putts, aiding in distance control and consistency.


Perhaps the biggest innovation is the perfected adjustable length shaft

technology that is now standard with all Sigma 2 putters. Ping's studies

found that 8 out 10 golfers are playing the wrong length putter, and

when the correct length gets dialed, consistency in the stroke improves

greatly. Adjustable in lengths of 32" - 36".  MSRP $200






Tour Golf Balls

 


Titleist Pro V1 / Pro V1x

The industry standard has it's latest iteration of it's Pro V1 and Pro V1x.

The word from Titleist is more ball speed and a new high optic-yellow

option.

According to Titleist, they developed a new cast urethane cover that's

17% thinner then the previous version - allowing for a higher percentage

of speed-enhancing materials in the construction of the new models. The

cores on the Pro V1 and dual cores on the Pro V1x have both increased in

stiffness, while the inner core remains soft which produces higher ball

speeds and less long game spin.


Pro V1 flies a bit lower and more penetrating with a slighty softer feel than

Pro V1x. MSRP per dozen $52






SRIXON ZSTAR / ZSTAR XV

Srixon's sixth generation of it's ZSTAR and ZSTAR XV features a

FASTLayer Core and the fourth generation of Spin Skin with SeRM

providing unmatched control around the greens. The 338 Speed dimple

pattern boosts distance and provides straight ball flight and outstanding

performance in windy conditions.


Srixon Z-Star is a three piece construction, 90 compression urethane

tour ball with max greenside spin, while boasting more distance than

other mid-compression tour golf balls. Z-Star XV is a four piece, 102

compression urethane tour ball provides max distance and tour caliber

performance tee to green. Available in Pure White and Tour Yellow.

MSRP $39.99






Mizuno RB Tour

At this year's PGA Show, Mizuno launched their first ever Tour Urethane

golf ball in North America - RB TOUR and RB Tour X. Both models feature

four piece urethane cover technology, but it's their "cone" dimples that

are the result of 12 years of wind tunnel testing. Mizuno has had a

premium ball offering in the Asian market for quite some time, but as

Jeff Crawford of Mizuno told me, "We wanted to wait to come out with

THIS ball."


The RB Tour is a slightly softer compression offering low driver spin,

while the firmer X model offers mid driver spin and a firmer feel.

MSRP $43 per dozen





Distance Golf Balls:



Bridgestone e12  SOFT / SPEED

Bridgestone returned to the PGA Show and to 2019 with a ton of

momentum. Bryson DeChambeau has taken professional golf by

storm of late and Tiger Woods came back from oblivion and driving

his Tour B XS golf ball to victory at the Tour Championship at East

Lake to finish off 2018.


e12 is the new kid on the block for Bridgestone in 2019, and it comes

in two versions e12 SOFT and e12 Speed. According to Bridgestone's

Elliot Mellow, "Both models are 3 piece surlyn that we categorize as

distance performance balls. The Active Acceleration Mantle layer is

our key component that is a high-performance polymer that provides

higher velocity and increased thrust at impact. This allowed us to soften

the core for more forgiveness and enhanced feel. Both balls feature our

Delta Wing dimple pattern for less drag and optimized aerodynamics."


e12 SOFT was specifically designed for players with swings under 105

mph. Available in White, Matte Green, Matte Red, and Matte Yellow -

MSRP $29.99


e12 SPEED was created for those faster swing players at 105 mph+

Available in White. MSRP $29.99






OnCore - AVANT

OnCore's new Avant ball is a two piece 55 compression golf ball that

offers big distance and low spin off the driver and high spin on wedge

shots. Super soft feel on and around the green. MSRP $24 per dz.




Stay Tuned for Our Best New Products Part 2 - Tech, Apparel,

Footwear and accessories coming soon . . .

















 
INDI Golf StingRay TT SCOOPBACK Wedges PDF Print E-mail

 


By Dirck Storm 

Indi STINGRAY TT SCOOPBACK Wedge







About Indi Golf


Indi Golf was the dream of three good friends who love the sport of golf,
and were lucky enough to have accomplished careers designing, engineering,
and selling golf products. With a deep desire to grow the game by bringing its
enjoyment to all. Every individual brings their own passion to the sport in their
own way, and it's their goal to provide high quality products that will enable
golfers to perform and always enjoy the game.






StingRay wedges are engineered with TractionFace technology, which uses
a proprietary open square groove shape and pattern to create tremendous
backspin and optimal launch conditions.  These aggressive box grooves
increase spin by 50% and are so effective that standard StingRay wedge
(image below) exceeds the performance limits outlined in the USGA Rules
of Golf (making them non-conforming), but ideal for recreational golfers
seeking tour player like spin.





For competitive players - StingRay TT remixes TractionFace technology with
another revolutionary groove shape and pattern to optimize launch and
increase backspin by 20% on a full swing. StingRay TT Conforms to the
Rules of Golf.













Indi Golf’s proprietary ScoopBack design creates maximum forgiveness
by moving mass higher in the face, and toward the toe.  This optimizes
the location of the club’s CG, making the head more stable on off-center
contact, helping shots feel better, go straighter, spin more and end up
closer to the hole.

The ScoopBack design is not a muscle back or perimeter-weighted design
but is a combination that brings the player the best of both worlds.




Other features:

> Short Hosel - Creates discretionary weight that has been positioned
higher in the face and more towards the toe, resulting in higher per-
formance, better feel and more forgiveness.

> Optimized Bounce - Allows the head to glide through the turf yielding
solid contact for the grooves to grab the ball and impart maximum spin
while producing ideal launch conditions.

> Launch Control - A lower launch and higher spin combination allows
golfers to be more aggressive and reduces the influence of elements on
the ball.

> Straight Leading Edge - Makes the wedge easier to align, giving a
player more confidence and resulting in more consistent shots.



Aesthethics:

It's got to look good right ? It does. At first sight
you see the difference
in face design, grooves extending to the edge of the face is framed nicely
by a modern bead blast treatment - to me the full face score lines evokes
a vintage throw-back design.










On the back you see the scoop shaping which moves the weight higher
in the toe area and flows into a full no nonsense traditional grind for the sole.

Surprisingly, the extra weight in the toe is cleverly blended away from the
top line and creates a clean players wedge look at address. Aesthetically, the
ruby ferule ring and matching lettering on the back create a pleasing and
classy look in the bag.




Materials

Technically they've done their homework . Shafted up with a KBS 610/120gm
shaft is a smart move . Slightly lighter than the standard 130 gm wedge shaft .
The carbon steel head provides solid feel at contact and the Golf Pride 360
grip is the right choice for a proper tour caliber aesthetics and feel.

Club Specs:

Indi Sting Ray TT carbon steel
50 degree loft
10 degree bounce
35.5" D-3  scoop back design
square grooves


Spin/Performance

On center hits with the Srixon Q-Star Tour golf ball used in testing, we averaged
an additional 600 in spin rate from the sand and fairway and + 400-600 rpm from
the rough when compared to new conforming grove wedges of same loft.


Ratings

Fairway         Excellent
Rough           Very Good
Sand             Excellent
Pitch/Chip      Good
Wear             Average (carbon steel)
Cost              Average


Summary

We had a lot of fun with this club during testing, during warm up everyone was
spinning back range balls! Oh, about that 60 yard sand shot... stops on a dime.
If you play primarily for fun definitely pick up the Indi wedge.


The StingRay TT and StingRay wedges are available in lofts of 46, 48, 50, 52,
54, 56, 58 and 60-degrees. Left-hand models now available in 52, 56 & 60.
MSRP is $159.99.


Special thanks to Custom Fit Golf & John Prince Learning Center in Lake Worth,
Florida - where testing was conducted.



For more information, visit: www.indigolfclubs.com.
 
The Best Grips of 2018: Golf Pride ALIGN, Lamkin Sonar/TS-1 PDF Print E-mail

 

 

 

If you haven't changed your grips recently or checked out what's new

in the market of golf grips, now is the time to see for yourself what the

leaders of the industry - Golf Pride and Lamkin have launched in 2018.

It could be argued that the proper grip is the most important component

of any club. So why don't grips get the attention of other golf equipment

components like clubheads and shafts? Perhaps, it's because most golf

grips cost less than $10. One thing is clear, it's the only part of the club

that you hold in your hands as you attempt to execute your best golf shots

- so why not pay a little more attention to what grips you play?


 

Golf Pride - Tour Velvet w/ALIGN


This year, Golf Pride brought their ALIGN technology to the best selling grip

in golf - Tour Velvet (available in standard and midsize). ALIGN technology

is a raised reminder component that extends along the bottom side of the

grip resting along the finger joints of the bottom hand for consistent hand

alignment (also available in the MCC and MCC PLUS4 models).

 

We tested the Tour Velvet ALIGN, first in the driver. The feel brought immediate

confidence, largely because the ALIGN component allowed a more stable position

of the hands during the transition portion of the swing, and secondly, the ability

to feel a constant repeatable square club face position at impact. So much so,

that I built a new 3 iron - installed the GP Tour Velvet ALIGN and have had

immediate success. Being able to once again game a forged long iron may not

have been a possibilty without ALIGN technology. When we met with Bruce Miller

from Golf Pride each of the last two years, he called ALIGN "An absolute game

changer," and he was so right. $8.99 each

 

For more information on Golf Pride: https://www.golfpride.com/grips/

 

 

 

 

 

LAMKIN SONAR and TS-1

Lamkin's new line of TS-1 and Sonar grips compliment the already popular

Crossline and UTX models. Featuring a fingerprint micro texture surface and

super tacky Genesis compound technology, it's perfect for those who prefer

a grip that offers a slightly softer feel with the ultimate in non-slip technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We tested the Sonar midsize, and within a range session the new handles

went on every wedge we play. For anyone who lives and plays in a humid

climate, these will quickly become a fixture in your bag. Sonar has less taper

for those who prefer a less handsy action in the bottom hand - perfect for

short iron control. The new treads burst into the winner circle at the Open

Championship at Carnoustie (in only the first week Francesco Molinari put

them in play). $8.99 each

 

 

For more info on Lamkin: http://www.lamkingrips.com/shop/products.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
TPT Golf Shafts PDF Print E-mail

 

 

By Jason Bruno

We first learned about TPT Golf shafts just prior to this year's PGA Show

in Orlando. THIN PLY TECHNOLOGY is the golf division under the umbrella

of parent company NTPT (North Thin Ply Technology).

 


A Switzerland based tech and composites company, NTPT specializes in

solutions for several industries that rely on cutting-edge high-performance

solutions, their resume includes breakthrough innovations in the world of

F1 race cars, America's Cup yacht sails, satellites, skis, snowboards and

luxury composite timepieces for the world renowned brand - Richard Mille.

Even the solar powered aircraft "Solar Impulse" depended on NTPT materials

for its record-breaking journey.

 

There is no debating their accomplishments or pedigree , but how does this

all assimilate to golf? Not by any means a traditional Golf OEM, NTPT's first

thought was to enter the market not as a shaft maker, but as a supplier of

premium materials to other shaft manufacturers. Although impressed by the

materials, the leading shaft companies felt they were too expensive. So with

a no compromise vision - TPT Golf was launched. According to Sebastian

Sebayang, Director of TPT Golf, "Four years ago we saw an opportunity to

bring our innovation to the golf market and produce a shaft with a new level

of performance."

 

 

 

 

Manufacturing Process:

 

TPT shafts are created using a revolutionary automated process that

eliminates inconsistencies often found in conventional shafts. Most shafts

in the marketplace are manufactured by hand, wrapping sheets of material

around a steel mandrel that produces a seam or "spine" (as it's referred

to in the industry), this often creates the need to put that shaft through

a "pure-ing process" in order to find the orientation that gives optimal

results. TPT's ultra-thin/ultra-light carbon fiber pre-peg is used along

with its automated winding process, there's no spine of any kind, just

concentric and identical shafts produced every time. The days of not being

able to match your favorite shaft are over. According to TPT, the result is

pure unparalleled consistency.

 

 

 


COST:

As you could probably conclude on your own, TPT golf shafts are not

inexpensive. In fact, they were introduced with an MSRP of $699, but

just recently the company reduced the price to $499. New investments

in manufacturing equipment and larger bulk purchasing of materials has

allowed the company to produce shafts in greater volume, thus a lower

pricepoint (making TPT slightly more accessible to the masses, $499 is

still beyond the scope and means of most golfers), but innovation comes

at a premium price (PXG is a prime example). According to Sebayang,

"By making the price of our shafts competitive with other premium shafts

on the market, we're confident that we'll enable more golfers to play their

best."

 

 

 

 

Aesthetics:

Notice the unique minimalist raw appearance of the TPT shaft, no glossy

paint and over the top graphics here. The matte black/charcoal-ish vibe is

carbon fiber in it's processed and finished form.

 


 

 

TPT Shaft Specs:

Some faster swing players may look at this chart and wonder where

are the lower torque shaft options? (An X-stiff low torque model is

available now, see the new 15LT/LKP/LW below. Fairway specific

offerings and iron shafts are also in the works - coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

11 TPT shaft choices

(10 shown) are now

available to consumers

(only through authorized

TPT fitters such as Hot

Stix, Club Champion,

TXG and the David

Leadbetter Academy at

Championsgate.


 

LKP = Low Kick Point

MKP = Medium Kick Point

MT = Medium Torque

LT = Low Torque (new)

SW = Standard Weight

LW = Light Weight (new)

 

New for 2018 is the addition

of the 15/low torque/light-

weight model for those

players with more aggressive

transitions and faster club

head speeds, this series is

called "Extended Range".

(Shown below).

 

 

 

The new Extended Series is low torque and lightweight for high speed

players.

 

 

 

 

 

TESTING

As is often the case, our host site for this test was PGA Village and their

Learning Center in Port St.Lucie, Florida. As the PGA of America's flagship

property, the public is welcome to come work on any part of their game here.

Although we conducted this test in their indoor fitting center, a massive 35

acre outdoor practice facility is the staple of perhaps the finest site of its

kind in the country.

 

 

 

 



Our test setup at PGA Village, Foresight Sports GC launch monitor and

simulator.

 

*Just a quick disclaimer regarding this test and the shaft model chosen

(16 MKP/MT/SW) for me based on some data I provided during our brief

meeting at the PGA Show. In an actual fitting with an authorized TPT

Fitter you will be put through a protocol which will include a warm up

(if possible, playing a few holes beforehand is always a good way to know

where your swing is on that particular day), this alleviates the tendency

to overswing during the fitting process. After a brief discussion with your

fitter about your game, he/she will have you demo several models to

narrow down exactly which shaft and clubhead setting suits your game.

 

 

 

Test performance #'s produced pretty typical numbers for me, except

for two areas. Usually if I see carry numbers around 250 yards, and spin

rates between 2000-2500, than I'm pretty satisfied. Both of these get a

check in the thumbs up column. However, the swing speed and ball speed

stats were impressive and disappointing respectively. TPT testing produced

swing speeds consistently between 106-108 mph (easily the best of any

shaft I've ever tested, and that's saying a lot). At the same time, ball

speeds of 145 mph show an inefficiency when considering the 107 SS.

Typically when everything is in harmony, I expect to see ball speeds

between 150-156 mph. The smash factor of 1.36 is an indicator that

all was not in harmony. A smash factor of 1.45 is about my standard.

Stats in green are above average, red below. The rest are in my typical

range.

 

SS - 107mph

BS - 145.3 mph

Backspin: 2222

Launch: 12.9

Smash: 1.36

Carry: 247

Total Distance: 274.6

Offline: 7 yds left

 


Just to make sure these #'s were legit and not the launch monitor or its

setting, I also tested 2 other shafts (same TaylorMade M4 head in neutral

setting) that I've gamed recently. Neither averaged over 102 mph. The

go-to gamer shaft for nearly 2 years, is a bit heavier (77 grams) and

lower torque (3.1) than our TPT test shaft (68 grams 3.8 torque). With

an extensive fitting, I think it's likely the 15/MKP/MT/SW or the new low

torque - 15/LKP/LT/LW may be spot on for me. Excited about the club

velocity and spin rate for sure, so our test sample is definitely a close fit,

but if we had gone through a fitting (at say Club Champion for example),

perhaps they could have really dialed in the right set up. With summer

thunderstorms now the norm here in South Florida, we haven't been able

to properly field test the shaft on the course, but after we get about half a

dozen rounds in, we'll update the results.

 


 

Need tour validation? TPT does not endorse any players for using their

products, but that hasn't stopped many tour players including two top 10

players in the world from using TPT this season. Jason Day, won twice

on the PGA Tour this season, in San Diego (Torrey Pines) and Charlotte

(Quail Hollow) using TPT in his driver. Justin Rose also won earlier in the

campaign using TPT at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

 

Conclusion:

If you want the creme de la creme of golf shaft technology (have the

financial means), and the knowledge that with a proper fit by an authorized

TPT fitter you will have the best technology available for your game - then

TPT is worthy of your attention. When we compared for ourselves, we saw

first hand - the ultra-tight flex pattern of TPT vs other shafts on our CPM

machine, the claims of consistency are completely true. To see for yourself,

click on the link : https://youtu.be/JZuo8Y5eOCY


 

Available only at authorized club fitters around the world, check out TPT

for yourself. For more info on TPT: https://tptgolf.com/products/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
The Best Men's Golf Footwear - 2018 PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

June 21st signals the start of another summer and the solstice that brings

us the longest daylight of the year. All of this equates to extended time on

the links. Golf Footwear is a great place to start the journey, and after all

doesn't it all start from the ground up? If you're like me, starting the summer

season with new kicks is a must. If it has been awhile since you went shopping

for golf shoes, then be prepared to be amazed and perhaps overwhelmed by

all of the choices.

 

In 2018 golf specific footwear is better than ever and the latest innovation

and technology give you more options than you can imagine. Finding the

correct golf shoe is imperative but is a personal choice. Certainly, style is

a factor, but with so many specific shoe types available today (spikeless,

hybrid and premium tour) everything that you need to feel, play and look

your best is available - no need to compromise.

 

 

In this feature, we'll highlight what each shoe model specializes in and

which type of player and foot sizing it suits best. Just like golf gloves,

what's best for one, might not be a fit or feel for another. We rounded

up six of the top brands in the biz - Adidas, Footjoy, Puma, New Balance,

ECCO and Callaway for this review (for those wondering where is Nike in

this feature? It's a long story, but the short version is that since they have

removed themselves from the equipment side of the biz, they have also

removed themselves in large part from the golf media. Presently we're

working on re-connecting with a new PR contact at the "Swoosh" and will

have more to report in the coming weeks).

 

 

 

 

ADIDAS

Two of the latest offerings from Adidas - Tour 360 2.0 & Adipower S Boost 3

 

The Tour 360 2.0 is the flagship golf shoe from the brand known for its 3

stripes. Worn each week on tour by Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele,

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia - there is no mistaking the Tour 360's alpha

status on the roll call of premium tour shoes. For 2013 U.S Open Champion

and Olympic Gold Medal winner Justin Rose, the feel and performance of a

spikeless shoe is the choice. The Adipower S Boost3 is his go-to gameday

shoe.

 

 

 



ADIPOWER S BOOST3

Blending the style of their new knit upper with the comfort and energy

return of Adi's BOOST technology makes for an outstanding walking

shoe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rarely is a spikeless golf shoe ever able to compete on the same playing

field as their premium tour spiked brethren. Quite often, a spikeless golf

shoe meant a glorified sneaker with some nubbs on the sole. The Adipower

S BOOST3 breaks that barrier with the combination of energy returning

BOOST in the heel and Adi's BOUNCE foam in the forefoot for just the right

response for maximum power at impact. Puremotion outsole with Adiwear

traction provides stability and grip for even the fastest swings.

 

 

 



 

 

Climastorm's breathable water-repellant upper makes sure your feet stay

dry in even the harshest conditions. Our review pair came in Cloud White/

Silver Metallic/Light Onix. Also available in four other color combinations.

We first got a glimpse and became smitten by these during our with Adi's

Joel Monson at this year's PGA Show. Honestly, your biggest issue with

these might be the desire to wear them off the course as well. Guilty as

charged . . .



Recommended for: Those who prefer to walk the links and favor a

spikeless shoe. A medium fit but a roomy toe-box area for those who need

more volume in the fore-foot. Supreme cushy feel in every step thanks to

BOOST technology provided in the heel area. Many favor spikeless golf shoes

for their versatility, as an example I'm actually wearing these in the office

as I write this review.


 

 

 

 

 


TOUR 360 -2.0

The ultimate premium golf shoe of the 3 stripes is the Tour 360 2.0.

If a zero compromise tour shoe is what you're after, then this is Adi's

"Ferrari". Premium leather, BOOST and Climaproof make up this high-

performance beauty. Adi shoe creator Masun Denison introduced the

golf world to BOOST foam a few years back at the PGA Show knowing

it was a game changer, he was right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 10 cleat Puremotion outsole with CenTraxion for stability and grip

to the ground - for ball striking with maximum power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style wise, what's different from the previous model Tour 360? To the

casual shoe enthusiast, it might be tough to notice the very Subtle

differences (that were influenced by World No.1 Dustin Johnson). For

example, things like seams can tend to distract the games' best players

at address. The previous edition of the Tour 360 had vertical stitched

seams that extended from the lace area to the tip of the shoe and its

TPU outsole. Above, you can see the clean no seam appearance of the

2018 model. It's the little things, details, details. Available in nine

different color combinations and 2 new U.S Open editions (that also

includes the new Knit Tour360 features red/white/blue striping).

 

 

 


Recommended for: Those who demand superior support in the

arch, heel & forefoot as well as the maximum traction of any Adidas golf

shoe. BOOST keeps foot fatigue to a minimum and comfort to the max.

The Tour 360 comes in every size including widths, but the standard

sizes do tend to favor those with a narrow to medium width. With an

MSRP of $200 the Tour 360 2.0 is for those who take their golf footwear

seriously.

 

*I personally own several pairs of Tour 360's, perhaps there is no better

compliment to a brand than when a product tester goes out and shops

for more of the very item that they review.

 

Adidas Golf: https://www.adidas.com/us/golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUMA - IGNITE PWRADAPT (Leather)

Puma's IGNITE PWRADAPT. We've always been a big fan of the work by

Puma's shoe creator Grant Knudson, but these might be his best creation

yet. IGNITE foam creates the comfort while a premium full-grain leather

upper provides a sophisticated and refined look.

 

 

 

 

 

Gamed by Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau on the PGA Tour each

week is proper validation. IGNITE PWRADAPT Leather features incredible

comfort and sophisticated style. Leather model available in white (shown)

and black.

 

 

 

 


 

IGNITE insole and a mesh hybrid bootie lining provides a superb fit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-leather version available in White, Black, Gray and Blue.

 

 

 

 


 

PWRADAPT pods provide high level grabbing power with tornado cleats and

Grip Zone comfort in a 3-D system that moves with you in the swing.

 

 

Recommeded for: Those players that fancy a refined style and some

new outside the box technology. The PWRADAPT Leather tends to run a bit

towards a narrow width and about standard on length sizing. A more nimble

shoe than many other Tour Premium selections. Extremely versatile for both

walking or riding on the course. 2 year waterproof warranty MSRP: $150

 

*Our first test drive in these resulted in a 1 under par 71 up in Orlando

a few weeks back. The pivoting cleats are an excellent innovation, and

believe me - nobody in our 12 man group was wearing better lookin kicks

. . .

 

PUMA: https://www.cobragolf.com/pumagolf/men/shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOOTJOY - TOUR S

Footjoy's latest premium shoe for the dedicated linkster is their

TOUR-S, big on stability. Launch pods and 9 cleats on the outsole

plate are spread out wide on the outer perimeter for the heavy

lifting of powerful ball striking. The combination of Powerstrap,

SecureCollar and . . .

 

 

 

 

ComforTongue is integrated into the TOUR-S to deliver an exact fit.

 

 

 

 

 

When we visited with FootJoy at the PGA Show we had our first glimpse

of the TOUR-S. Available in White/Blue, Black and White/White - MSRP

$249. BOA model (shown far left and below) available in White/Gray.

 

 

 

 

 

A closer look at the TOUR-S BOA version MSRP $279.

 


Recommended for: The massive legion of FJ loyalists, will love

this latest innovation - a breath of fresh air not only in technology, but

also in style (The TOUR-S exudes performance). The industry leader's

latest premium offering is inspired by tour players. Big on comfort with

a stable platform, the TOUR-S like many Footjoy models - tends to run

a bit larger and roomier in size than some brands, our test sample was

no different. Regardless of foot size, TOUR-S is available in medium,

wide and extra wide.

 

Footjoy: http://www.footjoy.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALLAWAY - La Grange

Callaway's La Grange offering is a premium tour validated shoe worn

by Marc Leishman. A full-grain leather upper with Opti-dri waterproof

protection keeps you comfortable and dry. The POWERdrive platform

provides stability and FusionLite TPU outsole with nine Tornado spikes

give maximum grip.


 

 

 

TPU heel stabilizer provides additional support for the fastest swings.

 

 

 

 


 

 

La Grange is available in White/Lime, Brown, White and Black. 2 year

limited waterproof warranty. MSRP $199

 

 

Recommended for: Those who prefer a classic looking golf shoe

with big performance. It's a mature looking golf shoe that purists will

love. The cutouts in the outsole allow tons of natural motion and a softer

insole provides the perfect complement for those who may choose to walk

the links. La Grange sizing wears about half a size larger than most brands,

typical of most Callaway golf shoes.


 

 

 

 


Coronado

Callaway's Coronado specializes in comfort. Traditional with a dash of

sporty styling combined with an Opti-Dri microfiber upper make the

Coronado a popular choice for those seeking full performance in their

golf shoe but at a value pricepoint. Slim-Lok removable cleats and

Fusion-Lite outsole enhances power and stability.

 

 

Coronado carrys the large chevron emblem along the upper, leaving no

doubt this a Callaway product. A molded sockliner with Opti-vent provides

breath-ability and relief from excessive summer heat. Notice the Camo

colorway (far right), Callaway has partnered with the Fairways for Warriors

to support veterans and their families. 2 year limited waterproof warranty.

MSRP - $129

 

 

Recommended for: Those who want a golf shoe loaded with

performance and racy style that doesn't break the bank. Coronado is

another shoe that runs a bit large to size. An extremely comfortable

golf shoe that can handle any condition or terrain. As good a value as

any in this review.


Callaway Footwear: https://www.callawayapparel.com/golf-shoes/men/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECCO - BIOM Hybrid 3 GTX

ECCO's BIOM HYBRID 3 GTX is the latest spikeless golf shoe from the

company that created the category. GORE-TEX waterproof technology

is featured along with YAK leather uppers. BIOM Natural Motion brings

the player closer to the ground using an anatomical last.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ECCO's newest innovation in spikeless footwear is their TRI-FI GRIP

outsole with three different zones is built for stability, durability and

rotational support.

 

 

 

 

 

Conservative styling that is sure to appeal more to the over thirty crowd,

the BIOM HYBRID 3 is available in six different color combinations. Sizing

is spot on but does tend to favor a slightly wider foot profile (but take

note - ECCO uses Euro sizing). Best to get fit for the correct size at a

retailer.

 

 

 

 

Concrete/Scarlet colorway

 

 

 

 

For those who want a flashy look, ECCO offers two such options:

Black/Buffed Silver print upper (above) and White/Silver Metallic.

 

 


Recommended for: Those players who prefer a spikeless golf shoe

in an understated Euro-look. Of all the shoes in this review, these came

out of the box the most ready to go - zero break-in. Perhaps it's the YAK

upper, that makes for such a supple feel. Although the BIOM 3 is a perfect

casual walking shoe on or off the course, with an MSRP of $200 you might

not want to wear these to the mall or park wearing out the sole. One

criticism - the insole pad. ECCO would do better with some beefier insole

padding, you shouldn't have to have supplement a new shoe with padding.


 

*Full disclosure, I enjoy practicing in a spikeless shoe but often prefer to

play in a full featured spiked tour shoe for maximum support and traction.

After playing 18 in these, there were no compromises what so ever.

 

ECCO Golf: https://us.shop.ecco.com/golf-shoes

 








New Balance - Tour Minimus

The New Balance Minimus Tour is a different animal than every other

shoe in this feature and perhaps in the industry. Minimus Tour combines

the lightweight (11.7oz) and comfort of its spikeless brother (Minimus),

with the full performance of a tour offering - a true hybrid shoe. Champ

Slim-Lok Zarma Tour cleat system provides the grip.

 

 

 

 

 

New Balance sent us the Minimus Tour in this catchy Grey with Lime

Green combo. REVlite foam provides the same responsiveness of

previous New Balance foams, but this new innovation is an impressive

30% lighter than previous models with no loss of cushioning or stability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three colorways available for Minimus Tour - White, Grey/Lime and Black.

 

 

 

Recommended for: Any golfer who can appreciate a non-

traditional golf shoe that covers the essentials of golf footwear:

comfort, stability, and performance all in a lightweight sporty

offering that fits perfectly within the ethos of the New Balance

brand. Minimus Tour tends to run a bit on the small side, so make

sure you get the proper fit. Available in standard and wide width.

At $139, Minimus Tour is a great value.


*Our tester G.S has been mixing up gaming these in the N.Y area

and walking the U.S Open terrain out at Shinnecock Hills all week.

He reports a major thumbs up on all counts.

 

New Balance Golf: https://www.newbalance.com/men/shoes/golf-1/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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