Equipment & Product Reviews


Nike RZN Golf Balls, TW '14 Shoes PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno


Nike RZN Golf balls come in four different models - Black, Platinum, Red & White


Nike Golf continues their steady climb in the industry, and it's with their "outside the box" innovation that

we see these new products from the Swoosh. The new line of golf balls from Nike is the RZN - which

stands for its Resin core. When I met with Nike's Rock Ishi earlier this year, he was very excited about

the RZN Line and specifically it's core. The new core has a knobby like pattern texture - this pattern helps

the core to lock on to the inner layers . . . which produces a much more stable and longer golf ball.

 

The Black and Platinum models are the premium tour version, while the Red and White offer some help for

the mid and high handicap amateur.

 

RZN Black is a tour performance ball that combines an RZN core with an RZN mantle layer for lower spin off

the driver, but producing enough shortgame spin for the world's best players. Rory McIlroy plays RZN Black.

 

RZN Platinum while also a tour performance ball, it gives a softer compression and feel. The slightly softer

cover is Nike's ultimate ball for approach and greenside spin. For those who play the standard Titleist Pro

V1, the RZN Platinum is for you.

 

RZN Red is a ball for the player who seeks more carry distance. The lighter core and heavier outer layers

produce the highest MOI of any Nike golf ball. This ball would likely be the choice for many players who seek

more carry distance for those who have lost a few yards off the tee.

 

RZN White has all of the same high MOI properties of the Red, but without giving up too much feel around

the greens. The White boasts a softer core and cover for exceptional feel and playability.

 

Kudos to Rock Ishi, the new RZN line is another leap forward in Nike Golf's evolution.

 


 

NIKE TW '14 Golf Shoes

 

 

Nike debuted the TW '14 golf shoes at last years Players Championship, where Tiger

Woods went on to his 78th victory on the PGA Tour. Taken from the Nike Free platform,

the TW '14 is without a doubt one of most unique golf shoes on the market. Certainly

Tiger has had his share of lower leg injuries recently (knee, achilles and now he's

rehabbing from back surgery).


If you're looking for a featherweight golf shoe with no frills, this isn't your shoe. The TW

'14 is a shoe made for max support of your foot . . . and as a guy who suffers from being

dealt a bad hand genetically (long and narrow feet), I appreciate a shoe built to provide

complete comfort, excellent traction and stability.

 

 

 

Nike's Free Inspired outsole allows your foot complete freedom of movement and Champ

spikes provide the traction. Nike's Flywire Technology provides a snug fit. The styling has

been refined, sportier and more detailed trim are a nice upgrade from the previous model.

 

 

Whenever I want to walk 18, put in a heavy practice session, or the legs/feet are feeling a bit

rundown, I find myself lacing these up. For comfort, traction and complete freedom of movement,

the TW '14 is at the top of the list.

 

 

The new TW '14 Mesh is also now available.

 

 

 

To find out more on Nike Golf visit: http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Nicklaus Golf Balls PDF Print E-mail

 

 

 

Earlier this year Jack Nicklaus unveiled his new line of golf balls to the golfing public. The

3 ball system which consists of Black, Blue and White is designed to simplify the choice

for the many golfers who are seeking to find the ball that fits their game.

 

The White, is for the slower swing speed player who plays the forward tees on most courses.

The Blue Nicklaus ball is designed for that player who plays the middle or blue tees, but wants

those extra yards that he or she may have lost over time . . . typically swing speeds in the 80-

95 range (with the driver). The black is the premium ball, designed for the single digit player who

often plays the course from the tips (or black tees), made to spin around the greens and for the

player who not only can generate speeds over 100+, but who also can control their trajectories

and shot shape.

 

 

“We all know that the game of golf can be challenging enough, so we are trying to simplify the

decision-making process of selecting the right golf ball and at the same time provide consumers

the highest-quality golf balls and at a price that encourages charitable support,” Jack Nicklaus said.

“By buying these balls, players will get the added benefit of supporting these wonderful charities

that help children in need as well as the families that dearly love them.

 

 

 

Nicklaus added, “For more than three years, we have contemplated entering the golf ball business,

so over that time, I have been researching and testing golf balls. There are a lot of very good balls

on the market, but I was not able to find a ball that fully met my expectations and hopes—not just

for me or other professionals, but more important, for the everyday golfer. So I simply decided not

to enter the business until I found that ball. Well, I found that ball. Actually, I found three.

“These golf balls are designed for every level of play, from the everyday or recreational golfer—be it

men, women, children, or seniors—to the tour professional. No matter the age or ability, there is a

golf ball to fit your game. Our strategy is based on a simple principle: skill level is an extremely important

factor when selecting the right golf ball. From the tees you play, we know your swing speed; this is

paramount when choosing a golf ball. But no matter the percentage of players who know their swing

speed, 100 percent of them know the tees they play.”

 

Profits from Nicklaus golf ball sales go to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation. To learn more

visit: http://www.nicklaus.com/golfballs/

 

 

 

 

 


 
Logo Golf Chips PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

 

It's just an accessory, but one that is catching on with Linksters everywhere.

Simply a ball marker, but not any ball marker. Mike Blake had the brilliant idea

to put Las Vegas club logos on poker chips - soon after Bali Hai, Bear's Best

and Wolf Creek signed on to carry the product . . . the rest is history.

 

 

 

Blake's Logo Golf Chips are the original in a world of imitators. Found at many of

the world's finest courses and resorts - Logo Golf chips are light in weight and are

bright enough to be seen on any putting surface (coins can be tough to see

sometimes).

 

We're partial to the official LinksNation Logo Golf Chip

 

 

Even if you're a purist and insist on the traditional coin as your ball

marker, the logo chip is a great souvenir to take home from a memorable

golf course . . . certainly better and easier to display than a bunch of

logo balls. Mike's latest brainstorm puts a creative spin on the traditional

business card, a logo chip with your business logo and phone number -

hand them out to prospective clients on the course, he/she is sure to be

impressed.

 

To find out more about Logo Golf Chips: http://www.logogolfchips.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
TaylorMade SpeedBlade Irons PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

TaylorMade's new SpeedBlade is the latest in distance performance iron technology.


By now you've heard the hype, seen the commercials and probably even seen the sticks in

the local golf superstore . . . yes, TaylorMade is as good a P.R machine as there is in sports,

and because golf equipment is such an addictive obsession for so many of us, we can't get

enough of it. To make an analogy, they are the New York Yankees of the golf equipment biz.

You either love them or hate them for their accomplishments, but rarely is anyone ever

indifferent when TMAG is the subject matter. I often say "What can they possibly come up

with next ?" Then, next comes along, and the bar goes up another notch. Whether you're

a fan or not, to deny how good they are as a golf company is disingenuous . . . but I digress,

let's get back to our insatiable hunger for more distance.


 


 

TaylorMade's latest distance irons incorporate many small innovations, perhaps the most

obvious is the Speed Pocket, which is essentially a handlebar shaped slot in the sole (the

slot actually cuts through internally) which allows the club face to flex more at impact,

producing higher launch, faster ball speeds and more distance.

The Speed Pocket which is included in the 3 thru 7 iron only, has been lengthened and

widened since its inception in last years Rocketbladez irons. The slot is not included in the

8 iron thru wedges (where accuracy is the primary focus-not length). The bending notch

in the hosel is another great feature that makes it easier for clubfitters to adjust loft & lie

angles in each iron. Our test set came in 4-GW with TM stock 85 gram steel shafts in stiff

flex.

 

 

Looks:

The short irons (8-wedge)

have minimal offest (see

photo right) and a nice sleek

topline - nothing screaming

game improvement/distance

irons here.The mid/long

irons have progressively

more offset and a thicker

top-line to promote

confidence.


The dark smoke satin ion

plating reduces glare and

looks sharp at address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although Speedblades won't be mistaken for

forged blades, they also don't resemble the

bulky thick profiles of a typical distance iron,

their sleeker look at set up and address

separates them from most clubs in this

category.

 

Essential to the performance and visual appeal

of Speedblade irons is their progressive shaping

throughout the set. Notice (in the photo right)

the smooth transition of how each hosel flows

into the heel portion of each clubhead - not a

cookie cutter design here. TMAG designers have

created each individual iron as it's own form for

a specific function, the sole and topline in the

scoring irons are slimmer to promote more

versatility and control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance:

It didn't take long to figure out a few things about the SpeedBlade irons: Getting the ball

to fly high only requires that you put the club on the ball at impact, it's that easy. The

carry distances-especially with the long and mid-irons is crazy long. Is any of that caused

by "smoke n mirrors" technology (strong lofts, and longer than standard superlight shafts)?

Yes of course, but that's industry wide in the production of distance irons these days. The

ultra thin face, deep cavity and Speed Pocket (slot) all contribute to the massive distance

gains.


Truth be told, hitting short irons with 85 gram shafts definitely takes a little getting used to,

but after gearing back a bit . . . I was able to flight the scoring clubs down into the South

Florida winds. The long and mid irons just travel forever, a trait that requires no getting

used to, in fact the biggest challenge might be figuring out your new carry distances with

each iron . . . for example my carry with my 6 iron was 172 yds, SpeedBlade -184 yds.

If High straight bombs that land softly on the greens are what you're after, than the

SpeedBlade might be your new irons. Perhaps the best feature for amateurs, is the yardage

loss on your miss hits is so minimal you won't believe it, and as many of us get older that

might be the best distance gain of all.

 

Feel:

Although Speedblades are made from cast construction, they don't have the harsh feel of

many other distance irons. Impact is not the buttery feel of a forged blade, but it's a unique

trampoline like feel, somewhat similar to the sensation of compressing a ball on the sweetspot

of a hybrid or fairway metal . . . the sound is a crispy robust thwack.


 


Our testers raved about how easy the SpeedBlades are to launch, and of course we all love

being able to tell our buddies that we just flew the green from 194 downwind with a 6 iron

(I was the guilty party on that one). When you're testing product, it's always best to have

respected colleagues input, and every once in awhile you get a quotable gem that captures

the essence of what both the club manufacturer & player are hoping to achieve. Rich Smolen

(a competitive low digit player & LinksNation product tester) did exactly that, serving up this

"Golden Nugget" after his session testing the new irons: " I gotta tell ya, I've been struggling

with my game, hitting these SpeedBlades actually made golf fun for me again, I'm ordering a

set". He did just that, and in his first round with his new sticks . . . he played his best round

of 2014 (and may have peeled a few from his group in the process).

 

After all, isn't that feeling the reason we play the game?

 

 

 

For more info on SpeedBlades visit: http://taylormadegolf.com/taylormade-irons/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Nike Covert 2.0 Tour Driver PDF Print E-mail

 

 

 

By Jason Bruno

 

Back at the PGA Show

in late January, I sat

down with longtime

Nike Club designer -

now semi-retired

consultant Tom Stites.

I quickly realized that

Stites was more than

just enthusiastic

about Nike's new

Covert 2.0 Tour driver

. . . he was

downright giddy.

 

 

 

Fast forward to 4 weeks later. When the Nike box arrived at the office we were curious

to see if we'd concur with Stite's biased assessment of the new Swoosh big stick. First

thing we noticed was the great looking candy apple red crown (which returns from the

original Covert, no use messing with something that looks that good). The 2.0 Tour

we tested is geared towards the better player, the linkster who likes to work the ball

and has no trouble achieving the proper launch angle. The standard Covert 2.0 has a

slighty different color scheme (black fly brace in the cavity and gray sole/face) and

provides a higher launch & spin rate to help keep the ball in the shortgrass.

 


 

The new "Fly Brace" technology unifies the crown and the sole - creating a more rigid

clubhead - virtually eliminating distance robbing vibration from the clubhead. The brace

also allows for a forward CG position, thus reducing back spin. The slightly bigger

nexCOR clubface is more forgiving, and as Stites stated, "It's an evolutionary change

from where we were last year. Last year was breakthrough technology, this is more

an iterational growth on that technology."

 

 

 

The improvements were impossible to go unnoticed. The Covert 2.0 Tour not only

looks great and performs well, but has a nice solid metalwood sound and feel. Stites

noted McIlroy's fondness for the 2.0 as a big part in his recent confidence on the

tee box. At "The Oven" (Nike's Club testing R&D compound) in Texas, they refer

to Tiger as the "Last Adapter" because of his resistance to change equipment . . .

his quick switch to the Covert 2.0 Tour was another indicator that this new "Cherry

Bomber" has the right stuff.

 


 

The Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver 60 is the stock engine in the Covert 2.0 Tour. The

Silver features Titanium Nickel fiber in the tip for added stability and lower spin.

 

 

 

Nike's Flex Loft hosel sleeve allows independent loft/face angle adjustments.

Loft can vary from 8.5 -12.5 degrees, with 3 face angle positions, the Covert

2.0 is sure to fit any golfer, any swing. The 15% larger NexCOR face adds ball

speed and forgiveness from the original Covert Tour.


Summary:

 

It was easy to hit any type of shot required, but high launching bombs were the

standard with the Covert 2.0 Tour. It's a MAJOR upgrade from the original 2013

model. If you're searching for a new driver this spring, I would put the Covert 2.0

right up there near the top of the list . . . in fact, it's among our favorite ever

tested. The "Swoosh" has moved into elite company in the driver market now . . .

and that hasn't always been the case for Nike Golf.

 

 

 

For More info:http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
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