Equipment & Product Reviews


TaylorMade ('17) M1 Driver Review PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

In January of 2016, TaylorMade Golf introduced the M Family of metalwoods

incorporating the use of carbon fiber with titanium to form a potent multi-

material tee box launcher. This past December at Ibis Golf & Country Club

in West Palm Beach (just minutes from LinksNation HQ) and weeks later at

the PGA Merchandise Show in January, TaylorMade unveiled the 2nd generation

of M metalwoods. By now you've seen them on tour and maybe even in your

local retail shop, but what has changed since the original?

 

 

 

 

 

2017 / 2016

The new 2017 model on the left has a 6 layer carbon crown design

featuring a slimmed down and flared white front section (Original 2016

model is pictured on the right). Does the new one look better, go farther,

feel better? Some of those answers are subjective to the individual, but

one thing is for sure, the bar was raised awfully high with the original

'16 models, they are absolute monsters off the box.

 

 

Any time you're conducting a review of a product known for being the industry

leader for well over a decade, there's a certain buzz and excitement that follows

- and let's be honest, what golfer doesn't get excited over testing new drivers.

We headed to PGA Village (PGA of America's flagship property) in Port St.Lucie

and their state of the art Foresight Sports Performance center for testing, then

a round on the Wannamaker course.


 

 

 

TECH stuff

The success of M1/M2 in 2016 was huge, elevating the #1 Driver in Golf to

another stratosphere of big stick domination. So what could the R&D Team

at TMAG possibly do to further the success of the M Family? The new slogan

for 2017 - "Same Letter. Better Everything". That's great marketing, but will

the performance bear it out? One thing is fact, the adjustability quotient has

taken another leap forward. TM engineers saved 3 grams of weight by using

a lighter 9-1-1 titanium alloy core skeleton paired with a carbon toe panel

('17 M1 has 43% more carbon fiber than last years model) which allows

for a larger T track - providing even greater adjustability. (3 grams doesn't

seem like much to you and I, but in the engineering world it's gold. These

brainiacs fight for every milligram to improve their golf products).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new T-track (shown in neutral setting) allows for 64% more front to

back movement than the '16 M1. As far as method of adjustability, nothing

has changed - move the 12 gram weight back = higher launch/greater

forgiveness, move it forward = lower launch/less spin. Move the 15 gram

weight to the heel = more draw bias, towards the toe = more fade.

 

 

 

 

 


This view illustrates the refined sole design, as you can see the sole plate

lips over the weight on each track, this equals less debris caught in the

T-track and a sleeker sole. Streamlined from the original M1.

 

 

 

 


Gen One

The original M2 was our pick for the Best Driver of the Year in 2016,

and quite simply it produced performance #'s that no driver in our

stead ever has - EVER. In our opinion, it also produces the ideal sound

and feel at impact. So the new M models have a ton to live up to.

 

 

 


 

Powerplant

Stock shaft offerings for the 2017 M1/M2 : Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro

Kage TiNi (shown above), Project X HZRDUS and Fujikura XLR8 56.

Select shafts from Aldila, Fujikura, Matrix, UST, and Mitsubishi are

available at no up charge.

 

 

 


Appearance

Certainly appearance is subjective, some prefer last years traditional

red/black color scheme over this years lime/charcoal combination.

Personally, the color means less to me than the design aspects, and

the more I look at the new models (M2 also shown) it reminds me of

a high performance sports car - inspiring confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

M1 nameplate located on the rear section of the crown adds a nice touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foresight Performance Testing


Pictured above, a staff member at the PGA Learning Center works on

his game as we set up shop on the adjoining Foresight Simulator. We've

discussed innovation and appearance of M1, but we all know fancy claims

and good looks won't get you onto the shortgrass or produce distance

gains. It was time to get to work . . .

 

Needing a base of comparison the testing began with my gamer ('16

M2) that's equipped with an Aldila Rogue Silver 110msi stiff flex shaft.

Although my swing speed usually tops out around 107 mph for step on

it all out swings, my normal playing gear is right about 103 mph.

Consistency & accuracy were the objectives here, so after a dozen or

so swings reaching normal speed and distance #'s, we went straight

at it with the new M1.

 

*Just a bit of background on my game: I'm a scratch player who prefers

to work the ball, but have recently gone back to my natural right to left

"push draw" - which means I start my ball barely right of target and it

peels off just left of it's starting point. I never want to see a pull, not even

when I play a fade. My miss often stays straight or is a block right. When

the miss goes both ways it's a smoke & mirrors day for me at best. If the

adjustabilty of M1 can narrow in the miss and tighten dispersion all while

giving me the same carry and roll as the gamer then we'll give it a huge

thumbs up.

 

 

 


Within a half dozen swings after switching to M1, it was evident that

the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage wasn't the correct fit for my aggressive

transition. Spin rates, launch angle and dispersion were all over the

place. A quick swap into the Aldila Rogue, and instantly the #'s were

nearly identical with the M2 gamer. After some fine tuning, we got the

settings dialed in (I prefer a slightly open face and an upright lie angle)

and the data showed a very tight dispersion pattern. In order to keep

the testing non-bias for either model we alternated back and forth between

heads after every 5 swings (once finished and the data collected, we

eliminated the single best and worst extremes with each), and here were

the final results via Foresight.

 

('16) M2 Stats:

Swing                    102.4

Ball Speed                147

Smash                    1.45

Launch                    15.5

Azimuth                    0.4

Side Spin                 60 rpm R

Backspin               2245 rpm

Peak Height              37.8 yds

Descent angle           40.8 degrees

Carry                     256 yds

Total distance          286 yds

Offline                       9 yds R

 

 

('17) M1 Stats

Swing                   103 mph

Ball Speed             149.2 mph

Smash                     1.45

Launch                    13 degrees

Azimuth                   0.9

Side spin                  1 rpm L

Backspin              2371 rpm

Peak Height             32.9 yds

Descent Angle          38 degrees

Carry                    254 yds

Total distance         284 yds

Offline                      7 yds R

 


 

 

The Foresight results produced virtually identical performance stats (with

launch angle being the only real significant difference). What does this mean?

It means on paper the new M1 is on par with the absolute best driver that

we've ever tested. Driver performance on an an indoor launch monitor is

just one element of testing, these stats are just the beginning. The "reality"

test would be out on the course, and luckily we had an afternoon tee time

set up on the Fazio designed Wannamaker course next door at PGA Golf Club.



Feel/Sound


The original M metalwoods produce my personal favorite sound and feel of

any driver previously tested or gamed here at LinksNation (2014 SLDR 460

gets runner-up honors) and that's saying a bunch. The best way to describe

the sound is as a muted thwack with a springy feel off the sweetspot when it

compresses the ball at 100+ mph at impact. The new M1 feels really solid at

impact and has a slightly louder thwack, somewhere similar to the SLDR.




On Course Performance


It was finally time to put the new TM weaponry to the real exam and see if

it could be trusted under pressure in real conditions.


It was blowing 20 mph all day on the Wannamaker course with intermittent

precipitation, so this would be a stern test. Immediately the M1 impressed

in a large way, rippin slight draws through even the toughest left to right

crosswinds (typically the toughest wind for right handers). M1 showed it

could launch high if need be, but its natural tendency (under this operator's

guidance) was a medium trajectory flat bullet. So far so good . . .

 

Take a good look at the picture above, the 15th at Fazio's Wannamaker

is where it was put up or shut time for the industry leader's new crown

jewel. The tee box is actually 150 yds back and tucked to the right of

this view with the entire carry over water. At 271 yards to the front pin,

it would normally be nothing more than hybrid and wedge, but this was a

driver test not a stroke play event, so taking on "Fools Gold" was mandatory.

A flared crop duster to the right would certainly end up in the water hazard,

and at 255 yds to the front edge into the cross breeze it would take something

solid. I decided to take dead aim at the mound just left of the green figuring

a slight push would be online with the flag, a straight ball would possibly

bounce back towards the green, and a draw would end up pin high in the swale

leaving a tough but do-able up n down. The tee shot was struck solid and

flew right at the intended target, it had a slight draw of about 3 yds and carried

to the mound pin high and bounced down into the swale exactly the correct

distance. After a decent lob shot and two putt for par, the questions were

answered . . .


This was not the usual "get used to the driver somewhere on the front 9" type

of experience that often accompanies new driver on the course testing, it was

an instant love affair of long and precise tee shots all day long. Basically point

and shoot from the every tee box, golf journalists Len Ziehm and Dan Hauser

were first hand witnesses to the M1 highlights, "get your own", I said. The exam

was passed and with honors.




Summary


Certainly the Indian has something to do with how a test subject performs,

but after you've done enough of these reviews you know a blue ribbon

arrow when you see one. The '17 M1 is just that - worthy.


Is the Gen2 version an upgrade though? That depends on exactly where you

stand. If you're already gaming the original M1/M2 driver, than any type of

distance upgrade is likely to be minimal at best, but if you're in the market

and want the very latest top of the line technology, it's a no brainer - but

keep this in mind, the proper shaft and head model are absolutely critical

as we detailed during testing. GET PROPERLY FIT, it WILL change your game.


Value wise, there are good deals to be had on the original M drivers Dustin

won the U.S Open with, JDay ruled the world rankings with and Justin Rose

won the Gold Medal with - TM is the #1 driver brand in the game and for

good reason. As far as my gamer is concerned, the testing will continue

as we try to figure out exactly which one to go with, but as of this moment

there's a refined new "M" in the bag . . .

 

 

 

For more info on M1 and Taylormade products: http://taylormadegolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Exotics EX10 Fairway Metals PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno


The Tour Edge/Exotics brand has been long known for their superior fairway

metals, and with the launch of their EX10 model David Glod and the gang in

Batavia, Illinois didn't disappoint.

 

The latest deck blaster from Exotics features the next step in the evolution

of their slip stream sole. The EX10 version has channels and rails that are

shallower and more compact than previous models - designed to minimize

turf interaction.

 

 

 

 

This angled view shows off the new streamlined design for better aerodynamics.

Due to the new sole weight placement, EX10 has lower and deeper CG than its

predecessors. The 9 gram sole weight is housed in a 12 gram weight pad that

adds up to 21 grams of deep back weighting (6, 11 and 14 gram weights are also

available in a separate weight kit that allows you to adjust swingweight).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featuring a new Japanese high density steel cup face, the HT980 steel allows

the EX10 fairways to have a thinner face across from heel to toe for the highest

C.O.R possible. The EX10 Beta model features a tour preferred pear shape and

TSP 910 Beta Titanium cup face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our test model came in the stock Graphite Design Tour AD50 shaft, which

is a worthy powerplant producing high missile like tee shots and approaches.

Mitsubishi Bassara E series (42-49 grams) and Aldila Rogue M-AX (66-80

grams) are also available as a stock shaft in the EX10.

 

 

 


 

Performance: As usual, the EX10 performs like an Exotics fairway, crisp high

bombs jump off the face with the exact sound and feel every player would want.

No problem working shots in either direction or dialing in trajectory. We did find

the EX10 to be a bit more forgiving than we expected on mishits, while also being

about easy as can be to launch off the deck. Distance wise, the EX10 delivers

as good as any we've tested from a carry stand point. The 56 gram Tour AD provides

serious pop, but might be a bit light for my taste. Perhaps the Aldila Rogue may

be a better fit for my violent transition. Overall, the EX10 has a shot to become my

gamer once we can dial in the proper shaft.

 

Overall, the EX10 looks sharp, has great clean lines at adress and performs about

as well as any fairway club we've tested. The only "fly in the ointment" may be the

lack of available adjustability in the EX10. For many this isn't an issue, but the glue

in shaft is inconvenient at best (and no option to change loft or face angle) may deter

some from checking out the EX10. Of course, proper fitting for the most part makes

most of these issues a moot point. EX10 $249, EX10 Beta $299

 


EXOTICS EX10 FAIRWAY WOOD SPECIFICATIONS
MODEL
LOFT
FACE ANGLE
HEAD SIZE
LIE ANGLE
LENGTH
#3
13.0°
SQUARE
173cc
57°
43"
#3*
15.0°
SQUARE
173cc
57°
43"
#4
16.5°
SQUARE
165cc
58°
42.5"
#5
18.0°
SQUARE
158cc
58°
42"
#7
21.0°
SQUARE
150cc
59°
41.5"
Available in men's and women's right hand. *Indicates left hand available. Standard stock grip option is Lamkin Exotics UTx.
Information is provided from design specifications and may vary due to manufacturing tolerances.

 

 

For more info on Tour Edge/Exotics: http://touredge.com/products/ex10fairway.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Best New Products of the 64th PGA Merchandise Show PDF Print E-mail

 

 

By Jason Bruno

Orlando, Florida - The 64th PGA Show finished up just over a week ago, and

as usual we kicked off our show week with the innovative folks from Tour Edge

/Exotics at the spectacular Lake Nona Country Club. While other media sources

contemplate whether the show is on an up swing or is in decline, we celebrate

the gathering of golf industry professionals and media.

 

The products featured are those that impressed us the most. This year we covered

more companies than ever before, and bring you our most comprehensive coverage

ever.

 

 

 

This year's Tour Edge Media event was held at the magnificent Lake Nona

Country Club. There aren't many days when the golf writers all convene in

one place, especially in a setting such as this. Certainly was one of those

days that won't soon be forgotten. Although high winds made scoring tough,

Lake Nona shined.

 

 

 

 

The scene moved from Demo Day at OCN on Tuesday to the Orange

County Convention Center on Wednesday. 40,000 industry professionals

from 84 countries gathered to see the latest products from over 1,000

companies (including 271 new companies to the show).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clubs/Equipment

 

 

 

Tour Edge /Exotics

Exotics, well known for their exceptional metalwoods, introduced the

new EX10 line in Orlando. Featuring HT980 steel cup face technology

and its newly designed slip-stream sole rails (re-designed to be

shallower and more compact for smoother club/turf interaction).

Throw in the stock Graphite Design Tour AD shaft and you have a

winner. Big thumbs up here.

 

 

 

Exotics XJ1 is a lightweight high launching big distance metalwoods

line for the moderate to slower swing speed player looking to gain

some extra length off the tee. Featuring a carbon crown and 9-1-1

titanium chasis which allows the walls of the clubhead to be thinner

and more responsive to shots hit by players with less than tour player

swing speeds, the XJ1 offers a super-lightweight high performance

product and at a premium price tag - $699

 

http://touredge.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Callaway

Callaway seems to have the new club with the most buzz at the moment

- the EPIC driver. The booth display (shown above) was a celebration of

the brand's recent resurgence.

 

 

 

 

 

By now you've probably seen the chevron's new EPIC metalwoods line

featuring "Jailbreak" technology. In fact, Callaway Metalwoods Senior

Manager of R&D Evan Gibbs told us "The EPIC line was 3 years in the

works before being launched this year. Jailbreak technology consists

of two titanium rods that connect the crown to the sole, minimizing

the amount the clubhead body flexes at impact - this allows the face to

flex more freely. Jailbreak improves the efficiency of the energy transfer

between the clubhead and golf ball generating more ballspeed."

 

 

 

 

More on EPIC from Evan Gibbs:

"Both the standard Epic and Sub Zero versions are 460cc high MOI drivers,

but the standard model has an adjustable perimeter weight (17 grams)

allowing players to dial in their shot shape. The SubZero is the lower

spinning model that focuses on trajectory control. There are two inter-

changeable weights (12 grams/2 grams) on the sole that can be flipped

back and fourth and used in tandem to dial in launch and spin." $499

 

 

http://cmp.callawaygolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new Odyssey O Works putter was a big hit at the show. O Works

features a microhinge insert that creates friction at impact that lifts

and propels the ball forward reducing skid and creating a quicker

forward roll. $229

 

http://www.odysseygolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobra

The F7 and F7+

are Cobra's latest

innovation in drivers

and fairway metals.

According to Jose

Miraflor from

Cobra Golf: The F7

is the companies

largest driver

clubhead ever

created. F7 features

a moveable 12 gram

weight for

adjustable CG.

F7+ is a more

compact version for

those high skilled

players who prefer a

deeper face and like

to shape their shots.

F7 comes in gloss

finish, F7+ satin

finish.


 

 

 

A serious upgrade included in all Cobra drivers this year is their Connect

System (powered by Arccos). The Connect sensor allows you to track all

of your drives via the Arccos driver app. For the gearhead concerned about

how the Connect sensor affects swingweight - it adds an extra 1/4" to the

grip end, therefore nulifying any swingweight issues by the 4 gram Connect

sensor. The Connect sensor has a 10 year battery life in standby mode,

3 years in continuous sunlight. The moment the driver is pulled from

the bag during the daytime, it activates and knows it's go time. The app

includes 40k golf courses. No more guessing on how far you drive it,

instant feedback is here for good! At $349 for the F7 and $399 for F7+

Cobra may have the best new driver value on the market for 2017.

 

 

 

 

Bryson DeChambeau and I discussed his one length irons at Hilton Head

early last season and how Cobra R&D would have their hands full creating

his set. Well the Cobra one length F7 irons are now available. This is one

review were looking forward to in 2017. Stay tuned...

 

 

 

 

Cobra's new PUR wedges are made from supersoft 304 stainless, and

the kicker is, it's a polished satin wedge that doesn't rust. So no more

dirty orange towels after wiping off your tour wedge. All the "Trusty"

minus the "Rusty". $119

 

https://www.cobragolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

TaylorMade

The industry leader lit the show on fire with their Wednesday morning

announcement of the Tiger Woods signing to an equipment contract. We

were on hand as TMAG leader David Abeles grabbed the attention of

the entire golf media on hand in Orlando. Despite rumors of TaylorMade

being sold in recent months, the company seems to have regained industry

momentum after a huge 2016 campaign with the creation of the M Family

of metalwoods.


 

 

The 2nd edition of TaylorMade's M metalwoods were launched

in West Palm Beach back in early December, but for the rest of the

golf world, the PGA Show was the introduction. M1 is back with a

refined design and new trim colors. Red trim is out, and lime green

is in. More importantly, the M1 features a more aerodynamic T-

track and moveable weight that extends all the way to the back

end of the clubhead (for more forgiveness). The new model has

43% more carbon fiber (located on the toe side of the sole) allowing

for weight to be moved to the perimeter and thus creating an even

higher MOI than the 2016 model. $499

 

 

M2 has also been refined for 2017. The new M2 features advanced

geometry for added forgiveness and more distance. Also Geocoustic

technology for an enhanced sound and feel at impact. $399

 

 

 

 

A thin topline, TaylorMade 770 irons feature a narrow sole and minimal

offset that better players prefer. The face and hosel are forged from

1025 carbon steel. Weight saved by making the hosel shorter and the

face thinner was redistributed into a 70-gram tungsten bar in the back

of the long/mid irons (3 thru 7 iron) - $1200 (TaylorMade's 750 irons

offer similar styling but as a true forged blade with CNC milled face

and grooves - $1600).

 

 


 

 

TaylorMade's new Milled Grind wedges were created to provide precise

sole geometry, eschewing the old inconsistent process of hand grinding.

The new MG wedges have a deeper hosel bore, inserted is a soft red

polymer which is located in heel portion of each sole . The removed

hosel/heel weight has been relocated to a center clubhead location

to improve CG. $149

 

http://taylormadegolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titleist

Titleist had a very impressive booth this year. The new ProV1 balls

were introduced, Scotty Cameron launched three new putters and

the 917 line of metalwoods were on display.

 

 

 

 

From concept to showroom - Cameron Putters

 

 

 

 

Of the three new models, the one we fancied most was the Scotty Newport 3

 

http://www.titleist.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oban Shafts

Oban's new CT-115 shafts are a collaboration with Shimada Golf shafts.

Constant weight, taper tip 115 grams, easy build and precise fit -

12 shaft lengths produce 7 discernible flexes. Japanese steel featuring

seamless construction. Exacting tolerances, great feel, tight dispersion,

easy launch and lower spin. MSRP $75 per shaft.

 

http://www.obanshafts.com/


 

 

 

 

 

Golf Pride Align

 

 

Rarely is there anything in grip technology that makes a significant

difference, but Golf Pride's new ALIGN grip system is an absolute

game changer featuring a pronounced rib like reminder that sits

perfectly in the fingers and reminds the player exactly what the

proper grip and feel should be each and every time you hold a club.

Consistency is the function of ALIGN, and once I felt these in my hand,

I knew that my old Golf Pride MCC plus 4's will be replaced.

 

https://www.golfpride.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaftlign Putters

We reviewed Clay Judice's Shaftlign putter several weeks ago. At the

PGA Show it was finally introduced to the industry. Featuring a milled

clubhead and the contrasting Shaftlign perpendicular alignment system.

Great feel and easy as pie to line up correctly. $249  http://shaftlign.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Premium Golf Balls

 

 

 

Titleist ProV1 (X)

The new Pro V1 and Pro V1X have been re-engineered and now

require some knowledge to select the right ball for your game.

The new "V" is significantly longer and has a penetrating trajectory,

the new "X" feels softer and spins more around the greens. See

the chart below to decide which one is right for your game. $49

 

 

 

http://www.titleist.com/golf-balls/pro-v1-pro-v1x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Callaway Chrome Soft (X)

Callaway introduced their Chrome Soft X ball at the show. Jason

Finley from Callaway told us "the "X" was created for the higher

swing speed player who prefers a slightly firmer feel with a more

penetrating ball flight. Adam Hadwin and Phil Mickelson have

already put the Chrome Soft X into play on tour. $39.99

 

http://www.callawaygolf.com/golf-balls/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Srixon

Srixon introduced their new

golf ball lineup at the show.

The new Z-Star is a 3 piece

construction featuring

Energetic Gradient Core,

softer Spin Skin coating and

new 338 speed dimple

cover pattern for players

that demand tour spin for

exceptional control. $39.99

Z-Star XV features a new

Dual E.G.G Core along with

the new Spin Skin Coating

and the same 338 dimple

pattern for players who

demand tour performance

with an emphasis on

distance. $39.99

Q-Star features a 3 piece

low compression E.G.G

core, urethane cover with

Spin Skin designed for

slower swing speed

golfers - $29.99

http://www.srixon.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TaylorMade TP5 (x)

TaylorMade's new premium ball offering is the TP5 and TP5 (X).

A larger Tri-Fast core and Dual Spin cover has more spin off the

short irons but less with lower lofted long irons and metalwoods.

Low compression cores of 16 for TP5 & 25 for TP5X but with a

stiffer outer core and an even stiffer mantle layer. 322 dimpled

urethane cover on both models $45 per dozen. Available March 1st

 

http://taylormadegolf.com/TP5/DW-WZ887.html#start=2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golf EyeWear

 

 

 

Oakley

Oakley Prizm is a lens technology that fine tunes your vision for specific

activities and their surroundings. According to Oakley, Prizm Golf lenses

improve the contrast within the different shades of green in turf to aid

in green reading and target clarity.

 

 

 

Prizm EVzero

 

 

 

The clarity you experience wearing Prizm is a serious game changer,

especially when playing in direct sunlight when it's often toughest to

distinguish subtle shapes and turf breaks.

 

 

 

Prizm Crossrange

 

http://www.oakley.com/en/?nav=TN-Oakley

 

 


 

 

 

Under Armour Eyewear

UA frames are made from combination of titanium & Grilamid for

superior strength and flexibility. Armour sight lenses deliver 20%

more peripheral vision & are 10x stronger than ordinary poly-

carbonate lenses. Multiflection lens coating guards against scratches.

Adjustable nosepad and AUTOGRIP temples and flexibility create a

comfortable fit. All UA performance Eyewear provides 100% protection

from UVA, UVB & UVC rays.

 

https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/sunglasses/g/37a?s=BS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bolle Eyewear

The new Bolle Flyair golf shades (left) are rimless equipped with

modulator V3 lenses which are made with Trivex and are photochromic

(which darken on exposure to specific types of light of sufficient

intensity). Limited edition Folds of Honor - Ransom model with NXT

V3 lens also available (pictured right). We're looking forward to doing

some extensive testing with each of these models in the coming weeks.

 

http://www.bolle.com/golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Aids and Technology

 

 

Voice Caddie

The Voice Caddie SC 200 is a portable launch monitor that gives

real time data on Swing Speed, Ball Speed, and Smash Factor

using a built in Barometric Pressure sensor featuring Target,

Practice and Approach modes as well as voice distance output,

and carry distance. In this day an age how can any serious golfer

go without one of these. Ideal for not only testing swing performance,

but getting instant data while testing equipment can really help with

club fitting. Includes remote and 4 AAA batteries.  $349

 

http://voicecaddie.com/en-us/34/SC200-Swing-Caddie

 

 

 

 

 

 

FX-Sport

FX-Sport introduces their VC Golf headphones. A built in coaching

system within a wireless headset that gives you psychological,

mental and physical training as well as golf practice drills to

sharpen your game.

 

 

 

According to FX-Sport owner Duncan Walsh the VC headphones have

8GB capacity and MP3 player built in, as well as the personal trainer

and coaching function that's fully programmable. Coaching from some

of the industry's best mentors including Karen Palacios Jansen, Dr.

Morris Pickens, David MacKenzie and Dr.Mark Smith can only help

you improve your focus and physical strength. Fully sweat proof

and rain proof so you can practice or train with little worry or distraction.

$199 - Check out Fx-Sport's VC Golf headphones demo video here:

 

http://www.fx-sport.co.uk/videos/vc-golf-video.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

PowerPlane

PowerPlane was created by PGA Pro Jim Tierney, and technology

entrepreneur Rich Kosowsky. This new training device is quite simply

one the best we've ever encountered in all our years attending the

PGA Merchandise Show, and it's a simple way to teach the player to

keep their head centered during the swing using technology thru high

precision ultra-sonics to help players correct common swing flaws.

The device positions a zone with 2 invisible vertical planes around

a golfers head. If their head moves out of the zone anytime during

their swing until impact, Powerplane alerts the golfer with an instant

beep. Within a few swings behavior patterns begin to change, resulting

in much better impact, increased distance and better accuracy. Included

is (1) PowerPlane & (1) sonic sensor. $189

 

https://powerplanegolf.net/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hole More Putts

The Trackman for putting is here and it's called Hole More Putts.

The Hole More Putts tablet measures the 5 different factors of

impact and records the data of each putt. After 5 putts the tablet

calculates the players Putting index - a weighted average reflecting

the relative importance of each impact factor. The website and App

will highlight all of the stroke elements that show an opportunity for

improvement. Hole More Putts software then identifies the factors

where the biggest and quickest improvements can be made. $459

 

https://holemoreputts.com/hole-more-putts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blast Motion

New for Blast in '17 is a partnership with the Golf Channel Academy

and Proponent Group to develop the GCA Game Tracker mobile App

and web portal, powered by Blast Connect. Game Tracker’s highly

integrated player development framework gives athletes direct access

to their activity timeline, skills tracker, video library, competitions,

leaderboard, Golf Channel newsfeed, and more, while providing coaches

with a centralized management, skills assessment, and communications

interface for all their students. $349

 

 

https://blastmotion.com/products/golf/

 

 

 

 

 

 

DuoTrac - Gen i1

DuoTrac introduced the world's first golf ball with true intelligence -

the Gen i1 golf ball has built in technology that provides instant data.

 

 

 

 

 

Connect Gen i1 to the App to

see a complete snapshot of

your putting data. Club path

on the back and through swing,

face angle at impact and ball

rotation angle.

Gen i1 comes in a 2 ball pack

with charging base and cables.

Soon you'll be able to download

the App for free in Google play

and the App Store. $139

 

https://www.duotrac.com/


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SkyGolf

 

SkyCaddie LINX GT

GAME TRACKING

EDITION -

 

Golf's 1st rangefinder

and shot tracking

watch with

synchronized

mobile App Includes

the Sky- Caddie

LINX GT watch,

SkyCaddie Mobile

Premium app, and

club tags.  Built-in

Bluetooth Smart

at all times.

 

$349.95

 

https://shop.skygolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MySwing

 

 

MySwing Pro is the affordable, state-of-the-art, 3D system to analyze

and store full-body motion capture. According to MySwing President

Peter Gauthier the technology used here with MySwing has revolutionized

animation in the motion picture industry. Golf teaching professionals use

it for precise screens, improved teaching, and as a revenue-producing

tool. The MySwing Pro package comes complete with sensors, software,

carrying/charging case, and training.

 

 

"If your not using the MySwing system to analyze your students,

you're way behind the curve. It's without a doubt the finest system

on the market." - Mike Adams 2016 PGA Teacher of the Year.

 

https://www.myswing.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparel & Footwear

 

 

 

 

Galvin Green

 

Long known for the highest standards in outer wear for all types of

weather, Galvin Green is a family company based in Sweden that

recently was the outerwear supplier of Team Europe for the Ryder

Cup in 2016 and will also provide the goods in France for the Euro's

in 2018. If you know anything about what it takes to hold the honor

for the boys in Blue & Gold, it's about as big an honor as a supplier

can have in the industry. I won't bore you with fabric details, just

know that no detail is missed here, especially with their layering

garments. From a blustery and chilly day on the links, to a "cats n

dogs" deluge in Scotland, Galvin Green gets you there dry and in

style . . .

 

http://www.galvingreen.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Norman Collection

Greg Norman Collection seems to cover all bases when it comes to

what golfers are looking for (above). We're looking forward in 2017

to reviewing their sporty casual new Attack Life line.


 

 

It's not always golf with the

Shark, his brand and style

extend to cultures far

beyond the fairways. This

jacket from Greg Norman

totally had me at hello.

This piece alone almost

made me wish I didn't live

in the warm climate of

West Palm Beach . . .

almost. I might have to get

it for the 10 days a year

that it drops below 50

degrees here. $150

 


 

https://gregnormancollection.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chase 54

Chase 54 had a great showing in Orlando, this paisley styled baroque

polo caught  our eye with its subtle and refined style . During our visit

with Kara Hooper from C54 we learned about colorful and descriptive

phrases designers use for their creations like "fractal" and "gloaming".

 

 

 

Chase 54's womens collection is extensive and can be seen out

on the LPGA being worn with great style by Brooke Pancake.

 

https://chase54.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oxford

Oxford introduced a re-birth of the brand at the 64th PGA Show, and from the looks of

their new line it should be a big year.

 

 


Inspired by the exceptional players in sport and business, Oxford is

represented by the horseshoe logo and it's "Make Today Lucky" tagline.

Truly an eclectic mix of sporty golf wear and contemporary casual

dress, no matter where your style choices may lie, Oxford is worthy.

 

http://www.oxfordgolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antigua

Antigua goes right after the avid golfer, the Peoria, Arizona company

has an impressive sports heritage and that's where they excel and at

an incredible price point. The new '17 line offers country club quality

and style like this Pinehurst polo and at a price point that is accessible

for all.

 

https://antigua.com/


 

 

 

 

 

Carnoustie - William Blake

The classy and talented Marshall Mancillas is the man behind the style

of Carnoustie Sportswear and Golf Apparel. In 2017, he created the new

William Blake line for the slightly younger links enthusiast, but also for

those who are forever young and really enjoy the stylings of the iconic

Carnoustie brand. The subtle shapes and hues of purple give the William

Blake line an energy and it's own signature that blends in perfect harmony

with the Carnoustie name.

 

http://www.carnoustiesportswearonline.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bermuda Sands

Bermuda Sands was on point with their display at the show. The

ladies line provided styles for virtually any taste and layers for

every type of weather condition.

 

 

 

 

Thermal Wear and XP polos for men are the perfect layering for

those chilly rounds of golf. The Score XP polo is the company's

G2 Tech performance golf shirt (92%poly/8% spandex fabric)

featuring their stay flat knit collar.

 

https://www.bermudasandsapparel.com/

 

 

 

 

Adidas

The Adidas FrostGuard Collection is outerwear that's engineered to

keep you warm without adding bulk and weight. PrimaLoft insulation

and their own Climaheat technology were used to create warmth

around the body that also breath.

 

http://adidasgolf.com/adidasGolf-men-outerwear/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonobos Golf

A bit of a re-branding with what was once known as Maide Golf by

Bonobos, has now been streamlined to simply - Bonobos Golf. The

same great threads like the Highland and Highland light pants and

shorts. The new line looks clean, and we'll be sure to have much

more from them in 2017.

 

https://bonobos.com/shop/golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

UFM

I know what you're thinking, why is there underwear here in the PGA Show

feature?! I get it, but I urge any man that's reading this to go to UFM and

check out there website. I was skeptical as well, but I'm going to say that

since I've been wearing them, I'm ready to toss all of my current boxer briefs

and stock up on these. Simply, UFM puts everything where it's supposed to

be and whether you're working or playing golf that can't be a bad thing.

 

  • Moisture Wicking Fabric
  • Support For Your Manhood
  • Isolation from Your Thighs
  • Elimination of Chafing
  • Tapered Leg Design That Stays in Place With Movement
  • No Squishing or Suffocating Your Manhood
  • Improved Profile View

 

 

https://www.ufmunderwear.com/

 

 

 

 

Puma

Ignite Disc is the next stage of perfect fit in golf footwear, it's been

around for a few years with many of the top brands but leave it to

Grant Knudson (Puma's shoe creator) to give it his spin. Puma's

version is located on the outer side where you can easily see what

you're doing (as opposed to other brands that call this device - BOA

and locate the dial on the back of the shoe behind the heel. $120

 

 

 

 

 

Knudson never stops creating new styles and developing comfort

technologies. All of these styles now come in disc version as well.

 

http://www.cobragolf.com/pumagolf/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecco Golf

The new ECCO COOL golf shoe features GORE-TEX® SURROUND™

technology, it's an air channeling system within the sole structure,

that allows 360° breathability and channels out unwanted moisture

created by your feet each day while walking and playing golf. $280

(top: photo credit from Ecco Golf)

 

 

 


I snapped this as we gave the new Ecco Cool shoes the plunge in the

water test. The shoe has a HYDROMAX® treated leather and sock

liner to increase comfort and give a seamless feel. A polyurethane

midsole provides cushioning, and ECCO COOL comes with a removable

inlay sole that offers extra width in the toe box area for those who

require it.

 

http://global.ecco.com/en/sport/golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under Armour

 

The Spieth One is the latest

golf shoe from Under Armour

created for two time major

champion Jordan Spieth.

Sporty in appearance, the

Spieth One is available on

March 1st. featuring a single

seam micro-fiber upper, the

outsole was designed for a

firmer heel for support and

a softer forefoot for flexibility

and comfort while walking the

fairways. Spieth One also

features Rotational Resistance

traction which prevents foot

rotation from load to impact

$200

 

https://www.underarmour.com/en-us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Balance

New Balance Golf 3001 features a waterproof microfiber upper and

REVlite midsole for comfort and responsiveness, traction comes

from Champ Spikes SlimLok Zarma Tour cleats. The 574 LX spikeless

was inspired by the popular 574 NB sneaker, full grain leather upper

featuring semi-translucent NDurance outsole provides the traction.

REVlite midsole provides the comfort. Both models retail $189

 

http://www.newbalance.com/men/shoes/golf-1/


 

 

 

 

 

Accessories

 

 

Dormie Workshop

The Bishop Brothers from Nova Scotia are a great group of guys

that founded Dormie Workshop and create the impressive premium

leather headcovers and accessories. From aiming sticks covers, putter

covers, hybrids, fwys and drivers covers the possibilities are endless.

 

 

Creativity and style have no limits at the Dormie Workshop. If you

have a design or an idea for something unique, they can create it

for you, custom works are they're specialty. Order your very own

Dormie Workshop headcover today.

 

http://www.dormieworkshop.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Zero Friction

Zero Friction's John Iacono may have created the absolute best new

tech product at this year's show. Not a fan of wearing a GPS watch

while playing golf, John sought out to create a GPS device that would

be a part of his already successful one size fits all compression glove

line and the Tour Quality Cabretta Leather Motion-Fit glove line as well.

Iacono had the device built so his glove line didn't even need modifying.

Using the already existing elastic sleeve that was previously a tee

holder and also the magnetic ball marker tab, he was able to create the

first GPS glove system in golf - DistancePro. Loaded with nearly 40k golf

courses, the DistancePro pairs up to your smart phone thru the Zero

Friction App providing real time course info while on the links. Genius!

each box contains 2 gloves and a DistancePro GPS - $139 Compression,

$159 for Motion Fit model.

 

http://www.zerofriction.com/


 

 

 

 

 

The Frogger Catch Latch is an really useful magnetic fastening system

to help manage your golf accessories. Cell phone, GPS, keys etc. are all

secure with Frogger's new Catch Latch system.

 

 


  • Catch Latch Bag C-Clamp securely attaches to the top of your golf bag
  • Catch Latch Belt Clip slides easily over your belt
  • Attach your favorite accessories via the dongle ring
  • Magnets in dongle and receiver attract and self-align to connect
  • Dongle pulls straight out to easily disconnect from receiver
  • Receiver has a dynamic internal lock to secure product while in motion
  • Receiver rotates to a fully locked position when orange indicator visible
  • $12.95

  • https://www.froggergolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

BigMax

Blade Quattro is the latest from BigMax, makers of quality golf trolley pull

carts. The Quattro has all of the convenience of a compact fold up cart,

but with the added stability of four wheels for hilly terrain or windy days

where a three wheeled cart may fall over. Having one of these would

influence even the everyday golf cart user to get healthy and walk the

fairways. Blade Quattro will be available in spring of 2017.

 

https://us.bigmaxgolf.com/

 

 

 

We're already looking forward to the 2018 PGA Show, but for now we'll

be busy testing and reviewing these and many other fine golf products

as they launch throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Greg Norman Collection (2017) PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

Although you may not ever become the Champion Golfer of the Year and

hoist the Claret Jug, you can look as sharp as the Shark while walking the

fairways and out on the town. From dress to golf performance wear, Greg

Norman has an outstanding assortment of fabrics and styles to have you

looking and feeling your best all day long. Performance Stretch, ML75,

Weather Knit and Solar XP are the latest threads in the '17 Greg Norman

Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

1/4 zip Heathered Mock is the perfect long sleeve pullover for those

cool mornings and late afternoons on the links. The 88% poly/12%

spandex blend is a comfort stretch garment that features UPF 50 sun

protection. (Grey Heather shown above).

 

 

 

 

 

The ML75 multi-stripe polo is the perfect companion layer to the 1/4 zip mock.

 

 

 

 

 

The ML 75 multi-stripe polo features a superfine microfiber yarn in a

classic design. Preferred by tour players, these are premium threads

of the highest order. In zoom mode you get a view of the timeless

style of Greg Norman's tailored collar. (color shown: Black/Light Orchid)

 

 

 

 

 

Another ML75 polo

is the Tonal Stripe,

constructed of 100%

microfiber poly

fabric featuring

UPF 50+ sun

protection.


Available in 12

colorways (including

British Red shown

right)

 


 

 

 

Made from 100% microfiber polyester, the Solar XP Weather Knit long sleeve

performance polo offers super sun protection (featuring chemical free 50+

UV coverage) and Play Dry technology (Aquamarine shown above).

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Shark logo adds a classy touch on the back yoke.

 

 

 

 

 

The Shark's Weather Knit polo is an ultra light aerated micro grid fabric

designed to keep you cooler on those humid days. UPF 40+ sun protection

comes standard (Calypso Coral shown above)


 

 

 

 

GN's versatile long sleeve button down is a high performance stretch and

easy care casual dress shirt that is ready for any event. This is bar none

the most comfortable button down we've ever worn (British Red shown

above).


 

Summary

 

The latest from Greg Norman has you decked out in style with fabrics

that handle and impress for every activity, and all at a very reasonable

price point (all garments featured here in this review have an MSRP

between $60-$80). Offering free shipping on all orders over $100,

get your Greg Norman style at: https://gregnormancollection.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Shaftlign Putters PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

 

 

Shaftlign Putters, created by Lafayette, Louisiana's own Clay Judice

- golf equipment innovator and admittedly a long suffering golfer

with the Yips. When the USGA's Anchoring Ban was announced it

sacked not only his putting method, but his business as well. Judice

was the inventor of a very successful product a few years ago called

"Belly Putt". The device came as a kit that allowed you to convert

your standard length putter either temporarily or permanently to a

longer length belly putter for a very modest cost. Now, with the

anchoring method being exiled to Azkaban, "Belly Putt" is no more.

However, as any addicted golfer will attest to, the game goes on

and Clay was left searching for a way to save his own golf game.

 

Judice found that alignment especially on the shorter putts may

have been the culprit for his demise on the greens. So he started

by laying a thin pin stripe (like those found on automobiles) down

the shaft and he began using the shaft line as a reference when he

addressed shorter putts. Seeing some immediate success, the idea

progressed into a cutoff piece of shaft that he mounted directly

above the putterhead topline. He painted both the shaft and the

affixed attachment white to create a perpendicular line. At that

point Judice knew he was on to something. Although that particular

version was deemed non-conforming, Clay worked with the design

until it evolved into the model you see here in this review - the CJ1.


 

 

 

Appearance/Objective

 

It's not conventional, but it's really an eye opener when you

see how easy it is to line up square to your target.

 

 

After receiving the Shaftlign we began testing and noticed the

reaction of golfers that see the putter for the first time: "What is

that putter?" Also, "Hmm, that's interesting" are the some of the

typical comments heard. Although unorthodox, It's objective

exceeds the need for putter vanity. Looking down at address you

realize that the singular white perpendicular line is so simple,

that you can't help but think "Wow, why didn't I think of something

so simple as that.

 

Not to be forgotten, and always to be admired for his innovation,

it was Karsten Solheim who first brought out the Ping Anser putter

50 years ago. At the time, he was laughed at by many of the best

players in the game. Today that design is THE Standard of which

every manufacturer copies. I'm not saying the Shaftlign will take

on the same significance as the Anser, but let's just say it gives

us reason to believe that great new ideas in putter design can still

be achieved. As Judice said to me, "Everyone thinks the inventor

is a kook, until his idea takes off."

 

 

 

 

Testing

 

The reason there is not a standard center aiming line on the flange

is that Judice found that using a horizontal line to aim at your target

causes issues. Standing to the side of the ball often confuses the

eyes because of the skewed perspective. I somewhat agreed with

him on this point (but have been a captive of the horizontal line

method for years, so I was still holding out a bit of skeptism on his

theory). Recently I tried an experiment while playing with a friend

in the industry who specializes in marketing innovative golf products.

I played the front nine using a conventional Anser style blade with

the line on the ball as well as the center aiming line of the putter as

I always have. On the front nine my speed was spot on, but missed

almost every 4 to 6 foot putt I had. I was struggling to get set up

comfortably over the ball, which I know means I wasn't sure if I

was aligned correctly. Sounds odd to admit that your struggling with

alignment from inside 6 feet, but painfully, it is what it is.

This indecision created a lack of confidence, so at the turn, I went

to the trunk and grabbed the Shaftlign. It wasn't a make or miss

test, it was about seeing if using a bold perpendicular line would

help regain some confidence standing over the ball. Just simply

knowing that you're aimed where you intend to. My buddy Rick

immediately commented on the tenth green, "whoa, you made a

putter switch, what's that?" After I drained a curling 10 footer on

the eleventh, he said "Let me see that thing!". He commented how

solid it felt but that it was odd in appearance. No argument here,

but concentrating on the solid white verticle line freed me up. I

did lip out a few 12 to 15 footers but made a ton including every

putt inside 8 feet to shoot a back nine 32, and my first sub-70

round in quite sometime. I was convinced, it's one thing to see

the line and roll it good on the practice green, and entirely another

to feel comfortable with game time pressure on the line. I'd be

remiss if I didn't mention how pure the feel of the strike is, every

tester commented just how sweet and solid impact feels and how

smooth the ball rolls off the Shaftlign CJ1.

 

 

 

 

Specs/Price

 

The Shaftlign has a CNC milled 304 stainless head that weighs a

hefty 356 grams. The CJ1 comes standard with 70 degree lie angle,

and 2.5 degrees of loft. Available in right or left hand in lengths of

33" to 35". Currently there are two versions of the CJ1 available:

100% milled model that's featured here is $249, and a cast model

which is face milled but has the same specs is $199.

 

 

 

 

 

The stock grip on the Shaftlign wasn't our favorite, like most

golfers, we replaced it with one of our own preference - Clay

does offer a midsize model from PURE Grips that would be

much preferred.

 

 

 

 

 

Judice refers to the his CJ1 creation as an inline style (not a

centershaft design), sort of a hybrid between the classic Bullseye

and the SeeMore putter made popular by Payne Stewart and Zach

Johnson.

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Overall the Shaftlign more than exceeded any expectations, the

perpendicular (or vertical) line method is something that every

golfer should try out, it makes too much sense. If the appearance

isn't as conventional as you prefer, Clay expects to have a few

new models coming out in the near future and has a few famous

major winners now on the Champions Tour currently testing

Shaftlign models.

 

 

For more information on Shaftlign: http://shaftlign.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
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