Equipment & Product Reviews


Air Force One - Air Foil Fairway Woods PDF Print E-mail

 

 

By Jason Bruno

 

Earlier this year we reviewed the Air Force One DFX Tour Black Driver and came away with

a very favorable impression on both performance and feel. This time around we're testing

the company's new Air Foil Fairway (3 wood).

AFO's dual slot design is the latest performance feature geared towards extreme distance in

a fairway club. The first thing you'll notice is the dual slots on the crown, kind of reminds us

of a really fast exotic sports car.

 

 

I've stated in nearly every 3 wood review - finding one that works both from the tee and

off the deck is quite often the toughest club to find. If you check inside a tour players bag

(and I often do when I'm on the range covering tour events), you are likely to see more

than a few players with a fairway wood that is sometimes 5 or 10 years old. They simply

won't part with an old faithful that works (Henrik Stenson is a prime example - he still

plays an ancient Callaway Diablo Octane model)

 

 

 

 

Dual slots on the top, and on the

sole as well. This stick is built with

two goals in mind: ball speed and

launch.

 

AFO has created a niche in the

market by offering quality golf

clubs at a value to their customers

that few others can make claim to

(Tour Edge would be the other

company that fits that mold). One

way they do this is with a smaller

marketing budget, no sponsored

tour players and excluding the

adjustability features like movable

weights and loft sleeves.

 

 

 

 

 

AFO's Nitrogen Charged technology comes standard on all of their metalwoods.

 

 


 

 

High marks here for overall appearance, the all black look is spot on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At address it sets up really nice and square, there's not much worse than looking down at

a shot from off the deck and the fairway wood has a shut face angle - especially when

you don't have the option to adjust loft, lie or face angle. No worries here, the AFO looks

and plays the part to perfection.

 

 

The Air Foil fairway comes in 43" 15 degree 3 wood & 42.5" 19 degree 5 wood. We tested

the 3 wood both inside on the launch monitor and in the field of play. The numbers across

the board were comparable when we tested vs the industry leading TaylorMade M1 fairway

(set up at 15.5 degrees). Testing each with stock Fujikura shafts, the swing speed (99 mph),

ball speed (143 mph), launch angle (14.2 degrees), and carry (233.1 yds) were nearly

identical. When I installed my aftermarket Diamana D+ Whiteboard in the M1 the numbers

improved: SS - 100 mph, Ball Speed - 146, L.A - 13.8, carry 238.6 (but the M1 with the

upgraded Diamana shaft has a price tag of more than double the cost of the Air Foil).

 

On the course (where a certain lie in the turf can determine outcome) we concentrated on

hitting off the deck. The AFO was atleast as good as the M1 in every phase from the terra

firma. The stock fuji shaft with it's lower kick point made it easy to launch high bombs into

the par 5's. The shallow head design inspired more confidence with every shot struck.

 

 

Air Foil Fairway features:


17-4 Stainless Steel

• Aerodynamic Head Shape

• Nitrogen Powered

• FFT Face Flex Technology

• Nitogen Pressurized Club Heads

• Fujikura Graphite Shaft

• Protective Head Cover

 

 

Air Foil fairway wood retails for $149, or about half the cost of the industry leading models.

Our test model came with the stock Fujikura shaft, but if you want to upgrade to the Fuji

Speeder Pro 63 or Graphite Design G Series it's a $50 upcharge.

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

If performance and value are your thing, then Air Force One's new offering is worth a

serious look. The non-adjustable set up of the Air Foil will irk some for sure, but if

you're not hung up on the lack there of, and the stock shaft fits your game (our guess

is that will be 75% of all golfers), then the AFO Air Foil fairway might be exactly

what you've been searching for.

 

For more info: http://afogolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Swingclick Golf Transition Trainer PDF Print E-mail

 

By: Jason Bruno

 

The Swingclick golf transition trainer is unlike any

other golf training device that we have ever

tested.

Practicing rhythm, tempo and a smoother

transition in your golf swing has always been a

bit of an elusive task - until now. This small

device that straps onto the lead forearm is

equipped with a rod and sliding weight that clicks

when the forearm reaches the correct position at

the top of the backswing then again at impact and

finally at the follow through.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Swingclick Plus is small enough to fit in any golf bag easily or even into your back pocket.

 

 

 

 

The instructions for how to use the device is illustrated above (from the original Swingclick).

Easy enough but perhaps the biggest challenge for those with medium to fast transitions is

to finish the shoulder turn and have the patience for a fraction of a second to hear the click

before firing all that you've got towards the golf ball.

 

At first, while testing I felt like Hideki Matsuyama or Bob Murphy on valium. Which told

me immediately that I had work to do. I simply couldn't wait that 1/3 of a second to start

the club down. After a few dozen sessions using the Swingclick Plus I have a keen awareness

now of my own proper rhythm - especially in the transition. One of the residual benefits has

been a better ability to shape shots - likely because there is a sharper feel for where the

clubface is at all times relative to my body at the top and on the downswing.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the really cool features of the Swingclick

Plus is the ability to dial the device to any

variable angle to account for different types

of swings. Since the Swingclick primarily works

on the principle of gravity it must always be in a

verticle position relative to wherever the

backswing stops. For example, a wedge shot or

more specifically a 50 yard pitch is a much

shorter backswing position, so the device needs

to start on a slightly different angle (more

horizontal) to account for where the club will

finish at the top in a much shorter backswing.

 

- See the photo right


 


 

 

 

 

The Swingclick Plus includes the same simple steps to better rhythm and tempo on the

back of the package.

 

 

Players like Ernie Els, Hideki Matsuyama and my pal Dirck Storm who have buttery transitions

and syrupy tempo probably will never need such a device, but for the rest of us - thankfully

there is Swingclick.

 

Videos on the Swingclick Plus: http://swingclickgolf.com/swingclick-videos.html

Swingclick Plus retails for $39.95 - For more info: http://swingclickgolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Vice Golf PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

The Vice Golf company concept is a brilliant one - sell the highest quality golf

balls & accessories online and ship straight from the manufacturer to the consumer

for about half the cost of the industry standard. They started out selling to the

German market and then throughout Europe before heading into the U.S market

in 2015. We first met up with Ingo Duellmann and Rainer Stoeki (who founded

the company in Germany in 2012) at the Tour Edge PGA Media outing in 2015 at

Orlando. I was intrigued for sure.

 

 

Performance choices, styles and colors are all part of the Vice line. Pro+, Pro, Tour,

and Drive are their four different models. Pro & Pro+ are their top of line urethane

cover premium ball (other than stock white, it also comes in Neon and Flamingo

and Shooter models). The "Tour" is a 3 piece surlyn ball for mid-handicap players

who want performance and forgiveness. The Drive model is an indestructible two

piece distance ball for the recreational player.

 


 


Vice cuts out the middlemen that create

the high markup of retail golf balls ($50-

$60 per dozen), the Vice Pro & Pro Plus is

$34.95 per dozen, and when you order 5

dozen the price drops to $24.95 per

dozen!


Cost isn't the only great feature of

ordering golf balls from Vice. The

Personalization option is another. For

just a few dollars extra you can have

your company logo proudly displayed

and it only takes a week or so to receive

them at your door. We're a little partial

to how great ours came out.

 

This summer we ran a Vice Golf giveaway

in conjunction with the Open Championship

via our Twitter page (@LinksNation).

We gave away an entire Vice prize

package which included our logo golf

balls, Vice caps and their new microfiber

bag towel to our winner - Paul Tompkin

from New Jersey.

 

 

 

 

The Vice side stamp is referred to as the Keep In Line or "KIL" putting line.

It's the boldest and most simple alignment line in the industry. No need to

draw sharpie lines that smear from clubface contact throughout the round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We tested Vice's two premium urethane models, the 4 piece Pro+ (above) and

3 piece Pro. The big question for most is: Can a ball that costs half the price

compete with the big boys? After doing plenty of launch monitor testing the #'s

were nearly identical with the industry leader's tour ball (see the driver #'s with

each ball below). So the next step was to put the Vice Pro+ to the test on the

course. I headed to one of my favorite South Florida layouts - Gleneagles in

Delray Beach on a windswept Sunday in August (tropical depression 99L was on

our doorstep, so it wasn't the calmest of conditions).



Testing not only confirmed the data from the launch monitor, but in the process of

hitting 11/14 fairways and 12/18 greens, I was able to change trajectory and easily

work draws and fades into the strong crosswinds throughout the round. Around the

greens the Vice Pro+ was equally impressive. Wedges reacted exactly as you'd expect

for a premium ball - stopping when you needed and releasing when the shot called for

such. Putting with the Vice Pro (and Pro+) is similar in feel to the industry leader, but

the "KIL" alignment line is an exceptional upgrade from any other in the market place.



 

*Industry leader :

SS-104  Ball Speed-151  Launch-13.8  BSpin-1931  Carry-252 yds  Total-269 yds

Vice Pro+

SS-103  Ball Speed-150  Launch-13.4  BSpin-1871  Carry-254 yds  Total-271 yds

Vice Pro

SS-104  Ball Speed-152  Launch-14.2  BSpin-2177  Carry-256  Total-269 yds

Launch Monitor testing with TaylorMade M2 with Aldila Rogue 110 msi 70 gram stiff shaft

*Titleist Pro V1x

 

 

 

A recent addition to the accessory line, the Vice PURE glove is made from lamb

leather. Good luck finding a glove that's as soft as this one. Golf gloves are tough

to find with the proper fit, this one fits properly snug on each digit - just spot on.

The enhanced re-inforced wrist cuff and velcro encloser bears the motto "do it with

passion or not at all", we couldn't agree more. If your searching for a top of line

tour glove, without blowing $30 per, these are worth every penny at $19.95 (or buy

3 or more for $15.95 each).


 

 

 

 

Another cool Vice accessory are their caps. They have so many different styles

including the crew model shown here. Also available Squad, V-Cap, Champ,

Flamingo and Lime Camo.

 


If paying half the price for tour quality premium golf balls is your thing (and why

wouldn't it be), then join the growing legions of linksters who've become part of

the Vice Squad.

 

For info: http://www.vicegolf.com/us2/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Antigua Performance 72 - Summer 2016 Collection - PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

Antigua's latest Performance 72 sportswear includes a few classic Heather varieties, and in the

case of this review "ELEMENT" and "CIPHER" are the styles on display. The first thing I noticed

beyond the great looking patterns was the silky soft feel of the fabric. In fact, the garment is so

soft that I didn't wait for the golf course, I wore it around the office immediately after taking it

out of the package.

 

 

 

ELEMENT's Heather pattern

features an 88% polyester/

12% spandex jersey knit

fabric.

 

Powered by Desert Dry - an

exclusive moisture wicking

creation to help you

perform your best, all while

keeping you dry and

comfortable on the links.


ELEMENT is available in

Fire, Mardi Gras, Hypnotic,

Verdant, Black and Medium

Grey color ways.

 

 

 

 

 

Element pictured above. The exaggerated heather fabric was engineered at the yarn

level by twisting different types of long filament yarn strands so when inevitably knit

into fabric the outcome provides an irregular heather effect, and in-turn becomes the

style’s appeal.

 

 

CIPHER is a 95%

polyester/5%

spandex mix

available in four

colors - Light Grey

Heather, Black,

Sky/Admiral, and

Crimson. You can

see the irregular

Heather striping and

self knit collar.

Antigua Logo'd open

cuff sleeves are the

perfect touch.


 

 

 

CIPHER shown above

 

 

 

 

Other styles include FLEX, PURE, STRIKER, TACTIC, NOBLE, COMPLETE, EXPANSE,

EDGE, PITCH, VISION, SKYLINE, DELIVER, SURFACE, and INFLUENCE in a wide array

of colors and sizes.

VISION pictured above. The wash of primary to secondary color stripes is staggered

with light, medium and dark heather grey stripes that match back to every piece in the

collection. It’s a style to begin a collection with and add styles to, either in a golf shop

or in a golfer’s wardrobe. Vision is a must-have at first glance…in every color combo

available. It’s truly a feel-good piece that wicks, wears and performs.

 

 

Wearing Performance 72 in the brutal South Florida summer humidity made playing

golf actually bearable (which is often not the case in July & August). I can't say that

for all of the golf shirts in my extensive collection. The fit and comfort are is good as

it gets. I may need to add some more of these just to make it through the summer.

Worn on the PGA & LPGA Tour by: Tom Pernice, Tim Clark, Billy Mayfair, Chesson

Hadley, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, Brittany Lang and Lizette Salas.

 

If style and comfort are your thing (we'd have to question your sanity if it wasn't),

then you should give Antigua apparel a closer look. Also a great value, their finest

polos retail for approximately $60.

 

For More info: http://www.antigua.com/index.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
1st Tee & 10th Tee Energy Bars PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

It's very rare when a product review involves nutrition and great tasting food. The folks at SCNS

sent over this sample pack of their best nutrition & energy bars that are made to enhance focus

and energy to help maximize your experience and performance during your day on the links.

 

 

I decided to put the 1st Tee Oatmeal Raisin bar (blue packaging) through one of the toughest

energy draining days possible. A 4:30am arrival at West Palm Beach Airport for my 6am flight

to New York City. After touching down at La Guardia, grab the rental car, quick diner breakfast

and it's off to Bethpage Black for a 20 minute warm up and the first tee. During my 5 hour hike

around the 2002 & 2009 U.S Open venue, I ate only two 1st Tee bars and drank water. Having

walked the Black five times previously (all of those were from age 29 to age 38), I wilted each

of those times on the back nine, so this would be a good case study not only for the energy

bars, but my own determination to stay focused on the task ahead.

 

 

 

Earlier this summer, SCNS Sports -

makers of the 1st & 10th Tee energy

and nutrition Bars, has signed PGA Tour

player Scott Langley to represent the

brand.

 

"I love the SCNS products, and I'm very

happy to be part of the team," said

Langley. "I have been eating the 1st &

10th Tee bars for quite a while now.

They really deliver what they advertise.

They help provide the focus and energy

you need to perform your best, and they

taste great."

 


 

As it turns out, I had no real lapse in energy or focus while carrying my bag (the other

five trips around the Black I used a pull cart to conserve energy and wear and tear). I

noticed on the fifth hole walking to my ball in the fairway that I was a bit anxious on my

shots around the green on the previous hole and was not quite as focused. Perhaps that

was a sign of energy loss, so after putting out I began eating bar #1 during our wait to

tee off on the sixth. Within 15 minutes I was re-energized and played the final 11 holes

in 1 over par (a 3 putt on the twelfth kept the back nine from being error free).  I ate bar

#2 on the 13th hole, just the right time to give me the focus coming in. In fact, on the

seventeenth and eighteenth holes I executed the exact shots I pictured in my mind - center

of the green on both. Certainly playing your best doesn't always happen, even when you

fuel your body and mind with the proper foods, but if you do give yourself the chance to

have a clear mind and the energy to pull it off, then you're more likely to fulfill expectations.

The taste of every one of these bars is better than you could imagine for a snack this healthy.

Delicious!

 

I was tired for sure, but wasn't in the drained physical or mental state I was in the past treks

around the beast that is Bethpage Black.

 

Afterward, I had enough energy to drive all the way from Long Island through New York

City down to Princeton, N.J where I was staying with family. It was a full day for anyone,

especially this middle aged links traveler. A big thumbs up to the 1st Tee & 10th Tee

products, I would highly recommend all of them . . . especially when you have a big day

ahead. Throwing a few of these in the bag before you go play can be a game changer.

 

 

 


The original 1st Tee bars come in Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Peanut and contain

all natural chamomile, hops and valerian root to help reduce anxiety at the start of

your round (hence the name "1st Tee"). The Dark Chocolate Chip Trail Mix bar and

Honey Almond (pictured above) are recent additions that are gluten free.


10th Tee bars are modeled after candy bars, because of the popularity of grabbing one

at the turn. Peanut Honey and Chocolate Peanut Caramel contain panax ginseng extracts

and green tea to help sustain energy on the back nine. Cranberry Trail is the latest 10th

Tee bar, and is gluten free.


For more info: www.energybar.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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