Equipment & Product Reviews

TaylorMade Lethal, New Srixon Z-Star & Z-StarXV PDF Print E-mail

Written by Jason Bruno




TaylorMade released their latest premium tour caliber golf ball this spring - Lethal,

which is basically an upgraded version of the Penta TP5 with an entirely new

cover/dimple pattern. Gone is the Penta line, but no worries the Lethal ball still has

the tour proven 5 layer technology.


Lethal is equipped with (LDP - low drag performance) a seamless cover that features

a new larger 322 dimple pattern (for more surface coverage on the cover) that

produces the most wind penetrating performance ball TaylorMade has ever made.

Taylormade found that many of the balls out there tend to spin and balloon with

todays high launch equipment. The new Lethal and its flatter ball flight is longer off

the tee and still offers the same soft feel and performance around the greens . . . a

solid upgrade from the Penta line, especially in areas where windy conditions are the




A small often unnoticed detail is the new Lethal side logo, definitely an improvement

(over the PentaTP5) as a putting alignment aide.


The Lethal can be customized with any personal number of choice.


To learn more about Lethal visit:







Srixon has two new offerings on the horizon for August 2013. The staple of their premium

line the Z Star and it's lower spinning brethren the Z Star-XV. The new Z-Star is a three

piece construction ball with it's new spin skin technology, which according to Srixon

engineers - is a coating on their urethane cover that allows for greater friction between ball

& clubface that is designed to improve greenside spin. The coating allows the cover to become

more flexible, therefore penetrating more into the grooves of the clubface.


Z-Star's new larger 344 dimple pattern feature stabilizes ball flight in windy conditions.

Z-Star features a large single large diameter core, the Z-Star XV which is designed for higher swing

speeds (105+) features a dual core.




The Z-Star is played by Miguel Angel Jimenez and the hottest player on earth, World #1 Inbee Park,

while the Z-Star XV is played by 3 time winner around the world (in 2013), Graeme McDowell.


Both the Z-Star and XV come in "Pure white" and "Tour Yellow", both Srixon models retail for $45


For more info on the Z-Star & Z-Star XV:









Maide Golf Apparel by Bonobos PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   



Maide Golf Apparel


There is a new line of golf apparel by Bonobos called Maide. I wasn't sure what to expect,

but when the product arrived I was stunned by the quality and detail of the Highland Pants &

Barton shorts. Made from polyester for superior performance, this fabric is not your run of

the mill - off the rack microfiber issue (with many of these it's questionable the thin fabric will

hold up through one summer).

The Maide brand has found a way to combine sleek, stylish, classy and functional all in a

performance offering that could double for casual business or social attire. The Maide Golf

pants & shorts are a thicker material that grabs your attention the first time you put them on.

Highland Golf Pants


The Highland pants are straight leg style, loaded with unique features in assorted colors and

maximizing in comfort and performance. Note the pocket logo (a nice touch).




- 2" zipper at the hem allows you to adjust the break of the trouser at the shoe





- fabric is 100% performance polyester

- The rise and thigh both have a special cut to look stylish and sporty but keeps you comfortable

- The curved waistband prevents bunching


Scorecard waist & inseam measurements inside the lining are a nice touch




Barton Golf Shorts


The Barton shorts incorporate the same great features of the Highland pant, and make

the ideal attire for hitting the links during the summer rounds, whether walking or riding.



During Memorial Day, I was able to put the Barton shorts through a rigorous field test: 36 holes

on foot at Streamsong Resort in Central Florida. That's 8 hours of walking up and down sand dunes

and the unique terrain shaped by Crenshaw/Coore & Tom Doak in the Florida Sun. Other than being

extremely comfortable and durable, I noticed how well the design of the pockets have been thought

out - ample enough for scorecards and yardage books in the back, and ball markers, tees and the like

up front . . . but not cumbersome like many golf shorts on the market today.


Note the gel lining inside the waistline to help keep your golf shirt tucked and tidy throughout

the round.



Another pet peeve of mine is when clothing makers have white or pale yellow pants in their

line, and the fabric is so thin that you can see the undergarment beneath. With the Maide

Brand, that's not case - you get a true fabric density and comfortable wear that looks and

feels great from tee #1 to the clubhouse afterwards.



The buttons are also sturdy and unique, snap it in and notch it over





Berwick Golf Shirt



Maide's entry into the Golf shirt market is their pique polo called the Berwick. Very

old school in it's style, the Berwick features solids with an accent stripe on both

the collar and sleeve band, the sleeves are also a throwback in the fact that they

are shorter than most performance shirts of today. The moisture wicking properties

of the Berwick are exceptional, and is a fine compliment with any item from the Barton

or Highland Collection.



Despite being a newbie to the Golf Apparel biz, Bonobos has scored with their new Maide

Golf brand, their Highland pants and Barton shorts are atop our list of the finest we've

reviewed to date . . .


To find out more about Bonobos and Maide Golf Apparel :









New Threads From Antigua Apparel PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   


Antigua Golf Apparel has been a staple for stylish linksters for over three decades,

and in 2013 they introduced a new line of performance golf wear called the Antigua

Performance-72 Collection. Many of the garments in the Performance-72 Collection

(PRF-72) feature bright eye popping accents, like Lapis, Margarita, Apple, Melon,

Phlox and Zest - all on Antigua's proprietary Desert Dry and Desert Dry-Lite fabric

with moisture management technology. Antigua refers to their new usage of mixing

the palette as Color Stories.

PRF-72 Style: Pulse        Colors: Steel/Black/Melon

Each color is designed as a collection, and the PRF-72 trim color is coordinated to

match each color theme, enabling even the fashion challenged player to match up

his attire and hit the links with confidence.

Lapis is a traditional Blue that will match up well with items already in most golfers

wardrobes. Margarita is a neon Lime, that goes extremely well with neutral colors, and

also pops when paired up with black. Apple is a more traditional Green, that is often

used with Navy as a nice contrast that creates a color story all its own. Zest is a lemon

drop Yellow that is often used with Black and neutral colors to pop the look. Melon Orange

and Phlox Pink are also used as strong pop accent colors to enhance neutral shades.

New performance fabrics were developed with finer yarns to create ultra lightweight knits

in textures and in flat jerseys. By using the finest denier yarns available, Antigua has

achieved super soft, super lightweight fabrics that provide the same coverage as other

poly knits, but allow for faster wicking, additional breathability and less restriction in


Apparel truly is another piece of equipment, especially when the temperature elevates and

the stakes of your match are increased. The PRF-72 fits just right, room under the arms for

freedom of movement, but with no excessive material to inhibit the free flowing motion of an

aggressive golf swing . . . and the feel is silky smooth.


As good as these garments look, the performance is unmistakable. If your looking for a color pop,

and great performance from your golf wear this summer, be sure to check out Antigua's

Performance-72 collection.


For more information on The Antigua Group, visit them online at or contact Mary

Beth Lacy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (760) 346-6942.




Does The TaylorMade R1 Live Up To The Hype? PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   


TaylorMade never seems to rest, and 2013 is no different . At this point you know about

their latest version of Golf's most adjustable driver, the R1 . . . but is the R1 the best

adjustable driver ever introduced by the industry leader, and if so, why? TMAG claims it's

the most adjustable club ever, so when they sent it, we thought we'd oblige and give it a

proper review and test run.

























The initial reaction from the golfing public was mixed about the new crown graphics - the

red-ish/orange & black diagonal stripe merge with a gray top section that were designed to form

a triangular alignment aide. I heard rumblings from some at the Orlando PGA Show a few months

back - it's too busy looking, it's distracting, it resembles a race car - those were a few of the

comments. Although I confess to preferring my golf clubs with a more simple look, I figured I'd

keep an open mind. Then it occurred to me: Did you really think the gurus from Carlsbad would

introduce a new driver that resembled the previous two (R11 & R11s) but with a few more

adjustable features? Would that be enough to Wow the consumers and grab their full attention?

Probably Not. After a few swings - launching high straight bombs, it's doubtful anybody pays

attention to what's on the crown . . . besides aren't there players on tour right now playing hot

pink, and bright orange drivers?!!


TMAG is the absolute best in the biz at creating buzz for their product and driving your obsession

to have to have it. Afterall, millions bought a product called RocketBallz in 2012.

Think about it, you're a TMAG staffer in a meeting at their HQ in Carlsbad, You have to come up with

a concept that will wet the appetite of all those enthusiastic golfers in cold weather climates, who

will be watching golf in Hawaii, Southern Cal, and South Florida, just chomping at the bit to get out

and see some sunshine and play THEIR game (and play it better than ever before). All the while,

knowing - that your marketing machine means nothing if the product doesn't deliver BIG. When you

can stoke the fire and deliver the goods, you get an unstoppable force . . . in this case

TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. I leave the PGA Show each year thinking - What will TMAG think of next?

This year was no different.

If you're not a big fan of adjustability in golf clubs, especially the driver, then you're in the stone

ages. It can be argued that other companies have made prettier drivers, longer drivers, different

sounding and feeling drivers . . . but it would be hard to argue that anyone makes a better

or more versatile driver. You don't lead the PGA Tour every week for over a dozen years in a row

for no reason. Like it or not, what the Titleist brand is to golf balls, TaylorMade has become to

drivers and it's not even close folks. So the question still begs, Does the R1 live up to the hype?


The stock powerplant, just like the R11s is the Aldila RIP Phenom, this edition is sporting the new R1 color

scheme. The clubface of the R1 has plenty of pop, the ball jumps off the club and tends to launch slightly

lower and flatter than some recent drivers tested. Ball speeds were slightly faster than my previous driver

with spin rates staying on the low side. The R1 was tested with the stock RIP, and with two different

Matrix shafts: Q3 Red Tie, and Radix S in stiff flex. Since I prefer to game my driver at a swing weight of

D4 - D4.5 and at 44 3/4". This would be a challenge to accomplish without further altering shaft length,

or grip weight, considering most drivers today come stock between 45 1/2" - 46", but not in the R1.

For example, because the Matrix Q3/Red Tie is 67 grams raw, instead of the 63 gram Radix S or the stock

Aldila RIP, I simply removed the 10 gram cartridge, and installed a 6 gram weight, instantly taking

the swing weight from almost D7 to D4.5. That's an option that sets the R1 apart. Another benefit that's

been a staple since the R7 was introduced nearly a decade ago is the ability to alter ball flight by simply

installing a different weight cartridge into the toe or heel side of the clubhead to help correct an

undesirable ball flight pattern that may be too severe in either direction. More weight in the heel promotes

a right to left ball flight, and weight in the toe obviously promotes a fade.






The next is the the ability to change face angle independent of

the loft setting. In just about everyother adjustable driver or

fairway wood, once loft is added the face angle becomes closed and

promotes a hook.The opposite is true for delofting the clubhead, it

promotes a low fade.


In the R1 you can have the best of both world's and to a significant

degree. The Face angle setting can go open or closed 3 degrees, so in essence you can add loft and still

have the appearance of a slightly open clubface. No other club has this capability. Obviously the novice

golfer would need some help from a clubfitter to help him/her, for the better player or the person who

knows their game inside and out, this is like solving the Rubik's Cube.

The sound at impact is a good loud "twack", but not anything undesirable, it's very similar in pitch to

the sound of the R11. Although you'll hit it deep with the R1, this is not a 47" club with a 40 gram

shaft, the emphasis is on getting you tuned to the right set up to maximize your potential. The R1 is

rather easy to work in either direction, and both high and low, but don't be afraid to crank up the loft

a bit more than you might play in another driver, the R1 tends to bore more than balloon. With the

shaft sleeve offering loft settings between 8 and 12, your sure to find your preferred launch conditions.




After putting in some time both on the range and the

course, I dialed in My R1 specs: 10.5 loft/1 degree

upright lie/6 gram weight heel - 1 gram weight toe/

Neutral face angle.


Once you've acquired YOUR R1, there are 3 factors

to maximize the performance of your new big stick:




1 - How well are you swinging . . . are you hitting it in the center of the clubface?

2 - Is the club set for you correctly ? loft, lie angle, face angle - is set up square, open, closed?

3 - Does the shaft flex/weight/torque and grip properly fit you and your swing?

Given all of the options and possibilities of this driver, there has never been a golf club before

that enables you to maximize your options like the R1. By the way, by the time I finished the

review the stripes grew on me. Stripes and Hype aside, the R1 is leading the way.

To learn more about the R1 and other products from TMAG :






Matrix Shafts - Q3 "Red Tie" & Radix S PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   




In 2012 we reviewed the Matrix M3 Black Tie and RUL shafts, the Black Tie has become popular

among Tour players and faster swinging amateurs for it's low launch/ low spin performance. The

RUL has become the fairway wood shaft of choice of many top players because of it's higher launch

and spin characteristics.

Black, Red and White Tie

Our first assignment of 2013 from the folks at Matrix was to put the new Red Tie 6M3 and Radix HD

through the testing process. This year Matrix set out to simplify their line of premium shafts, Known

as the Matrix Flight System. The X3 "White Tie" takes over for the popular X-Con shaft (Matrix's high

launch/low spin model). With the White Tie on one end of the flight system and the Black Tie on the

other, the new Q3 "Red Tie" falls right in the middle of the MFS, with its mid-launch/mid-spin traits,

the company expects the Q3 to fit the broadest spectrum of players . When the shaft arrived from

Matrix, the first thing I noticed was it's deep red glossy finish, (unlike the Black & White Tie that

come in a non glossy flat finish). The look of this stick is a stunner . . . but that's what we've come

to expect from Matrix.

Q3 Specs

The Q3 Red Tie (stiff flex) was tested in the TaylorMade R1 trimmed to a driver length of 45", and

instantly produced ideal #'s . The Red Tie was smooth and delivered consistent easy to hit mid/high

bombs in the 13-14 degree range with spin rates consistently between 2300 - 2600. . . DEEP! Along

with incredible performance, the buttery feel of the Q3 Red Tie has become the official powerplant of

my gamer.

The Radix model gets a face lift for 2013, the new silver with lime accented color scheme is sporty,

but it has pop to go with the sizzle. Radix offers a variable tip to butt ratio design, the specs change

by flex . . . ball flight lowers as the flex stiffens, accommodating the needs of faster swingers. While

testing, my launch and spin #'s were very similiar to the Q3 in the R1, but when I popped the Radix

into the Cobra Amp Cell (my other gamer which launches a bit higher because of it's internal weighting

structure) I found that the slightly firmer tip section and higher flex point in the Radix gave the Amp Cell

a more desirable ball flight. Although the Radix S in stiff flex boasts a firm tip section, their is no boardy

feel here, the higher torque spec (4.5) creates the same smooth feel of the Q3.



In summary, the Q3 Red Tie and Radix S deliver smooth performance in the Mid/High launch range. They

each go about achieving optimum ball flight in different ways. With the softer tip section and mid/high

torque, the Q3 is the right shaft for sure in the largest range of players in the Matrix Flight System. The

Radix S, with a firmer tip and higher torque launches just a bit lower and has the same great feel and

performance of the three models in the flight system. Having the right shaft for your swing AND for your

club are essential. With the Matrix Flight System finding the right one is now easier than ever before.

How sweet, horse power and a touch of style . . . the laser engraved logo adds a WOW to any new stick.

The staff at Matrix do everything first class.

Radix Specs

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