Equipment & Product Reviews

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


By Jason Bruno

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

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

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

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

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

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

all of the choices.


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

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

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

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

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

your best is available - no need to compromise.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

have more to report in the coming weeks).






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


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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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








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

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

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

S BOOST3 breaks that barrier with the combination of energy returning

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

response for maximum power at impact. Puremotion outsole with Adiwear

traction provides stability and grip for even the fastest swings.






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

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

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

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

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

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

charged . . .

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

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

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

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

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

as I write this review.






TOUR 360 -2.0

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

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

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

performance beauty. Adi shoe creator Masun Denison introduced the

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

it was a game changer, he was right.








The 10 cleat Puremotion outsole with CenTraxion for stability and grip

to the ground - for ball striking with maximum power.







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Recommended for: Those who demand superior support in the

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

for more of the very item that they review.


Adidas Golf:










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

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

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

upper provides a sophisticated and refined look.






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

week is proper validation. IGNITE PWRADAPT Leather features incredible

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

and black.






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







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






PWRADAPT pods provide high level grabbing power with tornado cleats and

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

. . .











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

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

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

lifting of powerful ball striking. The combination of Powerstrap,

SecureCollar and . . .





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






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

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

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






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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wide and extra wide.










CALLAWAY - La Grange

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

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

protection keeps you comfortable and dry. The POWERdrive platform

provides stability and FusionLite TPU outsole with nine Tornado spikes

give maximum grip.




TPU heel stabilizer provides additional support for the fastest swings.







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

limited waterproof warranty. MSRP $199



Recommended for: Those who prefer a classic looking golf shoe

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

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

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

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

typical of most Callaway golf shoes.






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

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

Coronado a popular choice for those seeking full performance in their

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

Fusion-Lite outsole enhances power and stability.



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

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

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

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

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

MSRP - $129



Recommended for: Those who want a golf shoe loaded with

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

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

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

any in this review.

Callaway Footwear:








ECCO - BIOM Hybrid 3 GTX

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

company that created the category. GORE-TEX waterproof technology

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

the player closer to the ground using an anatomical last.








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

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

rotational support.






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

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

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

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






Concrete/Scarlet colorway





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

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



Recommended for: Those players who prefer a spikeless golf shoe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


ECCO Golf:


New Balance - Tour Minimus

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

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

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

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

Slim-Lok Zarma Tour cleat system provides the grip.






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

Green combo. REVlite foam provides the same responsiveness of

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

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







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




Recommended for: Any golfer who can appreciate a non-

traditional golf shoe that covers the essentials of golf footwear:

comfort, stability, and performance all in a lightweight sporty

offering that fits perfectly within the ethos of the New Balance

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

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

At $139, Minimus Tour is a great value.

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

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

He reports a major thumbs up on all counts.


New Balance Golf:























New Tee to Green Gear From PING: G400 Max Driver & G700 Irons PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

When I sat down with Ping's Director of Communications Pete Samuels

during this year's PGA Show to discuss the company's latest edition to

their G400 driver line, the G400 Max, it was obvious that he knew PING

had crushed it with this new offering. Always known for their cutting-edge

innovation, their G400 models were making noise and gaining momentum

in the industry, and the G400 Max was the logical evolution. It's still clear

that Karsten's engineering ethos exists in every club bearing the PING








Ping's G400 drivers come in 4 different models: The standard G400, G400

SFT (Square Face Technology) that is for the player who tends to slice and

needs a driver that helps them get the face back to square. G400 LST (Low

Spin Technology) which is designed for the high swing speed player that is

looking to keep their spin rate down. All of those 3 models are 445 CC. G400

Max is the most forgiving of the four, at 460 CC and it's weight positioned

farther back than the other models, it has incredibly high MOI. In fact, the

G400 Max has a heel/toe MOI of 5700. Only PXG is in that neighbor-

hood, but when the top/bottom is factored in, the combined MOI is

9900! That's1000 more than any other driver on the market.




Technology -


"Low and back is our philosophy, by going a little bit bigger we have

more volume to extend the weight," said Samuels. "The tungsten weight

is in all four of the models, in the case of the Max, it is pushed further

back and actually wraps around the back of the crown. The tungsten is

what gives us the ability to increase the MOI and max the forgiveness."






Turbulators and Dragonfly crown are signature PING design elements on

all G400 drivers. According to Samuels, "Turbulators aide in aerodynamics,

while dragonfly technology is basically the thinning of the crown that allows

club designers to take those weight savings and re-position it for better MOI.

With so many of golf's leading manufacturers moving to carbon fiber materials

in the construction of driver crowns, why has PING continued to build drivers

with an all-Titanium construction? According to Samuels, "By keeping the

whole head titanium and being able to thin the crown, that's the best approach

in order to find that additional weight in order to re-position it in the head design."







We tested the G400 Max in 10.5 loft with the adjustable sleeve set in the

factory standard neutral position.







Notice the difference in the rear weight and tungsten position of the

G400 Max (above) vs the smaller and lower spin G400 LST (below) . . .




The tungsten weight port is located closer to the center of the sole on

the (445cc) G400 LST shown here.









Aesthetics -


G400 Max - Matte black, sophisticated and bold like a device used by

Bruce Wayne's alter ego and yet brilliantly simple in appearance. It just

looks fast . . .





It isn't just tee box eye candy, A closer look at where it all happens on the

G400 Max. The forged T9S+ face is hotter and faster - producing increased

ball speeds and a powerful feel at impact.








Powerplant options -

PING's TOUR 75 shaft was the powerplant of our G400 Max review and

is an available option for an upcharge. The Tour 75 is tip trimmed 1 inch

when installed in any PING driver (45.25"). Many high swing speed players

(that often prefer to upgrade to an aftermarket shaft) will find the TOUR 75

a stout and worthy choice, we did. Other shaft options include the PING's

Alta CB 55, Alta Distanza 40 gram, Aldila's X-Torsion, MCA Kuro Kage and

Project X HZRDUS Yellow.






Performance -


From a distance perspective, the G400 Max produced a solid yield with

the TOUR 75, not by any means the longest that we've tested (we'll

update the distance #'s once we get in a session with our usual gamer

shaft). However, in the forgiveness and dispersion category, the G400

Max was off the charts. Using the Foresight GC Quad, here are the results

of our indoor testing session with the G400 Max.


SS:103.1 mph,  Ball Speed: 151 mph, Azimuth: 1.2 R, Launch: 13.1,

Backspin: 2564,  Sidespin: 86L, Carry: 249 yds,  Total: 273 yds,

*Offline: 1.9 yards left


On course testing showed off the G400 Max as a shortgrass finder, we

practically had to aim offline to miss a fairway. Bold remarks for sure, but

the combo of forgiving head and stout shaft produced straight darts all

round long.


Sound/Feel/Playability -

The G400 Max is a bit louder with a more tingy blast at impact than the 3

other slightly smaller G400 models. Purely subjective on what you prefer

to hear at impact, I favor the more subdued thrash of the smaller models.


On-course testing brought the elements and factors that launch monitors

don't, but there were no surprises. Working the ball with the G400 Max

is quite easier than you'd think, but make no mistake, this club is a point

and shoot fairway finder. If you look at the *offline stat from our launch

monitor testing (1.9 yards L), it proved true on the course as well - missing

fairways was a chore.




Summary -

With four models to choose from in the G400 line, all you need to know is

exactly what it is your looking for from your driver. The need to reduce spin

- LST, Correcting the big miss to the right - SFT, Neutral bias and the easiest

for working the ball - standard G400. If you want the same attributes of the

standard model but with maximum forgiveness of any club in the industry,

the G400 Max is your choice . . .









G700 Irons

Game improvement and Big Distance comes from PING in the form of these

smooth looking hollow body G700 irons.







Technology -

The hollow-body 17-4 stainless steel head construction allows weight to be

positioned out to the perimeter of each clubhead - creating metalwood type

of launch and high ball speeds.







Maraging steel produces high C.O.R and fast flexing faces = mega distance.







Notice the hosel notch, which allows for weight to be moved elsewhere,

while the black dot signifies standard lie angle. Sole width and bounce

help with better turf interaction for improved ball striking.









Aesthetics -

The club designers at PING used contours and a hydro-pearl finish to create

a gorgeous set of game improvment sticks. There is some heft where you'd

think there would be on an ultra forgiving distance club, but the G700 comes

off as somewhat sleek in appearance.





The look is so clean, the closer you get the better they look.





Performance/Testing -


Big distance is the takeaway here. For the golfer looking to add pure

carry yardage, get fitted for the correct shaft and be giddy. Looking for

a reliable and forgiving long iron, my numbers with the G700 4 iron had

me so excited that after a dozen swings on the monitor, it was off to the

course. On the first short and tight par 4 - I hit 4 iron off the tee - 223

yards into the shortgrass. The high draw carried 210 yards and released

about a dozen yards or so. Off the tee - check.

Next, on the 458 yard par 4 - 2nd at Eastpointe West (that played 470

yards to a back pin), 198 yards remained from the fairway to a narrow

elevated surface guarded by water to the right, perhaps the hardest

approach on the course. A high soft fade was the only shot, and the G700

was up to the task landing softly and stopping about 12 feet below the pin.

Approach shot yardage, trajectory and workability - check




Sound/Feel -


G700 is a hollow body iron, producing a totally different sound and feel

than most irons on the market. Is it louder and more firm at impact than

what most players are used to? Absolutely, it feels more like hybrid than

iron. Is that the trade-off for maximum forgiveness and distance? Would

a foam filled sound dampener improve the acoustics and feel? Other

companies have used such a thing in their irons recently (TaylorMade's

P-790 w/SpeedFoam & Callaway Rogue X irons w/Microspheres are two

examples) to mitigate the hollow-body feel at impact. Perhaps, but only

the PING engineers know that one for sure. Our review models were

equipped with Recoil 780 F4 graphite shafts, so some vibration dampening

was already in place, but honestly they still lack that solid feel at impact.


It's a trade off, crazy distance and maximum forgiveness for a feel at impact

that is less than ideal. You decide, either way the G700 is a game improver

. . .



For More info on PING golf equipment:














TaylorMade M4 Driver Review PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

By now you're aware that TaylorMade's latest "M Family" of metalwoods

has moved on from the M1/M2 nameplates and has been replaced with

the latest editions in the form of M3 and M4. In this review, we focus

specifically on the mega forgiving but minimally adjustable M4 (which is

the replacement for the previous M2 model).



What's New for 2018?


The first thing you might notice is the M4 logo looks very similar to that

of a certain line of high-performance European luxury brand automobiles

whose slogan is "The Ultimate Driving Machine". Perhaps the similarity is

coincidence but we know better. Beyond the new graphics, there just

happens to be some serious innovation going on here. New for 2018, Taylor-

Made introduced TWIST FACE technology for greater accuracy, a new slot

technology called "HAMMERHEAD" (shown above), for better ball speeds

on primarily on lower face strikes, and it's second addition of its Geocoustic

sound enhancing shaped clubhead.








The new silver crown on the latest M metalwoods looks every bit as

sporty as the past versions with white trim. Notice the newly raised

crown ridge on the toe portion of the carbon-fiber section, a subtle

uptick in aerodynamics.








M4 features a red accent at the back of the crown (M3 has blue).








If there's a better looking big stick on the market, I've yet to see it. It

should be no surprise that we gave M4 an A+ in the looks department.











TWIST FACE is really what the buzz is all about with the M3 & M4. Since the

drivers of today all deliver big on distance, TaylorMade set out to create a

way to help keep that distance in the shortgrass. I'll attempt to give you the

abridged version. Typically the two most common types of mishits for golfers

with the driver are: High toe hit- (typically an inside out swing path) results

in a low ball flight that dives left. Low heel hit - (typically an outside in path)

produces a high spinning floater that sails way right. In traditional bulge and

roll technology (that has been the standard for what seems like forever), that

was created based on robot testing, these same mishits would curve back

towards the target (it seemed like legit data), but in real human swings that

vary in path, angle of attack and face direction, these shots more often than

not would produce results with far worse results than the old "Iron Byron"

robot showed.


TaylorMade tested tens of thousands of human swings and their data

showed that some things could be changed in order to help bring those

typical mis-hits closer to the fairway. Hence, Twist Face was born and

introduced in the new M3/M4.



So, How does the TWIST FACE concept work?

Providing a slightly more open high toe section with a fraction more loft,

TWIST FACE is designed to enable the toe hit to start slightly more to the

right (instead of that diving hook that finds the hazard or OB stakes left)

veering it's way back closer towards the fairway. To the other extreme, the

low heel hit will play in more of a closed position - lessening the high right

"crop duster" that plagues so many (including some of the world's best

like Rory McIlroy).









Can you actually see TWIST FACE? No, what you see on the commercial and

in advertisements is an exaggerated example of the technology - it's not

noticeable to the naked eye (The actual amount of twist in each clubface area

is less than a degree). Does it really work? We'll discuss our findings during the

test portion of this review.







The 41-gram rear weight bumper helps boost MOI making the M4 TM's

most forgiving driver. Geocoustic isn't a new feature for TaylorMade, but

it returns in an updated version for '18 after being introduced in last year's

M2. Geocoustic is advanced sole shaping that delivers a sound that's a bit

more explosive than most TaylorMade drivers of the past, we really liked

the bold tone of impact - it's a subliminal anthem directed at your foursome

serving notice that you just crushed one deep. According to TaylorMade,

"As a by-product (of Geocoustic), the sole contouring frees up volume in

the clubhead, allowing us to produce a bigger clubface with a 67% larger

sweet spot." Who doesn't like a larger sweet spot?










TaylorMade's other innovation that's been overlooked by many industry

folks is their new HAMMERHEAD slot technology. In my opinion, it just

might be the most significant, and here's why: 1) It's not a secret that

last year, TaylorMade's chief rival - Callaway introduced their "Jailbreak

Technology" in their EPIC model. The rest is history, TaylorMade lost its

hold on as the No.1 driver status (that it had for well over a decade).

2) TaylorMade had to make a counterpunch and create a technology of

their own that accomplishes at least the same level of performance.

Brand loyalty is huge, but losing yards can threaten even the most loyal

consumer. There was no choice, HAMMERHEAD is the correct volley for

TaylorMade just from an actual performance comparison standpoint.

2b) TWIST FACE is a big deal for TM to get back on top in the marketplace,

but HAMMERHEAD is like the O-Line on a football team, nobody pays

any attention to it, until you don't have a good one. Without it, you're toast.


With so many of us product reviewers using incredible new technologies

to track performance data, keeping ball speeds up even on those low

face hits (distance killers) is essential. Anyone can create a driver that

goes far when hit dead center, but when you can produce nearly the same

yardage when hit all over the face, you've got a keeper. B+ on the

Innovation ledger.







Gametime Setup/Stock offering

Sharp and clean at address (a solid A grade here), the M4 sets up really

square. Fujikura Atmos Red comes standard as the stock powerplant offering

on M4 (Mitsubishi Tensei White comes standard on the new M3). Atmos is

geared towards fitting a wider spectrum of golfers, so due to its slightly softer

profile and its high launch/mid spin, we had ours delivered in X flex. If you

prefer TM offers customizing your M4 with Fujikura, Aldila, Matrix, Oban,

True Temper, UST, Graphite Design and Mitsibishi as your choices of

upgrade in shaft (most with no upcharge).










Our indoor test center was the PGA Learning Center in Port St.Lucie,

technology powered by Foresight Sports GC Quad.



Testing is always a pleasure at the PGA Learning Center in Port St.Lucie

on their Foresight GC Quad. The M4 produced consistent results. Throwing

out the longest/shortest drives, the average = 102.3 mph swing speed, 152

ball speed, 13.6 launch, 2336 backspin, 236L side spin (draw), 252 yards

carry/283 total yards (10 yards left of the centerline). Typically about as

good as I can do from a performance standpoint.


I was most interested in what HAMMERHEAD and TWIST FACE would do

for my misses. The new slot technology actually did show improvement

on those low face hits that for me are normally about a 10% drain of

carry distance (with last years TM model). Instead, with M4 it was closer

to a 3% loss of carry. Wow! That could be the difference between carrying

it over a hazard or bunker (before 225 yards - now 245).


I tried to discern if TWIST FACE was influencing the flight shape of my

mishits in the simulator, but since you don't get a true sense of ball flight

indoors, I took the testing outdoors for multiple sessions both on the range

and in game mode. What I found was interesting, it did seem like my high

toe hits stayed right of what I expected when I was sure the hard draw

would be the result. When I'm swinging well, the mid-high toe portion

of the face is where I'll tend to miss, but a few shots that came out of

that spot (that usually comeback left) just stayed right. In other words

my typical push draw just simply became a push. I noticed nothing

different when I came out of swing and caught the shot on the low heel

- still a spinny up shooter that looks like a right handed batter that pushed

one towards "Pesky's Pole". So after several rounds, I collected no definitive

data or opinion on TWIST FACE. It's my belief that it may help a slight miss

off the high toe, but also don't expect that topspin push draw to come back

as much. My suggestion: with TWIST FACE learn to aim a bit more down the

middle. Is that such a bad thing . . .




M4 is worthy . For those who want the latest tee box basher with the

sound and feel we've come to expect from TaylorMade it passes all of the

exams. Throw in ample forgiveness and performance minus all of the uber

adjustability options (and at a cheaper price $429 to M3 at $499). Somehow,

Bazzel, Tomo and the guys at TaylorMade are still finding ways to create

better drivers. How much better is it than prior M products is up for debate,

but if you're still gaming outdated technology, M4 could be the right choice

for your game this summer (overall grade A-). As always, to make sure you

get in the right set up for your game, go get fit by a certified club fitter.



For more info on TaylorMade products:













New Links Threads 2018: Greg Norman, Antigua Sportswear PDF Print E-mail

Posted March 20, 6:17pm est


By Jason Bruno

Featured in our Best New Products from the '18 PGA Merchandise

Show earlier this year were product lines from two of the game's most

iconic brands - Greg Norman and Antigua. Both leaders of industry not

only for their fabrics and styles, but for what they consistently offer the

consumer in terms of value. So here's a few of our favorite items from

both available this spring . . .





The Greg Norman Collection for 2018 features their Foreward Series,

a mix of comfort, performance and cutting edge technology. A vast

combination of fabrics, colors and classic styles (like subtle stripes,

heathers and solids) make up what the Shark considers a lifestyle

brand rather than just your standard run of mill golf apparel.









Greg Norman's new Brisbane Chino short is 98% cotton/2% spandex

that features an extremely soft to the touch cotton that appears heavier

in weight than how it wears. The really convenient performance stretch

waistband is a detail that should not be overlooked (especially for those

no longer sporting a 28" waistline) when searching for comfortable links

shorts (or pants), even more so if you prefer walking your tee to green









An example of the variety of polos the Greg Norman Collection offers

consumers in '18. Shown above - ML75 Foulard Print Polo (Sea Glass)

and the new Foreward Series polos (Carribean Blue w/white stripe and

Navy). Moisture Management 1/4 Zip Mock Pullover (Sterling Gray).









A close up of the ML75 Foulard Print Polo (Sea Glass) collar shows the

impeccable quality, but doesn't convey how fantastic this silky to the

touch garment feels when you're out on the fairways or afterwards at









The unmistakeable Shark logo is a nice touch on back panel of the

Foulard print.








Every golfer needs gear for those cool early morning tee times and chilly

spring evenings, GN's Moisture Management 1/4 Zip Mock light weight

layering garment is must for all traveling linksters.




The Greg Norman philosophy of a lifestyle brand rather than a golf apparel

brand has become what they are known for, and has served them well. In

fact, it's quite common when I'm out somewhere wearing something from

Greg Norman, a colleague or golfing friend will comment "That shirt (or

jacket) is sweet, is it new? And what brand is that?" My usual reply, sounds

like a TV ad - 'Thanks, it's by Greg Norman - they make really nice stuff and

the prices are actually very reasonable considering the quality'.


Check out the Greg Norman Collection:








Antigua Sportswear


Antigua is such a huge favorite of so many that consider sportswear to be

their apparel of choice. Their Men's Performance-72 line shows off the iconic

brand's newest links styles for 2018. Featuring Antigua's Desert Dry Xtra-

Lite moisture wicking fabric, THEORY and COVERT (shown above) are sure

to be two of the best selling polos on the shortgrass this year.









COVERT, 90% polysester/10% spandex features a brilliant mini heather

broken stripe print, self fabric collar, open cuff sleeves and side slits in

a magnificent hue of Boysenberry.









Antigua's THEORY, 92% polyester/8% spandex (shown in Poseidon Blue),

combines a solid top panel with a yarn dye micro verticle stripe on the lower

half. An uncommon pairing that works in perfect harmony. Self fabric collar,

open cuff sleeves and side slits are all more reasons why Antigua has created

the loyal following that they have. First class . . .



3D holographic A logo on the right cuff has a stylish polished silver accent

that adds a bit of panache to your Sunday Four-ball group.



We're big on brands that produce quality, comfortable, stylish golf apparel

that doesn't destroy your budget. Based in Peoria, Arizona, Antigua has

been at the forefront of Sportswear for over 40 years now, and is an

officially licensed supplier to the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA of America,

PGA Tour, LPGA, MLS, and NASCAR. Sports and fashion is what they do,

and they do it as well as anybody in the industry...

For more info on Antigua Sportswear:








The Best New Products 2018 - Part 2 (Soft Goods, Tech, Training Aids, etc) PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno


It's been 3 weeks since the golf industry parted ways from Orlando

and went back to their respective headquarters getting ready to crank

out what you'll see in retail shops this spring and summer. In Part 1 of

"Our Best New Products" (from the 2018 PGA Show) feature we showed

off the latest innovations in golf clubs and golf balls, in Part 2 we feature

our picks for the best in the categories of Apparel, Footwear, Eyewear,

Tech items, Training Aids, Grips, accessories etc.

Enjoy . . .












There's a very shortlist of golf shoe creators in the upper tier, and right

at the top is Puma's Grant Knudson. There's a reason why we open every

PGA Show with some shoe talk with G.K - year after year, his fresh ideas

and innovation lead to more comfort and fresh styles. In 2018, PUMA

introduces IGNITE PWRADAPT. The Leather version (shown above) provides

a sophisticated and sporty style combined with a mesh hybrid lining for

excellent fit.



The style always pulls you in, but it's the comfort and performance that

determines what shoe you wear when it's time for that special round of

golf. PWRADAPT sole technology features tornado cleats with pivoting

capability, allowing flexibility of movement for the ultimate in traction

and comfort.



Different color ways and styles including uppers made from a breathable

mesh include lace or disc option. The lace up version is available in White,

Black, Quiet Shade (Gray) and Peacoat Blue (shown above). $150





The PUMA IGNITE Spikeless has been so popular (I still own two pairs),

that Knudson couldn't resist the urge to create a revved up newer version

of this iconic shoe. The new PWRSPORT looks even better and provides

more stability featuring PWRCAGE (a lightweight TPU saddle). $120













Ecco Biom Hybrid 3 GTX is the company's latest in comfort and performance

golf footwear. GORE-TEX waterproof technology provides protection from the

elements. YAK premium upper is strong and lightweight. BIOM NATURAL

MOTION technology brings the golfer closer to the ground. Ortholite inlay sole

provides long-term cushoning. Concrete/Scarlet colorway shown above. $200




Black/Buffed Silver and print is a new colorway option available for 2018.











Adidas introduces the next generation of their flagship tour shoe - Tour

360 2.0 with BOOST technology. Slight refinements from the previous

model, like a seamless leather toe panel, more BOOST in the sole and

refined 3 stripe design. $200




The latest in spikeless, AdiPower S BOOST3. Lightweight and sporty might just

be the ideal setup for walking the links. Comfort is key here. $130






We got a sneak preview from Adi's Joel Monson on these Special Edition

models you just may see World No.1 Dustin Johnson wearing during the

U.S Open and Ryder Cup. The sock collar Tour 360 is a cool look, more

from these coming soon in 2018.











The new Callaway LaGrange is the company's tour offering featuring the

POWERdrive platform. POWERdrive has a DUO-Max midsole offering comfort

via a top layer of EVA foam. Their Fusionlite TPU outsole provides the stability

and Silver Tornado removable cleats provide the traction. The new outsole

provides improved flexibility for superior foot movement throughout the swing.

The upper is full grain leather with Opti-dri waterproof protection that carries

a 2 year warranty. $199











FootJoy introduced their new Tour-S shoe featuring a new Powerstrap

structure for medial and lateral support, nine LaunchPods on the sole

for tour-caliber stability and traction. Premium leather upper. $250











New Balance Minimus Tour features Champ Slim-Lok Zarma Tour cleats,

ultra flexible NDurance rubber outsole and Ortholite insole for cool dry

comfort. Ultra light weight (11.7 oz). $140












The big theme in Men's golfwear for 2018 is something that I heard over

and over again from virtually every apparel company - LIFESTYLE WEAR

(focused on a more versatile style that ISN'T golf specific). The look has

gravitated away from bright neons and towards more contemporary colors

and earth tones. GRAY was the overwhelming favorite of designers in their

presentations. Clothing that will just as easily be suitable for an evening

of dinner and a movie as much as it is styled for the first tee. The days

of the stretch tight super hero look that replaced the baggy 90's golf look

are now on their way out, and a big bravo to that.










Arnold Palmer Apparel

Arnold Palmer Apparel really impressed us with their collection of quality

fabrics, endless styles and an infinite palette of colorways that are all

value priced.

Inspired by many of Mr.Palmer's favorite courses he claimed victory on,

and others that were his own original designs like Tralee and Adios, the

garments are all traced back to Arnie's treasured destinations or a person

that was a fixture in "A Life Well Played". Easily on our short list of links

wear you should be considering in 2018, and The King would have it no

other way.











Puma's new FUSION-YARN brings the Rickie inspired collection into a

slightly more versatile and mature vibe. The EVOknit seemless polos

are especially worthy ($75).











Greg Norman's Collection really covers the spectrum from casual island

sunshine inspired vibes . . .





. . . to more traditional golf styles like this classy polo.






Shark's booth always inspires many styles with such a comprehensive

line. Price point wise, Greg Norman is easily among the absolute best

value in the world of Golf Apparel. Lots more coming from us on new

GN line in 2018.












Their Desert Dry line might be the most popular collection sold in

the USA, featuring 90/10 poly/spandex Xtra-Lite (2DXL) moisture

wicking, self fabric collars, open cuff sleeves. This new Covert style

in Boysenberry, is already a favorite of ours.




Antigua apparel continues to do what they do best, create premium

golf apparel at a price point that is right up there at the top in value.

When you wear Antigua you'll know why it's so popular among diehard












Bermuda Sands booth display this year was vast, and with the phasing

out of their XP line, Bermuda Sands has brought that lifestyle vibe into

their performance pieces. The 2018 line, features even more REPRIEVE -

a process that uses recycled plastic technology to the fabric industry.

This quarter zip Storm Dri gray long sleeve pullover just screamed out

"MUST HAVE". $80












When it comes to outer wear of the storm protection variety, Galvin Green

is the industry standard, once again they will be the official outfitter of the

2018 European Ryder Cup Team in Paris.











Oxford apparel has

always been in the

lifestyle lane instead

of in the golf specific

type of look. The long

lasting benefits to this

approach are obvious,

no need to keep re-

inventing the brand

or what to be known

for. This Ottley quilted

vest ($159) and plaid

buttondown are timeless

examples of the Oxford


Originality like this Oxford button down long sleeve knit polo look like

the prefect Monterey Peninsula or Kiawah Island spring garment.















There's a few items when it comes to golf fashion that you can never have

enough of - shoes and belts. In the latter of the two, Slidebelts has taken

what other well known ratchet belts have created, and kicked it up a notch

with their dual ratchet buckle design. With their easy to release mechanism

you simply hinge out the buckle and tighten, loosen or release the strap. It's

as simple as that. Our Animal friendly Vegan strap/classic buckle combo

retails for $40. Full grain premium models can run as much as $125.






Custom logos are available to order on all Slidebelts.











Grip6 is a company that I came to know through a colleague, who saw

their belts in the New Product Showcase. After meeting with Kevin Rogers

and the guys from GRIP6 - I agreed, these ultra-light, super sleek belts

are convenient, versatile, stylish and perhaps the simplest of any belt

possibly ever created. No holes, ratchets or flaps exist here with GRIP6,

the buckles are interchangable in seconds and prices start at just $35.

There are so many choices to mix and match. Here's a link to their video:




Our Favorite GRIP6 is the Carbon Fiber buckle and gray strap combo.

This belt just happens to be perfect for airport travel, the Carbon Fiber

is completely non-metallic, so zero issues with metal detectors. This

model is the highest price setup at $90 (The 9 layer carbon fiber buckle

costs $75 and can be purchased separately).





More cool styles from GRIP6.











Zero Friction golf gloves known for a one size fits all compression fit

are now available in their top of the line Cabretta Elite in an assortment

of colors. We've been searching for a premium golf glove in gray for quite

sometime, and ZF's John Iacono has brought it to the marketplace.




Zero Friction has earned a reputation for creating innovative products,

and now, they introduce SuperTube to retail golf shops. SuperTube

includes one performance universal compression fit glove, 3 Spectre

matte finish golf balls and 10 ZFT Maxx 2 3/4" tees  “More and more

golfers are adding color to their game, and our new product line

addresses that trend,” said Iacono. “Our Supertube provides an

attractive, affordable and simple method for golfers to purchase

products they need.” $24.99














  • See It Better. Read it Better. play Better.
  • NEW UA Tuned Golf lenses provide contrast enhancement
  • ArmourSight® lens tech provides enhanced, distortion-free vision
  • All UA Eyewear defends against 100% of harmful UVA/B/C rays


TUNED is the new story at Under Armour Eyewear. New for 2018, is UA's

two lens system, one for action and light engagement and one for recovery

to give the eyes a break from everyday harmful blue light. (BIG SHOT

TUNED model shown above). $114.99











Oakley's new golf specific shades for 2018 feature an additional layer

of light protection now launched as Prizm Dark Golf.





The new lens is better suited for all forms of light conditions than the

original Prizm golf lens. Oakley found that if you play golf in places like

California, Arizona or Florida, you often encounter super-bright days

that require a bit more filter . The new Prizm Dark Golf lens dulls down

the intense light while still providing top notch Prizm performance.

$130 and up











Bolle continues to be a force in the golf eyewear industry. Along

with their staple golf model - Bolt (top), the Bolle Anaconda (shown

in Tortoise frame), featuring Bolle's amber V3 photochromic lens that

boasts 40% less distorsion than your typical polycarbonate lens.

With V3, every experience is revealed with glass like clarity so

you can be laser focused on your target.











Inputt is a simple and portable device that quite simply will help you

make more putts. That very make-able and very miss-able 4 to 10

foot range is often the difference in your score, and Inputt is a

remarkable tool to help build a repeatable and consistent motion.

Inputt can be used for either right hand or left handed players by

just flipping around the device. We tried Inputt at the show and was

very impressed by the results. A more indepth future review may be

in order for this training aid. $89.95










Pocket Pin High Pro is a training aid that is geared to get you onto

your lead leg at impact. Perfect for golfers who tend to hang back

and suffer from inconsistent contact. Simply place the non-slip tape

portion of the disc under your front foot, when you get to impact the

lead foot will compress the PHP disc down and a distinct click sound

will occur at impact. If you remain with your weight back the disc

will not click. Carl Papa and the guys at PPHP have created something

really useful for instructors and golfers to create a better impact

position. We have just begun testing the Pocket Pin High Pro with

excellent results, with a full review coming soon. $34.95












Everybody wants to hit the ball longer, and in order to do that two things

must happen - square impact and faster clubhead speed. SuperSpeed golf

training system was created to amp up your clubhead speed.

Taking the professional golf tours by storm, each color indicates a certain

weight. You start by swinging the Green model (which is the lightest)

several reps both right handed and left handed, then the Blue (Medium),

and then you make a series of super fast swings using the Red (heaviest).

You also do a set from your knees (both right and left handed), finally you

finish going hyper speed back with the Green. Within weeks of using the

system, the company says that you will gain a noticeable increase in

clubhead speed. $199


Stay tuned for our results, as we have just begun the program . . .
















BIGMAX Golf had an impressive booth display at the show, known

for their ultra compact push trolleys like this Blade+ ($329), but

their collection of carry and cart bags are equally as impressive.

AQUA OCEAN is an ultra-light weight bag that features a waterproof

shell, large top for more club space, bottle cooler and valuables

pocket. $179.99





Aqua Sport2 cart bag $299.99










TaylorMade FlexTech Lifestyle Bags

TaylorMade's FlexTech Lifestyle carry bags had us at hello (especially

the Scottish tartan plaid). FlexTech Lifestyle pays tribute to TM’s legacy

featuring the classic 1979 TaylorMade logo. $219

5-way organizational top

·         Water-resistant valuables pocket with micro-suede lining

·         Easily accessible insulated water bottle pocket

·         Full-length dividers to eliminate club crowding

·       Zip-off ball pocket for embroidery









Sun Mountain C130

Sun Mountain's Supercharged 4.5 carry bag $249 and C-130 cart bag

(pictured) offers golfer-friendly features including a 14-way top with

a putter well, an abundance of pocket space, Smart Straps, an easy-

access range finder pocket, and now the elegantly integrated portable

power pack. $279













GEN i1

Gen i1 is the World's first smart golf ball that measures putting data:

tempo, clubface at impact, ball speed, skid, ball rotation and overall

distance. Kit includes 1 - Gen i1 ball with embedded sensor, 1 - putter

sensor and USB cord. Connects with the free Geni1 app for both Android

and IOS systems. $139











AFTERSHOKZ. Headphones like you've never seen or heard . . .




Flexible Titanium Wireless Headphones are ideal for joggers, cyclists and

others who like to hear music but not block out ambient noise. Instead

of covering your ears, these premium Bluetooth headphones transmit

sound vibrations through your cheekbones to your inner ears, so you

can enjoy your music and still hear the ambient sound around you.

Compatible with all iPhones, Samsung Galaxies and other Android

devices. Operates up to 6 hours on a full charge. Available in Slate

Gray, Ocean Blue and Lime Green. $129.95










SelfieGOLF, easily one of our favorite accessories. No longer do you need

a friend to film your golf swing, simply attach your alignment rod, phone

device and SelfieGolf clip to your golf bag and you're ready to go.


The same afternoon the SelfieGOLF package arrived in the office, I was able

to hit the range and film the swing - immediately analyzing a few fundamentals

that need some work. For under $40 you can have the SelfieGOLF set -

two alignment sticks and a SelfieGOLF clip.










TecTecTec ULT-X

TecTecTec known for their quality laser rangefinders at a value price

point (in fact, TecTecTec has been the leading seller of rangefinders

on Amazon for 2 straight years now). In the spring of 2018, they will

introduces their latest, the ULT-X. Featuring 600 yd range, a removable

slope feature, and long awaited vibration mode. Look for the ULT-X to

reside somewhere in the $200-$250 range, or about half the price of

what the industry leader charges for their unit with the same options.










One of the products that gained the most attention in Orlando at the Tour

Edge Media Day was OnCore's soon to be released GENIUS ball. Still in the

development stage, this ball with a micro-chip in the core is designed

specifically to collect data on full shots. It won't be inexpensive, but it will

be interesting to see if they can perfect this innovation to the point where

it has merit. More on the GENIUS ball when a launch date is announced.












At Lake Nona during show week we had the pleasure of meeting the guys

from ShotScope, having never been a huge fan of wearing watches while

playing, I was curious to see what might be different about the V2. The

system includes twenty tags that screw into each club (to identify each

club in your bag for shot tracking). The V2 watch communicates with the

tags, gathering performance data that can be analyzed after play. The V2

is fully waterproof and adjusts to 11 wrist sizes (and much to my surprise,

is very comfortable while hitting shots). 3 modes: GPS, PRO and GPS +

Tracking. $250











Flightscope a global high tech leader in sports technology introduces Mevo,

a pocket sized device that features many of the key data points of it's full

sized X3 unit.


FlightScope Mevo is the portable launch monitor that changes everything.

Now you can get instant data on your mobile device. Whether you're a

swing coach, clubfitter, product tester or just a golfer looking to improve -

you can now access carry distance, club head speed, ball speed, smash,

vertical launch angle, spin, height and flight time. To watch the video on

FlightScope Mevo:
















Lamkins new Players cord was developed by Bob Lamkin and Hall of

Famer Nick Price. Who really wanted a center line and slightly softer

feeling cord grip with very little pattern. Price uses the line as reference

for hand position when shaping shots.




Lamkin's new line features a shallow micro texture process allows for

improved feel and tackiness. Reduced taper in the bottom hand is a

big part of the new line up for 2018. Priced from 7.99 to 9.99.












Golf's best selling grip - Golf Pride's Tour Velvet is now available with

ALIGN. According to Golf Pride's resident expert Bruce Miller, about

50% of PGA Tour players still game the traditional Tour Velvet. A third

of those tour players play with an old traditional reminder rib grip, that

isn't available to retail. With ALIGN now you can feel exactly where your

hands belong on the grip everytime. After sampling the ALIGN, I

wondered why I'm still playing round grips. Available this spring in

standard $8.99 and mid-size $9.49














ALINE foot suspension system is a game changer for those who prefer

to walk the links and also the many who suffer from foot ailments.

Presently I'm wearing the Active+ model and it has greatly helped

relieve my chronic heel spur pain by changing the orientation of

how my feet are angled as I stand and how that effects the knees,

hips and spine during each step. It takes a few days to get used to

the insoles, but it's so worth it. Golf model $99, Active+ $109.95




Many of these products featured here will be tested/reviewed and

featured throughout 2018, if there is a certain product you'd like

to see featured - feel free to contact us at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





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