Equipment & Product Reviews


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
2016 Father's Day Gift Guide PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

 

Sunday June 19th is Father's Day this year, so as usual we picked out some of our favorite items

your Dad might enjoy - either to look his best, or play his best. If you are a golfing Dad, I hope

you get one of these gifts . . . Happy Father's Day!

 

A man with Happy feet is usually a happy man - especially on the links. Puma's new Ignite Spikeless

Sport is built for cool style, serious traction and light weight. Worn on Tour by Cobra/Puma's own

Bryson DeChambeau who says "These are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn".

 

 

 

Ignite Spikeless Sport available in Gray, Blue and Black $140. For more info: cobrapumagolf.com

 

 

 

 

A few years back Zepp technology took the world of golf by storm with their personal swing

device technology. The next generation of the Zepp Golf - called appropriately Zepp Golf2,

features a smart coach training system. Just attach the sensor to your glove and sync with

your Apple/Android device and you're ready to get started. After just a few swings the Zepp2

in collaboration with the Zepp smartphone app, you will receive instant information to

evaluate the area where you can improve. Zepp's training programs are illustrated by

Keegan Bradley, Michelle Wie, Brendan Steele and swing coach Rick Smith - are be tailored

to your individual swing.

 

 

 

 

 


Zepp2 is my personal go to when I need to check swingplane, tempo, swingspeed,

backswing etc. It's your best way to coach yourself in between lessons from your

PGA Professional. Zepp2 easily attaches to any golf glove - available at BestBuy,

PGA Superstore, Dick's Sporting Goods, GolfGalaxy or www.zepp.com - $149

 

 

 

 

 

Does Dad need a new Laser Rangefinder, but the price has him walking off yardages or

using the inferior cell phone gps? Precision Pro's new Nexus rangefinder is great value and

is packed with features . . .

 

 

 

Precision Pro Nexus

is packed with all of

the essentials to

help you play a

more enjoyable and

efficient round

of golf.

 

 

 

 

 

The Nexus fits perfectly in one hand, and it's non slip cover provides ease of

use. During our review on the course, we found that our test unit measured

yardages quickly and within a yard of the two leading industry brands . . .

and at a fraction of the cost. $199 - www.precisionprogolf.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've long said that the

Highland is the best golf

pant in the industry. New

for this year, Maide Golf

has added the new

Lightweight Highland with

all of the features of

the original. It's a great

option for those warmer

days where a full length

pant is still the right choice.

The new Lightweight

Highland features:


M-Flex stretch panels for

range of motion, inner

gel waist liner to keep you

from looking disheveled

while in action, sweat tech

back pocket keeps your

scorecard dry while walking

the links and all while being

water resistant.


$118 - https://bonobos.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

The roll-in BAGBUDDY is an item like no other. Shag bags are heavy and don't pick up your golf

balls. Shag tubes pick up golf balls but only hold about 20 balls. The roll-in BAGBUDDY does both.

 

 

 

The Pro model (left) holds approx. 75 golf balls and eliminates the need for those big

clumsy pvc devices used at nearly every driving range or country club shortgame area

to gather up balls into a pile - and still doesn't pick them up. The standard model holds

about 40 golf balls. To see this device work is really something, also unlike those other

devices, the BAGBUDDY handle fits right into your golfbag easily. The Roll-in website will

launch on June 17th - www.rollingolf.com

 

 

 

 

 

Our friends at August Covers created this leather driver cover of the highest order for me. It's

by far my favorite accessory in the bag. Customize your own or buy one from their collection.

I've spotted players on tour with some of Drew Garrett's awesome covers. Check out the website

and all of the choices at: www.Augustcovers.com

 

 

 

 

 

GolfBuddy introduces the Voice2. The second generation of the #1 selling voice gps in the

industry now has increased battery life and is water resistant. For those Dads who don't want

to bother with a laser rangefinder or high tech phone app, the GolfBuddy2 is quite simply the

easiest to use golf gps device in the world. $99 - www.golfbuddyglobal.com

 


 

 

 

When I'm out covering the PGA Tour representing GolfLife.com, I wear Callaway apparel. Many

folks weren't aware that Callaway has their own division of sportswear, well they do, and it's

every bit as impressive as their golf equipment line. Golf slacks, polos, belts and shoes are

all part of their extensive line of fine golf wear. Dad can probably use an upgrade to his threads

this Father's Day. Polos shown $39-61 - http://m.callawayapparel.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Air Force One - AFX PRO SERIES IRONS PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

 

Last year we reviewed the Air Force One DFX Tour Black Driver, and surprisingly it held up

to many of the leading $500 drivers in the industry when it came to performance (considering

the AFO DFX driver is half the cost, it's performance results were a revelation). So this Spring

we decided to give the new iron line an audition.

 

AFX Pro Series irons are the latest product from the company that has moved on from it's

previous Powerbilt branding. Powerbilt as a brand has long been associated with the equipment

of yesteryear (mainly persimmon woods). The move was made to put the Air Force One

nameplate on its own - as one that's seen for highly innovative technology. The AFX Pro Series

irons are designed with the mid/lower handicap player in mind, featuring performance with

forgiveness built in. The 5 thru PW are a conventional cavity back designed for feel and and

shot making. The 3 & 4 irons are a hollow design charged with nitrogen for max distance and

launch.

 

 


 

The nitrogen cartridge outlet is visible on the outer toe of the 3 & 4 iron. For those who

prefer long irons to hybrids, the AFX Pro Series 3 & 4 iron boast lofts of 18 and 21 degrees

respectively. No hybrids required here.

 

 

 

3 & 4 iron - Nitrogen Charged Features:

 

- 2 Piece Hollow Core Construction

- Nitrogen Charged

- Edge to Edge Sweet Spot

- Weightless Face Support

- Nitrogen Pressurized Clubhead

- Progressive Offset

- Thinner Top Line

 

 

 

 

The brushed satin finish has a clean look (7 iron shown above). Surprisingly, the look of these

irons at address is not one of bulky game improvement (see the photo below). Sleek, especially

along the top line where you'd expect something chunky in appearance. All of the technology is

hidden when you setup to hit a shot, a pleasant surprise - something you might expect in a premium

forged cavity back club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


AFX Pro Series 5-PW Cavityback irons


- Reduced Cavityback

- Thin Topline

- Thinner sole for better turf interaction

- Progressive Offset

- Optimum Trajectory

- Designed for Workability

- Apollo Steel 105 gram shafts designed

for Control and Trajectory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

As far as performance is concerned, the AFX Pro Series irons deliver crisp impact and high

trajectory shots, but also allows better players to shape their shots on command. All with the

added bonus of ample forgiveness on off-center shots. The stock steel 105 gram Apollo shafts

were as buttery as the premium graphite shafts in my everyday gamers. Distance in these is

about half a club longer than what I normally play (stronger lofts have a bit to do with that).

The 3 & 4 Nitrogen Charged irons feel trampoline like because of the hollow construction,

and offer a higher ball flight and more carry than most golfers could imagine with a long iron.

Similar to the driving irons produced by the leading manufacturers, these offer hybrid distance

in a sleeker head design - but with the added feature of Nitrogen Charged technology.


 

 

 

 

AFX Pro Series Iron Specs:


Club        Loft       Lie       Length

3 iron - 18°  --- 60.5° - 39.5

4 iron - 21° --- 60.5° - 38.5

5 iron - 24° --- 60.5° - 38

6 iron - 27° --- 61°    - 37.5

7 iron - 31°  --- 61.5° - 37

8 iron - 35°  --- 62°    - 36.5

9 iron - 40°  --- 62.5° - 36

PW       - 45° --- 63°  -  35.5

 


*Update on 5/26 after initial testing: Further testing on the course confirmed our first impressions

from the range. The AFX Pro irons are as easy to hit as any iron we've tested - especially the

longer irons (previously Cobra's XL irons and TaylorMade's Speedblades held that distinction).

When you can boldly pull 4 iron from the bag from 220 yards out (hearing the doubtful chatter

from your group in the background) only to smash a towering approach onto the green. You

know the equipment is making as much a statement to your confidence as you are to your

opponents. If you get anything from this review, it's to find a set that is easy to launch with

minimal effort. The ease of hitting accurate long irons shots with the AFO - AFX Pro irons is

addicting.

 

 

Summary:

Air Force One's AFX Pro Series irons offer big performance and at a value that very few leading

club companies can match. The complete 3-PW set is only $399. If you're looking for an alternative

to your long irons or hybrids, the AFX 3 & 4 Nitrogen Charged irons are also available in Fujikura

Graphite and can be purchased separately (AFO offers a risk free 30 day trial). Gap and Sand Wedge

also available.

 

 

 

For more info on Air Force One Products: http://afogolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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