Equipment & Product Reviews

2015 Holiday Gift Guide (under $150) PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

Shopping for the golfer who seems to have everything? Here's a few of our favorite

products (under $150) that's sure to make for a great holiday gift.





Callaway MD3 Wedges

The new Mack Daddy3 wedges from Callaway aren't just eye candy, their tour proven top of the line

scoring sticks.



The MD3 milled wedges have 3 different grind styles to fit any swing type for complete

versatility on every shortgame shot, no matter the conditions. $149



For more info:






WHET Apparel


If you haven't heard of WHET Design golf apparel, now's the time. A South Florida company

that stands by the motto "If it doesn't look and feel amazing from the first go, then it's not

worth having." Four button plackets, classic looks and a performance fabric are all good reasons

to consider WHET Design apparel for the holidays.




WHET's logo is featured on the left collar. Marqui - Black/White.



Luxe - Pink


Once you try on a WHET Design slim fit golf shirt . . . the rest is history. The pima-

polyester interlock fabric produces incredibly soft feel, and keeps you cool and dry under

the toughest conditions. $75-85









Known as the belt with no holes, anyone who has put on a Nexbelt can attest that the product

is far more than that. The finest quality and style are standard with Nexbelt, worn by many

on the PGA Tour including Kevin Na and Jim Furyk. (Reptile - Alligator style shown above $89.99)



Nexbelt products feature their PreciseFit ratcheting system which allows fitting to within

1/4", instantly fitting mens sizes 30-45" (ladies 24-40"). No holes means longer lasting and

more comfort.



The Newport collection is a relaxed

classic look in a canvas material.

An ode to the casual look of shorts

or jeans, and very affordable at



Nexbelt offers Assorted buckle and strap styles available in vitually every color combination.

Customize your Nexbelt with your own logo. (Contender ll shown above $55.99)


This Holiday season Nexbelt is offering free shipping on any order over $75.






DeadZero Putting Aide



Looking for a way to hone in on those putts inside six feet? The DeadZero putting aide

teaches you to narrow in your focus. Take it anywhere, I use mine in the office . . . but you

can throw it in the golf bag and use it virtually anywhere. Now thru Dec.31st just $14.95 . . .



Pro model which includes a bubble level $29.95






August Covers

Looking for something really special to give the golfer who has virtually every golf gadget? A

premium leather headcover from Drew Garrett's brilliant collection at August Covers might just

do the trick. You can even create your own custom design - add your name or company logo.




The first thing you'll notice

about August Covers is

the first class quality. Each

cover is handmade with the

finest leather and fits

perfectly on the latest

460cc drivers.


The look is very traditional,

and clean. This is not your

typical headcover sold at

big box discount stores, it's

a finely crafted accessory

meant for those who prefer

the finer things in life & golf.






Imperial Tailgate Collection

Imperial's Tailgate Collection combines the spirit and colors of your favorite college football team

with the superior quality of Imperial headwear. $30





InstaGolf - Spider Mini


The folks at InstaGolf are known for their innovative outside the box golf products. For the

golfer who's looking for something not commonly found at your typical golf superstore.

For those who take pride in tending to the turf, Rick Hetzel and the crew at

InstaGolf have come up with the best divot repair tool that we've ever used.

Why not do your part to keep the greens on your course in the best possible

condition. The Spider Mini is a steal at $9.95



For the turf professional, there's the Spider Pro. 69.95



InstaGolf's Cloudburst is a microfiber towel that's ideal for keeping your clubs clean and

dry, even in the worst weather conditions. A must have - $14.95






Vice Golf

Where can you get a premium urethane tour quality ball and have it shipped straight to your

front door for under $35 per dozen? How about customized with your company logo in time

for the holidays? Vice Golf is the source.




If you're ready to escape from the cold this winter, come down to our favorite resort in

Florida and the two most unique courses in the Sunshine State - Streamsong Resort.

The famed Red and Blue courses will satisfy that linkster who wants to experience nature

at its finest. The resort which includes shooting clays, bass fishing and my personal favorite

the Aquapietra Spa, has it all. The dining options cover the spectrum of cuisine. Although an

experience at Streamsong this time of year (peak season) will likely break our gifts under

$150 rule, gift cards are available starting at just $50, and can be used for golf, merchandise,

accommodations, spa services and more.


Streamsong Clubhouse



For more info on the Streamsong Holiday Experience:




Happy Holidays!










SwingOil - Get Loose. Swing Smooth PDF Print E-mail


SwingOIL - this is not your ordinary sports performance beverage.



SwingOil is a potent 3 oz drink supplement formulated for maximum performance on the links. Unlike

typical energy drinks loaded in sugar and caffeine, swingOIL is loaded with mind and body sharpening

nutrients - the three targets of better performance are: Strength (100 mg Taurine, 100 mg Citrulline

Malate), Focus (100 mg Ginseng extract, 100 mg Rhodiola Rosea extract) and Flexibilty (100 mg

Glucosamine, 50 mg Chondroitin, 40 mg Turmeric extract).



Initially, it was tough to tell how SwingOIL would affected my performance in pre-round warmups

and out on the course . . .  but after several days of taking the product before and during rounds,

I did notice a higher energy level and increased focus. Most of my golf is played in the afternoon

after work, so fatigue and lack of focus has become a typical late in the day condition that was never

a factor in my pre 40's days. No longer is the back nine a crash, there's some kick left to finish strong!


The taste of each flavor (Strawberry-Banana, Lemon-Lime, and Orange) is excellent, so rather than

stock bottles of expensive pills of Ginseng, Turmeric, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, I much prefer to

drink and enjoy my nutrients. At the moment, SwingOIL is being marketed as a golf specific supplement

. . . but I'd recommend it for any athletic endeavor, and I won't be surprised if it becomes the rage

among professional athletes and weekend warriors everywhere.


Champions Tour player Kenny Perry, and current PGA Champion Jason Day use swingOIL regularly.


Serve it on ice, freeze each pouch and go, or do as I like to and mix with water and a slice of lime.

Either way you choose, you're sure to get loose and swing smooth with swingOIL.



A case of swingOIL consists of 24 - 3 oz pouches (8 of each flavor).

Each 24 Pack sells for $59 ($2.46 per each).



For more info:










Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver - Leave No Yard Behind PDF Print E-mail

By Jason Bruno

Callaway's new Great Big Bertha was built for pure distance, hence the slogan "Leave No Yard

Behind". Great Big Bertha comes in 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degree lofts. The 45.5" length, D2

swingweight are standard fare for present day technology.

It's no secret to serious and recreational golfers that Callaway has made a huge resurgence in

recent years, an obvious uptick in innovation has been going on at the Chevron and we don't

expect that to change anytime soon, especially with all of the restructuring going on at TMAG.

There is a definite momentum shift in the industry, companies like Nike, Callaway and Cobra

continue to gain on the three stripes, whose leadership in Carlsbad seems to change semi

annually these days.



The matte black finish of the forged composite crown is an acquired taste, that many of our

testers actually preferred. The composite crown lowers the center of gravity for higher launch

and more forgiveness.


The new GBB features Callaway's Gravity Core and 10 gram adjustable perimeter weighting on a

sliding track.

Great Big Bertha also features their new R-moto face for faster ball speeds. According to

Callaway the GBB is their most forgiving driver to date, designed with no compromise - the

ultimate in adjustability, distance and forgiveness.

Fujikurs'a Speeder 665 Tour Spec is one of the stock options and was the powerplant for

this review. Other stock shafts include the Mitsubishi's Bassara (40 gram range), KuroKage

(50 gram range), and Diamana D+ (70 gram range).

Aesthetics/Performance - First order of business is the look at address. It sits perfectly square in

the stock neutral settings - check. The matte black is simple and understated, by the time I

played 9 holes, it grew on me. The white Fuji shaft looked clean and fast, just what you'd expect

from a Speeder Tour Spec.


The GBB immediately jumped off the face, and the Speeder produced distances with the longest

drivers we've tested in 2015. Ball flight wise, trajectory was right around the typical 13-15 degree

launch that I expected, but the GBB definitely gives off a draw biased shot shape . . .  and since

most golfers go the other way, this will suit the masses. I personally had to adjust the settings

and exaggerate my path to work a cut, but knowing where the ball is going isn't a bad thing once

you correctly align one self. The 10-15% of Golfers who play a reliable draw might be more

interested in Cally's BB 816 Double Black Diamond model, that is designed for reduced spin for

more skilled players.

8 different hosel configurations allow total adjustability.




If you're after "Leaving No Yard Behind" (and a right to left ball flight), Callaway's latest Great Big

Bertha is worth a test drive. Great Big Bertha retails for $449.



For more info:















Tee Claw PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno


I know what you're thinking . . . not another product feature on the latest golf tee

and how it will help you gain 2.4 yards of carry. No fear, this isn't a feature on a tee . . .



Tee Claw co-founders

John Black and John Candias

invented a product to create

a better experience when

hitting golf shots off range

mats and synthetic turf


My first thought when I used

the Tee Claw on a mats

night at the range was: Why

didn't I think of this.




One of my biggest pet peeves about hitting off of mats is with fairway woods and drivers.

Nearly always, the rubber tee is inserted into a fixed cut out on the range mat, this causes

everyone who hits to stand in the same place on the mat, eventually the mats get sunken

in wear spots from the weight of each golfer. Also, usually the rubber tee placement is

towards the center top of the mat, where a wide stance with the driver often has your rear

foot almost off the mat. Perhaps the most maddening thing about hitting off mats is when

you switch from driver to Fairway wood or vice versa, the rubber tee is either too high or

too low . . . maddening. Some of the newer setups that have a heavy duty base where the

tee gets inserted and adjusts, never quite go low enough for a fairway wood.


With Tee Claw, you choose the position and height, it twists right into the synthetic fibers

of the range mat. No more rubber tube tees that are too low or too high. Simply insert a

wood or plastic tee (those unwanted broken tees work perfectly for use with fairway woods,

hybrids and even teed up iron shots). As the photo above illustrates, Tee Claw solves all of

those issues.




The elastic lanyard attaches

underneath the base of the

Tee Claw and anchors

underneath the range mat,

this not only insures that

you can find the Tee Claw

after it gets dislodged post

impact, but also serves as an

alignment aide at address.


The Tee Claw and lanyard can

also be used as an aide when

practice putting (less messy

than a chalk line, and just

a fraction of the cost of a

laser alignment device).








The diagram above left shows the Tee Claw's serrated prongs that grab hold when

twisted 180 degrees into the synthetic turf. The Tee Claw disc platform is constructed

with PVC and rubber and is about 1" by 1/2" tall - available in different colors and can

be personalized and with your company name.


Practicing on mats doesn't have to be a bad experience, ask your driving range manager

to get Tee Claw, or bring your own to the range.


For more info:












Biion Footwear PDF Print E-mail


Biion Footwear is unlike any golf shoe you've ever seen or worn, the brainchild of Canadian

fashion guru Rick Buchanan - Biion is a combination of innovation, classic lines, casual vibes

and colorful themes .




At first glance, Biion's new shoes are so different from conventional golf footwear it's tough

to put them into a category. Is it a dress shoe? Is it an actual golf shoe? Is it made of rubber?

Where are the laces . . .






It can be a dress shoe (albeit a casual waterproof one). Yes it is a spikeless golf shoe. Biion

shoes are actually made from Ethylene Vinyl Acetate - also known as EVA (the outsole is made

of rubber). Smooth and ultra light, EVA provides extreme flexibility for a superb fit . . . so much

so that they ARE slip-on (no laces).





One of Biion's most popular models is called pattern, the snake skin version caught our eye at

the PGA Show in Orlando. An important factor when ordering your Biion shoes is sizing. If your

feet are normal or narrow width (like mine), order a size smaller than your normal shoe size

- because of the nature and the flexibility of EVA, it's essential to make sure they fit snug . .  .

especially for golf.






Patterns and bright colors are what's popping at Biion footwear





Biion's spikeless honeycomb cleat pattern provides better traction than you might expect.





Recently I broke out the Biion shoes for a 36 hole event at the famous Palm Beach Par 3.

The shoes brought great curiosity, comments like, "What are those?" "Are those golf shoes?"

"Rubber wingtips!" but throughout the day I hit golf shots and never gave the shoes a thought.

I wear them anywhere and anytime the mood strikes, golf or the beach.


A few weeks back I caught up with Biion founder and CEO Rick Buchanan and picked his brain

about everything Biion.


LinksNation: I was somewhat skeptical before I wore my Biion shoes to play golf for the first time

recently, and was pleasantly surprised by how well they performed and how comfortable they are.


Rick Buchanan: It's been good, we've been pleasantly surprised as well with the reaction, you get

plenty of skeptics especially in the golf industry. Originally we started about 18 months ago, and

when we went to many pro shops we would get the typical response "what the hell is this?", but

really you can't knock it till you try it. Once we got the shoes in peoples hands, they said "these

might be okay". A lot of the pros we talked to when we were designing the shoe stated that they

practiced in bare feet. Our shoe is a connection to the ground. I designed the shoe for the other

95% of golfers who just go out to enjoy the game.


LN: The shoe is unlike anything else out there on the market, where did you come up with the



RB: My background is in fashion, so I've been involved in distribution here in Canada over the years

for many brands all over the globe. I was doing another footwear line as well, it's been a combination

of a ton of things. I noticed in the golf market right now, companies went towards an athletic style and got

away from their roots - an Oxford Brogue. Everybody has gone towards a running shoe, and the oxford

is a timeless classic, it's never going to go out of style. So I thought lets get into an EVA Oxford Brogue

that's a form fitting shoe and see where it goes. People were looking for something new, and our shoe

is not just a golf shoe, it's a lifestyle shoe.


LN: What do you see as your target demographic, I can see the mature male crowd gravitating towards

the classic wingtip and saddle models you offer . . . any thoughts on whether the younger generation will

catch on with the old classic styles?


RB: Absolutely 100%. What sets us apart outside of being a rubber shoe, is the flavors we have. Unlike

any other golf shoe, we have 36 colors now and will have over 50 colors for 2016. It's tough for shoe

companies that produce leather shoes to do that many colors, our production process is a lot simpler.

When I originally designed the shoe, I thought the demographic was 18-45 years old. It's been literally

across the board from small kids to 85 year olds. Our story is about color, surprisingly enough it's the

classic colors that are our weakest seller, everyone wants the bright colors.


LN: The themed Patterns you offer like anchors and Palm trees are really unique, your thoughts ?


RB: The Patterns are our best sellers. Guys like course designer Ron Garl who were stuck in their old

traditional shoes, have been the ones who are really taking to that style. Now he owns like 30 pairs of



LN: How did you come up with the spikeless honeycomb sole pattern?


RB: Our shoe is 3 parts - EVA upper, EVA midsole and rubber outsole. The reason we went with rubber

is because rubber is a compound that's made for grip. . . so it's great for the golf course and for a boat.

It's the actual golfer that has taken our shoes off the golf course, on the boat, restaurant or just wearing

them everyday. We've gone from zero to fourteen countries in 18 months. I was at a fashion trade show

in Florence (Italy), and saw a guy walking the cobblestone streets wearing Biion shoes - that was fantastic,

very rewarding to see. At the end of the day, we just wanted to simplify the golf shoe.


LN: What's coming up next for Biion?


RB: We're all about color, so we're branching out into not only golf, but boating and fashion. We have

a Biion 2.0 coming out, a little more technical and expensive with not as many flavors but matching

belts to go with the shoes.


For more info on Biion Footwear:



Special thanks to Greg Moser on this story.









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