Equipment & Product Reviews


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

nameplate.

 

 

 

 

G400 MODELS -

 


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 . . .

 

Quite simply, the G400 Max is THE STRAIGHTEST DRIVER WE'VE EVER TESTED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: https://ping.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Aesthetics

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology/Innovation

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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TESTING

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 . . .

 

 

Summary

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: https://www.taylormadegolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 . . .

 

 

GREG NORMAN COLLECTION

 

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

activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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.

 


 

SUMMARY

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: https://gregnormancollection.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.


 

Summary

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: https://www.antigua.com/index.php








 

 

 

 



 

 

 


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

 

By Jason Bruno


PART 2:

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 . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footwear

 

 

PUMA

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

 

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALLAWAY

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPAREL

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

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antigua

 

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

golfers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BERMUDA SANDS

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GALVIN GREEN

 

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


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

vibe.

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

the prefect Monterey Peninsula or Kiawah Island spring garment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accessories

 

 

 


SLIDEBELTS

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

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:

https://grip6.com/pages/how-to

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EYEWEAR

 

 

UNDER ARMOUR

  • 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

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 


TRAINING AIDS

 

 

 

 

INPUTT

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIN HIGH PRO

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

(https://pinhighpro.com/products/pocket-pin-high-pro)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPERSPEED GOLF

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 . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PULL CARTS/TROLLEYS/BAGS

 

 


BIGMAX Golf

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

TECH GEAR

 

 

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

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OnCore GENIUS

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOTSCOPE V2

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

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ouy0PBxkkA

$499

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRIPS

 


 

LAMKIN

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 PRIDE

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


HEALTH & RECOVERY

 

 

ALINE - INSOLE SYSTEM

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

 

 

 

 
Best New Products - 2018 PGA Show (Part 1 Equipment) PDF Print E-mail

 

By: Jason Bruno

2018 marks our tenth edition of the Best New Products of The PGA

Merchandise Show. The industry's biggest get together in central

Florida continues to evolve. This year we visited with more companies

than ever before, and because of the expanded coverage, this year's

"Best New Products" feature will be presented in two parts. Part 1 that

you are now reading consists primarily of our choices for the best new

clubs and golf balls to hit the market in early 2018. Next week, in Part

2 we feature everything in soft goods - apparel, shoes, belts. Accessories -

grips, gloves, bags, etc. Technology products - gps/rangefinders/game

tracking and training aids.

 

 

 

 

 


The best invite of the week is the Tour Edge Media Day (which takes

place the Monday of show week at Lake Nona), David Glod, Leonard

Finkel and Jon Claffey host the most intimate and comprehensive

outing for golf writers and equipment companies to mingle and

experience the latest in equipment and accessories. Their Tour Edge

Hot Launch3 line of metalwoods was getting major attention for the

combination of value and performance for the recreational player. HL3

is a 460cc titanium driver equipped with UST Mamiya graphite shaft

for under $200! In the age of the $500+ driver, the golf media on

hand took notice of what David Glod is offering to consumers, and

you should too. Check it out below in the new driver section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demo Day on Tuesday at Orange County National was at full capacity.

 

 

 

 

 

DRIVERS

 

 

TaylorMade M3/M4

New Twist Face technology is the big story at TaylorMade in '18. M3/

M4 takes the place of M1/M2. A hammerhead speed pocket and even

more forgiveness are M4's calling card. M3 features a "Y Track" for

it's moveable weight technology - increasing adjustability and is also

equipped with TM's new Hammerhead for increased structure stability.

 

 

 

Inside the TM booth at the Orange County Convention Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight Distance is TaylorMade's new marketing slogan with its

redesigned face plate called TWIST FACE. Altering the industry

standard of bulge and roll, TWIST FACE is designed to minimize

the typical dreadful results of the low heel (high right miss) and

the high toe (smothered left miss). We look forward to some

extensive testing this spring to see if TWIST FACE is a difference

maker. Stay tuned . . .

 

 

 

 

 

M3/M4 have very slight differences in the crown design from M1/M2,

silver replaces white from the first and second generation M Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Callaway Rogue

Epic set the tone in 2017 for the Chevron to become the industry leader

in the driver category - no small feat there. In 2018, they introduce Rogue

with updated Jail Break technology. Perhaps the big reason to be excited

about Rogue is the increased forgiveness, all while retaining its low spin

and fast ball speeds.

.

 

 

 

 

Rogue is available in standard, Sub Zero and Draw versions. The clean

look of the crown gets a big thumbs up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Callaway Senior Director of Brand Management Dave Neville sat down

with LinksNation to discuss Rogue: "We've updated the jailbreak tech-

nology - it's 25% lighter yet it makes the body stiffer. You will get as

much ball speed as Epic, which most people think is hardly possible,

but with alot more forgiveness. The shape of the driver is more of a

stretch shape, with higher MOI. It just looks easy to hit. The draw

model really looks square at address. For those who used EPIC

standard model with the weight positioned in the heel, that position

gave away MOI - losing forgiveness, so we wanted to have a dedicated

draw model that would give us even more draw bias but higher MOI

(it has MOI over 8000), but produces 20 yards more draw than Rogue

standard, which is huge."

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Edge Hot Launch 3

If you read the beginning of this feature then you're aware now of the

Tour Edge Hot Launch 3 driver and it's metalwood line. David Glod the

owner and club creator for Tour Edge/Exotics believes in using his

resources to create sound high level golf equipment at a price that

consumers can afford, and thus a loyal following of golfers who put

value and performance at the top of their wish list. In the case of the

HL3, you get a lightweight titanium 460cc driver equipped with a 60

gram UST Mamiya shaft. Geared towards the masses, the HL3 is a

solid choice for moderate speed players that can use a boost in launch

and carry distance. Yep, that covers about 95% of the golfing population.

At $189, Glod could turn the industry on its ear with HL3.

 

.

The HL3 doesn't have a quick connect shaft or movable weights, but

it packs essential performance for those who want today's technology

for under $200.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COBRA F8/F8+

 

Cobra F8 & F8+ features their signature SMARTPAD sole and forward/

rear weight adjustability that allows you to tune in your ball flight and

spin preference .

 

 

 

 

 

CNC Milled face is new for 2018. According to Cobra's Mike Yagley,

"Although drivers in the market today are very good, we knew there

was a better way to make a driver. We took the precision that you

see in putters and in other fields of manufacturing like aerospace.

When you CNC mill something it is exact. This new face in our F8

is highly complex, after 2 years of development we realized we can

do this. By CNC milling the face we got it thinner and more accurate,

it's more precise - thus producing more ball speed on mishits."

 

 

 

 

The latest crown design from Cobra mixes technology with aesthetics,

creating their best looking big stick ever. Trips made from polymer aid

in downswing aerodynamics to squeeze out every last bit of clubhead

speed. An outstanding bonus - included in all new Cobra clubs is the

Arccos/Cobra Connect game tracking technology. To track your shots

is to truly know your game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PING G400/G400Max

The latest from Ping is the G400 Max, the fourth model in the G400 line

(other models include standard G400, SMT (for those fighting the wayward

miss to the right), and the LST (low spin). According to Ping's Director of

Communications Pete Samuels, (the 460cc) G400 Max is the company's

most forgiving driver ever created (the other 3 models are 445cc). For a

company known for it's ability to minimize players mishits, that's saying a

bunch.

 

 

 

 

Equipped with a forged face and matte black crown of turbulators,

the G400 line is making waves not only in performance but in its

signature look. Ping announced last week the signing of Tony Finau

to a multiyear equipment deal. Finau plays the G400Max.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XXIO X Driver


A little background on this premium Japanese golf brand for those who

aren't very familiar with XXIO (it's pronounced ZEX-IO), the XXI is the

roman numeral 21, and in Japan "O" is always the most significant letter

in the alphabet that stands for Top or King. The branding stands for

excellence in the 21st century. XXIO created in 2000, is the leader in the

Japanese high end premium golf equipment market specializing in clubs

for moderate swing speed players many of which are "Baby Boomers"

that have lost some distance, but demand a high end product.


Their latest offering, the X driver was designed specifically with those

players in mind. According to XXIO Vice President Chuck Thiry, "Every

leading driver out there weighs between 300-315 grams, our drivers

are 250 & 270 grams - that's dramatically lighter. Lighter grip, lighter

shaft and a slightly heavier head and a balance point that's moved

way up towards the grip. When you build a club that way, it creates

lag and it makes it fire on the downswing. We believe the guy that

swings at 75mph needs a lighter softer golf club."


So while sister company Srixon is the company's tour brand, and Cleveland

fits the broadest range of player abilities, XXIO focuses on seniors and women.


Announced at the show was the signing of Ernie Els to an equipment contract.

Els will play Srixon irons, Cleveland wedges and a newly designed XXIO driver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynx Golf

 

 

 

Lynx golf returned to the industry with a new UK ownership group.


Everything in the new line looked worthy, including their parallax


driver which has a two-piece cast Bi-Titanium construction. The


460cc head features a powerchannel for fast ball speeds and is


fully adjustable from 8.5 - 12.5 loft.












 

 

 

 


Golf Balls

 

 

 

 

 

OnCore ELIXR

OnCore, the Buffalo, N.Y ball company that burst onto the scene with

a metal core distance ball a few years back has now put together a

mighty fine tour ball. The 3 piece ELIXR model, uses conventional

materials in the core and cover, but it's the mantle that's infused

with high density particles that enhances its perimeter weighting

for enhanced accuracy and control. We've already started testing

ELIXR, the ball is impressive in nearly every category, it gives all

of the performance of the industry leading urethane cover tour balls,

but where it really shines is in the wind. In the $32 price range per

dozen, you owe it to your game to give ELIXR a spin.

 

 

 

 

 

ELIXR ball construction breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snell Golf - MTB BLACK & RED

The Dean of golf ball design introduces the next generation of the popular

MTB, when we sat down Snell told us why he decided to launch a new 4

piece model: "Based on consumer feedback, we took all of the info from

everybody who played the MTB, and better players generally liked the

exact amount of spin with the ball - but mid & higher handicap players

said they wanted more spin to hold approach shots. We put a fourth

layer in and made the cover a little thicker, added a spin layer on the

inside to help that approach shot." Dean expects the RED to become

their biggest seller since it will fit a larger skill set of golfers. Faster

swing speeds and scratch level players will likely still prefer the BLACK.


Specs of each:

 

BLACK

  • 3-piece construction with 360 dimple pattern
  • Urethane cover for short game control, excellent feel & durability
  • NEW 7% lower Compression core lowers spin w/driver for max distance

 

 

 

New Model - 4 piece MTB RED

  • 4-piece construction with 338 dimple pattern
  • Urethane cover for excellent short game control, feel and durability
  • NEW inner mantle layer increases spin on short irons & approach shots
  • Dual-Feel Technology, provides a bit firmer feel on longer shots
  • soft feel on short shots.

 

 

Despite the bigger cost of a four piece ball, Snell has kept the MTB

priced at $32 per dozen - still one of the best values in the game.

The new RED is sure to grow this cult following (count us among

them).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Callaway Chrome Soft/Chrome Soft X

Callaway introduced new versions of their Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft

X in Orlando. We went right to the source to get the latest info on the new

models. Lead golf ball creator Jason Finley, "The key technology in the new

version of the Chrome Soft line is the addition of Graphene (to the outer

core). Graphene, the lightest and strongest material in the world, it allows

us to do a lot of different things with the performance of the golf ball.

Primarily it allows us to make the core of the ball larger, that gives us

better speed and better spin separation - low off the driver and higher

spin around the green, all with incredible feel." Already a big success on

tour this year, Sergio won in Singapore playing the Chrome Soft X."

(44.99 per dozen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titleist Tour Soft

• The industry leader introduces Tour Soft, and aggressively takes aim

at all competitiors using the term "SOFT" in their marketing spots. The

Titleist Tour Soft produces its soft feel and high ball speeds for command-

ing distance. In developing Tour Soft’s core, the Titleist Golf Ball R&D

teams was challenged to surpass previously accepted core size limitations

in order to produce a ball that feels better and is as long or longer than

other leading brands. Featuring an ultra thin 4CE grafted cover for

shortgame control, and a new 342 dimple design for penetrating trajectory.

Tour Soft is also available in High-optic yellow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDGES

 

 

Titleist Vokey SM7

Vokey wedges have become the tour standard over the last two decades, and

the new SM7 keeps the franchise moving in the right direction. Progressive

CG for precise distance gaps and trajectory control. Spin milled grooves and

six different Vokey sole grinds (F, M, K, S, D and L Grinds available) allow you

to adapt your shortgame to meet any condition or challenge presented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TaylorMade Hi-Toe

 

When Rory McIlroy first saw this wedge he told the TM staff that he loved

the high toe design, and suddenly the new club had a name - "Hi-Toe".

The club has become popular on tour because of its versatility from all kinds

of lies. Slots were created in the back portion of the bounce in order to

move weight higher on the head to accommodate the larger face. This also

created a more centered CG and thus lower trajectory approaches. The aged

copper like finish is so timeless. Available in 58, 60 & 64 degree versions.

$170

 

 

 

 

 

Cleveland CBX Wedges

84% of golfers play cavity back irons, but most use blade style wedges.

Cleveland's CBX wedges change that concept, giving you the same easy

to hit forgiving technology in a wedge. So you can have the forgiveness,

feel and look of your cavity back irons, but with the performance, spin

of a tour wedge. $139

 

 

 

 

 

Ping's Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges, constructed of buttery soft 8620 carbon

steel (instead of 431 Stainless in the original Glide wedges), are finished

brilliantly through a process called QPQ (Quench-Polish-Quench). The dark

finish reduces glare at address and as Ping's Pete Samuels also noted,

many better players prefer the smaller appearance of a black iron head.

Glide 2.O comes in 46/50/52/54/56/58/60 degree models. Available in

four different grind options - WS = Wide Sole, SS =Standard grind, TS

= Thin sole and ES = EyeSole (inspired by the old PIN Eye2 wedges.

$150 available 2/8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRONS

 

 


SRIXON Z965/Z765/Z565

Although Srixon's Z965 iron isn't new to the marketplace, it has some new

upgrades - and we'll use any reason to feature this fantastic looking blade.

A traditional forged blade in its truest form (and there aren't many of it's

kind in existence anymore), the Z965 is made from ultra soft 1020 carbon

steel for the games' most demanding players. The new V.T sole has been

modified for improved turf interaction, as well as club face Double Laser

Milling that increases groove size by 5% improving spin control and contact

in wet conditions.

 

For those who aren't quite at the ability level to game the Z965, the Z765

is a great option for Srixon brand loyalists and other golfers looking

to capture performance in a muscle back shape but with enhanced

performance and the same great feel of 1020 carbon steel. The latest

version of the Z765 also features the new tour V.T sole.

 

 

Srixon's ultra forgiving cavity back - Z565

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleveland CBX

According to Product Supervisor for Srixon/Cleveland/XXIO - Zach Oakley,

"The new Cleveland Launcher CBX irons feature cup face technology. The

new Launcher CBX irons are big on distance and the faces are laser milled

with tour Zip Grooves. Progressive Dual V sole grinds provide better turf

interaction, forgiveness and versatility."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titleist AP3

Titleist recently introduced a new member to the AP family, the AP3.

With AP1 being their most giving distance iron, and AP2 being the

flagship tour iron, AP3 sits comfortably right in between the two. Austin

Tudor (Senior Associate Product Marketing Manager for Titleist ) aptly

referred to the AP3 as chocolate & peanut butter the "Reese's Cup" of

irons- The best of both worlds. A spot that Titleist feels it was missing

in the marketplace. In fact, 40% of their iron sales as of right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TaylorMade M3/M4

TaylorMade's new game improvement models move to the M3/M4

nameplate. We spoke with TM's Tomo Bystedt about the new models:

"What we've done with these new irons is introduce Ribcor technology,

and what this does is act like a reinforcement or a beam in a building

that really stiffens the whole structure. Face slots allow us to do this

without slowing the face down. So by stiffening the body and keeping

the face super fast it helps us retain ball speed even when you miss it

anywhere on the face." M3 is basically a smaller version for those

players who want all of the innovation, but want a club that gives them

some options to work approach shots using shot shape and trajectory.


 

M4 offers TaylorMade's longest iron. A no holds barred zero compromise

version with everything to generate the highest ball speeds and most

forgiveness. https://www.taylormadegolf.com/m3-m4-irons.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TaylorMade P-790

TaylorMade's P-790 irons are the best of today's technology wrapped in

a clean and sleek blade style club head. The hollow body creates fantastic

ball speeds and big distance, but According to the brilliant Tomo Bystedt,

it's a new element called Speedfoam that makes the P-790 worthy of your

bag.

Tomo: "We were working on RSi2, and started working on PSi, and during

the process we were thinking how do we get to the next level? We thought

what if we went back and built a hollow iron with a better foam? The old

foam that we used was very heavy and dense - and slowed down the face. . .

defeating the purpose. We needed a foam that could support the face but

would allow it to flex at impact. Eventually that led us to Speedfoam. The

body of P-790 is made from soft 8620 carbon steel, the face that withstands

repetitive impact is constructed of 4140 steel. This combination produces

a really nice sound with the Speedfoam."


LinksNation: The look of this stick is so unique considering all of the

performance features built in, can you give some insight into this sleek blade

look?


Tomo: We felt that as long as you give people the performance they would

love to play a club like this. A lot of players out there have never played blades,

because they realize they may not be a good enough player. We said why not,

let's make it really cool looking. We could have made it real traditional with a

badge and all that, but ultimately we felt the performance of this is so unique

and so different - let's make it look different from what we've had."



 

 

 

 

 

CALLAWAY ROGUE/PRO

Callaway's new Rogue irons come in 3 models - standard, X and Pro.

The standard will fit the highest demographic of players, the X is what

Callaway's Dave Neville calls their radical distance tech package. The Pro

model (shown above) features the chevron's 360 cup face, VFT technology,

tungsten weighting and their newest technology urethane microspheres.

 

 

 

Rogue standard model (pictured above).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COBRA FORGEDTEC




Cobra's FORGEDTEC

irons have been fully

updated for 2018.


According Cobra's

Mike Yagley, "Our

2018 model is finished

with the new ultra

durable DBM process

(Diamonized Black

Metal), and we now

have a  4120 forged

carbon steel face

insert that is softer.

We also have tunsten

in the mid and longer

irons to get the weight

out towards the toe

and the CG low.


Also available in a

One Length version.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COBRA ONE LENGTH

Cobra F8 irons come in two different models, progressive length & One

Length. There are 3 distinct types of construction for the long, mid and

short irons. A hollow body construction for the long irons, using their new

versatile Carbon Feel technology, Cobra has found a way to create exactly

what improves feel across the board in each type of iron. Wide soles

in the One Length irons helps get the weight down making long irons big

on distance and easy to hit. The mid irons are cavity back style geared

towards scoring. In the short irons and wedges, F8 features a sleeker style

blade like for finesse. The R&D team just felt that extra technology isn't

needed in a wedge. One Length is catching on, no longer is it just a niche

item. In 2018, Cobra expects it to gain even more popularity.


 

 

 

 

 

Lynx Prowler VT Irons. These are not your Dad's blades. Hollow head

construction is far more forgiving than a typical blade style, but offers

benefits in performance. Lynx VT technology enables weight to be redistributed

for increased MOI. Stronger lofts and faster faces than traditional blades

produce the distance of game improvement irons. These blades like irons

from the new Lynx - look brilliant.


 

 

 

 


HYBRIDS/FAIRWAYS

 

 

 

 

TITLEIST 818 H1/H2

Titleist's new 818 H1 & H2 hybrids are the latest from the Fairhaven/Oceanside

industry giant. Equipped with weight cartridge and an Active Recoil Channel, the

new hybrids are available in lofts from 17 to 27 degrees. According Titleist's Austin

Tudor, "In 2018, with H1/H2 we're saying take dead aim, they're no longer the

rescue clubs that we talked about for years - they're scoring clubs. We want

golfers to be able to fire at a pin from 200 yards and feel confident about the

shot they're going to pull off. We want to see the ball land on a 45 degree angle

and hold the green. H1 is more like a fairway club with a bigger footprint, while

H2 is more iron like for aggressive swingers. No up-charge on shaft upgrade on

either hybrid."

 

 

 

 

 

 

PING G400

Ping's new G400 hybrid is equipped with a thin maraging steel face,  17-4

stainless steel crown and machined back weight CG optimization for max

forgiveness. Recently in a feature we did with TrueSpec, the G400 hybrid

was the subject of our review, and it shined above and beyond expectation.

The matte black crown with turbulators looks sharp at address, Ping has

a winner with the entire G400 lineup.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TaylorMade's M3 hybrid is an update on their M1, this is their serious

player model equipped with an easily adjustable sliding weight and loft

sleeve. M3's new Speed Pocket provides more flexibility and ball speed.

 

 

Adding the two-tone crown is a nice update that aids in alignment.

 

 

 

 



EXOTICS CBX

 

Exotics new CBX fairway metals are the brain child of David Glod, long known

for his outstanding creation of the hardest club to find as a gamer - the 3 wood.

A multi material construction, a Beta Titanium cup face is combo-brazed (a

weldless process) to a hypersteel body, the result is a super low spin mega

distance monster. Glod says "independent testing showed CBX averages 16

yards longer than the industry's popular competitors."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COBRA F8/F8+

Cobra F8 fairways feature all of the great innovation of past models

but take the innovation of F7 another step further. Baffler Tech rails

are the only of their kind in the industry, and have been re-shaped

and streamlined resulting in faster ball speeds and more forgiveness

from any lie. As usual, Cobra fairways come in 3-4 /5-6 and 7-8

configurations. Mitsubishi TENSEI CK Blue 50 and Aldila NV 2KXV Blue

are the stock powerplants.

 


 

Cobra F8/F8+ crown

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUTTERS

TaylorMade Putters come in so many shapes, sizes and configurations in 2018.

The Spider line has exploded in popularity, and TaylorMade has created pretty

much every option in color, hosel shape and alignment style imaginable. Lower

left is TM's new Ardmore mallet from the TP Red collection.

 

 


 

 

 

ARGOLF Putters

Made from 304L stainless Steel the mid mallet Perceval has 3 degrees loft/70

degree like angle and weighs 350 grams.



ARGOLF, a new premium putter company where the milled head designs are

produced in Brittany, France and are assembled in the U.S. To honor its

origins, all ARGOLF putters are named after Arthurian legends. Their motto

is one of precision, balance and performance based on expertise in the

aeronautics industry for nearly 5 decades. Based in Jupiter, Florida - ARGOLF

has a state of the art putting lab to analyze and create the perfect putter

setup customized to each players needs and aesthetic desires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVNROLL

 

Guerin Rife's infant company EVNROLL continues to gain momentum in the

marketplace for three reasons. Craftmanship - high quality 303 CNC Mills,

Styles - brilliant putter designs many of which are templates of classics, but

with his own twist that makes them his own, and thirdly, Innovation. Rife has

created what he calls the "Sweetest Face in Golf" that's geared towards forgive-

ness and minimal dispersion on strikes anywhere on the face. Also Rife mills

each putter to a specific head weight based based on the length of each putter,

providing the desired swingweight regardless of what length putter you choose

- no other company in the marketplace dares to do such a thing. Details folks, 

Guerin Rife pays attention to everything.


 

 

 

 

 

 

PING DALE ANSER

Ping's latest in the world famous Anser line is their DALE model, named

after Karsten Solheim's son Alan Dale Solheim, these fresh looking Anser

models feature sole weights that must be ordered and installed by PING .

The Dale is crafted out of 303 stainless and comes in 3 different finishes -

Copper, Platinum and Stealth (Black)

 

 

 

 

The Stealth Black finish on PING's scoring sticks is just brilliant.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITLEIST SCOTTY CAMERON - SELECT

While we met with Titleist at their booth, Scotty Cameron was holding

court with his loyal followers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron SELECT, a refined evolution of his Newport and Laguna models

arrives in Titleist pro shops on March 30th, 2018. These new creations

might just be Scotty's best to date. To see the video of Cameron SELECT

click here: https://www.scottycameron.com/putters/select/#vPHqcrW5gnjg

 

 

 

 

 

 

SeeMore Putters

New from SeeMore is the M7x Platinum proto, available soon . . .

 

While meeting with CEO Jim Grundberg, we learned about SeeMore's latest

innovation of an internal hosel design. "Because we're known for our shafts

that go straight into the head, in a fitting world people want to be able to

adjust.

Now if a golf shop brings our putters into their shop, those putters can be

adjusted in the shop to get the lie just right or buy the putter with a standard

lie - go play with it for a month or so and bring it back in for a tune up to

find out it need to be adjusted a degree or two. This is the experience we

had for tour players and custom builds in the past, but never before on a

wide spread basis, it will be every putter this year."


SeeMore is offering a wide selection of styles, shafts and grips to suit any

golfer. In particular the Nashville Studio Series and new m7x were easily

two of the cleanest looking blades at the PGA Show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ODYSSEY PUTTERS

The Odyssey booth is always a happening spot at the show.

 

 

 

 

 

Odyssey's Special Edition EXO TWO-BALL was a mallet show stopper. When

we caught up with Chief Putter Designer Austie Rollinson he gave us the

scoop on the new flatstick: "We decided to create an homage to the original

Two-Ball - that was cast in stainless. With the new one we decicded to

machine it completely. The original had a high CG because of the crown

piece that was a disc of steel, the new two-ball has a composite top that

helps lower the CG. Some of those top and bottom pieces on the new one

took 8 hours of machining."

 

 

 

"A very complicated putter to make, they cost $500 each," Rollinson said.

"We don't plan on making a ton of them. It's been 17 years since the

original Two-Ball was introduced." Time Flies . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Odyssey Red & Black line is gonna pop in 2018, shown above is

the new multi-material construction EXO #7. The face features the

O-Works innovation first seen last year, these microhinges are designed

to create a truer more consistent roll. In 2018, they have updated the

polymer insert that has been a very popular feel for tour players.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Shafts

The PRO 2.0 is Fujikura’s latest offering, its easy-to-fit line of performance

shafts will fit a broad range of player profiles. New for 2018, using proprietary

enso technology, the PRO 2.0 features a lower loading section to increase

launch, lower torque to reduce spin and a stylish new look. Also available

in Tour Spec for more aggressive swing tempos to deliver lower ball flight

and spin.

 

 

 

TPT Golf Shafts

 

 

TPT Golf is a company that found their way into the golf market nearly by

accident. As a developer of composite materials that has application in

the field of Yachting, Skiing, Snowboards, Motorsports etc, the company

was introduced to golf through a colleague who was a member of the

European PGA. With ambitions to create a new method of creating composite

tubes, they began to make golf shafts and garnered some very positive

feedback. It just grew from there. TPT (THIN PLY TECHNOLOGY) now

makes a range of 12 different golf shafts and is gaining traction on the

PGA Tour.

Offering a 15 series for faster swing speeds 105-120 mph, 16 series for 90-

105, 17 series for 80-90 mph, 18 series for 70-80 mph, and 19 series for

60-70 mph. There are two shafts in each series depending on your swing DNA,

TPT offers lower torque and higher kick point versions for those who load the

shaft more in transition.



Normally golf shafts are made by a roll wrapping process, this process is

known to produce spines and irregularities. The TPT process is completely

different and doesn't produce any spining, thus a more consistent product

is the result. According to TPT , every shaft of a particular model will feel

and play identical to the rest of the batch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALDILA X-TORSION COPPER

 

ALDILA's new X-TORSION Copper series features a stiff tipped, Counter

Balanced design along with a new and unique woven graphite material

on the outer layer of the shaft at the tip-section. According to Mitsubishi's

Joe Hamada, "This new MAMBA (which stands for Multi-Axial Material Bias

Angle Technology) places a high-tech material on the shaft in a 45 degree

fiber orientation. This flat weave material on the exterior of the shaft

provides greater torsional stability - where the greatest percentage of

twisting occurs during the swing and at impact."

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMING NEXT:

BEST NEW PRODUCTS PART 2 - APPAREL, SHOES, GRIPS, GLOVES, BELTS

BAGS, TRAINING AIDS, GAME TRACKING TECHNOLOGY, ACCESSORIES, ETC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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