Equipment & Product Reviews

Scoring Gear: Cleveland RTX4 Wedges / Srixon Z-Star Golf Balls PDF Print E-mail


Cleveland wedges and Srixon Z-Star golf balls. It's a pairing that just fits

like Bacon & eggs, peanut butter & jelly and of course wedges & spin. Very

few brands in the industry are in this rarified air. Cleveland wedges have

been a staple of the best players in the world for decades, and the new

RTX 4 has only bolstered Cleveland's shortgame presence on worldwide

tours. Paired with the latest Srixon Z-Star tour ball makes for a serious rival

to the industry leading Titleist Pro V1 and Vokey (SM7) wedges.








Two things stood out to us when we met with the Cleveland/Srixon team

in January at the PGA Show - first, these shortgame sticks looked so damn

good in all of the 3 different finishes (Tour Satin, Black Satin, and Tour Raw),

I wanted a set right immediately. Secondly, the choices of grinds and bounce

options means there is a wedge for every type of player and turf condition.

Specifically, four distinct sole grinds that allow you to customize your set,









Secondly, the choices of grinds and bounce options means there is a wedge

for every type of player and turf condition. Specifically, four distinct sole

grinds that allow you to customize your set, brilliant.







4th generation Rotex Face provides sharper Tour Zip grooves for max spin

in every condition for precise accuracy and distance control. A more durable

laser milling pushed right to the conforming edge is inline with most players

strike pattern - increasing spin stopping action on all types of shortgame shots.








Srixon Z-Star and Z-Star XV, hard to believe that 2019 marks the sixth

generation of the brand's premium tour ball line. Both Z-Star and Z-Star XV

feature 4th generation Spin Skin (w/SeRM) and a new FastLayer core. Z-Star

offers a mid compression 3-piece construction providing performance validated

on professional tours around the world. 338 dimple urethane cover with a 90

compression. Z-Star XV offers the same tour proven performance in a 4-piece

ball at 102 compression also featuring a 338 dimple urethane cover. Both balls

come in choice of Pure White or Tour Yellow.







The great thing about Cleveland/Srixon's line is the plethora of different

choices for what best fits you and your game. After testing both tour

golf balls my choice was the softer feeling Z-Star. I'll sacrifice a yard

or two for a softer feel with the wedges and putter. During on course

testing I noticed almost no difference in distance of the tee, and no

more than two to three yards of carry distance off the irons. Around

the greens is where I place the highest priority. Z-Star gives a quieter

less clicky sound than the XV. If you're a faster swinger who likes the

feel of a higher compression ball and wants to squeeze out every yard -

the XV might be your choice. Bomber Cameron Champ who leads the PGA

Tour in driving distance, plays Z-Star XV.


We tested the RTX 4 Wedge in the 56 degree mid bounce (satin finish), a

great model for normal everyday conditions. The grind provided versatility

for nearly every recovery situation. The stock True Temper Dynamic Gold

Tour Issue shaft is superb for controlling trajectory on full and partial

approach shots. Impressive on all chips, pitch, lob and greenside sand

shots - just what you'd expect from a Cleveland wedge. The latest edition

of Rotex Tour Zip grooves gave superb stopping power even on firm and

fast putting surfaces.




It's often difficult to compare brands of tour level golf balls and wedges

in an effort to differentiate which brand is best for your game, clearly

the choice is somewhat subjective when choosing a new ball and set of

wedges. After spending several rounds and shortgame sessions testing

the latest from Cleveland/Srixon, the only question is which RTX4 and

Z-Star ball will you choose? Both the Cleveland RTX 4 line and Srixon

Z-Star golf balls can be considered on the value side of premium tour

gear when you consider the price point of other brands is now around

$179 per wedge and $50+ per dozen.


Cleveland RTX 4 Wedges MSRP $139

Srixon Z-Star (XV) Golf Balls MSRP $39.99


For more info:

Cleveland Golf:

Srixon Golf:















Cobra F9 Speedback Driver PDF Print E-mail


Cobra's F9 Speedback driver, its aesthetics are bold, its sole design is

unconventional (and loaded with technology), but does it measure up

and perform like the Euro sports car it resembles? If it's validation you

need, the F9 is played on tours around the globe by Rickie, Bryson and

Lexi Thompson.







According to Cobra, there's a quandry with most modern drivers, those

possessing aerodynamic crown enhancements often end up with a higher

CG. The image above, shows the F9 Speedback's design - a low and deep

structure that's comprised of tungsten and titanium (optimizing energy to

the ball, all while giving off a streamlined appearance).







Cobra's CNC milled face was first introduced in last year's F8 driver,

and the company claims the process is up to 5 times more precise

than the competitors hand-polished driver faces. Not to mention, the

milled face exudes quality craftmanship.






Cobra's E9 technology features variable thickness in the form of an elliptical

shape that expands the "sweet spot" along 9 specific points. Dual Roll and

Perfected Bulge technologies are built in to the design to enhance consistency.





The technology in the F9 includes Top Roll Curvature - the top half of

the driver face has more curvature, promoting higher launch with

reduced spin on shots hit higher on the face. Bottom Roll Curvature -

typically this is where performance goes to die, but Cobra has Speed

Tuned the bottom half of the driver face to optimize the loft in each

clubhead (any loft).


Notice the axis is tilted at 7 degrees (image above), this allows for the

typical amount of toe droop that occurs during the golf swing. There is

also 3 different horizontal bulge curvatures that are CNC Milled into the

face to help control heel and toe misses and to ensure center strikes

achieve maximum results.








Cobra's F9 Speedback features a crown that’s 12% larger than last year's F8,

inspiring more confidence at address. Polymer crown trips direct airflow to

reduce drag and boost clubhead speed.







The breakdown of the F9 Speedback components. Even with the larger

crown surface, Cobra still managed to shave 4 grams of weight from

last year's F8 (and 10 grams from standard titanium driver crowns).








Aesthetics /Testing

For those who don't care for the race car yellow look (it has grown on

me), Cobra offers a version in what they call Avalanche, a frost like

white colorway to satisfy the golfer who prefers a less flashy look.


Cobra's MyFly allows easy adjustable settings to manage loft/launch and

shot shape preference by + or - 1.5 degrees SmartPad Technology keeps

the face looking square at address regardless of the loft setting.









At address it's tough not to like the clean and fast looking shape of the

F9 Speedback, it inspires confidence. It just has to look right when

you set it down, and it does. Top shelf here . . .







The powerplant for our testing was Fujikura's Atmos Blue Tour Spec. The

profile of the Blue is Mid launch/Mid spin. I expected the Blue to be a bit

spinny and high launching (for me), but nothing was further than the truth.

It was spot on.

Tour aftermarket shafts known by industry folks as the "real deal" are what

Cobra offers in the F9, not a "made for" watered down stock shaft. UST Helium,

Fuji Atmos Tour Spec Blue, Project X HZRDUS Smoke and Fujikura Atmos

Tour Spec Black offer differing profiles for all types of players.

I purposely decided to do the testing on the F9 backwards, lets see how it

performs "in the field" first, this way there is zero expectations of what the

launch monitor #'s showed us. For several weeks I tested the F9 versus my

gamer, during range time and on the course. Because I play midsize grips,

there is always the dilemna of getting the swingweight back to my preferred

"sledgehammer" spec of D5-D6. After several strips of lead tape (Cobra does

offer replacement sole weights in 18 grams, 10 grams and 6 grams through

their website, so you can customize tour set up), testing commenced. Almost

Immediately I noticed the dispersion pattern of my misses improved (taking

notes over a 12 round period, my typical left miss improved 21% in a 3 week

span) - encouraging. My yardages on these same designated holes over that

time improved by 13 yards. Ok, straighter and longer is always good. I even

had more than a few regulars in my group take note and say, "What are you

playing now? Testing a new driver? Damn what is that, you're killing it!".

Shaping shots in either direction on command was no problem, but I did alter

the 10.5 degree stock setting one degree down to 9.5 to offset my tendency

to overdraw the ball and I like to hit a teed down squeeze cut on holes where

anything left is punishable by death.

I also experimented with the sole weights, moving the 14 gram rear weight to

the front- didn't see much difference in spin, but I did notice the club was less

forgiving on miss hits in this setting. Also impact didn't sound or feel quite as

good, so I returned it to it's stock back position (and have left it there since).

The honeymoon effect as I like to call it happens quite often with new clubs,

until the new sensations become the norm and old habits creep back in. So it

was time to take it in to get some actual data on what the F9 was producing

from a launch, ball speed, spin and carry perspective.



Performance Data:

SS:106  BS:154  LA:12.9  Spin:1971  Side Spin:168L  Carry:256 yds

Total:284 yds


Simple truth - these performance #'s showed what I'd been seeing out

on the course, they are the best that I've personally produced in the

10 years of reviewing drivers. The Atmos Blue Tour Spec fit my swing

and ball flight better than I thought possible. If I had to nit pick, I go

with a 75 gram model instead of the 65 gram, but as I stated earlier,

I prefer a driver that feels a bit on the heavier side (promotes a slower

takeaway and smoother transition from the top - two things I battle with

in my swing constantly).






Ok, so the F9 is long and straight with low spin, but how does it feel?

That depends on who you ask. If you prefer a muted thwack that produces

a symphony of low key crushed ball/face compression (and I do!), than the

Cobra F9 is your flavor. If you prefer a louder crash or what I call that hollow

high pitched "tink sound" than you will hate the F9. As one over-zealous

addicted golfer who has owned every new driver told me a few weeks back,

"I can't stand the sound of the new Cobra. You actually like that?" So it's

a subjective thing. Know yourself, and get fitted. You likely won't be inspired

by something that doesn't sound/feel right to you.








For those who want to keep track of their performance via their phone app,

Cobra Connect powered by Arccos provides the technology.






At $449, the Cobra F9 is just about $100 less than the industry leaders new

drivers, so that's some pretty significant value for consumers.

Quite simply the F9 Speedback is the finest driver created by Tom Oslavsky,

Mike Yagley and the team at Cobra. Ever. We have many new drivers to test

in 2019, but Cobra has set the bar so high in every aspect, it will be fun

seeing if anyone can catch them. As of April 2019, there's a new gamer in

the bag, and it's name is F9 SPEEDBACK . . .


For more info on Cobra F9:








Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 Forged Wedges PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

In the world of golf equipment - specifically wedges, a few major OEMs

have ruled the market in recent years - Titleist (Vokey), Cleveland and

Callaway immediately come to mind. In 2019, a handful of other brands

have gotten serious about your shortgame, and among those Bridgestone

has become a top shelf contender for your business.


In 2017, Bridgestone Golf introduced the original Tour B XW-1 forged

wedge, it gained some attention based on its forged 1025 bloodlines. At

this year's PGA Show in late January, Bridgestone was exuberant in their

return to the big stage (after a 3 year hiatus), they not only launched their

new e12 golf ball, but also introduced a new line of premium forged wedges

- the updated version of the Tour B XW-1 Forged wedge.







Technology - Biting Rail Milled Grooves

Doesn't get much better than this compact clean look, but in today's

marketplace aesthetics and marketing only go so far. Modern day irons

and wedges have groove restrictions, and technology advancements

must be innovative in other ways.





Micro-milling allows OEMs to get creative in-between the actual grooves

themselves. This new version of the Tour B XW-1 wedge features "Biting

Rail Milled" grooves" designed with protruding teeth (see above) that grip

the dimples of a golf ball at impact - producing increased spin. According

to Bridgestone, the new grooves add nearly 300 additional RPM in greenside

spin when compared to the previous 2017 Tour B forged wedge.






The "Forged" hosel stamping, classic lines and satin/chrome finish is

just what you'd expect in such a finely crafted set of scoring sticks.








Available in 50-60 in two degree increments. We tested the set in my

typical configuration - 50/54/58. The Tour B XW-1 grinds are uniquely

assigned based on corresponding lofts. The "M" sole grind stands for

multi-purpose and the demand for greenside versatility - notice the heel

and toe relief (shown middle and far left). The "M" is widely the most

preferred grind you'll see in tour players bags and comes standard on

52/54/58 and 60 degree models. "F" sole = Flat, and is generally best

for stability on full shots from the shortgrass (standard on 50 degree).

The "A" sole (not shown) is a heavier sole grind for sand shots but with

far less heel/toe relief (56 degree). All Tour B XW-1 wedges come in

either 8 or 10 degrees of bounce. Available in Right hand only (sorry










An up close view of the heel grind, perfect for those open face finesse shots.



The Tour B XW-1 line is stunning, but do they play as fine as they look?

By the numbers, things all seem to measure up. Yardages on full shots

were spot on 50 degree -120 yds, 54-106 yds, 58-92 yds. Backspin #'s

were up nearly 400 rpm from my regular gamers (more stopping power

is a good thing). On partial swings, pitches, chips, lobs and sand shots

all shots behaved ideally.


If I have one thing to nitpick about the set, it would simply be with the stock

Nippon Modus 3 Tour 105. It's a great shaft, in fact it might be my choice in

a full 4-PW set, but with wedges being the shortest clubs in the bag, better

players prefer a slightly heavier feel to aid in tempo and keeping ball flight

down on short approach shots - especially in windy conditions. Modus 3 Tour

120, KBS Tour or TT Dynamic Gold would be preferred (Bridgestone does

provide several shaft and grip options on their website - Golf Pride's MCC

grip comes standard).


Summary: A+

A massive thumbs up for Bridgestone's Tour B XW-1 wedges. Aesthetics,

performance and feel easily exceeded our expectations. At $139 MSRP, they

fit right in the middle of the price point scale. So, are these worthy of being

in the bag? Not only are they worthy, they are officially the new gamers.

How's that for an endorsment! It really wasn't much of a decision, these are

the sweetest feeling wedges we've tested to date. MSRP $139


For more on Bridgestone Golf:
















2019 Best New Products Part 2 (Footwear, Eyewear, Tech and Accessories) PDF Print E-mail

By Jason Bruno

In Part 1 of our Best New Products (2019 edition) we presented the

latest in equipment to keep on your radar for a possible upgrade to

your bag this year. Here in Part 2, we present those essential products

to focus on in the Footwear, Tech, Grips, Apparel, Eyewear & Accessory

categories. In other words - the goodies . . .


When it comes to top shelf memorable golf accessories, nobody does it like

Seamus Golf. From the first time I saw their unique golf treasures at

Bandon Dunes 7 years ago, I was smitten. Founders Akbar and Megan Chisti

create the coolest handmade specialty items (ball repair tools, headcovers,

bottle openers and bag tags) in the game. Found in many of the finest green

grass golf resort pro shops like Sand Valley, Bandon Dunes, Erin Hills, Cabot

Cliffs and Streamsong.

Tweed and Tartan headcovers are a staple of this Portland, Oregon based

brand. For more on Seamus Golf:



In last summer's Best Golf Footwear feature we raved about the 2018

edition of the Adidas Tour360. So how do you make an outstanding

premium tour shoe even better? Adidas created their XT, which refers to

Adi's X-Traxion outsole of X-shaped treads that provide maximum grip in

even the foulest wet conditions while providing the comfort of a spikeless

shoe. Available in four colorways. MSRP: $200

Another view of the Tour360 XT outsole.

TOUR360 XT Spikeless

All of the Adi Tour360 XT style and BOOST performance in a spikeless

model. Available in four colorways; White/Black/Silver, White/Navy/Gold,

White/Black/Scarlet and Black/Metallic/White.

Tour360 XT-SL outsole - MSRP $170. Both Tour360 XT & Tour360 XT-SL

have arrived in for review, watch for our "Best Links Footwear" feature

coming this Spring. For more info:




Puma's new IGNITE NXT SOLELACE features a non stretch breathable

mesh upper, a lightweight strong TPU that allows the lace system to

support the entire midsole by attaching directly to the edges of the

outsole - providing what Puma describes as the ultimate spikeless golf

shoe. Ignite Foam provides comfort, energy return and cushioning for

superior step-in comfort.

100+ directional hexagon lugs provide the traction. Available in four

different colorways. MSRP $120 - IGNITE NXT has arrived in for review,

watch for our "Best Links Footwear" feature coming this Spring. For

more info on Puma Golf:


Footjoys new FURY features an Ortholite impressions FITBED comprised

of two variable foam compounds - a base layer for support and a soft

memory-foam that creates an impression of the foot for an individual

custom fit. The outer features an external support that works in tandem

with the Inner Fit Sleeve, while the FlexGrid provides medial and lateral

support for even the most aggressive swings.  MSRP $170


FJ FLEX knit lightweight mesh upper and FTF FitBed provides all-day

comfort, maximum breathability and a casual versatility that's proper

on or off the course.

Versa-Trax sole provides the traction. MSRP $89.99


The all new Pro/SL is available in lace or BOA version, featuring Chromoskin

- 100% waterproof full grain leather upper provides instant comfort

right out of the box. Worn on tour by Ian Poulter, Adam Scott, Louis

Oosthuizen .

Pro/SL features a perimeter weighted outsole for max stability, the TPU

molded outsole provides 223 individual points of ground contact for

complete versatility in any playing condition. MSRP $159 BOA $189

For more info on Footjoy:


ECCO's BIOM G3 features uppers made from tumbled textured Yak leather for

a supple garment washed appearance and feel. A double-layer neoprene collar

adds comfort while on the links. FLUIDFORM technology bonds the upper and

outsole - creating a one-piece golf shoe without the use of glue or stitching.

Available in BOA or lace. MSRP $250 - For more info:



New Balance Striker features a microfiber leather and FantomFit upper

structure for better support and fit all while weighing only 12.4oz. Cush+

foam insole provides extreme comfort.

Slim-Lok spikes provide traction for all types links terrain. NB Striker

has arrived in for review, watch for our "Best Links Footwear" feature

coming this Spring. MSRP: $120 - For more info on New Balance:



True Linkswear has had a cult following for years, and their new MAJOR

is their first shoe inspired by Tour Players. Designed to be their most

versatile and durable with the comfort of your favorite sneaker. The

designers at True utilized a combination of a leather saddle and a

Paracord Lacing System to provide the type of foot stability that the best

players demand.

Multi-directional sole treads provide proper traction for any walk on

the links. 2 year waterproof guarantee gives confidence that TRUE

Linkswear has you covered in any conditions - MSRP:$199. Our TRUE

Major samples have arrived in for review, watch for our "Best Links

Footwear" feature coming this Spring. To learn more about TRUE





Prior generations of the industry standard - Footjoy's StaSof were

on display at the Footjoy booth in Orlando at this year's PGA Show.

Footjoy's Taction3 performance leather by Pittards of England optimizes

softness. Strategically positioned perforations and Power-net mesh

provides exceptional breathability. The 2019 StaSof features enhanced

grip performance and provides a longer lasting glove - MSRP $25. For

more info:


John Iacono and the outside the box innovators at Zero Friction have

given their unique compression-fit Cabretta Elite golf glove an updated

look with matching colored lycra to go along with their 100% premium

Cabretta Leather. Unlike your typical leather golf glove, Zero Friction's

re-inforced Lycra (located in the fingers, back of hand/palm) provides

the ultimate in breathability. Detachable tee and ball marker included -

MSRP $17.99. For more info:








TecTecTec - ULT-X Rangefinders

TecTecTec introduces the long awaited ULT-X rangefinder. Their bold claim

of the ultimate rangefinder can be validated with it's impressive features.

ULT-X's Target Lock Technology will catch flag targets up to 450 yards

and hazards at 1000 yards.

Ult-X includes Slope mode, which is easy and quick to operate, simply pull

the faceplate out : Yellow = Slope / Black = Non-Slope. If you want quick

overview of various distances, Scan mode will provide instant readings on

all targets in view.

At $249, TecTecTec packs an awful lot of innovation, ease of use and

value. Our test unit has arrived, so stay tuned for a complete review

of ULT-X. For more information on TecTecTec:


GOLFBUDDY launches their latest rangefinder line - the sporty aimL10

features three different target modes (Standard, Scan and Pin with

vibration mode) and a new ergonomic design that weighs a mere 6 oz.

aimL10 comes with a slope on/off switch for accurate distance readings

while playing courses with elevation.

aimL10 V has a built-in speaker for an added VOICE feature. Simply press

the voice button anywhere on the course and hear your distances aloud.

aimL10 is a great value when you consider the features included and the

cost of leading competitor models. Available 3/1, MSRP - $299. For more

info on GolfBuddy:

GOLF LOGIX - PuttBreaks

In today's world of high-tech Golf GPS devices, course layouts and yardages

are just a push button or voice command away. Now in 2019, GolfLogix

the most downloaded app in the game has launched PuttBreaks.

According to GolfLogix, this new app technology goes a step beyond

any recent innovation focused on how to improve putting performance.

PuttBreaks is quite simply a 3-D green mapping app for golfers who

demand cutting edge next level insight to score their best.

PuttBreaks illustrates the undulations and breaks of your putts on over

12,000 golf courses - to within a centimeter, and it's all right at your

fingertips. The phone app automatically places you wherever you're

located on the putting surface. Navigate, zoom and pan-in to better

understand the green and how to sink more putts. Just drag the line

from your ball to the hole and PuttBreaks shows you the directional

markers indicating the elevation changes, breaks, speed and aimpoint

variables on the green. We've tested PuttBreaks for ourselves - it's so

easy to use, a big thumbs up. Download for free on Google Play or the

App Store. For more info:








Everyone can use some healthy energy while out on the links, and while

strolling around the PGA Show we stumbled upon the Bobo's booth, their

natural ingredients and amazing taste prompted us to dig a bit deeper.

According to the folks at Bobo's, "We started with and still use – four

simple ingredients found in our kitchen and yours. Each one of our oat

bar ingredients is gluten-free, vegan, certified Non-GMO, and made from

100% organic whole grains." Healthy, but amazingly delicious and perfect

for the golf course

Our favorite of the flavors we sampled was the Peach Oat Bar, but the

Cranberry Orange, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Gingerbread and Apple Pie

are on our to do list. Check out Bobo's:


Under Armour - Tuned Golf/Recovery

Under Armour introduced their TUNED GOLF and RECOVERY Eyewear

system for the transition from performance to relaxation. New UA

GOLF lenses are engineered to "See it Better and Read it Better"

enhancing turf contrast. ArmourSight technology provides distortion

free vision. UA's TUNED RECOVERY lenses filter out harmful blue light -

rejuvenating your eyes for the next outdoor performance. All UA

shades defend against 100% of harmful UVA/B/C rays. Tuned Golf

Big Shot MSRP $115, Tuned Recovery Glimpse MSRP $110, Getaway

Polarized (classic sportstyle) $160. For more info on UA Eyewear:

Oakley - Mercenary

Oakley's new Mercenary Prizm Dark Golf model blends the classic style of

aviators with today's sporty eyewear styles. Featuring a round lens shape

and double-bridge frame design made from a nylon infused plastic called

"O Matter" that's super-light and durable. Prizm Dark Golf lenses enhance

contrast on the fairways and greens to enable peak performance. MSRP -

$173. For more info:


Electric was a big hit in our 2017 Best Golf Eyewear feature, and they

continue to bring out more classy and unique styles this year.

Watch for Electric's first signature series shades - the JJF Knoxville

Sport. The customized JJF design also features exclusive melanin-

infused polarized lenses. Bronze Polarized plus as shown $220, Grey

Polarized $170. For more on Electric:



Golf Pride

Golf Pride's 2019 new grip models: Tour Velvet Plus 4, MCC ALIGN

(Green), ZGRIP w/ALIGN and the TOURSNSR Contour Pro putter grip

(available in 104cc & 140cc sizes) featuring a sculpted pistol shape

with a more traditional tapered profile. For more information on Golf



Lamkin's latest line of high performance grips features micro-texture

FINGERPRINT technology in their new GENESIS compound. The new

Sonar Tour (grey-center) is already being played on the tour by World

No.1 Justin Rose. (only available in standard size). MSRP: $9.29

For more on the latest Lamkin grips:



If you're like me, accessories like belts, golf specific footwear and

eyewear are more than just a necessity, they provide support, comfort,

safety and style while enjoying a day on the links. Slidebelts has quickly

become a standout in the golf marketplace and a favorite of ours.

There are several ratcheting quick release style belts on the market, but

none that we've found that have the quality and variable styles that SlideBelts

offers. We've partnered up with the team at Slidebelts for a giveaway later

this spring, follow us on Twitter and stay tuned . . .

For more info on Slidebelts:


The Greg Norman Collection is a mainstay each year in our "Best Of"

feature and 2019 is no exception. The Shark's Foulard and Splash

polos set the stage for another big Spring/Summer from this iconic

brand. MSRP $69.95

Norman's outerwear like this Heathered Weatherknit Rain Jacket is a

must have for any dedicated linkster. Featuring 100% Polyester Melange

Interlock 2 layer breathable seam sealed waterproof protection, includes

an interior media port on the pocket. The reflective silver Shark logo

on the back neck area is a rad accent - MSRP $124.95. For more info:



Dunning isn't an apparel company that has a golf line. They are a

GOLF COMPANY that creates only the finest threads for serious

style connoisseurs who want the best fit and performance without

compromise. Their STRETCH golf shirts are worn on tour by Kevin

Kisner and Andrew Colsaerts - MSRP $99

Player Fit woven pants and Pro Heathered golf shorts are two of Dunning's

calling cards, and referred by many in the industry as the finest in golf. A

favorite in green-grass shops around the globe for their four way stretch

and player specific fit. Clean lines and extreme comfort will have you

looking and feeling your best on the links - Pants MSRP $99/ Shorts $89

For more info:




In the all-weather gear department, it's hard to beat the extensive

selection of choices from FootJoy. The DryJoy Tour LTS is the top of

line in outer layers constructed from advanced tech materials. Footjoy's

rain booth display proved the point beautifully. Worn on tours around

the globe. MSRP $285 To learn more about FJ weather gear :




Ralph Lauren's 2019 Golf Collection can be seen on tour being worn

by Justin Thomas, Billy Horshel and Davis Love III. A more array of

subdued colors are the theme for the classic styles of their Polo line

this upcoming summer season . . .

. . .  variable prints and sporty styles create a fresh look for Ralph

Lauren's RLX line. Both can be found in green grass shops and

retailers everywhere.


Stay tuned for reviews coming up on many of these products including:

Tech/Rangefinders, Our Spring Best Links Footwear Feature, Belts/Apparel

as well as Eyewear and Accessories.







Best New Products of the 2019 PGA Show - Part 1 (Equipment) PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

The 2019 PGA Show is now in the rear view mirror and there are so

many new products and innovations to discuss in this our 10th Annual

Best New Products feature. In Part 1, we present who impressed in

the driver, irons, wedges, putter and golf ball categories?

Coming soon, in Part 2 we'll present the finest in Tech Gear,

Apparel, Footwear, Eyewear and Accessories.

PGA Show week for most of the industry kicks off at Demo Day located

at Orange County National each year. Displays like this elaborate one

from Cleveland/Srixon are popular spots to catch a glimpse of the new

equipment and take them for a test spin.


There were half dozen or so OEM's that impressed in the Big Stick category,

some of the usual industry heavyweights, and a few surprises from those

that you might not expect to find making waves in the driver marketplace.

With industry titan TaylorMade opting out of the 2019 PGA Show, those on

hand presented well. Lynx (yep Lynx), Tour Edge/Exotics, Mizuno, Ping,

Callaway, Cobra & Titleist led the way.

Tour Edge / Exotics EXS

David Glod and the Tour Edge/Exotics team keep introducing high-

performance quality metals and at the best value to consumers. Their

latest, the EXS line features a flight tuning system consisting of two

interchangeable weights - 9-gram weight in the heel and 3 gram in

the rear. The stock configuration is a draw bias ball flight, simply

switch the weights to achieve a more neutral shot shape. Available

in 9.5 & 10.5 lofts and adjustable via their advanced hosel system

(change loft + or - 2 degrees). Roll Face technology tightens up

dispersion, while their dual carbon technology enables weight to be

re-distributed lower and further back - increasing MOI. Mitsubishi

Tensei CK Blue is the stock powerplant for the EXS driver. MSRP $299


*Stay tuned for a full review on Exotics EXS coming soon - product has already

arrived for testing.


Callaway's follow up to the super popular Epic and Rogue drivers of the

last two years is the new Epic Flash. The big story for Epic Flash is the

new face. According to Senior Director of Brand Management Dave Neville,

"Epic Flash is the first driver ever designed using AI (artificial intelligence)

and machine learning. This is a huge innovation that we've been working

on for a number of years. In a typical driver face, you'll have 5 to 7 proto-

types and pick the best one. With this new technology, we were able to

have 15,000 virtual prototypes," Neville said. "So we know we have the

fastest possible face to go along with the body of this driver."

Xander Schauffele reportedly picked up 3mph of ball speed and nearly

10 yards of carry in his first week using Epic Flash to win the Sentry

Tournament of Champions. A 16-gram movable rear weight offers the

ability to fine-tune shot shape. Available in standard version and Sub-

Zero model. MSRP $529

*Stay tuned for a full review on Epic Flash, as of this writing we have

already received product for review.

PING - G410

PING's new G410 driver looks to improve on the huge success of

last year's G400, and that won't be an easy task. So what has PING

brought to the marketplace to improve what many considered the

driver of the year in 2018? From the address position you'd say not

much, the matte black Dragonfly crown returns with a slight variation

- a new "Creased Crown" design. It's the back end where you notice

the changes . . .

Movable weight is not a new concept in driver technology, but is a

new addition to PING drivers. The ultra high density movable rear

weight has 3 settings fade - neutral - draw to influence shot shape.

Available in SFT and Plus versions, the G410 has a plethora of shafts

available at no upcharge, including Ping Tour 65 & 75 gram, Project X

Even Flow Black 75 and Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 60. MSRP $499



LYNX - Prowler VT

So if I told you that perhaps the biggest driver innovation at the show

was the Lynx Prowler VT driver, what would you say? It's true, and it's

all because of their SWITCHFACE technology. In the past 6-8 years or

so, adjustability in drivers has allowed you to change loft quite easily

with the quick turn of a wrench. However, this came with a catch,

when you moved the shaft sleeve into your desired loft it also changed

lie and face angle. The folks at Lynx have developed a new way to change

loft without the side effects. Let's say you live in a region where you need

max carry (because it rains so often that roll is non-existent), in that

case a 10 or 11 degree driver might be the right choice. Now you plan

a trip to Bandon or Scotland where the wind usually is a serious influence

on carry distance and the ground is firm - where you may need a lower

ball flight with max roll out. Do you go buy buy a new driver or adjust

your loft sleeve (knowing that it will also change the face angle and lie

angle? If you chose option 1, it's very expensive. Option 2, can and

will likely change your normal shot shape. The new Prowler VT allows

these changes independently, with the only change being the loft

(via a different lofted faceplate). Simply determine the course

conditions and install the desired lofted face.

The assigned loft is printed onto the face in the upper toe section as

required by the USGA and R&A. Only testing will determine if the

Prowler VT stands up to the larger brands.

I do have one pet peeve with this new offering, the Prowler VT is a

glue-in shaft/head design, and in this age of instant shaft removal

convenience, a glue-in shaft should be converted at the very least

to a straight adapter installation . . .

Mizuno ST190

Mizuno's new ST 190 and ST 190G Drivers were created for more ball

speed, and using SP700 titanium (10% stronger than typical titanium

used in most driver faces) the ST190 driver faces are created to regain

their original shape faster after flexing at impact. Mizuno's "Amplified

Wave" sole was created to improve sound and allow the face to flex

better on strikes located low in the face. ST190 is available in 9 & 10.5

loft choices, while ST190G is only available in 9 degrees. MSRP $399


Crown view of the ST190, pretty sporty.

While the rear weighted ST190 is created for max forgiveness, the

ST190G model is the company's more adjustable model featuring

two 7 gram tungsten weights that can be moved to shift CG.

MSRP $499



Titleist TS Metals

The latest TS Line to come from Titleist is getting plenty of gametime

on tours around the globe including in house staffers Adam Scott, Justin

Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

While nearly every large OEM has moved to carbon fiber crown construction,

Titleist claims to have the lightest titanium crown in the game. TS models

come in two different designs built to bring you more speed. TS2 offers Max

forgiveness, while TS3 features a tuning port to dial in your desired ball flight.

Stock shaft offerings include Mitsubishi Kuro Kage (Dual Core 50) and Tensei

Blue (AV series 55) as well as HZRDUS Smoke (Black 60) and Project X Even

Flow (T1100 White 65). MSRP for both TS models - $499


Cobra SpeedBack

Cobra's new Speedback driver is a combination of aerodynamics, low CG

and their CNC milled face - creating optimal club and ball speed. 14 gram

and 2 gram sole weights allow you to dial in trajectory and backspin to

dial in your desired launch specs. Cobra Connect by Arccos returns to give

your game all of the flight data after each shot.

Cobra is the industry's first to create a carbon wrap crown, this new

design produces a 12% larger Carbon fiber area - saving an additional

10 grams from typical titanium driver crowns. According to Cobra's

Mike Yagley, "Polymer directional crown trips reduce drag and increase

clubhead speed."

Available in Yellow or White trim in 9, 10.5 & 12 degree lofts. Stock shaft

choices include UST Helium, Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue 6, Project X

HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 & Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Black 7. MSRP $449


Titleist TS Fairways

Titleist TS Fairways share traits and the same technology of their

more voluminous & less lofted tee box launchers. TS Fairways also

pack some additional goodies like adjustable swingweight and speed

inducing features like an Active Recoil Channel to enhance max ball

speed and forgiveness. MSRP $299

Mizuno ST190 F

Mizuno's ST190 Fairways feature a high-energy H1770 maraging steel

face. According to Mizuno's Jeff Crawford, "The chassis helps produce

more face flex like a driver to maximize speed and distance. The carbon

crown allows weight to be relocated lower in the clubhead, while the

Amplified Wave Sole balances stability and provides more forgiveness

on off-center hits. MSRP $299

XXIO - X Fairways

XXIO's new X Fairway metals are the poster child for the company's

"Easy Distance" mantra (for players who want the finest quality

equipment but don't possess tour player swing speeds). The XXIO X

Fairways feature a lightweight crown, variable thickness sole and a

rolled cup face that produces big distance. MSRP $399


Exotics CBX119

On our must have list (and should be on yours) for 2019 is the Exotics

CBX 119. According to Tour Edge/Exotics Founder and Master Club

Designer David Glod, "the new CBX 119 hybrid design was based on

feedback from tour players and led to a more compact design and

deeper face that produces hotter ball speeds and less spin." The

shorter heel to toe clubhead is a favorite of shotmakers on the PGA

Tour Champions. Stock shafts: Project X Even Flow and HZRDUS.

MSRP $249

Cobra F9 Hybrids

According to Cobra's Manager of Innovation Chad DeHart, "The new F9

hybrid has a large clubhead profile that increases MOI and forgiveness.

Baffler & Speedback Technologies optimize clubhead speed and lower

the center of gravity, resulting in the best combination of distance

and speed in a hybrid." Equipped with Fujikura's Atmos 7 shaft and

Cobra Connect by Arccos to track shot data. MSRP $219






Aldila Rogue 130 M.S.I

The Aldila ROGUE Silver 130 M.S.I is the latest edition of the popular

line of low launch/low spin driver and fairway shafts. Rogue 130 M.S.I

features a low torque tip-section, a higher balance point, and perhaps

the finest aesthetics of any premium shaft in the game - a brilliant ion

plating finish. MSRP $425

Fujikura Ventus

Fujikura's newest offering - Ventus was designed to significantly tighten

shot dispersion and optimize ball speeds. According to Fujikura Product

Marketing Manager Austin Tudor, "Ventus was inspired by tour players.

The VeloCore technology has an accelerated taper and ultra-stiff tip

profile that transfers maximium energy, thus boosting performance."

MSRP $350



Srixon's new Z-FORGED is a classic blade in muscle back form that

offers maximum shot shaping and versatility due to the new Tour V.T

sole. Forged from 1020 carbon steel, Z-FORGED is the company's pure

players iron. Available in 40 different custom shafts and grips at no

upcharge. 4-PW MSRP $999.99




Srixon's Z785 might be the iron that captures the greatest interest for most

players who prefer forged but want a touch of forgiveness. Z785's Tour Cavity

provides additional mass behind the sweet spot offering the best of both worlds

for a variety of players. Srixon allows consumers to create their dream set by

mixing different models. Perhaps a ZU85 long iron or two, Z585 or Z785 mid

irons and Z-FORGED blades for your short irons. The choice is yours . . .

4-PW MSRP $999.99


Srixon's Z U85 is our selection for the cleanest looking utility iron, but

is there technology to go with it's good looks? Ultra soft 1020 Carbon

steel gives buttery feel, while hollow body construction and SUP10 face

provide forgiveness and big distance. MSRP $199

Callaway - APEX Forged / APEX PRO

Callaway's newest Apex forgings are some serious head turners.

Apex Forged is a new tungsten infused multi-piece construction that's

engineeered to optimize ball speed and trajectory. Forged 1025 mild

carbon steel combines with the chevron's 360 Face Cup and proprietary

urethane microspheres (that absorb unwanted vibrations - without

affecting the dynamics of the clubface at impact). 4-PW $1225

Apex Pro 19 was designed for better players who desire the benefits of

a tour inspired forged design without giving up distance or performance.

The Apex Pro can be combined with Apex Forged to create your own

custom set up. 4-PW $1225 (Combo set starts at $1400)




JPX 919 Tour & JPX 919 Forged is the latest in Mizuno's highly sought

after line of forgings. According to Associate Brand Manager of Mizuno

Golf - Jeff Crawford, "The JPX 919 Tour is the benchmark for elite level

shotmakers. Grain Flow Forged High Density from a single billet of 1025E

Pure Select mild carbon steel for the softest feel of any forging." The

subdued satin silver finish is a different look for a Mizuno forging, and

it's a sharp look.  3-PW MSRP $1200

The JPX 919 Forged features a milled clubface boasting the brand's fastest

measured ball speed. Being positioned as their most versatile iron of the

lineup, the JPX 919 Forged sacrifices nothing in the way of feel with their

Grain Flow Forged HD makeup. Although it carries a deeper cavity then the

JPX 919 Tour, it still maintains a streamlined appearance with its brilliant

chrome finish. 4-GW MSRP $1300



Cleveland's RTX 4 grabbed our attention right away, with their multiple

grind offerings, tour inspired clubhead shape and stylish finishes.

The sharpest Zip Grooves face milling is Cleveland's most precise laser

milling ever for more spin and shortgame control.

RTX4 is avialable in lofts of 46 - 64 degrees in three different finishes

Tour Satin, Black Satin and Tour Raw finish. Dynamic Gold Tour Issue

shafts come stock with all RTX4 wedges. MSRP $139

Callaway - PM GRIND 19

Above - Roger Cleveland shows off his latest creation, the PM Grind 19

(Phil Mickelson) Wedge line and explains the collaboration process

with "Lefty" on these new shortgame sticks and the feature they call

the "Bounce behind the Bounce".

Although this image may not show it in detail, Roger Cleveland was

explaining to me how the new laser milling on the face has been angled

20 degrees so open face shortgame shots will have the benefit of less

side spin that will lead to shots finishing closer to the targe (instead of

the typical cut spin you often get from an open faced shot, Brilliant.

Notice where Phil is pointing, this is that narrow portion in the center

rear portion of the grind that he refers to as "the bounce behind the

bounce" that he says stabilizes the club as it enters the turf for just the

right amount of skid vs dig. Available in 54 - 64 degree models.

MSRP $159.99








Ping introduces GLIDE FORGED wedges, designed in collaboration with

their tour staff. 8620 carbon steel provides soft feel in a compact head

shape that's well suited for shortgame versatility. Ping's custom program

allows golfers to personalize their wedges with various graphics and

stamping options. Available in lofts of 50-60 degree increments.







Precision-milled wheel cut grooves provide improved higher spin, the

tapered hosel allows for better turf/sand interaction. Several shaft

options are available. GLIDE FORGED MSRP - $199






Cobra - MIM Wedges

Cobra's new MIM wedges feature a process known as Metal-injection

molding which is different then traditional methods. This process ensures

a precise shape that is softer than either cast or forged metals. The face

milling pattern is concentric - circling out from the center. 50-60 degree

lofts available. MSRP $150.



Featuring a "Biting Rail Milled Groove" design, Bridgestone's new TourB

XW-1 wedges were designed for better players - forged from 1020

carbon steel for superb feel. Compact in size with sole grind relief in

both the heel and toe for complete versatility on all types of shortgame

shots. Available in 50-60 degree lofts - MSRP $139

Tour B XW-1 features



Scotty Cameron's new Phantom X line consists of nine new modern

mallets, offering a variety of set ups to each player. Five different

head shapes and styles made from 303 stainless and precision milled

aluminum faces. Phantom X is more compact from the Futura line.

With a plethora of alignment options built-in, Phantom X offers a

choice for any set up preference.

Phantom X is available in Low bend, mid bend and straight, offering

options for your preferred amount of toe-flow. Phantom X features

stepless steel shafts and customizable stability sole weights positioned

on the heel/toe. Available April 5th - MSRP $429

Odyssey - STROKE LAB

Odyssey's latest putter line - Stroke Lab is technology that's born

from the idea that most golfers have very inconsistent strokes.

Putter innovations have been concentrated on improving alignment

and quality of roll, with Stroke Lab Odyssey seeks to improve your

stroke through a radical change in weight distribution.

Stroke Lab's shaft is 40 grams lighter by using a multi-material graphite

body and steel tip section. The saved weight is moved - head weight is

increased by 10 grams and with a grip that itself is 10 grams lighter than

standard, they added a 30 gram weight to grip-end - thus increasing the

counter-balance grip cap weight by 40 grams. According Odyssey Chief

Putter Designer Austie Rollinson, "Everyone would love to have a smoother

putting stroke, studies indicate that Stroke Lab improves backswing time,

impact position, ball speed and direction. It's created a more repeatable

stroke for most players."

The Stroke Lab line incorporates the White-Hot insert combined with

micro-hinge technology to provide superior forward roll and the softest

feel in the game. MSRP $249







Ping's new Sigma 2 line is a stable of 10 models for the player who

prefers a flatstick on the softer side, but with the response of a firm

face. Ping's Pebax insert is comprised of a firmer front layer and firmer

rear layer, that according to PING, has a softer feel on shorter putts

improving touch. While the rear layer comes into play more on longer

length putts, aiding in distance control and consistency.

Perhaps the biggest innovation is the perfected adjustable length shaft

technology that is now standard with all Sigma 2 putters. Ping's studies

found that 8 out 10 golfers are playing the wrong length putter, and

when the correct length gets dialed, consistency in the stroke improves

greatly. Adjustable in lengths of 32" - 36".  MSRP $200

Tour Golf Balls


Titleist Pro V1 / Pro V1x

The industry standard has it's latest iteration of it's Pro V1 and Pro V1x.

The word from Titleist is more ball speed and a new high optic-yellow


According to Titleist, they developed a new cast urethane cover that's

17% thinner then the previous version - allowing for a higher percentage

of speed-enhancing materials in the construction of the new models. The

cores on the Pro V1 and dual cores on the Pro V1x have both increased in

stiffness, while the inner core remains soft which produces higher ball

speeds and less long game spin.

Pro V1 flies a bit lower and more penetrating with a slighty softer feel than

Pro V1x. MSRP per dozen $52


Srixon's sixth generation of it's ZSTAR and ZSTAR XV features a

FASTLayer Core and the fourth generation of Spin Skin with SeRM

providing unmatched control around the greens. The 338 Speed dimple

pattern boosts distance and provides straight ball flight and outstanding

performance in windy conditions.

Srixon Z-Star is a three piece construction, 90 compression urethane

tour ball with max greenside spin, while boasting more distance than

other mid-compression tour golf balls. Z-Star XV is a four piece, 102

compression urethane tour ball provides max distance and tour caliber

performance tee to green. Available in Pure White and Tour Yellow.

MSRP $39.99

Mizuno RB Tour

At this year's PGA Show, Mizuno launched their first ever Tour Urethane

golf ball in North America - RB TOUR and RB Tour X. Both models feature

four piece urethane cover technology, but it's their "cone" dimples that

are the result of 12 years of wind tunnel testing. Mizuno has had a

premium ball offering in the Asian market for quite some time, but as

Jeff Crawford of Mizuno told me, "We wanted to wait to come out with

THIS ball."

The RB Tour is a slightly softer compression offering low driver spin,

while the firmer X model offers mid driver spin and a firmer feel.

MSRP $43 per dozen

Distance Golf Balls:

Bridgestone e12  SOFT / SPEED

Bridgestone returned to the PGA Show and to 2019 with a ton of

momentum. Bryson DeChambeau has taken professional golf by

storm of late and Tiger Woods came back from oblivion and driving

his Tour B XS golf ball to victory at the Tour Championship at East

Lake to finish off 2018.

e12 is the new kid on the block for Bridgestone in 2019, and it comes

in two versions e12 SOFT and e12 Speed. According to Bridgestone's

Elliot Mellow, "Both models are 3 piece surlyn that we categorize as

distance performance balls. The Active Acceleration Mantle layer is

our key component that is a high-performance polymer that provides

higher velocity and increased thrust at impact. This allowed us to soften

the core for more forgiveness and enhanced feel. Both balls feature our

Delta Wing dimple pattern for less drag and optimized aerodynamics."

e12 SOFT was specifically designed for players with swings under 105

mph. Available in White, Matte Green, Matte Red, and Matte Yellow -

MSRP $29.99

e12 SPEED was created for those faster swing players at 105 mph+

Available in White. MSRP $29.99

OnCore - AVANT

OnCore's new Avant ball is a two piece 55 compression golf ball that

offers big distance and low spin off the driver and high spin on wedge

shots. Super soft feel on and around the green. MSRP $24 per dz.

Stay Tuned for Our Best New Products Part 2 - Tech, Apparel,

Footwear and accessories coming soon . . .


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