The two big pushes in golf shoes these days are to make them as lightweight as possible and also to make them customizable. Nike Golf does both in its new Lunar Embellish women's golf shoe.
The Lunar Embellish is significantly lighter than its predecessor, the Air Embellish, weighing in at 8.6 ounces compared to 11.9 ounces for the Air Embellish. The weight savings is a result of lighter materials combined with a slimmer, more refined design. And the new shoes contain Nike's Lunarlon Technology for responsive cushioning in the heel as well as Integrated Traction on the outsole to provide control at impact.
SHORT-GAME GURU: Dave Stockton joins Nike Golf to help design putters
The Lunar Embellish also comes with two reversible saddle wraps – for four colors in total – allowing golfers to match their shoes with their outfit for the day, and the saddles also provide adjustable mid-foot support. In addition, a new water-resistant synthetic leather upper, crafted with a no-sew technology film overlay, provides extra support and durability throughout the length of the shoe.
The Pure Platinum/Wolf Grey-White shoes offer Red Violet, Turf Orange, Glacier Ice and Wolf Grey saddle choices. The Black/Metallic Cool Grey-White offer Dark Grey, Turbo Green, Geranium and Violet Shade saddle choices. The shoes carry a suggested retail price of $130 per pair (and a street price of $99 per pair), and will be available at retail in early November.
The biggest news in golf last week was made when a column written by former Tour winner and current Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee was posted to Golf.com in which Chamblee gave Tiger Woods a "F" as a grade for the 2013 season.
Woods, the world's No. 1-ranked player, was a five-time winner in 2013 -- three more wins than anyone else -- and captured his 11th career PGA Tour Player of the Year award.
Chamblee wasn't giving Woods a "F" for his results, but more for his run-ins with the rules -- four in particular that Chamblee cited in the piece, three of which led to two-shot penalties for Woods.
Chamblee wrote: "I remember when we only talked about Tiger's golf. I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and ... how shall we say this ... was a little cavalier with the rules."
It was that last line that didn't sit well with many, including Mark Steinberg, Woods' longtime agent who threatened possible legal action against Chamblee for suggesting Woods was a cheater -- the worst thing you can call a golfer.
In an Associated Press report published on Tuesday, Chamblee stood firm in his grading of Woods.
As AP golf writer Doug Ferguson noted, Chamblee never actually called Woods "a cheater" in the piece, which was done by design.
"I think 'cavalier with the rules' allows for those with a dubious opinion of the BMW video," Chamblee said Tuesday in an email to the AP. "My teacher in the fourth grade did not have a dubious opinion of how I complete the test. But she was writing to one, and as I was writing to many, I felt it important to allow for the doubt some might have, so I chose my words accordingly.
"What people want to infer about that is up to them," he said. "I have my opinion, they can form theirs."
Chamblee said the reason for the failing mark was because, "ethics matter more than athletics."
All in all, this is a situation that doesn't look to be going away any time soon.
Follow T.J. Auclair in Twitter, @tjauclair.
We came across video today of a pep talk Jason Dufner gave to the Auburn University football team shortly after his PGA Championship win in August.
Here's the talk:
Unfortunately, there's no Dufnering in the video, but it was interesting to see Dufner at least crack a smile while he imparted some words of wisdom on the Tigers. As we've come to learn, there's no bigger Auburn fan than the reigning PGA Champion, who attended school there.
Dufner also attended the Auburn game at Texas A&M on Saturday and Twitter user @owensco79 tweeted this picture of the Duf giving a pregame speech in the Tiger lockeroom:
— Mr. Owensco (@owensco79) October 21, 2013
In case you missed it, Dufner's pep talk must have worked. Auburn took down Johnny Manziel's Aggies, 45-41 on the road.
At 6-1 overall, Auburn debuted at No. 11 in the first BCS standings released on Sunday.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
If you live on a golf course, it's reasonable to assume that your house may be the recipient of an errant shot every now and again.
That's what happened at the 16th hole at Lakeridge Golf Course in Reno in September 2012 to the home of a man named Jeff Fleming.
What happened next is where things got crazy.
The unidentified golfer who struck Fleming's house -- breaking a window -- took a drop and was attempting to play his next shot when Fleming allegedly fired a shotgun at the golfer, who suffered minor injuries to an arm and both legs.
According to a report, the 53-year-old Fleming pleaded guilty to a felony charge last week. Fleming entered the plea to battery with a deadly weapon last Thursday in Washoe County District Court. He faces from probation to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine when he's sentenced Dec. 12.
In exchange for Fleming's guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop an assault with a deadly weapon charge and to go along with the Division of Parole and Probation's recommended sentence for him.
Follow T.J. Auclair in Twitter, @tjauclair.
Two months after the release of the SLDR driver, TaylorMade Golf is giving it some company. Five SLDR fairway woods and four SLDR Rescue clubs are joining the family.
The new fairways and rescues don't share the SLDR driver's signature sliding weight on the sole, but they do have TaylorMade's Loft-Sleeve technology, which allows golfers to adjust the loft 1.5 degrees up or down. Better players are sometimes reluctant to play higher-lofted metalwoods because of their increased spin rate, but TaylorMade says the SLDR clubs have a low and forward Center of Gravity that reduces spin and generates greater distances, even with the higher lofts.
Another TaylorMade trademark found in the SLDR fairways and rescues is the Speed Pocket, which is also found in the RocketBallz woods and RocketBladez and new SpeedBlades irons. The Speed Pocket is essentially a slot cut into the sole that allows the face to flex more and faster to help generate greater ball speed. Unlike the open slots in RocketBallz woods, the SLDRs' slots contain a polymer fill to keep grass and debris out.
Like the SLDR driver, the new clubs feature a traditional head shape with a shallow face, charcoal-gray crown and silver clubface. And just as the SLDR quickly became the most-played driver on the PGA Tour, the fairways and rescues are already being used by players such as Justin Rose and D.A. Points.
The SLDR fairway woods come in five models: Tour Spoon (14 degrees), 3 (15 degrees), 3HL (17 degrees), 5 (19°) and 5HL (21 degrees), all of which come stock with a Fujikura Speeder 77 graphite shaft. They carry a suggested retail price of $249 per club, or $349 with an optional Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 8.3 shaft.
The rescue clubs come in four models: the 2 (17 degrees), 3 (19 degrees), 4 (21 degrees) and 5 (24 degrees), with a stock Fujikura Speeder 82 shaft. They carry a suggested retail price of $219, while an optional TP version, equipped with the Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 9.3 shaft, has a suggested retail price of $289.
All the new SLDR fairways and rescues will be available at retail in mid-November.
Here's a TaylorMade video with more info on these new clubs: