Golf Buzz

October 17, 2013 - 10:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Vessel Bags
Vessel Bags
If you want a one-of-a-kind golf bag, Vessel Bags can create it.

The holidays are sneaking up on us -- as the always do. Are you looking to find a great gift for the special golfer in your life?

We have a suggestion for you that's sure to be a hit: a 100 percent customized golf bag.

Until now, you may not have heard of a company called Vessel Bags, but you've surely seen their work. Watch any kind of Tour event and their bags are impossible to miss. Many of the customized bags used by tournament professionals -- the ones adorned with sponsor logos and more -- are Vessel Bags.

RELATED: MannKrafted Milled Putters -- the ultimate in putter customization

Now, you can have your very own.

We know what you're thinking: Why would I want a bag with a company logo on it?

Good question. And the answer is, you don't have to have a bag with a company logo on it. With Vessel Bags, you can literally have anything you want on the bag -- your name, a symbol, a flag, an image, a saying -- the possibilities are endless.

And if you want a personalized bag, but have no idea what to put on it, Vessel's customer service can come to the rescue:

"Our goal and dream is to design and create the most unique bag with you and for you. At Vessel, we believe that we are all uniquely made. Let us help you express your uniqueness through the accessories you carry on the golf course. Make a bag unlike any other bag out there. If our customizer is not unique enough for you, please send us brief information on what you would like to achieve and we will contact you and design a bag for you that's on a whole 'nother level."

Watch the video below to see what goes in to creating a one-of-a-kind Vessel bag:

Before contacting customer service though, you'll want to try out Vessel's cool, easy-to-use bag customizer application on www.vesselbags.com. First, you choose between four bag-type options -- three full-sized "staff" bags that start from $650; or the company's "Player," lightweight, stand bag that starts at $350.

Once your bag is selected, that's when the fun starts. With all kinds of different color swatches, you simply click the color and where you'd like it to appear on the bag. You can even choose the zipper color you desire.

With the color scheme locked in, you can move on to more customization. You can add text and images anywhere on the bag. If there's something you'd like on the bag, but can't find, that's when Vessel can step in and help.

The high-quality materials used to make a Vessel bag insure that it will be usable for years to come. So, while the price is certainly higher than a standard bag, keep in mind that Vessel's are completely personalized just for you.

And as if the bag customization wasn't enough, Vessel can also customize headcovers to match your bag.

After placing your order, Vessel bags ship in as little as two weeks.

To learn more about Vessel, visit www.vesselbags.com. You can also find Vessel on Facebook or on Twitter, @vesselbags.

UPDATE: Vessel has been kind enough to offer a 15 percent discount to PGA.com readers good through the end of 2013. Just enter "PGA15" at checkout to get the discount.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

October 17, 2013 - 12:37am
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Adams Golf XTD driver
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The Adams XTD driver is the only driver one to feature Cut-Thru Slot technology – slots cut in the crown and sole that help the face flex more to provide faster ball speeds and longer distance.

Adams Golf is topping off a big year in a big way – by introducing a new collection of top-of-the-line XTD clubs.

''Quite frankly, these XTD products are the best we make thanks to a spare-no-expense mindset to create game-changing technology,'' said Justin Honea, Adams Golf's senior director of research and development. ''We ignored convention, built products with premium materials and pushed the limits to deliver jaw-dropping ball speed increases off the face for every club in the bag.''

The XTD driver is the only one to feature Cut-Thru Slot technology – slots cut in the crown and sole that help the face flex more to provide faster ball speeds and longer distance. And to help the club move more aerodynamically through the air during the swing, there are no engravings or sharp edges to slow it down.

Much attention was paid to the inside of the XTD driver heads as well – in fact, Adams says, every head is tested four times during the manufacturing process to ensure maximum spring-like effect within USGA limits. That, the company says, is a unique attention to detail not known to be practiced by any other manufacturer.

''We're touting that it's the hottest face in golf by using the strictest manufacturing tolerances,'' Honea said of the XTD driver. ''Every feature we've built into the XTD family is distinctive, and we've merged them all together into the ultimate driver.''

The XTD family also includes fairway woods, hybrids and forged irons. 

In the fairway woods and hybrids, Adams engineers combined titanium brazing with Cut-Thru Slot technology and progressive face thickness. This, they explained, helped them re-distribute mass to the perimeter and provide 29 percent more face speed on off-center hits. In addition, the XTD fairway clubs and hybrids have a low Center of Gravity, making it easier to get the ball consistently airborne.

Unlike traditional forged irons, the XTDs also boast Cut-Thru Slot technology. Tungsten weights in the sole optimize the Center of Gravity for longer, straighter shots, while a floating face and hollow design delivers consistently faster ball speeds and adding forgiveness throughout the set.

The full eight-piece set includes a 3- and 4- DHy, which Adams says is currently the top hybrid model on the PGA Tour. This club provides the extra distance and forgiveness of a hybrid with the shot-shaping control of a long iron, Adams says, while its unique bulge-and-roll face improves shot dispersion.

The XTD drivers will be available at retail in mid-December with a suggested retail price of $399.99, while the Ti fairway woods and hybrids will be available for purchase in mid-November with a suggested retail price of $299.99 per club (all include a Matrix Red Tie shaft and Iomic Black Armor Sticky Evolution grip. The irons will be available in early December with KBS C-Taper steel shafts for a suggested retail price of $1,099.99 or Aldila RIP Tour 115-gram graphite shafts with a suggested retail of $1,199.99.

 

October 16, 2013 - 11:41pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Yasiel Puig
Getty Images
Yasiel Puig's triple provoked a Twitter-to-TV discussion about unwritten rules in baseball and golf.

The Detroit Tigers were comfortably ahead of the Boston Red Sox late in Game 4 of the American League Division Series Wednesday night – no doubt to the consternation of my New England-based colleague T.J. Auclair – when Fox analyst Tim McCarver brought golf into the conversation.

McCarver referenced a tweet that Hunter Mahan sent out during the National League playoff game on Tuesday that said: ''If players are so upset at Puig celebrating a triple or clutch hits then get him out. I'm tired of hearing about baseball's unwritten rules.''

 

 

Mahan was referring to an incident in the Los Angeles Dodgers-St. Louis Cardinals game in which Dodger rookie Yasiel Puig reacted with his usual exuberance to a triple, prompting some fans to wonder whether the Cardinals ought to plunk him in retaliation.

RELATED: THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF GOLF

But Mahan's tweet got McCarver – or at least McCarver's producers – thinking about a retort. What they came up with were their own suggestions for poking holes in some of golf's unwritten rules. I'm paraphrasing them, but here they are:

--Let the pros wear shorts in 110-degree weather.

--Talk anytime your opponent is hitting, and talk loudly.

--Step on your opponent’s putting line.

--Drive into the foursome in front of you.

RELATED: READERS GIVE US MORE UNWRITTEN RULES OF GOLF

As McCarver's announcing partner Joe Buck noted, it's actually a written rule that PGA Tour players must wear long pants, though of course caddies have the right to wear shorts on hot days. As for the others, well, to me they're more recommendations to be rude than anything else.

As the baseball game moved along, McCarver noted that, though he didn't know Mahan, ''he would get a kick out of something like that if he has a sense of humor, and I assume he does.''

Mahan, of course, seemed please that  his tweet was noticed.

 

 

 

 

Anyone who's seen a Golf Boys video – or even Mahan's Ping commercials with Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood – knows that Mahan indeed has a sense of humor. I'm not sure, however, that this little baseball interlude would give him much of a chuckle. 

 

October 16, 2013 - 4:26pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Graham DeLaet
Getty Images
Canada's Graham DeLaet is developing into quite the player.

Viva, Las Vegas! The PGA Tour is in Sin City this week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open -- the second event of this new 2013-2014 wraparound schedule.

One year ago, Ryan Moore picked up the second PGA Tour victory of his career at TPC Summerlin and his first since winning the Wyndham Championship in 2009. It was an extra special win for Moore, who graduated from nearby UNLV in 2005.

SCORES: Follow the Shriners Hospital for Children leaderboard on PGA.com

If there's one thing we've learned after years of watching tournaments at TPC Summerlin it's this: you'd better go low. The winning score is routinely 20 under or better. Like seeing boatloads of birdies and eagles? Then this is the tournament for you.

With that, here are five players to watch this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open:

5. Ryan Moore
Best finish in 2013: Fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: For starters, Moore is the defending champion. After a so-so 2013 season that included three top-10 finishes, you've got to think Moore is excited about the good vibes that come with playing on a course where he's comfortable and has had success. That's exactly what he gets at TPC Summerlin. Also expect Moore to be extra fresh this week. His last start was in the middle of September -- a tie for 11th at The Barclays.

4. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2013: Winner of the BMW Championship
Reason to watch: In his eight starts since a playoff loss at the John Deere Classic, Johnson has finished outside of the top 8 just once. That's insane. Eight top-10 finishes in all of 2013, including the win at BMW Championship, that runner-up showing at John Deere and a third-place finish at Colonial. Johnson was also on the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team. When he's putting well, few in the world are better than Johnson. On a course that demands birdies, it means you're going to have to make a lot of puts. Johnson fits the bill.

READ: Players earn Tour cards, need tournaments to play

3. Hideki Matsuyama
Best finish in 2013: T6 at the Open Championship
Reason to watch: I was expecting a Presidents Cup hangover to impact Matsuyama last week at the Frys.com Open. Instead, he played the final three rounds like this: 66-68-66 to finish in a tie for third -- his best career finish on the PGA Tour. That final round 66 was extra special, as Matsuyama birdied each of the final three holes. Many are expecting big things from Matsuyama in the 2013-2014 season -- most of all, Matsuyama himself.
UPDATE: Matsuyama withdrew from the tournament Thursday morning before his Round 1 tee time due to illness.

2. Brendon de Jonge
Best finish in 2013: T6 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: OK, on paper, de Jonge's 2013 stats don't exactly jump out and make you say, "Wow!" He had four top-10 finishes in 30 starts, but did play well enough at the end of the season to make it through to the Tour Championship. There's something to be said for that. The reason I think you need to watch out for de Jonge is this -- 2013 International team Presidents Cup captain and fellow Zimbabwean Nick Price thought enough of de Jonge's game to use a captain's pick on him. Do you know what something like that can do for a person's career? Greg Norman did the same thing to Adam Scott in the 2011 Presidents Cup. Two years later, Scott won the Masters. Are we saying there's a major in de Jonge's near future? Not necessarily. All we're saying is that these guys have big-time belief in themselves. But, when someone of Price's ilk thinks so highly of your game too, well, that's got to be a shot in the arm.

1. Graham DeLaet
Best finish in 2013: T2 at The Barclays
Reason to watch: DeLaet could be the biggest golf star to come out of Canada since former Master champ Mike Weir. DeLaet is intense and has a big game. In an otherwise forgettable Presidents Cup showing for the International team a few weeks ago, DeLaet was one of the few shining stars. He went 3-1-1 in his rookie appearance. That included a spectacular singles win over another young star -- Jordan Spieth -- where DeLaet holed out from a bunker on No. 18 at Muirfield Village for the win. In 2013, DeLaet racked up seven top 10s in 26 starts, making the cut 21 times. Like we said last week with Jimmy Walker, it seems as though it's only a matter of time before DeLaet collects that maiden Tour win. Could this be the week?

Here's video of that final-hole bunker shot from DeLaet at the Presidents Cup:

 

 

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

Categories: TPC Summerlin
October 15, 2013 - 11:45pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cobra Baffler XL driver
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
The Cobra Baffler XL driver's high-MOI sole combines with the offset design to helping to correct slices, increase stability and maintain distance on off-center hits.

It's a little hard to believe that Cobra Golf's Baffler line of clubs is 40 years old. To mark the occasion, Cobra is extending its Baffler brand with the new Baffler XL driver, along with Baffler XL fairway clubs, hybrids, irons and even a combo set. 

The new clubs all fall into the game-improvement category, and an offset design runs throughout the set to help correct slices. In addition, pronounced sole rails – a longtime staple of Cobra's Baffler offerings – on the XL fairways, hybrids and irons makes it easier to get the ball up in the air.

Where does the XL in the name come from? For starters, the XL driver features Cobra's largest face design ever.

''We increased the effective face area, lowered the CG [Center of Gravity] and designed our largest driver face ever to deliver an easy-to-hit driver,'' said Vice President of Research & Development Tom Preece. ''The Baffler XL driver is an easy to hit driver packed with technology to hit it far and straight.”

The Baffler XL driver has a 5,000-square millimeter face (17 percent larger than the AMP Cell Offset driver) in addition to a 21 percent increase in effective face area. More of the face is located above the Center of Gravity to help optimize spin and provide a more distance and a more consistent launch. 

The larger face also creates an enhanced trampoline effect, giving the golfer more consistency with hits across the face. And a new high-MOI sole combines with the offset design to helping to correct slices, increase stability and maintain distance on off-center hits. 

The Baffler XL driver features a Legion Blue cosmetic that is found throughout the new Baffler XL product line. The driver, fairways, hybrids and combo set also are available in women's models in Purple Pearl with Dahlia Purple accents.

The new driver is available in 9.5-, 10.5- and 11.5-degree lofts, in Stiff (65 gram low torque/mid kick), Regular (55 gram mid torque/mid kick) or Lite (55 gram mid torque/mid kick) flexes in right-handed models. Left-handed models are available in a 10.5-degree loft in Stiff, Regular or Lite flex. All models come stock with a Cobra Lamkin REL EPDM Reminder Grip.

The Baffler XL product line will be available at retail on Nov. 15. The driver carries a suggested retail price of $249, while the fairway clubs carry a suggested retail price of $179 and the hybrids carry a $159 suggested retail price. The combo set carries a suggested retail price of $599 for steel shafts and $699 for graphite shafts, and the iron set carries a suggested retail price of $499 with steel shafts and $599 with graphite shafts.

 

October 15, 2013 - 7:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
3 Up Golf
3 Up Golf
For every dozen golf balls sold, 3 Up Golf donates $3 to a charitable cause.

In April of 2012, a man by the name of Rob Zimmerman suffered a mild heart attack from a severe arterial blockage.

The Nashua, N.H., resident survived. And, what Zimmerman did next might surprise you. With a new lease life, the certified golf-aholic, who plays to a 2-handicap and enjoys competing in amateur events, launched a company called 3 Up Golf with his wife, Danielle.

While it offers some accessories, 3 UP Golf's primary product is a golf ball -- the 3F12. Can you think of a golf ball on the market today that's not made by a huge corporation?

We didn't think so.

But Zimmerman's vision wasn't simply to create a golf product. He wanted to merge his love of the game and desire to grow the game with helping others after his big health scare. That's why 3 Up Golf is actually a vehicle that drives charitable contributions to golf-related charities.

To that end, every dozen balls sold equates to $3 going directly to a charity, which 3 Up Golf has built into its cost structure. Every time the company reaches a 333rd dozen sold, the Zimmermans write out a check for $1,000 to the current charity that's on their radar -- causes like cancer research, junior golf programs, golf environmental charities, military support and children's hospitals.

Here's how the witty Zimmerman describes his plan, which he calls, "Rob's simple guide to making golf balls for fun and profit":

1. Create a product that he'd be proud to put his name on
2. Charge a reasonable price
3. Pay 3 Up's bills from step 2
4. Give the rest back to charity
5. Create an even better product and repeat!

We are all so fortunate to be able to play golf. I'm sure a lot of you out there feel the same way that I do and personally give back to charities that are near and dear to your heart. I want 3 Up to be a brand you can be proud to purchase from not only for our high quality products but for what we do above and beyond our product offerings.

With that kind of plan, Zimmerman has created a golf ball that not only can you feel good about purchasing, but one you ultimately won't feel bad about inevitably losing on the golf course. It's a win-win!

Or, as Zimmerman eloquently puts it, "So the next time you hit a 3F12 into a pond, just remember you donated 25 cents to charity! Losing balls isn't so bad now, is it?"

And about the golf ball -- the 3F12 is a premium 3-piece golf ball built for the amateur golfer who doesn't want to compromise distance or feel. Zimmerman started from the putting green and worked his way backwards to the tee to create a great sense of feel to help your performance.

In this video, Zimmerman describes the 3F12 ball:

 

 

Here are the details on the ball:

- Cast Urethane cover provides maximum spin and feel
- Ionomer mantle layer
- Polybutadiene core for maximum distance off the tee, regardless of your swing speed
- 318 dimple count
- Player preferred alignment aid
- Conforms with USGA rules

As if all that weren't enough, the Zimmermans also include a special and useful packaging. Instead of the standard box, each dozen of 3 Up Golf balls comes in a pouch -- one you can use as a valuables pouch for your watch, wallet and phone. Also in the pouch are a few branded accessories, which Zimmerman calls, "our thank you for joining the 3 Up family."

A dozen of the 3F12 golf balls retail for $39.99.

To learn more, visit www.3upgolf.com. You can also find 3 Up on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, @3upgolf.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.