Equipment

Nike Golf VRS Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition Driver
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The Nike Golf VRS Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition Driver features Fly-Brace technology that ties the sole to the crown, stiffening the rear portion of the club and transferring more energy to the face at impact.

At most big colleges, the football teams have recently played their spring games and concluded their practices until summer camp. At Nike Golf, college football is still very much on everyone's minds.

That's because the company used college football as the inspiration for its latest creation – a matte-black edition of its flagship VRS Covert 2.0 driver.

Sports teams often incorporate black into uniforms for a big rivalry game or season opener, Nike Golf says, adding that black is a color traditionally associated with power, strength and sophistication. The concept, the company notes, is especially popular in college football, where matte-tinted helmets have become all the rage.

"The Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition driver offers a unique, limited-edition design combined with Nike's high-speed cavity back technology," said Nike Golf Global Golf Club Business Director Rob Arluna. "The black matte finish on the head provides a sleek, modern aesthetic and eliminates glare. The black grip and shaft give the driver a stealth, covert look.”

GAME CHANGERS VIDEO: Nike Golf's VR X3X Toe Sweep wedges

This limited-edition innovation features a black Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G grip, Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black shaft and, of course, a matte black club head – a design element specifically modeled after matte black college football helmets.

Nike's High-Speed Cavity Back technology redistributes weight to the heel and toe to improve distance and stability across the face. The driver also features Fly-Brace technology that ties the sole to the crown, stiffening the rear portion of the club and transferring more energy to the face at impact.

The new driver also boasts two additional proprietary technologies: A larger, re-engineered NexCOR face for increased ball speed and distance, and FlexLoft adjustability, which allows golfers to easily customize loft and face angle positions for 15 drivers in one.

The Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition driver will be available on Nike.com and at select retailers on May 15. It will come as a right-handed model only, and carries a street price of $299.

 

Nike Golf issues VRS Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition Driver
adidas Golf
adidas Golf
The new adicross gripmore.

adidas Golf has announced the release of two all-new footwear models featuring proprietary gripmore technology, an innovation in golf footwear cleat design that combines the performance benefits of spiked and spikeless footwear into one revolutionary technology.

The first of two models to feature gripmore technology, the adicross gripmore utilizes 43 gripmore cleats and a total of 243 points of contact for the ultimate combination of versatility and performance. Featuring premium sport-styling with modern aesthetics and colors and a premium full-grain leather upper, the adicross gripmore line has outstanding comfort and casual crossover appeal that delivers the performance golfers of all types demand.

RELATED: adidas Golf will outfit U.S. Olympic golf teams in 2016

2013 U.S. Open Champion and adidas Golf Tour staff professional Justin Rose debuted the adicross gripmore at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March, where he praised the shoe's crossover performance characteristics.

"I'm always looking for footwear that provides traction without compromising comfort, style or on-course performance," he said. "With gripmore, I have the versatility of a spikeless shoe combined with the performance of a cleated shoe. It's the best of both styles."

With a more athletically-inspired design, the pure 360 gripmore sport features a waterproof mesh upper with climaproof, 360WRAP technology and a powerband chassis for increased stability. Featuring 23 gripmore cleats and a total of 161 contact points, the shoe provides exceptional traction with the combination of comfort, protection and performance.

The evolution of golf cleats has seen little change in innovation over the course of the last century. From metal spikes to soft spikes and most recently spikeless models, cleat technology has remained stagnant with little advancement. The adidas Golf team set out to change the state of the footwear game, embarking on a mission to reshape the industry to create a groundbreaking category of shoe for all golfers. adicross gripmore and pure 360 gripmore sport were the result.

Unlike traditional spiked golf shoes that require receptacles to house cleats on the sole, gripmore cleats are directly injected onto lightweight mesh matting inclusive of hundreds of microspikes for even more traction and stability. In addition to unbelievable grip, both models are among the most green-friendly the company has ever created.

Available June 1, adicross gripmore will be available in three colorways: aluminum / running white / light scarlet, running white / running white / light scarlet and black/ running white / light scarlet at an MSRP of $150 USD.

Also available June 1, pure 360 gripmore sport will be available in two colorways: black / metallic silver / light scarlet and light onix / running white / light scarlet at an MSRP of $130 USD.

For more information on gripmore technology or to view the entire adicross gripmore and pure 360 gripmore collections, visit adidasgolf.com.

 

adidas Golf unveils new footwear models featuring revolutionary gripmore technology
Xenon Golf Company
Xenon Golf Company
This is just a small sampling of the customization options offered by Xenon Golf Company.

Every now and again we stumble upon people and companies in golf that you may not have yet heard of, but should.

And that's the basis for this introduction to Kenneth "Lump" Uselton, owner of a business based out of Nashville, Tenn., called, "Xenon Golf Company."

Xenon specializes in handcrafted putters. Like other boutique putter makers we've profiled in this space -- LaMont Mann's MannKrafted and Low Tide, among them -- Xenon's creations aren't merely putters. They're truly works of art.

BOUTIQUE PUTTERS: Low Tide -- putters that tell a story | MannKrafted fine milled putters

"Currently I make mostly handmades," explained Uselton, a married father of three and a 17-year cancer survivor. "I do have some designs that I run blank heads at the CNC shop. I have about 10 unique designs that I would like to make available as CNC blanks and the customer can personalize them. There are many more stuck in my head too."

Those ideas stuck in Uselton's head are often brought to life in a 12'x20' portable building/shed he purchased in 2006. The small building resides in his back yard and has become affectionately known as, "The Old Puttershack."

"I set it up in my back yard to use as my workshop for refinishing old irons and building clubs," Uselton explained. "In 2007, I decided that I would start accumulating the equipment I needed to teach myself how to make putters from a block of material. I found a 40-year-old 1/3" hp Rusnok mini-milling machine in February 2008 from an inquiry on Ebay, a nice used tig welder and the accumulation started. If you walk into the 'Puttershack' today, you will see an encirclement of equipment for the entire process. In this shop I do the machine work, the welding, grinding, stamping, finishing -- everything is done by me. It's taken me almost 6 years to get to the point where I know that my work is now to the level I dreamt of when I started."

Before it became his career, Uselton started putting clubs together in 1986 at the age of 17, trying -- like many golfers -- to find something that would better suit his game.

During the early 1990s before golf really became "cool" for all ages, there was a vintage PING putter craze. Karsten Solheim, the late founder of PING, was a pioneer in putter design. Like many, Uselton wanted to get his hands on Solheim's designs.

"When the vintage Ping putter craze blew up in the early 1990s, I came obsessed with PING putters because Karsten was such a design genius and everything he did looked different," Uselton said. "While dragging around a set of old Northwestern blades growing up, I always drooled over the PING irons for sale in the pro shops around town."

RELATED: Salty Grips bring cork to your putter | Visit PGA.com's extensive equipment page

What was once a hobby recently turned into an occupation that remains a passion for Uselton. You see Uselton worked in a plastic plant from 1991 until the plant closed its doors in February 2012. At that job, Uselton says he worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week every two weeks. He then spent many of his off days refinishing clubs and building sets.

He meddled for years with milled putters in the Puttershack, an art that was accelerated and skills that were honed in the mid-2000s when Uselton started to appreciate the creations of masters of the milling method -- names like Mills, Bettinardi and Cameron.

Beautiful as those works were then and are even today, it's the price point that was discouraging to Uselton.

"A normal guy like me had no desire to spend a huge amount on a milled putter," he said.

It's that "normal guy" mantra that separates Uselton from others. For less than $300 -- pretty much the starting point for most high-end putters you'll find in a golf store -- Uselton can make you a one-of-a-kind.

"The goal is to have my own functional designs, nothing radical looking but more traditional and offer them at a fair price with multiple metal choices and personalization choices," Uselton told us. "All I ask from customers is not to expect a copy of someone else's ideas. My putters start at $259 fully customized and personalized. My order forms state: 'Please do not ask for rude or offensive stampings or similar markings of other putter makers.'"

Uselton’s order form reads like an a la carte menu. The options seem endless. Customers can choose lie, length, loft, head weight, neck design and so much more. Xenon putters can be 100 percent personalized by the customer from the head design, the neck, the shaft and the grip to the stamping, the finish and the sightlines or dots. Seriously. Uselton will literally tell you, "Give it some thought and get back to me. Tell me exactly what you want."

And then, he brings your imagination – no matter how wild – to life.

Uselton's putters aren't the same, old, boring, cookie-cutter designs you find in the box stores. To the contrary, many of his shapes and designs are the kind you never even knew existed. The head shapes and neck designs are sure to be conversational pieces amongst your foursome.

Uselton also offers accessories. Things like guitar-pick shaped ball markers and guitar-shaped bag tags, almost as a nod to the city where he creates his designs – Nashville, “The Music City.”

From start to finish, Uselton estimates it’s between 4-5 weeks before the putter you dreamed up is in your hands.

“I can't believe that I have gotten to this point to be able to take a raw piece of metal, machine it, shape it, stamp it, finish it, weld it, paint it and assemble it -- all without relying on anyone else,” Uselton said. “When people entrust you to create their ‘dream’ putter, I feel an obligation to them to get it dead on.”

If you’d like to view samples of Uselton’s impressive body of work, you can click here to visit the Xenon Golf Company Facebook page. You can also give him a follow on Twitter, @xenongolf, where he posts pictures of completed projects.

And if you’re interested in getting your very own Xenon Golf Company putter, email Uselton at xenongolf@comcast.net. He can answer any questions you have to get the process started.

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

Handmade putters like you've never seen before
April 17, 2014 - 8:39pm
john.holmes's picture
TaylorMade White SLDR driver
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The white version of the TaylorMade SLDR driver is identical to the original black edition in every way but color – meaning it also includes a 20-gram weight that slides along a track on the front of the sole to let golfers to dial in their preferred trajectory.

It's no secret that TaylorMade has gone all in on its SLDR driver, and the latest evidence of that came Thursday as the company released a white-crowned version.

The white edition of this best-selling big stick follows other white clubs in the TaylorMade stable such as the R11, R1, Rocketballz and Rocketballz Stage 2 drivers. The full-size SLDR driver debuted last summer with a charcoal-gray crown, and was followed by a 14-degree version, a smaller 430cc version and, just recently, the SLDR Mini with a 260cc head.

"The white crown with black button-back delivers a remarkable appearance at address," said Brian Bazzel, the senior director of metalwood product creation. "Many golfers fell in love with white when it came out in 2011, and now we are delivering a limited edition white SLDR with low and forward CG for more distance when you loft up."

MORE TAYLORMADE: JetSpeed drivers and woods | Project (a) golf balls

The white version is identical to the original dark-headed edition in every way but color – meaning it also includes a 20-gram weight that slides along a track on the front of the sole to let golfers to dial in their preferred trajectory by placing the weight at any one of 21 points along the track. The SLDR allows for six millimeters of movement – that's 50 percent more than on the R1 driver – promoting a shot-dispersion range of up to 30 yards. 

It also includes the low and forward Center of Gravity that promotes low spin and faster ball speeds, as well as TaylorMade's Loft-sleeve Technology, which permits the loft to be easily adjusted. Golfers can choose from 12 positions within a range of plus-or-minus 1.5 degrees of loft change. 

The SLDR White driver will be available on May 2, and carry a suggested retail price of $399. 

 

TaylorMade unveils white SLDR driver
Keegan Bradley's Nike golf shoes
Keegan Bradley via Instagram
This pair of Keegan Bradley's Nike golf shoes features the Michael Jordan "Jumpman" logo along with a Masters-inspired green and white color scheme.
Keegan Bradley is a friend of Michael Jordan and his Airness' frequent golf partner down in Jupiter, Fla. Over the last several months, Bradley also has been wearing various editions of Nike's Air Jordan golf shoes.
 
Keegs is sporting some brand-new models for Masters Week, and they are in my opinion the best looking so far. They are, from my understanding, cleated reimaginings of the Air Jordan 11 basketball shoes.
 
 
Earlier this week, Bradley showed off a black-and-white pair that is very similar in design to some of Jordan's most famous basketball shoes, but the green and white ones I've pictured above are my favorites.
 
Bradley's good buddy and fellow PGA Champion Jason Dufner is sporting some cool new Nike kicks this week, too. As you can see below, however, there's no way you'll confuse them with Bradley's.
 
Check 'em out:
 
 
Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner are wearing some awesome Nike golf shoes at the Masters
April 3, 2014 - 12:08pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ashworth
Ashworth Golf
Fred Couples is scheduled to wear this limited-edition Ashworth shirt commemorating his victory in the 1992 Masters in the first round of next week's Masters.

Ashworth Golf unveiled its Majors Series Apparel Collection today -- a set of six limited-edition golf shirts designed to commemorate the major victories by six of the company's Tour staff professionals: Fred Couples, Justin Rose, Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard, Paul Azinger and Retief Goosen.

The first Ashworth Major Series golf shirt in the collection is dedicated to Couples' victory at the 1992 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

RELATED: PGA.com's special Masters coverage | Stadlers first father/son duo in same Masters

Only 275 of the shirts were made, a number that matches Couples' winning total at the 1992 Masters. The second button on the shirt features the date Couples won the Masters and there's also a limited edition Majors Series patch on the right sleeve, as well as Couples' embroidered signature inside the back neck.

"I've worn Ashworth on tour since they started in 1987 and believe it's the best shirt ever made," said Couples. "Wearing Ashworth is very special to me and I'm excited to wear this new golf shirt at The Masters, where I won my first championship."

Each player is scheduled to wear their respective piece during the first round of the major they claimed in 2014.

The Fred Couples Ashworth Majors Series Collection will be available exclusively at www.ashworthgolf.com beginning Monday, April 7, at an MSRP of $100.

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

Ashworth launches Majors Series Apparel Collection
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