Equipment

Courtesy of Titleist Scotty Cameron
All three new Scotty Cameron Futura putters from Titleist are designed to be extremely stable through the putting stroke.
If you say "trick or treat" to puttermaker Scotty Cameron on Halloween this year, he'll most assuredly reply, "treat."
 
Why? Because Oct. 31 is the launch date for the three latest additions to his Futura family of putters – the X5, X5R and X5 Dual Balance.
 
The new putters join 2013's original Futura X and Futura X Dual Balance to form the most stable line of putters that Cameron offers – Adam Scott won the 2013 Masters with a prototype of the original Futura putter.
 
The X5 model is angled in the back, while the X5R features a more rounded shape. The counterbalanced X5 Dual Balance combines the X5 head style with Cameron's Dual Balance technology to provide maximum stability for golfers who struggle to make a consistent stroke with a conventional length putter. 
 
 
The X5 Dual Balance contains a head weighing in at 400 grams (whereas the X5 and X5R both have standard 350-gram heads) as well as a 50-gram counterweight in the butt of the shaft. Dual Balance putters have a standard length of 38 inches with a 15-inch grip that allows the player to grip down below the counterweight for a more stable stroke.
 
All three models feature a multi-material design with a precision-milled 303 Stainless Steel body and high-grade 6061 aluminum soleplate. A lighter aluminum center section also extends down the wings, and the body features a soft Silver Mist finish contrasted by the anodized black aluminum sole plate and center.
 
By using aluminum, Cameron could hollow out the area under the soleplate and redistribute the weight to the wings to help provide extra stability. It also allowed for a thicker face and topline for better feel and sound. Heel-toe weights directly under the face also contribute to solid feel while increasing forgiveness.
 
 
All three putters come with a new single bend shaft with a higher bend point that Cameron says produces a true face-balanced configuration, and one shaft of offset. The X5 and X5R putters include 10-inch Matador Red Midsize grip that weighs in at 77 grams, while the Dual Balance model features a 15-inch Cameron Dual Balance grip.
 
"The Futura X5 mallet is for someone who likes the stability of a bigger head, the feel of a bigger grip, and likes to look down and see more lines for alignment purposes," said Cameron. "X5 is more of a mechanical shape where the X5R is a softer, rounder shape. 
 
"There’s no right or wrong. Same performance, same weight, same feel," he added. "It all depends on what you like to look at."
 
The X5 and X5R models carry a suggested retail price of $375, while the X5 Dual Balance has a $425 suggested retail price.
 
Here is a video from Titleist introducing the new putters:
 
 
Scotty Cameron adds three models to Futura line of putters
Webb Simpson
USA Today Sports Images
Webb Simpson has used his belly putter since he was in college a decade ago.
Webb Simpson – the defending champion at this week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – is one of the last holdouts still using a long putter on the PGA Tour. On Friday, he said that he'll switch to a short putter in 2015, and perhaps even sooner.
 
In fact, the move could come as early as Simpson's appearance in the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan, which begins Nov. 20.
 
"I may switch for Japan in a few weeks," he told PGATour.com, "but I’m still just trying to make sure I'm ready to go and have worked on everything I need to work on before I start."
 
 
Simpson has practiced with a traditional-length putter over the past several years and has been using one in about half his practice at home and during casual rounds, according to the PGATour.com report. He hasn't yet settled on a special type or model of short putter.
 
Simpson began using a belly putter a decade ago in college, and has used the long stick in all four of his PGA Tour victories, including the 2012 U.S. Open. Simpson's Open victory came in a cluster of major wins by players using long putters including Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, Ernie Els at the 2012 British Open and Adam Scott at the 2013 Masters.
 
The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club have banned the use of the anchored stroke commonly used with belly putters and broom-handle putters as of Jan. 1, 2016. Players still will be allowed to use a long putter as long as they don't press it against their body to create a hinge effect.
 
Webb Simpson preparing to switch to short putter
TaylorMade RSi 1 and RSi 2 irons
Courtesy of TaylorMade Golf
The new RSi line of irons from TaylorMade feature vertical slots cut into the heel and toe of the face to help the performance of off-center hits.
As most of us golfers will testify, we tend to hit a lot of shots somewhere other than the center of the clubface. In recent years, some equipment companies have tweaked their designs to expand the sweetspot to help us out.
 
TaylorMade – which studied thousands of clubfittings and found that 76 percent of all iron shots are mis-hit – has come up with its own solution. Its new RSi line of irons feature slots in the face to help improve consistency and distance on off-center hits.
 
"No golfer is perfect, not even the best players in the world hit the center of the club every time," said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade's director of product creation for irons, putters and wedges. "So with RSi, we're giving all golfers a technology that can help their mis-hits perform more like pure strikes."
 
The introduction of Face Slot Technology, as TaylorMade calls it, comes two years after the company debuted its "Speed Pockets" – small slots in the soles of woods and irons that improve the performance of shots struck low on the face. 
 
For the RSi irons, TaylorMade cut vertical slots in face on either side of impact zone to help provide more uniform flex across the face and protect ball speed on off-center hits. The slots – cut into the 3- through 8-irons – are 35 to 38 millimeters deep, depending on the club, and are cut all the way through the face and filled with a durable epoxy compound. 
 
Speaking of Speed Pockets, the 3- through 7-irons include them as well. Their ThruSlot technology helps to activate the lower portion of the face by creating higher launch on shots hit below center, and helps to negate the loss of ball speed and spin rate from an off-center hit. The combination of these two features, the company says, give the RSi irons a larger sweetspot with forgiveness near the toe, heel and bottom of the club.
 
The new RSi line includes three models: The RSi 1, RSi 2 and RSi TP.
 
 
The RSi 1 features TaylorMade's Advanced Face Design – which gives the irons the company's thinnest face ever, a deep undercut and Inverted Cone Technology to promote greater ball speed. In addition, a stabilized head structure and multiple dampening systems improve their sound and feel, and a new True Temper Reax 90 steel shaft helps optimize ball flight. 
 
The standout feature of the RSi 2 model is what the company calls Progressive Multi-Material Construction. The 3- through 5-irons are cast from 450 stainless steel with tungsten weighting to promote a lower Center of Gravity and slightly higher flight. The mid irons (6-7) are cast of 450 stainless steel but don't have the tungsten weighting.
 
The short irons (8-, 9- and pitching wedge) incorporate forged faces to promote feel and accuracy, and the wedges are completely forged. All the RSi 2 irons come stock with the all-new KBS Tour 105 shaft. 
 
Finally, the RSi TP irons – which TaylorMade expects will become the most-played model on the PGA Tour – combine Face Slot Technology with advanced two-piece construction that merges a premium 1025 forged carbon steel hosel and face with a 431 stainless steel back in the 3- through 7-irons. This, the company says, provides the precision and feel of a forged iron with the advanced geometry of cast irons.
 
The short irons (8- through pitching wedge) are classic forged heads with a slight muscle cavity. And all the RSi TP irons come stock with the popular KBS Tour Steel Shaft.
 
"The RSi TP irons were developed to deliver launch, consistency and feel to take performance to the next level for our tour professionals," Bystedt explained. "It really is the best combination of performance, look and feel that we've created for the world's best players."
 
Both the RSi 1 ($799 per set with steel shafts, $899 with graphite) and RSi 2 ($999 with steel, $1,199 with graphite) will be available to demo at select TaylorMade retailers now, and sets (3-iron through pitching wedge) can be purchased beginning Nov. 14. Individual gap, sand and lob wedges will be available in the RSi 1, while only gap and sand wedges will be available in the RSi 2. The RSi TP ($1,199 per set) will be at retail on Jan. 15, 2015.
 
Here's a video from TaylorMade introducing the new irons:
 
 
TaylorMade debuts RSi iron family with face slots
October 13, 2014 - 11:19am
Posted by:
PGA.com
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Vapor Fairway Woods
Nike Golf
Nike engineers reimagine fairway woods design to promote speed and forgiveness for the golf athlete.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Nike Golf innovation begins with the golf athlete in mind – always. Nike engineers and designers took the inspiration and insights from Nike athletes to drive the technology of Nike’s new Vapor Speed and Vapor Flex fairway woods, available on January 30, 2015.

“Athlete insights drove significant chassis refinement in the Vapor fairway woods.” said Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering for Nike Golf. “Our athletes wanted tighter but forgiving leading edges, fuller profiles and added ball speed. We’ve delivered that with the synergy of our FlyBeam and compression channel technologies.”

The Vapor Speed fairway woods have a 25% larger footprint with a lower and deeper Center of Gravity (CG) than previous Nike models.

“Athletes including Tiger Woods requested larger face profiles in fairway woods, but it was vital that we do that without compromising ball speed or optimal launch conditions,” said Radcliffe. “We successfully modified the chassis by sloping the crown to lower the CG which optimized launch characteristics across the family.”

Like the new Vapor drivers, the Vapor Speed fairway woods feature Nike’s new FlyBeam-reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a re-engineered Compression Channel and a NexCOR face – all combining to stabilize the chassis, maximize ball speed and promote longer and straighter distance. The low CG provides a high launch with a lower-spin flight.

The Vapor Flex fairway woods highlight the same technologies found in the Vapor Speed on a more compact chassis, except the Vapor Flex has added Nike’s FlexLoft 2 adjustability system, allowing the golf athlete the functionality of five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings.

The new, improved FlexLoft system is five grams (30%) lighter without compromising function, which leads to a CG that is up to 2mm lower on the Vapor Flex fairways. The redistribution of mass creates more stability, better launch conditions and faster swing speeds. Another benefit of FlexLoft 2 is its forward and backward compatibility. Golfers with previous generations of Covert can use shafts with the original adaptor in the new head or vice versa.

Nike Vapor Speed Fairway Woods:

Availability: January 30, 2015
Specifications: 3W: 15° (RH/LH); 5W: 19° (RH/LH): MRC Fubuki Z 60 shaft: X, S, R, A, W
MSRP: $240.00 Street Price: $199.00

Nike Vapor Flex Fairway Woods:

Availability: January 30, 2015
Specifications: 3W: 13° - 17° (RH/LH); 5W: 17° - 21° (RH/LH): MRC Diamana S+ Blue Board 70 shaft: X, S, R
MSRP: $300.00 Street Price: $249.00

For more information, visit http://www.nike.com/nikegolf

Nike Golf's Vapor Fairway Woods
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 drivers
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The Callaway Big Bertha 815 (l) blends distance and forgiveness, while the Double Black Diamond is for experts only.

The Big Bertha family of drivers from Callaway Golf is getting so big that it's going to be tough to fit them all around the table at Thanksgiving. The Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha, both unveiled late last year, were recently joined by the V Series, and now come two more models – the Big Bertha Alpha 815 and the 815 Double Black Diamond.

The V Series is a lightweight driver for golfers who need help generating their maximum swing speed. The Alpha 815 blends both distance and forgiveness for a wide range of golfers (it's significantly more forgiving than the original BB Alpha), while the Double Black Diamond – as any snow skier knows – is for experts only.

The Alpha 815, Callaway says, represents a brand-new driver category: low spin for extra distance with the forgiveness many golfers need to hit the ball straight. The Double Black Diamond is an extremely low spin model for advanced golfers who don't need a lot of help hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway.

Both these new models feature the Gravity Core that Callaway pioneered in the original Big Bertha Alpha. One end of the core has a heavier weight while the other has a lighter weight; golfers can move the center of gravity up or down depending on which way they insert the Gravity Core to optimize their ball speed locations to wherever they usually hit the ball off the face. 

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The heads, larger on the 815, slightly more compact on the Double Black Diamond, what Callaway calls "RMOTO:" technology that lets the company produce a larger, more forgiving clubhead while maintaining a lighter overall club weight. It also has an ultra-thin face. Like many recent models, these heads are also made of strong, lightweight Forged Composite material.

Both drivers also feature Callaway's OptiFit adjustability. The adjustable hosel lets golfers choose from a combination of eight different loft and lie angle (Draw or Neutral) configurations, while heel and toe weights (1- and 7-gram weights for the 815, and 1- and 5-gram weights for the Double Black Diamond help dial in your shot shape even more.

These new models come with a 53-gram Fujikura Speeder Motore 565 shaft as their primary stock offering, but Callaway offers no-upcharge upgrades to a variety of premium shafts including models from Aldila, Fubuki, Fujikura, Matrix and Mitsubishi.

The Big Bertha Alpha 815 carries a suggested retail price of $449.99, while the Double Black Diamond goes for $499.99. Both will be available on Nov. 14.

Here are a couple of videos from Callaway intoducing the new models:

 
Callaway adds Alpha 815 models to its Big Bertha family of drivers
October 7, 2014 - 10:51am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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CarveOn
CarveOn
CarveOn, based in Dublin, Ireland, creates personalized golf accessories, including yardage book covers and scorecard holders.

Golf accessories sure have come a long way over the last few years.

Virtually everything you can think of -- clubs, bags, golf balls, clothing, footwear, etc. -- can be not only customized these days, but also personalized.

Having a golf accessory with a personal touch is special for any avid player. No matter your ability, it makes you feel like a Tour pro.

That's where a company based out of Dublin, Ireland -- "CarveOn" -- comes into play.

CarveOn, founded in 2011 by Alan and Gary McCormack, design and craft a contemporary range of accessories from their Kildare workshop -- everything from leather iPhone and iPad sleeves to tote bags, messenger bags and more.

But what really caught our eye is what CarveOn is doing in the golf space: customized -- and personalized -- leather yardage book covers and scorecard holders.

RELATED: Vessel customized golf bags | Custom golf towels from Players Towel

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy himself uses a yardage book cover customized for him from CarveOn.

"We don't have any official sponsorship arrangements with players on Tour but we did make a lot samples and were delighted to see so many of them in use," Alan McCormack, Creative Director of CarveOn, told us. "We made a custom yardage book for Francesco Molinari who posted a very nice picture of it in a tweet thanking us which was really great for us. We also made a red yardage book for fellow countryman, Rory McIlroy, which he used during his highly publicized run of major wins recently. We would like to think it brought him some luck. We have made them for probably a dozen or so pros which has really helped spread the word, particularly in the U.S."

The leather yardage book covers by CarveOn are designed for professional caddies and golfers and are completely customizable. They're designed to house official European and PGA Tour (9.5 cm x 17.4 cm) yardage books.

As for the materials used, the yardage book covers are crafted from 4 oz. vegetable tanned Tuscan leather, blending traditional style and functional design. They're available in tan, red, dark brown and black.

CarveOn leather goods are hand-waxed and polished then precision stitched using premium wax thread. Normal wear and tear ages each piece with a unique patina to create an individual, distinctive and timeless character.

Each leather cover comes presented in a signature engraved wooden box, perfect for a special gift.

The leather yardage book sells for around $100.

"Our golf accessories are only on the market since earlier this year but have become very popular in that short period of time," Alan McCormack said.

The leather yardage book might not be for everyone -- particularly the average golfer; it's more for the tournament player. However, anyone who plays on a regular basis, no matter the handicap, would appreciate the scorecard holder.

The scorecard holder incorporates the same materials as the yardage book cover, but also includes an elastic pen/pencil holder. It's available in tan, red, dark brown and black for roughly $75.

Customizable and personalized options on all CarveOn products include initials, name, text or logo.

"The majority of our goods are made to order so we had an amazing opportunity to offer our customers complete flexibility with regards to personalization," Alan McCormack said. "We invested heavily in advanced equipment which allows for precise one-off customization. We also have an excellent in-house design team that handle client's brands and artwork with great professionalism. The feedback has been fantastic. Many of our customers have been hitting social media with pictures of their personalized accessories and commending us on our work. A satisfied and vocal customer is the best form of advertising in this business."

CarveOn golf accessories are the perfect gift for the golf lover in your life, or even as a gift to yourself that's sure to make the rest of your regular foursome jealous.

"We are relatively new to the golf world but are fascinated with the sheer scale of the industry and the opportunities present," Alan McCormack said. "It is really an entire multitiered ecosystem within itself. We have received an influx of orders from individual players, but also from teams, clubs, tour operators and large corporates. There are plenty of companies importing accessories from places like India and China but I think the market is saturated. People have forgotten what real leather and craftsmanship feels like. We are here to remind them."

To learn more about CarveOn, visit www.carveon.com. You can also find CarveOn on Twitter, @carvedon, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

CarveOn creates special, personalized golf accessories
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