Equipment

January 27, 2014 - 7:00pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Smart Body Golf
Courtesy of Smart Body Golf
The equipment in Smart Body Golf's Performance Pack helps golfers increase rotational power, flexibility, balance and stability.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the third one:
 
I get older and stiffer every year – heck, every day – so I'm more interested in the fitness aspect of golf than ever, especially in the winter. There were tons of fitness-related products at the PGA Show, but I was intrigued by the Performance Pack from Smart Body Golf.
 
Smart Body Golf is committed to ''innovation in golf performance and instruction to help golfers of all ages and levels live well and play better,'' says company spokesman Randy Myers, the director of fitness at Sea Island. Specifically, its gear is designed to help golfers improve their core, stability and overall strength.
 
The Performance Pack includes four pieces of equipment:
 
--the Swing Ball Pro is a six-pound medicine ball-like orb outfitted with handles to use in building core strength and rotational strength. The slots and handles allow golfers to hold the ball lightly and swing it without tension, while the alternating grips can help promote either draw or fade motions. The ball's two colors represent both sides of your body, the company says, to help balance the force generated from the left and right sides through the swing.
 
--the Inside 80 is a vest that promotes resistance training and helps improve stretching, synchronization and distance control. It is made with elastic tubing to allow arm extension while adding resistance to engage the core, and it synchronizes the upper body and core for better swing control. Its cross-handle system allows one handle to pull on the opposite shoulder to create maximum shoulder turn for increased torque.
 
--the Leverage Discs are big air-filled doughnuts designed to improve stability, leverage and rotational movements. You stand on them, and the hole in their middle helps to optimize the swing sequence and stability as well as develop the toe- and heel-based movements unique to the golf swing. The discs can help prevent swaying and improve weight transfer while enhancing stability.
 
--the Smart Toner is a resistance tube designed to help develop consistent, explosive movement. It comes with a foam door anchor and is available in three different resistance levels. The tube itself is covered by a sleeve to protect both it and its users, and the company says it will last far longer than traditional tubing.
 
As you can see in the photos above, you use this equipment to help increase your rotational power, your flexibility, your balance and stability, and your overall body awareness throughout your swing. Exercising with this equipment also can help improve your overall fitness level and help prevent injury.
 
You can use these pieces individually or use some of them in combination with each other – like the standing on the Leverage discs while swinging the Swing Ball Pro or using the Smart Toner. 
 
The individual pieces can be purchased separately, but the best deal is to buy everything in the Performance Pack at once. The Pack retails for $199.95 and is available at SmartBodyGolf.com.
 
Previously:
 
PGA Show Spotlight: Performance Pack from Smart Body Golf
January 26, 2014 - 6:12pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
The Game camera from iON America
Courtesy of iON America
The compact Game camera from iON can be used to easily record, play back and upload golf swings.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the second one:
 
By now, we're probably all familiar with the kind of wearable POV (point-of-view) cameras popularized by companies like GoPro. At Demo Day before the PGA Merchandise Show, I ran across what seems like a perfect match for golfers – The Game camera, by a company called iON America.
 
iON already has a big presence in action sports like BMX, surfing and snowboarding, thanks to its Air Pro, a small, cylindrical camera that easily mounts on a helmet or bike handlebars or even goggles. By contrast, The Game is a small rectangle that golfers set on the ground in front or behind them or off to the side (though it also can be mounted to various things). It captures video in 1080p HD, can take still photos and has time-lapse and slow-motion options.
 
 
Built into it is a 2.4-inch LCD color screen, so you can film your swing and instantly play it back. And via its built-in Shoot/Share Wi-Fi capability, The Game camera easily transmits to iON's iOS and Android apps to allow golfers to upload their swings to their phones or other devices.
 
Golfers also can take advantage of iON's recent purchase of PowerChalk, which specializes in web-based analysis software for motion sports such as golf, tennis and baseball. iON now bundles The Game camera with its PowerChalk online service, creating what the company says is the industry's first camera-software solution that includes a coaching marketplace (they say they're looking to grow their roster of golf instructors). 
 
In golf, a player would shoot his swing from various angles and upload it to the service, where an instructor could analyze it and provide feedback by voiceover or actually annotating the video – what iON calls its "chalk talk." The PowerChalk service already has a large user base of amateur coaches and players, and also hosts private video analysis servers for professional baseball teams and sports organizations.
 
The Game camera carries a suggested retail price of $299.99 and is available at select retailers like Best Buy and at www.ioncamera.com/e-shop/ .
 
Previously:
 
 
 
 
 
PGA Show Spotlight: The Game camera from iON
January 25, 2014 - 8:24pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cure Rx2 putter
Courtesy of Veritas Golf
The Cure Rx2 putter from Veritas Golf features large weights on either end of the lightweight head and big silver buttons that form a triangle with the ball to aid in alignment.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'll roll them out over a 10-day period. Here is the first one:
 
There are always a lot of golf-world celebrities on the Show floor at the PGA Merchandise Show, but I still stopped in my tracks when I saw former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman in the booth of a small company called Veritas Golf. I went over to say hello, and discovered that he had recently gotten involved with Veritas, which has come out with what can truthfully be called a one-of-a-kind putter.
 
As you can see in the photo above, the center-shafted Cure Putter – there are two models, the Rx1 and Rx2 (as in the prescription for your putting ills) – looks like nothing else on the market. For one thing, its lightweight aircraft aluminum head is huge, yet no heavier than a standard putter head. 
 
For another, both the heel and toe can be outfitted with large weights. These aluminum and stainless steel weights can be easily switched in and out to give the head a weight anywhere from 350 grams to 600 grams – and with so much of the head's heft on the far ends, the putter feels extremely stable through the stroke. That extreme perimeter weighting also means the head will deliver solid blow even when the golfer hits the ball off-center – which, Beman says, most of us do a lot of the time – and keep the head from twisting.
 
 
The original Rx1 came with those weights on the end. The Rx2 features Beman's innovation – those two bright silver buttons on either end of the dark head in the photo above. These buttons create a ''triangulation alignment'' – they form a triangle with the ball that, Beman explains, makes it easier than ever to aim properly. 
 
The lie of the Core putter also can be adjusted from 10 degrees all the way to 24 degrees, and every head can be easily configured for either a left-handed or right-handed golfer. In addition, the Center of Gravity is positioned right at the golf ball's equator – much higher than on most standard putters – to give the putter zero loft and reduce the backspin that so many putters impart on the ball at impact.
 
Veritas was founded by PGA Professional Jeff Ryan and Steve Davis, an architect with a scratch handicap. And now Beman – a two-time U.S. Amateur champion and five-time PGA Tour winner renowned for his putting – has come aboard as vice president. It'll be fun to see what kind of impact the company can make with its putters like no other.
 
The Rx1 retails for $199. The Rx2 goes for $269. Both are available at select golf shops and online at CurePutters.com.
 
PGA Show Spotlight: Cure Putters from Veritas Golf
January 15, 2014 - 11:57pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Will Wilcox golf glove
Srixon Golf via Twitter
Do you ever have trouble keeping your swing thoughts front-of-mind while you're out on the course? I know I do.
 
You know who doesn't? PGA Tour player Will Wilcox doesn't. That's because he jots them down on his glove, as seen in this photo tweeted by Srixon Golf on Wednesday from the Humana Challenge out in Palm Springs, Calif.
 
If you can't make out his writing, here’s what it says on his glove:
 
--''Straight legs'' (above the Srixon logo in the photo)
--''Soft hands'' (to the right of the logo)
--'Tall smooth'' (also right of the logo)
 
The last one, below the logo, says ''Sft right arm.'' I'm presuming that means ''soft'' right arm, but I have to admit that's not a thought I've ever had. That's probably one of the many reasons why Wilcox is playing professional golf and I'm sitting here writing about it. But now that it's in my head, I'll have to try it.
 
Here's the original tweet:
 
 
Will Wilcox keeps his swing thoughts hand-y
January 15, 2014 - 3:03pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sun Mountain Three 5
Sun Mountain
Sun Mountain's completely redesigned Three 5 carry bag for 2014.

Sun Mountain's top-selling Three 5 carry bag is new, improved and completely redesigned for 2014.

This year, the Three 5 uses the new, patent-pending Auto-FitTM Dual Strap System which is easy to get on and off, easy to adjust and works well as a single strap for short carries.
The Three 5 was designed with carrying your bag in mind and weighs just four pounds. Three 5 is in golf shops now with a retail price of $189.

RELATED: Sun Mountain offers new ClubGlider Golf Travel Bag for 2014

The new-for-2014 Auto-Fit Dual Strap System joins other popular features of the Three 5. These features include Sun Mountain's patented built-in top handle that offers a convenient spot to grab when picking the bag up and setting it down, and a cart-friendly bottom with leg retention system for those rounds that you ride.

Three 5 has a 9.5" top with four, full-length club dividers. The bag has six pockets including a full-length clothing pocket, velour-lined valuables pocket, and a beverage pouch. Three 5 also features a new lift-assist handle built into the lower spine pocket.

For the south-paws there is a left-handed Three 5 available in black only and there is a women's version of the Three 5 available with Sun Mountain’s E-Z Fit Dual Strap System.

Additionally, Sun Mountain has licensing agreements with nearly 50 of the nation's top colleges and universities and is offering a College-Licensed Three 5 with school colors and logos. The college-licensed Three 5 features a 9", four-way top with full-length dividers, six pockets including full-length clothing pocket, beverage pouch and velour-lined valuables pouch, cart-friendly bottom and Sun Mountain’s X-Strap Dual Strap System. Retail price is $199.

For more information, visit www.sunmountain.com.

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

 

Sun Mountain redesigns top-selling stand bag for 2014
January 15, 2014 - 10:28am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
FootJoy D.N.A.
FootJoy
FootJoy has announced its latest footwear category for 2014 -- the D.N.A.

FootJoy has announced its newest footwear category -- the D.N.A., or "DryJoys Next Advancement."

"To create the most feature-laden golf shoe in our storied history, we needed to explore the anatomy, or DNA, of our premium footwear products and then scrutinize every aspect throughout the design and development process," said Doug Robinson, Vice President of Design and Development Worldwide. "Every material ad every component was carefully considered in order to deliver a shoe with lightweight stability, a precise fit, superior feel and ultimate performance."

RELATED: PGA.com's Equipment Buzz | Equipment photos | Week's worth of tweets

Here are some of the key features of the new D.N.A. from FootJoy:

- The SnugFit tongue is designed with materials and varying densities to conform to the top of your foot, providing better fit, comfort, and protection. MicroVent technology provides enhanced breathability.

- The 3D foam collar molds to your ankle for ideal comfort, fit, and support. Locking your ankle in place eliminates any movement of the foot -- a situation that can lead to discomfort and power-reduction during the swing.

- The all new ChromoSkin Leather System by Pittards features full grain leather that is supple, lightweight, thin-yet-durable, and completely waterproof. The result is tremendous breathability and an upper that will conform to the foot for an incredible custom fit.

- A new proprietary cushioning material, called FTF (Fine-Tuned Foam), is used throughout the interior midsole of the shoe, also known as the FitBed. Two densities of FTF were used -- a firmer density around the perimeter of the FitBed for stability and a softer density in the heel and forefoot for industry-leading cushioning and comfort.

- The new NitroThin TPU (thermoplastic urethane) outsole is the culmination of several years of research and development, resulting in a thinner outsole that delivers lightweight stability and performance without sacrificing flexibility and feel.

Masters champion Adam Scott has worn D.N.A. golf shoes exclusively since September, including while competing in the 2013 Presidents Cup and during his three recent wins in Australia.

"D.N.A. is the most technologically advanced shoe FJ has ever produced and it embodies everything I am looking for in a golf shoe," Scott said. "They actually activate my feet, giving me great balance throughout my swing."

The D.N.A. is available beginning Feb. 15 (MSRP $220 for standard laces, $240 for FootJoy's BOA lace style, which tightens from the back of the shoe).

To learn more about the D.N.A., click here.

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

 

FootJoy introduces new D.N.A. footwear category for 2014
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