Equipment

December 5, 2013 - 9:20am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Titleist
Titleist
Titleist has introduced the new Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance Putter.

Titleist has announced that its Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance putter is now available worldwide through Titleist authorized golf shops (MSRP, $399).

The new Futura X Dual Balance mallet, a product of comprehensive putting research and golfer testing, provides maximum stability through the stroke and at impact from a high MOI, counterbalanced design, Titleist says.

The Futura X Dual Balance putter features advanced perimeter stability weighting in the head and a standard length of 38 inches with a large diameter 15-inch grip that reduces hand action for a smoother, more stable stroke. A 50-gram counterweight in the butt of the putter shaft helps golfers make a proper stroke with the butt of the shaft pointed at the midsection.

RELATED: Titleist offers free personalization on all golf balls for the holidays

"We've found, through our last 20 years of high speed video research with tour players, that the best putters in the world point the butt of their putter at their midsection throughout the putting stroke," said Master Craftsman Scotty Cameron, whose putters have been the No. 1 choice of players on the PGA Tour since 1997 and counting. "From address, to the backstroke, at impact and through the forward stroke -- the butt of the putter remains pointed to about the same 1- or 2-inch circle in their belly area.

"With Futura X Dual Balance, the goal was to slow down the butt end of the putter and keep it stable. If you have quick hands, drag the butt away, or you struggle to make a consistent stroke with a conventional putter, Futura X Dual Balance is a great option."

The proper length of a Dual Balance putter is three inches longer than a golferʼs conventional putter length. Accordingly, the standard length of Dual Balance is 38 inches, three inches longer than the standard length of a conventional 35 inch Scotty Cameron putter. The large diameter Cameron Flat Front Winn grip has a colored section at the top that indicates the proper hand placement at 35 inches, which keeps the 50-gram counterweight above the hands for maximum effect. The 15-inch grip length also allows for multiple hand placement options and the ability to grip up or down, depending on the player's preference.

"The higher we can get the butt weight, the more counterbalance effect there is," Cameron said. "The additional three inches provides stability but keeps the putter unanchored."

Precision milled from high-grade 6061 aluminum, the Futura X Dual Balance head utilizes a heavy stainless center section and stainless heel and toe to deliver a precise counterbalance with an extra 50 grams in the head and a 50-gram weight in the shaft. The overall headweight is 400 grams, 50 grams heavier than the standard Futura X.

"We developed numerous prototypes using various counterbalance weighting techniques and tested them with golfers at the Putter Studio and on the PGA Tour," Cameron said.
"When we introduced dual balance technology, the player feedback was extraordinary. Itʼs very balanced, itʼs very controlled. It slows everything down and promotes a more flowing, lethargic stroke without the putter feeling too heavy. Some players have said it feels like an SUV versus a sports car."

The Futura X Dual Balance head also features advanced perimeter stability weighting with four stainless heel-toe weights, two 20-gram weights on the rear balance bar and two 10- gram sole weights in the front corners of the putter. The resulting deep CG plus the perimeter weighting under the face creates forgiveness and solid feel for a great roll.

"That rear balance bar allows us to add considerable weight a fairly long distance away from the shaft axis, which is really what drives the high MOI," said Cameron. "Can you get it too far back weighted? Absolutely. We put the balance point so it sets well and maximizes the MOI and the resistance to twist at impact on off center hits."

The putter has a Frozen Titanium finish that helps reduce glare, two black sightlines and red cherry-dot weights in the sole and balance bar. The mid-milled face texture draws a crisp sound from the aluminum face and body.

A double-bend, stepless steel shaft with one shaft of offset provides a square, technical visual at address.

The original Futura X head design was the direct result of Cameron's extensive work with Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott, who used a prototype version of the putter in winning the 2013 Masters Tournament. Scott, who has been using Cameron putters for more than a decade, calls his Futura X "the most stable putter I have ever played."

For more information, visit www.titleist.com.

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

Titleist introduces Scotty Cameron Futura X Dual Balance Putter
December 4, 2013 - 10:27am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
ECCO Street EVO One
ECCO Golf
The new ECCO Street EVO One is part of ECCO's Spring/Summer 2014 men's golf collection.

Danish company ECCO has announced the launch of Street EVO One, a performance hybrid golf shoe combining the award-winning ECCO Dynamic Traction System (E-DTS) with an array of proprietary stabilization features.

Street EVO One (MSRP $160) boasts a Direct-injected midsole with an integrated shank piece. This design cups and cushions a player’s heel, delivering comfort and torsional support while creating an exceptionally stable platform from which golfers can power through each shot.

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Offering a slightly wider platform than previous versions of the best-selling Golf Street model, Street EVO One is built atop a patented outsole configuration of approximately 100 moulded traction bars and 800 traction angles. Constructed from TPU -- a highly durable, wear-resistant material – these elements provide superb, Tour-quality grip.

"The way Street EVO One looks, feels and plays puts it in a class by itself," said Michael Waack, Head of Global Golf at ECCO. "It's yet another example of the advantages that come with our foot-first approach to designing and producing premium golf shoes."

Street EVO One is offered in high-grade cow leather and genuine camel leather versions, both of which include the exclusive ECCO HYDROMAX tanned-in treatment for remarkable weather resistance.

Showcasing an eye-catching, two-color outsole and modern classic upper, Street EVO One is part of the Spring/Summer 2014 men's golf collection that will be worn in competition by Tour stars like Fred Couples, Graeme McDowell, Thomas Bjorn, Thongchai Jaidee, Marcel Siem, Wu Ashun, Andreas Hartø and JB Hansen.

For more information, visit www.eccousa.com.

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

ECCO Street EVO One expands horizons of hybrid golf shoe performance
December 3, 2013 - 6:02pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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TaylorMade 14-degree SLDR driver
Courtesy of TaylorMade
TaylorMade plans to release a SLDR driver with 14 degrees of loft, giving it several degrees of loft more than standard drivers.

For as long as I can remember, driver lofts have ranged from about 9 degrees to about 11 degrees. Better players usually fell in the lower end of that range, and some big-hitting tour pros even would go as low as 8 or 8.5 degrees to keep their tee shots from ballooning. Many of the rest of us settled in at the higher end of the range, needing that extra bit of loft to make up for our relative lack of swing speed.

Recently, though, TaylorMade has been exploring drivers with higher lofts, and has announced that it will produce a version of its new SLDR driver with 14 degrees of loft. I've never seen a driver with that much loft – heck, most 3-woods I've seen have about 15 degrees of loft.

''We have been chasing a driver that delivers high launch and low spin, a coveted combination off the tee sought after by all golfers,'' says TaylorMade Golf Chief Technical Officer Benoit Vincent. ''Having made significant industry strides with innovation advancements like movable weight, larger faces, adjustable shafts and improved aerodynamics, we are confident that we have cracked yet another code to more distance. And it's through loft.'' 

GOLF BUZZ: TaylorMade unveils SLDR driver with many adjustability options

TaylorMade's SLDR driver, launched in August, features a low and forward center of gravity placement, making it the lowest spinning driver in company history. Because of its construction, TaylorMade says, it is encouraging golfers – including PGA Tour players – to ''loft up.'' And in fact, the company says, several tour pros have raised their SLDR driver loft by a degree or more over their prvious drivers.

''Everything we thought we knew about engineering drivers has been turned on its head,'' says Vincent. ''I have never been more convinced that building a driver with low and forward CG is the future in metalwood construction.''  

TaylorMade's engineers have calculated that 17 degrees of launch and 1700 rpm of spin create the perfect combination for maximizing driver distance. The new 14-degree SLDR driver, they say, is another step closer to achieving the optimal ball flight.   

TaylorMade hasn't yet announced a retail date or a price for the 14-degree SLDR, but the company says it is working to produce enough 14-degree heads to release in the coming months.

 

TaylorMade to release 14-degree SLDR Driver
December 2, 2013 - 12:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Maide Golf
Maide Golf
Maide Golf is offering 30 percent off site-wide, with even bigger savings on select products for Cyber Monday.

Maide Golf -- a new golf apparel company started up by the folks at Bonobos -- is offering up some incredible deals today, Cyber Monday. 

This is the best deal Maide offers all year offering 30 percent off site-wide, with up to 65% off select styles. In addition to Maide, you also have access to shop parent brand, Bonobos, as well, and receive the same discount on Italian wool pants, Cashmere Sweaters, Outerwear, and Suits.

Prices below are reflective of the incremental 30 percent off, one-day, Cyber Monday deal on already reduced prices.

- 65 percent off -- Select Maide golf Polo Shirts (Red and Khaki) Were $78, now $26.60
- 43 percent off -- Maide golf's Highland Pant in 7 colors, were $108, now $61.60
- 50 percent off -- All Merino Crewneck Sweaters (slim & standard fits): were $98, now $47.60
- 40 percent off -- Wool Suits and Flannel Suits: were $700, under $500
- 55 percent off -- 5 Pocket Corduroy Pants: select colors: were $125, now $54.60 - $68.60
- 50 percent off -- select Cashmere V-neck Sweaters: were $240, now $117.60
- 45 percent to 70 percent off -- select colors Pants were $88, now $26.60 - $47.60
- 34 percent off -- Select Trench Coats: Were $298, now $198

To see all the deals, which end at 11:59 p.m. PT tonight, visit www.bonobos.com/b/maide.

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

Maide Golf offering great Cyber Monday deals
December 2, 2013 - 12:05pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Callaway Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The new Callaway Big Bertha driver (l) features a sliding weight system to adjust shot bias, while the Alpha model has a Gravity Core to adjust center of gravity height.

Callaway Golf has unveiled a steady stream of innovative new clubs in recent years, but none of them was as important to the company as the new edition of the Big Bertha driver and its tuned-up companion, the Big Bertha Alpha.

How do I know this? Because the Big Bertha name matters more to Callaway than anything. The company wouldn't put that name on new products unless it had the highest of confidence – and hopes – in them. 

The original Big Bertha driver, introduced in 1991, changed Callaway Golf's fortunes forever, catapulting it from the ranks of aspirational club companies into one of the world's biggest and most influential. That driver – made of stainless steel instead of persimmon wood and far larger than almost anything else on the market at the time – was one of a handful of metal woods that kicked off a revolution in club design and construction unlike anything that had preceded it.

Callaway followed that original Big Bertha with several brand extensions, including the Great Big Bertha and Biggest Big Bertha woods and even a couple of models of Big Bertha irons. And now, the Big Bertha brand is being resurrected in the form of these two new drivers.

The Big Bertha Alpha is the most ambitious club in company history. It is best suited for elite players with above-average swing speeds who prefer low-spinning drivers to produce flatter drives that typically result in more roll.

It's the first driver to let golfers independently adjust four significant performance characteristics to optimize trajectory, control and distance. These four variables are loft, lie, shot bias and, for the first time ever, center of gravity height.

GOLF BUZZ: Callaway X2 Hot clubs emphasis distance and speed

Callaway calls the latter of these features Gravity Control Adjustability and, essentially, it lets golfers adjust spin independently of launch angle – an option never before offered.

To enable this adjustment, the Big Bertha Alpha comes with a Gravity Core, which fits in a carbon tube in the head that connects the crown and sole. It has a glass fiber-reinforced body that weighs in at 1.5 grams connected to a tungsten end weighing 10.5 grams. 

Either end of the core can be inserted into the clubhead, allowing golfers to raise or lower the center of gravity and thereby alter their spin rate. When the tungsten end is closest to the sole, it lowers the center of gravity and reduces backspin; when the tungsten end is closest to the crown, it raises the center of gravity and increases spin.

Generally speaking, players with above-average head speeds or those trying to prevent excessive spin will benefit from the lower center of gravity, which a creates a flatter, more penetrating trajectory accompanied by more rollout, Callaway explains. Golfers looking for a more controlled and workable ball flight and less roll, they add, might be better served by using the higher center of gravity.

How much difference can the center of gravity placement make? Player testing has shown as much as a 600 rpm spin differential between the two settings without a change in loft, Callaway said.

The Big Bertha Alpha also enables golfers to adjust its center of gravity bias, which helps influence shot shape. The driver has screw ports in the heel and toe, and comes with four interchangeable weights of 1, 3, 5, and 7 grams that provide a lot of flexibility in controlling both shot shape and overall head weight. The 1g and 7g screws are installed as standard and deliver a D3 swingweight, but the swingweight can be adjusted from D0 to D5.

 
In comparison to the Alpha model, Callaway calls the new Big Bertha a ''total performance driver'' that provides a balance of speed and control. It's designed for the broadest segment of the player population – those golfers seeking forgiveness and solid performance on off-center impacts.

The new Big Bertha doesn't have the weight ports or the gravity core. But it is the first Callaway driver to feature Adjustable Perimeter Weighting – a sliding 8-gram weight that golfers can move along a five-inch track around the perimeter of the head to help optimize shot shape and trajectory. The placement of this weighting system also helps give the driver more stability through the swing.

The faces on both the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha are built around Hyper Speed Face technology, which Callaway engineers use to determine how thick or thin to make the various parts of the face. It's based on their understanding of the probability of where players will make contact on the face and, Callaway says, results in an extremely lightweight face that helps deliver more ball speed where players need it most.

And speaking of lightweight, the new Big Berthas also contains the Forged Composite material found in other recent drivers. This high-strength, lightweight composite material enables Callaway to keep the total head weight under 200 grams even while including multiple forms of adjustability.

In addition, the Big Berthas' Advanced Adjustable Hosel helps golfers to independently adjust their loft and lie angle to help translate their added ball speed into more distance. Golfers can chose from four different lofts to optimize launch angle and backspin and two different lies, denoted by 'D' for Draw and 'N' for Neutral, to optimize the directional bias. This new hosel, the company says, is the only adjustable hosel that allows changes in loft and/or lie without having to rotate the shaft on its axis between settings. 

The Big Bertha comes in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degrees, and its stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Z graphite shaft. It carries a suggested retail price of $399 and will be available at retail on Feb. 14, 2013.  

The Big Bertha Alpha comes in lofts of and 10.5 degrees, and its stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki ZT graphite shaft. It carries a suggested retail price of $499 and will be available at retail on Feb. 14, 2013.  

Here is a Callaway video previewing the new Big Bertha driver:

 
And here is a Callaway video previewing the Big Bertha Alpha driver:
 
 
 
 
Callaway unveils two new Big Bertha drivers in ambitious relaunch
November 29, 2013 - 8:03am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Nike Golf
Nike Golf
Nike Golf's new VRS Covert 2.0 driver.

Nike Golf has introduced the new VRS Covert 2.0 family of drivers, promising to be bigger, faster and longer than last year's industry game-changing VRS Covert drivers.

The new driver -- the world's first to feature conforming High Speed Cavity Back technology -- delivers more forgiving distance, faster ball speed and simple, intuitive customization to meet the swing needs of every athlete. High-Speed Cavity Back technology redistributes weight to the heel and toe allowing for increased distance and more stability across the face of the driver.

"We re-engineered the VRS Covert 2.0 with enhancements to our High Speed Cavity Back technology that allow athletes to experience more forgiving distance than ever before," says Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf Director of Engineering. "The new VRS Covert 2.0 driver features a redesigned cavity with Fly-Brace technology that ties the sole to the crown. By stiffening the rear portion of the club, more energy is transferred to the face at impact. The end result is even greater ball speed and up to six yards of distance gain over last year's model."

RELATED: Nike RZN ball franchise gets four new models with improved core

"It's similar to an automotive frame design," Radcliffe adds. "Fly-Brace technology reinforces the rearward portion of the club head to focus impact stress, flexing and subsequent energy transfer to the point of impact."

Several Nike athletes, including Rory McIlroy, Kevin Chappell and Nick Watney, have put the VRS Covert 2.0 driver into play in 2013.

"We work very closely with our athletes and the new VRS Covert 2.0 drivers deliver on the shape, stability, and speed they have asked for," Radcliffe says. "The added stability and speed realized by our athletes with VRS Covert 2.0 allows for an aggressive approach off the tee which is essential in the modern game."

The VRS Covert 2.0 drivers feature two additional proprietary technologies: A larger, re-engineered NexCOR face for increased ball speed and distance, and FlexLoft adjustability, which allows athletes to easily customize loft and face angle positions for 15 drivers in one.

The redesigned NexCOR face incorporates variable face thickness for a faster, hotter face and as a result, more speed at impact. It is 15-percent larger in the VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver and seven-percent larger in the VRS Covert 2.0 driver.

Nike Golf's patented FlexLoft system offers the same, intuitive adjustability system featured in the VRS Covert driver. Athletes can adjust lofts from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees while independently modifying for three different face angle positions to optimize launch and spin conditions for maximized distance and accuracy.

The second generation of Mitsubishi Rayon's Kuro Kage shafts are the standard graphite option for both models. In the VRS Covert 2.0 Tour, the Kuro Kage Silver 60 graphite, featuring Titanium Nickel fiber in the tip section, creates more stability and lower spin. The VRS Covert 2.0 utilizes the Kuro Kage Black HBP Graphite 50 shaft with a higher balance point, allowing for higher swing speeds without adding shaft length.

Both drivers will be available for pre-order on Nike.com on Jan. 6, 2013. The VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver and VRS Covert 2.0 driver will be available on Nike.com and at select retailers on Jan. 31, 2014 for a suggested retail price of $399 and $299, respectively.

VRS Covert 2.0 Tour Driver Specifications: 8.5-12.5 degrees, RH/LH: R, S, X

VRS Covert 2.0 Driver Specifications: 8.5-12.5 degrees, RH/LH: A, R, S, W

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

Nike Golf introduces new VRS Covert 2.0 drivers
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