Equipment

November 22, 2013 - 7:32pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Ping Rapture driving iron
Courtesy of Ping Golf
The Ping Rapture driving iron features significant tungsten weighting in the stainless heel and toe to create a high MOI for a head its size. That, Ping says, makes the club easier to hit than a standard long iron.

After testing the club over the past several months among its professional tour staff, Ping is rolling out its Ping Rapture driving iron to the general public.

Available with 18 degrees of loft, the Rapture features significant tungsten weighting in the stainless heel and toe to create a high MOI for a head its size. That, Ping says, makes the club easier to hit than a standard long iron. At the same time, its wider sole gives the Rapture the playability of a hybrid but with much less spin. As a result, Ping says, the Rapture delivers a low, penetrating ball flight that maximizes distance and control.  

''The Rapture driving iron has been well-received by tour pros because it provides longer shots and a controlled trajectory,'' said Ping Chairman and CEO John A. Solheim. ''It's more forgiving and generates much faster ball speed than the 2-iron equivalent, yet it launches lower and spins far less than a comparable hybrid. The low, penetrating trajectory offers control and command, which is essential for keeping the ball under the wind, for example, or when you’re playing a hard, fast course and you want to maximize roll out.'' 

GAME CHANGERS: Ping Scottsdale TR putter line has models for every type of stroke

A key attribute of the Rapture driving iron is its flat 455 stainless steel face, which improves ball velocity and promotes workability because it has no bulge and roll. The sole in the 17-4 stainless steel head locates the Center of Gravity low for optimizing launch conditions and turf interaction. 

''This club is a great option off the tee, but it's also effective in making solid contact from the ground,'' Solheim said. ''It's a versatile design.''

The Rapture's stock shaft is Ping's proprietary graphite TFC 949 with chrome PVD finish (R, S, X flexes). It is 39.75 inches in length, making it a half-inch longer than a standard 2-iron shaft. This shaft configuration, Solheim says, improves energy transfer for faster ball speeds and more distance. 

The club comes in a foggy-chrome finish, and carries a suggested retail price of $220.

 

Ping introduces Rapture driving iron
November 20, 2013 - 7:09pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
adidas climawarm+ outerwear collection
Courtesy of adidas Golf
The adidas climawarm+ outerwear collection includes a full-zip jacket, half-zip jacket and vest for men and a quarter-zip jacket and vest for women, all designed to keep golfers warm without restricting their range of motion.

When they decided to develop their new climawarm+ outwerwear collection, the designers at adidas Golf took their inspiration from a master of the cold weather: the polar bear.

Specifically, they emulated the bear's unique fur structure to develop a proprietary fabric that insulates heat generated by the golfer's body and traps it within hollow fibers to deliver sustained warmth. And by incorporating this versatile hollow fiber technology throughout the entire climawarm+ collection, they've created garments that delivera higher warmth-to-weight ratio than any previous adidas Golf outerwear. 

''The fabrication of climawarm+ allows us to provide a completely different layering option for golfers,'' said Davide Mattucci, director of global product marketing. ''We're able to pack all the warmth of a typical heavy-weight layering piece into a streamlined, technically advanced piece of equipment that is lighter in weight and also allows a full range of motion, whatever the temperature.''

The climawarm+ outerwear collection includes a full-zip jacket, half-zip jacket and vest for men and a quarter-zip jacket and vest for women, all designed to keep golfers warm without restricting their range of motion during play. They retail for between $70 and $80, and are available now.

 

adidas Golf unveils climawarm+ outerwear collection
November 15, 2013 - 11:47am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
TaylorMade Golf
TaylorMade
TaylorMade Golf's new JetSpeed family of clubs.

TaylorMade today announced the release of JetSpeed, touted by the company as, "a breakthrough line of metalwoods that includes the company's first driver to feature Speed Pocket technology."

In addition, JetSpeed fairway woods and Rescue clubs combine an enhanced Speed Pocket, an extremely low-forward center of gravity (CG) location and extremely light overall weight to promote faster swing speed, clubhead speed and ball speed for more distance.

"We expect 'low and forward CG' to represent the next great innovation in metalwood performance," said Sean Toulon, Executive Vice President. "With our SLDR and JetSpeed products, we're giving golfers of all types the opportunity to increase their launch angle and reduce their spin-rate, which ultimately leads to more distance."

Initially, the Speed Pocket was designed to increase the speed at which the clubface flexes and rebounds to promote faster ball speed. TaylorMade engineers discovered that incorporating a Speed Pocket into the JetSpeed driver promotes less spin, as well as greater ball speeds on shots struck below the center of the clubface. TaylorMade reports that research suggests 72 percent of all golf shots are hit below the center of face, so the JetSpeed driver is designed to minimize the ill effects of shots struck below center.

"With most drivers, low impact generates too much spin, making the ball fly too high and land short," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. "JetSpeed's Speed Pocket is engineered to dramatically reduce that added spin to promote more distance on that very common type of mis-hit."

The JetSpeed head features a matte black crown with a unique decal that promotes accurate face alignment at address. The matte finish also reduces glare and provides a stark contrast to the silver clubface, further making face alignment easier.

JetSpeed fairway woods and Rescue clubs each incorporate a radically redesigned Speed Pocket that's smaller and accounts for less weight, while remaining just as efficient at boosting the speed of the clubface.

READ: TaylorMade's SLDR family of driver, fairway woods and rescue clubs impress

The improved Speed Pocket is filled with a polymer that keeps debris out, improving turf interaction while absorbing unwanted vibration without slowing down the clubface.

Equipped with the Matrix Velox T 49 shaft (46"), the JetSpeed driver is available in three lofts -- 9.5, 10.5 and HL (13). Loft Sleeve Technology allows golfers to easily adjust their loft +/- 1.5 degrees to find their optimal launch conditions. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $299 per club. An upgraded TP shaft, the Matrix Velox 60, is also available for a $100 upcharge.

The stock JetSpeed fairway wood shaft is the Matrix Velox T 69 shaft. At 69 grams, it's a heavier shaft than TaylorMade has used in previous fairway wood models, which promotes better club control during the swing. Five fairway wood lofts are available: 3 wood (15 degrees), 3HL (17 degrees), 5 wood (19 degrees), 5HL (21 degrees) and 7 wood (23 degrees). Each fairway wood retails for $229.

Matrix's Velox T shaft powers the JetSpeed Rescue Clubs, with the weight determined by shaft flex: S/75 grams, R/65 grams, M/55 grams and L/45 grams. There are four lofts available: 3 (19 degrees), 4 (22 degrees), 5 (25 degrees) and 6 (28 degrees), each retailing for $199.

JetSpeed metalwoods will be available at retailers nationwide starting December 13.

For more information, visit www.taylormadegolf.com.

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

TaylorMade Golf introduces JetSpeed Driver, Fairway Woods and Rescue Clubs
November 15, 2013 - 8:51am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Cross Golf Apparel
Cross Golf Apparel
The new Pro Loft Jacket by Cross Golf Apparel is perfect for those cold-weather rounds of golf.

One of the biggest gripes for those who have to deal with frigid temperatures on the golf course this time of year -- aside from the freezing or near-freezing conditions -- is the layering of clothes required to stay warm.

Sure, it comes with the territory, but let's be honest -- golf just isn't all that much fun when you're dressed up like Ralphie's little brother in "A Christmas Story" and you can't even put your arms to your sides.

Cross Golf Apparel for men and women, may have the solution thanks to its new Pro Loft Jacket.

RELATED: Winter Golf -- it can be done and enjoyed

Swedish-inspired Cross draws upon its heritage in the ski industry with this lightweight yet heavy-duty jacket that's perfect for a cool day on the links or other chilly outdoor activities.

The Pro Loft jacket has a water-and wind-repelling shell that keeps you dry while a PrimaLoft synthetic microfiber insulation lets perspiration release for a constant, comfortable inner climate.

The featherweight polyester ripstop stretch panels offer superb durability while increasing range of motion -- perfect for the golf swing -- while the drawstring hem adds customizable comfort.

RELATED: Your best cold weather golf tips

Best of all, it's not bulky. The Pro Loft folds into its own back pocket for added packability making it ideal for travel.

The Pro Loft men's jacket comes in black and retails for $239. For women, the Pro Loft is available in Carmine (a pink color) and also retails for $239.

For more information, visit www.crossgolfapparel.com.

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

Cross Golf Apparel's Pro Loft Jacket perfect for cold-weather golf
November 14, 2013 - 9:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
puttup
puttup
The "Straight Putt" is one of three, high-end putting games offered by Scotland-based puttup.

If you haven't already heard of a company called "puttup," consider this your friendly introduction to three games that could very well become a staple in your living room, office, pro shop, or favorite 19th hole establishment.

Based in Scotland, the homeland of golf, puttup was co-founded by Doug Wilkie and David Isaac, two golf-loving friends who are creating putting games that are just as much fun as they are addictive.

So what is puttup?

Currently, puttup consists of three games: The Straight Putt; The Pace Putt; and The Breaking Putt.

READ: MannKrafted Milled Putters -- the ultimate in golf customization

In simple terms, each product/game is a board thats's hand-crafted from high quality, sustainable oak creating a glass-like surface from which to putt.

Here's how they work:

The Straight Putt plays on one of the most intimidating shots in golf.

With no breaks to consider and no undulations to worry about, there's no one to blame but yourself for missing a straight putt. On this putting board there's a raised piece of oak that's just wide enough to balance the golf ball between you and the hole. The goal, of course, is to keep the ball on the slick raised oak, with zero margin for error. If you can master this, then those glass-like knee-knockers you face in a round of golf should be easy.

The Straight Putt from puttup, however, is far from easy:

The Pace Putt is described by puttup as the, "perfect judge of pace, skill and luck."

You'd be hard-pressed to argue with them, as this game board features a seesaw-like design that can be adjusted to varying levels of difficulty. The object of the game is simple -- the execution is not. You putt the ball up the seesaw-like oak. Too soft? The ball comes back to your feet. Too hard? The ball flies back to your feet. Just right? The seesaw slowly lowers and the ball nestles beautifully as it would in a hole on the course.

See it in action:

Lastly, there's The Breaking Putt. As its name suggests, the break putt requires players to perfectly judge the break on a board of oak that features seven golf holes on the lower part of the board. One side requires all left-to-right breaking putts from a variety of distances. The other side requires all right-to-left breaking putts from a variety of distances.

In the video below, Wilkie describes The Breaking Putt:

We recently caught up with Wilkie for a Q&A to learn more about puttup.

PGA.com: How did you come up with the idea for puttup?

Wilkie: I was asked to come up with some indoor golf games for some Irish golfers who we play an annual game against. They went down a storm and the local hotel Ducks wanted one in the bar. I made him a version of Pace Putt and visitors from around the world enjoyed playing it in the bar so at New Year last year we decided to try and make three games challenging the three putts in golf -- Straight, Breaking and Pace putt. The parameters that we came up with for each of the games was they had to start easy and develop to always be challenging even for the best golfer, look fantastic when not being played and most of all be fun to play.

WATCH: Check out these videos by PGA Professionals to improve your putting

After some time spent in my shed I'd come up with the three games and after testing we knew we had something special so started the company in April 2012 and launched our puttup website shortly after. There was still a lot of testing and development to be done and we finally launched at The Open in Muirfield this year which is just along the road from our base in Scotland.

PGA.com: Can you tell me a little about each of the three products you're offering now?

Wilkie: Pace Putt -- You know the putt; the one where you are at the bottom of a very steep green. We've all been there and had the ball trundle back to us, to the muted amusement of our fellow golfers. Well this is the essence of pace putt -- recreating those 'magic' moments. You have to weight your putt perfectly so the precisely balanced chute tips gently down.

In testing, there has been a variation in play. Rather than place the ball at the start of the chute, the players somehow ending up chipping from the bar, along the carpet and then up the chute. But that's another story.

Straight Putt -- The straight putt could be said to be one of the most intimidating shots in golf. No breaks to consider, no undulations to worry about. Nothing to blame. Yep, you are on your own here -- this is all about you and how straight you can putt. Or not, as the case may be. It starts easy, putting from the first mark on side one of the game -- almost a gimme, but when you turn it over to the narrow side from the back mark it requires the utmost precision -- for most golfers it's a 1 in 50 putt but the more you practice the more you make it.

Straight Putt is hand-crafted from high quality, sustainable oak. It's made as a laminate for strength and stability -- the narrow channel you putt along needs to remain straight and true. A bit like your putting.

Breaking Putt -- Breaking Putt is all about the line. Oh and the pace too. How many times have you been close to the hole only to find you're faced with a killer break? Well with Breaking Putt you have seven holes with breaks, some easier than others. We've developed a game called 'Crossfire' where two people start at either end and it's a race to see who can complete all seven holes in the right order first. Goes down a storm.

Breaking Putt is the most complex to make as the oak laminates have to be expertly bonded and shaped together. But stick this on your wall and you have one impressive-looking feature.

READ: Your favorite games to play on the golf course

PGA.com: What has the reception been like when people see your products for the first time?

Wilkie: The reaction to the games has been fantastic. At first some people are nervous of putting on wood, but once tried that is forgotten and the challenge of making hard putts takes over. They love playing Crossfire on Breaking Putt. It takes away the lengthy process of lining up putts as you race and makes you putt instinctively which a number of pros that have played it says is a tremendous training aid.

PGA.com: Did I see in one of your videos that you actually include a list of games people can play on each product?

Wilkie: All the games come with a hanger that not only lets you store them on the wall out of the way but on display the hanger also has suggestions of different games that can be played on each game. These have all been suggested to us by players and I'm sure over time many more will be suggested.

PGA.com: If I'm not mistaken, you can play puttup pretty much anywhere, right (proshop; clubhouse; home; etc.)?

Wilkie: The games are best played with friends and can be played anywhere inside or out.
When showing the games with old putters when players make the hardest putt on Straight and Breaking Putt they want to buy my old putter such is their sense of achievement of making the putt so they are great for selling putters in the pro shop.

In the clubhouse they create a fantastic atmosphere and draw different groups together as you can play group challenges on them. They also make an unusual trophy for a competition and can be branded with the competition name, have competition winners names added and also played in the bar afterwards.

The games have been used at numerous corporate events where they make ideal icebreakers or after dinner entertainment. We launched them at The Open Championship this year in all 3 of the main corporate hospitality restaurants -- you can see pictures of this on our website -- the response from guests was overwhelming with orders taken for businesses wanting their logos added to the games to then use at golf outings or at trade shows to attract customers to their stands.

We also have customers who have bought the games to then use at fundraising events, by charging to play at a charity event they can give a prize as the hardest putts are 1 in 50 they have helped many charities.

The games have been a feature in my local hotel Ducks in Aberlady, where they are played by guests daily. They even had a visit from an Icelandic TV crew who called in to film them having heard how fun they were!

We like to think of the games as fine pieces of furniture not to be tucked out of sight in a cupboard but hung up on show so in the home they look stunning and as they are so easy to take down to play (no assembly needed) it encourages you to play and practice more often.

PGA.com: What has been the most rewarding aspect of this veture so far?

Wilkie: The number of times I've heard people say "just one more go" as they try to make the hardest putt and the joy the games have brought to others makes it all worthwhile. Oh and winning three medals this year with my improved putting was a good perk of the job!

You can learn more about puttup at www.puttup.com. As for costs, the puttup games range in price from between $400-$900, plus shipping, though you should check the currency exchange rate, as all prices on the site are listed in British Pounds Sterling. Wilkie says, however, puttup will ship anywhere.

You can also find puttup on Facebook, or on Twitter, @puttupgame.

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

Scotland-based company 'puttup' producing fun, addicting putting games
November 13, 2013 - 12:27am
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cobra BiO Cell line of clubs
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
Beneath the bright colors for which Cobra clubs are known, the BiO Cell woods and irons utilize Cobra's new BiO Cell technology to reposition weight away from the clubface to improve the clubs' launch characteristics.

Virtually every clubmaker has spent the last couple of years exploring every conceivable way to reduce weight in their clubheads to help increase swing speed and, therefore, ball speed. The latest development at Cobra Golf is the BiO Cell, and the company has built an entire line of clubs around this advance.

In the BiO Cell Driver, Cobra has removed a few grams of weight – essentially by cutting a honeycomb-like pattern – in the crown and repositioning that weight around the head's heel. This next step forward from last year's Advanced Material Placement technology (as found in the AMP Cell clubs) lowers the center of gravity, improves stability through the swing and creates a slight draw bias. 

''Our Research and Development team focused on developing a driver that would deliver distance, provide consistency, keep adjustability simple yet effective and offer a great feel,'' said Cobra Golf Director of Product Marketing Jose Miraflor. ''The BiO Cell Driver delivers on all of the above through Cobra's proprietary technology and goes a step further by offering personalization in five different color options.''

PHOTO GALLERY: See images of the new Cobra BiO Cell family of clubs

The BiO Cell driver features a full-sized 460cc titanium head and MyFly8, an expansion of Cobra's 2013 MyFly technology. The MyFly8 adjustable hosel gives golfers the option to select their trajectory from among eight loft settings (9.0, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 12.0 degrees of loft) along with three draw setting (9.5-degree D, 10.5-degree D and 11.5-degree D). Utilizing SmartPad technology – a small strip on the sole – the face angle will stay square at address regardless of the loft setting.  

True to Cobra's DNA, the BiO Cell driver is offered in five eye-popping colors: Blue Aster, Black, Barbados Red, Vibrant Orange and Silver. They come with a stock Project X PXv shaft and will be available in right- and left-handed models in extra-stiff, stiff, regular and lite flexes. The Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN 360 is the stock grip. It has a suggested retail price of $299.

There is also a BiO Cell+ driver, with a smaller 440cc head and multi-material construction – specifically, a crown made of aluminum, copper, magnesium, zinc and zirconium. Together, these metals comprise what Cobra calls ''venollum,'' which makes the crown even lighter than on the standard BiO Cell driver and gives the BiO Cell+ an even lower center of gravity. That, Cobra says, helps golfers get the ball airborne higher but with lower spin – a key requirement for better players.

The BiO Cell+ driver also comes with MyFly8 adjustability, but the available lofts are slightly lower (8, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 11 degrees of loft along with 8.5D, 9.5D and 10.5D draw). It comes with a stock Matrix Red-Tie 6Q3 shaft in extra-stiff, stiff and regular flexes with a Lamkin ACE 3GEN grip. They also feature a slightly different paint scheme with white accenting the other bright Cobra colors, and carry a suggested retail price of $399.

GOLF BUZZ: Cobra expands Baffler family with Baffler XL driver, woods and irons 

The BiO Cell Fairway Woods and Hybrids also feature MyFly8 adjustability technology, along with E9 Face Technology to improve distance and stability. Their stainless steel heads have a high-strength steel insert, which enables more face flex for faster ball speeds, longer distances and higher trajectory, and come in the same colors as the drivers.

The fairway woods have Project X PXv shafts and will be available in two models. The 3-4 Wood (13 degrees, 13.5,13.5 D, 14.5, 14.5 D, 15.5, 15.5 D and 16 degrees of loft) and 5-7 Wood (17, 17.5, 17.5 D, 18.5, 18.5 D, 19.5, 19.5 D and 20 degrees) are available in x-stiff, stiff, regular and lite flexes in both right-handed and left-handed options. They all come with a stock Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN 360 grip, and will retail for $219.

The hybrids feature a BiO Cell shaft and come in three models. The 2-3H (16 degrees, 16.5,16.5 D, 17.5, 17.5 D, 18.5, 18.5 D and 19 degrees), 3-4H (19, 19.5, 19.5 D, 20.5, 20.5 D, 21.5, 21.5 D and 22 degrees) and the 4-5H (22, 22.5, 22.5 D, 23.5, 23.5 D, 24.5, 24.5 D and 25 degrees) are available in x-stiff, stiff, regular and lite flexes in both right and left-handed options. All the hybrids have a stock Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN 360 grip, and will retail for $189.

GOLF BUZZ: Cobra's Tour Trusty wedge offers precision play, shot versatility

The BiO Cell irons feature heavy tungsten in the heel and toe of the long and mid-irons for added forgiveness, while the short irons have tungsten centered behind the hitting area for extra distance and control. They also include a perimeter undercut, which gives them the largest unsupported face of any Cobra Iron and helps the face flex more at impact for an increase in ball speed and distance. 

As in the drivers, woods and hybrids, the new BiO Cells in the irons combine with E9 Face technology to enable more discretionary weight to be relocated around the perimeter of the heads for a lower center of gravity and higher level of stability through the swing. They are available with Silver, Blue Aster, Barbados Red and Vibrant Orange accents. 

''The BiO Cell irons are designed to give golfers distance and control without sacrificing forgiveness,'' said Miraflor. ''Progressive placement of tungsten throughout the iron set drives the added distance, control and forgiveness.''

GOLF BUZZ: Cobra releases AMP Cell Junior driver for young Rickie Fowler fans

The irons have a True Temper Dynalite 85 shaft available in stiff and regular flex in the 3-iron through lob wedge in right-handed and 3-iron through sand wedge in the left-handed models. Graphite irons are available through custom order, with Cobra BiO Cell shafts in stiff, regular or lite flexes. They all come with Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN grips and carry a suggested retail price of $699 per set.

A BiO Cell iron combo set features a 3-4 hybrid, 4-5 hybrid and 5-iron through pitching wedge. They come with True Temper Dynalite 85 shafts in steel models and Cobra BiO Cell shafts in graphite models. The set made up of steel-shafted irons and graphite-shafted hybrids carries a suggested retail price of $799, while the set containing all graphite shafts retails for $899.

The entire family of BiO Cell clubs will be available at retail in mid-January 2014.

 

Cobra unveils BiO Cell line of clubs to improve distance and trajectory
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