Equipment

October 15, 2013 - 6:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Garmin S4
Garmin
The S4 is the latest golf watch GPS offering as part of the Garmin Approach Series.

Garmin, a global leader in satellite navigation, announced today a new addition to its Approach Series golf watch with the S4.

The Approach S4 has a high-res touchscreen display that is sunlight readable and offers a dedicated Green View button. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery can last for up to 10 hours in golf mode. The S4 comes preloaded with more than 30,000 international courses (Currently, there are no golf courses available in Asia for Approach S-series devices sold outside of Asia) with free lifetime course updates. That means no additional fees or subscriptions.

The Approach S4 also has Smart Notification technology when paired with a compatible Apple smartphone, allowing the watch to wirelessly receive information from the phone’s notification center such as emails and text messages, so golfers can leave their phones in their bags while on the course.

Here's a video with an in-depth look at the S4:

 

 

Like other Garmin Golf GPS devices, the S4 gives precise distances to the front, middle and back of the green, and incorporates layup, dogleg and shot distances all while keeping score and tracking statistics on the digital scorecard. While the Approach S4 is useful on the golf course, it's also stylish enough to serve as your everyday wristwatch.

"The Approach S4 is the natural evolution of wearable golf technology," said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. "The hi-res touchscreen display makes it easier than ever for golfers to stay on top of their game, and the Smart Notification functionality allows them to stay connected while on the course. Plus, the extended battery life allows for a full weekend of golf on one charge. The Approach S4 will give golfers a competitive edge on the course, but the sleek form factor and smart watch technology makes it appropriate for everyday wear."

The Approach S4 will be available in Fall 2013, and will retail for $349.99. It will be available at specialty golf retailers and golf course pro shops. The Approach S4 is the latest addition to Garmin’s outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users' outdoor experiences.

For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services, go to www.garmin.com/sports and www.facebook.com/garmin.

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

Garmin expands Approach Series golf watch with S4
October 12, 2013 - 1:16pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cleveland Smart Square putter
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf
The key to the Smart Square is what Cleveland calls Dual Axis Alignment. Two squares, outlined in white, mounted on the putter's matte black crown create parallel lines that frame the ball at address and provide a clear visual path to the hole.

Some of the best ideas are also the most simple. That's how Cleveland Golf feels about its new Smart Square putter. 

Its concept: That using squares instead of circles – such as those found on the popular Odyssey 2-ball models – as alignment aids would help golfers line up their putts better. In fact, Cleveland said, its designers and engineers found that golfers aligned the Smart Square 23 percent more accurately than competitive putters.

The key to the Smart Square what Cleveland calls Dual Axis Alignment. Two squares, outlined in white, mounted on the putter's matte black crown create parallel lines that frame the ball at address and provide a clear visual path to the hole. They also generate two perpendicular lines that, Cleveland says, easily highlight when the putter is misaligned – even by a fraction of a degree.

The end result, the company says, is that golfers can get lined up more quickly and accurately than ever before. 

The Smart Square is a high-MOI putter, meaning it has a large (360-gram) mallet head designed for extra stability throughout the stroke and to minimize the loss of distance on mis-hits. It also features a copolymer face insert that promotes a consistent roll and enhances both feel and sound at impact.

The Smart Square comes in both heel-shafted and center-shafted models in traditional lengths (33, 34 and 35 inches), with the heel-shafted available in left- and right-handed models (the center-shafted model is only available in right-handed). There is also a 39-inch Almost Belly model with a heavier (400-gram) head and a heavier grip for counter-balanced weighting, which adds stability and consistency to your stroke without anchoring. Cleveland also offers custom belly-length models. 

The Smart Square has three degrees of loft and a 70-degree lie angle. It features a stepless double-bend steel shaft and Winn grip. It will be available at retail on Nov. 15, and carries a suggested retail price of $139.99 for the standard-length models and $179.99 for the Almost Belly.

For more on the Smart Square, here is a video from Cleveland Golf:

 
Cleveland Smart Square putter uses squares as alignment aid
October 11, 2013 - 12:01pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf bag
PGA of America
We offer up some tips to make sure your lightweight golf bag stays just that.

Is there anything better than walking the golf course? I don't think so. But, if you're not going to take a push-cart, heaving a golf bag that feels as though it's weighted down with cinderblocks is no fun.

It doesn't have to be that way.

If you're interested in getting more exercise and carrying that lightweight bag, we've got a list of tips to make sure it stays lightweight, aside from those 14 clubs you've got.

READ: Golf equipment you're excited about adding to your bag

1. Leave the umbrella, rain gear and headcovers in your car trunk. Assuming it's nice out, of course, all they're doing on a nice day is weighing you down.

2. Just because your awesome new bag has 50 pockets doesn't mean you need to use all of them. Take advantage of the lined valuables pocket though for your cell phone, keys and wallet.

3. Carry only the number of golf balls that coincide with your handicap (within reason). For instance, if you're a 9-handicap, do you really need more than nine golf balls in your bag for 18 holes? Likewise, if you're a 30-handicap -- surely, or at least hopefully -- you're not losing 30 golf balls per round. You don't want to run out of golf balls, but you don't need two dozen in your bag for a single round either (we hope).

READ: Your biggest golf course pet peeves

4. A Sharpie marker. Not to sign autographs after your round, but to mark your golf ball to make it easily identifiable. Better yet, mark your golf balls in advance and leave the Sharpie in the trunk too.

5. Have a clean towel, wet on one end, along with a brush. It'll keep your clubs and golf ball clean, resulting in more solid contact and hopefully lower scores.

6. A ball marker. This could be as simple as a coin from the spare-change cup in your car. But don't forget it -- keep one in your bag at all times. There's nothing more annoying than a playing partner on a green who uses a tee to mark their ball -- like you weren't having a hard enough time negotiating the green on a putt -- and says, "Sorry, I don't have a ball marker." Don't be that person.

7. A divot tool. It weighs practically nothing, but everyone playing in your group and all those playing behind you will appreciate you fixing the marks your ball leaves on the greens.

8. A GPS device or rangefinder. Level of ability doesn't matter here. For the higher-handicap player, the GPS -- some of which come in the form of a watch now -- are the better option. They give you a very good idea of how far you are from the hole or from trouble. The rangefinder is great for better players, as they provide pinpoint accuracy. Both save you the time of having to walk off yardages, allowing you to keep moving forward with that bag on your shoulder instead of backtracking and zig-zagging. They're light too.

9. A snack of some kind -- trail mix, an apple, a banana, a peanut-butter sandwich. Whichever you'd like. It'll give you some energy out there during a long round.

10. A bottle of water. Stay hydrated.

Now enjoy that walk.

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

 

What every golfer should carry in his or her golf bag
October 11, 2013 - 8:33am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones
The Tri Color Raker Sweater (left) and 1/4 Zip Textured Argyle Vest are just two of the fine items Bobby Jones apparel is offering this Fall.

With temperatures dropping in many parts of the country, it's about time to start dressing a little warmer on the golf course.

Bundling up doesn't have to mean sacrificing style, though.

Bobby Jones apparel can keep you warm and looking sharp as you stroll the fairways with its 1/4-zip textured Argyle vest and tri-color Raker sweater this fall.

RELATED: Bobby Jones unveils Spring 2014 line

The vest features a 1/4-zip front with tonal diamond pattern, contrast stripe collar, banded bottom and is 100 percent pima cotton. It retails for $135.

The sweater, meanwhile, is a 1/4-zip pullover with a mock neck. There's a knit-in pattern on the front with a stretch rib knit collar, cuffs and hem. The sweater is made of 75 percent silk, 20 percent cotton and 5 percent cashmere. It retails for $195.

Both offerings are cozy and comfortable and perfect for both the boardroom and the golf course.

They're just a couple of the stylish garments you'll find by Bobby Jones this Fall.

Head over to www.bobbyjones.com to check out all the great styles in sports shirts, sweaters and more available now.
 

Bobby Jones keeps you warm and stylish as temperatures drop
October 10, 2013 - 11:06am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Mizuno
Mizuno Golf
The new Mizuno MP-54 irons.

I recently had the chance to take a sparkly, brand new set of Mizuno's MP-54 irons out to the driving range for a test spin.

This beautifully crafted Grain Flow Forged set features a Tour-player like look at address -- a thin top line -- but with its "STEP-Muscle" design and small cavity-back, this blade-style iron provides the type of forgiveness you'd expect from a game-improvement iron.

"This iron tasked our R&D team to improve upon an already winning formula from our previous model -- the MP-53," said David Llewellyn, Manager, Golf Club R&D. "We took a deep look into the intricacies of the club design, the physics of the golfer’s motion and the desired performance on the range. The result is an inspiring iron with sleek design that is still MP, still traditional, yet aggressive.”

WATCH: Mizuno's JPX Invitational with Dr. Gary Wiren

Traditional and aggressive is a perfect description of this iron.

Check out this video, where the folks at Mizuno describe the new MP-54 along with PGA Tour star Charles Howell III:

 

 

The 3 through 7-iron feature the Milled STEP Muscle design at the center of the MP-54. In simple terms, the position of the weighting increases stability on off-center hits allowing for more forgiveness.

The slightly thicker sole of the MP-54 is made from mild carbon steel and with rounded out Harmonic Impact Technology, a vibration management technology, the club gets through the ball and the turf with ease, playing more like a blade sole.

RELATED: Mizuno invites average Joe to 'Play Famously'

"Over the past several years Mizuno’s MP iron category has expanded to a point where consumers expect a 'player' iron look and feel with the forgiveness of today's technologically advanced equipment," said Chuck Couch, VP of Product Management, Golf Division. "Golfers will quickly start to embrace the MP-54 philosophy after experiencing what this iron can do."

Personally, I'm a big fan of the sound that the ball makes as it comes off the clubface. The sound from the MP-54 is as good as any I've heard. It's crisp, solid and even the off-center hits sound flush. At the same time, the feel coming off the club is soft, which provides excellent feedback.

The MP-54 became available at retail in September. They cost $999 for a set of eight clubs. The beauty of Mizuno is that all clubs are available on a custom-order basis. If you have a personal preference when it comes to shaft or grips, Mizuno can create the set you desire.

THE VERDICT: While lower handicap players will love the MP-54 irons thanks to the incredible feel they've come to expect from Mizuno, this is also the perfect club for those avid golfers who are thinking about -- but my have been afraid -- to take the step up from a deep cavity iron to the blade category. In the MP-54 irons, you get the Tour-look without sacrificing the forgiveness. It's the best of both worlds.

To learn more about the MP-54 and all of Mizuno Golf's offerings, visit www.mizunousa.com/golf.

You can also find more about Mizuno on PGA.com, Facebook, or on Twitter, @Golf_Mizuno.

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

Mizuno MP-54: 'Step Muscle' design enhances feel, shot making ability
October 8, 2013 - 11:47am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
PURE grips
PURE Grips
Personalization options are endless with PURE Grips.
Did you know that you should change out your golf grips once every 40 rounds, or -- if you don't play that often -- once every season?
 
Next time you're getting your grips changed, you might want to consider PURE Grips.
 
Based out of Scottsdale, Ariz., PURE Grips touts itself as featuring, "a unique combination of performance, feel, durability and value unmatched in the golf industry."
 
 
These are high-quality grips that come with a couple of big perks. First, installing a grip has never been easier, as PURE Grips require no adhesive tapes or solvents. And for those looking to separate themselves from others, PURE offers a wide variety of personalization options.
 
Pick a color and chances are PURE Grips has that color. Do you have a logo or name you want emblazoned on your grip (great for our friends who might be a little forgetful and leave clubs behind)? PURE Grips can do that too.
 
Golf is all about feel, which makes a proper grip essential. PURE Grips are guaranteed to remain supple and tacky and to perform in all conditions for 12 months.
 
New to the PURE Grips line this year is the PURE DTX -- a grip created with the help of acclaimed instructor Hank Haney. This particular grip offers all the benefits one would expect from a cord grip without the drawbacks -- like ripping your hands apart.
 
 
"I'm excited to work with PURE grips because of the high quality of the grips, as well as the ability to custom fit my students through their unique application of tapeless installation," Haney said. "As a teacher, I believe that custom fitting the club to the golfer is imperative. Until now, it was hard to get dialed in on the grip, but PURE's options and the ability to grip, remove and regrip with ease really helps us get a player in the right grip for their game."
 
The PURE DTX features two opposing textures -- one smooth and tacky with the other providing a rougher, more gritty surface. The repetitive and alternating pattern provides the feeling of secure traction and pleasant tack. The grips retail for $8.99 apiece.
 
To learn more about PURE and all the grip options available to you, visit www.puregrips.com.
 
You can also find PURE Grips on Facebook, or Twitter, @puregrips.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
PURE Grips: A combination of performance, feel, durability and value
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