Equipment

October 17, 2013 - 10:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Vessel Bags
Vessel Bags
If you want a one-of-a-kind golf bag, Vessel Bags can create it.

The holidays are sneaking up on us -- as the always do. Are you looking to find a great gift for the special golfer in your life?

We have a suggestion for you that's sure to be a hit: a 100 percent customized golf bag.

Until now, you may not have heard of a company called Vessel Bags, but you've surely seen their work. Watch any kind of Tour event and their bags are impossible to miss. Many of the customized bags used by tournament professionals -- the ones adorned with sponsor logos and more -- are Vessel Bags.

RELATED: MannKrafted Milled Putters -- the ultimate in putter customization

Now, you can have your very own.

We know what you're thinking: Why would I want a bag with a company logo on it?

Good question. And the answer is, you don't have to have a bag with a company logo on it. With Vessel Bags, you can literally have anything you want on the bag -- your name, a symbol, a flag, an image, a saying -- the possibilities are endless.

And if you want a personalized bag, but have no idea what to put on it, Vessel's customer service can come to the rescue:

"Our goal and dream is to design and create the most unique bag with you and for you. At Vessel, we believe that we are all uniquely made. Let us help you express your uniqueness through the accessories you carry on the golf course. Make a bag unlike any other bag out there. If our customizer is not unique enough for you, please send us brief information on what you would like to achieve and we will contact you and design a bag for you that's on a whole 'nother level."

Watch the video below to see what goes in to creating a one-of-a-kind Vessel bag:

Before contacting customer service though, you'll want to try out Vessel's cool, easy-to-use bag customizer application on www.vesselbags.com. First, you choose between four bag-type options -- three full-sized "staff" bags that start from $650; or the company's "Player," lightweight, stand bag that starts at $350.

Once your bag is selected, that's when the fun starts. With all kinds of different color swatches, you simply click the color and where you'd like it to appear on the bag. You can even choose the zipper color you desire.

With the color scheme locked in, you can move on to more customization. You can add text and images anywhere on the bag. If there's something you'd like on the bag, but can't find, that's when Vessel can step in and help.

The high-quality materials used to make a Vessel bag insure that it will be usable for years to come. So, while the price is certainly higher than a standard bag, keep in mind that Vessel's are completely personalized just for you.

And as if the bag customization wasn't enough, Vessel can also customize headcovers to match your bag.

After placing your order, Vessel bags ship in as little as two weeks.

To learn more about Vessel, visit www.vesselbags.com. You can also find Vessel on Facebook or on Twitter, @vesselbags.

UPDATE: Vessel has been kind enough to offer a 15 percent discount to PGA.com readers good through the end of 2013. Just enter "PGA15" at checkout to get the discount.

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

Vessel Bags: Customize your golf bag like the touring pros
October 17, 2013 - 12:37am
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Adams Golf XTD driver
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The Adams XTD driver is the only driver one to feature Cut-Thru Slot technology – slots cut in the crown and sole that help the face flex more to provide faster ball speeds and longer distance.

Adams Golf is topping off a big year in a big way – by introducing a new collection of top-of-the-line XTD clubs.

''Quite frankly, these XTD products are the best we make thanks to a spare-no-expense mindset to create game-changing technology,'' said Justin Honea, Adams Golf's senior director of research and development. ''We ignored convention, built products with premium materials and pushed the limits to deliver jaw-dropping ball speed increases off the face for every club in the bag.''

The XTD driver is the only one to feature Cut-Thru Slot technology – slots cut in the crown and sole that help the face flex more to provide faster ball speeds and longer distance. And to help the club move more aerodynamically through the air during the swing, there are no engravings or sharp edges to slow it down.

Much attention was paid to the inside of the XTD driver heads as well – in fact, Adams says, every head is tested four times during the manufacturing process to ensure maximum spring-like effect within USGA limits. That, the company says, is a unique attention to detail not known to be practiced by any other manufacturer.

''We're touting that it's the hottest face in golf by using the strictest manufacturing tolerances,'' Honea said of the XTD driver. ''Every feature we've built into the XTD family is distinctive, and we've merged them all together into the ultimate driver.''

The XTD family also includes fairway woods, hybrids and forged irons. 

In the fairway woods and hybrids, Adams engineers combined titanium brazing with Cut-Thru Slot technology and progressive face thickness. This, they explained, helped them re-distribute mass to the perimeter and provide 29 percent more face speed on off-center hits. In addition, the XTD fairway clubs and hybrids have a low Center of Gravity, making it easier to get the ball consistently airborne.

Unlike traditional forged irons, the XTDs also boast Cut-Thru Slot technology. Tungsten weights in the sole optimize the Center of Gravity for longer, straighter shots, while a floating face and hollow design delivers consistently faster ball speeds and adding forgiveness throughout the set.

The full eight-piece set includes a 3- and 4- DHy, which Adams says is currently the top hybrid model on the PGA Tour. This club provides the extra distance and forgiveness of a hybrid with the shot-shaping control of a long iron, Adams says, while its unique bulge-and-roll face improves shot dispersion.

The XTD drivers will be available at retail in mid-December with a suggested retail price of $399.99, while the Ti fairway woods and hybrids will be available for purchase in mid-November with a suggested retail price of $299.99 per club (all include a Matrix Red Tie shaft and Iomic Black Armor Sticky Evolution grip. The irons will be available in early December with KBS C-Taper steel shafts for a suggested retail price of $1,099.99 or Aldila RIP Tour 115-gram graphite shafts with a suggested retail of $1,199.99.

 

Adams Golf rolls out XTD family of high-performance clubs
October 15, 2013 - 11:45pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Cobra Baffler XL driver
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
The Cobra Baffler XL driver's high-MOI sole combines with the offset design to helping to correct slices, increase stability and maintain distance on off-center hits.

It's a little hard to believe that Cobra Golf's Baffler line of clubs is 40 years old. To mark the occasion, Cobra is extending its Baffler brand with the new Baffler XL driver, along with Baffler XL fairway clubs, hybrids, irons and even a combo set. 

The new clubs all fall into the game-improvement category, and an offset design runs throughout the set to help correct slices. In addition, pronounced sole rails – a longtime staple of Cobra's Baffler offerings – on the XL fairways, hybrids and irons makes it easier to get the ball up in the air.

Where does the XL in the name come from? For starters, the XL driver features Cobra's largest face design ever.

''We increased the effective face area, lowered the CG [Center of Gravity] and designed our largest driver face ever to deliver an easy-to-hit driver,'' said Vice President of Research & Development Tom Preece. ''The Baffler XL driver is an easy to hit driver packed with technology to hit it far and straight.”

The Baffler XL driver has a 5,000-square millimeter face (17 percent larger than the AMP Cell Offset driver) in addition to a 21 percent increase in effective face area. More of the face is located above the Center of Gravity to help optimize spin and provide a more distance and a more consistent launch. 

The larger face also creates an enhanced trampoline effect, giving the golfer more consistency with hits across the face. And a new high-MOI sole combines with the offset design to helping to correct slices, increase stability and maintain distance on off-center hits. 

The Baffler XL driver features a Legion Blue cosmetic that is found throughout the new Baffler XL product line. The driver, fairways, hybrids and combo set also are available in women's models in Purple Pearl with Dahlia Purple accents.

The new driver is available in 9.5-, 10.5- and 11.5-degree lofts, in Stiff (65 gram low torque/mid kick), Regular (55 gram mid torque/mid kick) or Lite (55 gram mid torque/mid kick) flexes in right-handed models. Left-handed models are available in a 10.5-degree loft in Stiff, Regular or Lite flex. All models come stock with a Cobra Lamkin REL EPDM Reminder Grip.

The Baffler XL product line will be available at retail on Nov. 15. The driver carries a suggested retail price of $249, while the fairway clubs carry a suggested retail price of $179 and the hybrids carry a $159 suggested retail price. The combo set carries a suggested retail price of $599 for steel shafts and $699 for graphite shafts, and the iron set carries a suggested retail price of $499 with steel shafts and $599 with graphite shafts.

 

Cobra extends Baffler line with Baffler XL driver
October 15, 2013 - 7:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
3 Up Golf
3 Up Golf
For every dozen golf balls sold, 3 Up Golf donates $3 to a charitable cause.

In April of 2012, a man by the name of Rob Zimmerman suffered a mild heart attack from a severe arterial blockage.

The Nashua, N.H., resident survived. And, what Zimmerman did next might surprise you. With a new lease life, the certified golf-aholic, who plays to a 2-handicap and enjoys competing in amateur events, launched a company called 3 Up Golf with his wife, Danielle.

While it offers some accessories, 3 UP Golf's primary product is a golf ball -- the 3F12. Can you think of a golf ball on the market today that's not made by a huge corporation?

We didn't think so.

But Zimmerman's vision wasn't simply to create a golf product. He wanted to merge his love of the game and desire to grow the game with helping others after his big health scare. That's why 3 Up Golf is actually a vehicle that drives charitable contributions to golf-related charities.

To that end, every dozen balls sold equates to $3 going directly to a charity, which 3 Up Golf has built into its cost structure. Every time the company reaches a 333rd dozen sold, the Zimmermans write out a check for $1,000 to the current charity that's on their radar -- causes like cancer research, junior golf programs, golf environmental charities, military support and children's hospitals.

Here's how the witty Zimmerman describes his plan, which he calls, "Rob's simple guide to making golf balls for fun and profit":

1. Create a product that he'd be proud to put his name on
2. Charge a reasonable price
3. Pay 3 Up's bills from step 2
4. Give the rest back to charity
5. Create an even better product and repeat!

We are all so fortunate to be able to play golf. I'm sure a lot of you out there feel the same way that I do and personally give back to charities that are near and dear to your heart. I want 3 Up to be a brand you can be proud to purchase from not only for our high quality products but for what we do above and beyond our product offerings.

With that kind of plan, Zimmerman has created a golf ball that not only can you feel good about purchasing, but one you ultimately won't feel bad about inevitably losing on the golf course. It's a win-win!

Or, as Zimmerman eloquently puts it, "So the next time you hit a 3F12 into a pond, just remember you donated 25 cents to charity! Losing balls isn't so bad now, is it?"

And about the golf ball -- the 3F12 is a premium 3-piece golf ball built for the amateur golfer who doesn't want to compromise distance or feel. Zimmerman started from the putting green and worked his way backwards to the tee to create a great sense of feel to help your performance.

In this video, Zimmerman describes the 3F12 ball:

 

 

Here are the details on the ball:

- Cast Urethane cover provides maximum spin and feel
- Ionomer mantle layer
- Polybutadiene core for maximum distance off the tee, regardless of your swing speed
- 318 dimple count
- Player preferred alignment aid
- Conforms with USGA rules

As if all that weren't enough, the Zimmermans also include a special and useful packaging. Instead of the standard box, each dozen of 3 Up Golf balls comes in a pouch -- one you can use as a valuables pouch for your watch, wallet and phone. Also in the pouch are a few branded accessories, which Zimmerman calls, "our thank you for joining the 3 Up family."

A dozen of the 3F12 golf balls retail for $39.99.

To learn more, visit www.3upgolf.com. You can also find 3 Up on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, @3upgolf.

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

 

Company's unique business model means you get something, give something
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
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