Equipment

July 8, 2013 - 1:50pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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TaylorMade Justin Rose Ghost spider Blade putter
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The limited-edition replicas of Justin Rose's Ghost Spider Blade putter include Rose's personal logo on the bottom and a red and yellow grip up top.

To commemorate Justin Rose's victory at the U.S. Open last month, TaylorMade is selling 99 exact replicas of his Ghost Spider Blade putter. 

Each of these limited-edition models is built to Rose's specs – they're 37 5/8 inches long, equipped with a black Ghost Tour shaft and a red Tour Only Counterbalanced grip with a yellow top. Every head is numbered and stamped with Rose's personal ''JR'' logo.

There are only 99 of them, TaylorMade says, because 99 is the number on Rose's Lethal golf ball. That number is on his ball, Rose says, because 9 is his wife's favorite number, so he doubled it to make 99 for extra-good luck.

You can order your putter from TaylorMade now. They cost $299.99, and are expected to be available on July 16.

TaylorMade calls the Ghost Spider Blade, which became available at retail last month, the most stable blade-style putter it's ever made. That's partly due to its construction, in which the vast majority of the head weight is positioned in the heel and toe.

In addition, the Spider Blade's head is counterbalanced with a 130-gram grip that's twice as heavy as a typical putter grip. Counterbalancing increases the stability of the club, making it easier to keep the head moving on your intended swing path.

The Spider Blade is available in two lengths, 35 inches and 38 inches. To properly use the Spider Blade, TaylorMade says, you should grip the club with two or three inches of the butt-end of the grip extended above your hands to provide the maximum benefit of counterbalancing. Therefore, the company explains, if you normally use a 35-inch putter, you should use a 38-inch Spider Blade; if you normally go with a 33-inch putter, you should use a 35-inch Spider Blade.

The Spider Blade also features a PureRoll Surlyn insert for a soft feel and smooth roll, and has a white leading edge and linear alignment aid in the cavity to make aiming easy. It carries a suggested retail price of $199.99.

 

TaylorMade offers replicas of Justin Rose's U.S. Open-winning putter
July 5, 2013 - 5:40pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Titleist Scotty Cameron Futura X mallet
Courtesy of Titleist
The Futura X mallet from Scotty Cameron combines a rear balance bar with deep heel-toe weights plus perimeter weighting under the face for balance and stability throughout the stroke.

The Futura X mallet from Scotty Cameron is new, but if you think it looks a familiar, you're right. It's the putter Adam Scott used to win the Masters.

Scott called his Futura X prototype ''the most stable putter I have ever played,'' and that's exactly what Cameron was shooting for as he and Scott worked together to refine the design. 

Precision milled from high-grade 6061 aluminum, the Futura X combines a rear balance bar with deep heel-toe weights plus perimeter weighting under the face. The resulting deep Center of Gravity provides stability throughout the stroke, Cameron says, while the perimeter weighting adds forgiveness and feel.

The Futura X contains four stainless heel-toe weights, two 20-gram weights on the rear balance bar and two adjustable sole weights (configured depending on the length) in the front corners of the putter under the face. The total headweight is 20 grams heavier than a standard Cameron Select putter, but because much of the weight is located behind the axis of the shaft and not directly under the golfer's hands, says Cameron, the putter feels stable but not heavy during the stroke.

''Futura X is what I call a 'force balanced' design,'' Cameron said. ''While the putter has a near-face balanced shaft configuration that would normally produce a slight toe hang, there's so much weight off the back of the putter that it forces the face to hang flat. The 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 [Moment of Inertia, essentially a measurement of stability].''

The Futura X will come in standard lengths of 33, 34 and 35 inches -- as opposed to Scott's long model. A double-bend, stepless steel shaft with one shaft of offset provides a square, technical visual at address. 

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. It carries a suggested detail price of $375, will be available at retail on Aug. 1.

 

Titleist introduces Scotty Cameron Futura X mallet
July 4, 2013 - 7:38pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
True Temper golf shaft drawing
Project X Golf via Tiwtter
The Project X division of True Temper took to Twitter last week to show us this drawing of a True Temper shaft from 1941 -- about the time Byron Nelson began playing True Temper shafts.

To celebrate the Fourth of July, I thought I'd pass along a little bit of golf Americana that I ran across recently.

On June 27, the Project X division of shaftmaker True Temper tweeted out the photo posted above. It's a schematic of a steel shaft from 1941 – ''here's what we looked like without computers,'' the tweet said.

My favorite part, though, is at the top of the drawing – at the time, True Temper was a division of the American Fork & Hoe Co., whose roots can be traced back to the early days of the United States.

True Temper was formed in 1800 when several small companies that specialized in forging got together. In 1902, True Temper and several other toolmakers merged to create American Fork & Hoe in Cleveland. By the 1930s, it had become the largest hand-tool company in America, supplying about 90 percent of the hand tools used on American farms. 

Along with rakes and pitchforks, the AF&H plant in Geneva, Ohio, began making fishing rods, ski poles and golf shafts. As early as 1931, True Temper was displaying its steel shafts at tournaments and other events as golfers began switching from hickory shafts to steel.

True Temper got a big boost in 1940, when an up-and coming professional named Byron Nelson began using its shafts, and AF&H changed its name to True Temper in 1949. In 1967, True Temper created the first mechanical club-swinging robot for testing – its name, of course, was Iron Byron. And in 2010, True Temper's plant in Amory, Miss., built its billionth shaft as the company remains the all-time leader among shaftmakers in wins around the globe.

True Temper isn't the only American golf company that's been around so long – Wilson Sporting Goods has created in the 1920s, for example, and Titleist was founded in 1932. But it certainly played a unique and crucial role in the growth and development of both American agriculture and American golf. 

 

 

 

True Temper, a true American golf treasure
July 3, 2013 - 3:31pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Nike Golf FI Impact golf shoes
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The women's Nike FI Impact golf shoe (l) was created with input from Suzann Pettersen, while the men's version (r) utilizes the Nike Dynamic Fit system for extra support.

Nike Golf's TW '13 golf shoes, which were inspired by Nike's Free athletic shoes, proved so popular that the company has expanded its offerings of lightweight, flexible Free-inspired golf shoes. And along with a new men's model is the first edition designed for women, created with input from LPGA Tour star Suzann Pettersen.

Pettersen had always preferred traditionally spiked shoes, Nike said, but on a visit to the Nike Sport Research Lab last summer, she quickly realized she could harness her power without the removable spikes. So Nike set to work to create a shoe for her that incorporated technology from the TW '13 footwear.

''We collaborated closely with Pettersen to create a shoe fit for her game,'' said Nike Golf Footwear Product Director Lee Walker. ''The FI Impact allows her to get the transfer of energy she demands, proving even a swing as powerful as Pettersen's can utilize the performance of Integrated Traction.''

''After I tried them once, I was dying to get them on my feet in competition,'' said Pettersen. ''I can really feel the ground and the increase in power through my swing.''

And in fact, she won the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April, her first tournament wearing the new shoes.

The outsole of the FI Impact is designed to mimic and conform to the foot's natural motion while delivering protection and traction. This allows the golfer to maintain contact with the ground longer, Nike says, to better harness the energy of the foot to the shoe and the shoe to the ground. 

The men's version also utilizes the Nike Dynamic Fit system to provide extra support. A Free-inspired platform and waterproof mesh upper offer increased flexibility with breathability to keep feet cool, dry and comfortable. 

The men's FI Impact shoes will be available at retail on Aug. 1 in Black/Metallic Silver; Light Base Grey/Black; Military Blue/White; and MD Base Grey/Team Orange, with Black/Venom Green coming out next year. They carry a suggested retail price of $160 per pair.

The women's edition also will come out Aug. 1 for the same suggested retail price of $160 per pair. They’ll be available in White/Vivid Pink; White/Turf Orange; and Black/Polarized Blue.

 

 

Nike Golf debuts Free-inspired FI Impact shoes
July 1, 2013 - 11:49pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Callaway FT Optiforce driver and fairway wood
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The lightweight 440cc FT Optiforce driver (left) produces a boring trajectory, while the fairway woods (right) create a higher ball flight similar to that of the RAZR Fit Xtreme fairway woods.

The new FT Optiforce driver and fairway woods from Callaway Golf are designed to increase clubhead speed and, therefore, improve distance. 

Callaway is launching two variations of the FT Optiforce driver clubhead – a full-sized 460cc head and a slightly smaller 440cc version. And in a first from Callaway, the loft and lie on these new drivers can be adjusted to optimize launch conditions. 

''Players using an 8.5-degree driver are fundamentally different than players using 12.5 degrees of loft, so with the FT Optiforce Driver we have optimized each of the two available heads and adjusted critical elements like size, weight, center of gravity position, Moment of Inertia and others so that golfers have the best chance to optimize their launch conditions for better total performance,'' said Callaway Senior Vice President for Research and Development Alan Hocknell.

The FT Optiforce driver was created from an extremely aerodynamic prototype and, as a result, is tops among the most aerodynamically efficient drivers Callaway has ever brought to market. In fact, the company says, the 440cc FT Optiforce has 23 percent less drag than a Callaway X Hot Pro 9.5-degree driver.

The heads of the new drivers include Callaway's lightweight Forged Composite material in the crown – it's same composite found in the RAZR Fit Xtreme drivers – and two stock shaft offerings that keep their overall weight under 300 grams. The primary stock shaft is a 43-gram Project X Velocity shaft, the lightest shaft Callaway has ever included in a standard driver offering. The secondary shaft is a 62-gram Mitsubishi Diamana S+. 

Like the other 2013 Callaway drivers, the FT Optiforce models include Speed Frame Face Technology, which distributes stress across the titanium clubface for a larger, more consistent sweet spot and increased ball speed. The Speed Frame Face also saves weight that is redistributed in the head to improve the Center of Gravity and maximize stability, which enhances forgiveness and ball flight.

The new drivers also feature an advanced OptiFit Hosel that allows players to adjust the loft 1 degree down or 1 to 2 degrees up. This helps golfers find their ideal launch angle and amount of backspin, while the neutral or draw lie settings – also contained in the hosel – help locate their proper side angle and sidespin.

The 460cc model, with red trim on the sole, has a standard loft of 10.5 degrees and a Center of Gravity positioned low and back in the head to create a higher trajectory. The 440cc version, with white trim paint, has a standard loft of 9.5 degrees, and a low and forward Center of Gravity to produce more of a boring ball flight. The larger clubhead is also slightly more forgiving.

Also available is a full line-up of FT Optiforce Fairway Woods that includes 3-, 4- 5-, 7- and 9-woods. The construction of these clubs produce distance gains similar to the X Hot fairway woods, Callaway says, while their trajectory resembles that of the RAZR Fit Xtreme fairway wood.

The FT Optiforce fairways have a Forged Speed Frame Face Cup made of high-strength Carpenter 455 stainless steel that produces significantly hotter responses all across the face. The optimized Center of Gravity, accomplished in part through a proprietary design called the Internal Standing Wave, delivers a higher launch with slightly more spin than the X Hot Fairway Wood, resulting in consistent distance from all turf conditions. 

The fairway clubs are also available with two stock shaft offerings, a 53-gram Project X Velocity shaft and a secondary Mitsubishi Diamana S+ shaft.

The Optiforce drivers and fairways will be available at retail on July 12. The drivers will carry a suggested retail price of $399, while the fairway woods will carry a suggested retail price of $229.

 

Callaway FT Optiforce drivers enhance aerodynamics and adjustability
July 1, 2013 - 2:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bushnell Golf
Bushnell
Bushnell Golf's new NEO-X GPS Rangefinder Watch.
No matter what level of ability you possess on a golf course, the game is always a little easier when you know how far you need to hit your golf ball.
 
Thanks to all the great technology out there these days, there's no reason or need to walk off your yardages from sprinkler heads. Not too mention, walking off yardages takes time. Do you really want to add time to your round?
 
Bushnell has the solution with the introduction of its NEO-X, a Golf GPS Watch that will give all golfers with precise yardage to provide the confidence needed to become the golfer you want to be.
 
With a battery life lasting up to 16 hours, Bushnell promises that its NEO-X outperforms its nearest competitor with two-times the battery life.
 
Unlike handheld devices, there's no need to worry about remembering to bring the NEO-X along for your round of golf -- just keep it on your wrist.
 
The NEO-X comes preloaded with over 30,000 worldwide courses, and can be used as an odometer on the course or while exercising off the course. The NEO-X is an easy-to-use GPS rangefinder, with instant measurements for golfers in a simple, lightweight form-factor.
 
To learn more about the NEO-X, visit www.bushnell.com.
 
You can also find Bushnell Golf on Facebook, or on Twitter, @BushnellGolf.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Bushnell introduces new NEO-X GPS Rangefinder Watch
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