Equipment

August 30, 2013 - 6:07pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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TaylorMade Ghost Series putters
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The Daytona 12 (upper left), Maranello 81 (upper right), Monte Carlo 12 (lower left) and Sebring 62 (lower right) illustrated several of the different head shapes in the new Ghost Tour Series of putters from TaylorMade Golf.

After making a splash with new counter-weighted, high-MOI putters like the Ghost Spider S and Daddy Long Legs earlier this year, TaylorMade Golf is rolling out a new collection of Ghost Tour Series putters for golfers who prefer traditional shapes and weighting.

The new ensemble includes three blade-style putters – the Daytona 12, Daytona 62 and Sebring 62 – along with four mallets – the Maranello 81, Fontana 72, Monte Carlo 12 and Corza 72. As you can easily see, many of these putters join the long list of TaylorMade putters named for prominent race tracks around the world.

''We spent a full year perfecting every detail on our Ghost Tour putters, making each one a thing of beauty, elegance and excellence,'' said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's director of iron, wedge and putter development. ''Golfers will be blown away when they set each of these putters down for the first time, and again when they experience the performance.''

The new putters feature a black ion plating on the sole as well as a coat of durable white paint to provide contrast against the green. Black parallel lines on the trailing edge form the first- and second-read alignment system to further aid in alignment. 

Each new flatstick includes a multi-material 8020 PureRoll insert (80 percent Surlyn and 20 percent aluminum) to promote smooth roll, distance control and enhanced feel. Each model also features a rubber TaylorMade grip and a stepless chrome shaft – and, for the first time, golfers can upgrade to the same shaft in matte black finish that some PGA Tour players use to help reduce glare.

The Ghost Tour Series putters are priced at $149 each, with the optional matte black shaft going for an extra $40. They come in lengths of 33, 34 and 35 inches, and will be available at retail on Sept. 1 (except for the Corza 72 model, which will be out in November).

For more information, visit www.taylormadegolf.com.

 

TaylorMade unveils Ghost Tour Series putters
August 28, 2013 - 12:12pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Swingbyte
Swingbyte
The Swingbyte device and app gives users instant feedback on swings.
We're always excited around here when we find products that can help you improve your game.
 
In that spirit, we've stumbled across a product and app called "Swingbyte." Swingbyte is an innovative, easy-to-use, sensor and app-based technology designed to improve your golf swing faster and we think it's a great complement to your lessons with a PGA Professional.
 
The Swingbyte device weighs less than one ounce, is about the size of your little finger and clips to your golf clubs shaft just below the grip. The device connects via Bluetooth to iOS and Android devices. It can be used on any club in your bag. 
 
The Swingbyte provides instant, accurate swing feedback with an intuitive user interface and interactive 3D swing graphics. You can also auto-trim and video sync to your Swingbyte data.
 
Here is how the simple operation of a Swingbyte works:
 
STEP 1: Attach the lightweight Swingbyte 2 sensor to any golf club below the grip -- driver through putter.
 
STEP 2: Swing. Vibration of impact registers and sends that data wirelessly to your app for viewing.
 
STEP 3: Analyze. Review full 3-D rendering of your swing and swing data (like clubhead speed, clubface and club path angles) on your mobile device.
 
The Swingbyte retails for $149. You can find more information at www.swingbyte.com.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
Swingbyte device and app make for a great game-improving tool
August 26, 2013 - 4:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Datrek Lite Rider golf bag
Courtesy of Datrek
The Datrek Lite Rider cart bag has seven pockets that are all easily accessible when the bag is on a cart.

One of the hottest recent trends in golf equipment is the rising popularity of putters with oversized grips. Datrek Golf has responded to this development in its new Lite Rider bag, which contains an expanded putter well designed to handle those extra-big grips.

The Lite Rider, part of Datrek's 2014 line-up, is designated as a cart bag. But as it weighs in at a mere 4.7 pounds, it could easily double as a carry bag. And as we've come to expect from Datrek, it also includes a 14-way organizer top and the IDS (Individual Divider System) to keep your clubs from banging around while the bag's in motion.

Made of durable nylon fabric, the Lite Rider has seven pockets that are all easily accessible when the bag is on a cart. The pockets include two oversized apparel pockets, a large ball pocket, a fleece-lined valuable pocket and an oversized insulated cooler pocket.  

The Lite Rider has two soft-grip lift assist handles for easier loading and carrying, along with a Velcro glove holder and holders for tees, a divot tool, a pen and an umbrella. The bag's bottom has rubberized feet for added stability on a riding or push cart.

The Lite Rider is available in seven color combinations: white/black, white/red, black/charcoal, black/red, black/royal and charcoal/pink and navy/lime. The suggested retail is $169.95 and it will be available in golf shops and golf specialty stores on Oct. 15.

 

Datrek Lite Rider bag can handle oversized putter grips
August 23, 2013 - 7:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Kenny Perry's Adams Golf driver
Courtesy of Adams Golf
Kenny Perry's Adams Super LS driver was reassembled by Adams Golf technician Scott Kraul.

The life of a tour pro might sound glamorous, but if you follow some of them on social media you quickly realize that they endure the same hassles as the rest of us (except for those lucky dogs who fly private all the time). Flight delays, cancellations and lost luggage happen to most of them at some point and, as is often the case, these problems always seem to happen at the worst possible times.

Mostly, the inconveniences are just that – inconvenient. Occasionally, though, they become truly problematic. That's the situation Kenny Perry finds himself in this week. He and his luggage made it from central New York to Seattle for the Boeing Classic, but somewhere along the way the shaft of his Adams driver was snapped right where the hosel meets the head.

This wasn't just any driver, either – it's ''the one I won all of my tournaments with this year,'' Perry told The Seattle Times after he discovered the broken big stick in his bag. ''It broke the head right off the shaft.''

Perry was upset, needless to say, in large part because he attributes much of his success this season to his driving prowess. And he has been quite successful – he won two senior majors – the U.S. Senior Open and the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in back-to-back starts. He's amassed nine top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season, and is dominating the Charles Schwab Cup points list.

Adams Golf technicians on-site at TPC Snoqualmie were able to get Perry squared away, reshafting his Super LS 10.5-degree driver with a UST Mamiya VTS silver 60g X flex shaft. Now, it's up to Perry to get the confidence in his driving game back.

''I've been bombing it,'' Perry told the newspaper. ''I've been taking advantage of all the short holes and the par 5s. But that's the only driver I've used all year.''

The irony in this situation is that Perry, like many Adams staff players, is sponsored by Southwest Airlines. His clubs were in a Southwest Airlines-festooned bag – and the big break occurred while Perry was flying Delta.

 

Kenny Perry finds that driving and flying don't mix
August 22, 2013 - 9:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Dave Stockton
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Two-time PGA Championship winner Dave Stockton will share his insights on putters with Nike Golf.

No one has been more in demand than Dave Stockton as a short-game instructor in recent years. Now, he's getting a chance to influence flatsticks as well as those who use them.

Stockton has signed on with Nike Golf, where he will assist in product development and design – specifically in the realm of putters. 

''I'm thrilled to be a part of what I believe is one of the most innovative brands in sports,'' said Stockton. ''I look forward to sharing my putter insights with Nike engineers so they can continue to create amazing product that help golfers putt better.''  

Stockton, who received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from The PGA of America, already serves as putting instructor for some of golf's biggest names, including Nike Golf staff players Rory McIlroy and Suzann Pettersen. His list of students, past and present, also includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Morgan Pressel, Annika Sorenstam and Yani Tseng. 

He runs his own golf instruction program, Stockton Golf, with his two sons, Ron and Dave Jr. His book, ''Unconscious Putting,'' quickly became a best-seller after its 2011 release, and he followed it up with a sequel, ''Unconscious Scoring,'' earlier this year. He won the PGA Championship in 1970 and 1976, along with nine other PGA Tour titles and 14 Champions Tour victories, played on four victorious U.S. Ryder Cup teams, and captained the 1991 Ryder Cup team to victory.

 

Dave Stockton joins Nike Golf to help design putters
August 21, 2013 - 12:13pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
PING
Here is the gold-plated putter PING made for Hunter Mahan to celebrate the birth of Mahan's daughter Zoe.
In late July, Hunter Mahan famously left the RBC Canadian Open -- while leading -- moments before the start of his third round to head home to his wife, Kandi, in Texas after learning she had gone into labor with the couple's first child.
 
Mahan made it home in time to witness the birth of his little girl, Zoe Olivia.
 
As a gift to the Mahan's, PING (Mahan's club sponsor) presented Hunter with a gold-played Scottsdale TR Anser putter on the practice green Tuesday at Liberty National, where the Barclays Championship is taking place this week.
 
 
Ping Golf, maker of all 14 of Mahan's clubs, traditionally presents the winner of professional events with a gold-plated replica of the putter used to earn the victory. (Solid gold putters are given for wins in majors.) However, to celebrate the Mahans' joyful arrival, the company decided to give Hunter a gold-plated Scottsdale TR Anser 2 putter on the practice green Tuesday at Liberty National Golf Club, site of this week's Barclays Championship.
 
"We'll never know if Hunter would have held on to win that week," said John Solheim, Ping's chairman & CEO, in a statement. "But the circumstances were so unique, we wanted to create a lasting memory for Hunter, Kandi and Zoe that would forever remind them of that special day. The birth of a child is a win any way you look at it, so we thought we'd have some fun with it."
 
Another gold-plated Scottsdale TR Anser 2 putter also will permanently reside in Ping's gold putter vault – along with more than 2,800 Ping putters – inside the company's Phoenix headquarters.
 
"This goes way above and beyond, guys," Mahan said when Chance Cozby and Matt Rollins, Ping's head PGA Tour reps, gave him the club. "Way above and beyond."
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
PING presents Mahan with gold-plated putter for newborn
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