Equipment

Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods will be sporting the Nike "swoosh" for many years to come after he signs an anticipated new deal.

Tiger Woods and Nike are nearing the completion of a new endorsement agreement that will "emphatically" keep Woods as the highest-paid endorser in golf, according to a report on ESPN.com.

"We're down to the very, very short strokes right now,'' Woods' agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN golf writer Bob Harig. ''I would expect we would come out with some sort of joint announcement when we get the paperwork signed. I hope this is viewed as a pretty bold statement."

Woods could sign the new deal as soon as the next couple of weeks, Harig wrote.

Woods signed with Nike for a reported five years and $40 million when he turned pro back in 1996, and Nike stuck with Woods during his personal troubles. His current equipment and apparel contract is said to be roughly $20 million per year.

Earlier this year, of course, Nike signed Rory McIlroy to a major deal worth a reported to be anywhere from $10 million to $20 million per year. Steinberg didn't give any indication of the figures involved in Woods' new agreement, except to say that it would ''emphatically'' keep Woods as the king of the golf endorsement mountain.

Steinbeg did indicate to Harig that the new deal would be for multiple years.

"Tiger started his professional career with Nike in 1996,'' Steinberg said. ''He has a long way to go in his career, but I feel with the type of deal we've constructed … I feel confident that he will be with Nike for his entire career."

 

Tiger Woods close to megadeal with Nike
Rukket, golf, net
Rukket
The RukkNet by Rukket is a great tool for practice at home when you can't make it to the golf course or the driving range.
Ask anyone on the golf course, "So, how often do you play?"
 
More often than not, the reply will be, "Well, not as often as I'd like."
 
It doesn't matter if you're talking to the weekend hacker, or the guy who plays 30+ rounds per year. We all love golf and no matter how often we play, it's not enough.
 
Plus, with busy work schedules and family, it's often difficult to even find time to get to the driving range.
 
Thanks to the folks at a company called, "Rukket," however, now the driving range can come to you.
 
Rukket are the makers of the RukkNet Golf Net. The company introduced its net at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show, but at the time had no inventory to sell. Rukket returned to the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show -- this time with product to sell -- and it didn't last long.
 
When you see Rukket's net, it's easy to understand why.
 
Let's face the facts: arguably the biggest issues with golf nets are flimsy frames and low-quality netting (you know, if you catch one just perfect, it might rip right through the netting).
 
Rukket solves this problem. Not only that, but you can take it literally anywhere.
 
Here's how the company describes the net on its site:
 
The RukkNet is simple and fast to set up and take down, generous in size, durable, light-weight, and versatile. It pops-up instantly to let you practice multiple sports anywhere. Use one practice net for golf, baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer and football. Use it indoors or outside, in backyards, basements, garages, on patios, at practice fields, or league games.
 
The RukkNet is ideal for perfecting your swing before the next trip to the driving range or golf course. The ball returns after each shot so no more bending down or having to carry a bucket of golf balls. Stay in position and find your groove. Correct repetition is the key to a great golf swing. Also a great tool for warm ups before a round.
 
The RukkNet is made from high quality netting and a durable spring steel frame (no more fiberglass poles). The net is double stitched and built of the heaviest materials available. In other words it is built to last. Carrying case is thick canvas with double zippers for long life, capable of carrying a hitting mat, golf balls, attachments and a golf club, it also has a thick comfortable shoulder strap for long hikes to your favorite practice spot. Very portable at 14 lbs. Folds flat into a 32" diameter.
 
The RukkNet now comes with a 4-ply, knot-less ball returning net. No more mesh like cheaper golf nets. Knot-less netting allows the power from each impact to disperse efficiently and will not wear out or get holes. An added benefit of the heavier inside netting is the ball is returned with more force.
 
This is the ultimate in ball returning technology. As usual it attaches using T-bars that fit into large grommets attached to the frame. We have yet to find a tougher system.
 
The RukkNet retails for $199.99.
 
And good news, too, for those of you looking to improve your short game at home. One of the many attachments Rukket offers for the RukkNet is the ChipIt! ($29.99). It simply attaches to the RukkNet with T-bars and provides three holes to chip into. It can be adjusted to various heights so you can practice virtually all the short-game shots you'll encounter on the course.
 
For more information on the RukkNet and all the products Rukket has to offer, visit www.rukket.com.
 
You can also check Rukket our on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, @RukketSports.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
 
Rukket golf net means there's no excuse not to practice
TaylorMade, R1 Black
TaylorMade
TaylorMade's new R1 Black Driver will be available at retail beginning June 10 for $399.
For the first time since 2010, TaylorMade Golf has announced its release of a black-headed driver. TaylorMade took the golf world by storm in 2010 with its forward-thinking white headed driver, which is the No. 1 driver on Tour. 
 
But, there's still been a big demand for the same great drivers, but in black.
 
 
Now, TaylorMade has obliged with the R1 Black, which will be available at retail beginning June 10 for $399.
 
Here's the release from TaylorMade introducing the new, sharp-looking R1 Black: 
 
CARLSBAD, Calif. (May 30, 2013) -- TaylorMade Golf Company, makers of the No. 1 driver in golf, today announced R1 Black – the company’s first black driver since 2010.
 
“For three years we have only made white drivers and have heard from a number of golfers who just prefer the look of black,” said President and CEO, Mark King. “Our commitment has always been to provide golfers with the best performing golf equipment. The R1 Black gives players who prefer that color access to our industry leading technology.”
 
Similar to the white version – which has been used to win 16 worldwide golf tournaments this year – the R1 Black driver features the greatest range of adjustability of any driver in the brand’s history. R1 gives the golfer 12 loft-sleeve settings and 7 face-angle positions, as well as two movable shot-shape weights. The R1’s three adjustability technologies allow it to be tuned 168 different ways to specifically fit a player’s swing to optimize distance and accuracy.
 
The R1 Black driver will debut on the PGA Tour next week in Memphis.
 
“Members of our tour staff now have two color options,” added King. “We will see a number of them opt for R1 Black, while others will stay in the white version to take advantage of the white/black contrast and alignment benefits.”
 
The R1 Black features an ultra-light Aldila RIP Phenom and is available at retail 6/10 for $399. For more information please visit taylormadegolf.com.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
TaylorMade Golf introduces R1 Black Driver
Bag Boy Quad push carts
Courtesy of Bag Boy
The limited editions of the Bag Boy Quad push cart come in pink, orange, and lime green.

The Quad Push Cart from Bag Boy is one of the most popular push carts in golf. So what could Bag Boy do to trick it out any more?

The answer is: offer it in three cool new summer colors – pink, orange, and lime green.

"The Quad is doing very well at retail," said Dynamic Brands President Craig Ramsbottom. "Golfers like the overall performance of the cart and the easy two-step folding process. By adding a few of this year's trendy colors to the line, we feel it gives our customer a broader selection."

The Quad is made with a lightweight frame on a reinforced four-wheel platform that provides more stability than three-wheel carts, especially on hilly terrain and in wet conditions. It sets up via a simple two-step process, folds down to 24 x 17 x 16 inches, and rolls on lightweight, solid foam tires.

The push cart comes fully loaded with an array of golfer-friendly features such as a stand and cart-compatible upper bag bracket, a parking brake mounted on the handle – and the handle can be adjusted to accommodate golfers of all heights. It also features an oversized zippered storage bag, quick-grab beverage holder, deluxe scorecard holder with pencil holder, integrated tee and ball holder, a secure umbrella holder and a padded compartment.

It carries a suggested retail price of $219.95, and is still available in its regulation colors of white, black, silver, red, blue or yellow.

For more information, visit www.bagboy.com.

 

 

 
 
Bag Boy Quad push cart now comes in trendy colors
KZG GF X driver
Courtesy of KZG
The GF X driver from KZG features a traditional profile with a glossy all-black head accented by the matte black screw portals.

KZG is marking its turf in the adjustable driver marketplace in a big way with its new GF X driver, which features two strategically positioned weight portals and a selection of screws in seven different weights. The ''GF'' stands for Gravitational Force technology, through which golfers can select specific screws to adjust the club's swingweight, launch angle and draw/fade bias a whopping 128 different ways.

''The GF X is an ideal model for those players who require unique adjustments with maximum forgiveness,'' said KZG President Jennifer King.  

The weighted screws are available in 1.5-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-gram options, and the weight portals are placed where changes in weight and center of gravity can most effectively affect a fade or draw bias, and even trajectory and spin rates.

The adjustments for all KZG clubs are done solely through KZG's network of professional fitters because, KZG believes, leaving the adjustments up to amateur golfers often ends in disappointment because golfers tend to change their settings too frequently. That, the company says, makes it impossible determine optimal positioning and keeps the golfers from grooving their swings. Using professional fitters, they say, removes the guesswork and provides confidence and consistency.

The GF X features a traditional profile with a glossy all-black head accented by the matte black screw portals. The 460cc head is made of titanium.

All KZG drivers are custom fit and available with numerous shaft options. Retail pricing varies depending on the options selected, with suggested retail prices starting at $399.

For more information, visit www.kzg.com.

 

KZG GF X driver offers significant adjustability
chart of long putter usage on pga tour
Charlie Kautz via Twitter
Charlie Kautz of TaylorMade put together this chart of long putter use on the PGA Tour this year, before the anchor ban was announced.

The USGA and R&A&'s ban on anchored putting strokes has certainly garnered its share of attention for the past few months. But this whole time, I've been wondering exactly how many players would be affected.

It's pretty impossible to get a real handle on long putter usage among everyday golfers. But when the ban was announced, TaylorMade's Charlie Kautz (who goes by the Twitter handle @CharlieTour) pulled together an interesting chart and some stats regarding long putters and the PGA Tour.  

Through the first 21 PGA Tour events of 2013, Kautz counted 287 putters classified as belly, midsize or long – though, he noted, not all of those putters were necessarily anchored. That, he figured, averaged out to 13.6 long putters per field, with the fields ranging from 93 players in the Masters to 156 at the biggest PGA Tour events.

In the Masters, 14 of those players – including, of course, winner Adam Scott – used long putters. And in the 64-man WGC-Accenture Match Play, which he described as the most "elite" field in pro golf, six players used putters classified as belly, midsize or long.

When Kautz posted his chart, he said: ''I'm curious how a line graph showing week-by-week usage'' of long putters trends in the coming weeks and months. It's pretty safe to say we all share that curiosity.

 

 
How many players could anchor ban affect?
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