Jack Nicklaus is introducing a line of golf balls that the Golden Bear says can help simplify your golf game and help sick children as well.
The line of three balls – the Nicklaus Black, Nicklaus Blue, and Nicklaus White – was designed to accommodate three skill levels of player, using the tees from which they typically play. A percentage of the proceeds from every ball sold will be donated to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation to support pediatric programs and hospitals nationwide, and visitors to Nicklaus.com can support the foundation by making a voluntary contribution.
''We are trying to simplify the decision-making process of selecting the right golf ball and at the same time provide consumers the highest-quality golf balls and at a price that encourages charitable support,'' Nicklaus said of the balls, which will be available this fall. ''By buying these balls, players will get the added benefit of supporting these wonderful charities that help children in need as well as the families that dearly love them.''
The Nicklaus White ball is designed for the players who typically play from the white (forward) tees. The Nicklaus Blue is designed for players who usually play the blue (middle) tees, and the Nicklaus Black is for the single-digit handicapper who generally plays from the back (black) tees.
Nicklaus and members of his family tested and perfected the balls, and Nicklaus says the new spheres will outperform other top-of-the-line golf balls. Each ball, Nicklaus explains, incorporates the most cutting-edge multi-layer technology to achieve the optimal compression for the level of player it is designed for.
''For more than three years, we have contemplated entering the golf ball business, so over that time, I have been researching and testing golf balls,'' Nicklaus explained. ''There are a lot of very good balls on the market, but I was not able to find a ball that fully met my expectations and hopes – not just for me or other professionals, but more important, for the everyday golfer.
''So I simply decided not to enter the business until I found that ball,'' he added. ''Well, I found that ball. Actually, I found three.''
Nicklaus' ball strategy is based on a simple principle: Skill level is an extremely important factor when selecting the right ball. ''From the tees you play, we know your swing speed; this is paramount when choosing a golf ball,'' he said. ''But no matter the percentage of players who know their swing speed, 100 percent of them know the tees they play.''
The Nicklaus Black will sell in golf shops for $50 a dozen, while the Nicklaus Blue and Nicklaus White will retail for $46 in golf shops. By ordering directly from Nicklaus.com, however, golfers will pay only $32 for the Black and $28 for the Blue and White, and will be able to make a voluntary contribution of up to $20 if they so choose. And during a month-long pre-order period, customers can order the ball for the discounted introductory prices of $30 (Black) and $26 (Blue and White) per dozen.
For more information and to place your order, visit www.nicklaus.com.
While researching golfers' swings, Adams Golf discovered that players with handicaps of 15 or higher make the majority of contact nearly not in the sweet spot of their clubfaces but rather about a half-inch toward the toe. To help these mid- to high-handicap players, the company has created its New Idea set of hybrid irons, which are designed to improve the clubface's performance in the area where those players need it most.
Specifically, the heads of these new clubs feature wraparound slots, which the company says helps to generate higher ball speeds and provide more forgiveness, especially on off-center shots.
"With a concentration on developing technology that golfers really need, we created these industry-first wraparound slots on the toe to compensate for a very common mis-hit,” said Justin Honea, Adams' senior director of research and development. “New Idea irons are definitely our easiest to hit, with measurable improvements in ball speeds and forgiveness where players require it most."
The new slot design creates a spring-like effect across the entire face, expanding the sweet spot. Compared to its popular Idea a12 OS Hybrid Irons, Adams says, the New Idea Hybrid Irons provide 44 percent more ball speed on off-center hits and 24 percent more ball speed on flush shots because of increased flex from their unsupported faces.
The standard set of New Idea clubs starts with 3-, 4- and 5-hybrids that feature Adams' Cut-Thru sole slots that run behind the face and are visible on the crown and sole. The refined design of this slot helps to generates increased fast speeds, higher launches and additional distance, most notably on off-center shots.
The hybrids also feature Adams' patented ''upside-down'' shape that puts more surface area lower on the face, where golfers generally make contact with the ball. This creates a lower center of gravity that helps the ball launch higher, while reducing spin, for better distance results.
With the transitional hybrid irons (6- and 7-irons) in the set, these clubs bridge the gap between the hybrids and short irons. The 270-degree slots start in the heel area and run through the sole around the clubhead to the topline to help the face to flex for higher ball speeds and more forgiveness, no matter where the ball is struck.
''There's tremendous emphasis put into transitional hybrid irons, particularly with the addition of the toe slot, '' Honea added. ''The wraparound slots allow us to seamlessly replicate the hot faces of our industry-leading hybrids.''
Completing the set are three scoring irons (8-iron through pitching wedge) that provide the benefits of traditional cavityback irons, with the additional advantage of the wraparound slots.
The men's New Idea set includes a 460cc titanium driver designed for maximum forgiveness and distance; 3- and 5-woods featuring Cut-Thru slots; the New Idea Hybrid Irons; a Yes! mallet putter; and a black and white cart bag with blue trim and matching Idea headcovers.
The women's set is available in four distinct colors with technology and set configurations specific to female golfers. The 12-piece package contains a titanium 12.5-degree driver; three fairway woods (3, 5 and 7); New Idea Hybrid Irons (5-iron through sand wedge); and a Yes! putter.
The New Idea Hybrid Irons will be available at retail in mid-October with a suggested retail price of $799.99 per set with Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara Eagle Series 65-gram graphite shafts and $699.99 per set with True Temper Dynalite 85-gram steel shafts. The New Idea Hybrids be available at the same time with a suggested retail price of $169.99.
The New Idea complete sets for men will be available in early November. The New Idea complete sets for women will be available in early November in Almond color, while the Blackberry, Raspberry and Melon options will come out in early December. All the full sets will carry a suggested retail price of $999.99.
Golfers of a certain age no doubt remember – or even owned – Hogan Apex irons, which debuted back in the early 1970s. Over three decades or so, the Ben Hogan Co. rolled out more than a dozen iteration of Apex irons, whose classic forged blades were, at their finest, among the best better-player irons on the market.
Callaway Golf bought Hogan about a decade ago, sold the apparel side of the business to Perry Ellis last year, and now is resurrecting the Apex name for its latest set of irons, which will debut at retail in December. Both the original Hogan Apex models and the Callaway versions are forged from carbon steel, but that's about where the similarities end.
Callaway calls the Apex irons a ''longer, more attractive cousin to the Diablo Forged iron,'' which Callaway says originated the category of high-performance forged cavityback irons. They won't replace any current irons in the Callaway line-up, and are designed to appeal to a broad range of golfers seeking the best of forged players' irons and cast game-improvement sticks.
The new Apex clubs are the first forged irons that provide the soft, responsive feel for which forged clubs are known, as well as extra distance, Callaway says. A big reason for this, they explain, is that the new clubs contain a thin, 455 Carpenter high-strength steel face insert that is the same material Callaway uses in the forged cup faces of its X Hot fairway woods to help the ball jump off the face.
The lightweight face insert also means that Callaway could reposition weight low in the head. Using a tungsten insert in the sole to lower the center of gravity helps increase launch angles in the low irons (3-5 irons) and improve forgiveness. This composition, Callaway says, creates a clubhead with the performance properties normally found in game-improvement irons, and helps golfers launch the ball at appropriate angles and spin rates throughout the set.
The heads are slightly larger than the X Forged irons, and the faces feature wide-spaced (30-degree) grooves. These are the first Callaway irons to use these grooves, Callaway says, adding that they provide increased spin out of the rough for average golfers. In addition, the heads boast a satin chrome finish that's consistent with the look of Callaway's muscleback irons.
The Apex irons will come with two shaft options. The True Temper XP95 steel shaft will help deliver high launch angles with a controlled ball flight, while the UST Recoil is a lightweight graphite shaft with higher flex points for better feel and workability. The company hasn't yet released a suggested retail price.