Equipment

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?
Nike Golf, VR Forged Wedges
Nike Golf
Here's a look at the VR Forged Standard Grind in black oxide from Nike Golf.

 

Nike Golf has announced the release of its new VR Forged Wedges with three distinct sole grinds to personalize your wedge game: standard, dual wide and dual narrow.
 
Here's the press release from Nike:
 
BEAVERTON, Ore. (May 22, 2013) -- Nike Golf is capitalizing on the success of its VR Pro forged wedges with the introduction of the highly crafted Nike VR Forged wedges.
 
Available now at retail, the Nike VR Forged wedge family is made with a fine forged craftsmanship to deliver enhanced shot-making consistency, tour-level feel, and long-life groove performance. The wedges are crafted of a soft 1025 carbon steel and finished in premium satin chrome.
 
Built from the needs of Nike Golf Tour athletes, the VR Forged wedge features three distinct sole grinds to ensure ideal set-up from sand, fringe, fairway or deep rough for different players. The three sole grinds are Standard Grind, Dual Narrow Grind and Dual Wide Grind.
 
The VR Forged wedge with a standard grind is the most versatile profile for all conditions. This sole grind, which was inspired by the desires of Tiger Woods, ensures the correct address position without the need to open the face. This wedge is for the athlete that likes a multiple wedge system in their bag where loft is the primary difference.
 
Featuring a dual narrow grind, the VR Forged wedge has a narrow sole width with higher bounce and extreme heel relief. The wedge sits low to the ball whether the face is square or open. The dual narrow grind was influenced by Nike athlete Paul Casey, who likes to create more shots with fewer wedges.
 
Through research in conjunction with Nike Golf’s European Tour staff, who often face very wet conditions and heavy morning dew, Nike created the VR Forged wedge with a Dual Wide Grind. With the help of Nike athlete Francesco Molinari, club experts found that the Dual Wide Grind has all the benefits of a wider sole with a low bounce.  The easiest of the three grinds from any location around the green. This wedge is designed to get the ball up high in the air with ease. This grind allows the athlete to be accurate from the bunker but still deadly from the narrow lies. The Dual Wide Grind is an excellent second or third wedge option.
 
The VR Forged wedge features Nike’s high-frequency X3X grooves with a precision laser crosshatch pattern that is applied to the land area between the grooves.  This pattern adds three times the surface texture versus conventionally finished faces, creating more spin in all conditions.  With Nike’s X3X grooves, there are more grooves that are closer together and deeper on the clubface, which provides more control and consistency in all conditions off of the clubface, while conforming to the USGA and R&A rules.
 
VR Forged Standard Grind
Available:  Now
Finish Options: Tour Satin and Black Oxide
Loft/Bounce Options: 48/10; 50/10; 52/10; 54/12; 56/14; 58/10; 60/10 (Available in RH)
52/10; 56/14; 60/10 (Available in LH) Tour Satin only
MAP: $129.99
 
VR Forged Dual Wide Grind
Available:  Now
Finish Options: Tour Satin and Black Oxide
Loft/Bounce Options: 56/8; 60/6 (Available in RH)
MAP: $129.99
 
VR Forged Dual Narrow Grind
Available:  Now
Finish Options: Tour Satin and Black Oxide
Loft/Bounce Options: 56/16; 58/14; 60/13 (Available in RH)
MAP: $129.99
 
 
Nike Golf's VR Forged Wedges feature more grinds, increased precision
Jason Day with his 1-iron
Courtesy of TaylorMade
Jason Day is working with a specially made TaylorMade RocketBladez 1-iron to see if he wants to use it to combat the windy conditions he antcipates at the British Open this summer.

Players at the highest level of golf often try out special pieces of equipment in advance of specific tournaments. Jason Day used the HP Byron Nelson Championship to test-drive a 1-iron to see if he might want to use it at the British Open.

That's right, a 1-iron.

Day regularly plays a full set (2-iron through pitching wedge) of TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons, but asked the TaylorMade club technicians for a 1-iron to use in the windy conditions he anticipated in Dallas and at Muirfield. To accommodate him, the club techs got a RocketBladez Tour 2-iron and bent it to down to a 16.5-degree loft.

To further simulate the feel and performance of a 1-iron, they also switched in a 125-gram UST Miyama Recoil prototype shaft that is ½-inch longer than normal. Day tried the club out on the range and even used it instead of a driver on most of the holes during his pro-am round last Wednesday.

In gusts of 10-20 mph, Day consistently carried his new 1-iron 250 yards, according to TaylorMade, and a launch monitor showed him hitting a number of shots in excess of 300 yards with bounce and roll. So he used it during the tournament. 

''We were going to try a 1‑iron … here because we know if we have a 1-iron here and it works well in the wind, when we go overseas to the British this year we can have the full confidence that it's going to go the right distance and can come out low and hit different types of shots when I need to,'' Day said last week in Dallas. ''I know that [Four Seasons TPC Las Colinas is] not the British Open course, but the wind is very strong here.''

Day's original thought was to take his driver out of his bag and replace it with a 2-wood. 

''We fiddled around with a wood and we couldn't quite get the right configuration with the shaft and the flight,'' explained Day, who said he last used a 1-iron when he was 13 years old. ''So [about a month ago] we were thinking about putting in a 1‑iron and just practicing with it because of the British.'' 

And while he's definitely thinking about using his new 1-iron at Muirfield, Day said he also might give it a try during the U.S. Open at the relatively short Merion Golf Club next month.

''I think that would be a very good club around there, but I don't know until I get there,'' he said. ''I'm not too sure what I'm going to do with it for Memorial, but I know I'm going to use it at the British.''

For the record, Day shot rounds of 72-68-66-72 for a 2-under total of 278 as he tied for 27th place.

 

Jason Day plays 1-iron in advance of British Open
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