Equipment

Cru Golf
CRU Golf
Cru Golf personalizes its leather headcovers for everyone -- not just the pros. Here's a look at a couple of headcovers that were made for Rickie Fowler. First (left and middle), Fowler's one-of-a-kind headcover made specifically for the Masters; and (right) a headcover with the Oklahoma State University logo that Fowler has in play regularly.
Golf is in the mainstream. It's been that way for a while now. With its popularity come loads of items you can purchase to stand out in the crowd. Whether it's apparel, shoes, accessories, the color of your golf ball, whatever -- you can be unique.
 
One of the cooler accessories I've seen in recent years is what seems to be a headcover explosion. While the headcovers that come with your expensive driver, fairway woods and hybrids are great, the fact remains anyone who purchased that same club has that same headcover. 
 
Why not change it up?
 
That's exactly what Adam Blake, co-founder of CRU Golf is doing. 
 
CRU Golf specializes in 100 percent leather headcovers. The vintage designs fit all 460CC drivers and are made to ensure a proper fit on all clubheads that require headcovers. A moisture-wicking interior allows the headcover to slip on and off your club in dry or wet conditions. And, finally, perhaps the coolest thing about CRU Golf: custom leather headcover options are available to ALL golfers... not just the pros, although they love them too (see the photos above of Rickie Fowler's one-of-a-kind Masters headcover, as well as his usual OSU headcover).
 
Recently, we had a chance to chat with Blake about his idea behind starting up CRU Golf.
 
PGA.com: What was the inspiration to create these headcovers? 
 
Blake: I truly wanted to create a headcover that was superior in functionality and design. I felt that the market for leather headcovers was lacking in this area. My appreciation and respect for the history of the game was further fueled in 2008 while I was recovering from knee surgery. During this time I caddied at BallyNeal, which is an amazing walking-only course located in Colorado. I looped there part-time for the summer and the idea was planted.
 
PGA.com: So when did you officially start your business? 
 
Blake: We opened our first account with Shady Oaks Golf Club in Fort Worth, Texas in 2011. Our research and development began in 2010. It was quite a learning curve and an adventure to start Cru Golf -- sourcing of materials; location of production; quality craftsmanship. These were all challenges that we faced when building the brand.
 
PGA.com: Tell our readers about the turnaround time on your products. It's pretty impressive how quickly orders are delivered considering they're all handmade. 
 
Blake: Yes, they are all handmade from start to finish right here in Texas. Our Reserve Cru Custom headcover is delivered in 4-6 weeks. This is the style that lets you design your own headcover, just like the pros. We've got a really cool designer tool online that lets the user design their own unique headcover. Our online Retail Headcover options all ship within 5-7 business days.
 
PGA.com: Tell me a little about you. Avid golfer? 
 
Blake: I absolutely love the game! I grew up in a small town in Colorado playing on the local public course. I actually still hold the course record there with an 11-under 61. 
 
I played collegiate golf and then I was a PGA golf professional at Dallas National Golf Club before joining the mini tour scene in South Florida. For five years I played everywhere but where I really wanted to play on the PGA Tour. These days, I take my son out to the course and we work on our short game and hit some balls about once a week. 
 
Cru Golf provides me with the challenges to do something competitive and I still have my fingers in the golf industry. There's no better feeling than having a product made in the USA and available to the masses. Oh, and it sure beats trying to make 4-footers for the mortgage!
 
PGA.com: Where can people buy your products? 
 
Blake: Cru Golf is uniquely positioned so that our variety of styles allows us to be found in many places. I like to call it an "Affordable Luxury." We are located in the finest golf shops across the states as well as in every Edwin Watts golf store.
 
You can shop our online store too, but you will find many more styles/options of headcovers within our distribution network.
 
PGA.com: Can you talk a little about how you're able to personalize your products for customers?  
 
Blake: We're able to personalize our headcovers with initials, logos, and phrases. If you can dream it, we can usually do it. We do many events for our buyers looking for a unique golf event tee prize. Tournament coordinators are looking for something different than a polo shirt, towel or hat. That's where we flourish; giving players something they will appreciate.
 
I'd just like to thank all the Cru Fans that have helped us achieve the level of success we have had in our short journey. It's great to know that people still notice and appreciate quality products made in the USA.
 
CRU Golf's beautiful headcovers start out at around $39 and go up from there. If you're still looking, they make for a great Father's Day gift, or... well, a gift for yourself!
 
To learn more about CRU Golf, visit www.crugolf.com.
 
You can visit Cru Golf on Facebook, or on Twitter, @CRUgolf.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
CRU Golf leather headcovers add an 'affordable luxury' to your bag
Odyssey Versa USA-themed #7 putter
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The bold alignment stripe behind the head of the Odyssey Versa USA #7 putter is blue.

With the U.S. Open just around the corner, Odyssey Golf is feeling patriotic – so much so that the company has created a limited edition of its Versa #7 putter with a red, white and blue color scheme.

All the Versa models, of course, come standard with a bold black and white color scheme designed to help improve alignment. On this special model, the stripe right behind the face is blue, and a series of three small red dots on the crown also serve as an alignment aid.

As you can see in the photo above, the USA #7 is a modified mallet with weighted alignment wings. It also has a double-bend shaft and full-shaft offset.

The Versa line debuted in January, with Odyssey designing them with the thick black and white stripes that run perpendicular to the putting line to accentuate the face angle at address, through the stroke and at impact. This contrast, says Odyssey, prompts golfers to better align their putts, which is critical since a mis-aim of just one degree can cause a golfer to miss a 12-foot putt.

All the Versa models – including this USA edition – contain an improved White Hot insert, which has been meticulously engineered for more dependable feel and performance across the striking surface. A new laser milling cutting process allows Odyssey to better match its insert shapes to the various head shapes, resulting in more consistency, as each insert is designed and cut specifically for a specific putter model.

The USA #7 comes with a 35-inch shaft and in right-hand only. It carries a suggested retail price of $249.

For more information, visit www.odysseygolf.com. And to see our video "Game Changers" feature on the Versa line, click here.

 

Odyssey unveils USA-themed Versa #7 putter
Cobra Tour Trusty limited-edition wedge
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
Only 1,600 Tour Trusty wedges were made with Rickie Fowler’s famous #GoTime hashtag set off by his trademark orange paint fill.

Coming this fall, Cobra Golf will release a full line of Tour Trusty wedges. To get a little buzz going, the company has come out with a pretty unique teaser – a limited-edition Tour Trusty with stamping created by Rickie Fowler.

They're available now, but only 1,600 were made. All of them are 55-degree models stamped with Fowler’s famous #GoTime hashtag set off by his trademark orange paint fill.

This Fowler-stamped club, like all the other Tour Trusty wedges to come, was designed for better players with feedback from Fowler, Ian Poulter and Jonas Blixt. They're made of 8620 Carbon Steel that is nickel plated and finished in matte satin to enhance the feel and reduce glare. 

The compact head features a teardrop shape with no offset, and its grooves have been enlarged to the USGA allowable limit for more spin and control. Cobra's new Tour notch K-Grind provides significant heel and toe relief for versatility around the greens, while the company's proprietary Variable Feed Rate (VFR) milling creates a rough surface to maximize spin on even the shortest and softest of shots.

The limited-edition Tour Trusty is outfitted with a True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet BCT Cord grip. It carries a suggested retail price of $149.

For more information, visit www.cobragolf.com.

 

 
Cobra releases Rickie Fowler-stamped limited-edition Tour Trusty wedge
BLUNT USA
The BLUNT Golf_G2 golf umbrella will keep you and your equipment dry.
One of the most important pieces of equipment in a golfer’s bag is one they hope to rarely use --an umbrella.
 
But, when the time comes and Mother Nature decides to unleash her fury, you’d better be prepared. Nothing spoils a round of golf quicker than soaking wet grips.
 
Offering a new take on the traditional golf umbrella, a company called BLUNT USA has gone to extreme lengths to ensure that its new GOLF_G1 and GOLF_G2 umbrellas provide you with all the protection you need to stay dry.
 
BLUNT umbrellas can withstand winds up to 72 mph. And, let’s face it, if it’s ever windier than that chances are you won’t be on the course!
 
The most notable difference between a BLUNT umbrella and a traditional golf umbrella is the design, which was developed with input from caddie Steve Williams, the former caddie of Tiger Woods and current looper of Masters champion Adam Scott. 
 
While still round in shape, the BLUNT umbrella provides a better canopy than traditional umbrellas because its edges are smooth as opposed to the sharp spokes you're used to seeing on the traditional variety.
 
“What BLUNT has achieved is simply game-changing,” Williams said. “They have revolutionized a product that I have always had an issue with. During my 30+ years of caddying all over the world, I’ve experienced every possible weather condition and used many different umbrellas. You fight the wind to hold onto a normal umbrella. The difference with the BLUNT is that you don’t have to fight with it -- it’s effortless to control in the wind and lasts much longer than all other, so called, golf umbrellas.”
 
The GOLF_G1 is the ultimate performance golf umbrella for carrying around course. It provides a generous 60-inch diameter canopy on a 37-inch shaft, but weighs just 1.95lbs.
 
The GOLF_G2’s canopy is 4 inches larger in diameter with an extra 3 inches in shaft length. This creates the perfect shelter system for attaching to your golf cart, with enough coverage to keep you and your equipment dry, whatever the weather.
 
Both incorporate BLUNT’s revolutionary canopy-strengthening RTS Technology, which redirects, transfers and distributes the effort used in opening the umbrella throughout the entire canopy surface. As the BLUNT canopy unfurls, specially-designed struts redirect the user’s effort into telescopic ribs that reach out like fingers stretching into a glove. These transfer the opening force into the patented BLUNT TIPS on the end of each rib, which open like miniature umbrellas inside specially designed pockets. The result is that tension is evenly distributed right to the canopy’s edge.
 
The BLUNT GOLF_G2 also features Duel RTS, which incorporates additional tensioning struts to maintain ideal tautness across the larger canopy area.
 
Both are delivered with a sleek carrying sleeve for easy care, transport and storage.
 
The GOLF_G1 retails for $99.95, while the GOLF_G2 retails for $119.95.
 
For more information, visit www.bluntusa.com.
 
You can also visit Blunt Umbrellas on Facebook, or follow Blunt Umbrellas on Twitter, @BluntUSA.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
BLUNT USA offers new spin on golf umbrellas
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
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