Equipment

February 23, 2013 - 3:12pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Cobra AMP Cell iron
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
Red is just one of the accent colors available to help golfers create a personalized set of Cobra AMP Cell irons.

When it came to creating a set of irons to round out its new line of AMP Cell drivers, fairway clubs and hybrids, Cobra didn't hesitate to go bold. So, when choosing a set of AMP Cell irons, golfers can pick from four different accent shades, allowing them to color-match them with other AMP Cell clubs or create a personally mixed set. For traditionalists, silver irons are the stock option, while the other choices are the Vibrant Orange, Directoire Blue and Barbados Red that are also available in the AMP Cell drivers, fairways and hybrids.

Color choice isn't all the AMP Cell irons have going for them, though. They also feature a metalwood face-weld construction, E9 Face Technology and AMP Cell technology as well as a V-Skid sole design, vibration management system and speed channel to help provide enhanced distance, forgiveness and accuracy.

The AMP Cell 4- through 7-irons feature a metalwood construction with a thin, high-strength steel face that is welded to a softer 431 stainless steel body. This optimizes the irons, says Cobra, and helps to generate faster ball speeds for improved distance and forgiveness. E9 Face Technology helps to expand the sweet spot across nine spots on the face and improve distance, feel and forgiveness regardless of where on the face the ball is struck.

The internal cell weighting in the AMP Cell irons enables precise Center of Gravity placement, while the V-Skid sole combines a higher-bounce leading edge with heel-toe relief, resulting in a sole that is versatile for better players, yet forgiving for mid- and higher-handicappers. This works with the vibration management system to reduce unwanted impact shock and sound for exceptional feel.

The new irons (3-iron through lob wedge) come in right- and left-handed models in both steel and graphite shafts. Eight-piece sets (4-iron through gap wedge) carry a street price of $699 for the steel set and $899 for the graphite set. The steel irons feature True Temper Dynalite 90 shafts and the graphite irons use Cobra MRC AMP Cell shafts. All irons feature Lamkin REL .600 grips designed specifically for them.

February 22, 2013 - 8:13pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ping G25 driver
Courtesy of Ping Golf
The Ping G25 driver meets the USGA volume limit of 460cc and its face is even larger than that on the previous Ping G20 model.

The new G25 driver from Ping has something to help every from from PGA Tour players to everyday amateurs.

For starters, it's Ping's second adjustable model – golfers can add or subtract one-half degree of loft from the standard 8.5-, 9.5-, 10.5- and 12-degree settings to optimize your launch conditions. The adjustability resides in the hosels, and the changes are made using a lightweight titanium screw and aluminum hosel sleeve.

The 460cc titanium clubhead, says Ping, has the same diameter and mass as Ping's traditional fixed hosels, so the G25 provides benefits of adjustability without sacrificing the performance that can be lost with a larger, bulkier hosel. In fact, Ping calls the G25 its longest and most forgiving driver to date.

The face on the G25 is even larger than that on the G20 model that preceded it, and variable thickness across the face helps the ball jump at impact. The clubhead's thinner crown and a deeper profile allow Ping engineers to relocate the saved weight lower and farther back in the head to optimize its Center of Gravity position and enhance ball flight. Specifically, this head configuration helps produce a higher trajectory and more forgiveness on shots hit slightly off-center.

The G25 driver, which serves as the flagship of an entire line of fairway metals and irons, comes with a charcoal, non-glare matte finish. It carries a suggested retail price of $385.

February 18, 2013 - 8:40pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Adams Golf Speedline Super LS driver
Courtesy of Adams Golf

Adams Golf is billing its new Speedline Super LS driver as "easy to hit … easy to fit."

The Super LS is the first to contain Adams Golf's newest iteration of Velocity Slot Technology (VST) – essentially, it's a slot cut into the sole of the clubhead right behind the face that runs form the heel to the toe and flexes upon impact to increase ball speed and expand the sweet spot. The slot in the Super LS is deeper than those in other Adams clubs to increase the prime hitting area across the face and help generate even higher ball speed.

"The Super LS driver's combination of adjustability and performance makes the first shot off the tee the last thing the golfer needs to worry about," said Adams Golf Director of Product Development Justin Honea. "With the newly added VST, we have created a high performance driver with an extremely large sweet spot for maximum distance."

The Super LS also features Adams' Fast Fit fitting system, which gives golfers the ability to adjust the face angle, length and swing weight.

The driver features a Center of Gravity that is low and back on the sole to produce very low spin. In fact, Adams says, the Super LS is its lowest-spinning driver. It is topped off with a matte white crown with contrasting PVD face that reduces glare and makes the club easy to align.

The Super LS comes in lofts of 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees in right-handed models, and 9.5 and 10.5 degrees in left-handed models. It features a Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage shaft, and has a suggested retail price of $449.99. 

The driver is the flagship of a line of LS clubs that also includes fairway woods and hybrids.

"The Super LS product lineup is packed with a lot of technology," said Adams' Vice President of Research and Development Tim Reed. "The goal of the Super LS line was to provide golfers with clubs that give them exceptional performance in every category."

February 16, 2013 - 8:49pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 driver
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The clubface on the TaylorMade Stage 2 driver is even bigger than on the original edition, which makes the Stage 2 even easier to hit for golfers of every skill level.

No golf club created more of a sensation in 2012 than the RocketBallz driver from TaylorMade, so the 2013 introduction of its successor – called the RocketBallz Stage 2 – is a noteworthy event.

This new edition has a lower and more forward Center of Gravity, a more aerodynamic head shape and an expanded face that, TaylorMade says, all combine to generate up to nine more yards of distance for better players compared to the first-generation RBZ driver.

''It's hard to imagine bringing a driver to market that outperforms the original RocketBallz driver,'' said Todd Beach, TaylorMade's vice president of metalwoods research and development. ''Making the head of the RBZ Stage 2 driver more aerodynamic while also making the clubface larger was a tremendous challenge.''

Though not as adjustable as TaylorMade's flagship R1 driver, the RBZ Stage 2 has been updated to offer 12 different lofts, lie angles and face angles within the window of a 1.5-degree loft adjustment. It also includes a Thick-thin Crown design in which various portions of the crown range from 0.6 to 0.4 millimeter thick, saving three grams of weight as compared to the crowns of the 2012 R11S and RocketBallz Tour drivers.

When creating the R11 driver a few years ago, TaylorMade engineers discovered that a low-and-forward Center of Gravity location helps promote faster ball speed and a higher launch angle, both of which promote more distance. The RBZ Stage 2 Tour driver incorporates a CG location that's lower and more forward than the first-generation RBZ, and it also includes TaylorMade's Inverted Cone Technology in which an inverted cone is milled into the inner side of the clubface to expand the sweet spot and help improve the result of off-center hits.

One of the primary characteristics of the original RocketBallz driver was what TaylorMade calls its ''large address footprint,'' and that footprint is even bigger this time around. The new clubface is even larger and deeper, encompassing 4,100 square millimeters. This, the company says, makes the Stage 2 even easier to hit for golfers of every skill level.

The Stage 2 driver comes standard with a 50-gram Fujikura RocketFuel shaft and a light grip that keeps the club under 300 grams of total weight. That, along with balancing the club to a slightly higher swing weight, allows the RBZ Stage 2 driver to promote faster swing speed for most golfers. And the lightweight characteristics of the shaft coupled with the head's mass properties work together to create a moderate draw bias.

One other interesting thing to note about the Stage 2 is its crown graphics. The head is white with a black face, like several other modern TaylorMade models, but the crown has black, gold and gray graphics even more complex than the gray and orange graphics on the R1 driver. To create these graphics, TaylorMade used its MAT-T (Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade) System to study how most golfers look down at their drivers and fairway clubs, and used a computer program to design the graphics to serve as an alignment aid.

There is also a Stage 2 Tour model, which has an even lower and more forward Center of Gravity and a stock Matrix 6Q3 shaft to promote a more penetrating ball flight. The standard Stage 2 carries a suggested retail price of $299, while the Tour version retails for $349.

February 15, 2013 - 7:22pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Cleveland 588 MT iron
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf
The clubhead length is constant throughout the Cleveland 588 MT iron set, but the height of the face increases progressively in the higher-lofted clubs to make those clubs more useful in getting the ball up in the air.

The new 588 MT Irons from Cleveland Golf get their name from their flight pattern – the MT stands for mid-trajectory.

Engineered to product a medium-height ball flight, the 588 MT iron set blends long irons made especially to be easy to hit with more traditional short irons. The clubhead length is constant throughout the set, but the height of the face increases progressively in the higher-lofted clubs to make those clubs more useful in getting the ball up in the air.

The MT irons feature Cleveland’s Full Hollow Construction in which each clubhead is essentially hollow but includes advanced internal weighting to promote forgiveness on off-center hits and help get the ball up in the air as easily as possible.

Every iron has a forged clubface to enhance ball speed, and a multi-material insert of polymer and aluminum behind the face dampens vibration at impact for more consistent feel.

Also, the 588 MT irons can be easily interchanged with the 588 Tour Trajectory (TT) irons and 588 Altitude irons to customize a set with the preferred combination of ball flight, feel and forgiveness.

The standard MT set includes a 4-iron through ''D'' wedge (a D wedge is a 50-degree wedge that works both a pitching wedge and sand wedge), though a 3-iron and standard sand wedge are also available.

 

February 12, 2013 - 7:36pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Odyssey White Hot Pro putters
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The face of the new White Hot Pro putters from Odyssey Golf features an upgraded insert, wwhile the sole includes a series of dashes to be used with the new EyeFit fitting system.

Odyssey putters with a White Hot insert claimed more than 30 victories on tours around the world in 2012, so the company has expanded its White Hot offerings.

The new line of White Hot Pro flat sticks represents the next step in Odyssey's development of putter face inserts, as these new ones are better formed to match the shapes of the faces on which they’re installed. This is done, Odyssey says, with a new laser milling cutting process that helps make the inserts fit more perfectly and provide more consistent sound, feel and reaction across the face.

"The White Hot insert was pivotal in catapulting Odyssey to No. 1 in wins, top-10s and usage across the world's professional tours,'' said Odyssey Golf Principal Designer Austie Rollinson. ''At Odyssey, we are always striving to give the elite and amateur golfer more ways to sink putts more often, so we took our most popular insert on tour and engineered it for better overall performance and consistency. The result is the White Hot Pro line of Odyssey putters.''

A full line of styles is available, including Odyssey's #1, #7, #5, #2 Center Shaft, #9, 2-Ball, D.A.R.T. and Rossie. The Odyssey team also has developed new head shapes for 2013, including a high MOI mallet – with a modified High Definition alignment system called V-Line – and a smaller version of the D.A.R.T. putter called D.A.R.T. Mini.

The White Hot Pro D.A.R.T. and D.A.R.T Mini models, along with the 2-Ball – which, incidentally, is Odyssey's best-selling model – feature an adjustable weighting system that allows golfers to change the headweight of the standard-length putter from 350 grams to 360 or 370 grams. The weights and a wrench are included in the headcover for these models.

All the new White Hot Pro putters come with a Gun Metal PVD finish that creates a non-glare look. These new putters carry a suggested retail price starting at $129.99 for most models. The 2-ball and D.A.R.T. puttersretail for $179.99, while belly and long models of the 2-Ball and CS mallet retail for $189.99.

And in conjunction with the release of the White Hot Pro putter line, Odyssey has introduced a new retail fitting system called EyeFit that helps golfers select a proper head shape based on their general setup to the ball. EyeFit is based on the premise that your set-up dictates the shape of your putting stroke, and uses mirrors to help you see where your eyes set up to the ball.

The closer a golfer is to the ball (eyes over the ball), the more likely he will have a straight back-straight through stroke, Odyssey says, while the farther away a golfer is from the ball, the more likely he will have an arced stroke. Each White Hot Pro putter has a series of dashes on its sole that correlate to the fitting system. Odyssey’s new Versa line of putters features the EyeFit fitting system as well.

 

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