Equipment

Padraig Harrington
Getty Images
Padraig Harrington used a regulation-length putter as recently as the Masters, but put a long model into play on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Few people tinker with their games more than Padraig Harrington – this is the guy, after all, who won three majors and then decided to rebuild his swing. And this year, of course, he has begun to wear eyeglasses on the course.

On Thursday, though, Harrington did something few would have expected – he used a long putter in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship.

Why is this a big deal? Here's the scoop from Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press:

Padraig Harrington will try anything that makes him play better golf, even a method of putting he believes should be outlawed. 
 
Despite his support of a proposed rule that would ban anchored strokes, Harrington switched to the belly putter Thursday in the Wells Fargo Championship. It didn't appear to help him much -- he made only one birdie in a round of 80 -- but he plans to stick with it. 
 
"I took it out last week, and mechanically, everything I do with my putting stroke is better with the belly putter than without it," he said. 
 
Harrington is a "Working for Golf" ambassador for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, which along with the U.S. Golf Association proposed the new rule last November that would ban the anchored stroke. [The PGA of America and the PGA Tour have spoken out against the proposed rule.] A final ruling is expected by the end of the month. 
 
Switching to the belly putter hasn't changed Harrington's mind. He still thinks it should be banned. Then again, this is an Irishman who wears glasses even though he has 20/20 vision. 
 
Harrington, though, was quick to point out that it's within the rules at the moment, and will be until 2016 even if the governing bodies adopt the proposed rule on anchoring. 
 
"If something is going to help me for the next three years, I'm going to use it," he said. "It's the same as the box grooves. It's hurt me deeply having the box grooves banned, but I knew it wasn't for the good of my game. It was the good of their game." 
 
Harrington has only one official win since the last of his three majors in the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. He has struggled mightily with his putting, and in recent months has been using "SAM PuttLab," which analyzes 28 parameters of the putting stroke. 
 
"I've been working on that for a good while, and my putting stroke has been coming around," Harrington said. "I was bored last Monday and I was like, `Oh, I wonder what that looks like.' And I was surprised to see everything was better. In terms of mechanics, it was a far better stroke." 
 
He used the belly putter in his pro-am round Wednesday and said it went great. 
 
"It wasn't very good today, but I will use it again tomorrow, no doubt," he said. "I just wasn't quite as comfortable, which I kind of knew was coming. The grip of my normal putter is open and the grip of this is square, so I'm not quite used to it yet. There was a bit of resetting when I was over the ball, which, obviously I prefer not to have. But that's just familiarity. It will be interesting to give it another go tomorrow." 
 
Four of the last six major champions have used an anchored putting stroke, starting with Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship and the most recent Adam Scott at the Masters, using his broom-handled putter. 
 
Harrington compared the anchored stroke to the change in box grooves, or square grooves, in the 5-iron through wedges. Changes to the dimensions of those grooves went into effect in 2012, and the Irishman said it affected his game. He believes it has cost him at least one shot per round because he hasn't adjusted to the change.
 
Harrington said last year after the British Open -- won by Ernie Els, who used a belly putter -- that he hoped the R&A didn't wait until he was 50 to outlaw anchoring. 
 
Now, he might be on borrowed time. The 41-year-old figures he'll be more competitive before 2016 than after the ban might take effect. 
 
"It's not such a big issue," he said. "But then again, I might use it for the next three years. As I said, I have no problem using something within the rules of the game. If somebody wants to give me a couple of shots handicap, I'll take that, too." 
 
No one was more surprised than Harrington that he went to the belly putter. He messed around with it in recent years and never liked how it felt. Only when he saw the results from his putting analysis did he decide it was worth a shot. 
 
"That encouraged me to get over the `I don't like the feel of this' because I accelerate better, and I do so many things better with it," he said. "Before it was a feel thing. Now I'm saying, `Well, I can get through the feel thing.' If it's going to be a better putting stroke, why not?" 
 
 
Padraig Harrington switches to long putter
World Golf Hall of Fame, Fred Couples
Ashworth Golf
Here is a sneak peak at the limited-edition golf shirt Ashworth Golf will be releasing in honor of Fred Couples' induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

 

On Monday, May 6, the eyes of the golf world will be focused on St. Augustine, Fla., where the induction ceremony will take place for the 2013 class of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
Among those being inducted is everyone's favorite golfer (right?), Fred Couples.
 
To honor Freddie's induction, Ashworth Golf is releasing a commemorative, limited-edition golf shirt featuring Couples' favorite elements.
 
Ashworth Golf provides the details in this press release:
 
CARLSBAD, Calif. (May 2, 2013) – Ashworth Golf, an authentic golf brand dedicated to bringing modern style to the golf course, has announced the release of a new, limited edition golf shirt called the Fred Couples Signature shirt – 300 individually-numbered pieces designed to commemorate Couples’ induction into the World Golf Hall Of Fame on May 6 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL.
 
One of the game’s most popular players, Fred Couples is most recognizable for his laid-back, picturesque style both on and off the course. He has worn Ashworth on the professional stage since the brand’s inception 25 years ago and has always played a big role in the brand’s advertising. His celebrated career thus far includes 15 PGA Tour Wins, eight Champions Tour wins, a member of five Ryder Cup teams and four Presidents Cup teams. He won the Masters in 1992 and went on to captain the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team in 2009 and 2011, and will once again lead the Americans at Muirfield at the 2013 Presidents Cup.
 
“When you think of Ashworth, you immediately think style and of course Fred Couples,” said Susan Bush, VP of Ashworth Apparel. “We are very excited for Fred to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and are extremely honored to create a special shirt that truly reflects his personality and favorite elements.”
 
Each shirt in the Fred Couples Edition collection will be uniquely numbered inside the placket, with Fred receiving the first 1/300. The shirts are in Fred’s favorite color of blue (azure) and feature double-knit, EZ-TEC2 performance fabric, which is his go-to for performance fabric.  Also exclusive to each shirt is Fred’s signature in green on the inside back neck and green thread on the top button of the placket to pay tribute to his 1992 win at the Masters.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Ashworth Golf to release commerative, limited-edition shirt in honor of Fred Couples
Bonobos, Maide Golf
Maide Golf
Maide Golf by Bonobos is a hip new apparel line great for on or off the golf course.

 

As is usually the case, I was spoiled with loads of great gifts for my recent birthday by my loving family.
 
My sister and her husband got me a pair of khaki pants by a company out of New York called, "Bonobos."
 
I liked the pants so much that I went on the company's website a few days later and was delighted to see it had just launched a new line of golf apparel called, "Maide."
 
The hip, casual look of the Maide brand is perfect for the younger crowd on or off the golf course with offerings that include pants, shorts, polo shirts, sweaters and t-shirts.
 
I was intrigued, so I did a little more research.
 
Here's the press release sent out by Bonobos introducing Maide: 
 
Bonobos Inc. (www.bonobos.com), the apparel brand renowned for great fitting clothes, excellent customer service and a fun approach to menswear, announces the launch of Maide golf apparel, available at www.maidegolf.com starting today.
 
The first brand incubated by Bonobos since the debut of their namesake brand in 2007, Maide, which is the Gaelic word for “club,” blends golf’s traditional fashion with modern silhouettes and fabrication to create the first contemporary heritage golf brand.
 
“There’s an authentic passion for the game of golf among members of our company that inspired this product. Like Bonobos, Maide was launched to fill a void in the marketplace; it’s the answer to what we see missing in the golf world as it relates to fit, style and functionality,” states Andy Dunn, CEO and founder of Bonobos Inc. “It’s our intention to deliver the same quality and service that Bonobos’ customers have come to know and expect while entering into a new venture that we hope will redefine the golf apparel category in a big way.”
 
“Maide is for the golfer looking for classic golf style with a modern fabrication,” says Kevin Kelleher, Brand Lead for Maide. “Many mass brands miss the fit component of clothes, while others nail functionality but with an extreme sport look. We are bringing back the lifestyle element to golf apparel, striking the perfect balance of style and performance. We strived to create a brand that is understandable in that it blends the modernity of functional fabrics with a look inspired by the game’s greatest players from years past.”
 
Maide debuts with a Spring & Summer (SS13) collection consisting of pants, shorts, polos, knits, sweaters, and branded accessories. All Maide apparel has a stylish aesthetic that incorporates Bonobos’ famous better-fit design and signature pop detailing, but it is also functional and constructed specifically for the sport.
 
With a curved waistband, tailored thigh, and a shortened rise, Maide golf pants ($108) and shorts ($88) provide a made-to-order look off-the-rack in athletic-wear. Available in six color-ways from basics (grey, black, khaki, navy, and white) to bolds (green and red), Maide bottoms feature contrast embroidery of the brand’s trademark script “M”, contrast back pockets, and a scorecard design on the interior pant pocket liner. Maide bottoms are constructed with performance poly fabric that is breathable, and also include a gel waistband inset to keep shirts tucked. Pants have a zipper at the hem for a clean break over golf shoes while shorts have a comfortable and performance-appropriate ten-inch inseam.
 
SS13 knits include eight short-sleeve polos ($78) in a poly-cotton blend that wicks away moisture. Polos are available in five solid colors (black, navy, red, khaki and white) and three novelty striped polos ($88). Keeping in swing with blending lifestyle with function, Maide’s SS13 includes three jersey cotton graphic tee shirts ($38) including a white and grey shirt with “Maide Country Club” screen-print on a retro front pocket, a grey tee with “Sunday Swinger” screen-print, and a white and grey shirt stating “Let’s Par Tee.”
 
Sweater offerings include classic cuts and patterns inspired by legendary golf icons who influenced the style of the game. Cotton V-neck sweaters ($78) in two solids colors (dark cobalt blue and yellow) and an engineered striped sweater ($88) in navy with fuchsia are versatile pieces that work on and off the course. A novelty cardigan ($88) in navy with multi-color stripes rounds out the category with form and function. Signature elements are carried throughout the category with a contemporary take on retro detailing such as the embroidered brand logo on the cuff of the sleeve.
 
Maide apparel is available at www.maidegolf.com which offers free shipping and a 365-day return policy. The brand is also available to try on in person at Bonobos’ owned and operated e-commerce showrooms, called Guideshops, currently located in five cities across the country. To experience Maide in person visit www.bonobos.com/guides for a fitting appointment.
 
ABOUT MAIDE: Maide is a contemporary heritage golf apparel brand focused on delivering performance clothing with great fit, style, and functionality. The brand, which launched in March 2013 by parent company Bonobos, Inc., offers a full assortment of apparel for golfers including pants, shorts, polos, sweaters and tee shirts. Maide, which comes from the Gaelic word “club,” evokes the classic style of the old-world golfer but is designed with thoughtful functionality and a modern silhouette for contemporary players. For more information visit www.maidegolf.com.
 
ABOUT BONOBOS: Bonobos is an e-commerce-driven clothing brand focused on delivering great fit, a fun approach to style, and superb customer experience. Launched in 2007 on the Internet with better- fitting men's pants, Bonobos is now the largest apparel brand ever built on the web in the United States. In 2011 Bonobos extended offline, launching e-commerce showrooms called Guideshops, tobring personalized, one-to-one service to those wanting to experience the brand in-person. In 2012, Bonobos expanded its distribution to a partnership with Nordstrom, offering Bonobos apparel at select doors nationwide and to Nordstrom.com. Across channels, Bonobos is focused on delivering a well-targeted brand promise: world-class fit, an innovative and easy shopping experience and an energetic brand spirit. Bonobos was named “One of America’s Hottest Brands” by Advertising Age, “Best Men’s Pants” by New York Magazine, one of Inc. Magazine’s “20 Awesome Facebook Pages” and was awarded Crain’s “Best Places to Work in New York City”. Visit www.bonobos.com.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Bonobos launches Maide Golf, a hip, new apparel line
COBRA AMP CELL junior driver
COBRA
The COBRA AMP CELL junior driver.

 

No one can deny the influence that PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler -- who is defending his title this week at the Wells Fargo Championship -- has had on junior golfers.
 
It seems every course you go to these days, there are little Rickie Fowler imposters.
 
Now, thanks to COBRA, not only can the children who idolize Fowler dress like him -- they can also use clubs similar to his.
 
Today, COBRA announced the release of its new AMP CELL junior driver in a press release:
 
CARLSBAD, CA (May 1st, 2013) – Junior golfers, it’s time to get excited. COBRA has announced a Junior version of the driver Rickie Fowler plays on Tour, the AMP CELL Junior Driver. This Driver features the same game-changing technology that Rickie has, including MyFlyTM, SmartPadTM and CELL weighting – and it comes in Vibrant Orange. Besides the higher lofts in the youth version, the head of the AMP CELL Junior Driver is the same engineered settings as the adult driver. The best part? The Driver grows with you. Junior golfers can register their purchased driver and receive one free upgrade to a longer, firmer shaft when needed, even if it is the standard adult AMP CELL Fujikura Fuel shaft. 
 
“The AMP CELL Junior Driver brings COBRA into a new category in golf,” commented Bob Philion, President of COBRA PUMA GOLF.  “While Rickie bridges the generation gap, there’s no question a lot of youth golfers look up to him as a role model. We felt it was time to deliver the same, high performance technology and ‘Rickie Fowler’ look to the Junior golfers out there. It’s important to recognize the need for their game development, which ultimately leads to growing the game.” 
 
MyFly Technology offers a simple solution for golfers to optimize trajectory and distance. Junior golfers will be able to easily adjust their loft as their game and swing develop. The AMP CELL Junior Driver can be adjusted to the following lofts with a simple wrench; 11.5°, 12.5°, 12.5° Draw, 13.5°, 13.5° Draw and 14.5°.  The higher loft offerings deliver higher launch and lower spin for optimized launch conditions for the average youth swing speeds. This ultimately provides more distance than junior golfers using an adult driver or cut down shafts would see. The AMP CELL Junior Driver takes adjustability a step further with SmartPad technology. Unlike other drivers that require a golfer to adjust the sole plate after adjusting loft for a square face, COBRA’s proprietary SmartPad technology delivers a square face at address regardless of loft setting and still allows for workability to slightly open or close the face as desired.   
 
The AMP CELL Junior Driver is sold with a 39”, 41” or 43” Fujikura Fuel shaft. By registering your purchased AMP CELL Junior Driver, golfers can get one free upgrade to one of the longer, firmer models when it’s time. 
 
COBRA’s E9 Face TechnologyTM with dual roll is used in the AMP CELL Junior Driver for an elliptical face shape with a canted bulge and roll that improves distance and accuracy on mis-hits from heel to toe and above and below the centerline. Advanced Material PlacementTM and CELLtechnology work together to enable a 12% larger elliptical E9 Face shape to deliver faster ball speeds and high MOI (moment of inertia) on mis-hits. The CELL technology saves and redistributes weight in a granular way and is visible on the drivers in the CELLband which wraps around to the crown. This wrap also visibly shows a golfer where the weight is distributed. 
 
The COBRA AMP CELL Junior Driver (MAP $299) is available in right handed models with MyFly technology, allowing any driver you purchase to be adjusted from 11.5° to 14.5° loft settings, including 12.5° and 13.5° Draw settings. It features a Fujikura Fuel shaft (universal youth flex) with a 460cc head and COBRA Lamkin REL 3GEN 360 grip. 
 
The AMP CELL Junior Driver will be available at Golfsmtih and golf retailers on May 1st, 2013. To find an authorized COBRA dealer near you, visit http://cobragolf.com/dealer-locator
COBRA releases AMP CELL junior driver
April 30, 2013 - 10:19pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Putter Wheel
The simplicity and the effectiveness of Putter Wheel makes it a great fit for all golfers.

 

Several times per week, I am contacted by someone who has the "next great ______" in golf. From high-tech swing analyzers to the latest, greatest app - there is no shortage in my inbox (or closet) of the ultimate game-changer for the everyday golfer. In truth, though I don't think I've come across too many 'bad' products, I haven't really found too many that I'd adopt for my practice sessions. Until now. 
 
I was recently introduced to the Putter Wheel by a friend - it's a new putting aid that could become one of the best and most innovative products to come along in a long while. The idea actually is very simple and basic; maybe too simple and basic I thought. I mean, a pseudo ball that wobbled if not struck with the proper face angle and path; who couldn't think of that?  No one apparently. Well, someone finally did - and I'm really glad for it. 
 
This putting aid is designed to train your stroke, instill better confidence via enhanced visualization and even includes a special alignment marking tool for your ball for when you are out playing on the course. The weight and feel are very much like a golf ball - but the roll is fully a tool for instruction feedback. It is small enough to fit into your pocket, much less your golf bag, and it's so elementary, you do not need instructions (though they are included) to start utilizing right away.
 
But in truth, I don't REALLY care how it looks, how it acts, or even the feedback it provides. There's only one question that matters at all. Does it work for my game?
 
I'm a pretty good putter - streaky like most - but certainly a better short game player than ball striker. That said, I'll know pretty quick if a putting aid actually improves my stroke. And that's why we buy these anyways, right?
 
I stopped by a local course recently with a Putter Wheel and headed directly to the practice green. First, I spent about 20 minutes just practicing as I always do. Felt pretty good I thought. Took 10 putts from about ten feet. Made six of them. That's solid, right? Then I pulled out the Putter Wheel and practiced with it. My stroke was apparently not as good as I thought. The Putter Wheel wobbled immediatley off my stroke. Something was amiss. I focused on a stroke that would get a better roll.  I found it after about ten minutes.  I tried my 10 putt drill again.  I made 8. But even more, my stroke was more pure. The 'hit' felt right. I could definitely take that stroke on the course and shoot lower scores. Most people agree that confidence is a huge part of putting. This item will increase that tenfold for me.
 
So yes, it's small and easily portable. It's a good price point. And I really think it's going to make me a better putter. Also, I really think it's going to make me a better putter. (I know I said that, but it's worth repeating because it's the main point of any instructional aid, right?)
 
It's a new product, and I get the feeling in time you're going to hear a great deal about it from many teaching, and even playing, professionals. But in the meantime, it'd be worth your while to check it out and be one of the first to employ it to help your game. When you're staring down that next crucial eight-footer on 18, you'll be glad you did. 
 
Putter Wheel could get your putting on track
Adams Golf Idea Super DHy driving hybrid
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The Adams Idea Super DHy driving hybrid is shaped like an iron and contains Adams' Velocity Slot Technology on the sole to help provide higher ball speeds.

Given the vast array of drivers, fairway clubs, hybrids and irons in the Adams Golf arsenal, it might seem like there's no room for anything else. Ah, but there is.

Adams has unveiled the Idea Super DHy – a driving hybrid for low- to mid-handicap players.

Merging the unique attributes of a hybrid and a traditional long iron, Adams says the Idea Super DHy is designed to provide the extra distance and forgiveness of a hybrid along with the shot-shaping control and workability of a long iron.

''We set out to design this club as an easier-to-hit alternative to most of the utility clubs on the market,'' said Director of Global Product Management Michael Fox. ''Tour players consistently rave about its versatility and how ideally it launches the ball, with several asking if we can make them a full set of DHy irons.''

The heads of the DHy hybrids are shaped somewhat similarly to muscleback irons, and contain Adams' Velocity Slot Technology (VST) – a slot cut into the sole to give the face more flex and provide higher ball speed. This effect is enhanced by an ultra-thin, maraging steel face.

In addition, the DHy hybrids feature bulge and roll face technology, which isn't found in any other utility clubs or driving irons, to improve forgiveness and shot dispersion. 

The Idea Super DHy comes in lofts of 18, 21, 24 and 27 degrees in right-handed models, and 18, 21 and 24 degrees in left-handed models. The standard shaft is the Matrix OZIK hX3 White Tie shaft in R, S and X flex. The club will be available at retail on May 15, and carry a suggested retail price of $199.99 per club.

Also launching the same day is the Idea Super 9031 hybrid, which boasts a Cut-Thru sole slot with a refined crown slot for faster ball speeds compared to non-slotted hybrids and traditional long irons. Its ultra-thin 455 stainless steel clubface produces a trampoline effect approaching the USGA limit.

The Idea Super 9031 hybrid comes with a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 82-gram shaft (R, S and X flex) and offers lofts of 16, 18, 20 and 23 degrees in right-handed models. Lefties have the option of 18- and 20-degree models, and these clubs carry a suggested retail price of $199.99 per club.

For more information on Adams clubs, visit www.adamsgolf.com or see the Adams brand pages on PGA.com

 

Adams adds Idea Super DHy driving hybrid
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