Equipment

February 10, 2014 - 9:06pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Adams Golf XTD irons
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The Adams Golf XTD irons have a thinner topline, as well as a cross cavity that runs from the top of the sole to the bottom and is enclosed by an X-shaped piece of metal that helps to redistribute weight to the rear of the head.
We've all seen muscleback irons and cavityback irons. In pursuing improved distance and forgiveness in its new XTD irons, Adams Golf has come up with a cross-cavity design. 
 
This cross cavity – a cavity that runs from the top of the sole to the bottom and is enclosed by an X-shaped piece of metal – helps to redistribute weight to the rear of the head, which was a priority of Adams engineers. This, the company says, helps get the ball in the air faster and stabilizes the club at impact, especially on off-center strikes. 
 
It also helps to generate a ''gear effect'' – essentially a corrective spin to straighten off-center hits. In fact, Adams says, the gear effect that the new XTD irons produce is comparable to that usually found in a hybrid.
 
In addition, these new irons contain the Cut-Thru velocity slots that the company has implemented in several of its other new clubs. These slots give the thin face more ability to flex – and therefore provide more ball speed to generate extra distance. Adams' parent company, TaylorMade, of course, has implemented slots in such irons as its Tour Preferred and JetSpeed models.
 
 
''As opposed to the standard practice of strengthening irons lofts, we're providing distance while retaining optimal ball flight,'' said Senior Director of Research and Development Justin Honea. ''By integrating thinner faces and Cut-Thru Slot technology into irons, we're making it much easier for players to produce higher, longer, straighter and more consistent shots.''
 
Adams also improved the alignment aids on the new irons. The topline is thinner than previous models, and framed scorelines include a polished finish to set the club on its correct line at address. After contact, a pressure piston dramatically decreases vibration, while direct pressure on the back of the face produces a crisp sound.
 
The new XTD irons are designed for players of all skill levels, but Adams stresses that better players can get as much out of them as mid-handicappers. They will be available at retail on March 28, with a seven-club (4-iron through pitching wedge) carrying a suggested retail price of $599.99 with stock KBS Tour 90 steel shafts. Aldila graphite shafts can be included for an extra $100.
 
For more information, visit www.AdamsGolf.com.
 
Adams Golf unveils XTD irons with Cross-Cavity Technology
February 2, 2014 - 2:58pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Birdie Box
Courtesy of Birdie Box
Birdie Box will deliver, each month, a personalized box of golf-themed goodies to you or your favorite golfer.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the ninth one:
 
Surely you're familiar with the Fruit of the Month Club. You sign up, and each month you receive a different kind of fruit depending on what you want and what's in season. There are a numbers of variations on the concept, from Pajamas of the Month to Teddy Bear of the Month to Gourmet Jerky of the Month.
 
And now, there's Birdie Box, a subscription club just for golfers.
 
The concept is simple. You buy a subscription – for one month, three months, six months or a year – for yourself, your favorite golfer or maybe a business colleague. In return, your recipient gets a box filled with different golf-themed goodies for each month of the subscription.
 
In each box, the company says, is a mix of the hottest golf, lifestyle and nutritional items that could be anything from balls and tees to wines and cigars to shirts and caps. The product mix will vary from month to month, but each box is guaranteed to contain products valued at $100 or more. 
 
Each box is created especially for each user, based on preferences they list in their profile and feedback from previous boxes. But the content of each box is surprise until it's opened – and that's the fun part. 
 
Subscriptions run from $44.95 for one month up to $500 for a year's worth of monthly boxes, and there are separate subscriptions available for men and women. In addition, Birdie Box has created a ''First Major'' box filled with goodies celebrating the first major of the year and scheduled to arrive in early April, and other boxes for the other majors and holidays like Father's Day are also in the works.
 
For more information, check out www.BirdieBox.com.
 
Previously:
 
PGA Show Spotlight: Birdie Box gift boxes
February 1, 2014 - 7:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Adams Golf Tight Lies fairway woods
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The new Tight Lies fairway woods from Adams Golf contains the originals' low-profile face along with new-generation slanted slots cut into the crown and sole.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the eighth one:
 
The second half of 2013 saw the return of several venerable brands of golf equipment, few more eagerly welcomed among club aficionados than Tight Lies fairway woods from Adams Golf. The original Tight Lies, which debuted in the mid-1990s, were revolutionary for their ''upside down'' head shape that made getting the ball up in the air easy.
 
Since then, of course, drivers have gotten significantly larger, and fairway woods have followed suit – many of today's fairway woods have heads as large as the drivers of a generation ago. And while they're great for hitting off the tee or good lies, their larger heads make them more challenging to hit well from the rough or a waste bunker or anywhere else that has less-than-perfect turf conditions. 
 
This development created a perfect opening for the reintroduction of Tight Lies fairway clubs and now, almost two decades after the originals debuted, Adams has reinvented its most famous and successful stick. The new Tight Lies fairway clubs feature a modernized version of the ''upside down'' head shape, and boast a significant improvement in generating ball speed and, therefore, distance, while maintaining the low profile and shallow face that made the original models so distinctive.
 
The heads of Tight Lies clubs were always smaller and lighter than most of their competitors, and Adams' engineers have thinned away even more weight in the new versions by carving slots in both the crowns and soles. Some other recent Adams clubs also contain this Cut Sole technology, but the slots in the new Tight Lies heads are slanted back toward the face to enhance the spring off the face on both pure and mishit shots.
 
In fact, Adams says, the new Tight Lies clubs provide as much as 10 percent more firepower off the face than recent clubs. That means that the new clubs can maintain their low and deep center of gravity – which helps get the ball up in the air – without losing much oomph. They also boast the tri-sole design from the original to reduce the amount of turf interaction during the shot.
 
The standard Tight Lies fairway club comes in 14-, 16-, 19- and 22-degree versions (essentially 3-woods to 7-woods), while the Tour model comes in 14.5- and 18-degree editions. The standard models carry a suggested retail price of $199.99, while the Tour clubs go for $229.99. They're available at select retailers and at www.Adamsgolf.com.
 
Previously:
 
PGA Show Spotlight: Tight Lies fairway woods from Adams Golf
January 31, 2014 - 6:35pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Nevr Looz golf bags
Courtesy of Nevr Looz
The Nevr Looz golf bags prevent your clubs from spilling, even when turned upside down.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the seventh one:
 
There were golf bags almost from end to end of the Show floor at the PGA Merchandise Show, but there was no mistaking the ProClip-SCT golf bags from Nevr Looz.
 
At first glance, they look unfinished, like somebody forgot to put the skin on the skeleton. Upon closer inspection, though, it's clear that these bags – there are both cart and carry models – are unlike any other. 
 
As you can tell by the company name, these bags are designed to help prevent golfers from losing their clubs. They accomplish this with Nevr Looz’s Pro-Clip technology, which uses 15 Club Clips to keep your clubheads securely in place, even when the bag is turned upside down. And while the clubs are secured, they're not completely enclosed from shaft to head – as you can see, the bags' ''open style'' make the clubs more accessible than ever.
 
The bags in the Nevr Looz collection are made of durable nylon and weigh in at 4 ½ pounds. They've got nine front-facing or side pickets along with a cooler pocket, velour-lined valuables pocket and a full-length pocket. They also come with putter tubes, padded straps, umbrella holders, towel clips and rain hoods.
 
These bags are available at www.NevrLooz.com and carry a suggested retail price of $249.
 
Previously:
 
PGA Show Spotlight: ProClip-SCT golf bags from Nevr Looz
January 30, 2014 - 8:38pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf balls
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The Tour Preferred (l) and tour Preferred X golf balls take over as TaylorMade's flagship models.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the sixth one:
 
A lot of us in the golf industry got our first look at the new Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X golf balls from TaylorMade at the PGA Merchandise Show last week.
 
So, you ask, are they any good? 
 
Well, TaylorMade replied with an emphatic yes last weekend, when Sergio Garcia won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and Jessica Korda won the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic with Tour Preferred X balls. That gave TaylorMade wins in two of the three big events played around the globe last week.
 
I'd say that's not a bad debut, except that Garcia also used a Tour Preferred X to win the Thailand Golf Championship in December. But you get the point. 
 
''Golf ball innovation doesn't just happen overnight. Rather, it is a series of ongoing conversation with our Tour players,'' said Dean Snell, TaylorMade's vice president of golf ball R&D. ''These conversations have led to the introduction of breakthrough technologies including low drag aerodynamics for ultimate wind resistance, a five-layer construction for superior control throughout the club set and now our softest and most durable cover.''
 
 
These two new spheres take over as the flagship balls in the TaylorMade line, and the company calls them tour-caliber balls that provide complete tee-to-green performance. As a result, they say, they expect most of their staff players to join Garcia and Korda in switching to them over the next few months.
 
One new technology in the new balls is what TaylorMade calls Soft Tech, the company's softest and most durable cover to date. Made of a cast urethane, the new cover provides an even softer feel around the greens than previous TaylorMade offerings. The Soft Tech cover also lasts longer and will provide higher resistance to shearing, while the 322-dimple pattern is designed to minimize distance loss on low-spin shots and maintain a penetrating ball flight into the wind.
 
Inside both models is a REACT Core for greater ball speed on all shots, along with a Spin Mantle designed to deliver precise and consistent spin rates on shots throughout the bag. What separates the two models from each other is their spin characteristics.
 
The Tour Preferred is designed for players looking for more spin in their mid- to long-iron shots. This additional spin also will promote a higher trajectory on approach shots. The Tour Preferred X generates less spin and a more boring trajectory.
 
Both the Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X will be available at retail on March 1 with a suggested retail price of $45.99 per dozen. 
 
Previously:
 
PGA Show Spotlight: Tour Preferred golf balls from TaylorMade
January 30, 2014 - 6:36pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Wilson golf bags and Odyssey putter covers
Courtesy of Wilson Golf and Odyssey Golf
Wilson Golf is marking the Phoenix Open with some retro golf bags, while Odyssey has come out with eco-friendly putter covers.
If you can tear your eyes away from all the fun at the wacky 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale, there are a couple of interesting things to keep a look out for at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
 
First off, Odyssey has created special putter covers that reflect the tournament's green spirit – in fact, the exterior of the covers is made of recycled material, and the brown color was inspired by paper grocery bags. The inspiration, according to Scott Goryl of Odyssey parent Callaway, is Waste Management's push to create a greener, more sustainable world.
 
The covers, for both mallets and blades, will be found on the putters of several Odyssey staff players. Only about 100 were produced and none will be sold at retail, though Odyssey is giving a few away via social media.
 
Also, Wilson Golf is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and is marking the big occasion this week by outfitting its staff players with retro golf bags styled after those that its ambassadors – including Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead – used during the company's glory days. The red and white bags also feature the vintage Wilson Staff shield and retro branding.
 
Padraig Harrington, Kevin Streelman, Ricky Barnes and Jim Herman are using the bags in Phoenix, while Paul Lawrie, Anthony Wall and Marcel Siem are doing the same at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The Wilson Staff ambassadors are expected to use the bags for most of the year as well.
 
Here is a better look at the bags and covers, courtesy of Wilson's and Odyssey's Twitter account:
 
 
Odyssey and Wilson roll out special gear for Phoenix Open
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