Equipment

April 3, 2013 - 9:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Mizuno JPX
Mizuno Golf
The new Mizuno JPX game-improvement irons were built to help the Average Joe play like a pro.

 

Mizuno has long been a brand name associated with only the most elite golfers. 
 
Though that may be the perception, it's not actually true. With its new campaign dubbed, "Play Famously," Mizuno sets out to prove just that. 
 
Here is the email that was sent to me describing the campaign:
 
Mizuno Golf -- world renowned iron manufacturer and global leader in golf technology and innovation -- announced the Play Famously campaign which will add “average Joe” golfers to its stable of PGA pros, including world No. 4 Luke Donald, Charles Howell III, Jonathan Byrd and 2012 Rolex LPGA Player of the year, Stacy Lewis. The campaign aims to build the company’s momentum in the game-improvement category by championing the legions of “amateur” golfers who are supporting the golf industry through their passion for the game and meticulous quest to improve.
 
An absolutely average player sporting a 16 index, Lee Baughman from Pittsburgh, Pa. was announced the first member of “Team JPX.”  The 12-man “game-improvement” roster will be filled with everyday golfers who will be treated as famously as Mizuno pros. 
 
If the name Baughman doesn’t ring a bell, it shouldn’t; you didn’t miss him during last Sunday’s final round of the PGA Tournament or even on the Web.com Tour. He possesses arguably no legitimate strengths, but Mizuno will supply him and 11 other “Team JPX” members with the JPX-825 game-improvement irons and the other necessary tools to elevate his game and “play famously” with the help of Mizuno’s superior design and performance.
 
In addition to being swaged out like the pros with Mizuno irons, drivers, woods and apparel, “Team JPX” will receive tips and instruction from PGA Master Instructor Dr. Gary Wiren.  Additionally, each member of the team will receive the chance to compete in September’s inaugural “JPX Invitational” at Country Club of the South in Atlanta.
 
To kick-off the “Play Famously” campaign, Mizuno, Luke Donald and the Mizuno Golf team welcomed Lee Baughman as the latest member of their crew during a press conference.   
 
I love the idea of this campaign -- it's a lot of fun.
 
 
To get all the details for this campaign, click here to visit the Mizuno Golf Play Famously page.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
Mizuno Golf invites the Average Joe to 'Play Famously'
April 1, 2013 - 9:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
D.A. Points at the Shell Houston Open
Getty Images
D.A. Points' victory in Houston came with what can only be described as a mixed bag of equipment.

If you're a major golf equipment company, the Shell Houston Open surely left you with mixed feelings.

D.A. Points waited out a long rain delay Sunday afternoon, then grinded out a one-shot victory that also earned him a spot in the Masters. In his bag was a mix of clubs from TaylorMade and Ping – but most of those clubs were several years old.

Anyone who watched the tournament on TV heard the story of how Points borrowed an old Ping Anser putter from his mother. That putter, Points said, has been in his garage since about 2005. And that's just the beginning of the story of his equipment mix.

--His driver is a TaylorMade R11S. TaylorMade still lists it as a current model, though the R1 and RBZ models are newer. And if you go to the TaylorMade site, you can buy the R11S for $100 off and the R11S TP model for $200 off.

--His 3-wood is a TaylorMade Burner, which was popular four or five years ago but is now out of production. The current model is the Burner SuperFast 2.0.

--One hybrid is a TaylorMade Rescue 11, which is a 2011 model.

--Another hybrid is a Ping G10, which has been discontinued.

--His iron set consists of Ping i5 clubs, which are also out of production.

--His wedges are Ping Tour models with Gorge grooves, which are brand new.

A couple of observations:

--First, good for Points for sticking with clubs he likes and trusts.

--Second, TaylorMade and Ping might not get a lot of marketing mileage out of Points' victory with all those older clubs. On the flip side, Points proved that these clubs, though most are several years old, are still darn good.

We all get bombarded each year with marketing claims that the newest clubs are the greatest ever made – and they probably are. But that doesn't mean their predecessors are obsolete. In fact, all the big club companies have been making excellent product for years – unlike, for instance, all the major car companies.

So while there's no denying the appeal of golf's new products, everyday golfers like you and me should feel good that our couple-of-years-old sticks are still plenty good and that we shouldn't feel pressured to upgrade until we're good and ready. So if you're truly in the market for the latest and greatest, go right ahead and buy whatever your heart desires (and make sure you get a proper clubfitting from a PGA Professional to get the most out of your new gear).

But if what you have is working for you, then why mess with success?

Besides, playing his tried-and-true equipment was just one of Points' keys to success. He also worked diligently with PGA instructor Gary Gilchrist on restoring his balance and power last week, and got a special putting lesson from Lamar University golf coach Brian White.

So remember, the key to improving your game is part equipment and part instruction – and part timing.

To see a photo gallery of Points' winning clubs, click here. And to see this week’s edition of What’s in the Winners’ Bags, click here.

 

The lesson we learn from D.A. Points' equipment
April 1, 2013 - 10:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Golf Pride
Golf Pride

 

With the Masters just around the corner, many manufacturers have created special products in anticipation of the year's first major.
 
Golf Pride, makers of the, "No. 1 Grip on Tour," released the heavily Masters-themed New Decade MultiCompund Whiteout Limited Edition in January and it's getting plenty of attention now with the tournment just one week away.
 
The top of the grip is white, the bottom is green and the lettering is filled with yellow. The grip just screams, "Masters."
 
Golf Pride had this to say about the grips in a press release:
 
The grips utilize a high performance rubber designed to provide comfort and responsiveness to the lower hand, while brushed cotton cord technology (BCTTM) offers moisture management and improved traction to the upper hand. The latest members of the New Decade MultiCompound family will be available at retail beginning in February and will feature a street price of $9.49 per grip.  
 
“New Decade MutliCompound continues to be our most popular corded product, as proven by the usage on Tour by many of the top players in the world,” stated Brandon Sowell, global sales and marketing manager for Eaton’s Golf Grip Division. “In 2013, the Whiteout and Black models will provide golfers with more options than ever before to customize their grip color preference with Tour proven performance.”
 
For more information on the New Decade MultiCompound collection and the entire 2013 Golf Pride product line, visit www.golfpride.com.    
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Golf Pride's limited-edition, Masters-themed grip
March 28, 2013 - 9:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bridgestone Golf
Bridgestone Golf
We all know the importance of being fit for the proper golf clubs. Shouldn't that apply to golf balls too? Bridgestone thinks so.

 

We've heard it time and again -- to play your best golf, you need to be playing with clubs that fit your game and your level of ability.
 
That's 100 percent true.
 
Often overlooked, though, is that many of us don't apply that same rule when it comes to the golf ball.
 
Sure, we all would like to play what the pros play, but should we? Maybe those golf balls you willingly spend over $50/dozen for aren't only costing you a fortune, but also strokes during your round.
 
Bridgestone Golf has come up with a way to see to it that casual golfers like you and me are playing the golf ball that will benefit our game most with a unique system you can experience on the company's website.
 
If you visit the ball fitting page at BridgestoneGolf.com, you can go through a free, live fitting from a Bridgestone golf ball expert.
 
You can either go through the fitting on your mobile device, call the Bridgestone hotline, or go through a live chat on your computer.
 
I recently tried out the live chat and spoke to B-fit online fitting technician Elliot. 
 
Elliott did an outstanding job of explaining the science behind a golf ball. 
 
The first question I asked Elliott in our chat was this: Why do casual golfers -- myself included -- think they need to be hitting a Tour-caliber golf ball?
 
"While we certainly do make golf balls that are successful at the Tour level, we find that many of the golfers who participate in our fitting sessions can benefit from a softer cored golf ball," Elliott said. "On that same note, the entire Bridgestone Golf Ball portfolio features gradation compression technology which allows the balls to work well at a wide range of swing speeds. Additionally we use the data and feedback from the live ball fitting events to keep our golf ball portfolio current with our customers needs."
 
After explaining the science behind the Bridgestone golf balls, Elliott then asked a series of questions including:
 
- What golf ball do you currently use?
 
- What is your swing speed and average driver distance?
 
- What is your typical ball flight?
 
- Does your ball check up or run when it hits the fairway?
 
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your game?
 
Once those and other questions were answered, Elliott then recommended what he beleived to be the best golf ball for my game. 
 
In my case, Elliott suggested the B330-RX, which the Bridgestone site describes as:
 
Tour Performance optimized for amateur swing speeds under 105 mph with a preference for maximum TOUR DISTANCE.
 
The TOUR B330-RX offers a reformulated mantle layer and Dual Dimple Technology. The reformulated mantle reduces spin on full shots and promotes a higher launch, resulting in greater accuracy and distance. The Dual Dimple pattern offers superior aerodynamics and enhanced wind performance. The B330-RX continues to feature a soft core design that allows maximum compression for moderate swing speed players.
 
The entire chat was about 25-30 minutes long. While the science behind golf balls can seem intimidating, Elliott did a fantastic job of breaking it down and explaining in simple terms.
 
If nothing else, the chat is a fantastic tool to use to understand why you should be playing a partcular type of golf ball based on your ability -- the same way you should handle the clubs you play.
 
To check out Bridgestone Golf's line of golf balls, click here.
 
If you'd like to try out the free ball-fitting for yourself, click here.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.

 

Bridgestone Golf's B-FIT golf-ball fitting -- unique, educational
March 28, 2013 - 9:20am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones
The spring line of the new Bobby Jones apparel includes bright, bold colors.

Bobby Jones has long been known as one of the more high-end lines when it comes to golf apparel.

 
That's not changing. 
 
What is changing, however, is that the company's offerings are getting younger, hipper and adopting more of the athletic fit that seems to have taken over the clothing racks in golf shops these last several years. 
 
For example, the new XH20 Performance Technology shirts from Bobby Jones are described by the company as, "Shirts that will keep you cooler and drier throughout the day due to its patented moisture management system. The performance technology transfers moisture away from the body by distributing it across the fabric and quickly evaporating. This technology also has an anti-static element and will not irritate the skin. The fabric has a UV rating of 15 which will protect you from the sun's damaging rays. The permanent performance application and soft cotton hand feel will last wash after wash."
 
The three-button polo is available in turquoise, tang, or thistle and retails for $82.50.
 
Bobby Jones is also introducing a Tri Color, 1/4 Zip Birdseye Sweater with its spring line. Retailing for $175, the 1/4-zip sweater comes in french blue and iris.
 
A 1/4 Zip Ripstop Pullover Jacket, which was made with Water/Wind Resistant Fabric, is available by Bobby Jones as well. It comes in a variety of colors from key lime to black to geranium. It retails for $195.
 
You can find all of the new items being offered by Bobby Jones this spring on its website, here.
 
Along with the great shirts, sweaters and jackets, vests, shorts and pants are also available. 
 
You can visit Bobby Jones via its Facebook page, here, or on Twitter, @golfbobbyjones.
 
 
Bobby Jones golf apparel unveils Spring line
March 27, 2013 - 2:06pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Nike Covert Irons
Buying golf clubs online is both popular - and risky.

One thing we know for sure - golfers love to buy golf toys. Whether it's clubs, clothes, accessories, shoes, souvenirs, whatever -- there may be no better demographic for advertisers than the 26 million golfers in the United States.

You know what else golfers love? Deals. Not necessarily being cheap, but golfers definitely have an eye toward value for the dollar spent. I'm as guilty as any of them. I don't need a new wedge, I have more than enough golf shirts for any foursome -- but if I spot a good deal online or at the local pro shop, I have to purchase

This week, in our "A Quick Nine" franchise, we asked our 175,000-strong Facebook nation what they liked to buy (and where they bought it) when shopping for golf items online.  The results were interesting, but not surprising.  Again, golfers love to shop and find deals. 

However, when coupled with another recent story I read -- this from The Wall St. Journal on the prevalence of counterfeit clubs for sale online -- it does give me some pause about what I buy (and even more, where I buy it.)

Hey, here's a good spot to plug the 'PGA on eBay' shop on eBay, where you can shop with confidence that the merchandise you're purchasing has been carefully vetted and approved by a PGA-staffed facility.

OK, that's enough as far as advertising. But just thought I'd share the read -- and wish you well in your hunting for great golf items. 

Caveat Emptor: Online golf shopping can be tricky
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