The new Tour Series V line of clubs from U.S. Kids Golf is made from the same high-tech materials as leading adult equipment, but sells at much lower prices.
''We are extremely excited about the Tour Series V clubs,'' said U.S. Kids Golf Founder and President Dan Van Horn. ''The enhancements offered will allow advanced young players to realize more of their potential.''
The new driver features a 460cc titanium head – the same size as the top adult drivers – and comes with a stylish white matte crown and black face that aids alignment and eliminates glare. The new woods are heavier and the new shafts have a slightly stronger flex.
The irons feature an improved head design with optimal weight distribution to produce straighter shots, and the new wedges incorporate the latest in high-spin technology. All the clubs conform to USGA standards.
The clubs in the Tour Series V are offered for golfers of five different sizes – 51, 54, 57, 60 and 63 inches tall – and each set is designed with unique shafts and head weights to optimize the results. The clubs for 51-inch and 54-inch golfers are 10 percent lighter than adult clubs, while the sticks for 57-, 60- and 63-inch golfers are five percent lighter than their adult counterparts.
For more information and pricing, visit www.uskidsgolf.com.
Phil Mickelson famously won the 2006 Masters using two slightly different Callaway drivers. This week, he's trying a similar strategy.
No, Mickelson doesn't have two drivers in the bag, but close. Along with his Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver, he's got what Callaway is calling the ''Phrankenwood.''
Essentially, it's a 2-wood (remember those?!), based on Callaway's X Hot fairway wood technology. Mickelson's prototype model has 8.5 degrees of loft with a 250cc head, and is outfitted with a Fubuki k 70X prototype shaft, says Scott Goryl of Callaway.
Like other X Hot fairway woods, the Phrankenwood has a stainless steel head with a Speed Frame Face Cup made of high strength Carpenter 455 stainless steel. The face cup – the front piece on the head, including the clubface – is 40 percent thinner than previous Callaway fairway wood faces, and contains a 90-percent larger sweet spot.
At his news conference at Augusta National on Tuesday, Mickelson said he began playing the X-Hot 3-wood earlier this year and was immediately impressed.
''I hit it as far as my driver,'' he said of the X Hot 3-wood. ''I couldn't believe it, it like shot off the face. It had, you know, the optimum spin that a driver would have, and I hit it as far as my driver. And if you've noticed, as I've played Doral and I've played Houston and I've played these last few weeks, I hit it off almost every tee because it's so easy to hit, and it just bores through the air and I don't have to manipulate it and it just goes so far.
''So I asked the engineers to take that technology in that club, in our 3-wood, and just put it on steroids,'' which he joked was probably not the best way to phrase that. ''But I wanted to make it more like a driver.''
So the Phrankenwood, Mickelson explained, ''looks like a 3-wood, but it's bigger than our 3-wood. And it's almost like a small driver, but it's the 3-wood technology of our X Hot into a driver. What it's done is taken a lot of spin off of it. And if you watch, you'll see a lot of the shots off the tee that I hit have a lot more scoot on them.''
Mickelson said his practice with the club so far this week has produced exactly the results he had hoped for.
''Tee shots on 9 are getting down to the bottom of the hill, and I haven't been able to do that in years,'' he said. ''Tee shot on 10 is getting another 15 to 20 yards, giving me a club or two less than I've had in years. And the tee shot on 15 is getting down to where I have one or two clubs less, and because it comes off fast, as well as low spin, it's running, which is exactly what I wanted here.''
Okay, all you fashion mavens, here's the post you've been waiting breathlessly for – the big reveal of the apparel Rickie Fowler will be sporting at the Masters.
The photo above shows his wardrobe from (left to right) Thursday through Sunday, capped off, of course, by his traditional all-orange final-round outfit.
Here's day-by-day details of each outfit, provided by Puma Golf:
Thursday: Golf Duo-Swing Polo shirt, Golf 5 PKT Tech pants, AMP Cell Fusion shoes, Monoline 210 cap and High Shine fitted golf belt
Friday: Duo-Swing Diamond Polo shirt, Golf Tech Style pants, AMP Cell Fusion shoes, Monoline 210 cap and Spectrum fitted golf belt
Saturday: Ombre Tech Polo shirt, Golf Track jacket, Golf Tech Style pants, AMP Cell Fusion shoes, Cat Patch Snapback cap and Form Stripe belt
Sunday: Golf Duo-Swing Polo shirt, 5 PKT Tech pants, AMP Cell Fusion shoes, Cat Patch Snapback cap and High Shine Fitted golf belt
For complete coverage of the Masters, including news, features, video, photo galleries and more, click here.
Last fall, Titleist quietly seeded some of its prototype 712U utility irons among its staff players, and said that their reaction would help the company determine whether the clubs would be released to the public. Not quite six months later, we know what that determination is – they'll be available to the public by custom order starting May 15.
Three irons will be available – an 18-degree 2-iron, a 21-degree 3-iron and a 24-degree 4-iron.
All three clubs are forged from 1025 steel and include a high-speed 455 steel face insert. They have a traditional profile with a rounded back design that many better players prefer over cavity back long irons with more offset.
''During the development of 712U, we worked closely with our tour players to design a utility iron that delivers a great combination of consistency and control,'' said Titleist Golf Clubs General Manager Steve Pelisek. ''The deeper CG (Center of Gravity) results in a higher MOI (Moment of Inertia) that increases stability at impact, helping players achieve more consistent distance and trajectory control, whether hitting shots high or low.''
The heads are chrome plated with a satin finish, and are slightly larger than the standard 2-irons, 3-irons and 4-irons in the Titleist MB 712 and CB 712 series. They have a wider, camber-sole design than traditional long irons, which promotes clean turf interaction and is more effective for a variety of attack angles. They also utilize a tapered-tip iron shaft for additional trajectory control.
Each iron carries a suggested retail price of $235 with a steel shaft and $259 with a graphite shaft. Custom up-charges may apply.
After their introduction to Titleist staffers last fall, 712U clubs are currently in the bags of such players as Adam Scott (2-iron), Tim Clark (4-iron) and Geoff Ogilvy (2-iron), who prefer a utility iron over a hybrid as an alternative to traditional long irons. In fact, Titleist says, the 712U already has become the most-played utility iron model on the PGA Tour this season.
''I don't like the look of hybrids, but the 712U (2-iron) looks great at address,'' said Ogilvy. ''It is a bit stronger than a 2-iron, it goes farther than a 2-iron and it's easy to hit. It feels great, performs how I need it to, and I like having it in my bag.''
Jim Furyk has two drivers in play this week at the Valero Texas Open, and he's thinking he might use them both at the Masters, too. After all, Phil Mickelson won the 2006 Masters with a pair of Callaway Fusion FT-3 drivers.
Furyk is working with a pair of Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme drivers, one with 9.5 degrees of loft and the other with 10.5 degrees of loft. He's alternating them, more or less, and has ended two rounds at 5-under 139, high up on the scoreboard – and that's despite not getting in a full practice round. (He arrived in San Antonio on Tuesday, then only got in four holes of his pro-am round on Wednesday before it was washed out, so he played a video game to see where to hit the ball on the various holes.)
''I wanted to give it a practice run,'' he told PGATour.com about employing the dual driver strategy in Texas before heading to Augusta National. He added that it might take him until next Wednesday before he's completely settled on which clubs will be in his Masters bag.
So far, Furyk said, he's finding the 9.5-degree driver to be longer and the 10.5-degree model a little more accurate, which is what you'd expect.
Adding the second driver to his bag caused him to remove his gap wedge, and that's what he said he'd do again next week – he's learned over the years that he seldom hits a gap wedge at Augusta National.
PGA of America Championships
Benton Harbor, Mich.
Sahalee Country Club
Baltusrol Golf Club
Hazeltine National Golf Club