Equipment

March 21, 2014 - 3:54pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
TaylorMade SLDR driver
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The SLDR driver is included in TaylorMade's moneyback guarantee program that is running over the next couple of months.
Since it debuted last summer the SLDR driver from TaylorMade has become one of golf's best sellers, not to mention the most widely used driver on the PGA Tour. 
 
On Friday, the company came out with this guarantee: Buy any SLDR driver, fairway or Rescue club between now and June 1, and test them out for 30 days. If you don't gain distance over your current clubs, TaylorMade will refund your money.
 
"We know there are golfers out there who don't trust our science or what tour players do," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s director of product creation for metalwoods. "So we're encouraging these golfers to trust their own distance. That's why we’re putting the SLDR guarantee in play."
 
 
Golfers wishing to return their SLDR clubs can either call a toll-free number or visit the TaylorMade website. Those who elect to do so will receive a check within 12 weeks, the company said. 
 
The SLDR line of clubs is built around the concept of "lofting up" – using more loft than the average golfer traditionally uses in his driver and fairway clubs. That, combined with the low-forward center of gravity in the clubs, creates the ideal conditions for distance – a higher launch with less spin – the company said.
 
For complete information on the guarantee, click here.
 
And here is a video of TaylorMade CEO Mark King talking about the SLDR guarantee:
 
 
 
TaylorMade offers moneyback guarantee on its SLDR clubs
March 14, 2014 - 10:36am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
State Traditions
State Traditions
The classy, clean look of State Traditions apparel and accessories is the perfect way to show off your state pride on the golf course.

Who doesn't take pride in their state? I come from Rhode Island -- the smallest state in the Union, in case you hadn't heard -- and I sure do.

Thanks to a company called, "State Traditions," you can show off that pride like never before.

State Traditions, based out of Birmingham, Ala., has released its 2014 collection of state-inspired apparel and accessories, available now at finer green grass shops and resorts nationwide and on the brand’s website www.statetraditions.com.

READ: Rose & Fire raises the bar for high-end headcovers

The extensive State Traditions collection is made up of caps, visors, polos, belts, neckwear, and button-front shirts. Those items use the outlines of all 50 states to offer golfers a clean-looking alternative to the loud logos prevalent today.

"Our brand connects emotionally with consumers, everyone has a home state, alma mater or favorite team," says Keith Brown, President of State Traditions. "Whether it's on a golf trip with buddies or at a gameday tailgate, our pieces communicate those feelings in a timeless way."

Each piece of apparel and each accessory from State Traditions offers a choice of state silhouette in its respective flag pattern or colors reflective of its popular sports teams.

Retailing from $3 to $80, the State Traditions 2014 lineup is anchored by its robust headwear range, according to the company. The 100-percent cotton caps and visors, State Traditions says, marry classic style with modern design elements suitable for both sporting and everyday activities.

Along with a healthy offering of apparel for golfers -- the polos, caps, visors and belts -- State Traditions also offers premium ball markers and divot repair tools.

To learn more about State Traditions, visit www.statetraditions.com.
 

State Traditions introduces 2014 apparel and accessories collection
March 11, 2014 - 8:00pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Batman at the TaylorMade Speed Pocket World Challenge
Dave Cordero of TaylorMade via Twitter
Batman came out of the Batcave on Tuesday to try out some TaylorMade putters in Gotham City on Tuesday.
Over the past couple of days, TaylorMade has been setting up in iconic locations like Times Square in New York and Canary Wharf in London to stage what it calls its Speed Pocket World Challenge (lots of photos on Twitter). At these events, everyday golfers have the chance to hit TaylorMade's new SpeedBlade irons on pop-up driving ranges.
 
Golfers of all sizes and shapes have been turning out in huge numbers, and the events have been quite spectacular. Amid all the fun, Hank Haney offered lessons in New York, LPGA Tour star Anna Nordqvist hit some shots in San Francisco and European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley took some swings in London. 
 
But, it's safe to say, no one stood out like the caped and cowled duffer who dropped by Times Square to check out some new putters. No word on whether TaylorMade activated the Bat Signal there in Gotham City or Batman ditched Robin and Commissioner Gordon and showed up on his own.
 
 
Also, check out those Bat-golf shoes!
 
 
 
 
 
Growing golf one superhero at a time
March 11, 2014 - 5:50pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
PowerBilt Air Force One DFX driver
Courtesy of PowerBilt
The PowerBilt Air Force One DFX driver has better feel at impact than previous models, but generates a tremendous trampoline effect for increased ball speed.
The newest addition to the long line of Air Force One drivers from PowerBilt is the brand-new DFX (Deep Face Extreme). It boasts the nitrogen-packed clubhead found in some other PowerBilt models, but the face is 5 millimeters taller than on the previous model. That, the company says, allows the face to catch the ball at impact slightly longer and combines with the nitrogen to create reduced spin and more distance. 
 
"We reduced the nitrogen pressure to 80 pounds, for better impact feel," PowerBilt President Ross Kvinge explained. "This new amount of nitrogen generates a tremendous trampoline effect for increased ball speed. In fact, now the trampoline effect is up to the USGA maximum limit. 
 
"Shot dispersion is also the tightest ever in our drivers. And by adding 6 grams low and forward in the clubhead, we moved the Center of Gravity lower and more forward than in any other Air Force One driver," he added. "We did this to appease our clubfitters who requested a better smash factor."
 
BEST GOLF EQUIPMENT PHOTOS: See who made this week's gallery
 
PowerBilt's patented Nitrogen N7 "Nitrogen Charged" technology makes its debut in the Air Force One DFX driver, as well – it's a newly patented method to use compressed nitrogen to reinforce the clubface without adding any weight. The aerodynamically shaped clubhead consists of a forged titanium body with titanium cup face technology to help the ball jump off the face with low spin.
 
The driver is available in both PowerBilt's high MOI and Tour Series, in lofts of 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12.5 degrees of loft. The standard shaft length is 45 ½ inches, and several shaft options are available. The suggested retail price is $299.99, with an upcharge for ultra-premium shaft options.
 
PowerBilt unveils deep-face Air Force One DFX driver
March 11, 2014 - 11:56am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rose & Fire
Rose & Fire
Rose & Fire headcovers are 100 percent made in the USA.

Golf fashion, these days, isn't limited to the clothes you put on to hit the links.

Golf fashion comes in a number of other forms now -- your glove, your bag, the color of your golf ball and even your headcovers, just to name a few.

In November 2013, Mike Buchfuhrer officially opened the doors for his business Rose & Fire, a company that specializes in high-end headcovers.

READ: Swing Caddie SC100 portable launch monitor -- perfect practice companion

Like many, Buchfuhrer's reason for starting his headcover business came about out of the desire to fill a void he saw in the industry. All of these golf manufacturers -- especially those building handcrafted putters, another business Buchfuhrer dabbled in for a time -- were making expensive clubs that consumers would buy, but, "a special headcover was needed to compliment the craftsmanship of the putters," Buchfuhrer said. "Nothing available worked."

With a family background in fashion, Buchfuhrer got to work in 2010 designing his first headcover. It quickly became a passion and an obsession.

"There came a point where I decided that if I wanted to make truly great covers and achieve my dreams, I needed to open my own shop," he said. "I bought all the proper sewing machines, sourced amazing materials, created the designs, sewed prototypes, and found some of the most incredible craftsmen. That was the birth of Rose & Fire."

The name "Rose & Fire" carries particular significance too.

"Rose" pays homage to Buchfuhrer's grandmother, the first designer in the family, while "Fire" is a play on the second part of Buchfuhrer's last name.

"She was the matriarchal designer in the family and always told me that I could do whatever I wanted to do if I worked hard enough," Buchfuhrer said. "Hearing that and knowing she and other members of my family were able to succeed in fashion gave me the confidence -- and guidance -- needed to get going. I'm incredibly lucky to be in the this position. I get to design and create my dream covers for golfers, boutiques, pro shops, and the best putter manufacturers in the world. It feels great to improve what is out there and make something amazing that otherwise wouldn't have existed."

So what separates a Rose & Fire headcover from the stock headcover that comes with your expensive new driver, fairway wood, hybrid or putter?

For starters, Rose & Fire headcovers are 100 percent made in the USA.

"The number one thing that I tell all my sewing machine operators is that our quality must be the best in the world," Buchfuhrer said. "Made in USA needs to mean something, and not be a plea for charity. We have to back it up with exceptional products -- ones that are undeniably the best. Slight advances aren't enough. We need to shake things up. There's a reason why our logo is a lit match -- we're starting something new."

Buchfuhrer said he uses special materials that are sewn together in a way that respects their quality and heritage. He said industry people often insist the materials Buchfuhrer is using are overkill or unnecessary because consumers won't notice something of lesser quality.

Buchfuhrer disagrees. And that's why he's not willing to compromise the quality of his headcovers.

"I'm here to make covers as if each one was for my personal use," he explained. "Aside from using quality materials, it's important that our constructions compliment them. Our ballistic nylon cover, for example, is constructed very differently from our denim covers. The level of sophistication is also a point of separation. For example, if you look at other companies, embroidered vinyl seems to be the accepted material of choice for putter covers. As headcover makers it's time to step things up and give golfers the quality and material selection they deserve."

Quality craftsmanship can come at a price. At Rose & Fire, though, that price is on the reasonable side.

Buchfuhrer's headcovers -- made from materials including denim, leather, waxed canvas and more -- sell for between $40-$60 per piece.

"Golfers who buy a Rose & Fire covers are really paying for the time, skill, and materials that went into making it, not hype," Buchfuhrer said. "We're here to stay and know that in order to do that we have to treat people fairly by providing the best quality at a fair price."

One aspect of Rose & Fire headcovers that truly sticks out from others is that each cover includes a zippered pocket (or, a regular "jean" pocket on the denim pieces). On drivers, this is a great place to store tees, or even a little cash you may need when the beverage cart comes around on the course. On the putter cover, it's a perfect place to store your ball marker and divot tool.

If you're interested in learning more about Rose & Fire, visit www.roseandfire.com. You can also find Rose & Fire on Facebook, or follow Rose & Fire on Twitter, @RoseandFireUSA.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

Rose & Fire raises the bar for high-end headcovers
March 10, 2014 - 11:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Swing Caddie SC100
Voice Caddie
The Swing Caddie SC100 by Voice Caddie is a great practice tool for those serious about improving their golf game.

It's been a long, cold, snowy winter here in New England. Not that I'm complaining. That's what you sign up for when you live in these parts.

At a certain point though, all this dreary weather makes us long for spring and the start of golf season. This past weekend, we got a hint that perhaps -- just maybe -- spring is around the corner after all. With temperatures in the low 50s, scores of golfers flocked to the local driving range, myself included.

Along with hitting golf balls outside for the first time since November, I was very much looking forward to trying out a new device that caught my eye recently -- a product called the Swing Caddie SC100 from Voice Caddie.

RELATED: What's in the winners' golf bags for the week of March 9, 2014

The Swing Caddie SC100 is a portable launch monitor. Who wants to lug that around, right?

Consider this: This particular portable launch monitor is slightly bigger and weighs about the same as an iPhone. It comes in a small pouch and includes a remote. You can tuck it into the valuables pocket on your golf bag and you won't even know it's there.

Once you're at the range, you simply set the monitor on its stand behind your hitting area and with the tiny remote that clips to your belt loop you can adjust the settings -- the club your hitting, and the mode you're playing.

In just a few minutes, the Swing Caddie changed the way I'll practice going forward. While the Average Joe golfer might wonder: Why do I need a portable launch monitor -- the data is only going to confuse me? Let me tell you, the Swing Caddie is an invaluable practice tool.

Not all of us have the skills to be a world-class player, but that doesn't mean we don't take our golf seriously. The Swing Caddie -- a tiny, standalone device that doesn't require a smartphone app -- will give you the key information you need instead of overloading you with the technical information you don't understand.

The instant feedback LCD display measures the following:

- carry distance
- swing speed
- ball speed
- smash factor

You can select from three different modes, as well -- practice, target, or random.

Have you ever played golf with the person who thinks he or she hits his or her clubs a lot further than they actually do? Are you that person?

After a quick warm up and in about five minutes time, I was blown away by the consistency with which the Swing Caddie allowed me to practice. It takes the "guessing" factor out of the equation and really allows the user to dial in consistent distances at which there ball travels with each club in the bag.

Here's a video showing how the Swing Caddie SC100 works:

 

 

It's one thing to follow the flight of your golf shot and see that you did something wrong -- a hard hook, a massive slice, etc. It's another thing to be able to, instantaneously after hitting that shot, look back at your portable launch monitor to try and make sense of why that shot happened. Was your swing speed a lot faster than your previous shot? Slower?

Based on the swing speed element on the display, you can quickly develop rhythm and tempo to help frequently repeat the swing that bares the best results for you.

The Swing Caddie is not a substitute for lessons from a PGA Professional. It is, however, an incredible practice tool that any player who takes his or her game seriously -- regardless of ability level -- should have as a companion at the range.

The Swing Caddie SC100 retails for $269. You can learn more about the device -- and others offered by Voice Caddie -- at www.voicecaddie.com.

You can also follow Voice Caddie on Twitter, @vcaddie.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

Swing Caddie SC100 from Voice Caddie -- a perfect practice companion
<div class="breadcrumb"><a href="/home">Home</a> » Equipment</div>