Equipment

October 29, 2012 - 10:23pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Courtesy of Allen Edmonds
The First Cut golf shoes feature Allen Edmonds' new Spikeless Versatility (SLV) sole.

Allen Edmonds is expanding its Honors Collection of golf shoes and expanding its Clubhouse Collection of casual shoes as well as its lineup of belts and performance socks.

The Honors Collection shoes now feature Allen Edmonds new proprietary Spikeless Versatility (SLV) sole, a lightweight and hard-wearing sole featuring multiple traction studs for a sturdier grip. The SLV is in addition to the Honors Collections' classic 11-spiked shoe.

"The SLV shoes are the first, and only, spikeless golf shoe made in USA," said Allen Edmonds CMO Colin Hall. "Now, golfers have the option of wearing gorgeous golf shoes featuring classic spikes or the spikeless sole that reflects a current trend in golf. Both styles are also available for our recrafting service.The SLV sole makes an Honors Collection shoe perfectly suitable for all environments including play, teaching and the clubhouse."

The shoes featuring the SLV sole are available for order now with a price of $295. The spiked shoes are priced at $345.

The Clubhouse Collection shoes were hand-picked to provide a range of off-course styles.

"From slip-on styles to casual boat shoes or driving moccasins, the collection offers stylish shoes to wear around the club, work or in more casual environments," said Hall. "We are getting positive feedback from our green grass customers about this expanded offering of golf and casual shoes and how it's bringing a new and sustainable revenue stream into their shops."

There are eight new shoes in the Clubhouse Collection, many of which can be recrafted in the legendary Allen Edmonds process highlighted by:

--Chukkamok: Featuring a classic Chukka boot silhouette, this is part of the new line of unconstructed footwear offering the more comfortable fit from an unlined shoe, and allowing the leather to hug the foot. More fashion-forward than many boots in this genre, this model features a long wingtip, perking and pinking, and a toe medallion. The more classic elements are balanced with added contrast midsoles and Vibram red rubber soles.

--Patriot: This made-in-the-USA penny loafer is a faithful interpretation of a timeless design. The shoe is improved with a brand new last, making them roomier in the forefoot but also featuring Allen Edmonds' trademark narrow heel. Allen Edmonds calls this shoe its consummate country club shoe.

--Sedona: A celebration of a leisure lifestyle, this versatile model is offered in a choice of unlined uppers. It is available in five vibrant colors and a pair of two-toned distressed styles. It combines the classic look of the American penny loafers with distressed rough leathers and a new, lightweight box sole.

--Duke. This handsewn, beefroll penny slip-on is handcrafted with actual brown football pebble grain calfskin with a Vibram mini-lug sole to create a clever weekend shoe.

For more information, visit www.allenedmonds.com

October 25, 2012 - 8:27pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Titleist via Twitter
The 712U irons from Titleist will debut for tour staff, but could be rolled out to the public if the response is positive.

Who says this is the slow season in golf? On Tuesday, TaylorMade unveiled its new RocketBladez irons. On Wednesday, we showed you the first look of the 2013 X Forged irons from Callaway. And to complete this week's titanic trifecta, here is a peek at Titleist's new prototype 712U utility iron, which Titleist Canada teased on its Twitter account.

“On the worldwide professional tours, some players prefer a utility iron over a hybrid club as an alternative to traditional long irons,” said Titleist on its tour blog. “The 712U delivers increased playability versus a traditional long iron while providing enhanced spin and trajectory control versus a hybrid.”

The prototype 712U clubs – from photos we’ve seen, there are 2-irons, 3-irons and 4-irons – are being sent out to Titleist’s tour staff for what the company is calling “performance validation and feedback.” Titleist is also planning to bring the clubs to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Disney World, the final event on the PGA Tour schedule, the week of Nov. 5-11, for their players to check out.

The 712U clubs are intended as a tour-only product for now. However, says Titleist, the feedback the company receives will influence the clubs’ final design as well as their place in Titleist lineup.

There are no guarantees, of course, but I suspect there’s a lesson to be learned from Callaway's recent introduction of its X Utility irons. Callaway seeded the clubs among its tour staff last summer, and players from Phil Mickelson to Branden Grace put them in their bags – and then Ernie Els won the British Open with three X Utility clubs in his bag. Not long after, Callaway announced that they would be sold to the public, and they're scheduled to be available at select retailers beginning in December.

Hybrids are great for a great many golfers. But many elite players prefer that precision that advanced utility irons can provide, and I’ll be surprised if the 712U irons are anything but a big success.

 

October 25, 2012 - 1:24am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Callaway Golf 2013 X Forged irons
Callaway Golf via Twitter
The 2013 X Forged irons from Callaway Golf have a distinctive muscleback, while maintaining the "X" design as well.

TaylorMade dominated the headlines in the golf equipment world in the early part of the week with the unveiling of its new RocketBladez irons. But TM isn’t the only company with new gear to tout.

Callaway Golf hasn’t made a formal announcement, but the company has been teasing its 2013 X Forged irons in a big way on social media over the past few days.

"Crafted by our Chief Club Designer, Roger Cleveland, the 2013 X Forged irons combine 1025 Carbon Steel and our Triple Net Forging process to offer unmatched feel and extreme precision," said Callaway on the company’s Facebook page on Wednesday. "A new face design, sole profile and optimized CG Height Progression through the line delivers distinct performance advantages, including distance, with an incredible (and somewhat drool-inducing) look."

Without knowing much more than that about them, these new irons are among the cleanest looking clubs that Callaway has issued in recent years. They have a distinctive muscleback, while maintaining the "X" design as well, and – to my eye, anyway – resemble Callaway’s RAZR X musclebacks more than the recent RAZR X Forged models.

Callaway officials, we understand, believe that these new clubs will quickly become popular among their tour staff, and there seems to be a chance that Phil Mickelson will put a set in play next week in the WGC-HSBC Championship in China.

These new X Forged irons are expected to carry a suggested retail price of $999.99 per set, and are expected to be available in late January of 2013.

October 24, 2012 - 7:11pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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IJP Design's autumn/winter 2012 collection
Courtesy of IJP Design
The Thunderbird shirt from IJP Design offers a unique color-blocked design, while the Diamond In The Rough sweater is a new take on the traditional Argyle outerwear.

Ian Poulter’s IJP Design is billing its Autumn/Winter 2012 collection as its most advanced to date. The collection, which is available now, offers a variety of golf apparel from classic tartans in hues both subdued and vibrant to more modern form-fitting European styling.

"We know we make clothes that 'look good' and feel good,' and more importantly, for those who want to 'play great,' our Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection has technical and functional elements designed expressly for golfers and their distinctive movements," said Poulter.

Four different colored tartans are created for each seasonal collection, all of which are licensed under the Scottish Tartan Authority and unique to IJP Design. These tartans are the foundation on which the IJP collections are developed and the basis for which "IJP leads with the legs."

The new collection is the first to promote interchangeable color palettes, enabling golfers to create their own unique outfits by using any combination of styles.

The Poulter Tartans offer a stylish and functional choice with a straight leg shape, signature side splits, internal waistband fastening and bias cut trimmed pockets. The trousers are half-lined in a soft anti-static lining for comfort and are available in Cornflower Blue, Porcelain and Fuchsia.

The Diamond In The Rough sweater offers a new take on the traditional Argyle outerwear. Fashioned from soft, durable merino wool, the sweater's distinctive patterning is available in Grey Cloud, Ink or Ox Blood. Also made from 100 percent merino wool, the slim fit Roll With It roll neck is a distinctive yet understated take on the classical roll neck sweater. Available in stylish Black Watch, it features turn back cuffs.

The IJP Design Tour polo shirt uses Scotchguard technology to wick away moisture and provide lasting softness and breathability. Combined with a slim-fitting design, a long four-button placket and IJP Design branding, the Tour shirt offers a contemporary take on the classic club tour shirt.

Available in the same three colors as the Diamond In The Rough sweater and made from a lightweight, comfort stretch fabric, the Thunderbird shirt offers a unique color-blocked design guaranteed to catch anyone's eye on the course.

The classic golf chino is given a new twist by IJP Design's Performance Slacks. Incorporating a comfortable straight leg fit and IJP Design branding throughout, the trousers are made from a lightweight, water repellent, stretch fabric, ensuring that traditional style is fused with cutting-edge performance, comfort and technical features.

IJP Design has also included in its Autumn/Winter collection a range of items specially designed for the seasonal conditions. The F-1's bonded fleece fabric (available in Pillar Box Red, Jet Black, Midnight Blue and Onyx) is both water repellent and windproof, and comes with a shaped collar to protect against the elements.

The lightweight Aqua-Tech trousers feature an elasticized waistband, Velcro adjusters and full-length side zips, allowing the wearer to suit up without removing his golf shoes. Aqua-Tech shields against harsh conditions and are fully waterproof. And IJP Design's Bionic Base long-sleeved base layer, available in black or white with colored body mapped seam features, ensures comfort and warmth.

For more information, visit www.ijpdesign.com.

October 23, 2012 - 8:50pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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TaylorMade RocketBladez irons
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The TaylorMade RocketBladez (upper left) irons have more of a cavityback than the RocketBladez Tour models (upper right). The Speed Pocket, as shown in bottom view and side view, helps the face flex to provide more springiness upon impact.

TaylorMade Golf made a huge splash earlier this year with the release of its RocketBallz line of clubs. The company did it again on Tuesday, unveiling its new RocketBladez irons with a marketing push so successful that the number of people trying to watch its live webcast briefly knocked TaylorMade’s servers out.

TaylorMade officials are hoping the new RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour irons are a knockout, too. The irons’ signature feature is the Speed Pocket, which TaylorMade is billing as ''that little thing'' but which they believe will make these clubs the next big thing.

The Speed Pocket is a 2-millimeter-wide slot cut in the sole of the 3-iron through 7-iron that permits the face to flex farther and more easily upon impact, particularly when a golfer hits the ball low on the face. The improved flex, says TaylorMade, promotes increased Coefficient of Restitution – or springiness – up to the USGA limit for high ball speed. In fact, TaylorMade says, these irons are as hot as many drivers, and could help most golfers add two to five yards per shot.

The Speed Pocket is sealed with a specially formulated polyurethane developed by 3M that keeps grass and other debris out. More important, it dampens vibration for better, more solid feel upon impact. The Speed Pocket, combined with a shorter hosel, also helps TaylorMade to redistribute 17.5 grams of weight to lower the Center of Gravity, promoting a higher launch angle, higher peak trajectory and a steep, quick-stopping descent.

Higher-lofted clubs like the sand wedge and lob wedge don’t include the Speed Pocket, but have redesigned cavities to improve their feel, and feature TaylorMade’s ATV (All-Terain Versatility) sole for improved workability around the greens. In addition, these clubs come equipped with heavier steel shafts to promote better rhythm and control in shorter swings.

Careful management of the RocketBladez’s face thickness, Center of Gravity location and the Speed Pocket help enlarge the effective sweet spot, which makes for more consistent shotmaking – and therefore more consistent distance gaps throughout the set.

The RocketBladez irons will be available at retail in December, and come standard with 85-gram ''Rocketfuel'' steel shafts for $799.99 per set or $899.99 per set with 65-gram ''RocketFuel'' graphite shafts.

The RocketBladez Tour irons will debut next February. They boast the same attributes as the standard RocketBladez models, but are tuned a little hotter. The heads are more compact, with a squarer toe, a thinner topline, minimal offset and a shallow cavity. There is also a slight camber on the sole, which also features what TaylorMade calls a ''tour-designed'' leading edge.

For more on the RocketBladez and RocketBladez tour irons, visit www.TaylorMadeGolf.com

Categories: RocketBladez
October 21, 2012 - 1:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Miyazaki B. Asha shaft
Courtesy of Miyazaki Shafts
The B. Asha series’ artwork was created by Miyazaki artist Ash Baharin, whose designs were inspired by the speed and accuracy of ancient Japanese swordsmen.

The new B. Asha series of premium ultralight graphite shafts from Miyazaki Shafts is a follow-up to Miyazaki’s breakthrough C. Kua premium ultralight series, which launched in 2010 and was golf’s first sub-60-gram shaft to be used in significant numbers on tours around the globe.

The B. Asha series builds on the gains made by the C. Kua series with even more weight reduction, elevated balance points and more stable International Flex Code profiles.

The B. Asha models push the limits of weight reduction across the series through the use of advanced shaft materials and manufacturing techniques. They offer three distinct driver and fairway wood International Flex Code profiles in up to four different flexes. Miyazaki created these IFC profiles to replace less specific measurements of frequency, kick point and torque.

The B. Asha 5 and 7 profiles were designed to feel extremely stable in the top 3/4ths of the shaft, with a slightly softened section under the hands to promote feel and a penetrating ball flight. These attributes are coupled with an active but stable tip section to produce a mid-trajectory ball flight with added ball speed and a slight fade bias. Miyazaki says the 5 and 7 series are excellent choices for players who value a very stable feel in an ultralight graphite shaft.

The 4 flex profile offers a stable feel similar to the 5 and 7 series, but with a slightly stiffer butt section and slightly softer tip section to help produce a mid- to high-trajectory ball flight. It has been engineered with a standard butt diameter to make it compatible with all standard golf grips, and Miyazaki calls it the ultimate combination of speed and stability.

The 3 series shafts for fairway woods features slightly softer mid-tip and tip sections to create a powerful loading and release, added swingspeed and distance with a mid-high trajectory ball flight. The 3 series is the lightest that Miyazaki offers, and is available only in a 0.350 tip configuration. Miyazaki says this shaft is best for players with a smooth tempo and transition in search of a faster swing speed.

Like the C. Kua shafts before them, the B. Asha shafts are covered with graphics inspired by a talented but previously unknown artist. The B. Asha series’ artwork was created by Miyazaki artist Ash Baharin, whose designs were inspired by the speed and accuracy of ancient Japanese swordsmen.

Miyazaki Shafts is a division of Dunlop Sports, which also owns the Cleveland Golf, Srixon and XXIO brands.

For more on the B. Asha series, visit www.miyazakigolfshafts.com.

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