August 1, 2012 - 12:29pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Steve Flesch
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Steve Flesch believes that long putters don't eliminate mistakes.

One of my favorite parts about covering big tournaments is the chance to talk golf with the people who are playing the game at the highest level. The next best thing to being there might be to "listen in" to some of these conversations on social media, and recently there was a fascinating exchange on Twitter between PGA Tour veterans Steve Flesch and Bob Estes regarding one of the big equipment issues of the day.

Here’s a recap of their discussion:

Flesch to Estes: Don't waste time with this long putter nonsense, by which Ernie [Els] and Adam [Scott] were nearly last in putting [at the British Open], look at the ball. The real issue

Estes to Flesch: True, but would Ernie & Adam have finished 1 & 2 without the long or belly putter? They obviously thought it helped them. But you're right! The ball got away from the ruling bodies, as did the size of driver heads.

Flesch to Estes: From a guy who has used every type, length, and method of putting, I believe that belly and long don't eliminate mistakes.

Estes to Flesch: No method is foolproof. What matters is, does anchoring the putter make you a better putter than you would be otherwise?

Flesch to Estes: agree entirely, but anchoring doesn't appear to help so much that it needs to be banned.

Estes to Flesch: How can you say that when 3 of last 4 majors have been won with belly putters. They don't putt that way 2 putt worse!

If you’d like to follow these guys on Twitter, Flesch is at @Steve_Flesch and Estes is at @BobEstesPGA.

And, of course, you can follow at @PGA_com

July 30, 2012 - 1:46pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Getty Images
Zach Johnson wielded his SeeMore FGP putter during his second victory of 2012 at the John Deere Classic.

This week’s edition of What’s in the Winners’ Bags is up, and you can see it here

A few quick observations:

1. After winning the Senior PGA Championship with a Scotty Cameron Studio Select Laguna 1.5 putter seven weeks ago, Roger Chapman took it out of his bag and replaced it with a Rife Aruba and then won the U.S. Senior Open. Both putters are Anser-style blades that look and feel fairly similar to each other. Just goes to show that even after by far the biggest victory of his career, Chapman – like all the rest of us – is never fully satisfied with his gear.

2. Johnson proved more loyal to his flatstick, winning both his 2012 titles with an FGP Black model from SeeMore. It’s fairly rare when one of the smaller companies wins a big tournament, so a week in which underdog puttermakers capture both of the two biggest events on U.S. soil is well worth noting.

3. Zach Johnson (John Deere Classic) and Roger Chapman (U.S. Senior Open) both won on Sunday, and both also won on May 27 (Johnson at Colonial and Chapman at the Senior PGA Championship). So each has two wins on the year, and both came on the same days.

July 30, 2012 - 1:29pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
The orange socks for women (above) and men feature moisture-wicking and odor control technology, and come with a blister-free guarantee.

The color palette at Kentwool got even bolder this week with the unveiling of the company’s bright orange golf socks for men and women. The eye-popping color joins black, green, light blue, natural, pink and purple in the golf sock spectrum.

"We're part of the phenomenon of people wanting a broad range of colors to accentuate their outfits and personal style," says Kentwool President and CEO Mark Kent. "The demand became even more evident following the massive success of limited-edition, multi-colored socks we produced for Bubba Watson to wear during the Masters and U.S. Open."

Blended from fine merino wool and high-tech fibers for superior moisture management, the socks also feature WINDspun technology, which infuses the fibers with air, creating a micro-climate system that wicks moisture and provides superior odor control. It also provides enhanced cushioning at micro-stress points along the foot, says Kent, for extra comfort while reducing injury risk.

Retailing from $19.95 to $24.95 per pair, the socks are available in the ankle-length Tour and Low Profile models for both men and women and mid-calf Tour Standard for men. They are all backed by a blister-free guarantee, are made in the USA and are available in leading green grass shops nationwide and at

Nike Golf
The unique new Swingtip golf shoes from Nike come in leather, suede and canvas iterations.

The new Lunar Swingtip shoes from Nike Golf might sound like they’re inspired by wingtip dress shoes, and they are to a point. But they’re much more influenced by surfers and skateboarders. In fact, Nike Golf designers and engineers visited Nike affiliate Hurley for insight and inspiration into the Nike skateboarding line to create a golf shoe that provides stability and comfort both on and off the course.

The traction pattern on the sole was derived from a pressure mapping study that Nike's Sports Research Lab conducted on Nike athletes across several different sports. These findings, Nike says, directly influenced the stud configuration, geometry, and heights of the lugs.

The lugs engage with the ground throughout the swing, providing a secure grip with hidden traction. The rubber rim around the bottom of the shoe is weight-activated, working with the movements of the foot to create increased stability while concealing the traction lugs.

A full-length sockliner made of the Lunarlon foam that Nike uses in its skateboarding line delivers comfort. They’re available in multiple colors and several materials, including leather, suede and canvas, and the leather models come with a one-year waterproof guarantee. The leather models carry a street price of $119.99, while the suede versions carry a street price of $109.99, and both of those are available now. The canvas models, which will be released in January, will carry a street price of $99.99

July 30, 2012 - 1:23pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
Ping Golf
The Anser driver resembles the i20, but is like no driver Ping has ever produced.

A few months ago, Callaway Golf joined the adjustable driver party with the RAZR Fit. Now -- and some might say finally -- Ping has come out with an adjustable driver of its own. The Anser driver made its competition debut at the John Deere Classic and Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and is expected to hit the retail market in a month or so.

The Anser driver will be available in four standard lofts (8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees), and golfers can adjust each loft by one-half a degree up or down. The titanium head is 460cc, and comes with a black matte finish that looks similar to the finish on Ping’s i20 driver.

Though Ping is the last among the large clubmakers to offer an off-the-shelf adjustable driver, the Anser is a big step forward for the company, which for several years has focused on its custom-fitting system with interchangeable heads and shafts.

July 30, 2012 - 1:20pm
Posted by:
John Kim's picture
TaylorMade Golf
TaylorMade's 2012 Open Championship logo

One of the most fun aspects of major championships these days is that TaylorMade creates one-of-a-kind logos for the hats, shirts and golf bags that its staff players use during the week. The logo for this week’s Open Championship is one of their best – and most detailed.

What does it all mean? Here, courtesy of TaylorMade, is the explanation.

The logo’s foundation is the Lytham Windmill, arguably the most famous landmark in Lytham St. Annes. On it is a life preserver that represents the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which was founded in 1824 and whose lifeboats have saved more than 137,000 lives.

The crown, of course, represents the British crown. It is topped by a violet and the logo also is colored violet as an homage to Violet Talbot, a close friend of Queen Mary, helped Royal Lytham secure its designation as “royal” in 1926. The 10 beads on each side of the crown are a nod to the 10 previous Open Championships played there. And the TL at the bottom is for Tom Lehman, who won the 1996 Open at Royal Lytham.

The three stars on the crown represent the coat of arms of the Clifton family, which has a long history with Royal Lytham. In 1889, Lady Eleanor Cecily Clifton donated a gold medal for the club to present to its champion each year. And the three windows in the windmill stand for the first hole at Royal Lytham, which is the only par-3 opening hole on any of the Open host venues.

And finally, the red banner that contains the word “Open” symbolizes the Challenge Belt, which is what Open winners received in the tournament’s early years. The belt became the permanent possession of Young Tom Morris in 1870 on the occasion of his third Open victory.

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