Equipment

Keegan Bradley at The Memorial
Srixon via Twitter
Keegan Bradley used a non-belly putter for the first time in his PGA Tour career on Thursday at The Memorial

Keegan Bradley helped ignite the long-putter explosion when he won the 2011 PGA Championship to become the first player to win a major with a belly putter. He has used a long putter for four years, but admits that the impending anchored-stroke ban that will go into effect in 2016 has been like a "ticking clock in your head." 

On Thursday at The Memorial, Bradley went without a belly putter for the first time in his PGA Tour career, and it worked out just fine. He knocked in a 12-foot birdie putt on his opening hole, added four more birdies for a 5-under 67 and was one shot out of the lead among the early starters. It was also his best-ever score at Muirfield Village. 

"I'm totally in a trial period here," Bradley, whose best score in eight previous rounds was a 71, told The Associated Press. "I'm not in any way saying I'm switching for good from now on. This is just for right now and this week." 

Bradley was persuaded to give the shorter putter a try on the advice from his mother, and a week of practice and trash-talking with his good friend Michael Jordan.

Bradley didn't like the way he finished off the HP Byron Nelson Championship two weeks ago, and while talking to his mother, she suggested he go to a shorter putter. 

 
"I hadn't put any thought into it up until that point," he said. "And so I thought I needed something to get me excited about playing because I was bummed." 

Bradley hasn't won since the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and he needs to get moving if he wants to earn a spot on the Ryder Cup team. Inspired to experiment by his mother, he played with Jordan at The Bear's Club in South Florida, asking him to be relentless in heckling and make Bradley feel uncomfortable, "which he's good at." 

"And we just kept playing and playing. And I felt better and better with it," he said. "And I came here not knowing what I was going to do. I played a round with Brendan Steele and I felt good with it again, and I thought there's no reason for me not to do it." 

Bradley said he last used a conventional putter in 2010 in his second start on the Nationwide Tour, but switched over to the belly putter because he felt he was better with it. 

His plan for the year was to qualify for the Ryder Cup team and start converting to a shorter putter after October. 

 
Now? Who knows? 

The new putter is 41 inches, which is about 6 inches longer than a standard putter. The difference is that Bradley doesn't press the end of it into his belly. He felt better over lag putts, and he said the shorter putter improved his touch on fast greens. 

"The negatives are just ... I'm aware that people are watching me," he said. "And that's the hardest part." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 
Keegan Bradley benches belly putter, shoots his best round at Memorial
Ashworth Encinitas and Kingston golf shoes
Courtesy of Ashworth Golf
The Encinitas (top) is Ashworth's first wingtip shoe, while the Kingston is its first cleated shoe.

The Encinitas golf shoe breaks new ground for Ashworth – it is the first wingtip model in the company's history.

"At Ashworth Golf, we challenged ourselves to create something unique and special for the golfer," said Director for Global Product Footwear Marketing Masun Denison. "While the Encinitas draws inspiration from classic footwear, we've updated the design details and construction methods to create a product that not only looks great, but has proven performance benefits."

Designed to be worn both on and off the golf course, it features classic styling and a lightweight, flexible spikeless outsole. Combined with an ultra-rich leather upper and a soft EVA midsole with full-length cushioning, it provides premium stability and comfort.

GOLF BUZZ: adidas introduces innovative climachill apparel collection

The Encinitas Wingtip is available in three colorways for a suggested retail price of $200 per pair.

And while the Encinitas stands as Ashworth's first wingtip, the Kingston is the company's first cleated shoe. It features a classic saddle design with color pop accents and a seven-cleat outsole. It also has leather welt construction, stitch detailing and rich leather upper with microfiber lining.

The Kingston is also available in three colorways, and has a suggested retail price of $150 per pair. Both models are available at retail now.

 

Ashworth unveils Encinitas and Kingston golf shoe models
May 14, 2014 - 3:44pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, has always been a brand known for it's comfort and quality.

That remains the case with offerings this spring that include two new polos -- the Austin Argyle and the Solid Supreme -- as well as the brand's very popular Ombre Plaid short and more traditional Signature Garment Dyed shorts.

RELATED: PGA.com's extensive equipment page

The Austin Argyle ($98.50) is crafted from 100 percent Egyptian Cotton for an unmistakable comfort. The material is light and doesn't get in the way of your swinging motion. As with virtually all the apparel Bobby Jones has to offer, the Austin Argyle is great in a boardroom or on the golf course and goes perfectly with the Signature Garment Dyed Shorts, featuring a nice blend of cotton and spandex for tremendous fit and comfort.

You can't go wrong with the Bobby Jones Solid Supreme Cotton polo ($85), which comes in a variety of colors. Featuring the softest 100 percent pima fabric available, the polo has a three-button placket with the classic Bobby Jones Player embroidery.

The solid polos pair up perfectly with the Ombre Plaid Shorts ($98.50), constructed of 99 percent cotton and 1 percent spandex.

For more information on the Bobby Jones brand, visit www.bobbyjones.com.
 

Luxurious offerings from Bobby Jones as weather warms up
May 13, 2014 - 2:52pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
adidas Golf, climachill
adidas Golf
The new climachill line from adidas Golf will keep you cool even on the hottest of days.

adidas Golf has a introduced a line of apparel featuring new and exclusive fabric technologies designed to keep golfers cool when temperatures rise on the course.

How does it work?

The new climachill fabric construction utilizes woven titanium fibers that maximize surface contact with skin. Remarkably light, climachill fabric acts like an open mesh to increase air permeability, drawing heat away from the body and allowing for unmatched ventilation and evaporation of sweat to keep golfers cool like never before.

RELATED: SLDR S driver and woods and SLDR irons join TaylorMade family

Delivering a cooling sensation upon contact with the skin, small aluminum dots were strategically placed inside the back neck of the shirt, one of the warmest areas on the human body.

climachill apparel first appeared on the PGA Tour at The Players Championship last week, and the technology will be featured prominently in the scripting of Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day throughout the remainder of the 2014 PGA Tour season, adidas says.

"When the temperatures rise, I need apparel that will keep me cool, comfortable and focused on my play," said Jason Day, 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Champion. "I'm amazed by the technology adidas Golf has incorporated into their apparel, and with climachill, not only can I see the technology, I can feel it, too."

"We're consistently looking to develop the most innovative products to keep athletes comfortable so they can focus on performance," said Davide Mattucci, Director, Global Apparel Product Marketing for adidas Golf. "The climachill fabric is, by far, our most advanced to date and the benefits are actually developed at the microscopic level. It looks and feels like a solid performance fabric, but breathes like an open-air mesh. Once someone feels it, the difference is undeniable."

The climachill apparel collection includes five men's polos and three women's polos with an MSRP ranging from $75-$80 USD. Available now, visit adidasgolf.com to learn more about climachill technology and to view the entire apparel collection.

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

 

adidas Golf introduces innovative climachill apparel collection
TaylorMade SLDR S driver and woods, and SLDR irons
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The TaylorMade SLDR S driver, woods and rescues and the SLDR irons join an already expansive collection of clubs in the SLDR family.

The flagship SLDR franchise at TaylorMade, which has grown steadily since its introduction, is about to undergo a massive expansion. On Monday, the company showed off its forthcoming SLDR S driver, fairway woods and rescue clubs along with the first edition of SLDR irons.

The "S" stands for silver, which is the color of the crowns on the new driver and woods – differentiating them from the dark and white crowns on previous SLDR releases. They're all designed for players of a wide variety of skill levels, and all created to help golfers get more distance. In fact, the company is already using the hashtag #DistanceforAll to promote these new sticks.

The 460cc titanium driver includes the sliding weight system found on those earlier SLDR drivers, but not the adjustable hosel. And, in keeping with TaylorMade's current "Loft Up" campaign to get amateur golfers to use drivers with higher lofts – this new driver comes in lofts of 10, 12, 14 and even 16 degrees. Its stock shaft is the Fujikura Motore Speeder 57.

The fairway woods, whose heads are made of stainless steel, come in 3-wood (in 15- and 17-degree options), 5-wood (in 19- and 21-degree options) and 7-wood (23 degrees), and come standard with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 65 shaft. The stainless steel rescue clubs come in 19-, 22-, 25- and 28-degree models with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 72 stock shaft.

These clubs will be available at retail on May 16. The driver will carry a suggested retail price of $329, while the fairway woods will go for $229 and the rescue clubs for $179.

MORE SLDR: SLDR white driver | SLDR 430 driver | SLDR 14-degree driver | Original SLDR clubs 

The SLDR irons, like the new SLDR S woods, are designed for golfers of all skill levels. The 3- through 7-irons include the Speed Pocket, a narrow slot cut in the sole intended to generate more face flex, that is also found in other recent TaylorMade irons like the RocketBladez, while the 8- and 9-irons feature a solid sole. 

The Speed Pocket permits the face to rebound 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 – and can help most golfers add several yards per shot. The Speed Pocket also helps to lower the Center of Gravity, promoting a higher launch angle, higher peak trajectory and a steep, quick-stopping descent.

The SLDR irons feature a classic design with a thin topline and sole, and a limited amount of offset. They also will be available this month with a suggested retail price of $899 for a set of eight irons with KBS Tour C-Taper 90 steel shafts or three optional Fujikura graphite shafts.

Here is a TaylorMade video explaining more about the new clubs:

 

 

 

 

SLDR S driver and woods and SLDR irons join TaylorMade family
May 5, 2014 - 11:56am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bridgestone Golf
Bridgestone Golf
The latest versions of Bridgestone's popular TOUR B330-RX family of balls now feature the newly patented Hydro Core Technology.

You always hear about how important it is to be properly fit for golf clubs -- and there's no question it is.

But did you know it's just as important to be fit for the proper golf ball? Golf balls these days come built specifically for the player's level of ability. Frankly, if you're not using the golf ball that suits your game, well, you're just not going to get the most out of your score.

RELATED: Visit PGA.com's extensive equipment page | PGA.com Value Guide

With Bridgestone Golf, it's never been easier to get fit for the proper golf ball. And, the best part? You don't even have to leave your house.

Bridgestone Golf's B-Fit feature on the company's website allows the consumer to either call, or have a live chat via your computer, smart phone or tablet to consult with an expert B-FIT Technician to find the proper golf ball for your game.

Via the web chat option, you can be fit for the proper golf ball in no time. The B-FIT Technician asks a series of questions about your game, inquires about what it is you like/must have in a golf ball, and explains the science behind why you should be using a certain model of Bridgestone ball and the benefits you can get out of it.

Through the web chat, I was fit for the new B330-RXS, featuring Bridgestone's new hydro core technology.

Hydro? Does that mean, "water?" Yes, it does.

The latest versions of Bridgestone's popular TOUR B330-RX family of balls now feature the newly patented Hydro Core Technology. This groundbreaking technology provides golfers with swing speeds less than 105 mph longer distance and greater accuracy.

The folks at Bridgestone explained:

As with any new product, Bridgestone concocted and tested countless compounds for the core of its new B330-RX line. During testing, engineers discovered that a prototype with water in its core formulation produced 30% more gradation. This increase allowed for greater spin reduction from the inner and outer regions of the core producing longer distance and improved accuracy. Thus Hydro Core Technology was born.

"Bridgestone invented an entirely new product category with the introduction of the B330-RX family of golf balls," said Corey Consuegra, Director of Golf Ball Marketing – Bridgestone Golf, Inc. "We were the first to recognize that optimizing performance based on swing speed improves golfers' games. With continued innovation in engineering and reliance on amateur testing, our newest models really deliver."

Like its predecessors, the new B330-RX and B330-RXS golf balls feature a 3-piece urethane cover and continue to rely on Bridgestone’s Dual Dimple Technology. The B330-RX and B330-RXS are optimized best for players with swing speeds below 105 mph. The B330-RX is designed for players with a distance preference while the B330-RXS is targeted at those seeking maximum greenside spin.

"With the addition of Hydro Core Technology, the B330-RX family represents our commitment to using both data collected from 250,000 live ball fittings and R&D’s innovation in the lab," said Consuegra.

The new TOUR B330-RX and TOUR B330-RXS balls retail for around $44.99 per dozen. In addition to traditional white, the 2014 TOUR B330-RX is also available in Optic Yellow.

Visit www.bridgestonegolf.com to learn more.

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

 

Bridgestone Golf provides the perfect fitting system for your golf ball
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