Check out some of the newest golf gear and apparel in early 2018
By T.J. Auclair
For many experiencing the brunt of those cold, snowy, miserable winter days, it might seem like the start of golf season is a world away.
But trust us -- it's not as far away as you think.
It's OK to start daydreaming of those perfect days strolling the fairways because they'll soon be reality.
To pass the time, maybe you want to start looking at some of the newest and best equipment, gear and more to put to use for your golf season ahead.
Here's a look at a round up of products we've had the chance to try out over the last couple of months, some of which you might want to consider.
Regarded by many as one of the finest equipment companies in all of golf, Miura is most well-known for its impeccable forged irons.
Katsuhiro Miura, with the help of his sons Yoshitaka and Shinei, design and manufacture the clubs in Japan. Customers are encouraged to go through Miura's extensive fitting process before purchasing the clubs.
I tried Miura's fitting process for the CB-2008 irons from certified dealer Todd Daigneault, owner of "Prove It Golf" in Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Daigneault's indoor studio featured a sophisticated simulator, utilizing a GC2 launch monitor and an extensive fitting matrix with over 150 shafts available in stock.
Over the course of the hour-long session, Daigneault had me try out roughly six different shafts to dial in what felt best and, most importantly, produced the best results for the CB-2008 iron heads.
For me, that perfect shaft ended up being the graphite, KBS Tour, C-Taper Lite, 115X.
As for the irons... One thing that's so great about clubmakers these days is the ability to mix and match your iron set for maximum forgiveness and feel. Usually, that means you want to have a deeper cavity with more forgiveness in your longer clubs, while tightening up with mid and short irons, sometimes to the point of blades -- ultimate feel -- in the pitching wedge in 9-iron.
Miura took that into consideration with its CB-2008 line. Instead of having the player put together a mixed set, the CB-2008s -- which are built from 5-iron to pitching wedge -- progressively get tighter, with a smaller cavity, as you get closer to the pitching wedge to maximize the "feel" on your scoring clubs.
Aesthetically speaking, the CB-2008 has the look of a player's iron -- thinner top line, more compact head -- but still offers plenty of forgivness with its wide sole. If you're the type of player who prefers the look of a player's iron, but still needs those game-improvement qualities, the CB-2008 would be a great option.
On the course, what was most impressive with the custom-fit CB-2008 was actually Miura's calling card -- incredible feel with minimal dispersion. In other words, the mishits were still very much in play.
The CB-2008 irons come at a price tag of $329/club. They're not cheap, but with the Miura craftsmanship, you certainly get what you pay for -- top-notch quality and performance.
A new player into the market of wearable golf devices is the ShotScope V2 GPS watch ($250). With a database of 40,000+ courses around the world, you should have no problem simply turning on the device and being ready to play within minutes of arriving at the course.
Along with its GPS capabilities offering yardages to the front, center and back of greens, what I really loved about the ShotScope V2 is its performance tracking.
The device comes with the watch, as well as 20 lightweight tags that stick into the top of the grip on each of your clubs.
The company's patented ClubSense technology allows the wristband to sense the tag during the swing so that you can play free from manual input or use of your phone. The technology enables differentiation between practice swings and real shots, optimizing the accuracy of your data and helping you reach your full potential.
Once you complete your round, you can then upload your performance data through an app.
With over 100 Tour-Level statistics, ShotScope allows golfers to dissect every part of their game. This is a tremendous tool for finding the baseline on where you need to improve.
If you like "different" then you can't miss with Bradley Putters out of Grants Pass, Oregon.
Owner Bradley Converse's putters are made from what he describes as, "ridiculously over-engineered pieces of wood."
And what that leads to, folks, are putters that look like they should hang on the wall of an art museum. To create their one-of-a-kind putters, Bradley doesn't use any CNC machines -- just saws, sanders and a drill press.
So how is the wood able to hold up with regular use?
"Our wood is as hard as brass, while being 12 percent of the density," Converse says on his site. "This means that we get a soft, responsive feel, and can control the overall weight using internally placed lead, which gives us full control over the engineering properties. We also don't need to mill the face, which only makes the face feel softer on a steel putter."
Starting at just over $500, you can either choose a putter to be built from Bradley's current available stock, or you can design your own putter and color scheme.
The Cobra King F8 ($399.99) has a distinctive feature that we've never seen before in another driver -- a CNC milled face. Because of the precise milling process, the face is now three percent lighter and ll percent thinner.
With those improvements, the face flexes more, using less wait leading to lower spin... and longer drives.
The driver is also equipped with Cobra Connect technology for driver shot tracking.
Guerin Rife -- he of Two Bar putter fame -- is the CEO and chief designer of EVNROLL, which was born in 2015.
EVNROLL Putters were built to eliminate mishits by broadening the sweet spot to create "The Sweetest Face in Golf."
The ER2 MidBlade -- the company's most popular model -- features a shorter, wider heel and toe weighted flange blade.
With its "Sweet Face" technology, EVROLL says its putters will allow the ball to travel, "virtually the same distance to virtually the same spot from center and off center hits."
The perfect tops for the start, or end of golf season, when the temperatures are still chilly.
The Tattersall Shirt ($145) is made from 100 percent cotton, woven with a 50s yarn, machine washable, and cut and sewn in the USA.
The Marled Cotton Quarter-Zip Sweater ($135) made from soft cotton is the perfect layering piece for all climates and is great on or off the course.
7. Bills Khakis Supima Pique Polo, M2 (Classic Fit) Travel Twill Pant
7. Bills Khakis Supima Pique Polo, M2 (Classic Fit) Travel Twill Pant
The Supima Pique Polo ($115) from Bills Khakis features a relaxed, comfortable cut, that stays out of the way when your swinging your clubs.
M2 (Classic Fit) Travel Twill Pants ($165) are the perfect companion to the Supima Pique Polo. The Travel Twills are constructed with a reverse blend of 37 percent polyester, 32% Tencel, 31% cotton fabric. They are soft, wrinkle and stain resistant and even offer a little stretch.