October 4, 2012 - 12:15am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Cleveland Golf forged RTG wedge
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf
Cleveland's new Forged RTG wedges come in an Oil Quench finish and will rust over time.

Building on the success of its popular 588 Wedge line, Cleveland Golf is rolling out its new 588 Forged RTG wedge.

The 588 Forged RTG (Raw Tour Grind) model maintains the popular shape of Cleveland's 588 Forged predecessors, but this one features a dynamic grind on the back of the sole to reduce volume there. This dynamic grind allows golfers to open the face with a lower leading edge for better contact.

Made from 1025 carbon steel, the new wedge provides a soft feel and less vibration. The precision of Cleveland’s Laser Milled technology preserves the edges of the grooves, enhances the grooves' consistency and maximizes the grooves' allowable dimensions while conforming to USGA requirements. The RTG also features a True Temper Dynamic Gold shaft, a high-flex, tour-weight shaft designed for skilled players seeking a low, penetrating ball flight for enhanced control and accuracy.

The 588 Forged RTG wedge is available in lofts of 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, and 64 degrees of loft. All lofts except 62 and 64 degrees are also available in left-handed models. They are available in an Oil Quench finish and will rust over time, and carry a listed minimum advertised price $139.99 per club.

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October 3, 2012 - 2:05am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Camouflaged TaylorMade irons
TaylorMade Golf via Twitter
TaylorMade offered these sneak peeks at their new prototype irons with "secret badging."

If you’re a car guy like me, you love to see spy shots of new models while they’re out being tested. Oftentimes, the car companies try to disguise specific features of their future vehicles by covering them with camouflage to keep the competition guessing – and, of course, to get the fans of their brands curious about what’s coming next.

You don’t often see camouflaged golf clubs, though, but it’s not unheard of. In fact, TaylorMade had Sean O’Hair testing some prototype irons on the range at the Justin Timberlake Shriner’s Hospitals Open in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but they covered the backs of the heads with a crazy pattern a la the car companies to keep people from getting too good a look.

TaylorMade didn’t want to keep things too hush-hush, though – they took their own spy shots and posted them on Twitter. The photos give a pretty nice peek at the clubs, which have a clean, classic look and, to me, somewhat resemble TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MB irons from a few seasons ago.

What exactly is hidden under that psychedelic pattern? We’ll likely find out sometime before the PGA Merchandise Show next January.


September 30, 2012 - 1:02am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ogio Nebula golf bag
Courtesy of Ogio Golf
The Nebula men's carry bag weighs in at mere 3.8 pounds.

Ogio has introduced its Endurance Lightweight Collection, the newest addition to its award-winning arsenal of golf bags. The collection consists of four men's and two women's cart and stand bags ranging in weight from 3.6 to 4.8 pounds. The new bags combine the synergy of high tensile and lightweight materials, like those used for building parachutes, says Ogio.

The Cirrus (men's cart bag) features a 14-way Diamond UltraLite Performance cart top with full-length club dividers and integrated handles, along with 10 zippered pockets and a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve. It weighs in at 4.8 pounds and retails for $199.99.

The Aura (women's cart bag) also weighs 4.8 pounds and contains a 14-way Diamond UltraLite Performance cart top with full-length club dividers and integrated handles. Its deluxe padded shoulder strap is complemented by 10 zippered pockets and a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve. It retails for $199.99.

The Nebula (men's carry bag) comes with a 10-inch mouth and a six-way performance top with full-length club dividers, and weighs in at 3.8 pounds. It also has eight zippered pockets and a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve. A four-point harness shoulder strap is accompanied by an accessible water bottle holster, and the bag retails for $199.99.

The Nimbus (men's carry bag) features a nine-inch mouth and a seven-way performance top with side putter pit, full-length club dividers and integrated handle. The bag also includes six zippered pockets, a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve, a four-point harness shoulder strap and an accessible water bottle holster. It tips the scales at 3.6 pounds, and retails for $179.99.

The Wisp (men's carry bag) offers a nine-inch WoodeLite top with full-length club dividers and a triple triangle shoulder strap system. Five zippered pockets are accompanied by a weather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket and an accessible water bottle holster. It weighs four pounds, and retails for $149.99.

The Halo (women's carry bag) also comes with a nine-inch mouth and seven-way performance top with side putter pit, full-length club dividers and integrated handle. It has six zippered pockets, a wather-resistant fleece-lined valuables pocket with cell phone sleeve and a four-point harness shoulder strap. It weighs 3.6 pounds, and retails for $179.99.

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September 27, 2012 - 12:40am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Cobra AMP Cell driver line
Courtesy of Cobra Golf
The new AMP Cell drivers from Cobra will come in a variety of splashy colors, and feature a Cell band that wraps around the clubhead.

Heads up, Rickie Fowler! Cobra Golf is rolling out its new AMP Cell line of drivers -- the AMP Cell, AMP Cell Offset and AMP Cell Pro. These big sticks feature Cobra's new MyFly technology, which allows golfers to select from six different loft and trajectory settings depending on factors ranging from their swing to the weather to course conditions.

And, of course, they couldn't be contemporary Cobra clubs unless they're as colorful as they are adjustable – and so they come in four eye-popping shades: Silver, Directoire Blue, Barbados Red and Vibrant Orange for the AMP Cell, and Vibrant Orange and Silver for the Pro model. The clubs' soles boast a curved Cell band in the featured color, while the crown color is solid. The Offset model is Revolver Grey with hints of Barbados Red.

Using a wrench, golfers can adjust the AMP Cell and Offset drivers to 8.5 degrees, 9.5 degrees, 9.5 degrees Draw, 10.5 degrees Draw and 11.5 degrees. The AMP Cell Pro, designed for players with faster swing speeds, can be adjusted to 7.5, 8.5, 8.5 Fade, 9.5, 9.5 Fade and 10.5 degrees. All versions utilize Cobra's proprietary SmartPad technology to deliver a square face at address regardless of the loft setting and still allow the face to be slightly open or closed as desired.

This MyFly adjustability is Cobra's next step up from the Adjustable Flight Technology found in current drivers such as the ZL Encore. That allows golfers to select from three different face angle settings (Closed, Neutral and Open).

These new drivers also contain Cobra's E9 Face Technology with dual roll, which is found in current models including the AMP and ZL Encore. This gives the clubface a 12 percent larger, elliptical sweet spot that improves distance and accuracy on mis-hits from heel to toe and above and below the centerline.

At Cobra, AMP stands for Advanced Material Placement, which is the company's way of thinning the clubhead walls and redistributing up to 15 grams of mass deep and back in the head, while Cell technology saves and redistributes weight to the Cell band that wraps around the clubhead to the crown. This band also shows the golfer where the weight is distributed.

The AMP Cell Driver has its Center of Gravity optimized for low-mid handicap players, while the AMP Cell Pro uses a lower, more neutral Center of Gravity position for better players. The AMP Cell Offset has a heel-biased Center of Gravity to help correct slices.

The AMP Cell carries a suggested retail price of $299 and will be available in both right- and left-handed models. It comes in Stiff, Regular and Lite flexes and features a Fujikura Fuel shaft (60g S and R, 55g L and 45.75-inch length) and a 460cc head. The Pro model carries a suggested retail price of $399, and comes in right- and left-handed models with a MRC Kurokage shaft (65g and 45.25-inch length) and a 440cc head. The Offset, whch retails for $249, will be available in a 10.5-degree loft in Stiff, Regular or Lite flexes for both right-hand and left-hand models, as well as a right-hand, 11.5-degree model in either Regular or Lite flexes.

These drivers will be available at retail on Feb. 8, 2013.

Also coming out early next year are AMP Cell fairway clubs and hybrids, also containing Cobra’s MyFly adjustability. The fairways will be available in a 3-4 model and a 5-7 model that can be adjusted to eight different lofts. The hybrids will come in 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 models that can be adjusted to 10 different lofts.

This, says Cobra, will give golfers a never-before-seen ability to effectively dial in distance gaps and manage trajectories for their individual long-game needs, as well as turf and weather conditions. These clubs will come in the same colors as the AMP Cell driver, so golfers can create a matched set or a personalized, mixed look.

The fairway clubs will carry a suggested retail price of $219 per club, and will come in right- and left-handed models with MyFly technology in 3-4W and 5-7W models. The 3-4W model allows golfers to adjust between 13 degrees, 14 degrees, 14 degree Draw, 15 degrees, 15 degree Draw and 16 degrees while the 5-7W model adjusts between 17, 18, 18 Draw, 19, 19 Draw and 20-degree models.

The hybrids will carry a suggested retail price of $199 per club, and will come in both right- and left-handed models with MyFly technology in 2/3H, 3/4H and 4/5H models. The 2/3H model adjusts between 16 degrees, 17, 17 Draw, 18, 18 Draw and 19 degrees, while the 3/4H model adjusts between 19 degrees, 20, 20 Draw, 21, 21 Draw and 22 degrees. And the 4/5H model adjusts between 22, 23, 23 Draw, 24, 24 Draw and 25 degrees.

And rounding out the new line will be the AMP Cell Irons, which feature a metalwood face-weld construction, E9 Face Technology and AMP Cell technology as well as a V-Skid sole design, vibration management system and speed channel to help provide enhanced distance, forgiveness and accuracy.

The AMP Cell 4- through 7-irons feature a metalwood construction with a thin, high-strength steel face that is welded to a softer 431 stainless steel body. This optimizes the irons, says Cobra, and helps to generate faster ball speeds for improved distance and forgiveness. The clubs also contain E9 Face Technology to optimize the performance of each individual iron and improve distance, feel and forgiveness based on golfers’ most common impact patterns.

The internal cell weighting in the AMP Cell irons enables precise Center of Gravity placement, while the V-Skid sole combines a higher-bounce leading edge with heel-toe relief, resulting in a sole that is versatile for better players, yet forgiving for mid- and higher-handicappers. This works with the vibration management system to reduce unwanted vibration and sound for exceptional feel.

Just like the AMP Cell drivers, fairways and hybrids, golfers will have a choice in color when selecting their irons. While silver will be the stock option, AMP Cell Irons with Vibrant Orange, Directoire Blue or Barbados Red details also will be available.

The new irons (3-iron through lob wedge) will come in right- and left-handed models in both steel and graphite shafts. Eight-piece sets (4-iron through gap wedge) will carry a street price of $699 for the steel set and $899 for the graphite set. The steel irons will feature True Temper Dynalite 90 shafts and the graphite irons will use Cobra MRC AMP Cell shafts. All irons will feature Lamkin REL .600 grips designed specifically for them.

September 25, 2012 - 11:13pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Feel Golf 73-degree wedge
Courtesy of Feel Golf
The 73-degree wedge from Feel Golf allows players to hit a very high, soft-landing shot with ease.

What does Feel Golf have in common with Apple? Both sold out of their most recent offering in almost no time.

For boutique clubmaker Feel Golf, the hot product is its new 73-degree wedge. Feel launched the wedge (which comes in USGA conforming and non-conforming editions) about a week ago, and they proved so popular that they’re already sold out.

"This is the biggest rush order Feel Golf has seen since first introducing the original non-conforming shot-saving wedge," said Feel Golf CEO and PGA Professional Lee Miller. "Both conforming and non-conforming 73-degree wedges are on back order and are scheduled to arrive around the end of October."

The new model is the latest revelation from Feel Golf, which introduced a 64-degree wedge in the early 1990s. That club was thought to be too extreme at the time, says Feel Golf, but many players – most famously Phil Mickelson -- now regularly use 64-degree wedges. These clubs, though, might be better suited for mid- to high-handicap players who lack confidence with nuanced shots close to the green.

"The 73-degree wedge allows players to hit a very high, soft-landing shot with ease from 50 yards in," said Miller. "Just like the 64-degree wedge, our 73-degree wedge allows the golfer to take their full swing, which is a golfer's most repeatable swing, and simply aim it right at the pin."

Feel Golf's 73-degree wedge helps eliminate most of the short-game guesswork of open stances, open faces and half swings, company officials say. One of the most common problems for recreational players is that they lack the touch and confidence to fully commit to the shot, they explain, so they decelerate, producing inconsistent results.

"With good rhythm, players can take a full swing with the 73-degree wedge," said Miller. The wedge glides through the ball, landing very softly from a tight lie or a bunker making it easier to score just like the pros."

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September 25, 2012 - 12:51am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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SkyCaddie Breeze rangefinder
Courtesy of SkyGolf
The Skycaddie Breeze offers a variety of different displays of scorecards and yardages, among its many features.

SkyGolf bills its new SkyCaddie Breeze as the simplest rangefinder in golf, not to mention its least expensive. The Breeze delivers a virtual sprinkler head, says SkyGolf -- offering golfers front, middle and back-of-the-green distances from anywhere on the course without touching a button or even aiming the device.

The Breeze comes preloaded and is hands-free from the parking lot to the 18th green, and yardages are displayed in big, easy-to-read numbers on a 3-inch, sunlight-readable display. Its features include: Auto Course (finds and loads a course automatically); Auto Hole Advance (advances to the next hole automatically); and Auto Distance (yardages update every second without aiming).

Golfers also can measure any shot, knowing the exact distance they hit their clubs, while enjoying digital scoring at their choosing and much more. And with a turn of the wrist, they can view a jumbo screen with a large number to the green or see their scorecard in landscape orientation.

"The new Breeze addresses the needs of a large segment of golfers who are looking for simplicity and accuracy at a price unmatched in the industry," said SkyGolf CEO Richard Edmonson. "Even more exciting is the Breeze is also upgradable to provide many other game-saving course features and applications that help golfers play even better as their needs and their games grow. This will enable Breeze owners to customize their SkyCaddie to meet their unique needs as golfers without buying a new device or buy features they would not use."

Breeze owners seeking more advanced features such as HoleVue, IntelliGreen, RangeVue and PinPoint can add them via a series of optional upgrade packs and membership choices.

The Breeze carries a suggested retail price of $229.95, and for the remainder of 2012 buyers will receive $250 in Hotel Savings Bucks, which may be used to for savings of up to 40 percent off the guaranteed lowest rate available at more than 15,000 hotel properties worldwide. In addition, members can earn SkyRewards Points and other discounts, and can reduce the price even more by taking advantage of the SkyGolf Trade-In program.

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