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The Latest Goodies for Golfers

The Latest Goodies for Golfers

By Pam Borges

No signs of a depressed golf industry were seen at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show. More exhibitors and golf celebrities, than seen in recent years, provided positive momentum as companies launched a vast array of new products and innovations.

‘Customization’ is the key word today when it comes to equipment selection. Club-fitting, putter-fitting, ball-fitting, ‘what-have-you’ fitting is the buzz word. What’s best for you? Adjustable drivers, super light clubs designed for distance-challenged golfers and slower swingers, or those with spring-like faces and off-center-hit stability, which is now finding their way into irons?

 

Drivers/Woods

 

TaylorMade R11 Driver ($399)

www.taylormadegolf.com

Among the equipment heavyweights, TaylorMade’s ‘white knight’ has taken center stage among the game-improvement drivers this year. Rated as one of the top-rated drivers it sports a distinctive white crown, black clubface and sole. Why white? The matte white crown and black face provides optimum contrast against ground for easier alignment and aim… eliminates glare caused by reflected sunlight…makes the clubface appear larger at address, boosting confidence. It can be totally customized to your swing by activating the three dimensions to distance: adjustable hosel to change the loft; movable soleplate to adjust the face angle; movable weights adjust CG location for flight path control. Excellent adjustability features contribute to straighter, longer drives.

 

Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 Driver ($329)

www.touredge.com

Tour Edge’s Exotics line keeps pushing the possibilities of material combinations to make one of the lightest drivers on the market, 276 grams. The heart of the XCG-4 is the head design which features a titanium face and sole, a carbon crown and sole inserts, and tungsten sole weights. The mix of heavy tungsten and light carbon lowers the CG for higher ball launch with less spin resulting in longer, straighter tee shots even on off-center contact. The multiple levels of face thickness, shaped like a boomerang, maximize spring-like effect for a hotter launch. Choose from two versions: the super-ultra-light 276 gram model or the standard ultra-light 310 gram model.

 

Exotics Trilogy Fairway Wood ($199)

The Exotics Trilogy Rail Fairway is, by far, the easiest-to-hit fairway wood ever introduced. Can you imagine hitting a 3-wood out of thick rough? The Trilogy does that and more. It focuses on forgiveness, delivers higher launch, more accurate, straighter and longer shots from deep rough, firm turf and even the worst lies. What’s the secret to this “diamond in the rough”? The Trilogy’s three rail sole. The large diamond-shaped inner rail performs as a rudder that maneuvers the turf to groove your clubface square through impact while minimizing turf drag. The two outer rails move more mass to the rear heel and toe for enhanced stability on off-center hits. The result is longer, higher and more accurate fairway shots from just about any lie on the course.

 

Callaway RAZR Hawk Driver ($399)

www.callawaygolf.com

Callaway has made a giant leap forward with Forged Composite technology. In the quest to make a lighter and more aerodynamically designed driver to increase hotter ball speeds for longer distance, they are using a new lightweight carbon-fiber formula that’s lighter and stronger than titanium, to form the RAZR Hawk clubhead’s crown and sole. The overall design, enhanced by a spin-cast-nickel rear weight pad and thin aluminum skid plate on the sole reduces energy loss from drag during downswing. The milled titanium cupface improves flexibility on off-center hits for a straighter, longer drive.

 

Putters

 

Putter-fitting has become the latest trend in club customization. Putter loft, shaft height and grip size are important features affecting alignment and accuracy; yet a few companies have taken notice and expanded their line of standard putters to accommodate short people and those with large hands. The time has come.

 

Tour Edge Backdraft GT+ ($49.99)

The high-contrast white head with black alignment markings and jumbo size grip are unique technologies never before combined in putter design. The Backdraft GT+ uses Optic Technology to maximize contrast against the green, optimize focus and aim accuracy. The jumbo grip helps to reduce grip pressure, wrist and hand movement when putting to create a softer, more fluid putting stroke. The new Backdraft GT+ features four designs standard with a jumbo grip.

 

Nickel Putter No. 1 Pro ($245)

www.nickelputter-usa.com

Can you imagine a putter with adjustable length shafts that enables the ball to be picked up and marked on the green without the need to bend over? That’s customization…that’s the Nickel Putter No. 1 Pro. It received a 5-star rating by GolfTest USA, in every performance category, outranking the famed Odyssey 2-Ball putter. This German engineered precision designed putter is constructed with a CNC milled lightweight aluminum body enhanced by lateral embedded counterweights to form one seamless unit. An elongated polymer insert poured into the club face traverses the entire club head enhancing contact with ball, providing an extended target area. All Nickel putters are equipped with adjustable grips that adjust to any incremental length between 31-37 inches, as well as rotational adjustments for golfers who consistently miss in one direction of target. But the No.1 Pro model is the world’s first putter designed to accommodate an attachable ball marking mechanism. Accessorize with their Ball Pick-Up device, the most advanced pick-up developed that attaches to the putter end to allow golfers to retrieve the golf ball out of the cup.

 

Training Aids

 

Swingpact Golf Swing Trainer ($19.95)

www.swingpact.com

**Voted the Best Market Research Product in the Inventor’s Spotlight

This small, lightweight plastic golf swing trainer simplifies the golf swing by setting a precise and consistent shaft-to-forearm angle in the address position and teaches the golfer to hold the wrist lag on the downswing thus, executing a one piece take-away. Swingpact attaches to the club with hand pressure alone so you can rapidly change between clubs. Because of its simplicity and size, you can use it on the course for every swing to ensure consistent body positions and execute consistent movements across every club.

 

Automatic Putting Package ($79.95)

www.mariusgolf.com

World renowned putting instructor, Marius Filmalter, unveils the results of his research on the biomechanics of more than 54,000 putting strokes from some of the world’s finest putters in this 3 DVD set. He explains the 10 characteristics of a great putter as well as providing drills to help implement them into your game. Further discussion includes myths of putting, directional vs. distance control and how to select the correct putter. The Marius Putting Belt, a training aid that forces the golfer to stay connected throughout the stroke, focuses on using the large muscles to putt. The Tempo Training Metronome is a training aid that attaches to your hat or collar to help establish putting tempo. All three components are included in the Automatic Putting Package or purchased separately.

 

The Best Putting Instruction Book Ever! ($32)

www.golf.com/bestputting

The latest in the line of Golf Magazine’s instructional manuals is authored by an all-star cast of putting experts including Marius Filmalter, Mike Shannon and Dr. Craig Farnsworth. The collection includes putting tips and lessons on DVD (included), and it covers every aspect of putting including picking the right putter, building the perfect stance, calibrating the stroke, greens reading, alignment, ways to fix the most common putting faults and much more. This 192-page illustrated book will help any golfer save strokes the easy way…by making more putts!

 

Accessories

 

Hirzl Golf Gloves ($28.99)

www.hirzl.com

The Hirzl glove, customized for the low, mid and high handicapped golfer, outperforms like no other. Available in three models…their Trust Control (medium-high handicappers) and Trust Feel (low handicappers) are all-weather gloves that feature a black kangaroo leather palm (stronger than cabretta) and cabretta/airtech mesh backhand.

Their Grippp technology delivers up to 3x more grip in dry conditions and up to 5x more in wet conditions than other gloves plus 100 percent sweat-free palm. Their Soffft Flex model, designed for tour players, features platinum cabretta leather palm with platinum cabretta leather/lycra backhand. Their Soffft technology ensures unsurpassed softness, highest tear strength and longer performance than any other cabretta glove. All models are fully washable.

 

BandZorb ($8.95-$9.95/6 pkg.)

www.bandzorb.com

**Voted Best New Overall Product in the Inventor’s Spotlight

Has sweat stained your visors, hats, caps or helmets? Don’t sweat it…save your headwear with the world’s first self-adhesive, antimicrobial, super absorbent, disposable headwear liners. Made of 100 percent cotton, BandZorb liners keep all headwear cleaner, skin drier and healthier. No more washing or scrubbing our headgear! Liners come in two sizes to perfectly fit any visor, cap or hat.

 

Golfdotz ($5.99/pkg)

www.golfdotz.com

Golfdotz are an ink tattoo for the golf ball…an easy ID ball-marking innovation. Unlike other marking systems that require stamps, stencils and messy markers, Golfdotz offer a quick way to personalize your golf ball in seconds with this highly durable marking technology that bonds to the skin of the ball. Not a sticker or decal, they will not interfere with play and are approved for professional play. Available in 80-plus unique designs.

 

Pam Borges, a member of the International Network of Golf and Golf Writers Association of America, is a Rhode Island-based golf writer. She is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly and freelance writer for other regional publications.

 


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