2006’s Exciting Gift Hot List
By: Dr. Barry Lotz
This year’s new golf products are innovative, useful and beneficial. What more do you need to give yourself a reason to buy a great gift for your circle of influence and friends? Even for yourself!
TaylorMade r7 Irons
What a dream to hit! It’s been a long time coming, but the new r7 Series of Driver, Fairway wood, Rescue Clubs and irons are quite outstanding. These are the clubs one lies awake at night and imagines what, if given the chance, one would design. They are so buttery, yet so solid – they make golf enjoyable again and a confidence booster second to none.
The new 2007 TaylorMade r7 Irons feature Enhanced Inverted Cone Technology which maximizes the COR zone, delivering the highest ball speed over a larger face area.
These new steel- faced irons offer longer carry and distance on mis-hits. The irons feature a dampening web of soft aluminum and a high-tech bonding compound.
They also feature a moderate offset that promotes a square clubface at impact, equaling increased ball control for increased accuracy. Their deep cavity design allows the mass to be positioned lower and deeper back, away from the face that delivers the highest launch angle for maximum carry.
A choice of two shafts (T Step 90-gram steel or RE*AX™ 65-gram graphite) promote higher clubhead speed and a strong release for increased distance.
These irons are targeted to the mid to high handicapper. A Tour version, the r7 TP, is also available for Tour players and low handicappers.
Our next article will analyze the driver, fairway wood, hybrid and wedges – but if you can, go test them as soon as they hit the stores. Guaranteed to satisfy!
($699 Steel $899 Graphite 3-PW www.taylormadegolf.com)
Nike Juice 312 Ball
Nike has developed a new ball that lets consumers know that Juice is a sign of hope for those who have battled psychological challenges due to “flat” ball flight, minimum distance and the endless search for perfect contact.
The Juice ball provides dramatic improvements. The packaging goes on with other tongue in cheek warnings, such as: while the flight and trajectory of the Juice ball are extraordinary, this does not give the player the ability to fly. As always, Nike Golf recommends that golf be played responsibly. The Juice is not available in drinkable form.
For best results, the Juice ball compliments low to mid swing speeds. The two-piece Juice features a low dimple count of 312, representing an all-time low of any Nike Golf ball. Its count and high velocity core all combine to maximize carry, increase hang time and minimize drag, translating to greater distance.
With its new 2-piece technology, the Shore D 65 cover provides extra energy to overall ball velocity, but still maintains adequate spin off the irons. The high velocity, low compression core increases ball speed, yet reduces spin off the driver.
To remind golfers to “juice it,” the Juice 312 ball features a boldface stamp design that is accompanied by the Nike Swoosh
(MSRP $28 per dozen www.nikegolf.com)
The T35’s forged carbon steel heads have deep, aggressive grooves. The grooves’ sharper leading edge digs into the ball for more control. The ‘Tri-Ground’ sole with radius back keeps the feel consistent, regardless of where you hit it on the club.
Available in 52º, 56º and 60º with a True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shaft.
Tour Edge Exotics CB2
Finally! Tour Edge’s new Exotics CB2 “wood-like” hybrid lifts hybrid technology to an unprecedented level.
If you are having difficulty hitting your 3 wood off the deck, this club is the solution. There is between an 8 – 10 yard carry distance difference from the competitor’s products.
Sleek and powerful, the CB2 combines a forged, lightweight 15-3-3-3 beta titanium cupped face that is chemically bonded to a heavier hyper-steel body. For the ultimate in distance, the CB2 features variable face thickness for maximum rebound. The perimeter of the face is thinner and the center is thicker. The result is hybrid accuracy and control with fairway wood distance.
The CB2 has two weight ports with removable 6-gram screws. Enthusiasts can purchase an optional weight kit with four additional screws that can be employed to fine tune the CB2 to any swing. Available in lofts of 16 º, 19 º, 22 º and 25 º, with either steel or graphite shafts.
($199 Steel $219 Graphite www.touredge.com)
NICKENT 3DX DC Utility
Another manufacturer whose products have taken the Tour by storm is Nickent Golf.
Two versions of Nickent’s 3DX DC hybrids are available, as Nickent was the first manufacturer to introduce a more wood-like hybrid and a more iron-like hybrid at the same time. It was the 3DX DC Utility that caught our fancy.
The Utility DC is more of a wood-iron than an iron-wood, with a much wider body that offers a higher launch. It is setup to be in the middle of the iron-like hybrid and a fairway wood, a perfect combination for players who haven’t caught the hybrid boom yet. It is easier to hit with a shorter shaft, stays much straighter than a fairway wood, and will be only a few yards shorter in distance than your standard fairway wood.
This is a hybrid for fairway wood lovers who crave control, ease of use and versatility.
Ben Hogan CFT Ti Hybrid
Following its extremely popular steel Edge, the new Ben Hogan CFT Ti titanium head has been redesigned to create a lower and deeper CG (center of gravity) than the original Edge CFT Hybrid, with enhanced playability and a wider array of shot making possibilities.
The optimal CG position makes this club easier to hit, with a higher trajectory and greater forgiveness from anywhere on the course. These clubs are pure pleasure to play.
The shafts – the Aldila NVS Hybrid in graphite and the True Temper Crossfire steel – were both specifically designed to accentuate the performance of the CFT.
Available in lofts of 14 º,17º, 19º, 21º, 24º and 27º
($135 Steel $149 Graphite www.benhogan.com)
PING Rapture Driver
The sweet sounding PING 460 cc Rapture features a distinctive titanium-composite crown—the titanium webbing toward the rear is filled with lightweight composite, which elicits a pleasing, titanium-like pop. The use of a multi-material crown allows Ping’s designers an additional 20 grams of moveable weight, compared to the existing and popular PING G5.
By shifting the weight lower to the sole, there is a decrease in ball spin, while added back weight, in the heel and toe, sends shots higher. According to Ping, this results in 7 yards more distance than the G5 based on company robot tests.
($430 (graphite) www.pinggolf.com)
Zoni Training Putter – RC %0 Intermediate Model
Want to putt like Tiger or a top PGA Tour player? Then the Zoni Putter Company has the perfect training aid to start lowering your golf scores and improve your putting. This training putter will help you become more consistent on the greens and get you to look forward to putting again.
The Zoni putter, available in three models, will help you to stop buying so many putters and finally learn that it’s not the putter but the person putting.
More importantly, the Zoni’s main mission is to get you to putt like a pro who strokes the ball 90% of the time in the center of the putter face. The average golfer strikes the center of the putter face only 20% of the time.
($109 plus S&H www.zoniputter.com)
Nike Unitized Putter
Paul Casey has been winning some rather large dollars with his new Retro Unitized putter.
The Unitized, which takes its name from the definition “to make a single unit,” holds the distinction of being the only putter in the marketplace that has the head and shaft designed and engineered as one piece.
As such, Nike Golf’s seamless construction creates an express line straight from the putter face to the grip, with no stops along the way to interrupt frequencies between the putter head and the golfer’s hands.
This delivers a pure response and unparalleled feel, a sense of touch, which is further enhanced by the forged head, and precision milled face. The Unitized’s superlative feedback translates into better distance control for fewer putts.
Bettinardi Putter C Series C-01
Designed by the legendary Bobby Bettinardi, now with Mizuno USA, the C-01 is a classically designed heel-toe weighted, pocket cavity putter that is 100% precision milled from 11L17 Carbon Steel. The C-Series is designed for the player that prefers the feel and appearance of a more traditional head shape. The C-01 features a more traditional, recognized head shape, Bettinardi’s patented Honeycomb Face for consistent ball striking, optimum offset, YSC True Temper shaft, and a Winn AVS17 grip.
The C-01 has 4 degrees of loft and a 71 degree lie angle and features rounded edges on the trailing flange and a slightly longer, plumber neck for a unique appearance and perspective on the ball.
The C-01 is available in 34” and 35” lengths and features a plated satin pearl finish.
Bag Boy Navigator Remote Control Golf Cart with an Electronic Compass
This simply is one of the best remote controlled golf carts, as well as a wonderful gift for the walking golfer.
Similar to a 3-wheel push cart, the NAVIGATOR is self-propelled and allows you to enjoy the exercise of walking, while totally eliminating the strain of pulling or pushing your cart around the course.
This electric cart climbs and descends hills effortlessly, while running on a rechargeable battery that’s made to last 18 holes of play.
Amongst it’s numerous other features are an electronic compass to ensure that the cart goes where you want it to go without constant steering, handle mounted controls in addition to the remote control, maintenance free 12”non-flat tire and twin calibrated 140 watt motors, ensuring the cart tracks straight.
The battery is included. The Navigator is very easy to breakdown and fits into most car trunks very compactly.
Dunning Golf Shirts
COOLMAX CHANNEL™ Tone Stripe Polo DG 111
The newest golf shirt manufacturer has developed a collection of stylish and comfortable golf shirts featuring a fabric that wicks moisture away from the body’s surface keeping it cool and dry.
The shirt provides sun protection from UV exposure (40+ rating) and is anti-microbial for excellent odor control, together with a multi-level channel system with built in ventilation and moisture management. It is extremely breathable and has a four- way stretch feature.
AHEAD Knit Woven Color Block Long Sleeve Wind shirt
The Knit Woven Color Block wind shirt is lightweight and highly water resistant and a must for every golfer’s bag. Made out of polyester-spandex construction, the knit woven wind shirt features a 4-way stretch for easy movement.
The color block style features pieced side panels with dyed to match knit rib at collar, cuff and waistband. The wind shirt is available in short sleeve and long sleeve in four colorways; sand, scarlet, black, and cadet blue.
Etonic G>SOK XCR
The G>SOK XCR is a shoe with style and substance! By incorporating outdoor technology into the G>SOK category, the XCR provides golfers with a non-classic golf shoe that is extremely durable in all types of terrain and weather.
The Gore-Tex XCR membrane, which is used in trail running shoes, is a waterproof breathable membrane that provides extra comfort by keeping the foot dry. In addition, the popular G>SOK outsole provides outstanding traction from all types of lies.
The G>SOK XCR is available in a men’s bold two-tone black sporty style. The two-year waterproof warranty golf shoe comes in a size range of 7-14 medium and 7-13 wide.
Ecco Ladies Golf Shoes – Classic Wing Buckle
From the world’s foremost maker of classically designed and comfortable shoes, comes the Ecco Wing Buckle.
This timelessly styled shoe is loaded with the most advanced union of comfort and performance technology you can find in a golf shoe. Slim, elegant direct-injected PU mid soles provide support that is firm, yet extremely supple. The Wing Buckle is fitted with high-traction Eclipse cleats from Trisport and also equipped with advanced TPU outsoles with molded teeth for additional grip during all phases of the golf swing.
Peak Vision Sun Glasses – CL1.01 Golf Sunglass – Matte Black
Looking for the very best in golf eye wear? Look no further! After testing at least six other golf sunglasses, the Peak Vision, by far, is simply the best. There is no distortion when reading putts and one’s eyes do not feel strained after a round.
The CL1.01Grilamid frame features PeakVision’s Dual Zone Amber NXT unbreakable lenses that deliver perfect light management for both the sky and turf with amazing optical glass clarity. Adios to distortion, glare and squinting!
Roger Frederick’s Golf Flexibilty and Other Secrets DVD Series.
Endorsed by Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, “Roger Fredericks Secrets to Golf Flexibility” is a golf specific, golf flexibility, 3 part DVD series, which will improve your flexibility, creating a more fluid and powerful golf swing.
Roger’s system lets you customize the program specifically for your needs. Basing the instruction on your flexibility level, this program will give you more benefit to your golf game faster by increasing your golf flexibility.
By using Roger’s golf flexibility program for just minutes a day, you’ll get stronger, longer and start swinging your golf clubs with effortless power.
Paula Creamer Eyewear Collection by Sundog Eyewear.
Paula’s new line of glasses is sure to be a big hit with the all ages of female golfers.
The glasses are hip and sporty. Made with state-of-the-art on-center distortion free impact resistant polycarbonate or polarized lenses, and provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. The packaging is a Paula designed handbag which includes a micro-fibre cloth case.
Three styles, Fierce, Mysterious and Kharisma are available. The pink Fierce model shown, are really super cool and the “Paula Creamer” word-mark and logo compliment the design style.
Bobby Steiner’s ” Munie -The Jitterbug Collection”
A change of pace as far as golf instruction books go, “Munie” is well worth the read, especially around the holiday season.
The underlying theme is inspirational, as well as instructional, as it relates to the mental aspect of golf. Nordstrom’s buyers were so impressed with this little gem that now its available in all their stores.
“Munie” is a great story chronicling a golfer’s journey from novice to professional and the cast of characters from the mountains of western North Carolina who mentored him along the way. You’ll learn without being taught and probably identify with the characters.
Ogio’s Syncro Bag
Ogio has termed this new, feature rich, 6.6 pound golf bag as a “hybrid”, in that it is designed for easy use whether it is being used on a cart, being pulled on a pull cart, or being carried as a stand bag.
The bag includes a tuck away strap pocket and nine easily accessible forward facing zippered ones. The bag also includes waterproof pockets, including a fleece lined valuables pocket and an internal wet/dry zippered pocket, plus, of course, one for a cell phone or wallet. There is also a zippered rain hood.
Ogio’s patented Woode top (9”) and EVA molded shaft dividers and full-length club dividers, simplify club access and protection. The Syncro also features Ogio’s molded plastic Ball Silo, an easy access scorecard and pencil holder, side umbrella sleeve, and a zippered insulated hydration pocket. Bright and “different” color schemes are available in several combinations, including Black, Wasabe (green), Chiaro and Fire.
Have a great time shopping and have a marvelous holiday season with your family and friends to whom you have given these gifts.
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his current book, “How to Build Business Relationships Through Golf” is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list.