2010 PGA Show — Hot New Products that warrant your attention and your wallet!
By: Dr. Barry Lotz
Part One – Hard Goods
Simply put – it was a great show, one of the best in the past few years. Cautious optimism hovered in the air as the golf world descended on Orlando for the annual PGA merchandise show. As the event progressed, exhibitor feedback ranged between “Better than I expected”, to outright bullishness. Here are some hot new products for 2010.
The hottest item, aka “buzz” was Graphite Design’s Tour AD DI-7X shaft. For the past few months I have been playing this shaft, as have Brenden Pappas, Matt Kuchar, Robert Karlsson, Thongchai Jaidee and Tiger. Tiger used it in the Masters. Why, because it is 30 yards longer than most other available shafts and has a terrific ball flight and superb feel. What more do you need from a shaft? It works great both in drivers and hybrids.
MSRP: $380 www.gdintl.com
Tour Edge Exotics owner and designer, David Glod, has introduced the Exotics Tour Proto Putter line which represents the epitome of craftsmanship. Every head is shaped and entirely CNC milled from a solid block of SUS303 stainless steel – the most responsive soft steel available. These putters deliver an exceptionally pure feel, critical to control and delicate touch. The face incorporates a multi-level X-grip face pattern, gently gripping the ball at impact, releasing it on a smooth initial roll and a true line to the cup. The hand-rolled leading edge ensures that each stroke glides smoothly through the ball, even from longer grass on the fringe. Proto V3 model is shown in the photo.
Tour Edge’s Bazooka HT Max irons are engineered to maximize performance. Each HT iron has a different blade length, face height, top line, offset, bounce and MOI that optimizes performance in distance, trajectory, spin and forgiveness. The long irons (3-5) feature a longer blade length, wider sole width and progressive undercut cavity for greater forgiveness. The mid irons (6-7) feature a mid-blade length, less offset, more bounce, thinner top line and a mid-sole width for greater workability. Finally, the scoring irons (8-PW) feature a smaller undercut cavity, least offset, most bounce and a narrower sole width for dead-on accuracy. The HT Max incorporates a progressive undercut cavity that lowers the center of gravity (CG) in the long irons for higher flying shots, and raises the CG in the scoring irons for more spin and greater feel and control.
Mizuno MX-58 Irons
Replacing the retired MP-57 series, Mizuno’s MX- 58 irons offer players of all levels increased benefits in the areas of feel, distance and forgiveness. With Mizuno’s revolutionary DUAL MUSCLE TITANIUM™ Technology which is employed during the complex Grain Flow Forging process – ingeniously joining an 11 gram titanium slug to a forged steel head sans welds. Mizuno’s MP-58 achieves perimeter stability while preserving the solid feel of a muscle-back. This high-tech Titanium metal is forged into the outer muscle of the iron, which provides forgiveness with greater MOI than traditional irons for improved performance on off-center shots – the best of both worlds.
The Mizuno MP-58 irons conform to the 2010 groove regulations and are available in a double nickel mirror chrome finish.
Mizuno has also introduced their outstanding “Shaft Optimizer” Performance Fitting System which I heartedly recommend for all levels of golfers. This new cutting edge technology takes shaft fitting to a whole new level. Mizuno has created a “Swing DNA” which is a unique system that identifies the unique blueprint in every swing – Mizuno has addressed the most critical element of the entire custom fitting process. Visit their web site for a full explanation of this system.
MSRP: $999-$1,199, steel 3-PW www.mizunousa.com
Though not present at the Show this year, their products were readily available at the shaft manufacturers’ booths at Demo Day.
Weighing just 284 grams, TaylorMade’s Burner SuperFast driver is a speed demon, designed to deliver increased club head speed and superior distance. Its improved performance begins with a 460cc head shape that’s sleeker and more aerodynamic, boasting a high MOI for tremendous forgiveness. It also features a new bulge and roll design that’s optimized to maximize forgiveness on off-center hits. Critical to the driver’s performance is its Matrix Ozik XCon 4.8 shaft, which is both ultra-light and tip-soft, helping generate more ball speed, a higher launch angle and more spin to promote greater distance. At 46.5″ in length, Burner SuperFast automatically promotes a wide, fast swing arc.
Talk to Tom Watson about his longevity and one of the reasons behind his success, according to Tom, are Adams Golf’s products.
Adams Speedline Fast 10 Hybrid-Fairway Woods feature the playability of a hybrid and the distance of a fairway wood. By utilizing internal heel-toe weighting and advanced Boxer Technology, these forgiving clubs offer a higher MOI than conventional fairway woods. A lower center of gravity delivers a higher launch and better feel compared to standard fairway woods. The increased sole camber from heel to toe makes the Speedline Fast 10 Hybrid-Fairway Woods easy to hit from the fairway, as well as from a variety of other lies. The Speedline Fast 10 Hybrid-Fairway Woods are available in two models with two different weight pads. The standard model has the weight pad positioned back for neutral ball flight, and the draw model has the weight pad positioned in the heel for a draw biased ball flight, Standard and Draw and is available in three lofts (13°, 15°, 18°) with Aldila Wasabi or Matrix HD graphite shafts.
MSRP: $199.00 www.adamsgolf.com
YES! Adds Two High MOI Putters to Lineup For 2010
YES! Golf has added three new putters to its lineup for 2010. The new C-Groove putters, Morgan and Mollie, feature multi-material head construction and the new Donna II putter features a plumber neck hosel.
The Morgan and Mollie are classic blade putter shapes that are enhanced by YES! Golf’s C-Grooves technology and multi-material head construction. The head combines a tungsten back with a stainless steel body and an aluminum face. The synergy of the light, aluminum face and extremely heavy back perimeter maximizes the moment of inertia, stabilizing the face at impact, resulting in more control and consistency. The putters will be available in right hand only for a suggested retail of $360.
Donna II is an extension of the popular hybrid Donna putter. It has a plumber neck hosel as opposed to the offset double bend shaft in the Donna. Available in right and left hand, the suggested retail of Donna II is $300.
Callaway was the Show’s most popular booth this year, as they introduced many great products for the first time in a few years. Leading the way were their Callaway FT9 and FT-iZ drivers as well as their new Odyssey Backstryke putter.
Callaway’s FT Tour Driver
The driver’s External Web Weighting provides an optimal CG (Center of Gravity) for a long, penetrating ball flight. It also includes Hyperbolic Face Technology which creates higher ball speeds across the entire face and precision shaping that provides a larger sweet spot.
Additionally, better players prefer its deep face, its open face angle and full length hosel which produce great aesthetics and inspire confidence at address. Available in 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° with an Aldila Voodoo graphite shaft.
This is one of Callaway’s best fairway woods since the Big Bertha series and the new FT-iZ Fairway Woods only adds to the legacy. More importantly, it is a fun club to play with, as is Callaway’s FT-iZ Hybrid NP.
By employing Polar Weighting, Callaway has provided stability, consistency, incredible feel and increased speed (linear acceleration) in this wood. This was accomplished by utilizing a heavy face and heavy in-line power source in the rear of the club to localize weight at the front and back of the driver.
The wood’s aerodynamic body design significantly reduces drag in the downswing for higher impact speeds and increased distance.
Lofts of 13°, 15°, 18°, 21° and 24°
MSRP: $299.00 www.callawaygolf.com
Callaway FT-iZ Tour Driver
This driver is constructed of cast titanium, compression-cured carbon fiber, formed aluminum, and cast steel, creating the optimal combination of performance and feel.
It features Polar Weighting, which results in stability, consistency, and increased linear acceleration of the ball for more distance through a heavier face and an in-line power source in the back of the head. Likewise, its aerodynamic body design uses a progressive shape to produce the most efficient high inertia clubhead ever produced by Callaway.
Consistently higher ball speeds are achieved through the chemically milled hyperbolic face cup which selectively removes unwanted material from the face for precision thickness control. The Tour model features a 1-degree open face angle for increased shot-shaping capability. Available in 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° with stock Aldila Voodoo shafts.
Odyssey Backstryke putter
The very popular and hugely successful Odyssey line of putters has made a habit of developing ‘big idea’ products that revolutionize the putting game… first there was insert technology… then came 2-Ball… now it’s time to welcome the Backstryke putter.
In designing Backstryke Putters, Odyssey engineers have moved the shaft backward, placing the axis of the shaft point as close as possible to the putter head’s centre of gravity. This in-line axis develops what Odyssey design experts call Stroke Balance – a fluid and stable stroke path, promoting better distance control, consistency and accuracy.
The Backstryke uses a Visible Face Alignment feature that allows golfers to clearly see if the face is square to the target line without the shaft impeding the line of sight. This will significantly benefit golfers who struggle with long putts and who also consistently position their existing putter away from the intended target line.
Odyssey’s Forward Press Stabilization Technology also allows for a hands-forward position without de-lofting the putter head, a common problem when using a forward-press putting style. This results in enhanced stabilization, a more upward stroke on the golf ball, and a truer roll, more often.
The unique design of the Backstryke gives a forward shaft lean that will help every golfer emulate a style adopted by the game’s greatest putters. This shaft position also aids a stable straight line with the leading arm, preventing wrist-break during the stroke. The loft for these putters is 4° – a la Dave Stockton.
The Backstryke is available is three head designs, 2-Ball, Blade and Marxman, and features a White Ice multi-layer insert that has been fine-tuned to enhance responsiveness and consistency. The face surface has also been roughened to enhance the sound at impact with softer golf balls.
The Backstryke is already the talk of both the PGA and Champions Tour, and is being used by Callaway Staff Professionals, including England’s Oliver Wilson , Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Eduardo Romero of Argentina.
MSRP: $199.00 www.odysseygolf.com
Bettinardi BB 1
The BB 1, as with the rest of the BB Series putter line, is produced to the tightest tolerances in the golf industry. Each model is 100% CNC milled in the USA using Bettinardi’s One-Piece Technology milling process and every putter is finished with Bettinardi’s patented Honeycomb face to ensure the highest level of performance.
The 2010 BB Series is plated with our luxurious Black Nickel finish that guarantees the highest level of durability. Each model is milled with a single sightline to aid with alignment. Every putter is completed with a pistol style grip and a patented black Bettinardi head cover.
Miura CB-501 Forged Cavity Back Irons
Like the famous Lamborghini Miura, known for its outstanding expert craftsmanship, Miura golf clubs are of the same ilk – masterful, precise, functional and rather expensive, but worth every penny.
When one buys a Lamborghini, custom fitting and driver education are available for each owner. Similarly, custom fitting is a necessity for Miura – no off the shelf clubs available. Miura irons, named after their Japanese owner, Katsuhiro Miura, are acknowledged as the purest and the best of forged clubs manufactured anywhere in the world. Mr. Miura’s goal was to create an iron that featured the ideal ball flight; enough offset to promote playability, the perfect head size and a sole grind that would accommodate a broad range of players.
Miura’s forging techniques rearrange the molecular structure of the mild steel in a pattern that is uniform throughout the club head. This eliminates void spots in the club face. This process assures that every Miura club in your bag has the distance control, ball flight, spin, and feel that any golfer could demand.
This tightness in the grain structure of the metal is what gives Miura made clubs the controlled, soft feel that other manufacturers cannot achieve. Miura also uses a proprietary “spin welding” process to produce the industries’ most consistent hosel. This unique procedure ensures that the bore depths and hosel heights are identical on every Miura made head and the shaft of every club will be perfectly centered.
The CB-501, which boasts a W nickel (satin) chrome finish, is available in a 3-iron through pitching wedge set, right-hand only. The CB-501 – a cavity-back iron featuring a small muscle-back located behind the sweet spot delivers the trajectory of a blade iron when the ball is struck on the center of the face. This style of iron also offers cavity-back forgiveness and ball flight, as the contact point moves away from the center of the face.
Besides the new CB-501, Miura Golf’s current product line also includes the Tournament Blade; MC-102 (Mid-Size Cavity Model); CB-202 (Cavity Back Model): CB-301 (Cavity Back Model); Wedges (Wedge Series and Black Wedge Series, each available in six lofts); Series 1957 Small Blade Irons; Y and C Grind Wedges; Blade and Classic putters (two models); Precious Edition Driver, Fairway Wood and Utility Wood.
Playing these clubs is not like any other experience one receives from using brand name irons. This is where you will experience what the feel of the perfect golf shot is all about!
Miura Golf’s corporate office is located in Vancouver, British Columbia and Miura Golf clubs are sold at the finest custom-fitting shops in North America. In order to purchase a set of Miura irons, visit www.miuragolf.com to locate a designated and approved custom club fitter.
Fairway & Greene – Fall 2010
Fairway & Greene are, without doubt, the premier golf clothing manufacturer, period!
Sunice Tornado Collection
There are some great tasting, some not so bad tasting, and some awful tasting food energy bars available in this highly competitive market. There is, however, none better than the new MARATHON OF MIRACLES All Natural Food Bars and Nuts.
Brought to market by SCNS Sports Foods, distributor of golf’s number one selling energy bars – the 1st and 10th Tee, MOM all natural bars come in two varieties: Fruit & Nut and Dark Chocolate & Nuts. The Fruit & Nut variety, which is 190 calories, contains four antioxidant-rich fruits (blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates and gogi berries), as well as five nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds). The Dark Chocolate & Nuts, which is 200 calories, contains the same five nuts and seeds as the Fruit & Nut bars, plus semi-sweet chocolate chips. Both bars contain oats, soy, and flaxseed.
MOM Nuts come in two varieties: Baked Almonds with Added Calcium, and Baked Cashews with Added Fiber. All MOM Nuts are baked to provide lower fat and a more natural taste. The Baked Almonds with Added Calcium provide 15% of the DV (Daily Value) for Calcium versus regular Almonds at 6-8% DV. The MOM Baked Cashews with Added Fiber have 3g of Fiber versus only 1g for regular cashews.
MOM Food Products’ net profits after taxes are donated to Marathon of Miracles, a non-profit organization that provides cancer wellness programs www.marathonofmiracles.org.
For more information about Marathon of Miracles and 1St & 10th Tee products, visit www.scnssportsfoods.com.
Sky Golf’s SkyCaddie SGX GPS Range Finder
Also receiving a lot of buzz is the latest SkyCaddie SGX which can store up to 30,000 pre-loaded, ground-verified course maps making it ready-to-play out of the box. The SGX boasts a durable, sleek design with a large, easy-to-read, transflective TFT-LCD screen that provides brilliant color images, even in the brightest sunlight. The SGX uses an innovative dual navigation option to provide golfer friendly one-handed operation and enhanced precision positioning. An intuitive user interface offers everything found in competitive rangefinders plus better reliability and several proprietary stroke-saving essentials like IntelliGreen Pro, TruePoint GPS Precision Positioning and SmartClubTechnology.
MSRP: $399.95 www.skygolf.com
Sheyden and Club Glove = West Coast Trends Inc.
Club Glove Hot Stepper II Golf Bag
This lightweight stand bag is geared toward the player who loves to walk. Weighing only 3½ pounds, the second-generation bag is Club Glove’s lightest stand bag to date and offers total functionality while navigating a course on foot.
Sun Mountain Sports
Sun Mountain Sports produces innovative and leading edge products in every golf category, including performance Gore-Tex outerwear, golf bags and golf carts.
Sun Mountain has teamed up with Leev Mobility to introduce the revolutionary Mantys; a dynamic, fun to ride electric golf cart for one. A four-wheeled, motorized cart, the rider stands rather than sits and steers with a weight shift, similar to skiing. Powered by two 24 volt batteries, it will travel 36 holes on a single charge. Weighing less than 45 pounds, the cart folds to 16 inches tall, fitting in the trunk of most cars. Mantys comes standard with turf-saver wheels, universal bag mount and score card, ball, tee, and drink holders.
New Lightweight Outerwear for Spring
Pique Face Polar Fleece ½ Zip Jacket (PF22)
Stretch Woven Convertible 1/2 Zip Windshirt (EX31)
SandBaggers Golf Shoes
Think of them as the Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin of golf shoes! This sassy shoe line for women on the links is designed specifically for the most discriminating of female golfers! More importantly, the quality, styling and especially the comfort, make these shoes a must have in your golf wardrobe.
Sandbaggers come in almost every color in the rainbow – plus, fun designs and many different styles, including the super popular Mary Janes. SandBaggers also are the only golf shoe company offering up a new golf sandal for 2010. The golf sandal allows you, via the Velcro bindings, to adjust your comfort level in the heel, the toe and the instep.
Sanbaggers also has a more formal and traditional styled shoe – the Victoria Burlycue Beige shoe. This super-soft lycra shoe is unbelievably comfortable and sturdy. Featuring a classic fit with TPR Grip Sole. The brand new sole features improved spike less traction with generous width, a Step Saver orthotic, steel shank, washable sock liner and a round toe box.
Retailing for $134.50
Each animal is fully lined and elasticized to ensure a secure fit on your club and is guaranteed for life. Inside the label you will find their factory phone number. Rest assured that if you have any problems with your head cover, the manufacturer will fix it pronto.
Amongst the latest models are the Toucan, Hawk, Tasmanian Devil, Basset Hound, Cougar, Daisy. The pink poodle, inspired by Jo Head on the LPGA Tour, has a rich pink coat that would be the envy of all the poodles on Rodeo Drive, and hybrid club fit which makes it the ideal companion for your favorite rescue club. The udderly perfect cow cover will securely protect your driver with the realistic portrayal of America’s favorite farm animal. I love Daphne’s head covers!
All in all, the Show still retains its magic and is an event that thousands of golfers look forward to each year and are rarely disappointed. I have already booked my return visit and look forward to seeing what creativity and technology have in store for 2011.
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.