Looking for the newest, coolest off-course and on-course golf gifts, whether it is for your own holiday list or for someone else? Well, it’s that time of year again for gift giving and most golfers are just looking for an excuse to find the new products that will give them an extra edge.
We have selected some of the newest and best performing products to that end that not only will help your golf game, but are great gifts.
TaylorMade R9 Irons (Graphite Shaft)
OMG! – The best that TaylorMade has produced in many a year. These are the easiest to hit clubs that have the most amazing “buttery feel” AND you can expect an average 12-15 yards extra distance.
TaylorMade is back at it with its inverted cone tech which we all know is marketed to expand the sweet spot and reduce distance loss at the time of an off center hit.
The stylish design also features a sole that makes it very versatile from just about any lie. And these irons will elicit compliments from your playing partners. Mine were impressed with my new found accuracy and distance with these irons. (The Penta TP ball also made the difference).
The R9 irons were designed for the mid to low handicap golfer who enjoys extra forgiveness in their iron set. The set itself, which is almost made of 2 different designs, gives the golfer a long iron advantage with a hollow undercut and a high rebound face, while the 6 thru gap wedge become more compact and solid without as much of the undercut forgiveness.
The R9 TP irons incorporate a new groove design that conforms to the USGA and R&A ruling that goes into effect in 2010 for high-level competition.
KBS Steel Shafts
R9 irons come equipped with KBS 90-gram steel shafts, available in S and R flexes. KBS, which is quickly growing in popularity on the PGA Tour, incorporates several new enhancements into their steel shafts to promote improved performance.
One is that the wall thickness of each shaft increases proportionately as the shaft diameter decreases, which promotes added stability. The KBS steel shafts in the R9 irons are a lighter version of their popular tour shaft to promote greater swing speed, higher launch and increased distance. In addition, the KBS shafts in the R9 irons share a structure and step pattern with the tour shaft that promotes tighter dispersion for greater consistency and control.
The R9 iron is also available in one graphite shaft model, the Fujikura Motore, in 75-grams in S flex, 65-grams in R flex and 55-grams in M flex.
MSRP $999.00 steel with the fabulous new KBS shaft $1249 graphite
Titleist AP1 Irons
According to Titleist, its AP1 irons are ‘advanced performance, multi-material, dual cavity irons providing improved feel, great looks, shot control and higher flight with forgiveness for the avid to skilled golfer.’
Basically speaking, even golfers with normally low self-esteem can suddenly use these clubs.
The AP1is not as intimidating to the mid-handicapper as previous Titleist irons, which were generally perceived by many golfers as being out of their league compared to the clubs labeled ‘user-friendly game improvement’.
The irons at address, have a “chunkier” than normal look but also offer an excellent feel, courtesy of the soft elastomer in the back cavity, thereby reducing vibration.
They also have a lively ball flight, a result of their thin face and dual cavity design which pushes weight to the perimeter. You need to take these out for a test drive, you will be pleasantly surprised and may become a Titleist convert finally.
MSRP $100 per club/steel, and $125 per club/graphite.
Etonic has a popular line of G>SOK gloves designed to keep a golfer’s grip dry and warm for maximum club feel in adverse playing conditions. Golfers can choose from the following:
This glove helps maintain the grip and feel in all temperatures and playing conditions.
The proprietary DRI-LITE™ microfiber material with a Cabretta thumb, palm patch and Stabilizer Island Thumb design, providing a steady grip in all conditions.
Available in white or black, the All-Weather glove retails for $12.
G>SOK Rain Gloves:
This pair of specially engineered gloves work better wet than dry. The palms feature Kuraray E-Grip material, engineered to increase its gripping power when wet.
The DRI-LITE microfiber material on the back, along with the Stabilizer Island Thumb design, ensures a rock solid grip in the wettest playing conditions.
The suggested retail for the pair is $20.
G>SOK Winter Gloves:
The fleece-backed gloves provide extraordinary warmth on cold days.
The palms are made with specially patterned leather that provides a great grip, while the backs are thin, but feature warm microfiber fleece.
These materials keep your hands warm, while giving you flexibility, comfort and a good grip when temperatures fall.
The suggested retail for a pair is $20.
RoboCup Automatic Ball Return Robot
Spend just an hour practicing putting and you can be assured of a sore back. RoboCup will eliminate that problem and is the only ball return device designed to work on every practice green.
When your putts drop into the hole, RoboCup’s innovative design automatically shoots the ball right back to you.
RoboCup runs on 4 AA batteries and will return the ball up to 14 feet, depending on green speed. A set of batteries last for 15,000 putt returns. Combine it with the RoboCup Caddy Cord, shown in the photo, and even missed putts shoot back to you.
The RoboCup (with Caddy Cord) is available for under $60, making for an ideal Holiday or spring/summer gear or tech-inspired gift. Without the cord – $49.95
The Money Clamp
This is an ideal gift for any occasion. The Money Clamp is a sleek front pocket wallet system, as opposed to a back-pocket wallet system. It incorporates a patented reversing arms clamp that is forged from memory flex spring steel that allows it to repeatedly grip dozens of bills and cards.
The clamp portion can be utilized alone or with its complementary slim wallet that slides inside the clamp itself and is designed to hold credit cards, identification and business cards.
Numerous fabrics and metals are available, such as crocodile patterned leather and all silver clamps.
Prices range from $15 to $30 for the Geneva model shown in the photo.
Updates in the Studio Select line and the new Scotty Cameron quartet of putters
From the left, the new Scotty Cameron Sonoma, Del Mar and Corona putters with ‘honey dip’ finish
From the premier designer of putters and with endorsements and results to solidify Scotty’s esteemed status in the industry, the technology Cameron introduced with the original Studio Select putters, has now been incorporated into the new California line in order to accommodate a wider range of choice in terms of length, weight and putting strokes.
|The California line series is precision milled from soft 303 stainless- steel, and includes the Coronado, Monterey, Sonoma and Del Mar, identified by blade and mallet-style heads and two different neck styles.
The California line is distinguished by a unique “Honey Dipped” finish. The natural bronze finish is actually not “dipped” or plated, rather it comes from a heat-treated process that is part of the head manufacturing process. The result is a rich bronzed appearance that looks great in natural light, while reducing glare and instilling confidence at the very least.
“I’m excited by the feedback I’ve had about the California putters,” says Scotty. “Players who prefer the more flowing, less geometric lines of the Coronado or the Del Mar are now going to find that they don’t have to sacrifice performance. Players can get a perfect fit for their stroke as well as their eye.”
Scotty has also updated the 2009 Studio Select line for Titleist with the Newport 2.5, Squareback 2 and Fastback 1.5 models, replacing the current Newport 1.5, Newport 2.7 and Fastback 1.
All four California models are fit with a stepless steel shaft for a clean, unbroken playing position appearance, a black Cameron Tour grip with dancing logo, an Art-of-Putting shaft band and a new paint drip Art-of-Putting head cover.
The new Cameron California and Studio Select putters will be available in December, with a suggested retail price of $325 ($350 for H weight customization).
Studio Select Squareback 2
TaylorMade’s new Penta TP Ball
TaylorMade’s new Penta TP golf ball is soon to be released to the public in December in the Sunbelt only and nationwide in March. Rave reviews from Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Sean O’Hair have caused a buzz amongst consumers anticipating the release of golf’s first 5-layer ball.
Without all the fancy rigmarole and company hyperbole, this is probably the best ball I have ever used.
Its performance as to distance, feel and around the greens is simply awesome! It holds its line, and I have increased my distance by 13 yards AND it is extremely durable. What more can you expect from a ball?
The five-piece ball (Pente means five in the Greek language) has been three years in development in anticipation of the new groove rules introduced for Tour players from January 1 and for elite players by 2014.
According to TaylorMade, the aim is for the ball to improve performance in drivers, long-irons, mid-irons, short-irons and pitching with wedges. It really over delivers especially around the greens!
The cover of the Penta TP is made of a soft urethane material to promote a high-spin rate, but lower trajectory on wedge shots and pitches for more control. The outer of the three mantle layers – most easily compressed – is designed to create optimal spin and flight conditions when ball speeds are below 120 mph, equivalent to a pro’s short irons.
The middle mantle layer is reputedly designed to compress on shots with a ball speed between 120 and 140 mph (mid-irons), while the inner mantle creates high-launching, low-spin shots with long-iron ball speeds (140 to 160 mph).
According to TaylorMade, only the fastest swingers will activate the low-compression core, but those who can, should expect higher ball speed and less spin on their tee shots.
MSRP $52.00 per dozen
Bobby Bettinardi, the putter designing and manufacturing genius, has also introduced the ultimate in a belt buckle, now quite the “in” accessory on the Tour. The Buckle is an extension of their superior metal craft from the function of golf putters to the fashion world of golf. You’ll find The Buckle being worn by Rory Sabbatini, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
The Buckle begins as a solid block of high-grade, double-aged stainless steel (DASS) and passes through a series of 12 processes before it can be a Bettinardi Buckle.
CNC milling gradually cuts the metal, creating the form of The Buckle. It is then further honed, engraved, buffed, polished, and hand-painted with an enamel finish.
The Buckle is available in two sizes: Standard (1-¼”) & Large (1-½”). And, like its putter counterpart, can be customized to your taste and specifications, including 3-letter initialing, design engraving, and hand-painted elements.
All Bettinardi Buckles come with Herman Oak Bridle Leather Belts. These high quality belts are dressed and finished with oils and tallows to make them strong and flexible to prevent cracking around punch holes, and tanned, so as not to tarnish the hardware.
Yet, these leathers also maintain their body in use and have very little stretch. All finishes are fully aniline for a natural look, just like stained wood.
Belts are available in black, brown, white, blue, green, orange, red, and turquoise.
Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC Golf GPS
The XGC is the most user- friendly of all the GPS distance finders that we have tested to date. It is elegant, simple, sleek, and accurate and backed by the Bushnell name.
FYI, Bushnell pioneered the golf laser rangefinder in 1995, and with the introduction of PinSeeker Technology in 2005, quickly became the brand of choice for 90% of pros on the PGA tour.
The unit features a 2.2″ hi-resolution, sunlight readable, color screen that displays an easy-to-use interface for “hole up” tracking, “down the fairway” perspective and scorekeeping and statistics.
Its ability to store up to 20 courses, including custom color course maps, is a definite UPS (Unique Selling Proposition).
This simply is a great gift for any golfer but more importantly, it is a wonderful tool that will help your game in many ways, especially for measuring distances you hit with your clubs.
A belt clip and storage case is included and the rechargeable Li-Ion battery provides up to 16 hours of use.
Graphite Design Shafts GDS Tour AD Shafts
We all know that the shaft is the engine in any club. The very best shafts that I have ever tested and what I use in my clubs are the Graphite Design Tour AD – UT shafts.
This is the shaft, that in my opinion, every golfer who is not on Tour should be using, even though Tour players such as Kenny Perry and a host of Champion Tour players are themselves playing the GDS Tour AD models.
GDS has just introduced their new GDS Tour AD D-1 7X this past week and the response on the PGA and Nationwide Tour has been amazing. Players drove the ball 20 – 30 yards further with perfect trajectories.
Both the UT and D-1 models are special orders, and now I understand why they are “special”. They are phenomenal and have, according to my playing partners, improved my driving ability both with the driver and hybrids.
Both of these shafts are very expensive, but you get what you pay for – longer distance and a big smile on your face – $385 per shaft.
Adidas Tour 360 4.0 Golf Shoe
One of the most critical pieces of equipment in the golfer’s arsenal is good fitting shoes for the hours spent walking the golf course. Any shoe from addidas comes with high expectations of comfort and performance and the Tour 360 4.0 fits the bill to a tee.
The Tour 360 4.0 contains, within its beautifully designed sleek body, the latest technology in the uppers, insole and outsoles.
The full grain leather shoe features a unibody construction that connects the heel counter and 360WRAP technology to the outsole creating the most stable adidas golf shoe ever, while X-STATIC silver filament fibers woven into the lining helps regulate temperature of this fully waterproof shoe.
The Tour 360 4.0 has a new re-engineered POWERBAND CHASSIS that wraps up higher on the lateral forefoot and AdiPRENE cushioning which provides enhanced impact absorption. The shoe features a newly designed and exclusive THiNTech Cleat. This is a great look performance shoe that is extremely comfortable and functional.
Antigua Desert Dry Shirts
Antigua’s new Desert Dry™ Xtra-Lite is a weightless, light fabric.
The three-dimensional construction is what makes the fabric extremely light without being sheer or see-through. In addition, Desert Dry™ Xtra-Lite wicks away moisture even faster that Antigua’s proprietary Desert Dry, a performance fabric the company created several years ago when it introduced its performance category for golf.
This new technology can be found in both the men’s and women’s lines of golf apparel.
Antigua apparel is routinely tested under the hottest conditions of the Arizona Desert to insure that it meets the high standards of moisture wicking performance.
Not only do the Antigua Desert Dry Golf Shirts look great, but they feel even better. The Proper style is shown in the photo above.
Looking for a great hybrid? Famed Katsuhiro Miura has created an extremely well designed Tour Quality Hybrid which uses a carbon plate on the crown to create a low center of gravity in the head. The club sits square at set up and the solid sound and feel of the club instills confidence in the golfer and allows him/her to take dead aim at the green.
The mid/high trajectory with mid/low spin and a slight draw bias virtually guarantees performance.
The Miura Hybrids come in 17, 20 and 23 degrees. The head cc sizes are not overly large, but are certainly big enough to be easy to hit.
Price: $239.00 with standard Nippon NSPro 950 steel shaft, with other shaft options available at different price points.
Sun Mountain Micro Cart Bag
In 2009 Sun Mountain introduced to rave reviews and excellent retail sales, the Micro Cart, a new-look walking cart sporting four-wheels, while folding 25% smaller and weighing 20% less than leading push carts.
To complement the Micro Cart, Sun Mountain has brought the MCB (Micro Cart Bag) to market and is designed specifically to fit the Micro Cart. The bag offers a new 15-way top that will appeal to golfers using any cart.
The MCB has a full complement of features – two of the most noteworthy being a bottom molded specifically to fit securely over the Micro Cart’s lower bag rest to minimize bag movement, and the newly designed 15-way top that offers golfers a new way to organize their clubs.
Micro Cart users, Sun Mountain SpeedCart users, and any cart golfer can appreciate this new 15-way top offering 4 dividers in the middle for drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, surrounded by 5 slots on either side for irons and wedges, and a putter well up front.
There are five color combinations available.
TaylorMade Golf Bags – 1 Stand Bag, 1 Cart Bag
Taylor Made Golf Company unveiled its next generation of golf bags for 2010 – a collection highlighted by significant improvement in design and functionality. Representing the biggest leap is a new TaylorMade bag technology called Fast Action Snap Technology, known simply as FAST-TEK: a seamless way for golfers to access important accessories such as GPS, rangefinders, phones, cigar holders and other valuables without having to dig through cluttered pockets during a round.
With the separate purchase of one of six FAST-TEK cases, golfers can quickly and easily affix these accessories onto corresponding rivets which line the outside of all of the new 2010 bag models.
One of the featured bags in the 2010 collection is the Pure-Lite, a stand bag that boasts all of the new TaylorMade technologies, including FAST-TEK, full length dividers and the maximum pocket height. Weighing less than five pounds, and equipped with the most comfortable, well-balanced shoulder straps in the industry, the Pure-Lite is the pinnacle of golf stand bags.
The Catalina was created to fill all the needs of the cart bag player. With features such as an Integrated Putter Tube, 9 pockets (including a large cooler pocket), expandable side gussets, and a TPR Cart Strap Lock, the Catalina is the upper echelon in cart bags. No cart bag in the market can match the features and ultimate lightweight (5.9lbs) of the Catalina.
Catalina Cart Bag MSRP: $209.99
Pure-Lite Stand Bag MSRP: $199.99
Happy shopping and enjoy your new toys, equipment and clothes!
FOOTNOTE: Acushnet, which also makes Titlest, Cobra and FootJoy equipment, is rumored to be launching new NXT and Pinnacle balls in the New Year.
Bridgestone will be introducing their 460 ccJ38 driver which Matt Kuchar used to win in October at Turning Stone plus two iron sets: J38 forged cavity backs with Magnesium inserts and the J38 forged dual pocket cavity back.
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”, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf” which is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s bestseller list. His latest book,” The Right Mind for Golf”, is to be released in January 2010.
He can be reached at www.pgtaa.com or email@example.com