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These drivers will Improve your Distance Game Substantially!
Drivers continue to be the most discussed, most macho piece of golf equipment amongst golfers and club designers.

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This area is designed to help everyone improve their golf game, pros and novices alike. Here our two Pro's, and game improvement techniques.

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Hybrid Performance

  Hitting Straighter, Higher & Softer Shots

By: Dr. Barry Lotz

The fairway has been buzzing with the word “utility,” the name for a new type of club that is transforming the strategies of amateur golfers, and even pros on Tour, for whom hitting a long iron is a major challenge.

Most manufacturers- R&D departments started pondering the question; why not combine the fairway wood’s features with those of a high-precision iron, to make middle range (under 200yard) shots easier, too? Like an iron, it would make setting up easier and give better directional control, even when driving against strong winds. The result was the Hybrid concept – the answer to many golfers- prayers.

Hybrids are a combination of an iron and wood, incorporating various features of each into one product to replace hard-to-hit traditional irons. These new hybrids offer significant advantages over traditional irons and, as a result, have experienced impressive growth in recent months throughout the golf industry. Manufacturers love them because they do not require exotic materials – steel heads work perfectly- and the consumer gets an affordable club.

Most golfers struggle with their long irons (3, 4 and 5 irons) for a couple of possible reasons. The long irons have a relatively small sweet spot compared to other irons, and even more importantly MANY golfers don’t generate enough clubhead speed to get an adequate “launch angle” for the longer irons.

These hybrids are designed primarily for a player who has difficulty getting the ball airborne and with distance from trouble lies, or even the fairway. Most hybrids have a low center of gravity to enable getting the ball up quickly. The majority of pros don’t use hybrids for the same reason they don’t use high lofted drivers, cavity back “game improvement” irons, alien sand wedges and 11 woods- the ball goes too high.

But, as always, there is an exception to the rule – Todd Hamilton and Tim Petrovic are just two Tour winners who are both converts and proponents of the hybrid. The acceptance of the genre by touring pros has been somewhat of a revelation. The long irons once were the clubs that set professional golfers apart, but the benefits of hybrids have been too significant even for the best players to ignore.

Hybrid irons provide the playability of a fairway wood coupled with the accuracy of an iron, giving even average golfers more airtime on the difficult long approach shots. These new utility clubs are making shots in the 200 yard range so much simpler. Hybrids can be used on any lie where irons are used.

In technical jargon, because the center of gravity is farther back, usually because of a wider profile, theres a higher launch angle (ball therefore stops quickly on the green) and because of the flat face, the ball spin rate is higher versus a regular iron head. It is also true that the ball may carry slightly farther for average and lower swing speeds and the roll distance may also decrease. These conditions are therefore ideal for many slower swingers and for those golfers who do not consistently hit the center of the face.

So, should you switch to hybrids?

  1. If you feel more confident hitting higher lofted fairway woods than irons, or
  2. you don’t use your #3, #4, or even #5 iron any more, or
  3. you can get more distance from a 9-wood than a 5-iron, or
  4. you seldom take a divot when hitting your middle irons, or
  5. you have even considered carrying woods like the #11 or #13.

Then hybrids may be your answer to better golf shots and more enjoyment of the game.

We have identified the twelve best models, out of 32 tested, that you should consider in choosing a hybrid. As always, the object of the exercise is to be custom fitted or to properly select a hybrid so as to allow you to hit the ball the same distance as a perfectly hit long iron. A well selected hybrid will also give you far more height, ease and repeatability than using those difficult to hit long irons.

One other bit of advice – find the best shaft that works for you with your hybrid. There is a difference. Numerous shaft manufacturers have specifically designed hybrid shafts. These are the most popular: UST’s Irod, Aldila’s Gamer, Mitsubishi’s ECU, Graphite Design’s AD, Aerotech’s Steel Fiber, Penley’s Heater, Mitsubishi’s Diamana and Fujikura’s Banzai shafts.


TaylorMade’s New Rescue dual and Rescue dual TP

TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company, the world leader in hybrid sales and maker of the Rescue Mid, the No. 1 hybrid on the PGA Tour, has introduced two new hybrid models – the Rescue dual and the Rescue dual TP.

The Rescue dual

This club is specifically engineered for average players. It incorporates TaylorMade’s movable weight technology that TaylorMade introduced last year in the groundbreaking r7 quad driver. This allows players the power to change the clubhead’s center of gravity (CG) location to promote different types of trajectories.

Both the Rescue dual and Rescue dual TP feature two TaylorMade Launch Control (TLC) ports positioned low in the back of the clubhead, near the heel and toe. Installing TLC cartridges of differing weights in the TLC ports allows the player to move the clubhead’s CG position to promote a draw bias or to promote a neutral or straight ball flight.

Included with the Rescue dual are a 14-gram TLC cartridge and a 2-gram TLC cartridge.

Because the majority of golfers hit the ball from left-to-right, the Rescue dual is engineered with added fixed weight near the heel, which pulls the CG back and toward the shaft to promote the kind of clubface rotation during the forward swing that produces a slight draw. For players who wish to counteract the Rescue dual’s inherent tendency to produce a draw, the 14-gram TLC cartridge should be installed in the toe TLC port and the 2-gram TLC cartridge should be installed in the heel TLC port. The added weight in the toe slows the rotation of the clubface, promoting a neutral or straight trajectory. Conversely, players can increase the Rescue dual’s draw bias by adding more weight to the heel by installing the 14-gram TLC cartridge in the heel TLC port and the 2-gram TLC cartridge in the toe TLC port.

By spreading the Rescue dual’s TLC ports and TLC cartridges far apart, TaylorMade engineers were able to improve the Rescue dual’s MOI compared to the original Rescue Mid by up to 20%, depending on heel vs. toe weighting, resulting in more forgiveness on off-center hits.


The Rescue dual TP:

The TP is primarily designed for skilled players who often prefer to work the ball in both directions. The Rescue dual TP is not internally weighted to promote a draw, like the Rescue dual, instead, the Rescue dual TP comes with a 2-gram TLC cartridge, two 8-gram TLC cartridges and a 14-gram TLC cartridge to promote varying degrees of draws and fades as well as a neutral or straight trajectory.

The TLC Wrench needed to install and remove TLC cartridges is sold separately. It and additional TLC cartridges and accessories can be purchased at TaylorMade retailers or at http://shop.taylormadegolf.com

TaylorMade engineers were able to improve the internal weighting of the Rescue dual TP to the point where it delivers up to 24% higher MOI (depending on heel vs. toe weighting) than the Rescue Mid TP at standard swing weight. (If the club’s swing weight is raised above normal or lowered below normal via the combined weight of the TLC cartridges installed in the TLC ports, MOI will rise slightly or drop slightly.)

Both the Rescue dual and the TP model, share the original Rescue Mid’s sleek, tour-proven shape, as well as its steel, Pull-Face construction. Producing the clubface separately from the body allows for the creation of a thin-yet-strong face that delivers high COR for optimum distance. Meanwhile, added attention can be devoted to weight distribution in the body, equaling high moment of inertia (MOI) and greater forgiveness..

Both models incorporate a new, V-shaped sole design that makes the clubhead more stable and easy to aim at address. That, combined with the simple yet effective alignment aid on the crown, helps to promote greater confidence and consistency at address. At the same time, the Rescue dual’s new sole design offers excellent playability from a wide variety of lies while also promoting an “iron-like” feel at impact. Likewise, the Rescue dual shares the Rescue Mid’s extremely low center of gravity (CG), which makes it easy to get the ball in the air.

Both models also feature a small, unobtrusive metallic swing weight plug permanently installed in the back of the clubhead, between the TLC ports. By using plugs with differing weights, TaylorMade engineers can simply and easily adjust the club’s swing weight. Positioning the plug in the back of the clubhead allows TaylorMade engineers to position the CG lower and deeper in the clubhead, making it even easier to launch the ball in the air.

The Rescue dual is equipped with TaylorMade’s TGT grip. Shaft options include the new M.A.S.2 65-gram graphite hybrid shaft and the new Rescue Steel Hybrid. Both are available in stiff, regular, mature and lady’s flexes. Four Rescue Mid models are being offered: 2 (16°), 3 (19°), 4 (22°) and 5 (25°). Head cover is included. $235 Steel $275 Graphite.

The Rescue dual TP is equipped with a Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip. Shaft options for the Rescue dual TP include the tour-proven Mitsubishi Diamana Hybrid graphite in extra stiff, stiff, and regular flexes, and the tour-proven Dynamic Gold steel in X-100, S-300 and R300. Four lofts available: 14°, 16°, 19° and 22°. The TaylorMade TP badge is located on the toe. Head cover is included. .

Price: $235 Steel $275 Graphite.

www.taylormadegolf.com


Cleveland Golfs Halo Utility Club

At the busiest booth at the recent 2005 PGA Show, the most sought after wood was the Halo. This breakthrough utility club was designed with a larger sweet spot making it much easier to hit than traditional long-irons. This clubs higher MOI and lower CG allow for maximum forgiveness on off-center shots while also creating higher launch angles and added spin for those long approach shots that require a soft landing.

The Halo (High Angle Lift Off) is made with a 17-4 stainless steel body and a 455 Custom Carpenter Steel face, looks great at setup and has both a great feel and launching ability.

Of all the hybrids tested, the Halo drew the most enthusiastic response.

Available in 1i -16°, 2i – 19°, 3i – 22° and 4i – 25°

MSRP is $199 for graphite and $150 for the steel-shafted model.

www.clevelandgolf.com


Nike Golf CPR

Nikes CPR (Clubs for Prevention and Recovery) utility woods are among the most popular hybrids available. The CPR boasts a compact head design with the majority of weight located low and deep  where the ball makes contact with the face. Excellent weighting makes the CPR very easy to hit especially from tight lies on the fairway and around the greens, making them both a great scoring and recovery club.

Available in lofts of 18° (2-3 iron), 21° (3-4 iron) and 24° (4-5 iron) degrees.

Price: $129

www.nikegolf.com


Tour Edge

After revolutionizing the game with the introduction of the Bazooka JMAX Iron-Wood, Tour Edge has magic up their sleeves, with the new Houdini hybrid utility club. This is a ultra-hybrid club that fits in between a hybrid iron, a fairway wood and a hybrid wood with tendencies of that of a short-shafted 7-wood-like club with wide and low profile faces and lots of forgiveness.

The Bazooka JMAX was the first complete set of Iron-Woods, which also were sold as individual long and short iron replacements. For their next trick, the company has created the Houdini hybrid fairway wood: the perfect complement to any set of clubs. These magical utility clubs make trouble disappear – making great shots routine.

This state of the art hybrid features a low profile design and 6 super radius sole, virtually eliminating turf drag. The grand result is solid contact and shots that easily escape even the most difficult lies.

The Houdini’s super-thin Hyper-Steel face and walls, allow Tour Edge designers to reposition additional weight to the sole, which creates an extremely low center of gravity for remarkable forgiveness, even on off-center hits. Helping you master the art of escape, the Houdinis face has bigger, deeper scoring lines that promote more spin for greater carry.

For full performance control, Houdini features an offset head design and a one inch shorter shaft that helps square the face at impact. A low kick-point shaft delivers a higher launch angle and the ability to pull off perfect shots every time. Best of all, no smoke or mirrors are required.

The Houdini is available for both men and women and in right and left-handed models.

Lofts: 16° – 3 wd, 18° -5 wd, 16° – 7wd, 24° – 9 wd, and 26° – 11 wd

$99 graphite and $89 steel. These are undoubtedly the best value in hybrid clubs today.

www.touredge.com


Ben Hogan Edge CFT Hybrid

The clubhead design features a very low center of gravity to get the ball in the air with greater ease compared to standard long irons. The CFT is one of the few that use a Compression Forged Titanium face and stainless steel body for increased forgiveness and playability.

The small, 1/2 size metal wood-like shape contributes to 3-Dimensional Weight Distribution for a lower, deeper center of gravity, providing ideal launch and spin conditions for added
distance and accuracy.

The trailing edge sole relief provides added playability from all types of lies.

Lofts #1h -17°, #2h -19°, #3h -21°, #4h – 24° and #5h – 27° and a 16° driver

Price: $120

www.benhogan.com


Titleist 503.H Utility Irons

The 503.H utility iron is designed to provide the better player with a long game yardage gap and trajectory solution. Two models are available:

503.H Launch and Spin

The 503.H launches lower and spins less than a comparable fairway metal for better shot and trajectory control. The 503.H launches higher and spins more than a comparable loft conventional iron providing a more playable trajectory.

503.H Length

The 503.H is 1.0” to 2.0” shorter than a comparable loft fairway metal for better shot and trajectory control (easier down) while providing similar distance. The 503.H is 0.5” longer than a comparable loft conventional iron providing launch, trajectory and ball speed benefits for a longer, more playable (easier up) ball flight.

Available in lofts of 19° and 22° $199

www.titleist.com


Sonartec Md Transition Club

One of the hottest companies in golf today, Sonartec, has introduced a new series of hybrid iron/woods called transition clubs. Sonartec has gained an excellent reputation on Tour with the Md’s and now with the general golfing public.

Its bigger sweet spot gives players more confidence than long irons can provide and the club’s aesthetics are excellent.

The Md comes standard with the high-end custom UST iRod” shaft and is one of the top hybrid shafts used by PGA Tour players.

Available in lofts of 15° (0 iron/3 wood), 17° (1 iron/4 wood), 19° (2 iron/5 wood), 21° (3 iron/7 wood), 23° (4 iron/9 wood), and 25° (5 iron/11 wood.

Price: $199.00

www.sonartec.com


Nickent Genex 3DX Ironwood

The 3DX uses Nickent’s proprietary 3-D Weighting System® that works by moving weight in three directions – lower, deeper (back from the clubface) and more towards the heel of each clubhead. This back-weighted design produces a center-of-gravity that closely matches the CG of a lofted fairway wood.

By positioning more mass in the visible weight pads at the rear of the clubhead, each individual 3DX iron is fine-tuned to provide optimal launch angle and trajectory for its specific loft.

The unique construction of the 3DX irons makes them more resistant to twisting on off-center hits. The back-weighted design shifts the rotational center of each clubhead, making 3DX irons extremely stable and solid throughout the set. The 3DX is ideal for both the accomplished golfer and game-improver alike.

Available in 17°, 20°, 23°, 26° & 29° lofts. $109

www.nickentgolf.com


Precept ECU Utility Woods

Precept has hit the jackpot with these new hybrid/utility woods. They are designed for the mid to high handicap player seeking performance from a variety of lies.

The club features an elastomer compound insert for vibration reduction and tungsten screw for optimal CG.

More importantly, the highly visible orange Mitsubishi shaft is phenomenal especially for it’s consistency from shaft to shaft. It has the highest specs in the industry and is the choice of many of the club fitters on the Tour vans.

This hybrid was one of the most popular clubs at the PGA Show’s Demo Day. Check the bags of many and many members of the golf media and you will find these hybrids. They are extremely accurate and easy to hit.

Available in lofts of 18°, 21°, 25° and 30°.

MSRP: $119.00

www.preceptgolf.com


Callaway Big Bertha Heavenwood

One of many new products introduced by Callaway this year, the Heavenwood is experiencing strong retail sales and is one of the more popular hybrids being played, especially by Callaway devotees.

The Heavenwood features a modified Warbird sole design that helps the club head glide through turf with minimal resistance thereby promoting solid contact for more consistency and making the club extremely easy to hit.

The aesthetics and set up are excellent. It’s elongated, low profile head design helps the golfer to get under the ball, while its perimeter weighting helps get the ball airborne.

Callaways patented Golf Core Technologies (VFT, S2H2, Tru-Bore) allowed the club designers to reposition 15 grams of weight in club head thereby allowing for better overall performance advantages with added distance. This is an excellent hybrid for all skill levels.

Available in: 1H -14°, 2H -17°, 3H -20°, 4H -23° and 5H -26°.

Price: $179

www.callawaygolf.com


Kasco K2K iTility Hybrid

Long acknowledged as the leader in the field of utility clubs, Kasco’s new Itility performs superbly, better than even their previous K2K woods.

Designed from the ultimate high recoil material Super Hyten, the revolutionary set, running numbers 2 through 7, provides for more distance and easier lift than traditional irons. Additionally, the K2K iTility’s design promotes tighter shot dispersion as well as a stronger, wind defying trajectory not found in more traditional utility clubs.

Some of the features that further differentiate K2K iTility clubs from existing utility clubs and fairway woods are their height, depth of the center of gravity and face progression.

Kasco’s Super Hyten powered K2K iTility clubs feature 24 combinations of head and shaft, enough to satisfy the needs of the entire world of golfers. Our test panel concurred.

MSRP: $199 per club (Graphite shaft only.)

www.kascogolf.com


Srixon AD Hybrid

The AD Hybrid employs an Autoturn design whereby a tungsten nickel weight is used to lower the center of gravity to help get the ball airborne.

The CG is placed toward the heel in the higher lofted clubs moving progressively toward the toe in the lower-lofted clubs. The AD also features a thin maraging steel face.

The aesthetics if the club are excellent and its clean set-up profile and optimal face depth inspire confidence to get the ball up high and land soft out of most any lie.

Lofts: #3 -18°, #4 – 21° and #5 – 24°

MSRP: $199

www.srixongolf.com

Now, in the event these hybrids still do not provide the solution you are seeking, and this being America, there is one final solution:


High Lofted Fairway Woods

(Nine woods, eleven woods, thirteen woods….)

If you still struggle with your long and mid irons, or even if you struggle with your short irons, you might want to consider high lofted fairway woods:

  • 9 wood = 5 iron
  • 11 wood = 6 iron
  • 13 wood = 7 iron
  • 15 wood = 8 iron
  • 17 wood = 9 iron
  • 19 wood = Pitching Wedge
  • 21 wood = Gap Wedge

Try a nine wood or an eleven wood. You will absolutely hit it more consistently than the equivalent iron. Numerous manufacturers have the 9 and 11 woods available. These higher lofted woods are available from Golfsmith and BANG Golf.


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.

He can be reached at www.pgtaa.com or drlotz@cbsgolf.net

 

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Golf Equipment Reviews Sheets & Eats

PING

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Last year PING had the best-selling driver in the G30 model. This year, their new PING G has attracted a new set of devotees to the PING clan.
What the G driver offers is what every golfer desires – faster club head and ball speed. Using proprietary Turbulator Technology, VorTec and face/crown transition to combine for more efficient air flow, there is definitely a noticeable difference over the G30 version – all good.
The T9S Titanium face is thinner and hotter for maximum distance and deflection. The club’s adjustability with its 5-lobe hosel sleeve, allows ±1 degree of loft adjustment.
Another improvement is the DragonFly Technology –

$429.99 www.pinggolf.com

 

Make Winter time Productive For Your Golf Game

jeff students 2

If you live in an area where winter means cold temperatures, rain, sleet, snow and wind, your golf game may be tucked safely in the back of your mind.

While that’s understandable it is still a time to prepare for when the weather takes a turn for the better.

Here are some suggestions on how to make your winter productive for your game...

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This Month’s Featured Web Site Featured Golf School

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If you thought the Orient Express was high class, then you will love Rovos Rail. Recapture the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era as you step aboard our reconditioned wood-paneled coaches and enjoy fine cuisine in five-star luxury. Golf safaris are also available

www.rovos.com

Professional Golf Teachers Association

PGTAA graduates have access to positions as golf teaching professionals including head professionals at

both private and public country clubs, golf schools, driving ranges, golf learning centers, indoor facilities, high schools and college coaches. Custom club makers have added golf teaching as a new dimension to their businesses. Graduates can also expect to hold positions as managers of both public and private golf facilities within the US and internationally.

A magazine’s review of the PGTAA

 

Instruction Area Gof Tips and Tricks

Having problems with your swing? – Fix your slice! by Johnny Miller

I recently was examining swing sequences of some of the greatest players in history. Knowing that some of these players favored a draw as their standard shot while others preferred a fade, I sought to identify swing features within each group that would explain their respective ball-flight tendencies. Something profound emerged that I think will benefit all golfers, especially those cursed with a wicked slice.

What I found was this: Virtually every accomplished fader of the ball–from Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods–displayed a straight left arm at the top of the backswing. Conversely, those who preferred a draw–players like Arnold Palmer and Bobby Jones–maintained a slight bend at the elbow.

This discovery is great news for most slicers, as they tend to do by accident what intentional faders do on purpose. In this article I’ll explain why the dynamic works, and how a simple swing change will make a powerful draw your standard shot.

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This area of golfindustryonline.com is designed to help everyone improve their golf game, pros and novices alike. Here our two Pro’s, Geoff Greig and Mark Immelman, explore different aspects of the golf swing and game improvement techniques.

Although we are not able to directly answer questions relating to golf tips, you might try posting your question on our golf tips message board.

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it is our life…