|It’s been another great year for innovative golf products. The following are those products that garnered the golfer’s eye and wallet
Though just introduced late this year, one product that is a godsend to all golfers and that transcends all the hype when a new golf product is launched, is the addidas Golf adiCOMFORT golf shoe. THIS IS OUR PRODUCT OF THE YEAR CHOICE!
Not only is this designed for every foot, but is now available in multiple widths and extended sizes. What this really means is that the shoe has a Number 2 last (The solid form around which a shoe is molded which defines the toe shape and heel height) and goes to a 4E in width. This translates into a shoe for every type of foot which in turn equals pure comfort for arguably the most important, in this writer’s mind, item of golf equipment. With two distinctive designs (hybrid & sports casual), extended sizes up to 17 and multiple widths, including Medium, Wide and Extra Wide, now every golfer can buy a well-fitted shoe.
What else is great about this shoe is the pricing ($79.00), the no-questions asked 90-day Comfort Guarantee and a 2-year waterproof warranty. Amazing!
adiCOMFORT features soft leathers and lightweight synthetics for superior comfort, flexibility and durability. Additionally, 3mm of softened midsole EVA for extra cushioning has been added, as has adidas’s patented FitFOAM footbed technology found in adidas’s higher-end models, plus soft textile lining and added foam surround the foot with extra cushioning and a wider base for more stability.
Also available is the adiCOMFORT S, which offers synthetic leather for lightweight comfort and durability.
It will be available in five color combinations: white / malt / black, white / black / dark silver metallic, black / black / dark silver metallic, white / uniform blue / black and white / white / black. adiCOMFORT S will be available in one color combination: white / white / white.
Women’s: Medium (B) & Wide (D) 5-11. Men’s: 7-17, Med (D), Wide (2E), Extra-wide (4E)
Men’s has the adiCOMFORT and the adiCOMFORT Sport, women’s offers the adiCOMFORT Z.
TaylorMade’s new Penta TP golf ball is both hot and cool! Hot in that it is gaining market share, cool because of its performance.
Golf’s first 5-layer ball, without all the fancy rigmarole and company hyperbole, is probably one of the best balls we have ever tested.
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?
TaylorMade’s new Rossa Corza Ghost mallet putter was designed in conjunction with putting Guru Dave Stockton. It has found its way into many Tour players’ bags, such as Justin Rose, Martin Laird and Dustin Johnson.
Its “Golf Ball White” mallet style head contrasts against the green grass making it easier to see, while its 3 black alignment lines makes lining up your putt much easier to reduce eyestrain and fatigue.
Available in 33, 34- and 35-inch models as well as left-handed.
TaylorMade Burner 2.0 Irons
Golfers who play the current Burner iron will notice a difference in the sound and feel, which is significantly softer and more satisfying in the Burner 2.0.
Aesthetically, the main difference is the Burner 2.0’s two-toned Burner Black PVD finish that’s in place for durability and glare resistance.
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 Burner 2.0 irons were designed for the mid to high handicap golfer who enjoys extra forgiveness in their iron set.
$699.00 Steel $899.00 graphite
Adams Golf Idea Tech V3 set
Adams Golf sure has this market cornered. They get it! Their new Hybrid sets are the best on the market for quality, value and results. The best part is that these clubs will improve your game!
They are extremely easy to hit, look phenomenal, helped by their sporting dramatic nickel chromium (NiCr) plated and physical vapor deposition (PVD) black finishes. The ultra-premium clubs establish a new standard in the super game-improvement category with the latest technology and sleek new design features. The set is intended for aspiring and recreational players looking to improve their games. The Idea Tech V3 set is offered in two configurations (forged or all-hybrid) in order to meet each customer’s preferences. The Idea Tech V3 hybrids may, also be purchased individually, which is a great way to test the equipment. Both men and ladies sets are available.
In both the forged and all-hybrid (photo) configurations, the eight-piece Idea Tech V3 set consists of 4-, 5- and 6- progressively–sized hybrids and a 7-mid-hybrid. The forged set features four oversized cavity-back forged irons in 8-iron through gap wedge, while the all-hybrid set features four hybrid scoring clubs in 8-iron through gap wedge.
The easy-to-hit hybrids in both configurations feature strategically placed tungsten weighting in the premium stainless steel heads for enhanced forgiveness and spin. A four-way cambered sole and recessed heel and toe areas reduce turf drag for superior playability and versatility.
The transitional hybrid mid-iron includes a viscoelastic vibration dampening system for exceptional feel. Should the consumer choose the forged set, they will find precisely located heel and toe weighting in the oversized forged heads of the short irons (8-GW) that maximize scoring potential. A tech badge in each also improves feel across the face. Golfers that put the all-hybrid set in their bags will get short irons (8-GW) with a thin face design and a perimeter heel-toe weighting system to increase launch angle and spin for maximum forgiveness.
The stock shaft for the Idea Tech V3 hybrids is the proven Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara graphite shaft.
The shafts are available in four different flexes and weights–stiff (65g), regular (60g), lite (55g) and super-lite (50g)–the Bassara shafts are designed to exactly fit each player’s swing speed and type.
For the short irons in either the forged or all-hybrid set, golfers may choose between True Temper Performance Tech shafts in steel or Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara shafts in graphite.
The eight-piece set is available in right- or left-handed models; with a suggested retail price (SRP) of $899.99 for steel and $999.99 for graphite. Individual Idea Tech V3 hybrids are available right-handed (2-7) or left-handed (3-6) with a SRP of $249.99.
Callaway FT Tour Driver
This 8-time PGA Tour winner has been one of Callaway’s most successful drivers in recent history.
The Callaway FT Tour driver combines technology with a classic design and extremely high performance. Callaway’s tour professionals have already fallen in love with the FT Tour noticing increased ball speed and big distance gains.
The FT Tour uses Hyperbolic Face Technology which increases the size of the hitting area and helps the club to generate much faster ball speeds to help the ball go consistently further and longer.
The FT Tour golf driver features a 440cc clubhead that has been designed to incorporate a deep face and a smaller footprint. Combined with a full length tour hosel and open angle face, the driver has been developed to have the looks and feel that the best players demand.
Callaway’s successful Fusion Technology works in the FT Tour to combine the carbon composite body and titanium face. This allows weight to be focused on the perimeter of the club to build performance through the high moment of inertia and optimized centre of gravity.
The Callaway FT Tour driver comes fitted with an Aldila Voodoo shaft.
Callaway Forged X Series JAWS CC Wedges
This extension to the JAWS wedge series is being used by a ton of Tour players so much so that even non-staff players are asking for these wedges.
Jim Furyk used one to save all those pars from the bunker at the Tour Championship. Since then, demand from players is high.
The X Series JAWS CC Wedges feature the new Tour CC Grooves. The CC Grooves consist of 21 tightly spaced, conforming grooves with sharper edges due to the triple net forging process. The aggressive Tour CC Grooves produce maximum spin, control and versatility; the forged 1020 carbon steel makes for Tour-level feel.
The C-Grind sole and classic head design relieves the heel, toe and trailing edge. It improves turf interaction, allowing you to lay the face open while keeping the leading edge down.
Available in lofts starting at 50º-64º. Each wedge is available in either True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 steel shafts or Fujikura 85 ST or 95 ST graphite shafts. A Slate finish is available.
$119.95 steel – $139.95 graphite www.callawaygolf.com
Graphite Design Shafts
GDS has just introduced their new GDS Tour AD DI 7X this year and the response on the PGA and Nationwide Tour has been consistently positive. Players drove the ball 20 – 30 yards further with perfect trajectories.
Designed to offer more power and stability, the AD DI shaft features a nanotechnology material in the shaft’s tip section to help create optimal launch and spin conditions. The Tour AD DI’s mid bend profile allows the player to load the shaft properly, yet it maintains a firm enough tip section through impact, producing optimal spin and launch conditions.
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. For 2011, GDS will bring the Tour AD DJ to market.
Bridgestone B330/B330-S Balls
Along with Titleist and TaylorMade, Bridgestone is a member of the top three ball manufacturers.
Both these urethane, multi-layer balls feature a four-piece construction. Both models offer enhanced distance, feel and control, and can easily be considered among the best in the premium ball category.
The B330 spins more than previous models around the green, while the B330-S is soft, long and also extremely “spinny” where you need it, an attribute mid to high handicapper golfers will love and appreciate.
In a nutshell, the B330-S is softer and has a little more iron spin while the B330 has a lower trajectory and firmer feel. $42 per dozen www.bridgestonegolf.com
Sunice Hurricane Ultimate V3 Gore-Tex Performance Shell Jacket
The dazzling, well crafted, Hurricane Collection is engineered with GORE-TEX® Paclite® and GORE-TEX® Performance Shell product technology that carries the Guaranteed to Keep You Dry® promise, and provides durably waterproof, windproof and breathable comfort and protection for standout wearability. Of course, this quality is expensive, but worth every penny.
Sunice® has added to its already-broad GORE-TEX® category with an improved version of the technology-leading Ultimate Jacket V3. Its lighter, quieter GORE-TEX® Performance Shell comes in Black with Charcoal or Red with White. The jacket also includes the X-static® stretch lining, Pro-Trim™ waist-cinching system, in-pocket ball cleaner and full-stretch back panel. Styling includes laser-cut elbow and shoulder detailing, laser-cut and welded pocket frames, tractor foot imprints and patented V-collar.
Bushnell Neo +
Bushnell Outdoor Products has introduced an affordable, easy-to-use, golf GPS rangefinder that will not slow down your game. While the more costly GPS rangefinders have many additional accouterments, bells and whistles, many of these being hard to see in the sun light, unnecessary and a great waste of time, this unit fills a niche that has long been overdue.
The unit is compact and provides instant yardage readings to more than 16,000 pre-loaded U.S. golf courses. No subscription needed! Unlike other GPS units on the market that can intimidate the consumer, the new Neo+ is ready to be played immediately following purchase, yet doesn’t sacrifice technology.
Other features of the Neo+ include a shot distance calculator, an easy-to-use interface, low button press, and a belt clip. The unit comes with a one-year warranty, is rain proof and has up to 16 hours of battery life.
Abacus continues to gain momentum and market share worldwide and especially in the US. Their products are both stylish and pure quality and once again will sponsor the European Solheim Cup team.
Abacus’ autumn/winter collection is a fusion between town and country. The women’s garments feature a softer logo. The collection contains inspiration from the fashionable fifties and sixties. Here you will find cable-knitted sweaters, one of the latest trends in the fashion world. The first color group for women is built on traditional colors–dark sea blue, navy blue, dark red, and vanilla. The other group, which is specific for this collection, contains sulphur yellow, orchid, dark pink against grey, black, and white.
Cowal Wind Stop
The Cowal Wind Stop is a wool blend sweater with a poly micro lining. Windproof and breathable, the Cowal is cable-knit with a folkloric pattern for a classic winter look. It has two front pockets and is a full zip for easy on and off.
Nair Rain Trouser
The Nair rain trouser looks great at the office or on the course. Made from a soft polyester twill material, it is comfortable to wear and easy to move in. The Nair is windproof, breathable, and has sealed seams that are waterproof tested to 8,000 millimeters of water-proofness and 8,000 grams of breathability.
ODYSSEY Backstryke Putters
Odyssey’s new Backstryke putters are available in three styles: the Marxman, the 2-Ball and the Blade.
These putters gained rapid acceptance on all the Pro Tours due to its visible face alignment – an unobstructed sight line. It also features “forward press stabilization” (a natural shaft- lean toward the target) that promotes the proper hand position producing better roll, stability and top spin. Available in lengths between 33 and 35 inches.
It was one of those years that our testing staff really enjoyed – many of them are now using these products.
Next year promises an exciting array of new golf equipment, especially in drivers and irons. Callaway, Nike and TaylorMade will lead the way with products now being tested on Tour.
Stay tuned and look for my upcoming article in December covering this new merchandise.