These New Golf Products Are Designed to Improve Your Golf game.
This year, in particular, there seems to be a surge in golf equipment, both in hard goods (equipment) and soft goods (clothing). Product cycles appear to be changing and some manufacturers are getting a jump on the 2013 PGA Show.
The following products are doing exceptionally well and warrant a closer look:
Graphite Design BB Shafts:
This product is the one that gets my Tour players and myself, the most excited!
As one of the top three shaft manufacturers, if not the best, Graphite Design has introduced the newest premium golf shaft in the Tour AD series, Tour AD BB “Blue Bullet”. The new Tour AD BB shaft is available in a variety of weighting starting from 55, 55.5, 60, 70, 80 and up to 85.5 grams. By the way, AD stands for Accuracy and Distance.
Since switching to this shaft, my distance has increased dramatically and my dispersion rate has tightened equally. I am using the BB 5 R2 flex, 55 grams with a 4.3 torque. There is also an R1 which is slightly heavier at 55.5 grams.
The Tour AD BB design features an increased stiffness from the tip-to-middle section to provide the player with more stability. The end result is a tighter shot pattern and an increase in ball speed. The Tour AD BB was designed with the appropriate amount of flex in the butt section allowing players the ability to load the shaft properly, thus creating a sense of power.
Tour AD BB shafts will produce a LOW to MID piercing ball flight and reduce spin through impact.
SkyCaddie Breeze Rangefinder:
The market leader in rangefinders, aka location finders (GPS), the breeze allows golfers a hands-free option, specifically without having to aim or touch a button, to see yardages from the front, middle and back of each green.
The Breeze has a 3-inch screen that compared to past SkyCaddie models, has an exceptionally sunlight-readable screen. And with SkyCaddie’s Auto Course feature, the Breeze automatically loads the course a golfer is playing. Additional features include HoleVue, IntelliGreen, RangeVue and PinPoint, making the Breeze a highly useful range finding tool.
Our testing group really enjoyed using the SkyBreeze over both GolfLogix and Garmin units. On a side note, avoid any Garmin golf products. Garmin’s lack of service and apathetic warranty department, not to mention their management team, is something you best avoid. SkyCaddie is a membership based system, that in addition to the cost of the unit, $19.95 in annual dues is charged for accessing and using the Breeze.
GoBe Golf Shoes
GoBe Golf, headquartered in Austin, Minn., was founded by industry footwear veterans (Ecco to be precise) and PGA Professionals for the sole purpose of creating the best shoes for playing golf. They seem to have achieved their objective in the “Freddie Couples Street” style of golf shoes.
As a writer, I have had an opportunity to sample many “street shoes”, such as ECCO, FootJoy, Ashworth and TRUE linkswear. The basic problem is that the aforementioned brands offer very little support, while GoBe’s have great support.
GoBe Golf manufactures high performance footwear for men and women. The shoes are built from the ground up using innovative materials derived from advanced footwear technology to specifically provide better traction, comfort and support for golfers.
GoBe Golf’s innovative outsole is a patent-pending Talon tread sole design using a molded 5-point star traction pattern to provide maximum grip throughout the golf swing. The points of the stars grip the grass, creating superior traction without damaging the turf. The stars are strategically spaced to keep dirt and debris from building up. The sole’s non-slip, traction stripes complement the star treads to stabilize the golfer during the powerful motion of the swing.
The GoBe Dry™ shoe liner has a patent-pending interior moisture management system; with drainage channels, aeration holes at flex points and notches above the toe area to drain perspiration away from feet. The moisture-wicking fiber lining also aerates, and has anti-microbial and anti-odor properties to keep feet cool, dry and fresh.
To extend the life of their shoes, customers can order an additional pair of shoe liners at no charge through www.gobegolf.com. GoBe shoes are built on a European last (toe box width and toe box depth) with a deep heel cup to keep the foot in place and a wide toe area for a natural, comfortable fit.
GoBe Golf footwear offers three styles for men at a suggested retail of $159 and two styles for women at a suggested retail of $139. GoBe Golf shoes come with a two-year warranty and will be sold only through high-end resorts, golf course pro shops, and online.
G-Mac by Kartel Clothing Line
Kartel teamed up with Graeme McDowell to create G-Mac by Kartel, a collection of premium sophisticated golf apparel and accessories. Kartel, an extremely successful apparel brand and a premier golf brand in Europe, was founded in 1947 in Dublin, Ireland.
What I primarily like about this shirt line are the options available such as a button down, or button under semi-structured collar. More importantly, the feel and quality are evident.
Another USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is that the labels are printed on the neck back for comfort, and are discreetly branded with a Corozo (or coconut shell) badge on the right sleeve.
As with all shirt manufacturers, hi-tech performance fabrics are used such as UV protection, anti-microbial odor management properties and perspiration absorbing technologies to quickly dry away moisture.
The Dunluce Polo, shown here in Galway blue.
New polo styles are being offered for Spring 2013, such as the elegant Galgorm polo made of luxurious Pima Cotton and 46% Dry Tec polyester, featuring tailor stitching on the collar, placket and cuff, as well as on the split back yoke.
In addition to solids, this season introduces stylish patterns such as the polka dot Gracehill polo that features a contrast polka dot design and color placket.
The Dunluce polo features a herringbone jacquard design with a subtle contrast placket. The micro-striped Rathmore polo has contrast color on the collar and button placket.
The Portrush Polo is offered in eight colors and is fast becoming the classic of the G-Mac by Kartel collection, often seen worn by Graeme in his favorite Bell Heather color. Also available again this season is the Malone polo, featuring contrast colored buttons and sleeve tipping.
Knitwear is composed of either 100% pure mercerized wool, or a cashmere blend, both are extremely breathable fabrics that provide optimum outward air circulation for temperature regulation.
MG Wool V Vest
As a devoted V-Neck sweater aficionado, the G-Mac line offers the MG Wool V, a fine gauge sleeveless high V-Neck sweater, composed of 100% Pure new mercerized wool. Features include contrast detailing on the inner collar, and a metal and leather branded badge on the outside back neck.
Colors: Oyster with Salmon, Magenta with Classic Navy, Galway with Black, Bell Heather with Sodabread.
Dunluce: SRP $120.00 MG Wool V: SRP $100.00
The Ball-First Trainerby SKLZ
SKLZ, is the global leader in athletic skill and performance training products and instruction.
One of the most popular training aids used by the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America (www.pgtaa.com), is the Ball First Trainer. It personifies the KISS method – Keep It Superbly Simple.
Sometimes simple is better and the SKLZ Ball-First Trainer could not be easier to use. Just set it down and place a ball in the middle of it. It frames the impact area, develops a proper alignment and club head path and provides instant feedback.
The Ball-First Trainer can be flipped over for right-handed or left-handed use.
At $19.99, you can buy one for every golfer on your list. http://www.sklz.com/golf/accuracy/ball-first-trainer
TaylorMade’s Ghost Sider S Putter
In its second official week on the PGA Tour, at the Wyndham Championship, Ghost Spider S was the No. 1 overall model with six in play. Among those to play the Ghost Spider S this year include, Jason Day, Y.E. Yang, Pat Perez, Rory Sabbatini, Spencer Levin and European Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson, who recently won with it at the KLM Open.
In addition to its new, tour-inspired shape, the Ghost Spider S is revolutionary in terms of control and feel. If you liked the previous Spider models, this putter, with its short-slant hosel option, will, without a doubt not only help you make more putts, but will bring either a large grin or mischievous smile to your face!
The alignment and stability of the Ghost Spider S are what makes this hole-seeking-weapon so exciting.
The Ghost Spider S delivers an off-the-charts MOI measurement of 6,030, dramatically higher than previous TaylorMade mallets like the Ghost Manta (4,900) and Corza Ghost (3,830). The exceptionally high MOI makes Ghost Spider S extremely stable on off-center hits, and it also makes it easier to control the head and square the face to the ball at impact, a key benefit that has been consistently called out by the tour pros who have put it in play.
Ghost Spider S’s multi-material head (aluminum and steel) combines a white-colored steel-frame perimeter and top-line with a new, tour-inspired, non-transition black crown. The contrast between the white leading edge and black crown makes it easier to focus your eyes on the top line, making it easier to aim accurately.
In addition to the standard hosel, the Ghost Spider S will also be available in a Tour-inspired “short slant” hosel, designed for the player who has an arched swing path. Unlike the standard hosel, which promotes a straight back-straight thru swing path, the short-slant is toe-weighted and broadens the scope of players who can benefit from the performance characteristics of the Ghost Spider S.
The Ghost Spider S standard model is available November 1, 2012, for $179 in standard length and $199 in a belly model. The Ghost Spider S featuring the “short slant” hosel will hit the market a month later on December 1, 2012.
Titleist 913D2 and 913D3 Drivers
By the time you read this article, these two new drivers will be at your friendly golf retailer. Designed and built for more speed and more distance, the new Titleist 913 drivers deliver more performance with the most precise fit available to all serious golfers through an unparalleled combination of new innovations and Titleist’s industry-leading SureFit Tour hosel technology.
The ease of changing the hosel compared to similar adjustable drivers, is remarkably fast, as are the settings to read.
Featuring a high-speed, forged face insert, the new Titleist 913D2 and 913D3 drivers are the fastest, most consistent drivers Titleist has ever designed, delivering maximum ball speeds over a large area of the face.
They are also Titleist’s most playable and forgiving drivers, primarily the result of improved launch conditions from a lower, more optimal center of gravity (CG) position, a new rear SureFit Tour weight and the fitting precision provided by the SureFit Tour adjustable hosel.
The 913D2 driver features a 460cc full-pear shaped head designed for maximum forgiveness and a slight draw bias, while the 913D3 has a 445cc classic-pear shape that is forgiving with tour-inspired workability. Unlike the 910 series, both D2 and D3 models now provide the same launch and spin characteristics to provide maximum fitting flexibility.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: The new 913D2 and 913D3 drivers will begin shipping to golf shops on Nov. 1, 2012, with a suggested retail price of $399.00.
These are just a few of the late in the year releases of golf products that warrant your attention. Of course, there will be many more new products, upgrades and performance materials and equipment on their way to the 2013 PGA Show. Of note will be the new versions of the Pro V1, Pro V1X and Callaway’s new golf balls, plus a new full line of TaylorMade clubs. Stay tuned.
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”, released in February, 2012 and used by many PGA Tour members, is already in its third printing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org