Sizzling Clubs – The Gotta Have’s
By: Dr. Barry Lotz
Guerin Rife’s IMO Putter
From the manufacturer of the most popular putter line on the Champions Tour comes the new “IMO” center-shafted putter, a superbly handsome putter that exudes power and confidence. IMO (Inline Momentum) is a center mass concept where at least 85% of the putter’s head weight is placed in the middle 40% of the club head.
Because the IMO is shafted to be face balanced, the shaft is “inline” with the concentration of mass promoting an extremely stable, on-plane stroke path.
Since virtually no golfers mis-hit a putt more than 5/8” to either side of center, 85% of the putter’s mass is directed into and through the ball. This momentum helps cure one of the major faults in putting…deceleration.
By concentrating mass directly behind the ball, Rife improves the putter heads ability to drive through the ball at impact. Rife has given the putter more momentum, or inline momentum, or maximum MOI.
As with all RIFE products, the IMO putter will feature RIFE’s patented Roll Groove Technology.
Graphite Design’s Tour AD EV Shaft.
The Tour AD EV model by Graphite Design has a new material technology that offers the optimum in shaft performance. The EV shaft was developed using the Trackman state of the art launch monitor technology. The EV shaft profiles are designed around a mid launch kick point with stiff butt sections, similar to many iron shaft designs being played by professional golfers. This design resulted in a significant gain in distance by optimizing the decent angle of the golf ball.
Tour AD EV is available in 55, 65, 75 and 85-gram versions. The heavier the shaft weight, the lower the trajectory.
The EV is available for use with TaylorMade’s new R9 drivers upon special request.
My personal preference, which performs superbly in my driver, fairway woods and hybrids, is the Graphite Design Tour AD UT 55 gram. This is an especially responsive shaft for those who have slower swing speeds, and on the TaylorMade R9 460, my distance increased by 25- 30 yards!
MSRP: $420 www.gdsintl.com
Birdy & Grace – Upscale – Classic with an Edge Ladies’ Golf Clothing
Once in a while, a ladies clothing line comes along that will turn heads – Birdy & Grace, this three-year old company, just happens to be that line.
Their success at green grass retailers has been phenomenal and accounts are growing rapidly from 5 to over 200. They offer understated elegance and effortless style.
The success of Birdy & Grace can be attributed to a novel approach to golf in that every item can stand alone; they have excellent fit and outstanding quality. Their hand embroidery is their specialty.
LPGA players Jane Park, InBee Park and Maria Laura Elvira of the Futures Tour are devotees.
Shades of Jamie Sadock, but with a class factor of at least 8 out of 10 points higher, Birdy & Grace’s styling and more importantly, quality, is well priced, flattering and moves with you – a perfect combination.
MSRP: Ribbed Skort (95-5 cotton spandex pique) Purple Rain print $92
MSRP: Sparkling Rose Polo (95- 5 cotton spandex pique) $100
TAYLORMADE R9 460 Driver
What continues to be the most popular brand in the golf business today? That’s easy – TaylorMade. This highly innovative and quality company continues to lead the way in design, playability, demand, pricing and too many attributes to name. Their new R9 460 is proving to be another winner, both at retail and on the professional tours.
TaylorMade won the fairway-wood count at the U.S. Open, and the R9 is the company’s newest fairway wood. Just like the R9 driver, it features interchangeable shafts with adjustable hosel positions. Of the shaft that we tested, we found that the Graphite Design Tour AD UT model worked phenomenally well for slower swing speeds adding almost 20 yards over the standard TaylorMade shaft used.
The R9 460 driver combines TaylorMade’s renowned Flight Control Technology (FCT) with the forgiveness and power of a 460cc titanium clubhead, and the speed-promoting properties of a longer length and extremely lightweight graphite shaft.
FCT gives the golfer the power to easily change the club’s face angle, loft ,and lie angle simply by loosening a bolt in the sole, rotating the shaft into the designated position, then tightening the bolt. FCT makes it so easy to adjust the angle of the clubface into a position that suits your eye and your swing, helping you hit the ball straighter and longer. It also promotes a side-to-side change in trajectory of up to 40 yards, helping golfers draw or fade, or diminish a hook or slice. The R9 460 includes a white FCT wrench that delivers the 40 pounds per inch of torque necessary to adequately tighten the FCT bolt.
Available lofts for the R9 460 and R9 460 TP drivers include 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° and 11.5° in right-handed, 9.5° and 10.5° in left-handed.
MSRP: $299.00 $399.00 for the TP model www.taylormadegolf.com
Adam’s a7 hybrid iron set
Dallas based Adam’s Golf is cleaning up on the Champions Tour, as well as at retail level. They simply make a great product with their niche targeted to the mid to higher handicappers.
Every club in the Idea a7 hybrid iron set has been individually optimized to fully integrate and outperform traditional irons. The set features two tour-inspired a7 hybrids that deliver increased carry distance and extra forgiveness along with six carefully configured irons that maximize scoring potential. The Idea a7 hybrids may also be purchased individually.
The eight-piece Idea a7 hybrid iron set consists of a 3- and 4-hybrid, a hollow-back 5 transition iron and precision engineered scoring clubs in 6-iron through pitching wedge. The 3- and 4-hybrids take the best attributes from several generations of the Idea Pro hybrids to create a better blend of high-performance with forgiveness.
Improved sole camber makes the Idea a7 easy-to-hit out of any lie and the rear-weighting increases carry distance. With a patented hollow-back design and a 13 percent thinner face, the #5 transition iron improves gapping between the hybrids and short irons, thereby increasing distance. Thinner top lines and sole widths for workability highlight the short irons (6-PW) that are designed for maximum scoring potential. These scoring clubs also feature dual cavity-backs and stabilizer bars for enhanced forgiveness and feel.
Keeping it in the Texas “family”, the stock shaft for the hybrids are the UST Proforce Axiv Core Black, an 85-gram shaft.
The irons are available with a matching Proforce Black shaft (85 grams) or a True Temper steel shaft (95 grams) that is designed to promote a high ball flight.
MSRP: $699.99 (eight-club set with graphite shafts); $599.99 (graphite shafts in 3 and 4 hybrids, steel shafts in 6-PW); $199.99 (either 3 or 4 hybrid).
Adam’s Golf is also introducing the Idea a7OS Max set, an all-hybrid set that is very easy-to-hit and delivers maximum confidence and forgiveness. This is a great and welcome option for golfers that love playing hybrids or for those with handicaps that range from 25 to 36.
Adams Golf also created the Idea a7OS hybrid iron set for women which provides the same advanced features and materials found in the men’s sets, but with dedicated tooling and design specifications created specifically for a woman’s swing.
Included in the women’s set are a driver, 5-wood, 5-hybrid, 7-mid-hybrid, 9-iron, sand wedge, mallet putter and a lightweight stand bag. Additional clubs are available for purchase to turn the expandable set into a full set at any time.
The eight-piece Idea a7OS Max set consists of four wood-like hybrids and four iron-like hybrids. Each hybrid in the set is built with the advanced technology that consumers have come to expect from the makers of the No. 1 hybrid iron sets in golf: thin crowns and faces for maximum distance; extremely high MOI for maximum forgiveness; low back-weighting for maximum playability.
Available in men’s (3-6 wood-like hybrids; 7-PW iron-like hybrids), women’s and seniors (both 4-7 wood-like hybrids, 8-SW iron-like hybrids), Idea a7OS Max ships to golf shops September 15 with a SRP of $849.99 (graphite) and $749.99 (steel) in the men’s and seniors’ sets, $849.99 (graphite) in the women’s sets.
The men’s (stiff and regular) and seniors’ sets are available in right- and left-handed with Graffaloy ProLaunch Axis Blue graphite shafts or True Temper Performance Lite steel shafts. The women’s set is available in right-handed, left-handed and petite with Graffaloy graphite shafts.
ADAMS SPEEDLINE 9032Ti HYBRID-FAIRWAY WOODS
Bucking the trend, these new woods have titanium heads, not stainless steel. These new woods have a center of gravity that is 22 percent lower, a crown that is 25 percent thinner and a titanium body that is 40 percent lighter than conventional fairway woods.
Two 40-gram tungsten sole inserts and a weight port that makes the Speedline 9032Ti extremely long off the tee and easy-to-hit from the fairway highlight this advanced weighting system. In addition, these fairway woods are designed with an extremely high CT face to deliver the fastest ball speed of any fairway wood designed by Adams Golf. The unparalleled technology of the Speedline 9032Ti woods is so advanced that they come with a guarantee of an additional ten yards over conventional fairway woods for every golfer.
Available in the following lofts: strong 3 (13 °), 3 (14.5 °) and 5 (18 °).
MSRP: $379.99 www.adamsgolf.com
One of the golf industry’s long time stalwarts, now in its 30th year, and maker of this year’s Ryder Cup apparel, Antiqua has launched its Spring 2010 proprietary DESERT DRY™ XTRA-LITE (D2 XL) line.
This is a fabric that is extremely light without being sheer whatsoever. Construction is done with a three dimensional approach and this is what makes it extremely light without being sheer or see-through. In addition, the Xtra-Lite performs even faster, as far as moisture wicking is concerned. This new technology can be found in both the men’s and women’s lines of golf apparel.
DESERT DRY™ XTRA-LITE (D2XL) is a combination of Antigua’s exclusive DESERT DRY™ moisture wicking feature combined with specially constructed ultra-light fabrics for maximum drying performance and optimum comfort.
The additional benefits are a much lighter garment with less heat being trapped on the body, less restrictive and moisture wicking more rapidly.
Another iconic name, Slazenger, is also part of the Antiqua group.
MSRP $ 60.00 to $80.00 www.antigua.com
The House of Carrington “Ice Feel” Shirts
House of Carrington Ice Feel apparel is “cool like the side of the pillow”
Ice Feel is created from a unique blend of lyocell and mercerized Egyptian cotton. Ice Feel apparel delivers a luxury cotton feel with the ‘easy care’ characteristics normally found only in polyester and polyester blends.
The attention to detail and quality of construction in an HOC shirt are second to none. Quality is their main concern from the fine cotton yarn, through the mercerization process and the cut, make, and trim process.
All shirts have been carefully tested before and after wash to ensure proper fit. When you marry this attention to detail and quality construction with HOC’s classic, elegant design aesthetic, the House of Carrington can look forward and feel confident that they can become the brand of choice for a golfer looking for the highest quality.
Technical Specs: Hand-crafted feel, Cool to the touch, Wrinkle-resistant
MSRP: $125 www.houseofcarrington.com
TOUR EDGE XCG-V TOUR SPEC
This is the new fairway version of the popular XCG-V driver. The Tour Spec features a 25% larger purpose-built titanium cup face than previous models, an ultra-light magnesium crown, and a heavy, high-density steel sole plate – a unique combination in club design.
The magnesium crown and titanium cup face allow more of the club head’s weight to rest in the heavy steel sole. In fact, the Tour Spec’s smaller pear-shaped head design, taller face, and perfectly executed weight distribution move the CG location closer to the face for a more penetrating ball flight and tour-preferred trajectory.
Lower spin rates and a more penetrating ball flight are the result of the Tour Spec’s deeper titanium face. Optimizing consistency, the larger, deeper cup face creates an enormous hot zone for more explosive power even on off-center hits.
These clubs will definitely appeal to both pros and top amateur players. These lofts are available in strong #3 (13 degrees), #3 (15 °), #4 (16.5 °) and #5 (18 °).
MSRP: $369.00 www.touredge.com
Nike’s Unitized and OZ line of Putters
NIKE UNITIZED LEO
There has been a lot of buzz around the putter U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover used in his win. Unfortunately, this is a Nike prototype putter.
Therefore, consumers at this point in time cannot buy the same putter, but they can buy a similar one. The main difference is the polymer face insert in Glover’s putter. The Leo has no insert.
In Nike’s seamless Unitized concept, the shaft is laser-welded to the head and both are nickel-plated as a unit.
There are seven Unitized models, including the Leo, which sell for an average price of about $87.00. The Leo is available for $79.95.
However, all is not lost as the OZ putter series offers many options including blade and mallet designs and colored inserts. The new and very popular Nike OZ 2 blade borrows from the classic soft tail design popularized by T.P. Mills.
The Nike OZ 2 blade is a true beauty at address, with clean flowing lines and exudes a quiet confidence.
It features a matte black finish with dual sightlines on the crown to assist with squaring the face. The lightweight polymer insert aims to redistribute weight to the perimeters for enhanced forgiveness.
Nike, unlike other putter manufacturers, avoids the common mistake of cluttering the lower portion of the grip with bright colors and over-sized logos, thereby further enhancing the putter’s visual calm. The ball rolls sharply off the face without bouncing along the line.
The grip and included head cover do justice to the price point of $99.00.
TITLEIST SCOTTY CAMERON STUDIO SELECT NEWPORT 2
One of Titleist’s most consistent moneymakers is the large Newport putter family from Scotty Cameron. Tiger Woods, who tied for sixth in defense of his U.S. Open title, has used an original Newport 2 or a prototype variation for the past nine years (with a blacked-out Ping grip).
Today’s Studio Select model, with its distinctive red dots, is a classic toe-down putter (meaning it is not face-balanced), with a plumber’s neck.
At the U.S. Open, seven of the top 15 finishers carried Scotty Cameron by Titleist putters. All seven (David Duval, Ross Fisher, Soren Hansen, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Ryan Moore and Mike Weir) had Titleist putters from Cameron’s Newport family.
Consumers can find many versions of putters within the Newport family. The putter used by Woods is classified officially as a prototype, but it is virtually identical to the popular Newport 2 model.
MSRP: $299 www.scottycameron.com
Now that Bobby Bettinardi is back on his own after a short-lived, but friendly association with Mizuno, a new Bettinardi Signature putter line is making its way to Tour players, golf cognoscenti and retailers fortunate enough to carry the brand.
Two-time PGA Tour winner, Brian Gay, is a devout devotee of Bettinardi putters. Gay used a custom Mizuno Bettinardi D.A.S.S. (for Double Aged Stainless Steel) C-03 model putter. His putter has the F.I.T. face (for Feel Impact Technology) found on the Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon putter line, making it a cross between the Black Carbon line and the earlier Mizuno Bettinardi C-Series putters.
Due out soon is the BB Series putter line which is 100% CNC milled in the USA, using Bettinardi’s One-Piece Technology milling process where every putter is finished with his patented Honeycomb™ face to ensure the best feel and responsiveness, plus the highest level of performance.
In addition to being a CNC milled steel genius, Bobby has also introduced the ultimate in a belt buckle, now quite the “in” accessory on the Tour. The Buckle is the extension of our 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.
Leathers whose performance is not sacrificed for beauty. Belts are available in black, brown, white, blue, green, orange, red, and turquoise.
PING G15 Driver
According to PING, the new G15 Driver is engineered for golfers seeking a maximum forgiveness driver that delivers distance and accuracy.
Its 460cc titanium head is longer front to back and features PING’s patented ultra-thin crown technology. Weight savings from the thin crown are positioned as an external sole weight to optimize the center of gravity for higher trajectories and reduced spin.
A larger face is designed to increase ball speed and provide consistency across the entire hitting surface. The new PING-designed TFC149D high balance point shaft allows for a five-gram increase in head mass (without increasing swing weight or overall weight), which results in higher ball speeds and an increased moment of inertia.
Four lofts are available: 9°, 10.5°, 12°,13.5° as well as a Draw version with lofts of 9°, 10.5° and 12°. The available shafts are PING-designed TFC149D (L, Soft R, R, S and X flexes) and Aldila Serrano 60 (R, S and X flexes).
MSRP: $350 (graphite shaft only)
Also, another driver is being introduced by PING – the fade-biased design of the PING i15 Driver and was designed to meet the needs of golfers who place a high priority on working their tee shots. It has adjustable hosel that can bent to two degrees open, but needs to be adjusted by the PING factory.
So what’s in the future “Hot List” of equipment? Exciting times ahead. As I always maintain, there are only three things in life you need aside from your health to be happy:
- Someone to love.
- Something to do.
- Something to look forward to.
The above can so easily be applied to your golf life.
Be on the look out for these highly anticipated products from the most innovative golf companies:
The TaylorMade Penta 5 layer golf ball
TaylorMade’s new R9 irons
TaylorMade’s new interchangeable face wedges
House of Carrington shirt
Antiqua Golf’s Ryder Cup shirt collection
PING’s new G15 driver and irons and i15 driver
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 September 2009.
He can be reached at www.pgtaa.com or email@example.com