June 2009

The latest in golf equipment, instruction, training aids, apparel & more

Never Compromise’s new NCX-Ray putter line features one of the most radical faces we’ve ever seen. Not only does it boast a striking red dual-density insert, it also uses something called Suspended Face Technology (SFT). SFT features embedded ribs in a soft composite. The result? Reduced vibration at impact and just the right feel that makes even the hardest golf balls feel soft.

While its visual and tactile qualities are second to none, its ultralightweight face material also reduces the club’s centerweighting by 25%. And that, of course, produces a higher MOI that keeps the club square at impact.

Another advantage is its deep CG. The X-Ray mallets repositioned 80 grams of weight, a move that pushed the CG 18% deeper (the blade models were moved about half that much). Four models available, Sigma shown. $149.

At least 85% of the Rife IMO’s ($149) head weight is located in the middle 40% of the club. That means most of the putter’s mass is directed into and through the ball.

Rife IMO Nickel Putter Heavy Putter

The IMO is easy to keep balanced and swing on your desired path, and that leads to more consistent putts.

The Nickel Putter ($295) features a CNC-milled aluminum putterhead (it’s named Nickel after its designer). Two lead weights totaling 70 grams directly behind the face make for a truer stroke. Its coolest feature, though, is an integrated ball marker/ball retrieval component that allows you to mark and pick up your ball at the same time. There’s also a grip-end ball grabber. Never bend over again! USGA-approved._Ê

Heavy Putter’s MID-WEIGHT Series ($169) has less weight in its putterhead than previous models, but has more than most other flatsticks (250 grams)–just the thing if you suffer from the yips. Comes in five models with a silver satin or black PVD finish. (CX2 model shown with plumber’s neck hosel.)

Built with a Pure Power Sole Unit, the Hi-Tec Pure Power i ($199) helps to ensure that your foot moves in a more comfortable and stable way. Its Variable Chassis Thickness (VCT) provides the sole and cleat with more surface contact with the ground, so you can move without compromising flexibility. Available in three colors. {mospagebreak}

Geox‘s new ProTechs ($200) include a breathable, waterproof membrane and moisture-wicking fabrics that not only make them comfortable, but help to get rid of moisture. Comes with Trisport cleats and a Fast Twist insert system for maximum traction. With leather uppers.

FootJoy delivers its most stable line of shoes ever with the SYNR”G ($220). Pronounced “synergy,” the line features a high-performance G-Force outsole that took two years to develop and is just the thing for golfers who crave maximum support. Available in four styles.

One way to guarantee you get a few extra yards out of your drives is to play with a longer shaft. The Sniper LD by Enzo ($149) is just that. Measuring a healthy 48 inches (three inches longer than a standard shaft) and coming in XX and XXX flexes, this camouflage long stick was built specifically for really strong, really fast and really long drivers. Weighs a stout 78 grams.

Compact, easy to use and inexpensive. That pretty much sums up the new Swami GPS ($150) unit by Izzo. But we like its large display and no-nonsense buttons–perfect for those who prefer their technology spartan. Holds information for 10 courses at a time and comes with a belt clip, charger, USB cable and instructions.

The new, asymmetrical Mibrella ($50-$60) (think “MY umBRELLA”) reimagines what an umbrella is. A forward shaft places the golfer in the center of its canopy, creating extra coverage for both golfer and golf bag. Comes with a “load and go” cart clamp ($40) that allows you to mount it and keep it open in between shots. Features a UV barrier and pushcart mount. Available only in pro shops.

Winner of Golf Channel’s Fore Inventors Only competition, the deceptively simple Club Caddy ($15) might look like a giant clothespin, but in reality it’s a miniature caddy. Just clip it to your club’s shaft near the hosel and set it on the ground. It keeps your clubs upright and your grips dry and eliminates the need to bend over and pick up your clubs.

The waterproof Rule Twenty-One ($20) back-pocket golf towel fuses an absorbent Bamboo Terry Layer with a soft-feel waterproof shell and makes it easy to clean your golf ball and clubface without dirtying your pockets. It will be one of the most economical additions to your golf gear. {mospagebreak}

The large, ventilated Ogio Shoester ($30) shoe bag features a no-slip PVC lining and a Neoprene reinforced handle. And it’s big enough to hold shoes of a typical NBA player.

Still have mud caked on your (formerly) white shoes from the last time you tried to play one out of the creek? Get your kicks looking like new again with Footjoy’s White Shoe Cleaner and Polish Kit ($13). The kit comes with a wooden-handled sponge and cleaner to wipe off dirt and polish.

Adjustability expands into the cleat market with Softspike’s Black Widow Tour ($17 per pack), the first cleat that allows golfers to customize their cleats to their swing, balance and weight distribution.

What type of club DO you plan to buy in 2009?

Driver: 29%
Fairway Wood/Hybrid: 23%
Iron: 21%
Wedge: 14%
Putter: 13%
Source: golftipsmag.com


Must Haves:

Titleist 909 Comp

What it is: One of three drivers in Titleist’s new 909 series. The Comp features a low-density composite crown that positions the CG low and provides a high-launch ballflight without increased spin.

How it works: Its composite crown helps move weight deep and low. Also features a CNC-milled face insert with thick trapezoidal rings surrounded by thinner areas for maximum ball speed.

Why you need it: Unlike the other two 909 offerings, the Comp was built specifically for players who crave forgiveness and struggle to get the ball on an optimal ballflight. Its high-launch/low-spin combo is just the thing many weekend warriors need.

Tech Highlights: Comes in four lofts (8.5_¡, 9.5_¡, 10.5_¡, 11.5_¡) and a 460cc clubhead. Features a 6-4 titanium body and 6-4 titanium face insert. Stock shaft is either the Titleist Matrix Ozik XCON-5 or XCON-6. titleist.com | $549

eMotion Caddy (e3 Model)
What it is: Designed by German engineer Dr. Rolf Strothmann, the eMotion is a three-wheeled, battery-powered pushcart with a mind of its own.

How it works: Each wheel acts as an independent electric motor, with no gears or drive lines that make noise. But its unique pace feature really stands out. Grab its handle and, after you walk a few steps, it will sense your pace and match you, hands-free!

Why you need it: Walking is good for you, carrying your bag can be a pain, and the eMotion is a sturdy, lightweight alternative to hiring a caddie or taking a cart. Plus, its pace sensor is, frankly, amazing.

Tech Highlights: Its frame is made from a lightweight aluminum tubing and its base is made from a strong polymer. Weighs 22 pounds (including battery) and folds down to fit inside a sports car’s trunk. emotion-caddy.com | $3,474

Winn PCi TL
What it is: Last year, Winn took its popular V17 material and infused it with cord. This year, the new TL model is designed for Tour players who want velvet-like firmness, but with the same awesome feel and performance of the PCi line.

How it works: Winn’s Triple Line brand embossing pattern helps make it tacky, yet comfortable.

How it works: Winn’s Triple Line brand embossing pattern helps make it tacky, yet comfortable.

Why you need it: The PCi provides outstanding feel with less tension, and though it’s marketed for Tour players, anyone can use it. Winn calls it “firm, yet comfortable.” If you’re a fan of velvet, you’ll be a fan of the PCi TL. (We don’t have to tell you that replacing worn grips is absolutely vital to improving your game.)

Tech Highlights: Short for Polymer Cord Integration, the PCi, skillfully combines polymer and cord material on a molecular level. Weighs 50 grams and comes in standard size and three colors. winngrips.com | $7.49

Bridgestone Tour B330 RX
What it is: A urethane ball fitted for average golfers who have swing speeds less than 105 mph (which is most people, by the way).

How it works: The three-piece design is optimized for average swing speeds so regular folks can take advantage of the feel and control of a urethane multilayer ball.

Why you need it: We’ve never met anyone who doesn’t think it’s fun to swing easy, hit big drives and watch their iron shots bite hard when they hit the green. If you crave distance and softness and don’t swing like Tiger, you’ve found your new ball.

Tech Highlights: Features a three-piece construction with a seamless 330-dimple urethane cover. Its low-compression (and large) core helps slower swingers gain big distance off the tee and lots of spin around the greens. bridgestonegolf.com | $42/dozen

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