May 2011

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


The V Harness ($150) fits securely around your shoulders, back and chest, and, as its promoters say, it actually forces you to swing with correct fundamentals. How? There are two short bungee cords that connect the harness to an adapter that fits on the butt end of your grip. When it’s fitted properly, the cords are taut and place you in the correct stance. That tension (or lack thereof) gives users instant feedback if they’re swinging correctly or incorrectly. There’s no denying how connected we felt and how easy it was to repeat a sound swing on the course.

Adding weight to a golf club will make you stronger, more flexible and more aware of the swing’s sequence. In the past, folks would either swing two clubs or slip a weighted “donut” on their club. Now TaylorMade is introducing the TR3 Speed Sleeve ($30). The weighted sleeve clips around a club’s shaft and Velcros closed so it fits securely. Once it’s in place, all you have to do is hit balls or stroke putts with it. When we tried it, we not only felt like we were getting stronger, but also got a better sense of the swing’s sequence. If we drifted out of position, we knew it.


The SwingRite ($149) is one of the game’s easiest training aids. Simply swing it and listen for a click when the club is released properly (in the highly desired “impact zone”). Need to work on your swing speed? All you have to do is adjust the head to make it easier or harder to get the “click” sound to happen. Works on swing speeds that range from 55 to 125 mph.

Sway too much during your swing? The PivotPro ($89) can help you stop. Simply clamp your foot into its wedge-like brace (much like a ski boot) and make a swing without bumping into its affixed aluminum rod. It’s designed to help golfers turn their torso against their rear leg and their lead hip toward the target–two ingredients that generate a powerful pivot. Prevents casting and reverse pivots, too. Fits shoe sizes 7 to 14.

Just like its name implies, the T2 Hole Golf Improvement System ($149) was designed to help you play better from the tee to green. The multipurpose training aid teaches you how to align your body on full shots, and grooves your putting whether your stroke is inside to inside, inside to straight or straight-back to straight-through. Available on and

Plop‘s new RSVP 2 CSH 1 ($250) is a response to PING’s famous Anser model. Standing for “Center Shafted Hosel,” the CSH 1 features a separately milled hosel and body, rather than one milled piece. This unique “floating” hosel fits the back of the putterhead right where you make contact, and for us, that produced really solid-feeling putts. Comes in 325-, 345- and 375-gram weights, and lengths from 30 to 37 inches. Custom options including LH versions available.

The new, high-resolution, color, touch-screen GolfBuddy World ($299) comes preloaded with 30,000 worldwide courses and with the capacity to hold another 10,000. Features a full layout view of each hole plus an overhead view from tee to green. Want to know the distance to the pin? Touch the screen, zoom in and adjust the pin placement. This Touch Point Technology also provides users with an instant yardage reading from the ball to the green. Other features include a digital scorecard, statistical analysis and rechargeable lithium-ion battery, all in a shock- and water-resistant casing.

Sonocaddie‘s new V300+ ($199) comes preloaded with basic icon-based hole layouts for over 16,000 U.S. courses, and again, that’s almost all U.S. courses. It can be used right out of the box with no downloading and no fees. Optional full Layout view is available along with the satellite photos available in two memberships–the Birdie provides 16,000 U.S. color layout and satellite imagery for $29.95 per year, and the Eagle membership gives over 28,000 worldwide layouts and satellite imagery for $49.95.

The 3-in-1 AG1 ($220) from Expresso functions as a golf GPS, portable media player (you can watch movies, view pictures and listen to music) and automotive GPS. Built to fit in a golf cart’s cup holder, the touch-screen AG1 measures distances to any point on the hole, measures shots, and keeps scores and statistics. Comes preloaded with all North American courses (USA & Canada). Also comes with a one-year warranty, built-in golf-cart mount and a car charger.

Affordable and loaded with every golf course in North America. What could be better? Try no subscriptions or annual fees. Just charge Izzo‘s Swami 3000 ($99) and you’re ready to play. While still Spartan (it only gives yardages to the front, middle and back of green), the 3000 is a major upgrade from the current Swami 1500 model, which held only 10 courses. That model now discounts for $69.


Miura‘s K Grind ($250) wedge is ground by hand to exact specifications, and its unique “knuckle-like” sole design makes it easier to cut through the rough and wet sand. (That said, it performs exceptionally well from the short stuff, too.) We dug its unique but still classy looks, which we’ve come to expect from every Miura club. Available in 56_¡ and a variety of shaft options.

Improved for 2011, Adams‘ new Tom Watson ($69) wedge boasts generous sole widths with a performance grind that prevents digging into the turf. These are a great choice for steep swingers, and the price is hard to beat. We love the black nickel finish and how much spin they produced. Available in lofts of 50_¡, 52_¡, 54_¡, 56_¡, 58_¡, 60_¡ and 64_¡, with various bounces.

“Made in the U.S.A.” These days it’s virtually impossible to find something with that stamp on it. Fortunately not at Scratch Golf. Every component of its 8620-USA wedge ($99) is made in the States. Finished with a darker satin plating and a milled face, it looks like a Tour wedge but at a fraction of the cost. Comes in six lofts with three grind options each.


The longer/lighter trend isn’t just for drivers. Consider the new, 47-inch Bassara Wyvern ($350) shaft from Mitsubishi Rayon. It has a slightly lower overall weight and elastic titanium fiber in its tip section that reduces deformation during shaft loading to help golfers transfer power. Don’t be scared. This long-ball producer was constructed for players of all abilities. Available in 43L, 43R, 53R, 53S and 53TS in various flexes.
And you thought Mad Money host Jim Cramer was the only person to get mileage out of saying “Booyah!” Now you will too. Graffaloy‘s new BooYah ($100) shaft uses high-modulus carbon fiber, and has a low bend point and a high-trajectory design to maximize launch angle and peak trajectory. If you want a softer overall shaft flex that yields a unique feel and energy transfer to the ball at impact and maintains stability, say, “BooYah!” Available in 45, 48 and 50g.
Do you have an adjustable hosel driver and want to upgrade its shaft? Look no further than the Dromos ($300) shaft from Miyazaki. Its proprietary lay-up of composite fibers reduces the spine effect, and produces a consistent feel and performance, regardless of how the shaft is oriented in the clubhead. Available in 61, 72 and 83g in various flexes.
Want a shaft that yields a penetrating, midlaunch ballflight with tight dispersion and don’t mind forking out a few extra bucks? Consider UST Mamiya‘s new Attas-T2 ($399). It features reduced ply inserts and maximized full-length layers that create a balance between torque and flex, for more-efficient shaft loading and a smoother bend profile. The use of Ultra-High modulus, low-resin materials improves feel and creates a tighter shot dispersion. Available in 47, 52, 64, 65, 68, 73, 75, 83 and 85g in various flexes.

The lightweight Fujikura Blur ($299) features a proprietary “Phantium” finish, plus what the company calls the thinnest, lightest spread Tow Carbon interweave. We liked its higher balance point that helps generate a faster swing speed while maintaining solid feel. If you like a mid- to mid-/high launch the 004 is for you; the 005 is stiffer in the butt and generates a midlaunch and spin. The TS-65 is for better players wanting a lighter-weight product without losing the stability that’s felt in heavier shafts. The 004 comes in weights of 47, 48 and 51g; 005 in 55, 58 and 59g; TS-65 in 65g.

Most recently used by Jhonattan Vegas in his victory at the Bob Hope Classic, the unique Nventix Nunchuck ($259) boasts a “Tri-Zonal Stability” design that offers exceptional power and greater clubhead acceleration. How? The weighty 104-gram shaft has only one flex but was divided into three sections: tip and butt which are stiffer and the middle that boasts more flex. This eliminated shaft kick and most of the flex in the shaft. So there’s no droop in the shaft. Nventix claims its not just for long drivers. Everyone can benefit from its unorthodox construction.


Weighing just 34 grams, the Slope ($60) from Tifosi fits medium to large faces and is made from Grilamid TR-90, a highly flexible nylon. Features hydrophilic rubber nose and ear pieces for a no-slip fit. Comes in 14 different color options, including Pacific Blue (shown). Its GT lens tint features “object illumination,” which makes it easier to spot a ball in flight.

Want to incorporate the same equipment that world-class cyclists and Olympic rowers use? Consider Adidas‘ newest offering, the Evil Eye Halfrim ($170). Features a wide angle of vision and Light Stabilizing Technology that increases contrasts in your vision. With two-way adjustable nose pads and three-way adjustable temples, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your face. Four swappable lens types are available, including polarized.

Featuring a techie look and a lightweight yet durable TR-90 Grilamid frame, the FT-IH ($200) from Callaway is semi-rimless so there’s nothing between you and the ball. Fits a medium to large head shape, and its Megol rubber nose and ear tips provide secure nonslip retention. shop.

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