The Local Knowlege

Gear & Equipment

David Edel rethinks weighting in putters with his E-Series line

Puttermaker David Edel believes traditional putters can make the golfer work too hard to control the way the face rotates open or closed. He thinks unlike traditional face-balanced or toe-down designs, the best weighting places the putterhead in a toe-up position, what he calls "torque balanced."

loop-E-1-Iso-Cavity-518.jpgHis new Torque Balanced E-Series putters feature a cavity in the sole's toe. "It eliminates a lot of the hidden element of face rotation that people suffer with," Edel says. "Whether you're a straight-back, straight-through putter or an arc putter, the face on this putter mimics the path."

loop-E-1-Bottom-Face-518.jpgThe E-Series ($295) includes mallet (shown), back-radiused blade and parallel-backed blade designs. A weight screw in the heel allows for three possible head weights (359, 365 and 374 grams).

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Gear & Equipment

Mizuno touts thin faces for faster ballspeed in its JPX-850 irons

Forged irons have long been what Mizuno is known for, but its greatest sales success recently has been with flexible-face cast irons.

loop-mizuno-jpx850-cast-iron-518.jpgThe new JPX-850 is the company's next step in pursuing a distance iron in a compact shape. "This is our thinnest multi-thickness iron face ever," says David Llewellyn, Mizuno's golf R&D manager. "But we've also saved weight with the acoustic badge while maintaining our standards for feel."

Other upgrades include thinner pockets inside the topline and sole for better off-center hits.

Like all its new irons, Mizuno offers any custom steel shaft at no extra charge. The JPX-850 retails for $800.

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Gear & Equipment

Early success has New Balance expanding golf-shoe line

Following its entry into the golf-shoe market this year, New Balance will introduce a spikeless version of its first offering this fall.

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Built on the same frame as its popular running shoe, the 574B weighs just 9.6 ounces with a lightweight foam midsole and a mesh upper that incorporates a thin, no-stitch construction.

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New Balance officials say the success of the cleated 574 golf shoe released in the spring gave the company an opportunity to capitalize on its popularity with a spikeless version.

Two colors -- white and grey/yellow -- will be available Nov. 1 ($90), and a navy/orange version early in 2015.

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Gear & Equipment

Winner's Bag: What Billy Horschel used to win the Tour Championship

It would be hard to argue that Billy Horschel’s driver switch at the PGA Championship wasn’t a timely one. 


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When he made the move to the 9-degree club Ping G30 (shown) with the Aldila Rogue shaft, Horschel was averaging 277.0 yards off the tee, ranking him T-103 on tour in driving distance. Since that time the former Florida Gator has upped his season’s average to 291.6 yards, and finished the season ranked T-76. Horschel is averaging more than 300 yards off the tee with the G30 in his bag, and won a pair of FedEx Cup playoff events as well as the overall title.
 
Horschel also uses an interesting combination of grips. On his woods and irons Horschel uses Golf Pride’s V55 Cord with a rib reminder that helps him position his hands in the same place each time. On his wedges, however, he uses round Golf Pride’s Niion (orange color, of course, for his Gators). Horschel prefers no rib reminder on his wedges because he needs to alter his hand position on his wedges to play a variety of shots.

Here is Horschel's bag in its entirety at East Lake.

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Driver: Ping G30 (Aldila Rogue 60x), 9 degrees
3-wood: Ping G25, 15 degrees
5-wood: Ping G25, 18 degrees
Irons (3-,5-PW):
Ping S55
Wedges: Ping Tour Gorge SS (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping Karsten TR B60


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Gear & Equipment

Clubfitter helps design latest KZG putter

loop-kzg-DS-2-Angle-Black-300.jpgWhen your company is popular among clubfitters, it makes sense to engage that audience as much as possible. KZG has done that with its Designer Series putter line by having one of the company's top-100 fitters create each model.

Gary Tozer, owner of Aussie Custom Golf Centre near Sydney, Australia, was chosen to create the DS-2 model, a putter reminiscent of the classic Wilson 8802 blade. Tozer created a putter he says has "a slightly beveled section at the heel to prevent drag on the green, a design more suitable for those with a rotational-type stroke."

The DS-2 ($299, brushed satin or matte black) is only available through professionals listed on the company's dealer locator at kzg.com.

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Gear & Equipment

Lots of technology behind Srixon's 2015 line of metal woods, hybrids and irons

It has been known for some time the focus on golf equipment at Cleveland/Srixon was going to concentrate more on Srixon in 2015 -- and now we know what those products are going to be. Srixon unveiled its club line for next year, and it's an extensive, nearly full-line offering with two drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, a pair of iron sets and a utility iron.

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The drivers -- the Z545 and Z745 -- each boast a cup-face construction with a titanium body and high-strength 6-4 titanium face. The face has been thinned in the heel and toe areas to boost ball speed on mis-hits, and the clubs are adjustable for face angle, lie angle and loft (via a 12-way adjustable hosel). The center-of-gravity position is also moveable with the use of three adjustable weights (3, 7 and 11 grams). The primary difference between the two drivers is size. The Z545 is 460cc while the Z745 is 430cc. Both drivers come in lofts of 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees and come standard with Mitsubishi's Kuro Kage Black HBP 60 shaft.

The company also touts a "Dual Speed Technology." The fancy term translates to a higher balance-point shaft, lighter grip and slightly heavier head. The theory behind it is that even though the head is slightly heavier, by reducing weight in the grip and raising the balance point in the shaft, the club can be swung faster and more efficiently, delivering more speed to the ball. This is similar to what Ping has done in recent years with its G and i series drivers, which have a higher balance-point shaft and heavier head as well. Both drivers sell for $400.

The Z F45 fairway woods (available in 3+-, 3- and 4-woods, $280) feature a similar adjustable hosel and weights as the drivers, along with a HT1770 maraging steel face for added zip. The same material is used for the face of the Z H45 hybrids ($230), which come in 2- 3- and 4-hybrid models. But unlike the drivers and fairway woods, the hybrids do not feature any adjustable elements.

loop-srixon-Z745-6-Iron-300.jpgThe hallmark of the Z 545 and Z 745 irons (both $1,000 for a set of eight, steel shafts) is a tungsten weight placed in the toe area of the 3- through 6-irons, to produce more forgiveness in the harder-to-hit long irons. Both irons are forged from 1020 carbon steel and feature a new sole design that increases the leading bounce and decreases the trailing bounce to enhance turf interaction.

On the face, a double laser-milling pattern (one parallel to the grooves and the other on an angle) is designed to augment spin consistency. The cavity-back Z 545, which is more of a game-improvement club than the muscle-cavity Z 745, has a thinner, stronger steel face to bolster distance.

The same face material as the Z 545 is used on the new Z U45 utility iron (lofts of 18, 20 and 23 degrees). The hollow-construction, iron-like club ($180) has plenty of weight placed low to assist launch.

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Gear & Equipment

Adams hides slot in new fairway woods, hybrids

TLTiAddress.jpgIf the knock on Adams’ sole and crown slots was the look at address, the problem was the crown slot had to be open. The opening let the face flex more at impact to create ballspeed with lower spin. Or at least it had to be open until Adams engineers came up with a way to cover it up without giving up that speed. 

Adams new Tight Lies fairway woods and hybrids use an epoxy filler in the crown slot that still allows its walls to flex. The filler is painted over so at address the crown slot's visibility is dramatically reduced compared to previous Adams metalwoods. 

Both crown and sole slots also have been redesigned into a barbell shape, which improves both the face flexibility and the manufacturing process. The shape change grew out of a technique used to stop cracks in metal by drilling holes at either end of the crack. Adams engineers used the idea to modify the shape of the crown and sole slot into a longer, thinner slot with circular cuts on either end. Adams engineers say the design reduces stress concentration (the tendency for the metal to weaken or become difficult to manufacture consistently), but still allows for the kind of face deflection that can increase ballspeed. 

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The fairway woods also feature a titanium version, which mixes a heavier stainless steel sole with a titanium crown and face. The steel in the sole makes for the lowest center of gravity of any Adams fairway wood ever.

The hybrid’s low-profile shaping features a shallower face height than the company’s recent Pro hybrid. Adams engineers say it features the lowest center of gravity of any current all-steel Adams hybrid.

The Tight Lies fairway woods ($200 in steel, $250 in titanium) and hybrids ($180) are available Oct. 1. The fairway woods come in four lofts in steel (14.5, 16, 19 and 22 degrees) and three lofts in titanium (13.5, 15 and 18), while the hybrids are offered in five lofts (17, 19, 22, 26 and 29).
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Gear & Equipment

Tour Edge adds E8 fairway woods to its Exotics line

loop-TourEdge-E8-fairway-280.jpgIf Tour Edge's Exotics line of clubs has a strength, it's fairway woods, due in part to the company's use of a combo-brazing technique -- a process that fuses the cup face to the body of the club.

The company continued using that method with its E8 line of fairway woods ($250), which features a 475 Carpenter steel face and hyper-steel body. The clubhead (shown) boasts a shallower face height with a slightly lower center of gravity than recent Tour Edge models to help foster more launch off the turf. The company's E8 Beta model ($300) has a more compact head shape that incorporates a beta-titanium cup face and a deeper face height, along with a higher, more forward CG, to produce a lower ball flight with less spin.

Both models have a "Power Grid" channel along the sole (designed to increase ball speed) that has been re-engineered to reach out more to the heel and toe areas. Meanwhile, cutaway steps in the rear heel and toe areas of the sole reduce turf drag. The sole houses a 9-gram weight that can be replaced by a 6-, 11- or 14-gram weight to adjust swingweight. The extra weights cost $20 each or all three for $50.

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Gear & Equipment

Bobby Grace takes a new look at the ambidextrous putter

Designing a putter that works with a right- or left-handed stroke isn't unheard of; the Bulls Eye has been around since the late 1940s.

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But Bobby Grace's new entry into the ambidextrous category -- the Switch Hitter -- is more ambitious because it uses textured, radial face inserts on both sides of the milled stainless-steel clubhead. The blade putter also has a scooped-out top that separates the two faces and features a bent shaft.

The Switch Hitter comes in three lengths (33, 34 and 35 inches) and is available for $395 at bobbygraceputters.com.


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Gear & Equipment

Golf's most popular selling glove celebrates its 25th anniversary

If every FootJoy WeatherSof glove ever sold were stretched from palm to fingertip, they would span the United States nearly four times.

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The most popular glove in the game -- about 90 million have been sold, accounting for what FootJoy believes is about 1 billion rounds of golf -- is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new edition, its ninth since it was introduced in 1990. In addition to 48 sizes, the new WeatherSof uses a microfiber material on the top to better match the contours of the hand.

Sections on the thumb and the heel of the palm have the same proprietary Pittard's cabretta leather found on the company's top-of-the-line StaSof gloves to improve feel and durability.

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The new WeatherSof ($13) is available in all-white, all-black and six colors.

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