The Local Knowlege

Gear & Equipment

This video will make you feel less lazy about wanting your own personal golf-ball teeing system

A personal golf-ball teeing system seems, at first glance, like a bit of an indulgence. Yet the utility of the Neuroswing, particularly for instructors working on a lesson tee, makes this latest accessory to surface on Kickstarter more than just a curiosity. Unless, that is, you're chiropractor, in which case it might be your own worst nightmare.

loop-neuroswing-518.jpg

The portable device assembles in less than a minute and holds 42 balls, according to company co-founder Pascal Perrin. It requires no power to use because golfers manually control the tube that feeds balls to the tee.

Does it really take that much effort to bend over and tee up a golf ball? No, but when you start to read Neuroswing's promotional material and see the potential for reducing strain on your back from repeatedly bending over, suddenly it doesn't seem so unnecessary after all.

Here's a video that shows how it works:


Perrin hopes to raise $35,000 before the Kickstarter campaign ends Nov. 16. The plan is to begin production in 2015 with the hope of shipping units, which would retail for $100 to $150, in the summer.


... Read
Gear & Equipment

Ian Poulter keeps his word on being quick about picking a new equipment company

loop-ian-poulter-titleist-bag-300.jpgLast week when Ian Poulter took to Twitter to say, "I will let you know my new endorsement partners very soon" after splitting with Cobra-Puma Golf he wasn't kidding. Poulter announced Tuesday via the social-media site, "Seriously pleased to announce I will be a full staff @Titleist @FootJoy staff player for 2015 season. So excited." 

Accompanying the tweet was a photo of Poulter's new staff bag which appeared to house a 915 series driver and 3-wood along with a pair of hybrids. The irons appeared to be a split set with two Titleist CB irons and the rest being the company's MB model. A trio of Vokey wedges also were in the bag. Not visible was the putter, and it will be interesting to see if Poulter -- who tends to be finicky about his flat stick -- switches to a Scotty Cameron model.

As for why Titleist took on Poulter, who at 38 may already have seen the best days of his playing career, one only needs to look at the company's full-line players from Europe. Other than Victor Dubuisson, therearen't many high- profile players under contract. Signing Poulter then may be an effort to bolster the roster abroad as well as secure a recognizable name should Dubuisson bolt for big bucks elsewhere in the future.

... Read
Gear & Equipment

I just got done packing up 2,235 lbs of Hot List golf clubs (and boy, are my arms tired)

The photo below is of 65 staff bags, totaling 2,235 lbs, packed with samples of all the 
clubs that are going to be on the market next season. Yep, you guessed it: These clubs are going to be shipped to the site of this year's Golf Digest Hot List Summit, where they will be evaluated thoroughly as candidates for the 2015 Hot List. Many are called, but not all are chosen. 

hot list boxes.jpg
I feel strongly enough about this photo to share it because I'm the Hot List coordinator, which means packing all those boxes has been my singular focus for the past month -- my life's work. (Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! Aren't you proud?)
 
This moment is also significant because:
1. Those recurring nightmares of missing the shipping date should stop. And…
2. We're one big step closer to determining the 2015 Hot List. But there are many more to go. (Like going through all the dozens of other boxes of clubs shipped directly by manufacturers to the Hot List Summit site. Yes, I have my own personal box cutter.)
 
The clubs are heading out to our testing site, soon to be joined by myself and other Golf Digest editors, Hot List panelists (made up of guys and girls like you), a few swing teachers, scientists, and retailers. We're going to figure out which clubs are the ones you should be placing high on your wish list, so sit tight, stay tuned, and get ready to want to start next season with some new sticks.  

... Read
Gear & Equipment

It's that time of year: Titleist introduces new Pro V1, Pro V1x in Las Vegas

When Titleist golf ball players arrived at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Monday there was a sense of excitement as well as deja vu. That’s because Titleist had stuffed several dozen balls in plain, white boxes in their lockers as well as handed some out on the range. Inside were the latest iterations of the Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls as this is the first week tour players can use the balls in competition.

prov1-518.jpg
Photo from Titleist

Since Titleist first unveiled the Pro V1 at the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas in 2000 (where Billy Andrade won with it the first week out, sparking the Pro V1 phenomenon), the Vegas stop on the PGA Tour has often been the initial proving ground for new Pro V1 and Pro V1x models. The last time Titleist launched new Pro V1s and Pro V1xs at the Shriners, in 2012, 18 of the 85 players using a Titleist ball in Vegas switched over to the new spheres (four in the Pro V1, 14 in Pro V1x) including Bill Lunde, who finished solo fifth using the V1x.

Although Titleist was mum on details about the new balls, if previous models are a guide, expect the Pro V1 to be a three-piece multilayer ball (single core, mantle layer and cover) and the Pro V1x to be a four-piece multilayer ball (dual core, mantle layer and cover). And expect a number of players to switch over -- and quickly.

... Read
Gear & Equipment

Nike tour staff with early debut of Vapor fairway woods

VaporSpeedFairway.jpg
Nike recently made a splash when Rory McIlroy switched to Nike’s Vapor Pro driver at the Ryder Cup. Less visible, but key to the company's continued quest to become known for its equipment was some players putting its Vapor Speed fairway woods in their bags at the Frys.com Open. Scott Brown, Kevin Chappell and Jhonattan Vegas all had at least one Vapor Speed fairway wood in play at Silverado Resort and Spa. 

Nike announced Monday not only the Jan. 30, 2015 availability of the Vapor Speed at retail, but its Vapor Flex fairway woods as well. The Vapor Speed has a 25-percent larger footprint with a lower and deeper center of gravity than previous Nike models. It also features a compression channel to boost ball speed and a cavity-back design on the sole. The non-adjustable clubs (lofts of 15 and 19 degrees) will be priced at $199 each.

“Athlete insights drove significant chassis refinement in the Vapor fairway woods.” said Nate Radcliffe, director of engineering for Nike Golf. 

VaporFlex_Fairway.jpg
“Our athletes wanted tighter but forgiving leading edges, fuller profiles and added ball speed. … Athletes including Tiger Woods requested larger face profiles in fairway woods, but it was vital that we do that without compromising ball speed or optimal launch conditions. We successfully modified the chassis by sloping the crown to lower the CG which optimized launch characteristics across the family.”

As for the Vapor Flex ($249), the club incorporates most of the same technologies found in the Speed model, but on a more compact chassis and with the addition of adjustability through Nike’s FlexLoft 2 system that provides 15 different settings covering five lofts (13 to 17 degrees in the 3-wood and 17 to 21 degrees in the 5-wood) and three face angle settings. For those who have Nike’s previous Covert fairway woods, those shafts with the original adaptor can be used in the new fairway woods as well.

... Read
Gear & Equipment

Srixon took a material made for car engines to strengthed the face of its new irons

loop-srixon-Z545-6-Iron-350.jpgEven with irons, it's rare to find a player who isn't looking for distance. Of course, that often has meant giving up a classic, compact forged iron to find extra length. But recent introductions from Mizuno, Nike, Callaway and TaylorMade, among others, have paired a high-strength-steel face insert with a compact stainless-steel body to help boost distance.

Srixon is joining the game with its Z 545, which has a face insert made of a SUP10 steel, a material developed for automobile engines that's 10-percent stronger than traditional 17-4 steel.

The long and middle irons also make use of tungsten in the toe to position the center of gravity more in line with the center of the face.

The Z 545 ($1,000) will be available in November.

Interested in more stories on equipment? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things equipment.

 

... Read
Gear & Equipment

FootJoy's popular Contour golf shoe gets a makeover

It isn't an idle exercise when you're making a change to the Contour, what FootJoy's Doug Robinson calls "the best-selling golf shoe in the history of golf shoes."

loop-footjoy-contour-series-518.jpg

In addition to being available in 10 colors, the new Contour, which the company estimates has sold more than six million pairs since it was introduced in 2001, has a two-year waterproof guarantee and a thinner leather upper to provide breathability. The sole features a thermoplastic urethane bridge between the forefoot and heel for stability and arch support, and the EVA foam midsole is lighter than previous models.

loop-footjoy-contour-sole-top-500.jpg

True to Contour's history of emphasizing comfort and fit, the insole is designed to work with more than a thousand foot shapes.

"We made sure we delivered on those expectations first and foremost," said Robinson, FootJoy's VP of golf footwear worldwide. "After that, we reconsidered every material and construction element."

Interested in more stories on equipment? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things equipment.

 


... Read
Gear & Equipment

Is Mizuno's 'Hitogami' another sign the 1-iron is making comeback?

The 1-iron, which Lee Trevino once suggested only God could hit, might be making a comeback. TaylorMade introduced a 16-degree version of its UDI driving iron this summer, and now Mizuno is offering a 16-degree 1-iron as part of its MP-H5 iron line.

loop-mizuno-hitogama-1iron-518.jpg

The MP-H5 uses a thin, 1770 maraging-steel face welded to a hollow, stainless-steel body with internal weighting deep and low for higher flight. "We're seeing a shift in better players' bags from hybrids to more split sets with long-iron replacements," says Mizuno club engineer Chris Voshall.

The iron is also engraved with the Japanese kubuki-theater term Hitogami, or "human-god." Trevino just might approve.

Interested in more stories on equipment? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things equipment.

 


... Read
Gear & Equipment

How the PGA Tour wraparound schedule affects golf equipment endorsements

Starting the PGA Tour season in October so it finishes with the Tour Championship in September provides a logical order to the schedule as the 2014-'15 campaign begins this week at the Frys.com Open. Still, not everybody is following the wraparound format. Equipment companies continue to offer contracts to tour players that run through the calendar year . . . for now at least.

loop-keegan-bradley-endorsements-518.jpgCompanies and players have had to adapt, however. Previously, players had a lengthy fall window to test new products from their current company or one they were switching to. Now that window has closed.

"We're sending a lot more product to the player's home than before," said Matt Rollins, PGA Tour rep for Ping. "Those playing in the fall want to make those events count, so the time frame for testing new product has shortened some."

Reps say negotiations with players are happening earlier. An example is Keegan Bradley, who recently re-signed with Cleveland/Srixon.

Photo: Getty Images

Interested in more stories on equipment? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things equipment.

 

... Read
Gear & Equipment

Adjustable lofts help Callaway Big Bertha hybrids work for all types of golfers

In hybrid design, the focus isn't only about how to give the smallest metalwoods more springlike effect to achieve extra distance. It's about how to make it easier to get the right lofts to match your set needs.

loop-big-bertha-hybrid-hero-518.jpgCallaway's answer is the new Big Bertha hybrid ($250; 19, 22, 25, 28 and 31 degrees). It uses a cup face that wraps over the crown and sole to improve impact on center and off-center hits.

loop-big-bertha-hybrid-sole-b-260.jpg"The head is deeper front to back, and we've taken some of the weight and moved it to the back to create a slightly larger moment of inertia and to make it slightly easier to get the ball up in the air," says Callaway's Alan Hocknell.

The Big Bertha hybrid comes in five adjustable heads that can be set to four lofts (minus 1 degree to plus 2 degrees) and two lie angles.

Interested in more stories on equipment? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things equipment.

 

... Read
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe today