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Gear & Equipment

Ping's new Sensor Cool gloves get boost with Bubba's Northern Trust triumph

By E. Michael Johnson

Bubba_PING_Glove (275).jpgNormally a tour pro switching gloves isn't a big deal. But when it's Bubba Watson -- a player known for being finicky about how things feel -- it's noteworthy.

Watson started wearing Ping's Sensor Sport, one of three in the company's new Sensor Cool line, last month at the Farmers Insurance Open. He had it on during his win at last week's Northern Trust Open.

The Sport ($20) and Sensor Tour ($24) are made of cabretta leather and have a material in the wristband to help wick moisture and keep hands drier. The Sensor Tech glove ($14) also uses the material but is made from synthetic leather for improved durability and performance in varying weather conditions.

Watson's glove deal calls for Ping to make an annual donation to the Bubba Watson Foundation based on the number of gloves sold.

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Gear & Equipment

PureBold golf gloves come in 10 colors

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By John Strege

Color is in vogue these days, from Rickie Fowler's wardrobe to the different hues on metal woods, so it stands to reason that golf gloves would expand its color palette beyond traditional white.

PureBold is a new company based in Escondido, Calif., that is offering cabretta leather golf gloves in 10 colors, including the purple shown above.

"I grew up playing golf and played in college [at Biola, in La Mirada, Calif.), but I also had an entrepreneurial side," company founder Michael Belleggie said. "I thought there was a little bit of a hole in the market for colored golf gloves."

PureBold offers its gloves in purple, blue, pink, yellow, green, orange, red, gray, black and white. The gloves sell for $17.95 and can be purchased from PureBold's website.

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Gear & Equipment

FootJoy GTxtreme: A glove for all (weather) occasions

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By John Strege

September and autumn are on the horizon and with it inclement weather. Or an Indian summer. Hence the need for an all-weather golf glove.

Here's a new one from FootJoy, the GTxtreme, designed to provide a reliable grip in any weather conditions. FootJoy, an industry leader in golf gloves, uses what it calls "Advance Performance Digital Leather" played in the palm and thumb parts of the glove.

The GTxtreme complements FootJoy's line of weather specific gloves, including the RainGrip and WinterSof. Bubba Watson has been using the GTxtreme in tournament play since the British Open, according to the company.

Thge GTxtreme has a suggested retail price of $15 and will be available on Sept. 1.


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Gear & Equipment

Easy Glove introduces customized golf gloves

Traditional all-white golf gloves aren't going away anytime soon, but technology will provide alternatives, as Easy Glove is demonstrating.

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Easy Glove has the ability to provide customization to golf gloves using a process that re-produces vivid images that won't wear off. Shown here is a butterfly pattern from its limited edition offerings.

"We've got a proprietary process where we can take any digital file and apply that file to up to 90 percent of the glove surface area," Easy Glove Vice President Keith Andrews said. "So we're able to do some very unique stuff in terms of designs and logos, well beyond the tradtiional, of having your logo on the strap. We could take a photograph and put it on a glove."

The majority of its business will be in custom bulk orders, for golf courses that want to display their logos, for instance. "We do an awful lot of tournament business, as you can imagine," Andrews said, explaining that tournaments provide their participants with a custom gloves in lieu of, say, a cap or a shirt. "We do a tremendous amount in corporate branding. They like the idea of having a golf item. Or the higher profile destination resorts, as a souvenir item."

It also will have a rotating series of limited edition gloves. "Here in Vancouver, (B.C.), we have a very active Asian community, so we came out with a year-of-the-dragon glove that has proved very popular," he said.

Easy Glove was launched three years ago in Europe, where "it's done very, very well," Andrews said. It only recently expanded to North American markets. Last week, it announced that it was designing and manufacturing a signature glove for Apache Stronghold Golf Course, a resort east of the Phoenix area, in Globe, Ariz.

The gloves feature a synthetic top with a cabretta leather palm.

-- John Strege

Follow me on Twitter @JohnStrege

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Gear & Equipment

Custom fitting comes to golf gloves

It isn't often that a new product comes along that is both unique and practical and, rarer still, is not something to which the tour player has access.

Precision Glove has introduced such a product -- custom fit golf gloves, "the only custom-made glove in the universe," it claims. Though tour pros receive their gloves gratis from the companies, they're standard-issue gloves, sized for the masses.

Precision Glove uses what it calls its 3D Immersion Simulator Hand Scanner that "captures 45 geometric data points from the surface area of an individual's hand, including measurements of the palm and fingers length, width and girth to create a three-dimensional digital model."

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Shown here is an image of a scanned hand and some its data points

Premium Pittards lambskin is cut to the precise measurements by an automated laser cutting system. The gloves are then individually sewn and finished. Among options available are color and monogram or name. The cost is $30, in line with other high-end gloves, and the turnaround time is three weeks.

The company has recently hired 27 sales reps, according to Oliver Ahn, co-founder of the company. He said that big box and chain stores as well as pro shops will be equipped with their hand scanners.

"This is an exclusive market for us right now," Ahn said. "There is no technology out there that is able to capture the geometric data points we can with our technology with a combination of software and hardware. And with our glove, when you grab the club it's like grabbing the club in your hand. We hope we're going to be revolutionary."

-- John Strege

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Gear & Equipment

A golf glove that helps eliminate death grip

Sam Snead used to say that one should hold a golf club as though they were holding a bird -- tight enough to keep it from escaping, but not too tight that you might injure it. The LeviTee golf glove will help alleviate the death grip that too many novices and other amateurs apply to a club.

The company has placed foam pads between the fingers of the glove, rendering it virtually impossible to squeeze a club too hard.

"What that does is gives you separation at the fingers, so you don't have to squeeze too tightly," said Corey Kasif, CEO of LeviTee. "The pads help you reduce grip pressure by up to 30 percent.

"A lot of new golfers, a lot of amateurs, have that death grip, and they have tension in the arms. Now they're very stiff. It's very hard to swing the club when you're stiff. Having loose hands translates to a loose core, a loose body."

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Kasif said he developed the idea as a caddy, when he began putting cuticle pads between the fingers of a golf glove. "A couple guys at the course said you have something."

Kasif proved it does what he says it does with a hand dynomometer that measured grip pressure with and without the glove. It was impossible to apply as much force with the glove.

Rule 14-3c in the Rules of Golf would forbid the use of the glove in competition, stating that "during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner...that might assist him in gripping the club."

"A lot of the teaching pros we work with will recognize it as a training aid," Kasif said.

The LeviTee retails for $19.95.

-- John Strege

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Gear & Equipment

Hirzl: A new way to manufacture golf gloves

Last October, an unknown Swiss company, Hirzl, gave each of the players in the open and senior divisions of the World Long Drive Championship in Mesquite, Nev., one of its golf gloves, 216 of them distributed.

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"By the end of that event we had about 80 percent playing our glove," Gary Sheppard, CEO of Hirzl North America, said. "For us it was the very first public event we were attending. We had never really distributed the product to a group like this. But if anyone can put wear and tear on a glove it's guys in the upper echelon of Long Drive. They put so much force on the glove."

Joe Miller, the winner of the open division (414 yards), began using a Hirzl glove shortly after the event, Sheppard said.

What makes Hirzl different from other gloves is that it uses kangaroo leather that has a grip material embedded into the leather.

"Kangaroo leather is considered one of the most durable leather hydes there is," Sheppard said. "It's extremely tough and resistant to abrasion or tearing. And unlike rain gloves that have a pebbled pattern or surface treatment, we embed the leather with that grip material. It's part and parcel of the leather. That's why it's unique. It's expensive to do, because of the long tanning process.

"Part of that is you're looking at Swiss mentality. The Swiss are notorious for quality. When they build a watch, they don't build it to last 20 years, they build it to last generations. Hirzl wanted to have the best glove, period."

The company has signed the LPGA's Anna Nordqvist to use and endorse Hirzl gloves and is considering enacting a pool plan to entice newcomers to the PGA Tour to use them. "If one of them wins or places, then they all share in the Hirzl cash pool," Sheppard said.

As for the name, the founder of the company was driving through the Swiss Alps and was discussing with his partner what to call the company. They came upon the small town of Hirzel and decided that that would be the name, sans the letter "e" to adhere to Swiss laws that prohibit naming a product after a town.

Hirzl offers three models -- the Trust Control, the Trust Feel and the Sofft Flex. The MSRP is $28.99.

-- John Strege

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Gear & Equipment

A golf glove that analyzes your grip pressure

It would be an understatement to say that the grip is important to a good golf swing. "Your hands are your only physical link with the tools of the game," Arnold Palmer said on his website. "If they don't transmit your energy properly to the club and thence to the ball, you won't hit much of a shot."

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Placement of the hands on the club is important, but so is grip pressure. So how are you going to know whether your grip pressure is correct? How about a golf glove capable of telling you so?

It's called SensoGlove, a cabretta-leather glove with four sensors and a small computer that provides instant audio and visual feedback on your grip pressure, from address through follow-through. If, as you take the club back, your grip is too tight, the SensoGlove will emit a beep.

SensoGlove quotes renowned instructor Jim Flick from a Golf Digest instruction story: "Relaxed muscles are fast muscles. In golf, the surest way to hit the ball shorter with less consistency is to give the club a death grip."

SensoGlove sells for $89. The small computer is removeable and can be used in a replacement glove that sells for $22.48.

-- John Strege

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