It's been noted by more than one golf observer that hockey players, when given the opportunity, tend to have naturally powerful golf swings. That may be a propos of nothing, but the link between the two sports got a little more interesting recently when TaylorMade announced that it would be partnering with hockey equipment brand Reebok-CCM in developing new products.
First up is the new RBZ hockey stick, which is set to debut in June but won't be seen at retail until the fall. It's already being used by NHL rookies Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers.
While details of the stick technology are not clear and both Reebok-CCM and TaylorMade are not saying much about what the stick does, the idea seems to be about increasing the potential for creating speed, presumably of the stick itself and in turn, the puck. The stick, including the blade, is all white, just like TaylorMade's current product line of drivers, including the RocketBallz and RocketBallz Tour, as well as the RocketBallz fairway wood and hybrid.
TaylorMade was the first major golf company in the U.S. to introduce lighter and longer drivers with 46-inch and longer clubs that weighed less than 280 grams, including 2011's Burner SuperFast 2.0, which featured a 48-gram shaft. The eight-way adjustable RocketBallz driver is actually heavier at just under 300 grams, but features an improved aerodynamic profile.
Even the players using the stick don't know much about it. Nugent-Hopkins told the Edmonton Journal, "They make it so you can't tell the difference," said Nugent-Hopkins, a CCM stick user since his junior hockey days. "They're good at that. I can't feel the difference, but it does have the white at the bottom, which is different from what I'm used to. I like it."
Whatever the new RBZ stick does, though, it seems like just another reason to dissuade your aspiring young hockey star from playing goalie.
--Mike StachuraFollow me on Twitter @MikeStachura