Wednesday, January 28, 2015
MACEDON, N.Y. - Golf Digest editors named IZZO Golf's Swami GT as "Best in Show" amongst 12 new & innovative products that were selected during the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show, January 21-23, in Orlando.
More than 1,000 companies and brands displayed their equipment, products, apparel and services at the 62nd PGA Merchandise Show. The annual industry wide trade show included 41,000 PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders representing 79 countries.
According to Golf Digest editors, what made the Swami GT stand out from other distance measuring and stat-tracking devices is that it offered both GPS and Game Tracking functions in one unit at a value-based retail price of $199.99.
"To have the Swami GT named as one of the best products at the PGA Show by Golf Digest is tremendously gratifying for IZZO Golf," said Dave Witkoski, VP of Marketing and Product Development. "It further validates IZZO Golf's expanding technology in Distance Measuring Devices and our commitment to provide quality products at an affordable price."
The Swami GT comes equipped with 14 club tags that affix to the grip on each club. When in use, club information is sent from the club directly to the Swami GT. The unique patent pending E-Caddie feature makes club recommendations based on your distance history and does not require manual inputting of data. The Swami GT will be available this spring.
• Average Drive
• Longest Driver
• Putts Per Round
• Distances For Each Club
• Greens in Regulation
• E-Caddie (makes club recommendations based on your distance history)
• Preloaded With 30,000+ Golf Courses Worldwide
• Accurate Distances to Front, Center and Back of Green
• Accurate Distances to Front and Back of Hazards and Doglegs
• Large, Vibrant 2.5-inch Color Display -- Easy to Read and Operate
• Conveniently Clips on Belt or Bag
• No Annual Fees or Subscriptions
• One-year Limited Warranty
• Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
ABOUT IZZO GOLF
From the original IZZO Dual Straps to our ultra-light carry bags, cart bags, training aids, travel gear, accessories and SWAMI GPS devices - IZZO is dedicated solely to making your golf game better and more enjoyable than ever before. For store locations and other information visit our website at izzo.com
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Great Article from the GOLF WRX
The GolfWRX team was in Orlando for the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show to bring you live coverage of the event. Now that we’re back in Detroit, it’s time to make sense of it all.
It’s always fun to see the latest golf equipment, apparel and gadgets, but it’s even more fun to predict what products have the potential to change the way golfers play the game.
Goofy training aids and novelty items will always have their place at the PGA Merchandise show — it’s actually part of the charm — but they aren’t likely to revolutionize golf or the industry.
On the other hand, there were products that were truly innovative, and will help golfers improve their games, have more fun, or both. Here are five top trends we think will have a positive impact on golf for years to come.
Launch Monitors and Indoor Golf
Like the introduction of video analysis, launch monitors and swing tracking devices have transformed golf instruction and how the game is understood — and they were everywhere at the Orange County Convention Center.
Doppler Radar launch monitors FlightScope and Trackman have earned their keep as the premier club/ball tracking devices, but we also saw a slew of other options — especially those that are designed to work indoors. Some products cost as much as luxury cars, while others were cheaper than a nice steak dinner for two.
One of our favorite simulators was from Full Swing Golf, which uses a combination of infrared and camera technologies to give users accurate ball and club data. With the addition of Swing Catalyst, golfers can also see how their weight moves during their swing simultaneously with high-speed video.
“We’re a launch monitor first and a simulator second,” said Chad Coleman, vice president of marketing and sales for the company — but that doesn’t mean that the simulator part was a second priority. Golf shots hit on Full Swing Golf systems appear on the screen in real time, and course displays are digital, not photographs, which makes course play more realistic.
After announcing partnerships with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, Full Swing was arguably the hottest simulator at the Show. Units start at $45,900.
Looking for a more affordable fix? Portable devices such as those from Epson and SwingByte, which work with smart devices through Bluetooth, attach to any golf club to offer data on swing speed, path, tempo and a lot more. They also display swings in 3D through their respective apps.
Epson’s M-Tracer will sell for $299 when it is released, while the SwingByte 2 currently sells for $169.
Science and Motion (SAM) PuttLab 5 brings launch and swing analysis into the putter realm. It uses ultrasound and algorithms to track your putting stroke and provides feedback on launch, path, face angle, tempo, impact and more. You can even watch a graphic replay of your swing on TV if you have it connected to a monitor.
As this technology evolves, the most coveted tee times could become those slotted after the sun goes down.
Putter Adjustability and Counterbalancing
Adjustability in golf clubs is hot in the equipment industry and for very good reason. With a few clicks of a wrench, golfers can dial in the loft, lie angle face angle and head weight of their clubs.
Putters, for the most part, have been neglected by the mainstream — but that’s beginning to change.
Happy Putter, invented by Vikash Sanyal, the founder of Never Compromise putters, allows golfers to adjust lie angle, loft, head weight and offset.
“TOUR PLAYERS HAVE HAD ACCESS TO ADJUSTABLE PUTTERS FOR YEARS ON TOUR VANS,” SAYS SANYAL. “HAPPY PUTTER LET’S ALL GOLFERS ADJUST THEIR PUTTERS NOW, TOO.”
The smiley-faced putter has 484 total configurations — making it more adjustable than any club on the market.
Counterbalanced putter grips have caught the attention of golfers — especially with the looming ban on anchored putters in 2016 — because they add more stability to the stroke. But not all new counterbalanced grips are created equal.
Nike’s new CounterFlex putter grips allow golfers to adjust where the counterbalancing weight is located with a sliding 70-gram weight that is secured inside the grip. In our testing, there was a noticeable difference in feel when the weight was located in the bottom of the grip versus the top of the grip. Golfers will get more counterbalancing effect if they locate the weight at the top of the grip, but like all things in golf equipment, results vary.
SuperStroke introduced it’s +Plus Series grips at the show, which allow golfers to turn any putter into a counterbalanced putter.
With SuperStroke’s “CounterCore,” golfers can add a 50-gram weight plug inside the butt end of the grip without removing the grip or adding adhesive, allowing them to switch from a counterbalanced putter to a non-counterbalanced putter with the turn of a wrench.
The +Plus Series grips come in three sizes: 2.0XL (big), 3.0XL (bigger) and Flatso 2.0XL, which has a wide, flat front that offers a different feel.
Club Fitting Made Easier
Isn’t it frustrating when you want to try a certain shaft with your favorite driver head, but their adjustable tips aren’t compatible with each other?
Club Conex’s new UniFit adapters allow golfers to try just about any shaft with any club head. It works with three pieces — one that replaces the adapter inside an adjustable club head, one that attaches to the shaft and one that sandwiches between. The adapters offer 12 unique settings and 1 degree of adjustment.
It’s idealistic to think that universal adapters could become common place in the industry — different equipment companies use different adapter technologies to further their own designs — but it’s great that gear heads (like us) who like to test multiple club heads from multiple manufacturers now have an inexpensive way to do so.
The target market for UniFit is club fitters looking to reduce shaft inventory, and we anticipate that we’ll see a lot of them make the switch to this technology.
Cool Clubs, a custom club-fitter based in Scottsdale, uses its new S3 Shaft Analyzer to measure every shaft parameter and has compiled a database of over 1,000 shafts. The app, which costs $20 for a year subscription, allows golfers to see the results from every shaft in Cool Clubs’ database.
Comparing shaft parameters has never been easier, and as golfers demand more information before they buy shafts, this trend isn’t going anywhere.
Most of the GolfWRX Staff originally found the site through their yearning to know more about the clubs tour players were using. For that reason, we’re glad to see major equipment companies releasing more tour-inspired, niche products.
Sure, more frequent releases create year-long interest in golf equipment brands and can possibly boost sales, but what we like is that it gives golfers access to clubs that they otherwise may not have been able to purchase.
Callaway’s new Mack Daddy PM-Grind wedges were designed by Phil Mickelson, and a high-toe design and extended grooves make hitting open-faced shots easier and create more spin.
TaylorMade’s AeroBurner MiniDriver further proves the point that specialty clubs can have staying power.
Its predecessor, the SLDR MiniDriver, was released in 2014 as an oversized fairway wood designed for use off the tee. It was redesigned for 2015 as part of the company’s AeroBurner line, proving that specialty clubs don’t have to be one-hit wonders.
Golf clothes that don’t look like golf clothes
To the chagrin of traditionalists, snapback hats, flat-brim hats and spikeless, sporty shoes are here to stay, and there was a wealth of apparel companies offering products that fit the trend.
We’re not saying Rickie Fowler had everything to do with this, but it’s no coincidence that his big hats and bright-colored outfits have gained traction since his arrival on Tour.
Golf clothes seem to want to look like anything other than golf clothes right now, even on the traditional side. Spikeless shoes may have just been the start.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
PERFORMANCE DRIVEN: Its an unenviable task, yet one many wish they had the opportunity to tackle. Titleist has unveiled its 2015 ProV 1 and ProV1x models, with the expressed intent of improving the already lofty standard of performance the franchise has already set with golfers worldwide.
For nearly 15 years, the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls have become the gold standard to many in the game. It was in October 2000 that the original Pro V1 prototype first appeared on the PGA Tour at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas. Forty-seven players put it in play that week, marking one of the largest initial shifts of equipment at one event. In March 2001, just four months after launching to golf shops, Titleist Pro V1 became the best-selling golf ball in the marketplace.
“The launch of Pro V1 was especially significant in that for the very first time the best performing golf ball for tour players was also the best performing golf ball for all golfers,” said Mary Lou Bohn, Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball Marketing and Communications. “You no longer had to choose between distance over short-game control, or durability over soft feel. There were no trade-offs. Pro V1 delivered total performance.”
The new 2015 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x models, available in golf shops beginning Jan. 30, are the result of a never ending process rooted in research and development, technological advancements, comprehensive player testing and validation, and meticulous manufacturing.
“Golfers often ask us what sets Pro V1 and Pro V1x apart from other golf balls. You can’t just point to one or two things. The difference is everything,” said Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball R&D. “We have more people with more experience designing and making golf balls, the largest intellectual property portfolio and the most sophisticated precision manufacturing processes. The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the culmination of all that knowledge and all of that technology. The original Pro V1 was revolutionary, no question, but we’ve learned a lot in the last 15 years and these new Pro V1 models are the best we’ve ever made.”
The 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls feature a new, patented thermoset urethane elastomer cover that delivers more short game spin and control, and softer feel ? while maintaining their distance and flight characteristics, and durability, Titleist said. The softer, reformulated cover system improves feel, sound and short game scoring control, providing golfers the confidence and performance to hit it closer to the hole.
“When we set out to improve Pro V1 and Pro V1x, the product development process always starts with asking golfers how we can help them shoot lower scores,” Bohn said. “Since golfers have had such resounding success with Pro V1 and Pro V1x, this time around, they told us, ‘Don’t change much. I love the distance. I love the scoring performance. I love the durability. If you can give me slightly more spin in the short game as well as even softer feel, I’ll take it. I just don’t want to give anything up.’ So that became our design goal.”
The thermoset urethane cover formulation on both models is created by a chemical reaction that takes place during the sophisticated casting process. Liquid materials specifically formulated by Titleist R&D are combined and react to form the solid cover. This urethane is termed “thermoset,” meaning that the cover, once formed, will not re-melt. Most competitive urethane-covered golf balls, Titleist said, use a thermoplastic urethane (TPU), supplied by an outside vendor and usually formulated for another non-golf product, which is melted and then reformed to create the cover.
“Thermoset urethane is very difficult to work with, but it gives us complete control of the chemical composition. It’s essentially a little chemical plant right in the mold, compared with using an off-shelf material like TPU. This allows us to dial in our desired properties of spin control, softness and durability,” explained Michael Sullivan, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Product Development. “We do a lot of testing. We test the urethane on the ball and test it off the ball. In fact, we do so much material testing before it even gets onto a golf ball that by the time it does, we have a solid understanding of how it’s going to react. With the new 2015 models, we tested hundreds of formulations. You simply can’t do that with TPU. In the end, our iterative prototyping process ultimately improves performance for golfers.”
“We’re giving golfers everything they’ve previously had in Pro V1 and Pro V1x with some enhancements,” Morgan said. “They’ll get the extraordinary distance and ball flight they’re accustomed to. But they’ll also get a softer cover, which will add more spin control and feel around the greens. The feedback we’ve received on tour and with club professionals and amateurs clearly tells us that players are benefiting from this improved performance.”
Player testing, a core value at Titleist drove the development of new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. At the Australian Open last November, Jordan Spieth went with the new Pro V1x golf ball and called it, “the best round I have ever played” after the final-round when he shot 8-under 63 to win by six shots. Spieth’s round set the course record on a gusty day at Australian Golf Club, leading several media members to suggest it may have been the best round in the event’s 110-year history.
“It obviously performed well,” Spieth said after the round. “I used the same ball the entire day today and it still flew perfectly. The changes to the new golf ball have been big for me and I’ve been playing well since changing.” Seven days and over 10,000 miles later, Spieth was on the 18th green at Isleworth Country Club in Florida, tapping his new Pro V1x in for par and a 10-shot victory at the Hero World Challenge after rounds of 66-67-63-66.
The tour seeding and validation process for the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x models began in October at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas ? the same city where the original Pro V1 prototype debuted in 2000. A few weeks later, Bubba Watson put the new Pro V1x in play for the first time at the at the WGC-HSBC Championship in China. In the final round, Watson holed a 60-yard bunker shot for eagle on 18 to force a playoff. On the first playoff hole, he rolled his 2015 Pro V1x in from 20 feet for birdie to win. The following Sunday, Charley Hoffman, playing 2015 Pro V1x, shot a final-round 5-under 66 to win the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, closing out the calendar year on the PGA Tour. To date, more than 100 players across the worldwide professional tours, Titleist said, have put the new models in play, including Adam Scott, Ian Poulter, Hunter Mahan, Marc Leishman, Bill Haas and Padraig Harrington, who teed up 2015 Pro V1x for the first time in his victory at the Indonesia Open.
Below are some samplings of what Tour players are saying, complements of Titleist, about the new models:
Jordan Spieth: “The 2015 Pro V1x is very much an improvement for me just as each version has really improved. This one’s better for me because that softer cover around the greens allows me to have more spin control and softer feel, without jeopardizing any distance or spin with the long clubs. It’s still long off the tee with more control around the greens. [New Pro V1x] feels really nice, like it’s sticking to the club face more, which I like. It allows my short irons and wedges to spin a little more which is always nice around the greens, to be able to fly it closer to the hole and have it drop and stop.”
Bubba Watson: “I first tried the new ball two weeks prior to going to China. I loved it and put it in play right away. It has all the great qualities of the previous generation Pro V1x with improved feel around the greens, which is exceptional. It even goes a little further for me off the tee.”
Hunter Mahan: “The new ball feels great. It has the performance and flight characteristics I’m looking for with all my full shots, and I’ve picked up more spin on my 30-40 yard pitch shots. Overall, I’m getting better performance into and around the greens, and still have the flight, trajectory and control I need on full shots.”
Bill Haas: “The first time I tried the new Pro V1x I immediately noticed a softer feel with my irons and wedges. The softer feel provides me slightly more spin around the greens and gives me the added confidence that I can get the ball to stop the way I need it to. For me, more confidence leads to better scoring. I still get the long game performance I need as well with the proper amount of spin and control.”
Charley Hoffman: “I put the new Pro V1x in play immediately after my first day of testing. It has all the great characteristics of the 2013 model off the driver and irons with a slightly softer feel around the greens. It’s extremely hot off the driver with the feel of the Pro V1 around the greens. When I won at Mayakoba, the new ball stood up to all the tests. It performed great in the rain on Saturday and unbelievable in the wind on Sunday.”
Marc Leishman: “The new ball still has the firm, solid feel and penetrating flight off the tee, but is noticeably softer and spins more with half shots and chip shots. I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds - long off the tee and workable around the greens.”
Padraig Harrington: “I used the new ProV1x for the first time during my victory in the
Indonesia Open. After some testing on the practice days, I put the ball straight into play and found it to be a seamless switch. I loved the feel and felt that the ball was spinning a little more around the greens, whilst being just as long off the tee. In fact the last time I switched to a new version of the Pro V1x ball (during the 2011 tour seeding process) I also won in Asia the first week out.”
Ian Poulter: “The new Pro V1x gives me a softer feel and better performance around the greens. I’m able to execute all the shots and the ball feels great. I also picked up some ball speed with the driver during testing, so I’m getting a little more out of it off the tee.”
The new 2015 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls will be available in golf shops beginning Jan. 30, 2015, with a suggested retail price of $62 (MAP: $47.99).
Thursday, January 15, 2015
The launch of the FootJoy HyperFlex golf shoe marks the start of a brand new franchise for the brand
FootJoy's new HyperFlex Golf shoe Credit: FootJoy
The FootJoy HyperFlex golf shoe – a brand new franchise for FJ – has been introduced.
According to FootJoy, the HyperFlex is the ?‘most progressive shoe it ?has ever made’ – and arguably its most distinctive, too.
Characterised by its striking appearance, the HyperFlex is an entirely unique addition and aimed at the athletic golfer who wants the latest technology on their feet.
Related – FootJoy HyperFlex golf shoe review
“HyperFlex is undoubtedly ?the most progressive shoe ?we have ever made, representing a radical departure from the classic designs fans may be familiar with,” Doug Robinson, FootJoy vice president of ?design and development, ?told GM.
“Every area of this shoe has been carefully considered, and it has been created with the inclusion of next-generation technology at its core, creating an incredibly flexible and lightweight, yet stable, platform from which to swing.
“Our designers have carried out research in civil engineering and construction to create the distinguishing aesthetics of HyperFlex which are also fundamental to its performance.”
The most visible addition – the FlexGrid exoskeleton upper – is a soft and comfortable material that helps the shoe retain its shape, while also incorporating a membrane that is waterproof-guaranteed for two years.
The inspiration behind the FlexGrid – a material never before used in golf shoes – came from an unlikely source: the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston.
The bridge’s cables create a grid structure that provides strength and support while giving off a sleek and lightweight appearance, much like the FlexGrid.
As well as that, the inclusion of FineTunedFoam 2.0 provides the exceptionally comfortable midsole cushioning FootJoy fans will know from its D.N.A. golf shoe.
Visible at the rear of the HyperFlex golf shoe, the Optimised Performance Stabiliser provides support towards the heel so you can swing powerfully from a solid base.
In addition, Tornado Cleats by SoftSpikes have been specifically engineered to provide flexible-yet-durable underfoot traction.
The HyperFlex FitBed adds yet more cushioning, while placement of silicone ink on the insole helps keep the foot secure to stop uncomfortable slipping and rubbing when you walk.
FootJoy HyperFlex golf shoe essentials:
Available: March 2015
RRP: £135, or £150 with FJ’s BOA lacing system
Colour schemes: Six to choose from, including Navy/Lime, White/Light and Charcoal/Orange.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Overland Park, KS, January 14, 2015 - Continually serving the demand for quality golf distance measuring devices, Bushnell announced the launch of its new NEO Ghost GPS Rangefinder, rounding out its robust collection of offerings to serve and assist golf enthusiasts of all levels on the course.
Pocket-sized, easy-to-use golf GPS device defines distance made simple
The NEO Ghost comes preloaded with more than 30,000 courses and provides simple measurements to the front, center and back distances of the green - along with up to four hazard/layup distances per hole. Additional features include auto course and auto hole recognition, shot distance calculator and long battery life (play three rounds before charging). Using a multifunctional clip that allows for increased accessibility and convenience during play, the NEO Ghost can be worn on the golfer's body or easily attached to a bag.
"Several features excite us about the NEO Ghost, most importantly the high-quality technology we are able to pack into such a small, lightweight GPS rangefinder," said Scott Peterson, Senior Product Manager at Bushnell. "The NEO Ghost provides golfers with the critical distance information they need, while offering the convenience and reliability they are accustomed to from our Golf GPS products."
Bushnell's latest Golf GPS innovation joins the NEO XS, which is the lightest, thinnest GPS watch rangefinder in golf.
The NEO Ghost is offered in four colors - black, charcoal, neon green and white - and will be available at retail in mid-February for $129.99.
Bushnell, the #1 choice of professional golfers, offers a full range of rangefinders, which continue to change and improve the way golfers assess distances, ultimately improving performance.
For more information on the Bushnell family of rangefinders, visit the company's website at bushnellgolf.com. To obtain images of Bushnell's industry leading products, please go to bushnellgolfpr.com.