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These New Innovations Keep the Golf Season Going Year-Round
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Golfing Magazine Staff
 
By Golfing Magazine Staff
Published on 12/3/2010
 

LaunchPad: These New Innovations Keep the Golf Season Going Year-Round

Golf is the season that never ends. While it may be winter, equipment manufacturers keep the heat on year-round, and Golfing Magazine gives you a little sneak peak at some of the latest and greatest golf products on the market in our Launch Pad section.
High-tech rules today’s golf scene and for good reason. Thanks to forward-thinking equipment manufacturers and their heady R & D departments, there is absolutely no reason not to have in your hands the ideal club to reach the flagstick, regardless of where you are on the course.
It used to be that companies waited until the big PGA Merchandise Show in late January to early February to kick out their hot toys for the new golf season. Not now. It’s all about jumping the competition and beating them to the punch in order to attract the attention of the playing and paying public, even before the current golf season is traditionally over.
So, sit back and take a gander at some of the newest items to hit the pro shop and big box store shelves. Like a summer that never ends, there’s always something dreamy to ponder when it comes to golf equipment.


Callaway’s new Diablo Octane driver is the first club to have a clubhead made with forged composite, a revolutionary material that is lighter and stronger than titanium. Callaway believes it has designed the next development in driver technology--a lighter, stronger, and more precise club.
Forged composite is one-third the density of titanium, yet features a greater load carrying capacity per unit mass in bending. The Diablo Octane’s 10 million turbostratic fibers are precisely forged with six tons of force during a proprietary design process. This creates ultra-light, thin-walled components for lower total head weight and optimized mass properties. Callaway engineers then combine the lighter, more efficient clubhead with a longer shaft to increase head speed in the downswing and power at impact for longer distances and uncompromised accuracy. Callaway’s Diablo Octane powers drives beyond those of its all-titanium predecessor by an average distance of eight yards.  
Also, a proprietary hyperbolic shape and chemical milling process provides precision thickness control across the clubface, producing a larger sweet spot and improved impact efficiency to produce consistently high ball speeds for long distance, even on off-center hits.
 The new driver offers improved distribution of mass within the clubhead when compared with drivers featuring an all-titanium construction; lower total head weight and optimized mass properties; a lighter, more efficient clubhead combined with a longer shaft to increase head speed in the downswing and power at impact for longer distances and uncompromised accuracy.
$299  www.callawaygolf.com  800-588-9836


Zero Friction Performance Golf Tees offers high quality performance products with innovative technological advancements.  Go to www.zerofrictionstore.com to check out all the latest Zero Friction products to hit the market, including the ZFX, the ZFT System, and the ZF PGA TOUR Special Edition tees, plus many more! 
1)  ZFX -The Zero Friction ZFX is the newest Zero Friction tee on the market. The patented 4-prong design allows for 66% less tee coverage on the ball, allowing for straighter longer drives, which is the same as the original Zero Friction Tee! Plus, it’s easier to place the ball on this tee because of the added stability of 4-Prongs!
2)  ZFT System - The ZFT System is the latest in design technology for the Zero Friction Family. ZFT System combines the technology of the original 3-prong Zero Friction Tee with a great striping system that allows for individuals to place their golf tee at the same height every time, optimizing their performance!
3)  ZF PGA TOUR Special Edition - Zero Friction is now the official licensed merchandise of the PGA TOUR! The patented 3-prong design can now be found imprinted with Special PGA TOURTM packaging and a PGA TOUR logo imprinted on each tee!
$7.99 / 50 count www.excelgolfproducts.com


The Black Satin Si4 offers SeeMore’s new RST2 technology, which includes the company’s original RifleScope Technology (RST), in a classic hosel-style blade.
The putter head features thermoplastic face insert for a softer feel and a slightly lower rebound characteristic preferred by some players. The RST2 alignment system is housed on the top of the hosel versus the original RST system, which is found on the top heel section of the putter. The two white lines on top of the hosel are milled perfectly parallel to the face of the putter, creating a “gun sight” effect and assuring that the clubhead is square to the intended target line when the white lines are visible and the signature red dot is hidden. The golfer will thus enjoy a much greater probability of making a consistent stroke, leading to more made putts and lower scores.
The SiSeries putters feature precision cast 303 stainless steel heads with soft thermo plastic urethane (TPU) face inserts, as well as an expanded sweet spot with enhanced perimeter weighting and a softer feel and slighter less rebound for those preferring the performance of a Tour level elastomer insert. SiSeries putters offer a range of shape and design options to meet every golfer’s needs within a line that offers both value and performance.
$179 www.seemore.com 800-985-8170


Capitalizing on the power of aerodynamics found in the Nike SQ Machspeed driver that was released last spring, Nike Golf has taken the notion of  aerodynamics efficiency to the next level with its new SQ Machspeed Black Driver.
The Nike SQ Machspeed Black Driver has two 460cc round and square heads and features a sleek black profile to ensure that the air moves quickly and cleanly over the club head with each swing. Through optimal aerodynamics (360 degrees of air flow across the drivers), the Nike SQ Machspeed Black generates faster club head speed by reducing drag.
A deeper face allows for the delivery of greater ball speed across the face resulting in more distance on off center hits. The face of the club head is tall and tapers quickly, enabling more forgiveness. The SQ Machspeed Black produces a lower ball flight and lower spin rates than the original SQ Machspeed, thus helping to create longer drives.
Available in round and square-shape, the SQ Machspeed Black Drivers offer Nike’s STR8-FIT technology, which delivers eight face angle options--two degrees open and two degrees closed. The square version promotes forgiveness and stability, while the round version is for golfers who desire more workability and shot shaping. Both drivers come with Mitsubishi Rayon lightweight Fubuki shafts which allow for maximum speed.
$359.99  www.nikegolf.com  503-671-2635


KZG introduces its newest high performance iron, the EC-II, designed with features for the low-to-mid handicap player. The EC-II is a spinoff of KZG’s Forged Evolution Irons. 
The EC-II progresses from a mid-size cavity back in the longest iron to a muscle back in the shortest wedge, with each club 10 percent different than the adjacent loft. A thin top line and clean look will appeal to traditionalists seeking a  classically shaped head. The EC-IIs also offer more modern lofts and a softer leading edge compared to the Forged Evolution Irons.  KZG’s special heat treating process on its proprietary steel alloy gives these irons “the feel of forged” at far less than the cost of a true forging.
The EC-IIs are finished in a high gloss mirror finish with a striking red medallion. The high performance and similar look makes these irons the perfect companion to KZG’s new X95 Wedges.
 $79 /graphite, $69 / steel per club  www.kzgolf.com • 800-200-8800.


Adams Golf’s new Idea Tech V3 hybrids and hybrid irons, nickel chromium (NiCr plated with physical vapor deposition (PVD) black finishes, are ultra-premium clubs that the company says establish a new standard in the super game-improvement category.
Intended for aspiring and recreational players, the Idea Tech V3 set is offered in two configurations (forged or all-hybrid). The Idea Tech V3 hybrids may also be purchased individually.
In both the forged and all-hybrid configurations, the eight-piece Idea Tech V3 set consists of 4-, 5- and 6- progressively–sized hybrids and a 7-mid-hybrid. The forged set features four oversized cavity-back forged irons in 8-iron through gap wedge while the all-hybrid set features four hybrid scoring clubs in 8-iron through gap wedge.
The easy-to-hit hybrids in both configurations feature strategically placed tungsten weighting in the premium stainless steel heads for enhanced forgiveness and spin. A four-way cambered sole and recessed heel and toe areas reduce turf drag for superior playability and versatility. The transitional hybrid mid-iron includes a viscoelastic vibration dampening system for exceptional feel.
In the forged set, precisely located heel and toe weighting in the oversized forged heads of the short irons (8-GW) maximize scoring potential. A tech badge in each also improves feel across the face. The all-hybrid set features short irons (8-GW) with a thin face design and a perimeter heel-toe weighting system to increase launch angle and spin for maximum forgiveness.
$899.99 / steel, $999.99 / graphite. www.adamsgolf.com  800-709-6142



Ping’s much-anticipated Anser iron, the company’s first forged design in more than 40 years, carries the same name as one of the early iron models that Ping founder Karsten Solheim produced before he transitioned to the popular investment casting process.
Combining an 8620 steel body and tungsten sole, the new Anser irons feature a machined face and grooves for improved spin and control. A hollow-sole cavity design softens the feel and positions the center of gravity to generate higher-launching iron shots. The progressive set design offers forgiveness in the long irons and greater control in the short irons, a valuable combination for more skilled players.
Ping engineers worked to make sure the company’s first forging in 40-plus years featured technology consistent with Ping’s reputation as a leader in golf club innovation. The result, the company says, is unequalled forged-iron performance, a forgiving yet workable club for the better player, all with superb feel. 
The Anser irons set is available in 3- through 9-iron and pitching wedge and comes stock with a steel Project X shaft .
$1320 / steel, $1620 graphite   www.ping.com  800-474-6434


Sunice has introduced an updated spring 2011 outerwear collection led by the Hurricane category, and a functional, fashion-driven Sport Layering category.
The company’s Men’s Hurricane Collection is engineered with Gore-Tex Paclite and Gore-Tex Performance Shell product technology that carries a “Guaranteed to Keep You Dry” promise, and provides durably waterproof, windproof and breathable comfort and protection for standout performance.
Breathability, stretch, ultra-lightweight and quiet products define the Tornado Collection and its four-year waterproof guarantee. Tornado’s highly breathable, waterproof, game-enhancing stretch fabrics perform in even the worst weather. The versatile, full-stretch, breathable, waterproof knit garment has a four-year waterproof guarantee, and offers proprietary fabric technology, performance features and extreme comfort.
The refreshed, highly-technical Typhoon Collection game-improvement rain suit category--featuring a three-year waterproof guarantee and assorted styles--offers Zephal, Sunice’s new proprietary lightweight, quieter fabric with a super soft hand feel that complements Typhoon’s pops of color and stylish plaids.
Sunice’s Pro Sport and Sport Layers Collections feature high-end performance Windstopper, and basic, lightweight, fashion-driven layering pieces that blend science and style in soft shells, sweaters, lightweight layering, thermal layering and wind gear. Sunice Performance Layers create “the ultimate all-weather golf apparel layering system.” The moisture-wicking Otaki SuperLite FX Pullover--with an invisible chest-pocket zipper--can be added as an extra layer without additional bulk or weight.
Sunice’s special 2011 Women’s Collection focuses on serious female golfers and includes stylish, colorful and fashion-detailed outerwear. “Game-enhancing” features include a Pro-Trim waist-cinching system, Pro-Wipe club cleaner and in-pocket ball cleaner.
Sunice also expanded its high-performing women’s Hurricane category with an additional Gore-Tex Paclite Suit--a Gore- Tex product technology offering in all white with new gold embellishments.  www.sunice.com • 800-561-3872


BLACK WIDOW, the name synonymous with golf innovation, delivers its line of golf grips with Bold Design and Powerful Performance.  BLACK WIDOW Grips are designed to meet the needs of all at all levels, from touring professionals to recreational golfers, with nine distinct models.  No other new golf grip line has been put into play on the professional tours as quickly as BLACK WIDOW without a paid sponsorship.  BLACK WIDOW Grips feature Softspikes traction inspired interlocking “S” pattern and Web-Traction Technology which are anti-slip design arrangements that maximize surface area for more traction.  These traction design patterns create more friction with less grip pressure required resulting in a natural grip that contributes to faster swing speeds and more Distance!  For more information visit www.bwgrips.com


Cobra Golf’s new Limited Edition ZL Driver, an all-white model, is loaded with the company’s latest technology and an upgraded premium shaft.
Only 500 of the Limited Edition ZL Drivers are available globally, and each is individually marked with a production serial number. The Limited Edition ZL Driver utilizes advanced multi-material construction and Adjustable Flight Technology and is paired with a high performance Fujikura Motore Speeder shaft. This exclusive product is ideal for the accomplished player who wants a collectible driver with Tour-caliber performance.
As with the original ZL Driver, the Limited Edition ZL Driver features an optimized, traditional clubhead shape that maximizes distance, accuracy and forgiveness. Its multi-material construction includes the lightweight carbon fiber crown and sole, complemented by a 6-4 titanium clubhead body and clubface, which contributes to higher ball speeds and maximum distance. The clubface utilizes Cobra’s patented 9 Point Face Technology, bolstered by a milled rhombus, laser-welded face insert plus a thin titanium perimeter.
In addition, Cobra’s exclusive Adjustable Flight Technology features an adjustable hosel that golfers can quickly and easily set to one of three face angles (O-open, N-neutral, C-closed), to optimize ball flight and distance.
The custom all-white, 46-inch Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 6.0 shaft is an upgrade that has an MSRP of $399 if sold individually. It offers superior overall feel and stabilization for unparalleled distance and accuracy, and also features exclusive custom laser-etched graphics.
 $625 • www.cobragolf.com • 800-917-3300


The Backdraft GT+ uses Optic Technology to increase the contrast between the golf ball and the green. The more contrast, the easier an object is to see, and the easier it is for you to focus. The Backdraft GT’s color eliminates distracting reflections off the club head allowing golfers to concentrate on setting up the perfect line. The GT’s jumbo grip helps prevent the golfers’ wrists from breaking down making it easier to create a pure and fluid putting stroke.  The new Backdraft GT+ features four designs with a jumbo grip.
$49.99   • www.touredge.com  800 515 3343


The Rossa Daytona Ghost is a Tour-proven blade that offers the familiar calming white color and high-contrast alignment cues of the now-famous Corza Ghost mallet.
Like the Corza Ghost, the Rossa Daytona Ghost was developed with significant input from sought-after putting instructor, TaylorMade Tour Staff professional Dave Stockton.
The first model in the Ghost Series, the Corza Ghost, proved an instant success with consumers and Tour professionals worldwide, building momentum in the retail marketplace. The Corza Ghost has also fueled record-breaking growth for TaylorMade in the putter category; the brand’s 13.1 million dollar putter market share in July 2010 was the highest total in company history.
The Rossa Daytona Ghost also has the advantage of Rossa’s renowned and tour-proven AGSI+ (Anti-skid Groove System Insert) Technology. The AGSI+ insert features 14 polymer-filled grooves in the face that “hold” the ball briefly at impact to negate backspin and promote forwardspin for a smoother roll and more accurate results. The AGSI+ insert also delivers superior consistency in forward roll on off-center hits, something not shown in tests of other popular putters.
Each groove the putter is filled with a soft polymer that absorbs unwanted impact vibration and contributes to a satisfying feel at impact. Weight saved from a Titallum insert was redirected to the perimeter of the putterhead, increasing moment of inertia for exceptional forgiveness on miss-hits.
$129 www.taylormadegolf.com 866-530-8624


The Bettinardi Golf 2011 BB Series and Studio Stock Series putter uses a custom, selected blend of  metals-- a “proprietary” fusion of soft carbon steel with special ingredients known only to those at Bettinardi Golf--to produce a putter with a unique, quality feel.
The 2011 BB Series features a “Metallic Fog” finish on a patented “Honeycomb” face, the result of a state-of-the-art process that molecularly bonds the end finish to the putter, creating the most durable finish available on the market today, says the company.
The 2011 Studio Stock Series also features a “Borealis Black” finish on a patented “Honeycomb” face, with stunning exotic colors and a mirror-like luster, says the company.
The finishing process ensures the Bettinardi precision milled putter will not corrode, discolor or tarnish. The combination of proprietary metals allowed the company to create beautifully colored finishes that are esthetically pleasing to the eye yet extremely durable. 
Both models of putters may be purchased in varied head
weights, with a standard lie of 71degrees and a loft of 3 degrees. An uncut-ungripped version enables a custom club fitter to customize a Bettinardi putter to the exact required specifications of the user. The advantage of a solid, precision milled head allows the club fitter to adjust the lie and loft to suit the individual player. Varied head weights can be adjusted 5 degree flat or 5 degree upright from a standard lie of 71 degrees. The loft can be adjusted from 3 degrees strong or 3 degrees weak from a standard loft of 3 degrees.
$275 for the BB Series / $375 for the Studio Stock Series
www.bettinardi.com  708-802-7400


Putting Shark: Say goodbye to two-putts! Measures face angle, swing path club head speed and much more, for just $379! Your swing is displayed instantly in an easy to read analysis window, showing swing data as well as ball roll. www.PuttingShark.com   Use code PSGM10 for 10% off your internet order!


The VR Pro Combo Irons graduate from pocket-cavity long irons (3 and 4) to split-cavity middle irons (5-7) to muscleback short irons (8-PW).
The longer irons are designed to provide a higher trajectory, which is attained by dropping the center of gravity lower in the clubhead to allow players to get the ball airborne faster and on a proper launch angle.
The mid-irons feature perimeter weighting, with the channel found on the long irons bridging the set together and giving the split-cavity clubheads on the 5- through 7-irons more workability and feel.
The set’s eight- and nine-iron and pitching wedge are traditional muscleback designs, where the center of gravity is higher in the clubhead to allow better players to work the ball effectively for greater accuracy and control.
A precision forging process and a new groove design enhances consistency and distance control on all the irons. The VR Pro Combos are made with 1025 carbon steel and feature dye-stamped USGA conforming grooves.
The irons not only appeal to recreational golfers but also to the best players in the world because of their blend of game-improvement features in the long irons and a blade-style design in the scoring irons.
The irons are equipped with the True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts.        $1,080     www.nikegolf.com    503-671-2635


The next-generation Burner Tour golf ball is designed to deliver
maximum distance and exceptional feel to a broad range of player types.
The Burner Tour’s soft and thin cover promotes softer feel, higher spin and increased control.  To achieve a significant improvement in greenside spin and performance in the Burner Tour, the company employed the softest and thinnest two-piece cover of any TaylorMade golf ball. With the new Burner, the goal was to limit driver-spin and promote maximum carry, which could only be accomplished by combining a soft core and slightly firmer cover.
 The Burner Tour golf ball incorporates TaylorMade’s proprietary REACT Core design to promote exceptionally fast ball speed while maintaining soft performance, with the Burner Tour employing a soft core compression of 45. In addition, the Burner Tour’s thinner and softer cover reduces its overall compression to deliver incredibly soft feel and added spin around the green.
 TaylorMade’s Low-Drag Performance (LDP) aerodynamics have been incorporated into the premium 342 LDP dimple pattern used on the Burner Tour, which promotes improved lift for more distance.
 The Burner Tour’s Iothane 57D cover is exceptionally soft and resilient, while also offering outstanding durability and shear-resistance.
 $21.99 per dozen. • www.taylormadegolf.com • 866-530-8624


Bridgestone Golf’s latest versions of its popular B330 series of Tour performance golf balls feature a proprietary new material used in the dual mantle construction.
The new Tour B330 and Tour B330-S golf balls offer high swing speed players more distance off the tee and the same spin and feel that better golfers have become accustomed to with Bridgestone.
The B330 and B330-S get a power boost as a result of Bridgestone’s new RD10 resin mantle layers. Bridgestone engineers created RD10 by increasing the material density, which resulted in higher initial velocity and an overall softening of the mantle layers.
The new dual mantle design was engineered to promote quicker restoration at impact, which results in faster rebound and reduced spin at Tour-level swing speeds. By further reducing the spin off longer clubs (driver, fairway metals, hybrids and long irons), the 2011 B330 series provides better wind piercing performance than ever before. In addition, Bridgestone’s modified gradational hardness layering, from the center of the core to the outer mantle, allows for a smooth and efficient power transition for greater distance and superior accuracy off of longer clubs.  
$42.99 per dozen     www.bridgestonegolf.com • 1-877-411-BFIT. 


Callaway’s Odyssey ProType 82 Putter was inspired by the putter Phil Mickelson used to win the 2010 Masters.
The ProType82 features a sleek, blade-like design with a single sight-line running from the face to the back of the flange, as well as Odyssey’s latest insert technology, White Ice. Less than 3,000 putters are available through authorized Callaway retailers in the United States. International locations likewise have limited quantities.
Along with the sight line, the PT 82 Putter boasts a milled tungsten insert, which has been placed behind the face to ensure precise weight and feel. The putter is cast out of stainless steel with a PVD finish. It also features a PT Pistol grip.
In an effort to enhance sound, responsiveness, resiliency and consistency, the White Ice insert found in the PT 82 has been fine-tuned. The inner core is 19.6 percent firmer to enhance feel and 92 percent stiffer for better resiliency, leading to consistent distance control. The face surface has been roughened to enhance the sound at impact with softer golf balls and increase friction to promote forward roll.     $349 •  www.odysseygolf.com   800-588-9836


The DG Spinner has been designed to increase ball spin during those all important wedge and approach shots. Powered by a specially engineered section just beneath the grip, DG Spinner can increase your ball’s spin rate by as much as 700+ RPM.
The result: A wedge shot with greater stopping power on the green and the proven accuracy that has made True Temper the number one iron shaft on tour. DG Spinner shafts are an optimized wedge series and available in two flexes — Wedge flex for sand and lob wedges and Wedge+ flex for gap and pitching wedges. www.truetemper.com


Warrior’s Custom Golf is sending its new 19-degree Tomahawk Hybrid Iron free to a select number of golfers in order to obtain consumer feedback prior to the club’s introduction to the general public.
The company says the club has a suggested retail price of $249.99, but Warrior, for a limited time, will send a few thousand of the Tomahawk Hybrid Irons to consumers for free in exchange for a performance evaluation that will help the company promote and better their products.
Warrior’s new custom hybrids essentially combine the best characteristics of a wood and an iron in one golf club. Part iron, part wood, they combine fairway wood distance with the control and accuracy of an iron. The company’s engineers developed “Mass-Transfer Technology,” which expands the sweet spot by pulling weight away from the club face and redistributing it to selected areas around the perimeter of the club head. While the sweet spot in most golf clubs is somewhere in the center of the club face, Warrior’s new hybrids feel solid no matter where the user hits the ball. Combined with a low center of gravity, providing a higher moment of inertia means greater distance and more accuracy making them extremely forgiving, says the company. 
    To participate in Warrior’s free custom hybrid offer go to www.warriorcustomgolf.com or contact one of their club fitters at 1-800-600-5113 and mention this story.


Nicklaus Golf introduces the new Dual Point ML4 driver. The Dual Point ML4 features a plasma welded 460cc head that maintains a classic, traditional profile. The ML4’s enhanced swing flow characteristics are due to a new aerodynamic sole design and lighter overall swing weight. A new cup-face design provides enhanced durability and tighter specification tolerances. A unique multi-level face technology– enhances the ML4’s trampoline effect while increasing the effective hitting area for improved distance and accuracy. The benefit of all this technology is an expanded sweet spot, increased ball velocity and stability through the impact zone. The Dual Point ML4 comes standard with a super lightweight, co-developed with Fujikura, “Speed Weight 55” shaft. www.nicklausgolf.com    800-322-1872