Welcome to the February 2009 issue of Equipment Reviews, sent out monthly exclusively to the loyal customers of Edwin Watts Golf. If you haven't already signed up for your free Equipment Reviews subscription, then please click here - there's no obligation and you can cancel at any time.
Equipment Insider had the opportunity to caddy in a recent pro-am day, at the PGA Tour’s Buick Invitational in San Diego. The group’s pro was Lucas Glover, who says he’s now been a Nike Golf staffer for a few years, using all Nike equipment and loving it. Interestingly, he said that the One Tour D ball he’s playing with is actually an older model – which spurred some talk among the amateurs in his group. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Tour pros to use reliable and comfortable products from years past. What is surprising, though, is how some players have jumped to new products from their sponsor – to hike up the Tour usage numbers and generate product excitement and hype – then quickly and quietly move back to the old gear. In fact, because the Tour counts are taken on the first day of any given event at the first tee, guys will play out the round with whatever products they have in the bag, then make a switch the next day. One Tour pro is rumored to have won a Tour event already this year using a popular new ball, then finished the tournament using an old version of the product.
Nike Golf Dymo Drivers
Nike’s new SQ DYMO and SQ DYMO² drivers will appeal to every golfer – primarily because there’s a model for everyone. DYMO is an acronym for Dynamic Moment of Inertia, meaning these are high-MOI models that are incredibly forgiving. Their express purpose is to optimize the launch and spin by loft. Thus, performance is maximized in every loft by varying multiple specifications from lie angle, to MOI and CG placement, to overall head size and face depth. The SQ DYMO has a folded round clubhead geometry that repositions square mass into a round format for workable distance and control, while the SQ DYMO² boasts a square geometry designed to hit the ball straight and long, with great sound. There are also fully adjustable SQ DYMO and SQ DYMO² drivers – coined the STR8-FIT models – that golfers can quickly set into eight different positions that each represents a unique clubface/lie angle and ball flight. There’s no storing extra shafts or clubheads. Instead, golfers just loosen the clubhead with the included substantial wrench, then reposition and lock it into one of the eight slots in the shaft sleeve.
Cobra S9-1 Driver
Equipment Insider loves this club, and so will most players. There’s a model for you, regardless of what clubhead speed you can muster up. It yields hot, forgiving shots from anywhere on the clubface. The clubface is large, the CG low, and the MOI high. You’ll likely be sold on the first swing: Feel and sound are truly solid, thanks to an internal rib structure that’s designed to tune it all into a pleasing experience. Ball flight is high with a slight draw, carry is deep, and the landing is lively. The shaft is also a half-inch longer than normal, to generate more clubhead speed. It’s very attractive at setup, as well – bearing a more subtle version of that popular Cobra crown dimple look. The driver is matched to a golfer’s ball speed. Thus, the two Pro models are tuned to give extreme-ball-speed players (150+ mph) high launch, low spin and added workability; F models are tuned to optimize fast-ball-speed (125-155 mph) players’ distance and accuracy; and M models are tuned to give moderate-ball-speed (less than 140 mph) players unmatched distance and forgiveness. There are also seniors and women’s models.
HOT GEAR NEWS
Nike Golf debuted the Air Zoom Vapor shoe -- its lightest performance golf shoe ever at 13.8 ounces per shoe. It has a one-piece microfiber upper that’s waterproof, breathable and form-fitting to the foot... Mizuno debuted MX-700 hybrids with a strong, thin and lightweight ES230 "hot metal" steel face that’s plasma-welded to a 431 stainless steel body for an expanded COR. A "Drop Down Crown" design creates a low/deep CG and allows the hybrids to be completely lie and loft adjustable. Also new from Mizuno are the Bettinardi Black Carbon 6 and 7 putters that are milled from one-piece carbon steel, for consistency, and sport the company’s Feel Impact Technology face. The BC6 has a traditional plumbers neck and solid heel toe pocket cavity head shape. The BC7 is a Wilson 8802-style blade. Each is finished in black chrome, to reduce glare...Graphite Design debuted the YSQst shafts with stiffer, stabilized tips that launch the ball lower and create a nice descent angle to maximize distance for players with 90+ mph swing speeds…Adams Golf added Chad Campbell to its PGA Tour staff. Campbell will play the Idea Tech a4 irons, an Adams hybrid and the Insight Tech a4 driver…Wilson Golf inked Ricky Barnes and Brad Adamonis to use Wilson Staff clubs …Most every club manufacturer has a tour van that shows up at every PGA Tour event, to help players fine-tune their equipment. TaylorMade’s debuted a state-of-the-art PGA Tour trailer that takes up a smaller operational footprint while offering more useable square footage than the company’s previous van. Pop-outs on both sides expand the space, allowing three technicians to work independently at once. The trailer also includes flat-screen televisions, wireless internet and video game consoles. The van’s slated to travel 40,000 miles to 35 tour events during 2009… Paul Azinger has begun endorsing the Bionic Golf glove…SkyGolf added PGA Tour caddie Mike "Fluff" Cowan to its product advisory board… PrideSports debuted the Softspikes ClubGrip wrap that simply applies over existing grips, eliminating the need for a vice, double-sided tape, knife, or solvent that are commonly required with standard re-gripping methods. Softspikes also launched Black Widow Tour cleats with self-adjusting traction technology and new support rings that let golfers customize the level of comfort in their cleats… Keith Fergus signed a deal to play Alpha Golf’s driver…Shaft company UST combined operations with its parent company, Mamiya-OP, and will now be known as UST Mamiya… Cleveland Golf debuted the Bloom line of women's equipment that includes a HiBORE Bloom driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, Bloom Niblick, CG14 wedge and VP 509 putter… Rife Putters came out with the IMO (Inline Momentum) putter. It’s a center mass concept where at least 85 percent of the head weight is in the middle 40 percent of the clubhead… Fred Couples inked an endorsement deal with bag manufacturer Ogio, in which he’ll also help create a signature line of travel bags, including golf travel covers, rolling luggage, messenger bags and backpacks…Yes! Golf unveiled two putters – the Lizzy Plus mallet and Tracy III Plus blade – with interchangeable hosels. While each comes with a plumber neck hosel, three optional hosels attached to shafts and grips are available separately.