Welcome to the April 2010 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.
HOT AT THE MASTERS ™
Some PGA Tour pros make rather interesting equipment choices for the Masters every year – to accommodate Augusta National’s tough playing conditions. Whether that means bringing two drivers, five wedges, higher-lofted hybrids and drivers, or something else, these guys know what their particular needs are on that course. This year, Ernie Els had new wedges made specially for the event. Els – who had played Callaway's X-Forged wedges for most of 2010 -- requested a special grind with a tighter radius and bounce for Augusta. They’re personalized with his name and a green “Masters” etched into them. Els also continued playing the Callaway FT Tour driver, which he’s been hot with. Also at Augusta: Tiger Woods used a true Nike VR Tour driver with 9.5° of loft. It was not a prototype model, as some reports suggested. He also played Nike’s Victory Red blade irons with a custom grind. Brian Gay – in his Masters debut – used a new Bettinardi BB8 Tour prototype putter. Justin Rose was one of the few pros using a 3-iron, in this case a TaylorMade R9 TP with a low CG. Fred Couples was toying with a TaylorMade Rossa Imola putter. His attention-grabbing skateboard-style shoes: ECCO’s Street Premiere, which will be available to the public soon. And for the record, Jim Furyk aced a hole in the Masters’ Par 3 Contest using a Srixon Z-STAR Tour Yellow ball and Srixon Z-TX iron.
Cobra Baffler Rail Hybrid
Brand new in stores, this new hybrid features outstanding forgiveness and versatility. And who wouldn’t take notice? After all, Cobra has been best-known for its Bafflers over the years. And this newest addition doesn’t disappoint. The sleek-looking, 17-4 steel clubhead boasts a thin, 465 maraging steel clubface that allows for 10 percent of the clubhead’s weight to be strategically repositioned low and back, for improved launch characteristics. The clubface’s 9 Point Face Technology improves ball speed, by making all shots to perform as if they were struck in the center of the clubface – even if they weren’t. Stronger-than-usual lofts also help bolster distance. And the new four-way rail sole optimizes contact with the ground, so that it seems to guide the club effortlessly through turf – regardless of the lie. The club also comes standard with a lightweight 65-gram Fujikura Motore shaft that aims to increase clubhead speed.
Cobra S2 Max Iron-Hybrid Set
If you’re a mid- to high-handicapper who needs some help keeping the ball in the fairway and getting some good distance all the while, these may very well be for you. Yielding maximum forgiveness and high launch, this set features wide-sole, low-profile Baffler-style hybrids for those preferring forgiving hybrids over long irons. Consistent distance gapping from one club to the next throughout the set eases the transition from iron to hybrids for consistent, reliable distance. The hybrids’ “9 Point Face Technology” helps increase ball speed across the face, while the deep clubface helps get the ball airborne. Meanwhile the set’s S2 Max super game-improvement irons – also available in their own set without the hybrids -- offer improved forgiveness, accuracy and distance. An expanded sweet zone generates consistent ball speed across the entire clubface. The cavity-back design complements the wide-sole, low-profile design, to shift the CG low and deep, thus maximizing forgiveness and launch angle.
HOT GEAR NEWS
Fred Couples’ irons that he’s played so well with since the beginning of March are Bridgestone’s J38 Dual Pocket cavitybacks – nothing surprising, as he endorses the brand. The real shocker is that the clubs are off-the-rack, which is truly unusual for a Tour pro. Every spec is standard, just as you would find at an Edwin Watts Golf store…adidas Golf has been busy. The company just debuted Signature PAULA and NATALIE women’s golf shoes. The PAULA – named for Paula Creamer -- features bold colors and ribbon graphics on the footbed inlay sole, TPU outsole, heel and eyestay, while the NATALIE features contrast deco stitching with rhinestone inlays in the heel and tongue, removable lace tag, and an original artwork print on the footbed. Next up is the rich-looking, low-profile adiPURE nuovo that features a tumbled, full-grain leather, perforated leather lining in heel and collar that enhances comfort, and a gusseted tongue that stays centered. It’s also waterproof …Putter manufactiurer Plop Golf is back in business, selling a new line of custom RSVP 2 putters with a center-shafed hosel…SeeMore Putter debuted the DB4 CS Gunmetal that features RST2 alignment system… YES! Golf is offering a free copy of Putting: The Complete Guide DVD at its website… Miura Golf introduced CB-501 forged cavity-back irons that boast a satin nickel chrome finish, mild steel, playability, and forgiving sole grind … Wilson Golf added a Get Fit ball-fitting tool section to its website, aiming to help golfers find the right golf ball for their game…For iPhone users, PING introduced a free app that allows golfers to research PING products, conduct a full bag fitting online, and use a GPS-enabled retailer locater to find authorized PING dealers… At the Masters, caddies of TaylorMade staff pros toted specially logoed bags commemorating the event's history…Fun facts from the LPGA Tour: Most LPGA Tour pros use steel iron shafts - in either R or S flex. Few use graphite in their irons. Laura Davies has some clubs with X-flex shafts. Speaking of, when Yani Tseng won the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship, she was playing Adams Golf’s Speedline 9032LS driver (9.5°), Speedline 3- and 5-woods, Idea a7 hybrids (19° and 22°), and Idea a4 irons (4-PW), as well as Callaway X Tour wedges (52° and 58°), TaylorMade Rossa Daytona putter, and Titleist Pro V1x ball…Capturing the Shell Houston Open, Anthony Kim played Nike's VR driver with UST Proforce AXIVCore prototype 7250 shaft in an X flex (and averaged 306-yard tee shots), TaylorMade Tour Burner 13° 3-wood with UST Proforce AXIVCore Tour Green (87g, X-flex), Nike SQ Dymo 17° 4-wood with UST Proforce AXIVCore Tour Green (87g, X-flex), Nike VR Blades (3-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts), Nike VR 54° and 60° wedges, Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Select Newport 2 putter, and a Nike One Tour ball.