Welcome to the July 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.
HYBRIDS ARE COMING...
A hybrid phenomenon of sorts emerged at last month’s US Open, and it may soon reach your bag. Several PGA Tour pros began using brand-new hybrid clubs, simply to negotiate the various tough lies at Bethpage State Park. While all of those clubs weren’t ready to be produced on a mass scale, some are – to the benefit of golfers everywhere. For instance, Adams Golf Idea a7 hybrids – played at the Open by such pros as Matt Kuchar and Boo Weekley -- borrow attributes from several generations of the Idea Pro hybrids, including a sole camber to ease hits from bad lies, rear weighting for more carry, hollow back for better feel, and a thinner face for added distance. TaylorMade has new Raylor Hybrids coming soon that Kenny Perry and Fred Funk used in practice rounds. And Phil Mickelson used a one-of-a-kind Callaway hybrid (18 degrees) that he helped design. It features a rounded, wedge-style sole for versatility – Mickelson reportedly struck shots with it from 146 yards up to 185 at the Open, depending on how he opened the club – and a forward/high CG to add trajectory. Now that’s versatile! It also sports iron grooves, to help channel away grass and debris. A narrower sole also helps the club take divots more like an iron, as well. It will eventually make its way into Watts shops.
FootJoy FJ Icon Mens Golf Shoe
FootJoy justifiably has really high hopes for this brand-new, high-end waterproof shoe that boasts soft premium full-grain leather uppers, intricate calfskin detailing, in-shoe breathability and countless customization options. It is officially the brand’s new top-end shoe, and has the best of everything incorporated into it. The Fit-Bed is leather covered, dual-density PU, which translates to plenty of cushioned support under your foot. Memory foam in the tongue and around the collar enhance comfort even more. The stable outsole’s lightweight EVA midsole supplies cushioning, as well. On the sole, TPU “Dual OptiFlex zones” with forefoot flexibility channels increase walking comfort and flexibility. That’s techno-speak for you’ll easily be able to walk 18 holes in these without having to worry about aching feet afterwards. Company officials say that the FJ ICON has been in development for years, and while the category borrows some styling cues from the popular FootJoy Classics franchise, it will definitely have its own identity.
NICKENT GOLF 4DX EVOLVER CYG DRIVER
You may well feel like you perpetually have a personal clubfitter with you, when playing Nickent’s latest driver. Building on last year’s popular 4DX Evolver driver with interchangeable shaft capability, Nickent has one-upped that model with an all-new version that boasts an adjustable aluminum hosel. Coined CYG – which stands for “Change Your Game” -- the hosel allows golfers to easily and quickly change the clubface angle up to three degrees in all directions, and achieve 26 different lie, loft and clubface angle combinations. Several shaft models are offered with the driver. The interchangeable aluminum hosel allows the shaft to be removed and replaced instantly – with the use of the included torque wrench. Just imagine: If the wind picks up before your round, simply lower the trajectory. Been pushing the ball uncontrollably? Close the clubface. You get the idea. You can easily fine-tune your driving game, in a snap.
HOT GEAR NEWS
Ricky Barnes nearly won the U.S. Open playing Wilson Staff’s FG Tour Forged irons that are actually cavity backs. For better players, they feature moderate offset, a slightly rounded leading edge and a thin top line. The aesthetics are what better players prefer, while the technology allows for workability and forgiveness. The irons are not available quite yet… TaylorMade won the driver and fairway wood counts at last week’s PGA Tour John Deere Classic… Mizuno USA and Bettinardi Golf will not extend their exclusive partnership beyond 2009. Mizuno will continue selling Mizuno Bettinardi putters through June, 2010, while Bettinardi will begin to sell and market putters under its own name beginning this fall...Steve Stricker opted to test Aldila's new RIP shaft in his driver at the John Deere Classic, then went on to win the event back in July. The RIP provides a lower torque, more tip stability and better tip stiffness control, say officials who plan to launch it in 2010 … PING has reportedly begun showing Tour pros its new G15 and i15 drivers at the British Open this week… Rife debuted its IMO -- Inline Momentum -- putter with about 85 percent of the head weight focused down the centerline of the head, behind the hitting area. That boosts forward momentum on the stroke, says the manufacturer, guarding against deceleration… ECCO was named Official Footwear Supplier to the 2009 Solheim Cup and has created special, limited-edition Team USA and Team Europe shoes for the competition…First counterfeiters knocked off clubs, but now grips? Eaton Corp. – maker of Golf Pride grips -- announced that a seller of counterfeit golf equipment, including fake Golf Pride grips, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of selling illegal, counterfeit golf equipment… Mitsubishi Rayon added a 53-gram driver shaft and a high-performance hybrid shaft to its Fubuki Series. The latter is offered in 83- and 93-gram versions, and generates a flatter, more-penetrating ball flight than the company’s Diamana and JAVLNFX Hybrid shafts… Etonic will soon unveil its Dri-Tech shoe with Stabilizer Heel Technology that adds stability and motion control during the swing…This fall, Hi-Tec will unwrap its CDT Pure Speed WPI shoe with new directional cleats that can be customized to improve gripping, and a sole configuration that aims to help add distance to shots. The company will also debut the incredibly lightweight V-Lite Zero G WPI shoe … Fujikura won the driver shaft brand and the all-wood counts at the U.S. Women’s Open.