Welcome to the August 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.
Quick: Who are the top two money winners so far this season? Answer: Ernie Els (1) and Jeff Overton (2). Next question: Which equipment brands do they represent? If you said Callaway (Els) and Mizuno (Overton), you are correct. Not that Els isn’t a household name, it’s just that the public eye seems to be so focused lately on the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson that even causal golfers know off the top of their heads that those two play Nike and Callaway, respectively. Golf fans frequently ask what equipment companies pay to sponsor anyone not named Tiger or Phil. That depends on the player, of course. It was recently reported that Padraig Harrington gets in the neighborhood of $2 million a year from Wilson Golf, to play 12 clubs, wear the company hat and glove, and carry a bag with its logo. But for guys the likes of five-year veteran Overton, the stakes are much smaller. Mix in a struggling economy, and the picture doesn’t get any prettier for up-and-comers. Fortunately, some companies offer weekly checks to pros playing their driver or golf ball – it helps the companies build up solid usage numbers that they can then report in their advertisements and marketing.
Coming this month: PING’s new K15 super game-improvement club line that includes a driver, fairway woods, hybrids and irons. These are geared for players needing help to hit the ball straighter. The 460cc all–titanium driver has an elongated clubhead and is heel-weighted, to help turn the clubface at impact and aid golfers who tend to hit the ball to the right. Its external weight pad positions the CG for higher launch and longer carry. The all-new Straight Flight Technology (SFT) helps the ball find the fairway more often. SFT is also present in the low-profile K15 fairway woods, which are larger and more forgiving than PING’s popular G15, and help get the ball airborne. The maximum-forgiveness K15 hybrid-iron blended set contains steel-headed 3H and 4H hybrids – there’s no 3- or 4-iron – plus optional 5H and 6H clubs that can replace the 5- and 6-irons, if you desire. Each hybrid aims to reduce spin and increase launch -- ideal for slower swingers. The irons have a steel body and titanium face, so weight is taken from the face and moved to the perimeter, promoting higher trajectory. Thus, they have a wider sole than the G15 irons and are more forgiving.
Adams Speedline 9064LS Driver
Previous Speedline drivers from Adams have won over the hearts of amateur golfers and pros, alike. In fact, they’ve collected 14 professional wins since their introduction. This is the fourth Adams Speedline driver model to hit the market in 20 months. And the company claims this model to be the longest yet, thanks to its refined aerodynamic shaping that strives for less drag and airflow turbulence, and more distance. Improved launch conditions means 15 percent less spin, which translates into more distance. This rendition has a deeper face than previous versions, as well, for increased forgiveness. The driver also uses the first of Aldila’s new RIP graphite shafts. Two shafts are offered: the Alpha for lower ball flight and Gamma for higher flight, each in a standard length of 45.5”. The Speedline 9064LS is already in the bags of Tom Watson, Paul Azinger and Tommy Armour III.
HOT GEAR NEWS
Adams introduced another new driver, in addition to the Speedline 9064LS mentioned above. The Speedline 4G Ultra-Lite weighs just 282 grams and aims to generate ball speed for slower swingers via that lightweight form, plus through an aerodynamically shaped crown…PowerBilt Golf signed renowned PGA instructor Jim McLean to a sponsorship agreement, in which he will play and promote PowerBilt’s Air Force One clubs…Edwin Watts Golf Shops acquired five retail locations from Southern Golf Partners, including stores in Albany, Augusta and Macon, Ga., as well as Ocala and Panama City Beach, Fla., and will convert them into full-service Edwin Watts Golf Shops…Feel Golf unveiled a mostly white version of its Full Release grip…TaylorMade-Adidas Golf is adding Camilo Villegas to its 2011 tour staff. He will play TaylorMade clubs and ball, wear its headwear and glove, use its staff bag and wear adidas Golf footwear…Coming soon from Tour Edge is the Exotics multi-metal Trilogy fairway woods that aim to ease shots from deep rough, firm turf and poor lies. The large diamond-shaped inner rail glides the clubface into a square impact position and minimizes divots. The sole’s two outer rails and one inner rail help turf interaction and mis-hit stability, while a 60-gram internal weight chip lowers the CG… Ryan Palmer put a UST Mamiya Frequency-Filtered shaft in his Odyssey Rossie putter. The shaft bares a steel tip, carbon fiber butt and a diffuser mid-section that mutes vibration…Daniel Chopra played a PING G5L 11-wood, which is a women’s club, at this past week’s PGA Tour Turning Stone Resort Championship. The club did have a men’s shaft, however…Jerry Kelly has begun playing a Cleveland Launcher DST Tour driver, 8.5 degrees…PING’s new S56 irons are blazing. Hunter Mahan just captured the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational using them (with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts). He also had just switched back to a PING iWi D66 putter with 12-gram weights… Bridgestone debuted its new two-piece FIX ball for recreational golfers. It replaces the TreoSoft, generating more spin around the greens. It’s also 4 percent softer.