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SOMETIMES THE STARS JUST ALIGN
Ernie Els and Ryan Moore finished second and third at the HBSC Champions in Shanghai, China last week, both using Callaway Golf's upcoming Tour i(s) ball that will debut in January at Edwin Watts Golf. Els reportedly told media that he “started playing a new (Callaway) ball…It's a different texture ball. This is what I've been looking forward to, is this golf ball…I'm looking forward to the future now and I think my equipment is now spot-on.” No wonder he loves it: Els aced a 198-yard hole with it, the second day he played the ball. Moore apparently became a big fan of the i(s), too, as he really liked using it with his wedges and putter, and said he thinks he may very well have hit his drives longer with it, as well. The four-piece ball has a dual core that aims to maximize spin with the new grooves mandated by the USGA for tour play in 2010. The high-compression outer core and soft inner core respectively help provide soft greenside shots and long, low-spin tee shots.
Cleveland CG15 Wedges
Billed as the ultimate-performing wedge, this latest model from the popular wedge manufacturer is offered with your choice of ZIP (aggressive) or Tour ZIP (softer) grooves. Both models have their grooves laser milled into the face, by a laser that was originally developed for cosmetics but was adjusted for the wedges to help make the grooves because of its incredible precision. While you cannot visually discern the difference between the grooves, both wedge models come with a discernible logo on the back so that you know which type of grooves you’re playing with. But aside from the grooves and the logo, both models are identical. The constant-width S-sole is contoured to help you hit bunkers shots more consistently with an open face, by increasing the effective bounce. They perform, feel and look terrific, just as you would expect from a Cleveland wedge. The CG15, which replaces the CG12 wedges in Cleveland’s line, is offered in three bounce options, in lofts from 54 to 64 degrees.
Cobra ZL Driver and S2 Irons
Cobra is making great strides in the club market right now. Its two latest offerings are nothing short of outstanding. The 455cc ZL driver employs the company’s Adjustable Flight Technology hosel, so that you can use the included wrench to easily alter the face angle to adjust your ball flight. It features a carbon composite crown and sole, 6-4 titanium clubhead and clubface, milled rhombus laser-welded face insert, thin perimeter area, and a swingweight screw in the sole that helps balance the clubhead with the shaft. Ian Poulter just won the Barclays Singapore Open using this driver. Meanwhile, the S2 irons feature a polymer topline and toe insert, expanded urethane sole insert and vibration-dampening back plate that collectively lower the CG, increase MOI and enhance feel. The lighter materials free up discretionary weight, which is pushed low in the heel and toe to increase forgiveness. The clever sole design adds the forgiveness of a wide-sole iron with the playability of a narrow-sole iron. Lightweight shafts help enhance clubhead speed and distance.
HOT GEAR NEWS
Tour Edge announced its Xtreme Spin Tour Black 2010 wedge bearing a 1025 milled and 1.5mm-thin forged face backed by a core that is filled with a thermal plastic elastomer. Its grooves conform to the new USGA groove rules. Its Physical Vapor Deposition coating involves the deposition of a hard ceramic and diamond-like carbon coating via a vacuum-cure process… Bag Boy has introduced the lightweight Express Auto three-wheel push cart that folds in one step and features a smooth rolling, low profile, wide contact tire that eases maneuvering around the course… John Cook recently captured two Champions Tour tournaments in a three-week span. He attributes much of his success to his new Nike Golf Method putter. "I putted my short putts really well,” he said in published reports. “I mean five feet on in. I felt good with that distance and I felt good with my stroke. I got maybe a little more aggressive on the greens than I normally do."… Adidas Golf’s new TOUR360 4.0 shoe is made with advanced low-profile technology that brings a golfer closer to the ground. That means the golfer’s got a lower CG, which translates to more stability, better balance and footwork, increased power and more consistent ball striking. And they’re great-looking shoes, to boot… Titleist announced new versions of its popular Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges, these ones bearing the “Condition of Competition (C-C)” label in the title and in a logo on the back of the clubs. They’re just like last year’s Vokey wedges, except that these have grooves that conform with the 2010 USGA groove rules for competition, and have a gold-accented rear logo instead of red on the previous models…Shaft company UST Mamiya introduced its high-end, constant taper ATTAS International Series shafts that emphasize feel and performance…Odyssey’s White Ice line of putters debuts this week. Bearing a rich dark nickel finish, these have a new-and-improved face insert -- 19% firmer and 92% stiffer than previous models -- with enhanced sound and responsiveness.