Getting Golf Fit for 2008
By Pete Wofford
Every year the newest technology teases you to come out and play a new game of golf. The engineers at the best equipment companies know your game better than you do. They know the average swing speed, launch angle and trajectory and how the average golfer’s ego likes to stretch the truth. They know the woods are full of slices, so build a draw bias driver. They know that modern fairways are bouncing the ball a bit farther, and providing minimal resistance at impact, hence a larger clubhead with stronger lofts. And they know that the fastest greens are making threeputts a standard, resulting in more putter options—shaft length, clubhead weight and loft.
So what makes 2008 the year of making an investment in your equipment? The savvy golfer is burnt out with years of marketing promises and instead is a better-educated consumer. The manufacturers know that as fewer new golfers enter the game, that the buzzwords of straighter and farther are passé.
Besides a new commitment to practice and lessons for the New Year, the timing may be right to make an investment in your equipment, as well. The Equipment and Standards committee from the U.S. Golf Association has introduced new shaft and clubhead fitting standards that has golf companies excited. Although the interchangeable shaft technology is forthcoming the clubfitting
process of matching swing speeds to launch angles is most precise.
So skip the hype and take a more serious look at these drivers, fairway woods, irons, wedges, putters and accessories with the single guarantee of step toward a better game.
Already a tour proven winner, the new TaylorMade TP (tour preferred) ball with the company’s LDP (low drag performance) aerodynamics features four-piece technology. The TP Red LDP features a 360-dimple pattern for higher trajectory
The e5+ is specifically designed for players looking for more carry distance off the tee through optimizing their trajectory height. According to the company, the e5+ is the only two-piece ball on the market to have a Urethane cover. The ball features Bridgestone’s seamless 330-dimple pattern.
The e5+ is specifically designed for players looking for more carry distance off the tee through optimizing their trajectory height. According to the company, the e5+ is the only two-piece ball on the market to have a Urethane cover. The ball features Bridgestone’s seamless
Tour Edge Exotics XCG
The XCG driver by Tour Edge Golf is what the company claims as “an engineering breakthrough that combines an ultra-lightweight, magnesium crown with a heavier hyper-steel body and a titanium cupped face.” The magnesium crown and hosel creates an extreme deep center of gravity position and high moment of inertia.
KZG is a boutique custom-fitting firm that sells only its own club designs through a team of certified fitters. The GF 460, the company’s entry in the moveable-weight genre, has two recessed chambers for weight plugs.
($409, steel; $439, graphite; kzgolf.com)
Nike Sumo 5900
Fortunately, there’s no limit on how straight you can hit. With the SQ Sumo 5900, Nike engineers have pushed MOI, volume and impact efficiency to the USGA limits. The new shape with a deeper clubface, and convex crown has improved acoustics.
The 460cc G10 driver is engineered with a cast body and fully machined face from high-grade 6-4 titanium. The 460cc club head features a larger profile with a taller face and deeper crown that produces a higher moment-of-inertia for greater forgiveness and increased ball velocity.
The L4V by Cobra is at the conformance limit for four variables: size (460 cc), moment of inertia (5,900), COR (0.83) and dimension (5-inch x 5-inch, heel to toe and face to rear). To hit its mark, LV4 has a titanium body with 50-gram tungsten back weight and a lightweight composite in the crown and sole. The crown weighs just half of what it would in titanium.
The I-701 is a forged cavity back iron that is traditional in the playing position, but designed with a generous sweet area and a pocket cavity, which allows for a lower and deeper center of gravity. The result is an extremely stable clubhead through impact enabling low to mid handicap golfers to get the ball airborne easier for higher, straighter and longer irons shots.
The new AP (aspiring player) family, AP1 and AP2 feature a multi-material construction and dual cavity design that the company claims to provide feel, forgiveness and playability. Four different materials are used in the construction of the AP irons, including a steel body, tungsten nickel steel box and central support bar with elastomer cushion and aluminum cavity plate. The AP1 iron body is cast with 431 stainless steel, while the AP2 is forged with 1020 mild carbon steel.
Miura CB 202
For generations one of the premier clubmakers in Japan has been Katsuhiro Miura, manufacturing tour caliber irons under his name and designing clubs for several larger U.S.-based companies. Initially marketed in the U.S. as a club component company, Miura Golf is now introducing the CB 202 iron, featuring a 14-step forging technique and player blade cosmetics.
New from Wilson is the Pi7 iron, a performance cavity-back blade that is tour proven, featuring a smaller clubhead, thin topline, minimal offset and Dynamic Gold steel shafts. But this is balanced by a bona-fide cavity, with enough perimeter weighting to answer slight misses.
The MP-57 is the first full cavity-back Mizuno iron but it’s still intended for the scratch to 12-handicapper crowd. By comparison, the MP-57 has a seven percent larger sweet spot than the player’s blade MP- 60, along with more offset in the mid- and long irons. Made from soft 1025 mild carbon steel provides more feel.
Cleveland HiBore Gold
Consumer demand for more hybrids replacing long irons is the inspiration behind Cleveland Golf’s new HiBore/Gold Combo set. Featured are eight irons—a three- and fourhybrid and GC Gold five-iron through pitching wedge.
Capitalizing on the success of square drivers, why not a fairway wood. The new FT-i Squareway features Fusion Technology with extreme corners of weight distribution. Multi-material construction of a stainless steel face with a carbon composite crown the Squareway 3-wood measures 214cc, and standard 431/2-inch graphite shaft.
The MP-T is a classic teardrop shape, in chrome or black nickel, with slim C-shaped sole grind. This design provides relief along the toe, heel and trailing edge for added versatility in all types of lies.
This stainless steel head—replacing CG11—features a “Gelback” insert behind the hitting area to soften feel. Large “zip grooves” channel more debris than typical grooves to maximize spin. There’s also more offset than in CG11 or CG12, based on feedback from Tour players.
Ping Tour W
The wedges feature a tungsten weight in the toe of the club, which increases the moment of inertia and improves forgiveness. The use of this high-density material also allows the club to be slightly smaller for increased playability out of various conditions.
Nike SV Tour Black Satin
Nike broadens the SV Tour line by adding five lofts with a black satin finish that gives these scoring clubs a “glare-free” look. Made from soft carbon steel, the wedges feature computer milled faces and U-grooves.
New for Scotty Cameron is the series of Studio Select, putters that are precision milled with circular weights in the heel and toe. With four Newport based models the new line features two different body styles—the Newport and Newport 2—and three different neck configurations—plumbing, short flair and mid-slant.
The GrooveTube by Yes Golf™ has a radical new design that combines form and function. The putter incorporates 3D visual alignment technology that the company claims will “guarantee perfect address and setup over every putt.”
TaylorMade Golf‚s new Rossa Monza Spider has generated industry buzz since the winner of the PGA Tour’s FBR Open in Phoenix. The Monza Spider’s moment of inertia (MOI) is the difference. A steel wire-frame head construction allows increased weight at the perimeter; a light and strong aluminum core allows more perimeter weight; and the Monza Spider’s features “wings” into which Movable Weight Technology cartridges are inserted.