Now Playing: PING Redwood PING putters dominated golf for much of the '70s and '80s with putter designs like the Anser that set the standard for all heel-toe-weighted models that followed. In recent years, PING's engineers have continued to develop new concepts and technologies, which have included extreme MOI mallets as well as a variety of different face inserts and materials. The newest line from PING returns to the company's roots with three basic designs, including the Anser, Zing and Piper S, but with a twist that's a first for the company: They're 100 percent precision-milled from 303 stainless steel. That's right, the company known for revolutionizing the casting process now offers entirely milled putters for the first time ever. Other features of the Redwood putters include black nickel chrome coating, Winn AVS grips and, of course, full customizability. Anser model shown ($250). www.pinggolf.com _Ê
Golf Balls The story isn't new. It's something we've heard time and again. Golf balls go too far, the USGA is upset, Augusta National is going to be lengthened to 10,000 yards. (Okay, so maybe that last one was an exaggeration.)
Whether or not there'll be limits imposed on how far the golf ball can go, the most important issue involving golf balls (as they relate to your game) remains picking the one that fits your specific swing DNA.
"It's the least expensive experiment we've found," says Dr. Tom Mase, Executive Vice President of Research & Development and Innovation at Hot Stix, a Scottsdale, Ariz., golf lab and fitting center. "People don't put enough thought into the type of ball they play. It can make a huge difference." Translation: Choosing the right ball for your game can be more beneficial than dropping five Benjamins on that new driver.
Check out these five new offerings for 2007. There's something for everyone._Ê_Ê
NIKE JUICE_Ê $19/dozen www.nikegolf.com How it's made: Two-piece construction, high-velocity core, 312 dimples (Nike's lowest). Who it's for: Golfers who generate low- to mid- clubhead speed and are looking for an extra boost._Ê_Ê_Ê What you'll be saying: "I've never achieved such _â__ðGinormous Hugantic Distance!'"
SRIXON Z-URC_Ê $39/dozen www.srixon.com How it's made: A three-piece urethane-elastomer cover that's only .02 inches thin. Who it's for: Players who crave distance off the tee and touch around the greens._Ê What you'll be saying: "I hit that about 302!"BRIDGESTONE B330_Ê $39/dozen www.bridgestonegolf.com How it's made: A multi-layer core and urethane cover that features a 330-dimple pattern. Who it's for: For solid feeling and big distance, try the B330; for soft greenside touch, try the B330-S. What you'll be saying: "Boom, boom." MAXFLI FIRE $19/dozen www.maxfli.com How it's made: Three-piece construction and Maxfli's "HPG 1000 SpeedMantle." Who it's for: Golfers looking for greenside feel and "blazing" ball speed. What you'll be saying: "Grip it and rip it."
WILSON STAFF FIFTY $16/dozen www.wilson.com How it's made: Two-piece, ionomer cover that clocks in at a super soft 50-compression. Who it's for: Golf warriors searching for a harmonic combination of feel and distance. What you'll be saying: "That's what I call Zen Golf."Mizuno Muscle Mizuno has always been known for manufacturing premium-quality forged irons and wedges, and soon, the company will be just as well known for combining its Grain Flow Forging process with game-enhancing designs. Exhibit one is the new MP FLI-HI irons that feature the aforementioned Grain Flow Forging for a soft feel and a Cut Muscle design for enhanced shotmaking. A Hollow Technology construction positions weight away from the face for a lowered CG and improved forgiveness. A sole design, featuring zero degrees of bounce and a large trailing edge, reduces turf drag. Available in 2-, 3- and 4-iron lofts (18, 21 and 24), the new MP FLI-HI irons are perfect replacements for long irons and utility woods ($155 steel; $180 graphite). www.mizunousa.com
Tour Validation The new PT 906F2 fairway metal from Titleist is available in 13-, 15- and 18-degree lofts and like all Titleist clubs, has been validated by plenty of Tour usage. The unique Multi-Relief Sole design is aimed at minimizing turf resistance and promoting contact with the leading edge of the sole. Through research with Tour players, Titleist has found that this type of ground contact provides both improved trajectory and directional control. Other features of the PT 906F2 include Optimized Sole Weighting for reduced draw bias, Dynamic Face Closure for a more neutral ballflight and improved shotmaking, a larger face area and square setup, multimaterial construction, bore-thru design and Tour-like looks ($200 steel; $250 graphite). www.titleist.com
A Baffler For Better Players? Hybrids have swept through golf like a hurricane, sending many a long iron to the used-club barrel and making the game a lot more fun for recreational players and pros alike. The original King Cobra Baffler is credited by many as the forbearer of today's amazingly popular utility clubs, and though the name might not be new, there's a new Baffler now designed for better players. Called simply, Baffler Pro ($159-$179), the club promotes a neutral setup (not closed) and also features a neutral-weighting scheme for enhanced shotmaking. A swing-weight tuning screw allows for customization and accommodation of a variety of different shafts. The Baffler Pro is available with a Fujikura Speeder graphite shaft or True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shaft, helping golfers better match either their irons or fairway wood. Lofts include 16-, 18-, 20- and 23-degree models. www.cobragolf.com
Accra Performance The SE 70 from Accra is built with both super-low torque and active tip technology to provide an outstanding combination of power and accuracy off the tee. Using an ultra-high modulus material, Accra engineers were able to create extreme strength and consistency in the SE 70 without making the shaft feel too "rigid" or overly harsh. The active tip section makes the SE 70 a great choice for advanced players who use a bore-thru driver, those who desire a slightly higher trajectory, or those who swing with a more fluid and slightly less aggressive motion. www.accragolf.com
Diamana Dynamics Representing the third flex profile in a series designed to meet the performance needs of top players, the new Diamana White Board (in conjunction with the Diamana Red and Blue Board models) graphite shafts are designed to provide exceptional stability while maintaining the much-desired, low-spin launch characteristics. The design enables players to powerfully load the shaft while maintaining tip stability, this time without facing that harsh feeling often associated with stiff-tip shafts. Three weight sets are available (63g, 73 and 83g), and the 73g and 83g both feature stiffer-tip sections. www.mitsubishirayongolf.com _Ê
Wedge Edge Ever notice how some of your wedges work better on different courses than others? That's often because the club's "bounce" is either too great or small for the course conditions (or, worse yet, for your swing). Well, the newest Tour Edge Bazooka JMAX Milled Face wedges hope to cure this problem. For one thing, they come in mid- and low-bounce versions (the mid-bounce model is perfect for softer conditions and players with a steep swing; the low-bounce model suits shallower swings and firm conditions). Another thing is the JMAX is made of 8620 carbon steel with a chromed-satin finish. Translation: a soft, buttery feel that'll have you getting up and down from everywhere. Oh, yeah, it also comes in a variety of lofts from 52 to 60 degrees ($69-$79). www.touredge.com