April 2011

The latest in golf equipment, instruction, training aids, apparel & more

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PUTTERS


Wilson
Do you tend to pull or push putts? Well, chances are that your eyes aren't looking directly down on the ball. The Wilson Vizor ($150) hopes to change all that with this futuristic-looking mallet that incorporates something called the I-Lock optic system that lets you know when you're perfectly aligned (an indicator line in the slot turns white or red). With an aluminum body and stainless-steel periphery, it's not too heavy to make a solid pendulum motion. Features a urethane insert and comes in both right- and left-handed models. wilson.com

Edel Golf
The Variable Weight ($500) line of putters from Edel Golf allow golfers to change the clubhead's weight from 314 to 384 grams. Why would you want to do that? Increasing or decreasing the putterhead's weight makes it easier to retain your normal stroke on greens with different speeds. While that may be true, what we really like is the Texas company's craftsmanship. All its putters all milled from a block of 303 stainless steel and come in six head shapes. edelgolf.com

Never Compromise
Since 1997, Never Compromise has been producing putters of all shapes and sizes, but nothing quite as handsome as its new Gambler ($299) line. The four quality flatsticks are sure to turn heads on the course. The two blades and two mallets are made from soft 303 stainless steel and feature unique Vegas-themed artwork machined into the sole of each model. We had a chance to roll them at this year's PGA Merchandise Show, and they're the real deal. Well-balanced, and with a soft face and just the right weight–jackpot! nevercompromise.com

Missing too many putts from within 10 feet? SKLZ' new Vari-Break Putting Green ($99) should take care of that. You can replicate virtually every putt you'll ever have from within 10 feet: left to right, right to left, uphill, downhill, even double breakers. How? The Vari-Break comes with two foam wedges that you slip underneath its surface to change the green's break. Comes with a putt pocket that you can move from one side of the green to the other, to expand and shrink the amount of break by a few feet. A great idea. sklz.com
Nike
Grooves on a putter? Sure. The idea's been around for a while (see Rife's Roll Groove Technology), and last year, Nike got into the game with its premium Method, which made a splash on Tour. This year, they're offering a more affordable version called the Method Core ($130). Nike claims the part of the white polymer grooves that's not filled in grabs the ball and gets it rolling faster. Features a handsome black nickel finish. Available in three blades and two mallets. Good to see a more affordable version of the popular Method. nikegolf.com

Odyssey
When looking down on the clubhead of Odyssey's D.A.R.T. (Direction and Realignment Technology) putters ($179), you'll see what looks like a dart pointing toward the target. The three converging white lines meet at the center of the clubface, and the golfer fills in the rest as the imaginary line extends toward the hole. Features a White Ice insert that's been roughened to enhance the sound at impact and promote forward roll. There's a lot going on with the D.A.R.T. line, but once you adjust to the sight lines, they roll nice and true. odysseygolf.com


CLUBS


Adams
Now in its fifth generation, Adams' Speedline drivers are built to counteract the drag created by large, 460cc clubheads. This year, its F11 driver ($300) addresses it by adding what's called Velocity Slot Technology, or rather, a ridge, that helps reduce drag by up to 35% and add an extra 12 yards to your drives. Comes in a slightly longer shaft (45.875 inches) and four lofts. Draw models and fairway woods available too. adamsgolf.com

Cleveland
2011 will be remembered as the year when club companies gave us really cool-looking clubs. Cleveland's Mashie ($150) utility club boasts a cool Retro-Raw finish that brings to mind metal woods of the 1980s. Cool looks aside, the Mashie performs! With a Gliderail on its sole, it weighs 30 grams less than Cleveland's last hybrids, and is just what you need to escape from any kind of gnarly lie. Comes in five lofts and a 59-gram Miyazaki shaft. clevelandgolf.com

Nike
The pear-shaped Nike VR Pro Driver ($400) boasts a compression channel on its sole that the com-pany claims makes it "hotter" and more forgiving. But its best feature remains Nike's STR8-FIT adjustable technology, which allows golfers to tweak the club into 32 different positions to optimize ballflight and shape. Also new is a less obtrusive hosel. Comes in four lofts, 8.5°-11.5° and has a four-piece titanium forging and a thin crown that subtracts weight. nikegolf.com



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