February-March 2008

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

new and notableNow Playing: Sight Lines Adaptability is all the rage in golf these days, which is something Bruce Sizemore, Jr., Chief Designer and Cofounder of the Sizemore Collection, understands. His XM putters ($349) feature interchangeable alignment aids (both parallel and perpendicular optical alignments) so golfers can choose an aid that fits their eye. Sizemore's putters also feature an IND-X cross-milled face finish that claims to be the flattest and most accurate on the market. (The cross-milling process results in a pattern that goes in 27 different directions.) The XM-1 is heel-shafted with built-in copper sight lines, while the XM-2 (shown) is center-shafted and triangular-shaped and features copper rail sight lines. Both are mallets. www.sizemoregolf.com

Green Reading Noted author and sports enthusiast George Plimpton once famously said (in reference to sports writing): "The smaller the ball, the better the prose." We assume he didn't mean ping-pong or marbles, but rather that golf had the sports world's best scribes—not just because we think we deserve Pulitzers (although if you're a voter, feel free to contact us), but because there's so much great material to write about. From biographical to anecdotal, pictorial to instructional, the subject matter of golf books is as varied as the sport itself.

Of course, as this is a magazine geared toward the enthusiast, we're partial to books that help chip away at our handicap or provide some enlightenment that will improve our game.

Check out some of the following offerings new to the bookstore and the Internet. They're all geared toward people who want to get better every time they tee it up.

Golf: The Ultimate Mind Game by Rick Sessinghaus new and notable

Frequent Golf Tips contributor Rick Sessinghaus maps out seven key principles of mentally tough golfers. Available at ricksessinghaus.com or amazon.com

Golf By Design by Jeff Ritter new and notable

Created as an e-book, this guide features video instructional clips, as well as weekly instructional "blogs." Available at golfbydesign.net

The Game Before the Game: The Perfect 30-Minute Practice by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott new and notable

Two of the game's most recognized teachers are back with a pre-game instructional book. Available at vision54.com and major booksellers

100 Classic Golf Tips by Christopher Obetz, Anthony Ravielli and Tom Watson new and notable

Those familiar with Ben Hogan's classic instruction book, Five Fundamentals, will recognize the sketches in this book by master illustrator Anthony Ravielli. Available at major booksellers

I've Got 99 Swing Thoughts but "Hit the Ball" Ain't One: Pick Up the Pace to Pick Up Your Game by Christopher Smith with Steve Eubanks new and notable

Smith, a top-ranked speed golfer, believes the faster you play, the better you'll score. Available at major booksellers

new and notable Bag Boys A perfect alternative to stuffing your shoes in your golf bag, the TaylorMade Players Bag ($39) features side panel vents, a fully padded shoe pocket and a rubberized handle. www.taylormadegolf.com

Give the impression you're a Tour pro en route to your next event with Cleveland's Large Duffle bag ($160), which features durable wheels and lockable zippers. Cardinal color only. www.clevelandgolf.com

Look stylish while you practice. PING's ball bag ($39) sports drain holes in the bottom, a zippered back pocket for accessories and a dual-zipper pull for easy access. Black and silver only. www.pinggolf.com

new and notableEmotional Rescue Since 2004 when Innovex Golf launched their System RLS wedges, the company has vowed to make affordable golf clubs. Now they're applying that philosophy to their new line of E-Motion golf balls ($35/dozen). The E-Motion features a Progressive Motion Dual Core that produces a firm feel off the tee and a soft touch around the greens. A unique Aeroblend cover and 392 dimple pattern provide Tour-like trajectory. www.innovexgolf.com

new and notableMagnetic Attraction On the heels of their popular dual-banded sports bracelet, Trion:Z introduces the sleek Palette Mag-Titan ($149). While the Palette, made from Ti-22 Titanium, is more formal in appearance than its predecessor, it still retains Trion:Z's therapeutic properties, generated by medical-grade magnets and minus ions. Add to that a capsule of minerals that release more minus ions than any other bracelet, and you have positive energy wrapped around your wrist. www.trionz.com

new and notable Groovy Getting (and then keeping) your putter on path is a must for anyone who struggles with making solid, square contact. Previous training aids have addressed traditional arc strokes, but Z-Factor's new Perfect Putting Machine ($299) can be adapted for six different swing planes, from arc to square-to-square strokes. The multifunctional training aid takes five minutes to set up and features a ball position indicator, stance alignment aid, optional clip for laser alignment and a magnetic carriage that attaches to your putterhead. (It can be reversed to fit left-handed players.) www.perfectputtingmachine.com

new and notableWater Club One of the most common reasons people slice the ball is that they don't properly release the club. The Swing Wave ($89), an inventive training aid designed around shifting water inside a chamber, helps give golfers a natural feeling of weight shift and release during the swing. The device comes in sizes ranging from 28 ounces for Juniors to a 48-ounce model for low-handicappers. Six drills promise to strengthen golf muscles, increase flexibility and increase clubhead speed. An optional training grip helps ingrain a proper grip. www.swingwave.com

new and notableGolf Quest The name says it all. Never Search for Golf is a DVD that displays the exact location of 18,745 private, public, resort and municipal golf courses in the U.S. Just click on the flag denoting a golf course, and all the relevant course information pops up; 1,600 driving ranges, 3,500 golf stores and 9,500 instructors are also represented. Advanced features include coupons, destination guides and more. Personal and business models available. www.never-search.com

new and notableClub Guard You might think three-putts are a golfer's worst nightmare—that is, until you unzip your travel bag to find that your $500 driver has just been snapped in two. SKB has been making sturdy cases for more than 30 years, and their super-hard polyurethane shells are U.S. military grade. The 2SKB-1649W (shown, $209) handles drivers up to 48 inches in length, features industrial-strength latches and can accommodate full-size staff bags. All SKB Hard Case Products are covered under a full warranty, and some models come with a $1,500 club coverage. www.skbcases.com

new and notableSporty Spikes It used to be that spikes were metal and something golfers didn't think much about. Sure, they sounded cool when they crunched against cart paths, but then everything changed. Courses started requiring alternative spikes, which opened the door for manufacturers to get creative with their designs. Consider Softspikes'_â_¨ Pulsar ($10). Their new limited-edition line offers a number of vibrant colors, including red, light blue and yellow, along with their durable webbed shield (to help stabilize golfers' feet) and Reactive Comfort Technology. www.softspikes.com

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