Now Playing: Back In Black Finally! We've been waiting for a 460cc version of the r7 Quad for a couple years now, and this year the people at TaylorMade Golf answered the call. For starters, the new r7 Superquad ($399) is not only the best adjustable-weight driver the company has ever produced, it's also the sexiest. Equipped with an all-black finish, a deep-face and the company's signature Moveable Weight Technology, the r7 Superquad is more forgiving and longer than ever. How, you say? It starts with TaylorMade's Ultra-Thin Wall Technology, a feature that's no longer reserved just for the crown. Instead, it covers virtually the entire structure of the clubhead. This enabled designers to place four weight ports in the r7 Superquad without weighing the clubhead down, a feat previously not accomplished with the older r7 460 that had only two ports.
Adjustable-weighting aside, we couldn't help but notice the vastly improved level of forgiveness the r7 Superquad has over previous models. It's unofficially the first quad-weighted driver for the masses, thanks to high MOI and remarkable distance on mis-hits.
For more information on the r7 Superquad, the TP version (pictured) and TaylorMade's popular RE*AX graphite shaft, log on to www.taylormadegolf.com
In between shots at this year's Masters, Zach Johnson could be seen wearing high-performance eyewear. But he isn't the only player who's opted to add shades to his list of indispensable equipment. Eyewear can be seen on everyone from Brett Wetterich to Tiger Woods (at this year's Dubai Desert Classic). Why are so many Tour pros covering up their eyes?
Rocky Fresh, Business Development Manager for adidas Eyewear, says the population is getting more educated. "Everyone wears sunscreen but only one percent of the population get melanoma," Fresh says. Despite these low numbers, Fresh acknowledges there's a much greater chance people will suffer from eye damage. "Thirty percent of all 60-year-olds contract light-related vision impairments," Fresh says. And, as you get older, the numbers worsen. "Forty-five percent of 70-year-olds [suffer from vision impairment]," he continues._Ê
Although it's clear some golfers have gotten the message, most still play without eyewear, leaving their eyes susceptible to a myriad of ailments. The irony, as Fresh points out, is that many people envision lots of golf in retirement, only to have their time on the course compromised. "Unless your vision is protected, it'll start to go once you reach the age you can really start to enjoy the game," he says._Ê
adidas _â" T-sight L
The Scoop: A 100% distortion-free lens and no optical "sweet spot."_Ê The Lens: Light Stabilizing Technology minimizes how much your eyes must adjust between light conditions. Why you should buy it: Adaptable construction means it fits different faces.
SunBuster _â" The Fuzzy
The Scoop: Sunbuster's Sports Enhancement Eyewear protects sensitive eyes from damaging rays. The Lens: The purple PuttReader lens helps bring out green contours. Why you should buy it: More than 150 Tour professionals and caddies wear 'em.
Tifosi _â" Scatto
The Scoop: The Scatto has adjustable ear and nose pads. The Lens: The EC lens (shown) actually enhances terrain details and helps the wearer read the greens._Ê_Ê Why you should buy it: Lightweight, customized fit and increased comfort.
Peakvision _â" Sports ELO
The Scoop: Made from pure titanium, the Sports ELO slender frame is great for smaller faces. The Lens: Dual Zone technology maintains clarity and depth perception. Why you should buy it: The ELO weighs less than a dozen paper clips.
Callaway _â" Hybrid Series
The Scoop: The new collection blends magnesium and hi-tech alloys that combine to make a durable frame. The Lens: NEOX technology helps preserve depth of field. Why you should buy it: Clean, sporty shape that looks more golf than NASCAR.
Buy 'em Now! We found these prices online! adidas T-sight: $135 | www.adidas.com/eyewear SunBuster Sport Enhancement Eyewear (The Fuzzy): $140 | www.sunbuster.info Tifosi Scatto: $60 | www.tifosioptics.com Peakvision Sports EL1: $229-$469 | peakvisionsports.com Callaway Hybrid Series: $130 | callawayeyewear.com
Silver Streak When Mark Wilson captured this year's Honda Classic, a lot of people were just as impressed with what the Chicagoan was wearing as his gutsy play. To clear things up: the 32-year-old journeyman wears Sunice, a Canadian apparel company that makes shirts out of silver. Yes, silver. Sunice's X-Static_â_¨ technology chooses the metal because of its great thermo regulating, anti-odor and anti-static properties. Shown from left to right are the Bremer Classic, Rufus Sport and Austen Urban Smart Layer Polo Shirts. $59-69. www.sunice.com_Ê
The Deuce If distance is important to you, but accuracy is even more critical, the new HiBORE XL 2-Wood ($390) may be right up your alley. Designed with 16 degrees of loft, a smaller clubhead (approx 400cc) and a spiffy 44-inch shaft, this new offering from Cleveland Golf is the ideal choice for accurate tee shots. The added loft helps to generate more backspin for straighter drives and is especially helpful for players who have moderate to slow swing speeds who could use an extra boost of trajectory. Then again, for fast swingers, the HiBORE 2-wood is an effective driver alternative on golf courses that put a premium on driving accuracy. Either way, it's a blast to hit. For more info, log onto www.hibore.com.
Make Your Mark While other putter manufacturers are extending their alignment aids behind the ball, the new Tiger Shark Optix putter ($149) is putting its alignment right on top of it. Designed to work best with the Line M Up ball marking tool (a device used for marking golf balls with a straight line), the Optix is precision-milled of aluminum for an even density and balanced feel. Other features include Tiger Shark's new version of the company's legendary jumbo-sized grip. Called the UltraTac, this new oversized model was designed in cahoots with Winn Grips. The cool new putter headcover is dual-functional, serving as a protector of the putterhead and also a holder of both the Line M Up tool and a permanent marker. For more information, log on to www.tigersharkgolf.com.
Forward Thinking The follow up to the highly popular f2 wedge, the new f2 Plus ($99) is 15-percent larger for even more forgiveness. However, it's the interesting hosel deign that's positioned away from the leading edge that makes the f2 Plus a cinch to use in the sand and virtually unshankable from the rough and fairway. As for its looks, well, we agree these wedges take some getting used to. But once you do, the performance is arguably the most forgiving of any wedge we've tried here at GT. Also new this year are the f2 Irons that feature the Face Forward hosel design. For more information on f2 Wedges and f2 Irons, visit www.f2golf.com._ÊBetter Than Ever? Could Titleist really improve on the most impactful ball in the last 30 years? Apparently so. The new Pro V1 and Pro V1x both incorporate a new hidden seam design via a "staggered wave parting line" and also feature a new alignment marking that eliminates the need to draw a line with a marker. In addition, both golf balls feature a higher coverage dimple design, more distance and more responsiveness around the greens than with previous models. For the scoop, log on to www.titleist.com.
It's rare for a new golf ball to come out and take on such a presence both on the PGA Tour and in golf shops in just a matter of months, but the Bridgestone B330 and B330-S seemed to fit in right away with the other elite golf balls in the high-performance category. And like the Pro V1 balls, the B330 and B330-S both have undergone improvements, albeit this time with a more resilient core, an enhanced middle layer, and a cover that's both more durable and more playable around the greens. The new B330 is still firmer than the new B330-S, but both balls are exceptionally long and spin very well with short shots. For more, log onto www.bridgestonegolf.com.
Island Beauty The new Barbados putter ($179) from Rife Putters (formerly Guerin Rife) is as the company describes it, "Tour driven." The Barbados has an elegant mallet shape that Tour professionals prefer, but still lends some helpful alignment aids, thanks to a three-line design. Also, like all Rife Putters, the Barbados comes with a RollGroove face, which features a series of reverse grooves (that protrude rather than recess) to help minimize skidding and promote a faster and smoother end-over-end roll. The Barbados also comes equipped with LieAlign technology. For more information, log onto www.rifeputters.com.
Twice As Effective Jack Nicklaus may be through playing competitive golf, but that doesn't mean the equipment company that bears his name is taking a rest. The revived Nicklaus Golf has introduced several great new pieces of equipment in 2007. Among the headliners is the new Dual Point driver ($299), designed with the optimal face flex point and the center of gravity positioned directly in line with one another. This means more trampoline effect and distance. The Dual Point driver also features a weight plug low and deep for impact stability. For more info, log onto www.nicklausgolf.com._Ê