June 2010

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

NOW PLAYING: PUTTERS

Engineered with a stainless-steel outer body and a urethane inner section to maximize perimeter weighting and increase its MOI, PING's Jas Craz-D ($199) is a multimaterial marvel. Features a lightweight nanonickel insert for a better feel at contact. Available in RH and LH models, it also comes in a Craz-E version. ping.com

The natural bronzed finish of Titleist's Scotty Cameron California putters ($299) feature the same technology as Cameron's Studio Select line, but come in more lengths and weights. Precision milled from soft 303 stainless steel and fitted with circular weights in the heel and toe, each model comes in 33-, 34- and 35-inch lengths as well as 34- and 35-inch heavier-weight configurations. Four models available: Coronado, Monterey, Sonoma and Del Mar (shown). titleist.com

A stainless-steel head with a milled face and a clear, yellow, urethane face insert helps the Adams a7 Select ($69) putter stand out from the rest of the pack. We liked the splash of yellow color, both in the putterface and the grip; not to mention the soft feel at impact. Comes in four models: two Anser style, one blade and one mallet. adamsgolf.com

Weight is placed deep in the rear corner of Rife's Deep Blue series ($169) for increased stability and a high MOI. What we liked the most however is its fully milled 6061 anodized-aluminum face insert that yielded a solid feel and impact sound. Perfect if you want better distance control and like bold alignment aids. rifeputters.com

A "Stability Slot" cavity located behind the face of the new Dynacraft Prophet Tour irons ($35/clubhead) enhances their playability, feel and control. But what we like the most is how smooth and surprisingly easy they are to hit. Custom-built from 3 to SW, with a variety of steel or graphite shaft options. hirekogolf.com

Cobra's S2 driver ($299) features an adjustable hosel that changes the face angle from neutral to closed to open. Plus it has 9 Point Face Technology that helps promote ball speed across the entire clubface. Comes in four lofts, 8.5_¡, 9.5_¡, 10.5_¡ and 11.5_¡. Stock shaft is Fujikura's Fit-On Max 65 (L, R, S, X flexes). Measures a lengthy 46 inches. cobragolf.com cobragolf.com

Designed for better players, Adams' Idea Pro Black hybrid ($199) delivers a penetrating ballflight and the ultimate trifecta: big distance, forgiveness and workability. Slightly offset with a thin sole for better digging and 25 grams of low, rear weighting, the Idea Pro Black is compact and workable–just the club you need to escape any lie. Built with a maraging-steel face and 17-4 stainless steel, it comes with a stock Aldila VooDoo or Matrix Ozik shaft. Comes in five lofts: 16_¡, 18_¡, 20_¡, 23_¡ and 26_¡, and three flexes, X, S and R. adamsgolf.com

Bridgestone's J38 Black Oxide wedge ($119) features precision shaping that aims to replicate the finer hand-ground Tour-level wedges. Plus the Variable Bounce Technology sole has less bounce on the heel and toe, so you more easily can open and close the face. Available in five lofts (52_¡-60_¡) with DG steel shafts. bridgestonegolf.com

TOP NEW CLUBS THAT SPORT AN ALL-BLACK FINISH

Cleveland's CG7 Black Pearl irons ($799/$999) feature a black pearl finish that's so sweet, we can barely stand it. All the cool Gelback Tech and heel-toe weighting is still there, only it's jet black. Plus they're remarkably forgiving. And with new groove rules, the Laser-Milled grooves seem to really help hold the greens. Comes in a Tour version, too. Available in a variety of steel or graphite shaft options. clevelandgolf.com

The aggressive Mack Daddy Grooves on the Callaway X Series Jaws wedge ($109) produce maximum spin, control and versatility, and the forged 1020 carbon steel makes for Tour-level feel. The C-shaped sole relieves the heel, toe and trailing edge. Comes in lofts of 50_¡, 52_¡, 54_¡, 56_¡, 58_¡, 60_¡ and 64_¡, and choice of steel or graphite shaft. callawaygolf.com

From master club maker, Jesse Ortiz, comes the world's first bendable hybrid. The Workshop Edition ($199) from Bobby Jones Golf are the only hybrids that can be bent (and thus change your lie and launch angles). So, if you consistently slice the ball, now you can close the clubface; if you tend to hook it, all you have to do is open it. It's the first time the average golfer has what Tour pros have had at their disposal. Comes in four lofts: 16_¡, 18_¡, 20_¡ and 22_¡ (and replaces your 1-4 irons). Three flexes: senior, regular and stiff. bobbyjonesgolf.com

Shaft stalwart UST Mamiya has entered the grip market with three new offerings: the Pro DC, a half-cord grip preferred by better players looking for torsional strength in the upper hand and a soft, velvety feel in the mid and lower section of the grip; the Comp SC, which utilizes the latest compression molding technology and finest rubber, and provides low torque as well as the ultimate in traction and feel; and the Tour PC, a proprietary blend of the finest natural and synthetic rubber compounds, which promote a velvet-soft feel and a glint texture for an exceptional torsionally tight, long-lasting grip. ustmamiya.com

Sonocaddie's new touch-screen V500 (15 courses for $29.95, 100 courses for $49.95) comes preloaded with 16,000 U.S. golf courses in a color course layout, and the options to download a total of 22,000 worldwide courses. It stores a total of 30,000 courses, features a scorecard and has no annual fees. sonocaddie.com

Rulesixteen ($15) from rule golf is a streamlined divot-repair tool and ball marker that features a rectangular shape and makes it easier to visually extend the line of your putt and aim better. Its one-of-a-kind ergonomic design and well-weighted, metal body sport a slide-action ball marker. ruletwentyone.com

Club Glove's new HotStepper II Bag ($129) is a lightweight stand bag for golfers who love to walk. Weighing only three and a half pounds, the second-generation bag is the company's lightest stand bag to date, offering supreme functionality. The HotStepper II includes a collapsible leg stand, five pockets, a dual shoulder strap that converts to a single strap for caddies and a functional lumbar pad for maximum comfort. clubglove.com

The tailor-cut Pure Touch Limited Glove ($28) from FootJoy is made from some of the softest, most exclusive Cabretta leather we've ever felt. In fact, it felt so luxurious–almost like a thin layer of air on our hands–that we felt guilty gripping a club with it. Comes in a sophisticated package design and in five sizes. Available only in a limited number of shops. footjoy.com

Featuring the same innovative and eco-friendly design of the original Epoch, the new Epoch-S3 ($8.99/50) incorporates the company's Sweet Spot System that takes the guesswork out of consistently teeing at the proper height by aligning the ball with the driver's "sweet spot," assuring optimum distance on every drive. And they're made out of recycled materials. evolvegolf.com

The La Fresh Golf Pack ($5.99) includes three insect-repellent wipes, three SPF 30 sunscreen wipes, two shoe-shine wipes and two deodorant wipes. In particular, the sunscreen wipes are a great alternative to bottles and tubes that make a mess in your golf bag and make your hands greasy. lafreshgroup.com

Having mapped more than 25,000 courses worldwide, it makes sense that GolfLogix ($39/year) made its software available for smartphones. The new GolfLogix smartphone software not only gives precise yardage, but also tracks your stats. It runs on iPhones, Blackberrys, Google's Android and Nokia Symbian models. On March 1, the company introduced the upgraded version 1.2 of its smartphone software, resulting in nearly two dozen upgrades that improve its functionality and graphics. For more information, visit the iTunes store or golflogix.com

Louisville's SMART ProB.E. ($309-$339) features an enlarged pear-shaped clubhead that was developed with the feedback of a four-time PGA Tour champ, and is the perfect kind of throwback club for anyone who thinks metal woods just don't cut it. The 250cc clubhead comes in an 11_¡ version. Available in five flexes (R, S, X, A, L) and graphite and steel shafts. louisvillegolf.com

New from Tiger Shark, the Pressure Zone grips ($7.50/each) feature Modified Taper Technology, which essentially means these grips don't taper down as much as standard grips. They actually stop tapering midway through the grip, which both alleviates excessive tension in the upper hand and also provides added control for the lower hand. Other cool features include SuperStroke LITE Tech (the grip only weighs 40 grams) and a SyntheTac material for exceptional gripping, water wicking and shock absorption. tigersharkgolf.com

The new V1 Golf iPhone app ($9.99) is the only mobile swing software that allows you to compare your swing (in a side-by-side comparison) to a pro's. Developed by the makers of V1 Pro, golf's most popular video-analysis software, users can capture and e-mail their swing to a golf instructor for professional analysis. Video drill library available, too. For more information, visit the iTunes app store.

Three perfect clubs for the u.s. open

The weighting scheme of PING's i15 3-wood ($229) actually has a fade bias. Perfect for better players who want to manipulate their trajectory and hit a variety of shots"and fairways. Comes in three lofts (14_¡, 15.5_¡, 18.5_¡) with PING TFC 700 or UST Mamiya AXIVCore graphite shafts. pinggolf.com

It's the world's first adjustable-face wedge! With the TaylorMade TP xFT wedge ($129), you can replace worn-out grooves with a brand-new face, or alternate between aggressive and nonaggressive grooves. Perfect to escape what will be long Pebble Beach rough. Available in six lofts (52_¡-64_¡) with DG steel shafts. taylormadegolf.com

The finely crafted Cameron Studio Select putters ($325) from Titleist are milled from high-grade stainless steel and feature two fixed heel and toe weights for even better stability at impact. Their great feel and weight will help contenders get the ball rolling the exact right distance on Pebble's greens. Eight models available. titleist.com

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