June 2011

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

Best Bets For Father's Day

$300-$499

‹ Superstroke DCF Think Dad will like a premium flatstick made from soft 303 stainless steel? Look no further than SuperStroke's DCF putter ($350) designed by master puttermaker Bruce Sizemore. It features a Diamond Cut Face that increases the friction between the insert and the ball. superstrokegrip.com

Callaway Razr Hawk › It'd be hard to find two hobbies that appeal to men more than cars and golf. Callaway combines both in this year's RAZR Hawk driver ($399). Featuring a forged-composite body from the engineers at Lamborghini, the RAZR Hawk caters to the needs of different types of players. callawaygolf.com

‹ Ping i15 If your father is a "stick," he'll appreciate the engineering of PING's i15 driver ($349). It's neutrally weighted for better players who don't need help fighting a slice. With a big, deep face, the ballflight is amazingly consistent. ping.com

F2 golf › If you're tired of hearing Dad complaining about shanking the ball, consider buying him a set of F2 Golf SE irons ($499/set of steel-shafted). These forgiving, easy-to-hit game-improvement irons feature the company's famous dogleg hosel that's curved away from the leading edge of the face and back to the shaft. This provides a larger sweet spot and less drag from the rough or sand, and practically eliminates the possibility of a shank. f2golf.com

‹ Shafts Dad might have the newest driver, but does he have the right shaft? If he doesn't, he's missing out on Tour-like performance. Consider one of these three premium offerings that will complement his latest big stick:

The Tour AD DJ ($420) from Graphite Design has nanomaterial technology in its tip section that helps produce more distance while maintaining optimal launch and spin. UST Mamiya's Attas-T2 ($399) features reduced ply inserts and maximized full-length layers that create a balance between torque and flex for more efficient shaft loading, while the 47-inch Mitsubishi Rayon's Bassara Wyvern ($350) helps you increase your driving distance by maximizing clubhead speed. For more information, visit their websites: gdintl.com, ustmamiya.com and mitsubishirayongolf.com.

$200-$299

‹ Cleveland Xl 270 Someone you know looking for an extra few yards off the tee? Who isn't? Cleveland's new all-titanium Launcher XL270 driver ($299) was optimized with Right Weight tech, meaning it's amazingly light and perfectly balanced so it doesn't feel too light. Weighs an impressively featherweight 270 grams and launches the ball a mile. clevelandgolf.com

Srixon Z-Star › If Dad's a tinkerer, he'll love Srixon's new Z-Star 3-wood ($249). The classic-looking fairway metal comes in two lofts (15_¡ and 18_¡) and has an adjustable hosel so you can alter its clubface angle and lie configurations for a true, custom fit–on the fly. srixon.com

‹ Aldila Rip Here's another shaft offering, but one that's priced for less than $300. The Aldila RIP's new Beta ($299) version has a slightly softer tip flex than the original RIP for a slightly higher launch and more spin. aldila.com

‹ Fujikura Blur Fujikura's new lightweight Blur ($299) shaft comes in three models and was built for golfers who want a light but very durable shaft. fujikuragolf.com

Piretti Golf › The classy-looking, well-balanced Cottonwood II ($265) from Piretti Golf was milled from a solid billet of 11L17 carbon steel. pirettigolf.com

$100-$199

‹ Sonocaddie V300+ If accurately measuring distances is a problem for Dad, consider buying him Sonocaddie's V300+ GPS unit ($199). It comes preloaded with basic icon-based hole layouts for more than 16,000 U.S. courses and can be used right out of the box with no downloading and no fees. sonocaddie.com

Nike Lunar Control › Tour pro Paul Casey advised Nike on the creation of their new, lightweight Lunar Control shoes ($190), and with professional input, you know they're built for performance, stability and comfort. They feature a waterproof leather upper, Lunarlon cushioning in the heel and a Nike Power Platform for more flexibility and greater natural motion. Oh, and they look cool, too. nikegolf.com

‹ Adams Idea Tech V3 The newest iteration of Adams' popular Idea hybrid family, the Idea Tech V3 ($199) is easy to hit, thanks to an ultrathin clubface and tungsten weighting in its stainless-steel heads. A V-shaped, four-way cambered sole and recessed heel and toe areas reduce turf drag for playability and versatility, which reduces turf interference. adamsgolf.com

Mizuno MP T-11 › Mizuno's MP T-11 wedge ($119) is forged from a special grade of mild carbon steel, for soft and consistent shots, and the QUAD-CUT grooves really add some bite. Just the right stick if Dad needs to generate plenty of spin. Perfect for better players who like to shape shots around the green. mizunogolf.com

‹ Grafalloy Booyah Featuring a low bend point and a high-trajectory design to maximize launch angle, Grafalloy's BooYah ($100) shaft is for anyone who wants a softer overall shaft flex. grafalloy.com

$0-$99

‹ IZZO Swami The most affordable stand-alone GPS unit, the Izzo Swami 3000 ($99) measures yardages to the front, middle and back of the green. What's better is that it's loaded with every golf course in North America–a major upgrade from the previous model, which held only 10. izzo.com

Titleist Pro V1 › The number-one ball in golf has been upgraded for 2011. Titleist's Pro V1 and Pro V1x ($58/dozen) balls boast different dimple patterns. The Pro V1 delivers increased spin control and a more consistent flight, thanks to a new ZG process core technology, responsive ionomeric casing layer, urethane elastomer cover and dimple design. The V1x provides longer distance and more consistent flight. titleist.com

‹ Nike Method Core About half the price of last year's Method putter, the Nike Method Core ($130) has a grooved face and polymer-aluminum insert, which Nike claims grabs the ball and gets it rolling faster. nikegolf.com

Grips › Grips are some of the most affordable and worthwhile gifts you can buy Dad, and with 14 clubs in the bag, we guarantee that something–driver, putter, wedge–needs to be regripped. Consider either buying him an entire new set or individual grips from Black Widow, Golf Pride, Itomic, Lamkin, Pure, Sharpro, SuperStroke, UST Mamiya or Winn.

‹ Grip Solid If dad struggles to hold the club properly, consider buying him the Grip Solid ($20) a thin, flexible rubber strap that fits over your golf glove. Right hand only. gripsolid.com

Sharpro 3Cat › Sharpro's new 3CAT grip ($4.99 cord, $3.99 noncord) provides the security of a velvet cord and the soft, tacky feel of a wrap. The addition of anti-torsion bars, made from higher-density rubber, positioned at the top half of the grip to work in conjunction with the soft cord, creates unrivaled control and security for the golfer. sharprogrip.com

‹ The Timeless Swing It'd be hard to find a "seasoned golfer" with more longevity than Tom Watson. Consider his nearly historic victory at the 2009 Open Championship at age 59. Now Watson is parlaying his wisdom into a new book, titled The Timeless Swing ($30). Divided into seven easy-to-read chapters with many full-page color photographs, Watson's new addition to the golf-book instruction canon may have been written from the perspective of a 61-year-old, but his knowledge is, well, timeless. simonandschuster.com

Trion: Z › As seen on young guns, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy, Trion: Z bracelets ($20-$23) and necklaces ($30-$37) combine a unique technology of magnets and negative ions to improve performance on the golf course and off. trionz.com

‹ Tifosi Slope Tifosi's Slope ($60) fits medium to large faces and is made from Grilamid TR-90, a highly flexible nylon. Comes in 14 different color options. tifosioptics.com

Tour Striker › The highly popular Tour Striker ($100) training aid comes in six models, including a 56-degree wedge, 5-iron and 7-iron. It's just the thing a beginning golfer needs if he can't grasp the idea of "hitting down on the ball." tourstriker.com

‹ Tour Edge Backdraft The most affordable putter on the market, Tour Edge's Backdraft ($49) has a high-contrast white head and jumbo-sized grip, two technologies never before combined in putter design. touredge.com

Taylormade Targa Tour › Made from AAA cabretta leather, TaylorMade's Targa Tour ($15) glove features micro perforations on its palm and back that facilitate airflow to your entire hand. And with more air cooling golfers' palms, your hands stay cooler, and the glove lasts longer. The Targa's Performance Lycra across its pinkie and ring fingers make for added flexibility. Wearing this glove made us feel dry, cool and confident. Not to mention pretty sporty too. taylormadegolfgear.com

‹ Bionic Performance According to the folks at Bionic, traditional gloves reduce hand strength by 20%. This results in additional hand fatigue during a round of golf. But, they say, less than 10% is lost with the Bionic. That's just one reason why you should consider buying their Performance ($30) glove. It also benefits people who suffer from arthritis or hand pain. Each finger of the Performance has three multilayered terrycloth and leather zones on the palm side that absorb moisture and help conform to one's natural hand shape for a relaxed grip–thus putting less pressure on your hand. The Lycra in the finger and palm's flexion zones makes the glove more flexible, cooler and comfortable. And its mid-axis longitudinal seam helps fight hand fatigue. We've played with Bionic for years and can attest that their support has been invaluable. bionicgloves.com

Cleveland Tour Action › Made from premium cabretta leather to ensure consistent feel and fit, Cleveland's Tour Action glove ($19) yields the kind of feel Tour players love. We tested it out and its soft, comfortable feel felt as if we were wearing another layer of skin, not a leather glove. Perhaps that's because Cleveland used a tanning process that utilizes hybrid resins to maintain the leather's original softness. It felt as if the glove couldn't and wouldn't ever harden. Don't be fooled by its luxury feel. This glove will stand up to many swings of the club. clevelandgolf.com

‹ Tiger Woods: My Swing Want to capture your swing on the range and compare it to Tiger's? Consider his new iPhone and iPod Touch app called Tiger Woods: My Swing ($9.99). It allows golfers to analyze their swings, compare them with Tiger's and share them with Golfshot's community. What a great way to analyze your swing and learn from the game's best golfer. Available in 12 languages, including English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish. Proceeds benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation. To download, visit the Apple App Store. shotzoom.com

Cobra S3 › Cobra's new, forgiving S3 fairway woods ($169) and hybrids ($127) were built for golfers who need some extra help launching the ball in the air. The fairway wood features a large, hot face and comes in three lofts with a stock Fujikura Blur shaft, while the hybrid comes in four lofts and can be purchased as part of a larger iron set. Comes in S3 Max version, too. cobragolf.com

Correction: The 2011 Golf Equipment Buyers' Guide featured the Cobra S3 fairway woods and hybrids with incorrect images. We apologize for the error.

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