March 2011

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

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NIKE SQ MACHSPEED
Nike’s second-generation SQ MACHSPEED ($300) comes in two clubhead shapes (square and round). How does it differ from last year’s model? Well, for one thing, it’s got a cool black finish; the other is that it’s lighter. (The clubhead is the same weight; the shaft and grip are lighter.) Perfect for golfers who like to tweak their setup because both models feature STR8-FIT adjustable-face-angle technology. Look for a larger clubhead in the square model (in breadth and face area), which increases the MOI and ball speed across more of the face. nikegolf.com

FOURTEEN GOLF ST-110 DRIVER
The traditional-looking, but modernly engineered four-piece, premium, ST-110 Driver ($699) from Fourteen Golf features an aerodynamic crown that combines two different types of Titanium: 15-3-3 that’s used close to the clubface and KS-100 near the rear. Engineers combined those superlight materials to lower the CG toward the sole and provide a higher launch angle and, hence, yield longer drives. A great stick, but are you willing to drop $700 for it? Test it and see. fourteengolf.com

GOLF PRIDE V-RAD RIVALRY
With so many new putter grip designs flooding the market, how do you know which one is right for you? Consider size, shape, design and materials. Golf Pride answered them all in their V-RAD Rivalry putter grip ($10), which is just the thing you’ll want if you’re feeling patriotic on the links. We dug its light (though not superlight) semi-pistol shape, too. In particular, we don’t like grips that are distracting when we putt, and the V-RAD offered the perfect blend of tackiness and texture without calling too much attention to itself…other than its cool looks. golfpride.com

LAMKIN E.B.L
Lamkin’s four new E.B.L. putter grips ($6.99-$10.99) were named after the company’s founder, Elver B. Lamkin, and made with the company’s 3GEN synthetic rubber compound, a soft and tacky material that’s easy to grip. We tested all four new models and can say that it all comes down to which shape, size and texture you like to feel in your grip. We really dug the ones with surface pattern (E.B.L. Pistol, E.B.L. Paddle and E.B.L. Midsize Paddle). If you like a smoother feel, go with the tacky, but texture-less E.B.L. Smooth Pistol. lamkingrips.com

WINN GRIPS
Winn Grips introduces two new grips that will help you play better golf and contribute to two worthy causes. The 5LF-Hero ($8.49) features WinnLite grip technology, which not only makes your club lighter but makes it easier to swing faster, too. The M8WS-BPK ($6.99) is a soft, tacky and comfortable Excel material, which comes in a Medalist pistol size. What we liked the most, however, was that proceeds from the sales of both go to worthy causes: the Troops First Foundation and Breast Cancer research. All in all, it’s a win-win for Winn. winngrips.com

LAMKIN R.E.L
Lamkin’s new R.E.L. grip ($7.99) features the company’s patent-pending 3GEN synthetic rubber compound and a distinctive surface pattern so the golfer can apply light grip pressure and gain more control of the club throughout the golf swing. Comes with either white or black butt cap. Weighs 52 grams. lamkingrips.com

NIPPON N.S. PRO MODUS3 TOUR 120
Swing like a Tour pro? (Or at least close to one?) Then you’ll benefit from Nippon’s new N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 ($35/club) steel irons shafts. The Japanese company wisely spent lots of time talking with PGA Tour pros to develop these players’ shafts. They produce a desired trajectory, accurate distances and tight dispersion that low-handicappers crave. The shaft weights range from 114 to 126 grams and come in S, X and Tour X flexes. It’s good to see one of the best shaft companies designing a line specifically for better players. nipponshaft.com.


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