Now Playing: The Heat Is On! New for 2007, TaylorMade is proud to announce the return of the Burner Series, replete with a handful of new options for the player seeking to maximize distance. Among the stable of new Burner stuff is a driver, fairway wood and hybrid, as well as a few options in TaylorMade's popular Tour Preferred (TP) line that also carry the Burner trademark. In this issue, we've chosen to spotlight the Burner Fairway wood.
For starters, the most noticeable feature of the Burner Fairway ($199) is the unique decal that covers the crown to serve as both an alignment aid and as a protector, especially when facing thick rough or dry, rugged course conditions. Built with an enlarged sole region, a low face profile and crown that slopes almost completely back toward the sole, the all-steel construction of the Burner Fairway also comes with a permanent weight fixture positioned low and deep in the sole to help not only lower the clubhead's CG, but also bolster the MOI to a level that TaylorMade claims to be the highest of any fairway wood the company has ever made.
Available in a variety of lofts, the Burner Fairway comes standard with TaylorMade's Burner RE*AX Superfast graphite shaft. For more information on the full Burner Series, log on to www.taylormadegolf.com.
Hybrids When hybrids first captured the public's attention, they were thought of as a solution to help amateurs get hard-to-hit clubs airborne. Hey, can't get that 3-iron to go straight? Try one of these hybrid clubs! Can't get that 3-wood off the ground? Try a hybrid!
Well, despite the combined performance of woods and irons in hybrids, today's new iterations prove that hybrids have their own set of characteristics. No longer are they geared for Average Joes who want a high launch and high spin rate, instead there's an assortment geared for better players who want to shape their shots.
Check out some of the new and recent hybrid offerings here to find one that's built specifically for your game.Cleveland HiBore Hybrid clevelandgolf.com $159-$179 With an inverted crown like its driver and fairway wood brethren, the HiBore Hybrid moves weight low to get the ball airborne. Lofts: 16_â_¡, 19_â_¡, 22_â_¡, 25_â_¡, 28_â_¡, 31_â_¡ (avail. LH)
Izzo Z-Brid izzo.com $149 A lightweight carbon-matrix crown (a feature that allows more weight to be distributed to the sole) helps the Z-Brid_â_ã_ produce a higher, straighter ball flight. Lofts: 16_â_¡, 20_â_¡, 24_â_¡ (avail. LH)Nickent 3DX DC Utility nickentgolf.com $199 A special plasma-welding process was used to create the 3DX DC, which features a thinner clubface than previous hybrid models. Lofts: 14_â_¡, 15.5_â_¡, 17_â_¡, 18.5_â_¡, 20_â_¡, 21.5_â_¡, 23_â_¡, 24.5_â_¡, 26_â_¡ (avail. LH) PING Rapture pinggolf.com $179-$209 The Rapture features a tungsten-nickel soleplate, steel body and a super-strong steel face, resulting in a low and deep CG. It's PING's best hybrid yet. Lofts: 18_â_¡, 21_â_¡, 24_â_¡ (avail. LH)
TaylorMade Burner Rescue taylormadegolf.com $199 Bigger and longer than the Rescue Dual with a shallow-face design that lowers the CG and promotes shots that fly high and seemingly always land soft. Lofts: 19_â_¡, 22_â_¡, 25_â_¡, 28_â_¡ (avail. LH)Tour Edge Exotics CB2 touredge.com $219 Equipped with the same technology found in Exotics fairway woods (a titanium cupface and steel body), the Exotics CB2 goes a mile in a straight line. Lofts: 16_â_¡, 19_â_¡, 22_â_¡, 25_â_¡
Back In Black Looks like Odyssey is stepping into the black with the company's mega-premium line of milled carbon-steel putters. Featuring no face insert (a first for the company), but rather a mix-milled face pattern, the new Black Series ($285) comes equipped with a tungsten flange that lowers the putter's CG by nearly 20 percent. Also, its hogged-out hosel reduces discretionary weight to better balance the putterhead. How does it feel? Unlike other Odyssey putters that have feel-based insert technology, the Black Series has no face insert and the putters yield a firmer, more responsive feel (by the way, that's what the pros like). The Black Series is available in three models this spring. Oh, and don't be surprised to see a handful of Tour professionals with a Black Series model in play. For more, visit www.odysseygolf.com.
Green Control A leader in the alternative spike market (why we still call them alternative, we don't know), Champ Spikes have become synonymous with aggressive traction. But what many don't know is Champ also manufacturers a number of peripherals for the golf bag, including spike wrenches, brushes and rakes designed to quickly clean the bottom of your shoes. Featured here is a foldable and streamlined divot repair tool called the Flipfix, which features a cell phone-like closure and a sturdy, alloy frame for stubborn ball marks on the green. For a more complete look at all of Champ's accessories, log on to www.champspikes.com.
Renowned for his expertise on teaching swing plane, Jim Hardy takes an in-depth look into the subject with clear and simple explanations in his three-disc The Plane Truth For Golfers ($99). Hosted by Peter Jacobsen, the instruction series examines the golf swing's most misunderstood concept: the components of (and differences between) one-plane and two-plane swings. From start to finish, Hardy dissects both swings, all the while helping the viewer determine which swing is best for them. In addition to the three-disc set, The Plane Truth comes with a fourth disc on tips and drills for both swing types. Visit www.planetruthforgolfers.com.
Sand Savior If the new 588RS ($99) wedge from Cleveland Golf doesn't help golfers get out of the sand, nothing will. Built with 60 degrees of loft and a large "Recovery Sole," the 588RS retains the classic profile of the 588 wedge, albeit with a lot of help underneath.
Speaking of which, upon impact with the sand, the wide sole resists excessive digging to help lift the ball out of the sand with minimal interference. Also, the wide cavity makes this wedge exceptionally forgiving. Effective on soft course conditions, the 588RS is a cinch to use, easy to get used to and very nice to look at. For more information, visit www.clevelandgolf.com.Stay Dry With A Better Grip We understand, sometimes golf can get a little nerve-racking, causing the palms and fingers to sweat. Or maybe you just play a lot in damp or hot weather. Either way, the HandDri ($12) serves as an instant moisture absorber in much the same way a bag of rosin works for a baseball pitcher. By either rubbing directly onto the hands or the grip, the HandDri's effective anti-moisture compound is great at removing perspiration, rain and even stubborn sunblock that can ruin a grip's tackiness. Each HandDri comes with a Velcro pouch for easy storage. For more information and where to buy, visit www.gkspikes.com._Ê
Slender Muscles When it comes to forged irons, Mizuno is tough to beat. The new Grain Flow Forged MP-67 irons ($849) are beautifully crafted with a Slender Cut Muscle design that provides better players with the shotmaking control needed to attack tough pins. The MP-67s also include a design that places the CG in the same place with every iron, resulting in a consistent trajectory and distance. Other features include U-grooves, a rolled leading edge, a cambered midsole and a rolled trailing edge, all of which make the MP-67s more playable from tricky lies. By the way, these irons have a softer and more responsive feel than any iron we've hit from Mizuno. Nice! For more information, log on to www.mizunousa.com.