May 2013

Top gear for Spring Golf

Labels: ShoesGripsEquipmentBallsPuttersClubs
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Regardless of which side of the putter anchoring ban you stand on, there's a Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB putter for you. It's offered in three blades and two mallets, and the putterhead weight ranges from 340 to 360 grams. One belly model is available. It not only feels and sounds soft at impact—the result of a milled face pattern—but also while you're holding it, thanks to a buttery Winn grip. Heel-Toe weighting increases MOI for minimal distance loss on mis-hits. It's intended for all golfers. ($90-$130,

Is that really the name? Yep. Does it work? That's up to you to decide, but we can tell you we sure like the look of it. The onset design of the Ass Kicker features a hosel that's attached to the rear of the putterhead pointing at the head's center of gravity. This lends a unique look and feel to the putter that actually makes contact with the ball sooner than most of us are used to in the stroke. The putterface has an MRR (Multi-Rebound Radial) face insert with Sweet Zone technology to correct distance loss, and the unique shaft/grip is designed so the club is anchored to the arm, not the belly (which is allowed under the USGA's proposed ban). And, by the way, the Ass Kicker is like all Bobby Grace putters, made to precision with extraordinary craftsmanship. ($350,

Beautiful designs? Check. Amazing craftsmanship? Check. Pretty much everything that comes out of Miura is destined for great looks and exquisite feel. The KM-007 mallet is CNC (computer-numeric-controlled) milled into an elegant mallet shape, designed to please the eye of players looking for some heft behind the ball. Trust us, it feels as good as it looks. ($450,

There's nothing like wearing slipper-comfortable shoes when you're walking 18, and that's one reason why FootJoy's new M:PROJECT shoe excels. These lightweight wonders are flexible, yet stable. You actually feel like you're at one with the ground while you're swinging. We tried the cleated version on a dry, fairly flat course and found them to be noticeably outstanding in both comfort and performance. And, several golfers commented on the shoe's cool looks, to boot. Its last allows toes to spread out—but not too much so for narrow feet. If you're a walker, give this shoe a try. It won't disappoint. ($145/cleated, $135/cleatless,

It must be the year of comfort for golf shoes, and Oakley's Carbon Pro is the poster model. At just 16 ounces, it weighs less than the average model—to keep your feet energized over a round. The lightweight carbon-fiber shank enhances your feet's stability during your swing. Premium, soft Pittards leather uppers look and feel sleek, while the thin sole lowers your center of gravity to actually help improve your ball contact. Best of all, the insoles are nice and cushiony, and somehow prevent your feet from sliding around inside the shoe. ($200,

Your gear will stay dry in OGIO's waterproof AquaTech stand bag that's made of "hydrophobic dynamic" materials. Weighing only 4.2 pounds, it boasts heat-welded pockets that eliminate water seepage, a stain-resistant fabric and a 10-inch, six-way top that comfortably holds your entire set of clubs. A valuables pocket is lined with waterproof fleece, as well. The legs glide open and close with ease. Truth be told, they had us at waterproof. ($249,


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