2013 Hottest New Stuff

Great Gear For The New Year

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PLAYERS' IRONS
Irons for better players are no longer just simple blades. They're still forged, but they feature playability characteristics, such as slight cavity backs, vibration dampening and weighting schemes. There's no longer any compelling performance reason to use simple blades. This new lot feels even more pure than blades.

TaylorMade's Rocketbladez Tour $899/set with steel shafts) is as powerful as it looks. The thin top line, traditional blade size and Tour-style feel collectively yield excellent distance gapping toward the long end, performance consistency across the face, workability, and a high trajectory with steep landing angle.

Mizuno's MP-64 Forged ($999/set) is billed as a player's cavity-back iron. Luke Donald was among the first to play it on Tour. Made of one-piece, grain-flow forging, each club looks like a blade at address, but has built-in forgiveness with a subtle cavity. Long irons are forgiving, short irons are controllable. The focus here is on soft feel.

Cleveland Golf's 588 Tour Trajectory ($799/set with graphite shafts, $699/steel) offer Tour-caliber flight and feel. They're interchangeable with 588 Mid Trajectory and Altitude Irons, and boast a constant blade height with progressive blade length for long-iron forgiveness and short-iron control. A modest-sized cavity-back improves ball speed and accuracy on mis-hits. Forged clubfaces enhance feel.

PUTTERS
Yes, belly and long putters will continue to gain even more popularity in 2013. But that won't be the only thing going on with putters. In fact, you can expect a slew of soft-feeling putters from the major manufacturers. They'll come in every sort of head shape and size, but they'll all make putts feel buttery at impact.

Odyssey's ProType Black milled, carbon-steel putters ($299/2-Ball, $269/blades) feature a black PVD finish, black powder coat steel shafts, and black seamless grip. The 1025 carbon-steel head yields a soft feel, while the deep face includes a sharp milling pattern for more consistency.

Cleveland's Classic Collection HB blades and mallets ($90) offer traditional designs with soft, responsive feel. Pillow-like Winn grips cushion your hands, while a deep milling pattern on the face further enhance a soft impact for more control. Heel-Toe weighting boosts MOI for less distance loss on off-center hits.

Nike Golf's Method Core Weighted line ($168) has fixed weights on the sole that provide proper weighting by length. Those weights help lower the CG and place it away from the face. The polymetal face grooves generate immediate forward roll.



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