Sneak Peak 2012

New Gear Is Almost Here

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With the success of TaylorMade's white R11 and Burner drivers, it only makes sense that we'll see more of the color in 2012—and not just on clubheads. Already making their debuts are Garmin's white Approach S1 GPS wristwatch and Miyazaki's Kusala White shaft. Cobra, the brand that's likely to make a big splash in the new year with its out-of-the-box line of clubs and apparel, has the ZL Encore driver. Will other manufacturers coat their drivers, irons and putters with white paint? Hard to say, although we wouldn't be surprised if TaylorMade returned with another white driver, especially after this year's success.

Led by Cobra's Long Tom, a 48-inch driver named for a World War II cannon, the long driver craze of recent years has finally maxed out. (The USGA limits club length to 48 inches.) Other clubmakers are sure to continue the trend of longer and lighter clubs—most of which don't reach the prodigious length of the Long Tom. Wilson Staff's 46-inch DXi Superlight comes with a 48-gram Matrix Ozik Xcon 4.1 shaft and weighs only 270 grams overall, and Cleveland's Black driver strips weight out of the shaft and grip to weigh a ridiculously light 265 grams.

The on-demand mentality has made its way into the golf world the past few years with Movable Weight Technology, colorful grips and the option to fill in the recesses of your clubheads with your favorite color paint. You can get custom fitted, cut down shafts and alter faceplates on putters. That trend will continue in 2012, likely in ways that we've never imagined. The most talked-about new products and services, so far, are in the short-game category. Look for Never Compromise's limited-edition Connoisseur putter line, which you can customize via the company's website, There you can add custom inscription, fonts and logo colors on the putterhead. Titleist has also introduced a new Wedgeworks service from Bob Vokey. What once was available only to Tour pros is now the domain of weekend warriors. At his shop, you can custom-stamp your wedge, get a custom ferrule installation and dial in a specific swing weight.


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