When one thinks of the golf manufacturers out there on the cutting edge of innovation, companies like TaylorMade and Callaway spring to mind. It seems that these companies always have some new technology that promises to add distance and increase forgiveness and some time later similar technologies are adopted by the rest of the golfing world. However, one of the original innovators in the golf world is PING, and they are doing it again with their new G30 line of drivers, woods, hybrids and irons. According to PING, they were able to achieve significant distance gains with the new clubs without sacrificing performance in any other key area such as forgiveness.
A little less than a year ago, TaylorMade Golf introduced a set of woods that started somewhat of a mini revolution in the golf industry. The SLDR line of clubs strayed from the norm of a center of gravity that was low and back to one that was low and forward, and in doing so allowed golfers to hit the ball with a lot less spin. This, in combination with having golfers "loft up" has given many that extra distance that they were searching for, and thus, the SLDR driver has become one of the most popular available.
Some companies would be more than happy to sit back for a while, but that isn't TaylorMade. Since the SLDRs introduction last August, the company has expanded the line with a smaller 430cc version, a white crowned version, a mini version, and now a version without the adjustable hosel, the SLDR S. In addition to the new woods, the company has also released the first set of SLDR irons.
Late last year Cobra Golf updated their driver line up with the release of the Bio Cell series of clubs. These clubs replaced the popular Amp Cell series of woods, which were the company's first to include their MyFly technology. The new Bio Cell clubs continued Cobra's multi-color approach by once again allowing consumers to pick from an array of colors for their woods. The Bio Cell Drivers came in two different variations; for the average golfer, they offered a 460cc standard version and for the better player they have the "+" version which had a smaller 440cc head as well as a few additional differences. Over the past few months, Rickie Fowler has been playing a slightly different version of the Bio Cell, the Bio Cell Pro.
Mark your calendars folks, we are at eight months now since TaylorMade launched the SLDR line of clubs and they still haven't come out with a replacement that will give you another 30 yards. All joking aside, that is a long time for a company that was releasing four drivers a year at one point. However, that isn't to say that the company hasn't added or tweaked the SLDR line at all, because they have. When the club first came out in August 2013, it came in a 460 cc head and a few months later they added to that with a smaller 430 cc head. The company has now made a few more adjustments; first, TaylorMade is bringing back the white crown, which they seemed to have abandoned for a bit as well as introducing a new mini (260 cc) version of the SLDR.
Most golfers know Titleist as the "number one ball in golf," and sort of as a spin off of that, Bridgestone has deemed themselves to be the "number one ball fitter in golf." However, there is another "number one" ball in golf, and those are made by Volvik, "the number one colored ball in golf." While Volvik balls haven't yet found their way into the bags of too many male golfers, they have a huge share of the market in the ladies game and have many LPGA players in their stable. That is starting to change as of late as the company has added both Craig Stadler and Tim Petrovic to their list of players, as the former became the first player to use a green ball at the Masters just a couple of weeks ago.
TRUE Linkswear has long been one of my favorite brands of shoes and for good reason; they are super comfortable. While they have always had a slipper-like feel in the opinions of many, they were criticized early on for having, shall we say, a unique appearance. With each progressive release, the looks have improved without sacrificing any of the comfort. On top of that, the company continues to improve it's sole designs for maximum stability. The new 2014 line-up should have something for everybody as the new additions include a couple of street style shoes, oxfords, and wingtips as well as more options for women.
While its undeniable that Titleist makes some great clubs, they are who they are because of the balls they make. As of late, they have gone into a pattern of updating their flagship ball, the Pro V1 and Pro V1x, every other year with updates to their other balls coming in between. This is one of those in between years and thus, there are updates to the NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity, and DT Solo balls. Also on the way are some new putters from the company's acclaimed flat stick craftsman Scotty Cameron.
Like most things, the golf equipment market tends to follow certain trends and this is no different with regards to golf balls. One of the trends that we've seen over the last handful of years is the development of "tour" quality balls built for the amateur. There are a lot of us that want to play the absolute best that we can get our hands on, but truth be told, many times balls in that upper echelon just don't fit our games properly. New from TaylorMade this golf season are three new balls. For those at the very top of the game, they have their new Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X balls. According to the company, these balls have over a decade of research in them and they believe that these are the best balls that they've created to date. In addition to the new Tour Preferred balls, the company has also released the Project (a). As you probably could have guessed, the (a) stands for amateur and TaylorMade says that these balls will give amateurs help where they need it the most.
Coming this month, PING has announced two new products, the Ketsch putter and the Rapture 3 wood. PINGs new putter incorporates the company's True Roll technology as well as providing a very high MOI all in a package that the company says is easy to aim and fits nearly any stroke. The new Rapture 3 wood is a great option for those who are looking for a driver alternative off the tee or want a hotter-faced fairway wood.