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Adidas Tour 360 4.0 and Tour 360 Sport Shoe Review

Aug. 12, 2010     By     Comments (12)

Tour 360 4.0 SportThe Adidas Tour 360 is entering its fifth year and fourth version and the Tour 360 Sport its third year and second version with the new "Tour 360 4.0" and "Tour 360 4.0 Sport" models. Though the styling has remained fairly similar due to the common technology of wrapping the Adidas-style triple bands around the undersole, the shoe has come a long way in five years and has claimed its spot among the leaders in the golf footwear arena.

I'm a long-time FootJoy guy - shoes with "FJ" on them have always fit me well - and I gave a pair of the 360 4.0's and the Sport models a try. Let's see how the shoes fared.

PURE Grips Review

Jul. 9, 2010     By     Comments (12)

PURE GripsTake a moment to consider the grips on your golf club. Odds are they're the most unappreciated piece of equipment in your bag. I know guys who care more about their ball markers, their divot repair tools, and their towels than they care about their grips.

What sense does that make? The only way you can control the golf club is through your hands, and your hands touch the golf club via the grip only. In some ways, the grip is more important than whether you've got a game-improvement cavity back iron on the end of the shaft or a 1970s style muscleback blade - if you can't grip the club properly you've got little chance of success with either.

“The Last Putt” Book Review

Jul. 3, 2010     By     Comments (3)

The Last PuttIt might seem easy today to generate some book sales and media hype when you throw the name Tiger Woods on the cover or in the title. With the fame of being the world's best golfer (and now tabloid fodder), all you need to do is put his name somewhere on the cover, toss in some nuggets (whether factual or not), and generate some book sales.

While I'm certain there are or will be plenty of books coming out to cash in on his fame or notoriety, The Last Putt: 2 Teams, One Dream, and a Freshman Named Tiger is certainly not one of them. Oh, to be sure, Tiger is in the title and a picture of him is on the dust jacket but this book is not a memoir of Tiger's college days. While he's the most well known in the much heralded cast of characters, it is the story of desire, determination, camaraderie, and a little bit of destiny sprinkled in that takes center stage.

Should you add The Last Putt to your summer reading list? Read on to find out.

PING i15 Fairway Wood Review

Mar. 19, 2010     By     Comments (7)

PINGThe newest line of PING woods comes in the form of the i15 line. The sleek design and profile of the i15 fairway metal is right in line with the current trend you see in the bags of professionals on tour.

I've sampled many fairway metals over the past few years. Going from a Callaway Steelhead to a TaylorMade r7 before settling on my current Callaway X-Hot. I even tested other Callaways and a Titleist during that time. None could really shake the Callaway X-Hot as it did a great job off the tee, which is where my fairway metals get the most use.

So now comes the PING i15. With some specific design features that intrigued me I was eager to put it to use. Whether or not it could supplant the X-Hot was the big question. Read on to find out.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (7)

Taly MIND Set Review

Mar. 6, 2010     By     Comments (8)

Taly HeroThe world of golf training aids is vast. Sometimes it seems as though every serious instructor has his name on some gadget or another. Some work. Some work really well. Others do not.

Then there are the guys who don't teach golf for a living. Sonic Golf comes from a scientist. And the item pictured just above/to the right, the "Taly MIND Set," comes from a slightly better than average golfer named Taly Williams. He's also not an instructor.

Does that make the "Taly" (even the inventor prefers to call it the "Taly" instead of the official "MIND Set" name) better or worse than the others? Let's find out.

Mizuno MX-300 Iron Review

Feb. 24, 2010     By     Comments (45)

Mizuno MX-300 HeroI'll be honest with you, I feel like I really need to throw everything I believed about irons in the "game improvement" category out the window. Quickly. The Mizuno MX-300s changed my mind about what a game improvement iron should be and how a game improvement iron should feel. And this is coming from someone who thinks the constant Mizuno praise gets a little old sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, there is no doubt that Mizuno is one of the top iron makers on the market, and has been so for a while. Every time I tried a set, I walked away impressed with the looks, the feel, and the performance. It's just that Mizuno has a somewhat rabid fan base, and though their love for the forged iron maker undeniably justified, I'm the kind of person that's maybe best described as "anti-hype" and therefore, I tend to stay away from the things everyone hypes too much. I guess I like to be different. Still, when I was given the opportunity to review the newest irons in Mizuno's MX series, I was more than happy to oblige. I knew that I was in for a treat, especially since I remembered thinking their intention to blur the line between player's iron and GI iron was pretty interesting back in October, when I covered their release.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (45)

Ping i15 Driver Review

Jan. 30, 2010     By     Comments (18)

The i15 driver: back in blackThere's just something about an all black driver that evokes fast cars and sunglasses. You know, it's just a cool thing that makes you feel good. There's a reason rock stars are so partial to black.

PING has presumably given the i15 driver its rock star livery for a reason (read: "performance"). The i15 is "tour-style," which is marketingese for "you better have game." While that is really overstating the level of skill required (it's much more about shot shape and solid contact than handicap), the i15 is clearly the more demanding and higher performing of PING's two new drivers. Finding the one that's the best for you is the real secret. So (as PING's website asks) "are you a G-Man or an i-Guy?" According to the site, the G-Man desires "maximum power and forgiveness," while an i-Guy seeks "traditional look and feel." Frankly, I'm probably more of an "H" guy myself… I need some forgiveness (a little "G") while also being able, on my better days, at least, to take advantage of some "i" qualities.

The early buzz about this driver was that "hackers need not apply." Guys talked about this driver the way they talk about muscleback clubs… "We're not worthy!"

After all that talk, I had a certain level of concern that this driver would be too much for me, particularly on those days when my swing is not at its best. But after several rounds and couple small buckets of range balls, I can say that you shouldn't be afraid to try this driver provided you make reasonably good contact on most swings and don't fight a fade. Forget that "traditional look and feel" bit, it's more accurate to say that the i15 is for players looking to work the ball off the tee.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (18)

TaylorMade Penta TP Ball Review

Jan. 23, 2010     By     Comments (52)

Penta TP OutsideTaylorMade can't be accused of shying away from technology. If anything, the company behind "MWT" and "FCT" and countless other technology acronyms is one of the most technologically adventurous around.

With the Penta TP, TaylorMade has moved the golf ball into new territory: the Gillette razor blade land of "more is better." In shaving equipment, it's the number of blades. In golf equipment, it's the number of layers.

Joking aside, the buzz around the Penta TP has been tremendous since the ball was given to pros late in 2009. Can one ball - albeit one with five layers - really fit everyone? From the guy who is happy to reach the occasional par four in two to the guys who routinely reach par fives in two on our televisions each weekend?

Let's find out.

Mizuno MP-58 Iron Review

Jan. 15, 2010     By     Comments (32)

MizunoMizuno irons have long adorned the bags of many good players around the world. A large percentage of the near-scratch guys at my club are playing them and have consistently raved about them. In fact one of them just replaced an old set of MP-32s with a new set of MP-67s, never considering another brand. When I had the opportunity to review a set of Mizunos, I jumped at the chance.

The MP-58s were actually a good fit since my last set of Mizunos (yes, I also have had them in my bag) were the T-Zoid Pro IIs - a pseudo-cavity backed club. With the advancement in technology, though, this set was bound to be slightly more forgiving and consistent: two traits any golfer is looking for in a set of clubs they buy.

The biggest question that remains, though, is whether the MP-58s can give you the playability that a one-piece forged muscleback does? Sure, I was a previous Mizuno owner but I currently sport the Titleist 695 MBs. Taking them out side by side was the best and most sure way of answering that question. So what was the result? Read on to find out.

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