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Nike VR_S Driver Review

Jul. 31, 2012     By     Comments (10)

Nike VR_S Driver HeroSince Nike burst onto the golf equipment scene roughly a decade ago, they have been one of the more forward-thinking, technologically advanced companies around. They were among the first manufacturers to introduce square drivers with their SasQuatch line and jumped into the adjustability game early on with the original version of the Str8-Fit hosel.

Lately, all of the rage has been making the drivers as light as possible. The idea is is that the lighter they are the faster they can be swung and therefore the further the ball will go. The VR_S is Nike's newest entry into this category of driver. The claim by Nike is that there are "none faster" and the company even held "speed trials" at golf shops around the country letting golfers around the country compare their current driver to the VR_S. Read on to find out if Nike has winner.

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TaylorMade R11 Irons Review

Jul. 31, 2012     By     Comments (2)

TaylorMade R11 IronsWhen TaylorMade introduced the R11 irons, they claimed they were the only irons worthy of the R11 name. Of course the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of R11 is the very successful white matte drivers that have blanketed golf courses lately. It is very hard these days to play in a foursome that does not have a golfer with the R11, R11s, or RocketBallz driver in their bag.

TaylorMade has been translating the technology originally targeted for woods into irons for some time now. In this seasons offering there are already both Rocketballz woods and irons, and the very popular Burner series has also had both woods and irons. R11 looks to be taking off where the R9 irons were previously placed.

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Callaway Hex Black Tour Golf Ball Review

Jun. 12, 2012     By     Comments (5)

Callaway Hex Black TourThe new Callaway Hex Black Tour ball hits all the marks to compete with the other premium balls on the market.

The premium ball market has been dominated by a certain company for - what seems like - an eternity. I was one of the many who followed along and used the newest ball that came out every year. That was, until last year.

I picked up a new ball (cough, Penta, cough) that felt just a bit better in nearly every aspect. What this did was open my eyes a bit more to the other balls on the market. One of those I tried was the Callaway Tour i(s). I hadn't hit a Callaway ball in years and didn't expect much. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. This is coming from a bit of a ball snob.

So when the new Hex Black Tours came on the market I eagerly wanted to give them a try and see what they had to offer. How did they compare to the #1 ball on tour and my current favored ball? Read on to find out.

Posted in: Balls, Review Comments (5)

Bridgestone 2012 Tour B330 Series Ball Review

Jun. 10, 2012     By     Comments (12)

Bridgestone 2012 B330 Ball HeroMany golfers might be surprised to know that, in terms of dollar market share, Bridgestone Golf has grown to become the number two golf ball in the industry. Bridgestone Golf began manufacturing its first golf balls on U.S. soil in 1990 under the Precept brand, and while it's only been seven years since the Bridgestone Golf U.S. brand was launched, the company has been producing golf balls since 1935 and they are the number one golf ball producer in Japan.

Bridgestone's goal is to design a golf ball for every level of player. This is not an easy task since there are so many variations of golf swings. Getting fit for the right ball is just as important as finding the right shaft, lie angle, or grip size. Bridgestone is not only innovating golf ball technology but how golfers get fit for their ball. One thing is for certain, they aren't afraid to compare their results against their numerous competitors.

For the past couple years, Bridgestone has had teams of ball fitting specialists provide free fitting sessions for golfers around the country. During these sessions, golfers see how the ball they currently play stacks up against a Bridgestone ball. I'm sure their competitors have taken notice. It also doesn't hurt to have some notable staff players, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, and Fred Couples, playing well and getting a lot of TV time.

Posted in: Balls, Review Comments (12)

“The Upset” Book Review

Jun. 8, 2012     By     Comments (5)

The UpsetI think of myself as a little bit of a history buff, not because I am any good at history (in fact I got really poor grades in school for history), but simply because I love to learn about it. As we approach the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club, Al Barkow decided to write a detailed account of the first U.S. Open held at the famed San Francisco layout. In 1955, a little-known man named Jack Fleck beat Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff that made ESPN's list of the top 10 upsets of all time.

I found this book when I saw a preview in a magazine I was reading. As I enjoy reading books by Barkow, I was intrigued. If you have not heard of him, then I would recommend reading some of his work. He wrote a fantastic book on Sam Snead and a few others which focus on that time period. His claim to golfing fame was that he was the writer for the Shell's Wonderful World of Golf and did some of the interviews of Ben Hogan while Hogan was promoting what was then called the Hogan Tour, which today is known as the Nationwide Tour (until 2013!).

TaylorMade RocketBallz Fairway Wood Review

Jun. 8, 2012     By     Comments (13)

TaylorMade RocketBallz Fairway IconThe 2012 RocketBallz fairway wood line has received a majority of the buzz from the new products that have been released this year. TaylorMade has been advertising that the RocketBallz 3-wood is 17 yards longer than your current 3 wood. 17 yards longer? For a fairway wood? Really? When I attended a TaylorMade media day late last year I had heard the rumors of the line that would be replacing the popular Burner clubs. I thought the name "RocketBallz" was some insider joke and the actual name would be revealed during the presentation.

As we know that was not the case. RocketBallz was the name of the new line and the TaylorMade executives were proud of their new baby. They even took us outside and rolled out a carpet that was 17 yards long. The script on the carpet read, "This is how long you're going to hit you new fairway wood". They reported that 17 yards is what their lawyers told them they could legally claim. They hinted at players seeing gains of 20 yards and more. It was a big claim and truthfully I thought they had no chance of living up to it. In golf, a five yard gain is huge and I thought we had reached the limits to what we could do for making a club "hotter."

But I may have been wrong, and TaylorMade claims to have re-engineered the fairway wood from the ground up to produce the hottest club in golf.

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Adams Idea Black CB3 Irons Review

May. 30, 2012     By     Comments (6)

Adams CB3 Irons 8 ToeAdams Golf doesn't really have much of identity right now. They've stopped airing the "number one hybrid on the Champions Tour" commercials (or maybe I've stopped watching Golf Channel at 2 AM?), and they don't really have a repetitive nomenclature. They're not revered for their huge revenues like Nike or TaylorMade, and they don't have the rich history of Titleist or Mizuno.

I could complain about the naming of Adams' clubs from now until Tiger Woods passes Jack's record, but to dwell on that would be doing to complete disservice to the irons that Adams has been putting out recently. Clubs like the Idea Pro Black MB, the Idea Black CB2, and the Idea MB2 have been laying the groundwork for Adams' venture into the crossover realm of player's clubs and GI clubs. They've entered the world in between, where clubs can be forged from 8620 carbon steel yet still have the offset needed to get the ball into the air.

The name of the game in the category that these clubs reside is simple: you can hit these clubs. Your swing looks worse than that of President Obama? You can hit these. (And if the President is reading this, a lefty set is available.) Hovering around a 10 handicap? You can hit these. Nearing scratch golf? You can hit these golf clubs. Read on to let me convince you.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (6)

Adams Speedline Fast 12 Fairway Wood Review

May. 30, 2012     By     Comments (1)

Adams Fast 12 Wood Hero Sole (2)Short of only the TaylorMade Rocketballz, this year's Adams Fast 12 fairway woods are some of the most hyped in the business. They have feature after feature designed specifically to give golfers the most distance, not only on-center strikes but on off-center hits as well. It remains to be seen if their sale to TaylorMade-Adidas helps or hurts the company, but in recent years Adams has been putting out some of the best woods in golf, and this year seems to be no different.

With features such as second-generation Velocity Slot Technology (which includes a slot within a slot), Speed Coat design of the shaft, and Speedline aerodynamic design, Adams is not short on innovation. Adams is calling the Fast 12 fairways woods their "longest and most forgiving" yet, and are even claiming that Kenny Perry gained 35 yards. They say that the improved slot enhances launch conditions for more carry and greater distance.

This is a lot of hype for a company that has made it's marketing staple over the last decade "number one hybrid of the Champions Tour." Read on to see if they can back it up.

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Butch Harmon About Golf DVD Review

May. 18, 2012     By     Comments (6)

Butch Harmon About Golf CoverButch Harmon is one of the biggest names in golf. He has been Golf Digest's top-ranked golf coach every year since 2003, and he is the mastermind behind Tiger's early career swing. He has coached some of the biggest names in golf, including Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Adam Scott, and Natalie Gulbis.

You may know Butch from his many media appearances, his 2006 book, The Pro, his PGA Tour win (the Broome County Open in 1971), or his monthly column for Golf Digest. The son of 1948 Masters winner Claude Harmon, Butch teaches amateurs and professionals primarily out of Las Vegas, Nevada, and has been in golf for over 40 years.

Butch is back, and this time with an all-inclusive DVD, Butch Harmon About Golf. The two-disc set of instruction contain about four hours of golf, with 57 chapters including the full swing, the mental game, and fitness. It even includes interviews and conversations with some of Butch's most famous pupils. Is it worth the $80 USD plus $10 shipping and handling? Read on to find out.

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