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Kaenon Sunglasses Review

Sep. 21, 2007     By     Comments (9)

Kaenon SunglassesAs a contact wearer and avid golfer, I've been in need of a good pair of sunglasses for a while now. It isn't much fun squinting and fighting dry eyes during a round of golf in the sun.

Kaenon Polarized is a company that manufactures sunglasses for a variety of sports, ranging from kite boarding to climbing to golf. Competing against giants like Oakley and smaller but somewhat entrenched companies like Tifosi, Kaenon has their work cut out for them. Can their products compare or even surpass the others? Read on to find out.

Titleist 906F4 Fairway Wood Review

Sep. 8, 2007     By     Comments (42)

titleist_906f_fairway_woods_hero.jpgThe fairway metal may be the most under-rated and least publicized club in the bag. It doesn't command the $400 price tag of some drivers, nor does it supply as much drama as "letting the big dog eat." It's not the newest rage in golf - that honor belongs to hybrids. It can't make a ball spin like crazy or hit a glamorous flop shot like the modern wedge. It doesn't make 50-foot putts (or miss three-footers) and it isn't used on virtually every hole like irons.

Still, as a player's handicap drops, he typically relies on his fairway woods more and more. Whether it's playing safe on shorter, tighter par fours or hitting to long par threes or trying to reach long par fives, many better players will use their fairway metals more times during a round of golf than their driver.

Titleist has long held its own in fairway metals. Tiger Woods held onto his Titleist PT 3-wood for years after signing with Nike for a reason: he couldn't find anything better. Last year, Titleist replaced the 904F with the 906F2 and, this year, supplements the lineup with the 906F4. I've had a chance to play both, and I believe Titleist has another winner on its hands.

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Longaberger Golf Club (Nashport, OH) Review

Aug. 24, 2007     By     Comments (12)

Longaberger LogoRegardless of your location in the country or perhaps even around the globe, you may have heard the name Longaberger. The Longaberger company has been turning out world-famous baskets for 70+ years. Their office is even shaped like a basket.

In 1998, Longaberger commissioned a golf course from renowned architect Arthur Hills. The Longaberger Golf Club traverses up and down unusually hilly terrain and offers breathtaking vistas, huge elevation changes, and a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. And from a few locations on the course, you can even see the building shaped like a giant basket!

Longaberger Golf Club is not about the baskets. The owners didn't copy Merion's wicker basket flags nor are the tee markers little baskets. The golf course may have been funded by money earned from making baskets, but the golf course is all about golf.

Titleist NXT Tour/Extreme Balls Review

Aug. 24, 2007     By     Comments (24)

Titleist NXTUnless you've been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, you've probably seen quite a bit of Ian MacCallister expound on the evil virtues of Titleist's new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme golf balls. While the ads are quite humorous, Titleist seemed to be quite serious in giving the NXT line a facelift, which is pretty impressive since the older versions both were rated Gold on Golf Digest's 2007 Hot List.

I've been using the first generation of the NXT Tour for the past several years. The original NXT Tour was a good all-around ball, and I didn't have to worry quite so much about losing them as I would a $5 ball. They were, in short, a great blend of value and performance. They were also quite durable… and durability matters when you scrape your ball around the trees and off the cart paths. My only real complaint with the original NXT Tour was how soft it felt off the putter.

Posted in: Balls, Review Comments (24)

Avalon Lakes (Warren, OH) Review

Aug. 17, 2007     By     Comments (2)

Avalon LakesAvalon Lakes Golf and Country Club is located in Warren, OH about 40 minutes southeast of Cleveland and 45 minutes northwest of Pittsburgh, PA. Avalon Lakes was created by Pete Dye in the late 1960s and is one of the esteemed architect's earliest creations.

In the late 1990s, Dye came back to rework his diabolical magic. Avalon Lakes underwent massive renovations that cost somewhere between four and six million dollars. The change took the original course from a great Fowler's Mill style Dye course into a modern-era Dye course: target golf along the lines of the famed TPC at Sawgrass.

Avalon Lakes is ranked 67th on Golf Digest's list of Top 100 public courses. Avalon Lakes previously hosted the Giant Eagle LPGA event for four years. The final year - 2000 - was the only time the LPGA players competed on the redesigned course.

Cleveland CG12 Zip Wedges Review

Aug. 10, 2007     By     Comments (41)

Cleveland Zip Wedges HeroRoger Cleveland founded Cleveland Golf in the 1970s on the strength of his wedge designs. They've long been renowned as some of the best in the game, but Cleveland has been slipping in this category since Roger's departure in the mid-1990s. Bob Vokey at Titleist, Roger's new employer Callaway, and even TaylorMade have made great inroads in the wedge game and the top spot now belongs to Titleist's Vokey line of wedges.

That has not stopped Cleveland, of course, and they're looking to get back on top with their new CG12 wedges with "Zip Grooves™" - deeper U-grooves than found on previous models (like the CG11s we reviewed) that aim to add juice to your wedge shots much like TaylorMade's "Y" grooves, Callaway's "Mack Daddy" grooves, and Titleist's Spin Milled grooves.

As a long-time Vokey fan, I put these wedges to the test: I took my Vokeys out of the bag and played with these for a month straight. Did they pass the test? Read on to find out…

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Windy Knoll Golf Club (Springfield, OH) Review

Jul. 27, 2007     By     Comments (7)

Windy Knoll LogoIf ever a course name evoked a certain image, well, I suppose "Windy Knoll" does a pretty good job. Set just a touch out of the way and west of Columbus, OH, Windy Knoll lives up to both halves of its name. With flat farmland to the west, the direction from which the prevailing wind blows, the subtly mounded "links-style" course will vex players when the wind is up and offers a stern test even in rare calm conditions.

I played Windy Knoll in early July on a breezy day. Read on to see whether it's worth a visit the next time you're looking for a new course to play.

Adams Idea a3 Hybrid Irons Review

Jul. 20, 2007     By     Comments (32)

Adams A3 HeroThe Adams Idea a3 Hybrid Irons are the latest offering intended to blend irons with hybrids in a seamless set. Adams Golf has been an innovator in the blended-iron/hybrid market for a few years. Their concepts have been ahead of industry trends.

While the general golfing public hasn't picked up on the usefulness of such sets I see the wisdom in seamlessly pairing irons and hybrids. The days of your average golfer carrying a 2-iron (or 3-iron, or 4-iron…) are officially over. It's become an anomaly to see a 2-iron in a professional's bag. Hybrids hit the ball longer and higher than similarly lofted irons. The biggest draw for the average golfer is that hybrids are much easier to hit than irons.

Adams Golf obviously sees the potential of blended sets for making golf easier for the average player. The Idea a3 Hybrid Irons are intended to fill this niché. See how well they do…

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Adams Idea Pro Forged Irons Review

Jul. 14, 2007     By     Comments (52)

Adams Idea Pro Forged Irons HeroAdams Golf has become known primarily for their presence on the Champions Tour and for making some of the most forgiving irons and hybrids in the game.

More recently they've leveraged their success in hybrids to pioneer integrated hybrid/iron sets as we wrote about here. That they're the leading hybrid brand on the combined PGA, Champions, and Nationwide Tours is extraordinary given their limited professional endorsements.

Given this background, I was somewhat surprised last fall when at a press gathering I was introduced to and hit their new forged iron, a true player's cavity back blade. I was impressed. That's why when the chance came to do a full review of these clubs I jumped at it. Here's what I found out…

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (52)
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