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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.

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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…

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Whispering Woods Golf Club (Erie, PA) Review

Jul. 13, 2007     By     Comments (15)

Whispering Woods LogoThe Erie area first heard about the golf course that would become Whispering Woods Golf Club in early 2002. In late 2005, a golf course began taking shape among the houses of the Whispering Woods residential development. Seeded in two phases during 2006, the semi-private course opened May 25, 2007 with less than the desired 100 members. A rate drop for both membership and public play only 11 days later lured the remaining members, necessitated a waiting list 70+ names long, and increased public play on the course dramatically.

The course, like so many others, lays claim to the title of "best in the area." I tested the assertion - is the course the best public course in the Erie area? Read on to find out…

Scotty Cameron Newport Detour Putters Review

Jul. 5, 2007     By     Comments (11)

Scotty Cameron Newport Detour HeroScotty Cameron, in the mind of some, has been on a bit of a trip lately. As a long-time advocate of an absolutely anti-Pelzian "inside-square-inside" putting stroke, last year Scotty pushed his belief to the forefront with the odd-looking "Detour" putter. I reviewed the Detour favorably last December, and I still use it in a regular rotation with my Red X mallet.

This year, Scotty has further pushed his belief that a good putting stroke moves in an arc by sticking a mini-Detour sight curve on the back of his rather classic Newport putters. Introduced in January as prototypes for market, the putters were released in late March.

Though I've always been more of a mallet guy myself, the Newports with the stuck-on sight curve look enough like mallets that I decided to give them a try. Read on to see whether the Newport Detours replaced my original Detour or took a detour of their own…

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Tour Edge Bazooka GeoMax Driver Review

Jul. 3, 2007     By     Comments (18)

TourEdge Geomax Driver HeroMoment of inertia (MOI) represents a club's resistance to twisting on off-center hits. The higher the MOI, the more distance and accuracy you get when you miss the sweet spot. It's an attribute that has set off a marketing numbers race among club manufacturers as they begin to push towards the limits set by the USGA.

Tour Edge, based in Batavia, IL, has become something of an interesting maverick among club manufacturers. Founded in 1985 by former club pro David Glod, they have gradually built a solid reputation for delivering innovation and performance in clubs that don't come with a premium price tag.

So, while they have created a premium-priced line of clubs under the Exotics moniker like the Exotics CB2 3-wood we recently reviewed here, their core line of clubs under the Bazooka designation are solid, playable, affordable sticks. So how does their newest high-MOI driver stack up? Here's the review…

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (18)
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