Betting on a Revolution in Iron Set Makeup

Smaller club manufacturers like Adams Golf are leading us toward what could be the next sea change in golf equipment.

Bag DropDespite the brakes periodically applied by golf’s ruling bodies, clubs and balls have been constantly evolving as new materials, technologies, and designs deliver better performance.

Now that hybrid clubs have become standard issue in the bags of most amateurs and professionals, a movement has begun to create fully integrated irons sets that meld perfectly in loft and feel from the short irons through the mid irons and into the hybrids.

And, according to at least one industry leader, it’s a movement not just aimed at seniors, women and slower swingers.

I recently had the chance to hear a presentation by Chip Brewer, the president and CEO of Adams Golf, on his company’s bid to use their hybrid niche leadership to grow their sales with integrated iron sets for every caliber of player. What he had to say was so interesting I thought I’d share it with you in this week’s Bag Drop

2006 Newport Cup

The 2006 Newport Cup will be held October 13-15 near Greensboro, North Carolina. Thanks to our sponsors, this will be another fun weekend.

Newport CupThe U.S. team may have lost the Ryder Cup, but that has not put a damper on the 16 contestants that will partake in the second annual Newport Cup. This year it’s “the staff versus the challengers” in the red-clay area of North Carolina on October 13, 14, and 15.

The Newport Cup is named after the location of the first U.S. Open, the Newport Golf and Country Club in Rhode Island. Held in 1895, professional golfer Horace Rawlins of England was the first champion.

The Blue and Red teams will return, and the staff (much like the dominating Europeans) will wear blue. The challengers, like the blood they’ll likely shed in defeat, will wear red. The stains won’t show, we figure. <grin>

SkyCaddie Adding Three New Models

The current most popular GPS-based rangefinder is growing into a full-fledged product line to give golfers more choices in price, capability, and size.

Bag DropAs a SkyCaddie owner and user this season, I’ve come to both love and hate my little black box and all that goes with it. Based on my own experience, the detailed review Erik did on the device back in May 2005 is dead on. It’s great, but not without its frustrations.

Some of the niggles that irk me are being addressed as SkyGolf makes a big leap forward introducing not one, but three new models. The result is a product lineup with a lot more options and a lot more affordable range of prices.

The new models won’t be officially launched until the PGA Merchandise Show in January. However, SkyGolf will begin shipping limited quantities to retailers around November 1, presumably to take advantage of some holiday sales. So here’s an exclusive first look at what’s in store…

Volume Seventy-Seven

What’s the best cure for a 76-tournament winless streak? Playing a course you designed and using the knowledge to your advantage!

The season is coming to a close with only three full-field events remaining before the PGA Tour world goes into hibernation, but that doesn’t stop Hittin’ the Links from pressing on!

Enjoy the weekly links!

Callaway Fusion Wide Sole Irons Review

Callaway’s Fusion Wide Sole irons promise to help you improve your game without doing anything to your swing. Possible? Check out our review to find out.

Callaway Fusion Wide Sole IronsLet’s face it: the average American male golfer’s handicap is 16; the average female handicap is 29. There are a lot of us who can use all the help our equipment can give us.

Callaway’s Fusion Wide Sole irons join a growing industry trend to create a wide-sole, large-face, generously offset iron for the average golfer. The original Fusions were heralded as some of the most forgiving irons ever made. The Fusion Wide Soles took that forgiving design even further.

Do the Callaway Wide Sole irons live up to their ultra-forgiving promise? I compared these irons to the regular Fusions and the forged clubs I normally play and came to some interesting conclusions. Take a look at what I found…

Riverwood National Golf Course

Does the Twin Cities area need another golf course in an oversaturated market? Does converted farmland make a good golf course? Yes and yes (although about three million yards of dirt had to pushed around first).

Riverwood NationalWith over 580 golf courses to choose from in Minnesota, course owners have to work hard to attract golfers with an attractive layout, good maintenance, and quality service in order to fill their tee times and turn a profit.

Does Riverwood National have what it takes to attract golfers in a Twin Cities golf market that offers many choices for your golfing dollar? Read on to find out.

Titleist Forged 755 Irons Review

In the new 755 irons, Titleist has a forged cavity back design that mid-handicappers can call their own.

Titleist Forged 755Over the last two seasons, I have tried on two occasions to work a set of Titliest irons into my bag. The results left me feeling a bit like a modern-day (and male) Goldilocks. One set – the Forged 690.CB – was too hard to use. They were a great set of irons that looked great, but were a bit too demanding for my 10-handicap skills. Another set, the Forged 775.CB was too soft, loaded with game-improvement technology, and too much offset for my swing.

I’ve now had the chance to play several rounds with the new Titleist Forged 755 irons. Were they just right for me? Read on and see.

The Sand Trap Top 20: October 2006

The Florida Gators bypass the Pokes and a host of others in this month’s rankings.

College GolfThe Ping/Golfweek Preview is in the books, and that means college golf is officially in full swing. Congratulations are in order for the Florida Gators for winning the team portion. Billy Horschel, a Florida Gator sophomore, shot a final-round 63 to take home the individual honors as well. There goes my original prediction of Florida being young and untested.

The Ping/Golfweek Preview was the biggest tournament so far this season, but it wasn’t the only one. Southern California won the Inverness Intercollegiate tournament in mid-September, Alabama won the Carpet Capital Challenge, and Duke won the Fighting Illini Classic in impressive fashion.

The 100+ Zone

Not that all of these guys are necessarily going to lose their card come the end of the season but don’t we expect more from these folks. Did you see these money list positions coming at the beginning of the year?

ProFilesYou might be surprised to see who is above 100 on the PGA Tour money list. 2006 has been a memorable one on Tour with another career defining year for Mr. Woods, a career most-embarrasing-moment for Phil, and a slew of first-time winners.

Every year there are those who struggle to perform at a level we expect them to. Lets take a cursory look at the above-100 crowd and see what we find…