GEL Ruby Putter Review

Grooves on a putter face are intended to help get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. Here with another take on grooves is a new company called GEL.

Gel Ruby Putter AngleGrooved putter faces have emerged in the last few years to open up yet another option when choosing a putter.

Yes! Golf was perhaps the first to use grooves on a putter face and were quickly followed by the likes of Guerin Rife and the TaylorMade Rossa line. Proponents say the grooves get the ball rolling much more quickly off the putter face thus reducing skidding and hopping that can cause the ball to wobble off line.

GEL (Groove Equipment Ltd.) entered the U.S. market at the 2007 PGA Merchandise Show with a line of six putters all featuring a grooved aluminum insert and named for precious stones. For our review, we chose the Ruby model. It’s an Anser-like head with a plumber’s neck. Here’s what we think after using it awhile…

Pinnacle Revamps Entire Golf Ball Line

Guess which golf ball brand is number two behind Titleist. It’s Pinnacle, another Achusnet company. Here they come with five new models to choose from.

Bag DropI never cease to be amazed at the way golf balls keep evolving. I mean, when you think about it, it would seem the laws of physics, available materials, and rules restrictions would one day bring innovation to a halt. But that’s not so. Every year we are treated to new versions with new feel and new performance characteristics.

Pinnacle has long been established as the leading low-priced, long distance ball. As one of the first two-piece balls to hit the market, it was one of the balls players used to call “rocks.” But that’s no longer an apt moniker. In fact the current Pinnacle marketing mantra is “Distance Doesn’t Have to be Hard.”

Low-priced distance balls have become softer and a lot more playable. And now there are five new Pinnacle versions to suit your game and your pocketbook including two aimed at the better player. Here’s a look at the new lineup…

Scotty Cameron Introduces Red X3, X5 Mallet Putters

An extension of the original and very popular Red X line, the new models lose the insert but gain a new finish, sight line, graphics, and, with the X5, a new neck.

Bag DropI always find it interesting to watch Scotty Cameron tweak his designs. I mean, how many putter makers have produced so many variations on a theme as he has done with his multiple incarnations of Newport-style heads?

It now appears he’s traveling down that same road with his Red X mallet putters. Unlike the first mallet putters he produced shortly after joining Titleist (the Caliente and Bolero models) that weren’t exactly blockbusters, the Red X putters have established a very strong following among those who favor a mallet head.

It’s easy to understand why. It’s a classic shape, beautifully milled, and available in multiple lengths and head weights… as long as you’re right handed. Here’s a look at his latest takes on what a mallet can be…

Golf Club Specs: Little Things that Count, Part Two

Want to turn your fiddle of a golf club into a Stradivarius? Here’s another round of trivial tweaks that, if nothing else, may shave a decimal off your scoring average.

Bag DropOne day I would love to have an extended conversation with somebody who works in an equipment van on the PGA Tour. I’m betting the stories of the tiniest tweaks they are asked to make week in and week out could fill months of Bag Drops.

In the absence of such juicy fodder, however, I’ll continue where we left off last week with some of the things I’ve seen, heard, and read over many years playing the game. None of this may help you break 70 this year, but it may help you explain to your playing companions why you’ve suddenly been able to morph your standard 40 yard blocked banana into a sweet five-yard baby fade.

So here goes…

Adams Idea Pro Forged Irons Review

Adams Golf has built a solid reputation in game-improvement clubs. Now they’ve introduced a player’s forged iron to match up with their superb Idea Pro hybrids.

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…

Golf Club Specs: Little Things that Count, Part One

Sometimes the devil is in the details. Here are some often-overlooked equipment specifications that can make a big difference in how a club feels and performs.

Bag DropMost golfers are aware of basic club specs when they venture out to buy new sticks or, better still, be fit for them. Shaft flex, lie angle, and perhaps driver loft are all well-known ways of matching clubs to your swing. We wrote about some of these in earlier Bag Drops you can find here and here.

But there are a number of other factors that go into the way a club works for you. Some are so subtle that only someone playing as much as a touring professional can feel or see the difference. Even so, sometimes tweaking a little something here or there can make a positive change in your game.

So here are some things to check out next time you’re buying, or when you think you might want to play around with your current clubs…

Tour Edge Bazooka GeoMax Driver Review

High MOI is this year’s “big thing” in drivers and it has spawned a host of strange shapes and high prices. Here’s a good-looking high MOI driver at a great price.

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…

Cobra Debuts Transition-S Integrated Iron Set

Following what clearly has become an industry trend, Cobra is introducing a fully integrated set of irons that include utilities, hybrid irons, and cavity back irons.

Bag DropNothing to me so embodies the evolution of golf equipment as the current crop of game improvement irons. I never imagined that when Karsten Solheim introduced the first cavity back cast irons that he was opening the door to a whole new world of irons that over the years would make the game so much more fun for the average golfer.

Of course, the newest additions to our bags are hybrids or, as Cobra chooses to call them, utility metals. And where once they were simply replacements for long irons, now they are now becoming the foundation for complete sets. Adams Golf and Nickent, whose early success has been based on their hybrids, have both bet heavily on the integrated iron set concept as we’ve written about here and here.

Mizuno Offering Hybrid Fitting System

With hybrids now well recognized as effective replacements for long irons the questions become how many and which ones to carry. Here’s one answer.

Bag DropPlaying with a couple golf writer buddies the other day, a couple incidents led to this week’s column. The first was when our fourth, the son of one of my friends (and an exceptionally strong player), asked me what iron his 20° hybrid corresponded to. I suddenly realized how difficult a question that is to answer.

While 20° is generally the loft in a 3-iron, the answer really isn’t that simple. The graphite shaft in most hybrids, varying club lengths, and a hybrid’s ability to launch the ball higher means the distance difference between a 3-iron and a 3-hybrid can be significant. Add to that the fact that hybrid manufacturers give different lofts different numbers and it gets even more confusing.

The second thing that happened was that Chuck Stogel, who writes an equipment column for, told me about a new hybrid fitting system that Mizuno is rolling out. Voilá… this week’s Bag Drop. Thanks, Chuck.