Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Scotty Cameron 2019 Select Fastback 2 and Squareback 1.5 Putters Preview - Tour-Proven Mid-Mallets Add Key Neck Configurations

There are only a few putter companies on the market that get me really excited for new launch season.  Scotty Cameron is always one of them, but not for the reason you might think.  Yes Scotty is the gold standard for performance and craftsmanship.  But Cameron also gives golfers exactly what they want when new designs are created and genuinely takes into account our feedback. 

 

So it wasn't a surprise to learn Cameron added two new mid-mallet models to his flagship line of Select putters this year based on feedback from the game's best players and the golfing community overall.  The Select Fastback 2 and Select Squareback 1.5 incorporate specific neck configurations and performance characteristics that focus and cater to our collective voices as a golfing community.  And I have to salute Scotty for that. 

Mizuno Unveiling New ST 190 Woods, JPX 919 Irons, and New Athlete Partnerships at PGA Merchandise Show

After a short hiatus from the PGA Merchandise Show, Mizuno Golf returns to Orlando next week where they will exclusively unveil new products and athlete partnerships to the more than 40,000 attending  PGA Professionals, golf retailers, and industry leaders from around the world. 

 

During Demo Day I'll be hitting and testing their new ST190 Woods and JPX919 Irons and bring you coverage of their comprehensive lineup of equipment, bags, and accessories throughout the week.  I can't even begin to tell you how seriously pumped I am that Mizuno is back! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Miura Golf CB-301 Cavity Back Irons Preview - A Masterful Evolution in Iron Design

Taking the most innovative design elements of their traditional models and blending them with modern techniques, legendary Japanese club maker Miura Golf has created the new CB-301 irons, and they're being hailed at the finest forged irons in Miura's storied history. 


 

The CB-301 irons are fully forged cavity backs with an incredibly large sweet spot for consistent distance and accuracy, and also the longest irons Miura has ever produced.  Miura's calling them the model we've all been waiting for.  I'm calling them a cavity back design that potentially creates an entirely new standard for iron performance and exellence.  Straight up, these look like champions for golfers of all skill levels. 

Aerotech Golf SteelFiber FC Graphite Iron Shafts Preview - Become a Better Ball Striker

If you want to be a great ball striker you need to hit the high soaring ball with your irons and also the low penetrating missile.  And Aerotech Golf is making it easier in 2019 for us to fire darts and take control of our iron trajectories no matter what type of shot the course demands. 

 

The new SteelFiber fc "Flight Control" graphite irons shafts will be unveiled next week at the PGA Merchandise Show, and these really could be the kind of shafts that once and for all make us the ball-strikers we've always hoped to one day become. 

2019 Major Championship Predictions - First Time Winners Will Continue Their Incredible Run

We’re about 80 days away from the first major of the new season, and last year’s major champions and stories will be tough to beat.  Patrick Reed was amazing in his Masters win, outplaying Rory McIlroy while holding off frenzied charges from Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.  Brooks Koepka won two of the next three majors, emerging victorious in the U.S. Open and Open Championship (becoming just the 20th player in history to win multiple majors in the same season).  And Francesco Molinari breezed through the final round at the 147th Open Championship bogey free to become Champion Golfer of the Year. 

 

If any of these stories surprised you in 2018, prepare for even bigger surprises in 2019.  Like Brooks Koepka not winning any majors after winning two in the last three years.  Like Jordan, Rory, and Phil Mickelson not being able to close out career grand slam chances.  And maybe the biggest surprise, first-time major winners taking all four major championships in 2019 (making that a run of 14 first-timers in the last 17 majors). 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Matt Kuchar and Bridgestone Golf Continue Winning Ways with Victory at Sony Open

Matt Kuchar and Bridgestone Golf are getting used to taking up residence in the winner's circle.  Kuchar's win at the Sony Open using a full arsenal of Bridgestone clubs and the Tour B X golf ball was his second victory in his last three starts, and Bridgestone's seventh win in the last 15 events. 

 

Pretty soon Bridgestone's "Smiling Assassin" is going to be known more for the assassin part than the smile Kuchar seems to always have on his face.  Kuchar's victory at Waialae Country Club also made Bridgestone's Tour B family of balls the winningest golf ball on Tour over the last five months. 

Nike Air Max 1 Golf Grass Shoes Preview - Al Czervik Would be Green with Envy

If a pair of shoes is going to be inspired by golf courses, there's really only so much in terms of architecture you can draw upon.  There are water and sand hazards.  There are trees and waste areas.  And of course there's grass.  Lots and lots of green grass. 

 

The new Nike Air Max 1 Golf "Grass" shoes look like like something Al Czervik from Caddyshack might wear for a round at snob-infested Bushwood Country Club, but really this is just a classic example of the be different, not necessarily better mantra of today's social media driven world.  And so it makes perfect sense that Nike has taken their iconic kicks and given them this shaggy, grass-like makeover for an extremely interesting (entertaining?) look. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Jason Dufner Signs Godawful Endorsement Deal with Dude Wipes - Is This the Worst Endorsement Deal Ever?

When I'm making a decision on what male sanitary wipes to purchase, I want the expertise and peace of mind that comes with advice from a professional golfer.  That has to be what Jason Dufner was thinking when he signed an endorsement deal this week with Dude Wipes, right?  Well that, or Duf Daddy just doesn't give a damn and is getting his while the getting's good. 

 

After confirming Dufner's twitter announcement of this godawful deal was the real thing, I quickly came to the conclusion this is the most ridiculous endorsement deal in the history of golf.  It potentially has ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Rise and Fall of Jason Dufner and Dude Wipes written all over it.  And it might even be the worst endorsement deal in the history of all professional sports. 

New Year's Resolutions for Top Stars on the PGA Tour

With the New Year comes new goals, new dreams, and the usual suspects - New Year resolutions.  It’s a time for self-evaluation, retrospection, and re-evaluating your golf game (with special attention given to those weaknesses that have kept you from taking the next step in playing better). 

 

In this respect professional golfers are no different than the rest of us.  They’re looking at their shortcomings and building plans for improvement to put themselves in the best positions to be successful.  And if recent history has shown us anything, it's that we live in an era where any player can get better any given year.  Here are five superstars who can make some noise and return to glory if they commit to these New Year Resolutions. 


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Five Players Poised to Break Out on the PGA Tour in 2019

Over the course of a professional golfer’s career, few achievements are so unique and rewarding as the moment it all comes together.  It’s the breakout, and it’s a sacred moment.  Not just improvement, but absolute revelation.  Sometimes it’s a breakout tournament.  Other times it’s a breakout round, or even a breakout shot.  It’s living proof of what a player might become, and the hint that someday they could be a superstar. 

 

It’s Jordan Spieth holing out from a greenside bunker at the 2013 John Deere Classic to force a playoff.  It’s Rory McIlroy dominating in 2009 at Dubai to win his first professional victory.  These breakouts happen every year, and sometimes when we least expect them.  Here are five players to watch this season who could take a giant leap towards super-stardom in 2019. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

TaylorMade M5 and M6 Drivers, Fairway Woods, and Hybrids Preview - Speed Injection: A New Twist on Twist Face

It's not exactly like Popeye eating a bunch of spinach, but TaylorMade's new M5 and M6 drivers, fairway woods, and rescue clubs are speed injected with new technologies that promise to deliver maximum allowable speeds at impact. 

 

Last year TaylorMade engineers developed Twist Face technology to counteract the high-toe miss (a hook) and low-heel miss (a slice), and help straighten ball flight for both.  This year they've taken Twist Face to the next level with the introduction of Injected Twist Face technology, exposing the false narrative that speed limits have been reached in a metalwood. 

A Perfect Match: Wilson Golf Signs Gary Woodland to 10 Club Endorsement Deal

Whether you like it or not, whether you want to admit it or not, Tour validation is brand validation.  And so when Wilson Golf officially announced it signed Gary Woodland to a 10 club endorsement deal today, that immediately shot Wilson's reputation skyrocketing into another stratosphere of greatness. 

 

Now this is not to say Wilson didn't make great clubs before.  You already know my opinion about their equipment.  From their irons (FG Tour V2, FG Tour 100, and C300 irons) to their wedges (FG Tour and PMP) and drivers (FG Tour F5 and C300), I think Wilson has made some of the best equipment in the industry for every skill level for many years. 

Bump N' Grind - Bob Vokey Launches New HandGround Program for Vokey Wedges

Master Craftsman Bob Vokey is now offering the tour grinding experience to all golfers through the introduction of the new HandGround program on Vokey.com.  For golfers seeking tour-level customizations such as additional heel relief, a squared up leading edge, or Bob's popular tour grind, the HandGround program is the answer. 

 

For the last year Bob has personally trained two grinders on all of the performance and profile adjustments that have resulted from his more than two decades of work with the world's best players.  Bob's passion for building relationships with individual players is the essence of the Vokey brand. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Kevin Na Joins Callaway Golf - Puts Epic Flash in Play at Sentry Tournament of Champions

Kevin Na is a good guy with a great personality.  And now he's also officially a Callaway Golf staff player. 

 

On New Years eve Na announced on Instagram that he signed an endorsement deal with Callaway.  And with new sticks in hand, Na looks ready to contend at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and maybe happier than he's ever been before in his career. 

PXG GEN2 Drivers, Fairway Woods, and Hybrids Preview: Second Generation Superstars?

Gentlemen, start your engines!  PXG is releasing GEN2 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids that feature Hot Rod technology inspired by American muscle cars, and promise to unlock more yards and find more fairways.  And PXG's billionaire owner Bob Parsons hopes a new pricing structure will further increase their customer base in an equipment market that grows more competitive every year. 

 

PXG's new GEN2 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids all feature updated carbon fiber crowns and new adjustable weight systems with movable tungsten and titanium weights.  The new technologies are significant improvements over their GEN1 counterparts,  but it's the price reduction that's most likely to bring in new golfers.