New products creating a buzz in 2012

John Phipps, Worldwide Golf Shops

It’s a very exciting time in the world of golf equipment. Innovations are abounding like never before. And just when you thought they couldn’t improve performance, along comes the likes of TaylorMade’s Rocketbalz, Callaway’s Razr Fit, Nike’s VRS, Adams XTD and Cobra’s Amp. We are also seeing the resurgence of a classic look from Cleveland Golf that marries retro designs with state-of-the-art technology.

Golf balls, too, are improving all the time. From core to cover, today’s golf balls fly farther, straighter and last longer than ever before. Gone are the days where a bladed iron shot made your ball smile and you cry. Titleist’s Pro V1 is still at the head of the class, but new versions of TayorMade’s Penta and Callaway’s HX Black are out to challenge. Nike’s 20XI has a revolutionary resin core that just jumps off the clubface. For the more value-oriented customer, the Bridgestone e-series and the Srixon Q-star provide good distance and good control at a good price.

But the big focus from the equipment manufacturers this year is on fairway woods. We are seeing increased distances that are virtually off the chart. Taylormade’s Rocketbalz, with a speed pocket in the sole, is guaranteeing you 17 more yards than any of their previous fairway models! The Adams XTD fairway wood features a patented velocity slot on the top and sole of the club matched with a face that’s 36% hotter than a traditional fairway wood. This club takes it deep, too. One of the best fairway woods comes from one of the least known companies: Tour Edge. They have been a distance leader for years and their new XCG5 is the only fairway wood to use a titanium-cupped face matched with a tungsten sole. The result is driver-like distance with the forgiveness and control of a fairway wood.

Putters seem to be all about the belly or long putter. We are seeing more and more PGA Tour professionals employing these longer instruments to sink more putts. You simply cannot watch a PGA Tour event on TV anymore without seeing one or more of them.

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