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Archive: October 2008

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October 31, 2008

Justin Timberlake signs golf deal with Callaway

Posted at 12:47 AM by David Dusek

Justintimberlakegolf_450x600 Okay, here's another reason to be jealous of Justin Timberlake. Not only did the guy date Britney Spears and Cameron Diaz before moving on to Jessica Biel, but the six-handicapper has now signed a deal with Callaway Golf.

Although the financial terms were not disclosed, according to recent release, Timberlake will play a full complement of Callaway Golf clubs, golf balls and will carry a bag branded with the Callaway’s logo.

“There’s nothing like hitting the ball perfectly—I’m hooked on that feeling," Timberlake said. "With Callaway’s help, I’m hoping to experience that more often."

"We're thrilled to have Justin as a part of the Callaway staff," said George Fellows, president and CEO of Callaway Golf. "He has everything we look for when signing new talent – natural ability, a solid work ethnic and passion for the game."

(Photo by Marc Feldman/Getty Images)

October 30, 2008

True Ympact helps golfers at all levels hit the ball straighter

Posted at 2:21 PM by Gary Van Sickle

Let's admit two undeniable truths. One, men love gadgets. We just do. Maybe it's the James Bond effect, I don't know. But if it's a gadget, and it's new, we want it. Two, we want to buy a better golf game. Lessons and practice require patience, but if we can take a technology-aided shortcut with a club that adds 15 yards off the tee or holes more putts, our only question is, Visa or American Express?

Golf is awash in gadgets, especially swing aids. Some are junk, some aren't. I found a new one that I think is worth talking about. It's called True Ympact (pronounced impact, just spelled uniquely), and this is what I consider the ultimate compliment for a golf training aid -- it's as useful for good players as it is for beginners or high-handicappers. That is a rarity.

Ympact_300 The True Ympact is relatively simple. You slip two straps onto your left arm (lefties can adjust it for use, too). The straps are attached to a metal brace, which is in turn attached to an arm that clamps your club in place. In effect, your arm becomes an extension of the club with a brace located just above the outside of the wrist. Basically, you're strapped down and forced to rotate the club and release it during the swing.

Joe Boros, the head pro at Treesdale Golf & Country Club here in Pittsburgh's North Hills, turned me onto this gimmick. He discovered it at the PGA Merchandise Show last January. It was being marketed as a chipping and putting aid. "I've got some members who yip their chips, so I'm always looking for something to help with their feel," Boros said.

The True Ympact didn't get into production until late summer. When he finally got his first samples, Boros learned it could be used to make full swings, too, which makes it invaluable for teaching.

"If it was just a chipping tool, it would still be awesome but being able to hit driver or 6-iron with it makes it that much more useful," Boros said. "Most people have never felt the club rotate properly. I put this on students and they're able to find a position they weren't able to find before."

The local high school golf team was practicing on Treesdale's range this fall when Boros brought out the device. "The coach was trying to help one kid who was blocking every shot to the right," Boros said. "I showed him how to release the golf club but he's still having a difficult time. I put the True Ympact on him. The first one he hit, he blocked it only a little. I showed him the rotating motion we wanted. All of a sudden on the next one, his ball goes from 30 degrees right to right down the line with a little draw. The coach said it was the first straight ball he'd ever hit."

I found the device beneficial on medium length pitches, the 20- to 40-yard shots that I'm not consistent at. With the device on, my club stays on the target line better during my backswing. What was my backswing doing before? I don't know, but it couldn't have been good.

There is one curious moment that proves the True Ympact does something. Hit a dozen shots with it on, then remove it and get ready to hit another ball. Your hands act as if they're magnetically charged, moving on their own back into the same position as when the device was on. They feel momentarily out of your control. It's eerie. "It's a wow moment," Boros said. "It must have something to do with how much pressure you're putting against the brace as you're swinging through. Your hands want to go one way, maybe, and it's not letting you, I'm not sure."

Well, it's a gadget and it works. What else do you really need to know?

(Photo: Fred Vuich/SI)

October 28, 2008

Cameron Beckman's Winning Clubs

Posted at 11:24 AM by David Dusek

Cameronbeckman_60x450 Driver:                   Callaway Hyper X Tour (8.5°)
Fairway wood:     Callaway FT-i (15°)
Hybrid:                  Callaway FT (17°)
Irons:                    Callaway X-Forged (3-PW)
Wedges:               Callaway X-Forged (54°, 60°)
Putter:                  Odyssey White Hot XG 330 Mallet
Ball:                      Callaway Tour ix

(Photo by Marc Feldman/Getty Images)

October 23, 2008

Marc Turnesa's Winning Clubs

Posted at 9:45 AM by David Dusek

Marcturnesa_450x600 Here is a list of the clubs Marc Turnesa used to win the  Justin Timberlake Shiners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Driver:                  Titleist 909D2 (9.5°)
Fairway wood:     Titleist 906F2 (13°)
Hybrids:               Adams Idea Pro Gold (18°, 21°)
Irons:                    Titleist ZM (4-PW)
Wedges:                Titleist Vokey Design (54°), Spin Milled (60°)
Putter:                  Titleist by Scotty Cameron Studio Select Fastback
Ball:                      Titleist Pro V1x

(Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images)

October 15, 2008

TaylorMade Announces Certified Pre-Owned Web Site

Posted at 4:47 PM by David Dusek

Sergio Garcia is currently using a TaylorMade Tour Burner TP driver, a club released earlier this season, and now you can get one with a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana White Board shaft for less than $300. And no, it's not from a guy who found one after it fell off a truck at JFK airport.

TaylorMade has just launched a Web site where you can purchase certified pre-owned TaylorMade clubs, taylormadegolfpreowned.com.

All clubs sold on the site are inspected, come with a new headcover and grip if needed, and they have a 12-month limited warranty. TaylorMade Golf Pre-Owned even provides a certificate of authenticity.

The site also allows you to trade-in your old clubs, regardless of the manufacturer, to get credit toward your purchases.

Clubs are offered in various conditions based on availability. None are brand new, but hey, money is tight for everyone these days, and a pre-owned, year-old club in 'Mint' or 'Excellent' condition is sure to make any golfer happy this holiday season.

A quick glance at the site uncovered bargains like:

+ An r7 SuperQuad for $179

+ A Burner Steel 3-wood for $95

+ A set of r7 CGB Max irons (4-PW) for $715

Callaway Golf also has a certified pre-owned site, callawaygolfpreowned, where you can get an FT-5 driver (the model used by Phil Miclelson and Ernie Els) for about $225.

October 13, 2008

Zach Johnson's Winning Clubs

Posted at 5:28 PM by David Dusek

Zach_johnson_texas_open Zack Johnson's game may not be as flashy as Tiger Woods' and Phil Mickelson's, but he is proved that he can go low. In the third round of the 2007 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, he shot 60. Last weekend at La Cantera, he went 62-64 while making 15 birdies and only one bogey.

Johnson hit 78.6% of the fairways and 84.7% of the greens in regulation. His putter was also red hot. And yes, that is the same SeeMore putter that he used to win the 2007 Masters.

Here's a complete list of the clubs in Zach's bag:

Driver:                   Titleist 909D2, (8.5°)
Fairway Woods:    Titleist 906F4 (13.5°, 18.5°)
Hybrid:                  Adams Idea Pro Gold (20°)
Irons:                    Titleist 735CM (4), Titleist 695CB (5-9),
Wedges:                Titleist Vokey Design (49°), Vokey prototype (54°), Spin Milled (60°)
Putter:                  SeeMore FGP
Ball:                      Titleist Pro V1x

(Photo by Marc Feldman/Getty Images)

TaylorMade to Acquire Ashworth for $72.8 million

Posted at 3:53 PM by David Dusek

The stock market may be more erratic than Phil Mickelson's putting, but TaylorMade-adidas Golf has decided that the time is right to make a deal. Today the company announced it is buying the Ashworth apparel company for $72.8 million, or $1.90 per share.

Ashworth is known for its classic lines for both men and women, and over the years the company has outfitted players like Fred Couples and Chris DiMarco. Ashworth was recently announced as the official outfitter of the 2009 Solheim Cup team.

Clothing by Adidas tends to focus on technologically advanced fabrics and performance, so the Ashworth brand could give TaylorMade-adidas a potent one-two punch in pro shops and golf specialty stores.

In a media release, Mark King, the president and CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, said: "We are excited to bring Ashworth alongside our industry-leading TaylorMade and adidas Golf brands." According to the release, the deal should be finalized by the end of 2008.

October 08, 2008

Dustin Johnson's Winning Clubs

Posted at 6:03 PM by David Dusek

Dustinjohnson_600x400 According to media release sent out by TaylorMade, Dustin Johnson saw the new Burner driver and Tour Preferred irons for the first time on the Monday before the Turning Stone Resort Championship started. He like the look of the clubs so much during a photo shoot, he put them in his bag.

Johnson went on to average over 303 yards off the tee last week, leading the event in that statistical category. He also ranked second in putts per green in regulation, making for a potent one-two punch.

Here is a complete list of the clubs Johnson used to earn his first PGA Tour win:

Driver:             TaylorMade Burner (10.5°)
3-wood:           Titleist 909 F3 (15°)
Hybrid:            TaylorMade Rescue TP (21°)
Irons:               TaylorMade Tour Preferred (3-9); rac MB (PW)
Wedges:          TaylorMade rac (54°), Titleist Vokey Spin Milled (60°)
Putter:             Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Select Newport
Ball:                 TaylorMade TP Red LDP

(Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)

October 02, 2008

Gear Doctor - Changing clubs, lead tape and new wedges

Posted at 4:47 PM by Mike Helfrich

Each week in this feature, we'll tap into the expertise of our exclusive research partner, Hot Stix Golf, to answer reader questions. If you have a question for the Gear Doc, e-mail it to geardoc@hotstixgolf.com. He'll answer a few lucky readers' questions every Wednesday on GOLF.com.

Dear Doc,
Right now I have a TaylorMade SuperQuad driver, as well as a TaylorMade fairway wood, irons and wedges. I've been offered a set of Nickent clubs, including a 4DX driver. How is the Nickent line, and is it worth swapping?
Thanks,
Simon

Dear Simon,
Both manufacturers make very good products, so in my opinion it is not about changing because one is better than the other. The real issue is how well each set is fit to you. If the lengths and lie angles of the irons are not right for your swing, you will not like them and you will not hit good shots consistently. If the driver increases or decreases your launch angle or spin rate to the point that it affects your ball flight, you'll lose distance or control.

My point is this—don't change just for the sake of change. Go with the clubs that fit you best.

Dear Gear Doctor,
What are your thoughts on lead tape?
Thanks,
Steve

Steve,
I think that lead tape is a great tool for determining swing weight and feel. It is easy to use, it doesn't require permanent changes to the clubs, and you can leave it on your clubs forever once you determine the proper amount.

Dear Gear Doctor,
I have a pitching wedge and my old Hogan Special SI sand wedge that I got when I was 18—I'm 35 now, and I'm not even sure what the loft is on the Hogan. Not surprisingly, I'm worthless from inside 130 yards, the distance I hit the pitching wedge. I think I need to lose the old Hogan and get a couple new wedges, but I don't know which lofts to get. Where should I start?
Thanks,
Charlie

Charlie,
This could be the smartest thing you've ever done for your game. If you are trying to hit it close from 130 yards and in with only two clubs, you are making the game much harder than it needs to be. 

First, determine the loft of your existing pitching wedge so you can add wedges with the appropriate loft spacing. Assuming your pitching wedge is close to standard at either 47° or 48°, I would suggest you add a gap wedge of either 53° or 54° and a 58° sand wedge. That would give you wedges that are evenly spaced at either 4° or 5° from your pitching wedge. Plus both of these clubs will give you versatility and options around the greens.

Cobra Releases the new L5V Driver

Posted at 11:23 AM by David Dusek

Cobral5vdriver Cobra Golf has just released a new, adjustable-face driver in three versions, the L5V X, L5V F and L5V M. The X version is designed for players with a swing speed faster than 104 mph, the F is for players with a swing speed of 87-108, and the M is for players with a swing speed of 76-97.

According to the company, the face of the L5V is the largest ever made by Cobra, which should help to create a larger, more-forgiving sweetspot.

But one of the most-interesting features of the L5V is its ability to let golfers shift the angle of the face by adjusting the hosel. Using a wrench that comes with the L5V, golfers can adjust the hosel from a 0-position (factory spec) to a 1-position (1° more closed). Click on the image to see the club in the 0-position.

The face and body of the L5V are made from titanium, while the crown is made from an extremely light carbon composite material. The weight that would have been in the crown has been shifted down and farther back in the head to lower the center of gravity and increase the moment of inertia. These qualities should make it easier to hit higher drives with less spin for increased distance.

The Cobra L5V comes standard with a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Red Board shaft and has a suggested retail price of $480.




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