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Archive: January 2012

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January 29, 2012

Winner's Bag: Brandt Snedeker at 2012 Farmers Insurance Open

Posted at 8:39 PM by David Dusek

Brandt-Snedeker-600x450

DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 (10.5°) with a Fujikura Motore F1 8.0 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 (15°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 73X shaft
HYBRID: Adams Idea a12 Proto (20°) with a NVentix Nunchuk GH 2660 shaft
IRONS: Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back (4-PW) Aerotech SteelFiber i95 Constant Weight shafts
WEDGES: Bridgestone J40 (52°) with a  True Temper X100 shaft; (56°) and Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled(60°) with True Temper DG Spinner shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie
BALL: Bridgestone Tour B330 

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Bridgestone, Odyssey and Titleist clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook | Google+

 (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

 

January 27, 2012

BirdieBall's Golfzilla gives kids (and adults) a reason to practice

Posted at 4:32 PM by Ryan Reiterman

GolfzillaORLANDO, Fla. -- BirdieBall president John Breaker was explaining his product to me, but I couldn't help staring up at the giant Golfzilla air target looming overhead and thinking how much more fun practice would be if I could smack golf balls at an inflatable reptile.

"This is such a key feature now," Breaker said of the inflatable air targets. "The kids will be there for hours."

So will the adults.

Golfzilla features four targets -- one in the mouth, one on each hand and another target on the belly.

Breaker said Golfzilla is a hit at schools, corporate events and driving ranges. One of his customers set up a Golfzilla 150 yards out on his driving range and gives away a new driver to anyone who can hit a golf ball in Golfzilla's mouth.

Not surprisingly, this guy has been selling a lot more range balls.

BirdieballBreaker's first golf product was the BirdieBall [right], a limited-flight practice ball that looks like a napkin ring and flies about 40 yards. It was named best instruction product at the 2005 PGA Merchandise Show.

After the BirdieBall, Breaker realized people needed targets to hit. So his company created small targets that can be set up anywhere. The next step was inflatable air targets.

First they had an inflatable skeeball target. Like the arcade game, BirdieBall's skeeball had three different holes of various sizes -- the smaller the hole, the more points you get.

Next came Golfzilla. The dinosaur has become a popular attraction at parties and events, as well as at driving ranges and clubs. Breaker said banner advertisements can also be displayed across Golfzilla to give businesses more bang for their buck.

But Breaker said the company's bread and butter is still selling BirdieBalls to schools. He tried to sell BirdieBalls in stores, but soon realized it's hard to sell his product if people can't try it out.

"No one believes a napkin ring will go 40 yards," he said.

According to Breaker, more than 6,000 schools use BirdieBalls in their gym classes and after-school programs. He said the BirdieBalls introduce the game to kids in a new way and makes practicing a whole lot of fun. It's no wonder then BirdieBall has been a hit with the PGA of America, which is trying to boost participation in the game through its Golf 2.0 program.

"This has really helped kids understand the game of golf," said Liz Breaker, John's daughter.

Check out the video below to see Golfzilla in action, or go to birdieball.com.

Scan4Beer makes it easier to find the cart girl

Posted at 11:41 AM by Ryan Reiterman

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Stan Van Meter was playing a round of golf a few years ago when one of the game's most perplexing questions struck him -- where in the heck is the beer cart girl?

Van Meter, who used to work in aviation security, decided to start Scan4Beer, a QR code scanning application that allows you to place an order right from your smart phone.

Qrcode_forblogGolfers simply scan a QR code [right] located on the cart or scorecard with their smartphone and choose their order. Then Scan4Beer sends a message to the beverage cart worker. If there are multiple cart girls on the course, the order is sent to both of them. Thanks to GPS technology on your phone, the cart girl can track where you are on the course.

"Instead of driving around aimlessly, they know where to go," said Victoria Leigh, a spokesperson for Scan4Beer.

Van Meter said about 500 courses have signed up for the technology. Once a course installs the QR codes on the cart or scorecard, Van Meter said his company can continuously customize the menu offerings on the application.

They can also provide a lot of useful data for the course. For instance, what time of day do they get the most customers, what are the popular items on the menu and what area of the course gets the most orders.

Golfers can also place an order to the clubhouse, so their drinks and food are ready after the round. But most importantly, Van Meter said, it speeds up your round and allows you to concentrate on golf and not worry about your drink order.

"It improves pace of play," Van Meter said. "While you're putting out, [the cart girl] is preparing your drink."

For more information on how Scan4Beer works, check out the video below or go to scan4beer.com.

January 26, 2012

Arnold Palmer's clothing line revamped for a new generation

Posted at 9:58 PM by Ryan Reiterman

MooreORLANDO, Fla. -- Arnie's Army is about to get a bunch of new recruits. At least that's the thinking behind Quagmire Golf's new Arnie Wear line of clothes coming soon to a pro shop near you.

Geoff Tait, co-founder and creative director at Quagmire Golf, oversaw a complete relaunch of Arnold Palmer's clothing line. Tait even went so far as to travel to Palmer's home in Latrobe, Pa., and go through the King's closet.

Inside he found clothes from the 1950s, '60s and '70s that inspired him to create a new line of clothing for a younger generation of golfers, while still designing clothes that would appeal to Palmer's core group of fans.

"They wanted someone new to breathe fresh air into the brand," Tait said. "They want people to be excited about the Arnold Palmer brand."

When he was done looking through the King's closet, Tait came up with a plan. They designed a line of clothes based on the threads Palmer wore during his prime.

The 1950s line features smaller collars, straight-fit pants and shorter sleeves and is meant to be worn on and off the course.

For Palmer's heyday, the 1960s, Tait designed larger collars, bootcut pants and plenty of cardigans, now a Palmer signature.

The 1970s collection has more of a modern fit with subdued colors and mid-length plackets.

There are also three smaller collections -- Timeless, Palmer Performance and Signature. The Timeless collection offers simple styles, like solid polos and plaid shorts, that never go out of fashion.

The Palmer Performance line is designed for keeping a golfer cool under extreme heat, with moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics.

And the Signature line features a shirt from each collection that was remade exactly like what Palmer wore during that particular time. These shirts feature a silhouette of Palmer instead of his trademarked umbrella.

Tait said the idea behind the Signature line was simple -- several shirts he saw in Palmer's closet were so well-made, there was no reason to change much besides the fabrics.

"People still want to wear his stuff," Tait said.

Quagmire recently landed Ryan Moore to wear the Arnie line on the PGA Tour. Tait said Moore was a perfect fit, since he's known to wear classic clothes with a modern twist. It's not uncommon to see Moore making birdies in a cardigan and tie, with a skateboard-style golf shoe.

And, yes, everything in the collection was approved by Palmer himself, Tait said. Looks like the King's still got it.

You can visit the official site at arniewear.com.

Pro Mental Coach aims to give your golf brain a workout

Posted at 7:22 PM by Ryan Reiterman

MentalcoachORLANDO, Fla. -- The great Bobby Jones once said that golf is "played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course, the space between your ears."

Now there's a new tool that can help you with that tricky little track.

Developed with neuropsychologists and PGA professionals, Pro Mental Coach is a software program designed to help golfers develop a Tiger-like focus on the course, improve their attitude, and, of course, knock a few strokes off their handicaps.

"Most golfers know the mental game is important, but they don't know what to do," said Jerome Guimont, director of business development for the Brain Center of America, which creates "brain-fitness programs" designed to improve "cognitive, psychological and physical health."

After completing a 30-minute assessment test, Pro Mental Coach gives you feedback on your current mental game, shows you how your scores compare to other golfers of similar age and ability, and gives you several "exergames" to strengthen different parts of your brain.

"It's not one-size fits all," Guimont said. "It's really personalized."

Guimont demonstrated an exergame that made you pick the first image that pops up on your computer screen despite all kinds of distractions, including flying butterflies, jumping fish and a gopher popping out of a hole. If you take too long to pick the image, the screen starts to turn red, and you can feel the pressure mounting. Suddenly a tricky five-footer doesn't seem so bad.

Joe Hallett, a PGA professional and director of instruction at Vanderbilt Legends Club, said many teaching pros were put off by the Pro Mental Coach at first, thinking it might put them out of business. But Hallett says the program doesn't compete with a PGA pro; instead, it helps golfers improve a big part of their game that doesn't always get covered in a 30-minute swing lesson.

The information from your brain exercises can also be sent to your PGA pro, who can see how your mental game is improving and offer feedback.

"The amount of science behind this is amazing to us," Hallett said.

For more information on Pro Mental Coach, check out the video below, or go to promentalcoach.com.

AB Golf Designs making more than just Butthead covers

Posted at 5:49 PM by Ryan Reiterman

HeadcoversORLANDO, Fla. -- When DJ Langer and Chip Burley bought Butthead covers in 2009, they knew they could create a company that sold more than headcovers with animals' butts sticking in the air.

"With our ideas, we felt like we could expand the brand," Langer said today at the PGA Merchandise Show.

Their dream became reality last year when Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples selected Langer and Burley's AB Golf Designs to create customized leather headcovers for the U.S. team.

Thanks to the notoriety from the Presidents Cup, AB Golf designs is ramping up its classic line of leather headcovers, offering different leather patterns and designs.

"We want to be able to offer something for everyone," Langer said.

That includes classic knit stocking headcovers made out of recycled materials, patriotic boxing glove headcovers and, yes, the Butthead covers.

Langer said the patriotic gloves have become a big hit thanks to the bold design. The gloves are available for the U.S., Canada, Italy, Australia, Ireland and England.

You can also customize your own headcovers, whether it be for yourself, an outing or corporate gift (e.g.: a bottoms-up peacock for NBC).

Photos: abgolfdesigns.com

My trip to Demo Day 2012

Posted at 6:59 AM by Gary Van Sickle

Demo-Day1ORLANDO, Fla.-- I had breakfast with Nick Faldo Wednesday morning. I thought it was just going to be the two of us, but apparently Nick invited 50 other media types, who joined us in a tent in front of Orange County National.

It was the start of what I consider the Best Golf Day of the Year--the PGA Merchandise Show's Demo Day, where pros and media get to pound balls on Orange County's dreamy 360-degree range and try out what's new in golf equipment. It was a Chamber of Commerce day, all blue sky and warm sunshine and puffy white clouds en route to a high of 80 degrees.

What better way to start the festivities than with a modest (and free) breakfast buffet? Sir Nick arrived just past 8:30, looking a bit bleary-eyed but chipper. He tapped into his charming side immediately. Surveying a crowded tent, he quipped, "I don't think I had this many people rush in when I won majors." Then he began to talk about Faldo Pro-Care, a range of personal care products for men.

Faldo couldn't get out of the tent without fielding a few golf questions. He was asked if he thought Tiger would win a major in 2012. Faldo said we'll learn a lot about him in the next few months but added that the Masters would be his best chance. "Olympic Club is very difficult with the canted fairways and greens; Lytham should be like Hoylake, very firm and challenging; and Kiawah, with likely crosswinds, will be tough," he said. "In theory, the Masters is his best shot."

When the press conference finished, I headed for the range.

Continue reading "My trip to Demo Day 2012" »

January 25, 2012

Tweets and photos from 2012 PGA Show Demo Day

Posted at 6:32 PM by Golf.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Golf.com was tweeting pictures Wednesday of the latest gear from the driving at Orange County National in Orlando, site of the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day. In case you missed it, here's a quick recap.

Scenes from Demo Day: Snag Golf

Posted at 6:10 PM by Golf.com

Demo Day is a busy place, but there's still time for a little fun and games. SNAG Golf was created to help kids learn the game. It has oversized clubs and balls and Velcro targets. It's also a great party game, and it got a little added buzz in 2011 when David Feherty became a human target for a video that quickly went viral. Here, Golf Magazine's Jessica Marksbury had a target of her own, Golf.com's Kevin Cunningham.

Scenes from Demo Day: TaylorMade's RocketBallz series

Posted at 3:03 PM by Golf.com

One of the most popular displays at Demo Day belongs to TaylorMade, and much of the buzz was generated by its newest club line, RocketBallz. It's fun to say, but how do they perform? Golf Magazine's Jessica Marksbury puts them to the test.

Scenes from Demo Day: Puma Cobra Golf

Posted at 2:44 PM by Golf.com

Our first stop featured a D.J., a bar and gambling. No, it's wasn't a festival -- it was the scene at Cobra Puma Golf's spot, where Golf Magazine's Jessica Marksbury welcomes you to the event.

Scenes from Demo Day: Dead Aim putters

Posted at 2:30 PM by Golf.com

Dead Aim putters are designed to fix your alignment problems and come with a laser attachment for practicing your stroke. Golf.com's Jeff Ritter was joined by Dead Aim's owner, Todd Wilson, for a quick demonstration.

Scenes from Demo Day: Oakley Cipher shoes

Posted at 2:15 PM by Golf.com

Oakley is making a splash in the shoe market this year with a new line the company is touting as "the lightest golf shoe on earth." Golf.com's Jeff Ritter stopped by to learn more about the Oakley Cipher.

Scenes from Demo Day: Titleist Vokey Wedges

Posted at 2:10 PM by Golf.com

Golf.com's Kevin Cunningham hits the chipping green to take a few swings with the new Titleist Vokey wedge.

SCENES FROM DEMO DAY

Posted at 2:08 PM by Golf.com

The PGA Merchandise Show, the golf industry's largest trade show, kicked off today in Orlando with the 10th annual Demo Day. This year more than 90 manufacturers were set up around the circular, 42-acre practice facility at Orange County National. Scroll down to see what we saw.




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