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Category: Video

September 12, 2011

Cobra's Long Tom driver built for explosive distance

Posted at 9:30 PM by David Dusek

During World War II, the United States Army used massive 155 mm Gun M1 cannons that could hit enemy targets with a 94-pound shell from 14 miles away. Nicknamed “Long Tom,” they were serious heavy hitters. This fall, Cobra Golf will release two new drivers inspired by those cannons—the Long Tom and the limited-edition Long Tom RAW—for golfers who want serious firepower on the tee.


Measuring four feet in length (the USGA length limit is 48” for all clubs except putters), the face of each Long Tom driver is made from a new titanium alloy that is stronger than previous materials used by Cobra. This alloy makes the face thinner, and in the process, creates 20 grams of discretionary weight that has been redistributed low and deep in the 460-cc head. This discretionary weight lowers the center of gravity and helps to create a higher launch and, according to Cobra, more distance.

Like last season’s S3 driver family, Long Tom drivers also feature an elliptically shaped sweet spot that helps to maintain ball speed on shots hit in the low-heel and high-toe areas, where Cobra says players mis-hit most often.

Weighing in at a scant 269 grams, the Long Tom will come standard with a Grafalloy Blackbird shaft. Grafalloy says that a unique black paint on the Blackbird improves aerodynamics. Even the club’s grip, a Winn Ultra Light/Shorty, is geared toward adding yardage—it's so small that you can't choke down on the club!

While the standard, all-black Long Tom driver will be released in late November for $349, there will be 500 limited-edition Long Tom RAW drivers sold by authorized Cobra dealers starting in mid-October for $499 each.


Straight from the factory floor, the Long Tom RAW is unfinished, with no paint or cosmetic treatments. Aside from the titanium alloy, the only marks on the clubhead are testing measurements and the club’s serial number.

You may fire when ready.

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

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March 04, 2011

This Week in Gear: Adams Idea Pro Black CB1, Mizuno JPX-800

Posted at 5:22 PM by David Dusek

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about ClubTest: Irons, Adams and Mizuno clubs, and schedule your fitting with  GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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February 08, 2011

This Week in Gear: ClubTest 2011 & driver trends

Posted at 3:53 PM by David Dusek

ClubTest 2011: Go to Special Section

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January 18, 2011

This Week in Gear: Nike's Method Core putters and Cobra's S3 drivers

Posted at 1:19 PM by David Dusek

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Cobra and  Nike clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

January 11, 2011

This Week in Gear: Callaway's RAZR line of irons

Posted at 1:09 PM by David Dusek

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

January 04, 2011

Dustin Johnson flies TaylorMade 3-iron 254 yards

Posted at 1:35 PM by

Dustin Johnson averaged more than 308 yards off the tee last year. In a new ad for TaylorMade's Burner 2.0 irons, Johnson shows he can also hit a 3-iron a very, very long way.

Video: This Week in Gear

Posted at 10:27 AM by David Dusek

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

January 02, 2011

TaylorMade's white R11 driver will stand out in a crowd

Posted at 5:42 PM by David Dusek

TaylorMade-R11-Crown_600x600 After the success of the r7 and R9 drivers, the release of TaylorMade's third generation R11 adjustable driver was bound to cause a buzz in the equipment world.

But even before the pros at Kapalua start tinkering with TaylorMade's newest model, they'll notice the glaringly obvious thing that sets it apart—it's white.

"The satin white finish, along with the black face, creates the maximum contrast between face and crown to help you align the club more easily," says Tom Olsavsky, TaylorMade's director of product creation (metal woods). Olsavsky adds that the white finish helps to reduce the hot spots and glare often created on glossy-topped drivers.

Rumors have been swirling over the past few months that TaylorMade was planning to release a white driver, but many of those rumors failed to mention the R11’s new level of customization. In previous models, TaylorMade’s torque wrench was used to adjust the face angle, which automatically changed the club's loft as well. In the R11, loft and face angle are adjusted independently.

In the r7 and R9, an aluminum sleeve attached to the shaft, which screwed into the head in a variety of face angles. Not anymore. Now the R11's sleeve has eight settings to increase or decrease the effective loft by as much as one degree.

TaylorMade-R11-Sole_600x450 Face angle is controlled by an adjustable aluminum sole plate. By moving the red triangular plate into the closed, neutral or open position, you can adjust the look at address. The face settings range from 4 degrees open to 4 degrees closed.

Like the r7 and R9 drivers, the R11 features weight ports—one in the heel and one in the toe—that allow for a draw or fade bias. The R11 comes with a10-gram screw and a 1-gram screw. Positioning the 10-gram weight in the heel promotes a draw, while putting it in the toe encourages a fade. According to TaylorMade, the moveable weights provide up to 25 yards of right-and-left adjustability.

Because the club is so adjustable, the R11 driver will be available in only two lofts — 9° and 10.5°. Olsavsky says that's all the loft options that are required, even for Tour pros.

To make his point, Olsavsky says you could theoretically set a 9° R11 to have an open face at address, a draw weight bias and an effective loft of 10 degrees. The same club could be adjusted to have a closed-face at address, a fade bias and 8° of playing loft.

In addition to all that adjustability, Olsavsky says the R11's head shape is more aerodynamic, making it at least 6 yards longer than 2010's R9 SuperTri.

The standard R11 driver will come with a 45.75" Fujikura Blur shaft and retail for $399. A TP version of the club will feature an identical head and several shaft upgrades for $499. Both drivers should arrive in pro shops in mid-February.

Below is a video of Olsavsky talking about the technologies and features of the R11:

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

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December 16, 2010

Videos: Mizuno's JPX-800 irons, Ping putters, and TaylorMade forged irons

Posted at 3:42 PM by David Dusek

As we head into the homestretch of the holiday season, golf equipment makers are continuing to produce and release videos on YouTube. The rule here in The Shop is, "No commercials allowed," but a little chest-thumping is allowed.

In the video below, TaylorMade staff players show their first reactions after hitting the just-released Tour Preferred Forged irons. This video was shot in August at Firestone Country Club, but made available to the public about a week ago.

Next, a video produced by Ping that shows you how a new putter is assembled, gripped, tagged and shipped before it lands on the wall at a pro shop near you.

The video below, produced by Mizuno, explains some of the design philosophies and technologies used in the creation of the new JPX-800 irons.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Mizuno, Ping and TaylorMade schedule your fitting with GolfTec and Golfsmith.

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December 10, 2010

Video: Geoff Ogilvy on custom fitting his Titleist 910D3 driver

Posted at 10:06 AM by David Dusek

The video below, produced by Titleist, features 2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy talking about the custom fitting process he went through to optimize his new Titleist 910D3 driver.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTec.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

December 03, 2010

Videos: Westwood on putters and Nike pros on the SQ MachSpeed Black driver

Posted at 3:58 PM by David Dusek

YouTube is loaded with lots of golf equipment videos. I've decided to start dropping interesting clips into The Shop blog starting, well ... today. No commericals allowed, but since each of the YouTube videos will be produced by the manufacturers themselves, you can expect a fair amount of chest thumping.

First up, Ping  staff pro Lee Westwood gives you some basics on finding the ideal putter.


Next, Nike staff pros talk about the new SQ Machspeed Black driver.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping and Nike clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

October 26, 2010

ClubTest 2011: Confessions of a gear geek

Posted at 2:46 PM by David Dusek

Doug Lair PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Doug Lair doesn't want to confess how many sets of golf clubs he owns.

"C'mon Doug, your wife knows," I said.

"Oh no she doesn't!"

Eventually, Lair, a native of Oklahoma City who now lives in Austin, Texas, admitted to owning 10 sets that date back to the early 1980s, but I have a feeling that in the back of his garage, tucked behind the lawn mower and some old boxes, I might find a few more.

He's a true gear geek, and this week Lair is totally in his element at PGA National Resort & Spa because he's attending his ninth ClubTest.

Six weeks before he arrives at Golf Magazine's annual golf equipment test, Lair plays the front nine at Twin Creeks Country Club with one set of irons and then switches to another set at the turn. The idea is to get used to switching back and forth between clubs.

With his slow Oklahoma drawl, Lair told me that when he applied to become a ClubTester he knew he could do the job. "I had been a big fan of the article for years," he said. "I filled out an online form, started e-mailing back and forth with Rob [Sauerhaft] and then got invited."

"He's incredibly thorough, has attention to detail and has a passion for equipment and testing," says Sauerhaft, Golf Magazine's managing editor for equipment. "There are so many subtleties among the different clubs, and Doug makes it his business to determine what those subtleties are."

But that doesn't mean Lair's experiences at ClubTest have all been smooth sailing. "My first year was during the infamous monsoon at Innisbrook," he recalls. "I think we got about three inches of rain that first day. I found out the hard way that cheap rain suits are not the way to go."

When Lair started participating in ClubTest, he was a 13-handicap. But after his first year, when Lair admits to running out of gas, he vowed to be better prepared for the following year's ClubTest.

"I went out and bought two sets of irons, one total game-improvement and one a player's cavity-back," he says. "After I'd put my daughter to bed, I'd head over to the driving range and hit one set, then the other set. After a while I felt like I could hit pretty much anything, and my handicap dropped to a seven!"

The short video below shows Lair hitting a yet-to-be-released Callaway iron from 177 yards to 12 feet on Tuesday.


When asked about some of his all-time favorite clubs, Lair offered these words:

"The drivers get better and better every year. But The Callaway FT-3, that had that crazy sound, is one. As for fairway woods, the original Cleveland Launcher fairways, with that gold shaft, were great—springy and long. The gold standard for irons was the Mizuno MX-23. Everyone loved those things -- high, low and otherwise."

But that doesn't mean he'd recommend those clubs, or any of today's, for everyone. "Everything they build today works, and these guys [the club makers] are smart and they know what they're doing," he says. "But the clubs work for a certain type of swing style and a certain group of people. Some clubs just aren't going to work for you. That doesn't mean it's a bad club—it's just a bad fit."

- Go to ClubTest 2010

May 26, 2010

Jason Day's Split Iron Set and Two Pitching Wedges

Posted at 5:57 PM by David Dusek

FORT WORTH, Texas — On Sunday evening, when TaylorMade reps sent me a list of the clubs Jason Day used to win the Byron Nelson Championship, I thought they'd made a mistake. The list said that Day had both a TaylorMade R9 TP pitching wedge AND a 48° TP wedge with xFT.

Typically, a pitching wedge has about 47° of loft, and while pros sometimes have unique clubs in their bags, I couldn't think of a reason why a player would want two clubs with almost exactly the same loft—especially now that pros have to play the new USGA-conforming grooves. The clubs should produce almost the same shots.

On Monday I went to TaylorMade's Tour van here at Colonial Country Club to ask the men who build Day's clubs if I'd been sent incorrect information.

Nope, it turns out that Day does carry both clubs in his bag. However, I was told that Day's pitching wedge has been de-lofted to 46°, creating a 2° gap between the two clubs.

My next stop was the media center where Day was talking to reporters. I began our conversation by asking him why he chooses to play a split set of irons, going with TaylorMade Tour Preferred long-irons (3-5) and R9 TP mid- and short-irons.

Watch the video below for Day's thoughtful answer.

Next I asked him about the wedges.

"I hit my pitching wedge 140-145 yards, my 48° 130-135 yards, my sand wedge (54°) 110-115 yards and my lob wedge (60°) 90-95 yards," Day said. "I like to play two shots with every wedge. If I have 130 yards I'll usually hit a 48° wedge shot to the pin because it goes higher, but I could hit a half-shot with my pitching wedge if I want to hit it lower."

Rather than creating uniform distance gaps with his four-wedge setup, Day thinks more of trajectory options, visualizing the ideal shot and then picking the right club and swing-length combination.

"If the pin is at the front of the green and there is a bunker there, then I will want to bring the ball in high with the 48°," he told me. "But if the pin is in the back, then I can hit it lower and let the ball release to the pin with the pitching wedge."

Crafty stuff from a guy who's just 22.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

March 19, 2010

Video: Nike Pros on the ONE Golf Ball

Posted at 10:04 AM by David Dusek

In this video provided by Nike Golf, Stewart Cink, Paul Casey, Michelle Wie and other staff pros talk about the Nike ONE ball.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | See-Try-Buy: Nike clubs and GolfTEC custom fitting

February 26, 2010

Video: Nike Athletes on SQ Machspeed STR8-Fit Driver

Posted at 9:21 AM by David Dusek

In this video, provided by Nike Golf, staff players including Justin Leonard, Trevor Immelman and Lucas Glover talk about the performance, look and feel of the new SQ Machspeed STR8-Fit driver:

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Nike clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTec

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

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