Tag: 2018 PGA Show

2018 PGA Show: Most interesting products Technology rules the day

 

Part One – Hard Goods

By Barry Lotz

This year’s show was the busiest and most well-attended Show I have been to in the last five years. It was interesting to see how the economics of the Show have changed. Especially as to how previous long-time exhibitors, particularly the smaller vendors, do not have booths anymore, but attend the Show to meet and greet their customers. Many exhibitors are sharing booth space, as the cost of exhibiting has skyrocketed.

Many of the exhibitors should not be there simply because their products will never gain traction, are gimmicks and the owners do not understand that markets create businesses, businesses don’t create markets.

It’s really a great time to be a golfer! The technology, just over the past few years, has changed radically. The key point is that with all the new products, whether balls, irons, drivers, shoes, putters or wedges, you can and must be custom fitted. Take advantage of all the new technology and products heretofore non-existent and improve your enjoyment and lower your scores.

Drivers today still lead the demand in equipment sales. Now you can find the right shaft and decide what it is exactly that you want out of a driver in terms of dispersion, sound, feel, shot pattern, draw or fade tendency. Seek and ye shall find.

The stars, aka busiest booths of the Show this year, were most definitely Callaway, PING, Cobra, Tour Edge and TNP Shafts.

Callaway’s new Rogue line of drivers, irons, fairway woods, hybrids, putters and wedges are simply their best products to date. Upcoming articles will feature each product line separately.

PING’s new G400Max and Vault Putters drew both retailers and golfers on a continuous stream.

Tour Edge, golf’s best kept secret, was writing orders steadily for their new HL series of clubs.

TNP Shafts had people lining up both on the range at Demo Day and the hitting bays inside the exhibit hall. These shafts are the “hottest” product on the market today, and now that Jason Day won with these shafts, interest has soared for these at $500 apiece.

Cobra’s new F8 One length irons and their F8 driver are poised to garner a larger market share.

The following is a synopsis of twelve products reaping a lot of raves and attention:

GENiUS Golf Ball by Oncore Golf – once fully-developed, will utilize embedded chipset technologies to deliver a brand new golfing experience, help turn you into a better performer, and bring a data and graphical rich description of your shots to your mobile device in real-time.

INPUTT teaches the “inside-to-out” putting stroke, but more importantly, it teaches a golfer to keep the putter face square during the entire stroke. Results are immediate. www.inputtgolf.com.

Bolle Sun Glasses – Quality sun glasses for golfers. www.bolle.com

AccuriStrike golf mat

Acu-Strike Golf Mat– A golf impact training device. www.acustrikegolf.com

CaddyTrek – a new robotic, lightest-powered golf trolley that follows the golfer around the course faithfully. www.caddytrek.com.

AmpCaddy blue tooth speaker

AmpCaddy – A Bluetooth speaker that can be put on a golf cart so golfers can listen to music while they play.

www.ampcaddy.com

ProCheck – a golf ball compression tester

Elixir Golf Balls – The ELIXR™ tour ball is built using a tri-phase architecture that combines proprietary chemical blends and advanced material elements to create the ultimate golf ball.

Shot Scope – a GPS watch with automated performance tracking. www.shotscope.com

TecTecTec – TecTecTec produces technologically-advanced, yet affordable laser rangefinders.

www.us.tectectec.com

Swing Station – A full game training aid in one small package. www.swingstationgolf.com

SuperSpeed Golf training aid – Increases your distance and club speed. www.superspeedgolf.com

All of these products will be further detailed in upcoming articles within their specific categories. Part Two will feature clubs and balls, and Part Three will feature the Soft Goods that were drawing the retail buyers and golfers consistently. Stay tuned.

Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. Visit www/facebook.com/PGTAA to see all the latest mental strategies, travel and equipment reviews. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf”, updated for 2011, is still in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list. His latest book, “The Right Mind for Golf”, is now in its 7th reprint is available on Amazon and at the Torrey Pines golf course.

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Seven Dreamers: golf shafts for the 1% The ultimate materials and process will cost you plenty

By Mike Lednovich, Editor & Publisher

ORLANDO, Fl. — When you hear Michael Rossi, VP of Sales for Seven Dreamers Golf Shafts, describe the aerospace materials and the autoclave curing oven used to produce their shafts, you come away impressed.

Oh my gosh, I’ve got to get these you think.

Then comes literally the money question. How much? The answer, $1,200 per shaft plus another $1,200 for fitting. Ouch, that $16,800 for a full set.

I know, you’ve stopped reading. But if you’ve got a super fat, golf slush fund, please read on.

“To retain 100% of the carbon fibers’ quality, we don’t polish or grind the carbon fiber of the shafts. Think about that. When you grind a material, you’re losing or weakening fibers,” Rossi explained. “Instead, we use autoclaves to bake the shafts, thereby eliminating the need for polishing and grinding. Using autoclaves enables us to manufacture the world’s highest quality carbon golf shafts created with less resin and more carbon fiber. It gives a golfer a better and smoother feeling in their shots resulting in better control and more distance.”

Autoclaves are often used in the manufacture of high-precision carbon products such as parts for satellites and high speed aircraft.  Seven Dreamers products are manufactured in Tokyo by craftsmen who make each shaft carefully one by one.

“Once we remove the shaft from the mold, we literally trim ithe shaft to length and wipe it down. The surface condition is perfect,” Rossi said. “So there are no unbroken fibers. There are no fiber tears. We have no fiber bullets. Those are factors other manufacturers contend with that contributes to incongruities and inconsistencies in their shafts.”

Seven Dreamers traces its roots in the aerospace industry with the “Hayabusa” spacecraft, an unmanned vehicle that Japan landed on an asteroid in 1998, collected samples and then successfully returned to earth.

“So we use the very best materials and a process that is very precise and unique. That’s our story,” Rossi said. “The feel of the shafts is very responsive. Our customers are golfers who want the very best.”

Rossi said the company offers 28 different skews of shafts from 43 grams to 83 grams and up to XXX stiff.

You can find a U.S. fitting center by going to this link https://golf.sevendreamers.com/en/shop/agent/

 

 

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French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

PuttOUT Golf: practice anywhere to hone your stroke

ORLANDO, Fl. — We have an affinity for new exhibitors at the PGA Show and spotted a putting practice device that was getting a lot of attention.

It’s called PuttOUT and the concept is you can practice an effective putting stroke anywhere.

With a scientifically shaped parabolic ramp, each made putt is returned to the player the same distance it would have gone past the hole had it missed, anything else is a miss.

“Only a ball that is rolled on the perfect line and with the perfect pace (18-inches past the hole had it missed) will stick in the PuttOUT micro-target,” said Cam Slaughter of PuttOUTGolf. “We challenge golfers with You Think you can putt to absolute perfection?”

Using a folding design, PuttOUT can be taken wherever there’s space to play – carry it in your backpack, golf bag or even pocket. And when you’re finished, fold it away, out-of-sight in your desk drawer.

With the white disc at the base of the ramp replicating the size of a regulation golf hole, anything that rolls over the disc and up the ramp, returning back to the player is a made putt.

The device is simple in design but an effective putting aid.

Available at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy.

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

Why club fitting matters Study shows golfers gain distance and accuracy - don't buy a new driver, get fitted

A 2017 study conducted by GolfMagazine (Aug 2017) confirmed that custom club fitting absolutely improves any player’s performance on the golf course. Improvement was evident across the board with big distance gains, tighter dispersion patterns, more fairways hit, closer proximity to the hole with irons and most surprisingly, dramatically improved putting.

The golfers participating in the study lowered their handicap by an average of three strokes per round! The magazine concluded by writing, “The results? Fitting matters. Based on data from the TrackMan, SAM PuttLab and SkyCaddies along with tester interviews, it’s clear that correctly matched clubs can help golfers of all skills. And remember – you actually can buy a better game with properly fit clubs.”

Says world-renowned instructor David Leadbetter, “It never ceases to amaze me that golfers buy clubs off the shelf and assume they’re right for them. Whether you’re a great golfer or a casual one, getting a custom club fitting is one of the quickest ways to improve your game.” While custom fitting will definitely improve a player’s ability to perform and score, not all fitters are created equal. There are standard and premium levels of fitting.

A standard, or non-premium fitting, will often be free, or at least free with a purchase. Every step up in technology and fitting expertise will most likely produce better results.
A non-premium fitting might be done by a local golf shop or teaching pro. They may have rudimentary technology such as basic launch monitors, though many still base their fitting on ball flight and the eye test. They’ll probably have a limited selection of heads and shafts on hand to hit. They might have one or more fitting carts from companies like Callaway, TaylorMade or Titleist. You’ll most likely get a set of golf clubs that measures you properly for your build and swing speeds because they’ve been doing that for years. Your fitter will have some training. If you go through this fitting, will you improve? Maybe.

For a more advanced,non-premium fitting, you may choose to go to a place like Edwin Watts, Golf Galaxy or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Some PGA professionals will fit into this category because of their experience, expanded equipment options and/or more advanced fitting technology. A location like this might have four, or even more, individual fitting carts from various manufacturers. Each manufacturer might have 10, 15 or more shaft options for their drivers, some of the same shafts as well as some unique to their brand. However, they cannot mix and match shafts and heads between fitting carts and they definitely won’t fit you for swing weight. They’ll incorporate a launch monitor and maybe some additional technologies. Fitters might be highly trained or just a sales associate with little training. In most cases, they also have to sell shirts, shoes and golf balls as well as to fit. Once you are fit, they’ll send your specifications to a club manufacturer to be built on an assembly line. Will you improve more if you visit a location like this? Probably.

Golf specialty stores often fit indoors while PGA professionals often fit outdoors. Indoors provides a true ball flight unaffected by wind, humidity or uneven turf conditions. Does it matter? Indoors, golfers are free of distractions and external elements that impact a golf ball. Golfers are better able to focus indoors, which allows for a more repeatable swing. Indoors you hit premium golf balls instead of range balls, which provides much more accurate feedback. Some may question if hitting off a mat alters performance, but a recent study showed that fairway turf grass and Fiberbuilt turf mats created identical ball speed, smash factors and spin rates on a TrackMan launch monitor, meaning hitting off turf isn’t an advantage in club fitting.
If you wish to treat yourself to a premium fitting, you would go to a place like Club Champion, Cool Clubs or Hot Stix. A premium fitter avails itself of the most advanced technology including TrackMan, SAM PuttLab, and SST PURE machines. SST PUREing identifies shaft irregularities that can cause problems when the shaft twists and bends during the swing. It finds the most stable bending plane or “neutral-axis” of every individual shaft, then aligns it in the clubhead to deliver longer, more accurate shots; as much as six additional yards.

A premium club fitter will have many more options available. At Club Champion, they offer more than 35,000 hittable head and shaft options from all the major brands, plus numerous other exotic offerings. Club Champion also stands out because they actually build clubs in-house, to exacting, unrivaled tolerances. Variables such as swing weight, length, lie and flex definitely alter performance. The experience and know-how in combining these intricate parts together is what separates Club Champion from its competition.

At Club Champion, master fitters go through more than 150 hours of training including monthly product training and testing. They must pass rigorous testing before they can be certified. As opposed to other retail locations, fitting is all that these people do. They’re not salespeople, they’re not cashiers; they are master fitters.
“Club Champion truly is one of the most innovative club fitters in the business. They provide a consumer experience that is undeniably helpful for all golfers to play better. We couldn’t be more thrilled with our partnership with Club Champion,” said TaylorMade CEO David Abeles.
InGolfMagazine’s August 2017 club fitting study, interviews with the testers revealed the expertise of Club Champion fitters had a lot to do with the very positive testing results. These golfers added an average of 19 yards off the tee and 10 yards with their irons. fit.

 

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

2018 Tour Edge Hot Launch 3 driver adjustable and draw models Four-piece forged club head

Tour Edge engineers have worked tirelessly to bring a technological advanced driver to market that is also competitively priced. The new Hot Launch golf clubs fit both criteria and will be a solid inclusion into the Tour Edge line. The Hot Launch line is headlined by the new adjustable driver, suggested retail is $199.99.
The new titanium Hot Launch driver is adjustable with loft options from 8.5 to 12.0 degrees in 1 degree increments. Easy-to-use adjustability gives players great control in choosing the most efficient loft for optimal distance and accuracy. The head shape is very efficient aerodynamically to promote optimal club head speed for longer drives.
 The Hot Launch features a 460cc titanium four-piece forged club head. The driver’s deep face design and variable face thickness technology provide maximum power from more contact points on the face.
Weight is an important feature in the Hot Launch driver, including a weight positioned in the rear center of the sole creates a deep center of gravity for an easy launch and greater forgiveness on off-center hits. The internal sole design incorporates additional weight in the heel and toe to maximize stability and performance. Paired with a very light-weight shaft, Graffaloy ProLaunch Blue, the Hot Launch driver is destined to be light and long. The Graffaloy ProLaunch Blue shaft is tip responsive design allows all types of golfers to maximize their distance through improved launch angles.
A non-adjustable Draw version is also available. The club head is offset for proven slice-fighting control. The offset hosel allows the face to ‘square up’ at impact for a straighter ball flight.
The Hot Launch drivers carry Edge’s lifetime warranty, 30-day play guarantee, and are projected to be in stores the beginning of October. Available in Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue shaft – tip responsive design which allows all types of golfers to maximize distance through improved launch angles. Suggested retail: Adjustable $199.99; Draw version $149.99. For more information, call (800) 515-3343 or visit www.touredge.com.

 

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

golf8.5 – simplifying the swing in sequence Getting the 1,001 swing thoughts out of your brain

Former pro golfer and PGA instructor Kay McMahon maintains there’s a lot of bunk in golf instruction.

“You’ll watch TV and they say rotate your hips for speed. Well, if you do that you’ll swing out and across. Welcome you’re now a slicer,” she said in presenting golf8.5 to a group of writers at the Tour Edge Media Event. “If we want to grow the game, we have to change the way we’re teaching this.”

McMahon has developed golf8.5, a teaching methods that focuses on eight and half movements in the golf swing – 4 in establishing the setup and four and a half in the swing.

Her method debunks many of the established rules of instruction, like posture.

“We never teach posture. There’s no such thing. Every one establishes there own posture when they step into the ball to setup. So the posture happens automatically,” McMahon stated. “We believe effective learning begins in learning in parts. We believe you begin movements slow to fast.”

“When you follow Golf 8.5, the ‘1001 things’ that are traditionally taught happen automatically.  You no longer have to think about anything else,” she said.

So to establish the beginning, golf8.5 uses G-CAP – grip, clubhead, alignment and posture.

The swing is four and half movements – the Y formed by the arms and shoulders, creating an L on the backswing, together which form the box. From the top, the box like an elevator moves down and so on.

“It’s teaching so golfers can self correct themselves on the golf course,” she said. “These positions should never change.”

You can take online lessons by contacting golf8.5 at www.eduKaytiongolf.com

 

 

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

ProCheck – is your golf ball as advertised? Soft as a grape or hard as a rock can mean a loss of 15% in distance

We watched in amazement as the fellas at ProCheck asked for a ball out of our bag. It was a TaylorMade Noodle that had been unused for quite some time. It’s supposed to be soft and low compression. They popped that Noodle into the ProCheck and with a push of a button discovered my Noodle was now a rock hard Pinacle.

Time does that to a golf ball. Who knew?

“A golfer achieves the maximum energy transfer and the most driving distance if the hardness (compression) of the ball is matched to their swing speed of the club,” said John Donahue. “Golfers with slower swing speeds (60-70 mph) should play softer golf balls, and those with fast swing speeds (100-110 mph) should play firmer golf balls. Matching swing speed with ball compression causes the ball to have the optimum degree of flattening at impact. That flattening creates a trampoline-like energy transfer. Too much flattening or too little reduces the energy transfer. This concept is well understood in the golfing world.”

Donahue said the majority of amateur and recreational golfers aren’t playing the correct golf ball to their swing speeds. He also said not all golf balls in a box of a dozen are the exact same compression.

“Each manufacturer measures compression with a laboratory device called an ATTI. Each manufacturing year’s ball run is assigned an ATTI number based on the average compression of a sample of balls. These compression numbers are published and can be found on the 2016 GBT Technologies pdf website,” Donahue said.  “But here’s the rub. Those numbers are averages and there can be a significant difference from ball to ball, even in the same box. Some manufacturers have tighter control over compression variability than others.”

The ProCheck measures the compression of a golf ball on a scale of very soft to very firm, with three measures in between.

Weather is another factor impacting the compression of the ball.

On a very hot day, the ball loses compression and you should play a harder ball than usual. On a cold day, the ball gets harder and you should play a softer ball to get the maximum distance. So whether you are teeing it up on a Saturday morning with a brand new ball or just reaching into your bag for something white — the compression may be much different than what you want and that will affect your distance by 10-20%. Now you can test your golf ball’s compression with a sophisticated hand held device that will give you confidence that the ball you are playing is right for you. You can be sure the compression of that ball matches your swing speed.

ProCheck is available exclusively on www.revolutiongolf.com

 

 

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

Trackers are everywhere – here is DuoTrac

We were in a vendor line and ran across DuoTrac. We’ve used the text from their website and we hope to see it in action on the PGA Show floor this week.

From Coachlabs.com

Analyzing only your swing is not enough. Your body motion affects your club path and control. By improving your body motion and swing together, you can achieve effortless power and tour-player consistency. By improving your hip-sway

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.

Golf Elevator – the easy answer to keep putter grips dry device fits on the end of the grip and included a ball marker

What’s great about the PGA Merchandise Show is that every year there’s somebody tinkering in their garage comes up with a pretty niffy product.

We ran into the Golf Elevator at Tour Edge’s 13th Annual Media Day at the Lake Nona County Club in Orlando.  The Golf Elevator is essentially a sturdy and durable kickstand for your putter with a built in magnetic ball marker. The device fits snugly into the end of your grip. To use it, pull on the end cap, swivel the stand 90 degrees and there you have it. a ready made stand that keeps the putter grip high and dry.

The Golf Elevator is also easy to remove, so if you replace the grip or buy/change putter, you can install it on the new putter.

The company can also put custom logos on the ball marker.

Golf Elevator retails for $20. Go to https://www.golfelevator.com/

× Featured

French Lick: Donald Ross and Pete Dye at their finest

If the golf courses at French Lick Resort aren’t on your must-play list, adjust it. The Indiana boyhood home of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird also has two layouts that are turning the hoops hotbed into a golf playground as well.