By Zak Kozuchowski
GolfWRX Managing Editor
Big product releases are usually the draw at the PGA Merchandise Show, but there were a few lesser known products that generated a lot of buzz at this year’s event. Here’s three products you need to know about from the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show.
Industry standards for iron lofts have gotten stronger in recent years. Yet wedge loft offerings have stayed nearly the same, leaving golfers with a problem. They don’t have a pitching wedge any more.
“Companies haven’t been making pitching wedges for a long time,” said Terry Koehler, president of SCOR Golf.
For that reason, SCOR produces a line of clubs with lofts from 41 degrees to 61 degrees, which the company hopes will help golfers fill the gap that stronger short irons create in their bags. To make things even easier on golfers, SCOR wedges are offered in only one sole grind, the company’s V Sole.
“We don’t believe in different options on grind,” Koehler said. “We build a low bounce into the main part of the sole so it will work from tight lies, and a very aggressive bounce in the leading edge so that it will perform from soft lies. The idea of custom grinding a sole for the vast variety of lies you could face in any given round of golf to me is pretty hard … your lies change continually. (Wedge designers) talk about fitting your sole to your swing type, well if you’re a really good player you vary your swing type for the kind of shot you’re trying to hit, and if you’re an average to poor player you’re not really sure what your swing type is going to be from swing to swing.”
The custom built golf clubs will be available at select fitting centers across the country, and start at $149 for an individual wedge.
I hit the 44 degree model (the same loft as my Miura CB-202 9-iron) on the range, and was impressed with the club’s more compact profile and lower trajectory on full shots. On chips and pitches, the V grind proved very versatile, and was definitely an improvement over my 9 iron on smaller shots.
SwiftWick socks were featured in our GolfWRX last minute holiday gift guide past because of the huge following the sock company gained on the PGA Tour in win 2011. At this year’s PGA Merchandise Show, I finally had the opportunity to don the company’s much hyped socks.
I squeezed my size 12s into Swiftwick’s Vibe Zero sock on Friday for day No. 3 of frantic coverage and the endless walking required from a GolfWRX staff member. The first thing I noticed was how snugly the socks fit around my heel.
All of Swiftwick’s socks are seamless, and constructed at a 200-needle standard, which means they provide compression throughout the entire sock without any friction points. My aching feet were immediately rejuvenated, like I was being given a foot massage as I walked the floor. My feet also felt cooler inside my sweat saturated Ecco Street golf sneakers. Since the fabric wasn’t slipping, my feet felt much more stable inside my shoe, a feeling that later translated into more stability in my golf swing.
The Vibe line is a litter thicker than Swiftwick’s thinnest socks, the Aspire line. And while I’m not usually a fan of thin socks, but I loved the feel of the Vibe and the Aspire, which I later sampled.
It wasn’t long before I returned to the Swiftwick booth for the Aspire 12s, a knee-high length sock that I hoped would give my ankles and calves the same treat mean my feet had just received. While I was there, I also picked up Swiftwick’s Performance Sleeves, which I thought was one of the most thoughtful products at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show.
I wasn’t disappointed by the performance of the Aspire 12s, and during testing days later I found Swiftwick’s sleeves to be perfect for cold weather practice sessions. The sleeves fit snugly from just above the elbow to the wrist, and provided warmth and compression without the straight jacket feeling of multiple layers and compression shirts. Like Swiftwick’s Aspire, Vibe and Performance sock lines, the sleeves are made of Olifin, a naturally moisture wicking fabric, which makes them playable in warmer weather conditions as well.
My personal favorite product from Swiftwick, however, is the company’s Pursuit sock line, which is constructed completely of merino wool. The socks cost a little more than the other models and are the thickest socks the company produces.
Swiftwick gives cotton socks a swift kick in the behind. Prices range from $9.99 a pair to $34.99 for the knee-high 12s. The sleeves are $24.99.
The Putting Alley training aid is going to make you a better putter.
It works like this.
1. You place your ball in a small depression on one end of the 27-inch training aid.
2. You try to putt the ball down the raised surface without having it fall off.
3. You practice, and miss fewer short putts.
Check out the video below with Putting Alley Vice President of Sales, Tim Maloney. I couldn’t pull out my credit card fast enough to get mine.
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TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB
TaylorMade Golf has officially announced the signing of Matthew Wolff on a multi-year agreement that will see the 20-year-old play the company’s metal woods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball, the TP5x.
Wolff had previously unveiled that he would be making his professional debut at this week’s Travelers Championship, and just as top prospect Collin Morikawa did earlier at this month’s Canadian Open, Wolff will do so as a TaylorMade staffer.
The NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion made his debut on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year where he finished T50 after opening his week with a round of five-under par.
Matthew Wolff WITB
Driver: TaylorMade M6 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design TP 7TX
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX
Utility Iron: TaylorMade P760 (2)
Shaft: Nippon Modus 130x
Irons: TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (52, 56, 62 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper
8 interesting putter photos from Bettinardi’s Summer Social
Bettinardi’s annual Summer Social was held at company HQ in Tinley Park, Illinois, last week. For RJB enthusiasts from as far away as London and Japan, it’s an opportunity to get together with like-minded individuals, shoot the breeze, oh, and check out some of the coolest putters in the world.
For those of us not lucky enough to join Bob, Sam, and the 60-plus collectors in attendance, Bettinardi was kind enough to furnish us with a few photos of the one-off and limited-edition flatsticks featured at the 10th edition of the gathering.
DASS BBZero Sound Slot Wizard Ghost Face
DASS 3 Step Jam Fancy Neck Tie Dye
DASS SS38 Fancy Face
DASS BB8 Mid Sound Slot
Carbon Fred Couples Blade Fancy Neck
Raw Fred Couples Blade
DASS QB6 Mid-Slant Chitown Dog
DASS QB6 Gold Flame
WRX Spotlight: Argolf Mordred putter
Product: Argolf Mordred putter
Pitch: From Argolf: “…each ARGOLF putter is named after an Arthurian legend.”
“Mordred was known as a notorious traitor who fought King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann, where he was killed, and Arthur was fatally wounded. The images depicting Mordred are reflected in the winged design of the putter which aids in stabilization and alignment, as well as its coloring.”
“With a lower center of gravity that surpasses all mallet putters in the ARGOLF collection, Mordred boasts one of the highest MOIs available on the market. Precisely milled from a solid block of aeronautical-grade 7175 Aluminum, Mordred appeals to the eye with its clean and sophisticated look. Using the most advanced technology, Mordred is shaped through a 5-axis milling process that differentiates itself from its competitors in design and performance due to its aerodynamic features.”
Our take on the Argolf Mordred putter
When you are dreaming of your next high-end milled putter, Argolf might not be the first name that pops into your head. Argolf is a French company founded in 2010 by a couple of aeronautical industrialists and a golf professional. By combining the expertise from both sites, Argolf has created a line of milled putters that not only look like art but with performance that rivals more well-known brands.
Mordred is a large mallet that boasts a very low center of gravity and super high MOI. Milled out of a solid block of aerospace-grade 7175 aluminum, the design is influenced by the aerodynamic lines from F1 race cars. The face features Argolf’s C-Claw technology that produces a more consistent forward roll without skidding. The Mordred is finished off with a single orange site line, a black PVD shaft, and a Pure midsize grip.
When you open the box, you are greeted with a nice grey and orange head cover that feels high quality and durable. Headcover removed, you will say hello to one of the larger mallet putters you have ever tried. The finish is a matte dark gray that eliminates glare and contrasts well with the orange paint fill. Traditionally high end milled putters have milling lines on most of the head and ARGOLF hid most of those in this head. The milling lines and marks are still visible on the rounded sections, but any flat surface is perfectly smooth. From what I have been told by machinists, it is more expensive to remove those lines and marks.
Any mallet putter that boasts high MOI, the style is going to be love or hate. At first, I was taken back by how busy the Mordred is, but out on the course, those flowing lines melt away. Not once was I distracted by them while lining up a putt. Size is going to take some getting used to as it just frames the ball different than any other mallet I have tried.
Feel and sound is where Mordred really shines. I have putted with aluminum putters before, and depending on the design they can have a different sound or feel. The C-Claw face really offers a softer feel and sound with just a slight click at impact. Not as crisp as carbon steel, just a little more muted and I enjoyed the sounds and feel with the Titleist AVX.
ARGOLF’s C-Claw technology does what it says and gets the ball rolling with zero skidding, even on long uphill putts. Putting side-by-side with a standard faced putter you could easily see tell the difference in the first foot of roll. Some face technologies can cause issues with distance control, but every putt rolled out to the expected distance. Compared to a traditionally milled face the Mordred will roll a fraction farther, but something that is easy to adjust to with a handful of putts on the practice green.
Shots off center go almost exactly where you aimed; the toe miss leaks just a touch right. Putts struck on the heel go straight and lose minimal distance while feeling still very solid. Toe strikes leak a hair right and are met with a small amount of vibration letting you know you missed the center of the putter.
Overall, Argolf’s Mordred putter is a great option for someone who is looking for a super forgiving putter. A minor complaint is no grip options for a putter at this price. I like a standard size, firmer grip and there are no other options to select from. The other thing that could become an issue is how well the finish holds up. I always use the headcover when I am not using my putter and the finish still has a few minor marks on it. If you are anti-headcover you might notice faster wear. Those are pretty small issues, and I think that ARGOLF has a really solid putter here.
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