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Review: Club Crown

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Confidence and comfort win the day. It’s a simple partnership to envision, but not always a cinch to incorporate. When you tee up a golf ball, any number of notions serve to distract your thoughts from the immediate task. If you have a way to concentrate your thoughts on the tee shot, you just might bring about that desirable merger of confidence and comfort. A product called Club Crown encourages both moods.

Club Crown by VIVE debuted its high-tech film in 2013 to great notice. The film is affixed to a driver or wood crown and serves a functional purpose: it protects club tops from sky marks and other dings. The extremely cool element to the film is the variety of colors and logos that could potentially adorn your club. Club Crown offers collegiate mascots, armed service icons, family tartans and a host of traditional and eclectic patterns.

With all the talk about the sole and the face of a driver, the side viewed by golfers when it counts and when the match is on the line is the crown. Having a visual in that space is restorative and consolatory, which adds up to more confidence and better execution. In other words, why waste the space?

“I saw that a major item in golf that cannot be customized in an easy and economical way is the head of the golf club,” said Andrew Glaser, CEO of the company. “Balls, tees, gloves and a myriad of other items, yes, but how much does that customization directly impact your game?

Mario Clemens Club Crown

Mario Clemens, a member of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, would certainly suggest a positive impact. Clemens recently tied for 4th place in the Chile Open (Abierto de Chile) after leading the event after three rounds. Clemens proudly displays the flag of Mexico on his driver head, courtesy of Club Crown.

“We’re thrilled Mario is using our product,” said Brendan Doyle, president of ClubCrown. “After a stellar collegiate career, he’s making a smooth transition into the professional golf arena. We look forward to many more years of success with him.”

The Club Crown brings about this transformation in a microscopic way. The film weighs 2 grams, increasing the heft of your driver head by one percent. This isn’t The Princess And The Pea, so I suspect that as sensitive a driver as you are, you won’t notice the slight weight gain. The Club Crown is removable, albeit in the same hands of the installer who put it on. It won’t slide off from common use, so smash away with fairway metals and driver with complete confidence. Each Club Crown costs around $40, making it accessible for golfers of various economic levels.

atomic bomb

Club Crown’s “Atomic Bomb” design.

Installation is a quick and thoughtless process. Trained installers are found in 30 states plus the District of Columbia. For the rest of us, it’s easy to send the club in via preferred shipping method. Turnaround time is quick, ensuring that the club will be back in your hands before your next golf escape, tournament or outing. For those with adjustable drivers, find a small box and send the head in. No worries about the shaft. I shipped my Adams driver head in and had it back within eight days. No fuss and no hassle are the operative words when it comes to a Club Crown installation.

Custom orders are available with a minimum of 12 pieces. The company currently works with each client to design the custom decal, but greater things are in the works. In the near future, Club Crown hopes to debut an engine that permits the upload of personalized images, be they family photos, favorite scenes or an individual monogram. Whether used as a marketing or recruitment tool, or simply as a keep sake, the potential is vast and encouraging.

It took less than 10 minutes to decide on the specific film for my club head. My eyes disquiet at the slightest interference, so I immediately discarded the diamond patterns, attractive as they might be. My options were reduced to dark and light. Since I bought a white-headed driver because it was, you know, white, it made sense to grab the lighter film. During my three to four rounds since the transmutation, I’ve stepped up to the tee with a swagger and let loose with all the confidence of a matador.

It has been 25 years since I was an undergrad, but I still love thinking,”GO Deacs!”

Wake Forest Club Crown White

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. The General

    Dec 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Good comment to kwoot. Any pro that’s worth a nickel will tell you the shaft is the most important part of the golf club so get that sucker right! ClubCrowns look great and I think the marketing possibilities are endless….enough variety to satisfy just about everybody! (must say I’m not much on the halloween skulls)

  2. Marko

    Dec 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    These have been out for awhile.Different company.
    And you can put it on yourself. I think they were about $10 each.

    • markb

      Dec 29, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      I can’t speak for the quality of a Club Crown, but I have tried the do-it-yourself competitor (bigwigzskins.com) and I found them to be difficult to apply and low in quality. Very hard to smooth out the wrinkles around the hosel completely and very easy to over-stretch, tear, or distort the skin. If you touch the adhesive at all it will lose its tack and fail to adhere well. I gave up after 2 failed tries. In my opinion, professional application is probably a very good idea.

  3. Whitey Nichols

    Dec 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I have one with ball marks on it. It matches the ball marks I already have on the top of my driver. Works great !

  4. Dan

    Nov 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I want mine to say “tour prototype” so I can sell it for double to some knucklehead like myself

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Dan, et al…

      Leave the middle man out (but keep reading)!! Get in touch with the ClubCrown people directly (but keep reading) and let them know you want customizable crowns (but most of all, keep reading.)

  5. Jack L

    Nov 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Good idea. I would like a one or two word swing thought on mine. Like “shift”.

  6. tinytim

    Nov 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    where to buy just a single customize one for my driver? dont wanna order 12 pieces with my name on it

  7. ClubCrown

    Nov 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for the review! As a reference, here is a demo video of the careful and concise steps we take in installing a ClubCrown http://www.clubcrown.com/demo/

  8. Benny Mac

    Nov 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I’m on my tenth Club Crown. Major style points! I’d highly recommwnd the product. Nice write up too

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 29, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Benny Mac…
      Are they all on drivers or do you have them on fairway metals and hybrids as well? What styles have you chosen? Have you switched any out for newer ones?

  9. Jim

    Nov 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Nice review, I got a Clemson one at the World Amateur, amazing product, GO TIGERS

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 29, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      Jim,

      ACC baby! All the way. Congratulations on that new women’s golf team at Clemson. Go Tigers (and Deacs). Thanks for reading.

  10. paulmuehlboeck99

    Nov 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    How is it possible, that those “covers” fit every crown???

  11. Martin

    Nov 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I think they are hideous.

    Sort of like Stars and Stripes or Union Jack pants.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Martin,

      Some are outlandish, no doubt. Others are subdued. It’s personal taste and if it’s not you, don’t take that road. Do, however, continue contributing here.

      • Martin

        Nov 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

        I generally like my golf clubs to look fairly subdued, drivers with very little on top of them.

        These are like the white R1 graphics on crack…grinning madly

        • Ronald Montesano

          Nov 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

          I understand that premise, Martin. However…if you find that one look that brings it all together, it’s pretty cool. Thanks for your comments. Keep reading.

  12. ZJohnson

    Nov 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    If these are put on correctly, they look very good and only add a small amount of sw. Very simple option for those who don’t like the colored heads and want to make it black.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      “The film weighs 2 grams, increasing the heft of your driver head by one percent.”

      ZJohnson…what does the 2 grams translate to in swing weight? You’re right…it isn’t much. Thanks for pointing that out.

  13. t

    Nov 29, 2013 at 11:53 am

    the difference between club crown and bigwigs is who installs it. bigwigs is $12 and you put it on yourself with a blow dryer and scissors.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      t,

      Interesting! If you screw up the do-it-yourself, can you pull it off quickly? If so, it seems like a great system. Mine show no signs of coming off…but I’ll let you know after a year if that assessment still holds. Thanks for your insight.

  14. Tyler

    Nov 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I’ve seen these at my local shop. I can see some people liking them. Not for me though.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Understandable…not every thing is a thing for everyone. Is it the price, the look, or the absence of a look that you’d like on your driver?

  15. melrosegod

    Nov 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I replaced a driver this spring because of a skymark that just pissed me off everytime I saw it. A constant reminder of a horrible tee shot. For $40 i may just throw on a flat black crown and give it another go.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

      You only had one? Man, I had my share and didn’t even think of that bonus when I said “yes” to the crown. Keep us posted on what you think, if you get it done.

  16. Billy

    Nov 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Saw these at my local golf shop, not bad.

    Lots and lots of designs to choose from. Maybe one day, i’ll give it a go.

  17. kwoot

    Nov 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    $40.00′ I’ll pass. I don’t keep a driver long enough to want something like this…

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      You should check your shaft fitting. If you get rid of drivers that quickly, my guess is it’s the fault of the shaft, not the head.

  18. Brian

    Nov 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    So, how are these different than those sold by bigwigskins.com?

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      I think the fact that bigwigskins dot com is not a functioning web site is one way in which they are different. If you find me a working URL, I will certainly take a look at the competition. Thanks, Brian. Keep on reading.

    • Kelly

      Nov 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      I don’t have any experience with either of these products, but I have looked at the Club Crown fairly closely, and just watched the promo video for BigWigs. From this limited perspective, this is a bit like comparing a low end car and a high end Lexus. They both get you to your destination, but the style and experience are quite different.

      Almost unbelievably, if you look at the promo video for BigWig Skins, even their demo result looks crappy/amateurish. Scissors around a round edge? Seriously? Look at where the film meets the front of the club — there’s a wrinkle. Not only does it look like crap, but that’s probably coming off real soon.

      Like I say, I’m not even sure that I would do this to a driver, but if I did, I think I would take the upgrade. Unlike the Lexus example, I can afford this one.

      • Ronald Montesano

        Nov 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        Nice comparison. Think I’ll run all future articles by you for editing purposes. Thanks for writing, Kelly. Keep commenting in the future.

  19. Matt

    Nov 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I saw these at the PGA Show last year and was very impressed, good to see success

  20. Really?

    Nov 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Meh

    • Ronald Montesano

      Nov 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      Really?,

      You’ll doubt me, but I thought the same when I agreed to review and write this piece. The logo is extremely high quality and gives me a real confidence when I tee it up. I think they are worth a try, especially with the cost not being prohibitive. If you have any dings on your driver crown, this doo-dad will cover them up, too.

      • All Good!

        Nov 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm

        Just meant the product…. Not the review man… Good write-up

        • Ronald Montesano

          Nov 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm

          I figured that…I meant the product, too. I thought it would be some cheeseball thing and it was much more. It’s psychic improvement for a mental game, which is a good thing.

      • Jack

        Nov 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        I think it’s a good idea. Doesn’t always look the best, but why not? Soon people will put portraits of their dogs and beloved grandmothers on there. A Ferrari! Koi Fish! The possibilities are endless.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag putter covers

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Product: Swag putter covers

Pitch: From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”

Our take on Swag putter covers

When it comes to loud, inventive, standout putter covers, Swag never disappoints. Their new series of covers are certainly out there, and the contrast of their range, attention to detail, and excellent all-around quality make these putter covers a must have — if you can get your hands on them.

To start with, Swag’s Lincoln cover is a a real standout. The cover features a bright green background with President Lincoln looking the part in dark shades in the company’s own version of the $5 bill. The detail of the blade putter cover is excellent, with the bright green being the eye catcher and the unmistakable figure of Abraham Lincoln as the centerpiece.

The company also seem very proud of their creation, letting folks clearly know in their description of the cover that it is “not legal tender.” (Just in case you found yourself confused)

The company’s pink Flamingo cover is also a personal favorite, featuring bright colors and cool summer breeze feel. The great detail on the bird with its dark shades, vibrant colors and background of the palm trees make it an ideal cover as we head into the summer months. But it isn’t just the designs. The quality of the fabric and stitching lends for a durable and plush feeling cover too.

It’s worth noting that Swag enthusiast and team member Kevin Streelman is rocking one of the latest Swag putter covers. The American is currently gaming a Swag 2019 Handsome Too Tour with a double fly milled face, and the 40-year-old rocks the Chicago style deep-dish pizza cover to accompany the flat-stick.

Swag is without a doubt a no BS company, and in their putter covers, they have certainly delivered in their aim to be bold and experimental. Perhaps the only disappointment is that all their limited edition putter covers are already sold out, which is an ode to how clever and engaging their designs are. The covers range in price from around $75-$125, and as the company continues to push the boundaries, here’s hoping for more releases in the near future.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Garmin Approach Z80 laser rangefinder

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Product: Garmin Approach Z80

Pitch: From Garmin: “See the game differently with the Approach Z80 laser range finder with GPS. Laser ranges are accurate to within 10,” so you can take dead aim at the flag. See a full-color CourseView and Green View overlay in 2-D, showing distances to the front and back of the green, plus hazards on more than 41,000 courses worldwide.”

Our take on the Garmin Approach Z80 Laser Rangefinder

In terms of laser rangefinders, the Garmin Approach Z80 does all the little things well and then packs on a bundle of additional features, which makes the product unique.

For starters, one of the coolest features of the Garmin Approach Z80 is the 2D hole layout that appears on the left-hand side of the screen. The image serves as a virtual map of the hole, and offers you a great view of what’s in store next should you either pull or push your shot, making it one of the best rangefinders on the market for use on your tee shots. The rangefinder also allows you to enter your average driving distance, which will automatically suggest where your tee shot should land.

For approach shots, this rangefinder gives you the distance to the front, back and flag which shows up at the bottom of the screen. The Z80 can also provide distances to hazards and bunkers which is very useful for tight pin locations. When locking onto the flag, the rangefinder provides a yellow arc which once more presents you with a view of where you could end up if you hit your number but miss your target.

The rangefinder goes into standby mode after it hasn’t been used for five seconds, a feature which is extremely good for battery life. Once fully charged the ApproachZ80 will easily last you from 3-4 rounds. However, the standby mode does cause it to take slightly more time to load up when using, but we’re only talking 10-20 seconds.

The PinPointer feature which the Approach Z80 features is also very beneficial in that an arrow on the screen will direct you to the hole, whether you’re facing a blind shot, or are out of position. It’s worth noting that the PinPointer feature is also advantageous in that it gives you the yardage to the hole and not just a guide, despite you being unable to see the flag.

All in all, the Garmin Approach Z80 is a top rangefinder with an innovative 2D map of the hole which gives you a tremendous amount of power in that you can not just visualize the hole quickly but also possess a powerful tool for shots off the tee. The small size of the rangefinder is also a major plus, as is its light weight of just 8oz. At $600, it wouldn’t be considered an economical purchase, but in terms of the innovative technologies and benefits, it could still be considered value.

 

 

 

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro

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Product: Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro

Pitch: From Golf Pride: “Tour-proven shapes that are engineered with innovative SNSR material that delivers unsurpassed Tour-level feel and feedback. The…grips are made of a soft-tuned rubber formulation that gives these grips extraordinary feel, and encourages lighter grip pressure that golfers seek in creating a smooth stroke. The most-preferred sculpted pistol shape on the worldwide Tours is now available in our proprietary SNSR rubber blend, with two oversized shapes for maximum feel and feedback.”

Our take on the Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro

Golf Pride has a new addition to the SNSR line that it has been making for a few years. In March, you will be able to get your hands on (bad pun) the new Tour SNSR Contour Pro. This new model has a refined pistol shape that has been preferred by players on professional tours and comes in two sizes. The new pistol shape is a little smaller in the upper hand, will less protrusion in the pads of the fingers. The Contour Pro is flat on the front of the paddle for proper thumb placement, but it also has a curve near the end that helps lock the putter in the palm of your hand. This new Contour Pro model feels like it has more taper in the lower half as well, like some traditional grips.

Right out of the box, the Tour SNSR Contour Pro has a very soft rubber feel, almost squishy before you install it. Once installed the soft-tuned rubber has a great tackiness to it without being sticky. It isn’t hot out yet, but I have confidence that even in the hottest and most humid environments this grip will perform well.

Two sizes, 104cc  and 140cc, both feel good in the hands, with neither having ridges or shapes that hit you anywhere that would feel strange. The contour on the front, upper half of the grip really does help lock the grip into your palm without having to add any additional pressure. The lower half of the grip is slightly softer and overall the SNSR material reminds me that I don’t need a death grip on the putter.

I like the reduced pistol shape in the pads of my fingers on the upper hand as well. I don’t feel like I have to “try” to grip the putter, it just rests naturally in my hand. The flat top of the grip is also comfortable and a solid platform to place your thumbs. The only real thing I would change would be to add a smaller size, similar to a standard grip. I mean that is all personal preference, but I like the feel of a slightly smaller grip.

On the putting green the soft SNSR material really performed better than I thought. I figured the grip would remove too much vibration and kill the responsiveness, but I was wrong. The grip provides solid and precise feedback, even with the larger 140cc version. One of the two sizes should be a fit for any putting preference or hand size. I wear a medium glove and a standard putter grip so the 104cc felt the best for me. I liked having more taper in my lower hand since I struggle with having a strong right hand grip and the taper allowed me to grip the club more neutrally.

Overall, the Tour SNSR Contour Pro is a really good option for someone who wants a larger grip but doesn’t want to lose feel or taper. The soft, tacky rubber should provide great traction throughout any weather you are willing to play through!

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