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WRX to the Rescue! The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

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This year’s Holiday Gift Guide was created for one simple reason: to make sure the golfers on your gift list get the coolest golf stuff possible.

Our equipment editors put their heads together and created a list of our favorite golf gear available this holiday season. To make things easier for you, we’ve provided online links for your purchases to help you avoid the chaos of shopping during the holiday season.

The best gifts don’t have to break the bank, but maybe they’ll help your friends and families break 100, 90, 80 or even par this coming golf season, and look good while doing it. Check out this list of 14 gift ideas in three categories: Stocking Stuffers ($60 or less), Game Changers ($200 under) and Big Ticket Items ($299 and up).

Stocking Stuffers: $60 or less

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Titleist golf balls with free personalization

Titleist is offering a rare holiday deal — free personalization on all Titleist golf balls, including NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity and DT Solo. The free personalization covers three lines of block writing, with 17 characters allowed per line. Imprints can be made with black, blue, red, green or pink. Personalization ideas include full names, initials, nicknames, Twitter usernames (@GolfWRX), Twitter hashtags (#WRXgiftguide), inspirational messages (“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way”), or something more creative/funny (“Warning: Not a Flotation Device”).

Even more customization is allowed for Pro V1 and Pro V1X, where golfers are free to personalize a ball’s number with single or double-digit numbers (00 and 10-99). Individual numbers are also available on NXT Tour and NXT Tour S (1-4); Velocity (1-4 or 00, 11, 22, 33); and DT SoLo (1-4) models, however, an additional charge (usually as little as $1) may apply. Orders can be placed at any Titleist golf ball retailer.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.titleist.com/teamtitleist/b/tourblog/archive/2013/11/01/free-personalization-on-all-titleist-golf-balls-promotion-returns-for-the-holidays.aspx”]Learn More[/button]

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: $18

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This gift, although the cheapest on the list, might pack the biggest punch. It’s required reading for any golfer, and a cold winter is the perfect time for a golfer to catch up on instructional and inspirational reading. Harvey Penick was deemed as the “Socrates of the golf world” by Sports Illustrated. He grew up as a caddy at Austin Country Club, coached the University of Texas Golf Team and was the personal golf coach of countless half of fame golfers including Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, and Davis Love Jr. The book is packed with knowledge, stories, techniques, golf lessons and life lessons from Penick’s storied career in the world of golf.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1451683219/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1451683219&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

Ping iPing putter cradle: $30

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The iPing app is a free download available in the App Store for the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, the iPod touch (4th gen.) and is also a free download on Google play for the Samsung Galaxy S III. The app works with the Ping putter cradle ($30) that holds the mobile device and clips onto the putter shaft. The combination of the app and cradle allow for the player to analyze consistency based on three criteria: stroke type (face rotation), impact angle (putter’s face angle compared to address) and tempo (duration of backswing vs. forward swing). It measures consistency over a period of five strokes, and develops a putting handicap (PHcp) that drops as consistency improves. It’s innovative in both putter fitting (with a recommended putter tab that suggests which Ping putter that fits you best) and stroke improvement. The cradle fits into a stocking and is a no-brainer for any golfer with a smart phone.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AMYMDU4/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00AMYMDU4&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

110% Flat Out Sox compression socks: $60

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Flat Out compression socks target key zones for enhanced support, stabilization and performance. The graphic design on the socks works like kinesiology tape, which supports major muscles, enhances endurance, boosts circulation and provides comfort. The design is a little loud for the golf course when wearing shorts, but with pants it is easily concealed. They are perfect for golfers, who spend 4+ hours walking, twisting and turning on their feet. Get your family, friends and their feet the most innovative compression socks on the market.

[button color=”red” link=”http://110playharder.com/shop/flat-out-sox/”]Buy Now[/button]

Kingmade Jerky: $32 (assorted four pack)

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Kingmade was started by Luke List’s caddy, Jeff King, who made pounds of this mouth-watering jerky in his kitchen and shared it with other caddies and players on the PGA, LPGA and Web.com tours. The taste and tenderness was undeniable, and word spread quickly. Now, it’s in the diets of Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and a growing amount of other top golfers. Kingmade Jerky comes available in three flavors (Classic Recipe at 60 calories per serving, Buffalo Style at 50 calories, and Sweet Chili Pepper at 70 calories), each made from tender beef flank steak, rather than the tougher top round steak that most jerky is made from. Jerky is the perfect golf snack because it doesn’t melt, provides sustenance for energy, is easily transported and simply tastes great. Kingmade can be ordered as an Assorted Flavor Four pack ($32), a Single Flavor Six Pack ($48), or a Single Flavor Premium 1 lb bag ($54). See what the professionals are going crazy about by ordering some of this delicious jerky for your loved ones. Maybe they can’t play like Tiger, but they can snack like him!

[button color=”red” link=”https://kingmadejerky.com/cart/assorted-flavor-four-pack”]Buy Now[/button]

Official GolfWRX Gear

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GolfWRX gear makes the perfect stocking stuffer for any golf fanatic. A wide selection of Imperial Headwear hats are available in our online store, highlighted by the Flat Brim Snapback ($22) pictured above.  The selection also includes Knit Beanies ($18) to keep you warm in the winter months, Oxford Bucket Hats ($25) that block the sun when the weather starts to heat up and the more standard look of the Back 9 Flow Cap ($21) and the Back 9 Tour Visor ($21). The store is full of goodies from your favorite golf site including 2013 special edition poker chipsWRX head coverspolo golf shirtsiPhone casesumbrellasgolf grips and towels, among much more. If you want quality gear with a great look at a cheap price, check out our golf shop for the perfect stocking stuffers.

[button color=”red” link=”http://outfitted.golfwrx.com/”]Click here to shop in our store[/button]

Game Changers: $200 and under

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Seamus pitch mark repair tool: $75

This hand-hammered repair tool is something most golfers will never know they needed, especially when the price increases to $95 when 2014 hits. At 2.1 ounces, the tool weighs just more than a golf ball, providing enough heft to fix any ball mark. It’s made from 1018 Carbon Steel that patinas through continued use and looks more like something an ancient warrior would use as a weapon than something a golfer needs to maintain a putting surface. But we think that makes it cool (click here to see more photos, as well as videos of its construction). Each repair tool also comes with a pouch made from select remnant tartan and twill waxed canvas.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.seamusgolf.com/products/pitch-mark-repair-tool”]Buy Now[/button]

Cleveland Golf Smart Sole Wedges: $99.99

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The Cleveland Golf Smart sole wedges feature a wider sole design that reduces digging into turf and sand, and promotes clean contact around the greens from a multitude of different lies and situations. This is a game-improvement line of wedges designed to help golfers increase their ability to get up-and-down from anywhere. The C-Sole wedges are designed for more consistent chipping around the greens from grassy surfaces. The S-Sole wedges perform best from the bunker, providing ease through the ball in sandy surfaces. The combination of a C-Sole and S-Sole wedge will equip struggling short gamers with the tools necessary to build a better game.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FR2SMO2/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FR2SMO2&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

Bushnell Neo-X GPS Rangefinder Watch: $149.99

bushnellgift

Bushnell’s Neo-X GPS Watch provides all the distance-measuring information that a golfer needs, and will do everything that a caddy would– except carry your bags and clean your clubs. The Neo+ Watch was simple and accurate with a long-lasting battery life, and this mode has made wonderful improvements. The added features include:

  • Automatic Hole Advance: The GPS automatically changes holes as you move throughout the course without having to press a button.
  • Auto Course Recognition: Press “Golf” when near the course and choose from the list provided of nearby courses.
  • Preloaded Hazards: Gives distances to hazards and lay-up areas.
  • Lighter, thinner, and more comfortable: It won’t get in the way of your swing, and is only slightly bigger than the normal wristwatch. It’s the lightest and thinnest golf watch on the market.
  • Tee-time Start: A cool feature that allows you to program the day and time of a tee-time, and the GPS will start seven minutes prior to the programmed time without any additional set up.
  • Longer Battery Life: Battery lasts for 3+ rounds of golf without having to recharge.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C6NCDUO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00C6NCDUO&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

Big Ticket Items: $299 and up

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Miura MB-001 Tournament Blades: $235 per iron

“We don’t automatically come out with a new blade every year, so this is a big event,” said Adam Barr, President of Miura, about the release of their new MB001 forged blade irons. His public address is either humble or quite the understatement, since this is the company’s first blade release in six years. The MB-001 have a refined sole shape and Miura’s signature satin finish that makes them almost a shame to hit. But they’re even more pleasing at impact thanks to their handcrafted construction and the company’s painstaking attention to detail.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.miuragolf.com/shop_mb001.asp”]Learn More[/button]

Nike Method Mod Putters: $299

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Nike Method “Mod,” which is short for modern classics, add a splash of modern technology to popular putter designs from the past. Each of the four putters comes equipped with Nike’s Polymetal groove technology to increase MOI and provide a better roll. The Mod-30, pictured above, is modeled after an Anser-style putter and is more square than the Method 001 that Tiger Woods has in the bag. Also in the line of classics is the Mod-60, a half-mallet style putter, the Mod 90, modeled after the classic Bullseye design, and the Mod-00, modeled after RAM’s Zebra putter that was popularized in the 1970’s.  This is a phenomenal gift to show your loved ones a sense of history without sacrificing improvements in modern technology.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GLZW6CS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00GLZW6CS&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Signature Model 1 ($375)

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Bettinardi teamed up with Matt Kuchar to design the ultimate Arm Lock putter. The result is the Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Signature Model 1, which Kuchar used to capture this year’s WGC-Accenture Match Play and The Memorial tournaments. The Kuchar 1 is face-balanced with a wide body, which adds to the putter’s heel/toe weighting and increases stability. It also has Bettinardi’s F.I.T Face (Feel Impact Technology), grooves that are milled over the company’s Honeycomb face finish and removes 55 percent of the face material for a softer feel (click here to read our full review). The Model 1 is sold at a standard length of 42 inches and 7 degrees of loft, which encourages the Kuchar’s Arm Lock style of putting. A more traditional 35-inch length is also available.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FWVZN22/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FWVZN22&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

Callaway Apex and Apex Pro Irons: $1099

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The Callaway Apex Pro irons combines the classic look of a blade with innovative technology to increase distance and forgiveness. Multi-material construction and Callaway’s new 37WV grooves add modernity to the previously released 2013 Callaway X Forged line. High-density tungsten was also added to the sole to lower the center of gravity (CG), which allows long-iron shots to fly higher. And the iron’s faces are made from 455 Carpenter steel faces, giving them even more pop.

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FYJVO0M/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FYJVO0M&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

TaylorMade SpeedBlade Irons: $799

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TaylorMade’s SpeedBlade irons are long: seriously long. They look, feel, and sound better than the company’s RocketBladez, which were the hottest selling iron in golf in 2013. The SpeedBlade has a more muted sound at impact, and removed a chunky toe section to give the long irons a lower CG than RocketBladez. A SpeedPocket, a slot in the sole of the 3-through-7 irons, allow for more flex on impact, which expands the sweetspot and adds more spring-like effect. Click here to read a full review of the TaylorMade SpeedBlade irons. 

[button color=”red” link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FM2P4U2/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FM2P4U2&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20″]Buy Now[/button]

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Fred

    Dec 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    As much as I’d love to own a set of Muira’s, I’ll have to stick with my less expensive Mizunos. That said, though, considering all the hype about Mr. Miura’s clubs – especially how well built they are – I’ve often wondered why few, if any, pros use them. I can’t be the cost.

  2. Raymond Rapcavage

    Dec 3, 2013 at 8:27 am

    …And if none of those gifts float your boat try THE GOLF SWING SHIRT ! Stop buying new clubs..buy a new golf swing !!!

  3. Mitch Oakes

    Dec 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Well this list will go straight to the girlfriend

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Equipment

Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Equipment

Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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