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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

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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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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Swag Golf proto putter

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Product: Swag Golf proto putter

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 the Swag Golf Proto putter

Though relatively new, Swag Golf has been making a big splash in the industry for their high-end and striking headcovers and accessories. Perhaps less talked about when it comes to the company is their putters – something which I feel is likely to change after testing out their prototype rainbow finish flat-stick.

The putter is beautiful from whatever angle you look at – but especially at address. Extremely smooth lines, and with full-shaft offset, the blade’s shoulders and bumpers are flawlessly balanced to frame the ball and let the putter sit perfectly square. The single line alignment aid enhances the look and is positioned right in the center of the blade’s sweet spot, while the CNC milled flat-stick delivers perfectly smooth edges – noticeably on the neck for a sublime and soft profile.

With a head weight of 354g, the putter from Swag feels exceptional in your hands over the ball. Every detail matters when investing in a premium putter, and the sensation of the stable and firm feel of the flat-stick as well as there being no wavering of the head, makes the putter feel like an extension of your body when standing over a putt.

The sound and feel of the putter is an area where Swag has knocked it out of the park. With a fly milled face from 303 Stainless Steel, the flat-stick delivers an incredibly soft feel at impact.

No vibration is felt on impact, even on long-distance putts. It never feels like your hitting the ball but more caressing it, which is a pleasant sensation when putting from downtown. What you get in terms of sound at impact is a low, deep pitched note from a putter which rolls beautifully on its axis and produces no vibration on slight mis-hits.

To nitpick, the company’s “black mid pistol tackified kangaroo leather grip” took some getting used to. Initially, it took a little away from how impressive the flat-stick feels in your hands, but it gradually becomes more comfortable.

Overall performance-wise though, the putter from Swag provides everything you could hope for from a high-end putter. Exceptional feel at address, painfully attractive profile and precision at impact.

As of now, the company boasts self-confessed “putting nerd” Kevin Streelman as their PGA Tour ambassador. Streelman is currently gaming the brand’s Handsome Too proto, and after experiencing the Swag rainbow proto for myself, the highest compliment I can give is that I would be surprised if he (and PGA Tour newcomer Rhein Gibson) are still the only Tour pros to game one of the brand’s flat-sticks in 12 to 24 months time.

In terms of an Anser-style putter, Swag packs a hefty punch with their numerous offerings. While I personally love the eye-catching rainbow finish (which has been blasted to remove some of the boldness), I realize it’s not for everyone. However, the company has plenty more traditional finishes on their array of flat-sticks, which you can find on their website here.

Whatever finish you prefer your putters to come in though, it’s unlikely that any department of Swag’s flat-sticks will leave you disappointed.

 

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Equipment

New Mitsubishi Chemical ZF shaft in play at the Tour Championship

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Even after winning just a week ago, Justin Thomas has put a new MCA Diamana ZF-Series shaft into play for the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup Final this week at East Lake Golf Club. JT is using the 60g TX version in his 9.5-degree Titleist TS2 driver (see Thomas’ BMW Championship-winning WITB here).

MCA has confirmed the new shaft and given us some great information on why it is are adding this fourth profile to the Diamana line—something the company has never done before.

The new Diamana ZF has taken the easy loading bend profile from the BF-Series and tweaked it in certain spots along the length to further maximize the design and find greater performance for players across swing speed ranges.

“The result is a profile that makes ZF a little more explosive and easier to accelerate.” -Mark Gunther, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MCA GOLF.

Like the other shafts in the Diamana Fourth Gen. Series, the Diamana ZF shafts owe their stiffness and stability to two unique technologies. First: the MCA-developed MR70 carbon fiber material, and the second: Boron fiber. MR70 is found in both the butt and tip sections of the shaft and is 20 percent stronger than conventional materials, with a 10 percent greater modulus (a measure of stiffness). These designs have additional strength thanks to Boron fiber in the tip section to create the exact EI curve desired.

When you compare the new ZF to Diamana BF-Series, the ZF-Series shafts are a slightly stronger profile and built to have increased stability in both the butt and tip sections. They feature a softer, more active middle for better energy transfer and clubhead acceleration.

A cool feature for those looking to get a bit more distance but are on the lower end of the swing speed spectrum: There will also be a 40-gram version of the ZF, which is the lightest shaft of the fourth generation Diamana family.

“We’re extremely happy to have a 40g option within Diamana™ ZF,” says Gunther. “This opens the performance benefits of these unique Mitsubishi Chemical materials to a whole new range of players who prefer to play an ultra-lightweight shaft.”

Mitsubishi Diamana ZF-Series Availability and Specs

Diamana ZF-Series will be available September, 13 2019 at MCA GOLF authorized retailers and dealers nationwide, with a suggested retail price of $400.

Weights and flexes

  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 40 (R2, R, S Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 50 (R, S, TX Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 60 (S, TX Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 70 (S, TX Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 80 (S, TX Flex)
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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Are 919 forged irons really that good?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 9ironiscash who asked fellow members what they thought about Mizuno’s 919 forged ironsOur members dish out their experiences gaming the irons, with the majority of WRXers answering with a resounding yes to 9ironiscash’s original question.

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

  • Gmack1973: “I think the 919 forged are great irons. I play to a handicap of 4 and think I’m not a bad ball striker. I had the tours 6-pw, and they were great but a bit unforgiving if you don’t get them out the middle. I now have 919 forged 4 – PW and couldnt be happier. They have the Nippon Modus 120 stiff shafts.”
  • Gofguy224: “They are great irons! Had them for about a month and I’ve already shot 3 of my lowest scores ever! Very forgiving and they feel buttery soft
  • chjyner: “The whole 919 range is probably the best on the market “
  • PowerCobra98: “I like them. Moved from Apex 19’s into 919 Forged. I’ll likely be looking at a set of MP20 HMB’s though.”

Entire Thread: “Are 919 forged irons really that good?”

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