2015 marks the 90th anniversary of Lamkin Golf Grips. The longest-standing gripmaker in the golf industry is fresh off the success of the UTx and R.E.L. grips in 2014 and is poised to unveil something even more exciting in the year ahead.
“The Wrap-Tech is our ‘hero launch’ for 2015,” said Bob Lamkin, third-generation president of the company. “And it’s part of the puzzle when you see the products that are going to be launched in 2015 and beyond.”
According to the president and CEO, “The grip has had rave reviews from everyone. We’re very excited about the initial feedback that we’ve had. That’s resonated through our focus groups, retailers, PGA Tour professionals.”
- Revolutionary new wrap-style grip with dual surface patterns for superior comfort and grip traction.
- Made with the patented ACE compound engineered for unmatched tackiness and shock absorption.
- Exceptionally tacky grip surface in all weather conditions.
- Slightly softer material ideal for players who prefer not to wear a glove.
- Proprietary Tri-Layer Technology: Softer ACE foundation for enhanced feel. Moisture-wicking full cord fabric weave. Firmer, incredibly tacky top layer
- Unmatched performance in all climates and weather conditions.
- Exceptional torsion control & grip stabililty.
- Promotes the ideal light pressure grip for longer, more consistent shots.
- Made with super-tacky ACE synthetic rubber.
- Patented shock-absorbing technology dulls painful vibration without dulling shot feedback.
- Extremely comfortable grip ideal for a wide range of golfers.
- Unique surface pattern maximizes surface contact with a golfer’s hands for added control and stability.
- Golf’s widest assortment of size and color options.
Lamkin’s offering for 2015 will also include stalwarts such as the Crossline, i-Line, and X10.
The CEO of Lamkin Grips was kind enough to talk a little about the family business and what’s ahead for the grip company.
On what’s coming down the pike
You’ll see line extensions on UTx. You’ll see this type of material technology move into the putter grip category. The end goal for us from the consumer perspective: develop products through material surface patterns.
What we’re really centering on in each one of the grip categories is performance. Performance materials, performance surface patterns; the combination of [the two] will increase playability. Performance for me equates into competence.
Golfers who regrip their golf clubs consistently stay within a product category. Instead of trying to convert them, or have them jump ship, what we want to do is have that same Ace material and the performance characteristics in all the product categories, whether it’s a putter grip, or a cord grip, or a wrap grip.
On the purpose of the grip
Get golfers to have a very light grip pressure and have confidence in the material and surface pattern where you don’t think you’re going to slip.
If you’re able to have a secure, tension-free swing from your elbows down, that really is going to be able to help the golfer…help a golfer make a full turn, generate swing speed.
If you’re really choking the grip because you don’t have confidence, it’s really going to impede your ability to freely swing the golf club.
On the company’s 90 years of history
I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve had three generations of evolution in the grip category. We’re the longest established grip company…from 1925 on. I have to applaud my grandfather and my father for instilling the core principle of continuous improvement.
We changed from when all grips were made of leather. My father came in and said we need to be able to offer a rubber material. My grandfather, it took a little while for him to warm up to the idea. We went into cord, and synthetic rubber, and then colors came out.
The dynamic changes from a manufacturing perspective to keep pace and to continue to develop new grips and new materials…a huge undertaking…new materials…new equipment…a constant learning…how to improve and get better…
We’ve brought a team of engineers together to really look at the materials side of the category and improve…with Wrap-Tech and the Ace material compounds.
It’s not just color. It’s not just cosmetic driven. People like the colors, but color doesn’t mean it’s a better product. Through the Ace materials, we’ve been able to combine the cosmetics with the functionality of a new material.
Each generation is a rebirth. It’s like a new company, and that’s been instilled in us through the generations.
We’re a privately held family business. We’re very proud of how much we’ve accomplished. Our management team, we have over 500 employees. It’s a collaborative effort worldwide. [We have a] singular goal: make it better each year.
On the company’s future
We keep bringing better products to market that are hopefully going to help golfers play more consistently or at least enjoy the game more. If we can do that, we’ve achieved our goal.
If you don’t improve, and you don’t keep trying to make the product category better, somebody else will. All we do is make golf grips, so our core focus is on that continuous improvement model in the materials side.
Lamkin indicated the company is doing extensive focus-group research globally to determine the optimal grip characteristics for, say, the United States’ West Coast versus the coast of Scotland.
WRX Spotted: PXG TS6 Proto
When it comes to PGA Tour players moonlighting as hardcore GolfWRXers, Ryan Moore would be a top candidate — from his rotating irons to what can only be described as a colossal amount of putter changes in his career he really is “one of us” …except for the fact that he gets to play for millions of dollars each week. It’s probably the reason he’s honestly one of my favorite players to watch!
What also makes Ryan Moore even more interesting is that he was the VERY first PXG Staff player – Troop Number 1! Being on a smaller tour staff certainly has its benefits, including the ability to have real input on prototypes and to have a la carte options when it comes to clubs, and in this case a new putter.
I give you the PROTO Gen2 TS6 a new putter we spotted at the Quicken Loans Classic this week in Detroit — just a short trip from the WRX offices (how could we not spot something new right?). It obviously has some similarities to another classic design, but in the world of putters, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
What makes the new putter uniquely PXG is are all the features it has from the Gen2 line
- Interchangeable hosel design allows for multiple toe hang and appearance options
- Milled face design increases ball speed consistency across the face
- Weights in the bottom also allow for varying head weights
- it’s 100% milled for a solid block of steel
With all things PXG, now that they have the CAD file up and running, I believe it’s just a matter of time before this will be added to the already popular line up of Gen2 putters, but…only time will tell.
WRX Spotlight: Stitch SL2 bag
Founded in 2011, Stitch Golf has been making some of the highest quality and most popular accessories in the game. From head covers to personal travel bags, the company philosophy of “it’s all in the details” shines through with all of the products.
The latest creation is the all-new SL2 carry bag — Stitch is calling it “the perfect walking bag.” After taking the SL2 out for a few spins around the course, it’s hard to argue with them. What you also notice right away is the styling screams Stitch.
When I spoke with CEO Brad King, we talked about how much focus they put into every detail beyond just the functionality.
“The SL2 is modeled to look just like our tour bag, except a lot lighter and obviously easier to carry for the weekend golfing warrior,” King said. “Also, like a lot of our product,s it takes color cues from racing, which is why Stitch blue, orange, and navy are prominent.”
Brad used the term “golfing warrior” a few times in our discussion, and he said it epitomizes the idea of someone who takes their golf seriously, walks, maybe even plays 36 a day, and wants functionality from their golf bag — while also looking extremely sharp.
You can tell this is a Stitch bag from across the range, or a few holes over on the course, which means from a styling perspective “mission accomplished.”
So, about that functionality…
As a walker, there are certain key features I want in a bag to even consider it, but those features can vary depending on how and when I plan to use the bag (having a couple of golf bags is a luxury, I know). If it’s a small Sunday bag, then a limited space, single strap design with a few small yet functional pockets, is all I really need. If we’re talking a full-blown tournament or travel option, extra space for rain gear, gloves, range finder and all the other goodies including a double strap is almost a must…plus it has to fit easily on both a pushcart and riding cart.
The Stitch SL2 skews right in the middle and here’s why: It’s just about perfect
- Comes in right a 4lbs
- Minimal yet well designed pockets hold more than enough gear for 18 holes or more.
- It’s almost completely water resistant thanks to Stitch’s Touring Fabric, a proprietary product used in all their bags that has the strength of leather, but is more durable & wear resistant. It also feels extremely sturdy.
- Large, well-padded top easily holds 14 clubs and doesn’t “mush” you putter cover up (HUGE pet peeve of mine)
- Straps that can be configured for both single or double use. It comes with both options stock and is easily interchangeable thanks to the pinch clips.
Now I realize you don’t come to GolfWRX for fluff pieces, you come for honesty, and I wouldn’t be doing my job without pointing out a few things that could be improved on, as nitpicky as they might be.
- The bag sits a little upright. If you have to place it on a side hill you just have to take an extra moment to make sure it’s balanced before letting it go (not a huge deal).
- The rain hood (which is AWESOME and matches the bag) is bulky, and if you do cram it into the large side pouch it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. It means really planning ahead if you think you’ll be playing in wet weather. BUT on the other hand, I think I’ve used a rain hood twice in the last 5 years (I don’t normally carry one anyway), so this is in NO way a deal breaker.
- Limited padding where the bag rests against your back. Personally, I don’t find this a big deal since most bags in the minimalist category have very little padding if any, but in the spirit of a full breakdown its just part of making sure I point out everything I noticed while testing it. The fabric used is so thick it still made it comfortable to carry for 18 holes.
Overall the Stitch SL2 really is a wonderful bag. The styling is top notch, the fabrics and build quality are premium, and every touchpoint screams high-end and built-to-last. The best way to sum up the SL2 is to compare it to a sporty coup roadster: stylish, light, fun, fast, functional, and something others will notice. The trunk isn’t enormous, but it’s not meant to be. It holds everything you really need, plus a couple of extras, and considering how much fun you have making corners in this car (or making birdies carrying the bag), at the end of the day, you’re going to enjoy the heck out of it.
Forum Thread of the Day: “European Tour looking into an incident involving Matt Wallace and his caddie from the BMW International Open”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day surrounds an incident involving Matt Wallace and his caddie, Dave McNeilly, which occurred on Sunday at the European Tour’s BMW International Open. After hitting a shot in the water on 18, Wallace appeared irate with his caddie, which incensed many of our members, as well as plenty of social media users.
According to bunkered.co.uk, the European Tour stated in an email to the publication that they are looking into the incident over allegations of abuse.
A limited number of clips of the incident have surfaced online.
Billy Foster doesn't look concerned. pic.twitter.com/TVbRjaADYz
— Ricky Bush (@thebushnews) June 25, 2019
I watched him play the 18th and this is the only dialogue with the caddie on my DVR pic.twitter.com/tbPXZReTmS
— Matt Sylla (@mattsylla) June 24, 2019
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.
- buckeyefl: “Sky Sports analyst Rich Beem: ‘I’m sorry, but I just don’t enjoy watching that. I know you’re intense but get over yourself.’”
- Steele47: “Just looked at Wallace’s twitter. He congratulates the winner Andrea Pavan and also noteworthy, makes a point to compliment Pavan’s caddie. LOL.”
- OldTomMorris: “It’s a pattern with Wallace that he goes after his caddy so often like this and golf commentators, analysts even fans have picked up on this. There has to be a base level of respect and decency; it appears that Wallace often falls short of that.”
- golfgirlrobin: “He’s getting roasted on his own Twitter account. People don’t seem that amused.”
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