Team GolfWRX is in Orlando to be your eyes and ears at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show.
Enjoy our last edition of “Show Stoppers” — the newest, coolest products we found at Demo Day and inside the Orange County Convention Center.
Cleveland Wedge Analyzer Powered by Swingbyte
In the realm of golf club fitting, wedges are far and away the most complicated. There’s so many variables to consider: loft, bounce, a golfer’s swing, the course conditions, etc.
Cleveland’s new Wedge Fitting App works in tandem with SwingByte to make the fitting process painfully simple.
To get fit for a wedge, all golfers have to do is select their course conditions and make a swinging motion of their choice (chipping, pitching, a flop shot, etc.) with a club equipped with SwingByte.
The free app uses an algorithm based on angle of attack and several other variables to recommend one of Cleveland’s three different wedge grinds, and can also recommend wedge lofts based on what set of irons a golfer plays.
Cool Clubs S3 Shaft Analyzer
Scottsdale-based custom club fitter Cool Clubs hopes to make shaft fitting simpler with its new S3 Shaft Analyzer, which measures every important shaft parameter — straightness, consistency, deflection, stiffness profiles, frequency, torque and more — on a single machine in just 2.5 minutes.
The S3 was designed and built by Cool Clubs, and the company has published data of more than 1000 driver shafts on its mobile app.
The app is free, but gearheads will want to pay $20 for a 1-year subscription that unlocks all of Cool Clubs’s shaft data.
The company plans to perform similar tests to each shaft category going forward.
Puma shoes, a block of ice and Blair O’Neal
Puma’s new TitanTour shoes are designed to keep your feet cool, but we’re not sure the shoe – or even the ice sculpture shoe display – can cool down Cobra-Puma brand ambassador Blair O’Neal.
The shoes are designed to regulate temperature by using Outlast Certified Space Technology — designed for NASA to manage temperature in spacesuits — which explains the astronaut mannequin trying to photobomb our photo of Blair.
Epson M-Tracer MT500GII
Epson’s M-Tracer MT500GII is the latest in the fast-growing category of lightweight, affordable golf swing analyzers.
The M-Tracer weighs a featherlite 15 grams and a built-in inertial measurement unit, derived from Epson’s industrial sensors, providing golfers with detailed information about their club head speed, swing tempo, face angle, club path and more.
The device is part of Epson’s new Active product category, a line of sports and fitness devices that the Japanese electronics company has developed to give athletes accurate, easy-to-understand data on their performance.
The M-Tracer measures the swing at 1,000 samples per second and uses bluetooth to wirelessly transmit swing data to iOS and Android devices. It works with Epson’s M-Tracer app to create a 3D “trace” of the club head, further in-depth analysis and allows golfers to store up to 3,000 swings of a golfer’s swings in the cloud, according to Epson representatives.
The device will be available March 15 at endorser David Leadbetter’s Academies and through Epson’s website for $299.
Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage XT
The prototype shaft Mitsubishi Rayon shaft used by Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy is coming to retail.
It’s called the Kuro Kage XT and is manufactured in the company’s Toyohashi facility in Japan with a higher grade carbon fiber material that gives the shaft less torque and a stiffer tip than Mitsubishi’s Kuro Kage Silver TiNi shaft.
It will be available in April and will sell for $400.
There’s a few scratch golfers on the GolfWRX team, but the putting analysis and training system made the SAM PuttLab exhibitor say “Yikes” to our strokes.
The new Sam PuttLab 5, which uses ultrasound technology and algorithms to track the movement of your putter head, now allows the golfer or fitter to watch a 3D replay (below) of the stroke. It’s like watching your stroke on TV – even though some of GolfWRX’s putting strokes were made for radio.
SAM’s new PuttLab App also allows users use their smartphone as a remote control for the PC software and share their data results on social media.
Always wanted a PuttLab? The company has a PGA Show discount running through Feb. 15, which gives consumers a $500 discount and free shipping. Sam PuttLabs start at $6,495.
Full 2015 PGAM Coverage
WRX Spotlight: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro
Product: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro
Pitch: From Dead Zero: “The new Dead Zero Pro model putting disk offers golfers the ability to accurately determine green slope and a true fall line when practicing their “money” putts thanks to a bubble level embedded into the top of the disk. The bubble level accurately measures up to six-degrees of slope and gives a true reading of the fall line on any area of the putting surface. Like the Original model, the Dead Zero Pro helps all golfers build confidence to make more putts inside eight to ten feet.”
Our take on the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro
The Dead Zero Pro Putting Disk Pro improves upon the original design by incorporating player and instructor feedback to include a level in the top of the disk. It’s a wise addition to a device that already offers players aid in an important practice approach: putting to a target smaller than the 4.25-inch cup. (The disk is roughly half the size)
We tried the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the manner creator Eric Schmitt suggests in the video below.
We found it easier to focus on putting to a smaller target when using the device–the fact that the disk looks like a target certainly doesn’t hurt this! It’s also easier to practice breaking putts with the Dead Zero Putting Disk.
The level function helps quickly get an accurate feel for the putt, and you can set the disk down where the hole effectively “is,” from an aiming standpoint, on, say, an eight-footer that breaks six inches right to left.
It’s also a nice tool to have in your bag any time you need a target in practice, really, and are struggling to visualize a line or landing area. For example, when pitching from around the green.
Ultimately, this is a good practice and practice round tool that nicely functions as a smaller-than-a-golf-hole target for putting, a level, and an easy-to-see target.
A final word: There is something to the fact that golfers, particularly those who struggle with their putting, get hung up on aiming at a portion of the hole, “three balls out,” etc. If the cup has started to look more like foe than friend, shaking things up with a device like the Dead Zero Putting disk is recommended.
- More photos of/discussion about the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the forums.
WRX Spotted: Lamkin Sink Fit Straight
When it comes to grips we golfers can be a finicky bunch – especially when it comes to our putters. With so many different taper, weight, and material options on the market today, it’s easy to find something that’s just right. The same can be said for tour players too – when the flat stick isn’t working, try a new grip.
At the Zurich Classic in New Orleans this week, we came across a new putter grip from Lamkin: the Sink Fit Straight Polyurethane.
The Sink Fit line from Lamkin is not new but the Straight Polyurethane version is. Featuring a soft, tacky outer layer the shape is designed to help promote a better pendulum stroke with a slight pistol for the top hand. Unlike many other popular grip models that feature less taper the pistol shape might be the better option for those used to a pistol shape but want the benefits of a reduced taper grip.
The cool thing about the Sink Fit popping up at the Zurich, is that if you want to try it, the grip along with others from the Sink Fit line are already available online from Lamkin.
- See more of our photos from the Zurich Classic in the forums.
Forum Thread of the Day: “Anyone jumping on the Hogan bandwagon?”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from tsecor, who pays homage to Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, and asks what fellow members think of the club manufacturer. The consensus is very positive, with the value for the quality of irons provided cited as one of the best features of the company.
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.
- bfp9: “I’ve been on the Hogan train since 2006 when I bought Apex Blades (with the dreaded Callaway Forging). Still use them today. Although they are getting long in the tooth. Best Irons for my swing, and my game. And they were $299 new at Golfsmith. Haven’t hit the new stuff, but I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to buy another set of Hogans.”
- MattM97: “Lefty options are limited, only thing I might consider are the wedges but after shipping, import fee/duty, re-gripping to what I like they are as much or more than most wedges. But I do like what they are offering and are a much cheaper and appealing product for many golfers. So I’ll be a fan, but won’t be a user of Hogan products.”
- dkelly1269: “I have a set of the FW15s and just picked up a set of the PTx irons. Both are very high quality and very playable at a great price. I’m all in.”
- tsecor: “I played Hogan Apex PC’s back in the late ’80s when I was a child, and I loved them. My parents bought them for me as a gift for graduation. They were $399 I think……not sure why I ever sold them, but it seems as if the Hogan company is getting back to their roots and the tech they are including in their irons is impressive…to me anyway.”
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