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Show Stoppers from Day 3: 2016 PGA Merchandise Show

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The PGA Merchandise Show is a week-long celebration of all things golf, highlighting the people, products and places that are intertwined with the game. Each day we’ve showcased the most noteworthy products we’ve spotted at the Show. If you’ve missed any of our coverage so far, you can catch up below.

Enjoy our final edition of Show Stoppers from the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show.

Directed Force Putters

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There’s no bigger buzzword in putter design right now than balance. Terms such as “counter-balanced” and “face-balanced” have become staples of the modern golf equipment vocabulary, but a new putter company is hoping to add a new term to the list.

Directed Force Putters are lie-angle balanced, which founder Bill Presse says helps the putter stay square throughout the stroke and creates a more pendulum-like motion.

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Practice Drill: If shaft lean and tempo are consistent, the balls will stay inside the putter. If not, they’ll roll out.

The 6061 aluminum putters are offered in lengths of 28-52 inches and lie angles of 61-79.5 degrees. Each of the 21 available lie angles is paired with a specific center of gravity (CG) that’s designed to work in harmony with its lie angle. Two screws — one in the heel, one in the toe — allow for the CG adjustments. The company also offers a side-saddle model with a lie angle of 79.5 degrees with a split grip, and its shaft has a rearward lean of 2 degrees.

The putters come stock with the company’s elliptical Press Grips (available in 1.25- and 1.375-inch models) and have a back-shaft design, both of which encourage a forward press. Watch the video below to learn more about the putters, which are available through directedforce.com for $399.95.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=gN4RUpYH55w

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Directed Force putters in our forum.

Bushnell Tour V4 rangefinders

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The Tour V4 Slope has a red front, while the standard model has a silver front.

Bushnell’s Tour V4 rangefinders could be the company’s best models to date. They’re lighter and more powerful than past models, and a change to the rules of golf also helped Bushnell improve their functionality.

The USGA’s revision of rule 14-3, effective this year, permits golfers to use distance-measuring devices that account for elevation changes as long as that functionality is disabled in tournament play. Bushnell’s Tour V4 Slope ($399) allows golfers to toggle the company’s “Slope” technology on and off through its menu, complying with the new rule. Bushnell also offers a non-slope version of the Tour V4 for $299.

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Both devices are accurate to 1 yard, and will provide distances to flagsticks up to 400 yards away. They’re 30 percent smaller than the company’s popular Tour V3 rangefinders, and use Bushnell’s “Jolt” technology that vibrates to alert golfers when they have targeted a flagstick.

Areso Kine-Fit putters

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SAM PuttLab is designed to measure the small details of a putting stroke that cause golfers to miss or make a putt. For that reason, many top instructors use the system to identify tendencies and correct flaws. SAM also works as a fitting tool, and can help golfers find the loft, lie, toe hang and grip size that will work best for their stroke.

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Areso putter models range from classic to crazy. Each is 100 percent milled.

A German company called Areso decided to take SAM’s fitting power to the next level. Its team worked with SAM to develop software that would identify which Areso putter will work best for golfers based on their SAM results, as well as the best specifications for their stroke (lie, loft, length, grip, head type and balance).

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Areso’s Optimus putters use interchangeable parts that allow for thousands of different configurations.

The putters start at $400, and are available for purchase through aresogolf.com. See what GolfWRX members are saying about the putters here.

The Fowlers and Spieths

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Arguably the two most popular young players in the game today – Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler — have made heads turn in the golf fashion world with their prototype shoes.

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The “Rickie Fowler high tops,” officially named the TitanTour Ignite Hi-Top SE, are expected to hit stores as a limited edition release in June for $200 in the white-and-black colorway (pictured above), which was on display at the PGA Show.

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The design of Fowler’s high tops was designed based on Puma’s TitanTour Ignite.

The shoe wasn’t originally designed for public release; Fowler just wanted a shoe that matched his off-course look. Golf fans have been crying out for Puma to release them, however, so the company is giving the people what they want. The shoes are made with a leather upper, suede high heel and pig-skin interior.

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We don’t know much about the “Jordan Spieth’s” from Under Armour — other than they’re really cool and Spieth wins a lot while wearing them. They were on display at the PGA Merchandise Show in the Under Armour booth, however, suggesting they may make it to stores before the end of 2016.

Tour Spin Club Washer

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Have you ever left the driving range or golf course with grooves full of dirt and grass because cleaning them is just too much of a hassle? The TourSpin from Riveer solves that problem, and devastates bag boys everywhere.

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Riveer is a 20-year-old company specializing in wash systems for a variety of industries, namely aviation and military. It began making golf-club washers over the last few years because owner Matt Petter is a certified “golf nut,” according to a fellow Riveer employee. For golfers, the 20 years of power-cleaning expertise will get their irons, hybrids and wedges cleaner than ever in about 45 seconds.

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The automated system uses water pressure applied by rotational force to remove dirt and grass stains from golf clubs. They sell for $18K, while the tricked-out version with a cleat-cleaner and golf ball washer sell for around $29K.

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The company expects some facilities will implement a “vending machine” tactic, having users pay coins or tokens to use the club-cleaning machine.

Ikkos

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Ikkos goggles, which started as a way to train Olympic swimmers in 2008, use neuroscience principles to teach the brain how to perform body movements through visual and audio stimulation. Sound frequencies put the brain into a meditative-like learning state, while visuals seen while wearing the goggles teach the brain a movement pattern.

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When you’re born as a baby, you learn movement by mimicking others, according to the company. Ikkos technology is designed to reverse engineer the learning process, and bring you back to the way you learned as a youngster – through imitation.

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Here’s how it works: Download video content (YouTube works) into an App called CopyMe, and play it through the headset ($40), which repeats the content repetitively – around 30 times or more. Then put on the smaller goggles ($28), which are completely blacked out, and perform the intended movement.

The technology is currently being used for athletes, as well as for the rehabilitation purposes, namely cerebral palsy patients and stroke victims.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Mark

    Feb 3, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    After watching the video for the Direct Force Putters, the tech makes perfect sense. I would really like to try one. I would think the possibility of this improving my game (saving me strokes) is much higher than spending $300-400 on a new driver to improve my game.

  2. Scott

    Feb 1, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    If the putter had “Scotty Cameron” on it, you would be drooling over it. I’ve had a Directed Force putter for about 4 months. It is quite simply the best putter I have ever used. Sure, it looks weird, but I usually have the last laugh as Im collecting bets. By all means though, continue to poo poo something because it isn’t a brand name. It’s your loss.

  3. Thudstaff23

    Feb 1, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    I made up a new word for those Ricky high-tops: Interrible. Also, am I the only one who thinks that Directed Force looks like the shape of an immaturely drawn ball sack?

    • joepz

      Feb 1, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      They should rename that putter the “Man-Up.”

  4. Park District Hacker

    Feb 1, 2016 at 7:44 am

    No-name companies charging $400 for putters. Who is buying these?

    • steve

      Feb 1, 2016 at 9:06 am

      no one, bad business model

    • Stuart Smith

      Feb 2, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      You are buying named putters just for the name that have no math or physics behind them. Just a pretty club. Put a circle t on it and you will even pay more. This putter is the first of its kind with not only patents on the design but also the physics. You may be surprised where it may pop up next.

  5. Mat

    Feb 1, 2016 at 3:39 am

    If this is the “showstoppers”, stop the show.

  6. snowman

    Jan 31, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Directed Force Putter seems like a great technology, however needs to be in a more conventional head shape if they hope to get any market IMO. The head on that thing is just too extreme for me.

    • ACas

      Feb 1, 2016 at 10:38 am

      agreed, 100%. You can say performance trumps looks as loud and as often as you want, but it just won’t replace the appeal of a good looking club and lack of support a bad looking will receive. I would jump all over one of those putters if he can get it to look like a blade of traditional mallet.

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pga tour

Aaron Wise’s Winning WITB: 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 75

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black 8X

Driving Iron: Callaway X-Forged Utility (2-iron)
Shaft: KBS Tour Prototype Hybrid

Irons: Callaway Apex 16 (4-iron),  Callaway Apex MB 18 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 56, 60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Putter: Odyssey O-Works Red V-Line Fang CH

Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R

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pga tour

Andres Romero WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Zurich Classic (4/23/2018).

Driver: Callaway Rogue (9.0 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS 6.5 63

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Blue CK 70TX

Driving Iron: Callaway X Forged UT (18 degrees), Callaway Epic (3)
Shaft: Project X 6.5, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120X (3)

Irons: Callaway X Forged (4-PW)
Shaft: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (54-10S, 60-08C)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Toulon San Diego
Shaft: Super Stroke Ultra Slim 1.0

Putter: Odyssey O-Works 9
Grip: Super Stroke Ultra Slim 1.0

WITB Notes: Romero is currently testing two different putters, and we will update this post when he’s made a decision between them.

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Romero’s clubs. 

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Equipment

PXG introduces high-MOI, adjustable Operator putter

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Joining the Drone and Gunboat on the high-MOI mallet-style putter end of the spectrum, PXG is launching its highest MOI putter to date: the Operator.

With a maximum head mass of 400 grams, depending on weight adjustments, the Operator features a soft billet-milled 304 stainless steel face and a body made from 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum.

PXG made the Operator for those seeking advanced customization and maximum forgiveness. Multiple sole weights, available in increments of 2.5g, 5g, 10g, 15g and 20g, can be used to adjust the overall head mass.

Regarding the name: “Operator” is the specific term for Delta’s operational personnel, although in recent years it has become a term for almost all U.S. military special forces.

The putter is available in three models.

Operator

The double-bend hosel style creates a full shaft of offset with a face-balanced hang angle. Built for players with a straight-back-straight-through stroke.

Operator H

The hosel neck is heel-shafted with a half shaft of offset and mid toe-down hang angle. Built for players with more face rotation in their stroke.

Operator P

The plumber’s neck shaft creates a full shaft of offset with a slightly toe-down hang angle. Built for players with a moderate amount of face rotation in their stroke.

All Operator models feature PXG’s proprietary TPE honeycomb sole insert and a TPE insert behind the face to dampen vibrations and enhance feel.

$450 retail.

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