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FootJoy is selling 2,106 pairs of all-black “Jimmy Walker HyperFlex II” shoes

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In the world of golf, the color black belongs to Gary Player, known appropriately as “The Black Knight.” But there’s another golfer who’s had success donning all-black: Jimmy Walker, who won the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club wearing a monochromatic, black outfit from hat to shoes.

Jimmy Walker sporting the HyperFlex 2.0 shoes at the SBS Tournament of Champions

Jimmy Walker sporting the HyperFlex 2.0 shoes at the SBS Tournament of Champions

To commemorate Walker’s victory, FootJoy released 2,106 pairs of “Jimmy Walker Black HyperFlex II” golf shoes that are selling for $159.99.

“Jimmy Walker is a tremendous ambassador for the FootJoy brand,” says
Keith Duffy, Senior Product Manager, Footwear. “We wanted to help him
celebrate his huge Major win last year with a very limited run of 2,106
pair of Hyperflex II Blacked-Out shoes. What better way to complete his
preferred head-to-toe all-black look?”

2018_PR_51043

Like the standard HyperFlex II golf shoes, the all-black Jimmy Walkers have “FlexGrid 3.0” technology, which means they’re made with BioMorph material and athletic mesh for a soft feel and waterproofing. They also have Fine-Tuned Foam for cushioning and stability, “Laser Plus Fit” so the shoes have a rounded toe and a narrow heel, and “Extreme N.E.O. (Next Evolutionary Outsole) Traction” in the sole, equipped with Tornado Cleats by Softspikes.

“I really like the athletic styling, comfort and support I get in
my HF2’s” said Jimmy Walker. “I liked the black-and-white version, but I
just had to have the blacked out ones made up to test out — and they came
out awesome.”

The Jimmy Walker HyperFlex II shoes are currently available on FootJoy.com and at select retailers globally.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. TheField

    Jul 31, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    I for one would rather Footjoy go back to making Classics. These new styles are a little childish.

  2. Robert Parsons

    Jul 31, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    They’re selling on the footjoy website for $159.99

    I’d rather have any of the DNA shoes over these any day.

  3. D

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I wanna be Venom too!

  4. MCoz

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    What is the significance of 2106? Do you think it was supposed to be 2016?

  5. TheField

    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Never understood why they stopped making the FJ Classics. They make these mess instead? Rough.

  6. Barry

    Jul 31, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Doubtful there are even 2,106 people on Earth who could pick Jimmy Walker out of a lineup

    • Sam

      Aug 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      That’s why he wears all black, so people won’t mistake him for Kevin Chappel, Sean O’Hair, Adam Hadwin, Grayson Murray, Cody Gribble, Brendan Steel, or Huson Swafford

  7. Rex

    Jul 31, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Gross

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Whats in the Bag

Paul Casey’s Winning WITB: 2019 Valspar Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M4 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX (tipped 1 inch)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX Limited (tipped 1.75 inches)

Irons: Mizuno MP-25 (3), Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro (4), Mizuno MP-5 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 TX

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Proto (60)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 350-SSS
Grip: Scotty Cameron Matador

Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord Midsize

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Mizuno’s Senior Club Engineer, Chris Voshall told us Casey’s somewhat surprising setup in his long irons is simply the product of Casey hitting the windows he wants to with the particular clubs in question.

“It’s all based on the height of the ball flight,” Voshall said. The MP-25 3-iron was more penetrating and better for him off the tee, so he kept it in there.”

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Equipment

The Artisan Golf putter fitting experience

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There is a certain mystique surrounding Artisan Golf.  In clubhouses and on courses around Texas, the name Artisan is spoken almost as if it’s a local legend. Something unattainable that only the best players in the world get access to.

Did you see so and so is playing artisan wedges? He ordered a putter from them too. He must know somebody who knows somebody. Those Artisan guys are the old Nike club-makers who worked with Tiger and Rory and Reed.

For nearly the first two years of the company’s existence, Artisan didn’t have a website and orders for custom putters and wedges needed to be done via phone or social media. It wasn’t until January of this year that they launched a website in order to better sell their equipment. And now if you want a custom Artisan club, you can get one. But simply getting online and ordering a wedge or putter isn’t the way they want things done.

“Every single person that has bought a putter, I have talked to them one on one,” said John Hatfield, Artisan’s Head Putter Maker.  “It’s important because I want to make sure that we are getting them the best possible build that we can get them. We are never going to be a volume business. We never want to be a volume business. We want to make what we make and have that good relationship with the consumer.”

John Hatfield

When Nike closed its doors for good on the club making business, Artisan opened the following Monday in the very same space. And things ran pretty smoothly on just word of mouth and prior relationships. Hatfield focuses on putters and Mike Taylor is the wedge maker. But in 2018, Patrick Reed won the masters with a pair of Artisan wedges in his bag and people took notice. The company went from 300 Instagram followers to over ten thousand, essentially overnight. Hatfield doesn’t mess with all that, though. He is old-school and just wants to give golfers the best possible equipment to fit their game.

“We wanted to continue doing what we had been doing,” Hatfield said. “We wanted to offer the consumer what the tour player could get when he or she came in to see us. We had seen people on GolfWRX saying “oh man that is cool but we are never going to get it!” and we said you know what, if you’ll pay for it and if you want it, come and get it.”

And make no mistake. These Artisan guys have worked with the best players in the world. And they still do. When you walk into the Artisan facility, one of the first things you see is a big wall full of signatures from some of the greatest players to ever play the game. Tiger Woods, Ben Crenshaw, Rory McIlroy, and a ton more are all on the wall. Even George Strait has been in for a club fitting.

I went to Artisan headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas to start my relationship with Hatfield and Artisan. To this day, the company is still housed in the old Nike building, nicknamed “the Oven,” which comes complete with a practice green, driving range space and a wedge fitting area. I was there for a personal putter fitting. Having worked for Ben Hogan Golf and Nike, Hatfield has been in the club making business for over 30 years. The man is passionate about putters. But when it came to this fitting, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The fitting took place outside on Artisan’s practice green. And that is by design.

“We like to fit in the dirt. I don’t understand being indoors on a flat putt,” Hatfield said.  “That’s not natural. When you get outside with undulations and trees. This is real. This is how you play golf. I want to see what you are doing on real greens.”

And when Hatfield says he wants to speak with every person that he makes a putter for, he means it. My fitting took two and a half hours on the practice green, hitting putt after putt with different models and weights. Throughout the process, we made some adjustments on my stroke and the ball’s position in my stance but only minor tweaks. It felt like a putting lesson without completely getting away from what I was comfortable with. Hatfield wasn’t there to change the way I putt. He was there to get to know me so he could build the perfect putter for the way I putt. To Hatfield,  that all starts with look and sound.

“The number one thing is that it has to look good,” he said. “It needs to give you confidence. If you set something down and you don’t like to look at it, how long are you going to play it? Then after that it needs to sound good. That audible sound has to give you good feedback or you aren’t going to play it. The different mill depths can give you the different sounds that you need.”

And throughout the entire process, he didn’t write down a single word. It was all in his head and in his hands. Hatfield would adjust the weights on a putter and hand it to me. While I used it, he would observe the stroke, ask me questions, adjust a different putter and then hand that one to me. Then Repeat. Different lengths of putts, different lines and reads and speeds. For over two hours. We were narrowing down our options and Hatfield was building my putter in his mind. And at the same time, he was giving me tips on how to better put the ball in the hole.

I came to realize that there was probably no one who understood putting better than Hatfield. Sure, there are his equals. But this guy has spent the last 30 years building putters and fitting them for players. He knows what he is doing. And he wants to use his experience to make you a better golfer. He can talk to you and explain things in a way anyone can understand.

At the end of the fitting, we went back inside and filled out the Artisan putter order form with my specs. We picked out a grip that felt good in my hands but also weighed the appropriate weight for my stroke. I ended up going with the 0217 midslant because it fit my eye the best of the four putter models. The “bluebonnet finish” with a sight circle top line also looks phenomenal in person. I was hooked when I saw it. The full custom fitting and build ended up with a $975.00 price tag.

Each artisan putter comes with a serial number that is assigned to that particular customer. That way, Hatfield will always be able to look back and see exactly what was built for you. And if you want to change your grip or head-weights, that’s fine with him but he wants you to call him and let him know so he can update your file. If your putting turns south, Hatfield wants to know why and he wants to fix it. It really is all about the relationships and making you a better golfer.

The putters aren’t cheap but you are getting personal attention and a relationship with the guy who is making your putter when you spend the money. That is worth a ton, in my opinion.

The headcovers are custom as well. When you end up making your putter purchase, an online headcover creating form is sent to the customer so they can customize the color and stitching. The customer’s input is included in every aspect of the putter purchase.

And if you aren’t able to make it to Fort Worth, Texas for a personal fitting with Hatfield, that is perfectly fine. He still wants to spend a considerable amount of time with you on the phone, talking about your game. He even loves it when you send him videos of your putting stroke and the specs on your current putter. If you go somewhere local for a fitting, he wants to know about that too. The more information, the better. Hatfield wants to get to know you. It’s all about the relationships. He gets to know the player in order to build him the perfect putter.

And that is the thing that impressed me most about Artisan Golf. They care about your score. They want you to improve and if you shop with them, they are going above and beyond to put you in the right equipment to improve your game. If that means spending close to three hours on a putting green with you, Hatfield will do it. If that means giving you his cell phone number so you can call him to tell him you want to change the grip on your putter, Hatfield will do it. If that means taking time to watch videos of your putting stroke and then talking to you on the phone to make sure you get exactly the putter you want, Hatfield will do it.

Artisan cares about lowering your score. Plain and simple.

“We are focused on making products and improving your game,” Hatfield said. “We aren’t focused on all that other pizzazz.”

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Quick-Up driving range

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Product: Quick-Up driving range

Pitch: Via Quick-Up: “Using our UT-TEC TM rapid hub deployment system and hanging net impact absorption technology, we created the most unique and functional Golf practice net ever…It’s fast easy set-up and convenient storage and mobility make it an ideal anytime/anywhere practice range. In seconds you can easily have your personal driving range. It’s a powerful, functional and sturdy golfer’s practice tool. Practice all Woods, Hybrids, and Irons with a real ball…”

Our take on the Quick-Up driving range

Avid golfers are seemingly always looking for an easy, convenient place to practice. Of course, a full range is ideal, but we don’t always have the time. The Quick-Up Golf Driving Range tries to provide an affordable solution for us junkies out there to get in our daily dose of practice.

The Quick-Up Driving Range definitely fills a need in the marketplace. Its strength is its portability and doing what its name implies: It sets up in moments and can be taken down in nearly as quickly. It comes with some nice extras such as short game targets and a “shank guard.”

Still, if you are looking for a foolproof option – meaning near-zero chance of a ball missing the net and destroying something that shouldn’t be, you should look elsewhere in the marketplace. Even the fairly pricey Quick-Up Deluxe in not very wide at 10 feet. Set it up in your house and you may eventually have some drywall repairs to do.

While its light weight keeps it portable, it doesn’t’ feel as sturdy and durable as we’d like it to be. Outside, stiff winds can blow it around and the manufacturer recommends using the stakes included for safety. And while initial folding is quick, getting it back in the carry bag may be another story.

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