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True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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5 Comments

  1. Alex

    Dec 20, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Loved their shoes and they did move away from the ones that I loved. The proto’s are some of the best shoes that I have ever purchased. I wore holes in the soles of my Sensei’s. I wasn’t a fan of their shoes around 2014 as they seemed to get away from the comfort angle, and went more for looks. Either way the new shoes look amazing. I will definitely be picking up a pair or two, or three.

  2. Bill Pascall

    Dec 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I had a couple pairs of the originals. They were fantastic. They were nice and wide and felt like I was walking barefoot they were so light and comfortable.
    Then they switched manufacturers, presumably in China. I bought a couple more pairs. They were garbage. I will never even try another pair. Very disappointed in the quaility and the fit.
    Luckily I still have my originals that get rotated into the line up.

  3. Joe Perez

    Dec 13, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I loved the originals so much when I first tried them, I eventually bought a 1/2 dozen pair so I could have them in a variety of colors. The only downside was that I needed to start having the rear hem of my golf trousers hemmed a little higher due to the zero-heel. ^_^ I thought they were the most comfortable shoes, period, not just comfortable *golf* shoes.

    That said, I did not care for the later releases, spikes or no spikes, and did not purchase any of those later releases. It’s going to be interesting to see how the new “Originals” feel.

  4. Thomas A

    Dec 12, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I’ll second BJB. I owned multiple pairs of True’s. The Proto was by far my favorite. Quality went down as the soles split on the True Game Changer Hybrid and waterproofing didn’t work on the True Motion (morning dew soaked right through on my third round). The customer service always came through with another pair at no cost. Now I have a pair of Outsiders (partly paid for with a $50 credit on my last disappointment with the True Elements upper tearing). Awesome shoes, high quality. Great grip on the ground and as waterproof as they advertise.

  5. BJB

    Dec 12, 2017 at 1:39 am

    I own a pair of the Outsiders. I also own multiple other pairs of shoes from True’s previous lines. HIGH QUALITY kicks. It’s pretty ridiculous how I’ve lost all interest in wearing other pairs of shoes besides the Outsiders. I’ll walk 18 and then spend the rest of the day just walking around in these shoes. Super versatile and obviously very comfortable.

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Equipment

Callaway launches Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X irons and hybrids

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With its new line of Rogue irons — consisting of Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X models — Callaway continues its search to answer a conundrum that’s plagued game-improvement irons for years; how do you make an iron that produces great ball speed without sacrificing sound and feel. The dilemma is that in order to increase ball speeds, engineers must make the faces of the irons thinner. The problem is, the thinner they make the faces, the more vibration is caused at impact, creating a longer-lasting, higher-pitched sound. Very few golfers want that off-putting, clicky sound, but they do want the ball speed and distance.

So, that’s why companies are experimenting with different materials and injections between the faces of game-improvement irons and their bodies. That buffer creates a dampening effect to reduce vibration, while still allowing faces to be constructed thinner to raise COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer) and ball speed. Companies such as PXG irons use TPE injections, and TaylorMade uses SpeedFoam in its new P-790 irons; Callaway says those constructions either constrict speed, or they don’t have a profound enough effect on vibrations.

For its Rogue irons that are made from 17-4 stainless steel, Callaway is using what it calls urethane microspheres, which are essentially little balls of urethane that it combines together, in the cavities of its irons. The difference between these spheres and other foams and materials on the market, according to Callaway, is that the material is porous. Callaway says the microspheres work to dampen sound without negatively effecting ball speed.

A look at the inside of a Rogue iron, via Callaway’s photography

The inner material in the cavity works in tandem with familiar technologies from previous iron releases such as Apex, Epic and Steelhead XR. Callaway says it has improved upon its VFT (variable face thickness) and Face Cup technologies, focusing on thinning out portions of the face where golfers tend to miss shots — low on the face, on the heel and on the toe. Each of the Rogue irons also uses Internal Standing Wave by way of Tungsten-infused weights that help control the center of gravity (CG) in the club heads; that means centering the overall weight between the scoring lines, and controlling where the CG is placed vertically throughout a given set (re: higher on the short irons for more control and spin, and lower on the long irons for more height).

For the consumer, all of this means getting performance-driven irons at a lower price compared to the Epic and Epic Pro irons. Each of the irons will be available for pre-sale on January 19, and come to retail on February 9. Read on for more info on each of the specific irons, and the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids that introduce Callaway’s Jailbreak technology into hybrids for the first time.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

Rogue irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway’s Rogue irons are the standard model in this line of irons, equipped with all of the technologies described above. According to Callaway, these are essentially Steelhead XR replacements, but have more compact shapes. In the Steelhead XR irons, Callaway used a wider profile in order to center CG between the scoring lines, but due to the inclusion of the Tungsten-infused weights in the Rogue irons, it was able to shape the irons more similar to XR and X-Hot irons of the past — more preferable shapes for GI irons, according to Callaway.

Stock shafts include True Temper’s XP105 steel shaft, and Aldila’s Synergy graphite shaft.

Rogue Pro irons ($999.99)

The Rogue Pro irons, as you may expect, have a more compact shape, thinner toplines and thinner soles than their standard-model-counterparts. Therefore, the Pro design will yield more control that better players will prefer, but they are still packed with all of the performance-enhancing technologies of the Rogue irons. They also have a chrome plating that better players may be drawn to.

Rogue X irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway described the Rogue X irons to me as “bomber irons.” They have lofts that are 3-to-4 degrees stronger than the standard Rogue irons, and they have longer lengths and lighter overall weights, but according to Callaway, they will still launch in the same window iron-for-iron (re: a 7-iron will launch like a 7-iron). Despite cranking down the lofts, they have bigger profiles, wider soles and more offset; those designs work to drag CG rearward, which helps to increase launch.

Combine that design with the Rogue’s VFT, Face Cups, Internal Standing Wave and urethane microspheres, and the result is an iron that’s “all about distance,” according to Callaway.

Rogue and Rogue X hybrids ($249.99 apiece)

As noted previously, the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids include Callaway’s Jailbreak technology. Like Callaway’s Rogue fairway woods, they use stainless steel bars behind the face instead of the titanium bars that are used in the Rogue drivers. Also, like all of the other Callaway clubs that use Jailbreak, the idea of the design is that two parallel bars inside the club head connect the sole with crown help to add strength to the body at impact, allowing the faces to be constructed thinner, thus, create more ball speed across the face. The Rogue and Rogue X hybrids also have Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology.

The standard Rogue goes up to a 6-hybrid, while the oversized, Rogue X “super hybrid” goes up to an 8-hybrid. Similar to the Rogue X irons, the Rogue X hybrids have an oversized construction, a lighter overall weight, and longer lengths. The goal with these Rogue X hybrids is to create higher launching, more forgiving and longer hybrid options for golfers who need help getting the ball in the air.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

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First Look: Precision Pro NX7 Shot laser rangefinder, made for golfers and hunters

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Precision Pro’s new NX7 Shot is useful whether you’re hunting birds or birdies.

In just over 3 years, Precision Pro has become a player in the laser rangefinder market, quickly developing a reputation for products with maximum features at a price that’s lower than comparable offerings from competitors. Precision Pro came out with its NX7 Pro in 2017, and is following up that offering with the new NX7 Shot, which is designed to hit the two biggest markets for laser rangefinders: golfers and hunters. That’s probably why the company put a camouflage design on the water-resistant and shockproof body of the NX7 Shot.

Inside, the rangefinder has target acquisition that is meant to stabilize even when shaky hands or windy conditions are in play. The NX7 Shot also has an effective scanning distance of 400 yards, which is more than adequate range for golfers not named Dustin Johnson. Other features of the NX7 Shot include is its Scanning Mode, which allows the user to pick up multiple targets in one motion, and its Last Priority Mode, which lets the user acquire a target through tree branches and cover.

The NX7 Shot also comes with a 2-year warranty and free battery replacement for the life of the product. Regarding the warranty, Precision Pro Co-founder Jonah Mytro says “it’s something that nobody else in the industry is doing” and it “shows that we value our customers and that we want them to keep using our products for life.”

It’s designed to be legal for competitions that allow rangefinders, and is listed at $249 with free shipping when ordered from the Precision Pro website.

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Snell adds MTB Black and MTB Red to lineup, thanks in part to GolfWRX forum feedback

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Snell Golf entered the market in 2015 when Dean Snell, co-creator of the Titleist Pro V1 and TaylorMade Penta, decided to sell premium golf balls direct to consumer at a fraction of the standard premium golf ball price. With massive year-over-year growth, the company’s offerings have been well received by the golfing public.

Snell is expanding its MTB line with the release of the MTB Black and MTB Red models. The company indicates the Black and Red models leveraged customer feedback to expand an already successful line.

“Through evaluation of customer feedback, we are able to go through the design and testing process with a clear understanding of what the customer wants to see and feel in their Golf Ball. Pair our expertise and experience with customer suggestion and the result is a ‘Tour Like Experience’ with extra cash in your wallet for a round at the bar,” says Snell Golf founder, Dean Snell.

We asked Snell about the feedback process, and he had some interesting (and flattering) things to say.

“One of the biggest parts of the feedback came from the forums at GolfWRX. I check it weekly for sure, sometimes every other day. There’s one [thread] that started when we started and it’s still going…the information, with people playing and testing, I typically read that.

“And then I get a lot of emails. I read them all, and then I make a big chart, and I fill it in…”high spin,” “low spin,” etc. Then I read and mark the boxes with what people are saying, and when a box fills up, that’s a voice…So there were three big voices from consumers, and that led to these balls.”

Snell said when he worked at Titleist and TaylorMade, tour pro feedback was paramount. Now that he’s offering a direct-to-consumer product, however, the consumers are his “tour players.”

This is a different approach [working with consumers] and asking, “What do you want?” You can’t satisfy everything, but when you hear a strong voice over and over, that’s what we take into consideration.

MTB Black

  • 3-piece thermocast urethane cover golf ball with a 360 dimple pattern
  • Seven percent lower compression core than the original MTB
  • Softer core lowers spin with the driver

Snell says: “Driver spin: anytime you can lower it, it’s going to make the ball better. We keep the same performance [as MTB]…it’ll just be a touch longer.”

MTB Red

  • 4-piece thermocast urethane cover golf ball with a 338 dimple pattern
  • Dual Feel Technology: Provides a firmer, more responsive feel on driver and long irons shorts, while continuing a very soft feel on short irons and around the green with more spin as well
  • Available in Optic Yellow in addition to White

Snell says: “The MTB Red became a four-piece ball. We had to add an inside layer–an inner mantle–to add spin to approach shots. You control the spin rates through the set with the layers of the ball. Getting that fourth layer in there really works for the approach shot control and spin. Otherwise, to add spin, you’d have to raise the core [compression], but when you do that, you make the driver shorter. And the “yellow tour ball” market isn’t big, but the voice in our group was loud.”

Both golf balls will be offered at a retail price of $31.99 per dozen, and are also available in a Value Pack of 6 dozen for $163.99 ($27.33 per dozen).

New models are available at SnellGolf.com for pre-order. Shipments are scheduled for February.

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