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TRUE linkswear adds to its collection with Proto

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Rob Rigg, president of TRUE Linkswear, and the rest of the TRUE team dusted off their high school biology education to help build a better golf shoe.

“Our thought process in making the shoes was if humans are supposed to have heels, they would have evolved with one,” Rigg said. “We don’t have heels for a reason.”

Naturally, the company created a barefoot shoe with what they call “zero drop,” keeping the heel and forefoot at the same level. TRUE released its first shoe, the TRUE tour, in 2011 and has grown since, most recently releasing the TRUE proto.

By not having a heel in the shoe, Rigg explained how it helps give golfers better posture and better form on their swings.

The proto has received a good deal of attention since Ryan Moore, a part owner of TRUE, won the 2012 JT Shriner’s Open in Las Vegas in a pair. The shoe design was based largely on input from Moore, and was released to the public earlier this year.

“Ryan wanted something he could really hit into, so the shoe’s still very barefoot but we decided to add a little more outer ridge to the side so when he’s transferring to the left side, he can really power through,” Rigg said.

The proto sells for $169.99 and has what TRUE calls a “sensei” outsole to provide more stability and traction.

[youtube id=”-1Z4O3N2HTU” width=”620″ height=”360″]

Other TRUE shoes, such as the tour, have TRUE’s “ninja” outsole, which gives more flexibility and feel for the golfer.

The proto meets TRUE’s five requirements for being a barefoot shoe. It has the zero drop, a thin outsole, flexibility, a wide toebox and is light weight.

On the bottom of the proto, there is a three-millimeter thick rubber outsole and five-millimeter thick traction elements spread throughout as if they were spikes. This allows for an easier walk on pavement while also allowing grass to pass through the traction elements and allowing the golfer to feel the sand or green on the course.

“It’s pretty intense if you haven’t tried our shoes before,” Rigg said.

Another benefit to TRUE shoes is that buyers do not have to worry about getting the right shoe width. TRUE shoes keep the foot stable with memory foam in the back, a sock-fit liner in the middle and the wide toebox at the top. The toe box allows for the toes to spread out which also promotes stability.

The release of the proto gives TRUE six different men’s shoes on the market, ranging in price from $99.99 for the phx and sensei to $209.99 for the chukka. There are also two TRUE women’s shoes — the isis and jade, each for $99.99 — and in March, it will release its first shoe for children called the padawan ($59.99).

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. girithara

    Dec 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Great shoes. Fits perfectly. Very comfortable.

  2. Johnny

    Nov 24, 2013 at 1:00 am

    These shoes are terrible. Not only do they look bad, they also have terrible traction. I would be better off wearing running shoes. My back foot slips just about every time I hit my driver. I do not recommend these. They are seriously ugly and cheap

  3. Lykato

    Apr 21, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I was disappointed with these shoes. They don’t grip very well in wet conditions in the morning. Sometimes you may feel yourself slip even when it’s not wet.

  4. https://Twitter.com/

    Mar 28, 2013 at 5:35 am

    It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Patrick

    Feb 15, 2013 at 1:02 am

    I purchased a pair of True Tour shoes 6 months ago. They are so comfortable, they are like wearing slippers.Because I have a broad foot , size 9US, I bought the 10US and they fitted like a glove. No !! I won’t be updating… I LOVE THESE ones. Thanks to True Linkswear.

  6. Scott

    Feb 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Why do they have to sell them for such a high price if they are minimalist shoes? 🙂

  7. TWShoot67

    Feb 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Great job Zach although I would have liked to do the interview with my boy Rob. This guy has changed the game when it comes to shoes in the golf industry. Now every single company out there is trying to catch up and ay they have the best lightweight shoe or best ground connection. You have to give this guy credit as he’s changed the footwear industry. I haven’t tried the NEW Sensei Proto but will soon for sure. I’ve been wearing these shoes as i was probably one of the first to tout this company. Now it looks like the rest of the golfing world has finally found them out. You can’t find a better more comfortable golf shoe. PERIOD!

    • john k

      Feb 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      First off let me start out by saying I have a son and daughter and wife who play. I put all 4 of us in spikeless shoes years back when Etonic came out with the G-SOK series. Well made shoe for the money and while many would comment that they looked comfortable, it was hard for many golf purists to comprehend that they would hold up on sidehill lie’s or wet conditions. Honestly they did. Whne True came along I jumped on the bandwagon immediately as I saw a company taking the no spike shoe to another level. I own 2 of the original soled shoes that have a nubby like bottom. Comfort and traction were fine, but the appearance I wouldn’t say was in line with what most players would commit to(almost a clown look to the shoe). I then upgraded to the Phx line last year and from my experience the shoe held up just as well as the original version but had a better look to attract the masses. I recently bought the True Sensei when it was released and have consistently used them while walking outdoors, playing golf and also working out(normal gym exercises). Quite honestly I find the Sensei platform to be far superior to the other lines and previous lines that are and were offered. I just ordered the Proto in brown and white. Tried the white out yesterday on the range…great look…much improved in my opinion and the best all around shoe True has made to date! I have viewed the new FJ(didn’t get a chance to try on)(ECCO)nothing to write home about and a few others that I can’t recal the maufacturers name…All in, this shoe delivers…and possibly most importatly, it allows you to walk in comfort and feel the ground as intended. Signed, a True fan for life!!

  8. Steffan Perry

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Actually humans are suppose to have “heels”. The correct way to run for example is technically to never let your “heels” touch the ground. Footwear have negated to need to keep our heals off the ground, however the longest distance runners in the world in rual South America run without the heals ever touching the ground, arching them up like “heels” in a shoe.

  9. Troy Vayanos

    Feb 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I’ve got issues with too much pronating in my feet. Will the TRUE Linkswear give me enough support to combat the problem?

    Thanks for the review

  10. Kyle

    Feb 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

    My Grandma would love the look of these shoes.

  11. Pete

    Feb 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I’m a big fan of my True Linkswear Tours from 2011 and will be looking into the protos as a replacement.

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Accessory Reviews

Top-3 men’s golf polos at the 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Vegas

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GolfWRX’s fashion expert Jordan Madley picks her top-3 favorite men’s polo shirts from the recent 2018 PGA Fashion Show in Las Vegas. Enjoy the video below!

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: The QOD Electric Caddy

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If you want an electric golf caddy that doesn’t require that you wear a sensor or carry a remote — one that will be reliable and allow you to focus on your game, and not your cart — then the Australian-manufactured QOD is worth checking out.

The QOD (an acronym for Quality of Design and a nod to its four wheels) is powered by a 14.4-volt lithium battery, good for 36 holes or more on a single charge. It has nine different speeds (with the fastest settings moving closer to jogging velocity) so the QOD can handle your ideal pace, whether that be a casual stroll or a more rapid clip around the course.

The QOD is also built to last. Its injection-molded, aircraft-grade aluminum frame has no welded joints. Steel bolts and locking teeth take care of the hinging points. The battery and frame are both guaranteed for three full years. If you need a new battery after the three-year window, the folks at QOD will replace it at cost.

Its front-wheel suspension gives the QOD a smooth ride down the fairway, and the trolley is easy to navigate with a gentle nudge here and there. The QOD is always in free-wheel mode, so it is smooth and easy to maneuver manually in tight spaces and around the green.

The caddy also features three timed interval modes for situations where you might wish to send it up ahead on its own: when helping a friend find a lost ball or when you will be exiting on the far side of the green after putting, for example. The clip below includes a look at the caddy in timed mode.

When folded, the QOD measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall.

Another area where the QOD excels is in its small size and portability. When folded, it measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall, making it the smallest electric caddy on the market.

Folks Down Under have been enjoying the QOD for some time, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when Malachi McGlone was looking for a way to continue walking the course without putting undue strain on an injured wrist that the QOD found U.S. fairways. After first becoming a satisfied customer, McGlone convinced CEO Collin Hiss, who developed the product and oversees its production in Australia, to allow him to distribute and service the QOD here in the states.

The QOD has no self-balancing gyroscope, bluetooth sensor or remote control. Bells and whistles just aren’t its thing — though it does have a USB port for cell phone charging that can come in handy. However, if you are looking for a no-fuss workhorse to move your bag down the fairway, the QOD should be on your radar.

The 2018 model has begun shipping and will be on sale at $1,299 for a limited time. It normally retails at $1,499.

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