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Show Stoppers from Demo Day: 2016 PGA Merchandise Show

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Demo Day kicks off the PGA Merchandise Show each year, with golfers testing the latest golf gear at the 360-degree range at Orange County National in Winter Park, Fla.

Enjoy our list of “Show Stoppers” from Demo Day below, as well as our general galleries from the event.

Ping TR 1966 putters

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You could say that Ping celebrates the anniversary of its Anser putters every year. The classic, heel-toe weighted blade putters are still some of Ping’s best selling models, and nearly every major putter company sells a putter inspired by Karsten Solheim’s legendary design.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Anser, however, Ping did something special. Using 3D scans of the original Anser and Anser 2, the company was able to recreate the subtle contours and radius details Solheim shaped using his mills and hand files.

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The Anser, which has a manganese bronze PVD finish, has no alignment aids, as well as a more rounded shape and a thicker topline than the Anser 2.

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The Anser 2, which has a stainless steel blast finish, has a more angular shape and a white alignment aid on its flange.

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There’s also a bit of new technology in the putters – Ping’s TR (True Roll) grooves, which are milled into the faces of the putters to create more consistent distance on putts contacted off center.

Both putters, available in March, have an MSRP of $162.50. Their head weights are 340 grams, roughly 50 grams heavier than the originals. They use stepped steel shafts that were also re-engineered from the original Anser designs.

Toulon Design putters

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Most golfers would be interested in a putter that feels better and rolls putters better than what they currently have. As TaylorMade’s Executive Vice President of Product Creation from 1999-2015, Sean Toulon knows that better than most.

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Now at the helm of his own golf equipment company, Toulon Designs, Toulon says he’s created putters that do just that. They use a crosshatched face pattern that creates a softer feel at impact, as well as smaller, horizontal grooves that he says gets putts rolling faster.

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Toulon putters officially launched at Demo Day, and are available in four models that start at $400.

Ben Hogan VKTR hybrid, PTx irons

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Last year, the newly formed Ben Hogan Golf Company made a splash at the PGA Merchandise show with its line of Ft. Worth 15 blade irons and TK 15 wedges. This year, the company broadened its lineup with the release of its VKTR hybrids and PTx irons.

The VKTR hybrids ($249) aren’t promising golfers more distance. Rather, their high-spin design places a premium on trajectory control. Four adjustable weights allow golfers to tweak their ball flight, with three 2-gram weights and an 18-gram weight that give golfers the ability to adjust spin rate and trajectory bias.

Like the Ft. Worth 15 irons, the company’s new PTx irons are forged, but they blend a titanium core with a 1025 Carbon Steel frame to give golfers a higher trajectory and more forgiveness. They’re offered in lofts of 20-47 degrees to allow golfers to choose the distance gaps that work best for their game.

Like Hogan’s other irons, the PTx irons use the company’s V-Sole design that helps them resist digging at impact. They’ll sell for $169 each with KBS Tour-V or Tour 90 shafts, and will start shipping April.

Cobra King Utility 

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Golfers are used to adjusting the loft of their drivers with the turn of a wrench. Cobra’s new King Utility clubs bring that technology to irons.

Although the clubs won’t be released until May, they already have a following on Tour. Rickie Fowler used a King Utility to win last week’s Abu Dhabi Championship.

According to Cobra, the King Utility irons use a 17-4 stainless steel face insert that’s added to the club with an L-Weld to increase ball speed and forgiveness. They’ll be adjustable from 18-21 degrees, with three draw settings that make the club slightly more upright.

Aldila Rogue iron shafts

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Graphite iron shafts have been around for decades, but only in recent years have they started to gain traction with better golfers. One of the reasons why? Advanced construction methods have given shaft makers more freedom in their designs, allowing them to create profiles that weren’t possible in the past.

Aldila’s new Rogue iron shafts take that precision to a new level with what the company calls a “Hyperbolic Flex Progression.” It alters stiffness for each individual iron shaft to improve trajectory control.

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Most shafts get between 6-8 CPM (cycles per minute) stiffer per club, according to Aldila, but the Rogue iron shafts are different. Take the Pro 105-S shafts, for example, which use a 2-4-6 design. The 3-5 iron shafts get two CPM stiffer between shafts, while the 6-8 iron shafts irons get four CPM stiffer between shafts. The 9-W shafts get six CPM stiffer between shafts.

The design helps golfers better dial in the appropriate trajectories and distances for each iron, according to Aldila. They’re available in two models, Standard (about $40 each, 65-A, 75-R, 85-S flexes) and Pro (about $100 each: 105-S, 115-X flexes).

Nippon N.S. Pro Regio Formula shafts

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Despite the abundance of graphite shafts currently available, many golfers still have a hard time deciphering what type of shaft will work best in their driver or fairway wood. Leave it up to a company known for its steel iron shafts to help solve the riddle.

Nippon’s N.S. Pro Regio Formula shafts use profiles that are similar to the company’s popular N.S. Pro Modus iron shafts, so if you know what Modus is best for your iron game then you know what Reggio Formula is best for your tee game.

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The Formula M is based on the Modus 130 iron shaft, with a firm butt section, firm mid section and a softer tip section that creates a stable feel and a high trajectory.

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The Formula B is based on the Modus 120 iron shaft, with a soft butt section, firm mid section and a firm tip section that creates a lower trajectory.

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The Formula MB falls in between. It’s based on the Modus 105 and Modus 125 iron shafts, and has a balanced profile.

All three shafts sell for about $400.

SuperStroke S-Tech

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SuperStroke, known primarily as a putter grip company, has expanded its club grip line. And two of golf’s biggest names — Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia — are using the company’s new S-Tech grips on the 13 other clubs in their bag.

The new grips are both softer and less expensive than the previously released TXi models, and will be available to the public in three colors (black, grey and blue). They’ll sell for $6.99 each (standard and midsize) and will start shipping in April.

Yonex N1-MB irons and Triprinciple hybrid

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Yonex’s new N1-MB irons, forged from S25 Carbon Steel, add a touch of feel to the muscle-back heads with a graphite plate placed behind the face, which helps to dampen vibrations at impact, according to the company. The irons heads are made with a low and deep center of gravity (CG) for a higher launch, making them more forgiving than the blade irons you may be used to.

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The Tripricinple hybrid, with one of the most awe-inspiring new designs at the PGA Show, has a cavity cut into its crown and grooves that run diagonally instead of horizontally. The grooves provide more consistent spin from various lies – especially wet grass, according to Yonex – while the crown’s cavity lowers CG for a higher launch.

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The new Yonex hybrids also have a reverse-flow shaft matching system that’s lighter in the longer lofts and heavier in the shorter lofts (the hybrids are offered in lofts of 20, 23.5 and 27 degrees). Their bodies are made from SUS630 Stainless Steel, while their faces are made from 455 Maraging Steel.

Bubba hits a drone from mid-air, and a look at his driver swing in Slo-Mo

Two-time Masters champion and Florida-native Bubba Watson blessed the PGA Show with an appearance at Oakley’s Prizm booth, and he didn’t disappoint. He put on a display of shots; a reenactment of his famous rope-hook wedge shot on hole No. 10 at Augusta to ice the 2012 Masters, nearly knocking a flying drone from mid-air — he clipped the propellers, but it didn’t fall — and of course, a slew of driver swings producing different ball flights.

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“Normally when you think of golf you don’t think of ‘cool and fun’… you think of action sports,” Bubba said. “But my swing, at 120 mph, is an action sport.”

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There to promote Oakley sunglasses, Bubba told the crowd he doesn’t wear sunglasses to play golf because it affects his feel, but he never goes anywhere without at least five pairs of Oakley Turbine sunglasses in all different colors. Oakley released a new frame (pictured above) to house their popular Prizm-style lenses — which work well for a sport such as golf because the lenses amplify tones and increase definition.

FootJoy FreeStyle

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These aren’t the “Classics” that you’ve seen from FootJoy in years past, but the new FreeStyle shoes move the company toward a more athletic and modern style aimed at comfort and performance, much like the HyperFlex shoes released by the company in 2015.

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The new FreeStyle shoes are made with a mesh upper for lightweight breathability, and come with a two-year waterproof warranty. A slip-resistant heel pad and extra cushioning under the tongue and in the back-inner portion of the shoe where the Achilles rests was added to make the shoes more comfortable.

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FreeStyles ($190) will be available February 15 in three colorways (white/grey/charcoal), (navy/orange/lime) and (black/white/gray). They will also be offered with the BOA closure system for $210.

The companies that weren’t there 

Demo Day at the PGA Merchandise Show provides golfers, media and PGA professionals an opportunity to see the newest equipment and test products in an outdoor environment. Most major equipment companies attend the event, but this year there were several notable absences.

Companies that didn’t attend include Nike, which recently launched its line of Vapor Fly clubs, PXG, one of the talked-about new golf companies in recent memory and Mizuno, which launched its new equipment line last fall.

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Mat

    Jan 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    The iron head is the future. It won’t be long until entire sets are manufactured that way.

  2. steve

    Jan 28, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Why would Toulon get in at that price range for their putters? They needed to undercut Betti’s and Camerons by a lot, under $200 should have been their starting point

  3. Parisgood

    Jan 27, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Nobody has mentioned what the manufactures are doing with the loft. The new Taylor Made M2 irons 5 iron has a loft of 23 deg. My 1970 set of Wilson Staffs 5 iron had a 32 deg loft. So which one am I going to hit further? Also Taylor Made released the M1 driver this fall, now what did they introduce at the show, the NEW and improved M2. Will there be a new and even better M3 by springtime?

    • JP

      Jan 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      I agree with you on the lofts of the M2 irons. There are YouTube videos out already that show the M2 irons on a launch monitor in which the shot height and distance of the M2 6 iron was the same as a standard 5 iron tested side by side. They stamped a 6 on a 5 head and claim it’s longer… Ridiculous. But the M2 driver is not an upgraded or new M1. It is the replacement for the Aeroburner. They incorporated the carbon fiber crown for it, but it is not the “new” M1. I think Taylormade made a big mistake in naming it M2. It should have been more aptly named M1 Speed, or M1 Burner….. M2 is very misleading.

      • Parisgood

        Jan 27, 2016 at 10:12 pm

        Didn’t know that about the M2, thanks that’s interesting.

      • Tim

        Jan 27, 2016 at 10:59 pm

        While I appreciate your attempt here. Wouldn’t the club launch and fly lower if it was lower lofted?

        • Clay

          Jan 27, 2016 at 11:21 pm

          Launch and flight are impacted by center of gravity. A blade with a high cg will launch lower and spin more where an ski club launches high and spins less despite the lower loft.

    • Joe Golfer

      Jan 28, 2016 at 1:43 am

      TM did introduce the M2, but it isn’t supposed to be a New and Improved version of the M1.
      They are two completely different clubs, and you are supposed to choose which one would benefit you the most based on your skill level, swing speed, style of play, what you need most from a driver…
      As far as mentioning the strengthening of the lofts, it probably did not get mentioned because it is nothing new.
      TM has had models with 23* five irons for several years now. It’s old hat.
      If you’re expecting a bunch of comments about how strong the lofts are compared to clubs from years ago, you’re late to the party. That’s been happening for years, and it includes numerous brands of clubs. There are now PW’s that are 43* and 44*, so one may need two gap wedges to fill the blanks between the PW and the SW.

  4. DFence

    Jan 27, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    “BETTER TO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON LESSONS AND KEEP YOUR OLD CLUBS.”

    Says every golf instructor. Misses the point. This is equipment.

    A golf instructor won’t fix a slice, the golfer fixes the slice. Equipment and Instruction are both tools to help a golfer, they work hand-in-hand. I have had golf instructors that teach the newest fad, some that are old school. Clubs are the same way, and in both categories, some are great and others aren’t worth a damn.

    Here’s what you do: Spend your money however you want, on whatever you value, because neither an instructor or equipment will make you any better. You need to play as often as you can, and be open to recommendations when playing with people better than you. An ugly swing / ugly club will look pretty if you have repeated “golfing” enough that you’ve learned how to put that ball near the hole in a real golf setting. It’s that simple. And if a club/instructor makes you want to go out and play more, then you’ve made yourself better. But there is no blueprint, or else every here would be featured in the tournament pictures.

    And if someone writes in all Caps, then they are extra full of 5h!t.

    • Brandon

      Jan 27, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      “because neither an instructor or equipment will make you any better.” This is completely false, a great instructor will absolutely change your game and its not even close in comparison to new equipment.

      • DFence

        Jan 28, 2016 at 12:07 am

        Are you an instructor? Why do you care?

        Since you care so much, prove it, show how. You disparage clubs for their math, show yours.

        • Bill

          Jan 28, 2016 at 1:18 pm

          The point is if you have a bad swing and are a 36 handicap, buying an M1 isn’t going to make you a 26 handicap. The old adage, “it’s not the arrow it’s the indian” holds true. Most golfers would get more benefit by spending $500 on short game lessons than buying the latest greatest driver.

          • Matto

            Jan 29, 2016 at 4:23 am

            But people enjoy buying & having new things!! I don’t know why people keep pushing the “spend the money on lessons” line.
            I find it bizzare that people continue to try and protect complete strangers from spending their hard earned cash!!!
            I work hard, make good money, then in turn enjoy spending it on trivial sh*t like golf clubs!!!
            I’m gonna be dead for so much longer than I’m alive. Blowing cash to keep me happy is the least of my worries. But thank you for your concern, sincerely.

  5. golfraven

    Jan 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Oh boy, Ben Hogan hybrids are back! Best news as I was looking at the Callaway Apex but why would I buy anything else then the real deal. My first hybrid was a Ben Hogan and if this baby is performing as it looks it will be in the bag for a loooong time. Cannot wait to hit it.

  6. Josh

    Jan 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Diagonal grooves… funky!

  7. Chuck

    Jan 27, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    About that Triprincipal hybrid…

    Anybody remember the old Sonartec/Royal Collection woods and hybrids? They had the deep cavity in the sole. And they were (especially the fairway woods) fantastic little low-flying balloon-preventing hammers. David Duval had one in the bag for years; presumably for no pay. So did Luke Donald. And many others.

    That cavity/cutout really seemed to work. There was nothing quite like a Sonartec fw.

  8. SouthbayZ

    Jan 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Sometimes I wonder if all the people that complain about new models of clubs, high-end Anser style putter lines, and hyperbolic performance claims have the same issue with all the new cars that come out every year. Do they lose sleep over new brands of clothing and different styles of jeans? Maybe this option induced insomnia is what keeps them on these threads whining late into the night. Oh shoot, theres a new ripped off Ferrari coming out this year that’s $400,000.00 a pop. Just what the world needs. Better get some Ambien and crying towel.

    • Cliff

      Jan 27, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      You can stop wondering, the answer is yes! No need to read the comments if you don’t like what they say.

    • Fahgdat

      Jan 27, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      No, SouthbayZ you numbnut, they don’t complain about the cars because they don’t have to compete against other people with them in a game, or look stupid and embarrassed that they couldn’t hit the ball straight even with the best equipment. All they do is drive down the road with their cars. Not like they take their expensive flashy cars to the race track and play bumper cars against other people to see if the new car that just came about really is 0.2 seconds faster than the last one. >face palm<

  9. Dave

    Jan 27, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Thanks for all the pics!

  10. ooffa

    Jan 27, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Toulon putters. Just what the golf world needs. Another ripped off putter design for $400.00 a pop.

  11. Nolanski

    Jan 27, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Regarding those new Hogan PTx irons… Lofts start at 32*?

    • Matt

      Jan 27, 2016 at 10:02 am

      the hogans are 20-47. Just construction is different from 32-47….

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Equipment

Golf 101: 5 Tips to building your golf bag with CH3 (+ Charles Howell III WITB)

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I think at this point it’s safe to say that Charles Howell III is the adopted son and patron saint of WRX.

Not only is he a member of the site and visits regularly, but he’s also an avid club nerd and tester. I’ve become friends with CH3 over the past couple of years and have had some fun gear geek sessions with him. Want to know the coolest thing of all? He’s still as passionate and curious about gear as we are and not just Titleist (who he is on staff with) he’s curious about it all.

So who better to ask about how to build a great golf bag than with a man who knows it, does, and plays for his livelihood week in and week out?

These are 5 Charles Howell III golden nuggets that any golfer can learn from—and oh yeah, his take on the future is spot on.

Rule #1: Stability over speed no matter what

“Even for the guys on tour, stabilizing the clubface is paramount to good driving. One of the reasons I love testing shafts so often is to see if there is that magic combo of speed and control. However, the stability of the clubhead and shaft have to be there—I could find a combo that’s 20 yards longer, but if it’s something I can’t control, it doesn’t have a place in my bag. Extra yardage is fun until it isn’t.”

Rule #2: Find wedges that can do it all

“I chose the Vokey SM8 M Grind in the 56 and 60, because as the grind spectrum goes, they fall dead in the middle for me but everyone is different. I discovered that finding a middle ground grind wise solves the “different wedges for different grass problems” some players find themselves in. Even at Augusta, there was more Bermuda sticking out than normal which made shots from behind 15 different for example a little trickier. Not only are you chipping back towards a downslope with water behind, but it’s also now into the grain. Knowing I had wedges to combat either scenario made it that much easier. As a player, you have to put all the grinds through the paces and see what one checks off the most boxes. It might be something you never considered.”

Rule #3 Forgiveness looks different for every player

“Iron set makeups have changed so much in recent years. Pay attention to the soles when choosing your irons, even in the longer irons. It would be easy to think that bigger heads wider soles would be a no-brainer to hit, but to be honest, it’s not that simple. Sometimes finding a sole that will help the club get in and out of the ground easily will get you that center contact you were looking for. Although guys on tour may choose beefier long irons, it’s pretty rare to find one with a really wide sole. Soles that large encourage a player to try and sweep it off the turf which is counter-intuitive with an iron in your hand. When getting fit, pay attention to attack angles and center contact with your longer clubs; you may find that thinner soles help you more than anything else.”

Rule #4 Enjoy the process of learning and testing

“Obviously playing for a living gives me the advantage of testing a ton of stuff, but it’s just as fun doing the research at home (online) and understanding what certain equipment can do and the idea behind it. I still rely on testing as much as I can to see what works but it’s the pursuit of knowledge that keeps it all fresh week in and week out. Technology is so good these days but like anything you have to ask questions, look around try some stuff and then make a decision. Remember it’s your golf bag, take some pride in demanding that every inch of it works for you.

Eyes on the future…

“I think as we go down this Bryson/distance chase, the ultimate result on tour will be a lot of two driver bags. Look at it this way, having a 47-inch driver for long bombs, and a 44.5 inch for tighter drives, and a 4-wood isn’t all that hard to imagine. Players can tweak lofts in the irons and wedges easily to adjust to gapping. It’s not rocket science, and I don’t think we are that far from seeing multiple players on tour doing it that way.”

Charles Howell III WITB

Driver: Titleist TSI3 (10.5 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 6 X

3-wood: Ping G425 LST (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 8 X

7-wood: Ping G410 Max (20.5 degrees @20)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 9 X
Irons: Titleist T100 (4-6) 620 MB (7-9)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (48-10F @47, 52-12F, 56-08M, 60-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

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GolfWRX Classifieds (12/3/20): Mavrik SubZero, rare Scotty Cameron, Wilson Staff

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member CLRMTgolfer – Wilson Staff forged combo set

This is one extremely nice custom combo set of irons from Wilson golf – from blades, all the way to the Staff utility, this set has everything you need for shotmaking.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Wilson staff iron set

Member EHSgolf1 – Callaway Mavrik SubZero driver

Your chance to get an almost new Callaway Mavrik SubZero for less than new price!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Callaway SubZero

Member Champ 2430 – Scotty Cameron Timeless longneck prototype

As they say “if you know you know” and this rare Scotty Cameron Prototype longneck is a thing of beauty – the only thing is I really hope you have a big golfing budget.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Rare longneck Cameron

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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Equipment

Adidas X Vice Golf launch The Vice Golf Shoe by Adidas

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Adidas has teamed up with Vice Golf to launch the new Vice Golf Shoe inspired from off the course which includes a dozen Vice Pro Drip Lime x Adidas golf balls.

The Vice Golf Shoe from Adidas contains ultraboost and a signature lime-green colorway to accent the designs for life both on and off the golf course. The shoe features a camouflage pattern in gray and white on the top of the shoe, while a brand-new drip pattern decorates the boost material at the bottom.

The shoe features branding “discoverables”, such as a subtle Vice logo on the tongue of the shoe while a collab logo is celebrated within. The company’s motto “Embrace Your Vice” runs down the spine of the heel, while another Vice logo lives underneath the 3-stripe caging on the inside of the foot.

If golfers want a brighter color pop, the alternate neon lime laces give that option.

“Based in Bavaria like Adidas, we have always looked up to this global ambassador and brand that has made big moves in both the golf and footwear in recent years. It is a great honor to finally present the result of 22 months of work with tears of happiness when the final pair of shoes arrived” – Vice Golf founder and CEO Ingo Duellmann

In addition to the shoe, the packaging of the Vice Golf Shoe by Adidas is made to look, feel and act exactly like their signature golf ball packages. 

The bottom of the box is wrapped in a neon lime camouflage pattern, and the top cover features the exact, embossed Vice logo colored in neon lime drip pattern as seen and felt on the brand’s golf ball packaging. The connection continues after lifting the lid and discovering an actual box of Vice Pro Drip Lime golf balls, with Adidas logos, sitting in its own compartment.

The Vice Golf Shoe from Adidas (plus one dozen Vice Pro Drip Lime X Adidas golf balls) costs $219.95 and is available to purchase from December 7, 2020, 11 AM EST at ViceGolf.com.

 

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