Archive for May, 2011

Thomas Sets the Record Straight on Golf Equipment with New Book

There’s a new book out that is a comprehensive history and analysis of golf’s equipment regulations and their effects on the game. Written by Frank Thomas with Valerie Melvin, From Sticks and Stones ($24.95) dissects all the equipment-related provisions in the Rules of Golf, and explains why they were written, what they were meant to achieve and evaluates their relevance today.

As the Technical Director of the United States Golf Association for more than 25 years before resigning in 2000, Thomas conducted or oversaw the testing of every technological advancement in golf balls, clubheads, shafts, grips and accessories during the most active and turbulent time in the history of golf.  He definitely has his finger on the pulse of this subject.

Thomas and Melvin give the reader an inside look at how golf’s governing bodies – the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the U.S.G.A. – have dealt with equipment innovation and the Rules of Golf from the first mention of “Form and Make of Golf Clubs” in 1908 to the ultra-sophisticated calibrations of today.

“The object of this book,” writes Thomas, “is to provide a written document of how, why and when equipment had been regulated and to consider the effect of these regulations.”

From Sticks and Stones is available now and can be purchased for $24.95 USD plus shipping and handling directly through Thomas’ website at the following link:


Read full announcement here.

PowerPlay Golf to Get Its Close-up on Monday, May 30

There’s a new game in town or rather, on the Golf Channel.  It is called PowerPlay Golf which has just 9 holes per round.  The breakout is that there are two flags on every green: a White Flag and a Black (‘PowerPlay’) Flag.  There is a risk-reward decision to be made on each hole, as golfers have to decide on whether to go for the regulation hole placement, designated by a White Flag, or try to score extra points by playing to the more difficult placement, or Black Flag. Each player is required to designate three PowerPlays for the first eight holes. The ninth hole provides the chance to score bonus points, but also to lose more points than on previous holes.

For its television debut, the Golf Channel will be showing a star-studded tournament which features an international field playing The Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort (site of the 2010 Ryder Cup and the Saab Wales Open European Tour event).  Start-to-finish coverage  will take place on Monday, 30 May.

Hall of Famer Gary Player heads the field, which also includes reigning men’s and women’s U.S. Open champions Graeme McDowell and Paula Creamer, plus Englishmen Ian Poulter and Paul Casey.

Here’s a video that explains the concept:

Launched this year, PowerPlay Golf creates an exciting new strategic spin on scoring, adding drama and a new look for golf on TV. Two other similar PowerPlay Golf events are scheduled for later in the year, one in Singapore in early November and the other in late November in the U.S. at a site to be determined.


Trion:Z Announces Promo Tied to US Open

This week, Trion:Z, manufacturer of award winning magnetic and negative ion technology, announced they have developed a promotion specifically for the 111th US Open being held at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD.

Trion:Z professional staff members Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy both will be teeing it up on the Blue Course as they participate in the 2011 US Open. To create excitement around the prestigious event and to introduce golfers to the Active™ Series, Trion:Z will be giving out 1,000 Red, White, or Blue Active wristbands if either of their team professionals win.

To participate in the Trion:Z US Open promotion and win a Trion:Z Active wristband, visit the company website at and click on the enter button which will take you directly to the voting page of the website. Simply fill out your name, email address and choose either Rickie Fowler or Rory McIlroy to win the US Open.

No purchase is necessary. The entry dates are from May 16th through June 17th, 2011. One entry per person. Winners are randomly chosen and will notified by email within seven days of the tournament’s completion.

Suggested retail value appears to be $19.99.


Sun Mountain’s Newest Speed Cart to Debut in June

Sun Mountain just announced its newest Speed Cart — the SV1 — which offers a new and bigger console, new E-Z Latch System, improved brake system, and solid foam tires, to go with the legendary performance and ergonomics for which the Speed Cart is known. Speed Cart SV1 will be in stores June 2011 with a full-suggested retail of $259.

Though it looks very similar to the company’s past Speed Cart offerings, there are some significant upgrades:

  • The totally redesigned console for the SV1 is divided into three separate sections that allow one to separate and divide various electronic devices and accessories. This new console also conceals a slide-out tray for scorecard and pencil.
  • The drink holder has been moved from the console and is now a stand-alone connected to the side of the handle to allow more freedom to swivel.
  • It now comes with a cargo net that sits below the console and offers a convenient place to hold head covers or a layer of outerwear.
  • The new E-Z Latch System to allow easier folding, unfolding and handle height adjustment;
  • It has solid foam tires with anodized wheels to match the color of the frame
  • A new brake system that replaces the former caliper brake with a new pin system to more securely lock the wheels in place.

SV1 colors for 2011 include black, gold, silver, red, blue and charcoal. For the retailer nearest you, call 800-227-9224 or visit


Group Led by Fila Korea Buys Acushnet (Titleist and FootJoy brands) for $1.2 Billion

Today Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO) announced a definitive agreement for the sale of its Acushnet Company golf business, featuring the iconic Titleist and FootJoy brands, to a group led by Fila Korea Ltd., the owner of the Fila brand globally, and Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea. The purchase price is $1.225 billion in cash. Fortune Brands estimates it will realize net proceeds of approximately $1.1 billion after taxes and expenses.

Fortune Brands Golf Businesses

The press release states that Acushnet is the leading and most profitable golf equipment company in the world. Titleist is the #1 ball in golf and a leader in high-performance golf clubs. FootJoy is the #1 shoe and glove in golf and a leader in performance outerwear. Net sales exceeded $1.2 billion in 2010, with nearly half of revenues generated in markets outside the United States. Operating income before charges was $80 million in 2010, and operating income on a GAAP basis was $89 million.

The sale is expected to close this summer.

Plans to either sell or spin off the company had been in the works since late last year when Fortune Brands, which also owns a home and security business and a distilled spirits unit, approved a plan to divide the company into three distinct businesses. Wally Uihlein, chairman and chief executive officer of Acushnet Co., in a phone interview this morning with SouthCoast Today said there were many interested parties, but Fila Korea stood out from the beginning as good business men plus “they’re golfers.”

Fila Korea and its partners intend to run Acushnet Co. as a standalone entity and have made it clear that they are relying on the current management to continue operations, said Joe Nauman, Acushnet Co.’s executive vice president for corporate and legal affairs.

“This is not going to be a merger into Fila Korea,” said Nauman. “We’re going to have a new owner that is very much like the ownership under Fortune Brands. We’re stand-alone; we operate the business.”



PUMA Golf Partners with Cotton Incorporated to Create the Golf TransDRY™ 18 Hole Polo

PUMA Golf and Cotton Incorporated have partnered to create a series of PUMA Golf performance shirts featuring TransDRY™ technology, a moisture management system that wicks away moisture and spreads it for faster drying and less cling to the body.

Rickie Fowler sported one of the new styles, the Golf TransDRY™ 18 Hole Polo, during his Thursday round at The Players Championship® in Florida last week, keeping dry thanks to the TransDRY™ technology.

In brief, key comes from applying the technology at the yarn stage. The new treatment wicks moisture from the inside of the shirt to the outside, benefiting the golfer by keeping the inside of the garment dry and less saturated; simultaneously, the treatment spreads the moisture horizontally, allowing for a faster drying time.

In essence, cotton no longer kills.

Here’s the video PUMA Golf and Cotton Incorporated distributed to accompany the announcement.

For more information on the TransDRY™ technology, PUMA Golf Products or to keep tabs on PUMA Golfers, visit


Review: Nike Golf Victory Red Pro Blade Irons

You know when you put a new club in your hands, strike that first shot, and go ‘woah, baby that’s a sweet club’… That’s exactly what happened to me when I struck the Nike Golf Victory Red Pro Blade irons for the first time. In fact, after my first shot, I flipped the club around, took a closer look at the clubhead, and thought ‘I’m really going to like these’… and I did!

Not only do the VR Pro Blades look great, but they’re insanely consistent, and provide incredible feedback for those that love to shape their shots. For my thoughts on this great set of irons for the lower handicap golfer… please, keep reading!

Low Trajectory

One of the things I dig the most about the VR Pro Blades is the trajectory you get off the face. This became obvious to me when I grabbed a VR Pro Combo 7 iron, and hit alternating shots between it an a VR Pro 8-iron I had handy. The Pro Combo 7 iron went MUCH higher than the VR Pro Blade 8 iron. Imagine that… the 8-iron actually flighted noticeably lower than the 7 iron from a comparable cavity-back set.

The trajectory is low and piercing… but not too low. I loved it because it was consistent… which leads me into my next point!

Consistent Distance Control

One thing that became quite apparent to me after striking my first bucket of balls was this… these irons were deadly consistent. Using the trusty 8-iron as my example (again), I decided to throw down 10 balls and measure the distances. Here’s the spread:

  • Shot 1: 155 yards
  • Shot 2: 156 yards
  • Shot 3: 155 yards
  • Shot 4: 154 yards
  • Shot 5: 156 yards
  • Shot 6: 155 yards
  • Shot 7: 155 yards
  • Shot 8: 156 yards
  • Shot 9: 155 yards
  • Shot 10: 155 yards

Not too shabby… drop the high and low result, and you end up with a spread of… well… about a yard! Awesome.

I know some of you might be saying, ‘that’s ridiculous, you’re not a pro!’… and granted, I’m not. But I’m a decent golfer with a consistent swing, and I shoot in the 70’s with regularity. The conditions on the day of this test were dead calm, and I was striping the shots right down the pipe one after another. The results speak for themselves… for accurate distance control, I HAVE to give the Nike Golf VR Pro Blades a 10 out of 10.

Solid Feel and Feedback

After striking a few shots (including a few bad ones), I came to realize how forgiving (yes, forgiving!) these blades actually are. I’m used to playing blades on a day-to-day basis (in fact, I have a set of Titleist 690.MB’s in my bag right now), so I know a thing or to on what to expect when it comes to forgiveness. In comparison to my Titleists, the VR Pro Blades seem to provide a slightly larger sweet spot on the face. This is nice, because I found I didn’t have to concentrate as hard to ensure I hit it exactly where I wanted in the middle of the face, on each shot… my swing began to flow with nice tempo, and…. well… I really enjoyed striking the ball with this set!

On top of that, the feel and feedback you get with each shot is awesome. At impact, there’s no other way to describe the feeling you get, other than ‘solid’. There’s no vibration, no twisting, no anything… just a solid, pure feel with every strike.

Thin Top Line

I LOVE the thin top line on these clubs. I know this might seem like a minor point for many of you out there… but for those that prefer a great set of blades in the bag, the top line is a huge factor.

At setup, the clubs inspire confidence. They line up square, and just knowing you’re going to get solid feel and feedback with your strike is huge.

Working the Ball

Like to fade and draw your iron shots into those tight pin locations? I’d highly recommend you give the Nike VR Pro Blades a try. Working the ball is easy. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to hit a fade, or how to hit a draw… if you’ve gotten this far in the review you already know how to do that… 😛

But trust me, once you decide on the shot you want to hit, and line up to execute the shot… These irons are money in the bank. I prefer to hit fades myself, but I found hitting a slight draw time after time, after time… after time… was not a problem.

Stylish and Sexy

If there was an award for ‘sexiest’ irons, the Nike VR Pro blades would be a finalist, without a doubt. They’re a modern take on a classic design, and look stylish in the bag. The numbering on the sole is clean, and the Nike logo on the muscle on the back of the clubhead is just downright nasty (in a good way).

I know in the end, how your clubs actually look has nothing to do with hitting the ball, or shooting low numbers. But if you get a kick out of the look of your clubs, surely that has to be worth a shot or two out on the course, right? Something along the lines of, ‘look good, feel (and play) your best’? (sorry PING)


  • Ultra consistent trajectory and distance control
  • Solid feel and feedback on each shot
  • Become a real shotmaker. Work the ball left to right and right to left with ease
  • They look great (at address, and in the bag)


The price. For some, the $895.95 (retail 3-PW steel shaft) price on this set may be a bit too much. That said, all other iron sets in the same category are going to cost you roughly the same amount.


If you’re a low-handicapper looking for a top of the line set to integrate into your game, the Nike VR Pro Blade irons are worth some serious consideration. Trust me when I say you’re going to absolutely love the feel and consistency you get with these bad boys.

If you’re a mid-handicap looking to improve your ball striking, and lower your scores, these may be worth a look as well. Granted, you may have a hard time if you’ve never hit a set of blades before… However, I firmly believe with a little bit of practice these irons could be a huge asset for your game.

High-handicappers, steer clear. That said, if you are looking for some Nike iron love, I’d recommend the Nike Pro Combo irons. The longer irons in this set feature a large cavity back… and as you work your way down to the short irons (scoring clubs), you’ll find a more traditional blade style… the cavity gets smaller and smaller (and eventually disappears) as you work your way through the set.

For more information on the VR Pro Blade Irons (and all other irons offered by Nike), hit up Nike Golf.

Cobra S3 Driver Photo Gallery

The Cobra S3 Driver is one darn good looking driver. That’s why, when Cobra told me they were sending one over for my review… I was, in a word, excited. The S3 packs-in something Cobra are calling their ‘E9 Face Technology’, which creates a 30% larger sweet-spot. Of course, Cobra’s Adjustable Flight Technology (AFT) is on-board as well, allowing the player to adjust the clubface from an open, to a neutral or closed position.

I won’t get into the details of the technology and design at this moment (although I do have to admit I love the deeper face on this one in comparison to the Cobra S2 Driver)… For now, I decided to take a few snapshots. Enjoy.

Cobra S3 Driver Photo Gallery

Bridgestone Golf Teams Up With Michelob ULTRA for Father’s Day Promo

This week, Bridgestone Golf announced it is partnering with Michelob ULTRA for the “Golfer’s Ultimate 6-Pack” promotion which is timed for Father’s Day. , The Golfer’s Ultimate 6-Pack is a limited-edition package which features five Michelob ULTRA Slimline cans and a three-ball sleeve of Bridgestone’s award-winning e6 golf balls (where legal).

The Golfer’s Ultimate 6-Pack will be released on May 23 and is the first retail package to combine Michelob ULTRA with Bridgestone e6 golf balls at the point of purchase. The promotion includes nearly 500,000 sleeves of e6 balls, making this one of the largest golf ball samplings in recent history.

The e6 features three-piece Surlyn cover construction which provides the ability to reduce sidespin for increased accuracy and longer distance. According to the company’s press announcement, the new e6 remains the lowest compression multi-layer ball on the market – perfect for moderate swing speed players looking to limit slices and hooks – and features Bridgestone’s new Dual Dimple Technology for improved distance performance.

For more information on the Golfer’s Ultimate 6-Pack and Bridgestone’s entire line up of balls, visit


Driving the Green Takes on New Meaning…

A high speed chase that reached over 110 mph ended hen a man crashed his car through the security gate at Hazeltine National Golf Club located in Chaska, Minnesota. The speeding Toyota Camry slammed into a curb, went airborne and landed on the golf course green.

The police with the help of a K-9 and a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter, found 22-year-old Eduard Farmanyuk hiding under a tree in a wooded area. He was booked into the Carver County jail for criminal damage to property, speeding, reckless driving, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

As for the golf course, it is closed until June anyway, so there is no immediate impact on golfers.

Hazeltine played host to the PGA Championship in 2009 (when Tiger lost to Y.E. Yang. It was the first time that Woods had lost a major after holding at least a share of first after 54 holes).

Here’s a video clip from the local news about the chase:

Car Gatecrashes Hazeltine Golf Club, Launches Onto Green in High-Speed Chase: