Category Archives: Golf Tips

Tour Edge Unveils Exotics EXS Fairway Metal, Hybrid

exs fairway metalOn the heels of its recent rollout of the Exotics EXS driver, Tour Edge now adds the Exotics EXS fairway metal and hybrid to its new product mix.

The clubs feature a myriad of game-enhancing innovations including a Flight Tuning System (FTS) that includes 11-gram and 3-gram interchangeable weights, Cup Face Technology with Variable Face Thickness (VFT Technology) for an expanded sweet spot, multi-material usage of Carbon Fiber for ideal weight distribution and a new and improved SlipStream Sole for faster clubhead speed through the turf. They are available worldwide on November 1, 2018.

The fairway metals’ FTS Technology allows adjustable sole weights to be moved to two alternate settings; an 11-gram weight in the heel, 3-gram weight in the rear for lower spin, slice-reducing shape and a medium launch and then the 3-gram weight in the heel and 11-gram weight in the rear for medium spin, neutral shape and a higher launch. Additional weight screws can be purchased as a kit that includes 6-gram, 9-gram and 14-gram weights.

exs fairway metal hybridIn the hybrids the CG location of the EXS is positioned closer to the face for less spin, creating a trajectory that fights wind and increases roll. The 4-gram sole weight can be adjusted to another weight to increase swing weight in the club and to further reduce spin. Additional weight screws can be purchased as an EXS hybrid weight kit that includes 7-gram and 10-gram weights.

Both types of club features premium exotic metals; a brand new United States manufactured, high-density Carpenter steel in the fairways and Japanese HT980 steel cup face in the hybrids. In both cases, the hyper-strength strength steel is quench-hardened, a special heating technique that takes 750 degrees to provide an extreme amount of strength while allowing for a thinner face.

The aerodynamics in the EXS fairway wood are greatly enhanced by new and improved wider SlipStream speed channels on the sole that create a faster clubhead speed due to smoother turf interaction. The CG location of the EXS is positioned closer to the face for less spin, creating a trajectory that fights wind and increases roll.

An ultra-premium Tensei CK Blue 2G shaft series by Mitsubishi Chemical is the chosen stock shaft for both fairway metals and hybrids. The fairway metals are available in five different lofts; 13, 15 and 17 degree 3-woods, an 18 degree 5-wood and a 21 degree 7-wood. The 15 degree 3-wood is available in left handed. The hybrids are available in five different lofts; 17 degrees, 19 degrees, 22 degrees, 25 degrees and 28 degrees.

$229.99/$199.99 | www.touredge.com

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Master The Long Bunker Shot

Many golfers will have an easy time playing greenside bunker shots, particularly intermediate and pro golfers who practice a lot. But, when the distance increases to between 40 and 60 yards or slightly more, the long bunker shot becomes harder to execute even for highly experienced pro golfers.

For most golfers, the only reason they are unable to execute this shot or get the most from the long bunker shots is that their club does not generate the necessary clubhead speed. It is a fact that you need more speed to get the best results, and while a lot of practice is crucial, you also need to do the following things.

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How Did Tiger Woods Win Again?

tiger woods win
(Getty Images)

Now that Tiger Woods is fully, magnificently “back” after the most-followed (and hoped-for) PGA Tour Championship win in recent history, the 80th of his career, it’s a great time to take a couple deep breaths and ponder how he turned 2018 into his year, swallowing every other story line whole as he relentlessly trudged his way back to the winner’s circle with grit and skill, as only he can. This Tiger Woods win was a true earth-shaker, even by his standards. Just ask Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka or Francesco Molinari.

From the casual modern golf fan’s perspective, Tiger is and has always been the only game in town. If he’s playing, people are talking about it — even people who can count on one hand the number of rounds they’ve played in their lives. As one headline read in the wake of Sunday’s amazing scene at Atlanta Country Club, Tiger doesn’t just move the needle, he “is the needle.”

Now that he has surmounted four back surgeries, prescription drug addiction and a series of personal travails that would (and have) felled many other athletes, the army of otherwise semi-engaged fans that he has built over the past 20 years is back in full force — with a new generation of young faces in tow.

From the golf philosopher’s point of view, Tiger’s pothole and detour-ridden comeback only reinforces their contention that the game is, indeed, a metaphor for life itself: Rise to power, triumph, downfall, regret, repentance, reinvention, redemption, triumph again. He emerged from that massive crowd on the 18th fairway a new, different champion, as powerful as ever but more humbly and blessedly human, fighting tears, letting his vaunted guard down when the tap-in for par dropped and his arms raised in relief and joy. Life will do that to a guy. Even this guy.

Think about it. A year ago, on the heels of the spinal fusion surgery that would decide his fate, Tiger could barely get out of bed much less swing a club or even stroke a putt. He was staring at a life of pain with the chance of competitive golf fading fast. Yet here we are.

So, what do professional golf instructors think about Tiger’s resurgence? To what do they credit his long and arduous journey back not only to relevance but to potential dominance (dare we bring Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors back into the conversation)?

Golf Tips put that question to a few of its Top 30 teachers.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

Tom Patri, former Met (New York) and South Florida PGA Teacher of the Year whose driving lesson headlines Golf Tips’ current Power Issue, was, at one time, sure that Tiger’s career was over. “I’ll be the very first to admit I didn’t think he’d ever be back,” he wrote on Facebook. “I thought between the injuries, the short game ills, the personal strife, it was simply too much — I was completely wrong.”

In a text message, Patri now says that Tiger’s return directly results from his re-mastering a few inviolable and necessary golf fundamentals — simple but powerful fundamentals built on a mix of physics, talent, hard work and mental toughness.

“I think his ability to quiet his hands in those incredibly difficult short game touch shots is nothing short of miraculous,” Patri said. “Few who suffer [the ‘chip yips’] ever find their way back. It’s a testament to his mental strength.

“Also, he clearly has simplified his golf swing thoughts,” Patri continued. “Let’s face it, he worked with several very talented coaches. I’m sure each is extremely talented, but that said, each pounded him with a slightly different approach. To again be able to stop the merry-go-round and step back and hit the proverbial restart button is absolutely amazing. I believe Tiger went back to a place all golfers should revisit on a daily basis as they practice: The land of time-proven, sound fundamentals. Why do we all have to make [playing this game into] War and Peace?”

SHOW AND DOUGH

PGA teacher Dale Abraham, who splits his director of instruction duties between Bighorn Country Club in Palm Desert, California and Telluride Golf Club in Colorado, pointed specifically to Tiger’s driving and putting at the Tour Championship.

“I think there were two things Tiger did better this week that propelled him to the win,” Abraham wrote in an e-mail. “No. 1, he dialed back a bit off the tee, allowing him to be more accurate and hit more fairways, which was crucial with that two-and-a-half-inch high Bermuda rough. No 2, Tiger used his old putter and made a ton of putts in all four rounds, leading the field in one-putt percentage at 51.4 percent, and second in strokes gained putting.”

THE HERO RETURNS

Jeff Ritter, who heads up the Pronghorn Academy near Bend, Oregon as part of his popular Make The Turn Performance program, took the more philosophical, emotional tack in his e-mail response.

“What I saw from Tiger was a different kind of personal fulfillment, peace and appreciation that can only come from the challenges and struggle faced on the hero’s journey,” he wrote. “The Hero’s Journey is a rite of passage tale rooted in mythology, which forms the basis of many of the books, films and storylines we enjoy and learn from in popular culture. Very often this journey resonates through sport as the elements and lessons within the story are clear and easy to see. Rocky, Rudy and, yes, Tiger Woods, provide us with powerful lessons for making the seemingly impossible become possible.

“A younger Tiger Woods was among the world’s greatest athletes, who unapologetically launched an assault on each player and every record. A gifted athlete, free of restriction in mind, body and soul, pushing the limits of greatness with laser focus.

“This older version of Tiger is filled with a calming sense of wisdom. He’s softer, but not in the way we negatively attach such labels to others who have presumably lost a step on the competition. This softness is welcome. We can and should all appreciate it as human beings; it’s the culmination and recognition of the time, effort, support and compassion for self and others that lead to such accomplishments or milestones in one’s life. Tiger is now a man who appears proud of himself in a way he couldn’t be before, without the presence of struggle.

“We don’t know what will happen next, but Tiger proved that even if for a single day, you can decimate the competition, be the best player in the world and still have a loving appreciation for yourself, your competitors and everything that makes up the greatest game there ever was.”

Got your own take on Tiger 2.0? E-mail me at vwilliams@madavor.com or comment here and we’ll compile your thoughts into a follow-up story.

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Tour Edge Exotics EXS Driver Revealed

The Tour Edge Exotics EXS driver, available worldwide on Nov. 1, features a myriad of game-enhancing innovations that has led Tour Edge to market the EXS line with the tagline Pound for Pound, Nothing Else Comes Close.

The loaded-with-technology driver features a Flight Tuning System (FTS) that includes 9-gram and 3-gram interchangeable weights, an adjustable hosel that allows for plus two or minus two degrees in loft, RollFace Technology for an expanded sweet spot, Dual Carbon Fiber placement for ideal weight distribution and a new and improved SlipStream™ Sole for faster clubhead speed.

“The EXS driver is absolutely loaded with technology,” said Tour Edge President and Master Club Designer David Glod. “This is the most technology we’ve ever been able to fit into a design and each one works in concert with one another to provide the best performing driver possible. The shapes are beautiful and we utilized only the finest in materials and components. I believe that at the aggressive price point that we are offering, the EXS driver will have its highest impact on the driver market over any other previous Exotics release.”

The EXS 460cc head features premium Japanese exotic metals; TSP 910 Beta Titanium face plate featuring Variable Face Thickness Technology and a 8-1-1 Titanium chassis. The TSP 910 Beta Titanium face has been made even thinner and lighter in the EXS over previous Exotics driver models to produce a greater spring-like effect.

Tour Edge R&D paired the superior TSP 910 Beta Titanium face plate with the exceptionally light carbon fiber crown and with additional carbon fiber located on the toe of clubhead, allowing weight to be strategically repositioned lower and deeper in the head for optimal spin and creating an extremely high MOI. The dual carbon fiber technology also helped Tour Edge engineers to significantly improve the acoustics of the driver and enabled them to account for the gram weight of the FTS weights and the adjustable hosel.

The Flight Tuning System allows adjustable sole weights to be moved to two alternate settings; a 9-gram weight in the heel, 3-gram weight in the rear for lower spin, slice-reducing shape and a medium launch and then the 3-gram weight in the heel and 9-gram weight in the rear for medium spin, neutral shape and a higher launch. Additional weight screws can be purchased as a kit that includes 6-gram, 11-gram and 14-gram weights.

The adjustable hosel allows the 9.5 degree EXS driver to go from 7.5 degrees to 11.5 degrees, while the 10.5 degree EXS driver will adjust from 8.5 degrees to 12.5 degrees, making the EXS Driver one of the most versatile drivers on the market. The adjustable hosel also features three upright lie angle settings, giving the EXS driver 16 different settings between the two FTS weights and the eight different loft and lie settings. An Exotics tuning wrench will come no charge with each driver at the point of purchase.

A new RollFace Technology incorporates modified bulge and roll on the toe to create straighter shots for shots hit off the toe, which is where the majority of miss-hits with a driver are made. In conjunction with the sweet-spot enhancing Variable Face Thickness technology, the RollFace makes this the most forgiving driver face ever produced by Tour Edge.

The aerodynamics in the EXS driver are greatly enhanced by a more sloping crown and wider speed channels on the sole. The new, more tapered head profile also reduces aerodynamic drag. New wider speed channels on the SlipStream sole create an even faster clubhead speed and enhance the aerodynamics of the clubhead.

An ultra-premium Tensei CK Blue 2G shaft series by Mitsubishi Chemical is the chosen stock shaft for the EXS driver.  Extremely light yet extremely stable throughout, the Tensei Blue CK features advanced materials like Carbon Fiber and Kevlar mixed with other lightweight materials that weigh in the 50-70 gram range depending on flex. A 50-gram weight will be available in Ladies, A-flex and Regular, a 60-gram shaft available in Regular, Stiff and X-flex and a 70-gram shaft available in Stiff and X-flex.

$299.99 | www.touredge.com

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How To Find The Center Of The Club Face

Arguably the two most important clubs in your bag are the driver and the putter. You must put the ball in play with your driver to enable you to score with your putter on the green. The extreme opposites of each other in your golf bag have one thing in common when it comes to playing to your potential: you must hit the center of the club face, the sweet spot, all the time.
How do you do that? It’s relatively easy to learn to hit the sweet spot of both your putter and your driver using simple household props. Used correctly, rubber bands and water bottles can be some of the best swing aids you’ll ever use.

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SQRDUP Puts Laser Focus On Good Golf Alignment

sqrdup golf alignment irons
SQRDUP takes the guesswork out of club face alignment

When a training aid inventor believes in his product enough to quit his high-paying gig, sell his home and move above a family member’s garage, it’s time to take notice. That’s exactly what Randy Bowman did to get his laser-powered golf alignment device, SQRDUP, into production and, finally, to market.

A gregarious ex-Marine with a clear love for golf and the guts to dream big, Bowman enlisted his engineer brother to help move SQRDUP from sketch pad to reality. Many months and much monetary investment later — including a spate of fundraising on the web — they had a working prototype: Four green laser lenses placed at right angles from each other inside a four-sided, plus-sign-shaped aluminum housing. After several rounds of tweaking tolerances and technical specs, the final product produces a quartet of powerful, mega-focused laser beams that, with the flip of a switch, give a golfer instant dead-straight alignment guides for every club in the bag, putter to driver. Mounted on the included Joby adjustable tripod, it can cast a beam from ground level (excellent for the range, where you want it as close to the hitting surface as possible) to several inches above the ground, where you can aim one beam at, say, a range marker 200 yards away, while the other three beams provide spot-on alignment aids for ball position, foot position, club face angle, takeaway path and more. For putting, it’s best to place it as high as possible, about 15 to 18 inches behind the ball, which allows a beam to track all the way to the target. The beams are powerful enough to be visible in bright sunlight.

sqrdup golf alignment putting
Mounted on its pliant tripod, SQRDUP provides a perfect line through the ball to the hole on any putting green.

“I spent a lot of time in our basement [working on SQRDUP], and my wife was hating it,” Bowman told Golf Tips at the International Network of Golf spring conference in Alabama last May, where he rolled out his first off-the-line device for the media. “So I took her to the putting green and set up an 8-foot putt, and showed her how you can line it up. She’s played maybe 20 times in her life, and she made 11 of 28 putts. Later she said, ‘Now I just think about that line. I really see the benefit. It helps keep me more square through the ball.”

With apologies to Einstein, there’s nothing straighter than a laser beam, which is what makes SQRDUP such a no-brainer for anyone who wants to perfect what any teaching pro will tell you is Exhibit A in a low-handicapper’s game: A reliably and repeatably square set-up. It leads to every good thing in the swing — balance, effortless power and accuracy for starters.

“A lot of people have tried it and said, ‘I really need this. It really helps. I wasn’t really getting my ball on line,’” Bowman said. “And it helps remind you of your alignment when you’re playing.”

Golf Tips tested SQRDUP on a flat surface indoors, setting it up so its “lead” beam sliced through the dead-centers of what might be the perfect practice companions — the PuttOut “pressure practice” training aid the same company’s six-foot Putting Mat. Each golf ball was placed so the laser would cut through its equator, giving us not only a bolt-straight line to the target, but a guide for the backstroke, too. If the laser stayed on top of the ball as it rolled out, we knew we’d put a solid, square stroke on it. On an actual outdoor green, the laser will instantly show the break of a putt — in four directions at once — if it’s arranged level to the surface. “You can have four putting sessions [at the same time],” Bowman said. “That’s why I think it’s a natural for high school and college golf teams. They can come up with practice competitions that will help them when their playing their matches. It builds confidence.”

sqrdup golf alignment driver
Trying to dial in proper foot position with the driver? SQRDUP is a godsend.

But you don’t have to keep SQRDUP on the square all the time, as Bowman discovered during one testing session. “I had one teaching pro show me, ‘Look, here’s a 4-degree swing path.’ He immediately recognized that you can set it up to show the path for a draw, nice, high fade, whatever. You can use it chipping, to work on foot and club face alignment. I can set it to go to the 100-yard marker, then to the 150 marker, or whatever, and line up my club face. No more moving alignment sticks or a golf club around.”

Even before he was up and running, Bowman was fielding SQRDUP pre-orders from around the world, and now he’s setting his sights not only on the American amateur consumer, but on the PGA Tour.

“I want to go to the [Waste Management] Phoenix Open, have a booth and a tent, and give a unit to each pro and amateur. I guarantee some will take it out to the putting green or range and use it, and hopefully some camera will zero in on it. We’ll see if people notice it and decide if it’s worth it.”

Let us be among the first to state without hesitation that SQRDUP is indeed “worth it.” Lasers are straight shooters, and so are we.

SQRDUP is portable, weighing just over a pound including the tripod, and charges quickly via mini-USB.

$199 plus shipping | www.sqrdup.com

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The Pursuit Of Easy Golf Power

When Top 50 golf instructor like Dean Reinmuth comes calling with an offer to check out your swing and offer the fruits of four-plus decades of top-level teaching, including a new level of golf power, only a bonehead would demur.

I might be a bonehead in many areas of life, but when it comes to improving my swing in any way possible with a guy like Reinmuth — who was credited for saving PGA Tour player Ricky Barnes’ career a few years back, and has worked with Phil Mickelson, Rory Sabbatini and Dave Stockton, among others — I’m in.

So it came to be that with Skype as our communication vessel and a very cool training aid called Swing Coach as the centerpiece of our lesson — Reinmuth himself helped develop it — we arranged a couple live video lessons.

Like many teachers today, Reinmuth is determined to preach his “Tension-Free Golf” gospel (it’s also the title of his 1995 book and the subject of his million-selling videos) to as many golfers as possible through technology. His San Diego-based golf school remains popular and he still hosts golf clinics all over the world, but video makes that world even smaller and more open to his philosophy of just letting the swing happen, naturally.

So, the goal in my case? To get me thinking about my swing far less, allow its momentum to gather naturally and to put that sometimes nebulous concept of “feel” in the driver’s seat.

That’s exactly what the Swing Coach does. With its 7-iron-length shaft and lightweight driver-shaped plastic head that cradles either regular or half-weight practice balls with a special release mechanism and a removable spacer, the training aid reveals, within a few swings, where a golfer sacrifices power and distance simply by fighting physics — the natural effects of gravity, momentum and centrifugal force that the world’s best players have learned to harness, swing after swing. The Swing Coach will absolutely not send a ball on a straight and strong path unless and until the clubhead is at full speed at the proper point in the swing — at the bottom of the swing arc, at impact or just past impact — and is on the proper path.

My video sessions with Reinmuth revealed just how effective this tool really is, and how beautifully it embodies his rhythm-based, “get out of your own way” teaching philosophy.

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Your Golf Short Game Cheat Sheet

Learning all the golf shots can be confusing even for the most analytical individual, especially when it comes to the nuances of the all-important inside-50-yards game. This Short Game Cheat Sheet  deals with simple ways to understand the very complex parts of the game and even gives you a reason to bookmark it on your smart phone or tablet and refer to it when you lose your way. And remember, don’t cheat for real!

short game cheat sheet chippingCHIPPING

NO Wrist Hinge — Used to Keep the Ball on the Ground

  • Ball in-line with your rear toe (Photo 1)
  • Aim the blade first and the body second
  • Hands pressed just to the outside of the forward leg (Photo 2)
  • All the weight starts and stays on the forward foot throughout the motion
  • Use a shoulder dominated putting motion with no wrist action back or through
  • Maintain the rear wrist bend into the finish position (Photo 3)

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New Titleist TS Fairway Metals Take Speed Seriously

The new Titleist TS fairway metals, born from the insights and technical breakthroughs of the Titleist Speed Project, are designed to drive faster ball speed with higher launch, lower spin and increased MOI for more distance and game-changing forgiveness.

The new TS2 and TS3 fairways — available in golf shops Sept. 28 with fitting events at locations nationwide — provide distinct performance benefits similar to their TS2 and TS3 driver counterparts. TS2 is the longest, most forgiving Titleist fairway wood ever, generating explosive speed with forgiveness and accuracy across the face. TS3 delivers speed-tuned performance through Titleist’s adjustable SureFit CG technology with dynamic forgiveness and shot control.

The future of “Titleist Speed” is driven by several key innovations that combine to form the new Titleist Speed Chassis:

  • Ultra-Thin Crown. Reduction in crown thickness – 27 percent thinner than the prior generation 917 fairways – allows weight to be shifted lower and deeper.
  • Thinner, Faster Face. Refined VFT (variable face thickness) delivers faster ball speeds and increased forgiveness.
  • Optimized Weight Distribution. Refined crown and face thicknesses create a lower CG for higher launch and lower spin. The resulting MOI is up to 11 percent higher than 917, creating a powerful combination of speed and stability

An enhanced Active Recoil Channel (ARC) merges with the Titleist Speed Chassis to launch the ball off the face with higher launch, lower spin and more speed. ARC 3.0 has a taller design than its prior generation, producing even greater face flexibility for a more consistent deflection and increased ball speeds across the face. While the Titleist Speed Chassis obsoleted the need for ARC in TS drivers, it remained a crucial technology for TS fairways due to shots being hit off the turf, low on the face.

TS fairways bring more speed to golfers through two distinct designs. Similar to TS drivers, TS2 fairways lets golfers swing aggressively with maximum forgiveness across the face, and TS3 offer an adjustable sweet spot for speed-tuned performance. Both models feature Titleist’s patented SureFit hosel with 16 independent loft and lie settings to create a more consistent and optimized ball flight through precision fitting.
The TS fairways stock shaft lineup features four new aftermarket models – KURO KAGE Black Dual Core 55 (High launch, moderate spin), TENSEI AV Series Blue 65 (Mid launch and spin), HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 (Low/mid launch and spin) and Even Flow T1100 White 75 (Low launch and spin) – developed by the game’s top shaft manufacturers using insights from Titleist’s industry-best motion capture and consumer testing. Each of these shafts will be making their market debut with TS fairways. Custom shafts are also available.

$299 | www.titleist.com

 

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Sea Pines Golf Vacation A Winter Must

Looking for value on vacation? Then look to the Sea Pines Golf Vacation package, which offers guests great lodging and activities this fall and winter on Hilton Head Island, named the No. 1 island in the U.S. by the readers of Travel + Leisure.

The Getaway Package (available March 1, 2019) includes options from tennis to biking, golf for all ages, dinners and food discounts, as well as a family portrait session on the beach by the certified professionals at Memory Lane Portraits.

And there’s more. Exclusively for Getaway Package guests, the Fall and Winter Golf Passport (available starting October 22) includes up to one tee time per day on Atlantic Dunes or Heron Point. The two-player, four-day passport costs just $349, which provides an exceptional golf value for each round.  Harbour Town Golf Links can be added to the package for an additional $140 per guest per round.

The Getaway Package starts as low as $136 per night for a minimum of four nights in a two-bedroom deluxe villa in the Plantation Club. The Getaway Package is valid for weekly or nightly stays (4-night minimum).

For more information, visit www.seapines.com or call (866) 561-8802 (promo code GETAWAY).

 

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