Golf fashion. For the longest time they were actually two words in the English language that didn’t belong together. Eventually, that started to change when Arnold Palmer started to be seen clad in trendy apparel. I remember his original clothing line in Sears and wearing some of it even though the apparel belonged to my father. Then for a while the fashion got ugly again. A world of double pleats, short sleeves past the elbows and bland colours emerged. Then an epiphany happened. Raise your hands if you remember the “Tabasco” golf polos or any of the tropical prints worn by Duffy Waldorf. They were polarizing. While some hated them there was a smattering of golf fans that liked them. They were fun! Speaking of fun.
Is there a brand of apparel that has awakened golf fashion more than Loudmouth Golf? Love them or hate them the brand has brought fun to the course one garment at a time. In fact, it’s my opinion that the fun that Loudmouth Golf has brought to the game is only rivalled by “Al Czervik” at “Bushwood Country Club”. Loudmouth Golf is everything that traditional golf apparel isn’t. It’s loud, brash, flamboyant and fun. Loudmouth Golf has a vast array of prints that’s nearly endless.
In the past, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Brooke Windatt who takes care of Public Relations and Social Media for Loudmouth Golf. Of course, I went by the Loudmouth Golf booth during the PGA Merchandise in January and Brooke spent some time with me showing off some of the new prints in the Loudmouth stable. Crazy stuff! As time passed I received an email from Ms. Windatt where she informed me of some new creations. From the mind of Scott “Woody” Woodworth comes a new range of shirt called… “The Fancies”.
“The Fancies” range embodies everything that is Loudmouth Golf. Of course, you can wear them on the course (always go solid bottoms please) but The Fancies look just as good with a pair of jeans. Whether you’re at the barbecue down the street or at a Toronto Blue Jays game on Canada Day the Fancy polo works. In fact, the polo that was sent to me was the “Oh Canada! Fancy Shirt” which was perfect for the aforementioned scenario. The point that I’m trying to make is that The Fancy wears well any time at any place. But this is a golf review. How do “The Fancies” perform on the course?
The Fancies are more than just a “pretty face” as there is a bit of “apparel tech” involved. The fabric is great with good hand. Whether it’s come right out of your suitcase or out from doing laundry. This fabric is wrinkle-free. Also, the fabric features a 4-way stretch material constructed from 100% polyester, From a fit perspective they have a slim, athletic profile. This 6’0″, 215 pound guy wore a large and the fit was perfect. The sleeves end around mid-bicep while the shoulder seam was perfectly placed on the shoulder. If you find yourself in between sizes err on the side of caution and go a size up. Aesthetically speaking these Fancy shirts are well-appointed. They feature a three-button placket, a self-collar and on the back of the shirt between the shoulders is a yellow Loudmouth golf logo. It’s a small feature that sticks out in a good way truly revealing the Loudmouth branding. I love the material of these Fancy shirts. The material stretches throughout all phases of the golf swing and you never feel constricted. As slinky as the material it never clings to the body. On their website there is no mention of moisture-wicking qualities but the fabric does wick away any moisture from the body. I really liked the fact that I stayed “cool” in the heat of summer and never felt uncomfortable.
When it comes to golf polos that exemplify fashion these “Fancy” shirts do not come up short. They garner attention (I received a ton of compliments) and look very sharp. These are golf shirts that perform and never leave you having the feeling of being restricted during the golf swing. The saying in golf is “look good… play good” and these shirts certainly go a long way in living up to the quote. Head over to Loudmouth’s website for more information and styles. Go ahead and unleash your inner Loudmouth.
Until The Next Tee!!
As we go through life we come to realize that certain things belong together. For example what is peanut butter without jelly? You think of one with the other… almost instinctively. Another example for instance could be peas and carrots… which of course “Forrest Gump” pointed out to all of us. When I think of other things that go together it’s hard not to see how a company like Skechers wouldn’t be involved in the golf footwear industry.
Skechers USA is a leader in the footwear industry to the tune of $3.5 billion in global sales per year. It’s important to note that Skechers have two different categories in which they produce shoes for. The first is their Lifestyle Division while the second is their Performance Division. The latter is the umbrella which the GO GOLF product range falls under. While their focus over the years has been on running shoes it totally makes sense for a brand like Skechers USA to be involved in the golf industry. A sport where it’s athletes spend countless hours on their feet. Combining their decades of research and development when it comes to the science of the foot and footwear coupled with input from their elite athletes Skechers knows exactly what a golf shoe should be. Some of the athletes that wear the brand include Brooke Henderson and Belen Mozo of the LPGA Tour, Matt Kuchar and Wesley Bryan of the PGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Colin Montgomerie.
In the past, I’ve had the chance to review a couple different models of shoes from the Skechers GO GOLF line-up. For this ability I have to thank Laurent Sirois who is the Marketing Coordinator and Brand Lead (Performance Division) at Skechers. I had the chance to go through the range of golf shoes with him at the Skechers booth during the PGA Show in Orlando and the variety of shoes in the product range is massive. While we were at it I also had the opportunity to have a look at the golf shoes slated to come out in 2018. Just a little bit of a heads up here… the 2018 line-up looks awesome! As we went through the 2017 range of shoes my eyes really gravitated towards the GO GOLF Focus 2 shoe. So it was decided that I would test and review a pair of the GO GOLF Focus 2 shoes.
The GO GOLF Focus 2 golf shoe is the go-to golf shoe for PGA Tour member Wesley Bryan and is a shoe that received a ton of input from fellow PGA Tour player Russell Knox in its development and creation. The goal was to design a shoe that makes the golfer feel “confident and solid” while on the golf course. As we look at the features of the Focus 2 golf shoe from Skechers Golf we have to start with the upper. The upper portion of the shoe is waterproof and breathable which can be attributed to their patented “Outdry” technology. The fit of the Focus 2 is what Skechers refers to as its “Dynamic Upper Fit” design which secures your foot. As you flip the shoe over to the side you’ll notice that the shoe has a sleek, low-profile to its design which ensures that you’re in contact with the ground at all times throughout the action of the golf swing. Adding to the stability of the Focus 2 golf shoe is a TPU constructed outsole cradle. Comfort is at a premium in these golf shoes as one might expect. This is in large part to their patented “Resamax” cushioned insole and their lightweight “5Gen” cushioning. The Focus 2 golf shoe is a spiked design that features replaceable “Softspikes”.
I’ve had the opportunity to do significant testing of the Focus 2 and the conditions for testing were as varied as possible. Having had numerous range sessions both indoors and outdoors. Rounds of golf were played where the conditions were very wet and sloppy. Then there were conditions on other occasions where the conditions were a “polar opposite” of the afore-mentioned. If I learned one thing from testing a prior model (Bionic 2) I knew that the chances were very unlikely that I would make the waterproof feature fail. Much like the Bionic 2 golf shoe the toe area has a seemingly seamless design. It was what I thought would be a glaring weak point the last time around. As expected, the durability of this design never came into question and as it sits right now the Focus 2 shoes are as waterproof as the day that I unboxed the shoes. It’s a good thing that the spikes are replaceable because the uppers will outlast the spikes. Speaking of the unboxing.
A quality that I look for when selecting shoes (golf or otherwise) is “out of the box comfort”. The Focus 2 golf shoes are definitely great when it comes to out of the box comfort. The upper is supple and there is no need to have a “break-in” period when it comes to the Focus 2 from Skechers. Wearing the Focus 2 golf shoes for extended periods of time were easy and that hasn’t changed over the long-run. Other shoes have become “sloppy” over time to the point where it effected the comfort and wearability of the shoe (this did happen with Bionic 2). The Focus 2 has the same support resulting in comfort as they had on day one. The Focus 2 will not fatigue your feet orlegs either as they weigh a little more than 14 ounces per shoe.
The performance of the Focus 2 golf shoes is second to none and it’s easy to understand why these are the “go to” shoes for Russell Knox and Wesley Bryan. These golf shoes flat-out perform and the secret isn’t simply just the Softspikes that they employ. Much can be said of the outsole and the variable spike pattern used. It’s easy to keep your feet planted and load up the trailing side without having any slippage regardless of turf conditions. Another integral component to the performance of the Focus 2 shoes is what Skechers did with the inside of the upper. It’s a relatively minor detail but imprtant to point out. There are (what I assume to be) silicon dots along the heel. Much like what you find in golf pants inside of the waistband which helps to keep shirts tucked in. I found that these just secured the foot even more inside of the upper adding to the stability and overall performance of the Focus 2.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a new pair of golf shoes have a look at the Skechers GO GOLF Focus 2 shoes. They are aesthetically appealing as they are a shoe that appears athletic. I love the 3D graphics that bear the Skechers branding (“S”). These are a comfortable pair of golf shoes that you can wear for 18 holes right out of the box in any conditions. The Focus 2 provides great support, supreme durability and superior traction. For more information on the Focus 2 golf shoes please head over to www.skechers.com
Until The Next Tee!!
As I sit here and write I just posted a question on Twitter. Addressing it to the folks that run the PGA Merchandise Show (Reed Exhibitions) I simply asked… “How many more sleeps until the show?”. The answer is too many. I love going to the show for many reasons but what I really love is jumping onto the range at the Orange County National Golf Resort and Lodge where I can swing the myriad of products that are getting set to be released. One of these products this past year that I made swings with is a new iron from Tour Edge Golf.
Recently the Batavia, Illinois (outside of Chicago) headquartered company made public the release of a new iron. This new iron is the Tour Edge Exotics CBX Blade. What the CBX Blade offers golfers is an iron set that gives golfers a muscle-back iron that comes in a forging that’s constructed from S25 Carbon Steel. The use of CAD technology was instrumental in the design of this iron which features laser engraved precision-milled grooves. These square grooves gives players that choose to play the CBX iron superb control while the carbon steel used in the construction yields the feel that only a forged blade can offer. The CBX Blade is offered to right-handed golfers and comes with the option of graphite or steel shafts. The graphite offering is the fantastic Recoil from UST Mamiya while the stock steel shafts are either the True Temper XP 95, True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT or the KBS Tour. Stock grips on the CBX Blade irons are the UTx from Lamkin Golf which has proven to be among my favorite grips used thus far.
Upon arriving at the Tour Edge (Exotics) booth on Demo Day I was greeted by a couple members of their team. What was really cool was the fact that the two reps knew me from my reviews at my former site. Initially, I was there for the purposes of hitting their new line of metal… the XJ1. After making swings and talking a little bit of shop I was asked if I wanted to see something. That something was an iron that nobody else had seen or struck yet. That iron was the CBX Blade. My immediate first impressions upon looking at this iron was that this iron was a throwback. A classic design that was simple and clean. These might be two of the biggest compliments that I can hand to any iron. In hand (and eyes) the CBX looks retro which is a very endearing quality to me. It’s narrow sole and razor-blade-like topline were instant winners to me. Rounding out the overall look is the square toe which also adds to the playability of the CBX Blade.
Photo Credit: Tour Edge Golf
So the time came to put swings on the CBX Blade irons. The head was shafted with a True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT in S300 flex. What I cannot stress enough is how great this head sets up behind the ball in the address position. You know how it is sometimes when things just “feel right”? That was the case with the CBX Blade. It felt right to me… I felt confident with the CBX Blade iron in my hands. The results reflected this confidence. My first strike was rewarded with feel unrivaled by many and a ballflight that went outward more than up. This ballflight was penetrating and aggressive. The wind was quartering slightly over my right shoulder which translates into a wind that “helps” a little. The CBX Blade produces “frozen ropes” and the ball wastes no time leaving the club face. I loved the feel in my hands and more to the point I loved feeling the sweet spot as the ball left the clubface. If you’re wondering… you could feel the “meaty” part of the muscle-back design at impact. As expected, the ability to shape shots with the CBX Blade is a breeze and the same can be said of executing punches and knockdowns.
However a question remains… Is the CBX Blade for anybody? I will put it this way… if you’re a golfer regardless of handicap that feels comfortable with a blade then… yes. If you’re a lower to mid-handicap golfer that likes blades then the answer is… most definitely! Thus far the CBX Blade might be one of my favorite blades that I’ve made passes with up to this point… period. The CBX feels good, looks terrific and performs. It’s clean and exudes simple elegance from a time gone-by.
Until The Next Tee!!