New Products In For Testing

I thought that I would write a quick update on upcoming products in for testing. Before continuing, I just wanted to thank all of the manufacturers past and present that have given me a chance to look at their products.

One of the products that I was excited to test was Arnold Palmer Apparel. Arnold Palmer Apparel was awarded the Teezy Award at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show for top apparel brand. Between their affordability when compared to similar brands it was a pretty easy decision. The brands philanthropic philosophy means that it donates all of the net profits to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. That in turn made an easy decision a no-brainer. #LookGreatDoGood

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The Turtle Hill Mid-Layer from Arnold Palmer Apparel.

A product that I received for testing and review back in January hasn’t worked out as of yet. No fault of R-Motion (The Golf Club) that my laptop or desktops lack the necessary specs to make the simulator work. I’ve been trying to address the situation however other more important situations arose and I had to take care of those pressing issues first. I’m finally going to have the budget to get a proper laptop to make the system work. Stay tuned!! (Brian, I haven’t forgotten about you)

Getting back to apparel I have two other companies whose apparel I’m currently testing. Antigua Sportswear and an amazing pair of Loudmouth Golf pants. The new StretchTech fabric used by Loudmouth Golf now is lightyear’s better than the past. It’s softer, lighter and it really seems to breathe much better. We’re just starting to see golf weather here in Niagara over the last two days. finally, some serious wear testing. To hold the pants up is a belt from Nexbelt… the belt with no holes. Cut to your size and away you go. I’ve worn the belt on one occasion and I like it. The model I chose is from the “Fast Eddie” collection.

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Batman wishes that his utility belt was this cool.

 

Even though I didn’t receive my TRUE Linkswear Originals and Outsiders necessarily for testing and review purposes. I will be reviewing these shoes. Jason, Ryan and company moved from the desert back to the Pacific Northwest and after being lost briefly the brand is back doing what they do best. Making uber-comfortable golf shoes. Folks, these shoes are next level comfort!! Oh speaking of comfort and performance. Incrediwear sent me a few of their pieces. This performance and recovery wear is off to an amazing start in testing. The Recovery Leg Sleeves have been amazing in the early stages of testing.

I was named a product tester for Golf Pride. Currently, I’m in the process of installing their new Tour Velvet Align grip. The Golf Pride Align grip was a runner-up for the PGA Show Version Teezy Awards for “Top Component” category. While I was at the show I also got my hands on a couple of the new SuperStroke Soft Wrap TC full swing grips. These grips feature no taper.

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I’ve also received some tech gear recently. Thanks to ShotScope for giving me the opportunity to have a serious look at the ShotScope V2. A GPS Watch that also features a performance tracker. Also, I received another Teezy Award winner this time from the “Top Technology” category. The FlightScope mevo is a multi-sports radar that features Doppler technology. When used for golf the mevo is a launch monitor that fits into the palm of your hand. Metrics that it measures includes but is not limited to ball speed, launch angle, spin, smash factor and clubhead speed.

I’ve gotten some work in with a really neat product from Monument Golf. The “Stick-It”. This is a towel that\s magnetic and you don’t have to bend over to get your hands on it. On top of that keep your eyes open for all sorts of “First Look Reviews” featuring 2018 golf equipment as based on my experiences from the 2018 PGA Show. Heck, who knows what else will develop in the meantime. Golf season is finally here and it’s going to be a busy yet exciting season.

Until The Next Tee!!

 

Datrek® Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag Wins Best Hybrid Golf Bag by Golf Digest

One of the booths that I visited very late at this years PGA Merchandise Show was that of Dynamic Brands. The conglomerate that brings the likes of Bag Boy, De Vant, Burton, IGotcha and Datrek under one umbrella.

While at their booth several products caught my eye however none caught my eye more than the Datrek Go Lite Hybrid Golf Bag. This golf bag caught my eye for a few reasons. First there were the colours that drew me to the bag display. Once seeing them I noticed right away that the Go Lite Hybrid golf bag had 14 slots with full length dividers and then there was the weight when I picked it up. It certainly lives up to its billing as being lightweight. In fact, the golf bag weighs a mere 5.2 lbs when empty. Impressive for a stand bag with the full length dividers.

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Photo Credit: Datrek

Recently, Julie Parham who is the Marketing Manager for Dynamic Brands shared a press release with me announcing an award that Datrek had won recently. The Datrek Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag won an award as presented by Golf Digest. Golf Digest gave the “Editor’s Choice Award” for “Best Hybrid Golf Bag”. I would love the opportunity if Datrek gave me an opportunity to test one of these bags to allow me to form my own opinion. Please see the press release below.

***Generally, I refrain from posting accolades handed to company’s by other publications and websites. 

Richmond, VA – Datrek® Golf, a leader in modern golf gear designed to enhance players’ on-course experience, has earned a 2018 Golf Digest Editors’ Choice Award in the category of “Best Hybrid Golf Bag”. The full story is available on-line here.

“We are honored Golf Digest chose the Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag,” said Craig Ramsbottom, President of Dynamic Brands, Datrek® Golf’s parent company. “The Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag is the third generation of the popular Go Lite; now labeled a hybrid as it combines the portability of a stand bag with the functionality of a cart bag.”  This is the second award the Go Lite has received since it was first introduced in 2015.

The selection, through which the magazine’s editors identify its list of “The Best Things in Golf”, with an emphasis on lifestyle properties, products and services. The program receives similar editorial treatment as the annual Hot List, which has become the game’s authoritative review for golf equipment. Best Golf Bags has six categories: Cart, Carry, Lightweight/Ultra Lightweight, Hybrid, Stand less/Sunday and Waterproof, with Datrek’s Go Lite Hybrid awarded one of the coveted Best Hybrid Bags.

The Go Lite Hybrid has a streamlined new design for 2018, built for carrying, riding or walking with a push cart. The 14-way organizer top with full-length Individual Divider System (IDS) and easy-grip handle are designed for on-course convenience. Double shoulder straps and padded hip protection make the bag comfortable to carry. Six total pockets include an oversized, insulated cooler pocket and full-size garment pocket. The Go Lite Hybrid this year now includes new TOP-LOK™ Technology, a patented bag-to-cart attachment system designed to work with Bag Boy® push carts. Available in 10 colorways and sells for $149.95 at pro shops and retailers nationwide.

Until The Next Tee!!

Review – Ben Hogan Golf VKTR

Three years ago marked the return of a beloved name to the game of golf and in particular golf equipment. Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company launched their initial products at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show – Demo Day under the watchful eye of then CEO Terry Koehler. The launch of the Ft. Worth irons and TK 15 wedges were met by attendees with enthusiasm. For a good reason too… the products were beautiful. I wondered how Ben Hogan would step it up the following year building on the success of their initial entries and golfers in 2016 were met by the classy and lavish PTx irons. I wrote a review at alexandertothgolf.com earlier this year. The irons were stunning only bested by their performance. At the same time, Ben Hogan also released their Ft. Worth hi irons as a more forgiving option to the original lower lofted Ft. Worth irons. The hollow forged design yielded great feel and a pleasantly aggressive ball flight. There was one more void that needed to be filled and that was a club for golfers who thought of long irons as “taboo”. The VKTR Hybrid would be the answer.

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The VKTR Hybrid is designed with aesthetics and performance clearly at the forefront. Mr. Hogan was an innovator and had designs for a “hybrid” (as we now know it) dating back to the 1960’s. Clearly ahead of his time. When the “new” Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company designed their first hybrid they wanted to present golfers a piece of art that would inspire confidence. Part of my problem in the past with hybrids was how they presented a large footprint at address. For this reason I was a long iron guy. The VKTR Hybrids come in five separate profiles and lofts start at 17* and progressing to 27*. Sticking with the theme of footprint size it’s important to note at this time that as the loft increases the volume (club head size) decreases (110 cc to 96 cc). The reason is twofold as the hybrids in the higher lofts are more pleasant to look at and it allowed the engineers at Hogan to move weight forward.

Engineers at Hogan also added a degree of adjustability to the VKTR Hybrids. Although there is no hosel adjustments Hogan through their Perimeter Shot Shape Technology (PSST) allows for 24 grams of movable weights around the perimeter of the head. The head is designed with a neutral bias but you can move the weights around to suit your needs. This means that you can adjust for left to right and high or low trajectories. Through research, Hogan (and other brands) found that most misses with hybrids occur low on the face. Personally speaking, my misses with hybrids are thin and left and Hogan addressed the “thins” by creating a “larger more effective impact zone along the bottom”. Also adding to the forgiveness is their V-SOLE technology found in their irons which improves turf interaction.

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At Demo Day, I immediately went for one of their 18* models. This particular club was shafted with a UST Mamiya ReCoil 660 shaft. This shaft was a regular flex and as expected from a shaft like this the result was a smooth-swinging piece of equipment. As much as I loved the clean, classic look at address it was the feel that won me over. The acoustics were crisp and the resulting strikes emitted a sharp sound. A feeling that gave me the impression that the face was very responsive… which it was. I never did adjust the weights but the resulting flights were of a consistent and penetrating trajectory. I think predictable would be a suitable adjective. My focus shifted towards the 23* and it’s hard not to talk about how precise the “gapping” in your set can be with Hogan. The VKTR Hybrids seemingly meld into the iron offerings which creates a “flow” to your set. Designers made the VKTR Hybrids to have a steeper landing angle and when compared to other hybrids I would say that engineers succeeded. However, it would be more telling to see these in action on the course. Going back to the aesthetics the VKTR is a handsome club and I love the red paintfill and ferrules with the red stripes. Also, designers of the VKTR were a little cheeky. If you look closely at the adjustable weight screws you will notice that there is a resemblance to the old Hogan “medallion”. All of it is a retro throwback to yesteryear.

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As the calendar turns to 2017 it’s fun to think about what Ben Hogan will come out with next. One would be led to believe that it would be fairway metals or maybe even a driver. Or will Ben Hogan stick with their bread and butter and stay out of that game? In the interim they have the VKTR Hybrids to compliment the beautiful irons in their stable. Folks… Mr. Hogan would be proud. Check them out at benhogangolf.com

REVIEW – 2UNDR

Inspiration can come from everywhere. In fact, I was trying to figure out what to write my next review about when it happened, I came out of the shower and looked at my chosen underwear for the day. It was so obvious.

Men’s underwear. You might be surprised to know how much the men’s underwear industry is worth. Would you believe it’s a multi-billion dollar industry and that number is expecting to trend upwards? It’s hard to fathom but let’s stop for a second and discuss… why?

Much like everything else men’s underwear has really evolved. Evolution is a truly wonderful thing. No longer is men’s underwear about your great grandfather’s “tighty whitie’s”. No sir! The advancement in fabrics, cuts, performance and styles have been a blessing for this industry. From businessmen to pipefitters there’s a need for comfort and style. Some guys just like to be flashy where it can’t always be seen. It is to these last two points where 2UNDR enters the fray.

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2UNDR has turned into a brand that other’s could easily be envious of. Their roots take us to the Pacific Coast of Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Their vision was to allow men to be able to separate their “parts” from rubbing on other areas of skin. For those that haven’t experienced the pleasure of chafing or ‘Jock Itch” both are irritating (in the literal sense) and painful. Realizing the need of men worldwide 2UNDR sought out ways to design and construct underwear that could eliminate those issues. Where did the 2UNDR designers look for inspiration? Look no further than our Australian marsupial friends… the Kangaroo. As we know, kangaroos have pouches that keep their babies (or Joey’s) protected from unwanted pests, predators or just to rest easily.  This in a nutshell is how the “Joey Pouch” came into existence.

The first time I heard of 2UNDR was when I was at one of my first PGA Merchandise Shows. I was walking around the floor like the inexperienced attendee that I was never truly knowing where I was going when I walked by their booth. I stopped and talked for a few minutes and then I was offered a couple of sample pairs. I was asked to wear them and let them know what I thought. So the next day I put on my first pair of 2UNDR underwear on and my life was forever changed (in no way am I embellishing my sentiments). The all-day comfort that I was given while walking miles during the show is something that I’ll never forget. So that was 6 years ago. How about now?

*** Before continuing I just wanted to say that I still own them and they have proven to be very durable. Think of them like a well-worn baseball glove or your favourite t-shirt.

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Prior to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show I was in contact with their Supreme Chancellor of Sales Chad Haralson and we discussed another testing. In what seems like a lifetime ago I wrote a review at my old site and I wanted to see if anything had changed since then. The brand has evolved much like underwear themselves. I’ve sat back and watched while the brand and their popularity has grown (which is fun). Their booth at the show itself has gone from barely more than a pop-up to a full-blown booth. Their line has expanded from “simply” underwear to include the likes of accessories, duffel bags, “Long John’s” (long underwear) and lounge wear. Moreover, it’s their line of undergarments that has grown exponentially. While they have maintained their lines of models like Night Shift, Gear Shift, Day Shift, Swing Shift and Power Shift it’s the patterns that really garner much of the attention. Early on their styles had a pretty colourful palette including grey, blue, black, red, white etc however now is nearly mind-blowing. Patterns like Night Camo, Campers, Weiners YOTD, Pamplona, and Coco Nuts. Another pattern made available by 2UNDR is a Folds of Honor pattern as well which is an organization that provides  scholarships and assistance to the spouses and children of those killed or disabled in service to America.

When my newest test pairs of 2UNDR arrived I had a strange sense of excitement. When I opened the package up there were two pairs neatly packaged waiting for me. Inside were two pairs of Swing Shift in red and black/gold. The Swing Shift model of 2UNDR features fabric that features…

 

  • Ultra soft material
  • Signature Modal fabric
  • Shrink resistant material
  • Remains soft even after repeated washing
  • 95% Lenzing Modal Beechwood Fiber, 5% Elastane

So I opened the package and I noticed that something felt different about them… their feel of hand. While I can’t recollect what the elastic waistband was like way back it seems like this is something that the crew at 2UNDR improved upon. The waistband is a little wider and a little more sturdy and soft. The waistband can be a make or break as far as underwear go. I’ve worn underwear that haven’t had decent elasticity. I like the slight change of the graphics on the Black/Gold pair as they have 2UNDR emblazoned across them. I like the change because it’s minor and it’s bold. The feel of hand. When I was testing the 2UNDR pieces a few years ago they had a soft feel similar to what they do now. But yet, there’s something different about them. They have a more slinky, or compression-type of feel to them. This is something that during my wearing of them I couldn’t put my finger on. So while I was at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show I stopped at the booth and talked to “His Chancellorship” and questioned him about the difference in feel. It was confirmed at the show that there was a change.

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As a result of their slight change (I think it was at the supplier level) I found that the performance of the Swing Shift was better than I remembered. The fabric stays a little closer to the body and the fabric moves along with you throughout all sorts activity. The special fabric used is cool to the touch and feels similar in texture to silk. Even though the Swing Shift model isn’t their more performance geared Power Shift or Gear Shift models the performance of these all-day… all-purpose Swing Shift underwear is something to behold. I’ve worked out, played golf, walked the pup for countless hours and engaged in other activities throughout the testing process and these underwear haven’t missed a beat, stride or rep. The “Joey Pouch’ is the “Crown Jewel” protecting your “jewels” and the real star of the 2UNDR show. The “boys” are free and void from interacting with other parts of your anatomy. Also, because of the fabric used… the 2UNDR Swing Shift underwear have anti-microbial qualities and with their excellent ventilation capabilities (the fly) they don’t smell. Another key part of the design of 2UNDR is their innovative, trademarked “No-Drip Tip” which keeps unwanted moisture from appearing where it shouldn’t. Seams are a thing of the past with 2UNDR as they use a “flatlock” stitching method which further adds to the comfort level while wearing 2UNDR.

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Gents, if you’re looking for a pair of underwear that could yield all-day comfort look no further than 2UNDR. Performance and comfort that’ll keep you smiling from swing to swing.

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

 

Cleveland Golf Announces Newest Brand Ambassador

The list is long of athletes that have been staffers or brand ambassadors for Cleveland Golf. Names like Vijay Singh, David Toms, Joe Durant are just a few to have played the brand. More recently, just prior to the PGA Merchandise Show Cleveland Golf announced the signing of Jamie Sadlowski. The longest Tour Pro without question.

Just when you think that Cleveland Golf had outdone themselves by acquiring some talent they found a grand old guy. Fresh off of  a victory from The Incontinent Tour (The Geriatric Open) and a Long-Drive Champion (Geriatric Division) Cleveland Golf announced their latest signing. Meet… #GrandpaJamie. This is one geezer that can kill a golf ball.

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Photo Credit: Cleveland Golf

In the below video as shared by Marketing Communications Specialist for Cleveland Golf Noelle Zavaleta “Gramps” surprises a few unsuspecting country club members that have no idea what they’re in for. #GrandpaJamie is an unruly, geriatric long-drive champion (Jamie Sadlowski disguised as an 80-year man) who decides that today is the day to emerge from retirement and hit the range. Watch the hilarity and hijinks from hidden camera vantage points as Grandpa Jamie gives lessons, takes lessons, and out drives every member on the course.

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Photo Credit: Cleveland Golf

Enjoy!!!