“First Impressions” Review -Wilson Staff DUO Soft+ Golf Balls

The golf ball is without a doubt the most underrated piece of equipment that a golfer uses in the course of his or her playing days. Not only is the “lowly” golf ball underrated it is almost thought of as an afterthought. But, it shouldn’t be. It’s the only item in our arsenal that we use on every stroke made during a round of golf.

Over the last several years, I’ve become very much a proponent of golf balls with lower compression. As a matter of fact, I’ve gotten to a point where I prefer a soft feeling, low-compression model of a golf ball. Of course, though, feel is intimate.

When it comes to soft, low-compression golf balls the first brand that comes to my mind is Wilson Golf. For 2020, Wilson Golf has brought golfers the DUO Soft+. I received a sample sleeve from the 2020 PGA Show at Demo Day and while down in Florida, I had the chance to get some on-course testing before returning home for the winter.

Here are my first impressions of the new DUO Soft+ golf balls. There will be an updated review as we get deeper into the season and I’ve had some more time to play with this golf ball.


The Set-Up

When looking at the new DUO Soft+ golf ball, we are looking at a golf ball that is built on the same principles as the ever-impressive, highly underrated DUO from years gone by. Wilson Golf describes the DUO as “the world’s softest and longest premium 2-piece golf ball”. If you’ve never used a DUO before, you might be missing out.

The new DUO Soft+ has a new feature in it’s “DNA”. Never used before in a DUO golf ball comes “VELOCITICOR™”. VELOCITICOR is a new core technology that consists of new, advanced materials that respond to the power of your golf swing and translates into maximum energy transfer into the ball. Different forms of polybutadiene (synthetic rubber) is used while a compound (Zinc Pentachlorothiophenol) gives VELOCITICOR it’s “oomph”.

The compression is low as the DUO Soft+ has a compression rating of 35. Wilson Golf is confident about this golf ball, and they were out to prove that the DUO Soft+ was just as long as a Titleist Pro V1. They had a “challenge” set up on Demo Day. Golfers hit three Pro V1 and three DUO Soft+ and using an iron. Using Trackman (or FlightScope I don’t recollect which one it was) the distances were recorded. For the most part, gains were seen across the board while I stood there and watched the results. Some gains by as much as 12 yards. I also took part in the challenge but my results were inconclusive.



The Transition

Early testing of the DUO Soft+ golf ball would take place at two separate venues while I stayed in Florida for a few days after the PGA Show. I would take the DUO Soft+ to the YMCA Par 3 Home of the First Tee of Lakeland where they have a pretty nice, well-maintained short game area and then I would play a round of golf in Zephyrhills, FL at Southport Springs Golf and Country Club.

The first batch of testing would occur as mentioned at the YMCA Par 3 course. That batch of testing would involve putting, chipping and pitches from a variety of lies and bunker shots. In a nutshell, that batch of testing was “anything’ short-game. The second batch of testing would be on-course and a sort of “live-fire exercise”. That would be my first look at things like distance, flight, and feel on all shots not short-game related. I would combine those results and come up with my “First Impressions”.

Feel – As you likely expect the feel of this golf ball is fantastic. I love the feel of this golf ball. It feels soft, and it feels quite buttery off of the putter, wedges, and irons. As mentioned, I’m a huge fan of softer golf balls and I often “preach to the proverbial choir” about using ofter golf balls. The feel was so good, that I actually looked forward to applying the clubhead into the back of the golf ball. I won’t guarantee it, but the DUO Soft+ is likely (if not THE) best feeling golf ball in the industry.

Spin – I won’t mince words. When looking at the DUO Soft+ golf ball, IF there is a shortcoming it might be its short-game spin capabilities. This was a case that presented itself almost immediately during the first batch of testing. To me, the DUO Soft+ had a problem checking up. Whether it was a chip or a pitch from a tight lie that allowed for easy compression, or a little lob onto the green. There was rollout. I was surprised to watch the Soft+ land on an upslope and release past the pin. I flew these shots 80% of the way to the pin. However, if I flew the golf ball 70% of the way the results improved. Chip shots were more of the same where there was more rollout than desired. Out of the bunkers, the spin was sufficient and did stop “okay”.

The spin on full shots and approaches into the green was better. The greens at Southport Springs Golf and Country Club were relatively firm. Ball marks were hard to come by as there were some approaches that left me bewildered because there were no pitch marks on the surface of the green. The approach spin with irons and wedges was very admirable in that, the spin of the DUO Soft+ did exhibit “drop and stop” characteristics. In the interest of full disclosure, I typically hit the ball high.


If you plan on seeing some rollout on short-game shots and play your shots accordingly, the DUO Soft+ is good around the greens. The feel makes it worth it.

Off of the long clubs in the bag (driver/fairway metals) it is my opinion that this is a low-spinning golf ball. Which leads me to talk about the distance.

Distance – One of the alluring things about using a lower-compression golf ball is the fact that you could pick up a few yards. Remember my “distance challenge” reference? While I saw no difference in numbers during Demo Day at their booth, it appears that I am longer with the DUO Soft+. Because the DUO Soft+ isn’t so “spinny” off of the driver and fairway woods it leads to a penetrating flight after initial high launch. You can really feel the golf ball compress and rebound off of the face of the club.

I would have the DUO Soft+ compete head to head against other current “testers” and it just seemed to stretch out a tad more. Especially with the irons. The DUO Soft+ was a club longer (7 to 10 yards) against the others. Now what I have to keep in mind is that I was hitting my PW in Florida 125 yards (sea-level is real). That same distance back at home would have translated to approximately 130-135 yards. It’s my hypothesis that I would get closer to 140 yards out of my 44* PW (winds notwithstanding) under normal conditions where I typically play which is around 350′ above sea-level. I also noticed gains with the other clubs I would play.

Putting – The DUO Soft+ has a pretty basic alignment aid for lining up your putts correctly. Emblazoned on the equator is “DUOSOFT+” that is book-ended by double chevrons (pictured below). Simple and functional.


The Finish

All things considered, the Wilson Staff DUO Soft+ golf balls are a very nice low-compression offering for golfers that prefer a softer feeling golf ball. If you aren’t one of these golfers, it might be worth a look for you regardless. While I found there to be some issues with greenside spin, it’s an issue that we can look past as long as you’re willing to account for that deficiency. At the end of the day, it is, after all, a 2-piece golf ball.

The DUO Soft+ is longer than other golf balls in the industry and your results in this facet might be better or worse than mine.

With a price tag of $19.99 USD/dozen the DUO SOft+ is worth a look. It offers pretty darn good “bang for the golfer buck”. I’m looking forward to playing with this golf ball more. Stay tuned!

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

STITCH® Golf Releases Clubhouse Duffle, Dopp Kit and Shoe Bags

Innovative Travel To Meet Every Need

STITCH Golf announces the launch of the Clubhouse Duffle and the redesigned Dopp Kit and Shoe bag.

“Our travel bags and accessories were designed to combine form and fashion so you can arrive in style™,” stated Brad King, CEO of STITCH. “Waterproof fabrics, fashionable color schemes, personalization options, and innovative designs come together effortlessly in our stylish, highly functional travel bags.”

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Clubhouse Duffle: “For Effortless Travel”

Don’t let the name fool you, this will be your new favorite everyday bag as this soft and packable bag is the perfect size for all of your essentials. Featuring STITCH’s signature “drop the top” function for easy packing, stain and water-resistant fabric and gunmetal hardware and finishes, this compact design makes the Clubhouse Duffle the perfect bag for the club, the gym, or a quick weekend getaway.

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Dopp Kit: “When practicality becomes a beautiful innovation”.

Both versatile and functional, the Dopp Kit from STITCH is a must for the jet setter. A single full-length zipper allows you to lay the bag flat for easier access to toiletry items. The Dopp Kit is spacious enough to provide room for everything needed to look and feel good when traveling. Water and stain-resistant, with a handle that doubles as a hanger, the dopp kit also has two separate zipped pouches to ensure items stay organized during travel.

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Shoe Bag: “A garage your kicks will enjoy.”

Keep your shoes in top condition while you arrive in style™ to your next round. A sleek design that uses STITCH’s durable Touring fabric, this bag is lightweight, water and stain-resistant and the four-finger handle makes for easy carrying with one hand. This bag can also double as a shag bag and is designed to hold up to 150 golf balls.

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STITCH Golf products are available for purchase at http://www.stitchgolf.com and leading golf, country clubs and select retailers. Stay connected with STITCH Golf on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @StitchGolf.


About STITCH Golf

Founded in 2012 as a headcover company, STITCH is known for designing and creating products with precise attention to detail, all the way down to the last stitch. Based in Apex, North Carolina, STITCH gives a unique experience, whether it’s the high-quality leather used in our headcovers, the durable waterproof fabrics in our bags and gear or the fashionable color schemes seen in our apparel. STITCH products are designed to be effortlessly fashionable, allowing you to create a stylish, comfortable and color-coordinated look-on and off the course. Designed with details that perform, our line of golf bags and gear, travel bags and apparel combine function and fashion with three themes in mind: DRESS YOUR GAME™, ARRIVE IN STYLE™ and FROM WORK TO PLAY™. STITCH products are available at leading golf, country clubs and select retailers around the world and at http://www.stitchgolf.com

Practice In Isolation – The UTNT Practice Centre For Deprived Golfers

Practice?! We’re talking about practice? Who remembers former NBA-superstar Allen Iverson’s famous rant? Practice, it’s essential for us golfers. But what happens when we cannot get to a golf course or a driving range to work on our game. What if, we were in isolation? Too soon? One way or another, we need to work on our game. So we might set up an area in our backyard… If we have one.

I’m fortunate to currently have a backyard and I have a lavish set-up. It’s a place that I use during the season when I don’t feel up to going out to a range. I use it to just unwind and decompress when I’m feeling “off”. Heck, I’ll use it in the dead of winter too in weather that is -15*C. I did this past winter before leaving for the PGA Show.

So, here’s my set-up. “The UTNT Practice Centre For Deprived Golfers” and the cost.

  • Callaway Golf Practice Net ($25 CAD)
  • Folded up carpet remnant (free)
  • Balls (Free. I’ve found them walking along creek beds while fly fishing)
  • Turf “mat” ($19 CAD. It was an actual practice mat that fell apart after 20 swings)
  • Tiki Torch holder ($4 CAD)

Not seen though is the Big Moss Putting “Augusta” Putting mat. That’s kept indoors. I admit that I received that item for review a long time ago. Maybe 5 years ago or so.


In total, I am in for $48 CAD. It’s modest, not fancy, and borders on embarrassing. But, it’s what I can have within my means. It’s mine, bought and paid for, and it’s effective.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Total Golf Trainer wins Product Ingenuity Award at 2020 PGA Merchandise Show

(SOUTH FLORIDA) – The ING (International Network of Golf) announced the winners of its annual Industry Honors Awards at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida recently and Total Golf Trainer was honored with the Product Ingenuity Award for Training Products.

Considered the “Academy Awards of the Golf Industry,” the ING Industry Honors Award program is conducted by the non-profit, International Network of Golf, to recognize outstanding achievement in the golf business. Nominations were accepted throughout the year from anyone in the golf industry. Sub-committees trimmed the nominee list down to the top three Finalists in each category and ING members voted electronically to determine the winner.

“We were extremely honored when we were nominated for this Industry Honors Award,” said Michael Gish, Inventor of the Total Golf Trainer. “I can’t tell you how amazing it was to be there at the awards ceremony and hear Total Golf Trainer announced as the WINNER! There were a lot of great training aids up for this award and we’re excited to be recognized by our peers and our industry like this.”


The Total Golf Trainer line of products are designed to provide instant feedback for golfers of all skill levels to help lower scores and improve the overall golf swing. The Total Golf Trainer 3.0 Kit is an all-in-one training kit that addresses:
  • Incorrect Wrist Set
  • Extreme Open Or Closed Club Face
  • Sucking The Club Inside On The Takeaway
  • Too Laid Off Or Across The Line At Top Of The Backswing
  • Loss Of Width, Tendency To Over Swing
  • Over The Top Downswing Move
  • Casting Or Early Release Of The Club On The Downswing
  • Loss Of Posture, Early Extension At Impact
  • Flipping Or Scooping
The TGT 3.0 Kit is the first all in one training kit that is completely custom to your swing. All products fit juniors & adults with settings for beginner to professional. Our flexible training rods allow you to increase or decrease the difficulty while providing safe effective feedback.
For more information on The Total Golf Trainer visit www.totalgolftrainer.com.

All Things Zero Friction

Zero Friction Sports is a golf brand that was founded back in 2001 under the name Excel Golf Products Inc. After seeing some initial success in releasing innovative products they re-launched in 2005. This time under the name Zero Friction as golfers know them today.

2005 was the year that the brand introduced its “Performance Golf Tees”. This was the first time that a golf tee was looked at in the sense that a simple golf tee could make a difference for golfers. The difference being that their tees were produced with three and four-pronged designs. Thus resulting in less friction and drag which culminated in more distance. Since then, Zero Friction has trended upwards.

More than just golf tees, Zero Friction continues to bring golfers innovative products and fresh designs. From their one size fits “most” compression golf gloves to their ZF Spectra golf balls, Zero Friction provides a variety of products in a vast array of colours for prices that are very affordable.


I spoke with Zero Friction during the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida and learned all about some of their new products for 2020. Some of the new products include their new gloves (Oh Canada, Americana, and the Ultra Feel), the Power 3 Tee, and the Stryker 2-glove pack.

Honestly, if I were a Director of Golf or a Pro Shop Manager again, I wouldn’t hesitate to carry their products in my shop. The one size fits most model eases makes fitting golfers into gloves a more streamlined selection. Honestly, it’s always a pain in the arse choosing the right number of gloves per size. These gloves are also priced in such a way where you would see excellent profit margins which is always a consideration and not to mention the variety of colours that their products come in.

There will be reviews coming soon on some of their products. These products include the Spectra golf ball (which was surprising), the Ultra Feel and Oh Canada gloves, and last but not least the Power 3 Tee. So stay tuned for those.

In the meantime, please view the video of my interview at the Zero Friction booth.


Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

“First Impressions Review” – COBRA Golf KING SPEEDZONE Driver

The COBRA Golf KING SPEEDZONE was one of the many drivers that I looked forward to swinging in 2020. I had initially seen one in-hand for the first time back in October during an industry show in Kitchener, Ontario. At the time, I salivated in anticipation of what might be, based on the cosmetics of this driver. Would it live up to my expectations?

That was a question that I would have answered at the 2020 PGA Show in Orlando, Florida. Here is my review of the COBRA Golf KING SPEEDZONE driver based on the first impressions that it gave me at Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Resort and Lodge.

The Set-Up

COBRA Golf KING SPEEDZONE (SZ) drivers come in two different models that will appeal to golfers looking for new drivers in 2020. COBRA Golf is offering both a “standard” KING SPEEDZONE and a KING SPEEDZONE XTREME. While the two drivers come with the same chassis, there are some differences between the two of them. Before looking at their differences, let’s see what the two models have in common.

COBRA Golf touts that the new line of KING SPEEDZONE drivers are their longest, most powerful drivers that they’ve created to date. Drawing inspiration from motorsports, these drivers look fast just sitting still. You can see some of this inspiration just by looking at their “dual exhaust” inside of the rear of the trailing edge. The KING SZ drivers feature a CNC-milled face like we first saw in 2018 with that year’s KING F8. Just that this face has a twist, or shall I say a face with an infinity symbol which of course means “no limits” or “endless”.

“Infinity Face” is one of the technologies that we see in the KING SZ. In utilizing Infinity Face. the face sees an expanded sweet zone and more ball speed across the entire surface area of the face.

The “T-Bar Chassis” was introduced this year. The T-Bar Chassis is a section of the interior part that runs from the leading edge all of the way to the trailing edge. In adapting this cross-member COBRA Golf R&D were able to create a stronger frame and in doing so improved the feel and durability of the KING SZ driver.


Do you like the look of carbon fiber? If so, KING SZ drivers are just what you might be looking for. The KING SZ features a “360 Carbon Wrap”. The 360 Carbon Wrap covers a whopping 50% of the body. The use of all of the carbon fiber allowed COBRA Golf to move a staggering 25-grams of discretionary weight to use elsewhere. This is an absolute luxury in golf club design. By moving the weight around to other areas of the KING SZ drivers, this enabled engineers to create a driver with forgiveness to burn.

Making a return and introduced in 2019 is SPEEDBACK technology.SPEEDBACK weighting is a total of 69-grams of weight that’s positioned as low as possible resulting in the KING SZ driver’s high launch and low spin characteristics. SPEEDBACK AERO SHAPE gives the KING SZ a streamlined shape that transfers airflow energy which aids in providing “maximum acceleration” into the golf ball where you need it most. Through the impact zone.

Both drivers are offered in either a yellow and black or a white and black colorway.

KING SPEEDZONE: This driver is for “better player’s” looking for a driver that packs a ton of punch into a head that is more traditional in its appearance. Very notable is that golfers have the opportunity to find their optimal launch and spin characteristics via two adjustable weights (front and back) that adjust the center of gravity (CG). For lower spin in what’s already a head that’s designed to be lower spinning, golfers can place a heavier weight in the front which brings this low-spinning head even less spin. This is a feature that might benefit the higher spin player that doesn’t fit into the recommended profile (0 to 10 handicap). The standard lofts are 9* and 10.5* respectively. The KING SZ is designed to be controllable and workable.

KING SPEEDZONE XTREME: The KING SZ XTREME is designed with higher handicaps in mind. The targeted handicap is anybody that play’s to over a 10 handicap. Players with a lower handicap can benefit from this driver. The profile is a little more oversized and forgiveness is the key design feature here. There is one weight seen in the sole of the KING SZ XTREME. this weight is placed low and back aiding in the launch and enhanced MOI characteristics. The KING SZ XTREME is offered in standard lofts of 9*, 10.5* and 12* respectively. The head of the XTREME is described as being low to mid-spin.

** Both drivers have several hosel adjustments typically seen in COBRA Golf over the last several years. These adjustments include adjustments of +/- 1.5*.


The Transition

There’s a reason why the KING SZ drivers scored very high marks in my Teezy Awards adjudication process. Ultimately the KING SZ scored very well, earning 45.5/50 points (91%) and securing the Silver Medal Teezy Award.

Aesthetically-speaking this is a driver as mentioned that looks fast sitting still. The inspiration from motorsports racing is obvious. Not only are the red “dual exhaust tips” noticeable but so are the “racing stripes” and accents just add to the illusion that this driver is fast and packed with plenty of horsepower. The KING SZ drivers have plenty of “rack appeal”  and they really do stand out in a golf shop. The face of the KING SZ is the prettiest in the industry. The CNC-milling is done with a purpose and the infinity symbol is another cosmetic stand-out of this driver. Your face is my case KING SZ.

In the address position, there is a difference in the profile between the two heads. It’s a difference that isn’t glaring in my opinion. But there is a difference. Either way, the look at address is confidence-inspiring. You get over the golf ball and you just want to put a swing on with the KING SZ. You just sort of have that urge to annihilate the golf ball and cause it cruel and unusual punishment. The KING SZ just sits so great at address. I like the simple alignment aid and the detailing around the trailing edge.

The performance of the KING SZ drivers is outstanding. Starting with the feel and the acoustics of the KING SZ drivers. Exactly what I look for in a driver. The acoustics are not intrusively loud but are also not muted in any way. When you make a good swing with these drivers you know it because the golf ball “blasts off of the starting line” (drag-racing reference). The sound and feel are so gratifying and in saying that I actually scored the feel and acoustics a perfect 10/10.  Sticking with the feel for a second, I just wanted to touch on the “other” feel. The feel through impact. Out of the two drivers, I liked the feel more of the SZ than the XTREME through the impact zone. I just felt like that I knew where the clubhead was at all times whereas with the XTREME I sort of “lost” that reference point. The ballflight is long and deep with both versions of the KING SPEEDZONE drivers. The ball gets up quickly and flattens out quickly. The flight penetrates and just flies downrange. In fairness though, the COBRA Golf booth was set-up in their customary location on the range at Demo Day, which gave them the advantage of attendees making swings with a helping wind.

The KING SZ XTREME might be one of the most-forgiving drivers that I made swings with at the 2020 PGA Show and among the most-forgiving that I’ve ever made swings with. I would definitely place it in the top two and that’s because it just seemed that no matter what I did, the golf ball went straight. Off-center strikes stayed straight and true with nary a loss in distance. The KING SZ is also a forgiving driver, so if you’re looking for a forgiving driver and prefer a more traditional shape, do not shy away from the KING SZ if you don’t “fit the profile” of the geared towards golfer of this driver.


The Finish

I’ve said in the past that COBRA Golf is one of the biggest “movers and shakers” in the golf industry. The KING SZ drivers have not changed my sentiment. If you’re a golfer looking for a new driver in 2020 these drivers should be a serious contender and on your “must swing” list. The list impressive as far as the stock shaft offerings that include the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow 60, the UST Mamiya HeLIUM, Aldila Rogue Silver 60 (110 MSI) and the Tensei CK AV Blue 60 from MCA.

The KING SZ and SZ XTREME drivers boast a perfect combination of distance and forgiveness. The latter is undeniable. Golfers will love the explosive feel off of the face. In my opinion, these drivers are an upgrade over their counterparts from 2019 and mot by a small margin. The KING SZ and SZ XTREME drivers definitely met my expectations and then some. One of the best of drivers of 2020.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee



#TeeBoxChatter – There’s A Bigger Picture Here

The golf season here in Ontario and in other parts of Canada has been put on hold. Why?! Well, it’s due to the COVID-19 pandemic of course. For the most part, I’ve been reluctant to discuss the Coronavirus outbreak here. We all know that this is a serious situation and that it doesn’t need to be reinforced here. But, I feel that I needed to talk about it. Perfect for #TeeBoxChatter.

I love working in the golf industry and the biggest reason for it is that I love to interact with the public. Especially, when it involves banter with members. As bad as golfers want to play golf, there’s a bigger picture here.

Any golf being played right now (in Canada at least and I’m sure in other countries around the world) is bonus golf. As “important” as it might seem for golfers to get rounds in this time of the year, this time of the year is far more important for golf course operators and their staff. We’re seasonal, and we rely on these hours for the off-season.

Some states in the U.S.A. are fortunate enough to have a year-round season. To those of you that have this luxury, I am green with envy. I happen to wear the colour green very well. Other states have an Active Handicap Season. That link is here (USGA Active Handicap Season).

Here in Canada, this is the Active Handicap Season list by the province as per Golf Canada.

BC = Mar. 1 – Nov. 15
AB = Mar. 1 – Oct. 31
SK = Apr. 15 – Oct. 31
MB = Apr. 15 – Oct. 31
ON = Apr. 15 – Oct. 31
QC = Apr. 15 – Oct. 31
NS = Apr. 15 – Oct. 31
NB = May. 1 – Oct. 31
NL = May. 1 – Oct. 15
PE = Apr. 16 – Nov. 14

For a lot of us, the season hasn’t even begun yet. Pump the brakes, we’ll get through this and we’ll flood the golf courses before you know it. Stay patient and stay safe.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee