2019 PGA Merchandise Show Day Three – Highlights

Friday January 25th marked the last day of the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. As the show winds up for another 361 days… plans are already underway for 2020. A year that might bring perfect vision to the golf industry. The convention center staff in nearly a symbolic way turn out the lights to signal that the show is over… it’s time to take a look back at the final day of the 2019 PGA Show.

One of the areas of golf that I want to start focusing on more is health and wellness. While I’m no doctor or expert in the field I want to share with my readers methods or products that may help in the area of well-being. I started this trend in my Day One recap when I talked about Hemp Me. Today, I visited a booth that also develops CBD products. This company is called Iso-Sport. Iso-Sport produces a variety of CBD products that ranges from sublingual spray (under the tongue), patches that you wear on your back and even water enhancer. I tried a sample of their roll-on version of their pain relief product. Applying some to my neck (sore after our Lynx Transit bus rear-ended a car on I-Drive Thursday night) and my wrist. The cooling of the menthol was immediate and to be totally frank… I think it really worked. However, I’m sometimes cautious of using products like this because “Placebo Effect” is in the back of my mind. The product from Iso-Sport eased the pain in both my wrist and neck. This is definitely a product worth exploring further. Meanwhile, my partner in crime (Crystal) tried the sub-lingual spray (Guard). When asked about her thoughts she reported that she was not only able to focus better but she was able to have conversations with exhibitors without becoming tongue-tied.

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Just prior to the PGA Show I received and shared a press release within these very pages. That release was regarding a new set of irons from legendary manufacturer Miura Golf. Recently, the Himeji, Japan based company released the CB-301. This is a forged iron set that appeals to many skill levels because of it’s head shape, level of forgiveness and the fact that it comes in a forged body (as one might come to expect from Miura Golf). These irons are everything that I think of when I think of the Miura name. Clean and elegant. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to swing these irons at Demo Day because their booth was really busy. I even stalled for time at other booths waiting for a “quieter” time or a slight lull in the action to swing their products and it never came. When I looked at these clubs in the address position the look is one that will appeal to a huge majority of golfers. Looking down in the address position that topline is moderate and when people generally think of Miura irons they think about the Baby Blades. These CB-301 irons have a bit of a flange that moves the center of gravity low and back helping the golfer launch the ball. In the address position you cannot see the slight flange as it just seemlessly blends together. Truly a remarkable iron.

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The final product that I want to discuss in this segment is an apparel brand that comes from North Carolina. Specifically, Bald Head Island. From the vision of owner Claude Hope comes Bald Head Blues. “Clothing For Coasting”. Bald Head Blues is all about living the island lifestyle whether you’re actually on an island or simply wishing that you were (I’m the latter). The range of products goes from t-shirts, performance shirts (think fly-fishing) to polos and sweaters. The color palette features fun, playful and vibrant colors whilst the hand (feel) is very soft. I’m just in the process of testing and reviewing one of their Clubhouse 1/4 Zip pieces and this sweater is so comfortable. There’s almost a sensation of feeling relaxed when I wear it and in a way I feel like I’m at the beach soaking up some coastal Carolinian vibes.

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I hope that you’ve enjoyed my coverage of the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. These are just some of the highlights and products that I covered and/or discovered over the 4 days (Demo Day). I have a lot of content to share so keep coming to UTNT for reviews, stories and lots more.

So long Orlando!!

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOntheNextTee

 

 

REVIEW – FlightScope mevo

Prior to starting this review I just wanted to take the time to thank Kaleigh DeHart and Jaclyn Bertrand of Uproar PR for giving me the opportunity to conduct this testing. Without these ladies and their patience this review would never have happened.

Technology… no matter where you look it’s all around us. When you really think about it… golf and technology have really come to the forefront of the golf industry. It’s not just about golf clubs, golf balls, golf shafts and materials used to manufacture these goods. It goes so much deeper than that. Technology has done a lot when it comes to golf. It’s aided golfers in becoming longer and faster.

One of the trends that I’ve noticed in Orlando, Florida at the last few PGA Merchandise Show’s is that more and more tech gadgets are rising to the surface. From GPS units to wearable technology. However, technology to help golfers become longer and faster is useless unless you can optimize your numbers. This is where launch monitors enter the fray.

Launch monitors have become very instrumental in helping golfers find the right heads, shafts or golf balls for their individual needs. Most of the time this involves going to a fitter with a launch monitor that costs tens of thousands of dollars. After hitting a variety of shots you find out a lot about your game. Important metrics/data like launch angle, backspin, club head speed and smash factor to name a few. But what if you didn’t need to book an appointment to find out this information? What if you could go to the driving range and get this data with a piece of technology so small that it fits into the palm of your hand? Or better yet… if you can’t make it to a driving range you disappear into your backyard and make some strikes into a net achieving the same thing? That’s exactly what the personal launch monitor FlightScope mevo does.

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The FlightScope mevo is a piece of technology that I first learned about prior to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. While at the golf show in January I made an appointment to learn more about the FlightScope mevo. It was a device that I thought was so impressive and had so much to offer that I awarded it a Teezy Award in the Top Technology category. But what is the FlightScope mevo?

FlightScope has long been an industry leader when it comes to sports technology. FlightScope was founded in 1989 by its Inventor and CEO Henri Johnson. Mr. Johnson fell back on his background in defense and sports markets to create what became FlightScope as we know it. Since then, for the last 16 years golfers worldwide have entrusted products developed by FlightScope to not only perform better but to track and provide important golf ball data. The FlightScope mevo was developed to allow golfers to “practice with a purpose” at the range or at home.

The FlightScope mevo in actuality is a multi-sport device that can be used not only for golf but for baseball and soccer as well. The mevo employs a simplified version of the Doppler found in some of FlightScope’s larger units like their X3 model. Through the use of 3D Doppler Technology, golfers can gather essential data like Clubhead Speed, Ball Speed, Smash Factor, Ball Spin, Carry Distance, Launch Angle, Height and Time (spent in the air). Everything that you’d need to help you improve and shoot lower scores. Not only does the mevo unit capture and track this data the mevo also goes one step further in capturing video as well.

 

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As far as setting up and using the FlightScope mevo the process is pretty simple to do. When you unbox the mevo inside you’ll discover the radar unit, a carry pouch, metallic stickers, a USB cord for charging the unit and the instructions. Even for someone like myself that isn’t the most tech savvy person in the world. Once you’ve purchased your FlightScope mevo you download the free mobile app to your iOS or Android device. Most cell phones now come with the minimum requirements so compatibility issues shouldn’t be much of an issue. The app is a pretty quick download and doesn’t take up a lot of your device’s memory. In my case the app that I downloaded was version 1.3.2 and it’s taking up just over 100 MB on my device. So now that you’ve installed the app you’re nearly ready to go. The FlightScope mevo and its app use Bluetooth technology to track and store the data to/from your device so ensure that your Bluetooth with the paired device is turned “On”.

The FlightScope mevo can be used indoors and/or outdoors. For the purposes of this testing and review the testing was done mostly outdoors but it was used on the range, on the course (make sure it’s quiet with nobody behind you) and in my backyard into a hitting net (I did not use it indoors due to low ceilings). Prior to use go into “Settings”. It is here where you set up your device for use. There are three radar settings.

  1. Pitching (20 yards or less)
  2. Indoor (40 yards or less) and
  3. Outdoor (flight that is not interrupted)

*Please note that if using indoors you need 8 feet in addition allow for room to safely swing the club for proper readings. Also you need to set the mevo approximately 4 feet directly behind the ball and on your intended line .

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Also of interest in the settings menu are a couple are information to be input like is “Distance to tee”  (4 feet recommended) and “Altitude”. The latter being important if you live at altitude or plan a trip to a golf course at altitude. This way it gives you proper readings. I live at 528’ above sea level and set it accordingly. Also in the settings screen you’ll find the “Capture Mode” (data or video) and the number of blocks for the data to be displayed in (1 to 6). Generally, I used 5 blocks because it was this data that I was most interested in. I chose Clubhead Speed, Ball Speed, Launch Angle, Carry Distance and Smash Factor predominantly. However, in some cases I did elect to add Spin numbers to my data.

When it came to the testing of the FlightScope mevo I used it for a wide variety of purposes. When it came to greenside practice I used the mevo for a couple of purposes. The first thing that I used it for was to test the spin rates of different golf balls. By affixing one of the “metallic stickers” that come with the mevo I was able to differentiate the spin rates between “Ball A” and “Ball Z”. Important information to know when selecting a golf ball. Also, I used the mevo to show people the difference in spin when it came to greenside chipping and pitching with the focus being on the effects of flipping the club at impact. For the record, I did use the mevo to check my spin rates going into greens on full approaches as well. Also imperative for choosing a golf ball.

 

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But spin numbers aren’t what most people would want a launch monitor for. most golfers want to know how fast and far they hit the golf ball. My understanding at the PGA Show from one of their representatives was that it was within +/- 2 to 3 yards of their larger units at a distance of 250 yards. From my experiences, I would have to say that the irons were pretty darn accurate on the range and course thus translating into effective practice in the backyard. In saying that, it’s my opinion that the carry distance and club head speeds recorded were pretty accurate across the board. If anything it might have been a little shorter/slower by a shade than what I typically see in the “real world”. Bear in mind that the distance recorded with the mevo is strictly carry distance and does not look at total yardage (like units thousands of dollars more).

Smash Factor is the ball speed divided by the club head speed.The average PGA Tour player has a Smash Factor of 1.50 when they swing a driver (LPGA Tour is 1.49). A 15 handicap golfer (male) has a Smash Factor of 1.44 while his female counterpart has a Smash Factor of 1.41. Ultimately, Smash Factor is about the efficiency in which you apply the clubhead to golf ball. Say you have two golfers that swing their driver 100 mph. Player 1 has a Smash Factor of 1.50 and Player 2 has a Smash Factor of 1.40. There is a difference of 20 yards between the two golfers. The FlightScope mevo can help golfers improve on this front as well. Work towards consistency and that will equate to efficiency. You may not have to swing harder to go further. Instead, you just have to be more efficient with your swing to pick up an extra 10-20 yards.

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Launch Angle is relative from one golfer to another. For my purposes when I swing driver I’m looking for something around 11.5 to 13* of launch angle. The FlightScope mevo seems to track launch angle quite effectively with the results being right around what I’ve seen using other launch monitors. Also, it gives you the opportunity to see how much the launch angle changes from a full swing (imagine a 6-iron) to a knockdown shot. Think “stinger” and “flighting” the golf ball.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the effectiveness of the FlightScope mevo when it comes to solving “gapping” issues. Say you hit your PW 130 yards. A situation that is certainly not out of the question considering the stronger lofts of iron sets nowadays. Unfortunately, your GW only flies 110 yards. That means that you have a discrepancy of 20 yards. Thus you have a “gap” in your set. By utilizing the FlightScope mevo you can learn how far you hit each club and take the necessary steps to fill in gaps. These issues can occur with your longer clubs as well. Or perhaps, you could even eliminate clubs of similar distances and replace them with other clubs that would “bridge a gap” elsewhere. Maybe an extra hybrid or wedge?

Now are there any negatives with the FlightScope mevo? There are and they are quite minor. Personally speaking, if it were me I would trade a metric like time spent in the air for Angle of Attack (AoA). I really wish this was a metric that the FlightScope mevo tracked. I just feel it’s more important in the grand scheme of things. Also, I wouldn’t mind if the mevo had the ability to show side spin. Simply because, you can track clubface path through impact in doing so. I would also love to see ball flight so I wish the app had a “Driving Range” feature. Other than that I can’t really think of anything. I know that this device doesn’t cost thousands of dollars like so many others (maybe I’m asking for too much). Occasionally, you do get “no reads” but I’ve also experienced this on “commercial” launch monitors too. So in my mind it’s no big deal.

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Conclusion

The first thing that I need to say is that the FlightScope mevo offers a lot of bang for your golfer buck.  This launch monitor costs only $499. Quite frankly before I’d consider buying a new driver I’d purchase a FlightScope mevo with the same funds. There’s no doubt in my mind that the FlightScope mevo is THE best launch monitor at this price point. It’s pretty accurate and gives you all of the essential data that you need. Does it have all of the accuracy AND “bells and whistles” that monitors costing thousands more have? Perhaps not but I’m quite happy with that. Almost any discerning golfer with a tight budget could afford to own one. It’s lightweight and uber-portable. The FlightScope mevo makes practice even more fun.  The FlightScope mevo does allow you to “practice with a purpose”. I liked it in January… I love it more now. For more information on the FlightScope mevo please visit their website www.flightscopemevo.com

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

Review – Incrediwear

Incrediwear is on a mission. According to them that mission is a simple one. “To design innovative products to help people live incredibly”.

In case you haven’t heard of Incrediwear… you aren’t alone. It wasn’t until the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show when I first learned of the brand created by its founder Jackson Corley. Mr. Corley had suffered a near fatal cycling accident that threatened  to paralyze him for life. So, Mr. Corley set out to find a way to help himself and others to heal and recapture the life that he was accustomed to. To find a new way to heal from the pain associated from inflammation.

Initially, while at that show in 2017 I met Thomas Wilson who was representing the Incrediwear booth on the floor of the Orange County Convention Center. We started to discuss what Incrediwear and the benefits that individuals can get from wearing their products. As the conversation really began to unfold I mentioned my long history dealing with several health issues including and not limited to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and cardiac issues. As the calendar switched from 2017 to 2018 a new PGA Merchandise Show was fast approaching. Through using the Exhibitor List I noticed that Incrediwear would be attendance once again so I made a point to visit their booth. As fate had it Thomas Wilson was once again manning the booth. He remembered me and we discussed the possibility of setting up a review opportunity. Bear in mind, that since that 2017 show I had developed even more complications but more on that shortly. So I was introduced to Charlie Robinson who is the Content Marketing Associate for Incrediwear.

As discussions moved forward with Mr. Robinson where we discussed my ongoing health issues decisions were made on which products would be sent out for testing. Products from Incrediwear falls into three separate categories with different purposes in mind (Recover, Perform and Move). Below is a summary of the products that I’d receive for testing/review and my observations for each product.

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Incrediwear Circulation Socks (Quarter) – “The Incrediwear Circulation Socks relieve pain and discomfort for those suffering from poor circulatory conditions. The non-binding loose weave design allows for a form-fitting feel without the discomfort of a compression sock.” Through the use of  a fabric blend that’s “embedded with semiconductor elements to provide effortless comfort and exceptional durability”.

These socks are offered in both a Crew Cand Quarter length while being offered in black or grey. The Incrediwear Circulation socks are a sock that has soft feel. Made from a blend that’s 36% Cotton, 34% Polyester, 26% Nylon and 4% Spandex these socks are loose-fitting which aids in increasing blood flow. This is an important aspect for diabetics in general. Foot care is absolutely vital and loose-fitting socks are nearly vital. If loose-fitting and comfort is what Incrediwear sought out to achieve then mission accomplished. What I found really impressive was the fact that these socks didn’t slide down and bunch up. I’ve worn “Diabetic Socks” and they ALWAYS bunched up causing a blister(s). Incrediwear’s circulation socks never slid down and always stayed where they’re supposed to. The fit was perfect and I feel that it’s important to point out that my feet stay cool in my shoes while wearing them. Just to touch on the durability at this point I have worn them often and they’re as good as the day that they came out of the box. Perfection! MSRP $19.99 USD

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Incrediwear Men’s Performance Pants – The Incrediwear Men’s Performance Pants fall into their Move collection of products. The performance pants are geared towards “athletes looking to push the limits of their performance, the Incrediwear Men’s Performance Pants enhance the ability to perform by accelerating the body’s ability to recover. The Men’s Performance Pants are a base layer can be worn during and after activity to reduce muscle fatigue and enhance performance”.

Fabric blend’s that consist of semi-conductor elements are a recurring theme and they are also present in the Performance Pants. They are intended as a base-layer and they are very much that. While tight and form-fitting in fit the Performance Pants always maintained a high level of comfort. I admit that I erred in never wearing these under my shorts during my workouts but I did wear them under my pants during the never-ending winter that we seemed to have while walking my dog. The moisture-wicking qualities are excellent. Also, I wore the pants frequently after walks (when I wasn’t wearing them to begin with) and my lower body really seemed to enjoy them. Honestly, they’re comfy enough to act as a pair of “watch tv and lounge” pants. The fabric blend is 61% Nylon, 29% Polyester and 10% Spandex. If I were still playing hockey (goalie) these would have been my base-layer underneath my pads. Cold weather golf on the other hand… these are an easy “go to” MSRP $69.95 USD

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Incrediwear Circulation Shorts – Geared towards assisting those with muscle fatigue, issues associated with pinched nerves, hip injuries and groin injuries the Incrediwear Circulation Shorts “enhance the ability to perform by accelerating the body’s ability to recover. The Circulation Shorts are a base layer can be worn during and after activity to reduce muscle fatigue and enhance performance”. Incrediwear employs their signature fabric blend that’s composed of 61% Nylon, 21% Polyester and 10% Spandex.

Form-fitting and never uncomfortable. The Circulation Shorts were a very pleasant surprise and I only suggest that because I’ve worn products that simply were awful. Unlike those other ones I never felt constricted in general let alone right around the genitals. They are moisture-wicking, breathable and seemed to have exhibited anti-microbial qualities. The circulation shorts seemed to really assist my circulation and pain that I had in my hips and groin area. A very good product and the product that I’ve tested the least. Please don’t read into that… as mentioned a very good product. MSRP $44.98 USD

Incrediwear Leg Sleeves – The leg sleeves from Incrediwear stem from their Recover Collection. Recovery is the name of the game here. “Incrediwear Leg Sleeves accelerates recovery and relieves pain for those recovering from injuries or surgeries. The Leg Sleeve provides effortless comfort while reducing inflammation and swelling to accelerate the body’s natural healing process”.

Not intended to take anything away from the other products but these are the proverbial “best for last”!! Out of any of the products that were sent to me for testing it was the Leg Sleeves that turned out to be not only the most-rewarding but quite simply a savior… or saviors. How do I possibly start this section of my write-up other than saying that? The leg sleeves were astounding! As you might recall from earlier my health condition has quickly deteriorated. I have major blockages of the Renal, Femoral, Iliac and Tibial arteries. These blockages not only affect one leg but both. The pain from these blockages is excruciating at times making daily living often difficult and painful.

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The benefits of these leg sleeves are too plentiful to list all of them. Increased blood flow and pain relief are just two of the many benefits and the benefits that I noticed in aiding me the most. There were some days that I’ve experienced where I was not only in tears but walking was near impossible. Whether from activities like walking the dog, working out, golf practices or just living these leg sleeves proved to be a “Godsend” on so many occasions that it’s hard to express in words. Our family moved in May and the move kicked my ass so bad that it wasn’t funny. Especially my legs!! On those days that were nearly unbearable the leg sleeves made life bearable. They provided so much pain relief and I assume much of that has to do with their design. The design consists of a 3D weave and provides around the clock comfort. A cool little feature of these leg sleeves from Incrediwear feature little spots of silicon alongside the top of the inner hem. These help to keep the leg sleeves in place which mostly worked. However, I did experience some slippage. Not enough to detract from the benefits that I’ve received while putting the leg sleeves to use.. Measurement of your thighs is important in ensuring a proper fit. Incrediwear utilizes a blend of 66% Polyester 24% Nylon and 10% Spandex. Probably one of the best things products I’ve ever had the privilege to test and review!! MSRP $120 USD per pair.

In closing, Incrediwear offers a plethora of great products to help athletes and non-athletes alike. Benefits of their products easily outweigh the cost and if you suffer from leg pain etc these certainly are worth a look for you. Incrediwear offers products for both men and women and they also several products for issues not discussed in my review. If you’re looking for more information on Incrediwear and their entire product range please visit their website www.incrediwear.com

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

Review – Cleveland Golf Launcher CBX Irons

Cleveland Golf. The brand that was founded in 1979 by Roger Cleveland and owned by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd has long been known mostly for their innovations in designing game-changing wedges. The 588 was a stalwart in many golfers bags and to this day is one of the top-selling golf clubs in history. But Cleveland Golf has been about much more than just wedges. They’ve also been a leader in innovation as far as metalwoods go. Did you know that Cleveland Golf was the first golf manufacturer to introduce the industry to the world of 460 cc drivers? Or the first to be involved in the craze that was geometrically based design (The Hi-Bore in 2006)?

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The Huntington Beach, California-based company has developed it’s fair share of terrific iron designs too. Models like the CG 16 Tour, an entirely hybrid-based set the Hi-Bore irons, the Tour Action series of irons (TA5, TA7 etc), CG 1 Tour and of course the infamous (for perhaps the wrong reason) VAS 792 irons that incidentally Corey Pavin played to win a Major at Shinnecock Hills in 1995. From the prettiest of blades to the penultimate in game-improvement irons. For some time a few years ago it nearly looked like that Cleveland Golf was all but out of the equipment game except for the wedge market. Then something happened last fall. The company announced the release of new metalwoods (Launcher HB) and irons… the Cleveland Golf CBX. I was amazed to see this news and I was excited to get down to the PGA Show to see these irons in person.

When discussing the Launcher CBX irons the first thing that I need to point out is that these irons are designed to compete in the ultra-competitive game-improvement corridor of the industry. Even though these irons look so unassuming the Launcher CBX irons are loaded with innovation and technology. Highlights of the technology are…

  • Cup Face design. Between a thinner face and a periphery constructed of high strength steel golfers can achieve greater distance by virtue of a face that flexes at impact. Better Energy Transfer = More Distance.
  • Used initially in wedge design the Launcher CBX irons feature Tour Zip Grooves. The laser milling employed allows for more friction between the face and golf ball. The end result is control like you would have with your wedges. I’d be remiss in saying that the grooves also “debris away from the ball so you get consistent spin and control in the fairway, rough, or sand.”
  • The long irons feature confidence inspiring thicker top lines while the shorter irons have a thinner top line and more compact shape for golfers that don’t like a thick top line or a “clunky heavy look” on their scoring irons.
  • The “Dual V Sole” grind allows for more versatility from a variety of lies while also allowing golfers to cut through the rough easier. The reward for their efforts is better distance contact and better distance control.
  • “Feel Balancing Technology” was something that I first encountered during my testing of review of the RTX-3 wedges “microcavity in the hosel moves the center of gravity closer to the middle of the face, enhancing feel and distance control.With a sweet spot closer to your ideal hitting location you get more forgiveness in every iron”.
  • PW loft is 44*.
  • Available in steel (True Temper Dynamic Gold DST 98 gram) and graphite (Miyazaki C. Kua). 
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A Progressive look. Photo Credit; Cleveland Golf

 

One of my first stops at the PGA Show Demo Day was in fact the Cleveland Golf/Srixon/XXIO location. The weather was overcast and there was at one point a brief light rain.

Looks – Not to keep going on about the aesthetics but these are an iron that look nearly “Plain Jane” which isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, for my personal taste I’d rather see an iron clean and bare as opposed to any unnecessary graphics. As I pulled out the 4 iron and 8 iron I compared them side by side and while there was a noticeable difference between the profiles of both the “larger” 4 iron never struck me as being obtrusive or shovel-like. If anything it would instill confidence in my “mind’s eye”. As I flipped over the clubs to examine the soles the “V Sole” grind reminded of the RTX-3 that I had the opportunity to review long-term. Ultimately, that wedge became my gamer and to this day because of the V Sole I have the confidence to play the 52* from anywhere… including flops if I open it up setting it right flat. The sole comes in handy as I explain the performance.

Performance/Feel – Okay I’m not going to mince words. The performance of these Launcher CBX irons are fantastic. Have you ever had the feeling that you were playing an iron that was confused with its genetic make-up? This was the case for the Launcher CBX irons. It’s very much a game-improvement iron but it’s like it thinks it’s a players club. From the inspiring looks at address to the feel at impact. This is a golf club that easily launches the golf ball into the air (living up to the moniker) and as you make impact you really have a strong sense of knowing where the golf club is. What’s more? The feedback is great… well struck golf shots allow you to feel those shots. The sensation is crisp yet soft. There is a true sense of “heat” off of the face and the Cup Face is something that I feel truly works. Of course, I’d love to be on a launch monitor at the show but based on my organic vibes and roots I knew the club (8 iron) was landing some 160 yards away… into the wind. Yes the lofts are bumped but much can be said of the technology that’s packed into the Launcher CBX irons. Shots were repeatable with repeatable high(ish) draws being the “norm”. However, shaping shots was easy as pie. The longer irons produced a more aggressive, penetrating ballflight. Again, elevating the ball easy.

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Specialty shots like a punch or “stinger” was a snap but the versatility of the V Sole was very much a winning technology here. Have you ever been in a situation where a 47*-58* lofted club was just too much loft to escape trouble? So instead you need to go to a 6 or 7 iron to escape with a rescue shot (stroke saver”)? The V Sole allows the shot by virtue of its versatility. Huge bonus marks here!!!

Forgiveness – Forgiveness in my opinion is more important than distance. Golf is not about that perfect shot that we pulled off. It’s about how good our misses were. I was really “on” with the CBX Launcher irons in my hands and maybe that was because of the confidence inspiring look. However, I happen to be good enough (at times bad enough) to purposely hit shots off of the toe. Any shots that were struck towards the toe were punished from a distance aspect (as they ought to be). However, misses didn’t flail weakly out to the right. Instead they were straight and never wandered off of their intended line. If you’re going to miss… miss straight.

Conclusion –  The Cleveland Golf Launcher CBX irons are a fantastic golf club that very much deserves to live up to the Cleveland Golf branding that they bare. Not flashy… and that’s alright by me. These are an unassuming that would be dangerous in the hands of a golfer that an easy single digit to something in the 20 range. High performing, forgiveness with tremendous versatility. A lot of golf club with a very reasonable price tag ($700 USD Steel)

***Coupled with the Launcher HB driver, fairway wood, hybrid and CBX wedges Cleveland Golf won the Teezy Award for ‘Most Forgiving Product Range” at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. A point that I made known to Communications Manager Noelle Zavaleta on the show floor Wednesday.

Until The Next Tee!!

Review – Bolle Eyewear King (Golf)

This testing and review opportunity would never have come to fruition without the help of James Katz.  At this time, I’d like to thank Mr. Katz for giving me the opportunity to test product from Bolle Eyewear. Mr. Katz does public relations for Bolle Eyewear through public relations firm Breakaway Communications. In the weeks leading up to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show I had exchanged several e-mails with Mr. Katz with plans to meet during the show.

While we met at the Bolle Eyewear booth Mr. Katz talked me through the upcoming product range from the world-renowned eyewear brand. A brand that I’ve been familiar with since the late 80’s. I used to do a little bit of cycling (mountain biking) and during that time I had a pair of Bolle sunglasses. Those sunglasses were high-performing, comfortable and stylish (hot pink). To this day I don’t know what happened to them.

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Photo Credit: Bolle Eyewear

 

In case you aren’t familiar with Bolle Eyewear the brand is a subsidiary of Bushnell Corporation. A company that has roughly 1,000 employees and generates a revenue of over $60M. Bolle was created in 1888 by Seraphim Bolle who created combs out of horns of animals local to the region (South East France). In the years following WWII Bolle would become known for molding nylon to the highest of standards ever seen at the time. In 1950, Bolle started to produce safety glasses and goggles and later on (in 1956) Georges Bolle created the trendy and famous “cat-eye style” of sunglasses. In 1960, Bolle introduced the world to ski goggles and as we fast forward the clock to 2018 the brand is known for ski helmets, ski goggles and eyewear for cycling, marine and of course golf.

Through discussions with James regarding golf-specific products offered by Bolle Eyewear one thing became very obvious. The golf-specific product range of Bolle Eyewear was deep and packed full of performance enhancing features. Models like their Bolt, Aeromax and Flash offer features like adjustable nosepieces, interchangeable lenses and Thermogrip which is a registered product of Bolle that absorbs moisture to keep your eyewear in place.

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Photo Credit: Bolle Eyewear

With so many intriguing and feature packed offerings from the Bolle line-up we decided on one of two exciting models. In the past, Bolle has been known for their rimless or semi-rimless designs while featuring their Modulator V3 Lenses”. With the “new for” 2018 King” and Anaconda” models the popular Modulator Lenses are employed in a full frame. These full frames offer more versatility for on and off the course applications and in some cases are a better style choice for those with faces that are more full (like mine). For this reason, we agreed on me testing the King model.

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Before continuing on my observations I just wanted to share some of the technical information involving these high performance sunglasses from Bolle Eyewear.

Thermogrip – As mentioned Thermogrip is a registered trademark technology that belongs to Bolle Eyewear. Thermogrip uses hydrophilic material which are molecules that interact stronger thermodynamically with water than oil. By placing Thermogrip on the temple and nose pieces glasses like the King stay in place providing more comfort and performance.

Anti-Fog – Through the utilization of a treatment process on the lenses these lenses will not fog up. What’s more is that they don’t only just repel the moisture but the vision seemingly gets better with the application of moisture.

Oleophobic/Hydrophobic Treatment – Have you suffered with dirt, grease, fingerprints or water spots on your glasses? The coating used on the lenses prevents those issues from becoming just that. Issues. The coating prevents the aforementioned from sticking to your lenses making them easy to keep clean.

B-Clear NXT Lenses – “B-Clear lenses offer unrivaled optical quality. Lighter than polycarbonate, these lenses allow for larger designs and fuller coverage – giving you enhanced protection from the elements without the added weight that can slow you down”.

Modulator Lenses – The Modulator lenses developed by Bolle are a technical marvel. These lenses work on a molecular level that lighten or darken based on the needs of an individual in any environment. Otherwise known as “Photochromic” this technology will provide you optimal light transmission. Bolle’s photochromic lenses “have dyes embedded in mass and internally, confined close to the front surface of the lens. With this technology, the photochromic function will not wear out”.

My testing process actually started back in January the day of my meeting with Mr. Katz on the show floor. Mr. Katz sent me home with a sample pair and I would wear my King sunglasses for the drive back to Plant City (where I was staying). The one thing that amazed me about these lenses right away was how well they battled the setting Florida sunshine as I headed west towards Tampa. I was able to combat the UV rays and keep focused on the tight traffic ahead of me. Also impressing me was the fact that the amount of  tint was “just right”. I would wear these golf-specific glasses during three rounds of golf during my stayin the Sunshine State. On two occasions the sky was high and bright while the third round was overcast. I feel that it’s the overcast round where I really liked the performance of the King sunglasses most. My vision during that round seemed “vivid” where usually in that type of lighting I struggle to see. Not to mention the colours of my environment seemed to really “pop”.

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Unfortunately, the sun of Florida turned into the white snows of winter in Canada. I would wear these glasses all of the time while driving and in fact the King sunglasses have become my “go-to” pair of sunglasses for driving. If you haven’t experienced the glare of white snow and blue sunny skies you haven’t lived. The brightness can downright “punish” your eyes. The technology in the lenses of my test pair shone brighter than the snow. Never, at any time while wearing these sunglasses did my eyes feel strained. All that I can say is that the years of research and development have paid dividends for Bolle. Bolle knows eyes and how to protect them. Have I mentioned that these lenses filter out approximately 88-95% of the Blue Light? 

My testing of the photochromic qualities of the lenses has been such that I’ve kept wearing the King sunglasses while driving through a tunnel going from bright sunny skies… to dark lighting in the tunnel and back into the sunny skies. The tinting is the best I’ve ever experienced.

When it came to playing rounds of golf up north I had the same impression as I had in Florida. Whether in subdued lighting or bright conditions the amount of tint is always perfect. But as the cold early spring golf weather has turned to suddenly hot weather I’ve had a chance to wear these sunglasses in nearly oppressive heat on the range and golf course. The Thermogrip used on the temple and nose pieces works famously! I haven’t experienced any sort of slippage on any occasion. I’ve even tempted fate by looking over bridges while wearing the King sunglasses taking a chance on losing them. These sunglasses are very well designed and sit right where you put them on. These frames are a perfect fit for my rather large Eastern European face. The fit is snug and there’s a sense that the frames just “hug” my face. Honestly, I don’t even notice that they’re on until the tint changes.

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When it comes to the oleophobic/hydrophobic treatment the application of the coating simply works. Not only do the lenses seem nearly resistant to grease and dirt. But these sunglasses are extremely easy to maintain. These lenses are super-easy to keep clean. All that it takes is a couple of quick circles with the provided cloth that comes in the provided carry pouch. To date, I haven’t seen any waterspots and I’ve worn these sunglasses in the rain and snow. The anti-fog treatment shouldn’t be left out or looked as an afterthought because during my testing process not once has my vision become hindered or obstructed in those sorts of conditions. Also, I’ve never noticed any sort of distortion which is not only important for golf but everyday functioning.

In closing, if you’re looking for a fantastic pair of high-performance eyewear that perform exactly as advertised than look no further. The king sunglasses from Bolle or any of their models that feature the same technology will not leave you disappointed. The King sunglasses retail at a very fair and affordable $120. For more information please visit www.bolle.com.

Until The Next Tee!!

 

First Look – ARGOLF Review

Putters. So much can be said for putters in every golfers bag. From the avid recreational golfer to professional golfers all over the globe, there’s a reason why we putt with the instrument that we do. For some it’s cosmetics and others it’s just comfort. I have long said that the putter is “the most intimate piece of equipment in a golf bag”. Meaning that when you have the right putter in your hands… you just know. In a way, it’s like having a mate. Not to mention that out of all of the clubs in your bag you use the putter the most… and it’s not even close.

What I love about the golf industry is that there are options no matter where you look. Some people stick to the names they see predominantly on television or the large golf box stores. The subject of today’s review is none other than relative newcomer to the industry, ARGOLF. Prior to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show, I was contacted by Tiffany DiPanni who I’ve known for a few years through the golf industry. She set up a meeting with me so I could see what ARGOLF was all about. It would be a chance to learn their story and have a look at their custom putters.

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Pendragon (Photo Credit: ArGolf Putters)

Formed in 2010 by Olivier and Sébastien Colas, and a golf professional Emmanuel Carlier the story of ArGolf Putters takes us to Brittany (a region in France). This is where the home of legendary Camelot and the location of a legendary castle and court where King Arthur was closely associated. Names where Merlin, Uther Pendragon, Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table congregated. As it turns out, the factory (Armor Mecca) is located a mere 50 miles away from the legendary location. “Armor Mecca is an advanced engineering company in northern France that has been in the Colas family for three generations. Armour Mecca produces metal parts for Boeing, Airbus and NASA. ARGOLF’s founder, Olivier Colas, is an avid golfer and started designing putters to use the same high-end materials and manufacturing from Armour Mecca”. For these reasons it makes sense that ARGOLF features models of putter named Merlin, Uther, Pendragon, Lancelot, Arthur, and Excalibur among others. While most golfers aren’t familiar with the ARGOLF brand the same can’t be said for golfers on the Champions Tour where ARGOLF has gained traction in a very competitive niche of the golf industry.

In crafting their putters ARGOLF founders drew off of years of experience from the aeronautics industry. In doing so ARGOLF has established a fine balance of “art, industrial design, precision, finesse and performance”. Designs of their putters through using CAD design (Computer Assisted Drafting) while the design team also employs a “tri-dimensional metrology machine is calibrated to a high level of precision for ARGOLF”. Materials used in the production of ARGOLF are of the highest quality leather (headcovers) titanium and stainless steel. Further connecting ARGOLF to the aerospace industry is the use of “sulfuric anodic oxidation” which cancels out light reflections. Through special metallurgical processes, ARGOLF will not see corrosion blemish their wares.

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Merlin (Photo Credit: ArGolf Putters)

Leading up to my arranged meeting, I walked past their booth on several occasions. From a distance I took a look at they offered and one of the first things that I saw were putters that were a myriad of colors. Amongst the finishes seen were some in orange, green and yellow. The putters offered from ARGOLF are customizable as far as etching, colors of both the shaft and head as well as the grip, headcover and neck style go. Meaning you can make your putter exactly how you want it. When it came to putting with putters at the Equipment Test Center (Putting Zone), I would focus on two models of mallet… the Pendragon and the Uther. I also made a few putts using their Merlin, which is a blade putter.

Pendragon –  The Pendragon is quite simply a putter that’s in my wheelhouse. Why? Because this is a head heavy putter that sees a head weight of 405 grams. The Pendragon is a face balanced putter that is geared towards a straight back and thru putting stroke. The head is milled from aeronautical grade 7175 Aluminum.

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A total weight of 580 grams… Pendragon is very stable throughout the putting stroke. (Photo Credit: ArGolf Putters)

I can’t say enough good things about the Pendragon. First and foremost, it already has a Major title to its name, as Kenny Perry won the 2017 U.S. Senior Open. A fact that is easy to justify. There have been only one or two other putters that I’ve made strokes with that provided the type of feel that Pendragon offered. Soft and fluid. Because of the head weight, you could really feel the putter throughout the entire stroke and, in particular, through the hitting area. The alignment lines are functional enough and you get a real sense of your eyes tracking back and forth to the hole. My stroke was very stable with Pendragon in my hands and I holed more putts than I missed on the practice green (artificial) on the show floor. I think a few variables contributed to these results, but I think the ability to keep the face square through impact was chief among the reasons. The patented C – Claw Technology seemed to get the golf ball rolling promptly with no naked eye evidence of skidding. I was very impressed with the Pendragon.

Uther – The Uther is another mallet model offered by ARGOLF. Quite honestly, I was never initially interested in the Uther. This was until Tiffany DiPanni put it into my hands. This was until Tiffany DiPanni put it into my hands. When ARGOLF designed the Uther, they had a couple of things in mind. They wanted to create the “ideal” putter in terms of “design and touch”. The craftsmanship of ARGOLF ensures such a high standard of milling that it results in perfect balance. The Uther also features an aluminum base and the head is milled from a solid block of 7175 Aluminum. Available in both heel shafted and center-shafted versions. The head weight is slightly lighter than its Pendragon brethren (380 grams).

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The Uther… customs colours are an option. (Photo Credit: ArGolf Putters)

Considering that I wasn’t interested in the Uther, it turned out to be a great putter. I’m glad that Tiffany put it into my hands. There was so much that I liked about this putter over the Pendragon. I thought that the alignment aid was much better as it extended from the leading edge all the way to the trailing edge. The overall balance and performance I felt was pretty even with the Pendragon, but my eyes simply liked the Uther more. Perhaps it was the notches in the crown that reminded me of a “Celtic Shamrock” or some sort of insignia that you’d be inclined to see on a suit of armour. I felt that not only the name was inspired by Camelot, but I felt that design was more to the point. Like the Pendragon, the Uther also utilizes ArGolf’s patented C-Claw Technology. Getting the ball started on line was a breeze and the Uther rolls the ball as well as (if not better) than most putters I’ve used. It’d be interesting to get the Uther (and Pendragon) on a Quintic Putting System.

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A balance of feel, performance and precision. (Photo Credit: ArGolf Putters)

Victories aside, on the Champions Tour there’s a reason why putters from ARGOLF won a Teezy Award at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. In fact, it was the Uther that won the Teezy Award for Top Putter. Pretty impressive considering my lack of initial interest. No matter what putter you choose from ARGOLF, there are a numbers of things that you can count on. The highest of quality and putters that are serious performers. For more information on ARGOLF please visit http://www.argolfusa.com.

https://www.argolfusa.com/product-category/broceliande-collection/

https://www.argolfusa.com/dealers/

Until The Next Tee!!

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!!