REVIEW – Cobra Golf KING F8 ONE Length Irons

Special thanks go out to Michael Brogniez and Joanne Pattullo of Cobra Golf (Canada). Without their assistance this opportunity would never have come to fruition. Thank-you so much for taking a chance on me to conduct this testing and review.

 

Cobra Golf! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Overall, this Carlsbad, California based golf equipment manufacturer is “one of the biggest movers and shakers in the golf industry”.  They are a company that isn’t afraid to take a chance on going outside of a comfort zone to introduce fresh, new ideas. Whether it’s introducing metalwoods in a variety of colors (that would make any artist’s palette jealous) or introducing innovative technology/design methods (look no further than their 2018 F8/F8+ driver when they introduced a milled face).

I was very fortunate to spend some time with Tom Olsavky this past January at the PGA Show Demo Day. Mr. Olsavky is the Vice President of Research and Development for Cobra Golf and while there he talked me through the entire product range. Among these products were the KING F8 ONE Length irons. Upon the conclusion of my time spent with Mr. Olsavsky arranged for a testing and review opportunity of a set of these irons.

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For those that may recollect, Cobra Golf introduced the KING F7 ONE Length irons in 2017. Although the concept isn’t new it was brought a little bit more to the mainstream by “superstar on the rise” Bryson DeChambeau. These were irons that I wrote a review on however it was based on a very short time spent with them at a local demo day. That said, I was impressed with the F7 ONE Length irons but there was some room for improvement. Enter the 2018 iteration (the KING F8 ONE Length irons) and this testing opportunity. As great as it is to get a feel for something for a first impression on the range it goes without saying that there are a few more hazards on a golf course. I haven’t had the opportunity for any long-term testing on course with a set of irons from any manufacturer. Until now!

Through my conversations with Ms. Pattullo and Mr. Brogniez I would end up testing a set of KING F8 ONE Length irons. The set was composed of 5-GW and for some unknown reason I opted to test them shafted with the Aldila Rogue Pro ONE Length 65 irons in a Stiff flex. I’m not sure why I chose graphite in this case instead of steel. These shafts are 67 grams as opposed to my usual 120-130 gram shafts. The grips were stock Lamkin REL 360 (Tour Taper) with Cobra Connect powered by Arccos installed. Before getting into the testing and results let’s look at some of the highlights and technical information of these innovative irons from Cobra Golf.

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When it comes to the recommended skill level for these irons the KING F8 ONE Length will suit anyone from a 5 to 25 handicap. Thus it’s safe to say golfers of any skill level would be able to play them. For the majority of golfers a 7 iron is a very comfortable and consistent golf club to swing. Much of this could be psychological as well which is partially why Cobra Golf R&D opted to use this length (37.25”) and head weight (278 grams). The shafts are “flighted” which means the shaft flex profiles are adjusted progressively through the set. Long irons launch higher (5-7 play softer than the short irons 8-GW) whereas the short irons launch lower. Thus, allowing golfers the opportunity to have a more controllable trajectory.

Speaking of trajectory, progressive sole widths and hosel lengths also contribute to allowing optimal trajectory. Wider soles with more weight placed low in the long irons helps golfers with forgiveness and launch. As you get into the shorter irons and wedges the soles get narrower. The heads of the KING F8 ONE Length irons features Cobra Golf’s patented “E9 Technology” which expands the sweet spot by using points on the face that form an elliptical (oval) shape. Technology that Cobra Golf has employed for many years now. A new “PWRSHELL” face boosts ball speeds at impact much in the way that a driver does. This face is not only forged but it’s also 20% lighter and 14% thinner. Carbon Fiber is used making the heads multi-material resulting in improved vibration dampening characteristics and improved sound throughout the set.

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In essence, the KING F8 ONE Length irons are a blended set as the 4-7 irons are a hollow body design, the 8-PW are a cavity back and the GW and available SW and LW are a “specialty wedge” design. Cobra Golf R&D was so specific about optimizing launch conditions that they even optimized the center of gravity throughout the set. Long irons have their CG low in the head where the wedges feature a higher CG. CNC Milling of the faces provides enhanced spin to suit your approach and short game needs.

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Cobra Connect powered by Arccos Golf deserves a section of its own in this write-up. The collaboration between Cobra Golf and the tech company made the KING F8 ONE Length irons the industry’s first ever “Smart Set”. Sensors recessed into the grips of the irons (set comes with 7 additional sensors for driver, fairway wood, wedges and putter) pair up with your Bluetooth device using the Arccos 360 app. The technology collects various statistics like Total Putts, Greens Hit, Fairways Hit, Distance (including true distance), and a plethora of other stats with the aim of helping golfers improve. It also has a “Caddie” feature where it gives you recommendations based on your distances and percentages. I had one issue. When I had no signal available this feature would not work.

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The Unboxing

When the box with my set of KING F8 ONE Length irons arrived I can’t even begin to express how excited I was. Immediately, I unboxed them and took them out for a picture or two in the backyard. As I individually unwrapped each club from its plastic and bubble wrap the first thing that I noticed was how nice the set was. Aesthetically speaking, the KING F8 irons were actually prettier than I thought. I was expecting something sort of big and boxy and found these irons to be quite handsome. Yes, the soles are wider in the long irons and are noticeable narrower in the lower irons and wedges. That said, it’s hard not to like the carbon fiber in the back of the heads. The carbon fiber gives them a sleek sporty look and of course this design is for practical purposes. I think that the Aldila Pro 65 ONE Length shafts paired up well and the Lamkin grips with built-in Cobra Connect sensors were not bulky or obnoxious to look at. As a matter of fact you don’t even notice them.

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Setting up the app was very easy. I use an Android device and you simply download and register the Arccos 360 app from Google Play. Afterwards, you simply scan each club with your device’s camera. Note: The subscription is free for 1-year. After a year you will need to renew the subscription to continue the use of the service.

 

The Testing

One thing became very obvious my first time on the range with the KING F8 ONE Length. The set-up! Setting up with these irons is very easy and I like to use the term “streamlined”. Much like Cobra Golf states on their website setting up with these clubs is very consistent. The spine angle, ball position and foot position is the same every time. Does it take a little getting used to? Yes. In particular with the 9, PW and GW with the real focus coming on the latter 2 clubs. But once you make the adjustment you don’t even think about it and it becomes “second nature”. Initially, I struggled with then thins and as much as it was about me and my ball position being out of “whack” there was more to the issues (more on that in a bit). Once I remembered to set-up with the ball positioned right below my sternum (like my typical 7 iron) my misses (thins) started to thin out. But there still were some struggles.

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This brings me to the graphite shafts. For the longest time in the early to middle part of the range and on-course testing process I would continue to have my share of thins. That said the misses were acceptable which speaks a TON of the forgiveness packed into these KING F8 ONE Length irons. This was caused by an early release and ultimately me “flipping” the club head at impact. The only thing that I could figure out was that I made a grievous mistake in going with graphite as opposed to steel. I just felt like that I was losing the club in the transition. Nor could I feel it through impact. I even toyed with the idea of adding lead tape to the heads to increase the swing weight of the set. I never did do that. The reason why I use heavier tour weight shafts is because of my tempo and aggression. Heavy shafts like the Project X 6.0 or KBS Tour 120 are a good match for me. Then I had the epiphany on the course… which came after yet another great stroke with the GW. Slow my tempo down. I would play the rest of that round with the focus solely being on slowing down my tempo. The results started to change dramatically. It was then that I started to see what exactly the head/shaft combination could do. The results… easy effortless power. I ended up going from an 80%+ power with quick transition to something closer to 60% power and slow transition. Likely the toughest change I’ve made on the fly mid-season but one that was well worth it.

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Distance –The lofts are stronger (PW 44*) and combined with the longer length of these irons 8-GW distance was nearly 2 clubs longer than my gamers (PW 47*). But what about the 5-7 irons? These irons are shorter length yet they were also longer than my gamers. Maybe the lighter shafts ramped up my clubhead by a little but I think the focus here has to be the PWRSHELL. Strikes felt “light” and “responsive”. At impact, the sound of the 5-7 irons was what I would describe as “mean”. It really feels like you’re “powdering” the golf ball. The ball absolutely jumps off of the face with these irons. Not to mention the flighted shafts work exquisitely. The long irons fly high with my natural draw being the stock shot. Conversely, the short irons fly pretty high as well. The apex seems higher than with my gamers but the distance is longer too. That said, I don’t recall one shot into the wind that lost a ton of distance. Nor did any shot with a short iron balloon.

Forgiveness – Distance is one thing but what about forgiveness? As I alluded to earlier I found that the KING F8 ONE Length irons are very forgiving (especially in the early stages). As the testing wore on and I got my swing in check I didn’t really rely on needing the added forgiveness. Then again maybe it’s because of the high level of forgiveness built into these clubs that I didn’t need to rely on them. Never were misses severely punished. Misses stayed on line and my dispersion with these irons became very tight. Knowing this helps your psyche and it just “breeds confidence”. Whenever a tight tee shot was needed on a Par 4 I had no problem looking at my 5 or 6 iron. Not to mention those clubs also gave me ample yardage off of the tee to put me in good position.

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Control – In case you thought there’d be issues with gapping… please allow me to put your mind at ease. There isn’t! Distance control is a breeze and according to the stats I have even gapping throughout the set. Where I had a bit of a gap was from my 5W to the 5 iron. Cobra Golf does have a F8 ONE Length hybrid available which would bridge the gap quite nicely. Shots and their distances are easy to predict and the spin produced by their milled faces is impressive. From fairway lies it’s almost expected with a proper strike but from the rough? I was more than satisfied. The greenside control when I used the GW is just as good. The GW is more versatile than one might think. I hit some great greenside shots by setting it open. By the way, greenside I would just go with a typical set-up and just choke down a touch (depending on the situation). I love the fact that the GW never got entangled in the greenside rough. Just because this set is intended as a Game-Improvement iron doesn’t mean that you can’t work the ball. I could hit a draw or fade at will.

 

Conclusion

Make no bones about it. These KING F8 irons are a game-improvement iron that’s intended to help golfers lower their scores. The offset in the long irons might bother some golfers (typically better players) but it’s a small price to pay. These irons offer a ton of technology in both design and the Cobra Connect feature. They are irons that are hot and they let you know it at impact. You can tell by the feel, the sound and the results. Forgiveness to burn and very controllable. If I could do it over again… I’d consider the steel shafts just to prevent a minor swing overhaul. But after adjusting to these irons and posting a -6 (66) with them how could I complain about the graphite? Maybe it actually helped. Set-up is the same for every swing and when you have less to think about on the golf course… that’s never a bad thing. If you’re looking for new irons… really consider the KING F8 ONE Length irons. They are great!

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

 

 

 

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!!

 

 

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!!

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!!

 

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!!

 

 

 

REVIEW – Aftershokz Trekz Air

This past January I came out of Orlando with an idea to do a “sort of” awards presentation based on my findings of various products at the show. At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do it however. Nonetheless, The Teezy Awards were born and much to my surprise and delight they’ve been well-received.

Emerging the victor in the ‘Top Accessory” category was none other than AfterShokz (Trekz Air). The question is… What is Aftershokz and what makes them so special? Well, in case you aren’t familiar with the brand Aftershokz here is a little bit of a timeline that features some of their accomplishments and who they are.

Aftershokz was founded in 2011 and opened their headquarters in East Syracuse, NY. In 2012, the brand made their official launch at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The brand started initially with wired headphones and later in 2012 they won the “Consumer Electronics category in the 2012 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards, a recognition earned for the company’s potential to widely impact the CE industry and make a difference in people’s lives”. By the time 2013 came around Aftershokz had already introduced the first Bone Conduction Technology headphones at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show which also featured their trademarked Premium Pitch Technology. In November of 2014, “the world learns that AfterShokz bone conduction technology plays a key role in the prototype product Microsoft has been designing as part of their Cities Unlocked project, which aims to make the world’s landscape more accessible to persons with blindness”. In 2015, building on their previous successes and advancements an Indiegogo campaign was started to fund a new project of theirs. That project was Trekz Titanium which ultimately brings us to this review.

 

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Bone Conduction Technology… it sounds fancy and scientific but what is it? In layman’s terms have you ever watched any military films or documentaries where the soldiers are listening and talking through headsets? Have you noticed that their ears were never encroached upon? That’s because, they were using Bone Conduction Technology. Essentially, sound is transmitted as soundwaves or vibrations. The soundwaves or vibrations are picked up by the inner ear through the bones of the skull. Because of this fact bone conduction transmission can be used with individuals with normal or impaired hearing.

Leading up to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show I was in contact with Jayme Schwartz who handles the PR for AfterShokz. Prior to the show, I shared a press release from them and arranged a meeting. On the floor of the Orlando County Convention Center I met with Mary Garlatti who took the time to show me their two models of headphones. The Trekz Titanium and the Trekz Air. Initially, my main purpose for visiting the booth was primarily just to see what these headphones using Bone Conduction Technology sounded like. As they were placed on my head and music was turned on I was immediately impressed by the tone and all-around sound of these headphones. For those that don’t know, I love music am a musician from a very musically talented family and I’m a real stickler food good sound. These had the sound while allowing me to hear everything around me. Without fully understanding how full of features these headphones were I felt that I had the winner of “Top Accessory” for my Teezy Awards. At any rate, a long-term testing and review was arranged and waiting for me when I got home from Florida was a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones.

The AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones are completely wireless and Bluetooth enabled. Some of the features of the Trekz Air headphones include…

  • 20% lighter than Trekz Titanium
  • Complete wraparound titanium design provides a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage

Throughout my testing of these Trekz Air  headphones from AfterShokz I’ve used them in every possible scenario. Indoor range sessions, on the golf course while playing, at the gym during my workouts (and tanning), out for long walks with my pup and last but not least while driving. In fact, there is only one place that comes to mind where I haven’t tried them where I would and that’s on an airplane.

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The headphones themselves come in a very neat package. Inside of the packaging you will find everything that you need to make the Trekz Air headphones work. Inside is an easy to understand instruction manual, a black pouch (rubberized), a USB charging cable and last but not least a tiny case that houses to earplugs. When it’s safe to cut out all of the ambient noise in the background stick in the earplugs which in turn makes Trekz Air headphones “nearly noise-cancelling”.

To say that I’m impressed with the Trekz Air headphones is a huge understatement. There are noticeable advantages that these headphones have over earbuds or headphones f other designs. The first is pure practicality. Unlike earbuds, the Trekz Air don’t fall out of your ears. It’s a chronic problem that I have with earbuds. Secondly, because of their open frame construction the impact of the Trekz Air headphones from a safety standpoint is staggering. An example of this was my very first use. I was walking my dog at night and it was a night where there was a fog lingering. I was walking down the one street (on the sidewalk) and there are literally no street lights present. As we were about to leave that street I heard a car approach from behind. The car didn’t have any headlights on and as I stopped Muskoka he pulled in right in front of us. Had I been wearing earbuds… one of us likely gets hit. The driver got out of his vehicle and apologized for not seeing us. These headphones are safe… period!! In case you like to listen to music on the golf course but don’t want to have a Bluetooth speaker that disturbs others these headphones are perfect. You can both hear the music and continue conversations with your playing partners with Trekz Air.

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The author wearing his Trekz Air headphones during an indoors practice session.

Because the Trekz Air headphones feature a wraparound design… the headphones are always secured onto your head. Throughout the course of the golf swing the Trekz Air headphones do not become dislodged from your person. These headphones are simply there just for the ride so swing away. Or in the case of working out not only is there no wire hanging there but again the Trekz Air remain in place. Whether you’re doing abdominal crunches, rowing, spinning or any sort of lifting the Trekz Air do not fall off. Is there a little slippage where you might have to readjust a little bit? Yes, after all they aren’t duct-taped onto you. And they are light… to the point where you don’t realize that you’re wearing them.

I’ve worn the Trekz Air in a number of climate scenarios. I’ve worn them in a light rain, snow flurries and of course the gym and that’s a place that could simulate a jungle with my perspiration. Because the Trekz Air features an IP55 certification it’s sweat and dust repellent. This doesn’t mean that you could wear them during a monsoon. I’m not suggesting that you can’t. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t. That said, the repellent qualities certainly live up to their billing.

 

The Trekz Air headphones have multi-point pairing. In fact, up to 5 devices can be paired at one time. As it stands I’m currently running my cell phone and laptop as paired devices with my Trekz Air headphones. You can be totally hands-free using Trekz Air. For answering calls you click the Multi-Function Button once. If you’re listening to music or a movie and you want to change the Equalizer setting you can do that as well by simply holding down the +/- volume buttons at the same time for 3 seconds and presto… the sound has been changed. Speaking of the sound. The trademarked PremiumPitch+ sounds great. The tones are rich, crisp and pure. I found that the bass was even more impressive when the earplugs were in.

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I love the “Audrey says” voice prompts which only brings out more of the user-friendly qualities of these headphones. In the past I’ve reviewed technological pieces that boasted a certain battery life which would later be heavily debunked. This is NOT the case with Trekz Air. AfterShokz says that you get 6 hours of continuous music and calls on a single charge. It delivers that 6 hours!!!

In closing, I feel like a genius for giving the AfterShokz Trekz Air the nod for the Teezy Award. I honestly, had no clue how good they truly were but I do now. The Trekz Air headphones retail for $179.95 USD. Before I drop money on a pair of Beats By Dre (or similar) I would save the money and purchase these Trekz Air. Safety, performance, sound and practicality that you can count on. The Trekz Air headphones are offered in three colors. Slate Grey, Forest Green and Midnight Blue. For more information please visit www.aftershokz.com

#ShokzSquad

Until The Next Tee!!

Indi Golf Introduces New StingRay TT Wedges Featuring Conforming Grooves With Unmatched Feel and Spin

Alright, here’s a brand that I have to admit that I’ve never heard of until fairly recently. Although, for some reason I think I recollect seeing them at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show as part of the International Clubmaker’s Guild. I apologize if I’m mistaken. 

I did a little research about Indi Golf recently and discovered their StingRay Wedges which allows players to spin the ball onto the greens like the average TOUR player. They sounded like a fun club to use but they had one issue. They weren’t conforming to the groove rule established in 2010. That doesn’t mean much to every day recreational golfers but for those that play competitively (amateur and professional alike) it does mean something. I fall into the latter category. So admittedly, I was a little lukewarm about covering the brand when I learned about them. Maybe that sentiment was a touch too elitist… something I’m really not. I pride myself on covering as many if not more of the golf industry’s “David’s” than the “Goliath’s. Everybody really does deserve a chance and coverage.

However, things change and people change. I received a press release recently from Tracy Nackel of TEN Marketing and PR that Indi Golf was coming out with a new wedge. Introducing the new, conforming StingRay TT Wedges. These wedges boast higher spin rates (25% more on full swings), and more forgiveness by utilizing the company’s “ScoopBack” design. For more details about the new StingRay wedge and the features packed into them please see the press release below.

VISTA, CA, March 22, 2018– Indi Golf, design and manufacturer of high performance golf clubs, introduces new StingRay TT wedges featuring optimal spin, control and forgiveness. The StingRay TT conforms with the Rules of Golf and can be played in competition.

“Our new StingRay TT wedge is designed with conforming grooves, yet it still spins 25% more than competitor wedges,” said Rob Lang, General Manager, Indi Golf. “Our design team has taken our forgiving ScoopBack technology and combined it with highly engineered grooves to create the optimal wedge for golfers looking to add more backspin around the green and lower their tournament scores.”

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StingRay TT wedges have been engineered with grooves which run along the entire length of the face to optimize launch, improve control, and increase spin. This design increases spin by 25% on a full swing measured using Foresight GCQuad. “After designing our original StingRay wedges that spin 50% more than competitor wedges, our challenge was to design grooves within the Rules of Golf that would still create optimal spin and outperform the competition and we successfully achieved that goal,” added Lang.

In addition to increased spin, Indi Golf’s proprietary ScoopBack design creates maximum forgiveness by moving mass higher in the face, and toward the toe.  This optimizes the location of the club’s CG, making the head more stable on off-center contact, helping shots feel better, go straighter, spin more and end up closer to the hole.  The ScoopBack design is not a muscle back or perimeter-weighted design but is a combination that brings the player the best of both worlds.

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Other features of the StingRay TT wedges designed to improve performance include:

  • ShortHosel – Creates discretionary weight that has been position higher in the face and more towards the toe, resulting in higher performance, better feel, and more forgiveness.
  • Optimized Bounce – Allows the head to glide through the turf yielding solid contact for the grooves to grab the ball and impart maximum spin while producing ideal launch conditions.
  • LaunchControl – A lower launch and higher spin combination allows golfers to be more aggressive and reduces the influence of elements on the ball.
  • Straight Leading Edge – Makes the wedge easier to align, giving a player more confidence and resulting in more consistent shots

“Indi Golf is committed to designing quality products that will help golfers perform at their best and enjoy the game more,” continued Lang. “Our line of StingRay wedges will teach players what a great wedge game looks and feels like. We feel wedges have not been researched and put on the same technology path as woods and irons, and we want to continue to close this gap and make the wedge game something that everyone can enjoy and use to improve their game and enjoyment.”

The StingRay TT wedge is available in lofts of 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60-degrees, and conforms with the Rules of Golf. MSRP is $159.99. The StingRay TT wedge is available for pre-sale at www.indigolfclubs.com.

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About Indi Golf 

Indi Golf was the dream child of four good friends who love the sport of golf, and were lucky enough to have accomplished careers designing, engineering, and selling golf product. We respect the sport of golf and have a deep desire to grow the game by bringing its enjoyment to all walks of life. Every individual golfer connects with the  sport in their own way, and it is our goal to give golfers top-tier, quality product that will help them to not only perform at their best, but enjoy at their best!

Until The Next Tee!!