Wilson Staff… The golf brand that has brought you 62 Major Championships is on a roll. In 2019, they brought you a new U.S. Open Champion (Gary Woodland), an exciting range of golf clubs that have seen the metalwoods division finally catch up to their long-standing tradition or producing great irons and more notably a terrific golf ball that has seeming slipped under the radar. That golf ball… the new for 2019 Wilson Staff DUO Professional.

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I first learned about this new golf ball at some point late in 2018 consequently leading up to the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. The DUO Professional golf ball that continues the legacy of what the DUO brand has brought to golf balls from the Chicago-based manufacturer. Long known for its soft feel DUO is a golf ball that has garnered praise since it’s introduction in 2012 and it’s also a golf ball that has evolved through its different iterations. In the past, we’ve seen the DUO, DUO Soft, DUO Spin, and DUO Urethane and each golf ball seemingly was better than it’s predecessor. When the DUO Professional was introduced I was immediately intrigued by what the marketing team at Wilson Golf was claiming. So when I got down to the PGA Show and received a 2-ball sleeve sample I was excited to put them to work.

I would eventually put them to work in late-March in Florida and eventually in June and July here at home. We’ve had a freakishly wet season up until now and playing golf was literally a wash. Thus delaying testing and reviews until well into the summer. At any rate, let’s look a little closer at what the DUO Professional brings to the table.

 

The Pre-Shot Routine

First and foremost it’s important to point out that the DUO Professional golf ball continues with its soft feel roots as it’s a golf ball that features a compression rating of 60. The DUO Professional is a multi-piece construction featuring three layers including a soft urethane cover like you’d find on any tour-level golf ball. The dimple count is 362 which is somewhere in between a distance golf ball and let’s say a certain tour golf ball that features 392 dimples.

Of interest are the claims that Wilson Golf makes in saying that the DUO Professional spins up to “6% more” on iron shots and flies at least as far or further as other competitive 3-piece balls on the market. Pretty brazen claims but claims that are intriguing enough to put to the test… And that’s exactly what I would do.

The price point of the DUO Professional is $34.99 USD or $44.99 CAD.

 

The Transition

Consequently, my testing would take part in two locales with play coming in a wide variety of playing conditions. From the heat and dried out conditions of dormant Florida greens… To the soft receptive greens of rain-soaked golf courses in the north. The opportunities to test these golf balls were packed with variety.

Feel – The reality is that Golf Ball Innovation Director Frank Simonutti knows a thing or two about producing soft golf balls. In my opinion, Wilson Golf has set the industry standard when it comes to delivering golf balls that offer a soft feel. The DUO Professional offers superb feel “in spades”. Whether it’s putting, pitching greenside, hitting full irons or driving the golf ball the DUO Professional is one of the best feeling golf balls (if not the best) launched in 2019. 

I found that with the driver (Cleveland Classics XL) the sound and feel was more of a “muted, soft click”. Off of the irons and full wedges, the feel was simply “soft”. I absolutely LOVED the feel of the DUO Professional.

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Distance – The claims made in marketing literature from Wilson Golf was that the DUO professional is as long if not longer than any other competitive golf balls in a 3-piece design. Considering that there are an absolute plethora of golf balls in this category it’s a lofty claim. However, based on my observations I have to say that there just might be stock in their claims. Following my stroke in September 2018 my journey back to reclaiming my pre-stroke swing (and more precisely power) has been tough. My swing speed went from 110 mph (+/- 3 mph) down to around 95 mph. Essentially resulting in me being a club or two shorter than I was.

The one constant that I noticed both in Florida in March and back home here this spring/summer is that the DUO Professional is one of two golf balls that have given me some distance back. Maybe it’s that the 60 compression rating and I get along really well  (always have preferred a soft feeling golf ball) or maybe it’s the dimple pattern. All that I know is that this golf ball has seemingly given me “another club”. Prior to my stroke, a 160-yard shot warranted an 8-iron. Since then I’m now using a 7-iron. However, the DUO Professional allows me to still use an 8-iron for the shot. So I can affirm (or confirm) that the DUO Professional is as long or longer than equivalent golf balls in the category.

Another thought regarding the distance claims of the DUO professional is how it equates to the driver.  DUO Professional has been long off of the driver as well. Good carry on wet courses has yielded nice numbers (longer than other 2019 testers tested head to head) and in situations where the course has been drier, there has been sufficient rollout to assist with total yardage.

Spin – Quite honestly, this is the part of the testing that proved to be the strongest characteristic of the DUO Professional. The spin of this golf ball is EXCELLENT! I will go on the record and state that the DUO Professional has been an absolute dynamo as far as it’s spin attributes go. It’s one thing for me to draw this conclusion when the greens are “sticky and wet”. In a way, it’s sort of expected when a golf ball has a urethane cover. However, what about when the greens are dry and for the most part in a “non-receptive state”? This is where the DUO Professional absolutely “blew my socks off”.

At first, I just thought that it was my wedges that was creating all of the greenside spin. Even though other models of golf balls tested with the same wedges (Ben Hogan Equalizer) didn’t spin as much. It wasn’t too long after that initial thought when I really took the DUO Professional and thought that the spin was in fact “superior” compared anything else that I’ve ever used (at time of writing) The DUO Professional has the uncanny ability to slam the brakes on. Whether it’s a pitch out of the rough, or a greenside chip the DUO Professional offers tour-caliber greenside performance. In fact, I found the spin to be very predictable. Translating in confidence if you need to scramble a little bit during your round.

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As you might expect based o the findings that I just wrote about the approach spin of the DUO Professional is also very strong. I observed “stop and drop” qualities during testing and what I found was that this translated throughout the golf bag. whether it’s a 4H from 210 yards or a lob wedge from 70 yards the DUO Professional has terrific stopping power. Yet, when it came to driver spin I found the spin rates to be on the lower side based on the fact that there was ballooning of tee shots. The golf ball tends to fly a little higher than some but that’s okay. Looking at the yardage gains and the stopping power I would suggest that the trade-off is well worth it.

 

The Finish

Wilson Staff. Frank Simonutti. Folks, have you ever got yourself a golf ball. With no doubt in my mind, it’s the best golf ball that you’ve manufactured. Up until now my favorite ball of all time from your stable was the Px3 (yeah that goes way back) and the DUO Professional blows that golf ball out of the water. The DUO Professional is long, spins better than any golf ball that I’ve used, has very good durability, and it also has a very intriguing price point.

To anybody reading, if you haven’t tried the DUO Professional you just might want too. The DUO Professional offers a ton of performance at a fair price point.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

 

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When news started to pour out from Batavia, Illinois based golf equipment manufacturer Tour Edge about their new Exotics EXS range of products I was very excited. Premium products built from premium material. The range includes everything from their driver (which scored very well for a Top Driver Teezy Award) to a set of irons. Between the technology that’s packed into the Exotics EXS line and the attractive price point that accompany them, there is much to be excited about when looking at the EXS range of products.

One of the manufacturers that I was really excited to swing at the 2019 PGA Show Merchandise Demo Day was in fact Tour Edge. Already having had the opportunity to test and review the Tour Edge Exotics EXS 4 hybrid late in 2018 (EXS 4 Hybrid Review here) my appetite was whet in anticipation at the prospect of what the rest of the range was like. Especially, the Exotics EXS irons. The tagline that Tour Edge is using for this range (“Pound for Pound… Nothing Comes Close”) surely resonated with me. Here’s why.

 

The Pre-Shot Routine

The Exotics EXS irons by Tour Edge are packed with a ton of technology. One of the trends that we’re seeing in the golf industry is that of iron sets consisting of hollow-body construction. The EXS irons are no exception.

Exotics EXS irons feature a forged Cup Face with what Tour Edge refers to as “SpiderWeb VFT Technology”. The result? An expanded sweet spot that allows for more forgiveness which in turn enhances the golfer experience. Especially on strikes that are not… “Optimum”. Also noteworthy is the fact that the face construction is the thinnest that Tour Edge has ever used. The long irons 4-7 are the irons that feature the hollow body construction whilst the short irons 8-PW feature an undercut cavity design. A key point in the short irons is what Tour Edge calls “LaunchPad Technology”. LaunchPad Technology is a polymer that Tour Edge used to absorb vibration, enhance the feel and create more “trampoline effect”. This effect aids in providing a higher ball exit velocity which theoretically equates to more distance.

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What good is a game-improvement iron if it doesn’t feature perimeter weighting? Perimeter weighting has become an integral part of the golf manufacturing industry when it comes to the design of irons. Once thought to be used predominantly in game-improvement irons we’ve seen the use of Tungsten perimeter weighting in what many would now describe as player’s irons. The EXS irons are no exception as Tour Edge R&D placed a 19-gram toe weight to further address forgiveness and playability. Higher M.O.I equals more resistance to twisting and “elongates the sweet spot”.

Technology points don’t simply “end” in the design of the head. Stock shafts offered in both graphite and steel. The options are none other than the Tensei CK Blue 2G Series by Mitsubishi Chemical (MCA). This shaft (also featured in the EXS Hybrid) combines the best of Kevlar, Carbon Fiber and other lightweight materials. Shaft weights vary depending on the flex of the shaft (60-80 grams). Or in the case of the steel option, the KBS Max 80 is available in either a Regular or Stiff flex and Tour Edge opted to choose the venerable Lamkin Grips UTx grip.

 

The Transition

(Demo Day Conditions – Sunny, Windy (left to right) and Warm. Tested with the MCA Tensei CK Blue 2G Series in Stiff flex)

Aesthetics – First things first. I just wanted to point out that in a way these irons reminded me a little bit of their EXi irons introduced a couple of product cycles ago.

That said, these irons look mean and remind me of a “Muscle Car” from the 50s-60s. Maybe like a 1957 Chevrolet Belair? When looking at them from the perspective of the golf bag view (cavity view) they look fast and they look powerful. Raw horsepower! I love the colorway of these irons with the silver and black badge on the back but the “pop” of blue just further adds to the aesthetic value of these irons (see picture below).

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Tour Edge Exotics EXS irons

The looks are very attractive in the address position. The blade length is neither too long nor is it too short. At the risk of sounding like “Golfilocks” the blade length was just right. The blade length inspires confidence at address and the ball sets up great behind the head. What I really like from the address position is the top line. It is quite thin for game-improvement irons and I found the EXS irons to be very attractive overall. Personally speaking, I feel that the EXS irons may very well be the best-looking iron set in its category.

Performance– Make no bones about it. The EXS irons are premier performers. Quite honestly, it all boils down to the initial thoughts I had regarding their looks (in the address position). Looking down at them, I felt so confident that I was going to see good results that the confidence went straight to my hands and arms. Quite honestly, at that point, I hadn’t really made a ton of swings with any clubs. I was still finding my way (and my swing) post-Stroke and I really had no clue what swing was going to show up at Demo Day. My first swing resulted in a well-struck 8-iron that seemed to penetrate the left to right wind. The feel on that first strike was so crisp and more importantly, the ball flight didn’t “balloon”. The wind did not affect the ball flight. It just held up and on its intended line.

Divots were crisp and that could be contributed to the design of the sole which is called a “Ramped Sole”. The sole is designed to provide better turf interaction and heel relief. More relief means less likelihood of the club getting entangled with the turf.

Distance. Without having any sort of launch monitor data I cannot give specific numbers. That’s why I tout being the “Home of Organic Golf Reviews”. Using my senses (sight, sound, touch) has allowed me to differentiate differences from club to club. These irons are “hot” and “long”. The thin cup face sounds “mean” and you know that you’ve struck the golf ball based on the crisp “thwack” at impact. The sound and feel are very “solid” and it’s very noticeable in the hollow-bodied longer irons. The Tungsten weighting in the toe as far as I’m concerned served its purpose very well and not only did it help to prevent twisting but it seemed like squaring the face was achieved very easily. These irons are long… I need to point out that I turned myself around to hit into the wind as best as I could. I need to point out one important fact about the EXS irons.

*** The iron lofts are strong!! For comparison sake the PW is an astounding 42*. If you trap the ball as you should you’ll de-loft the club more.

While I will not go as far as suggesting that the EXS irons have a blade-like profile I will say that the minimal offset and thinner top-line nearly suggests that it is. The result is a golf club that you can control and shot-shape with ease. Cut, draw, high, and low all shots are easily achieved. Flighting the ball is a “breeze”. My typical shot shape is straight to a baby draw and it was no exception with the EXS irons. The MCA Tensei CK Blue 2G shafts were smooth and quite honestly as expected based on my previous experience using this shaft. it is Tour-proven.

What a fantastic set of irons!

 

The Finish

There are iron sets that have given me a great first impression. The Exotics EXS irons were consummate. A total blend of looks, power, feel, and performance. This is an iron set that will benefit golfers of all skill levels. I’m talking Scratch all the way to a 25-handicap. The Exotics EXS irons scored and impressive. Iron sets start from $499.99 USD and come in a variety of set compositions 5-PW to 7-PW/AW/GW/SW.

Tour Edge has packed a ton of technology into these irons and I have no doubt in my mind that they might be the irons that are in fact “Pound for Pound” the best. There’s a reason why these irons won their category for the Teezy Awards. The Exotics EXS irons scored 38.5 out of 40 points. I really think that these irons would warrant further testing on-course! Range time is one thing… On-course is another. If you’re in the market for new irons in 2019 these would be worth a look. For more information on these Exotics EXS irons please visit Tour Edge.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOntheNextTee

Based in Vaxjo, Sweden you’ll find golf clothing Galvin Green. While I’ve almost always associated Galvin Green as an outerwear company make no mistake. This is an apparel brand that designs and manufactures everything from base-layers and polos to golf trousers and more.

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At the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida Galvin Green introduced their impressive Carbon Series. The series includes a bevy of styles, colours, and styles. especially notable when it comes to the women’s apparel side of things where they feature great colours like Lavender and Azalea/Aurora. Colours that are happy and bright.

Technology isn’t just about golf equipment as it’s imperative in the golf apparel industry as well. We can’t control the weather but what we can do, however, is control how we keep comfortable out in the climate. Galvin Green has employed the use of GORE-TEX fabric, GORE-TEX Superstretch (in key areas) and their innovative and trademarked VENTIL8 PLUS fabric.

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Young Tom Morris made an appearance at Galvin Green during the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show (Photo Credit: Galvin Green)

Not only does Galvin Green provide high-performance apparel for men and women but juniors can also reap the benefits of Galvin Green’s emergence as a leader in the golf apparel industry. for junior golfers, RUSTY is a new piece in their ever-expanding junior range.

For more details, please see the press release as shared by Natalie Collard and Matt Curtis from sports public relations agency Sports Impact.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

– Carbon Series leads premium 2019 Part One collection with 70 new lines-

 

Galvin Green, the leading premium performance golf apparel brand, has launched its most advanced collection of technical clothing for the start of the 2019 season, with a total of 368 ground-breaking garments and matching accessories.

Building on its pioneering multi-layer concept, the Galvin Green 2019 Part One collection
has been taken to the next level to offer more styles, colours, and sizes, including 70 brand new lines for men, women, and juniors.

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Alicia (Photo Credit: Galvin Green)

These include an even bigger selection of lightweight garments with greater breathability, stretch properties, moisture transportation, thermal insulation and ultraviolet protection than ever before.

“In creating this state-of-the-art clothing range, we’ve incorporated pioneering fabric
technology to maximize the golfers’ level of comfort without compromising on performance,” said CEO Christian Nilsson. “We’re confident that serious golfers will find something to suit them in the new collection so they’re always prepared, whatever weather they have to face when playing more often,” he added.

Leading the way in the Men’s range is the new Carbon Series in Black, Grey and Silver
colourways, providing golfers with a choice of eight standout garments, incorporating subtle tone-on-tone patterns. The technical design features provide golfers with a premium feel and a fashionable look both on and off the course.

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At the forefront is the stylish ARCHIE full-zip waterproof jacket in lightweight stretch GORE-TEX® fabric, with smooth C-KNIT® ‘slide and glide’ backer. Incorporating GORE-TEX® Superstretch inserts in key areas – first used on garments worn by Europe’s victorious 2018 Ryder Cup team – the soft, quiet and extremely breathable jacket also features durable Vectran™ technology on the shoulders for those who prefer to carry their clubs. Matching super-stretch AXEL waterproof trousers are available in 17 size options across the waist and leg lengths (S-3XL), while the ANDY waterproof trousers (Black or Navy) in eco-friendly GORE-TEX® fabric and lightweight lining provide more options (S-4XL).

 

The Carbon Series also features the eye-catching LLOYD full-zip jacket (Silver) and half-zip LANCELOT in the flexible INTERFACE-1™ hybrid Shell Layer, plus the DAVE full-zip
INSULA™ jacket offering thermal regulation. Also included are the MATT and MYLO short sleeve shirts in the efficient moisture-wicking VENTIL8™ PLUS fabric. Compatible
accessories include a snood, belt, and cap.

Designed by golfers for golfers

 

The Official Supplier of Weatherwear to the European Ryder Cup team in Paris has carried over its flagship 3-layer, full-zip flagship AL jacket (S-3XL). The waterproof jacket
incorporates GORE-TEX® stretch fabric with C-KNIT® backer, plus a rubberized collar edge and shaped sleeves for easy movement.

A Shell Layer newcomer is the ultra-lightweight ANDRES full-zip jacket in GORE-TEX
Paclite® stretch fabric technology for minimal swing restriction. Available in six eye-catching colourways, it features a chest pocket and prominent branding. Matching waterproof ARTHUR trousers are available in three colours (Red, Navy & Black) in more than 17 size options.

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Laurent (Photo Credit: Galvin Green)

As many as nine garments feature in the versatile and lightweight INTERFACE-1™ hybrid
range that can be worn 95 out of 100 rounds. The full-zip LAURENT and striking half-zip
LINCOLN (S-3XL) come in five distinctive colours, including Gold and Lagoon blue. Each
can be paired with the LEO trousers in sizes 30-40 waist.

The increasingly popular INSULA™ warm layer range features the new DOUG full-zip jacket featuring a quality padded front and two handy pockets in the new Antarctica colourway (S-3XL). The DALE jacket and DEON pullover both offer Magenta pink colour options, while the high collar DRAKE pullover comes in seven colour choices, including Lemon Chrome and Bluebird (S-3XL).

New Cool Layer short sleeve shirts in VENTIL8™ PLUS fabric include the sporty MYLES
incorporating a two-tone honeycomb design, plus the MILTON, a multi-fabric shirt in a duel block pattern available in five colourways (both S-XXL).

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Fitted NOAH and regular cut NASH trousers provide excellent moisture transportation in
VENTIL8™ PLUS and 100% polyester stretch fabric with UPF 20+. Available in multiple
colour choices (including Red NOAH), in sizing 28-42 waist.

The SKINTIGHT™ Thermal base layer range includes the EDGAR seamless long sleeve
crew neck with a pattern design across the chest, arms and shoulders. Available in
Black/Red in sizes XS-XXL.

A comprehensive range of accessories includes the DELTA snood in a range of colours, as
well as golf hats and caps like the AQUA and AXIOM. The LEWIS golf gloves and LANDON
mitts (all one size) also offer the perfect opportunity to keep those hands warm during the winter.

The 2019 Ladies range from Galvin Green offers four striking year-round colour themes – Azalea/Aurora Pink/ White; Lavender/Cover Blossom/White; Navy/White/Sunny Lime/Aurora Pink; and Black/White.

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Arianna (Photo Credit: Galvin Green)

 

The stand-out product in the Shell Layer range is the beautifully styled ARIANA full-zip waterproof jacket in GORE-TEX® stretch fabric with C-KNIT® backer, which comes in Navy and Sunny Lime in sizes XS-XL. Extremely breathable, it has an adjustable waist width, shaped sleeves for easy movement during the swing and two-way front zippers.

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Rusty (Photo Credit: Galvin Green)

Finally, the RUSTY full-zip INTERFACE-1™ hybrid jacket is a newcomer in the brand’s
biggest ever junior section. The jacket comes in six vibrant colourways.
Full details of the 2019 Part One collection can be found at http://www.galvingreen.com.