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 (Armour Mecca) is located a mere 50 miles away from the legendary location. “Armour 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.

Until The Next Tee!!

Review – Schalamar Creek Golf Club

Central Florida is a buffet when it comes to golf courses. There are golf courses in the region that can accommodate a variety of budgets. If you were to zoom in even more into the Lakeland, Florida area and it’s periphery you might be surprised at the golf courses available. Seeing that you’re away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando and its attractions you can find even better deals for your golfer dollar.

In East Lakeland, Florida is where you’ll find Schalamar Creek Golf Course. Schalamar Creek is home to an 18-hole championship golf course by noted golf course architect Ron Garl. Mr. Garl has designed golf courses all over the world however most of his design can be seen right in the “Sunshine State”. Schalamar Creek Golf Course features a yardage of 6,399 yards from the tips (Gold Tees) while boasting a course and slope rating of 71.5/129.

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Admittedly, I made my tee time reservation through GolfNow and it was just a little later in the afternoon. To play this round it cost me $15 USD including the cart. I should note that the peak rate is $37 USD which for Florida in mid-winter is a very fair price for a round of golf with a cart. The drive to Schalamar Creek is pretty simple and is conveniently located off of U.S. Highway 92 East. As you pull up to its entrance the property is easily identifiable as there is a huge sign letting you know that you arrived. The golf course is set back amongst a “retirement community” and the drive down the lane is quite pretty. Wildlife was abundant and the Spanish Moss was hanging from the trees. The clubhouse is set in what I would dub “the hub of the community” where there are amenities such as a pool and shuffleboard. this is the building where the Pro Shop is. I was greeted by a friendly staff that made me feel welcome and at no time did I feel rushed. Prior to my round I used the practice facilities. These facilities include a very nice putting green, chipping green and last but not least an aqua range (range balls extra cost). The putting green was very consistent to the greens on the rest of the golf course.

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As mentioned earlier the course isn’t horribly long but it’s a golf course where you have to hit golf shots. This is indicative right from the first tee. The first hole is a gradual dogleg right with a fairway that is fairly tight. That first green is guarded by bunkers and the green itself is a fairly good size. The second hole is a Par 5 that’s pretty straight away with water left. As you get closer to the green a rather large bunker awaits and the landing area is pretty tight. Play it right and you’re putting for a birdie. The Third hole features a tight tee shot through a chute and then the fairway opens up quite nicely. I’m going to do my best to refrain from giving a hole by hole rundown of the golf course but what you need to know is that the front nine makes you feel like you aren’t in a community. There wasn’t one hole on the front where you were looking at homes. My favorite hole on the golf course I would say had to be Hole 8. A short par 4 dogleg left with transition bunkers left. There’s a small berm that runs through (when there’s rain) and there was just something about this golf hole that my eye thought was very pleasing. Finishing the 9th hole you cross where the starter is and pass by a large pond on the backside of the clubhouse. It was here where I saw my first alligator of the trip… a tiny 2 footer that I wanted to bring home for my daughter (she loves gators… so do I for that matter)

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The back nine plays a little bit different and offers a different feel as the back nine gives you a gentle nudge reminding you that you are in a community. The 10th hole is a hole where I opted to tee off with a 5 iron because there is water left and the hole wraps around a large pond. The green complex here like the rest of the course is a decent size. Holes 10 thru 14 do wind its way through the homes there and then when you hit hole 15 it’s like the homes vanish into thin air. As you depart the 14th green you drive through a forest over a very well-kept wooden bridge. It’s scenic and pretty. The 15th hole could be a temperamental little hole. It was 210 yards that day and was playing closer to 230 yards. Water guards the entire left side so if you overcook a draw you’re hitting three from the tee. This is where I saw a pretty good-sized gator (12 foot maybe?). I hit my hybrid to 3 feet and consequently made my putt for a birdie. That was the “shot of the day”.

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In conclusion, I would have to recommend playing Schalamar Creek. Even though it was February 1st when I played and everything is dormant the course was green. The greens rolled excellently from beginning to end the tees were in great shape as well. There are plenty of pretty golf holes on this Garl design. You can score on this course and unlike so many courses where you can just put your head down and swing on this course you have to hit “golf shots”. It’s a golf course that can cater to all skill levels, is well-appointed with facilities and a friendly staff.

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

 

JumboMax® Team Member Bryson DeChambeau captures a 2nd Place Finish at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Several years ago I tried some of the original JumboMax grips. To be totally honest, I loved the feel of them and what they offered. I always felt like my hands and arms were relaxed. I felt like I was able to swing freely. But if there was one con about them (at the time) it was that the grips really took away from swingweight points. I was using Callaway Golf Diablo Forged irons at the time that were weighted at D3-D5. By the time I placed those JumboMax grips on I had gone well into the C range of the scale. The result was that it felt like I was overswinging and was never able to adjust. I would definitely give their new Tour Series grips a try.

Did you know that PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau was a JumboMax team member? Many observers think that he’s unconventional, different, eccentric… a genius. I like the later and those other things too because he is the exact opposite of “golf oatmeal”. He uses ONE Length irons by Cobra Golf (would LOVE to know his swingweight), tried a version of side-saddle putting on Tour, a putter from SIK Putters and yes those are the oversized grips from JumboMax Grips. I think at the heart of who I am… I have a little DeChambeau in me. I find him relatable other than my lacking IQ.

DeChambeau finished in Second Place at Mr. Palmer’s tournament (Arnold Palmer Invitational). Please see the press below shared by Joe Wieczorek of The Media Group.

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JumboMax® Team Member Bryson DeChambeau captures a 2nd Place Finish at Arnold Palmer Invitational

 

(JUPITER, FL) – JumboMax® Grips announced today that Tour Staff Professional, Bryson DeChambeau, captured a 2nd Place Finish on the PGA TOUR this past weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational held at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

DeChambeau fired rounds of 67, 66, 72 and 68 to finish at 15 under par for a 2nd Place Finish. He recorded 21 Birdies, ranked T-4th in Total Birdies, 1st in Strokes Gained Tee to Green and 2nd in Driving Distance for the tournament.

This runner-up finish earned him a paycheck of $961,200.00 and 300 FedEx Cup Points. He’s currently ranked 19th on the FedEx Cup Points List and 61st in the Official World Golf Rankings with earnings of$1,715,587 for the 2017-2018 season. This is Bryson’s 2nd Top 5 and 3rd Top 10 in just 10 starts this season.

DeChambeau has been playing JumboMax Grips for over 6 years now and he’s as well known for his accomplishments on the golf course as he is for his unorthodox set of irons that are all the same length. DeChambeau plays the new Tour Series Grips from JumboMax that he personally helped develop.

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In 2017, JumboMax collected a victory and two 2nd Place Finishes on the PGA Tour and JumboMax Team Members, Bryson DeChambeau and Kelly Kraft had combined earnings in excess of $3 Million Dollars.

About JumboMax Golf Grips

JumboMax Grips garnered the attention of the golf world by offering golfers an alternative to the standard-size or “skinny” grips typically found on clubs. The super-oversized JumboMax Grip, with its patented design and larger diameter, provides a more secure Finger-Palm™ Grip which makes for a tension-free connection to the club. This Finger-Palm Grip Technology promotes relaxed grip pressure, more consistent squaring of the clubface, a more fluid and powerful swing, and the most shock-absorption for continuous comfortable play.

In independent player testing administered by GolfTest USA, JumboMax® Golf Grips outperformed standard golf grips in head-to-head testing in nearly every category and were awarded the company’s Seal of Excellence and its Highest Achievement Award.

Results with the JumboMax Grips versus the standard grips showed improvement in nearly all categories tested including Carry Distance, Total Distance, Clubhead Speed, Smash Factor and Wedge Dispersion; particularly impressive was the 10+ yard Increase (6.2%) in Carry Distance that testers experienced with the Driver and the 22.8% better dispersion average they experienced in the Wedge test.

Dominant Golf, LLC is the parent company and manufacturer of JumboMax Golf Grips. The company was created with the goal of developing a better way for people to learn, play and love the game of golf. The JumboMax Grip was designed with computer and laboratory technologies and has been studied extensively on golf ranges and courses with golfers of varying skill levels including low, intermediate and high handicap players.

For more information about JumboMax Golf Grips, visit www.JumboMax.com.

 

 

Until The Next Tee!!