A new episode of the TeeBox Chatter podcast airs today.
In this episode, on the tee I have Martin Neil from PING Golf. We had a nice chat about the success early on of the PING G425 metals, a little bit about the development of golfers through Golf Canada. Namely, Brooke Henderson, Corey Conners, and Mackenzie Hughes. All of them, PING staffers on their respective TOURs. “Spinsistency”? What the heck is that? Well, it’s a big part of what makes the range of G425 metalwoods tick. We also talk about the G425 irons. It promises to be an educational episode.
Tour Edge, the pound for pound industry leader in performance and innovation, today announced the all-new Exotics 721 Series irons: the C721 iron and the E721 iron.
These ultra-premium irons provide all new design concepts and ground-breaking technology from Tour Edge that takes the Exotics 721 Series to an entirely new level of performance.
This is being led by innovation breakthroughs by Tour Edge, most notably the new Diamond Face 2.0™ and VIBRCOR™ technology that provide the ultimate in power and feel.
The performance and design goals of the Exotics 721 Irons are to provide every level of golfer two extreme distance irons that feature full-face forgiveness and ball speed with a perfected sound and feel.
“This is next-level Exotics,” said Tour Edge founder and President David Glod. “It’s a brand-new direction for Exotics, not only with ground-breaking new tech, but with virtually every aspect of the design.”
The new direction of the Exotics 721 Series was born out of a desire to raise the bar in every metric of Exotics performance, including a major emphasis on power creation and sound and feel.
“VIBRCOR is a new technology that enhances speed and feel in a major way,” said Glod. “With the dual placement of VIBRCOR inside of the hollow-body pocket of the C721 and the undercut pocket of the E721, we’re able to provide the best of both worlds; perimeter weighted forgiveness and distance with the feel of a forged muscle-back.”
These two designs utilize the same basic design concept, with one designed as a player’s distance iron and the other as an extreme game improvement iron.
“We’ve also brought Diamond Face technology to irons for the first time ever with this release,” added Glod. “We were able to cover the entire iron face with up to 100 diamond shapes behind the face in our thinnest iron face ever produced.”
The new ultra-premium, high-performance Exotics 721 irons will be available for purchase worldwide on March 10, 2021.
“These are our most powerful, most forgiving and best feeling irons we’ve produced to date thanks to all this new innovation we have packed into them,” said Glod.
The Exotics C721 Iron (Player’s Distance) will retail for $142.99 per iron in graphite and $129.99 in steel, while the Exotics E721 Iron (Extreme Game Improvement) will retail at $114.99 per iron in graphite and $99.99 in steel.
My podcast called “TeeBox Chatter” has finally launched. The intent is to have genuine, organic, and unscripted interviews. Where “chill” is preferred.
In what is the pilot episode, I chat with golf course architect Agustin Piza of Piza Golf. He’s known for stunning course designs and the development of “Wellness Golf”. We chat about his beginnings in golf, golf course design, and more.
Also, I welcome Vanessa Price of Read The Greens Media. Mr. Piza is one of her clients and I’ve worked closely with her over the last few years. We discuss how she got involved in the golf industry and the word “Mimosa” might have been mentioned.
Please click on the TeeBox Chatter tab in the header menu. Or, please click below to listen.
Today’s golfers demand a lot from their shoes, and we kept hearing that there was something missing. Whether it was one of our tour professionals or an everyday golfer, they all wanted the same thing: a high-performance spiked shoe that was lightweight and extremely comfortable. We took that as a challenge to not only fill this void that players were looking for, but also create something exciting that would stand alone at the top and launch a new category of spiked footwear.
After nearly two years, multiple prototypes, configurations, and infusing our latest technologies to get everything right, we’re introducing a product that ushers in a new era of performance golf footwear for our brand: ZG21. It’s our latest offering that gives golfers of all skill levels a high-performance spiked shoe that’s lightweight with zero compromises.
ZG21 is our lightest spiked footwear model to feature BOOST cushioning. It’s up to 20 percent i lighter than comparable spiked models previously in our range and significantly lighter than many competitor models. But just being lightweight wasn’t enough.
“ZG21 is truly a breakthrough feat in spiked performance,” said Masun Denison, global footwear director, adidas Golf. “We were able to combine the latest and greatest materials, innovations, and manufacturing processes without sacrificing anything. It changes the game for those who love spiked footwear.”
Beyond the clean, fast and sleek design, ZG21 is packed with new technology:
The new ZG21 outsole features an ultra-thin TPU construction, six strategically placed cleats, and a new crescent moon-shaped secondary lug to optimize grip, support and performance while ultimately reducing weight.
ZG21 will come in four models: men’s laced, men’s and women’s BOA®, and a simplified laced offering for junior golfers. The two BOA models feature the new BOA Fit System, a ‘Y’-strap design that’s a first in the sport and provides an even higher level of performance. The configuration wraps around the foot, creating a secure fit over the instep and provides flexibility and freedom in the toe box. The men’s ZG21 BOA is also the first golf shoe on the market to feature Li2 – a sleek, low-profile dial platform that modulates tension when and where needed with enhanced speed and effortless execution.
A first in golf, this cushioning is 40 percent lighter than any EVA foam in the market while also providing shock absorption and quick recovery, perfect for golf where stability through the swing is critical. It’s been used in other categories like basketball and tennis, and when coupled with our BOOST cushioning, gives players lightweight comfort and stability with every swing and step.
A lightweight and waterproof (one-year warranty) four-layer upper that combines innovative textiles and polyurethane films for breakthrough performance.
ULTRA-LIGHT STABILITY FIN
A new lightweight and durable TPU insert we created in the lateral sidewall that offers increased lateral stability and a locked-in feel throughout the swing.
Inspired by heat-map studies and running from heel to toe, we target the areas and place the maximum amount of traction where it’s needed most.
All ZG21 models will be available exclusively on adidas.com and the adidas app starting today, and at select retailer partners worldwide beginning Feb. 1, 2021ii
i Comparative data is based on the laced model of ZG21 footwear.
ii Available exclusively on adidas.com and the adidas app in Japan on Feb. 5, 2021 and at select retailers beginning Feb. 19, 2021.
In this quick piece, I’m going to take a look back at some of the highlights from the past year in golf. While these might include some TOUR news, most of it as I start writing, will be based on my experiences. Truth be told in the interest of full disclosure, I never ever know how my articles will turn out when I start writing. I just write and let the chips fall as they may.
Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio – Typically, my year really starts in January when I attend the annual PGA Merchandise Show in January. 2020 was no exception. But there was a bonus in 2020. I received my first set of media credentials for a TOUR event. The Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio played its inaugural event at the lovely Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton, Florida. After a long day of travel and a longer night of getting my rental car I drove through the night to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic and to cover a practice round for the event. The field was stout and the experience was great. I look forward to, one day, covering it again.
The 2020 PGA Show – During the week, I logged a lot of kilometers on my legs and feet to the tune of over 60 km. Walking the grounds at Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Resort and Lodge and the floor at the Orange County National Convention Centre is no small task. If you’ve been there, you understand. If you haven’t and you watch the content on the Golf Channel you really have no idea how big it really is. Ironically, it’s thinned out a little bit since I started to attend. I made a ton of contacts and the networking has led to more content and consequent page views. 2021, will be more of the same, although it will have a significantly different feel.
2020 Teezy Awards – Tour Edge Golf and their Exotics EXS 220 product range ran away with many of the awards. As I recollect, they medalled in every category but players irons and wedges. They brought those two categories out later in 2020 and I never made swings with them (Exotics EXS Pro). Because of their success, when the time comes for the next iteration of the Teezy Awards (whenever that is) it almost makes me need to re-evaluate my parameters. Their price point always garners them top marks and seems to catapault them ahead of everybody. Then again, when you have have a premium product without a premium price tag, how do you ignore it?
I Met Legends – I met a lot of great people at the PGA Show and while I was down in Florida back in January. I met golf legends Greg Norman, Bernhard Langer (how fun was he to watch at the 2020 Masters?), Jan Stephenson (I appeared on her podcast too “Jan Stephenson Shout”) and someone who I’ve idolized since I was a kid. NHL Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr. I even wore #31 because he did and I also caught with my right hand like he did. When I played hockey, I was a goalie. I switched positions when our goalie fell ill and volunteered as a 7 year old to go in net. Admittedly, I was small and I wasn’t too crazy about going into the corners.
Japanese Domestic Products (JDM) – This is an area of golf equipment that I’m hoping to cover a little bit more in 2021. The average golfer doesn’t realize how good that this equipment is. In the Asian market it’s different and no surprise. But, here in North America the knowledge and exposure is limited. Factor in the price point for some of the manufacturers and the notoriety becomes more of an issue in North America. While there are mainstream manufacturers like XXIO, Srixon, Mizuno, Miura, Honma and Yonex to name a few, there are others. Brands like Fourteen Golf and ONOFF (and others) that the golfing public has little to no knowledge about. The only thing that kept the ONOFF AKA RD5900 driver off of the podium, was the price.
SUB 70 Golf and Tour Edge Golf– While Tour Edge Golf has already been mentioned, I figured that this was the time to mention SUB 70 Golf as well. Tour Edge Golf has proven that you can produce premium golf equipment without a premium price tag. More of the same can be said of Sycamore, Il based SUB 70 Golf. Their direct to consumer (DTC) business model aids in keeping their price tag down. In an era in golf when we’re looking at growing costs for the consumer across the board, SUB 70 Golf gets it right. A set of irons like the astounding 699 Pro irons (which would have won a Gold Teezy Award if there was a year-end version and a Gold if they were at Demo Day in the Player’s/Player’s Distance Category) you can purchase for $445 USD (5-PW). Their products are so affordable and are also premium products. Then, if you factor in the best customer service (in my opinion) in the industry, Jason Hiland’s company was a highlight of 2020. SUB 70 will have staying power and based on sneak peeks of their products for 2021. They look to be “on fire”. I hope that they stay true to who they are and don’t get too big for their britches.
Sophia Popov –How great of a story was Sophia Popov winning the AIG Women’s Open? A proverbial “rags to riches Cinderella story”. The unlikely Women’s Open Champion held only Symetra Tour status prior to the victory. A life-altering win for the native of Germany. But, this story also features a lowlight or two as well. Mostly because, the victory did not give her LPGA TOUR status (it really should have) and she also did not qualify for the year end CME Group Tour Championship. Not even on a sponsor’s exemption. Natalie Gulbis received one. The policy on the LPGA TOUR needs to be re-evaluated. As far as I’m concerned, these were “black eye” moments for that tour.
Rounds Played – Not from a quantity standpoint, but from a quality point of view. I played golf on some courses that I had not previously played until this season. Ironically enough, all of these courses were in my area and no more than 30 minutes away. Each round, consequently resulted in articles/reviews which has led me to focus a little bit more on golf course reviews. I played rounds at Peninsula Lakes Golf Club (“Niagara’s Hidden Gem” a title that I wouldn’t give them albeit their conditions are fantastic), Bridgewater Country Club (in my eyes, “Niagara’s Hidden Gem”), Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club (North America’s Oldest Golf Course), and last but certainly not least, Cherry Hill Club. The latter was in thanks to a golf day set-up by the Golf Journalists Association of Canada (GJAC) and that round was worth the 48 year wait. It was magical. Other than a U.S. Open Local Qualifier in Mendon, NY (Mendon Country Club) a few years ago, this was the first private golf course that I’ve played. Cherry Hill Club was designed by Walter J. Travis and it also hosted the 1972 Canadian Open. I actually don’t know how many rounds of golf that I played in 2020. But the quality of golf courses that I played was quite good.
I’m looking forward to seeing what highlights emerge in 2021.