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!!

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!!

 

Datrek® Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag Wins Best Hybrid Golf Bag by Golf Digest

One of the booths that I visited very late at this years PGA Merchandise Show was that of Dynamic Brands. The conglomerate that brings the likes of Bag Boy, De Vant, Burton, IGotcha and Datrek under one umbrella.

While at their booth several products caught my eye however none caught my eye more than the Datrek Go Lite Hybrid Golf Bag. This golf bag caught my eye for a few reasons. First there were the colours that drew me to the bag display. Once seeing them I noticed right away that the Go Lite Hybrid golf bag had 14 slots with full length dividers and then there was the weight when I picked it up. It certainly lives up to its billing as being lightweight. In fact, the golf bag weighs a mere 5.2 lbs when empty. Impressive for a stand bag with the full length dividers.

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Photo Credit: Datrek

Recently, Julie Parham who is the Marketing Manager for Dynamic Brands shared a press release with me announcing an award that Datrek had won recently. The Datrek Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag won an award as presented by Golf Digest. Golf Digest gave the “Editor’s Choice Award” for “Best Hybrid Golf Bag”. I would love the opportunity if Datrek gave me an opportunity to test one of these bags to allow me to form my own opinion. Please see the press release below.

***Generally, I refrain from posting accolades handed to company’s by other publications and websites. 

Richmond, VA – Datrek® Golf, a leader in modern golf gear designed to enhance players’ on-course experience, has earned a 2018 Golf Digest Editors’ Choice Award in the category of “Best Hybrid Golf Bag”. The full story is available on-line here.

“We are honored Golf Digest chose the Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag,” said Craig Ramsbottom, President of Dynamic Brands, Datrek® Golf’s parent company. “The Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag is the third generation of the popular Go Lite; now labeled a hybrid as it combines the portability of a stand bag with the functionality of a cart bag.”  This is the second award the Go Lite has received since it was first introduced in 2015.

The selection, through which the magazine’s editors identify its list of “The Best Things in Golf”, with an emphasis on lifestyle properties, products and services. The program receives similar editorial treatment as the annual Hot List, which has become the game’s authoritative review for golf equipment. Best Golf Bags has six categories: Cart, Carry, Lightweight/Ultra Lightweight, Hybrid, Stand less/Sunday and Waterproof, with Datrek’s Go Lite Hybrid awarded one of the coveted Best Hybrid Bags.

The Go Lite Hybrid has a streamlined new design for 2018, built for carrying, riding or walking with a push cart. The 14-way organizer top with full-length Individual Divider System (IDS) and easy-grip handle are designed for on-course convenience. Double shoulder straps and padded hip protection make the bag comfortable to carry. Six total pockets include an oversized, insulated cooler pocket and full-size garment pocket. The Go Lite Hybrid this year now includes new TOP-LOK™ Technology, a patented bag-to-cart attachment system designed to work with Bag Boy® push carts. Available in 10 colorways and sells for $149.95 at pro shops and retailers nationwide.

Until The Next Tee!!