The Search to be Saved

It’s amazing when you pause and reflect on how much golf technology has changed over the last several decades. We’ve seen woods go from the ever classy persimmon to being constructed of space-aged materials like carbon-fiber and titanium. From an aeronautics standpoint, titanium was used in the 1950’s to develop the infamous Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. Just think what was once a classified material is now commonplace in the manufacturing of golf clubs.

The original “Baffler Sole” from Cobra Golf. Who knew what it would become?

Of course, technology doesn’t stop there. From golf components, golf balls, launch monitors, and apparel technology is at the forefront. The endless endeavor of helping golfers play their best golf is a focal point for golf manufacturers throughout the golf industry. Investments into research and development (R&D) to make a challenging sport just a little bit less taxing is never-ending pursuit. To this end, long gone are iron sets that are composed of tiny and compact heads with sweet spots the size of pinhead like the Spalding Blades of yesteryear. Instead, we see improved weight distribution such as perimeter weighting and larger sweet spots in sets considered to be “Player’s Irons”. As the game has evolved, players of the highest handicaps and tour professionals alike have seen the value of hybrid or rescue clubs.

The history of the hybrid dates back to the 1970’s when Cobra Golf introduced their Baffler fairway wood which featured a patented sole design. The “Baffler” design is still employed by the company today half a century later from when the golfing world first learned of the Baffler sole (the Baffler LP launched in 1998). Soon after, more golf companies followed suit. TaylorMade Golf launched their Rescue in 2003 and Adams Golf is often thought to be a pioneer in this genre of golf clubs. I’ll circle back around to Adams Golf in a little while.

As it turns out almost every golf original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has a rescue, hybrid, or utility iron in their stable. Whether it’s a company like New Level Golf Equipment, Sub 70 Golf, Fourteen Golf (HI-877 Hybrid seen below) Wilson, PING, Callaway Golf et al they all offer them. Because they work and help.

In a way, the hybrid, rescue or utility iron has become a necessity in the majority of golfers bags worldwide. These staples are used for many reasons. First of all, they are simply easier to strike vs a low-lofted club (1-3i). Even more importantly is the fact that these golf clubs are easier to elevate due to so much weight being distributed low and back near the trailing edge, although some “pro models” (Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro) do offer the weight a little more forward in order to help golfers (usually higher-swing speed players) achieve a flatter trajectory. Not to mention these golf clubs offer tremendous versatility around greens and they are easier to hit out of long rough than a long iron.

Personally speaking, my foray into the world of rescue clubs didn’t start off, swimmingly. I had a hard time buying into them and to be totally frank, much of it had to do with my stubbornness than anything else. Jut the appearance alone I disliked. They were the proverbial “Ugly Duckling” in my eyes. I didn’t like looking at them and whenever I tried to strike one at a demo day more often than not, resulted in a poor, flubbed shot. Ironically enough, I had no issue striking high-lofted fairway metals (I gamed a 7-wood) and a 2 or 3i, was no problem. But, eventually, I warmed up to these… abominations. The ugly duckling was in fact, a swan.

The Adams Golf A3 Boxer. The one that made see the light.

So what won me over to see the ways of the hybrid? Well, there were several factors. Much of it had to do with sensory things of course. It wasn’t until Adams Golf launched the Boxer A3 hybrid and little known MA-Nine Golf (Kick X Golf) launched the MA-Nine Hybrid that I bought into hybrids. These particular clubs had the right feel, sound, and performed duties how I needed them to be performed. Going into greens the golf ball elevated, flew high and landed soft with nary a release. They were bailing me out from trees and the rough. After initially balking at using hybrids it became quite apparent that hybrids/rescues were “bona fide stroke-savers”.

Ever since, I’ve had a revolving door of hybrids/utility irons that have included but are not limited to Titleist 503.H and 910H, and 913H, TaylorMade Golf SLDR (still play it on occasion), Miura Golf HB3, Tour Edge Exotics EXS and EXS Pro, Callaway Golf X Hot, PING Rapture Utility among others.

This Miura Golf HB3 hybrid came in for review. It ended up in the bag.

Choosing the Right Style of Hybrid/Rescue/Utility Iron For “Your” Game

When it comes to picking out the right variation of these clubs for your game, you need to really examine yourself as a golfer. What kind of golfer are you? Are you a high-handicap golfer? Do you have a discerning eye? Do you hate offset? Do you need offset to help you fight a slice? The variables are really too much to list. Make no mistake about it, when assessing yourself you have to be totally honest with the person looking back at you in the mirror. Otherwise, it’s all moot.

When I look at drivers, hybrids, irons, etc there really is a set of parameters that I use. Most of it, is used when I award my annual Teezy Awards at the annual PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day. Of course performance stands for a lot, but other factors like esthetics, sound/feel. and value mean something too. But here are some considerations.

Utility irons like this Lynx Golf Prowler Stinger VT Driving Iron. Highly practical on tight par 4’s.
  1. What is the main purpose for the club? For example, am I a better player looking to use the club on tight fairways and short par 4 holes. Links golf for example. Maybe a Utility Iron is the better choice.
  2. Looks matter. Do you feel more confident looking down at something with a larger footprint? The larger the footprint perhaps there’s more forgiveness to be gained. While Utility Irons offer the smallest footprint, pro models will offer something in tween the Utility Iron and Game-Improvement hybrid.
  3. Sticking with looks. Does it appear clean or is there too much going on? Offset, maybe you need the help or maybe it bugs your eye. Either way, life is about “checks and balances” and choosing the right golf equipment for your game is no different. You might gain a lot by giving up a little.
  4. Sound and feel often are associated with each other. To me feel is often almost as important if not moreso than how it performs. When you like how a golf club feels you look forward to swinging it. Confidence oozes out of your pores The psychological impact of this variable is more important than you might think.
  5. Budget. What’s an acceptable price point for you? Is there good value for your consumer dollars? Maybe due to fiscal issues you can’t afford the newest and latest offerings of the calendar year.
  6. Technology. Is the technology legit or is it “smoke and mirrors”? Maybe you prefer adjustable heads for tinkering with launch conditions. When it comes to components most of the manufacturers offer great stock offerings for shafts that were not long ago, up-charged products. But, do you need to upgrade the shaft after you purchase it.

To find out the correct answer isn’t really “rocket science” per se. More importantly no matter what major golf websites or I say, there isn’t a best “Be All… End All” correct club for you. All we do, and I say this with the most objectivity and honesty is that we can only offer a baseline. Products for you to consider. Much like a therapist or counselor.

The Tour Edge Exotics Pro hybrid. Smaller footprint, weigh is placed a little more forward, designed to be anti-hook.

If you’re looking at a new hybrid swing as many products as you can. Hopefully, there’s an outdoor demo day that offers the luxuries of both real-time ballflight and launch monitor information. There’s no substitution for the real thing. I’d be remiss if I also failed to mention a trusted clubfitter.

I hope this help and enjoy your search for a rescue. I love being saved.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Get Dad What He Wants for Father’s Day: Golf Products from Zero Friction

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL – Father’s Day is right around the corner (June 20), and this year you should give dad what he really wants – the gift of golf from Zero Friction.  The company known for delivering cutting edge products to golf enthusiasts of all skill levels has a wide variety of products available for the golfer in your life.

In addition to its great selling line of universal fit golf gloves and golf tees, Zero Friction has released many great new products that are sure to be the delight of any golfer.  Zero Friction is offering free shipping on orders $75 and above.
 
Zero Friction Backpack Bundle.   The Zero Friction Backpack Bundles offer everything a golfer needs in a handy drawstring backpack, and available in three bundled price options. All bundles include an athletic drawstring bag, golf glove, golf balls and tees.  (MSR $59.99-$149.99)

Xtreme model golf glove.  These new Xtreme golf glove offers color with an edge.  The new line is crafted with 100% authentic Cabretta leather and reinforced Lycra throughout the fingers, back of hand, and palm for maximum durability and breathability.  Available in tasteful blend of four colors in each glove which make the gloves completely unique. (MSR $21.99)

Golf Laser Rangefinder. Zero Friction also recently entered the golf laser rangefinder segment in a big way with its Zero Friction Laser Pro and Laser Pro SM products. And like most Zero Friction products, this one has a unique element that separates it from the competitors. Both Zero Friction Laser Pro models come with a pistol shape rubber handle grip, making it very simple to get yardage for your next shot. Simply aim and click, and the exact distance appears on an easy-to-read LCD display magnified X6. (MRS $229.99 – $329.99)

CopperFlex Golf Glove. Zero Friction’s new CopperFlex Glove infuses copper into key points of the glove helps reduce hand fatigue, joint pain, stiffness and soreness. Like the rest of the Zero Friction line, the CopperFlex is a universal fit glove that molds to your hand for a guaranteed fit. The palm side is made of 100 percent Cabretta, adding durability and comfort. A leather finger patch is engineered around the first finger to improve gripping of the club. It comes in three colors: black, white and gray. (MSR $17.99)

Lightweight Carry Bag. The carry bag, which weighs less than five pounds, comes with a 40” slotted waffle golf towel and Zero Friction’s award-winning performance golf glove. Other comfort features include an easy-carry dual strap, a soft and durable handle and a comfortable hip pad.  The Zero Friction golf bag features seven zipper pockets for versatile storage, including an apparel compartment, lined valuables pocket and an insulated water bottle pocket. Essential accessories holders include glove and towel holder, scorecard and pen holder and a slot for your umbrella. (MRP $199.99)
For more information, see the Zero Friction catalog, visit www.zerofriction.com, or call 630-317-7700.
 
About Zero Friction 

Based in Oakbrook Terrace, Il, Zero Friction is known industry wide for being on the cutting edge when it comes to introducing new products to players and creative packaging for its retail partners. Zero Friction provides high-quality, technologically advanced products for golfers worldwide, including gloves, performance golf tees, balls and accessories. The company established the performance golf tee market, creating the first and only performance tee to ever carry the PGA TOUR logo. Zero Friction’s most recent success story is in the golf glove segment. Zero Friction’s colorful line of compression-fit gloves for men, women and juniors takes the guesswork out of sizing.  Compression-fit technology means a universal fit within the various models, and the glove that will hold its shape longer than any on the market.  To view the entire line of Zero Friction golf products, visit http://www.ZeroFriction.com

WOMEN’S GOLF DAY 2021 SETS NEW GLOBAL RECORDS

A WEEK OF FUN, STARTING WITH RINGING THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE OPENING BELL AND CULMINATING WITH THOUSANDS ATTENDING LIVE EVENTS

(WEST PALM BEACH, FL, June 2, 2021) – Now in its 6th year, Women’s Golf Day (WGD) kicked off with an early start yesterday with its first ever event in New Zealand, one of the three new countries to join the WGD Community in 2021. The famous red & white of WGD was everywhere to be seen on social media continuing the tradition that has brought the event to over 1000 officially registered locations in over 80 countries. With #WomensGolfDay reaching 72.4M unique users, generating 87M impressions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter the June 1st numbers simply speak for themselves!

Women’s Golf Day is unique; a one-day sporting and community celebration event, uniting women and girls through golf across the globe for 24 hours straight transcending race, religion, language, geography or economic status. This capped off an exciting week that started with the ringing of the opening bell at the NYSE and WGD Palooza, an online event everyone could attend.

“From the first event in Papakura, New Zealand to the last in Princeville, Hawaii, women and girls have been sharing really special moments because of golf,” explains Elisa Gaudet Founder of Women’s Golf Day. “WGD has increased in popularity year after year by engaging men and women and brands. This year we have really seen the power of partnership and what we can accomplish collectively. I am truly humbled by the individuals, locations, partners and organizations who continue to be committed to Women’s Golf Day and thank them for everything that they bring to the game and our events.” Japan and Argentina were also new host countries for 2021. Golfers still managed to join in the fun, even in places still restricted by COVID-19, joining people around the world showing their love of the game by posting photos using the hashtag #womensgolfday. 

2021 has seen another milestone smashed as the total number of participating venues reached 941, exceeding previous records. A staggering number of facilities including PGA TOUR Superstores, Topgolf venues, driving ranges, and traditional golf courses have now hosted Official WGD events. The diverse range of opportunities to learn and play golf offered through WGD undoubtedly contributes to its success.

Elisa explains, “Golf is not a one-size-fits-all sport anymore.  Women want options and thanks to our retail and brand partners, as well as the locations who host our official events, we can showcase golf at its very best. Women who have never played golf are beginning to see that in the 21st century it is a sport for everyone.  This is a really exciting time in golf’s evolution, and we are proud of the role we continue to play in making golf more accessible.”

Each year WGD experiences impressive growth in participation figures, and location numbers as well as its social media exposure.  This, combined with increasing industry support, indicates the gathering momentum for WGD, so if you have thought about joining this global movement do not delay!

Sponsorship opportunities are open for Women’s Golf Day VIP Program and the team is already preparing for the 7th year of this amazing event which will take place on June 7, 2022.

ABOUT WOMEN’S GOLF DAY:

Women’s Golf Day (WGD) is a global movement that strives to Engage, Empower, and Support women and girls through golf. The one-day, four-hour event, has now taken place at more than 1,000 locations in over 80 countries since its inception in 2016, and has introduced thousands of new golfers to the sport. WGD is the fastest-growing female golf development initiative around the globe.

In 2020, WGD’s primary hashtag, #WomensGolfDay, received more than 59 million global impressions to nearly 37 million people viewing WGD content. Women’s Golf Day is unique, there is nothing like it in sports, a one-day sporting and community celebration event that unites women through golf across the globe for 24 hours straight transcending race, religion, language, geography, or economic status.

Visit www.womensgolfday.com @womensgolfday, #WomensGolfDay #WGDunites
 
Women’s Golf Day Supporters:

Partners and supporting organizations of WGD are:  Ahead, All Square, Annika Foundation, ASIAN GOLF, Callaway Golf, The California Alliance for Golf, Chronogolf, ClubCorp, EGCOA, European Tour, European Tour Properties, PGA of America, FootJoy, The First Tee, Gallus Golf, The Golf Channel, GolfNow, Golf Town, International Golf Federation, LET, LPGA, LPGA Amateur, Modest Golf Management, NGCOA, NGCOA Canada, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Superstore, Players 1st, The R&A, Sky Sports, Titleist, Topgolf, TPC Properties, Troon Golf, Troon International, USGA, WE ARE GOLF, Women & Golf, The World Golf Foundation and more.

MAKE IT A VERY SPECIAL FATHER’S DAY WITH BIG MAX

Europe’s #1 push cart and golf bag brand BIG MAX is well stocked and ready to make this Father’s Day memorable for golfing Dad’s across the country. With walking rounds more popular than ever, BIG MAX has got the perfect combination of multi award winning push cart – the Fold Flat Blade IP – and best-selling water resistant cart bag – Dri Lite Sport – that will improve any golfing Dad’s life on the course.

The Blade IP has won multiple awards for its compact folding mechanism. Perfect for a Dad who needs their push cart to take up as little room as possible in the trunk of the car or when packed away at home or the club. The IP’s ultra-flat design leaves it less than 5” deep when folded and when combined with robust construction, a host of practical features, stylish looks and a 5 year manufacturer warranty, the BLADE IP is the perfect gift for a golfing Dad that is short on space and wants their gear to travel in style. MSRP: $349.99

The Dri Lite Sport is a water-resistant cart bag that features 100% waterproof fabric, specially designed waterproof zippers, and comes in a range of stylish color combinations. Perfect for a Dad who values practical innovation and wants to look great on the course, the Dri Lite Sport has a 14 way 9.5” organizer top with oversize putter well and 9 water-resistant pockets. The oversize cooler pocket has room to spare and neat features such as easy access Velcro glove holder, towel holder, umbrella holder and robust carry handles add to the practical benefits. An ultra light weight of just 4.85 lbs finish off the package that makes the Dri Lite Sport the perfect gift for Dad this Father’s day. MSRP: $249.99

To make this year a very special Father’s Day visit https://us.bigmaxgolf.com

Follow socially:

Facebook: facebook.com/bigmaxgolf
Twitter: @BIGMAXGOLF
Instagram: @BIGMAX.GOLF

AWARD-WINNING ARCHITECT AGUSTIN PIZÁ PARTNERS WITH PGA TOUR CHAMPION AND GOLF CHANNEL ANALYST – BRANDEL CHAMBLEE

-The Pizá Chamblee collaboration will focus on distinct and key golf design projects-

(SAN DIEGO, CA. June 1, 2021) – Pizá Golf, internationally recognized as a world-class architecture and golf course design firm, proudly announced today that the company’s founder Agustin Pizá has joined forces with PGA TOUR Champion, television personality, and Golf Channel Analyst – Brandel Chamblee. The partnership will expand the Pizá Golf Branded Collection and their signature Pizá Chamblee golf designs will be made available on select projects.

Brandel brings to our partnership an acute understanding of golf course playability. As a former PGA TOUR Professional, he appreciates a golf course from a player’s standpoint but as an analyst his intellect provides some profound and unique insight. His perceptiveness will challenge me to become a better architect and I am up for that challenge. I am humbled and honoured to partner with such a gentleman, intellectual, analyst, arts and wine connoisseur who will ask for the best of me,” commented Agustin Pizá.

“Agustin Pizá or ‘Augie’ is a man with a strong vision striving in his design philosophy to create golf courses and golf experiences that will thrill the enthusiast and activist alike, while offering to those without a traditional golf background an intro into the game. His (4×6) design project in Desertica is just one example of his creative ingenuity and desire to give more than just lip service to the idea that a round of golf is becoming too time consuming and unsustainable ecologically. I have followed ‘Augie’ on social media for years and as I’ve become aware of his design philosophy, his keen understanding of past and present architectural principles and his interest in helping underprivileged kids discover golf in Mexico and South America through the First Tee and other like projects I was very humbled when Augie extended an invitation to join his team,” said Brandel Chamblee.

The first Pizá Chamblee signature design pushes the creative boundaries of multi-purpose golf. The duo is collaborating on a 24-hole golf resort with four distinct six-hole golf loops. The project is referred to as the “Butterfly Effect.” It is in Cuatro Cíenegas, Desertica described as an oasis in the desert with abundant springs that create marshes. Ground-breaking is estimated in Summer of 2022.

About Brandel Chamblee:

Brandel Chamblee joined Golf Channel in 2004, and currently serves as a studio analyst for Golf Central, as well as an analyst for the network’s Live From programming, airing on-site from the game’s biggest events. Chamblee also is an occasional analyst for Golf Channel’s PGA Tour tournament coverage. Chamblee has earned a reputation for being one of the most intellectual and well-researched personalities on Golf Channel and is known for his outspoken opinions on the game’s biggest stars.

A PGA Tour winner, Chamblee enjoyed a 15-year professional playing career that included more than $4 million in earnings. His career highlights include victories at the 1998 Greater Vancouver Open on the PGA Tour and the 1990 Ben Hogan New England Classic on the Web.com Tour. He also shared the first-round lead at the Masters in 1999 and finished within the top-100 on the PGA Tour money list for seven consecutive years. 

A three-time All-American at the University of Texas, Chamblee graduated in 1986 with a BS in Communications. A father of three, Chamblee lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.

About Pizá Golf Founder – Arch. Agustin Pizá, MSc:

Award winning architect Agustin has earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from ITESM and a Master’s Degree in Golf Course Architecture from Edinburgh University in Scotland. He is a proud member of both the European Institute and the American Society of Golf Course Architects. For 22 years, Pizá has worked with legends of the game and world class golf developments. His designs are known for delivering quality, aesthetic, and strategic golf courses.

Pizá Golf has been recognized with many international accolades and has garnered a reputation for “Re-defining Golf Facilities” with their concepts – Wellness Golf and Lounge Golf. Agustin Pizá was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 100 creative minds from Mexico and Golf Inc. Magazine included him in their Power 2020 issue as an up-and-coming superstar.

Pizá and the company have worked and have been involved in more than 60 projects on three continents. For more information on Pizá Golf, please visit the company website: www.pizagolf.com