Equipment

Honma BERES Aizu Line: Straight from the heart of Japan

Aizu-Wakamatsu City is remote by Japanese standards: just over two hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train), followed by a connection of another hour or so by local train. During the winter, heavy mountain snows can block those local tracks completely. The region’s isolation was a reason it became one of the final strongholds…

Honma TW757 Fairway Woods boast tradition and tech

Japan is a golf-crazed nation. The sport is associated with status, leisure, and wealth. When I lived there in the early and mid 1990s, I would sometimes spend $200 in an evening just at a driving range–and the range was packed with golf nuts like me. Honma is one of the top golf equipment companies…

Bloodline Vale: Stand up for your putts

You’ve likely seen the infomercials for the putters that stand up behind your ball. This review is NOT about those putters. The Bloodline Vale (HPP) ($299) does stand up on its own, but there is no infomercial for Bloodline putters, the original self-standing putters. The Vale is Bloodline’s newest addition. It’s a mallet with a…

Edison Wedges: Invented for the average player

Terry Koehler has been in the golf equipment industry for 40 years. He began with Ray Cook Putters in the early 1980s. He joined Ben Hogan Golf in the early 90s. He founded both Eidolon Golf and Scor Wedges, where he developed the first progressive weight wedge system. Then he brought Ben Hogan back to…

2022 Father’s Day Golf Gift Guide

This Father’s Day, I’m particularly reflective. My son—the younger of my two kids—just graduated from high school, and he’ll soon make his way out of state for college. He won’t be playing golf there, but I hope he takes the work ethic embodied in the photo below with him when he goes. This was his…

2022 Masters Gift Guide

For over a decade, I’ve been writing a Valentine’s Day Golf Gift Guide. But realisticly, that’s not a day for golf gifts. What should be a holiday though, at least for those of us with green running through our veins and visions of birdies dancing through our heads, is Masters Week. If you live in…

Cleveland Launcher XL Driver: If you like “long and straight”

Cleveland Golf is historically known for its wedges and putters. Recent Cleveland driver offerings have also been extremely strong, however. In 2021, Cleveland’s Launcher Driver line literally expanded Cleveland’s august reputation with the Launcher XL. The Cleveland Launcher XL ($399) lives up to its moniker. The driver head is 6.7% deeper front to back, which…

Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Feed your golf habit

Routines are powerful. In golf, routines are especially valued. How many times have you heard top players talk about the importance of maintaining their pre-shot routine, or their practice routine, or their fitness routine? For amateurs, just working regular play into your routine is key to improvement. You’re not going to lower your handicap playing…

Honma TR20 460cc Driver is a “forgiving” “beast”

Japan is home to dozens of high-end, high-quality golf club manufacturers, only a few of which have most Americans ever heard of. Honma has been in the golf club business for over 60 years now, but they remain largely unknown to most American recreational golfers. That’s too bad, given that Honma produces some very impressive…

Golf Gifts for Father’s Day 2021: Vax-up & gear-up

Father’s Day 2021 feels much more hopeful than Father’s Day 2020. We have vaccines, and we now know that outdoor activities – like golf – are extremely safe. So the best thing you can do for Old Dad this Father’s Day is make sure he’s fully vaccinated. The second-best thing you can do for him…

Srixon ZX5 Driver: Balancing power, forgiveness, and control

Here’s why I don’t completely believe golf simulators or launch monitors: it’s really easy for recreational players to get wrapped up in the numbers. Any avid, average golfer has read about how the pros try to optimize “low spin, high launch” in their drivers. Then they get on one of these high-tech machines and flail…

Mother’s Day Gifts 2021: Honoring Mom, Mother Earth, and Golf

When COVID-19 is said and done—hopefully sooner rather than later—one of the unexpected beneficiaries of a mostly tragic event could be golf. As an outdoor activity that naturally allows for social distancing, golf has become an outlet for people who only played once or twice a year in the before times. And at my local…

Titleist TSi woods and hybrids: Terminate the golf ball

Remember the Terminator movies? Skynet was the artificial neural network-based conscious group mind and artificial general super-intelligence system that built the Terminators. And the Terminators were nigh-indestructible metal killing machines. Imagine if Skynet made golf clubs instead of cybernetic monsters, and the only killing was the murdering of golf balls. Oh, what a wonderful (future)…

Cleveland Golf Frontline ISO Putter: Straight back and straight into the hole

I think have played with literally every conceivable putter style: blade, Anser, half-mallet, mallet, plumber’s neck, single-bend, double-bend, straight, center-shafted, heel-shafted, face-balanced, toe-hang of all degrees, 33” to broomstick, belly-anchored, sternum-anchored, side-saddle-armpit-anchored, steel face, aluminum face, inserts from honeycombed nickel to polymer. Heck, I’ve even played with a putter whose shaft was wrapped with a…

All you need is love: Valentine’s Day Golf Gift Guide

You know what’s sustained me through this pandemic? Love. I love my family and friends. I love my job. And I love golf. Without all three of these loves, it would be very difficult to maintain my equilibrium. Winter is tough where I live. Some years, we can squeeze in a round every month. Other…

Panic in the pandemic: Last-minute holiday golf gift guide

Listen up duffers and duffettes – Christmas 2020 is just one week away (and Hanukkah is already over!). If you haven’t secured gifts for the golfers on your list by now, you’re going to need to hit the shot of the year. Seriously, this is the holiday equivalent of stepping onto the 18th tee dormie:…

Stay home, but send great golf gifts: Holiday Gift Guide 2020

If ever there was a holiday season for online shopping, it’s 2020. Most of us have been shopping online since March, but now we’ve hit the big time. This is The Show, baby! So step up to the tee and let the big dog eat! Here’s a list of my favorite golf gifts this year.…

Find Your Way on the Golf Course: Yardages for Technophobes and Technophiles

Finding your way on the course today takes everything you’ve got.Taking a break from indecision sure would help a lot.Wouldn’t you like to know how far it is from here to there?And the carry in the air?–“Cheers” … sort of All right, all right. Enough of that. I’ve been watching WAY too much old TV…

Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedges deliver on all shots for all golfers

Full disclosure: I’ve always been a big fan of Cleveland Golf wedges. I have tested and reviewed a LOT of wedges over the decades, and whenever a new set of Clevelands arrive, they end up staying in my bag longer than the others. Fuller disclosure: It’s happened again. And this time, Cleveland’s new ZipCore wedges…

You’ve got a lot of balls, Mister! (Can we see them?)

When it comes to golfers, there’s a continuum running from those who commit to playing one brand and model of golf ball to those who put into play literally any ball they scoop out of a pond, stumble upon in the weeds, or spot in the woods. Me? Well, I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ve…

GolfLogix delivers Tour-quality data on your home course

When Bryson DeChambeau reaches into his back pocket for a fourth look at his yardage or green book, I want to drive a ProV1 straight through my TV screen. But then again, the guy did just dominate the U.S. Open, so all that information can’t hurt. In fact, it seems to help quite a bit.…

Wilson D7 Irons set pace in “players distance” category

There are a number of iron categories: “tour,” “player,” “game improvement,” “super game improvement.” Then of course there is the distinction between “forged” and “cast” irons. Another new category has gained steam and fans over the last few years: the “players distance” iron. The target audience for this category is low double-digit handicappers, and maybe…

Wilson Launch Pad Irons elevate the ball and your game

Golf is a lot harder than it looks on TV. Upon hearing of my affection for the game, a friend of mine told me that he had gone to a driving range just one time. I asked him why only once. He said, “I hit a large bucket of balls. Didn’t get one in the…

Cleveland Golf CBX Full-Face wedges are forgiving and consistent

Some amateur golfers are just afraid certain clubs. High on the list for most amateurs is the lob wedge. Visions of chunked and bladed shots skitter across the gyri and hide in the sulci of their brains as they address those delicate touch shots over bunkers to tucked pins. And then, well, sometimes that’s exactly…

Sun Mountain 4.5 LS 14-Way Stand Bag

I don’t carry my clubs too often anymore—maybe just for a quick evening 9. I walk most of the time, though, using a push cart. So I’ve been looking for a golf bag that is light but spacious enough for me to stow all my extraneous gear—cigar holder, range finder, lots of extra souvenir ball…

Sacks Parente Series 54LH Mallet Putter excels in design & performance

“Counter-weighting” has been a big trend over the past couple of decades, especially on putters. The idea behind weighted grips, weighted shafts, weighted plugs inserted into the top putter shaft, etc., is that distributing the weight more equally along the length of the putter promotes a one-piece take-away without extra hand and wrist movement. When…

Get in the zone with the 2020 Cobra King SpeedZone Xtreme Driver

Press releases for Cobra’s SpeedZone drivers, new for 2020, tout six different performance “zones” which they claim are based on design features of the world’s best sports cars. I’m not totally sure what that is supposed to mean, but these zones are listed as Power Zone, Strength Zone,  Light Zone, Low CG Zone, Aero Zone,…

Mother’s Day golf gifts fit for the Queen of the Pandemic

We’ve been stuck inside for a while. And for the good of everyone, we should largely remain inside for some time to come. But golf is one of the few social activities that lends itself to social distancing. Stand apart at the tees, hit your tee shots, walk after them, see you at the green.…

Lynx Golf for links golf – a purr-r-r-fect pairing

Fred Couples won his only major, the 1992 Masters, playing Lynx Golf clubs. Ernie Els won the 1994 U.S. Open playing Lynx. Short story: Lynx Golf has an impressive pedigree. Longer story: Lynx Golf was bought out by Golfsmith, which turned it into an in-house component parts company. The Golfsmith went under and Lynx became…


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