A Head Start on 2018
The start of a new year is like Spring Training for golf, when everything seems so fresh and the possibilities are limitless. So while you have a clean slate of expectations for the year, why not try out some of the latest products just hitting the market? They might just make a big difference.
Callaway’s Rogue fairway woods ($299 apiece) sport the company’s Jailbreak technology, in which two steel vertical bars stiffen the body, placing more impact load on the clubface to increase ball speed and distance. They also employ the latest face cup on an ultra-thin face, to further maximize ball speed. The ultra low-forward center of gravity (CG) promotes high launch and low spin. Expect shots to get airborne with ease, and travel at a strong trajectory. It’s available in eight lofts in various shaft weights.
Cobra’s adjustable-lofted F8 driver ($479) has a huge, top-edge-to-bottom milled and textured sweet spot circle on the titanium face. You can easily see ball imprints from your shots, so you know where contact is being made. Those marks easily wipe off. The driver’s streamlined carbon fiber crown with polymer “aero trip” ridges work to reduce air drag, which in turn helps boost clubhead speed and thus distance. An included smart grip auto-records driving statistics and location.
Bridgestone’s teardrop-shaped TOUR B XW-1 forged wedge ($140) features a versatile sole with increased heel and toe relief, The mill pattern on the clubface aims to generate ball spin and greenside control, while strategically placed forged mass behind the impact zone results in solid feel. The wedge comes in a satin chrome or glare-reducing black oxide finish, in lofts of 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degrees.
adidas Golf’s adicross Bounce ($120) looks more like an athletically-inspired lifestyle shoe than a cleat-less golf kick. But make no mistake, this model is all about fairways and greens. It sports an offset wrapped saddle with two eyelet rows for customizable lacing, so you can tighten or loosen the shoe where you want. The upper features a forging technique that makes it look like a cool ribbed texture that also reinforces the shoe, providing increased lateral support and stability during the golf swing. A rubber spike-less outsole has 181 strategically placed lugs for optimal grip and green friendliness, but can be worn off-course as well. The outsole sidewall contains proprietary foam, for extra comfort with each step.
Mizuno’s S18 wedge ($150) includes boron in the face, which preserves groove life, so you’re always getting consistent spin. Increased surface roughness also helps rev up spin near the green. Each loft has its own properties to help yield the best possible feel and playability. As the lofts increase, more mass is added to the upper blade to raise the center of gravity. This induces higher spin rate and optimized flight on impact made high up the clubface. The bounce angle and sole grind are matched for versatility. It’s available in a white satin or gunmetal finish.
Wilson’s DUO Soft ball comes in three flavors. The DUO Soft ($20/dozen) is the original low-compression, two-piece model. It remains the softest, longest, and straightest in Wilson’s line, and is now also more durable, higher launching and even faster. A 29 compression rating makes the ball feel nice and soft. The ball also has an ionomer cover with 302 dimples. The DUO Soft Optix ($20/dozen) is the same ball, but comes in five colors: yellow, orange, pink, green and red. Each is matte-finished, as opposed to the usual glossy, which helps them stand out even more on the course. And the DUO Soft Spin ($27/dozen) also feels soft, but gets you even more spin on wedges for greenside control. The three-piece, surlyn ball has a 40 compression rating.