By Barry Lotz, Guest Contributor
MOLLY-Mock Golf Bag
Though to date 2015 has not been what one would call outstanding with regard to equipment sales, there have been some excellent product introductions that merit your attention.
Whether hardware or software, these 8 products should be in your bag:
Molhimawk White & Black Argyle Golf Bag
Starting with the name itself the “MOLLY-Mock” golf bag is a fresh look at the usually bland designs of golf bags. Not only is it hip, but totally functional and weighs a mere 6½ lbs. Molhimawk (‘MOLLY-Mock ‘) means albatross in the New Zealand language of Maori and represents not only a double eagle in golf (scoring 2 on a par 5), but it bridges the gap between the timeless argyle pattern and the bright new pinks, blues, greens, purples, and yellows of today.
This concept of bridging the gap between old and new is the nucleus of the Molhimawk culture. Made for the dapper golfer preserving the integrity of classic patterns, without sacrificing flare. The entire line of golf bags, whether stand bags or cart bags, are made from the highest quality materials.
Amongst this 100% polyester bag’s many features are its weight of just 6 ½ lbs., the fourteen-way dividers and double handle on the top, a Velcro glove attachment/towel ring and seven well-sized pockets, including a cooler pocket to keep food and drinks at optimal temperatures.
The company also manufactures very stylish and colorful shirts and socks. And, the company donates 2% of profits to Competitive Drive, which provides opportunities for junior golfers to play competitive golf at the local, regional and national levels. Competitive Drive prepares junior golfers for tournaments through continuous coaching and mentoring, and by providing the financial support that these golfers need to be able to focus on their game.
Callaway GPSync Watch
Since the original Garmin GPS watch first arrived on the golf scene a few years back, the market has become somewhat inundated with GPS watches from SkyGolf, Golf Buddy, Tomtom, Suunto, Nike, New Balance and Polar, to name just a few. While the GPS watch is a distance finder unlike the accurate Laser Range Finders that give actual measurements to the pin, they serve their purpose. They tell you distance to the front, center and back of the green which is more than enough for most golfers and they are much faster and less cumbersome to use. Of these GPS watches, the Callaway GPSync watch is probably the best.
This watch not only looks great on your wrist, is somewhat similar to Apple’s new watch, but offers the wearer the ability to Sync with your Bluetooth® enabled smartphone device to see text, email, missed call, and other notifications right on your wrist. Also, the Callaway GPSync watch provides the opportunity to upload and save each round’s score to the app. As with most GPS watches, 30,000 preloaded courses are included without a subscription, as is an odometer, shot distance measurement and accurate distances to front and back hazards and doglegs. The battery lasts for 10-12 hours in the GPS mode while in the time mode, it will last 90+ days. One of its best features is that the Scorekeeper tracks scores, GIR, and putts per round.
IZZO Swami Sport GPS
If on the other hand, you prefer a less bulky method of finding distances, the IZZO Swami Sport GPS is your best option. For its $79.00 price, it is the best value available. It too will show green distances, hole number, par and time of day.
Its primary features are that it fits in your pocket, includes auto course recognition upon start up, is also preloaded with 30,000 course worldwide with no subscription, and has an extremely easy-to-read screen. The Swami uses a rechargeable lithium Ion battery offering up to 8 hours on a single charge. www.swamigps.com
Bridgestone J815 Driver
Bridgestone J815 Driver Simply the best driver we have written or tested in the last few years! Sure, PING, TaylorMade, Callaway and Titleist make great drivers as well, but the 460 cc J815 has that “Wow” factor that comes along once in a blue moon! It will reawaken your inner joy by feeling and seeing the increase in distance and the feel of a drive right on the screws – pure!
To increase ball speed and reduce spin, Bridgestone developed three technologies which they call Power Rib, Power Slit and Power Milling.
The “Power Slit” is a noticeable slit placed on the top of the crown. It is designed to assist in the trampoline effect at impact, for a more efficient energy transfer (a very similar concept to all the slits and channels we see from other manufacturers such as Adams and TaylorMade).
The “Power Rib” is the unique rib design of the sole of the driver. It has vertical slits that are designed to work together with the “Power Slit” in increasing the flex of the entire club head and leading to a very efficient energy transfer.
Lastly, the “Power Milling” is a special face milling that is meant to reduce spin at impact for a strong launch and more roll on the ground. And it does even better using the Bridgestone e6 ball, when used by a slower swinger, vis a vie, a higher handicapper.
Get over the head’s paint job! Yes, red and white are unusual, but instead focus on the F.A.S.T. (Flex Action Speed Technology) compression section at the leading edge of the crown. It is one of the better looking ones currently available and with all of the angles of both the graphics and the F.A.S.T. section, this makes a solid alignment mechanism.
As mentioned earlier, the J815 is a full 460cc head with a semi-deep face and a great head shape. The center portion of the face is designed a bit deeper than the surrounding areas. But it sure does frame the ball remarkably well! The driver is both flashy looking and adjustable with a great Fubuki ZT shaft (45”) that enhances both distance (our testers’ averaged 20 -30 yards more) and a solid and crunchy feedback.
What you will find is that a mid to high launch and a good amount of roll on the ground, coupled with a consistent flight pattern, are to be expected. Initially, do not change the settings as most of our testing group initially thought it was too closed face. Not so, it is the graphics on the crown that really seem to give the illusion of more closure.
The driver is available red only and a variety of shaft options. The standard shaft option is the Mitsubishi Fubuki™ ZT Driver Shaft (R, S, X). Lofts are 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° and 12°. $399.00 www.bridgestonegolf.com
DST Compressor Training/Warm-Up Clubs
DST Compressor Training/Warm-up Clubs Every once in a while, a true teaching and training aid comes along that is beneficial to both the Tour player and the amateur golfer. To this end, the DST Compressor Wedge and 8 Iron fits the bill admirably.
Its USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is that these warm-up clubs enable you to Locate, Train and Perfect the most effective set up position and optimal movement through impact. It is the moment of truth in the golf swing.
Developed by Bertie Cordell, a former European Challenge Tour player, many of today’s top golfers such as Dustin Johnson, Fabian Gomez, Shawn Micheel, Simon Dyson, Dawie van der Walt and many others, including Pete Cowen, instructor to Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson to name just a few.
The DST clubs are designed with a specific sole angle – being wide and flat so that the club orientates itself horizontally on the ground in the set up position with the shaft of the club leaning forwards, towards your lead shoulder (which is the center of the club head arc).
The DST clubs incorporate a Hand Position Alignment Marker (HPAM) which runs at an angle down the front of the hosel. When the HPAM is aligned with your eye line and the leading groove on the club face, you have located the most logical set up position and optimal impact position. All you have to do is complete your normal swing, but return the club to the same position through impact and you will have reached the Optimal Impact Position.
Additionally, what is so great about the Compressor is that it promotes a swinging motion where the ball just “gets in the way of” the club head and is trapped between the club head and turf, rather than a hitting motion where the ball becomes the target in the swing.
The DST clubs are “warm up clubs” with a curved shaft that enables you to consistently locate the optimal impact position and replicates the shape of a normal shaft under maximum load during impact. The curved shaft forces you into a position where your hands lead the club face through impact.
Through its design, the DST Compressor forces you to rotate your body towards your target through impact and encourages you to have your weight on your lead foot, while reaching a position where your hands are further forward than the club head. The club has forward shaft lean at the moment of impact, whilst the club face is being held square to the target line.
When you do receive your Compressors, spend some time on DST’s web site on how to correctly use and benefit from the clubs. I can assure you, it will feel very different, but oh how your iron game will improve!
$99.99 each www.dstgolf.com
Kramski High Precision HPP 326 Putter
Kramski High Precision HPP 326 TP Black Putter Wiestaw Kramski ranks amongst the elite of putter designers, manufacturers and putting teachers. He is in the same league as putter makers Bobby Bettinardi, David Edel and Scotty Cameron and a Kramski putter is probably the most expensive of all putters manufactured.
Every Kramski HPP is designed painstakingly, using state-of-the-art software, produced to micron-level precision with high-end machines, and lovingly hand crafted to the desired finish. The result is a putter featuring precision to the very last detail, suggested by taking a look at Kramski’s patented sight system from the very beginning.
Wiestaw Kramski, company founder and creator of the concept Mastering the Green – Putting with Guaranteed Success, comprised of many years of experience and expertise, came to the conclusion that it takes a perfect putter, as well as a custom fitting, to putt successfully – and above all- the right application methodology.
Hence, Kramski Golf’s perfect putter came into being- the Kramski High Precision Putter (HPP). Though various head styles are available, the HPP 325 mallet is what we tested. This Sports-tuned aluminum mallet is precision milled, color-anodized and features carbide metal weight inserts, a special (double-bend) shaft configuration, and is available in black, blue, red and silver, along with a matching designer putter hood made of the finest Napa leather. Our testing group used a 32 1/2” model in black with a single sight line all the way through the head. Apart from the putter itself being too short, the aesthetics were excellent, in fact, darn right handsome! The feel was exceptional and the ball came off the face without a lot of bouncing.
The only complaint, aside from the putter’s length, was the weight of the putter. It’s too light. Many Tour pros prefer a lighter weight putter for fast paced Tour greens, but players such as Brandt Snedeker, prefer heavier weighted putters for slower greens.
While Wiestaw, whom I met at Chambers Bay, claims his High Precision Grips are the “perfect” grips to use on a putter and the right weight, our group would have preferred a heavier head and a SuperStroke type grip.
The Kramski Training Console, the HPT 40, was designed and produced when Wiestaw Kramski and his team of experts came to the conclusion that putting cross-handedly is disadvantageous. It leads to more errors and players attempt to compensate these errors with even more mistakes and bad posture. It is important to ensure the square position in the moment of impact and to train this aspect – it is one big step towards putting success. To correct mistakes, KRAMSKI also offers the training console HPT40, since the only way to become a champ on the green is through extensive and repeated training.
As with every Kramski HPP, it ships in both right and left-hand variants. The putter can be ordered in standard lengths of 30” to 37”. Other lengths are built to order in increments of 1/8”.
Prices vary per putter from $800- $1200
These products stood out amongst a slew of products we recently reviewed. Hope you find something you like!
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. Visit www/facebook.com/PGTAA to see all the latest mental strategies and equipment reviews. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf”, updated for 2011, is still in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list. His latest book, “The Right Mind for Golf”, is now in its 7th reprint is available on Amazon and at the Torrey Pines golf course.