Logo Golf Chips: Poker Chip Ball Markers

You are standing on the 18th green with a six footer for birdie to close out the back nine bet and win the eighteen as well.  One of your opponents, a card carrying member of the Ultra Light generation, hits his green side recovery pitch to three feet directly in your line.

He casually walks over and drops a poker chip that reads “TPC Sawgrass” in your line effectively laying you a Stymie.  He then looks up sheepishly and says “Do you need me to move this?”.  To which you respond with your most disgruntled glare, “Yeah and while your at it change it to something smaller than a coaster”.

Poker Chip Ball Markers have a full bouquet of uses.

Poker Chip Ball Markers have a full bouquet of personal and business purposes.

Poker Chip Ball Markers are sweeping across the golfing landscape like a wild fire in a Santa Ana wind.  You see them in vase next to the register in every destination golf shop you walk into.  Corporate guys are handing them out to their clients instead of business cards.  People are using them as giveaways at life cycle events of addicted golfers.   They are fast replacing logo golf balls and divot repair tools as the go to golf collectable to display in the man cave or on the office credenza.

Mike Blake of Logo Golf Chips invented them in 2006 and he now sells them to golf shops all over the world.  They are authentic to the casino chips, 11.5 grams, 1 9/16 inches in diameter, custom printed on both sides.  They come in a full array of festive color combinations to compliment any marketing intention.  When you buy them in bulk the price is an increment of logo golf balls.  Given to a client they are much more likely to remain in their possession for a long time rather than end up in a watery grave on the next par three.

In the genre of golf collectables these things are quite cool.  For guys with failing eyesight they are much easier to relocate on the green than a dime after you wipe the schmootz off your Bridgestone.  A collection of them around your office can lead to some travel bragging with the coworkers or simply opportunities for personal athletic reminiscence.

Just show a little discretion when you throw one down on the green so as not to create a fraternal incident.

October, 2013

(if you decide to go and make a purchase from Logo Golf Chips use the Code Name “MoeGolf” and get 25 bonus chips for free as a moegolf.net reader)

moerate4

Sun Mountain H2No Ultralite Stand Bag

We have been discussing the “imminent arrival” of a waterproof ultralite walking bag for years with David Dorn, the head pro at our place, so I was floored the other day when I got an email from him telling me that “our bag” had arrived.   Apparently Double-D’s consistent pestering of Sun Mountain officials at the annual PGA Show had finally paid off.

Before I headed to Scotland this summer there was no indication in my searches on the web that it was even in production.  At that point the larger Sun Mountain H2No and the Titleist Stay Dry bags, both made by Sun Mountain, were the only ones available and they were substantially bigger than the smaller bags walkers prefer.

But here it is…… the Sun Mountain H2No Ultralite Stand Bag that the real walkers have been waiting for.   Hallelujah my brother…..as Crosby, Stills, and Nash used to say “It’s been a long time comin’…”

H2NoAt just over 4 pounds this is the Sun Mountain Swift-X or Titleist Ultralite Stand Bag fully waterproofed.  For any of the walkers out there who have owned these models this will feel right at home on your shoulder.

The Moegolf field tester found that the 8.5 inch 3-way top was more than adequate for the full family of Zuno irons and their Kasco and Rocketballz cousins.  The waterproof fabric is handsomely appointed without any of those self-serving marketing screen prints.   Waterproof sealed YKK zippers and fully sealed seams throughout keep all the contents dry.  The molded top handle is used every time you pick up or put down the bag and a nifty sewn in fabric handle at the bottom of the bag provides extra leverage getting it out of the boot of the Mini Cooper.  Plenty of pockets for stuff, the roller bottom mechanism makes the deployment of the stand simple, and it has the Sun Mountain E-Z fit dual strap system with the center hub for solid weight distribution.

No more drying all your stuff after getting caught in the summer afternoon thumpers in the east and no more compromising your walking effort for the sake of owning a waterproof bag.  That trip to Bandon Dunes, Ireland, or Scotland just got way more effortless.

H2No ColorsThe H2No Ultralite comes in four tasteful color combinations-white/gray/gold, white/black/red, lime/white/black (for leprechauns and Celtic fans), and black and it sells for around $230 on the net.

I will never say that this is the last bag you will ever own but I will say that this is the one you have been waiting for.  The H2No Ultralite is going to be a killer seller for Sun Mountain until the rest of the bag makers can catch up with a light weight waterproof offering of their own.

September, 2013

Field Review Update:  Took the bag out for an 18-hole walking squish today in a driving Irish Mist and got fine performance results.  The wallet, the wool head cover, and the rest of the stuff embedded in the sealed waterproof compartments stayed dry and toasty.  The rain cover worked to perfection keeping intruding raindrops from running down the grips.  This confirms the 5-tee moe rating on this lightweight waterproof walking bag.

October, 2013

moerate5

Golfdotz

Want something a bit more festive to ID your golf ball than two blue dots next to the number? Well David Poole, a British entrepreneur, has come up with a very simple and durable way to mark your ball with some of your favorite monikers.

Just cut out one, peel off the film from it’s backing, and press the film onto your clean dry ball to transfer the image permanently. Within seconds the image bonds to the skin of the ball and you are done. Additional drawing optional.

The mustache collection with some additional artistic license.

The mustache collection with some additional artistic license.

Unlike your Sharpie art this image will not degrade from normal play. It does not affect the flight or roll on the ball and is conforming with USGA and R & A rules.

Available themes include Animal Kingdom, Think Pink, Paws and Claws, Walk on the Wild Side, and many others. Most of the iconic images like smiley faces, skulls and crossbones, hot chili peppers, flags, and individual letters are there for the pickin’.

These are not unreasonably priced at about $6 a pack of 24 to 32 so they come out to about around two bits a ball if you buy them in enough quantity to mitigate the flat shipping charge.

If you are not Picasso or simply cannot stand getting the Sharpie ink on your golf glove you might check out the Golfdotz website and see if David’s clever invention will improve your golf self esteem.

Golfdotz

http://golfdotz.com

September, 2013

moerate4

Super Stroke Putting Grips

There are a few of us with putting tsuris (sometimes reluctantly called the Yips) who have not found total relief in left hand low, the claw, or, bite my tongue as I say it, the anchored putting method.

The good news is there is an additional element available, oversized putting grips,  that when combined with other methodology might just do the trick for you.  More importantly this has been embraced by name brand professionals so you don’t have to put up with the mocking looks from your Saturday partners when they see you with this.

Super Stroke Slim 3.0

Super Stroke has a full line of patented oversized putting grips that range from just larger than your average grip (Ultra Slim 1.0)  to downright obese (Fatso 5.0).  But they all share in common characteristics that should provide tension relief to your putting stroke.

At the advice of paid counsel I adopted the claw last year to try to correct an overactive right hand that was closing down the putter face at impact.  But I still have a  residual problem of gripping the putter too tightly with my left hand and the tension this creates translates into an inconsistent swing path and too many missed three-footers.

After running the Super Stroke Slim 3.0 through Muppet Labs testing I can honestly say that it is making a big difference in the tension reading of my putting stroke.

The key to this is the larger grip size (1.3 inch diameter) combined with the non-tapered cylindrical shape.  There is still a flat top to align your thumbs but no spine ridge down the back or any tapering the full length of the grip.  I found the lack of a ridge and the rounded shape in my hands makes it very difficult to clasp the grip firmly with my left hand.  This definitely reduces tension in my forearms and allows me to swing the putter more freely through the full length of the stroke.

At $25 it is the most expensive putting grip out there but I think they are on to something and a few less misses might just win the Saturday Nassau and pay for the thing the first weekend.

As you can see it comes in a variety of festive colors against the white background.  In spite of its size the lightweight foam material does not seem to add much weight to the club and the cross-traction scoring of the grip is a very familiar feel compared to traditional putting grips.

K.J. Choi was the first on tour to brandish one of these.  Jason Dufner has won a couple of times out there with the 3.0 and now Mickey the Lefty has started using it as well.

The challenge is demoing the different sizes to determine what diameter is best for you.  Since this is not available on the manufacturer delivered Scotty, Odyssey, or Ping putters, you may have trouble finding ones to sample in your pro shop or conventional golf store.  If you see someone else on the putting green with one of these ask them to let you take it for a spin and then note which model grip they had on their putter.

You can quash the giggles from your regular group by dashing their hopes with a made eight footer followed by an updated version of the Chi-Chi sword routine with a rubber truncheon.

April, 2013

moerate4

Mizuno MP-H4 Hybrid Long Irons

This spring’s equipment juggling act has guys rethinking to some degree that bouquet of head covers crowding the top compartment of their bag.  The swoon for hybrids has people discarding every long iron because, rightfully so, these hybrids are easier to elevate than the butter knives, they work better out of the gnarly lies in the rough grass, and they land softer on the business end of the shot.  Who wouldn’t go all in for this concept.

Long irons try to reclaim your affection

Long irons try to reclaim your affection  (mizuno.com)

But as the snows recede you may note some better players toying with a new version of their old friends, utility long irons.  Titleist and TaylorMade call them driving irons, Callaway’s are utility irons, and to Mizuno they are hybrid irons.  They basically took the long irons-2 thru 4 in most cases-fattened the sole and widened the cavity back to improve the center of gravity and make them easier to launch and more forgiving.   These will not replace all of your hybrids but for certain players they will backfill niches created by full migration to hybrids.

Players may have found three conditions for which hybrids have left them without an implement.  The monster player, you know him, 27 years old, without a dimmer switch, 290+ off the tee, he finds driving it into the tight nook of the dogleg about 240 a tough task with a 3 hybrid.   The regular stiffs have that 210 yardish shot into a gale force wind where lowering the trajectory on the hybrid is not an option.  Lastly for all of us a wayward drive ends up in the pine straw with a limited access window about 10 feet off the ground 20 yards ahead of us and still a long way to go to reach the green.

The new Mizuno MP-H4 Hybrid Irons have a 2,3, and 4 iron (18, 21, and 24 degrees of loft respectively) which can provide a solution for these problems.  For people who actually have to pay for their equipment, Mizuno makes the finest players irons out there.  These H4s are Grain Flow Forged like all of their Mizuno cousins and have been craftily engineered by their white jackets to deliver the forgiveness required and maintain the normal top edge look of a long iron.

In my field testing I have found these to my liking, very easy to elevate,  generous forgiveness, dependable contact except out of the heavy rough, and very pliable trajectory control.  Mizuno offers them in a wide variety of shafts so you need to do some research to find the right combination to fit your swing aptitude.

My son, who fits into the first category above, hits his Zuno H4 2 iron about 240 to 250 off the tee with much greater towardness control than his old hybrid.  I used my H4 2 to replace my 19 degree hybrid and the low trajectory and roll out to accessible greens works very well into the wind.  From incarcerated circumstances they prove very crafty off of skinny lies with limited windows of escape and a 130 yard carry to clear the rough.

I see both the H4 2 and 3 iron finding their way into my starting lineup at times this year.   Seeing that in their current state of mind the USGA is likely to frown on my petition to expand the acceptable club limit to 16, it looks like there will be some serious social networking of long irons and hybrids in the boot of the Mini Cooper this spring.

Watching the flat bellies on TV, you are seeing a number of the pros migrating back to these clubs for reasons one and two.  Club players with a bit of imagination are finding some favor in them as well.  Much like adding a gap wedge to the north end of the set, going to a hybrid long iron is a circumstantial switch to address voids created by our total abandonment of low lofted irons.  If you are tempted by this I highly recommend the Mizuno MP-H4 as a place to start your inquiries.

March, 2013

(For another person’s opinion on the Mizuno H4 Hybrids check out this Golfwrx review)

moerate4

True Linkswear Proto

The folks at True Linkswear have added another offering to the high end of their walking shoe line with the introduction of the Proto this month.  It fits between the Tour and Stealth from the original line and shares many of their functional characteristics that makes them the most comfortable walking shoes out there.

Proto comes in an array of spiffy color combinations

The Proto comes in an array of spiffy color combinations

The look of the Proto is more youthful, based on the Sensi crossover shoe True introduced late summer of last year.  Unlike the sporty mesh top upper in the Sensi, this one is full leather and waterproof like it’s Tour and Stealth brothers.  It has the wider waffle outsole of the Sensi which provides great traction but still posses the zero drop, wide toe box, and proximity to the ground off all the Trues.

(Click to see the comparative feature chart for all the Trues)

The Proto has anti-microbial mesh liner which reduces build up of bacterial nasties and the elastic stability cuff below the laces to keep your foot snuggly in place.  The front of the Protos is a bit more square which makes lining your toes to the intended line of the shot much easier.

The styling is far from daring but it does have a funky health care professional look about it.  Like all the Trues they were engineered from the ground up for guys who stay on their feet for four hours on a walk through the cut and prepared.  Take these puppies for a walk, I am sure your feet will express their appreciation with a standing ovation.

(Click to read our original review of True Linkswear Walking shoes)

February, 2013

moerate4

Titleist Cart Mitts

As the shroud of winter approaches in the northeast there are a few hardy and foolish souls who seek to extend the golf season by tolerating the wind and the cold and continuing to walk the golf course when the temperature only rises into the 40’s.

Gortex fiber filled outerwear, layers of clothing, woolie golf gloves, and knit hats are all part of the winter clothing repertoire.  But one more item-Cart Mitts-are increasingly becoming part of the winter dance.

Originally they were just bright colored oversized polar fleece mittens that made you look like the Pillsbury Doughboy.  But these things have gotten more functional in their construction and more stylish in their appearance and so take on a practicality to help you forbear the elements and still play the game well into December.

The Titleist version are very light weight with a nylon outer shell that has a wind breaking quality to it and a full acrylic polar fleece lining for warmth.  The inner chamber is very roomy and makes it easy to get your hands in and out even if you have on winter golf gloves.  There is even a secret slot that reveals an inner pocket in the palm of the mitts that will hold a hand warmer for additional warmth.

These things are pretty pricey at just over $40 a pair but they are worth it if you are serious about winter play and keeping your hands toasty  between shots.  I would suggest you can leverage the purchase price by using them for winter grilling-put one on your non-spachula hand while you are outside flipping the burgers and dogs on the patio gas grill.

They come in one stylish color combination-black with red trim, brandish the Titleist logo proudly, and are one-size-fits-all.  If you are in this small minority of crazies that continue to play golf as long as there is no snow cover you probably ought to consider getting a pair of these puppies.

November, 2012

Rocketballz Reality

At the 2011 PGA Show in Orlando the buzz around the place was about the new distance line of TaylorMade Rocketballz drivers, fairway metals, and hybrids.  The notion was circulating that TaylorMade had trumped the USGA and the rest of the industry with the introduction of a power slot behind the face of the latter two categories resulting in an enhanced trampoline effect which would have the ball rocketing off the clubface.  Notwithstanding that Adams Golf had introduced this same idea last year, it was the bold marketing of the “Ballz” line that had started a wind-aided brush fire across the convention center.

The driver cannot use this same power slot since the COR (the measured trampoline effect) for drivers has already hit it’s max, but they did refashion the clubhead aerodynamics to increase speed and the inside of the head to get a low and forward center of gravity to help get the optimal launch and lower the ball spin to increase the carry distance.

So for me, a guy with a driver head speed of 89 with a 25 mph wind at my back, it just was too much to resist sampling this reality and seeing for myself if there was “another 15” waiting to be garnered.  The results of my personal testing were startling and a visit to my club fitting guru at Golf Care Center confirmed it so a new troika of Rocketballz Driver, Three-Wood, and Five Wood are now in my walking bag.  You can say, in respectful deference to the late Davey Jones, “I’m A Believer”.

Simply stated, with the benefit of a launch monitor, comparing the potential replacements head-to-head to my existing hardware the key numbers of ball speed, launch angle, total spin, and carry distance, there was little doubt I would gain significant yardage on every club.

The 9.5 loft Rocketballz Driver vs my 10.5 loft TaylorMade R9  was on average 4 mph faster off the face, lower launch angle, 700 lower total spin rate, and a carry distance improvement of 16 yards.  The three wood was 2 mph faster, slightly lower launch angle, 110 lower total spin, and 7 yards more carry.  The five wood was similar- 2.5 mph faster, slightly higher launch angle, similar spin rate, and 5 yards more carry.

The key is the combination of correct launch angle, faster ball speed off the face, and lower spin rate which results in less resistance in the air and further carry.  Further, and this was evident when I got them into the field, the lower spin rate means more roll out on the ground.  It is observable to me that all three of these clubs generate shots with more ground enthusiasm which means more yards when the turf is dry and fast.

In a recent Golf World magazine article “Out to Launch”, Mike Stachura talked extensively about the “hunger for extra yards” that has swept across the professional ranks.  For them the extra yards pay in money list results.  He says, “Last year the average rank on the money list of the top 30 in driving distance was 67th, while the average rank for the bottom 30 was 119th”.  Little question even historically less brawny guys like Mark Wilson and Justin Leonard are hawking longer distances by tweaking their equipment with the newest technology.

And there is little doubt the manufacturers can deliver it.  The sophistication of launch monitors and accompanying analytic software,  introduction of adjustable drivers, greater specificity in shaft engineering, technological advances in head design, and even better understanding of swing mechanics make it easier than ever for pros and schlubs alike to get in on the distance buffet.  It is all about optimizing launch conditions-ball speed off the face, backspin, and launch angle-that can produce extra yardage.

In this Golf World article Steve Ball, a top rated instructor and club fitter from Oklahoma city says, “I have about 70 percent of my fits pick up at least 25 yards”.

I don’t know about you but this is pretty hard to ignore.  So Endora, Samantha, and Tabatha, as I have affectionately named them, will be twitching their noses for extra yardage for me this coming year and I am damn excited about it.

March, 2012

moerate4

Bellagio Bogey

Golf club vendors have become like truck manufacturers in trumpeting their products in commercials with preposterous trumped up circumstantial demonstrations.

Callaway started running this commercial recently for their RAZR Fit Driver that shows the European Tour’s driving gorilla Alvaro Quiros hitting this new driver across the Bellagio Fountains in Vegas at a neon-ensconced target that shares the same six-sided outline as the Callaway logo in the commercial. Seems clear to me that the point is this adjustable fit capability will allow him to carry the ball 310 yards across the fountain and hit the target.

Besides having Quiros make final “adjustments” to the driver head and then address the ball with a cocky smirk, the producers emphasize the ball flight with the timed arc of the Bellagio fountain plumes. Of course the commercial ends with a light show and raucous crowd revelry.

Only problem is that if you watch this thing closely the ball misses the target wide left with a kerplunk into the water…………just like a misjudged hook on Sunday at the 18th at Sawgrass. Seeing this result does not convince me that “all other adjustable fit drivers will simply have to adjust”.

(Click here to see the Callaway RAZR Fit Driver Bellagio demonstration)

While I am on this soapbox let me say that all the golf equipment manufacturers are selling us a bill of goods with these adjustable fit drivers. The inference that optimal club fitting is a DIY project for a typical consumer is intellectually bankrupt.

The only way you can be properly fit with one of these adjustable fit clubs is with the assistance of a professional club fitter and a launch monitor. Once they get the loft angle, face openness, and head weighting settings right for your swing speed and path you would have to be crazy to tinker with it on your own. Further, since probably the most important factor in the proper fitting of your driver is the shaft itself, the manufacturer would have to sell you the adjustable fit club with a wrench and three replacement shafts for the same price.

This adjustable fit capability will help your club fitter fine tune your driver for you but this feature is not going to do you any good once you take the club out of the shop.

February, 2012

True Linkswear Walking Shoes

TRUE Tour-the original

These guys have done some serious research and engineering trying to create the perfect walking golf shoe.  Integrating some distinct ergonomic characteristics into these shoes they have succeeded in producing a comfortable walking shoe that competes in the street golf shoe category that has caught fire among walking aficionados since Ecco introduced the Freddie’s.

If you have self-esteem concerns when it comes to dressing for golf, these are not for you.  They do look like something your podiatrist would prescribe for a bunion problem.  But if you are a regular walker you owe it to yourself to at least find a store that has these and try them on in person to see if they are to your liking.  At a suggested retail of $150 they are very reasonably priced and they come in a wide array of color combinations.

The features and benefits of their True Barefoot Platform include the following, all of which are real and accrue benefit to someone who walks all the time.

-Lightest golf shoe on tour.

-Wide toe box that allows your toes to function individually.  There will be no crowded pigglies with these I can assure you.

-Flexible sole and cushioned footbed.  There is no stiffness in the bottom of these shoes and, as a result,  you get no foot strain or pain by the end of the 18 holes.

-“Ergo-Traction” tread maximizes surface contact and grip. Wide front sole and a grippy spikeless bottom works great in all conditions-even on wet turf.

-Built close to the ground at 10 mm off the grass.  Lowest profile out there helps you get a real feel for the ground as you walk and swing the club.

-Waterproofed Leather (two-year warranty except on Phx model).  Here they surpass the Freddies where the weep holes make playing in the rain problematic.

-Roll/Post Toe provides stability throughout the entire swing.  In the Tour model the toe rolls upward-it does seem to enhance walking comfort and follow through stability.

-Temperature control lining.

-Full grain leather upper.

-Sock-Fit Liner to enhance fit .  This elastic gusset is just under the laces and what it does do is comfortably keep your heel snuggly in place.  I wore them with a hard orthotic and my heel never came out of the shoe and the orthotic worked just as it should.  This feature not included in the Phx model.

All-in-all this is a well thought out product that does what they claim-providing a comfortable walk and good performance throughout the round.  If I have any complaint it is a minor one, the funny elliptical shape of the toe gives you no line-up feedback at address.  For those who use the front of their shoes to confirm their line-up to the ball and target this can be a problem.

TRUE Phx-new for 2012

For 2012 they have added a new entry level Phx model for $99 with most of the same ergonomic characteristics and a lower waterproof factor.  It also has a wide array of youthful funky color combinations which should give it more street appeal among the younger set.  You can see the full selection of available colors in all models at their website.

TRUE Stealth-a bit more fashionable

Their “modern classic” version, the Stealth, is about $50 more and it blends some modern fashion with traditional styling.  This is a nice way of saying if looks matters to you here is an alternative.  I have not been able to find this model in a store-had to buy them on line to try them out.  They are certainly more palatable looking than the Tour version- they have a fashionable orthopedic look to them.  Engineering is identical so they accrue the same comfort benefits of their cheaper sibling.  The price difference is all for the look.

Bottom line is, if you have an aversion to carts like I do, find these in your local golf store and give them a look see.  Make sure to hit a few balls in the hitting bay with them on to see if you like both the look and the feel of them.

December, 2011