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Hands-On: Swingbyte

April 01, 2012 / by / 4 Comments

[nggallery id=224] The gold standard in golf swing and ball flight analysis has been the TrackMan, which is what the Pros on the PGA Tour and leading golf instructors use. But if you don’t have $20,000 at your disposal, like me, what is the average golfer to do? You could just take lessons with a golf pro who uses TrackMan or something comparable, which can get expensive overtime, and limits you to capturing new data only during your golf lesson. The other option is a promising new swing analysis and learning tool that had a ton of buzz coming out of the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show, called Swingbyte. What is Swingbyte Swingbyte is an idea that came to life when a non-golfer from the Ukraine Alex Pedenko, partnered with former Canadian Tour player, Brian Payne to build an affordable golf swing and learning device accessible by the masses. I met up with the co-founders (Alex Pedenko, Brain Payne, and Nathan Wojtkiewicz) of Swingbyte at Play 18 Chicago to give me a complete run through of the prototype version of Swingbyte. Swingbyte is the size of garage door opener and weighs less than one ounce and attaches to any golf club […]

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Behind the Scenes: Inside Bettinardi Golf

January 18, 2011 / by / 3 Comments

[singlepic id=1536 w=489 h=320 float=] You probably can’t remember the last time you bought something that had the words “Made in the USA” stamped on it. It seems like everything now a days is either made in China or some third world country. In a lot of ways the golf industry is just a cog in the wheel of the global economy. Where golf clubs are researched and developed in the United States, and then manufactured overseas. I recently made a visit to Bettinardi Golf, one of the few companies that makes its putters in the United States. Bettinardi Golf is named after its founder Bob Bettinardi, which is located in the southwest Chicago community of Tinley Park, making some of the nicest one piece milled putters. Watch this rare behind the scenes look at what goes into making Bettinardi putters and you’ll have a greater appreciation for what “Made in the USA” stands for. [nggallery id=174] About Bettinardi Golf The 52 employee operation features 23 CNC milling centers on its 22,000 square foot shop floor, that produce one piece milled putters and custom belt buckles. Located in the same facility is the X-Cel Technologies which Bob opened not too […]

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Hands-On: TaylorMade R11 Driver

January 09, 2011 / by / 3 Comments

[singlepic id=1508 w=489 h=320 float=] A couple of days ago, TaylorMade Golf introduced the next generation of adjustable face drivers with the R11 and R11 TP. One of the big differences in the R11 from the R9 is the Adjustable Sole Plate Technology(ASP)- that allows you to adjust the face angle independent of loft.  But what makes the R11 so unique from all the other drivers is it’s white matte finish. In this video, Brad Syslo from TaylorMade Performance Lab at Olympia Fields Country Club walks through all the features of the new R11 driver. [nggallery id=171] Mini-Lightning Review of the R11 Driver I have to be honest, I thought aesthetically a white driver is cool, but not very practical and just some marketing gimmick to sell more golf clubs.  But after seeing the TaylorMade R11 driver in person, I was blown away how the white matte finish provides zero glare. When you address the ball (watch the video or look at the photos) you’ll notice how easy it is to tell at address if the clubface is open or closed. The black clubface also provides a lot of contrast making it super easy to aim the R11 at your intended […]

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Sandbox8.com Launches iPhone App

January 15, 2010 / by / 8 Comments

Introducing the Sandbox8.com iPhone app . It’s a great way to stay up to date on the latest golf products and news from your iPhone, when you can’t be in front of a computer. You can download the free iPhone app , from the iTunes App Store and have access to all of our golf product reviews, news stories, interviews, videos, twitter updates, and more! [singlepic id=759 w=320 h=240 mode=web20 float=] [nggallery id=97] We’ll be adding push notifications and other features in the near future. If your wondering about Android support, we’ll be offering an Android version soon too! Go download the Sandbox8.com iPhone App! It’s free!

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Inside The Cobra Golf Tour Van

September 08, 2009 / by / 6 Comments

Lemont, IL-At the 2009 BMW Championship I got a quick tour of the Cobra Golf Tour Van that supports PGA Tour pros Geoff Ogilvy, Camilo Villegas, Ian Poulter, and J.B. Holmes. Watch the video and find out what equipment they will be using and player testing of the new Cobra ZL driver by Ian Poulter in the third stop of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs. [nggallery id=66] Special thanks to JJ VanWezenbeeck PGA Tour Technician of Cobra Golf for the tour! For more information visit http://www.cobragolf.com

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Nike Golf Introduces The New METHOD Putter

August 12, 2009 / by / 24 Comments

The highly anticipated introduction of Nike Golf’s new METHOD putter yesterday satisfied the curiosity and buzz generated by the Nike Golf Prototype putter that has won two major championship titles and three other Tour victories worldwide. [nggallery id=58] The much talked about putter also represents the emergence of yet another ground breaking innovation from Nike Golf’s Research and Development center, The OVEN. Following the same game-changing engineering and design trail blazed by the square and adjustable drivers, which also were created and developed at Nike Golf’s Fort Worth Facility. Why The Method? The philosophy of the “scientific method,” was the inspiration for the OVEN’s team of designers and engineers that combined steel and polymer in multiple ways before discovering the unique polymetal groove technology. The highly visible and distinctive polymetal groove technology is influential in creating a faster forward roll after impact for the kind of accuracy and consistency that the Tour professionals demand. The Polymetal Groove Technology When the golf ball is at rest on the green, it’s sitting in a depression in the grass. The putter’s loft is what helps lift the ball out of the depression, but the problem is that traditional steel faced putters lift the […]

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Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT Driver Review

June 22, 2009 / by / 9 Comments

At the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show I had the opportunity to try out the new Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT (pronounced “straight fit”) driver, which is Nike Golf’s first adjustable driver, that allows you to change the golf club face, loft, and lie angle. Over the past few months I’ve been playing the Nike SQ Dymo STR8-FIT driver and like the results I’ve been seeing on the golf course. [nggallery id=40] Look and Feel At first glance the Nike SQ Dymo STR8-Fit has a nice round shape that features a shiny black finish, which has that stealth bomber look. The 460cc clubhead setups up quite nicely when you sole the club and very easy to align to the target line with alignment stripe. When you flip the club over you’ll notice the new rounded folded geometry repositions square mass into a round format. The wide face and STR8-FIT adapter logo on the face of club, will give you all the confidence when you tee up. The stock shaft is a nice yellow Nike Golf UST Proforce AXIV Core (45.75″), which features a strengthening core material that provides an extremely stable environment at impact, making it easier to swing the club faster […]

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TaylorMade R9 Driver Review

June 22, 2009 / by / 30 Comments

TaylorMade-adidas Golf is a pioneer in golf club adjustability when it introduced its r7 quad driver in 2004. The r7 quad incorporated TaylorMade’s Movable Weight Technology(MWT), which gave golfers the ability to change the clubhead’s center of gravity to promote different ball flights. [nggallery id=39] 2009 marks a dawn of a new era in golf club design and adjustability with the introduction of the R9 driver, that not only allows you to adjust the center of gravity, but also the face angle, loft, and lie angle of the R9 through its Flight Control Technology (FCT). The combination of the of Flight Control Technology and Movable Weight Technology promote up to 75 yards of side-to-side trajectory adjustability. Look and Feel At first glance the R9 driver features a new clubhead shape that is a blend of modern and classic designs in 422cc clubhead, that looks a lot like last year’s r7 limited driver and r7 SuperQuad, with its triangular shape, contoured corners, and similar graphics on the sole. In fact, TaylorMade calls it “New Classic” because it is at once modern and traditional, and should prove the test of time. The R9 clubhead is constructed with the aid of TaylorMade’s Ultra-Thin […]

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Inside “The Oven”: Behind the Scenes at Nike Golf’s R&D Facility

June 05, 2009 / by / 2 Comments

  (Part One: Club Testing, CAD Design, Impact Testing) (Part Two: Club Assembly and CNC Shop) On my recent trip to Fort Worth, TX I had the opportunity to get a rare behind the scenes tour of Nike Golf’s Research & Development facility, “The Oven”.  “TheOven” is where Nike Golf designs, prototypes, tests, and builds the golf clubs and balls that their PGA Tour players (Tiger Woods, Paul Casey, Stewart Cink, etc) use, but also make the final versions that are sent out to be mass produced and sold to consumers. [nggallery id=35] This is Nike Golf’s second R&D expansion in just three years. Part of the renovation for the “Oven” involved adding an additional 17,600 square footage for offices and new large auditorium for meetings and presentations, but also an entirely new 129,000 square foot short game area made of synthetic turf, that looks and plays like real grass in the front of the complex. The short game area  includes three synthetic greens, one natural grass green, bunkers and practice holes.  The practice holes and hitting areas are designed for the purpose of providing various distances for short irons so that iron and ball testing is both extensive and […]

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Nike Victory Red Forged Split Cavity Back Irons Review

March 01, 2009 / by / 53 Comments

What does victory mean to you? That’s the question that Nike Golf wants to answer with its highly anticipated line of Victory Red Irons golf clubs that they introduced last fall. [nggallery id=18] The Nike Victory Red Forged Split Cavity Back irons are aimed at the better golfer or Tour player like Trevor Immelman and Suzann Pettersen, who want the look and feel of blade, with the forgiveness of a muscle back. The Victory Red Irons didn’t come about of some marketing idea to produce another set of golf clubs for the sake of selling. The new line of golf clubs are a part of an evolutionary process over the past three years by Nike Engineers to develop a set of irons based on feedback from its Tour players, that helped them achieve victory. Nike has taken everything they learned during this process to create a line of great irons using the same technology, design, and materials, their Tour players have been using over this three year development process and finally make it available to the consumer. Look and Feel The new Victory Red Forged Split Cavity Back Irons have an amazing looking finish of partially matte brushed with a […]

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