Part Two

The 2017 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL attracted golf buyers and sellers from around the world to drive a 3 percent increase in overall attendance. The top five countries (outside of U.S.) represented in attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico and Germany. The top five U.S. states represented in attendance were Florida, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The Demo Day was the busiest I have ever seen and perfect weather was the order of the day.

Also drawing lots of attention at the 2017 PGA Show in Orlando were the following products:

Cobra King F7 and F7+ Drivers

For many years, Cobra golf has been at the forefront of innovation; constantly pushing the boundaries with new materials and aggressive movable weights, while achieving CG locations once considered fantasy.

One could look at this driver as being 3 drivers in one and the most connected and sophisticated driver in Cobra’s repertoire and even in the golf industry. It is also a Golf Digest’s Hot List Gold winner for 2017.

Cobra King F7 and F7+ DriversThe new KING F7 driver features a larger face and address profile that provides more distance, forgiveness and speed across the face. Another major enhancement is the acoustics. Compared to the F6 models, Cobra got it right on the F7 models.

Both F7 and F7+ are designed as 3-weight systems. A heavy 12-gram weight is joined by (2) 2-gram weights, which in addition to Cobra’s standard front/back CG configuration, also allows for heel (draw) placement of the heavy weight. With this adjustable weight system and three center of gravity (CG) settings, it provides golfers with optimum distance and trajectory for a variety of conditions.

It’s also important to understand that carbon fiber actually serves a performance purpose. The crown of the driver uses TeXtreme Carbon Fiber (first used in the King LTD driver) which yields a 20% lighter crown, allowing more weight to be redistributed lower and deeper into the club head for a lower CG and extreme distance and forgiveness.

The F7’s TEXTREME crown weighs 7-grams less than the titanium crown of the F6, plus the F7’s crown is larger than its predecessor. Cobra couldn’t have achieved the mass properties it wanted in an oversized footprint without leveraging its TEXTREME material.

The weight savings also allowed Cobra to increase the size of the F7’s face by 5%. The additional size, along with some enhancements to Cobra’s E9 face technology, eliminated the need for the speed channel.

The face continues the fine tradition of the E9 face that is renowned for its forgiveness, as the variable face thickness does a good job of reducing any loss of ball speed on off center hits. The re-engineered Forged 8-11 Titanium E9 Face is a variable thickness structure that is designed to be lighter, thinner, and hotter, resulting in a larger Sweet Zone across the face. This results in increased ball speed and distance on off center hits.

COBRA CONNECT Powered by Arccos system embedded in the gripThe USP (Unique Selling Proposition), besides having 3 in 1 attributes, is that the F7 driver is also Cobra’s smartest driver – the first to utilize the COBRA CONNECT Powered by Arccos system embedded in the grip, allowing golfers to automatically track the distance and accuracy of every drive. COBRA CONNECT users simply pair their club with the free Arccos Driver smartphone app to receive their performance data and access rangefinder GPS distances for over 40,000 international courses.

Unlike the native Arccos Driver product, which requires a bulky sensor attached to the butt-end of your grip, Cobra’s 2017 drivers ship with Arccos sensors integrated into the grip.

The upside is less bulk and longer battery life. The new models are photosensitive and use power when the club is pulled out of the bag. As a result, battery life is guaranteed for 2 years.

With MYFLY8 (Adjustability feature) with SmartPad technology, you can tune your trajectory and launch with eight different loft and lie combinations while maintaining a square face at address. COBRA’s MyFly8 technology coupled with SmartPad is the easiest way to dial-in distance and hit straighter drives down the fairway. There are (1) 12-gram and (2) 2-gram weights (front, back, and heel).

Compared to previous iterations of the F series of drivers, the MyFly 8 hosel has a lower loft range from 8° to 11° to blend in with the low spin, high swing speed player profile for which the driver is aimed. The F7 is adjustable from 9° to 12° with upright/draw settings available at 9.5°, 10.5°, and 11.5°. The F7+ is adjustable from 8° to 11° with upright/draw settings available at 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10.5° degrees.

With the F7 (460cc head) a black, silver or blue head is available. The F7+ (452cc head) is only available in black and blue and is aimed at higher swing speed players who want to lower spin a little.

As for shafts (45.25”), the Fujikura Pro (F7) and Fujikura Pro XLR8 (F7+) are stock shafts. A 44.25” shaft option is available for those looking for greater consistency and control.

$349 F7, $399 F7+            www.cobragolf.com


Daphne’s Head Covers.

Daphne’s Head Covers.Daphne’s Head Covers will turn 38 this year and continue to be the most popular head cover manufacturer. Their new designs are always eagerly anticipated each year at the Show.

The newest design is the Roadrunner which fits 460 cc clubs and was inspired by many rounds of golf in the desert. Like all Daphne’s head covers, it comes with a life time guarantee.  The quality, detail and fit are their trademark. This head cover is a good example of all three coming together in a realistic and attractive design.

Daphne’s Head Covers have 175 plus golf club covers in their line to choose from; including animals, super heroes and just for fun covers. Each cover is fully lined and elasticized to ensure a secure fit on your clubs. Their head covers are designed to protect your woods and putters like no other!

Inside the label you will find Daphne’s factory phone number. Should you have any problems with your head cover, Daphne’s will fix it expeditiously.
They are also happy to guide you to the golf shop in your area that carries Daphne’s Head Covers.

Just looking at my clubs with Daphne’s Head Covers, brings a smile to my face…

Average prices run between $28 to $40 per head cover.                             www.daphnesheadcovers.com


Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1x Balls

Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1x BallsThe number one ball in golf at all levels of the game has been updated for 2017, and it already has Tour validation. Jordan Spieth won the Australian Open in mid-November playing new Pro V1x for the first time in competition. Brandon Stone, playing 2017 Pro V1, followed with a victory at the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship.

The longest version Pro V1 ever, 2017 Pro V1 has been reengineered with a Next Generation 2.0 ZG Process Core that delivers longer distance on all shots through lower, long game spin and faster ball speed, while maintaining the very soft feel and superior short-game performance that Pro V1 players demand. A new spherically tiled 352 tetrahedral dimple design produces a penetrating trajectory with even more consistent flight.

The extraordinary distance of the 2017 Pro V1x, featuring a ZG Process Dual Core, is enhanced by a new spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design that produces a high trajectory with its most consistent flight ever.

The soft Urethane Elastomer cover, created by a chemical reaction that takes place during the casting process, also provides long-lasting durability throughout the course of play.

Choosing between the total performance of Pro V1 and Pro V1x, golfers will notice differences in flight, feel and spin. Pro V1 flies lower with a penetrating trajectory and feels softer. Pro V1x flies higher, has a slightly firmer feel, and spins more on iron shots.

FYI, in total, the testing and validation process for 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x included more than 80,000 golfers of all skill levels who received numerous iterations of prototypes throughout the rigorous two-year development process. This included six different double-blind prototype tests during the summer and fall of 2015 that were instrumental in determining the final 2017 designs.

$47.99 per dozen   www.titleist.com


Snell Golf Balls

Snell Golf BallsGood golfers like this ball. Great players, including Tour players, are enthralled with Snell Golf’s My Tour ball. An up and coming ball manufacturer who has years of experience and is delivering probably one of the best golf balls on the market.

Many Tour pros have tested this ball and many feel it is equal to, if not better, than any golf ball currently available. But due to their contractual obligations, cannot play the balls in competition, but do so when not competing.

Its founder, Dean Snell, holder of 38 golf patents, is a highly respected golf ball expert with over 25 years in research and development roles for companies such as Titleist and Taylormade, and is the inventor or co-inventor of the Pro V1, Professional, Penta and Tour Preferred balls.

The Core has been developed with a very low compression, soft feel, with high velocity to help with ball speed, regardless of swing speed, and creates low driver spin rates for longer distances.

The Mantle layer works on longer shots to keep control of the spin and works with the thin soft cast urethane cover on shorter irons and chip shots to create higher spin rates for better control into the green.

The Cover layer is made of a thermoset cast urethane. This technology allows very thin covers for better short game spin control and is very soft and durable.

$31.99 per dozen  or 6 dozen for $157.99           www.snellgolf.com

Snell also manufactures the Get Sum ball

Snell also manufactures the Get Sum ballGet Sum is a high performance 2-pc golf ball that offers excellent feel and control.

The large, soft low compression core again allows for the ball to have very low spin rates, which increases distance and creates less hooks and slices.

The thin, soft Surlyn® cover contributes to the soft feel of the ball. This core cover combination has been designed to help golfers get the ball in the air easier, and has reduced spin rates for straighter shots from tee to green.

All with fast ball speeds for any swing speed, and exceptional soft feel and control.

Conforms to USGA standards and is legal for tournament play.

A testing pack of two sleeves of each model is available for $26.99

The Get Sum ball is $20.99 per dozen    www.snellgolf.com

Leupold 2017 GX®-5i3 Golf Range Finder

Leupold 2017 GX®-5i3 Golf Range FinderThe Oregon based company is the King of range finders and GPS. For over a century, Leupold has been designing precision optical instruments and now they offer their knowledge and expertise to improve your golf game.

Their unrivaled quality, accuracy and aesthetics make their products “want to have and need to have” instruments.

Distance, speed and accuracy: take your golf game to the next level with the ergonomically designed Leupold GX-5i3. Amongst the awesome features of this rangefinder, is the 6X magnification, the Fog Mode feature and the One Touch Scan mode.

In addition, the GX-5i3 offers both the TGR and Club Selector feature which displays the adjusted “plays like” range, calculated from the laser-measured line-of-sight distance, incline or decline, trajectory of the ball, current temperature and specific altitude. The Club Selector works the golfer’s specific hitting strength (how far a golfer typically hits each club) into the equation, plus TGR to the target, returning a recommending for the proper club for each shot.

Our testing group was totally enamored with the GX-5i3, compared to the two other range finders that were tested simultaneously.

Fueled by an exclusive rangefinder engine technology, years in the making, DNA Technology (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) propels golf laser range finding to new levels of precision and speed. With the updated DNA and infra-red laser, you get faster, more precise ranging with resolution to within .5 of a yard against all background colors and textures. DNA takes the groundbreaking GX-5i3 to a new level!

The GX-5i3 weighs 7.3 ounces, is 3.8 inches long, 3 inches high and 1.4 inches wide. It’s waterproof and covered by Leupold’s Limited 5-Year Electronics Warranty.

The GX-5i3 is tournament legal, offering line-of-sight distance measurement only. Rugged, compact, and completely waterproof, Leupold GX rangefinders are sure to shave strokes from your game.

$549.99     www.leupold.com

Carnoustie Sportswear Performance Outerwear

Carnoustie Sportswear Performance OuterwearSophistication and quality are Carnoustie’s stock in trade.

Along with its popular performance knits, Carnoustie’s performance outerwear is enjoying a great following since its initial introduction in 2014.

Carnoustie combines the finest fabrications with outstanding styling to create a collection of outerwear that is perfect for Spring, irrespective of where in the country you may be.

New for Spring ’17 is the #3506 Vardon Cotton Interlock full sleeve, ¼” un-brushed cotton pullover (top left). A vest is also available (#6589). They are current in styling, yet have the sophistication that customers have come to expect from Carnoustie.

Available colors are spearmint, amethyst, melon, navy and white.

While you are playing your spring rounds, why not do it in comfort and style of Carnoustie Sportswear that looks great, feels great and draws compliments from your fellow golfers.

Carnoustie uses only the finest materials and fabrics and great workmanship – golfers and non-golfers alike take notice.

While others have fallen by the wayside, Carnoustie continues its commitment to offer the finest in mercerized cotton. Carnoustie has had a reputation for years in mercerized cotton knits, continuing to use the same factories it has utilized for more than 20 years. Carnoustie is carried in some of America’s most exclusive golf resorts, private country clubs and retailers.

$120 – $160                           http://www.carnoustiesportswearonline.com

Adidas Golf ADIPOWER Boost 3

Carnoustie Sportswear Performance OuterwearFinally, adidas has made a really wide fitting golf shoe for those golfers who love the iconic adidas 3 stripes, but could never totally match up the complete Adidas look, as these were simply not available.

Not only is this shoe stylish and elegant, but its performance is simply five-star. It is truly comfortable in the wide sizes making a round of golf just that more enjoyable. The Tour performance last is specifically designed to be wider in the forefoot for improved fit, feel and overall comfort.

This is the third iteration of the Adidas Adipower Boost golf Shoes offering fantastic value for money with all the features you expect from a leading manufacturer of golfing footwear.

The shoe incorporates adidas’s Climaproof stretch microfiber leather which provides durability, protection, lightweight comfort and easy care. An energy returning ¾” boost midsole foam in the heel and midfoot provides an endless supply of added comfort with every step. The new directly welded ‘Energy Sling’ guides energy and prevents power leaks during the swing, while the new low profile thintech® EXP cleat offers improved stability, traction, durability, and green friendliness.

The Boost 3 shoe also features an S-shape heel for a secure and ergonomic heel fit and a molded EVA tongue top which delivers a more precise comfortable fit. The FitFoam GEO collar and sock liner provides enhanced cushioning and comfort. A 6-spike TPU outsole has strategically placed secondary lugs for a tour proven grip with added stability, and the toe of the shoe has a new rounded shape with a wider forefoot to improve overall comfort.

This great looking shoe comes in a wide choice of fashionable color schemes and is also available in both regular and wide fitting sizes (6.5-13). White/Silver Metallic/Core Black, Black/White/Silver Metallic and White/Core Black/Shocking Pink are among the combinations available.

$149.99          www.adidasgolf.com

Under Armor SPEEDFORM Gemini 3 ·   Style #1285959

Under Armor SPEEDFORM Gemini 3The limited world of comfortable golf/walking/running shoes just became larger. Though designed for running, one is able to wear these shoes while caddying, after playing golf, running and weight training, without issue.

I love these shoes!

Just being able to find ANY shoes in 4E is a miracle. The Gemini 3 is an ultra-cushioned, 9.85 ounce, neutral shoe, designed to deliver unmatched comfort with the innovative UA SpeedForm construction which molds to the foot for a precision fit, eliminating all distraction.

Its Threadborne® midfoot panel provides structure and distinct style and the embedded sock liner adds cushioning, support & seamless comfort. The Charged Cushioning® midsole uses compressed foam for even greater responsiveness and durability, providing optimal cushioning & energy return while the Micro G® heel unit increases protection and stabilization.

Other features incorporated into the shoe are the internal heel counter which provides seamless, lightweight support and structure. High-abrasion rubber is placed under the heel to help absorb ground contact, while the engineered mesh used on the tongue and toe box is there to enhance fit and increase ventilation.

Currently only black is available for the 4E model. In all sizes from 7 – 15, including half sizes.

$129.99    www.underarmour.com

UA Octane Sun Glasses

UA Octane Sun Glasses feature sophisticated design, coupled with cutting edge performance eyewear technology.

Inspired by the Under Armour footwear collection, this innovative silhouette features lightweight styling and superior technical advancements. UA Octane is precisely engineered to function at the highest level

for athletes at all stages of competition.

Using these Polarized UA Storm ArmourSight lenses glasses for golfing is, to excuse the pun, eye opening, compared to what I thought were the best golf glasses before, the Peak Vision brand.

With the UA Octane, the clarity is phenomenal on the course, especially the greens. It is so much easier to see the grain which helps your putting. It’s almost like seeing your line to the hole.

UA Octane features a high-wrap semi-rimless twin lens frame, ArmourSight polarized lenses with the acclaimed UA Storm coating, an adjustable self-ratcheting nose pad, and patent pending UA AutoGrip temples for a custom and secure fit.

UA Octane, and all of Under Armour Eyewear, defends against 100% of harmful UVA/B/C radiation.

$149.99    www.underarmour.com

Adjustability is here to stay, shafts and balls are continuously being developed to increase distance and feel, and new metal for driver heads is constantly changing. Golfers primarily focus on distance and the manufacturers will continue to cater to their quest for the longest driver and better golf balls.

Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, 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”, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf” which is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s bestseller list. His latest book,” The Right Mind for Golf” is now in its 9th printing. He currently works with 14 Tour Players on mental coaching, putting and scoring techniques.

He can be reached at www.pgtaa.com or drlotz@cbsgolf.net