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Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category


Improve Your Score

With Golf Balls Specifically Engineered for Your
 
It’s common knowledge that, on average, a woman’s golf swing is slower than a man’s. Smart players (and manufacturers) recognize this and in recent years have replaced lower-lofted irons with hybrids. Frequently, however, that additional assistance is mitigated by playing a ball whose optimal performance is achieved by those with faster swing speeds.
 
The good news is that you don’t have to play the same ball as your male partner, because a number of golf ball manufacturers are offering balls designed specifically for you and your swing speed.
 
“Probably one of our most popular golf balls for women is our PD (Power Distance) Women. It features a soft ionomer cover with a modified 314-dimple pattern for longer carry. Its low-compression core delivers both longer distance and softer feel around the greens,” said Nike’s Chris Sullivan. These golf balls are available in both white and pink.
 
For the mid-handicap women players I like the Nike RZN Red and the RZN White. Both are designed for moderate to slower swing speeds. If you’re looking for more distance, try the RZN Red. Those who want a ball with more feel, resulting in more spin around the green, will find the RZN White better suited to their liking.
 
“The RZN Red and White golf balls feature a three-piece construction. The RZN core is 10 percent lighter than the conventional rubber core, allowing for heavier outer layers for optimal distance and stability,” Sullivan said.
 
Lower-handicap players are advised to consider the RZN Black and the RZN Platinum; the former delivers more distance while the latter delivers more feel. These four-piece golf balls are specifically designed for players with higher swing speeds.
 
“It’s important that all golfers – not just women – play a ball that is matched to their swing speed,” Sullivan added. “If they don’t swing fast enough to compress a higher-compression ball, they don’t get the desired trampoline effect, which maximizes distance and performance. On the other hand, if they’re playing a ball with not enough compression, the ball will almost feel like a marshmallow on the clubface.”
 
Be sure to check out the Ball Recommender on the Nike site. Simply by answering a few questions you’ll have a better idea of which ball is right for you. Of course, you may also consult with one of our knowledgeable sales professionals; they’re always eager and willing to help.
 
With the right ball in your bag, you’ll soon find yourself shooting better scores and beating your playing partners.
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30 years, he has spent the last five years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Puddle Wonderful

The snow has melted, the grass is green, and it’s time to play.
 
It’s spring when the world is puddle-wonderful,” wrote poet ee cummings, heralding the season many love most. Almost everything about spring is wonderful: the greening of nature, the change from bitter cold to just right, the feeling that this is a time for new beginnings. The urge to break out the sporting gear and head out to the lakes, baseball diamonds, links and soccer fields.
 
If you don’t enjoy a sport, spring is a great time to take one up. If you’re a seasoned sportsman or sportswoman, it’s time to get up and go!
 
On the Links
 
I was a golf fanatic as a teenager, couldn’t wait to get out on the fairways come spring. And sometimes I didn’t wait. Back about half a century ago or so, a buddy and I headed out to a public course in Chicago in late March, only to find it was all mud and snow. The clubhouse was shuttered, but we tried to play a round. We made it through three holes before our feet were wet and our hands numb.
 
Getting out too early isn’t recommended, but you do want to be ready for opening day at your favorite course. If you’re just getting started and would like some helpful hints, golf instructor Nick Lico’s article, “Beginner Golfers Can Play Like the Pros,” can point you in the right direction. Nick’s tips can help you avoid the frustration that ill-prepared beginners can experience.
 
Seasoned golfers on the other hand, will want to brush up on the latest gear – equipment engineered to lower that handicap. Mr. Lico has the straight dope on what’s new for 2014. See “Advancements in Golf Technology = Better Scores.” You might be surprised to discover how much high science goes into producing low scores.
 
Batter Up!
 
Nothing says spring like the crack of a bat, and nobody knows baseball better than Dunham’s. In this issue, we sort through the needs of beginning players, helping moms and dads figure out what’s required for success in Tee Ball and Little League. It all starts with training aids and equipment geared to the needs of young players. You’ll find a review of what’s available in the article titled “Play Ball.”
 
If you’re an experienced ballplayer moving up to senior leagues, high school ball or NCAA competition, you’ll also want to move up to equipment that’s as good as your game. We talked to experts at Easton and Wilson as well as Dunham’s baseball consultants to put together a review of equipment engineered to help every player succeed in the upper levels of amateur baseball. It’s all in “Moving on Up.”
 
We’ve Been Kicking this Around
 
While baseball and football may be America’s most popular spectator sports, the game we all play is soccer. (Just to keep us confused, our friends in other countries call it football.)
But there’s really nothing confusing about soccer. The basics are simple: two goals, two teams, a ball, and no hands please. The last part is the hardest for youngsters to learn. If you watch mini-kid soccer games, you’ll hear the coaches shouting, “no hands! NO HANDS!”
 
Because it involves high-speed action, soccer is great exercise; with minimal risk of injury, it’s one of the safest sports for kids. And come spring, many kids, teens and adults can’t wait to get back out on the soccer field. Today, with indoor soccer growing in popularity, they don’t have to wait. “The Ins and Outs of Soccer“ takes a look at how the indoor game differs from outdoor soccer and reviews the equipment you or your child will need to take up the indoor game. Find all the soccer equipment you need at Dunham’s.
 
The Ice is Out, the Kayak is In
 
The ice has melted on our lakes and streams, and it’s time to get out the kayak. Or should we say the kayaks, because kayaking is an ideal family sport and many of us have several or more boats stashed in the garage, waiting for the first day of the season.
 
If you don’t have kayaks stashed in the garage, you should. Kayaking is easy with the right equipment, and it’s great exercise for the entire family. Our article, “Families Who Kayak Together Have More Fun,” offers some hints on choosing boats for one and all.
 
The Season Opener
 
Me, I’m going bass fishing on the first day of the season, which is the Saturday before Memorial Day on Michigan inland waters. I’ll probably take a baitcasting reel and rod and some crankbaits and see if I can get some love from a lunker largemouth on one of Michigan’s 10,000 lakes. If you’d like to try your hand at bass fishing, you’ll find some tips in the article titled “Tempting Mr. Bass.”
 
That’s a wrap for now, but don’t forget that Dunham’s has everything you need for every sporting season, along with the expert advice that can make your game more fun. Stop by your Dunham’s store today for everything you need to get in the game.
-Your Friends at Dunham’s
 
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Advancements In Golf Technology = Better Scores

Twenty years ago, Davis Love III led the PGA Tour with an average driving distance of nearly 284 yards. Through February 9 of this year, Bubba Watson led the Tour with an average drive of 322 yards – an improvement of nearly 40 yards! To many, that speaks to significant improvements in technology. The same technology that is enabling pros to hit a driver well over 300 yards and a 7 iron 200 yards is making it easier and more enjoyable for the average person to enjoy a round of golf.
 
Hot Drivers
 
Peruse popular golf publications and you will quickly notice that every manufacturer promises a “hot” driver. How they achieve the results, which enable even amateurs to hit drives straight and long, differs by manufacturer.
 
Dunham’s shoppers may have noticed a similar design approach from other manufacturers to clubs other than the driver. The idea is to remove weight where it’s not needed and to enable the clubface to deflect at the moment of impact, creating said trampoline effect. TaylorMade has used this approach with its RocketBallz fairway and hybrids and is employing a different strategy with its latest drivers.
 
“In our driver and fairway woods, we’ve moved the center of gravity lower and forward. Golfers are realizing more ideal launch angles and lower spin conditions,” said Tom Kroll, TaylorMade golf.
 
Here’s a practical example of what lower spin conditions mean: a good friend and golf pro put the TaylorMade SLDR driver in his bag last fall and immediately gained 30 yards! This year, TaylorMade has introduced the JetSpeed driver.
 
“Compared to the SLDR, the JetSpeed is going to launch the ball higher and with more spin. The SLDR also has a sliding weight that can be adjusted to control the draw or fade bias,” Kroll added.
 
Get on the Green
 
Hitting a great drive is a great feeling. However, to truly score, you must hit the green with your approach. Today’s technology can help you here, as well.
 
“Owning the second shot is what Adams Golf is known for. Our heritage has been about fairway woods, hybrids and irons. We have the equipment to enable less-experienced golfers to get on the green with the second shot, to own that shot,” Wood explained.
 
Technological advancements have also found their way into irons.
 
“Five years ago we introduced our Cut Thru-Slot design, which enhances ball speed and ball flight. This design creates a very thin face that flexes when it connects with the ball. The result is a trampoline-like effect that really launches the ball. Even if you mishit the club, you’re still going to get good results,” said Jeff Wood of Adams Golf.
 
“If you’re playing irons that don’t have a speed pocket, you’re playing with old technology. The speed pocket gives golfers speed where they need it most, since the majority of amateurs contact the ball below the center of the clubface. This technology increases launch angle and distance,” Kroll said.
 
Have a Ball
 
Manufacturers have also spent a great deal of their R&D improving the ball we play. Many companies are promoting choosing a ball based on your individual swing speed, desired ball flight and the amount of feel you want around the green.
 
“TaylorMade is launching three balls this year,” Kroll said. “Our new Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X are ideal for the better player. They feature a new Soft Tech cover for improved greenside spin and control.”
 
If you’re a scratch player, consider the Tour Preferred X model. An intriguing option for golfers of all levels is TaylorMade’s third new ball for 2014: the Project (a).
 
“Project (a) is designed for amateur golfers, though we saw a lot of single-digit golfers play this ball at Pebble Beach in February,” Kroll added. The company claims greater distance with all clubs, as well as significant and consistent spin with all irons. At under $32.00, I plan on checking it out.
 
For 2014, Nike is expanding its RZN line of golf balls.
 
“We’re launching RZN Black, Platinum, White, and Red this year, each explicitly designed for specific golfers,” said Chris Coffman of Nike.
 
The first two are designed for golfers of moderate to higher swing speeds. Those who want maximum distance should choose the RZN Black, while those who want more feel will prefer the RZN Platinum. Golfers with moderate to slower swing speeds will find the RZN Red and the RZN White more suited to their game. The RZN Red delivers more distance, while the RZN White delivers more feel.
 
There’s a lot to be said for technology. It has made our cars safer, phones smaller and the game of golf more enjoyable. With the right equipment and advice from our knowledgeable staff, next time someone asks you about your golf game, you can happily reply, “It’s par for the course.”
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30 years, he has spent the last five years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Beginner Golfers Can Play Like the Pros

With Today’s Game-Improvement Equipment
 
If you are old enough to remember when every golf iron was a blade and drivers were made of persimmon, then you know how difficult golf could be. And that was for seasoned golfers. For newcomers, it was easy to get frustrated enough to quit the game before they even had time to master the fundamentals. That’s not the case nowadays. Thanks to advancements in technology, new golfers can enjoy the sport from their first round. Like any new venture, you should seriously consider how much time you will truly devote to it before making a significant monetary investment. Fortunately, Dunham’s has you covered.
 
Choose the Right Clubs
 
Frankly, golf clubs have improved so much that it’s difficult to make a wrong choice. One issue I see frequently with new golfers is not getting fitted for the clubs. Often, they’ll buy clubs with shafts that are too stiff for their swing speed and can’t figure out why all their shots go to the right (for right-handed players). Many Dunham’s stores are Fairway Center stores, meaning they carry a full complement of golf equipment and are staffed with knowledgeable consultants. Some stores also have an indoor driving range where a golf professional can help you choose the right clubs based on your swing speed and predominant ball flight. This is a free service, so be sure to take full advantage of it.
 
Complete Sets
 
Many beginners find that a “boxed set” makes a great deal of sense, since it includes a full set of clubs and a golf bag. A popular brand for these is Adams Golf and its Speedline and Tight Lies models. Ideal for newer golfers, they include an oversized driver, oversized woods, irons, wedges, a putter and the aforementioned golf bag. They are available for men and women.
 
“We offer a range of clubs that are entry-level priced and easy to hit. They feature club heads that are a little larger than the ones the tour players play and a thicker sole (on the irons) to get you through the rough,” said Jeff Wood of Adams Golf. “These are very forgiving clubs and we’ve found that the easier it is to hit the club, the more likely you are to stay with the game.” Dunham’s also carries the Idea irons from Adams Golf.
 
“Our new Idea Hybrid irons are designed to make the game easier – golfers will notice their miss-hits aren’t as punishing with these. They feature our new Cut Thru-Slot design, which enhances ball speed and ball flight. Golfers of all levels will see more consistent gaps (distance) between the clubs,” Wood added.
 
For youngsters who want to emulate Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy or Michelle Wie, Dunham’s carries two Nike VR S Junior starter sets. Size one is a five-piece set that includes an oversized driver, a 7 iron, a sand wedge, a putter and a lightweight carry bag with kickstand. This is ideal for younger children. For older children, we recommend the size two set from Nike. It adds a 4 hybrid and a 9 iron to the size one set. The clubs are longer for taller children. The Nike VR S Junior size one set is available only for right-handed players, while size two is available for left-handers, as well. Dunham’s also carries Nike products for adult golfers.
 
Don’t Overlook Last Year’s Models
 
Like the car companies, the golf industry introduces new models every year and discounts the previous-year’s models, making them ideal choices for golfers of all levels.
 
“The 2013 VRS Covert line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids that some of the top players in the game have played are now a great option for all golfers (as shown at the top of the facing page). This was the first high-speed cavity-back driver in golf and promotes improved forgiveness. It has a hotter face for more distance. Since they’re last year’s model, they’re available at a significant discount,” said Chris Coffman of Nike.
 
“For beginner irons, I would recommend looking for either our RocketBallz set or RocketBladez since they are previous-year models. They are great irons and will be a much better price for someone just starting,” added TaylorMade’s Tom Kroll.
 
Also available at significant discounts are the RocketBallz driver, fairway woods and hybrids. These are some of the best clubs I have ever hit and it’s the clubs you will most frequently see on golf courses.
 
Have Fun
 
What we have yet to discuss in this article is perhaps one of the most important elements for beginner golfers – though it applies to experienced duffers, as well: have fun! This is a great sport that can be enjoyed your entire life. It’s also one of the very few sports where grandparents and grandkids can enjoy simultaneously.
 
“Don’t get tied up in your score,” advises Coffman. “Focus on hitting good shots and see a club professional for lessons. You would be surprised to discover how big a difference having the proper grip, aim, stance and posture will make to your game and your enjoyment of the sport.”
 
Nick Lico has dual passions: writing and golf. An avid player for 30 years, he has spent the last five years teaching golf at various after-school programs in Metro Detroit.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Forget Yelling “Fore”

Find the Short Grass with Game-Improving Clubs
 
As a golf fanatic and part-time instructor, I’m frequently asked by new golfers, “What kind of clubs should I buy? What do you recommend in the way of beginner or complete sets?” I typically reply that it makes sense not to go overboard with their first set of clubs and to pick something that delivers performance, feels comfortable in their hands and is pleasing to their eyes. Two companies I frequently recommend are Adams Golf and PowerBilt.
 
Adams Golf
 
“Adams Golf is a leader in the area of game-improvement sets for beginner golfers,” said Randy Brown of Adams Golf.
 
In addition to iron-only packages, Dunham’s carries a variety of complete sets by Adams Golf, including their very popular TightLies. Ideal for newer golfers, the TightLies set includes an oversized driver, oversized woods, irons and wedges. The set also includes a putter and a golf bag. They are available for men and women.
 
Also popular are the company’s V3 irons, which include 4-6 hybrids in graphite shafts and 7-Approach Wedge in steel shafts.
 
Both the TightLies and the V3 are considered “game improvement” clubs, meaning they are designed to be easier to hit by those of us who aren’t PGA Tour players. As such, the weight has been moved away from the face and toward the sole of the club, making it easier to get the ball in the air. The oversized faces on both sets deliver a bigger sweet spot, helping to mitigate those dreaded off-center hits.
 
By the way, don’t think because you aren’t spending a ton of money on clubs that you are being short-changed. As Brown ex-plained, the TightLies and V3 irons feature the same components, quality and craftsmanship found in their uplevel offerings.
“Our goal is to make golf enjoyable for every golfer of every level. One way to do so is by making clubs that are easy to hit by the average, or even newer, golfer,” Brown said.
 
PowerBilt
 
PowerBilt clubs are what we use in our afterschool golf classes. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles and for young golfers, it’s my #1 recommendation, since my students are already familiar with the clubs. They are available for children younger than three and up to age 12. Adult sets with the full complement of clubs and either a cart bag or a carry bag are also available at your local Dunham’s.
 
See, golf doesn’t have to be expensive … but it can be a fun activity you can play the rest of your life.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Don’t Fear the Fairway

Today’s long-hitting fairway woods are engineered to hit clean on everything from hardpan to long grass.
 
As a young golfer way back when, I was afraid to take the 3-wood out of my bag. That club was the golf equivalent of the monster under the bed. The very thought of trying to push it through the long grass on the public links where I played was enough to bring nightmares.
 
I’ve outgrown my fear of fairway woods, but some golfers never have, and that’s unfortunate, because today’s clubs are far easier to hit than even those of a generation ago, let alone those of the primeval epoch of which I speak.
 
New Designs, New Confidence
 
Hybrid clubs that combine features of fairway woods and irons have been the subject of more attention than fairway woods in recent years, but changes in the design of the woods promise to bring these long-hitting clubs out of the bag and back into the forefront of the game.
 
Taking a cue from hybrid technology, many of today’s new-design fairway woods feature a shallow face and low center of gravity, making them easier to hit. While the 43-inch length of a 3-wood makes it a challenge for many golfers, some makers offer what one might call a fairway/hybrid combo with a somewhat shorter shaft. Others market 4-woods, which have a shorter shaft and a bit more loft – again making them easier to hit. Models designed to produce draw can add a bit more length to fairway shots and a bit of additional loft can make any fairway wood easier to hit. And as with drivers, clubs with adjustable loft are becoming available.
 
Most of today’s best fairway woods claim a high CT or characteristic time, which is a measurement of the trampoline effect that a club produces when contacting the ball. The USGA places limits on CT, and the longest hitting fairway woods all come close to that limit.
 
Fabulous for the Fairway
 
The Adams’ Super S Fairway stainless steel wood features that maker’s cut-thru sole slot, which works with the crown slot to generate a spring-like effect that optimizes energy transferred to the ball. According to the maker, the club’s CT is just barely within the limits set by the USGA. In addition, a refined crown slot generates a higher launch angle without increasing spin. The result is long carry distance.
 
In keeping with what seems to be a trend for both fairway woods and drivers, the Super S is styled in a way that increases the perceived size of the clubhead to instill confidence and make alignment easy.
 
TalyorMade’s RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway woods are manufactured with special steel that enables a thinner face. In combination with TaylorMade’s speed pocket design, that thin face causes the contact area to flex faster, resulting in a high CT, increased ball speed and more distance. Ball speed is further enhanced by a low and forward center of gravity.
 
The Tour version of the Stage 2 fairway wood features adjustable loft. The 3-wood base loft is 14.5°, and it can be adjusted up to 16° or down to 13°.
 
Clubface styling and graphics of all TaylorMade fairway woods promote easy alignment.
 
Nike’s VRS Covert fairway woods feature a higher CT than previous models. The VRS Covert Tour has a deep face height for mid-trajectory ball travel. Loft can be varied by means of Nike’s Flex Loft adjustment system. The VRS Covert has a fixed loft angle and a standard face height for high-trajectory ball travel. speed through aerodynamic efficiency.
 
Adams says the new driver is the first with a VST expanding sweet spot that enables consistently longer drives. It’s also the most aerodynamic driver Adams has ever produced. Because the clubhead slips smoothly through the air, speed is optimized. The company has even given thought to clubhead color and says that the matte white crown and contrasting faceplate make the head appear larger, which helps with alignment while inspiring confidence.
 
Cobra’s adjustable driver is called the Amp Cell. The drivers MyFly™ technology provides six different loft settings over a range of 3°. The manufacturer says that its SmartPad technology squares the face at every loft setting.
 
A 12% larger face shape is said to deliver faster ball speed even on miss-hits. The titanium head is available in four dramatic colors.
 
The Amp Cell Pro model has a 440 cc head with a lower, more neutral center of gravity and is available in two colors.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Hit Long Hit True

The new breed of high-tech drivers can help you master that tee shot.

You’re at the tee, in the zone, and locked in on the task at hand. You address the ball, raise your driver and swing powerfully in a graceful, perfect arc. The clubhead makes contact right on the sweet spot and square to your target. The ball soars into an azure sky before landing in the fairway, hundreds of yards away and perfectly positioned for a short and easy shot to the green.

Then the alarm clock sounds, and you wake up.

We all execute perfect tee shots in our dreams, but on the golf course it’s not that easy. Hitting that little ball hard and straight with even the best club seems nearly impossible to the novice golfer and is vexing to even experienced amateurs.

Perhaps that’s why golf club manufacturers lavish so much attention and research on the development of new drivers. And for 2013, they’re offering a bumper crop of innovative new clubs, many of them featuring adjustable heads that allow precise tailoring of loft and clubface angle. At the same time, they’ve improved materials and streamlining in order to maximize energy transferred to the ball and optimize the ease with which the clubhead moves through the air.

TaylorMade, long a major supplier of drivers for touring pros, is among those marketing an adjustable driver. Tom Ovasky, senior director of product creation, as quoted in Golf Digest, said, “With a few adjustments, golfers can improve their results in minutes.”

That’s what we like to hear.

Tech Assistance at The Tee

The new breed of adjustable high-tech drivers utilizes one or more adjustments to change the face angle, loft setting and lie. By altering those variables, the path in which the ball travels as it leaves the club can be changed, as can the direction and rotation of spin. All of those factors have an effect on how far the ball will go and where it will land.

If we were all perfect golfers, we could find the driver that’s best suited to our game and stick with it. But most of us are far from perfect when it comes to swinging a golf club consistently, and our game varies greatly from one day to the next. An adjustable club head allows compensation for those variations while compensating in part for the individual golfer’s weak points.

Some makers offer adjustable clubhead weighting as well. By moving weight inboard, a slice can often be corrected. And an uncontrollable slice is probably the most common problem that amateurs face on the tee.

Other features common to the best new drivers include wider sweet spots, weighting that optimizes the moment of inertia for longer drives, and even clubhead styling that helps golfers square the driver’s face when addressing the ball and may even make the clubhead look larger than it really is. That, say the manufacturers, can inspire confidence. And confidence is a big part of the game.

Choose Your Weapon

TaylorMade’s R1 series of drivers allow a dozen different lie, face angle and loft settings. Movable weights enable further adjustment and an adjustable soleplate can change face-angle appearance at address. The manufacturer says this driver than can be tuned to fit both Tour pros and amateurs. According to TaylorMade spokesman, Brian Murphy, the R1 is the number one driver played on the PGA Tour.

The R1 offers seven standard and five upright loft options between 8° and 12°, along with seven face-angle options. To expand the sweet spot of the clubface, TaylorMade employs Inverted Cone Technology. In addition, the clubhead is styled to help the golfer address the ball squarely. TaylorMade notes that in trying to square a conventional, unmarked clubhead, many golfers fall victim to an illusion that suggests the clubface is square when it is actually open, inviting a wicked slice.

Nike has developed an adjustable driver as well. It’s called the VRS Covert, and it features independent adjustment of loft and face angle, allowing golfers to customize the club to fit their swing, thereby maximizing distance and accuracy. Dual axis adjustment decouples the loft and face angle variables, thus multiple configurations are possible.

This conforming driver is built with a cavity back for longer, straighter shots, and the manufacturer’s Nexcor face technology provides a wider sweet spot.

The driver is available in “Tour” and “Performance” versions. The Performance club is engineered to redistribute weight into the corners, thus increasing the moment of inertia in a traditional head shape.

The Adams’ Super S driver is, in the words of its maker, “a big bomber” that allows easy adjustment of loft. Adams’ Fast Fit Adjustability provides a 2° range of loft variation, enabling golfers to change the adjustment as their game varies. A streamlined head optimizes clubhead speed through aerodynamic efficiency.

Adams says the new driver is the first with a VST expanding sweet spot that enables consistently longer drives. It’s also the most aerodynamic driver Adams has ever produced. Because the clubhead slips smoothly through the air, speed is optimized. The company has even given thought to clubhead color and says that the matte white crown and contrasting faceplate make the head appear larger, which helps with alignment while inspiring confidence.

Cobra’s adjustable driver is called the Amp Cell. The drivers MyFly™ technology provides six different loft settings over a range of 3°. The manufacturer says that its SmartPad technology squares the face at every loft setting.

A 12% larger face shape is said to deliver faster ball speed even on miss-hits. The titanium head is available in four dramatic colors.

The Amp Cell Pro model has a 440 cc head with a lower, more neutral center of gravity and is available in two colors.

-Par Shooter

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The Golf Pro Sponsor Shuffle

 
The game on the links isn’t the only competition in professional golf.
 
While touring pros battle each other on the links, golf equipment manufacturers fight for their loyalty in the marketplace. Getting your clubs in the bag of a top pro is a sure way to boost sales. All of the major golf manufacturers want the highly visible pros to use their equipment, and they devote considerable effort to making that happen.
 
Why Switch?
 
Touring pros change equipment and make new sponsorship deals for a number of reasons. Often, it’s because a manufacturer offers better financial rewards, but sometimes the change is made in the interest of getting on board with an equipment maker whose products feature new technology or have been shown to be working well for other tour golfers.
 
Who’s on First?
 
Equipment and sponsorship changes generally come in the winter, as the PGA Tour’s signing season for equipment and apparel companies begins on January 1. And while not every golfer hunts down a new deal every year, enough of them move to another brand to make the first day of signing season as big a deal as the first day of hunting season.
 
This year, TaylorMade picked up six pros early on, taking Lucas Glover away from Nike and Ryan Moore from Adams. Nike, meanwhile, signed five pros who were former Titleist players, while Adams added Jeff Overton to its roster and Cobra made a deal with Jesper Parnevik.
 
Who are you wearing?
 
While golf equipment manufacturer work to get their clubs in the bags of the most visible pros, apparel manufacturers strive to get clothes on their backs. I guess they figure we duffers will don the same duds as our favorite pro. This year, Scott Percy switched from Lyle & Scott to IZOD Golf Apparel, while Webb Simpson opted for IZOD after having been dressed by Ralph Lauren at previous tour events. It’s sort of like the green carpet show of the pro tour.
 
Buy a Spot on my Hat
 
If you want to promote your product by sponsoring a participant in a sporting event, it will likely cost you about $2 million dollars to get your company’s name on the quarter panel of a top Nascar team, but it might cost you even more to get your logo on the cap of a top contender on the men’s PGA tour.
Of course caps aren’t the only place where ad space can be purchased. The sleeves and chest pocket go for big bucks as well. Even the shoes and back of the collar are for sale. And of course the bag that holds those clubs is often seen on television, so it’s valuable real estate. It’s all part of the marketing of golf and the people who play the game professionally.
 
Anyone want to buy some space on my ace bandage?
 
-Par Shooter
 
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Gear Up Fore The Season

 
High-Tech and Bold Colors Come to Golf Apparel
 
A s snow relinquishes its grip on the Midwest, we’re finally seeing some color: green on our lawns, red on robins’ breasts and a rainbow of bright colors in Dunham’s Sports golf apparel offerings.
 
“For 2013, we’re seeing an explosion of color, with more prints on shirts and bolder colors, making it easier for fashion-conscious golfers to mix and match,” said Scott Taylor of Under Armour.
 
That sentiment is echoed by Michael Zampini of Callaway Apparel.
 
“A big trend for spring is color. We’re seeing a big push to heathered fabric,” Zampini said. “People want to have the right apparel on the course. They want their apparel to fit and have it look and feel like they belong on the course, whether they actually do or not.”
 
Finding the right golf apparel is no problem, since Dunham’s Sports carries a wide assortment of styles from the leading brands, including the aforementioned Under Armour and Callaway, as well as Adidas, Canyon Creek, FootJoy, Nike, PGA Tour and TaylorMade.
 
Like your golf clubs, today’s golf apparel is high-tech, with special materials designed to keep you comfortable year-round.
 
During the early and later parts of golf season, the key is staying warm and the brands available at your local Dunham’s Sports have you covered.
 
“Layering is extremely important to heat retention. Our HeatGear® compression products keep you warm without being bulky,” Taylor said.
 
That approach changes for the summer, when the objective is to keep you cool.
 
“We build our brand around all-performance fabrication, with moisture-management products that keep golfers cooler in warm weather,” said Roddy Millichamp of PGA TOUR.
 
“Every brand offers a polo shirt that wicks moisture. At Callaway, we go one step further, with a shirt that features a ventilated back panel. The difference it makes is significant,” Zampini said.
 
Helping keep you cool is a given. Many manufacturers also offer odor-resistant technology and a level of protection against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Think about it: today’s golf apparel keeps you cool, fresher and protects your skin!
 
Most of the products mentioned in this article are also available for women. In fact, PGA TOUR kicked off its Ladies Tour line this year.
 
“This is a great-looking lineup that doesn’t have to be worn strictly on the course,” Millichamp said. “It includes shorts, skorts and capris. The bottoms hook up with sleeved and sleeveless tops and offer the same high-tech functionality of the men’s line.”
 
Spring, summer and fall, Dunham’s Sports has the serious golfer covered with apparel specifically designed for the season. These are the same products worn by PGA players and available to you at terrific prices, meaning there’s more money left over for additional rounds or new clubs.
 
See you on the links!
 
-Par Shooter
 

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