Adams Idea Tech Hybrid Irons

Adams Golf’s Idea Tech Hybrid Irons are designed for golfers with slower swing speeds who need to launch the ball higher with more spin to keep the ball airborne longer, which will provide more distance and stopping power.

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In order to create those launch conditions, the company repositioned the center of gravity low and back throughout the set. The 3-5 hybrids have a 24-gram weight in the back of the club to move even lower and farther back.

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“From the highest lofted iron to the lowest lofted hybrid, each club in the new Idea Tech hybrid iron set is intended to enhance the golfer’s enjoyment of the game,” said Michael Fox, Director of Product Category Management. “This set was specifically made for the golfer who doesn’t generate a lot of speed, but wants to experience the thrill of hitting high and straight-launching golf shots. The engineering of this set makes this type of performance attainable for golfers with slower swing speeds.”

The hybrids also have Adams’ new Ghost Slot technology, which eliminates the distraction of a slot at address and stretches the sweet spot farther across the face for forgiveness. The Ghost Slot and a slot on the sole of the hybrids have a refined barbell-shape to give the clubs more ball speed across the face.

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A progressive shaft design — where shaft tip diameters get thinner as lofts get lower in the set — will make it easier to launch the ball higher and generate speed on the downswing. Adams Golf claims these will be both the fastest and longest hybrid-iron combination set in the company’s history.

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The irons in the set (6-PW) include the improved barbell-shaped slots, as well as the wrap-around slots that debuted on the Idea Tech Hybrid irons for more forgiveness on toe hits.

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Three different sets will available to Men, Seniors and Women starting Friday, October 24, 2014.

  • Men’s set ($799.99 Steel/$899.99 Graphite): 3-5 Hybrid; 6-7 Driving Hybrid; and 8-PW Hybrid Irons.
  • Senior set ($899.99 Graphite): 4-6 Hybrids; 7-8 Driving Hybrid; and 9-GW Hybrid Iron.
  • Women’s set ($899.99 Graphite): 4-6 Hybrids; 7-8 Driving Hybrid; and 9-SW Hybrid Iron.

PGA President Ted Bishop calls Poulter a “Lil Girl”

Ted Bishop, the President of the PGA of America, is on a scorching hot seat for using a schoolyard diss against Ian Poulter on Twitter on Thursday evening. Well, it’s not recess anymore Mr. Bishop — you’re the PRESIDENT of the PGA of America.

“Faldo’s record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time RC points. Yours vs. His? Lil Girl.” Bishop said in a Tweet directed toward Poulter, while Bishop was reportedly with Nick Faldo at the Greenbrier for the Faldo Series junior program.

Poulter put President Bishop in his place and said what everyone with a brain was thinking.

“Is being called a ‘lil girl’ meant to be derogatory or a put down?” Poulter said in the statement. “That’s pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment.”

What spurred on the attempted “lil girl” insult? Poulter recently dropped his book entitled “No Limits,” where he was critical of both Nick Faldo, the losing captain of the European Ryder Cup team in 2008, and Tom Watson, losing captain of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain.

In 2008, Faldo called Sergio Garcia “useless” and said that he had “emotional and physical problems.” Things were so bad that at one point, Garcia told Faldo he that didn’t want to play.

“Faldo has lost a lot of respect from players because of what he said,” Poulter said in his book, regarding Faldo’s comments to the media that day. He also pointed out that Faldo captained the only losing team in 15 years. “So who’s useless? I think Faldo might need to have a little look in the mirror.”

Poulter also said that Watson’s decisions as Captain of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team “completely baffled” him.

Bishop, along with his Twitter post, took to Facebook as well, coming to the defense of Faldo and Watson, saying Poulter has an inferior major championship and Ryder Cup record. He noted that Watson has won eight major championships and has a 10-3-1 Ryder Cup record, while Faldo has six major championships and the record for most Ryder Cup points.

“Really? Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!” Bishop posted on Facebook in response to Poulter’s comments in his book.

Bishop’s two-term as president ends next month, and he appears to already be checked out. The PGA of America, within its Play Golf America initiative, brings young golfers of both genders into the game of golf. The “lil girl” comment used in a demeaning context is not a good look for Bishop or the PGA of America.

“Obviously I could have selected some different ways to express my thoughts on Poulter’s remarks.” Bishop told the Associated Press in an email. “Golf had always been a sport where respect was shown to its icons. That seems to have gone by the wayside.”

Respect shown to icons? How about some respect for the youth of America, Mr. Bishop.

What Should Be In Your Golf Fitness Program?

This story is part of our new “GolfWRX Guides,” a how-to series created by our Featured Writers and Contributors — passionate golfers and golf professionals in search of answers to golf’s most-asked questions.

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So you are heading into the winter months and feel like it’s a good time to get busy with some physical training. It’s time to make a plan and get a training program sorted out, but you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the contrasting opinions and recommendations out there relating to golf fitness. If you are anything like the average golfer, then thoughts like this might be running through your head:

  • Will I need to join a gym?
  • How can I move my hips like Rory?
  • Is stretching good for me or not?
  • Should I get a trainer?
  • Maybe I’ll get the “Ab Flex Twisty Turner Fat Shredder Pro 9?” (the answer is a definite NO to this one!)

All these doubts essentially boil down to four key questions

  • What exercises are best for you?
  • How many reps should you do?
  • When should you do them?
  • How much load should I use?

Answering these four questions forms the nuts and bolts of constructing a training program. If we can figure out how to answer these questions best, then we are most of the way to getting you a decent training program.

What Exercises Are Best For You?

Everyone has an opinion on what exercises golfers should or shouldn’t do. If you listened to everybody you’d be either in the gym all day doing 73 different exercises per workout, or you’d be frozen to the spot thinking about why NOT to do them all!

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A good rule of thumb is to include exercise variations of the following primal movements

  • Squat, Lunge, Push, Pull, Bend/Hinge, Brace

You’ll also want to target improvements in the following areas:

  • Strength
  • Stability
  • Mobility
  • Posture

This will ensure a balanced workout that incorporates a range of different movements and improves the way your body performs during the golf swing.

How Many Reps Will Do?

Again, opinions can be pretty polarized here. Some say do 5 reps for max strength or power, while others reckon that endurance is key and recommend doing 20 reps per set. I would advise to simply take the middle ground on this one. Aim for 8-to-12 reps and 2-to-3 sets and you can’t go too far wrong.

When Should You Do Them?

This really depends on a lot of your lifestyle and when you play golf during the week. Let’s use the example of someone who has some spare time during the week to exercise and plays their competitive round on a Saturday. In this case, go for three workouts per week and try to have a rest/recovery day on Friday. A schedule I often recommend is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday.

How Much Load Should I Use?

Imagine a scale of exertion and effort relative to how hard the last two reps are in a set. At one end of the scale, you are you are in danger of bursting blood vessels in your eyes. This is a 10. At the other end of the scale, you are not even close to breaking a sweat and could do 250 more reps if your life really depended on it. This is a 1. I would recommend aiming for 7 or 8 on the scale.

In terms of what type of load, I like the following progression relative to ability and experience:

  • Bodyweight
  • Bands
  • Dumbbells
  • Barbells

An Example

For a nice simple example of how this looks in program format, take a look at the image below. This is a workout taken from a beginner level program that I often use to introduce players to training their body for golf.

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It is well worth considering that this advice WILL NOT apply to everyone and program design should reflect your ability, experience, injuries and other individual peculiarities. It also should be known that as professionals, my contemporaries and I consider a few more factors to achieve a really top notch program:

  • What levels of exercises are suitable?
  • What exercise progressions to use and when?
  • Which exercises go together (and which ones do not)?
  • How much rest between sets?
  • What tempo (speed) to perform the exercises at?
  • What are the appropriate modifications to form and technique?

As you can see, designing a comprehensive golf fitness program by yourself is actually a pretty tricky task. Formal strength and conditioning education, extensive knowledge of the golf swing and plenty of experience are needed to properly answer all of the questions above.

An article that takes a deeper look inside golf fitness program design is coming soon. For those of you who want to get specific, that will be the one for you.

In the mean time, if you would like more specific information or a program more tailored to you then contact me directly through email – nick@golfitapp.com – or check out what we have to offer at www.golffitapp.com.

Disclaimer: Always gain clearance for your training from a doctor or well-qualified exercise professional before commencement of an exercise regime.

Lewis Black vs. Pinehurst No. 2 … and golfers he hates

Lewis Black’s rant at Pinehurst is some of the most entertaining golf-related comedy since Robin Williams (R.I.P) spoke about the sport. Whether you’re a Lewis Black fan or not (let’s keep politics out of this!), his opinions about golfers and Pinehurst No. 2 are laugh out loud funny.

Below, Black talks about the golfers he cares for very little.

He claims he doesn’t have on-course meltdowns anymore, and his reasoning is one that every GolfWRXer can understand.

“I’m not someone who believes it’s the golfer,” he says. “I believe it’s the club.”

Black has some words for Donald Ross, course designer of Pinehurst No. 2.

Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie, the respective winners of the 2014 U.S. Open and 2014 U.S. Women’s Open — both held at Pinehurst No. 2 — successfully navigated the diabolical Donald Ross greens this summer. Black’s blood must have boiled just watching.

Does golf need a shot clock?

We all know the “golfers’ stance.” Not the shoulder-width apart, knees bent, back straight stance at address, but the other golf stance — the one where you obnoxiously stand on the teebox, leaning on your club with your right leg crossed over your left and hand on your hip.

Nothing is worse than looking back and seeing a guy/gal taking the “golf stance,” but slow play is brutally prevalent in golf — especially at the professional level. That’s due to the obvious factors of big purses and demanding conditions — in an era where people want information and entertainment within a few taps on a touch screen of their iPhone 6+.

People like Netflix because they can chain-watch their favorite TV shows without commercial breaks. They like apps because information can be obtained with one click instead of two or three on a browser. Most people can’t bear to read a 1,400-word news story, because it takes too long — they’d prefer to read a 200-word snippet with images and a video or take a poll to see what “color” their personality is.

Life is different. The media is different. Sports are different. Less and less people want to chew up their whole afternoon playing a 5+ hour round of golf. Most millenials would rather play six hours of Call of Duty than watch six hours of the Frys.com Open coverage on Sunday afternoon. I’m not judging them. That’s just the way it is.

The Kevin Na’s, Ben Crane’s and Keegan Bradley’s of the golf world make viewership more difficult and frustrate some of their fellow players. Golf is a game of patience and concentration, but we’re reaching a limit — and the PGA Tour has taken notice.

Starting at the Frys.com Open, the first tournament in the 2014-2015 PGA Tour season, a new pace-of-play system was put into effect. According to Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski, the rules state that the first player who has the honors in each group must complete his stroke within 50 seconds (10 seconds less than the old rules), and all others in the group get 40 seconds.

The new rules also state that a group must tee off on a par-5 before the group ahead leaves the green. The fines haven’t changed, but the restrictions have gotten stricter.

  • The player receives a warning for his first “bad time” of the round.
  • If he records a second bad time in the same round, he gets a 1-stroke penalty and $5,000 fine.
  • If he records a third bad time in the same round, he gets a 2-stroke penalty and a $10,000 fine.
  • If he records a fourth bad time in the same round, he is disqualified.

The public was upset about a slow-play penalty against 14-year-old Guan Tianlang in the 2013 Masters, but that’s life in the big leagues nowadays.

“You talk to players, and no one complains when they play in 4.5 hours and they’re not standing around,” Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s executive vice president and chief of operations, told Golf Digest. “They wait on every shot and even if it takes the same 4.5 hours they get frustrated because it feels slow.”

And golf isn’t the only sport experimenting with ways to speed up their respective game.

An Arizona Fall baseball league has implemented a shot clock: 20 seconds to deliver a pitch, 2 minutes and 5 seconds between innings, and 2 minutes 30 seconds for pitching changes. The first game under the new rules lasted 2 hours 14 minutes. The average major league baseball game in 2014? Three hours and 2 minutes.

Although a shot clock in baseball may take some getting-used-to, it seems that it will have a positive effect on speeding up play.

A shot clock in basketball is old news, but the sport has had some problems of its own with games running too long. In a pre-season game between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, the NBA experimented with 11-minute quarters, which brought total game minutes down from 48 minutes to 44 minutes. The NBA also dropped mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth quarters from three to two.

The Nets vs. Celtics game was played in 1 hour and 58 minutes under the experiment. The average game time in the 2013-2014 season (in games that did not go to overtime) was 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Other sports are making strides, and golf is attempting to join the speed parade. Golf, however, seems to be at a disadvantage, since it’s played over the course of 18 holes, hitting (sometimes) unreasonably demanding shots in constantly changing conditions under indescribable pressure for unimaginable sums of money.

See the problem? I think the PGA Tour is putting up a fight with new rules for pace of play, but it’s battle that can’t be won.

The NBA mandates only 24 seconds for each shot, and baseball (or at least its new experiment) allows only 20 seconds. Maybe 50 seconds is still a little generous, but putting a 1.6-ounce dimpled sphere into a 4-inch cup from 450 yards in four shots or less with $1 million on the line takes time.

That being said, let’s speed it up out there guys. I have six episodes of House of Cards to watch on Netflix, and only three hours before Sunday Night Football. Maybe the NFL should fine refs for exceeding a set maximum on penalty flags while we’re at it.

Quick note: If you find yourself in the “golfers’ stance,” please stop. We get it.

GolfWRX recently published articles on pace of play

Review: Tour Edge Exotics E8 and E8 Beta Fairway Woods

Pros: Top-notch stock shafts, ample forgiveness and impressive ball speeds — a balance from which every player will benefit.

Cons: The lack of an adjustable hosel at this price point is a considerable let down and the additional weight kit ($50) is overpriced.

Who’s it for: The E8 and E8 Beta fairway woods, with faster ball speeds and lower spin, are worth a test drive. They could be two of the best performers in golf.

Overview

The E8 and E8 Beta fairway woods for 2014/15 are the latest offerings from Tour Edge Exotics, a company with a renowned history of premium fairway wood offerings.

Engineering found in the E8 series of drivers are also incorporated into the E8 fairway woods. Both the E8 and E8 Beta have a “Power Grid,” which is positioned behind the face and is engineered to deliver industry-leading ball speeds. The Power Grid in the E8 is a bit longer heel-to-toe to maximize ball speeds on both heel and toe strikes. The slightly thinner Power Grid in the Beta allows the club’s center of gravity (CG) to sit closer to the face, creating lower-spinning shots.

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The lower profile of the E8 is coupled with an upgraded 475 Carpenter steel face to produce higher-launching shots, whereas the E8 Beta is armed with a beta titanium cup face that is combo-brazed to the hyper-steel body and launches the ball on a decidedly lower trajectory. The deeper face and smaller footprint of the E8 Beta are refinements that will resonate with better players.

Both the E8 and E8 Beta offer sole relief in the heel and toe areas to increase versatility from varied lies and help ensure consistent quality contact. The E8 comes stock with the Mitsubishi Bassara E-Series 45, Fujikura Exotics Pro (57 or 62) or Fujikura Pro Tour (72 or 77) in lofts of 13, 15, 16.5, 18 and 21 degrees. The stock shaft in the E8 Beta is the Aldila Rogue Black (60) or Silver (60 or 70) and is available in lofts of 12, 13, 15, 16.5 and 18 degrees.

An additional weight kit to help modify swing weight is available for purchase ($50) and comes with three individual weights: 6, 12 and 15 grams in the E8 and 6, 11 and 14 grams in the Beta.

The Review

Fairway woods are like a good pair of jeans. Their value is ultimately a function of fit, reliability and consistent performance. This explains why even some of the best players in the world struggle to change out this spot in their bags, even as technology improves. There is a certain comfort when you find a 3 wood you can hit high off the deck, low off the tee and shape around the corner of a tight dogleg.

Tour Edge Exotics E8 ($249)

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You can safely bag the E8 series for a couple presidential administrations, and you’ll likely find marginally better performance, especially if you struggle with mishits off the heel and/or toe.

I was entirely enthralled by the launch characteristics of the E8, but even better was the comfort I had with the club. Even at 15 degrees, the shallow profile inspired confidence, and picking the ball off tight lies was like trying to find sand in the Sahara — almost too easy. The Fujikura Exotics Pro Tour 72 was responsive, consistent and while not as tight as the Rogue, still quite serviceable.

Tour Edge Exotics E8 Beta ($299)

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I tested the E8 Beta at 12 degrees with the Aldila Rogue Silver 70S shaft. You don’t need some fancy moniker to convince you there’s a value for a low-launching, fairway-seeking 3 wood that approaches driver-like ball speeds, but at 43 inches is far easier to control.

If you’re a long time Exotics fairway subscriber, you’re asking yourself, “why upgrade?” Fair question, and there isn’t a single significant reason for you to do so, but there are several minor ones:

  1. Awesome stock shafts: The Aldila Rogue might be one of the best stock shafts ever offered by any OEM. Period.
  2. The heel and toe relief is an awesome concept, more often found in wedges than woods, but is equally effective. This was particular helpful on imperfect and varied lies.

The Numbers

Tour Edge Exotics E8 (15 degrees) with Fujikura Exotics Pro Tour 72S

  • Average Launch Angle: 16 degrees
  • Average Spin Rate: 3000 rpm
  • Average Ball Speed: 156 mph
  • Average Carry Distance: 274 yards
  • Average Total Distance: 292 yards

Tour Edge Exotics E8 Beta (12 degrees) with Aldila Rogue Silver 60S (tipped 0.5 inches)

  • Average Launch Angle: 13 degrees
  • Average Spin Rate: 2600 rpm
  • Average Ball Speed: 158 mph
  • Average Carry Distance: 269 yards
  • Average Total Distance: 298 yards

Comparative Data

Cobra Bio Cell + (14.5 degrees) with Aldila Tour Blue 75 Stiff (tipped 0.5 inches)

  • Average Launch Angle: 16 degrees
  • Average Spin Rate: 3200 rpm
  • Average Ball Speed: 153 mph
  • Average Carry Distance: 266 yards
  • Average Total Distance: 281 yards

For each club, I hit 10-to-12 balls and excluded the two best and two worst shots. I also deleted any obvious outliers/mishits. All distances were measured using a Flightscope X2 launch monitor and standard Callaway range balls.

Solid Scale: Tin Can: 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – Glazed Persimmon

I give the E8 a “6” and the E8 Beta a “9.” The E8 is firm and charged with energy while the E8 Beta is like a cannon wrapped with M-80s.

The Takeaway

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With apologies to Freud, sometimes a 3 wood isn’t just a 3 wood. It can be a diet-Driver, a wind-fighting comfort blanket or a high-launching beast which makes all par 5′s your friend. In this regard a 3 wood can do almost anything, but it can’t do everything.

The E8 Beta at 12 degrees was nearly as long as my driver and over time, I wouldn’t doubt it would be a bit more consistent. At a minimum, it’s a niche product akin to other clubs we often see released around the British Open, where courses require an ability to play the game along the ground. As such, I don’t see Tour Edge selling a tremendous number of the 12-degree model. That said, I won’t be surprised if we look back and tout the 15-degree version as one of this year’s best offerings in the “better player” category of fairway woods.

Never play Trivial Pursuit against a Summa Cum Laude graduate from a private liberal arts school and never bet against someone with a Tour Edge Exotics fairway wood. It’s only in the bag because it flat out performs. The E8 series gets high marks for forgiveness and ball speeds, but it’d be nice to see more adjustability options. That said, this line is a nice improvement over the previous generation.

Tiger markets his new course with cargo pants

Tiger’s smarter than we all give him credit for.

After we called for a Tiger Woods’ fashion intervention, it’s become obvious that Woods is not only trolling Twitter, the golf media and fashionistas everywhere to get a rise, but he’s using his poor duds as a marketing tool.

Brown cargo pants with a white belt standing on top of a rock wall whilst perusing a blueprint? Real clever, Tiger, you almost had us.

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Woods was spotted at the site of the El Cardonal course — Woods’ debut course design — at Diamante in San Lucas, Mexico, which is set to open on December 16

Just days after starting to hit full shots again, he climbs up on a rock wall to survey the property? He clearly pulled the old “dress savagely awful to get everyone talking about me to create buzz around my first course design” move. Savvy marketing at its finest. Don Draper would golf clap the effort.