Talk of golf’s demise is overwhelmingly premature, and never before has their been so much equipment and technology, and yes even books, that can make you better.
With some interesting new clubs—most notably TaylorMade’s R15—set for stores in the new year, there are still plenty of clubs, books, gadgets and equipment available just in time for Christmas.
Every two years, Titleist and Ping, companies that truly embrace the traditions of the game while recognizing the advances of technology, unleash their latest drivers.
And given the connection both companies have with the history of the sport, and the fact that they have a strong sense of what their customers want, neither company usually strays too far. That means no white drivers, no square drivers and a more conservative approach to their way forward.
That is, until this year.
While the names were expected—Ping follows its hugely successful G25 with the G30 and Titleist moves from the 913 series to the 915—that’s where predictability stops. Ping’s latest comes with “turbulators,” while Titleist introduces consumers to the “active recoil channel.” Both are solid successes.
If you’re looking for something a little less traditional, consider Nike’s new Vapor irons, which the company launched with a splash in New York at the end of the summer. Tiger Woods is now playing the new irons and World No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy has them in his bag. The irons come in variations for golfers of every ability and use Nike’s “Volt” colour to make the equipment more visible.
Both drivers are sleek and sophisticated, and there are locations throughout Canada where you can be fitted for them even as snow piles up on the fairways.
Must read golf books
Few golf books have been more controversial than Tom Doak’s Confidential Guide to Golf Courses. The golf designer behind courses like the top-ranked Pacific Dunes, kicked off his career critiquing the game’s best courses.
While the initial Confidential Guide became a cult hit and commands big bucks on eBay, Doak’s newest work will be split over multiple editions. The first covers the great courses of the U.K. and Ireland and is worth it for his honest and considered opinion on many of golf’s best and most famous tracks. You can order Doak’s book on his website, Renaissance Golf for $60.
Golf is suddenly filled with neat gadgets designed to do everything from recognize whether you’re going to hit a slice though to determining whether your hips are too open when you swing.
Zepp Golf is a simple swing aid that clips to the back of your golf glove and registers most of the key details of your swing through Bluetooth. With an easy-to-use interface on your mobile device, this is like having your own swing coach in your pocket. It can also be used for practicing away from the course, which makes it essential. You can find Zepp at most Apple stores for $149.
Hot golf attire
Graham DeLaet wears it, and frankly Puma’s move into golf now goes well beyond Rickie Fowler’s bright orange pants.
Puma’s golf clothing is a great fit for the Canadian market—modern without being excessive and smartly tailored to avoid being too baggy.
With DeLaet set to return to at the end of January, we’re sure to see him wearing sporty, head-turning outfits on the West Coast swing. Also worth checking out is Sligo, the brand DeLaet used to wear, and now sported by Canadian Roger Sloan. A Canadian company, Sligo offers much of the sports-centric appeal of Puma, but pushes boundaries a little further.
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