Why Casio’s Smart Outdoor Watch Is a Keeper

By Scott Kramer

 

If Casio’s PRO TREK Smart outdoor watch (WSD-F20) was simply a dumb watch, I would want to wear it everyday. It’s lightweight, comfortable and has a huge face. As a smartwatch, it both enhances and compromises that experience. Let me explain.

 

First the bad news. Its magnetic charger clasps rather clumsily to the charging port on the side of the watch. It’s a USB unit, so you can either plug the USB end of the cord into the side of your computer or into the included power brick and into a wall plug. Problem is, the magnetic side that connects to the watch isn’t a powerful one. So unless the watch is resting untouched on a desk or somewhere flat, it’s not going to stay connected. Even the slightest vibration will disconnect it. And when you consider that this is labeled an outdoor watch designed for hiking, camping, etc., I wonder where an active person who doesn’t sit at a desk all day is going to charge the unit. Especially knowing that the battery charge lasts two days, tops.

Now the good news. This is a pretty useful watch. It’s powered by Android Wear 2.0, offers GPS, full color maps, offline map usage, water resistance up to 50 meters deep, and is tested to military standard specs — ensuring it can withstand rugged activities and adventures. Out of the box, it displays a compass, barometer, altimeter, sunrise/sunset display, tide graph, latitude and longitude readout — anything you would realistically need out in the wilderness. It even has a microphone that lets you perform Google searches, ask for directions, or record voice memos on the map so you can remind yourself what you saw at a particular location.

You can also download maps and display them when the smartphone is out of range or offline — as it may well be up in the mountains. That’s a nice feature that makes it more like a standalone watch. Its screen is also touch-sensitive, so you can pinch and zoom. Unfortunately for me, my fingers are too big and kept hitting the raised bevel surrounding the screen. So that feature was rather ineffective for me.

 

Setting it up and pairing it with an Android smartphone is typical. If you’ve ever done it before, you’ve already mastered the feat. Casio also has its own “Moment Setter+” app that lets you further customize features.

My favorite feature was email: I could read it easily on the bright watch display. And to reply, I just voice-dictated into it and my response was sent in an instant. And my phone’s Bluetooth was not on for this function — only Wifi. Loved it, for its ease to use.

I did initially misinterpret one incident, before realizing it was a nice feature: After not wearing the watch for a day, I picked it up and it was only showing the time and date. For a while, I couldn’t figure out how to bring up the menu or get it communicating with my phone. Then I realized I was in low-power mode, as the battery had depleted to almost nothing. My bad. Once I charged it, the watch of course started functioning again right away. But if you use it just in timepiece mode with GPS disabled, the battery life extends to about a month.

And I could easily do that, believe me. The soft urethane band was extremely comfortable around my wrist. Best of all, it has 11 notch settings, so it truly will fit anyone. The watch lists for $500.

 

 

Scott Kramer is veteran, Southern California-based writer primarily versed in golf and personal technology. Studying Computer Sciences in college, and then working as a programmer/software engineer for about a decade, triggered my passion for today’s high-end, high-tech gadgets. I can’t help myself whenever I see any kind of cool new personal technology. I feel compelled to further check it out and see what it’s all about. And even if I have no use for it personally, I’m always thinking who it might best suit. There are exciting new innovations emerging daily that are shaping the future and simplifying life. And I hope to be your eyes to that world, through the words of this column.

Ember’s New Connected Mug Will Make You a Morning Person

By Scott Kramer

 

A creature of habit, I need a cup of joe first thing in the morning. And I mean first thing. Problem is, it’s too early. Like 5am. And I’m just not thinking yet. Invariably, I take a tiny first sip. Tastes great. And then about a minute later, I try a gulp. It’s way too hot. You’d think I’d learn.

 

But lately I’ve been trying Ember’s new ceramic, temperature-control mug. It communicates with my smartphone via Bluetooth. Through its app, I set the temperature to 132 degrees — after quick research using the mug, I realized that is my ideal temperature. And not the 154 degrees it’s at when I take it right off the Keurig machine. With this mug, once the temperature cools down to 132 for me, it stays there at that temperature. All day if I want it to. In fact, the mug combines phase change cooling with an active heating system to rapidly cool the drink to my desired temperature — a much better solution than pouring scorching coffee into a mug and waiting for it to cool down enough to drink. I’m not a patient guy.

And I’m with Clay Alexander, the company’s founder and CEO, who claims that “just a few degrees can make a big difference in taste. We’ve seen coffee lovers from all walks of life embrace the connection between taste and temperature first-hand with the success of our first product, the Ember Travel Mug. Our mission is to enhance your drinking experience by allowing you to choose the temperature that tastes best, so you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee for as long as you want.”

 

By the way, I reviewed that travel mug last year in this column, and was really impressed. Now as much as I love technology, I don’t really think my coffee needs to be connected to the internet. But this mug kind of combines the best of both worlds. That is, once I connect it, I never have to again. After I drink my coffee and empty the cup, the mug goes to sleep until I fill it again. And it’s kind of cool watching the temperature change on the phone app — when you want to use it. I always put a little milk in the mug, while I’m waiting for the brewer to heat up. When I do, the app shows that the temperature is “cold” — letting me know it’s working.

 

By the way, the mug is made of durable stainless steel with a reinforced ceramic coating. You charge it up on a matching charging coaster that’s armed with advanced active thermal technology. The mug, itself, features multiple temperature sensors and a microprocessor-controlled dual-band heating system. The app remembers a user’s preferred drinking temperature and has several preset options for easy drink customization, and also notifies users when the desired drinking temperature has been reached. It even lets users identify their mug by selecting a personal color that displays on a small LED light near the mug’s base. It’s now being sold in 4,600 Starbucks locations for $80.

I can’t wait to try soup in it next.

 

 

Scott Kramer is veteran, Southern California-based writer primarily versed in golf and personal technology. Studying Computer Sciences in college, and then working as a programmer/software engineer for about a decade, triggered my passion for today’s high-end, high-tech gadgets. I can’t help myself whenever I see any kind of cool new personal technology. I feel compelled to further check it out and see what it’s all about. And even if I have no use for it personally, I’m always thinking who it might best suit. There are exciting new innovations emerging daily that are shaping the future and simplifying life. And I hope to be your eyes to that world, through the words of this column.

REKS Black Friday-Cyber Monday Holiday Incentives – Up To 50% Off Selected Frames

By Leonard Finkel

This holiday season, REKS has created a two-of-a-kind program for today’s busy consumers, offering special deals on a limited number of frames. Ideal for shoppers looking for excellent value, this special is just a click away at reks.com. This holiday sale is available through December 25th.

Highlights of this Holiday Sale include:

• Limited time offers on all Sport, Aviator, Seafarer and Round frames:
o Sport & Aviator frames: $18 for one or two for $30, regularly $30 each
o Seafarer and Round frames: $28 for one or two for $50, regularly $50 each
o Unbreakable frame with memory-flex polymer construction
o Lightweight and comfortable, especially under a helmet
o Shatter-resistant polycarbonate lenses
o Anti-Reflective coating

• Sport and Aviator Frames Featuring proprietary SOLUX lenses:
o Ultralight Shatter-Resistant Polycarbonate
o 10 times more shatter resistant than glass or plastic
o 100% UV 400 Protection
o Multi-coated lenses (Hydrophobic, scratch-resistant & anti-reflective coating)
o Available in 8 colors including mirrors

• Seafarer and Round Frames Featuring proprietary Lumolux lenses:
o Polycarbonate polarized lenses eliminate glare
o All lenses are 10 times more shatter-resistant than glass or plastic
o 100% UV 400 Protection
o Multi-coated optics (Hydrophobic, scratch-resistant & anti-reflective coating)
o Meets ANSI Z80.3 safety standards

All glasses include free delivery and a 24-month warranty against breakage.

 

 

 

Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and has added poker to his writing repertoire. Finkel also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. His specialty niche is writing advertorial copy. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

10 Players to Watch: RSM Classic

By Tom LaMarre – Courtesy The Sports Xchange

  1. Webb Simpson, United States — The 2012 U.S. Open champion has gotten off to a solid start to the new season with a tie for 17th in the Safeway Open and a tie for 20th in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. That gives him seven top-20 results in his last eight tournaments dating to the end of last season, including solo third in the Wyndham Championship before a tie for sixth in The Northern Trust and a tie for ninth in the BMW Championship. Simpson also tied for 13th in the Tour Championship and wound up 17th in the FedExCup point standings. He has four PGA Tour victories in his career and almost added another before losing on the second hole of a playoff to Ben Crane in 2011 on the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga., site to the RSM Classic this week. Simpson lost when his three-foot par putt on the second extra hole lipped out. He is playing in the event for the sixth time, and also tied for seventh in 2014.
  1. Matt Kuchar, United States — This is a home game for Kuchar, the former Georgia Tech All-American who lives in St. Simons Island, Ga. He is playing in what now is the RSM Classic for the seventh time. Kuchar has finished in the top 25 on six occasions, but the only time he broke into the top 10 on the Seaside Course at Sea Island came when he tied for seventh in 2014, and last year he shot 70-72 — 142 to miss the cut by five strokes. Kuchar, who leads the PGA Tour with 84 finishes in the top 10 since 2009, tied for 31st in the WGC-HSBC Champions late last month in his only start this season, but tied for ninth in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in August to start a strong run at the end of the season. He later tied for 10th in The Northern Trust, tied for fifth in the BMW Championship and tied for 10th in the Tour Championship to finish 14th in the FedExCup standings.
  1. Patton Kizzire, United States — After returning home to Sea Island as a winner on the PGA Tour for the first time following his victory in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba last weekend, Kizzire will be one of the favorites of the local crowd this week in the RSM Classic. He shot 66-67 in a 36-hole finish on Sunday in rain-delayed tournament at Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and held off Rickie Fowler by one shot by playing bogey-free in the final round. His only other pro victories came in the Utah Championship and the News Sentinel Open two years ago on the Web.com Tour. Kizzire also tied for fourth in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and tied for 10th in the Sanderson Farms Championship to hold the lead in the FedExCup point standings early in the season. He has yet to play well in his hometown event, tying for 54th three years ago before shooting 68-73 — 141 and 73-65 — 138 to miss the cut each of the last two seasons.
  1. Kevin Kisner, United States — Two years ago, Kisner claimed his first PGA Tour victory in the RSM Classic and he added to that last May when he captured the Dean & DeLuca Invitational. He played the weekend in 64-64 in 2015 at Sea Island to run away for a six-stroke victory over Kevin Chappell. That came after he lost in playoffs three times that year, to Jim Furyk in the RBC Heritage, to Rickie Fowler in the Players Championship and to Danny Lee of New Zealand in the Greenbrier Classic. Kisner is playing on the Seaside Course for the seventh time, also tying for fourth in 2014 and tying for 20th in 2013, but he has missed the cut twice, including in his title defense last year with a score of 68-72 — 140 to miss the weekend by three shots. He went on to have a solid season with his RBC victory and runner-up results in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Zurich Classic, winding up 12th in the FedExCup standings after tying for third in the Tour Championship.
  1. Brian Harman, United States — The left-hander has finished in the top 10 in both of his outings early this season, tying for fifth in the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges and finishing eighth in the WGC-HSBC Champions, where he was right with the leaders before closing with a 74. Those results came after he claimed his second PGA Tour victory last season in the Wells Fargo Championship, holding off top-ranked Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez by one stroke during a career season. Harman finished in the top 10 on seven occasions, including a tie for second in the U.S. Open in Erin Hills and wound up 25th in the FedExCup standings. He is another one of the Sea Island residents playing at home in the RSM Classic this week, making his sixth start in the event. His best result was a tie for 10th in 2014 after tying for 27th two years earlier. However, Harman shot 71-73 — 144 two years ago and 72-71 — 143 to miss the cut last year, missing the cut both times.
  1. Chesson Hadley, United States — Only an illness knocked Hadley off track last week in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico, where he was forced to withdraw after making the cut with a score of 71-70 — 141. Before that, after regaining his PGA Tour card by leading the 2017 Web.com Tour money list while winning twice, he got the new season off to a great start with a tie for third in the Safeway Open, solo second in the Sanderson Championship and a tie for fourth in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Hadley, who won the 2014 Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour and also won twice more on the Web.com Tour in 2013, has finished in the top 10 eight times in his last 11 starts on both tours. He is making his fifth start on the Seaside Course at Sea Island and has yet to play well, with his best results a tie for 32nd in 2014 and a tie for 45th last year, in addition to missing the cut twice.
  1. Whee Kim, South Korea — One of the young players who has taken advantage of the Fall events to get his season off to a fast start, Kim is ninth in the FedExCup standings heading to Sea Island Resort. He already has played five times and tied for second in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, losing in a playoff to Patrick Cantlay, and finished fourth in the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges at home in South Korea. The 25-year-old Kim was in the chase last week in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba with three scores in the 60s before he closed with a 75 and slid to a tie for 45th. He showed last year that he can play with the big boys when he tied for second in the FedEx St. Jude Classic and tied for fifth in the Puerto Rico Open. Kim, whose only pro victory came in the 2012 Shinhan Donghae Open on the Korean Tour, is playing in the RSM Classic for the third time, having tied for 54th three years ago and tied for 27th last year.
  1. Brandt Snedeker, United States — The guy they call Sneds, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, returns to competitive golf for the first time since July 4, when he went down because of a sternum joint injury before the start of the Greenbrier Classic. He has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but was playing well at the time of his most recent ailment, having tied for ninth in the U.S. Open and tied for 14th in the Travelers Championship, closing with a 64 in his last round of the season. The 36-year-old Snedeker is playing in what now is the RSM Classic for the fourth time and his best result was a tie for 32nd in 2011, when he played the last three rounds on the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga., in 68-67-69 after opening with a 71. He also shot 71-74 — 145 to miss he cut by five strokes two years ago and tied for 45th last year despite opening with a 66 and closing with a 68.
  1. Bill Haas, United States — The 2011 FedExCup champion started this season with a tie for 17th in the Safeway Open and has played well in four previous starts in what is now the RSM Classic. In 2010, he played the weekend at Sea Island Resort in 66-65 to finish solo second, one shot behind Heath Slocum, in addition to tying for 22nd in 2015 and tying for 13th last year, posting four rounds in the 60s each time. Haas, who has won six times on the PGA Tour but not since the 2015 Humana Challenge, didn’t have a great 2016-17 season, but he did tie for fifth in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, finish third in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and tie for 10th in the Dell Technologies Championship during the playoffs. However, he tied for 53rd in the BMW Championship to finish five spots outside the top 30 players in the FedExCup point standings who qualified for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
  1. Charles Howell III, United States — Not only has Howell gotten off to a quick start in the new season with three results in the top 20, he has a strong record in what has become the RSM Classic on the Seaside Course. He has three top-10 results in seven starts at Sea Island Resort, including a tie for ninth two years ago, a tie for seventh in 2012 and a tie for sixth in 2010, plus a tie for 13th last season. Howell, who has won twice on the PGA Tour but not since the 2007 Nissan Open, tied for 19th in the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, tied for 15th in the WGC-HSBC Champions and tied for fourth last weekend in the OHL Classic by playing the 36-hole final day in 66-66 in rainy Mexico. He came close to returning to the winner’s circle last year when he tied for second in the Farmers Insurance Open, and lost in a playoff to Kyle Stanley in the Quicken Loans National.

 

Tom LaMarre has been a sportswriter and copy editor for more than 50 years, including 15 years with the Oakland Tribune and 22 with the Los Angeles Times. He was the Tribune’s beat writer for the Oakland Raiders for seven seasons in the 1970s, highlighted by their 32-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and collaborated on a book, Winning Offensive Football, with quarterback Ken Stabler. He also covered the Oakland Athletics when they won three consecutive World Series during the 1970s and the Golden State Warriors when they won the NBA championship in the 1974-75 season. With the Times, he wrote columns on golf, football and skiing. These days, he is the Golf Editor for The Sports Xchange. LaMarre graduated from Skyline High in Oakland and attended the University of San Francisco.

V-One Sports Launches Golf Instruction Solutions for Teaching Professionals

By Leonard Finkel

In providing video instruction technology for teaching professionals, V-ONE Sports (V1) continues to evolve its leading platform by announcing new professional solutions for all levels of teaching.

“Golf instruction and how instructors teach continues to evolve,” Chris McGinley, CEO of V-ONE Sports, said. “By asking the right questions and listening closely to our V1 teaching professionals, our mission is to provide the right tools and a pathway to success that helps them grow their business.”

Whether teaching full or part time, in a studio with fixed cameras or on the range with your mobile device, V1 delivers a package to make an impact including branded communications and integrated marketing options.

The V1 video instruction platform offers multiple options utilizing V1’s award winning Pro HD desktop and Pro App mobile software. V1 Premium plans provide video instruction, branding, integrated marketing in Complete, Studio or Mobile options. V1 Basic plans are for individual instructors who just want the best in video analysis tools.

“With V1 technology and product packages built for the instructor or teaching academy needs, our platform offers the ability to grow as they expand their business” McGinley explained. “If you are a PGM student just learning to teach, a young instructor getting started, or have an existing teaching business that you want to improve, V1 can help.”

Both Premium and Basic plans include the ability to capture and analyze video, create and deliver more effective, high quality digital lessons and deliver them via email, text or cloud based locker. V1 allows for tips and drills to be seamlessly integrated into lessons. V1 offers an enormous range of professional model swings for compare and overlay during analysis.

The new V1 Premium and Basic plans have set the foundation for V1 to continue to evolve. This includes developing and launching more innovative technology and business integration tools in the coming months that will help instructors be more efficient, more effective, and grow their teaching business.

For information about the V1 Pro HD and V1 Pro Mobile App solutions, visit v1sports.com/professional-solutions. To experience a free trial of the software, contact v1sports.com/signup or call 800-777-7721.

 

 

 

 

Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and has added poker to his writing repertoire. Finkel also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. His specialty niche is writing advertorial copy. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

Premier Irish Golf Tours Great Augusta Giveaway

By Leonard Finkel

Premier Irish Golf Tours (premieririshgolftours.com) is giving away a trip for two in their “Great Augusta Giveaway” for the big event this April. Golf clubs, courses and golf industry businesses including online retailers and online golf instruction websites are eligible for this trip. The trip is to be used as a marketing and promotion tool which they themselves can give as added value to their players, members, clients or subscribers to their lists.

Premier Irish Golf Tours, interested in strategic partnerships with other golf industry businesses, chose to take the initiative and provide this valuable marketing and promotional tool at no cost or obligation to all qualifying organizations.

Owner and Director David McMahon said; “We are a top global golf travel provider, but not enough industry executives and PGA Professionals know about us. We also know that catering to avid golfers is a must for all of us in the golf industry if we want to grow the game of golf and the industry. My thinking is, I will help you with your business first, and then if we prove ourselves, you will refer business back to us. Somebody always has to be first to reach out and build the relationship”.

This trip for a winner and their guest includes:
  • Meet and Greet on first morning by Travel Executive
  • 3 Nights Quality Accommodation at Nearby Hotel or Rented Home (15 Minutes from Event)
  • 2 days of tickets to the golf tournament (From Thursday, 4/5/18 to Sunday, 4/8/18)
  • 1 day of golf at a nearby course (The Reserve Golf Club, The River Golf Club)
  • Pick up and drop off at golf course each day.  Park and ride options also available

Interested Parties can visit: destination.premieririshgolftours.com/augusta-giveaway-2018 to learn more about the giveaway. To learn how you can use this promotional tool at no cost and to request a call from a member of the Premier Irish Golf Tours Team visit: destination.premieririshgolftours.com/grow-your-database .

 

Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and has added poker to his writing repertoire. Finkel also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. His specialty niche is writing advertorial copy. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

Daphne’s Headcovers Partner with Daly on New Lion Headcover

By Leonard Finkel

 

Daphne’s Headcovers introduced its new Lion Headcover. Daphne’s is teaming up with PGA Tour legend John Daly to produce the contemporary design.
Daly declared, “I am very excited to announce my new partnership with Daphne’s Headcovers! So, make sure when you cover up that hot driver, make sure it’s a ‘Grip It and Rip It’ John Daly Lion Headcover by Daphne’s!”

The long-awaited headcover has been under consideration since 1999. Daly was called the “Lion” in high school because of his long blond hair. Sales proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Dardanelle, Arkansas.

Daphne’s is a hometown success story, started 39 years ago when Jane Spicer and her mother, Daphne, decided to make animal headcovers out of puppets. Dogs, cats, and wildlife still dominate the line. “Just for Fun” headcovers have joined the family over the years. They include the Smurfs, Ninja, and Girl Monkey Made of Sockies, which is carried by LPGA professional Michelle Wie.

Fans will get their first glimpse of the Lion Headcover at the 2017 Charles Schwab Cup Championship, held at Phoenix Country Club. Championship play is November 10, 11 and 12. It’s the season-ending event on PGA Tour Champions and determines the final money list.  daphnesheadcovers.com

 

 

Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and has added poker to his writing repertoire. Finkel also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. His specialty niche is writing advertorial copy. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

Coach Labs’ GEN i1 Intelligent Golf Ball Shipping for the Holidays

By Leonard Finkel

Recognized as the “Best New Game Improvement Device of the Year” at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show, the much-anticipated GEN i1 (geni1.com), is the latest in golf’s coolest tech products and will be shipping in time to make every golfer’s holiday wishes come true.

According to a preview in Golf Digest (Sept. 12, 2017), the GEN i1 golf ball is “the latest example of how golf’s most ground-breaking technologies continue to be its smallest.” GEN i1 has also been featured on Golf Channel BunkerShot.com, WRX and other national media outlets.

The GEN i1 golf ball’s core contains a nine-axis embedded sensor and on-board MCU that acts like a miniature launch monitor inside. The “smart” ball is calibrated specifically for putting, measuring initial direction, speed, impact force and skid/skip. The data is then relayed through an app to your mobile device via Bluetooth. The GEN i1 also comes with a putter sensor on the handle that will show you the cause and effect of your stroke and ball.

“The data the GEN i1 produces helps you understand why you’re missing putts,” said Jason Koo, Founder of Coach Labs. “Practicing putting is boring, but these algorithms not only give us information to educate golfers, they let us integrate games with the ball and the app to make practice fun and entertaining.”

The GEN i1 app is easy and intuitive. Once the user creates an account, the GEN i1 will be able to assess his/her skill level and provide a customized practice plan that will entertain while improving skills. The games and drills will challenge golfers while creating routines that will help them to improve squaring up the face and consistent tempo to improve distance control.

Coach Labs is developing two additional smart balls. GEN i2 is currently in production and is designed to measure all aspects of the full-swing including direction, launch angle, spin rate, distance, speed and finding your ball. GEN i3 will be modified for indoor use only and practice in golf simulators and for gaming applications.

“The GEN i1 has been designed through a very sophisticated, patent-pending technology and manufacturing process that is connecting golf performance with play,” said Koo. “It’s an all-around application providing real-time data on your smart phone that’s far ahead of anything in development or on the market today. Golfers of all levels will benefit in real ways: lower scores and faster fixes. Right in the palm of their hands.”

GEN i1 is available now online at geni1.com beginning at $129 per ball. For more information visit geni1.com or call 888-766-5554.

 

Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and has added poker to his writing repertoire. Finkel also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. His specialty niche is writing advertorial copy. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

BIG MAX TACKLES THE TOUGHEST TERRAIN WITH 4-WHEEL DRIVE BLADE QUATTRO

By Leonard Finkel

 

When you want stability and traction you turn to 4-wheel drive.  So as BIG MAX sets its sights on tackling golf’s toughest terrain, it’s quite natural that their answer is the 4-wheel Blade Quattro.

The Quattro has been developed with the hilliest courses and toughest tracks in mind.  Its extra wheel brings the stability needed to keep the trolley on track whatever the terrain.  In addition to its superb stability, the Blade Quattro incorporates BIG MAX’s unique fold flat technology.

Used in BIG MAX’s award-winning Blade+ and Autofold FF trolleys, fold flat technology is the perfect partner for the Blade Quattro. The extra wheel poses no problems for its unique technology as all four wheels flip neatly under the trolley in one swift movement.

On the course is where this trolley really shines. Its 4 wheels glide across the toughest terrain, even with the largest TOUR bag on board. It offers complete stability even when traversing a hillside and keeps you on course whatever the conditions underfoot. A footbrake keeps the trolley in place when stationary and a host of features such as the organizer panel with storage compartment, height adjustable handle and quick fix and quick lock fixings for accessories complete the package.

Available in Phantom, Phantom/Lime, White, White/Red, the Blade Quattro is available in store and online.

 

 

 

 

Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and has added poker to his writing repertoire. Finkel also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. His specialty niche is writing advertorial copy. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

Hottest Clubs on the Market – Ideal Holiday Gifts

By Barry Lotz

 

All golfers are constantly seeking to improve their golf game, whether it’s with a new club, ball, or training aid. Most overlooked though, is the simple golf lesson offered by so many excellent golf teachers in most every city, where golf is played.

However, should you not be so inclined to take golf lessons, then the following clubs will most definitely improve your fairway game and, of course, garner those magical extra yards.

The appeal of adjustable drivers is near an all-time high, according to industry researcher Golf Datatech. Some 85 percent of golfers say they are at least interested in purchasing a driver with a rotating hosel and/or movable weights. But there are manufacturers betting that at least some golfers need a driver that doesn’t change—one that’s just engineered to hit it higher and mitigate a slice.

To achieve this, manufacturers have chosen to forfeit the fitting options and save the costs by making their clubs nonadjustable. Do they have a point? Well, Golf Datatech’s research shows that although one in two low-handicappers are very interested in adjustable drivers, only one in three high-handicappers are. Here we present two drivers, one adjustable, the other not…

PING G400

From the company that espouses commitment to quality, another outstanding club is now available. PING’s approach to new equipment starts with knowledge, and then the products emerge from that knowledge. PING only releases new products if they actually outperform the previous model.

Following the HUGE success of the G30 and G line, the G400 is the newest iteration of their driver.

In a nutshell – “Wow! What a beauty!” As good looking as it is powerful. Expect 8 -20 more yards on your drives. It is also very easy to hit off the fairway and rough, depending on your lie.

Out 25 testers and 17 of the 20 retailers visited in Las Vegas, San Diego, and Palm Springs, unequivocally, agree that the PING G400 is the best sounding and feeling G driver PING has made for a while, quite possibly back even to the G2 and G5. It has a much lower pitched, richer sound that makes this one of the best sounding drivers in the market.

As with most major brands, PING tries to get the CG (Center of Gravity) of their drivers as low and far back as they can to make them as forgiving as possible, and so far, they are singularly the most successful at doing this, according to the many retailers and our testing group.

PING’s G400 driver has managed to go deeper and lower again over the G30 models.

The USP (Unique Selling Propositions) – Despite their slimmer frames, the G400 drivers are actually more forgiving than the G drivers (which were even more forgiving than the G30). Smaller heads move faster through the air than larger ones and according to PING’s numbers, the 445cc G400 driver is as aerodynamic as the G30 driver shrunk to 295cc, so that is a big improvement in two generations.

Another big change is the other weight saver. This is the T9S+ Titanium Forged Face that is 6% thinner and can, therefore, flex 16% more to increase ball speed by 1.2mph at a 105 mph swing speed.

The deeper CG comes from the tungsten weight that is placed behind the gold screw weight that Ping uses to modify the head weight during their custom fitting process. With a combined MOI (Moment of Inertia) over 9000 and the deepest CG location in golf, it elevates stability and forgiveness to the highest levels ever.

The G400 gold weight is made from a 30% denser material than the previous G sole weight, and as a result, it is smaller and looks better as well.

As with previous driver models, the use of Dragonfly Technology (a geometry on the back of the driver crown that helps push CG lower and more rearward in the driver heads) creates an ultra-thin crown and skirt for weight savings to optimize the CG location and increase MOI for maximum forgiveness and accuracy.

Dragonfly ribs on the inside of the head, not only provide additional stability, but also modify the sound to caress your ears as you blast one into the atmosphere.

The standard G400 driver comes in lofts 9˚ and 10.5˚.

Like before, there is also a G400 SF Tec option that uses Straight Flight Technology (more TWT) where the tungsten weight moves from the back of the sole towards the heel, combined with a lighter D0 swing weight and allows the face to square more easily, for those of us who have a little leakage to the right.

Available in 10° and 12° lofts, the SFT was first introduced in the G30. In my opinion, this was a really good option and it grew to become the biggest selling head option in the G driver range. I believe, and expect that to continue with the G400.

At the other end of the scale is the low spin LS Tec, where the tungsten is moved forward in front of the gold weight to lose around 300 rpm spin from the 8.5° and 10° heads.

 

A large variety of loft and head options, as well as two different lengths of the counterbalanced Alta CB shaft are available. PING’s proprietary counter-balance design allows for more mass in the head to increase energy transfer. Color-Shift Paint Technology means the vibrant copper shaft paint transitions to nearly black, as you address the ball to eliminate distraction.

After market shafts include the PING Tour 65, PING Tour 75, the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi, the Project X HZRDUS Yellow, and the Aldila X- Torsion Copper. All with an upcharge beginning at $45 to upwards of $250, based on the shaft choice made.

The standard length is 45.75 inches, but there is also a ‘Tour Length’ 45.25 inch shaft, which may suit more golfers for better accuracy. Both come in a copper color that morphs into black as you put the club down at address, which is a cool feature on this and all the other G400 woods.

Every PING G driver is good, a little bit better than the last, through solid engineering, but with the improvement in looks and sound, the Ping G400 should go down as one of their very best.

$397.00     www.ping.com

The Vertical Groove Driver

Looking for a handsome driver that stands out and performs? The Vertical groove driver is such a club.  Kenny Perry, John Daly and Rocco Mediate are devotees of this driver. Both Perry and Daly recording victories on the Champions Tour.

According to Managing Partner of Vertical Groove Golf, Rubin Hanan.”All three have picked up distance. “Kenny, who has been one of the top five longest drivers, has gained about five yards; Rocco picked up 12 yards, and, of course, John has picked up eight yards and has tightened his mishits down the fairway.”

The simplest solutions are usually the best, and yet, they are often the most overlooked. The Vertical Groove Driver is the first radical change to the face of the golf club in decades–and yet it couldn’t be simpler. Every golf club today uses horizontal grooves. Vertical Groove’s patented VGG Technology starts by rotating those grooves 90 degrees.

In an era where most drivers don’t have any grooves on the face at all, not only does the Vertical Groove driver stand out by having them, but as the name suggests, they are positioned vertically instead of horizontally. The 17 score lines on the face appear to offer more accuracy and better feel according to our testing group.

VGG Technology was developed by one of the greatest inventors in golf, Tony Antonious. Tony is well known for hundreds of golf patents, including the use of Velcro on the golf glove.

The 450 cc club was officially launched in January 2017. And just as the name suggests, the driver sports patented vertical grooves on the club face, rather than the standard horizontal ones on rival clubs, such as TaylorMade, Ping and Callaway — something that has proven to increase not only driving distance, but accuracy and forgiveness.

The look at address is very distinctive as well. It features a white crown with a large black oval section divided by a long green dotted alignment line. You can also see the bulge and roll, as well as the vertical grooves themselves at address. Some of our testing group found that this could take a bit of getting used to.

The Vertical Groove Driver sounds and feels great at addresses and produces a solid feel crunch from the titanium head.

The driver is equipped with an Aldila, premium grade NV2K series shaft which added an average of 10 yards more to the majority of our testing group. They all felt that the dispersion rate appeared to be 40 percent straighter in terms of flight down the fairway compared to their current drivers. Upgraded shafts are available for an additional fee.

Dispersion and distance-from-center tests were even more impressive. In head-to-head testing with the same upgraded shaft in every club, Vertical Groove drives were 43% closer to the center-line and had much less dispersion. Dispersion on the VGG club was 1.6 yards vs. an average of 13.5 for the competition. Some of the competitors had as much as 22.7 yards of dispersion.

 

The packaging of the club is world class. The design of the head cover is upscale and elegant, as are the towel and bag tag and shipping box. Even the product card was of notable quality.

A special mention must go to the see-through head cover which is easy to take on and off and looks great with the lime green flashes.

Right & Left Handed Lofts are available in 9.5°, 10.5°, 12°
And shaft flexes are available in Ladies, Senior, regular, Stiff and Tour X.

$399.99                               www.vertgolf.com

Tour Edge EXOTICS CBX Fairway Wood

Tour Edge’s David Glod’s genius has surfaced again!

The Exotics legacy is renewed with the all-new CBX woods as independent test results prove them to be the longest, most powerful on the market today. Everything else falls short against the CBX, outdistancing competitors on average of 16 yards. Exotics once again takes distance gains to the next level with absolute center of gravity (CG) for control, and power.

Tour Edge engineers introduced their first Exotics fairway wood in 2004, creating new benchmarks for technology, distance and power in a fairway wood. The engine of the CBX Hybrid again lies within Exotics core ethos of using superior multi-materials and construction methods. A Beta Ti cup face is brazed with a Hyper Steel body to produce the perfect launch and low spin combination.

The CBX design alters the club’s CG to manipulate initial launch angle and velocity, also reducing the amount of spin the ball will have on release. The precise engineering creates a spin-killing distance machine – and the proof is in the numbers. Independent testing proves that the CBX fairway wood outdistances its most popular competitors an average of over 16 yards.

“The CBX wood is a game-changer. The distance gains from the independent test are phenomenal. Then we saw the spin numbers and started calling it the ‘spin-killer’ around the office,” said President and Founder David

Glod. “Everything has lined-up for the CBX, the design, compilation of materials, and CG location to make it our next BEST fairway wood.”

The absolute CG location in the CBX fairway wood is combined with precise weighting throughout the club head.

To locate the precise CG, a carbon sole unit moves mass forward. The longer toe to heel and shorter front to back head shape optimizes performance with CG location. The higher CG location minimizes spin for optimal low-spin distance. The result is the lowest spinning, exceptionally versatile fairway wood capable of delivering amazing distances and performance.

Engineers developed the new Speed Ramp sole based on the design of the SlipStream™ sole waves in the CB PRO fairway wood. The Speed Ramp sole is the next generation of design to minimizes ground contact and maintain speed through impact.

The super thin Beta Titanium face is combo brazed to the heavy hyper steel body without welding for exact weighting tolerances. Highlighting the face is the Exotics variable face thickness technology for forgiveness on off-center hits. Cosmetically the CBX is beautifully modern featuring a strong black finish without any alignment marks.

The CBX fairway wood is for sale in four lofts; 3 (13.5 degree), 3 (15 degree), 4 (16.5 degree), and 5 (18 degree). Premium shafts include the Project X HZRDUS series and Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver Dual Core, a standard Lamkin Z5 grip for comfort. Custom premium shaft options – no additional charge – Aldila Rogue Silver and Black series, Exotics Fujikura Pro series, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana series, and Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Blue series.

Every Tour Edge club comes with a lifetime warranty and a 30-day play guarantee. For more information, call (800) 515-3343 or visit touredge.com.

MODEL LOFT FACE ANGLE LIE ANGLE LENGTH FLEX
#3 13.5° SQUARE 57° 43″ R,S,X
#3 15.0° SQUARE 57° 43″ R,S,X
#4 16.5° SQUARE 58° 42.5″ R,S,X
#5 18.0° SQUARE 58° 42″ R,S,X

The Project X HZRDUS and the Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver shafts are available in a variety of weights and flexes, primarily R, S and X.

$349.99    www.TourEdge.com

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

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