By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
PING Golf has produced some highly successful putters over the past 54 years, so when the company's director of engineering, Brad Schweigert, stated the Scottsdale True Roll (TR) putter line is one of the "coolest innovations" to hit the putter market in a long, long time, you stand up and take notice.
There are a number of things that separate the Scottsdale TR putter from the rest of the pack -- shaft adjustability being a major game-changer -- but the most noticeable addition is a grooved, aluminum face insert.
According to Schweigert, PING engineers were working with grooves to improve launch and spin and happened upon variable depth grooves during testing.
"We started out working on grooves for the purpose to see if we could improve the roll of the ball and improve the launch and spin," Schweigert said. "What we found during that research was that grooves had a significant effect on ball velocity, and that we could manipulate that velocity by the depth of the grooves. We kind of put two and two together and said, 'Well, what if we come up with a variable depth grooves design to try and better mobilize the ball velocity across the entire face?'"
Through testing, PING found that grooves reduce the velocity of a ball coming off the clubface, and that the deeper they made the grooves on the putter, the more ball speed was lost. By varying the depth of the grooves across the face — with the deepest grooves in the center and getting gradually shallower toward the perimeter to equalize ball speed — they were able to improve distance control on center-hit and mis-hit putts off the heel or toe.
Photo: Miralle/Getty Images
The Equipment Report will spotlight specific products throughout the course of this season. This week's Product Spotlight focuses on the new adidas adizero golf shoes. For more information from adidas, please click here.
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Brandt Snedeker's new adizero golf shoes didn't turn him into an overnight star, but based on the red-hot start he had to the 2013 season, coupled with his comments recently about adidas' latest golf shoe offering, it's worth asking the question.
Did a pair of golf shoes play a role in Snedeker starting the season with four top-10 finishes, including a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am?
Snedeker was a household name before this season — he was the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in 2007 and won the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and season-long FedExCup in 2012 — but as the five-time PGA TOUR winner noted at the Farmers Insurance Open, he felt his adizero shoes gave him an advantage over the field.
"I put them on straight out the box at Kapalua to play 36 holes and I could tell a marked difference in my energy levels at the end of the day, the way my feet felt at the end of the day. I definitely think it's an advantage over guys who aren't wearing them," he said.
"As light as I am on my feet this week, I feel a little bit lighter with these shoes on. It feels great to have 10 ounces less on my feet than I normally do and I can definitely tell a difference with them."
Just like new equipment, there's an adjustment period when it comes to footwear. Considering how many miles players log each year, it shouldn't come as a surprise that most take the offseason or a couple weeks at the start of the year to test new footwear before making a change.
However, adizero has taken a completely different path since the January launch. According to adidas Global Marketing Manager/Footwear Davide Mattucci, roughly 75 percent of the players on adidas' TOUR staff are already wearing adizero — and about 20 have been in the shoe since Week 1 of the PGA TOUR season.
"It's been pretty remarkable thus far," Mattucci said. "Most guys tried it on once and have been in it ever since. Brandt Snedeker is probably the best example. But in comparison to previous shoes we've built its been our most adopted style on tour in the shortest amount of time.
Having a golf shoe that’s incredibly stable and comfortable is extremely important, but if there’s one thing golf shoe manufacturers have been trying to master in recent years, it’s the weight of the shoe.
Adidas has been an industry leader in innovative, technologically advanced high-performance footwear for years, creating cutting-edge footwear that not only looks good but also performs and responds on the course.
Adizero Tour, an ultra-light shoe that weighs just 10.6 ounces and is 38 percent lighter than the popular TOUR360 ATV, is no different.
Thanks to a 1.2 millimeter Sprintframe outsole -- Adidas’ thinnest ever -- microfiber leather upper that’s light, thin and incredibly durable, and a 10-spike configuration with Thintech low-profile technology for added traction and stability, adidas was able to build a golf shoe that ticked all the necessary boxes with staffers.
The shoe is currently available in four colors with an MSRP of $180.