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The Tour Report

June 13 2012

1:46 PM

Father’s Day gift guide

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By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

Got your shopping done yet for dad? There’s still time to take care of his golf needs. Here’s a few of this year’s new products (clockwise from top left):

Titleist Velocity balls: If your standard Father’s Day play is a dozen Titleists for Dad, consider the company’s new distance ball. The Velocity ($27 per dozen) has the fastest solid core of any Titleist ball and a low, boring flight. Not boring are the orange double-digit numbers, which is a new wrinkle for usually conservative Titleist.

Arnie clothing: If your standard Father’s Day play is a shirt or sweater, check out the new clothing line designed, literally, with a peek into Arnold Palmer’s closet. Different collections are based on his styles from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, plus a “timeless” collection – though they’re really all timeless.

Callaway custom Razr Fit driver: Club customization has moved beyond from stamping letters into wedges and putters; now it’s possible to get a pro-line driver customized all the way down to a color. Callaway’s udesign site allows players to choose one of eight colors, then dozens of custom shafts and grips. Such customization doesn’t come cheap (prices start at $499), but it does almost ensure a one-of-a-kind club.

Ogio Recoil carry bag: Does dad still walk his rounds? Help lighten his load with Ogio’s Shoxx system, found on the company’s top-of-the-line Recoil bag ($239.99 with free shipping from Ogio’s website). The bag weighs eight pounds empty, which isn’t so light in the stand-bag market, but filled with gear on one’s shoulders the Recoil feels far lighter thanks to bungee-style straps that balance the load and move with a player’s walk.

Ecco Biom Hybrid shoes: Every shoemaker now offers casual golf shoes that can go from the 18th green to the clubhouse dining rooms, since Fred Couples started the trend with Ecco shoes a couple years ago. The Biom Hybrid (MSRP $190) has 100 molded traction bars on the outsole and breathable yak leather uppers. That’s right – yak leather.

TaylorMade RBZ hybrid: The debut of the Rocketballz name by TaylorMade earlier this year was a bit of a groaner, but clubs live up to the name and the hype. The hybrid ($170) is a good entry into the line, with a “speed pocket” in the sole that increases ball speed for more distance.

Garmin Approach S3 watch: Technology in GPS and rangefinder devices is constantly improving, with distances now being available on your wrist. The S3 is pricey ($350), but it comes loaded with some 27,000 worldwide courses and subsequent updates are free. Dad will think it’s worth it the first time he dials in a shot pin-high to a tucked hole.

Kentwool golf socks: Don’t feel sheepish about giving dad a pair of socks. Kentwool, a 169-year-old family-owned American company, has created Tour Profile socks ($20) from a proprietary blend of fine merino wool and high-tech fibers for superior moisture management. Masters champion Bubba Watson wears them, and this week at Olympic Club he’ll wear a limited-edition U.S. Open pair. Limited-edition socks … we love golf.


WHAT’S IN A LOGO?: TaylorMade’s custom logos for the majors are puzzles unto themselves. For the U.S.

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Open at Olympic, the most esoteric part of its logo is an “Off The Air” bar across the top – a reference to the fact that NBC’s telecast in 1955 went off the air Sunday afternoon with Ben Hogan as the clubhouse leader. The network wasn’t expecting Jack Fleck to tie Hogan with a birdie on the 18th hole, never mind winning the next day in a playoff.

Other touches include a gold medal in the center, paying homage to The Olympic Club’s status as the nation’s oldest athletic club, Golden Gate bridge accents, four stars for the four previous Opens at Olympic and a pinstriped 5 for San Francisco’s own Joe DiMaggio.

For more about TaylorMade players at the U.S. Open, the company created a social media portal here.

WINNER’S BAG: Dustin Johnson at the FedEx St. Jude Classic:
Driver: TaylorMade R11S (10.5 degree) with a Motore F1 2.0 shaft 
Fairway woods: TaylorMade RocketBallz Tour (17.5 degrees); R9 (19 degrees)
Irons: TaylorMade Tour Preferred Forged MB (3-PW)
Wedges: TaylorMade TP with xFT (54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 prototype 
Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP5