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FORESIGHT SPORTS

The new industry standard for accuracy at a price that a lot of people could reasonably afford.  Gives you the ability to get quality data with your own ball, without marking it, indoors or out.  Not only a great training product, but this could allow MGS to take our reviews to some outdoor on the course situations. (GolfSpy Matt)

There was a bit of buzz about ForeSight’s GC2 Camera-based launch monitor heading into the show, but what we saw absolutely blew our minds. The GC2 is so precise that it actually follows the dimples of the golf ball. Already in use by the likes of TaylorMade Cobra/PUMA, Adams, and PING, our industry indsiders tell us they’ve tested it head to head against Trackman and other systems, and the GC2 is as accurate as anything. Toss in beautifully rendered and informative shot information and the capability for simulator play, despite being offered at a fraction of the cost of other systems, the GC2 might just be the most complete launch monitor on the planet. (GolfSpy Tony)

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New! Tour Striker Training Aids

I think the new driver training aid could be the new Tour Striker in terms of popularity.  From a teaching perspective, the Educator is something that’s simple but teaches many things.  It’s also inexpensive.  I see if becoming the kind of training aid that many teachers tell their students to buy.  The impact bag is something that won’t “Wow” a lot of people, but it seems like they’ve made some legitimate improvements to an old favorite. (GolfSpy Matt)

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Industry Trend: Voice GPS

This seems like the big trend this year, and many companies are jumping on board with tiny units that will tell you the yardage with a single button push.  It seems that everyone learned from Garmin’s S1 GPS wristwatch that simple is good and they’re taking it to the extreme.  Matrix had one of the few units that is course-ready, and it seems like it will be a good fit for the more casual player. (GolfSpy Matt)

The Jones Bag

The re-birth of a  classic golf bag.  I’ll be curious to see how many people want to turn away from bags with 10,000 pockets.  I can definitely see the attraction to the retro look and the simplicity.  Launches in April. (GolfSpy Matt)

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TaylorMade-Adidas

When it comes to both demo day and their booth on the show room floor, TaylorMade makes few if any mistakes. Sure, I could tell you about the free beer and hot dogs. That’s a nice touch (especially on an 80-something degree day) but at demo day TaylorMade is all about custom fitting. Anyone who waits in line can get fit for the TaylorMade club of their choosing. It’s not just about getting your licks in with the RocketBallz, the emphasis really is on putting you in the club that will most help your game. What the TM fitter recommended for me was a HUGE eye opener.

As they did last year, TaylorMade chose a location on the opposite end of the show floor from all the other equipment manufacturers. And while some could view the self-imposed isolation as a form of arogance, I don’t think you’d find many who would argue that, from end to end, this year’s booth was anything other than exceptionally well done.

Whether you want to talk about the 17-yard long glowing neon RocketBallz tunnel, the “Driver Love” section devoted to the R11s, two separate driving ranges, the busiest apparel booth I saw at the show, or any of the half a dozen other features and attractions (Tweet Board anyone), even if George Thorogood didn’t resonate with our staff, the booth TMAG put together was mostly kinda awesome. (GolfSpy Tony)

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Oakley Golf Shoes

They’ve made the lightest golf shoe on the market and replaced the spikes with a replaceable “sandpaper” pad for traction.  If it works, it will be the perfect compromise between wanting to be low to the ground and wanting to have traction round after round. (GolfSpy Matt)

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The Puttist

A bit of a surprise, but this was something that I saw in the booth of many putter companies.  It’s a training aid that allows you to work on distance control in the space of only 5 feet. (GolfSpy Matt)

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The Benderstik

A simple concept (foam ball on a bendy stick) that can be used to teach a number of different things.  What I particularly like is that it’s a training aid that doesn’t teach a particular method or philosophy, it’s just there to provide whatever feedback you set it up for. (GolfSpy Matt)

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Apparel Trend: High End Fabrics

A couple of significant names in golf apparel, John Ashworth and Travis Johnson (creator of Travis Mathew) are launching apparel lines, Linksoul and Leisure Society, respectively, that are going away from the tech fabrics towards something more fashionable, luxurious, and high end.  Think wool, cashmere, and high quality cotton.  The concept is to use these high end materials but keep the young, slimmer cut that is becoming more popular.  From someone who does not want to dress like Ricky Fowler, this is a welcome trend. (GolfSpy Matt)

Canadian Apparel – Style is a personal preference, but I’ve been nothing but impressed by what I’ve seen from our neighbors to the north. Whether it’s Quaqmire, Hollas, or Sligo, you can go wrong with any of the 3 apparel companies from the Toronto area. Bright colors, and in some cases bold patterns are staples of the lineups, and though others may prefer things a bit more traditional, buidling a 100% Canadian wardrobe would basically guarantee you’d be the best dressed golfer at your club. Suit up, eh. (GolfSpy Tony)

TRUE Linkswear

I walked the show for 4 straight days, 3 of those days being a minimum of 8 hours.  I spent the entire time in a new pair of TRUE’s new PHX model and my feet felt awesome.  TRUE is launching 3 new models this year, and everyone should check them out. (GolfSpy Matt)

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Cru Golf – Leather Headcovers

Totally custom leather headcovers: you choose the color of the body, piping, and details.  100% wool lining to protect your club.  Totally handmade, one off covers at a reasonable price.  Better designed than comparable leather headcovers to slide on easily but stay in place once they’re on. (GolfSpy Matt)

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Axis 1 Putters

They work, they roll the ball straight. Maybe not the most attractive putter ever, but my first putt and all following puts were online, and it was very easy to make solid square contact. Looking forward to getting one of these in my bag to see if it makes a big difference on the course. (GolfSpy Tim)

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Amimono – Head Covers

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that a head cover caught my eye, but these guys stood out to me. Maybe it’s because I had knit animals as a kid that my mom made cause we were too poor to buy GI Joes, but hey, I want one. (GolfSpy Tim)

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SwingShot

Makes capturing high speed video of you swing really simple on the course, slides into your bag just like a club, pull it out, it sticks into the ground behind you, and you capture 60 fps. Pull out the usb port and plug into your computer at home and immediately view your swing, and if need be, share with your pro – also, it will show the location you where on the course via gps tracking. (GolfSpy Tim)

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Scor Golf

Tested these at demo day and they felt GREAT through the grass and in my hands. Looking forward to trying a set out on the course. I love my Vokey wedges, so I’m curious how these will compare for my game. (GolfSpy Tim)

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Opti-Logic

American made laser rangefinders – these guys make a range finder for the Israeli Army!!!! Good up to 1,000 yards – so when I bust out my long driver, this thing can keep up (or for when I head out hunting!). Seriously though, never heard of these guys, so it will be interesting to see if there’s anything that makes them different in the world of golf. (GolfSpy Tim)

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ES12 – Portable Launch Monitor

Looks like a cheeseball launch monitor, but promises accuracy. At only $225, this would be a very interesting option for the average joe golfer. Can’t imagine this guy keeping up with the ForeSight or Trackman, but worth a shot this year to see what it can actually do. (GolfSpy Tim)

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Mercedes AMG

Brought to us through the same group that apparently also brought the Hello Kitty brand to golf, this could be interesting. They forged irons were eye catching (though I’ve already heard mixed reviews) I was personally drawn strongest to their driver design. It would be interesting to place some wagers to see if they’ll be around in 2-3 years, and even more interesting to get a few sets in for full review. In a sea of nothing really that new, this line stood out.  (GolfSpy Tim)

Unfortunately there’s not much truly new on display on the equipment side of the show. That alone would have been enough to make the new irons (and drivers) from Mercedes worth a look. But when you consider the matte finish, clean lines, and just a hint of flair (iron designation on the toe), the new lineup from Mercedes is very likely the most intriguing we saw at the show. Admittedly actual performance is a huge unknown, but they’ve certainly got our attention. (GolfSpy Tony)

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Cobra – Puma

“Cobra-Puma brought the Tiger to the party with beers included. Finally a brand that lines up with my own personality. I’m looking forward to checking it all out with a full fitting in March.” (GolfSpy Tim)

While the feedback on the new Rickie Fowler inspired AMP collection hasn’t been universally positive, we can’t help but be impressed by Cobra’s unwaivering dedication to essentially creating a new market niche for their products. The PUMA influence here is boldly apparent, and we think it’s pretty ballsy that the company has gone all in with the new culture. Respect.

As was the case last year, the biggest parties were at Cobra-PUMA (both indoors and out), and while most OEMs seem to think they need to keep their big-name brand reprentatives roped off from the general population, at Cobra-PUMA stars like Lexi Thompson, Blair O’Neal, and Johnny Damon casually mingle with pee-ons like me. Toss in the free beer, and time spent at the Cobra-PUMA booth is an experience. If forced to spend the entire show inside a single booth I’d say lock me up at Cobra-PUMA. Did I mention Blair O’Neal? (GolfSpy Tony)

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Edel Golf

As always, extremely impressive custom wedges. They really do make some beautiful options, but my biggest question in the end would be, do I just hang it on the wall, or are these wedges that I’d actually be able to play on the course with? (GolfSpy Tim)

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Bridgestone Ball Fitting

Looking to burn some time before our flights out on Saturday, Golfspy T and Golfspy Matt and myself headed into the tradeshow for one last glance around. We ended up at the Bridgestone ball fitting booth and we hopped in and found out what their suggestion for a ball was. I’ve always played ProV1, but am now curious to see if the Tour B330 RX that was suggested works better for me or not. (GolfSpy Tim)

Launch monitors are becoming more and more common both at demo day and inside the booths at the PGA Show. And while some are actually using them to fit the golfers who line up to hit their clubs, others get a bit too caught up trying to prove theirs is longer than yours. At Bridgestone, despite having the best driver we’ve ever tested; the emphasis remains on fitting golfers for the right Bridgestone ball. The fitting techs look at the numbers generated by your ball of choice, and then recommend the best Bridgestone ball for your game. While most seem to expect that 10 more yards will come from a new driver, the guys at Bridgestone want you to know the right ball can make all the difference. GolfSpy Tim discovered the B330-RX was right for him. Me…I’m right on the line between the B330 and B330-S.  (GolfSpy Tony)

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NIKE DRIVER & APPAREL

Nike VR_S Driver and Sweet Red Pants – Full disclosure, I took less than a dozen swings with Nike’s new VR_S driver. While I could nitpick sound and feel (and the horrible Nike grip), what I saw on the range (no launch monitors) is a club that delivered balls down the center of the fairway on nearly every swing. We’ll certainly put the VR_S through our full compliment of tests, but out of the gates, this really is one to watch.

Nike is the #1 name in golf apparel, and while there’s always something that suites me, I’ve never been as excited about any single Nike item as I am about the sweet red pants one of their manequins was rocking. I’m told they’re a favorite of Anthony Kim, and now they’re a favorite of mine as well. (GolfSpy Tony)

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United Golf

Such a clean and simple design to their driver heads. Their black PBD1 heads look great, but they also make a non-conforming head in a gold finish that really caught my eye.  (GolfSpy Tim)

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Superstroke/Bruce Sizemore Putters

Of the putters I saw at the show, none are nearly as eye catching as these. This guy obviously has a talent when it comes to playing with metal – Not sure if the same could be said of TaylorMade’s choice of playing with metal in choosing George Thorogood to headline their party!  (GolfSpy Tim)

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