Golf Equipment


First Look: TLink Golf GPS/Pedometer and Special HOG Discount!

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
Categories: AppsGolfGolf AccessoriesGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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This is interesting.  There are many GPS units on the market.  I’ve reviewed a ton of them.  Some are stand alone and some are watches.  Most are bulky and expensive.  The TLink (pictured below) is neither bulky or expensive.

TLink_box

The TLink unit saves space by utilizing the GPS in one’s smartphone. The unit can be worn as a watch with the included band, or clamped onto a belt or pocket via the included clip.  TLink connects via bluetooth to an Android phone or iPhone and uses the phone’s GPS location for yardages, front, back and middle. TLink comes with 30,000 courses built in.  You can see if your course of choice is on the list here.

The unit also is a pedometer, like a FitBit.  It will track your steps (hopefully walking the golf course), distance walked, and calories burned.  It will even keep the records for later comparison.  So you can see how you did on your home course versus last week’s round. I wish I would have had this when I was in Scotland a couple of weeks ago.

The app is free with the unit, for yardages and pedometer functions.  An extra in-app purchase can open up a full statistics capability in the unit (pictured below).  Users can track scoring, fairways, putting, driving accuracy and so forth:

TLink_stats

The folks at T-Link reached out to me to do a product review.  That’s now in process.  They also asked if I would like to offer a discount to HOG readers.  Well, of course.  I’d love to reward HOG readers with a deal whenever possible.  Follow this link to the TLink web store and use the discount coupon code hooked at checkout to knock the price down from $99 to $89.

I’m charging up my unit for the first time.  I’ll be doing my first round of testing this week.  Stay tuned.


Review: Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, August 8th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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Say hello to the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.  I’ve been “working” on this review for a some time now.  It has been a rough go, playing one of the world’s best irons and such.  Yes, being at the top of the golf blog heap can be difficult.  I’m up to the task though.

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

About Miura

Before we look at the Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blades by Miura, we should talk about who Miura is for those who may be unfamiliar.  Miura is a family-owned Japanese club manufacturer, founded by Katsuhiro Miura.  Mr. Miura is a master club-maker who has been making clubs for over 50 years.  The company is located in Jimeji, central Japan.

Miura has made primarily forged irons and wedges, though they are now producing other clubs like drivers and hybrids.  Miura is known as one of the world’s best makers of irons.  Miura uses the highest quality Japanese steel, know for its performance and feel.

Many PGA Tour pros who are endorsed by some of the popular golf manufacturers actually play Miuras, despite being paid by their sponsors.  The pros simply tape over the Miura name so fans can’t easily see the real manufacturer.  Keen eyed golf club aficionados are not fooled.

Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons

The Miura 1957 Small Blade Irons are the highest performing irons made by Miura, according to the man himself, Katsuhiro Miura.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_02
When a company whose products are such high performance states that a particular product is their best, there’s nothing much on planet earth that will outperform it.  I concur.  Let’s look at the specs of the Small Blades.

Material

The Small Blades are made from low-carbon, premium Japanese steel. Japanese steel is widely known for its quality worldwide. The irons are specially forged in Miura’s own forge in Himeji, Japan.   These irons are not made in China.

Finish

My set is the satin nickel chrome. The satin finish is beautiful and does not produce distracting glare in the sun.

The irons are also available in Black Boron finish, limited quantities.

Technical Specifications (more on this later in the review)

#3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 PW
Loft (degrees) 21 24 27 30 34 38 42 47
Lie (degrees)
59.0
59.5
60.0
60.5
61.0
61.5
62.0
62.5
Offset (inches) 0.11 0.10 0.10 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.06
Finished Length (inches) 38.75 38.25 37.75 37.25 36.75 36.25 35.75 35.5

Size

The Small Blades are 15% smaller than Miura’s regular “tour” blades.  Blade irons are typically known as “hard to hit” by the average golfer.  Mr. Miura says, “I have a special pride in this club. That’s because it’s so easy to hit.” Once again, I concur.  More in my “on the course” commentary.

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

On The Course

I lit up the first time I hit one of these irons.  It was the 7-iron.  The feel was so amazing and the ball launched high and straight.  I just thought I got “lucky” and was sure the hard-to-hit nature of blades would catch up to me. I was sure I’d hit one of those mis-hits which would sting, or make my fingers numb, or hurt.  I’ve been waiting for that to happen for months.  There’s something about these blades which is different.  The feel is so buttery that even off-center shots feel good.  I have a lot of experience with those too.  A lot.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_04

I’ve found these irons to be very easy to hit, regardless of their blade nature.  In fact, they are easier to hit than several “game improvement” clubs which I’ve tried out.  I realize that sounds odd.  You’ll have to trust me on that.

With blades this incredible, the type of shots and ball flight a player wants to hit are all on him/her.  These irons respond tremendously when I have to manufacture some kind of shot or work the ball in a particular direction.  If I put the right swing on a shot, the iron will produce exactly what I’m asking it to.  I can hit them low (usually as a result of being in the trees off the tee), high (to go over the same trees), or fade/draw as needed.  Truly amazing.

Critique

The one critique I have is with the lofts of these irons.  Across the board these are more “standard” blade lofts from years ago.  These irons are not “strong” lofts.  Most of the irons are at least one degree weaker than most modern irons.  Many of the irons are two degrees weaker.

This can be a slight hit to the player’s confidence level as the irons will go shorter.  I’ve had to adjust my numbers to make up for the lofts.  Where I used to hit an 8-iron, I’m hitting 7-iron, and so on.

Once adjusted, the accuracy and confidence I have with these irons is the best of any iron I’ve played, and I’ve played far more than the average golfer ever will.

That said about the lofts…  I think no irons should have numbers on them, just lofts.

Hello Turf, Nice to Know You

The way the club interacts with the turf is tremendous.  Whether the lie is tight and hard or in long rough, the club’s grind and small head size produce very little resistance and interference from the turf.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_11

#love

The small design makes sense.  Less surface area produces less resistance.  Plus Mr. Miura has tweaked the edges and corners of the club ever so slightly.  Those slight grinds and angles help prevent unwanted interaction with the ground and keep the club’s path and angle of attack where the player is delivering it.

Simplicity

A look at the iron photo above tells a big story.  Part of what makes these Miura irons so great is their simplicity.  There are no funky patterns, paint jobs, dumb names, logos, or mysterious weight-looking “things” that don’t do really anything…

Shafts

Miura will shaft the irons with shafts from any of nine “recommended” shaft makers including Aerotech, KBS Tour, True Temper, Project X and more.

Final Thoughts

Miuras are not for everyone.  They are not inexpensive.  It’s sort of a “if you have to ask how much they are, they’re too expensive,” proposition.  The market for these clubs is not the mass-sales model of the big name brands, where you find their clubs in every pro shop and big box store on the planet.  The clubs are painstakingly forged in Japan, by hand.  These are not cheapo mass-produced Chinese-made clubs.

Playing these Miuras is a joy.  They’re tremendous.  Any player who wants the highest performance and feel a golf club can produce, should look strongly at the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.


New Nike Slogan: Just Stop Doing It (making golf clubs, bags and golf balls that is)

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, August 4th, 2016
Categories: Golf BallsGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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Nike Sumo “Mickey” Driver – Didn’t sell too well…

I’m not one to post the same over-hashed topics that most other golf sites post but today I have to.  Nike is going to “transition out of equipment – including clubs, balls and bags.”

For many years Nike was a great sponsor to HOG, especially the fantasy golf leagues.  They provided some huge prizes.  They also sent me a bunch of clubs, bags and balls to test over the years.  Some I liked.  Some I didn’t like, especially the golf balls.  Apparently with no more Tiger Woods fueling sales and buzz, the likes of Rory McIlory and a few others aren’t enough to keep interest at a high enough level to drive sales.

BEAVERTON, Ore. NIKE, Inc. announced today that it will accelerate innovation in its Golf footwear and apparel business and will partner with more of the world’s best golfers. With this new focus, Nike Golf will transition out of equipment – including clubs, balls and bags.

“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” said Trevor Edwards, President, Nike Brand. “We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”

“Athletes like Tiger, Rory and Michelle drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide,” said Daric Ashford, President of Nike Golf. “Over the past year the MM Fly Blade Polo, the Flyknit Chukka and Air Zoom 90 have all connected strongly with golfers. We’ll continue to ignite excitement with our athletes and deliver the best of Nike for the game.”

The golf equipment market is already flooded, so in the long run I think this is good.  Sometimes businesses branch out too much and go away from focusing on their strengths.  Nike’s apparel sales are so huge, golf equipment was really not worth it.  They tried to be groundbreaking and cutting edge with their designs in golf clubs, like the square “Sumo” driver.  In the long run those quirky, weird looking clubs just made Nike look bad.  The Nike Sumo “Mickey” was one of the worst (pictured).

It’s better not to produce a product than it is to just produce one that makes you look bad, or desperate.


First Look: BIG MAX Autofold FF Push Cart (Trolley For You in the UK)

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, July 9th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf AccessoriesGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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My 3-year-old Seve and I have had a blast with the new BIG MAX Autofold FF 3-wheel push cart (UK: trolley).  I set it up in my office and have been carting him around the hallway, living room, and kitchen.  Finally after about 14 hours that fun finally wore off I got a chance to take the trolley out into the back yard and get some pictures of it.

BIG MAX Autofold FF Push Cart/Trolley

BIG MAX Autofold FF Push Cart/Trolley

I will begin testing this cart on my next walking round, Monday. Then I’ll keep it in play the rest of the week until I take off for Scotland. I’d really love to bring this trolley with me to Scotland to use it there instead of carrying my bag or renting trolleys there. Oh well. Life is rough.

BIG MAX Autofold FF Push Cart/Trolley

BIG MAX Autofold FF Push Cart/Trolley


Stay tuned for my full review of this push cart soon. Initial impressions are that this is a well engineered, substantial piece of golf equipment. Let’s see if it holds up to some real abuse use.


First Look: Puma Superlite Golf Stand Bag

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, June 24th, 2016
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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The upcoming Hooked on Golf Blog World Tour trip to Scotland is 22 days, 4 hours, 12 minutes and 34 seconds away. But who is counting? During this particular tour I intend to carry my bag and what would you know, a great candidate for that job has arrived for review from Puma Golf.  This is the Superlite Stand Bag:

Puma_Superlite_Golf_Stand_Bag_02

I’ve been thinking about using a “Sunday Bag” for the Scotland trip because of how light and small they are. A couple of problems with Sunday bags are that they don’t have stands, and they typically can’t hold much. In Scotland I am going to need some room for sweaters and rain gear. That’s what may make this Puma Superlite the ticket. It’s only 3.8 pounds but has room for 14 clubs plus a ton of rain gear and other needs, like flasks full of scotch or extra golf balls if the gorse is particularly hungry.
Puma_Superlite_Golf_Stand_Bag

I will begin my testing as soon as my next round, in two days. Stay tuned for my full review after I’ve had enough real rounds of golf to fill up my cranium with opinions about this bag. And stay tuned for the upcoming Scotland pictures to see if this bag made the cut for the trip to the birthplace of golf.


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