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Putting a Cork in My Putting…GRIP

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, February 27th, 2015
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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“The club I regrip the most is my ball retriever. Is that bad? ” ~Tony Korologos

I don’t change putter grips often but they do wear out once in a while, usually due to putting in and taking out of the golf bag.  Sometimes the grips just seem to die a slimy death, when the materials give way to the elements.

I’m going to be testing a new putter grip from Portugal, made of cork leather from Cork Tree.  It’s a bit fatter than my old grip, but that’s fine by me.  It will help prevent the wrists from breaking and hopefully promote an even better (I am proud of my putting) stroke.

I’ll be getting the grip put on today and as soon as weather permits start putting this baby into action.  Stay tuned for my full review of the Cork Tree putting grip soon.  More info is below in the press release.

Cork Tree Press Release

Cork_Tree_Putting_GripFROM CORK TREE – THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN PUTTER GRIP TECHNOLOGY NOW AVAILABLE

SAO BRAS DE ALPORTEL, PORTUGAL – There’s a brand-new golf grip material quickly gaining popularity. The Cork Tree has debuted four new putter grips made of cork leather.

Why cork? It’s proven to be the perfect complement to leather in a grip. Cork leather putter grips provide an overall user experience that cannot be achieved with any other putter grip material known to man.Cork is 100% natural, feels soft in the hands, and improves its playability well beyond other materials when a golfer’s hands are hot or sweaty — as well as in humid playing conditions.

“That means the grip won’t slip in your hands — regardless of how moist your hands are,” says company co-founder Marc Boggia, a British PGA member. “That lets you confidently putt away without any tension in your hands and arms, promoting a more fluid stroke. Once you try it, I know you’ll agree that it feels amazing. Plus, it cleans very easily — dirt wipes away with a wet cloth.”

Cork Tree putter grips are designed and used by Championship winning Tour professionals who make their living from playing golf. There are currently more than twenty PGA Tour players using Cork Treecork leather putter grips including the winner of the recent Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. A multiple major winner on the PGA Tour is also using the Cork Tree putter grip.

Cork’s honeycomb cell structure is key. Each cell is a 14-sided polyhedron filled with air, making it an extremely strong and flexible membrane that’s waterproof and airtight. Cork bark is about 89% air, giving it a low density. But when it’s compressed, air isn’t squeezed out, because the cell membranes won’t release it. So it returns to its original shape when the compression is removed.

The four initial putter grips include the Midsize ($39.95), Feather Light ($39.95), Parallel ($39.95) and Tour ($39.95) models. They’re all extremely durable, absorb any impact vibration and are impermeable to water.
About Cork Tree

The Cork Tree — the world’s first company to produce golf products in cork leather — was co-founded by Nuno Nascimento and Marc Boggia. From an early age, Nascimento went with his grandfather to the Portuguese familycork oak forest learning all the tricks that nature presents. He studied and tested treesto find the best cork bark, and then transformed it into cork products suitable for commercialization.

The Cork Tree mission is to maximize performance, increase confidence and ultimately improve putting statistics for every golfer using the Cork Tree putter grip. Cork Tree also strives to be a contributor to a more eco-friendly world and cork leather offers this while adding functionality, durability and quality.

Today, the Nascimento family continues to sell cork bark to the cork stopper industry from its own 500 hectares cork plantation. Conscious of its hereditary property, The Cork Tree family continues to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing, protecting and maintenance of the properties. Beyond cleaning and fertilizing the cork oak forest, the plantation continues to grow with some 40,000 new corktrees being planted in the past eight years.

Boggia, an Englishman, has been a member of the British PGA since 1981. He’s a golf course owner, partner and creator of Asia’s largest indoor golf teaching facilities, managing director of a made-for-TV golf tournament, distributor of golf product and head instructor of the John Jacobs’ Golf Schools. As a youngster, he practiced, played and competed near the very cork forest that’s now become the source of raw material that fuels his business venture.

The Cork Tree’s golf bag was awarded the first place award at the Golf Europe 2013 show in the golf bag category and lead to the launch of the cork putter grips.

See all products from The Cork Tree at www.corkputtergrips.com


What’s in the Bag (WITB) – River Oaks Club Champion Tony Korologos

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Categories: GolfGolf AccessoriesGolf ApparelGolf BallsGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearHackersMiscellaneous
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By popular demand I’m posting the official “what’s in the bag” for my 2014 club championship at Sandy, Utah’s splendid River Oaks Golf Club.  It took me a while to get the photo because I needed it to be “official,” thus having the Golf WRX watermark on it.  The photogs at WRX are so busy shooting every golf club and golf bag on the planet and putting their watermarks on them, that it took me a while to get this photo. As you can see, this photo is true and authentic since it has that WRX watermark.  Enough about high end photography and on to the meat of this journalistic brilliance.

I’m very happy to have won the 2014 club championship at River Oaks.  I’ve been a member of the club for many years and won my first championship there in 2005.  This year’s championship seemed to fall in my lap as the field was narrowed down to a few left standing, and I managed to outscore the closest competitor by 13 shots.  Yes, 13 shots.  In the land of bogeys, the par man is king.

WITB - Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion

WITB – Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion

Let’s take a look at the winning sticks and the other crucial script items…

Driver: Cobra Amp Cell
3-Metal: Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta
Hybrid: 19 degree Cobra Baffler XL
Irons (4-PW): Hogan Apex Edge Pro, circa 2002
Shafts: KBS Tour 90
52 and 56 degree wedges: Eidolon V-Sole
60 degree lob wedge: Vokey Spin Milled
Putter: Dornoch Putters Bird Dog 1, handmade in Scotland by Grant MacKay
Bag: Nike Sport Lite
Ball: Bridgestone B330
Head Cover: Sumi-G with custom Black Mesa Golf Club embroidered logo
GPS: Golf Buddy VS4 talking golf watch GPS
Laser Rangefinder: Callaway (Nikon)
Club Brush: Frogger BrushPro
Golf Accessory Accessory: Snap Hookz
Golf Polo: Bobby Jones XH20 Aero
Golf Shorts: Tattoo Golf shorts
Golf Socks: Kentwool Tour
Golf Shoes: FootJoy DNA
Underwear: Dunning
Cigar: Gurkha Centurian
Green repair tool: Champ Flix
Toothpaste: Crest with mint sparkles
Aftershave: Clubman
Hat: Pukkha custom Hooked on Golf Blog/The Golf Space hat
Glove: Don’t wear a glove, but for the sweaty shots it was the Asher skull glove (RIP James)
Tee: Tornado Tee
Grips: Golf Pride CP2
Sunglasses: Under Armour Phenom Sunglasses
Rain Jacket: Nike Hyperadapt Storm-FIT
Push Cart: Sun Mountain Micro Cart Sport
Ball marking device: Tin Cup Utah Utes stencil
Beer: Slammin Sam Snead Premium Lager
Spikes: Champ Scorpion Stinger
Travel bag: Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey
Belt: Switch Belt rubber custom
Towel: Frogger Amphibian

Backup Bag

Driver: Bombtech Golf Grenade
3-Fairway: Nike VR-S
Hybrid: Bobby Jones
Irons: Bridgestone J40 Dual Pocket Cavity
Wedges: SCOR, Miura
Putter: Ping Scottsdale ZB S
Bag: Datrek Go-Lite
Ball: 3UP
Shoes: Ecco Golf Shoes
Belt: Sumi-G
TeeChamp Zarma Fly Tee


Cobra Baffler XL Hybrid Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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Cobra Golf is definitely on an ascending path.  Their gear is getting better and better.  The latest example is the new Cobra Baffler XL Hybrid, what Cobra says is the most forgiving and easy-to-hit hybrid in their 40 year history.

Cobra Baffler XL Hybrid - click to zoom

Cobra Baffler XL Hybrid – click to zoom

Has Cobra been making hybrids for 40 years?  Anyway… Lets take a look.

Cobra Golf - Baffler XL Hybrid

Cobra Golf – Baffler XL Hybrid

Baffler XL Features

One of the most unique features of the Baffler series of clubs for many years (maybe even 40), has been the trademark rails on the bottom of the club.  What do the rails actually do?  They provide smooth turf interaction as less of the club is in contact with the ground.  The lower drag on the sole and leading edge of the club help the club launch the ball higher and longer from all kinds of lies.

The Baffler XL Hybrid has tungsten weighting positioned at critical places low and in the back of the club.  This weighting increases the clubs MOI (moment of inertia).  The higher the MOI the more resistant the club is to twisting.  This makes even off-center hits fly farther and straighter.

The center-of-gravity of the Baffler XL Hybrid is also low and back.  The result is a high trajectory shot with low spin and more distance.

Specifications/Models

Model Loft Length Swing
Weight
Stock
Flex
RH/LH
2H 17° 41″ D2.5 S, R, Lite RH
3H 19° 40.50″ D2.5 S, R, Lite RH/LH
4H 22° 40.00″ D2.5 S, R, Lite RH/LH
5H 25° 39.50″ D2.5 S, R, Lite RH/LH
6H 28° 39.00″ D2.5 S, R, Lite RH/LH
7H 31° 38.50″ D2.5 S, R, Lite RH/LH

Shafts

Model Flex Weight Kick Torque Tip Diameter
Baffler XL Graphite Hybrid A 60g Low Mid 0.370
Baffler XL Graphite Hybrid R 62g Mid Mid 0.370
Baffler XL Graphite Hybrid S 63g Mid Mid 0.370
Cobra Golf Baffler XL Hybrid Topline - click to zoom

Cobra Golf Baffler XL Hybrid Topline – click to zoom


Looks and Feel

I’m not a big fan of blue (college football issues).  But the dark blue hue of this club is beautiful.  My playing partners have all salivated over this beauty.  The look at address is as Cobra advertises, confidence inspiring.

The feedback of the club in feel and especially audibly, is great.  The club makes a very nice sounding “ping” on crisp shots.  You know when you’ve hit the sweet spot.

On The Course

There was a slight period of adjustment for me with this club.  I think it is primarily due to the mid kick point of the shaft.  I had to experiment a bit with ball position before I started to hit it really well.  The best position, forward in the stance, produced some amazing results.

Once dialed in the XL for me launched very high and produced a slight draw.  I’m normally a straight ball player.  The model I tested, 19 degrees, was great for layup shots on short par-4’s or going for it in two on par-5 holes.  The high launch and forgiving performance made those very long par-3 holes quite fun.

I understand and love the rails now.  This hybrid launches the ball brilliantly from any kind of lie, tight or thick.

Baffler XL Hybrid Head Cover - click to zoom

Baffler XL Hybrid Head Cover – click to zoom

Head Cover

I dig the head cover on the Baffler XL.  It is small and fairly thin, which helps keep it from taking up too much space in my bag.  I typically use smaller carry bags so club real estate is valuable.

Despite being so compact, the cover protects this beauty well.

Critiques

My only critique is that the club is only available in blue (a college football issue once again).  I’d prefer any other color.

Conclusion

At $159 retail, the Baffler XL is a great hybrid.  It is very easy to hit, launches the ball very high, and produces long shots.  This one has earned a starting position in the bag, and the previous hybrid is now keeping the garage warm.

Related Links

Cobra Baffler XL Hybrid pictures

Cobra Am Cell irons review

Cobra Amp Cell driver review


Little Tikes Golf Set Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Categories: Golf BallsGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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Little Tikes Golf Set

Little Tikes Golf Set

Having blogged about golf since before people knew what blogs were, and having reviewed 100’s of different golf clubs, I have to say this review was one of the funnest. I have never encountered such a great minimalistic set of clubs which was also so useful and versatile, until now. Testing out the clubs has been great. Working on the review along side my one-year-old Seve was fabulous. Let’s take a look at the Little Tikes Golf Set.

Little Tikes Golf Set Overview

The Little Tikes Golf Set is a beginner’s set of clubs which comes complete with an iron, putter, putting green, three balls, golf hole and even a tee. Though the set is designed for beginners, even low single digit handicappers like myself can benefit from the forgiveness, feel and versatility of these clubs.

Iron

The Little Tikes iron is groundbreaking. This is two clubs in one, at least. There is a club face on each side of the head, meaning the club could be played right or left-handed. From a business perspective this is great. The manufacturer doesn’t need to spend a bunch of money and time building two sets of irons, right and left-handed. From a player perspective the versatility is great. Think of all those times you’ve had to turn over your 7-iron to hit a backward shot. No need now.

Golf Iron Beginner

Iron plays both ways…

The control I have with the iron is great. I’m able to produce low or high shots and working the ball either direction is a breeze.

Putter

Like a Bull’s Eye putter, the Little Tikes is a straight blade which can be played right or left-handed. The shorter shaft is great. It helps me get set properly with my eyes over the ball. I can really see the line well in that position, mostly because my face is about 18 inches from the ground.

Putter

Putter at address…

The way this putter rolls the rock is fantastic. The ball rolls true, even on shag carpet.

The feel of this putter is like butter while the audible feedback the putter produces helps with feel and confidence.

Balls

The golf balls included with the Little Tikes give the Titleist ProV1 a run for its money. These are two layer balls but they feel so soft you’d think they were a 3-5 layer.

The core of the ball is made up primarily of oxygen (since it is hollow), which helps increase distance with the long clubs but still gives a soft feel in the short game.  The hollow core also helps increase the golf ball’s “moment of inertia” or MOI.  This helps the ball fly truer and straighter.  The dimple pattern helps give the ball lift while reducing side-spin and increasing accuracy.

Despite having such great distance, the ball produces a TON of backspin with the iron. When hitting full iron shots from the TV room to the guest room, I’ve actually backed it up several times. It is like having Phil Micklespin. I do find that I need to be careful. Sometimes I can produce too much backspin and the ball sucks away from the target.  3/4 shots work well, or I’ll just fly it past the pin and suck it back.

Green

The included green and tee with the Little Tikes Golf Set provides a nice practice area which is also portable. That portability comes in handy when taking Seve to grandpa’s house or moving the course from the TV room to his bedroom.

Tee

The tee, built into the green, is a bit high for my taste. I find sometimes I pop up my shots. Seve doesn’t have a problem with the tee height though. He’s able to tee it high and let it fly.

Little Tikes Golf Set

Little Tikes Golf Set

Critiques

In my reviews I try to play devil’s advocate and point out some areas which could be improved.

As I mentioned above, the tee is a little high for me. An adjustable tee would be great.

I have found the durability of the balls to be a little on the soft side. After a few solid short iron shots I can see areas in the golf ball’s cover which are showing signs of wear. I do realize though, that in order to produce such high spin and short game performance, the cover needs to be soft.  It is a tradeoff and I’m fine with giving up a little durablity for performance.

Conclusion

If you’re shopping for a beginner golf set, and I mean BEGINNER, the Little Tikes Golf Set is a great option. The clubs and balls are solid offerings which are very versatile and work for righties or lefties, or little kids who we’re not exactly sure which one they are.

Related Links

Check out the Hooked On Golf Blog Little Tikes Golf Set photo album.


First Look: Cobra Golf Baffler XL Hybrid

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, November 25th, 2013
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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Golf gear alert!  In for review here at Hooked On Golf Blog is the latest and greatest hybrid from Cobra Golf, part of the new Baffler XL lineup.  This one is a 19 degree Baffler XL Hybrid.

Cobra Golf - Baffler XL Hybrid

Cobra Golf – Baffler XL Hybrid

These pictures look great but the club is even more pretty when it is sitting in your hands.

Assuming it doesn’t snow, I’ll be putting this new hybrid from Cobra to the test.  Stay tuned for my review but until then, check out this gallery of Cobra Baffler XL Hybrid photos.


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