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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Check out the Hooked On Golf Blog Little Tikes Golf Set photo album.
WORX Sand Wedge
Today I’m reviewing a very unusual golf club from WORX, a “hybrid wedge.” No, I don’t think the club can replace your 3-iron and your lob wedge.
WORX Sand Wedge
I’m reviewing the WORX sand wedge specifically. This is a wedge with a huge, fat head. The big head isn’t just a gimmick. There are real physical properties in such a club design that can make it a good fit for certain players. The large rounded sole has a lot of bounce, which makes it great for situations like sand traps. The club will bounce off the surface and not dig in. For players who have trouble getting out of the sand or deep lies in the rough, this type of design could be a big help.
On The Course
Hitting this club takes some getting used to. The first few shots I hit poorly because the club bounced so much. I could hear two sounds, the sound of the club hitting the ground, then hitting the ball. The rounded leading edge is actually in front of the shaft quite a bit. That combined with the bounce meant that I had to reposition the ball placement in my stance. Once I had properly adjusted, I could hit this club just like a regular sand wedge from the fairway or rough. The distance was the same as a regular sand wedge with a conventional head design.
WORX Wedge – click to zoom
The bit difference for me was in the sand. Normally I’m a very good sand player. This club cut through and bounced so much more that I was hitting my bunker shots longer, with more carry. Because of the large and rounded head, opening the blade isn’t like a standard wedge. I could open it a few degrees but if I opened too many, the blade starts to lift off the ground. The design of the rounded sole nullifies the need to open the blade though. So I found myself setting up fairly square in the sand. After a few swings, I could start to feel the proper distance.
The bounce is quite dramatic and there was hardly a lie I couldn’t get the ball airborne and out of the bunker, even densely packed sand or “muni-dirt.”
WORX Wedge at address – click for more
There are two WORX wedge models available, the 55 degree model I tested and a 51 degree gap wedge.
Pricing for either wedge is $119.00.
Legal For Play
The WORX wedge does have an unconventional design, but it has been deemed legal for stipulated play by the USGA and R&A.
If you struggle with bunker shots, the WORX wedge could be an option to consider. It certainly delivers as it should, with lots of bounce to get the ball airborne out of sand and many other types of lies.
GoBe is a new company I found at this last year’s PGA Merchandise Show. They have a cool new golf shoe line with some unique styles which run in the hybrid/casual genre. No dress shoes with spikes. These are stylish golf treads players could wear on or off the course.
GoBe Prodigy Golf Shoes – click for more
Though they’re hybrids (shoes which cross between golf and casual use), performance is the most important feature for GoBe. Do they perform? Read on to find out.
GoBe Prodigy Golf Shoe
My first GoBe shoe is the Prodigy in Black/Red (pictured through this review). This is a very unique looking golf shoe with its semi glossy black finish and cool black/red color scheme, accented with silver.
The semi-gloss black upper I mentioned previously is made of a material GoBe calls “PurTEC.” PurTEC is 20x more water resistant than treated leather. Despite the high water resistance, the upper is very breathable.
The platform the shoe provides is nice and roomy, with plenty of space for the toes to spread when the player walks.
Star atTRACTION – click for more
The treads on the Prodigy feature GoBe’s “Talon” traction system. Looks like simple stars to me, but there’s much more to those hybrid treads. The star shapes increase the surface area of the hybrid spikes, giving the shoe amazing traction. The sole material is a very durable Grade A material so the traction should last long time.
Colors – Sizes
The $159.99 retail Prodigy comes in two color schemes: The first is the black/red pictured in this article. The second is white version with black and orange accents.
Sizes range from USA 7.5 to 12.5, 41-46 UK.
On The Course – On The Town
Sadly, I took my time getting to this review. The shoes sat in my garage for quite a while. The primary reason was that I doubted the soles would have enough traction for my spastic swing, especially with all the rain which has hit my area recently. That was a mistake.
GoBe Prodigy Golf Shoes – click for more
I quickly noticed that I was mistaken about the traction. My feet felt like they were glued to the ground, even in wet conditions. The Talon system works brilliantly. With that better traction came more accuracy and more power. What golfer doesn’t want that?
The looks and style of the Prodigy are great. The color scheme is perfect for my college team, the Utah Utes. I’ll be sporting these babies tomorrow night with when I watch the football game in forecasted rain. I’ll be taking advantage of that water resistance.
The Prodigy is very comfortable too. Walking the course is a joy. The feet don’t ache and the knees feel great. The support is just right.
I do have a strong critique for the GoBe shoe brand, and it is the same I’ve had for Ecco golf shoes. The sizing selection needs work. GoBe uses a european sizing scheme. So the sizes come in ranges of full USA halves. For instance, my shoe size is a 9. GoBe’s selection is either a 9 to 9.5 or an 8 to 8.5. I don’t understand how a size 9 shoe can also be a size 9.5 shoe. Why not just make a size 15 shoe and say it’s any size between 1 and 15?
Being a 9, a shoe which sizes “up to” a 9.5 is too big for me. I felt like I was wearing clown shoes when I first tried on the 9.5’s. I had to send them back try out the 8 to 8.5 size, in hopes that the 8.5 ran larger than 8.5. Fortunately for me the 8.5 did run larger and fits just right.
Sizing issues aside, the GoBe look is really unique yet classy enough to wear to the office in business casual style.
My three top requirements for golf shoes, in order of importance are: performance, comfort, style. In all three areas the GoBe Prodigy does a fantastic job.
Well played GoBe. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this new company.
Hooked On Golf Blog GoBe photos
Back on January 3rd, 2006, I reviewed the Eidolon V-Sole wedges. V-Sole wedges were the creation of “The Wedge Guy” Terry Koehler. I loved the V-Sole wedges and they were instant gamers.
Fast forward to 2013. Seven years and 100’s of golf clubs later, I STILL have a V-Sole 56 degree in the bag. I’ve gone through dozens of other wedges, irons, fairways, hybrids, drivers and even a few putters (mainly because my putter was stolen). The ONE club which remains in my bag over a seven year period is that Eidolon V-Sole 56. It has been a fantastic 100-110 yard club and is hands down the best wedge I’ve ever played out of the sand.
Naturally when I heard from SCOR Golf, a subsidiary of Eidolon Brands, I was thrilled. They asked if I’d be willing to check out their golf scoring system, featuring either four or five scoring clubs, all with the V-Sole technology my trusty 56 possessed. Sign me up.
SCOR Golf wedges – click for more
SCOR 4161 Overview
The SCOR 4161 is a golf club “system” which replaces most of the short clubs in the golf bag, barring the putter. A custom fitting and analysis is performed by a SCOR tech, or online if you’re not able to do a fitting in person. They analyze your game, your swing, and also your existing irons. Upon completion of the analysis they build you a set of four or five clubs, your choice. Your old irons are only kept up to the 8-iron. From the 9-iron (now known to me as my 42 degree club) on, all are SCOR clubs.
SCOR’s “SGC3 Progressive Weighting” distributes the mass of each club related to the loft. The benefits of this weight distribution are consistent trajectories, control, and consistent distance through the set.
SCOR Gap Concept
I really dig the SCOR concept and can’t believe nobody else had come up with it yet. The four or five wedges they create for your set are all perfectly gapped in terms of loft. In the case of my personal set, they’re gapped in four degree increments from the 8-iron. My 8-iron is 38 degrees, therefore the next club is 42 degrees. The next club is another four degrees at 46, then 50, 54, 58. My SCOR set then: 42, 46, 50, 54, 58.
What is V-Sole technology? FIrst, one must know what the sole of the club is. The sole is the bottom of the club, the part which bounces off the ground when the club strikes it. The “V” in V-Sole represents the shape of the sole.
V-Sole – see just left of the 46? – click for more
The V-Sole allows the player to vary the amount of bounce the club has based on how open or closed the club is. This technology, as I mentioned, is especially good in sand.
If you look closely at the face of the SCOR wedges, you’ll see a fine pattern milled into the face.
Look closely at the milling in the face of this wedge. Click for more images.
This pattern gives the club face an extra porous property which helps with control and great spin in the short game.
On The Course
I’ve had the SCOR wedges in play now for a couple of months. There was certainly an adjustment period for me, as the lofts were different and the shapes of the club heads were slightly different than what I was used to looking at. As an example, my old gap wedge was a 52 but my SCOR set includes a 54 and a 50. For quite a while I had to go through some calculations in my brain to determine the proper club for certain distances. A couple of times I pulled the wrong loft, thinking I was hitting a pitching wedge equivalent, but instead had pulled the 9-iron.
Once I got used to the distances and comfortable with the looks and feel of the SCOR set, I got really dialed in. The gapping is great. I used to have a 10 yard gap between my lob and my sand wedge, as well as my 9-iron and pitching wedge. But there was a 15 yard gap between my sand and gap wedge and a 15 yard gap between my gap and pitching wedge. Now I have even yardage gaps from my 8-iron through the lob wedge.
SCOR wedge covers – click for more pictures
A nice inclusion with the set are the covers. I’ve never been one for iron covers, but these are so nice and sharp looking I like keeping them in pristine condition.
Individual wedges from SCOR run $149 per club. Matched sets in four or five clubs run $135 per club.
The SCOR 4161 scoring club set is versatile, capable of producing great shots from any type of lie because of the V-Sole technology. The progressive weighting and perfectly gapped lofts make dialing in exact yardages as easy as ever. With a set of SCOR clubs, the only limits to one’s short game are within the player’s ability and imagination, not the clubs.
Hooked On Golf Blog Eidolon V-Sole Wedge Review 2006
Adams Idea Tech V3 Hybrid – click to enlarge
The first time I tried an Adams Idea Tech V3 Hybrid wasn’t pleasant. I borrowed my local director of golf’s model and it felt horrible. I couldn’t get it up in the air. So when I received my own V3 from Adams to review I was very skeptical, until I hit it. It turns out on the first V3 I’d tried, my friend had the shaft modified, lengthened, kick point altered etc. He’s 6’4″ tall. That club was set up as bad as a club could be for my 5’9″ frame and granny swing. My V3 on the other hand, was close to magically setup for me and very easy to hit.
There are many design features and technologies at work with the Adams Idea Tech V3 Hybrid. And by the way, it would be cool if Adams could come up with a longer name for their next model… Ahem. I’m going to call it the V3 for now.