Fact or Fiction? Looks Impact How Your Putter Performs

Fact or Fiction? Looks Impact How Your Putter Performs

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By Dave Wolfe

There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection. – H. G. Wells

Some of you are not going to like what I tell you today. You are going to dismiss what I have written. You will immediately jump to the comment section to let me know how much of an idiot I am.

I understand that impulse.

I really do.

No so long ago, I would have been shoulder to shoulder with you, torches held aloft as we stormed the castle in fury.

All I ask today is that you postpone your judgement until you have read the whole story and looked at the data.

What is this taboo topic? What subject am I psychologically easing you into? It’s not a complex statement, but it will be controversial. The topic for today is:

Aesthetic opinions do not affect putter accuracy

Yes, that’s right. I am saying that an individual’s views on a putter’s looks will not affect the putting accuracy of the person with that putter. One of the aspects of our Golf’s Most Wanted putter tests that some people have a hard time accepting is that aesthetic like or dislike does not influence accuracy.

In other words, you can make lots of putts with an ugly putter.

Some of you will tell me about the confidence you gain when you look affectionately at your attractive putter, and that this confidence makes you a better putter because putting is all about confidence.

Mental state absolutely influences putting, and other parts of our golf games too, but the all about confidence argument is flawed, and wholly unsupported by data.

cum hoc ergo propter hoc

For those of you not up on your Latin, that phrase translates to “with this, therefore because of this“. In other words, if two things are happening together, then they must have some kind of cause and effect relationship. It’s bad logic. Correlation does not prove causation. Let’s say that you get up at dawn every morning. One could argue that the sun coming over the horizon wakes you up, but using the same flawed logic of correlation and causation, you could argue that through the act of waking up, you caused the sun to come over the horizon.

When a positive correlation exists between two things, it’s entirely possible, even probable, that they may not be linked together in any way whatsoever.

I know…you still think that looks and accuracy still go together though, and that there is in fact a positive correlation. Let’s look at the phrase Positive Correlation.

Positive Correlation
A positive correlation is a relationship between two variables such that their values increase or decrease together.
Basically, if aesthetics dictated performance, their lines on a graph would follow similar paths. Aesthetic scores would increase and decline alongside the corresponding performance values. To take you back to algebra class, the lines would have similar slopes.

Lets now look at the accuracy and aesthetic scores from the most recent Most Wanted Mallet Test. Putters have been arranged on the X-axis from most accurate (Ping Ketsch) to least accurate (Odyssey Metal X Milled #7).


As you can see, positive correlation between accuracy and aesthetics simply does not exist. If we look at the blue aesthetic score line, the best fit line would be essentially flat, not at all matching the negative slope of the accuracy line.

There are some spots where accurate putters also scored aesthetically well, but we also see spots where you the data suggests an inverse correlation; aesthetic perception trends are actually the opposite of performance trends.

If how a tester perceives a putter dictates performance, then the Havok (rated most highly for aesthetics), would be toward the top of the pack, and the Metal X Milled #7 would never have finished last.

This is not the first time that we have recorded the lack of correlation. That actually occurred in last year’s Most Wanted Mallet test.

Case in point, I bring you the STX xForm3:

STX xForm3

The STX xForm3 placed second in the 2013 Most Wanted Mallet competition, again, with the scoring based solely on accuracy. What was it’s aesthetic ranking? Dead last. Keep in mind that the aesthetic scoring is done after the tester has putted with it. Who knows how low the aesthetic scoring would have been if we had collected the data before putting?

Even more shocking, with the xForm3 only about 30% of the testers said that they would take the putter out for a round of golf. Keep in mind that they all, on average, were extremely accurate with the xForm3. When I asked one of the testers who putted very well with it why he wouldn’t bag it, his reply was “I don’t like looking at it.”

Basically he would rather miss putts with a pretty putter than make putts with an ugly one.

I seated ugliness on my knee, and almost immediately grew tired of it. – Salvador Dali

We had the reverse case as well in that mallet test. Here is the Barber Pole Waterville:

Barber Pole Waterville

That putter ranked first in aesthetics. It deserved to. It’s a beautiful piece of metal. However, its accuracy score was second from the bottom. Also scoring aesthetically high in that test was the SeeMore SB2C, the last place finisher in accuracy.

Obviously liking the looks did not help the testers to be more accurate with these two. The super hot face of the Barber Pole and the likely unfamiliar alignment scheme of the SeeMore had something to do with it.


Aesthetics Do Influence Accuracy

ketsch badge

Being physically attracted to a given putter won’t improve accuracy, but if the visual elements assist with alignment, accuracy can be enhanced. That’s a totally different story, however. That’s a story driven by data, not opinion.

Just this past week, Golfspy Tim and I were fortunate enough to travel to Ping Headquarters where we got to spend some quality time with Ping’s engineering team. I will have more to share about our trip and the Knowledge Environment at Ping in upcoming articles, but one of the topics we discussed was putter alignment schemes.

The engineers at Ping tested a whole bunch of alignment schemes and determined which ones promoted accuracy. There are three Ping putters in the market based upon this research. Two of them, the Ketsch and the Nome TR placed first and second in the 2014 Most Wanted Mallet Test. The third putter is currently competing in the Most Wanted Blade test. I’m keeping that one anonymous until the testing is over, but I’m very curious to see how it will perform.

Visual components can affect how you aim a putter, but your opinion that a particular putter is ugly is not one of those components.


All I’m Saying Is Give Ugly A Chance

Cameron Futura X

Liking the  looks may help you decide to buy a putter, but that visual affinity won’t put the ball in the cup. If you can bring yourself to think about this objectively, you’ll concede that it’s true. We have all had owned putters that we absolutely love the looks…and we’ve putted like crap with them.

For me, it’s the Zing. I love the looks of that putter, bagging new versions whenever they’re released. I like looking at it when I stand over a putt in the shop or on the course. Only after I miss long and 30° to the left do I remember that I just don’t putt that well with a Zing.

You don’t need to agree with me. That’s your prerogative. However, I highly recommend you trying rolling some putts with the putters you find ugly…maybe even hideous. It’s quite possible that one of those ugly ones will be the best performing putter you have ever rolled. By immediately dismissing it based on how it looks, you missed your best chance to putt like a beast.

Putting well can quickly turn an ugly putter pretty, just like poor putting can reveal the ugly inside your beautiful putter.

Familiarity is a magician that is cruel to beauty but kind to ugliness. – Ouida


Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING (1960) …item 2.. FSU News – Swinging away students’ stresses (10:02 PM, Jan. 13, 2013) …item 4.. Robin Trower – Twice Removed From Yesterday (Full Album) …

SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING (1960) …item 2.. FSU News – Swinging away students’ stresses (10:02 PM, Jan. 13, 2013) …item 4.. Robin Trower – Twice Removed From Yesterday (Full Album) …

golf lessons online

Image by marsmet522

Stress, meanwhile, is another reason to install swings as soon as possible. FSU has events every semester to help reduce stress during finals week. These include bringing dogs onto campus to be pet and offering free, brief massages. All well and good, but they are small, momentary efforts thrown in at the last minute to fight stress that has been building among students for months. A swingset would serve as a permanent release valve every day, all year long.

……..*****All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ……..

… marsmet473a photo … Beat … The Freakniks pursue ‘Infinite Love’ in Tally (Oct. 27, 2013) …


… marsmet473a photostream … Page 1


…..item 1)…. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (film) …

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a 1960 British film. It is an adaptation of the 1958 novel of the same name by Alan Sillitoe. Sillitoe wrote the screenplay adaptation and the film was directed by Karel Reisz.


The film is among the first of the social-realist or "kitchen sink dramas" which followed the success of the play Look Back in Anger. Others include Tony Richardson’s (a producer on this film) The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (from Alan Sillitoe’s 1959 collection of short stories of the same name) and A Taste of Honey; and John Schlesinger’s A Kind of Loving and Billy Liar.

It was at the forefront of the British New Wave, films dealing with working class life in a serious manner for the first time and portraying the more realistic side of sex and abortion. The film received an X rating from the BBFC upon its theatrical release and later was submitted for re-rating for the home video release and given a PG rating.[2]

…..item 2)…. Swinging away students’ stresses… FSU News … www.fsunews.com

Writer makes case for a permanent swing-set on Landis green
10:02 PM, Jan. 13, 2013 |

Written by
Adrian Chamberlin
Senior Staff Writer

FSU News
FSU News Adrian Chamberlin


The world needs more swingers; and no, I don’t mean those swingers. I am talking about people who see a set of swings on a playground and, no matter how old they are, run over to play for a minute—or ten. Childish as it sounds, the benefits of swinging are plentiful, especially for college students.

First and foremost, playing on a swing is fun. Most of us played on them as children, whether at school or at a park with our families, and the memory of the revelry should be particularly fresh in the minds of young adults like myself. Tragically, some adults and students at Florida State may not have ever played on swings, or may not recall what it was like to lose yourself in the joy of the act. These poor souls need our help.

Stress, meanwhile, is another reason to install swings as soon as possible. FSU has events every semester to help reduce stress during finals week. These include bringing dogs onto campus to be pet and offering free, brief massages. All well and good, but they are small, momentary efforts thrown in at the last minute to fight stress that has been building among students for months. A swingset would serve as a permanent release valve every day, all year long.

With the trees, expanses of grass, pull-up bars and athletic activities going on, Landis Green is already more of a park than it is anything else, and the swings just round out the image. Even so, I recognize some students, faculty and alumni will have concerns about cost and how the swings might negatively impact the appearance and legacy of the Green. That being said, the worry is unnecessary.

As far as funding goes, I am willing to bet students would be eager to chip in. The University charges small fees for stuff like FSU cards: I don’t think many students would be upset about a similar small charge being assigned to offset the cost of installing five or six swings for all to use. It really does not even need to be a mandatory charge. Broke as many students may feel, it would be hard to resist if chipping in something as small as $5 to help add something great to an already amazing place.

Changing the legacy of Landis Green is a different story. Though there are already pull-up bars on one side of the grassy expanses, a bunch of swings will be much more visible and the process of installing them much more obtrusive. Even so, it will be more than worth it when students flock to the swings to take the edge off a hard day of classes, long study session, difficult exam, or off of life itself.

Playing on swings is childish, but it is childish in a way that somehow seems more responsible than drinking and going clubbing. Compared to some of the other ways our money and time could be spent, I think building a swingset is one of if not the best options around.

….item 3)…. Let’s just hope they used protection! … Mail Online … Daily Mail … www.dailymail.co.uk

Steamy footage of couple romping at Exeter University Safer Sex Ball spreads across campus

… Students’ Guild looking into the leak after the video was shared online
… It was recorded from CCTV on a smart phone and shared among students
… Girl and boy shown in steamy clinch at a table in the Ram Bar

PUBLISHED: 08:25 EST, 15 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:42 EST, 15 January 2013


CCTV footage showing two students in a steamy clinch at a university ball promoting safe sex has been leaked online.

The video was recorded in the University of Exeter’s Ram bar at the annual event, at which most students wear only sexy underwear, and quickly spread across campus like wildfire.

The incident was today being investigated by the Students’ Guild after the four-minute CCTV clip of a male and female student frolicking at a table was apparently recorded on a smart phone and posted online.

img code photo … Exeter University Safer Sex Ball


Embarrassing: The University was also recently forced to closed down its Exeter Uni Confessions site where students submitted their most ‘disgusting and hilarious confessions’



The pair are seen fondling each other at a table before the romp in ‘the video everyone is talking about’ at the university.

Police say those involved in the incident may have committed an offence, along with those who leaked the footage online.


… Schoolgirl, 13, fell 60ft to her death ‘in ghastly accident as she begged boy to delete sex tape’ and did not intend to kill herself
… ‘Quaint’, ‘bland’ and ‘a couple of boroughs removed from the original’: Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries gets mixed reviews from TV critics

One male student said he was concerned ‘people can go into the monitor rooms and put footage of us all at university on the internet’.

Hundreds of students went to the Safer Sex Ball in December, where they were handed free contraceptives.

img code photo … steamy video clip


Graphic: The four-minute, steamy video clip has been circulated among students and online


The Safer Sex charity Aids Awareness Ball has been running for more than 20 years, raising up to £30,000 each time for charity, and pop star Will Young was on the organising committee when he was a student at Exeter.

A Guild spokesman said: ‘The Students’ Guild recognise that confidential CCTV has been filmed without permission. The Guild is making sure the affected parties will be supported during this difficult time.

‘Measures were in place to provide high levels of security but we are aware that irresponsible behaviour has taken place and we are working hard to rectify the situation.

‘A full investigation is underw ay in which action proportionate to the seriousness of the situation will be taken.’

The University was also recently forced to closed down its Exeter Uni Confessions site where students submitted their most ‘disgusting and hilarious confessions’.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was not investigating the sex tape because there has been no official complaint.

A spokesman said: ‘If it was reported to us, we would investigate, but it looks like the university is dealing with it internally.’

img code photo … December’s Safer Sex Ball at Exeter University


Provocative look: Students dress up – or down – for December’s Safer Sex Ball at Exeter University (NOTE: None of the students pictured were involved in the leaked video)



Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe today blasted the University of Exeter for allowing the ball.

She said: ‘It seems to me to be the height of irresponsibility to have a lot of people running around in their underwear talking and thinking about sex.

‘Is this really the image of Exeter University that the authorities want to portray? Will it make people proud of Exeter?’

One 20-year-old student, who did not want to be named, added: ‘The whole ball is disgusting anyway.’

‘They pretend it’s about safe sex and AIDS to give them an excuse to wear nothing and get off with each other.

‘I’m sure having sex in the corner goes on quite a lot at that do but this time they forgot to check the room for CCTV.’

Organisers came under fire before the ball for choosing a tribal theme – dubbed racist by some students.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said: ‘Putting CCTV footage on the Internet without permission could contravene the law. That would namely be data protection laws and human rights legislation – the right to privacy.

‘Engaging in sexual activity in a public place could also constitute an offence, depending on the form of sexual activity. But we would have to see the footage in question to officially comment on the incident itself.’

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said parents would be ‘appalled’ by the actions of the romping students.

img code photo … The charity ball


Extreme: The charity ball – for which former student Will Young was once on the organising committee – has been slammed as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘decadent’



Mr McGovern said: ‘It’s regrettable when a university has to go along this particular path in the name of promoting safer sex.

‘This is rather decadent and more reminiscent of something out of the decay of the Roman Empire.

‘We’re in favour of safe sex but this is not the way to go. They should be focusing on their learning for heaven’s sake.

‘I would have thought it would only discredit the university and I think many parents whose children are at this university will be appalled.’

Kitty Howie, writing in the University’s magazine Exepose, said: ‘Absolutely no consideration was given to the students in the video or the reputation of the university. It’s unfortunate that the Guild are once again having to face the backlash of something related to the Safer Sex Ball.

‘CCTV and the footage that it inevitably produces in its role as a safety aid have been recklessly used to cause controversy and harm, rather than protect those caught in the camera’s gaze.

‘It numbs my brain to think that there was even the slim possibility that the footage could have appeared online in the first place. How it was possible that a small minority of ill advised individuals was able to create such a damaging illusion, which consequently threatened the students involved in the video and the university itself, deeply distresses me. A full investigation is underway.’

In 2006, the university banned initiation ceremonies after fresher Gavin Britton drank himself to death in an alcohol game based on golf.

Gavin, 18, downed beer, cider, whisky, vodka and alcopops in the pub crawl with 16 fellow students.
He wore fancy dress and had to knock back drinks in a ‘par’ number of gulps just six weeks into his course at the university.

Gavin, of Barton-on-Sea, Hants, visited 13 pubs and clubs in three hours, downing drinks in each.

The student, who dressed up in a Borat-style black wig, was found dead the next morning after he choked to death on his own vomit.

Speaking later, his parents Ian and Susan said: ‘We hope lessons can be learned from our tragedy.’

Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262740/Exeter-Universit…
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…..item 4)…. youtube video … Robin Trower Twice Removed From Yesterday Full Album …

… 40:52 minutes …


Jimmy McCormick

Published on Apr 18, 2013
5 Stars = Masterpiece

For most Robin Trower fans, "Bridge Of Sighs" is probably their favorite album. As for myself, I enjoy his first, "Twice Removed From Yesterday," a fret better.

"Twice Removed From Yesterday," just exudes Trower’s famous brand of ethereal cosmic spacey heaviness. His acute sense of beautiful melodic grandeur, all spun into a sonic delight of many musical journeys, through Trower’s magnificent guitar, & James Dewar’s magnificent soulfully emotive baritone vocals. This is truly a match made in the heavenly cosmos, for us that live on earth below.

Yes, this album is Trower’s most Hendrix like. Conjuring up memories of Hendrix’s own ethereal master piece, "Axis Bold As Love," but Trower takes it to the next level, if that’s possible? Transcending the grandmasters genius! Perfecting the art! Perfecting the idea of a man & his guitar as one, indivisible, a true extension of Trower’s soaring soul, through his godly instrument of inspiration, his guitar. A grand statement from a humble man, who can communicate through his guitar, better than most people can through their spoken language, with one note. Yes, Trower communicates to us from his soul, through his guitar, through our ears, right down to our souls, enlightening our souls with his majestic magic!

I could go on to a song by song description, but I feel I don’t need to. For many of you are already acquainted with Trower’s magic. If you’re not, than give this album a try. Let it float through your ears, into your brain, & visit your soul with the pure beauty of one man’s musical vision, that will take you away into the realm of ethereal genius!

1. I Can’t Wait Much Longer
2. Daydream
3. Hannah
4. Man Of The World
5. I Can’t Stand It

6. Rock Me Baby Right
7. Twice Removed From Yesterday
8. Sinner’s Song
9. Ballerina


Standard YouTube License


Buy the Best with MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted

Buy the Best with MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted

Post image for Buy the Best with MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted

Spring is finally here for all of us, and that means many of us are finally ready to get serious about what’s going in our bag this season.

Sure, guys like me are still dealing with a little bit of lingering snow on a fairway or two, but most of the courses are open – and that’s winning. Even if it ain’t green, at least it’s golf, right?

To help you fill your bag with only the very best gear and accessories we put many of our popular Most Wanted Test results all in one place (right here if that wasn’t clear).

Looking for a new driver or a new putter? What about a GPS and a new pair of shoes? What if before you fill your bag, you need a new bag? Stand or cart, we’ve got your back.

Will be publishing several more guides before the season starts, so stay tuned, and be sure to check with MyGolfSpy before your next golf equipment purchase.

2014 Most Wanted Driver

Who doesn’t love the big dog? Golfers buy more drivers than any other club in the bag. Why? Because drivers are awesome. This season we put 23 different drivers to the test. Whether you’re looking for extreme distance, pinpoint accuracy, or the best of both worlds, the results of our 2014 Most Wanted Driver Test will help you find a driver you won’t want to take out of the bag…until next year.

Check Out our 2014 Most Wanted Drivers 


2014 Most Wanted Mallet

On no other occasion has a single product we’ve tested differentiated itself from the field to the extent that one did over the course of our 2014 Most Wanted Mallet Putter test. We can talk about what suites your eye, the biggest names in golf, or the brands you love, but why haggle? We’ve found the best mallet putter of 2014, and you need to check it out.

Check Out Our Most Wanted Mallet Putter


2014 Most Wanted Stand Bags


We know many of you would rather walk barefoot than spend one minute in a golf cart. We celebrate that. We want your carry experience to be everything it should be. To help make that happen we tested 27 carry bags from companies off all different sizes. Looking for the perfect blend of performance, function and comfort? We’ve got you covered.

Check Out out Most Wanted Stand & Carry Bags


2014 Most Wanted Cart Bags

We know not all of you carry your clubs on your bag. Many of you make use of a push cart, while others are happy to drive around the golf course. We won’t judge. Whatever your reasons, some of you (me too) just like a bigger bag. They hold more of our awesome stuff, right? Whether you’re looking for more dividers, more pockets, or just a space to stockpile your beer, we can help find you the perfect cart bag.

Check out Our Most Wanted Cart Bags


2014 Most Wanted Watch & Watch GPSs

Sure, you could just use your phone, but by the letter, that requires a local rule, and mobile apps aren’t always legal for tournament play. Our top picks and comparative feature guide, will help narrow down your choices so that you can find the Watch or Voice GPS that’s perfect for YOU.

Check Out our Most Wanted Watch and Voice GPS Guide


2014 Most Wanted Golf Shoe Guide

Recently published, our 2014 Shoe Guide tells you what you need to know about 29 different golf shoes. Whether you want spikeless or a more traditional cleat, we’ve broken down several of the most popular models in golf (and a few you may never have heard of or considered) to let you know which models can help you play your best, and which are to be avoided.

Check Out our 2014 Most Wanted Golf Shoe Guide


2014 Most Wanted Rain Glove

It is inevitable. Despite the warmer weather, into all of our lives (except for the Southern California and Desert crowds), some rain must fall. For those of you willing to brave the elements, our Most Wanted Rain gloves gives you all the info you need to play your best in the most unfortunate of situations.

Check Out our Most Wanted Rain Gloves


 2013 Most Wanted Driver

Sure, just about everybody in golf has freshened up their lineup for 2014, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find outstanding performance in our 2013 guide. The best part? Now that 2014 is here, many of the outstanding drivers on this list can be had for a fraction of their original price.

Check out the 2013 Most Wanted Drivers of 2013


2013 Most Wanted Mallet Putters

Just like our list of 2013s Most Wanted Drivers, many of the mallet putters on our original 2013 list remain viable…if not better than some of the newer models. While perhaps the discounts don’t cut as deep as they do with the big dog, there are still some excellent deals to be had on lasts year’s top mallet putters.

Check Our our Most Wanted Mallet Putters of 2013


2013 Most Wanted Blade Putters

How often do you really see something totally different enter the blade market. While our 2014 list will feature some new shooters, our 2013 list is filled with popular designs from the biggest names in golf. As with nearly anything else that’s so totally last season, there are savings to be had for those who don’t demand the latest and (not necessarily the) greatest.

Check Out our Most Wanted Blade Putters of 2013


Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Nike Joins Limited Edition Paint Craze with VRS Covert 2.0 Black

Nike Joins Limited Edition Paint Craze with VRS Covert 2.0 Black

Post image for Nike Joins Limited Edition Paint Craze with VRS Covert 2.0 Black

Written By: Tony Covey

In a move that further supports my contention that Nike is finally starting to get golf, the company today announced the impending availability of a Limited Edition (Here. We. Go. Again.), Matte Black version of their VRS Covert 2.0 Driver.

At least they managed to keep the word innovation out of the discussion.

Whoops…never mind. I see it now.

“Nike Golf’s latest limited-edition innovation features a black Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G grip, Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black shaft, and matte black club head – a design element specifically modeled after matte black college football helmets that have popped up in recent years”.

covert black

Given what the industry as a whole as produced for us over the last several weeks, I hope everyone will forgive me for having a little fun with the latest bit of limitedness to be dropped in the consumer’s lap, but all kidding aside, this is actually a pretty brilliant (though admittedly simple) idea on Nike’s part.

And, by the way, if you think that little tie-in to the college football market is really as matter a fact as it sounds, it’s time for you to start paying attention to the really big picture.


The Covert 2.0 is Beautiful the Way She Is

The Covert 2.0 is one of my favorite new drivers of the 2014 season. Actually, why sell my own feelings short? Nike’s VRS Covert 2.0 is my absolute favorite driver of 2014. I don’t just love the way it looks; it moves me.

I love the damn thing.

But…I’m not like everybody else. The near-constant stream of feedback raises my following statement to the level of absolute and indisputable fact.

Some people don’t like red.

Whoa. Mind blown, right?

Seriously…they hate it. And because they hate it, they won’t try. And if you follow the breadcrumbs to the eventual outcome what you have is a potential customer who’s buying somebody else’s product.

That’s going to happen, but when the root cause can be as simple as paint, it makes sense to do something about it.

“The Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition driver offers a unique, limited-edition design combined with Nike’s high speed cavity back technology. The black matte finish on the head provides a sleek, modern aesthetic and eliminates glare. The black grip and shaft give the driver a stealth, covert look.” – Rob Arluna, Nike Golf Global Golf Club Business Director.


The No Compromise Compromise

I suppose it would have been easy for Nike to completely change course with the Matte Black version.

They could have painted the driver black (they did), and they could have removed the giant swoosh from the crown (they didn’t), and they could have removed the swoosh from the toe (they didn’t), or the sole (didn’t do that either), and they could have even removed the 2.0 alignment aid (they didn’t…kinda wish they had).

All of the above would almost certainly go over better with the ultra-traditionalists, but whether you’ve noticed or not, Nike Golf has entered a new phase, and part of what’s core to that is a refocused and unyielding approach to the golf industry.

Nike Golf is authentic Nike now, and if that means something fundamentally different than what some believe an authentic golf company looks like, everything I’ve heard and seen suggests the company is more comfortable with that than ever before.

The Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition driver will be available on Nike.com and at select retailers May 15, 2014 for $399. Available in right hand only.


Have Your Say

Does the introduction of a black version of the Covert 2.0 driver make you any more inclined to give this or other Nike Golf products a try?

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Golf Is Awesome so stop trying to hack it and instead embrace what makes the game so damn great!

Golf Is Awesome so stop trying to hack it and instead embrace what makes the game so damn great!

Post image for Golf Is Awesome so stop trying to hack it and instead embrace what makes the game so damn great!

The Monday after The Masters TaylorMade Golf hosted a HackGolf event at Reynolds Plantation where PGA Tour Professionals Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose wore shorts, and, playing alongside media members more important (or more likely to say nice things about HackGolf) than myself, hit golf balls into 15” cups.

…and golf was saved. If only it was that simple.

The experiment will be repeated at courses all over the country (sans the PGA Tour guys and the media), and if everything goes well, courses will be given the option to purchase the 15” kits. Here’s a quick tip…if you want to give the appearance that Hacking Golf is all about growing the game, and not simply growing a revenue stream, maybe don’t try  and cash in on the Hack hole kits.

Tell us why you love golf and you’ll be automatically entered to win a special MyGolfSpy Prize Package.

Since the Hack Golf initiative launched a steady stream of mostly predictable ideas (some more absurd than others) have rolled in.

:: We need bigger cups (apparently 15” is the right number)
:: Courses should open up for Foot Golf (15” cups might work there too)
:: The golf balls should be bigger
:: Courses should replace their golf carts with Segways
:: EVERYONE should play faster

I’ll give the Segway idea points for ingenuity…and fun.

The problem with HackGolf is that to date it’s a community of mostly avid golfers complaining about everything that’s wrong with golf. The new blood (guys who don’t play golf at all – and can provide a reasoned explanation for what that is) is largely absent. The guys talking about what’s wrong with golf, are the ones playing most of the golf.

Here’s everything I hate, but I play anyway…but YOU still need to fix it.

Could you imagine if golf companies sold equipment this way? Don’t buy our driver because…well…here’s all the stuff that’s wrong with it. Buy hey, bear with us, we’ll brainstorm the problem, and get back to you later.

To grow golf you have to sell what’s great about golf, not reinvent the whole damn game.

The HackGolf approach is all wrong. To grow golf we don’t need to tear it down. It doesn’t need to be hacked. We need to tap in to why it is that we play this amazing game despite the hundreds of things that are apparently terribly wrong with it.

Each and every one of us loves golf. Reasons may be singular or many, but WE LOVE GOLF.

Share the love, grow the game. That’s what I believe.

So right now, today, right here, let’s have a discussion. I don’t want to hear about slow play, or how expensive golf is. I’m not interested in complaints about equipment release cycles, or the lack of Segways on the golf course.

I want you to tell me this and only this:

Why do you love golf?

Discuss below. Everyone who participates will be automatically entered to win a MyGolfSpy Prize Package.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Golf’s Most Wanted – 2014 Golf Shoes

Golf’s Most Wanted – 2014 Golf Shoes

Post image for Golf’s Most Wanted – 2014 Golf Shoes

Golf shoes have come a long way over the past few years. The introduction of streetwear-inspired shoes and alternative spike-less models have ushered in the most notable shift in styles since the fading away of metal spikes. When you throw in the ever-increasing focus on new materials and technology, it’s clear that finding a new pair of golf shoes can be daunting.

When we set out to put together the New Shoe Buyer’s Guide, it became obvious that the shoe market has grown considerably. Even after restricting the field for the New Shoe Buyer’s Guide by limiting the contenders to only new shoe models or significant model modifications, there are still quite a few options competing for your dollars.

We reviewed shoes that span the spectrum from budget to luxury and posted scores spanning the spectrum of letter grades from A to F. During the testing, there were certainly plenty of surprises and a handful of shoes scored higher and some scored lower than you would probably expect. While prices are typically good indicators at the extremes, the mid-priced models scored all over the map.


All of the shoes have been judged on the same scale for Comfort, Performance, Durability, and Style. In addition to the individual scales, a final letter grade is given for an overall score for each shoe.

The individual scales for the characteristics of the shoes are judged on a qualitative scale and are based on observations of putting the shoes to multiple rounds of golf and range sessions. While the bars show relative performance between an arbitrary minimum and maximum range, the letter grade is an overall score independent of the individual scales.

The Contenders


adidas adizero One


adidas adizero Sport II


adidas Pure 360


Ashworth Encinitas Wingtip


Callaway Master Staff Brogue


Callaway X Cage Vibe


Callaway X Nitro


ECCO Street EVO One


ECCO Tour Hybrid


FootJoy FJ City


FootJoy DNA


FootJoy DryJoy Casual


FootJoy SuperLites CT


Heaven Golf Shoe


Kikkor Select


New Balance 574 Golf


New Balance Minimus


Nike Golf FI Impact


Nike Golf Lunar Ascend II


Nike Golf Lunar Control II


Nike Golf TW14 Mesh


Puma Monolite


Puma Biofusion


Puma Biofusion Spikeless Mesh


Puma Faas Lite Mesh


Royal Albartross Club Collection


Royal Albartross Grayson


TRUE Gent Wingtip


TRUE Lyt Dry


2014 Golf Shoe Comparison

If you’re looking for comparison data at a glance, this grid will show you a variety of common information on pricing, sole style, colorways, sizing, width options, and waterproofing information.

Best New Shoe Data
*Please note that several of the shoes listed in this guide have been temporarily discounted. While we have tried to accurately represent the expected street prices. In some cases the actual purchase price will be lower than what is listed in this guide.

The Runners-Up

Admittedly our Most Wanted selections for both Spiked and Spikeless golf shoes are premium offerings that run at what many will consider the extreme end of the pricing table. While we believe those selections are a cut above in every respect, value/price were not considered as part of the overall grade, and so we felt it was necessary to give the best option for those of you not interested in spending $600 on your next pair of golf shoes.

Runner-up: Spikeless


It’s great when a company consistently puts out a great product and that’s been the story for ECCO. These shoes have evolved from the original spikeless model that opened up the possibility that an alternative street-inspired shoe could hold its weight in the golf world. Be sure to try on this shoe at your local retailer as the sizing tends to run a size large.

The ECCO Street EVO One golf shoes are solid all the way through and the quality of the leather is something that more manufacturers should aspire to. For those looking for a relatively mainstream alternative to our Most Wanted spikeless shoe, we can’t oversell you on the ECCO Street EVO One.

Runner-up: Traditional/Spiked


The PURE 360 is a no-comprise golf shoe and it scored top marks in terms of performance. The quality of the shoe can be seen throughout the overall feel and construction and it’s a shoe leaving little to be desired. When the only thing to complain about is cleaning the soles, then you know you have a good shoe.

If our Most Wanted is priced out of your range, or you’re looking for a more modern take on the traditional golf shoe, the adidas Pure 360 is a clear winners when it comes to being an all-around great golf shoe for under $300.

MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Golf Shoes of 2014

There’s little arguing that our Most Wanted selections come at anything other than a premium price, but we believe our picks for both traditional/spiked and spikeless represent the very best of what’s available for 2014.

Most Wanted (Best Overall): Spikeless


The initial soft-spike option from Royal Albartross is a masterpiece. You won’t understand the difference between these shoes and the others until you see them in person. While the price is higher than most, this is still a value for the level of detail and satisfaction that you’ll get out of this excellent line of golf shoes. The Club Collection also debuts in six different color combinations – at least one of which that’s likely to appeal to almost everyone.

The Royal Albartross Club Collection is a fashion-forward quality investment that will stand the test of time.

Buy Royal Albartross Club Collection

Most Wanted (Best Overall): Traditional/Spiked


If you’re ready to treat yourself then this is the shoe to do it with. Classic styling and meticulous craftsmanship combine to create the ultimate traditional golf shoe. Everything from the hardware used in the eyelets to the stacked leather soles scream quality. Handcrafted in Italy says it all.

The Royal Albartross Grayson will instantly make you feel like Bobby Jones.

Buy Royal Albartross Grayson

Save Some Money: Our Value Selections

Value is about more than price. A cheap shoe is only a value if it’s comfortable and performs well. To that end, our Best Value selections are outstanding performers offered at below average prices (not exactly bargain basement). These are the shoes that offer the most bang for your buck.

Best Value: Spikeless


Coming in at a generous price-point and with good overall ratings — this sporty golf shoe is one that will leave you happy with your investment. A great overall fit, shape, and comfort are all standouts. The interesting sole pattern results in plenty of stability and also allows the shoe to easily transition from course to street to gym.

The Nike FI Impact is the clear overall winner for Nike this year and rivals the best new shoes of the year.

Buy Nike FI Impact

Best Value: Traditional/Spiked


There are lots of interesting things that standout when first looking at the adizero ONE. The most interesting immediate features are the incredible lack of weight, the unique materials, and the well-contoured fit. The one downside to this shoe is the unpleasant clicking sound when walking on concrete or hard surfaces.

The adidas adizero One has a wonderful mix of technologies and innovative materials that have combined into a great performance-focused shoe.

Buy adidas adizero ONE

The Rest of the Reviews


This shoe is a notable new and welcome offering from FootJoy. The FJ City is a great looking shoe with performance and durability that rival any golf shoe out there. The shoes come in a plain or brogue style and in a variety of colorways.

The FootJoy FJ City is the best thing we’ve seen come out of FootJoy for quite some time.

Buy FootJoy FJ City

FootJoy DNA


FootJoy has done an incredible job with this well-executed new golf shoe. It’s rare that a mass-market golf shoe gets so many things right, but the DNA lives up to the hype. The comfort is excellent and the performance of this shoe goes beyond expectations.

If you’re a fan of traditionally-styled, spiked, and technology-rich golf shoes, this is a clear winner.

Buy FootJoy DNA


The new Mesh version of the TW14 provides superior comfort and fit. This is a substantial shoe with a solid feel. The spikeless soles are unique and the shoe is based on the Nike Free platform that allows flexibility alongside nice traction. Despite the bright white mesh, these shoes still clean up easily.

The Nike TW14 Mesh is a great take on the TW14 and allows for additional visibility and excellent durability.

Buy Nike TW 14 Mesh


This new shoe takes the walkability and zero-drop nature found in all of the TRUE lineup and combines it with a wingtip styling that has given the serious walking golfer with a much-needed combination of style and comfort. The performance and durability aspects of the shoes have evolved to a level that they will handle more wear-and-tear than we’ve seen from TRUE in prior years.

The TRUE Linkswear Gent Wingtip is an excellent combination of all of the elements that are needed to be a great all-around golf shoe.

Buy TRUE Linkswear Gent


With a nice mix of a traditional shape and spikeless construction, this shoe makes for a nice hybrid shoe for those looking to cross over. The shoe is more narrow than most spikeless models. Don’t let the look of the shoe fool you, this shoe isn’t just for warm weather. The construction and waterproof features of the shoe make the adizero Sport II great for any season.

While none of the characteristics were pure standouts; the Adidas Adizero Sport II is a good shoe at a value price.

Buy adidas adizero Sport II


ECCO has been bringing a variety of high-quality styles to the golf world year-after-year and this model is no exception. The traditional uppers and punched saddle give the shoe a classic and under-stated clean look that is backed up with excellent performance and durability with the spikeless soles.

The ECCO Tour Hybrid is a great mix of a traditional golf shoe, a timeless look, and a progressive sole.

Buy ECCO Tour Hybrid


The first thing that you’ll notice about the Kikkor Select shoes is the unique print on the outers of the shoe. While the styling will be hit-or-miss, the shoe put up respectable scores and the quality of the shoes is a noticeable improvement from the Kikkors of previous years. The lines of the shoes are simple and effective and the comfort is good enough that they’ll leave you smiling at the end of your round.

The Kikkor Selects are a good low-priced option that will resonate well for progressive and younger golfers.

Buy Kikkor Select


This is a great golf version of the classic New Balance 574. The quality of the shoe feels a bit off, but the classic styling and excellent comfort make up for what will likely be a good single-season golf shoe.

The New Balance 574 is lightweight and comfortable with enough retro flavor that they’ll leave your playing partners wonder why they’re torturing themselves in their over-engineered golf shoes.

Buy New Balance 574


This is a really good budget golf shoe with respectable all-around scoring. The Monolite is minimal and understated while also being well-capable on the course. The shoe even did well in soggy and sloppy conditions and cleaned up easily. This shoe will easily last a few seasons and when it finally does wear down, it makes for a great casual shoe for around town.

The Puma Monolite is a nice low-key offering at an attractive price.

Buy PUMA Monolite


This is one of the shoe contenders that is obviously aiming for a highly technical tour-performance shoe — and Puma has accomplished that aim with the Biofusion. The shoe even looks technical with a mixture of unique materials, construction, and styling. While the look feels over-done, the shoe is capable of handling any terrain and conditions that you throw at it.

The Puma Biofusion is a traditional golf shoe with futuristic styling and great performance.

Buy PUMA Biofusion


This shoe shares the Biofusion name with the more traditional model, but the shoes couldn’t be much different in terms of appearance and feel. The Biofusion Mesh is a really good shoe that tackles all weather conditions well and has an attractive look. The cell cage that is visible on the inner side of the shoe gives the shoe some extra flavor that adds to the understated-but-noticeable technology that exists throughout the shoe.

The Puma Biofusion Spikeless Mesh shoe is one of the best-performing shoes tested and it has a great look that works both on and off the course. This is the best performance-to-price ratio seen across all shoes tested.

Buy PUMA Biofusion Mesh


There are plenty of lightweight shoes popping up in the golf world, but this shoe is insanely lightweight. While the extreme lightweight nature results in a very thin shoe, it also adds significantly to the comfort factor. I’m not sure you can find a better warm-weather walking shoe out there.

The Puma Faas Lite Mesh sacrifices durability for comfort — but it’s done in a thoughtful way that makes this shoe an excellent choice for a minimum price.

Buy PUMA FAAS Lite Mesh


While scoring well, the potential of the Lyt Dry is still short of being fully realized. This is an excellent shoe, but it falls just short of excellence in a few areas. A minor discomfort on the follow-through in the heel cup of the shoe is the only thing that prohibited the comfort score from being perfect.

The Lyt Dry is a capable zero-drop shoe targeted at the walking golfer.

Buy TRUE Linkswear LYT Dry







In Closing. . .

Quite a few of the new shoes made a strong showing during the rounds of testing on the range and on the course while a handful of the shoes had problems that surfaced quickly.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s likely a new 2014 shoe model that will fit your needs. Choosing from a variety of styles and prices can help you narrow the range and the comfort, performance, and durability aspects can let you dial the shoe to be perfect for your needs.

Looking for any additional information or detailed experience while testing the shoes? Feel free to post your questions in the comments and we’ll respond with our own comments and let others add their opinions as well.


Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

TaylorMade Announces SLDR White. . .Seriously

TaylorMade Announces SLDR White. . .Seriously

Post image for TaylorMade Announces SLDR White. . .Seriously

Written By: Tony Covey

How do you improve the #1 Driver on Tour?

You could make it more adjustable. You could offer a bevy of zero upcharge shaft options. You could make it sound and feel better.

You could even make it longer.

Or, using the TaylorMade logic, you could make it available in a second color.

Seriously. That’s what TaylorMade is going with. SLDR is now better because of an alternative paint scheme.

TaylorMade is calling the White SLDR The Other #1 Driver.

I thought that was Callaway’s Big Bertha.

If I had written this article two and half weeks ago, none of you would have any trouble believing that today’s announcement that TaylorMade will be releasing a Limited Edition version of their SLDR driver was just another in a growing line of killer MyGolfSpy April Fools gags.

I assure you it’s not.

The SLDR White is real. This is happening.

The only thing that’s surprising about the SLDR White is that it took TaylorMade this long to do it.

Rumor Becomes Reality

Rumors of the SLDR White date all the way back to 2013 (soooo long ago, right?). Well ahead of the PGA show we hear rumors – I’d almost call them confirmations – from two separate credible sources that TaylorMade would be announcing SLDR White at the PGA Show. Wouldn’t that have been something? Almost nobody of any repute announcing anything at the show anymore.

When I started digging for answers late last year, TaylorMade representatives were understandably cagey about the topic. And while nobody has really come clean on the topic, my belief is that TaylorMade had every intent of announcing the driver at the PGA show, but ultimately decided to push it back. Whether the delay was to clear the stage for Hack Golf or to simply wait for a more necessary or advantageous time to push forward, would be speculative on my part.

Since I don’t have any problem speculating, I’m going to suggest it was probably a little bit of both.


What is SLDR White?

Fortunately, TaylorMade has made this particular section insanely easy to write.

SLDR White is exactly the same as the existing SLDR. It’s available in the same lofts (9.5°, 10.5°, 12°, and 14°). The stock shaft is exactly the same (Fujikura Speeder 57), which explains why the price point is exactly the same ($399) too. You still need to #LoftUp.

What’s different…in fact the only thing that’s different, is the color of the paint.

“The white crown with black button-back delivers a remarkable appearance at address. Many golfers fell in love with white when it came out in 2011, and now we are delivering a limited edition white SLDR with low and forward CG for more distance when you loft up.” – Brian Bazzel, Sr. Director of Metalwood Product Creation

Now in fairness, offering up a different colorway and calling it Limited isn’t exclusively a TaylorMade thing. Cobra has done it for the last several years. Generally Cobra’s releases appear more purposeful (Orange like Rickie, or Green to celebrate a Major Championship), they often upgrade the shaft, and generally Cobra is pretty forthcoming about how many they’ve actually produced, but the ultimate purpose is basically the same.

Golf companies create clubs, even limited ones, because they want  to sell more clubs.


How Limited is Limited?

What is different is that when Cobra (and most other companies) release limited offerings, they tell you exactly how limited the product is. For now anyway, TaylorMade isn’t talking numbers.

TaylorMade’s SLDR White is a Limited Edition, and we’ll all just have to take their word for it.

My guess (and it’s just that) is that they are in fact producing less SLDR Whites, but given how deep we are into the SLDR lifecycle, and that fact that everyone (including TaylorMade) is growing more sensitive to retail inventory levels, that’s not so much limited as it is logical.

Produced in Logical Quantities doesn’t have quite the same draw as Limited Edition though, right? So Limited it is.

Why White? Why Now?

At some point TaylorMade may talk about how a segment of golfers really missed the white crowns of R1* and RocketBallz series drivers. While I’m certain there are guys that really do love white (I think it’s cool), there’s a whole lot more to this than caving to the quiet demands of a small market segment.

“SLDR has to live.”

Those 4 very simple words (if you consider SLDR a word) came from the mouth of a TaylorMade representative several months ago. Let’s put them in context.

Whether it was to fight off a surging Callaway, or to make the financials look better after the late start to the 2013 golf season, TaylorMade took a shot with the R1 Black. When that didn’t produce the entirety of the desired result, TaylorMade released SLDR early…way early.

SLDR was originally slated for launch in early 2014 as the first complete reimagination of TaylorMade’s flagship driver since R7. It was to be the celebration of a decade of adjustability. It should have been the latest and greatest competing on equal footing with Callaway’s Big Bertha series.

Instead TaylorMade used it (and later JetSpeed) to make a late season financial push.

SLDR has been an unquestionable success. It’s one hell of a badass driver.


Despite being among the oldest in a new line of flagship drivers on the shelf it has so far been able to hold the #1 spot (retail sales). That’s no small feat, but the undeniable reality is that through aggressive marketing, and a very solid product, Callaway has been able to take a chunk out of TaylorMade’s lead.

Even as the footsteps get closer, SLDR has to live.

If they’re going to compete on equal footing, TaylorMade almost certainly has to get back on schedule. That means major product releases happen in the Spring. You can’t continually release new product at the end of the golf season when your major competitors are all on a Spring schedule. You’ll eventually lose.

If you squeeze product lifecycles down to 6 or 8 months, you’re going to piss off the consumer in substantial numbers, and eventually you’re still going to lose.

The conundrum for TaylorMade is that quality and performance in golf equipment is often (too often) associated with newness. The latest and greatest is always better than what came before it…even 4 months before it. We’ve said it countless times. If the goal is to compete, and to win, year in and year out (and it absolutely is that at TaylorMade), you can’t succeed with the oldest product on the shelf.

Unfortunately replacing SLDR now isn’t an option (at least not a good one). SLDR has to live. And it probably has to live for the rest of the 2014 season.

So if TaylorMade is going to retain its crown as the #1 Driver in Golf, they’re going to have to continuously come up with creative ways to keep an aging product fresh.

So far that’s exactly what they’ve tried to do.


A Very Clever TaylorMade

My opinion; TaylorMade made a pretty big mistake releasing SLDR when they did. With spring finally here, they’re running at a clear disadvantage. With the exception of Titleist, everybody has newer product.

That said, to TaylorMade’s credit they have done an absolutely masterful job of keeping SLDR as fresh as is reasonably possible considering the less than ideal circumstances.

They made LoftUp a story unto itself, and have been relentlessly telling, and retelling it.

When the original lure of SLDR started to fade, they released the 430.

When that story ran its course they made a story out of the 14° offering.

Just about a month ago they offered up the SLDR guarantee. Love it, or your money back. No questions asked.

And just as we’re beginning the golf season in earnest, and consumers are finally starting to spend real money, TaylorMade is rejuvenating SLDR for the 3rd time by offering up the SLDR white.

It’s SLDR, SLDR, and more SLDR. Tweak it, keep it fresh, but don’t change it.

That’s what they’ve done so far, and my guess is they’re not done yet.

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Final Thoughts

I have absolutely no issue with TaylorMade releasing the SLDR White. Actually, I’m kind of happy to see the return of white, even if I’ve believed from the moment it disappeared that white would be back.

It would be easy to chuckle at this release and call it what it is (and it absolutely is TaylorMade digging in as best they can to fight for market share). It’s certainly fuel for the fire of the TaylorMade haters out there, and I suppose this time around that’s more fair than it has ever been.

For the rest of you…TaylorMade fans, and those uncomfortably riding the fence, I’m optimistic (but far from certain) that SLDR White could further signal TaylorMade’s commitment to do what needs to be done. I think they may just ride it out this time.

SLDR has to live. It can never be seen as the discount/budget alternative to flagship offerings from Titleist, Callaway, and even Nike. There can be no price rollbacks this season – not with this driver.

White or no white, if TaylorMade is willing to absorb whatever hit that comes from having an old driver on the shelf, and lets SLDR live for the duration, it would go a long way towards restoring the faith of the consumer, and fighting the growing perception of TaylorMade as golf’s discount brand.

If they don’t…no matter how much they want to talk about TRUST, there really won’t be any left to discuss.

The TaylorMade SLDR White Driver is available at retail beginning 5/2.


Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)