Explaining Foursomes – Ryder Cup Edition
With the Ryder Cup here, here’s a primer on the Foursomes game: While the proper … Read more.
Ridiculous Golf Items Easter Edition
Here’s a special edition of GolfBlogger’s Famous Ridiculous Golf Items Of The Week. I’m putting these Easter golf gifts up early, and in a batch in case there’s anyone out…
Cobra Limited Edition Fly-Z Iridescent Drivers
Cobra Limited Edition Fly Z Driver Cobra is offering a limited edition, iridescent version…
Scrabble Golf Edition
Scrabble Golf Edition Ridiculous…
Trademark Wars – Callaway vs. TaylorMade (2014 Edition)
Written By: Tony Covey
The annual war of words, nay,the annual war for words between Callaway and TaylorMade has resumed. And no, this isn’t a repeat from last July.
If you’ve got a few minutes for a brief history lesson, I suggest you check out previous stories on the National Advertising Division’s (NAD) ruling on Callaway’s marketing of the RAZR Fit Extreme as the Longest Driver in Golf, as well as last season’s dueling Trademark claims on SLIDER (Callaway) and SLDR (TaylorMade).
This latest chapter begins with TaylorMade and Callaway filing Trademark applications for “XR” all of seven days apart.
In the interest of sweating the details, it should be pointed out that TaylorMade was actually the first to submit its filing. I don’t mean to imply that TaylorMade is in the right here, only that it was first to pull the trigger.
As I often do when these type of situations arise, I will now pause a moment for anyone who seriously wants to argue coincidence.
One of these companies is quite obviously screwing with the other.
Never mind who’s on first, who’s on top?
Given that TaylorMade has just announced R15 and AeroBurner, it’s unlikely the company has any short to mid-term plans for anything called XR, while for Callaway, XR is next-in-the-pipeline, coming soon, kind of stuff.
I can’t state this as 100% indisputable fact, but I’ve heard that Callaway has…or maybe had every intent of calling the early 2015 successor to X2 Hot the Callaway XR.
If I have reason to believe that the next Callaway driver is going to be called XR, then it’s plenty reasonable to assume that TaylorMade knows it too. Why not try and beat Callaway to the punch…at least as far as the US Trademark office is concerned?
Is TaylorMade simply trying to take advantage of what may be a later-than-it-should-have-been filing from Callaway?
It’s not hard to make a compelling argument that this is a case of TaylorMade trying to complicate things for its #1 rival, and perhaps force it to spend a little extra money in the process.
I could also argue that if these Trademark shenanigans actually delay the release of another Callaway driver or two, then TaylorMade might actually be doing Callaway a favor, but let’s save that one for another day.
If we’re going to consider accusing TaylorMade of corporate shenanigans, it’s equally fair to ask exactly what the hell Callaway might be thinking naming a line of clubs XR to begin with.
For those who don’t know, over the last 12 years or so, TaylorMade has produced a handful of non-conforming XR Series drivers for the Japanese market.
TaylorMade may not have included an XR logo in its Trademark filing because, well…they already have one. And since we’re being honest here, allowing for the fact that there are only so many ways to write XR; doesn’t Callaway’s look a bit like what TaylorMade already stamped on its clubs?
While TaylorMade’s XR isn’t as entrenched in our relatively mainstream consciousness as its R-Series (or Burner Series for that matter), from an apples to apples perspective, a Callaway XR driver wouldn’t be wholly dissimilar to something called a TaylorMade Legacy.
With a near limitless pool of potential product names to skim from, would Callaway seriously go with something that TaylorMade has already used?
At a time when Callaway is trying to differentiate the rest of the industry, recycling a name (even one that’s not particularly well-known) from its #1 competitor doesn’t make much sense either.
If the possibility that TaylorMade is screwing with Callaway is unsavory, the possibility that Callaway might be screwing with TaylorMade is just confusing.
I reached out to representatives from both companies and both succinctly declined to comment for the record.
What I take from that is a likelihood that legal departments are probably already involved, and are likely exchanging threating letters on the regular.
Believe me when I tell you that legal departments, and these two in particular, absolutely thrive on sending letters.
These sort of disputes are far from uncommon in the golf industry, but anecdotal evidence suggests that they’re popping up more frequently between Callaway and TaylorMade.
We’ll have to wait to see how this plays out. My guess is that Callaway releases an XR Driver (or two or three) in the spring, but it’s probably going to take some behind the scenes horsetrading (the kind of stuff we’ll never hear about) to make any Trademark problems go away.
This latest clash speaks not only to the competitive nature of both companies, but also reaffirms everything we’ve learned over the last two years; at corporate level, these two really don’t like each other very much.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
Guide To Match Play – WGC Edition
I love match play. It is in my mind the purest and most exciting form of golf, and yet…
HOW IT’S MADE! – Stitch Golf Edition
Even when it comes to their name, Stitch Golf, is all about the details.
And, after working with them on our latest “MyGolfSpy Custom Cover”, I can tell you that those details aren’t limited to just their designs. From our first conversation to our last, Stitch Golf was incredible to work with. Their attention to detail from inception, to final design, to customer service was an A+ in my book.
Well, in simplest terms, Stitch Golf makes custom headcovers and custom accessories. From knit, to wool and leather. From drivers, to putters, to shoe bags and ipad covers. And they find their inspiration in the detail that makes their covers most unique. It’s all about the stitching.
If you haven’t heard the name, you might recognize their designs. In the short time they have been in business their reputation for quality and customer service has already landed them in many major events, the bags of more then a few Presidents, over 500 Top Country Clubs & Resorts and gotten them distribution in US, Canada, Japan, Korea and Germany. Not bad for just two years in a niche business. Who said, you couldn’t make a living making headcovers?
But even with all this popularity, many of our readers weren’t familiar with the name. So, we asked them to make us up some snazzy “MyGolfSpy Custom Leather Covers” to show off their skills. I sent over a design and in no time Stitch Golf knocked it out of the park, with one of my favorite covers to date.
Stitch Golf has a proprietary processes they use, and their special finishing ensures they won’t fade and are water and stain resistant. Stitch Golf’s pricing has been met with high praise, as they could be charging premium prices as others do, but they have a great niche business and offer a tremendous value to customers at the same time, all for the love of the game, as Steve says.” Stitch is not a custom shop by any means, but they offer something for just about everyone.
The process in entirely hand made and quite proud to be 100% produced in the USA.
Leather is hand selected and they review every hide to ensure the highest quality is being used.
Then Stich cuts the leather pieces to meet the order, for country club accounts who require the club logos they complete this embroidery process on the
The next step is to sew down the decorative pieces such as stripes, circles, and numbers.
Finally once the front pieces are ready, the backs are prepared with the “Moisture Wicking” liners.
Then the covers are put together, and they go through a “5-point Quality Check Process” to ensure they are shipped to customers without defects
or any construction issues.
Check them out if you are looking for a great gift this upcoming holiday season, or just want to treat yourself to something unique.
If you want to separate yourself from the pack, of oversized nascar logo looking manufacturer head covers, then Stitch Golf is your next new brand.
Vote Now! Golf Pics of the Week (It’s Getting Cold Edition)
Well, it’s that time of year again. Guys like me who live in stupid places are waking up to temps in the 30s and frost delays on the golf course. Can somebody please help me remember why I live here?
At this point all I can hope for is an abundance of late season travel to much warmer climates with golf courses that are never delayed.
The golf companies must be feeling the cooler air too (even if most of them are in Southern California) because the availability of quality pictures has been suspect. They practically took the week off.
It’s bad, but rest easy my friends. No matter how severe the image drought, I’ll never post a pick of Zac Efron hitting driver in his skinny jeans. Instead, we’re going just a little heavy on the putters.
Mizuno Divot Tool and Market Set
Vote Now! Golf Pics of the Week (Like I Don’t Have Enough to Do Edition)
Well thanks to all of you who voted for my hole in one last week. I appreciate the love, but rules being what they are, you forced me to find another picture of myself (or at least another photo I took) to include in this pictures of the week post. Like I don’t already have enough to do.
Me and GolfSpy X spent the week working on some really cool new features for the website, and discussing our late 2013 and 2014 plans. If everything goes according to plan (and I’m confident it will), we are absolutely going to blow this stuff up. It’s amazing what you’re able to do when you leave 6 figure ad deals on the table so you can keep telling it like it is. A few hundred grand buys a lot of Kool-Aid (and even more influence).
As far as the pics go, this week we’ve got awesome MyGolfSpy headcovers, some really old drivers, some really new drivers, and some really cool accessories. This is definitely one of our more varied efforts of late.
By One Vote over Callaway’s Mystery Putter. . . My Hole in One
Vote Now! Golf Pics of the Week (Arts and Crafts Edition)
I won’t lie, I struggled to come up with a clever title for this week’s Pic of the Week competition, and then I thought about my daughter’s pre-school projects, and then my eyes fixated on the Play-Doh PINGMAN, and the custom work from Grafalloy and Callaway, and I thought…sure arts and crafts, why the hell not.
It’s better than nothing…sort of.
Toss in last weeks winner, and the whole theme comes together nicely. And for those not interested in the artistic side of golf, we’ve got a new JDM driver from S-Yard, classic Mizuno clubs, more motivation from Nike, and very questionable tattoo choice.
Edel’s Clyde Wynn Handcarved Wedge
HOW IT’S MADE! – (Bobby Grace Edition)
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that every last one of you has a putter in his bag. Some of them are probably one-piece castings, others are CNC milled masterpieces that are arguably as much art as they are equipment.
Today we wanted to show you how a putter, specifically a Bobby Grace, is created. It’ starts with a solid billet of 303 stainless steel, and when the milling, polishing, and engraving is complete, and Bobby’s HSM (hole seeking material) insert is added, well…you’ve got yourself one of the most accurate putters in all of golf.
While Bobby Grace probably isn’t the household name that Scotty Cameron is; that’s probably more a function of marketing than it is actual performance. Before venturing out on his own, Bobby Grace designed putters for Cobra and MacGregor. Along the way Bobby’s putters have collected more than 200 PGA Tour wins worldwide, 13 majors, and hundreds of millions in tour winnings.
Simply put, Bobby Grace knows putters, and while you probably won’t be the next great putter designer, it’s always cool to see how the stuff in your bag gets made.
Visit: Bobby Grace Website
Like: Bobby Grade on Facebook
Watch: Bobby Grace on YouTube
First Look! – Tour Edge Exotics Limited Edition CB Pro Fairway Wood
Written By: Tony Covey
Just yesterday we heard grumblings about what’s perceived as a near total lack of actual innovation coming out of the big golf companies. Apparently those big OEM guys are coasting by on gimmicks, and haven’t actually come up with anything impactful in decades.
Well today we’ve got something that might just get some of you to settle down for a little while; at least those of you who don’t immediately assume this is yet another golf company gimmick.
The story we heard is that Tour Edge’s upcoming CB Pro is really making waves on the range at the MBW Championship.
A couple of days ago we received pictures of an upcoming Limited Edition fairway wood from TourEdge Golf. The new CB Pro (Limited Edition) is the latest iteration of the CB Line (clubs generally designed for better players), and is constructed with the same seamless (no-weld) combo-brazed, titanium cupped face hyper steel body as previous CB fairway iterations.
While it has been a while since Tour Edge has updated the Exotics CB Line, the clubs remain popular with lower handicap golfers (and the occasional wanna-be), in part due to their mostly traditional appearance, but more so their performance, which more the a few golfers will tell you still rivals anything on the market today.
That’s all well and good, and a new Exotics CB Fairway would almost certainly garner plenty of attention on its own, but what’s certainly going to have people talking (and other golf companies looking very closely at the design) is what TourEdge is calling the Slip Stream sole.
The story behind the Slip Stream design is that it “dramatically minimizes turf contact”, which allows the club to glide through the turf with minimal impact -regardless of how steep of a swing you happen to put on it.
Steep or flat, Tour Edge says CB Pro will work for you.
Visually, Slip Steam looks like a collection of 9 linguine noodles spaced and bent (they’re wavy) in such that you basically couldn’t rest anything across the sole of the club and still maintain 100% surface contact with it.
Lots of companies talk about minimizing turf interaction, but this is one of those rare occasions where you can actually see how it’s done.
We’ve seen similar designs in the past, but none made it past prototype phase, and none came from a company with the type of fairway wood chops that TourEdge has. Past experience suggests that CB Pro will be a solid performer, even if Slip Stream is proven to be just another gimmick (which incidentally, I don’t think is going to happen).
It goes without saying that we’re anxious to check this one out for ourselves.
So I guess the Fujikura Speeder Shaft thing (661 and new 757) qualifies as a good thing. That’s a pretty solid upgrade, but expensive…that may not begin to cover it.
Suggested retail price for the Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro Fairway is $499.99.
One more time for those who think I just made another in a long line of famous typos:
Suggested retail price for the Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro Fairway is $499.99.
Yup…Tour Edge is releasing a $500 Fairway Wood. I love the ambition, but besting any other titanium faced fairway on the market by $200…it’s going to be a tough sell.
As much as I find the constant (and often misinformed) “they stole x from y” stuff we hear almost anytime something new comes out tiresome (and painfully unoriginal), it is true that golf companies do very often find inspiration in each other’s work.
It’s going to be exceptionally interesting to see if and how the Tour Edge design is coopted by other manufacturers into their own fairways, and probably hybrids too.
Look for the TourEdge CB Pro Fairway Wood to hit stores this November.
Vote Now! Golf Pics of the Week (Anywhere But Here Edition)
Well, unfortunately I’m back to reality after a couple of days in a fantasy world where “work” involved talking about golf equipment (some of which won’t see the light of day for months), hitting balls at TaylorMade’s Kingdom, and then actually playing golf at Torrey Pines South.
My new reality is back in front of the computer in my office, 18 holes on an over-developed goat pasture, and a holiday weekend spent with my in-laws. I should probably just be happy that nobody pooped on my desk.
This week we’ve got some new releases from PING and Mizuno, some nice Miura customs, more from the Japanese market, and my own personal glance into heaven.
Vote Now! Golf Pics of the Week (Major Indifference Edition)
Yes, there is a Major Championship happening right now, but we’re going to ignore that (mostly) because we don’t care about the tour (mostly).
The new TaylorMade SLDR Driver hits retail today. I’m going to ignore that too (mostly).
We’ve also decided we’re not going to let Callaway win two weeks in a row, so we’re not posting any Callaway pics this week either. Instead, we’ve got a couple of really sweet copper putters, some new blades (and Mizuno cavity backs too), and an ultra-rare golf cart that the boss found on eBay.
One final note people…we see you’re voting on the reg…but please…for the love of god, leave a comment telling us what you love (or what you hate…that’s cool too). Failure to do so may result in either cancellation of the Pics of the Week, or worse yet, I’m going to start posting nothing but off the rack TaylorMade drivers.
How’s that for spiteful?
Golf Pics of the Week (Killing time ’til the PGA Championship Edition)
While we wait for a flood of PGA Championship (the least Major of all majors) gear to flood in, I’m back with another all-equipment version of the Golf Pics of the Week. It’s a safe bet Phil and the Silver Jug would have been a landslide winner if I had let you vote for it. No worries for Callaway, however; as the Oh Canada version of the RAZR Fit Xtreme they made for Adam Hadwin managed to come out on top anyway.
This week’s collection includes more more from Callaway, a sweet new iron finish from Miura, and the Mizuno’s MP-4 they way I think lots of you wish it looked at retail.
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