Nike Golf Elevates Nike Free-Inspired Footwear with the TW’14
-Increased flexibility and range of athletic motion enables more power through the swing-
BEAVERTON, Ore. (May 13, 2013) – Building upon the success of last year’s TW’13, Nike Golf brings enhancements and a modified look to the new Nike TW’14 footwear. Nike Athlete Tiger Woods debuted the new Nike shoe in a dramatic fashion with his 78th PGA Tour career victory at The Players Championship. The new iconic shoe is also the first Nike Golf shoe to be made available on NIKEiD with previews beginning May 20, 2013.
The original Nike TW’13 was created through insights from the athlete himself, Tiger Woods, who stated, “I train with Nike Free technology all the time… I love training in it, running in it, lifting in it. So I asked, why can’t I play golf in it?”
With that, Nike designers set to work creating a Nike Free-inspired golf shoe tailored to maximize Woods’ game.
Woods first debuted the TW’13 on Tour late in the 2011 season and the game-changing shoe took the marketplace by storm in 2012. Through his inspiration, hands-on testing and detailed feedback, Nike Golf has continued the collaboration with Woods on the new Nike TW’14, further enhancing the fit, feel and function.
The natural motion engineered outsole of the Nike TW’14 is designed to mimic and conform to the natural motion of the foot, and still deliver all the protection and traction of a lightweight performance golf shoe. This innovative outsole allows the athlete to keep contact with the ground longer, better harnessing the energy of the foot to the shoe and, therefore, the shoe to the ground.
“These shoes provide freedom of movement and allow me to release more power through my swing,” said Woods.
The new upper features improved ventilation that delivers increased breathability and comfort. This was achieved through strategically located perforations and a more comfortable mesh tongue providing athletes the ventilation they want without compromising the waterproof protection they need.
“With this shoe, we worked diligently to take every detail to a new level,” said Tobie Hatfield, Athlete Projects Innovator in Nike’s Innovation Kitchen. “Tiger’s relentless focus on getting better makes us better. His insights force us to never stop innovating and delivering technology that will enhance a golfer’s performance. In the TW ’14, he wanted more stability with mobility and we’ve accomplished that by using Nike’s Dynamic Flywire technology which moves with him, but stabilizes his foot when he swings. We also increased breathability of the shoe by using a full mesh tongue.”
The new TW’14 footwear stays true to Woods’ signature colors, White, Black and Red, and also adds a new colorway to the mix, Cool Grey with Vivid Blue and Venom Green accents (available 8.1).
Nike TW’14 on NIKEiD
With the fully customizable TW’14 iD version, consumers can create the perfect combination of breathability and traction for their playing conditions. In addition to choosing a wide-range of color combinations, golfers can choose between two distinct uppers: waterproof and breathable. The waterproof upper is made of multi-stretch synthetic leather for weather protection and durability, and the breathable upper (available exclusively with NIKEiD) features lightweight mesh to keep feet comfortable on hot days. The TW’14iD is available in two outsoles, either the Spike version or the Integrated Traction option (molded rubber). Consumers can also personalize their shoes by adding their name or an inspirational message to the inside tongues.
Available: June 7, 2013
MSRP: $220 MAP/Street: $180
June 7, 2013 Colorways: Black/Reflective Silver-Varsity Red; White/Metallic Dark Grey-Varsity Red
August 1, 2013 Colorway: Cool Grey/Black-Vivid Blue-Venom Green
Nike TW’14 iD
Preview: May 20, 2013
Available: June 7, 2013
MSRP: $ 225
Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course
35109 SE Fish Hatchery Road
Fall City, WA 98024-8601
Course Review Date: 5/5/2013
Course Reviewer: Ian
Nothing screams confidence boost like playing 5465 yards and a rating slope of 64.8/102. Minus maybe “Little” Wayne Golf Course in Bothell that slopes out to a monster 105, I do believe 102 is the lightest slope I have ever played. Regardless of the track you might have enjoyed the past couple days, it sure was a hell of a weekend for golf! Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course up in Fall City was one of those random last minute, I need a place to play and no one has tee times kind of an adventure, but for a reasonable $34 and 80 degree May weather, you will get no complaints out of me…maybe.
Picture 1 - You certainly won’t see many driving range shacks that look like a broken down chicken coop with an old locker room attached to it. Apparently not owned by the golf course either, but by the guy next door who owns the adjacent farm. And it gets better…his range picker is an old Subaru. Honestly, you cant make this stuff up. Click on the picture for a larger view and really soak it up…the best part you can’t really see is the large sticker on the ball machine of a guy putting in the late 70′s with a beautifully dirty mustache. Best driving range ever.
Picture 2 - A snapshot looking down the first tee and it gives you a general idea of what the majority of the holes are going to play like. Dead straight, short par 4′s, but more challenging than you think due to the tree lined narrowness. All the par 4′s play somewhere between 270 yards to 340 yards with maybe just one playing any longer than that. Driver is almost an after thought but you can gamble and have a little fun with it and blast away at a few.
Picture 3 - A side view from one of the tee boxes at Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course. The mountain views out here are fantastic. If you’re not digging the golf you sure have something nice to stare up at instead.
Picture 4 – I think this is the 491 yard, par 5, 11th hole. One of the par 5′s that plays wide open and give you ample room to hit it anywhere but left. The strange part about it though is that there really isn’t a fairway. We hit a couple bombs down there and they were sitting up in an almost lightly cut rough. It wasn’t really an issue or anything, but it certainly wasn’t a fairway.
Picture 5 - 298 yard, par 4, 12th hole. Nasty little par 4 that you so want to get after, but water right keeps you honest from pulling the trigger. Definitely drivable, but a big risk. Pepper a nice 4 iron out there and then don’t chunk an easy wedge to the green or you’ll find the hazard….stupid.
Picture 6 - A picture from the side of the par 5, 18th fairway. The mountain views are really something to see out here. Your approach to the green is greeted with a pretty significant right to left downhill slope that gobbles up a lot of shots. One of the better holes on the course, manuevering that hill and finding the green can be tricky.
Positives: The range was epic. I so wanted to see that Subaru driving around the range picking balls. Quite a few balls for $4 to boot. All the greens were in really solid shape Looked good, rolled really well and had a solid little pace to them for a $34 a round muni. Now that I think about it, the whole course was in good condition. Sure you had some oddities like no fairway on a couple holes, but the maintenance looked solid out there.
Drawbacks: It’s tight, so players are right on top of each other and you almost need a helmet out there. We had multiple rockets land very very close to us. Not many “fore” shouts as well for those wayward shots. Another drawback, it’s tight, so players are right on top of each other and completely oblivious to the amount of noise they make. Carts wizzing around, people shouting, even course staff giving a loud explanation of how the tees work when you’re trying to play a pitch shot 20 feet away from them. If you’re the type of player that can be sensitive to noise in your swing, it might not the place for you on a busy day. Also, I think the course rating is too light. Yes it’s short and there really are not too many hazards to speak of, but this course very tight on a lot of holes. If you’re not hitting it straight, you’re going to run into issues. A +8, 79 posted with a differential of 15.6. That’s just not fair
Golfchops.com rating: 15.5/25
Customer Service: 3
Condition of Greens: 3.5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 3
- Friendly staff and service folks out there. Nice conversation at check in.
- Not overly fast, but looked great, rolled well. Certainly can’t complain with that.
- Maintenance looked good. Course was clean and well kept. Lack of fairway on a few holes a bit strange.
- Nothing wrong with $34 for a leisurely Sunday round.
- Driving range an absolute crack up, pretty small putting green and strange chipping area with a bunker connected to a strip of astro turf. Cart service on the golf course and good little restaurant at the turn for food.
Pumpkin Ridge Ghost Creek
12930 NW Old Pumpkin Ridge Rd.
North Plains, OR 97133
Review Date: 4/28/2013
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre
Having previously enjoyed the wonder that is the private 18 holes at Pumpkin Ridge (Witch Hollow), I was pretty excited to enjoy this random 70 degree weather and give the public side of Pumpkin a whirl. Ghost Creek undoubtably gets its name from the secret squirrel creek that meanders through the majority of the golf course and without much warning decides to eat up random tee shots that you think you have delivered to a safe and happy home. Definitely a golf course that takes a couple rounds to understand, Ghost Creek is fair while still being somewhat punishing and demands the absolute best of your short game on every hole. Without putting a lot of thought into club selection and tee shot placement, a first timer at Ghost Creek can find quite a few issues, so take your time and pick your spots to play aggressively.
Pre-round you’re greeted with a $90 greens fee (walking) which all things considered wasn’t too bad for the quality of golf we were about to enjoy. The fee does include range balls (thank you) and access to the practice facility which features a beautiful and very fast putting green. On to the first tee where you are immediately distracted by what looks like a super tough water carry approach shot to the 9th green on your right. Crafty…get me thinking about an approach shot 9 holes ahead of me. Hit that shot in the water by the way. Ugh. From the blue tees at Ghost Creek we were looking at a reasonable 6386 yards and a 72.1 rating/139 slope. She really feels like two different course packed into one 18. On one hand you get the wide open first hole where you can almost hit it anywhere off the tee and still have a reasonable approach to the green, but after that you work your way into ever tightening surroundings in the forest. Pretty cool contrast and use of the natural landscape really. By the time you reach the 4th hole you are playing golf in the middle of the forest.
It doesn’t take long, depending on your skill level of course, to determine that the rough is pretty damn penal out here. According to Jason, who I was playing with, it wasn’t quite as long as the last time he was out here, but the ball definitely buried down in there and you were either stuck smashing it out as hard as your can swing or watching a total flyer explode and fly 15 yards past the green. Basically, that rough was some difficult business, hence my previous statement about club selection. Keep the ball in the fairway out here. More than anything you want the opportunity to get the ball to the greens as quickly as possible because they are nothing short of awesome. Easily some of the best public golf course putting surfaces I have ever seen. Maybe the best. Fast, smooth as a pool table and as healthy as you will find anywhere. As someone who’s favorite part of the game is putting, I was in paradise. It was the 3 or 4 shots it was taking me to get to that point that was ruining my day
Favorite Hole: Probably the previously mentioned 443 yard, 9th hole that immediately stands out from the the first tee. Creek running up the right hand side, then cutting across through the fairway to the large water hazard awaiting your approach. Some additional fairways bunkers to the left to keep you honest and a head wind to make sure you have about 200 in. Jason and I both hit great drives with the wind knocking them down leaving us 210 in. Full water carry at 210 with a head wind? That’s a tough shot for the average joe. The hillside that slopes from the green to the water didn’t help my cause either. Very cool, very tough golf hole.
Click on Pictures to Enlarge:
Picture 1: Putting Green at Pumpkin Ridge Ghost Creek. Spend some time here because the greens are fast and short game is a must out here.
Picture 2: Solid driving range that is included in greens fees. Lots of targets and yardage marked off for you.
Picture 3: Deer all over the place the whole round.
Picture 4: The par 3, 3rd hole. Pretty straight forward, 158 yard par 3 from the blues…depending on pin placement. We caught the lucky day where is was placed directly behind the front greenside bunker.
Picture 5: Whew, the par 3, 5th hole. Home of an absolute monster green and playing at 205 from the blue tees. A slight wind and a tucked pin put it around 215-220 with the pin tucked far left. A fun shot because it seems so easy to make such a large green, but an easy 3 putt or more when left in the wrong spot. A really cool and wicked golf hole.
Picture 6: Teebox view of the 18th hole. Very similar to the 9th hole, wind in your face, long iron or more in your hand to carry. A scorecard wrecker for sure. Another hole at Ghost Creek that demands your absolute best tee to green.
Summary: Honestly one of the better golf courses in Washington or Oregon I have had the privilege of playing. Design was unique, challenging, and I’m always a fan of places that make you think instead of just hacking away. The greens were in remarkably nice condition and don’t be surprised to see chips and putts rolling many feet by the cup all day long. Tee to green the place was spotless and in tip top shape. Pace of play was excellent for a 2 some as we rarely waited on the 4 some playing in front of us (how impressive is that). Well worth the $90 green fee any day.
Golfchops.com rating: 24/25
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
- Really friendly staff out here. A bit of a hard sell on the “Ghost Pass” but I guess it saves you cash out there.
- Perfect. Absolutely perfect greens.
- Very very obviously well maintained golf course. They’ve hosted big time tournaments here for a reason.
- The $90 tag is typically more than we like, but this was some seriously quality golf.
- Very nice practice facility featuring a good range and an excellent putting green. Cart service on the golf course a couple times. Chipping green and practice bunker available.
Broadmoor Golf Club
2340 Broadmoor Dr. E
Seattle, WA 98112
Course Review Date: 3/10/2013
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre
Not sure about you guys, but I get excited for every round of golf I play. From the nicest country club to the goat track in your neighbors back yard, if it has a few flag sticks and greens that you can putt on, I am in and I am stoked. Regardless of the track, just the act of turning off the outside world for 5 hours should be cause for celebration. Some days we find ourselves sloshing our way through the mud pit municipal and other days we’re convincing a security guard that yes I do indeed have a tee time at your club today and you can indeed open the gate. It’s ok, I don’t bite….as far as you know. Invited to play in a tournament with Master Yoda (I’ll explain in a minute), I found myself playing towards the top of the Seattle golf food chain at Broadmoor Golf Club.
Master Yoda explanation: I take lessons from Ryan Benzel out of Pro Golf Discount in Lynnwood. My plug for Ryan…easily the best golf decision I have ever made. I’m 3 lessons in and more than just playing better, I have more fun playing golf now than I ever have before. Seriously, if you’re struggling with the game, do yourself a favor, spend the money and go see the guy. Where else can you take lessons from someone who’s played in the PGA Championship….4 times. Here’s a link to his info on lessons: Ryan Benzel Lessons.
As for Broadmoor, it certainly doesn’t disappoint from an experience stand point at all. Any golf course that has a security guard manned gate for entry and exit clearly means business. Cruising into the parking lot really doesn’t do the place justice from a visual standpoint, however its very easy to find everything you are looking for. Putting green, driving range and clubhouse all lay out in front of you and at no point do you get that awkward, where do I go for this feeling. Driving range is pretty small but an exclusive private club really doesn’t have a need for the Super Range out there. Putting green is similarly pretty small, but its manicured like the greens keeper got on all 4′s and trimmed each blade of grass individually. Bonus points in my mind for having the mini hole to putt at. Why don’t more places have this? Love that thing. Makes the regular cup look like a coffee can when you get out there.
Design wise, Broadmoor showcases a lot of the typical Northwest private club staples: Tree lined fairways, remarkable houses that in this market cost twice what they are worth, beautiful rolling fairways, and perfectly manicured greens. Broadmoor was really unique to me in a few ways and not just because its such an exclusive joint. I never really got a feel out there for how the course would route and play…if that makes sense. One hole would be dead straight with a lot of fairway undulation and play to an average sized green. The next hole would be dead flat with fairway bunkers and a big green. Then you get a downhill, dogleg left to a well guarded green the size of a postage stamp. I don’t know, call me crazy, but it felt like playing a collection of someone’s favorite holes from 18 different courses. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid golf course, but I do remember in the middle of the back 9 saying to one of the guys I was playing with that the holes meshed weird.
Broadmoor has also made an effort to lengthen the golf course from the 6200 range to 6500 yards by slapping some new tees on a variety of holes. There’s multiple holes where you see a tee box stuffed way back in between some trees to add an additional 40 to 50 yards. For the majority of us that are playing from a more forward tee box, no biggie. If you’re a stick, who used to pound one around the corner and have wedge in….well now you can’t cut the corner and you get to play a blind 6 iron to the green. Little changes can make big differences I guess.
Ok, let’s talk some positives. Broadmoor was easily one of best manicured golf courses I have ever played at. The greens were nothing short of perfect. Minus the occasional ball mark those were some of the smoothest greens I ever rolled putts on. It’s one of those places where you felt bad taking a large divot and really bad when hitting a full chili dip wedge….or 3. It’s a very playable golf course for a variety of skill levels with limited hazards and from the appropriate teebox, not too much length. This is also a great “learning” golf course for a player who is just finding their way. It requires specific tee shot placement for good approaches, asks for both draws and fades on occasion and features pretty small, guarded greens requiring a precise touch. If you can learn to play well here, you should be good to go just about anywhere.
Interesting Broadmoor Tidbits:
Current tour pro Paul Casey won the Pac-10 Championship here shooting a 60 & 61. Yikes….buzz saw!
Jack Nicklaus won the Seattle World’s Fair Open Invitational at Broadmoor in 1962.
All in all, a true country club experience at it’s finest. Amazing clubhouse, over the top manicured golf course and great company. A big thanks to Master Yoda for the invite. As a side note, the guy shot 64. You ever played with someone that shot 64? I mean, when do you say good shot when every damn shot was good? It was like watching a 10 year chess prodigy or something. Just awesome.
Golfchops.com rating: NA/25
Customer Service: N/A
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
- Really didn’t have any service encounters at all. Matter of fact, I don’t think I even spoke to an employee of the course at all. Hmmm, how do I score.
- Greens were perfect. Basically what us rec golfers dream of everyday when we are playing our muni’s.
- Nothing short of pristine. Course was in perfect condition.
- Hmmmmm….I have no idea. I played in a pro-am, but obviously if the Gates family has a membership, its safe to say its pricey.
- Small but nice driving range, excellent little putting green area and remarkably beautiful clubhouse. A tournament without drink service? Booo.
Golfchops Notes: We’ll be play testing each one of these balls and have reviews available by the end of the month.
Press Release From Nike:
Nike Golf Adds More RZN to the New 20XI Golf Ball
-More RZN results in a faster and more responsive golf ball -
BEAVERTON, Ore. (December 5, 2013) – Nike Golf made a bold statement when it first introduced a new innovation in its premium 20XI golf balls called RZN. The new proprietary RZN technology resulted in a lighter, faster and more responsive core that is engineered to produce longer distance and more controlled shots.
Nike Golf has taken this technology a step further by adding more RZN to its new 20XI ball, available on February 1st. With more RZN material added to the core and mantle of the golf ball, Nike Golf engineers have created an even faster engine for ultimate tour performance.
This larger, softer RZN core improves feel off all shots while maintaining driver distance. The added RZN mantel produces longer shots off irons while providing a softer short game feel. This combination of core size and mantle translates into two times more RZN material than the previous generation 20XI.
“The added RZN mantle provides faster speed off irons and, therefore, more distance,” said Rock Ishii, Nike Golf’s Product Development Director for golf balls. “Not only did we increase speed with 20XI, but we added softness for improved feel around the greens, creating a balanced tour model golf ball.”
RZN technology accomplishes two critical performance components to maximize benefits from a golf ball: More distance off the tee and a more stable ball flight (especially in crosswinds).
Faster Ball Speed Equals Longer Distance
- Advancement in proprietary RZN chemistry delivers faster ball speed.
- Internal tests with Nike Golf tour athletes have shown an average of 2-3 mph increase in ball speed.
- Every 1 mph increase equates to 2-3 yards carry distance.
Highest Levels of MOI Provides More Consistent, Stable Ball Flight
- Lighter core and heavier outer layers result in perimeter weighting.
- High MOI assists in reducing driver spin and maintains spin beyond apex to maintain carry and control.
- 20XI has the highest levels of MOI in a golf ball to date.
The 20XI will be available in two versions, the 20XI and the 20XI X. While both balls deliver faster speed and high levels of MOI, the 20XI ball is designed to improved feel and enhanced short game control. 20XI X delivers maximum distance, improved feel and reduced spin for greater accuracy off the tee, making it the longest tour model Nike Golf has ever created.
Availability: February 1, 2013
Street Price: $45.99
Press Release from Nike: (pics below)
Nike Golf Adds Speed and Distance with VR_S Covert Irons
-A High Speed Cavity Back iron for maximum distance, control, and forgiveness-
BEAVERTON, Ore. (November 28, 2012) – Building off successful innovation from the original VR_S franchise, Nike Golf creates a High Speed Cavity Back iron designed to maximize distance, control, and forgiveness.
The Nike VR_S Covert irons combine a sleek look with high performance technologies. Proprietary technology platforms include a High Speed Cavity Back and a NexCOR face.
The High Speed Cavity Back in the VR_S Covert irons allows athletes more distance and control with every shot. By incorporating this new hidden technology into its fastest lineup yet, Nike Golf engineers have been able to move the weight of the club to the corners, raising Moment of Inertia (MOI) to increase forgiveness and add even more distance to off-center shots.
The cavity back technology is hidden “covertly” giving the iron a sleeker look at address with the performance advantages of a highly forgiving distance iron. The VR_S Covert irons are Nike’s most versatile irons to date and will appeal to a very wide range of players.
A new variable added to the VR_S Covert irons to maximum distance is the incredibly thin 1.6mm sole thickness designed to heat up the face.
“Distance, control, and consistency are the keys to successful golf shots,” said Nike Golf Director of Club Creation, Tom Stites. “We combined a High Speed Cavity Back, NexCOR technology, and a dual bevel sole to maximize distance for every club in the bag. Golfers will notice positive improvements not only on crisp shots, but on off-center shots as well.”
The NexCOR face is designed to deliver faster ball speed and longer shots from a wider area of the face. NexCOR creates more speed at impact by employing variable face thickness that focuses on increasing the sweet spot not only in the center of the face, but also to the lower portion and towards the toe where most golfers are likely to make impact.
For the VR_S Covert irons, engineers have created a dual bevel sole, which allows the club to sit low to the golf ball and prevent digging. The sole makes a clean cut through the grass making interaction with the turf less disturbing to the golf shot.
The Nike VR_S Covert irons are part of the VR_S Covert family that includes the iconic Nike Cavity Back drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids -all available in golf stores throughout North America and Europe on February 8, 2013 and in the rest of the world starting on February 15, 2013.
- High Speed Cavity Back
- NexCOR – The New Face of Speed
Nike VR_S Covert Irons
Availability: February 8, 2013
4-AW, True Temper Dynalite 90: S/R (RH/LH);
4-AW, Nike Kuro Kage Black 70: S, R, A (RH/LH)
Street Price: $699.99Steel/$799.99 Graphite
Gentleman, take this post and immediately forward it to your wives and/or significant others. Look, we’re all golfers here, we all want the same thing under the tree regardless of whether or not we actually say it. This just makes it easy and avoids you having to create a sincere thank you for the Nascar themed scarf you just opened up. Ladies, significant others, etc…here’s what the golfer in your family really wants for Christmas. Drop the Starbucks gift card, return the argyle sweater, and the Chia Pet and get down to your nearest golf store immediately. Below are some start to finish gift giving ideas, certain to please the golfer in your household.
The Stocking Stuffer – Simple and effective, a good stock stuffer gift can steal the show. Here’s a couple great ideas to put an immediate smile on the face of any golfer in your home.
Picture 1 - All Weather Golf Gloves. Sold in a pair, the all-weather golf glove is a must have for a Northwest golfer, even if they do not play year round. A traditional golf glove gets pretty nasty in the rain and becomes slicker than a Slip and Slide covered in canola oil. The all weather glove, such as the one featured from Nike Golf provides a palm grip that gets tacky when wet. They are not necessarily recommended for dry conditions, but any regular golfer keeps a pair in the bag in case the rain starts falling. A pair of the Nike Golf All-Weather Gloves run $27 msrp.
Picture 2 - Golf Balls. A dozen golf balls and poof, your golfer is happy right? Not so fast….Golfers are picky little creatures of habit, and while we know you had good intentions with that 12 pack of Dunlop Loco’s, no way on god’s green earth will we ever play them. Even hearing them hit the front of the putter makes us cringe. When buying golf balls for a regular golfer, you either go big or go home. Better to play it safe instead of wasting money ya know? As for suggestions, The Titleist Pro V1X is always a lock to make someone smile or try the Nike 20XI-X (pictured above). The Nike ball is very similar to the Pro V1, but features a resin based core believed to make the ball longer. Nike 20XI-X msrp for $58, but can be found online for as low as $24.99 right now (screaming deal).
Picture 3 - Lessons. Remarkable the difference a couple lessons with a PGA professional can make. Regardless of the skill level of the golfer, everyone can benefit in one way or another from a few lessons. The trick is more than one lesson to make it really effective. One lesson is a band-aid and sometimes a bit awkward. Really learning and changing someones game for the better take repetition and belief in the person who is teaching you. Around the holiday, various companies such as GolfTec sell lessons in 3-packs. Prices vary but your run of the mill lesson from a course pro is $50 for 30-45 minutes. P.S. try our teaching pro, he’s free online
The Warm Up Gift – One of the great things about golf, is that fashion has become a huge part of the game. Ok, maybe that’s not great, but it sure is an excellent way to dial in someone’s “fashion issues” since the very large majority of quality golf gear you can buy doubles as great casual business attire. Here’s a few suggestions for really hooking up the wardrobe of your favorite hacker.
Picture 1 - Sweater. A solid v neck sweater is a staple of any man’s wardrobe. The sweater featured above is from Nike’s Tour Performance collection and is a wool/acrylic blend. Basically is looks slick on and off the golf course and the blended material make it tough as hell. Buy a couple cheap sweaters or spend $100 on a quality one that will last for years. Besides, the golfer in your home wants to wear the same thing the pro’s wear. Just don’t buy it purple…might be mistaken for a Husky….which is never good
Picture 2 – Clutch Polo. If you have a golfer in your house it’s likely that 80% of their shirts are polo’s and yet they only wear 3 of them. Playing golf in anything that is uncomfortable or awkward makes it tough to focus on your game. Besides, no one wants to be the guy in the frayed polo with the collar all curled up, looking like your dog was chewing on it before you tee’d off. There’s a few good companies making some very quality golf polo’s today. We’d suggest checking out Travis Mathews who specialize in golf polo’s, or try something from the Tiger Woods Collection (shown above). The polo shown above is the TW Light Speed Print Polo. Super soft, great for golf or work and they last a lot longer than your run of the mill polo. MSRP on the polo above is $95.
Picture 3 – Golf Shoes. Golf shoes in general have really changed over the last 5 years or so. The traditional golf shoe isn’t the only footwear seen on the course these days as the casual on/off the links golf shoe has become increasingly popular. Shoes like the Ashworth Cardiff or the Freddie Couples Ecco’s have proven to be excellent summer golf shoes that work just as well off the golf course. For winter golf you’re going to need something with a little more meat to them. It has to be water proof and it has to have an aggressive spike pattern for some traction in typically wet Northwest conditions. Pictured above is the Nike Zoom Trophy golf shoe. 2 year waterproof warranty, excellent traction in winter conditions and they make you feel like you are 3 inches taller $160 msrp, but as low as $99.00 in a few places on the web.
The Primary Gift – Go big or go home. Want to make the golfer in your home bounce around like a teenager who just had their first kiss? This is your recipe for success.
Picture 1 – Irons. Buy your golfer a new set of irons and you are delivering the jackpot of all Christmas gifts. Be careful on this one though because golfers are creatures of habit with a bit of ego mixed in. The wrong (aka cheap) set of irons will elicit a “seriously? Top Flight irons?” half-hearted smile. Yes, it’s the thought that counts, but when it comes to a set of irons as a gift, as we said before, go big or go home. Your best bet is to call your golfers’ friends and get their thoughts. More than likely they have drooled over the same set of sticks on more than one occasion. Our suggestions: Pictured above is the Nike VRS forged iron. A better players iron that features a large cavity on the back to play forgiving on mishits, with the buttery soft feeling of a forged iron that a better player typically prefers. Nike VRS Forged irons will run somewhere in the $700 range. Also worth checking out: Taylormade R11 irons, Mizuno MP irons, and Callaway Razor X irons.
Picture 2 – Waterproof Jacket. Mandatory staple in the golf wardrobe for a Northwest golfer. It’s going to rain for 9 months a year up here and without a waterproof golfing jacket you are going to have one moist year. It has to be light enough for someone to still be able to swing the club, but waterproof enough to not be glued to the player after 5 minutes of rain. Footjoy makes an amazing rain suit but it will cost as much as a mortgage payment. We play tested the Nike Premium Weatherized Jacket pictured above and found it to meet both our needs. It didn’t crush our wallets too bad and we stayed dry during a recent monsoon round north of Seattle. Plus it looks pretty darn sharp off the golf course as well.
Picture 3 – Driver. Ok, a new set of irons will certainly do the trick, but nothing strokes the ego of every golfer in the world like a new driver. No matter what skill level your golfer is, they must have a name brand driver in the bag to wield around on the tee box like a samurai sword. Pictured above is the newly released Ping Anser Driver, the first adjustable driver that Ping has ever released. A new toy such as this will make the golfer in your household one happy camper. We’d also suggest you check out the Nike VRS Driver and the Ping G20. The previous links are to reviews on both clubs.
Notes: Nike Golf is kind enough to send us products to review, hence why you see so many featured above.
Waverley Country Club
1100 SE Waverly Drive
Portland, Oregon 97222
Course Review Date – 11/4/2012
Course Reviewer – Ian Favre
I’m a big fan of H. Chandler Egan golf courses so I was really licking my chops to play the private and highly regarded Waverley Country Club in Portland, Or. Originally designed by Egan 100 years ago, Waverley recently completed a full course restoration by Gil Hanse. According to Waverley’s website, over the past 100 years the course had lost a lot of the design characteristics and elements that Egan had originally created and Hanse aimed to reapply the original design vision from a century ago. What they have is probably the best private golf course I have had the opportunity to write about.
At 6338 yards from the blue tees the course doesn’t play overly long, but uses trees, fairway and greenside bunkering, and strongly undulated greens as it’s protection. The golf course isn’t overly wooded and the recent restoration removed some additional trees, allowing the course to play a bit softer from a few teeboxes. Without debate the biggest challenges comes from avoiding the bunkers and finding a putt below the hole without 5 feet of break. The bunkers play fairly heavy, leaving most plays short with a long, high break putt to follow. It created some really tricky scoring holes where you hit a drive in play, barely find a greenside bunker and you’re knocking knees hoping that your ensuing putt won’t be a 20 foot sidewinder.
Waverley isn’t without it’s fair share of complete randomness either. A few holes out there feature bunkers that are randomly completely out of play. The 4th hole (pictured below) is a 451 yard par 5 that features a fairway bunker no more than 15 yards in front of the tee box. Doesn’t it just seem mean to penalize the golfer who duffs a tee shot on a par 5 maybe 20 yards in front of him, only to find a fairway bunker? Talk about insult to injury. There’s a couple other holes out there that are like this. A par 4 with a fairway bunker 60 yards in front of the box. Never seen anything quite like it.
The magic of Waverley is in the 3 closing holes which minus a few holes at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is the best 3 hole stretch I’ve played in Oregon or Washington. The 16th hole, the signature hole of the golf course is long (215 yards) downhill par 3 with the Willamette River and wooded hillside as the backdrop. I’d put this hole right up there with the 15th at Chamber’s Bay as the best visual golf holes I’ve played in the Northwest. The 17th and 18th hole run back to the club house and along the bank of the Willamette. Both challenging, but straight forward golf holes with obvious danger right and fairway and greenside bunkering to keep you thinking. 3 truly amazing golf holes.
* A note on the course designer: Waverley’s website lists it as “1912 H. Chandler Egan and 2012 Gil Hanse.” A bunch of third party sites I’ve looked at have it as Jack Moffitt. Not sure what’s with the discrepancy there.
Hole Specifics (click for full image):
Picture 1 - Sneaky tough, short par 4, 3rd hole. Only 347 yards from the blues, but heavy fairway bunkering on both sides and a triangle of greenside bunkers. Anything but straight or short gets you in trouble.
Picture 2 - Graveyard right off the back of the second green. Free drop off the dead.
Picture 3 - View from the 1st tee box. A straight forward, short par 4 with a fairway bunker right and a bunker guarding the front left on your approach shot. Only 324 yards from the blue tees.
Picture 4 -Ultra-narrow, 451 yard par 5, 5th hole. Ob right, tight trees left and a fairway bunker maybe 20 yards in front of the teebox. In case you decided to go gap wedge I guess. Played as a Par 4 from the tips at 463 yards. That is just wrong.
Picture 5 - House in the background was incredible…had a seaplane parked at the dock. Great view of the Willamette River from the course.
Picture 6 - November and the greens were perfect. Not overly fast but in great condition, and very challenging. Some serious knee knockers out there.
Picture 7 -9th hole with the clubhouse and proshop in the background. 119 yard par 3 with a horribly steep front bunker.
Picture 8 - Par 3, 11th hole. 156 yards with a very steep false front that eats everything that isn’t hit to the back. Anything duffed is in the drink.
Picture 9 - Tough par 3 with a brutal front bunker and a heavily undulated green. It doable, but that putting surface was tough.
Picture 10 -Gentleman playing a shot from the 18th fairway.
Picture 11 - Picture didn’t come out great, but this long, downhill par 3 was amazing. One of the best golf holes I’ve ever played. 215 yards from the blues with some bunkering short to keep you honest and the Willamette River behind the green.
Picture 12 - View from the 17th teebox which plays over top the 16th green. 16, 17 and 18 might be the best 3 hole stretch in the Northwest.
Picture 13 -The 18th Green
Picture 14 - 18th Fairway
Picture 15 - Side of 18
Golfchops.com rating: 25/25
Customer Service: 5
Condition of Greens: 5
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
- Service you would expect from an elite private club.
- Beautiful (blue grass) greens. Very challenging, but honest. Make putts here and you can make putts anywhere.
- Fairways look like no one plays golf here. Tee boxes, fairways, greens, hazards, bunkers, etc all in tip top shape. This place is dialed in.
- Hard to say, anything but inexpensive. It’s the oldest country club in the state and very highly regarded. I don’t think you’re losing any sleep over price if you’re a member here. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but that house across the river looks like the Taj Mahal. It’s massive.
- A couple different putting greens, excellent driving range with side practice facility, great clubhouse and proshop. Solid.
Press Release with Photos on the New Nike Covert Driver:
BEAVERTON, Ore. (November 5, 2012) – Nike Golf’s momentum of non-stop innovation is on show in full force this week at the company’s Global Innovation Summit in Orlando, Florida. The technology and design-filled event is being headlined by today’s introduction of what promises to be an industry sensation. Nike Golf is the first in history to bring high-speed cavity back technology to a driver that conforms to USGA and R&A Rules.
This visually stunning iconic red driver stands out as the most innovative club Nike Golf has ever produced. Its three proprietary technology platforms: High Speed Cavity Back; FlexLoft adjustability; and NexCOR face, combine to create unprecedented distance, control and forgiveness.
In addition to dramatically enhancing performance, the VR_S Covert wow-inducing design and engineering also simplifies the consumer’s retail experience, since the FlexLoft adjustability system allows for the driver to easily be changed to any loft and any face angle at any time. This creates 15 different options in one single club to meet the various swing characteristics of golfers.
“With the VR_S Covert we have created a game changing piece of technology that has already begun a growing industry buzz,” said Rob Arluna, Nike Golf’s Global Golf Club Business Director. “It is visually exciting, it feels and sounds amazing and, most importantly, it creates powerful results with a high degree of control. Golfers and our Nike Golf Tour athletes are going to have a lot of fun with this driver.”
The High Speed Cavity Back in the VR_S Covert is a technology used in irons and now brought to drivers, fairways and hybrids for the first time by Nike Golf. This technology leads to more stability at impact, which delivers more energy to the ball, resulting in more distance and control. The Cavity Back is only visible from the sole view but is covered and hidden underneath by the crown to be more visually and pleasing at address – hence the name VR_S Covert. By incorporating this new hidden geometry into the driver, Nike Golf engineers have been able to move the weight of the club to the heel and toe of the golf club, raising Moment of Inertia (MOI) to increase forgiveness and add even more distance to off-center shots.
Nike Golf’s FlexLoft is a simple pull, turn, and push/tighten mechanism that allows for an intuitive adjustment system. The patented Dual Axis adjustment allows golfers to choose their loft and face angle independently of each other by decoupling loft from face angle. This all leads to better ball flight for more distance as well as enhanced workability. This easy to use system gives the golfers 15 different options to suit their game and course conditions.
The NexCOR face technology featured in the VR_S Covert line is designed to deliver faster ball speed and longer shots from a wider area of the face. NexCOR creates more speed at impact by employing a variable face thickness that moves the sweet spot higher from the heel of the club to the center high, where most golfers are likely to make impact.
The VR_S Covert driver will be available in golf stores throughout North America and Europe on February 8, 2013 and in the rest of world starting on February 15, 2013. The driver will be offered in two models, the VR_S Covert Tour and VR_S Covert. The VR_S Covert Tour is 430cc and features a deeper face and a fixed weight screw. The VR_S Covert is 460cc and has a wider breadth. Both models will come with Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Kuro Kage shafts that are produced with higher carbon fiber density for superior control and power.
- High Speed Cavity Back – Industry First in a conforming driver.
- FlexLoft Adjustability System – Any Loft. Any Face Angle. One Club for All.
- NexCor – The New Face of Speed.
Nike VR_S Covert Tour 430cc
FlexLoft Adjusts: 8.5-12.5
Kuro Kage 60s Shaft Flex: R, S, X
Street Price: $399.00
Nike VR_S Covert 460cc
FlexLoft Adjusts: 8.5-12.5
Kuro Kage 50s Shaft Flex: W, A, R, S, X
Street Price: $299.00
Ko Olina Golf Resort
Aliinui Drive, Kapolei, HI 96707
Course Review Date: 10/07/2012
Course Reviewer: Ian Favre
Ahhh…vacation golf on a tropical island. Easily one of my most looked forward to rounds of the year. 80 something degrees, palm trees, championship caliber resort golf (hopefully) and awesome service to make up for the generally whopping greens fee. Seriously, as a golfer, who doesn’t freaking love to play golf in Hawaii? This years get away found us at the Ko Olina Golf Resort, host of the LPGA’s Lotte Championship in April on the southwestern shores of Oahu.
Built in 1990, Ko Olina is a Ted Robinson design that stretches 6867 yards form the tips, has a slope of 135 and a rating of 72.3. Ted Robinson should be a bit familiar to Washington golfers since he was the designer of highly regarded Sahalee and Broadmore Country Clubs in the greater Seattle area. There’s also a laundry list of tracks he designed in California and Hawaii. Without knowing all that much about the golf course I booked a 2 round package they have that will save you about $40 in greens fees (just a heads up, buy the package and save some dough). $300 for two rounds of golf with cart. Not terrible for resort golf prices, especially one that hosts an LPGA event. I was certainly expecting to be playing one heck of a golf course.
My two rounds of golf couldn’t have been more different and I’m pretty torn on how to write about it. But, as with other review here’s the dead honest truth…
Round 1 – 10/7
I showed up about an hour early for my tee time on the first day for a couple specific reason; One, the Proshop at Ko Olina has won some awards for being one of the top proshops in the country and I wanted to see what a top proshop looks like. Second, Bermuda grass. If you’ve never played on Bermuda and are headed to get some vacation golf in, I highly suggest you go early and practice your short game. It’s truly a different game on this kind of grass.
Right when you pull up the course you get a very friendly greeting from the outdoor staff who gathers up your clubs, sends you to the proshop and sets you all up with your cart for the day. Check in was a bit unusual….not the overwhelming “welcome to our course” feeling, more of an ok, pay up and go play.” Kind of hard to explain, maybe wrong moment wrong time, but I did walk away thinking, “eh that was lame,” when I left the front counter. The other part was that I didn’t get any instruction on where to go, where’s the range, where the beer shack, etc. I was more or less just left to wander around and hope the outdoor staff didn’t make away with my sticks.
After I had located my clubs, I made my way to the starter who advised me that I would need to go back to the proshop to buy range balls if I wanted to warm up. Really? Over $150 for a round and I need to play for range balls? Uncalled for. Becoming a golfing pet peeve of mine to be honest. Anyways, back to the proshop I went to get some range balls. At the front desk I was advised the range would be closing in a couple of minutes and I couldn’t warm up. I’d have to wait, but by the time it opened I would be on the box. Ugh…oh, by the way, they were closing the range for watering. Courses close the driving range to turn the sprinklers on? Huh…
After surrendering my hopes of a warm up I decided to roll putts for about 5 minutes until the starter called over and asked if I wanted to go early. Well of course I do and thank you. Here’s where it gets a little squirrelly. He didn’t pair me up with anyone, he didn’t tell me when to go, I just kind of slid my way over to the first tee and away I went….sort of. I was playing behind a two some, who was playing behind 3 foursomes. Call me crazy, but stuffing a single behind 3 foursomes and a twosome is going to be utter torture for the single unless they play through. Yeah, that didn’t happen and the marshal out there (very nice guy) was having a hell of time because none of the players spoke English, only Japanese. I wasn’t going anywhere and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
I’d say I made it maybe 3 holes before the pace of play had eliminated any chance of me having fun out there. When I made the turn my golf cart chimed in and said that I was 22 minutes behind pace……as a foursome. Yeah, if I was playing with a foursome and we made the turn in this amount of time, it would have been 22 minutes behind. After 12 holes in 4 hours as a single I walked off the course. How pissed off do you have to be to walk off a golf course that you just paid$150 to play? No debate, I was fired up. After my partial round, and with steam still shooting out of my ears I emailed the course, explained my plight and asked about cancelling my second tee time and getting a refund for it.
Round 2 – 10/9
Long story short, the proshop was very accommodating to my complaints about the first round and encouraged me to come out again and try the course out. This time around things went off without a hitch and I had a great time getting fried in the Hawaiian sun. Check in was pleasant and the 1st assistance came up to the front desk to meet me and apologize for the previous unpleasant afternoon I had experienced. In my golf cart they had a nice little gift bag with a bag tag and sleeve of Pro V’s waiting, and had pair me up with another threesome to keep the pace nice and normal. The only oddity from round 2 was that the driving range was closed again. From the looks of it, they were doing some resodding on the range since there was a lot of turf missing. Yet, when I finished my round, there were people on the range hitting balls….I surrender on that one.
On to the important stuff – the golf course. Solid. A really good mix of wide open landing areas, lateral hazards, green side protection and immaculate golfing conditions. I caught them about 2 1/2 weeks after they had put big punches in the greens and minus a bit of sand you could barely tell. The greens we’re definitely slow, but that’s kind of expected with resort golf but these seemed even slower. Someone had mentioned they were rolling at an 8, but it felt a lot more like a 6…anything against the grain had to be pounded.
The course design was beautiful and subtle. Some of the wide open teeing ground will lull you sleep then poof, you’re playing out of a fairway bunker or dropping next to a water hazard. Combine those obstacles with fairly thick bermuda rough and you can drop some shots out there in a hurry. Of the more memorable holes out there (4th picture down) the par 3, 12th (one of 3 signature holes) stands out immediately since you have to drive under a waterfall to get to the tee box. The hole features a big water feature to the left, greenside bunkering that protects about half the putting surface, additional bunkers long and trade winds in your face. Just as good is the par 3, 8th hole featuring a large waterfall and pond to the left and greenside bunkering to the right. First time I’ve ever hit a tee shot into a waterfall
I might not have had a thrilling time on my first run through but I really loved the golf course, its design and the facility they have at Ko Olina. My second round was excellent. Got to play with a great crew, including one of the best juniors I’ve ever seen play. The pace was solid and the course was in fantastic shape. I’d pay $150 to play here again without debate.
Golfchops.com rating: 21/25
Customer Service: 4
Condition of Greens: 4
“Perceived” maintenance level of course: 5
- Average the first day, exceptional on the second. Outside staff and course marshals were all great.
- Recently punched but recovered very well. Rolled really good, but slow as slow gets.
- Some turf replacement on the range, but the golf course was in perfect shape. Teeboxes, fairways, rough and greens were all in tip top shape.
- Vacation golf in never cheap, but I didn’t think $150 was over priced at all. Paying extra for range balls on a $150-170 greens fee is not cool.
- Range was under some construction, but its a nice range. Good putting green, separate chipping area is very well done, and clubhouse and proshop are awesome. Very high quality restaurant on the grounds as well (couldn’t pronounce half the menu….that’s good right?) Beverage and snack shack at the turn and the cart came around a million times.