Big Bertha is back! Saratoga National has received the new Callaway fitting equipment including the highly anticipated Big Bertha and X2Hot drivers. If you are a Callaway fan, these are worth a look. Multiple shaft and head options allow for the perfect fit. Club fitting available in the hitting bay using TrackMan all winter long. To schedule a club fitting, contact Anders:
Happy New Year to all of you Horsehead and Flag readers! I hope you are staying warm this winter and looking forward to the start of the 2014 golf season at Saratoga National Golf Club! I have just returned from the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show where I was fortunate to see all of the new equipment and technology available in the golf industry, and I would like to share with you my opinion on some of the new products that grabbed my attention and are available to you.
There are many new Drivers out on the market but the one receiving the most attention by far is the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha and Big Bertha. When fitted correctly, Big Bertha Alpha will gain yardage to your drives. The “Alpha” has an adjustable gravity core. This basically means you can adjust the center of gravity of the club to produce the ideal backspin rate for your drives. Optimizing your backspin rate with your launch angle will produce a ball flight that will carry the furthest and roll the furthest. This means LONGER drives! This is definitely a club to try out whether you are in need of a new driver or not!
I also liked the Cobra Bio Cell Driver. There are four colors to choose from and all of them look really cool. I especially liked the Blue option (just a personal preference) but the Red one looked pretty sharp as well! Performance wise it was very solid and produced good results from anywhere on the face.
There are a bunch of new irons out and I won’t get into all of them but I recommend trying out a few of them. If you are a better player, the Titleist AP2, Callaway Apex and Apex Forged, and the Mizuno MP-4, MP-59, and JPX-EZ Forged all looked great and produced an awesome sound and feel. If you are looking for a game improvement iron, try the Titleist AP1 or Callaway Apex if you just need a little improvement and try the Callaway X2 Hot and Cobra Baffler XL irons if you need greater forgiveness and distance. The X2 Hot irons are long!
The Titleist Vokey SM5 wedge and the Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedge are by far the front-runners in the wedge department. The Titleist SM5 comes in three finish options and six grind options. To simplify the buying process, come talk to myself or Anders and we can get you squared away with what option will suit you best. We will have demo options as well so you can see how each option works for you!
There was only one new option for putters that grabbed my attention, and that was the Odyssey Tank Cruiser. The Tank Cruiser comes in four head options. What is cool about the Tank Cruiser is that you can adjust the weight at the butt end of the grip and in the head so you can get your desired swing weight and adjust it very easily if you ever want to change it for various green speeds. This counter weighting in the butt end of the club will produce the belly putter feel without being anchored to your body. Even better, the white hot insert produces one of the softest feels you will get from a putter. To top it off, this club comes with a SuperStroke Grip stock. For those of you that haven’t tried the SuperStroke yet, it’s time to!
Now that we have the Trackman and Trackman Level 2 Certified Instructor in Anders Mattson, there hasn’t been a better time to get fitted properly into the golf clubs that will produce the best results for you. The clubs I have mentioned are my recommendations for your best option, however the trackman doesn’t lie. Try your current clubs with any of the new options and see how they compare. Then you can make the decision if it is the right time to purchase something new.
There isn’t a lot of change in the golf ball department. The Titleist Pro-V1 will continue to perform well as it has done for the past decade. Callaway has changed their tour ball to the new Speed Regime series, which will be based on clubhead speed. Similar to the Bridgestone B series, the Speed Regime will be marked with a 1, 2, or 3 and each one is designed to maximize the proper trajectory based on your swing speed.
The ball I am most excited about is the new SUPERSOFT from Callaway. This ball has a compression of 35. This means you don’t have to swing very hard to absolutely crush it. Most golf balls have compression between 80-100. Amazingly, it also has an awesome feel when struck with a putter. I can’t wait to see how this ball compares to other long distance balls like a Pinnacle or Top Flite. It comes in yellow or white and I predict many of you men and women looking for more distance will be switching to the Callaway SUPERSOFT!
I will always recommend improving your core strength if you want to improve your ball striking ability. There were a lot of great exhibits down at the show geared towards golf fitness. The one that I really liked and have brought in to the golf shop for all of you to try is the ACTIVMOTION BAR. It is roughly the length of a driver and has a series of ball bearings inside it that create a resistance type of feel as they move through the bar. By using the ACTIVMOTION BAR for a warm-up, you not only activate every core muscle in the body (which are used for the golf swing) you get a decent core workout as well since the bar has some weight to it (as opposed to just using your golf clubs for the same warm-up). I purchased one for myself and plan on using it before every round and range session. Make sure you try it out when you see it in the shop!
There are a lot of cool looking shoes coming out this year! We will have plenty of brands and styles for you to choose from including, Adidas, Callaway, and Footjoy just to name a few. We will be able to provide you with recommendations based on the style of shoe you like (Traditional, Techy, Minimus).
Again, there is some great new golf and lifestyle apparel that the various companies have developed for the 2014 season. Our Buyer/Merchandiser, Tricia, is particularly excited about a new line she is bringing in to the National and the golf shop called TOM MORRIS (like Old Tom Morris). Tricia will bringing in some pants, polos, and sweaters that are different than what you are accustomed to seeing in the shop, but will work well for golf or a night on the town! Like Anders, I am also very impressed with the lineup from Peter Millar. They just keep making great pieces that are very well made and comfortable!
There are many other products that are being released this year and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me with them at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are over the hump of winter and spring is approaching quickly so get ready! The most important thing to take away from this review is GO GET PROPERLY FITTED ON TRACKMAN and DON’T RULE ANYTHING OUT UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE RESULTS! All of these companies are very good at marketing and can mislead you into purchasing the wrong equipment. What works for tour players doesn’t necessarily work for you. Come talk to Anders or myself and we will be happy to provide you with the information to help you make a decision about your equipment!
April can’t get here soon enough! I hope to receive some questions from many of you and until then, see you in the hitting bay!
Head Golf Professional
Saratoga National Golf Club
#6 Todd Cetnar with a 4
#12 Todd Cetnar with a 2
Each skin was worth $55.00 in Pro Shop Credit!
#1 Dave Robertson with a 3
#4 Dave Robertson with a 4
#6 Todd Cetnar with a 3
#7 Irwin Cohen with a 2
#11 Tom Stack with a 3
Each skin was worth $16.00 in Pro Shop Credit!
Thank you all for playing! Have a great off-season and remember, we will be open Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 – 6:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 4:00 so you can spend your winnings!!!
Congratulations to Robert Kalisch on winning the Saratoga National Golf Club Lexus Golf Experience Raffle!
The Lexus Golf Experience Raffle included:
#8 Chris Gambacurta with a 3
#9 Dave Garza with a 3
#10 John Costantino With a 4
Each skin was worth $33.33 in Pro Shop Credit!
#5 Tony Spensieri with a 2
#6 Chris Gambacurta with a 4
#9 Dave Garza with a 3
#10 John Costantino with a 3
#12 John Young with a 2
#15 John Costantino with a 2
Each skin was worth $16.66 in Pro Shop Credit!
We had a beautiful day for the Challenge Cup Shootout! In the end, Carl Luciano made a great up and down on #18 to eliminate defending champion Dave Robertson and win the Challenge Cup and the Shootout! Thank you everyone for a great season and I look forward to an exciting 2014 season! Here are the final 2013 Challenge Cup standings:
1st – Carl Luciano – 4500
2nd – John Barscz – 3000
3rd – Eric Zeh – 2925
4th – Ted Christianson – 2400
5th – Dave Robertson – 1960
6th – Dave Jelenik – 1700
7th – Jeff Martin – 1400
8th – Tim Wales – 1350
9th – Paul James – 1050
10th – Peter Maioriello – 855
Established in 2004, Pointer was created with the aim of making simple, well-designed casual shoes in response to a market then saturated with increasingly technical trainers and hyped-up limited edition sneakers. Pointer employs people it likes, from artists to interns; based in London, the company is backed by a creative stable of friends and co-conspirators, inspired and informed by everything from art and music to skateboarding and breakfast (http://www.pointerfootwear.com/index.php/information).
Come check out our new Pointer product at The National!