Honma Experience Safeco Field

Honma Experience Safeco Field

Throughout the years, Golf Life has been lucky enough to experience different opportunites in the golfing world. But not to often, do we get to experience golf in a different setting than a golf setting. This time, Golf Life took a trip to Seattle, WA to visit the Honma Experience at Safeco Field. A unique opporutinity where golf fans and baseball fans can co-exist in the same place.

Honma Golf has been creating unique experiences for golfers all over the world by installing swing studios in businesses to help get the word out on their golf clubs and club manufacuring.

We first started in the Roger Dunn Golf Shop and now they have opened a swing studio at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. It has been known that baseball players and fans love the game of golf, so Honma took that concept and ran with it. While at a Seattle Mariners game, during the 7th inning stretch, you and your friends can go hit a couple of balls, try out Honma clubs and have some fun. Tucked right behind the center field wall, the Honma Experience at Safeco Field gives the golf fan and the baseball fan the opportunity to learn more about Honma Golf clubs.

Honma sets themselves apart from the rest of the club making business by making one-of-a-kind golf clubs, customized just for you, from scratch. Their unparralled expertise in club making gives them an upper hand on the rest of the competition. By incorperating swing studios like the one at Roger Dunn Golf Shop and the Honma Experience at Safeco Field, it gives patrons the opportunity to learn more about their amazing craftsmanship and try out the golf clubs in person.

Check out our feature video and see what it is like, first hand, to experience the Honma Experience at Safeco Field.

Top 5 Golf Shoe Brands of 2018

Top 5 Golf Shoe Brands of 2018

This is Golf Life’s Top 5 Golf Shoe Brands of 2018! The golf industry is one of those industries that has no shortage of competition. Whether it’s in the scope of clubs, golf balls and/or training aids, there are more options now than ever. As you can imagine, the shoe game is the same way. Even on tour, you will find guys and girls wearing all different types of golf shoes. You will see styles inspired by running shoes, styles that were made for the 1945 golfer and everything in-between. But, in todays world, the spikeless-golf-shoe trend has really taken off to where the everyday player can wear their “golf” shoes for 18 holes and wear those same shoes at a business meeting. Spike or spikeless, laces or no laces, narrown sole or wide sole, leather or mesh, high tops or low, simple or crazy colorful…you get the picture. There are shoes for any occasion in any environment, you just have to find the right one for you! To make it easier on you, Golf Life gives you their Top 5 golf shoe brands of the 2018 season!

1. NIKE GOLF

Nike Golf has been a consistent player in the shoe game for a long time. They are consistently bringing new looks and technology to the game. If you look good, you feel good and you will play good. Here is why Nike made our Top 5 golf shoe brands of 2018.

 

Nike Tour Premier: 

  • Traction – Champ Zarma Tour Spikes
  • FastFit Closure – Tighten the shoe with just one pull of a strap
  • 4 Colors

 

Nike Flyknit Racers:

  • Support – Lightweight and breathable
  • Comfort – All-day comfort from #1 – #19
  • 3 Colors

2. GFORE

GFore is certainly a company that allows you to express yourself on the golf course. Their crazy styles and loud colors will turn heads on the golf course. When a player like Bubba Watson wears your shoes, you have to be doing something right. Their style and performance is what led them to our top 5 shoe brands of 2018!

Heel Cap Disruptor

  • Style – Bring street fashion to golf
  • Comfort – Amazing comfort, traction and flexibility
  • 1 Color

High Top Disruptor

  • Style – High tops are very comfortable and lightweight
  • Interior – Fully padded, anti-microbial mesh
  • 1 Color

3. Puma 

Ever since Rickie Fowler decided to be the coolest player on Tour, Puma has also decided to be one of the coolest brands in golf. With amazing colors and incredible technolgy, Puma is sure to make our Top 5!

Ignite PWRADAPT Leather

  • Technology – PWRADAPT gives you support in places you need in your feet.
  • Style – Great looking shoe with white leather.
  • 2 Colors

Ignite PWRADAPT Hi-Tops

  • Style – Evoknit collar and fit strap to keep shoe tight on your ankle and feet.
  • Performance – Adapts to your feet and the ground giving you great traction.
  • 3 Colors

4. Skechers

Whether you know it or not, Skechers makes a great golf shoe. Skechers has always been at the forefront on comfort in all the shoes that they make! They brought the same technology to the golf game. It is truly like walking on a cloud in these golf shoes.

Go Golf Elite V3 – Approach LT-RF

  • Comfort – A relaxed fit designed to keep your foot low to the ground
  • Performance – H2GO Shield waterproof technology
  • 4 Colors

Go Golf Pro V3

  • Technology – Replaceable SOFTSPIKE spikes
  • Comfort – Heel Lock to keep your feet stable
  • 3 Colors

5. Adidas

Adidas has been a brand that creates both spiked and spikeless golf shoes for both the pros and the average golfer. Each year, they bring something new and exciting to the game and this year was no different. Two very different golf shoes caught our eye!

Tour 360 Boost 2.0

  • Technology – Boost; returns energy to your swing.
  • Performance – Climaproof allows you to keep your feet dry
  • 9 Colors

Crossknit 2.0

  • Design – Sleek design inspired by the casual shoe
  • Technology – Elastic closure band allowing for convenient on and off
  • 6 Colors
Go Inside Phat Scooters HQ

Go Inside Phat Scooters HQ

Have you heard of Phat Scooters before? No? Well, they are the latest and greatest in the golfing world. Phat Scooters is the modern-electric golf vehicle that is taking the U.S. by storm. Golf Life had the opportunity to go inside the Phat Scooters HQ to learn how the incredible scooters are made from start to finish. The ending piece; A great day out on the course.

We first start in the front yard with their large putting green. As you walk in the front door, you will see all of their recent builds for companies, athletes and celebrities. On the wall, you will find a great collection of ChiveTV playing on the wall. From there, you find yourself in spaceous offices and conference rooms. Then, it is onto the fun stuff; WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPEN.

As you walk into the assembly warehouse you will see frames upon frames upon frames of different colors and shapes. As you pick your shape and color, the great workers at Phat Scooters begin to assemble your scooter. Fit with a basket, a golf bag holder, cup holder and cooler for beverages. You will be able to pick your graphics and color scheme of your fenders. From there, its off to the beach, the streets or the golf course.

For more information and how you can get your own Scooter, head to PHATSCOOTERS.COM.

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USGA Rule Helps Golfers Hit Farther with High Heat 257+

USGA Rule Helps Golfers Hit Farther with High Heat 257+

Dean Knuth worked for the USGA for many, many years. He has seen everything when it comes to golf clubs. The USGA decided that 257 microseconds on the face was going to the limit in which the ball can use the “Trampoline” effect on the club face. If it is longer that 257 microseconds then it is too hot. But here is the loop hole. The USGA changed the rule to allow outside of the width of a golf ball to be up to 257 microseconds in the trampoline effect. So, in essence, you gain more trampoline and more heat on the heel and the toe, thus counterbalancing the loss of performance that you normally get.

By allowing this to go on the outside of the club face, High Heat developed their High Heat 257+ driver, metal woods and hybrids. There won’t ever be a golfer that hits the golf ball in the center every time, so why not make a club that essentially allows that to happen. When people use the High Heat 257+ driver, woods or hybrids they are just amazed when they don’t hit it off the center and it still goes straight and still goes far. Many people have tried it and many people have loved the High Heat 275+ drivers, woods and hybrid clubs.

If you want more information or want to get one for yourself to over to KNUTHGOLF.COM.

High Heat 257+

High Heat 257+

Dean Knuth worked for the USGA for many, many years. He has seen everything when it comes to golf clubs. The USGA decided that 257 microseconds on the face was going to the limit in which the ball can use the “Trampoline” effect on the club face. If it is longer that 257 microseconds then it is too hot. But here is the loop hole. The USGA changed the rule to allow outside of the width of a golf ball to be up to 257 microseconds in the trampoline effect. So, in essence, you gain more trampoline and more heat on the heel and the toe, thus counterbalancing the loss of performance that you normally get.

By allowing this to go on the outside of the club face, High Heat developed their High Heat 257+ driver, metal woods and hybrids. There won’t ever be a golfer that hits the golf ball in the center every time, so why not make a club that essentially allows that to happen. When people use the High Heat 257+ driver, woods or hybrids they are just amazed when they don’t hit it off the center and it still goes straight and still goes far. Many people have tried it and many people have loved the High Heat 275+ drivers, woods and hybrid clubs.

If you want more information or want to get one for yourself to over to KNUTHGOLF.COM.

TaylorMade M4 Driver

TaylorMade M4 Driver

Taylormade m4 driver

By now you’re aware that TaylorMade’s latest “M Family” of metalwoods has moved on from the M1/M2 nameplates and has been replaced with the latest editions in the form of M3 and TaylorMade M4. In this review, we focus specifically on the mega forgiving but minimally adjustable M4 (which is the replacement for the previous M2 model).

What’s New for 2018?

The first thing you might notice is the TaylorMade M4 logo looks very similar to that of a certain line of high-performance European luxury brand automobiles whose slogan is “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. Perhaps the similarity is coincidence but we know better. Beyond the new graphics, there just happens to be some serious innovation going on here. New for 2018, Taylor-Made introduced TWIST FACE technology for greater accuracy, a new slot technology called “HAMMERHEAD” (shown above), for better ball speeds on primarily on lower face strikes, and it’s second addition of its Geocoustic sound enhancing shaped clubhead.

 

taylormade m4 head

The new silver crown on the latest M metalwoods looks every bit as sporty as the past versions with white trim. Notice the newly raised crown ridge on the toe portion of the carbon-fiber section, a subtle uptick in aerodynamics.

taylormade m4 crown

M4 features a red accent at the back of the crown (M3 has blue).

taylormade m4 face

If there’s a better looking big stick on the market, I’ve yet to see it. It should be no surprise that we gave M4 an A+ in the looks department.

Technology/Innovation

TWIST FACE on the TaylorMade M4 is really what the buzz is all about with the M3 & M4. Since the drivers of today all deliver big on distance, TaylorMade set out to create a way to help keep that distance in the shortgrass. I’ll attempt to give you the abridged version. Typically the two most common types of mishits for golfers with the driver are: High toe hit- (typically an inside out swing path) results in a low ball flight that dives left. Low heel hit – (typically an outside in path) produces a high spinning floater that sails way right. In traditional bulge and roll technology (that has been the standard for what seems like forever), that was created based on robot testing, these same mishits would curve back towards the target (it seemed like legit data), but in real human swings that vary in path, angle of attack and face direction, these shots more often than not would produce results with far worse results than the old “Iron Byron” robot showed.

TaylorMade tested tens of thousands of human swings and their data showed that some things could be changed in order to help bring those typical mis-hits closer to the fairway. Hence, Twist Face was born and introduced in the new M3 and TaylorMade M4.

taylormade m4 twist face
taylormade m4 twist face tech

So, How does the TWIST FACE concept work?

Providing a slightly more open high toe section with a fraction more loft, TWIST FACE is designed to enable the toe hit to start slightly more to the right (instead of that diving hook that finds the hazard or OB stakes left) veering it’s way back closer towards the fairway. To the other extreme, the low heel hit will play in more of a closed position – lessening the high right “crop duster” that plagues so many (including some of the world’s best like Rory McIlroy).

Can you actually see TWIST FACE on the TaylorMade M4? No, what you see on the commercial and in advertisements is an exaggerated example of the technology – it’s not noticeable to the naked eye (The actual amount of twist in each clubface area is less than a degree). Does it really work? We’ll discuss our findings during the test portion of this review.

The 41-gram rear weight bumper helps boost MOI making the TaylorMade M4 TM’s most forgiving driver. Geocoustic isn’t a new feature for TaylorMade, but it returns in an updated version for ’18 after being introduced in last year’s M2. Geocoustic is advanced sole shaping that delivers a sound that’s a bit more explosive than most TaylorMade drivers of the past, we really liked the bold tone of impact – it’s a subliminal anthem directed at your foursome serving notice that you just crushed one deep. According to TaylorMade, “As a by-product (of Geocoustic), the sole contouring frees up volume in the clubhead, allowing us to produce a bigger clubface with a 67% larger sweet spot.” Who doesn’t like a larger sweet spot?

taylormade m4 hammerhead

TaylorMade’s other innovation that’s been overlooked by many industry folks is their new HAMMERHEAD slot technology. In my opinion, it just might be the most significant, and here’s why: 1) It’s not a secret that last year, TaylorMade’s chief rival – Callaway introduced their “Jailbreak Technology” in their EPIC model. The rest is history, TaylorMade lost its hold on as the No.1 driver status (that it had for well over a decade). 2) TaylorMade M4 had to make a counterpunch and create a technology of their own that accomplishes at least the same level of performance. Brand loyalty is huge, but losing yards can threaten even the most loyal consumer. There was no choice, HAMMERHEAD is the correct volley for TaylorMade just from an actual performance comparison standpoint. 2b) TWIST FACE is a big deal for TM to get back on top in the marketplace, but HAMMERHEAD is like the O-Line on a football team, nobody pays any attention to it, until you don’t have a good one. Without it, you’re toast.

With so many of us product reviewers using incredible new technologies to track performance data, keeping ball speeds up even on those low face hits (distance killers) is essential. Anyone can create a driver that goes far when hit dead center, but when you can produce nearly the same yardage when hit all over the face, you’ve got a keeper. B+ on the Innovation ledger.

Gametime Setup/Stock offering

Sharp and clean at address (a solid A grade here), the M4 sets up really square. Fujikura Atmos Red comes standard as the stock powerplant offering on M4 (Mitsubishi Tensei White comes standard on the new M3). Atmos is geared towards fitting a wider spectrum of golfers, so due to its slightly softer profile and its high launch/mid spin, we had ours delivered in X flex. If you prefer TM offers customizing your M4 with Fujikura, Aldila, Matrix, Oban, True Temper, UST, Graphite Design and Mitsibishi as your choices of upgrade in shaft (most with no upcharge).

taylormade m4 shaft

TESTING

Our indoor test center was the PGA Learning Center in Port St.Lucie, technology powered by Foresight Sports GC Quad.

Testing is always a pleasure at the PGA Learning Center in Port St.Lucie on their Foresight GC Quad. The TaylorMade M4 produced consistent results. Throwing out the longest/shortest drives, the average = 102.3 mph swing speed, 152 ball speed, 13.6 launch, 2336 backspin, 236L side spin (draw), 252 yards carry/283 total yards (10 yards left of the centerline). Typically about as good as I can do from a performance standpoint.

I was most interested in what HAMMERHEAD and TWIST FACE would do for my misses. The new slot technology actually did show improvement on those low face hits that for me are normally about a 10% drain of carry distance (with last years TM model). Instead, with M4 it was closer to a 3% loss of carry. Wow! That could be the difference between carrying it over a hazard or bunker (before 225 yards – now 245).

I tried to discern if TWIST FACE was influencing the flight shape of my mishits in the simulator, but since you don’t get a true sense of ball flight indoors, I took the testing outdoors for multiple sessions both on the range and in game mode. What I found was interesting, it did seem like my high toe hits stayed right of what I expected when I was sure the hard draw would be the result. When I’m swinging well, the mid-high toe portion of the face is where I’ll tend to miss, but a few shots that came out of that spot (that usually comeback left) just stayed right. In other words my typical push draw just simply became a push. I noticed nothing different when I came out of swing and caught the shot on the low heel- still a spinny up shooter that looks like a right handed batter that pushed one towards “Pesky’s Pole”. So after several rounds, I collected no definitive data or opinion on TWIST FACE. It’s my belief that it may help a slight miss off the high toe, but also don’t expect that topspin push draw to come back as much. My suggestion: with TWIST FACE learn to aim a bit more down the middle. Is that such a bad thing . . .

Summary

The TaylorMade M4 is worthy . For those who want the latest tee box basher with the sound and feel we’ve come to expect from TaylorMade it passes all of the exams. Throw in ample forgiveness and performance minus all of the uber adjustability options (and at a cheaper price $429 to M3 at $499). Somehow, Bazzel, Tomo and the guys at TaylorMade are still finding ways to create better drivers. How much better is it than prior M products is up for debate, but if you’re still gaming outdated technology, the TaylorMade M4 could be the right choice for your game this summer (overall grade A-). As always, to make sure you get in the right set up for your game, go get fit by a certified club fitter.

For more info on TaylorMade products: taylormadegolf.com/

 


Jason  Bruno
GolfLife Tour Coverage

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