Category Archives: Equipment

Southland: Callaway’s Truvis Triumph – A Q & A

Callaway Truvis

When Callaway Golf launched the Chrome Soft golf ball a year ago, it dubbed it as “the ball that changed the ball.” Callaway doubled down on that sentiment when it added Truvis technology, a soccer ball-style patterning that helps increase the ball’s visibility.

Truvis is a patented technology Callaway purchased and has the exclusive rights to in North America. Since launching last summer, the ball has developed a sizeable following that has surprised even Callaway officials, according to Jason Finley, Callaway’s Director of Brand Management for Golf Balls and Packaged Sets.
Callaway recently launched the second generation of Truvis, a black and yellow ball to complement the original red and white design. To keep up with demand and production, Finley said Callaway just installed a third Truvis machine in its golf ball plant.

Golfers are getting a kick out of the golf ball that looks like a soccer ball, and Finley said Callaway is kicking around a bunch more ideas for Truvis use. In its brief history, the ball has turn into quite a tale of innovation success and even won more such traditionalists as Tom Watson, who literally walked into the opportunity to be the de facto Tour spokesman for the ball (more on that in a minute). Finley shares that story and the evolution of the ball’s technology and popularity in this Q & A.

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Jan. Southland

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Maderas: Golfers, Start Your Golfboards

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Maderas Golf Club is proud to announce it has reached an agreement with Golfboard to be one of the first to provide the surfboard-like scooters to golfers in San Diego and Southern California.

Golfboard premiered two years ago at the West Coast PGA Show as an alternate way for golfers to traverse and experience golf courses in a style similar to surfing, skating or snowboarding. It has steadily gained traction and now Maderas will be one of 150 courses nationwide, and the first Troon course in California, to host the boards.

Golfboard will be available by the end of February at a rental rate of $20. There will initially be four boards available. The battery-powered boards can be reserved at the time of with making a tee time reservation. For advance reservations, please call the golf shop at 858.451.8100. Renters will be required to sign a standard insurance waiver.

Maderas Golf Club General Manager Michael Flickinger said course officials are counting on the novelty factor of Golfboard to draw new golfers.

“Maderas is committed to growing the game of golf, and we believe this will bring more young people into golf, particularly in Southern California, because it’s a vehicle they’re comfortable with, and it makes the game faster and more fun,” he said. “We see this an exciting new way for golfers to experience the game.”

Golfboard Representative Brent Duclos said bringing Golfboard to a Golf Digest Top 100 public course only further validates the vehicle’s value to the sport.

“Golfboard is ecstatic to work with Maderas, which is continually one of the top-rated public courses in the country,” Duclos said. “Not only will Maderas be one of the best places to play golf in Southern California, it will also be one of the best places to Golfboard! The undulating fairways coupled with majestic canyon views provide for a perfect Golfboarding canvas.

“The decision to host Golfboarding shows that Maderas is committed to providing the best all-around golfing experience for their patrons.”

Maderas will be the second course in San Diego to host Golfboard, on which clubs are caddied on the front and secured by a strap, similar as on a golf cart.

The process for Golfboard being considered at Maderas began with Director of Golf Hale Kelly riding it around the entire course for a safety check. Then came the National Golf Course Owners Association annual meeting, which Maderas hosted and where Golfboard held a demo day on two holes of the course. The enthusiastic and complimentary response of fellow owners helped sway Maderas’ ownership that Golfboard’s time had arrived.

Flickinger said Golfboard will have a high profile at Maderas and will be demonstrated frequently and upon request. It also fits Maderas’ overall intention to represent the Southern California lifestyle, which it does all the way down to the locally sourced items on its menu.

Flickinger said of Golfboard, “It’s a great lifestyle fit for a lifestyle sport.”

Questions or interview requests about Golfboard at Maderas can be directed to Maderas Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media Corey Ross at cross@maderasgolf.com. You can find more information about Golfboard at www.golfboard.com. You can also find videos from the demo day at our Instagram account (@maderasgolf).

Maderas Golf Club in San Diego California

Maderas: Flavor To the Max – A Q & A W/Maderas Sous Chef Max Walder

Maderas Golf Club in San Diego California

Variety is the spice of life and the same goes for the kitchen, where Maderas Sous Chef Max Walder says variety and spice are his two favorite ingredients.

“I don’t like to limit myself to a style,” he says. “Ultimately, I’m all about flavor and giving people the maximum (experience). Some chefs use spices subtly. I’m the total opposite. I want my food to punch you in the mouth. You should take a bite and say, ‘Wow.’”

Max has been spicing up his dishes at Maderas since October, when he joined the kitchen staff after working at Avant at Rancho Bernardo Inn. His culinary creations have often appeared as specials at Maderas and will soon be part of a new lunch menu the club is rolling out in the new year. A vegetarian sandwich Max created is especially anticipated by the regular guests.

Sandwiches and their role in his dishes are one of the things Max discussed about his cooking and career in an interview before the holiday that we present here as a Q & A.

You grew up in North County (Valley Center) San Diego and started cooking at an early age. What motivated you?

I have always loved cooking from the time when I was probably 8 years old. I’d jump in the kitchen with my parents and make whatever I could, like eggs. I was really lucky to grow up in a family that food was a big part of. Both my parents cook and do it very well, so they were a big influence. And we did things organically.

You took advantage of growing up on acreage. What did you enjoy about that?

That enabled us to have a nice garden and tons of fruit trees – oranges, peaches, plums, tangerines, guavas, avocados. There was a lot of experiment with.

I got my first kitchen job at 16 and every summer tried to get a job at a great restaurant and consequently had some amazing opportunities (including in Napa).

How does travel benefit you as a chef?

I take a lot of influence from my travels. For instance, when I think of cooking Mediterranean food, I think of cumin, coriander, paprika, cilantro, parsley and mint. And that’s how I think of places in the world, which I’m sure is what it’s like for all chefs. Then you branch out from there and be creative.

What’s different about cooking at Maderas for you?

It’s a completely different style of restaurant and cooking for me. I want to do things that get me excited and try some cool stuff but to also remember we have a traditional clientele base. I’m trying to find that right balance.

I have a background that’s exposed me to a lot of high-end food. It teaches you how to build flavor and think outside the box. I think from that background, I’ve grown a lot and eventually want to open my own restaurant and have it be a lot like Maderas, where we’re doing everything from scratch, from the sauces to the condiments.

How does the new vegetarian sandwich play into your cooking philosophy and creativity?

With my fine-dining background, I’ve developed a lot of ideas and techniques that I can bring to a place like (the Grille) to make quality food in an approachable way. That’s why I love sandwiches. You could put something on a sandwich that people haven’t tried before, but they’re more likely to try it because it’s in a food vehicle they’re familiar with.

The themed dinners at Maderas were one of the things that attracted you. How do you they challenge you as a chef?
I had a good time with the French dinner. I don’t tend to cook French, so that was fun. I made a lot of dishes that you don’t see here often, like duck confit. It involved a lot of interesting ingredients.

What overall do you value most about your opportunity at Maderas?

What attracted me is that I’d have a lot of creative freedom – and I have had that.

I’m able to really expand on anything I want and can experiment, especially with soups and tacos and try those as specials. That’s the creative freedom that really drew me.

Callaway Petco

The Links At Petco: A Home Run For Golf

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If you love golf and you love Petco Park, Callaway Golf has designed your field of dreams on Tony Gwynn Drive.

On Wednesday, Callaway unveiled the Links at Petco, a nine-hole par-3 golf fun house set up inside the stadium giving you shots you thought you might only ever see on a video game. Seriously, who ever thought the fly balls at Petco one day would be golf balls?

Well, obviously, Callaway did.

In a genius dual use of a beloved sports venue, Callaway has given the game a much-need shot of creativity and pure golf fun under the sunny San Diego sky.

Our group teed off a little before 8 a.m. and was initially relieved to see the whole concept hadn’t been turned into a giant water hazard by the previous night’s deluge. What we discovered instead was an urban golf oasis set inside the familiar confines of a major league baseball stadium.

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The course includes a “Happy Gilmore” hole

Looking out toward center field, painted targets, flags and palms tree now stood where you’d otherwise find a pitcher and his defenders. Golf gloves replaced baseball gloves and mitts. And “Play ball” meant tee it up and discover an unprecedented day for golf.

The routing was nine tee shots scattered throughout the stadium – eight being from the concourse – toward targets painted on the field. Greens were outlined with a circle drawn around each pin. A ball on the green equaled a par. A ball in the circle equaled a birdie. Anything else was a bogey. And put your putter away. No one’s holing out here. Tee shots only. And this isn’t BYOC. You can leave your sticks in the car. Callaway’s got you.

At each tee box, a Callaway bag offered your options. The selections broke down into right- and left-handed clubs for men and women within the appropriate range of options for the distance.

I will tell you up front, this is a tough track, especially with the wind blowing in.

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Our group got off the No. 1 tee, behind home plate, in good shape, but then came the elevation change. Hitting from the upper deck toward the outfield, we quickly discovered the Pacific offers up about a three-club wind when it decides to blow.

The goal of getting a hole-in-one to instantly win a new Callaway drive suddenly seemed a little more daunting.
But the real prize was nine holes of pure fun and, for me, discovering Petco Park in a way I never had before. From warming up in the batting cages (our on-deck circle) to actually being at field level, it was a day at Petco unlike any other.

The familiarities of the game soon settled into the new venue. When a tee shot found the brown strip of dirt short of the outfield fence, appropriate ribbing about having warning-track power ensued.

As we were escorted around the course by our female caddie, Heather, the competitive juices soon began to flow and the desire to pull off a golf shot grew as we realized the true challenge the course offered.

Our group eventually racked up a respectable number of pars and even a few birdies on holes ranging from 45 yards to, with the wind, up to about 140. You never went deeper in your bag than an 8 iron.

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But I did, indeed, hit an 8 on No. 9, a lengthy hole played toward a green in deep center flanked by a palm tree – and I crushed it. Granted, wind was at my back, but I put one in the cheap seats, an outcome I relished and celebrated on the tee. You can keep your birdie. I just went deep at Petco. I dug that long ball.

But if ever there was a day you wished for a little slow play, this was it. It was over too soon, but given the success (the event sold out in hours at $50 a player) you’d have to imagine it’ll be back after it ends its run on Monday.

And who knows? Maybe it’ll be coming to other big-league stadiums. Who’s up for a West Coast swing? For now, Petco is the Pebble of major league baseball stadium golf courses.

I’m glad I crossed this one off my bucket list, but then again, who would ever thought it would exist.

Congrats to Callaway on an excellent concept and execution. What a great place to play through. Let’s do it again – soon.

SCGA: The Comeback At Callaway

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Without even taking a swing, Chip Brewer knew one of the first clubs to cross his desk as CEO of Callaway Golf was a miss.

Looking at the prototype, a 3-wood, Brewer shook his head. As the new President and CEO, just a few weeks into his tenure in the spring of 2012, he was unimpressed. Perhaps worse, as a golfer, he was bored.

The club, just by its look and feel, was … ordinary.

This is what Callaway had become, which was not what it had been and certainly not what Brewer envisioned it would be again.

His play? “Send it back.”

Unaccustomed to rejection, a stunned R &D team’s response could best be summed up as: “He said what?”

“You’ve got to do better,” Brewer commanded.

Ultimately, that rejection changed the trajectory of Callaway Golf and started what has it soaring today.

You can find the rest of this article at: editiondigital.net/publication/?i=276926&p=44

Mini

The Mini & Me

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About two years ago, I put a club in my bag that was at first a curiosity and has now become a necessity. It’s the original SLDR Mini Driver from TaylorMade.

For those unfamiliar, the Mini is a 3-wood made for the tee, a driving 3-wood if you will. It has an oversized head and fairway-friendly lofts of 12, 14 and 16 degrees (I play the 14). At launch, the club was touted to have a greater accuracy off the tee at the sacrifice of a few from your driver – and that’s exactly what it does. Mine plays to about 260-280, which is about 20 yards less than my driver, and hits probably twice as many fairways.

After two years of playing this club, I’m still finding uses for it, as I was reminded this week when I played the quirky par 4 7th at Encinitas Ranch. Those who play it know the tee shot is blind and played to a funky landing area to set up your approach. You need about 220-250 yards to get a clear look at the enormous green, which is usually a hybrid or long iron play off the tee. Taking anything longer (3-wood or driver) involves a more accurate tee shot that normally just invites trouble (canyon on the left, hillside rough or OB on the right).

On Thursday, I pulled the Mini and striped it down the right side into Position A. That notches another hole where I’ll play this club off the tee forever.

I’m prompted to write this post by a series of experiences I’ve had with this club over the past month and a couple conversations that made me realize how few people are playing it, or have even heard of it, that probably should be.

My club is the original version. TaylorMade has since updated it in the Aeroburner line and Callaway has its own, which I’m told has some real pop. So the club has obviously caught on or they wouldn’t be making more, but strangely I’ve never encountered another on the course. I always feel like I’m holding demo day when I play and always get questions about it.

Every time I have success with the club, I recall the early skepticism from a local pro – “Just what everybody wants – a shorter driver.”

And that’s just it. Maybe they should. As long as they gain accuracy.

At my peak, I could hit my driver 310-320, and while I miss those extra yards on occasion, the Mini proves adequate more often than not used as my main driver. That said, I’m not trying to play the long par 4s at Torrey with it.

I ended up playing all five Oregon courses with the Mini because my regular driver, the Cobra Fly-Z is an inch over standard, which I discovered is an inch too long for my travel bag. D’oh!

I thought about finding it as a rental, but opted to play the Mini and my Rocketballz 3-wood, which is driver long, instead. Both proved plenty adequate, though playing at elevation didn’t hurt for picking up a few more yards off the tee.

Before I left, I played a warm-up nine at Maderas – and again found another ideal Mini hole. For the unfamiliar, the hole is a par 4 with a creek carry. People take everything from driver to long iron here. I pulled the Mini and hit the perfect tee shot. The fairway runs out at about 280-290. My ball was sitting perfectly at the end, my longest tee shot ever on the hole, and made for an easy opening par. I’ll never play the hole any other way now.

I mentioned my shot and club choice on Twitter and it prompted a curious reply and how I play it and why, calling it an “unusual” club choice. That made me mentally connect to a round I played in Washington the week of the U.S. Open. None of my playing partners had even heard of the club much less hit it.

That made me realize what a low profile this club has after two years on the market. I can’t recall ever seeing a commercial for it and I may have never heard of it if I didn’t cover the equipment industry.

Among other things, it’s a great club for beginners. I had a novice player hit it during a round in Laguna and find immediate comfort with it, so much so that she bought one the next week. Anymore, that’s an easy purchase. You can find one used for $50-$75, far less than your average driver.

My original post about the Mini mentioned the opening holes at Twin Oaks, a tight stretch, being a perfect shot scenario for the club. And, indeed, hitting the Mini is the only time I’ve ever hit every fairway and green in regulation over that stretch.

In Oregon, I was pin-high on a drivable 280-yard par 4 and got up and down for a birdie. Threes are rare with the Mini, but so are 5s and 6s. It keeps me playable more often than not.

I’ve often called the Mini my “safety driver,” meaning I default to it when I’m hitting my main driver poorly, as I was a year ago. But I think that sells the club short now. I continue to find strategic uses for it, as I did Thursday.

So before you buy your next driver in the search for more yards, you might consider a Mini and opt for more fairways. I have, and it has changed my game for the better.

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SCGA Fore Magazine: Rickie’s Rise

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Editor’s note: This post is a link to my piece in the summer issue of the SCGA’s Fore magazine. The story captures Cobra Puma golf on the day of Rickie Fowler’s win at The Players. It relates the business side of a win six years in the making. Timing couldn’t have been any better with this one and my thanks for CEO Bob Philion for sharing the story of the biggest day in company history.

When the mother of all victories for Rickie Fowler and Cobra Puma Golf started to unfold on Mother’s Day, Cobra Puma Golf President and CEO Bob Philion was riding bikes with his wife and two kids near La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. When his phone let him know this was about to become a working Sunday – Rickie was making a run at The Players Championship – Philion was nowhere near a TV.

With Fowler climbing the leaderboard on the other side of the country, from the seat of his bike in San Diego, Philion made an executive decision.

“I decided it was time to break for lunch,” he says.

Follow the link to the rest of the story: editiondigital.net/publication/?i=266401 (Page 56)

Callaway Joins The Mini Movement

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Following TaylorMade’s lead from two years ago, Callaway has launched its own mini driver – the Bertha Mini 1.5. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it’s an oversized 3 wood – 35 percent larger than the XR Fairway Wood – made for the tee and with a loft that gives you greater accuracy with a slight sacrifice in distance from your driver.

See the video explainer:

The Bertha Mini 1.5 will be at retail stores on May 29 and golfers can pre-order starting May 15 on Callawaygolf.com. The club will be available in 12 degree and 14 degree lofts, at a price of $299.99 each.

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San Diego-Based Lamkin Celebrates Its 90th Anniversary With Grip Giveaway in May

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Elver Lamkin founded Lamkin Corp. in 1925 while working at a tannery in Chicago. The leather golf grips he manufactured quickly grew in popularity and became the preference of top players, including the legendary Arnold Palmer.

Over the next nine decades, Lamkin adopted the use of rubber and high performance synthetic materials to create innovative designs that established the company as the top provider of premium grips around the world.

Today, the family-owned business delivers the industry’s widest assortment of performance-enhancing golf grips that continue to earn loyal customers worldwide. Through their ongoing dedication to product quality and service support, Lamkin Grips is passionately committed to connecting golfers to a more confident, consistent and enjoyable game.

Lamkin is celebrating 90 years of innovation by giving away 90 sets of golf grips via contest on the company’s Facebook page that began May 1st.

Lamkin will randomly select three winners each day through May 30th and provide them with a full set (13 grips) in the style of their choosing. The company produces a variety of popular grips, including the new Wrap-Tech and UTx Wrap, as well as the iconic Crossline and R.E.L. ACE models.

“The giveaway is our way to thank the scores of players and customers who have supported us over the years,” says Bob Lamkin, third generation President and CEO of Lamkin. “Keeping at the forefront of this category by listening to the needs of golfers has always been a priority for us as a family owned business. We intend to continue innovating for the next 90 years and beyond.”

The company’s famed products are preferred by PGA Tour superstars Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker, Miguel Angel Jimenez, the legendary Arnold Palmer and many others. Amateur golfers interested in playing grips built to the exact specifications of these players can purchase “Tour Spec” grips from the company’s virtual tour van.

For for more information, go to www.LamkinGrips.com or call 800-642-7755.

Maderas: Chris Mayson Lesson Series Debuts On KUSI

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Maderas Director of Instruction Chris Mayson’s 26-week lesson series has debuted on KUSI’s Saturday evening newscast. His first lesson was about hitting your 3-wood.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4C8XORoq40&feature=youtu.be

Check in on Saturday nights for Chris’ next tip.

Thanks to Rick Willis and KUSI for sharing their video content.