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Golfspy Matt's 2011 Year In Review


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Golfspy Matt's 2011 Year In Review

I can't believe that I've been an official golf spy for almost a year…the time has absolutely flown by. What's more amazing is looking back into my “Review Archive” folder and seeing all of the great (and not-so-great) products that I've had the chance to test and write about. I thought as a way to wrap up the year, and to give new spies the chance to catch up on some of the best of 2011, I would do some year-end awards for the best stuff I reviewed.

 

 

Training aids was the most crowded category of 2011, but it was also the category where the winners were the easiest to pick. How did I pick the winners? I looked at what was still in my bag!

 

 

 

 

Best Training Aid (Full Swing): Tour Striker

 

Nearly a full calendar year after receiving it, the Tour Striker still travels with me everywhere I go. There is simply not a better full swing training aid out there: it teaches a valid, undisputed technique, and it does not allow you to cheat. If you want to improve your ball striking, you need a Tour Striker.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Best Training Aid (Putting): The Can't Miss

 

When it comes to putting aids, I am tough to impress, but The Can't Miss made a believer out of me. My results were simply too clear to ignore: use The Can't Miss and make more putts or let The Can't Miss gather dust and putt like a chump. Easy decision.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

 

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Best Shoes: Kikkors

 

While other spikeless shoes get more hype, there was not a single pair of shoes (spikeless or otherwise) that knocked the Kikkor Dress Sneaker out of my trunk this past season. Kikkors offer tremendous comfort right out of the box, and plenty of stability. On top of that, Kikkors have style that no other shoe can top. The 2012 Kikkor line up is at the very top of my “can't wait to try” list.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Best Apparel: Travis Mathew

 

From top to bottom, I love what Travis Mathew offers. The quality, cut, and style are all exceptional. Admittedly, they're towards the high end of the clothing market, but sometimes you've gotta pay to cost to look like the boss.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Honorable Mention: Back 9

 

Honestly, the only thing that held Back 9 out of the top spot is the fact that their apparel line up is just starting. Back 9 gets it right with all the little details that matter. When you factor in value, Back 9 is a home run, and I can't wait to see how they grow in 2012.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Best in Golf Fitness: Grip4orce

 

The Grip4orce remains the only product to ever receive a perfect 100 from me. It's cheap, portable, easy to use, and, most of all, IT WORKS. Want to get stronger? Get Grip4orce.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Honorable Mention: 110% Play Harder

 

The minute you pull on a piece of 110% gear, you will understand what I mean when I say, “There's compression, and then there's compression.” For the serious athlete who wants to train harder and recover faster, I have not found a more impressive product than 110% Play Harder.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Biggest Surprise: Nunchuk

 

A shaft that makes you hit the ball straighter? I couldn't wait to tear it to shreds. But something funny happened on the way to that scathing review…the shaft DID make me hit the ball straighter! The results were there on the range and on the launch monitor, clear as day.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

 

These next three don't necessarily fit a category, but they're some of the best things I tested this past year.

 

Great Products: Kaenon Sunglasses

 

With a style to fit everyone and lenses that will make you see in HD, Kaenon offers the best quality and most complete line of sunglasses out there. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? If you like seeing…yes.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Kentwool

 

This could have easily gone under “Biggest Surprise” as I didn't think there was any way to make socks better. Again, I was wrong. Kentwool socks offer a little structure, cushioning, and plenty of moisture wicking. For the walking golfer, Kentwool socks are a must-have item.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Patrick Gibbons Handmade

 

Rainbow painted python belt? Check. Louis Vuitton scorecard holder? Check. Handmade alligator golf shoes? Check. If you need a gift for the golfer who has everything, or if you simply want to buy something for yourself that no one else is going to have, Patrick Gibbons is the only guy you need to know. Not only are his products top quality, but he's one of the nicest guys in the business.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Best Experience: Club Champion Fitting

 

For that “kid in a candy store” feeling, there is no place that can rival Club Champion. From every high end shaft imaginable, to every iron and driver head you could want to hit, Club Champion has it all. Add all that to a knowledgeable, helpful staff and you have a combination that will ensure that the clubs in your bag are a perfect fit. If you're a golf equipment aficionado and you're in Chicago, you need to go.

 

Full Review

 

 

 

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Well, that's all for 2011. I hope to bring more reviews to you in 2012. Happy New Year, Spies!

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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I haven't had the pleasure of trying most of this for myself.

 

I definitely like the looks of the Kaenon sunglasses.

 

Club Champion looks sick, and one can only hope these type of 100% custom outfits become more popular. Less of the rack benefits nearly everyone.

 

The one product I do have extensive experience with is the TourStriker (I consider myself an early adopter). I think I've had mine since basically the product launched (3+ years I think), and I still use it often. I'll back up Matt's thought's 110%. It truly is an outstanding product.

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Don't forget about this one...

 

Best Golf Review Site: MyGolfSpy.com

Driver: :callaway-logo-1: Epic SZ w/ VA Composites Raijin 65 04

3w: :taylormade-small:'16 M2 hl w/ Diamana D+ 82

5w: :cleveland-small: Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Yellow

Hybrid: :cleveland-small: 22 deg. Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Black

Irons: :ping-small: 5i-UW G700 w/ X100 soft stepped once

Wedges: :cleveland-small: 54 & 58 CBX w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

Putter: :odyssey-small: Red 7s

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Picked up a TourStriker this afternoon, based largely on the reviews here, and took it to the range for a tryout.

 

This innocent-looking club is an ego-crushing, nasty little piece of work. It is also extremely addictive, and very effective at forcing me to maintain good swing mechanics. Secondary benefits also promise to include preventing practice sessions from devolving into mindlessly whacking at range rocks, and telling me when I'm fatigued and can no longer practice productively. I seldom buy training aids--the last thing I went for was a Boomerang a few years back, and before that I think it was a copy of Hogan's Five Lessons--but I can definitely see myself using this regularly.

Cleveland Black 10.5*

Ping G15 4W

Cleveland Mashie 18*

Cleveland Mashie 23*

Ping G15 5-W

Eidolon 51*

Ping G20 SW

Mizuno/Bettinardi BC-01

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This is great, I have not even heard of a few of these products and now you give up your top picks with reviews. Nice gonna check them out now for sure. Nice work on the reviews by the way!

Sacrifice Or Regret...You Choose!

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Picked up a TourStriker this afternoon, based largely on the reviews here, and took it to the range for a tryout.

 

This innocent-looking club is an ego-crushing, nasty little piece of work. It is also extremely addictive, and very effective at forcing me to maintain good swing mechanics. Secondary benefits also promise to include preventing practice sessions from devolving into mindlessly whacking at range rocks, and telling me when I'm fatigued and can no longer practice productively. I seldom buy training aids--the last thing I went for was a Boomerang a few years back, and before that I think it was a copy of Hogan's Five Lessons--but I can definitely see myself using this regularly.

 

I never claimed it was easy to love. ;)

 

Glad you're enjoying it, and I hope you see positive results from your work with it.

 

This is great, I have not even heard of a few of these products and now you give up your top picks with reviews. Nice gonna check them out now for sure. Nice work on the reviews by the way!

 

Thanks!

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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Great work all year... I like the list too, a quick recap, and a couple I missed...

 

 

Keep the reviews coming... I love reading them...

My Bag:
Driver - 
:cobra-small:  King F6+

3 Wood -  :callaway-small: XR16
Hybrids -  :srixon-small:  ZH45
Irons -  :mizuno-small:  JPX 850 Pro

Wedges -  :callaway-small: Mac Daddy 2
Putter -   :taylormade-small: Spider Tour Red
Bag - Ogio Grom Stand

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