WILSON GLOVES, IRONS DEBUT: Four new golf gloves featuring special mesh panels for comfort are coming from Wilson Golf. The fit line (intentionally all lower case) has Cabretta leather (in the Pro fit model), the preferred material for most top-line gloves. Sections of CoolMax mesh let air circulate and offer a form fitting but not tight fit, Wilson says. The cuff is longer too, which seems to be a trend this year among glove makers.
All models feature the CoolMax, but palm materials differ depending on price level.
Look for the gloves Sept. 25 in pro shops and off-course stores. Suggested retail prices range between $16 and $22.
Wilson is also bringing out the latest version of its Fat Shaft irons, which have met with some success in that mid-price game improvement market. The trademark half-inch diameter shaft is still there, of course, but the most notable features of the new set are hybrid clubs intended to replace the 3- and 4-irons. Of course, the average-skill player at which Wilson aims usually has trouble with those clubs, so Wilsons solution is a design that falls midway between iron and metalwood. That gets the weight lower and offers more forgiving off-center hits, Wilson says.
The new set, including the hybrid 3 and 4 plus 5-PW, is available in steel shafts for $500 per set.
NEW BAZOOKA BLASTS OFF: Wilsons Chicago-area neighbor, Tour Edge Golf Mfg. has always sought the higher end of the value market with affordable drivers and other clubs. The latest in the companys Bazooka line of drivers is the 400J. Its titanium, and huge, of course, at 400 cc, and Tour Edge promises higher (but legal) C.O.R. across the face. Suggested retail is $249 with a graphite shaft (Grafalloy and ProForce are available).
GOT TO BE THE SHOES: No surprise here: Nike didnt miss the opportunity to get its Verdana line of shoes, first seen in a Dorothy-like version on Annika Sorenstam, onto the feet of the U.S. Solheim Cup team. There are two red, white and blue slip-on models, as well as a navy-and-white lace-up number, all of which will work with the patriotically colored outfits the ladies are expected to wear.
Captain Patty Sheehan, team members Beth Daniel and Pat Hurst and alternate Dorothy Delasin are expected to wear the shoes, but Nike is making them available to the other members as well to wear at their discretion.
Not to be outdone, FootJoy is making sure red, white and blue FootJoy Classics are available to Laura Diaz, Cristie Kerr, Kelli Kuehne, Dottie Pepper, Michelle Redman and Rosie Jones, who regularly wear FootJoy in LPGA events. White Classics will be available to European team members who want them.
The Solheim Cup is set for Sept. 20-22 at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn.