Hireko’s own technical director was recently inducted into the International Clubmakers Guild (ICG) Hall of Fame for contributions in equipment & tool design and instruction.
Jeff states, “I was quite honored to have been recognized for his nearly 30 years of service and dedication in the golf club equipment industry, especially with such a well-deserved class of individuals.”
The ICG Hall of Fame has been established to recognize ICG members and sponsors who have made significant contribution to the golf industry in one or more of the following categories: golf clubmaking, golf club fitting, golf equipment & tool design, instruction (repair, teaching, assembly, fitting, etc.), and/or provided noteworthy service for the betterment of the ICG.
Below in alphabetical order are the inductees for the Class of 2014:
1. Charlie Blume
2. Rick Canter
3. Bob Dodds
4. Tim Hewitt
5. Dave Hohnke
6. Don Johnson
7. Ed Mitchell
8. “Doc” Niimi
9. Jeff Summitt
10. Tom Wishon
Join a Clubmaking Organization
Are you a clubmaker looking to advance your knowledge, skills and network with fellow clubmakers? If so, there is an organization for you called the International Clubmakers Guild (ICG). This non-profit organization was founded to serve a wide array of individuals from golf clubmakers, golf club fitters and club repairmen to PGA professionals, swing instructors, component suppliers, equipment designers, engineers and even golf scientists.
What is the International Clubmakers Guild?
The ICG is an independent; member owned and operated organization, where the membership determines the benefits and programs of the organization. The organization is open to professionals and hobbyists alike, which is a great way to foster growth. So if you want to learn more about the crafts of clubmaking, club fitting and repair this would be a great place to join.
Hireko is proud to announce that we have added nearly the entire line of PURE Grips to our already extensive product line.
VIEW TAPELESS INSTALLATION OF THE PURE GRIPS!
While PURE Grips may not be a household brand that many of you are familiar with, they have been manufacturing high-quality seamless grips and gained a loyal following amongst clubmakers. They offer a wide range of products, colors, extremely tight tolerances and best of all they are made here.
Each PURE grip model has a scant weight tolerance of +/- 1 gram – that’s it! For clubmakers tight tolerances means no more need to weight-sort grips or take into account grip weights after you have already taken time to balance the swingweights after you have cut the shafts, added tip pins and epoxied the clubs together.
Tapeless grip installation
One of the claims to fame for PURE Grips is the ability to install their grips without harsh solvents and the extra expense of adhesive tape. Sure, you can still install their grips like normal if you like, but they offer a customized grip installation gun that you hook up to a small compressor using a quick fitting connection and that allows you to blow on and off the grips. This not only saves you money, but time as well.
Made in the U.S.A.
Not too many companies, whether in golf or any other industry, can say their products are proudly made in the good old United States of America. I can almost hear Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” in the background and I swear it is not coming from my radio.
The PURE Grips
There are three families of full swing grips and one line of putter grips Hireko will be offering. Each family will be available in 7 different colors (Black, White, Red, Orange, Green, Blue and Grey). Let’s go through each of the lines to explain their differences.
PURE P2 Wrap Grips
This is Pure Grip’s tackiest and softest grip. The P2 Wrap features a non-buffed, perforated simulated wrap design and fits golfers that prefer a slightly softer, more muted feel at impact. This grip is great for wet or humid locations and for those that really like a tacky feeling grip that will absorb some vibration. The P2 Wrap is available in both men’s standard and midsize models.
PURE P2 Pro Grips
The PURE Pro is a slightly firmer grip than the P2 and features a uniform traction groove surface – think Velvet-style. The Pro series is their most comprehensive line as it is available in three different sizes; undersized (or more commonly called ladies), standard and midsize.
PURE DTX Grips
The PURE DTX is Pure Grip’s first collaboration with Hank Haney, who is the face of their brand and uses the products in his golf schools and teaching academies. The DTX is a combination of contrasting textures, which according to Pure Grip “delivers a great simulation of a cord feel, but adds our seamless molding and rubber technology.” I am not sure I would call it a cord feel as so many corded grips on the market are a soft cord, but I will agree it is a unique combination of rough and tacky textures. The PURE DTX is available in both men’s standard and midsize models.
PURE Classic Putter Grips
This is for golfers that prefer a standard size putter grip with a soft, smooth tacky feel. The grip molds perfectly into your hands without any harsh or sharp edges and the tackiness gives you confidence over every putt.
Incredibly versatile, long and accurate the new new 2014 Dynacraft Driving Iron does it all!
• Low, Deep Center of Gravity
• High Performance, High C.O.R. Face For Explosive Distance
Review by Hireko Golf Technical Director Jeff Summitt (email@example.com)
In the fall of last year, you began to hear a lot of buzz about a new category of clubheads on the markets – driving irons. Well, they are not really new as driving irons existed a long time ago. A driving iron was the original name for what was once called a #1-iron or the lowest lofted iron in the set. Today, driving iron means something different. They are hollow-bodied with an iron face profile all with low lofts (could be considered hybrid or utility club as well).
The difference now even compared to the ones available just a few years ago is the technology behind them. The latest generation feature exotic face materials to achieve the same coefficient of restitution (OK, rebound effect) as a modern driver plus better weight distribution for optimizing launch conditions.
Enter the new Dynacraft Driving Iron
Hireko enters the driving iron arena with a single 18º loft model to test the waters. We have made several similar type clubheads in the past, but the difference is in the face material and construction. We chose a stronger 17-4 stainless steel for the Dynacraft driving iron face, but instead of casting it, we forged it. This way we could compact the molecules closer together and create a thinner and variable face thickness with more than adequate strength after going through a special vacuum heat treating process. The thinner face around the perimeter is what allows for the face to flex increasing the COR.
As a matter of fact, the first few samples we made, we wanted to be as cutting edge as we could. Well, they ended up exceeding the USGA limit and they didn’t pass our robot durability test anyway. So we had to modify the thickness a bit to combat both of those problems and still provide a finished product that would be hot.
Dynacraft Driving Iron Usage
For you out there reading this, the Dynacraft driving iron is new to you. But I had the privilege of testing out all the prototypes until we reached the final product back last summer and fall. The main purpose of the Dynacraft Driving iron is the ability to control the ball off of the tee and put yourself in an optimal position for your next shot. It is not to be confused with a driver that will be upwards of 5” longer, lighter designed to than the driving iron and hit the ball longer than any club in the bag, but not always as straight. In all fairness it would vie with the 5-wood or possibly a #4-wood for distance.
The course I normally play is very conducive to this club as I would later find out. The muni-track I frequent is not very long and there are a lot of tight driving holes. Wayward tee shots often get punished by thick mature pine trees which are unsurmountable obstacles to go through. Plus hitting driver on 3 particular holes leaves less than full swings on approach shots to the postage stamped par 4’s. On those holes, I could find the fairways with the Dynacraft driving iron and still have a full PW into the greens where it is easier (for me at least) to control distance, spin and go hole huntin’.
Hey, I dig the big stick as any male golfer does, but when you are trying to improve and lowering your golf score, often times that comes from better course management. Consider this a game management tool. No, you are not going to rely on it for every hole (what fun would that be), but on certain holes or in certain situations, it could be as valuable as that specialty wedge or hybrid you carry in your bag.
Off the grass, well most golfers will benefit from a 5 wood because the will get the extra spin and subsequent height. But there are times you may find the need to hit the ball a long way, but initially under something or out of the wind. It is not really different than modern game-improvement irons you already play; you just have a little less loft.
Find your niche
You have several choices for a tee club; driver, fairway, hybrid, one of our Thrivers or this specialty utility club. The Dynacraft driving iron gives golfers just one more option in their arsenal they feel more comfortable with. I can tell you from personal experience this club doesn’t look clunky or chunky as some driving irons or hybrids (iron-woods) as I have seen.
Future of design
What we learned from the project will likely be the foundation of some of our irons in the future so you can obtain more distance with the same amount of effort. I am very excited about the technology that went into this.
|Dynacraft Driving Iron
|Dynacraft Driving Iron -
|Model# IH435||Model# XIH435|
|$14.95 each||Base Price $36.00 each|
Select 2014 UST-Mamiya Golf Shafts Just Arrived!
2014 UST-Mamiya UST 55 Gold Shaft
A light weight shaft designed to hit the ball farther with greater accuracy. Uses the same advanced, high modulus carbon fiber materials used in the original ProForce Gold model.
Available in Wood A, R, S
2014 UST-Mamiya UST DHI dRVR – Wood
The “dhi” series has been produced as a low cost series of woods, hybrids and irons. This series has been designed to be one of the best values in golf.
Available in Wood L, A, R, S
2014 UST-Mamiya UST DHI iRN – Iron
The “dhi” series has been produced as a low cost series of woods, hybrids and irons. This series has been designed to be one of the best values in golf.
Available in Wood L, A, R, S
Here is a sneak peak of some of the 46 new grips Lamkin has added in 2014
Lamkin UTX Grips
The UTX is an all-new line featuring a tri-layer material blend. They start out with a softer ACE 3GEN foundation and then add a moisture-wicking fabric weave (think soft cord) atop of that. Finally the top surface is the firmer 3GEN material for additional torsion control.
The Lamkin UTX Grips come in 3 colors (all-black, blue and red) and 2 sizes (standard and midsize). I had to do a double-take at first when I received my first samples. The red and blue models have a very distinctive look, while the all-black doesn’t show the fibers like the red or the blue as the background material is black instead of gray. But one thing they all have in common is an aggressive surface and will be ideal for traditional cord users or players who need as much slip-resistance as possible.
Lamkin R.E.L. Grips
This is the new and improved version of grips that Lamkin debuted in 2012. What is new is the addition of the enhanced ACE 3GEN material to make it more dirt-resistant and ensure a longer lasting tacky surface. They reduced some of the color options (no more green, yellow or purple), but has quite a few colors (eight in all), plus many of them in midsize and jumbo too, in order to color coordinate just about any head or shaft on the market. How do you tell the different between the old and new? Look at the Lamkin logo. The older version has the Lamkin engraved in script, while the newer version is the block style letters.
Don’t forget about the Lamkin R.E.L. 360 for golfers who use name brand clubs with adjustable adapter systems. The orientation-free 360 degree design is ideal for use with adjustable drivers, fairway woods and hybrids or fitting clubs such as Hireko’s QuikFit system.
Lamkin i-Line Grips
Lamkin and Iomic join forces by combining the familiar Crossline pattern with a sticky, thermoplastic elastomer material, creating an incredibly secure and comfortable grip. Actually the Lamkin i-Line series debuted last year in six different colors. This year Lamkin has added a few different sizes in the black to go along with the vibrant colored models. To differentiate the year’s models, the newer one feature the Lamkin name in the block style letters to be consistent with most of the other new models this year. Not to forget, Lamkin has also added a matching pistol putter grip in each of the six colors.
Speaking of putter grips, Lamkin added two new colors (red and blue) to the Lamkin EBL putter line (black and white). These models are perfectly smooth and provide a nice tacky surface.
Last but not least, there is a model for ladies or those men with smaller hands. The Crossline ACE 3GEN Undersized joins the three other sized models. This is a gray grip with a red cap and not black like what was incorrectly listed in last year’s catalog.
Time to stock up
The best thing about a company bringing out so many new models is the manufacturer is going to discontinue just as many models just to make room in their warehouse for the new ones. What does that mean for you? That’s right, great bargains on quality products, so stock up before they are gone.
Take the wrists out
One of the biggest successes in all of golf this year has to go out to SuperStroke Grips. They are makers of those large, non-tapered and colorful putter grips in which it seemed every tournament you watched on TV, someone in the final group was using one of their numerous models. SuperStroke putter grips were so popular in fact there was a shortage over the summer as no one anticipated the demand.
Another form of taking some of the wrist out of the swing is counterweighting. What was once a taboo practice is all of the sudden en vogue. Adding weight to the butt end of the clubs may sound counterintuitive, but in many cases can aid in increasing swing speed and putting the player on a better swing plane / path that will get the ball going to the player’s intended target line. It is not limited to putters, but to all full-swing clubs as well. It is such a simple and inexpensive solution for a golfer struggling with their existing equipment not to mention augmenting or enhancing new equipment. We had an incredible year selling the Tour Lock products and that is bound to continue for many years to come.
Is there a replacement for the steel iron shaft?
We see virtually no steel shafts in drivers, fairway woods and even hybrids today, could irons be next? The answer is probably not anytime soon, but the popularity of graphite iron shafts on tour has for sure raised awareness. The touring professionals are surely not going to put something in their bag that will affect their play adversely, so the idea that graphite can’t be as consistent is no longer a decision factor. Headed by Aerotech’s SteelFiber’s line as well as Aldila and UST’s Recoil, players were not only playing with graphite-shafted irons, but they were winning frequently with them. With the price of steel continuing to rise and better quality graphite iron offering released, the switch to graphite for many is likely a continued trend instead of a fad.
Ban on the anchored putter
What might have been the most controversial topic of the year came amid the success and rapid usage among long putters in the past few years. To make matters worse, most golfers are confused on exactly what was being banned by the USGA announced this past May. Too many golfers feel that the belly and long putters are going by the wayside, but that is not entirely true. What will be banned (starting Jan 1, 2016) will be anchoring the putter to the body – essentially the USGA was redefining the stroke.
Sadly, as soon as the rule became official, sales of all long putters went to a screeching halt. For players like me who rely on the longer flatstick, it just means adapting. A term you might hear more of in the future is near-anchored putter. With counterbalancing, players can find they can get the same benefits of an anchored putter without having to resort to anchoring the club to some part of their body. This type of putter retains the traditional stroke the USGA was trying to uphold.
Color de jour
Is white finally phasing out? It might or at least being replaced with more colorful clubheads, shafts and grip options. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if either matte black or blue is going to be the color for 2014.
Now, ain’t that tacky?
No, we are not talking about lava lamps or the Uncle Si Chia pets. If you picked up some of the newer vibrant colored grips this year, you might have noticed how tacky, sticky or gummy they were (or however you want to describe them). There is a new breed of elastomeric or synthetic rubber grips which are made to feel both soft and secure. Combining form (color) with function (tackiness), golfers will experience a new level of traction they may not have experienced before.
What was new at Hireko?
We continually want to educate our customers and this past year we created numerous how-to videos on You Tube on clubmaking and some repair too as a way to foster the growth of the clubmaking community.
Move on over 2013
What does 2014 have in store for you? Only time will tell, but expect many changes for the positive from your favorite supplier – Hireko Golf. We will continue to provide you even more products for the coming year at the lowest price, plus keep you abreast of the latest trends in components, clubmaking and fitting.
Best wishes and Happy New Year to all…