The 25th annual Toronto Golf & Travel Show teed off at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from February 28th to March 2nd. More of a showcase for the courses across Canada and a promo-op for the plenty of plush golf destinations across the globe, we were more concerned with the tools than the greens on display. Here are four of the best pieces of equipment from this year’s show that any golfer should have…
TaylorMade SLDR Drivers
The Adidas-owned powerhouse is pumping out a new set of adjustable drivers designed to increase carry distance with their “Loft Up” mantra. The SLDR features a sliding 20-gram weight that can lock in to 21 different positions along the sole of the club head, promoting up to 30 yards of side-to-side trajectory change. The SLDR is all about increasing launch angle and lowering spin rate. With a low and forward CG (center of gravity) there’s more action off the face and a decrease in ball spin. Adjustable loft also allows for +/- 1.5 degrees on face angle. Starting from my standard 9-degree loft setup, I moved up to a 12.5-degree loft that resulted in a staggering 23-yards of increased carry, on average. Interestingly enough, my overall driving distance only increased by a few yards, but it’s the ability to fly traps and water hazards that could lend credence to the “Loft Up” analogy.
Bobby Grace Putters
Bobby Grace began designing putters in 1992. Through the success of Nick Price in 1994, earning wins at the PGA Championship and Canadian Open while wielding Bobby’s “The Fat Lady Swings” putter, Bobby Grace has earned international acclaim for his designs. Former designer for Corba and MacGregor, the Florida native started his personally branded line in 2009. What was most impressive about his crop (once available at Golf Town, but now only purchasable online for Canadians) was the HSM2 (Hole Seeking Material) insert. The technology uses a radial designed set of polymer grooves that produces immediate topspin and also adds a larger sweet spot. I tested out Bobby Grace’s AMG 18 blade alongside a Scotty Cameron on a roll pad. I was shocked at how much the Scotty skipped off the clubface. The Bobby Grace held tight to the ground on every strike.
Mizuno JPX EZ Forged Irons
Known for their ‘players irons’, Mizuno rolled out their JPX EZ line this year, adding playability and forgiveness to a narrower blade-like profile. Designed for 8-18 handicappers, the JPX EZ Forged irons are an excellent game improvement iron from the Japanese brand. After several cuts with their MP-54, a forged blade with a Milled Pocket Cavity, the JPX EZ Forged delivered a much softer touch without compromising on feel.
Artificial Golf Greens
Give me $8,000 and year-round warmth and I might just invest in my own 400 sq. ft. artificial golf green. Crafted from synthetic nylon turf, indoor and outdoor artificial golf greens are perhaps the most valuable practice aids for a golf enthusiast with the space and shillings to shell out for one. Backyard Golf Greens and Synlawn Golf are two Canadian companies in attendance at the show. They can create custom greens that include everything from sand traps to chipping pads. Best of all, they’re maintenance free and carry warranties that guarantee they’ll stand up to our unwelcome Canadian winters.
If you attended the Toronto Gold & Travel Show, what were your favourite golf accessories? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.