View from the 14th Tee at Whitburn Golf Club.
The Club was formed at a meeting of twelve men in the Jolly Sailor Inn, Whitburn, on 2nd December 1930. Within a month, land had been rented from the Harton Coal Company, a Professional and a Greenkeeper were appointed and a Clubhouse pavilion (used by the Club until 1979) had been purchased.
By 1933 the Club had grown to 130 members and it was agreed to form a Company, limited by guarantee and we became "The Whitburn Golf Club Ltd."
The course was laid out in 1934 by J Morrison of Colt, Alison and Morrison, Golf Course Architects to produce an 18 hole par 70 course of 5635 yards. Morrison is also known to have designed Brancepeth, Wentworth and the Princes course at Sandwich and redesigned Lytham St Annes, Moortown, Royal Cinque Ports, Sunningdale and Wickham.
It has proven to be love at first sight. Just four weeks ago, Nike athlete Hao-Tong Li tested the new Vapor Pro driver at The Oven, Nike Golf's R&D facility for golf clubs, and immediately put it in his bag. Since then, he has won two tournaments in the span of three weeks.
He won his first professional title with it on the PGA Tour China Series three weeks ago. Last week, Li claimed his second professional victory with the same distinctive volt driver at the Nanshan China Masters on the One Asia Tour, becoming the youngest winner on the Tour at the age of 19.
The Vapor Pro driver blends three key technologies: Nike’s new FlyBeam reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a reengineered Compression Channel, and FlexLoft 2. All of these are vital to the golf athlete ito achieve the ultimate in hitting the window of distance, speed and launch conditions.
The FlyBeam construction stiffens the Covert Cavity in the back of the club, while the Compression Channel, with variable compliance, accentuates the spring-like effect across the face. Cohesively, the two work together to focus, store, and return impact energy to the golf ball for shots struck at all points on the face. Li played with 14 Nike clubs in his bag, including the new Vapor Speed 3-wood (15 degree), and the Nike RZN Black ball.
On the body, Li sported apparel from Nike Golf’s Performance Collection and the Lunar Waverly shoe. Li's
Nike Golf Arsenal Driver: Nike Vapor Pro 12.5-degree Fairway Wood: Nike Vapor Speed 3-wood/15-degree Hybrid: Nike Covert 2.0 17-degree and 20-degree Irons: Nike VR Pro Combo (4-9) Wedges: VR Forged 47-degree, 54-degree, 60-degree Putter: Nike Method prototype Ball: Nike RZN Black Apparel: Nike Golf’s Performance Collection Footwear: Nike Lunar Waverly
Distance for every golf swing - that’s what Nike Golf engineers set out to deliver with the brand's new Vapor drivers: the Vapor Pro, Vapor Speed and now the Vapor Flex.
The Vapor Flex, Nike’s pinnacle driver, features the same three key technologies found in the Vapor Pro and Vapor Speed drivers:
Nike’s FlyBeams, which stiffen the cavity back of the club.
A re-engineered Compression Channel that accentuates the spring-like effect across the face to return energy to the golf ball.
FlexLoft 2, which allows the golf athlete the functionality of five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings.
All of these technologies were developed to drive more energy to the golf ball for more distance, no matter the swing.
But Nike didn’t stop there with the Vapor Flex driver. While the Vapor Pro and Vapor Speed drivers each provide specific launch and spin characteristics, Nike Golf engineers believe there’s one more important step to ensure golf athletes achieve their optimal launch conditions. With that goal in mind, the engineers created the FlexFlight adjustability system.
FlexFlight features a RZN tube with a high-density weight on one end, called the FlightPod, which is located in the cavity of the club. By flipping the FlightPod, golfers can actively move the center of gravity of the Vapor Flex driver to further optimize their launch conditions.
With FlexFlight, golfers can manipulate the center of gravity from low and forward to low and back by adjusting the pod in quarter turns with the same wrench used to operate the FlexLoft 2. Utilizing the FlexFlight system impacts launch angle, spin rate, forgiveness (increased in the “mid” setting) and workability (enhanced in the “low” setting).
“Often times in the fitting process, there’s an opportunity for a final adjustment to develop the shot shape and ball flight the athlete is looking for,” said Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering for Nike Golf. “That’s how FlexFlight can help. With a simple quarter turn, we can adjust the mass of the FlexFlight module forward and backward within the club to change the trajectory and shot shape for the athlete. In doing so, we are seeing that a two-plus millimeter shift will change launch angle up to a degree - and it gives us that fine-tuning change in spin of about 300 rpm. As the last step in the fitting process, that can be the difference between the athlete being comfortable with the fitting and really being able to compete with it on the golf course.”
The FlexFlight system is simple and easy to use. The 15-gram RZN FlightPod, inserts into the back of the driver. Using the same FlexLoft wrench, a simple quarter turn rotation and audible click will lock or unlock the pod. When unlocked, the FlightPod can be removed, reversed and locked back into the cavity.
“The power of RZN is that it allows us to remove and relocate mass within a club head,” said Radcliffe.
Nike Golf uses RZN technology as a valuable weight management component, and the technoloy is also featured in Nike’s new Vapor irons and RZN golf balls.
The Vapor Flex driver will be available on Jan. 30, 2015.
Nike Vapor Flex
Availability: Jan. 30, 2015
Specifications: 8.5° – 12.5° loft; Diamana S+ 60G (Blue Board) shaft; RH/LH: R, S, X flex
Aslan Golf Introduces the Titleist Vokey SM5 Wedges
Vokey Spin Milled 5 (SM5) wedges are the best performing wedges in the game, a result of Master Craftsman Bob Vokey’s decades of research and collaborating with the world’s best players, such as Adam Scott, Steve Stricker and Jason Dufner. Since 2004, Vokey Design wedges have been the #1 wedge on the PGA Tour and the most played wedge at every level of competitive golf.
Precisely designed and manufactured using proprietary Spin Milled technology, Vokey SM5 wedges provide a distinct performance advantage through new, deeper TX3 grooves, tour-driven shapes and the industry’s most extensive range of bounce and grind options.
New TX3 grooves, with seven percent larger groove volume and two performance configurations, deliver the maximum amount of spin by channeling away grass and sand for improved contact between the ball and groove edge. Spin Milled technology also provides trajectory and distance control through precisely milled grooves and machined face texture. Every SM5 wedge is milled to the tightest tolerance in the industry, with each groove individually cut to the maximum dimensions allowed by the Rules of Golf and 100-percent inspected. A localised, high frequencyheat treatment to the face provides increased groove durability for longer spin retention over the life of the wedge.
For years, Vokey and his team of craftsmen, including Vokey Tour representative Aaron Dill, have utilised tour player input and feedback to produce the largest and most effective range of bounce and sole grind options in the game. Vokey SM5 wedges are available in 21 different loft/bounce/grind combinations and six tour-inspired sole grinds, appropriately slotted into low, mid and high bounce categories to fit all swing types, shot-making styles and short game conditions.
“I’ve always said I have the best R&D facility in the world – the PGA Tour,” Vokey said. “I worked closely with our team of craftsmen and engineers to apply everything I’ve learned from the best players in the world to Spin Milled 5. We’ve increased the spin. We’ve given players more control. And we’ve got a bounce and grind matrix that will provide the versatility and confidence to hit a variety shots around the green and get up and down more.”
Available at Aslan Golf now, the SM5 wedges feature a more compact and balanced profile with three new finish options – Tour Chrome, Gold Nickel and Raw Black. Each wedge has new, clean graphics, with the grind designation (i.e., “S Grind”) called out on the club, and increased space personalised stamping.