May 12, 2023

This Indoor Bunker "Mate" Helps You Practice Your Short Game Wherever, Whenever




Why Golf has a pretty cool product, they call the "Bunker Mate," a small, oval-shaped piece of what appears to be a soft, plush carpet that can also double as a pretty accurate simulation of bunkers.

The company sent me one of them a few months ago, and for the past few months, I have been using it to tidy up my game in my unfinished basement. While it also is ideal for the side of practice greens at your local muni, the Why Golf Bunker Mate has given me a reason to be excited about entering bunkers and other challenging short-game scenarios on the course, even though I may do my best to avoid them.

Why Golf describes the product on its website:

"Bunker Mate is designed with a top layer custom developed by WhyGolf to mimic the feel and ball flight of sand, an internal "bounce" layer with just the right amount of resistance to digging, and a bottom rubber layer for weight, traction, and durability."

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I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical when Why Golf sent me the sample. I was eager to try it, but I was also questioning how anything on Earth would be able to simulate the challenging nature of a bunker without actually having sand present.

It comes with the Bunker Mate and two foam balls that won't damage anything. You can skull a shot, and trust me — you will when you first give this thing a go — and it won't hurt anything, especially not your wife's brand-new lamp or your precious flatscreen TV. It would probably be best to avoid testing the latter theory, just for good measure.

What I was most impressed with was how the Bunker Mate and the foam balls were able to simulate spin. I have a relatively spinny bunker shot. In my experience, my fast swing and open club face (I usually opt for my 60-degree wedge) produce a quick, high-spin shot that will stop relatively soon based on green conditions.

There is an adjustment period with the Bunker Mate, just like any new club, lie, or scenario in most of our golf games. I will say that once you get the hang of this thing, it is pretty fun to fool around with. I even like to pick a spot on the floor or put down a mug and try to land the ball close to it and get as much spin as I can.

Has this translated to better performance on the golf course?

I will say it is tough to say this with a definitive answer in terms of hitting bunker shots. However, I did find that my overall confidence with wedges increased after I spent a few hours a week with the Bunker Mate at home. I feel like I am more comfortable giving the bounce an opportunity to do its job and am more prone to not decelerate into the ball, which usually results in presenting the leading edge and walking to the other side of the green to hit another shot.

It's $79.99 on the Why Golf website, and I believe it's definitely worth it, especially if you can take it to a simulator and let it do its job on there or if you just want something to keep you fresh during the evenings or off-season.

In my opinion, I’d give this a solid 8.5/10.

I’d like to see more foam balls included, I think it could also have some sort of grip or adhesive on the bottom that would keep it from sliding on the ground. One other thing that is tough to emulate with the Bunker Mate is a proper stance, as many pros would recommend digging your feet deep into the sand and getting low. While the Bunker Mate does require your weight to be forward to consistent ball striking, there is no way to translate an identical stance while practicing with it.

Other than that, it's a really great product.

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Joey has been a journalist for over three years, covering various topics in the automotive and sports industries. He has been a passionate golfer for around six years, but has been a fan of the game for much longer. His earliest memories of golf are watching The Masters and learning the game with friends at courses local to him in Pennsylvania, which, despite the challenging climate, he plays year-round. He has attended several golf tournaments, including the BMW Championship in 2021 and 2022, and has been denied (what should be) a record 12 times for The Masters' annual ticket lottery.In his bag, Joey currently plays the TaylorMade Stealth Driver and 3 Wood, TSi2 19° Hybrid, Titleist T300 irons, Callaway Mack Daddy and Tommy Armour Wedges, and a TaylorMade Spider Putter. He plays TP5x or ProV1x.

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No other putter manufacturer other than maybe Scotty Cameron is as well known and respected as Ping. The Ping Anser putter is iconic. That classic design still plays. In 1984 Ping introduced the Ping Zing 2, and it set the world on fire. After 38 years, Ping is bringing back this legendary putter for a limited time.

Major release ➡️ Tuesday, June 13th, 2 PM (ET).

The #PLD Limited collection celebrating the "PING Slam" continues. The Zing 2 is the third of four PING putters that were used to win all four major championships in 1988.

Only 88 precision-milled versions of the winning model…

— PING GOLF (@PingTour) June 9, 2023

The "New" Zing 2, Inspired by the Zing model, shares much of its predecessor's design characteristics, including the flared shaft and hosel. To bring the fully-machined replica to life, PING's designers turned to the PING Gold Putter Vault to analyze the Zing 2's intricacies to ensure the original design remained intact.

Looking at my original Zing 2 and comparing it to the pictures of the rerelease, it's almost identical.

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Putter Specs

Additional Information

The limited release will not be cheap. It will cost $990, and sales are limited to one per customer. For the club collector or Ping die-hard, this is a must-have.

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It doesn't matter if you play Srixon, Taylormade, Titleist, or a direct-to-consumer brand like me we all need one thing in our bag. No, not golf balls or tees. I’m talking about that sometimes not-so-subtle accessory, I’m talking about head covers.

I’ve been using the stock head covers that have come with my drivers and woods for years, but I wanted to get something with a bit more flair. That's how I found Craftsman Golf.

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Looking through their website, I found a variety of options from iron covers (I’ve got no interest in those, but you do you), driver covers, to putter covers.

I like my putter cover I’ve got right now, so I focused more on a new driver and three wood cover.

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Craftsman Golf offers customers the ability to have a fully customized head cover with virtually any logo or image they want.

This isn't just an image cheaply printed on some cheap fabric. It's actually stitched into the material with precision and care.

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Customers send Craftsman Golf their personal logo. The team will process the request and send a proof back to you for approval. Once it's given the green light, it's stitched onto a cover and sent to your front door.

Turnaround time is a few weeks, but it is totally worth it. I was blown away by the stitching and quality of the item.

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If a custom option isn't for you, Craftsman Golf has a wide variety of stocked items. I decided on what I’ve been calling "Frank." Real ones know why. I’ve never had the oversized, plush stuffed animal head cover before, so I was curious how good the quality would be. I was overly surprised by how good this thing was when it came in.

The driver cover perfectly fits over the club head while still fitting nicely in the bag. The stitching and material are top-notch, not to mention it will definitely turn heads on the golf course.

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When it comes to adding a little bit of flair to your golf bag, Craftsman Golf is a great option. They also offer a massive selection of accessories. I gave the speed training weights a try and I wasn't overly impressed. I had some difficulty getting the weight stretched to an old Hazardous driver shaft. The attachment screw that came with the weight didn't work. I ended up using the screw that is meant for the driver, and with every swing, I can feel the weight slightly sliding up and down on the screw.

I’m not sure if this is supposed to happen or not, but it doesn't give me confidence that the weight won't fly off into my garage door while I’m training. When it comes to speed training devices, I would stay away from this one. They offer a lot of other options like scorecard holders, range finder cases, Sunday bags, and more. If those items are as good as the head covers I received then any golfer would be happy with those purchases.

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With something for everyone who's into the game of golf, you can't go wrong with Craftsman Golf. The quality of the goods I received exceeded my expectations, and I would encourage anyone to give them a try.

Cover Image Via Instagram




I’d like to start this out by being completely transparent with you: I am a spiked shoe golfer.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy wearing spikeless shoes, largely because they can be more comfortable and lighter. But when there's money (or bragging rights) on the line, I will always reach for a pair of spiked golf shoes.

But with the ZG23, adidas Golf has finally developed a spiked shoe that lets me have my (ice cream) cake and eat it too.

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The ZG23 is the next evolution of adidas’ incredibly successful ZG21 shoe, which, likewise, focused on creating the perfect lightweight, spiked golf shoe.

The ZG23 takes it five steps further than its predecessor, with the incorporation of LIGHSTRIKE and LIGHTSTRIKE PRO cushioning systems.

These two technologies come together and bring athletic technologies found in adidas’ running and basketball shoes, meaning you can swing more aggressively while remaining comfortable, even when you’re walking the rolling hills of Bethpage's Black Course.

I want to be clear: the cushioning systems do not make the ZG23 marshmallow soft. Instead, the material can be best described as "reactive," as it is comfortably soft when walking but also firm enough that you can feel a pressure change as you load up into your rear leg during the backswing.

To make sure you can enjoy this comfortable, lightweight package in even the worst conditions, the ZG23's upper section features SPRINTSKIN, a 4-layer waterproof upper section that remains committed to the shoe's lightweight ethos.

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It is worth noting that the ZG23's are also environmentally friendly; the upper section of the ZG23 contains a minimum of 50% recycled materials, building on adidas’ mission to end plastic waste.

The ZG23 have allowed me to get my golf season started with confidence. After not wearing golf shoes for several months, I’d be hesitant to wear even broken-in shoes to golf lessons or simulator sessions for fear of getting blisters. The ZG23's, however, were worn straight out of the box and have provided footwear euphoria ever since.

Indeed, regardless if it's been an early, dew-filled spring morning or blistering, 90° heat June day, the ZG23s have let me enjoy every step of my round. Indeed, I found myself reaching for the ZG23's even when I’m not playing—like speed training in the garage.

As for styling, the ZG23s come in five different colorways (each pictured below) (along with two extra wide options) that range from the more conservative Cloud White / Dark Silver Metallic / Silver Metallic to the more vibrant, eye-catching Cloud White / Core Black / Semi Solar Red. What this means is the ZG23 can be paired with every personality and golf look you can dream of: from the outlandish bachelor party look to the strict-dress code country club.

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With Father's Day fast approaching, the ZG23's should be near the top of the list, especially now that adidas has released the summer-friendly Vent version—featuring a breathable mesh upper. Because I can promise you this: when the club championship season rolls around, I can assure you the ZG23s will be on my feet from qualifying to the (hopeful) championship round.

Cover Image Via adidas

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