Their slogan is: "The Best Kept Secret on Tour."
However, if players continue to use little-known Sonartec's clubs in ever-growing numbers, the company may have to find another slogan.
Heading into just its fourth year in the golf equipment business, Sonartec -- based in Carlsbad, Calif. -- has carved out a distinguished niche in clubmaking. The company produces metalwoods only: drivers, fairway woods and utility clubs.
With its unique Driving Cavity sole design featured on all its clubs, Sonartec's fairway woods have become especially popular among PGA TOUR players, in particular its SS-03 deep face clubs. According to company figures, more than 75 pros used Sonartec fairway woods on the PGA TOUR in 2002. Most impressive, Sonartec finished third in total fairway woods in play at the recent Ford Championship at Doral, ranking behind two other noted Carlsbad manufacturers, TaylorMade and Callaway.
Most of the TOUR players using Sonartec clubs are non-endorsed professionals, which makes quite a statement. Among the company's TOUR staff, Nick Price heads the roster and provides considerable input into the design of the clubs.
For 2003, Sonartec is introducing a new driver, the Super CV Pro Titanium, and a line of utility woods called T.R.C., which stands for Twin Rail Cavity.
In testing among a group of amateurs assembled by GolfWeb, skilled players provided the most positive reviews for a variety of Sonartec clubs. Feedback cited particular satisfaction with the set-up of the clubs, plus "solid hit at impact", trajectory and distance achieved.
Here is a closer look at selected Sonartec clubs for 2003.
At 305 cc, the Super CV Pro Titanium driver carries a rather small head by today's standards. Still, it is larger than Sonartec's Ti-01 Titanium driver, which checks in at 280cc.
The Super CV Pro is meant to be more forgiving. It features a tungsten-copper alloy weight in the back of the clubhead that, along with the Driving Cavity, is designed to help get the ball airborne with a high launch angle.
"This is our most forgiving driver," said Toru Kamatari, president of Sonartec Golf.
Available with face lofts of 8, 9 and 10 degrees, suggested retail price for the driver is $395.
There are six lofts available in the T.R.C. utility wood series: 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 degrees.
The T.R.C. clubs vary slightly from the Sonartec drivers and fairway woods in that the Driving Cavity is surrounded by a twin rail design. This is meant to aid shots from deep rough, sand, divots and other tough lies. The club face, with less bulge and roll, is geared to react more like an iron, while the rails help dig into hard ground to improve ball striking.
Price had hands-on input in the development of the T.R.C. lineup, and the clubs are already in the bags of several pros.
List price for the T.R.C. utility woods is $265 each.
Sonartec excels by offering numerous options in fairway woods, based on players' skill levels and preferences.
The SS-01 series boasts a shallow face design for extreme forgiveness; the SS-02 line is a mid-face model promising a combination of forgiveness and control; the SS-03 series, the one most popular on the PGA TOUR, offers deep face clubs for greater control and workability.
All three series are available with a choice of lofts, shafts and flexes.
Suggested retail price for the fairway woods is $265 each.
Tiger Woods announced Wednesday that he will not play golf for the remainder of 2009, after a specialist concluded Woods re-injured his left knee at Bay Hill. "I'm obviously disappointed," Woods said. "I was ... eager to return to the Masters at Augusta National and compete in the remainder of my 2009 schedule."
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