Building the perfect bag

So for the last couple of weeks i have been discussing wedges with a guy at work. Its been fun giving him some advice on what something is worth as well as the actual set up of his bag. This made me realize doing a piece on how to build a bag would be beneficial. Lets go through the bag and Ill tell you my thoughts on what you should look for

Let start with the top of the bag:

Driver- For me I want something I can hit as far as possible while still having a little bit of control. A lot of people think they want to hit it low to maximize their roll.  This doesnt provide you with the maximum distance possible. Obviously you dont want to be hitting the ball too high either. There is a nice middle ground. Dont be afraid to loft up. No one cares what loft you hit. They really dont care if you are hitting it further than they are.

3 Wood- For a three wood I like something I can hit off the fairway and off the tee box. This is going to be the club when things start going bad with your driver and you need to find a fairway. With the low loft of a three wood elevating it off the ground can be hard for some folks. This is why I prefer having a high launch and high spin shaft in my 3 wood. Also if you cant hit a 3 wood well or get it off the ground try a 4 wood. No shame in it!

Now this is where you begin to have some options. If you like Fairway woods go ahead and add a 5 wood here. I think 5 woods look like the ball is going to go straight in the air. I just feel a pop up coming on. Because of this I opted for a low lofted hybrid. If you have a hatred with Hybrids and Fairway woods you can even go with a iron here.

I chose the loft I did because it matched the gapping of my irons. You need to decide which will be your longest iron. Most set will go to a 4 iron. Some 4 irons are really hard to hit so you may opt to go 4 hybrid in stead of 4 iron. The biggest thing with this club is to make sure you are making every yardage reachable. IF your 3 wood hits it 195 and you longest iron hits it 165 you will need to find clubs to fill in the gap between 165 and 195. Find a club that goes 175 and one that goes 185. You just covered any yardage you may need.

Irons-  Grab a set that you like and hit well. I really dont offer much in the way of a suggestion. Remember distance isnt the end all be all. Dont grab a set because one set the 7 iron goes 150 but in the other the 7 iron only goes 145. As long as your yardages are covered you will be fine.

Wedges- At this point grab your pitching wedge or gap wedge and check out the loft of it (You can find this out online). Most gap wedges are around 48-50 degrees. Conventional wisdom tells you to do 3-6 degrees between wedges. I personally do 4 but again the biggest thing is to make sure you have everything 100 yards and in covered. A 60 degree wedge is generally the highest some people go but my highest is a 58. I found I hit the 60 straight up and it went no where.

Putter- Get something that feels good and looks good to you. There are 100s of head shapes,lengths, finishes, insert,and weights. Find the one you like.

 

At this point you should have 14 clubs in your bag and everything from about 215 yards and in should be covered. If you want an example Ill tell you my bag

Driver- 9.5 degree 250 yrds

3 Wood- 14.5 degree 225 yrds

3 Hybrid- 18 degree 215 yrds

4-PW- 22,26,30,34,38,42,46 degree  205-125 yrds

Gap Wedge- 50 degree 110 yrds

Sand Wedge- 54 degree 95 yrds

Lob Wedge 58 degree 75 yrds

Remember the most important thing is to make sure you can cover every yardage. You also want to make sure you dont have 2 clubs that go the same distance. My hybrid and 4 iron can get fairly close distance wise but I use them for different reasons. The bag is very personal dont be afraid to make it your own. If you want 5 wedges and no 3 wood feel free. This is just how to build a basic bag. Have fun with it!

Pictures from The Byron Nelson

What a day! I decided to take the day off and head over to Las Colinas for the Byron Nelson practice rounds. I decided to go out on a Tuesday so I could bring you some awesome pictures. They allow cameras on Tuesday so I knew i was going to get some interesting shots. I got there about 9 and left around 12:30. I saw a fair amount of golfers and a fair amount of equipment. Ill do my top 5 most interesting pictures then Ill post the rest.

5) I like this one because it shows you how small the putting and practice area actually is. When I see other galleries online I imagine these courses have these huge practice areas.

4) I couldnt believe I saw a Nike Tour Truck. If this isnt for clubs it is MASSIVE for a bunch of clothes.

3) First off, thats a ton of grips! Second, I want those Titleist chairs

2) Wait. Is that a Scottsdale? Oh My God it is!

  1. DA Points caught me the most off guard. He had i5’s. Thats right the i5’s from 2006. Its honestly amazing. Ping must be making him some custom ones with conforming grooves. Its incredible.

 

What a week

Man this was a crazy week in the golf equipment world. We had a huge sale, a new sponsorship ,and a new Mizuno iron spotted on the USGA conforming list. It was such a big week we missed covering some other fairly big news.

Titleist had some news come across the wire this week. A couple of their staffers were seen hitting a new Prototype iron. We havent seen any pictures or even seen it up close but the rumors are saying it is a new blade. It would be about that time. They release them every two years and the calendar would say it is that time. We literally have zero details but it is something to be on the look out for.

They also released some pink printed balls for Mothers Day. Ya know because moms like pink and shit. Hell I dont know. Pink stuff used to be about breast cancer but now its a ploy to get people to think you support breast cancer without having to give anything to a charity.  People will buy these because “Real men wear Pink”. Just remember when you buy a pro v1 with a pink number it doesnt do anything for research or anything else. It doesnt even honor a woman in your life with like a name or anything. Its literally just a pink effing number. You cant even put any number you want because they only offer it 1-4. Apparently a 2 digit pink number will kill the machine or something.

Im guessing after this I wont be getting anything to review from Titleist. Oh well.

Taylormade is Sold

Yesterday Rory signed with Taylormade and one of the problems I saw was with Nike having all of the Taylormade Golfers when Taylormade was owned by Adidas. Well today we found out the solution to the problem. Taylormade has been sold to a firm named KPS Capital Partners.

The deal was for $425 million half of it in cold hard cash. When I heard they were having a hard time unloading the company I sent an email offering like $25 tops. I never did hear back. Guess this explains why. In all seriousness it is great to see it finally sold. Rumors were swirling that they were going to take a big loss on the deal and have to sell for around $125 million. Its intriguing to know if the reigns are going to be taken off Taylormade now.

This year seemed to be a fairly conservative one for Taylormade. They didn’t seem to make a huge sweeping market changing driver this year. They didn’t do that with the irons either. They essential repackaged the M2 Tour Iron and just rebadged it as the M1. The marketing also didn’t seem to smack you in the face like in years past either. It really seems as if the money was cut off to them. I don’t want them to go full on Taylormade in 2011-2014 but I do want them to have some of their guts back. During that time they truly did do a lot of innovation. The RBZ changed 3 woods. The R1 was one of the first drivers to truly realize low spin high launch was the key to long drives. Don’t forget Taylormade was also the first of the major manufacturers to really embrace adjustability. Hopefully they pump some money back into the R&D.

I will also be on the look out to see if the Taylormade Staffers who wore Adidas still wear Adidas or another brand. As they have shown Nike isn’t scared to pump some money into people. I could also see Puma getting in on the action. They probably want that person to play Cobra clubs but who knows.  Also be on the lookout for Under Armour. They are centered on Spieth but they could really diversify their staff line up.

No ground shattering news has come out of the headquarters yet but any time the second largest golf company is sold its a big deal. What happens in the future no one knows but it will be fun to watch

Another big Tuesday

It was a fun day in the golf world. We started out with some club news and ended with a huge bombshell on the pGA tour equipment side.

A few days ago PXG released a teaser photo. All it had was some milled lines,the PXG logo and the date 5.9.2017. Well today was the day and they showed us a fully milled line of wedges. What this means is a wedge with the tightest tolerances on the market. It provides a level of precision no one else can offer. The club is made from super soft 8620 carbon steel. One of the craziest thing about this club is the fact it takes 4 and a half hours to produce one wedge. Vokeys are known for their different grinds and PXG has come out with different models as well. First is the “Sugar Daddy” which is the same one Lydia Ko is playing. The “Romeo” is a high bounce option inspired by Ryan Moore. The Zulu is inspired by Zach Johnson and looks to be a low bounce option. and Finally we have “The Darkness” which is inspired by the owner Bob Parsons. It is a larger wedge for a little more forgiveness. All of the wedges look great but like most things that have to do with PXG these wedges are expensive. If you want one its going to run you…wait for it… $650. Thats right you can get a new set of irons OR a wedge. It can be up to you. It blows my mind to see people pay for PXG equipment. I have hit the irons and I will say they were incredible. They feel great and look great but holy cow. The prices PXG charges are crazy. Even if I had the money I cant imagine I would be able to justify that. Id rather buy 5 of my Pings

Then all of a sudden Rory posted a picture on instagram. It appeared to be him with a full bag of Taylormade clubs. Then he posted the next picture and it confirmed he is now a Taylormade Staffer. It was confirmed to be a full 14 club deal. Everything through the putter including ball will be Taylormade. The press release said the putter but his current WITB is showing the Odyssey prototype he had. The most interesting thing was the irons. They are known as the Rors Proto and good lord are they pretty.

I mean look at those things. All the shiny chrome, the sweet milled area on the back ,and how simple the entire thing looks. It all comes together to make an absolutely gorgeous iron. I cant wait to see if these ever make it to retail. I hope they do just so I can see them in person.

It is interesting to see Taylormade get the two biggest Nike guys considering they are owned by Adidas. Im sure Adidas isnt super excited to have their staffers wearing Nike clothing. It now has 3 of Taylormades 5 biggest staffers. It will be a weird dynamic until Taylormade is sold. Some people are saying Taylormade will be bought by Nike but that wouldnt make much sense considering Nike just got out of the club business.

Well like I said it was a fun Tuesday! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram at Hunting for Birdies and Twitter @hnting4birdies. Thanks!

What do we have here?

Mondays is when the new USGA conforming list comes out. All clubs must be on this list to be used in competition. Most weeks its boring but this week we had a little bit of a surprise. We saw some new irons from Mizuno. They are known as the MP-18 SC.

We dont know much about these so far. It looks like a split cavity design leading me to believe SC stands for split cavity. Most Mizuno clubs are forged and this one is no different. It looks like they moved away from the Boron they had been promoting for the past year or so. IT always felt like a marketing gimmick and maybe they have come to their better senses. They also have a matching blade available. All around it is a good looking line up. Mizuno usually brings it and this year looks to be no different. They already hit a home run with the JPX 900 Tours this year it looks like they may do it with the MP-18 line as well.

In addition to the irons they also had some wedges pop up.The new ones will be called the S18. If I am being honest the Mizuno wedges I played were my favorite besides my current Glides. Honestly if I didnt get a deal on the Glides I would probably have some Mizuno wedges in the bag.  I may have to convince the wife I need some next year.

A man can hope Mizuno needs a reviewer right?

 

First Impressions Q Star Tour

This past weekend while waiting on my wife to perform with her chorus, I decided to head over to the new by PGA Superstore and take a look around. While I was checking in to use a hitting bay something caught my attention. Srixon was selling a 6 pack of their newest golf ball.

 

During the PGA Merchandise Show, Srixon revealed a new Urethane Golf Ball aimed at the everyday golfer. It had a mid level price point. I knew I wanted to get my hands on it. This has me written all over it. I had been waiting ever since they announced it. Well I saw the 6 pack and instantly bought it.

I had to sit on them for a few days before I could get out on the chipping and putting green. After my first session I came away pretty impressed. The spin generated with this ball off the wedge is incredible so far. I took it out with th elast 2 balls I reviewed and it spun more than the Top Flite and just about if not more than the Chrome Soft. Despite having a lower compression than the Top Flite and only 10 less than the Chrome Soft it felt much harder. This is a bad thing OR a good thing. Its just a thing. Take it how youd like. The putting green was no different it rolled true and straight. It was very consistent. The feel again was harder than the others in my mind.

I finally got it out on the course for a few holes. I havent played enough to do a full review yet but with the irons so far the ball is flying well. The ball is hitting the green and stopping pretty close to its landing spot. If youve rea dmy last reviews you know this is what I go for.

I cant wait to get these on the course more and do a nice full in depth review. After that be on the look out for a nice “Battle of the Balls” Competition between the 3 brands I have reviewed!

 

New Irons From Callaway?

On GolfWrx a rumor started that Callaway was going to release a new set of irons. They were going to match the design and the name of the newest Callaway driver. Rumors were flying that these irons were going to have a tour version as well.

Well a few days ago our first pictures popped up on the site. It certainly looks nice. Its really hard to tell much about it but we get to see the back and the address position. Lets take a look at some of the things we see in the picture.

First thing I notice is the fact this is the pro version. Does this mean there will be a non pro version? The second thing I saw was how little green there is. One complaint a lot of people had was how much of a role the bright green played in the design. These irons have some green but its not as bright. Its very subdued. In the second pic we get the address position. Overall it looks like a nice players CB. Rumors say it will be forged. Kind of hard to imagine it will be with all of that stuff in the cavity. They do a good job of making it look compact while also giving you some confidence when you set it down. Wait is that an Epic Hybrid headcover? It is! Looks like we need to get some pictures of those next!

So far we dont know any stock shaft options or pricing. There have been some rumors that they are going to want to compete with PXG and get a high price tag. SOme were saying as much as $1500. This would elimainate them for me. Im sorry but I dont see how you can add $1500 dollars worth of improvement to my irons. Technology has improved but I dont see $1500 dollars when there are plenty of options for less.

My other confusion is where this falls in the Callaway iron line up. They already have the Apex and Apex pro as better player irons. The Steelhead and Steelhead Pro are the GI irons and Id have to say the Big Bertha irons are the SGI irons. They seem to have everything covered. Do these fall between the Steelhead and the Apex? They are lacking a true blade but these dont fit that bill. I guess time will tell.

Volunteers of America Texas Shootout

At the DFW Golf Show one of the giveaways was a ticket to the LPGA tournament event held at Las Colinas Country Club I went 2 years ago and had a great time. I figured I would do it again this year.

I had some stuff going on Saturday so I decided to go out on Sunday. Well really bad weather moved through the DFW area Saturday night. ( Side note: Please consider donating to relief efforts in Canton. My personal favorite is UMCOR. They are the official recovery arm of the United Methodist Church. When a big disaster happens UMCOR and Red Cross are the two groups there. ) Behind those storms came 20 degree lower temperatures and very heavy winds. I still wanted to go out and watch some of the action. Since the club has very limited parking you have to shuttle over from down the freeway. When we arrived I saw some of the women out on the range. Lets just say it was very impressive. I have been to all 3 tours (PGA,LPGA, Champions) and I will say the sound the ball made off some of the womens clubs was incredible. It wasnt as loud as the mens but it blew the old guys out of the park. I could have sat on the range and watched them hit balls for hours. Since I got there so late they were finishing their warm ups. I walked over to the 9 green and watched about 3 groups. With the very strong winds it was clearly a struggle out there for the women. As I moved on from the 9th green I walked by the putting green and saw some players hitting some putts. I noticed something interesting. Almost every putt they hit looked like ti was going to be 10 ft short. Then it kept rolling, and rolling, and rolling. It would stop within a foot of the hole or in the cup. It was incredible. I guess that is what getting a true roll on a putt looks like.

I decided to finally make my way to the 18th green grandstands. The 18th is a reachable Par 5. I knew it would be fun to see if someone laid up or went for the green. Most players went for the green and missed. These ladies had the wind at their backs and just couldnt get the ball to stop. They were able to show off their short games. They got some game let me tell you.  If you arent watching the LPGA tour you are missing out.

I had been out on the course for about 3 hours when I decided I was a little chilly and wanted to go home to do some laundry. I hopped onto the shuttle and went back to the car. I got home and decided to turn on the tournament to see who wins. I watch as Christie Kerr battles the conditions and gets within one shot of the lead. HAru Nomura gets to the 17th and double bogeys it. Kerr is playing 18 and suddenly has the lead. Nomura plays 18 and ends up sending it to a playoff. About 2 hours later the playoff ends after 6 playoff holes. The ladies traded pars for 5 holes and Nomura finally pulled away with a birdie

All I can say is that if you are given the opportunity to attend an LPGA event you have to take it. It was a ton of fun. With better weather I probably would have stayed the whole time. They had a couple of cool vendors as well. The official car of the LPGA tour is KIA and the KIA trailer was fun. Trust me it was well worth the price of admission.