Today was a big day for me. I decided to drop a little bit of money and go get fit for a driver. I have been pretty excited for over a week now. I was excited to try all of the new options and see what actually fits me!
I checked in at the front desk of the PGA Superstore for my appointment. I got ready by hitting a few of my 8 irons. I also did a few stretches while my fitter set up the Foresight (edit. I called the simulator optishot. That is factually incorrect). After about 10 warm up shots with my 8 iron my fitter asked me to grab my driver so we could set a baseline. After 7-8 shots the fitter asked me for my driver. He pulled out a tool and after a couple of clicks and some impact tape he handed it back to me. I hit a few more and launch angles seemed to get a little better. The biggest problem we ran into after the setting was everything started going WAY left. I cheated a little and decided to see what change he made. He decided to change my driver to a 10.5 degree draw setting. That would clearly explain the super left shots.
While I was hitting my adjusted driver I heard the clicking of the driver tool. He handed me the brand new Cobra F7+. I took a look and he had me hit a 10.5 degree with the Fujikura Pro in an X flex (Working out is payin’ off!). The ball speeds jumped up by a 1 MPH. Thats not a huge difference. The club felt great. One of the biggest differences between clubs now and about 5 years ago is the stock shafts. This is a high level shaft. Hell,my stock shaft on my Fly Z plus from 2 years ago is garbage. One of the other things Cobra said they worked on was the acoustics of this driver. It was still a little tingier than the others but it was still a very solid thud.
At this point we figured out a mid launch and low spin shaft was going to be the way to go. We saw some decent gains with the Cobra but we thought we may be able to do more. Next stop was the brand new M1. He passed over the 10.5 degree head turned down a degree. The shaft was a really cool looking Blue and black shaft. I looked down and I saw it was the Attas 6Star shaft in a Stiff flex. Base don looks alone I wanted this club. The baby blue and black mixed with the white and black of the club head was kind of awesome looking. Looks are great but it was time to take some swings. The ball speed was a couple of MPH faster than the new Cobra. That is 3 MPH over the original Cobra. We kept launch conditions in the optimal range and was getting good distance. The big problem was the dispersion. The lefts were pretty bad with the M1. The best shots couldnt be touched but the misses were BIG misses. We tried an Oban but the misses were still pretty off. For as expensive of a shaft as the Oban was it just didnt feel great to me.
Next up was the Big Bertha Epic. This is supposed to be the “Game Changer” of the year. The jailbreak technology is supposed to be great. Everyone was touting huge ball speed gains. I saw a little ball speed gain from my current driver but ti didnt really beat any of the current drivers ball speed wise. We put the same Attas shaft in that club as well. The launch conditions were pretty close again to the M1. This club most certaintly felt the best. It produced a nice thud sound at impact. When we moved the weight to a complete fade we began to see straighter shots and the big sweeping hook turned a little more into a draw. I dont know how those little titanium bars made that sound but it helped. For costs sake we decided to throw in the stock Aldila Rogue MAX. I was still seeing great numbers. It did feel slightly less stable than the $300 Attas shaft but I dont think it is a $300 difference.
In my curiosity I wanted to try my new ProLaunch Red in the new Cobra head. It seemed to fit well. The club still felt great.The problem was the fact that I was launching it a little low. Ball speeds and spin were still where we wanted them to be.
It was an interesting experience. It was worth the $25 I paid for it. I do wish we would have done a little more comparison of the raw data. About half way through it sort of turned into a lesson. We began working on my swing. I didnt really intend on getting a lesson with my driver fitting. I feel it got frustrating for the fitter because everything was performing the same so he switched gears and tried to get me to hit the ball more solidly. Like I said that was slightly frustrating. Instead of working on my swing we should have worked more on comparing the data and trying different shafts. I never hit a Srixon head at all. I didnt necessarily feel I got a better fitting experience than one I could have gotten if I was in a regular fitting bay on any other day.
I did leave the fitting with some new knowledge. I learned I should probably go to a 10.5 degree head and I should be going after a mid launch low spin shaft but I cant say I learned which driver was the best for me which in my mind was the point of the fitting
Oh man. This looks bad…very very bad. For the last couple of months I was watching a show named Driver vs Driver. The winner got their driver put into production. They also won a cool half a million dollars. It was very cool to see everything that goes into a driver.
With it being a TV show they obviously didnt want any leaks on who won. Considering the USGA puts out a conforming list every Monday this caused some issues. To get the driver approved they would have to leak the winner. They took a chance and decided to wait until the winner was announced to send it in for certification. This was a calculated risk that Wilson decided was worth it. They had said that there was no concern it wouldnt pass. It was all a formality.
That was until today. The USGA did not approve the driver. At least they didnt approve the 10.5 and the 12 degree versions of the driver. The driver did not meet the shape requirement. They said the tiny back fin that came off the sole plate was irregular in shape. I didnt see anything too crazy with it but whatever. They make the rules no matter how dumb it is.
Well the final reason it is deemed illegal is if you put the weights in a setting that Wilson doesnt even show on its guide, the CT (how long the ball sticks to the face) exceeds the rules by microseconds. That may not seem like much but every little bit counts. I dont think the average person will notice or be able to use that. With that being said it is illegal and doesnt meet the specs.
Remember this only affects the 10.5 and the 12 degree drivers. Somehow in the 9 degree this isnt a problem. Dont ask me how but it is. To adjust for the ruling Wilson will be sending out new sole plates and new weights. Once they get those done they will resubmit and hopefully everything will be kosher. Until then tuck it away until you get your replacement parts!
As I have said in the past, I have worked in golf retail. Like any other retail job it isnt easy. It can be down right infuriating. When I go into the store I try my hardest to remember exactly what I hated about certain customers.
One of my least favorite customers was the guy who came in and blatantly lied about his talents.He would come in and tell me he shot in the 70’s. He would also tell me he could swing his driver 110 MPH,hit it 310, and he hit a power fade. That always sounded good to me. We would need a players driver. We needed a heavier and stiffer shaft to ge tthis going. I would set him up a driver with a nice stout shaft. First swing looks like Bernie from Weekend at Bernies took a swing. He would hit a low shot about 7 feet off the ground. The ball would roll out on the simulator and thats when the stats would pop up. Swing speed of 92. 125 yards carry. Of course his next line was always “I didnt get a hold of that one”. His next shot yielded the same results. At this point my machine was wrong. After 5 more shots he reluctantly would give over the driver. I would change it to a lighter weight regular flex shaft. Results would get better but then I would try to put him in a 10.5 degree head. At this point I was a complete idiot who didnt know what I was talking about. Then he would grab it. Hit it and it would be his best shot ever. If he would have just been honest from the start I could have saved him an hour.
While that guy was bad there was always one guy who was worse. The guy who brought in his kid and let him go wild at the putting green. It is an ability for a destructive 6 year old to find the most expensive putter in the place. Nothing makes me cringe harder than watching a 6 year old grab the new Scotty Cameron off the rack and just go to town on it. Meanwhile the dad is standing in the corner trying out a preowned Ping from 6 years ago. All it takes is one little ding on that $350 to make it useless to a potential buyer. Its not cute and its not funny. Its stupid. I hope he breaks it and you get charged for it. Give him the cheapest putter in the place. Give him some knock off preowned. Dont be an idiot. I know its awesome to get to hit golf clubs while you kid is quiet. I get it. Just next time dont let him grab the super expensive stuff.
I was walking around a golf store the other day and decided to go through the accessories section. There were so many options. For all the things that you can buy I decided to do a list of my favorite accessories and the brands I prefer.
Just as a side note. I considered putting golf balls on the list. I dont consider golf balls an accessory . They are must haves. In my eyes they are equipment
5) Golf Towel-I know it sounds crazy to put a towel on the top accessories but it is essential here in Texas. In July and August sweating is a guarantee. The towel is useful to dry your hands and to wipe sweat away and stop it from getting in your eyes. I also use my towel to clean my clubs between shots. Get the towel wet and wipe the clubs down. Clean clubs are better performing clubs! As far as my towel, I currently have an Odyssey towel hanging off my bag. I like it a lot and would recommend it to anyone. I have also seen a lot of people with the Club Glove waffle towel. I have felt the Club Glove in the store and I have to say it may be my next towel purchase.
4) Golf Tees– Air has less resistance than dirt so why not tee it up on every hole? Personally I dont tee up my 3 wood because I hit it way too high when I do and lose distance. That of course isnt the point here. The point is you will need tees. I dont think it really matters what tee you use. With that being said I use the Martini tee. I reviewed it in an earlier post. Its big and bright and easy to find after hitting. I kept my Martini tees for a year before I finally starting to lose them. It sucks but Ill be getting more soon!
3) Headcovers– The headcover does more than look pretty in the bag. The purpose of the headcover is 2 fold. First it is there to protect the head of the club it is on. It protects it from other clubs dinging it up and making it ugly. The other reason is to protect the shaft of the club. The graphite shafts are not super durable when hit with other objects. If it is hit too much it will weaken the shaft and cause a break. The other day I saw a club that clearly never had a headcover on it. The shaft was almost worn all the way through. I got a great deal on some Stitch Headcovers. They use real leather and let me tell you they feel great and have only gotten better looking now that they are breaking in
2) Range Finder/ GPS– I found golf just felt easier when I got a range finder. My range finder is super old but it does a good enough job. I prefer a laser but either one works. Know how far it is to the pin or to a hazard is incredibly useful.When playing a course that has water going down the middle of the fairway I like knowing if I can take driver or if I should go back to a hybrid. Its like having my own caddie. Very useful. I use a very very very old Bushnell but I have no opinion on which one to use. As far as a GPS I cant recommend The Grint enough. It is a GPS and a stat tracker all in one
1) Divot Tool– You use it to fix your ball marks. You need one of these. If you dont have one use a tee. Basically I dont care what you use just use it. It takes 10 seconds. Dont be a jerk. Fix your damn ball mark so I can putt on a clean surface. Please god if you get nothing out of this article please watch this video.
The Friday after Thanksgiving my wife was going to have 4 friends at the house to watch the Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix. The agreement was if she got to do that during the day I was getting to play a nice round of golf. I wasnt going to play some 20 dollar round of golf on a goat track. She told me we had an $80 dollar round in our budget. That kind of budget really opened up my options. From there I decided to play Coyote Ridge in Carrollton
Conditions– This year we have had a pretty warm fall and winter. This has allowed conditions to remain really good for a lot longer. With that being said it was still a late November round. The course wasnt in lush mid-April conditions but the fairways were nice and true. Going into the round I didnt expect a green course and I didnt get one. Again grass was dormant but still played great. The best part of it all was the greens. They rolled perfectly. I recently played a private course in the area and these greens were just as good. The biggest difference was the fact the Par 3 holes looked like hail had hit the green. Jesus people its not difficult to fix a ball mark. This obviously isnt on the course. This falls strictly on the terrible people who dont respect the course enough to repair it.
Layout– The course its self is a well designed par 72 course. It had a good mix of holes. At only one point did I think it was overly tough. It was the 3rd hole. The hole is 210 yards from the middle tees. I also had the wind in my face. They also decided to put the pin in the very back of an extremely deep green. The most direct path to the pin was right over the water as well. If you want my honest opinion thats a bit much for a par 3. Call me crazy but I dont believe I should need a 3 wood from the tee box of a par 3. I was playing with a couple of guys who wernt great and just like you can imagine they both dunked the ball in the water. Multiple times. From that point on our GPS read that we were behind the pace put in place by the course. After that hole there wasnt much more that I thought was unfair. It played fair and true. Hole 17 was probably my favorite hole. It was uphill about 275. If I catch driver well that turns this into a risk reward par 4. I pulled driver and ended up hitting it short and in the bunker that ran along the left side of the fairway.It is a great design for a golf hole. It is reachable but not easy. To me thats a great risk reward par 4. There was a good distribution of hazards. Bunkers were very well placed. There were enough trees to keep it interesting but not so much that any slight mishit ended up lost. The water was also in fair places. I hate when water is in the middle of the fairway just to make you not hit driver. Courses that also throw water in front of a green just to have water are the worst. The elevation on the course had the potential to be great but if I am being honest some of the development has ruined what has probably been very pretty views. You can tell the area is starting to grow and has taken some of the beauty away from the course. That being said its not ugly. Quite the opposite actually. At some points you forget you are in and around houses.
Facilities and Service– The course was great but let me tell you that this is where this course shines. If you are looking for country club service in a public course head to this course. As I popped my trunk and put on my shoes someone came up and asked me if he could take my clubs and load them onto the cart for me. I said sure and off he and my clubs went. When I walked into the clubhouse I probably looked a little confused. There was a nice receptionist asking me if I needed anything and was very nice in pointing the way to the Pro Shop. The pro shop was massive and the staff was very nice. If there was anything you needed from gloves to They were running a special that was a dozen Nike balls for an additional 10 bucks on your round. I obviously agreed to that. I grabbed one of the free yardage books and off I went to find where my clubs were. I made it out and found my clubs right by the driving range. There were range balls already on the range. I grabbed my 8 iron,driver and 58 degree wedge. The range had flags that were very easy to identify and the flags were labeled with the distances perfectly. I shot it with the laser to confirm and it was within one yard every time. The cart girl was also never too far behind when someone needed something. After the round I had an offer to clean my clubs and take them to my car for me. I declined that offer because I like cleaning my own clubs. Its something I enjoy doing so I declined that offer. The service out here is exactly what I imagine a private courase is like.
Conclusion– I would highly recommend this course. Its fun,challenging, and fair. It was well worth the $52. The course was in very good shape especially considering the time of the year. What truly makes this course great is the level of service. It will not be matched anywhere else that is considered a public course. This was a country club course with country club service at a public course price.
When I go to the range I usually throw in some headphones. That being said, there are some people who will still bother you out on the range and practice green. In my opinion some are worse than others.
5) Guy who putts across the putting green working on his 95 footers- I hate looking up to set up my putt and seeing a ball roll right across my line. I will always check to see where the ball is heading then I check to see where it came from. Its a guy across the green. Then you shoot him a look only to have it ignored. Guess You can have this half of the green. Me and the other 4 guys will share these 3 holes to work on our putting.
4) Guy who rolls the putt right up next to your foot if you are close to a hole- This guy will putt it right into your group of balls then look at you like youre crazy. How did you not see me standing here. I moved about 7 feet from the cup so someone could putt. That doesnt mean knock it 15 feet by into me.
3) The guy who hits an entire bag of balls across the chipping green then goes to pick them all up at once.- This drives me insane. I hate watching him hit it across the green. Then when I have ot go get the balls I hit he has to keep hitting over my head. One day he will blade one into my temple and he can explain it to my wife. The only thing worse than watching him hit over my head taking up the whole green is waiting on him to pick up all 60 balls he hit. Look, I am happy you are out here to practice but come on. Hit 10 at a time.
2) Guy who dresses up like he is playing on Sunday at Augusta to hit balls- We get it. You play golf. Did you really need your brightly colored polo,black sacks, saddle style golf shoes,white belt,and tour hat for your Tuesday night range session? This guy is worse when it is accompanied by a Staff bag and a terrible golf swing. I dont care what you wear on the course but to me the range is a relaxed place. I actually wear athletic shorts and a t shirt. The dressed to the 9 guys may have the slob on his list. If you are at a country club that requires it I understand but if you are at a public range… R-E-L-A-X
1) The guy who gives you tips on the range- I just saw you hit 15 straight slices shut the hell up. You suck worse than me. Go hit your balls and leave me alone
The past couple of days Taylormade has been releasing a some teaser pictures for their new driver. The tag line for the new driver is #thatsbetter. This all sounds great and its very intriguing. It would be much more intriguing if pictures of the driver wernt released on 2 of the major golf forums a month ago.
The new driver will be called….wait for it….. The M1 and M2. Thats right. The M1 and M2 were so successful and so good they decided to keep the name for the 2017 season. It has pretty much the same look as this years driver. The crown looks pretty much the same.. It has the 2 color white and carbon fiber head.As far as I can tell they have removed some of the white and added more carbon fiber. Looks like they are changing some of the weighting It looks a lot like a Storm Trooper. It is very distinct and recognizable. I totally see why they would keep the design.
If they kept the same name and kept the same design what could have possibly changed. Well a lot of the changes that have been made are cosmetic. The weight ports have changed on the M1.They made them smaller This probably saves a few grams and allows you to move it around to other parts of the driver. In driver design it seems the biggest goal is to save weight and get it to move around. This is how you can increase distance while maintaining the COR measurement you have to meet to keep the club within the rules. The other big cosmetic change is the use of a new color. The big color last year was gold. I personally really liked the gold. It popped and no one else has that color locked up. This year though they have gone with a neon green. Its is a very very bright green. The color screams gimmicky in my eyes. The volt and blue was gimmicky as well. Classic colors seem to sell. I always say performance sells but if I am being honest, It seems its better to look better. Its tough to show your performance when the customer wont even pick it up.
Well, you can keep following Taylormade on Twitter to see more teasers even though youve already seen the full product. I cant wait to try it. Lets see if its better than this years.
One of my favorite things TV has had on recently is the Golf Channel show Driver vs Driver. If you didnt watch every Tuesday like I did, you missed a doozy. The premise of the show was that Wilson Staff took submission from inventors and engineers from all over the country to design their newest driver.
They narrowed down all the submissions to 11 finalists. In the first two episodes they eliminated 5 and we were left with some of the best of the best. A few were eliminated in the next few episodes. When the show really began to get interesting was when the final 3 drivers were chosen. They took them on trips overseas to see manufacturing and out to Lake Tahoe to have celebrities test it out. From the start I liked the Triton. It seemed like it could be a winner. The pros liked one called the Pivot but the average Joe’s seemed to really like the Triton. The show was very well done. I watched it every week and live tweeted the whole show.
Well the good news was my favorite won. 3 days after the show was over the driver was on the shelves of my local PGA Super Store. I obviously went to hit and have some initial ideas id love so share.
First off its pretty. A lot of people hate it because of the alignment aid on the crown. Me personally I didnt mind it. The inventor says it helps you hit the sweet spot everytime subconsciously. Im not a scientist but I am calling a little bit of crap on that. Its moving at 100+ out of the corner of your eye. I have a hard time believing I will change my swing perfectly to hit the center because of a white line. With that being said, I imagine someone said the same thing about a 2 ball putter.
The sound on this driver has also taken quite a bit of criticism. I hit it myself and watched 3 others hit it. I thought it was a little loud but it wasnt obnoxious. For some reason people dont complain about the G series drivers and it wasnt half as loud.
Now we have the most important question. Does the driver perform? Honestly it does. Does it perform better than a M1 or M2? Does it beat out the XR? I wouldnt say it beats them out significantly but I can see how it might. If you walk into a driver fitting it wont be ruled out quickly. This driver is one of the most customizable in the market. It has multiple sole plates that adjust the COG. This will affect the spin and the launch of the driver. It also has 3 weights that can help fine tune the launch and direction of the ball. The best part of the driver is the shaft options. You can get a very expensive and very good shaft as a stock option. All the research ive done shows it is not a made for shaft. These are true after market shafts.
Just based on my 15 shots on a launch monitor I would have to say dont get scared to try it. I know Wilson Staff may not be the name brand you are expecting but try it youll be surprised. I may have to try to find a way to get it out on a course.
After teasing us with a return a month or so ago Tiger is back! Yesterday he played in the pro-am and lets just say he didnt look bad. I will be the first to admit that it was a pro am and not a huge deal but he did record 2 eagles on the front 9. Today he is competing for the first time in 16 months. This is a huge deal and as a fan of golf you should be excited. As an equipment freak I was obviously excited to see how Nike going away would affect Tigers bag.
Lets take a look at some of the changes to the bag.
Driver- He has dropped the Nike driver and moved to a Taylormade M2. It has been surprising over the last year to watch the “Game Improvement” driver be used the most on tour. Tiger has been known to play deep faced 420 cc drivers. The M2 isnt that.
3 Wood/ 5 wood- Tiger is moving to the M1 in these two clubs. They are low spin. This will make his most famous shot even more effective. Tigers 3 wood stinger is my favorite shot. Its incredible. Getting a low spin 3 wood is going to make this shot even better. If you forgot how beautiful this shot is let me remind you
3 wood stinger
Putter- HE IS BACK TO THE SCOTTY! Tiger is moving back to the putter that won him a ton of Majors. When Tiger was the dominant force we all remember he had his GSS (German Stainless Steel) Scotty. Tiger used to be able to hit it further than anyone else but he also dominated on the greens. Ever since he switched to the Nike that dominance has gone away. It will be interesting to see how quickly he can get back to his old putting ways.
Golf Ball- Rumor had it that Nike golf balls were made by Bridgestone. Its should seem obvious that he would move to the Bridgestone B330s. I love Bridgestone golf balls.
Golf Shoes- The new TW 17 is gorgeous. Thats all I can say. They are going to look so good on my feet later this year. A fun little not on them is the fact that they were designed to be more supportive of his new right leg dominate swing.
About 3 years ago I wanted to get a dog. I didnt want any ol dog I wanted a Boston Terrier. My wife hated the idea. She didnt like the way they looked and she had read they had a lot of health problems,especially with their eyes. At the time we had close to 0 dollars at any given time. I was interning and her job just didnt pay much. This tabled the idea of getting a pure Boston Terrier.
It was tabled until my wife came across a Boston Terrier Rescue group on Facebook. They had a bunch of Bostons and were located in the Houston area. We saw they were going to be at an event about 10 minutes from our apartment. My wife saw one she liked and I did too. We asked if he would be at the event and come to find out he was. Next thing we knew we had a super skinny dog with a ton of dandruff. We took Stevie home and never looked back.
Since the moment we got him we knew he was “special”. His back legs never quite worked right. He had a patch of hair missing from his back. He couldnt jump up and down the couch right. He ate funny. I didnt care though because he was a well behaved dog. He was the Boston I wanted and was the Boston I got.
The great irony of Stevie was the fact I wanted the Boston and my wife didnt yet my wife was his absolute favorite. Wherever she went Stevie was right behind her. I had to remind him all the time that I actually wanted him and she didnt. He didnt care. His love for my wife became painfully obvious when she would go out of town. On the second day she would be out of town he would just start wondering around the house looking for her at all times of the night. On the third day he would begin to take his frustrations out on me. He would go outside to use the bathroom. I would let him back in and he would immediately use the bathroom on the floor. One time he took it so far that he pooped on my foot at the backdoor.
About 6 months ago we started noticing he was being even more clumsy than usual. He was falling down the stair in the back yard. He was being a little more lethargic than usual as well. One night we were getting ready for bed when my wife noticed he had a HUGE gash on his leg. He didnt seem to be in pain but it was deep. He cleaned it up but knew we still needed to get him to the vet. We took him to the vet to get the gash taken care of but also to talk about his health problems. After doing the surgery the vet told us the dog we thought was 7 was “No younger than 10”. She also confirmed his problems were neurological. That obviously wasnt good but the doc told us we would know when it was time.
About 5 months later we had the discussion that no dog owner wants to have. We could see he had gotten worse and he wasnt getting better. His bad days were out numbering the good days. He seemed miserable. He wasnt eating,playing,or doing anything else he liked to do. We had to make the decision to put Stevie down. It was one of the hardest things ive had to do.
My wife and I decided to give him one last party. On his last night we took him to the park down the street. After that we took a ride to go grab him a bunch of treats. We stopped and got him a doggie cupcake. After the cupcake we went to In-N-Out and got him a doggie burger. We headed home and prepared his meal. Once he got to the food he channeled my wife and totally ate his cupcake first. The next day at work was rough as you might expect. My wife and I met at the house. We grabbed Stevie and a bag of Goldfish crackers. He would eat Goldfish all the time so we wanted to make sure he felt safe and comfortable at the vet. The last thing we wanted was for him to be scared the whole time. The vet came in and explained everything to us. An hour later we walked out with one less family member.
That picture was taken right before the vet came in. It is so perfectly Stevie. Got some snacks and couldnt quite finish it.He was a good and sweet dog. I couldnt have asked for a better dog. He was always there for a laugh and always willing to show some love to anyone. He was great around kids and he never gave us any trouble. I hope he is somewhere running around doing Stevie things. It still feels weird to only make one food bowl. Ill get used to it at some point but right now it still feels weird.