In My Golf Bag

With all the club changes I’ve been making, my bag has quite an assortment of brands. Fourteen clubs from 5 manufacturers.

  • Driver: Adams Golf Speedline 9064LS
  • 3 Wood: TaylorMade RocketBallz
  • Hybrids: Adams Golf Idea Tech V3 (3 and 4 iron)
  • Irons: Ping i20 (5-PW)
  • Wedges: Cleveland CG14 (52, 56, and 60 degree)
  • Putter: Odyssey White Ice D.A.R.T.
  • Balls: Titleist Pro V1x
  • Rangefinder: Bushnell V2 Tour

The TaylorMade RocketBallz 3 wood could make my driver obsolete. The club hits the ball a mile and then some! It came in yesterday, so I’ll give it a week in the bag before I jump to any conclusions, especially since I bought the driver at this time last year.

I only buy pre-owned golf balls from Knetgolf. Unless you are close to playing scratch golf, there is no reason to pay full price for brand new golf balls. A dozen of the Titleists I play go for around $50 at the store. I usually get 10 dozen of them, lightly used, for $160. Do the math. When you hit a brand new ball a couple of times you end up with a pre-owned ball anyway. Are those first few hits worth paying 3 times as much? Over the course of a year you’ll save a lot of money hitting used balls and your scores won’t suffer.

If you don’t have a rangefinder in your bag, make the investment. You can get a nice one for $250 or less on eBay or if you watch for sales. A rangefinder speeds up the pace of place, takes the guess work out of walking off distances, and helps to improve your game because you’ll learn how far you really hit your clubs.

I Will Never Buy Another TaylorMade Product

Today, 13 days after sending my message, I finally got a reply from TaylorMade. If you haven’t seen it, go back and read A Message to TaylorMade. After waiting nearly two weeks, I get the canned response you can read below. The last line way at the bottom is priceless. It’s pretty clear they didn’t take the time to read my message. I’ve spent well over $1,000 on TaylorMade products in the last few years. I expect better customer service. I’ve been a fan of their products for a long time, but I will never spend a dime on something with the word TaylorMade on it again.

Hello,

Thanks for the email.

We would like to opportunity to assist you in the repair or replacement
of your TaylorMade golf club. We offer a two year warranty from purchase
date on all of our clubs with proof of purchase. If your club qualifies
for a warranty, the first step in this process is to take your club to
your nearest authorized golf retailer that carries our product. They
will inspect the club and possibly contact us to begin the warranty
process using their account. To find your nearest authorized retailer,
please visit www.taylormadegolf.com and click  Find a Retailer.

If you are unable to reach a retailer, please call us at 800-888-2582 so
one of our Customer Service Representatives can assist you with an
alternative solution.

Thank you again and we wish you continued success with your golf game!

Best regards,

Andy
TaylorMade – adidas Golf

http://taylormadegolf.com  | http://adidasgolf.com |
http://ashworthgolf.com
We sincerely hope that the quality and speed of our email response
satisfied your expectations.

Players Irons

At the end of 2011 golf season, I was thinking about trying out more of a blade style iron (often referred to as Players Irons) for my next set. Then two of my TaylorMade Burner irons snapped in the course of a week and I wasn’t offered what I would consider a good solution to the problem. I don’t feel like sticking to these clubs if it’s a known problem and more of them are going to break.

Tonight I headed over to the PGA Tour Superstore in Scottsdale where they have every club you can imagine and an awesome indoor ball tracking system. I didn’t have any idea what brands of irons I wanted to try and I wanted to have an open mind, so I put my swing in the hands of their staff. A college kid named Nolan asked me about my scoring and started me off with the Ping i20 (Players) and G20 (Game Improvement). Immediately the i20 felt great. I was hitting a lot of crisp shots, with a slight draw.

So then he put a plastic board under the ball and taped the club to see when I was striking the sole. It was a little on the toe so he adjusted the lie angle of the club to 1.5 degrees upright, which led to me hitting the ball nice and square. Next, Nolan had me hit a random driver just to check my ball speed coming off the face because that’s how you determine a shaft flex. My ball speed indicated I was almost right in the middle of a regular and a stiff flex, with an edge going to regular. I’ve always played stiff flex shafts so I was surprised. I could see all of the numbers right in front of me and they don’t lie.

After hitting the i20 some more I asked if there was something similar he would recommend I try out. Nolan came back with the Titleist AP2 and I started crushing it. I wasn’t sure something could feel better than the i20 had, but the AP2 was smooth swinging and long! I was consistently hitting a 6 iron around 210 yards, which is typically the distance for the Burner 5 iron.

I hit both clubs some more and really liked them both. He gave me a sheet with the fitting specs and I told him I’d stop back out in a few days to try both clubs again to make sure it wasn’t a one day fluke.

So I get home and look up the prices online. Of course the AP2 irons cost $300 more than the i20. At $800 and $1,100 neither set is cheap because they’re brand new. The good news is both sets received Golf Digest’s Gold rating for Players Irons in the 2012 Hot List so I can’t go wrong with either one. After I get back out there to hit them again, hopefully I can confirm if they felt as good as they did tonight and I’ll decide what to do. One of the guys I golf with has a really good relationship with the PGA Tour Superstore and said he could get me a deal.

Aside

The airlines managed to drag Lee Janzen’s golf bag behind the luggage tram and destroyed his whole set. The 60* wedge ended up at 22* loft and 30* lie.

via Airline trashes PGA Tour players clubs – GolfWRX.com.

I would be so pissed if an airline did this to my clubs. Lucky for Janzen he is a pro with a sponsor that has his back.

Airline trashes PGA Tour players clubs

New Wedges, Large Grooves

The most important clubs in my bag are my wedges. I have plenty of length off the tee (when I can keep the ball in or near the fairway), so I hit some type of wedge an my approach to most par 4s, tee off with a wedge on short par 3s, and I do all of my chipping with wedges. Even when I’m not scoring well, my scoring clubs get a lot of use.

At the beginning of last year I bought a new set of irons with matching wedges. I’ve played over 3000 holes of golf with that set, which can wear out the grooves. Worn out grooves impact less spin, making it harder to stop the ball on the green. I’ve been thinking about picking up some new wedges to help my game.

Every year I try to get down to the King Par SuperStore for their tent sale. Today was that day. There was a good deal on these Cleveland CG14s and they felt great on the driving range. I picked up a 52°, 56°, and 60° for $60/each to replace my AW, SW, and LW.

The nice thing about these wedges are the large grooves, which help to get even more spin on the ball. Due to a 2010 USGA groove restriction, golf club manufacturers are not making grooves this big anymore because the pros can’t use them. Good thing I’m not a pro. As an amateur, I can legally play the outlawed grooves until at least 2024.