Demo Days 2014

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scomac
scomac's picture
Demo Days 2014

I'm not much of a club junkie anymore. Going to demo days which I at one time always looked forward to has become a bit of a rarity for me. Today was one of those rare days.
Since I incurred a arm injury last season which seems to be a combination of tendinitis and shoulder capsule inflamation it has become apparent that I need to make a change in equipment if I plan on playing golf at anything close to a regular basis. The days of TTDG S300 are over for me. Oh I can still hit them all right, but boy does my body talk to me after a round or anything approaching a full bucket range session.
Today, the local course sponsored one of its series of weekly demo days with Adams, Ping and TaylorMade in attendance. My goal was to demo some irons with graphite shafts. Going in, I had more or less expected that I would walk out with a set of Ping G series irons, hopefully the G20's which are still available as new at a discounted price.
First on the test block was the Adams XTD irons. These are the cross-cavity irons with the piston in the back. I found these extremely light and difficult to adapt to, but once I slowed my tempo down sufficiently, I was booming the ball out into the range. The rep told me that he lasered the flags and I was hitting 165 consistently with the 7 iron he had me hitting in graphite R flex. The more I hit these the better I liked them.
Next up was TaylorMade and the Speedblade iron. The performed similarly to the Adams, but I just didn't care for the lack of feel or the tendency to dig. The rep had me hitting +1" long and 3° upright which seemed completely overboard to me.
Finally came Ping and I was actually getting pretty tired by this point as I had hit a small bucket to warm up plus all the balls I had hit to get the fit right on the various irons I had tried at that point. I told the rep what my specs were on the Nflight web fit application and he set me up with an i25 yellow dot +1/4" graphite R flex based on my specs and the current clubs I am hitting. While I hit these he built up a G25 to compare to. Instantly the i25 felt much more like what I was used to. It didn't suffer from that light and lifeless feel that seemed to plague the other irons I had tried. The ball flight was very consistent and pure. These irons seemed plenty forgiving to me even though the rep insisted that the G series was much easier to hit. From my perspective, I found no such advantage. If there's such a thing as love at first hit, then that's what I'm feeling. It wasn't even a contest. The order is placed.

Aimee
Aimee's picture
Ping

Welcome to the society of Ping owners! My husband has G20, I have i20 and I think the advantage on the G vs the I series with the sole being wider may have more to do with whether you have a steep or shallow swing. Since I have a shallow swing ("picker") the thin sole works better for me, hubby has a steep swing and digs. I hit his clubs occasionally at the range and I can hit them fine, but I definitely prefer mine.
And I agree that the feel of the Ping irons is superior to many others on the market. I (personally) have only found Mizuno to be better. Best wishes for many good rounds with your new sticks!

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
Took delivery of my new irons

Took delivery of my new irons -- 6-PW w/graphite R +1/4" yellow dot -- this morning and promptly headed out onto the range. My first impression was in the lightness of the clubs, but that didn't seem to matter as the first half dozen swings were right on the button. From there I had a mix of good swings and bad, but overall I was happy with how the clubs performed for a first go. The i25's launch very high and flight is very straight. I was hitting into a pretty stiff headwind. The yardages based on the flags were about what I expected, but the flight wasn't quite as true as what I remember from my fitting session. I discussed having the clubs adjusted for swing weight, but the head pro suggested I give them at least three rounds before deciding. That seems reasonable. Perhaps what impressed me most was hitting 40-60 yd. pitches with the PW. It was pretty much automatic and I think this will instantly become my go to club for pitches versus my GW. I could quite easily see adding the UW, SW and LW from the i25 line to my bag particularly if I find the forgiveness material to the results I'm getting from my short game. The other good news for me is that I hit a large bucket and was no worse for wear physically. I wouldn't have even attempted such a workout with my old S300 steel shafted irons. it will take some time to adjust and get comfortable with these irons, but I'm confident that I've made the right move.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Great to hear Sco. Reducing

Great to hear Sco. Reducing the physical impact is good, as injuries can be a pain! LOL! Had my share of elbow, knee, back, ... etc... And sounds like the PW felt really good. Great to have a go to club and distance.

In fact I think I'll go back to wearing the elbow strap thingy that I have that they say is good for tennis elbow. I had forgotten it lately.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

scomac
scomac's picture
I've only managed to get a

I've only managed to get a couple of rounds in on my new irons, so the adjustment period hasn't been exactly seamless. However I did hit some very crisp iron shots on the back nine yesterday that flew to target rather than the hard pull that I had been struggling with. It seems to be entirely dependent upon how loose I am and how free a turn I can generate in my swing.

The good news is that there is no discomfort now after a round that I was experiencing prior with steel, so it appears that moving to graphite was most beneficial.

Despite being called out on another board for playing clubs above my pay grade, I'm quite pleased with my purchase so far. I do think that adjusting the swing up a couple of point could help ensure that I extend through the shot rather than cut short the follow through which may well have been part of the issue with quality of contact.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Good news there Sco on the

Good news there Sco on the discomfort reduction. I may have to look that way due to reoccuring tennis elbow issues but right now that's not so bad so I'm going to hold off a bit.

As far as playing clubs above your pay grade, I say that' your call. I've seen a definite difference in forgiving clubs versus players clubs and switch back and forth. I will probably keep my set of Wilson Game Improvement irons because I hit them so well. But I'm working on my game with the Cobra's which aren't that unforgiving. So far I'll willing to stay with them.. Time will tell

Golf is a game that can only be played...

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Aimee
Aimee's picture
Ping

Scomac, my husband usually shoots around 100 and plays with Ping G20 irons. He hits them well and his score, if he only played irons, would be lower (he can't drive and he's a terrible putter).
I feel that quality tools enable you to produce the best possible results. Every time I go for lessons (instructor #2) hefts and iron and admires it (instructor #1 is a Titleist player).

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
I'm really starting to get

I'm really starting to get comfortable with the i25 irons the last couple of rounds that I have played. I only mis-hit one iron shot today in my round. Considering how poorly I was driving the ball -- I benched the driver for the back nine -- my iron play allowed me to salvage a decent score through smart play.

I'm still trying to nail down my yardages. I didn't expect it to be quite this much trouble as the lofts are the same as my previous set. That said, the graphite shafts launch the ball quite high and i'm finding that I need to compensate for wind. Often time I'm taking a bit more club than what I used to and just concentrating on being smooth. This morning the air was very cool, damp and heavy and i was coming up about a club short on several shots on the front nine, but then again, I wasn't getting the usual carry on well hit shots with my fairways or hybrids either, so I think I can just chalk that up to conditions.

This week will mark the first time I've played three times in a week since the injury and subsequently switching to graphite shafts. So far so good after two rounds with respect to pain and stiffness.

scomac
scomac's picture
Looking for a new driver

I've been gaming an older Taylormade R7 425 driver for most of this season. It's not the most forgiving club and lately it has been spending more time in the doghouse than out. I also have a Callaway Diablo Octane that I used last season, but I haven't gamed it yet this year.

After reading a lot of positive commentary on the Cobra BioCell lines on GolfWRX, I decided to go hit one last week. My first impression was really positive, not only with the distance, but also with the consistency. I went back today for a fitting and to hit it on a launch monitor versus my wayward Callaway which I was considering trading in.

After warming up I hit five shots with the Callaway and I immediately thought -- wow, that's the sort of distance I was getting from the BioCell last week! Sure enough, the averages were about the same with variation in launch and spin numbers. The fitter commented that he wasn't doing a very good job of selling me a new club!

Eventually, he trotted out an SLDR, a Jetspeed, a Big Bertha and an X2 Hot. Only the Big Bertha stood out as the first three hits averaged 240 yds., or about 15 yds. longer than either my Diablo Octane or the BioCell while having very good dispersion.

Soon my swing started to break down due to fatigue as I had been swinging driver for over an hour at that point. But the good news is that I have a new driver in the bag and it didn't cost me a cent as I already owned it!

Several times the fitter commented about how low my spin numbers were. He said he wished that he had my spin numbers and consistency of swing path angle which was running fairly consistently between +/- 2°. What I did learn was that I really need help with launch. I also learned that Taylormade's low and forward weighting is a disaster in my hands. The feel of the strike with the SLDR was akin to hitting a steel fence post with a baseball bat! the only thing worse than the feel was the actual result of the strike with low knucklers flying in various directions depending upon where on the clubface the strike was. It had to be the most demanding club I've ever attempted to hit!

Aimee
Aimee's picture
driver

Good example of why everyone should demo multiple clubs instead of jumping on the newest/hottest.
Would you consider the Big Bertha since you did find it to go further with good dispersion?
If you sign up for the web site callawaypreowned you'll get email alerts about price drops/discounts, etc. and you can get one barely used for a great savings. Might want to think about that for next year (since they generally do major sales/deals around Christmas).

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
Would you consider the Big

Would you consider the Big Bertha since you did find it to go further with good dispersion?

Absolutely! I told the fitter that I planned on coming back again to hit the Big Bertha as well as the X2 Hot with a much fresher swing and get the settings dialed in to see what each might do.

At this point, I expect that I'll play my Diablo Octane for the rest of the season and then look to pick up a new BB or X2H on year end sales. That's the approach I took when I bought my current Callaway driver.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Wow, very interesting. I

Wow, very interesting. I would have bet the BioCell would have been good given my experience with the Cell. Glad you saved some $ at least for now. :)

A buddy just bought a Big Bertha Alpha, and he hits it far...like far... but he hasn't quite got the same control with it as he did his Ping that's been having some issues with the head coming loose on the shaft. It's at GG now for the second time trying to be repaired. But he always hits/plays a hook but with the Bertha, it just doesn't hook that much. So he's struggled a bit to get used too it.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

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Aimee
Aimee's picture
Ping repair

Scott, tell your friend to send the club back to Ping. It will get fixed correctly and if he has to pay for it, they don't charge much.

It's not how...it's how many

scomac
scomac's picture
The BioCell was good, Scott.

The BioCell was good, Scott. It just wasn't any better than my Diablo Octane.

I played today gaming the DO and had the best driving day of the season. It only let me down on the 10th hole. I wouldn't put much into that as I'm a notoriously slow starter at the turn for some reason. I was hitting a flat consistent draw and it was long! I had a fun round!!

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Aimee, I did...not sure why

Aimee, I did...not sure why he keeps going with Golf Galaxy instead of Ping...strange.

Sco, funny how that is. Keep it in the bag and enjoy the saved $$$. This weekend I uncorked a couple long drives with the AMP Cell i have. I hit a couple bad ones when I let my head get in the way but I can't blame that on the club.

I have this GG Gift card burning a hole in my pocket and nothing to spend it on....augh!!

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

scomac
scomac's picture
Gift Card

I have this GG Gift card burning a hole in my pocket and nothing to spend it on....augh!!

Perhaps I could help you with that...

Oh wait, I think I may have looked after that today! :p

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Ha!....Well I can always go

Ha!....Well I can always go buy a couple dozen golf balls. Could also use it to offset the club regripping I guess too.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

Aimee
Aimee's picture
GG

shoes, Scott. As a woman knows, you can never have too many pairs of (golf) shoes...

It's not how...it's how many

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Well you know that's actually

Well you know that's actually not a bad idea. I've been thinking about getting a new pair, either of the DNA ones or maybe the spikeless ones...that's probably where it'll go!

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

scomac
scomac's picture
Golf Shoes

I've got a pair of Ashworth Cardiff spikeless golf shoes. This is the second or third season for them. I love that I can wear them off the course and driving so they're great for work (at the course). The downside is that I find them to be hot and they aren't as waterproof as my old FJ contours were. I played a very wet course this morning just from heavy dew and my feet got wet.

My next pair will be traditional golf shoes. I really liked the AdiZero line from Adidas.

DON
Switching to Graphite??

I'm glad you are having great success with your new Graphite shafted irons. There is little doubt that graphite shafts can SAVE your body a lot of pain, especially as we get older. For some golfers the switch to the lighter graphite shafts can be an issue that is hard to over come. Luckily there is another option for reducing the pain one feels when hitting balls with your clubs. Pro Soft inserts can be installed in ANY type of shaft and they do a great job of reducing the shock you might feel in your hands and arms from hitting balls. Even better than graphite according to the test results I've seen. And the cost is a lot less than buying all new clubs or having the steel shafts pulled form your current clubs and having new graphite shafts installed. Definitely well worth a try at least. I've gone to using them in ALL of my steel shaft clubs now and couldn't be happier with the results. IF any of you are thinking of giving them a try, the next time you need to get NEW grips would be the time to do it. Have ONE club done when the grip is off and see IF you like what you get. Pretty easy to remove if you don't like it.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.