2020 was quite the year for everyone, but even more so in my house. We watched as the world was raptured by a pandemic and then my wife got an amazing opportunity in San Francisco and so we packed up our lives in Chicago and headed west. We arrived in the bay area the same day everything got locked down. As I got to know my new surroundings, most importantly the weather (conducive to 365 days of golf) and local tracks, the time came to evaluate what was in my bag.
Being such a short golf season in Chicago, I hadn't played more than a dozen rounds a year ever and so equipment was an after thought. But let me lay it out, I was an 18.9 handicap and my best round ever was an 84, my bag until July 2020 was a 8 degree TM RBZ Driver, RAM golf 3 & 5 Woods, 2-PW Ping Eye 1 (black, circa 1978), Wilson 60 degree and a 2008 Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport (which I won at an event). Needless to say it was time for some new sticks, as 90% were hand me downs. Especially as the course locally opened up, I had nothing else to do and was getting in more than one round a week in.
I stumbled across the PXG Summer Sale, it peaked my interest at the price point for the 0211 series, so I scheduled a fitting down at the Stanford Learning Center to see how they felt and get spec'd out. Let's be honest, if you know what the Ping Eye 1s looked/played like you know anything was going to be an improvement but honestly a dozen swings in I really liked the look and feel. I pulled the trigger, first set of clubs for myself that didn't belong to another person first. I was beyond excited, that 4 week wait felt like forever.
They finally arrive, July 5 2020. 4 Iron thru Lob Wedge.
Now to put them to the test, I headed straight to the range after unboxing lol.
First things first, the look of the set for me is great, not too big or too small and looks very natural at address. As to be expected with proper modern technology vs that of 1978, I was averaging about 2 clubs longer in length, which was helpful because I actually used my previous 2 iron often and was matching the distance with the 4 iron now with much more forgiveness. Like so many, my natural ball flight shapes left to right, but immediately I found this set to be much more forgiving. Day 1 I hit 200 balls total, 10 per club thru the set twice. 6-7-8 hit like a hot knife thru butter, finding the sweet spot came so naturally. 4-5 irons saw average distances of 224 and 208 respectively, with less than 10yds of curve. Then came the fun stuff, 9i - 60 degree, brand new fresh grooves were just destroying range ball covers and spinning like I transformed into Phil Mickelson or something. I left the range super excited for the golf ahead.
Shortly after my new irons arrived, I broke my driver during a range session. I chose to go with the 9 degree Taylor Made M2, I was shocked at the ease of transition from the RBZ, especially considering driver has been my biggest liability for, well, forever. I saw immediate increase in ball speed, distance and reduction of spin. I really couldn't be happier. After a few month in the bag, I had the opportunity to try a bunch of shafts on my driver in a bay with a trackman, this was a luck encounter with a friend of a friend. So taking full advantage, I tried out all the options this guy had onsite and ended up really liking the feel of the Fujikura Speeder Evolution V 474 Stiff Shaft and so made that extra addition as well.
Now I am at the point I feel like I have my bag where I want it and I can just focus on my game. I told my wife my new goal was to break 80 within a year of getting my new clubs.
Here we are, just over a year in the bag and while I achieved my goal back in January shooting a 78, the wild evolution of my golf game astounds me the most. Granted I've been fortunate enough to play a TON of golf this past year, I've tracked 113 rounds since moving to the bay area and lowered my handicap by 7.3. Just last month I shot a 76 and now need to wrap my brain around pushing my goals further.
The focus on the equipment though, my driver game has improved significantly in terms of fairways hit and distance, I am averaging 25 yards longer than my pervious driver. My M2 setup now produces ball speeds north of 155 mph, I'm carrying the ball further than ever and longer overall.
Now for the irons, while I do seem to catch some guff for picking PXG, I am still as happy with them as I was day 1. They have led to amazing consistency across the whole lot, I have improved my wedge game dramatically. When I'm 125 or closer (PW-LW territory), I'm looking to score not praying I just hit the green. Long and Mid irons are a work in progress, as I up my game, I'm learning to work the ball the them more aggressively. To be honest, I know these are cast irons and the low range of the brand but at least at my level I haven't found them to be unable to do what I'm trying to do with them. The grooves are still sharp as ever 1 year and 1000s of shots later (113 rounds and a ton of range time), which is really nice too. If I were asked, I would rate these clubs aggressively high at $89 a stick for what I've gotten out of them.
Long winded, I apologize but wanted to share the journey. If there are any specifics around look, feel, play, etc that you'd find useful (clearly I like to talk/type), please just ask. Thanks for letting me share.