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Everything posted by RoverRick

  1. Before I spent $380 MSRP for a shaft, I could trade in the Ping and spend $200 more for the SIM or sell the Ping and buy the SIM. It was the relative cheapness of trying this experiment that made it worthwhile.
  2. It doesn’t matter. The TM VENTUS was what I was hitting. I also saw the TXG video where they compared them, but the TM VENTUS Blue 5S was the one that fits my swing perfectly.
  3. I believe the moral to this story is that with the proper fitting any modern driver can become more beastly. I just did it myself. I have a garage full of failed experiments, I only post the successes, or perhaps that is singular, success and the jury is still out on that. Would it beat the SIM2? Don’t know, I didn’t buy one. I have some friends with them but they have to have the proper specs. I’ll see this weekend.
  4. There is no question that they both play a roll. The VENTUS was way better for me than the Tensei and Smoke Yellow that I also had and didn’t mention. The TM in no way has more forgiveness than the PING. All the reviews only knocked the PING for its slower ball speed and heavy weight. The heavier weight was the reason for the slower balls speed and in the TXG Build a Beast, the TM won out but it was also his gamer, verses a driver they cobbled together for the video.
  5. I thought about this, but I was hitting the stock VENTUS in the fitting. Veloccore was $380 and the stock with a LH TM adaptor was much cheaper. So I figured the stock was enough to try. And it works great. The added bonus was when he refunded my money and the shaft showed up the next day. I paid just $45 for it. However, if this had turned out differently, or if IT DOES TURN OUT DIFFERENTLY, I can buy a SIM2 head and adaptor and change it back to a TM shaft. Besides, I have closer to a $45 swing than a $380 swing.
  6. You can buy 7 different weights for the Ping G425Max. As you reduce the weight you will lower the MOI, launch, and probably the spin a few hundred RPM’s. There will definitely be a trade in forgiveness and distance, but there has to be the right one for you. When you compare a $14 each for the weight vs a new $500 driver, you can probably pick the right one for you. I chose the 17g because I was wanting to replicate the weight of the SIM2Max. I considered getting a couple of them, but I was more concerned with replication. Go to eBay and type weight for Ping G425 and pick one or 2. The 17 g is also the one that is in the LST.
  7. I struggled with this also, until the Ping G425’s came along. My friends call this the Ping Demo bag because the shear number of them. I have some credit and am considering upgrading my 3 & 5 woods from 410’s to 425’s. My 3 wood is mostly for off the tee on 2 holes. My 5 wood goes only 6 yards less than the 3 off the deck and way easier to hit, so the 3 wood is for hitting off the tee or punching out of the woods.
  8. I’ll skip the long preamble and cut to the chase. I have a Ping G425Max 10.5 on a Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65S I was fitted for a year ago, before I tore up my knee. This caused me to change to the Moe Norman/Todd Graves Single Plane Swing, mainly because there is no knee stress. but that’s another post. I knew that this driver was no longer the best fit for me. I could tell that I was spinning the ball too much. The ball was just sort of stalling and falling down. Since it was still in the fairway, and I had all the Ping fairway metals in the bag it was no big deal. Then Taylormade came to our club for fittings. Full disclosure, my intention for scheduling the fitting was because I wanted to hit my Ping on the FlightScope, but after a couple of months dely for COVID, I was ready to take the plunge if there was a significant performance improvement. There was. I loved most things about the SIM2 Max. Looks at address, sound, and performance were outstanding. The bottom of the club didn’t excite me too much. However, the Fujikura VENTUS Blue 5S was out of this world. I hit the center of the face time after time with that shaft. Then the Taylormade Rep made a crucial mistake. He said, “You have 3-5 mph ball speed increase with the SIM2 Max because if the hotter face.” BS. The faces on both clubs are pretty close to the legal limit and no way can that account for the difference. The true difference was G425Max 206 g / SIM2 Max 196 g, Tensei 65S is 69 g and VENTUS Blue 5S is 59 g, the Tensei has a stiff butt section and the VENTUS a stiff butt and tip section and softer in the middle. So overall the Ping setup is 20 g heavier or 7% heavier than the TM. And the VENTUS delivered the club head in the optimal window. Could I get the same performance out of the PING? While watching various comparisons on line I came across TXG Build A Beast series. So I got a really good deal on the VENTUS Blue 5S and bought a 17 g weight to replace the 26g stock weight. Since the head weight arrived first, I put it in and went to the course. Right away I could see the difference. Before I was getting virtually no roll and now I’m getting a lower flight and a little more roll. I was perhaps 10 yard average further than I was. Then the VENTUS arrived with a LH TM adapter on it, so I stuck it in my M5. I will admit that I was considering buying a SIM2 Max head only after just a few holes. Actually, the shaft didn’t arrive on time and USPS said they delivered it to my house in Mathews NC. Since I live in Texas and have no other house, I was concerned. I pointed this out and immediately my money was returned. Then the next day, my shaft arrived. I contacted the seller and said I got the shaft so I felt I should pay for it. He said , “Okay, pay me $45 to my PayPal account.” So based on that I felt I needed to go ahead with my experiment. I had only spent $58 so go for it. I had about an hour to kill today, and of course the range was closed for maintenance, so I went on the course. After I spent a bit dialing the new shaft and weight in, I took 3 brand new TP5X’s and marked my balls 1, 2, 3. The first ball I hit with the VENTUS and the 17g weight. (SIM2 specs) the second I hit with the 17g and Tensei, and the third was with the 25g weight and Tensei. I would go to the shortest ball and shoot the range finder to the other two. After hitting on 5 holes this way, sadly that pesky job intervened, and I had to leave with my results. The shortest was always the Tensei and 25 g weight. And average of 12 yards ahead of that was the 17g weight Tensei. The VENTUS and 17g weight averaged 27 more yards and the longest was 33.6 yards. What validated this was that every time they were in the same relative position. VENTUS was by far the longest and the heavier weight always shortest. This has not been my experience with irons. I hit DG S300 120 g shafts the longest. I didn’t have a SIM2 Max to compare it against but this last weekend with the M5 on the VENTUS. I was about a club less into the greens than normal, but with a 25 mph wind last weekend it was hard to tell. Today however, I was 2 clubs closer to the greens with this set up. I’ll update this again after playing a tournament this weekend but I think I did build a beast. Or as beastly as a 57 yo with bad knees is going to get. Have any of you tried anything like this?
  9. I carry a 50, 54, 60. It’s no more difficult to hit well than a driver. You have to learn the proper technique and practice, just like any club.
  10. The BestGrips I use have a seam on them. As for “on the underside” not exactly. My putter grips the seam is on the underside but the others are clocked a bit. But I love it. I know exactly where the face is pointed by feel. I will say that I am in the process of a swing change, anyone that has read one of my posts in the last 10 year will be shocked, I sure, but the left hand is weaker and the right is stronger. This would cause major issues with these grips, but the only club currently with that grip is my driver. Make that WAS my driver because I got a new shaft today. I’ll be posting more on this next week after I complete my test on Sunday. All my clubs are relatively new and I haven’t felt the need to replace them with my stash of leather grips. Except my putters. All four of them have best grips on them.
  11. No glove for me. I started using BestGrips Leather grips many years ago. Because these are super tacky, and get even tackier when they get wet, I haven’t used a glove in years. I prefer not to wear a glove for feel, but there is no need now. As far as the price of these grips, yes they are twice the price of Golf Pride MC grips, but last four times as long. These grips can be blown on and off for changing clubs, so economically the rubber grips have to be changed at least every year, gloves seem to last 3-4 rounds. I have some BestGrips that are 3 years old and still great.
  12. I’ve now looked at this “Heads up” article, and while it is similar to what I do, the aiming point is not the same. I’ve tried this, and still find myself doing this occasionally, but tend to miss the putts this way. The difference is the aim point. ”Heads Up” putting is picking an aiming point, much like “Aim Point Putting”, next to the hole. Then unlike “Aim Point” instead of then going to a conventional putting set up, you continue to look at that point during the putt. Sort of a combination Aim Point and Instinct Putting approach. A lot of golfers could benefit from this. I haven’t read “Instinct Putting” in 8-10 years and began doing this a few years before I came across this book. I look at the putt from a couple of angles but try not to think “I need to aim x” left of the hole.” Instead after I’ve taken it in from various angles I allow my subconscious mind to process all the data points it took in that I was probably not aware of. Including seeing what other putts did around the hole. I then stand behind the ball and “see” the line. Sometimes it is as though there is a line on the ground that I imagine I see. I pick the point to where the ball has to enter the hole based on slope and then place my putter behind the ball and look at the hole. While looking at the hole I make minor adjustments to the face angle until it FEELS like I’m lined up to where the ball will enter the hole. Once it feels like I am on the right line, I forget about the line and think about the speed. Rarely will you miss a hole 5’ left or right, but it is easy to miss it 5’ short or long. That was my original intent. I can’t remember the exact year, but I remember the day I did this the first time. Golf story, feel free to skip ahead. On our par 3 fourth, I hit to about 4’. Chad, who missed the green said, “I’d be more concerned about the bet if you could putt.” He was right. I lost the hole. On number 5, I had a long putt and decided to look at the hole and focus only on the speed. On the 8th hole I sank a 25’ birdie putt. And another long one on 12. That started my looking at the hole every putt. It freed up my thinking about the stroke and break and allowed me to think about the speed. My looking at the hole was to avoid 3-4-5 putts. I was amazed that they were going in the hole occasionally. It was some time later that I realized that when I think “aim 3 inches right of the hole”, I would often roll the ball 3” right of the hole. “Left edge” and roll the ball across left edge. If I consciously aimed at a point, my subconscious had me make adjustments to hit that spot. MY FOCUS HAD BECOME THE SPOT NOT THE HOLE. Heads Up Putting has you focus on the spot. That may work for you but not for me. I focus on where the ball must enter the hole based on slope. It’s been several years now but on hole 7 I had a triple breaker from across the green. I’m conscious mind thought it was going to have to break left to right. I adjusted the putter face angle back and forth until it felt right and focused on the speed. Then hit the putt and thought “WTF ARE YOU DOING THE HOLE IS OVER THERE!” I had stated that ball 25° off my “intended” conscious line. Luckily, I didn’t say it because it took a hard left turn and a hard right turn and then faded left into the hole. Everyone was amazed. Especially me, I thought I missed it by 15’. I may have failed to mention that to my playing partners. So looking at the hole works for me. Aiming at a spot other than the hole does not. Just as THINKING about the speed doesn’t work. Do you THINK about how hard to throw a wad of paper at the trash can? Concentrate on the ball rolling into the 7 o’clock position on the hole and hit the putt.
  13. I’ve been doing this for more than 12 years. Here is thread I began in 2012 on this site. That’s when I got the book that called it “Instinct Putting”. When I’m “feeling it” I sink an uncanny amount of putts. I really need to revisit this and haven’t looked at the podcast that started this thread. The bottom line is I started this because I was sick of 3 & 4 putting. I began to aim at the high side of the hole and focus solely on the speed. The goal was to have a tap in for a 2 putt. Suddenly, I began to sink putts from everywhere. I still look at the hole, tend to make a lot of long putts and rarely 3 putt. However, I still have bad days, like during the club championship last month where I had 2 chip-ins and 3 chips to within a foot, and still had 34 putts on the other 13 holes and probably the worst putting day in 15 years. I also have began this with chipping. Mainly I do this with a 9 iron, pace off the distance from the flag and pick a spot 1/3 the way there. Say 21 paces and pace back 7 to my landing spot, and read it like a putt. Then make a practice stoke with the 9 iron looking at the ground, step in and look at the spot I want to land on. I missed the green on 9 last Wednesday, and had 21 paces landed 7 Percy on my spot and sank it for a birdie. Hit it in the same place on Thursday but had 18 paces so landed at the 6 pace mark and made it again. But sadly no others on the weekend. But I look at the hole EVERY PUTT. The side benefit is I no longer even think about my stroke. Just focus on the target. I don’t think about the grip, the stroke, and have noticed that I may use interlocking grip, 10 fingers, overlapping, of even split hands grip. I just do what ever feels right and focus on the speed. Which is what I failed to do on the 34 putts in 13 holes. The next day I had 26 putts on 18 holes, which is more typical, but it didn’t matter for The Championship. I had already played my way out of that tournament.
  14. I apparently developed a phobia with my i500 6 iron. Started off hitting it well, then hit it poorly 1 time and that was the start of hating to br in that range. I was walking through the PGA Tour Superstore, (really, it was on my way to work and only went 15 miles out of the way.) and they had a Ping G425Max 6 hybrid in their Premium PreOwned rack for $50 off. Honestly it looked brand new. Long story short, I made 3 birdies with it Saturday and won $70. Well, I hit a drive that got me in the fairway and I made 4’, 10’, and 15’ birdie putts. Every time I hit it, I was rewarded with high straight ball flights and 4-12” of roll out.
  15. I’m not going to tell what happened on 15 standing in the middle of the fairway with a perfect lie into the wind with the same club from about the same distance. Perhaps I swung left handed or something. I did make my bogey putt.
  16. Played a pretty solid round of golf this weekend. I got to play the previous weekend 5 days in a row for the first time in 8 months and it mad a huge difference. These high lofted fairway woods are a game changer. On the number 10 tee box I said “Anything past the tree is a good drive on this hole.” To my playing partner who was unhappy with his drive. I then proceeded to hit the tree almost dead center and bounced deeper into them. I had an opening but had to launch it high and was 185 yards for the green. I could not actually see the green unless I got down on my knees and looked under the 5-6 trees between me and the green. It was in the deep grass but sitting on a track mark from a cart so I could get the club on it. I took the 9 wood and thought “just make good contact.” So I took a mighty swing but the flying grass kept me from seeing the ball. It felt good. I yelled to the guy 85 yards closer and standing in the fairway if he saw it. He said, “Yes, we all ____ing saw it.” I said I didn’t where is it. He said “3 feet from the ____ing pin and I thought it was going in.” I ended up making $10 there and a total of $60 for the day. Normally I use a range finder to get the exact distance but in this case I just guessed the distance and just hoped I could get over the trees and have a chip and avoid a big number, I never expected to have little more than a tap in for birdie.
  17. Since clubs that are in the rotation do not count, I do not have any of the same clubs. Gone are the M5 Driver, M6 3 wood, GAPR Hi Hybrid, JPX Hot Metal Pro 4-P and T5 52-56-60 and In are the Pings and Vokey wedges, although the 54* wedge is one I have had for a period of time. I swap putters based on the speed of the greens. But my “newest” putter is at least 10 years old.
  18. I work to support my golf habit.
  19. There are two “feels” in golf. One is how the club feels during the swing, and I’ll address this first. I have gone through 18 months trying different shafts in my JPX919 Hot Metal Pros. I have never hit an iron more poorly in my life (overall) than these clubs. But they were by far the most forgiving and hottest hitting irons I’d played up to that point. I played MP series irons for years and expected to see distance advantages and forgiveness. However, these were on lighter shafts. I tried several different ones XP95, Nippon NS750 Wrap Tech, some 115 g shafts, SteelFiber i95 and Project X Graphite some in stiff and some in regular flex and some in both. I have simply never hit them well. I recently changed to Ping i500 DG S300 120 g and have drastically improved my ball striking. Weight trumps Flex, apparently. While they may “feel” heavier and slower, I strike the center of the club face and hit them further, higher, and straighter. They are simply better weights of shaft for me even if I should probably play a regular flex. Based on the occasional good shot with the 919’s the problem was my delivery not the heads. This was totally brought on by having shafts that did not fit my swing. I seriously doubt the Ping i500 is that much more forgiving than the Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro. The other feel. The other feel is how you feel about your club and the shot you are about to make. When I walk around to the bag and see blades I “feel” like a “playa”, and I just know I am going to hit a good shot. At least on the short iron. But I can also “feel” like I need more help. Standing on the 18th fairway and having to hit a mid to long iron to the island green, I just know I’m not going to hit a good shot with a blade. The i500’s are be best of both worlds but probably not on a different shaft. They make we feel like a “playa” looking at them, and they make me feel like I have plenty of forgiveness if I need it, and often do need the help. Just as the Ping fairway woods vs any hybrid make me feel like I can swing hard and not fear going hard left. So Ego vs Reality. I had decided after playing in Florida last month, that I needed higher hitting clubs. First off, I played the best round since before my knee injury and subsequent surgery and recovery. I had just bought a Ping G425Max driver and hit it high and straight. My misses with my other clubs tended to be straight but low. I was going to have a bag full of hybrids if that’s what it took. I scheduled my fitting the intention of going with the Ping G425Max 4-7 Hybrids and 3 and 5 Fairway woods if that’s what it took. Ultimately, I ended up with Fairway Metals rather than hybrids. I also saved some money and bought some used Ping G410 3 and 5 woods. I like the turbulators on these, it makes them look bigger and more forgiving. They also look more closed than I like, but I can get over that when I see them fly high and straight and long with a hop and stop at the end.
  20. My thoughts on Reed. This is a team event and he has proven he is anything but a team player. If he wanted to be on my team, I would tell him to play in the Zurich Classic with someone and make it through the weekend without claiming all the accolades or blaming your teammate for the poor shots. In a 2 man team match play round, just knowing your teammate has your back is as important as having a teammate who can make the shots. No doubt Reed can make the shots, but what happens after the round or even after the shot is made?
  21. I told my friend Chad this on the first tee box Sunday. I said, ‘‘I came across the Devil this last week and asked ‘What will it cost me to become the best golfer in the world?’ He said, ‘It will cost you your soul.’ I said, ‘That’s a little steep. How good can you make me for a dollar?’ He said, ‘Good enough to beat Chad.’ So how about $2 Two Downs?”
  22. I did this in April. There was no doubt that the Sim2 Max (for me) was longer than the Ping G425Max, but so was my M5. HOWEVER, me and Twist Face do not get along. It seems that it was made for people who swing out to in. My in to out swing and a hit toe hit or low heel hit created huge hooks and slices. The TM drivers I can miss by 40 yards. The Ping while shorter (on the monitor) was mostly dead straight with the occasional 5-10 yard miss. Most of my missed fairways this weekend (played 5 rounds) have been from trying to fade or draw the ball, and it simply going straight and running out of fairway. I’m growing more confident in this driver and I have been hitting the G425Max as far as my old M5 and much straighter. I also have the 9 wood and plan on the 7 and 3 woods. I bought a G410 5 wood and will determine if it is worth the extra bucks G425Max, if the 5 wood ever gets here. My decision was based on there was not a club difference in the overall distance between these 2 drivers, but there could be a whole stroke difference in having a shot at the green and having to punch out.
  23. I marked down 4 BUT currently I have 1 that I half way trust to hit at a green. After my return from knee surgery a couple of months ago, it became obvious that I needed help at the top of the bag. Honestly, I was not hitting the green or even close to the green from 150, although most of the time I was having to hit out of the trees. My first step was the driver. I ended up with the G425Max. I do not hit it as far as I occasionally hit my M5, but I’ve been getting about 240 carry with it. We’ve had so much rain it has been easy to tell the carry vs roll because if it hasn’t plugged it is a couple of feet from the pitch mark, but I’m hitting it dead straight and usually in the fairway. When I miss the fairway it is because I tried to work the ball and this just likes to go straight. This is something I can get used to I went for a fitting a couple of weeks ago and was seriously considering Ping G425Max 3-5-7 woods and 4-5-6-7 hybrids. Then ended up buying used i500 6-P. I’m very happy with these clubs. On the launch monitor, I was hitting the i500 6 iron 176 and the G425Max 9 wood 190. 7 wood 205, 5 wood 220 and 3 wood 235. These were total distances. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, they only had the 9 wood in my specs. I was concerned that in real life the 6 iron-9Wood gap was too big, so I just bought the 9 wood. In reality, I am not hitting either of these as far as in the bay, but as mentioned the conditions here are bad. We have had rain 10 of the last 14 days. I also was able to buy a like new Ping G410 5 wood for $180 less than a G425Max 5 wood. I’m waiting on the ox cart it was shipped on to get here and determine if I should spend the bucks for the G425Max or G410’s. I will say that the G425Max is working hard to pay for itself. I’ve made $127 the last 3 days with this club. I’ve only played with it 3 times and all three days I’ve used it several times and gotten birdies from 180-ish out. Yesterday I shot my lowest round since before my injury, but today I had just 1 great shot that made up for the overall pitiful performance. Short game was my problem today. Although, I did sink a 30’ putt for a birdie yesterday that won me 20 of those dollars I attributed to the 9 wood. I’m excited about these clubs. I’m just waiting to see if the 425’s was worth $300 new. So far based on the 9 wood I think so. The flat setting on the Pings is just perfect for me. I have a Mizuno ST190 5 Wood that I hit well and it goes 210+ and is relatively reliable, and a M6 3 wood that is great off the tee, but I may hit is 220 or 120 off the deck. I went to a different store to buy the 7 wood after I hit the 9 wood so well, but they didn’t have it either. Sadly the holiday weekend will be over before I can get the 9 wood.
  24. After not participating in these contests for a couple of years, I see why I haven’t participated. I suck.
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