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GolfSpy Barbajo

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  1. Ben Hogan is adding a couple new bags to its lineup. First is a dual strap Sunday bag, a very simple, 3-pocket bag that weighs less than 3 lbs. It comes in the black/navy color scheme and is priced at $90. Second is a cart/staff hybrid type bag. Hogan calls it a Midsize Staff bag - but it's smaller and lighter (9 lbs) than a typical staff bag, but it's more stylish and decked out than a typical cart bag. It has 11 zippered pockets, full-length dividers and all the other stuff you may or may not need. It's one color way - Hogan white, blue and red, and is priced at $265. Hogan still has its BH-1 stand bag that's been in its catalog since the company returned in 2015. Those go for $150. You can check them all out at Hogan's website.
  2. My good friend and paisan Selliano Brambilla is adding a new model to his Mati putter lineup. Meet the Genesa... Genesa specifics: Brass milled face, mid-mallet design 360 gram head, 3-degree loft, 72-degree lie (can be adjusted per your specs) Customizable topline available in black red, pink and turquoise. $269 US, plus shipping. If you were to Google humble craftsman, it would probably lead you to Selliano. We've been online friends for several years and I finally had the chance to meet him at the PGA Show a few years back - the only thing he loves more than making putters is his family, but it's surprisingly close. He designs and hand-crafts his putters in his shop near Milan. While the translation from Italian isn't perfect, I love how he says his putters aren't manufactured, they're obtained. He's still trying to find a way to get some US distribution - but his putters can be ordered online at www.matiputters.com.
  3. Any man with that much Wilson Staff in his bag is alright in my book! Very sweet!!!
  4. Well, the wife's car needs a new set of tires, so I'd take care of that first. Haven't been to a Sox game at Fenway since the early 90's - it's way past time. We also need a new mattress. After than, I'm open to ideas....
  5. Thanks for the kind words -- it was a fun article to research and write. Glad you liked it... https://mygolfspy.com/the-story-of-an-icon-the-tommy-armour-845s/
  6. I've grown partial to PRG over the past year or so, after writing the blog post on its owner, Stephen Riley. He started the company with his mom, who used to work for Titleist. Most of their stuff is for golf courses, resorts and the like, so if you've ever picked up a head cover at a destination course as a souvenir, chances are it's a PRG. They're starting up their own line called Originals - decent price, styles aren't my cup of tea, but the quality is incredible.
  7. After the show we held a 6-person Mini Golf Shootout - the first ever MyGolfSpy Mini Golf Classic - at the Pirate’s Cove on International Drive. In a victory for every round-bellied gray hair out there, yours truly blitzed the kids, running away with a 6 stroke victory. Here’s a shot of the champ with his trophy, as well as the obligatory WITB.... Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  8. Not entirely sure (we will find out) but I believe these balls are made in Asia, as were Nike’s RZN balls and, I think, a generations of balls before the RZN. Bridgestone went into a little detail during their presentation on the balls Monday night about the original Tiger ball from 2000. There’s also an interesting article on line about it - I’ll see if I can find the link. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  9. Here are some pix from yesterday... These won the award for the dumbest products at the show. It makes you wonder... Very much liked rolling the Bloodline, the Indy Golf putters are okay, the Saks Parente answer style was very good. MNML stand/Sunday bag - nice little bag that’s light, made for walking with a slot for your phone so you take pix of your swing and a built in charger and speaker. ECCO celebrates 10th anniversary of Fred Couples using their shoe at the Masters. Dropping 3/1 for $159. New Sky Caddie LX5 watch - seriously like the graphics and the touch screen. Great price at $299 with a 3-year subscription included. If you re-up for another three years it’s another &120, which is still less expensive than the Garmin that follows... The RZN ball is back. Nike’s last ball was actually pretty good - and the folks that made it still have the patent so it’s making a comeback. We’ll find out the price today. These caught my eye - a company that makes unique prizes for gold tourneys... Golf Gum? Why the hell not... Now here’s a single rider cart... We’re having a late breakfast now - the off to the last day of the show to tape a new No Putts Given... Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  10. Rodney impersonator - he's been coming since 2012. Funny dude....
  11. Do that a lot on the phone - the I and the O with old fingers man...
  12. Things are winding down this morning - Harry and I might head over the show for one last go-round, but Day 3 is always a light day. Day 2 was, however, was a long one, with a lot of ground covered. Harry and Chris attended an ARCCOS breakfast meeting - it appears they finally have the phone-in-the-pocket thing solved with an module that attaches to your belt. As I understand it, you still need to be in relative close proximity to your phone, but it doesn't have to be physically on you. They're also doing some things with their app - I don't have the details but the boys do - that led ARCCOS's founder to declare that within two years, the laser rangefinder will be obsolete. Bold. I had an interesting conversation with Terry Koehler. We were supposed to chat for about 15 minutes, which turned into 45. I'd spoken on the phone with Terry often but had never met him. He's 65, but hasn't lost his passion for the game. He showed me the head of one of his new wedges (no pictures - not yet!), and it's very nice looking and you can notice there's quite a bit of mass on the upper portion of the head to raise the CG significantly - moreso than any other wedge I've seen. Not sure if he'll have his inventory available in time for Most Wanted testing - he's open to it and if his stuff is in, I'm betting he will submit. Also spoke with Scott White from Ben Hogan - you can expect some pretty cool new stuff from Hogan by the end of February, as well as several other product launches over the course of the year. Things are happening in Fort Worth! One of note is Hogan has signed a deal with Club Champion to have its heads there for fitting - and Club Champion will do the build. They're also looking to take the next step an open up qualified fitters around the country. I don't think they're ready for a big network, but the DTC model can only go so far, and they realize that. Still, the crawl-walk-run mindset is a good one for them. Met with ECCO Shoes - they'll be releasing a 10-year commemorative model of the Fred Couples shoe - the one he wore at the 2010 Masters that kind of started the whole ECCO/spikeless craze. It'll be released March 1st and is pretty much an exact replicate of that shoe, at the 2010 price of $159.00. Took a walk through what we call Desperation Row - the section of the show where the booths are cheap and the products are, uhh, questionable, Saw the B-52 tee - robot tested and guaranteed to give you 7 more yards. Also saw the two-finger gloves - there's really no way to describe it other than you can barely call it a glove. Then there was the magnetic tee-ballmarker-divot tool holder that connects to your shoe because, you know, the pocket is just sooooo inconvenient. Made the rounds with some of the lesser-known putter companies and was particularly impressed with Bloodline - the putter that stands up on its own. Not sure if I've ever rolled a better feeling putter. I was fully prepared to not like it, but could easily see putting it in the bag - it was that good. Being able to stand the putter up for alignment isn't a totally crazy idea, and if you think it's going to "slow down the game," I seriously doubt it. You have to line the putt up anyway - this is just a different way of doing it. The shaft is a very, very, VERY light composite - so much so that they ship it with a protective plastic tube that you need to put in your bag to keep it safe. It needs to be light to have the low balance point, but if you want to game one, you're going to have to treat your putter differently. It might be worth it. Saw the new IndiGolf putters - the Allison and the Ramone. They were okay - a little busy looking for my taste, but not bad. The names came from a cool place - Ramone for the Ramones and the Allison for the old Elvis Costello song with the line all putters should hope for - "My aim is true...." Saks Parente has two new putters - an Anser style and a sorta/kinda 8802 looking model - albeit a hell of a lot bigger. The Asner model was legit, and they had three different composite shafts to try and it interesting how you could tell the difference. Pictures to come....
  13. Edel did not attend the show - I think this is the third year in a row they haven’t been here. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  14. Not sure on the number of booths, but there are a ton and a half. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  15. Yes - this spring they’ll be coming out with the V3 watch to do shot tracking and GPS. We got to see it but it is under embargo for pictures. I can say it’s maybe a wee smaller in size compared to an Apple Watch - and a bit lighter. Huge leap forward - and it will come in different colors. You can also buy different color straps if you want. They’re also introducing a GPS only watch. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  16. Day 1 is in the books... Started the morning at the annual KBS Breakfast meeting - Kim Braly and the team showed THE new product for 2020 - the TD Tour graphite wood shaft. Kim Hates the R-S-X-XS classification - says it’s pretty meaningless since one company’s R in one model Might be stiffer than someone else’s X. The new shaft is meant for fitters and the aftermarket - no plans to sell it to OEMs at this time. Fitting is primarily based on swing speed - and each Category (there are 5 that KBS does equate to traditional flexes - Kim says that’s what the industry wants) has three different weight options. Saw Bridgestone’s booth - they had a pipe cutter set up to slice open their new balls - the story, along with the new cover - is quality. They have 120’in-process quality checks, and every single ball is visually inspected before it can go to packaging. They’ve been doing this for years but are clearly taking aim at Callaway. Caught up with a few people - young Tony Tuber and T-Squared putters is becoming a thing. He has a “tour” van and has been making the rounds at Florida country clubs leading up to the show. Tony graduates high school this spring and it going to The university of Tennessee in the fall. The business will go on while he’s in college. Met with G-Tech apparel. You know those hand warmers quarterbacks wear in the cold weather? G-Tech put a lithium-battery powered heating element in them - a very cool (pardon the pun) accessory for those early spring and late fall rounds. They have heated hoodies and will be coming out with vests and quarter-zips this fall. They’ve also been named the official hand warmer of the US Ryder Cup team. Also finally got to meet Stephen Riley of PRG - the headcover company - truly a gentleman. Saw some sweet copper-finished MP20 blades - limited edition from Mizuno. They’re only making 500 sets and selling them for $2,020. Rumor is they sold out the first day. Also met Baldovina Mattezino, who says he was the guy who invented the hybrid, spikeless shoe. His Italian company was displaying his latest shoes. Very European, very busy looking. Golf Pride took a handful of media to the Orlando Magic game last night to introduce their new Team Colors MCC line. I matter what you’re favorite team is, they have colors that are close. Did learn that if the MCC line was its own company, it’d be the largest grip company on earth. That’s kind of impressive. Have meeting to go to, it here are some pix for you... Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  17. Asked Sun Mountain about how it affects the course - they said they’ve had zero problems in the last year. The startup is so low torque you really can’t spin the tires on normal turf. When the course is wet it won’t be a whole lot different than carts. The bigger picture - they’re fun as hell. Out one of those bags with speakers on it and It’s goffin’ time, baby!! Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  18. Thanks for the insight but you know how busy shows are - you are so busy you dont have time to waste talking to people who aren’t important - let alone plan out a photo shoot. Just kidding - having way too much fun - snapping whatever pix I can so it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be [emoji41][emoji41][emoji41] Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  19. Yeah, price is certainly an issue. ECCO, adidas, other higher end shoe companies can do that - significantly tougher for a newbie. The shoes do scream quality and detail though - even the laces have silicone nuns on them so they don’t loosen during the round - hadn’t seen that before. The toe box is nice and wide, but I still found it quite stable and comfortable. From a shoe value standpoint, $250’certainly doesn’t seem out of line, but it’s always a risk with a company you’ve never heard of. It’ll be interesting to see how they perform and hold up Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  20. Been a busy couple of days gang. Spent Monday at the Tour Edge Media Day at Lake Nona - with presentations by Lamkin, onCore, Finn Scooters, Seed Golf balls, ShotScope and a few others. Got to see the new Tour Edge lineup - and as always it’s quite good, and the EXS220 3-wood is definitely going in the bag. Your faithful MGS team placed second in the Texas Scramble with a 10 under - we lost by one [emoji17][emoji17] Demo Day yesterday was unbelievably cold and windy - but still a good time as always. Most interesting things to me: the new Honma TR20 lineup - both irons are seriously legit and the driver sound and feel was fantastic - I’m also a new found believer in their Vizard shafts. We also took the Wilson 8-iron challenge - they were stung by our ball test and while they said yes, soft is slow, that doesn’t mean soft is short. We hit the new Duo Soft + head to head with ProV1 - Harry hit them both the same distance, Chris gained 4 yards carry and I gained 2. Point made. They did say the whole point wasn’t to show that everyone should play a Duo - for better players it won’t spin enough on the green for them. But as we all know an awful lot of ProV players probably shouldn’t be - and that they won’t be losing Distance with Duo. Chatted with Lynx for quite a while A they definitely fixed the sound and feel of their switch face driver. Last year we only had a few shits with it - and the sound wasn’t quite right. They had hoped to release it last April, but sound issues and R&A/USGA issues got in the way. They fixed both and it felt very very good and seems to perform as well. Lynx also introduced a really fascinating new line of junior clubs called Ai. Watch out for these - they did something truly unique. SQAIRZ golf shoes was intriguing as well. The New Hampshire based company says it’s shoe is made for stability and both Chris and I tried them on. Just standing there you felt more stable and they seemed to keep you grounded during the swing. They felt very comfortable, but the looks might be a bit polarizing. The square toe and overall large,uhhh, footprint made it look an awful lot like a cross-country ski boot. Didn’t bother me much, but it will probably annoy some. Japanese OEMS OnOff, Fourteen and PRGR we’re together on demo day - you want soft forged irons, look no further. And speaking of soft forged irons, the Mizuno MP20 HMB’s are an early contender for bag status. Oh. My. Gawd! Here are some pix. The show opens today - I’ll be attending the KBS breakfast, a couple of presentations on pace of play and visiting as many booths as possible. Tonight will be an Orlando Magic game with Golf Pride. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  21. Standard D7 is cast and is a game improvement iron. It's still current in the Wilson catalog. I think you're right about categories merging and morphing - some clubs are obvious SGI or GI irons, but others can branch out into several different categories. As mentioned in the blog post, Wilson saw - for them - a huge jump in custom orders for the standard D7 last year -- which was unprecedented for a GI iron - and the shafts and specs ordered, many as combo sets, were going into the bags of better players.
  22. Wilson said one of the things they wanted to improve over the C300 Forged was feel, and the succeeded, mostly. On-center and close to on center hits felt like a forged iron should - the forged face and the urethane filling in the Power Chamber did the job. Real off-center hits (it's January, I'm rusty!) gave you, uhhhh, the feedback to tell you you missed. The ball still went - there was expected drop off in distance, but as much as a player's cavity back, but more than a real GI iron. I'm a huge fan of the $ Taper Lite shaft and the pairing works well with this iron. The stiff weighs 100 grams - and the lightness compliments the club quite nicely to help generate distance. Recommend giving them a try - if you're in the market for player's distance irons these should definitely be on the must-demo list, along with the TaylorMade P790 and the Mizuno Hot Metal. I'm not sure if the Cleveland UHX irons fit into the Game Improvement or Player's Distance categories, but I'd recommend those too.
  23. The lofts are pretty consistent with pretty much everything else in the Player's Distance category. I smacked it around on a launch monitor prior to writing the piece and compared it the TaylorMade P790 - which is virtually the same loft structure. 7-iron to 7-iron the Wilson was maybe a tad longer, but not enough to matter, and another day the results might have been reversed. I did find a bit tighter dispersion with the D7 Forged, but again, it wasn't a huge margin. What that tells me is it's a very solid contender against one of the top irons in the Player's Distance category. I've kind of gotten over the whole loft thing - the club is in the Player's Distance category - it's a new category that's morphed into a thing over the past few years - and is designed for better players who may want to hit the ball a little farther or, in my case, as far as I did 5 years ago before Father Time began his full frontal assault. I'm not sure strengthening the lofts is all that much of a crime. I was getting 7-iron spin in the 5200 range with a descent angle ranging from 45 to 47 degrees, which tells me it'll stop on the green well enough, with distance reaching a high of 169 and an average of about 165. Again, that's about 20 or so shots on the Golf and Ski Warehouse Trackman, but it is what it is. It's about a club and half longer than the 2001 MacGregor's I've been playing, and maybe a half a club longer than the Hogan PTx irons I also used last year.
  24. Sorta yes and sorta no - Wilson's irons offerings are in a bit of a flux for 2020. Blog post on these should be dropping this morning. Doug Thiel, Wilson's Global Marketing Director, said last summer the feeling was that Wilson had too many iron sets (they had six) and that it was time to streamline and reset the offering. I think between the Launch Pad and now the D7 Forged, along with the Staff Model moniker, we're beginning to see that change starting.
  25. With you there - been following this team since 1968 - saw them play at Fenway, BC, Harvard and the old dump that was Schaeffer-Sullivan-Foxboro Stadium. It's been a hell of a ride, and something tells me it's not over. Consider that in Brady's 18 season's as a starter (2008 doesn't count - thank you Bernard Pollard), they won the last game of the season 6 times - meaning 12 times they didn't. Pats haters can rejoice last night's loss, but over? We'll see...
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