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GolfSpy Barbajo

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  1. Brought the 699 V2s with me to the PGA Show - played twice with them and have some impressions: 1. The feel is outstanding for a game improvement/players distance iron. The combination of variable face thickness and TPU filling make for a very, very nice feeling iron. 2. My struggle with the 4-iron continues - will probably drop it in favor of a hybrid or utility iron. I can stripe it on the range one out of three times. But that 5 iron? Wow. 3. Still learning how to play with them - hit some nice approach shots, but did have some stretches where I struggled with accuracy. By comparison, I had no such struggles out of the box with the Wilson D9 Forged - they generally went close to where I wanted them to more often. Then again, we're dealing with an incredibly rusty New England swing in the middle of January. 4. Had a dandy round of 77 with them on Sunday - acceptable round of 84 yesterday. The experiment will continue, but as of right now I'd say these are well worth a demo to see how they work for you. Jason and the team did a really, really good job with them. Shoot me any questions if there's something I missed...
  2. Just got a combo set of 699 and 699 Pros -- took them to the heated driving range over in Hampton this afternoon and mercy, they are sweet. And they go like hell, too. They're going in the bag this weekend for the PGA Show trip - they're really, really good. I'd suggest giving them a demo. The set I have features the standard 699 V2's in the 4-5-6 irons, and the Pro models in the 7-PW. Struggled a bit with the 4 - but the 5 is a friggin rocket.
  3. As @DaveP043 says - lots of great choices. New and Jubilee at St Andrews are excellent. The Castle Course is just part of the St Andrews links, and is just outside of town - fun play unless it's windy, then it'll be ass-kicking and you're providing the target. Eden is in the downtown complex, and while it's not a headliner, everyone I spoke with said for sheer fun it's hard to beat. Check out the daily pass deals - you can play as much golf as you want on any of the St Andrews courses that aren't the Old Course. I thoroughly enjoyed Kingsbarn - yeah, it's pricy but its really, really good. We were going to play Dumbarnie when we went this last May, but they shut it down after losing their greens. All is good now and I hear it's spectacular. Also thumbs up for Lundin Links - it's an under-the-radar course but it has Old Tom's fingerprints all over it. Really fun track right on the water. If you want to stray a little bit, Ladybank is terrific, and as mentioned, Carnoustie is an experience. We've done 2 MyGolfSpy Experience articles on St Andrews. We talk about different courses (New, Jubilee, Kingsbarns, Lundin Links are discussed), as well as places to eat, drink and visit. You'll have ball and you won't want to leave. Here are the links; 2019 trip: MyGolfSpy Experiences: A Trip To St. Andrews | MyGolfSpy 2022 trip: MyGolfSpy Experiences: A Return to St Andrews | MyGolfSpy
  4. Bennet will be hitting "publish" soon enough - but here are some inside deets... 1. The LS version has a very good shot of going in the bag for '23 - it's going up against the Titleist TSR3. For at least one round earlier this week, the LS was the winner. 2. Srixon ditched the carbon fiber crown from previous generation to go back to titanium. It's ultra-with a Star Frame support structure (first used by XXIO). It helps stiffen the stiff portion of Rebound Frame even further. The sound is higher pitched than what you'd get with a carbon crown, but it's not objectionable. 3. LS version has a sole weight forward, behind the face to move the CG forward - and it has a heavier stock shaft - HZRDUS Smoke black, same as ZX7 - to achieve low spin status. 4. Standard ZX5 has sole weight in the back for launch and forgiveness, and lighter HZRDUS Red RDX shaft. Liked this one, just not as much as the LS version. 5. ZX7 has swappable weights in the back to alter ball flight - make it more draw or fade bias. It's 460 cc like the other two, but has what OEMs call a more "tour preferred shaping" 6. Hideki - a notorious tinkerer, is gaming the LS. Lowery is gaming the ZX5. Koepka - who dumped his previous gen ZX7 and Z-Star Diamond just before last year's US Open - is playing a Tour-only LS version of the ZX7. He's also gaming the new Z-Star Diamond.
  5. The round we played at Firestone was a blast -- and my 6 months as a member there was the best six months of my life!!!
  6. Don't miss much about Minnesota, but the golf was always exceptional...as was your tricked out custom blue golf cart! My son is still there, so maybe we can get out and play...he may be planning a major life event soon, depending on how this weekend works out
  7. Me too! Coming down for the PGA Show - might be going to the big Society of Golf Historian's gala at Belleaire CC if you're interested. Be good to see you guys again!
  8. These have been my gamers since August. Was fit for PXG 0211s last December and vowed this would be the year I committed to - and played - one set of irons for an entire season. Then the D9 Forged showed up with KBS C-Taper Lite shafts and, well, you can guess the rest. These are special sticks, especially with the KBS shafts. While not nearly as long as the PXGs, dispersion tightened way up - especially with the short irons. And the feel is like getting a foot massage from a mid-1980s Kathleen Turner.
  9. Been using the 10.5S with the ALL-IN shaft on the practice green - the shaft thing is real. It definitely feels more stable compared to a standard steel shaft. I just had it shortened to 33 inches (35 is too damn long for me) and will see how it stacks up this week. Cleveland has consistently offered a lot of putter tech for a really decent price, but the question remains how seriously do golfers take Cleveland as a putter company? I think it would be a mistake to discount it just because their putters aren't $400 and up. As the song says,- stop, hey, what's that sound? - everybody look what's doing down.
  10. Yep - you are correct. Went back and checked and the last Apex update was January of 2021 -- so it would make sense that an update would come this January. For giggles and grins, here's the launch story from the most recent update... 2021 Callaway Apex Irons & Hybrids | MyGolfSpy
  11. Callaway is generally on two-year product cycles on its irons. Apex was updated for 2022, so I don't think they'll bring out a new model until 2024. They will have something new in the iron category this year, but it will probably be the Epic line or a new version of that concept.
  12. I'm in for any date but Oct 30th. Let the merriment begin!
  13. Sitting in the media center at the LIV Tour stop in Bolton, MA - about 45 minutes outside of Boston right now. Today is Pro-Am day, and there are no fans in attendance (by design). It's been an interesting afternoon, so if you'll indulge me, I'd like to share some thoughts... 1. You can't to a leak without seeing LIVGolf signage. It's literally everywhere. 2. For better for worse, LIV is all in on the team thing. Team names are on banners all over the course. 3. Plenty of music on the range - looks like it will be a party atmosphere. 4. There's an expansive "Fan Village," with a long putt contest, chipping contest, concert stage, a playground, food trucks and other things to keep you occupied if you get bored with golf. 5. The grandstands and hospitality stands are all first class - very nice with air-conditioned enclosures along with patios to watch the action. 6. Player access is pretty informal - you could talk with players as they left the 18th after their rounds (the pro-am is not shotgun). 7. Spoke with a guy who was Sergio's pro-am partner. Said he got a call about a week ago from a friend involved with LIV who said they had an opening if he was interested. He plopped down $10K for the opportunity - said he had a blast. 8. All in all a very relaxed vibe on pro-am day. They look prepared to make it a party atmosphere over the weekend. 9. There's a merch tent - they're still setting it up but it will all be LIV-branded stuff, as you'd expect. 10. The course itself is not set up for a big tournament - it wasn't built to handle it. LIV has said they're limiting tickets to about 6,500 - or it could be that they couldn't sell any more than that. Hard to tell and no one here to ask. Also had an interesting chat with Anriban Lahiri after he finished his round. He gave me some honest answers - how you feel about it all is kind of up to you...
  14. Just got press credentials for the LIV stop outside of Boston next week. Just need to see for myself what it's all about. My guess is the fan experience is going to be very good, and I'm expecting all the logistics to be fine. It'll be interesting to see how the town of Bolton and the course itself handle crowds, but from what I've read about other venues, it all seems like it's been very well done. They do have some interesting Media Guidelines...
  15. Played there Sunday - it's in pretty nice shape considering. The new owners are doing a good job with improvements. Next up is rebuilding the bunkers.
  16. The sentiment is overwhelming!
  17. A shrink would define you all as "enablers." And I am easily enabled...
  18. Learned something interesting yesterday while visiting Wilson Staff's Innovation Center in Chicago... I'm gaming the PXG 0211s right now - and have committed to them for the season. I like many things about them, but particularly the distance I can get out of them. Any easy to hit 7 iron from 170 out is nice, and it makes me feel 24 again. I tried the D9 Forged, with a 30.5 degree seven iron and found it to be, on my best strikes, maybe 10 years shorter. What I did like, however, was a higher peak height and a descent angle of 45.5 degrees. Also tried the KBS C-Taper Lite for the very first time - the PXGs have the Elevate 95 in them - and with the KBS I put 10 straight shots on the virtual green, without a single overcooked left hook that I've been fighting all year. Not sure if it was the head/shaft combo or me doing that, but the shaft did feel a hell of a lot more stable. I used to play a C-Taper and it was like swinging a piece of rebar, but I played some of my best golf with them. Maybe I should.....ahhh, I promised.
  19. The really funny thing is this is a case when two opposite things are both true at the same time: 1: It's cool to hate on marketing and complain about it. 2: OEMs still spend big bucks on marketing because, well, it works.
  20. Great point about Callaway @chisag. You can even take it a step further and go back to Karsten when he started milling cavities into some forged iron heads and created the Ballnamic 69s. He figured out perimeter weighting and low CG would launch the ball higher, and that strengthening the lofts would keep the flight where you want it and make the ball go farther. Heck, you can even go back to Toney Penna and the original 1949 MacGregor MT irons. Those were the first true low CG irons, with a shallow face and relatively thick topline. They flew so high that he was able to strengthen the loft 1 degree, get the proper flight and still make the ball go like hell. Did you listen to Chris Voshall from Mizuno on No Putts Given a couple weeks back? He put it very plainly - in any set you're looking for 13 distance points from driver to your highest lofted wedge. That's the math we need to be concerned with - the numbers on the club don't - pardon the pun - factor into it. I can't wait @revkev - it's been wayyyy too long!
  21. Very interesting discussion, and pertinent since I started playing the PXG 0211, which features a 28-degree 7-iron. Having previously played a 2002 MacCregor V-Foil 1025 CB/MB set with a 35-degree seven iron, I find the 0211 launches like the MacGregor, has the same peak height as the MacGregor, a bit less spin than the MacGregor (even with 20-year old grooves), but goes a good 30 yards longer. Like the old song says, "do you want to make an old man happy?" Also dusted off this piece from a past blog post on the Srixon ZX4 irons. Srixon R&D director Dustin Brekke tackles the issue head-on and, to me anyway, makes a ton of sense... So, yeah, the Srixon ZX4 irons have strong lofts. Not crazy strong, mind you, but they are what they are. “It’s tricky,” says Brekke. “We’re trying to design sweet spot and CG location and overall performance to optimize distance and carry at every loft. But there’s this unfortunate reality of the need to perform well and win in fitting environments.” OEMs know they don’t want to be the short knocker in the fitting bay. That’s why the ZX4’s 28.5-degree club is a 7-iron and not a 6-iron. The standard ZX4 set is 4-iron (21 degrees) through gap wedge (49-degrees). If Srixon labeled the set 3-iron through pitching wedge instead of 4-iron through gap wedge, would Torch and Pitchfork Nation be as cranky? “It’s semantics and, in many ways, it’s a silly game,” says Brekke. “But on the performance side, if we did mark the 33-degree 8-iron a 7-iron and somebody compared it to their own 33-degree 7-iron, they will hit this one higher and it will get off the ground easier. But put the same swing on both irons and compare your best shots and you’ll see very similar spin, control and distance.” Translation: If you need to hit a 150-yard shot and you know which club goes that distance, what the hell difference does it make what number is on the bottom? “The driver is the only club in the bag you’re trying to hit as far as you can,” adds Brekke. “So the conversation really becomes, ‘What iron do you need to go a certain distance? What’s going to give you the most consistency and control?’ That’s going to show itself in spin, launch and turf interaction. The number on the iron doesn’t matter. It’s just a number.”
  22. Might as well have some fun with this --- find your birth year, your Chinese Zodiac animal and Open Championship winner, then find the irons they used. This is how History's Mysteries got its start!!
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