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GolfSpy Barbajo

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Everything posted by GolfSpy Barbajo

  1. Looks like I lose the ranch! Thanks for chiming in - that head-shaft combo seemed to work well for me. Can't wait to give it a whack or two for real...
  2. Never gamed them but have tried them on several occasions - really, really liked them. Forgiving but still compact and I really dug the black and blue look. Nike got those right. We had a Forum Review all set to go on these just when Nike pulled the plug on golf equipment....
  3. Blog post is live... https://mygolfspy.com/first-look-ben-hogan-ptx-pro-irons/ Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  4. It wasn't easy keeping these under wraps. Saw them when I was in Texas last year. We have a blog post on these going live tomorrow. These are replacing the old PTx - which are about three years old. The differences appear to be very slight, with the aesthetics being the biggest upgrade. You'll be seeing more of this kid of stuff from Hogan as the weeks go by....
  5. We wrote a blog post about that - spoke with both Hireko and Lynx about that specifically. Here's a link: https://mygolfspy.com/behind-the-curtain-just-who-is-designing-your-golf-clubs/ In a nutshell, the Lynx Prowler CB iron - NOT the VT Prowler - is the iron in question. Lynx asserted that it was an open mold/open model from their Chinese manufacturer and anyone could sell it. It was pretty much identical to the DynaCraft Prophet...which Hireko discontinued in 2017. Hireko says it was their own design and mold, and their factory asserts it did not make the Prowler iron for Lynx. As the article suggests, it's a fair bet to say that somehow that design hopped from one factory to another and maybe even another, and THAT factory considered it an open mold and sold it to Lynx. The more we learned about the nature of 2nd tier Chinese manufacturing (meaning factories not directly associated with a leading OEM), the ore plausible this scenario became. In the article, Steve Elford - Lynx CEO - says they chose not to spend the money to create their own mold for the Prowler CB forged, simply because they didn't want to spend the money to make their own unique mold for an iron they knew they weren't going to sell tons of. According to Lynx, the VT irons are their own patent, co-designed by their R&D director Kevin Woolgar and the R&D department of their Chinese manufacturer. It's a hollow-body iron, so there's nothing crazy unique about it, but it's a pretty good stick. As far as I can tell, Lynx features two unique products - the VT irons and the new VT driver with Switch Face. Lynx did dump the Prowler CB forged for 2019 and replaced it with a new iron - I have some pictures and will upload them later. You'll smile when you see them.... The new Black Cat irons - as pointed out earlier in this thread - bear a striking resemblance to the new Sub70 699 irons. I showed them to Jason Hilland of Sub70, and he pointed out that while they do look similar, they are not, in fact, the same. They may even have come from the same factory, but there are enough differences from what he could see in pictures to know. Jason told me - and I have no reason to doubt him - that he owns the mold for his specific irons, but they were co-designed with the factory, which is a very common practice for small brands that simply don't have their own R&D muscle. The small brand comes up with the general idea of what they want - be it a drawing or a set of performance characteristics - and then they work with the engineers at their Chinese supplier to come up with the design. In the case of the 699 irons, Jason says the internal technology - including the polymer filling and internal design - is owned by his factory and they can sell it to anyone - but the specific iron design and the specific mold for the 699 irons belongs to him. He adds there's nothing to stop the supplier - in fact, there's nothing wrong whatsoever with the supplier - providing that internal technology to anyone of its customers that may want it. In this case, yeah, the two irons look pretty similar but technically they are not, in fact, the same. The differences may be minor, but Jason was able to pick them out pretty quickly to the point where he was certain the irons did not come from his mold.
  6. Finally got the change to play 18 today - bagged the VT Prowler irons for the first time (I think it may be the first time a new Lynx iron has ever actually hit the turf in New England, but that's just conjecture). Some impressions: - They definitely have a distinctive sound/feel that will take some getting used to - it's a metallic clink with anything other than a dead center strike. - Like any iron, the further on the toe you hit it, the more distance you lose. I've played irons that are more forgiving with that type of strike, but these are first-wife level forgiving on a toe hit - the ball goes nowhere. - Nail it, and these things fly - had a handful of the kind of swings that make you want to play more golf, and was more than pleased with the distance, flight and spin. - 4 and 5 irons are exceptionally easy to launch - the combination of the low CG due to the hollow body and the relatively light weight/stiff tip of the KBS Tour V led to some good results - better than hybrids (I think I hate hybrids - that is all) - Damn near holed a PW from 130 or so (this was after hitting one off the toe and into the drink!) - since it was on 18 and the last hole of the day, I left feeling happier than if the shot in the drink was the lasting memory. Verdict - I'll play them again. I enjoy the novelty of playing them and they're fine irons. Are they up there with the Srixon's I've been gaming? Don't think so, but for the price (if we can ever get them here) they're not a bad option and they look seriously badass. Playing again Sunday - thinking of taking the Wilson D7's out for a spin - put some KBS C-Tapers in them, so we'll see... And not for nothing, played the front 9 with the Tour Edge EXS driver and the back 9 with the Wilson Cortex. I liked both drivers, but I liked the Cortex a little more, but I think I like my old Mizuno JPX 900 better than both.
  7. First round of the season booked - This Saturday morning at Red Tail. Cannot wait!! Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  8. Hadn't heard that they weren't comforting - don't see why they wouldn't be.They may not have bothered to submit, but I'm just guessing...
  9. Got this from my buddy Brad Pluth - an instructor in Minnesota who has officially been dubbed "The Man Who Saved My Golf Game." Essentially it says to find out what length/tees you should play, simply multiply your 5-iron distance by 36 - figuring it should be two 5-irons to reach a Par 4 and 3 5-irons to teach a Par 5. What do you think?
  10. I'd bet the ranch against a made-for -- Sub70 isn't big enough to do a made-for. My guess is it's an older model - I had a PING i20 3-wood that, as best I can recall, had a similar shaft. In any event, it's a high kick-point, lower launching and spinning shaft. It seemed to work well enough in conjunction with the head. Funny thing - the driver I demoed was actually Jason's gamer. He told me when he saw my TFG results that he and I probably had a very similar swing DNA. Turned out to be correct - quick transition, 97-100 mph swing speed, fighting high launch and spin. It still amazes me that by asking 3 simple questions, TrueGolfFit is able to find your golf clone from its test pool and match you up with a driver that will fit you well. That Data stuff is real. And I'm impressed with what Sub70 is trying to do -- premium equipment and direct-to-consumer pricing. Jason has the setup to make it work. He has 20 years worth of connections with Chinese manufacturing, and he collaborates with their R&D people on designs. While they're not AI-level innovation nor cutting edge technology of the future, the stuff is pretty good, especially for the price. The driver is $249 - fully adjustable with moveable weights, titanium construction with a variable thickness face. If yards-per-dollar is your decision-making matrix, it would be hard to beat this one.
  11. Heh heh heh --- all I can say is everything I know about Tinder comes from Sam Robinon....he's the Tinder-King
  12. So about a week ago I decided to check out TrueGolfFit and how the new 2019 drivers might fit me. I put in the appropriate information and was really surprised to see this as my top recommended driver promising an astonishing 14 more yards. I tweeted that out and wound up getting a private message from Sub70 asking me if I wanted to give one a try. Hell yes! So on this week’s trip to Chicago and Iowa I made the detour to Sycamore IL this morning to Sub70 HQ. It’s a nondescript warehouse just outside of downtown (it’s a very small town) that also houses Diamond Tour Golf and Hurricane Golf. The owner of all three, Jason Hilland, met me to let me Demo my TrueGolfFit it felt like a Tinder blind date (with the driver, not with Jason). Anyway, I had just driven 2.5 hours from Dubuque, so it took a while to get loose, and came up with this as my best: Later today, while waiting at the airport to come home, I looked up my ShotScope driving stats for last year... Holy crap - 14 yards on the button. Compared some of the other numbers from TrueGolfFit to reality - Spin was really close - TGF came in around 140 RPM lower, so that’s basically a wash; launch angle was 12 degrees with TGF, and 16 degrees in reality (we did loft up) and balls speeds were close - 139 with TGF, 142 in reality. I expected the driver to perform well for me - but the accuracy floored me. Tells me the math behind TGF is pretty serious. True, this is my best shot of the session, but given there was no real warm up and that I haven’t played any real golf in nearly two months, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume with warmup, practice and consistent play I can duplicate that swing most of the time. By comparison, on Thursday at Tour Edge I was hitting the EXS driver very nicely, maxing out at 255. I’d be happy gaming either one, but I liked the flight and spin of the Sub70. Next on the To Do list is get some numbers with the Wilson Cortex and my old Mizuno JPX 900-which I love - and a Honma I picked up at the PGA Tour SuperStore to see what makes the traveling team. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  13. Had a few hours to kill in Suburban Chicago yesterday - so a quick call to marketing chief Jon Claffey wound up with a nice tour and demo session at Tour Edge HQ our in Batavia. Tour Edge is owned by David Glod, and has been since he founded the company. Someone once asked David how long it took him to be profitable, to which he famously replied “I’ve been in business 33 years and have been profitable every one of them.” Jon gave me a quick tour of the facility, which houses sales, marketing, R&D, assembly and shipping. David owns the building as well. The assembly section was brilliant - it’s set up for a logical flow from receiving of raw parts through shipping of finished, packaged goods. Jon told me the set up has been designed to handle a 300% increase in sales and they’d only have to add, at most, 15 people. They’re able to turn around custom orders in less than 48 hours. The real treat was on the second floor. There’s a putting and chipping green, as well as three bays equipped with Trackman for fitting. I got to try the full EXS line and was more than impressed. I’ve hit the driver before and it’s an incredible value at $299. The 3 wood was excellent as well, but I did not get along with either the EXS or CBX hybrids at all (then again, hybrids and I have a love/hate relationship anyway). The irons were an eye-opener. As I get older distance is a factor, and in the last year I’ve begun to notice a bit of a distance loss - hell, I’ll be 59 this summer, so it’s to be expected. After warming up I started wailing the bejesus out of the EXS irons, posting some numbers that made me feel young again. That’s with the 7-iron. It had a regular flex Tensei Graphite shaft, which didn’t hurt - and it had a 27.5* loft, which also didn’t hurt. But the spin, trajectory and decent were all what you’d want in a 7-iron. For reference, I’m usually around 160 with a 7-iron. With the 5-iron I was right around 200-205. As for the hybrids, I was not liking them much - at best I was hitting an 18 degree right around 205 - same as the EXS 5-iron, so there would be no point in bagging one. Did much better with driving irons. Got to try their forged blades, too. The difference in tech and loft was remarkable - 34 degree loft was going right around 150. Do I need a set that goes 20 to 30 yards farther than what I have? No. Do I want one? You bet your ass! TE putters are pretty basic and truth be told, non-description, and their wedges are solid and head heavy, like the old Hogan Rivieras, which I also like. TE is pretty proud of their fitting studio - rightfully so - and they even rent it out over the winter to local club pros for lessons. They’re installing an R&D robot right next to the studio, which should be pretty interesting to see. Jon told me they’ll have lunchtime and after hours chipping and putting tourneys on the putting green, and have given some the holes some R-rated names [emoji41][emoji41][emoji41]. Anyway, it’s always cool to see different OEM HQ’s - Tour Edge is by no means big (the facility is much smaller than the Srixon/Cleveland HQ, for example), but it’s right-sized for where their business is now, and they’re well-prepped for future growth. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  14. Good deal on advance tee times at Red Tail in Devens.... https://secure.east.prophetservices.com/RedTailWebstoreV3/Products/Productlist/AdvanceSales/5#forward?utm_medium=ads&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=Followers Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  15. That'd be John Fagan - he's a really good guy.
  16. I did see the new putters while I was there, but honored their embargo. They really looked nice - didn't get to roll them at all, but I'm sure they'll sell a few. Saw some other interesting stuff as well, but you'll just have to wait....
  17. Steve Colletta is one of the best around - he's a really good guy and, as you can attest, really knows his stuff. Glad the fitting worked well for you, and I'm impressed with Spargo for not trying to sell you something new just because. Sure sounds like they did right by you.
  18. So I went through another TrueGolfFit fitting yesterday, to get a look at how the 2019 sticks would fit me, and this came up... I'm going to be in Chicago next week and made arrangements to meet owner Jason Hilland for a quick fitting session at their place in Sycamore. Have spoken with Jason a few times and finally got to meet him at the PGA Show in January - very interesting guy. I have a week to get my swing in shape so I don't wind up getting embarrassed. It's been a long, cold, lonely winter....
  19. Hit 60 degrees in New Hampshire yesterday - got to hit outside for the first time in forever, even if it was off mats. Still enjoying the VT's - am able to hit the high or low - still with a nice draw. Distance is hard to judge with relatively cold and beat-to-hell range balls (Sagamore has the moteliest collection of range balls I've seen), but I liked the flight and if I had to guess I'd say distance is acceptable to good. As long as it's consistent and not stupid short, we're good. Been particularly impressed with how easy the long irons are to hit. The set Lynx sent me includes a 4-iron, which isn't part of their standard set, and it launches beautifully and easily. I'm trying out the Wilson D7's at the same time and I had no problem hitting the Lynx 4-iron as consistently as I was hitting the D7 5-iron (longest iron in my set). Did notice something hitting outdoors that I didn't notice in the enclosed portion of the range - when you hit the VT's toward the toe there's an unusual metallic "clink" sound. It was weird the first time I heard it, but it is noticeable. I didn't find it off-putting because the results were still really good, but I would imagine some might find it annoying. I haven't hit the PING G700's, but I've heard from people who have the sound bothers them - I'm guessing that might be the fate of a hollow-body iron. Hit is square and the sound - and as a result the feel - is a little different from a true forged iron (only the face of the VT is forged) - but not one I mind all that much. The D7, on the other hand, feels very nice when you hit it square and a tad harsh when you don't, but it doesn't have the metallic clink. Still no word on US availability or pricing, but Lynx promises that all will be revealed in May. For what it's worth, they've changed their Twitter handle from LynxGolfUK to LynxGolfGlobal, but we'll see what happens. I read somewhere - I think it was Twitter - refer to Lynx as a mom-and-pop outfit - and from the context it was not meant as a compliment. Truth is, Lynx is a mom-and-pop outfit, quite literally. It's a small time operation run by a husband and wife team, with all the limitations inherent with said operation. I'm guessing most of their lineup is made up of open models - although they say the VT and the new Switch Face Prowler driver are their own patented designs, but again, what does all that really mean? So far, I can say the VT irons are definitely in the running for the starting lineup this year - along with a progressive Srixon set and - oddly enough - the D7's. And maybe the Bridgestones. And maybe my 1993 Hogan Edge's. And maybe the MacGregor VIP's. I think I have a problem....
  20. You're not far from a bunch of different courses - Newport is only about a 1/2 from Providence/Cranston/Warwick - Cranston CC isn't bad - they have an interesting island green. Triggs in Providence is a nifty Donald Ross design. A little further into Mass you have some other options - Swansea CC, New England CC in Bellingham and a few others - depends on how far you want to drive.
  21. +1 on Spargo's - they're in Warwick in the basement of Mulligan's Island. The shop itself is very modest but they have a first rate enclosed fitting facility - you hit out to the range rather than hitting into a screen, which helps a ton. Talk with Steve Colletta, tell him I sent you - he's one of the best.
  22. Here it is... https://mygolfspy.com/behind-the-curtain-just-who-is-designing-your-golf-clubs/ Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  23. Open model,open mold - means the design is open to anyone who wants it. Chinese manufacturers have designs that are either o longer covered by patents or that are of their own design and shared - basically anyone can sell it, or modify it in conjunction with their own people, and sell it. Basically, you and I can go into the club business tomorrow and sell open models with our name and logo. Small companies like Lynx and - I presume Sub70 - will make use of open models to fill out their line rather than investing $30k in developing their own mold for a particular club they don’t think they’ll sell a ton of. The challenge is with the way manufacturing is over there, a mold one company think is theirs may wind up being an open model at a completely different factory. We had a blog on it last year - I’ll dig out the link for you Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  24. VT's are hollow body construction - no fill. The Black Cat has a polymer fill - and does resemble the Sub70, as well as the PING G700, which is hollow but similar in appearance, and the TaylorMade P790, which has the much-ballyhooed Speed Foam, and the PXG whatever it is, which led to a series of lawsuits between TM and PXG. Can't speak for Jason and Sub70 (met him once - he's a really good guy), but Lynx contracts with a gent named Kevin Woolgar to handle its club design. Kevin spends most of his time in China working with foundries over there. Some of Lynx's stuff is open model, some of it Kevin co-designs with China's R&D people - mostly adapting/improving/altering their in-house designs. From what they've told me, the VT is a patented model for Lynx (sure, it looks like others, but it's a golf club - it's gonna look like a golf club), and the new Switch Face driver is also a Lynx patent. Not sure if the Black Cat is an open model or if it's based on an open model with some Kevin-specific alteration. Based on some of the pricing I've seen bandied about (don't believe they've finalized it yet), I'd lean towards the former. Which begs the question - if an open model performs well, has the shaft you want and is priced right, does it matter if it's an open model or not? Would you buy it and feel confident in it? That's a question that might lead to another thread...
  25. Buddy is a member there - so got to play it at least 8 to 10 times over the years - once right after the CVS Classic. The stands were still up. The last 4 holes are on the ocean - really fun. Another time got to play with Brad Adamonis - he played on the PGA Tour and made a playoff out of nowhere a few years ago some tourney in the Midwest - he got a ton of TV time. We had a match and he gave me a ton of strokes -- I took two bucks off him.
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