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GolfSpy Barbajo

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Posts posted by GolfSpy Barbajo

  1. Took them out on the course yesterday. It was only my second round of the year and I'm working on some swing changes (I was a mess last year), so please take what I'm about to say with a huge grain of salt. 

    Meh

    It was very cool to watch the spin on every shot - even my aging eyes could track the ball very easily. Oddly, I found the ball a bit difficult to find after I hit it. I walked past my ball at least 3 or 4 times when the damn thing was in plain sight. My three playing partners also walked past it while helping me search - and the ball was only 10 feet from the green.

    Enjoyed lining it up for putts - it gave great feedback on the roll and hell, it was fun to watch. Same with chips and pitches (although that part of my game was hot garbage yesterday - something else to work on!). 

    For me, the biggest disappointment was distance. For some reason, I couldn't get it to go anywhere off the tee. Now, at 60, I'm not a bomber anymore (if I ever was), but distance was a problem. I can't really explain it, but the balls felt "heavy." I switched to a Z-Star on the back nine and noticed immediate - and drastic - improvement. It was a busy Saturday, so I didn't try hitting two balls off the tee to compare, but I'd have to say the DIVIDE is, shall we say, distance challenged. 

    I'm going to try them again just to be sure, since I don't think 9 holes is enough - but first impressions are, well, meh.

    That said, very cool to look at and they were fun to play. But other than that....

    Meh....

  2. Was going to game these today, but the weather had other ideas. Maybe this weekend...

    For what it's worth, for me these bring an element of fun to the table, just like the old PING's. It's a game, it's supposed to be fun, right? 

     

    • Like 6
  3. Said it before, I have a soft spot in my heart for Mati putters. It's a small boutique outfit from near Milan, Italy and its owner, operator, designer and chief artist Seliano Brambilla is a paisan of the highest order. He's the very definition of humble craftsman who makes some of the most unique putters out there. They may or may not be your cup of tee, but Seliano has a style all his own.  Here's a look at some of his new stuff: 

    20210104_063328.jpg20200228_064631.jpg20210108_062550.jpg20200911_124353.jpg20201019_064542.jpg

     

    If you want a little background, here's a forum piece on Seliano and Mati from 2014.

    REVIEW: The Mati Mamo Putter - From Italy With Amore! - Official Forum Member Reviews - MyGolfSpy Forum

    What are your thoughts?

    • Like 2
    • Love 1
  4. This one's been a popular request - Bridgestone is officially announcing the Tour B XS in Tour Yellow. Let the rejoicing commence!!

    DSC07462.jpg

    Previously, of the Tour B line only the lower compression (comparatively) RX and RXS featured Tour Yellow as an option. The firmer, Tour-level performance Tour B X and Tour B XS had only been available in white - and every story we've run on the blog about Bridgestone balls the comment section was clamoring for more Tour Yellow. 

    The Tour B XS is, of course, the ball used by Bryson and Tiger.  Here's the release plus some pictures to make you happy today...

     

    BRIDGESTONE GOLF INTRODUCES TOUR B XS YELLOW IN RESPONSE TO PLAYER DEMAND

    Leader in Golf Ball Innovation Gives Players What They Want

    COVINGTON, Ga. – (March 10, 2021) - Bridgestone Golf, the #1 Ball-Fitter in Golf, announced today
    the release of the new Bridgestone TOUR B XS in yellow. Featuring all the same advanced
    performance features and innovative technologies as the standard TOUR B XS, which was designed
    with help of Tiger Woods, the new yellow version is a direct result of consumer demand.

    “The TOUR B XS has a very large and enthusiastic following from players with fast swing speeds who
    are seeking additional spin control around the green,” said Elliot Mellow, Golf Ball Marketing
    Manager at Bridgestone Golf. “A significant number of those players indicated a desire for a yellow
    option on our TOUR B XS model, and, being in tune with our consumers, we created it for them.”

    DSC07353.jpg

    Like the standard white TOUR B XS, the yellow version features REACTIV cover technology, which
    employs an “impact modifier,” to allow the urethane to behave differently based on swing speed.
    For example, when struck with a driver or any longer club, the REACTIV urethane cover “reacts,” as a
    firmer, more resilient material, providing more speed and distance. However, on slower swings with a
    wedge or short iron, the cover performs like a softer material, creating more shot-stopping spin and
    control.

    DSC07427.jpg

    “While others focus on marketing hype and decorations, we’ve focused on making a better
    performing ball,” said Dan Murphy, President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf. “The REACTIV cover
    technology is the most dramatic change to cover construction since 2000 when we led the industry
    from Balata to Urethane covered Tour balls.”

    Other features of the TOUR B XS yellow include a three-piece construction, patented Gradational
    Compression Core, and an Active Acceleration Mantle that helps provide maximum distance in the
    long game. Another noteworthy aspect of the TOUR B XS yellow is that unlike many other colored
    urethane models, it does not need to be painted, as the injection molded urethane cover material
    already contains yellow pigment. Removing this step in the production process yields a more
    consistent product that performs identically to the standard white model (which also does not
    require a painting process).

    DSC07750.jpg

    The new Bridgestone TOUR B XS yellow golf ball with be available at retail on March 12 and will
    feature a street price of $44.99/dozen. For help selecting which premium Bridgestone model is the
    right ball for them, consumers should try Bridgestone’s VFIT for a free video ball-fitting consultation.

    • Like 3
  5. Got the official info on this the other day and thought you might find it interesting. Wilson Staff is officially launching its new ECO stand bag. 

    Wilson eco 4.jpg

    What makes the ECO interesting is that its made from over 50 recycled plastic water bottles.  The bottles themselves are ground up and melted and then turned into recycled polyester. 50 bottles will make 1.7 yards of recycled polyester, and that equals 1 bag. According to Wilson, recycled polyester is virtually the same as virgin polyester, but takes 59% less energy to produce. wilson eco 1.jpg

    Apart from being recycled, the ECO has a 5-way padded top with two full length dividers and an integrated handle. It's fairly light, coming in at 4.3 pounds. It has six pockets which, from what we can see, look pretty standard - and it comes in three colors: Alpine Green, Deep Ocean Blue and Cloud Silver. wilson eco 2.jpg

    The ECO was not included in this year's MyGolfSpy Stand Bag Buyer's Guide - but its big brother the EXO was. The EXO finished in the middle of the pack overall, not really standing out in any category. The ECO is more compact and lighter than the EXO, which weighs in at 5.5 pounds. 

    Wilson eco 3.jpg

    The ECO is priced pretty aggressively at $149.99. You can check it out here

    • Like 3
  6. Am hearing some courses in southern MA are hoping to open up in late March. Pine Hills is reportedly looking to open by March 28th, and Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds by March 15th.  

    Don't know about up here in NH, but definitely getting the itch. Hit Sagamore's heated driving range yesterday - am definitely up for a road trip south. 

    C'mon vaccine!!!

    • Like 1
  7. 1 hour ago, Kansas King said:

    I'll be curious to see what these look like in person because these look very chunky in the pictures. 

    It's a wide sole iron and it's based on the previous generation Srixon utility iron so yeah, it's on the Barney Rubble side of chunky. For the category, tho, it's relatively clean with a shorter blade length than you'd expect. The longer irons are short and stout, the shorter irons less so. As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the more you hit this things, the prettier they get ;-).

  8. 30 minutes ago, greggarner said:

    FWIW, I had placed an order with Srixon before the WM Open and needed to talk with their support team right after Brooks' win. On the call, the support rep said their ZX7 sales the Monday following his win was nuts and she'd never seen anything like it. And looking today, it seems like demand is high (at least relative to supply, anyways)

    That's something I think you might start seeing more of - there's a worldwide shortage of shipping containers, and there was a cargo ship in December that lost nearly 2,000 containers in a storm. Several golf OEMs were affected. You'll see some OEMs doing emergency air shipping to get product, and that means higher costs all around. 

    Inventory shortages are just getting started - I'll bet you in gets worse before it gets better. I think the big OEMs will probably be able to deal with it okay, but the smaller ones may be in the situation Srixon is now from time to time  - out of stock, in stock and then out of stock again quickly.  

     

     

    • Like 5
  9. Well, ain't this interesting.  What do you say, GolfSpies?

    Reported by the New York Times:

     

    KPS Capital Partners has hired Morgan Stanley to run a sale of TaylorMade, the golf equipment brand, DealBook has learned. A deal could value the company at more than $2 billion; KPS bought it for $425 million from Adidas four years ago. Spokespeople for Morgan Stanley and KPS declined to comment, while TaylorMade was unavailable for comment.

    Tiger beat. Adidas sold the brand to KPS in 2017, as golf was falling out of favor and the German sportswear group sought to refocus on shoes and clothes. (It’s since tapped JPMorgan Chase to weigh a sale of its Reebok brand.) By the time KPS bought TaylorMade, the brand had struck a deal with Tiger Woods, who needed a club sponsor after Nike quit the business. When Mr. Woods signed the deal, he was struggling to make a comeback, but two years later he won the Masters.

    • While TaylorMade has also inked deals with Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy and others, its deal with Mr. Woods is a “key component to the strength and growth” of the brand, its C.E.O., David Abeles, said last year.

    Pandemic boom. Social distancing has been a boon for golf. Sales of golf equipment hit $1 billion in the third quarter of last year, up 18 percent from the year before. The last time the industry topped those levels was in 2008, the last year Mr. Woods won a major before his career was sidelined by injuries and scandal.

    • Like 3
  10. 12 hours ago, TBT said:

    I really need to hit the D9’s, I’m guilty of overlooking Wilson clubs


    Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

     

    22 hours ago, russtopherb said:

    So I'm curious how the D9 irons will be perceived from some folks. They got rid of the power holes in the top line, which a lot of people didn't like and found distracting. Having played the C300 and D300 lines, I got used to them rather quickly. But I know they were a big turnoff for a number of golfers. 

    I'm also interested to see how the turf interaction is with them. A few video reviews mention that they make it through the turf pretty easily. The soles of the D200s were probably my favorite of all the W/S iron lines I've played, those are currently in my son's bag and he just hammers them. 

    I'm also still a little mixed on the badging. They're cleaner than some of the other D lines, but I really liked the red/black color scheme. I know they moved away from it with the D7 line, and I had kind of hoped it would come back. But the more pics of it I see, the more I'm liking it. 

     

    Got to try the D9's on an unseasonably warm day here in New Hampshire a few days ago, and on grass!  Here are some observations...

    1. If it's high and far you seek, these will deliver. 

    2. KBS Max Ultralight Shaft is wicked ultra light- and performs as advertised. Easy to swing and hits the ball high and far. 

    3. Did I mention high? Also far.

    4. Wilson did a very good job of making them look nice at address. OEMs have taken that shovel thing to heart and have worked to making GI irons look better. I even compared the gap wedge to the gap wedge in the Staff Model CB set - other than the fact the head is obviously bigger, they looked surprisingly similar at address.

    5. Feel is not objectionable - it's a crack at impact. If you want feedback on mishits, D9 will definitely give it to you, but the results won't punish you, which I guess is the very definition of forgiveness. 

    6. I never understood the gag-reflex some folks have with Power Holes. Yeah, the C200's really overcooked it, but by the time C300 rolled around Wilson started toning down the Power Holes. I think Wilson's use of its super computer for generative design and simulations have allowed them to optimize size and location - these are downright minimal. And, as I said in the blog article, if you're looking at the Power Holes while you're swinging,  you're doing it wrong. 

    7. @Golfspy_CG2 asked me which I liked better, these or the PING G425's and I have to say it's a tossup. Like them both. The Wilson's are noticeably longer, but that's because they're stronger lofted. Descent angle and ability to hold greens seem very similar, which is a result of high launch and flight. For my game the stock True Temper AMT shafts on the PING are a better fit than the KBS Max Ultralight, but Wilson offers a bunch of shafts at no upcharge.

    8. Bottom line - demo both. Then flip a coin. 😉

     

     

    • Like 8
    • Love 1
  11. 21 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

    So I realize I haven't updated this thread in a bit.  I've been down and out the past 5 days, and slowly getting better.  So hopefully I'm able to get some LM time next week to provide some data.

    And I'm excited to be able to include what could be a real contender for driver of the year, from the early reviews I've seen.

    The Srixon ZX5 has done really well in some of the YT reviews out there, we'll see how it does for a bit less than YT material club speed 🙂   I'll have some more pics next week, but it looks really good.

     

    ZX5 Driver.jpg

    Gamed the ZX5 in my last round before surgery in Nov - like it very much and is an early candidate for bag-dom for 2021. I also liked the ZX7 -not quite as forgiving, but I actually preferred the sound and feel more. Once I can hobble to the heated driving range I'll give both a more thorough testing...along with a little something-something from Wilson.

    Not sold on the Hogan GS53 MAX yet - played it a couple of times but my game was crap anyway so I can't really make an honest assessment. 

    Prolly played the best with the XXIO X last season...and I promise - PROMISE - this will be the year I settle on one set of clubs and will play them all year.  Really. 

    • Like 5
    • Haha 3
  12. You mean these? 

    If history is any guide, they will make a formal announcement sometime in January, with a late Jan/early Feb release. From what they've told us so far, they're touting enhanced ball speed due to a newly reformulated core. As always, Srixon is very thorough with information when they have a new release, so the story should be pretty interesting. 

    IMG_1387.jpg

    • Like 4
  13. Was a sophomore at American University and on the broadcast team for our basketball games. Driving back to DC from a game in Gettysburgh, PA when we heard the news about John Lennon.  Every year the three of us who were in the car share a call, email and or some memories....

     

    image.png

    • Like 3
    • Sad 1
  14. Nice to see this topic resurrected.  Planning another trip for next June, if the worldwide pandemic cooperates. It'll be my third trip, but will be travelling with my cousin Paul (read about our adventures here) and two first timers, so it'll be a blast. 

    In no particular order, I've played the following: 

    St. Andrews - Old, New, Jubilee and Castle. Loved all of them. The Old Course is the Old Course and the experience is truly magical. Bogied the Road Hole twice and felt like I birdied it. The other courses are interesting in their own way - loved the Castle Course and the magnificent view of the city from the 6th green - and it has some of the coolest par 3's you'll ever play. I found the Jubilee to be the toughest, and the New had some of the most interesting holes in the complex. It's also the course I scored best on, so there's that. 

    Carnoustie - never has an 87 felt like a triumph. Missed three relatively easy putts that could have lowered the score, but what's worse is those three missed putts lost us the match. Dammit! But I did par 17, which felt like an accomplishment. 

    Kingsbarns - whoa. Just whoa

    North Berwick - like many others have said, quite possibly the most fun golf course on the planet. Made the turn at 1 over before returning to earth. Pulled a drive on I think the 14th hole literally on to the beach and had to play it back onto the fairway. Felt like Walter Hagen in the Legend of Bagger Vance, except I didn't hit the green. Didn't even hit the fairway. Or get up the hill. 

    Longniddry - hidden gem south of Edinburgh. It's a par 68 and was the very first course I played in Scotland. It's one of those hidden gems and was fun to play. It's not a destination course, but a fun course the locals play. 

    Ladybank - a parkland course and used as an Open Qualifier. Similar to a typical inland course you'd find in the US, but a really nice layout and also fun to play. 

    Scotscraig - another parkland course, touted as the 13th oldest course in the world. Last course we played on our last trip, after an early morning 18 at Kingsbarns. It's a nice course - back nine is more scenic and the holes more interesting, but by then after seven days of nonstop golf, I was toast. By the 15th hole I wanted nothing more than to be done - total burnout. Would like to play it again with a better attitude. 

    Lundin Links - great, great great hidden gem. Old Tom Morris -James Braid design with some of the best views around. You'll have to use every club in the bag and think your way around it. 

    Prestonfield - in the city of Edinburgh, another hidden gem. Parkland course with some great views of the rock formations and hills in Edinburgh. Some very tough par 5's. It starts out rather gently with an easy par 4 and and even easier par 3, then it starts showing its teeth. Love the sign on the clubhouse - "A fair test of golf..."

    Our June trip (c'mon vaccine!) will include North Berwick, Gullane, Dumbarnie, maybe Renaissance and the St. Andrews experience. Would love to fit in a return to Lundin Links and maybe Scotscraig. I also hear Crail is excellent and worth a whack. 

    And if any of you get to St. Andrews in the coming year or so and need a caddy, make sure to ask for Brett Murray. He's a great caddy and an even better guy. Tell him I say hi. 

  15. 1 hour ago, Kansas King said:

    I think they are a great idea. The biggest thing I would be curious of is if it's difficult to get the grip to not look twisted/misaligned on the club. I know the surface design should help with this but it's not hard to tell if a rubber grip is twisted. The other concern would be if these grips felt weird or not. I would be curious if parts of the grip would fell a little thinner or thicker depending on how it was twisted. If Golf Pride can get these priced close to their tour velvets, I think they may have a winner. I think it's important to remember that they are probably trying to expand the grip market and get those people that maybe have some worn out grips but are reluctant to change them because of the cost or hassle. 

    That was the toughest part for me - getting the pattern right. My first attempt, as you saw in the pix, was WAY over-tightened and twisted to distortion. It is relatively simple to loosen the grip and start over.  The hand-twisting of the grip itself takes some practice - at least it did for me. And you can do it as many times as you need to. Also, if you do all the steps in reverse, it's very easy to remove the grip completely and put it on another club, if you wanted to do that for whatever reason. 

    This is Golf Pride's first attempt, so I'm sure we'll see further refinement and more options in the future. I doubt the method would support an ALIGN grip, but one never knows that they come up with. 

    As for who it's for, that's an interesting question. I'd say anyone who wants to regrip their own clubs. I can see on and off course pro shops utilizing these, as well. An on course shop could regrip an entire set in maybe a half an hour and have them ready to play right away, while off-course shops could do a while-you-wait re-gripping. All possible, but we'll have to see. I'm guessing the golf industry looked at Golf Pride's very first slip-on rubber grip in 1953 with a few raised eyebrows as well - after all, there's nothing wrong with leather wraps, amiright??? - so it'll be interesting to see where this idea goes. If nothing else, it is innovative and very different. 

    • Like 6
  16. 14 hours ago, huskie55 said:

    Same with me really liked the ball than couldn't get more. I love w/s but marketing is awful

    I think "their marketing is awful" has been repeated often enough in this thread - and I agree their marketing is sloppy at times. The Baller Box idea, I think, was basically sound but very badly executed, and they had a mixup - that was rectified right away, over the initial pricing of both the Staff Model and Staff Model Raw balls. They did have one of the very best young social media people in Corey Holloway, but he left for a plumb gig at FootJoy earlier this year. That's not sloppy, but maybe more of a financial reality.

    So, in the spirit of real info vs. platitudes, what in your opinion are examples of awful marketing? And what specifically would you do to improve it? 

    I ask out of genuine curiosity, and there are some parameters here. You can't just say "it sucks and they need to do better" or "they need to spend more money." Wilson spends a fixed percentage of its annual sales on marketing, the same fixed percentage as Callaway, Titleist and pretty much every other company in golf - it's just that, say, 3% of maybe $130 million is a much, much smaller number than 3% of $1.3 billion. 

    If you were in charge of Wilson Golf marketing, what's your specific 5-point plan, and what's the ultimate goal? Where will you be in Year 1, Year 5 and Year 10? 

    This could be an interesting exercise...commence to thinking GolfSpies - let's see what you got. 

    • Like 3
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