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GolfSpy Barbajo

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Everything posted by GolfSpy Barbajo

  1. Mine arrived today - from an appearance standpoint, they killed it. It's WAY smaller and WAY lighter than V2, and the charger has been completely redesigned for the better. And not that it matter - or maybe it does - the packaging is way nicer, too - definitely will have shelf appeal. Hope to charge it up and try it out over the weekend. I agreed to a July 6th embargo with Shot Scope, so I won't post any pictures (my word is my bond!), but it's a very nice looking watch - about the size/weight of an Apple watch.
  2. Terry is one of the most outspoken and interesting interviews in golf. He's made some friends and some enemies along the way (check the comments on that blog post about Edison - wow!), but he's always interesting and tells it the way he sees it. The Hogan TK-15 wedges remain among the best I've ever used (although you may have to pry the old Hogan Riviera wedges out of my cold, dead hands), and I'm anxious to try the new Edisons.
  3. The ICONs are typical of blades in that when you hit the sweet spot, they feel fantastic and they go like crazy. Easy to shape and hit either high or low. Miss the sweet spot and you'll pay a price in both feel and distance. I'm missing a lot right now, but the good shots have been really, really good. And I can't say enough good things about the UiHi Utility. The 22-degree is my favorite club in the bag right now - that is one awesome, easy to launch club.
  4. I have four rounds in with the combo set - with ICONs making up the 8-9-PW end of the set. Right now my game is one big dumpster fire, so it's hard to say, but the good shots I've hit with the ICONs are very good. I wouldn't call them particularly more forgiving or longer than the Ft. Worth 15s, but they do feel terrific and they're easy to flight - when I hit them well. Right now that's maybe half the shots, but that's true of pretty much every club in the bag for me right now. If this keeps up I may light the whole bag on fire...
  5. And not for nothing, here's a like to the 2020 Wilson update (pre COVID 19) https://mygolfspy.com/wilson-staff-2020/
  6. Here's a look at what happened to Wilson and how it went from dominant market leader to virtual non-entity. It was a long, slow slide, but it happened. https://mygolfspy.com/how-the-wilson-staff-empire-crumbled/ (Links to Parts 2 and 3 are in the blog post itself). Wilson stabilized starting in 2007 when Tim Clarke took over. One of the things I like about Tim - and Wilson - is they have a very closely knit team and they're very loyal to their people and their Pro Staff. They also own their mistakes -- the Baller Box in theory is a very good idea IMO. They screwed up the math and tried to get a little too cute, but the idea is sound. They'd have been better off going the Seed route with subscriptions - same price no matter how many you buy, set your own delivery frequency and length of subscription, cancel at any time. Their other mistake was to not come out with a standard package and a standard price at the same time. $44.99 is the standard price for a dozen premium balls - why not start there? I wrote this in another thread, but if you compare the pricing of the Baller Box - $50 with custom 40-digit player numbers or 3 lines of text and shipping included - is a bargain compared the similar offer from Titleist (two digit numbers, shipping not included - approximately $62/dozen). The lack of a standard package/price option has led to the general assumption that Wilson thinks its going to get $50/dozen for their balls when in fact, for what you're getting, it's a deal compared to Titleist. All this, of course, presumes you give a crap about customization. If you don't, then the lack of a standard option is all the more glaring. Wilson did tell me the plan was to come out with the standard option later this year. In retrospect, they'll admit that decision was a mistake. But they'll take the hit and keep moving forward. And not for nothing, it's a really good ball - I'd put it on par with anything else out there save for the new Bridgestone Tour B X. People have said to me Wilson would sell more of these if they priced them at, say, $39.99 or less. I don't think so. Most serious golfers don't bat an eye at spending $44.99 for a dozen ProV's, Tour B's or whatever your premium ball of choice is - so undercutting by $5 isn't going to get it done. If it did, Srixon would be the top-selling ball in golf. It's performance - as reported in our ball test - is every bit the equal of ProV, and they're priced to move at $39.99. If Wilson priced them at $34.99, no one would consider them premium. Pricing is a funny game. Retail pricing is the other trap - Wilson can't offer a deal online that undercuts their retail partner's pricing. It's one of the problems of dealing with retail. If someone can buy the product for less directly from the manufacturer than from a retail partner, the retail partner gets pissed. Small-ish companies like Hogan, Snell and Sub-70 can exist going to Direct To Consumer because the business is small enough to be manageable. For larger OEMs, the most cost-effective way to get their product to market is the retail route. It's not perfect, but it is what it is. If you've ever been to an OEM's facility you won't find much in the way of finished product in stock. Those that build their general stock in North America build and ship to their retailers, who will warehouse product for them. Those that have their products assembled overseas do essentially the same thing with a few minor logistical adjustments. Custom orders are built in their NA facilities and shipped directly to customers. The debate now that we're dealing with COVID 19 is will that retail channel change? In one way, OEMs use the retail channel as an extension of their warehouse. They book preorders in the late fall/early winter with retail customers, then build and ship those orders. That's the sell-in. The speed of the sell-out dictates when and how big the re-orders will be. The Big 5 aren't in any position to really change that model - if they decided to go DTC they'd have to triple their assembly team, triple their warehouse space, triple - at least - their order entry and customer service teams, triple their accounts receivable team, triple their shipping and receiving team and ultimately would wind up selling the product at close to the same price as you'd pay at Golf Galaxy. Wilson is in a similar position - it needs to be in retail shops for visibility and branding - and sales - to make its business possible. Do you see the retail model changing any time soon? I don't - it's too much a part of how we buy gear. Brand agnostic fitting centers are growing, but if you're price sensitive, those can be challenging. I do like what Honma's doing with mobile fitting vans working with club pros. They'll bring the fitting experience to you and give the club pro a commission on sales. Sorry for the lengthy and rambling response, but you caught me on a nimble finger morning. If you read the whole thing, let me know your thoughts...
  7. Hearing through the grapevine Bridgestone will be putting the new Tour B series balls on sale starting Monday at $39.99/dozen. The sale is expected to run through Father's Day. Regular price is $44.99, and Bridgestone is running a Buy 3, Get 1 Free promo that ends on Sunday. That program will get you down to about $33.75 per dozen, so if you want to stock up on the new 'Stones, this is the weekend to do it. Otherwise, it'll be $39.99/dozen no matter how many you buy after that. Shots fired by Bridgestone, and in my book the new Tour B is THE ball story of 2020.
  8. So, finally got a couple of rounds in this week and tried the Staff Model ball, along with last year's Bridgestone Tour B X and a new Penfold Dual ID ball. Some thoughts: In terms of distance, the Staff Model is every bit the equal of last year's Tour B X. I didn't have any of the new 'Stones in the bag so I can't compare. I will say when I've played the Tour B's, they are incredible. The Staff Model ball is very good - and I'd certainly game it. Green spin is very similar to Tour B X - Wilson says it engineered this ball for more spin around the green and its own testing shows it spins more than any ball except one (I'm guessing Bridgestone). I'd say for me the spin was about the same as the Tour B X. I didn't have a B XS to compare it to, but spin on the green was plenty adequate - on par with Bridgestone, Titleist and others I've gamed. Cover is plenty durable. No scuff marks to speak of even after dinging some trees. It doesn't like cart paths, but most balls don't. That Penfold Dual ID ball was kinda fun to play for no other reason that it's different. Penfold is an iconic British brand, but these are off the shelf balls from South Korea (production will move to Taiwan eventually. It's a 4-piece urethane ball, so it performs fine. Not the greatest ball ever made, but it's no dog either. And you can pretend you're James Bond while you play.
  9. No - as far as I know, they contract out their work to the Taiwanese factory.
  10. Heal up quick @BIG STU - there are MacGrogan's out there than need to be hit by someone who loves them! Enjoy the meds and get better fast!
  11. Golf courses are finally open again in New Hampshire. Will take these out for a trial run today - hope my game is up for it. It's been a while....
  12. There are a ton of wonderful and worthwhile causes going on in the world right now that deserve our attention. In the grand scale, this one's not at the peak, but it is aimed at people who are hurting. The PGA of America has started the Emergency Golf Relief Fund to provide short-term financial assistance to members of the workforce who've been affected by the Covid-19 shutdown - that includes everyone from groundskeepers to kitchen staff to the pro and his staff. Honma has put together some pretty cool packages - for a donation you can be entered into a raffle. For example, for a $50 donation you can be entered to win a TR20 driver and TR20 P or TR20 V iron package - it includes the driver, a full set of irons, two wedges and a Honma golf bag. There's a $25 entry donation for an XP-1, either irons, hybrids, 2 wedges and a bag or 1 driver, 1 fairway, 2 hybrids and a bag. If you're into the big money Beres line, for $100 you can center to win two different packages (driver/fw/hybrid or 7-piece iron set, hybrid and bag); or enter to win other prizes like a vintage Honma club package, a Honma Mobile Van fitting Experience - (@pmookie can tell you all about that!) or an Ultimate Honma fitting Experience ($100 entry includes airfare, hotel, fitting, equipment and golf at the Reunion Resort in Florida). Both fitting experiences include $2,500 worth of equipment. The program ends next Thursday, and I'm astonished at how few entries there are. As of right now, only one person has entered town the Reunion Fitting Experience and 6 entries have been sold for the mobile fitting experience. Anyway, checkout out if you're so inclined - if you think of it as a charity raffle, the odds are pretty good on some of these. https://honmagolf.rallyup.com/mobile-experience
  13. Welcome to the Forum! Here's a link to last year's MyGolfSpy Golf Ball Buyer's Guide - that should get you started. https://mygolfspy.com/most-wanted-golf-ball/ The RB Tour X fared the better of the two Mizuno balls, but still scored as "Good." It did have the third best wedge spin of any ball tested. I tried a dozen of the standard RB Tour's last year - overall impression was meh. Didn't like them enough to buy any more. Hope this helps...
  14. Blog post dropped this morning (click here). Folks have been asking for a Hogan combo set almost since the company resurrected the first time in 2015. Now that the new hybrids and utility irons are in, a combo set is doable. If the UiHi utility irons are any near as easy to hit as the older Ft. Worth Hi's are -- and Scott White says they're almost like cheating - this set should be a winner. Here's a batch of pictures for you to enjoy...
  15. Srixon is postponing their new lines until the PGA Show in January. They said it was planned before the shutdowns took place, but I think they were trying to scenario me rosily. Cleveland wedges, however, are still planned for a fall release.
  16. The more I think about it, the more I think you're on to something @dlow206. An OEM dropping price is always problematic for everyone in the chain (except consumers) because it devalues existing inventories. Unless all hell breaks looks - and that's not a far-fetched scenario - maybe we'll see things like free FW wood with driver purchase, free bag with iron set or something like that. If they cut prices now on current line equipment, it's going to be difficult to raise them back up again when the 2021 stuff - if the 2021 stuff - comes out. Consumers are getting wise. Cutting price may make 2020 not suck so much, but it might really under 2021 and 2022. Retailers will have to adhere to any MAP edicts from the OEMs, but will no doubt be looking for programs and plans to help them get out from under all that inventory collecting dust.
  17. And then he goes through all the stuff he has in the bag....
  18. If you haven't been following Padraig Harrington on Twitter, you really should. He's been doing daily playing lessons, proving once and for that he indeed is the Most Interesting Man in Golf. Today he showed off his brand new Wilson Staff bag (yummmm) and switched his sticks from the old bag to the new bag, while discussing what he has for equipment and why. It's pure Gold...
  19. The Denver area has some of the best golf courses anywhere, I think. Have played a bunch of them - personal favorites are Fossil Trace in Golden - some say it's kind of gimmicky, but it sure is fun. Also love Murphy Creek, Green Valley Ranch, Bear Creek, Meadow Hills, Arrowhead and Red Hawk Ridge. I got very lucky one day and got to play the Sanctuary - it's crazy good. Played a few courses in the mountains, too -- Raven, Grand Lake and a few others. The one I didn't like was Gypsum Creek, but I played crappy that day, so it doesn't really count. Further west I LOVE Redlands Mesa. I'm probably missing a few, but seriously - other than the day at Gypsum Creek - I've never had a bad day of golf in Colorado. And the altitude makes me feel 20 years younger!
  20. So this is where all those recycled milk jugs are going... Got this press release today from a company called All 19 Holes announcing their new ECO-Polo shirt made from recycled plastic bottles. As with any recycled product, it's not cheap, selling at $89 on their website. As a cheap ba**tard, I don't like paying that kind of dough for any shirt, but then reusing 8 to 12 plastic bottles is never a bad thing. What are your thoughts? The innovative ECO-Polo is a shirt made entirely from the world’s finest recycled polyester. All 19 Holes developed the ECO-Polo to meet its goal of environmental sustainability, style, and performance. And the ECO-Polo exceeded the company’s goals. Each shirt performs at the highest level possible, looks impeccable, and helps remove a small but important portion of the plastic pollution from the environment. The ECO-Polo is up-cycled from eight to 12 plastic bottles retrieved from the ocean, a lake or a landfill, depending on the size. The ECO-Polo’s recycled performance polyester fabric provides wicking, odor control, and is water resistant. The flat back honeycomb mesh features MaxDri moisture management and Micoblok, an anti-microbial finish. These technologies make the ECO-Polo comfortable for golfing or any activity. Fuse these benefits with a proprietary pattern cut for fashion and help reduce plastic pollution, the company feels strongly the ECO-Polo will be a category leader in golf. We recommend washing the ECO-Polo in a cold and gentle cycle. Do not bleach, tumble dry, or dry clean. When ironing, use low heat. For more information, visit the All 19 Holes website at www.all19holes.com.
  21. They're pushing the metal woods and irons release into January 2021. Srixon told us the move was planned well before Covid19 related shutdowns, but we've heard conflicting stories about that - it's my guess there's a direct correlation, since existing retail stock is collecting dust at the moment. Normally the new lineup would have been announced in July/August and released in September, but now it'll be timed to coincide with the PGA Show. Srixon's a two-year cycle company, so you can expect new metal woods, utility irons and two new iron sets to replace the Z-585 and Z-785 sets. For what it's worth, they are going ahead with the new Cleveland RTX wedge release in August/September, as planned.
  22. I really hesitated before deciding to put this up here. There are a TON of people hurting right now, no matter what country you're in, and it's human nature to want to help out the people on the homefront first, so please take this in which the spirit it's being given... Brett Murray was my caddie for two rounds at St. Andrews when my cousin and I made the trek over there last year, and getting to meet Brett was truly my good fortune. He was an excellent companion and an outstanding caddie who helped me shoot better than maybe I should have, especially during my second round. Anyway, Brett and I have kept in touch over the past year, and he emailed me this morning about a GoFundMe set up by Fraser Riddler, the caddie master and St. Andrews, to help St. Andrews caddies who've been out of work for nearly a month now. For most of these guys, it's their primary source of income and right now, it's dead. Anyway, I get that there are plenty of worthy charities deserving of our help, and in no way am I suggesting this is more important than any others. But when you know a guy and can call him a friend, you want to help him out in tough times. Anyway, here's the link and the info: (If you do choose to donate, the site is in British Pounds - right now 1 Pound is worth $1.23. GoFundMe Link: CLICK HERE The closure of St Andrews Links courses and facilities on 24th March, as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, is unprecedented in the modern era. Unfortunately, the caddies who regularly stride the fairways at St Andrews Links are among the worst affected. Caddies have been part of the fabric of golf in St Andrews for almost as long as the game has been played here. There are references to caddies dating back as far as 1691 at the Home of Golf and through to the modern day they continue to make a meaningful contribution to the enjoyment of the game by golfers of all ages and abilities. With no play possible for the foreseeable future and international travel set to be badly affected for the remainder of the summer season, caddie’s livelihoods are being seriously impacted. There is concern for the financial hardship many caddies might face due to the course closures. With this in mind, many have indicated they would like to offer help and support to the caddies during this difficult period. Fraser Riddler, Caddie Manager has established this GoFundMe account where donations can be made to support caddies during these challenging times. Any monies donated will be used to assist caddies who regularly work the fairways of the courses at St Andrews Links and who are in need or face financial hardship and who apply for assistance. Please note that this account is being operated by Fraser Riddler as an individual and is not linked to St Andrews Links Trust. 100% of all funds raised will be distributed to St Andrews caddies.
  23. The wife and I were discussing this very point yesterday. She, like most wives, is expert on just about any topic you can think of, and had some interesting takes on ball pricing and consumer buying decisions. Go check out the Titleist website for ProV1s. Forget the Buy 3 Get 1 Free thing for a moment - ball companies do that when balls are in their second year (or during pandemics) - and check out pricing for a customized ProV1. The standard ball lists for $52/dozen, and different levels of customization (2-digit player numbers, text, logos) run anywhere from $1 to $7/dozen. Shipping is not included, and that runs another $8.00 or so. So if you were to buy a similar level of customization on a ProV1, that could run upwards of $65 to $67/dozen. Two things - first, if you don't care about customization, then none of this matters. Second, a compelling argument can be made the Wilson ball is actually, gulp, a deal. (Caveat - it has to perform - that's a given). If you go to Rockbottomgolf.com, ProVs are $47.95/dozen, with personalization another $2.99. Shipping is free if you're over $52. A better deal than on Titleist's website, but Bridgestone and Callaway are all at $44.99 with $2.99 personalization. Srixon is the best deal of them all at $39.99 - the Z-Star's regular price - plus $2.99 personalization. For all the harping about price, you'd think Srixon would be golf's number one selling ball when you consider the intersection of price and performance. My wife's point, however, is that if the golfer perceives - and let's face it, most of us do - that the Titleist ball is THE best ball, a price difference of $5 to $10 a dozen matters neither a jot nor a tittle (my words, no hers). For what we all spend on golf, she maintains $10 more for a dozen balls is nothing. And the fact Titleist sells ProVs like toilet paper during Coronavirus, she's right. She went on to remind me of my many personal failings and complain that I never listen and a bunch of other things that I can't remember now.... Anyway, it's a fascinating thing to think about. If it really is about price, why isn't Srixon golf's number one selling ball? Hell, if it really is only about price, why isn't Snell golf's number one selling ball? As for Wilson, the Staff Model and the Baller Box - they gave me some prototypes at the PGA Show and I got to play them while in Florida. I didn't give them a thorough going over, and during the trip I played primarily the new Bridgestones and some Srixons and leftover ProVs, but the Wilsons certainly held their own. I still think the Bridgestone is hands down an outstanding ball and would be my ball of choice, but I'd consider the Wilson a worthy alternative. So, is $50 ($44.99 when buying 3 dozen), all customization and shipping included, a pricing mistake by Wilson? I think they'd have been better off by offering a plain offering in a traditional box at a lower price along with the Baller Box, so you'd have an alternative. I still believe the Baller Box is a good idea - forget about the packaging for a minute - balls by subscription is all about convenience, and making it a VIP "club" that provides you with additional seasonal discounts and other benefits, then it has its appeal. The mistake was trying to get too cute with quantity discounts and longevity discounts. And never forget the quandary of retail - Wilson can't offer any pricing scheme on its website that undercuts its retail and eCommerce partners for the same product - hence the Baller Box idea to begin with. Subscription is about convenience - and in this I think Seed has the right idea. The balls are always the same price, no matter how long your subscription or how many you buy at a time, and you can cancel anytime you want. If you only want to buy one dozen to try, well that's a higher price. Anyway, gotta run. My wife wants to talk to me some more about my shortcomings. This may take a while...
  24. Anyone else from our championship teams that Tampa might want??? Seriously, I hope TB and Gronk win a Super Bowl or two with the Bucs...it won't be against the Pats, I'm afraid, as Bill is going into reboot mode it would appear. I think they'll make the playoffs, but that's the ceiling this year and maybe next. But, as always, Trust in Bill - the man can build a team.
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