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GolfSpy Barbajo

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Everything posted by GolfSpy Barbajo

  1. As far as the Launch Pad goes - agree this is a good trend for golf. These things - and the Clevelands - are so freaking easy to hit it's almost like cheating. As far as a copy goes - similar to isn't the same as copy of. Then again, there are only so many ways to make a hollow-body, wide-soled iron. The ass end has to be dark in order to keep it from being too distracting at address, and you need to keep the profile relatively low to make sure the CG gets as low as possible so the target golfer can get the ball up in the air. No matter what you do, they're going to wind up looking similar. That said, man, do these things launch high, and the 4-iron might be the most fun to hit golf club I've ever tried. I was actually giggling at the heated range over in Hampton the other day, to the point where the guy next to me asked if I was okay. I handed him the club and he started giggling too after a few swings.
  2. Looks like it's tine to dust off this series of articles from Dec. 2014/Jan 2015 on the state of Wilson at that time. First articles I ever wrote for MGS. It gives you some background as to where Wilson was, how it got there, how bad the mid-2000's were and how it started a climb back to relevance. I'm working on an update to the story now...hope to get it published by the end of the year. Part 1: https://mygolfspy.com/how-the-wilson-staff-empire-crumbled/ Part 2: https://mygolfspy.com/rebuilding-wilson-golf/ Part 3: https://mygolfspy.com/so-what-now-wilson/ As for where the company stands today - won't give away too much but the biggest thing in my mind as back when these stories were written, very few people considered Wilson relevant in the world of premium golf equipment, and they were virtually nowhere when it came to discussions on any forum, not just our own. Today, 5 years later, they're most certainly relevant in the irons discussion - Wilson's irons are as good as anyone's, and Driver Vs. Driver did what it was supposed to do (it was never about the driver), get people talking about the brand. Their irons market share is around 3%, but this year they've outsold their projections for the Staff Model blades (which took about a month), and have their biggest success in years with the D7 irons and metal woods. They're looking at doing something new and different with putters, although they're not sure quite what yet (and if they are, they're not telling me), and have a few more releases coming up in the next month or so that should prove to be interesting. It's really, really hard for a Challenger Brand - be it Wilson, Srixon, Bridgestone, Honma, you name it - to grow substantially in market share. If Wilson has a 3% market share and experiences double digit growth every year for 5 years, where does that get it? Let's presume in 2014 they were a $120 million dollar company. 5 years of 10% growth would make it around a $180 to $200 million company - and most any company on the planet in a mature industry would LOVE 10% growth five years in a row - but think about what has to happen to achieve 10% growth year over year. In my travels I've seen a noticeable uptick in retail presence for Wilson. PGATour Superstore features the entire line, as do all the Worldwide Golf stores among others. The brand is definitely in a better place today than 5 years ago...and the new ownership has some definite ideas for growth, particularly in Asia. That's enough - I don't want to give up too much of the upcoming article!
  3. Got to try them at the Honma XP-1 Launch event. Gotta give 'em severall thumbs up. They're friggin' gorgeous and pretty easy to hit - just tried them on the range, but they're excellent irons. I haven't tried the P790/770's, but the I'd say the XP-1's could hold their own with anyone...
  4. I can see us hitting the 'Stone a couple more times this season Matt. Doubt I'll be able to get down to Florida in March, but will be St. Pete in early May - hope to hook up with @fozcycle and @revkev then. Doing a year end miles grab next weekend - flying to LA and then driving to Palm Springs for rounds at Mission Hills and Indian Wells. The wife and I are doing a west coast trip next April - she's never seen the Pacific Ocean - but it would be unwise to bring the clubs on that trip
  5. Almost 8 years ago -- we were so much younger then!
  6. I gamed one earlier this year and really liked it, so much so that I picked up the 747. Honma hand-shapes all of their drivers from permission while in the design/prototype phase before sending them to the CAD department. I don't know if that helps performance, but it does make them pretty to look at. Good luck with it!
  7. Haven’t taken advantage of any of the dining clubs yet - hope to knock off a few in the coming months. Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy
  8. Recently joined Firestone - even though I live in New Hampshire. Ohio is part of my territory for the Day Job and non-resident membership, including ClubCorp, was surprisingly affordable. Hope to get out there enough to make it worth it - and host some customers so they feel the love. Closer to home, the Ipswich CC is only 40 minutes away, so I've played that three times so far. The Ridge Club on Cape Cod is supposed to be magnificent, and I've played Ledgemont in Seekonk, MA once and really enjoyed it. Also get discounted greens fees to the International in Bolton, MA. Travels have brought me to the Green Bay CC in Wisconsin - an absolute gem, and the East Lake Woodlands CC in Tampa, also a very good course, as is Bay Oaks in Houston. May head to either LA or Phoenix in mid-December, we'll see what's available out there. Love to hear from other Club Corp'ers with recommendations!
  9. Love it, and if you keep that same set up in the bag for the next 5 years, you get a free round at Firestone! Talk to me in 2024...
  10. Some pics from the South Course at Firestone... I think this is the third hole - short par 4. This is taken from the right rough - it's a harrow hole - I hit a 3 wood off the tee to the center and had about 130 to the pin. Pulled it significantly left, hit a tree guarding the green, pitched up and two-putted for a very lucky bogey. This is the view of #16 from the fairway. This is the second shot -- already hit a pretty good drive to get to about 380 yards. The play was to hit to where the group in front of us was standing, near the shadows on the right hand side, leaving about an 8 or 9 iron into a tiny green. I pull-hook-scruffed a 3-wood into the rough to the left of that fairway bunker. Had to hit a 9-iron just short of the pond in front of the green... Cut it kind of close, don't you think? The pin was cut pretty close to the front - about 50 yards from this spot. This is one tough golf hole... The plaque on the bridge crossing the pond to the green... This is the approach to 18 - it's a deep, narrow green and they put the pin way in the back. The trees are crazy - it's like kicking a field goal. And yes, I pulled it into the tree on the left and dropped into the front bunker. Solid double-bogey finish! View of the first tee for the South Course, and the Lodge. They have 30 double rooms you can rent up in the Men's Locker room, plus a ton of villas along 16, 18 and across the street on the North Course overlooking the lake. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  11. Had a blast Matt! Always good to tee it up with you. Played the South on Friday - it's a bear of a course and it had a sizable portion of my ass for a snack. Did lip out a par putt for bogey on The Monster, #16. We played it at about 630 yards - it's a great golf hole (I'll post some pix later). We played the Member tees at about 6500 yards, which is a bit over my limit these days, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. The greens on the South are pretty small, with lots of false fronts and subtle - and not so subtle - breaks. The West was a lot of fun to play. Some say of the three courses at Firestone, it's the weakest, but one guy Thursday night said it well - the West has two major problems: the South and the North courses. If it was all by itself it would be considered a hell of a course.
  12. Most of the tournaments I play in are charity events, usually sponsored by the Oil Heat Service Managers, the PHCC or other industry group, although I have played in straight charity outings, such as for the Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. The industry events are to raise money for scholarship funds or other worthy causes, and they're a hell of a good time - never really worried much about what they gave out, as that's not the reason I played in the first place. Last one I played in, the Oil Man's Invitational, was a blast - included a scramble, on-course contests, a big raffle and a steak dinner. Sponsors donated the prizes and funded the dinner, so a large portion of the intake went to the designated charities - which seems common with a lot of these tournaments. I won't paint with too wide of a brush, as it's always wise to only comment on what you know as opposed to what you think you know, but pretty much every tourney I've ever played in had sponsors pick up the tab for giveaways, prizes and meals, and the entry fee went to covering use of the facility with the balance going to the charity.
  13. Have rolled each model and I gotta say, they're interesting feeling putters. The extreme forward CG definitely feels different. I'm not a blade guy, but I did sink 5 of my first 6 eight to ten footers with the 4.0 on the practice green. During the round, however, my issues with blades came back and I had trouble lining it up consistently. The Cero - with the rounded backside - was my favorite, although I do prefer a mid-mallet. As advertised, distance control is exceptional, it's just a matter of finding a head shape that you can square up consistently. None of the shapes do it for me personally - if they come out with a Cleveland #2 in this tech, tho, I am all over it!
  14. Lynx literally is a mom and pop organization, with Steve and Stephanie reviving the brand in Europe and the UK several years ago, and ultimately getting control of the brand globally (except for Korea/Japan) after Dick's bought out GolfSmith. They made a bit of a splash at the PGA Show with their Switch Face Driver, but from what we hear it's still not ready for Prime Time. We can give them credit for innovative thinking, but whether the concept is doable and whether it's actually any good remains to be seen. Another interesting note that for a relatively small company, their booth at the last two PGA shows seems outsized compared to influence and sales in North America. I know they've been struggling to find a way to get to market here, and it appears the Direct-To-Consumer approach - a la Hogan and Sub70 - is the avenue they've chosen, and it's probably the best one for them. There's really no room in retail for another small brand.
  15. Ditto on the Nuun - that stuff is a lifesaver!
  16. Hi Best.... I reached out to Hogan on your behalf. From what they've told me they're been scrambling due to an overwhelming demand for the new PTx PRO irons (backordered!) and were down one customer service rep. They've been adding staff to meet demand and need over the past few weeks. Let me know via PM if you need any help.
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