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GolfSpy Barbajo

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  1. Hi Mark -- I visited the Edel HQ outside of Austin a few years ago for a fitting - here's a recap of my experiences: https://mygolfspy.com/zen-and-the-art-of-putter-fitting/ I had never been fit for a putter before and I was impressed with the thoroughness and the thoughtfulness behind the fitting. David Edel really has done a lot of research behind how the eyes and mind perceive a square to target clubface and now things like putter shape, sight lines or dots and other things can alter one's perception. It was a great learning experience.... David told me that, when it comes to putters at least, that I like a nice rounded backside. That works for me!! ;-)
  2. That's a hell of an itinerary!!! Not really a hidden gem, but I really enjoyed North Berwick when I was there. It's a great golf course that's really fun to play. You can take the train from Edinburgh to North Berwick, and from there it's an easy 5 minute walk to the golf course. It's a real seaside links course -- and make sure to splurge on a caddy there. See if you can get John ( I forget his last name) - he's an older dude but an excellent caddy and excellent company. Enjoy!!!
  3. If that one doesn't move you...
  4. She was the Queen of Soul, and up there with Mavis Staples as the best female vocalist I've ever heard....
  5. No 9's -- no meaningful update for a blade, so they didn't do anything with it. It'll stay in the lineup unchanged for the foreseeable future.
  6. As to the CBX wedge question - Cleveland does a 2-year cycle on its products, so this is the year for an RTX update. Next year will see a CBX update. Keeping them in an alternate year cycle is smart, since it lets them introduce a new product every year, but in a different category.
  7. And awayyy we go..... https://mygolfspy.com/first-look-cleveland-rtx-4-wedges/
  8. Pix from tour are pretty much fair game for everyone -- if we had someone on tour and scooped some pix, we'd run them, too. It's accepted practice. But we don't have anyone covering the Tour, so we don't have our own pix. Those driver pix come from the USGA Conforming website - anyone can look at it (it's updated every Monday). Those are fair game as well, since they're often prototypes or not completely finished looking product - and aren't in color - and they're available for anyone in the general public to see. When it comes to pictures of samples they send us, or of pictures they provide us with for our First Look blog stories, we respect their embargo. Yeah, there are pictures everywhere, but we work with them on a basis of trust - I try to take that seriously. Are there pix out there? Yep. Do others ignore the embargo? Yep. We won't.
  9. Well, that's an interesting question -- while we do have independence from OEM's in that we don't take $$ from them, we do wish to retain an element of goodwill and mutual respect. OEM's have embargoes for a reason, and as a rule we cooperate with them. We do rely on them for participation in Forum Review Opportunities and Most Wanted - it's something that works out for both them and us -- they get exposure and honest feedback from our forum, and we get to give our forum members the opportunity to review and keep stuff. It makes for a lively, fun community. Not really willing to sacrifice that just so we can show pictures early -- they provided us with pictures to use in our blogs with the understanding that we'll respect their embargo. We try to act with integrity in our dealings with everyone - readers, OEMs and each other. It would be pretty slimy on our part to accept samples for testing, pictures and reviews and then turn around and say FU to the OEM and violate their trust, never mind their embargo. They understand that we'll be honest in our assessment and call it as we see it, and they respect that (well, almost all of them respect that!). All that aside - it's an embargo on a freaking wedge. It's not like we're fighting ISIS or anything....
  10. Please join me in congratulating our five testers: US: DPattGolf PMookie poprockncoke UK: Jon Brittain CAN: TravisClarke (5) TESTERS WANTED!!! Ben Hogan Ft. Worth Black Irons In the words of Peter Wolf - don't touch the knobs 'cause I think we're gonna have some fun with this one.... ​This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Ben Hogan Company. The brand has has plenty of ups and more than its share of downs, but it's still with us and as a brand, it still maters. With three new product launches this year, Hogan has firmly reestablished itself as a brand to be reckoned with, and we have a unique opportunity for 5 lucky forum members to test, review and keep a set of the sexy, new Ft. Worth 15 Black irons. TESTERS WANTED: The Ft. Worth Black, with its rugged Diamond Black Metal finish, is most definitely a player's iron. It's a 1025 forged blade, and Hogan says it gives the better player the feel, accuracy and consistency his or her game demands. We're looking for 5 of you to test the Fort Worth Blacks and let the MyGolfSpy Community what you think! This review opportunity is open to any golfer in the US, Canada or the UK. Sorry lefties - this one is for your right-handed brethren only. HOW TO APPLY: We take our Forum Member Testing quite seriously here at MyGolfSpy, and it's imperative you apply in the right place - which is right here in the Forum and NOT back in the blog. To be eligible, please tell us - in this thread - the following: First name and home state/province Age and handicap Your current iron set/makeup Thanks for applying! We'll be announcing the testers in this thread next week, so make sure to check back to see if you've been selected. Good luck!
  11. After Miguel Jimenez and Padraig Harrington, Mike Taylor may very well be the Most Interesting Man in Golf...the dude will never run out of stories to tell. Awesome wedges!
  12. Update -- you'll see the new wedges this Friday! Nice evolution from RTX-3 - similar DNA but with enough updates - and one big new addition - to make them pretty compelling....
  13. Congrats Rob! Two years here can sometimes feel like celebrating a 730 day toothache (I kid, I kid!), but the forum is a better place with you in it. Bringing on you, Stud and Brian as moderators/directors is one of the best things we've ever done. Thanks for being part of the family.
  14. New Cleveland wedges in the next week or two - Srixon woods and irons late August/Early September... Worth the wait - seriously....
  15. Just got back from Srixon - they showed us the new irons, wedges and metal woods. Can't show any pictures or share much in the way of details, but it's fair to say Srixon/Cleveland nailed it. We'll have a slew of stories and videos coming - you won't be disappointed [emoji41][emoji41][emoji41] Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  16. Just sent you a PM Robin - glad you're back And healthy!! Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  17. Good questions stroker..I'll do the best I can. Did you hit a "career long drive" on the baked out fairways where the ball just ran and ran? Nope - nothing like that. I was hitting the ball so poorly until the back 9 on Tuesday that career longs were out of the question. We played Carnoustie in the rain, so there wasn't much rolling there. With the wind at St. Andrews New Course had some nice results, but into the wind it was harsh. I actually hit driver to the Par 3 17th, which was playing 211 yards into a 25 mph wind - came up a wee short.... How many times and from how far away did you putt in the fairway? Did this quite often - probably the farthest out was about 10-15 yards or so. Most of the time is was less than 5 yards. I did have an uphill-skirt the lip of the bunker and downhill to the pin putt from off the green - kinda like the one Spieth hit at the Open. I hit mine a little - well a lot - too hard and had another putt from off the green coming back. On the plus side, it just missed the pin on the way by.... How helpful was the caddie? Could you play the course well without one or is it that important to have someone with experience out there telling you where to aim, etc.? We didn't have caddies at Carnoustie - but Gavin had been a member there and Keiran was the assistant pro, so they were able to tell us where to hit it and what to do. Hired a caddie at North Berwick and on the New Course - both were incredibly helpful there - in a lot of cases you'd have no clue where the pin was, which way the fairway went or what evil lurked along the way. They were invaluable and in the case of Chris at the New Course, he was good company as well as I played as a single. 45 to 50 pounds was the standard rate, plus tip - usually around 20 to 30 pounds, depending. How different is true links golf compared to some of the links-style courses stateside? Do you need to consider a bunch of different factors (wind, where ball will land, how much it will roll, etc) when playing there? We didn't have much wind at Longniddry - which was a mix of parkland and links. It was windy as hell at Prestonfield, but it was a parkland course similar to what we play here. North Berwick was true links, and the bounces were arbitrary - a shot that looked great would hit a mound and bounce into the rough, or leave you with a weird sidehill like. On the plus side, shots that would get you into a world of trouble here would wind up being playable, so it kind of balanced out - that's how I was able to eek out an ESC-aided 87 at Carnoustie (I'm hanging onto that!) while hitting the ball like crap. Started to get the hang of the pitch and run on the last day -- Chris helped me with an easy half swing with a quiet lower body ("a wee 7-iron," he called it) - keep the ball low and let it roll. Pulled off a couple, but hit a couple a bit too high - he said keep it a few feet off the ground and let it run....it does, when you hit it right. How much did the wind/weather/elements play a factor? First day not at all. Second round was windy - but at a parkland course it wasn't much different from playing in the wind here. North Berwick was a little drizzly, but not bad at all - the rain gear came off by the end of the front 9, and the wind was playable. Wind wasn't bad at Carnoustie, but it rained pretty steadily - had the umbrellas out for the middle part of the round, and broke out the rain gloves. The wind wasn't terrible, but enough to matter. The rain played a role in my worst shot of the trip - teeing off on 11 after saving a nice par on 10 - rain really started to pick up so I rushed the tee shot and duck hooked it into a bunker on another fairway - actually saved a DB out of it, but it made Gavin go "Oh, dear..." Was very windy at St. Andrews - the final 6 holes were very tough into the wind. I had a nice run of pars going before the wind started becoming a problem...made use of my Cobra utility iron on a couple of occasions... I've heard that very few - if any - golf carts are used. Did you see any or use any? You heard correctly - very few carts there. Longniddry had a few for its older members, didn't see any at Prestonfield or North Berwick. I believe you can get one at Carnoustie and St. Andrews, but only if you have a certified disability - and even then a caddie has to drive. We walked every day -- carried my clubs at Longniddry, Presonfield and Carnoustie and had a caddie the other two rounds. There were an awful lot of push carts and quite a few electric push carts. Played with two guys that had them -- one was in his 20's, the other in his mid-40's. I want one! I'm also seeing the benefit of an ultra-light weight Sunday bag for walkable courses. Want one of those too...
  18. We did have the sticky toffee pudding on our last night in St. Andrews -- it's a thing there, and you're right - it's VERY VERY good. As for Haggis, whenever I'd ask someone what's in it, they went "uhhhhh...." So that was that.... ;-)
  19. And one more thing -- apparently driving ranges are not a thing at Scottish golf courses. St. Andrews had a range you could use at it's Golf Academy, and each stall was equipped with a Trackman that you could use for free. But like to hit a small bucket to get grooved before teeing off? Ain't gonna happen....
  20. Greetings from some 40,000 feet over the Atlantic! We're about halfway home and I wanted to share some parting thoughts with you about the trip... 1. First and foremost - a huge thank you to Gavin, David, Scott, Michael and Jen from Shot Scope for being outstanding golf partners! I can't tell you how much fun I had playing with these guys over 3 days - each one of them is a playah (Gavin played Walker Cup and played professionally on the European Tour, Michael is a +handicap and won his club championship 3 years running, Scott is a former pro and a scratch golfer, and Jen played in college and is one of the steadiest golfers I've ever seen! David is a recovering 4 handicap - living proof that the better you are at business, the more your handicap drifts up a bit!) 2. Gavin had the misfortune of teaming up with me in our 3 matches - We went 1-1-1, although I should probably say Gavin went 1-1-1 and I kept us from going 3-0. Seriously, 3 missed putts at Carnoustie (2 lipouts, one left a wee short) would have turned a halved match into a laugher. Gavin was nice about it, but I'm pretty sure he wanted to go upside my head with a 7-iron on more than one occasion. 3. It's never a good sign when your partner says "Oh Dear" after you hit your tee shot. 4. We played with the assistant pro at Carnoustie on Monday - Keiran (I can't remember his last name) is an old friend of Gavin's (they wen to college in Florida together). I don't know if you've ever played golf with two professionals, but my God is was fun watching them go at it. 5. One set of tees at Carnoustie and at the Old Course (from what I could see) and the New Course. We didn't play from the tourney tees at Carnoustie, but we did play from the tips - I'm pretty sure I broke 90 (IF you invote the ESC!!!!!) 6. It seems just about every town has a golf course (or two) in Scotland -- plenty of hidden gems the tourists never really see or play, but they're really solid courses. Some are above solid. 7. That said, they're running into a bit of a supply-demand problem. A lot of courses and not as many players taking memberships, so some courses are having issues with having enough $$ to perform necessary maintenance and improvements. 8. Membership at these courses is, for the most part, very reasonable. Longniddry, for example, charges about 600 pounds for a membership, which is about $1,000, for all the golf you can play. It's a nice little seaside course - no par 5's so it's only a par 68, but it's plenty challenging. 9. A visit to St. Andrews is a must - even if you get get on a golf course. It's a beautiful town right on the ocean, with plenty of activity. The St. Andrews golf complex is incredible, with 6 courses right on the property, and a 7th course about a 5 minute drive south of the city. 10. Tried to get on the Old Course as a walk-on -- woke up at 4:30 and walked down the course to wait in line. I was #21! The guy who was first in line slept there - he showed up around 10:30/11 the night before, but he got to play! 11. Walking around the first tee and 18th green is downright magical. The combo fairway gives new meaning to the term "tight lie," to the point where it seems like the whole thing was carpeted. Got my picture on the Swilican Bridge, and got to check out the Road Hole green and bunker. How the hell anyone can hold that green on the fly is beyond me. 12. Did get to play the New Course - went out alone with my caddie Chris - and we finished up in about 3 hours (lots of groups let us play through). It doesn't get the press of the Old Course, but at less than 1/2 the price, it's still a great golf course. Lots of memorable holes and when the wind is blowing like it was yesterday, bogey on the 6 inbound holes is a good score. 13. I did not shoot a good score - 2 pars, 2 bogeys, 2 doubles.... 14. They have a three-day unlimited golf pass at St. Andrews - all the golf you can play at any of the courses that aren't the Old Course for around 200 pounds. You could easily play 36 a day and turn it into a bargain. 15. St. Andrews is a 90 minute train/bus ride from Edinburgh - the train ride is very scenic and the public transit system as a whole was pretty convenient. Apparently they were having some issues in other parts of the country, but our train trips were flawless. We used Uber a lot to get around Edinburgh and to and from the airport, and our apartment location made getting around very easy. 16. We rented a 2 bedroom apartment through VRBO - it was awesome. Great location, very modern, clean and comfortable. We were there for almost a week, and living in an apartment was a lot more comfortable than being stuck in a hotel room. We had a full kitchen, laundry facilities, a TV with a DVD player (and a nice selection of DVD's) and all the other comforts of home. 17. When it came to sheer fun, it's hard to beat North Berwick. It's a 1/2 hour train ride from Edinburgh (5 minute walk from the station to the course), and is right on the ocean. Loved every round I played in Scotland, but for shear fun, it's hard to beat North Berwick. 18. Very much want to go back and do it again. Wondering if a MyGolfSpy Community Trip to Scotland would be of interest? Thanks again for letting me share the trip with you guys. My wife says I was acting like a 9 year old on Christmas morning during the entire trip - which is an improvement because she says I usually act like a 9 year old anyway....
  21. So the Old Course didn't happen - I was #21 in line and the tee sheet was pretty full. Only a handful of the guys ahead of me got on. I did get the money shot tho... Did walk down the 18th and onto the Road Hole early in the AM - was struck by how tight and lush the fairways are - just gorgeous. And holding the green on the Road Hole looks borderline impossible. Wound up playing the New Course - not as famous or as manicured but a pretty decent course. Very windy - around 25 mph throughout much of the afternoon , making the final 7 or 8 holes returning to the club house into the teeth of the gale. Like most of my rounds - the first 5 or 6 holes were fine - but a triple and a few doubles spoiled the round. My caddie Chris was awesome and proved to be a big help - although some of my putts had a bit too much power to them. Finished up around 4 or so (quick round!) and met the wife and her sisters for a little shopping and dinner. We're waiting on the bus to take us the train, which takes us back to Edinburgh. We leave for home early tomorrow!! Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  22. In line, we'll see.... Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
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