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Addicted2Golf

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Posts posted by Addicted2Golf

  1. Cobra Rail H Hybrid Review

     

    I've had my Cobra Baffler DWS 4 Hybrid a long time and it is one of the most important clubs in my bag. I use it off the tee on tight par 4's and long par 3's. It has become my go-to approach club from between 180 and 200 yards out. The Baffler is my rescue club to get back into the fairway when I've hit into long rough or into a stand of trees. I've even chipped with it from off the green.

     

    I've resisted the urge to replace my old trusty friend because it's like a warm security blanket in all those situations - the golf version of a woobie. But that was before I tried the new Cobra Baffler Rail H Hybrid.

     

    Pros

     

    Compared to my old Baffler, the Rail H club head is slightly larger but it has a sleeker appearance at address because the steel face insert is now a carbon black color that effectively blends in with the rest of the crown. It looks more like a small fairway wood versus an over-sized iron. Deciding which is better is purely a matter of opinion and ultimately player preference.

     

    The Rail H feels slightly lighter than the DWS and as a result I found myself swinging a little harder (not always a good thing). The feel is very substantial/solid on center contact, but that's not a huge change from previous models. The Fujikura Motore is a very good stock shaft and proved to be smooth and extremely stable.

     

    Cobra has decided to go with stronger lofts this time around (22 versus 23 degrees for the 4/H) and the ball flight was lower and about five yards longer. The most significant change other than aesthetics is the new four-way rail sole which according to Cobra "relieves more contact area for improved turf interaction." I found the Baffler Rail H to be considerably more forgiving off the deck and from the rough. I had a tendency to hit the old model a little fat when my swing was off. That has been all but eliminated with the new sole design.

     

    Cons

     

    My biggest gripe about the DWS model is it's draw bias. I have snap hooked it at times with disastrous results. This new Baffler feels more neutrally weighted, but I still had a much easier time drawing the ball than cutting it.

     

    The club head cover is a little loud for my taste, but that is a minor annoyance. Club head covers can be replaced.

     

    Final Word

     

    The Cobra Baffler Rail H is one of the best and most versatile hybrids in its class. The sole design alone is worth an upgrade for current Baffler owners. I will have a hard time sending this one back. My woobie is scared. It's days may be numbered.

     

    The Cobra Baffler Rail H retails for $150 and is available in lofts of 17, 19, 22, 25, 28 degrees. To visit Cobra's website for more information and complete specs, click here.

     

    For the full review with pics, click here.

  2. Played today at Crystal Woods in Woodstock, IL with my friend Eric (who was supposed to join Matt and I at Chalet, but called into work instead). Righted the ship somewhat with a 86. Didn't putt well, but I hit my driver straight and my irons were very solid today. 10/13 fairways hit and 6 GIR's.

  3. I got to play with A2G again today at Chalet Hills in Bufu, IL. Unlike last time, I brought a little bit of game with me. Shot a 10 over 83 which included 4 penalty shots incurred from the tee (the course, as Blaine will attest, can be borderline ridiculous off the tee) and many burned edges (including a birdie putt on 4 that was halfway down). I hit 6 GIR's, got up and down 5 times, and had 7 one-putts. My iron play was better than it's been all year, which was the biggest thing for me. As I said to Blaine, "It's like the fact that I practiced the last 2 days made me better." Something to think about...

     

    Matt played GREAT. Any other course in this area and it would have been a round in the 70's. Iron play was solid and his putting was ridiculous. It was a sight to see.

     

    As for me, I played Chalet at the behest of a friend although it's a course that doesn't suit my eye and quite honestly plays with my head. Many bad rounds there. This round was no different - shot a brutal 101 and uncharacteristically lost my cool and my confidence on the back nine. There was one nugget - nearly Eagled out on the Par 4 5th which is the #1 handicap hole. Pured a hybrid from 205 yards out to about six inches. Best shot of the year so far. This game drives you crazy sometimes.

  4. I lived 17 years in the Phoenix area (89-06) and graduated from Arizona State. I can tell you that very few of the locals play the courses in the afternoon during the summer. That is why you see significant discounts on the greens fees for tee times later in the day. Most courses have very little cover and the heat dehydrates you faster than you can put it back in. You also feel like hell afterward. Just not a fun experience.

     

    The good news is all of the courses including the iconic resort tracks are much cheaper in the summer and a few are downright bargains. Book in advance to obtain morning tee times and you will enjoy some of the best desert tracks in the world. And don't forget the sunscreen and reapply after the turn. Phoenix has one of the highest rates of skin cancer on earth. :(

  5. I made this comment in the post itself, but I will also place it here for discussion purposes...

     

    First, I must say - great article as always MGS.

     

    I agree with your comment on adjustability being an excellent fitting tool, but unfortunately the OEM's don't market the technology like that. Consumers get it in their head that they will be changing the settings all the time, but in reality most dial them in and then leave it alone. I've gone back to a glued driver and really don't miss the ability to adjust the face. And I would have paid less for my current driver than one of these technological marvels.

     

    One thing in your results that confused me was your statement: "We also observed that initial trajectories increased as the club face opened, and decreased as it closed." Closing the face would actually increase the effective loft of a driver, not decrease it. I researched this earlier this season when I found that I was ballooning my Nike Str8-Fit driver after setting the head in the 2 degree closed position.

  6. OK, dumb question...

     

    I was watching a player on the range and he was somehow cleaning the face of his irons with his shoe. Our range is sandy and I recently switched to forged irons. I could wipe the face with a towel after every shot but it takes longer to get off the range if i do that.

     

    How do you keep your grooves clean while hitting shots on the practice tee?

  7. If it helps, I have an Ogio Atlas but I'm not very happy with it. With the outside pockets, it's so side heavy that it rarely will sit straight in the cart - even when I strap it in tight, which is really annoying.

     

    On the positive side, the 14-way top setup is great. No problems with getting clubs in and out. Also, no shortage of pockets to stow stuff. And the bag is very attractive. I get lots of compliments on it.

  8. You missed a few:

     

    -Walk past green to pick up balls you bladed,

    -Walk into sand trap short of green to pick up balls you chunked, and

    -Walk to the right of green to pick up balls you shanked. :)

     

    LOL. Yeah, that's possible, but in my case I'm a 14 more because of inconsistent iron play and putting. Chipping is usually not my issue (probably because of the amount of time I spend on it). ;)

  9. The original question was Bushnell or Leupold. In researching laser range finders, I found that Leupold has less complaints about reliability - particularly versus earlier model Bushnells. But, they are also generally more expensive. I guess you get what you pay for.

     

    In terms of GPS versus Laser Range Finders, my update is I'm still in limbo. I have a Skycaddie SG2.5 that is sitting in a drawer more out of protest than anything else. I know I should use it or sell it, but I haven't made up my mind yet.

     

    Funds not withstanding, I'd love to go with a Leupold - even an older model. But, I just can't do that right now. Overall, if I look at things realistically, I've been playing without either for a couple of months now and haven't missed it too much. About half of the courses I've played have onboard GPS that I've been able to bum readings off of (even if I'm walking usually somebody in my group is playing cart golf). The other times I've relied on old fashioned sprinkler head yardage, course knowledge or local knowledge.

     

    So I'm thinking this is more of a luxury rather than a necessity. I can wait and make a decision later or ask for a Leupold for Christmas in the off-season.

  10. Matt and I have already played and will probably play again this week. Myndcraft, PingManKMB - we have to figure out a way to get you guys in the mix also.

     

    Others out there also? A lot of new members have joined since I started this thread...

  11. I bought my wife a set of Adams clubs a few years ago and she loves them. It was a set that included: bag, putter, driver, 3W, 2 hybrids, 2 irons, and a wedge. It's more than enough to create reasonable gaps given her swing speed, and she's a good golfer & athlete.

     

    +1 on the Adams. My wife has played on and off, but when she gets serious again I am going to buy her a new Adams set. They are really strong in the hybrid and fairway categories and most game improvement sets for women are built around those clubs.

  12. I like the drills Pugh - especially for putting. I might borrow some of those.

     

    For chipping... well... sometimes we tend to complicate things too much. Here is my chipping drill:

     

    1) Fill shag bag full of balls

    2) Empty balls from shag bag onto ground

    3) Chip balls into hole until all the balls have been hit

    4) Walk onto green to retrieve balls and fill shag bag

    5) Move to a new spot and repeat step 1 (MANY times)

     

    I recommend this drill to all you high handicappers out there. Spend AT LEAST as much time chipping as you do on the driving range practicing your full swing. It never ceases to amaze me how many weekend golfers can't hit a simple chip.

     

    This was a public service announcement. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program. :)

  13. I won my division in our Club Championship last weekend! Played the 49-Under Handicap Division. Played as an 8.0, which was the low handicap, and shot 80-79. Was 1 stroke back after the first day, but took the lead after 1 on the 2nd day, and held it, to win by 3.

     

    It was the two best consecutive competitive rounds I've ever played. I've scored better before, but for the way the course was set up and the way I managed my rounds, it was the best. 80-79 with no lost balls, and nothing worse than a bogey (only 1 birdie).

     

    I am absolutely THRILLED right now, although I may have partied a little too hard for a Sunday last night!

     

    Nicely done Tyk!

  14. :mellow: I certainly wouldn't recommend drinking!

     

    Bear in mind, what you are describing here is exactly what every other golfer goes through. Be it the beginner playing with a much better player for the first time. A single figure guy teeing up in his once-a-year' Club Championship or even a Ryder Cup Rookie standing over the opening tee shot quivering, unable to swallow or draw the club back!

     

    The secret? Well, I've certainly never been able to get rid of the first tee nerves completely. In fact, I miss them most of the time as the lack of them signifies a less important tee shot / round of golf. Yes. Good golfers get jitters too! How they deal with them is key, they manage to still make solid(ish) contact and settle down into their round quicker. How.....?

     

    Ok, the boring predictable answers...

     

    Routines

     

    There's a lot of talk about pre shot routines but also consider pre round routines. Ideally the time you spend directly before you tee up should be the same regardless of the importance of the round. Many golfers will usually rock up to the club 15 minutes before, quick swing of 2 clubs, maybe a putt or two and then they're off. No time to build up nerves.

     

    Then, on the day of a more 'important' round they'll deliberately arrive an hour or more beforehand. Time will be spent on the range, chipping, putting (all the things that should be done on a daily basis before a round but is usually neglected!) All this time whilst useful to warm the golfer up physically can often turn into time spent overthinking about the round of golf ahead.

     

    "I really want to play well today", "I wonder if I should take on that dog-leg on the first, I never make a good swing off the tee so early in the round, maybe I should just hit an iron and play it as a three shotter", "what time is it? Is it my game on the tee yet? Why am I getting so worked up, relax, RELAX!!!!" etc etc :rolleyes: Sound familiar?

     

    Good players will have a certain amount of time that they use to prepare for a round. Some as little as 20 mins, others well over an hour. The secret here is not so much how long you spend preparing but that you keep it consistent where possible to avoid over doing it on 'important' days. The guys you see on TV getting ready to play in the last round of a major will probably have done as much as possible in the hours leading up to the round to take their mind off the importance, to avoid exactly what you are describing. A good caddie will distract the player, keep him talking about stuff that keeps the mood light. No doubt some players call in Psycologists for pep talks before hand, I can assure you their role will be to calm down the player and again, distract them from thinking ahead of themselves.

     

    When the time comes, all focus will be on getting to the first tee and going through another routine. Keeping the same pre shot routine as on the range / previous rounds helps again to lessen the importance of that opening tee shot. I know it's a corny expression that's banded around an awful lot but taking the round 'one shot at a time' really is what keeps the top golfers from getting ahead of themselves and over thinking the start of a round. Some do it better than others. You've only got to look at poor old Dustin Johnson's start in the US Open today to see even the big guys get nervous!

     

    Sorry, waffled on there a bit!

     

    Basically, don't worry! You're not alone! Settling down and learning to 'enjoy' the butterflies is a skill that you can acquire. It may seem hard now but over time, learning to block out distractions and focusing purely on hitting your ball to your target on the first few holes (all 18 ideally but that's another posts worth!) will help calm the nerves.

     

    Remember, the guy you're playing probably feels the same! Even if he's not showing it B)

     

    Great post. I agree with the pre-round routine. I'm one of those "get to the course early" guys. I also need to loosen my back up, but mostly I do it to get in a zone. I can't flip a switch like some guys. It takes me a little while to quit thinking about everything else and focus on my game.

     

    The other thing I do to calm first tee jitters is to fall back on my key swing thoughts and concentrate on executing them. I really do that anytime I'm in a pressure situation and the first tee shot usually falls into that category.

  15. Are you talking about your bag :rolleyes:

     

    Yes, I am. I know what you're thinking - yes, my irons and wedges are different. But, I don't have a completely mixed bag (e.g. mixed irons and wedges from different companies). So, I guess there are degrees with that...

     

    And my bag is pretty. :mellow:

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