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GolfSpy Dave

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  1. Dave's Putter Profile: Odyssey's EXO Indianapolis S New Gamer Alert! That's right, today's featured putter, the Odyssey EXO Indianapolis Sis the new gamer. Dave switched his gamer? That never happens. How does something as common as rainbows with colors warrant an “Alert”? While I am in fact gaming the EXO Indianapolis S, the “Alert” in that title was not referencing me, but rather Odyssey head design honcho Luke Williams. He has switched to the Indy S. It wasn't too long ago when Luke, Hashtag Chad, others, and myself were all founding members of Team Red Marxman S. it was a big red Marxman love fest. (You can find out more about the O-Works Red Marxman S HERE.) Anyway, as I was chatting with Luke about the upcoming EXO line release, he dropped the bomb that he had switched to the EXO Indianapolis S. And just like that, the Marxman was relegated to the garage, and my excitement to roll the new incarnation of the Indy went pedal to the metal. Luke has access to lots of putters, and he can even make custom ones should he choose, and this putter replaced his gamer. I'd say that warrants a closer look. EXO Line Features Review It was back in January when I was able to share with you the details about the new Odyssey EXO line. You can check out that whole blog article HERE. For those of you who choose not to click the information-refreshing link above, I'll give you the quick version. The new EXO line features three (six) models, a new insert, and multi-material construction that allowed Odyssey to push the MOI numbers beyond normal values. To quote myself: With the EXO line, Odyssey has constructed putters that feature a lighter weight center portion made from aluminum, with the outer part of the putter being made from heavier steel. Physics says, if you move the mass from the middle to the edges, you increase MOI, thus improving rotational stability. Mixing the two types of metals in the head allowed Odyssey to reposition the weight. Additionally, the EXO putters feature shallower centers of gravity than non-EXO models, which should add to their forgiveness. Damn, That Hinge is White Hot The White Hot Microhinge insert is new to the EXO line, and it is much more than an O-Works insert painted white. Without getting too far into the insert rabbit hole again, and because you have all read the First Look article (right?), let's just say that it took some tweaking to get the sound and feel just right. And what “just right” really means is that the insert feels and sounds like the revered White Hot insert, while providing the improved roll of the microhinge technology. When all things were said and done, Odyssey had developed an insert with the sound and feel profile of the beloved White Hot insert, and the roll enhancing microhinge technology. Now that I've had some rounds with the insert, and with the O-Works microhinge insert, I can definitely attest to their differences. Though both provide solid rolls, sound and feel are not the same. I find the White Hot microhinge to feel and sound much softer. It's so soft that I am sometimes surprised that the ball rolls all the way to the hole. Perhaps the feel issue is just an issue of familiarity. During their heyday, I did not extensively game a White Hot putter, preferring milled metal faces. I'd love one of you with more White Hot mileage to chime in on the feel comparison. It does feel softer, yet roll more proficiently when I compare it to my beloved White Ice Sabertooth, but that insert was not quite a White Hot. The EXO vs. Toulon Indianapolis The EXO Indianapolis is the second incarnation of the Indianapolis, with the first one coming under Odyssey's Toulon Design brand. I spent a good deal of time with the Toulon Indianapolis about this time last year (article HERE). Naturally, one will want to compare the two models, and he or she will quickly find that they are actually quite different. Construction One of the things that you can see right away when you compare the two models is that the materials have changed. Both are multi-material designs, but the EXO Indianapolis doesn't feature some of the fancier, and more expensive materials, like carbon fiber and tungsten. While I was initially a bit disappointed that the carbon fiber was gone, I actually think that I prefer the simpler look at address without it. I also think that not including these materials in the EXO version allowed this Indy to hit the $299 price point as opposed to the $399 price for the Toulon version. You can also see some design differences when you closely compare the two models. Take a look at these side shots. The Toulon Indianapolis is mostly hollow, while the EXO version has some structural pillars at its core. If memory serves me, these elements in the EXO Indy were included in the design to control sound and feel at impact. Regardless, it's little design tweaks like this that let consumers know that this is not just a cheaper version of the Toulon model. The Odyssey crew put some thought, and innovation into the EXO Indy. Looks I sort of mentioned this above, but I think that the new looks are a huge improvement at address. I just couldn't get comfortable with the half black and half (really) shiny silver looks of the Toulon Indianapolis. As good as it felt, it was demoted from the bag to the garage. The all-dark EXO looks great to my eye. You get the big sight line, and that's about it at address. I prefer this simple look to that of the Toulon Indy, and even to the O-Works Red Marxman S that I was gaming. It just simplifies aiming for me, and as I have mentioned in the past, I putt better with more squared putters. Slant Neck Option Odyssey is all in on offering slant neck variants of their mallets this year. All of the O-Works mallets can be had with a slant neck, and the same is true for the EXO putters. The Indianapolis, Seven, and Rossie all come in slant or traditional necks models. But why does this matter? Perhaps you happened upon the Most Wanted Monday video below about putter fitting. Adding the slant neck changes the playability of the putter, making a more traditionally straight-back-straight through mallet play more like an arcing blade. The significance of this is twofold. First, it allows slight-arc blade players to try out higher MOI mallets. Adding a slant neck makes the mallet feel more blade-like as it arcs through the stroke. Otherwise you'll be fighting the straight mallet with your arcing stroke. The second thing that builds from that idea, and also from the data in the video, is that not very many players actually have straight strokes. Some will argue that nobody has a straight back and straight through stroke. This means that nearly everyone playing a mallet is playing a putter that doesn't fit his or her stroke. The sad irony for many is that they pick up a mallet in the shop thinking that it is an easier to use putter, and then the resulting mismatch with their stroke costs them putts on the course. PING has addressed this idea for a few years with their different shaft options for their mallets, and now Odyssey has done the same with the S neck. Now you can choose a mallet that actually matches your stroke, and shouldmake putting easier. We still have to roll the putts correctly, of course. Gaming the Indy So like Luke, I am indeed gaming the Indy as well these days. I've mentioned some of the “Whys” already, but really the bag-ability of the EXO Indianapolis Scomes down to a couple of things. First of all, I really feel like I can aim this putter. Obviously, putts hit the hole more often when you can actually aim them at the target. While the Marxman S was quite easy to aim from distance, I struggled in close. Something about the head was distracting, and caused me to lose confidence. Nothing like preferring the 15' putt to the 5' putt. I believe that it's the square shape of the Indianapolis that better suits my eye, and meshes better with my aiming perceptions. Going the Distance The other thing that earns the Indy a bag spot is its distance control. My miss is traditionally short, but the bent-strong loft and the White Hot microhinge insert seem to be doing their distance-controlling job. Though the insert seems a bit soft, it does a great job of getting the ball to the hole. What I mean is that the swing that I take to get a ball a certain distance, gets the ball that distance, even if the feedback makes me think that it was too soft to get there. I am thinking that I will either get used to the soft feel, or this could end up being a to-the-bench issue for the Indianapolis. My feel-to-roll disconnect a bit disconcerting, but if the ball is getting there, I'm cool with the discord. It would be worse if I felt like I hit it well and it ended ten feet short or long. As of now though, it looks like the EXO Indianapolis S will be one of the putters that I'll be taking to Bandon Dunes in a few weeks. Yes, one of the putters. One has to have options for the Punchbowl after all. You can find out more about the Indianapolis, and the rest of the EXO line at the Odyssey site HERE.
  2. Solid sour from The Bruery Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  3. Where was the study again that said that getting rolling faster made the putter more accurate?
  4. They can be tough to find in shops. PING has made a few off the rack models over the years, but most face-balanced blades are double bend shafted like the Kushin or Odyssey 1W
  5. I'm A Sucker For… For me, that statement finishes with longneck blades. I don't think that there is another putter that I pine for more for than the longneck. I've got a couple of sweet ones in the never part with section of my collection. One is an old Cameron Tel3 longneck Newport, and my copper twisty Byron longneck 006 may be the pinnacle of my putter collection, and probably going into the box with me when I take the old dirt nap. There was a span of time when discovering a new longneck resulted in an auto-purchase. These putters were the gamer of choice. Only the longneck could give me the face-balanced, non-malletness that I was looking for in a putter. Dave's putter corral was home to double-digit longnecks there for a while. #longneckissues And so, when I saw that Kronos Golf was rolling out the ample-necked Release blade, I knew that it was a putter that needed my close scrutiny. Spending Time with Kronos Many of us first learned about Kronos Golf on the TV show Shark Tank. Kronos' founder and designer delivered one of the most memorable, and emotional pitches in the history of that show. That episode got the Kronos Golf out there, and they have continued to put out some pretty solid video content. Here is a YouTube clip with a little more about the philosophy of Kronos. https://youtu.be/feX4U8VuhJo I first rolled Kronos putters back in 2015 when the Mandala and the Touch were entered in the Most Wanted Mallet and Blade competitions, respectively. The Mandala did great, placing fifth overall that year. That's including blades and mallets. Not too shabby for a small shop. Though the Touch didn't fare as well with the testers, I personally liked the thicker top line and overall blocky blade appearance quite a bit. That Touch found its way into my bag more than once after the testing was completed. Though ultimately a bit too heavy for me, rolling the Touch was a pleasurable putting experience. The Kronos Release https://youtu.be/8H2SwutHphk So let's take a closer look at the new Kronos Release. Obviously, the thing that is going to jump out at you with the release is the length of the neck. As necks go, the Release's neck is quite long. I've seen longer, but this one will stretch right up there with the other giraffes of the putter world. The effect of that neck comes primarily with toe hang, and with that the putter's playability. An Anser-style putter featuring a more traditional neck length fits a slight-arc stroke path, with the neck and head weighting matching the swinging and head rotation of that arcing path. By lengthening the neck, you push the toe hang toward being face-balanced, with the putter now playing more along a straight back-straight through path. What this means that the blade now plays more like a mallet, at least in terms of path. The huge mallets will still have significant MOI differences when compared to a blade, but having a blade that swings like a mallet hits the sweet spot for minimal arc players who don't like the look of huge putters. Face-balanced blades are amazing compromises for the big mallet-phobics. Specifications: Kronos Release 1-piece billet milled 11L17 carbon steel Physical Vapor Deposition finish 2.5 degrees loft, 70 degrees lie, 2 degrees draft 3:30 o'clock toe hang (nearly face balanced) Compass Scored™ face 370 grams Standard with stepless steel shaft, leather cover and Iomic midsize grip Putter head milled and club assembled in San Diego, California. Looks: Kronos Release The PVD finish on the Release is outstanding. That's a subjective assessment, of course, but I love the way that other colors show up in the nooks and crannies of the putter. Nothing so overt that it distracts you at address, rather there are just little winks of color that you catch as you rotate the head. It's a top notch looking putter, and that PVD finish will protect the carbon steel nicely. You've likely noticed that someone's name is on the putter's neck. Spoiler alert, that's my name! I didn't even know that Kronos was offering this type of customization, so I was quite surprised to see this touch of personalization when I opened the box. This is a what that you could make this already unique putter even more custom and spepersonal. These putters could be used to mark births of kids, or other significant events like weddings. Imagine how excited your groomsmen would be this summer if you presented them with putters with something cool like Fairways and Greens on the neck. They'd be bros for life after that. It's a nice option for those interested. Feel, Alignment, and Play Notes: Kronos Release The Kronos Release plays exactly like a carbon steel longneck blade should play. The feeling at impact is deliciously soft, and paired with a pleasantly resonating tone. It gets an ooooh that's nice response when rolled. The Release does remind me of the Touch in many ways. I like the familiar, blockier appearance of the blade at address. For me, the more square the better when it comes to aiming the putter. Once you start rounding edges, my eye gets a little wandering. The blocky top line and simple sight line are well paired for my eye. Not very overt, but enough to be helpful. The Release feels best along a shallow swing path with limited head rotation, exactly like you'd expect. Unfortunately for me, this no longer reflects my current swing description. This past weekend, I spent a few hours with a putting coach and the Capto putting system. During the past year or so, it seemed like I was putting better with deep toe hang putters, directly contrasting what I thought that I knew about my putting preferences. I guess that I could have seen this coming as I have almost unconsciously migrated from long necks to standard necks, and then to flow necks over the past few years. Maybe the transition was a frog in a slowly warming pot thing, where I just didn't really know it was happening while it was happening. The Kronos Release still fits my slight arc path, but the capto sensor showed dramatically different result when we looked at face rotation. As it turns out, I rotate the head much more in my swing than I thought I did. Good or bad, this is my (new?) natural motion, and it's more suited to a flow neck than a long neck. Based on the data, it looked like I was fighting to release the Release a bit. This was a huge surprise, going against my years-long love affair with longneck putters. How can something I love not be good for me (re. beer)? Of course, I'll likely still game it here and there, when curiosity and emotion overpower data at gamer selection time. We all know that just sticking to that one putter would be boring anyway. Will 2018 Be the Time For KRONOS? It seems like Kronos golf may be one to watch in 2018. There are lots of shops out there making milled putters these days. Let's face it, not all of them are innovative, or even interesting. Kronos seems committed on both of those accounts. The Release is deliciously atypical in today's putter corral. I can only think of a few available longneck blades out there that don't require custom production to acquire. Sure, I probably need to go short flow neck these days to hit the hole, but I like to think of myself as a longneck aficionado. The Kronos Release is a solid longneck offering. Did you see a putter on that blog page that you'd like to know more about? Any specific idea that jumped out? Anyone else out there a longneck lover? Fire off that 2¢ MGS folk!
  6. I hope it's awesome. Shoot some photos when you get it out on the course. I will say that my Clicgear is a workhorse, still going strong after years of abuse on the course
  7. We have a group here that goes up in November right when the rates change. Been more hit than miss on weather most years. And much cheaper.
  8. Just go and play. Shoot a big number, lose a crap ton of balls, and have a great time. You won't remember your score as long as you'll remember the experience. my 12 HCP is going to spray nonsense all over the place and it will be fantastic. Much like that first Hustler
  9. Sheep Ranch is in discussion but we may run out of time. May try and sneak out there on the way home. Heard a rumor that they may build a 5th 18 there.
  10. I will definitely run this buy the group. One of our guys has used caddies in the past and has been there 5 or six times. Another guy in a noob though and may appreciate the added info. Thanks for the idea
  11. Got a XIKAR torch for that pesky wind. Last time we went at the end of May it was very mild wind and dry. Fingers crossed 🤞 Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  12. We will be staying in Lily Pond on property. That worked out great last time as we basically got there and parked, then didn't go to the car again until we left. There are four of us heading up from Sacramento in a Escalade loaded with gear. Takes about 8 hours. Considered flying in, but wanted to save the money. Play plan: Sunday: Arrive-Play Shorty's and Punchbowl Monday: Bandon Trails and Bandon Dunes then Preserve/Punchbowl Tuesday: Pacific Dunes and Old Mac then Preserve/Punchbowl Wednesday: Home full of Advil
  13. I'm Going Back to Bandon, Bandon, Bandon Yep, you read that right, in about a month from now I will be making a return visit to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. No, that's not a humble brag. It's a 100% non-humble big huge brag. It's a I'm a lucky bastard brag. My prior trip to Bandon Dunes is one of my most memorable golf experiences to date. Thinking about getting to go back there gives me untypeable hands, as they are preoccupied clapping together with joy. I'm only half kidding there… For those of you not in the know about Bandon Dunes, follow this LINK to the resort site, browse around, and then come back with just a bit more seething envy. Bandon looks impressive on the web site, and once you get there, you quickly realize that what you saw on the computer didn't even come close to preparing you for the actual resort and golf experience. The last time I made the trip, I put together a kit of gear that I thought I would need for the adventure. You can read that article from the MGS blog here: Bandon Dunes Kit. As I get ready for trip two, I thought it would be fun to share my trip two must haves and discuss how trip two will differ this time around. The Original Kit Went 4/5 As I look back at the items from that original kit, I'd load four of the five of them into the car for trip two. The one thing that I'd leave home is the Jones bag, and it's not the bag's fault at all. I packed the Jones bag to have something light to use on The Preserve, the 13 hole par 3 course. As it turns out, Bandon Dunes has the exact same Jones bag there for you to borrow, transfering needed clubs from your big bag to the Jones for the shorter course. Attitude makes a difference though. Instead of being upset that I hit into a ridiculously deep bunker, I thought about how cool it was to have a bunker like that to play out of. Slight change in perspective made all of the difference for me. The Bandon Dunes Kit Version 2.0 So what will I be bringing this time around? The bones of the original kit will all be there, with some updates and modifications. Rain Gear Rain gear will be part of the package. Hopefully the rain gear stays dry again this trip, but I sort of want it to rain a bit since that's really a part of the Bandon experience. Who am I kidding, I hate rain, and it would be totally fine to be dry and warm again this time. Flasks and Booze Booze and the accompanying Seamus flask will be there for sure. I think that having the flask and the associated birdie-pull ritual definitely added to the experience. I did considering switching that to a par-pull ritual after the first 18, and then to a still-alive ritual after 27 holes, but making the flask a reward was definitely fun. The flask from Seamus is just flat out badass. Plus, it's an Oregon company, so there is good juju there to boost the Bandon Experience. Maybe we can grab Akbar, Seamus's owner and Bandon resident, for a beer and putting at the Punchbowl. Not that you necessarily care, but I think that I'll be switching the flask contents to Basil Hayden's bourbon this time. If you dig bourbon, and haven't tried this stuff, you are welcome.. There is a reason why I couldn't find a single photo with a full bottle in it. Gorse Food (aka lots of golf balls) There will definitely be more than one box of balls making the trip with me again. Let's just say that the gorse is no joke. You lose a ball in there and it's lost. Don't look for it, just drop and move on. If you start to poke into the gorse, trying to find your ball, you will lose that contest. Let the gorse keep its offering, and then you can then keep your blood and skin. New Trip Two Takes There are a couple of other things that are my new must takes for the second trip. Feel free to add to this list if there is something that you would consider a must have. Extra Socks: Swapping the socks between the morning and afternoon rounds, and slipping into pair three after 36 holes before recreating at the Punchbowl was quasi orgasmic. It's like strapping on new feet. I'll probably snag a couple of fresh pairs of Kentwools before I go. KT Tape: Though I am actively training for the amount of walking that we will do during the trip, it's nice to have a bit of extra support. I found that running a piece of tape up the back of the foot, and around the arch was a great way to prevent any heel rub or plantar issues. Advil: Sometimes old bodies feel old. Smash that pain with drugs and alcohol and keep playing. Since it's Oregon, herbal remedies are also not out of the equation. Cigars: The course actually has some quality cigars available to purchase, but I have a few favorites that I'll be packing in this time. Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduros and New World by AJ Fernandez will be in my bag. Clicgear: This may be more important than anything. We aren't getting caddies, so it's either carry or push the bag. Playing this much golf with a bag on my back could lead to serious soreness. All of the courses are definitely pushable, and remember, they want you to roll the cart right across the green. They are hard, you'll not hurt them. Snacks: Cliff Bars and jerky were pure ambrosia last time. You burn massive amounts of calories during the rounds. Eat stuff and play better. Eat in the Pub: There are great restaurants on site, but I think that we will go with McKee's Pub for most meals. I may just order Grandma's Meatloaf for every meal. It's that good. The take out breakfast burritos at the lodge are killer as well. I'll get a burrito and a coffee and then go to the range to warm up rather than a sit down for breakfast. Lingering Gear Questions While I think that I've got most of the plan set, there are still a couple of questions that I need to address before the trip. Putter: This one is impossible. I'll probably pick one at the last minute, and by one I mean a few. I took two putters last time, my Carbon Holliday for the rounds and then my favorite old friend White Hot Sabertooth for the Punchbowl. Fairway/Driving Iron: I've got a hole at the top of my bag. I have a serviceable 3W (Srixon F45) and my trusty PING i25 3H, but I am thinking that a driving iron could be fun to have at Bandon. May do a little shopping for a PING Crossover, or maybe a G400 fairway to match my favorite ever G400 driver. Hitting something long, yet low, would be helpful if that wind creeps up. I could also just work on knockdowns with the i25 3H. G400 stretch 3W could be a nice low launch option as well... Cart or Carry Bag: I love my MGS cart bag, but I am wondering if it would be better to go with a smaller bag, specifically a carry bag that I can take with less effort to the practice facility. Maybe this too will be a gametime decision. If the weather looks rough, then the big bag could be critical for swapping out rain gear and such. Feedback? So what do you all think? Have I missed something that you think is mission critical for Bandon? You can look forward to a full trip report once I'm back, and if you watch my social media accounts May 27th-30th, you will see lots of amazing stuff from the course. Should you happen to be in the Bandon area around that time, I've got your first round at the Punchbowl covered.
  14. Just a bump here to let you know that they are expanding the voice commands of the UE BLAST and MEGABLAST. If you use Spotify, this is pretty cool... ------------ Voice Control for Spotify Coming Soon on Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST and BLAST Enhanced App Features Available Now and Grouping Later This Year LAUSANNE, Switzerland & NEWARK, Calif. — April 19, 2018 — Today, Ultimate Ears announced new features for Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST and BLAST, the recently-released portable speakers from the brand's Wi-Fi and BluetoothⓇ smart speaker range, with immersive 360-degree sound and Amazon Alexa built-in. Available to all users, the updates further Ultimate Ears' innovative spirit, where speakers get smarter and better over time. New experiences for MEGABLAST and BLAST include: Enhanced controls on the Ultimate Ears app: You can now control volume remotely from the app, which is especially useful if you have your music cranked up loud and want to use Alexa. You can also check battery status in two ways - either through the app, or right from the speaker by pressing the “+/-” volume buttons simultaneously. Starting in May, you can personalize your sound for any artist or music genre with the custom equalizer (EQ). Voice control on Spotify and more (coming soon): Just ask “Alexa, play my Discover Weekly” or any music from Spotify on MEGABLAST and BLAST. Spotify will soon join other Amazon Alexa supported music services such as Amazon Music, Deezer and TuneIn globally; and Pandora, iHeartRadio and SiriusXM in the U.S. -- use your voice to control music from these streaming services over Wi-Fi. On Bluetooth, you can enjoy music from any of your favorite music services. A better way to listen with Spotify Connect (coming soon): MEGABLAST and BLAST will be the first Ultimate Ears speakers to integrate Spotify Connect. When on Wi-Fi, open the Spotify app on your phone and play music directly to our speakers (under “Devices Available”) without the need to pair through Bluetooth. Music fans can also stream the highest quality sound possible from Spotify. With Spotify Connect, text message or make calls without interrupting the music and save your phone's battery. New grouping experience for smart speakers (coming soon): You can group up to eight MEGABLAST and BLAST speakers on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Stereo mode is supported when you connect two MEGABLAST or BLAST speakers. Optimized to take advantage of the speakers' built-in Wi-Fi capability, you will experience greater range for grouped speakers and improved connection reliability. Grouping is expected to be available later this year. “We believe that MEGABLAST is the best sounding portable smart speaker available today -- with true 360-degree sound, its sleek, waterproof design looks at home with any interior and wherever you take your music, from kitchen to backyard, park to mountain,” said Charlotte Johs, general manager of Ultimate Ears. “We listened to our fans and have added features and functionality that they've asked for most -- we're excited to add Alexa voice control for Spotify, in addition to the many other music services and app features.” Combining ultimate 360-degree sound, sleek design and the convenience of hands-free voice control on Wi-Fi, BLAST and MEGABLAST are part of Ultimate Ears' new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth smart speaker range. MEGABLAST and BLAST deliver a battery life of up to 16 and 12 hours respectively, a range of up to 330 feet on Wi-Fi and are waterproof and dustproof (IP67 rated). MEGABLAST is the loudest, most powerful and best sounding speaker to date from Ultimate Ears. Meticulously engineered from the ground up with custom drivers to produce a full and crisp sound, MEGABLAST is 40 percent louder than Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM. Place BLAST or MEGABLAST on Ultimate Ears POWER UP, a convenient charging dock that makes charging easier. The speakers will stay powered on when placed on POWER UP, making Alexa voice control always available via Wi-Fi for music, smart home controls and skills.
  15. I have used the MLA system. Like the idea but it wasn't the killer app for me. At least with the head I had. Maybe I need to buy another MLA putter with a different head. [emoji848] Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  16. I think that the insert has played out better for me than expected. So far so good, but the feedback is definitely different from a milled head.
  17. So far so good. Honestly, my putter slot in the bag has a revolving door. Partially because of my job here at mygolfspy, but also because of my putter addiction. To be fair, many of my rotating gamers pre-date my time as a MGS staffer. This marxman S has a better than average chance at longevity at this point, though there is an EXO in construction right now, and the Toulon Rochester and Bettinardi ZomBB0 would both like back in the bag as well...
  18. Well hello there MGS readers. Today, you are reading the first installment of a new putter series that I will be putting together for your reading pleasure. Welcome to Dave's Putter Profiles Rather than look at all putters head to head, like MGS does with the Most Wanted Putter testing, Dave's Putter Profiles will focus on single models, exploring the features of that individual model, and taking some time to show what separates it from the others in the corral. While the mission of mygolfspy is to be unfalteringly #datacratic, these articles will be much more editorial, and ideally conversational. I'm going to let you know my thoughts on a variety of putters, both new and vintage models, and then you tell me your thoughts, and then we see where it goes from there. I've run quite a number of putters though my garage over the years, and I want to share some of the flatstick goodness with you. Imagine that we are having a conversation on the practice green, perhaps with a nice adult beverage in hand. That's the spirit of Dave's Putter Profiles. We just look at a putter and have a nice chat. For the first installment, we are going to go with a newer model from Odyssey, admittedly one that I was shocked that I actually wanted to even look at let alone game. I Hate(ed) The Odyssey Marxman How's that for a segue into talking about a putter that I actually like? Perhaps it is not the best way to set the mood, I know, but that was pretty close to my actual thought when I visited Odyssey HQ last January and learned that a Marxman would be part of the 2018 O-Works line. For some reason, my love of all putters has never extended to the Marxman. I think that the disdain actually dates back to the Backstryke Marxman, with the two creative spellings not compensating for the fact that the shaft attached at the rear of the putter. Sure, one of you right now is thinking of telling me how awesome backstryke putters are, and feel free to do so. I'm just not down. We all have our turn-ons and turn-offs. Think about porn for a moment. Let's face it, we all have tags on Pornhub that we prefer, and others that we will never, ever, click on. If backstryke is your kink, good for you. I'll spend my three minutes elsewhere. Anyway, sorry for the detour into porn to make a point, but in that January meeting, I'd have sworn that I'd not be clicking any two girls one Marxman links any time soon. But then I got a look at the red Marxman S. Well Hello There This time, I found the Marxman aesthetics quite pleasing. The massive double sight line had been reduced to a single, and the addition of the slant neck fits right into my current more-toe-hang-is-better putting philosophy. Plus, the new body architecture reminded me of one of my old Odyssey favorites, the Sabertooth. I've got a super cool one of those to share in the coming weeks… Standing over this Marxman evoked feelings of reverence, rather than revulsion. Right away this putter went from never touch to must have. Considering that there was also a trouser-tightening #1 wide with a slant neck in the release, placing the Marxman at the top of my need to have list was surprising for sure. SAM Says One of the cool things that happened during the Odyssey visit was that I got to go through a SAM lab fitting with Odyssey's putter pro. I was pleasantly surprised to see consistent numbers from stroke to stroke, with lots of center face contact, and just a bit of that drifting-outside backstroke that I have long fought to avoid. Turned out that I add loft at impact, resulting in a launch angle that was a bit high. Glad to know that I do this with my putter as well as my irons… This though could be the reason why my typical miss is short. I hit the right line, but I just don't get the ball to the hole. The fitter recommended that I get a Marxman built with 1° loft, so that when I add loft with the swing, the dynamic loft produces better launch conditions. Cool, huh? Gaming the Odyssey O-Works Red S Marxman I've had the Marxman in the bag for about a five rounds now. Some of the play experiences have been as expected, and some surprising. The S Neck Slant neck mallets are a big thing this year at Odyssey. In addition to choosing between black and red, you can also decide if you want your mallet with a traditional neck, or a slant. The beauty of choosing a slant neck is that it will allow blade players to transition to playing a more forgiving, at least in terms of MOI, larger mallet. The slant neck makes the putter arc a little more during the stroke, conforming more to the blade path than normal mallet. I loved the feel of putting with this back in Carlsbad, and that feeling has continued as I putt back at home. I've swapped back and forth with traditional necked mallets in my collection, and the slant neck does make a huge comfort difference for me. 1° of Loft So am I still missing short? Yep, but not as often. My distance control has actually been pretty astounding with the Marxian S considering how few hours on the grass with it I've logged so far. Rarely am I super duper maybe I need steroids short anymore. The data set is totally subjective, but the number of holes threatened score has definitely gone up. More up should translate to more in if the opposite of the never up, never in adage is true. The low-lofted face does not look strange to me at address either. That, or I've just adjusted to it quickly. The putter seems to sit naturally behind the ball, and I don't think that I'm adding loft during the putting process to compensate. At least no more than I add naturally. I think that the strong loft theme will be one that I will continue to explore as other putters hit the bag this season. Interesting side note about the insert. As one who plays almost exclusively milled putters, I expected there to be some transition to the microhinge insert, both in sound and feel. Simply put, there was no transition required. At least on the Marxman, Odyssey has nailed the feel and tone, making the milled to insert transition a non-factor. Aiming the Marxman As I said, I've only been gaming the Marxman for a short time now, but one area of concern is alignment. I'm getting most putts near the hole, but I'm just not quite confident that I am aiming the big white line correctly. This I think will improve with practice, but I have a bit of a concern that this will prove Ketsch-like for me. That's right, I think that I am the one person who struggles to aim the Ketsch. Back when I ran the Most Wanted Mallet test where the Ketsch smashed face on the competition, I tried over and over to make peace with the Most Wanted monster. I came to the conclusion that the line and my eye were incompatible. Perhaps the big line on the Marxman will twist my perception the same way, or as I said, maybe it's just a matter of practice. I do know that I've already made some big putts with the Marxman, both at home, and in Carlsbad. During my visit, the Odyssey guys took me out for a round of golf at their home course. My game tends to go into hiding a bit when I play a course for the first time, and you can imagine the pressure of playing with Sean and Tony Toulon, Luke Williams, and Austie Rollinson. They were wonderful hosts, and not high pressure guys on the course, but as “a putter guy”, I wanted to sink some putts. Thankfully, I was able to drop some decently long putts with the Marxman that day. Austie dropped some bombs with the EXO #7, but I felt that my performance with the Marxman S was respectable. If that's not putting under pressure, then I've never experienced pressure. In a sentence: Odyssey O-Works Red Marxman S Combining the feel of a blade and the forgiveness of a mallet, the Marxman S should definitely be on your roll at the shop list. What do you think? So first of all, thank you for reading the first instalment of Dave's Putter Profile. I've got a number of putters lined up in the queue for the coming weeks, as I said, both putters you can find in the shops, and unique whips found only in my garage. If you would like me to clarify or expand on anything, just ask. I'm just here to start the conversation, where it goes from here is up to all of you.
  19. With the Warming Comes The Coolers! Truth be told, it wasn't that cold in NorCal in the winter. I've played some cold rounds of golf, but I'd definitely qualify them as California cold. That's the cold where I'm wearing three layers of pants, and those that live where that snow stuff falls would likely view the weather as tropical, and be playing in shorts. I'll concede the point that some of you are more winter resistant than I am. But the winter is finally going away. Even if it's still snowing like a beast on your driveway, the fact that it's The Masters week means that spring is here! There may not be much evidence of spring in Minnesota right now, but the azaleas and green jackets of Augusta sing the song of spring's arrival. That means that summer is coming soon too. Oh, how I long for the searing embrace of July... While my body may appreciate the eminent increases in temperature, my play beverages typically do not. Right now, I welcome all warmth on the course, but is a couple of months, warm beer will not be the accepted recipe for quenching thirsts. As such, I thought that there would be no better way to kick off the 2018 19th Hole season than to review the latest cooler from YETI. Last year, I decided that the YETI Hopper Flip 8 was the greatest golf cooler ever created. This YETI Backflip 24 will be the first 2018 contender to that throne. It holds 24 Cans, Flips Open, and Goes on Your Back So the name is not crazy innovative, but it's catchy, and it tells you exactly what to expect from the YETI Backflip 24. This cooler expands Yeti's soft sided cooler Hopper offerings into uncharted territories. Sure, they have other coolers that can hold about 20 cans, but the Backflip 24 is the first cooler that can be worn like a backpack. How is a backpack cooler appropriate for golf? We will get to that shortly, but first let's take a look at the cooler itself. Specs and Features: YETI Backflip 24 Like YETI's other soft sided coolers, the Backflip 24 comes equipped with the standard specs that make these coolers cold-securing beasts. To review: DRYHIDEâ„¢ SHELL The Hopper's high-density fabric is waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays. The liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. COLDCELLâ„¢ INSULATION Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers. HYDROLOKâ„¢ ZIPPER The toughest, highest-performing waterproof and leak proof cooler zipper in the world. I've been using YETI Hopper coolers for a couple of years now and they have definitely lived up to the expectations. I've taken them to the golf course, camping, on road trips, to all-day youth rugby tournaments, swim meets, and so on, and never once has the Yeti failed to keep its contents cool, or suffered any kind of mechanical failure. The Backflip 24 features the same insulation and zipper system as the other soft-sided Hopper coolers, and the combination of the two, really keep the cold insides cold. The combination of YETI Ice and normal ice kept the inside of my Hopper 40 cold for days last summer while camping. Remember though, no dry ice, or the YETI will become pressurized as the dry ice sublimates. A high pressure cooler is not a safe cooler. It's a Cavernous Cooler The YETI Backflip 24 devours cans and bottles. Twenty-four cans fit inside without issue, fitting in as three rows of eight cans, or as two sideways rows of twelve each. In either configuration, there was room left over for ice. I think that the picture above does the best job of showing the capacity of this beast. I have placed a six-pack and a 22 oz. bomber inside of the Backflip 24. Yep, that tiny little bottle in there is a 22 ounce bottle. This cooler should be able to store any of your tall beverages, easily swallowing a champagne bottle, or a fifth of one's favorite spirit. Only the tallest magnum will poke its nose above the lip of the Backflip. Back That Cooler Up The real design tweak with the Backflip 24 is that it is designed to be worn as a backpack, allowing you to take the weight of the cooler, and canned content, off of a single strapped shoulder, and distribute it over both shoulders. Spreading the weight around reduces the overall strain of carrying the cooler, much like adding the second shoulder strap did with the golf bag. The shoulder straps and back pad are sufficiently padded for comfort, though I wish they were a little more ventilated. Most of the modern backpack systems utilize some kind of geometric foam system in the straps and pads to maintain comfort while facilitating cooling by improving air flow. These pads are a bit old school. Once you load it all up, you are looking at quite a bit of weight on the back. Here is a shot showing the weight of a cooler loaded up with 24 cans. Add some ice, and the weight would be even higher. Thankfully, YETI has added two optional strap systems to help with the load. There is a chest strap that you can attach to remove some of the shoulder pull, and a waist belt that really helps to move quite a bit of weight from the shoulders to the hips. Those of you who have done any backpacking know of the power of the waist strap. YETI vs. RTIC SIDE NOTE Since this is always a point of discussion, I thought that I'd share my experiences comparing the two brands. I actually have also purchased a few RTIC coolers in the past year, buying three of the 8 can lunch box sized coolers for Christmas presents last December. Side by side, the quality and design differences between the two brands was pretty obvious, with the YETI being better built. Sure, you'll save some money with the RTIC, but that savings is reflected in what you get in the product. RTICs are nice, but the YETI coolers are of higher quality, at least in my opinion. OK, It's A Cool Cooler, But GOLF? So you may never require twenty-four beers on a golf course, but if you need them, the YETI Backflip 24 will snuggle nicely into the cart rack between the seats and the clubs. The base diameter is just perfect to slide in, and even with the tall profile, the cooler doesn't immediately call attention to itself. You are one jacket cover up away from full marshal avoidance. You can keep a foursome worth of snacks and beverages cold in the Backflip 24 without issue in your cart. Out of the riding cart, the Backflip 24 loses some of its golfability. It's probably not going to work too well on your back, if you are also planning on carrying a golf bag on your back. I suppose you could put your golf bag on your back, and the cooler on your front, but Ms. Manners would definitely frown on that look. Push carters will probably also balk at the wearing of the cooler, though it's much more of a possibility when your clubs are on a cart. You could wear the Backflip 24 while you push your clubs, but odds are that you are pushing your clubs to get their weight off your back in the first place. If you are a walker, I'd go with the Hopper Flip 8. Off of the course, I've really found value with the backpack configuration of the Backflip 24. Using a more traditional cooler, I can't count the number of times that I've run out of hand and shoulder space when trucking gear to a youth sporting event, or even when heading to a neighborhood BBQ (walking there, naturally.) Putting the cooler on the back frees up all kinds of carry-ability for other stuff, and the weight of the beverages and such really dissipates when placed on your back as opposed to your hands or single shoulder. Though I'll likely never use this cooler when walking the course, it has become the goto cooler for other beverage requiring events. It cross trains very well. BONUS COVERAGE: YETI Sidekick DRY One of the complaints that I've had with the stock YETI coolers is that there aren't exterior, or interior pockets to store your non-cooler junk like phones, wallets, and keys. It would be nice to have a spot for them so that they need not be stuffed into pockets or socks. For my Hopper 12, I purchased the previous incarnation of the Sidekick, and it did a nice job of holding the extra junk, easily attaching to the HitchPoint grid on the outside of the cooler. The issue was that the zipper on top was not totally water proof. Resistant, sure, but the contents were not dry-bag secure. Such is not the case with the new YETI Sidekick Dry. This pouch opens like a dry bag, with a double layered system that prevents any water penetration. The top folds over, and then a series of plastic and magnets securely seal that inner opening. This new Sidekick attaches to the cooler using the same HitchPoint system, aka perfectly measured loops that attach via Velcro. If you are looking at this cooler, I'd take a look at the Sidekick Dry too as it makes the overall product much more of a one stop carrying item when the Backflip and the Sidekick Dry are combined.
  20. Congrats to AirJordan on the close win. Shoot me a DM and we can figure out how to get you the balls. Thanks to Srixon and to all of you for playing
  21. It's The Masters Week So I plan on watching a bit more golf than usual this week, and wouldn't you know it, that whole work thing is cutting into my golf watching. Now I'm not saying we should all ignore our jobs, but there must be a way for work and golf watching to coexist. Thankfully, we have our phones. Little pocket-sized windows into the coolness at Augusta. If you have a cable account, or Direct TV, you can get a little feed going from the security of your trousers. FYI, here is the Direct TV (in 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) no less) coverage for Thursday and Friday: Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6: “Amen Corner,” Holes 11, 12 and 13 from 10am-6pmET (DIRECTV Channel 105), and Holes 15 and 16 from 11am-6:45pmET (DIRECTV Channel 106) Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8: “Amen Corner,” Holes 11, 12 and 13 from 12pm-6pmET (DIRECTV Channel 105), and Holes 15 and 16 from 12:45pm-6:30pmET (DIRECTV Channel 106) Your Ninja Viewing Plan? How are you planning on sneaking in some golf-watching at work this week? Will you just open an extra window in your monitor, or do you have a more elaborate plan hatched out? Work will still be there next week, but it will be another year before The Masters is on! Share your ideas so we can all slack off together this week
  22. Tier 1: Tiger Woods Tier 2: Louis Oosthuizen Tier 3: Charley Hoffman Tier 4: Ollie Schniederjans Tier 5: Bernhard Langer Winning Score: -11 Low AM: +6
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