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About SoutheastLefty

  • Birthday 11/24/1989

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Arlington, VA
  • Handicap:
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    Online reviews

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  1. Hey MGS community, I'm Kevin, started posting here as I began to take my golf game seriously this spring! I've well documented my commitment to improving my golf game this year. Despite living in Arlington, VA, I leaned into range sessions well before true golf weather arrived. Thank god for heated bays at the range! From finally getting fit for clubs (drivers and fairways) to documenting how my new kit in addition to lessons has improved my game off the tee, I've made a lot of progress so far, with my calculated handicap (not USGA official) of 15.5, down from 19 this spring. What I have not done is ever gotten properly fit for irons, which is why this testing opportunity really stands out to me. I'm 6 foot 3 inches and currently play: 2016 Taylormade M2 Irons KBS Tour 90 Stiff Shafts +3/4 inches +1 degree upright These were purchased from a retail store, not properly fit. Moreso "this is your height, you're a big guy, so here's what shaft and length you need". Better than an off the rack purchase, sure, but not a proper fit by any means. No hitting on a trackman/foresight, no testing against other clubs, etc. Today, I struggle with consistent distance in my shorter irons (particularly AW-9 iron being hot) and longer irons a tend to hit a touch fat. PING's new offerings have really piqued my interest for a couple reasons. 1: The offset of the M2 irons is beginning to really throw me off at address. As I've taken lessons, my slice miss has converted into a pull. Progress no doubt, but I'm now questioning my alignment as the irons appear to be setup for a pull at address. 2: Even though I'm a high handicap, I disagree with the notion that I must play Super Game Improvement Irons. I like the look and appearance of a more compact design, and these PING sets are about as sexy and sleek as they come. Certainly miles beyond what these M2 irons look like. 3: The lofts on my M2s are crazy. I don't even carry my 4I because the loft + length I have is effectively a 3 iron (19 deg loft, 39.625 inches in length). I'd love to move towards something closer to traditional. I don't need distance, I need consistency. I'd love to bring a high handicap perspective to the PING i500. I'd love to dispel the notion that a high handicapper cannot play "players distance" irons. I'd also love to, for the first time, play perfectly fit irons, and compare/contrast how significant that an iron fit can be to your game. Not to mention, it'd be awesome to include a lefty tester in your group What do you guys think? Could a left handed high handicapper who is investing heavily in lessons be a good perspective to add to the PING i500 test?
  2. No doubt. Especially in my last round, it was clear that my putting was what stopped me from scoring lower. 1 GIR 4 putt and 2 3 putts. Ouch. The greens are starting to speed up here in the D.C area now that the monsoon is over and it's heating up.
  3. Hey all, apologies for the delay in posting on-course thoughts! I've played 2.5 rounds since I got to the range with the club, and results are overall very positive. Typical disclaimer applies: I've continued to take lessons since getting the club. As a result, these improvements are not only driven by the fitted driver, but also continuing to invest lessons and practice time into my game. First, some quick aggregate stats: Round Scores: 41 (9 Hole twilight), 87, 87 Driving Stats (31 tee shots with the Rogue Driver): Left: 5 (16%, -17 percentage points from previous 33% average) Hit: 19 (62%, +6 percentage points from previous 56% average) Right: 7 (22%, +11 percentage points from previous 11% average) Balls lost: 1 Average Drive: 261 yards (captured via golfshot plus, GPS distance from tee to standing over ball) Second, Anecdotal thoughts: Wow. Just wow. My confidence off the tee had increased dramatically. Having the heavier, stiffer shaft really helps me feel like I can get after my drives. As expected and seen in the data, the combination of the Rogue Draw head plus the lessons I'm taking have cut my average left-miss (slice, I'm a lefty!) in half. The data doesn't show the true improvement here though, when the left miss rears it's ugly head it's less pronounced and still in-play. Hence, only 1 slice lost ball over 2.5 rounds. At this rate, the driver will pay for itself by summers' end What I'm seeing between swing changes and the draw head is that I've introduced a right miss 2x as often as prior. Most of these shots aren't duck-hooks, rather straight pulls. None have been lost OB right. I need to get used to aiming a bit more to target line, instead of up the right side of fairway. I'm still compensating for that heavy fade/slice I previously gamed. As for distance, it's really hard to say how much of this is club vs. swing. I'm definitely making much cleaner contact (hence the improved stats), but I truly believe that the club helps me achieve this with the draw biased weighting. Next Steps for me: Get comfortable aiming a bit more true to fairway, rather than up the right side Continue to work on lower body/upper body timing.
  4. Great feedback. I think my approach here will be to play the 5W a bit and see where I get with that club before getting fit for the 3W. Currently, my old 5W is a club I'm very comfortable with, so I'm not worried about not hitting that club well. But I hear you on the 3W. TXG also just did a video on this, where they speak to a similar line of thought. Based on this timely video and your advice, I'm going to get comfortable with my 5W and Driver and see if there's really a gap there. As you suspect, I think I may get more value by eliminating a longer iron with a hybrid on the lower side of the bag.
  5. I appreciate your insights, no need for the attitude. I'm new to golf, 3 or 4 years into this, and my first time going through a fitting (that was painful to begin with), so no need to be belittling. You're telling me a fitter doesn't have a 45.5, 45, 44.5, 44 set of demo driver shafts? Obviously not for building, but don't they all have different lengths to actually properly "fit" you into them? The one I went to had the universal adapter to plug any shaft onto any head to demo and test. Not sure what it's called (I'm new to this), but how would you otherwise get fit for length? Guessing, gripping down on it? https://www.pxshaft.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/TTGOLF16-PX-10.pdf "Butt trim shafts to finished length after tip trimming unless specified" and "Taper Tip Shafts should never be tip trimmed because they are designed to discrete lengths. Butt trim taper tip shafts to finished length." What am I missing? I also think you misread my posts or I mis-typed something. I DID NOT get a premium fit. Period. The guy was incredibly disinterested in fitting me. I ended up at a third party retailer around me, NOT a premium fitter.
  6. Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure why you think butt trimming after the fact is such an awful thing? When you cut down that's irreversible. Hitting 60+ shots in a driver fitting indoors only is a much smaller sample size than me playing standard length at my range and on the course for a few weeks. Easy enough to simulate a shorter shaft by marking the 1/2 inch increments on the driver, not perfect, but certainly doable. Taking that feedback from real-world outdoor play will allow the fitter and I to make a better informed decision. Frankly the fact that he was willing to offer that and do it after the fact free of charge (incl. swing weighting) speaks to us working together to get the right answer. I'm honestly more comfortable with the fact that he wants to see me again and get my feedback, rather than ordering the club irreversibly cut down and never seeing me again. Or worse, cutting it down, asking for my feedback, then trying to get me to pay for a replacement shaft. The reality is that my fitting is ongoing on that point, I guess. I'd expect the same from my fitter if I ordered an adjustable head weight driver. TXG talks about this a lot where they have customers come back in after the fact to make adjustments based on their real world experience. Feel free to read through my fitting thread, but I ended up getting fit with a 3rd party retailer that doesn't necessarily have each driver shaft cut to different lengths. Sure we could play around with gripping down in increments etc etc, but as mentioned in the other post (not going to rehash the experience here), I tried to pay for a premium fitter that had all the shafts already cut to specific lengths and effectively got told to buzz off. Making the best of a non-premium experience.
  7. All, My first impressions of my new driver are now posted over in the member review section! Not shockingly, I'm really impressed. Another update on the fitting experience. When I picked up my driver I also took the time to continue my fit for fairway woods. My current Fairway Clubs: Taylormade R11S 3W- Stock Shaft Regular Stiffness Taylormade R11S 5W- Stock Shaft Regular Stiffness We stuck with the Rogue lineup and tested the standard as well as Sub Zero heads. Unfortunately, since these are not adjustable clubs, it was harder to really test the full shaft options available. This is where places like Golfdom fall flat versus some of the more premium club fitters. They simply have fully built clubs, not heads with fitting hosels to easily swap shafts. We started with the 5W in both SZ and standard. For the SZ, I really struggled with trajectory and consistency. After testing the SZ Jim and I had a discussion about my game and that I intended to primarily be hitting the 5W into greens, rather than off the tee. Because of that, we decided to focus on some higher launching shafts than the Hzrdus Yellow that we fit into my driver, as well as the standard head. The two options for shafts they had available, aside from the Hzrdus Yellow, was the 75G Evenflow Blue as well as the lighter Synergy. Since we went 76G in the Driver, it really made no sense to consider the synergy (remember, through my driver fitting we realized that my swing and feels prefer heavier clubs!), so we grabbed a 5W with the Evenflow Blue shaft and hit away. The results were high launching, consistent shots where the themes from the driver fit carried over: better feel, cleaner contact. Sold. We ended up ordering a fresh club instead of purchasing the one I hit. It was their demo and pretty worn. Hoping for that club to come in within the week! At this point you're probably wondering, "what about the 3W?". We ground to a halt here. Jim is great and talking about my game with me. For the 3W, we were unsure if I'd like to A: take the same approach as the 5W (higher launch and spin for softer landings) or B: turn the club into more of a driving fairway wood off the tee for shorter Par 4s or where accuracy is a premium. Option A would probably be the same Evenflow Blue Shaft. Option B would probably be either the Evenflow Black or even the Hzrdus Yellow that's in my driver. My question for you in this update: How should I approach my 3W fit? Do you think about your 3W as a club for longer rollouts or high launch, soft landing?
  8. Great question and something we chatted a lot about in my fitting. I haven't measured, but that's the "stock" length from Callaway, so since we didn't order it cut down from stock I assume that's what it's playing. We talked a little about cutting down to 45, but our thought was that it's easier to properly trim down if needed versus putting it back, so I'm going to play it for a bit and if needed, take it back to have it butt trimmed down.
  9. After three different fitting sessions and waiting 2 weeks for delivery, I finally got my hands on my new driver! The specs: Left Handed Callaway Rogue Draw, 10.5* Project X Hzrdus Yellow 76G, 6.0 Stock Shaft Length (45.5 inches) Stock Grip (GolfPride NewDec Platinum) For a recap of how I ended up with this club, read my full fitting experience here. First Impressions: I was only able to hit the driving range this weekend (thanks so much, rainy DC weather), but my first session with this club was truly impressive. With the heavier shaft and much stiffer profile than my old club, I felt much more in control throughout my swing. This was most pronounced in my downswing, where the heavier club helped me feel when I was coming over the top, thus mitigating that bad motion and delivering better results. My prior driver swing delivered a fade to the left side of the fairway to a slice-miss on a bad swing. With the Rogue Draw, I was hitting center target line to slightly left on poor swings. My goal with this club was to eliminate the out-of-bounds miss to the left. It's clear from my driving range session this will prove to be a success. The shaft: Overall I'm really impressed with the Hzrdus Yellow. Leaning on this driver compared to my old R15 was night and day. Ballflight was much more penetrating and dispersion very tight. What really stood out to me was how stiff this shaft is compared to my old driver that also had a "stiff" shaft. When I put both on the ground and lean on them a bit, The Hzrdus has very little give and my R15 Shaft felt like it was going to snap in half. As many have said here and elsewhere, not all stiff shafts are created equal. Overall feedback from the shaft is a bit muted since it's so stiff, but miss hits felt much more solid (likely a bit of the new head as well). I'd highly recommend trying a heavier shaft for increased control. Many folks think (as do the marketers) that heavier shafts will slow your swing speed down considerably. I can tell you that for me, this wasn't the case at all. The stiffer profile and overall control of the shaft encouraged me to really get after a few with really positive results. Your milage may vary, but don't shy away from trying a heavier shaft when getting fit. The Clubhead: At address, the head profile is incredibly inviting. The solid black to exposed carbon-fiber finish helps make the head not look massively oversized. Compared to my old White-top R15, this thing looks sleek. Coming from a white head driver back to a more traditional black was interesting. The contrast between the ball and head has more of an effect on my comfort level at address than I thought. I just felt like I had a much better idea of where I was lining up, for whatever reason. From above, you'd have no idea it's the draw biased head compared to the standard Rogue. For those of you that care about not showing you're playing with equipment that's designed to mitigate your high-handicap miss, this may be important (it's not for me). As for performance. Man oh man, when you strike center face with this bad boy, the ball just explodes. My wife came with me to the range and when I pured one she was amazed at the sound at impact and how the ball took off like a rocket. Mis-hits were very forgiving. On several toe strikes I felt very little twisting (likely also thanks to the stout shaft) and while the result was offline, the ball definitely carried closer to full distance than my prior club while "in play" of my defined fairway at the range. The caveats: If you tend to solidly fade the ball and rarely hit a draw, this the draw version of the Rogue Draw will not have you suddenly pumping pure, tight draws. This wasn't the expectation, nor is it the result. For me it eliminated my strong fade on good drives, pulling those to straight down centerline, while tightening my miss from OB to left-fairway. This club definitely opened up a pull-hook miss for me. I don't think I've ever missed fairway right, and there were a couple swings where I was really trying to turn over on the ball that resulted in dead pulls. I suspect my new miss will have me exploring a number of areas on the course that I've never had to explore. Conclusion: Very, very impressed with the club. I can't speak to on-course results just yet (I'll reply with an update once I get a round or two in) but I can say that my range session was as impressive as it could've been. One thing I'll keep looking out for is the right-of-fairway bias that may become more prevalent as I continue to improve my swing through the recurring lessons I'm taking. For my swing right now, I suspect it'll be awhile before the draw-bias starts getting me into trouble, but it may in the future. Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Happy to take any and all questions you may have!
  10. Yes! I actually found that out from my first fitting attempt. So this is definitely exasperating the issue. The challenge with adding the loft is that my launch angle gets a bit out of control. So while it'd help keep it in play, I'd lose additional distance. Also worth noting that the slice is my miss, not my typical ballfight, and only liable for 2-3 of them a round. Thanks Topline. And definitely agree, as I mentioned in the OP, that this is not the "solution" to the swing. Rather, I am simply not comfortable with the club. Too light, using the adjustments to try and manage ballflight, etc. It sounds like your thought is that you should NOT get fit until you have a "good" swing. I am not constantly slicing the ball of the tee. That's my miss. I'm trying to get the right equipment AND work with my PGA Tour Professional {{insert whatever title you want for someone I'm taking regular private lessons with}}. For me, I got to a point where I couldn't "feel" the changes in my swing with the club. This is not in place of continuing lessons.
  11. Thanks all! Got the call that the club is in. Can't wait to pick it up. Expect a first impressions review by the end of the weekend!
  12. Thanks! I'm from Virginia but spent 8 years in Columbia, SC and Charlotte.
  13. I hear you. Maybe I'm not quite explaining this right. If the 12* was the right fit for me, I absolutely would play it! It got laughs after looking at the data and result of the shots. Towering, over spinny drives that lost more distance that just didn't fit my swing. The laugh was much more a "well no wonder why that's your miss" and "why would you ever play a 12* cranked down to 10.5 to manage ball flight, only to open the club face and thus exasperate the left miss?". It was not "12* is for seniors, HA!". TLDR; I played it because it was on 2ndswing as the cheapest R15 available. SLDR was also in the middle of Taylormade's "Loft Up" campaign. IIRC, SLDR was one of the lowest spinning heads ever, necessitating higher lofts in order to generate the right ballfight. Not saying you're right or wrong, but I certainly don't want to paint a picture that I was "against" hitting the 12* despite positive results. It pretty obviously wasn't a good fit, probably because I wasn't fit for it!
  14. Thanks Golfspy Rob! Definitely a bummer about Club Champion and agreed. Fitting should be about your swing today. Unfortunately CC's experience turned into "here's why we can't optimally fit you". Golfdom definitely doesn't fit in the typical "retailer" category. Super informative, no pressure of putting me in a particular brand, and took the time to find what worked AND offered for me to come back another time to complete the rest of my fitting I paid for. Thanks for the encouraging words jaskanski! Lots of lessons learned through this process. I'm excited to continue working to a better golf game.
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