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Everything posted by ChiefMikeOfficer

  1. Sorry - the cold hit here in Madison, so haven't been on the course since that last post. But, we're in a mini heatwave, so we got out for 9 today -- did not hit any of the same issues with bad distances, and I think it was only like two times in the first 36 holes (but again, not like it was giving bad reads that went unnoticed, they were very clearly off). I'm still getting used to toggling the settings and everything, but it's a positive experience. One kinda cool feature is that there's a screen on the side that clearly shows which mode it's in and displays the actual distance readings, so you can see all of the info outside of the scope (so, grab a reading, pull it down, and can actually show the group). I keep thinking I'm going to miss the GPS function of my Bushnell Hybrid, but then again, I get all of those features and more on my watch today, so there's really no need to have it directly on the rangefinder. And in the spirit of this group...I also added a green silicone cover to the Cube, which looks pretty slick. Meant to grab a picture on the course, but forgot again, so you'll have to deal with the stock photo:
  2. Easily my favorite course in Madison -- short, but great, and I prefer it to some of the newer, "bigger" layouts around the city. Only played it once though (have a friend that's a fairly new member though, so hopefully will change that soon). Nakoma is typically my trigger for signing up for a City Am qualifier -- if it's in the rotation, I sign up every time. Unfortunately last time was mid-COVID and Nakoma backed out at the last second, but that round got relocated to the surprisingly nice (and challenging) Lake Wisconsin CC (my first time playing that public, very affordable track) -- the front 9 there feels like a hidden gem; the back 9 feels...gimmicky, and like they ran out of space (but still a few cool holes).
  3. My dad used one of these when my brother and I were in high school -- we hit it on occasion and stole it for some tournaments, because it was so easy to hit. I still have one of the Warbird 7 woods in the basement stockpile, but from looking at it a while ago, looks like the gen before the official Heavenwood, even though it has the Heavenwood cover (I'm questioning whether he had multiples and just kept the prior gen...).
  4. Been a bit since I've posted here and definitely missed reporting a handful of purchases... But here's the latest: Picked up the Caddytalk Cube, used 2 rounds so far. Super cool. The triangulation is surprisingly useful and accurate (checked it against my buddy's Bushnell a few times, and it was accurate within a yard, even accounting for slope). On regular readings, had some duds though - like a 100+ yd shot reading at 8yd (not the "you just missed the flag" issues, actual misreads, and by a lot), but they were noticeable, and a couple reads later were much better. Overall happy with the early performance. Then, added a couple more Putt Buddies divot tool/ball mark combos to the collection, this time going with Dr Evil / Mini Me and Phil / Darth Vader. They're a bit bulky, but cool designs (also have a Chubbs and a Spackler). And, last thing for now... Reef Spackler golf flippy floppies (with soft spikes and all) -- who knows when I'll ever use them, especially considering they clearly lack support, but they look way cooler than the old FJ sandals that I used to have (maybe they'll be the new par 3 go-to shoes). What's next for this club ho? I'm eyeing up a legit LAB putter fitting this winter - seems like that would make a huge difference for me. And then what's tempting but completely unrealistic for the current situation? A Finn Golf Scooter - after riding one a couple weeks ago, I never want to go back to a traditional cart. But for it to make sense, would need to join our neighborhood course, and that's not currently in the cards.
  5. That flag print is -- I ordered a set the last time they offered it as a limited edition add-on (SM7 I think)
  6. Alright alright -- promised I'd play the bag for a cart round and send an update, so here goes: played in a scramble yesterday, and kept this bag in play. It's consistent with prior experiences -- the cart made little difference. Considering it was a fun brewery scramble, I kept a lot of things out of the bag naturally -- speaker, cooler, etc., which means I didn't need that much storage in the bag (which is good, because...we've been over this). The bag fit nicely on the cart, and the things I needed to access were right there. Really, the cart round changed nothing with my perception of the bag, just showed that it's consistent in performance regardless of carrying vs. riding. Some quick pics (and yup, just remembered right now that my alignment stick cover is from Stitch!!): That basically does it for me with this test. When I got home, I unloaded the bag and reloaded my Vessel, immediately re-recognizing how many features the Vessel has that the Stitch lacks. Again, the Stitch bag has a place, it's just hard for me -- this weekend, I plan to hand it off to my dad, who is in his low 70s and still likes to carry, and I think this will be great for him, I'm just not there. I would've used this with a caddy at Whistling this fall, but my dumb dumb friend didn't sign us up on time (sound harsh? Well, it's not really - he had all the info he needed, just dragged his feet thinking it wouldn't fill up), so I'm just letting my dad keep it for now.
  7. I'm sure I can list some brands specifically...but I am open to trying a lot of things, so focusing more on categories (which encompass groups of brands/styles). The biggest one: when it actually comes down to putting up money for fittings or a big club purchase, I have this big unfounded bias (I've broken from this successfully with putters, though): What's the anticipated resale value? Unfounded because...when it comes time to get the next set, I don't actually care! I shifted from trying to get the most out of resale to feeling like it's not worth the time (comparing to spending that time being a dad, or cutting into sleep time, etc.) -- instead, I've handed things over to friends, donated to a local High School team, save some of them, etc. At my last iron fitting, Srixon and Mizuno were comparable with Srixon taking a slight edge, but I went Mizuno. Similar for drivers -- absolutely bombing a Srixon, opted for Callaway (and now Taylor). Other biases (some founded, some not): Saddle shoes - used to buy them "because that's what golf shoes are supposed to look like", but now I'm anti-saddle, think other styles look a lot better, and like that golf shoe popularity evolved to different / more casual looks Scotty -- overpriced, and I just think other brands build a better putter (at least "for me") Stock / off-the-rack wood shafts - cue the crew that defends these as "the real deal now", but I won't buy one, unless it's just to get my hands on the head. Now, I think that's more my specific game than the shafts themselves -- my Stealth has something close to a stock / not-fully-custom-build option, but my fitting clearly showed I needed something heavier, so I have a version of the shaft that had to be custom-ordered (still through TM, though). Brands purchased by Dick's - Top Flite, Maxfli come to mind (don't Google that category verbatim ). To be fair, though, in my quest to learn lefty alongside my 2 year old, I am buying the lefty gear from these brands, because it's inexpensive. Flat-brim hats and Joggers - -- Joggers bias only applies only on the course, I do love them as casual wear, but it took me a long time to get there. Bags made by big clubmakers - only exception is Ping, because I was a Hoofer guy until a few years ago. Haven't tried every brand, but haven't like the ones I tried (notably Callaway and TM, haven't tried Titleist). I now prefer my bag to be designed/made by a bag company, not a club company (I know, some are from bag companies with a brand added, but not always the case).
  8. Final Review is up! I took it out for one last walking round over the weekend, and really tested the limits of storage -- my 4-year-old was my walking buddy "carrying his own bag", which of course meant I needed to carry both for 7/9 holes and also needed to stash things of his in each of our bags (snacks, water, his headcovers that keep falling off, etc.). And it reinforced that storage is the big downside to this bag -- I got his putter cover into the Stitch, but the driver (which is really FW size to fit his club) would not fit alongside it, at least not without crushing or folding them. This is also the round where I swapped to a new water bottle that I expected to fit better -- the Sic Cups Mickelson Jump bottle (taller and slimmer, I think 27oz) -- well, it didn't help, and actually made the experience worse because the top of the bottle kept jabbing into my hip while walking (so...water bottle really needs to be short and slim). Some last-minute photos of the bag in action: And then, a swing vid from the kid: PXL_20230909_133847252.TS.mp4
  9. Depends on the vibe of the round and other things like timing. I don't choose yes or no based on temp, but on a high temp/humidity day, might switch it up to a High Noon or something rather than beer. I rarely drink liquor on the course -- goes down too quickly and seems to hit harder because of that. Our Tuesday night league? Yes, having a couple, and will adjust based on the temps (mostly beer, but on a high temp/humidity day, often pick High Noon rather than beer). Scramble? Guys' trip? Definitely. Legit practice round/session? Nope. But fun practice round? Sure, a couple. Tournament round? Typically no, but it's mostly small-time tournaments these days, so if things aren't going well, might shift the vibe to casual and have one. Weekday morning walking round? Unlikely -- might have one on the back 9 or after the round, depending on what's planned the rest of the day. Performance change is only notable for heavy drinking on course, which I don't do that often -- putting is the first to go (it's not good anyway, but turns really bad after 3-4 drinks), but otherwise don't notice a huge difference in performance/scores. *Edit...did I really just unknowingly reply to an 11-year-old post on this thread, thinking it was active conversation? I did... and now I'm not finding a delete button, so I'm just leaving it.
  10. Took it out again today, and quickly realized I'm terrible at taking on-course pics (which is weird considering the phone is in my pocket and I take it out every hole to track scoring...), so here's a few behind the 9th green. Consistent with the last few outings - very light, comfortable, and stylish (got a few compliments too). Packed lighter today, and also switched up the storage with the glove caddy and a travel bag for the sunscreen, so the big pocket isn't as sloppy. Started to develop a squeak, mostly when single-strap carrying (still using the double, but often go one-strap on shorter distances) - it mostly goes away when putting the second strap on. I'll try swapping the straps around to see if that persists. Club section still seems very roomy - surprising for a small 4-way bag like this, so that's impressive. ~10 days left in the test, and one thing I definitely haven't tested: the umbrella holder. That's not a big thing for me because I'm mostly a fair weather player and took a hiatus from tournaments this year... But it's probably important to you all reading this, so I'll try to get a carry round in with the umbrella. Unfortunately I'm unlikely to get a cart round in until the test is over, but I do have one lined up for the 22nd, so I'll make sure to add a post for that (assuming it doesn't get rained out).
  11. Been hitting a lot of close approaches lately...but still no luck on the aces. Buuut...while warming up on the range, I took out a ball and my LW, and made a "Par 3" by hitting one 65yds back across the path / over the carts to the elevated chipping green -- JARRED IT! Doesn't count, but gives me hope.
  12. I had similar issues, and decided to prioritize the long end, especially after the '21 T100S/T200 test results. On the long end, have 1-3-4 irons, all utility build (1 is a bigger head), between the 3w and 5i (if I had to pick one to drop, I'd probably pick the 4). Then, reduced the wedges - replaced the 44* PW with a 46* Vokey, and then jump to 54 and 58. The gap from 9-PW increased to 15-20 yds instead of 10, but it also reduced the gap between PW and 54 (also about 15yds, instead of the ~20 I had between PW and 50). It's not the most common setup, and I'm sure some will disagree but it works for me -- index is down to the lowest it's ever been, dropping 2 since I switched to this. There are other factors too, but two key things that led to that improvement: this setup provides a lot of versatility off the tee / for longer shots, and also gets myself out of my own head on shorter shots (fewer options, more confidence in the club choice).
  13. Alright alright alright, I played a bit more with the pockets last night and took a few pictures of different contents. Here we go: Water Bottle + Small (Ball?) Pocket Until I got a bag that had a separate ball pocket, I always used this one for balls and tees; with the separate ball pocket, my main use for this pocket is gloves and other soft goods (koozies, scorecard holders, etc.). So, with the SL2, I went back to balls+tees. With 8 unboxed balls, which is how this session started (yes, there is a glove in there because...habit): Still lots of room, but that's me pulling the pocket open pretty hard. Now, the water bottle basically splits the pocket in two -- yes, those balls remain in there in this pic: As requested, with two sleeves of balls -- this made it a bit of a fight to get the water bottle in, because the boxes take up more space, and the water bottle hits the tops of the boxes on the way in (need to maneuver it past the boxes): Valuables Pocket As I noted before, my Pixel 6 Pro plus a wallet and pocket-sized sanitizer basically filled this pocket up. If I were to pick a spot that's not hanging from my bag that allows "easy" access to my Rangefinder, this is the pocket I'd pick (also like to protect that thing, so the lining helps with that too). This is with my Bushnell Hybrid in there, which mostly fills it up -- if rangefinder is in there, can't really use it for other things, so I'm choosing not the put the rangefinder in there (in contrast, I think the Jones has two valuables pockets, and I used one of those for the rangefinder, specifically the one that was close to this pocket): And, with my old phone only, a Pixel 4 XL (needed to use the 6 Pro to take the picture...so old phone it is) -- in order to fit and close the pocket, it needs to be angled. It does not fit horizontally, and this is vertical. There's a little more room in there for a wallet and other small things, but not a ton (can try other configurations later too, but I thought the rangefinder and phone were reflective of pocket size): Big / "Clothing?" Pocket Didn't do a lot to this one for the pocket test, because there really is a lot of room in there. But since it's just one big thing, it's just all jumbled together / disorganized (and any attempt at organization just kinda undoes itself as I start using things from the pocket). I'm still thinking of ways to add organization to it -- to start, I used this as an excuse to buy a Glove Keeper/Caddy (which is on the way), but need to think of other ways too. Like the small pocket, this is me pulling it open pretty hard:
  14. I still need to play with the pockets a bit more, but have some insight so far (didn't take pictures, but definitely can do that soon): Ball boxes: I put 4 sleeves in the ball pocket to start, and they fit fine, but made the water bottle pocket seem very tight. But...I didn't actually try to put a bottle in with that many balls in there - reduced the balls to 9 and emptied the boxes before playing. I do see others having more success with 6 balls, but that's normally not enough for me - in a standard 18 hole round, I routinely go through 4 balls simply due to scuffing from normal shots (and then there's OB, trees, cart paths, etc. that can add to that count). Valuables pocket: Pixel 6 Pro + Ridge Wallet + flat travel hand sanitizer (thanks for adding to my bag contents #COVID) --> very tight, could barely get the zipper closed (need to try without the sanitizer - didn't remember it was in there until we were already on the course). For the last round, I just put the phone into a scorecard holder and left it in my back pocket so that the other things fit well, which is convenient for our use of The Grint anyway. Water Bottle pocket: sadly, forgot my actual water bottle, which was not a good move on a 90+ degree day... But it does feel small. I put a slim can in a koozie, and even that I had to wiggle a bit to get in. I'm guessing it's just competing with the remaining balls (only ~6 left at that point), so will have to try with fewer balls + the 18oz Yeti this weekend. Larger pocket: disorganized (probably because I need to narrow what I carry in this bag), and... it feels tighter than it is. Once past the zipper, there's actually a solid amount of storage space, but the actual opening feels pretty narrow.
  15. Uh, hi, me again. Been less than 3 weeks since my last shoe purchase, and I've already struck again. 45 holes in, I love the Olukai shoes. More than pretty much all of my others. So, naturally, this shoe ho needed a new color option, but they were sold out in my size pretty much everywhere (except the one style I don't like as much). Got lucky though - Worldwide Golf Shops claimed to have a single pair of 13 left in the Kapalua style, in one of the colors I liked, so I jumped on it. And, naturally, also contacted Olukai directly to see if they'll restock other colors any time soon...TBD on that.
  16. First time spotted in the wild - looking nice, and survived multiple peckings by the two vultures in the background. 2-pocket system proved challenging again, but it's workable - e.g. gloves were buried, because with my Ben Affleck kids, needed plenty of sunscreen in the bag, and gloves/sunscreen currently share the bigger pocket. I added my two lefty wedges to the bag for the range session (see CHA post, but it's for solidarity with the 2yo), and the 16 clubs fit without a problem. Also, chose my classic sticker to add to the bottom -- wasn't quite as easy as my other bags, but got it to work (other bags have bigger flat areas - have used a mix of this sticker and Kenny Powers on the others).
  17. I ditched it for a while -- had no confidence in the 3w, felt like I topped it 60% of the time. So, I swapped out my 15* 3w for a 16* 1-Utility (specifically the Titleist U505 -- also considered the T200 2i, which is slightly more lofted and smaller profile, but decided to go bigger for the longest iron). Lost a little distance, but gained consistency and options off the tee. It worked well for a while, but decided I wanted a FW back, and made a couple minor swing (and mental) tweaks when buying a new Stealth2 3w that I cranked down a bit -- to make room for both, I actually removed a wedge from the bag(changing up my wedge lofts) -- actually love the new setup, and I think it's made short game easier because I have fewer options (haven't found a shot that I could hit with the 60 but not the 58, and it's easier for me to pick the best option between 54-58 than it was between 52-56-60).
  18. First tee, in front of a crowd, hitting 3 after already piping a ball OB or in the water -- tons of pressure not to do it again. That's mentally the hardest, but really it's just a stock driver. What I think is actually the hardest to hit: short-sided chip, off of a downslope, from the rough -- with some extra difficulty points for the green sloping away.
  19. Bag arrived today (after an unfortunate FedEx delay that made it miss two planned rounds...) -- first impression section added to my main test post:
  20. Historically carried the PW from the stock set, along with 52/56/60 - in high school, that's what our local pro recommended, and I had that setup for almost 20 years. Started tweaking lofts a bit (like 50/54/60), and also long clubs, and just this year changed it up - now that I have both a 3w and driving iron in the bag, the new wedge setup is: 46 (replaces the PW from my irons), 54, 58. Haven't found myself in any positions where I miss the extra wedge, and my handicap is now the lowest it's ever been. Only issue is the bigger gap between 9i and PW, but that's manageable.
  21. T150 vs. T100S -- love it! I will be following this closely. I'm considering upgrading to the T150, but don't have a ton of demo opportunities (at least not as a full set), so really interested in hearing your feedback on look and feel against the T100S (oh, and distance -- not convinced I need more of that on top of what T100S already did, but hey, a few yards never hurts).
  22. So... Made the decision that if Vanilla Bryce is going to be a lefty, I'm going to learn with him. Picked up the cheapest, unused LH wedges that I could find -- yes, I now own Top Flite golf clubs but for the purpose and price (2 for $95, tax+shipping included), hard to pass up. Now just need to find a cheap 7i and a driver to complete the "set". FWIW... They actually look like nice clubs. Probably wouldn't trust the shafts for my normal game, but the heads are surprisingly nice.
  23. That's a watch area for me because my Jones Trouper had some leg issues, but more design than durability -- it's the only bag I've used that hooks the stand mechanism into the legs from the inside, relying on a lock washer to hold it together (internal tooth washer, on a smooth surface). One day, on the third tee, one of the washers flew off, and the stand was unusable the rest of the round (customer service was great, fixed it and it hasn't happened again, but it still sticks with me, and relegated it to a backup/sometimes bag). Ever since that day, I've had my eye on stand quality, so it's top of mind once I get this bag in hand for testing.
  24. Current: Tyrrell Hatton - can't get over the commentary. Joel Dahmen is a close second for the same reason -- if I were to follow someone on the course at a tournament, I'd pick either of these two over any of the bigger stars. Up & Comer: Brandon Matthews - this full video is great, but the 3:55 and 4:48 marks show what makes him fun to track (one is his interview, the other his competitor's): Former notables: (1) Steve Marino - big Monday qualifier guy, once shot 59 on a mini tour, and was a great guy when I met him. Fun to watch / pull for. (2) Camilo Villegas. Downside is he's a Gator, but I liked him before I went to FSU... he's actually the reason I discovered/met Marino -- won the opportunity to caddy for him (which was huge as my favorite golfer at the time) on Wednesday of the '07 Pebble Pro-Am, and Marino was paired up with us.
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