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GregB135

 
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About GregB135

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  • Birthday 01/09/1970

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    Lithia, Florida
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    Golf, cycling, grilling, tv sports
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    14
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  1. I happened to have a driver fitting the day the TM distributor was dropping these off at my fitter's location. End result of the fitting was, the driver in the bag (Titleist 917D2) was the best performing option of what we hit during the session (Ping G410+, G410LST, Callaway Epic, Cobra F9). With all the contenders we never saw anything better than equal performance to the current driver. All that to say; If your swing (speed/tempo/ball striking) has not significantly changed, chances are, if you've bought a new driver within the last 2 years you aren't likely to see any noticeable performance difference with this years offerings. As many have stated, year-to-year the OEMs are typically only able to achieve small increments in performance changes. So, until you wear the club out and notice the change in performance it's more likely you can shift the cost of that new driver into something else to improve.
  2. Actually with an adjustment it got me a getter spread up from the 4 iron and reduced the gap down from 3 wood. My Hogan was only about a 7 yard gap up from the 4 iron so I used it more from the tee or rough and the 4 iron from the fairway for similar distance.
  3. As I'm thinking about getting ready for the league season to start (usually end of March) I put the Mizuno JPX 850 Forged set back in the bag for now. I'll get a few more rounds in with those before I decide if a change is worth it. I made the switch after playing another round earlier this week with only 5 GIR. If the whole idea of the G410 irons was the forgiveness factor would help me drive that stat up, they fell short of the goal. Losing distance, especially from the wedges, was another down mark for me. Of note, I went in to Golftec for a driver fitting today. End result, was nothing on the shelf performed better than the one in the bag. Then we took a look at they hybrid, and there is a new G410 hybrid on order. Saw a gain of about 15 yards with good height and descent angle over the Hogan hybrid that has been the gamer.
  4. GregB135

    Hogan

    I definitely recommend the demo program if you are considering the Hogan brand. I used the demo program and then ordered the PTx irons and Equalizer wedges. Probably going to order a new set of the wedges. If you are going to order irons though, you have to know your fitting specs and shaft choices are somewhat limited.
  5. We all had a great time. But the penalty strokes were out with a vengeance. Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  6. Really good write up. Sounds like a fantastic experience.
  7. Ping G410 Irons – Official MGS Forum Review by GregB135 November 2019 - January 2020 Intro Over the past season I’ve worked my handicap down from 16 to 11. That puts me at the lower range of the handicap levels that Ping claims these irons will fit. What gets me there? My lowest scores wind up being rounds where I hit more fairways and stay away from penalties. If I’m honest, I give away more strokes with poor driving and chipping than with poor iron play. My GIR average over the last year is at 26%. That’s a little lower than where I want it to be. My last two sets of irons have been forged cavity backs, the Mizuno JPX850 and Hogan PTx, with more blade type wedges. That type of set makeup seemed a good match to me and my game. My ball flight with irons is mid to high. The A-game swings have a slight draw, and shots land with something between short hop and roll, and back up a little. I was excited to see the test opportunity for the G410 because I had previously gamed the i10 irons, and the marketing of more forgiveness which might help me in my quest for a better GIR average. My only big questions going in were; will the GI engineering of the clubs exaggerate my high ball flight, and how will the transition to wedges at the bottom of the set be affected. First Impressions My first impressions started a little bit before the iron fitting. I went to one of the local golf shops and just checked them out on the rack (no swings to alter perceptions at that point), and did some side-by-side comparison to clubs similar to mine. The first thing I noticed was the increased offset (particularly in the long irons) but also how the offset reduced down through the set. The size of the club heads also has some variance. The hitting area of the club face was about the same as the other irons, but there is noticeably more club head around it. The thickness of the top line was noticeable as well, but not off-putting, and in the middle of the set at least keeps the workings of the back of the club head out of sight. I saw a little more of the club head in the 4 and 5 iron and the PW and UW just looked like an awful lot of golf club to my eye. On to the fitting. I was fortunate that I was able to do the fitting with my Golftec swing coach. His only comment before we got started was we was ‘not sure that’s the club I would have started with’ in a regular iron fitting. We got started with a shaft similar to my Mizuno and Hogan (lightweight, stiff flex) and I was absolutely awful. We did some tweaking based on feel and balance and got to the AWT Red in regular flex. We worked through a few more swings to dial in the lie angle and length and bingo, mid-high ball flight down the line. At the end of the session we had selected the AWT Red R flex shaft for 4I through UW, set 2* upright (that’s blue dot to Ping), and ¾-inch longer than standard. The clubs arrived looking great even if I did have a slightly longer wait than the other testers. That’s actually a plus rating to Ping as the delay was due to blemishes in the shafts they received and not wanting to ship an inferior quality product to the customer (not even a comp set). The club heads were all individually wrapped with neoprene covers on them. Grading Looks (8 out of 10 points) Generically these clubs look great. The color scheme and the badging of the back of the club head looks good in the bag. I really like the hydropearl finish. It’s clean and subtle and reduces reflected sun glare at setup. I still can’t tell if it makes a real difference in wet conditions, but it looks good. It’s the look at setup that gets the downgrade for me. I still find myself uncomfortable looking down at the long irons and seeing stuff from the back of the club head. The PW and UW still look like way too much club to my eye. Especially at the bottom of the set, the GI engineering of the irons makes it look and feel like way too much forward shaft lean for what I’ve grown comfortable with. Too many instances of having to remind myself to forget how it looks and swing. Sound & Feel (6 out of 10 points) If you’ve been following the thread this far a middle grade here should come as no surprise. You’ll also have to keep in mind my previous two sets used to compare feel were forged cavity back not cast GI/SGI heads. It might be apples to apples, but it’s fresh from the store, whole honey crisp apples compared to multi-pack, pre-sliced, granny smith apples. I’ve got numerous range sessions and indoor practice bay sessions and I still can’t figure out whether or not I like the sound of these irons. That’s probably because I don’t think these irons can decide what they want to sound like. Flush strikes make a nice subtle click. Off center strikes vary between a loud, annoying whack from the heel, a weak splashy whack off the toe, and an ‘ugh’ inducing thud for anything thin. Feel players accustomed to using forged irons will wonder ‘Where’s all my feedback?’ For all the audible feedback these clubs give there is precious little the feel of the strike is going to tell you. With the exception of strikes well in on the heel or sufficiently thin there is not much translated all the way to the hands to tell you how good or bad the contact was. In general for sound and feel I’ll stick with my comment from earlier in the thread. The less you get of either, the better you’ve struck the ball. Basic Characteristics (17 out of 20 points) One area these irons definitely live up to the marketed billing is hitting the ball straight. They aren’t going to eliminate the hook or slice if that is what the swing dictates. The increased offset does tend to turn out more hooky hooks and less slicey slices. Side-spin on off center strikes is definitely reduced as well. I’m a little over a month into playing and practicing with these irons and they perform how I expect a GI design to perform. My baby draw ball flight stayed a baby draw with the short irons, but got more into being a hook with the long irons. Off center strikes didn’t want to curve back to the target line either way and became straight pushes or pulls. In general though that left me closer to the target with my misses even if it didn’t result in more GIR, so the forgiveness factor is definitely there. As far as distance goes I’m left with some mixed feelings. One of my initial worries was with yardage gapping at the bottom of the set. By that I mean these are designed to increase distance so I didn’t want the expected gains in distance from the PW and UW to create too large a gap to my other wedges. Turns out I didn’t need to worry because I’ve actually seen a distance drop with those clubs. The same is true at the other end of the set. I didn’t see my 4i distance encroach on the gap to the hybrid it went the other way as well. In between there though I didn’t have to alter my yardages much at all which was nice. I was getting similar yardages as before, just a little bit straighter with respect to the target line. Off center strikes also don’t cost as much loss of distance with the G410s. Again, we’re talking within 5 yards of desired for missing on the toe, a little more than that off the heel vs 10 yards lost by missing the center of the forged cavity comparison irons. Those who like to work the ball may not like these irons so much. While a draw swing will produce a draw, and a fade swing a fade; it took a significant effort to make the ball move more on purpose. That is just the nature of a GI club, it’s going to reduce side spin. Even though Ping markets these to include the ‘high single digit’ handicapper this is what might become a make or break point with that level of player. You may have to give up some control to get the forgiveness factor. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I was able to control height. Since I already hit the ball fairly high, I expected to see REALLY high ball flight with these. I think we did a good job at fitting to find a shaft that kept my ball flight where I wanted. Though I have had some shots I thought were very high, the difference is how long the ball maintained its peak height off the 410s. It gets up there, and SOARS. Even with the low cg engineering of the clubs I was able to play in some really windy conditions without it costing me that much. The ¾ punch or knockdown swing did its job and kept the ball down and boring through the wind. Same with punch shots and low tree limbs, asking for low I got low as long as I executed the swing well. On-Course Performance (28 out of 30 points) While I am a decent enough iron player, no one is going to refer to me as a ‘great ball striker’. I got in about 8-10 rounds now with the G410 irons and my GIR numbers ranged from a low of 3 to a high of 9 during the test. So, not really a big change in the target stat of GIR, but I did average better scoring by a stroke or two. I attribute a fair portion of that to the G410s letting me get away with a little more of a miss than their predecessors. They performed well from all kinds of lies: rough, fairway bunker, thin fairway etc. The thicker sole interacted well with the fairway turf and bored through the rough so it gave an increased measure of confidence with distance control. I was able to play them in conditions ranging from ideal to ‘why am I still out here?’ and they held up their end in all of them. Shots hit the greens and stayed there. I realize green conditions have their fair contribution but I did notice more shots backing up a bit than I’d grown accustomed to with the Hogan set. As a challenge, I was lucky enough to be out on the course more or less by myself, so I decided to play my normal tees (6,300 yds) with the full set, against the forward tees (5,400) with irons only. ‘Iron Man’ was 3 FIR and 4 GIR better than full set and carded an even 80 to the 88 of the full set game. Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points) Customer service gives Ping the whole box of points here. From offering the clubs for test, coordinating fitting and packaging Ping made sure it was a quality interaction all the way through. Play it or Trade it? (15 out of 20 points) I’m still not completely sold that the G410s need to stay in the bag long term. I’m having a tough time getting over the setup factor and looks of these irons compared to what my eye had gotten accustomed to with the smaller club heads of the Hogan/Mizuno sets. Even though it is at the extreme ends of the set, I’m a little unhappy with yardages going down. I can’t deny though that I’ve shot some of my best scored of the year with the G410 irons in play. A little more time and the early 2020 release announcements will tell. Conclusion Ping markets these irons as suitable for the low-mid to high handicapper. I read that as a range from about 10-25. Spending some time with them makes me believe the closer to the lower end of that scale the player is, the more they will find not to like. Improved accuracy lived up to the hype throughout the set, not so the claim of improved distance to go with it. I got moderate gains in the middle of the set, but actually saw distance drop off at the top and bottom of the set. The low CG did not grossly exaggerate my high ball flight, but the hotter face improved hang time and distance on off center hits. Final Score: 84/100 (I'll come back and add more pictures)
  8. Well, with the test we were committed to fitting into the G410 irons so we had to fit me to those irons. Without the test opportunity, my thought would probably have been similar to my coach/fitter that the G410s would not have been a likely choice going into the fitting. I'm going to get some more time and a few more rounds with them before I decide whether to make them the gamers or not. If not, I'll go back and do a more thorough iron fitting with the options open from the start and see what we get from there. The long club fitting (D, FW, Hyb) is set for this week. If I don't make up my mind soon though on the irons I'll keep them in the bag through the league season.
  9. Maybe 3.5 for 4. I'm still not sure they are going to stay in the bag long term. I'll get my review posted today/tomorrow with the full dirt, but I have some dislikes at the top and bottom of the set that have me anxiously awaiting Ping's iron release this year (should start with i ) and thinking about a fitting for irons to me rather than me to irons.
  10. Got the PuttOut and practice mat for Christmas! I'll check back later when I wear the groove into the mat. Spent about 45 minutes practicing that afternoon and only missed the cup once. First time through I averaged 4-5 putts from each distance before making a perfect putt. (You guys didn't say the perfect putt was much harder from the longer ranges )
  11. There have been lots of comments on the sound and feel of the G410 irons. I'll expand on the idea a little more in my full review (pending soon) but here's what I've noticed so far. With sound and feel, the less you get of either the better the strike. The pure/flush shots I've hit so far have felt like I hardly hit anything and made hardly any sound at all.
  12. I think I'm with ballplayer here. It has taken multiple rounds (like it normally should) to get used to the feel and performance of the new set. Right off the rack I didn't like the look of the increased offset in the longer irons, on the course though, I've hit them straight. I also winced a bit standing over the wedges the first time just due to the bulk of the clubhead. If you are accustomed to and comfortable playing an iron like the 919 (especially forged), the 410s are going to feel like a step back for you. Feel and feedback for sure are more muted than the forged Mizunos or Hogans I've compared to. All that to answer your actual question - probably would have kept my Mizunos based on the cost of changing the shafts.
  13. I watched a bit of a behind the scenes show about the Major League Baseball clubhouse personnel and what they do. This team's clubhouse folks clean the cleats with Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner. I tried it on my dirtiest golf shoes, and except for the foam in the soles it worked like magic.
  14. I've got one more lesson this afternoon. Probably another range session or maybe two. Scramble tournament on Saturday. After that I should be ready to crank out the final review. This has been a fun test and a gun group to interact with.
  15. Here's another course strategy idea I heard from a PGA Tour coach who came to our military base course in North Dakota (during the winter even) to give a seminar. He said the strategy for mid to high handicappers (to him that was 15+) was NEVER aim for the pin on the approach shot. The target for those golfers should ALWAYS be the center of the green. Why? Pin placements. With 18 holes there should be an even distribution of front/middle/back pin placements. This strategy says if you make a perfect approach shot (knowing you wont) on every hole you'll have 6 first putts of about 10 feet. The advantage for the higher handicappers of using this strategy is knowing we aren't going to hit every approach shot perfect. Greens are typically sized at about 10-15 yards radius from the center. If you play to the center on every green you've got that much miss radius to use without finding yourself in trouble.
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