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Everything posted by saz0418

  1. I have played 1L irons for more than 8 years -- first as custom fit set of Wishon Sterling irons, and then Cobra F8. I still game the Cobra irons, 7i through GW. I had a 55 degree wedge made 7i length to gap into the set. But lately I have been playing conventional lengh 52 and 56 and 60 degree wedges at the bottom of the bag. I sometimes carry the 1L 6i as well. Otherwise, I move into a 5h (25 degree TM Stealth) and 4h (Callaway Xr). I like the consistency of short irons through GW all being the same set up, length, ball postion, etc. I also like that I can grip down a little for in-between yardages and not worry about hitting it thin. GW is probably the last club in the bag that I use for a full swing (about 100 yards). The shorter wedges are for half shots, pitching and chipping. I can hit full half wedges, but I am more likely to hit a partial PW or GW than the shorter club for, say, 75 yards because the swing is shorter and less can go wrong. Anyway, I would fully suggest you explore the 1L. You always have options for the longer irons (or shorter ones) if one or the other in the 1L does not suit you. I mix and match all the time just for the sake of confidence and results. For reference, I am 63 and play to a single digit index. Good Luck and enjoy the journey.
  2. Look at the rangefinder on Amazon described as "AILEMON 6X Golf Range Finder, 1000/1200 Yard Laser RangeFinder with Slope Switch, Scan, Flagpole Lock, and Speed Function, Tournament Legal Golf Rangefinder." It's $70! It does slope. It charges via USB (micro usb). I have literally charged it, like, once or twice a year-- and I play 2 or 4 times a week. The battery life is amazing. I had a bushnell and a couple of other off brands and this works as good as anything I have used. It locks on... it vibrates... it rarely misreads to background objects. It just works.
  3. I have been carrying a yardage book for about 4 years, now. I have mapped greens on several of the courses I play frequently. I *did* purchase a commercial green book for my home course, but it only replaced one I had already made. You can purchase a circular bubble level on Amazon (maybe $15) that gives you the slope (1 to 3 degrees in .5 increments), and shows you the fall line. I started with just a reading every 3 or 4 paces across the green, and then filled in details or edited as I played and found more/better information. I also carry a club distance chart -- 1/2, 3/4 and full shot distanced for LW up through 6 iron. Its useful to know how far you hit a 1/2 6 iron when you re punching out from under a tree and wondering if you will go front of green, middle, or over, for example. I also recently started carrying a chipping matrix. I have percentages of fly vs. roll for up to 40 paces away from the flag and for firm, regular, soft and extra soft greens. I usually just test what club is 1/2 fly and 1/2 roll during warm up, and that gives me the best indication of the green firmness. In play: if you pace 27 steps from the flag to your ball, and assuming you have ample green to work with, this will give you guideline for how far to carry a PW, 9i or 8i on to the green for the appropriate roll out. Obviously, I adjust for up and down hills (both lie and roll out). But it's been pretty successful in the first couple of weeks of using it. Disclosure: I am 63 and play to around an 8 index. I don't get that much use for the *fairway* mapping in the usual yardage books. But then I carry a GPS watch and a laser range finder to cover that part.
  4. Playing conditions do matter. I live in the MId-West (Ohio). Through about end of April, it is typically cold and wet and windy. More carry is beneficial. But once it warms up and dries out a bit, I have much better luck with a LOWER loft on my driver. I have a Ping G410 (10.5). I typically have it set -.6 or even -1 all summer. The difference is 10 - 15 yards or more. I see the same thing on my SkyTrak launch monitor, too. The idea that more loft is automatically better for slower swing speeds does not really pan out, in my experience. I got fitted into a 12 degree Ping driver a few years ago. I am much longer at 9 degrees than at 12. For context, I am 63 years old (8 -10 HDCP), and my driver swing speed is around 90 (plus or minus 5 mph on any given day). My drivers are commonly 205 - 225 (cold and wet) -- and maybe up to 250 on a warm, dry day. I would just say to experiment (or keep experimenting) and see what is optimal for you. I agree that something under 3000 rpm is a good objective.
  5. A few things. First, as a beginner, your swing is very, very likely to change if you continue to play and improve. Your improving swing is ultimately going to decide what driver is best for you--- shaft specifications, loft, draw bias, length etc. I would say if you currently have a driver that was released in, say, the last 10 years, keep using it and pay for a few lessons. Better use of your money and time. Then, you can make an informed decision about what driver fits you. I am partial to PING drivers. I had a new R1 and M1, and have owned COBRA and Callaway drivers in the last 5 or 6 years. I keep coming back to PING for consistency. But, I know people that hit TM or Callaway exclusively, and drive the ball beautifully. If you are going to buy a "new driver", a fitting will only optimize your equipment to your current swing and ability. You could, instead, go to a stock driver -- say 10 degrees of loft with a regular shaft and some degree of adjustability. There are really affordable options online at 2ndswing, Global Golf, Callaway Preowned and similar sites. You can use Google for the brand and model (ex: Ping G30 driver used), and then use the 'shopping' option to see who might have something available. Use that and then upgrade when you are comfortable with your swing, your shot patterns and your results.
  6. I agree in terms of not being too technical when you are PLAYING golf. Fine for swing thoughts while you are practicing-- maybe even during a pre-shot routine/practice swing. But once you step in to hit the shot your focus should be on your target and the image of the shot you are trying to hit, however you think of that. In yesterday's interview following the PNC Pro Am, Tiger said one issue is that his swing is not producing the ball flight or speed for the shots he is "seeing". Some teachers even draw a line-- on one side is the planning and preparation and practice, and the other is clear the mind of swing thoughts and execute. All that said, I adopted an acronym for shot preparation when I was in my teens that I still use today. Plan to hit each shot SWEL (Slope, Wind, Elevation, and Lie) -- meaning you take your stock shot pattern and distance, and then (try to ) account for how changes in slope, wind speed/direction, elevation change (uphill or downhill to the target), and lie will affect it. In the Midwest this time of year, we also have to account for temperature and ground conditions (wet or soggy fairways, greens and aprons.) Its not unusual to add 3 clubs for an uphill, into the wind iron shot on a day that is 42 degrees. I still think its best to step in to hit your shot and focus on rhythm, tempo and execution. But I also believe a mind toward's planning and course management are an important element if you are going to score. Know where to miss. Play a shot that matches your game and ability, especially THAT day. Play to targets and percentages. Know when to take on risks. In the cold OHIO December weather, my last 4 rounds have been 77, 77, 73, 80. Not bad for a 62 year old, 9/10 HDCP.
  7. Look at the Garmin Approach S20 Watch. You can find one online for around $200 to $250. I have been using one for about a year. It syncs with the Garmin Golf App on your smartphone. It collects distance for all shots hit (excluding putts). I learns your distances and starts prompting for the club you may have hit from a certain distance. After the round, you can sync with the app and see every shot you hit super-imposed over the course layout, hole by hole. it also allows you to tracks GIR, fairways, and putts. It will also aggregate stats for particular courses that you play often. There is no annual subscription or fee. I use mine as an every day watch, as well. It is small enough to not be bulky. It only needs to be charged about once a week (no golf), or about every 3 rounds or so. It also tracks steps and sleep as a side benefit (syncing with the GARMIN smartphone app). It recharges in about an hour. I have the Garmin S60 series watch, too. But the S20 is a better every-day watch, and the battery lasts 3 to 4 times longer. My opinion.
  8. Here is my experience, and some thoughts about 1L clubs. I have been hitting them 5 or 6 years, now. First was a set of custom fit Wishon Sterling irons (6-GW). Then, I replaced that set with Cobra F8 1L (6i - GW). I had the 1L hybrid but sold it. Was never able to gap it with the rest of my set. It seemed to be one more 150 - 160 club and not that much more consistent. For context, I am 62 and play to a 9-10 index/hdcp. I am 5' 11 and around 200 lbs - pretty average size. I am currently playing a mixed/blended bag... 5,6,7 irons are Titleist T400s, and then (another) 7i - LW are 1L Cobra. I even had 1L (7i length) shaft put on my Calloway SureOut SW (58 degree). I found I was reluctant to hit it outside of short pitches and sand shots for fear of catching it thin. So I put the longer shaft on that too, and it has been very successful. The positives for 1L are so many. I have essentially 1 ball position for all but my 5i, 4h and 4w. When I am practicing and warming up before playing, I can hit just one club and feel comfortable with the contact and flight. The short game is where the 1L really shine. I can go waist-high to waist-high and cover 10 yard gaps from 90 to 130 yards (GW to 7i). Then, since I can choke down on the 1L short irons and wedges (without worrying about thins), I can get the 5 yard increments in between with really the same swing and set up. So, i have 85 - 130 in 5-yard increments that I am very comfortable with -- really just a half swing. I blend the Titleist irons at the top of my bag because the stronger loft and hollow construction gives me a bit more yardage with those (5i, 6i, 7i). I find the wedges pretty easy to chip with, especially if you adopt the high handle with the heel raised, toe-putt style of chipping (which is very popular with instruction, now). In the end, you just have to map your bag and know your yardages and see how everything fits together. I was originally blending at the 8i (carrying 2 8 irons), but the 7i length give me more consistency out to about 155 yards. I don't know if I could go back to a traditional set. I have the full set of Titleist t400 irons (5i - PW, 43W, 49W ). I played with them for about 4 months and missed the versatility and consistency of the short irons and wedges and chipping/pitching. So I came up with the blended set and have been pretty happy. All the GI club makers are making the hollow construction irons, now. So the next set I may look at would be that construction in the Cobra 1L -- King Forged Tec, for example. Hope this helps.
  9. When I hit pulls or pull hooks with longer clubs, its is usually ball position... or at least ball position relative to your swing. Your swing goes on a arc... to the right, then square, then to the left (right handed golfer). If you get the ball too far forward in your stance, you hit it with the left-going part of your swing arc. Even a couple of degrees with a driver is probably off the fairway. So the easy fix in the midst of a round is to move the ball back in your stance about a ball width (more or less). The same equivalent happens if you don't transfer your weight forward on your swing. "Hanging back" will push your swing path left-- and that is more likely as you try to stay behind and hit UP on your driver. Finally, I will not that I can hit a pull or pull-hook off the planet out of nowhere during a round. I finally diagnosed that to not getting the hands ahead of the ball (enough) during the set up (or dynamically during swing). If you normally set up with your hands ahead of the ball... and then you set up with hands even with the ball (or less ahead), that can absolutely point your face left and introduce a dead pull or pull/hook. You can prove that to yourself by just setting up, and then pulling the handle back away from target. The face closes several degrees for each inch or so that you move the handle back. If that is how you come into the ball, your face is left and the ball is going left.
  10. Anyone reading this thread, I would also suggest you look into the Bionic golf gloves. The one I use is Bionic GGNCMLML Men's StableGrip with Natural Fit Golf Glove, Left Hand, Cadet Medium/Large , White. These gloves have a bit more padding in the fingers, heel pad and thumb pad. The idea is you get a firmer grip without having to grip harder. I have been using them for about 2 seasons, now and will probably never go back. I have a launch monitor in the garage and some weeks I might hit 500+ shots. I haven't worn out my "practice glove"-- an older gamer that I retired. I rotate 2 on my bag for when I play. They are synthetic (edit: actually, real leather, but washable) , but the feel is pretty darn good. OH!, and you can throw them in the washer to clean out all the dirt and sweat. They wear like steel. Overall: I like the feel... I don't get blisters... I don't have wrist, hand or finger pain (62 yrs young). And I hit a LOT of golf balls. Hundreds a week in addition to playing 2 or more rounds. I would definitely give that a try as an alternative to bigger grips on your clubs. You might find you like it, too.
  11. Most of the instruction you will find on improving driving will mention tee height as one of the key things. Optimally, you want to be hitting driver on an upswing -- level or up 1 to 3 degrees. Teeing the ball higher will influence both the positive angle of attack and also a swing path a bit more to the right than left -- both good things. Understand that the ball position and tee height are relative to your own swing. The club (head) arch travels down > level > up and also right > to target > left. Ball position and tee height are easy to experiment with and you should. For example, if I want to hit a drive that I *know* will not go left, I move the ball back in my stance about a ball width -- 2 - 3 inches. And since my club will be lower at that point in my swing, I tee it down a bit more (say, maybe 3/8 of an inch). The result is my club arrives at the ball with the face still slightly open rather than square. Since it is arriving earlier than normal, its not as much on the upswing, so teeing it down ensures I get it in the middle of the clubface. The result is (pretty dependably) a low ball flight that fades about 10 to 15 yards. I just aim it up the left with confidence that it wont go farther left -- most likely right. All of that is controlled by where I tee the ball in my stance.. and adjust the tee height so I don't get the ball too high or too low on the clubface. Just for reference, I tee the ball so that the top of the tee is right at the 2nd joint of my forefinger (pointer) with my finger tip touching mother earth ( not pressing down, but past the grass to the dirt line). That's my standard with Driver regardless if my tee has the lines, or not. I used to actually red-line my tees. I just found measuring with my finger to be easier. And when I want to tee it lower, I just go about 3/8 of an inch below that line on my finger (2nd joint). On my hand, that is 2 1/8 inches. I also use foot spray on my driver to ensure I am getting center contact and at the middle of the driver (vertically), or just a bit higher, which is the best for my Ping 410 Plus for my swing speed.
  12. I purchased this range-finder... $80 on Amazon. Great optics. Slope (on/off)... charges USB. Holds a charge for weeks. no problem finding the pin. Couldn't be happier with the product or the price-point. AILEMON 6X Golf Range Finder, 1200 Yard Laser RangeFinder with Slope Stitch, Scan, Flagpole Lock, and Speed Function, Tournament Legal Golf Rangefinde
  13. Hit driver from the tee. Aim down the left inside the tree-line. I usually tee the ball slightly lower, and move it back about a ball from my normal driver position. That almost guarantees a low fade that runs, because the ball is teed down, and the club doesn't quite get square before you get to the ball. It also sort of takes the pull out of the equation. That should put you close enough (150 or less) for your approach. Since you favor the left-to-right (fade), you can aim your approach off the left bunkers and you have all sorts of room short and to the right before the right bunkers become a problem. Play your normal shot shape to your advantage. Your minimum yardage on the approach should be enough to get you 5 yards over either of the front bunkers. If you draw a line across the backside of both front bunkers... beyond that with a fade off the left bunkers you have all sorts of landing room.
  14. Golf sweat protector: https://www.amazon.com/No-Sweat-Golf-Liner-Protection/dp/B016ZH8I82/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=hat+protector&qid=1624563536&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFDNElMWlgxRUdJVE8mZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA0NzU0MjEzUk9BMjE3MUMyU0Y2JmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA3NzkzNTAyWDZVQldBRkxDSkU4JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
  15. Best one I have used is a shoe box... placed outside the ball line maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch from the toe of your club at address. It perfectly lines up with your target line and you immediately know if you are swinging inside-to-square-to-inside. The closer you put it, the better chance you get of hitting it out of the center. Double that with a towel or equivalent to make sure your AofA is a couple of degrees down and your low-point is beyond the ball, and its very, very effective. Nice thing is, you won't damage your club if you hit a shoe box. I suspect an Amazon box would work as well. There: there is your use to up-cycle all of your home-delivery boxes. Other than that, I can recommend a launch monitor. I purchased a SkyTrak. But, even the less expensive ones are useful. I have the SwingCaddie SC100. You can hit into a net or hit in your yard or another open space -- especially drilling on partial swing wedges and scoring irons in the 20 - 100 yard range. Next to putting, it's probably the lowest hanging fruit to get your scores and handicap down. Missed approach shots.
  16. I have been playing single length irons for more than 5 years now. Original set was Tom Wishon Sterling. Those are 8i length. Last 2 years has been Cobra F7 One Length. But I play a blended set now where my 6, 7 and 8i are Titleist T400, and then 8 - SW are Cobra One Length. I had to order the 55 degree SW separately. Full disclosure, I am 62 and play to a 9 GHIN index. Pluses of One length: I only really have to practice one set up, ball position and one swing. Since I only play a couple of times a week, that helps my consistency. I grip down on the shaft a little to play in between yardages, and I like that I can do that with the 7i length short irons and wedges and not worry about hitting them thin. Next, I use a waist high swing with every wedge (actually, SW through 8i) and get very predicable, repeatable, consistent yardages. Again, I can choke down to get in-between yardages. The result is I have 75 all the way to 125 yard shots that are just a waist high pitching motion and are very consistent. I don't know that I could pull that off with a conventional set. In fact, my 60 degree wedge is conventional length, and I am afraid to choke it down at all. The only reason I put the Titleist irons at the top of the set is because they are very long. They are lofted stronger than usual, but then they are constructed like a hybrid so they launch higher. I hit my 6 iron about 165 to 170. I think you can hit longer irons that roll out with any type of set -- one length or conventional. I have a launch monitor and I can hit 8 irons of either type that spin down around 3000 rpm and will run out 10 or 15 yards(145 to 150 carry) . I think higher swing speeds would experience this less. As others have posted, I am just aware of the fact that I might get a low spinner-- especially from the rough-- and just have to plan for it. Its not a big adjustment. With all the versatility and consistency of the one length irons, I am not sure I would ever go back to conventional for the short irons and wedges -- scoring clubs. But I would definitely recommend exploring longer clubs above 7 iron because the extra length will only improve your swing speed, distance and spin. To me, it's like taking advantage of all that a blended set can offer.
  17. I have a full set of Cobra F8 1 length irons 6i through GW + 55 degree SW-- all 7i length and lie. I purchased the Titleist T400 irons last Summer (6i - GW), and played with that full set for about 4 months. The T400 are lofted VERY strong. You kind of have to ignore the loft because club manufacturers are doing so much with hollow heads and thinning faces and general engineering that the lofts aren't the end-all/be-all that they used to be. But just as an example, the t400's wedges are 38 (pW), 43, and 49. You could just say that the 39 is really a 9i (and a strong one at that). But all the irons fly farther.... and higher... and descend steeper than the equivalent lofted clubs I have tested against. So you just have to test and know your set, which I can do because I got through COVID by buying a Skytrak launch monitor. So, after about 4 months, I missed the versatility and consistency of the 1 length irons, but really liked the extra distance. I ended up blending the set... 6,7, and 8i in the t400s and then 8- SW in the Cobra. Yes, you saw that right: 2, 8 irons. As previous posts have noted, you have to pay attention to the gaps. For me, I hit the T400 8i about 155 yds. The Cobra 1L 8i is 145, and then I gap down roughly 10 yds per iron from there. The 1` length irons give me full gaps with half shots from 75 to 120 yards. I can choke down to get 5 yard increments from the 10 yard gaps without worrying about hitting thin (because they are 7i length). This set up is much better all the way around. For reference, I am 62 yrs old and play to a 9.3 GHIN index. I play a couple of times a week as I am not yet retired. Almost all of the club manufacturers are now offering the hollow body irons, built essentially like a hybrid. Ping, Taylormade... its all the rage. And, as some others have mentioned, you can now get fitted with blended sets from most of the manufacturers, too. From my experience, the hollow body construction in the wedges and short irons produced more distance, but a lot more dispersion. I hit about 1 out of every 10 or 15 that have REALLY low spin and go 10 or more yards farther than plan for. That's a killer in a real round. I prefer the consistency and predictability of my traditional cavity back short irons and wedges (albeit, with mine, they are one length). Incidentally, the rest of my bag is a Ping G410 plus driver (10.5), Cobra F7 3W, Callaway Rogue 3h (19), Callaway XR 4h (22) -- and then 6,7,8i in the Titleist T400, 8i-SW in the Cobra F8. I have a 60 degree (Volkey) wedge I usually add to the back during drier, summer months. That's my experience.
  18. Scott - Ohio (Columbus Area) Sterling 1 length 5- GW, regular flex (specs available-- I am just traveling now without my clubs... sad, I know) GHIN 8.5 index Cleveland CBX Irons. I would love to test the CBX Irons. As a bonus, I would be willing to review the HB irons, as well. I don't need the HB set; I purchased a set 3 - PW (graphite) in Dec, and have been blending them with my Sterling 1-L irons. I have about 20 rounds in with these clubs so far. I believe I have some insights into their performance and benefits that might not be apparent with commercial reviews. Also, I would be able to compare and contrast the HB irons with the CBX irons -- another interesting view. Finally, as a 59-yr old 8-9 HDCP, I believe I am right in the sweet spot of the target demographic for these particular clubs. Hope I get selected!
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