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Posts posted by DMDoran

  1. On 7/30/2021 at 11:47 AM, SonOfJeepers said:

    Does anyone know if these can be bent, or is the steel too brittle?

    I'm currently playing 50, 56, 60 in super cheap Wilson Harmonized wedges. I have the Kirkland's coming in the mail, but I'm worried about the gap from PW (cavity back) to the 52.

    Either I get this bent to 50, or I have to learn to hit a knock-down PW to fill the gap.

    I read in a couple of places that they can be bent and someone referenced a friend who had them bent at a PGA store, so sounds like it. FWIW, I have found that my Kirklands actually fly farther than my Titleists did (almost 10 yards), so I’d hit some shots before getting it bent.

    Added anecdote: Played with a friend on Saturday and he tested the 60 degree a couple of times. He definitely got more distance than his usual 60 degree.

  2. On something of a whim (and because I lost two of my Vokeys!) I decided to buy the Kirkland Signature Wedges to give them a tryout. Happy I did.

    The big beef against them was their stock quality versus fitted to your swing and distances (loft, bounce, grind). The set includes 52, 56, and 60 degrees. That’s it, so you bend to their specs. Those lofts actually work for me, so no problem. The gap and sand wedges are 10 bounce, and the lob wedge is an 8 (see pic). These were slightly different than my fitted Vokey wedges, but I figured for that price it was worth a test drive.

    The short answer is that I really like them a lot. Absolutely loved the 60 degree from the start—great feel to it, great spin, easy to use around the greens. The sand wedge was solid too. Lots of rain around here lately, so bunkers are not in the best shape, but it is a good sand wedge (and most of the problems have been mine, not the club’s!). The gap wedge has taken a little bit of adjustment. The bounce was different and I struggled with digging the leading edge in too deeply at first. Now that I’ve used it a bit, it’s proving to be a solid club too. 

    The clubs are a little heavier than my Vokey wedges. I still have my 48 degree so the difference is noticeable, but not enough to mess me up. All of them produce more spin and check up than my Titleists did. That has pushed me to adjust how far I fly the ball, but it has also improved my short game. I feel like I don’t have to manufacture spin so my swings are more consistent. Pretty consistent roll out on short chips around the green. Overall they have helped me tighten up around the greens. Was very pleasantly surprised by that.

    Three concerns: (1) the plastic cap above the hosel on the 52 came loose pretty quickly, but went back in place easily; (2) they seem to show signs of wear in the groove lines already (although I have been giving them a pretty good workout); and (3) I have noticed occasional damage to the cover of my golf balls that seems to have come from the sharp grooves on the wedges. They are legal grooves, so maybe it is just the trade off for more spin (or an anomaly).

    FWIW, Rick Shiels did a review and gave them a 9 out of 10, based on solid performance at a very good price. I agree. In fact, I really think I like them more than my Vokey wedges. I’d you don’t mind questions about using an off brand, they may be worth checking out.



  3. I don’t have much to offer as to making travel arrangements since I was a guest for this trip, but it was a golfer’s dream trip so I’ll share a little. I had the privilege of traveling to Scotland in the summer of 2016. Because I live in Detroit, it was actually significantly less expensive to fly out of Windsor, CA via Air Canada Rouge (the budget vacation line of the Air Canada family). No frills flying (no refreshments, no video, etc.), but way cheaper.

    Arrived in Edinburgh on a Monday morning. Traveled to our hotel in St. Andrews (the Old Course Hotel), then we played 18 at The Duke’s Course as a late add-on to the trip and to avoid just sitting around in jet lag condition. Only round that we rode carts and least memorable, mainly because of flying through the night just prior to playing.

    On Tuesday we played the King’s and Queen’s course at Gleneagles. The 2014 Ryder Cup was played here, but on the PGA Centenary Course. The old courses provide an incredible pastoral setting and I really enjoyed these two courses. I beautiful walk through the countryside with some incredible views of the castle along the way. 

    Wednesday we played 36 at Kingsbarns Golf Links and it was absolutely gorgeous. It is cut right along the coast so that you can see the shoreline from every hole. If you’ve played or seen Chambers Bay, it’s similar in that regard. Two of the guys I was with have either played or walked Pebble Beach and they rank Kingsbarns at or over that. All I know is that it was a great course and I would love to play it again.

    Thursday brought the brutal Carnoustie for 36 holes. These were my highest scores of the trip. The week after we played Carnoustie was hosting the Senior Open Championship, so that may account for some of the toughness. I did birdie Hogan’s Allie, so that was a high point. My playing partners said they would not want to play it again, but part of me would love to give another whack at it. The contrast to Glenneagles (hills) and Kingsbarns (coastal views) was pretty drastic. The second round took all most six hours so it was a very long day. Still would like to try it again.

    Friday was the big day—St. Andrews. We played the New Course in the morning. It was rainy for much of it, so I didn’t come away with the greatest impression of the course. That, BTW, was just about our only rain of all the days we played. The Old Course was in the afternoon. It was incredible and oddly ideal weather for golf nuts—starting in rain, middle holes were in very strong winds, and then we finished in beautiful weather. Evening sun as we headed down the road hole and toward the 18th. One of the highlights of the trip was bombing a draw right past the Old Course Hotel and into the fairway on the road hole. Hard to describe how cool that was. I know the line I chose for the drive (which was right of my caddie’s advice), but everyone else in the group gasped when it left the tee, then celebrated as it slowly bent leftward as it glided by the hotel. I put a picture from the tee area (not me). A golf highlight.

    Saturday and Sunday we attended The Open Championship at Royal Troon (Stenson’s victory). Loved watching it with very knowledgeable Scottish fans. No Bubba Booeys or Get in the Hole shouts! And we got to follow Phil and Stenson on Sunday for a good bit of the round. Pretty awesome.

    The last two rounds were Monday at Turnberry. Another gorgeous course. Beautiful sunny day. All of the locals we talked to were thrilled with the renovations that the Trump team did to the course. I really enjoyed playing it. And the hotel was incredible.

    All told, it was just an incredible trip across the board. Great time with the guys. Incredible golf courses. If you are a golf nut, like I am, it was the perfect trip. If walking 36 holes a day isn’t your deal, I’d recommend playing the same courses, but only once. I am sure the way we did it was on the high side of cost, but it was good to have locked tee times and folks making sure everything runs smoothly. Having a travel group run interference for you really lets you keep your focus on golf.

    I came away hoping I get to go back again some day. I’d play all the same courses, but also would enjoy seeing some of the other famous ones. Heading to Pebble at the beginning of June so maybe I’ll circle back with my own comparison to Kingsbarns.



  4. Cobra F9 Speedback (9 degree)

    Mavrik 4 wood, 7 wood

    Mavrik irons (5-P)

    Vokey wedges (48, 52, 56, 60)

    MacGregor DCT Bobby Grace Putter

    I switched over to the Cobra driver this year from my Epic partly due to a half-off sale on the Cobra--figured I could give it a test for a good price. The Epic was a couple of years old and an upgrade from what preceded it, but it had some annoying aspects like sound and struggle with ball flight. No flaw in the Cobra, but I had a hard time settling into the right settings for it (loft, weights). I finally landed on 9 degrees and have felt really comfortable with it. Ball flight is a little lower, but has increased my run out and usually gives me a nice draw.

    I used my Covid money to get fit for and buy new irons. I was hoping to add some distance and the Mavriks definitely do that, easily giving me 10-15 yards and a little more when I need it. It has taken a little while to get comfortable with non-stock shots, but that part has come along well this fall. I play a tree-lined track so punch shots are an absolutely necessity. These clubs delivered low liners immediately and now I can bend it both ways. Definitely an improvement over my previous set (Callaway Razr Xs). Lifesavers at my course.

    Part of my motivation for new irons was that I actually like hitting a longer iron shot over hitting a hybrid, so I wanted to move away from the Razr X 3 and 4 hybrid. The new Mavrik 5 iron actually accomplished that, but the fitting showed that I probably couldn't get enough height on a 4 iron to hold greens well enough. The fitter pushed me toward the 7 Wood as the answer to that--the same distance as a 4 iron but the descent angle of a 7 iron! At least that is the theory. I'm not completely sold on it yet. It's probably operator error, but I'm much more accurate with an iron than the 7 wood so I have been tending to amp up the 5 iron if that's an option. Hopefully next spring will allow me to dial the 7 wood in better.

    I get good distance out of the 4 wood, so we opted for that in order to not make the gap from the 7 too large. With good driver distance, the 4 wood works. The Mavrik technology has some pop in it, that's for sure.

    I probably don't need to carry 4 wedges, but that's the part of the bag I'm still trying to figure out. The 60 was in the bag for the occasional flop shot, but I've actually begun to use it in the bunker a little more too. I've tried to develop swing to distance matches with the wedges so I can be more consistent and limit decision making. Before the courses opened I used an indoor mat, net, and Sky Caddie to match my swing and distances. I was glad it transferred well to the course.

    Putting has been my nemesis for years. I have resisted spending a lot of money on a putter because the problem is me, not the tool. I did buy a Armour Impact 3 based on MyGolfSpy's report last year, so I have two putters I put to the test during the winter. I bounced back and forth between mallet and blade. Doing well with one for a bit then inevitably doing not so well. Finally I opted to just stick with the DCT for consistency and started concentrating on my stroke. For the first time in my golf life I actually felt like I was started to save strokes putting by the start of this fall. 

    Sorry for the book! Anybody else playing the new Mavriks? I am committed to making them work, but I will admit that I've got a wandering eye on the driver market!

  5. On my way through this a second time and have been stalled for a couple of weeks. Finally got #4 this morning, so I have three holes left—all par 3s so that may say something about my game. I’ve been playing the back tees a lot too, so that has made these par 3s (7, 13, 15) more challenging. #13 is 222 to the center of the green if they play the normal back tees. Hard to get birdie putts from there!

  6. I should have thought of this sooner, but an alternative, and better, theory is that the problem is not the ball, but a change I had made on my driver. I recently went to 10 degree draw on my Cobra Speedking and still had the weights set for high spin. I had noticed that my ball was descending pretty sharply—sometimes backing up or bouncing sideways. Not being too bright, I was just thinking it was due to the recent rain and didn’t think about shifting the weights. Well, not surprisingly, once I shifted the weights to low spin and flattened out the descent of my drives, the ball is staying clean (and getting some great run out). Glad I don’t do this for a living or I’d be broke by the time I figured stuff out! 

  7. Just for fun I started tracking it to see if I could complete the challenge a second time this summer. Only five more holes to go to complete a second loop of birdies. Three of the five left are par 3s and I have already picked off the three holes that took the longest the first time through, so I’m hopeful.

    For perspective on my game right now, I started recording stats via the GHIN app a bit ago. Over 21 rounds, 6% of my holes are birdies, so I’m cranking them out at a pretty high rate (for me). The down side, 8% of my holes are double bogeys. Without those birdies I’d be toast! As Jon Sherman would say, I need to make war on double bogeys!

  8. I love Snell golf balls! Great price on a great ball. I usually play the MTB-X, but actually have a stockpile of the neon yellow Get Sum balls for sunrise  morning rounds. Huge fan.

    Here’s my question for other Snell users: Do you find that the balls collect mud/clumps on them more than other balls?

    Maybe just a phase I’m going through, but it seems to me that I get more mud balls with my Snells than I do other balls. I’m wondering if there is a cover difference that is more susceptible. Or maybe I’m just imagining things. Anybody else have similar experience?

  9. I did it! Completed the birdie challenge this evening by finally nailing one on #8, a 418 yard par 4 (from the blacks). Probably the best drive of the round leaving me 141 yards to a front pin. Actually almost holed it out, but ended with the putt below left to complete the challenge. Slightly downhill but pretty straight. Nailed it. Thanks for setting up the challenge. It was a fun bit of side action in each round. 


  10. Finally birdied #14, a par 5 which is the number one handicap hole on the course that plays about 540 yards. My clubs didn’t make it with me back from Seattle so I was playing a patchwork set from our garage collection.  Solid drive. Smashed a borrowed 3 wood (which I may adopt!) to about 50 yards from a front pin. Chip was decent, leaving about 12 footer uphill which I rolled in. 17 holes down and 1 to go!

  11. Bittersweet one today...one of the two holes I haven’t birdied so far is a 549 yard par 5 (#14). Tees were back today too. Nice drive. 3 hybrid to preferred approach shot territory. 9 iron to front edge of green. Drained a long uphill putt. Tee to hole in four strokes and a tempered celebration. Why? I could not find my ball after my first tee shot so I returned to the tee to hit another. Then Played the hole in four shots, but carded a bogey. Happy to “save” the bogey, but would have loved the birdie.

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