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Everything posted by longdrivenate

  1. @Superjoemofo that putter looks great! I picked up an old Ping putter at my local golf shop that they were selling for $15 so I could do a putter restoration. I'd been putting it off for awhile now but your post has inspired me to get back to it!
  2. Agreed. It's part of what makes MGS and this community so great. I haven't passed mine on yet as I've been wanting to give it a try when the courses around here get a bit dryer and there is more run in the fairways, but after that if it's still not a club I plan to use regularly then I'll probably be passing it along too.
  3. I played the oversize grips (either in rounds or at the range) six times since originally posting this. While I felt myself getting more used to them, I still wasn't feeling totally comfortable or enjoying the feel. I still struggled to find the center of the clubface consistently, I hit a lot of balls fat, and even when I did pure one, the grip dampened the feeling so much that it took the fun out of it a little bit (not getting that crisp, compressed feeling). All that had me really second guessing if those grips were right for me, so while laying in bed the other night I started playing around with online grip sizing tools and most of them pegged me right in between an undersized and a standard grip. I had now tried standard and I had tried oversize without loving them so I decided why the heck not do some more experimenting and try out an undersize? Not sure how that logic made sense, but I was in the tinkering mood. So I went out and bought an undersized grip and installed it on a spare 7 iron. The next day, I took both the undersize and oversize 7 irons to the range. I started out by hitting a bunch of balls with my gamer (with the oversize grip). I can't say I was hitting it well. Everything was still fading/slicing, my strike point was very inconsistent, and nothing felt very good. I then switched to the undersize 7i not knowing what to expect. It felt strange as I held it behind the ball, but I took a swing and that first shot was a perfectly compressed rocket out of the dead center of the club face that went exactly where I wanted with a very slight draw. I was shocked. It was by far the best ball I had hit that day. So, I excitedly hit a bunch more balls with it. Same story. They were almost all wonderfully compressed, accurate, and felt great. My mind was exploding as if I had just stumbled onto a cure for cancer. Not only was I hitting the club with the undersize grip better than the oversize, but it was the best ball striking I've ever displayed in my golfing life! I was nervous that maybe this was a fluke and the excellent ball striking would elude me the next day, but the quality of shots was so much better than what I'm used to that I couldn't ignore it. So last night I regripped my whole set with undersize grips. Today I went back to the range with them and was very nervous to see if I had retained that quality ball striking from the last time. Fortunately I had. All the way through my bag I was now hitting the ball better than ever. Honestly, I'm shocked. Perhaps I've just been playing the wrong grips my whole life and I'm just an undersize guy. I don't know. But I do know that if I can transfer the ball striking I exhibited today to the golf course, I will be the best iron player I've ever been. That has me more excited about golf than I've been in years...which is saying a lot since I'm a full blown addict. Anyways, I guess it's still TBD if I retain that ball striking and if it translates to better scores. And also TBD what impact using the smaller grips has on the health and comfort of my hands and wrists...but for now I'm really excited about this whole thing. I'm bummed I went down the strange path of exploring the oversize grips since it cost me time, money and unsatisfying golf rounds, but it was also a fun experiment. For now though, I'm going to give these undersize grips a shake for awhile. Will report back on the results after I've played them for a bit.
  4. I should also mention that I don't have big hands...I wear a Men's Small glove...so this wasn't an issue of my hands being too big for standard grips and I'm not a typical candidate for oversize grips. Figured I should share that.
  5. Like most of us golf addicts, I love to tinker with golf gear. My latest experiment was replacing all my standard grips with Winn Dri-Tac Lite Oversize ones. I had the idea to give it a shot for a few reasons: I was having wrist pain and had read that larger grips can help since you use your wrists less and also have to use less grip pressure. I was always getting blisters on my hands unless I wore two gloves. I don't know if I have baby hands or what but I needed to always wear two gloves or I would have terrible blisters before even getting through a whole round. It might be because I have a high swing speed so the friction was just too much on my hands, I don't know, but I've worn two gloves for years because of it and I'm tired of it. I thought bigger (and softer) grips would mean I could grip the club more lightly, use more surface area of the hand, and avoid blistering better. I do not consider myself that consistent with my irons. I'm not a bad player (7.1 hcp currently) but I struggle to have a consistent shot shape with my irons and am equally capable of slicing one and hooking one depending on the day. I watched a TXG video on various grip sizes and they seemed to demonstrate that a larger grip will force the clubface to stay square longer, which would presumably result in more consistency of whatever shot shape your swing produces. So anyways, that was the thesis. I don't know why I didn't just start with one club to test the bigger grip out, but I went full addict and replaced the grips on 11 clubs (everything except Driver, 3W, and putter) then went to the course yesterday to play a round with them. What did I observe? Some good and some bad. Let's start with the good: My directional control and shot shape was very consistent. I don't know if it's because the face was staying square longer like the TXG guys demonstrated or what, but almost every shot I hit went on line with where I aimed. I wasn't able to "work" the ball as easily and everything was pretty much a baby fade, but considering the ball went where I wanted, that was good. And the results spoke for themselves - despite hitting only 4 fairways, I hit 12 GIRs. For comparison, over the last 3 months on the same course I have averaged 7 GIRs on 6 fairways hit per round, so this was clearly a marked improvement on my approach shots. Minimal blistering issues. Played my first round in over 7 years without two gloves and I got through it with minimal pain and blistering. I definitely attribute this to being able to grip the club with much less pressure and the Winn Dri Tac grips being softer than my previous Tour Velvet 360s. I was very happy about that. I have less wrist pain today than I usually have the day after a round, so I think the larger grips did reduce some of the stress on my wrists. Now the bad: I had way less "feel". None of the shots I hit felt great (you know that feeling of just flushing one...not that it happens for me often lol). They didn't feel bad, but I was just getting way less sensory feedback from the club, which honestly made the round less fun to play...despite pretty good results, every shot felt somewhat clunky and dead. It was hard for me to know where the clubhead was in space. I just felt like I wasn't really sure where my club was. I think this contributed to the previous point, but it also just made me feel anxious on every shot. Distance control was less consistent. Even though my directoinal control was markedly improved, due to the two points above, the quality of my strikes varied more than usual so I was more likely to chunk or thin balls than usual. These misses ended up not being too bad and not getting me in as much trouble as hitting a big slice or hook, but clearly there was a tradeoff in distance control for directional control. Finesse/creative shots were harder to hit. Anythign where I wanted to get a little "handsy" or try to shape a shot a certain way was just harder because I couldn't use my wrists and hands as much. So while that was good for full length approach shots, my short game didn't feel as precise (especially out of bunkers, or trying to flop a ball, or curve it around an obstacle, etc.). Maybe that's not a bad thing since I'm not sure I should be doing that anyways and perhaps I'd be better served trying to groove a more dead arm chipping motion, but it was just different and I felt somewhat one dimensional when it came to shorter, creative shots. Anyways, now I'm trying to decide if I should stick with these grips for awhile, or swap back to standards so I'm curious if others on here have made the switch and what your experience has been. More specifically, if you struggled with the same negatives I listed above, did that stuff improve as you got more used to them (did you develop more "feel" and more understanding of where the clubhead was, etc.)? I'm encouraged by the performance and the reduced pain/stress on my hands and wrists, so I'm inclined to at least try them for a couple weeks now, but the lack of feel really bothers me and I can't say I enjoyed playing them as much as normal irons haha. Curious to hear thoughts!
  6. You'll love it on the range. It doesn't have any issues picking up the ball and won't pick up balls from people around you. I have always found it to be remarkably reliable and accurate on the range and it's definitely the best entry level launch monitor for range use IMO. Mevo+ would be nice if you are doing lots of hitting indoors or into a net and need to simulate ball flight, but for outdoor use, I prefer the more compact size and lower cost of the Mevo. Hope you like it.
  7. Thank you! I took them to the range today. Wow, do I ever appreciate the advancements in golf club technology now! They are much harder to hit consistently and compared to my P790s, the distances (even on pure strikes) were about 2 full clubs shorter. Still very fun to hit and the sound/feel on pure strikes is pretty amazing. I'll try to get some video and launch monitor data another day if that's of any interest.
  8. I had never done any grinding! Tbh, it's the part I was most intimidated by. In fact, I watched a lot of youtube videos about club restoration and as soon as I saw them use a grinder or multitool, I would just move on since I figured 'I'm never going to do that'. Eventually, I started to realize it's somewhat necessary to really do a good job and figured I might as well learn. Glad I did now. It definitely took some practice (and it's still the part of the process I feel like I can improve upon the most), but I got way more comfortable with it as I went and it's not that hard to do a decent job. As far as the bench grinder I used, I'll link to it (and the other things you'd need) below: Bench grinder ($50 at Lowes). There are slightly cheaper ones out there too though, like this one at Home Depot which looks like it would also work. Soft deburring wheel ($38 on Amazon). The bench grinder came with two grinding wheels but they were too coarse to use without risking damage to the clubs. You'll need a soft/fine grit wheel so if your bench grinder doesn't come with one, you'll have to buy it separately. Buffing/Polishing wheels ($10-20 depending on size of set). The one I purchased was like the one I linked to but it was only $9 and had two wheels instead of three - just the buffing and polishing wheels. Polishing Compound Kit ($5-10). There's a lot of these and you can buy them from any hardware store or amazon. And I do recognize that once I bought all this stuff, I had sunk over $100 into restoring a $40 set of clubs haha. Personally, I was ok with that (and rationalized it) because I viewed these as one time setup costs and I should be able to use all these components for quite awhile as I do other restoration projects. But I included the costs so you can decide for yourself if it's an investment you want to make if you're unsure whether or not you want to get into this. If just trying to restore a set of clubs as a one time thing, it may end up ultimately being cheaper and worthwhile to pay someone else to do it. Hope that helps!
  9. Hi spies. I just completed my first attempt at restoring a set of clubs and I'm really proud of it Just wanted to share and show how it went. It wasn't easy and I feel like I can get much much better at this with practice, but I'm still really happy with the final product and had a lot of fun with the process. Enjoy! Last week I came across a set of 1981 Titleist Tour Model irons (3-PW) that someone was selling for $40 on craigslist. I thought they looked super cool and I had been reading about club restoration before so it felt like a good opportunity to finally take the plunge and have a go at it. I met the guy selling them and he told me he had been playing them as his gamers for decades but finally upgraded to more forgiving / modern clubs since he was older and needed a bit of help with his game. I could tell when I saw the clubs that they were pretty banged up (lots of nicks and dings, dirty, dull, grips were very worn through, etc.) but the shape and bones of these old blades was still so sexy so I happily handed him $40 and took them off his hands. Here they are before I did anything to them. The first thing I did was give them a really thorough cleaning by washing them in hot, soapy water and scrubbing them with steel wool and Barkeeper's Friend. That alone worked wonders to bring back some of the shine and make them look better. Here they are after the deep cleaning (already a big improvement IMO, although they look shinier and better in this pic due to the sunlight than they really were). The next step was to grind out all the nicks and dings, then buff and polish them. Based on youtube videos I had watched, I knew I was going to need some sort of bench grinder or multitool to do this (neither of which I had), so I went to Home Depot and purchased the cheapest bench grinder I could find ($49). I also purchased a fine grit deburring wheel for it, a buffing wheel, a polishing wheel, and a small buffing compound kit (all of those were probably another $25-30). I went to work grinding the clubs with the deburring wheel to remove the nicks and dings, then worked through the polishing compounds with the buffing and polishing wheels. This phase of the process was really where the magic happened. Here are some side by side comparisons of a few clubs before these steps, and after: The deburring was the part that took the most skill and I think I could improve upon the most with more practice. I was able to get some of the nicks and dings out, but not completely and I think to do better, I would need a more coarse wheel, but then I would have to be careful to not grind away too much metal. It seems like a fine line to walk so that you can improve the look of the club but also not change the structure or weight at all. Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out though. The next step was to remove all the old paint with acetone, and then do a fresh paint fill. This was pretty easy. I found that the old paint came right off with a little acetone and a gentle scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Then the paintfilling was super easy. I used black enamel paint, applied a couple coats, and let it dry for a day. Here they are after the fresh paint fill! The last step was to replace the grips. I could have bought old stock grips to restore their original look, but I am not planning on selling these or treating them as "collectibles", rather I want to actually play them occasionally, so I put on my preferred grips (Winn Dri-Tac). Grip replacement is pretty easy/standard if you've done it before, so I didn't take before/after grip pics, but... Here is the final product! I love em! That's that! Can't wait to hit them and see how much worse I am with 40 year old blades in hand! Hope you all enjoyed. Let me know if I should post any updates or more club restorations in the future - I enjoyed this and could see myself getting into it, especially as a fun covid hobby.
  10. @goaliewales14 Good question! Possibly. I didn't talk much in the review about the weight of the club but I did notice that it takes quite a bit of effort to swing. I was noticeably tired after 10-15 swings of it in a way that I don't usually experience when swinging irons. I just chalked that up to it being longer, and therefore heavier, but I hadn't considered how a lighter, graphite shaft might offset that.
  11. Sure thing! This one is not a stinger but has good audio quality so you can hear what the club sounds like. And here is the stinger with tracer line from my Rapsodo.
  12. I agree the clubs are so-so but I had no problem returning them and getting a complete refund. Are you using the right phone number? This is the customer service number I was provided: 888-864-9728. I just called it and can confirm it is active and staffed...
  13. The UiHi arrived just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Unboxed it and my excitement levels went through the roof. This thing looks clean. Couldn't wait to get out to the range and give it a feel. Finally got that chance yesterday. Gave it 10-15 swings on the range before playing a round with it in the bag. I didn't have a launch monitor or the time to really do any deep experimenting or reviewing with it, but here are some first impressions that stuck with me: 1. Very easy (for me) to hit off the tee. WhenI could tee the ball up a little bit, I found it very easy to find the center of the face and to hit low trajectory stingers that penetrated through the wind and rolled forever. Exactly what I was hoping for in that regard. It felt pure and as if the sweet spot was much bigger than on my Taylormade P790 3i or the P790 UDI (which I've tried in the past but returned because I struggled to hit it clean so often). I immediately had a lot of confidence teeing it up and I used it on four holes during the round where I wanted to hit a fairway finder - success with all four. 2. Very hard (for me) to hit from anywhere but the teebox. When hitting it from the fairway (or just not off a tee), I was having a really hard time elevating the ball. I don't know exactly why...I kinda think it might have to do with the amount of offset (there is noticeably more than on my irons) causing me to shut the face, but unless I tried to hit a fade, I kept hitting tumbling draw/hook shots that struggled to get more than 5 feet off the ground and quickly topspun themselves into the ground. Yes they rolled quite a ways still, but they were ugly and I had very little control. After my round I went to the range to experiment a little bit more and I found that if I tried to hit an exaggerated fade, I was able to hit the ball more purely and elevate it better but even those were still low flying stinger type shots. They could be very helpful for advancing the ball down the fairway on a long hole, but I don't see many situations where this thing is going to be practical for hitting into a green on an approach shot...you just can't hit the ball very high at all no matter what you do. 3. Relatively easy to shape shots with it. I really liked this aspect of the club (especially off the tee). I'm not a great golfer and not someone who thinks much about shaping shots, but my home course has a lot of holes where it is beneficial if you can, so I experimented a little during the round and found it much easier to draw or fade the ball on command than it has been for me with my 3i, or any driving iron I've played before. It's only one day of use and I want to play and test it a lot more but my initial impression is that I would be inclined to keep it in the bag as something I can use off the tee when I absolutely need to hit a fairway or for windy/firm days when I need to flight the ball down off the tee. Don't see it getting much use outside of those situations though...unless I get better at golf or learn how to hit it from the fairway better. More to come soon...
  14. Hey all, I'm Nate, a relative newbie here as well. This will be my first official MGS test and review, so I'm stoked! I'm a golf gear junkie and love reviewing stuff on my own, so this opportunity to do an official one, and with a product that I really have a need for right now, is a dream come true. I'm not a great golfer by any means but I've been playing a lot the last few years and have been steadily improving (14 to 10 HCP in the last 8 months). I'm somewhat of an unusual tester because before I got serious about my golf game, I used to be a competitive long driver (hence the lame username). I no longer do long drive, but I can still hit the ball pretty far, which is a great advantage on courses that are relatively open and without much trouble. The problem is I live in San Francisco and my regular home course is one that often has windy conditions and very tight fairways that are lined by lots of big ball-snatching Cypress trees (think Harding Park but narrower). So hitting driver or fairway wood off the tee is not always the best option, especially with my swing speed, since I tend to launch the ball quite high and when I miss offline, it gets very offline fast haha. So I've been looking for a club that I can hit off the tee to flight the ball down and keep it in the fairway. I've tried playing hybrids and have never really felt that comfortable with them, plus, off a tee I sometimes still launch them high and bring those cypress trees into play. So I have been looking for a driving iron the past few months. For my irons, I game the Taylormade P790s (4-AW) so I tried out the P790 UDI but didn't find it nearly forgiving enough to use with confidence off the tee or on long approach shots. I've also tested a couple other utility irons but haven't fallen in love with any of them for various reasons. So...when this opportunity came up, I opted to give the Hogan UiHi 18* Driving Iron a shot. I'm hoping it's got enough forgiveness and workability for me to be able to game it as a tee club and an approach club. To stay in the bag, I'm looking for it to fit nicely somewhere between my 3w (260 carry) and my 4i (220 carry). If it ends up being something I can comfortably carry 235ish and roll out to 250 off the tee while being able to flight it down and also shape it a little as needed, then I would be delighted and have filled a big gap in my bag. Here's to hoping!
  15. I decided this week I was going to return the woods. When I called, I had the same experience. It was a very pleasant interaction. They were super professional, not overly sales-y, and when I said I appreciated the offers but just wasn't going to use the clubs, they totally understood and were happy to process a refund and set up a return. At the end of the day, they seem like a quality company trying to do the hard work of creating a new golf brand. I have nothing bad to say about them and if you need any of these clubs and don't mind the lack of a "brand name" in your bag, then I'd say go for it. Worst case you can always return them pretty easily.
  16. Ben Hogan UiHi 18* Utility Iron - Official MGS Forum Review by Longdrivenate - 1/3/21 Intro Thank you Ben Hogan and MyGolfSpy for the opportunity to test this club. For some background, I’m 32 and live in San Francisco. I’m a 7.3 handicap and my greatest strength and weakness on the golf course is my length off the tee. I regularly drive the ball over 300 yards and while that can be a great advantage, it also results in some big misses that can ruin rounds. With that in mind, I was hoping this club might be something I can hit off the tee to reliably put the ball in the fairway when I can’t afford a big miss. In addition, I have a gap in my bag between my 3w (250 yard carry) and my 3i (205 yard carry), so I was hoping this club would be something I can carry around 230 yards, thereby filling that gap. First Impressions When I unboxed the club, I was fired up! It arrived in a long, slender cardboard box and was packed securely with some cushioning and vacuum sealed in plastic around the club’s head. It looked great and I couldn’t wait to take it to the course! Grading Looks: 8 out of 10 points This is a great looking club. To me it looks more like a long iron than a “utility” club. The cavity is hidden well and you can hardly see it at address. I love the narrow top line and it has a “butter knife” look to it. I also really like the red and black ferrules and the Ben Hogan script (I think it looks simple and classy). I don’t love the UiHi branding on it and I don’t like the multicolored Ben Hogan grip. Overall though, I think it’s a very nice looking club, and better looking than most other utility irons on the market. Sound & Feel: 7 out of 10 points The sound and feel are Jekyll and Hyde depending on the quality of strike. When you flush one, it sounds and feels great! The sound is crisp and you barely feel the ball as your hands glide through it. But on a mishit, it stings like hell and sounds clunky. That said, compared to other utility irons such as the Taylormade P790 UDI and the Cobra King Utility Iron, the mishits were not any worse in terms of sound or feel. To hear what a well struck ball sounds like with it, here’s a video of me hitting a good one with pretty clear audio. Basic Characteristics: 8 out of 20 points Trajectory: Low. Low. Low. When hitting off a tee, I could get it to fly with a mid trajectory if I teed it up a bit higher than usual and tried to sweep the ball with an upward angle of attack, but otherwise, it just hits stingers. After some trial and error, I learned that hitting a fade was the only way I could consistently elevate the ball without a tee. It also takes a lot of speed to get the ball in the air with this club. I’d say unless you can move a long iron close to 95-100 mph+, you’ll struggle to get the ball up with this. Workability: Great! I’m not particularly skilled at shaping the ball but I felt comfortable calling on fades, draws, and relatively straight shots with this. That was impressive and fun to experience. Accuracy: As a former baseball pitcher, I’ve always understood the difference between having control vs command of pitches. Control is the ability to keep the ball in the strike zone, while command is the ability to precisely locate pitches in the zone. With this club, I felt I could control it, but not command it. I always knew the general direction the ball was going and I wasn’t worried I was going to spray it OB, but I never felt like I had so much control that I could go pin seeking or consistently target a specific part of the fairway. Distance: I was disappointed by the distance I was getting out of this club. Due to the low trajectory, I was getting carry distances that were only slightly longer than my 3i and it felt like it took a lot more effort to swing due to its length and weight. I imagine total distance would be much better if playing in a place with dry and fast fairways though since the ball will run forever. Forgiveness: It was very forgiving in terms of direction and very unforgiving in terms of distance. Mishits generally went straight-ish, but the distance varied wildly. In the LM data below you’ll see my carry numbers averaged 206.3 yards but ranged from 152 yards on a poor strike to 223 yards on a good one. Pressure: I never really got comfortable with this club. I think all the mishits I had on the range bled into my rounds and I just felt unsure what I was going to get every time I pulled it out. In a pressure situation, it’s not the club I would reach for yet. What factors were you pleased with? Overall, I was pleased with both how workable the club was and how consistent it was with direction, even on mishits. I also liked the low trajectory for certain scenarios - if I was playing St. Andrews, I would definitely want a club like this to hit low penetrating stingers with! Btw, check out this stinger… What factors did you find lacking? I was disappointed with how severely mishits killed distance, how frequently the mishits happened, and how difficult it was to elevate from the fairway. On-Course / LM Performance: 10 out of 30 points Launch Monitor: Here is the data I gathered from my Flightscope Mevo. Hogan UiHi Ball Speed (mph) Club Speed (mph) Smash Carry Distance (yds) Launch Angle Spin (rpm) Height (ft) Hogan UiHi 140.5 95.6 1.47 217.1 13.2 3408 92 Hogan UiHi 142.1 98.9 1.44 220.1 13.2 3434 95 Hogan UiHi 138.2 103.5 1.34 211.8 13.2 3539 90 Hogan UiHi 120.9 102.8 1.18 174.7 13.5 4211 70 Hogan UiHi 111.1 99.9 1.11 152.2 12.8 4598 54 Hogan UiHi 132.7 93.5 1.42 203.7 13.3 2831 75 Hogan UiHi 140.1 100.5 1.4 212.9 13.1 3983 97 Hogan UiHi 136.8 99 1.38 209.8 13.1 3352 85 Hogan UiHi 139.1 104.2 1.34 215.2 13.2 3256 89 Hogan UiHi 140.3 101.6 1.38 209.8 13.3 4530 103 Hogan UiHi 138.5 101.2 1.37 202.9 13.1 5142 103 Hogan UiHi 141.2 104.7 1.35 217 13.1 3658 95 Hogan UiHi 124.5 98.5 1.26 185.7 13.5 2868 65 Hogan UiHi 137.9 98.9 1.4 211.2 13.1 3557 89 Hogan UiHi 131 98.3 1.33 196.9 13.1 3654 79 Hogan UiHi 135.5 - - 207.1 13.4 3468 86 Hogan UiHi 141.4 92.5 1.53 222.8 13.4 2677 87 Hogan UiHi 142 - - 218.7 12 3397 87 Hogan UiHi 135.5 92.1 1.47 206.3 13.5 3631 88 Hogan UiHi 140.8 93.6 1.51 219.4 13.2 3114 90 Hogan UiHi 138.2 102.5 1.35 215.7 13.3 2702 82 Hogan UiHi 140.7 104.1 1.35 207.6 13 4955 105 Average 135.9 99.3 1.4 206.3 13.2 3634.8 86.6 St Dev 7.8 4.0 0.1 16.6 0.3 686.8 12.4 With an average carry of 206.3 yards, this club was disappointingly not much longer than my 3 iron and close to 20 yards shorter than what I had been hoping for if it was going to fill the gap I have between my 3i and 3w. In addition, the variability in distance based on the club’s lack of forgiveness is brutal. Knowing a shot could carry anywhere from 150 yards to 220 yards is tough to plan around. On-Course: Despite my inability to get comfortable with the UiHi on the range, I did have some success with it on the course. In my first round with it, I used it instead of driver on four holes and even though I didn’t strike any particularly well, it kept the ball in the fairway on all four. I also used it as a rescue club in situations when I had to hit low running balls under trees and in those scenarios, it worked well and proved to be handy as a true utility club. I tried using it as an approach club from about 200 yards out and in those situations, I really did not like it. It was too hard to control from the fairway, and I struggled to elevate it enough to carry greens and then stop the ball. Miscellaneous: 10 out of 10 points Nothing bad to say about the service or communication with Ben Hogan or MGS! Play it or Trade it: 2 out of 20 points There are two scenarios in which I would put this club in play: On really windy days when I want to hit low trajectory shots off the tee. If I ever travel to Europe to play lots of links style courses with fast fairways! Outside of those, I would trade it. It has some value off the tee since I feel confident keeping the ball in the fairway with it, but unless I’m playing a course where the ball can roll forever, then I’m not convinced it offers more utility than a traditional long iron and it’s less forgiving in my opinion. Conclusion In summary, this club has some clear pros and cons: On the pro side: It’s beautiful! One of the best looking utility irons on the market IMO. It can produce some youtube worthy stingers. It’s easy to find the fairway with and even mishits go straight-ish. It’s easy to work the ball with. At $110, it offers excellent value compared to other utility irons on the market such as the P790 UDI ($229) and the Cobra King Utility Iron ($199). On the con side: The low launch makes it very one dimensional. Useful off the tee in the right conditions but almost unplayable for approaches into greens. On mishits, it’s very unforgiving on distance. Unless you’re a really good long-iron player, mishits happen often which makes it hard to be consistent with. I think this club can be very useful for a player who is an excellent ball striker and plays somewhere with dry conditions and/or fast fairways. Unfortunately, I don’t fall into either of those camps so it’s probably not something I will play regularly. Still, huge thanks to Ben Hogan Golf and MGS for the opportunity to test this club. I had a blast! Final Score: 45 out of 100 points
  17. Nathan / San Francisco, CA Yes I am right handed First Choice: 18* - KBS Tour V-X-Stiff Driving Iron Second Choice: 18* - KBS Tour V Stiff Driving Iron Handicap: 10 I currently play a long iron and a 3 wood.
  18. I don't think there is much benefit tbh. I did it more for fun because I like testing random clubs and golf training aids etc and this was "risk free". Still undetermined if I'll keep any of them but it sounds easy enough to send em back for a full refund after messing around with them for a few weeks, so that's my plan unless I end up really liking any of them.
  19. Update / First Impressions: I finally went out and hit the clubs today. I didn't take my launch monitor to get any data and I didn't play a round with them, but I did give them a good working on the range. Overall, I must say my low expectations were very much exceeded. Honestly, I don't have anything bad to say about them. They look good enough, sound good, feel sturdy, and were remarkably easy to hit without any significant dropoff in distance from what I see with my gamer clubs. Tbh, I was relatively impressed and don't see a reason not to put them in play if they fill a hole in your bag composition. I think they would be an excellent addition for high handicappers in particular as they were shockingly easy to hit straight...like actually hard to hit anywhere but straight...and very forgiving. I am gonna test them out some more, including with a launch monitor, and while I don't have a need for the Driver or 7w, I'm contemplating replacing my Callaway x-hot 3w with theirs and adding the 5w to the bag. Need to spend more time with them to decide for sure though. Pics and more detailed thoughts on each club below. Driver: Overall, a solid club. It's non-adjustable and came at 10.5 degrees, so not going to suit every player, but it swung nice, sounded very good (not tinny or cheap sounding), and I was hitting it pretty straight with good distance. Personally, I won't play it because I use a 7 degree driver so the 10.5 degrees of loft on this was really throwing me off and causing me to hit moonballs with too much spin, but I could actually see it being a really good option for someone with less swing speed or who tends to struggle getting their angle of attack up. I don't think better players are really going to be considering these, but if you do, the other thing to be aware of is that it was very forgiving to the point that it was hard to shape the ball flight - it really just wanted to go mostly straight...which is nice for most. Bottom line: solid club worth consideration for anyone who wants an affordable driver and doesn't mind the inability to change loft or weighting. 3Wood: This is the one that probably impressed me the most. I've been playing a Callaway X-hot 3w for 6+ years now and I love it. That said, I think I actually preferred this Patriot 3w more. I found it easier to hit pure (more forgiving), straighter, and there was no dropoff in distance. I also like the clean black head as it looked good at address. Similar to the driver, it was not something that provided much ability to "work" the ball, but that's not something I care for in my 3w most of the time and being able to consistently hit it dead straight is something I'd much prefer. Bottom line: I'm impressed. Strongly considering keeping it in the bag. Will at least give it more thorough testing and take it out for a couple rounds before sending it back. 5Wood: I've never played a 5w so I was curious to see how this would go. Again, it had the same forgiveness and inclination to just fly straight as the others, which was nice. It was kinda a point and shoot club and the distance was comparable to a well struck 4 or 5 iron, but without having to really pure it perfectly. Again, nothing bad to say about it, I think it's more a question of whether or not a 5w is helpful in your bag. I like hitting long irons and find a lot of versatility for them in terms of being able to punch low runners through trees and things like that, so I'm reluctant to replace one of them with this club. That said, I'm going to give it some thought and test it out more as it would also be a nice club to have when hitting a long approach shot and wanting something I know I can easily get up in the air and bring down on the green a bit softer. I think this will definitely be useful for people who aren't comfortable hitting long irons and want something they can consistently get up in the air. Could see it also being a good club for tee shots in certain situations on long par 3s or short par 4s. 7Wood: I've also never played, or even hit, a 7w so I have nothing to compare this too and was not sure what to expect. Again, I have nothing bad to say about the club but I'll be sending it back just because it doesn't fit in my bag. Also, I'm not sure why, but I found myself to have less distance control with this one. Some shots I was bombing further than the 5w and some were flying like a 7 iron. Maybe the shorter shaft meant I was leaning it more on some shots than others but ultimately I was just less consistent with it and despite that, I just don't want a club that launches that high since I play in a lot of wind. I would think it could have its place though for players who have slower swing speeds and struggle getting the ball in the air consistently. I'll try to take them out with my launch monitor to get some actual numbers soon but I hope this is helpful in the meantime.
  20. Nathan San Francisco, CA Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Handicap: 10.9 ~125mph when playing; ~135mph when competing in long drive events TSi3
  21. Well, they arrived. My initial impression is that they seem very cheap..basically like what you'd get in a budget box set of beginner clubs. But I'll test them this weekend and post some thoughts and pics soon. Stay tuned.
  22. Exactly. Despite my low expectations, I won't write them off until I give em a fair shake. Would love to be surprised!
  23. I got the same offer emailed to me. Interestingly, it came from Hole19 (which is my golfapp of choice) which makes me have mixed feelings about Hole19...but that's another topic. Anyways, I have zero expectation that any of these clubs are worth their weight in feces but I was intrigued by the ridiculousness of the email and the way they discuss the "technology" without actually saying anything real. So I gave them a call to learn more. I'm glad I did because it was comedic gold. The sales rep was reading off a script and saying things like "[insert name] I hope you're prepared to CRUSH the ball", "these clubs are personally crafted to your specifications by our master club fitter, who is an AMERICAN PATRIOT", "get ready to GRIP IT AND RIP IT like never before!" I felt bad for the guy because I could tell he knew how ridiculous it all was but he still had to say it. He was a good sport though and we were almost laughing together about it by the end. Anyways, after all that, I told him he did a good job coping with what seemed like a tough gig and I agreed to test the driver and fairway woods because 1) I just think it's fun to test and review golf stuff, 2) I have high swing speed so think it will be fun to see how these things hold up, and 3) unless it's a really nasty scam, it seems like there is minimal risk to me - I'll test them, send them back, and have paid $20 in shipping to have had some fun with the whole experience and hang onto a (presumably crappy) driver that I can give to a friend who's just starting to get into learning golf and doesn't have a full set. So, long story short, I'm not expecting much here but will be happy to share a review (and hopefully some laughs) whenever these things arrive!
  24. Nathan; San Francisco, CA; USA Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport 2 The Ping Anser 2 interests me the most because I have always used blade putters and it looks most similar to the putter I am currently using so I assume it will be easier for me to adapt to than a totally different shape and weigh distribution. Also, I have a slight arc to my putting stroke and Ping's site says that the Anser 2 is best suited for a slight arc stroke style.
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