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gavinski91

 
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    gavinski91 reacted to fixyurdivot in Stewart Q Follow Electric Caddie   
    Greetings Spies.  My name is Bill and I reside in southwest Montana. I'm ecstatic and honored to have been selected among the thousands of who applied to test the Stewart Q Follow Electric Caddie.  A HUGE THANK YOU to the folks at Stewart Golf and MyGolfSpy for providing this great testing opportunity!!  I find these forum-based product reviews to be very informative and meaningful.  Marketing claims are "put to the test" by fellow amateur players with no strings attached.  I have used these reviews as part of my recent equipment changes and will do my best to provide you all with a meaningful review of the Stewart Q Follow Caddie.

    Please check out my introduction/bio here.  
    So as many of you may know, through our discussions on the forum, my preferred mode of travel on the course is walking. 
    18th hole at Wine Valley during this years PNW Spy Meet-up.

    Unless the course does not allow walking, I rarely opt for an electric/gas cart. To be brutally honest, I just don't like bouncing around, getting in/out and traversing the fairway.  Further, many courses limit where power carts can go (i.e. 90 degree rule, off fairways altogether, and green approach areas).  I prefer the cadence that walking affords - allowing me to think about the upcoming shot (or blowing off steam from the previous shot 😊). If I want to stay in the shade of a tree line as the group makes its way down the fairway, or just mosey along enjoying the sights, I have that option. Plus, it's great exercise and helps keep me stay loose - especially on colder days. I recently upgraded from a Sun Mountain Speed Cart to a Caddy-Tek EZ-V8 (which I did an unofficial review on here). 
    I've seen some of the various electric walking carts on courses and always was interested in them. At 62 years of age, I'm still in pretty good shape but will admit that some course terrain is beginning to tax the legs and lungs a wee bit.  Having a multi-mode, powered push cart seems like a great option. So when I saw the opportunity to test the Stewart Q Follow Caddie, I was really excited. From what I've read, this looks to be an industry leader in lightweight, compact design, and follow/tracker technology.
    A few questions that immediately come to my mind and are of interest include;
    battery life and how much it drops off (or not) during a round or even 27 holes recharging time stability on side hills ability to power through heavy rough and uneven terrain do I have to switch out of follow mode when walking onto the greens and tees? how easy is it to drive/steer using the remote? and, ultimately for me, will having the powered functionality offer a seamless transition from my many years using a simple push-cart? If you have any specific questions or things you would like myself and other testers to investigate, please reach out to us and we'll do our best to cover them in our reviews. 
     
    Final Review - Stewart Q Follow Golf Trolley
     First Impressions (4 of 5 stars)
    Once again, I want to open this review with a HUGE Thank You to both Stewart Golf and MGS for providing us the opportunity to test/review the Stewart Q Follow Caddie.  I don't mind repeating myself in saying that these forum product reviews are of more value to me than most all other reviews I read.  In fact, now when I consider buying new golf products, I always check to see if a forum, Hit Squad, or both have been done when whittling down information leading to a buy or move on decision.
    My initial impression of this product was very well engineered and excellent build craftsmanship.  The shipping box was heavy duty and packing protection top notch. The packing arrangement makes for easy removal and, perhaps as important, easy to repack (I had the opportunity to test this out with our move to AZ).  Help instructions are in the right places - isn't that so often overlooked these days. My shipment had definitely seen some rough handling, and gave the protective packaging a serious test.


    Upon getting the cart out and unfolded, I was quite impressed by its look - which I would describe as quite modern, stylish, and sleek.  The "black carbon" version we received has some nice accents (wheel fenders) that give it just the right amount of "pop".


    Little details like pressed-fit, sealed wheel bearings, and cooling fins on the drive motor, are not features one would see on low end products.

    The key technology of the Stewart Q Follow is the Bluetooth follow mode. With that function selected, the cart is seeking the handheld pendant. When I first trialed this in the yard, it was without a bag on the cart, and I found the cart quite erratic.  At first, I thought it was due to not holding the pendant still (as in clipped to my belt) but, after getting the clubs aboard, the cart became quite steady.  It still makes some jerky direction changes but nothing excessive.  The bottom-line is that the follow technology works as advertised.  Soon into my third round, I began not really thinking about the cart too much and just felt confident my clubs would be within arm's reach when I got to my ball.
    Personally, I found trying to hook the pendant onto my belt or pants/shorts pocket each time I selected "follow" a pain.  Upon arriving at the ball, you can stay within the "no follow" zone, and it won't attempt to move to you.  But, on a several occasions, I would just get outside that range while setting up for the shot and the cart you suddenly swivel and move towards me. What worked best for me was simply carrying the pendant in my hand as I walked to my ball, then place it on my bag, take the shot, pick up the pendant and start walking.  My testing showed the carts steering to be nearly identical whether on my belt or in my hand.  I even swung the pendant around while watching and the carts steering was hardly affected at all.
     
    Aesthetics (5 of 5 stars)
    I really like the look of the cart. As I mentioned above, it has a very modern look with just enough bling in the right places. The light grey rubber handle inserts and bag strap, the exposed carbon fiber basket-weave fenders, grey wheel rims, and red inner wheel covers blend really well. Overall, it is quite compact folded up and not as large as one might think a "battery powered" cart would be.  

    The battery nest fits perfect and simply blends into the cart base for a streamline look.


    The Numbers (4 of 5 stars)
    Unlike the accuracy of a range finder or carry distance for clubs, this category for a bag cart is a bit challenging.  But, I will touch on a key thing that can definitely effect "one's numbers (scoring)" and that is fatigue.  I've used non-motorized golf push carts for the better part of 45 years and while their designs have evolved to make them more compact and feature rich, they still require manual labor.  As we get older, that effort becomes more and more noticeable.  On courses with significant elevation and slope changes, I've really started to notice that my stamina wanes as the holes roll along.  Add in some heat index and that just makes manual carts feel heavier with each passing yard.
    The rounds I have played using the Stewart Q Follow Caddie have significantly reduced the level of fatigue I feel as compared to my manual push cart. I cannot yet equate better scoring with the Stewart Q but it stands to reason that being less fatigued over the course of a round will more likely than not help ones scoring.

    On The Course (4.5 of 5 stars)
    The Stewart Q Follow worked better than I expected in both manual drive and follow modes. I say better than expected because I had visions of looking back for my clubs only to see them some distance back and off-track. I used the follow mode about 90% of the time and it always kept up with me.  With the exception of it finding a pothole as it left the cart path and falling over, it never had an issue.

    The first course I tested on had a really good mix of terrain. The carts paths are mostly gravel and some not so smooth.  There were plenty of bumps and lumps which did tend to knock the steering off course a bit, but the tracking technology did a very good job of making corrections.  It did get a bit jumpy at times when this happened, but nothing all that drastic. 
    While the cart does well going up hills, going down steep hills isn't so good - particularly if you walk at normal pace.  What I found worked was to just walk slow and kind of guide it along close behind. On a few grades, I noted the brakes having to engage to slow travel and skid the wheels. Of course the instructions suggest using manual steering and use of the handle in these situations, but what fun is that? 🙂.
    The course also had plenty of side hills and I purposely walk up the slopes and in a zig-zag manner to see how the tracking worked.  It did a good job making steering adjustments but definitely was working the two wheel motors pretty hard.  Still, I was quite impressed with its ability to keep up.

    The Good, the Bad, and the In-between (3.5 of 5 stars)
    The "good" points are:
    The cart is very compact folded up which will really help those driving cars with limited trunk space. It is very easy to unfold and refold once you get the sequence down. Battery life is as advertised. We received the 36 hole battery and, following each of my 18 hole rounds, the app showed close to 60% remaining. The battery app is easy to use and provides status whether connected to the cart or charging cords. The quick dis-engage design of the rear wheels, for full manual mode, is very easy.  Removing and replacing the battery is easy and the recharge time for it and the remote pendant as described in the user manual. The cart adjusts well to the players walking pace.  I found this really helpful when slowing down and "helping" the cart through odd terrain.  This even works on moderate downhill grades. Switching to manual/pendant steering is easy and one quickly gets the feel for how much left and right arrow is needed to make course adjustments. The cart had very ample torque and climbing power.  I took it up a few quite steep inclines and it had no problem.  The two "wheelie wheels" do a great job at keeping the cart from tipping over backwards.  The "bad" points are:
    The handle is a bit on the flimsy side.  On several holes with moderate contours around the greens and tees, I dis-engaged the rear wheels from the motor and pushed the cart.  I found the amount of flexing in the handle a little concerning.  When using my current cart, I sometimes will give it a pretty hefty shove going over curbs. I would be concerned about this handle holding up under similar situations. To be fair, maybe it will sustain way more flexure and stress than I think... but it just made me nervous. Storage is pretty much non-existent. I found myself really missing the mesh cargo net bag, storage tray, and zippered storage pocket on my current Caddy-Tek cart. For me, this was a big negative that affected scoring. The "In-between" points are:
    The cart folded is a bit heavy and I could see this maybe being an issue for older folks (even more so for women) lifting in/out of car trunks. It seems the "glide stop" mode should be the default.  The carts stops quite abruptly if this mode is not on, and I should think most users will want this on... so why not make it the default? The cart does work fine with lighter than optimum weight bags, but the tradeoff is that the cart tends to pop wheelies a bit more when starting off and when following up steeper inclines. Play it or Trade it? (4 of 5 stars)
    To be brutally honest, I'm on the fence on this one.  I walked one of my (new to me) courses today using my cart and was taking note of all the uneven surface changes I went through moving from greens to tees.  Most of the cart paths stand several inches higher than the ground and I could see myself having to do quite a bit of "helping" the Stewart Q cart through this - whether in follow or manual steering.  Staying on the concrete paths would be a solution but there are a good many more direct/shorter paths through packed gravel that the walking folks use. I need to get a few rounds in with it on the courses here to make this final decision.  I do think it will help reduce fatigue, especially on hot days, and that is a BIG incentive. While my Caddy-Tek cart is quite light and easy to push, I still feel it towards the end of rounds.  I'm definitely going to put the Stewart Q through more paces and testing here and see how it works out.
    One factor I'm interested in is battery life and and adverse effects of use and storage in hot climates - like Arizona hot in summer months. They recommend charging at near room temps, which is fine and doable, but what about use and storage in a garage that's near 100F?
    I'm quite sure I would not have spent the MSRP for this cart.  I had previously looked at battery powered, manual steer units and opted not to invest the $700 to $1000 for some of those. I do think the build quality and technology are excellent, and the follow mode a really helpful feature, but the price seems a bit high IMO.
    Conclusion
    In a nutshell, the Stewart Q Follow Caddie is the real deal and does what it was designed to do.  With the exceptions noted above and two key design aspects (weak handle and virtually no storage), the cart manual and follow steering modes work very well. It works well over moderately uneven terrain; gravel paths, over tree roots, and low curbs (say up to an inch).  Straight out of the box, the cart is assembled and, with the help of fantastic instructions, requires only a few base and handle movements to be ready to load your bag and head off to the tee.  After the round is done, the fold and store sequence is very easy and surprisingly compact.  It is a little on the heavy side and could be an issue for some lifting into and out of deep trunks. 
    The ability to quickly disengage both the rear wheels is great in the event of either the cart or pendant batteries running out, a system malfunction, or forgetting to bring the pendant with you (which I nearly did 😬 ). With the wheels disengaged, the cart feels very much like any other push cart.  It rolls along fine but keep in mind the weight of the battery will require expending a few more calories.  It's also worth noting that the handle is no where near as rigid as most carts and tends to twist/flex a bit if pushing forward over curbs, cart paths, etc.  There are other reviews on this product where handles breaking have happened - so just something to consider and remember when using.
    It seems to work well with various golf bags.  I used my Sun Mountain Four 5 kickstand bag and it had no issues.  Stewart Golf does recommend using a bit heavier bags to minimize "wheelies" during drive motor starts, but I did not find that an issue.  While perhaps not optimum, it's nice to know the cart can be used with a pretty wide range of bags.
    The $2699 to $3099 MSRP (depending on options) is pretty high as compared to other battery powered, manual pendant steer carts.  Because I'm not real familiar with the competing products, I won't try and justify the cost of this product except to say I think the Stewart Q Follow is a top-shelf product with respect to engineering and build quality.  
    I think the bottom-line is that if you really love to walk but are finding doing so with a manual push cart too taxing, and you want a high end, quality built cart with state-of-art follow mode feature, the Stewart Q Follow should definitely be on your list.  I must say that the follow mode is quite cool.  Simply walking from shot to shot with "Stewey" tagging along and having your clubs there when you get to the ball could be habit forming.
    Thank you for reading this review.  Be sure to check out the "comments" section with the many posts we testers made chronicling our experiences using this product.  Also, check in periodically as myself and the other testers will be adding more findings in the comments section as we get more experience using the product.  
    Final Score (25 out of 30 stars)
     
  2. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to GolfSpy SAM in L.A.B. DF2.1 Putter   
    INTRODUCTION can be found here: 
    https://forum.mygolfspy.com/tests/40-lab-df21-putter/?do=findComment&comment=8987
    L.A.B. Golf - DF 2.1 Putter – Official MGS Forum Review by Samsonite, Matt Swanson
    FIRST IMPRESSIONS (5 out of 5 Stars)
    Alright, boys and girls, we have lift-off.  
      While it's still OFFICIALLY *way* too early to name her, I managed to get out to my local putting green after the kids got ready for bed to roll a few and see how she felt.
      In short: I'm pretty blown away by what's happening with this putter.  

    (Just relaxing a little before showing me what she's made of)
    I won't bother with the "unboxing" stuff, as it was very basic and has been covered by everyone else, so no need to bore you: it came in a brown box with "Untorque Yourself" on it, it had bubble wrap (though not secured around it as it was with the Mezz that others have posted) in the box, and was secure but not crazy-shrink-wrapped or anything.
    The cover material is HEAVY, and well-padded, and feels extremely well-made.  It 100% feels like it will keep the head safe (and sweaty...nice and velvety-feeling inside) no matter what kind of bag-chatter might happen while in my bag. 

    (note the sticker - I know others have shown it, but it genuinely makes me laugh.  If you can't read it, it effectively says "don't be a dummy, DO NOT TOUCH THE SCREWS")
    I'm pretty much stunned at how beautiful I find the putter - I know it's part Octopus-head and part Mega-mind (look it up - animated movie with Will Ferrell as the voice), but the quality of the build is certainly not like anything I've ever owned before.  It's spectacular.  

    (What's that?  I look like your putter.  Maybe your putter looks like ME!)
    I went with a simple three-dot alignment aid - and I LOVE it. It's simple, clean, and effective - all while not being too "busy" to distract.  In conjunction with the alignment line on the ball, it seems to really work for me. One of the reasons I'm so excited about this putter, is the fact that it sits flush on the ground behind the ball at address - and since it's fit to me specifically, at 65 degrees, it really helps me get into a proper position at address - if I see the heel/toe up off the ground, I need to adjust.  This is something that I've discovered over the last 6 months - I'm not consistent at all, and my stroke definitely suffers for it.  With the DF2.1, while not impossible to mess up, it's certainly harder to get into a bad position.

    (Top down view - clean three-dot set-up.  Note the sticker is still attached to the face here)
    One of my biggest questions was LAB's patented Press Grip (I went with the recommended 3 degree Press II), but I'm pretty stunned at how well this thing just puts my hands in what feels like absolutely the right position.  I'm coming from a pistol grip, but I LOVE how this feels - it's large, but not off-putting, it's easy to grip lightly while still feeling secure; it's got a tacky feel to it that is weirdly delightful, and even though I know the shaft is leaning and this is putting the putter in a "press", nothing about it feels awkward or leaning - it just feels like my hands are in the right spot. 
    As for how it rolls?  It's still early - tonight was literally the first time I've gotten to actually roll any, but LAB isn't making things up when they say this thing nearly swings itself.  The head is SO stable, it really feels like it's on rails - you get it back in place, and just kind of ... let it go.  It's almost like a pinball lever - you pull it back, and it can ONLY go forward - you just determine the speed.  
    Now, as I said, it's still early.  I found some great early success, especially in my "problem area" of 5-15 feet - drained a LOT more than I normally do, and left the ones I missed comfortably within 18".  
    Getting comfortable with pace will be the next step, as it's not "pull back the same amount and accelerate through at different speeds" like I'd been doing previously for different-length putts.  This, and a lot of this is coming directly from LAB and Sam Hahn's (CEO of LAB) various web appearances (I've been watching everything I can find in prep for getting this thing in-hand), is basically "let gravity do its thing" - so shorter backswing for shorter putts, longer for longer, etc.  Determining where on the 'clock' my hands need to go to for 10', 20', 30', etc, will take some trial and (probably lots of) error.
    But I'm in.  I can see this being just an absolute get-out-of-jail, go-directly-to-Samsonite's-bag card, and I can't remember ever feeling like that after one practice session with any club before.  
    Now, because I've read up on this, I understand this is most likely the Honeymoon phase, but I'm happy to work through the growing pains so I can see what this thing can really do for my game.  
    That's it for now.  I'll keep updating as I get more acquainted with it, and if any particular pain-points arise, I'll add them as well. 
    But overall, at first blush, this thing is bit of a modern marvel. As you can clearly see - i'm a fan. 
     
    AESTHETICS (5 out of 5 Stars)
    I definitely had a lot of preconceived notions of how I thought it would look based on the reactions I’d seen online from other people, from videos about it from YouTubers, etc.  
    But honestly, pulling it out of the box, seeing the craftsmanship (superb), and now having used it for 5 weeks – I genuinely find it to be beautiful.  It’s a tool that’s built to do one thing – help you make more putts.  Is it conventional-looking?  Of course not – but they’re purposefully trying to defy convention, so if you expect “the same old”, you might not love it.  
    I went with the three-dot alignment aid, which for me is just enough to help find my line (in conjunction with the line on the ball that I use to aim), but not enough to make my eye wander too far away (which is a thing I’ve had happen with “busier” designs).  The black Accra shaft blends seamlessly, and with its matte finish, there’s once again nothing to be distracted by. 

    (Look at that bad-boy grip)
    The biggest surprise for me has been the Press Grip (3 degree, as recommended by the website and fitter) – I’ve never putted with a large grip, and this one just feels…right. My hands naturally seem to find comfort every time, thumbs aligned down the center (and I know they’re centered thanks to the bisecting black/white line down the front), and there’s no real tendency to over-grip – the large size allows me to lightly grip but still feel in control.  I’m a big fan.  
    When I had first been chosen for this testing opportunity, one of my biggest concerns was the "built-in forward press", as I have never been one who presses forward before starting my stroke.  I was also a staunch "ball should be in the middle of your stance" guy (you know, like...umm...those guys who say that kind of thing. I might be making this up.).  So having the forward press built in, as well as the suggestion to play the ball toward the front of my stance seemed crazy to me - and 5 weeks later it's the most natural thing in the world.  So for those of you worried about this aspect, I can firmly attest that if you're willing to take the risk, the rewards are worth it. 
    Also a surprise: how few people have stopped to ask about the putter.  To me, it is wholly unique-looking, and I had planned on including these as interview-style inserts, but outside of a few “what’s that?” or “Is that one of them LAB putters?” over the 5 weeks, it’s mostly been unnoticed.  I did, however, make sure to ask any/all of my playing partners (whether friends or strangers) what they thought of the looks, and despite every one saying it was “biiiig” (and it is), not a one was put off by the size/looks.
    One thing I wanted to note, was just how balanced the club feels.  I don’t actually think it’s “light”, per se, but as soon as it’s in position behind the ball, it swings nearly by itself.  This could be, in all honesty, because my current mallet is considerably heavier than the aluminum head of the LAB – in a fitting I had many months ago, the fitter remarked that my putter head was definitely on the heavy side, and that I could use a lighter head given my set-up/stroke – but I find the balance of the club to be perfect.
    I touched on this in my Initial Impression, and it still holds true, that mis-hits out of the toe have a distinctly aluminum sound – very similar to a baseball bat.  As I like knowing if I got it “solid”, this is not a bad feature to me in the least, as it’s a clear, audible sound that I got it out of the toe – and considering that there has yet to be any real penalty (either line or pace) for hitting it out of the toe, that’s definitely not a bad thing in my book.
    As for hitting it clean out of the middle, I have found the sound to be fairly muted and the feel to be pretty exceptional – a very satisfying “thud” to it, letting you know you got it dead-center.  It’s not as “buttery” as, say, a Ping Insert (Ping Tyne 4 is still the softest putter I’ve ever hit), but certainly not as “clicky” as my prior gamer (which was milled) – though to be fair to that putter, I might have been hitting a lot of “toes” ☺ 
     
    (Toe, Heel and Center Strikes)
    THE NUMBERS (5 out of 5 Stars)
    Accuracy - The simplest way to address this component is to say that hit the intended line every time.  Whether the line is RIGHT or not is a different story.  Quick example: my last round played, I just could NOT see that the greens were not moving nearly as much as my brain told me they were.  I would see the slope, line up my ball to my spot 6" out to the right, pull it back and let it go - and the ball would tumble end-over-end...and miss three inches high. With my previous putter, I never knew if I had a) mis-read the putt, b) mis-hit the putt, or c) hit it too hard/soft.  A and C are still in the mix, of course, but B has been effectively eliminated.  This thing rolls it where you intend it to go.
    Distance Control - With three genuinely dreadful exceptions - all on putts over 75 feet (clearly my approach game hasn't been KILLING it, ahem, but I digress), I’m genuinely shocked with how consistent my distance control has been with this putter.  Yes, I’ve been putting (pronounced "puh-ting", not "putt-ing") in a LOT of practice with it, but as attested to by my regular playing partners, as well as my average 2nd putt distance (well inside 3’, with most inside 2’), I’ve never ever putted with such consistent speed.

    (7 gimmes, two in the cup, from about 12 feet)
    Stability of Stroke - Here’s where the LAB really does exactly what the company claims – I genuinely feel like I would have to work REALLY hard to get the face off my desired line.  It’s almost uncanny – pick a line, line the ball up, line the putter behind the ball, and watch the ball roll end-over-end on the desired line.  I’m a true believer in this technology. 
    Forgiveness - One of the reasons I chose the DF2.1 vs. the Mezz/B2 are the claims about the forgiveness.  There’s a video where the CEO demonstrates hitting the ball out of the center, the toe and the heel, and all three putts roll effectively the same distance, on the same line.  It felt like a magic trick of editing.  But here’s the thing:  it isn’t.  Hit the ball out of the toe, the ball goes where you had it lined up.  Hit the ball out of the heel?  Same thing.  Hit it dead center – ditto.  For my game, this has been an incredible find, as building consistency is a huge part of what I’m attempting to do to get better, and knowing that my distance/line will be effectively the same no matter where on the face I hit it has really allowed me to focus on my stroke and not attempting to manipulate anything DURING the stroke. 
    Playability - One of the last rounds I played I specifically used the putter from off the green as much as I could to get a sense of its usability.  Honestly, this has never been a strength of mine, but knowing that I was going to hit the line I was intending actually made my stroke considerably more confident.  I won’t say it made me BETTER in any measurable way (didn’t hole any, but left myself with inside-3-feet putts 2 times and one other time with about 5’ left), since I don’t really have any stats from my previous putter when playing shots like that, unfortunately, but I can say it made me more confident IN the shot, if that helps at all.  
    ON-COURSE (5 out of 5 stars)
    In the 13 previous rounds this year I’ve played, I averaged 35.15 putts (high of 39, low of 32).  I’ve now played 5 eighteens with the LAB in play, and I’ve averaged 33.2 putts (two 32s, two 33s and a 36 (this round included TWO putts over 80 feet, both of which I 3-putted (left them so short it was nearly comical)).  I can legitimately say that in my second-to-last round, that number could have very easily been in the 20s, considering that I left 4 putts a TOTAL of 20 inches short (that’s what I get for practicing on fast greens and playing on slow…).  I have zero doubt that I will absolutely card my first round with sub-30 putts very soon, and I’ll be sure to comment on this review when that happens.  Getting the speed down on the practice greens is an absolute must for me, as most of my practice with this putter has been at a significantly faster green complex than most of my local munis.  I don't blame the putter for being short in any way, is ultimately what I'm saying.
    One of the things that I wanted to test when I first got the putter was whether or not my consistency with set-up was improved with the LAB.  Because the putter is built to my specs (65 degree lie-angle, 35.25” length), all I have to do is set the putter down behind the ball, on my line, and then step up to the putter.  This was ALWAYS a weakness in my game previously, because I could never tell if the putter was actually flush to the ground (there was a subtle curve on the bottom of the putter head) – so sometimes the toe was up, others the heel up, etc., but I couldn't REALLY tell by looking down at the club.  Now, I know I’m set up over the ball correctly almost without thinking, which – again – allows me to focus solely on the stroke.  It’s freeing in a way that is genuinely exciting (nerdy, I know).
    Since I don’t play in “money matches” yet (I have a lot of poor actor-friends), the only thing I can really say is that I’ve never, ever, felt more confident over a putt.  I don’t ALWAYS think I’m going to make it, but I actually see the road where that’s a reality – no matter the distance, I have a chance.  With every putter I’ve ever used in the past, the goal was to knock it relatively close.  With the DF 2.1, I’m starting to look at long putts (for me, anything over 10’) as legit opportunities.  I knocked in two fifteen-footers my last time out, and just missed another 2 from similar lengths.  I know putting is often a confidence game – and nothing’s ever made me feel more like I have a real shot than this putter.
    When I spoke with the CEO during a practice session, I kind of laughed and said “I’ve never tried a product that did every single thing the manufacturer said it would,” and I meant it. I still do.  Do I think this product will work for EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON?  No. Of course not.  And as attested by a few of the testers in this very test, you can see that it's promise may not be realized by everyone.  But for me, this is perfect.  For the first time, I know I’m going to hit my line BEFORE I strike the ball, not just hoping I hit it.  For the first time, I’m not trying to lag 15-footers, I’m actually trying to make them.  For the first time, putting practice is actually fun.  
    The crazy part of this to me, is the knowledge (well, belief, but I have faith) that the more I practice, the more comfortable I get with this new putter, the more confident I’m going to become.  
    Is confidence over the ball worth the price-tag of $680 that this putter would retail for?  
    For me, it’s a resounding, unquestionable YES.
    THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE IN-BETWEEN (4 out of 5 stars)
    The good:  See above for all the things I found while working with this putter. 
    The bad: LAB desperately needs to hire more people in their customer service department.  I’ve said this from the beginning of the process, but it appears that two people handled all twelve fittings, including all back-and-forth emails.  While I’m assuming there are more than just these two fitters working for the company, having a group of well-qualified service-representatives who could answer questions, return phone calls, etc. would free up the actual fitters to focus solely on the fittings. 

    (Methinks they need some more operators standing by)
    I’m cognizant of the fact that LAB may have decided to have all of our fittings be done by these two fitters, to ensure that we all had similar experiences, but even then – we didn’t (you can see the other reviews for their individual experiences – some great, some not-so-great).  With no ability to test this putter in a store nearby, it’s a supreme act of faith to put down $450+ on a putter that was fitted via a 5-second clip and with minimal follow-up.  While my particular fitting went great and easily, and I’m happy to report that the putter fits me to a tee (Woof - this analogy's a bit on the nose, no?), waiting 24-48 hours for a response to an email/phone call, and not being able to get a hold of someone when you do need to talk to someone is frustrating at best.  I do genuinely understand that LAB may be inundated with fitting requests (especially considering they’re free to anyone who submits a video), which is why I think a dedicated team of customer-service reps whose only job is answering emails (maybe working in conjunction with the fitter, i.e., “I spoke with Jake and he asked me to let you know that the Accra shaft is highly rated and was designed specifically for LAB putters, etc.”) and phone calls would go a HUGE distance in making the prospect of this kind of purchase much easier to swallow. 
    I know that actually speaking with my fitter was a HUGE relief that we got everything right (we spoke about my lie angle (it seemed pretty flat to me, but…only compared to the 70 degrees that my off-the-shelf putter was set at), my shaft selection (I was leaning Accra, which is what he said he played in his Mezz, but that the standard steel shaft was also a great shaft), grip, etc.  Having an actual conversation with someone, even though I wasn’t actually paying for the putter, really calmed my nerves (I didn’t want to waste anyone’s money/time by accidentally getting something that wasn’t right for me), and really made me EXCITED about the putter being built just for me.  
    For this, I’m docking a point, but I can also see this being remedied quickly and relatively easily as the company continues to grow.
    PLAY IT OR TRADE IT? (5 out of 5 stars)
    I genuinely cannot imagine taking this thing out of my bag at this point.  I’ve never felt like I was a confident putter.  I’ve never felt like I could call myself a “decent” putter.  I’ve never felt like putting might be a strength of my game.  But I do now.  My friends starting calling it "Matt's Cheat Stick", and ... it kind of feels like that's super appropriate. 
    CONCLUSION
    If you struggle with consistent set-up, this putter could be for you.  If you struggle with knowing if you’ve hit your line, this putter could be for you.  If you need a putter with high forgiveness on mis-hits, this putter could be for you.  
    It’s definitely the putter for me, for all those reasons and more.
    FINAL SCORE (29 out of 30 stars)
     
    Just a final note here saying how genuinely thrilled I am at having to have been a part of this process.  Thanks to My Golf Spy, all the moderators, Sam Hahn and everyone at L.A.B. Golf.  This was a huge honor and incredible pleasure.
  3. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to Syks7 in Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts   
    Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts – Official MGS Forum -- Review by Syks7 (Jonathan Gilliam)
     
    Intro
    Hi everyone, I’m really excited to be part of this test.  I’m a 39 year old architect in Southern California and am currently a 11.4 handicap. There’s been a lot of other tests I’ve wanted to take part in a lot of tests since I joined the forum, but this one is actually the best fit to my game and level of knowledge.  I’ve started building my own clubs so it gives me some flexibility with testing that should be pretty handy.  

    More intro, my equipment, and testing plan
     
    Early impressions (5/5)
    Unboxing Those of you that have bought shafts know that it's a pretty no frills unboxing that involves a non-descript box of golf club length with the shafts you order bundled up amidst butcher paper and rubber banded together.  This is no different, though I will say this is the first I've encountered each shaft being in an individual plastic sleeve.  It's a nice touch to keep them from gathering dust or scratches along the way.
     
    Build wise they look and feel like premium iron shafts.  All of them penciled in within 1.3 Gm of 117g with some slightly lighter and some slightly lower.  Lengths were cut within 1/16"  of the stated length.  There was also a nice stamp stating Flex, Length, batch number?, serial code, build date, and build location.  It's helpful to keep organized when building organization and in a spot that will be covered by the grip eventually.   Link to more build info & Images



     
     
     
     
    First Swings I put the the shafts in play immediately and my first swings were at the range the day before a men’s club tournament.  It did not take long for me to get acquainted or comfortable with them.  I found that they fit my tempo quite well (moderate) and that I did not have any trouble feeling where the head was.  They were very easy to load and consistently produced a baby fade (when I was striking well) for me and did not produce any head scratching results short of producing a lot, lot of rollout on partially thin shots.  On well struck shots they produced a nice mid high penetrating flight that stalled out and landed softly.  I did not have trouble holding greens.  
    From 210 w/ the 4I.  Pretty soft landing.

     
    Aesthetics (5/5)
    In my initial impression I mention how clean the shafts were looks wise when I first got them.  That opinion hasn’t changed after a month and half of testing.  The graphics are really simple and sharp without being distracting if you install graphics up like I did.  They’re also not so huge that you’d still see them if you installed graphics down.  Beyond that, they might be a bit too polished when they show up (borderline Mirror) but that fades with use so it’s a non issue and I have no reason to deduct any points.

     
    The Numbers (5/5)
    The numbers for me were pretty good with a few caveats.  These shafts are in the same weight class category, flex, and same moderate tempo range as the shafts I’m fitted into.  I played the crap out of them (4 weeks 108 holes and boatloads of range time) I can confidently say that I have hit more golf balls this month than I ever have before.  Now onto the numbers which I’d class as all positive.
    I did tend to shoot lower with Modus in the bag, but towards the end I played around and I shot lowest with a mix in the bag (including a new personal best).  Swing speed was well within the same range as my gamers Dispersion stayed very close but saw a bit more right variation in the pattern Carry distances were so similar to my gamers that I played a couple 9s with alternating clubs.  PW,8,6,4 in one and 9,7,5 in another – a bit weird the first 9 and unnoticeable the second. (other than the head) I played one 9 hole shootout with only irons in the bag between my gamers and the Modus and the difference over 9 holes was a single stroke.  +3 for my gamers vs. +4.  The trajectory of the modus is slightly different.  It’s more penetrating but the launch monitor disproved my observation that apex and launch were lower.  There was minor variations in both and descent angles were also very similar.     Spin numbers were slightly lower with Modus but only down couple hundred RPM in the long irons and even less in the short irons. No deductions here.  Directly compared to the shafts I’ve been fitted to there was nothing I would class as a large variation or anything bad.  They were immediately playable for me.


     
    On the Course (4.5/5)
    On the course the Modus 115’s performed very well.   The stability of the shaft regardless of swing tended to help me out on longer approach shots where I can have a bad habit of overswinging or transitioning like a madman to try and ‘get’ it there.  With my gamers that kind of heavy transition either ends with a nasty block fade or a cannon pull.  With the Modus 115s those kind of mishits were not as pronounced.  The head was delivered squarely more or less to where I expected and I wasn’t spraying the ball into oblivion on mishits.  The other thing that I really liked on course was that I felt like I had a variation in the trajectory I could hit all the way up to 7 Iron.  Depending on how high or low I hit on the face I could get it to hit and check up on the green or I could get it to run like crazy down the fairway on an approach.  The only thing I didn’t like as much was the distance on mishit.  For me the mishits tended to be a little hot and like to run.  I overcooked more than a few greens even landing well short of the green.  Its obviously my issue but vs. my gamers which still check up on mishits it’s worth a half point deduction.
    (So happy to have her out with me that I can forgive stepping on my birdie line)

    The Good, the Bad, the in between (4.5/5)
    The bad
    As mentioned in on course performance the only middling issue I would have is that my mishits with them tended to run and run like hell.  Something that was not the case when I had my gamer shafts in the heads that currently are attached to the Modus.  It’s not a huge issue but it’s the only head scratcher for me with these shafts.  The in between
     
    The weight class.  I like this weight and I am used to it from playing similar shafts, but some might find it too heavy and it may exacerbate elbow issues that you have.  I will note that the slight difference in kick combined with weight did cause an old elbow twinge from when I first transitioned to steel shafts to resurface for a couple days.  The good
      The weight class again.  It’s not so light that it doesn’t feel stable or lack feel but also not so heavy that it feels like you’re swinging a sledge.  They are very easy for me to load without feeling whippy and heavily lend themselves to the tempo of my swing.  (Most of my acceleration happens at the bottom and my transition isn’t where the shaft initially loads).  These shafts are responsile for one of a big lightbulb moment for me with my swing when I realized that a ¾ speed towel drill strike was getting out almost as far as my full swings.  Contact>Raw speed.  The smoother my swing got the better the Modus 115s did for me. Despite the shaft doing better when you swung smooth it didn’t get out of sorts when I couldn’t stop myself from trying to step on it and swinging too hard or transitioning aggressively.   The result of those swings wasn’t good, but it also wasn’t bad.   I didn’t generate very many pull hooks or banana slices playing them.  Something definitely not true of my gamers. Ease of use.  I could adjust the trajectory pretty easily and get different types of shots out of the shaft without much effort. More Swing Videos
    Play it or Trade it (4.5 / 5)
    I’m keeping these though I haven’t settled on a final bag yet.  For now I’m going mixed bag with 4/5 in Modus and 6/PW in the TT Elevate Tours I’ve been playing.  I’ve played it a couple times that way and it’s akin to mixed heads – more stable and forgiving at the top end and more workable at the bottom end.  The runout on mishits is a concern for me but in the end a straight-ish ball rolling over the green is much preferable to a hard pull into the trees.  I’ve already been hitting more greens with the 4 and 5 iron attached to the Modus shafts than I was before.  
    That said I’m still going to be testing for the foreseeable future to settle on whether to fully migrate to the Modus 115s.  I’ll be tinkering, starting with trying a couple modus shafts out in my PW & 9 to see whether or not they perform better than the gamers in the 639 cb heads.  I’ll keep updating as I do.
     
    Conclusion 
    I was genuinely curious to test them in comparison to my gamers.  The descriptions said they’d be similar, but I didn’t expect for them to be so immediately playable for me.  I’ve played with a lot of other shafts that are moderate tempo mid/mid’s and I hadn’t encountered one that I got along with as well as the Modus 115s aside from the TT Elevate tours.  They don’t disappoint, are very stable, and provide good results for me both when I’m swinging well and when my swing is not at its best.  With that in mind I think that Nippon has a very strong product on their hands that could even managed to stand out amidst the rest of it’s stellar lineup.      
    Final Score (28.5 / 30)

     
  4. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to Nunfa0 in Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts   
    In case you haven't seen it, here is my intro for this...
    https://forum.mygolfspy.com/tests/34-nippon-modus-115-iron-shafts/?do=findComment&comment=8092
    Early Impressions.
    These shafts are clean and simple but exude class. To me they look like they mean business.




    I can't tell you what it was like to build them, my club pro did the hard work for me but what a beautiful job he did!!



    I can definitely feel the added weight compared to the old shafts but they do feel stable. I will add more once I have used them in anger.... But if the play as good as they look I will be in heaven 😍😍🥰
    First Impressions 5 out of 5 stars
    Aesthetics
    I could wax lyrical about the looks of these but I think my comments in my first impressions say enough. In short I like these a lot!!.
    Aesthetics 5 out of 5 stars
    Data and on the course performance
    Well, I had grand plans of firing up Arccos and being able to down load a pile data here for you all but life and the weather has gotten in the way.

    But what I can give you are some snippets to whet your appetites.
    These shafts launch high. I hit them along side my gamers with the AMT White shafts and there was a definite difference. 
    Here is my T100s wedge with the AMTs...
    And here is the Cobra Wedge with the Modus shaft...
    The two strikes felt the same yet the Modus just flies so much higher!! Even the 4 iron gets up and goes...
    That leads nicely into distance. I was using these irons last year with the KBS C-Taper Lites and I was getting Ok distance. I was surprised that I lost no distance when I changed to the T100s, even though the T100s are higher lofted and more of a players iron. My average for a 9 iron was 120 metres or 131 yards. So when I came to a shot last weekend of 137 metres (149 yards) I decided to give the 9 iron a go just because I didn't want to go long. Boy was I surprised when I hit the ball 6 inches past the hole!! The same thing happened with my 7 iron, average of 140 metres (153 Yards) and I hit it 154 metres (168 yards) on the fly. These shafts for me have unleashed the true potential of the Cobra heads. I am at least a club longer with all of my irons and yet they still stop with the extra height.
    Spin wise I have been getting a lot of spin on the greens but we are officially in winter so the greens are soft too. I do worry that, with the extra height, these could spin up too much into a stiff breeze and just kill the distance gains.
    The other side affect of the shafts is that my ball flight is straighter. I had to adjust on the course and not aim for as much draw. I think this comes from where these shafts kick but I'm not complaining!!
    Data 5 out of 5 stars
    On the Course 5 out of 5 stars
    Takeaway
    These shafts are heavy but this makes them stable for me, they launch like missiles but have the distance to go with it and the spin seems to be controlled. But (and it's a big but) these are not for every one. I have a rhythmic swing with just enough speed to warrant stiff shafts and I think if I had a little less speed these shafts would not be a good fit.
     
    If you are a person who needs light shafts, struggles with hitting the ball too high or has elbow or wrist injuries then I don't think these shafts are for you. Try them for sure but I think the 105s might be a better fit. 
    So for me these are great shafts over all but maybe just a touch too heavy and launch just a touch too high for our windy conditions.
    Takeaway 4 out of 5 stars.
    Play or Trade
    Well this is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak. Am I going to race out and throw these shafts in my T100s?
    After reading the rest of this review you would think its an emphatic yes.... but you would be wrong.

    I think the combination of the stunning T100S heads and these shafts would launch the ball so high and create so much spin that they would be almost unplayable for me. Also I found swinging the extra weight in all of them to be tiring and I was have been feeling it at the end of rounds. So that leaves me with a conundrum, I like these shafts a lot but, for me, they need to be in power heads for them to truly work and that's not where I want my game to be. So they will be in my back up set and I may pull them out during the winter from time to time but they will not be replacing my current gamers. You could say that I am keeping them but really just to be admired from a distance and pulled out when I'm feeling brave

    Play Or Trade 2 and a half stars out of 5
    Conclusion.
    Nippon have done a fantastic job with these shafts and they fit into the range perfectly. In the right hands they will be absolute weapons. I recommend trying these during a fitting for sure but don't expect miracles. For me they are really good but not the best fit which is why they are staying on the sidelines.
    Final Score  26.5 out of 30 Stars.
    Thank you again to Nippon and MGS for allowing me to put these shafts to the test and thank you to my fellow spies for reading my thoughts. I hope it helps you with your search for the set of clubs you have been dreaming of...
    Cheers, John 
  5. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to B_R_A_D_Y in L.A.B. DF2.1 Putter   
    My Introduction
    https://forum.mygolfspy.com/tests/40-lab-df21-putter/?do=findComment&comment=9053
    First Impressions
    https://forum.mygolfspy.com/tests/40-lab-df21-putter/?do=findComment&comment=9647
     
     Looks like an old-fashioned bottle opener to me. 
    Aesthetics and Reactions from other golfers
    "It’s Big" - Response of 80% of People Who I Showed it to
    I knew that someone had read about this putter whenever they echoed the words, “looks like a branding iron.”
    Yes, it is big. Although, I was around when PING irons first came on the scene. When everything else was a blade, they seemed massive. One old boy used to say, “You could dig up potatoes with them things,” meaning they looked like a hoe.
    And then Big Bertha appeared on the scene. “It’s huge," everyone exclaimed. Not by today’s standards though. So while the Directed Force (DF) is indeed larger, it means to me exactly what PING and Big Bertha meant back then … better performance and an increased margin of error.
    "It Sounds Different" - A Youtube Reviewer Mentioned this, too
    I couldn’t wait to try this club, so I grabbed 3 random balls and went to the practice green. First ball I hit, the club let out a distinctive ping. I’m old enough to remember the original PING 1A putter and it was named PING because of the ping sound it emitted. (Take a look at the L.A.B. B2 ... it resembles the original PING 1A) Turns out the first ball I tried was a Topflight. The other 2 balls were softer, a Titleist and a Callaway which did not ping near as loudly. So the harder the ball is, the louder the ping. It is a non-issue to me, because I don’t even hear it anymore.
    "It’s too Light" - Immediate Response from a Golfer
    I had not realized how light this DF configuration was until I picked up my Spider EX. There was a noticeable difference. I bought that Spider cuz I wanted a heavier putter head than my old PING Anser. Maybe it was lucky that I never compared the putters until after I had been using the DF for a week. By then I didn’t care that my old favorite felt heavier. I definitely can see that head weight does not make a difference in performance. I actually think it’s easier to hit the DF 2.1 on really long putts. I thought I wanted that weight for those long putts … but the DF proved me wrong.
    By the way, the guy who said it was too light never even hit a putt with it. His loss.
    "Is that a L.A.B. Putter" - Response from Several Golfers
    While I was on the putting green a guy yelled over from the first tee, “Is that a L.A.B. putter?” Another person caught me on the chipping green, without the putter, asking if I was the guy with the L.A.B. And I also heard a few times that guys had a friend who played one. People have heard about this putter,
    "That’s a Lot of Lines" - Response from Several Golfers
    I love these lines. I set it down, align it to my target, and feel fully confidant that I’m right.
    "The Grip is Fantastic" - Response from Several Golfers
    I love this grip ... the soft tackiness and the way it fits my hand. Several other people echoed these sentiments exactly.
    "How Can You Putt off the Toe if it’s Not Dead" - A Collegiate Player
    As I touted the benefits of the soft feel of the ball leaving the face and the fact that toe hits don't lose momentum, a young college golfer said that he needs to have a dead hit on the toe, so he can putt a fast downhill slopping green. Sounds like something I heard when I was his age.
    Off-center putts are so soft I don't really feel them ... and they definitely don't lose momentum. I set this putter up on the line I want, and then think of nothing else except pacing. I don’t care if I miss the center of the face because I know the ball maintains it's momentum wherever I strikes the face. The ball will stay on line and still not lose distance like toe & heel hits on other putters. And that is a confidence builder.
    Because this putter does not torque on impact, the entire face stays square to where your hands are. That doesn't mean you can't push or pull it. As long as your hands are locked in, the face will stay square to the line on miss hits ... heel or toe.
     
    The Numbers
    I was one of the last in the group to receive my putter because of issues delaying my fitting process and also from being away on vacation. So I probably had 2 weeks less with my DF than most of the others. I started playing with it immediately.
    I could have set up a putting trial with chalk lines and gates, but I don’t believe quantifying practice tells me anything about playability under pressure. Putting 25 balls down a chalk line with both putters on a flat putting green, doesn't help me on the course when trying to win skins. Besides, the practice green is the only flat green on our course. And at my age fatigue is an issue, too. My back is so bad it starts aching if I practice putting or chipping for more than 10 min. And that fatigue would have affected bulk testing. I have no problem trying out a club under fire. We play small $5-$20 games 3 times a week, so it was no big deal trying the DF out in a skins game. I was so happy with the club, I used it in a tournament after only playing 3 rounds with it. We tied for first, but lost on a coin toss.
    I felt like I was fairly good at putting with my Spider. So, here are a few comparisons between it and the DF, so you can see my base and where the DF excelled.
    I had 9-hole rounds with 5-1 putts using both putters in our men's association ... all over 10 foot putts I've had 15-putt, 9-hole rounds with both putters I had sub 30-putt, 18-hole rounds in skin games with both putters I achieved a 50% reduction in 3-putts with the DF I feel that my lag putts land closer with the DF  I had been tracking Distance to pin 1st putt / Number of putts / Distance missed, on my score cards, but I gave up and relied on my Arccos Caddie stats instead. So the only stats of mine that I feel are worthy of sharing are from my Arccos data.
    I had lost my original Arccos putter sensor and Arccos replaced it for free … many thanks Arccos. I also purchased a second putter sensor so that I could track both putter’s stats separately.

    Included in these graphics are the last 100 putts with both my Spider EX, and the last 100 putts with the Directed Force 2.1. As you can see there is a slight improvement in 1-putts. But the huge impact for me was the reduction in 3 putts. Every 3 putt eliminated is a stroke saved. 
    I wish I could show y’all a graphic for distance left after the 1st putt. I tracked it manually a few rounds with each putter, but didn’t feel like I saved enough data to make it anything more than anecdotal. Which is unfortunate, because I honestly feel I am leaving my 10’-30’ putts much closer with the DF … less than a foot in a majority of cases. The fact that my 3 putts have been reduced by 50% proves that I am leaving long putts closer.
    It’s difficult to quantify confidence in a putter. I had it with my old putter … I’ve got more of it with the Directed Force 2.1.
     
    On The Course
    “Set It and Forget It” is a trademarked phrase by marketing genius Ron Popeil that took on pop culture status in the 90s. His catch phrase has become my putting mantra for the DF 2.1. I set the club on line and I never think about it again, instead concentrating on distance and pace.
    I have a random putting flaw where I occasionally pull my hands outside my swing plane. Sometimes, as I take the putter back, the head jumps off my swing path ... I’ve got a bit of nerve damage in my hands. But the point is, I see it when it happens, and that blows my concentration ... instead of focusing on pace, I am thinking about mechanics and it’s not going to be a good stroke. With the DF I don’t worry about controlling the stroke path anymore. I have complete confidence that if miss the center of the face, the ball will still travel on my intended line at the pace I wanted. That has given me freedom to focus on touch. Now when I see the putter move, I ignore it and toss the ball to the hole.
    With the margin of error the DF provides me, I can ignore my hand drift when I see it. Sure, I still push an occasional putt. I still roll my hands on occasions, too. I’m not saying the DF eliminates all my problems. I’m saying that for me, it takes my mind off trying to control my swing, too precisely. My Arccos data has shown that using the DF has reduced my 3 putts by 50%, and that's the difference between a 4/3 skin and a 5/4 "also ran".
    I may come off looking like an egotistical ass for this next graphic ... but I believe this putter played a huge part in my performance in a recent tournament. I had a Cinderella round ... I’ve included the scorecard ... and as you can see I played out my ass. This is an anomaly folks. Although I must say it stems from the confidence I had standing over every putt. And I am thoroughly convinced that that confidence carried over into my entire game that day. My drives were longer & straighter and I was confident I was going to chip-in a ball before I hit it. Don’t get me wrong, there was a fair amount of luck involved, especially on several approach shots. And hell, if you look close enough you can see that I got too cocky on the 14th, rushed the putt and lipped out an easy 5’ putt for par/birdie. Plus I had 2-3 putts of which I am thoroughly ashamed.

    Full disclosure: the next round after that tournament was in our Tuesday, senior skins game, and I shot an 85. It consisted of 4-1 putts and 14-2 putts. Two skins and not a 3 putt in the bunch. I'm happy with that.
     
    The Good, The Bad, and In Between
    Good
    This is an anti-torque head with an anti-torque shaft and they work perfectly together. I do not see any degradation in off center putts. 
    I love the soft feel of the BGT - Stability Tour Fire shaft. The LA Golf shaft is listed as having an even a softer feel. The soft feel gives me the impression that my putts are effortless as opposed to throwing my heavy headed Spider at the ball on really long putts. 
    Don’t confuse soft feel with weak ... soft does not equate to loss of feel ... I do not need to swing harder on long putts. When I putt now, my stroke feels far more intuitive ... like throwing darts. This configuration putts as easily on 35’ putts as it does at 10 footers. The ball comes off the face easily and rolls straight as an arrow.
    The alignment lines are fantastic. I love how confident I feel that I am on target.
    I can’t think of a single thing to change on this club. People say it’s ugly. I don’t care because I'm putting great with it.
    The Bad ... Slightly Unhappy
    I was unhappy with the remote fitting process. I screwed it up by submitting a poor fitting video. I would have preferred to try before I buy. That’s my only hang up in this process. I honestly believe that face to face interaction would have been better for me.
    I sincerely feel that if it had been possible for me to try this putter out first, and experiment with different lies, maybe I could have had even better results than I got. Seems petty and doesn't mean I'm right. But there will always be that doubt in my head … could it be better? Would I have liked a blade better? 
    I tried a myriad of putters before selecting the Spider EX I was using. When I ordered it, I asked for a custom bump to the standard lie by 2°, (assuming standard to be 67°). Turns out my Spider is a 70° standard; 72° as ordered. In the fitting video I sent L.A.B., I can see that I have the toe of the putter in the air. Lots of people putt with the toe in the air ... how was L.A.B. to know I didn't too? Nope, I did not pay enough attention to my setup and I regret it. They came back with a measurement off the video of a 67° lie, (which I have verified on my computer). It was my fault that I didn't get the lie I wanted.

    I thought I was matching the putter I liked. I was wrong. So my unhappiness was caused by me. I regret that I did not match the Spider's lie angle, because like I said, it might have increased my success with the DF. And there's no running to a local fitter, if we had one, to have the lie adjusted ... you can't bend a composite shaft.
    So if you order via the remote fitting process, do your homework. Try and determine what you are currently using before submitting your video. Do you want to match your current putter or improve on it? Talk it over with them. They will work with you. One caveat is that it took 2 days to get any of my questions answered. And with a holiday in the mix, a question on Friday didn't get addressed until the following Wednesday. It's only an issue if you are in a time crunch, as I was, needing the putter for my review.
    Lie Angle Hack: Hold your putter flat against a tabletop, and using a protractor app on your phone, measure your lie angle.
    Due to buttons getting in the way, you are probably going to get a measurement within ±1° ... make certain your table top is 0° too.

    One minor caveat about the grip … I have a cart bag, and the extra width of the grip can interfere with other clubs when bagging or un-bagging them.  
    Play it or Trade it
    In My Bag - Forever
    I actually GOOGLED "Will a New Putter Improve My Putting"
    GOOGLE Says:
    A change of putter can never compensate for a lack of skill. At best it can make poor putting slightly less bad. 
    Hey GOOGLE, WRONG!
    When you’ve been playing for a decade or two, you develop bad habits. And bad habits using a putter with no margin for error just makes things worse. A new Directed Force can actually compensate for some bad habits.
    Case in point: I showed my Directed Force to Dan, a fellow golfer in our Saturday Morning Skins Game. He has fought an outside-in putting stroke his entire life, which is kind-of similar to my hands drifting off my intended swing path. For both of us, missing the center of the club with our old putters, means our putts will probably be off line and short. The DF does not penalize you on off-center hits, because the head doesn't torque open and you don't lose momentum at impact ... the entire face stays square to the target line. My off-center hits did not affect my putt distances. When I know my putter is square to my target line ... when I can ignore a swing path error, then I am going to be more successful with my pacing, and that means I’ll make more putts. To me the DF is a game improvement putter and it works.
    Dan has been practicing specifically to control his putting swing plane … to a moderate success. It is a habit he picked up / ingrained at the beginning of his golf career, and those are near impossible to eliminate. From the first time he tried my DF was on the 9th green ... he started rolling them in from +10 feet. He was so excited he didn’t give the putter back to me for 10 minutes. Yes, he was still swinging outside in, but what was different this time, was that the putter was not penalizing him for off center hits. The face stayed square because it did not torque and the putts rolled true because the face maintained momentum along its entirety.
    If you struggle with your putting swing plane, you need to give L.A.B. putters a try. It could make a big difference.
    Trade It - Never
    When I announced to my fellow golfers at the club, that I had been selected to review the Directed Force, some of the guys joked that I could trade it for a new driver after the review. I’ll say it right here and now, I wouldn’t trade it for an entire new set of new clubs.
    To give you a better idea as to the value / price of my Directed Force configuration, consider this: My custom made Spider EX retailed for close to $500, with a standard shaft. The price for a stock Directed Force 2.1 with the fantastic Press-II 3° grip is $399. To customize it with non-standard length or lie, it starts at $549 and that is just slightly more than the Spider EX. Then there are upgraded shaft options from $100 - $380. The DF 2.1 configuration that I tested has the BGT - Stability Tour Fire shaft ($275) and Alignment markings ($25) for a total of $849.00. I believe it is in the same price range as mass market putters, and worth every penny.
     
    Conclusion
    I said it before: “I was not in the market for a new putter.” I was curious though. I wanted to see what a torque-less putter was all about. Drive for show — putt for dough hints at a deeper concept here … confidence in your putter is far more important than confidence in your driver. You can always fall back to your 3 wood, but lack of confidence in your putter can be disastrous.
    First Impressions: 
    I had issues with the remote fitting process ... part of it turned out to be my fault. I believe putters are intuitive weapons, and I want to hold it in my hands before I buy it. That said however, I love this putter. Yes, I initially thought it was big and ugly, but I don't anymore.
    Aesthetics:
    As far as looks go … who cares. I think it must look intimidating to my opponents. Besides, I have won money with it. The grip is fantastic and instills as much confidence as the putter head does. And the shaft not only adds to the non-torque capabilities, it provides a soft, pleasant feel.
    The Numbers:
    My stats show that I’ve reduced 3 putts by as much as 50%, and that’s the difference between a 4/3 skin and a 5/4 no-one-cares. The reduction in 3 putts is proof that I’m leaving my putts closer … I honestly feel like I have more putts stopping within inches then I did with my old putter.
    On-Course: 
    Confidence. Lining a putt up is easy for me with these top lines. Fantastic grip makes me feel like my hands are locked in. Linear face momentum from the non-torque head eliminates my worries for an imperfect stroke. Soft feel off the face gives me the the sense that I’m tossing darts.
    The Good, the Bad, the In-Between:
    For me, this is a game changing putter. The non-torque head and shaft compensate for my occasional drifting off the swing path and off center hits still track true. And yet, even though this is simply a mental hangup for me, I can’t help but wonder whether this is the perfect L.A.B. model for me.
    Someone asked me:
    "Are you happy with it."
         "Absolutely."
    "Then get over it and move on."
         "Yes, but ..." 
    Play it or Trade it:
    The Directed Force 2.1 is in my bag to stay. The guys at the club keep joking about me trading trade it for a new driver(s) … they think it’s ugly. I just laughed while they were handing me my tournament money. Enough said.
    It sounds a little cheesy, but the DF 2.1 lead me to begin thinking “I can do this.” And that powerful thought is a positivity that has seeped into my game overall. I’m enjoying my game more. There's tons of room for improvement, but I'm coming home in a much better mood. My wife is really happy about that.
    I'm showing this putter to everyone, whether they have doubts about their putting stroke or not. While the base model DF is about the same price as discounted big name putters out there, custom versions of the DF are priced in line with big name putter customizations. So the next time you are in a golf store, pick one up and give it a try, then think about remote fitting. It might change your game. 

     
     
    I know, it's only a 6 footer. But anything further and y'all would be accusing me of staging it.
     
     
     
     
  6. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to Fjd in Honma 2-Star Beres Driver   
    Introduction:
    My wife and I live in upstate South Carolina and play year around.  I am 80 yrs old with a swing speed of 78-81 mph, have been playing for 65 yrs, shoot in the high 70’s at times, but mostly low to mid 80’s from 5500 yd forward tees and play 2-3 times/week.  My wife is 78 with a swing speed of 65-68 mph, has been playing for over 40 years, shoots in the 90’s from the forward tees and also plays 2-3 times/week.
    We were excited to hear we won the opportunity to test these drivers since the Honma Beres line is a premium product and is designed for those with low to mid swing speeds.  With our swing speeds, we obviously fall into this category.  We both plan to compare the Honma drivers against our gamers, which for me is a Callaway Epic Max LS, fitted by Club Champion in Sept. 2021.  My wife's current driver is a Ping G410.
    As with all drivers we want to maximize distance with good launch angles and maximum roll out.  Considering the premium brand and the Honma statements of superior shafts that deliver high smash factors with high trajectories and long carry, I am expecting to see some very good results.
     

    First Impressions 4.0 out of 5
    Our Honma Beres drivers just arrived and they are a work of art.  Almost too nice to hit.  Mens driver is on the left and ladies driver on right is a Honma Beres Aizu 3 star model.  In addition to being known for their renowned beauty and attention to detail in paint and finishing of the head and shaft, these Honma Beres drivers are also known for their superior shafts in delivering high smash factors, whereas the driver face is designed for high COR and more ball speed.  Will have to check this out.  
    However, I was very disappointed in the packaging.  The drivers arrived in a plain brown wrapper (typical brown driver box) whereas the driver I recently received from Club Champion was well protected and secured in a heavily constructed monogrammed golf box.  Also, the ladies driver did not come with a head cover.  Strange they did not want to protect this beautiful driver.
    Aesthetics 4.8 out of 5
    In that Honma Beres “is the most premier golf club brand in the world” my wife and I were very impressed with the artwork on the driver crown, the detailing of the shafts and even the driver face.  We have never seen anything like this on a golf club.  Note the diamond alignment marks front, center and rear which are unique in a driver.  These drivers are definitely noticeable because of the color and intricate design, but is not distracting or noticed when playing.  How could you not like the looks of these drivers.
    The ladies driver sound is soft/solid whereas the men's is loud and somewhat harsh but this does not affect performance.  In fact, we both get very good distance on hits mostly anywhere on the face.  
     The score is primarily due to loud/harsh men's sound.

     

    Took my Beres driver out today for the 1st time and played only 4 holes in 47° weather here in upstate South Carolina.  WOW!!!  What a great club.  The ball seemed to stay in the air forever.  I was cold, somewhat stiff and not reaching my normal swg spd of 79 mph, I swung easy and the driver provided very good length and was exceptionally straight on a number of hits.  Looking forward to warmer weather and some 18 hole rounds.
     


     
    The Numbers 4.5 out of 5
    After playing some 18 hole rounds, I still find the driver accurate, easy to hit and very forgiving on off center hits with a high trajectory.  Distance is good and about the same as my current driver but consistency of hits and forgiveness is very good and I am very pleased with the overall performance.  
    The biggest improvement is with my wife's driver.  She likes the fact that her driver is light weight, easy to hit and very forgiving.  She says her shots are more accurate, more consistent and higher than any other driver and she loves it.  She also says she doesn't have to hold back but can be aggressive and really go after her tee shots.  She now hits a high draw with excellent distance.  
    One drawback is the lack of adjustability on the driver such as loft, lie angle and movable weights.  Also, with my driver, I cannot be aggressive and try to really launch my tee shots.  I firmly believe this is due to my R2(senior) flex shaft may be too soft.   
    The score is primarily due to the lack of adjustability and distance.  Would of thought a premium club such as this would give exceptional distance.
     
    On Course
    The following On-Course comments will be divided between me and my wife.
    Wife On-Course score 4.8 out of 5. 
    My wife has nothing but praise and is very impressed with the Honma Beres Aizu 3 star driver.  She hits it straighter, higher, is more consistent than ever and firmly believes it saves her 3-4 strokes per round.  Because it is easier to hit and very accurate, it gives her confidence it tight fairway situations.  Distance is as good as her current driver.  As mentioned earlier, the alignment markers on the crown and art work on the crown and shaft, are items she definitely likes.  These are not distractions to her.  Suggested changes are minor which include lack of adjustability and ability to choose crown and shaft colors, which are important to women.   
    Men's On-Course score 4.5 out 5.
    On the course, this driver delivers.  Shots are high, straight and can be counted to be in the fairway, especially when faced with narrow fairways and shot placement is critical.  This driver is not longer than my current driver, but is consistent since it is easy to hit and accurate.  Because of its accuracy and ease of hitting, you won't be in much trouble off the tee.  This driver has a draw bias, is non-adjustable and working the ball is difficult.  Even though the artwork on the crown and shaft are eye-catching, these factors are not noticed once play is underway.  Love the multi alignment marks on the crown.  The following score is based on the inability to really jump on the drive (hitting it hard) and the lack of adjustability.  The fact that I can't hit it hard is not because of the driver but not having the correct shaft flex.
     
     
     
    The Good, the bad, the in-between 4.5 out of 5.
    There are many very good things to say about these drivers.  The first is the attention to detail in the artwork on the driver crown and the shaft, even the driver face, which appears to be a representation of the Rising Sun.  Definitely an attention getter.  There is nothing like this on the market.
    Next, this is a very forgiving driver.  It's easy to hit, has very good ball speed almost anywhere on the club face and produces a high launch.  An easy swing produces very good results, however, if I try to hit it hard and step on it, the result is a hard hook and inconsistency.  But I attribute this to the senior flex shaft that was given to me, which may not be a good fit.  In contrast, my wife's driver/shaft combo is a perfect fit.  She can hit it as hard as she likes with excellent results.  She gets a high draw and not the fade she gets with her current driver.  Distance is very good and about the same as her current driver.
    Drawbacks include lack of adjustability or workability, no choice of grip size and no head cover for the ladies driver to protect the artwork on the crown.
     
    Play it of Trade it 5.0 out of 5.
    Besides being nice to have and show off, these drivers are definite keepers for us for many reasons.
    My wife firmly believes her driving with this club is saving her 3-4 shots per round.  This is primarily due to her increased confidence in hitting fairways because this driver is so easy to hit, is very forgiving with a predictable ball flight.  The trajectory is a high with a slight draw.  No more fade shots to the right.  The color pink and graphics on the crown and shaft are initially eye catching but quickly forgotten once play as begun.
    My thoughts and impressions are similar to my wife.  As stated earlier, I hit it very well even off the deck as long as I swing easy, but I don't get good results when trying to hit it hard.  Again, this is due to not having the correct shaft and has nothing to do with the driver.  However, as I get older and my swing speed decreases, this driver will be the perfect fit.
    As initially stated by Honma, these drivers are ONLY for low to medium swing speed golfers.  For women with low swing speeds (60-70 mph), the L flex shaft appears to be a perfect fit, producing a high ball flight, very good distance with a straight or slight draw.  Men, however, need to be fitted for the correct shaft flex..
    The drivers are definitely "high end" pieces of golf gear and could be considered a fair price for those with deep pockets.
     
    Conclusion
    Every lady with a low or medium swing speed would love to have this driver in her bag.  It makes a statement first,. with it's uniqueness in terms of style, graphics, color and overall looks, and second, in its light weight and playability.  Due to its draw bias, it definitely reduces slicing, it's ease to hit, it's forgiving and unfortunately, it's very costly.  However, from a golfers point of view, this is a very good driver.  From my wife's point of view, it would be nice to have a head cover, a choice of driver colors and choice of grip, but there is nothing objectionable about this driver.  She loves it!
    I also find this driver to be accurate, forgiving and easy to hit.  First impressions were the ball seems to stay in the air forever.  Great trajectory!   It appears to have a built in draw bias so slicing is eliminated or greatly reduced.
    As with the ladies driver, the graphics and style make this an eye catcher out of the bag.  I would definitely buy this club if the price was not so steep.
    Final Score 27.5 out of 30.

  7. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to Cory O in Honma 2-Star Beres Driver   
    First Impressions (3.5 out of 5 points)
    I'm going to start with an opinion I wanted to share, but didn't have it impact my star ratings. In this day and age, I think a lot of golfers are going to be getting their clubs delivered instead of getting it at a shop. Because of that, the first impression really starts with the unboxing. Based on this, I really hope that Honma has a different presentation for their Beres line to the paying customers as opposed to what was sent out for review.

    As you can see in the photo, the box received was a simple, unbranded brown cardboard packed with the clubs and Japanese newspapers. This all did fine to keep the clubs protected in transit, but if I had just paid ~$1000 for a golf club, I would have been very underwhelmed. I might also have high expectations as a PXG player as their unboxing presentation is second to none. While I decided to not dock any star ratings because of all this, I thought it all worth noting.
     
    My Aesthetics (4 out of 5 Stars) 
    We'll avoid the obvious for a second and start with some more of the basics. This driver has a really classic shape to it and nicely proportioned. The look of size behind the ball would probably give plenty of confidence, but not offend the better players. Another note is that while the club has a draw bias we'll discuss later, it really isn't visible or obvious visually.

    With the Aizu edition, the artwork on the crown and up the shaft is certainly the standout. Some might really like it, some may hate it or find it distracting. I was somewhere in the middle initially, but after a few holes with it, I no longer really noticed it and it didn't impact my ability to hit it.
    Even if isn't something I would personally choose to buy, I still give the aesthetics 4 out of 5 stars because if you're looking to purchase a Beres driver, you're doing it because you want to be noticed. With the Aizu edition, there is no question that it'll be noticed (and commented on). Honma deserves some kudos for finding a way to make a club visually extreme, but in a way that their key clientele for the club will still enjoy given the callout to traditional Japanese artwork.
    Wife Aesthetics (3 out of 5 Stars) 
    My wife generally agreed with everything above and thought the artwork was well done. What she didn't like, however, is that the ladies club came in a bright pink. From the Honma item page, it seems that the pink head is set for the 3 star driver option. Different colors (white, dark maroon, and red) reflect the 2 star, 4 star, and 5 star models respectively. These come color matched with the star-grade specific shaft and have different price points. There's nothing wrong with a pink driver head (just ask Bubba Watson), but her personal preference would have been something a bit more neutral like the other star-level heads had.
    Sound and Feel
    For both of us, our shared thought was that the club is obviously well-build and constructed with high-end materials. Say what you want about the price tag, but the quality is there. At impact, the club head has a unique "trampoline"-like ringing sound. I feel like the tone is similar to earlier generations of 460cc drivers, but not nearly as loud. It doesn't quite sound like anything else in the market today, but it's not unpleasant or distracting. The sound is relatively consistent across the face, so even mishits have a decent sound.
    On the feel-side of things, the very first thing we noticed was the lightness. The club feels light in your hand taking it out of the bag and light through the swing. With the lightness and long length (46" for men 44.5" for women), the club also feels fast, producing a nice whippy sensation through the swing.
    The Numbers (3.5 out of 5 points)
    My gamer: PXG 0211 9*(turned down to 7.5*) with a Autoflex 505x Shaft (plays 47.5")
    Wife's gamer: PXG 0211z 12* with ProjectX Riptide CB 40 5.0 Shaft (Plays 43.5")
     
    Me:
    Accuracy – The Beres driver produced a very consistent result. Unfortunately for me, the draw-bias built into the head took my already draw-biased swing and produced a consistent, but extreme, ball flight that was hard to play on the course.
    Distance – The lightness of the club meant I could swing it fast. About 3mph faster than my gamer in a "standard" shaft and only about 2mph slower than the gamer with my somewhat crazy Autoflex setup. While I was concerned the lightness would cause lower efficiency and less ball speed, that wasn't really the case. The Beres can hit the ball plenty far. By the raw numbers, it's about 15 yards shorter than my gamer, but that's more about fit than the club itself.
    Trajectory – High. I wouldn't doubt that the Beres would wind up being one of the highest launching drivers on the market. Unfortunately for me, (sensing the theme?) I already hit the ball very high, borderline too high, so this didn't help me and maybe even hurt.
    Forgiveness – Very forgiving. While the consistent high draw was too high and too much draw, it produced that same result with a variety of strikes. The mirror-like face on the club meant I could always see where the ball impacted and I was surprised with how consistent it was all over the face.
    Workability – There Beres is not a workable driver, full-stop. It doesn't claim to be and nobody is going to purchase one expecting this. It's completely non-adjustable and has no weights to tweak. Put a reasonable swing on it and it produces a very reasonable results.
    My wife is still a beginner and casual golfer, so she doesn't get as technical with the ball flight as I do. Her swing was significantly faster with the Honma, however, than it was with the PXG 0211z and had the potential for very long drives. In her opinion, though, this speed meant she felt more out of control and made it hard to gauge distance or accuracy.
    Four stars for me, three stars for her, so averaging out to a 3.5
    On-Course (3.5 out of 5 points)
    Here is where I struggle to decide how I want to grade out the Beres. Do I want to say what the score is for me or for who the club should really be used by? I can say without a doubt that I am completely the wrong fit for the Beres driver. I swing (just a bit) too fast, hit it too high, and have too much of a draw to begin with. Everything about the driver, however, was designed for someone with a more moderate swing speed, struggles with a slice, and could find more distance with a higher launch. Statistically speaking, the average customer looking at the Beres is much more likely to match that description than my own.

    That said, even for being the completely wrong player for it, I could still play it. Once I got used to what it wanted to do, I generally didn't have a problem with it out on the course and produced scores similar to my gamer. Even if it wouldn't be my choice, if I had to play the Beres, I could do it happily. That probably says something. All said and done, I'll give three stars on-course for me personally and four+ stars for the golfer I picture should be playing it. Average them out to 3.5
    My wife, however, is a relatively good swing match to the Beres ladies driver. She can swing it faster than her gamer and hit it higher. If she decided to play it consistently, I'm also confident it could be just as forgiving as the 0211z, a driver purpose built for forgiveness first. But she's a casual golfer and doesn't like the pink, so she wants to get back to her gamer. I'll grade her on-course score as "incomplete."
     
    The Good, the bad, the inbetween (5 out of 5 points)
    In my opinion, no one is going to buy the Honma Beres Aizu driver because they'll swing it 2mph faster, hit it 5 yards further, and take some turn off their slice. They're not going to buy it for the sound or feel off the face. If I had to take a guess, I'm guessing the majority of the buyers won't even hit the club before making their purchase.
    They are going to buy a Honma Beres driver because it's a Honma Beres driver. They are going to buy it for the cache and history of an ultra-premium product and a display of status at the range and on the course. Like a Rolex watch or a Hermes bag, it's not even form or function, it's the logo.
    Because of that, I don't really think Honma HAD to make this latest version of the Beres line a particularly good driver, but they did. In fact, for the right type of golfer, the Beres could very well be a great driver. That golfer wouldn't be giving up performance just for the status, so I respect Honma for not just phoning it in, but making a good golf club.
    Additionally, with the Aizu line specifically, I also like the willingness to turn the volume up to 11 on the "stand out from the crowd" level. No one will mistake the driver for anything else and buyers almost certainly will be asked about it out on the course. For the average Beres customer, that might just be the whole point. For that the Beres Aizu deserves 5 points.
     
     
    Play it or Trade it? (1 out of 5 points)
    I'm not going to comment on the Beres price. First off because I have an Autoflex in the bag (I didn't pay full price for it, but still) and second because if you are seriously considering the Beres line, then the dollars are probably no longer a primary consideration. If you wonder if it'll be "worth it" moneywise, then there's a good chance it won't be.
    That said, for me and my wife, the Beres Aizu drivers are firmly in the "trade it" zone. For me it's because the club is exactly the wrong fit for my swing and there's no way to adjust it to get the club in a place it would be. For my wife, the simple answer is because it's pink and she doesn't want a bright pink club in her bag.
     
    Conclusion
    Are you a brand conscious country club member who wants to stand out from the crowd? Do you have a slower swing, struggle with a slice, and could use some help getting the ball up the air? The the Honma Beres Aizu driver might just be the club for you. Especially if that standing-out from the crowd part is at least as important if not more so than the actual performance.
    Nobody is going to be rocking a Beres Aizu on a pro tour any time soon and it's not going to be a good fit for everybody. It's not a true competitor to the latest Taylormade or Callaway as those are golf clubs. The Honma Beres isn't (just) a golf club, it's a fashion and social statement. It just happens to be one that hits golf clubs pretty damn well.
     
    Final Score 20 out of 30 points

  8. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to ST3LTR0 in Maxfli Tour/Tour X - INTL Welcome   
    The Review 12/11/21
    [Maxfli Tour/ Tour] – Official MGS Forum Review by [st3ltr0/Jesse Gordon]
     
    Intro
    A little about my Game, I’ve been playing for 16 years, and played competitively in highschool and at a few local mens associations. I am roughly an 8 handicap and fairly inconsistent on scoring. I hit the ball fairly far, but also this needs to be mentioned that I do play at altitude so I get that fun benefit as well. During the start of the review my gamer was the Vice Pro Plus and I have had zero issues with the ball and selected it based off of the MGS ball study earlier this year. I would like to see just a tad more greenside spin and consistency. With low spin off of the tee. My typical miss is usually a pull draw and this happens when I get a little too muscley in my swing pattern. My weaknesses definitely are my short game, when I track my strokes gained relative to a 5 handicap I get +4 Driving, +2 Irons, -1, short approach, and -3 putting. My ball flight has consistently been pretty high relative to my playing partners, in terms of how that is against the national average I’m not sure and wouldn’t feel comfortable with saying it’s higher than normal, but rather it’s higher than my groups normal.

     
    First Impressions
     
    The first thing I did when I opened the package was look at the box which I deemed fairly lackluster especially when compared to that of the Vice boxes. That being said I don’t really care about the box as I’d play golf balls if I liked the price and performance even if they were packaged in an old sweaty gym sock. After opening the balls I did like how pure white they were relative to the vice, the balls made the vices look almost gray. The alignment aid was less than Ideal, I’m a big fan of a single line, but at this point it’s really just nitpicking. Feel of the balls was fine, I’m partial to a softer ball, but have been trying to get away from extremely low compression balls for those that would actually benefit my game better. The Pro Plus and the Tour X seemed very similar, and I did actually appreciate the Tour a little bit more than the other two. I put all three balls through the launch monitor gauntlet where I hit each ball over 300 times and probably closer to 1000 shots in total after taking out all of the really poorly struck balls. I recorded 50 shots with each club and hit each ball 150 times (45/60/PW)(7I,4I,D)



     
    Grading
     
    Looks & Durability (10 out of 15 points)
    Describe the following:
    Appearance/graphics/packaging - Boring shiny and wasteful like every golf ball packaging. We could probably cut out a lot of the cardboard manufacturing and again, I don’t think people will buy the balls because the box looks cool.
    Short term/long term durability - Short term durability was mostly great, but I did end up getting some issues with the Tour X after a very well struck pitching wedge. I took quite a chunk out of the cover. Only that ball that I hit had as much damage as the other ones seemed to hold up better than average. I had no issues with the balls out on the course. I tend to lose one or two per 18 when my ego says I can hit a shot I shouldn’t have the gull to even try. 
    How does it compare to other balls, beyond being round and white? - Like I said it is whiter than the Vice. I liked that but the alignment aid was a bit worse in my opinion. 
    Picture time! Look at the scuff on the Tour X and how much whiter the balls looked
     
    Test ball 1 VPP good durability

    Test ball 2 VPP good durability

     Test ball 1 Tour X rough showing for durability

    Test ball 2 Tour X good durability

    Test Ball 1 Maxfli Tour good durability

    Test ball 2 Maxfli Tour good durability


    Sound & Feel (13 out of 15 points)
    Describe how the product sounds and feels
    I thought the Tour X felt okay, but really liked the feel of the Tour, just a tad softer, and it still sounded like the ball was going to fly pretty far.
    Another attribute to the balls is that the Maxfli’s seemed in a way fairly Tacky as if they held the face just a tad bit longer, that could be entirely mental as I’m not sure it’s humanly possible to perceive that short timeframe, but that’s how it felt.
    The sound/fell I had no issues with, also no wow factor out of it, just totally happy with it.
    The difference between clubs was good, on Irons/wedges I felt like I had a lot of control and the feel wasn’t punishing or gross, on the driver it felt nice and fast off of the face. 
     
    Real Numerical Performace (35 out of 40 points)
    Off the Tee – Rather than focus on the course I think the numbers speak for themselves. The Maxfli Tour X was lackluster in this department and really where I’m docking most of the points on this portion of the thread. The Tour X had the fastest swing speed of all of the balls but the shortest overall Carry. Where-as the Tour absolutely demolished my expectations, I assumed it would be shorter off of the tee with the lower compression. The speed was right in the middle and the ball just seemed to fly more so than the other balls did. Quite impressed with this.
    Approach – In most categories the spin on both Maxfli’s held up more than the Vice Pro and also maintained proper distance big plus here for the Maxfli balls 
    Ball Flight – The ball flights for all of the balls seemed fairly consistent, all had about the same apex and carry distance for every club but the 4 iron/driver. The Maxfli Tour had the most preferred flight for my liking in comparison to all of the balls.
    Around the Green – I actually liked the feeling and numbers for the Maxfli’s more than I did with the Vice Pro Plus around the greens. They felt like they were stopping more consistently and predictably. 
    Putting – My putting maintains poor, and I should really practice more, but they all felt really good off of the putter. I’d ask the other gentleman this question as my confidence in this area is at an all time low. 
    Driving and approach for me were winners with the Tour. The Tour X spun a little bit too much off of the driver, I also like the feel of the Tour. 
    Bottom line: I think the Maxfli Tour fits my profile of what I want it to be. I haven’t seen a noticeable drop in strokes (yet) I’m looking forward to playing this ball more so I can see if the increased consistency pays off. 






     
    Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)
    The Biggest thing for me out of this test is having a ball that is consistent, up my alley, affordable, and available to buy by driving down the road. No more shipping costs and I get a pretty great ball at a good deal. I’m in on that portion of things. No more having to hoard 5 dozen balls at a time because that’s how you get the best deal. 
    Game Bag or Shag Bag? (18 out of 20 points)
    Game bag for sure. These balls were phenomenal. If I had a slower swing speed I’d probably eat up the Tour X, with my current swing speed and the distance/spin numbers on the Tour I think it is a phenomenal product and would recommend it to anyone serious enough to get a great ball that is consistent, affordable, positioned well in the market, and easily accessible for purchasing. Big props to Maxfli on this product.
     
    Conclusion
    The balls performance is great, the packaging is sub par, the ball is bright white and pretty, they are fairly durable. Overall I would say that this is a great purchase for anyone looking to save just a little bit of cash for a really premium product. The Tour seemed to fit better for my game than the Tour X. I’m going to continue to use the Tour as it works well for me. Most of the points I docked were for the Tour X not fitting my profile, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great ball.
    Final Score: Tour X (86 out of 100) Tour (92 out of 100)
  9. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to Berg Ryman in Dollar Driver Club   
    Dollar Driver Club: Final Review (4-12-22): “Move Fast and Break Things”
    So, maybe those of you familiar with technology are familiar with that phrase above. You see, when asked about his now super-company known know as Meta, Mark Zuckerberg said that was the motto the company needed to abide by. Don’t wait, make mistakes and figure out how to catch up to those mistakes after the fact. A modern version of “you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.” It’s easy to see for early adopters where that has gotten them and also where there are flaws in that thinking.
    Personally, I remember the rise and subsequent bottoming out of Movie Pass, a service where for $9.95 a month, and later even cheaper, you could see 1 film a day, bringing people to films in droves. However, those wings built on dreams and Icarian belief later cratered into immeasurable financial difficulty and eventual bankruptcy.
    So, why I am I saying these things in the lead in to my final review of the Dollar Driver Club? Well, it is a way to bring some historical context to the issues and praises I have to this business model, and since this is more a review of a service and not a particular equipment based a review, a way to edu-tain you without the usual pictures, statistical analysis, and pure numbers that a club or ball review may provide. We’re looking at 5 factors on which to grade DDC, they have the star ratings next to them at the top of the post, but I’ll list them here as well
    Speed of Shipping
    Selection of Equipment
    Return/Exchange Process
    Customer Service
    Purchase Process (if applicable)
     
    Speed of Shipping: 4.25 stars out of 5
    There are benefits to being in a central local for service providers. You don’t need to harvest from different warehouses across the country to make shipments happen, and if you focus on one specific product you can make shipments happen very quickly. Luckily DDC has that going for them. The company is located in Texas and was able to ship me both drivers I requested for this review in about an average of a week’s time, which for someone in New York is very good, especially considering one of those exchanges was made in the winter where it was only delayed due to a bomb cyclone in the northeast by a day.
    However, there is a drawback to favoring speed in some circumstances, and it comes with handling in care. As mentioned in my initial post when I received my Cobra, the box had taken some damage in transit and as mentioned when I received the current G425 Max, the driver was shipped in a box with the headcover and the tool, no extra packing materials to ensure the club made it in one piece. I appreciate the commitment to fast turn-around times, but if I had to wait a couple of extra days to make sure I could receive my driver in one piece, I’d take it.
    Selection of Equipment: 3.5 Stars out of 5
    If you see that star rating and think it a big harsh for this company, I’m not going to sugarcoat. The selection is decent, but nothing more. Sure, you get the major companies, your Callaway, Titleist, Taylormade, Cobra, Ping, and Srixon for something a little exotic. The shaft choices are pretty standard as to the non-upcharge stock options, but that’s about as big the selection gets. I know, you shouldn’t be going in expecting to get the latest from Oban, Accra, Autoflex, etc… but this is more about the late release of 2022 drivers.
    As of right now, no 2022 drivers are available to order for testing purposes and it’s a bit of a disappointment. In talking to the folks in the DDC chat, they’ve indicated to me that there are supply chain issues in them getting clubs, and while I’m understanding of that, all the major 2022 releases so far I would have expected were released in store 6 weeks ago with preorders a month before that. It’s not a total deal breaker, but it’s a definite hit.
     
    Return/Exchange Process: 3.5 Stars out of 5
    Again, this is not a knock on the service here. So as either a yearly member, like we were for the test, or a monthly member, you are entitled to test and receive 3 drivers every 12 months. The actual process to go through for the returns and exchange are actually quite easy. You enter the driver you wish to exchange or “upgrade” for or the shaft you wish to swap, complete a few pages of drop down menus and get yourself a pre-printed shipping label to send the club back to Texas.
    What drops a star and a half off this easy process? The fact that it costs you each time you do. For me to get my new Ping driver upgrade, it cost me $20, and the initial Cobra ran me $16.95. Again, for someone who ‘paid’ upfront $360, I should be able to send what I want for either a reduced price to a month to month member or get a few free switches, or at least have those funds used toward a potential purchase. Perhaps that’s me wanting the service to be something it’s not, but if the idea is to make it advantageous to be able to switch and try different set-ups, it should be more financially viable.
     
    Customer Service: 4.75 Stars out of 5
    Look, I loved dealing with the staff at DDC. The people they have with the chat function to be the up-front people for folks looking to answer questions are friendly enough, and they were helpful enough in answering some questions we had of the service. It’s also worth noting that the package we got in our initial drivers of the tees, the ball marker, and the letter from the head of the company was a very nice touch. It’s hard to be up front about supply chain issues and getting back to us with answers to our questions so that’s why it’s not a perfect five as we have gotten a bit of radio silence as a group recently, but they have good people that work there and they try to go that extra step for the customers, which is all you can ask for.
     
    Purchase Process: N/A Stars out of 5
    Simply put, I don’t know if I’m going to purchase whatever driver I finish with, so I can’t grade this part of the review. I am planning on a personal fitting for woods this fall, but I could be convinced by great performance by the G425 Max or any other potential driver.
     
    FINAL THOUGHTS
    If you guys ever heard of the saying format “X walked so Y could fly,” I think that’s what we’re in a case with Dollar Driver Club. Much like how Moviepass died and systems like Regal Unlimited, AMC Stubs A-List, and Cinemark Movie Club sprung up, I think you’ll see something similar if Dollar Driver Club falters in any fashion. You’re already seeing it with the Stealth Demo program attached to TaylorMade’s My TM+ service and if that proves popular, golf is one thing where it’s follow the leader. I could easily see Callaway and Cobra following suit soon after and potentially DDC might get played out of their own market.
    I guess in summation, DDC is one heck of idea, a great proof of concept that it can and will work for some golfers. For Spies who tinker, I think you’ll find it a little threadbare for what it is we are looking for, but for the regular golfer with money to burn and a need to have the latest and greatest, Dollar Drive Club is one heck of a service.
    FINAL SCORE: 77.5% (15 Stars out of 20)
     
    Introduction for Posterity
    "Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most"  - Dostoevsky
    I often wonder some times if famous people or thinkers were golfers or not in a past life. In a way, I want to believe that ol' Fyodor Dostoevsky would have been one, and would have been one hell of a tinkerer, always trying new things in the search to get better.
    Oh yeah, me. I'm Ryan Bergman, aka forum member Berg Ryman, commissioner of fantasy leagues, seeker of putters, tester of products, and writer of really intricate reviews that make multiple pop culture references that range from explanative to bizarre.
    In that above quote, Dostoevsky puts forth the thesis that the one thing that man fears most is change, and he has a point. We are creatures of habit or routine, and for something as cataclysmic as change to come in and be a constant is scary. The idea of "evolve or die" comes to mind. Again, the parallels are there for us a golfers. We have our old reliable, we have our own superstitions, we have our way of doing things and it's hard for some of us to get out of there.
    Interestingly, the same can be said of business and the golf industry. This is where Dollar Driver Club comes into play here. It takes a change in the way business is done to shift the golf world forward and Dollar Driver Club is attempting to be that shot in the arm. For a new company to come in and offer a subscription model for drivers is a welcome change to the typical big box model or even green grass model.
    So, what can you expect from my version of this test? Well, I'm going into this as a general golfer, not as a Spy, not as a former worker in the industry. I'm not going to get fit in a big box store or a fitter before making my orders. The reason for this is two fold. One, I feel like this is a service built for those of use who want tinker and try for ourselves, so I do plan on using the options available and the people that DDC have on staff as my resources, as well as info from the companies themselves to direct me toward things I know I like. Two, I feel like beside the tinkerer in us, this service also really appeals to that "basic golfer", the one who may not dabble in the finer points of equipment differences, exotic shaft selections, kickpoints, etc. So I'm going to try and take some information about these clubs to again, color the choices. Namely, I'm looking at the measurements from the MGS Most Wanted testing.
    Now, I've already signed up for the service and made my first selection. First, I want to talk to you guys about early interactions with DDC. They had us all fill out an intake form that basically set us up a profile. They asked us your basics, name address and then we got into golf specific questions. We gave them our current driver set up, preferred ball flights, lofts, etc. So I entered my info about my Mizuno ST180 with my Kuro Kage Silver TiniDual Core in Stiff flex in 60 grams (net weight 69 grams)
    So, then we get into the search and as noted the selection is not all-encompassing, but is substantial. You have the Main five driver companies on offer with the newest lines from Taylormade, Cobra, Callaway, Ping, and Titleist, as well as one generation old Callaway and Taylormade in limited offerings. Again, using the info in the Most Wanted testing for mid speed swings and current feelings about drivers, there was one club that caught my eye and checked all the boxes to be the first driver I requested... and I guess I need to find out if it truly does suck.
    That's right, I have a RadSpeed coming my way, 10.5 in the Peacoat Blue with the MotoreX F1 60 in Stiff. It was the longest at midspeed testing and I'm all after bombs right now. It should be here Wednesday. I am psyched.
    So that's where we start from, there will be change, there will be questions, and we'll be there for the better part of a year to answer them and help you guys understand what DDC can be for you. As always, thanks to the MGS Staff for the opportunity and for the community for putting it's trust in me, I'm going to give you everything I got.
  10. Like
    gavinski91 got a reaction from Reesedw in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    The best way to review these clubs is to show you how they work for me, so give your fingers a break and take a few minutes to watch this video!
     
    A brief summary of my ratings:
    Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As a mid to high handicapper, I went with the Radspeed XB driver head in order to gain maximum forgiveness. Unfortunately, even the Aldila Rogue Silver shaft couldn’t consistently get backspin lower than 2600 rpms, robbing me of potential distance (the Motore X F3 was generating spin levels north of 3700 rpms). If you’re like me and need the lowest of spin in your driver head, the Radspeed XB might not be for you - although based on @jlukes review you might want to try the standard Radspeed. 
     
    Fairway Woods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Going with the Radspeed 5-wood in place of a 3-hybrid was the best move I made in building my bag. Easy to launch and incredibly forgiving, and the upright design with the rail system is great for anyone who struggles with a more traditional fairway wood. 
     
    Irons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The good: all that extra distance, still with the ability to land softly and hold greens. 
    The bad: huge spin differences in spin between shots from the fairway and rough can lead to 20+ yard fliers. Also less forgiving off the bottom of the face than I was expecting. 
     
    Wedges ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I saved my old wedges at the start of the challenge, expecting them to easily defend their spot in the bag. Nope! Great on both full shots and touch shots. Cant say that I notice any impact from the notch out the back of the sole, but it looks nice 🤷🏻‍♂️
     
    Bag ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Comfy and easily releasable shoulder straps, the stand mechanism is excellent, and the notch out of the bottom is an excellent addition for pushcart compatibility. Well executed on the features it has. However, could use more storage options, and a 5-way bag will always be lacking: I have yet to find a club organizing system that is as effective as Ogio’s Woode system. 
     

     

     


  11. Like
    gavinski91 got a reaction from B_R_A_D_Y in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    The best way to review these clubs is to show you how they work for me, so give your fingers a break and take a few minutes to watch this video!
     
    A brief summary of my ratings:
    Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As a mid to high handicapper, I went with the Radspeed XB driver head in order to gain maximum forgiveness. Unfortunately, even the Aldila Rogue Silver shaft couldn’t consistently get backspin lower than 2600 rpms, robbing me of potential distance (the Motore X F3 was generating spin levels north of 3700 rpms). If you’re like me and need the lowest of spin in your driver head, the Radspeed XB might not be for you - although based on @jlukes review you might want to try the standard Radspeed. 
     
    Fairway Woods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Going with the Radspeed 5-wood in place of a 3-hybrid was the best move I made in building my bag. Easy to launch and incredibly forgiving, and the upright design with the rail system is great for anyone who struggles with a more traditional fairway wood. 
     
    Irons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The good: all that extra distance, still with the ability to land softly and hold greens. 
    The bad: huge spin differences in spin between shots from the fairway and rough can lead to 20+ yard fliers. Also less forgiving off the bottom of the face than I was expecting. 
     
    Wedges ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I saved my old wedges at the start of the challenge, expecting them to easily defend their spot in the bag. Nope! Great on both full shots and touch shots. Cant say that I notice any impact from the notch out the back of the sole, but it looks nice 🤷🏻‍♂️
     
    Bag ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Comfy and easily releasable shoulder straps, the stand mechanism is excellent, and the notch out of the bottom is an excellent addition for pushcart compatibility. Well executed on the features it has. However, could use more storage options, and a 5-way bag will always be lacking: I have yet to find a club organizing system that is as effective as Ogio’s Woode system. 
     

     

     


  12. Like
    gavinski91 got a reaction from revkev in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    The best way to review these clubs is to show you how they work for me, so give your fingers a break and take a few minutes to watch this video!
     
    A brief summary of my ratings:
    Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As a mid to high handicapper, I went with the Radspeed XB driver head in order to gain maximum forgiveness. Unfortunately, even the Aldila Rogue Silver shaft couldn’t consistently get backspin lower than 2600 rpms, robbing me of potential distance (the Motore X F3 was generating spin levels north of 3700 rpms). If you’re like me and need the lowest of spin in your driver head, the Radspeed XB might not be for you - although based on @jlukes review you might want to try the standard Radspeed. 
     
    Fairway Woods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Going with the Radspeed 5-wood in place of a 3-hybrid was the best move I made in building my bag. Easy to launch and incredibly forgiving, and the upright design with the rail system is great for anyone who struggles with a more traditional fairway wood. 
     
    Irons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The good: all that extra distance, still with the ability to land softly and hold greens. 
    The bad: huge spin differences in spin between shots from the fairway and rough can lead to 20+ yard fliers. Also less forgiving off the bottom of the face than I was expecting. 
     
    Wedges ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I saved my old wedges at the start of the challenge, expecting them to easily defend their spot in the bag. Nope! Great on both full shots and touch shots. Cant say that I notice any impact from the notch out the back of the sole, but it looks nice 🤷🏻‍♂️
     
    Bag ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Comfy and easily releasable shoulder straps, the stand mechanism is excellent, and the notch out of the bottom is an excellent addition for pushcart compatibility. Well executed on the features it has. However, could use more storage options, and a 5-way bag will always be lacking: I have yet to find a club organizing system that is as effective as Ogio’s Woode system. 
     

     

     


  13. Like
    gavinski91 got a reaction from vandyland in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    The best way to review these clubs is to show you how they work for me, so give your fingers a break and take a few minutes to watch this video!
     
    A brief summary of my ratings:
    Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As a mid to high handicapper, I went with the Radspeed XB driver head in order to gain maximum forgiveness. Unfortunately, even the Aldila Rogue Silver shaft couldn’t consistently get backspin lower than 2600 rpms, robbing me of potential distance (the Motore X F3 was generating spin levels north of 3700 rpms). If you’re like me and need the lowest of spin in your driver head, the Radspeed XB might not be for you - although based on @jlukes review you might want to try the standard Radspeed. 
     
    Fairway Woods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Going with the Radspeed 5-wood in place of a 3-hybrid was the best move I made in building my bag. Easy to launch and incredibly forgiving, and the upright design with the rail system is great for anyone who struggles with a more traditional fairway wood. 
     
    Irons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The good: all that extra distance, still with the ability to land softly and hold greens. 
    The bad: huge spin differences in spin between shots from the fairway and rough can lead to 20+ yard fliers. Also less forgiving off the bottom of the face than I was expecting. 
     
    Wedges ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I saved my old wedges at the start of the challenge, expecting them to easily defend their spot in the bag. Nope! Great on both full shots and touch shots. Cant say that I notice any impact from the notch out the back of the sole, but it looks nice 🤷🏻‍♂️
     
    Bag ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Comfy and easily releasable shoulder straps, the stand mechanism is excellent, and the notch out of the bottom is an excellent addition for pushcart compatibility. Well executed on the features it has. However, could use more storage options, and a 5-way bag will always be lacking: I have yet to find a club organizing system that is as effective as Ogio’s Woode system. 
     

     

     


  14. Like
    gavinski91 got a reaction from fixyurdivot in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    The best way to review these clubs is to show you how they work for me, so give your fingers a break and take a few minutes to watch this video!
     
    A brief summary of my ratings:
    Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As a mid to high handicapper, I went with the Radspeed XB driver head in order to gain maximum forgiveness. Unfortunately, even the Aldila Rogue Silver shaft couldn’t consistently get backspin lower than 2600 rpms, robbing me of potential distance (the Motore X F3 was generating spin levels north of 3700 rpms). If you’re like me and need the lowest of spin in your driver head, the Radspeed XB might not be for you - although based on @jlukes review you might want to try the standard Radspeed. 
     
    Fairway Woods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Going with the Radspeed 5-wood in place of a 3-hybrid was the best move I made in building my bag. Easy to launch and incredibly forgiving, and the upright design with the rail system is great for anyone who struggles with a more traditional fairway wood. 
     
    Irons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The good: all that extra distance, still with the ability to land softly and hold greens. 
    The bad: huge spin differences in spin between shots from the fairway and rough can lead to 20+ yard fliers. Also less forgiving off the bottom of the face than I was expecting. 
     
    Wedges ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I saved my old wedges at the start of the challenge, expecting them to easily defend their spot in the bag. Nope! Great on both full shots and touch shots. Cant say that I notice any impact from the notch out the back of the sole, but it looks nice 🤷🏻‍♂️
     
    Bag ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Comfy and easily releasable shoulder straps, the stand mechanism is excellent, and the notch out of the bottom is an excellent addition for pushcart compatibility. Well executed on the features it has. However, could use more storage options, and a 5-way bag will always be lacking: I have yet to find a club organizing system that is as effective as Ogio’s Woode system. 
     

     

     


  15. Like
    gavinski91 got a reaction from russtopherb in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    The best way to review these clubs is to show you how they work for me, so give your fingers a break and take a few minutes to watch this video!
     
    A brief summary of my ratings:
    Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As a mid to high handicapper, I went with the Radspeed XB driver head in order to gain maximum forgiveness. Unfortunately, even the Aldila Rogue Silver shaft couldn’t consistently get backspin lower than 2600 rpms, robbing me of potential distance (the Motore X F3 was generating spin levels north of 3700 rpms). If you’re like me and need the lowest of spin in your driver head, the Radspeed XB might not be for you - although based on @jlukes review you might want to try the standard Radspeed. 
     
    Fairway Woods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Going with the Radspeed 5-wood in place of a 3-hybrid was the best move I made in building my bag. Easy to launch and incredibly forgiving, and the upright design with the rail system is great for anyone who struggles with a more traditional fairway wood. 
     
    Irons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The good: all that extra distance, still with the ability to land softly and hold greens. 
    The bad: huge spin differences in spin between shots from the fairway and rough can lead to 20+ yard fliers. Also less forgiving off the bottom of the face than I was expecting. 
     
    Wedges ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I saved my old wedges at the start of the challenge, expecting them to easily defend their spot in the bag. Nope! Great on both full shots and touch shots. Cant say that I notice any impact from the notch out the back of the sole, but it looks nice 🤷🏻‍♂️
     
    Bag ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Comfy and easily releasable shoulder straps, the stand mechanism is excellent, and the notch out of the bottom is an excellent addition for pushcart compatibility. Well executed on the features it has. However, could use more storage options, and a 5-way bag will always be lacking: I have yet to find a club organizing system that is as effective as Ogio’s Woode system. 
     

     

     


  16. Like
    gavinski91 got a reaction from Getoffmylawn in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    The best way to review these clubs is to show you how they work for me, so give your fingers a break and take a few minutes to watch this video!
     
    A brief summary of my ratings:
    Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As a mid to high handicapper, I went with the Radspeed XB driver head in order to gain maximum forgiveness. Unfortunately, even the Aldila Rogue Silver shaft couldn’t consistently get backspin lower than 2600 rpms, robbing me of potential distance (the Motore X F3 was generating spin levels north of 3700 rpms). If you’re like me and need the lowest of spin in your driver head, the Radspeed XB might not be for you - although based on @jlukes review you might want to try the standard Radspeed. 
     
    Fairway Woods ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Going with the Radspeed 5-wood in place of a 3-hybrid was the best move I made in building my bag. Easy to launch and incredibly forgiving, and the upright design with the rail system is great for anyone who struggles with a more traditional fairway wood. 
     
    Irons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The good: all that extra distance, still with the ability to land softly and hold greens. 
    The bad: huge spin differences in spin between shots from the fairway and rough can lead to 20+ yard fliers. Also less forgiving off the bottom of the face than I was expecting. 
     
    Wedges ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I saved my old wedges at the start of the challenge, expecting them to easily defend their spot in the bag. Nope! Great on both full shots and touch shots. Cant say that I notice any impact from the notch out the back of the sole, but it looks nice 🤷🏻‍♂️
     
    Bag ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Comfy and easily releasable shoulder straps, the stand mechanism is excellent, and the notch out of the bottom is an excellent addition for pushcart compatibility. Well executed on the features it has. However, could use more storage options, and a 5-way bag will always be lacking: I have yet to find a club organizing system that is as effective as Ogio’s Woode system. 
     

     

     


  17. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to LeftyMatt89 in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    Full Bag Review Cobra Connect 5
     

     
    First of all, thank you very much to MGS and Cobra for this opportunity. I know everyone was looking forward to the competition however due to supply chain issues, we will do our best to give thorough reviews of how everything performed. I was the only ONE Length tester so I will give my honest feedback and potential suggestions that may have made the overall review slightly better for me. I provided a lot of this feedback throughout the chatter thread but will include a concise review here to have it all consolidated. 
     
    While I have participated with a lot of you in the pre-chatter thread, I wanted to give a little better introduction. I am a 31 and currently work in IT in Summerville, SC. There are so many awesome places to play golf our here in the Charleston area. I was a college baseball player and started playing golf about 7 years ago. Since moving to South Carolina three years ago, I have improved from an 18 handicap to single digits. For our pre-rounds in Arccos my handicap was a 9. The pre-rankings are a very telling sign of my game below:
     

     
    My strength roots in my baseball playing days with being able to swing golf clubs relatively fast. My driving stats ranged from a plus one round to an 8 handicap due to inconsistency (OB and in the junk) of my long game. I think my other strength I have worked really hard on is my putting. Specifically, the change came when I started to use a line for shorter putts to only focus on speed. My weakness is my short game and approach. Specifically 100-150, which for me is my PW down. For reference with my baseline my PW was 47 degrees. I tend to miss too many greens and struggle with missing in the right place at my home course to set myself up for easier up and downs. I was very hopeful having ONE Length would simplify my swing and help with consistently shooting lower scores. 
     

     
    Now on to why you are all reading through this. I played multiple rounds and my handicap with the Cobra clubs was 5.8 strokes worse overall from my baseline stats. The primary area was approach and short game accounting for -6.2 strokes gained. Luckily my driving had a slight increase of .4 and my putting was above average while I used the clubs. I think one of my biggest mistakes was trying to make the clubs more traditional by getting the irons bent weak. I read recently Bryson has stronger lofts to get the irons to launch in the right window and I should have trusted Cobra and kept the stock lofts on the irons. 
     

     
    The bag is very nice. I did not get the color I originally asked for but really enjoy the black and grey color way. The material of the bag is very nice and it is much lighter than my normal bag I use. I found the 5 way divider to be an improvement from my 14 way stand bag. I walk the majority of the time and having less dividers actually kept the bag chatter to a minimum. Also, with less dividers I found the club tangle to be at a minimum. As far as other features, the little area to stick a glove is convenient, especially in South Carolina’s humid summers. I got a few nice bag comments and the individuals were impressed with a “muted” version of a Cobra product. Usually they see bright colors and the black and grey color had the individuals impressed with the bag. The best features in my opinion are the leg mechanism and the inside clip I used for my range finder. Overall, I am very pleased with the bag and am impressed with the bag quality. 
    Bag – 100/100
     

    Next onto the wedges. Once the MGS wedge test came out, it made a lot of sense to see the inconsistencies I was seeing with partial and touch shots with the wedges. I play primarily in the morning and depending on how wet the ball was I would get some fliers (low spin, high launch) shots. I found the wedges around the green to spin more than the Zipcore wedges I currently game. It simplified my chipping and gave me confidence on sand shots. I struggled mightily with the wedges and I believe it had nothing to do with the wedges but more to do with the ONE Length concept. I found it hard to swing a 56 and 60 degree wedge like a six iron. I hit some very very fat shots with the wedges being entirely too steep. Where I found the most success was choking down (I know this defeats the purpose of ONE Length). Because I needed to grip down significantly to get solid contact, I struggled with the gapping from the set gap wedge to the 56 degree wedge. I truly think Cobra has a great wedge product this year with the Snakebite grooves and may get some normal ones to replace my current Zipcore. The score below is representative of how poorly I performed with the wedge overall in a ONE Length configuration. I believe if the wedges were normal length I would have scored them significantly higher because the wedges did have a lot of bite with chipping around the green. 
    Wedges - 65/100





    I know this may be a big disappointment to the readers here, but I had major struggles with the ONE Length set. I was so intrigued being a club junkie from the moment I read Cobra was offering ONE Length options. I thought, man it would be so simple to grove one swing and just worry about putting and driving the ball. I want to be as honest as possible and share I had struggles with the concept. Mainly the worst of my experience was with 9 iron down controlling distance and getting pure strikes. I know in my baseline, irons did not seem to be the strength of my game, but I think I am a decent ball striker with my 8-4 iron, and the struggles lie in getting consistency with my PW, 9 and wedges. The 5,6,7 irons were very easy to hit and went very straight. I believe the RadSpeed irons are very solid game improvement irons with visible tech that inspires confidence. When I struck the ball pure, it would go very high and straight. There is something to the Radspeed irons in wanting to go straight instead of a fade or a draw. It made the long irons predictable and was easier to aim at the middle of the green. I found the hybrid to be a rocket launcher and confidence inspiring with the shorter length. Throughout this test, I kept thinking of an interesting bag configuration would be ONE Length 4-7 iron and then variable length the remainder of the bag. There may be some gapping issues, but maybe the gap would be addressed through a combo set with forged scoring irons to allow for bending the lofts. This concept would help with consistency with the longer end of the bag and may be something I would consider if I have a tough day with my normal irons to do a combo ONE Length/Variable Length set. I am not going to be a ONE Length converter after this but have a few lefty buddies very eager to try the experiment. If they have different stories, I will for sure have them join and post of their experiences. 
    ONE Length Irons/Hybrid - 60/100
     

    The Radspeed Fairway woods were absolute rocket launchers. I know 100% the 7 wood is staying in the bag and the only reason the 3 wood is not staying is because it goes too far and does not have practical usage at my home course. I currently have a TSi2 16.5 fairway with an AD XC 8X shaft. I was a little worried the shafts in the fairway woods would be too soft and not heavy enough. I will say the Motore F1 70x shaft is a great shaft especially in a fairway. Cobra did an outstanding job making this a no upcharge shaft. I truly think Cobra differentiates themselves with premium no up charge shafts in all of their clubs. Cobra is definitely onto something with the rails on their fairway woods, the woods seem to glide through the turf on even less than good contact to still produce great ball flights. The rails gave me confidence I would be able to hit the ball pure into Par 5s. The 7 wood is a weapon for shorter par 4s and second shots into par 5s. The 7 wood flies very high and lands softly with predictable small draw pattern. If I were to have any nit about the fairway woods, it would be they seem to sit slightly closed to my eye, even in the most open setting but the results on the course offset any tricks my eyes were playing for me. Cobra did an outstanding job with the Radspeed fairway wood and rivals all previous fairways I have tried (original SIM, TS2, TSi2, G410).  The Radspeed fairway wood gets a perfect score in my book.
    Fairway Woods – 100/100
     

    My first impression of the driver is it looks huge by the ball. I have used a TSi3 and TSi2 this year and find the Radspeed XB looks huge compared to both of those drivers. What this translated to was an increase in confidence behind the ball. The problem I had with the driver is 100% not on the driver itself and more to do with the shaft and my swing. On well struck balls, the Cobra driver was sitting right next to my optimized TSi2 with a Ventus Black 6TX. The issue with the Cobra driver was the shaft was slightly too soft and I would turn it over too much resulting in over draws and hooks. I like to play a soft fade in my driver and found my ability to hit this shot shape very difficult and it was not the head but probably the shaft. If I were to give the Cobra a fair shake and change the tip to the Ventus Black I have in my Titleist driver, I have no doubts I would get similar performance. The driver sounds great and my normal playing partners kept saying it sounds way better than my normal driver. I found the driver head to be on par with forgiveness compared to a TSi2 and more forgiving than the TSi3. I hit some bombs with the Cobra, I think my longest was a 327 yard drive, it was off the fairway but I had a clean shot into the green. With winter coming and golfing in 37* weather, the Radspeed XB with the Motore shaft may actually be a better fit. I may not have the same swing speed all bundled up and maybe the Cobra driver will offer a better winter alternative instead of trying to over swing with stiff muscles in the winter. The Radspeed XB is a very forgiving driver that inspires confidence behind the ball. 
    Driver – 85/100
     
    Overall Score – 410/500
    Top Performer: Cobra knocked it out of the park with their woods this year. Both the fairway woods and driver are top notch. Cobra can be had at slightly less retail than some competitors and their woods will be on the top of my list for fits in the future. I am 100% putting the 7 wood in the bag and will potentially look to get a different shaft for the driver to see if it can knock out my current gamer. 
     
    Thank you MGS and Cobra for the opportunity to participate and provide honest feedback on my experience. 
     
  18. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to CWilson216 in Final Reviews: Duca del Cosma Shoes   
    Good Evening and Hello All!
    What an opportunity to test a shoe (Italian) trying to make their mark in the USA. I don't know about the other three testers, however I have a little anxiety over testing shoe. My name is Cory, I live in Ohio and I am first time tester and relatively new "Golfer".
    I have always been drawn to this game /sport. Since the being as young as I can remember and my grandpa taking me the local course named Hickory Flats. Now, before I continue with my grandfather and my golf life or lack there of, let me say this. Hickory Flats is not flat, as a matter of fact, its THEE destination for kids on snow days from school. Sledding those hills and dodging the many tree's, fun stuff! Not sure where the name hickory comes from, as I have never seen so many pines. I loved to drive the golf cart in watch grandpa hit balls here there, however we mainly scooped balls from the numerous ponds. The cart was a 3-wheel electric cart and he paid to have it stored there. Some memories I haven't thought of much until writing this. 
    I've only played in numerous golf outings over the years, mainly through my connections with the fire departments who put them on. Until this year, I had never actually recorded a score for 18 hole's. I decided late last year during the pandemic that I wanted to finally take golf serious and try to play and enjoy it every day that I could. I bought new clubs, started some lessons and I am playing almost twice a week. Currently, the Grint has my Index at 20.8. My father always told me if I could play once a week I had potential, so we will see! Speaking of him, we have been playing this summer about once a week, and a funny story about grandpa from above.......dad said he doesn't think he ever purchased a golf ball 😂🤷🏻‍♂️. My best score is an 84 and I am consistently in the 90's now. I have a driver swing speed of 95-100 currently and hoping it keeps climbing as I play more. My goal for a shoe is comfort first and foremost. If we can't be comfortable. we can't enjoy ourselves. Next would be performance, does it keep me planted. I would then rate based on weather and durability. 
    I am extremely excited from this and truly hope I can bring a fresh and insightful review to everyone. As I said, I am not sure if I am anxious, nervous or just scared to do this for the first time, but I promise to give it my all. Sorry for the late introduction, its been an extremely hectic this past week with work, work and more work, plus a golf trip Mon/Tue. If only these had arrived prior. The Shoe, Duca del Cosma Elpaso looks to be a traditional styled spike-less shoe and boasts the award of Golf Monthly's Editors choice. We shall see as I am building my shoe collection but just recently purchase a few high scoring shoes in this years MGS Buyers Guide.
    The shoe's arrived this evening and are still in the shipping box. I will tackle some first impressions tomorrow, maybe break them in a little Friday and Saturday and then put through an initial test walking 18 with @MattF on course I've never played. So the first "test" should be interesting. I plan to bring a back up.... but will I need them 😬  Attached are photo's from the manufacturers website and one of myself. Yes, I can at least dress/look the part, still working on the playing thing. 



     
    FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
    The shoes arrived within a few days via UPS within a few days of picking a size. Sizing consists of full size only, with no half sizes. In my experience this typically leads to a shoe sometimes not fitting ideally and always in between sizes (in which they always say go up). Based on Duca's sizing chart and all of my measurements, size 9 was where I ended up. I normally wear a 10 or 10.5 in other shoes FYI. 
    The packaging of the shoes was first class. Exactly what you would expect from a shoe in this price range. Nicely boxed, a carry bag, spare (brown) shoe laces and nice welcoming letter on the inside of the lid, thanking you for your purchase and welcoming you to the Duca Del Cosma Family. A very nice touch. The first look and touch of the shoe and you can tell its quality. They do have an odd shape / appearance to what I'm used to wearing, but I like a traditional looking golf shoe and these scream tradition and class. Spikes / sole are also a bit odd, but I believe they were designed this way on purpose.

     
    Initial try on and fit was very mixed. They fit extremely tight in the toe box even though I had plenty of room between big toe and the end of the shoe. Comparing to my current shoes, they were exactly the same size when matching them together. It is definitely a shape / material issue. I walked around the firehouse with them on for 30 min or so and had two short practice sessions with them on in my garage simulator before the first round. First round was a Sunday morning/afternoon at Kent States home course, Windmill Lakes in Ravenna with @MattF.  I was informed the course doesn't drain well and on this day I brought my push cart to walk and really test these shoes. It was cart path only so I was thankful for that decision. So just walking around the course etc....Stability is an A+ but comfort is definitely lacking. I brought my Adidas Tour 360's with me just incase I had problems and originally left them in the truck thinking I could change at the turn, then I remembered my cart bag has shoe pockets built in (Thanks Ping) and I brought the Adidas along and thank goodness I did. I felt blisters potentially starting and decided on the 5th hole after our tee shots that I should set down and take a look. Sure enough blisters, so I decided to change shoes right then. Immediately my Adidas felt cushioned clouds and I was surprised how comfortable they felt and the relief my feet begged for. On the 6th tee, I bandaged my blisters and played the rest of the round in the Adidas. 


     
     
    Fast forward to today for a brief update and a glimmer of hope. We discussed going a size up, but I didn't think it would matter. I felt at that point they would just be too big and the potential of blisters would increase with slipping of the heel. The testers also discussed privately the need for break in as these are handmade with quality leather. So that's what I did. I continued to wear in the garage for practice, wore to the range and even some around the yard. Yesterday I played 18 in them (albeit in a cart) but I made it the entire round and did start to enjoy them. So I will continue to test and report back soon, off to the course I go for another round with the Duca del Cosma ElPaso's

     
    Looks (7 out of 10 points) 
    Looks are very subjective and personable to each of us. I like the look of a traditional shoe which is why I chose the Elpaso. The shape of the shoe takes some getting used to. I am not sure if it's the brown piping or just the overall design and “boxiness” of them. The white leather is absolutely stunning and the piping is well done as well. The gold top eyelets look great and I wished they had used them for all of the eyelets instead of blue which I feel distracts from the shoe. Overall, the shoes have a different look when compared to other “name” brand shoes. This is afterall an Italian golf shoe which I feel might lend itself better to the Euro Tour and players across the pond when it comes to looks alone.
    Fit and Comfort (5 out of 10 points)
    This is a tough category because the shoes fit me very tight, but I am not sure there is room to go up a size. There is decent space between my big toe and the tip of the shoe, no less than other shoes I wear. Sizing was not as I expected, I ordered a 9 and I normally where 10-10.5. Duca has a sizing chart and I measured numerous times to make sure I was not wrong. Which brings me to the con of no half sizes. I am not sure it would make the difference as it would allow more room in the toe box, but could lead to additional slipping and my heels won’t appreciate that. I saw no option for different widths either. I am assuming this will hold true across all models. If I could change one thing it would be a slightly larger toe area. However, as you will read later, maybe I just need to suck it up and play my best 🙂
    Worth noting is the weight of the shoes compared to my only other pair of spikeless (Tour 360's). The Duca's are roughly 4.5oz heavier per each shoe, resulting in just over a half pound total difference. It doesn't seem like much, but with both pairs in each hand the DDC's are noticeably heavier.
    Comfort I feel is the most important topic of this category and the shoe lacks here. Not only do they fit tight, but it almost feels like I am walking on a board. There is very little cushioning to the shoe. This was immediately noticeable when I felt my blisters starting the first round and switching to my Tour360’s. Quite honestly I was surprised how much more comfortable they were and it felt like walking on a cloud. Definitely an eye opener and something I haven’t figured out if it's a good or bad thing...read on to performace!

    Basic Features (16 out of 20 points)
    This is a category I feel the shoe could slip in (no pun intended) however it doesn’t deserve to. Shoes do not need tons of features to stand apart from others. As golfers we really just need about four features for a shoe to be successful and this shoe checks all but one. I feel we need: Comfort (addressed above) Stability, traction and waterproofing. Everything else is important personally, but not essential. 
    The waterproofing is done in a few different ways. First is they use the “more resistant” grain side of the leather. I am not sure how this translates to the other side but I will take their word. The second is using a hydrophobic treatment prior to tanning the leather. This one makes much more sense to me. The last piece to the puzzle is the membrane of the shoe. I am going to directly list information from Duca del Cosma website to explain:
    A membrane is like a wall separating liquids and gas. Liquids can't enter, but vapor may escape, making our shoes waterproof while also being breathable.
    For the interior finishing of Duca del Cosma shoes, we use a microfiber material with a membrane and waterproof tape sealing. We focus on testing waterproofness and functionality to ensure your feet remain constantly dry, while still being able to “breathe”. The upper leather has been treated in regular intervals to ensure humidity runs off and does not soak in, so that it maintains its suppleness. We guarantee our shoes are waterproof under normal wearing circumstances and up to 1.75" on the shoe from the ground
    I didn’t stand in puddles for extended periods of time, but I did trounce in a few and noticed no water getting into the shoe. I also wore them for a few early morning rounds and water from the dew and sprinklers were no match. As far as drying, I never really noticed them feeling wet, so it must be quick. 
    There is no fancy lacing system on these shoes. Two pairs of laces were included and the shoes stayed taught each and every round. My feet always felt locked in and never felt overly uncomfortably warm from a breathability standpoint. I do tend to have hot / sweaty feet but I never noticed my feet feeling warmer than other shoes.
    Ah, the soles of the shoes. Very interesting looking indeed but they work. I was concerned with the lack of space between the nubs to allow areas to bite. By looking at the sole one would think the shoe might just be flat on the surface and not actually grip. I was wrong….the traction is superb and I never once felt like I would slip, spin out during my swing or lose traction on harder surfaces. The rubber of the sole grips well and doesn’t seem to be wearing much at all. 
    These shoes are designed to be worn to and from the course. However, I feel they are a little much for my taste off the course. There is no offense to Duca del Cosma or this man, but I have never seen this guy at any of the clubhouses I frequent 😉

     
    On-Course / LM Performance (28 out of 30 points)
    This category is where the shoes shine I believe. I am not sure they were designed this way or why they work the way they seem to, but I just felt confident swinging in these. I never lost traction, always felt connected to the ground and the stability was amazing.
    This shoe really seemed to promote footwork and from the moment I wore them in the garage on my hitting mat, I knew there was something different about them. At this point I can only suggest it is the open area in the midsection of the sole which allows your foot to roll or transition in your swing. I felt like the rolling onto my lead side was just a more natural feeling. I am no golf expert by any means, but I know when your weight shifts forward properly, it promotes MUCH better ball striking and the Elpaso’s seems to promote this shift by allowing your feet to roll. So this might be the proper time to mention I shot my best round wearing these shoes two weeks ago. I shot an 84 (42/42) and I should have broken 80 that day. I wish I would have tried my other shoes against these on the Mevo+ but I am not sure I am consistent enough to confidently post any findings from a test like that.

    Miscellaneous (8 out of 10 points)
    Shipping was fast and I feel no matter which coast you’re on you will have your shoes in less than five days. We had to have our size submitted on a Sunday and the shoes arrived that Wednesday...impressive. As mentioned in the first impressions, the packaging is fantastic and a carry bag is a nice touch. The note on the lid of the box makes one feel special and just lets you know they care and appreciate your business.
    I received no comments from playing buddies as I don’t think most know about this company or are willing to spend the money for a shoe like this. Maybe when I break 80 I will tell them it was the shoes HAHA.
    Play it or Trade it? (17 out of 20 points)
    The Elpaso’s are a play it for me at this point. While I am not in love with the look when wearing them, I can’t argue with how confident I feel when standing over the ball. Before breaking them in more and after the blisters I was a hard trade it, but I’ve made a flip. The asking price I believe is high for U.S customers. This model won’t appeal to everyone and the retail price tag is hefty ($230) . I believe the golfer who has a passion for being different, willing to try something new, looking for a shoe that just might promote better footwork and has an expendable golf budget will be happy with these. 
    If the shoes came in other sizes (½) and one or two additional colors, it would make it easier to recommend. I don’t need my shoes to match my clothes, but the Elpasos definitely look classier with certain styles and colors of clothing.
    Conclusion
    I am sure quite a few skipped down to this section but I hope some of you took the time to read my first review. This was a struggle (I’ve written this twice) but a very enjoyable process. The shoes are tight fitting but I feel they are designed this way. The break in period is long and I am not sure they are fully broken in after 10 or so rounds. My advice is to take your time and wear as much as possible before hitting the course. Comfort is definitely missing (might get better) but only more rounds will tell. I shot my best round wearing these. If the performance continues it will be hard to argue versus the looks and comfort. My feet stayed dry and were not overly warm.
    I own more comfortable shoes for sure, but the feel when swinging in the Duca del Cosma Elpaso’s just feels natural and right. I like to be different and these shoes scream “look at this guy” or “what are you wearing? ''. I also have a large mustache, wear loud colors and now some flashy shoes 😉

    Final Score: (81 out of 100 points)
  19. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to MsFitz in Final Reviews: Duca del Cosma Shoes   
    Hi all! I’m very excited to be one of the testers of these beautiful shoes. Before I get them, I want to introduce myself. My name is Linda. I am retired and living the golf dream life in sunny Northern California. 
        I have lived on the Lincoln Hills Orchard course in Lincoln for two years, so have been able to rekindle my golf game that was somewhat on hold the past 20+ years. It’s my happy place! I’m fortunate to be able to play 4-5 times a week or more on a variety of nice courses. I belong to our ladies club, am the current net club Champion. I also won the Helen Lengfield last October. I’m just a little competitive 😃
    I’m about a 23 index, shooting from a low of 85 up into the low 100’s. But I’m taking lessons and hoping to get into the 80’s more often in the near future. I’ve been working on course management and my short game. 
        I currently have over a dozen pairs of shoes, mostly FootJoys, but some Skechers (shoes and sandals) and one pair of Sandbaggers. I saw the Duca Del Cosma’s on Facebook and love the style. I look for comfort (#1), secure (for scrambling up & down hills and out of sand traps) and style - so really looking forward to getting these. 
    I’ll let you know more when I get them! 
    And that’s me on the left, our group just won the Captain’s cup 🤑

    Intro con’t
    One thing I didn’t mention in my initial intro is that our courses are really not walkable, nor as we allowed to walk most of the tournaments I play in, so I have a cart and jump in and out (I hate slow play). My #1 priority is stability…both while swinging, and while jumping in and out of the cart. And of course, great looks! And these have them in spades. This pair is not flashy, though DDC has plenty of pairs that are, and I recently purchased the beautiful Mint as I liked these so much.
    The shoes come with interchangeable laces, and I use the brown to offset the white. It’s very classy in my opinion.They’re also extremely water resistant, which I do play when it’s wet.
     
    First Impressions
    When I first received the box, I was impressed with the strength. Might sound silly but I’ve gotten some non-DDC where the boxes have been squished - not good. But these were packaged like the first class shoes they are:

    Grading
    Looks
    Don’t they look great?! I’ve had so many compliments from both friends and people I meet on the course. They are classic, elegant, and there’s just something about them. They just look beautifully made - and with the 30+ I’ve played them, they are very well made. 10 points

    Fit and Comfort (## out of 10 points)
    I was a little concerned about the sizes knowing Italian shoes tend to run small. But after measuring my foot the way the website specifies, the 7.5 was just about perfect.
    The Isabel (and the Mint I just bought) are for wider feet. The leather is a little stiff on the Isabel but not so much I felt it uncomfortable. I did have a blister on my heel after the first round and some minor pain on my big toe callus after playing two days in a row. Heavier socks did the trick. These aren’t Skechers in terms of feeling like there’s a lot of foam around your foot but for me they are just fine, and offer much more stability on the course.
    8 points

     
    Basic Features (## out of 20 points)
    The model I tried is not waterproof, but extremely water resistant. I never felt my feet were wet at any time, and I have taken them into areas of standing water. It’s one reason I wear them for all my tournaments.
    Performance has been excellent. I have never felt like I was going to slip - and at my age, you don’t want to fall!
    The soft spikes performed just fine, and I’ve had no unusual wear or tear.  20 points
     

    They're wet, but my feet are dry!
    On-Course / LM Performance (## out of 30 points)
    For what it’s worth, my index has gone down three points! I’ve had three rounds in the mid-80’s (I had never broken 90 until earlier this year). I’ve won several tournaments wearing them. I do believe they’ve helped, and I didn’t expect that. Have to give them 30 points for that.
    Don't mine look nice?

     
    Miscellaneous (## out of 10 points)
    After I’d played in these for a couple of weeks, I decided to order another pair. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to the sizing, and they were too narrow. I asked to send them back - about killed me as I loved the style. Customer service was excellent. I received a UPS slip and full instructions on how to send back. My money was refunded as soon as they received the shoes. Thumbs up on Customer Service! 10 points

    Play it or Trade it? (## out of 20 points)
    At the higher price point, I probably wouldn’t buy many pairs. HOWEVER, I will buy again and probably always have a pair as I’ve had so much success with them…and they have a GREAT sale right now.  I jumped at getting another beautiful pair for half price. These are not for everyone. But they are for people who appreciate style and quality, and are willing to pay a slightly higher price.
    My new pair!

    Points 18

    Conclusion
    Interestingly, my index has gone DOWN three points to 19.8 since I’ve been playing with these shoes. No, it’s not all the shoes, but I do appreciate both the stability and style, and face it, when you like what you’re wearing, you feel better too!
    Final Score: (## out of 100 points)
    Winner, winner! Me winning low net in my flight at the WGANC Eclectic at PeachTree. Just one of several!

     
    96 points from this senior woman golfer. Thanks so much for letting me test drive these great shoes!
     
     
     
     
     
     

  20. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to Dragon3 in Final Reviews: Duca del Cosma Shoes   
    Duca Del Cosma Shoe - Vinci - Official MGS Forum Review by @Dragon3
    Intro: 
    Hi All!  I'm thrilled to be able to lend my expertise and passion for the game.  I'm a golfer who enjoys playing but also watching and analyzing the sport, products, business, history, etc.  It's all encompassing.  I'm a wealth of knowledge and experience and bring a unique perspective and spin on things.  I'm good at reading the greens.   And I have made contributions through other similar venues. 
    While I always had an interest, in my twenties, I knew it would be an investment.  I actually got my start when I stepped in for my brother for a charitable golf tournament. I was told I was better than him and the rest is history.  The biggest complement I ever received was that I had "natural ability" from Brandt Snedeker.  While I remain competitive, I do wish that I could afford to get to the course more often.  But the time and quality is always well spent.  And if I can't get in a round of -9 or -18, preferably, you'll see me practicing at the driving range, putting and chipping.  I've never had a professional handicap even though I have been golfing for many years.  I also like to combine golf in my travels, to golf a new course.  That has been hampered so to speak.   My average score is 108-111 and fluctuates. Perfecting the shot was always more important to me than the score.  I'm not sure about my swing tempo.  Hopefully it's 3:1.  My driver swing speed has been clocked between 90-103. My typical ball flight is low to mid.  My misses are the slice and inconsistent pitching.  Putting is my strength.  My drives can be a strength and weakness.  My chipping has gotten better.
    You can say I'm fashion forward and have an eye for both ladies and men fashions. So this is a nice fit for me.  As for shoes, I still have my Puma IGNITE given to me at the launch I attended.  I also have Callaway's Solaire that I purchased based on the features. I have yet to break these in.  Since, I walk the course comfort and durability are at the top of my priority list . I actually don't have any preconceived expectations.  Since there are limited options for ladies, ranging from clubs, bags, apparel, accessories, etc. I make my contributions and inquiries known when asked upon and whenever  the opportunity affords itself.  While it is getting better, there's always more that can be done in this space.  And when you're petite, there are additional challenges and limited options.
    Hope you gain some insight.
     




    First Impressions
    It’s all in the presentation. And if first impressions are anything, it’s hands down quality at its finest. I took a short video to capture the unveiling.  Golf meets high end fashion, so to speak. Belissima!  Loved the color and design.  The roundness of the front took a slight adjustment in aesthetics and eventually grew on me. It is modern and fashionable, while adhering to the traditional. You don’t have to compromise on comfort, style nor grip.   From my experience with Italian apparel and shoes they run a bit smaller, which is generally great for me. And performed a comparison with my Puma IGNITE and you could witness that the Vinci was noticeably smaller.  Since it’s a nappa leather and neoprene, it might feel tight within the toe area or squished based upon the socks worn and/or season of the year.  And if you feel a slight looseness in the heel, I generally would use Compeed or Band-Aid blister care for added comfort.  While it was not required this time, as I had time to break in prior to hitting the course to avoid any pain or discomfort.  Your feet will thank you too!  While it may have been recommended to size up, a whole size would probably have been too big.  This shoe was definitely suited for me “the fashion-conscious golfer.”  Always looking for versatility while not compromising on innovation nor aesthetics. “The Airplay VII is a new outsole designed by Duca del Cosma for stability to make the perfect swing while enjoying the spotlight on and off the course.   Its innovative design combines form and function, perfect both on and off the course. Lightweight, flexible, super comfortable and fun to wear in in a two-tone design with oversized nubs.”
    MORE TO COME.

    FullSizeRender.mov Grading   Looks (10/10) Based on general shape, colors/design, overall look, and appearance in relation to others, there’s nothing I would change. Traditional but yet modern.  The roundness of the toe area eventually grew on me. Fit and Comfort (9/10)
    I slipped on with a Sketchers ped sock initially and also without and indeed they still were quite comfortable.  It was slightly more snug in the toe area based on the sizing and what I am accustomed, which was to be expected, while the other areas and heel felt completely secure with the laces all laced up.  The insole provided the right amount of support. It felt airy and lightweight, flexible and super comfortable. 
    Duca del Cosma shoes come in whole and 1/2 sizes based on style availability and seemed more options for larger sizes or it could just be that the smaller sizes go fast.  The Vinci was described as a regular fit.  Other styles included wide width, etc.  So would recommend that you check the details if considering a purchase, as the fit will determine sizing appropriateness. While form fitting, It conformed to my foot perfectly and added overall comfort through the round.   Basic Features (19/20)
    I tested the waterproofing aspect in the yard. I walked in puddles of water. The shoes kept my feet dry.  It proved waterproof and breathable throughout. Nothing out of the norm that I experienced. I didn’t have the heart to truly get them all muddy because they are white after all.
    ARNEFLEX® insole features a waterproof sock system was totally effective at keeping my feet dry during the heat on a daily basis. I don't experience as much feet moisture, so I can't really attest to.  Quite breathable. Antibacterial shock absorption.
    Velvet and basic white lacing were provided for the Vinci. I was slightly disappointed, as the description stated matching animal print laces and these were basic white laces and not as luxurious.  A minor sticking point. The lacing offered the additional comfort as intended and no slippage.
    While they felt slightly heavier than my other shoes no discomfort. I felt great traction. Traction was great on course, cart paths, steps, hills and bunker shots. I didn’t notice any wear on traction.  A spikeless shoe tech offered was perfect, as I've only experienced spikeless. Definitely could be worn off course which is a plus.   On-Course/LM Performance (29/30)
    The Vinci offered the appropriate stability.  I felt great traction.     “The Airplay VII is a new outsole designed by Duca del Cosma for stability to make the perfect swing..." and it really delivered during actual swing motions. In bunker sand or thick grass, traction was consistently solid. A slightly elevated heel seem to complement the swing motion.  Miscellaneous (10/10)
    Packaging and presentation are hands down exceptional! I took a video to capture the unveiling. Shipment was rather quick and that is always a plus. FullSizeRender.mov Play it or Trade it? (20/20)
    The shoes are on the higher end of the price points but remember these are fine Italian leather golf shoes. A premium brand in packaging.  Style and comfort offered and delivered.  Check them out even if a bit curious and you just might find something that clicks.   Conclusion
    A worthwhile investment yes! As a lover of shoes in general, there’s something for everyone.  And definitely some other styles that I would love to add to my collection if sky's the limit. Definitely not your average golf shoe that sets them apart. Haute Couture meets the golfing establishment.  It's perfect and offers versatility for both on and off the course. Fun and Fancy Free.   Final Score (97/100)  
  21. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to null in Full Bag Reviews: Cobra Connect 5   
    jlukes' 2021 Cobra Full Bag Review

    Well 2021 sure has been a year we will all remember, and one of the reasons I will remember it is because I had the honor to review Cobra’s offerings throughout the bag.  While the challenge portion of the Cobra Connect Challenge did not come to fruition, it didn’t prevent me from diving into the clubs I received in order to provide a proper review of everything for the MyGolfSpy Forum Community.
    A little bit about me for those who I haven’t interacted with before or are new readers to the MGS  Forum.  My name is Joe, I am 37 and from central New Jersey.  As of writing this review I am a 4.8 handicap.  I grew up playing multiple sports, but ended up playing Varsity Golf in high school.  Now that I am in my mid (err, late) 30s I am married with a job, two kids and a busy life.  Thankfully my wife knows how important golf is to me and I still get to the range once a week and play at least every other week. The strength of my game is putting, followed by my driving.  My wedge game and approach shots have greatly improved since last year.
    I was completely fitted for my gamer bag by True Spec NYC.  I went through this fitting in June 2019 and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my golfing career.  
    My bag going into the Cobra review:
    Driver - Ping G410 LST 9* w/ VA Nemesys 65X
    Arccos Smart Distance: 294 yards
    This setup has been so steady for me.  I originally was a forum tester for the G410 Plus Driver and it was phenomenal.  The following year I did some speed training and gained about 5mph of clubhead speed and with that I needed to move into a lower spinning head.  The LST head has been incredible.  The spin isn’t too low and it provides consistency across the head which really helps keep the spin in a manageable range. 
    Fairway Wood - Ping G425 LST 14.5* w/ GD AD DI 75X
    Arccos Smart Distance: 270 yards
    I had been gaming my favorite fairway wood of all time, the G410 LST 3 Wood until earlier this summer when I unfortunately noticed that the face was beginning to cave in.  Ping customer support was fantastic and I had a replacement within 2 weeks in a G425 LST head.  Thankfully there does not appear to be much performance difference between the 410 and 425 heads.  I am comfortable playing it off tight fairways as well as off the tee.  
    Hybrid - Titleist 818H2 20* w/ GD AD DI 85X
    Arccos Smart Distance: 236 yards
    The oldest club in my bag and for good reason.  It is the first hybrid I feel comfortable hitting just about any shot with.  Low cut, high cut, bomb draw, high and straight.  You name it and I feel I can execute with this club.
    4 Iron - Mizuno MP20 HMB w/ GD Tour AD 95X
    Arccos Smart Distance: 217 yards
    I moved to a slightly more distance oriented 4 iron to help give me a better gap between my hybrid and 5 iron.  The Mizuno HMB is a beautiful iron that has manageable offset, a nice topline and not an overly large sole.  I feel comfortable hitting this club off the deck and off the tee and it fills the exact gap that I need.
    5-PW - Mizuno JPX Tour 919 w/ Oban CT 115X(-)
    Arccos Smart Distances: 5(202y), 6(188y), 7(175y), 8(164y), 9(152y) PW(138y)
    Just a fantastic iron for me.  The thin sole is key for my shallow angle of attack and the shaft gives me confidence on every shot because it just blends perfectly with my swing.
    Wedges - Vokey SM7 50F, 54S, 60D w/ Modus 125 Wedge
    Arccos Smart Distances: 50(123y), 54 (107y), 60 (77y)
    As you can see by the yardages, by 60* is not really used for full shots. It is my swiss army knife around the greens from the fairway, rough and bunkers when I need a bit more carry then runout.  Otherwise, I use the 54 around the greens for most of my pitches and chips.  My 50 is used for full shots and for chips/pitches where I want to play more roll out.  The D grind on my 60 is maybe my favorite wedge grind of all time.  It is high bounce, but the shaping of the grind makes it extremely versatile from just about any lie. 
    Putter: Evnroll 1.2V
    A slight change from my ER2.  The 1.2 was made with Evnroll’s CustomER program and has the long plumbers neck, no site line, and a lighter headweight.  Just absolutely everything I’ve wanted in a putter.
     
    Now that you know a little about me and my golf game, let’s get to the review of the Cobra clubs!

     
     
    Driver - Cobra Radspeed 9* w/ PX HZRDUS Blue 60 6.5
    Arccos Smart Distance: 287y


    During my fitting, the fitting cart did not have an XB 9* head.  Having played with the traditional Radspeed for 3 months, I can say that I would at least want to hit the XB 9* head to see if it could provide a bit more spin than the standard Radspeed.  And that is exactly my only issue I had with the Radspeed driver - it is very low spin.  When struck on the screws, the Radspeed can go toe to toe with just about any driver out there.  However, it does so through a combination of ball speed and low spin.  Very low spin.  I spin my G410 LST around 2200-2400 RPM and I struggled to keep the Radspeed over 2000.  On the course, this led to really big drives, but it also led to more low spin hooks than I have hit in the last two years. If you catch the RadSpeed high on the face, and even more so high and off the toe, the spin struggles to stay above 1700 RPMs.  This would be a fantastic driver for someone that is looking to knock spin off their driver, but is not good for someone looking for a bit more stability.  I did try the standard Radspeed and  XB 10.5* during my fitting, but unfortunately Cobra decided to make the 10.5* heads of both drivers more upright than the 9* head.  A puzzling decision for me, because it really alienates the better player who wants a bit more spin, but doesn’t want a head that looks more closed or is more draw biased.  Again, it comes down to fitting.  The Radspeed driver is a great head, but it is definitely on the low end of the spin spectrum and thus should be left for those who need help dropping spin. 
     
    3 Wood - Cobra Radspeed 14.5 w/ PX HZRDUS Blue 70 6.5
    Arccos Smart Distance: 260y

    I want to note right away that my 3W came with two paint defects on the crown.  I could see them through the plastic and unfortunately they aren’t something that I could remove.  They aren’t scratches, but imperfections in the actual paint job.  If I was a paying customer, I would have contacted Cobra and requested a replacement head.  Being that the clubs were given to me as part of a review and the imperfections did not impact performance I did not escalate these to Cobra.

    As for the performance of the club, this was the surprise of the review for me.  I was apprehensive that anything could be as good and as comfortable as my G425 LST 3W.  I finished the review pondering if the Cobra Radspeed 3W had earned a spot in the bag going forward.  Ultimately, the Ping won out for me, but man the Cobra 3W is fantastic.  The head is a wonderful shape and with the loft turned down to 13.5* it sits a tad open and looks absolutely perfect at address.  The head is not overly big, but it’s definitely a little more compact than some of the other standard fairway woods on the market.  The sound and feel is muted and, while feel and sound is subjective, I think it is one of the best sound fairway woods on the market.  I had no problem launching the 3W off the fairway or off the tee.  The only reason I didn't put the Radspeed 3W in the bag long term is that it simply did not give me the distance I needed off the tee.  I believe the main reason for this is that it spun a little higher than my Ping when hit higher on the face.  So when teed up, the Ping becomes a straight bomber, while the Cobra is still admirable but just doesn’t have that extra gear. 
    My brother in law (former assistant pro and low single digit golfer now), has been in search of a 3W he feels comfortable with for the last 5 years.  He is a low-spin player and struggles finding a 3W that can give him the launch and spin that he needs.  He has now hit the 3W at the range with me a few times and he played his first round with it in his bag on Saturday.  During that round I watched him hit a 3W like I’ve never seen him do before.  He was actually elevating the ball off the deck and off the tee and he was extremely pleased with the flight.  I will update the review discussion thread with his long term thoughts going forward.      
    7 Wood - Cobra Radspeed 21* w/ PX HZRDUS Blue 70 6.5
    Arccos Smart Distance: 225y



    I went with the 7 wood over a hybrid because the Radspeed hybrid was too draw biased for me (and the King Tec Hybrid was not available at the time of our orders being placed).  Unfortunately, the 7 Wood head was not part of the standard Cobra fitting cart, so I had to go into this a little blind.  It is also worth noting that I did request an 80g shaft for the 7 Wood, but that was not available so I had to go with a lighter than preferred shaft.  My initial impression of the 7 Wood? WHOA! That’s a lot of loft.  Looking down at it in the address position there is a lot of loft staring back.  It’s pretty crazy to see because it has the same loft as my Tileist hybrid, but for some reason (perhaps because it is a fairway wood head), the loft just looks so much more drastic.  From a performance standpoint, the 7 Wood launches HIGH.  Very high. It has a much different launch window than a hybrid of the same loft (understandably so as the 7 Wood has a center of gravity that is lower and more rearward than a hybrid).  This high ball flight made it a very desirable ball flight when attacking greens as the ball came down on a steep descent angle.  
    The 7 Wood was easy to hit off the fairway and the tee, though I did not find it as versatile as a hybrid when hitting out of some shaggier lies and fairway bunkers. I did struggle with manipulating ball flight with the 7 Wood.  I did not have the ease of hitting different flight windows that I have with my hybrid.  Same goes for shaping the ball left to right. Overall, I think the 7 Wood is a great option for someone who needs a gap filler between their 3 wood and irons, but is not comfortable hitting hybrids.  I would also recommend this club to anyone who struggles maximizing carry with their fairway woods.
    4 Iron - Cobra King Utility 22* w/ Tensei White Pro 100TX HY
    Arccos Smart Distance: 219y





    An absolutely bomber off the tee.  Really great flight and distance was fantastic.  If someone is looking for a driver iron, the King Utility should be at the top of your list.  The loft adjustments are a nice touch.  I am unaware of any other driving/utility iron on the market that offers adjustability.  Where I did struggle with this club was off the fairway.  As I mentioned previously, I have a fairly shallow angle of attack with the irons.  The wider sole of the King Utility really isn’t a good fit for someone with a shallow angle of attack.  If you have a steep attack angle and are looking for something to give you a bit more pop in the long irons, then the King Utility would be a fantastic option to try.  
    5-PW - Cobra King Tour MIM w/ DG AMT Tour White X100
    Arccos Smart Distances: 5(198y), 6(185y), 7(171y), 8(162y), 9(148y), P(136y)





    I am not going to rehash what most of you already know - due to supply issues I was sent my 5th choice in iron shafts, which was basically the only iron shaft available and not one that I would ever be fit into.  That being said, this is a review of the irons and not a review of the fit.  I really enjoyed the King Tour MIM iron heads.  Their styling was very clean and classic.  The sole is a very middle-of-the-road width which makes it a good fit for just about everybody.  While the sole was thicker than my fitted irons, I had no issues with turf interaction with my shallow angle of attack.  I found the irons very forgiving - especially low on the fact.  My miss with these tended to be very low on the face and many times I looked up and was pleasantly surprised to see the ball still in a high flight window and going further than the strike warranted.  Kudos to Cobra for packing some forgiveness into such an attractive looking iron.  
    One of the big marketing points of the Tour MIM irons is the Metal Injection Molding process and the feel it creates.  While the iron is not forged, Cobra claims that the MIM process creates a feel similar or better to a forget iron.  My opinion?  It feels great, but it doesn’t feel like my Mizunos.  The MIMs, when struck well, produce a satisfying sound.  However, there is still a hint of a higher pitched click within the strike that differentiates itself from the JPX Tours and other forged irons (Srixons) that I have played.
    I have given the King Tour MIM irons to my brother in law to get his thoughts as well.  He is a former assistant pro, low single digit handicap, and currently plays Ping iBlade irons.  I will be updating the review discussion thread as he tryings out the irons for the remainder of our golf season.   
    Wedges - Cobra King MIM 50V, 54V, 60WL w/ DG S200
    Arccos Smart Distances: 50(120y), 54(103y), 60(72y)








    So the first thing everyone will notice in the pictures is that my wedges have a raw look.  This was done by soaking them in white vinegar and then scrubbing them with a scotch brite pad.  This process is used to remove the black finish on just about any black wedge and it worked just as well with the Cobras.
    As for the wedges themselves, they were fantastic.  I found spin to be acceptable from the different conditions and lies, and the soles that I chose did exactly what Cobra advertised.  I was able to hit nippy spinners from the fairway, high shots out of the rough that landed softly out of the rough, and was able to get out of a variety of bunker conditions.  I really don’t have anything negative to say about these wedges.  Like any wedge, it is important to pick a loft setup that fills your gaps and a grind/bounce setup that gives you versatility to hit a variety of approach shots from around the green.
     
    I think the Cobra wedges are the most underrated wedges in golf.  They have the finish, bounce, grind and loft combinations of any of the more popular wedge brands and they do so with a slightly lower price.  If you are in the market for new wedges, you should definitely give the Cobra King MIM wedges a look.
    Cobra Ultralight Stand Bag


    \\
    As part of the review, we were sent the stand bags as well.  What I look for in a stand bag is something that works well on a push cart and that is relatively comfortable to carry.  I also have grown accustomed to certain features that my future bags must have.  Unfortunately, while the Cobra bag is comfortable and performs well on a push cart and motorized cart, it lacks a lot of features that other bags have.  The main feature that the bag doesn’t have is a dedicated putter slot.  I get that it comes down to weight savings, but I would sacrifice another couple of ounces to have a dedicated putter slot over having to put my putter in a section with other clubs.  The Cobra Ultralight bag also lacks a bit on the storage end.  There are fewer pockets than I am used to, and does not have a dedicated rangefinder pouch/pocket. The stand mechanism is built into the base of the bag, which all stand bags should have moving forward (sun mountain and other brands still use a foot mechanism to activate the stand and this is a pain to use on a push cart).  My conclusion is that unless you want a Cobra bag, there are other bags in the market at this price point that provide greater utility.    
     
    Overall, I would say the entire current Cobra product line from top to bottom is extremely solid.  Cobra often gets overlooked when compared to the other big OEMs in the industry, but I think consumers are doing themselves a disservice to not include Cobra in the list of options they try at a demo day or a fitting.    

     
  22. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to DStar in Final Reviews: PuttOUT Golf Training System   
    PuttOUT - Official MSG Forum Review by Steve Davies (DStar) 
     
    2nd August 2021
     
    Into
    I’ve been testing the PuttOUT large mat, pressure putt & alignment stick set for nearly a month. After a few evenings of initial testing to see what worked for me I came up with six tests/practice routines that I would use to complete the review.
    These included using the gates & alignment sticks and the dreaded ‘Perfect Putt’.
    The results can be found here: PuttOUT Test Results
    Each session took around an hour to do and my aim was three sessions a week. 
    I have also recorded my progress when playing on the course but these numbers only give an indication of my number of putts per hole/round as I don’t have any data on putt distances but we have some really tough greens and, on some, a 2-putt is a welcome number. 

     
    Quality of components - 9
    All of the products on test were very nicely packaged, clear/crisp graphics with instructions on use printed on each item. The individual items all felt well made and, as a set, blended really nicely together. 

    On opening the packaging the parts felt really nice. As an engineer by trade I am particularly interested in quality of fit and finish and, overall, this was excellent. The only issue in this area was with the alignment plane - when the sticks were inserted I found that they did not line up perfectly with the holes in the gates, it would fit but needed a little persuasion. 

    I had no issues with any items breaking or becoming unusable and I had my mat set up in our conservatory which gets very hot and I experienced no issues with the mat losing shape.
    I really liked the bag for the alignment stick set as all of the components fitted well with a pocket on either side for a gate/feet set - very nicely thought out! 

     
     
    Ease of Use - 9
    I’m a typical man! New stuff, take it out of the box and try to put it together..
    The pressure putt is simple to use, folds out nicely and I liked the aluminium button for the perfect putt target. 

    The gates & feet go together and it’s obvious how these fit.
    The alignment set took a little time to work out but then I read the instructions - easy peasy! 
    The mat rolled out flat 1st time and stayed flat throughout the test. I did hoover it before use, every time. 
     
    Basic Characteristics - 18
     
    I found that as soon as the PuttOUT kit arrived I couldn't wait to try it. Having never used any training aids before I was keen to get it set up ASAP.
    I still really enjoy the challenge of improving my putting and I am seeing some really good improvements in my game as a result of using the PuttOUT set regularly which means I will continue to use this equipment. 
    The tests I devised are working for me and, going forward, I will look to add in different tests to keep the practice interesting. I can see that doing the same thing over and over may lead to less use but I think there are enough options to keep me coming back.
    I found that the mat is quite good for short chip shot practice too although I would use an old mat or piece of astroturf to chip off as I'm not sure how much use the mat could take.
     

    20210801_104259_001.mp4 I may add in a mirror as an alternative aid and will take the gates & pressure putt to the course to use on the practice greens to help improve further.
    After a few hours of use I could really feel and see how my stroke and distance control was improving - this was backed up by my results on the course too. 
    It started to become obvious which putts were good and which were bad. The repetition has really made a difference to my putting stroke. 
    On the whole I found the kit easy to use and quite intuitive in how it can help improve my game. 
    I did find that the alignment plane didn’t really work for me but others may find that it does. I can appreciate the idea but found a better way, for me, to use the gates/sticks to help with my alignment. 
     
    On Course Performance - 30
     
    I really do think that doing this test/review has made a huge difference to my confidence with the putter. 
    I now stand over the ball without the dread of not really knowing what I’m doing. I can line up the putt, make a good stroke and have faith that I’m doing it right. 
    I may not get the read right but the stroke is feeling so much better. 
    The numbers in my data don’t really show the full story as it’s hard to achieve a perfect putt. As long as I was scoring 5 or more on each test I was happy as that meant I had, effectively, holed the putt I was aiming for - a perfect putt was a bonus. 
    All of the kit on test performed flawlessly and I think that PuttOUT have produced a well thought out system that works well together (or on their own too).
    One thing I would change would be to have two different sized gates as this could further increase the difficulty to help improve accuracy. 
    Personally, I wouldn’t buy the alignment plane. I would be happy with a pair of gates and sticks as, for me, these were the best aids in that particular set. 
    Did it help improve my scores? Even if the figures don’t show it I would say, without doubt, that this has improved my scores. Putting is a hard thing to quantify as it could be 2 putts from 8 feet or 2 putts from 30. We have large, undulating greens and I’m finding I am much less likely to 3-putt than I was before. I’m lagging long putts to a couple of feet for easy tap-ins much more regularly and I feel confident that I can do that on most putts. 
     
    Miscellaneous - 8
     
    I thought the whole package was a very well thought out set. All of the items can be used together or separately which gives a lot of scope for finding the best way to use them for different people. 
    Everything came well packaged and presented and feels high quality.
     
    Keep it or trade it - 18
     
    On the whole I believe the improvements in my putting make this a sound buy. I will definitely be keeping it as part of my ongoing practice as I try to improve my game. 
    The items represent good value for money, maybe a little highly priced if I was buying but it is all very good quality kit. The mat, in particular, seems very durable and consistent as a putting mat should be.
    I think the gates and sticks go well together but would add the plane as an option as it didn’t work for me. 
    I would also have two different sized gates rather than both the same size as that would give some variation on difficulty and further help with accuracy practice. 
    I would also change the printing on the mat slightly. As most people would probably use known distances I would change the small lines (either side of the 1’ markers) to have rings that are the same size as the gate feet. This would make it easier to line up the gates with the central line.

    Who would benefit from this set? Me for a start! I think that any golfer looking to improve their putting would find these products very useful. 
     
    Conclusion
     
    Overall this has been a great test. I’ve found the products easy and fun to use and will continue to use them. They can be tucked away fairly easily and the reinforced mat bag is a great touch as is the alignment stick set with pockets to keep all the bits safe.  
    The perfect putt is so hard to get but so satisfying when you do and it’s showing it’s worth on the course which is where it matters.
    Thanks to MGS for choosing me for this test/review and if you need any information do get in touch. 
     
    Final Score - 92 
     
    Well done PuttOUT on a great product...
     

  23. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to artful_golfer in Final Reviews: PuttOUT Golf Training System   
    Hello fellow spies. Here we go ... starting my PuttOUT testing and review.
    First, a big thank you to MyGolfSpy and PuttOUT for this opportunity! I will give it my best.
    Some background: I began my golf journey 7 years ago and my current handicap is 19. Putting is both my favorite and the best part of my golf game. From the beginning putting seemed easy. Although I’m right hand dominant, I began putting left handed because it felt more natural. I do some things left handed and some right and but easily switch back and forth for many things without even thinking about it. After 3.5 years lining up as a lefty, I allowed myself to be talked into a right handed Edel putter fitting. It works but it also feels like more work. Until last year, I typically 2-putted with a few 1-putts and 3-putts each round.
    A couple years ago I started working on putting in earnest. Last year @downlowkey gave me a PuttOUT Pressure Trainer that I’ve used regularly and experienced success with in lowering my number of putts.

    (On the left is my original PuttOUT Trainer cup; on the right is the newer version included in out testing kit.)
    A few months ago @downlowkey also gave me the Bettinardi SS38 Armlock putter that he reviewed for MGS. With the armlock, PuttOUT and a lot of practice I've managed to further lower my average putts per round to ~31. But in the past few weeks I was delighted to play two rounds with 29 putts and one with 27 putts. For me to consider this new comprehensive PuttOUT setup a success, I want my average putts per round to be sub 30 and make more 10-12 foot putts. I feel more confident at the 15 foot range than facing a 2 footer and hopefully PuttOUT can fix that.
    Being a fairly good putter, leaves fairway hits, or miss hits, as my weakness. That is where I seem to put myself in difficult spots that add strokes. I regularly find bunkers, deep rough and water, plus I seem to be an expert at smashing into trees. I’m rarely on the green in regulation, but once there I relax and putting is good. It’s not unusual for me to score a 6+ on a hole but with only 1 or 2 putts. I can leave my playing partners shaking their heads, but they like me as a scramble partner.
    When my PuttOUT shipment arrived I was impressed how well everything was secured in the boxes.

    (Above top photo is the Putting Mat wrapped in protective plastic inside the shipping box. Bottom photo is the box containing the Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set and Pressure Putt Trainer cup minus the stuffing to keep stuff from moving around.)
    The PuttOUT packaging design and quality is superb (more about that later). At first I thought I must be missing the instructions but it’s all there with steps and illustrations printed right on the packaging.

    (Above are some of the instructions printed on the packaging. More cumbersome than a booklet would be, but don't throw it out!)
     
    The mat is larger than I anticipated 12’ ½” x 26¼” and very well made.


    (Above top photo is the PuttOUT Mat setup in my den. Bottom photo shows the heavy stitching on the edges, like a well made throw rug that keeps the corners from flipping up.)
    It is easy enough to roll out for practice and roll back up for storage. I have identified 6 places in my house with hard floors that I can set it up. I plan to leave it setup in my den for most of the duration of this test so it will be ready to use every day. I will move it to a carpeted area for at least a week to see if that makes any difference.
    I enjoy the challenge of the Pressure Putt Trainer but so far I’m not thrilled with the Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set. I’m a visual learner and don’t like the clutter between my ball and target. But if it helps me improve, I will learn to love it.

    (As you can see, the top alignment stick obscures being able to see the center alignment line on my putter. The Pressure Putt Trainer cup is on the left end, a metal gate to putt through is in the center, and two alignment sticks are connected in a row above the white center line on the mat.)
    If you have questions or ideas you would like me to try, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide answers.
    My LGA gives an award each year for the best putter. The score is determined by keeping up with our number of putts on each hole throughout the year when we have monthly play days. The end score is achieved by adding up the lowest putts we had for each hole. My goal is to win that in December with some help from the PuttOUT practice package!
    Stage 2 Review
    Time for scoring my PuttOUT kit experience. Albeit inconsistently, I have practiced many hours since setting up the PuttOUT package. I was hitting 150 – 200 putts a day for long stretches and then nearly a week would pass without finding time to practice. Some nights I would wake up and unable to fall back asleep, I would get up and putt. Trying to score those "perfect putts" can be quite addictive.
     
     
    Quality of components: 10 out of 10 points
    Everything from PuttOUT is well made and seems quite durable. From the informative packaging to the different components the quality and attention to detail is evident - i.e. the heavy stitching on the mat edges which helps keep it flat.

     
    rubber tips on the ends of the alignment sticks to help keep them secured in the gates

     
    nubs on the bottom of the Perfect Putt trainer to keep it from moving around

     
    printed markings on the mat to encourage proper alignment, distance control and creative practice

     
    and the knap on the mat is short and dense, similar to real grass greens... I only wish the greens at my home course were this thick.
    Ease of Use: 7 out of 10 points
    The package we received was easy to figure out/setup and included a large practice mat. I left the mat setup for the duration of our review period but did test how easily it can be rolled up and stowed in the storage tube. I had to reroll it a few times to make it fit. One point deducted for the difficulty getting it back in the storage tube. I imagine the small and medium size mats are probably a little easier to manage.
    If you have sufficient space, the large mat is nice. That said, the medium size would probably be my first choice because I would be more likely to keep it setup full time. I think being able to just walk over and use it for a few minutes encouraged me to practice more.
    (Note: In one of the above photos from my first review stage of my review, you can see and compare a 7 ft throw rug next to the PuttOUT mat. Prior to being selected for this review, that rug was my practice putting mat and the surface on which I practiced extensively with my original PuttOUT Pressure Trainer. It worked for me.)
    Setting up the different components is fairly straightforward although a little awkward getting the parts of the Putting Plane, sticks and gates properly aligned/oriented. I'm deducting 2 points for this issue.
    Basic Characteristics:  16 out of 20 points
    I like putting through the gates but didn’t find the alignment sticks and putting plane particularly helpful. Depending on what part of your putting needs work, the alignment sticks and plane guide could be useful. The putting plane has hash marks one inch apart for visual feedback on the length of your back stroke and follow through.
     
    I tend to rise to a challenge and making "perfect putts" was no exception. I practiced until I could make them semi-regularly. But the reality is that "perfect putts" are not mandatory. PuttOUT states that if a putt rolls back to you from the Pressure Trainer cup, it would have likely dropped in the hole – that’s what matters most to me.
     
    Each practice session, it would take me a few minutes to get a feel for my putting. As I would get in the groove, more putts would be “made” putts but not necessarily "perfect putts". I would liken it to spending some time on a practice green prior to round of golf. Practicing for a few minutes on the PuttOUT mat before heading out for a proper round of golf has become my typical routine.
    I deducted 4 points because my mat had a distinct ripple that adversely impacted putts. And it wasn’t only one mat. I oddly received 4 mats in my shipment. I gave one to another Spy and the other two to local high school golf teams. But I checked out all the mats and each one had a distinct ripple in the same place. The other Spy, laid a heavy flat board on his mat for a few days which helped. The ripple in my mat did not completely smooth out even after being setup for 4 weeks.
    On Course Performance: 27 out of 30 points
    Scoring in this area was difficult for me determine. This new PuttOUT practice package did not make much difference in my putts per round during our short testing time, but my prior experience with the original PuttOUT Pressure Trainer made a significant difference. I feel like if I had not already been using that original Pressure Trainer for the past year, this new version would have been much more impactful. So I counted my past Pressure Trainer history and putting improvements in my on course scoring category. Rather than be repetitive, you can read above in my First Stage Review how my average putts per round improved.
    I deducted 3 points because I did not find all of the components in our kit significantly helpful.
    I track my stats with a Shot Scope V3 every time I play, although recently I haven’t had time to analyze all of my rounds. In the past it indicated that of my missed putts, 60% were short. I’ve always had difficulty judging distance. I don’t have new figures yet, but I do feel like I am leaving fewer putts short since practicing on the PuttOUT mat. That in and of itself is worth it. In my most recent round, I had 3 one-putts and the rest two-putts. More putts than I want but of those two-putts, 9 of my initial putts (10 - 20 feet) finished inside 18” and most were not short. So I feel like the PuttOUT mat has probably helped with pace.
    Miscellaneous: 5 out of 10 points
    I originally deducted 10 points because the instructions are only printed on the packaging. This is a significant oversight to me. Keeping up with all of the product packaging in order to reference the instructions and tips is rather cumbersome. A small booklet/brochure would have been my preference. Including info on all of the available components in the booklet might also entice consumers to order more parts of the complete package.
    Then I added 5 bonus points back in for the ways, beyond only practice putting, that PuttOUT can be creatively used. The putting games you can create using PuttOUT are limited only by your imagination. The coach for one of the high school golf teams I gave PuttOUT to is very excited about creating competitive games to get her players to practice pressure putting. Plus, following the lead of @DStar, I’m excited to continue using PuttOUT for practicing short chip shots in my house.
     
    Trade It or Keep It: 20 out of 20 points
    I will definitely keep the PuttOUT practice package - it has encouraged me to practice more and I have seen improvement in certain segments of my putting performance (i.e. distance control).
    Conclusion: 85 out of 100 points
    If you want to become a better putter, I would absolutely encourage you to purchase the PuttOUT Pressure Trainer. While I feel like the same quantity of putting practice on an actual green will improve your stats, the Pressure Trainer is so addicting and easy to use that it encourages you to rack up more practice time. The Pressure Trainer folds up small and flat for storing/traveling. When the practice green at our club was closed for several months and inclement weather kept me indoors, I could still work on my putting. The putting mat is very nice but not essential. Happy putting!
  24. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to Blueberry_Squishie in Final Reviews: PuttOUT Golf Training System   
    Introduction
    I’m Michael and I’m a first-time tester for MGS. I play most of my golf at Werribee Park Golf Club, which is west of Melbourne, Australia (Down Under!). It’s a brilliant part of the world to play golf and has one of the best views from the clubhouse of any course I’ve been to. I also venture out to other golf courses about 4-8 times per year; one of the best was playing Curlewis (close to where my in-laws live) after being invited by @Peaksy68.


    A typical view of Australian golf in the middle of winter.

    View from the clubhouse
    I have been playing golf since I was 14, so have been playing for 20 years. Up until the last 3 years I haven’t had a regular playing schedule, but now it’s weekly. I’ve been able to go from an 18 handicap down to 8 in those 3 years. Typically, I gain strokes from driving, lose a little from approach and short, then putting is a small gain. Lately I’ve been driving terribly but my short game has been better than normal; skewing my recent averages.
                                     
      
    Current 10 round averages - Overall stats are vs 8 Handicap, Putting vs 5 handicap (gives a testing baseline of 0.0)
     
    My golfing is mainly on Saturday mornings, and I don’t usually have much of an opportunity to practice during the week. With the PuttOUT equipment I’ll be able to practice putting at home without having to go to a dedicated facility. It looks like a good range of equipment to make sure my putting is top notch. This should combine well with an AimPoint session I did recently. I’ve found it useful for reading greens.
     
    First Impressions
    In our box of goodies we received a Premium Pressure Putt Trainer (titanium white and dark grey – a colour combo that doesn’t seem to be on the online shop), a large putting mat (3.7m x 0.66m or 12ft x 3ft), and a Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set. I haven’t seen the packaging on the other colours of the Pressure Putt Trainers, but the silver band at the bottom of the packaging would be a nice colour pop to match the different colours of the trainers.
     
    Packaging - The packaging is quite nice, with clear indications about what each item is for and links to ideas for how to use the equipment. I noticed how the packages could be merchandised both on a shelf standing up, or on a hook – a nice touch. There aren’t excessive amounts of packaging so it’s easy to get everything out. One minor issue is on the top of the Alignment Stick Set’s packaging. The closing tab detaches with an unsatisfying tear rather than a clean detachment. It’s an incredibly minor criticism, but it would make the user’s experience a little nicer.

    Pressure Putt Trainer Packaging - I hope the silver band at the bottom changes with the colour of the product.

    Alignment Stick Set Packaging with carry bag

    Top of the Alignment Stick Set packaging - has unsatisfying tearing
     
    Storage - Living in an apartment, I can’t permanently setup any golfing equipment, so the thought the designers have put into easily putting away each product seems to be very useful. I have a 4 x 4 set of Kallax shelves in my office and a golf area in the wardrobe for storing my gear. I think that I will be able to easily take out and put away all elements of the kit. The mat comes with a storage bag to keep it neatly rolled up when not in use. The way the Pressure Putt Trainer and the Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set fold up is ideal to fit into my golf storage area. A big tick for consideration of storage.

    Easy to find places to store both the Pressure Putt Trainer and the Alignment Stick Set
     
    Unrolling mat - For the test period I’ll be continually rolling and unrolling the mat to use it. First impressions are that the mat is thick, has plenty of different markings for different activities, and the edges are highly reinforced. It looks like it will last a long time. Only issue is that the centre of the roll doesn’t lie flat. Maybe that’s because it’s brand new and needs to relax (who am I to criticise for not relaxing), or maybe it’s just physics of rolling up a mat. It’s doesn’t really affect the performance of the matt, but I’ll see how it goes over time.

    Matt rolled out - plenty of markings and a decent length that can fit in my living room

    The centre of the mat doesn't lay flat. Will see if it just takes some time to relax
     
    Assembling Alignment Stick Set - There are plenty of pieces that look like will enable a variety of different putting activities. All the parts disassemble and have a dedicated storage area in the bag, so it’s easy to pack away and keep all the bits. The small rubber tube that enables the two alignment sticks to be joined is a nice touch. I like the idea of the gates to give immediate feedback about starting line, but having the alignment sticks to ensure that the equipment is lined up properly is a nice feature.

    The Alignment Stick Set allows many options and disassembles for storage. Pocket is for the gate parts.

    Use of extended alignment stick ensures ball, gate, and target are aligned (sticks sag but are straight along putt line)
     
    Goals for testing
    My 10 round average for strokes gained putting is currently sitting at 0.0 against a 5 handicap, so I think a good goal for putting success would be to get it to +1.0, but any improvement will be worth it. I’ll post updated stats after any round I play to see how I’m progressing.
     
     
    With my practice I want to make improve my ability to start my ball on my intended line, with appropriate pace. I really want to try out the variety of possible activities that can be done with the gear, as this will help with keeping practice fresh (putting practice can easily get stale) and evaluating how the gear can help you to develop a repeatable, accurate stroke. If there are any drills you want me to try out to see if they’re possible with the gear, please let me know in a comment.
     

     
    With my reviewing, I used all of the different elements of our sets over different weeks. I started with just the mat and the Pressure Putt Trainer, then used the Alignment Stick Set with more regularity later on.
     
    Quality of components (10 out of 10 points)
    For all 3 elements of the set, the products are made well, have quality materials, and are well put together. As identified in my initial impressions, I could only fault some very minor packaging experience issues.
     
    Ease of use (10 out of 10 points)
    With the Pressure Putt Trainer and the putting mat, it was obvious what the purposes of each product were. With the Alignment Stick Set, it’s a more complex product. There are many more applications and combinations the product can be used in, so some were not initially obvious. This was solved with informative packaging with examples of the different ways the products can be setup.
     
    Basic Characteristics (17 out of 20 points)
    Starting with the mat, it does everything you would want from an indoor practice mat. It rolls at a green-like speed, has assorted targets and alignment lines for practice. It makes a great base to build putting practice from.
     
    With the Pressure Putt Trainer, having the smaller target meant I was able to focus with greater detail. It also meant that I had a more difficult goal that a standard hole size; great for rehearsing putts inside 6 feet. By having the goal of the perfect speed and line to nestle in the target, it was rehearsing starting the ball on line, with appropriate pace, and made practice interesting with the satisfying “plop” into the small target.
     
    With the Alignment Stick Set, its fundamental purpose is to rehearse starting the ball on line. Sadly, with all the arrangements there was only loose feedback that I was starting my putts on line. The gates were much wider than a golf ball and can’t be narrowed for making tighter pass/go for starting putts on line. As I stated in the mid-review comments, by having multiple slots in the round rubber feet, the difficulty for starting on line could be changed.
     
    On-Course Performance (## out of 30 points)
    For my review, it’s impossible to evaluate on course performance; public health orders where I live prevented golf being played during the review period. I had one round on the 31st of August, but with 50km/h winds (31 miles) my poor putting stats were influenced more by the conditions than any practice I had done with the products.
    So sadly, I’m going to have to ignore this part in my scoring of the products. I’ll revisit this in about a month and update this.
     
    Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)
    The strongest characteristic of all the products in our set is the quality of materials and finish. They don’t really affect the ability of the products to help your golf game but if you’re spending money on products, it’s better if they’re well-presented. For example, the Pressure Putt Trainer’s materials have a nice matt finish, the putting mat has reinforcement around the perimeter of the mat and a thicker base layer than others I’ve seen on the market, and the stainless steel in the Alignment Stick Set gives it a premium feel.
     
    The other area of strength for all products was the thought put into how they are packed away for easy and small storage. The bag with multiple pockets on the Alignment Stick Set where every part had a place is well thought out. As a result, all the products take up minimal space in a closet.
     
    Keep it or Trade it? (14 out of 20 points)
     
    Putting Mat – keep. It does everything a putting mat should. Rolls up, rolls truly, can be vacuumed occasionally to keep it clean, and has a range of useful markings. Technically I’m not going to keep this one, but a friend is buying a Medium mat and then we are trading. The medium mat will fit my home better.
     
    Pressure Putt Trainer – keep. This is a unique product in the putting practice market; providing a little reward for making a perfect putt but also indicating made putts. With the added convenience of it being able to fold away neatly when not in use, the different colour options, and its suitability for people who aren’t “golfers”, it’s a real winner.
     
    Alignment Stick Set – trade. I really wanted to like this product, but I just didn’t find it useful. I tried all the different setups that it can do, and none of them convincingly aided starting the putt on line, and the product is not designed to train correct speed. I’m sure there will be someone who thoroughly disagrees with me who will love it though. It is a well-made product that you can tell has been thought about in design, but it just doesn’t gel with me.
     
    Conclusion
    I thank both PuttOUT and MGS for giving me the opportunity to review these products. The process really got me thinking about putting practice, and was the trigger for some enlightening discussions with the professionals at the facilities I go to. Overall, I commend PuttOUT for the quality of materials, construction, finish, and storage of their products. You can tell they have gone to great effort to get this right. For the Putting Mat and Pressure Putt Trainer, these are great products that I think help to keep my practice fresh and improve my putting. I want to practice more with these two products. Whilst the Alignment Stick Set is a well-made product, I didn’t find it useful to get my putts starting on line. I'm thinking of modelling and 3D printing some custom feet for my Alignment Stick Set.
    Final Score: (61 out of 70 points)
  25. Like
    gavinski91 reacted to DannyDips in Final Reviews: Callaway Epic Speed Driver   
    MyGolfSpy- Callaway Epic Max LS Review
    Stage 1 Introduction/Initial Impressions
     
    I can’t thank MGS enough for the opportunity to review another product and especially one so coveted as the Callaway Epic Max LS! I was fortunate enough to review and test Bridgestone e12’s back in 2019 (or as we know it the Pre-Covid era…) I guess I didn’t mess that review up enough for them to banish me to the cellar of the forum, so again thank you MyGolfSpy for the opportunity.

    As for myself, I’m a 37-year-old civil engineer from the beautiful Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. I live in what is known as the “Golf Capital of Tennessee”. Crossville, TN is a wonderful place to visit, vacation and play golf as there are several courses with great layouts. I have played golf for almost 30 years now and played all sorts of sports growing up. I was fortunate to play baseball in college at Tennessee Tech University and have spent my after-college competitiveness solely on golf. I have probably improved from a 12 handicap in college to my peak last year of 4.2 GHIN. I’m currently carrying a 5.1 but we had a new addition to my family last summer and its be harder to sneak out and get rounds in for the past 12 months.  
     

    I am blessed with a wonderful garage practice area complete with a SkyTrak, Bridieball Putting green and other various golf improvement tools. So, while the rounds have been slimmer so far this year, I have practiced more than ever. I really feel confident every time I step up to hit the ball and there is never that feeling uncertainty over the ball.

    As for my game, I feel like the strength of my golf game comes from my ability to create speed and distance with the driver and use my wedges to hit greens and give myself opportunities for bridies/pars. Of course, with distance sometimes comes inaccuracy as I often have more “Penalty” strokes in a round than I would prefer due to OB and hazard balls. I’m always looking for increased accuracy and dispersion with the driver and am excited to see how the EPIC Max LS compares to my current Ping G410LST.
    In 2018 after reading MGS reviews/tests and taking instruction from a local PING pro I decided to get fitted for the Ping G400. The pro fit me into a PING G400 LST, that eventually cracked and was replaced with a PING G410 Plus that I swapped for a PING G410 LST last fall. I have been super pleased with the change as I’m certainly a golfer that needs to keep his backspin numbers down with the driver. Typically, I carry the driver around 275-280 yards with a swing speed around 110-115. With a strength of my game being my distance, I like to take advantage of it as often as I can on par 5s and be as aggressive as I can reasonably be. My strategy being to hit second shots as close to the green as possible on every par 5.

    Over the past year I have changed ball flight with my driver from someone who has always fought a fade/slice to hitting a more draw bias. It has been challenging but getting to practice whenever I want has been key to making slight adjustments to my swing. I added a new set of irons to my bag as well, playing the new Mizuno JPX-921’s.
    But enough about myself, y’all didn’t come here to date my golf game, y’all came for the Bombs, activated calves and the shiny new Callaway Driver!
    On June 18th this beauty arrived on my doorstep, it was a bittersweet arrival as Callaway sent a stiff shaft and not X stiff flex shaft that I was fit for.

    The actually fitting was an adventure all itself, as I was notified I had been selected for this test a few days before a 10 day vacation, so I had to drive an hour during the vacation to the closest PGA Superstore to try out shafts and clubhead lofts. Of course, any reason to visit a PGA Superstore is always a plus for any vacation. 

    The fitting was probably one of my worst driving sessions in months but after trying out half a dozen X stiff shafts I settled on the stock MMT 60. The shaft felt extremely similar to the KuroKage shaft that is currently in my Ping G410 driver. After my original driver fitting in 2018, I have come to realize the importance of being fit for the proper shaft, especially for the longest and fastest swinging club in your bag. If I could only be fit for one club in my bag it would certainly be the driver.
    The PGA Superstore fitting was also the first opportunity to put the Callaway Epic Max LS against my current gamer. With both clubs having 9 degrees of loft, similar X shafts and weights set to fade bias, my initial impression is this is going to be a very close contest to see which club comes out on top, as the ball speed, backspin and sidespin numbers were all extremely similar.

    When I compare the two drivers’ side by side, I will have to say I’m excited that the Epic Max LS seems to have a smaller profile and slightly larger footprint. The shape reminds me more of the G400 LST I had a few years ago. While I have never been a huge fan of the Callaway chevron for alignment, I also didn’t like the Ping turbulators at first either and have grown to love them.

    Let’s talk about the “Jailbreak Speed Frame” for a moment, as a structural engineer I’m very familiar with how frames work and where they are supposed to reinforce structural members. I can see a benefit to the frame over the two Jailbreak bars to give added reinforcement to the face structure. I think the claim from Callaway is that the reinforcement helps with off-center hits. It makes sense to me that by reinforcing the bottom and crown of the club you are restricting the twisting forces that would be on the clubface during an off-center hit. What I’m not certain of is how much the impact of a golf ball on the clubface puts stress on the bottom and crown of the club. I would think perhaps with the thin metal of the crown and sole it might have added benefit, but we shall see.

    Once the correct shaft arrives (and I’m praying it will be very soon) I’m ready to hit the ground running with testing and comparing the clubs. I’ve got the SkyTrak ready to give me accurate numbers as well as an opportunity to run different tests every day and look closely at ball speed and spin numbers. I’ve also got several upcoming tournaments and practice rounds I’ll be playing in the next few weeks, so I’ll have lots of course experience with the Epic Max LS as well.

    It’s going to take a lot to knock the Ping G410 LST out of my bag. I’ve already shared some screen shots from a round on Father’s Day weekend where the ole Ping was already starting to put up a fight. If the Callaway can do as it claims and keep mishits straighter and can tighten my dispersion, then it will certainly win the spot in the bag. I’ve always been a golfer that makes a decision with a club and sticks with it until the club has become technologically obsolete, so having two drivers only one generation apart to choose from is going to be new ground for me. Hopefully in the coming weeks it will become abundantly clear which one works best for me and my journey will help those of you reading make a decision on what’s right for your game.
    I can’t emphasis enough how thankful I am that MGS entrusted this test and review to me and I’ll work hard to pay back that trust.
     
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
    Final Review
    Again, I can’t thank MyGolfSpy and Callaway enough for allowing me to test and review such an amazing product. Due to a mistake in the original club building I have been using the Callaway Epic Max LS for exactly one month. In those four weeks, I’ve played in several tournaments, rounds on the course, driving range sessions and hundreds of balls hit on a Skytrak Launch Monitor. I’ve done my best to test every faucet of the driver in comparison to my current gamer, a Ping G410 LST. I hope these scores, testing data and review gives everyone who reads it a firsthand account of the club and if it would fit their game.
    Looks (9 out of 10)
    The Callaway Epic Max LS really is a sharp looking club. The shape and glossy black crown of the club are appealing to the eye. The round footprint of the club is classic. The face graphics look tough and give you the impression the sweet spot is huge and covers most of the face, which it feels like sometimes when you hit it off-center.

    I’m not a huge fan of the color scheme, a darker green might have looked sharp next to the gray, white and black. The chevron alignment aid isn’t my favorite either, but I was not a fan of Ping turbulators when I first began playing them. I did mention in the comments earlier that during testing I kept getting the feeling the chevron alignment aid feels slightly on the heel, and I mean millimeters from center but just not quite in the middle. I’m sure it has to do with the actual center of gravity of the entire club, not just the center of the face or where it sets on the crown of the club. 
    Overall, the club is very appealing to look at when set up to the ball and really gives the player confidence to make a swing that would result in some serious bombs. I have some very minor issues with the appearance but it’s a very attractive driver.
    Sound and Feel (9 out of 10)
    The feeling of impact with the Epic Max LS is firm and quieter than the Ping G410 LST. The best thing I can compare it to is the feeling of a hammer hitting a nail versus a tennis racket hitting tennis ball. The G410 LST certainly gives the feeling like it springs the balls off the club face more but from my testing that doesn’t result in faster ball speed or longer carry distance. I rather enjoy the quieter sound at impact, especially when most of my practice comes indoors. I've tried to capture the sound on the following video, you can hear a clear difference. 
    Basic Characteristics (20 out of 20)
     
    There isn’t a single category that I can think of where the Epic Max LS underperformed the G410 LST. Both had similar trajectory, launch, workability, ball speed. The clear edge going to the Epic Max LS in carry distance, accuracy, and forgiveness. Balls hit off center had a remarkable ability to carry much further than anticipated and curve less. During testing on my Skytrak launch monitor, the Epic had a significantly lower standard deviation (29.1 to 44.4) of shots hit offline from the average yards offline, meaning the dispersion should be tighter.
     

     
    With extensive testing I can say with a degree of certainty that the Epic Max LS is longer, the caveat being that it’s not significantly longer. Most of the testing showed it carried 1-3 yards longer on similar swings. Ball speed was very similar with slight differences. Off-center hits with the Epic Max LS did seem to create more ball speed than off-center hits with the G410 LST. That may lead to credence that the “Speed Frame” does what it says, providing more ball speed and less side spin than other drivers.
     
    On-course/LM Performance (30 out of 30)
     
    On the course, I didn’t notice huge differences in performance, I felt like poor swings resulted in poor shots and good swings resulted in good shots. I didn’t find myself longer on the course with the Epic Max LS than the Ping G410 LST but if my Skytrak is telling me it carries 1-3 yards longer, I’m not sure that’s something noticeable on the course. It certainly didn’t change the clubs I hit into greens from what I have in previous rounds.
     
    Where I do feel like there is room for the Epic to solidify itself in my bag is with accuracy, shot dispersion and mishits. The G410 LST has never provided the consistency and accuracy I felt like I was getting with my G400 LST. While I haven’t noticed a huge improvement on the course, I have noticed differences on my Skytrak. Ball hits off-center, usually on the toe, come off hot and straight as if they had been squared up. There were at least half a dozen balls I hit that I would assume would carry short and left but instead just kept going with balls speeds over 170 mph and landing very close to where I wanted them. The following screenshots were all on center-toe hits.  
     

     
    The requirement I put on the Epic Max LS to make it into my bag was that it would tighten my shot dispersion and give me more accuracy off the tee. One of the glaring weakness is my game is the penalty shots my driver costs me each round in hazards or OB. While my distance helps making up some of those shots in a typical round if I can eliminate one or two OB balls each round that would be Epic.
     
    Miscellaneous (4 out of 10)
     
    There are a few little things that I felt like could have gone better with this test and the Epic Max LS. The most frustrating would have to be a mistake in shipment. Callaway originally sent a stiff shaft instead of the extra stiff shaft I needed for the test. I wasn’t the only tester in which this happened to but for whatever reason I had to wait nearly 5 weeks to receive the replacement shaft that I needed to conduct the test. I can’t complain too much as Callaway did eventually remedy the issue. It just limited the amount of time I was able to test the product properly. Another small issue would have to be the headcover was extremely tight to take on and off the club, which is not a big deal as I've got a sweet white Mizuno headcover I use for my driver. 
     
    Play it or Trade it (20 out of 20)
     
    Let’s see what club will be donning my white Mizuno head cover drum roll please….
     

     
     
     
    Well, if you’ve been reading along that was anticlimactic. This session about a week ago on my Skytrak is what really cemented it in the bag. 
     

     
    I will be certainly putting the Epic Max LS into my bag. It was slightly longer than my current driver and provided improved accuracy with both center and off-center hits. I would however probably not go out and buy one if I had a driver one to two generations old. While I feel like it beat my G410 LST in accuracy, it constantly reminded me of the accuracy with my G400 LST and didn’t seem so drastic I would feel the need to purchase one. Of course, I’m a golfer that believes it’s the Indian and not the arrow when it comes to equipment.
     
    The Epic Max LS is designed for golfers that create a lot of backspin on the tee and are looking to lower those numbers to maximize their distance and accuracy. Its certainly top notch for this generation of equipment. If you are someone who needs lower spin off the tee and want to replace a driver older than 3 years I would certainly recommend purchasing the Epic Max LS.
     
    If I apply these same metrics for my Ping G410 it would score in the mid to upper 80’s due to how much I like that club. In fact, a part of me wanted it to out preform the Epic Max LS for various reasons but I can’t overlook the improvements that I feel the Epic Max LS provides. Its going in my bag and not likely to come out any time soon.
     
    Final Score: 92 of 100
     
    Again, Thanks MGS for entrusting this test to me and Callaway for providing the equipment for an unbias testing platform. 
     

     
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