mikeanthony reacted to xOldBenKenobiX in Edel SMS Wedges
Edel SMS Wedges – Official MGS Forum Review by xOldBenKenobiX
Introduction – May 31, 2022
First and foremost a huge thank you to Edel and MyGolfSpy for another awesome testing opportunity.
My name is Elson, and I am golf addict, I have been playing golf for about 12 years now, born and raised in Brazil, I honestly don’t play and practice as much as I would like to. I have been calling Southeast Michigan home for the past 15 years, and really enjoy the many courses that our area and the Northwest Ohio area have to offer. My wife has accepted that she loses me for a few months during the summer. I am a high handicapper, and my numbers will vary from the high teens to the mid-20s depending on how often I can play.
I will be testing the Edel SMS wedges, my specs are as it follows:
Ø 48, 54 and 60 degrees
Ø Standard Loft/Lie + ¼ inch length
Ø T Grind
Ø Standard 2g weights on the edges and 8g on the center
Ø Shafted with a KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 - R 115g with a standard size Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip
Currently I do not have a suitable testing area at home for wedge practice and testing, nor I own a Sim/Shot tracer equipment, however I do have a few golf courses nearby with good range/short game are to practice at. Also, there is a new X Golf location down the street from me to where I can go and test with a full Sim and test spin rates.
Overall, I want to test these wedges with my regular game, and see how they perform, or how can I make them perform.
The main measure of testing here is if they can help me save strokes, more greens in regulation and such. As any new clubs I expect these to be different than what I am used to play with and to see some good differences with the spin rates and shot shapes. Edel is one of the companies to which I have never held one of their clubs before, just saw pictures and videos and I think it will be awesome to play with it.
I am very excited for this testing as my wedges are the oldest clubs in my bag right now and were never fit for my game. My short game is also a weak part of my game and one that I would love to see improve. With that being said, I cannot express how excited I am about testing these wedges.
Final Review - July 25, 2022
First Impressions ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My first impression of those was that they are very well made, from the clubs I tested during my fitting to the clubs I receive, the craftsmanship on those is simply great, I love the looks of the clubs.
I love the looks at address and really enjoyed the overall looks of the clubs.
The head looks very compact at address, and with a very nice look at address. The full-face grooves are great, allowing for mishits to still be struck within the groves, hence the mishits were not so punishing to me.
Edel claims that this wedge can be up to 44% more accurate, I can say that personally I did see an improvement with my shots, not up to 44%, but I was able to keep more balls in the green, and get it closer to the flag overall, despite not experimenting with moving the weight around I do still think that the moveable weights are a great advantage for better players who can shape the ball flight one way or another, and who want to have that set as a default shot shape with the weights.
Unfortunately, at my current skill level, I do not shape the call at demand and honestly prefer to have my ball flight as straight as possible.
I was fit for the T grind across the board, the tripe sole design allows for some versatility when using the wedge. These feature the traditional pear shape from address.
The logo is not too distracting when looking at the bottom of the club as well the T grind information, I think if wanted the bottom of the club would be a prefect canvas to add some lovely personal touches, I did not get these wedges customized, but I can see a lot of potential with the available customization.
As I mentioned before, I do like the overall looks of this wedge, I think the overall package was well put together, these are not flashy, but very noticeable when sitting in the bag.
Comparing these with other wedges of similar price, I think that these wedges are spot on with their looks, maybe not as a such refined looks as a Vokey, but they do look good on their own way.
These wedges sound good, they are not too loud and give a feeling of softness when they are hit, when swinging through the rough and grass in general, these sounded soft and not distracting, very pleasing, even swinging from the sand did not yield any loud or displeasing sound.
My mishits still ended up with some good overall results, knowing my game, other clubs where I know the mishits would generate a very bad result, severe miss, and such, with these, the misses where not as bad, and in general I got the ball closer to my intended target.
My worse hit with this clubs was a bad chunked toe hit, that pretty much caused the ball to go sideways, however this one was on my swing not the club, as for the best, I did get a lovely high shot over the trees into the green after putting my tee shot on the rough in front of the next tee box, this shot went exactly how I had pictured in my mind, and it felt really good to be able to hit that shot with the confidence that I would pull it off, especially because I know that I hit a lot more bad shots than good ones.
As for the normal mishits, hitting it thin would get me a longer shot than I wished for, but nonetheless close to my intended line.
With my chunky shots, I did experience the normal last of distance, but still following my intended line.
With the mishits and non-square to the face shots, I did see some side traction, but not as bad as my old wedges.
I did not had a chance to take these wedges to a sim and test out the numbers, however as for real life play, I did notice that my shot dispersion was a little better, I did notice that on the shorter shots 100 yards and less, where I usually struggle a lot, I did indeed have better results and have hit more greens or with the misses, I got it closer to the green.
As for my distances if hitting the wedges with a full shot these are the numbers I have averaged.
For my 48 degrees, I was hitting between 95 to 105 yards.
For the 54 degrees, I was hitting between 75 and 85 yards.
As for the 60 degrees, I was hitting between 55 and 65 yards.
The trajectory of my shots was a mid to high flight.
As I previously mentioned the mishits were not as punishing as my older wedges, especially as these ones had been fitted to my game.
Dead center hits were very pleasant and yield good shots, with the toe and heel shots, indeed the shots would go right and left of the target, not as far offline as I would hit with my old wedges, I noticed that when I try to recreate the same shots with both the old and new wedges, the Edel wedges gave me a much closer proximity to the the hole as well as to the green.
Shooting similar wedges on the range I took 10 shots with each wedge and its comparable old wedge that I had in the bag, the shots were post warm up, and I was feeling loose enough for all of them.
Hole average Distance
30 Yards Chip shots
30 Yards Chip shots
20 Yards Chip shots
20 Yards Chip shots
15 Yards Chip shots
15 Yards Chip shots
That is quite a noticeable difference with the distance, especially with the shorter shots, I had a couple of the 15 Yard chips where I nearly holed them out.
As for the full shots on the range, unfortunately I had to do more of a visual evaluation as I could not walk down the range and measure each individual shot from its landing spot compared to the target line.
Due to having a steep angle of attack, I naturally hit shots to the right.
Mind you, most of my misses are to the right, and once again after warming up and with a good rest break between sets, I hit 10 balls with each wedge.
Again, this was the hardest part to estimate during the test.
Estimated deviation to the target line
100 Yards full shot
100 Yards full shot
75 Yards full shot
75 Yards full shot
60 Yards full shot
60 Yards full shot
I wish I have had the chance to take these to a Sim and gotten numbers that way, but between the bad knees, sprained wrists and ankles, the past few weeks have made my outings much harder.
I did prefer to spend the limited time I had in real golf conditions, and oh boy did they deliver during that play.
On the Course⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have noticed that on my course play, I have used the 60 degrees wedge a lot more than the 48 and 54, as for my last round, I found myself trying to fit usage of the wedges, maybe a little too much, looking at the opportunities had and the distances I knew I could hit the wedges comfortably, I hit some shots that I knew I did not have the distance with a wedge, so on the next shot I would have a chance to hit a different wedge.
If I was approaching a green and the distance left was between 110 and 125 yards, I would still hit the 48 degrees wedge, so I would have a chance to hit the 60 degrees for my next shot, that is because I wanted to hit as many shots as I could with these, and I honestly contemplated, yet I did not, play the shorter par 4s with wedges only, I might do that in a future round as my home course of Taylor Meadows, have a lovely stretch from the 8th to the 10th hole that are shorter yet challenging with water in play on all 3 holes.
8 playing downhill 309 yards
9 playing downhill with water to the right the entire way 281 yards
And the 10 with a new Pond guarding the front left of the green is the shortest at only 256 yards.
The only area that I truly had an issue was with Sand traps, both during my range sessions and the actual course play, I had a real hard time getting out of them, but I cannot fault the wedge, that is my game and the flaws I have with it.
I hoped that the new wedges would be a magic bullet, but that was not realistic.
Where I play most of the bunkers are of heavy compact sand with a very low sand dept, these are the type of bunkers that only really have 3 inches of sand than it is the hard soil below.
I noticed that despite missing the green from the sand, either long or very short, the wedge glided through the sand with no issues, despite most of the times me taking a steep swing that really dug into the sand.
I felt confident every time I had the wedges on my hands and that is one of the best characteristic of these.
I quite honestly really loved playing these wedges and cannot really say any bad things about it, maybe because these were such an improvement from my old mix and match set of vokeys.
These have impacted my game in a positive way, these had bee
n optimized to give me the best spin rate and flight.
I had never had an Edel product on my hands, and I got to say, I am impressed with the over engineering of these clubs, the fact that you can move the weight around and adjust the ball flight is the type of thing that I would expect from a driver, not really from an wedge, but to have the option is one of those tools that is a great one to have on your bag.
I would love to see more of the moveable weight technology, I love to see where Edel will take those and what it becomes of it, that technology being integrated to their new SMS irons shows Edel’s commitment to the technology.
The Good, the Bad, the Inbetween⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The good, these wedges are awesome, and the technology behind them is very impressive.
The bad, and my bad on these, I feel that even though I am not a very tall person, the wedges feel short, the 35 inches for the 60 degree, the 35..25 for the 54 and 35.5 for the 48th, have me squatting down a little more than what I feel comfortable with, but that is something I can get addressed later and have an inch added to each one of them.
Play it or Trade it? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
These are a play it for me, these wedges have improved my game, and indeed it has been a such short time and I think a few more rounds of play will help me get even more accustomed to these wedges, but I do like what I have experienced so far.
The main measure of success for me with these wedges is confidence, I have gained confidence on hitting different shots around the green and know that I can pull of those shots.
I think that everyday golfers like myself benefit from these wedges, as they show a great deal of forgiveness and playability.
I think as I use these and get more comfortable with them, my short game will improve.
Edel has brought forward a great set of wedges, the technology behind these is impressive, the fact that one can customize your shot shapes with the moveable weights is a big plus.
The exceptional forgiveness and workability of these jump out at you as an advantage with these.
As my personal experience, again the word here is confidence, these felt very good on my hands and did improve me game, I have hit a lot more of good shots than I did bad shots with these wedges than my old ones.
Final Score 29 out of 30 Stars
mikeanthony reacted to edingc in Edel SMS Wedges
Edel SMS Wedges – Official MGS Forum Review by edingc
Introduction - May 28, 2022
A full introduction can be found in the comments section.
A big thank you to Edel and MyGolfSpy for another outstanding testing opportunity.
My name is Cody and, if you ask my wife, I am obsessed with golf. I practice or play almost every day when the weather permits. Living in West Michigan is a golfer’s dream with many beautiful courses and practice facilities. My handicap hovers in the upper-mid single digits with my distance being the strength of my game. My length means I hit a number of full and partial wedges throughout my rounds.
I will be testing the Edel SMS wedges with the following specifications, per my fitting at Club Champion:
50 degrees, 54 degrees, 58 degrees Standard Loft/Length/Lie V Grind Weight in Toe Nippon Modus3 Wedge 125 I have access to a short game area, a practice range and my indoor garage bay equipped with a FlightScope Mevo+ launch monitor and Titleist RCT golf balls. My plan is to put the Edels through their paces on course, on the practice area and in my garage bay. Specifically, a few areas I am most concerned about are turf interaction, ball flight/shape and wet weather performance.
Final Review - July 25, 2022
Crazy how fast time flies when you're having fun! We received our clubs over a month ago (full unboxing post here), and I've had a blast with the Edels on both the course and practice range. I was able to get the wedges out for 10 18-hole rounds, eight 9-hole rounds, a scramble and at least 15 trips to the range/practice area. I even played an entire nine holes with nothing but the wedges and my putter.
First Impressions - 4/5 Stars
The quality of the Edel wedges is evident by the fit and finish of the packaging and the clubs themselves. From the securely-packed, suitcase-style shipping box to the hand-turned ferrules, the bespokeness of the SMS wedges is obvious.
Edel promotes the weight system as a means to ensure the best possible fit for an individual’s swing type. The weight positions allow them to fit for any type of swing, shallow to steep. Edel claims a combined 44 percent increase in accuracy in distance and lateral dispersion.
I am very impressed by the Edel experience. Chris Koske, Edel’s Chief Marketing Officer, helped schedule my fitting and took my order via email. That was a very nice touch. It made me feel like they cared about their customers more so than a larger OEM might.
I’m removing a star from this area for two reasons:
There were some differences in what each tester received inside their shipment. I received a card detailing how to self-fit the wedges but some of the other testers did not. I did not receive stickers. Some of the other testers did. It seems odd to me at this price point to not include a tool to change the weights alongside the self-fitting card. Aesthetics, Sound and Feel - 5/5 Stars
This is a very subjective area of the review. To my eyes the SMS wedges are some of the most beautiful wedges available. While the milled sole is not unique to Edel, the combination of the sole, modern branding, custom ferrules and a chrome finish makes for a stunning golf club.
I prefer the look of the slightly rounded leading edge. It makes me confident I won’t lay sod over the ball if I catch it heavy. The matte face sets itself against the polished hosel and back. The squared off, almost full face grooves are unique and act as a nice alignment aid as well.
The wedges are minimalist enough as to not draw attention. You really start to appreciate the whole package once the details like the sole milling and the diamond texture on the face reveal themselves.
After an adjustment period, the Edel wedges feel great. As a Japanese 1025 carbon steel forging, they have a very soft feeling when hit on or around the sweet spot. There is still plenty of feedback, and I can readily tell my strike location, however.
I play a firmer golf ball (Snell MTB-X), but impact with the SMS wedges produce a nice solid thwack sound. Only when moving to range rocks could I describe some shots as producing a harsh clicking sound and feel.
The Numbers - 4/5 Stars
The heaviest weight has been in the toe throughout my testing per my fitting. The weight placement has resulted in consistent impact and shots. I haven’t wanted to move it around.
My left-to-right dispersion is predictable. I used to be capable of big left misses even with a wedge in my hand. My left miss has almost completely disappeared. I most often miss the ball to the right now, which is a much better miss in most circumstances.
I hit the SMS wedges very consistent distances that fit my gapping. They have a nice high flight for me with a stock full swing. However, these wedges seem to love partial swings. I’ve made an effort to hit partial shots more often as a means to combat wind. On full swings into the breeze I’ve noticed I can get too much spin which results in a ballooning and short shot.
The weight in the toe does make a noticeable difference. I can feel the face wanting to stay open longer through the swing. I have had some struggles with full swing wedges staying too open. This results in the right/short miss I mentioned above.
Make no mistake, these wedges are still a solid forging and do punish balls that miss the center by too much.
On Course - 5/5 Stars
The Edels made an immediate impact on the golf course. I quickly felt comfortable with the wedges on partial shots around greens. The toe weight helped my short game because it became so effortless to hit high, soft shots. I never had that kind of short game shot in my repertoire before bagging the Edels.
The V grind is the perfect choice for my swing and course conditions. I can tell there is a lot more trailing edge bounce on the V grind than on other wedges I’ve used in the past. It is a wonderful grind for the softer conditions I usually play on. On firmer lies, the trailing edge bounce glides along the ground giving me a ton of confidence.
Wet weather performance has been more than adequate for my needs. I still seem to be getting plenty of spin even when the clubface and ball are both wet with morning dew.
I am not as comfortable with full swings as I was with my previous wedges. That has required a small strategy change on course to hit more partial wedges. I'm still practicing at getting better in that area.
ShotScope confirms an improvement in my short game since putting the Edels in the bag. Over the past 15 rounds I’ve gained 0.04 strokes in my short game over a scratch golfer. Those 15 rounds include a mix of rounds with the Edels and my previous wedges. Over my past 10 rounds with Edels only, I’ve gained 0.62 strokes in my short game over a scratch golfer. That’s a big improvement!
The Good, The Bad, The In Between - 4/5 Stars
Don’t overlook the endless grind/loft combinations. Edel offers all four grinds in every loft. Add on the weights and there is endless customization. For me, finding the right grind/weight combination made a big difference.
I do think the Edels are not wedges you would want to buy off the rack without a good fitting. It is also concerning to me that each of our authorized fitters seemed to approach the fittings in different ways.
Play it or Trade it? - 5/5 Stars
The Edels are in the bag. Period. Combined with a lesson taken a day before receiving the clubs, I’ve played some of the best golf of my life this summer. As of this writing my unofficial handicap has dropped from around nine at the start of the testing to below six. My improved short game caused a lot of that improvement.
While the Edels are priced above their major OEM competitors (and much more than some smaller brands), there is a lot of value in the fitting options. I have no doubt the multitude of loft, weight and grind combinations could fit every type of golfer.
Edel’s swing match weighting system is a unique feature not found on other wedges. The Edel SMS wedges lived up to the marketing hype during my review period. They have helped me drop two strokes from my handicap since putting them in the bag.
The seemingly endless combinations of loft, weight location and grinds mean a golfer can expect to get a wedge tailored especially to their swing. I would consider the Edel SMS wedges to be a must try for anyone who is looking into a new set of wedges, especially if one can locate an authorized Edel fitter near them.
Final Score - 27/30 Stars
mikeanthony reacted to heavygolffeels in Edel SMS Wedges
Edel SMS Wedges – Official MGS Forum Review by scooterhd2
Full introduction can be found in the comments section.
Hello MGS, my name is Kevin. I've only really gotten into golf in the last 3 years or so, but have worked my way down to a 5 handicap. I play 30 rounds a year and practice several times a week. I am a bit of an equipment and instruction junkie. My biggest weakness right now is inside 100 yards. My slightly OTT move leads to some thin strikes and partial shots have been a score killer for me. Around the greens my wedge game is functional but rarely great. I'm hoping a properly fit set of Edel SMS wedges can fine tune by game, provide some more consistency and ultimately give me more confidence. That's going to be a recipe for lower scores.
Results of my fitting at Club Champion:
50: C Grind, 54: V Grind, 58: T Grind. Weights at 6h, 10c, 8t.
Final Review - July 25, 2022
First Impressions - 4/5 Stars
My order was quick to ship. Communication from Edel was great. The box the wedges come in is absolutely top notch. And the packaging and materials exceed my expectations. I do find it concerning that between our group the packaging was not consistent though. I seemed to receive all of the stickers and info cards, while others did not. I was also a bit disappointed that there was not a tool included. 3 wedges retail for over $600, so not to include a tool seems trivial to me. Especially when the marketing behind the club is that it has moveable weights. I also find it odd that there is no mention in the ordering process of paint fills. There appears to be a red model and a black model, and although the ferrule choice is given, there's no mention that the wedges may be painted differently based on that choice. Or perhaps that the paint fill for stamps would be applied everywhere. Regardless, that's an oversight in my opinion. It didn't affect me, as my wedges were exactly what I imagined, but I could see how others could run into a problem there. In all fairness, if I was ordering after a fitting and with no knowledge of other order, I'd give 5 stars, but consistency is key.
At the end of the day, you cant help but smile once you have these unboxed. The shafts labels are well aligned, the grips are straight, the weights are in the right spot, and my lengths were spot on. A great build that is just waiting to be put through the paces.
Aesthetics, Sound and Feel - 4/5 Stars
I believe Edel has made massive strides in the aesthetics department from previous wedge releases. The SMS wedges are absolute quality. The shape is refined, sort of a mix between a classic Vokey/Cleveland type wedge and a Hi Toe which are all widely popular offerings. Full face grooves seem to be all the rage right now, but Edel has been at it for years and they do it properly by my judgment. Enough groove length for the benefit, while still trying to maintain a somewhat traditional look. The graphics are more subdued, with just the company name on the badge and other branding on the hosel. There may have been a time when the weight ports were an eye sore, and I can’t say that I am the biggest fan of the look, but its become common place with PXG and even Callaway having a similar appearance. And obviously these are integral to the technology and design of the wedge. I also appreciate the milled grind sole and the extra design element on the ferrule.If you believe in the performance and quality of your product enough to charge top dollar, then it has to look the part and Edel has certainly done an outstanding job here.
My one wish, is that Edel offered a raw finish (or black or brushed steel). I get why manufacturers don’t. Part of it is sales volume, the other is in making a specially weighted head to reach specs without the additional 4 or 6 grams of weight that nickel plating and chrome adds. But it seems you could make use of the weight ports to easily add back the weight. For me, and I admit that my eyes are sensitive and I am playing in the absolute extremes of sunlight in Arizona in July; but the finish, while incredibly durable and incredibly beautiful in hand, is so glaring behind the ball.
I’ll have to say I was probably most impressed with the sound and feel of the SMS wedges. The faces are forged with 1025 which is naturally a bit softer then then 8620 used by most wedge manufacturers. Full shots and the head feels heavy but delivers a soft blow. I use a hard ProV1x and out the middle it’s like a marshmallow. Dull sound. Very similar to my Srixon 785 PW (forged from 1020), which makes the transition to wedge very nice. That feeling is addicting when the strike feels like you hit a tennis ball and you know its a great shot just from the feel of impact.
The Numbers - 5/5 Stars
My fitting at Club Champion started with a light warm up with my 50* Cleveland RXT4 as my fitter looked over by bag, my swing, and launch conditions. After 20 shots, he asked my what I thought my yardage with that club was, and I said "113 yards." He brought up the averages and I was averaging 113 yards, which made me happy, but it was soon explained to me that these numbers were not optimal.
It didn't take long to get the Edel SMS weighted properly in the SW and moving back to the 50 degree GW, my final set ended up averaging 118 yards with a slightly slower swing speed. Extra 5 yards. I gained 4 yards with the 54 degree as well, with the same or more spin.
Gaining yards with my wedges were the last thing I was looking to do, but it was purely an outcome of finding the right weight that kept the club path consistent, and kept the face square. Instant increase in distance and better dispersion. And every swing felt like it was coming out of the middle.
This transferred to the range as well, and on the course, where I was consistently hitting wedges 5 yards further with ease, with the potential to hit 10 yard farther if attempting to hit a lower draw.
In a separate indoor Trackman session 1 week ago, I nearly replicated my fitting numbers. This time finding the Edels to be 6 or 7 yards longer with no real detriment to launch conditions or flight.
On Course - 5/5 Stars
I love on course testing. Looks don't matter, brands don't matter, numbers don't matter. Everything is results based, and that's really where the Edel SMS wedges shined in my opinion.
I shot my first ever under par round over 18 holes, albeit on a executive course that I skipped around on tee boxes to ensure that I could tee off with a wedge in hand on every hole. I only carried the 3 Edel wedges and a putter. Average hole length come to 110 yards, and I was in the zone. This was the first time playing on a course with the new wedges, and it was beyond an amazing honeymoon period. It's hard to ignore instant success the first time the clubs are in the bag. There's definitely something here.
The results did not really stop from there. My handicap has not moved much over the last few months, so there isn't any quantifiable evidence (my cap dropped from 4.8 to 4.6 while testing), but I just feel like I have much better control over full wedge shots. Distance and trajectory control is more predictable, and I feel the Edel SMS wedges are more workable then my Clevelands and especially my TM Hi Toes. It has really been beneficial to be able to add or take off 5 yards by changing the flight. It's tough to explain, but when the weighting feels right, there's a better feel for the clubhead and face, and for me that makes it much easier to hit high fades and lower flighted draws on command. I feel like I can slow the swing down and get more out of it.
Besides one really difficult course, I've been very happy with my scoring with the Edels in the bag. I'm usually a 78-82 player with a low anti-cap, and I've been comfortable within that margin every time out while shooting better on several rounds at executive courses. And for me, this is not peak season and conditions can be more difficult in the summer, so I am excited to see what the Fall and Winter will look like.
I can say that my putts per round has dropped 1.3 putts over the 8 rounds with Edels versus the 8 previous rounds. Could be coincidental. I also put a new putter in the bag. But I feel like I haven't even been putting that well, and that my hole proximity is better.
The Good, The Bad, The Inbetween - 4/5 Stars
I find it a bit odd that Edel does not have a weight kit available. As is, the SMS wedges are going to be best for people looking to get professionally fit for them. That seems to play into the niche golfer that is already familiar with the brand and is going into a fitting already expecting a purchase but just dialing in specs. I’m not sure how big of a draw that is. I think they audience becomes a bit more limited, whereas the weight kit could open it up to the tinkerer that wants to experiment with over 100 combinations of head weights. I will say, the fitting component was extremely successful for me and I would highly recommend that route for anyone that is truly interested.
Play it or Trade it? - 4/5 Stars
This is a bit difficult to grade, but I have to give high marks because the 50c and 54v are staying in the bag. I’ve never felt so confident from 120-90 yards. There’s something to the weighting where the club just feels in position, and I finally feel like I am throwing darts and not just spraying balls. I feel like my approach play on fuller shots has been as good as it has ever been. The 54v has also been a revelation around the greens. Played off the back foot, this has quickly become a go to club for lower flighted pitches and chips. And in bunkers with adequate sand, it has performed admirably.
The same can be said about the 58t on full shots and in the bunker, but in all honesty there's just too much bounce on touch shots around the green for my liking. Again, I have a shallow attack angle, I play on firm tight lies, and I’m hitting onto fast greens, so I prefer being able to pick the ball with LW. Could a different grind fit me better? Possibly. Would bending a 60 degree stronger to lower the bounce help? Possibly. But right now I just have more confidence with a much lower bounce option than Edel provides. That being said, I’m definitely keeping the 58t. I could see it being useful depending on course conditions or on my travels.
Final Score - 26/30 Stars
There's something to the Edel SMS wedges. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly. By Edel's own admission the moveable weights don't have much influence on the COG. So every change to the ball flight with different weight settings is purely brought on by the users feel. Snake oil? Marketing hype? I cycle through alot of clubs, especially wedges, and these just feel right. Above all, I feel in full control of the club. And naturally, when there's that connectedness and confidence, I've seen better dispersion and distance in my fitting, in subsequent monitor sessions, and on the course.
Again, there's something here, and there's not currently another wedge like it. I'd have to say, if you are in the market for new wedges and are planning to get fit, then I would recommend atleast considering the Edel SMS wedges. Get them in hand. There are really a unique product. If you get the grinds right, they are as good as anything out there.
mikeanthony reacted to GolfSpy TCB in Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts
Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 115 – Official MGS Forum Review by Tim Root
As most of us on this forum are, I am an avid golfer, always looking for ways to improve my game. In my Golf Lifetime, equipment manufacturing companies have done a tremendous job convincing me that if I play this ball like my favorite PGA Professional, or that driver like the winner of last week’s tournament, or buy this training device as endorsed by the “world’s greatest” teacher… all I have to do is show up to the course loaded with equipment (though not as previously loaded with cash) to shoot below par. And to a certain extent, there is a lot of merit in finding the right piece of equipment to fit my game – but I won’t find it by watching tv commercials or looking at what the pro’s play… I will find it – as Ben Hogan would say… “in the dirt” (not to say I haven’t taken the bait more times than I care to admit).
As far as equipment is concerned, probably the last thing on my list for potential game improvement was the shaft… and more specifically, iron shafts. Driver heads, iron sets, putters, wedges, balls, even grips are more likely to garner my excitement than an iron shaft. Not to mention tees promising 4 more yards 😉.
So when I saw that MyGolfSpy was looking for participants to test iron shafts, my first impulse was to pass on this one… hoping the next opportunity to test would be a sexy piece of golf equipment to put in my bag and marvel at how amazing it looks… while searching for my ball in the woods. Now, “common sense” and “my golf game” don’t often collide in the same sentence – but in reconsidering this opportunity, I started to research iron shafts, and how important they are to maximize performance in what I consider to be the single largest opportunity for improvement in my game… approach.
I spent the last 8 months playing T200 irons fitted with Mitsubishi Tensei Blue Graphite shafts and honestly never felt I synced with them. The club swung very monochrome when I was used to a full color palate. I couldn’t feel the head, contact felt “clacky”, and even balls that seemed to fly on the intended target path and distance weren’t at all satisfying. Initially I blamed the “game improvement” T200 completely for this. Even though the T200’s are forged, they do have that pesky plate on the back, and it was hard not to overcome my mental thought of them having “plastic” as part of the DNA.
But the reality is – while that true forged head feel I had grown accustomed to with my old Mizuno MP-33’s and not quite so old MP-68’s was not as evident with the T200s – the bland feel was more to do with the shafts, not the heads. I didn’t know this until I had these Modus3 Tour 115’s installed in the T200’s.
The N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 115 shafts actually seemed to address several of the concerns I have with my “gamer” shafts.
From the Nipponshaft.com website:
Trajectory control? Spin Control? Directly transmit power to clubhead and ball? Lighter weight… but not too light described as a “golden spec”? Yes, Please!! I threw my name in the hat, and as good fortune would have it… I was chosen to be a tester.
First Impressions: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
They look great installed, don’t they?
These shafts look sleek, hot and fast. The red graphics across the chrome silver shaft remind me of the Deltawing Racer from years back.
Again, it is hard to understand or convey how a shaft’s looks make me more confident over a shot… but that box is checked with these Tour 115’s.
Aesthetics: 5 out of 5 Stars
Statistical analysis is a conundrum for me. To my own detriment most likely, I put a lot more weight in “feel” and on the course results than I do into data analysis. I am only just starting to gain understanding on launch monitor data and what it means beyond carry distances. Though other testers will have better data and analysis than I have, I will offer a few data points from my Mevo+Pro (caveat – the LM data below is based on short range into net shots – total of 30 feet from LM to net).
I recorded these samples just a few days apart using the same 7 iron head, first with the graphite shaft, and then with the new Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 115 shaft for comparison purposes.
Shot Patterns from Mitsubishi Tensei Blue Shafts:
Compared to the N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 115 Shafts
Aside from the obvious (I’m old and out of shape, similar to my mental acuity, my swing is weak and slow), a few things jump out at me – even not fully understanding what the LM Data is telling me.
Consistently (though poor) swing between shafts – evidenced by fairly tight variances in swing speed, smash factor, club path, face path and face to target. Eliminating some of the concerns I had about swinging better or worse from one day to the next. Carry distance was essentially the same between the shafts – which in itself could be included in point #1, but with point #3, I believe it deserves it’s own bullet. Height is about 7 yards lower in flight on average, Flight Time is the same, even with the lower ball flight. If I didn’t mention it before, the stability and consistency I was “feeling” with the Modus Tour 115 shafts is evident in the dispersion pattern in the samples above. This is the confidence builder stat for me. Data that I’m not sure how to decipher: AoA was increased in Modus3 sample, which may have resulted in a lower Dynamic Loft (and lower ball flight). Also, spin was a bit lower with the Modus shaft. I should also mention, that the results from the LM data are extremely indicative of the results I have seen across all my irons with the Nippon shafts in range sessions and on the course. This may be anecdotal, but when I changed to the Tour 115’s my scoring average started improving. In the 20 rounds I have played with the Tour 115’s, my average score has dropped by 2.15 strokes and my handicap reflects the improvement as well:
Statistics: 5 out of 5 Stars
ON THE COURSE:
Because I’m a feel and results player (whether that is good or bad is up for debate), equipment satisfaction is derived from my swing feeling like it has life. Knowing where my club head is throughout my swing, feeling it kick through the ball, being consistently in my expected flight window, going the distances I expect, and reacting on the ground the way I want it to. With my iron shots, I’m looking for a boring flight (meaning not a pop-up, but more of a frozen rope), holds its line when struck correctly, hits the green with a hop and stop. I struggled with my previous shafts on all those aspects. The graphite shafts felt like a board through my swing – no “action”, with high trajectory shots that were inconsistent distances (both short and long) and line, and rolled out on the green.
However, the moment I installed the Modus3 Tour 115’s on the T200’s, all that changed.
Though the club feels noticeably heavier, that isn’t a detriment… if anything, I prefer the weighty feel. I can feel the club head throughout my swing and can feel the shaft working for me as it loads for impact, kicking through the ball. The trajectory is low and boring hitting my window, the distances are consistent and my shots seem to be holding their line better, probably due to a better trajectory and spin profile… which also gives me the ground reaction of “hop and stop” I want to see. How much of that is confidence in the shaft to make a good swing, and how much is actual performance of the shaft… don’t know… don’t care… RESULTS are king.
Course Performance: 5 out of 5 Stars
I fully admit I was predisposed to liking these shafts. Being disgruntled with my pre-Modus3 setup, I was looking for a change. But I wasn’t expecting that change to come solely in the form of a shaft. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to LOVE my T200’s the way I do right now. Granted, they aren’t butter like a Mizuno Blade, but with a better shaft fit for me – they provide every bit of feedback on my swing I need to execute good golf shots. These Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 115 shafts are ALIVE, and brought those T200 heads back to life too. What more can I ask?
As irony would have it, I recently received the long ago ordered Mizuno Pro 221’s, so I will try to contrast and compare as much as possible in post-review comments (though two totally different heads makes it very subjective). However, I can say it is VERY difficult to put down these T200’s … even with those shiny new blades looking at me (which is a HUGE statement for a tinkerer like me). One thing I want to better understand is where the 115g weight fits with my swing compared to the 105g that I have in the Mizunos. I really enjoy the extra weight compared to the graphite shafts previously installed in my T200’s, but will I get better performance from shaving off 10g? With a slower swing speed such as mine, maybe… but if it means giving up the ‘action’ and ‘feel’ I am experiencing in these 115’s… the benefits would need to be pretty significant for me to consider it.
Take Away: 5 out of 5 Stars
PLAY OR TRADE:
My comments above have given a pretty clear indication on this, but let me double down… these shafts are staying in my Gamers (T200’s) – without a doubt. In fact, when I am ready for my next new set of irons (being a member of the Club Ho’s Anonymous thread… that could come sooner than later) I will be purchasing heads only, as I have the shaft that works for my game right now.
Play it or Trade It: 5 out of 5 Stars
The Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 115 Shafts meet or exceed every expectation I had for them.
Compared to my previously installed Mitsubishi Tensei Blue Graphite shafts, the Tour 115’s offer a better weight profile for my swing; lower trajectory for better control with no loss of distance; tighter dispersion on both distance and direction; and gives me the ability to feel my clubhead throughout the swing. The Tour 115 shafts excel in stability through impact, and gives me confidence to make swings for shaping my shots when needed. Where my previous shafts seemed to be a one trick pony, I rate the Tour 115’s as a team of stallions in my bag.
My shot making, and as a result my scoring, has improved since installing these shafts. I would recommend these shafts to anyone looking to upgrade their irons.
Final Score: 29.5 out of 30 Stars
mikeanthony reacted to Nunfa0 in Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts
In case you haven't seen it, here is my intro for this...
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
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
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
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...
mikeanthony reacted to Syks7 in Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts
Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts – Official MGS Forum -- Review by Syks7 (Jonathan Gilliam)
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.
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)
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.
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)
mikeanthony reacted to JFish350 in Sub70 949x Fairway
First Impressions (500 Words) (4 out of 5 Stars)Click the link above
Aesthetics (5 out of 5 Stars)
Describe the following:
General Shape: This club is pleasing to my eye, not only just looking at it, but at address setting up or a shot both at the range and on the course, it gives me confidence I can pull off the shot I want just before I pull the trigger.
How does the overall look come together? From the face to the carbon fiber top it is a very good looking club.
How does the appearance compare to other clubs in the same category? I don't have much to compare it to. I had a Callaway epic flash 3 wood. I sold/borrowed it to a friend. It's a nice looking club and this Sub70 is just as nice if not better IMO.
Are they flashy? Do other players notice them in your bag without being prompted? I wouldn't call this club flashy, it is a very nice looking club but who buys a club that looks good. Performance and cost are what we should be using in buying clubs correct at least that's what I do. So if flashy means performance this thing is a Lamborghini ( my dream car).
Describe how the club sounds and feels
Does it sound: loud, quiet, harsh, smooth, or other? This has a smooth sounding tic, or thwack to it. Some clubs sound odd like dull thud or an obnoxious ting or the ever brutal Sasquatch. Even on miss hits it has a nice note.
Does it feel soft, crisp, dull, clicky? For those that played baseball/softball when you hit a home run, you don't feel the ball leaving the bat. You swing and the ball just flys off the bat like it's a surprise. Well this has that same feeling, the ball just fly's off the face.
Does it feel consistent across the face, or are mis-hits noticeably pronounced?There might be a slight difference in feel, but you really need to hit off the toe like almost miss the ball before you really know how far outside or inside you missed the club face. It would be more noticeable in ball flight but even then not much of difference. I have a 1 iron that when I miss the sweet spot it rattles may hands. This is the club I am hoping to replace
Does the sound/feel affect your performance? Short answer is no. Other than exuding confidence I can pull off what shot I want to play. Granted I am a 15/16 handicap I can pull off shaping the ball on occasion and on purpose.
The Numbers (5 out of 5 stars)
Accuracy – Are you able to consistently hit your target? What’s the dispersion like? On the range once I got the weights adjusted to fit my swing I was able to try and work the ball. After getting a feel, I would go 3-5 shots trying to draw then fade then straight. I would do 5- 6 rounds each or until I lost the feel and needed to hit some wedges to cool down a bit. I was able to work the ball at will (wish I could do this on the course). This really gave me confidence once I got on the course, lie dependent of course. Tough to simulate rough and lie types from a mat, still it helps in knowing I've already made the shot and can do it again when it matters.
Distance – Raw distance regardless of direction: I'm having issues with my launch monitor so it was hard to know for a fact the distance. When on the course I was using it for shots from 225-250. At the range with well used balls it seems distance was from 215-250. I will say I was hoping for a little more distance, that said I have never had a 4 wood before and wasn't sure what to expect. I am not deducting points for this.
Trajectory – High, low, or somewhere in between? All depends on strike. A solid strike the ball flys high, straight and on target. I've tried a few shots from the rough with rain the night before and as it dried out getting more fluffy lie. I lost a little bot of distance a slight draw. When I tried to hit more of a cut from the rough I go the outcome I wanted with a nice ball flight on target. This a make contact and the ball will do what you want type of club, no need to crank it up. Make your normal swing and you're good to roll.
On-Course (5 out of 5 stars)
Pressure – When you step up to a difficult shot with something on the line (money, best score, water water water) can you execute for success? I have mentioned earlier that this club gives me confidence. I feel I can take this club and make the shot. I do need to dial in the distance and then re-work the top of my bag. I want this club in my bag, I'm just not sure where it will fit as of right now.
What factors were you pleased with? It's easy to swing, I can feel the club all the way through my swing. It's my swing that gets out of wack and I can sometimes correct during the swing to get the ball to go on target. I really like how easy this club is to adjust to fit my swing.
Final Performance Comments:
Overall, how did it perform? I had really high expectations from this club. I've made it no secret that I play Sub70 irons, and 3HY. I totally love my irons and 3 HY and have had plenty of other golfers mention how they look, sound and feel. I have a bit higher swing speed than most people I play with so it's hard for them to get a good feel as I have KBS Tour 130 shafts in my irons. This 4 wood has lived up to my expectations. As mentioned I will be re-working the top of bag to fit this in.
Did it help improve your scores? By how much? Hard to tell at this point as I have only played it on the course 3 rounds. In those 3 rounds I would say it saved 2-3 strokes per round. How you ask, well when I top my driver and it goes less than 100 yards or just hit a bad drive and the ball is in the rough with a yardage of 230 plus I have made some great saves to put me back on track for a par or limit the big numbers.
How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of the OEM? As mentioned I have Sub70 irons and my opinion is, Sub70 is my first look at any club they have that I can put in my bag.
What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model? Hands down the head cover. It isn't bad, but it has an old style look and feel. I replaced the head cover on my hybrid, but I have left this on as I want people to ask me about this brand of club.
What features do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models? I like the simple easy on the eyes looks. The ease of adjustability is fantastic, This I hope stays. Some engineers want to make changes just for change, Change is not always good or needed. If it isn't broke don't fix it, tune it up sure but no need to revamp anything.
The Good, the bad, the in between ( 4 out of 5 stars)
The good is a long list that I hope I listed out above. The bad is the club head cover and that is nit picking at best. The only in-between would be the swing and that isn't fair to ding the club for being a 15 handicap.
Play it or Trade it? (5 out of 5 stars)
Absolutely want to fit this in my bag and keep it there. I feel like I should take a point off for them making such a good club and making me re-work the top end of my bag.
I had very high expectations for this club. I have Sub70 699 pro Irons and a 3 hy. These perform tremendously well for me and I expect the same from the 949x 4 wood, It does not disappoint. A workable club even for a borderline hack as myself at a 15/16 hdcp. Very easy to hit starting at the range mats, to turf, fairway and then from the rough. To me this club gives me confidence in that I am able to pull of shots to get me out of trouble and save strokes one my game and we can all use that. I do plan to keep this in my bag and I have mentioned a few times that I now need to re-work the top end of my bag. I did have to make adjustments from the stock settings. This is an easy adjustment and I believe thought and care went into the design/system to make it so. My advice to anyone looking for a 4 wood that this be their first stop.
OEM's are easier to find and try out sure, but is it really worth the money to say I play the (pick whatever brand) rather than have a club that is as good if not better for less money? My opinion is no, I am good with an off brand club that's works, cost less and now I can take that money and put to a different use.
Final Score (28 out of 30 stars)
I took 1 point from first impressions as the shaft and head combo took some time to get used to. Not their fault as I gave them 2 options of shafts to choose from, but it still caught me off guard.
I took one point off from GOOD, Bad, and in between. The club head cover needs a re-due. This does not affect the club performance one bit, but it is still part of the club and experience.
I will post some data over the summer and how I am going to fit this club in my bag. If anyone has questions please ask away.
Thank you to MGS for continuing their efforts in getting information to all of us on all things golf.
Thank you to Sub70 for providing us with products to the readers of MGS. Keep up the great work.
mikeanthony reacted to MrBandit in Sub70 949x Fairway
The Review (updated 5/26/2022)
Sub70 949X 5 Wood – Official MGS Forum Review by @MrBandit
Sub70 949X - Intro
I have been golfing for the past 18yrs, started after leaving the military and moving to San Francisco, I never expected to play golf. Everyone in my office played golf and they took me to a par 3 course in San Francisco and I remembering making par on the 4 hole (easy game, LOL) have been hook since.
Once I moved back to NYC, I began to play more and become more competitive and really get hooked on the game. Now living in Texas, my game as become more consistent as I get the play year-round vs 6 months a year when I was in NYC.
Started playing in some of the US AM Tour tournaments again, and this has help my confidence and concentration since every shot counts and cannot just waste a shot if I was just playing around with friends.
My game – Currently at 8.4 HC, up and down, struggle with concentration in the middle of the round causing silly mistakes, which escalates those numbers quickly. Hence my scores fluctuating from 77 to 87. Chipping and putting has help keep my rounds under control, getting up and down from around the greens. Which I considered that my strength of my game. I struggle at times with my mid irons, but I compensate with my wedge game and putting.
My driving accuracy has improved when I switch over to the new TaylorMade Stealth HD 9.0 a few months ago, put the same Nippon NS Regio MB+ 65 shaft I have been using since last year. which help keep the ball in the fairway and eliminating one side of the fairway. Distance has improve coming from the TourEdge Exotic Pro.
Looking forward to adding a 5 Wood to my bag and replacing the 3Wood. I come to the realization am a man of a certain age now with excessive mileage that going for the green in 2 is not going to be in the cards very often and play to my strength of wedge game into the greens.
Am expecting great things from this Sub70 949X.
First Impressions (5 out of 5 Stars)
Packaging hits the mark, Black box with Sub70 branding catches the eye right away. Inside the box, hand written note thanking for the purchase and to enjoy the product. Inside comes with adjusting tool, Sub70 ball Marker and sticker.
In the pouch it comes with additional weight to be able to adjust as need it.
The 5 wood is stunning when looking down on it, carbon head reflects up nicely. The 5 wood sits well at address. Smaller head , just slightly bigger than my TE 3 Hybrids. Its a confident look when addressing the ball.
The Hzrdus 60G Shaft really makes you feel you are swinging faster and not feeling like you are out of control.
Took it out on range briefly to give it a try, and the sound was solid, good penetrating ball flight, and it was consistent ball flight and center strikes. Swing the club felt confident and sturdy. Sub70 claims their utilizing nascent technologies to improve ball flight, trajectory, and spin, which I could tell. Since it comes with additional 6 &12 gram weights it will allow you to adjust the ball flight even further. Am happy with the standard setup right now. Straight ball all day.
The I took it out to the course for the first time, in the late after noon and the hits off the tee and off the fairway are solid, its a fairway finder for about 205-210 yds consistently. This will give you the confidence that you can hit that tight fairway and keep it in play. I need to get more reps, I haven't really gone after it, its has been solid strikes(so far) every time which was a happy surprise. Usually with 3 wood you have the tendency to top it at times or flare it right . This was down the middle every time.
Aesthetics (5 out of 5 Stars)
General Shape – Small head, just a little larger than a 3Hybrid and smaller than your 3wood. Graphics/Badging – Simple clean graphic on bottom of the head, #5, 949x and sub 70 logo. How does the overall look come together? – the club looks sharp; it looks like you will smash it every time. How does the appearance compare to other clubs in the same category? Its clean looking, carbon head looks stunning at address. It’s a good-looking club, plain and simple with no extra flare. Other unique details – 2 weights to allow you change characteristics of the club performance. Are they flashy? Do other players notice them in your bag without being prompted?
Club Is not flashy while in the bag, head cover black with the white sub70 diamond logo.
People have commented on the sound and consistency of club. Sound: Sound is a solid, not dull but you can tell if you hit it. It feels consistent even on mis-hits. You can tell if you hit it on the toe or heel but out of the ordinary.
The Numbers (4 out of 5 stars)
Accuracy – by far one of the most accurate woods I have ever hit. If you don’t like straight this is not for you. Distance – Consistently between 215-230 yds. Trajectory – High and landed soft, but also you can hit low, it was great to have that option. Forgiveness – One thing that was very impressive was the miss hits, either toe, heel, high or low the club was consistently straight. You will lose some yards from non-center hits but it was nothing that will discourage you from hitting the club. I found to be a solid fairway finder with enough distance to give you to the opportunity to reach the green. Control – Another thing I notice was how easily was to hit the club, didn’t turn on your hands, it was aim and swing and you was on target. Built tons of confidence the more I used the club. Workability – This could be the only downside of this club, it was pretty much straight, I had to go way out of the way to try to cut the ball (which I like to do)So I had to settle (happily) to be a straight club. On-Course (5 out of 5 stars)
While on the course this where the club really shine, when you had to hit the shot, fairway, get to the right distance. Out of 7 rounds with this club only once it didn’t perform and this was only because of user error, not the club fault.
I was able to get to comfortable distance with the 5 Wood, longest 235yds, but it was steady between 215-230yds. Hitting High straight shots that landed softly, miss hits that went straight and out of harm’s way. The more I used the club the more confident it was bringing me to pull it when I need it a 220-230yds shot knowing that I was going to get the desired results.
Long par 3 that were 200-215yds, it was nice to hit this club with confidence that I can hit high, and it would land softly on target.
Par 5 is the main reason I went with the 5 wood, as i have realized that a lot of the par5 I play I could no longer reach it 2, that I could instead place myself in situation to have a wedge in hand to be able to attach the flag when possible. And it works as intended, it gave me better opportunities to score since I knew I was in a preferred yardage. I didn’t have to scramble because my 3 wood went left or right or not long enough and had to recover from not favorable spots.
Final Performance Comments:
Overall, how did it perform? Over performed expectation Did it help improve your scores? It improves my scoring by at least 2shots, specially on the par 5 since I was using wedges for my 3 shot on every Par 5 How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of the OEM? Performance of the club made me start thinking about other clubs from SUB70, with the current performance of the 5 wood. What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model? Nothing.
The Good, the bad, the in between (5 out of 5 stars)
Everything about this process was excellent, from using their fit tools, to asking for specific specs and getting exactly what was requested.
The club exciding expectation on performance and the aesthetics of the club where solid. This is what
Play it or Trade it? (5 out of 5 stars)
This club is 100% Play it, if you haven’t tried it, you are missing out on a steady performer. By far the most consistent club I have ever hit. It will be hard to replace this club from my bag.
Having heard of Sub70 before but never have been able to use one of their products I had reservations on how the Sub70 5 Wood would perform. But from the distinctive packaging and personalized handwritten notes. From the range session to the on-course performance, the club exceeded expectations and made me wonder why I didn’t try them before and now made me thing about looking into their other products ie. hybrids or even 3 wood (not that am using mine currently, because of the 5 wood) but it made me wonder If I need to reconsider replacing my current one with a Sub70.
I’m very happy that I got the opportunity from GolfSpy to test and review this club and I would simply say if you consistency and performance Sub70 should be in your options.
Final Score (29 out of 30 stars)
mikeanthony reacted to DaveP043 in Sub70 949x Fairway
Introduction for Sub70 949 Fairway
Added First Impressions
OK, here we are, about 3 weeks later, and the short answer to any question is Yes, this club will be in the bag for the foreseeable future. Now to the details.
After those first few outings, I kept the Sub70 in the bag over a number of rounds. Some were normal club rounds, a couple were more serious inter-club matches. I mentioned in my introduction, I was interested in this review opportunity because both my 3-wood (Titleist 915F) and hybrid (Titleist 816 H2) are about 6 or 7 years old, and I've been considering replacing both. The Sub70 5-wood seemed like a potential replacement for the hybrid, I was hoping for similar distance (200 yards or so) and higher ball flight. So I used the 5-wood everywhere I might have used the hybrid, and a few more besides. It was a bit of a journey for me, I made similar mistakes to those I made with previous club changes, I swung harder and expected more. That doesn't work for me, and probably doesn't work for most people. I found that I could hit tremendous hooks by setting up just a little too far away and catching the ball towards the toe. This club CANNOT fix bad swings.
Then I settled down, started making normal swings with proper set-ups. And like magic, the ball started to fly reasonably straight, reasonably high, and consistent distances. I wasn't magically hitting every shot in the center of the clubface, but I wasn't near as far off as on some of my earlier swings. And the more I relaxed, the better the shots became. I wasn't sure what to expect from the rough, but the seems to glide through the grass, and the ball jumps up pretty well. I'm now hitting it pretty straight to a slight draw, consistently hitting fairways and/or greens, I'm really pleased.
On to the ratings:
Aesthetics - 5 of 5
Its simply a good looking club, nothing flashy, nothing complicated, just solid. I'm a pretty traditional guy, and this club looks pretty traditional to me. The carbon fiber for the club body is the “new normal”, and I like it. No alignment dot or logo, that's just fine. The sole is also fairly simple, and I like that, fancy graphics don't help to hit the ball. The sound is solid, a nice subdued click. The feel is consistently solid, even on those god-awful hooks I was hitting originally. I can feel the off-center, but its not real harsh.
The Numbers – 5 of 5
I'm usually more of a on-course guy, but there's a new indoor Trackman Simulator facility near me, so I booked a half-hour there. I ended up spending an hour hitting, no additional charge, a big thanks to https://www.tapinleesburg.com/. I hit a few different clubs, but concentrated on my hybrid and the Sub70 5-wood. I feel like the distances are a little less than “reality”, with reality being based not (as much) on my ego but on real distances on the golf course. But I think the trends are probably accurate. I've edited out a few obvious mishits, but the figures show the results. Based on the Trackman numbers, the 5-wood is about 5 yards longer than the hybrid, and has an apex about 10 feet higher.
Dispersion seems a little wider with the 5-wood, but I hit more shots with it. Take away those two wild shots to the right, and the patterns are pretty similar.
In short, I got just the performance I hoped for.
On the Course – 5 of 5
Hitting off a smooth mat in a Trackman simulator is one thing, but what matters is on-course performance. I'm pretty happy with the 5-wood. I've hit it from a tee on par-3 holes, level lies, uphill and (less often) downhill lies, ball above and below my feet. I've played from the fairway and from the rough. Generally, I'd say the 5-wood is easier to hit solidly and get flying than the hybrid, especially from light to moderate rough. Reasonable mishits still flew straight enough, with little loss of distance. I honestly have not a single complaint, the club simply works. Its not magic, it doesn't make up for poor decisions of poor swings, but if I do my job, the club does its job. Facing a 200-yard par-3, I can pull this and believe I am GOING to hit the green.
The Good, the Bad, the In-Between - 5 of 5
I'm not sure what all belongs here, but I've considered a few things about the company and their business model. One drawback to Sub70, and other DTC clubs, is that most of us will never be able to hit one before we buy it. But Sub70 offers a 60-day money back guarantee. They have a demo program, you can try a club for a nominal cost. I'm not sure there's anything more they can do to make things work. The selection of shafts and grips seems pretty good to me. So Sub70 gets 5 stars, not only for the one club I have, but for the way they do business.
The one suggestion, and I docked a half-star in my initial impressions, I'd prefer paper instructions with the club. I'd rather not have to find the website to figure out how to add a degree of loft when I'm getting ready to play, I want to have that stored in my golf bag.
Play it or Trade it? 5 of 5
This club is in my bag for the summer, and probably beyond. I'm reworking my wedges this Spring too, reducing from 3 clubs to 2, so I'll have a spot to fill at the long end of my bag. I'll certainly be looking at Sub70, maybe even a 3-wood to replace my current one, and a 7-wood to fill the gap between the 5-wood and my longest iron.
I applied for this Review because I was considering changing out my current hybrid for something that would get me about the same distance, with a little higher ball flight. I got just that with the Sub70 949x 5-wood, slightly longer distance, noticeably higher ball flight. Beyond that, its plenty forgiving, and easier to hit from poor lies. This club is a keeper, and my experience will definitely lead me to consider Sub70 clubs in the future.
mikeanthony reacted to pakman92 in Sub70 949x Fairway
The Review (updated 5/8/2022)
Sub70 949X 3 Wood – Official MGS Forum Review by @pakman92
Link to Personal Introduction
First Impression, Aesthetics and build quality (4.8 out of 5 Stars)
My Sub70 949x 3 wood arrived via UPS in a very classy looking black box. The Club was very well secured with foam blocks placed strategically inside the box with cut outs for club(s) to fit into. Inside I found a hand-written note which I felt was a very nice touch. Something I would not expect from a large established brand. Also included in the packaging was a ball marker, a Sub70 sticker, a head cover, a torque wrench, and a couple of weights, 6 gram and 12 gram. Ripping the shrink wrap off the cover revealed a very clean, simple, and compact looking head. I liked how the top of the head was void of any markings. The subtly visible carbon fiber weave pattern looked in harmony with the similar pattern on the HZRDUS Evenflow Riptide shaft I chose. Lamkin 360 grip in grey added a little contrast to otherwise completely black club. Overall, I was very impressed with the looks. I wasn’t sure I would like it based on the pictures I had seen, but it looked very classy in real life. Closely examining the head, I found the build quality to be excellent. There were absolutely no blemishes with the paint work. The painted parts and the non-painted areas were smooth in transition. I also liked how the adjustable hosel did not have a separate cosmetic ferrule. They can slip down sometimes. I give aesthetics as well build quality 4.8 out of 5 stars. I did not care for the look of the head cover. It looked rather cheap and blah. I never keep OEM headcovers, so no big deal. I felt the white scoring lines stood out a little too much against otherwise very clean looking head. I'm knit picking here.
I was happy to find that the club sat near square at address (only very slightly open). Many of the 3 woods I have tried in the past sat naturally open which caused me to manipulate the heads with my hands to get them to be square at address rather than being able to let them rest naturally on the turf. For that reason, my current 3 wood, Callaway Epic Flash 3 wood, has the hosel setting that closes the face angle a couple of degrees. From the Sub70 website, I found that "-1" setting is for closing the face angle by one degree. I made the adjustment immediately before hitting any balls, I found that it sat perfectly square for me which will inspire a lot of confidence at address for sure. I think I prefer the way the club sat with "-1" setting just a little better, so I will be starting my testing with that setting.
I took the swings with the Sub70 off the mat for the first impression part of the review. The Sub70 felt nice in my hands, I could feel that it was a little heavier in my hands probably due to the 70 gram class Evenflow Riptide I have in it vs the 60 gram class Evenflow green I have in my Callaway. I prefer a smaller compact sized head when hitting off the turf (or mat) and Sub70 definitely fit that bill. I made solid contact with all 9 swings which is almost unusual for me with a 3 wood. The sound was a satisfying thud. It was not clicky or pingy which can be off pudding. I was launching them a bit low and distance suffered a bit because of it. A couple which hit I solid felt very good. The low mishits flew further than I expected. I wanted to add some flair to the first impression part of the review so, I took those first 9 shots on Pebble Beach 18th hole just past the big tree in the middle of the fairway about 225 yards to the pin. I sprayed them a bit, but like I said, I was impressed that I made decent contact with all 9 swings. I had planned on hitting 10 shots, but the 9th shot was too good so I decided to end it there. Here's the link to the video First Shots with the Sub70 949X 3 wood (Edited: Added Trimmed video below)
sub70-3w-firstshots.mp4 To summarize, at first glance, I was very impressed with Sub70 949x 3wood. I plan to hit many more shots with it and my current gamer to provide comparison data both on and off the tee. (Update: 5/7/22) I had a chance to put it in play today at Pinehills - Jones course in Plymouth, MA. It was a very tough day with 20-30mph sustained winds with stronger gusts and wind chill of low 40's. Needless to say, I didn't dare go for any par 5 in 2. But, I had a chance to hit it off the tee on the second hole with it. I hit a tight little draw that must have been wind-aided on a firm fairway which Arccos recorded a 263 yards. (See pic below)
The Numbers (4.5 of 5 stars)
I had a chance to hit 60 shots each with the Sub70 3 wood and my gamer, Callaway Epic Flash 3 wood spread out over multiple weeks on my launch monitor. Below is a video summarizing the result.
2022-06-03 23-20-34.mp4 As described in the video, Sub70 excelled both on the tee as well as off the deck. Only reason for 4.5 stars instead of 5 was because of the few yards of loss in carry when hitting off the deck. However, I was so much more accurate with the Sub70 and the Evenflow Riptide combo than my Callaway Epic Flash, there was really no comparison. Apart from dispersion/accuracy differences, most of the metric were similar including launch angle, peak height and spin rate. See below for summarized results. I attribute my success with the sub70 partially to how comfortable I felt withe the way the head sat. I didn't have to manipulate the club in anyway which gave me a ton of confidence. Clear winner!
Off the Tee - Sub70 had tighter dispersion, much more on-line and has equal distance vs Callaway
Off the Deck - Sub70 had tighter dispersion but was 4 yards shorter (carry) on average
Data in numeric format - key differences circled in red
On The Course (4?? out of 5 stars)
Unfortunately, I've only had limited opportunities to collect data using Arcos and Sub70. I certainly feel much more confidence wielding the sub70 over the Callaway. It has already replaced my Callaway in the bag which will soon find its way to ebay. Be on the lookout for a used Callaway Epic Flash 3 wood in great condition! I will have more opportunities to put MY sub70 in play over the coming weeks and I will update the rating at that point.
The good, the bad and the in-between (3 out of 5 stars)
Would I buy another sub70 949x wood if mine was lost or stolen? Yes, absolutely. Would I have ever bought a sub70 949x wood w/o having had this testing experience? Absolutely not. There is the rub. Without the ability to test it out firsthand in some fashion (fitting, store hitting bay, etc.), it will be difficult to make the leap. Will I buy a 5 wood to go with the 3 wood if I ever decide to add a 5 wood to my bag? Possibly. Will I buy a Sub70 Driver or an iron set? Probably not. While this is a great club (especially in my case), I don't know that I have bought into direct-to-consumer-without-ever-seeing-the-club model.
Play it or Trade it? (5 out of 5 stars)
It's already in my bag and I foresee that it will stay there for a long time.
mikeanthony 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.
mikeanthony 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.
mikeanthony reacted to ncwoz in Titleist T-Series Irons
Titleist T100 - Official MGS Forum Review by ncwoz
Final Review (Part 4)
Now that I've been able to play the Titleist T100 irons for the last month and change, I feel comfortable posting my final review. For those who are just skimming and looking for a quick summary: for anyone looking for an iron that packs surprising forgiveness into a compact, great looking iron, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't consider the T100 line.
For anyone wanting to know some more details, read on!
Just for reference - I'll be grading these irons relative to what they "should" be. For example, I'm not comparing the forgiveness of these irons to a super game improvement iron. I'm trusting the reader will have a rough idea of which level of iron their skill matches up with.
I absolutely love the look of these irons. As I mentioned in my first impressions below, the only thing I wasn't initially so sure about was the look of the short irons. I take it all back! Having some time to acclimate to the new look, I recently took out my Maltby TS-1 gamers (which I think already look really good) and the Titleist blow them away.
Looks are super subjective, so please check out some of the pictures below to help form your own opinion. To me, the top line is thin but not so much to shake my confidence (probably because I've still had success with mishits - check out my comments on the performance below). The blade length is relatively short, and my eye really appreciates the "sharp-ish" toe and the hosel transition. The offset is exactly where I'd want it - minimal in the shorter irons, and slightly increasing going into the longer irons. Enough to inspire some confidence, but not so much to be off-putting at all. Well done Titleist, these irons look gorgeous.
As one would expect from a player's iron, there is certainly feedback on your strike location. For this style of iron I think that is a positive characteristic. On off-center strikes the feedback isn't as crisp, but doesn't rattle your hands either. On-center strikes feel really really good as well. They don't necessarily explode off the face like you might expect from an iron with a little more meat, but to me that's a good thing. Centered strikes have an addicting muted and solid "thud". I'm nitpicking here, but I have felt some slightly softer heads before. The T100 still feels amazing, but to give it all 5 stars I think I'd need it to feel just a smidge softer at impact.
Forgiveness in an iron head is something I wish I didn't have to consider - but I definitely need it! I had a stretch of really poor ball striking for my first ~week with these irons (turns out a sound setup is important!) and was living out of the toe. Even with my atrocious ball striking over that time, I was still able to score decently and that was because of the forgiveness of these irons. Again, if you're not a relatively confident ball striker these probably aren't for you, but I was shocked at how forgiving these are relative to their compact shape. I'm currently a 7 handicap and have my fair share of poor strikes. And the forgiveness was noticed both for the overall distance and spin - I've had a few instances where I struck it very poorly, lost 5 or so yards but still had enough to get onto the green. And spin was still sufficient to stop the ball in time, resulting in some shots that ended up much better than I deserved.
Rating these irons purely for total distance probably isn't fair, nor is that why someone should play these irons. They have relatively traditional lofts, so it wouldn't be hard to find another head that you could get more yards out of. That being said, I didn't feel like I was giving anything up by playing these irons.
However, getting the same distance from shot to shot is what I was especially concerned with. It's probably impossible to completely eliminate fliers, but with my other set of irons I would find myself clubbing down 2 full clubs from the rough almost more often than being able to play the yardage. Earlier this summer, I hit a 9 iron from 180 yards and managed to still fly the green. That's not a whole lot of fun when you have a potential ~25 yard variance you need to play for.
The distance control with these irons is probably my single most favorite trait. Flier lies or not, they retain spin beautifully and consistently. Rarely have I found myself surprised by how far a ball ended up going, and typically when it's happened I've realized that I didn't judge the wind correctly. Even into the mid and long irons, I've seen sufficient spin to stop the ball within a yard or two of the pitch mark.
On-Course Performance (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Not much new information here - on the course the T100 have inspired confidence, even with hazards or other difficult situations. I've felt comfortable shaping shots (as much as I would, it's not something I do super often), and the spin retention out of various lies has been remarkable. I've been very pleasantly surprised with the forgiveness Titleist was able to incorporate into these heads, and all of these performance characteristics have given me a ton of confidence standing over the ball that the club will do exactly what I put into it.
Personally, I'm of the belief that across the industry there are really great options across all the established manufacturers. I've also had positive experiences from smaller manufacturers like Maltby, so I was honestly expecting to find a marginal difference between the clubs I've been able to hit and the T100 set. But I was honestly blown away. I was expecting there to be some area of compromise in the looks or performance, and experienced nothing of the sort. These irons are absolutely killer, and I could not endorse them any more. On top of that, Titleist has provided stellar service to the testers, which is just a cherry on top. For anyone in the market for a new set of irons, add these to your list of potential sets. If anyone has any more questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I'll do my best to answer them for you. This is a no-brainer 5 star rating for me. These will be hitting my bag, and that's despite Nippon Modus not having availability for the shaft I was fit for. With how good these have already been, I can't wait to get the shafts in there that should only further accentuate these iron heads.
Thanks again to Titleist (and the moderators!) for providing such an awesome testing experience, even with all the supply chain and shipping challenges going on! I really appreciate the opportunity to test another product for the forum, and hope some of you find this review helpful.
First impressions (Part 3)
Now that I have the irons in hand, I'd like to share my first impressions.
First of all, Titleist had to do a little audible on the shaft for me. Apparently there is a world-wide shortage of Modus 130g X stiff shafts, so the most similar profile they had was the Modus 120 X stiff. I'm hopeful that at some point I'll be able to get the Modus 130's in to see how the clubs work in their fitted state, but from my first few swings I think the 120's are actually not too far from my previous gamers.
And the show must go on! Here's the full set:
I went with 4-Gap wedge in the set, mostly because I almost never use my current 50° for anything other than full swings. I'm excited to see if having the set gap wedge in the T100's gives me some more reliability than my Maltby TSW.
Here are a few comparison pictures I have between the two, Maltby on the left and T100 on the right:
Personally (emphasized because I strongly believe looks are subjective - golf or otherwise 😉) I love how the T100s look from 4 iron to 8 iron. They are pretty short and have a thin top-line, but not so much that I'm scared away. I also really like the contrast of the shiny chrome with the more dull face, and how the grooves "stick out" to my eye. If I had to nitpick, the only thing I don't love about the T100's is the transition from the hosel to the top-line in the shorter irons. Again, I'm definitely nitpicking here mostly because it's a review that will hopefully help others out, and I know that's probably a more desirable trait for some as well. Time will tell if that continues to stick out in my mind, or if I'll grow to like it as I get more accustomed to playing the irons.
Regarding their performance: I don't want to give away too much before I get more time with them, but so far I have been pleasantly surprised with the forgiveness on off-center strikes and have thoroughly enjoyed the sweet spot strikes I've had so far. Follow along in the comment thread for more regular updates as I continue to get more familiar with the Titleist T100's!
My fitting, and what I'm looking for the T100's to do (Part 2)
Before the irons come in, I wanted to get a quick write-up of my fitting experience, fitted specs, as well as the differences I'm hoping to see from my current gamers.
First off, my current gamers: for the 2021 season I've been gaming a set of Maltby TS-1 heads with KBS $-taper 120g shafts from P-4i. I was fit to that shaft (with a similar-ish head) by a local fitter in late 2020. I was coming from a hand-me-down set of Ping Eye 2's with super light shafts, and I think that partially played into the $-tapers performing the best for me at the time. My swing speed is on the higher end (~90mph with a 7iron), but the fitter put me in some of the heavier shafts that "should have" fit me and it was just too strange feeling from what I was used to.
For those unfamiliar with the Maltby offering, here are a few pictures I took shortly after the set was built up for me:
Fast forward to my T100 fitting, and I had almost a full season of the $-tapers under my belt. This time around, when I had the heavier more stout shafts in, it felt much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm still no rebar swinging swashbuckler. My fitter threw in some Dynamic Golf X7's (3g heavier than X100's, and generally stiffer to my understanding) and I felt like I was swinging a 45 pound barbell 😂.
After trying most of the more common shaft offerings in that weight and stiffness range, the Modus 130 X began really standing out. The Modus was giving me 5-10mph better ball speeds, with solid dispersion and really good feel to boot. A no brainer! Here's a snapshot of the carry distances of the T100/Modus 130 combo compared to my Maltby:
(One thing to note for the club nerds out there: I was fit using a T100 7 iron head, but compared that to my Maltby 8 iron. The T100 7 iron loft is 34°, while the Maltby 8 iron loft is 36°)
I was getting slightly higher ball speeds, spin, and carry distance with the T100's, with slightly better dispersion (albeit a smaller sample size). These numbers have me optimistic that the T100's will be really good performers. This also leads nicely into the primary performance characteristics I'll be watching for the T100's. My primary performance characteristics I'll be tracking are:
1. Consistency of total carry distance
2. Spin retention
Why? Well, to my the most important thing an iron can be is consistent in its carry distance. At my speed, I'm not worried too much about distance, but I do need to have a degree of confidence at the range of distances a club is going to carry. So far, the TS-1's have been solid for me in this category.
Spin retention is something I've learned to appreciate while playing the TS-1's. Over the last year I've learned to respect flier lies, and even yet the TS-1's can get away from me at times. Check out this 9 iron I hit a few weeks back:
I know no iron is impervious to some spin loss out of the rough, but I'm hoping to see more consistent performance out of flier lies with these irons.
And lastly, some forgiveness will be important as well. My ball striking has improved pretty significantly over the last two years, but I'm still no stripe show. I know this head isn't designed to be the most forgiving, but I'll be keeping some tabs on just how much distance is lost by off-center strikes.
If you have any questions about my game (or anything else!) I can answer for you, don't hesitate to reach out! Once the clubs come in, I'll continue to keep everyone in the loop!
Intro (Part 1)
Hey y'all - I'm back again! The MyGolfSpy community has been an awesome place for me to connect with some new people over my favorite hobby, and if testing wasn't even a part of what we do here I would still be around here just as much as I already am. However, MGS testing has also given me some remarkable opportunities to test some really awesome products as well. In 2019 I participated in my first forum test, for the Evnroll ER2B (link to that review here), and last year I was able to test out the Tour Edge EXS Pro Hybrid (link here), and both clubs are still in my bag! Feel free to check either of those posts out for a more thorough background of my personal and golfing background, but I'll try to keep my background to a minimum and focus on what's new with me in the past year here in this post.
The last year has mostly consisted of three main things: lifting, golf and my wife's and my first house.
Once the golf season wrapped up last fall, I was sort of sitting around without much to do. You can only do so many dry swings in the living room (and believe me, I did a ton!), so I decided to jump pretty hard into lifting. I was able to build my strength pretty considerably, and do think I was able to see a bump in my golf game & speed because of the added strength.
On the course, I've been able to make some pretty big improvements as well. As of last year at this time my handicap was 15.8, and I've been able to work it down to 7.3 right now. I took a few lessons over the winter months, and really committed to getting to the heated bays and making sure to video record my swing to try and accelerate my progress. I fully endorse and really recommend anyone out there to both take lessons and also record your swing. Multiple times in both settings I found myself trying to "fix" a mistake I thought I had, only to find out my "fix" was only exacerbating the real problem.
And last big topic of this year for me has been our new home. We are very blessed to have been able to find and afford a new home to live in, but we're also very much realizing how much work home-ownership can be. We have a pretty long list of to-do's on the house, and it has already monopolized my lifting and golf time the last month and a half. My game has really started to suffer the last ~3 weeks, and for the first time in a long time I found myself completely lost. Just the other day, I decided I needed to just record my swing and see where we were - and what do you know! All sorts of old habits found their way back. Here's a video of an 8 iron swing I took at the range the other day:
Conversely, here's a swing I recorded in February. This is much more exemplary of where my swing has been at for the bulk of this season:
Now that I have some better feedback on where my technique has slipped, I feel much better about my ability to get back to where my swing was just a few weeks ago. Fortunately, we've gotten a lot of the moving and initial work done at the house, so I'm excited to be able to ramp back up my practice and play the back end of the summer and into the fall!
Another big change in my game over the last year has been my new iron set. I'll go a little more specifically into specs of my current gamers, as well as my fitting experience for the T100's, in a future post, but my new set has certainly been a big improvement from my previous irons. I had an ill-fitted set of Ping Eye 2's with stock shafts which spun to high heaven, and the improved consistency I've seen from my Maltby TS-1's this year has been remarkable. I've been getting along with the clubs very well this year, so I'm anxious to get the new T100's in my hands and really see how the two compare!
mikeanthony reacted to Tarheelvolvo in Titleist T-Series Irons
Titleist T200- Official MGS Forum Review by Tarheelvolvo (@Golfspy_THV)
With numerous range sessions, a very fun comparison session, and a few rounds in the books, I feel confident reviews these iron from Titleist. For a quick TL;DR: These irons have amazing consistency, distance, and dispersion when fitted appropriately and should definitely be considered for low-high cappers that do NOT have an issue getting the ball up in the air.
For anyone wanting to know some more details, read on!
Just for reference - I'll be grading these irons relative to what they "should" be. For example, I'm not comparing the forgiveness of these irons to a super game improvement iron. I'm trusting the reader will have a rough idea of which level of iron their skill matches up with.
These irons look fantastic! Kudos to Titleist for creating the appearance of a blade-like tour iron with a lot of game improvement tech packed inside. The cap on the back really creates a clean look and the topline profile at address inspires confidence when swinging.
The sole is designed appropriately for the majority of players out there who already have a decent swing and don't dig or have issues getting the ball up. A good taper, and sole rounding help the club float just a tiny bit for when you have a fat shot. Far less than a SGI club, but that's not the intended audience for these clubs.
The offset is minimal, but still noticeable, and won't give you mental fits when trying to swing and overthink compensating the offset (ask me how I know...lol). Trust the design and you're in great shape!
A nice touch, and this is a minimal thing, is the numbering on the sole. It's clear, easily legible, and having the degree markings on the P (43) and G (48) wedges is really helpful when looking to fill out your bag with additional wedges.
Check out the plethora of pictures I took of the clubs below and see for yourself. These are stunners!
The head feels solid and appropriately weighted throughout the swing. There is a bit of heft compared with other offerings from Mizuno and Srixon - Taylormade P790 felt about the same - however, I like a little weight in heads as it tends to slow down my swing just a touch and create more consistency for me.
Ball speed was excellent and top among the comparison I ran between T200, P790, JPX 921 Forged, and ZX5. However, it didn't feel like the ball "jumped" off the face by any means, it was just marginally higher.
One small gripe and the reason it doesn't get 5* is the sound when you hit it thin. On the Pro side, you get instant auditory feedback if you hit it a couple grooves too high/low, on the Con side, the cap tends to make the sound resonate just a touch and give the club a metallic "clack" sound when you do hit it a bit thin. It's a small annoyance and some players may like that feedback, while others may find it a bit of a nuisance.
Otherwise, the feel is great and I could immediately tell if I hit it a touch thin or fat just by the feel in my hands and the sound at contact.
These irons certainly have forgiveness and the tech packed inside reminds you of that every time you have a mis-hit! However, the forgiveness isn't as good as some other irons on the market. Just take a look at the Trackman data above. The Blue dots are the T200 7i strikes. Keep in mind that the T200 was fitted for me while the others were demo clubs, so a close setup, but not really "fitted" for me like the T200's are, and some had tighter groupings than others.
With that said, the Mizuno 921 Forged irons (purple dots) had the tightest grouping and accuracy plus consistency would give it the nod for forgiveness in this comparison for me.
Overall, they have plenty of forgiveness, just maybe not the best on the market, hence the 4* rating.
And for those curious, the breakdown went like this:
Blue = T200
Grey = P790
Purple = 921 Forged
Red = Wilson D7 (current clubs)
Dark Green = ZX5
Light green was a mix of them all when I was goofing around, haha.
As other testers have noted, these irons are not the longest, however they are longer than most competitors (see chart above). Two big takeaways for me on this are:
1) Ball Speed on well struck balls was tops among the competitive set, which translates well to distance unless...
2) They have a more spin. More spin means less distance, on average, so even balls coming off the club face faster don't travel as far. BUT, keep in mind the player these irons are designed for and their intended purpose. They are not trying to be distance champs, but the best all-around irons for the majority of players. I personally like the extra spin so my ball will stop on the green instead of rolling out. That's why they get a 5 from me!
On-Course Performance (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Each time I have played with these irons, my scores, on average, have been 3-4 strokes lower than my current irons (D7's). The good distance, solid spin, accuracy, forgiveness, and great construction have really helped my game improve significantly.
The strokes gained speak for themselves and as I have said previously, these irons are designed as great all-around performers and they have that in spades.
There are many great options in the same category the T200 plays in. One could argue it is the most competitive segment of irons due to the broad appeal irons in this category have, from a Tour player (more than a couple have T200's in their tour bag) to a -15 handicap...although I doubt many will still be a -15 if they play with these irons consistently! With so many great offerings, I was expecting middle of the road data, where it only excels at one thing and does the others decently enough to get by, however I have been thoroughly impressed with the performance of these irons.
Their distance (not top, but very respectable), spin (top, for green holding power!), forgiveness, accuracy, consistency, looks, and feel are all very well done and combine to create a fantastic iron that shows up when you need it.
If you are in the market for some great performers, definitely add the T200 to your list and you will not be disappointed.
Play or Trade? Definitely playing these bad boys for awhile to come as I drop my handicap, my scores improve, and my enjoyment of the game increases!
Lastly, a shoutout to Titleist for helping all us testers navigate the shaft issues that have plagued many OEM's. I ended up with Webb Simpsons shafts (that's the story I'm sticking to...sorry Webb!) DG Tour Issue X100 and was very appreciative of them putting a regular joe tester ahead of a pro - apparently @Golfspy_CG2 has the full story, but he's keeping mum 😉
I hope you all found this review helpful and if you have any questions, please comment here or send me a DM!
Packaging & Shipping:
These irons are gorgeous! Was super pumped when they arrived and immediately noticed the little details they employ to ensure safe shipping. Well packaged and study box, appropriate padding materials to protect shaft and grips, individually wrapped heads - in shrink wrap as well as a bubble wrap "sleeve" - and cardboard iron dividers so that clubs won't bump into each other during transit. A+ work by Titleist and I would feel comfortable ordering any other products online knowing their shipping standards
Quick note about those fancy shafts! Originally requested plain DG X100 shafts, but due to shortages there were none to be found. Titleist asked for backup choices, which I gave them, but even those were out of stock...sometimes it sucks to be a tall, fast swinger. However, as luck would have it, they had some of these Tour Issue beauties in the player sponsor area, so some poor tour pro wasn't able to get new clubs and given the time frame it wouldn't have been any of the tour players who were in the championship, so I'm telling everyone I have Webb Simpsons shafts 🤣 Sorry Webb!
For those interested, these are the specs my irons were built to. Note that I am 6'4" tall with ~95mph 7i swing speed.
I immediately started to compare these irons to my current gamers - Wilson D7's from 2018. A couple interesting notes:
1) As I have played more, and previously mentioned, the D7's were no longer optimal for my game. Could a tour pro take them and school me? Absolutely! But a Tour Pro could take a baseball bat, shovel, hoe, and a rake and still take me to school. Point is, they have served their purpose and time to move to a better iron more suited to my game now which means less offset, different constructions, and turf interaction
2) Titleist measures length very differently than other OEM's - Wilson included. In the below pics, you can see that they are identical in length, however the D7's are +.25" and the Titleist are +1.25"
3) The size of the T200 is fantastic. Regardless of what your girlfriend or wife says, size does matter! While packing a lot of the same technology as the D7's, the T200's do it better and in a more compact size that looks better at address and gives you confidence. Sorry about the Band-Aid on my thumb...in my excitement to rip open the box I got a papercut, lol!
Hard to see, but best photo I could take showing the clubface is actually larger on the D7 - it's the club behind the T200 and you can see it sticking out.
4) Soles are also very different on the two irons. The D7 is built for someone who digs more into the turf and needs help having it "float" along the turf, more so than a T200 player. Honestly, the D7's are a better comparison with the T300, so read that review if you curious on the differences there. Here's a pic looking at the soles a bit more closely and hopefully the camera highlights the differences for you a bit more
Let's be honest, looking at pretty clubs is why we're all here 😉
Here is a shot of them in my bag at our first range sessions:
Range Session & Playing
Right off the bat, I could tell that these irons were a great fit for my game. They hit just as long as my old D7's - to within ~5yds, which is helpful so I don't have to rethink my club selection on the course - but have a MUCH tighter grouping. Still waiting for the trackman to become available and give you guys fun charts and stats on the T200 as well as D7...and maybe some other clubs, if they are available.
Was able to sneak in a round last Friday and already saw a 3 stroke improvement over the same course played 3 weeks prior with the D7's, and that was with just a single range session under my belt. Hoping to see continued improvement and strokes gained as I learn how to hit these new irons better!
Went through the fitting process at my local shop and did a recap in a different thread, but thought I would share here as well. First up, the contenders:
Based on my current gamers - Wilson D7's - being in the SGI category, I thought the T300 might be the best choice purely based on the type of player it was aimed at. However, after we setup the trackman and I realized my SS is 95mph+ w/ a 7i, it became apparent that I would overpower an SGI or many GI irons. With all of that said, there was still a need for forgiveness - heck, even the tour pros want a little forgiveness!
Wasn't able to get photos of all the fun dispersion and data charts in Trackman, so I will do my best to describe the process and the resultant data that led to my selection.
Based solely on my SS, the T300 was eliminated from the get-go. Reason being that at the speeds I am swinging I am almost overpowering the benefits that a SGI/GI iron brings based on their construction - especially with the face design. Also, as an interesting side note, I am currently overpowering my D7's, which I didn't realize until the fitting, but when you start to swing certain clubs too fast you end up losing the dispersion and forgiveness benefits! Which, in hindsight, makes total sense because I would swing a 7i one time and it would be a draw and 195 yds, then swing it another time and it would be fade and 180yds...just too much inconsistency - some of which is the user, but the club has some ownership in these issues as well.
So all that to say the T200 and T100/s are better fits based solely on my SS.
Then we started to look at ball flight and forgiveness - note, not dispersion yet - to see which head might be the best choice and then make a proper shaft selection.
I have no issues with getting the ball into the air. My -2* AoA plays well with most irons, so I don't need help in that category. Additionally, I strike the ball pretty square which is nice to find out, and opens up some options with clubheads. So, looking at the remaining contenders, T200 & T100/s, the Trackman data showed the T100/s clubheads as a bit lower launching for me, which isn't so much a problem, but combined with the slight decrease in forgiveness for mishits, the 100's were also eliminated
Dispersion & Shaft Selection:
That left the T200 as the perfect choice for my SS, forgiveness requirements, and ball striking abilities. Then it became a choice of shafts. Titleist, being the amazing company they are, told us testers that any shaft would be available to pick free of charge as long as it didn't cause shipping delays.
One of the issues I currently have is that the D7's heaviest/stiffest free shaft option was a KBS Tour 105 S-flex. For the target demo, that would be a bit too heavy and maybe even too stiff. However, with the T200, I had LOTS of options and took full advantage of finding the right balance of price (don't want to be needlessly greedy and get an upcharge shaft just because) and functionality. We tried the DG 120 S, AMT Tour White X, X100, X7, Project X/LZ 6.5 & 7.0, and Modus 3 Tour 130. I won't bore you guys with the details because in my hands they all "felt" about the same, but the data doesn't lie. My tightest 5-shot group was achieved with the ole reliable DG X100. The next closest was the AMT Tour White X-flex and then the X7. Note that none of the above shafts caused massive mishits or largely noticeable higher/lower ball flight because they were all about the same weight.
Spin also told an interesting story. X7 and Modus 3 were too low spin for my game since I don't put a tremendous amount of spin on the ball at contact. Likewise, the LZ's and DG 120's put a bit too much spin on the ball and did launch it a touch higher, causing lost yardage. So, the X100's were the perfect all-around choice!
Hopefully this helps a few of you members out there who are in a similar spot!
My name is John-Scott and most folks call me JS. I'm the newest manager of the MGS forum, which is a great honor, and sometimes a great headache 🙃 I'm 38 and live in Richmond, VA with my family of 5 - Wife, Myself, 8yr old (G), 5yr old (B), and 18mo old (G). Covid has been an interesting time in my house, ha!
I started golfing with my father when I was about 10 or 11, mainly just riding around in the golf cart. There are two vivid memories I have though - one is the time I had a pack of tic-tacs in the cart and we went to putt and on the way back I hear this rattling noise and it seems to be coming from the tree next to the cart...well, a daggum squirrel snuck into the cart and stole my pack of tic-tacs! At 11yrs old, this is hilarious and devastating.
The second memory is when I swung the club so hard I spun around twice and then fell down. My father thought this was hilarious, of course, but it started me on my journey to always swing for the fences!
After that, I marginally kept up with the game, playing when I had time or didn't have other sports commitments and picked it back up in earnest during college, playing with buddies and having fun on the course. Starting a few years ago, though, I began to take the game more seriously and have slowly started to refine my bag selection to get updated equipment - my main set of irons were DCI clones before I was selected to test the Wilson D7's in 2019. However, these never felt quite right to me and I had consistency issues...with an SGI club...which seems counterintuitive, until I went to a Driver fitting last year.
During my driver fitting in the fall of 2020, that's when I started to pay attention to swing speed #'s and it was a lightbulb moment! I quickly realized that my fond memory all those years ago has stayed with me and I'm still swinging for the fences! Right now, my driver SS is ~120mph. The representation below is fairly accurate, haha.
At any rate, I found out that I was simply overpowering the D7's and the shaft I had on them, because it wasn't heavy enough...and I wasn't really the target audience for those clubs. Which has lead us to today!
I'm really looking forward to testing out a iron that fits me properly - 7i SS is ~95mph - and seeing how it impacts my game. Will the consistency issues drop? What about mishits and turf interaction? I also want to compare the T200's to a number of popular models out there using my local shop's Trackman so I can give you guys all the data you could hope for!
mikeanthony 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.
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.
mikeanthony reacted to ejgaudette in Final Reviews: Callaway Epic Speed Driver
First off thanks to MSG for selecting me as a tester for the Epic Max LS and for Callaway for offering the testing opportunity. I started golfing with my Dad around 12 and played a lot in high school before a lull around college, but now I am back. I have been getting more serious about the game in the past couple years, and as a person who works with data well MSG was a site I really liked.
So… about that golf game. I have been self-taught all this time (code for never 100% sure what I am doing and always working on something) but have backed into a halfway decent game. Putting is probably the strongest part of my game with things getting worse the further back from the green we go. Which of course means driving is the biggest issue. I have always fought a slice and now that I understand the swing more adding too much dynamic loft. This means I am always down to try a new driver to help get that swing into shape.
EpicDriverSwingShorter.mp4 So, with this test I am looking forward to working with a driver that has a more forward center of gravity to help with dynamic loft and to keep the spin manageable. Of course, Callaway’s biggest driver story has been jailbreak now the AI Speed Frame coupled with the AI Flash Face. To go with this speed Callaway has moved their low spin version in their more forgiving driver shape, now its speed and forgiveness, what’s not to like. To top it off the rear movable weight can affect COG and closure rates of the clubs. What can’t this club do? The real question is does it matter? Well let’s get busy finding out.
To that end I want to be transparent about how I am testing the driver on performance. My current gamer is Cobra SZ Extreme at 9° that will serve as the comparison. There is a local location with a GC Quad where I can collect data including head data. So here are they ways I will be testing.
Shot Scope for strokes gained data Measured GC Quad performance including Ball speed Spin Rates Dispersion Ball speed retention of off-center hits (I mean I never mishit it) Launch Etc. I hope to deliver some cool looking charts about this data to make it exciting. I know exciting charts is a bit of an oxymoron but trust me I do that for a living. The overall goals will be if this driver can reduce spin and manage launch without sacrificing dispersions this will be a home run of a test.
It all started as all these tests do, with a long brown box…
The only tool for a job like this, the golf swiss army knife, I knew my Dad gave this to me for a reason . Opening this was like Christmas in the summer! The box was very well packed and looked well cared for, and there was a great attention to detail. I also really like the personal card with the specs of your order on it. As my first MSG test I might just have to frame this on and put in in my office
First impressions are that this club looks absolutely great. With the shiny carbon crown, chev log and small epic and the back of the club head. A nice clean look, with that hint of tech, a nice balance for sure. The sole of the club has a nice color scheme, with the carbon toe section. I really like my choice of the HZRDUS Smoke Black and the Lamkin UTx with green cap, which in all honesty color matching was the main reason for picking that grip. It was a good call by me as the club looks sharp. Will it help me hit it better of course no, but I sure will look good slicing it into the woods.
The bottom might be a little busy for some but coming from the Cobra SZ Extreme it looks almost a bit understated by comparison. Speaking of comparisons, the shape is indeed elongated some, that more modern look, and very similar to the SZ Extreme. One change is obviously the Max LS has the weight adjustability which the fiddler in me will probably mover around way too many times.
One tiny negative is that the head cover is currently a bit tough to put on, but I am sure that will get easier as I use it more, which of course will be a lot now. Overall, this is everything I expected and more. I can't wait to get to the range and the course and give this a baby a whirl. And early returns are that if you hit the ball as you intend then yes it does go well off the tee. Stay tuned for more!
Final Review - 8/23
Well, it has been a fun summer with the Epic and as my first MSG testing opportunity I have really enjoyed the process. Getting to take a good look at a great new club and compare to my current gamer has been an amazing opportunity. Again, thank you so much to the MSG team and Callaway I am truly grateful. So, lets dive on in and see if the driver lived up to its name…
Looks - 10 out of 10
Right from opening that wonderful big brown box on my door step this driver has looked amazing. I love the simple black top with the carbon starting to show through, simple chev alignment aid is just perfect. I also am a fan of an elongated driver look like the SZ Extreme and the Max LS is in that mold, though makes sense as I still have a soft spot for my old ’07 TM Burner. Then on the sole I really like Callaway’s color choices, as green is a personal favorite. The toe piece is a nice design choice and I think adds some nice pop to the bottom of the club. The sole might seem busy compared to a TSi3 say, but a step down from my Cobra SZ or the Rad Speed so I think it fits in that middle ground. I also enjoyed how the shaft and grip I choose to fit the color way of the driver for one complete package.
Sound and Feel - 8 out of 10
Overall, I have enjoyed both the sound and feel of the club. I have found the sound to be more muted than my Cobra. More like a dull ping, like a cowbell with the end covered say, whereas the Cobra had that high pitch to it that was less pleasant. I still would have preferred a bit more muted on the sound, that duller Taylormade crack that sounds more like a baseball bat, but the Callaway is still very good. Personally, feel is something that I struggle to tell the difference on with many clubs and is not something that would affect how I feel about a club as long as it performs. The Callaway and my Cobra both feel similar with a nice solid feeling, which after camping reminds me of hitting a tent stake into the soft ground, that last strike when you hit the ground and the stake there is a firm feel with some rebound. Solid but with that face flex as the ball takes off, sorry to those that use campers that is the best comparison I got right now.
Basic Characteristics - 19 out of 20
Now to the basics of the club and what I have felt about it. My first swing with the driver was on course and it did not disappointment. A nice low fade to the middle of that fairway. Coming into this test understanding more how I deliver the club I was hoping for a club that could help lower launch and spin, and well the Epic Max LS with their more forward CG did the trick. This driver has definitely brought the launch down, even on my bad swings versus my Cobra. With that has come a more controllable spin as well. When working on a launch monitor, I noticed the immediate effect in my dynamic loft coming down at least a couple degrees to pull that launch down and spin.
I did get to play around with the sliding weight and hosel adjustments which does help control the launch and face closure rate when using the weight. In testing both on the launch monitor and driving range the forgiveness has been exceptional. It has tightened my dispersion and I have found the confidence to hit driver on tighter holes again. Just check out this one range session where the Epic took the Cobra to the cleaners.
Epic Max LS
To pair with this forgiveness the distance potential has been really great. Especially in my last GC Quad session, as seen in the images here, the Epic has come alive. When getting the ball position right the Epic just dominated. Getting dynamic loft down to 18, still hitting a few degrees up on it, resulting in low 2000s spin with launch in and around 15 leading to multiple balls carrying 270 and rolling out to just over 290, the final rows of the GC Quad data below. These are numbers I have not seen with my Cobra and I think really speaks to its power. One thing I wanted to include but lost with a failed GC Quad data export was the ball speed on mishits, one of Callaway’s big claims. Though anecdotally the smash factor on off center hits did seem to be a bit better on Callaway, though its tough to say without that data (shakes fist in the air).
The only small nitpick is that head does seem a bit slow higher on the face, when hitting one higher on the face on course and on the monitor took off a bit more speed that I would have liked, but again a very small issue.
On Course Performance - 28 out of 30
As mentioned previously the first ball on course was my first swings with the club and the Callaway went off out without a hitch. A nice lower fade to center cut and this was a pattern that continued where this club really performed. Even when swinging poorly this club fit me much better. It reduced my curvature left to right and lowered the peak height. Of course, it was not immune to my really bad swings, but keeping that more forgiving shape with the more forward CG feels like it delivered the best of both worlds. On a number of occasions when hitting the SZ Extreme and the Max LS side by side the Callaway was hitting it longer on average and in a much better window almost every time.
The driver really came alive in my last round at Owls Nest where I hit multiple drives over 260 even on a windy day. I hit the driver on a few holes where it might have been a bit silly, and it still delivered. It even helped me play a slightly longer tees than I normally do and still never had more than a 7 iron into any par 4s, which when I normally play these tees there are couple holes with much longer second shots. Really the only reason I took a couple points off is because there have been a few balls that felt like ok hits but then they go much shorter than expected given the feel of strike. Overall, though as seen in the shot scope highlights below this club has delivered. I was only gaining about 0.6 shots against a 5 handicap for the season, but in the rounds with just the Epic I am gaining 1.5 shots off the tee versus a 5 cap, now that’s an improvement. In that final round at Owls Nest, I actually hit it so well I gained 0.62 shots against a scratch golfer off the tee. Now that is Epic!
Miscellaneous - 7 out of 10
From the packaging to the custom order slip the little extras has been great with the Epic. The only nitpick was that the head cover is a bit hard to put on at first, it’s a tight squeeze for sure. Though I will say I love the look of the headcover itself. I even like the simple headcover wrench as well that was included. Only other points lost, as other have mentioned, was for the shaft issues everyone had, I was the lone lucky one to have the right shaft from the start.
Play It or Trade It - 20 out of 20
Well this should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed along or read this far, but I love this club and it will be staying the bag for sure. The driver has done everything I was looking for it to do. It lowered the launch and brought the spin down even with poor swings. With the SZ it was tough to get the spin below 3000 on even good swings, and with the Epic it does that easily and with the right delivery I can get it spinning around 2100 for some serious distance increase. The movable weight has also helped me swing with confidence to hit a slight fade instead of a slice as well. Though I felt this might be the case when I did True Golf Fit this spring the Epic Max LS was the second-best option for me and the first was a SIM. Both are forward CG, low spin heads which made the SZ Extremes days numbered and well they have come to a close. The Epic is a driver that just works for me and that is priceless it might be $530 but I see no need to change it any time soon so it is worth that investment.
Total – 92 out of 100
I came into this year having gained some speed it felt like my driver and the delivery I was making with it were off. So, I decided to see if I might get to test the new driver from Callaway knowing this driver might fit my new swing better. From swing one this driver has delivered. My spin dropped, my launch dropped, and I started hitting it longer that I had been by about 10 to 20 yards. This trend continued on course and on the launch monitors. Each time I came to put the SZ Extreme up against the Epic Max LS the Cobra just didn’t stack up. Then in my last round with the Epic the result was put beyond a shadow of a doubt with distance and consistency that I have not had for a long time in a driver. So, the winner by knockout is the Epic Max LS.
mikeanthony reacted to Siamese Moose in Final Reviews: Callaway Epic Speed Driver
Callaway Epic Speed Driver – Official MGS Forum Review by Rob Westendorf (Siamese Moose)
Let me start by thanking MyGolfSpy and Callaway Golf for this wonderful opportunity! I will do my best to live up to everyone's expectations.
I am 61, and currently have a 6.4 handicap. I have been as low as a 2 about a decade ago, but in the last four years really turned into a "senior" golfer. I've been through two back surgeries and a right shoulder A/C joint repair, and have consequently lost about 15 mph on my driver speed, and a lot on my back stamina. Due to these injuries my swing had become a miserable patchwork of compensations and band-aids, and last year I started working again with my old instructor (Steve Nelson, Miles of Golf - Cincinnati) to build a new swing that's easier on my body as well as more effective. The changes are quite large, so I am still working on eliminating years of muscle memory. I don't have a video of my old swing, but it was ugly enough that it would frighten you. My new swing has a medium to medium-quick tempo (down from super quick), and I am still working on slowing it down further, which is where I am getting my best results. My swing speed is 94-95 mph, and I generate very low spin numbers. My driver flight is about medium height, usually very little curvature, often a slight pull. Compared to my friends, driving is one of my strengths. I was fitted last October for a Ping G410 with an Aldila NV2K orange shaft in stiff at 45". I have been very happy with this driver, and it's hard to imagine doing better. We will see! I like being aggressive with the driver. I usually choose tees in the 6400 yard range, and for most local courses that gives me at least one chance to reaching a par 5 in two in most rounds.
My comments for this review are going to run a couple weeks behind the other testers. I recently suffered a cras h in a bike race, and have a hairline fracture of my T6 vertebrae, and a rather painful contusion on my back. I have started playing again, but I'm not yet swinging freely, so it's hard to make judgements on a driver. For that same reason I don't yet have a video of my driver swing, but I do have this with a hybrid:
Hybrid Swing.mp4 I was fitted for the Epic Speed by Eric Hensler (also Miles of Golf), and the stock Project X HZRDUS Smoke IM 10 was the best fit. Eric fitted me to 44.75", but unfortunately the club was delivered at 44" However, a new shaft should be here soon. In the meantime there's nothing stopping me from playing it at the shorter length. That means, however, that I should be able to get some numbers on the two different shaft lengths, which is a common topic of discussion here. I will add that my instructor generally prefers seniors to go with a longer shaft, not for swing speed, but in that it promotes a flatter swing that is more around the body, and for most of us that is a more comfortable and repeatable motion.
Update: When I went to my range to get Trackman numbers my fitter pointed out that the shaft included was NOT the one he fit me for. The colors are near identical, but instead of the HRZDUS SMOKE IM10, what arrived was the HRZDUS SMOKE Green PVD, which is a $345 upcharge model. The bend profiles are quite different, and the Trackman numbers (in the comments thread) bear out the the Green was far too low spin for me.
The club is gorgeous! It's a nice gloss black with a simple alignment mark (Callaway's trademark chevron), and while "Epic" is written across the back edge, I don't notice that at address. Compared to my G410 it has a very simlar shape, just slightly shorter heel to toe and slightly deeper:
The first shaft delivered, the SMOKE Green, is a beautiful deep green that nicely compliments the green accent color of the head:
The proper shaft that followed is similar looking if you don't know the full range, but obviously different when placed side by side:
Too bad the SMOKE Green shaft isn't right for me. It's real purrty!
Callaway touts it's "Jailbreak Speed Frame" construction, which they say "Improves stability in horizontal and torsional direction for increased ball speeds across the face." My big miss, which comes when I'm tired, is to lose my spine angle and pull up and away on the downswing, leading to hits high on the toe. Improved performance on that miss is my Holy Grail, and that might well be the aspect I'm looking for the most from this club.
As I mentioned, I got fit for this club. I could have easily have gotten the loft right myself, and the slight draw bias matches the weight settings I have my my Ping. The fitting was primarily about the shaft. I learned long ago that I like counter balanced shafts, going back to the old Harmon Tour Design HTD series of the 90's. It's why I have Aldila NV shafts in all of my woods. The HZRDUS Smoke is right in there, and i liked it as soon as I first tried it in the fitting. We tested at 44", 44.75", and 46" (the three lengths Eric had available). My center hits at 44.75" were better than at 44", but at 46" I was awful. So 44.75" it is! Like most modern drivers it has an adjustable hosel, but unlike my Ping, where the adjustments are fine tuning, the Callaway has bigger changes. I essentially have four options: Standard loft and lie (10.5° and 59°), +2° loft and standard lie, +1° loft plus draw lie, and -1° loft and draw lie. Based on my earliest swings I won't be changing from the standard setting.
I have played a little with the club so far, but since my back is still crash sore, I don't want to pass any judgement this early. My intial impression is good, but I have no numbers yet. (I will make one early observation: compared to the G410 the sound is a lower pitched "thwack", and it sounds more powerful, and I like it.) Going forward I will be playing as much as I can, and whenever possible will hit both the Epic and G410 and chart my results. I have a Trackman session scheduled for July 27th, and I plan to have numbers for both drivers, as well as both shaft lengths for the Epic. I should also have a video of my driver swing up soon as well. Wish me luck in healing, and thanks again to Callaway for the opportunity!
Update 19 August, on to my final review!
Looks: 9 out of 10 points
The head is a pretty classic shape, a little deeper than broad, with what Callaway calls a mid footprint. The top is a deep gloss black, and you can just see the carbon weave under the finish. The standard Callaway chevron is a nice simple alignment mark that I really like. It has "Epic" written on the trailing edge with a few green lines, but this is nice and subtle, and I never noticed it at address except when looking at it critically for this review. I frankly don't care about the looks of the sole, since I don't see it once it's out of the bag, but the white and green graphics look decent against a real nice black chrome background. If you want a formal traditional look, this isn't quite it, but I think having the slight showiness calls attention to the high tech nature of the design. I can't take any points off for the head alone. My one point off is for the shaft, and I'm probably not being fair here. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with the dark charcoal of the SMOKE IM10 shaft. However, I fell in love with the rich green of the SMOKE Green shaft originally sent by mistake, so by comparison, the IM10 shaft costs a one point deduction. My regular driver is a Ping G410, with the turbulators and a matte finish, and I like the Epic Speed looks significantly better.
Sound and Feel: 8 out of 10 points
I tried to record the sound to compare it to my Ping, but my phone video quality is not good enough to tell a what I think is a rather distinct difference. Whereas my Ping has a higher pitched metallic note, the Epic Speed is a deeper sound that doesn't make me think it's hitting a metal face at all. It's a solid thwack. It's an exaggerated comparison, but the Ping is more like an aluminum baseball bat, while the Callaway is more a major league wooden bat. For my taste, the Callaway wins hands down. (I'll point out, however, the Ping sound is not objectionable like some of the other brands I've heard, just not as sexy to my ear.)
Describing feel is difficult for me. I don't have much sense for different sensations, especially compared to how I hear others describe their experiences. Hit dead center, the club feels really solid. Hit on the toe, the club still feels really solid. If that's due to the Jailbreak technology, I'd say it works. Hit on the heel, the club feels even more solid. This is where I'm taking off two points. I don't think mishits should ever feel better than good strikes. I asked my playing partners to just listen to my drives, and estimate the strike quality just on sound. They could tell if I hit it thin or way on the toe, but they also described my heel hits as sounding like I really pured one.
Basic Characteristics: 18 out of 20
I'm not a "player" when it comes to driving. I just want it to start on line with minimal curve, and preferably the same curve very time. I don't try to work it. I want predictability. My whole life I've hit it low. It's only since I got the Ping last year that I've hit a mid trajectory ball. The Epic Speed is very close to the Ping. The Trackman numbers say I hit it marginally higher (93' vs. 87'), but there's not enough difference for me to eyeball it. My full Trackman charts are in the comments thread, but the averages are:
Shaft Club Speed Ball Speed Launch Angle Spin Rate Land Angle Height Carry Total Ping G410 Aldila NV 2K Orange 91.5 136.4 16.1 2178 36.1 87 222.8 248 Callaway Epic Speed SMOKE IM10 90.7 135.7 16.7 2339 38 93 223.5 246.2 Callaway Epic Speed SMOKE Green 90.7 134.9 16.4 1890 34.4 82 219.1 244.2 (Note: I edited out one shot from the SMOKE Green shaft, as it was a massive outlier.)
There's very little to pick between my Ping and the Epic Speed with the IM10 shaft. As a scientist by trade, I'd say they're the same within statistical allowances. I included my numbers from the "wrong" shaft (SMOKE Green). A great many people post here with the same question, "Can I really change spin that much with a different shaft?" Based on a nearly 500 rpm difference between the two SMOKE shafts, I'd answer that as "Yes!" FWIW, the manufacturer describes the IM10 as a mid-low launch and spin shaft, and the Green as low for both. I'd bet if you used their mid or mid-high launch and spin models the difference would become even more pronounced.
I tried to quantify forgiveness by tracking my numbers for mishits on the course, as well as by trying to intentionally create mishits using Trackman. Those numbers were a confusing mess, so I can't reasonably claim any firm conclusions. My impressions, however, were that my more extreme misses, especially on the toe, did better with the Epic Speed than the G410. I can remember a few swings that were just awful that were only 20 yards shorter than average. That's about half the loss that I expected. My heel misses, on the other hand, tended to be further left with the Epic Speed, including a couple lost balls.
I tried a final range session yesterday, where all I did was change the hosel settings and look for differences. These numbers were worthless also. I found that, because I sole the club before starting my swing, that the head would always end up in the same orientation, regardless of hosel setting. I think I was adjusting my hands and arms to the way the club lay, and negating the hosel changes. If you hover the club (which my instructor wants me to do, but I just can't manage to make it work) I'm sure it would show a greater impact. Note that the Epic Speed does NOT have adjustable weights. Callaway says it's a "semi-draw flight bias", and it certainly seems to be about the same as my G410 with the weight set in the "draw" position. My inability to make any changes to ball flight is why I deducted a couple points.
On Course Performance: 29 out of 30 points
The range is fine for testing, but on the course is where it matters. I've played mostly the Epic Speed since receiving it, but I also have a number of rounds where I hit both it and my Ping from the same tee for comparison. (I did not do this when it slowed down play, or generally late in a round when my swing started getting less predictable.) I can't measure carry on the course, but I can get total yardage. I measured accuracy by a personal judgement of quality of 0 to 5, where 0 means I hit it exactly where I intended (not neccesarily the center of the fairway), and 5 is a lost ball. Those averages are:
Yd Quality Ping 231.6 1.53 Callaway 225.1 1.71 Not much difference here, but a small edge in both measures to my Ping. My best judgement of why the Ping edged out the Epic Speed is the shaft. I think the Aldila NV2K is about as perfect as it gets for me, and just edges out the SMOKE IM10. The Aldila, however, is a $100 upcharge shaft, while the IM10 is stock, so it means the overall Ping price is higher. Still, that small difference in these numbers is why I took points away. I would dearly love to put my Aldila shaft in the Epic Speed and confirm my suspicion. I understand why every manufacturer has it's own hosel system, but right now I really wish there was a standard.
I'm not good at trying to be super aggressive with the driver. When I try to "really bomb one!" my tendency is to get quick, both in takeaway and in transition, and my hands race ahead of my body. All too often it's a short pop fly to right field. However, as testers we're asked to get out of our comfort zone and challenge the club and ourselves, so I tried it more than a few times. (Note: I did not include these results in the "quality" number in the chart above.) I failed more often than succeeded. These attempts account for almost of of the balls I've lost since this test started. (To be fair to Callaway, I tried the same thing with my Ping, with generally the same results.) When it worked, though, I had a few monster results. I had a handful of 250 yard carries, and a couple in the 290 range with roll.
Overall, the Epic Speed performed quite well for me, just a couple inches from perfect. The performance on toe misses means that Callaway's Jailbreak technology really has made more of the face faster. The feel and sound are awesome, and I hope they never change it. Looking closer at Callaway's product matrix, I think I might be better served by the Epic Max, though Callaway's online model selector does recommend the Epic Speed for me.
Miscellaneous: 7 out of 10 points
This is about little things. The box it came in is a marvel of packaging. Everything was not only well protected and secure, but the box didn't have all of it's parts glued together. It was easy to disassemble, and I didn't need a knife to get it into the recyle bin. The head cover is well made and fits snugly, though all of the white on it is starting to show more dirt than I'd like. (But then, I use an MGS headcover anyway.) All of my interactions with Callaway were through MGS, so I can't ding them for the slight slowness between being selected as a tester and getting something to test. Where I am deducting points is the club coming with the wrong shaft. That's serious. I would not have realized it if I hadn't gone back to my fitter for Trackman numbers, but then again, if I had ordered it through him he would have known it was wrong before I ever got it in my hands.
Play It or Trade It? 18 out of 20 Points
Most of us never get the chance to test a driver over two months, not to mention comparing it to a club that my fitter says is an exceptionally good fit for me. If I were to compare this to the Cleveland or Wishon drivers I had at this time last year, it would be a slam dunk into the bag, and you'd have to kill me to take it away. At $530 list I'm not going to be changing drivers very often, but it's certainly in the range of fair compared to competitors. I'm a little torn right now. I think the performance improvement on toe misses is attractive enough that I am seriously considering buying an Aldila shaft to see if my performance suspicion is right. (Actually, the more I think about it the more likely I am to do it. I used to do a bunch of clubmaking, and I miss tinkering.) It's been a while since I had a Callaway club, and I'll admit that I thought they were a step behind in technology, just a step ahead of most in marketing. I don't feel that way any longer.
This is a damn fine club! In performance it comes out to 99% of a club my fitter says is an exceptional match, and it did so without the upcharge shaft in my G410. It looks better than the Ping, and it sounds better than any other current driver I've heard. I know most of the people who read this are probably stronger hitters than I am, but I am a Senior, and probably closer to the average strength player than most of you. The draw bias in this club is perfect for most of us, and sometimes I think not having adjustable weights is a good thing (my friends who tinker have screwed themselves up). I'm going to keep the club and reshaft it, and see if I can push it past my previous 100% level.
Final Score: 89 out of 100
mikeanthony reacted to MaxEntropy in Final Reviews: Callaway Epic Speed Driver
Callaway Epic Speed – Official MGS Forum Review by MaxEntropy
First, thanks to MGS and Callaway for the opportunity – it is always an honor to be able to see how new products perform in the hands of an “ordinary Joe.”
My name is Blake and I am a 53-year-old living in Akron, Ohio. I caught the golfing bug after graduating from college in 1991 (Go Zags!) and generally played a couple times per month through the 1990’s into the early 2000’s, with a few years of playing in leagues that got me on the course more. With the help of a couple friends and a single lesson that corrected a huge swing flaw, I got my “unofficial” handicap down to around a 14 (18 holes). At that time, my game was all about distance. I could not hit a wood to save my life, so 4i was my go-to off the tee. A solid strike was usually in the 240-yard range, so I saw no need to really worry about woods.
Life smacked me in the face pretty hard in the mid-2000’s and my clubs stayed in the basement for the better part of ten years. A friend encouraged me to get out with him a few times in the mid-2010’s and I’ve become fanatical about golf since then and I joined MyGolfSpy in 2017 in my pursuit of learning more about equipment, techniques, rules, etc.
By the time I started playing again, age had started catching up with me and I had become more out of shape than I would prefer. I can’t even hit a 4i anymore, much less get 240 out of it, so it became apparent to me I needed to figure out how to hit a driver.
For my age/handicap, I am pretty long and being an official tester for SuperSpeed last year was a great help. My baseline swing speed was 102 mph and I peaked at 120 mph near the end of the test period. I have taken the PRGR radar to the course with me a few times, and I will still typically be in the 110-mph range. Not bad for an out-of-shape old(er) fart! I’ve been in a league now for 4 years – I started as a 10 HC (9 holes) and have dropped steadily to the point that about 3 weeks ago I dropped to a 6. In my opinion, there are two primary reason for the improvement: 1) I am slowly figuring out how to swing a driver (trial and error); and 2) I have become more risk averse when I am in trouble. I used to favor the “spectacular” shot with the low probability of success because DAMN it feels good when you pull it off that 1 time out of 50! Now, I’m more likely to take my medicine and rely on scrambling to minimize the damage. Even then, execution is sometimes an issue.
I wish I could say I have an Ernie Else or Fred Couples swing, but I don’t. I tend to have quick-ish tempo with an aggressive transition. See for yourself…
This video was taken the day after going to the gym for the first time in over a year – not optimal swing, but you get the idea.
My typical ball flight is high, usually with some fade to it. Historically, the banana slice has been my big miss, but over the last few years, I’ve developed a terrible two-way miss when swinging driver with near equal probability the ball is going left or right. 🤦♂️
It’s not as bad as it seems, though…oh who am I kidding, it SUCKS! How do you play to your tendency when there isn’t one?!?!? The image above is all drives since I started using Arccos (Aug 2019). The left misses tend to be less tragic than the right on average, so I still play for the ball wanting to go right. From my fitting, I learned that my path is fairly consistent (at least it was that day), so getting/keeping the face where it needs to be is a big issue, which leads to driving being my biggest weakness. The closer I get to the hole, the stronger my game becomes with putting being my biggest strength.
Arccos also tells me that, even though my accuracy off the tee is detrimental, my distance is a strength. Over the last 20 rounds:
My current gamer is a TaylorMade M5 9* I purchased from @MattF in the offseason after he bought his new Titleist. He was playing it with an EvenFlow Blue (stiff), but it also came with a Tensei CK Orange (stiff). Although I had never been fit, I had played around enough at hitting bays in various stores to know that something about the CK Orange agreed with my swing. It didn’t take me long to figure out the CK Orange was my clear choice. I have one of the weights in the “low” position and the other set to “draw”. This has resulted in much better ball flight so I can now get some roll out of my drives! I also love the sound the M5 makes on solid contact. I don’t even really know how to describe it, but it almost seems wood-like rather than metallic to me. Whatever it is, it’s a great sound!
I have this strange mental conflict when it comes to pulling a driver – I know the stats generally say SEND IT and I probably get myself into more trouble than I should by being aggressive (especially with the width of my dispersion cone), but my primary goal with driver is pretty simple – hit the ball as far as I can and hope it ends up some place that leaves me a shot at the green. Most of the courses I play don’t have super long rough, so there really isn’t too much of a penalty for missing the fairway – just give me a shot and I can score better.
I typically play tees in the 6200-6500 yard range. At that length, I probably have the ability to reach about half of the par 5’s in two, depending on the course. At our league course, reaching 3 of the 4 of them in two is not a problem with a decent drive and the 4th is gettable with two perfect shots (which means I’ve never reached in 2). Our league course also happens to be relatively short (5900 yards from the tees we play) so many of the par 4's are little more than a wedge to the green if my drive is in play.
Why did I sign up for the Speed rather than the Max LS? When the announcement first came out, I was attracted to the Max LS due to its design goal of killing spin. Then reading Tony Covey's release article, I saw the following statement: “LS is a relative term. The Epic Max LS is low spin relative to the Epic Max but should generate appreciably more spin than the Mavrik Sub Zero did. In fact, if you’re looking for a new Callaway driver that offers launch and spin characteristics on par with last year’s Sub Zero, your best bet is the buy the Epic Speed and turn the loft down by one degree.” He also made a comment to the effect that the Speed version should be the best fit for the majority of golfers. Good enough for me!
Disclaimer: I have preconceived notions about Callaway – I am not really a fan of the company as a whole. They strike as more of a marketing machine than someone making technological advances and letting the product speak for itself (right or wrong, that’s my perception). A friend has some Apex CF16 irons that I’ve hit a few times, and I don’t like them. The ball test 2 years ago (and the backlash from Callaway employees on social media) did nothing the dissuade my thoughts. With that said, I played a RAZR Fit 3 wood for a few years that I absolutely loved and have considered testing it against my current Bridgestone 3W. I am also a fan of the Stroke Lab putter I tested a couple summers ago, so even with my thoughts about the company, I like to think I am open-minded enough to play what helps me score better.
These days, even though the marketing hype around Jailbreak/AI Speed Frame and Flash Face are substantial, the technology behind the marketing at least sounds legit to me. According to Callaway, both Flash Face and AI Speed Frame are intended to help with forgiveness by maintaining speed on off-center strikes. Is this true? So far, I have seen some very good forgiveness on balls hit very high on the face, so that’s encouraging. Nothing in on the heel or too far out on the toe just yet, so we’ll have to see.
I understand my inability to hit a driver consistently is very much a “me” thing, but the questions I have is will the forgiveness built into these heads help? What role will playing a shaft that is closer to optimized mean for me? I won’t recap my shaft fitting – it’s described in detail in the comments, but I ended up with the Epic Speed 9* with the MMT 70 X-stiff. I ordered an Align grip, but due to an error in the build, it is currently on a MMT 70 Stiff shaft sitting in my basement. I blew a fairly new SuperStroke Cross Comfort Midsize off my old SW and it is now on the Epic. The good news is that, time permitting, I can do some testing with the Stiff version to help determine if any improvement is related to the shaft, the head, or both.
In the short time I have played the M5, I have grown to like it, so in order for the Epic Speed to kick it out of the bag, I am going to need to see something substantial to warrant it. For me, that means a measurable (statistically significant) improvement in dispersion, preferably with similar distance. I need something that finds less trouble! I saw a comment from @chisag in one of the threads related to distance. Something to the effect that a shot on the same line as his 260-yard drive in the rough that carries 300 will find a lot more trouble. This fact is not lost on me and had me concerned during the SuperSpeed testing. Specifically, that I was going to find myself in more trouble in new places that were previously unreachable to me. Fortunately, I can only think of a couple occurrences where that has likely been the case, but I hope the Epic Speed is able to help as much as it can in the hands of someone like me.
Let’s get on to the pictures….
The glossy black carbon fiber crown is very attractive to me. I typically prefer more of a matte finish because smudges show up so easily with high gloss. With the black MMT shaft and gray grip, I think the package looks very good to me.
The head shape is nice and looks good behind a ball. One thing I have noticed is that if I let a driver sit on the ground how it wants to naturally, the M5 wants to open up the face, whereas the Epic Speed stays pretty neutral. I wonder if this tendency has any effect on me psychologically, thinking I have to try to get the face square knowing it wants to be open. Real effect or placebo, I have no idea, just a thought.
I tried to do my best to make sure the perspective was the same in the above pics. Although I failed, I think it does illustrate my point – the M5 naturally wants to sit open.
The graphics on the sole are OK – a little busier than I prefer, especially without any weight tracks to add to it, but I do like the color scheme. This is of no concern to me as I never see the sole except when I am taking off/putting on the head cover (or posing it for pictures).
I really like the head cover. Yes, it is a tight fit initially, but it has already started to loosen up some. My only concern is it being primarily white – me and white don’t mix. I’m sure I’ll find a way to spill coffee on it even though I almost never have coffee on the course. I am being careful, though. I want it to look as pristine as possible for as long as possible.
My primary intention with testing is to rent some simulator time to get firm numbers on both drivers – hopefully enough swings to determine whether any differences are statistically significant. Do those numbers translate to the course?
Thanks again to MGS and Callaway. It's time to have some fun!
Callaway Epic Speed – Final Review by MaxEntropy
I’ve now had the properly-spec’d driver in my hands for about 7 weeks. In that time, I have had 3 good range sessions (and 1 not-so-good), played 117 holes of golf, and spent an hour on a simulator. (There was also a range session and 36 holes with the Epic Speed head and the wrong shaft). On the course, I made no effort to do and A versus B testing – my driver swing is too inconsistent, so I saw little value in trying it. At the range was a different story – almost all focus was on pounding the ball with the competitors – TaylorMade M5 with Tensei CK Orange S versus Callaway Epic Speed with Mitsubishi MMT 70 X. I tried hitting 5 or 10 at a time with each, hoping to establish some sort of a groove. In the simulator, I wanted to make sure I was doing as well as could be with each so hit as many as was required to end up with 15 “acceptable” shots each (i.e. neglecting tops and obviously bad contact) before switching clubs.
On to the results….
One of my primary goals with this test was to see if my accuracy would be improved. I am plenty long for my age and handicap but tend to spray the ball too badly (see shot distribution in the Intro which is all driver shots since I started using Arccos until I put the Epic Speed in play). Whether any resulting improvement is related to a properly fitting shaft or the Callaway head (or combination of the two), I don’t really care. I believe the only way I could truly separate the head from the shaft would be put a CK Orange in the Epic, but that is not likely to happen. If you recall, Callaway made a mistake on my original build and sent an MMT 70 S. I did make some effort to see some shaft effect (at least S versus X in the MMT).
I have spilled some of the beans already in this and other threads – the Epic Speed/MMT 70 X really has almost become an anti-left machine for me. This is great news as it allows me to go back to playing for a fade/slice. There are still occasions where I hit the high, wipey fade, but I know that is more of a “me” problem and no technology is going to fix that.
Here are some Arccos screen caps. First is my driver dispersion and distribution since I started using the M5…
My average dispersion is nearly 75 yards wide (I assume the ellipse contains ~50% of the shots) with extremes spanning almost 160 yards(!!!!!) and the most probable result is left. I struggled to pick a target line with this data in mind, so I would typically aim towards the center and pray for the best. FYI – the 311 was real – I smoked that ball but got an atypical August-like bounce and roll in June.
Now looking at the same data for the Epic Speed…
Average dispersion has gone down to something more like 55 yards and, if I neglect the one way, way left (that one was a wind-aided brutal pull, toe-hook. Fortunately, the hole it happened on has plenty of bail-out room over there), the overall span is down to “only” 120 yards. I am also now hitting more fairways with more misses being on the right. I would argue with time this will get even better. Now that I can have almost no thought about the left (most of them are toe-hooks), I am getting more and more confident about aiming up the left side without fear of a looming pull/pull hook. As I have been looking at the data to write this, it is just giving me more confidence. FYI – the 331 was aided by cart path, so it is not real, unfortunately.
Anyway, on to the grades…
Looks (8 out of 10)
The package is generally attractive, and I like how the club sits very neutral on the ground (unlike the M5 that likes to sit open). I docked a couple points just because I am not a big fan of glossy finishes – they show smudges and water marks too easily. The graphics on the sole are OK to me – perhaps a bit busier than I like, but since I almost never see them, it doesn’t really matter. The current colors are certainly better than the orange of the Mavrik, in my opinion. Combining the black head with the black MMT shaft with very little graphics and gray SuperStroke grip makes a sexy package.
Sound and Feel (9 out of 10)
The club feels great and, although I am addicted to the sound of the M5, this one produces a very satisfying, albeit more metallic sound than the TaylorMade. Strangely, the sound is completely different than the Epic Max LS a good friend of mine purchased this year. I docked it 1 measly point for a very minor aerodynamic issue – the club whistles. I assume this is due to air passing over the hosel screw cavity at around 105 – 110 mph. Fortunately, I only notice it during practice swings, but I assume it still happens on real swings.
Basic Characteristics (18 out of 20)
I ordered the 9 deg head and currently have the hosel set to -1 and neutral. This combination has given me closer to the ball flight I have been searching for. It still seems a bit higher than the M5 but is perfectly acceptable and I now am getting some roll on all but the dampest of courses. I cannot assess the workability of this club as I never try to work the ball. Clearly the accuracy is an improvement over the M5 at equal distance. Jailbreak and Flash Face are also for real! Both are intended to help maintain ball speed on off-center strikes, which I read as forgiveness. Generally, I do decent job of hitting near the center of the face with typical misses being either very high on the face or out towards the toe. In both cases, I’ve ended up with pretty ridiculous distance out of these misses, frequently still ending up in the 250+-yard range, so I give this club very high marks for forgiveness. In terms of adjustability, other than the hosel, there is none, whereas the Epic Max LS has an adjustable weight. I can only assume it was deemed unnecessary for their target demographic, but I docked them two points for the lack of a weight track.
On-Course/LM Performance (30 out of 30)
To try to get some firm numbers I rented a bay at the Golf Galaxy near me. They have updated both of their hitting bays with all new screens, projectors, and switched from Foresight to Trackman. I took the Epic Speed (with both the MMT 70 X and the MMT 70 S) and the M5. I used my own balls – TM TP5 Pix. After warming up with the Orange Whip, I hit just a few leisurely drives to make sure I felt loose. I started with the Epic Speed with the MMT70 X. My routine was to hit as many balls as needed until I had 15 “good” shots. “Good” was determined entirely by carry distance as a measure of how solid the contact was. I did not want to start getting too subjective with left/right issues, especially given the amount of time I had in the bay, so anything with a carry less than 235 was excluded, everything over that was included, regardless of direction.
To me, the most shocking thing was the amount of spin with the 70 X, especially if you compare it to what was nominally the same head/shaft combo from the fitting (* in the table is data from the fitting). Why did I gain nearly 500 rpm? I guess the main point, from a statistical perspective, is there is almost no difference between any of these combinations from a distance perspective. The dispersion chart shows the MMT 70 X (purple) as the best, followed by the MMT 70 S (blue), and the M5 (red). The red dot at the top of the chart is a good example of my filtering criteria – it was solid contact, carried over 250, but was nearly 20 yards further left than anything else.
To-date, the on-course performance has been very good to me – I’ve nearly double my fairways hit and almost eliminated one side of the course. What’s not to like about that?!?!? Unfortunately, this has not translated to lower scores – I guess that happens when you have a great driving day but can’t hit an iron to save your life or you putt like garbage. As I stated in my intro, I would be willing to sacrifice some distance for improved accuracy. Fortunately, that does not appear to be needed. According to Arccos and Trackman, distance has stayed the same. I think there is still “meat on the bone” where distance is concerned if I can lower the launch/spin just a hair, although with no more adjustments I can make, that means tweaks to my swing (not a bad thing, but more time consuming).
Both the launch monitor and the on-course data seem to confirm each other – distance is essentially the same and dispersion is greatly reduced with the Epic Speed.
Based on this experience, I have to be honest and say that this club has somewhat changed my opinion about Callaway. There are still some preconceived notions that will need to be overcome, but this experience goes a long way towards swaying me.
Miscellaneous (0 out of 10)
When I first received the driver, I was jacked up and ready to roll. Then I discovered they sent the wrong shaft (MMT 70 S instead of MMT 70 X). They rectified the situation fairly quickly and even let me keep the “wrong” shaft. If this had been a “one-off” mistake, I would be more willing to overlook this, but Callaway had build errors on 3 out of the 4 of us. To me, that seems very unprofessional for a company with Callaway’s overall reputation. Does this kind of thing happen to normal paying customers? Was the process different due to this being a forum test? We know the specs were accurate when they left MGS. Maybe I’m being harsh here, but 3 out of 4 clubs wrong is not good and delayed things quite a bit.
Play It or Trade It (20 out of 20)
I know the fight was close for a couple of the other testers, but for me, there really is no debate. I was hoping for better accuracy and got it. I was willing to accept a loss in distance, yet I’m seeing at least the same. How much is due to the head? How much is due to the shaft? I don’t know and I don’t care. Is anybody interested in buying an M5 with two shafts?
TL;DR – For this particular 53 year old with a relatively high swing speed, the Epic Speed has dramatically improved my accuracy and almost eliminated one side of the course for me. Expectations in this sport being what they are, is it actually reasonable for a 14-ish handicap to expect any better than what I saw the last couple months? I kind of doubt it. With improving self-awareness, I am working on the big miss to the right, but the left misses are almost becoming a fluke, which opens my comfort level for proper targets given my natural shot shape. If I can continue to whittle away at the dispersion, I can’t see how my scores would not improve over time – more shots at the green will lead to lower scores.
Final Score (85 out of 100)
Thanks, again to MyGolfSpy and Callaway for the awesome opportunity!
Time to go hit more bombs….