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DJ Mico

 
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Posts posted by DJ Mico

  1. On 4/30/2021 at 6:17 AM, Tom the Golf Nut said:

    Having tested this ball I found the ball to perform very well. Maybe I was lucky with my box of balls or maybe the concentricity issues are not significant enough to reveal itself during play.

     So there are a few questions that really never are addressed during a ball review. If the ball is deemed to be 100% round and 100% within weight limits but found to have concentricity issues what does that really do to the ball flight. How bad is bad, how much off does it have to be to be one yard off line or off an inch on a putt?  If it's just a concentricity issue and assuming the material density and weight is the same between layers, does it really make that much of a difference? The center of gravity would be the same in this case. Obviously there are density changes in the material layers but just how much makes the ball perform poorly where you would say to toss it out. Doing a salt water test you can find the light side of the ball. How fast that same spot comes to the top should tell you if the ball is bad or not, but how fast is just a judgment call. Obviously you want a different spot to come to the top, then you know the balls center of gravity is perfect. In reality how many of us put their golf balls through a salt water test? Probably way less than 1%.  So how much off really makes a ball unplayable for the average golfer to notice the abnormality during play? 

    I support everything my fellow tester of the Gamer balls for MyGolf Spy has to say. Check out our reviews here (https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/42412-2020-official-member-review-top-flite-gamer-golf-balls/#comments

    Seeing these Ball Lab results is not a massive shocker given the price of the ball and brand perception of Top Flite. That being said, I agree with @Tom the Golf Nut that where the cut offs are for a "bad ball" and "average" is very vague. Having played the Gamers extensively, I definitely lost my fair share, but I attributed those to poor swings. I can't recall a ball I struck well and thought "that traveled poorly because of something with the ball." 

    As a fairly average to slightly above average golfer, I can say that I did not notice a difference in flights on balls I hit with the Gamer compared to others I played at the time (Snell MTB-X, Callaway ChromeSoft/X, TP5X, ProV1/x, Srixon Z-Star). The balls I hit well all went straight and about the same distance with all clubs with minor deviations attributed to weather. The balls I hit poorly were all equally off target. As someone like myself that's only played just over 50 rounds since starting golfing regularly last April, I am just now discerning differences in golf balls, like how the ProV1X's higher launch and spin causes me to hit high spinners that greatly reduce my distance in the wind.

    I'd be interested in buying another sleeve of Gamers and testing them again to see flight differences between ones in the same sleeve and a sleeve of other balls to try and quantify any inconsistencies, but I am not necessarily consistent enough with my swing to repeat the same shot more than once.

     

    • Like 1
  2. 3 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

    Interesting you say the old driver really worked for you. When I look at your numbers comparing the two the consistency numbers on most categories improved with the mavrik. Comparing the different categories your strike consistency is better. You have a lower launch and better spin.  You have more distance in carry and total yards. 
     

    Thanks! I guess when I say it "worked," I am saying it was more "predictable." With the sliding weights and all the tinkering I could do with it, I was able to get a fairly consistent draw out of it that would go about 250 total. I totally agree that the Mavrik is a significant upgrade over the old R15. The only difference with my Mavrik and why I made this post is that the Mavrik SZ is not a very forgiving club, so where a mishit with my old driver would put me short and a bit off line, the Mavrik has me shorter and farther off line.

    I think it is decided to get a lesson and keep practicing to dial in my swing, and if I'm still having issues, then it will be upgrade time.

    • Like 1
  3. 28 minutes ago, cnosil said:

    Now we are getting into course management.   There is a thread on here about DECADE which talks about driver strategy.  You can find some good videos on Scott Fawcetts YouTube channel.  Short summary unless you have swing problems always hit driver if there is 65 yards between penalty areas at you driver distance. Play one shape with your driver. Don’t back down clubs to hit the fairway; people don’t hit more fairways. If there is less than 65 yards then you can consider backing off a club.  If you search Scott’s Twitter feed there is a decision chart for tee shots club selection.  DECADE is becoming discussed more and is the strategy that many professionals use to navigate the course. A couple  of the bigger names using the system would be Bryson, Morikawa, Zalatoris, and recently Stewart Cink 
     

    this is also the strategy that my golf coach has communicated tow me and how he tells his D1 Women’s golf team to play.   

    I tend to fall into this line of thinking: whatever club I am picking, I am trying to hit it as far as I can. I have tried at the range or in lessons to back off my woods and end up causing more problems with my swing and get more erratic by not trying to swing hard because I am altering my timing. I have tried to manage the course better throughout a round, and getting more consistent with my driver off the tee would be a great place to start. I'm going to book a lesson tonight so I can feel more confident and consistent with my driver

  4. 5 hours ago, PMookie said:

    When you said you bought the Sub Zero, and had inconsistencies off the tee, I thought the spin may be too low coming off that head. Turns out it isn’t. So, that leaves me with this: I’m like you... When I get it in my head that a change is needed, I go change the club. In your case, I would DEFINITELY change the driver....... BUT, after another lesson. If you hadn’t been through a fitting I’d have recommended that, but you have. I think a new driver could wait until seeing if the swing issue is really the culprit, and be a reward for fixing said issue if so.

    Anyway, since I’ve been you, and I know you’re looking for that post that says, “Yes! Buy a new driver! NOW,” I want to say sorry that I couldn’t be the one that said that....

    Thanks! That is my thinking, and I actually wanted someone to say this "go get a lesson then do another fitting then maybe get a new driver." I was thinking of just buying a new one but needed some discussion to talk me off the ledge and go get a lesson LOL. 

    • Like 1
  5. 5 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

    If you add loft it will shut the face and vice versa for taking loft away.
     

    The draw setting is going to shut the face more and the n will keep It wherever it’s set based on the loft choice.

    While tinkering can be fun it can lead down a rabbit hole. You were fit to a certain setting based on your swing, deviations in performance from a fitting are typically because of the user not the club. Fixing the swing is going to yield better results in the long run.

    If you want to see the affects of the changes on the cog. Go to the driving range and get a bucket. Take 5 swings with your current setting and note the flight and results. Then try different settings and compare it to your baseline 5 swings and note the differences

    Thanks for the info. I know tinkering can lead to a rabbit hole, but I was just curious since the way I had tuned my old driver seemed to really work for me. I will experiment the next time I go to the range. I'm sure my swing does have some things that need to be fixed, but I did feel very consistent with my old one in with particular settings and think maybe slight tweaks to make the new one like that would help get the consistency back.

  6. 1 hour ago, cnosil said:

    I don’t think there is a perfect way.  For example during most wanted testing we hit 3-5 shots before switching clubs and go through the clubs roughly 4 times.  It is hard hitting in a simulator and seeing your trace line on the screen.   I seem to do better when that disappears and I have to rely on memory of previous shots to try and not adapt my swing as much.  

    I could have noted in my last post, the two swing charts I posted were from different sessions. The R15 was from my October fitting, and the Mavrik results were from my iron fitting where I was just playing around on Trackman after we finished the irons. In theory, aside from weather differences, I was the same amount of "warmed up" by the time I got to the driver each day.

    • Like 1
  7. Thanks for the help everyone! I love hearing from my fellow Golf Spies as always. 

    Since I moved out of the R15, I have been curious about how the loft sleeve works on the Callaway. I know on the TaylorMade that the adjustments would alter lie angle, face angle, loft and spin--per the below picture.

    Why should we believe in the new TaylorMade SIM driver? : Golf Business  Monitor

    I have not messed with the Callaway one since I was fit into the Mavrik SZ at standard specs. When I had the R15, I had the loft down 1.5 degrees making my 9.5 driver an 8 degree and played a fairly consistent draw with that driver. Does anyone know how the loft sleeve on the Callaway affects things such as face angle, if at all? I see it says you can turn it up or down a couple of degrees and set the second cog to draw or neutral, but does anyone know how that affects things in the same way the TaylorMade says its sleeve does?

    Callaway Custom Driver Shafts with OptiFit 2 Adapter - Just Say Golf

  8. 5 hours ago, myherobobhope said:

    If I'm reading the numbers right, (positive path, and positive club face), he's coming in in to out with an open club face... That's going to generate a push fade (starts right, keeps going right).  It might be as simple as setting the face to closed to promote a draw. Otherwise, you probably want to work on hitting a draw and making sure the club face is closed at impact... you will hit more snap hooks, but should lose less far right... just need to find the balance!

    For me, a lot of confidence on the tee box comes from having hit enough good drives off the tee box... it's a dumb paradox, but at a certain point you just have to swing away with driver with a decent swing... I've played too much "golf swing" in my life... 

    It's not the driver, though I will say changing shafts can always be a fun way to tinker... I've found heavier, non counterbalanced shafts let me feel the head a little better. (or at least convince me I'm feeling the head better), so everything I hit has a 70 gram shaft in it. 

    Just figure out WHY the ball is flying a way you don't like and then figure out what is actionable in your swing or setup to change that... can be anything from a grip change to a setting change on the driver... or just consciously turning your wrists over... You can also learn to hit the power fade! Get your club path more negative and leave your hands alone and just play a fade.

    You are correct, I do come very in to out. I'm a former college baseball player, so I have worked hard in the last year to try and eliminate the nasty banana slice that goes farther right than forward. The drives I hit well end up having a beautiful draw to them. Since eliminating the banana slice, I play for a draw, and it usually works. The problem is that sometimes I get a little too draw biased and get a high toe strike that doesn't go very far and goes very far left. Then, I try to tone down the draw and hit a strong power fade--usually when I don't need/want to. 

    I definitely am going to take your advice though and just give it a swing. I feel like I've tinkered so much with my driver stance, set up, and everything else before even swinging that all the little tinkering has gotten me to the point that I feel like if my feet or shoulders are not at the perfect spot that I am instantly doomed for a mishit. I'll take a lesson and keep practicing and hopefully not keep wasting so many shots out of the tee box. I'm not a great golfer by any measure, but I at least know that if I get to within 170 yards that I usually only need 3 more shots to finish the hole (approach and 2-putt or approach, chip, and putt). While I would like to get that down, I am more concerned with getting more consistent with the big stick to avoid wasting shots on penalties or escaping from the woods.

    • Like 2
  9. We all know that one person--or we are that person--that when they have a bad day on the course, they go to the pro shop/store and buy new equipment. My friends think that is me, but to be fair I just started golfing consistently after I bought a used set of Titleist clubs (driver to putter) for under $300 last year. Since then, I've taken lessons, played a round at least once a week, did two fittings, and saved up to upgrade my bag. I started with a Titleist 983K driver that I got for $20 from Callaway Pre-Owned. I cracked the face after a month and instead of just issuing a refund, I said I was thinking of just buying the 909D3 driver they were selling for $45 and was able to exchange the cracked driver for a "newer" model without any hassle--fantastic customer service. I enjoyed the 909D3 for 3 months until my uncle upgraded from his TaylorMade R15 and passed it on to me. I had been gaming the R15 until December when I upgraded to the Mavrik SZ after a club fitting.

    I know that is a lot of changing drivers in a short period of time, and I just got fit, so why could I possibly want to upgrade again? Well, in all honesty, I have grown frustrated with my inconsistencies off the tee, and I am not sure if the driver is really helping me. For reference, here are my Trackman numbers with the R15 and my Mavrik SZ.

    1446583220_R1510_21_2020.png.fd64ded0aae9bc1c84824cf871fe8ad8.png

    1038210920_Mavrik3.6_2021.png.56de5e543195040c7424426143a5ecbb.png

     

    The numbers seem to clearly favor the Mavrik SZ as I am hitting the ball farther, faster, and with tighter consistency metrics, but consistency in my fittings and on the course are very different. It's easy to get into a groove on Trackman or the range. But it is much different to just step up to the tee, hit one drive, and play your next shot. In my last few rounds I have noticed a two-way miss with my driver where I either hit a strong fade or a snap hook. Both of which only go a total distance of about 250 yards and are nowhere close to the middle of the fairway. Like most clubs, once that thought of getting rid of it creeps into your mind, you absolutely stripe one and think you can do that all the time and the cycle of mishits starts again.

    Trust me, I love the feeling of sending a solid shot off my Mavrik miles past my playing partners' best drives. But I also loathe mishitting one into the trees and losing strokes because I am short and in the woods and farther away with a more difficult shot to try and make GIR. In evaluating my strike, I tend to hit the middle of the face fairly often, but can feel that at times my club face is closed or open, which causes a bit of a draw or fade. When I really mishit my driver, I miss high and off the toe and end of feeling the club gear back and end up with a bad snap hook. 

    I obviously want to improve all of my game but am okay where the rest of my game is for now. The inconsistency off the tee box is really the most frustrating part of my game. I am planning to get a lesson soon and fix/diagnose my swing problems and tinker with adjustments to the sleeve of my driver. However, I have read reviews and understand that the Mavrik SZ is not a "forgiving" driver and is aimed more toward the lower handicapper/consistent ball striker, and, honestly, that isn't me. How much of the inconsistency is just from being new and still learning versus being harmed by playing a driver that requires a higher level of consistency? What would I be giving up in terms of distance on good and how much mishit protection for less than good shots could I expect to see differ in a "more forgiving" driver?

    Any help is appreciated 

  10. On 4/15/2021 at 12:34 PM, Another Steve said:

    I'm wanting to maybe upgrade from my old TM 580XD to something 2017 or newer, but don't have too much of an option to compare side by side at the moment. My gut tells me that I "might" see some distance just because of reduced spin and mis-hit forgiveness. I'm particularly interested in spin numbers and launch angle as I vaguely remember hitting the R580XD on a monitor over a decade ago and and what sticks in my mind are 18+* launch and 3500+spin. I did hit a Ping G425 and a Callaway Epic Speed on a monitor a couple weeks ago at a GolfGalaxy, was not a full fitting, just a test drive. Ping never felt right but they got the Callaway as close to feeling good as they could as they "said" that they had no X-Flex shafts and nothing with mid-size grips. I didn't have full confidence in the feel and didn't have a fully controlled a full swing. The end result was center hits with swing path varried 1.5* either side of straight in but optimal launch numbers. Trackman carry was a little better than real world lasered results from a round played a few days earlier.

     

    Anywho.... have any of you got any numbers from side x side monitor sessions of TM R5xx series vs TM M series, Sim, Callaway Epic, Mavrik, Maybe Cobra? 

    I recently upgraded out of an old TaylorMade R15 I had been using to the Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero. When I did my fitting in October, I probably hit my R15 as best as I ever had. I had tuned in the R15 to the proper loft (8*), lie angle, and had the weight track in the best place for my swing at the time. Most of the strikes were around the middle of the face and it was as consistent as I have ever been with a driver. I didn't think I could get much better until I started hitting other clubs and saw a huge spike in distance. Some of the drivers I only took a few swings with because I didn't like the feel/look.

    Unfortunately, the data didn't fully upload from my first fitting, but luckily when I went back to do another iron fitting and hit some drivers, the Mavrik SZ that I was fit into the first time had very similar numbers from my first in October.

    Here is my baseline with the R15

    1789394698_R1510_21_2020.png.f2ce696830afb5d9039b0762cd3276ee.png

    As you can see, fairly respectable and consistent, which I can say is a very rare feat for me with my driver. 

    Below are the numbers for the TaylorMade SIM, Ping G410, SIM MAX, and Callaway Mavrik (just the regular, not SZ).

    1915926110_SimandG41010_21_2020.png.5c1b9eb82aa22f6bd4472ee445ec1c6e.png1571102404_SimMAX10_21_2020.png.a3063177db9e36a655542d2143f18084.png

    754548430_Mavrik10_21_2020.png.bf9121e0429a83333532c7961504986a.png

    I think the biggest takeaway from those was that I was swinging the club slower and getting better ball speed/smash factor with higher launch, more spin, and yet more distance than the R15.

    My miss with a driver is a hook, and with a draw-favoring swing and most drivers being draw-biased, my fitter/teaching pro was working on finding the best club/shaft combination that would reduce that miss. We decided I would be better with a little fade/cut occasionally if it meant reducing the hook. I immediately hit slight draws with the Mavrik SZ and went forward with that as my fit. While I am about a 12 handicap and the SZ is marketed towards the lower range, I like it because it reduces my overdrawing the ball. However, I am a 12 because I am inconsistent, so days when my driver isn't working are long days.

    Here are my most recent numbers for my Mavrik SZ

    1072286147_Mavrik3.6_2021.png.41380dfafc5ced7d2d4875d40a7d8e0f.png 

    It was a little cooler in the morning, and I will say I was still shedding off some winter weight during this February fitting, which I attribute to the lower clubhead speed. But overall, compared to my old R15, my new Mavrik is SZ is 17 yards longer in carry distance. I've only had the Mavrik for 4 months compared to about a year I had been tweaking and hitting the R15 after getting it used.

    Hope this helps!

  11. 55 minutes ago, jlukes said:

    Yes. I’m a high ball hitter so I play the standard pro v1 because the ProV1x launches and spins too much for me

    Ball fitting is just as important as club fitting 

    Thanks! I decided to play the ProV1x based on its firmer feel, higher spin, and higher launch when I first started golfing last year. I thought more spin and more height would help my game, and I kept playing the ProV1x or similar balls until about 2 months ago. I did a club fitting, and my teaching pro recommended the ProV1. I did a virtual fitting with the guys at TXG, and they also recommended the ProV1 or Srixon Z-Star based on my launch monitor numbers. I had been playing the Z-Star until I did the online consult with Titleist about which ball to play. Without discussing any data, the team member said ProV1 was the better choice of the tour offerings, so I have been using them ever since he sent me the sample boxes. I just forgot to take the old ProV1x's out of my bag. Lesson learned. 

    • Like 1
  12. I promise I am not only on MGS for golf balls (Check out my review of the Top Flite Gamer golf ball). But, I did notice something while playing this weekend that I had not noticed before. Basically, can having a ball spin too much or launch too high be a problem? I know the general answer is yes, too much of a good thing can be bad. But I would like to know why I experienced what I did with a "higher spinning" ball during my last round.

    I have played the 2021 ProV1 exclusively for my last 5 rounds and have had no problems with the ball. It is a well-rounded ball as everyone has come to expect with the ProV1. Over the weekend, I went and played, but realized once I was loading up my cart that only 2 balls in my bag were ProV1s and the rest were from a box of 2021 ProV1x I had been using before settling on the ProV1 for feel preference. I played the ProV1s most of the day except for the last 4 holes after hitting the ProV1s OB. I found the V1x and ProV1 have very comparable performance off the tee and only a slightly different feel off the putter.

    I noticed a huge difference in the balls with my irons this weekend that I had not noticed before while playing either one, and that is in wind play. The wind was constantly swirling all day as the course was out in more of a rural area with very few trees on the course or surrounding, but I never really had any major problems besides just accounting for the wind direction like I normally do for each shot. This strategy was fine until I played the ProV1x the last few holes because I could not get it through the wind at all. The ball seemed to just launch super high, hit a wall of wind, and be at least a whole club short along with getting blown left or right depending on which way the wind was blowing.

    Now, I'm about a 12 handicap that is not always consistent on strike, but there was one hole in particular that I had 140 to the pin, 120 to carry a creek, and into about a 10 mph wind. I normally hit a 8 iron 145, but with the wind I played a 7 knowing that a flush 7 even with a gust should put me on the green. I hit a fairly solid shot that wasn't heavy or thin, but a little on the heel, and it ended up in the creek. I put another ball down as a drop and hit one square that barely got over the creek, but wound up rolling down the hill. I didn't go quite full Tin Cup, but I took out on more ball, grabbed my 5 iron, and took a full swing that I hit a thin that wound up on the near side of the green for a 25 foot putt. 

    I ended up playing a club longer the rest of the round to avoid a similar issue, but no matter what, it seemed the ProV1x kept getting caught up in the wind and not going where I thought it would. Does this sound like a normal performance from a ProV1x or another comparable "higher spinning/higher launching ball" in the wind?

     

  13. I just got on the Hyperflex train! They are awesome. As others have said, they do run quite big. I wear an 11.5 in my Nike Air Max 1G and all other off-course/running shoes, but FJs just run way large on me. I have a pair of prior generation ProSL shoes that are an 11 that I have an extra insole in, and they still fit big on me. I bought a 10 in the Hyperflex with the BOA lacing, and they are a perfect fit!

    I was looking into spiked shoes after this article came out because I love the comfort of my Nikes and ProSL. But after playing enough, the traction has worn out, and I began slipping. Especially on hilly lies or morning rounds, I feel my feet slip and wanted new shoes to get that traction back. I wanted to go spiked to be able to just put a new set of spikes in instead of buying new spikeless shoes once the traction wears down.

    I bought a pair of Tour X liked how grounded I felt compared to the spikeless shoes I had been wearing. I played a handful rounds in them and walked one round and a 9-hole round in them and they are worth the money. My main complaint is the sole plate is really rigid. The Tour X feels like I am stuck in the ground, which is great, but I needed a more mobile feel. Plus, I wanted something lighter weight and more breathable that I could wear in warmer weather instead of full leather. 

    I got my clubs re-gripped at the course by my office out of sheer convenience and was taking a look around the shop as I waited and saw they had a bunch of new gear. I tried on my normal size (11.5) in the Hyperflex and found they also ran large on me like other FJ shoes. I immediately went down to a 10 and found the right fit. I really liked how light and springy the Hyperflex felt and the mobility of my foot with the knit with the grounded feel from the spiked bottom. I had seen online they were priced around $150 for the laced and $180 for the BOA, so I figured I could just keep them in mind the next time I needed golf shoes since I liked the Tour X and bought them fairly recently. As I was putting them back on the shelf, I saw the price tag said they were $130, which I thought was a mistake. I also saw the BOA edition was also $130 and figured I might as well see what the hype with the BOA is since they are $50 off what they are selling for online. I tried them on, "laced" them up, and found my new favorite shoe!

    I've never had BOA shoes before, but I am an instant convert. Putting them on is a breeze and so is unlacing and taking them off. I never have to worry about my shoe laces coming undone, and if my foot feels loose once the shoe starts stretching out, I just give a quick twist and it is back to locked in. I am not old by any standard (26) and—knock on wood—have no low back ailments or leg problems, but the BOA is awesome because I can slip my foot in the shoe and then just lift the back my foot up to my hamstring and give them a twist without having to bend over to tie my shoes.

    I really like the Ortholite insole that comes in the Tour X. I noticed the Hyperflex insole is just a standard foam insole like in any other kind of running shoe, which is lightweight, but I know it will not retain its comfort like the Ortholite. I decided to take the Ortholite out of the Tour X and put it in the Hyperflex, which surprisingly fit perfectly, and I think I may have created the most comfortable golf shoe ever made! 

    • Like 1
  14. Hi again everyone,

    It seems like the MyGolfSpy deal for the Gamers was a decent hit! I was at my local Golf Galaxy and saw they were on sale again for 2 for $35, which is still a pretty good deal for what the ball offers. 

    I am following up on my initial review by giving my friend's thoughts on the Gamers. He just started golfing at the end of the year in 2020 and only had a few balls when we last played together that he had found in the trees or balls from the range bucket that were not range balls. I believe he had a sleeve of either Wilson Ultras or TaylorMade Distance balls, the last time we played, but I gave him the last 5 Gamers I had to try out and see what he thought.

    His first drive got away from him a little, but he said he had never hit a ball that far before. In terms of feel, he said it was the best feeling ball he had used yet. I asked if he felt it was "hard," as that is how my fellow testers described the Gamer, and he said it felt way softer than the balls he usually plays. Even after a mishit or less than ideal contact, he said it still felt soft relative to other balls. He was not thrown off by the dimple design, and he felt more confident in his game by playing a ball that was intended to be more of a discount ball with better performance instead of just being the cheapest ball. Overall, he was satisfied with the Gamers, and I think a perfect representation of who the Gamer fits: someone not worried about their score, but still wants a good ball that will not break the bank when they need a box of balls for a weekend golf outing.

    As for me, I have fallen into the lull of playing the Titleist ProV1. had been playing the Z-Star at the recommendation of my golf pro, and really liked everything about it. The only thing I did not like was it felt a little too soft at times, and I felt I was overcompressing the ball on some shots. I did the virtual Titleist golf ball fitting, which I highly recommend. Not the simple selection tool on their site, but the scheduled Zoom call with someone from Titleist to talk about what you look for in a golf ball. After speaking with my representative, we settled on the ProV1, and they mailed me 4 sample balls for free.

    After making the switch to ProV1, I have played much more consistently. I believe most of that is more consistent practice and getting a better feel of course management and my game, but I do think a little has been attributed to the ball because it is more predictable in its behavior around the course. While trying to find a ball that would spin more around the green, I wound up playing balls that would launch too high or spin too much and drop my distance. Or, by playing firmer/lower spinning balls to maximize distance, I would hit balls that would not hold the green. The ProV1 may not be the best at any one thing, but it does enough good all around that I am not making a big trade off in any part of my game.

    The Gamer is not a ProV1, but it is a ProV1 for those that are new to the game. By that, I mean the Gamer is a good all-around ball. Someone getting into golf and seeing the ProV1 marketed as "The #1 ball in golf" may think that is what they need to not have an awful day on the course. However, they would be better suited playing a Gamer, which is better than the cheap distance balls, and it will be a good all-around ball that won't break their budget and turn them off from golf if they spend $50+ dollars on a dozen ProV1s every week. After playing the Gamer for a while and figuring out their game, then they can move into other balls and find a ball tailored to their game.

    Overall, if you are new to the game, the Gamer is my recommendation for the ball to play. If you are looking for a ball to use, give the Gamer a shot because you can see what your game needs to help you play your best.

    • Like 1
  15. DJ from Sacramento, California

    Driver swing speed: 110mph

    Driver: Mavrik Sub Zero 9°

    Shaft: Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 60 gram Stiff

    I briefly had Nippon 105 stiff flex in Ping i500s after a fitting but got re-fit because I didn’t like the heads. I would have kept the shafts, but my new T200s didn’t offer Modus 105 without an upcharge.

    I also have a Nippon shaft in my 60° wedge: PING Z-Z-115 by Nippon

  16. 5 hours ago, Jackal said:

    This afternoon, I played quick nine.

    58°-63° .

    Playing the Gamer on the last few holes, still couldn't get it to work with my driver, but the long irons came alive.

    There is a par 3 over a ravine that is always a problem to hit.

    My 5 iron went straight ( still couldn't get a high trajectory), and landed with one heck of a ball mark on the green.

    It really jumped off the wedges from 40-70 yards.

    It didn't feel as 'clicky' today except with driver and putter.

    I'm sure this is a great warm weather ball for me.

    My opinion on the performance is:

    In the price range :

    1st) Cally Supersoft

    2) Titleist Superfeel

    3) Gamer

     

    The gamer seems like a higher grade\ better Noodle ball.

    I've also struggled hitting the Gamer well off the tee. I think I might be getting in my head that I'm trying to test distance, and then hit it with not much distance. But the few that I have struck well, I don't notice it being any longer than others in my bag (Callaway Chrome Soft, Chrome Soft X, TP5x, Snell MTB-X), but it also hasn't been way shorter than any of the others

    In terms of performance compared to others in the lower price range, I find it performs similar to a Vice Tour and Drive, but it is significantly more durable and much easier to purchase from Dick's/Golf Galaxy instead of online. I've been very satisfied with the Gamer.

    Good work, and I look forward to reading your final review in a couple of weeks!

    • Like 1
  17. 9 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

    Good review Tom! I'm just noticing these have the dimple in the dimple pattern much like the B RX.  Apparently this is not a patented design?  This is from the Bridgestone website.  This is fodder for the Computational Fluid Dynamists amongst us 😆.

    image.png.6fa353349996c5280bcf3255b9308ad3.png

    I noticed the dual dimples as well. My usual ball is the Tour B X, so I don't mind the double dimples on the Gamer. I have noticed reviews on the Gamer around the web saying the dimples are weird or distracting, but they do not bother me.

    Based on my research, it appears that Callaway has a patent to the double dimple design. https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?docid=07250012&PageNum=1&&IDKey=2B661A64BB7F&HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2%26Sect2=HITOFF%26p=1%26u=%252Fnetahtml%252FPTO%252Fsearch-bool.html%26r=2%26f=G%26l=50%26co1=AND%26d=PTXT%26s1=11%252F554,184%26OS=11/554,184%26RS=11/554,184

    • Like 1
  18. 7 hours ago, Wedgie said:

    I have witnessed what seems like the ball straightens out in flight.  Mostly see this in wind. Have you or any of the others seen this?

    Interesting. I played in the rain and wind and didn't notice this at all. I was very satisfied with the Gamer. My mishits were still really bad hooks and slices, but the ball still faded and drew when I wanted it to, and I was able to let the wind take it left or right.

    • Like 1
  19. 8 hours ago, JohnSmalls said:

    Great work so far fellas.  I may have missed this, how is the Gamer performing on knock down shots and half wedges?  What about chipping around the green?  Are you seeing any difference in spin in partial shots compared to a urethane ball?

    For me, the Gamer is performing similar to the other balls in the bag in all those respects. I feel like the Gamer spins less and doesn't grab onto the club like my urethane balls, but it doesn't perform any different in terms of how much it releases or holds on the green for me. If I expect the ball to run, it runs. If I played for the ball to stop, it did. Unfortunately, I don't own a launch monitor to do any statistical comparisons.

    The feel of the ball while chipping is a bit different than any other ball in my bag. While balls like the ProV1x, Tour BX, TP5x, Chrome Soft X, etc. feel firm, they usually feel soft on the cover, but then you get a firm feeling from the core. With the Gamer the cover feels firm at first, but then the core has a softer feel.

    • Like 1
  20. I finally got to put my Gamers into action Sunday afternoon aside from chipping and putting. It was a soggy, windy, and cold day in Napa County at Chardonnay Golf Club. Luckily, I planned ahead and brought a spare change of clothes. I will save the complete the details of how the Gamers performed for my final review, but the short of it was that unlike my driver and the weather, the Gamers didn't let me down. Me and the buddies booked the tee time 3 weeks ago and were already committed to playing, so these puddles were not stopping us. 

    1160149849_WetCourse2.png.be0ab08d50aaeb1493eb50da4dbf5b0e.png

    With the soggy conditions, I had a real tough time swinging my driver, so I will be doing more playing and testing to get thorough testing notes on the driver, but a big note is the Gamers did a great job in the wet and muddy conditions. Before hooking a Gamer deep into the vineyard, I managed to get 6 holes out of the same ball. Initial thoughts are the cover held up great with no scuffs or cuts—even after finding some sand and mud. My shots still went the same distance in the cold and damp conditions that my shots normally go in warmer and dry conditions, and the ball seemed to hold the greens just fine.

    Here it is sitting in the fairway on 4.

    2050485600_Wetballoncourse.png.c61d9683e61cf27db32eb56ec3834143.png

    More testing awaits with the top of the bag, wedges, durability, and dry weather.

    • Like 4
  21. Hi fellow Spies!

    I am excited to be a tester for the Top Flite Gamer. My Gamers were on my doorstep the other night, and I wanted to share some of my first impressions. 

    As @Bohnson mentioned above, the packaging is a little gimmicky and silly. The ball on the other hand is clean and straightforward. I think the green number is a nice touch. I do note the ball has a real glossy shine to it that isn't so bright that it looks cheap, but just has enough shine that you know it's not a urethane cover. I have no problems with the double dimple pattern like I've seen other people around the web say. I often play the Bridgestone Tour BX that has some similar dimples.

     819083641_TFBall1.png.f54866dedc40c998a82a6d448faaead6.png

    Just from putting the ball around on my carpet, I do notice the ball has a slightly firmer feel and more of a pronounced "click" off the face compared to the Callaway Chrome Softs I have been playing. I have a couple TP5Xs and ProV1Xs in my bag as well, and the Gamer has a similar sound. 

    I will be posting more thoughts this weekend after I play a round with my buddies. The forecast unfortunately is calling for some rain, but I think it will be good to see how the Gamer holds up in the elements and with water and mud. The balls are marked and lined for the weekend! I look forward to keeping everyone updated on my first MGS testing.

    1723724778_TFBallMarked.png.c8fa316d773afd279be317703b535a6c.png

     

    • Like 6
  22. Introduction

    Hi fellow Spies! My name is DJ, and I live in Sacramento, California. I played baseball through college, am 26, and finished graduate school in May. I used to borrow my dad’s clubs to go to the range or our local 9-hole course every few months but bought my own in April.

    IMG_3149.jpg.475ce7e805ad03d60eab65875e2fb382.jpg

     

    The last and only time I had played a full 18 was 2013. My first round in April, I shot a generous 111. I've played over 30 rounds and now consistently shoot in the high 80s after lessons and club upgrades.

    I don’t have a launch monitor, so I can’t provide statistical comparisons for the balls or my swing. I did a Trackman fitting in October and have numbers for reference:

    • 7 iron (34º): carry 153-157, 85mph club speed, -2º attack angle (shallow)
    • Driver: total 270-280, swing speed 108-111mph, (+8 attack angle)
    • Wedge (54º): carry 105, spin is 10,000 rpm

    File_000(3).jpeg.a1e5960d5e21c350bf28d95211285cdb.jpegFile_001.jpeg.96538bf652effd523ad67e81d8e285c8.jpeg

    My biggest strength is irons. I had a nasty slice like most former baseball players but now strike my irons consistently straight or with a slight draw. I’m mediocre from 50 yards and in. I usually reach the green then two putt. I don’t generate a lot of spin on pitches, so I play a lot of bump and runs around the green. I struggle to hit drop and stops. My biggest weakness is inconsistency with my driver, but I’ve improved since my fitting and lessons. 

    IMG_3147.jpg.d1e1b77e81d4a04476046d196cca01ed.jpg

    First Impressions

    My initial thoughts on the Gamers started with the box, which would turn me away as a consumer, but don’t judge a book by its cover. 

    File_000(2).jpeg.0f03da66abf565b9e67e5eedd951d88f.jpegFile_001(2).jpeg.367d4871713dd65c36eb407a3db1d0d3.jpeg

    The ball is actually simple and clean with a bright, glossy finish and green numbers. The ball looks and feels like Vice’s Tour and Drive with double dimples. The Gamers’ cover is difficult to dig into the cover with my fingernail like other distance balls but is a significant upgrade from a budget distance ball.

    1507431638_8Gamer.jpg.2cd2a6b328b8fcea61705874726b307d.jpg

    With no launch monitor, testing was exclusively on the course and practice green. I occasionally switched balls or played two balls on one hole for comparisons. I went out to an executive course a few times to hit full wedge shots into the short greens with new Mizuno T20 wedges. 

    File_000.jpeg.2be541eaed47935c1062a9e8671416ae.jpegFile_001.jpeg.37dd0a5c2d1981e77b7a4113520c0000.jpegIMG_3058.jpg.0f101b2fe349f66465a96f92989fe298.jpg

    As a recent graduate and golf newbie, I’ve searched for “premium” balls at a value. I tried Kirkland, Cut, Vice, OnCore, and Lost Golf Balls. I did Bridgestone’s VFIT and got 2 Tour BX balls which have been my favorite because they meet my all needs except budget: firmer for my swing speed and better feedback, good spin around the green, higher launch, and durability.

     

    Grading

    Looks & Durability (14 out of 15 points)

    The deduction is because this section includes graphics and packaging which are disconnected with the ball’s straightforward graphics and stylistic green numbers. I usually draw a line for alignment, so I prefer the dominant lines like Vice, Cut, and Triple Track, but most other balls use similar arrows, so the Gamers’ simple alignment doesn’t bother me.

    IMG_3104.jpg.9a302e54977a0a31198e8d5cc5aa4f08.jpg

    The cover is firm but undoubtedly durable. The cover was unfazed by mud and debris in the pouring rain. In one round, this ball hit asphalt and gravel cart paths, at least 5 trees, mud, and sand. There are some nicks, but these did not affect performance.

    IMG_3083.jpg.1341333fd691580f1f1443409640df92.jpgIMG_3082.jpg.4c0dcf2c41fd3a49b0b6f85612dabef8.jpg

    IMG_3081.jpg.025b7dcd55f2d41d102c0dc67305b914.jpgIMG_3080.jpg.194f7edd46de1c30d2762bc0d86acf02.jpg

     

    Sound & Feel (11 out of 15 points)

    With putts and chips, the ball has a firmer initial feel with a more pronounced “click” compared to the more muted “thud” of urethane-covered balls. The feel is interesting because the cover is hard, so the ball feels firm initially but has no vibration because the core is softer. With balls like Chrome Soft X, the cover feels soft but reverberates more from a firmer core. 

    With full iron shots, the Gamer is incredibly firm. It wasn’t any different than the firmer balls I normally use until I had to switch to Chrome Soft on a frigid day (40ºF w/ wind chill) because hitting irons with the Gamer was rattling my hands and wrists. The cover isn’t “soft” as advertised and feels comparable to firmer urethane balls with woods and putter, until it got cold, then it became “hard” with irons.

    900018563_File_000(1).jpeg.ec7936e9e3ca708f1b708cc3ed75d790.jpeg

    On-Course Performance (31 out of 40 points)

    The Gamer performs well on the course, but I would say it is a sort of “jack of all trades, master of none” which may benefit some golfers.

    The package says distance is “11/10,” but well-struck shots weren’t noticeably longer or shorter compared to other balls. Mishits were not straighter but were also not more erratic. Was distance 11/10? No, but comparable/the same isn’t significantly worse.

    The Gamer performs as expected almost everywhere else. It fades/draws when I want and launches at my usual mid-high trajectory with irons and driver. On approach shots, my shots usually pitch into the green and spin back a little, and the Gamer did the same.

    IMG_3077.jpg.fdcc0b809d22dd46c66c98cce67911b0.jpg

    The one weakness I noticed is the Gamer has less spin. The spin was not noticeable initially but was prominent when switching to another ball then back to the Gamer. The Gamer releases on greens more, and chips play more like “bump and runs” than “drop and stops.” As someone still learning those shots, not a big deal. For someone wanting the ball to spin and stay exactly where they want, the Gamer may let you down. Thin shots usually come out low and spinny for me and hold the green, but a thin 9 I hit with the Gamer hit the front of the green, left a pitch mark, then wound up 5 yards behind the green. 

    The circle is where the ball stopped

    IMG_3111.jpg.ce8a8ae355244bed89d383196da18330.jpg

    Overall, the Gamer performed as I would want and similarly to other balls.

    File_002.jpeg.02c743627cf29d20939b182b10ef0db2.jpeg

    The Gamer did not improve my scores. In fairness, I don’t believe I’m not at the level where a ball will because I damage my score with bad shots.

     

    1930987555_16Scorecard.jpg.d90da5e8deb1e5ef67f5432ae1d1d8d1.jpg

    I played the Gamer on the front, and a Chrome Soft X Triple Track on the back—never birdie #1. On 5, I sliced my drive to the other fairway, then duffed my chip. On 9, I topped my drive, hooked my 3 wood onto a different hole, and skulled a chip. On the back, I sliced OB on 12 then hooked my third off the tee into trees. On 17, I hooked my driver behind a tree and clipped another on my second. Mistakes are on me, not my ball. I had the same number of putts and GIR with both balls. 

    However, notice the durability differences in a Gamer used in a prior round and again for 9 holes vs. a fresh Callaway after 7.

    IMG_3121.jpg.d76c0c9c82ff51dd37a8c91d905b5775.jpgIMG_3122.jpg.4bf61e251a6bd56ab3203b224e3ab34b.jpg

    IMG_3119.jpg.ec0fe4f7ae10568f7d409324906c941e.jpgIMG_3118.jpg.103bc1d68793d35fdb626c77f47f5c57.jpg

     

    Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)

    While the Gamer is not mind blowing in any one area of performance, it is an incredible, all-around option for the value. A box of Gamers is $22.99, with promos through Dick’s/Golf Galaxy for 2 for $35. The balls I’ve played that most compare to the Gamer are the Vice Drive and Vice Tour. Online, one box of Drive with tax and shipping to California is $23.90, and Tour is out of stock. The covers on Vice feel like Gamer but are not as durable as the Gamer. 

    I have not had any issues with balls I’ve purchased from Cut for $19.99/dozen, but I will note there were flagrant durability issues MGS found in the 2019 Golf Ball Buyer's Guide. The Gamer is at or near the top for quality, budget-friendly golf balls I’ve tried.

     

    Game Bag or Shag Bag? (17 out of 20 points)

    The Gamer is perfectly right in the middle of the competition. It’s not the longest or spinniest, but it’s also nowhere close to the bottom in any aspect. When I first started golfing in April, instead of trying different balls to see what I liked, I should’ve played a ball like the Gamers to find my game then tried different balls that fit my game.

    IMG_3107.jpg.b1108637df5f54748320d376a9a7da38.jpg

    The Gamer is fantastic for someone starting golf and not sure about their game or what they want out of a ball and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. They can order from Dick’s/Golf Galaxy and have quality balls. Gamer may also be an option for slightly better players playing a ball in the "premier ionomer" category that wants durability and more value without sacrificing performance because performance was consistent even after significant use. The Gamers are still in the bag until I lose them because they will survive everything.

    Conclusion & Final Score: 82/100

    I am extremely satisfied with the Gamers. They exceeded my expectations because, for my game, it is a good ball regardless of price with equal performance to others I've tried. I really wish I would’ve started out playing the Gamers instead of trying everything else as I learned my game.

    Thanks for reading! Please feel free to ask me any questions and stay tuned for updates.

     

    • Like 1
  23. 15 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

    Shafts will launch different for different people. You will find people that the Nippon shafts launch low for and other they launch high for. It’s all based on the persons swing and to an extent the club they have them paired with.

    The best thing to do is get fit. I’ve used the same shaft in CB heads and in a players distance club and had no issues. I used a shaft in a cb/my combo from one brand and it didn’t work well for me in a different brands cb model and didn’t work for me in a  players distance club.

    The amount of information available today can lead one down a rabbit hole and have them questioning their fitting, the fitter and asking a lot of what if’s.  If you are looking at different brands and/or different club styles from the same brand it’s best to find a place that carries everything you are looking for and finding what 1) gives you a look appealing to the eye 2) the consistency you want whether it’s in dispersion or distance. People get hung up on the lofts and distances (lots of threads hashing that all out including actual interview with designers on why it’s down) but the key is that whatever distance they go they do that distance consistently 3) they fit what you are trying to do on the course

    I am down that dreaded rabbit hole lol. When I got fit, I narrowed down a lot of my irons based on looks initially. My current 762s are quite compact and narrow, and I wanted something with a similar profile, which is how I wound up really liking the i500 and Wilson V6.

    I am having second thoughts because of how inconsistent I was at my fitting. I feel like I was "fit into" the i500s because my fitter wanted me to get added distance and then tried to tune the shaft to help narrow dispersion. But, when I tried the Wilson V6s, they felt like they "just fit" if you know the difference I am getting at. 

    With all stock specs, I had 3 shots with the V6s all with a very tight dispersion at around 155 yards. Despite the tight dispersion, my fitter suggested I go toward the newer models and with clubs like the i500 that would added distance to help my game. Currently playing around a 10-12 handicap, I don't think distance is where I lose strokes but rather when I'm way off target. When I struck the i500 right, it went a long way, but my shots were all over the map, and I don't want to be all over the place.

  24. Currently, I play an ancient set of Titleist DCI 762 irons with very traditional lofts (34º 7 iron, 27º 5 iron). The irons have True Temper DGS300 shafts, which are stated to be low launch and low spin. I hit my irons great, but I am well overdue for an upgrade. Recently I had a club fitting and got fit into Ping i500s with Nippon Pro Modus Tour 105 Stiff shafts. In my post-fitting research, I've realized the i500s' lofts are all a club longer than my current set—the i500 7 iron is the same loft as my 6 iron. I've also found that the Nippon shaft is rated as mid-high launch and mid-high spin.

    Overall, I loved hitting the i500s. The ball exploded off the face, and the irons look great. I tried many different irons, but I got a little awed seeing myself carry a 7 iron 170 yards. I am not crazy about the feel or sound of the i500s, and don't feel like I should purchase something I am not in love with. I've gone back and demoed more irons and paid more attention to my dispersion with different clubs I've tested, and I feel being able to put my shot where I want will be better for improving my game than being able to hit a 7 iron 20 yards farther.

    The irons I have been keying in on are the Wilson Staff FG Tour V6—a MGS favorite I've learned—but I've also been thinking of saving up for the new Wilson Staff CB's due out after the New Year. I've noticed these irons have traditional lofts that are basically the same as my current set. I was curious how much I should consider the characteristics of the shaft if I were to purchase a set of irons with more traditional lofts compared to the strong-lofted i500s? I do like the feel of a lighter shaft like the Nippon 105, but if it is a higher launch compared to the DG, am I going to end up hitting towering shots that lose out on distance or tight dispersion? I feel I should find a shaft that matches my swing, but should I also try to match characteristics to the lofts of the club?

    Thanks in advance for the help!

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