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13 Club Contract: Who Would You Choose?


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This is fun, but the question is fundamentally flawed.

 

None of are getting staff deals, so in our realities, we have to consider things like cost. What you're seeing to no small extent is Callaway creating artificial demand through artificially high prices. There's no reason why BB Alpha costs 20% more than SLDR, I can promise you it's not 20% better. Same is true for the pricing on Apex. They are creating the illusion of better performance and exclusivity through price manipulation (and as you'll see eventually, smaller product runs).

 

And that's the thing...since none of us are getting that staff deal, what if we asked the question like this:

 

If you had to buy all new equipment today (with your own actual money, based on your actual income), and had to buy 13 clubs from a single manufacturer, what would you buy?

 

I suspect that Callaway's $500 driver and $1200 are suddenly much less appealing. 

 

I can't speak for everyone, but my approach to the original questions wasn't so much "what do I absolutely love", it's "which lineup has fewer perceived holes". 

 

TaylorMade's wedges are suspect, and certainly the putters don't have a huge following.

Titleist hasn't released new woods (as has already been pointed out), so I can't get the latest and greatest from them.

PING's lineup is 360° solid, but not very sexy

Cobra is top to bottom as good as anyone, but they're still viewed as B-tier.

Nike...well...golfers still don't trust Nike, and if you want GI irons, there are issues.

 

Basically, the question itself favors Callaway to an extent, and I assure you, that's exactly how Callaway wants you to think...desire over practicality (in this case the practicality of spending your own money).

 

Let me throw another curveball into the mix. Let's go full fantasy...

 

You're an elite golfer (think Jordan Spieth) about to sign your first major league club deal. Companies are who they are today...clubs are what they are right now, but let's say it's a 5 year deal. Who do you trust to deliver the best product and the best experience over the next half-decade?

 

If it's me, I go Nike in a heartbeat, but my reality is that I've been fortunate to see things the average golfer probably hasn't. Quite frankly, when you consider where they are, their intellectual property, the talent they've acquired on the club development side, and their commitment to the athlete, and it's a no-brainer. 

 

Toss in what being a part of the Nike family offers the athlete; nevermind the exposure, I'm talking about cutting edge biomechanical stuff, and other things that nobody else in golf can offer, and quite frankly, money notwithstanding, I don't know why any golfer with a Nike option would go anywhere else.

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If I was about to sign my first 5 year contract, I would probably choose titleist or nike.  Taylormade makes some great stuff, and some not so great stuff.  Callaway is similar, but a little more dependable.  Titleist is always dependable for great, high performance, quality products.  But the big question is nike.  In the past two years, my perception of nike as a golf company has really changed.  Their stuff just keeps getting better, and in five years if nike really puts money and effort into golf, they will dominate the industry just like they do with basketball, baseball, soccer, and football, and their products will be great.  They just keep getting better.  So I guess I agree with golfspy T, I would choose nike.

Driver:  Taylormade 2017 M2 9.5 degree head played at 8 degrees.  Fujikura speeder evolution tour spec x flex shaft tipped 1/4 inch.  

 

3-Wood: 15 degree M2 tour.  Fujikura pro 73 tour spec X flex shaft.  

 

Mizuno H5 2 iron.

 

4 iron: mizuno mp h4 4 iron dynamic gold s300

 

5-pw iron: mizuno mp 54 dynamic gold s300

 

52, 56, 60 wedges: cleveland 588 rotex cavity

 

putter: 34 inch nike method 00 half circle mallet putter

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If that's the case, then I'm going wilson staff from top to bottom. No question about it.

Driver: TaylorMade R9 9.5* with a Diamana Kai'li 70 S shaft

Fairway: TaylorMade R9 TP 13* with Graphite Design Tour AD YSQ-st X flex

 

UtilityWilson Staff FYbrid 19.5* Aldila RIP Sigma Stiff

 

Irons: Wilson Staff FG Tour V2 KBS Tour X flex 4-pw (soft-stepped)

Wedges: Wilson Staff FG Tour TC 50* (standard grind, bent to 51*) TT DG Spinner, 56* and 60* (tour grinds, bent to 55* and 59*) Dynamic Gold Wedge flex

Putter: Yes! Abbie Tour Forged Pro Series 33" 

Ball: Wilson Staff FG Tour, Maxfli U4

 

Bag: Wilson Staff NeXus 100th Anniversary carry bag

 

Backup Irons: Wilson Staff FG-17 Tour Blades with TT Dynamic Stiff 3-PW

 

Backup Utility: Mizuno MP-H4 2 iron TT Dynamic Gold R300

 

Backup Putter: Pro Gear CG 100 33" (Pro Gear is what turned into Yes!)

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My own money?  Might be headed to Pinemeadow or Acer... :wacko: 

Good point about Cally's pricing strategy -- if you want people to view your stuff as top shelf, it has to carry a top shelf price.  Alpha & Apex pricing would seem to indicate that both products are a great leap forward from the Xhot2 series.  Have hit the Xhot pro irons and the Apex irons - liked the Apex much better, but can't say whether my mind was saying "this is an $1,100 iron -- wow!!!!"

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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It is interesting to read through this.  I had avoided posting because I would probably choose to stay mostly where I am.  

 

I've played primarily TaylorMade gear for the last two seasons, and I was Adams before that.  Wedges and putter are where I don't.  I like the mid sized mallets and the Spider thing makes me cry, it is just too big, though the rumored Si could fit the bill for me.  

 

Wedges would remain my concern. Luckily I got a chance to swing the ATV wedges a few weeks ago, and they are certainly playable, though they wouldn't be my first choice, so I could live in that world.  That said, base upon the AW in the set with my new Tour Preferred CB's, I can see where even that could be addressed in the near future.

 

As far as I can tell, TaylorMade is the only vendor with aggressive release cycles that can offer an end to end product line that is competitive on a consistent basis at both price and performance metrics.  The two vendors that take a far less aggressive release cycle are the only other vendors with better end to end product matrices, and both operate at a higher price point, and less aggressive performance envelope, in Ping and Titleist.  For me, they would be the other options.  Every other vendor has holes in the product matrix that just make them uninteresting for a whole bag option.

Dru - Owner, President & Janitor, Druware Software Designs

RH 18.0 Handicap in soggy Georgia 

WITB
* 1W 10.5* @ Hogan GS53 ( HZRDUS Smoke Black X-Stiff )
* 3W Hogan GS52 ( HZRDUS Smoke Black X-Stiff ) 
* 5W 18* Tailor-made AeroBurner ( Stock Stiff )
* 4I-AW @ Hogan Ft Worth
* 56 @ Cleveland RTX
* 60 @ Hogan Equalizer
* Carbon Ringo 1/4
* Snell MTB-X

 

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It's definitely an interesting strategy and psychologically, it does work. I still haven't tried the Apex irons, but have heard nothing but good things. Not so sure about the Bertha after talking to the TMag guys about it though.

 

If I were to pick, it'd be either TM or Ping. TM would probably win that fight though since I'm a sucker for a few extra yards.

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Well, since my bag looks like I'm a TMag staffer, that's who I'll go with.

 

Driver - SLDR 10.5°

FM - SLDR 17°

Irons - 3-4 TP CB, 5-7 TP MC, 8-PW TP MB

Wedges - 50° RBladez AW, TP 54° & 58°

Putter - Ghost Tour Daytona 62

Ball - TP X

 

All you need are the Adidas boxers and you're good to go!!!v B)

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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I would stick with TMAG because I would only have to buy 3 clubs.

MY BAG-

Driver- Taylormade SLDR 12* (Speeder 7.2vc tour spec S)

3 Wood- Taylormade R11(bimatrix prototype S)

3 Hybrid- Ping I20(stock S)

Irons-Taylormade Tour Perferred MC ( C Taper S)

Wedges- 50, 54, and 58 SCOR4161( KBS)

Putter-Taylormade Ghost Corza.

 

All Left Handed!

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I am in the process of replacing my irons, wedges, putter and possibly a new hybrid.  I went and have hit irons a couple of times and the Callaway Apex Pro just felt great but so did the AP 2.  What makes me choose Callaway over Titleist is that Callaway is charging upcharge for different shafts that is a plus in my book and that goes for the wedges too.  So even though the price may be $1200 to start with i know that after being fit the all the options in shaft they offer with no upcharge that i will find the right shaft.  TItleist and TMaG both have upcharge and that upcharge prices you higher than Callaway or at the same price.  

 

I agree though that the $500 price point for the BB Alpha is crazy.  

Bag: :ping-small:  Hoofer Vantage

Driver: :ping-small:  G25 10.5 Aldila NV 65 S

3 Wood:   :cobra-small:  Fly Z+ 3 Wood 13.5*

Rescue: :adams-small:  XTD ti 18* set to 17* or  :adams-small: Pro 23* 

Irons: :callaway-small:  Apex Pro 4-PW, KBS Tour S, Standard Length and Loft, 2* flat, 

Wedges: :callaway-small: Mack Daddy 2 50* bent to 51*, KBS Tour S

:vokey-small: Spin Milled 56* bent to 55*

:callaway-small: Mack Daddy 2 60* U grind KBS Tour S

Putter: :cameron-small: Futura X5 MOTO

Grips: PURE DTX Green

 

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Not so fast, some people might be getting staff deals soon  :ph34r:

THIS is the Mother of All Teasers!

PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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Okay, some nice alternate questions T - here goes:

 

If I'm buying for myself I would still stick with Cobra because I think they have found a really excellent balance between tech/innovation and price-to-consumer, and that is especially true for what I look for in terms of a little extra distance and forgiveness.

 

If I had the necessary game and was signing on for a 5-year deal it'd definitely be with Nike. It seems clear that they have a long term strategy and I think we will see a lot more radical innovation from the OEMs who are investing heavily in R&D, including Nike. I think they are really an exciting company as well, and it'd be great to be associated with them.

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Even with my own money, my answer remains PING. Heck, I'm 3/4 of the way there as it is.

 

Signing a 5 year contract, however, might be a different story. Maybe not, though. I respect PING's list of pro staffers, many of whom have enjoyed pretty decent success. I imagine all equipment companies are absolutely focused on getting the best equipment into the hands of their players, right? Maybe I just respect PING's process and reputation a little more than the others. I'd skip the Nike flash, and maybe give up a little scratch in the process, for what I perceive to be PING's commitment to creating the best performing products and fitting them to each individual player.

PING i20 8.5*, TFC707D (S)
Callaway RAZR Fit 15*, neutral setting, stock shaft (S)
PING i20 20*, TFC707H (S)
Adams Pro a12 23*, Matrix Ozik Altus (S)
PING i20 5-PW, TT DG S300, 1.5* flat (purple dot)
SCOR 50*,54*,58*, Genius 12 KBS Tour (S), 1.5* flat, -1/4"
STX xForm 3, 35"
 

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OK I've had some time to think about this.

 

I love my SLDR and went gaga over the TP line in Cali. The new Nike (this would be my runner up) & Wilson lines are really nice as well. So with that said I choose Ping.

 

I've always bin a huge fan of Ping wedges, their drivers stand up to anyone out there and they make great putters if you want to go 14 clubs.

 

ping-s55.jpg

 

pingfit-i25.jpg

Yo #JustPlayBetter


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If the deal is that for the next 5 years you have to play the current year models, whatever the latest and greatest is, then to me the choice is Titleist, Mizuno, and Ping.  These companies in my opinion are not prone to the whimsical flightiness that Nike, Tmag and Callaway are.  Yes, they may not be as cutting edge but seriously, has a 200th ranked player jumped into the top 10 because he bagged a new equipment?  Has a number 1 ranked player plummeted down the ranking because he changed all his equipment?

 

Right now if I was forced to change from the RBZII and Rocketblades that I got last year at this time, to SLDR and Tour Preferred MB/CB combos than I would request a police escort to the fitting.  But if next year they come out with RBZIII and RocketBladez II than the police will be chasing me the other direction.  Same with changing from Razr Fit and X Hot to Big Bertha and Apex.

 

Nike, the love is simply not there.  Never hit one of their clubs and still sleep pretty well at night.

 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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OK I've had some time to think about this.

 

I love my SLDR and went gaga over the TP line in Cali. The new Nike (this would be my runner up) & Wilson lines are really nice as well. So with that said I choose Ping.

 

I've always bin a huge fan of Ping wedges, their drivers stand up to anyone out there and they make great putters if you want to go 14 clubs.

 

ping-s55.jpg

 

pingfit-i25.jpg

Before the loft up trip I would have said Ping hands down. Now with my new SLDR and MC irons I'm sold on TMAG!

MY BAG-

Driver- Taylormade SLDR 12* (Speeder 7.2vc tour spec S)

3 Wood- Taylormade R11(bimatrix prototype S)

3 Hybrid- Ping I20(stock S)

Irons-Taylormade Tour Perferred MC ( C Taper S)

Wedges- 50, 54, and 58 SCOR4161( KBS)

Putter-Taylormade Ghost Corza.

 

All Left Handed!

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Dude, WTF?

 

You got two of the finest milled putters on the face of this earth, and you got that raggedy assed Daytona in your bag?

 

Forget kool aid, sh!t, were they pumping you with IVs?

 

The Daytona?

 

I still think the world of ya, but Dude, somethin's gone arie :)

 

Fairways & Greens My friend,

Richard

 

Dude, ragging on someone's putter is like ragging on someone's wife.  Nothing else matters except what you want.  Haha

 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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Dude, WTF?

 

You got two of the finest milled putters on the face of this earth, and you got that raggedy assed Daytona in your bag?

 

Forget kool aid, sh!t, were they pumping you with IVs?

 

The Daytona?

 

I still think the world of ya, but Dude, somethin's gone arie :)

 

Fairways & Greens My friend,

Richard

I don't have a Daytona.....I was just saying, if I had a full bag sponsorship, that's what I'd be playing. Nothing is kicking the Odyssey out, I ended the season on fire with it.
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Rickster says that the 56's are sweet, so I'll go with em. Really liked the feel of the 20's, and I could get used to the thicker top line, cuz it wasn't bad, it's just that the off set was too much for me-

 

 

The newest ones are S55's and Best Grips is in love with them.  The S56 is a great club but may not be sticking with them, but not because of any faults of them.

 

Oh, sorry ;)-

 

Because I flip putters like an IHOP cook flippin pancakes, I just figured that everyone was as f*cked up as me, lol

 

Beautiful Wife, Family & ProType Bones :)

 

Fairways & Greens My Friends

 

I was just kidding.

 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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