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Bridgestone's New JGR Hybrid Irons


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There's more to my dislike of those modern strong lofts than mere old man stubbornness. The modern numbering protocol attaches stronger lofted heads to short shafts. For reasons well beyond my grasp of physics, this seems to me to create a more rainbow-like shot trajectory.

 

The golf shot is not supposed to be a rainbow. Once the ball stops ascending, it's supposed to descend rapidly on a steep plane. I don't want my approach shots to hit the green like a flat stone skips across a pond. I want an impressive ball mark to have to repair when I get there.

 

I remember my 1977 Spalding Executive iron set. The 9-iron was not only 46º but was extremely sole weighted as well. That combination is alleged to hit ballooning shots that fall short, but I easily hit that 46º / 36" 9-iron 135 yards on a beautiful 9-iron trajectory. The set was apparently designed to complement the old Spalding-made Top Flite ball; the latter hit by an Executive iron flew like a wound Titleist hit by a Wilson Staff blade. Most of my misses were LONG with that 9-iron, but that rock hard ball always backed up when hit by a lofted club. You don't get that very easily from today's gear.

 

I should mention that my more conventional looking irons which preceded the Executives had a 48º nine iron. That new Bridgestone 9-iron is listed FIFTEEN DEGREES stronger at 33º!

 

There's something younger players might not know about those old days. Because there were no websites with printed specs giving the loft of your clubs, most people didn't even think about it. I knew mine because I always asked, and if the pro shop didn't have the numbers first hand, I called the manufacturer. "Long Distance" calls used to cost considerably more than local calls in those primitive times, but at least 411 information was for free.

 

Anyway, that made it really easy for the OEMs when they decided to jack the lofts. Most recreational players didn't even know. Maybe the shorter hitters liked to hit rainbow shots that descended more flatly and thus traveled further.

 

 

 

 

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These lofts may be jacked up but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the 9i loft isn't gonna be 33*..

 

And believe it or not, even though I'm only 27 I actually have a set of Spalding Executives somewhere that were my dad's. They were nice but give me the newer stuff. Its miles better.

Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ Diamana Ahina 80X 44"
Fairway Metal- Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta 3W 13* w/ Matrix 7m4 X 42.5"

Utility- Mizuno MPH5 1 iron w/ Aldila RIP 85X (depending on course/ conditions)

Irons- Mizuno MP-18 FLI HI 3i and 4i w/ KBS C-taper lite X
          Mizuno MP59 5i and 6I w/ PX 6.5

          Mizuno MP69 7i-PW w/ PX 6.5

Wedges- Scratch 8620 Driver/Slider set.  50*, 56* bent to 55* w/ rifle spinner shafts

                and Titleist Vokey 60* M grind

Putter- Never Compromise Dinero Mogul
Ball- Bridgestone Tour B XS

Bag- Ogio Aquatech Cart Bag

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I'm kinda looking at lofts differently these days... once you realize the intended market for Gi and SGI clubs, it really doesn't matter to me what the loft is on the club.  If I'm a beginner or an occasional player who has trouble with distance and with getting the ball up in the air, SGI sets with a low lofted "7" iron may simply become my 150 (or 140, or 130) club.  Who the hell cares what number is stamped on the bottom of it? That particular iron set isn't meant for me, anyway - everything from the shaft to the look to the launch is aimed at an entirely different player.

 

Learned this first hand while demoing the Wilson C200's. Seriously hot face -- the lofts are slightly jacked compared to, say, the F5's or V4's, but they're not intended for the same market.  Also, the stock shafts are waaayyyy to whippy for me, but not for the intended market.  I am interested in seeing what these might be like with the right shaft.

 

OEM's might start doing themselves a favor and doing a better job of targeting their irons towards the right market, and we as consumers always need to think more rather than just reacting.  Had a nice long talk with Bridgestone's people about these irons, and they're very clear on the intended market.  Josh Kinchen, the product manager for clubs, said it sure would make a hell of a lot more sense to have the JGR's marked 5 thru PW instead of 6 thru PW2, but that's the way the clubs are marketed in Japan, so that's how they're going to be marketed here.  When you have as small of a market share as Bridgestone US does, there are fights with corporate you fight and there are fights with corporate you don't.  

 

I think Wilson targets their irons very well with the F-C-D categories.  Bridgestone's irons are all over the place -- they fit certain categories but it's kind of hard to decipher where some of their mid-range irons fit.  These are obviously on one end, the blades are on the other -- but it's a challenge to sort out the rest.  

 

One thing that did hit me during the show and reading some of the comments -- we're talking fricken' golf equipment here. We're not fighting ISIS or curing cancer - they're sticks to hit balls with. When looked at within the context of intended market - and for OEM's who don't do a very good job of categorizing, that onus falls on the consumer - loft-jacking seems like much ado about nothing.  Find what you like, figure out how far you hit it, then hit it.

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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'm kinda looking at lofts differently these days... once you realize the intended market for Gi and SGI clubs, it really doesn't matter to me what the loft is on the club. If I'm a beginner or an occasional player who has trouble with distance and with getting the ball up in the air, SGI sets with a low lofted "7" iron may simply become my 150 (or 140, or 130) club. Who the hell cares what number is stamped on the bottom of it? That particular iron set isn't meant for me, anyway - everything from the shaft to the look to the launch is aimed at an entirely different player.

 

Learned this first hand while demoing the Wilson C200's. Seriously hot face -- the lofts are slightly jacked compared to, say, the F5's or V4's, but they're not intended for the same market. Also, the stock shafts are waaayyyy to whippy for me, but not for the intended market. I am interested in seeing what these might be like with the right shaft.

 

OEM's might start doing themselves a favor and doing a better job of targeting their irons towards the right market, and we as consumers always need to think more rather than just reacting. Had a nice long talk with Bridgestone's people about these irons, and they're very clear on the intended market. Josh Kinchen, the product manager for clubs, said it sure would make a hell of a lot more sense to have the JGR's marked 5 thru PW instead of 6 thru PW2, but that's the way the clubs are marketed in Japan, so that's how they're going to be marketed here. When you have as small of a market share as Bridgestone US does, there are fights with corporate you fight and there are fights with corporate you don't.

 

I think Wilson targets their irons very well with the F-C-D categories. Bridgestone's irons are all over the place -- they fit certain categories but it's kind of hard to decipher where some of their mid-range irons fit. These are obviously on one end, the blades are on the other -- but it's a challenge to sort out the rest.

 

One thing that did hit me during the show and reading some of the comments -- we're talking fricken' golf equipment here. We're not fighting ISIS or curing cancer - they're sticks to hit balls with. When looked at within the context of intended market - and for OEM's who don't do a very good job of categorizing, that onus falls on the consumer - loft-jacking seems like much ado about nothing. Find what you like, figure out how far you hit it, then hit it.

Well said! I feel the outcries for loft jacking is just something for people to complain about. You think Jason Day cares his lofts are stronger than normal? Whatever gets the wins and your score low should be the main concern

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic 10.5 set to 9.5 w/ Tour AD-DI 44.5

FW:   :cobra-small: F6 baffler set at 16º

Hybrid:  NONE
Irons:   :taylormade-small:  3i 2014 TP CB  4-PW 2011 TP MC w/ TT S400

Wedges:   :nike-small: 52º :nike-small: 56º  :edel-golf-1: 60 º w/ KBS C-Taper XS Soft-stepped

Putter:   :ping-small: Sigma G Tyne 34 inches Gold dot

 

 

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Actually, I explained rather specifically what's wrong with the loft jacking if you seek a traditional ball flight. Strong lofts on short shafts change trajectory.

 

And if you look on the Bridgestone website, the 9-iron loft is indeed 33º. If you bother to look, you can't miss it.

 

Fortunately, there are now alternatives for everybody. In my case, Hogan dumping the club numbers and offering 44 lofts solved the problem. I could specify the length and lie for each loft.

 

For those who don't care, well that's cool--don't care. But to suggest there's no validity to disliking modern lofts is in my opinion a very disingenuous argument.

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Actually, I explained rather specifically what's wrong with the loft jacking if you seek a traditional ball flight. Strong lofts on short shafts change trajectory.

 

And if you look on the Bridgestone website, the 9-iron loft is indeed 33º. If you bother to look, you can't miss it.

 

Fortunately, there are now alternatives for everybody. In my case, Hogan dumping the club numbers and offering 44 lofts solved the problem. I could specify the length and lie for each loft.

 

For those who don't care, well that's cool--don't care. But to suggest there's no validity to disliking modern lofts is in my opinion a very disingenuous argument.

 

Will respectfully disagree Nifty -- in the hands of targeted golfers, there's probably a benefit to stronger lofted irons.  Guys like you and me who don't have a problem getting the ball in the air, you're right, But to a high handicapper any help he can get is probably to his benefit.  He just wants to have fun and play the game.  Precision isn't on his mind, making the ball go down the fairway in the general direction of the green is.  A beginner or high handicapper isn't worried about a specific ball flight, he worries that his ball actually has flight.  

 

As you progress in the game, this stuff gets more important, no doubt - that's why Snedeker doesn't game the JGR irons.  But for someone just starting the game, give him all the help you can, in my opinion.  

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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'll tell you part of my problem.  I finished the season at twelve point something, not bad for my age.  But my full shot ball striking is more like a seven or eight and my short game is more like a twenty.

 

Short game requires practice, an activity with which I'm shamefully unfamiliar.  Chipping, lobbing, putting, sand game--mine could give you nightmares.

 

So while I score like a chopper, I must take pride in my ball striking as it surpasses expectations based on my physical condition and athleticism.  I like my shots to look like I want them to look, and I can't do that with most modern gear.  Still, there is stuff, both old and new, that I can enjoy using.

 

 

 

 

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Actually, I explained rather specifically what's wrong with the loft jacking if you seek a traditional ball flight. Strong lofts on short shafts change trajectory.And if you look on the Bridgestone website, the 9-iron loft is indeed 33º. If you bother to look, you can't miss it.Fortunately, there are now alternatives for everybody. In my case, Hogan dumping the club numbers and offering 44 lofts solved the problem. I could specify the length and lie for each loft.For those who don't care, well that's cool--don't care. But to suggest there's no validity to disliking modern lofts is in my opinion a very disingenuous argument.

Bc they are using the Japanese numbering there are 2 pitching wedges. Thus making the first one of them really a 9 iron and the actual 9i an 8i. Bridgestones US division can't help the Japanese are weirdos.

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Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ Diamana Ahina 80X 44"
Fairway Metal- Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta 3W 13* w/ Matrix 7m4 X 42.5"

Utility- Mizuno MPH5 1 iron w/ Aldila RIP 85X (depending on course/ conditions)

Irons- Mizuno MP-18 FLI HI 3i and 4i w/ KBS C-taper lite X
          Mizuno MP59 5i and 6I w/ PX 6.5

          Mizuno MP69 7i-PW w/ PX 6.5

Wedges- Scratch 8620 Driver/Slider set.  50*, 56* bent to 55* w/ rifle spinner shafts

                and Titleist Vokey 60* M grind

Putter- Never Compromise Dinero Mogul
Ball- Bridgestone Tour B XS

Bag- Ogio Aquatech Cart Bag

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  • 6 months later...

I was very intriqued by these irons (as a high HC'er) when I saw them at the PGA Show and hit them, they were definitely easy to launch and get in the air.

 

But here we are 7 months later, and i literally heard no marketing or buzz on these from Bridgestone, I know Barbajo touched on the the difficulty Bridgestone has had in general in getting shelf and floor space.   But it seems like there was no marketing at all on them.  I know I spoke to our local Bridgestone rep at the show and I promised him if he came by our course we would give the entire line balls, and some clubs a good look and consider stocking a some product. 

 

He never followed up or came by.  So there is part of the issue as I see it

:titelist-small: TS1 Fubuki 45g R Flex

:ping-small:  G410 FW 5, 7 Alta CB R flex 

:ping-small: G410 Hybrid 26 degree Alta CB R Flex

:titelist-small: T100S/T200 Combo 5-7 T100S 8-P T200 TT Black Oynx R Flex

:titelist-small: SM7 54.08 F 58.12 K 

:scotty-small:  Phantom 5.5   35" 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

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I was very intriqued by these irons (as a high HC'er) when I saw them at the PGA Show and hit them, they were definitely easy to launch and get in the air.

 

But here we are 7 months later, and i literally heard no marketing or buzz on these from Bridgestone, I know Barbajo touched on the the difficulty Bridgestone has had in general in getting shelf and floor space. But it seems like there was no marketing at all on them. I know I spoke to our local Bridgestone rep at the show and I promised him if he came by our course we would give the entire line balls, and some clubs a good look and consider stocking a some product.

 

He never followed up or came by. So there is part of the issue as I see it

 

You're right & it's too bad. I have a set and they have been an unbelievable find for me. I have dropped my HDCP 6 strokes this year and these irons are a big reason why.

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Driver: Epic Flash 9* with UST V2 5F4 shaft

Fairway Woods: EF 3W and Rogue Heavenwood

Hybrid: 2019 BB 4Hybrid

Irons: Tour B H1 Hybrid Forged Irons 6-AW with Recoil shafts

Wedge: Callaway Mack Daddy 54* -PM Grind 2.0 wedge, 58*

Putter: Toulon Garage Atlanta

 

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You're right & it's too bad. I have a set and they have been an unbelievable find for me. I have dropped my HDCP 6 strokes this year and these irons are a big reason why.

Got to hit these when we visited Bridgestone this past spring. Good lord how silly easy to hit - and they just want to go straight.

 

Bridgestone is funny - they make some pretty awesome clubs but when it comes to marketing and sales, it's all about the balls. Their golf club product manager left the company this summer. I'm scheduled to hook up with his replacement soon to talk about the 2017 offering. The J15 series will be completely updated after its 2 year product cycle - be interesting to see what they've come up with.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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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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They really are easy to hit. Only iron that I've hit that launches close to as easy as the JGR is the M2.

In my :mizuno-small: BR-D4 Stand Bag

:ping-small: G410 LST 9* Tour AD BB 6X
:ping-small: G410 LST 14.5* Tour AD DI 7X
:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X
:mizuno-small: MP20 HMB 4 Tour AD 95X
:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW Oban CT 115 X(-)
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 49F - 54S - 59D
Putter ?????
:bridgestone-small: Tour B X
 
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Initial Driver Speed on Provided Monitor: 109 MPH
 
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Definitely, super duper game improvement looking irons. Aesthetically pleasing design and badging. Hope they come up with a mid-handicap version too.

 

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WITB:

 

Driver:   :cobra-small: F9 driver 9* stiff shaft 

FW Wood:   :cobra-small:  F9 wood 14.5* regular shaft

Hybrids:  :nike-small: Vapor Flex  3 hybrid regular shaft 

Irons:  :srixon-small: Z565 - 7 thru PW & ZU85 - 5 thru 6 with Recoil ZT9 F4 shafts                                            

Wedges:   :cleveland-small: RTX4 52*, 56*, 60* 

Putter:  Ben Hogan BHB01 blade

Ball:  :Snell: Black

Bag: 2015 Ogio Chamber Cart Bag & 2018 MyGolfSpy Stand Bag

 

 

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I have hit these. They go straight. And high. We tried to curve them, but were only able to hit very small shaped cuts and draws.. Almost too forgiving.. And the lofts are a joke. There are 2 PW's The 7 iron is essentially a 5 iron, but flies on a 7 trajectory. If you can bet past the look, B-stone has a huge hit on their hands...

TOTALLY agree. Was fortunate to get a chance to hit these when Barbajo and I toured the Bridgestone facility in GA. They do look a little strange when you inspect the clubhead. However, at address they look pretty normal. The ball just flies off these clubs! The smoother I swung the club, the better the ball flight became. If I was looking for irons, these would be in my group to test for sure!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

"Where'd it go?"  "Right in the Lumberyard..."
 
:bridgestone-small:  JGR 9.5*  Driver Graphite Design AD DI-6x 
:bridgestone-small:  Tour B JGR 15*   Fairway UST ProForce V2 7F5 76g X-Flex
:bridgestone-small:  Tour B JGR 19* & 22* Hybrid UST ProForce V2 90g X-Flex
:bridgestone-small:  Tour B JGR HF-2 irons (5i - AW)  KBS Tour 130x

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 Wedges (54, 58)
MATI Mamo Putter 33"  Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0
:bridgestone-small: Tour B-RX

:918457628_PrecisionPro: Precision Pro Nexus Rangefinder

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Every High HDCP'er should hit these just once to feel what's like to hit a Forged Iron. It's so sweet! You won't go back to Cast.

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Driver: Epic Flash 9* with UST V2 5F4 shaft

Fairway Woods: EF 3W and Rogue Heavenwood

Hybrid: 2019 BB 4Hybrid

Irons: Tour B H1 Hybrid Forged Irons 6-AW with Recoil shafts

Wedge: Callaway Mack Daddy 54* -PM Grind 2.0 wedge, 58*

Putter: Toulon Garage Atlanta

 

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Every High HDCP'er should hit these just once to feel what's like to hit a Forged Iron. It's so sweet! You won't go back to Cast.

And you've got a great feeling shaft in them as well, I bet that is a fantastic combination.   I really don't need irons and have resisted getting a "backup" set a couple times already this year.   

 

These don't need to be floating around in my head...ha

:titelist-small: TS1 Fubuki 45g R Flex

:ping-small:  G410 FW 5, 7 Alta CB R flex 

:ping-small: G410 Hybrid 26 degree Alta CB R Flex

:titelist-small: T100S/T200 Combo 5-7 T100S 8-P T200 TT Black Oynx R Flex

:titelist-small: SM7 54.08 F 58.12 K 

:scotty-small:  Phantom 5.5   35" 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Started playing the 7-8-9 irons as supplements to my previous set of Hogan FW 15s.  Found the clubs extremely easy to hit straight and LONG.  Chose to ignore lofts until they had been played for a few round and have finally settled with adding back one of the Hogan FWs to fill a gap in distance/loft. The forged feel is very similar to my previous forged sets.  Many players of other brands would do well to give these a try.  I have a choice of any brand and choose my clubs on performance and feel.  The BS JGR fill the bill on both counts.  Ike

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  • 3 months later...

In reference to my 05 November 2016 post, I have since added the P2 and  A wedge to my set, 44 and 50 degrees.  Both have a new Paderson shaft for trial and will be adding the P1 soon.  Not decided yet, but will probably match the rest of the set with Steel Fiber shafts.   I do like the Paderson and they are selling well, but Steel Fiber is a tough competitor for consistency.  Not to say the Paderson is not consistent, they are not for the same market.

 

Have read a bit in this forum about looking like grandpa's chipper and other ilk, but unless you have actually hit these heads and seen the results and felt the sensation of smoothness your comments do not merit much.   Ike

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