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Hidden Gems


Ty Pettit

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Thanks! Already planning my next trip out there. This is now on my list! Any other recommendations say within 1 hour of Phoenix?

 

I've taken back to back summer golf trips to the Phoenix Area and here are some of my favs:

  • Troon North
  • Boulders
  • Quintero
  • Gold Canyon - Dinosaur Mountain
  • We-Ko-Pa
  • TPC Scottsdale - Stadium (It's worth it one time just for the back 9 if you haven't played it already)
In the Sun Mountain 4.5LS 14-way bag:
Driver: :taylormade-small: M2 10.5° :: Accra FX260
Fairway: :taylormade-small: M5 19° :: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec 7X Blue
Hybrid: :titelist-small: TS2 21° :: Mitsubishi Black 80G50
Irons:  :taylormade-small: P790 (5-AW) :: KBS Tour 110
Sand Wedge: :cleveland-small: CBX-2 54° :: KBS Tour 110
Lob Wedge: :cleveland-small: RTX-3 58° :: TT Dynamic Gold
Putter: :cameron-small: Phantom X 5.5
Ball: :titelist-small: AVX
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I've taken back to back summer golf trips to the Phoenix Area and here are some of my favs:

  • Troon North
  • Boulders
  • Quintero
  • Gold Canyon - Dinosaur Mountain
  • We-Ko-Pa
  • TPC Scottsdale - Stadium (It's worth it one time just for the back 9 if you haven't played it already)

Thanks! Yea a couple posts back I posted some pics for Quintero and Troon North so I hit those already but totally agree on them. TPC Stadium was closed for overseeding so will look for it next time for sure! We-Ko-Pa I looked up too. Defo on the list. Boulders and Gold Canyon are new to me. Will look them up Thanks!

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Thanks! Already planning my next trip out there. This is now on my list! Any other recommendations say within 1 hour of Phoenix?

 

Wickenburg Ranch in Wickenburg, about a hour outside of Phoenix. Beautiful course, played it for the first time last week. Superb condition and greens. About 30 min NW of Quintero. Another is Rio Verde Golf and Social Club in Rio Verde. About 15-20 NE of Troon North. Great layout and open Mountain View's. Both great tracks.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone

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  • 2 months later...

Hmmm, not sure what the criteria is, but here goes...

 

I grew up in Monmouth County, NJ back in the 80s. The parks system courses there are really strong. Hominy Hill got most of the recognition back then, hosting a USGA Publinx and landing on GD's top 100 public courses. Howell Park is also a good course. Shark River (my HS home course) was adequate. Charleston Springs was not open back when I lived there.

 

I headed south to Williamsburg, VA for college. As poor college students, we'd drive down to Deer Run in Newport News, VA. The Cardinal course there is fun, and the Deer Run course is stout. Both were bargains then and still are.

 

After college, I moved to Norfolk, VA. Sleepy Hole in Suffolk and Stumpy Lake in Virginia Beach were two of my favorites in the area.

 

I now live in the Richmond area. The real hidden gem around here is a private club, Jefferson-Lakeside Country Club. It's a classic Donald Ross course, and it while it's pretty short, it's not for the faint of heart. If you can find a way to get on, play it.

What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Wood (13.5*) - :titleist-small: 980F 
4 Wood (18*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Hybrid (19*) - :taylormade-small: RBZ
4i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
52* - :cleveland-small: CBX
58* - :cleveland-small: CBX Full Face 2
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Blue)
Ball -  :titleist-small: AVX
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino

 

 

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Monmouth definitely still has some great County courses

jlukes - Do you know if they've done anything with the Shark? It definitely needed some love back in the late 80s.

What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Wood (13.5*) - :titleist-small: 980F 
4 Wood (18*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Hybrid (19*) - :taylormade-small: RBZ
4i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
52* - :cleveland-small: CBX
58* - :cleveland-small: CBX Full Face 2
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Blue)
Ball -  :titleist-small: AVX
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino

 

 

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jlukes - Do you know if they've done anything with the Shark? It definitely needed some love back in the late 80s.

You know that's one I haven't played. I've heard it's in great shape though. I grew up in Somerset County and live in Mercer County now. So much great golf in this area
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You know that's one I haven't played. I've heard it's in great shape though. I grew up in Somerset County and live in Mercer County now. So much great golf in this area

A lot has been done to Shark, sounds like you have not been there in a long while, for me it's my favorite Monmouth County course, you really need to think about what club to hit off the tee on almost every hole. Since your time they have switched 10 to the starting hole and hole one to number ten, a few holes have been completely redesigned/ changed and in most cases made a bit longer, they continue to add new bunkers or change out the sand to new white fine sand, I am hearing they are going to be doing some additional changes and reworking this winter/ spring. Check it out if your ever in the area I bet you would not even recognize it.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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So, if you're coming into Upstate I've got a few tracks I think you should check out, based on where you're going to be. Note, I'm going as far West as Rochester and as Far East as Cooperstown, as that is where my experience is.

 

Southern Tier/Binghamton: Links at Hiawatha Landing, maybe my favorite golf course near Bing. Also, En-Joie, which hosted the old B.C. Open on the PGA Tour. Downside is that it floods a lot in heavy rain or after bad meltdowns.

 

Rochester area: Ravenwood, maybe not so hidden but it's awesome. Links at Greystone is up there too. A lot of large greens, so second shot at a premium.

 

Utica/Rome region: Obviously the big stuff out this way is Turning Stone and it's three major courses. I also recommend Seven Oaks at Hamilton College, one of the best courses around. 

 

Cooperstown: One course of note here and it's Leatherstocking. Again, maybe not hidden in the traditional sense, but it's so far out of the way that most don't ever play it. You should if you're up here.

 

Adirondacks: Thendara Golf Club, close to my heart since I played it a bit in high school and just never figured it out. It's an original Donald Ross front nine and the tree-lines back nine. Worth a trip if you're up that way toward Old Forge or Boonville NY.

 

CNY: My personal stomping grounds. Let's get the usual out of the way. Timber Banks is the only Nicklaus design in the area and it always well maintained, it can be pricey. Going off the beaten path leads me to two personal faves. Radisson Greens always used to be the best public course in CNY, it underwent a sale and some renovations to bring it back to former glory and man is it. Highly recommended. Lastly, The Marcellus Golf Club was my favorite course to travel to in high school, a weird links style course that was wide open, but with 6 par 4, 6 par 3, and 6 par 5's it was always a fun challenge and the rates can't be beat. 

In a :ping-small: Hoofer Lite bag

 :titleist-small: TSR2, 10 degrees, A1 setting, Fujikara Speeder NX Blue 50-S

:taylormade-small: Stealth, 15 degrees, VA Composites Nemesys 70-S 

:755178188_TourEdge: E722, 19 degrees, Oban Devotion 80-S

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro 4-P, Nippon 950GH Stiff Flex

 :cleveland-small: CBX Zipcore 50* (bent to *49) and RTX Zipcore Tour Rack 54* (bent to *55), DG 115 Spinner, Tour Issue

:wilson-small: Staff Model TG 60*, Dynamic Gold 120 S300

 SIK Golf Flo-C

:bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS (2022 Model)

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A lot has been done to Shark, sounds like you have not been there in a long while, for me it's my favorite Monmouth County course, you really need to think about what club to hit off the tee on almost every hole. Since your time they have switched 10 to the starting hole and hole one to number ten, a few holes have been completely redesigned/ changed and in most cases made a bit longer, they continue to add new bunkers or change out the sand to new white fine sand, I am hearing they are going to be doing some additional changes and reworking this winter/ spring. Check it out if your ever in the area I bet you would not even recognize it.

I'm really glad to hear that they've given the Shark some much needed TLC. So many fond memories of that course...

What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Wood (13.5*) - :titleist-small: 980F 
4 Wood (18*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Hybrid (19*) - :taylormade-small: RBZ
4i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
52* - :cleveland-small: CBX
58* - :cleveland-small: CBX Full Face 2
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Blue)
Ball -  :titleist-small: AVX
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino

 

 

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So to start i am from NE Indiana, so much of my playing experience is local...To start in my own little city

 

The Players Club-Muncie, Indiana

The course is really plush, very nice and has challenging holes the only downside is its in a residential area, so there are several house that have houses lining. Also a big factor of mine for a hidden gem are green fees...which i have never seen above 50 even on peak times

 

Heartland Crossing -Camby, IN (south of Indianapolis

Its a links style course in Indiana, and its super cheap....got taken there when I was just beginning with my three scratch buddies...We play the back tees.  I shot a 101 and even though i consistent break 90 now that was the best round I have ever played

 

Coyote Crossing-Lafayette, IN 

This was a great experience, course has everything you could ever want and plays even better...The one con is the carts have gps that can stop them if you get too close to a "wet or danger area"  It just gets laughable at some points when it slams to a stop when you leave the cart path.

 

 

Obviously if your in Indiana there is the top courses that everyone talks about.  Kampen at Purdue is crazy nice but kind of pricey. Purgatory and the Fort that are public as well as every course I have mentioned

What's in my bag?


 


Driver:   :taylormade-small: 2016 M1 - 9.5 w/ Fujikura Pro(S)


3 Wood:  TEE E8 - 15* w/ fujikura Pro (S)


Hybrid:   :adams-small: Super XTD- 17* w/ Fujikura Pro (s)


Hybrid:   :adams-small: Red- 21* w/ Matrix Altus Pro (s)


Irons:    :taylormade-small: Speedblades - 4-P w/ KBS 90 (S)


Wedges:   :cleveland-small:   CBX RTX  - 52, w/ DG (W)


Wedges:   :cleveland-small:   Smart Sole  - 58, w/ DG (W)


Putter: Heavy Putter-  A3m -Golf Pride Tour SNSR midsize pistol


Ball(s) :wilson_staff_small: Duospin


 


 

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Old Stonewall in Ellwood City PA

 

Public.

 

Great design, well kept. Back 9 goes up to the top of the mountain almost but you never play a hole that is straight up hill. From #16 you can see downtown Pittsburgh.

 

Rounds between $100-$125

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

Played a couple rounds there a about 2.5 years ago. Fantastic course and some of those elevation changes were crazy.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

:titelist-small: TSR1 9.0 Graphite Design DI 5R 

:titelist-small: TSiR1 15.0 Aldlia Ascent 60g

:titelist-small: TSR2 18.0 PX Aldila Ascent 6og

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T350 5-GW SteelFiber I80 

:titelist-small: SM8 48F/54/58 D Grinds 

:scotty-cameron-1: Select 5.5 Flowback 35" 

:titelist-small: ProV1  Play number 12

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Played a couple rounds there a about 2.5 years ago. Fantastic course and some of those elevation changes were crazy.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

What's amazing to me is the back 9, you know how high you go up. Like to the top of the mountain. But the routing is amazing and you never really feel like you play a hole that's truly uphill.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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  • 1 month later...

Resurrecting a thread from a few months ago.  I was filtering through the Golf Course Review and Travel section for some insight.  We are taking a long weekend, quick trip to Kure Beach in North Carolina over Easter.  

 

In respect to the thread theme of hidden gems, my daughter and I played the Plantation Course at Edisto Island last spring.  It was definitely a pleasant surprise.  It was my first experience on paspalum.  If anyone is looking for a remote beach location getaway with quality golf, I couldn't recommend it more.  It's definitely remote, not easy to get to with nothing much to offer other that piece, quiet and tranquility.

 

Edisto.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are in the Memphis area, I recommend checking out Mirimichi. 
#1 Public course in TN.

 

http://mirimichi.com/championship-course/

Driver: Cobra F8 Mitsubishi Tensei Blue 50 Stiff
3 Wood: Callaway Epic 15* Project X Hzrdus T800 65
5 Wood: Callaway Epic 19* Project X Hzrdus T800 65
Irons: Mizuno JPX 900 Forged True Temper XP 105 shafts
Wedges: Mizuno T7 54* and 58*
Putter: Ping Cadence TR Anser 2 Heavy
Ball: Srixon Q-Star Tour

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  • 4 weeks later...

Anyone with any reason to be in central PA needs to make an effort to play Bedford Springs. Omni took over the resort in 2007 and immediately began pumping in money. When all was said and done, $120 million had been spent to restore the resort to its former glory, and in doing so Omni advanced the golf course past anything else in the area. The result is one of the most interesting routings you will every play, complete with what feels like a private valley, 5 par 5s and 5 par 3s, and immaculate conditions. Oh, and chances are you'll be one of maybe twenty folks to play it that given day. "If so few play", I hear you asking "what kind of shape could it be in??" Omni doesn't give a flying rat fart what sort of return they see on the annual upkeep. It is in phenomenal shape as long as weather permits.

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/hennybogangolf/

 

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClB5KLACcDC0UvaXdG0Tqjw

 

Titleist

915 D3 Driver----------------Diamana White X-Stiff 70

915 F3 FW-------------------Diamana White X-Stiff 80

816 H2 Hy-------------------Aldilla Rouge 85

 

716 TMB 4i ----------|

716 AP2 5i - 7i-------| ------True Temper X-Stiff AMT 

714 MB 8i - PW-------------KBS Tour C Taper Stiff

 

Vokey SM5 52', 56', 60'

 

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2

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  • 3 weeks later...

In Ohio, I highly recommend Thunderbird Hills in Huron, OH.  The North course is considered the "easier" of the two courses, but it is no joke.  The South course is very challenging and not a course that your going to play if you need to set a personal record.

 

The green complexes on both courses are great in the fact that they make you think about them from the tee instead of only on approach shots.

In my :cobra-small: Ultralight Stand Bag:

Driver:    :callaway-small: Rogue 10.5° - LH -  Project X EvenFlow 60 Stiff
Woods:   :cobra-small: King F9 - LH - 3/4 Wood - Atmos Blue TS 7 Stiff
               :cobra-small: King F9 - LH - 5/6 Wood - Atmos Blue TS 7 Stiff
Irons:      :cobra-small: King F9 - LH - 5-GW - KBS C-Taper Lite Stiff
Wedges: :cobra-small: King Black - LH - 52° 56° 60° - KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 Stiff
Putter:     :1332069271_TommyArmour: - Impact No. 3
Ball:        Maxfli TourX

Rangefinder: :skycaddie: LX5 Watch

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In Ohio, I highly recommend Thunderbird Hills in Huron, OH. The North course is considered the "easier" of the two courses, but it is no joke. The South course is very challenging and not a course that your going to play if you need to set a personal record.

 

The green complexes on both courses are great in the fact that they make you think about them from the tee instead of only on approach shots.

I'll second the Thunderbird Hills recommendation. It's about 30 min east of us and our group plays there several times during the summer. For a public course it's very well maintained and has some interesting holes. My personal preference is the south course but both are challenging.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

Left Hand orientation

:taylormade-small:SIM 2 D Max with Fujikura Air Speeder Shaft 

Cobra  Radspeed 3W/RIptide Shaft
:ping-small:  410  Hybrids 22*, 26*

Cobra Speed Zone 6-GP/Recoil ESX 460 F3 Shafts 

:titelist-small: SM7 54* Wedge

:ping-small: Glide 3.0  60* Wedge

:odyssey-small: O Works putter

:ShotScope: V3
:918457628_PrecisionPro:NX9-HD

:CaddyTek: - 4 Wheel 

EZGO TXT 48v cart
:footjoy-small: - too many shoes to list and so many to buy

:1590477705_SunMountain: And  BAG Boy

Golf Balls: Vice Pro Plus 

2020 Official Teste:SuperSpeed: Beginning Driver Speed  - 78

2019 Official Tester :ping-small:  410 Driver

2018 Official Tester :wilson-small: C300

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  • 2 years later...

A vote for Enger Park golf course in Duluth, Minnesota.  Built in the 20's.  Not overly long, but plays longer.  Lake Superior  not only provides a nice backdrop, but contributes to humidity such that the ball doesn't go as far.  And if you look carefully, you'll find a spot in the middle of the parking lot about 3 feet square that's the only flat spot on the property.  Duluth is built right on the big lake, and is essentially a big hill, with Enger Park near the top of the hill, so wind can be tricky.  No houses anywhere on the course, which is mostly carved out of the forest.  

Only drawback is the course conditions can be dependent on the weather, which in Duluth has more variety than most places.  When it's really dry, things can suffer.  When it's really wet, things can suffer even more.  But when it's right, the course is fantastic, bent greens are very soft and quick, and with all the slopes they will definitely get your attention.

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Ravisloe in Homewood, IL outside of Chicago is Donald Ross gem in the south suburbs. Went public after years being private and has a great classic feel.

:callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero, 9.5*, VA Nemesys 75, Golfpride MCC Align Midsize

:callaway-small: Mavrik Max Fairway Wood, 15*, Stock shaft, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:titelist-small: Titleist U500 21*, Hzrdus Smoke Stiff, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:benhogan-small: 2020 Ben Hogan Icon Irons 8-PW, Project X LZ, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:benhogan-small: 2020 Ben Hogan PTxPro Irons 4-7, Project X LZ, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:titelist-small: Vokey SM8 50*, 54*, 60*, Stock vokey shaft, Golfpride MCC Midsize

:cameron-small: Scotty Cameron California Mid-Mallet

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The Bog in Saukville, WI 

 

Reasonably price Arnold Palmer Course out side of Milwaukee. A ton of fun to play. I can't wait until I am in that area again  

:cobra-small: Bio Cell, Ozik 6Q3 Red Tie Regular

:cobra-small: 3W Baffler XL

:cobra-small: Bio Cell 2/3

:cobra-small: Bio Cell 4/5

:mizuno-small: JPX EZ Regular 5-GW

:callaway-small: 56 Mack Daddy

:callaway-small: 58/10 Mack Daddy

:wilson_staff_small: Infinite West Loop 34

Kirkland Balls

 

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Scotch Hall Preserve in Merry Hill, NC

Built right before the housing bubble burst, so it's kinda eerie driving up and just seeing what clearly was meant to be an exclusive community, but it's just grass. The course is a *lot* of fun. Half dozen tee boxes so everyone can play, clever layout, and love the food truck at the turn. The clubhouse is... underwhelming... But I was there for golf, not to just hang out. IMG_20180817_183101_238.jpegIMG_20180817_183101_236.jpeg

Driver: :srixon-small: ZX5 LS MkII 9.5* (@ 9.0*) with 46.5" Ventus Blue 6X
3-wood: :taylormade-small: SIM 15* with Diamana Limited 75S
5-wood: :cobra-small: RADspeed 18.5* with Motore X F3 60S
2i: :srixon-small: ZX with SteelFiber i95 Stiff

4hy: :titleist-small: TS3 23* with Tensei AV Blue 70 S
4i-7i :srixon-small: ZX7, 8i-PW Z-Forged, Modus3 Tour 120 S
50*, 55* :cleveland-small: RTX 6 Modus3 Tour 125
60* :cleveland-small: RTX Full Face ZipCore DG Spinner S400
Putter: :callaway-small: Toulon Chicago with a :garsen: Quad Tour

Ball: ProV1x Left Dash, Chromesoft X LS
Bag: :srixon-small: Ltd Edition Tartan, blue/green/yellow

Using :ShotScope: to keep track of my shots

Tested:
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 3i-PW, KBS Tour-V 110S - Official Review
:titelist-small: Blind Ball Test (Ball #3 vs Ball #4) - Unofficial Review
:ShotScope:
 V3 GPS Watch + Tags - Official Review
:OnCore:
 Vero X2 - Official Review

The Stack System - Official Review

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About 30 miles east of Pittsburgh was a great course I came across called Totteridge Golf club.  Originally meant to be a country club, it's a Rees Jones designed Highland course that was in phenomenal shape when we played it.  

image.png.ccc1c99f95e4f4d0c28d94a3cd0475c5.png

Driver:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngMavrik Sub Zero 9* (Set to 10) Ventus Blue 6X

2 Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSI3 Hybrid Tensei Blue 80 X (17.25*)

3 Hybrid :titelist-small: 818 H2 Hybrid Hzrdus RDX Black 6.5 (20.5*)

4 Iron -  :titelist-small: T200 4 Iron Graphite Design Tour AD IZ X Hybrid Shaft

Irons 5-PW:  :titelist-small: T100-S 5 - GW KBS Tour 130 X

Gap/Sand Wedge:  :titelist-small: Vokey SM6 49*  SM8 54* 

Lob Wedge:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngJaws 5 Wedge 58* DG Tour Issue Stiff

Putter:   :scotty-small: Phantom 5.5 34"      Pro Platinum Newport 2 35"      Taylormade Tour Black Spider 34"

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