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This is a thread for those who are interested in reading or sharing golf ball comparisons!
Personally, I am in the stage of personal ball testing to try to find my next gamer for the next season or two. As such, I have been and am in the process of testing a variety of premium golf balls to see which fits my game and personal preferences. My posts in this site will be coming from off my new website (linked here for those who might want to check it out: https://griffinc6.wixsite.com/golfreviews) and will be in the form of a head to head matchup between two of the balls I am considering. During my tests, I will be taking two different models to the course and playing 9 holes with each in the same round, same day, and same conditions. In my posts, there won't be much in the way of technical data other than distance (measured via Shot Scope) but will rather be how I experienced the balls in terms of distance, spin, flight characteristics, performance and fell around the green, putting, quality, durability, and consistency. Once again, for my posts here, these are by no means a scientific test, but rather what I prefer, what I see, and how the balls perform for me. Therefore whatever performs for me might not translate to your game or your experiences with these products. I also invite everyone to post your own comparisons, head-to-heads, and reviews here as well!
Now that that is out of the way, let the discussion begin!
Ping Sigma 2 Tyne 4 – Review
A little background
Let’s just start with this: I am not a stellar putter. I’m not even an average putter. I’ve been known to be the ‘take a 6 footer for birdie and turn it into a 7 footer for par’ kind of putter. I’d like to think part of it is due to the wide variation in greens I get to play on (anything from Plinko on the Price is Right to lightning fast U.S. Open greens), but the reality is I just haven’t been that good. I’m a dad with limited income to spend on golf and little practice time.
I started this journey to become a Scratch golfer about two years ago. Since then, I won a free full bag fitting through Club Champion and had a blast doing it. My favorite part of the whole experience was the SAM PuttLab fitting. According to the PuttLab, I’m a consistent slight puller of the putter. My wonderful human of a fitter recommended mallet style with some toe hang. He laid out a bunch of putters that fit this mold and I immediately started arching the putter rather than pulling it. I had never really seen that arch path before and I thought I was going to push every putt 3 feet right of the hole. Needless to say, I made 25 straight 8 foot putts before we re-tested with my favorite putter of the bunch (the Ping Sigma 2 Tyne 4, which also happened to be the cheapest, go figure).
The thing that was instantly attractive about this putter was the fact that it could be adjusted for length. I’m 5’8”, take an athletic posture with my putter, and have long arms. Long story short, I need a short putter, but everything you can buy off the rack comes between 33-35” (or so it seems). We cranked it down to 32.5” and bent the loft to 1 degree. Oh……….my…………GAWD!!! I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!!!
Eye Candy (aka Looks)
First off the looks. This think is a beauty!
I love the tynes off the back, makes me think of a fighter jet’s wings. Who doesn’t love fighter jets?!? As an added bonus, they are very useful when picking the ball up after you just lagged that 40 footer to inside of 1 foot!
The stock pistol grip is phenomenal as well. It really helps me to get my thumbs on top of the grip and parallel to each other.
People seem to either love or hate insert putters. I get it, there is soft and then there is too soft. Not many people want to feel like they are hitting the golf ball with a marshmallow attached to a shaft. The dual insert on the Ping Sigma 2 putter line is perfect for me. Soft enough to feel good at impact, but not soft enough to make you question if you hit it hard enough.
I absolutely enjoy putting practice now! Get this, you ready for it? I’ve taken nothing but my putter to the golf course and spent over 1hr putting with my kids!?! Crazy right? Who does that??? Not a single driver, iron, or wedge hit. Pure putting. That’s how much I love this putter and how much confidence it gives me.
I’ve only had two rounds with it, but I’ve had 30 and 31 putts with it so far. Both of those rounds had at least 3 putts that either lipped out or stopped within 1” of the hole. Only one 3-putt (and that was on a 60 foot putt, all of my playing partners 3-putted that horrible green lol). From 5-8 feet, I feel like it is going in all the time.
Had I the foresight to know that I would be joining MGS, I would have taken stats with my previous putters (yeah, I’m the guy who had like 7 putters all on the bench ready to get in the game whenever the starter started 3-putting) and run an ANOVA on putting metrics to see if this new putter is significantly better or if it is all in my head. I have since sold those putters and am on the road to a single putter relationship. You have to give this putter a try if you like the looks of a mallet style fang putter. It also scored well this year and the previous model as well last year in the MSG putter tests.
Give this thing a look!!!! I think I’m going to go roll some putts on my carpet!!!
By Green Sheep Productions
Anyone bought one of Vice's stand bags? The barrel of my bag is about to die, have been eyeing these off... But I hate buying something I haven't seen in the flesh (?) before. My favourite bag was from a gone bust company called Lind Golf, but can't find a bag with as many features.
Unfortunately not heaps of pictures of the Vice bag that aren't dolled up and taken from a romantic angle.
By GolfSpy Dave
Dave's Take: Cigar Product Review Compendium
Follow the links below to the various cigar accessories that I have reviewed. Feel free to ask any questions about the products in this thread, or in the original product threads.
Xikar VX-2 V-Cut Cutter
Xikar Tactical Triple Torch Lighter
Xikar XFlame Electronic Cigar Lighter
Palio Triple Torch Lighter and Cutter
Xikar HP4 Quad Jet Lighter
Xikar Turrin Single Torch Lighter
Xikar XO Double Guillotine Cutter
Xikar Travel Humidor
Xikar 19th Hole Gift Set
The Cigar Minder Clip
Bettinardi Milled Cigar Tray
Mantello Catador Torch Lighter
Alaska Bear Antique Copper Cigar Cutter
Stay tuned for more great cigar products, and if you find something worthy of taking a look at, shoot me a PM. -Dave
By GolfSpy Dave
Dave's Take: Xikar's XO Double Guillotine Cutter Review
As i've said before, part of the cigar smoking experience for me is the ritual. Not just during the smoke, but before as well. It really starts at the cigar shop, where selecting the perfect cigar adds to my anticipation for the smoking to come.
The ritual then continues through the unwrapping of the cigar, the cutting of the end, the smelling of the fresh cut end (you should try this), the lighting of the cigar, and then finally the smoking. I suppose I see cigar smoking as a luxury activity with a luxury item, and I want to enjoy as much of the process as possible.
A Thousand Ways to Cut a Cohiba
That's not really a saying, but it is definitely a point of discussion when it comes to the â€œcorrectâ€� way to cut a cigar. About the only consensus that I have found among cigar smokers is that the cigar wrapper from the mouth end must be removed before smoking. Beyond that, the methods abound.
If you are not sure of the possible options, then feel free to watch this video that I came across from Neptune Cigars showing the various cutting methods.
How to Cut Cigars : Neptune Cigars
Golfers would likely also add the poke with a tee and slice with divot tool methods to the list. Like everything else that we humans do, we likely going to discover that we have a favorite cigar opening method. For me, that's cutting.
The Xikar XO Cutter
Today, I bring you my take on the Xikar XO Double Guillotine cigar cutter. As soon as I saw the XO cutter, I knew that I had to try one out. As I said, I'm a cutter guy, and the Xikar Xi1 cutter is the welcomed workhorse in my cigar toolbox. At first glance, the Xikar XO seemed to push the already awesome double-bladed cutting of the Xi1 to a whole new level of fun.
Yep, I just said fun. That's why I smoke cigars, for fun. Anything that can add to the enjoyment of the process will get a look from me. What could not be fun about a spring-loaded double guillotine cutter? Just typing that sentence was fun. How could using the cutter not be fun too?
Specifications: Xikar XO Double Guillotine Cutter
Double Guillotine style cutter Aluminum body Stainless steel blades Planetary geared cutting system with five internal gears Spring-loaded blade release button 2.38" diameter 64 RG (cuts the cap of 70RG cigars) Colors: 8 (Gunmetal Honeycomb tested) MSRP: $99.99-$119.99
The XO is a cutting machine, inspired by timeless design principles. The dual stainless steel blades operate on a patent pending planetary gear system, ensuring the blades open and close in perfect harmony, providing a guided and clean cut every time. The distinct, round aluminum body of the XO is built for relentless durability and exceptional performance. Engineered to simplify the standard double guillotine style cut.
Using the XO is definitely not like using your teeth.
According to the Neptune video, you are never without a cutter because you can always go Eastwood and bite the end off of your gran panetela. Cutting with the Xikar XO cutter lives at the opposite end of the cigar-cutting spectrum. The only thing that you'll be doing with your teeth when you cut with the XO is showing them between your retracted lips when you smile.
Those Gears are Planetary
Raise your hands if you know what a planetary gear system is? My hand is not up, but thanks to Google, I was able to find out a bit about them. Basically, think about the solar system. You have the sun, and then the planets moving around it. That's a huge oversimplification about how these gear systems work, but you get the idea. There are multiple gears all connected together in system, and the turning of one gear is influenced by, and dependent upon the movement of the other gears. You can get really smart if you follow this link to a YouTube explanation of the planetary gear system.
While I can't really hope to understand how the gears in the Xikar XO cutter all work together, I do understand the overall result. The blades always move together, even if you only press from one side. What this means for you is that you should be able to get an even cut with minimal effort. As a brilliant bonus, Xikar included openings in the body of the XO, allowing you to see the gears turn while you use it. Dinner and a show.
Sometimes getting an even cut can be a challenge with the cheap, single blade cutters. Think cutting a tomato with a knife. Unless that knife is really sharp, and your pressure just right, the initial tomato penetration could involve squishing rather than cutting. Nobody enjoys squishing the tomato, or the cigar.
The gear-driven double blades in the XO will not squish your tomato cigar.
Cutting to the Chase
Cutting cigars with the Xikar XO cutter is as fun as I expected. Glee generates immediately when you press the button on the top that releases the spring-loaded blades. It reminds me of the first time I popped open a switchblade knife. You hit the button, and the blades extend, ready for business. Probably did this twenty times in a row when I opened up the XO box that first time. After that, maybe only five times each time I used the cutter.
Full disclosure: I also had delusions of Batman when using the XO. At some point I may have equated popping open the blades with extending the wings on a spring-loaded Batarang. I'm not in charge of where the brain takes me, and for a second, I WAS BATMAN!
As for the cutting, the XO is exactly what I expected from the company that brought me my beloved Xi1. The blades are sharp, and with the gearing, they deliver the honed steel with precision. Time and time again, you can deliver the cigar-opening cut exactly where you want it, with wrapper-shearing precision. Even on a probably too dry to smoke cigar, the cut was clean.
I actually cut up that dry cigar from stem to stern with the XO, just to be able to make more cuts with the cutter. Again, it's fun to use.
From a practical side, if you smoke big ring cigars, the XO is definitely worth checking out. 64 ring gauges can fit inside, and you can take the cap off of a 70 RG stick. I don't know if I've ever had a 70 RG cigar before. That seems huge, and yet the XO can handle it. For reference, the cigar in the photo above is 54 RG.
I feel like the XO could take just about anything you throw at it. This cutter could even help you dice carrots for dinner! Not that I cut a carrot with it. Who would do that?
Smaller gauges are also a breeze to cut with the XO because of the synced blades. You can easily bring the blades to the edges of the smaller cigar with just a bit of a press, then once in contact, press more firmly to sever. Since the blades move together, it really takes effort to cut incorrectly.
As a size reference, you can see how the overall size profile, and the cutting diameter of the XO compares to the Xi1 above. I was pleasantly surprised at how similar the two were as far as space usage in the travel humidor. Both snug into the corner quite nicely. I'd give both the full portability nod, and the fact that they both have spring-loaded blades made the gamer selection very challenging.
The XO is XtraOrdinary!
I don't think that it's a stretch to say that the Xikar XO double guillotine cutter is the coolest cigar cutter on the market. It is just so interesting to look at, and fun to use. Right now, I'm not currently smoking a cigar at all, yet I keep taking breaks from typing to click the XO open and closed.
As for the Xi1 vs XO battle, the XO is in the travel humidor. The XO definitely adds to my cigar while golfing enjoyment, and it always draws interested attention when I pop it open, allowing me to share it's coolness with others.
I think that there may also be some golf crosstraining potential in the XO. It's definitely an awesome ball marker, and I think that there may be a way to use it to draw a line on my ball. Regardless, I'm totally geared up to use the XO to cut my next stick.
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