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High Handicap Iron Recommendations


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I’m looking to buy a new iron set this year. Told myself if I could shoot low 90s and have handicap under 20 (currently at 18.5), I would invest in some ‘game improvement’ irons. I’m currently playing Callaway X2 Hots from 2014. There are a TON of options out there but I definitely trust this group to give me some good advise! Thanks in advance. 

Edited by WR3
  • Driver:  TaylorMade M6
  • 3 Wood:  TaylorMade M2
  • Hybrid:  Cobra F7 3/4
  • Irons:  Callaway X2 Hot 5-PW - True Temper Speed Step 85 R-Flex Shaft
  • S Wedge:  TaylorMade ATV 50* - KBS FST Shaft
  • 60*/56* Wedges:  Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shaft
  • Putter:  TaylorMade Spider X
  • Ball:  Snell MTB Black
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There’s no hard and fast rule for what irons work for a specific handicap. You will also find different handicaps playing clubs that wouldn’t fit the expectation. I know several low single digits handicaps that play or played GI type irons.  There’s a bunch of different ways one gets to a handicap. One high handicap could be terrible at putting and short game and be ok to pretty good off then tee and with irons. Others could struggle with tee game be ok with irons and not so good around the greens. 
 

There’s design characteristics of game improvement irons that may not fit a persons swing and something smaller world betters. Some may benefit from the v sole on Zx5 irons from Srixon while others may be negatively impacted by it. 
 

If you are going to invest in getting new clubs it’s worth the money and effort to get fit into a setup that suits your swing and not just buy clubs in a category because of a perception they will make your game better because of the label of the club category.

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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@RickyBobby_PR - definitely understand where you are coming from and actually agree with a lot of what you are saying.  EVERYONE has different golf games so one club(s) does not fit one person, totally get it.  I'm obviously not playing Blades because I need that 'forgiveness' with my Irons, I'm just not sure which Irons (that produce 'forgiveness') I should be looking into.  There are categories throughout the internet that you can look at and see which Irons pop up consistently within these categories, but I wanted to reach out on this forum because I'd had to believe there are others who are slapping the ball around the course and want some consistency with their 5i-SW through game improvement irons.  Just looking for recommendations/suggestions...

  • Driver:  TaylorMade M6
  • 3 Wood:  TaylorMade M2
  • Hybrid:  Cobra F7 3/4
  • Irons:  Callaway X2 Hot 5-PW - True Temper Speed Step 85 R-Flex Shaft
  • S Wedge:  TaylorMade ATV 50* - KBS FST Shaft
  • 60*/56* Wedges:  Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shaft
  • Putter:  TaylorMade Spider X
  • Ball:  Snell MTB Black
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5 minutes ago, WR3 said:

@RickyBobby_PR - definitely understand where you are coming from and actually agree with a lot of what you are saying.  EVERYONE has different golf games so one club(s) does not fit one person, totally get it.  I'm obviously not playing Blades because I need that 'forgiveness' with my Irons, I'm just not sure which Irons (that produce 'forgiveness') I should be looking into.  There are categories throughout the internet that you can look at and see which Irons pop up consistently within these categories, but I wanted to reach out on this forum because I'd had to believe there are others who are slapping the ball around the course and want some consistency with their 5i-SW through game improvement irons.  Just looking for recommendations/suggestions...

Again it’s best to get a fitting to find which of the various non blades work for hoje particular swing. A GI line a g425 might not give you optimal launch characteristics to allow a ball to not roll out to much where something like a p790 or t200 would be a better option. A t100s could be the better option.

Consistency can mean many things. Getting consistency in distances on well struck shots and not having a large front to back dispersion. Consistency in how the ball reacts on off center shots could be what someone is looking for. When a ball is struck off center doesn’t matter the iron type there will be some distance loss but for some iron types there could be some directional issues as well compared to others. For others it could just be a setup that lets them consistently deliver the club better. 
 

There’s lots of factors and you could get a hundred of recommendations from everyone on the forum that are going to be based on their personal experience and may or may not work for you. But also it’s not just the iron type but the shaft that works for you in that club head. As an example in the p790 kbs $taper and nippon modus worked for me but not in the pxg gen2 irons. Another example using the p790s as an example. I had no issues with them from top to bottom. A friend has them and the 8-p he hates them. Some with the p790 experienced flyers from the fairway while myself and others haven’t seen that issue.

All that to say there are lots of variables and opinions on what one should go with that can be eliminated by getting a fitting for the best combo that fits your needs

 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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@RickyBobby_PR - again, great info - appreciate your feedback!  I definitely plan on doing a fitting very soon but always good to search the interwebs for research and get my mind thinking in the right direction.  Thanks again!

 

  • Driver:  TaylorMade M6
  • 3 Wood:  TaylorMade M2
  • Hybrid:  Cobra F7 3/4
  • Irons:  Callaway X2 Hot 5-PW - True Temper Speed Step 85 R-Flex Shaft
  • S Wedge:  TaylorMade ATV 50* - KBS FST Shaft
  • 60*/56* Wedges:  Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shaft
  • Putter:  TaylorMade Spider X
  • Ball:  Snell MTB Black
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2 minutes ago, WR3 said:

@RickyBobby_PR - again, great info - appreciate your feedback!  I definitely plan on doing a fitting very soon but always good to search the interwebs for research and get my mind thinking in the right direction.  Thanks again!

 

Agree the research is a good thing but at the same time can end up going down a rabbit hole and getting confused and start to overthink things.

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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[mention=65848]RickyBobby_PR[/mention] - again, great info - appreciate your feedback!  I definitely plan on doing a fitting very soon but always good to search the interwebs for research and get my mind thinking in the right direction.  Thanks again!
 

You best bet would be to understand the type of equipment available; which it seems you have done, and what is involved in a fitting so you can better communicate with the fitter. Define your goals, what you want out of the fitting, how heads, shafts, loft, lie, and grips influence the fitting. Learn how you should prepare for a fitting.

The biggest issue with a fitting is that people go in blind and don’t understand the process and don’t communicate with the fitter.
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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  :taylormade-small:TM-180

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330,   :EVNROLL: ER2.2,  

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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@cnosil- Absolutely!  I definitely go into a research binge when looking at golf equipment.  My wife yesterday said, "Jesus, how much longer are you going to research new irons??"...hahaha!  Definitely going to do as much research before the fitting to make sure aligned with the recommendation.

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  • Driver:  TaylorMade M6
  • 3 Wood:  TaylorMade M2
  • Hybrid:  Cobra F7 3/4
  • Irons:  Callaway X2 Hot 5-PW - True Temper Speed Step 85 R-Flex Shaft
  • S Wedge:  TaylorMade ATV 50* - KBS FST Shaft
  • 60*/56* Wedges:  Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shaft
  • Putter:  TaylorMade Spider X
  • Ball:  Snell MTB Black
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48 minutes ago, WR3 said:

@cnosil- Absolutely!  I definitely go into a research binge when looking at golf equipment.  My wife yesterday said, "Jesus, how much longer are you going to research new irons??"...hahaha!  Definitely going to do as much research before the fitting to make sure aligned with the recommendation.

Tell your wife I have been researching for 2 month now... I am getting fit tomorrow afternoon, been playing inside on a optishot 2 to try to get as close as I can to a normal swing ( stop playing 10 years ago and surprisingly, you tube video and help from a few friend made me improve my game a lot even if its on a screen)

I never have been fitted before it will be my first time. I think, just like anyone who said it before, it's the way to go. And hopefully you get a good one

What I have found over my 2 month research on a lot of product, website, forums etc... it's basically common sense and don't lie to yourself or the fitter.

Know what you want and especially DON'T WANT. 

Know your limits. Limits in term of cash, your skill level.

Know your golf game, where you struggle, where you shine.

Take into account your future improvement.

For me those answer are :

Researched a good fitter according to people around me ( I'm in canada / Quebec and there are not a tons of them out there...)

Know what you want and especially DON'T WANT. I am open to every company except maybe Callaway, it's a personal Opinion and in no way a fact, but its me, if you don't like the club you are hitting, it won't perform. Of course if the club is twice better than all the other one out there, I might consider it but since it ain't gonna happen...

Know your limits. Limits in term of cash, your skill level. My cash Limit is 1000$ ca (750$ us) I would be willing to pay 50% more if it's really worth the shot, give me a better resale value in the long term or get more club to lower the cost of hybrid or wedge later on. I was a 100-120 player 10 years ago or a under 100 with 20 mulligans. This year I get under 90 easily just the way I hit and I putt lately, never been EVEN close to that before. I am not lying to myself, but god I was bad. I am probably still bad but not as much.

Know your golf game, where you struggle, where you shine. My drive is 200 yards forward / 200 yards left. My irons are decent and my short game is the same as my putting, we could qualify it as %?&*((%$  bad. 

Take into account your future improvement. I will take some golf lessons, play way more than I used to before and will probably work to improve my swingspeed also in the next month or 2, (might gain some benefit for softball too). At the moment according to most website, I seems to be on the limit of regular and stiff flex. Driver speed is from 90 to 95 mp/h on an optishot 2 but I'm not 100% sure if the number are always accurate. But I am improving a lot lately by just playing so might go to stiff even if the guy say regular. I don't mind the regular flex but not sure it would be good in 6 month.

Of course if I follow the advice from most people here I would still have the same irons Di7 2008 from wilson staff, would need a regrip, would spend a 1000$ on golf lessons with a guy that will try to change me from A to Z. Lessons might be very good but I don't think any lessons will be usefull until my swing is consistent enough to be able to correct something. I improved my chipping by a lot, in only in a few inside golf session, actually the right word would be that I can actually chip now compared to before where it was more whacking the ball at a smaller distance. Putting have improved greatly, basically my face is ALMOST always straight. Driving the club face seemed to be straighter than ever before. 

The set I want to try are:

ONE LENGTH radspeed or speedzone and I go with that set because numbers are good, I will take the 5 to AW with SW in extra and will get a hybrid too, cost: 1500 Ca $, enough that my girlfriend will kill me.

SIm max from last year, 150 less than sim max 2 and don't think the new one will make me better than I am. cost : under 1000 CA$

D7 Forged from Wilson staff, those are priced a little lower than other irons of that kind and I might like them OR not, maybe the guy will laugh at me and tell me, don't waste your time. 

Cobra Radspeed or speedzone from last year, variable length

Would love to try srixion, titleist and mizuno at around 1300 Ca $ but not sure if they have some in lefties.

They all have pros and cons. I have checked tons of video on one length and know exactly what to expect on numbers. I know long irons tend to hit lower and less distance and PW will hit higher and longer I can live with that. Of course all video are with players that always strike the ball perfectly so eveything I saw on video might go to waste on my fitting.

This is my thinking for the last 2 month. 

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I’ll link a post from @cnosil from another thread that has two good articles on fitting. The second link has a short discussion about how you can’t try everything and that you could be splitting hairs between clubs in the same category 

 

 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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@pouetvl - this is A LOT of info and man, it is fantastic!  I love all of it!

  • Driver:  TaylorMade M6
  • 3 Wood:  TaylorMade M2
  • Hybrid:  Cobra F7 3/4
  • Irons:  Callaway X2 Hot 5-PW - True Temper Speed Step 85 R-Flex Shaft
  • S Wedge:  TaylorMade ATV 50* - KBS FST Shaft
  • 60*/56* Wedges:  Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shaft
  • Putter:  TaylorMade Spider X
  • Ball:  Snell MTB Black
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Check out Sub 70. I bought a set of their 739 irons which are considered their game improvement iron and I couldn’t be happier. Even if you don’t live close enough to go to their facility for a fitting like I did they are very good at helping their customers get the right fit over the phone.Their service is excellent and their clubs are right up there with the big boys.

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D- Tour Edge EXS 220

3w- Adams Tight Lies 2 16

Hybrid- Cobra F8 19 degree 

Utility- Sub 70 699 U  21 degree

Irons- Sub 70 739 5-PW

Wedges- Tour Edge CB Pro 50,54,58

Putter- Tour Edge Hp Nickkel Chrome Series 1

Ball- Titleist Tour Soft

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I have switched over to Sub-70 as well. You won't be disappointed and you will spend less. 

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:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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I won’t try to hard sell one way or another, but I’d encourage you to try the Mizuno JPX921 Hot Metals. If after trying all the candidates on your short list you choose another brand/model - all good. I really like the Hot Metals, but went with the Forged line instead. And the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer 3D results are worth having a look at too, even if you don’t end up buying Mizuno. The next best thing to a fitting.

https://mygolfspy.com/first-look-mizuno-shaft-optimizer-3d/

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  • Callaway Rogue 10.5° & 3W
  • Mizuno CLK 3H 19°, JPX900 Forged 4-GW, S18 56.10, S18 60.06
  • Evnroll ER5B (replaced ER2)
  • Snell MTB-Black
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I'm happy to see someone is in the same boat as me, hopefully you will find something good yourself. Just hit around a 100 balls today playing on a simulator and shanked like 5 shot on a sand wedge, hopefully I won't hit like that tomorrow during the fitting, Also you have some option that I don't seem to have myself, direct to consumer company (most of them are US base and don't ship to canada. Just like the other poster before me, the sub70 739 are at a very good price for sure, the closest set I could find around that price in canada would be the Cobra F max a SGI or a used set from 2-3 years.

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I'm a high handicap, and when I went for a fitting in the fall, I originally ended up with the Callaway Mavrik. However, I had hit the 921 HMPs virtually the same and ultimately switched to those - for me, I liked the look, sound/feel, less offset, smaller top line, etc. of the Mizuno compared to the Mavrik and I hit them virtually the same. Additionally, the Callaway looked like they were 5 years old after a couple of rounds due to bag chatter and the like. I do not regret switching to the Mizuno at all.

I also tried the Titleist T300, Wilson D7 Forged, and I had hit the G410 at a Ping fitting event about a week earlier. 

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17 hours ago, Bossfan said:

Check out Sub 70. I bought a set of their 739 irons which are considered their game improvement iron and I couldn’t be happier. Even if you don’t live close enough to go to their facility for a fitting like I did they are very good at helping their customers get the right fit over the phone.Their service is excellent and their clubs are right up there with the big boys.

I have never heard of this company but will absolutely check it out. I don’t care who’s logo is stamped on the club, as long as it has forgiveness, suits my game, and helps me produce lower scores helping me with ‘game improvement’. 

  • Driver:  TaylorMade M6
  • 3 Wood:  TaylorMade M2
  • Hybrid:  Cobra F7 3/4
  • Irons:  Callaway X2 Hot 5-PW - True Temper Speed Step 85 R-Flex Shaft
  • S Wedge:  TaylorMade ATV 50* - KBS FST Shaft
  • 60*/56* Wedges:  Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shaft
  • Putter:  TaylorMade Spider X
  • Ball:  Snell MTB Black
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3 hours ago, WR3 said:

I have never heard of this company but will absolutely check it out. I don’t care who’s logo is stamped on the club, as long as it has forgiveness, suits my game, and helps me produce lower scores helping me with ‘game improvement’. 

There are a couple of good threads on this site about them. Check them out. 

D- Tour Edge EXS 220

3w- Adams Tight Lies 2 16

Hybrid- Cobra F8 19 degree 

Utility- Sub 70 699 U  21 degree

Irons- Sub 70 739 5-PW

Wedges- Tour Edge CB Pro 50,54,58

Putter- Tour Edge Hp Nickkel Chrome Series 1

Ball- Titleist Tour Soft

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Well maybe  little update from my own fitting that might help you out. It was on Friday, arrive there, told him at the beginning that I wanted to try one length irons, he said, ok but expect them to be beat by pretty much other brand on the numbers, I said well ok, you are the fitter, so we start and BOOM, no left handed one length head available for fitting solved that problem. Anyway he told me that he sold one in the last 200 fitting, first because a lots of people don't want them and second because they fit more a specific kind of player. Anyway started the fitting with my own 7 iron. hitting the ball with decent club speed, Around 85-90 mph of course no consistency. Of course with the 20 000$ golf simulator used there, I am hitting the ball always to the left of the line( I'm a lefty so basically slicing...)Then the fitting start he gave me F-max first from Cobra, head is like a big chunk of metal, few hit with it , numbers are pretty much the same, then the REAL fitting start. Ping g425 and Taylormade sim2 head (I think the 2 of his best seller this year) with different shaft, stiff at the beginning then regular then back to lighter stiff, heavier stiff, lighter regular heavier regular and so on. 85 to 90 mph is in between regular and stiff for your info. I knew it before going there but couldn't increase my swing speed more than that for now. Sadly the more expensive option of the 2 was the better one... And sadly again, not even close in term of feeling between the 2. Also tried the Mizuno but it was even more expensive but they felt good, almost as good as the Ping. So I ended up with an elevate tour 95g steel shaft with a Ping g425 GREEN dot ( 2degree  upright ). Fitter explained me some of the decision for all those choice...

1- Swing is inconsistent so harder to fit, It might change with time, Lighter Stiff shaft should be able to grow with my swing in the next year.

2- My lie at the moment is 2 upright but might change also with time, ping offer to redo the lie, would cost me only the shipping. Also ping head are easier to play around with the lie I heard.

3- Since I'm similar to  pretty the much the lefty out there in Canada, ex hockey player, our swing then to be more like a slap shot than a real golf swing so we tend to put more weight into the swing and often a little bit before the ball. He said he see that quite often and our swing will change over the time if we play often so Ping ois the best option for long term irons.

Also during the fitting I tried my driver, wasn't so bad, Slice of course, but I could manage with it around 230 carry, he came back with a ping g425 SFT driver, 3 first drive, PERFECT CENTER LINE, 250 yards carry. if I had the money it was a guaranteed sell. Didn't try any other driver cause its the most precise this year according to a lots of fitter for slicer, will probably win the most wanted driver out there for slicer if the category existed anyway.

He also sold me a cleveland cbx 2 56 degree wedge to go with my kit, very nice wedge, he didnt try to sell me a 54 or 58, simply a 56 degre and said you can manage with that for sure, if you need a 60 come back see me.

My friend came with me, he is 6'2, he is a way better golf player than I will ever be. He was playing with standard length club nike VR-S before and he ended up with an heavier stiff shaft with ping white dot (3 upright) with +½ inch on the irons, for him he didn't like the sim2 so it was out of the question, he was going there more for a driver fitting but he decided to use the whole hour and he was hitting the ping iron straight down the line every time, compared to left and right with the old irons. For his driver fitting they tried tons of combination, he tried the sim2 anti slice head and the ping SFT (same one as me), he got around 265-70 carry with those but ping was way more straight. Then the fun part begin, he modify the way my friend hit, move his hand around a bit, make him hit 5 shot or so and suddenly he is hooking every time. Change the head back to the standard sim2 head and the G425 max (those can be adjusted with a weight behind) try the weight on the draw mode, still hooking, try in the center and boom, 285 yards carry, 2000 rpm backspin and 48 rpm sidespin on the first one (and best drive of the whole fitting) then he hit a couple more, mostly in the center, always under 15 yard from the center line, always 265 yards and more carry until he was getting tired and swing speed decreased. He ended up with a g425 MAX 9 degree with a adila rogue 69g shaft. both keep the ball a little lower than other option.

So it was our 2 fitting, very nice experience out there, didn't get what I was expecting but extremely satisfied except for the price cause like anyone, the less I pay the more club I can buy. Was expecting 1500$ bill, got a 1650 $ one.

so like everyone else tell. GET FIT.

 

P.S. The place where I got fit, he didn't hold Titleist, he had all the ping head for every lie to test. had a few cobra head but nothing more recent I think, Callaway and Taylormade, Mizuno but didn't see srixon but he had cleveland stuff so he probably had them but srixon don't like left handed player like most company. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by pouetvl
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