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Choi buys off-the-rack irons for the Memorial

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PGA Tour pros don’t often buy clubs off the rack, especially players who have won PGA Tour events. Those golfers can call just about any equipment manufacturer in the world and have a set of custom clubs overnighted to them if they so please.

That’s why we’re surprised to hear that K.J. Choi, who has won eight times on the PGA Tour, took a detour on his way to The Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on Monday to visit a Dublin-area Golf Galaxy, where he purchased a set of off-the-rack irons that he has been using on the range and on the course at the Memorial Tournament in preparation for the event.

From GolfWRX member Eec55: My best bud is the Pro there. He texted me this pic while he was there. He said he was a nice guy. Did his business then left while his assistant whipped out a credit card then that was it.

KJ Choi buys clubs

Earlier this year, Jim Furyk bought an off-the-rack Odyssey Versa #1 Wide putter from an Edwin Watts golf store in Orlando. Click here to read the story.

Choi is known as one of the most frequent equipment tinkerers on Tour, but he took it took it to a different level at Golf Galaxy. There are no equipment vans allowed on site at the Memorial, so Choi tested four different sets of irons at the retail golf store before purchasing a set of Mizuno MP-64’s with the company’s stock grips and stock True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts.

“He tried a few different Mizuno irons, the MP-59’s, MP-69’s and MP-64’s,” said Doug Fleischmann, a players assistant at Golf Galaxy. “He also tried the Titleist [712] CB’s.”

Click here to see more photos and what members are saying in the forums.

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Above: A photo of Choi’s bag on the range on Wednesday of the Memorial Tournament, which included the MP-64’s. 

According the Fleishmann, Choi went into a hitting bay at the store and hit each club about five to 10 times. Choi had store employees check the swing weights and lies on the clubs, and commented that all of the irons with the exception of the MP-64’s had swing weights that felt inconsistent.

When the swing weights were measured, Fleischmann said that the other clubs had swing weights that ranged from D2 to D4, while all of the swing weights of the MP-64’s (4 iron through PW), were D2.

Update: Choi played the MP-64 irons during all four rounds at the Memorial, shooting 72-74-70-71 (1-under) to finish T21 and earn $58,202.50.

Click here to see more photos and what members are saying in the forums.

 

Click here to see more photos and what members are saying in the forums.

 

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Iron2850

    Jun 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I am confused. Mike says he s the pro sat the store and says KJ was cool, easy to deal with. Then Richard says he works at the store and that KJ was a jerk, elitist……..I am thinking Mike was really there…..KJ seems like a pretty good guy to me…..

  2. Chris Carpenter

    Jun 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    KJ needs a better agent. I don’t buy that tour van stuff either. Park your tour van in the gas station down the road if you have a vested interest in the player who is pimping your stuff. Club deals are a $1m+ per player game and you don’t just “sit one out” if fat Jack says no handlers in the parking lot…you find a way to keep your boy out of the golfmart, you give him the sticks that have had all the gages on them, and you swat him on the butt and tell him to go grab some hardware and airtime in that final pairing with your product. Purity isn’t the issue here, Jack. You are making bank off of TV, sponsorships, admissions, and marketing. To deny that to the players who are marketing their sponsors’ wares just for the sake of some facade of purity is disingenuous at best.

  3. Rep

    Jun 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    It didn’t help him much though, did it? heehee

  4. t

    Jun 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    first, jack wants his tournament to be more like the masters, which i have no problem with. and second, it doesn’t matter if you order your irons custom, the swing weights and overall weight of the clubs will likely be off. and just because a shaft says s300, doesn’t mean its really an s300. it could play like an R or an X. Get your stuff tested at a good repair shop.

  5. Pingback: Choi buys off-the-rack irons for the Memorial – GolfWRX | Golf Products Reviews

  6. Richard

    May 30, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I work at the store. KJ was a Jerk. I almost told him off. Very bossy with an elitist attitude.
    His whole stop at the store was a marketing gimmick. There was cameras there, pictures and video.

    All a big gimmick.

    • Mark

      Jun 1, 2013 at 2:28 am

      Check your attitude first before blame others !

    • Jack

      Jun 3, 2013 at 2:46 am

      Gimmick? Look at his golf bag. Does he even have a sponsor?

    • Jim

      Jun 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      really? I find this hard to believe that KJ has an elitist attitude. what did he say or do that turned you off? What was the gimmick? thanks.

    • TonyK

      Jun 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Hmm.. KJ is one of the last persons on tour I could imagine ever being bossy or jerk.

  7. Pingback: Tour Pros Buying Off-The-Rack Clubs | DimpleHead

  8. llamont

    May 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

    This article calls BS on a lot of today’s marketing ploys. Way to go KJ and good luck this week!

  9. Mat

    May 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I have to guess he’s after a wider sole for wet turf there…

  10. Mike

    May 30, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Say what you want.. I’m the golf pro at the store there and was working with gim he was really cool guy to deal with and very specific on what he wanted. Just hope he wins with those sticks now!

    • Mike

      May 30, 2013 at 1:43 am

      *him

      • neil

        May 30, 2013 at 3:00 am

        his Miuras have parrallel KBS X tipped to his specs.Bog standard S300s will feel pretty soft to him?

    • morphy

      May 31, 2013 at 9:27 am

      maybe you should have a chat with Richard, who posting KJ was a jerk, can’t be two different KJ’s in the store.

    • Fred

      Jan 9, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      So Mike, after Richard’s comments, does he still work at the store 🙂 There are a few well-known professional athletes out there who are known to have attitudes. The majority of them don’t play golf. Even if KJ has an attitude, I doubt he would bring it to a retail store. If Richard is correct in his appraisal of KJ’s visit, judging by his comments, maybe Richard was the real jerk, and KJ just responded accordingly.

  11. Jeremy

    May 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Why aren’t there any equipment trucks allowed at the Memorial?

    • Glen

      May 30, 2013 at 1:10 am

      I think Jack wants the tourney to honor the tradition and beauty of the game and cut out the extraneous noise. He also got rid of TV towers on 18 and had a new tv facility built that will not soil the views. Kudos to jack.

  12. L

    May 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Goes to show you the super quality of the Mizzys!

    • Shark

      May 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

      My post above was actually a reply to your comment on how good mizuno is…. Mistakingly hit reply to person above.

    • Trigger

      May 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      That’s Japanese quality for you.

  13. CoryKorea

    May 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I can’t believe a guy who can get custom Miura’s (including the beautiful CB-501’s he won the Players with) is going to game US spec Mizuno irons off the rack. Hey KJ, feel free to send me the 501’s if you’re done with them!

    • Shark

      May 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Uh…? Out of 3 sets of mizunos…. Only 1 were correct swing weights… So…. Quality? Uh no… If wrong on 66%

      • Ho

        May 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm

        There is no such thing as correct swingweight with Mizzys. They are mostly best when ordered custom. Therefore, NONE of the ones that KJ tested are specifically correct nor incorrect – he just happened to find the one set make-up that he liked which had SW of D2 all the way through the set, the way HE likes it, which may not be the way that others would like.
        Most of the time, it is unusual that the SW would be D2 through the whole set anyways, it should progressively get heavier from D2 at 3 iron to D4 or D5 for the PW, therefore the other 2 sets, the 59 and 69, probably were closer to what one would expect to see in a more “normal” set (I’m holding back from saying “correct”).

        Capisce?

        • christian

          May 31, 2013 at 8:11 am

          The SW was inconsistent..Plus, Mizuno, like all OEMs puts the SW spec on their website. So, of course there is a wrong and right SW.

          • K

            Jun 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm

            Mizuno does not put swingweights on their website for irons.

        • 1badbadger

          Jul 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

          It’s VERY normal for all clubs in a set of irons to have the same swingweight, and it’s what most players prefer. It’s not wrong if your irons get progressively heavier from the long irons to the short irons, but I don’t know of any OEMs who design and build their irons that way.

  14. scott

    May 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I hear more and more stories about how consistent Mizuno products are right of the rack. I also hear more often than not about the lack of quality control with Titleist, TMAG, Callaway.

    • Jacob

      May 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Well, if I read the article correctly, he tried various sets of Mizuno’s and only the 64’s were consistent (not the 59’s or 69’s).

    • jor

      May 31, 2013 at 7:32 am

      As a club maker and repairman for years and working with a lot of pros I have found Mizuno to be a very good product. I have replaced heads on other brands, especially TM who do a poor job of building clubs. Titleist, Callaway , Ping, aren’t bad but vary in weights etc. Not Mizuno, they seem to be right on and very good quality.

  15. Ronald Montesano

    May 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Wow, nice free PR for Mizuno!

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 14max who asks WRXers what’s the oldest club in the bag that they regularly use. Our members list the clubs that have been playing the longest and their reasons why – with trust often playing a significant role behind their decision.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • el_rousso: “I’m still regularly playing an old (about 25+ years old) American Open 56* wedge, the grooves on it are likely too worn to be of any use but it’s still pretty much the club I trust the most around the greens, the rest of my bag is around 2005ish (irons) or 2011ish (woods and other wedges), but I recently pulled the trigger on a driver upgrade…”
  • SecondandGoal: “Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT. Made in 2007, got it for $25 on Craigslist about 4 years ago. I’ve changed every other club in the bag at least twice since then. Going to be hard-pressed to get this out of the bag.”
  • lefty1978: “I don’t always bag this club anymore. But I have a 17° Controller driving iron from around 1999. I like it because it hits low running bullets.”
  • James the Hogan Fan: “Putter- 65ish years old, Irons from 2003, Woods from 2008, Driver from 2014, Wedges from 2016, but, one from 2002. Quite the mix I’d say.”
  • ChipNRun: “A few years ago, it was a Ping Pal putter from circa 1973. I sent Ping a photo of the clubhead for verification: they said it was legit, they just couldn’t tell what batch it came from due to primitive data markings. Until about a year ago, I played Callaway X20 Tours (2008 origin); CPreO sold me a display set in 2011. Right now, the Tour Edge XRail 7W (2012) – and sometimes its brother 4W – hold the record.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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2020 Odyssey Golf launches new Bird of Prey and Stroke Lab Ten putters

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Odyssey Golf is taking Stroke Lab technology and innovation further with the release of the all-new Stroke Lab 10 putters along with the introduction of the Bird of Prey putter for 2019 and 2020.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten Bird of prey putters golf 2020

2020 Odyssey Bird of Prey, Stroke Lab Ten putters: The details

To say Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, along with the revolutionary mass-shifting Stroke Lab shaft, have been a success both on tour and with regular golfers would be a huge understatement. On the professional side—since their introduction at the beginning of 2019 as a prototype product, Stroke Lab putters have become the number one putter on all tours and won more professional tournaments (65 to be exact) than any other brand on all tours combined.

Now, Odyssey’s General Manager Sean Toulon and his design team are looking to advance designs again with what many would call familiar shapes but with unconventional advantages.

Odyssey Stroke lab ten putter golf 2020

First off, we have the Stroke Lab Ten. And, yes, even Sean Toulon himself is willing to admit it shares similarities to a particular arachnid-style putter that he helped originally design at another OEM many years ago. But, as a modern equipment historian, I believe it’s important to point out that as much as the “arachnid” style has been popular for quite some time.

There was another putter that predates it (released in 2005), which offered an extremely high MOI design but without the catchy name: the Ping UG-LE. The UG-LE pushed mass way back and to the corners of the head to create (at the time) the highest MOI putter on the market.

But here’s the thing: Putters and material design have come a long way since the introduction of the UG-LE and the original arachnid designs, and Odyssey is here to prove golfers just how much better with the Stroke Lab Ten.

The Stroke Lab Ten’s frame is made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene…don’t worry, I had to look it up too). Here’s a further explanation

“It is an amorphous polymer comprised of three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. ABS is most commonly polymerize through the emulsification process or the expert art of combining multiple products that don’t typically combine into a single product. When the three monomers are combined, the acrylonitrile develops a polar attraction with the other two components, resulting in a tough and highly durable finished product. The different amounts of each monomer can be added to the process to further vary the finished product. The versatility of ABS plastic properties contributes largely to its popularity across several industry sectors.” (Thanks, Adreco plastics)

According to Sean Toulon, what the ABS material allows is maximum distribution of metal (heavy) mass parts to the back and extreme perimeter of the putter to blow past other putters’ MOI (Moment of Inertia: a measurement of forgiveness) but also in sound and feel.

“The sound and feel of this putter is special (thanks to the material advantage of ABS)”  Sean Toulon, Odyssey Putters General Manager

Beyond just the shape of the putter, the sole has been meticulously crafted to help the head aligned square when grounded towards the target in the playing position. Sean continues

“We got these putters to the point where ( with the alignment on top ) they have become point and shoot” 

There truly is a lot going on to make sure these putters do everything they can to help both regular golfers and touring professionals align properly and get the best possible result when putts are not hit absolutely perfect.

The Stroke Lab Advantage

Considering the MOI of these designs, you would think that the highest of high handicappers would be the target market, but in that assumption, you couldn’t be more incorrect. The designs of both the Stroke Lab Ten and the Bird of Prey were entirely driven by the tour and player desire to get every last bit of performance out of their putting games.

These putters will all come stock with the Stroke Lab shaft, which pulls mass from the shaft and redistributes it under the grip and into the head for even greater stabilization. Odyssey has proven that the shaft alone can help stroke consistency across the board, and the most notable stat is the 13 percent increase in face angle delivery at impact. This increases the make putt percentage, which when you think of a round of golf, equates to strokes saved.

If there is one more thing Odyssey knows about putters, it’s roll and inserts. With the new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey designs, the company is using an all-new Microhinge Star insert to increase the sound for better player feedback. Generally, inserts are used to decrease the sound, but in the case of the New Microhinge Star, engineers at Odyssey wanted to recreate more of the original sound and feel of the White Hot putter but with the added benefit of the Microhinge to increase forward roll.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter Insert roll Ten Bird of prey

This new Microhinge Star insert improves the correlation between the sound and expected distance a player will hit the ball—firmer means further. This is just another step in the design process put in place to help players of all abilities putt with greater consistency since without audible feedback, all players will have a more difficult time controlling distance.

The new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey putters will be available starting November 1. For more information check out OdysseyGolf.com

 

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Equipment

2020 Cobra Golf T-Rail iron hybrid set

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Cobra Golf T-RAIL

New for 2020, the Cobra Golf T-Rail (Transitional Rail) super game improvement iron—the company’s first all hollow iron hybrid set.

Cobra T Rail irons fuse a hollow, hybrid shape with an iron face and topline, with the iron-hybrid design aiming to provide golfers with the perfect blend of distance, forgiveness, and accuracy.

According to the company, the hollow body construction creates a lower, deeper CG than traditional cavity-back iron designs. The lower, deeper CG aims to aid golfers in getting the ball in the air and on line easier than conventional cavity-back irons.

Speaking on the new T-Rail irons, Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D, Cobra Golf, stated

“T-Rail irons make it easy for beginners and golfers who have lost some distance and control to gain the confidence needed to play better and have more fun. Players who need max forgiveness and are looking for more distance will be amazed at how far and straight they hit these, even being able to get them airborne from tough lies.”

The irons feature the brand’s Baffler Rails technology which seeks to provide players with more speed and stability out of every lie through its turf interaction.

The irons also contain a high-strength, forged steel face designed with E9 technology, which includes a thin pocket from heel to toe which is intended to offer maximum ball speed and forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

The new additions from Cobra arrive in a hollow, iron-hybrid construction in the 5-PW with a 4-hybrid to make a 7-piece set. The irons, which come in a black/blue colorway for men and black/lilac colorway for women, come equipped with Cobra Ultralite 50g graphite shafts (Stiff, Regular and Lite) and Cobra Lamkin REL midsize grips.

Both the Men’s and Women’s T-Rail sets will be available beginning November 1, 2019, and cost $899.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

 

 

 

 

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