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Top 10 purchases to make at the U.S. Open Merchandise Tent

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The Players Championship is a celebration of Mother’s Day, while the U.S. Open is a celebration of Father’s Day — since it falls on U.S. Open Sunday every year. As such, the best possible Father’s Day gifts (that aren’t on this list, of course), are in this order:

  1. Winning the U.S. Open.
  2. Having your father caddie for you while you play in the U.S. Open.
  3. Attending the U.S. Open with your father.
  4. Buying your father a gift from the U.S. Open.
  5. Anything else.
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The merchandise tent stands tall on top of the perch of the temporary U.S. Open town of pavilions.

Let’s assume you’ll be going with option No. 4 this year, and that’s where we come in. The merchandising situation can be a little overwhelming at the U.S. Open because of the sheer size of the tent, the number of choices to make and the ridiculous amount of people. Luckily, there are some standout candidates for purchase, whether they’re for your pops or not.

There are also plenty of options for women and children, which you should be sure to check out while in the tent. And if you’re NOT attending the U.S. Open, click here to browse the online store.

Necessary gadgets

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What’s something you use on nearly every hole of golf you play? A ball marker. Most golfers use a quarter or a type of coin. Why not use something unique, like these markers with the awesome Oakmont-U.S. Open logo on them.

Even if your dad doesn’t hit many greens in regulation, the divot repair tool can still help him repair the ball marks in his putting line from golfers who do. The repair tool sets are available for $32.

Coasters

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Dads drink beverages. Whether it’s coffee, tea, water, or something cold and frosty, they’ll want a coaster to keep from ruining their table. For only $13 dollars, these coasters are a steal, and they’ll always be put to good use.

Man cave

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While the furry squirrels are cool, and so are the metallic U.S. Open at Oakmont signs, the star here is the hanging bottle opener with a bottle cap catcher. It’s well worth the $52.

Dad’s stomach is growling… for beers

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These are the most awesome growlers I’ve ever seen. The U.S. Open-Oakmont logo is on the front, and U.S. Open winners from Oakmont are listed on the back. They’re available for $75, while the Steins (bottom) sell for $22 each.

Hats, hats, and more hats 

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There’s an entire corner of the merchandise tent dedicated to just hats. It’s a lot to handle, especially if you’re shopping for someone else. I’ve picked out my favorite, and what I believe to be the most unique, but you might be on your own trying to judge what dad will like best.

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This hat is a bit outlandish, but when he shows up to that July 4th cookout rocking it, he’ll be getting all of the compliments. It’s $34.

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If you’re dad is into camo, or hunting gear, this hat from Imperial is a drop-dead winner for $27.

The squirrel cartoon logo comes on a 47 Brand hat ($27), and on a flat-and-yellow brim, snapback version as well. If your dad is into snapbacks, there’s a few other options he may like, pictured in the gallery above.

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The plaid white-and-green fitted hat, with the USGA logo and a clover as the back emblem, is a can’t miss for a dad who likes to be a bit eccentric with his fashion choices.

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Bring dad back a taste of Pittsburgh, and its sports teams, with one of these black-and-yellow hats from Imperial. The highly recommended Tour visor is $32.

Black and yellow

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There’s more than just hats that represent the colors of the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins, however. Check out this entire line of clothes inspired by the heart of Steel City.

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This Camo jacket has a slick logo that ties in the United States (stars), Pittsburgh (stripes), and Oakmont (squirrel) and sells for $145.

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This hockey-inspired sweater (left) sells for $105, while the t-shirt (right) is $45.

Good in any weather

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Waterproof pullovers make awesome gifts, because they can be used on and off the golf course and in various weather conditions. This white pullover from Sunice has a multitude of pockets for storage, a sweet American Flag type logo on the right shoulder, the U.S. Open-Oakmont logo on the left chest, and is only $139.

Casual gear

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Maybe dad’s not a golfer, or you want to get him some gear for off the course. This U.S. Open hoodie is understated and comfortable, and sells for $75. The “USGA” printed on the hood is a nice touch.

UsOPenMerch29The logoing on this stretch-fit, gray t-shirt from Under Armour is a little less subtle, but the shirt is so cool — and keeps you cool — that it won’t matter.

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These long sleeve tees — green with the squirrel-cartoon and blue camo — each sell for $45.

Local talent

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Artist David Lussier is selling replicas of his original painting of the 18th hole at Oakmont, ranging from $95-$6000, depending on your budget.

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Also, Lee Wybranski shows off his original works that capture Oakmont’s iconic Church Pew Bunker, which are available in a wide price range as well.

Hand-forged church pews

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As seen in the photo above, a hand-crafter representing Seamus Golf out of Oregon was providing custom engravings on bronze, copper and steel ball markers with the U.S. Open-Oakmont logo. They’re available for $32.

But the winner of the U.S. Open Merchandise tent has to the hand-forged Church Pew Bunker replica bottle opener (resting against the anvil) made from mild steel and copper, which comes with a leather satchel. Of course, the iconic Church Pews sit between hole Nos. 3 and 4 at Oakmont. The real pews will set you back costly strokes, while the bottle opener from Seamus will set you back $90.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Nick Shak

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Does anyone have one of the bucket hats for sale or know where I can buy one? The merchandise tent was sold out by Friday and I would really like one! Please someone help me out!!!!

  2. don d.

    Jun 17, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Best buy US open socks. The prices are steep to say the least. Everything is big and expensive. US Open is definitely not my first pick for spectating.

  3. KCCO

    Jun 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    How are the food prices in relation to The Masters? As I was so surprised by the low cost of concessions at Masters.

  4. ooffa

    Jun 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    45 bucks for a T-Shirt. Now that’s a value. OMG they are insane.

  5. John

    Jun 14, 2016 at 10:43 am

    The week after the US Open is when the real deals can be had. Lots of big discounts on their site. Also, joining the USGA gets you a free US Open hat every year delivered right to your mailbox. A great cause and a free hat to boot.

    • Adrien Jenot

      Jun 14, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Thanks guys, I must be blind.

      • AllBOdoesisgolf

        Jun 14, 2016 at 11:15 am

        USGA lost my membership when they went ahead and told singles they have no business posting scores because they don’t trust them. I will keep my dollars local and help out the First Tee.

        • Scott

          Jun 15, 2016 at 9:36 am

          Great point. They lost me when they started being sponsored by non-U.S. auto companies.

        • Kevin

          Jun 15, 2016 at 9:43 am

          Not sure how the USGA will ever go on without your 9.99. Hope you are giving more to the First Tee, IMO the best organization out there

  6. Adrien Jenot

    Jun 14, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Will this stuff be available on the USGA site those snapback are too slick!

    • mitch

      Jun 14, 2016 at 10:28 am

      they have a link to the store before the top ten list above.

      • Adrien Jenot

        Jun 14, 2016 at 10:53 am

        FML all the stuff I want isn’t on the USGA site it’s event only… I just want that damn snapback and maybe the crazy fishing hat…

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Equipment

Golf club history: woods and irons

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If you’re going to play golf, you’re going to need some clubs. The game dates back to the 1400s in Scotland, so naturally, golf club history does too. We’ve come a long way from wooden clubs and feather-filled balls. For the sake of this piece were going to stick with the modern evolution of the game’s equipment starting off with the invention of the steel shaft in the early 1900s.

Some of the first steel shafts came from a fishing rod producer in Britain by the name of Apollo and we’re developed in the early 1920s. The shafts were much more consistent than the wooden shafts they were attempting to replace but they were still considered inconsistent by many players. Steel shaft also didn’t catch on until a number of years after their conception because until 1924 the USGA considered them nonconforming equipment. It took 5 more years for the R&A to make them legal in 1929.

It was that same year in 1929 when True Temper advanced the steel shaft and developed the process to taper shafts down or create “steps”—something we are all familiar with now. These steps could be moved around the shaft and change the flex which created more options for golfers to find the right equipment and be fit.

Since that time, the biggest steps (no pun intended) we have seen taken in steel shafts have come from stronger, lighter materials to create more flex and bend profile options for golfers.

If you are curious about graphite shafts, check out my piece “The real firsts of the golf industry” for the history behind their development as well as some other technological firsts.

Here’s a broad survey of recent golf club history.

Golf club history: woods

best driver 2020

Now to the “big stick.” The term “driver” comes from the idea that the longest club was meant to be driven as far as possible from the teeing area and hence the name stuck. The club heads were made of persimmon, because of the strong dense nature of the wood. To get these wooden heads to where they needed to be for weight, they would be fitted internally with lead weights.

The video below profiles one of the last persimmon wood manufacturers in the world.

With persimmon becoming more expensive and golf growing in popularity, many manufactures shifted from using solid persimmon to laminate—that change also made the clubs more durable, and also a change in golf club history. Those companies included Wilson, Spalding, MacGregor, even Ping with the introduction of the Karsten driver and woods.

As technology continued to move forward, other companies used various materials like graphite composites to make woods, and as much as they worked well for increasing durability they never quite caught on.

The next jump came in 1979 when Gary Adams had an idea to make wood a thing of the past. He took out a $24,000 loan against his house to found TaylorMade Golf. The first product to market was a 12-degree metal driver; the very first of it’s kind in golf club history.

Since then, metal wood technology has continued to move forward leaps and bounds; shifting from steel to titanium, and titanium to multi-material heads featuring aerodynamic designs built for speed. The rules of golf have limited size and spring-like effect of drivers but manufacturers continue to innovate and make drivers faster and more forgiving.

golf club history: Irons

Until Karsten Solheim and Ping arrived on the scene (see Greatest Ping irons of all time), iron design remained mostly the same—thin, forged blades that weren’t very forgiving. It’s not to say that everything was exactly the same, quite the contrary, but from an evolution standpoint, these were just baby steps.

To see the blade evolution here are a couple of great reads:

Then, just like with putters, Karsten Solheim designed an iron that would help reduce the severity of shots hit away from the sweet spot and the modern cavity back was born: the Ping 69. It was then only a few years later in 1982 that the most popular iron of all time, the Ping Eye 2, was set free into the world and this is where iron technology went from baby steps to full-blown Olympic sprinting.

Cavity back irons make the game more enjoyable and easier because their design reduces the severity of mishit shots and get the ball in the air easier, something that benefits all level of golfers, even professionals. Just like drivers, over the last decade, we have seen the introduction of faster, longer more forgiving multi-material designs enter the market. As CAD design and manufacturing techniques go well beyond was would have been imaginable only a decade ago.

Golf club history: beyond cavity backs

New 2020 PXG Gen 3 Irons

The next leap forward was thin-faced irons so fast they needed to be reinforced with polymer materials to prevent them from caving in. The idea wasn’t new, with the introduction of clubs like the PXG 0311 or Taylormade P790, but they perfected the ability to build ultra-thin faced irons that not only performed but felt good too. The title of the first thin or slot-soled irons belongs to Wilson golf and their Reflex irons.

Conclusion

Technology will continue to push the boundaries of design, and golfers will benefit from these breakthroughs. The question of “how much further can we really go?” is up to engineers and advancements in materials and manufacturing, but however far it is, we should be excited about what they will think of next!

 

 

 

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The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now (Summer 2020 edition)

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The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now (Summer 2020 edition)

What are the most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are the best-selling golf clubs on Amazon as of July 2020.

1. Callaway Golf Men’s Strata Complete


The best-selling golf club on Amazon is actually a collection of clubs: a starter set from Callaway’s Strata line. 

From the listing: “The Strata 12 piece set is designed for maximum performance right out of the box; The set includes: driver, 3 Wood, 5 Hybrid, 6 to 9 Iron, PW, Putter, stand bag and 2 head covers.

Price: $249.99.

Buy here.

2. Pinemeadow Wedge

The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now pinemeadow wedge.jpg

A decent-looking wedge for under 30 bucks…plus, it comes in 68 degrees!  

From the listing: “Built standard with high quality Pinemeadow steel from Apollo(R), a 125 gram shaft with a low to mid kick point for the same $19.95 value, perfect for the beginning to average golfer.”

Price: $29.19

Buy here.

3. Wilson Harmonized Wedge

Tidy-looking wedge with a sole grind that affords you some versatility for under $40. 

From the listing: “Blade shape with modified bounce angles for dead stop spin and versatility from the sand, rough, or fairway”

Price: $36.94

Buy here.

4. PreciseGolf Co. Precise X7 Junior

The top-selling junior set on Amazon, here. 

From the listing: “Right handed, designed for age 9-12, Boys, junior set includes: 15 driver, 22 Hybrid, #6/7 iron (1 piece), #9/P iron (1 piece), putter, 2 head covers and stand bag (rain Hood included)”

Price: $128.67

Buy here.

5. Callaway Women’s Strata Complete Golf Set

Just like the men’s version, Callaway’s Women Strata golf set is the most popular golf set in its category on Amazon

From the listing: “The Strata Plus Women’s Package Set is designed with distance and forgiveness technologies for women who want to easily hit accurate shots that go a long way. The complete set includes: Driver, 5 Wood, 5 hybrid, 6-9 Iron, Pitching Wedge & Sand Wedge, Stand Bag and 3 Headcovers.”

Price: $249.99 – $499.99

Buy here.

6. Pinemeadow Excel EGI Hybrids

Replace any of your irons with Pinemeadow’s Excel EGI hybrids

From the listing: “3 Hybrid/19°, 4 Hybrid/22°, 5 Hybrid/25°, 6 Hybrid/28°, 7 Hybrid/32°, 8 Hybrid/36°, 9 Hybrid/40° & PW Hybrid/45°. More and more players are trading in their traditional irons and replacing them with hybrids. The EGI hybrids allow you to do this for every iron in your bag. Join the movement and expect an improvement in your game”

Price: $43.26 – $69.63

Buy here.

7. PGX Offset Golf Driver

An affordable driver option with plenty of offset designed to help players hit more fairways

From the listing: “Offset anti-slice Technology. 460Cc clubhead. Headcover included ; The matte black finish and white and green gives the driver a clean and sleek look.  The offset of the driver helps you square the ball at impact.”

Price: $49.31 – $119.20

Buy here.

8. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Black Driver, Black

TMs RBZ black driver is a great option for those looking for greater launch off the tee and comes in a sleek satin black finish

From the listing: “A large, 460cc Titanium head with an adjustable loft sleeve allows for optimized launch and trajectory. Ultralite Titanium core strategically positions mass for higher launch and trajectory control. Premium matrix White tie 55 shaft for maximum distance and smooth feel. Legendary speed pocket performance for high launch and low spin, resulting in more distance. New satin black finish with elegant detailing to improve alignment”

Price: $199.99

Buy here.

9. Square Strike Wedge

The extra wide sole of the Square Strike Wedge aims to do away with fat shots. The wedge is fully legal for tournament play and costs under $100

From the listing: “The Square Strike Wedge pitching wedge has an extra-wide sole and beveled leading edge prevent digging; No more chunked pitch and chip shots reduces wasted strokes; Heavy, solid feel promotes greater confidence vs thin-faced wedges that dig and rotate; Less rotation with the Square Strike Wedge golf wedge for men and women makes clean contact easier and much more consistent”

Price: $99.00

Buy here.

10. Wilson Golf Profile JGI Junior Set

The perfect set for kids learning the game, with each club in the set offering lots of forgiveness

From the listing: “Engineered with Super Game Improvement technology to enhance new Junior golfer experience. Weight is positioned very low in this oversized junior driver to help launch the ball for a better ball flight off the tee”

Price: $127.88 – $325.99

Buy here.

11. Pinemeadow Golf PGX SL Putter

One of the best-reviewed putters on Amazon. A great plumbers neck option for those on a budget

From the listing: “Perfect Balance. Alignment Tool. Headcover Included”

Price: $42.49

Buy here.

12. Cleveland Golf Men’s RTX 4 Wedge

Cleveland’s RTX 4 Wedge remains a very popular option amongst golfers and comes in several different finishes (Black Satin, Tour Satin, Raw)

From the listing: “4th Generation Rotex Face Technology with our sharpest Tour Zip Grooves yet, the most aggressive face milling we’ve developed, and even more precise laser milling, Rotex 4 generates more spin.”

Price: $99.99

Buy here.

13. Acstar Two Way Junior Golf Putter

A junior putter designed with both right and left-handers in mind

From the listing: “Zinc alloy putter head + 100% carbon putter shaft + anti-slip rubber putter grip construction, shaft flex: regular. Two way putter–Perfect for any golfer,whether you are right-handed, left-handed,advanced or a beginner, this double way putter performs at a high level ”

Price: $28.99

Buy here.

14. C3i Wedge

Featuring a wide auto-glide sole, the high-loft C3i wedge is a popular option for golfers looking for an effective wedge under $100

From the listing: “The C3i lob wedge is extra-wide. Its auto-glide sole cuts through the sand without skipping or digging; This sand wedge is a high loft golf club for men and women that gets the ball up easily to clear the lip and stop it quickly on the green; 12 degrees of bounce make sand wedge for men and women perfect for any type of sand, fluffy to firm; Get out in one more often and reduce wasted strokes; Makes bunker play a breeze with this sand wedge golf club.”

Price: $99.00

Buy here.

15. Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter, Black

The evergreen Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter remains one of the best-selling putters on Amazon

From the listing: “Designed to meet the meticulous performance demands of the world’s best golfers. Re-engineered White hot insert generates improved sound, feel and overall performance. Laser milling insert cutting process achieves tight tolerances for consistent performance.”

Price: $109.99 – $299.99

Buy here.

16. Wilson Golf Women’s Ultra Package Set

Designed for women picking up the sport, Wilson offers a complete set for just $219.99

From the listing: “Super game improvement design focuses on generating more distance for beginner golfers. Designed for Women’s swing speeds with low center of gravity for improved launch characteristics.”

Price: $219.99

Buy here.

17. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Rescue, Black

TM’s RBZ Rescue is a massively popular club amongst golfers and it comfortably cracks the top-20 list on Amazon

From the listing: “Legendary speed pocket for high launch and increased carry distance. New satin black finish with elegant detailing to improve alignment. Shallow profile and improved sole geometry for optimized turf interaction.”

Price: $129.99

Buy here.

18. Wilson Golf Profile SGI Men’s Complete Golf Set

The super game improvement characteristics of this set from Wilson makes it one of the most popular sets on Amazon for teenage golfers

From the listing: “Designed for Teen swing characteristics to produce maximum distance and a rewarding experience for beginners. Large 460cc Driver Engineered with Super Game Improvement technology to enhance new golfer experience
Deep, perimeter weighted 431 stainless steel irons with very low center of gravity for improved accuracy and distance.”

Price: $319.95 – $349.99

Buy here.

19. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Individual Iron

Loaded with technology designed to take your iron play to the next level, Callaway’s Mavrik iron cracks the top-20 list

From the listing: “With MAVRIK, we’re using Artificial Intelligence for the first time in an iron. Ball speed is further enhanced by our 360 Face Cup that flexes and releases at impact. We’ve created a sophisticated face architecture that’s unique to every loft, so we can create a significant boost in ball speed and increased spin robustness off of every iron.”

Price: $128.58

Buy here.

20. Wilson Golf Ultra Plus Package Set

Another Wilson golf set that has proved popular amongst buyers and offers an entire set including a 360cc forged titanium driver for under $300

From the listing: “Includes 9 clubs: Driver, 3 Wood, 5 Hybrid, 6-PW, Putter. Oversize 460cc forged titanium composite driver features advanced weight distribution to create an enormous sweet spot. Unique driver head design provides stability and improved launch conditions at impact for straighter ball flight for greater distance.”

Price: $299.99

Buy here.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about accuracy vs distance with the driver

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In our forums, our members have been discussing whether accuracy or distance off the tee is more important. WRXer ‘ShortSticks’ poses the scenario:

“Driver A (Accuracy): Hits most fairways and is a very straight hitter just not as long. Usually 10 to 15 yards shorter than Driver B, but not in near as much trouble. Not very workable, but can be coaxed into a slight fade or draw.

Driver B (Distance): Is long but can be wild off the tee. Can hit to places you have never been, but can also put you in some bad spots that make recovery more difficult. Is workable, but at times can get away from you.”

And our members are having their say on which element of the game is more important these days.

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.

  • juststeve: “I would say in general, as long as you can hit in play, longer is better. Keeping it in play means no O.B, no water balls, no balls deep in the woods and having an unobstructed next shot from a reasonable lie.”
  • mattavery727: “For me definitely driver A. I have 118 SS, and sure I can try to step on it and carry it over 300, but I also find trouble way too often. If I take a smooth swing and give up 15-20 but still in a fairway I like my chances at hitting the green or being close. My 7 goes 185 so as long as I am 185 in or less I have a pretty short club in my hand.”
  • gambit: “10-15 yards I’ll take driver A for accuracy. 30 yards and I’ll take my chances of going in the rough and bunkers.”
  • Tasals: “For 10 yards? Driver A. IIRC the tour average is ~30 yards for the benefit of being wild compared to be straight. So a gap wadge from 120 in the rough has equivalent distance from hole stats as a fairway shot from 150. Then you start seeing the major benefits when you hit a fairway or get a first cut lie, the proximity to the hole decreases pretty rapidly. The longer players over a season make more birdies than the shorter hitters, they make more bogeys, but the long guys tend to place better, and win more tournaments as well when they can get away with a few bad shots. I just don’t think the 10 yards is enough of an advantage.”

Entire Thread: “Accuracy vs Distance with the driver”

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