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The Big Review – John Letters T9+ Driver and Fairway Woods

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John Letters may not be a familiar to many but there was once a time when they were one of the greatest brands on the planet. At their peak, John Letters supplied a record 8 out of 10 of the British players in the 1949 Ryder Cup – a record that still stands to this very day.

In fact, in Sam Torrance and Bernard Gallacher John Letters have two players who went on to captain Ryder Cup teams and John Letters' clubs are found in the bags of more than a few players on the European Seniors Tour. Their recent announcement at the PGA show that they are opening a workshop in St Andrews in Scotland showed that they are on the way back into the limelight. Bag Chatter got to try out the T9+ driver and fairway woods over the winter period to see how they performed.

So what are we told about these clubs; The T9+ Beta Titanium driver features a head made from strong but lightweight titanium to allow for a redistribution weight across the clubhead and towards the heel and toe areas to provide more stability and extra forgiveness on every drive.

The fairway wood uses discretional weighting to push more weight in the heel and toe areas for maximum forgiveness and stability on off centre strikes. A special Maraging steel face transfers more energy at impact whilst 'Feel Cell' technology in the sole of the clubhead helps to disperse vibrations at impact, giving an improved sound and solid feel.

Appearance

The T9+ clubs are good looking in a fairly understated way. The glossy pure black finish and the chrome and blue sole is not as lurid as some (and it's certainly not all white!).

The driver is not quite as appealing as the fairway woods. With it's broad face it's functional rather than pretty and the closed face will mean that slicers will love it but it will look wrong to those that fear the left side of the course.

With their shallow profile and square face the fairway woods are another matter. They set up beautifully at address and ooze class.

Performance

The driver is a good honest club without excelling in any one area. Forgiveness is probably the category where it scores the strongest where the heel and toe weighting means that strikes away from the sweetspot still travel almost as far. Distance as a whole is good, coming from a high trajectory launch and the spin levels are pretty much middle of the range. You can tell from the straight flight that this driver is aimed squarely at the sort of golfer who struggles to hit the ball straight and who is not interested in working the ball. With the face being so strongly closed, there is a definite tendency for the ball to go left and given that the sort of golfer that this club is aimed at more often struggles with a slice than a hook, this makes perfect sense.

The fairway woods are top notch. The shallow face means that it works as well from the fairway as from the tee. You can even use them in light rough where the sole allows you to glide through the grass. In fact, the low profile head is reminiscent of the iconic Adams Tight Lies fairways both in appearance and in performance. With the low COG, it's very easy to get the ball up in the air but there is no ballooning. These really performed beautifully throughout a rather grotty winter period in less than ideal conditions. Even when the fairways were soft and heavy, it was easy to clip the ball off the turf and send it arcing towards the green. With the high launch and mid spin, these are very good for approaching the green on par 5's and longer par 4's.

The review clubs came with Project X graphite and Aldila RIP shafts which did a great job at controlling spin levels as well as offering a superb sense of location throughout the swing.

Conclusion

While the driver does not have the changeable hosel technology that golfers have come to expect in the big dog, the solid performance at only £149 means that for the budget conscious golfer it deserves some consideration.

The fairway woods are excellent whichever way you look at them. Fantastic performance and good looks make them a real surprise package that should be considered whatever your price bracket but for under £70, they are probably the best option in their price bracket.

For more information, visit www.johnletters.com

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2 Comments

  1. Tempo Power

    Aug 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I would enjoy seeing a review of their forged irons.

  2. David

    Jan 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Once you mentioned that the driver appears closed at address I knew that I couldn’t get it. I was interested in the 15 degree loft available in this club.

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Related

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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USGA, R&A to roll out new World Handicap System in 2020

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A new handicap system is here, or rather, it will be once the USGA and R&A begin to fully implement the World Handicap System in 2020.

The new system focuses on achieving three main objectives: 1) encouraging as many golfers as possible to maintain a handicap, 2) enabling golfers of different abilities, genders, and nationalities to compete fairly, and 3) determining the score a golfer is reasonably capable of shooting at any particular course anywhere in the world.

Currently there are six handicapping systems worldwide, owing to the existence of six handicapping authorities: Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU) in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association (EGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA), the Argentine Golf Association (AAG) and the USGA.

The six handicapping authorities represent approximately 15 million golfers in 80 countries who currently maintain a golf handicap.

Under the new program, the USGA and R&A will oversee the World Handicap System and the governing bodies will be in charge of local administration.

The USGA presents the WHS as a better system that simplifies the existing structures. Not surprisingly, the organization believes the WHS will compel more golfers to maintain a handicap.

“For some time, we’ve heard golfers say, ‘I’m not good enough to have a handicap,’ or ‘I don’t play enough to have a handicap,’” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “We want to make the right decisions now to encourage a more welcoming and social game.”

Davis sees the new system marching arm-in-arm with the revisions to (and simplification of) the Rules of Golf.

“We’re excited to be taking another important step – along with modernizing golf’s rules – to provide a pathway into the sport, making golf easier to understand and more approachable and enjoyable for everyone to play.”

Key features of the WHS include:

  • Flexibility in formats of play, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a golfer’s handicap is more reflective of potential ability.
  • A minimal number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap; a recommendation that the number of scores needed to obtain a new handicap be 54 holes from any combination of 18-hole and 9-hole rounds, but with “some discretion available for handicapping authorities or national associations to set a different minimum within their own jurisdiction.”
  • A consistent handicap that “is portable” from course to course and country to country through worldwide use of the USGA course and slope rating system, already used in more than 80 countries.
  • An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores and “factoring in memory of previous demonstrated ability for better responsiveness and control.”
  • A calculation that considers the impact that abnormal course and weather conditions might have on a player’s performance each day.
  • Daily handicap revisions, taking account of the course and weather conditions calculation.
  • A limit of net double bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only).
  • A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender, to encourage more golfers to measure and track their performance to increase their enjoyment of the game.

The USGA and R&A conducted quantitative research in 15 countries around the world. 76 percent of the 52,000 respondents voiced their support for a World Handicap System, 22 percent were willing to consider its benefits, and only 2 percent were opposed.

The research also helped model the tenets of the WHS, but, as mentioned, don’t tear up your GHIN cards just yet: We’ve only just begun the two-year transition period prior to the implementation.

To provide feedback to the USGA on the new World Handicap System, golfers can email the USGA at whsfeedback@usga.org, or see usga.org/whs for more info.

Additionally, the USGA created this FAQ.

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,110 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Related

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes defending-champion Rickie Fowler, 2017 FedEx Champion Justin Thomas, four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who’s making his first PGA Tour start of 2018. Also in the field is Tiger Woods, who committed to play in the event just last week. Woods is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the 2018 Genesis Open.

Last year, Fowler won by four shots over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, despite playing his final round in 1-over par.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Honda Classic below!

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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