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Confessions of a Golf Ho

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You know what I’m talking about. That golfer you know that can’t ever seem to find that perfect club. Personally, I can hit all of my clubs straight and as far as I should. My philosophy is to not fix what isn’t broken. Someone very close to me feels differently. I wanted to get to the bottom of this behavior so I asked that they tell me what the big deal was:

“Ever feel like clubs are to golfer as women were to Wilt Chamberlain – there is always another one out there? I am on a current club binge and honestly do not see the end as long as there are new products every three months. Why the 90 days you might ask? Well, that is the time I have to play a club and be tempted by another companies advertising and claims. Or, the hardest of all is the feedback and debates brought up on this very site without losing a dime of my purchase. I approach each trade with the guilt of a bad break up knowing I have left the signs of a traded club on the rack. Whether it be the matching grip or the lead tape, there’s an anxiety that goes when parting with what was once hope. There is guilt, but once I think of the unbelievable profits these companies make it is easier to find fault when the club does not deliver. I’m not biased to one particular club, but I do find comfort in my irons and will trade a wood or driver in a heartbeat. I would like to strike out at the endless options of shafts that have left me wanting that perfect combo and even when happy thirst for more. Now, I have a new fairway wood and driver on order and I think these could be keepers. Wow! I just lied, so it will be Christmas again this month without the long return line.”

Hmm…I guess it is just a matter of preference. I know that I’m not alone and am more advanced than many of my golfer pals. For instance, my irons are only about a year old and the set I had before that didn’t even last a year. I did trade my driver a few times before settling on this one. Since my clubs are working I will wait until they aren’t anymore. I know some golfers that have had the same clubs for years and years. That I can’t do. I know my game and technology will keep improving.

What kind of golfer are you? Do you stick with a club until the bitter end? Do you get every new club that comes out?

 

 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Nick Messi

    Mar 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I play tennis once a week and for the last 5 years have only used 2 different racquets.
    But golf is a different monster all together. In the last 5 years :
    6 iron sets
    4 drivers
    5 hybrids
    6 putters
    3 fairway woods
    3 buggies
    2 bags
    8 wedges
    In hindsight this is just nuts.
    Obsessive compulsive silly behaviour (that I always seem to logically and prudently justify without fail every single time !!)
    Every time I say to myself that this purchase will be the last I always seem yo be tempted just one more time…and sooner rather than later.
    H E L P !!!!

  2. Roy Perry

    Dec 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    ^^
    I wouldn’t say that we are “hacks”. You just said that you’ve been clean for only 12 months, so are you a recovering hack :). As for me, I had a set of irons given to my by my dad that he bought new in 1994. I was introduced to the game late at about 25 years old (12 years ago) and I played those old Callaway Hawkeye’s along with an Orlimar driver, woods, and hybrids, purespin wedges and a Ben Hogan Bettinardi putter. Two years ago, I traded everything minus wedges and putter and dropped for a FT (08) iron set, and FT-iz driver, woods, and hybrid. Cracked the shaft in the driver THREE times and went the Diablo Octane Black tour. Loved it, but there was just something that didn’t feel just right in it. Last year, I took the forged plunge and liking the classic look of a player’s iron, I made my own mixed set of 4-6 razr x forged, and 7-9 razr x muscleback. I purchased an Adams superblack 19* hybrid that I couldn’t make go straight if I wanted to, so traded that for what I have now, a 910h 19* with the PX 6.0 shaft. For the FW wood battle, it only went from FT-iZ to Diablo, to Cleveland FL, to now my R11 ti with a PX 6.0. The driver has evolved from FT-iZ, to FT-5 (still have), to Diablo Octane Black tour (still have), and the current 910d2 with the Px 6.0. I have had my putter now for almost 10 years and bought 3 others only to go back to the one I know and love. Aside from the driver, I have been “clean” for about 9 months now and couldn’t be happier with my setup. If I could change anything, I would go from the 8620 milled Scratch wedges that I have and take the plunge to the 1018 forged in the same lofts. Who knows, maybe Santa will bring next year after I can say I’ve gone over a year :).

  3. bobby bongwater

    Jan 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I had to go to rehab and have been clean for nearly 12 months on getting any new clubs. My game has never been better. Not the arrow but the indian. Now I laugh at club ho’s. They are all hacks.

  4. Leonard

    Jan 11, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I’m curious as to why different clubs give different feels. For me it’s all feel, and coincidentally, I prefer the feel of hitting it LONG with ease. No CLICKITY! CLACK! CLANK! Sounds. Maybe something that sounds softer? I prefer a smooth, soft transfer of power through the ball. Am I making it up? Or are different clubs made with less pure metals or metals that are less dense. Or for instance with drivers…are they HOLLOW?!? How do they make such deafening, echoeing sounds? Who knows?

  5. Tim Schoch

    Jun 16, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    The bitter end, hopefully, is a long way off, but I do love to try new wedges and drivers. My putting seems to stay the same, regardless of the club.

    What I do change a lot are golf balls. Just about the time I lose or retire a dozen, I’m ready for some fresh faces to look at. Sometimes, a box of balls will seem to last forever, and I get really irritated with them for over-staying their welcome and preventing me from getting another brand. So I give them away to some hacker and slicer, just to teach them a lesson.

    Speaking of lessons, I switch teachers, too.

  6. sneak

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I have spent the last 3 years doing what you are doing and I think I have built the perfect set for me, 2200.00 in 2 weeks later, okay really I perpetuate the same thing I know in about a month those clubs will be gone and new ones will replace them. Right now I am just focusing on wedges, I feel less guilty dropping 125.00 on a wedge than what I would on a driver, although my driver has been working really well for me. I have also gone through a number of short lived relationships and breakups, not just with clubs but with women, because of golf, so I am sure they all think I need therapy.

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Equipment

Callaway launches Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X irons and hybrids

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With its new line of Rogue irons — consisting of Rogue, Rogue Pro and Rogue X models — Callaway continues its search to answer a conundrum that’s plagued game-improvement irons for years; how do you make an iron that produces great ball speed without sacrificing sound and feel. The dilemma is that in order to increase ball speeds, engineers must make the faces of the irons thinner. The problem is, the thinner they make the faces, the more vibration is caused at impact, creating a longer-lasting, higher-pitched sound. Very few golfers want that off-putting, clicky sound, but they do want the ball speed and distance.

So, that’s why companies are experimenting with different materials and injections between the faces of game-improvement irons and their bodies. That buffer creates a dampening effect to reduce vibration, while still allowing faces to be constructed thinner to raise COR (coefficient of restitution, a measure of energy transfer) and ball speed. Companies such as PXG irons use TPE injections, and TaylorMade uses SpeedFoam in its new P-790 irons; Callaway says those constructions either constrict speed, or they don’t have a profound enough effect on vibrations.

For its Rogue irons that are made from 17-4 stainless steel, Callaway is using what it calls urethane microspheres, which are essentially little balls of urethane that it combines together, in the cavities of its irons. The difference between these spheres and other foams and materials on the market, according to Callaway, is that the material is porous. Callaway says the microspheres work to dampen sound without negatively effecting ball speed.

A look at the inside of a Rogue iron, via Callaway’s photography

The inner material in the cavity works in tandem with familiar technologies from previous iron releases such as Apex, Epic and Steelhead XR. Callaway says it has improved upon its VFT (variable face thickness) and Face Cup technologies, focusing on thinning out portions of the face where golfers tend to miss shots — low on the face, on the heel and on the toe. Each of the Rogue irons also uses Internal Standing Wave by way of Tungsten-infused weights that help control the center of gravity (CG) in the club heads; that means centering the overall weight between the scoring lines, and controlling where the CG is placed vertically throughout a given set (re: higher on the short irons for more control and spin, and lower on the long irons for more height).

For the consumer, all of this means getting performance-driven irons at a lower price compared to the Epic and Epic Pro irons. Each of the irons will be available for pre-sale on January 19, and come to retail on February 9. Read on for more info on each of the specific irons, and the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids that introduce Callaway’s Jailbreak technology into hybrids for the first time.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

Rogue irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway’s Rogue irons are the standard model in this line of irons, equipped with all of the technologies described above. According to Callaway, these are essentially Steelhead XR replacements, but have more compact shapes. In the Steelhead XR irons, Callaway used a wider profile in order to center CG between the scoring lines, but due to the inclusion of the Tungsten-infused weights in the Rogue irons, it was able to shape the irons more similar to XR and X-Hot irons of the past — more preferable shapes for GI irons, according to Callaway.

Stock shafts include True Temper’s XP105 steel shaft, and Aldila’s Synergy graphite shaft.

Rogue Pro irons ($999.99)

The Rogue Pro irons, as you may expect, have a more compact shape, thinner toplines and thinner soles than their standard-model-counterparts. Therefore, the Pro design will yield more control that better players will prefer, but they are still packed with all of the performance-enhancing technologies of the Rogue irons. They also have a chrome plating that better players may be drawn to.

Rogue X irons ($899.99 steel, $999.99 graphite)

Callaway described the Rogue X irons to me as “bomber irons.” They have lofts that are 3-to-4 degrees stronger than the standard Rogue irons, and they have longer lengths and lighter overall weights, but according to Callaway, they will still launch in the same window iron-for-iron (re: a 7-iron will launch like a 7-iron). Despite cranking down the lofts, they have bigger profiles, wider soles and more offset; those designs work to drag CG rearward, which helps to increase launch.

Combine that design with the Rogue’s VFT, Face Cups, Internal Standing Wave and urethane microspheres, and the result is an iron that’s “all about distance,” according to Callaway.

Rogue and Rogue X hybrids ($249.99 apiece)

As noted previously, the Rogue and Rogue X hybrids include Callaway’s Jailbreak technology. Like Callaway’s Rogue fairway woods, they use stainless steel bars behind the face instead of the titanium bars that are used in the Rogue drivers. Also, like all of the other Callaway clubs that use Jailbreak, the idea of the design is that two parallel bars inside the club head connect the sole with crown help to add strength to the body at impact, allowing the faces to be constructed thinner, thus, create more ball speed across the face. The Rogue and Rogue X hybrids also have Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology.

The standard Rogue goes up to a 6-hybrid, while the oversized, Rogue X “super hybrid” goes up to an 8-hybrid. Similar to the Rogue X irons, the Rogue X hybrids have an oversized construction, a lighter overall weight, and longer lengths. The goal with these Rogue X hybrids is to create higher launching, more forgiving and longer hybrid options for golfers who need help getting the ball in the air.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Rogue irons and hybrids in our forums.

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Equipment

First Look: Precision Pro NX7 Shot laser rangefinder, made for golfers and hunters

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Precision Pro’s new NX7 Shot is useful whether you’re hunting birds or birdies.

In just over 3 years, Precision Pro has become a player in the laser rangefinder market, quickly developing a reputation for products with maximum features at a price that’s lower than comparable offerings from competitors. Precision Pro came out with its NX7 Pro in 2017, and is following up that offering with the new NX7 Shot, which is designed to hit the two biggest markets for laser rangefinders: golfers and hunters. That’s probably why the company put a camouflage design on the water-resistant and shockproof body of the NX7 Shot.

Inside, the rangefinder has target acquisition that is meant to stabilize even when shaky hands or windy conditions are in play. The NX7 Shot also has an effective scanning distance of 400 yards, which is more than adequate range for golfers not named Dustin Johnson. Other features of the NX7 Shot include is its Scanning Mode, which allows the user to pick up multiple targets in one motion, and its Last Priority Mode, which lets the user acquire a target through tree branches and cover.

The NX7 Shot also comes with a 2-year warranty and free battery replacement for the life of the product. Regarding the warranty, Precision Pro Co-founder Jonah Mytro says “it’s something that nobody else in the industry is doing” and it “shows that we value our customers and that we want them to keep using our products for life.”

It’s designed to be legal for competitions that allow rangefinders, and is listed at $249 with free shipping when ordered from the Precision Pro website.

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Snell adds MTB Black and MTB Red to lineup, thanks in part to GolfWRX forum feedback

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Snell Golf entered the market in 2015 when Dean Snell, co-creator of the Titleist Pro V1 and TaylorMade Penta, decided to sell premium golf balls direct to consumer at a fraction of the standard premium golf ball price. With massive year-over-year growth, the company’s offerings have been well received by the golfing public.

Snell is expanding its MTB line with the release of the MTB Black and MTB Red models. The company indicates the Black and Red models leveraged customer feedback to expand an already successful line.

“Through evaluation of customer feedback, we are able to go through the design and testing process with a clear understanding of what the customer wants to see and feel in their Golf Ball. Pair our expertise and experience with customer suggestion and the result is a ‘Tour Like Experience’ with extra cash in your wallet for a round at the bar,” says Snell Golf founder, Dean Snell.

We asked Snell about the feedback process, and he had some interesting (and flattering) things to say.

“One of the biggest parts of the feedback came from the forums at GolfWRX. I check it weekly for sure, sometimes every other day. There’s one [thread] that started when we started and it’s still going…the information, with people playing and testing, I typically read that.

“And then I get a lot of emails. I read them all, and then I make a big chart, and I fill it in…”high spin,” “low spin,” etc. Then I read and mark the boxes with what people are saying, and when a box fills up, that’s a voice…So there were three big voices from consumers, and that led to these balls.”

Snell said when he worked at Titleist and TaylorMade, tour pro feedback was paramount. Now that he’s offering a direct-to-consumer product, however, the consumers are his “tour players.”

This is a different approach [working with consumers] and asking, “What do you want?” You can’t satisfy everything, but when you hear a strong voice over and over, that’s what we take into consideration.

MTB Black

  • 3-piece thermocast urethane cover golf ball with a 360 dimple pattern
  • Seven percent lower compression core than the original MTB
  • Softer core lowers spin with the driver

Snell says: “Driver spin: anytime you can lower it, it’s going to make the ball better. We keep the same performance [as MTB]…it’ll just be a touch longer.”

MTB Red

  • 4-piece thermocast urethane cover golf ball with a 338 dimple pattern
  • Dual Feel Technology: Provides a firmer, more responsive feel on driver and long irons shorts, while continuing a very soft feel on short irons and around the green with more spin as well
  • Available in Optic Yellow in addition to White

Snell says: “The MTB Red became a four-piece ball. We had to add an inside layer–an inner mantle–to add spin to approach shots. You control the spin rates through the set with the layers of the ball. Getting that fourth layer in there really works for the approach shot control and spin. Otherwise, to add spin, you’d have to raise the core [compression], but when you do that, you make the driver shorter. And the “yellow tour ball” market isn’t big, but the voice in our group was loud.”

Both golf balls will be offered at a retail price of $31.99 per dozen, and are also available in a Value Pack of 6 dozen for $163.99 ($27.33 per dozen).

New models are available at SnellGolf.com for pre-order. Shipments are scheduled for February.

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