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A Decent Demo Day for the Lefty Golfer

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A recent Demo Day at my local Roger Dunn Golf Shop was billed as the “biggest of the year” so I had to check it out.

Of course, I couldn’t resist seeing the latest clubs with a promise like that. These events are usually an exercise in patience for me since most manufacturers “forget” to bring left-handed clubs with them. Not today! Nearly everyone had lefties to try out and most had women’s lefty clubs as well. It was a great time for lefties and I even ran into three other fellow southpaws while I was there. Although I am a woman, I hit men’s regular flex clubs because women’s clubs are too short and “flimsy” feeling for me. Even so, I asked everyone if they had women’s lefty. Here’s the rundown on what I tried out and who had what:

Adams Golf – This manufacturer had a full set of men’s and women’s hybrid Idea irons and women’s Insight XTD in left-handed driver to try out. I personally gave the 4 iron a few swats and liked it just fine. I’ve not hit this type of iron before so I’m probably not used to it. They had no men’s lefty driver to try so I had to take my husband’s word for it. He tried tha men’s XTD Pro driver that has the discussion boards aflame with the recent price drop. I’m guessing he thoroughly enjoyed it since he promptly ordered one for himself.

Mizuno – This tent was quite busy when I stopped by so I didn’t get a chance to try anything out. They did have men’s lefty irons and CLK Fli – Hi hybrids in a few different sizes. There was no lefty women’s clubs at all.

Tour Edge – This tent had no lefty clubs at all but told me they were “on order”.

Taylor Made – I tried the men’s lefty CGB R7 irons here with a regular flex graphite shaft and liked them fine even though my personal preference is for steel shafts. The reps informed me that they would no longer be making a women’s lefty club but would have senior flex clubs. The challenge for women with senior flex is they can be a bit stiffer than the women’s flex and are a bit longer as well.

Cleveland – I hit the HiBore 8 iron and it was just adequate in my opinion. There is probably nothing wrong with the club, its likely just not for me. Cleveland also had no women’s lefty clubs to try. The rep was really quite helpful though and gave us a free sleeve of Srixon balls for watching the demonstration of their new bag. In a nutshell, it has technology that counts the clubs in your bag so that if you drive off and leave one at the green it will beep at you. The bag sells for about $300. I do really like Cleveland overall have a few of their woods now.

Cobra – As always, I can count on Cobra to have a good amount of lefties to try out. In addition, they have full sets of women’s lefty irons, hybrids, and drivers. I personally tried the S9 irons in men’s regular flex and found them to feel nice.

Nike – I can’t tell you how excited I was with Nike because of what they had. Granted, a limited women’s lefty selection but they had a lefty wedge to try out! I’ve never been able to try a wedge at a demo day. It was the 60° and I hit it like absolute crap, but it was nice to have the option! I probably hit it so badly due to my giddiness and excitement. The rep handed me a men’s Sumo hybrid and said I’d love it. He was right. You have to hit this club. In addition, the rep shared with me that Nike’s top priority was to get more involved with women in golf this year. Apparently they realized that they are missing something and are working to change that. Bravo!

Callaway – My irons today are the Callaway X18 men’s regular flex with the steel shaft and I really like them. I decided to hit the X20 in both the steel and graphite. What is interesting is that I used to only want the graphite but not anymore. The X20 steel were awesome. I am now itching to trade up very soon. This booth had a few men’s lefty options but no women’s.

Ping – I thought I was totally in love with the aforementioned Callaway until I hit the Ping G10. Wow. Each time I hit the ball it was straight and had distance. These clubs must be really forgiving because I am one that always hits best when I first pick up a club and then as time passes my swing gets lazy. Hitting these at the end of the day and not missing a one means they just might be the right one for me. They also had a decent selection of women’s clubs to try out.

Titleist was gone by the time we got to the event. Apparently our local rep is also a bartender and had to leave early. Maybe next time.

Overall, this event had the most left-handed clubs I’ve seen in a while. That along with the fact that I ran into other lefties that were asking for clubs means that manufacturers may stop “ignoring” us yet! My advice – keep asking reps for them when you see a demo and we will likely see more.

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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