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Forum Thread of the Day: “Best equipment change for you this year?”



Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Eagle1 Eagle1, who asks fellow GolfWRX members what equipment change made the most difference for their game in 2018. For Eagle 1 Eagle 1, the move that helped the most was putting a Ping G400 Stretch 3-wood in the bag, and there have been plenty of other new additions that have aided our members out on the course this year.

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.

  • Gamble Gamble: “M3 Driver with Tour AD DI 7X.  I am already down 3.1 shots in my handicap and should be able to push down to mid-single digits if I actually warmed up before my rounds and did not start bogey/double/bogey to start my rounds like I have on my last five rounds.”
  • noodle3872: “Coming back to Mizuno irons and wedges after trying PXG 0311’s, TM P730’s and P790’s. All great clubs in their own right, however, Mizuno feel, playability and consistency earn them placement in my bag.”
  • Bye: “Taking an inch off the length of my driving. And buying a Rogue 3 wood, possibly the best I’ve ever had.”
  • beaney: “Putter change for me too. Finally accepted that although I love the look of Scottys, I putt badly with them. The odyssey o works 1w tank, has been a fantastic find!  Looks good, feels nice, suits my stroke and distance control is great.”

Entire Thread: “Best equipment change for you this year?” 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag



  1. James

    Dec 5, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Two things to do to your current stuff that absolutely help.

    lab. Absolutely amazing. I’m 6’2,
    big & 3 back surgeries. Had the
    loft ‘right’ for my stroke & since
    I putt open & stand a little taller
    2° up – like everything else I had
    felt fine. I suffered from liprosy
    for years which ceased to be
    amusing and cost me A LOT of money
    playing mini tour & section pro
    events. Avg 2 a round.

    After a day of training to use the
    SAM system, I went through the
    fitting & the loft was good, I
    didn’t change my set up or stroke
    but the Dave Pelz/NASA print out
    suggested going 3° flat. Never in
    my wildest dreams would I ever even
    have considered anything like that.

    We bent it a total of 5 degrees & I
    rolled 9/10 in immediately from 12′
    on our putter fitting platform.
    No lip outs next dozen rounds.
    Missed some for sure, but zero lip

    2) Most graphite driver shafts are
    pretty good compared to the GARDEN
    STAKES painted the company color &
    shoved in – or co-branded (I never
    understood that – “Diamana by
    Titleist – or Nike” whatever – they
    were “Junk” compared to the real
    ones, and the anon ‘TM or Callaway’
    branded shafts were same grade.

    Graphite technology is eons better
    than a decade ago. Our customers
    who get fit and DON’T want to spend
    2-500 more on a super high end
    stick will get the best available
    no extra charge or low cost
    optional ‘upgrade’ and then have it
    SST PURED. Puring WORKS. PING is
    probably our best selling ‘stock’
    driver and most folks have us pull
    & PURE the shaft and are very happy

  2. Patricknorm

    Dec 5, 2018 at 11:57 am

    I replaced my blade Nike Method ( counter balanced) with an EXO 7 works putter. I wanted better alignment and as a result my handicap went down nearly three strokes over about 8 weeks. Talk about strokes gained improvement. It’s the club you use the most , so any improvement is gold.

  3. A. Commoner

    Dec 3, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Kind of weary hearing about ‘junk’ shafts. Maybe the self-imagined elitists could get an invitation to Monday morning’s executive meeting at ___ Golf Equipment Co. and join the discussion on ‘how we can limit our sales by pedaling a trashy product just like our competitors do.’

  4. Ol' Gaffer

    Dec 3, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Went from a 12º driver to a 15.5º PING G2 driver with a 37 inch whippy soft stock shaft. Now I can hit the ball over 200+ yards consistently and straight. A miracle….!!!

    • Ol' Gaffer

      Dec 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      oooops… that’s 47 inch long shaft… for smooth effortless power …!!!!

  5. Tom

    Dec 3, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Upgrade your wood shafts, stock offering from OEM’s are low quality. Heads pretty much all the same, warmed over designs marketed as breakthrough…

  6. TigerFan91

    Dec 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    I bought a Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 6S shaft, tipped it an inch, and made the final length of my M2 driver 44 3/4″. Made a world of a difference in my driving accuracy.

  7. ogo

    Dec 3, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Yes.. yes.. yes….. it’s all in the equipment you have in your WITB weapons of golf destruction. Never mind any swing change because your swing is perfect as it is… it must be new equipment that you need to get you under the 90+ hump. Jeeeez….

    • Evan

      Dec 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      Sometimes it’s the confidence that comes with different clubs that may improve a golfer’s performance however. You’re right, swing changes are necessary and will have a bigger impact.

      • ogo

        Dec 3, 2018 at 6:47 pm

        Correct… and when the 460cc pineapple big drivers came on the scene golfer confidence shot up and everybody deluded they could conquer the game off the tee. Of course it didn’t happen because the stock graphite shafts were so bad the jumbo drivers flopped about in final release due to face angle disaster. Confidence mounted, performance dived.

  8. Dan

    Dec 3, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Replaced my TM M1 w my old Titleist 904 R w real 757 speeder. Lost about 5yrs and now get to hit from the short grass again

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Talking New Level Golf with founder Eric Burch



“If you want to make a small fortune, start with a big fortune”

It’s a phrase I’ve heard many times before, not just with the golf industry but in other industries that are, let’s call them — leisure or sports-focused. It’s an uphill climb to enter any market, but golf might be on another level. There are the big players that are worth BILLIONS, and spend millions of dollars in research and development, along with equal amounts marketing, to make sure that every golfer is aware of their new club technologies. They also have well-oiled systems of distribution.

But in this new world of brand-agnostic fitting centers, boutique brands, social media, and the ability to reach your target demographic like never before there are a LOT of new companies creating high performance, high quality, well-engineered products. But when it comes to forged irons for golfers of all abilities, industry veteran Eric Burch’s New Level Golf stands on its own.

If you don’t know Eric Burch, and you’ve gone through a custom fitting recently, then you are at least partially aware of some of the breakthroughs he’s helped create in the golf industry, including the Club Conex system. His newest endeavor New Level Golf was only started in 2017, but in that short time, it has made some very big strides including distribution in over 150 brand agnostic club fitting facilities and now some professional golfers signed to the roster (including PGA Tour winner Ken Duke).

So how do you go from designing club fitting components to designing forged irons and starting a company that has products on the Golf Digest Hot List? I got the chance to talk to Eric about New Level Golf, his background and how after his years in the golf industry he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

RB: Based on your history in the golf industry you seem to be a real problem solver with a “Be your own boss” mentality, is that how you would describe your self?

EB: I’ve been in business for myself since my early 20s. Other than a few short stints for other golf companies, I have primarily been my own boss involved with golf. I would consider myself a problem solver. Not necessarily by design, but mainly due to starting companies that have always been undercapitalized which forces your hand to learn a variety of tasks to help the business move forward.
Although I’ve received notoriety as a club fitter/retailer, Club Conex, and now New Level. I’ve been fortunate to have won the professional Clubmaker’s Top Shop Award (2004), Golf Digest Top 100 Club Fitters (2016),  & have products I’ve designed be on the Golf Digest Hot List (2019).

RB: What was the first product & club head you ever designed, and how does the workflow go now with New Level?

EB: The first golf products were, of course, the Club Conex prototypes and those were generated from hand-rendered sketches. I still believe, given what I did with Club Conex and the universal system I designed, I hardly get the credit I deserve. I bought a milling machine without really knowing how to use it and over the course of 6-7 months taught myself how to use it and started creating prototypes. Those prototypes eventually became the Uni-Fit system.

The first clubs I ever designed were putters dating back to the mid 2000s, but in terms of New Level, I know what I am trying to accomplish in design as well as fitting into player categories that comes from my years working at my own shop and fitting golfers from professionals to higher handicaps. Since product is made overseas, the engineers I work with at our factory have done a very good job of helping bring my concepts and designs to fruition. I really enjoy doing the designs and creating something that will one day be in someone’s golf bag.  The only current issue with the success we’re seeing now is if the company continues to push forward we will at some point be forced to bring on an industrial design engineer to further help with product development, but that would be in 2021 as most of our products for next year are in development, or have already been developed.

RB: On that note, how long from having an initial concept to that first set of irons or at least a prototype head in hand?

EB: This is heavily dependant on the complexity of the design. The 4995 HB took almost 9 months to get it where we wanted, whereas the 902 took just about four months. Typically we can get a first article sample of a playable sample in less than 60 days.

RB: When you consider the logistics and tooling involved, that’s quite an impressive turnaround time. From a design perspective, what do you think is the most misunderstood part of creating an iron head and the manufacturing process that you face?

EB: This is a hot topic with me since most people just don’t understand the depth of the manufacturing process. A lot of people think of the term open model (a factory’s in house design produced to create a starting point for some companies), they think we are just stamping our name on a head that is already been refined and finished by someone else which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Like with many aspects of club designs some of the tooling we use are openly available, but for example the raw forged blank head is on average 407 grams on a 6 iron that needs to be designed into a profile that weighs just 262 grams. So as you can imagine a club head overweight by more that 35 percent, it’s far from being a finished product. We call all the shots when it comes to every pertinent parameter and specifications of our design. The only thing incorporated into using this process and something we can’t change is the offset of the club. All other facets of the design are facilitated by my directive and incorporated into the final design.

I chose this method of manufacturing for New Level because it allows a far more flexible range of experimentation before a final design is consummated and brought to market. As a new company starting out it would have been near impossible to use a process similar to other OEMs that create a final tool for each and every design solely based on scale. We had several designs that were not used because they didn’t make the cut when it comes to performance and if we had gone the other route we would have had hundreds of thousands of dollars in tooling alone from products that never saw the light of day.

This process is called the “near net” process, and I find it to be much more in tune with today’s industry. I will take it one step further by saying regardless how good one may be at hand grinding and polishing, a human will never be as consistent and effective as a CNC machine. This entire process allows us to keep our costs reasonable and offer a…uniquely designed, full one-piece forged club for a fair price. There are a lot of other companies using this process you’d just never suspect it.

RB: As a club builder and fitter myself, I have encountered my fair share of misconceptions from golfers, what do YOU feel is the number one thing golfer misunderstand from a design perspective of their clubs?

EB: I can only speak from my experiences, but most golfers are scared of the word “forged” as it has been far too long associated with blades and hard to hit designs. I believe the average weekend warrior still views forged as a design methodology as opposed to a manufacturing process. That is a major objective for New Level to prove that forged clubs can be forgiving, can produce great ball speed, & can be used by your average mid handicap player. Our 1126, for example, is longer from heel to toe, has a shallow profile, and deep undercut – lots of forgiveness for any level of player. From a fitting perspective, I’d say that over 80 percent of players are using shafts that are too heavy, and too stiff for them.

RB:  We’ve talked a lot about the product, and now I need to know – How many retail outlets currently carry your irons and wedges. And lastly, what advantage do you believe New Level irons and wedges have over the competition?

EB: New Level products can be found at roughly 150 locations worldwide and growing almost weekly. If I had my way, we’d never sell another club off the website since I truly believe getting fit by a professional is the best way to get the right set, but saying that as the brand is growing and during the infancy stages, I am trying to get as much product in the field of play as possible to spread brand awareness. We get positive feedback on a daily basis. We have an extensive questionnaire on our site to help those that are not close to one of our retailers, and we also have a lot of people that see our clubs, like what they see and order to their known specs.

As far as our advantages go, I believe it’s pretty simple — being small allows us to pay more attention to each and every client and ensure they are getting the attention that they deserve. The mentality is always to be big enough to make money, yet no matter how we grow, act small and care about every single customer. Currently, we have the care part down very well. My belief is with any business I’ve ever been involved with is that if you do the right thing and stay focused eventually the money will take care of itself. It’s funny because I experience many of the same challenges with New Level as I did with Club Conex early on. Although I am mixed in with a ton of larger players in the golf industry, with New Level I am starting to see our awareness with golfers grow. I hope that this growth continues and we still maintain a great rapport with our customer base.

If you are interested in New Level products check out their website, or call and check with your local club fitter for availability.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “New irons from Mizuno”



Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases new irons that are on the way from Mizuno. Reportedly two years away from being released, but that hasn’t stopped our members from discussing and speculating on the new irons from the Japanese manufacturers.

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.

  • halfsumo: “I told myself no new irons until the new MP line comes out. Chris Voshall on TXG’s youtube said something along the lines that the new irons are “not what you’d typically expect from Mizuno”….”
  • deep18: “The one on the left in the bottom pic kinda looks like a 919 Tour.”
  • BlackM00Nlight: “Bottom picture, iron on the right appears to have a beveled leading edge, CB design, and chrome finish.”

Entire Thread: “New irons from Mizuno”

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Callaway ERC Soft Yellow now part of “Play Yellow” campaign to benefit Children’s Miracle Hospital



Callaway Golf has today announced its ERC Soft Yellow golf ball is part of a new program: Play Yellow.

The Play Yellow campaign is an initiative from Callaway where the company will donate $4 for every dozen ball pack sold of their ERC Soft Yellow golf balls in support of Children’s Miracle Hospital Network (from today until the end of May).

The campaign runs from April 19 to May 31, and speaking on the initiative Callaway President & CEO, Chip Brewer stated

“Callaway Golf is honored to support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals — an outstanding organization — through this Play Yellow initiative. We’re inspired by the golf industry’s broad effort to rally around this important cause and campaign.”

As a recap, the ERC golf ball from Callaway features their Hybrid cover which is designed to create a combination of faster ball speeds for longer distance, softer feel, and higher spin for excellent control around the green. The ball contains a Graphene-infused Dual SoftFast Core which through a larger inner core seeks to maximize compression energy while minimizing driver-spin for high launch and greater distance. The balls also include Triple Track lines for improved alignment.




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19th Hole