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WRX Spotlight: Ping Moonlite

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Dear stand bag,

I love you, I really do. I appreciate all of your features; your wide top, 9 pockets, and your ability to so easily fit on a riding or push cart when needed. But sometimes I need a break, sometimes it feels like even after a whole day spent together we really didn’t get the opportunity to know each other. You do a great job carrying my clubs, but depending on the day & course some of those clubs didn’t even get to enjoy a single swing – they were literally just along for the ride. That’s why I want to let you know that we’re going to have to take a break once & a while, you know, for me to get back to my roots. Sorry stand, it’s not you, it’s me.

I just got a Ping Moonlite.

 

Dramatic, and silly? YES. Honest? You bet!

Weighing in at around two pounds with a double strap, and with enough room for 14 clubs, the Moonlite is a walker’s dream bag. Even at its small streamlined size, the Moonlite is no pushover — in fact, the main strap on the bag is designed to stand up and make it easier to pick it up and get back on your shoulder (Ping thinks of everything). Unlike many of the minimalist bags on the market Ping’s focus is on technology, problem solving, and ease of use – which is essentially their entire design ethos anyway. Everything you need and nothing to weigh it down.

Not to take away from other minimalist bags on the market but coming in at only $100 its also far and away the best value you’re going to find. Not to say other minimalist bags from specialty manufacturers don’t offer something both functional and unique – because they do! But it’s a bit like comparing a well designed extremely functional nylon backpack to a Gucci bag, they hold the same stuff but send two very different messages. When talking about function, features, technology, and value, the Ping is the king of that category — and it’s not even close.

Speaking to the features the MoonLite has a nice list of them to make carrying a breeze

  • 2 Way Top
  • 4 Pockets
  • 10L pocket volume
  • Ergonomic straps
  • Water-resistant valuables / phone pouch
  • Ball, apparel, & water bottle pockets
  • Holds 14 clubs ( with standard and midsized grips easily )
  • Water-resistant belly to keep clubs and grips dry on wet dewy mornings

Water-resistant Valuables pouch

Main storage pocket with extra divider

Secondary strap mechanism – engaged

Secondary Strap removed in seconds – it’s that easy.

My personal stance is that given the opportunity, I would use this bag as my “gamer,” but thanks to some shoulder issues that flare up from time to time (thanks a lot, hockey), I split between the Moonlite and a normal structured stand bag for my push cart (official #PUSHCARTMAFIA team member). The Moonlite easily holds 14 clubs and a few extra shafts (strictly for WRX testing purposes), but I primarily use it when carrying nine clubs or fewer during the afternoon rounds or when I know I’m headed to a shorter course. I like the water-resistant pocket and the easy-to-use system to convert the bag to single strap. As a walker and someone that has a big appreciation for minimalist golf and the <14 clubs movement, this is truly what I want in a “Sunday” style carry bag.

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. painter33

    May 18, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    I’ve had every incarnation of the Moon bag including this one and have loved every one of them. Now 71, I walk and always have. I also had lightweight Ping stand bags but always fill this one with a full set and I’m off and running, so to speak. Tough nylon with plenty of room to stow away jackets and hats as the weather improves on any given day. Best bags I’ve ever had.

  2. walker

    May 18, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Give up the notion that you need a stand. Set yourself free.

  3. Jon

    May 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Ping had a bag around 2 decades ago called the praying mantis that was about this size but had a built in stand, it was by far the best walking bag I had ever used…

    • Dave C

      May 20, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      Jon, the stand was about 6″ long right? It never folded in, but the stand was always there. I agree, this was a great bag.

  4. Bill P

    May 18, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Is one of these steps retractable? Why can’t Ping make some great bags like they used to with the Ping Xtreme, thin, stand bag, plenty of pockets, even one big enough for my 48oz water bottle….oh yeah, comfortable to carry unlike their new bags and a RETRACTABLE STRAP, just please ditch the 8 way divider.

  5. Jonathan

    May 17, 2019 at 6:38 am

    I have the older model I use by choice, it is a sack, that holds clubs. I’m going out for 4 hours not 4 days.

  6. John

    May 16, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    this thing is 2 lbs ?! for an extra 1/2 half lbs, you can get the sun mountain 2.5+. And it has a stand, ball pocket, and more room than this thing can ever dream off.

    • Greg V

      May 17, 2019 at 6:50 am

      I have both the Sun Mountain 2.5 and the Moonlight, and I use both. Love both of them.

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Equipment

Wunder: Titleist TSi driver first impressions

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Three things I want to address before I kick this off.

  1. “Better, best” will not be addressed. It’s never about that these days only what works for me or you.
  2. I’m not adding TrackMan data to this for one simple reason: It doesn’t matter to me for a first impression. I can get lost in the data and ultimately it confuses my ability to just enjoy the sound feel and look of the driver. Obviously, the fitting was on TrackMan, but in the past, successful drivers for me started with the emotional part. Simply, do I like the thing? Can I look at it? Can I trust it? Can I hit shots with it? That’s it.
  3. When I say “spin this” and “spin that,” it’s always addressing a positive aspect.

On Tuesday of this week, I had the good fortune of visiting the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI in Oceanside, California) to do my TSi metal woods fitting. Won’t get too far into that, but essentially it’s golf heaven in every sense of the word. Like TaylorMade’s Kingdom or Callaway’s ECPC, TPI it’s a gearhead paradise.

Titleist Master Fitter Joey Saewitz (@thejoeysaewitz on IG) was my fitter and after hitting a few balls to warm up, we dug into my gamer driver that I adore.

Current Gamer Spec

TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @ 8.5). Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (no tipping) 45 inches, D4, GolfPride BCT 58R

I have been constantly messing with my driver between new shafts, lofts, lie, etc. Since I’ve been playing a bit more this month, I’ve had the chance to work on my swing and the driver has been the last thing to come around. I’m working on decreasing dynamic loft through the bag and have not adjusted my driver to match. The point is, I’m hitting the driver solid but have lost a ton of height and spin to keep it in the air.

I’m saying this now because for key metrics I was at a deficiency because of the craftsman not his tools. The SIM I was fit into was/is excellent. So, as you read on, keep in mind that I knew that numbers-wise apples to apples my setup was vulnerable to getting beat out due to my tinkering.

Thoughts

My average numbers these days are are 105-108 mph swing speed, 155-160 mph ball speed, 14-degree launch, and 1,800-2,000 spin. At 43-years-old, when I’m hitting it solid I get a lot out of my driver. IF I’m swinging well, at my low spin, off days can be nauseating with the driver.

LOOKS

TSi3: If two of my favorite drivers 975D and R7 Superquad TP had a baby, the TSi3 would be it. Its flawless appearance-wise. The heel section gives it an onset look that the faders will love and the top line toe section is a bit rounded off to give it an open look without having to crank it open. Not the first time we have heard that but nonetheless, Titleist nailed it.

The face has a cool matte finish that I can’t get into yet, but it frames a white ball excellently.

TSi2: Like the TS2, it has that high-MOI shape, although I will say the top line and transitions are a bit softer on the eye. It’s a driver that looks like it just wants to go high and far. If I wanted to hit something as hard as I could that’s the shape I would look for.

Side note—the black shafts in the TSi3 are almost too cool to even look at—the closest thing to a Darth Vader golf club I have ever seen.

FEEL/SOUND

This is where they really figured it out. Titleist drivers in the past to my ear sounded good but not great. There was always an essence of ting that I couldn’t fall in love with. The TSi series fixed that in totality, like all the great drivers on the market in 2020 it has that hammerhead thud that I adore. When you crunch it, you literally hear crunch. At impact, however, it has a more compressiony (is that a word?) feel than its competitors. The comparison would be a one-piece forged feel vs a hollow body players iron. Both feel excellent but there is a difference. You can feel the ball squeeze into the face which I think most will notice and respond well to.

PERFORMANCE—Not going to compare it to my gamer as it’s not fair, I gear headed my gamer to the point of lunacy. I will only comment on what the TSi series did while testing.

TSi3: The biggest standout here was usable spin. I am not a high-spin player by any stretch, so if I can find a driver that gets me 2,100-2,200 consistently when I flush it, it’s a contender. For a player at my speed to sneak it out there with the big hitters, I have to launch it at 14 at 1,700 spin, and hope I’m aimed correctly. What I found with the TSi was I was getting that performance at 2,100-2,200, and if anything only giving up 2-3 yards all while doing it 5/10 times as opposed to 2/10.

What does all that jibberish add up to? Consistency and something I can play with. Is it longer than my gamer? I have no idea, but we will find out. What I know is I hit a bunch of really good shots with TSi3, and after I got going with it, it was point and shoot. Stable? Yes. Long? Yes. Forgiving? Yes. Playable? Yes.

TSi2: To be honest I only hit a few with the Tsi2 as its not my genre of music. What I can say is it feels apples to apples with the Tsi3, launches higher with a bit more spin, and goes really straight. No shocker there. The high MOI category has a bunch of contenders, and in my opinion, it’s a head weight game. Heavy is always better for stability.

The setup I landed on

I was fit into the (D4 SureFit setting 9 degrees @ 9.75, flat) however after testing a bit at home on course and range, I landed on the D1 setting, which I like. For whatever reason, I can play Tsi3 at 8.25 and still maintain height spin and it flew about five yards further.

Final setup

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees @8.25, D1 SureFit, 44.5 inches, D4 swing weight)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1)

Overall, the TSi Series drivers will be VERY popular but not for the reasons you would think. It’s playable, you can hit shots with it, that’s the mark of a GREAT golf club. It’s not all ball speeds and carry anymore in my opinion. This is a driver I can go out and play well with, that’s huge for a hack like me. In my experience, I can’t say that about a lot of drivers I’ve tried to make work in the last four to five years. That’s just me. Lots of great drivers every year but I’m a hard case and finding one that’s just right is a challenge.

Ultimately, for me, the best driver on the market is SIM hands down because it performs in the hitting bay and even better on the course—my hunch is Titleist has something that will do the same.

It’s a beautiful driver that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know.

 

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Equipment

GolfWRX Classifieds (9/25/20): Titleist U510, XXIO Red, Tour issue M5 head

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Yenmaster – TaylorMade M5 driver head

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times—if you already have a shaft that you love, buying a driver head is the best way to upgrade and save a few bucks along the way. Is it time for you to trade up?

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: M5 Driver head

Member dansrixon – XXIO X Red Driver

This listing is littered with really cool and rare drivers and fairway woods from Cleveland, Srixon, and XXIO, including the XXIO Red driver looking for a new home.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: XXIO Driver

Member kkennedy – Titleist U510 1-iron

The new U500 series utilities are the fastest and most forgiving Titleist have ever made, so if you are looking for a club to keep the ball out of the wind—here you go!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Titleist 1 Iron

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: Rkelso1984

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of Rkelso1984.

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: Rkelso1984

Rkelso1984WITB

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Max (10.5 degrees, set to 9.25 degrees)
Shaft: Oban Devotion-6 04 Flex 65g

3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rouge 130MSI 70s

5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rouge 130MSI 70s

Hybrid: Titleist TS2 (19 degrees, set to 20.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X Evenflow 6.0S 90g HY

Irons: Mizuno JPX 919 HMP (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper lite 110s

Wedges:  Mizuno JPX 919 (50 degrees), Callaway Jaws (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper lite 110s, KBS Hi-Rev 125s

Putter: Ping Heppler Ketsch (34″)

Putter Grip: Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro 140cc

Golf Ball: Taylormade TP5x PIX

Grips: SuperStroke TX1 Mid + 1 Wrap

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

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