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WRX Spotlight: Stitch SL2 bag

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Founded in 2011, Stitch Golf has been making some of the highest quality and most popular accessories in the game. From head covers to personal travel bags, the company philosophy of “it’s all in the details” shines through with all of the products.

The latest creation is the all-new SL2 carry bag — Stitch is calling it “the perfect walking bag.” After taking the SL2 out for a few spins around the course, it’s hard to argue with them. What you also notice right away is the styling screams Stitch.

When I spoke with CEO Brad King, we talked about how much focus they put into every detail beyond just the functionality.

“The SL2 is modeled to look just like our tour bag, except a lot lighter and obviously easier to carry for the weekend golfing warrior,” King said. “Also, like a lot of our product,s it takes color cues from racing, which is why Stitch blue, orange, and navy are prominent.”

Brad used the term “golfing warrior” a few times in our discussion, and he said it epitomizes the idea of someone who takes their golf seriously, walks, maybe even plays 36 a day, and wants functionality from their golf bag — while also looking extremely sharp.

You can tell this is a Stitch bag from across the range, or a few holes over on the course, which means from a styling perspective “mission accomplished.”

So, about that functionality…

As a walker, there are certain key features I want in a bag to even consider it, but those features can vary depending on how and when I plan to use the bag (having a couple of golf bags is a luxury, I know). If it’s a small Sunday bag, then a limited space, single strap design with a few small yet functional pockets, is all I really need. If we’re talking a full-blown tournament or travel option, extra space for rain gear, gloves, range finder and all the other goodies including a double strap is almost a must…plus it has to fit easily on both a pushcart and riding cart.

The Stitch SL2 skews right in the middle and here’s why: It’s just about perfect

  • Comes in right a 4lbs
  • Minimal yet well designed pockets hold more than enough gear for 18 holes or more.
  • It’s almost completely water resistant thanks to Stitch’s Touring Fabric, a proprietary product used in all their bags that has the strength of leather, but is more durable & wear resistant. It also feels extremely sturdy.
  • Large, well-padded top easily holds 14 clubs and doesn’t “mush” you putter cover up (HUGE pet peeve of mine)
  • Straps that can be configured for both single or double use. It comes with both options stock and is easily interchangeable thanks to the pinch clips.

Ball Pocket and Zippered Water Bottle pouch

Velvet lined pocket to hold a watch or valuables

Base sits almost flush and is very stable – never noticed clubs getting tangled

I told you the top was BIG

Now I realize you don’t come to GolfWRX for fluff pieces, you come for honesty, and I wouldn’t be doing my job without pointing out a few things that could be improved on, as nitpicky as they might be.

  • The bag sits a little upright. If you have to place it on a side hill you just have to take an extra moment to make sure it’s balanced before letting it go (not a huge deal).
  • The rain hood (which is AWESOME and matches the bag) is bulky, and if you do cram it into the large side pouch it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. It means really planning ahead if you think you’ll be playing in wet weather. BUT on the other hand, I think I’ve used a rain hood twice in the last 5 years (I don’t normally carry one anyway), so this is in NO way a deal breaker.
  • Limited padding where the bag rests against your back. Personally, I don’t find this a big deal since most bags in the minimalist category have very little padding if any, but in the spirit of a full breakdown its just part of making sure I point out everything I noticed while testing it. The fabric used is so thick it still made it comfortable to carry for 18 holes.

Overall the Stitch SL2 really is a wonderful bag. The styling is top notch, the fabrics and build quality are premium, and every touchpoint screams high-end and built-to-last. The best way to sum up the SL2 is to compare it to a sporty coup roadster: stylish, light, fun, fast, functional, and something others will notice. The trunk isn’t enormous, but it’s not meant to be. It holds everything you really need, plus a couple of extras,  and considering how much fun you have making corners in this car (or making birdies carrying the bag), at the end of the day, you’re going to enjoy the heck out of it.

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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.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Jordan

    Jun 28, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Nice ferrules. Where can I make my MP18s look like that? Any custom ferrule companies better than others?

  2. RJ

    Jun 27, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Love the style of the SL1 bag, but the GIANT branding on the SL2 makes it an easy pass for me. I understand they want people to know it’s their bag, but what made the SL1 great was the clean, simple style. That’s been lost with the aggressive branding.

  3. Cdub

    Jun 26, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    They are out of their minds with their pricing. It’s really unfortunate as they make great stuff.

  4. Kevin shiel

    Jun 26, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Get rid of the massive logo and white, pale colour doesnt last on the course.

    • Turbo Ned

      Jun 27, 2019 at 8:36 pm

      You can get one without the logo from a grassroots shop. My club has them with the club logo instead or can order without anything as well.

  5. Karl

    Jun 26, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Wish they were cleaner (less branding) like the SL1.

  6. Mark

    Jun 26, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    @ $368 no thanks

    • JP

      Jun 26, 2019 at 5:53 pm

      Nice simple bag. Looks to be great quality. But I agree. $368 is way too much. There are too many other options for that much or quite a bit less. If this was priced around $250, I’d order one right now.

      • The dude

        Jun 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm

        Really…~$100 is keeping you from buying something you want?

        • pdq

          Jun 26, 2019 at 7:42 pm

          Not 100% its more like ~ 40% more expensive. In what market is 380 for a bag even cheap?

        • JP

          Jun 26, 2019 at 7:44 pm

          Not “keeping” me from buying, just makes me want to spend it elsewhere. Like a Ping Hoofer for less. I just don’t see enough value to justify $368. I may want it, but not that much.

        • brian

          Jun 28, 2019 at 10:43 am

          You could play 2 rounds or 1 round at a really nice course for that $100.

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Equipment

Today from the Forums: “Favorite Miura iron of all time?”

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Today from the Forums, we take a look at a discussion on Miura irons. Asked by moorebaseball which Miura irons are their favorite, our members go into detail on just why they love the model they do, with a variety of the brand’s irons receiving some love.

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.

  • bvanlieu: “CB57 was a good looker when I hit them, but I like the CB1008 a tad more in the looks department and felt a smidge more forgiving to me. Never got to hit them but MC501’s seem to blend with the MBs nicely, great top line. I can’t stop hitting my CB’s this winter on range/sim just yummy. Baby Blades tend to get the vote for best looking from the many commenters I have seen. I agree they are good to look at and feel well, Miura like. I just like me some forgiveness for my low/mid cap game.”
  • speeder757: “Tournament Blade All Day Every Day.”
  • pearls24: “I don’t know about best ever, but the MB101 is awesome. Way better for me than the 501’s due to less offset. I loved everything about the 501’s except couldn’t get past the offset in the shorter irons. 101’s setup perfect behind the ball.”
  • EaglesGolf99: Baby Blades, CB•57s, CB•1008s, and CB•301s.That’s my personal Top 4. Interested to see what the TB Zero turns into in the Global Line!”
  • vmann: “I’ve played baby blades 5-p for the last year and a half. I absolutely love the look and feel. Just got the 3 and 4 iron to match. Can’t wait for the snow to clear to check them out. I haven’t played any other Miuras, so obviously, bb’s are my favorite. I highly recommend.”

Entire Thread: “Favorite Miura iron of all time?”

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Confessions of a gear junkie in Korea: My new Ballistic Golf irons

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As an avid golfer and a self-professed equipment junkie, few things in life are better than discovering a piece of shiny new golf gear that brings a smile to my face and a dent to my wallet. And in Korea, where outpacing the Joneses is a national pastime, one has to be vigilant to stay ahead of the crowd.

To onlookers, most Korean golfers might come across as posers who seem more interested in looking good than playing well. It is not unusual for a set of clubs and golf bag to exceed $10K, and the 500-plus custom golf fitting studios across the country are our playground.

The colorful world of Korean golf.

Searching for the latest and greatest

The equipment and fashion we use and wear here will probably make most golfers in the Western hemisphere question our masculinity. But as the saying goes, “When in Gangnam…”

Koreans have a word to describe this expensive affliction, called “Jang-bi-byung.: It translates into “equipment-itis.”

I’m sure that such an insatiable desire for the latest and greatest gear isn’t limited only to Koreans, but I’d wager it affects a lot more of us than in most golfing countries.

And our scope of search isn’t limited only to this side of the world either.

Ballistic Golf MB proto iron heads – bullets and ball not included.

Meet Ballistic Golf, a fledgling golf brand hailing out of Iowa. And if the initial reactions from my friends are any indication, it may well be the next “it” brand for many Korean golfers.

Love at first sight

Back in mid-December, I was scouring the internet, as usual, looking for that special something when I first came across the Ballistic Forged MB irons.

I was immediately won over by the universal language of the classic muscleback—the name and logo instantly resonated with me.

I’d like to say I did the due diligence and carefully weighed the pros and cons of owning these beauties. But the truth is, I didn’t.

Luckily, the price of the clubs was lower than initially expected, thanks to the DTC (direct-to-consumer) model, and I soon became a proud owner of a set of MB irons (5-PW) and two bad-ass looking Covert wedges (52, 56).

After arranging for the clubheads to be delivered to Korea, I reached out to chat with Kyle Carpenter, founder and CEO of Ballistic.

Here’s what he had to say about the brand

“Ballistic Golf launched in July 2019, but I’ve been focused on the idea of starting the company for quite a while. The name was chosen because one definition of ballistic is ‘of or relating to the science of the motion of projectiles in flight.’ And that fits golf so perfectly. My main goal was to design clubs that golfers could perform with, while also keeping a classic look and feel to them.

“Confidence is a major key to good play on the golf course. At Ballistic Golf, we feel that our clubs radiate that feeling right from when you open the package to when you take your first swings. Players irons require confidence and consistency to play well with them, and having irons with a sleek minimalist design and surprisingly good feel on slight mishits, gives you that confidence.

“Wage War on Par’ is our mantra. We really wanted people to have the feeling that they can go out and kick par’s ass. So we made a club that looks and feels great and build on the confidence it gives you to execute the shots you know in your mind that you can hit.”

The hard pelican case and the Ballistic Golf dog tag were a great touch!

A match made in fitting heaven

Long before they arrived, I was snooping around various fitting shops in anticipation, looking through the many options of shafts. My goal was to find shafts that would best suit my game, while at the same time, elicit oohs and aahs from those who have yet to discover the brand.

After an in-depth fitting session with Jay Chung, a master club fitter with over 20 years’ experience, I had decided on Fujikura MCI graphite shafts. I was looking to try something lighter than my usual True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts, as I have struggled with elbow pain over the summer.

Jay Chung, master fitter at Fujikura center in Gangnam, Seoul.

During the club-making process, the first thing I noticed was how meticulous he was in preparation. After measuring every component from clubhead, to shaft, and grip, he proceeded to walk me through various factors and that can affect a club from performing at its optimum. He left nothing to chance and wrote everything down on a spec sheet that would be saved on file for my future fittings.

In the end, I was holding one of the finest-looking set of clubs I have ever owned.

The first Ballistic Golf irons in Korea—mission accomplished!

Ballistic performance

My efforts were rewarded with the appropriate amount of praise from friends and begrudging envy from the Joneses. But now it was time to put these beauties to the test.

The clean club head looks great at address, checking all the requisite boxes for a traditional muscle-back blade. Made from forged 1020 carbon steel, the heads are compact with a thin top line and sole. The progressive blade length is optimized throughout the set, and the reduced offset and classic loft make these clubs a true player’s iron.

I am by no means a superb ballstriker, but it wasn’t difficult to find the sweet spot with the new irons. Even for off-center strikes, the ball traveled farther than expected with immediate feedback. The MCI 80 stiff graphite shaft complimented the head and helped to absorb the vibrations from off-center hits.

7-irons comparison on indoor screen golf simulator

The numbers from the first simulator trials were quite comparable to my current gamer (Yonex N1MB with Matrix Ozik 70R graphite shaft), which is fitted with regular flex shafts a 1/2 inch longer.

The look and feel of any club are subjective, but the Ballistic irons felt great in my hands. At impact, it felt as if the ball stayed a fraction longer on the face, then rocket off with a soft yet firm feel and a pleasing sound.

I later compared both clubs on a TrackMan, and although I don’t have the pictures, the launch numbers and overall distance were much closer to my gamer. I attributed the improved performance to becoming more familiar with the new irons and shafts.

The Covert wedges performed as well as they looked. The cast head is made from 8620 carbon steel and framed the ball squarely at address. The sole design is designed for a variety of shot-making options around the green, and the laser-etched micro-grooves reminded me of Cleveland’s RTX-4 wedge.

The Patriot wedge has the same specs as the black Covert wedge and features a satin finish with an American flag etched on the back of the head.

Specs and price

So far, the design and presentation of the clubs were more than enough to draw the attention of everyone who saw them. The pairing of the club heads with the graphite MCI shafts continue to produce good numbers, and I can see them being in my bag for the start of the season.

The best feature aside from the eye-catching design was the price. A set of MB proto irons (4-PW) with KBS Tour steel shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips is priced at $749, and each wedge is available at $109.

When I inquired about his plans to add new club models, Kyle said he will focus only on the MB irons and the two types of wedges (RH only) for the time being; to keep things simple and traditional.

For more information, visit Ballistic.golf

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Today from the Forums: “Best sand-specific wedge?”

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Today from the Forums, we take a look at a discussion on sand-specific wedges. Alpha3 is on the hunt for a forgiving wedge for bunker play, and our members have been talking about what they have found to be the most effective wedges from the sand.

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.

  • harricli: “I play mostly desert golf with terrible sand; however, I have an old 64 degree sm5 Vokey that is about as automatic as possible out of a bunker. It goes in the bag if I’m playing anywhere that has real bunkers.”
  • nphillips0613: “Hi-Toe is great out of sand. I haven’t tried it but look into the Bigfoot hi Toe. 15° of bounce has to make it easier to get out of sand.”
  • Lepatrique: “The best place to start is a high bounce wedge. They tend to be much more forgiving from most bunkers, for most players. Low bounce wedges are great if you’re trying to nip a high shot off of a firm lie in the fairway, but tend to dig a bit in bunkers. I would recommend finding a couple high bounce wedges and seeing what you like the look/feel of best.”
  • uglande: “Depends on conditions. I like a low bounce, high loft club for firm sand (mostly what I play) and have a Vokey 62 in an M grind (8 bounce) for that. But for versatility, I would say take more bounce and keep loft high — like a 56-58 degree D grind Vokey (12 degrees bounce). That’s a great club from bunkers and plenty of bounce for full shots as well.”
  • BCULAW: “K Grind was easiest for me out of the sand. I used a little different technique with it, where, instead of splashing the ball out, I would turn the leading edge down a little almost like a chip. Ball came out fluffy and soft. Easy as pie.”

Entire Thread: “Best sand-specific wedge?”

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