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I caddied for Rory and JVegas - let me tell you about it.


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#271 djfalcone

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:25 AM

View Postjameshar73, on 07 December 2017 - 01:02 PM, said:

Hi
Really great post, have read it a few times already. Are you still hoping to post a hole by hole account - would love to read that if you do

I’ve got about 20 pages so far written - it’s just too much to post right now. I think I’ll keep it a word document and pass it around via email - or make it a book lol.

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#272 Vonex586

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 01:19 PM

Very good read. Thanks!

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#273 jameshar73

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 05:49 PM

Great idea, look forward to reading it whatever you decide.

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#274 Mark_Crossan

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:00 AM

I've finally got round to reading this post and I've thoroughly enjoyed going through this and reading all the info you've shared with everyone.

Any news on the hole by hole? Really looking forward to reading it.

Great work again.

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#275 djfalcone

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:59 PM

The hole by hole is just waaayyyy too long. There is so much to talk about and so much to say. And in all truth - this has lost all steam and doesn't seem that only a few people would read it. If I'm wrong please let me know and I'll finish it up right away!

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#276 Mark_Crossan

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 08:07 PM

I think you'd be surprised.
I think of you post it then everyone will be back reading it because it's fascinating to read about the intersections and inaide knowledge

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#277 spetzle

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:16 PM

Keep at it Marine

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#278 TTURaider

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:17 PM

Id definitely read it!
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#279 djfalcone

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:49 PM

Okay okay!! I'll finish!!
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#280 Kjboisen

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:59 AM

View Postdjfalcone, on 26 August 2017 - 08:02 AM, said:

Some of you guys know me from the BST and many others know me just from lurking around the forum, but today I wanted to share my experience on Wednesday (23 August 2017) at the Northern Trust Open hosted at Glen Oaks in Westbury New York.

I got the opportunity as an active duty service member (Marine) through Birdies for the Brave to caddie for a professional on the 10th hole as many times as I wanted.  I immediately expressed that I wanted to be put out as much as possible and meet as many professionals as I could – and you won’t believe how my day went.

After getting the brief from our point of contact, we were going to find out who we would start caddying for. There were only two spots at the time and the two professionals were Rory and Matt Kuchar.  The other service member (Coast Guard) and I decided we would just tell each other who we would rather go out with, even though either was an incredible opportunity. We both said Rory of course, but I expressed that if nothing else I would like to be there to meet him so I could get a picture for my wife (she’s a big fan). He was nice enough to give me the opportunity since my wife and I are such big fans – thanks dude.

So here I am walking from the Patriots Outpost on my way to literally meet my golfing role model. Of course I felt like I was going on my first date - thinking to myself – “what kind of questions will I ask, is it wrong to ask for a picture, do I just play it cool and act like he hasn’t accomplished so much in the game of golf?” It all subsided when I walked up to the practice green near the 10th tee box at Glen Oaks to meet Harry.

Harry as most of you know is Rory’s lifelong friend and is filling in on the bag until another (if there is one) replacement is found. I introduce myself to Harry while Rory warms up his putting before the round (by the way – new putter in the bag which I was hit on later). We have some small talk, I ask about the warm up and other golf related subjects, before Rory walks up and introduces himself. I extended my hand, played it cool and off to the 10th tee box we went. Once we arrived to the tee box we were also greeted by another 3 caddies who would join us from the Caddie for a Care Foundation (great organization).  We all shook hands and got a quick picture in before the round. I stayed out of the way at first, while one of the other caddies carried the bag as Rory and I walked down the fairway. This is the start of what would 5 full hours (yes, 5 hours of inside the ropes, up close kind of experience) of me picking Rory’s brain and video taping literally every swing of the round.

Now – I know what most of you are thinking, “what the hell did you guys talk about?!” well my friends – as a proud member of this fine golf fanatic forum…I started with equipment questions.  Immediately I had his attention – his eyes lit up like I had just asked an alcoholic if they wanted free booze. He started explaining how he just changed from the .580 Ribbed Multi Compound’s to the Tour Velvet .580 Rounds because, “I felt like the club was too much in my fingers, which ultimately would make it easier for me to lose the club either inside or outside in the take away”. Holy s*** – Rory McIlroy is explaining to me his grip change – oohhh do go on. “I’ve been working really hard on making sure my take away is perfect because if it’s screwed up there you’ll see me have to reroute the club on the downswing” – jaw hints the floor.

By now we’re getting close to his tee shot, when he suddenly changed the subject to me – where I was from, if I played golf, how I liked the military blah blah blah. Rory really wanted – or at least seemed – to know me.  Of course I’m thinking, “hey man, stop talking about me...I want to know why you went to the new putter – why is have a Scotty Cameron Matador grip, how was the transition to the new ball, the wedges…tell me about the wedges!!!”…all in due time my friends. I explain who I am, how I got there and how the opportunity came about.

As we continue to walk down the fairway I try to get Harry involved as well, since he is who I met first. Seriously, what a great guy – Harry was super friendly and didn’t waste any time before starting to bust my balls. What was so cool about this opportunity, at least from my perspective, was to really hear and see what goes on in between shots. These guys were just two friends shooting the s*** and talking about what normal dudes talk about either at the bar or on the links. Yeah yeah, get back to the golf – okay okay.

His second, was a 125ish uphill 2 yard draw to a back left pin (that was just beautiful to watch), lands 6-8 feet from the hole, - okay cool now we have to walk to the shot…more questions. “I noticed you went from the Juno to a Proto Mullen – what made you switch?” Well, he replies, I’ve had it for a while and it resembles the Cameron I was using at the end of last year (of course I know this), which helps in a few areas I was struggling. (holy s*** again, here is arguably one of the most talented golfers to walk the face of the Earth telling me about his putting woes. I’m hooked).

As we approached the green I couldn’t help but remember the instruction given by the Birdies for the Brave contact before I walked to the tee box; “if the player asks you to stick around you are more than welcome to, however do not ask to” – no sooner as the thought goes through my head that my experience is almost over Rory kindly offers the opportunity to walk the entire 18 holes with him. UHHH YEAHHHH! I’m pretty sure I replied before he finished the offer, but hey who cares? He makes birdie and now I can’t help but think; this is so fu^&king cool.

Without going into hole by hole and shot for shot – which I will more than gladly do if you guys are interested – I wanted to share some of the more meaningful stuff – like more equipment, course management, and golf swing questions. A few holes letter we get down to the good stuff – his clubs – in detail. I talk to him about the beautiful RorsProtos – which by the way look even better in person – the driver and the wedges. We talked about the process of trying to figure out which wedges he would put into play and the why that went behind the decision.

I asked very specific questions like, “what are your iron specs” (standard length and 1* upright and swingweight d3), but the conversation really hit a good point when we got to talking about the ball. This was something that you could tell he had strong feelings about. Immediately he prefaced his response with – “I have always played the ProV, but the new ball is just too spiny.” He gave me an example for one of the rounds at the Masters this year. What holes we said I can’t remember, but he explained that two different shots with the same club (8 iron) due to the wind went somewhere around the total distance of 85 yards difference. “How am I supposed to trust a ball that spins like that, I can’t…so I had to find something different”. Now I have played both the TP5X and the new ProV1x, I’m no professional and don’t need to worry about that, but you could tell in his face he was dead serious and wasn’t just talking up the new ball. I won’t go into the detail he told me about the offers between the companies he was considering signing with, but I will tell you when he told me “it was all about the ball” I believed him.

One of the other really cool things that came out of the experience was seeing how involved Rory and Harry were in the yardage book and how much they wanted to explain to me. I remember Rory asking me to chime in now and then to make sure he was doing his job with it. Meticulously – both Rory and Harry would write down each shot and the conditions of each; wind direction, slope, club selection, distance to pitch, trajectory, full shot or not, shape, literally everything.

As we were finishing up the round we got on the conversation of my wife and I. We bought a house in Raleigh – she lives there – while I am stationed in Fort Dix NJ. Rory wanted to know more about what she did, how we meet, and how long we had been married. We had talked about his recent marriage (why his ball is number 22 – the date they got married) and said they just had their 4-month anniversary. That day (the 23rd) I told him that I too was having an anniversary, that Friday (the 25th). My wife and I are celebrating 5 years of being married. He congratulated me and asked if I would make sure I do something special for my wife – we both laughed and then the idea hit me. I didn’t want to ask, but I had to. My wife as I have stated is a BIG fan, and nothing would make her day than having Rory tell her Happy Anniversary.

I tried not to ask Rory for anything, but I had to ask if he felt comfortable recording a quick message for my wife.  He immediately jumped at the opportunity – holding my phone he pressed record and said; “hey Susan, I just wanted to wish you a very happy anniversary and I hope you have a great day”. HOLY s***. Since Wednesday I’m writing this on Friday night, my anniversary and I can tell you my wife FREAKKKKEEDDDD.

There is soooo much more for me to say, but I really want to move in so you guys aren’t reading a novel. I do want to leave with this story by saying – Rory was a genuine guy, he cared about what I had say and never seemed like he wanted to withdraw away from the conversation. I am so thankful he and Harry let me stick around for the full 18 holes and it was an experience I will never forget.

After that experience I call my wife, tell her about some of the experience (but not the video) then head back to the Patriots Outpost for lunch and another spot to caddie. I was given another amazing opportunity to caddie for none other than Jhonattan Vegas. Seriously the day couldn’t get any better.

I was to catch up with Johnny and his caddie Ruben on the 10th tee box – their 10th hole of the day. As I waited on the tee box, Ruben shows up and we immediately hit it off and before we go any further – this guy is hilarious. Pretty much before Johnny arrived to the tee box I had already been invited by Ruben to finish the round with them – another 9 holes – of course I jumped at the chance. Johnny walks up – extends his hand – and Ruben introduces me to Johnny. I’m thinking to myself at this point “today must be a dream, this is so f*(&ing incredible”. Johnny sets up and sends the tee ball into what seemed like outer space and without skipping a beat we were off walking down the fairway. Johnny, Ruben and I begin talking about who I am, where I’m from and the normal small talk to begin a conversation.

If any of you know me, which some of you do, you know I’m not very big – I’m scrawny 5’11” 130 lbs. As soon as I mention I’m a Marine, Ruben (like an old friend would have) starts needling me for being skinny and starts talking smack about me carrying the bag – jokingly of course. I retort, he and I laugh and this is the start of what would be – what was for me – a great round and an even better way to cap off the day. We were paired with other Pro Am partners who mostly stayed in their own bubble, trying to play well in front of the talented J Vegas. The 10th and 11th holes go by pretty quick and we had to wait on the 12th tee.

On the 12th tee box is where we meet Matt. Matt is Johnny’s agent, and we all get to talking about what I do in the Marine Corps. I’m a CH-53E Crew Chief and without going into a lot of detail they all seemed to be genuinely interested in what I did. After hitting his tee shot we start walking down the fairway and I ask Johnny what are the best and worst things about being on tour. Best was the travel and the golf, but the worst was always being away – this was something that both of us could relate to.

That was the second time in the same day where I was really surprised by the way these professionals think and feel. Sure they play golf, but they are away from their families 6 days out of the week and sometimes weeks on end. I had never really thought about it; I always thought it was play golf for s*** loads of money and work one week out of 4 – boy was I wrong. Johnny and Ruben really explained how much hard work and effort goes into performing week in and week out and what kind of toll it takes on not only yourself but also your family – something I know very well.

Johnny, Ruben and Matt really made me feel like I was part of their group. While I know very well I’m not getting invited to Thanksgiving dinner – what Johnny had then explained to me really hit home: “you wouldn’t believe how tough it can be on the golf course (120 acres or more) when the people your are playing with make you feel uncomfortable”. This went on to really show me that the better experience I had, they had. No one wants to play golf with a tool and no one wants to walk 5 miles with a blabbering idiot. Hopefully I was neither.

I carried the bag, cleaned the clubs, help read a putt here and there, talked equipment, but for the most part it was just 4 guys walking the course shooting the s*** while I got the chance to watch one of the best golfers in the world do his thing. Standing behind Johnny while he hit these towering high shots was stunning. His swing looked flawless and the sound of those MP-4’s smacking into one of those Prov1’s made a noise that frankly am not familiar with. Watching his short game was something out of a golfing textbook. All the while, Ruben was like an older brother – there to teach me what he is so successful at doing and making me feel welcome to ask about anything.

One of the things that I asked Johnny was about his equipment – why was he using the Mizunos, why didn’t he stick with those beautiful mp-18’s, what where his specs, was there anything new contract wise he was looking at? All questions he answered in full detail. I don’t feel like it’s my place to talk about his details with companies he is dealing with, but I do think it’s fine to tell you guys – he really likes the MP-18’s and did say he was looking forward to putting them back in play.  

Coming to the end of the round I wanted to thank Johnny, Ruben and Matt for allowing me to tag along, and them all for being so open and willing to entertain my questions. I gave them both a squadron patch as a token of my appreciation. I will forever be a Johnny Vegas fan. As for Ruben, no matter if he is on Johnny’s bag, someone else’s or no longer caddies I will always remember and be a fan of how kind, caring, and humble he was.

Wednesday was probably the best day of my life and it wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the Birdie’s for the Brave program. So even though they aren’t reading this I want to thank all the volunteers that make everything happen. I seriously can’t speak any higher of the men I have tried to give you guys insight into. If by any chance any of you do read this – thank you again for the amazing experience and I will always be a fan.

Dan

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**I wanted to make sure you guys know someone reached out to me after reading this and they wanted to invite me for a round of golf after reading this and I wrote about that as well check it out***

http://www.golfwrx.c...seys-el-dorado/

Definitely worth the read! And thanks for your service btw


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#281 djfalcone

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 10:21 AM

I'm going to the Wells Fargo this Tuesday - hopefully to see if I can stick around either of the guys during the practice round - anyone going?
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#282 SwooshLT

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 10:30 AM

Just found this....awesome read Dan and I'd love a hole by hole commentary!

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#283 djfalcone

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 10:42 AM

View PostSwooshLT, on 28 April 2018 - 10:30 AM, said:

Just found this....awesome read Dan and I'd love a hole by hole commentary!

Thanks Swoosh! I have most of it written, but I'd have to pass it around via email as a PDF. But I am actually writing a short story about how I came to play golf and how it has changed my life. So that has taken up most of it. But I promise I will get it out!
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^^I caddied for Rory and JVegas

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#284 ZAP

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 11:02 AM

Nice write up.  Just put it on google drive and post the link.   20 pages isn't too much.

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#285 mikeh1

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 11:28 AM

Tnx so much for sharing your experience! A great read and hope to see the hole to hole write up here on this great forum...


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#286 djfalcone

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 11:32 AM

View Postmikeh1, on 28 April 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

Tnx so much for sharing your experience! A great read and hope to see the hole to hole write up here on this great forum...

View PostZAP, on 28 April 2018 - 11:02 AM, said:

Nice write up.  Just put it on google drive and post the link.   20 pages isn't too much.

You guys are the best - I'll get it up here one way or another.
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^^I caddied for Rory and JVegas

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#287 Jackhammer993

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 06:15 AM

Thank you for sharing your experience. Out of all the players on tour I prefer Rorys communication style and nothing you said about him suprised me but definitely confirmed what I felt. I was thrilled at the AT&T to get pictures with Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson but your experience is at an entirely different level. I would be walking on air. Thank you again for putting us inside the ropes and thank you for your service.

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#288 neilcsd

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 12:37 PM

Oorah devil dog - great story (thanks for sharing, just found it and really enjoyed it) and I'm so happy for you that you got to experience it!  I admit that after reading about your day with Rory and JV and then your day at OYCC I'm about the color of your BDUs.  =)

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#289 djfalcone

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 01:19 PM

View Postneilcsd, on 01 May 2018 - 12:37 PM, said:

Oorah devil dog - great story (thanks for sharing, just found it and really enjoyed it) and I'm so happy for you that you got to experience it!  I admit that after reading about your day with Rory and JV and then your day at OYCC I'm about the color of your BDUs.  =)

Haha well thanks for taking the time to check it out! So far the coolest thing is JV and his caddie Ruben. These guys are top notch - I can't say enough good things about them.
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^^I caddied for Rory and JVegas

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#290 jmck

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 01:09 PM

If you're getting a list together of folks who would love to be emailed the file once you're finished with it please add me.  Thanks!


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#291 RH2

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 08:00 AM

View Postjmck, on 10 May 2018 - 01:09 PM, said:

If you're getting a list together of folks who would love to be emailed the file once you're finished with it please add me.  Thanks!

^^ this

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#292 Anser

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:14 AM

Always cool seeing dudes who deserve something awesome like this due to their willingness to lay it on the line.
TM M4 D-Type 9.5 - Tour AD IZ 7s
TM M4 3HL, 5 HL, Tour AD IZ 7s
Cleveland Hibore Xli 3,4,5
TM 790 6-AW, Project X LZ 6.0
Cleveland RTX 54/58
TaylorMade HiToe 64
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#293 tombong

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 01:58 PM

great story and thanks for your service!

23

#294 CasualLie

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 03:26 PM

Wow...how did I miss this the first time around...

Great post, great story, one of the best golf experiences I have read.

Thank you for your service and taking the time to share.

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#295 blink3665

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 03:51 PM

I read this when you first posted it, and it's still a great read.  

Please let me know when you get that hole by hole document up.  I'd love to read it!

Taylormade TI M4 9.5* / White Tie 55g Stiff
Taylormade M3 HL MFS5 White Tie 60S -0.75" (42.5")
Taylormade M4 19* UST Proforce V2h R -0.5" (40.25")
Taylormade M4 22* UST Proforce V2h R -0.5" (39.75")
Srixon 545 - 5-PW - 2* flat - Modus3 120s - Best Grips Classic
Cleveland RTX4 49/54* mid, 58* xlow  -0.75" - 2* flat
TM Hi Toe 58* 2* flat
Slighter Proto 1 - #9/Del Mar design - High Toe - Long neck - Deep Milled face - 33", 370gr, lie 71*, loft 4*
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25

#296 Andrew M

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 11:16 AM

View Postblink3665, on 25 May 2018 - 03:51 PM, said:

I read this when you first posted it, and it's still a great read.  

Please let me know when you get that hole by hole document up.  I'd love to read it!

+1!
PING G Series Driver 9* -- Grafalloy Bimatrix Tour Prototype | 44.75"
PING G Series 3w 14.5* -- Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 7.1 | length -1"
Srixon U45 Driving Iron 18*
PING iBlades 4-PW ------- Nippon Modus3 105 .75" upright "pink dot" | length +1/2"
PING Glide 52* SS; 58* TS
Callaway MD3 PM-Grind 64*

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26

#297 djfalcone

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 04:07 PM

Bump

Edited by djfalcone, 05 August 2018 - 06:57 PM.

PXG 0811X
PXG 0341
PXG 0317
PXG 0311T 4-PW
PXG 0311 50/54/60
Custom Byron
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