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3-piece vs 4-piece ball. Still confused


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#1 clubber

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 11:39 AM

I have read topics and searched. I think I am in love with four piece balls vs 3 piece and don't know why. Dean snell or anyone please pitch in here (I have watched the videos he has produced as well). Played snell prior to Kirkland and think my love for the Kirkland may be due to four piece va three piece. In the past I liked srixon xm more than z stars. V1x more than v1. Swing speed (100-105) with the driver made me try to stay away but definitely felt that the balls previously mentioned suited me better. Is this possible?  Why?  The difference is slight in my opinion with any urethane ball but I felt this way before realizing which balls were three piece vs four. Most specifically I guess is green side spin and irons as much as anything.

Edited by clubber, 28 September 2017 - 03:00 PM.


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#2 playa

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 03:42 PM

From my very limited understanding of ball tech, layers are about spin separation. By having multiple layers of varying hardness, ball makers can produce balls that have low spin long game and high spin short game characteristics. So in theory a 4 piece should have a larger spin separation than a 3piece. But again, I'm no expert.

Edited by playa, 28 September 2017 - 03:48 PM.


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#3 Barnacle

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 05:28 PM

I don't notice much of a difference between 3, 4, or even 5 piece balls on my driver, "woods" or longer irons. All the balls are marketed as being low spin off the driver and longer irons and then more spin off the short irons and chip shots. I really notice the difference on chip shots, both off the short grass and the fringe. Not as much roll out with more cores which allows me to place my shots a little closer to the hole. These are just my personal opinions and the opinions of a sales rep for titleist. So take it as you will.

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Edited by Barnacle, 28 September 2017 - 05:33 PM.


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#4 MBBG

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 10:11 PM

4 piece do tend to offer slightly better spin separation and generally a firmer feel vs 3 piece.

On the other hand, the gradational core technology found in the Bridgestone and Srixon Tour balls essentially do the work of a dual-core type ball without having distinct layers.
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#5 monks66

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 05:24 AM

what is this spin seperation...who made this word up?


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#6 Golfer827

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 05:33 AM

If I have the idea correct:

Spin Separation would be as they said. Lower spin off longer clubs and higher spin in the scoring clubs.

I think it would mean since when you swing different clubs you have different swing speeds, which could mean different portions of the ball are used within a shot. Thus, when you lay into it with the driver, the compression from the angle of attack causes lower spin, yet when you attack with an iron or wedge, the compression from that angle of attack and loft you deliver to the ball causes a different spin reaction.

I'm probably missing 50 other pieces of information, but I hope that's a good generalization.
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#7 MBBG

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 02:35 PM

View Postmonks66, on 29 September 2017 - 05:24 AM, said:

what is this spin seperation...who made this word up?

The best Tour balls, as a product of their design, offer the biggest delta between low driver/long iron spin, and high short iron and wedge spin. They’re the closest to a “no compromise” ball.

On the other hand, you have your cheap surlyn covered balls that are low spin across the board.  They don’t really have any spin separation.

The soft 3 piece urethane like B330RX and Q Star tour etc tend to give up a bit of short iron and wedge spin compared to a ProV1x or Z Star etc, making them a bit of a ‘tweener when it comes to performance. Which is why I like the RX so much. Low spin and straight off driver, and just the right amount of spin on shorter clubs and around the green. As a steep swinging high spin player, it offers me the best of both worlds.

Edited by MBBG, 29 September 2017 - 02:36 PM.

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#8 deetsal

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:38 PM

3vs4vs5vs6......looking for the holy grail of balls, that is low driver spin and high wedge spin.

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#9 BrianL99

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.

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#10 lil'mike

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 09:17 PM

View PostBrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.

That is probably true!  I play the Chrome Soft which happens to be a 4 piece ball but personally I don't care how many pieces it is.  I play it cause I like the way it plays for me and my game or lack of so if it was the same ball and had 2 or 3 piece I would play it!  :)


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#11 Jdavenp3

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:04 PM

View Postlil, on 29 September 2017 - 09:17 PM, said:

View PostBrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.

That is probably true!  I play the Chrome Soft which happens to be a 4 piece ball but personally I don't care how many pieces it is.  I play it cause I like the way it plays for me and my game or lack of so if it was the same ball and had 2 or 3 piece I would play it!  :)

Absolutely, I play the Chrome Soft just because it has fit me better than anything else. A large part of why I play it is because I love the Truvis patterns and it is very predictable around the greens for me. If it was one piece I wouldn't care.
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#12 lil'mike

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 11:56 PM

View PostJdavenp3, on 29 September 2017 - 10:04 PM, said:

View Postlil, on 29 September 2017 - 09:17 PM, said:

View PostBrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.

That is probably true!  I play the Chrome Soft which happens to be a 4 piece ball but personally I don't care how many pieces it is.  I play it cause I like the way it plays for me and my game or lack of so if it was the same ball and had 2 or 3 piece I would play it!  :)

Absolutely, I play the Chrome Soft just because it has fit me better than anything else. A large part of why I play it is because I love the Truvis patterns and it is very predictable around the greens for me. If it was one piece I wouldn't care.

Yeah the Truvis is sweet.  I either play the yellow CS's or the yellow/black CS's.  :)

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Edited by lil'mike, 29 September 2017 - 11:58 PM.


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#13 joergensen

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 11:24 AM

If more layers are better, we should all be playing Maxfli U/6.

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#14 MBBG

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 10:05 PM

View PostBrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.

V1x is more popular on tour and is 4 piece, has more spin separation
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#15 thug the bunny

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 10:18 PM

I have never even kept track of the number of layers in balls. I do know there is a world of different between urethane covers and surlyn (are there any other cover materials?).

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#16 Awesomeguy887

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 10:26 PM

To make it even more confusing sometimes the 4th piece is an extra mantle layer and sometimes a dual core.  Like the OP I'm pretty clueless what difference it all makes.  It's tough to separate the marketing from the science.
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#17 playa

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:30 AM

View PostBrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.
I thought the ProVx (4 piece) is the most popular tour ball.  I know amongst low cap titleist players I see the x is almost always the ball of choice.

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#18 BrianL99

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 09:07 AM

View Postplaya, on 01 October 2017 - 05:30 AM, said:

View PostBrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.
I thought the ProVx (4 piece) is the most popular tour ball.  I know amongst low cap titleist players I see the x is almost always the ball of choice.

Approximately 40% of Titleist Brand Ambassadors on the various PGA Tours, play the V1 (3 piece ball).

http://www.titleist....players?page=12

If it's good enough for 40% of the guys who play golf for a living and get unlimited free golf balls, it should be good enough for most guys on WRX.

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#19 xreyuk

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 12:58 PM

Dean Snell touched on this on his Q&A video that he did.

He said that the only reason to add another layer to a 3 piece ball is to try and get it do solve a problem for certain golfers, or to get it to behave differently around the greens. He used Jim Furyk as an example, where he mentioned that Furyk could hit a 4 piece ball fine until he got to a long iron, and all of a sudden the ball flight went crazy.

He also mentions that between most 3 piece, 4 piece, 5 piece balls, there is very little difference in distance, and you should pick your ball based on how you can make it behave from 100 yards in.

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#20 clubber

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:26 AM

View PostBrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.

I think this statement goes away from my point.  I love trying different balls and realized after the ksig love that for years I preferred mostly four piece balls (srixon xv, v1x) over the other three piece option (zstar, MTB, v1). To me this didn't make sense because I am not I high swing speed player (100~ driver swing speed). I am not a high spin player either but without a doubt like those balls more and just wondered what people's thoughts are as to why.  If the three piece option is clearly the best then why would dean snell invest the time and money to develop a four piece ball option?  

I have looked at some witb posts with less powerful tour players (David toms for example) and they are playing a v1x while some much "stronger players" are using a v1 which I thought was strange then and now. Would like to learn what subtle reason exists that this occurs. I'm sure it is a feel thing but still wonder why.

And let me be clear. I play some left over Zstars and prov1s and they are fine. there still is something I like about what has turned out to usually be the four piece option and am trying to figure out why.


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#21 North Butte

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:49 AM

Your confusion comes from buying into (presumably) some sort of marketing gobbledegook about golf ball construction. Or maybe second-hand gobbledegook you've read in forums like this one.

Golf balls are built to meet certain performance targets. Different manufacturers might build a ball to the same performance target having 3, 4 or 5 pieces. Not to mention all the variations on "dual mantle" vs. "two-piece core" vs. "gradient core" and so forth. The number of pieces is just one of dozens of choices they make when designing a golf ball.

Your noticing that a lot of balls you've liked happened to have 4 pieces is just happenstance. You might just as easily noticed your favorites all have more than 400 dimples or they are all made of TPU instead of cast urethane. You can't deduce how well you're going to like (or not) a ball you haven't tried by reading the marketing bumpf on the back of the box.

Edited by North Butte, 02 October 2017 - 08:49 AM.

Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#22 Matt J

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:34 AM

Construction and materials are a big trade secret in the golf ball industry, so the consumer being confused is the goal.  The hope is that you become loyal to one ball, not that you figure out how to shop for the least expensive option that still performs.

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#23 clubber

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:52 AM

 North Butte, on 02 October 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

Your confusion comes from buying into (presumably) some sort of marketing gobbledegook about golf ball construction. Or maybe second-hand gobbledegook you've read in forums like this one.

Golf balls are built to meet certain performance targets. Different manufacturers might build a ball to the same performance target having 3, 4 or 5 pieces. Not to mention all the variations on "dual mantle" vs. "two-piece core" vs. "gradient core" and so forth. The number of pieces is just one of dozens of choices they make when designing a golf ball.

Your noticing that a lot of balls you've liked happened to have 4 pieces is just happenstance. You might just as easily noticed your favorites all have more than 400 dimples or they are all made of TPU instead of cast urethane. You can't deduce how well you're going to like (or not) a ball you haven't tried by reading the marketing bumpf on the back of the box.

I think my experience is actually the opposite of your point. One of the reasons I have tried so many of the Zstar/prov1 balls is BECAUSE marketing mumbojumbo directed me to those balls. and I for years still ended up liking the ball for "higher spin/swing speed" players. Reading these threads made me wonder after going through this...not before. And I clearly understand the layers are one of many marketing/manufacturing options that may or may not be important. I referred initially to someone like dean snell (for input) who had real knowledge about this unlike myself and you and many others who are largely uninformed because I wonder. Plain and simple.

Hearing that snell was developing a four piece ball made me start this thread because I do NOT consider him as market motivated as larger brands but could be wrong. I like the mtb just fine as well as most urethane 3 piece balls but simply would like input from people as to a real reason why they make them. May be just marketing or similarly impossible for us to understand like dimple configuration but hope there is a person with some real knowledge out there to tell me.

We could all play any quality urethane ball and likely not miss a beat...but then golfwrx would be shut down and what would be the fun there!

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#24 North Butte

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 09:56 AM

Dean Snell pretty much explained it in about 25 seconds of the video you previously mentioned. Certain highly specific bits of fine-tuning of a ball's performance occasionally require adding a layer but in his experience that is nothing meaningful to golfers short of a Tour player.

Buy hey, you like what you like. Buying based on the number of layers is no more or less reasonable than buying because of the brand name, the color or the list of players who endorse it.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#25 clubber

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:00 AM

All true. . I will email him direct because it just makes me wonder why he is coming out with the four piece. And I of course will be completely shattered when I prefer the original mtb:)


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#26 North Butte

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:01 AM

I'd imagine if he does start selling a 4-piece ball it's because there are so many people who won't buy a 3-piece one!
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#27 clubber

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:08 AM

 North Butte, on 02 October 2017 - 10:01 AM, said:

I'd imagine if he does start selling a 4-piece ball it's because there are so many people who won't buy a 3-piece one!

Ha!  For another forum close by but was fully mtb for a year and a half til my Costco shopping led me down a different rabbithole. Really wish there could be a credible story about what that ball is from. And all this time invested in mostly srixon,snell and Mia ksigs hasn't left me enough time for chrome soft and Bridgestone  experimentation!

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#28 rainkingjr

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:20 AM

 North Butte, on 02 October 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

Your confusion comes from buying into (presumably) some sort of marketing gobbledegook about golf ball construction. Or maybe second-hand gobbledegook you've read in forums like this one.

Golf balls are built to meet certain performance targets. Different manufacturers might build a ball to the same performance target having 3, 4 or 5 pieces. Not to mention all the variations on "dual mantle" vs. "two-piece core" vs. "gradient core" and so forth. The number of pieces is just one of dozens of choices they make when designing a golf ball.

Your noticing that a lot of balls you've liked happened to have 4 pieces is just happenstance. You might just as easily noticed your favorites all have more than 400 dimples or they are all made of TPU instead of cast urethane. You can't deduce how well you're going to like (or not) a ball you haven't tried by reading the marketing bumpf on the back of the box.

Nailed it.

As for Snell developing a 4 piece ball. I'd chalk it up to just offering another option with slightly different characteristics.
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Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges 50SS, 54SS and 58SS AWT 2.0
Ping Scottsdale TR ZB S 35"
Snell MTB Black

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#29 Mathwiz

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:07 PM

Sometimes golf is confusing.
2017 Taylormade M1@10.5° Fujikura Speeder 661 Evo III Stiff
Callaway Big Bertha 3W
Adams a4OS 3 hybrid
Taylormade Speedblades 4 thru SW
Taylormade Tour Preferred 60°
Callaway 2 ball center shaft

All subject to change in the blink of an eye (and I blink a lot)

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#30 rymail00

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:45 PM

 BrianL99, on 01 October 2017 - 09:07 AM, said:

 playa, on 01 October 2017 - 05:30 AM, said:

 BrianL99, on 29 September 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:

Titleist Pro V1 is a 3 Piece ball and the vast majority of PGA Tour players, feel "3 pieces" is enough.

Of course, this is WRX.  The golfers we have here, need 4 or 5 piece balls to take full advantage of their talent.
I thought the ProVx (4 piece) is the most popular tour ball.  I know amongst low cap titleist players I see the x is almost always the ball of choice.

Approximately 40% of Titleist Brand Ambassadors on the various PGA Tours, play the V1 (3 piece ball).

http://www.titleist....players?page=12

If it's good enough for 40% of the guys who play golf for a living and get unlimited free golf balls, it should be good enough for most guys on WRX.


Yeah if I remember correctly from our Pro V1 trip, the the new/current gen the X is close to has it's always been, but now the V spins less than current or previous X. So now the V keeps the lower launch  (compared to the X which always launched higher but spun less), and now spins less off the driver, but still has the V feel. Personally it's now the best of both worlds, launch, spin, feel IMHO.

Plus the new gen is SUPER durable. If the ball doesn't see a cart path or a tree they can last 2 rounds.

As far as 3 vs. 4 layers...it could just be that style of playing characteristics fits you better which general may be a lower spinning urethane ball, but hard say (again dimple patternwill affect it more than anything I'd assume). I know at Titleist they said they've tried 3,4,5,6 and maybe even 7 layers but the benefits were not there.

I guess I'd say just play what works, and leave possible marketing out of it (although hard cuz it's a strong thing in golf).

rymail00 2018 WITB   http://www.golfwrx.c...witb-pic-heavy/

TM M1 430 8.5* Tour Issue w/ Tensei CK Pro White 70s (with high gloss SLDR finish from Continental Golf)
Titleist 917 F3 15* D+ 80s
Titleist 915H 21* D+ 90s
Titleist 915H 24* D+ 90s
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Odyssey 7s (current gamer)  - Ping Scottsdale TR B60 - TP Mills Heritage 349g - Byron Morgan DH11 360g - Byron Morgan 006 355g - C&L 368g

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