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What brand would you play?

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In a famous lecture by Alan Watts, a British writer and philosopher (among other things), he asks his audience “What would you do if money were no object.”

His question was posed to invoke deep spiritual thoughts about the meaning of life and the search of true happiness.

I’m taking the question in another, less philosophical (well, depending on your passion for the game) direction: What golf clubs would you play if money were no object?

Professional golf is a business, especially these days. As such, the golfers we watch and cheer for week in and week out are indeed businessmen.

Golf is a game, but at the professional level it is also a means to an end. That is why we see golfers like Rory McIlroy changing sponsors in exchange for a larger bank account, and guys like John Daly, who are walking billboards for the companies they endorse.

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What’s in the bag: Brandt Snedeker used equipment from six different companies: TaylorMade, Tour Edge, Ping, Bridgestone, Titleist (Vokey) and Callaway (Odyssey).

Luckily, for the sake of this argument, money is no object for this story. The only object is brand loyalty.

Here’s the question I pose to you:

If money were no object, which brand of golf clubs would you decide to play for the rest of your golfing days?

This isn’t about contracts or looking pretty for television. It’s about what weapons you want in your arsenal. The catch is that whichever brand you choose, you must play that brand throughout your bag (putter excluded).

That means the driver, fairway woods, utility clubs, hybrids, irons and wedges must all be made by the same company. There is no mixing and matching sets. If you decide to choose a Callaway driver, you can’t have an Adams hybrid. However, you can play any club that the brand manufactured from any year (you can use a new Titleist 913D3 driver with a set of 690.MB irons if you so please).

A lot of the technology junkies are probably thinking, “I can choose whatever driver I want and just change the shaft.” Wrong. You have to keep the original stock shaft in all clubs (you can’t out-smart me, GolfWRX-ers).

Think hard, because in this hypothetical world, it will be the only brand you’ll ever play again.

Vote below for which of the following manufacturers you would use throughout your bag (driver, woods, hybrids, irons and wedges) if money were no object.

What brand would you play?

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

87 Comments

87 Comments

  1. Manny

    Nov 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve hit a sleuth of irons but it all came to an end once I pure’d a Mizuno MP-64 5 iron. The feeling is indescribable.
    Ping 9.5 I25 stiff flex
    Callaway xhot 3 wood stiff
    Mizuno mp flihi 21* stiff
    Mizuno 4-pw dynamic gold x100
    Mizuno mp-t4 wedges 52* 56* 60*
    Scotty Cameron Golo 5 center shaft (black)

  2. Idris Sherrod

    Apr 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    To be honest, I love Nike clubs, growing up and watching Tiger dominate with them made a huge impression on me I would go:
    Driver: Nike VR Pro 9.5 loft
    Woods: Nike VRS Covert Tour 2.0 (3 wood and 5 wood)
    Hybrid: Nike VRS Covert 1.0 Tour (3 Hybrid)
    Irons: Nike VR-S Forged Irons 4-PW
    Wedges: Nike VR Pro DS 56 % 60
    Putter: Nike Method Concept
    Ball: Nike 20XI-S
    If I could not go Nike I would then go Mizuno or Titleist

  3. Guantanemo

    Aug 28, 2013 at 5:27 am

    I’m actually surprised Callaway and Adams aren’t higher up on the poll. Callaway’s Razr Fit Xtreme has the 7M3 stock, XHot Pro fairways are good without question, their new X-Forged are really good, so are their Forged Wedges and the Mac Daddy 2’s, and Odyssey makes plenty of quality putters. Likewise, Adams drivers, fairways, and hybrids are all great products with good stock shafts, their CMB’s are some awesome irons, Pugielli wedges aren’t the most famous but they’re decent, and Yes! putters are great as well.

  4. Mike

    Aug 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Any Ping iron made in the U.S

    NO OTHER GOLF CO. MAKES AMERICAN

    PRODUCTS OR EMPLOYS AMERICANS IN

    THEIR FACTORIES.

  5. Jerry McHam

    Aug 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I have played Wilson Staff for most of the past 55 years. The only exception was a one year stint with Bridgestone as a staff member and also a one year stint with Callaway when I was on staff with them. I have been a Wilson Staff member since 1965 and I will die with a Wilson Staff club in my hands.

    I only wish Wilson Sporting Goods Company would make a serioue attempt to return to the greatness which was once Wilson Staff … make the 1970″s Staff Forged Blades with todays’ technology and materials and you will have all the best players in the world wanting Wilson Staff equipment … it really is a shame to let the Wilson Staff reputation go any further down the drain …

  6. smoking joker

    Aug 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    A Dear deceased friend of mine that played in 4 U.S. Opens told me this…The Most you could use a Driver in a par 72 course is 14 times, Provided your GIR’s were 18 and you shot par thats 36 Putts, 36 +14 =50 shots…with 2 clubs, That leaves you 12 clubs for the remaining 22 shots, Get good with a Driver, Putter, and Wedge, Titleist Drivers, Vokeys, and Scotty Cammeron, I think Titleist sums it up.

  7. smoking joker

    Aug 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    A Dear deceased friend of mine that played in 4 U.S. Opens told me this…The Most you could use a Driver in a par 72 course is 14 times, Provided your GIR’s were 18 and you shot par thats 36 Putts, 36 +14 =50 shots…with 2 clubs, That leaves you 14 clubs for the remaining 22 shots, Get good with a Driver, Putter, and Wedge, Titleist Drivers, Vokeys, and Scotty Cammeron, I think Titleist sums it up.

  8. Christopher Kim

    Aug 22, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Great article and question. I actually found it a very philosophical one, as you can easily make a case for any brand on the list. They all have their pros and cons, and that’s the real beauty of the question. There is no be-all and end-all when it comes to golf equipment brands because there are so many brands that excel in making one type of club while not doing so well in others (i.e. Mizuno irons vs. drivers/woods).

    I had to take into account the design of the clubs, as in the overall aesthetics of the clubs. If money were no object, would I play clubs that perform well, but don’t look very pleasing to the eye? Or would I ignore the looks and go for what suits my game? I’m not the best ballstriker out there, but I do love the look of some well-made blade irons. On the other hand, Ping is known for making some of the most forgiving irons on the market, but some people (me included) are turned off by the looks.

    Also, because we’re not worried about who is playing what driver/irons/wedges/ball, it really should come down to what brand we as individual golfers prefer on a personal level. Many people who aren’t too keen on equipment manufacturers and their marketing ploys often fall for the brands that simply have the most PGA Tour players using their equipment, and that is a horrible way to choose equipment. Some might say, “well, if such-and-such is using this driver, it MUST be good, right?” That’s so far from the truth. PGA Tour pros could dominate courses with any brand’s clubs, regardless of what the ads say. It’s all about the look/feel/confidence that the clubs give you.

    In my case, I’m a big Mizuno fan, playing an older set of MP-57 irons and MP-T Series wedges. I just can’t find a set of irons/wedges that give me the same feel/look. But I use Taylormade drivers/woods. I’ve always played Taylormade drivers, and I just have a confidence playing with them that I don’t get from other drivers. However, I would not want to have my entire set of clubs outfitted by either brand, as Mizuno drivers/woods leave something to be desired, whether it’s from the looks or the performance, while Taylormade irons and wedges are starting to come around, with their Tour Preferred lineup. I would definitely go with Titleist, which always has great a great lineup of clubs throughout the bag. While their Vokey wedges are usually considered to be one of, if not the best wedge on the market, they’re never really the “top” choice in any other category, but close to it nevertheless.

  9. Mark Combs

    Aug 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I play a Titleist driver and I love my Ping irons, I hope Ping never changes, clunky, gunmetal finish, forgiving…..G25 irons are amazing!!!! Ping is one of the few club makers that offers an ultra lightweight senior flex in steel

  10. Chris Downing

    Aug 18, 2013 at 1:43 am

    You are beginning to getto the heart of the original question, which is about having a free choice and whatwould it be. The listing almostlooks likethe same list you’d come up with if you were polling who spent what on marketing. I was reminded of a talk I had with our pro about go,f balls. He had been to a Callaway presentation on balls. He heard all about how Callaway had patents on all sorts of ideas and technologies. How the original Titleist ProV1 had to be redesigned as it breached Callaway’s patents, how the balls Callaway had were as good as, were better then, were the ones you should choose, were the intellegent decision….. You know the way these things go. So I asked did you change? “Well so many pros use Titleist I thought, why bother?” he says.. Seems like what we use is hugely effected by what the pros use – and our perception of a brand created by marketing.

    I’ve been a pro musician for a whole now and when looking for songs for repetoire, we will often seach for writers songs rather than artists performances. So who are the great designers? Who are the up coming new guys in design? Where is their work being used?

    And build quality? Where is the best facilities for building clubs. Perhaps we should even go back to components – surely there are some better graphitebshafts than steel by now. So who makes the best quality heads. Shafts? Best quality assembly?

    The original question raises more questions than a simple brand answer.

  11. Evan

    Aug 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I’d have to go with Callaway.

    I like their mix the best. I like the Irons, woods, & putters on average more than other brands. It’s not all i game, but if i had to pick one it would be them.

  12. Tyler

    Aug 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    No point playing one brand IMO. Though I used to be pretty loyal to playing TM equipment but have drifted away from them after RB came out(I’m down to just one TM club in my bag, R1).

    Play what looks good and GET FITTED. I’m 5’11 165 and thought I standard was fine. I played to a low handicap for years but struggled with consistent solid contact due to the fact i was playing a standard lie. I went two degress flat and it changed my ballstriking. Misses weren’t as bad and i picked up one club distance wise.

  13. Fred

    Aug 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Dan: I echo your thoughts on Mizuno. Read the reviews on Golfsmith about the players who have converted over to Mizuno from all the other brands. I was especially impressed with the reviews of the MP-69, which is a tour blade. Average players are using it and loving it. As I’ve mentioned previously – check out the MP-4s and MP-54s when they come out.

  14. Dan

    Aug 10, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Off the Rack, there is only one choice of major brands…Mizuno. Lefties could get their woods from Japan, Mizuno still makes lefties there. Titleist doesn’t even come close off the rack. Mizuno has 128 stock shaft choices (if you include flex options), Their woods are actually fantastic, but they spend no money on marketing of them. Wedges hands down better than Vokey, Titleist may have the woods (I think I would be willing to sacrifice 1.5 yards, though) category, but we hit irons and wedges the majority of our shots, For the 2% of golfers that are 1 handicaps or better, titleist might do, (probably not) but for the rest of us, Mizuno makes a MUCH better product.
    If you want to go with advertising hype, sure, Titleist…Quality and performance, all the way through…Mizuno, hands down. Poll would be better as a 10 or 12 club choice, though.

  15. shawn

    Aug 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I wonder why adams didnt get a better representation everytime you watch the senior players ther equipment majority of the time is adams throught the bag

  16. Roddy

    Aug 8, 2013 at 5:46 am

    i myself play with slazenger golf clubs as i am off 21 and have been playing golf for 10 years,i must say that i am outraged slazenger is not on featured list above. Disgusted to say the least. one of the best brands in the world next to the Dougie Dunlops.

    • Dan

      Aug 10, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thought you were serious, until I read the last line…

  17. eric

    Aug 8, 2013 at 3:43 am

    It’s hard not to pick Titleist on this, they are just too solid from top to bottom. Another company that is kind of a creeper as of recently is Cleveland. The 588 CBs feel and perform like a dream. Sounds crazy but I would that set up against Mizuno. The Classic Custom XL driver is pretty hot too. Top to bottom, this year Cleveland can compete.

  18. KCCO

    Aug 7, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    It’s a shame Mizuno and Miura (honorable mention) doesn’t put as much into fairways/drivers as their irons, but in my opinion that’s what makes TITLEIST the most well rounded company of all. From driver to putter to shoes Titleist/Acushnet. It’s a wonder how they develope the best of the best players and let them loose.

  19. Jon Silverberg

    Aug 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I reject the condition that it must be one brand. That condition bears no relationship to the real world. If money were no object (which it isn’t when it comes to my clubs, balls, etc.), I’d do exactly what I do now: my clubs are made up of 5 different brands (PING driver, TM fairway & hybrids, Mzuno irons, Cleveland wedges, Odyssey putter), and the ball is a 6th (Bridgestone).

    • headymonster

      Aug 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Stop trying to find loop holes. I think the question was pretty clearly – which brand do have the most faith in to keep you happy across all sticks moving forward. Obviously this choice might come with some compromise. Love my PING woods and irons, but also love my cleveland wedges. However, I’d trade in the Clevelands in if I could only have one brand due to my overall trust in PING.

  20. Tim

    Aug 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I love the Titleist stuff, maybe not the hybrids so much, but I just can’t afford it right now. Even on Ebay.

  21. Marc

    Aug 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Bridgestone J-40’s. Had mine for over one year. PX-6.0 shafts, same with wedges. Fairway woods: TM SuperSteel, 5 & 3, Driver: Cobra S Pro with Diamana ‘ahina 60 stiff shaft. Yes Natalie putter.

  22. JB

    Aug 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Serious golfers would never need more than Titleist or Wilson Staff. Seriously. W/S are superior but no one plays them. The rest is personal preference but no better quality. That’s a fact actually though I will get flamed. Taylormade is the Jersey Shore of golf equipment. Do any of you honestly actually think in the era of the supercomputer and manned space flight that driver technology is changing every 6 weeks? The question is fun to ask but really just lets people get riled up. (or RIFED)

  23. Cynthia

    Aug 7, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Rife for Life!

  24. Scott

    Aug 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Nike ranked poorly on the list. I’m a Titleist player. Other than Nike clothing, I dont think anyone takes their equipment seriously. Nike should consider buying out Rory, get him out of contract. Let him go back to Titleist and win something. It would be a win win for both.

  25. dan

    Aug 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Just a thought, if money being no object is supposed to allow us norm
    al players to think like tour pros in regard to bag set up, how many pros have mixed bags that WORK for them? HEAPS do!!

  26. Will o'the Glen

    Aug 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Adding the “one brand throughout the bag” restriction makes the question pointless. If you are going to go for the best clubs for your game, brand loyalty is an unnecessary restriction.

    I currently play a 2007 Callaway Big Bertha Titanium 454 driver (with a NOS duplicate in reserve), Big Bertha 3W from the same year — and a 5W that goes in and out of the bag depending upon where I’m playing — Taylormade Burner 4H and 5H (4H sometimes replaced by the Callaway 5W – see above), Bridgestone J40 Dual-Pocket irons 5i through PW, Hogan Riviera 5006 GW, Sure Out 5406 SW and 6006 LW, and a Taylormade Tight Lies Putter.

    I play what works for me — and you’d be a fool to do otherwise.

  27. Matt M

    Aug 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    If the company doesn’t make woods could you use a different woods? If that’s the case I’d go Scratch irons, wedges and putter and Adams woods.

  28. lloyd duffield

    Aug 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    IM USING TAYLORMADE CLUBS WHICH ARE R1 BLACK DRIVER and RBZ STAGE 2 FAIRWAY & HYBRID WOODS / ROCKETBLADZ TOUR IRONS / ATV WEDGE / 2013 TM SPIDER PUTTER . WHICH IS ALL TOP SPEC CLUBS BUT I WAS USING NIKE CLUBS AT THE BEGINING OF THE YEAR WHICH INCLUDED ALL THE NEW COVERT WOODS AND FAIRWAYS WHICH ARE GOOD BUT I FIND THE R1 AND RBZ2 MUCH BETTER BUT WOT I DO MISS IS MY NIKE VR PRO COMBO IRONS WHICH ARE VERY GOOD INC THE NIKE VR PRO BLADZ IRONS 2 OF THE BEST SETS OF IRONS ON THE MARKET WITH OUT A DOUGHT .

  29. shannon

    Aug 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I wouldn’t be able to game any for the simple fact I don’t hit off the rack shafts. Why would I play something that doesn’t fit my game. Tour pris don’t play stock shafts either. There’s not one company that offers a full bag of clubs I like. The poll is a little too limited.

  30. Jarred

    Aug 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I’d go crazy trying to use one manufacturer.
    Driver-Callaway X Hot
    3 wood – Taylormade V Steel
    Hybrid – Cobra Baffler
    Irons – Adams ProA12
    Sand Wedge – Scratch Golf
    Lob Wedge – Titleist
    Putter – Ping Zing 2

  31. mkc

    Aug 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Kind of a burn for me as a lefty. My first instinct is to go with Mizuno but they don’t even offer a current driver/fairway in left hand. Never hit the old ones…

    What about iron shafts? If we are stuck with stock then that rules out Titleist, not a DG fan.

    I guess it’s a toss up between Callaway and Ping for me.

  32. joe

    Aug 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

    What a pointless poll.

    Is this site becoming that desperate for content?

    • Peter Reich

      Aug 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Why respond if you have nothing to add? As a golf junkie myself I love the question to get me thinking about what is really important in a set of clubs… Roy from “Tin Cup” only needed a 7 iron and Harvey Pennick says the 3 most important clubs are the driver, the wedge, and the putter.

      • Fred

        Aug 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        Peter: this “golf junkie” has to agree with you. Hit a great drive; get on the green with the wedge, and sink it. I played in a pro-am with Ben Crenshaw a few years back, and when I thanked him for turning a lot of us on to Harvey after he won the Masters, I thought he was going to choke up. The putting lessons, alone, that day, were worth the experience of playing with him.

  33. Jeff

    Aug 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

    You can tell a right-handed person made this game up.

    I’ll say Mizuno just for the wedges, irons, and putters by Bettinardi. Never even tried one of their woods or hybrids, mostly because I think I’ve only seen one Mizuno fairway wood and driver in a store. Do they even make a left-handed driver anymore? I stopped looking. I’d love Miura or Epon but I can’t fill a complete bag with their limited (or non-existent) lefty offerings.

    • Jack

      Aug 6, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Well or you could go opposite lefty and play right handed clubs? It’s like switch hitting.

  34. The Infidel

    Aug 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

    The need for pros to game a single brand or in fact the newest gear can often compromise their performance. Tiger (signing a weekly deal with Nike at the outset), Rory (seems drunk) and G-mac to name a few who have struggled post change. Though much of this is based on a change to their ball I think.

    Testing based on performance and results is all that matters, Rory gamed a $30 fairwary metal while winning tournaments, now his $500 driver couldnt hit a barn.

    Titleist is at the very top for good reason and I voted for them with only 2/14 clubs in my bag being from their brand. Serious clubs for serious golfers, not flashy average kit for average flashy players *cough* Taylormade!

  35. Martin

    Aug 2, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I picked Titleist, but in reality I wouldn’t do it.

    My bag is full of clubs chosen by trial and error.
    Ping Rapture (maybe new cleveland custome XL)
    Callaway xhot 3 wood
    Cobra hybrids of two different vintages
    Mizuno JPX800 irons
    Cleveland CG12 52 & 58
    Oddyssey putter

  36. Jack

    Aug 2, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I love that Titleist is number one. They have the best stuff throughout the entire lineup. Ping is also great but their image of being game improvement (is that really a bad thing? I know I can’t get around it either) hurts them in this exercise. I didn’t have much experience with Mizuno’s drivers and putters, so not sure how those would work. Taylormade has good stuff all around, but their gimmickiness hurts them too. Nike has gotten better, and I think their putters and driver/woods are getting there, but their irons and wedges just don’t look that great. Callaway is really good too. They have great woods, irons, wedges, even their odyssey putters are good (maybe ranked below titleist though in terms of appeal), down to their ball. I think they are the closest match to Titleist along with Taylormade. Although all three attract different buyers.

  37. kakashi54

    Aug 2, 2013 at 3:11 am

    I have always wanted to have set of all non mainstream clubs that most people have never head off. like Scratch irons and wedges or Edel, Bombtech driver, Machine putter not sure what hybrid and fairway wood I would choose.All in a Jones golf bag with Seamus or Stich head-covers. And I would also have a Japanese set also. not mizuno because everybody knows them probably Fourteen or ONOff. I would just love to have clubs that nobody else has especially here in Australia because zero people I know have heard of Scratch golf.

  38. Jack

    Aug 2, 2013 at 2:40 am

    What’s wrong with Epon?

  39. Desmond

    Aug 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    C’mon, what is Epon doing in that group?

    • Yamaha Freak

      Aug 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Have you ever play an Epon set? fantastic drivers, woods and iron sets, each of them has the quality of Japanese tour issue. Only 1 problem, they r expensive

  40. yo!

    Aug 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    if money were not an object, why would i just play one set of clubs. i probably would play 100. as it is, being the golf ho, i’m playing about 15 sets

  41. 8thehardway

    Aug 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    TaylorMade irons gave me trajectory I couldn’t get anywhere else and I broke par twice since getting them three years ago, when previous 15-year low was four over par. They get my vote and my gratitude.

  42. Matt

    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    titleist produces the best equipment, throughout the bag, hands down without the marketing gimmicks or obscene claims other brands *taylormade* rely on

  43. The Real James

    Aug 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I’d start my own OEM. I’d hire Byron Morgan, Don White, James Patrick, and Tiger Woods to be on the R&D team.

  44. Andres

    Aug 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Actually made change to almost dream set.

    Adams Launch Lab 8.0 – Matrix Black Tie
    Adams Super LS 13 – Matrix Black Tie
    Adams Super LSP 18 – Matrix Altus green Black Tie
    Adams DHY 24 – Matrix White Tie
    Miura CB-501 – KBS C-Taper (5-PW)
    Renegar Graphite (50, 54, 60) (Testing)
    TM Daddy long Legs 37 – would love Futura X 37 Tour Only
    Sun Mountain H2No white orange – would love new Miura Staff White Orange
    Head Covers Rocket Tour – would love Iiac

    Would like to try Miura woods and hybrids. Other alternative could be Epon.

  45. baudi

    Aug 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Irons: Ben Hogan Apex Plus.
    Currently waiting for a modern version but Callaway is not apt to use the brand.

  46. T.Rhee

    Aug 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Dang, have been playing Titleist woods and wedges, and Mizuno irons forever. And there is no way that I would part with my Whitlam putter, but I guess if I had to choose, leaning towards Titleist.

  47. Dick

    Aug 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Easy choice in either titleist or Miura. Hopefully they release their SIT fairways soon.

  48. Donovan

    Aug 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Since 99% of us on this site aren’t professionals, aren’t we already playing the brands we prefer? Just sayin…

    • brian

      Aug 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      most of us are playing brands we can afford

      • t120

        Aug 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm

        Donovan, not to say “money is no object”. but I agree with you. We are ALL playing brands we want. Doesn’t mean we’re willing to settle forever on it, but it’s what fit us best or what we like to look at – and for me, as with you, I wouldn’t change a club in my bag I wasn’t paid to change; even if that rotation were to change from course-to-course, it’s that way for a reason.

        Brian. I don’t agree with your statement at all. If everyone took your idea of purchasing gear…why purchase it? Why not just rent a set of clubs, or buy some off CL? Because you’re obviously not that serious, or looking for an argument if you believe that people just throw down $300 and say “Well, it’s all I could afford, better make this Nike slingshot thing work out!”. I highly doubt more than 2% of the members on this site buy and play on price alone.

  49. Rob

    Aug 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I would play the clubs that best suite my eyes, my feel, and my ball flight regardless of the name stamped on the bottom. Right now I’m rocking 5 different brands of clubs in my bag – Nike, Nickent, TM, Vokey, and Odessey. I’m very picky and all my clubs have been carefully selected for certain reasons and that would not change, even if money was no object.

  50. Jtriscott

    Aug 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Um… Play which one gives you a better contract…

    • michael

      Aug 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      well the questions is “choose a brand if money is not a option”

  51. Josh

    Aug 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Epon currently outranks Wilson/Staff.

    There is no justice.

  52. Joe Watson

    Aug 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Callaway owns Hogan still, right? Hogan made great forged irons and wedges. All of the many models Callaway drivers, woods and hybs over the last few years can fit anyone.

  53. Duncan

    Aug 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Wishon. Because the money is spent on what really counts: custom-fitted performance. http://wishongolf.com/

  54. Peter Reich

    Aug 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I would like to know what the rules would be for a brand like Miura who in my opinion makes the best irons and wedges but doesn’t even have a fairway wood in production.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Aug 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Miura has drivers, fairway woods and hybrids in production. No doubt that the irons and wedges are more popular though.

      Here’s our review of Miura’s SIT460 driver: http://www.golfwrx.com/37707/miura-sit460-driver-review/

      – Zak

      • Peter Reich

        Aug 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        I would like a link to a fairway wood, I’ve seen their driver and love it! The deep face took away my most common miss (low on the face) and l whole heartily think their irons, wedges, and even putters are the best clubs I have ever played! It’s like the filet wrapped in bacon of golf.

  55. Jon

    Aug 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I figured ping or titleist would win this one

  56. Mikko U

    Aug 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Mizuno, hands down. Bettinardi putters to choose from, MP-650 woods, MP T-11 wedges and more beautiful irons you’d ever ask for.

    Ping would be #2…

    • Santiago Golf

      Aug 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Mizuno does not own Bettinardi any more. But u could still use the old mizuno bettinardi putters

      • ANDREW

        Aug 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm

        Putters are excluded, so that shouldn’t be a factor.

    • Fred

      Aug 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Have to agree with Mikko about Mizuno. I don’t think there’s a smoother club out there, except, maybe, for Miura, which a lot of players don’t know about or can afford. The new MP-4 may very well be the most beautiful blade I’ve ever seen.

  57. Wayne

    Aug 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Does TM’s TP shafts count? I know there’s that debate, but TP is the “real deal” right..?

  58. Andrew

    Aug 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    You should break this poll up – I’d play different brands between drivers, irons, putters, etc if given the choice

    • Jtriscott

      Aug 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      You should read this article again.

      “This isn’t about contracts or looking pretty for television. It’s about what weapons you want in your arsenal. The catch is that whichever brand you choose, you must play that brand throughout your bag (putter excluded).

      That means the driver, fairway woods, utility clubs, hybrids, irons and wedges must all be made by the same company. There is no mixing and matching sets. If you decide to choose a Callaway driver, you can’t have an Adams hybrid. However, you can play any club that the brand manufactured from any year (you can use a new Titleist 913D3 driver with a set of 690.MB irons if you so please).”

      • Andrew

        Aug 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm

        I can read jtriscott. I just merely thought it would produce more interesting results than a one brand bag. True, it makes the choice more difficult because you can only pick one brand, but it makes it less realistic because that isn’t how most people (aside from tour pros w/ contracts) pick their equipment. Further, it would show more than public opinion about overall brand; it should show who the public (at least the GolfWrx public) thinks has the best of each category.

        • Matt

          Aug 2, 2013 at 1:12 am

          Yeah I agree with you Andrew, left with the choice of only one brand for all my equipment I choose Titleist. However I’m currently playing the equipment I would play if money was no object and interestingly enough only my 3 wood is Titleist. For me I’m not one brand loyal and currently have 6 brands in my bag.

        • Jack

          Aug 2, 2013 at 2:38 am

          I think it’s done this way to minimize the number of different combinations and results.

        • Jtriscott

          Aug 2, 2013 at 10:46 am

          You should write your own article

    • Dave

      Aug 7, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Agreed also since there are a lot of TOUR players who pick and choose, often times contracts are 10 club minimum or something like that. What about a poll based on preferences regarding each category? i.e. Driver, Fairways, Hybrids, Irons, Wedges, Putter, Golf Ball, Shoes? AND shafts! Again, if money was no object… Not trying to nit pick, just spitballing.

    • To: Andrew

      Aug 13, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      That would then be “a dream bag if money was not an option”….ur missing the point, just go to WITB if you don’t get it….in reality 99% players on this site make well thought out decisions on their bag, which are majority a mix of sticks that they figure out a way to purchase/obtain to suit their needs and likes. 1 Brand, simple enough.

  59. JJ

    Aug 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    “you can use a new Titleist 913D3 driver with a set of 690.MB irons if you so please.”

    Has someone been peeking into my bag?

    • Josh

      Aug 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Same set up as me until earlier this year. Just switched to the AP2s and have never had one regret

    • RRS

      Aug 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Still play the 690.MB’s and love them to death.

  60. Jeff

    Aug 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Since TaylorMade owns Adams, could one choose an SLDR and a PNT?

    • Dave

      Aug 7, 2013 at 6:10 am

      Actually, TaylorMade and Adams are both subsidiaries of Adidas. Adams is the newly adopted, red-headed stepchild.
      I’d have to say that Titleist has the most complete line with Scotty Cameron, Vokey Wedges, ProV1 (I guess we’re including balls as well?) so on and so forth. If we’re also including apparel then the same is true. You might have to go shoeless though, unless Footjoy counts…

      However, this question depends on the golfer’s individual skill level. Titleist doesn’t have the best lineup for the higher handicapper. If we’re talking about more novice players, it would have to be TaylorMade or Ping.

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Equipment

Korea’s FreeFlex shaft proves that lightning strikes twice

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The biggest obstacle to success is said to be a closed mind. If past innovators had not been bold in trying new things and testing conventions, we may still be playing with featheries and hickory shafts. Thanks to their pioneering ways, the game was able to evolve into the wonder that it is today and I am grateful for all the advantages I have enjoyed.

According to a recent YouTube video uploaded on TXG, one such innovative product they have tested in recent years is the Autoflex shaft. Despite the shocking pink color and a high price tag, the whippy shaft from a relatively unknown Korean manufacturer has won over a significant number of golfers with its promise of distance and accuracy while going easy on the body. The shaft opened up a whole new shaft category by itself, and after almost three years it is still pretty much the only fighter in the ring.

So why haven’t more companies been entering this niche pioneered by Dumina? The market is clearly there. Surely, there must be other manufacturers capable of putting out their own versions? Is KHT really something that no one else can figure out? Whatever the reason, there hasn’t been any serious contenders making a run at the champ. Until now, that is.

The premium ultralight shaft category has a new entrant in FreeFlex shaft… from South Korea, where else?

Ottophlex?

In the absence of established shaft makers, I did see a lot of individuals on various online forums trying to find their own version of a cheaper Autoflex. Affectionately dubbed as OttoPhlex, I have come across several impassioned posts where golfers have detailed their endeavors to find an effective replacement. To their delight, many have said their bargain shafts also produced noticeable distance gains while retaining accuracy.

That’s just awesome. I think it’s great that Autoflex generated such an interest in golfers to turn over every stone in our search for all the advantages we can get. One caveat, however, seems that an OttoFlex shaft that worked wonders for one guy sprayed the ball all over the place for another. Of the various OttoPhlex shafts I have seen online, I have yet to see a true contender that worked for a wider group of golfers like Autoflex.

In a way, Autoflex reminds me of Floyd Mayweather, Jr., the unbeaten boxing champ. Love him or hate him, one can’t deny that his boxing skills are effective. Similarly, whatever Korea Hidden Technology may be, it simply works and deserves its just dues.

One unique attribute to FF’s water color shaft is that no two shafts are the same.

A Korean Lightning Strikes Again

Now a promising new challenger has entered the ring to contend for the title of the ultra-light premium shaft. The contender, also hailing from South Korea, goes by the name of FreeFLexx (OttoPhlex was taken, obviously) and comes with an extraordinary spec sheet. And to save you readers some time, the shaft is nothing short of amazing.

Dr Seung-jin Choi, founder and CEO of SJ (Special Joy) Golf Engineering Lab, is a lifelong golfer/entrepreneur with an impressive resume and some pretty unconventional ways of thinking. With a PhD in materials engineering, he has over 30 patents in various fields, including materials engineering, architecture, and industrial design and 12 patents (and growing) in golf clubs and shaft design. His appetite for knowledge is only rivaled by his keen ability to adapt and apply them effectively to his research and inventions.

Ever since AF came on the scene, I’ve been waiting for other OEMs to offer similar tech and performance to the AF at a lower price tag so that it can be more accessible to a wider audience. Err… let me return to that idea later. 

When I first met Dr Choi, I thought I’d stepped into a golfer’s version of Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory. I’d love to mention some of the jaw-dropping golf innovations he is working on, but an embargo dictates otherwise. But I guarantee you will hear more of his mind-blowing creations soon. Just remember I said it here first.

Care for some ultra-light carbon putter shafts that can make any putter stand upright on its own? Then RolyPoly is for you. Just one of many zany things in the works at SJ Golf Lab.

Opening the box, I half-expected to see the color pink and breathed a sigh of relief at the sleek matte black carbon weave design. But aesthetics aside, the shaft had to first check all the requisite boxes for me to even consider it a true contender to the AF. After all, this weight class is not for just any AF wannabes or conventional senior-flex shafts.

To be clear, I am a big fan and user of AutoFlex shafts. But seeing the FreeFlex shaft check all the same WOW factor boxes gave me goosebumps. “Has AF finally found a match in the FF?

From Theory To Reality

According to Dr. Choi, FF technology is a totally different animal from KHT in concept and manufacturing method and is solidly rooted in measurable and verifiable science. It all began over two years ago with a single question, “Which part of the swing most determines the performance of a golf shot?”

After consulting hundreds of top amateurs and pros along with top professors in sports sciences, he determined that an effective downswing transition was key to long and accurate shots. This led to his next question, Can a shaft be made to provide golfers with a repeatable and effective downswing transition for better impact and ball control?”  With this specific goal in mind, Dr Choi embarked on his research, drawing on his 30+ years of golf experience and scientific background. To many people’s surprise, he was able to prove some pretty eye-opening facts along the way.

I’ve often said that some of golf’s commonly-held conventions should be re-examined lest we may have overlooked anything. With new materials and applications for its use being discovered each year, I definitely think new ‘breakthrough’ discoveries are possible. AF and FF are just the tip of the iceberg.

Before I begin, let me also state that I am an absolute novice when it comes to shaft engineering and manufacturing. I still don’t know what KHT is about, and I am just as ignorant about FreeFlex technology (FFT) as it, too, is veiled in secret and awaiting a patent. So bear with me as I try to explain the idea and innovation of FFT, as translated from speaking with the inventor.

The waggle test that put AF on the map can be seen in the FF as well

FreeFlex Tech – The New Secret Sauce?

Prototypes of the FreeFlex shafts were first launched in April 2022 exclusively in Korea and were tested extensively among the pros and the club fitting community. Soon, word of mouth began to spread among the pros, who were taken aback by the performance benefits of FF. More interestingly, the FF also came under scrutiny from the sports academia as well as the club fitters, most of whom were absolutely skeptical that the shaft can do what it claimed. And Dr Choi was more than happy to show the science and the research to back up his work with FreeFlex.

Having listened to the inventor, however, I can’t really fault them for being doubtful. After all, Dr Choi’s questions and unconventional thinking challenged many of the established notions that I also thought were rock solid. For example, can a single shaft exhibit two different flexes? That is, can one side can be stiff to promote accuracy while the other side is flexible to add an extra kick for more distance?

When everyone said that’s impossible, Dr Choi said “I’ll show you. Let me boot up my computer.”

“We have developed a unique shaft to which the pronate and supinate principles have been applied by considering not only the swing toque acting upon the shaft; but also in considering the warping moment and bending torsional moment to optimize Impact and MOI.” – Dr. Seung-jin Choi, inventor of FreeFlex Technology

Before all this, I thought I knew the relationship between a shaft’s flex and torque. Namely, a low torque corresponds to a stiff flex and vice-versa, and more flex may lend itself to more distance, but at the risk of less accuracy. Despite what I thought I knew, Dr. Choi informed me that this was not always the case. In fact, he found that torque and flex (CPM) can be independent of each other and that a 35g shaft with 170cpm can have a torque as low as 2.0. That’s even lower (and firmer feeling) than an extra stiff tour shaft!

In explaining how he can manipulate torque and flex in any combination desired, the actual math and science went straight over my head but I was offered a simpler explanation. Imagine that one side of the shaft has a limiter on it, while the other side has an accelerator. The limiter prevents the shaft from twisting and bending past a certain threshold to increase the chances of the shaft returning back to its original position for accuracy. In turn, the accelerator would activate on the downswing to increase club speed for added distance. As improbable as it sounds, this is the basis for FreeFlex.

But hey, we all know that anyone can talk the talk and all is for naught if it can’t perform. So can FF really put its money where its flex is?

Battle Of The Flexes

Over the past three years, many golfers have given testimony to the effectiveness of AF and I have also enjoyed my own AF to mostly good ends. While I’m not the foremost expert by any means, below is my own assessment of the similarities and differences that I have observed between AF and FF.

Overall, I found that FF not only was comparable to AF in both distance and accuracy, but it also offered three key differences which may be welcomed by golfers hesitating to pull the trigger on the pink bomber.

Observations

The first difference was the swing weight recommendation for both shafts. The AF 405 and FF 405 had similar weights (45g raw) and flex (190cpm), but the swing weight was totally different at C8 and D1.5, respectively.

From the beginning, AF shafts have frustrated many a golfer trying to get the swing weight down, since the average driver heads were too heavy. As a result, it required switching to lighter head weights or removing them altogether. In addition, certain brand club heads were not suitable for AF, and sometimes the overall driver build length had to become shorter as well. Needless to say, this irked a lot of players and golf fitters who had never encountered such hurdles in their drivers. It is a testament to AF’s performance that so many golfers have put up with it at all.

In comparison, the FF shafts seem more accommodating in this department. The recommended SW for the 38-series is at D2~D5, which should make club fitting all that much easier for a wider variety of driver heads.

FF shafts feature the weight, CPM, and torque. The bow and arrow symbolizes the idea of FreeFlex Tech, as the shaft reacts to even a small amount of energyacted upon it, much like a bow.

The second key differentiator between the two is swing mechanics. By nature, I am more of a swinger than a hitter, and AF suits my swing super well. With a slow and measured backswing and a smooth downswing transition, I have gained nearly 20 yards over my past conventional shaft. As such, many golfers have testified to benefit from slowing down and smoothing their transitions to unlock AF’s performance. However, for golfers with an aggressive or quick transition, the AF proved difficult to tame, which has led many to believe that AF is only suitable for smooth swingers.

FreeFlex, on the other hand, claims that its shafts can be swung effectively regardless of the type of downswing transitions. From my own limited testing with three friends in this regard, I can say that FF did fare better than AF for hitters with a more aggressive swing. More specifically, FF shafts were noticeably more resistant to the left side and kept hard hooks to manageable draws to keep the ball in play more often. Dr. Choi also added that the shaft is less prone to break, as it uses higher grade carbon content over its counterpart.The third big difference noted by most testers is that the FF shaft feels more stable throughout the swing. Keep in mind that feel is subjective, and “stable” here is only referring to the feel and not the actual shot result. From my experience, the AF shaft is soft and malleable on both the backswing and the downswing, which took me a few weeks to get used to and trust that the head will return to square.

In contrast, FF has the same low CPM but the shaft is noticeably firmer especially on the downswing, giving a feeling of stability. I was better able to feel where the club head was at all points of the swing, and that gave me a slight edge in confidence on the money shots. 

The three aspects were the biggest differences that were reported by FF users, and I can also agree on the observations. On a Trackman, my current AF was on average longer by 2m with a 4% smaller dispersion, while the longest single drive by each shaft favored the FF at 239m to 231m.

What gave me pause was that while AF has been my trusted gamer for the past 2+ years, I only hit the FF a couple of times since receiving it. And despite the short duration and novelty, FF performed just as well for me as AF, with the alluring promise of further fine-tuning and additional improvements to be had. Welcome to the weight division, FF.

Measurements on the butt end makes it convenient to trim the shaft to desired length.

Price And Availability

Unfortunately, FreeFlex tech shafts are currently available in Korea for the time being, though an English website is in the works at www.freeflexshaft.com for February. According to the company, offline retailers and custom fitters will soon be available to offer FreeFlex in three color options; matte carbon black, glossy carbon blue, and a one-of-a-kind custom watercolor design. 

All these ultralight and performance-enhancing factors do not lend themselves to low pricing either. The retail price of the FF driver shaft is set at $650, and while it is much higher than most premium shaft offerings on the market, it is nearly 20-percent less in comparison to the Autoflex at $790.

Aside from multi watercolor, FF comes in matte and glossy carbon weave tinged in blue color that looks amazing outdoors

For a limited time starting in February, SJ Golf is also taking applications from professional golfers and reviewers to test the FreeFlex demo shafts. Applications and inquiries can be sent to [email protected] and the company will notify the results individually. 

And there you have it. The FreeFlex shafts have arrived to join the party and I can’t wait to see who else joins this exclusive club. It would be great to see who rules this ultra-lightweight division, but no matter who is crowned champion, it will be us golfers who will be the ultimate winners.

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (1/31/23): Bettinardi Hive BB0 putter

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At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of 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 we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Bettinardi Hive BB0 putter

From the seller (@Tyrick24): “Bettinardi Hive BB0 – $1500 or trade. Indoor rolled only. Bettinardi SS Pistol GT 1.0. 35″. Lie 68*. Loft 2*.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Bettinardi Hive BB0 putter

This is the most impressive current listing 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

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Modern Classics (Ep. 3): Testing the TaylorMade Rocketballz RBZ Tour from 2012

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GolfWRX recently launched a new 8-part video series, called “The Modern Classics,” in partnership with 2nd Swing Golf. Throughout this video series, GolfWRX’s Head of Tour Content, Andrew Tursky, tests out 8 legendary used golf clubs that are still being played on Tour today. How do the older, less expensive products compare to modern technologies?

In the first two episode’s Tursky tested out TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MC 2011 irons, and Adams Idea Pro hybrids from 2006.

For episode 3, we highlight the TaylorMade Rocketballz RBZ Tour 3-wood, which first hit the market in 2012. The fairway woods are currently available for $84.99 on 2nd Swing’s website.

Check out the video at the top of the page for more on the product, design, and how it stands up in testing against a modern 3-wood.

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