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FairwayJockey.com Review: My custom Vega wedge

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Until recently, having the ability to play a bag full of custom clubs was something reserved only for the most elite players and those golfers willing to devote extra time, effort, money and usually travel to have clubs perfectly fit for their game. While the golf equipment market is still dominated by golfers who buy clubs off the rack, the importance and value of being fit for every club in the bag is starting to make its way into the mainstream. OEMs and individual clubmakers, like Fairway Jockey, are offering golfers a wider and more exotic selection of custom heads, shafts, lofts, and grinds than ever before.

Founded three and a half years ago as a brick and mortar fitting center, Fairway Jockey is a group of club fitters who got together to change the custom club fitting market. Late last year, FairwayJockey.com went live, opening up an opportunity for golfers anywhere to be able to go through a customized club building experience and have clubs built to spec and delivered right their door. To get a sense for their process and build quality, I had a chance to have a wedge custom built to my specifications by Fairway Jockey.

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Browsing the club selection, you’ll find every major driver off any of this year’s hot lists such as the Callaway Big Bertha or Taylormade SLDR, but also less common models from Miura, Vega and others. The same goes for irons, hybrids, fairway metals, wedges and putters. If a particular head or shaft isn’t listed, Fairway Jockey can usually get it for you. One of their main goals is to be able to offer options that a golfer can’t normally find through an OEM or local golf shop. They pride themselves on carrying many of the harder to find shafts and heads, and can generally order anything a golfer might want.

Right now, the site is focused on building new clubs. But in the near future, Fairway Jockey is planning to offer a service where golfers can send in their existing clubs to be reshafted with all the same custom options. While this service isn’t available today, the company hopes to have it up and running in the very near future.

Price match and shipping

Fairway Jockey’s primary goal is to offer the greatest number of options and flexibility for its customers, but they also want to be competitive and will match any reputable offer from the major OEMs. So if you’re building a set of Mizuno irons and choose a shaft that Mizuno considers a stock shaft and not a custom upgrade, Fairway Jockey will match that price. Graphite shaft upgrades are also generally priced in line with other sites and retailers. If a price is higher than an advertised price elsewhere, simply contact the company and they will look into it. That said, building a stock set of clubs likely isn’t the best use of a site like Fairway Jockey and their real value starts to show when you begin customizing your clubs.

Any order over $99 automatically qualifies for free shipping and some individual items also come with free shipping.

Assistance with shaft and club selection

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Many golfers coming to Fairway Jockey will know exactly what they are looking for and will be able to spec their clubs without assistance. But for those who are looking for additional insight and help, Fairway Jockey can also make professional fitting recommendations. With a few key pieces of information such as height and wrist-to-floor measurements, as well as tempo, transition, release and a variety of spin and launch angle data, their proprietary shaft fitting software, combined with the experience of the clubfitters, can help determine the best options based on information you provide. While the product descriptions are very basic and don’t go into a lot of detail, if you’re looking to talk through the merits of a heel grind versus a toe grind, their team can help there as well.

VIP Membership

For those planning to make numerous purchases through the year, or maybe build an entire bag, Fairway Jockey offers three tiers of VIP membership, which includes discounts of 5-to-15 percent. Starting at $49.99 per year and up to $149.99 per year, VIP membership gives you discounts on equipment as well as special offers, newsletters and product reviews. Unlike some other VIP programs, you can use your discount on your first purchase.

Custom options and my Vega wedge

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Vega is one of those wedges that is part shotmaking tool and part work of art. Forged out of one piece of soft carbon steel by a master craftsman, their wedges are some of the most coveted on the market. I’ve wanted to put one in my bag for a long time and when I had the opportunity to build a wedge, a decided to go with the 60-degree VW-06 in raw finish which will naturally rust a bit over time. The classic shape of the VW-06, tightly ground curved leading edge and extra heel grind make this an extremely versatile wedge.

Building a custom club on Fairway Jockey is simple thanks to their intuitive drop down menus. After selecting my dexterity and finish, the rest of the options are selectable in any order. For the Vega, True Temper Dynamic Golds are the standard shaft option, but many custom shafts are available from the Shimada Tour Wedge to the Oban Oi103 and almost everything between. For custom shafts, the price to upgrade is displayed in the drop down menu, which makes it easy to see where any extra charges will be added. That is the same for any option requiring an upcharge. I went with the KBS Custom Tour Black Pearl shaft. For my height, I happen to play their wedge at the stock length, which is listed, but you can go shorter or longer in half inch increments.

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I didn’t want the loft bent, but again, it is an option to bend the club plus or minus 2 degrees. With the Vega wedges, Fairway Jockey can adjust the lie up or down as much as 3 degrees to fit your exact profile. Since the shaft I was fit for came in black and the raw head was also black, I wanted to build an all black wedge. A rainbow-like selection of ferrules is available with everything from lime green to pink with two white rings, but I wanted all black with no white rings. To cap it off, I went with the Golf Pride New Decade Multi Blackout Grip with two wraps of tape. I could have gone with a grip that was more of a true black, but I like the feel of the New Decade and chose feel over looks.

Fairway Jockey also offers swingweight adjustment, hotmelt services and counterbalanced putters to round out the selection of custom options across all their equipment.

They build all the custom clubs from one facility, which allows them to keep tight control over the quality. In fact, only two people will ever touch a custom build. The club arrived in a sturdy, well-packaged box with a padded wedge cover and everything looked good. But I was more interested in the small polish-type details like whether or not the ferrule had any tiny clamp marks. There were not any marks anywhere on this club, and the overall build quality of the wedge is as good as I’ve ever seen. Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it. This wedge is evil!

Performance

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After I got past simply wanting to look at this wedge, I had to get out on the course. The very first shot was a 50 yard, half wedge to a pin just 10 feet off the front edge and tucked in about 5 feet from a slope that would take the ball straight to the back of the green. I played it to the front edge and flushed it on the number. Many people compare the softness of a forged club like this to butter. But to be honest, it was so soft it had the pure feel of almost nothing at all. The club slicing through the turf was the first substantial feeling I felt and even that made me want to throw another ball down and hit the shot again. Over the course of the day I hit low spinners, high lofted shots and dropped a few balls in the bunker just to see how it played. The extra heel grind allowed me to open the face up and nip a few spinners off the fairway, which hit the green and checked up immediately. The zip produced by this wedge was outstanding. The versatility, feel and distinctly unique look of this wedge makes it easily the best I’ve ever had the chance to play.

Bottom Line

Not every golfer is fortunate enough to have a quality golf shop and club fitter nearby that carries an extensive collection of equipment that can be truly customized down the tightest of specs. Fairway Jockey makes it possible to have a custom club built for your game, tested to their tight tolerances, shipped, and in your hand ready to play in about a week. If you’re looking at building a single club or an entire bag, they are definitely a site to check out.

As for the wedge… it’s a Vega. A stunning piece of craftsmanship that plays every bit as well as I imagined it would.

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When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range. On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at kanecochran.com and contributes golf technology-focused articles on GolfWRX.com.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. AJ

    May 23, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Good review. Just bought a set of Miura wedges and having switched from Vokeys I know what you mean about the feel. Took me about a month (I play 5 times a week) to even get used to the feeling of the club on the ball.

    I kept thinking I was chunking it slightly because I felt so little compared to the feedback on the Vokeys but now I have grown accustomed they feel so much sweeter than anything else. My delicate chipping / pitching has improved dramatically as a result of this softer feedback.

    Small details indeed.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Daniel Berger’s winning WITB, 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge

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At the 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge, Daniel Berger bested Collin Morikawa in a playoff, making four to the latter’s five at Colonial Country Club after the pair deadlocked at 15 under at the end of regulation.

After a three-month break, the tournament was the first of the Tour’s resumed season amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Berger saved par from off the green on the first playoff hole. Morikawa couldn’t convert a three-footer to par.

The victory was Daniel Berger’s third tour triumph.

Take a look at what “db_straitvibin” had in play four years ago.

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees) Buy here.
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (13.5 degrees) Buy here.
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 857 TR 85 X

Irons: Callaway Apex Forged ’16 (3) Buy here, TaylorMade TP MC ’11 (4-PW) Buy here.
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (50-10, 56-10) Buy here, Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (60-12C) Buy here.
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour (Chalk) Buy here.

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Buy here.

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Wrap

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Equipment

Spotted: Adam Scott with new Miura iron setup

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from a piece our Andrew Tursky originally wrote for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report. Head over there for the full article.

The irons that Scott has in the bag this week are a mixed set of Miura CB-302 long irons and KM-700 mid-to-short irons (“KM” stands for company founder “Katsuhiro Miura”).

Although Scott has mostly been a traditional blade iron user throughout his veteran career, he’s opted for irons with slightly more forgiveness built into them in the last year.

To that point, Scott’s new KM-700 irons are actually one-piece forged designs, except they have a unique heel-toe design that pushes the center of gravity toward the heel of the club, and effectively expands the sweet spot to make them more forgiving. The irons also have a complex cavity design allowing optimal center of gravity and turf interaction.

The KM-700 irons strive to combine the looks and feel of a traditional blade iron, mixed with the modern complexity of high-tech and perimeter-weighted cavity-back irons.

Scott’s new irons include Miura’s red hanko stamping, which Miura calls its “stamp of approval,” plus Scott’s personal logo has been added to the back cavities, as well.

Although the irons are freshly in the bag this week, Scott’s player manager confirmed with GolfWRX.com on Tuesday that he first received the irons at the Miura headquarters in Japan while he was there for the 2023 Zozo Championship. He also briefly used the KM-700 short irons when he switched to them mid-event at the 2023 Wyndham Championship, but we haven’t seen them in his bag since the brief experiment.

For the rest of the piece, head over to PGATour.com.

Check out recent Adam Scott WITBs below.

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Whats in the Bag

Keith Mitchell WITB 2024 (May)

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Driver: Mizuno ST-Z 230 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1100 75 6.5

3-wood: TaylorMade Qi10 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Blue 90 TX

7-wood: Titleist TS2 (21 degrees, C1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 90 TX

Irons: Mizuno Pro 225 (2), Mizuno Pro 225 “KM-92” (4-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Mizuno T24 (46-08S @47, 50-07S @51, 56-10D @55), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour
Grip: Golf Pride Pro Only

Grips: Golf Pride Victory Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

See the rest of Keith Mitchell’s WITB in the forums.

 

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