Host Michael Willams gives his take on the 2019 PGA Show and his visit to Daytona Beach, the fastest destination in golf. Also featured: Nick McClintock of Vessel Golf Bags.
Club Junkie Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 Pro Golf Edition
Technology has been playing a larger part in golf for years and you can now integrate it like never before. I don’t need to tell you, but Samsung is a world leader in electronics and has been making smart watches for years. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is the latest Samsung wearable running Google’s Wear OS operating system and it is more than just a golf watch.
The Watch5 Golf Edition is a full function smartwatch that you can wear every day and use for everything from golf to checking your text messages. For more details on the Golf Edition made sure to check out the Club Junkie podcast below, or on any podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.
Samsung’s Watch5 Pro Golf Edition has a pretty large 45mm case that is made from titanium for reduced weight without sacrificing any durability. The titanium case is finished in a matte black and has two pushers on the right side to help with navigating the pretty extensive menu options. The case measures about 52mm from lug to lug and stands about 14mm tall, so the fit on smaller wrists could be an issue. I did notice that when wearing a few layers on colder days the extra height did have me adjusting my sleeves to ensure I could swing freely.
The sapphire crystal display is 1.4 inches in diameter, so it should be very scratch resistant, and is protected by a raised titanium bezel. The Super AMOLED display has a 450 x 450 resolution with 321ppi density for clear, crisp graphics. Inside the watch is a dual-core 1.18Ghz Cortex-A55 CPU, 16GB + 1.5GB RAM, and a Mali-G68 GPU to ensure your apps run quickly and efficiently.
I do like that the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition’s white and black rubber strap has a quick release system so you can change it out to match or contrast an outfit. The Golf Edition strap is very supple and conforms to your wrist well, holding it in place during multiple swings.
Out on the course the Watch5 Pro golf Edition is comfortable on the wrist and light enough, ~46g, where it isn’t very noticeable. I don’t usually wear a watch on the course, and it only took a few holes to get used to having it on my left wrist. Wearing a glove on the same hand as the watch doesn’t really change much, depending on the glove. If you have a model that goes a little higher on the wrist you could feel the watch and leather bunch a little bit. Some of my Kirkland Signature gloves would run into the watch case while I didn’t have an issue with my Titleist or Callaway models.
The screen is great in direct sunlight and is just as easy to read in overcast or twilight rounds. The images of holes and text for distances is crisp and has a bright contrast agains the black background. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition comes with a lifetime membership to Smart Caddie for your use on the course. Smart Caddie was developed by Golfbuddy, who has been making rangefinders and GPS units for years. I didn’t sign up for the Smart Caddie app as I did not buy the watch and have logins for multiple GPS and tracking apps. Smart Caddie looks to be extremely extensive, offering a ton of options beyond just GPS and it is one that works seamlessly with the Galaxy watches.
I ended up using The Grint as it was an app I have used in the past and was already signed up for. Getting to the app to start a round was very simple, needing one swipe up and one tap to start The Grint app. The screen is very smooth and records each swipe and tap with zero issues. I never felt like I was tapping or swiping without the Watch5 Pro acknowledging those movements and navigating the menu as I desired. The GPS worked flawlessly and the distances were accurate and consistent. With The Grint’s app you did have to keep the phone in your pocket or in the cart close enough for the Bluetooth connection. For most that is’t a big deal and the only time I noticed it was when I used my electric cart and drove it well in front of me down the fairway.
Overall the Samsung Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is a great option for golfers who want one device for everyday wear and use on the course. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition still has all the fitness and health options as well as being able to connect to your email, text messages, and social media apps. With the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition you won’t have to worry about buying a device just for golf or forgetting to bring your GPS to the course.
Club Junkie reviews: Ping’s new i230 irons
Reviewing the new Ping i210 irons was something I was very excited to do. After all the success with the i210 irons, on tour and in amateur bags, Ping had some large shoes to fill. But in the early stages of the release they seem to have filled those shoes quite nicely. For the full review listen to the Club Junkie podcast below or on your favorite podcast platform, just search GolfWRX Radio.
The i230 irons are engineered for distance control and tight dispersion for aspiring golfers. They aren’t as demanding as the Blueprint or i59 but offer a lower flight and more workability compared to the G425. This class of irons that the i210 is in fits my game as a barely single digit handicap who is looking for some forgiveness in a smaller package.
Out of the box the i210 looks great. The look from the back is sleek and if you didn’t look closely wouldn’t even notice the badge in the cavity. That badge is matching silver and has just a couple subtle lines in it, almost giving the look of a smaller players cavity back. The head size is a little larger than a Titleist T100s or a PXG 0311T but still looks good because Ping kept everything in proportion. The blade length is a little longer but you don’t notice it much with the slightly thicker topline and small amount of offset. To me the i230 looks like a players club that also gives you the confidence that you don’t have to strike the dead center in order to hit a solid shot.
Ping added a large elastomer insert behind the badge to dial in the sound and feel of the i230 irons and that technology seems to work. The feel is solid and responsive while still be a little firmer at impact. You can hear a little click as the club connects with the ball, but the vibration that gets to your hands in minimal and far from harsh. Responsiveness is really good and you get ample feed back on how good, or not so good, your contact on the face was.
Well struck shots launch pretty easily into the air and fly with a flat apex towards your target. My expectations for the i230 were that they would be low launch and spin, but they were much more playable than that. The i230 launched almost 2 degrees higher than my PXG 0311T Gen5 irons that I have been gaming most of this year. The overall apex was also lower and flatter with the i230 cruising at 76.7 feet above the grass compared to 82.8 feet for the PXG. The i230 were very forgiving and dispersion was very tight. I felt like there was a little less left in my misses and the ball started out on a straighter path.
If I brought a terrible swing I could still get the ball to go left, but on good and decent swings shots stayed online and at the target. My miss recently has been out on the toe and the ball speed and height on shots out there were very playable. Shots that were low on the face didn’t get up as high and as fast as some other irons, but still carried a decent amount and total distance would have depended on the roll.
Ping doesn’t really jump up and down to say that the i230 are wildly long but they added about 2 yards compared to my gamer irons. They also spun about 300 RPM more than the 0311T irons but still produced a really boring trajectory, even into a pretty strong wind. There was no rise or ballooning of any sort, even with shots that had some fade to them.
Overall the new Ping i230 irons are really good and we should see them in a lot of bags. The lower launch, distance control, and forgiveness will open these up to a wide range of players and provide excellent performance.
Club Junkie Special: The Holiday Gift Guide with Rodney Chamblee of PGA TOUR Superstore
Holiday season is approaching so fast it is scary. Rodney Chamblee, from PGA TOUR Superstore, joins me to talk about a ton of gift ideas at any budget. From clubs, to full simulators, to some great stocking stuffer ideas.
And don’t forget to check out our Holiday Gift Guide.
Club Junkie reviews: Ping’s new i230 irons
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