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Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Bob Pegram

    Feb 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Unless Scott’s irons have been re-grooved, they are not in compliance with the 2010 groove rules. Grooves are required to have rounded edges. That is true whether they have V-grooves (which they probably have), or U-grooves. Because it is more expensive to manufacture irons with rounded groove edges, virtually NO irons prior to 2010 are legal.

    • Forged MB

      Feb 24, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Virtually every part of your comment is 100% incorrect. Many irons made prior to 2010 are conforming, wedges not so much. Just go look at the USGA’s list. Grooves have had rounded edges forever. That’s not what the change in the groove rule was about.

  2. JT

    Feb 21, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    It definitely should includes the steelhead iii fairway metal.

  3. Don

    Feb 21, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Great article. Still have the RAC LT irons and bought 2 of the 983K’s for backup. The driver is perfect size, and the irons are still great sticks to this day. Also have the TM Vsteel fairways and Cleveland 588P irons…just love those older classic shapes.

  4. bobbyg

    Feb 21, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks for the article. Makes me wish I still had my 660 blades.

  5. Rich Douglas

    Feb 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Not much has changed over the years. With drivers we’ve seen an increased use of composite materials (allowing for more perimeter weighting) and adjustability. With irons we have even more use of multi-metal design, greater perimeter weighting, and increased MOI.

    But really, you could take a set of clubs made in 2003 and do just fine with them.

  6. Skip to 'ma lou

    Feb 21, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Titleist 905R! LOVED THAT DRIVER! Not sure if it was an ’03 gem though.

  7. James

    Feb 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Love the TM R500 XD – had 4 of them because the face kept cracking and I don’t even swing that hard.

  8. Scootin'

    Feb 21, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Love this post. Wishing for more like it!

  9. BingHogan

    Feb 21, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Great article!

    Still have a set of MP 33’s around here with DG S300’s.

    My favorite driver was the Titleist 983 series. Wonderful!

    Maybe Mizuno will do a new version of the MP33. Mr Vosh68…

  10. Gunter Eisenberg

    Feb 21, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Don’t forget the R510 TP. That club is still relevant till this day.

  11. Mike

    Feb 21, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Cool that AS won with 17-year old irons. The pro at a course I play says you should have a driver that was made within the last 5 years or so but other than that play what you like because the newer stuff won’t help you much. I think there’s a lot of truth in his opinion.

  12. DJJ

    Feb 21, 2020 at 10:27 am

    first set of irons I bought in 2003 was the Cleveland TA 5. I had both the 983K an 580 XD at some point.

  13. Brandon

    Feb 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

    You guys need to make a year by year series of this. Maybe 1 article per week. Way better than Instagram pictures of head covers and divot tools.

    • Bogan

      Feb 21, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Agreed, the top Instagram posts and hot forum discussions are uninteresting and uninspired summaries. This article on the other hand is great!

  14. William Pucci

    Feb 21, 2020 at 10:13 am

    I played my best golf with my RAC LTs.Id still play them if I could. I have them in an old bag in our office.

  15. Oldguy

    Feb 21, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Great article…owned a few of them…still have the cft hogans in the garage…think i will get them out and hit them this weekend!!! Don’t remember ever hitting a good shot with the callaway x16s…lol!!

  16. Don T

    Feb 21, 2020 at 8:55 am

    I love all of this

  17. Frickie Rowler

    Feb 21, 2020 at 8:44 am

    King Cobra SS 427 driver was the best of 2002. BING

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Equipment

The 8 top-selling golf cart accessories

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We hope you find this list valuable, GolfWRXers! These products are the best-sellers on Amazon in the golf cart accessories category at the time of publication. We may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publication!

1. Desert Fox Golf Phone Caddy

Product description:The best phone holder designed specifically for golf carts. Keeps your phone safe and at your finger tips.”

Notable review: “I was really getting tired of throwing my phone into the golf cart compartments with everything else and then fishing it out to use my golf app to keep score and review the hole. Enter Desert Fox. This is one of the best gadgets since sliced bread for keeping my phone accessible and it doesn’t get banged around inside the cart anymore with keys, balls, etc. Seems sturdy enough to last a long time and easy to use. The Velcro strap holds the device securely to the golf cart and I never worried about it loosening up. Slightly pricey but a great golf gadget that solved an annoying little problem. Who knew?!”

Get it from Amazon for $24.99

2. Golfer’s Best Tool Golf Multitool All-IN-ONE

Product description: “Six main functions that help you during your golf game in one small package; Includes Ball Marker, Brush, Stroke Counter, Cleat Tightener, Club Groove Cleaner (Divot Repair tool) and Bottle Opener with Screwdriver.”

Notable review: “Nice and sturdy tool. I was able to free up several items out of my golf bag with this little thing. I could clip it to either my belt or to the bag itself. Magnetized ball marker sticks perfectly to its place. I was afraid that the metal parts would bend or snap when used, but the whole structure is surprisingly sturdy. Stroke counter is a very nice addition.”

Get it from Amazon for $29.99

3. 10L0L Golf cart Side Mirrors

Product description:The whole set of mirror is made of impact black PP plastic housing, shatterproof glass and durable ABS clamps. It is anti-friction and corrosion resistant, suitable for all kind of weather condition.”

Notable review: “These side view mirrors for your Club Car provide much more “rear view” than the old five-panel mirrors commonly seen. Excellent quality. These mirrors are easily mounted. Drill two holes in each of the roof stanchions, using the templates. Attach the mirrors with the provided four screws. Once mounted, these mirrors are fully adjustable up and down, in and out. They can be tucked in if you use a cart cover.”

Get it from Amazon for $9.99

4. STICKIT Magnetic Rangefinder Strap

Product description: “The newly redesigned Gen3 STICKIT Magnetic Rangefinder Strap features a slimmer band with a strategically positioned cutout, which allows you to maintain access to multi-button devices, making it the most versatile magnetic strap, adjusting to fit over 50 makes/models, with all the major brands tested during product development — Bushnell, Callaway, Garmin, Leupold, Nikon, Precision Pro, TecTecTec.”

Notable review: “Love this little magnet strap!! Fits on any golf cart metal. I put in on the steering wheel column for quick grab and capture! And it still fits in the golf range finder case with the strap intact!!”

Get it from Amazon for $26.95

5. HomeMount Portable Speaker Mount

Product description: “Portable speaker mount for golf cart – Totally focused on the fun of playing golf and enjoy the music at anytime and anywhere.”

Notable review: “Was a little skeptical that it would hold the speaker without it slipping out. Worked great. Velcro has a strong hold. Golf courses don’t have the smoothest roads but the speaker never moved in the mount. Easily secures to golf cart rail. Doesn’t block sound or button function.”

Get it from Amazon for $13.96

6. Explore Land 600D Waterproof Golf Cart Cover 

Product description: “4 passenger golf cart cover size: 108L x 48 W x66H inch. Universal cover fits for most brand four-person golf cart, such as Yamaha, Honda, Club Car, EZGO”

Notable review: “Fits nicely on my old golf cart. I had a small problem at first, water would seep through cover if the rain was left on top of the roof. I placed a large pool noodle in center of cart and the rain rolls right off now! No more pooling of water and no rain water seeps through the cover! Cart sits out in the Florida sun all the time, does not appear to phased by it at all.”

Get it from Amazon for $68.99

7. JSP Manufacturing Universal Golf Cart Cup Holder

Product description:Designed to hold the 16.4 oz propane tank used in many heaters ~ Compatible with MANY propane cylinders and many other brands of portable propane cylinders / heaters ~ Direct replacement, perfect fit into your current cup holder ~ Tapered design – holds multiple cup sizes.”

Notable review: “We have four cup holders on the dash in our Ezgo golf cart. Nothing but an aluminum can fits in them. I bought two of these to fit in the cup holders. They fit perfect and will now hold a big Yeti. It was a cheap easy fix for cup holders that were useless.”

Get it from Amazon for $7.98

8. 10L0L Golf Cart Seat Covers

Product description:Great Choice if You Don’t Want to Spend 100s of Dollars on New Seats: Almost every golf cart I have seen eventually get tears on the driver side corner bench. Our golf cart seat cover really update the look of your cart, made your golf cart look like new again. The best choice of Christmas or Thanksgiving gift for golfer boss husband father boyfriend.”

Notable review: “The Cover fit my Yamaha golf cart perfectly, it was easy to install and it’s proven very durable after about three months. We don’t play golf, we have the cart for doing farm work, and the dog jumps up in the front seat pretty often and she has yet to tear it up. It’s a very good value and dries quickly when it gets wet.”

Get it from Amazon for $26.99

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Tiger Woods 2017 Hero World Challenge

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Following a ten month lay off, Tiger Woods teed it up at the 2017 Hero World Challenge. Tiger finished 9th in the event, but also gave fans some glimpses of his former dominance, including this majestic 3 wood approach shot from 271 yards out on a par 5:

He also had an amazing chip in for birdie on the 17th hole:

Tiger’s driver was also excellent that week and his overall stats were pretty impressive in his second round: Woods hit 9 of 13 fairways, 13 of 18 greens and 27 putts. 31-37=68.

Tiger Woods 2017 Hero World Challenge

Driver: TaylorMade M2 2016 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX

3 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90TX

Driving Iron: TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI (18 degrees)
Shaft: Project X PXi 7.0

Irons: “TGR” prototypes (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Nike VR Pro Forged (56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (12/3/21): Bettinardi Tour Prototype Fat Cat Inovai 6.0

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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 Tour Prototype Fat Cat Inovai 6.0

From the seller (@PGAGolfStuff): “Bettinardi Tour Prototype Fat Cat weld neck Inovai 6.0. 34.5 length, standard loft, 2deg flat lie angle. Bettinardi sink fit standard black grip. In excellent lightly gamed condition with light signs of use. No dings. Tour Dept Headcover and COA included. $1000.00 OBO shipped in the USA.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Bettinardi Tour Prototype Fat Cat Inovai 6.0

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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