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Review of the new Fujikura Ventus TR Red and Black shafts!

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Fujikura’s Ventus shafts have been one of the hottest shaft lineups in years. You can see them all over the professional tours and in tons of amatuer bags every weekend. The new line of TR models does not replace the original Ventus Red, Blue, and Black as those are still available and won’t be leaving anytime soon. These new TR models are meant to be an addition to the line and filling a few gaps that players have asked for.

The Ventus Red was a shaft that I played in drivers and fairway woods over the years and I really loved it. I hit a pretty low, flat ball so the added launch of the Ventus Red was needed and it offered accuracy that I hadn’t been able to find in many higher launching shafts. The new TR Red takes a lot of that DNA and turns it up a notch. TR Red has a smooth, yet little more stout feel through the swing. It takes just a little more effort to load it and the kick at impact is great, just maybe not as aggressive as the Ventus Red is. The TR Red launch is a little bit lower and overall apex seems to be just a bit flatter as well. For players with more aggressive tempos the TR Red might offer a tad less draw compared to its sibling. I took the TR Red out in my Stealth+ head to a course I had played frequently and never had yardages into holes that I had that day. On at least 3-4 holes I told my playing partner that I had never been that close. The TR Red is currently in the bag!

TR Black looks amazing with the Spread Tow fabric showing in the sunlight. When you set the club down and waggle it, like all of us do with a new stick, there is almost no waggle to the shaft! The Ventus TR Black is very stout, noticeably more stout than the original Ventus Black. As stiff as the shaft is, Fujikura has built in a ton of smoothness to it. It takes a lot of power to load so be ready to try the softer flex or lighter weight. The launch is very low, one of the lowest I have hit, and the ballflight very flat. I could see that the TR Black launched significantly lower than TR Red when hitting it in the same head on the course. TR Black is hard to turn over and players who fear the draw should like the stout feel as you bring the shaft to impact. For my 105 mph club head speed I think stepping down to the 6-S would give me more playable results compared to the extra stiff.

Overall the new TR Red and TR Black are great shafts that Fujikura has engineered. Even if you are currently playing a Ventus, I think it is worth your while to check out the new shafts and see how they compare to your gamer. For more on each shaft check out my Club Junkie podcast.

 

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Club Junkie

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges review: Forgiving and versatile!

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The third generation of TaylorMade’s Hi-Toe wedges is here and ready for any lie you can find. The Hi-Toe name has kind of taken over the whole class of wedges with the flared toe design but TaylorMade coined the name. You have probably seen Hi-Toe wedges in Tour players’ bags as well as in the bags of weekend players all over.

The new Hi-Toe 3 wedges are boasting some new technology to go with the classic “hi-toe” shape. TaylorMade updated the milled sole with a four-way camber design that will allow you to play the wedge open without the leading edge getting to high off the ground. The CG has also been adjusted to be a little higher for a lower trajectory but still being high spin. And speaking of spin, the new grooves take their tech from the Milled Grind 3 wedges, adding the raised Micro Rib to the full face grooves. Those Full Face grooves are also raw steel, just like the MG3 and Hi-Toe wedges before them. The raw steel face helps in wet conditions, keeping the spin you normally would have lost.

The new Hi-Toe 3 wedges look great out of the box with the bronze color that will wear as you play them. The 50 and 52 Hi-Toe 3 wedges are a little more traditional with less flair to the toe section and a standard set of grooves in the center of the club. The profile is a little larger compared to a TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedge but for some players that will just add to the confidence in the Hi-Toe 3. For me, a gap wedge is used primarily for full shots but I also use it for some pitch and chip shots around the green when there isn’t any hazards.

The Hi-Toe 3 really plays similar to my MG3 when it comes to spin into the green and feel. The Hi-Toe 3 is cast from 8620 carbon steel and has a soft feel to it on impact. The flight is a little lower and flatter than my MG3 gap wedge but the amount of release on the green seems to be very similar. Turf interaction is really good, the slightly wider sole help prevent digging for the steeper swing or if you play in soft conditions. The new camber on the sole also allows you to press the wedge forward and really get the leading edge down on right lies.

The sand and lob Hi-Toe 3 wedges are equally as versatile and do offer the full face grooves, so shots out off the toe carry a little more spin for consistent release. Shots for tight fairway lies check up immediately, and when the rough gets long, you still get consistent and predictable roll out.

The new sole design with four-way camber does allow you to open up the wedges and play higher lofted shots without the leading edge coming up too high. Opening the face in the rough, where the ball might be sitting up is still no issue and I never had any fear of the lob wedge sliding under the ball and it coming up way short.

The Hi-Toe 3 is great out of the sand and offers ample amount of float so even if your entry point into the bunker is a touch behind the ball, you will still get out of the trap. TaylorMade also rolled out three different bounce options for the 58 and 60, so depending on how you deliver the club and the course conditions you can match up your lob wedge perfectly.

If you are on the search for wedges that can give you some added forgiveness while being versatile, the TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 are well worth a demo. Check out the full review of the Hi-Toe 3 wedges on my Club Junkie podcast, on all streaming platforms. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

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Club Junkie

Ampcaddy golf speaker V3 Pro review

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Music on the golf course is becoming more and more common, especially with bluetooth speakers designed for the purpose. Ampcaddy has been around for a few years and is famous for its adjustable clamp that mounts easily to the roof support on a golf cart. That clamp can also be used to attach the V3 Pro to just about any pole that you have at home, at the beach, or on the golf course. The clamp also lets you attach the speaker to aluminum or plastic securely, something the magnet options in this space don’t allow. The Ampcaddy V3 Pro clamp and arm are adjustable, so you can direct the sound in any direction that you desire. I like to keep my music focused more on the cart and aim the speaker at myself so I minimize the distraction on the green or tee box.

The sound quality of the Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro is very good. There looks to be a small subwoofer on the back for great bass and the small front speaker does a good job with any genre of music. I am no audiophile, but my course playlist of everything from country, to hip hop, to rock sounded clear and full. The volume control could be a little more sensitive as I found that increasing or decreasing the volume could change the decibel level more than I wanted.

Sometimes, early in the morning, I felt the music was either a little too loud for my playing partners or a little too soft for me to hear comfortably. The battery life is listed as 20 hours, and while I didn’t go that far, it worked fine for two 18 holes rounds. The Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro is wireless, using a Bluetooth connection from your phone, but also has a Micro SD slot and an Aux port for connecting if Bluetooth isn’t available. Ampcaddy lists the Golf Speaker V3 Pro as IPX7 water resistant for rain or splashing, so you should have no issues if you get caught in a downpour away from the clubhouse.


Overall, the Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro seems to be a well built speaker with a ton of flexibility for mounting it on the golf course. With good sound and long battery life, the Golf Speaker V3 Pro can add some further enjoyment while on the golf course.

Take a listen to the Club Junkie Podcast for even more on the Ampcaddy Golf Speaker V3 Pro.

 

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: My BIG guys golf trip WITB and building a custom TaylorMade Spider GT putter

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This weekend is my big guys golf trip. We have a great group of 16 guys who play a mini Ryder Cup style tournament for a trophy and major bragging rights. Trying to put together the two full sets I will bring with me. I love custom golf clubs and the My Spider GT program from TaylorMade is awesome! I built a custom Spider GT that matches my custom Stealth Plus+ driver!

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