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Club Junkie

Club Junkie’s end-of-the-season WITB



Here in the north, metro Detroit, the golf season is short. Like, way too short for us hardcore golfers. Weather this time of the year will dictate if you stay home and watch football or brave the elements for a cold round. As the dust settles in 2022, I have gotten a few requests to go through my bag and talk about what clubs I am playing. Take a listen to my Club Junkie podcast below or on any podcast platform to hear the full details on each club, just search GolfWRX Radio.

Driver: Titleist TSR2 10.0* (ALLFIT Set Standard) 

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Red 6x

I got the Titleist TSR2 about a month ago and have found it to just be really consistent. The added stability and forgiveness of the TSR2 has really shown up on the course and I have hit more fairways since receiving it. An upgraded ATI425 titanium face retains ball speed when I (frequently) miss the center of the face, keeping my drives further out in the fairway than they should be. The Fujikura Ventus TR Red adds a little higher launch than the Project X HZRDUS Black Gen 4 but I feel a little more control with the TR’s beefed up handle section. Overall the TSR2 just keeps me in play more often and gives me more chances to hit greens in regulation.

Runner Up: TaylorMade Stealth Plus 10.5* / Fujikura Ventus TR Red 6x

Fairway: Titleist TSR2 15* (Set D1)

Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black Gen 4 70g 6.0

I have been on the three wood search for a couple of years now after retiring my trusty Callaway XR16. Titleist’s TSR2 has been the most consistent and solid three wood that I have played with this year for my game. My fitter set the TSR2 at D1 (-.75* loft) for a little more distance and flatter flight off the tee, but I am still able to elevate the club off the turf with no problem. This club is still used 90% of the time off the tee, but it is nice to have some confidence in the fact I can hit it into a long par 5 if needed. This hasn’t hit “magic” status yet but it is working its way up!

Runner Up: Callaway Rogue ST LS 15* (Set -1/N) / Fujikura Ventus TR Red 7x

Fairway: PXG 0311 XF Gen5 7w (22* Set -1 and flat)

Shaft: Nippon Regio Formula MB+ 75x

As I have said many times this year, I haven’t played a 7 wood since I was a kid! I have been very impressed with this 0311 XF and how easy it is to hit and how high I can hit it. I am not a player who hits a high ball and anything at the top end of the bag is really hard to get onto a green. I have played a lot of hybrids and they have been OK, but the 7 wood has been far better. The XF launches super high, but still hits the yardage I need it to, and stops with much more control on the green. I do lose a little roll off the tee compared to a hybrid but overall the 7 wood has just been a nice surprise.

Runner Up: Cobra King Tech 19* (Set Standard) / Fujikura Ventus HB Blue 8x

Utility Iron: Tour Edge C722 Ti-Utility 4 (22*)

Shaft: KBS PGI 90 Stiff

I’ll admit that I need a little more firepower at the top end of my iron set. I am not a long hitter and the added ball speed from the Tour Edge Ti-Utility’s titanium face. This multi-piece iron combines a titanium face with a steel body and helps me hit it a few yards farther than a typical iron. I usually use this off the tee but the Tour Edge is easier to hit off the turf than the Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi for me. I think the shorter blade length in the Ti-Utility gives it that advantage and I like the look from address a little more. Very little offset and you only see a small amount of the back “muscle”. The Ti-Utility offers a nice muted “ting” at impact and the face holds a lot of ball speed on off center strikes. KBS’s PGI is their higher launching iron shaft option and offers a smooth feel with tight dispersion.

Runner Up: Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi 4 (21.5*) / fujikura Pro 95 Tour Spec Stiff

Irons: PXG 0311 T Gen5 (5-7), PXG 0317 ST (8-P)

Shaft: True Temper Elevate 95 Stiff

PXG 0311 T are the perfect “cheater” iron for me. They look compact, have a thin top line, and minimal offset but are packed with technology. They are very stable and long on miss hits, allowing me to still hit the front of the green without the perfect swing. At the bottom of the bag the 0317 ST are blades but go pretty far when you hit the center! I like the solid thud you get from the 0317 ST when you hit them well and the distance control into the greens is fantastic. The more compact look is great in the short irons and the milled faces seem to hold onto a lot of spin out of the rough. Both irons have a good amount of bounce and resist digging in the softer Michigan conditions.

Runner Up: TaylorMade P770 (5-P) / KBS Tour Lite X-Stiff

Gap Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM8 Raw (50.12F)

Shaft: Nippon Modus 125 Wedge

This is really a close race but the SM8 just has a little more bounce and digs less in the soft fairways here. I also like that you can really slam the sole into the turf on chips and pitches around the green without worry. I have had this SM8 since 2021 but swap it out with other options so frequently that the grooves and face are in perfect shape. The sole has also given me more confidence with full shots, thus giving me a wider range of yardages where I use it. Spin is high and very predictable from the fairway or lies in the rough. The feel is soft and very responsive, letting you know immediately where you hit it on the face. The Nippon Modus 125 Wedge shaft is very consistent and gives me a little flatter flight compared to some other wedge shafts.

Runner Up: TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 52* / Nippon Modus 125 Wedge

Sand Wedge: TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (56* 12SB)

Shaft: Breakthrough Golf Technology ZNE 130

I have had this wedge since it was introduced but only used it a handful of times. This year I gave it a little more love and have been really impressed by the playability of it. The full sole has plenty of bounce for when I get over the top and steep with my swing, but still allows me to open the face with the leading edge only raising a small amount. The raw face offers plenty of spin from all lies, even when wet and the feel is very soft when you strike it solid. Bunkers are no problem for this wedge as the sole offers plenty of float for even light, fluffy sand. I rarely take full swings with the sand wedge but have gotten more comfortable with taking bigger swings and hitting it to tighter pin locations. BGT’s new ZNE shaft is a new addition and so far I really like the tight dispersion it has been offering me.

Runner Up: Titleist Vokey SM9 54.12D / True Temper Dynamic Gold S200

Lob Wedge: Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks T Grind 60*

Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S200

This one is really a tie. I switch out between the Vokey T Grind and the Hi-Toe 3 depending on the conditions I am going to play that day. I recently found that I can get steep with short irons and my other 2 wedges, but I deliver my lob wedge much more shallow. The T grind is crazy versatile, allowing you to really play with the face angle to hit every shot. You do have to be a little more precise with it as there is very little forgiveness if you hit it a little fat. The TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 goes in the bag when conditions are softer or not as tight. The full face grooves and hi toe design make it such an easy wedge to hit, you can get away with a lot of bad swings. You never have to worry about the club just sliding under the ball and the shot going nowhere, those tall grooves keep some spin and control on the shot. 

Runner Up: TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 60* (13* HB) / KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115

Putter: Bettinardi BB8 Wide

Shaft: Fujikura MC 115 Firm

This again is a very close race, but the Bettinardi has just been a comfortable flat stick since I started using the 2021 model. For 2022 Bettinardi changed the face milling and it gave the BB8 Wide a much softer feel and more muted sound. They also shortened the blade length, giving it a little more proportional look while still keeping the wide flange and linger site line. The larger blade gives me a little more forgiveness when I strike it on the toe, keeping the ball online better than some traditional blades. The Fujikura MC 115 Firm putter shaft softens the feel a little while adding stability and consistency to the putter. I added a Super Stroke Pistol GT 1.0 grip late in the year and it has really helped keep my right hand from influencing the stroke. The L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 Max putter is really solid as well and the Lie Angle Balanced design can really help a lot of golfers make more putts. The larger Max putter head doesn’t stand out and unless you are setting it next to a Mezz.1 it will be hard to notice the size difference. The feel is a little softer but the more stable and forgiving Max head really stands out.

Runner Up: L.A.B. Mezz.1 Max Custom / Accra Graphite

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I have been an employee at GolfWRX since 2016. In that time I have been helping create content on GolfWRX Radio, GolfWRX YouTube, as well as writing for the front page. Self-proclaimed gear junkie who loves all sorts of golf equipment as well as building golf clubs!

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie Review: Cobra’s new King Tour irons



The Cobra King Tour irons have been proven on the PGA Tour already and will be in bags of better amateur players this year. The previous King Tour MIM irons were very underrated and offered great precision with a solid shape that many players liked. Cobra went away from the Metal Injection Molded construction and went with a five-step forging process for soft and solid feel.

Make sure to check out the full podcast review at the links below and search GolfWRX Radio on every podcast platform.

I was a big fan of the previous Tour MIM irons and played them in rotation throughout the last two years. Out of the box, I was impressed with the more simple and clean look of the badging on the new King Tour. Badging is mostly silver with just small black accents that should appeal to even the pickiest golfers. I didn’t notice the shorter blade length in the new irons but did notice that the leading edge is just slightly more rounded. Topline is thin, but not razor thin, but still has enough there to give you the confidence that you don’t have to hit it on the dead center every shot.

Feel is solid and soft with just a slight click to the thud on well struck shots while mishits are met with a little more sound and vibration to the hands.

These King Tour irons are built to be cannons and place more emphasis on consistent and precise shots. I also felt like the new irons launch easily and maybe a touch higher than some irons in the same category.

My launch monitor showed my 7 iron with an average launch angle of 22 degrees and spin right around 5,800 with a Project X LZ 6.0 stock shaft. Ball speed isn’t the ultimate focus of this iron but it did well with an average around 108mph and the iron was able to keep the speed up well when you didn’t strike the center. You will still see a drop off in speed and distance when you miss the center, but you don’t have to be Navy SEAL sniper accurate on the face to achieve a good shot. Dispersion was very tight, and while there are bigger irons with more forgiveness, this players cavity still allows good playability when you aren’t bringing your A-plus game to the course.

Cobra lists the King Tour as an iron for a Tour level player up to a 7 handicap and I think this iron could see the bags of more golfers than that. I am a 9.4 handicap, and I felt more than comfortable playing this iron even on less than perfect days.

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Club Junkie Review: TaylorMade Stealth 2 drivers



The TaylorMade Stealth 2 drivers still have red carbon faces, but that isn’t the only carbon fiber in the head. The heads now only have titanium to support the face and connect the shaft. The rest of the driver head is made from carbon fiber and carbon composite. This allows the talented TaylorMade engineers to move more weight around and add more forgiveness to a very long driver.

Like last year there are three flavors to cover every driver need: Stealth 2, Stealth 2 Plus, and the Stealth 2 HD.

For a more detailed review, please take a listen to the Club Junkie below or on any podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

Stealth 2 Plus

I typically like the bigger and more forgiving drivers, but this ended up being the one I hit the best. My miss is a low-left hook that comes from some swing flaws, and it was a shot I saw too many times with last year’s Stealth. My first time on the range, I noticed that shot would actually launch a little higher, stay in the air better, and not go as hard left.

The Plus might be the lowest-launching of the three, but it is still easy to elevate off the tee and produces flat, boring drives. I averaged a launch of 11.1 degrees in a 10.5-degree head with a Fujikura Ventus TR Red shaft. Spin was also the lowest and averaged 2,874 RPM, but the bigger part of that number is how the spin variation from center strikes to off center is very low. Only a few hundred RPM separated the highest and lowest spinning shots.

The Plus also offered the least draw out of the group with a very straight ball flight and even a few shots that went a hair to the right.

Stealth 2

This the bread-and-butter driver option offering hefty amounts of forgiveness and is easy to launch while offering low spin. This is the model that should launch and spin in-between the other two, but it actually ended up being the lowest launching for me. It wasn’t by much, but I had an average launch of 10.2 degrees with a 10.5-degree head and the same shaft as the Stealth 2 Plus. The spin was a little higher but only by a very small margin, as I averaged 2,917 RPMs.

For most players the nice thing about the Stealth 2 is that it seems a little easier to square up and turn over at impact. I saw a little more draw in the shots and the starting line was more straight to just slightly left. Like the Plus, I was pleased with the face that my miss off the high toe launched a little higher and stayed in the air a bit longer for a more playable shot.

Stealth 2 HD

I was actually the most excited to try this head because of how it looks. Most higher launching, draw-bias drivers sit very closed, and I don’t love that look. First time I set the HD down I was impressed that it looked square and a little larger, mostly from the visible red Carbon Composite Ring around the back. The HD also has a slightly shorter hosel that makes the driver play 1/4 inch shorter than the other two.

The HD did launch the highest at 11.5 degrees and spun the most, 3,105 RPM, out of the three Stealth 2 models. Those numbers still don’t sound like a high launching, spinny driver to me. The HD was the easiest of the Stealth models to turn over and really took away any shots to the right and any fade that I could have hit with the Plus. Off-center hits held up with solid ball speed and the added forgiveness in the head kept most shots online.

TaylorMade’s Stealth 2 line of drivers mixes distance with added forgiveness this year to really help golfers of all levels. Each model can cover a wide array of golfer abilities and the better players will still like the confident look from address. If you are looking to add a new driver to your bag this year, the Stealth 2 line is worth swinging.

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Club Junkie Review: Vega Golf VDC and Mizar Tour irons



You may not have heard of Vega Golf, but the company has been making golf clubs for quite some time in Japan. Vega is known for their expertise in forging metal and the great feel their irons offer. This week I get to talk about different irons in their lineup and how they performed for me. For a more detailed review, please take a listen to the Club Junkie below or on any podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

Star Line: Mizar Tour

The Mizar Tour is a compact players distance iron that is packed with technology. Wheres a lot of multi-piece irons just have a forged face, the entire body of the Mizar Tour is forged from S25c steel. The face is crafted from a high strength maraging steel and only 3.5mm thick for added ball speed.

Out of the box, the Mizar Tour look good with a lightly satin chrome finish and small black badge in the cavity. The irons look compact, with a thin sole, and you would not think it is made from multiple pieces. If you are a fan of less offset, the Mizar Tour is going to fit your eye really well as even the long irons have almost none. These irons might have the lest amount of offset I have seen in a retail iron that isn’t a blade. The shape is a little softer and more rounded than the VDC irons.

Hitting balls with the Mizar Tour is really pleasant, and as you would think, you get a very soft feel upon impact. Even off center shots have a good feel to them but with a little added vibration for feedback. The ball flight is mid/high and the irons are easy to launch off the turf. The long irons, like the 4, are a little intimidating because of the compact look and almost no offset. The longer irons are still pretty easy to launch and much more playable than you would expect.

The nice thing about the Mizar Tour is that when you miss that thin face allows you to still get minimal drop off in distance. Shots also stayed online better than I expected with these irons. Heel strikes and shots low on the face carried very well and online where you noticed a little more distance loss when you struck the ball on the toe. I love the players distance irons that allow players like myself to play a more compact iron without sacrificing performance.

Classic Line: VDC

The VDC shows off its fantastic milling work on the back side with dual cavities that allow Vega to adjust the CG higher on the irons for the perfect players cavity set. The irons look great with a slightly more square toe and edgier look to them than the Mizar line. The blade length is a little longer from heel to toe while still giving a traditional compact look. Faces on all the irons are micro-milled as well for precision shots and distance control. The sole is narrow and has a pre-worn leading edge for improved turf interaction. These irons again have very little offset, with maybe just a hair more than the Mizar set. Overall the shape is very proportionate and discerning players should be confident standing over them.

Feel on the VDC irons is wildly soft, making two-piece range balls feel soft. Shots struck in the center are met with a solid “thud” sound and that feeling of did you even make contact with the ball. While the face didn’t give you the sense of ball exploding off the face, the VDC provided solid distance and an ability to work the ball in any direction. The ball flight was more mid launching with a noticeably flatter trajectory than the Mizar.

If you are a player that likes to shape shots, the VDC will allow you to not only go right and left, but also allow you to pick your trajectory and really dial in those touch shots. The VDC is a little more demanding when it comes to forgiveness, and you will notice more of a distance drop off when you get away from the center of the face. The shots hit near the heel kept that solid and soft feel where the shots out on the toe and low are met with a little added vibration and click. Nothing is harsh, even in the cold weather I was hitting in and that responsiveness should help those feel players.

The VDC is a high-end players cavity iron set that offers great, soft feel that you would expect with precision shot making.

Overall, the Vega line of irons are high performance and great feeling. You can go down the Classic Line for traditional shapes and buttery soft feel or take the Star Line for technology packed irons with added firepower. Either way you go, there is probably a Vega iron that fits your game.

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