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Club Junkie Reviews: VA Composites Raijin 2.0 wood and hybrid shafts

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VA Composites has been making premium graphite shafts since 2017 and the company’s shafts been played on professional tours as well and can be found in many amateur bags. Victor Afable has been designing shafts for a long time and brought all of that knowledge to VA when he started it. The original Raijin came out six years ago and has been one of the most popular models in the lineup.

The Raijin 2.0 is a new shaft with plenty of updates, but keeps the original Raijin DNA intact. The profile on the 2.0 stays the same as the original with a firm handle section and stiff mid and tip. The torque rating is slightly lower on the new 2.0 and they are both mid-high launching shafts. Graphics have always been something that VA has knocked out of park and the matte finish on the Raijin 2.0 is pretty cool to look at.

I was hitting the 2.0 in my Titleist TSR2 driver and was really impressed with the shaft. I think it feels a touch more stout than the original but keeps the expected smooth feel. The launch was a touch lower and had a flatter flight than the original Raijin and I would slate it as a mid/high launch for me. In the TSR2 I had an average launch of 12.4 degrees, and that was very close to the shaft I have been gaming. The flight was pretty flat and boring with no rise to the shots, even if they were a small fade.

The Raijin 2.0 has a great kick at impact and is easy to square up without having to worry about hitting a big hook. Shots missed off the toe and heel stayed online really well and had very little curve to them. I could easily see that shots struck low heel tended to go right, but without that fade curve to them.

The hybrid Raijin 2.0 was very similar in the Tour Edge Exotics C722 head. The ball was easy to launch off the deck and provided a very straight ball. Even shots struck low on the face, my miss with hybrid, the ball was still able to get in the air a good amount and add some carry. Well struck shots flew high and landed very soft. Using it off the tee was great but I didn’t get much roll, if any, off the fairway. Again the Raijin 2.0 offered very good stability on miss hits and kept the ball online consistently. The shaft was easy to square up at impact but didn’t add any left bias to the hybrid.

Overall I was really impressed with the new VA Composites Raijin 2.0 and think it is a solid upgrade. Victor and his team didn’t take anything away from the original profile and gave us a little tighter and lower launching version. Check out vashafts.com for more info on the Raijin 2.0.

To hear the full review on the Raijin 2.0 driver and hybrid shaft check the podcast links below or search GolfWRX Radio on your preferred podcast app.

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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

PXG 0211 woods review: The best value in golf?

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PXG’s line of 0211 woods and irons were engineered for golfers who want easy to hit clubs that have the latest technology but won’t empty their wallet. With the new 0211 line introduced this year PXG has gone even farther to incorporate everything they learned and engineer the best budget line they could. I have played a good amount with PXG’s flagship 0311 woods and irons so I wasn’t going into this review expecting a whole lot from the cheaper options, but I was wrong. These might be one of the best values in golf! To hear my full review, listen to the Club Junkie podcast below or on your favorite podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

The new PXG 0211 driver has a price that is utterly shocking, $219 as of writing this review. I took the driver and 7-wood out to the range to compare to my 0311 XF Gen5 flagship woods and wasn’t expecting much of a comparison. I think the looks on the 0211 are pretty clean and simple with the satin black paint, silver line around the perimeter, and silver X alignment aid. The shape has the full PXG DNA with the rounded back but it does have a little deeper face than the 0311 XF.

For a 12-degree head, yes I need a little loft, you don’t see as much of the face as you think you would. I think the dark crown blends very well with the black face and you don’t feel like you are hitting a driver with such high loft. The sound is great and I actually prefer it over the 0311 XF. A more muted and lower pitched sound comes at impact, less of the ting you get from the 0311 XF. Now the face is responsive and you can tell when you miss the center of the face, but the 0311 XF does let you feel the ball compress a little more as it contacts the face.

The launch of the 0211 is higher than the 0311 XF and you notice it right away when you watch the flight. My launch monitor showed an increase of 1.3 degrees compared to the same lofted and shafted 0311 XF driver and I think that is a conservative number. The first two shots with the 0311 XF were high and right, but hit well so I didn’t delete them as outliers. If those two shots were removed I think I would have seen closer to 2 degrees of launch difference. Dispersion is very tight and the 0211 was very forgiving on mishits. The 0211 hits a very straight ball but I can see a little more left bias in it compared to the 0311 XF.

Now to be fair my 0311 XF has movable weights that are set out in the toe for maximum fade but both drivers are set to the -1 degrees of loft and flat setting on the hosel. The 0211 didn’t hit big draws but the starting line of the shots were a little more left. The 0211 was pretty low spin as well and only a few hundred RPM more than the 0311 XF while the ball speed difference was only about .5mph difference in favor of the 0211.

The 7 wood was a lot of the same that I saw in the driver. Launch was effortless and higher than the 0311 XF, but to be fair my 0311 XF 7 wood does have a heavier and stiffer shaft in it. Now the interesting thing is the loft on the 0211 7 wood is 21 degrees and my 0311 XF gamer is a 22-degree head that I have turned down 1* and set flat. There is no adjustable hosel in the 0211 but even without lowering the loft the head looks to set square when you put it down on the turf. Just like the driver, the 0211 ball flight had a little more left in it and shots started off more left with a little draw to them.

The launch was about 1.5 degrees more with the 0211 and again very noticeable when watching the ball sail down the range. Ball speed was actually a little faster with the 0211, by about 1.5mph and spin about 250RPM more compared to the 0311 XF. Now I still hit the gamer 0311 XF a little farther but I think a lot of that comes down to hitting it a little lower and flatter. If you are thinking about trying a 7-wood the $169 price makes it a much easier decision without having to search for a much older model.

Overall the performance of the PXG 0211 woods is really darn good, even if you don’t consider the price. I think this line of woods will compete with many of the larger or more flagship models from any brand. You can add a driver, fairway, and hybrid to your bag and still be under the price of the big drivers on the market. PXG definitely didn’t skimp on the performance when they designed these woods and golfers are only going to benefit from the value.

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Hatch Golf and the wild world of golf headcovers

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Hatch Golf has been making some amazingly creative headcovers and accessories for the past few years. Sean Farrell is a designer by trade and turned his love of creating graphics with his love of golf to create Hatch and provide golfers with some truly unique items. Hatch Golf mostly caters too smaller, limited runs of their headcovers that sell out rather quickly. If you want to hear the whole conversation with Sean, please check out of the podcast links at the bottom and on any podcast platform that you listen on. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

Sean discussed how his Michigan-based company started out as a hobby and he was just coming up with the designs. He would then send those designs off to a manufacturer and they would actually create the physical cover. This didn’t last long as his supplier stopped taking orders as small as his. So Sean did what anyone would have, he bought all of the equipment and a warehouse to produce his own Hatch accessories. Hatch is now a full time career and he even has his brother-in-law working with him full time as well to produce new products. 

If you are not familiar with Hatch Golf’s headcovers, then you should really head over to their website or social media pages to check out their work. The covers are highly embroidered and contain a massive amount of detail. I asked about using other materials like rubber or leather patches in his designs, and Sean was quick to explain how anything you put on a headcover has to withstand the everyday use and abuse. Tossing bags from the trunk to the cart and the sun’s UV rays take their toll on headcovers. Hatch uses tried and true materials, like marine grade fabrics, to ensure that the cool designs will last for years in the bag or displayed indoors. 

Sean let me in on the fact that he has a “short list” of about a thousand or more ideas for his future covers. He takes inspiration from just about anything and has desire to create a run of covers that look like the car graphics from the original Fast and Furious movie. But cars are just one muse as pop culture and hottest social media trends will influence and inspire designs. Some releases are a little less spontaneous, like covers based on majors or holidays. He is extremely excited for this Halloween as Hatch is releasing multiple covers over a few days. These releases are very limited, only 20-50 pieces of each blade or mallet, and for a few reasons. Hatch would rather have a bunch of designs and options available instead of just making 250 or 500 of just one design. This way customers have more options to choose from and if one doesn’t really excite them, then maybe another will. The short runs also make the covers more collectable and loved by the ones who do get their hands on them. Sean explained how they will never re-run a cover design, once they are done they are done.

Hatch has been growing and we are seeing more and more of the covers on social as well as out in the wild. Sean says it is still very strange to see a golfer with one of his products in the bag and meet golfers who are fans of Hatch’s work. The Hatch team has even done a few events where fans and collectors meet up, show off their gear, and play some golf! These events are humbling to Sean and his team as they never really expected to have such loyal fans who enjoy showing off their collections. At one event a collector was changing out head covers on almost every hole so he could use a display them all. Experiences like that just reinforce that Hatch should stay true to what they do and keeping the customer experience first. 

I find it pretty awesome that a company like Hatch Golf is local to me and doing some amazing work. Sean seems to truly love what he does and love the game of golf. I even asked him about a little WITB and he got into a little of what he plays when he is out on the course. If you are into the headcover and accessory side of golf, it is worth checking out Hatch Golf.

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Club Junkie: Review of Breakthrough Golf Technology’s ZNE wedge shaft

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Breakthrough Golf Technology has been creating high-tech shafts for putters and woods for a few years now. BGT has a new shaft out that is engineered to help golfers improve their short game even more.

The new ZNE (pronounced zone) shaft is a multi-piece shaft that combines graphite, aluminum, and steel. All these pieces come together in order to add stability and consistency to wedge shots. BGT offers the ZNE shafts in three different weights (90, 115, and 130 grams), so you can match up your wedge shafts to your irons. Make sure to listen to the full review on the Club Junkie podcast below or on any podcast platform.

Out on the course, the Breakthrough Golf ZNE wedge shafts offer just a different feel than traditional steel. The really stout shaft gives you the feeling that you know exactly where the wedge head is throughout the whole swing. The feeling is very controlled wether you are hitting a full swing gap wedge or a short pitch shot from just off the green. The ZNE provides a little softer feel, with less vibration, from the multi piece construction. You will still know when you hit a solid shot or if you missed the center, but the overall vibration will be muted.

Consistency is the word when it comes to the ZNE shafts. I installed the 115 in my 50-degree gap wedge and the first shots on the range were within such a tight window. I was hitting at a “green” out on that range and out of 10 balls, I don’t think one would have missed. Every shot was exactly the same and had very little right or left curvature to them. I am a player who hits a draw and that shape was massively minimized to a straight shot. At first I chalked it up as the honeymoon phase but when taking the ZNE to the course it was more of the same. I am a player who can easily miss greens from just about any yardage but out on the course I probably hit more greens from 110 yards and in than I have in awhile.

Launch is a little higher than my Nippon Modus 125 Wedge shafts that I have been using for the past 2 years on full shots. Spin is high and every full shot from the fairway will hit and spin back a little for me. Shots out of the rough a very predictable and land with a controlled amount of release. 

I went with the heavier ZNE 130 in my 56-degree wedge and could actually notice a little weight difference from my previous wedge shaft. Building the sand wedge with the ZNE was super easy and BGT has the balance perfect as I didn’t need any tip weights or tricks, the wedge came out to stock D4 swing weight at standard length. On the range, I noticed the same thing as the gap wedge with the ZNE 115, The ball just went exactly where I swung it. During the swing, you again feel like the shaft is directly connected with your hands and you know right where the face is. I rarely every take full swings with my sand wedge and on partial shots you can again see the consistency and stability of the ZNE shaft.

Shorter, high lofted shots are easy to pull off and I seemed to feel the use of the wedge bounce slightly more. Center contact seemed to be more consistent for me on those tough, for me, 30-50 yard pitch shots. I found my contact was closer to center and less out towards the toe for every shot I was hitting. Bunker play was still easy and you didn’t have to change anything about your swing to splash the ball out of the sand. Spin with the shorter shots was very predictable and the ball checked up well from tight lies. 

Overall, the Breakthrough Golf ZNE shafts impressed me more than I thought they would. I found them to be consistent, stable, and offer solid feel around the green. I love seeing technology be put into more than just driver shafts and think that we are at the very beginning of some great advancements for wedge and putter performance.

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