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TaylorMade SLDR Fairway and Rescue Review

Apr. 4, 2014     By     Comments (2)

The TaylorMade SLDR FairwayOne of the most hyped family of clubs currently out there is the SLDR from TaylorMade. First came the driver with its signature movable weight that (yes) slides toward the toe or heel to adjust ball flight. This was not a new idea, as Mizuno and others had used a slide-able weight in the past. No, the real breakthrough technology in the SLDR family is the low-and-forward center of gravity (CG). And unlike the slider weight, the low-and-forward CG is found throughout the line, including in the fairway and rescue woods.

TaylorMade claims that the low-and-forward CG will let many players increase loft to achieve a higher launch with lower spin to promote maximum distance. This is a tantalizing prospect. In most parts of the U.S., golf remains an aerial game. Bandon Dunes and other truly firm and fast courses aside, players are almost always better off getting maximum carry rather than trying to run the ball along the fairway. Higher shots will land softer, giving us a better chance to hold the green and less chance of it running into trouble.

The SLDR Rescue looks all business at address.

There is no denying that SLDRs are generating a lot of buzz. You can spot the chrome accent all over every PGA Tour broadcast, and probably at your club, as well. The rumor is that several manufacturers will be moving weight forward and low in upcoming models. Will this be the next big thing? Let's take a look.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Review

Apr. 3, 2014     By     Comments (4)

JetSpeedIn the past couple of years TaylorMade launched one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns the golf industry has ever seen around a unique club named Rocketballz. The Rocketballz line was a very popular line of drivers and fairway woods. Hoping to continue on the excitement TaylorMade released Rocketballz-ier line called RBZ Stage 2. The Stage 2 line was not nearly as popular as the original, and so once again TaylorMade decided to change it up with the JetSpeed line of woods.

The audience for the JetSpeed is average golfers for whom the excitement of the movable weight technology in the SLDR line does not tickle their fancy. I was the reviewer for the SLDR driver and I was very excited about the distance gains from the SLDR driver but I was unable to hit it straight. So when the opportunity to hit the JetSpeed came along I jumped at the opportunity.

Let's take a look at how the JetSpeed stacks up.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (4)

Mizuno MP-54 Irons Review

Mar. 6, 2014     By     Comments (11)

Last year, I was lucky enough to be able to review both the Mizuno MP-64 and MP-H4 irons. At the time, they were Mizuno's two newest offerings in the MP line and each brought something different to the party. The 64s were all business and were a true players irons. They had a thin top line, compact head, and little in the way of forgiveness. The irons were sleek and beautiful to look at but if you missed the center of the face, they could be punishing. The H4 irons on the other hand were aimed at golfers who wanted to play an MP iron but may not have had the skill set needed to do so. While they did share the simple look of an MP iron, they carried a much larger footprint with thicker top lines and the long irons had more of a hybrid appearance. Forgiving they were, and while they had the soft forged feeling one has come to expect from a Mizuno MP iron, there was just something a little off about them. Enter the newest MP iron, the MP-54.

With the MP-54, Mizuno has crafted an iron that falls nicely in between their two previous sets. They aren't quite as small as the MP-64 irons, but the slightly larger size along with some new design features means that they aren't as punishing either. The previous MP-H4 irons probably offered just a little bit more forgiveness, but not by much. Does Mizuno finally have the best of both worlds with the MP-54 irons? Read on to find out.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (11)

TaylorMade JetSpeed Fairway Wood Review

Mar. 2, 2014     By     Comments (1)

TaylorMade JetSpeed Fairway SoleAfter several years of the RocketBallz woods occupying TaylorMade's consumer-oriented lineup, TM released the JetSpeed line late in 2013. Eschewing much of the look behind the RBZ woods (white crown on black face, bold graphics) and building upon the recent hype of their own SpeedPocket technology, the JetSpeed is somewhat of a tuned-down design.

There's no promise of a dozen extra yards here, despite what you might expect from TaylorMade. The JetSpeed isn't adjustable in any way, and there's no tour-level option. You won't find #JetSpeed trending any time soon.

And yet, it's earned a spot in my bag. Keep reading to find out why.

Titleist 714 AP2 Irons Review

Feb. 25, 2014     By     Comments (4)

It seems to me that the Titleist designers who work on the AP line of irons subscribe to the theory that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The AP2 irons have been extremely popular irons for Titleist since their release in 2010. Although the design has not changed dramatically the designers at Titleist still find ways to improve upon these very popular irons.

The 2014 version of the AP2, the 714, had already won a major before they were made available to all of us regular golfers. Jason Dufner had them in the bag during his win at Oak Hill in the PGA Championship last September. There are a number of other professionals who have put them in the bag as well. They are and have been very popular with the touring pros all the way to mid-handicap golfers.

My first thought when I saw the irons was to ask what is different from these irons versus the model they released in 2012 (the 712)? The differences are subtle but according to Titleist they will help golfers of all skill levels. I took the 714 AP2s for a spin and got an up-close and personal chance to see how they play. With that lets take a look at my thoughts.

Callaway FT Optiforce 440cc Driver Review

Dec. 18, 2013     By     Comments (7)

Early in the year, Callaway made a splash in the golf world with the introduction of their new drivers, the X Hot (which had a standard and Pro model) and the RAZR Fit Xtreme. Both clubs were solid offerings and gained big followings. When I wrote both the X Hot Pro driver and iron reviews, I mentioned how Callaway had decided to scale back on it's product line, which was in my opinion a good thing. They had too many products going at the same time and I felt that it led to a bit of confusion on the part of the consumer. Put simply, there were too many choices. It seems that Callaway is starting to go back that way already, as they have introduced a third line of drivers, the FT Optiforce. This driver isn't aimed at replacing either the RAZR Fit or X Hot line (in fact, we'll see the X2 Hot line in early 2014), but as a third choice for consumers.

The new club has a number of features, some of which haven't been seen before with a Callaway driver, including a new hosel design. Read on to find out if this is the latest and greatest of Callaway drivers or just another club crowding the shelf.

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Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Wedge Review

Nov. 21, 2013     By     Comments (2)

If you remember a few years back all of the buzz around the golf world was about grooves. Manufacturers were making them deeper, wider, and sharper, giving golfers of all levels the ability to put an insane amount of spin on the ball from nearly any lie. One of the best examples we saw of this was, of course, the Mack Daddy grooves that Roger Cleveland developed for the Callaway X Forged Wedges. These grooves were mean and nasty and had the reputation for chewing up any ball that crossed its path. Then it all stopped… the ruling bodies of golf decided that enough was enough and put limits on the size of grooves that manufacturers could make and since that time everybody has been trying to figure out how to achieve those insane spin numbers while still conforming to the new regulations.

Once again, it seems that Roger Cleveland has done it, or at least, that is what Callaway would have you believe. With the introduction of the new Mack Daddy 2 wedges, Callaway has brought back a old favorite that conforms to the new rules. They say that the new grooves aren't only as good as the originals but even better. Read on to see if the mack is really back.

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Odyssesy Versa Two Ball Putter Review

Nov. 1, 2013     By     Comments (0)

Versa Two BallLast year I reviewed the Two Ball Metal-X putter. When I had the chance to get my hands on the new Two-Ball Versa I jumped at the opportunity.

This is now the third different version of the Odyssey Two Ball that I’ve had a chance to put in my bag. I kept the Metal-X for the better part of last year and didn’t replace it until the Versa came. While the changes last year were more in the materials of the putter, this year the changes are a lot more in the design.

Did they improve on what they had done last year? What are the big changes other than the color? Read on to find out.

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2013 TaylorMade SLDR Driver Review

Sep. 24, 2013     By     Comments (8)

TaylorMade SLDRStarting with the release of the R5 driver, TaylorMade has been pushing the envelope of shifting ball flight by using removable weights in the head of the driver. This has been adapted to a point where the weights were put on either side of the driver in order to coax a draw or a fade depending on what the golfer wanted to play. With the release of the SLDR driver TaylorMade has taken ball flight to a new level. The weight to move is now only a single weight and is set in a slider at the bottom of the clubhead.

TaylorMade also introduced a number of other improvements in order to provide a driver that would help them ensure their number one ranking on the PGA Tour. For this review I was given a 10.5 degree driver with a regular shaft. I was lucky enough to get to take this driver for a spin and here are a few of my thoughts.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (8)
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