Ping G400 Driver Review

Ping’s latest offering promises to be their fastest, most forgiving driver ever. It was good enough to debut at the U.S. Open, but does it perform in the hands of the average golfer?

PING G400 Driver HeroWhen I first started playing golf, I was given a set of clubs (with bag) by the person who introduced me to the game. He found it at a garage sale and bought it for me so that I would have my own clubs to play and practice with. It was a set of irons, 4-PW, with a random SW and an old blade-style putter that rattled when I shook it. It was enough to get me going in golf, but I knew at some point that I would need a driver.

Fortunately I had some pretty good friends, as another friend of mine eventually found out I picked up the game and gave me his old PING G2 driver. I loved hitting that club. Granted I was still a very poor golfer, but it made a world of difference just to have a driver that happened to be easy to hit. I even drove my first par 4 with it (honestly I haven’t driven many since).

It’s been almost ten years since that first driver but I finally have another PING driver, the G400. I’ve gotten a little better over the years but still maintain a love/hate relationship with my driver. Will the PING G400 revolutionize my game like the G2 so many years ago? Read on and see.

TaylorMade M2 Rescue Review

TaylorMade’s current marketing campaign is all about distance with forgiveness and the M2 Rescue definitely fits the bill.

TaylorMade M2 Rescue HeroFor a number of years, TaylorMade has been known to crank out one line of clubs after another in quick succession. The entire business model has turned off some golfers who were confused by the multiple offerings out or preferred to sit and wait for the newest line of clubs they know is coming just around the corner. TaylorMade has gone away from that lately, choosing instead to market fewer clubs than they have in the past. They now just have a high-end line, the M1, and the simpler (and cheaper) M2 lineup. This doesn’t mean the M2 clubs are inferior; they are still high performance clubs.

The M2 Rescue is a performer. I love hybrids; they need to be workhorses for me and I usually carry two in my bag at all times. I use them as long iron replacements and for teeing off when I don’t want to hit driver. I also like to use them to try and reach a short par five in two or to advance the ball out of the rough after an errant tee shot.

TaylorMade has produced some very good hybrids in the past. How does the M2 stack up to its predecessors? Let’s find out.

Blast Golf Review

Has advancements in motion sensor technology made 3D swing analysis possible for the average golfer?

Blast Golf Box FrontGolf is hard (a registered trademark of this site’s owner…). Even the pros do not go about improving without some help from modern technology. For some, it may be with high-end launch monitors like TrackMan or FlightScope. For most of us, the price tag of one of those units puts them out of reach. Fortunately, it seems nowadays that more electronic products are coming out for the everyday golfer that are designed to be both helpful and affordable.

One of those products in the market is the Blast Golf, created by Blast Motion. The company is a leader in motion capture and analysis technology. They create products for a variety of sports and continue to develop new ways to use motion sensor technology to help athletes improve. For golfers, their sensor is designed to detect the movements of the golf swing and analyze it, giving an indication of how well they perform in various functions of the swing and where they can improve, all while taking high-speed video.

Having a good swing trainer at home would be a boon to any golfer who works to improve their game, but is it the real deal? Let’s find out.

Callaway Apex CF16 Irons Review

Callaway’s latest flagship irons combine the precision of a player’s set with the forgiveness of a game-improvement set in one package.

Callaway Apex CF16 Irons 7iron HeroIt seems more and more nowadays that the landscape of golf equipment is changing. Where there used to be fairly distinct categories of clubs meant for certain skill levels (blades and cavity-backs, players irons, game-improvement, and super game-improvement, etc.), clubs are designed now to benefit and appeal to a broader range of golfers. Equipment manufacturers have found that even better players appreciate additional forgiveness in their irons while less skilled players can still use workability and good feedback on mis-hits, just as long as they don’t come with significant loss in distance or accuracy.

Callaway’s newest flagship iron, the Apex CF16, is blurring the lines once again. As the first forged irons to feature Callaway’s Cup 360 technology, it blends the characteristics normally found in a game-improvement iron with those of a forged iron. The Apex name has a long history of being top of the line in forged irons and the previous Apex offering, the 2013 Apex irons, lived up to the standard. With the CF16s, Callaway sets the bar even higher by pushing the limits of speed and distance out of an iron while maintaining the same high level of precision that Apex is known for.

Does it live up to the hype? Can Callaway have it’s cake and eat it, too? Read on, to find out.

Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 Review

Phil may have created the Phrankenwood back in 2013, but this is Callaway’s first mini driver to hit the market. Will it help you to win your own majors?

Callaway Bertha Mini Alt HeroI have a love-hate relationship with my driver. Some days we’re perfect for each other. Other days I wish I left it at home so I can enjoy a round of golf. It’s such a fickle beast that I’ll even have problems with it from hole to hole, never quite knowing if it’s going to cooperate or not until I hit the ball.

I’d have to be in utter denial to think that the problem lies with my driver and not my swing. Still, I can’t change my swing overnight and I certainly can’t change it mid-round, so I need a viable option off the tee that’s going to keep my ball in play. My backup option is usually my 3W, but it’s significantly shallower than my driver which can cause issues sometimes if I start to miss the ball high or low. With this in mind, I started to look into Callaway’s Bertha Mini 1.5.

One can point to Phil Mickelson’s Phrankenwood and say that club started the mini driver craze, but that’s not really the whole story. Club designers have been increasing the head sizes or offering deeper versions of their 3W as a better option off the tee for a while. Designed to be even more forgiving and longer than a 3W, the Bertha Mini 1.5 is Callaway’s first official mini driver. Is it the club I’ve been looking for? Read on to find out more.

TaylorMade RSi 2 Irons Review

TaylorMade’s newest innovation is Face Slot Technology and promises that you’ll love your mis-hits. Do they deliver?

TM RSi 2 Irons HeroMis-hits happen. TaylorMade’s marketing strategy for their RSi lineup is to focus on the forgiveness of their irons as opposed to how long they claim the clubs will hit the ball. If you’re like me, you’re probably a little skeptical of TaylorMade’s marketing claims. Year after year they have claimed to have created the longest clubs ever. I can only absorb so much hyperbolic marketing before I basically become immune to it and tune it out.

So now they have shifted the direction to forgiveness. Their studies have shown that 76% of shots hit by golfers are mis-hits, so they say that their engineers have set out to design the ultimate irons to help golfers have better mis-hits. They claim that you’re going to shoot lower scores and hit more greens because of these clubs. While I’d love for that to be true, I just don’t believe that I’ll score better simply by switching a set of irons.

I know that sounds a bit negative, but I just don’t buy into marketing hype. The more aggressive the campaign, the less I tend to pay attention to it, which is a shame because TaylorMade does make excellent irons. I’ve played with a set of TaylorMade irons for years: a set I never even wanted to try at first because I was turned off by the marketing. I didn’t want to make the same mistake with the RSi 2 irons.

Yes, there’s a lot of hype, but there’s also a lot of technology and engineering that went into making them. Do they really make mis-hits better? Let’s find out.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Review

Callaway brings versatility and a new level of adjustability to a fairway wood in a classic-looking package.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Alt HeroFairway woods are some of my favorite clubs. I use my 3W off the tee for those times when I’m struggling off with the driver or just need a little more accuracy on a tighter hole. I used to have a 5W that I was able to hit a very reliable draw with, whether off the tee or on the ground. I had to stop playing the 5-wood when I discovered a hairline fracture in the shaft, but I still use my 3W at least four or five times in a round.

Because I depend on my 3W so much, picking the right replacement is very important to me. It needs to be easy to hit off the tee as well as off the deck, and it needs to be just as long as it should be. I don’t need my 3W to go as far as my driver and I certainly don’t need it if it’s only good off the tee.

This is why I’m a big fan of Callaway’s Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway. Its versatile design allows it to do everything I need out of a fairway wood, without being a one-trick pony. As one of the most adjustable fairway woods on the market, there are a large number of things you can do to optimize the flight characteristics of your ball and customize the club to your swing.

Earlier this year, I reviewed the Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver and thought it was an excellent club. Its little brother is just as good. Read on to find out more.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Review

Callaway brings maximum adjustability in a driver that is both low-spinning and forgiving.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 SoleIn early 2014, Callaway released the Big Bertha Alpha driver. With it, they introduced the ability to adjust a driver’s center of gravity up or down through their patented Gravity Core. While this was an innovation in driver adjustability, the club itself didn’t really find its way into the hands of the masses.

The second generation of the Big Bertha Alpha is here, with the introduction of the Big Bertha Alpha 815. Callaway claims that this club establishes a new driver category: a driver that maximizes distance with low spin and is still forgiving. It’s a pretty bold claim by Callaway, but they feel that they have created a driver that will be a good fit for most golfers.

Is it the real deal, or just marketing hype? Read on, to find out.

The Virtues of Winter Golf

Winter is the best thing to happen to golf since sliced bread and the best kept secret in the game. I’m letting the cat out of the bag and my subtropical friends will soon be green with envy.

st titleWinter is in full force here in the U.S. Like every golfer in the colder climes, I find myself checking the weather forecast every day looking for a good opportunity to get out and enjoy our favorite pastime. The elusive beast that is the perfect winter golf day can be hard to find, but with some luck and some patience (let’s face it, it’s winter and I love golf, so I have nothing but time on my hands), the trifecta of perfect conditions can be found: sunny, no snow on the ground, and below 32°F. Yes! Time to go out and enjoy the best conditions the game can offer: Frozen Golf!

By now, my Southern California friends are scratching their heads and wondering “what is frozen golf?” Well my friend, while you were busy posting pictures of yourself on a golf course wearing shorts on a brisk 70° January morning, you’re missing out on one of the greatest experiences the game can offer. Golf on frozen ground is truly unique and I would argue, is better than golf in standard conditions.