Bridgestone ups the ante in the hybrid game.
When I say “Bridgestone” to you, hybrids probably aren’t what come to mind right away. You’d think of golf balls, tires, Brandt Snedeker, the annual WGC event, and maybe even their forged irons. Hybrids would probably be well down the list.
Bridgestone has spent more than a decade trying to change that, but I’m not sure they’ve actually made much headway. They’re a little like Mizuno: hyper-specialized, but with the ability to occasionally surprise you when you don’t expect it. I played a Mizuno MX-700 hybrid for several years, and never thought twice about how strange that was because that club played go great.
The Bridgestone J15 is a lot like MX-700. No one is going to be beating any doors down to get their hands on a J15 hybrid, but the few who do are going to come away glad they did.
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Ping makes their case as the industry’s best clubmaker.
At last year’s TST Newport Cup, the guys and I got to tour PING’s facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. I’d never owned a PING club, but I was excited all the same. PING is known for being an engineering leader among OEMs, and their U.S. base of operations makes them a particularly intriguing company. Though they no longer cast and manufacture many clubs in America, they still have quite the impressive setup.
It wasn’t long before I knew I had to try the next PING product that came our way, if only to reap the benefits in real life of everything we got to see on the shop tour. So when the PING G series woods came up for review, I jumped at it.
Though they don’t have the splashiness of drivers or the utility of hybrids, fairway woods have been hot lately. TaylorMade used them to drive their marketing for several years, and recently PING has picked up the same mantle. The G series, now numberless, may be the most heralded set of fairway woods on the market right now.
Do they live up to the hype? Let’s take a look.
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When you name a club “EZ,” certain expectations are set. Can a company known for its forged irons deliver with a game improvement driver?
Mizuno has long been known as being among the top, maybe even the, top brand for forged irons. In the last 10-15 years, Mizuno has expanded its iron line to include options for every skill level and playing style. For right or wrong, however, its metal woods options have almost always trailed the industry leaders in terms of public perception for their playability and technology.
Mizuno’s JPX-850 was a very solid driver. But it was distinctly geared to the “better” player, with too little spin to keep the ball in the air at lower swing speeds. The JPZ-EZ is a forgiving “game improvement” driver, but also promises lower spin.
With a name like EZ, you can bet this one is aimed at Joe Everyman Golfer. So, does it deliver on that game improvement promise? Read on to find out.
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Can switching to a game improvement club really make that big of a difference? Read on to find out.
Let me start off by saying I have never been a great golfer. Heck, I don’t know if you could say I have even really been a good golfer. At my best I had a 9 handicap index and that was at a time that I was practicing a lot and playing two to three times a week. When you get the opportunity to play that much, it isn’t too difficult to consistently shoot rounds in the low 80s with the occasional 78 or 79. Throughout this time, I probably had a higher opinion of my game and my ability level than was true and I found myself playing clubs that weren’t really the best for me. I played a number of different player’s type clubs and because I was playing a lot, I kind of got away with it.
Recent life events have changed things. A change in job has made it impossible to play the amount I had previously. Add in the fact that my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world, and the free time has dropped significantly. There is nothing more frustrating in golf than getting to the point where you feel you are starting to put things together only to see it all go away. Due to this, I decided that I needed to face reality so to speak and not play clubs meant for players better than me. I know that I am not going to be playing as often as I like, so I need to make sure that the clubs in my bag are helping me and not hurting me.
Having the opportunity to review the new PING G irons has given me the chance to see how big of a difference Game Improvement irons could help my game. Read on to find out if the irons have lived up to their promise.
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The Ping Crossover design creates a new club category to combine the precision, workability and control of an iron with the speed and forgiveness of a hybrid.
PING introduces the Crossover hybrid iron. Billed as a new category of iron and not a driving iron, it promises to create higher, longer shots. This can be an advantage to holding greens from long distances out. Let’s take a look at the Crossover.
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TaylorMade’s current marketing campaign is all about distance with forgiveness and the M2 Rescue definitely fits the bill.
For 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.
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A GPS unit with no display? The Voice Caddie 300 is a little like having an invisible caddie in your ear telling you how far to hit it.
The first thing that strikes you about the Voice Caddie VC300 is that there is no screen… none. There have been several talking GPS rangefinders in the past, but the Voice Caddie line is the only one that comes to mind that doesn’t sport at least a small LCD screen to back up the voice output.
I was not sure what to think of that. Frankly, the idea of a talking GPS has always struck me as a little gimmicky. Having a glance at a screen just seems easier than pressing a button and listening to a virtual caddie give me the yardage.
Would my predisposition against talking GPS units sour me on the VC300? Just a few trips to the course would tell.
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Has advancements in motion sensor technology made 3D swing analysis possible for the average golfer?
Golf 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.
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Building on the success of the M1, Taylormade introduces the M2 line of woods and hybrids.
Building on the success of the M1, TaylorMade introduces the M2 line of woods and hybrids that feature all the benefits of the M1, apart from adjustability. Keeping with the same looks and lower price point, the M2 line targets the player looking for distance and forgiveness with a more competitive price tag.
Continue reading “TaylorMade M2 Fairway Wood Review”