Can a hidden-cavity iron (from a company better known for golf balls) perform like the best players cavity backs?
It’s been some four years since Bridgestone released the J40 line of irons. I had always admired the good looks of the J40 Cavity Backs. So when I heard that Bridgestone had a new line out, I had to take a look.
With Bridgestone and Tourstage, the company has owned two of the most popular brands in Japan for some time. In the U.S. Bridgestone sells a lot of golf balls, but you can hang out at a bag drop for the better part of a morning before a set of Bridgestones comes through. Maybe that should change.
Bridgestone’s 2015 product line is their most extensive for the U.S. market in some time. (The entire J40 line featured just a Cavity Back set, a Dual Cavity Back set, and a Combo set that mixed the two. The J15 lineup includes, from most workable to most forgiving, the J15 Muscle Back, J15 Cavity Back, J15 Driving Forged (J15DF), J15 Dual Pocket Forged, and J15 Cast.
I typically play cavity-back irons on the more workable end of the spectrum (though I suffer from that choice at times). So initially it was the J15CBs that caught my eye with their sleek lines and no frills good looks. Not to mention that when I heard the words “dual forged” I pictured those older hollow-bodied, thick-soled driving irons that came out about a decade ago. But as I learned more about the Driving Forged irons, I became quite interested in finding out how they perform.
And then I saw them.
Continue reading “Bridgestone J15 Driving Forged Irons Review”
TaylorMade’s newest innovation is Face Slot Technology and promises that you’ll love your mis-hits. Do they deliver?
Mis-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.
Continue reading “TaylorMade RSi 2 Irons Review”
PGA TOUR LIVE carries every event of the PGA TOUR live and on demand as well as the Web.com and Champions Tours and the Presidents Cup.
Last month the PGA TOUR released a new app called PGA TOUR LIVE. The app allows you to watch live coverage of two concurrent featured group pairings during morning competition prior to the start of the regularly scheduled television coverage. It is available for iOS and Android.
The app also offers live-streaming coverage from select holes after early-round group coverage has concluded, as well as on select weekends. In addition, the app includes video-on-demand content such as subscription-only highlights as well as feature and historical videos in an easy-to-access environment.
PGA TOUR LIVE, a subscription-based digital platform service, debuted in the first round of the Quicken Loans National. It’s available on desktop, iOS, and Android devices. Other devices like Smart TV will follow soon.
The coverage is be available first as a seven-day free subscription when you register. After that, the subscription costs $4.99 per month.
The only live golf streaming I’ve previously done has been during the Masters. The Sand Trap.com has partnered with the PGA TOUR LIVE team for the review and after a few days with PGA TOUR LIVE I experienced plenty of pros and a few cons. I reviewed this app based on my experiences with the iOS version on an iPhone 6 and a fourth-geneeration iPad.
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The $200 laser rangefinder you’d pay double for.
The debate between GPS systems and laser rangefinders hasn’t ended, and probably won’t for some time. GPS is convenient for a quick glance, and the course mapping is nice, but I always feel a little dissatisfied whenever I use a GPS unit. The touchscreens are generally poor, the distances take a few precious seconds to update (particularly annoying when you’re driving in a cart), and you’re still at the whim and mercy of whoever mapped the course in the first place (not to mention GPS accuracy, cloud cover, etc.).
The GPS systems in use for golf simply cannot match the accuracy of a laser rangefinder, and I’ve yet to come across a GPS unit constructed as well as even an entry-level laser rangefinder. (And that’s without mentioning smartphone app GPS systems, which I find virtually unusable due to the massive amounts of cellular data and battery they gobble up.)
Oh, and did I mention membership fees? What about battery charging? Or course data syncing?
Continue reading “Leupold PinCaddie 2 Laser Rangefinder Review”
TaylorMade introduces their new Aeroburner Driver and Fairway woods with a more aerodynamic design and larger sweet spot for a more forgiving, higher launching performance.
TaylorMade’s new Aeroburner Driver and AeroBurner Fairway Woods feature new advanced aerodynamic shapes with hosel fins creating a reduction in drag for faster swing speeds. The new Speed Pocket increases the size of the sweet spot and reduces spin for longer, more forgiving shots on off-center hits. A new raised crown with matte-white finish and alignment aid give a great overall look.
Continue reading “TaylorMade AeroBurner Driver and 3 Wood Review”
Callaway brings versatility and a new level of adjustability to a fairway wood in a classic-looking package.
Fairway 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.
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Nike gives us a taste of what’s cooking at The Oven.
What do you want from a driver?
Great looks? Check.
The best sound and feel I’ve ever experienced? Check.
The Nike Vapor Flex driver reflects not what a driver should be, but what a driver can be. It’s an insane concoction of technology that builds on the innovations Nike has brought to market over the past half-decade, all packaged into one sleek clubhead.
Amazingly, when you actually take it for a spin, it all seems to make sense. It’s a better-player’s club that, despite the lime green and wild esthetics, produces a muted sound and a boring trajectory.
Let’s dive in.
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The new Mizuno MP-H5 irons are aimed at the scratch player, the bogey golfer, and everybody in between. Read on to find out if they deserve a spot in your bag.
Mizuno Golf is a company long known for creating some of the games’ best irons. In particular, the MP series has an almost cult following for their sexy looks and buttery feel. In the past, the MP irons were reserved for only the games absolute best players, or at least they should have been, considering their small size and punishing nature. For those needing a bit more help than the MP series could offer, Mizuno offered the MX and, more recently, the JPX series of irons. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with those lines, they did lose some of the appeal of the sleeker MP irons. Recently, however, the line between MP and JPX has been blurred as the company has created more player friendly MP irons. A few years back now, the company debuted the MP-H4 irons, whose aim was to deliver the look and feel of an MP iron with unmatched forgiveness. I was lucky enough to be the one to review those irons, and I must say that I really liked them, and even made a hole-in-one with them. However, the increased forgiveness came with an increase in size that resulted in a look that wasn’t quite right. The company now has the successor to the MP-H4 in the MP-H5. The new set looks trimmed down from the previous version but still promises to deliver all of the forgiveness.
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With the price tags of drivers climbing high can the Wilson D200 buck the trend and offer a new driver at an affordable price point? Let’s find out.
Wilson has been around the golf industry for more than 50 years. During my introduction to the game all most guys would talk about were Wilson clubs. During the late nineties and early 2000’s the brand lost its way a little. Very nearly fell off the map completely. In the last few years Wilson has made a comfortable home for itself just below the brands spending much more than itself on marketing but just above the bargain clubs. Now they are making a play to move up again into the higher end segment and spending more on marketing and club design.
So when I tell people that I am using a Wilson driver the first look is sort of precious. “Why?” is the typical question. I wanted to try the new Wilson D200 driver, to see how Wilson as a club making company was progressing. How would this driver stack up against many of the other drivers that flood the market today. I am particularly intrigued by this driver because it is priced just below the other high end driver on the market and I am always on the lookout for a good deal. I started this review hoping to answer the question can a club company with a great clubmaking history make a driver perform at a similar level to the other entrants to the market. Let’s see if I could answer that question.
Continue reading “Wilson D200 Driver Review”