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Newport Cup Participants Review

PitchFix Ball Mark Repair Tools and Accessories

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Product Name: PitchFix Fusion 2.5, Hybrid 2.0, and HatClip
Product Type: Ball Mark Repair Tools
Product Website/URL: https://www.pitchfixusa.com
Cost: Varies

Below, twelve members of the 2017 Newport Cup squad will write thorough, in-depth reviews of a pair of PitchFix ball mark repair tools, the Fusion 2.5 and the Hybrid 2.0, and the HatClip ball marker, complete with photos, an occasional video, and a wealth of opinion and information. They're encouraged to be as honest as possible. We'd like to thank the sponsors for the gear, apparel, equipment, and goodies, and we chose them largely because they produce quality products, but they know we value honesty and integrity in reviews as well.

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 3
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5


We got three different things from PitchFix: two different ball mark repair tools, with attached marker, and a hat clip. All of the ball markers are Newport Cup logos, which is really cool. Another cool features of all of these is that you can easily switch in a different marker if you want. Why you’d want to switch out the Newport Cup marker is beyond me, but most ball markers will fit snugly and won’t be an issue with the magnet. All of the tools are sturdy. They won't break like some of the plastic tools you might get at a course. I expect to be using these for years to come.

One of the PitchFix repair tools we got was the Hybrid 2.0.

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(Hybrid 2.0)

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(Hybrid 2.0 with prongs out)

I actually already had one of these from when I bought it at the course. It’s sturdy and easy to find in your pocket. Having the marker on the tool is really nice, so I don’t have to fish around in my pocket to get both my repair tool and my marker out. The tool itself fixes ball marks well enough, although I wish the two points were closer together. It feels like you end up mangling the green a bit to leave a flat surface where a ball mark was. I have noticed that this tool works a bit better when conditions are wetter. It feels like overkill when you have just a small pitch mark. It does the job, but I'm not sure it's as effective as it could be.

The other repair tool we got was the Fusion 2.5.

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(Fusion 2.5)

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(Fusion 2.5 with prongs out)

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(Fusion 2.5 with a Talamore ball marker showing that you can insert other ball markers in there if you want)

It’s a unique tool because it is three pronged and it doesn’t work like traditional tools. You actually just insert the tool into the center of the ball marker and pop it out of the ground. It worked pretty well whenever I used it. It's advertised that it won't disturb the grass' roots. It's obviously hard to tell if that's the case from using it, but it didn't seem to hurt the green. It certainly left less of a mark than shuffling your spikes on the green does. The negative is that it wasn’t intuitive to use. I didn’t figure out the right way to use it until I actually watched the video on the PitchFix website:

One really cool feature of this tool is that it has a pencil sharpener at the end. If you’re like me, you have about 5 pencils floating around your bag, and half of them no longer have a point to write with. This tool means you can take care of that easily and right on the course. And it works! It’s actually a really cool feature, and it means I can clean out some pencils from my bag, my car, and my push cart. I won't have to grab another pencil at the turn anymore, either. 

The hat clip is nice. Stays on your hat just fine. Not a ton to say on this. I’m not a huge hat clip person, but it was handy to have on there when I used it. You can also clip it into your pants pocket if you want. I used it for that and it worked well and was convenient.

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(Hat Clip)

All in all, these repair tools will become standbys in my golf bag.

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 3
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 3
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

My Review:

I'll start with the hat clip, as I exclusively use hat clips for storing my ball markers.  I hate having to dig around in my pocket to find a marker in amongst the tees and divot repair tool I have there.  One of the things I like about this hat clip, is that it stays tight but is easier to remove than other clips if I want to change it to another hat.    Another main benefit to this clip, is that it is stainless steel and should hold up better than other cheaper ones I've had which have rusted and left terrible marks on my hats.  So I may have to start replacing the ones I have with this one.

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For the divot tools, both are well made and are very stylish.  They are a little more expensive then I would typically pay for a divot repair tool.  I have about a dozen of the plastic one prong ones in my bag. 

Fusion:

As @DeadMan noted, you need to watch the video to understand how the fusion works.  But it's pretty ingenious for repairing the green, although depending on the depth and size of the divot it can require a couple of pushes and pulls to fix the divot.   The only problem I had with it was that dirt got wedged into the tool and I had a hard time getting it open.  

As far as the 2.0 goes, it's a fine divot tool as well although I would have liked the prongs to be closer and a little more round and not as big.  But both divot tools do the job, are well made, both have a place for a ball-marker and they are both fine additions to the golf bag.  

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So the prong version (and a couple other brands like that) say "just insert and pull up the mark"

how do they know they aren't damaging the roots with the vertical tug method?  (their claim)

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On most weekends my standard repair tool for the few greens I hit is a tee. The challenge I face with using a tee, is my standard driving tee is really long and when occasionally when I stick the tee in ground I break the tee. Bad for me. So at the Newport Cup when I received two brand new divot repair tools from PitchFix I was very excited to give them. 

The first thing you'll notice when you pick them up is how well they fit your hand. This plus the switchblade nature of the design. My generation grew up with somewhat of a fascination with switchblades. I remember as a kid wanting one because of the utility of carrying the knife without having the blade. My parents would never get me one so I was stuck using the "switchblade comb". It was really popular with my generation.

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We were given two different models along with a very handy hat clip for the ballmarker. I used all of these extensively because of how useful each of them is. The first model the Fusion 2.5 is the coolest looking of the bunch, it is more of a switchblade pitchfork, what an awesome concept. For the harder greens at Talamore and Mid-South this was the perfect tool. You could slip it under and simply pull up and the grass would be as though your ball never hit it. Very handy. I carried it for each of the rounds that we played in North Carolina. 

I have found since coming home to the softer Poa Annua greens of the Pacific Northwest that the Fusion 2.5 isn't the ideal tool for the job. Our greens leave gaping holes. Like this one.

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For pitch marks like this I find that the Fusion 2.5 is not the ideal tool. The good news for this is we also received a Hybrid 2.0. This is the perfect tool for these kinds of marks. The Hybrid 2.0 is very solid construction and still keeps the switchblade coolness intact. I can easily pull out the Hybrid 2.0 and get the green looking like new again. It also has a benefit function which I love for a place to rest clubs when I am on the green. And both include a ball marker which comes in handy when I don't want to lay my club down in the wet grass. 

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The hat clip is something I can say I thought I would never like. But I can say after using it at the Newport Cup I really started to like it. It has a pretty self explanatory use case so I won't go too into it, but basically you always have a mark nearby without digging in your pockets and pulling out 6 tees while trying to find a mark. The hat clip is easy to add to your hat and makes a nice gift for corporate outings with logos and the like.

These 3 items were great to use and thank you to PitchFix for being a sponsor of the Newport Cup.

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23 minutes ago, mchepp said:

For pitch marks like this I find that the Fusion 2.5 is not the ideal tool. The good news for this is we also received a Hybrid 2.0. This is the perfect tool for these kinds of marks.

I am going to say the exact same thing.

The Fusion 2.5 can only really be used on firmer greens.  The hybrid 2.0 is good for soft to wet greens. This is because of the divot size and how each is designed to fix the marks. So, getting both covers all the bases.  I've used a pitch fix divot tool for a couple years now and it still flips open even with the blades getting dirty.  It's also surprising that after all the times I've tried to thrown the tool, trying to stick it in the ground at the mark, it is still working.  So durability is definitely a 5. If we take each divot tool as it's own rating for usefulness, it would be a 4 just because they each have their own pro and con, as stated above.  I think value is a 4, because it is on the expensive side, but at the same token, they don't go bad for a long time.

It's hard for me to rate the hat clip, because I have never worn a hat clip before and I probably won't wear one in the future.  But it is a nice giveaway and works just the way you'd expect it to.  The materials are also good, so if you like hat clips, I'd definitely suggest this one.

 

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 4
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 3
Effectiveness: 4
Aesthetic Appeal: 3

 

Let's start with the easiest of the three.  The Hybrid 2.0.  I've actually been using a PitchFix Hybrid for (I think) 7 or 8 years.  I honestly can't remember how long ago I got it but it has been a staple in my bag.  In one of the captain's choice tournaments I played many, many moons ago they gave one to each competitor...and I absolutely love mine.  When I saw we were getting a brand new one I had a mix of sadness and joy.  Sad that I would be letting go of my trusty one and joy that I was getting a new one.

PitchFix_Old_new_hybrid_closed.jpgPitchFix_Old_new_hybrid_open.jpg

As you can see in the above pictures, the amazing thing to me is how the technology hasn't changed that much...and it doesn't need to.  Mine has lasted so long and seen a lot of use without failing.  I can't stress enough how good these little things are and also how durable.

As for the Fusions, I like them a lot as well.  I think the technology is really good and can be even more effective on greens down in the south (bermuda-based) where, a lot of times, you don't leave more than a dent in the green.  I will probably use this device when I'm playing those types of greens. I still prefer the hybrid for bent-style greens.  Either way, you can't go wrong with these devices.

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As for the hat-clip, I've never been a big fan of them.  That being said, this one was nice because I could get it far enough off the side of the hat where it wasn't in my field of vision so it didn't bother me.  It functioned perfectly fine but it just isn't for me.  The quality looks great and I don't see any reason why this one wouldn't stand up to the test of time like their other devices have!

 

 

 

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 4
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Just another in the long line of goodies we received at the Newport Cup this year were two PitchFix repair tools and a ball marker hat clip.

Hybrid 2.0

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The Hybrid 2.0 has a switchblade design that has a stout spring action that pops the forks out quickly. It has a perforated design on the outside for better gripping. The two fork design is okay but I thought they might be a little too wide. Especially on the firm greens that we played.

It has a standard size ball marker magnetically attached that held on well. It also has some weight and thickness to it so you know where it is in your pocket.

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The one complaint I would have with the 2.0 compared to the Fusion 2.5 is the actuator button protrudes just above the surface and makes it a little harder to actuate.

Fusion 2.5

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The Fusion 2.5 also has a switchblade design. It has a smoother exterior than the 2.0 but holding it didn’t seem to be a problem. The 2.5 also has a stout spring action. The actuator button sticks out slightly higher than the 2.0 and makes it a little easier to open.

The one feature of the Fusion 2.5 that makes it different from any other divot repair tool I have ever seen is the 3 pronged design. Very innovative. We tested it on the putting green at Mid South the first day. You actually push the prongs straight into the middle of the divot and pull up slightly. Hardly leaves a mark on the green. It works really well on firmer greens like the ones I am used to playing on.

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The pencil sharpener is a great idea. Don’t know how many times you get into a golf cart only to find a busted pencil or one that is so dull in won’t print on the scorecard. Not a problem now.

Hat Clip

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I have used a hat clip in the past until one time I swatted at a bee while I was on the green and went to grab the ball marker and it was gone. Apparently it flung off when I was swatting at the bee. So I haven’t used one since.

The magnet on the Pitchfix hat clip is much stronger than the ones I’ve used before. I used it for the entire 90 holes of the Newport Cup and will be using it going forward. It was nice not having to shuffle thru my pocket trying to find my ball marker.

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Pitchfix Repair Tool and Ball Marker Accessories

Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 4
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 3
Aesthetic Appeal: 3

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

 My Review

I was pretty impressed with the repair/marking tools from Pitchfix. You always see this kind of ball mark repair tools given away at charity scrambles, and they’re usually crap. They break mid opening, fall apart in your pocket, screws come loose. You know what Im talking about. Well, the Pitchfix brand is top notch. It almost feels like the golf version of a Swiss army knife. Im one of those guys that fights a lot while others are putting and I kept finding myself hitting the button to activate the switchblade-like open feature of the pitchfix. Over the course of 5 rounds, I did this at least 3-4 times on every green. The tool isn’t loose and works the same every time. Very effective in getting the greens back in top shape. I prefer the 2.0 version to the 2.5 version just because the 3 prongs (which are super strong, not flimsy plastic) weren’t as aesthetically appealing to me.

In the past, I would usually have a plastic tee, my metal ball mark repair tool, and some sort of coin to mark with. Now I just have the Pitchfix and a tee. The magnetic ball markers given to us had the 2017 Newport Cup logos on them, but if you lose one (like I did during the first round) you can put any normal sized ball marker on there. Pitchfix isn’t going to break the bank and you get a quality golf accessory.

Lastly, I’m not a big hat clip guy, however, sometimes you have to toss a ball marker to your dumb buddy who forgot to get one out of his bag. The hat clip is so sleek you don’t even realize its there until you go to adjust the bill of your hat. Strong magnet and the low-profile design has earned the Pitchfix hat clip a spot on one of my regularly worn visors.

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 2
Effectiveness: 2
Aesthetic Appeal: 4

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 3
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 2


The Reviews:

Hybrid 2.0:

I'm not a huge fan of the Hybrid 2.0 ball mark repair tool, and the specific reason for that is that the prongs feel too wide to me when I fix ball marks. It's not necessarily a bad thing in that you are still able to repair ball marks without problems, but to get ball marks to completely flatten out on my home course I usually had to put a little more work into it by going around the edge of the mark several times to avoid missing the spots in between the prongs that didn't seem to even out nicely due to the spacing of the prongs themselves. This could be me not ideally using the tool, or it could be whatever condition the greens are in at my home course, but I wasn't a fan since it took me a bit longer to repair ball marks. The tool itself, while very well made, is just not for me. The value to me personally isn't there considering it's an above average pricing for a ball mark tool and, at least to me, below average performance (I'd rather use the free, narrower stamped tools they give out at some courses).

Fusion 2.5:

This tool, on the other hand, is one that I actually really like and I plan to keep using. As others such as @phillyk mentioned earlier, this tool definitely works better on firm greens as compared to soft. Considering that most greens in Colorado are rather firm, and even more so given the current climate, this tool works very well for me. I will say that the little demonstration video showing only one pull to fix a divot is inaccurate, but I can fix most of my ballmarks with two pulls if I kind of stab a plus into the green, shown in the diagram below.

 Fusion 2.5 Demonstration.png

The other thing I noticed is that the tool can still be used like a normal repair tool would be used, inserting it into the edge of the mark and pushing in. This was actually how I repaired marks for the first two days of the Newport Cup, thinking that was how the tool was meant to be used, and I honestly prefer to use this for the standard ball mark repair method over the Hybrid 2.0 because the 3 tines are spaced closer together.

It's not quite ideal for this, just because the tines are narrow, so what I found is that on a softer green (relatively speaking, probably still a slightly firm green in the grand scheme of things) the easy way to repair was to insert the tool like you were going to normally repair the ball mark and then just remove it without pushing the mark in from the edges. As you pull it out the shape of the tines gently massages the edges of the mark in to fix it, so with a bit of rapid stabbing around the edges you end up with a well-repaired mark. Perhaps this is a technique for those in wetter climates to try out?

The construction of this is just as solid as the Hybrid 2.0. At first I thought there might be longevity issues since it appeared the prongs were plastic, but after using the tool and seeing some use the finish has worn off the tips of the prongs (easily seen in @DeadMan's photo as well) to reveal that the prongs are actually just a finished metal. I'm personally a fan of the 3 prong look since they aren't spaced out so wide, and the pencil sharpener actually works surprisingly well for golf pencils. As I mentioned before, I like this tool enough that I plan to keep using it until it breaks.

Hat Clip:

In all honesty, I stopped using hat clips entirely three or four years ago because I found out they can leave rust stains on the brim of your hat if you use it in the rain and don't remove it from your hat to dry. It's not a huge issue or inconvenience to do this, it's just something I forgot to do 3 times one summer and I rendered 3 of my nice hats mostly unwearable without a hat clip since they had a strange spot even after you scrubbed the rust off. That said, for the purpose of this review I took out my old hat clips to compare to the Pitchfix hat clip to provide my opinion. 

The Pitchfix hat clip is definitely better made than my previous hat clips, with a nice almost rubberized finish where you place the mark (which prevents the nasty gritty noise you get otherwise if you place a metal mark on a metallic magnet with sand in between) and a slightly raised lip that holds it securely in place. My old hat clips lacked the little rim around the ball mark, which meant I actually had lost several ball marks over the years because they managed to work their way off the clip and fell in some unknown location. Placing the clip on the brim of my hat and shaking my head as vigorously as I could, I was unable to get the Pitchfix mark to come loose (likely a combination of the grippier rubberized surface and the lip) while I was able to send my old ball marks flying from their respective hat clips.

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The clip itself also attaches quite firmly to the brim of your hat. As you can see in the above picture, the hat clip also has two little rubberized pads on the underside that make contact with your hat. This actually made it a little difficult to remove the clip from the brim of my hat, which is a good thing because I imagine the clip itself won't ever accidentally dislodge itself. My old hat clips could occasionally be dislodged if I brushed up against or bumped into trees or door frames hard enough (I once concussed myself on a door frame heading out the door to a golf tournament and one of the few things I remember from the tournament is that I didn't have my hat clip, which was later found in the doorway where I concussed myself having been knocked loose from the hat).

If I were ever going to use a hat clip again, I'd use this hat clip. They have however, in the time that's passed since I last used them, lost their appeal to me since I now prefer to use larger coins to mark my ball so I can clearly see it from across the green. I'll leave this in my bag, however, just in case someone else needs a marker or if my preferred silver dollar coins go missing.

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 4
Aesthetic Appeal: 4

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 4
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 3

https://www.pitchfixusa.com

I have enjoyed receiving and using the PitchFix line of products. I especially like the PitchFix Fusion 2.5.  I know that some have mentioned the struggles of repairing marks on the on softer greens out there. I have not had many problems with this but I can see where it could be a potential issue. Fortunately for me nearly all the greens I play on here in Wisconsin are bentgrass and seem to hold together pretty well to repairing ball marks even when they are soft greens. I really like the ergonomic function of the Fusion 2.5 and how easy it is to use for the most part.  You simply press the button to flip the pins out and then push them down into the ball mark and pull up. I like to use it the same way Tyler suggested which is to push the pins into the grass twice, rotating the tool 90 degrees or so on the second attempt.  This seems to work very well.  This tool will definitely be my go to on most rounds of golf. The only time I won't use it is on the rare occasion I end up playing a course with more fragile greens.  

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The PitchFix Hybrid 2.0 I have not used as much.  It seems to work fine.  What I like about it is that it has a nice looking design, and the function is better verses more traditional ball mark repair tools.  It is not as hard on the hands as more traditional tools. I am not so fond of the size however.  I feel like they probably could have made this tool about 25%-30% smaller in size and it would be better.  It is just a bit too bulky compared to the 2.5 as you can see above(the Fusion 2.5 on the left and the Hybrid 2.0 on the right).  It is more noticeable in the pocket because of this.  I feel as others do, that the prongs on this should be a bit closer together for repairing the marks.  

Both of these tools are quality products. They look great and feel great.  I like that they have the pencil sharpener in them as well.  I like how the prongs flip out for better extension when using the tool and fold back in to make it more compact when putting back in your pocket.  

I must admit that am not much of a hat clip fan.  I have never really been one and I don't really like the look.  I did use it during the Newport Cup though and it seems to work very well.  It is nice just to reach up and grab the marker off the hat rather than to fumble through a pocket full of tees.  The clip itself does hold to the hat brim nicely and there is no worry about it coming off.  It is a another quality design and I like how the marker slides off and goes back on, but there is also no concern with the marker doing that on it's own.  It is a simple and effective design indeed.  

I really enjoyed the PitchFix line of products and I will definitely be purchasing another Fusion 2.5 when I wear out the one I have.  They seem to be a very innovative forward thinking company and I cannot wait to see what else they will come up with.  

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Have not used it sufficiently to review

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 3

https://www.pitchfixusa.com

The hat clip ball marker has been a welcome addition.  No more fumbling in my pocket for my mark.

As to the pitch mark repair tools, I will readily admit I am pretty old school, as well as being just plain old.  I have used the same pitch mark repair tool for 20+ years.  Well, guess what I lost a while back.  Yep, the ancient tool is lying somewhere on a Michigan golf course, slowly rusting away.

Fortunately, we were outfitted with the latest and greatest tools from Pitch Fix USA.  As a fan of "Westside Story" I love the switchblade process of opening the tool ... "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way ...."

The extra length of the tool makes repairs easy peasy - no effort required.  Once I have tugged the mark together and patted the turf with my putter, it is often impossible to see where the mark was located.

 

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Ratings (out of 5):
Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 3
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hat Clip

Quality: 5
Value: 5
Effectiveness: 5
Aesthetic Appeal: 3

The accessories from Pitchfix included two different pitch mark repair tools and a ball mark hat clip.

The hat clip is great - if you are somebody who is used to wearing their ball marker on their hat.  I am not, and never planned to be, as I've always kept my ball markers, pitch mark repair tools, and chapstick in my left front pocket.  That's where I'm always going for my marker, so even if I'm wearing the hat clip, I'm forgetting about it often anyway.  That said, it's a great clip, fits snug, and the marker looks great and it's not going anywhere thanks to the strong magnet.  Lucky for me, the pitch mark repair tools also have the same magnetic ball marker.  Speaking of those ...

The Fusion 2.5 is a tool that has limited use and I've yet to figure out when that is.  Supposedly, you stick it straight in and pull it straight out, but I felt like I was doing more damage than I was fixing when I tried it.  Too bad, though, because the Fusion also had a unique feature that the Hybrid did not; a pencil sharpener.  I'll experiment more in the future, but for now I will stick to the Hybrid 2.0.

Speaking of that, the Hybrid 2.0 I am a big fan of.  Now, instead of a pocket with a smaller tool or two and two or three coins (along with the chapstick), all I need is this one tool.  Here are a couple of pictures of both (Hybrid on top, Fusion below):

pitchfix1.jpgpitchfix2.jpg

Both are "switchblade" style, which on the one hand is just plain cool, and on the other hand, is handy because it keeps sharp items from being exposed within your pocket.  As you can see, both come with the same ball marker, which is also the same ball marker that came on the hat clip.  Both are very sturdy, too.  Perhaps over time, the sand picked up by the forks will hinder the function of the mechanism, so in trying to prevent that, I have been cleaning the forks as good as I can after each use. (I don't use it nearly enough though, since I only hit 6-8 greens a round anyway :P)

Overall, the Pitchfix tools are great items and I will be using the Hybrid 2.0 for the foreseeable future. :) (It would make a great stocking stuffer if anybody is shopping for one)

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Hat Clip:

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness:  5 
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Fusion 2.5

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 4
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

Hybrid 2.0

Quality: 5
Value: 4
Effectiveness: 3 (repair tools), 5 (hat clip)
Aesthetic Appeal: 5

PitchFix provided all of the Newport Cup competitors with three items, a Hat Clip for a ball marker, Fusion 2.5 ball mark repair tool. and a Hybrid 2.0 ball mark repair tool.

First and foremost, these are all very well made items. The hat clip is sturdy, and “grabs” the hat brim securely, there's no fear it will ever let loose, and the magnet is more than strong enough to retain the ball marker. Both of the repair tools were the switchblade type of action. The extension spring is strong enough to overcome any bits of grit that might get into the interior of the tool, and the latching mechanism is secure enough that it will never spring open on its own and stab you through your pants pocket. Both the “pitchfork” style tines of the Fusion (right in the photo below) and the more traditional tines of the Hybrid (left) are very solid, I can't imagine ever bending or damaging them in normal use. Each tool came with a magnetically attached ball marker, and again, the magnets are strong enough that you don't have to worry about ball marker accidentally coming loose.20171202_141813_resized_1.thumb.jpg.2958a74ff9da510d46e58435c53b96d4.jpg

As for effectiveness, both Fusion and the Hybrid work just fine on firm greens with deep solid root structures. With the Fusion, you could simply insert the pins and remove it, and the enlarged "arrowhead" tip of the pins pulled the center of the ball mark up as they were removed. The Hybrid is meant to be used in the traditional way, levering the edges of the ball mark toward the center. On softer greens with thinner root structure, neither tool seemed as effective. The Fusion's three closely spaced prongs worked well in “stretching” the edges of the undamaged turf towards the center of the ball mark, but pulling the tool out occasionally pulled bits of turf loose, damaging the area somewhat. With the Hybrid, the wider spacing of the prongs seemed to tear the turf more easily while repairing the ball mark. It seems to me that having three closely spaced tines, but without the enlarged tips, might be a better tool for these more fragile greens. Or I can just use some of the free metal tools provided by some courses, the kind with two very closely spaced tines.

As for value, I see retail prices in the $12 to $20 range for the repair tools, and about $11 for the hat clip. The prices for the repair tools seem competitive with some of the other higher-quality, while the hat clip may be a little higher than its competitors. These are quality products, well made, and probably very durable, so I believe they're good value.

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