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28 Plays from the Tips

About PirateJim

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    Florida's Suncoast

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  1. I'm a big believer in wedges, and at the same time I do understand than golf clubs can be budget busters. I'd watch ebay. I'm guessing you will find more lightly used wedges (with not too badly worn grooves) there than on most store used racks since that is a good place for new club tinkerers to dump failed tries. IMHO you really need the granularity more on the short end of the bag than on the long end, and a single gap wedge between the PW and 60 LW isn't overkill by any stretch. Don't cheap out too much.
  2. I use a reverse overlap. After reading Stan Utley's putting book I began assuring that I grip my putter along the life lines which does seem to get the shaft aligned nicely with the arms. Then I worked my up to a Super Stroke 3.0 grip that really lets me get my hands in great contact.
  3. I suspect that the answer is that "top amateurs" are just golfers deep down and like the rest of us, they buy golf clubs like most of us do. Some are brand loyal, some aren't, some buy new sticks when something shiny catches their eye, others hang on to clubs that are working for them for years. @newtogolf menti oned that at his club many of the top amateurs play irons and putters that are several years old. I don't think that is surprising since irons are really utility clubs meant for moving the ball some specific distance with accuracy and consistency. Once you get pretty happy with a set of irons and have their distances dialed in, changing them out regularly isn't likely to improve your scores. Same with putters I expect. You don't get to be a top amateur by being less than pretty dang good at putting. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Drivers, and to a slightly lesser degree fairway 'woods', on the other hand, are clubs everyone would like to squeeze a bit more distance and/or (preferably and...) accuracy out of, so those get swapped out when something new looks good. As has been said, all of the major brands make good golf clubs. I'm really coming to believe that shaft selection is every bit as important as head selection, and that's where getting a good fitting proves to be so important. If the 'fitter' can't let you try several different brands of shaft it isn't much of a 'fitting' IMO, and the best fittings happen on a range (with a launch monitor). Finally, a quick web search of "golf amateur champions in the bag" turned up a few hits.
  4. I think one of the big considerations when looking at the XP105 vs XP95 is the change you'll get in the "feel" of the clubs as you swing them. earlier this year I switched from Ping G20s with their proprietary graphite shafts and tried about 6 various steel and graphite options in my new AP1s. For me, shaft weight makes a really noticeable difference in feel. The i95s I ended up with are heavier than the shafts that were in the Pings, but still pretty light in the overall scheme of things. Given that you like the feel of the XP95, I would definitely suggest finding a fitter that has the XP105 shaft to try before just ordering clubs with those shafts. And since the topic of forged vs cast has come up, I'll just mention that of all the clubs I've given a try over the last couple of years, some forged irons do indeed feel "softer" than some cast irons, but when it comes to smooth feel when the ball is hit flush I find that the real difference is between steel and graphite shafts rather than forge and cast heads. I know a lot of folks figure they aren't old enough or sissy enough to bag graphite shafted irons, but they think nothing of graphite on their drivers.
  5. You can go to Titleist's web site and look at the custom options, there's a nice chart that shows all of the shafts they offer as either standard or extra price options with their drivers and how they rank for launch and spin. The Phenom 70 is, indeed, shown as a lower launching, low spin shaft. As usual, saevel25 has a good suggestion in looking at how you're actually hitting the ball. I'm still working on learning to hit up, or at least not down with my driver, but it does have a huge effect on launch angle if/when I pull it off. Sadly, if you go the shaft replacement route, you will likely negate the GREAT deal you got via the internet, and the shaft selection will still be a heck of a lot more random than it would have been if you'd gone ahead and gotten a first class fitting. Good luck.
  6. I'm sympathetic: AP1s are good looking clubs, real good looking IMO, but AP2s are gorgeous! But when you get out on the course, pretty is as pretty does, and my ball striking (which I don't think is so bad either :-) isn't so great that I am not better off playing the more forgiving AP1s than the AP2s like Jason Duffner and Jordan Spieth. My strong suggestion would be to find a good Titleist fitter, preferably an Advanced Fitting Center rather than a big box store with a sales clerk that doubles as a fitter. You can find the locations of fitters on the Titleist web site. Talk it over with the fitter and let them guide you through the decision process. For the record, I love my AP1s. They look good to me and they play great! (To edit your handicap, go to My Profile and click the Edit Community Profile button on the top right.)
  7. I contemplated such a setup, particularly because of the lofts on the AP1s that called for the introduction of two gap wedges. I discussed it with my fitter and tried hitting some AP2s with various shafts, but the AP1s were really performing better for me down to PW. I didn't buy Titleist's gap wedges but filled the bottom of the bag with SCOR's. Love the SCOR wedges for "wedge" shots, but sometimes wonder if I shouldn't swap the 48 for another AP1 for better full swing performance. Bottom line was that the AP1s gave me more accuracy, no doubt because of the forgiveness factor mostly. My suggestion is to stick with them rather than mixing AP2s in, but it's your money...
  8. I like some of the technology Callaway has been introducing, but... dang. If you buy a new set of Callaway sticks, I mean NEWest stuff, you've got to know that they have two or three next generation clubs already in the pipeline already. I'm not saying everyone should be like Titleist and only release new models every two years, but I think it would be nice to let your customers have the latest and greatest in their bags for more than a couple of months. Another effect that may not be positive for Callaway (Taylormade) is that the deluge of new product announcements becomes somewhat like a white noise for those of us that aren't currently dedicated to the brand. You just sort of stop trying to keep up with what the latest "longest driver/fairway/hybrid/iron we've ever produced" is all about.
  9. Footjoy StaSof is the one that always works for my hand.
  10. I would shop for a new vendor if they are going to charge you for a fitting on clubs they're selling you. The primary reason my bag is full of Titleist clubs is the confidence I have in the Titleist Advanced Fitting Ctr. that is available to me. I have never paid for the fitting service, including over an hour on the range testing and retesting different shafts for my AP1s. Even the "fittings" some big-box stores do (basically trying different clubs that happen to be in stock until they narrow it down a bit) are usually free if you are buying clubs. (Yes, I am sure there are some decent fittters at the big stores, but it seems there are more stores than decent fitters...)
  11. As has been said, lie angle can usually be adjusted a couple of degrees anyway. Shaft length is largely a static number, a visit to the Ping site and their web fitting tool can tell you a lot. However, the biggest variable by far in a proper fitting is shaft selection. I was amazed what a difference various shafts can make with the same club head. And I am not at all sure reshafting your old sticks would give similar results to what you were fitting to unless the heads are very similar in specs. If you feel pretty sure you are not ready to invest in new sticks, why not visit a decent club repair shop and get them to confirm the length of your current clubs isn't too far off and then check your lie angle for the full set (after a few years it can vary from club to club from what I have read). This shouldn't cost that much and may give your old irons a new lease on life simply because you are confident they fit right.
  12. How long it is going to take for you isn't something anyone can really answer, way too many variables. It doesn't sound like you are doing so badly really, if you are hitting 80% pretty well and shooting around 100. That's what I have heard the "average" golfer shoots. But you wouldn't be on forums like this if all you wanted was to be average. For me, the weak little shank-like thing comes from not getting my weight shifted back left, sometimes while trying a bit too hard to hold my wrist hinge. Fortunately that seems to happen on the range where I think about such stuff. But grooving my swing has had a lot to do with grooving my weight shift. I think a lot of feeling like you have got your swing working okay is reflected in how you score on the course, and when you are shooting around 100 it is time to really evaluate where you are losing strokes. I saw Lowest Score Wins plugged earlier, I haven't read it yet, but it is written by this forum's administrator who seems quite knowledgable. Probably a worthwhile read to shave strokes, but here are a few thoughts that have helped me. You drive is really important, it sets the tone for the rest of the hole. It you can hit 300 yard drives it is great, so long as they end up in a halfway decent place. But if you lose balls in the woods/weeds/water or OB very often you might be better off dialing it back to 260 and in the fairway or easy rough. When you do find you have hit a poor shot and you are in trouble don't try to make up for it by hoping to make a followup shot that would make Tiger grin and spin his club. You aren't Tiger. When you find yourself in trouble make sure your NEXT shot isn't from trouble! Over time you will save strokes. Finally work on ptiching and putting. A lot of strokes can be saved in this area by most average golfers. Search "qiuckie pitching video" on this forum to see an excellent technique.
  13. Putting is so personal you will likely get a lot of different answers. Most all golfers struggle with it, even the tour pros, and I am not a wonderful putter by any means, but I have been improving slowly. Here are a couple of my thoughts. A smooth stroke is mighty important and many say you need to be accelerating the club through impact. I'm not sure acceleration is necessary, but I do believe you must not be decelerating at impact. I think it is critical to consistency that you not manipulate the club face with your hands or wrists during the stroke, but swing from the shoulders with a quiet lower body as you mention. This will generate a curved putter path, though it may feel straight back and through. DO NOT FIXATE ON THE SWING PATH! It will drive you nuts. All that really matters is having the putter face aligned at impact. A lot of people are finding the fat grips help to control this hand manipulation. I would like to give Aimpoint a try, but a lot of good putters have gotten there by practicing. Learning how much break to account for is similar to learning how hard you need to hit the ball for a given distance. I agree that break is a function of slope and distance, but velocity is also a factor. A putt that is rolling pretty fast won't break as much as when it is slowing to a stop, it is inertia at work. So if you are confident, you can "take some of the break out" by putting the ball a bit harder, but of course there is a risk/reward factor there; miss and you have a longer putt back. Finally, I struggled a lot with proper alignment until I learned to get my eyes directly over the ball while aligning. I generally settle in for the actual stroke standing straighter with my eyes somewhat back of the ball rather than immatating Michelle Wie. But I was far less consitant with alignment trying to set up without being over the ball. Hope this helps. I apologize for typos, I'm even worse on an iPad than a real keyboard...
  14. First of all, I think the guy should hang out a Closed sign if he wants to go out and pick by hand then mow in the middle of the day. I can understand a person trying to run a business like that on a shoe-string, but in that case, he should thank God he's got a customer and wait 'till you are done to do his mowing. Hate to say it, but I wonder if he isn't hoping to get hit and get out of a failing deal with an insurance claim/liability suit ("I told him I had to mow and he said he could keep his shots on the other side of the range!") then live off the government on disability.
  15. I think you'll love the graphite. You still get plenty of feedback for off center hits without the sting. I went with Aerotech shafts for the much tighter dispersion they gave me over any of the other shafts we tried (including steel) during my fitting. The weight of the shafts has a big effect on the way a club feels, at least to me. If you're determined to only consider 'default' graphite shafts, I'd suggest trying a number of clubs and determining what shaft weight you want then narrowing brands to give final consideration to with that in mind. However, most brands offer a variety of shaft options that a decent fitter should be able to let you sample. For what it's worth, I like having the granularity on the short end of the bag that four wedges give me, but a Titleist fitter should be able to help you pick out a three wedge solution if that's what you want.
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