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Posts posted by PirateJim

  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 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Hi guys,

    I just wanted your views on the AP2's and whether they would suit players who have a handicap between 15-18? I have done a bit of research and spoken to a few people and have heard the following said more than once:

    1. Purchase and play an iron that LOOKS and FEELS good to you however make sure you get fitted for the club.

    2. If your ball striking is good and consistent then you will have no problems hitting the AP2 regardless of your handicap but any mishits will be punished by this club.

    My handicap is down to 16 now (don't know how to change it in my profile!) and I am more serious than ever about the game with my ultimate goal to get down to single figures! My ball striking I would say is good but my real strength lies in my short game which I feel is the most important part! I do struggle most of the tee but I am certainly not the worst!

    For my next set I would like to go AP1 or AP2 but for some reason the AP2 appeals way more to me! I have a fitting booked for Saturday and I can't wait to give both the AP1 and AP2 a go and deep down I really HOPE I can cope with the AP2 because if I can and the numbers show, its going to be a no brainer for me!

    Any thoughts and advice would be much appreciated!


    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.)

  6. Hi guys,

    Just wondering whether anyone plays a combo set made up of AP1's and AP2's or knows of anyone who does?

    If so, would love to hear your views on this. For those that don't what do you think about a setup like this? e.g. 4,5,6 in AP1 and 7 to PW in AP2.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


    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...

  7. 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.

    • Upvote 1
  8. Thanks for the answers guys. Really appreciate it. I am just going back and forth on what I want to do. [U]I want to buy new irons but don't really want to pay for a full blow fitting and the irons.[/U] So that's why I was wondering if my irons could be set up for me. But I guess if I have to change the shafts it would be almost just as pricey so I might just get a mini fitting with new irons so I can buy another driver lol.

    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...)

  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. I try to keep my wrists firm on impact. (this is big for me.) I figure that break is a function of slope and distance, so the longer the putt, the bigger the break. I dont have any good way to translate how a slope on the green feels and looks into an estimate of the break.

    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...

  12. 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.

    • Upvote 1
  13. I am considering switching to graphite shafted irons to reduce wear and tear on my body. I am wondering which club company has the best stock shaft. I have eliminated Titelist AP 1 because the set would cause me to carry 4 wedges, and that would create too big a gap at the other end. I am a decent player, almost 60, play tees about 6700 yards. While added distance would be a nice bonus, I really am more interested in accuracy. I am currently playing Ping G15 red dot stiff. Thanks.

    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.

  14. What WUTiger said. But here's two thoughts: For Ping, go to their web site and do their online fitting. It amounts to a "static" fitting that doesn't take your swing into account, but it is a darn good start (for Ping clubs). There are a lot of fitters that won't charge you extra for the fitting if you buy the clubs from them. Trying to save even more by buying something off the internet may well be false economy... I would vote to use your old sticks while you save up for a few more months and then get a first class fitting.
  15. Sadly, I don't fall into the "better players" category, but when I started back into golf after quite a lot of years away from the game I bought a set of Ping G20s with their full set of wedges, PW, GW, SW, LW. ("Standard" club sets at places like Golfsmith are simply what they think people want, not necessarily what the manufacturer suggests.) After a few months I swapped out the LW for a series of different aftermarket wedges looking for the perfect set of qualities while still using the PW, GW and SW for full shots only. I finally ended up with a SCOR lob wedge and it did what I wanted whenever I did my part. When I moved to my AP1s I packed the bottom of the bag with SCORs. Each is good for both full swing shots, but more importantly, for "pitch shot" swings as well. It gives me a lot of flexibility around the green, which is good because I seem to get a lot of wedge opportunities. So, for me, it is this added flexibbility that explains the aftermarket wedges. I presume it is the same, perhaps to a greater degree, for good players.
  16. I love my AP1s.  They are a game improvement type club, but I suppose geared somewhat toward the more serious player.  They have less offset than a lot of GI class clubs, and they are contoured so as to minimize the look of the offset that is there.  But they still have a sort of chunky topline like all GI clubs which seems to bother some folks.  I don't really notice/worry about it.

    I don't have experience with the Mizunos, but I know they make top quality clubs; so whether the AP1s would be an upgrade is a question I won't delve into.  However, if you're thinking of shopping for AP1s, I would strongly urge you to look at Titleist's web site and see if there is an Advanced fitting center anywhere near you.  Not all fittings are the same...

  17. So, I was playing today and hit the greenside bunker. I got out of the bunker and got on the fringe and then chipped onto the green. From there I made the putt.

    Does that count as a sand save?

    I'm not sure of the "official" definition of Sand Save, if there is one...  I would think that it would mean you knock your second shot into the greenside bunker on a par 4, get out and "save" the par with a one-putt.  However, given the circumstances, if you want it to be a Sand Save, I say go for it!

  18. Love my SCOR wedges and much love for my Newport 2.  I'm actually really happy with all my Titleist clubs, but I attribute a good portion of that to the fitter and suspect that I'd be as happy with some other brands if I could get the fitting and the crowns of the 'woods' were black.

  19. I'm a few years behind you, but I'm a real believer in taking advantage of the benefits of the game improvement clubs.  I went for Titleist AP1s not long ago and love them.  But regardless of the brand, I think the absolute most important thing is getting a good fitting and selection of the right shafts for your swing.  IMHO "fittings" that simply involve deciding whether you want the standard steel or graphite shaft and checking lie aren't much better than buying whatever off Ebay and hitting the course.  You may already know the answer, but if not ask around for the best fitter in your area and then figure out what brand(s) of club they can fit you for.

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