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12 Off to a Great Start

About Liko81

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  1. I too like midsize; I'm on the cusp between regular and midsize grips in terms of hand size, and the larger grip just feels more comfortable and less like I'm going to helicopter the club into the lake. Currently I have Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G midsize on my numbered irons; Dry, they're great, nice and grippy, but just a little sweat or rain and they're slicker than snot against bare skin so a glove is a must. Not a huge fan but it's what I have on them this year. What I wanted was the Lambkin tour wrap from 2-3 years ago, which I still have on my wedges. Dry or wet, glove or bare hands, these grips are nice and firm, but whether due to a rule change or because they were just too good and nobody was regripping, Lambkin stopped selling them, and their current wrap is as slick as the Golf Pride plus it has the extreme texturing in the middle of each band of the wrap which is my second most hated feature in a grip (my most hated being cord grips; they eat right through a glove in less than a round and your hands not long after) On my woods and hybrid, I'm currently using Winn Dri-Tacs. They work, nice and soft yet grippy so I relax my grip and just swing. Durability's a concern; they only last about two years of infrequent playing. For my putter, I have a Winn Dri-tac pistol grip in midsize, and it's absolutely perfect, fits my hands like a glove, good feel through the stroke. I don't like the extremely oversized Sure Strokes, but the standard grip is just too small for me. This is the perfect compromise. We'll see how long it lasts; I don't strangle my putter grip nor take wild swings with it so it should be good for a few years.
  2. 2ndSwing.com. You haven't told us make/model/year/dexterity, but they have over 4200 numbered irons (not counting wedges) in stock for individual sale right now, so the odds are better than most places. I can testify that their prices, delivery and customer service are all excellent, and they very carefully take several high-res photos of every club that comes into their stock to it's easy to see what you're buying. eBay is my second choice; it's a pretty good aggregator of all the other used sellers out there (even if they have their own site, they'll also often post on eBay for the extra exposure). Delivery and customer service is dependent on the actual seller of course.
  3. Best? Probably my new 3-wood; Taylormade AeroBurner 3HL. Something about it just works for me, when I couldn't dial in my 2009 Burner to save my life. $129 for basically new (it had been swung, but the clubhead was cherry). Worst? Probably the first set of clubs I ever bought, which turned out to be ladies' blades from the '80s. Still, $25 for a full set for a guy who'd never swung a club before, and I still own and play the Warrior wedges that came with them (though those are probably my next replacement; I A/Bed them next to the SM6 in Tour Chrome and the feel of the Vokeys is just so more balanced and clean).
  4. I don't play S58s, but I did A/B an S55 set against my own G10s and against some other GIs (Callaway, Mizuno etc). One thing I noticed, that I should have paid more attention to, is that the S55s were actually the more consistent iron for me. With a stiff steel shaft and less weight in the head, the club has a "higher" swingweight (COM further from the clubhead) than virtually any GI you'll hit, and with a consistent swing that I had that day (I don't always), it really tightened up the dispersion pattern compared to reg-flex. I also was trying blue dots when I'm really closer to black (I always measure out on the border between the two), and on that day the S55s gave me a weak draw while all the other irons I tried pushed. Before my last fitting, I'd always been told to stick with regular-flex on everything, but at my Titleist fitting last weekend I took one swing with the demo club in an R300 shaft, and they took it back and put an S300 on. Distance-wise, yeah, not as much from the S55s as the Callaway XR or Mizuno JPX cast, about the same as my Ping G10s all told. I think the difference is all in the loft; the S55 and G10 are within a degree of each other through the set (the 3-5 are the same loft, the 6 is a half-degree stronger on the S55 and the 7-9 a full degree stronger, then the PW snaps back to 46* identical to the G10's). Meanwhile, the current GIs like the XR and JPX are *seriously* delofted (as low as a 43* PW) even compared to mid-2000 irons like my G10s. The clubfitter at the last demo day for Titleist irons (not bad btw) said the additional delofting is to lower the launch angle given the natural higher launch of extreme-cavity GIs, but given that I currently play a 3-PW set and I was recommended for a 4-GW during the fitting, I really think it's more about adding distance, so high-cappers hit the same iron number as the mid-cappers they tag along with (and so that players hitting older irons see a reason to upgrade). Overall I think I'd really like an S-series set on the course, if I ever got up the scratch and the courage to move up to what's marketed as a single-cap iron. The S55 is retaining fairly high used values (they are only 2 years old after all) but the feel is excellent for a cast club, and with what turned out to be a closer fit to my swing, I felt the S55s were the more consistent, accurate iron despite the smaller head size and lesser forgiveness. In short, play the S-series if they work for you and don't listen to people who say you need an iron set to match your handicap; your handicap may well have nothing to do with your iron game.
  5. My biggest regret is not getting more real lessons earlier. I started learning to swing just after college, at a new TopGolf that had opened more or less in walking distance from my apartment. Unfortunately, I had no idea what the pros were trying to get me to do, and everything they suggested screwed up my ball contact; I'm sure if I had made contact it would have flown straighter, but as it was I ended up ignoring everything they told me. Then I ripped the hell out of my back at that same range (a month after buying into their "unlimited play" membership) and didn't swing a club for nearly three years until I met my wife and her parents, avid golfers. I still haven't taken a real-one-on-one lesson with a pro, and as a result my shots are a shotgun spray of inconsistency.
  6. First off, the difference in sample size is massive. By rule, only the top 125 pro players in the entire world have the magic "PGA Tour Card" that grants them entry to any USGA/R&A professional tournament. PGA.com only bothers to keep track of the top 250 professional players in terms of FedEx Cup points. By contrast, there are an estimated 24.7 million recreational golfers in the United States alone. So, the Fedex Cup standings represent the top one-thousandth of 1% of the U.S. recreational player pool. Second, the Tour players, pretty much by definition, are the best the sport has to offer in every aspect of the game. You might compare relative performance on different elements of the game including driver distance, putting stats etc to find relative strengths and weaknesses between Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, but compare either of these players' performance numbers to your own and you'll come up lacking even if you can match their swing speed. As such, the Tour averages are nowhere near a representative sample of even scratch players, to say nothing of the recreational golf world at large. These major differences in exactly who is being averaged here will lead to major differences in resulting performance statistics. It really all boils down to four things: The average rec golfer is on the downslope of athletic ability (average Tour age - 35; average rec golfer age: 46) The average rec golfer represents a much wider cross-section of human physique than the Tour. The average golfer practices about an hour a day long-term average; Tour pros practice about four hours a day. The average rec golfer isn't (shouldn't be) playing from the tips. Golf has built-in difficulty levels, and only someone totally out of touch with their abilities would play from the tips without having a scratch handicap from the blues. I swing ~97mph, on the low side of stiff-flex with an average 230 drive carry, and I play from the whites with zero shame.
  7. If your last fitting was four years ago you really need to get fitted again, especially if you are considering new clubs. The clubs won't have changed a great deal between 2012 and now (despite all the marketing hype), but your swing very well might have changed enough to change the recommendations. The S2s are firmly in the high-cap game-improvement range (they remind me quite a bit of the Cally Big Bertha GIs from about 10 years back), and if you're having problems with launching too high then you might be ready for a set with a higher CG that will launch lower. Whether you still need the forgiveness of a GI set is your call, and the best way to make that decision is to try a few different head styles. I recently tried the Titleist 916 API and AP2, and was pleased with both. The AP1 is a little harder overall, you'll feel the impact with the ball even if you hit it dead-on, but it will give you the necessary feedback on off-center hits without punishing you as much. The AP2s, being forged, feel like the ball's not even there when you hit centered, but like any better-player iron, they'll punish you a bit more on distance and flight-path for the occasional toe hit. Both of them launched a lot lower than my current Ping G10 SGI set, through a combination of higher, more forward CG and delofting the high end of the set about 3 degrees (43* PW; the G10s have a 46*). So, if you're looking to launch lower but keep some forgiveness, the AP1s are a good place to start.
  8. It's all about swingweight (and a little about stiffness). If your irons have higher-mass heads (game improvement or hybrid-style irons), a shaft that's too light will make the club feel toe-heavy and it'll be harder to control your ball-striking. Graphite shafts can vary in stiffness more than steel for the same weight, but all other things being equal, a heavier shaft can more easily be made stiffer, so if your swing is strong enough for stiff flex you will likely end up with a slightly heavier shaft too.
  9. It's certainly better than the high slice that most novice players start with. If you're hitting a hook (launches straight, curves toward your side of your stance), that usually means you have an inside-to-out swing path (excellent for the driver), and are turning your hands over too much to close the clubface (not so good but fixable with small grip/release changes). If you're hitting a pull (launches left, flies straight), that's usually an outside-in swing path (not great but very common) coupled with a closed face that lines up the face to the swing path. This requires more work to fix (lower your backswing to flatten your swing plane and weaken your grip a touch) but the straight pull, if consistent, is usually playable.
  10. Well, a strong grip (thumbs shifted toward your trailing side; right for a rightie, left for a southpaw) is going to encourage you to close the clubface at impact as you turn your hands over. If the face is too far closed, you'll hook it every time, no real surprise there. Are you sure you were told to use a strong grip on irons? Strengthening your grip is a common solution to the beginner's high slice with the driver, but AFAIK most instructors lean toward starting with a neutral grip on your irons, since the basic setup is much more centered.
  11. Not exactly the same, but I did switch from a standard 3w loft to a 3HL (16.5*), and that 1.5* extra loft seems to have made a big difference all by itself; my shot consistency went way up and my distance increased 10 yards on average, turning my 3w from a last resort to a useful gap-filler between the driver and 4H. If I'd known about the mini driver in the same line when I was looking, I might have tried that out as well; a slightly deeper face, 16* loft, pretty much a "deck driver" in all senses of the word.
  12. There's no way we'll be able to tell you; this is something you dial in by feel and by distance. A heavier shaft, all other things being equal, will slow your tempo a touch as the club will feel heavier, but it will also increase total mass of the club. Distance-wise, the ideal weight will create a local maximum where there's both sufficient mass and swing speed to give you the most kinetic energy behind the ball. Too heavy and swing speed will fall off more than the shaft's mass can make up; too light and the increase in swing speed doesn't make up for the mass loss. Of more importance IMO is that a heavier shaft brings the balance point (aka swingweight) of the club higher on the shaft, making the club feel more balanced in your hands. At just the right point, the club will feel effortless. Too light and the clubhead is hard to control through your swing; too heavy and it's hard to feel where the clubhead is. Either way you'll have ball-striking problems with a shaft that doesn't feel balanced to you.
  13. Nice Vine. Only problem is, that ball's now so out of round it's unlikely to fly anywhere near straight. From an everyday definition of the term, golf balls are durable, but that's because they're designed to get hit at upwards of 100mph, fly through the air, land on whatever's underneath them, then be playable again for the next shot. However, the aerodynamics of the golf ball requires that ball to be pretty much perfect, so it actually doesn't take much to relegate a ball that's still round and in one piece to the shag bag.
  14. Even at private courses, there is usually an enforced pace of play, and in general, etiquette states that you should try to keep up with the group in front of you. If you can see the group ahead of you on the current hole (or teeing off at the next while you're approaching the green), then you're fine; if anyone is the problem it's them. If you can't, and there's groups stacking up behind you, then maybe you should start adding some time-saving measures (gimmes within 3 feet, dropping at the nearest known point to a lost ball instead of a provisional, "Ready Golf" where people still play in turn but others are at their lies ready to take their shots as soon as the previous player has hit, etc). If you feel that you are being unfairly accosted by groups playing behind you, then take it up with the marshal. He'll know who teed off two groups behind you (since you let that other pair through on 7) and thus who was the aggressive player telling you to hurry up. However, if you come in at 4 hours 45 minutes, the marshal is likely to say the guy had a point. In any case, my general recommendation when playing a course for the first time is to find a "sherpa" who's played the course before, and let him guide you through the fairway and from hole to hole. After that, your pace will naturally increase as your familiarity with the course layout does. Your pace will also increase as your misses off the tee decrease; the more fairways you find with your first tee shot, the faster your group will advance.
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