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7 Sandbagger

About xrayvizhen

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  1. Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

    O.P.'s FITTING UPDATE As part of his normal process, my local fitter, Tim Mosel, made up a 6-iron for me to test. He custom built it to my swing specifications with components from Wishon; a CSI-771 head and graphite shaft. I had thought with my swing speed (5-iron = 80) that I would need to go back to a regular shaft but instead, it’s a stiff shaft, but with the “frequency” matched to my swing. Tim said not to get hung up the flex. It’s also a half inch longer, (38”) than my current 6-iron. I can say that the Wishon is very easy to hit, somewhat forgiving but with a decent amount of workability and longer by at least a club, and on some shots a club and a half, than what I have now. It also launches the ball much higher, which Tim said would happen. I played three rounds, using the 6-iron as much as possible, even on shots where a different club was needed, and played fairly well. I also tested it extensively at the range, several sessions over the past 3 weeks, hitting at least 500 balls. Although Tim said I could keep the club as long as I wanted, even over the winter, I decided now and I ordered a set, 4-PW, which I’ll pick up next week. I’m a little nervous about the Wishons, having always played with Wilson Staff or Callaway, but I’ve read good things about them and watched a lot of Tom Wishon’s videos in order to sell myself on them. In the meantime, I also took a video of my swing, which I haven’t done in quite a long time. Funny, how I’ve done this only 2 weeks after shooting my best round in 20 years (74). I used two cameras, one from the side and another from the rear shooting simultaneously at 60 IPS. I wanted to see what I was doing right but instead what I saw made me sick. I’m definitely casting my irons, releasing way too soon. At impact, my hips have rotated with my belt buckle pointing to the left at about a 45° angle but my hands are by my right pants pocket instead of in line with the inside of my front thigh. My right elbow is also too far from my body during the downswing. This answers the question of why I’ve been losing distance with my irons. I never used to cast, but I think what happened was a year and a half ago I had a bicycle accident. I swerved to avoid a truck, hit a curb and went ass-over tea-kettle over the handlebars and landed on my neck on someone's lawn. I was initially fine but the next morning when I woke up I couldn’t raise my left arm above my waste and it was flopping around like a wet noodle. It turned out I had damaged some nerves in my shoulder and had a partially torn Rotator Cuff. I started physical therapy and was eventually cleared for golf but with a mostly useless left arm I had to make changes to my swing and the casting of the club from the top must have been something I was doing unconsciously. That’s my theory anyway. It took a full year for my left arm and shoulder strength to return to normal and get the full range of motion back but it’s fine now so the casting is something I’m going to work on over the winter. So this long thread originally started with me asking the question whether or not it would be feasible to optimize an existing set of old irons. It turned out, because of the way X-14's were made, it's not so that led me into the arms of a local fitter. I'm in his hands now and only time will tell if it's the right decision.
  2. Tiger Woods - The Movie

    Yeah, I noticed that but by the time I got back here it was to late to edit. 14 Majors. And I just had a thought; Emilio Estevez as Phil.
  3. Tiger Woods - The Movie

    I’ve been thinking that if Tiger Wood’s “comeback” is at all successful, it will make a terrific movie. After all, his story has everything; the early years with his Dad, the rise to greatness, sex, the 13 majors, sex, the total domination of the game for 683 weeks, sex, the coaches, the bimbos, Elin going after Tiger with a 9-iron, etc., etc. It will be great! Everybody loves a comeback so IF successful, and that’s a big if, who will play Tiger? What about Phil, Elin, the bimbos? I figure there’s gotta be a kid Tiger, a young Tiger and an older Tiger (Will Smith?). Charlize Threron has got to play Elin. Fun to think about anyway.
  4. Are you a brand snob?

    Definitely not. When it comes to clubs, I've been playing the same irons for 16 years, shopping for new and driving myself nuts in the process because I'm not limiting my choices to just one or two names. I'm even considering Wishon, a company up until 3 weeks ago I had never heard of. Frankly, I'd hit the ball with a shovel if a: It was more effective than a club and b: it was legal. As for balls, definitely not either. I have more unused new balls than I have hair and usually use found balls in decent shape, regardless of brand, before I open up a sleeve of new ones.
  5. When is it too cold to golf?

    On a grey overcast February late afternoon in 1967, my high school golf team had it's normal 2x/week after school 9-hole practice round at Ash Brook Golf Course in Scotch Plains, NJ. It was 29 degrees and the wind was howling. By the 9th hole, a 420 yard par 4, my hands and feet were frozen and I couldn't feel my face. Against a 25 mph wind I unleashed the longest drive that to this day, 50 years later, is still the longest drive of my life...329 yards. (I know because I paced it off and I only had a 3/4 pitching wedge left to the green.) This was before my Dad had bought me a full set of clubs since I hadn't yet made the team so I had a beat up hand-me-down Johnny Farrell signature driver made by Hillerich & Bradsby, the same company that makes Louisville Slugger baseball bats. One good thing about playing when it's cold, you get lots of roll. I have never played when it's that cold ever again. if it's below 60, I have other things I'd rather do. PS: I made the team and my Dad bought me a full set of Spalding Top Flite's.
  6. Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

    Well thought out and written comments @1badbadger . I can buy some of it, specifically the part about computer advances allowing mfg’s R&D departments to analyze the instant of impact of a golf club on a ball. But now we’re in a situation that just about every club is about to or has already run up against the USGA’s limitations of head size and COR. So unless the governing powers relent, which seems doubtful, are we going to go back to a time when equipment changes came every 5 years? I don’t think so, the main reason being that these are large companies with stockholders who want to see year over year improvement in sales and profitability. The other fly in the ointment is the fact that according to most statistics, the number of people playing golf and the number of rounds being played annually is declining. So with fewer customers to sell to what are the companies going to do to sell more clubs? While the term “deceptive” that I used above may be overly harsh, they do have to create what is called in Marketing (and I was in Marketing, so I know a thing or two about this) “cognitive dissonance” which is another way of the manufacturer’s saying, “let’s give them the feeling that what they have now isn’t as good as what we’re selling now.” Case in point: This past spring I was thinking of getting new clubs. So I took my 16 year old 5-iron into a store’s Trackman booth and matched it up with new 5-irons from Titlest, Callaway and Mizuno. After 45 minutes of hitting balls and analyzing the results there was no real difference in either distance or dispersion between the old and new clubs. I was hitting all of them within 5-7 yards of each other. Basically, a center hit on the old would go further and straighter than a slightly off-center hit on the new and visa-versa. So what’s the upshot of all this? Again, this is my opinion and I better not hear from anyone saying I’m factually incorrect, (I can understand why Joro took offense) but yes, while equipment may be marginally better, and I’m willing to concede that, our golf games would improve a lot more significantly if instead of spending money on clubs, we spent it on practice time at the range, taking lessons, or spent no money at all and simply worked on our short game and putting. In the meantime, my fitting saga continues. When and if I ever make a decision, I'll post it here.
  7. Clip towels

    You"re serious? Really? The Rules don't address the towel issue???? Why I had no idea! (My wife often tells me that my sarcastic "humor" is often misunderstood. I guess I should have inserted a smiley face.)
  8. Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

    As the guy who started this thread, my original question has been answered, which is no, it doesn't pay to optimize my current set. I've since had that opinion corroborated elsewhere by talking to two fitters and a club repair guy who gave me the numbers on what it would cost. However, what Joro is saying is what a lot of us feel, that the manufacturers are being deceptive and trying to manipulate their customers, who have already bought clubs not all that long ago, into buying more. For me, my irons are 16 years old and as much as I like them it doesn't pay to have them re-shafted. Finally, just because someone reviews clubs, either for a living (if so, lucky guy) or as a hobby, that doesn't give him the right to declare that anyone else with a different opinion is "factually inaccurate".
  9. Clip towels

    OK confession time: I have two towels; one I "trade" with the golf course. It's the cheap disposable type with a grommet hole for clipping onto a ball washer. I use it for cleaning clubs, balls and what-not. When it gets really dirty I come up to a ball washer that has a clean one attached to it and swap. (Not steal...SWAP.) I also have numerous terry cloth golf towels with grommet holes given to me at a golf outings for wiping off sweat. When it gets really funky after a few weeks I rotate it with another clean one. Finally an old uncle just recently gave me a shammy with a grommet hole, which I had never seen before. I'm debating if I need to attach that too. I think there's something in the Rules of Golf against having three towels though. I replaced the tinny towel clips that quickly get bent out of shape with carabiner type clips sold near Home Depot cash registers. Finally, adding to the dorkyness factor, I have plastic tubes for my clubs in an overly large and heavy Ogio bag although someone recently told me that you shouldn't use them with graphite shafts because the plastic will wear down the graphite.
  10. Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

    I'm the new guy here on this forum, so I imagine this debate has been going on for awhile so I'll just respectfully respond to this by giving my opinion on the matter: Bull-feathers! There are four things that determine the distance you hit a golf ball; the loft angle on the clubhead, the length of the club, the speed of your swing, and how close to the center sweet spot you connect with the ball. Everything else, IMO, is marketing BS. But as I said at the very beginning of this thread, my swing is not the same as it was 16 years ago when I got my X-14's so I'll be buying something. What that something is at this point I'm still not 100% certain.
  11. Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

    I've been asking myself the exact same question a lot over the past several weeks. As I've been lurking about a few golf forums, visiting the superstores in the area (PGA & Golf Galaxy) asking questions and trying out clubs, I've come to the realization that the manufacturers, in their effort to sell clubs to the same people over and over again, have been screwing around with the lofts to make 7 irons go the same distances 5 irons were going 20 years ago, So I've been thinking long and hard about this, thus my original idea to just re-shaft my X-14's from 2001 to be more in sync with my swing which is not as strong as it was in 2001. But if new shafts & grips are going to cost 80-90% of what a new set of irons is going to cost then it probably pays to go with new, or possibly a set from 2 or 3 years ago that someone else traded in, just as long as the specs of whatever I get are in line with the results the fitting generated. We'll see. One thing I've learned over the years is to not rush. It's the end of the season, I'm playing fine with what I have and there's no real reason to do anything right this moment other than the experiment with the fitter that I'm doing now.
  12. Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

    I had my fitting session with Tim Mosel of Denville, NJ yesterday and the amount of information I received is staggering. I'm trying to digest it all but it was a very, very interesting experience. Without going into a long drawn out narrative, Tim is going to make up a customized "test club", a 6 iron based on my swing characteristics and the numbers generated by his computer simulator, that I'm going to pick up next week and use for as long as I need to see how it works compared to my current 6 iron. Bottom line relative to my originally posted question is, as several other posters surmised, it's not at all cost effective to optimize my current X-14s, mostly due to the bore through hosel design which makes shaft replacement extra labor intensive. The good news though is my driver and 3W are already perfectly matched to my swing. I'm sorting through all the data and recommendations. It's a process that will probably continue through the fall and winter at which point I'll make some kind of decision then. Tim is a Tom Wishon certified fitter, so I'll certainly give strong consideration to those clubs and get a set of irons matched to me, especially since the cost of a set of Wishon's is actually somewhat less than an off the shelf set of Callaway's.
  13. The Callaway Steelhead series are what I consider to be semi-Game Improvement irons, especially the "Pro" version which has less of an offset than the regular line. You get a decent level of forgiveness on off-center hits, a good amount of feel - not as dramatic as forged blades but still, you can tell when you've hit a bad shot, and you can work the ball if you so choose. Personally, I prefer to hit straight but will fade or draw the ball when I need to get around an obstruction. That being said, I'm in the market for a new set as well and am considering multiple options in addition to the S.H. XR. I just got a fitting, am now digesting all the information I received and will probably decide over the fall/winter months.
  14. How much time do you need to maintain...

    Generally, in season, 30-45 minutes every evening doing something in the back yard, either full shots with restricted flight practice balls or full wedges & chips. However, weirdly enough, if I have a bad round, I find that taking a week off without touching a club helps. It's as if whatever bad thoughts or habits that may have crept into by head or body dissipate, like a fog getting burned off by the sun. Strange, I know, but this is a strange game.
  15. How Many Holes-in-One Have You Had (per Years played)?

    I only had that one ball, I must have found it somewhere, and then used it on that particular hole because of the water. After that, I actually bought myself a trophy...a giant #1 with a hole in the middle for the ball.

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