New clubs deserve new balls, gloves and a bag

As you might have read here, I’m the proud owner of a new awesome set of irons. I ordered my dream clubs, the Titleist CB, they were custom made to my exact configuration and finally delivered to my doorstep last week.

I have one round already in the books with them and they feel and perform just fantastic. Enough reason to treat myself with some other golf goods to really kick off the progress in the 2019 season. It’s just fair to accompany new clubs with new balls, a new glove and put them in a new bag.

Balls

For years I played NIKE PD Soft and really liked them. I had access to various Titleist products as well and used VICE in different versions, too. Both are good balls even though I have to say I don’t seriously recognize a huge difference between brands if you stay in one category, meaning comparing soft with soft with soft.

I really like the VICE Pro, especially its soft outer shell which supposedly creates more spin around the green, which I appreciate. In other characteristics I reckon this ball is pretty comparable to the Titleist ProV, but with a much smaller price tag. Buying ProVs is somewhat unnecessary not being a single handicapper I think. Staying in the Titleist brand and preferring softer feel, it was a no-brainer to go test the new Titleist Tour Soft ball. So far a very good ball indeed.

Since the latest MyGolfSpy ball test which created quite some stir in the industry, everyone knows from an independent source that soft balls are actually slow balls, meaning distance will suffer once you change from a hard ball to a soft ball. Doesn’t sound like rocket science, does it. However distance has never been a problem for me, I’m not after the next 20 meters, what I’m after is consistent ball flight and distance and a soft touch within 80 meters around the hole.

Glove

Not for the first time I ordered some new FootJoy CabrettaSof gloves, a hand-made Cabretta leather product which I love. It just feels more natural to me compared to the overly technical synthetic gloves I clearly used and tested as well. Feel is everything and I do believe I will stick with this model for a while – it’s just that you can’t buy it in every golf or pro shop.

Bag

Coming to the bag. I already own some Titleist bags; the latest two additions are currently in constant rotation, depending on reason I’m heading to the course. For training I prefer a light-weight carry bag as I don’t use a trolley on the range. For a round of golf I use a tidy 14-way cart bag with bigger pockets. This ends up in packing and un-packing golf sticks on a weekly basis, which is annoying to say the least.

Now I bought a Titleist hybrid bag. As the name suggests, it’s a hybrid between carry and cart bag. You are able to carry it, it stands properly just like any other carry bag, but it offers both more storage room and a 14-way divider at the top. I guess this is what I waited for so long from Titleist. No more early morning re-packing in the garage. Yay!

Apparel

That’s it as far as equipment goes. I couldn’t resist the other day to buy another FootJoy Chill Out Pullover with club logo on the chest. I really like FootJoy products, next to all the NIKE polos, trousers and shorts I have in my golf drawers. “Play good, look good!” If you don’t play well, don’t be bothered to spend too much on looking good and invest in some training sessions instead.

And before you ask, no it’s not yet Christmas time.

I got myself some new clubs. Titleist CB

Look at these shiny babies! Aren’t they pretty?!

I treated myself with a great new set of irons recently. A set which I was thinking about getting for years!

You might know I’m quite an Acushnet fanboy and loved my Titleist 712 AP2 for years. But then when I played less (which I think is usually the case when you get a child) I thought about trying some new irons which would fall more into the game improvement category. Jordan Spieth plays AP2s on tour and I thought weekend golfers should stick to the equipment they are supposed to use, not want they want to use.

So I moved away from my beloved Titleist irons and I believed that this was a smart move to look for something in the mass market category: Bigger head, massive sole, forgiving on all edges, graphite shaft and ready to swing the ball with less speed and still get decent distance. But distance was never an issue. Truth be told, I got fitted to the PING G400, played them for 2 years but somehow it didn’t click. Apparently they were just not for me.

If you know PING’s fitting system, you are aware of their color code system. I was recommended a Blue set, while in hindsight I strongly believe it should have been a Black for me. So already standing over the ball, it felt weird to me.

So it was about time to change something. I lacked feel around the greens, missed the forged feel of full iron shots and I also couldn’t get used to the annoying sound it produced with every shot. In other words, I wasn’t happy with them and knew we had to part ways soon.

I bought the PINGs concentrating on playability and consistency, willing to bear the ugly chunkiness of these clubs. Now it was time for something else, for something I always wanted, always strived for but didn’t go for because I believed it wasn’t for me: another set of Titleist players irons. One set I couldn’t get out of my head was Titleist’s CBs, the friendlier brother to the butter knife muscle backs MBs.

Always admiring these clubs from an esthetic standpoint, I never really considered them seriously: Small face, thin top line, thin sole, only little help around the edges and behind the small sweet spot. So it looks like it’s not for weekend golfers per se, but I wanted to give it a shot. I desperately wanted it. When I saw the mid-2019 announcement how the next generation of 620 CBs will look like in 2020, I had to buy the old 718 CBs, I just had to because they are so damn pretty. Have to admit that the weak Pound to the Euro played its part as well.

What followed after this thought was a complicated search for the right setting. I did some extensive research on shaft flexes and weight, and I want you to benefit from this process as well. So this thought process is what led to my setting:

In the AP2 I played a ProjectX 5.5 shaft with a stock Tour Velvet grip. The grip wasn’t perfect but fine. The 5.5 rifle shaft (with a 5.0 FCM) was a tad too stiff for me and ProjectX shafts generally create a more low ball flight due to their stiffer tip section. Also, the 5.5 shaft was more on the heavy side compared to the weight of the club head. With that I lacked the feel for the position of the head at the end of my shaft during the swing.

So I wanted something lighter and something that would still create a penetrating ball flight but a fraction higher than what I was used to. I had to look for another shaft manufacturer and found the perfect setup with KBS. It’s impossible to compare apples and oranges and stiff doesn’t equal stiff, but leaving all shaft section flexes aside, the KBS equivalent to the ProjectX 5.5 seems to be the KBS Tour Stiff (similar FCM: Frequency Coefficient Matching, a system based on cycle per minute (CPM) data from golf shaft oscillation tests.) This would come in a very similar shaft weight though – would certainly launch higher but wouldn’t improve the weight issue. I could go down some grams with the regular shaft or the regular+, but that wouldn’t be stiff enough for my swing characteristic. To cut a long story short, I found the perfect setup with the KBS Tour 90 Stiff.

It’s lighter than my old, lighter than regular KBS Tours, still maintain enough stiffness and create a higher ball flight with a kick in the tip section. It would loose distance due to the higher launch but would gain something back through the kick. This paired with the most beautiful forged club head on the market and the same forgiveness as in the Titleist 716 AP2, I just couldn’t go wrong.

In terms of grip I wanted to try the Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound with its hybrid approach to cotton and rubber and I have to say it’s been great so far.

This much for setting. I had everything exclusively made for me, bought the set from 2-iron to PW and will stick to my Bob Vokey wedges, the Scotty Cameron putter and the PING G400 driver, woods and hybrid. I can say it’s a dream set come true. Maybe someday updated with the recent Titleist woods and hybrid models, but for now I’m happy with what I got from PING. I don’t use woods and hybrids much anyway—I’m more the 2-iron kind of guy.

On Sunday I took them out for the first time, had a quick range session and immediately played a tournament with them. Luckily everything felt and behaved just as expected. Happy me!

The new Titleist 915 family

I like the Titleist brand and everything what comes with it. Although I fully endorse their product range, I’m not buying anything new to the market just because it’s out there. I guess it’s common sense that golf products don’t differ that much anymore from others and the rest is just marketing.

My Titleist clubs are 3 years old (710 irons, 910 metals) and I’m overly happy with it—therefore no need to buy some new sticks at all for quite a while. But the guys on tour sometimes literally jump on new products, be it because they are after some further yards to hit or because their sponsor contract makes them change every time the brand has something new out.

This actually doesn’t happen too often with Titleist but competitors like TaylorMade release new stuff every month you could argue. You are just used to a new name or number of a product and bought into their story they sold you, and then suddenly ‘boom’, a new technique, a new story, a new product with a new price tag.

Let me say to you, don’t buy anything that golf brands try to market. Work on your swing, this is mostly the more important and long-term alternative to buying new clubs.

This video is about the collaboration of club manufacturers and pro players, as this is a very interesting field of work anyway!

Continue reading The new Titleist 915 family

Titleistmania

I don’t want to show off but after puchasing a new set of clubs I’m still so proud and so happy about my new equipment that I decided to show you guys a bit more of it. Could have done a “What’s in my bag” video but I thought I leave that to professional players and 14-year olds scratch golfers who present their parents bags.

Anyway, I ordered my clubs online, fitted to my needs with custom shafts and shaft lengths. The irons are standard length but the driver is -1 inch and the 3-wood is -0.5 inch. So far I think that was a very good idea. Furthermore I’m very happy with the shafts themselves, the Diamana ahina is just perfect for me. It’s a mid to low ball flight with less spin, but if you’re looking for some adjustments you can do so with the Titleist SureFit hosel and put some extra trajectory in the game. I don’t need that and am very happy with my 9.5° 910D2.

To give you a better feeling for the beauty of these clubs, I took some pictures. If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably already seen these pics. Starting with an overview, this is what it’s look like. A real beauty!

The woods are the current 910 series, that’s supposed to be detached by the 913s next year. You’ve probably already seen some pictures on the internet and some pros are testing them as well but I thought the difference can’t be that big and for a weekend player like I am, nothing I could feel.

It’s a 910D2 driver 9.5°, a 910F fairway wood 15° and a 910H hybrid 21° instead of a 3-iron. All have ahina stiff shafts and they look just amazing!!

The irons are the new 712 AP2 series, 4-PW with ProjectX 5.5 steel shafts. On the one hand these shafts look cool and stiffness-wise it’s exactly that what I was looking for.

The club heads are forged and have a good feeling. I haven’t played the MBs or CBs to have a comparison, but I think the AP (advanced performance) technology is helping a lot with off-center hits, although the MOI is quite low and you have perfect distance control. Can’t really say something about shaping capabilities since I mostly try to shoot straight shots.

Ahhh, the Bob Vokeys, I bought the 52° and the 56°, both with 8° bounce, but I should have bought the 60° as well. No idea why I saved my money on that one. Normally I used my old BV 60° quite often.

My wedges have ProjectX 5.5 shafts as well, just to match the feeling of the irons. And it works! They give you great feeling. That said, I again have to admit that I don’t really know many other wedges I could compare them to. But anyways, they are very good!

Last but not least: I moved away from my beloved Odyssey Dual Force Rossie II mallet putter and went for the Titleist Scotty Cameron California series, the Del Mar to be precise. It’s kind of a mallet putter but isn’t face balanced. So the feeling is a bit different but again, it plays very nicely – even without any inlay, just with so-called deep-grind.

Future will tell whether putts will fall or not.

That was it. It don’t make the effort to show you the rest, the new bag, umbrella, towels, accessories. Maybe next time.

And one last sentence: these clubs are sooo good, do yourself a favor and get yourself the same set. Get fitted or read specs on the internet and then take the (financial) effort and go for it. You won’t regret it.

New equipment! Dream clubs all over the place!

“Serious clubs for serious golfers”. That’s what Titleist says in their adverts. What they mean is that Titleist clubs are for the better golfers. Is that true? Well think about the MB series, pure muscle back, no offset, blades at their best. Definitely only for single handicappers. Quite the same for the CB series, cavity back, but really only a small help in terms of MOI and sweet spot extension. As well something for the better player therefore.

What about the AP1 and AP2 then? AP stands for “Advanced Performance” and is meant to be a set of clubs for people that need some help – game improvement clubs so to say. The AP1 is a really chunky beast, big top line, fairly big offset and high MOI. All supportive, no question about it, but not appealing to one’s eye at all.

I went for the AP2 712, same as Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manassero and many others on tour are playing. It’s a beautiful club with a slightly bigger sweet spot compared to the MBs or the CBs. So perfect for guys like me – 15 handicappers on their way down to let’s say 5. All of the irons have ProjectX 5.5 shafts.

In addition I bought new SM4 Bob Vokey wedges from Titleist, a new Titleist Scotty Cameron putter and a complete set of Titleist metal woods; a 910 D2 driver, a 910F 3-wood and a 910H hybrid instead of a 3-iron.

What can I say. All in all a dream set of clubs. Really the best stuff I’ve ever had. We’ll see how my scoring will react on that… :)

For some more specs please have a look at the ITB section of golficiency.

new irons: a stepping backwards experiment

nike-sumo-irons-steelwhen you’ve read the in-the-bag section of this website recently, then you might know that i wasn’t that much confident with my irons lately. i owned a set of taylor mades, steel 200 2-SW and played them nearly a complete decade! so it was time to get smth new i thought, and since i’ve started liking the titleist brand very much i had for sure interest in buying a set of one of these famous clubs that are intended for the better players of us.

but to be honest to myself (and to all of you) i’m not the best player out there. i have a decent swing but far from being a very good golfer (current handicap is 19) and so i had to re-think the purchase of titleist’s MBs or CBs. no doubt, two of the best and and the same time best looking clubs available… but am i good enough to suit these clubs? i doubt it! to really enjoy these clubs you have to be a single digit golfer, which i’m unfortunately not (yet). the sweetspot is really tiny and there is absolutely no forgiveness installed in these particular clubs. so you have to know what you’re doing with them!

what to do then? i looked at my nike sumo staff bag… nike sumo driver, nike sumo 3-wood, nike sumo hybrids 2, nike sumo hybrid 3, nike sumo towel and nike sumo umbrella. and then it hit me… what would fit better into my bag than nike sumo irons?! well, it’s an end-of-range product and already detached by the machspeed irons but they’re from 2008 and therefore a real bargain as well. so that’s what i did, i purchased a brand new set of nike sumo irons yesterday evening and i am waiting for the delivery this week.

i know what you are thinking: comparing the titleist irons with these from nike is just like the opposite. and you’re right. they are ugly as hell, have a sole that is nearly as wide as the whole fairway and they are produced primarily for high-handicappers, but so what?! i want to improve my game and when i can get assistance by my clubs… i accept it! ball flight trajectory is high, so it’s easy to get the ball airborne, the forgiveness is huge with a large sweetspot, a massive perimeter heel/toe-weighting and a moment of inertia like a circus trampoline. the people that play these irons speak of ball flights that are straight as ribbon rails! the feeling would be less, point taken, but as long as i produce less strokes on a round as well, it’s working for me!

i’ve never played them and so i guess it’s a kind of an experiment. i will keep you informed about my progress.

why ebay is not the right place for me!

it happened not only once, not twice… i can’t count it anymore: i find something perfect on ebay, a real bargain or just some stuff i looked for and couldn’t find somewhere else. i log in, i keep an eye on that specific product, i place my bid, i wait day-in day-out for the very last minutes and start climbing my bid just to 30 seconds before the end, then i insert a bid that is much higher… and always lose just by cents!! that is so mean!

today i wanted to win the auction for a brand new set of beautiful titleist 710 CB irons. i was ready for the rally, entered my bid into my iPhone much higher, just to wait for the others to come after me. when somebody outbid my price, leaving one single minute on the clock, i throwed 50 more EUR into the bargain and waited the last seconds for the success… just to get the information that somebody bid 1,55 EUR more than me in the end!!

i lost the auction for my dream irons just by 1,55 EUR… i hate it! and i guess i won’t ebay for quite a while now. i’m totally exhausted with losing all the time! i’ll better play golf with my 10-year old clubs and get a better feeling than losing some stuff in the internet. i’m done!

titleist 910 driver review

since i do not own any titleist woods and haven’t played the 910 yet, i’d like to provide you with an interesting review by golfalot.com. in this short video you learn everything important about the new “sure fit tour hosel” which makes this club quite unique.

“a tour van in a hosel”… nice! i can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!