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Do you play to your equipment or equip to your game?


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I was talking to some friends and this came up. As a lefty, my choices for clubs has gotten better over the years. But can be a challenge. I bought my clubs based on where I felt my game was and what might help me improve.

 

My buddy got fitted at the shop and got clubs based on what the fitter felt was best for his game.

 

Balls are a whole other issue. I am a cheap bastxxx and play cheap balls. But I know how to play them. I can't imagine spending $30+/dozen when I lose 5 a round.🤣

 

So I am curious. Do you spend a bunch on balls and actually notice $3/ball difference?

 

Did you buy your clubs based on what felt the best, or based on what someone told you would be best based on your current game?

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If someone is fit for clubs to match their current game, is there any possible way those clubs actually harm his/her game should it improve?  The idea of growing into clubs is curious to me. After all

Purchase clubs definitely on what is best for my current game. Trying to get clubs for what I may become down the road isn't something that would work for me.  But my game is fairly stable, chipping a

I normally buy a few dozen of the balls I use when an offer is on, and stick to those exclusively, just helps a bit feel wise (probably all in my head).   Club wise, I tend to go on what is

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Purchase clubs definitely on what is best for my current game. Trying to get clubs for what I may become down the road isn't something that would work for me.  But my game is fairly stable, chipping and putting is my do or die.    And golf balls, I go with good ones, just not that much per round in the grand scheme of things.  But I don't lose but maybe 1 every few rounds.  If I started losing 4 or so balls a round, I'd start taking lessons again.  

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TM M4 
Epic 15*
Sub70 3 hybrid
Sub70 4 hybrid
Sub70 5 hybrid
Titleist T200 6-GW
54* SM8
58* SM8
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The lost balls are kind of funny. I lost 2 on the fairway yesterday. The course has a TON of leaves and I spent a good 10 minutes looking. Right side of the fairway, couldn't find either one.

 

The 5th hole is my killer. You have to thread the needle and there is water down the left side. If I slice at all, it's gone. If you aim too far right, gone. I lost 3 off the tee yesterday. 

 

The course is building a driving range and the tee for 5 will move to shoot over the pond vs along it, so I think that would be good. 

 

 

PXL_20201031_192513008.jpg

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I play the clubs that feel "just right" and works best for my game. After 40+ years in this game I have a pretty good idea on what works for me. Same thing with balls. I'll do a biennial ball test and stock up on what wins the test. Current winner is the TP5X and has been for the past 6 years.

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JBeam Bullet 10*          Fujikura Ventus Black 6X

Exotics CBX119 3WD   Accra Tour Z RPG 372 M5

Exotics CBX119 5WD   Accra Tour Z RPG 382 M5

Exotics CB2 7WD         Accra TZ5-85 M5
TaylorMade V-Steel 9WD   Accra TZ5-85 M5
MIURA CB57 6-PW  MCI MMT-125TX (SSx1)
MIURA Tour Milled 52 56 60 MMT-125TX Scoring Wedge

Bettinardi Tour DASS Minovai Flowneck Prototype

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I just got all newer clubs and will be joining a local club this year so I will be playing A LOT more than I have in the past. I haven't played more than a few rounds a year, if any since college until now. This is my 3rd set of clubs since 1989, so while my game isn't bad, my equipment experience is limited. 

 

I still have some work to do dialing in my short irons. But I will say, I am very happy with my current bag. I just need some new grips done, I hope to get those this week. But moveing from game improvement irons to a combo set with blade shorts has shown me what workable irons can do. U just need to learn how to work them. 🤣

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I turned 70 recently, so my clubs reflect what I need for my game. The limit: I do this without being extravagant on purchases.

 

Sometimes this involves full fittings, other times I extrapolate off of fittings and do some trail/error to find the right club (especially for single clubs). For example, my 4i became my driving iron when I reshafted it from steel to graphite hybrid.

 

The new clubs I have bought the past three years were all models I had tried out at demo days. After first price cut, I would often do a verification fitting and then buy them. This is getting risky the last couple of years, however. The OEMs are doing a much tighter job of managing their supply chains - after first price break, availability can be spotty.

 

One of my problems seems to be a loss of swingspeed. Went from 60+ gram driver and FW shafts to models in the 50s. This has helped my tempo, less temptation to muscle the ball, more consistent distance. 

 

I likely will move to graphite shafts in my irons for next year. I'm not sure if I will reshaft, or get new clubs. One of the new-guy companies has some flighted graphite iron shafts that look interesting. With shafts in irons, a big weight drop can lead to overswinging. One suggestion made by clubsmiths is to tweak lighter-shafted clubs back up to D2 swingweight so I can still feel the head at top.

 

I'm looking at the first full-bag fitting in about 12 years. Last time was when I went from stiff back to regular.

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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges:  Calla MD3: 48°, 54°... MD4: 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced)

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

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I also select the clubs to fit my game/swing.  This year, switched up my putter due to noticing improvement with a different style putter than I'd been using.  

 

Doing it the other way feels like square peg/round hole.

 

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Matrix 8m3 X, 42"
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, NV105 S or DGS400

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft pending); 1-PW Golden Ram TW282 or Vibration Matched Golden Rams, RIP Tour 115 R (coin flipping for the reshaft project); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, DGS400; Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; Ram Watson Scoring System 55*, DGX 7i shaft; Ram TG-898, DGS400; Ram TG-898, NV105 S; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS300; Ram 1982 Commemorative Nickel 58*, Dynamic S; Ram TW282, DGS; Ram TW276, DGS; Ram Troon Grind 58*, Dynamic S; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, DGS400; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, NV105 S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or TaylorMade TP5

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This year decided to get clubs that gave me a 10 yard gap between clubs. My irons have a 41/2 to 5 degree difference. Then I switched out my 6 iron with 6 hybrid and replaced my older 3 thru 5 hybrids with adjustable lofts so I could tune then in to my game. This allowed me to get rid of my 5 wood . The only thing I’m looking for now is a 3 wood or 4 wood with a low profile. The big Bertha 21 can work sometimes but I get too many hooking right but get the height desired. 

Livin' proof that Lefties are not naturally talented.

Driver Callaway Epic Flash 10.5 set to 9.5
3 Wood Epic Flash set to 16 degrees
3-5 Hybrids Epic Flash 18 20 23 degrees
6 hybrid Big Bertha 26 degree 
7-AW Callaway Mavrik Irons 
50 degree GW Vokey SM7
56 degree SW Vokey SM7
Odyssey White Hot V-Line Fang

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Clubs are a combination of feel and what works. If something works right, but I don't feel confident with it I don't want it. 

 

Balls, I couldn't imagine playing something consistently without a urethane cover. You give up way too much in the short game. There is plenty of deals to be had that make urethane tour balls cheap enough in my opinion for someone who loses quite a bit of balls.  If you are just trying to improve play a worse ball off the tee and switch to a better one for second shot and on to minimize lost quality balls.

Edited by DaltonSTL
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Titleist TS3 9.5 Diamana BF 60x Taylormade M5 14* Rogue Black 110MSI 70TS | Ping G410 19* Tensei Blue 80s | Srixon z585/z785 4-PW Project X LZ 6.0 Titleist Vokey SM7 50F 56S 60S Blue Slate Modus 125s | Odyssey Stroke Lab Black 7 | Taylormade TP5x Yellow

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I play the MTB-X which is reasonably priced at just under 30 bucks a box when bought in bulk.  When I want to splurge I go for the AVX.  As for clubs, I always get fitted on a launch monitor with my buddy who's a club fitter and I go strictly by the numbers as I don't care much for feel or sound.  I will say this.  I do tend to gravitate towards TM woods and JDM irons and wedges. 

TM SIM MAX 9* w/Ventus Black 7x

TM SIM 15* w/Ventus Blue 8x

TM Tour Issue Deep Face Ghost Proto 2 HB  w/Thump 105x

Vega VDC-01 4-PW w/Recoil Proto 125 F5

54* Miura HB w/KBS 610 S+

58* Miura w/KBS Tour Black

Scotty Cameron Newport 1

Snell MTB-X

 

 

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I play what helps me score lowest and gives me the most confidence before hitting the ball. I really like SGI type stuff that still retains feel and has minimal chunkiness. I love a good SGI 4i that hides the junk in the trunk!

TM 2016 M2 12* - OG Grafalloy Blue X, 43.5"

TEE XCG7 16.5* 4w, OG Grafalloy Blue S, 41.75"

Cally Rogue X 18.5* 4i, Diamana 70 S, 39.75"

Cobra King OS 4-G, TT XP95 R300, -.5"

Vokey SM8 54.14F, 60.10S

"Rusty" Byron DH89 Slant Pipe // Byron GSS DH89 Long Slant // GOAT NP2 Tiger Putter

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If someone is fit for clubs to match their current game, is there any possible way those clubs actually harm his/her game should it improve?  The idea of growing into clubs is curious to me. After all, it’s not like a pair of kids shoes that will inevitably not fit. 

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Glove: ML
Tees: 2 3/4
Towel: white
Repair tool: metal
Ball Marker: largest poker chip in the world
Iron headcovers: wait, what?

The feedback system is annoying

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For me it's all about what gives me confidence. If anything, I'm gravitating towards clubs that don't require me to perfect with every shot. Minimize the damage on the misses if you will.

 

So for me, I know I am a very good driver of the golf ball and can lean toward something that will optimize distance over forgiveness. But on the flip side, I'm not a great iron player so I need an iron that helps with distance and height. I'm not going to strike them perfectly every time so I'm always after something that launches high and flies far to help me stop balls on greens.

 

I guess that puts me more in the camp of fitting equipment to my game.

 

Concerning balls, I notice a difference, but I also know I'm going to lose a few so best to not over spend. I went down the road this year of finding a brand that offered a premium construction ball at a lower price (i.e. Snell, Vice, Maxfli). Ended up with the Maxfli Tour after some testing and comparing. With the sale they run on these and with Dick's coupons I get, often get these for under $25/dozen

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20 minutes ago, toc said:

If someone is fit for clubs to match their current game, is there any possible way those clubs actually harm his/her game should it improve?  The idea of growing into clubs is curious to me. After all, it’s not like a pair of kids shoes that will inevitably not fit. 

 

This was my thought process. My old irons I got in '96, Ping Zing 2's. I loved them and played close to scratch with them. But I REALLY wanted to play the Nike Vapor Pro Combos ($1200 retail when new) and an ugly used set came up for $150 and I had a $25 coupon. 

 

They are 5-pw and I am crushing the long irons so much that I am looking for a 4 and 3. I got a 3h and 4h a few months back as a phase 2 upgrade after I got newer 3 and 5 woods.

 

The shorts I am learning I can really shape my shot vs just a clean straight hit. This is a whole new level for me, so I am pretty excited.

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I think it all has to do with how much golf you play and how much money you have to spend. There are golfers playing 15 year old clubs and can play to scratch with dirty found golf balls. There are golfers who have been fitted for a whole bag and still are high handicappers. I think in this website, more are fit to their game than play to the equipment they buy or are given.

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Ping G400 Max 10.5° Ping Alta CB R flex or Ping Distanza SR flex, std length

Taylormade V-Steel, 3W, 15°, stock shaft, R flex, std length
Ping G400 5W 17.5° Ping Alta CB, R flex std length

Cleveland Launcher HB 3 hybrid, 19°, Miyasaki C Kua, R flex, std length
Cleveland Launcher HB 4 iron, std loft/lie, Dynamic Gold DST 98 steel R flex, std length

Cleveland Launcher UHX 5-D Wedge, std loft/lie, Dynamic Gold DST 98 steel R flex, std length
Cleveland CBX2, 54°/12 bounce, Dynamic Gold DST 98 steel, R flex, std length

Odyssey 2019 Seven Slant Stroke Lab with stock grip 35"

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I just can't justify the high prices, but again, cheap bastxxx. I like nice stuff, just not paying retail. And things like balls where I honestly can't tell much difference between them can't justify more than $.50/ball.

 

I can see playing my current clubs for a while. If I ever feel like they are the issue, I might revisit it. As much as I love looking at new stuff, I will wait.

 

Besides, I got to buy a cart and pimp it out now that I'm joining the club. My budget is $2k and I really want a gas cart. See how far I get.

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I have decided to focus on the ball a little more based on some responses. I found a deal on a mixed batch of 100 Nike balls of different types, so I will play around with a few different ones on the same shot and see if I can tell a difference.

 

I have managed to amass a few balls by accident. So I SHOULD have enough balls for at least 200 rounds of golf. 

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I normally buy a few dozen of the balls I use when an offer is on, and stick to those exclusively, just helps a bit feel wise (probably all in my head).

 

Club wise, I tend to go on what is happening on the course, and find this is the best way to test new gear. For some reason any club that I’ve bought from a fitting session has failed miserably. 

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Taylormade M3 9.5 - Aldila Rogue Silver 60X
Callaway Rogue 3 Wood - Aldila Rogue Silver 70X
Titleist 816 H2 20 degrees - Aldila Rogue Black 85X
Titleist 716CB 4-9 - X100
Vokey SM7 46.10, 50.08, 54M, 59M - S400
Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5
Titleist Pro V1

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I'm also a cheap bastxxx with a penchant for losing a ball or two a round, and play used balls - Srixon Z Star and XVs scouring the bay for AAAA condition ones.  I went years with cheap balls (TF Gamers), then went urethane with new XVs then KSigs, then found these bad boys.  They've all been great, no bad ball, no scuffs, no performance drop off on course or Trackman, and at $0.60 to $0.80 a ball I don't mind challenging doglegs or water carries.

 

Irons and driver were through fittings - best at those times.  Otherwise trial and error of performance, feel, and looks. 

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D Adams XTD, 70M4X 3W TEE CBX, HZBk75S 5W Titleist 915F, D+80X

3I Srixon Z 545 4I Mizuno MP-H4 6I-PW Mizuno MP-54, C Taper Lite X

GW Nike VPC, DGP S300 54 60 Cleveland CBX, DG S300 Cure CX3

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I got 2 bags of 60 AAAA rated orange @ $25 bag. Most are Nittro or Maifli. I bought a box of 45 red and 45 orange Nittro's for $25 each, then just ordered the mixed bag of 100 Nike for $35. 

 

I usually play 2 ball scramble so I will make a point of using one "good" ball with a cheap ball and see what happens.

 

I will alternate what ball I hit first. My second shot is better sometimes.

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I play a premium ball and love the feel, in the fall i will try other balls to see what is out there for me. 

 

As for clubs i look at numbers in a fitting and how it feels to me. The club fitter i use has had me to blind testing, sets up 6 irons and hands them to me and we go with feel and numbers. What they look like doesnt normally bother me unless it is BUTT ugly. 

 

I want a club the feels good and gives me great numbers. 

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TM SIM Max 10.5 UST V 2 
TM SIM Max 15 UST V2 66g
TM SIM 19 Aldila RIP Alpha 6
TM GAPR Mid 4 iron 20 Fujikara Fuel
TM GAPR Mid 5 iron 23 Aldila RIP 
TM P790 6 Nippon Modus 3 130, Black 7-PW Nippon Modus 3 130
TM xFT TP 50 Nippon Pro WV115
TM Milled Grind Black Wedge 54 Nippon Pro Black WV115
TM Milled Grind Satin 58 Nippon Pro WV115
TM Rossa Ghost Tour AGSI+ FO-74

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On 11/19/2020 at 8:25 AM, lefthack said:

I was talking to some friends and this came up. As a lefty, my choices for clubs has gotten better over the years. But can be a challenge. I bought my clubs based on where I felt my game was and what might help me improve.

 

My buddy got fitted at the shop and got clubs based on what the fitter felt was best for his game.

 

Balls are a whole other issue. I am a cheap bastxxx and play cheap balls. But I know how to play them. I can't imagine spending $30+/dozen when I lose 5 a round.🤣

 

So I am curious. Do you spend a bunch on balls and actually notice $3/ball difference?

 

Did you buy your clubs based on what felt the best, or based on what someone told you would be best based on your current game?

 

Opinions in golf are as abundant and equally (often) useless as autumn leaves... They might look lovely and romantic but they often do u no good.

 

When u first start out, u should defo seek an expert's advice.

Once u know what u are doing, go for what feel good and look good to u.

Go for the hottest blonde of clubs that u often dream of. Who cares if it's harder to hit than a chubby game improvement set. 

Balls wise, go for the best that u can afford. It does matter to have consistent distance, spin rates, and trajectory if u wana crack 80. 

 

Those are my autumn leaves.

Cheers

 

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Clubs 

Feel and ball flight.

Distance isn't a "make or break" issue for me with irons.

Not loyal to any OEM.

Irons generally 1/2" long with standard lie

My shaft preferences are (KBS-Nippon-True Temper) shafts with a mid bend and mid kick.

12-14 bounce wedges as I tend to gouge.

 

Balls

I play the ProV1 almost exclusively, but I score just as well with a Top Flite XL.  I play for a little more roll out with the XL. Plus I don't cringe as bad when I send a XL into the water.

 

Grips

Tour Wrap's (midsize) or Lamkin Wrap (midsize)

 

Philosophy

I can afford any clubs that I want, but tinkering is a hobby/passion of mine and I love searching for deals on 2-5 year old models.

 

I'm not into this new fitting rage, as I see 95% of these players getting fit before they learn to swing. They obsess with numbers, but carry the same handicap every year? 🤔  A good golf instructor will know if your clubs aren't right for you....at least the ones that I know. 

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I think you’re looking at it wrong.  Yes a better ball might cost a tad more but I believe it gives me a better shot to win a bet.  Short game is where I save or loose strokes.   A ball I can spin adds that possibility to my short game.    

Ping 9° G410+ tensi orange s
Ping 3 Wood G410+ tour 75 shaft s.  
Ping 5 wood G410 Alta s
Adams 9031 23° Mitsubishi diamana 
Ping G710 DG 105 R300
Ping glide stealth 54° es grind
Ping glide 2 58°. ES
Ping anser f titanium pixel.  

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So now I have WAY too many balls coming to try out. Callaway, Titleist, Taylormade, and another mixed bag of "premium" balls. 

 

My goal is 100 rounds next year. That might be more than I have played up to now, but we will see.

 

I have also decided to register for a handicap which is kinda weird to me since I usually don't keep score. But it is hard to gauge progress if I don't know what my actual score is.

 

Thanks all for the insight and feedback.

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Clubs. They have to look good to me first. Then flight, spin sole design. If the performance I need isn't there I move on. Then feel. I gravitate towards Mizuno and Titleist feel. I know they are different but I like both.  Driver, 3 wood , hybrids and driving irons I use the same basic premise. Maybe feel not as much and more on CG location to help maximize distances. 

 

Balls. How they spin with all clubs. Less with driver and a little more as I go down, or up. I like a slightly firm feel so I play the ProV1x left dash. Gives me performance I look for across the board. 

 

So, I would say I play clubs I am capable of shooting my best scores with based on how I decide. 

 

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