2018 Golf Thread

jercra

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New year, new thread. I'll start it off by noting I'm flying to Portland tomorrow to start my latest adventure to Bandon Dunes. 4 days, 4 rounds (at least). 24 guys total from my old club when I lived in Portland. Going to be epic as always but no Old Mac this year. Seems like a good enough event to kick off this year's thread.
 

jercra

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This trip wasn't mine to arrange so I couldn't throw out the invites this year, but if people are actually serious about going and there's enough interest, I'd happily put together a SoSH trip for next year. If you haven't been and you love golf there's really no place better than Bandon in just about any weather. But it's really only fun if you like some or all of golfing, drinking, smoking cigars, gambling and poker (and of course weed is legal in Oregon too if that's your thing).
 

bostonbeerbelly

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Very jealous of that Bandon trip. I will do it one day.

Seems that I will be on an every other year rotation for a week invite out to Old Head in Kinsale Ireland. I will be back this September.

I ended this year very happy with my game and I am looking to add a few new clubs to the bag. Mainly a new Putter and 3Wood top the list.
 

TFP

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Bandon is still my bucket list. I love golf, drinking, cigars, and gambling, so I suppose I'd have a good time.
 

4 6 3 DP

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Im hoping to host a group from here on the Cape this spring/summer, just need to lock down my parenting schedule so the weekend is clear. would be fun to make a handicap event out of it.
 

jmbean50

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Im hoping to host a group from here on the Cape this spring/summer, just need to lock down my parenting schedule so the weekend is clear. would be fun to make a handicap event out of it.
I live on the cape and would definitely be interested in playing.
 

jercra

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Well then, I'll try to add to that pain a bit. Bandon weather was incredible (for Bandon in January). I didn't wear my rain gear a single time. Here are a few pics:

edit: Nothing I do will make the images embed so here's a link


 

jercra

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It was shitty in Portland apparently too. It's usually the other way around. Bandon weather is it's own thing and forecasts are useless until the day before. We had clouds on day 1, sun and wind on day 2, sun and now wind on day 3 and clouds and wind on day 4. All in all that's spectacular weather for there.
 

HoyaSoxa

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Equipment/Practice Advice - I got a Ping G Driver, 9.0 loft, Regular flex Alta 55 shaft with a gift card I received for Christmas. I am taking it to an indoor practice place to give it a few swings, with the thought that if I absolutely hate it I can still return it and try something different (30 day return policy). This place has something called GC2 launch monitor and also something called aG studio, but I have never been so really don't know what I am getting into (but I do have a gift certificate, so that is why I am going). I plan to take a few swings with my now-ancient King Cobra Speed LD driver, then compare what I am getting from the Ping. I know my swing will be a bit off after a few months layoff, but I have an hour to work on it, which is a ton for me.

Other than obvious projected distance/accuracy, is there anything else I should be looking for from the launch monitor? My tendency is toward very high ball flight due to my steep swing path, and my shots can really balloon/get taken by the wind. I probably push/slice a bit more than pull/draw, but I can certainly miss 'em both ways. I am also considering whether I should mess around with the adjustable loft on the new driver - it has 5 settings for +/- 1 degree and .6 degree, and I have never had a club that could be adjusted liked that.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
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I would think shaft selection would do more for trajectory height/apex than the +/- adjustment. The +/- adjusts the loft but it also adds draw/fade bias. That might or might not be beneficial for you but it’s a separate question.

On the other hand, hitting high knuckleballs seems to be where it’s at for distance these days. What you really don’t want to do is have too much backspin but the G is pretty good about keeping that from happening in the first place.

I’ve hit a few different head variations and shafts now and the difference is generally not huge. 10 yards here or there and some tendency to go one way or the other. Yea, you want the 10 yards but it’s not like it you get it wrong you’re night and day worse off. I wouldn’t worry too much. Swing it and if it feels, looks, and strikes good it is good.
 

HoyaSoxa

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That makes sense. I just did a bit of reading up on the adjustable hosel tech and now have a better understanding of what it does (effectively changing face angle and requiring you to resquare the clubface from the natural soled angle to get the real effect of the "loft" change). I think I am unlikely to mess around with it for now, and I am pretty confident I will like the club just fine - I hit a G400 driver in a rental set and liked it. Mostly I just want to play with my new toy.
 

HoyaSoxa

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I know, and my index is 15, so I am certainly no elite amateur (the R flex shaft is probably a giveaway, too). I have been playing a 9.0 driver and my biggest problems are controlling it in the wind and getting no roll whatsoever, so a 10.5 isn't too appealing to me.
 

jercra

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That G2 monitor is interesting. It's a 10k frame/sec stereoscopic camera. It should be great at picking up launch angles and back spin rates while not as good at side spin rates. All in all it sounds like it's pretty accurate though long on carry carry calculations (which you shouldn't care about in a sim anyway).

As to hitting with a 9.0* driver, there's no definitive answer. I suspect you'll see super high spin rates based on a low lofted club and downward impact (as you self-described). This will cause your ballooning and wind issues. Lowering the loft is likely increasing the backspin but decreasing the launch angle. The reality is that you're not going to see much of a difference in distance with the lower loft since the higher spin and lower launch probably offset to some degree. You're likely just increasing your side spin to exacerbate your misses. Since you're going to be on a sim, I'd recommend that you hit something like a 10.5 stiff shaft with a low kick point to compare it against your 9.0 with regular flex. You're likely to see similar launch/backspin with lower side spin and it won't cost anything to try it.

In the end, it really doesn't matter all that much. At your level, whatever club you can hit generally where you're trying to hit on a semi-consistent basis is a winner. So if it's feels good to you, keep it.

FYI, there are now MANY different club adjustment technologies. Not all of them require you to reset the club. When you research, make sure you're looking at the tech on your specific club.
 

FL4WL3SS

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I haven't swung a club in three months. My plan was to work with a swing coach all winter, but that plan fell through. I just reached out to him to reengage him for the next couple of months. I'm starting to get the itch again.

One thing I'm definitely doing is remaking my entire bag. I'll be going to get a full bag fitting sometime in the next month or two. Although I'm torn on when to actually do it since I'll be both rusty and in between a swing change.
 

Phragle

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Equipment/Practice Advice - I got a Ping G Driver, 9.0 loft, Regular flex Alta 55 shaft with a gift card I received for Christmas. I am taking it to an indoor practice place to give it a few swings, with the thought that if I absolutely hate it I can still return it and try something different (30 day return policy). This place has something called GC2 launch monitor and also something called aG studio, but I have never been so really don't know what I am getting into (but I do have a gift certificate, so that is why I am going). I plan to take a few swings with my now-ancient King Cobra Speed LD driver, then compare what I am getting from the Ping. I know my swing will be a bit off after a few months layoff, but I have an hour to work on it, which is a ton for me.

Other than obvious projected distance/accuracy, is there anything else I should be looking for from the launch monitor? My tendency is toward very high ball flight due to my steep swing path, and my shots can really balloon/get taken by the wind. I probably push/slice a bit more than pull/draw, but I can certainly miss 'em both ways. I am also considering whether I should mess around with the adjustable loft on the new driver - it has 5 settings for +/- 1 degree and .6 degree, and I have never had a club that could be adjusted liked that.
It seems like you did it backwards. Usually you test then buy based off the results.

IDK what an aG studio is, but with a ball only monitor (GC2) there's not a ton it can do for you other than speed, spin, and launch. It's not a Trackman.

If you hit balloons often then I don't like that shaft for you. The standard ping shafts have been tip soft balloon factories for a while. Try the regular flex Tour 65, or if you like the extra weight the Tour 80. They have other shafts available too, I'm just not as familiar with them.

If you miss right more, I wouldn't mess around with loft right now. Just warm up, pay attention to feel, hit a bunch of balls with both clubs, take a pic of the results, and come back and tell us what's up.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
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I know, and my index is 15, so I am certainly no elite amateur (the R flex shaft is probably a giveaway, too). I have been playing a 9.0 driver and my biggest problems are controlling it in the wind and getting no roll whatsoever, so a 10.5 isn't too appealing to me.
Probably worth noting that the pendulum swung the other direction. For a while (early-mid 2000s?) lofts were trending downward and there were people hitting things like 5 degree drivers. Now the guidance is go with more loft but in part because driver heads are designed to reduce spin a ton compared to older heads. So you’ll hit a big high knuckleball that sails forever. Fwiw, Ping drivers always have a loft higher than what is on the head, never lower. Your driver is probably more like a 10 degree loft driver. Again, shaft will probably make much more of a difference than the 9 vs 10.5 clubhead.
 

HoyaSoxa

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Thanks all for the feedback. I am well aware I did not take the most scientific approach to buying a new driver - basically, I got a gift certificate for an online retailer, and I also had an old gift certificate to an indoor golf place (Big Sticks in Burlington), and I wanted to use those gift certificates and save my money. Big Sticks doesn't sell clubs or do fittings, so I couldn't go try out a bunch of clubs/shafts there.

So in the end, I had enjoyed hitting the Ping G400 driver in a rental set, the gift card covered most the Ping G, reviews said I wasn't losing a ton by going back one generation, so I just bought the club and figured it would almost certainly be an upgrade, even if not perfectly fitted for me.

I took it to Big Sticks to test it out, and they set me up on the About Golf Simulator, which does provide data on swing speed, ball speed, and spin rates, but I suspect the GC2 data might be more reliable given the clearly inflated carry distances it was telling me. I took about 20 swings with my old driver, then hit the G and saw generally lower spin rates and higher ball speeds. Unfortunately, it didn't track an average for me, so really can't quantify the improvement, but I like the club, it gives me confidence, it sounds way better (the Cobra club sounds like an aluminum bat).

I also took some swings with a few new-to-me Taylor Made fairway woods and liked the results, then played 9 holes or so on the simulator, which was fun enough but clearly giving me more distance than realistic (I was getting 10+ extra yards on my irons, which have not changed). Overall, it scratched an itch and I think I will be happy with my new clubs, but can't offer much in the way of data for the more analytical folks here. Unfortunately I probably won't get to test it on the course until April or May.
 

ezemerson

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Gross coverage on Golf Channel thanks to a strike by the cameramen and technicians walking off the course before the round
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I just replaced my woods and hybrids with Gs last year and I love em. Getting them reshafted but really like the ball flight and feel.

I’m going to do my irons before next season and I’m intrigued by the new TM Twistface tech. I definitely will be waiting until they hit shelves to give them a test drive. Very least, the release will drop the price of the M1s I’m already considering. They have lines for woods and hybrids as well.
 

jercra

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Ping obviously, and inb4 Jercra recommends Bombtech.
Well, I was thinking of recommending Bombtech but super new hightech isn't really their thing. They make great clubs at a great price, but they're not crazy adjustable or filled with helium or whatever so I didn't reply. That being said, if you need golf clubs and you don't at least check them out, you're doing yourself a disservice.
 

4 6 3 DP

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I still play old Adams hybrids from 4/5 years ago. Nothing beats them on the monitor and you can get them for under 30/40 bucks.

At this point (and I am a club ho), driver tech is such where I think you can play whatever of the drivers you want and it's really personal preference at this point. All are really good. Irons - a lot of it is what you want out of them - the callaway stuff and TM stuff are really rocket launchers, the Ping stuff is a little more forgiving, Titleist in between. I think anyone looking for wedges that doesn't try the CBX's are shorting themselves and the CBX irons are very very good as well.

Hybrids are probably the area with the least advances right now - it's really figuring out what shape you like and whether you want something with a neutral/open face or the typical closed ones. And like I said, you can buy Adams LS or S, XTD, a123 and all are damn good, cheap hybrids that perform with anything currently out there.
 

jercra

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I still play old Adams hybrids from 4/5 years ago. Nothing beats them on the monitor and you can get them for under 30/40 bucks.

At this point (and I am a club ho), driver tech is such where I think you can play whatever of the drivers you want and it's really personal preference at this point. All are really good. Irons - a lot of it is what you want out of them - the callaway stuff and TM stuff are really rocket launchers, the Ping stuff is a little more forgiving, Titleist in between. I think anyone looking for wedges that doesn't try the CBX's are shorting themselves and the CBX irons are very very good as well.

Hybrids are probably the area with the least advances right now - it's really figuring out what shape you like and whether you want something with a neutral/open face or the typical closed ones. And like I said, you can buy Adams LS or S, XTD, a123 and all are damn good, cheap hybrids that perform with anything currently out there.
I don't know what your index is, but I'm going to disagree with you a bit. There are significant differences between, for lack of a better term, classes of clubs (GI, CB, Blade). For the high-handicapper, you're totally right. There's not much difference. GI clubs differentiate at the margins. For the mid-handicapper, the difference between a Super-GI and regular CB are significant and you'll start to really see differences in launch angle and spin rate. For low-handicappers there's a massive difference in the clubs in a lot of different aspects. I prefer to be able to move the ball up, down, left and right and that's damn near impossible with GI and even many CB. The difference between shape, swingweight, perimiter weighting, etc. in blades is massive. Even in drivers, fairway woods and hybrids there can be big differences. That's settling down a lot now (not so many 440 drivers or fixed woods anymore) but there are still distinctions between the club designs that can make a big difference to better players. Your comment about the wedges is even more pronounced when you get to the good short game players. When you're concern is not the chilidip or chunk but spin control and turf interaction in various conditions, the reasons for choosing the shape, grind, grooves, etc. are totally different than for higher handicaps.
 

4 6 3 DP

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I don't know what your index is, but I'm going to disagree with you a bit. There are significant differences between, for lack of a better term, classes of clubs (GI, CB, Blade). For the high-handicapper, you're totally right. There's not much difference. GI clubs differentiate at the margins. For the mid-handicapper, the difference between a Super-GI and regular CB are significant and you'll start to really see differences in launch angle and spin rate. For low-handicappers there's a massive difference in the clubs in a lot of different aspects. I prefer to be able to move the ball up, down, left and right and that's damn near impossible with GI and even many CB. The difference between shape, swingweight, perimiter weighting, etc. in blades is massive. Even in drivers, fairway woods and hybrids there can be big differences. That's settling down a lot now (not so many 440 drivers or fixed woods anymore) but there are still distinctions between the club designs that can make a big difference to better players. Your comment about the wedges is even more pronounced when you get to the good short game players. When you're concern is not the chilidip or chunk but spin control and turf interaction in various conditions, the reasons for choosing the shape, grind, grooves, etc. are totally different than for higher handicaps.
Of course this is all right. What I mean more is that from a performance standpoint, your GI from Cobra vs Callaway vs Ping vs Cleveland vs TM will be pretty similar. Not blades vs shovels.