kurokage_hbp_top

 

Profile - This latest from Mitsubishi Rayon is the Kuro Kage Black HBP – but it isn’t exactly new to the market. This shaft has been on the market for sometime, and this re-make of it offers a Higher Balance Point – hence the HBP. This shaft has a particularly interesting bend profile – one that starts stiff at the butt, loosens up in the mid-section, and maintains that through to the tip.  It’s quite noticeably softer and more responsive then its Silver TiNi brother (see the bend profile chart).


kuro-kage-bend-profile

What Makes It Work – As said by the manufacturer: “This new shaft features the same technically advanced High Density Prepreg with up to 15 percent more carbon fiber and significantly less resin (20 vs. 33 percent) than standard prepreg. Fewer gaps and voids in the prepreg creates more consistent performance, increased stability and a better feel at impact with less harshness.” Mitsubishi thickened up the walls of the shaft leading up to the butt section, raising the balance point up and leading to the softer mid and tip section.  With all this said, don’t go thinking this shaft is a weakling. Even with this profile, the tip torque maxes 4.8 for stiff, and drops down to 2.8 for X. These specs are only a touch softer than the original Black version without the HBP.

Who’s It For – This shaft is great for players using adjustable driver technology as well as those who simply like a smooth balanced feel to their shafts.  With models ranging from L to X, a large weight variety from 50-70 grams,  and quite some variance in torque, there is likely a shaft that will fit most swing types and speeds – as long as you don’t mind spending $200 for a new shaft.

Specs

kuro-kage-specs

MSRP – $200

 

 

Taylormade RBZ 3 fairway wood

TaylorMade Rocketballz (RBZ) Fairway Wood Review

Thanks for stopping by and good morning all. We have another review for you today – this time we’ll be taking a closer look at the TaylorMade RbZ 3 fairway wood. This club could definitely add some distance to your game.

LookTaylormade RBZ 3 fairway wood

The Rocketballz Fairway Woods continue to utilize TaylorMade’s white non-glare finish with a black clubface. The black clubface looks great at address and does a nice job of framing the ball. TaylorMade introduced a “Speed Pocket” on the RBZ fairway woods, which is a channel visible on the sole of the club behind the clubface. A weight port in the sole is positioned directly behind the speed pocket to improve ball speed. TaylorMade moved the center of gravity forward and below the center of axis to promote a high launch and low spinning shot. The RBZ fairway wood has a fairly standard look and thus rates 7 out of 10.

Performance

I tested the RBZ 15 degree fairway wood with the stock Matrix Ozik stiff shaft. The club performed awesome, as did the other RBZ products. My ball flight was straight and consistent. The RBZ produces a mid to high launch and feels really easy to swing. In fact, the RBZ feels effortless and the ball explodes off the face. The RBZ performs well from a variety of lies. Even from tight lies, I was really impressed with how well the RBZ launches the ball in the air. I feel the RBZ outperformed my current Ping i15 3 wood in distance and accuracy. The RBZ 3 wood provides a nice boost in distance and is still easy to control. When it comes to distance, players should definitely pick up some extra carry distance with the RBZ and thus it earns a 10 out of 10 performance rating.

Feel

The RBZ Fairway wood features a lightweight 50 gram Matrix Ozik stock shaft. The club weighs 315 grams and has a swing weight of D4. While the club is advertised as lightweight to generate more swing speed, I could still feel the club head throughout the swing. Impact feels great. The RBZ feels very forgiving even on off center hits and I rate the club at 9 out of 10.

Value

TaylorMade advertises up to an additional 17 yards longer with the RBZ fairway woods. If a player can pick up an additional 17 yards, that could be the difference of laying up on a par 5 and reaching a par 5 in two shots. The entire RBZ lineup is very solid, including the fairway woods. The price is slightly higher than the average fairway wood price point of $199.99. However, in my opinion the RBZ is worth the extra thirty dollars and retails at $229.99. The RBZ is one of the best fairway woods available, receiving a 10 out of 10 rating.

 

taylormade rescue 11

TaylorMade Rescue 11 Review

Hi everyone – thanks for stopping by. This morning we are reviewing the TaylorMade Rescue 11. This club is very adjustable and stands out with TaylorMade’s white club head. Don’t forget, we love to hear reader’s feedback and encourage you to let us know your thoughts below. Here’s our take on the TaylorMade Rescue 11.

Looktaylormade rescue 11

Everyone has something to say about the all white club head of TaylorMade’s product line. It has been a great marketing strategy to set their product apart from the competition. I have heard many people say, “I can’t look down at this all white club head.” If this is what you are focused on, you are probably doomed to hit a poor shot anyway. Yes its different, but it shouldn’t affect performance one bit. The black clubface really does a nice job of framing the club in the address position. In addition, the black clubface and white crown make alignment fairly easy.

The TaylorMade Rescue 11 provides a traditional hybrid appearance. Players will feel confident they can hit a good shot. The Flight Control Technology of the Rescue 11 allows for a 4 degree face angle change which is noticeable at address. The club looks sharp, I’ll rate it 10 out of 10.

Performance

The trend in golf equipment these days is adjustable technology. The TaylorMade Rescue 11 is loaded with Flight Control Technology to help you hit the ball farther and straighter. The Rescue 11 allows you to alter loft by + or – 1 degree. There is a possible eight different combinations to alter ball flight.

The 18 degree Rescue 11 contains a deep face and lower center of gravity to get the ball up in the air. The neutral setting provides a high ball flight. Searching for more distance and spin, I added a degree of loft which increased ball flight and carry distance. My natural ball flight is straight to slight fade and I found it easy to replicate my normal shot pattern. However, I found it difficult to turn the ball over and produce a draw. Decreasing loft produced more of a consistent fade, which might be beneficial for someone who fights turning the ball over. The Rescue 11 does a nice job of hitting from any lie, including digging the ball out of the rough. With all the different options available for the Rescue 11, it rates in at 9 out of 10 in terms of performance.

Feel

The TaylorMade Rescue 11 has a nice weighting associated with the club. Personally, I prefer a slightly heavier feel to a club, and the Rescue 11 weighs in with a swing weight of D4. The weighting makes it easy to feel where the club head is throughout the entire swing. Impact has a solid feel and provides solid feedback even on off center hits. I rate the club 9 out of 10 in terms of feel.

Value

The TaylorMade Rescue 11 is a versatile hybrid that will provide players many different options. Players can be creative and even play an effective bump and run shot around the greens with the Rescue 11. The Flight Control Technology is invaluable for those searching to control ball flight. The cost is slightly higher than some of the competition at $189, however, there are many competitors that come in much higher. The Rescue 11 has a solid price point and is fairly easy to hit. It rates in at 9 out of 10 in terms of overall value.

ping g20 fairway wood

Ping G20 Fairway Wood Review

Hi Folks – thanks for stopping by. Today we continue our reviewing process with a look at the Ping G20 fairway wood. Ping released the G20 line as a successor  of the G15 line of products.

Looksping g20 fairway wood

The fairway wood is a dark gray 165cc club head with a shallow face. The stock shaft is the TFC 169F which is gray toward the bottom and half-red toward the grip. Overall, the club sets up very nicely at address. It features a crescent alignment aid similar to previous models. Compared to many other clubs the appearance of the G20 is boring. However, Ping is known for producing quality golf clubs and the G20 should win you over by a solid performance, not a trendy appearance. I am a big fan of the overall design of the club however the color scheme is average so I rate it 8 out of 10.

Performance

The Ping G20 fairway wood is my favorite performer of the entire G20 line up. I tested the G20 15 degree 3 wood with a stock TFC 169F shaft in regular flex. The shallow face easily gets the ball in the air from any bad lie. Ball flight is typically higher with the G20, which I prefer as I can rely on a consistent carry distance. In addition to a high ball flight, the club is forgiving and produces straight shots. Compared to a K15 the G20 produces a slightly lower trajectory but also allows you to work the ball a little more. This being said, I really enjoyed the consistency of the club. Toe hits did not result in a big distance loss and still delivered straight shots. Players searching for a new fairway wood should consider giving the Ping G20 a try. The G20 outperformed my current i20 3 wood so I will certainly consider replacing the i20. The club performs great and thus rates 10 out of 10.

Feel

The G20 maintains an average swing weight of D1. The center of gravity is positioned low and deep in the G20 fairway woods. It is designed with a 17-4 stainless steel club head. The ball feels extremely solid at impact and the club weight feels good throughout the swing. The large and shallow club face produces a high launch and low spin for optimum distance. Impact produces  a dull “ping” sound. The club sounds good and feels good throughout the swing and impact so it gets 9 out of 10.

Value

I am constantly searching for products that outperform my current clubs. The G20 provides that option, as I felt it outperformed my Ping i15 3 wood. In my opinion, the G20 fairway resembles the K15 fairway woods, yet provides better results and more distance for a low handicap player. I am a big fan of results and will seriously consider putting the G20 3 wood in my bag. Golfers should enjoy the forgiveness and straight shots the G20 produces. Typical for Ping, if you prefer to change ball flight be sure to go through some of the custom shaft options. The club is priced less than many of Ping’s competitors’ models at $199.99 giving it a rating of 9 out of 10.

Titleist 910H Hybrid

Titleist 910H Hybrid Review

Good morning everyone – thanks for stopping by. Its review time once again and today we will be looking at the Titleist 910H Hybrid. This club is excellent for lower handicap players. Here’s our take on the Titleist 910H Hybrid.

Lookstitleist 910h hybrid

By the looks of things, Titleist designed another winner. The 910H hybrid has the same glossy black finish as the 910 driver and fairway woods. In addition, the SureFit Tour hosel allows players to manipulate loft and lie into 16 different configurations. The deep face of the 910H gives the appearance you can hit the ball from any lie. In terms of appearance it rates 9 out of 10.

Performance

I will start by saying the Titleist 910H is probably a big hit or miss, either you love it or hate it. Low handicap players should really like the club while higher handicap players will probably find other hybrids much more appealing and easier to hit. The 910H is very versatile, allowing you to adjust the loft and lie of each hybrid. The 21 degree 4 hybrid can be adjusted up to 22.25 degrees or down to 20.25 degrees. In addition, the lie angle of the hybrid can be adjusted from a standard 58.5 degrees up to 60 degrees or down to 57.75 degrees.  The club is dependable from tight lies and the rough. The 910H gives a piercing to high ball flight and you still have the ability to manipulate based on preference. Accuracy could be a major concern for some players. Off center hits will not travel as well as other hybrids on the market. In comparison, a good ball striker will really have the ability to work the ball with the 910H. Players who use the 910H should find it one of the longest hybrids on the market. Overall a very solid club, it will not be for everyone, but rates 9 out of 10.

Feel

Titleist is often referred to as a players club and the 910H hybrid continues that trend. The 910H hybrid feels really solid with a heavier swing weight of D4. Better players often want to work the ball and control the distance, direction, and trajectory of the shot. The 910H Hybrid gives you every opportunity to control the ball. Players searching for an automatic club that hits the ball high and straight might be turned off. You can feel an off center hit and definitely see the results of poor contact. A well struck shot feels great, earning the club a 9 out of 10 rating.

Value

Hybrids are certainly easier to hit than a long iron. Titleist developed one of the most technologically advanced hybrids with the 910H. Consequently, it is one of the most expensive hybrids available with a retail value around $230. As a professional and low handicap player, I feel confident putting the 910H in my bag. However, I would not put it in all of my students hands. The 910H is a really nice club, but with such a steep price tag I rate it a 7 out of 10.

 

taylormade r11 iron

TaylorMade R11 Iron Review

Hello everyone, thanks for stopping in. Its review time once again at SirShanks. Today we are looking at the TaylorMade R11 irons. TaylorMade provides better individual features in different iron sets, but the R11s do a great job of combining everything into one set making it one of the most diverse sets TaylorMade has ever designed.

Looks taylormade r11 iron

The TaylorMade R11 irons feature a progressive top line throughout the entire set. The clubs appear slightly larger than a typical players iron. In addition, the set has a slight progressive off-set. Players will quickly notice the red “Precision Weight Port” at the center of the back of R11 irons. It is designed to maintain the same swing weight and center of gravity in each iron. Although the red port is a popular topic among critics, it is not noticeable in the address position. Therefore, it should be a non factor when it comes to visual appeal. The irons look easy to hit and rates 8 out of 10.

Performance

The R11 irons are positioned right in the middle of the TaylorMade iron line. The R11s are a very diverse set that players of many different ability levels can play. The TaylorMade R11 features a multi-functional sole which allows you to hit from a good lie or dig down through difficult lies and get the ball in the air. Ball control is fairly consistent with the R11 irons. The R11 irons perform very similar in distance compared to my current set and other similar sets on the market. If a player is looking for more distance TaylorMade has a much longer set in the Rocketballz (RBZ). However, the R11 allows each player the ability to be more precise with distance control. The R11s are very forgiving and consistent clubs. The R11s produce a mid to high ball flight throughout the entire set. They are a very nice set and rate at 8 out of 10.

Feel

The R11 irons have an excellent feel and forgiveness. The clubs are diverse and can be played by low and mid handicap players. The slightly larger club head size increases the size of the sweet spot. TaylorMade utilizes the company’s inverted cone technology for improved forgiveness in the R11 irons. Off center hits feel decent and still produce long and straight shots. There is only a subtle loss in distance. Overall the clubs are consistent and players should quickly learn what to expect from the R11 irons. They rate 8 out of 10.

Value

As mentioned before, the forgiveness, accuracy and consistency will benefit low and high handicap players. Everything about this set is good. Players who prefer a club with a players look will enjoy how they closely resemble the TaylorMade MC irons. The price is very affordable at around $799 for a set of eight steel irons. That actually sets them under some of the competitors such as the Titleist AP2 irons and identical to the Ping i20. Definitely give the clubs a test if you are interested in a new set of irons. I really like the diverseness of this set. Golfers of many different ability levels will gravitate toward the R11s and I rate them 9 out of 10.

 

K15

Ping K15 Iron Review

Hello everyone – once again, thanks for stopping by. Today we continue our reviewing process by taking a look at the Ping K15 iron. These clubs offer the ability to add some consistency to your game, something that higher handicap players are often looking for.

Looksping k15 iron

Typical of any game improvement iron, the Ping K15 irons have a wide sole, thick top line, and slight offset. As result, the club looks super easy to hit. In addition, the K15 head features a steel cavity with lightweight titanium face. The dull steel finish looks great on the course and will produce minimal glare in the sun. The K15 is available in 5 iron through lob wedge while a K15 hybrid is available to replace the longer irons. Since they appear to be a bit bulky, I rate them 8 out of 10.

Performance

The Ping K15 iron is a game improvement iron, which you can tell in the basic design. Golfers will find the K15 iron one of the easiest irons to hit. The stock shaft is the Ping AWT in steel or TFC 149i or 149H in graphite. The K15 positions a low center of gravity and extremely high MOI (moment of inertia). This results in an extremely high ball flight, which is great for someone struggling with consistency. The club is designed to hit high and straight golf shots. That is exactly what you get. Even on shots where I tried to control the ball flight (knock down shots) the result was still a high trajectory. If you want to work the ball try a different set of irons. I found almost no ball movement. Even on poor swings that I pulled or pushed the shot, the ball flight was still straight. The distance was similar on off center hits.

Due to the high launch and longer carry most players should find a little more distance with the K15 irons. Most companies provide stronger lofts and lengths than Ping, which obviously create a potential to increase distance. However, the K15 provides slightly more distance (than my current set) for a scratch golfer. However, a high handicap player who loses distance due to off center hits could potentially gain more distance because the club is real forgiving and produces a straighter ball flight. Ping K15 irons perform as advertised, and earn a 9 out of 10 rating.

Feel

The K15 irons provide little feedback for the user. It basically feels the same where ever you hit the ball on the clubface. Likewise, the results are similar no matter where you hit the ball on the clubface. This is great news for a golfer looking for more consistency. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the wider sole on irons, but I am accustomed to hitting a blade. The wider sole felt a bit awkward on bump and run shots, but with practice I am sure it would feel more comfortable. They rate 8 out of 10 in terms of feel.

Value

Golf is about finding the correct equipment for each player. This set is geared to a mid to high handicap golfer. It will be difficult to find a set of irons more forgiving and easy to hit. A low handicap player will probably prefer more of a players iron that is not so bulky. However, the Ping K15 iron is definitely worth a try. As an instructor and club fitter, I would encourage anyone who is a 20 handicap or higher to try this set of irons before they make a purchase. While they are not for everyone, I rate the K15 irons 9 out of 10.

 

callaway razr hawk 3 wood

Callaway RAZR Hawk 3 Wood Review

Hello everyone – as always, thanks for stopping by. Today we will be taking a closer look at the Callaway RAZR Hawk 3 Wood. Here is our take on it. As always, if you have any questions or anything to add, feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below. We always love hearing what our readers have to say.

Lookscallaway razr hawk 3 wood

Visually, the club should appeal to players of all ability levels. The all black RAZR head has a very clean and traditional appearance. The club is comprised of a stainless steel face and sole with full length hosel. The stock Callaway shaft is almost all black, matching the club head.  The RAZR Hawk looks sharp and rates 9 out of 10.

Performance

Callaway released the RAZR Hawk line to replace their popular X-Series and FT lines. Callaway, known for their Variable Face Technology (VFT) to increase the sweet spot, also utilizes forged composite to make the RAZR line one of the most popular lines in golf.

The RAZR Hawk 3 wood produces a dull sound at impact.  However, Callaway does not disappoint in the distance department. Players should find the RAZR Hawk fairway wood one of the longest fairway woods on the market. In addition, they should have no trouble getting a solid trajectory out of the RAZR fairway line. The RAZR is a very easy club to hit and consistently hits straight shots. The RAZR Hawk produces a high ball flight, which is appealing to someone looking for additional carry distance. While the competition is producing adjustable technology, the RAZR does not utilize such technology to help hit the ball longer or straighter. Overall, the club performs consistently and rates 8 out of 10.

Feel

Forged composite is a lighter and stronger material than titanium. Compared to the competition at Taylor Made and Titleist, the RAZR Hawk is one of the lightest fairway woods with a D2 swing weight for men and C9 for women. Impact feels a bit clunky, however the ball jumps off the club face. The RAZR feels solid and rates 8 out of 10.

Value

The RAZR Hawk 3 wood is a great addition to any golfers collection. It is easy to hit, has a solid feel and is one of the longest 3 woods in golf. The price point is in line according to the club’s competition such as the TaylorMade R11, Titileist 910F, Cleveland CG and Tour Edge. You should be able to find a RAZR Hawk fairway wood at most retailers for around $229.99.

Custom shaft options include the Aldila NV Pink, Aldila NVS and Mitsubishi Diamana Red. The RAZR Hawk 3 wood is available in a 13 and 15 degree loft for men and 15 degree for women. Shaft options include women’s, light, regular, and stiff. The club is right in line in terms of price and performance, I give it 8 out of 10.

ping i20 15 degree

Ping i20 15 Degree Fairway Wood Review

Hello Everyone, as always thanks for stopping by. Today we are reviewing the Ping i20 15 Degree Fairway Wood. It combines a sleek appearance with quality performance, here’s what we think.

LooksPing i20 15 degree

The entire line up of Ping i20 woods and hybrids are some of the best looking in the industry. Similar to the driver, the i20 fairway wood has a traditional design with a black matte finish resistant to glare. The i20 features a neutral face position compared to the i15’s open position. The shape of the i20 fairway wood allows the head to glide through heavy grass and generate a high, straight ball flight. The i20’s combination of a compact head and all black finish rate 10 out of 10.

Performance

Ping drastically improved the i20 fairway wood from the previous i15 model. I have played the Ping i15 3 wood for the past two seasons and tested the new i20 15 degree 3 wood with a stock TFC 707 F shaft in stiff flex. While the appearance of the i15 is attractive, my consistency struggled for the last two years with the i15. I had a tendency to miss left at the most inopportune times. During testing with the i20, my tendency to miss left was gone. The i20’s neutral face on the club head and smaller profile of the club make it easy to launch the ball up in the air. In addition, the i20 fairway allows the ability to still work the ball and control trajectory. The i20 fairway is Ping’s longest fairway wood however, some players might find the G20 or K15 to be a little more forgiving on off-center strokes. Similar to the driver, Ping made the i20 more forgiving and easier to hit giving the i20 fairway a rating of 10 out of 10.

Feel

The Ping i20 fairway wood is exceptional off the ground from a good lie or even a tight lie. It feels even better off the tee. The ball jumps with the i20 and makes a crisp sound. You barely feel contact when the ball is struck properly. The i20 has an average swing weight (D3) and the small compact head (141 cc) feels great at impact. The Ping i20 fairway wood rates 10 out of 10.

Value

Ping did a great job improving on the i20 fairway woods. The look and performance results are both fantastic. The i20 fairway wood is one of the best on the market and definitely worth upgrading from the i15. Since the i20 is more than a game improvement club the price tag is slightly higher with a $229.99 retail value. However, that is in line with many of the other higher end fairway woods. The Ping i20 is a great club and rates 10 out of 10 in overall value.

Callaway razr fit driver

Callaway RAZR Fit Driver Review

Hi Everyone – thanks for stopping by. Today we are reviewing the Callaway RAZR Fit Driver. This driver offers optimal adjustability and is perfect for the golfer who enjoys futzing with their clubs to find optimal situational performance.

LooksCallaway razr fit driver

The RAZR Fit catches your eye with a glossy black finish and has a slightly deeper face than previous models. It is loaded with technology for the player who likes to tinker with their equipment. The RAZR Fit features an OptiFit hosel that adjusts the face angle in an open, square, and closed position. In addition, on the sole there are two weight ports on the toe and heel. The OptiFit weights (12 grams and 2 grams) shift the center of gravity to promote a draw or neutral ball flight. The club I tested was a 10.5 degree driver with a stock Aldila Rip shaft in stiff flex. Callaway did an awesome job with the appearance of the club and I rate it 9 out of 10.

Performance

Currently, I play the RAZR Hawk driver so I was eager to try the RAZR Fit. After only a few swings, I realized the RAZR Fit is one of the longest drivers I have tested. The ball jumped off the club face and hit towering drives. The ball flight was extremely high, yet the ball just carried forever. I was hitting it easily 15 yards longer that my RAZR Hawk. It won’t be long before the RAZR Fit will make its way into my bag.

I tested the RAZR Fit in the square, open and closed position. The OptiFit weights stayed in the neutral position, 2 grams in the heel and 12 grams in the toe. In the closed position, the ball flight never produced a gentle draw. It was either a hook or straight shot. However, the trajectory did come down slightly in the closed position. In the open position I managed to still hit it straight or with a slight fade. Unlike the closed position, the open position never made a significant change in ball flight. Overall, I preferred the neutral position. In the neutral position, the ball flight started straight and finished straight. The RAZR Fit hit the ball great in the correct setting and therefore I rate it 10 out of 10.

Feel

Callaway did a great job with the RAZR Fit driver. Impact makes more of a crack than the dull sound produced by previous models. The ball just takes off at impact, regardless of where I struck the ball on the club face. The weighting of the club feels nice. In fact, the swing weight is a D6 and the Aldila shaft weighs 60 grams. The club feels great throughout the swing and impact giving it a rating of 9 out of 10.

Value

The RAZR Fit is on the more expensive side with a price tag of $399. However, it is in line with the other adjustable drivers such as the R11s and the Titleist D2 and D3 drivers. The RAZR Fit outperformed the RAZR Hawk and it will most likely make it’s way into my bag. I really liked the RAZR Fit driver, it should be one of the top performing and selling drivers with a 10 out of 10 rating.