ping g20

Ping G20 Hybrid Review

Hello everyone – thanks for stopping by. Today we will be  looking at the Ping G20 Hybrid.

Looks

The Ping G20 Hybrid features an offset hosel design with a 17-4 stainless steel club head. The Gping g2020 resembles more of an iron than a traditional hybrid. The club face and top line appear like an iron with a satin finish. The back of the hybrid is a dark gray that blends in with the ground. Aesthetically, the satin finish on the club pops out. Compared to the previous G15 model the G20 has a slightly more compact and shallow club head design. However, compared to the majority of other hybrids available, it looks much more clunky and deep. Overall, as a low handicap player I am not a big fan of the appearance and offset design. The appearance rates 6 out of 10.

Performance

Luckily the G20 performs much better than it looks. I tested the 20 degree Ping G20 hybrid with a stiff TFC 169H stock shaft.  The G20 is designed as Ping’s game improvement hybrid. The G20 delivers a high launch and ball flight. In addition, it delivers maximum forgiveness. The G20 creates a very high and straight ball flight. If you are searching for a club to work the ball you may want to try Ping’s i20 hybrid. The G20 provides little ability to control the trajectory and shot pattern.

The G20 is extremely easy to hit and performs exceptional from a tight lie. It launches the ball high from just about any reasonable lie such as a bunker or even moderate rough. Although it is super easy to hit, it won’t provide any miracles out of a U.S. Open length rough.

Every high handicap player searching for a hybrid should give the G20 a try. The appearance and offset may scare away some players but the club is ideal for higher handicap players.  The performance of the G20 hybrid rates 9 out of 10.

Feel

The G20 creates a dull sound at impact. Due to the forgiveness of the G20, impact feels similar almost anywhere on the club face. The G20 features a D1 swing weight, which feels similar to other hybrids. Overall, you do not receive a lot of feedback, the G20 hybrid just produces a high and straight shot. The Ping G20 rates 8 out of 10.

Value

Many players struggle with hybrids.  Since the G20 resembles more of an iron, this may be a great alternative rather than a traditional hybrid. The club is super easy to hit and control. It provides good distance and keeps the ball in play. The G20 appearance is an improvement over the G15.  The price tag is right in line with the majority of other game improvement hybrids at $159. There are certainly a large number of golfers who will benefit from the G20. If they look past the unique appearance they will find a solid club that rates 8 out of 10.

Taylormade ATV

TaylorMade ATV Wedge Review

Hi everyone – its review time once again. Today we will be looking at the TaylorMade ATV, a versatile wedge that preforms well in a variety of different lies.

Look
Taylormade ATV

The TaylorMade ATV wedge differs slightly from a traditional wedge appearance.  The ATV features a sharp satin finish that is common among many wedges.  There is a black and red stripe through the TaylorMade logo on the back of the club face.  In addition, it features a milled groove design and micro-texture across the club face to generate more spin.  The most unique feature of the ATV is the wider sole.  Low handicap players might be scared away from the sight of the wide sole.  However, the sole is designed to handle a multitude of shots and interact with turf, rough, and sand.  Overall, the finish looks really good and the ATV wedge looks relatively easy to hit.  The appearance rates 8 out of 10.

Performance

I tested a 56 degree TaylorMade ATV wedge with a stock KBS Tour shaft.  The ATV stands for All-Terrain Versatility, and that is exactly how the club performs.  Most wedges force you to focus on a few strengths and sacrifice a few other areas.  For example, some wedges perform better from the sand or allow you to hit flop shots with ease.  TaylorMade designed the ATV to excel from a variety of shots including chips, pitches, flop shots, bunkers, full swings from the fairway, rough, and tight lies.  The bounce on the club can be manipulated depending on how you position the club head and face in your set up. The ATV allows you to control the distance and trajectory from a variety of shots.  The club performs well from bunkers and flop shots around the green.  Overall, the club is very versatile and rates 9 out of 10.

Feel

Feel is one of the most important factors when purchasing a wedge.  The ATV performs great from a variety of lies.  The 56 degree ATV wedge has a heavier swing weight of D4.  The heavier weight makes it easy to feel the club throughout the swing and loft the ball in the air around the green.  I particularly enjoyed the full and half wedge shots from 50 – 90 yards from the hole.  The club felt smooth from tight lies in the fairway or thick rough.  In addition, the ATV does a nice job of checking quickly on the green.  Overall, the ATV is a very solid and versatile wedge and rates 9 out of 10.  

Value

The TaylorMade ATV is priced directly in line with the other major companies at $119.99.  The ATV will appeal to players of all ability levels with such a diverse variety of shots. Due to the excellent performance and standard price the ATV should garner a great response from golfers and rates 9 out of 10.

Ping Anser

Hello everyone, today we are reviewing Ping Anser irons – here’s what we think of them.

LooksPing Anser Iron

Ping has finally ventured into the market of forged clubs with the highly anticipated Anser iron.  The club head appears similar visually to the i20 iron.  However, the Anser features a progressive offset with a satin chrome finish.  In my opinion, the lighter finish makes the Anser irons look dapper.  Ping made the Anser from an 8620 steel with a tungsten sole.  Also, they are one of the few Ping irons to utilize a black ferrule between the club head and shaft.  The back of the iron is milled with a CTP (Custom Tuning Port) stamped behind the club head.  Overall, they are a very classic looking set of irons and rate 9 out of 10.

Performance

I tested the Ping Anser iron with a stiff KBS Tour shaft.  The forged Anser irons performed great in testing.  The Anser irons are forgiving and produce a fairly straight ball flight.  They also provide the ability to work the ball when needed.  In addition, you can control ball flight if you are trying to hit lower trajectory knock down shots.  Under normal conditions, they create a mid to high ball flight with the KBS Tour Shaft, which is designed to produce a higher launch angle and less spin.  The high launch and low spin help make them a longer than average iron.  The Ping Anser irons are forgiving and perform excellent, giving them a 9 out of 10.

Feel

The Ping Anser irons have a standard swing weight of D1, however, you can alter the swing weight by manipulating the CTP.  Impact produces a dull sound and soft feel.  In fact, the Anser irons probably produce the best feel of any Ping iron.  The softer feel allows you to pinpoint contact on the clubface.  Shots in the sweet spot feel really smooth and the overall feedback from the irons rates 9 out of 10.

Value

The pros to the Ping Anser include a great looking forged club that feels and performs even better. The con to the Ping Anser is the price.  The Anser retails at $1349 ($169 per iron) for a set of 8 irons with a steel shaft.  The price will scare away most customers when there are many other quality sets such as the i20 or s56 which cost as much as $549 less than the Anser iron.  The Ping Anser iron is a great addition, however, with the high price tag the value of the iron plummets and rates in at 5 out of 10.

Image credits: http://goo.gl/YI7gDT | http://goo.gl/mQbqgp

Ping s56 Iron

Hi there- thanks for stopping by! Today we are reviewing the Ping S56 iron. An iron geared towards lower handicap players that offers great ball control.

Look

Ping s56 Iron

 The Ping s56 irons are one of Ping’s best looking irons.  They feature a narrow sole and the thinnest top line of any Ping iron.  There is very little difference in appearance in the s56 from the previous model, the Ping s57.  The tuning bar behind the club face is designed to dampen vibrations.  The s56 features an attractive satin finish with a ferrule between the hosel and shaft.  While Ping ventured into the market of forged clubs with the Anser iron, the s56 remains a cast design.  Overall, the look is fantastic and ranks 9 out of 10.

Performance

While a mid handicap player might play the s56, the s56 irons are certainly geared toward a lower handicap player.  In my opinion, the s56 irons are Ping’s most versatile iron.  My typical ball flight is straight or slight fade.  The s56′s give me the ability to control the ball with every shot.  There are more forgiving irons available, however, I prefer the ability to control distance, direction and trajectory on every shot.  The s56 irons are slightly shorter than many irons since they offer weaker lofts than other Ping models and competitors.  The Ping s56 irons produce a mid to high ball flight and perform from any lie and condition.  Overall, they are one of the best irons available for a lower handicap player and rate 10 out of 10.

Feel

The Ping s56 irons offer exceptional feedback on every shot from a chip to full swing.  Other models are designed to hit the ball high and straight.  The s56 irons allow you to hit any shot necessary to get the job done.  Compared to other models such as the K-15, i20 or G20, the s56 irons are not as forgiving and you can really feel an off-center hit.  Shots in the sweet spot feel great.  Not many irons will give you a better feel than the s56, giving it a 9 out of 10.

Value

The s56 irons are my personal iron of choice.  They are an extremely solid iron and perform well in any condition.  Ping also provides excellent club fitting which is something  worth considering when thinking about your next set of irons.  The fitting process alone can turn fade into a slight draw.  The Ping s56 irons are priced in line with other player irons at $900 for a set of eight irons.  The Ping s56 are a great set of irons and rate 10 out of 10.

Photo credit: Ping

Callaway-Razr-X-black-driver

Good Morning – TGIF! Hope everyone had a wonderful week, today we have another review for you. The Callaway RAZR X Black Driver combines a sleek look with user-friendly performance. Here’s our take on it.

Look

callaway razr black

The Callaway RAZR X Black driver features a sleek aerodynamic design with a glossy black finish.  The crown utilizes a red alignment aid.  In fact, the lines actually remind me of the TaylorMade Burner (2008) design from a few years ago.  The RAZR X Black is a 460 cc forged composite club head with a slightly open club face.  However, the face angle directly correlates to the loft of the driver.  The lower lofted drivers are slightly open and the higher lofted drivers are slightly closed.  The RAZR X Black has looks easy to hit and the glossy finish gives the club an elegant and stylish appearance.  The RAZR X Black rates 9 out of 10 in terms of appearance.

Performance

I tested the Callaway 9.5° RAZR X Black with a stock Fujikura Motore F8 stiff shaft.  I found the RAZR X Black an extremely easy club to hit.  Callaway designed the RAZR X Black with no adjustable features.  The RAZR X Black produces a high ball flight and relatively straight shots.  The club is very consistent.  Nearly all shots produced a straight shot or slight fade.  The RAZR X Black delivered an average distance for most shots.  Off center hits on the heel or toe were still decent shots,resulting in a slight loss of distance.  Other drivers might produce longer shots or allow you more control in terms of ball flight.  However, the best way to describe the RAZR X Black is easy and consistent.  The driver is perfect for someone who just wants to set up and swing rather than tinker with a bunch of adjustments.  Performance rates 8 out of 10.

Feel

The Callaway RAZR X Black driver offers plenty of forgiveness.  Impact produces a solid crack, rather than the dull and muted sound of previous models.  The weight of the club feels nice.  In fact, I thought the driver was lighter than the actual swing weight of D5.  Impact feels good and the off center hits still travel well.  It is an all-round solid performing club from Callaway and rates 8 out of 10.

Value

The appearance, feel, performance and sound of the RAZR X Black is solid.  While most drivers carry a retail value of $299 or higher, the RAZR X Black reverses the trend with a retail value of $249.99.  In addition, players will enjoy the simplicity of the RAZR X Black.  The lack of adjustments make it user friendly.  If you want a club that easily gets the job done the RAZR X Black is definitely worth considering.  The value of the RAZR X Black rates 10 out of 10 for the less expensive price tag and above average performance.

Image credits: http://goo.gl/Rd7lxX | http://goo.gl/OnJ0JL

ping serene2

ping sereneHappy Thursday everyone. Today we are reviewing the Ping Serene iron. This is a women’s club that combines attractiveness with forgiveness.

Look

 The Serene club head is designed with a 17-4 stainless steel and appears very similar to the G20.  It features a thick top line and wide sole for increased forgiveness.  In addition, the offset design will help players get the ball in the air.  The purple grip and accents are sure to grab women’s attention.  The Ping Serene iron has an appealing look, rating 9 out of 10.

Performance

I tested the Ping Serene iron with a Ping ULT 210 Lite stock shaft in a women’s flex.  I also recruited a few of the women at my club to try the Serene irons.  I felt it was important to allow women to be part of the review since a women’s club would give skewed results for a male golf professional.  Obviously, the specs of the Serene are way off from my standard specs.

Ping did a great job of designing a forgiving iron for women players.  The Ping Serene iron produced long and straight shots.  Even with a women’s flex shaft I was hitting the Serene 7 iron approximately the same distance as my Ping 7 iron.  Ball flight tended to be a piercing mid to high ball flight.  My results were better than I expected. The ball traveled extremely straight even with the ladies flex shaft.  The Serene irons are super easy to hit.

Three of the ladies on the range also tested out the Serene irons.  They basically produced a mid ball flight.  The Serene irons are designed with ultimate forgiveness in mind and designed to hit the ball high.  However, the ladies just did not generate a very fast swing speed to launch the ball with a high trajectory.  The Serene excelled from good lies where the ball is sitting up in the fairway.  Results were not as good from bare or tight lies.  Balls generally came out thin and a line drive.  The ladies were all impressed and were looking forward to trying the hybrids that complement the set.  Overall, I rate the performance of the Ping Serene irons at 9 out of 10.

Feel

The Ping Serene has a light weight feel to the club.  In fact, the swing weight per iron is C4. The gap wedge through lob wedge are a bit heavier starting at C6 and ending at D0.  Ladies should enjoy the light weight which will likely help increase swing speed.  Impact with the Ping Serene irons feels very solid, especially shots struck in the sweet spot.  The ball jumps off the face when you hit the sweet spot.  It is easy to feel how forgiving the Serene irons perform on off center hits.  The Serene irons offer a nice feedback and rate 9 out of 10.

Value

Ping Serene irons are one of the best value clubs in the industry for women.  With a solid price point and quality product women can’t go wrong with the Serene irons.  The Serene set is typically sold with hybrids as a replacement to the 4 – 6 irons.  However, players can pick and choose what irons they prefer and the price per Serene iron with a graphite shaft is $106 per club.  With all this in mind, Ping’s Serene iron rates 9 out of 10 in terms of value.

Image Credit: Ping

Adams Idea a12 OS Hybrid

Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by – this morning we have another review for you. Today we will look at the Adam IDEA a12 OS Hybrid.

Look

Adams golf has been known for developing forgiving hybrid irons for years. They have practically cornered that niche of the market while other companies have steered clear of full hybrid iron sets.

The IDEA a12 OS features a unique gold finish with chrome club face. The gold finish is rather unique, however, that barely caught my attention when you view the velocity slot located on the crown just behind the club face. There is also a chamber on the sole of the club. The velocity slot chamber is designed to increase distance while offering the superior forgiveness. The velocity slot looks strange in the address position, however, after you hit a few balls you barely notice it. The appearance of the IDEA a12 OS rates 6 out of 10.

Performance

I tested the Adams IDEA a12 OS 6 (28 degree) hybrid ultra lite 50g high launch shaft. The Adams IDEA a12 OS performs as advertised – forgiving. The a12 generates a mid to high launch and generally produces straight shots. Off center hits create a lower ball flight. In addition, shots from tight lies often cause a low ball flight with more left to right movement. The hybrid design of the IDEA a12 helps get the ball in the air. The a12 OS is an easy club to hit and should perform great for higher handicap players. In addition, the a12 produces an average distance. However, it will potentially deliver more distance for someone who consistently produces wild shots. Straighter shots generally generate more distance. The IDEA a12 rates 8 out of 10 in terms of performance.

Feel

The Adams IDEA a12 OS features a lightweight shaft with a heavier feel in the club head. Adams utilizes a D1 swing weight in the a12. The company boasts the club is extremely forgiving. I agree, off center hits really felt very similar to shots struck in the sweet spot. Overall, the feel of the IDEA a12 OS felt average compared to other hybrids and rates 7 out of 10.

Value

Players are always searching for more forgiveness. The IDEA a12 OS hybrid offers plenty of forgiveness. The IDEA a12 OS is easy to hit and the low center of gravity gets the ball in the air. Anyone who struggles to get the ball in the air might benefit from Adams technology and should demo the IDEA a12 OS. The hybrid retails at 169.99.  Adams offers an 8 piece IDEA a12 OS set for $499.99 or a full 13 piece set for $899.99.  Adams developed a strong following for affordable and dependable clubs and the value of the IDEA a12 OS hybrid rates 8 out of 10.

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/tMlrst

kids clinic t1
Photo credit: http://golftips.golfsmith.com/

Photo credit: http://golftips.golfsmith.com/

In this lesson, we’ll teach you how to teach your kids the full swing.

To start off, you must reinforce the last two lessons on both putting and chipping. An easy way to demonstrate this, is by grabbing an iron and showing kids the putting stroke, and gradually swing bigger until you’re chipping, and then slowly progress to a full swing. However, as soon as you’re done, kids are going to want to swing a club, and it’s incredibly important to discuss safety first, as most kids won’t know how dangerous golf clubs and balls can be. Be very clear that before anyone makes a swing, there should be aware of where the people are around them.

Next up, ask the kid(s) to drop the clubs and leave them on the ground – insist that before they learn to swing, they need to learn how to move the body and arms. Get your kid(s) to start with their feet shoulder width apart, or maybe little wider, explain that for a full swing you need a wider stance for balance. Get them to start with their hands on their hips and then mimic the body weight movements during a swing. Coil your body back as you would on your back swing (and get them to face you and say “hello”), then turn through the hitting area and through to finish. In the finish, explain to the kids that a good finish has your body facing the target, knees are touching and rear foot is on its toe. This is called the hello drill. Get them to turn back, say hello, and then turn through to face the target, and have their rear foot on its toes and knees touching. If it helps, have them envision balancing a glass on the back heel.

Next up is the arm movements. This is what we call the point the thumbs drill. Start with you kid(s) in a normal setup, but have their hands in a clapping position at address. Their palms together, and thumbs pointing down to the ground. Just like in the hello drill, have them turn back towards you, and now their thumbs should point over their shoulder towards the target. Then as the follow-through to finish their thumbs should point behind them away from the target. After some practice, they should catch on. Next up – bring on the clubs.

A note on clubs – usually, if you cut down a club for a youngster it will be too heavy and too stiff. Consider getting clubs specially made for kids, that use lightweight materials and extra flexible shafts. This will make swinging the club much easier, and help avoid poor technique due to them not having the strength to swing the overweighted club properly.

Get your kid(s) with clubs (no balls yet) and in their setup position. Check their grips again (as kids tend to like to change them up to something more natural). Reinforce the importance of safety, and then get them to repeat the thumbs drill, this time with a club in hand. If some of your kids have trouble with hitting the ground, encourage them to try to just sweep the grass instead. At this point, you’re just looking for complete uninterrupted swings. Make sure the kids are holding their finish positions – this is very important.

Ball position is next, and this is where the last drill comes into play – the tee drill. Place a tee an inch or so above the ground in the center of their stance. Depending on the length of the club the child has, see where the club’s sole is level on the ground – this should be where the tee goes. Next, get your kid(s) to nick the tee with their swing. Reinforce the same thumbs drill, and hold your finish.

Finally, grab some balls, once again reinforce everything you’ve previously taught them, especially safety, and get them hitting balls. Make a small competition of it to make it more fun. They’ll be pros in no time.

Photo credit: pga.com

Aldila Tour Blue & Green Review

Profile - This latest offering from Aldila for the 2014 season are the Tour Blue and Tour Green shafts that were launched in the fall of 2013, and are just now coming out in full force with a variety of weights. These shafts differ from each other almost solely in their tip strength. The Blue has a softer tip that create more spin and a higher launch angle, whereas the Green has a stiffer tip for less spin and lower launch. Both shafts were built using the NV shaft as its model. This incredibly popular shaft dominated the tour for a few years, and the Aldila team took it upon themselves to improve upon it and make it more playable for todays drivers. The Blue model is said to be a better fit for fairway woods, but could also go in drivers of individuals looking for higher launch conditions with their drives.

What Makes It Work - These shafts use Aldila’s Micro Laminate Technology which uses extremely small layers of graphite stacked on top of each other, and much less resin (a spot of weakness for most shafts) than tradition shafts. With less resin, Aldila is able to make a shaft that is lighter, stiffer and with lower torque than manufacturers using a different process. These shafts both have a very high balance point (different from the NV), to better accommodate the heaviness/length of today’s drivers, and ensuring a more consistent feel for today’s golfers.

Who’s It For - Like most of Aldila’s shafts, these are made for lower handicapped players looking to get more out of there game. And you can be sure Tour players also interested in these shafts (already racking up multiple wins on Tours across the world). With a MSRP of $349, you better be a serious player to fork out that sort of dough on a shaft. Also, the weakest you can get this shaft in is regular, so this is definitely not a shaft for slower swinging players.

What People are saying - Well aside from the many Tour pros that have adopted both the Green and Blue into their bags, there is some solid chatter among the public on these shafts too. These shafts are advertised as mid and mid-high launch, but for most players who have tested them, the results are typically mid-low to mid respectively.  With that said though, the distance was still there, especially in the air, and the spin numbers were very solid. The shaft instilled confidence in those that were swinging it, and a variety of swing types produces consistent results in the shafts performance. Bottom line, it’s a shaft that can be trusted by a broad variety of solid golfers, and that is why it’s been so popular over the past 6 months.

 

Shaft Specs – Tour Blue Shaft

Shaft Flex Butt Diamater Tip Diamater Weight Length Torque Trajectory
Aldila Tour Blue 65 R 0.64 0.335 68g 46″ 4.2 Mid
Aldila Tour Blue 65 S 0.642 0.335 69g 46″ 3.7 Mid
Aldila Tour Blue 65 X 0.646 0.335 71g 46″ 3.2 Mid
Aldila Tour Blue 65 TX 0.642 0.335 69g 46″ 2.7 Mid
Aldila Tour Blue 75 R 0.64 0.335 74g 46″ 3.9 Mid
Aldila Tour Blue 75 S 0.64 0.335 76g 46″ 3.5 Mid
Aldila Tour Blue 75 X 0.642 0.335 76g 46″ 2.9 Mid
Aldila Tour Blue 75 TX 0.642 0.335 76g 46″ 2.5 Mid

Shaft Specs – Tour Green Shaft

Shaft Flex Butt Diamater Tip Diamater Weight Length Torque Trajectory
Aldila Tour Green 65 R 0.636 0.335 66g 46″  4.5 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 65 S 0.635 0.335 67g 46″  3.9 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 65 TS 0.641 0.335 67g 46″  3.5 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 65 X 0.641 0.335 69g 46″  3.5 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 65 TX 0.640 0.335 69g 46″  3.3 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 75 R 0.632 0.335 72g 46″  4.3 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 75 S 0.632 0.335 74g 46″  3.7 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 75 TS 0.641 0.335 76g 46″  3.3 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 75 X 0.637 0.335 75g 46″  3.3 Mid-High
Aldila Tour Green 75 TX 0.640 0.335 76g 46″  2.8 Mid-High
TaylorMade SLDR Mini Driver

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by today.  We’ve got a few updates for you from TaylorMade and the USGA conforming list to share that include some variations on RBZ driver, including a “Pro” and “HL” version.  Also we get a first look at the SLDR Mini (12 degree model though).  It seems like some of these may be targeting an older or female crowd, nevertheless, enjoy the pictures below!

Update: So the SLDR Mini from TaylorMade apparently is designed for better players and will be debuting at the Masters this year – a course where players often play using three woods. It’s a small version of the SLDR model (without a slider as well). Interesting stuff.

TaylorMade SLDR Mini Driver TaylorMade RBZ Pro Driver TaylorMade RBZ Pro Driver TaylorMade RBZ Pro Driver