I just wanted to share a few videos that summarize some of my observations from the first day of product testing. Why read when you can watch right?

Products tested are golf balls from TaylorMade Golf, Srixon Golf, Wilson Staff, and Bridgestone Golf. Also, I have some candid thoughts about the Equalizer wedges from Ben Hogan Golf.

Please feel free to leave questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

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Well, I made it. After being in Florida back in January for the PGA Show and a planned trip that I canceled two weeks ago I’m in Florida. A 3 hr bus ride to Buffalo, NY and a wonderful flight once again on Frontier Airlines and I’m basking in the Tampa sun. A trip that will see me go fly fishing, practice golf, hopefully, go home with a swing and of course play and conduct several testings. Most of the golf ball variety. All of this before I resume working at the same golf course that I worked at in 2018 until I had my Stroke. Scenic Woods Golf Course which is a GolfNorth Properties facility. God! I can’t wait!

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Today was without a doubt the most gratifying day of golf that I’ve experienced. I just couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I was just elated to be back doing what I love. I spent the majority of my day at Terrace Hill Golf Center in Temple Terrace, FL. At any rate the product testing.

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So what are the products that I’m testing down here in Florida? The most important of the bunch is the Equalizer wedges from Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company. Up until now, testing of these wedges has amounted to basing everything on feel and/or limited ball flight in a golf dome. Getting these clubs outside and seeing them perform as they were intended to do so was worth the wait. These Equalizer wedges are even better than I thought. The feel, the ballflight (these wedges penetrate) and some clear stopping power on firm greens that were/are dried out by the wind. I am beyond impressed. I’ll finally be able to write this review sooner than before later. If you need wedges… Look no further. These wedges are the best bang for your golfer buck!

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Another product that I was sent for testing were tees by ZoomTee USA. The premise of these tees is to give golfers the option of playing tees that are extremely durable, a tee that’s designed to produce less drag which is said to result in longer, straighter drives. Also of note here is the addition of a height guide for getting the golf ball teed u at just the right height and a tip that’s used for cleaning your grooves and repairing ball marks. I used only one tee and there was no sign of breakage thus far and ZoomTee USA was also very easy to locate after the shot. No scanning the ground looking for your pesky golf tee. It’s a minor thing, but it is a way to help maintain the pace of play. I also found ZoomTee USA was easy to get into the ground. Although, the soil here in Florida is quite sandy. It’ll be interesting to see how they penetrate the clay-based soil at home.

Balls, balls and more balls. I am testing golf balls ‘o’ plenty while I’m down here. No less than 6 different models. Testing has officially begun of…

  • TaylorMade Golf (TP5 and TP5x)
  • Srixon Golf (Z Star)
  • Wilson Staff DUO Professional
  • Bridgestone Golf (e12 Soft and e12 Speed)

It was an interesting first day of testing and with that, I have a few thoughts.

  1. The TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x seem to really have a penetrating ball flight as advertised. Early indications are that this golf ball is a strong golf ball in the Tour ball market. All-around great feel (TP5 a little softer) and I can see why Rickie Fowler switched from the Titleist Pro V1. There’s a reason why the ball is hyped.
  2. Not that it’s a bad thing. I wasn’t blown away through Day One of testing of the 2019 Srixon Z Star. To me, this iteration of the Z Star is solid. I’ve always liked the Z Star and have a lot of familiarity with it. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t blown away. It felt too familiar.
  3. Where I wasn’t blown away by the previous ball if there was a ball that I was very impressed with thus far it HAS to be the Wilson Staff DUO Professional. This golf ball was long with irons (albeit downwind) and the short game spin of this golf ball was extremely impressive. This ball STOPPED on greenside chips and pitches. I didn’t have it in play for any driving holes.
  4. Bridgestone Golf developed the e12 with 12 years of golf ball data taken from their ball fitting data. What they came up with were the e12 Soft and e12 Speed. Just from a putting standpoint (this was the first part of the testing) I wasn’t enamored with the “firmer” e12 Speed. It felt too clicky or too firm. But then all of that suddenly changed. This ball actually felt pretty soft and responsive on full iron swings. Into a hurting wind, I was able to find the green pin high from 182 yards away with a 5-iron. Judging by the flags and wind I figure it was a 1.5 to 2 club wind. Never be too hasty in being judgmental folks! The e12 Soft I liked right away. I liked the feel of the e12 Soft when it came to putting, my first drive of 2019 was with the e12 Soft (Red) and it just carried down the fairway into the wind and it penetrated. My approach into the firm, wind-swept green resulted in no severe rollout (settling 8′ from the pin) and greenside chips and pitches I thought it performed better than the e12 Speed and as good as one of the tour-level golf balls.

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Today was just the beginning of what I have planned down here. So stay tuned for more information as I test products, write reviews and enjoy some March golf in sunny Florida.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

The time has come! The points have been allocated, the points have been tallied and it’s time to announce the winner’s of the 2nd Annual Teezy Awards – PGA Show (Equipment Edition).

When the show wrapped a thought occurred to me. Actually, my thought was formed as early as the end of Demo Day where I thought “Damn, the 2019 product cycle is strong”. This would be a trend that would last right up until the moment that the Orange County Convention Center staff unceremoniously turn out the lights.

The reality is that there are so many great products that my finalists had to go to a Top 5. I actually couldn’t get the nominees down to a Top 3 and this was really noticeable in a few key categories.  How were the winners decided? I delegated point out of a maximum of 40 points. In the case of equipment, points were allocated like so…

  • Aesthetics (10 points)
  • Performance (10 points)
  • Sound/Feel (10 points)
  • Innovation (5 points)
  • Price point (5 points)

I also feel the need to point out that since products were so strong brand to brand this year an issue became evident. I had to figure out a tie-breaker. This became very obvious when I had ties in the first three categories that I tabulated. So needing help in deciding the first tie-breaker I took to social media with a poll. In what was also a very close race the public decided that the first tie-breaker would be Price-point.

Performance: 48%

Price point: 52%

Poll placed on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to all who participated.

Aesthetics (10 pts) Performance (10 pts) Feel/Sound (10 pts) Innovation (5 pts) Value/Price Point (5 pts) Total
Top Driver
Callaway Golf Epic Flash 9 10 10 5 3 37/40
Tour Edge EXS 8.5 9 9 5 5 36.5/40
Mizuno ST-190 10 10 10 4 3 37/40**
Cobra Golf KING F9 9 9 9.5 4 4 35.5/40
Wilson Staff D7 8.5 9 8.5 4 5 35/40
Top Fairway Metal
Callaway Golf Epic Flash 9 10 10 5 3 37/40 **
Bridgestone Golf Tour B JGR 9 9 10 4 4 37/40
Tour Edge Exotics EXS 9 9 9 5 5 37/40
PING G410 9.5 10 9 5 3 36.5/40
Cobra Golf KING F9 9 9 9 4 4 34/40
Top Hybrid
PING G410 9.5 10 10 5 3 37.5/40**
XXIO Prime 9 9 9 5 2 34/40
Eagle Rebirth Golf 9.5 10 9.5 3 5 37/40
Bridgestone Golf Tour B JGR 10 10 10 3 3.5 36.5/40
Wilson Staff D7 9 10 10 4 4 37/40
Top Forged Irons
Srixon Golf Z 585 9 9 9 3 4 34/40
EPON Tour-AF 10 8.5 9 3 4 34.5/40
Bridgestone Golf TOUR B JGR HF2 10 10 10 4 4 38/40 **
Callaway Golf Apex 19 9.5 10 10 5 3.5 38/40
Eagle Rebirth Golf X3 8.5 9 8 3.5 5 34/40
Top Cast Irons
Wilson D7 9.5 9.5 9 4 4.5 36.5/40
Cobra Golf KING F9 9 10 9.5 4.5 4 37/40
TEE EXS 9.5 10 9.5 4.5 5 38.5/40**
Lynx Golf Black Cat 9 9 9 4 4.5 35.5/40
PRGR RS 9 9 8 4 3 33/40
Top Wedge
Cleveland Golf RTX 4 8.5 9 9 4 4 34.5/40
Bridgestone Golf Tour B XW-1 10 10 10 5 4 39/40 **
Indi Golf ATK Grind 9 9.5 9 5 4 36.5/40
Mizuno Golf S18 Blue Ion 10 9 10 4 4 37/40
Eagle Rebirth Golf W5 9 9 9.5 4 5 36.5/40
Top Putter
ARGOLF Mordred 10 10 10 5 4 39/40 **
SP Series 39 Blade 10 10 10 5 3 38/40
SeeMore Platinum M5 HT Mallet 10 10 9.5 4.5 4 38/40
MLA Putters Tour Mallet 9 9.5 9 5 4 36.5/40
EVNROLL MO ER5B 10 10 9.5 4.5 4 38/40

The Teezy Awards aren’t an exact science and there will be readers who will most certainly disagree with the winner and losers. But this is exactly the reason why it’s so important to me to do this. It can start a conversation. Also, bear in mind that the winners are based on my observations and that winner’s and runner-ups are totally unsolicited. So without further delay…

 

The Winners…

 

Top Driver

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Mizuno Golf ST-190 (37/40) –  This was a bit of a surprise for me. Maybe it was just my lack of experience swinging the brand. But the Mizuno Golf ST-190 is a driver that has a ton going for it. In the looks department, it scored a perfect 10 as this head is dark! Dark in a way where you could think of a ninja or assassin. It combines solid black at the leading edge and transitions into the carbon composite crown as you look towards the trailing edge. Along with that trailing edge, you have a white accent just to break up the darkness. The RunBird (Mizuno’s logo) serves as an alignment aid. The performance was tremendous as strikes were rewarded with a ballflight that just seemed to “float” and carry downrange. Impressive seeing that the conditions on Demo Day were very windy. No signs of ballooning and what I liked in the brief time was the light feel of the ball coming off of the head. The shaft was the Fujikura Atmos White Tour Spec 6S. There are two models of the ST-190 (Standard) and ST-190G. The latter offers more adjustability and lower spin.

Runner-Up (Callaway Golf Flash Epic 37/40) – The runner-up in the driver category was the Callaway Golf Epic Flash. The CG EF was a very impressive driver. There was nothing that I didn’t like about this driver other than it was perhaps a little too flashy in the graphics area. If the graphics would have been toned down a touch… this was the winning product. But something needs to be said for “shelf appeal” at retail. I sincerely hoped that Callaway Golf would have married the Rogue and Epic. They did!! Make no bones about it the Epic Flash flat out performed.

 

Top Fairway Metal

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Callaway Golf Epic Flash (37/40): If you were to carry a Callaway Golf Epic Flash fairway metal in your golf bag you just may not need to worry about carrying a driver. This fairway metal was sheer to joy to swing. The Callaway Golf Epic Flash fairway metal boasts “Flash Face Technology” like it’s bigger sibling for higher ball speeds. Based on my observations I think that there may be more to it than just marketing buzzwords. Long (possibly the longest I’ve ever made swings with) the CG FE fairway metal will have you thinking Par 5 holes in two. Shafted with a Project X Even Flow 65 gram shaft and a stock Golf Pride Align grip the overall looks are killer. Admittedly, the only thing that I didn’t really like was that the graphics are a little too flashy (what’s in a name right?). Did I mention that all of my swings were “off the deck”? Easy to elevate.

Runner-Up (Tour Edge Exotics EXS 37/40) – The TEE EXS fairway metal was only edged out by the winner because I felt that the TEE EXS wasn’t quite as “hot”. That said, in my opinion, the TEE EXS was impressive. So easy to hit repeatable golf shots off of the deck and a ton of technology at a very attractive price point. I loved the acoustics and feel at impact because it sounded sharp… or piercing. I really liked how sleek and clean the EXS fairway metal was in the address position.

 

Top Hybrid

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PING G410 (37.5/40) – The PING G410 hybrid was the star of the hybrid category at the 2019 PGA Show. Living up to what PING strives for (forgiveness) the G410 certainly lives up to the PING name. The maraging steel face generated plenty of “pop” off of the face. This is a hybrid that is really easy to launch and it elevates quickly which also contributes to stopping power on the green. The PING G410 is the manufacturers first ever adjustable hybrid and it has one feature in particular that REALLY caught my attention. This hybrid can be adjusted 3* flat effectively eliminating a hook… my miss.

Runner-Up (Eagle Rebirth Golf X1 37/40) – Haven’t heard of ERG? You aren’t alone. I’ll be elaborating on them more in a bit but their X1 hybrid head was really impressive. Another head that was easy to elevate what impressed me was how it held the wind on Demo Day. Swings were met with an acoustically pleasing sound. A straight ball-flight with a nice baby draw that led to me laughing to myself about what I saw and felt. What it lacks in innovation it makes up for simplicity and performance.

 

Top Forged Irons

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Bridgestone Golf TOUR B JGR HF2 (38/40) – The Bridgestone Golf TOUR B JGR HF2 irons were my pick for the Top Forged Iron category. Not only that… they were nearly my favorite iron of the 2019 PGA Show. These are a handsome golf club that offers absolute buttery feel. The forging is soft and the beautiful part about these forged irons is that they are plenty forgiving. The JGR HF2 irons feature a thin face for higher ball speeds and it shows. This was especially noticeable considering where the heavy wind was coming from at Demo Day. Helping with the feel is that Bridgestone Golf added a rubber polymer insert into the head. If you’re looking for a forged iron they should be on your list.

Runner-Up (Callaway Golf Apex 19 38/40) – The Callaway Golf Apex 19 irons were well worth the wait. Three years removed from their prior iteration these irons were terrific. I distinctly recollect my eyes widening with my first strike. These irons are good-looking. They were long, consistent and the ballflight was penetrating. There’s a reason why it was a hard choice.

 

Top Cast Irons (Includes Hollow-Body Construction)

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Tour Edge Exotics EXS (38.5/40) – The first thing that I wanted to point out with the EXS irons from Tour Edge Exotics is that the model I tested was with the graphite Tensei shafts from Mitsubishi Chemical. Something just felt right with these irons in my hands. Maybe it was the look at the address position or maybe it’s just the general look of them. In a way, they look like a “muscle car” or something to that effect. Passes were aggressive and that was a direct by-product from the confidence I felt looking down at address. That said, the top-line isn’t thick and the offset isn’t unattractive. The face is forged and has a hollow body construction… the result is terrific exit velocity out of the hitting area.

Runner-Up (Cobra Golf KING F9 SPEEDBACK 37/40) – It didn’t take me very long to realize that the KING F9 SPEEDBACK (ONE Length and Variable Length) were dynamos in the 2019 product cycle and a contender for a Teezy Award in the cast category. It took a total of two swings with each model to realize that Cobra Golf had improved on their KING F8 irons. Those irons tested very well last year (the review says as much). The KING F9 SPEEDBACK irons are a very fun iron to swing and they perform as advertised.

 

Top Wedge

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Bridgestone Golf TOUR B XW-1 (39/40) – The TOUR B XW-1 wedges were the clear winner of the top wedge category. The XW-1 has a buttery soft feel (I know it’s an overused adjective in the industry) but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. I love the feel of this club as the clubhead passes through the hitting area. Forged from 1020 Carbon Steel this wedge features multiple grind options. Also of note is that Bridgestone Golf created what it calls “Biting Rail Milled Groove Design” for more spin. I wasn’t able to test greenside spin with these wedges but I can tell you this much. They provide a ton of spin on 1/4 to full wedge shots based on what I saw as golf balls landed on tightly mowed areas… make-shift greens. The price-point isn’t bad at all.

Runner-Up (Mizuno Golf S18 37/40) – The Mizuno Golf S18 is Mizuno’s latest addition to their performance wedge line-up. Mass is placed higher-up in the head in the higher lofts to allow for a more consistent spin on strikes higher up the face. The S18 is available in several finishes including my favorite (Blue Ion). The head features Mizuno’s renowned Grain Flow Forged feel and is constructed from 1025 Boron. This material equates to more durability for the grooves.

 

Top Putter

top putter

ARGOLF Mordred (39/40) – The Arthurian Legend lives on coming to golfers all the way from the Brittany Region in France. Mordred has a “dark story” behind it as Mordred was a treacherous traitor from Arthurian lore. However, this Mordred is no traitor as you’ll sink putts with it in hand. The ARGOLF Mordred is a mallet putter that’s crafted from aerospace grade 7175 Aluminum for a soft feel. Also of note is the fact that Mordred offers a total club weight of 525 grams and has an M.O.I, rating of 9800. Mordred provides a consistent roll whether it’s off of the center of the face or the heel or toe. There is no twisting whatsoever. I love the looks of Mordred as it’s grey with an orange alignment aid. Add in the black PVD shaft with the Grey with Orange trim mid-sized PURE grip and you have a putter that performs great but looks even meaner.

Runner -Up (EVNROLL Murdered Out ER5B 38/40) – If you look at the chart there were three putters that finished with 38/40 points. SeeMore was there with its Platinum M5 HT Mallet and so was the Sacks Parente Series 39 Blade Putter. However, when push came to shove I really liked how the Murdered Out ER5 putter rolled putts. It’s never easy to judge things based on 8 feet in a booth but it just seemed to roll the ball really well. Of note is the inclusion of what EVNROLL calls it’s “Gravity Grip”. The Gravity Grip has a rod that runs through the length of the grip which EVNROLL states that it “eliminates face rotation through impact”.

Hidden Gem Award

Eagle Rebirth Golf – It just seems like every year that I attend the PGA Merchandise Show there’s almost always a “Hidden  Gem” that I uncover. Even though it’s a new category in 2019 this award would have definitely gone to New Level Golf last year. For 2019, that honor goes to Eagle Rebirth Golf. If you haven’t heard of them you aren’t alone. I honestly feel that if I were to survey 100 golfers I’m not certain that 10 would have heard of them before. I’m hoping that changes.

Eagle Rebirth Golf is the manufacturer of several designs of metalwoods, irons, and wedges. Their irons and wedges are forged from either 8620 or 1025 Carbon Steel and they feel great!!! They even have an iron that features a thin 455 maraging steel face and a 1025 steel forged body (X2). Their W5 was a nominee in the Top Wedge Category and this wedge felt great. I loved the meticulous milling of the face… including the toe.

Their metalwoods performed very well from top to bottom. Whether it was their forgiving V1 hybrid (455 maraging steel face) or their X1-Ti fairway metal head (which features a DAT55G forged titanium cup-face insert). Their heads provided plenty of jump off of the face. Their drivers performed very well as well.

I debated back and forth about visiting with Eagle Rebirth Golf prior to the PGA Show. Admittedly, I wasn’t captivated after looking at their website. Let me tell you this… I’m glad that I took the time to make swings with their products.

 

Innovation Award

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Lynx Golf Prowler VT Driver: Another new category to the Teezy Awards in 2019. Lynx Golf has been innovative in the golf industry recently. First, in 2018 Lynx Golf announced that they were going to be going SUP-free (Single Use Plastics) in their packaging. A small yet giant-step towards helping Mother Nature.

It just seems like that when we think of drivers nowadays one of the first things that golfers look for is adjustability. How adjustable is a driver? Golfers like to tinker and finding optimal launch conditions is imperative to maximize distance. Usually, this is achieved by an adjustable hosel. Lynx Golf with the introduction of their Prowler VT driver proves that this doesn’t need to be the case. How? “Switch Face”.

Switch Face allows golfers to have true loft changes and face angles. How does the driver itself perform? In my brief time on the ETC (wasn’t available to swing on Demo Day) this is a driver that looked great in the address position and felt and sounded real solid at impact.

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Until The Next Tee!!

#SeeuOnTheNextTee #FightAndGrind