ClicGear, known for its sleek folding design, has become one of the clear push cart leaders. At my club, for example, where a ton of members use a push cart, ClicGear is absolutely in the top 2 of preferred models. While I have never owned a ClicGear myself, my partner Wade reviewed the ClicGear 3.0 last year and was very impressed . . . he continues to use that cart to this day.
I’ve always been leary of the term “Game Improvement” iron. For whatever reason, it seemed like code for “your game stinks”. Plus, even if my game is not where I want it to be, I don’t want to sacrifice all opportunity to hit “real golf shots” and get feedback from the club. Like most mid-handicappers out there I struggle with consistency more often than not, and much like my awakening to the fact I shouldn’t be playing from 6,800 yards, I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that game improvement irons are not the evil cheater clubs I’ve always assumed them to be.
Recently we were sent us a new set of PING G25 irons which fit under the moniker of a Game Improvement iron. Since I currently reside at the low end of the totem pole when it comes to Handicap stats here at Three Guys, I gladly accepted the assignment to review this vastly popular iron set and see if I could show some real improvement with my game.
The review process started with me first finding my way to the PING website where I went through their online fitting process. Quite a few different measurements are taken like your hand size, finger size, how far off the ground your wrist is, and so on. After those figures are calculated you then look at ball flight patterns such as lefts and rights and how you would like the ball to fly with a low, mid or high trajectory.
With my current irons (that I was using prior to this review) my ball flight was pretty low, which makes it difficult to come softly into a green on a makeable approach shot, so I decided to give the higher ball flight a try and PING paired the clubs up with a shaft that would fit that need.
The only club I have ever had fitted was a driver at GolfTEC years ago so I was intrigued to see how the clubs came out. One of the more appealing aspects of the fitting process was how they take into consideration your hand size and match your measurements with one of their grips.
Speaking of the grips, the ones that come on the G25’s are from PING and I’ve found them to be quite comfortable – not overly aggressive and very receptive to my hands. When I compare them to the grips on my other clubs it was easy to see that the off-the-rack irons are made for people without pigmy hands like I have. With the correctly sized grips to go along with the club cut to the right length to match my height and posture, I could tell a difference almost instantly the first time I held the clubs and I really felt in control of my swings.
The look of the G25’s is very appealing. In my mind I was sure that I was going to be swinging some grossly oversized, offset clubs that looked more like a kids toy than a golf club, but that wasn’t the case at all.
You can see from the pictures that the G25’s have a unique color and when standing over them addressing a ball there is virtually no glare or any type of distracting aspects. They have a very traditional look and in no way do they feel like an oversized beginners club. Shows you what I know.
I was able to spend a good 4 days with the irons before I had to pack them up for Florida. Yes, I would have like to spend some more time with them at the range but with setup that I currently have at the house it was easy for me to get a feel for the new clubs before I headed out to the East coast.
Without a doubt the best feature of the irons is their ability to handle off-center hits. With my previous irons any off-center impacts sounded like a piece of lead being dropped on a broken cymbal. I’m still working on my over the top move, and because it’s still a dominate component of my swing, I find the toe side of the club more often than not. With the G25’s a swing that would have previously resulted in either a penalizing shot or one I really didn’t like attempting instead puts my rock down the fairway in a very manageable situation.
Even more impressive than the miss-hits was the elusive “catching it flush” right in the sweet spot. I don’t like saying I have a favorite club, I want to think love all my clubs equally so I’m never in a situation where I don’t want to make a swing with a specific stick, but the G25 6iron has rapidly climbed to the top of chart as my go to club. With the CFS shafts PING included with the irons I was flighting the ball like I had never done so before, hitting some beautifully high shots that came down like a feather falling from the sky. Unlike anything I had ever experienced before on the course.
It wasn’t just the 6 iron though; all of the irons in the set have the same high trajectory shot. The game improvement approach of the G25’s allows the ball to get higher, quicker, with its deep cavity-backed heads and when it was combined with the CFS shafts I was getting that dreamy ball flight I’ve been wanting for so long.
Although it was very appealing to see that high ball flight it did take a little while to get familiarized with the new distances I was hitting. The PINGs were cut down a .25” and that made a big difference when combined with different degrees of loft compared to my previous clubs. With my short game improvements though I was able to get up and down a lot more often because the miss-hits were still in the general area I was aiming for.
It also didn’t help that I was playing at nearly sea level which is very much different than what I’m used to playing here in Vegas. That being said I couldn’t have been happier with the performance of the G25’s. With each additional round I played (6 in all) I started to get a better feel and understanding for the clubs. At the end of my six straight days of golf adventure it was no brainer to me that the G25’s were going to be a taking up a permanent residence in my bag for the 2014 season. It may be too soon to tell but I most definitely foresee see some better scores coming my way.
Custom fit to my specs, amazing forgiveness on miss-hits, superb ball flight and to top it off a gorgeous looking iron set. PING certainly did it right when they created the G25’s and this blogger couldn’t be happier playing with a game improvement iron!
You can visit PING the website and go through the same nFLIGHT Web Fitting that I did where you can then take the specs to a certified retailer and have your very own custom clubs ordered. The G25’s have a retail price of $699 for a 3-PW set with steel shafts.
Cheap by nature, I am not one to think shelling out $350 for a round of golf is very prudent. In my opinion there are only a few courses that truly fit that bill. Pebble Beach is certainly on the list given its history and stunning views (or so I have been told), Pinehurst #2 would probably be another one. For my 40th, I played Pinehurst #2 and my caddie telling me “don’t worry, Tiger missed that same putt” alone justified the $340 I paid. With the rare opportunity to play TPC Sawgrass, I was going to get a first-hand look at another one of the famed courses that is a potential “bucket list” track.
As I watch two golfers race to the 16th green (instead of the caddies . . . meh) at the Phoenix Open, I can’t help but wonder how my boy Tiger and his management team continue to whiff on what could be his most valuable PR move. Why in the holy Scott Hoch is Tiger not playing in this tournament?!
I am not exactly sure when, but certainly in the past two years, FedEx started to heavily promote their club shipping service. While the commercials were catchy, I was always wary of using the service because I figured the cost would be too much of a premium. I know this because I ship things on a regular basis (primarily via UPS) so I am aware of what it costs to ship a 45 pound bag. Throw in a box and service and I am thinking we are in the $75 per trip range. Side hint: UPS Stores and the like absolutely charge insane markups . . . go directly to a UPS location when possible.
Interested but also a bit skeptical . . . that’s how I would describe my thoughts about trying out some Tommie Copper athletic wear, particularly with the golf swing in mind. I know, we have all seen the late-night commercials for the next amazing product with cosmic curing effects. Unfortunately, they usually have about as much appeal as a leftover pizza box the next morning!
For some history, I suffered a back injury a few years ago that makes my mornings a little slower and creeky-er than they used to be. Since I don’t like to take ibuprofen or other meds on a daily basis, I am always on the lookout for things that might help with mobility, soreness, and/or quicker recovery. When I read that the co-founder of Tommie Copper, Thomas Kallish, created the line of clothing in part to help with his own post-injury pain and soreness, I was hopeful for some actual results.
The claims of Tommie Copper are fairly extensive, and outlined in detail on their website at tommiecopper.com, so I won’t go into all that you can easily read there. Instead, I will focus on my actual experiences. I was interested in a compression shirt and compression shorts for walking the golf course as I have used calf compression sleeves in the past with good success and continue to use them to walk the course, as I find that my legs and feet are less tired and recover more quickly .
I have worn the Tommy Copper short-sleeve compression shirt and compression undershorts during a few rounds and several range sessions, and have felt the same recovery effects I get with calf sleeves (and they don’t look as dorky). The fit is lightweight, extremely flexible and snug without being constricting at all. In the end, my back, glutes and thighs feel more supported during the round and have recovered faster after the round.
Some of their literature spoke to the core support and greater ease of the golf motions with compression wear and I have to agree. My core feels more compact and more able to coil and throw when I’m wearing the gear. And the lessening of the soreness I normally feel afterwards has impressed me.
Tommie Copper makes claims as to the benefits of the actual copper which is infused into the nylon yarn that they use in the fabric along with spandex. Some of the claims are related to decreased soreness, spf 30 sun protection and anti-bacterial qualities. All of these are great claims conceptually . . . and while I can’t pretend to know exactly or scientifically how much this is working for me, my experience has demonstrated that it washes and dries in a snap, doesn’t seem to trap odor the same way that some of my other similar gear does, and as I’ve said, seems to have affected my soreness.
I’ve also tried a long sleeve shirt and a great looking Tommy Copper zip-up jacket from their Active Fit line that incorporate the same material but in a non-compressing cut. It has quickly become my favorite combination to wear over the compression shirt for working out in the cooler and colder weather. It breathes really well, moves effortlessly with my movements, is sewn to be rugged and durable, and I’ve gotten a number of compliments on the looks. In terms of the golf swing, it does fit my body closely so that it doesn’t flop around, but it also never feels tight or constrictive.
My wife isn’t a golfer, and doesn’t usually have much use for many of the products I’ve reviewed, but she was very interested in getting some Tommie Copper for her closet as she’s gotten more familiar with it.
Pricing is moderate with a long sleeve Active Fit long sleeve shirt going for $64.50 and the short sleeve compression shirt going for $49.50 on the Tommy Copper website.
Each year, Three Guys Golf reviews about 100 products per year. While not the biggest golf review site, we probably see more gear than most. The fact is, companies have come to realize that blogs are a great way to get real and mostly unbiased information into the hands of consumers. While each blog has a slightly different methodology and business model, each one is basically trading their creative talents for gear – the old win/win situation (still unclear who is winning more).
I haven’t worn traditional spikes to play golf in years, and that’s not the chorus of the song. The fact is, I don’t ever plan on wearing traditional golf shoes ever again, and shoes like the Nike FI Impact are strong cases for the reason why. For those of you with short attentions spans, I am gonna spill the beans and say that these shoes have truly impressed me on several levels.
While much of the credit for the popularization of soft spike golf shoes goes to Fred Couples, you can actually trace some of the history through the NFL. Growing up, I came from a football family where it was the sport of choice for me and my brothers (and my father’s profession). Back in the 70’s when NFL teams were moving to turf, players like my dad were also making the transition to non-spiked shoes. In fact, my dad had a pair of one of the very first turf shoes ever developed. When I was old enough to play on turf in high school, he let me break out his pair, and I never looked back to traditional cleats again. So for me, soft spiked golf shoes seem to be the obvious choice.
Once I started playing golf in my 20s, I enjoyed the grip of cleats, but didn’t enjoy the hardness and unevenness of walking in them or the styles of the golf shoes that were the norm. My hips, feet and back were taking a beating as well. Fortunately, with the well-chronicled shoe revolution we now have quite a few great choices.
For this particular golf shoe, Nike brought in Suzann Pettersen to help design the F1 Impact. Suzann drew from her 8 years studying shoeless running, and working with the Stanford golf team. Nike learned that Stanford players were practicing barefoot, following in the footsteps of pros like Sam Snead and Rocco Mediate, who have long-extolled the virtues of feeling the ground with your bare feet during your swing.
The Nike FI Impact Golf Shoes truly wrap around my foot and fit like a glove and with the way the low-profile sole works with the ground, they give tremendous feel through the motion of the foot as it pushes off the ground in the swing. There are no cleats on shoe, but when hitting off of wet, dewy grass I was amazed at how much the nubs gave me a solid grip; and yet they felt like running shoes when walking on pavement.
The facts that these shoes are water-proof, exceptionally comfortable, lightweight, highly breatheable (due to the mesh upper), and exceptionally dynamic (due to soft ‘finger’s through the arch area that keep the uppers connected to the sole during the movement of your foot) make them a great value at $130.
They come in four color combinations, including grey and blue besides the ever-popular white and black. I have been trying the blue, and although they were a little bright for my taste when I first looked down to swing, I noticed that it made it very easy to check my setup and foot position with barely a glance.
If you’ve tried ‘barefoot’ running shoes or ever played golf barefooted, or even longed to, you should give these a try. They give you many of the benefits of your bare feet, with plenty of helpful options to go along with it.
You can learn more about the Nike F1 Impact golf shoe on the Nike Golf Website.
When was the last time you were excited to make a purchase at a golf course? What, no interest in being overcharged for sleeves of balls, gatorades and last year’s golf shirts? I’m guessing you didn’t buy your last set of irons from the pro shop either. Exactly when and why did this business model go so wrong?
At what length are you willing to go to improve your putting? For me it’s simple: if I could get a consistent roll from a tattered piece of driftwood that’s duct taped to a PVC pipe I’d throw it in my bag. That certainly wouldn’t be as cool as wielding one of the fancy $400 milled putters, but at the risk of tarnishing my highly touted reputation as a golf purist I’d have to consider it, right?
The people behind the Mantis Golf Company have taken a different approach to help you with your flat-stick issues by creating a very unique and uncharacteristic putter that might surprise you. We as golfers are so often consumed with the material makeup of a putter, or how it was created, or the alignment aspects . . . the list goes on and on. Mantis, however, took it back to the basics and from there made just one big change: Color.
OK, let’s first address the 300lb Jolly Green Giant in the room. Yes, the putter is green. Yes, the putter resembles the head of a praying mantis and yes, your friends will more inclined to think you’re parading around the streets at night in a mask with some magical ring rather than thinking you’re on to something when it comes to improving your putting skills.
I’ll admit it, the first time I came across the Mantis as the Vegas PGA show my thoughts were a bit scattered. There’s been white, black, silver and even Nike Golf has dabbled in the trendy Red with their concept putter, but green? After spending a little time with the people from Mantis though, my inner Kermit the Frog started to show itself and I became much more interested in the science behind the Mantis, which ideally is what it is all about.
My scientific background doesn’t travel beyond the understanding that when water gets cold it turns to ice so bear with me.
Everyone is aware that maintaining eye contact with the ball is key to striking a putt well. With your eyes not completely locked into the ball it is easy to get distracted by things such as a shiny white putter head or some overly dramatic alignment aids. What the Mantis did with its patented putter head color – that’s right, it has a patent – allows your eyes to lock in more on the ball and not be so easily distracted by the putter head moving away and coming back to the ball. It’s a very simple theory.
The design elements of the Mantis putter combine to instill confidence, facilitating a golfer’s ability to watch the ball, not the putter – leading to greater focus, concentration and putting results.
– Mantis Website
The smart people in white coats (or maybe green coats) at Mantis Golf Company have figures that show an impressive decrease in eye movement when using their putter. It was this science that intrigued me the most, and when I thought about it, it really made sense.
Science is cool but how does it putt?
On the Mantis you’ll find a soft polyurethane face that puts a real nice roll on the ball. The overall sound of the ball coming of the face is a little too “pingy” for my liking but it’s nothing you’ve never heard before in other putters. Mantis ships their putters with an extremely comfortable Winn Grip that is in the company colors and also includes a head cover that’s kept in place via the very popular magnet method.
What I like about the Mantis is you know you’re holding it. What I mean by that is the weighting is top notch. Being a mallet it is of course face-balanced and very easy to swing and it didn’t feel out of the ordinary when I compared to other mallets I’ve played with in the past. My putting stroke has a very strong arc and for that reason I use a blade style putter, so making the switch back to a mallet was a bit nerve-racking at first, but after taking it out for a few sessions on my practice green at home I really started getting a feel for how it putts and how this green head of the Mantis could really be of some assistance.
Practice green stats aside, what really mattered was how it performed on the course, so I took the Mantis for a couple of spins around one of my local tracks to see how well it stood up under real game condtions. At home on my indoor green I was really pleased with the outcome, but a straight 6′ putt indoors on simulated carpet is more for technique work. But I found on the course the Mantis to be much like it was on my indoor green.
The ball really “pops” off the face and I remember saying a few times “WOW, this thing is hot!” I had zero problems with my lag putts, with that pop I spoke of the ball almost runs to cup off the face and there were no issues getting the ball close on those long nerve-racking putts. Not being able to go beyond six feet at home, my stroke during those sessions wasn’t exactly powerful, so the first time I had a lengthy putt I was really surprised at how fast the ball came off the face and started trucking towards the hole.
I must admit that the Mantis, being a mallet, really had me stressing when the closer putts were not dropping like I’m used to. My strong arc path wasn’t a very good fit for the Mantis and its Mallet head, but lucky for me one of my friends that joined me the day I played was willing to give the Mantis a go for our second round. Dan, being a fan of the mallet style putter, instantly feel in love with the Green Machine. So much in fact he was willing to throw me some cash right there on the 18th green for it! Yeah, he was a beast with the Mantis, probably the best I’ve ever seen him putt.
Even though my love affair with Mantis was limited to lag putts and my home indoor green, I still found the science behind the Mantis putter to the most interesting aspect. The putter did blend in very well with the greens we played on and my practice green at home. I can easily see how it could calm the nerves of players that might be more yippy than confident. It sure helped Dan with his yips.
The Mantis comes in either left or right configurations and is available in 33″, 34″, 35″ lengths or you can order it uncut. The Mantis retails for $159.99 and you can purchase it directly from the Mantis Golf Companies website.
UPDATE: I just spoke with Sally Sportman who is the director of Media & Public Relations for Mantis and she informed me that Mantis has a new “Blade” style putter in the works and will be debuting it at the PGA Show later this month.
For the Techie:
- Putter Weight: 350g
- MOI: 5000 cubic g/cm
- Material: 431 Stainless Steel
- Construction: Perimeter weighted
- Face Insert: Polyurethane
- Grip: Custom Winn Grip
Over the past 10 years or so, I have progressively been moving from game improvement to scoring irons. With that said, I tend to believe that most average golfers are better off erring on the conservative side. Too often I see guys playing with tour blades who frankly do not have the game to back it up. Speaking of “not enough game”, some folks might argue that I am right on the edge of having enough game for the Nike VR Forged Pro Combo Irons. I play to a 9.3 handicap during the heat of the season and more like a 12 during the off-season (which was when I reviewed these clubs).
While I have never owned a set of blades (much less Nike irons), I have hit a number of brands and have had basically zero success. I have found that I either hit really bad shots or shots that I think were good only to watch the ball fly way short of my expectations. Can you see the set up here? Are the Nike VR Forged Pro Combo Irons appropriate for a 10 handicap?
Let me step back and say that I totally understand the desire to play a blade. Blade irons give you immediate feedback and allow for better workability. Plus they look super cool, permeate the “yea, I am a player” vibe and are basically a chick magnet (or at least that is what I am hoping).
Perhaps this is exactly what Nike had in mind when they designed the VR Forged Pro Combo irons. With roughly half of the set (3-6 irons) having a cavity pocket and the scoring irons (7-PW) having split cavities, the Nike combo irons provide the advanced or aspiring advanced player with the best of both worlds.
Complementing the Nike VR Forged Pro Combo Iron are the Dynamic Gold shaft which is meant to promote high trajectory in the long irons. Admittedly, I am not a shaft geek so I judge this performance on whether I am comfortable hitting the 3 or 4 iron rather than a hybrid. In the case of the Nike VR Irons, I am not shy about hitting the long irons. Adding to the forgiveness and overall seamless feel between the long and short irons is the polymer filling added to the pocket cavity. The science of this surely eludes me, but basically, it makes it such that it does not feel like two separate sets of clubs, i.e. 3-6 and 7-PW. Conversely, it feels like a progressive set of clubs.
For my review of the Nike VR Forged Pro Combo Irons, I spent about 45 minutes on the range with the irons prior to taking to the first tee. Before I hit them, I was very aware of the fact they are noticeably smaller (or at least thinner) than my cavity backs. Admittedly, my swing is a touch goofy these days but I am still playing to around a 12 handicap. Hitting the 4-6 iron felt familiar to my other clubs in that it was fairly easy to make solid contact. Still, I did notice that I got more feedback, both good and bad, with each swing.
With the scoring clubs, 7-PW, I was expecting to be really punished for off-center hits. Fortunately, this was not the case with the Nike VR irons. Yes, they are less forgiving than your “game improvement” irons, but they are way more playable than a pure blade. Plus, if you are like me and use a bump and run short game, they are really effective around the green.
Returning to the “can a 10 handicap play these clubs” question: Don’t get me wrong, I understand the carrot and stick mentality for playing blades. The argument goes that if you can learn to play blades you will become a better player as you will get instant feedback by which you can hone your game. On the other hand, you have to be committed to improving your game rather than hanging on to what you still have.
After playing 6 full rounds with the Nike VR Forged Pro Combo Irons, I would love to say they will stay in my bag, but the reality is that I am at an age and point in my game where I probably need a touch more forgiveness with each passing year, rather than less. With that said, I am very comfortable and confident with them in my bag.
On the other hand, for players whose game is still on the upswing and whose strength is not in decline I think you will find these clubs as a welcome middle ground between pure blades and bulky game improvement irons.
My bottom line is that Nike has gotten their act together and are now offering quality equipment for players at all levels, and the Nike VR Forged Pro Combo Irons fit nicely into that mix. In the end, if you are looking to split the difference between the forgiveness of a cavity back and precision of a blade, the Nike Pro Forged are a great option.
A final note on the Nike equipment brand. I, along with the whole Three Guys Golf crew, am a huge Tiger Woods fan. We have written many a post about why we love his game (and wish he was a whole lot cooler). Oddly, it was not until this year that I actually ever played with a Nike club. This year we reviewed the Nike VRS driver and Covert hybrids. In both cases we were pleasantly surprised by how much we like the clubs. It was therefore, perfect that I finally was able to review the VR Forged irons to complete the trifecta
Visit Nike Golf website to learn more.
Each year I probably review about 30 golf polos. What I have found is that aside from the style of the shirt, it is the tailoring that becomes the deciding factor on how much I like the shirt. This of course is a bit unfair as body shapes come in all sizes . . . ideally, you could choose both the pattern and the exact sizing specifications, but alas this business model rare in the golf attire world.
Fortunately, the dress shirt world has found a way to make custom dress shirts for basically the same price as off the rack shirts. How? No idea, but I am 100% on board with the concept. The added benefit is that once you get your measurements, you can order additional shirts with no extra work.
For this particular review, I worked with Lewis & Taylor Shirt Makers. Lewis & Taylor offer nearly 500 fabric options that range from $27 to $160. Along with fabric options, you can choose 5 different buttons, 10 collars, 8 cuffs, 3 plackets, 4 yokes, 2 tails and options to add pockets and monograms. I am no math major but I am pretty sure there are about one zillion possible combinations.
As a general rule, I like to review products on the higher end of any given brand’s price scale as I think it gives me the opportunity to really see what they have to offer. However, for this review, I wanted to see what the $37 shirts would look like as it seemed so economical and such a no brainer if in fact they turned out to be a legit shirt.
For those of you who have to put on a button down for work, spending $120 per shirt is a bit much, but $37 is really pretty reasonable, especially if it is custom tailored.
The process for ordering your shirt is pretty easy, although it will take about 30 minutes to complete depending on how quickly you can choose a fabric. As I mentioned, Lewis & Taylor offer nearly 500 fabrics so narrowing it down can be a little taxing. Luckily, you can sort by price which will help to narrow the choices. However, the fabric swatches are a touch small so you will have to use your imagination (or bring in your lady friend to get her advice). Once you choose the fabric, it is just a matter of landing on the other options, i.e. placket style, button color, cuffs and monograming.
Again, these choices can be tough, especially if you have really never considered what kind of cuff you like (or even have). For me, I like to choose options that are a bit unique seeing that this shirt is going to be literally one of a kind.
When it come to measuring, this is where you want to take your time. Unlike most men’s stores, you will be asked to provide more that just neck and arm sizes. The Lewis & Taylor measurement guide will include 10 separate metrics. This process insures guys with huge biceps will have plenty of room and even allows for extra cuff room if you wear a big honking watch on your left wrist. So, as my old boss used to say when I worked construction, “measure twice, cut once”. I’m pretty sure it took me making way too many 6 ft. high walls before I actually took his advice, but heck, I am a slow learner.
Being a bit of a business model geek, I was genuinely curious as to how a company can provide such customization at such a reasonable cost. My hunch is that the fact that they are based in Hong Kong, Lewis and Taylor essentially sits in the fabric manufacturing center of the world and is able to eliminate any middle men from the equation.
Now for the million dollar question: how do the Lewis and Taylor shirts stack up against comparably priced off the rack shirts? As I mentioned, I did not go for the expensive fabrics but what was delivered was absolutely fine. Not being a big dress shirt aficionado, I am not sure if I could tell a $40 shirt from a $140 shirt in the first place, but I am wise enough to know when a shirt is made of cheapo material. In the case of the Lewis and Taylor custom shirts, I was perfectly satisfied with the fabric and construction. My only nit was the monogramming which did not “pop” like I wanted it to, but I put most of that blame on the fact that it was stitched over a busy pattern.
In the end, I am extremely satisfied with the process, pricing and fitting of the shirt. I now own 4 custom dress shirts and they have become my favorites mostly because they just are the best fitting ones in my closet. I can only imagine if I had a body shape that did not fill the center of the bell curve. So fellas, do yourself a favor and get a shirt that fits your body to your exact specifications. Plus, the chicks dig it.
You can create and purchase your own custom shirt on the Lewis and Taylor website.
Each year we sit down to come up with a list of the absolute best products we have reviewed in the past 12 months. Not only is this task mentally taxing because we have to choose between hundreds of good products, but also because of the fact that each product is typically reviewed by only one of us.
Here is something new . . . TaylorMade has another driver on the market, the JetSpeed. Yea, we know, they have released about 14 new drivers this year but the fact is they are not so much trying to get you to upgrade every 3 months; instead they just want to make sure they always have at least one driver on the “just released” shelf. I mean, if you are gonna buy a new driver then you might as well get the newest new driver right?
It’s an old joke by now, but it really is tough to tell what even TaylorMade thinks of each driver they put out. Is the JetSpeed bigger and better than the Rocketballz? Better than the SLDR? I think the best way to answer that question is by price point: the JetSpeed retails a cool $100.00 below the new SLDR driver, so it’s safe to say that the JetSpeed is aiming for the medium price range. What I expect from a club in this category is top-tier performance and maybe a few less bells and whistles.
Turns out I’m a genius, because the JetSpeed actually is a fairly dramatic change from most of the drivers that have hit the market in the past 18 months in that it is only “partially adjustable”. While most drivers allow you to adjust loft and angle, the JetSpeed only allows for loft adjustment. For this guy, that is a welcome reprieve. Maybe I am alone in this camp, but I have never adjusted the angle. It comes neutral and I leave it neutral. I am just more comfortable getting a club that fits my swing rather than a DIY version. God knows I don’t need to add another lever to the tweaking arsenal.
Under the proverbial hood the TaylorMade JetSpeed incorporates the new Speed Pocket, which is supposed to promote less spin and greater ball speed for shots hit low on the club (where most mis-hits occur). Additionally, they also filled the Speed Pocket in with a polymer so you don’t have to clean out the slot after you chunk your driver (or in the case of the fairway woods, after every shot). You can get the JetSpeed in three different lofts and adjust each one with plus or minus 1.5 degrees of loft. This actually makes sense to me as tweaking the loft seems a lot less intrusive to your swing.
So yea, you are probably gonna add another 17 yards to your game (heavy sarcasm). Actually, I, along with TaylorMade will make no such claims, but I am intrigued by the idea that a club is designed to perform better when the user screws up. It seems like most clubs are designed to perform for when you swing perfectly without much concern for how most people swing the club.
Speaking of which, isn’t it time for someone to design a new Robbie Robot that has a nasty over the top swing? Or one that can, for no discernible reason, yank it dead right (they could call it the Murley Machine). Anyhow, you get the idea, we all have less than perfect swings so it is at least comforting to know TaylorMade was thinking about us when they designed the JetSpeed.
Picking up the JetSpeed for the first time, it is noticeably lighter, which of course is a result of TaylorMade wanting to promote a higher swing speed. This is not to say if feels too light or whippy, it just doesn’t feel like you are swinging a mallet. The sound is not a big thwack nor a whimpy ting. Just right in the middle where it neither annoys you or makes you take notice.
From an aesthetics standpoint, the TaylorMade JetSpeed is also fairly plain Jane in comparison to some of the blinged out versions we have seen recently. The JetSpeed has a simple matte black crown with subtle alignment markings. Frankly, I am thankful to move away from white crowns as they have always seemed too bright for me. Bright clothes, yes, bright driver heads, no. In my mind the JetSpeed seems to just harken back a few years. Whether it be limited adjustability, matte black crown, or the stripe on the head cover, the vibe is way different than recent TaylorMade drivers.
Now for the Three Guys Golf test lab. What, you didn’t know we had a fancy test lab? It is called “my home course” that I have played 500 times and know exactly how far I can, and usually do, drive the ball on every fairway. The results: I hit the ball as far as I usually do. Sometimes I hit it really well and it goes far (I actually had my career long drive on #17) and sometimes I don’t hit it very well and it does not go far. Guess what, I am a 10 handicap and that is how it goes for us.
Overall, I really do like this club. For me, there was no break-in period. You know how with some drivers it just does not feel right and you need to gain a symbiotic relationship with it? The JetSpeed was easy to hit right out of the gate and it never felt squirrelly. Making it more appealing is that it is relatively cheap. Because it has no angle adjustment, you can basically save $100.
This makes total sense to me. Why pay for something if you don’t want it. If you don’t like sunroofs then don’t get the $1000 upgrade – duh.
So if you are in the market for the latest and greatest but want to maybe save a few bucks, check out the TaylorMade Jetspeed. You can learn more on the TaylorMade website.
One of my new sayings since starting Three Guys Golf is “everything is better with a logo”. Seriously, anything you have, whether it be a headcover, golf bag, shirt, or hat is just a little cooler when it is has your logo on it. Every day we wear gear that has some company’s name on it so when you get the opportunity to put your own stamp down, the “it” factor goes up a notch.
For the past year or so, we have been looking for a great hat to put our stamp on and while I have seen a few that were ok, I never really found a brand I loved. When Antigua reached out to us about their new hat line it seemed like a perfect chance for us to test run our plan to overtake the world of golf hats.
As a prelude to this story, let me say that we have gotten many hats from various companies as part of our review process. I am always stunned when I get a hat that is so awkward I can only hope it came from the “not suitable for sale” bin. Seriously, who wears hats that rise 3 inches above your head or one with a seemingly 8″ brim?
The tough thing about choosing hats is that they all look very similar, so until you actually see them in person and put them on the old noggin, it is difficult to draw much of an opinion. Therefore, we punted on picking out one style and went with the “variety pack”.
Antiqua has about 20 new versions of their hats which can all incorporate a logo. In general, I would classify them as classic fit meaning they are not flat-brimmed or any of the other “alt” styles. Nope, these are styled like the ones we grew up with, a bill that can be bent and a cap that fits snug on the head.
So without boring you with every detail of every hat, I will summarize that the Antiqua hats come with your basic fitting options, i.e. fitted or adjustable. In terms of material, they come in mesh, cotton and polyester.
Of the 8 versions we received, the two that are our favorites and get nearly daily wear are the black Par hat with green over-stiching (the one I wear) and the red Phase (Matt’s cap of choice).
In terms of quality and construction, I am very impressed with the embroidery as it is stitched clean and tight for easy reading. They also did a great job with matching colors to the existing trim of the hat.
I will resist bashing the flat-brimmed hats so loved by Hunter Mahan and use my age as an excuse for believing they look dumb on everyone (oh, did I just bash them?). Anyhoo, for each his own, but if you are like me and rightly think hats should fit snugly on your head, has a brim that is in proportion and can be bent to personal liking, and comes with basically zero branding that is not of your choosing, then Antigua may be in your future.
One note on the Antigua website. When checking out the styles be aware that they come in a ton of color choices so while the featured image may not be your cup of tea, dig a little deeper and you may find it was just the color you did not love and not the style.
For example, the Carolina blue Motion cap is a non-starter for me, but ta-da!, click it in white and I am all over it. So whether you need to outfit you golf team, baseball team, drinking club, whatever, I would definitely recommend the Antigua hat collection.
You can find all styles on the Antigua website.
PS: You can win one of these hats in our December give away- it’s easy and free
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