WITB – September 2015

As a golf blogger, I get to handle many different golf clubs and try many products over the course of a year. As a result, I always get asked about what’s in my bag. Most amateur golfers like me aren’t sponsored by club companies, so our bags tend to be a mix of clubs from different manufacturers.

While I have had opportunities to officially endorse products in the past, doing so might violate the rules of amateur status as outlined by the USGA in rule 6.2, and that would be a no-no since I sometimes compete in FSGA and USGA events. Therefore, I must disclose that none of the companies shown here paid me to represent their brands.

After years of testing hundreds of drivers, fairways, hybrids, irons, wedges, putters and assorted golf gadgets, these are the ones that have found a place in my bag as “gamers.” I’m always tinkering with and testing new clubs, but my gamers remain pretty consistent. The only part of my bag that changes constantly is the putter, because I’m a mess on the putting green and always looking for the BBD – bigger better deal.

What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Ping G30 (9° w/ Ping Tour 80x)
Fairway: Tour Edge Exotics E8 Tour (14° w/ Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ 70x)
Hybrid: Cleveland Launcher DST (18° w/ Miyazaki C.Kua 83x)
Irons: Cleveland CG16 Tour Concept 3-PW (w/ Aerotech Steelfiber i95cw x-flex)
Wedges: SCOR Golf 50° & 54° (w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100)
Lob Wedge: Hopkins Golf CJ-1 60° (Custom channel grind w/ Dynamic Gold X-100)
Putter: Cure RX3F Putter
Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

My current setup has been in place for over a year, except the 3-wood and putter. I recently started testing the Cure RX3F putter and after some work on the putting green and one round of golf, I decided to bring it to the WAGT National Championship at Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort. The Cure putter will be featured in a review article soon. The Exotics E8 Tour replaced my trusty old Adams RPM LP back in May. After years of searching, I finally found a fairway wood that out performed the Adams. You may notice I listed 15 clubs. That’s because I usually swap the 3-iron for the 50° gap wedge depending on the course setup where I am playing.

WITB 09-2015

WITB 09-2015

WITB 09-2015

WITB 09-2015

WITB 09-2015

WITB 09-2015

Coming Soon…

I’m long overdue for a new set of irons. The CG16 Tour Concept irons that came from Cleveland’s Tour Van have been awesome, but they are almost five years old and ready to be demoted to a backup role. The Aerotech Steelfiber i95cw shafts are amazing. I’ve said it for years – I think they are the best iron shafts you can get, and their popularity on the professional tours all around the world backs up that claim.

I’m currently testing the Srixon Z745 irons, Z U45 3 & 4 Utilities and a Z H45 2 Hybrid. The Z745 irons are a forged cavity back club that looks sharp and performs similar to my CG16s. The clubs I’m really excited about are the Z U45 3-iron and 4-iron. They are called utilities because they have the looks and workability of an iron with the forgiveness of a hybrid. I love hitting long irons, and these things make it even easier to hit them. The Z H45 16° hybrid will fill the distance gap nicely between the 3-iron and 3-wood. I was looking for 5-10 more yards out of my hybrid and this guy will do the trick nicely. I have a strong feeling that this fantastic 2-PW set will soon be my gamers.

Ping’s awesome G30 driver has been in my bag since last fall, but I’ve started experimenting with the G30 LS-TEC driver which is the same as the regular G30 but spins slightly less. According to Ping, 400 rpm less. Combining the LS-TEC with my switch from the softer, higher-spin Srixon Z-Star back to the lower spin and firmer feeling Z-Star XV, I should see a measurable decrease in spin off the tee which means more distance.

The SCOR wedges I got a few years ago have been stalwarts in my bag ever since I first hit them. I started with SCOR’s complete short game system: 42°, 46°, 50°, 54° & 58°. Going from the 42 and up, they replace your traditional 9, PW, GW, SW & LW. SCOR wedges are forged and their unique v-sole design works amazingly well in all conditions. However, they have taken a real beating from heavy use and need to be replaced. Enter Ben Hogan Golf. SCOR’s founder Terry Koehler acquired the rights to Ben Hogan golf equipment and re-launched the brand with his already proven TK15 Wedges and the new Fort Worth 15 irons. The result is a gorgeous set of forged blades and wedges that perform on par with any of the best irons in golf. They are also much more forgiving and easy to hit than you might think for a blade. The TK15 wedges will soon be replacing the aging SCOR wedges in my bag.

I love my Hopkins 60° custom grind wedge. The Channel Grind basically gives me two wedges. With the face square it has very low bounce, making it perfect for fairway shots and tight lies. With the face open it has high bounce for deep rough and sand. This wedge has made me look like a much better bunker player than I am, so it’ll be very hard to replace it. The new Callaway Mac Daddy PM Grind wedge might just do that, however. Designed with heavy input from Phil Mickelson, this wedge has grooves all the way to the edges of the face and a very high toe to help with shots from the deep rough, along with a similar channel-type grind on the sole. My early testing so far has been very promising.

I’ll try to post another WITB early next year so we can see what’s changed and if my predictions for new gamers comes true. Until then, keep it in the short grass!

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