Last year at this time we were buried in record snow and didn’t get to golf from the first week of December to close to April. What a difference a year makes.
Today was quite a day. The temps were a balmy 44 for a high and many of the local courses here in northern Utah are open. Thanks to the warm, ahem, temps I finally had the chance log round #1 of my testing of the new Nike VR_S Forged Irons.
I started out with a medium bucket of range balls and the 7-iron. Though the temperature was probably in the mid 30’s and the rock-like range balls were probably frozen in their core, the irons still felt soft. Must be that modern forging technology. I do know that hitting balls with my old muscle-back/blades in those conditions would have resulted in numb fingers. Across the board from short to long irons, they all felt nice and soft. I could only imagine at that point what hitting a premium ball in the summer might feel like. Can’t wait to find out now.
These irons launch considerably higher than my previous set, though I know they’re a strong loft configuration. Higher launch is good for just about anyone, especially me. If I tee them up, the launch is mega high. My last shot on the range was a teed up 4-iron and I haven’t seen a long iron shot fly like that from my own swing for a long time. Later during the round, I’d tee off with that same 4-iron on a short par-4. I hit it about 10 yards behind one of my two opponents, who had hit his driver. I can’t tell you the four letter words he expressed to me and my new irons, but I can assure you it was quite entertaining.
I thought I was going to play the entire front nine without missing a green with any of my VR_S approach shots. Of the six VR_S iron approaches I hit, I only missed one green and not by much. I hit #1 from the left rough with a 9-iron. Hit #3 with a 7-iron. I was 169 out and I flew the ball to pin high. Hit a solid 5-iron on #4 over water to about 10 feet. #7 was my only regulation miss with the VR_S’s. A tough 7-iron shot out of a fairway bunker to a tucked pin behind a greenside bunker. I hit the fringe and easily two-putted for par. #8 was a nice 8-iron to pin high on that par-3 over water. #9 I hit a solid 5-iron to the middle of the green.
Without boring people with shot by shot reports of the back nine, I can safely say that I hit these irons very well. On VR_S iron approaches I hit 7 of 9. One of the “bad” ones was a bad pull. The other was simply a case of picking the wrong club and coming up short.
Ironically my 56 and 60 degree wedges which aren’t part of the VR_S set, missed greens from 87, 96 and 79. Boo.
First Round Conclusion
Very happy with the results. The irons fly very straight. Other than how soft and nice they felt, I think that is the biggest and best surprise. I carded a 74 (37, 37) in the cold of February, which is unheard of. Of the VR_S approach opportunities my totals were 12 out of 15 greens in regulation. That’s 80%. I made some birdies, especially a big one on #17 after hitting that par-3 with a VR_S PW. I won enough dough from my opponents to cover 2.5% of the cost of the irons. Only 97.5% more to reach $1200. 🙂
“Why wasn’t this golf travel bag invented about 20 years ago?” That’s the first sentence that came out of my mouth the second I started carting around my new Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey around the Salt Lake City International Airport a couple of weeks ago. I really could have used this ease when I was huffing my clubs in and out of airports on my big golf trip to St. Andrews, Scotland last summer. By the time I got to St. Andrews my right shoulder was very sore from bearing the weight of my golf bag.
The ClubGlider Journey is the newest and lightest model in the ClubGlider series of golf travel bags from Sun Mountain. The ClubGlider Journey is similar to many golf travel bags with the bottom half being a hard shell tray and the top half soft. That’s where the similarities end.
The Journey has a 2nd set of integrated retractable wheels which fold into the bottom tray for storage and travel. The legs extend and lock into place when moving the bag around airports and parking lots. With the four wheel setup, ALL of the travel bag’s weight is supported without the help of the schlepper. All the schlepper (bag carrier) needs to do is hold the handle at the top of the bag and guide the bag in whatever direction he’s going. (more…)
The weather here in Salt Lake is at that unique point where one could decide to either golf or ski. If you’re crazy like me, you do them both on the same day sometimes. Today though, there was some fresh powder up at Alta. At only a 20 minute drive from my house, it proved to be too irresistible. I bailed on watching the Northern Trust Open on TV and decided to go find some pow pow.