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First Look: Air Force One Air Foil Fairway Woods

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, August 22nd, 2016
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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I’ve been gaming the Air Force One nitrogen charged driver now for about a year and a half.  I told my buddies just today that I’ll keep hitting it until I find a better driver.  I don’t care who makes it or what the retail price is, as long as I’m killing it.

Naturally I was eager to accept the offer from Air Force One to review their new Air Foil fairway metal-woods, based on my great experience with the driver. Here are a couple of photos of this new fairway wood:

Air Force One - Air Foil Fairway Wood

Air Force One – Air Foil Fairway Wood

Air_Force_One_Air_Foil_Fairway_Woods_03

I hit 2-3 shots with the Air Foil 3-wood in today’s round, one resulting in a birdie on the par-5 10th at Mountain Dell. Unlike other “reviewers” though, I can’t review a club in three swings. Stay tuned for a full review, which will be a few weeks. When I test clubs I play real golf, on real golf courses.

Yeah, hard work I know. But I have to stay true to my golf blogger roots. FORE!


Review: Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, August 8th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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Say hello to the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.  I’ve been “working” on this review for a some time now.  It has been a rough go, playing one of the world’s best irons and such.  Yes, being at the top of the golf blog heap can be difficult.  I’m up to the task though.

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

About Miura

Before we look at the Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blades by Miura, we should talk about who Miura is for those who may be unfamiliar.  Miura is a family-owned Japanese club manufacturer, founded by Katsuhiro Miura.  Mr. Miura is a master club-maker who has been making clubs for over 50 years.  The company is located in Jimeji, central Japan.

Miura has made primarily forged irons and wedges, though they are now producing other clubs like drivers and hybrids.  Miura is known as one of the world’s best makers of irons.  Miura uses the highest quality Japanese steel, know for its performance and feel.

Many PGA Tour pros who are endorsed by some of the popular golf manufacturers actually play Miuras, despite being paid by their sponsors.  The pros simply tape over the Miura name so fans can’t easily see the real manufacturer.  Keen eyed golf club aficionados are not fooled.

Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons

The Miura 1957 Small Blade Irons are the highest performing irons made by Miura, according to the man himself, Katsuhiro Miura.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_02
When a company whose products are such high performance states that a particular product is their best, there’s nothing much on planet earth that will outperform it.  I concur.  Let’s look at the specs of the Small Blades.

Material

The Small Blades are made from low-carbon, premium Japanese steel. Japanese steel is widely known for its quality worldwide. The irons are specially forged in Miura’s own forge in Himeji, Japan.   These irons are not made in China.

Finish

My set is the satin nickel chrome. The satin finish is beautiful and does not produce distracting glare in the sun.

The irons are also available in Black Boron finish, limited quantities.

Technical Specifications (more on this later in the review)

#3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 PW
Loft (degrees) 21 24 27 30 34 38 42 47
Lie (degrees)
59.0
59.5
60.0
60.5
61.0
61.5
62.0
62.5
Offset (inches) 0.11 0.10 0.10 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.06
Finished Length (inches) 38.75 38.25 37.75 37.25 36.75 36.25 35.75 35.5

Size

The Small Blades are 15% smaller than Miura’s regular “tour” blades.  Blade irons are typically known as “hard to hit” by the average golfer.  Mr. Miura says, “I have a special pride in this club. That’s because it’s so easy to hit.” Once again, I concur.  More in my “on the course” commentary.

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

On The Course

I lit up the first time I hit one of these irons.  It was the 7-iron.  The feel was so amazing and the ball launched high and straight.  I just thought I got “lucky” and was sure the hard-to-hit nature of blades would catch up to me. I was sure I’d hit one of those mis-hits which would sting, or make my fingers numb, or hurt.  I’ve been waiting for that to happen for months.  There’s something about these blades which is different.  The feel is so buttery that even off-center shots feel good.  I have a lot of experience with those too.  A lot.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_04

I’ve found these irons to be very easy to hit, regardless of their blade nature.  In fact, they are easier to hit than several “game improvement” clubs which I’ve tried out.  I realize that sounds odd.  You’ll have to trust me on that.

With blades this incredible, the type of shots and ball flight a player wants to hit are all on him/her.  These irons respond tremendously when I have to manufacture some kind of shot or work the ball in a particular direction.  If I put the right swing on a shot, the iron will produce exactly what I’m asking it to.  I can hit them low (usually as a result of being in the trees off the tee), high (to go over the same trees), or fade/draw as needed.  Truly amazing.

Critique

The one critique I have is with the lofts of these irons.  Across the board these are more “standard” blade lofts from years ago.  These irons are not “strong” lofts.  Most of the irons are at least one degree weaker than most modern irons.  Many of the irons are two degrees weaker.

This can be a slight hit to the player’s confidence level as the irons will go shorter.  I’ve had to adjust my numbers to make up for the lofts.  Where I used to hit an 8-iron, I’m hitting 7-iron, and so on.

Once adjusted, the accuracy and confidence I have with these irons is the best of any iron I’ve played, and I’ve played far more than the average golfer ever will.

That said about the lofts…  I think no irons should have numbers on them, just lofts.

Hello Turf, Nice to Know You

The way the club interacts with the turf is tremendous.  Whether the lie is tight and hard or in long rough, the club’s grind and small head size produce very little resistance and interference from the turf.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_11

#love

The small design makes sense.  Less surface area produces less resistance.  Plus Mr. Miura has tweaked the edges and corners of the club ever so slightly.  Those slight grinds and angles help prevent unwanted interaction with the ground and keep the club’s path and angle of attack where the player is delivering it.

Simplicity

A look at the iron photo above tells a big story.  Part of what makes these Miura irons so great is their simplicity.  There are no funky patterns, paint jobs, dumb names, logos, or mysterious weight-looking “things” that don’t do really anything…

Shafts

Miura will shaft the irons with shafts from any of nine “recommended” shaft makers including Aerotech, KBS Tour, True Temper, Project X and more.

Final Thoughts

Miuras are not for everyone.  They are not inexpensive.  It’s sort of a “if you have to ask how much they are, they’re too expensive,” proposition.  The market for these clubs is not the mass-sales model of the big name brands, where you find their clubs in every pro shop and big box store on the planet.  The clubs are painstakingly forged in Japan, by hand.  These are not cheapo mass-produced Chinese-made clubs.

Playing these Miuras is a joy.  They’re tremendous.  Any player who wants the highest performance and feel a golf club can produce, should look strongly at the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.


New Nike Slogan: Just Stop Doing It (making golf clubs, bags and golf balls that is)

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, August 4th, 2016
Categories: Golf BallsGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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Nike Sumo “Mickey” Driver – Didn’t sell too well…

I’m not one to post the same over-hashed topics that most other golf sites post but today I have to.  Nike is going to “transition out of equipment – including clubs, balls and bags.”

For many years Nike was a great sponsor to HOG, especially the fantasy golf leagues.  They provided some huge prizes.  They also sent me a bunch of clubs, bags and balls to test over the years.  Some I liked.  Some I didn’t like, especially the golf balls.  Apparently with no more Tiger Woods fueling sales and buzz, the likes of Rory McIlory and a few others aren’t enough to keep interest at a high enough level to drive sales.

BEAVERTON, Ore. NIKE, Inc. announced today that it will accelerate innovation in its Golf footwear and apparel business and will partner with more of the world’s best golfers. With this new focus, Nike Golf will transition out of equipment – including clubs, balls and bags.

“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” said Trevor Edwards, President, Nike Brand. “We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”

“Athletes like Tiger, Rory and Michelle drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide,” said Daric Ashford, President of Nike Golf. “Over the past year the MM Fly Blade Polo, the Flyknit Chukka and Air Zoom 90 have all connected strongly with golfers. We’ll continue to ignite excitement with our athletes and deliver the best of Nike for the game.”

The golf equipment market is already flooded, so in the long run I think this is good.  Sometimes businesses branch out too much and go away from focusing on their strengths.  Nike’s apparel sales are so huge, golf equipment was really not worth it.  They tried to be groundbreaking and cutting edge with their designs in golf clubs, like the square “Sumo” driver.  In the long run those quirky, weird looking clubs just made Nike look bad.  The Nike Sumo “Mickey” was one of the worst (pictured).

It’s better not to produce a product than it is to just produce one that makes you look bad, or desperate.


Review: Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf GearProduct of the YearReviews
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At the end of the 2016 golf season here in northern Utah I received the Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition for a review.  I was excited to match it up with the 2014 HOG Product of the Year, the Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway 3-metalwood, my current and awesome gamer 3-metal.  I posted a quick first look article for the CB PRO U right away.  Unfortunately I suffered a severe back injury shortly after receiving this beauty.  Then as I was recovering and feeling better, winter snows hit here.  A six month “frost delay” kept me off the course. Looking at this club in my office for six months was almost as painful as the back spasms.

Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition

Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition – click for more photos

Let’s take a look at the specs and features of the CB PRO U Hybrid.  The unit in this review is a 19 degree.

Specifications/Features

The most noticeable feature of this hybrid is the strange looking sole (bottom) of the club head pictured below.  This shiny section of “metallic waves” is called a Slip Stream Sole (SSS). Unlike other golf clubs which have non functional features which look cool but do nothing, the SSS reduces friction and interaction with the ground, regardless of what that ground is.  The SSS helps the golfer keep club head speed at its maximum for more consistency and distance.

Tour Edge CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition

Tour Edge CB Pro U Hybrid Limited Edition – click for more photos

The forged face of the club is welded to the steel body of the head.  Forged metals provide the best feel and performance, along with maximum distance.

The heel and toe are “cut out” to provide forgiveness and playability.

Finally the shaft of the club is the very popular Second Generation KURO KAGE Silver series.

Kuro Kage Shaft

Kuro Kage Shaft

Tour Edge CB PRO U Hybrid Video

On The Course

Prior to receiving this hybrid for review I was very happy with my previous gamer hybrid, a 19 degree Cobra Baffler.  For any hybrid to dethrone that hybrid would be a tall task.  When I first starting testing the CB PRO U, I A/B’d back and forth between the two.  Both were fantastic.  Knowing both clubs were solid, I put the Exotics in the gamer bag for about a two month testing period.  If it didn’t work out, no big deal.

See the waves?

Over the course of now dozens of rounds I’ve completely fallen for the CB PRO U.  The slightly smaller head and sole design shines in all sorts of situations.  I can hit amazing shots with this hybrid even from rough which looks like it calls for an iron bail-out shot.  From lies in the rough to tight lies on hard ground, I have 100% confidence when I address the ball with the CP PRO U.  I have numerous heroic shots I could recount, most resulting in eagle putts on par-5’s.

CB PRO U Hybrid Topline

CB PRO U Hybrid Topline – No strange patterns or graphics. No distractions.

On short par-4’s or long par-3’s the CB PRO U is fantastic off the tee.  I can’t wait to take this baby to Scotland in a few weeks.  I know it will shine on some of those shorter holes where driver isn’t the club.

Conclusion

Tour Edge could be in the running to be the first golf club manufacturer to win the coveted Hooked on Golf Blog Product of the Year twice.  The CP PRO U is fantastic.


First Look: Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Limited Edition Irons

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
Tags:

I have a real problem.  Tomorrow I have one of my leagues and I have a set of new Miura irons that is so beautiful I don’t even want to him them for fear of possibly getting one spec of dirt on them.  I just want to sit in my office and gaze at these.  Say hello to the Miura Series 1957 Limited Edition Small Blade Irons.

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

Miura Series 1957 Small Blade Irons

The Miura 1957 Small Blade Irons are the highest performing irons made by Miura, according to the man himself, Katsuhiro Miura.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_02
If you don’t know who Miura is, I’m glad to open your eyes to one of the most well respected and sought after irons on this planet.  Many tour pros who are endorsed by the major, big-name brands, actually play these clubs.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition

These blades are 15% smaller than Miura’s regular tour blades. Think you could hit them? I’m going to find out if I can, even if I have to cover all of them in swing tape.

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

Blade-a-licious! Could you hit this?

Stay tuned for my full review. Once I’ve had sufficient rounds and time with these I’ll post all of my thoughts. And if Miura wants these returned after my review, look for the review to appear around November of 2023.

Miura_Series_1957_Small_Blade_Limited_Edition_04


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