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First Look: Wilson 8802 Putter

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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In golf we screw things up by making them too complicated. Such is not the case with the Wilson 8802 Putter, which is in for review here at Hooked On Golf Blog. This is a very simple heel-shafted putter which many remember as the one Arnold Palmer used when he was a Wilson endorsee.

Wilson 8802 Putter

Wilson 8802 Putter

I’ll be doing REAL testing of this putter and posting a review soon. Why did I all-caps the word real? Because my reviews are not flyby style like other golf review sites. I actually take my own photos. put the club in play, and write my findings and impressions. This is unlike other sites who retype press releases and post stock PR photos.

Rant over. Putter testing to begin. Maybe I’ll putt as good as Arnold Palmer with this thing.

Wilson 8802 Putter Photos

I’ve posted a few photos of the Wilson 8802 Putter in the Hooked On Golf Blog photo gallery for you to enjoy while waiting for the full review.


14 Clubs

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
WITB - Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion

WITB – Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion

Are 14 Clubs Really Necessary?

The last two times I’ve played golf in Scotland I’ve realized that over there a few clubs are simply not necessary.  First, the lob wedge.  The ground is SO hard that hitting the lob is very difficult.  The hard ground and wind really call for low running shots.  In six days of golf at 36 holes per day, I hit my lob wedge twice and both times it was the wrong choice.  The next time I play true links golf over there I’m bringing a pencil bag and maybe 8-10 clubs.

At home I could easily take out a club or two without missing them.  I hit my 3-fairway no more than 1-2 times per round.  In yesterday’s league round I didn’t hit it at all.  I could easily take out the 5-iron or one long iron.  I could take out one of my four wedges, probably the gap wedge.

4-Club Tournament

As club president of my league for many years, we would do a yearly 4-club tournament.  This is a tournament where the players were only allowed, you guessed it, four clubs.  I usually picked a hybrid, 7-iron, sand wedge, and putter or some setup similar.

At the conclusion of the tournament I would notice the scores and something very interesting.  The scores were most often the same.  A 12 handicap player who normally shot 84-85 with 14 clubs shot 84-85 with four clubs.  I noticed the same for my own scores.  Not much different.

15 Clubs

My weekly money game is a fun competition between low single digit handicappers.  We usually play with 14 clubs, but if someone wants to test a driver or putter we don’t have a problem with them having 15 clubs in the bag.  In the end, it makes virtually no difference in the scores, or who wins the money.

Marketing

The folks at Golfplan posted a discussion about the 14 club limit and whether or not it is too much.  Perhaps we can use less clubs and still shoot the same scores and enjoy the game just as much.  But golf equipment companies would not be too hip on that.  In fact, I bet they’d rather see a 20 club limit or perhaps no limit at all.  Anything to sell more clubs.

Clubbing Based On Location and Conditions

I usually have the same 14 clubs in the bag at all times.  I’m used to them and used to the setup.  PGA Tour pros change clubs for nearly every event.  Phil Mickelson used two drivers in the Masters Tournament a few years ago.  And tour pros have many different wedge configurations, or even have their wedges custom bent or ground to specs which are best for the course and conditions they are playing that week.


First Look: UST Mamiya Soft Touch Golf Grips

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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I’ve been happy with the performance of my Golf Pride CP2 Wrap grips, but due to my tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow I have to switch to a softer grip.  Thanks to the kind folks at UST Mamiya I’m going to test out their Soft Touch line of golf grips.  These grips limit vibration through the use of advanced technology and polyurethane materials. Polyurethane is the same material found on the cover of high performance golf balls which makes them softer and produces more spin.

UST Mamiya Soft Touch Golf Grips

UST Mamiya Soft Touch Golf Grips

It will take a month or so of on-course playing and testing before I’m ready for a full review of these grips. I’ve gone with a mid-size on these, as it seems to be a consensus that the bigger size helps with the tendonitis as well.  I hope to report that they keep the tennis and golfer’s elbow at bay, and perform well. I have confidence that they will. Stay tuned.


What’s in the Bag (WITB) – River Oaks Club Champion Tony Korologos

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Categories: GolfGolf AccessoriesGolf ApparelGolf BallsGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearHackersMiscellaneous
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By popular demand I’m posting the official “what’s in the bag” for my 2014 club championship at Sandy, Utah’s splendid River Oaks Golf Club.  It took me a while to get the photo because I needed it to be “official,” thus having the Golf WRX watermark on it.  The photogs at WRX are so busy shooting every golf club and golf bag on the planet and putting their watermarks on them, that it took me a while to get this photo. As you can see, this photo is true and authentic since it has that WRX watermark.  Enough about high end photography and on to the meat of this journalistic brilliance.

I’m very happy to have won the 2014 club championship at River Oaks.  I’ve been a member of the club for many years and won my first championship there in 2005.  This year’s championship seemed to fall in my lap as the field was narrowed down to a few left standing, and I managed to outscore the closest competitor by 13 shots.  Yes, 13 shots.  In the land of bogeys, the par man is king.

WITB - Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion

WITB – Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion

Let’s take a look at the winning sticks and the other crucial script items…

Driver: Cobra Amp Cell
3-Metal: Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta
Hybrid: 19 degree Cobra Baffler XL
Irons (4-PW): Hogan Apex Edge Pro, circa 2002
Shafts: KBS Tour 90
52 and 56 degree wedges: Eidolon V-Sole
60 degree lob wedge: Vokey Spin Milled
Putter: Dornoch Putters Bird Dog 1, handmade in Scotland by Grant MacKay
Bag: Nike Sport Lite
Ball: Bridgestone B330
Head Cover: Sumi-G with custom Black Mesa Golf Club embroidered logo
GPS: Golf Buddy VS4 talking golf watch GPS
Laser Rangefinder: Callaway (Nikon)
Club Brush: Frogger BrushPro
Golf Accessory Accessory: Snap Hookz
Golf Polo: Bobby Jones XH20 Aero
Golf Shorts: Tattoo Golf shorts
Golf Socks: Kentwool Tour
Golf Shoes: FootJoy DNA
Underwear: Dunning
Cigar: Gurkha Centurian
Green repair tool: Champ Flix
Toothpaste: Crest with mint sparkles
Aftershave: Clubman
Hat: Pukkha custom Hooked on Golf Blog/The Golf Space hat
Glove: Don’t wear a glove, but for the sweaty shots it was the Asher skull glove (RIP James)
Tee: Tornado Tee
Grips: Golf Pride CP2
Sunglasses: Under Armour Phenom Sunglasses
Rain Jacket: Nike Hyperadapt Storm-FIT
Push Cart: Sun Mountain Micro Cart Sport
Ball marking device: Tin Cup Utah Utes stencil
Beer: Slammin Sam Snead Premium Lager
Spikes: Champ Scorpion Stinger
Travel bag: Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey
Belt: Switch Belt rubber custom
Towel: Frogger Amphibian

Backup Bag

Driver: Bombtech Golf Grenade
3-Fairway: Nike VR-S
Hybrid: Bobby Jones
Irons: Bridgestone J40 Dual Pocket Cavity
Wedges: SCOR, Miura
Putter: Ping Scottsdale ZB S
Bag: Datrek Go-Lite
Ball: 3UP
Shoes: Ecco Golf Shoes
Belt: Sumi-G
TeeChamp Zarma Fly Tee


Flipper – King of the Green

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, July 25th, 2014
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearHackers
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Can a chipper (or Flipper in this case) be the cure for the chip yips?  I'm desperate enough to find out.

Can a chipper (or Flipper in this case) be the cure for the chip yips? I’m desperate enough to find out.

Sitting in my basement still in the shrink wrap for many years, is the club which could be my secret to rounds in the 60’s and the end to my short game frustrations.  It could also cause me to be the subject of laughter and much ridicule by golfers who I may or may not know.  Say hello to the Acer Flipper, the king of the green!

Everybody sing with me!

They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-over, over the green!
Everyone loves the king of the green,
Ever so kind and gentle is he,
Tricks he will do when golfers appear,
And how they laugh when he’s near!
They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-over, over the green!

Flipper!

My putting is tour-level quality, but my chipping and pitching is as bad as my putting is good.  In fact, I think I have the chip-yips.  I’ve practiced countless hours and taken many lessons, but when I get on the course some kind of gag reflex happens and I have very little control over my chip distance.  It has improved this season, yes.  But I give up at least 3-5 shots per round due to bad chipping.  Somehow I still manage to shoot in the low 70’s despite this problem.  Imagine if I could save those 3-5 shots?  I’d be scratch or better.

Case in point yesterday was a round of 73 in which I failed to get up and down for birdie when within five yards of two par-5 holes in two shots.  I also failed to get up and down on the par-4 14th from about the same distance.  Instead, I dubbed a chip about three feet and then changed to putter, getting up and down for bogey.  There were three strokes I gagged up right there.  Fix that and that 73 is a 70.  Big difference.

Perhaps with the Flipper I can use my putting stroke around the greens instead of the gag-chip thing I’m doing.

Laugh at me if you wish.  I’ll take it in stride.  If the Flipper works, great!  If not, I tried.


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