For the last two days there has been a big “demo days” deal going on at our biggest practice range in town. All the major golf companies were there. I decided to do the rounds and demo a bunch of clubs. I hit about 10 balls with each club. That’s not really enough to make a solid conclusion, but enough to get the idea of the club’s performance.
First stop was to talk to my new buddy Matt from Bridgestone. They have a whole line of clubs but you don’t see them as often as some of the other companies. Apparently they are quite big in Japan. I had thought they were just a ball company, but they aren’t.
First I tried their J33B forged blade irons. They felt quite solid. My shots all went right on line but I couldn’t get the impression that I was hitting them on the sweet spot. That’s blades I guess.
I’m still coming down from my Masters high that I got last weekend. What a great tournament. What fun watching the underdog Chris DiMarco battling ETW. DiMarco vs Tiger, Ping vs Nike.
Ping’s web site is proudly touting the accomplishments of DiMarco as they should. But am I the only one who was amazed that Chris had to take his driver out of play because it was damaged?
“DiMarco put a new driver into play on the ninth tee after the head of the club he had been using came loose.” It is amazing to me that Chris DiMarco can swing hard enough to make his driver head come loose. I’d expect Tiger to do that, not DiMarco. Nike 1, Ping 0.
I’ve had the same problems with Ping woods myself. I used to own a TiSi Tech Titanium driver. I picked it up at right around $500. I loved this driver. It never went right. It was extremely long and I had a lot of confidence in it. I loved it so much that I picked up matching 3W and 5W for the set.
One day I hit a drive and heard a rattle. There was something loose inside the head. It was like a maraca. The funny thing my buddies and I noticed was that when I had a perfect tempo swing, the maraca didn’t make any noise. So this became a running joke. My driver was a maraca and a medicus. We called it the “drive-icus.”
Soon my 3W and 5W rattled. I didn’t want to send them back to Ping and wait because it was the heart of the tournament season. But one day my driver was very off. I’d take a good swing at the ball, and it would fly like I threw a corkscrew. It had no distance, and literally flew like a wounded goose.
I looked at the driver and the back weight was gone. That weight provided the center of gravity of the club. (Later models would soon have screws to hold the weight in).
I couldn’t get an immediate replacement for my TiSi and I had a tournament the next day of course. So I demoed some other drivers. I ended up with a Titleist 983k.
Ping’s engineering is awesome. I think overall they make the best putters in the world. But there are definitely some QC issues when it comes to their woods. Just ask Chris DiMarco.
Complementing the tour-proven and serious player acceptance of the recently introduced Titleist Pro Titanium 905 driver franchise, Titleist unveils its new comprehensive line of Pro Trajectory 904F fairway metals. The new fairway metals offer the serious golfer improved launch, spin and flight characteristics, providing a high launch, low spin, long distance 3-wood, and a full complement of higher-lofted models for long game trajectory and yardage gap fitting. The Pro Trajectory 904F series is available in five lofts ranging from 13 to 22 degrees in both right and left hand and incorporates the same clean, classic round pear-shaped profile and technologically advanced performance of the Titleist Pro Titanium 905 drivers.
Titleist Web Site
PING Craz-E Putter - click for more
The Ping company has been long recognized for it’s pioneering design of golf clubs. There is always a buzz about the new Ping drivers, wedges or irons. But I don’t think Ping gets enough credit for it’s putter design and innovation.
The Ping Craz-E putter is a whole new concept in design. The face has a blue urethane insert which gives it a soft feel. The blue urethane insert line behind the face provides a strong alignment visual.
The weighting of the putter is heavy in the heel, toe and rear of the putter which gives it that “low center of gravity” that all golfers seem to need. The crescent shapes along with the blue line gives an optical aid which helps you aim and align properly. Ping calls this the Optigraphic Effect.
I don’t really know if the Optigraphic Effect is why the putter works so well for me. I think that the putter just “feels” great. It is just a static piece of metal and plastic but when I put it in motion it feels very smooth and wants to travel square to the target line. The weighting is balanced perfectly and helps you produce a pendulum like stroke.
Two other typically unimportant items that are overlooked with putters are the cover and the grip. Ping’s design is equally as great here. The cover is a very nice thick leather with a magnetic seal. I like the fact that they didn’t use velcro, which over time wears out and looks shabby. The Winn AVS grip (right) is the best feeling grip I’ve ever used.
There are also 5 shaft/hosel configurations to match your taste.
My rating on the Craz-E putter is a 9 out of 10. They got it all right on this one.
Some crazy person paid $2047.00 for one on ebay!
click here for a sneak peak of the Titleist 905 driver.