Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of equipment changes and got a fitting with FuZion Golf. I’ve also been getting into clubmaking and experimenting with it. Here is my current set of clubs
Driver– Adams Speedline, 9.5* loft, Talamonti PD-70 Tour X shaft, 44 inches long (tipped 1 inch)
3-wood – Adams Fast10, 15* loft, Talamonti PD-70 Tour X Shaft, 42.5 inches long
3-hybrid – Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK, 20* loft, True Temper Steel Hybrid shaft (Stiff)
3-PW – Titleist 690MB, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft, +1/2”, standard loft, 1* flat
SW – Miura K-Grind, 56* Loft, KBS Tour Wedge Shaft, +1/2” inch, 63* lie angle
LW – Ping Tour-S Rustique, 60* loft, KBS Tour Wedge Shaft, standard length, 64* lie angle
Putter - Edel Columbia (custom made)
Grips – Golf Pride Tour Wraps on Wedges and woods, Lamkin Crossline Cord on irons
Glove – HIRZL, Trust Feel, X-Large
Ball – Srixon Z-Star or Titleist Pro V1
One thing I’ve been experimenting with is grips and gloves. In Florida, the summertime weather consists of blazing heat, rain, then a 1-hour cooling off period, then extremely humid weather. I can say that I’ve just about tried them all. I’ve tried Dry Hands, Gorilla Gold, resin, sandpaper, cold and wet towels, etc.
The best solution I’ve found so far is the Lamkin Crossline Cord grips and Gorilla Gold. In fact, I am happy that I’ve found a way to use Gorilla Gold to deal with the sweat. Simply wrap it around my grip during the practice swing(s) and then put it in my pocket when I go to hit the real shot. That helps keep the grip dry while making the hands very sticky.
I’ve also found the HIRZL gloves are indeed good. But, the top of the left hand is not sweat-proof and that tends to render it a bit useless. Of course, we are talking about summertime, Florida heat. I think in most states, the HIRZL glove would work wonders. I still recommend them and play them, I just have to be smarter how I use them because they are not cheap.
Still, I have been researching for grips that work best with sweat and GripMaster USA’s grips are supposed to be the best. They certainly are some of the most expensive.
I’ll be testing out the ones above, which go for $20 a piece. While that is more than I would prefer to pay, if I could get 2-years out of a set of grips and it works against sweat as good as advertised, WELL worth the money.
One of the blog readers and forum members, Rohlio, recommended Talamonti golf shafts to me. They are designed by the former co-founder of SST Pure, Phil Talamonti. I have the PD-70 shaft in both my driver and 3-wood and have been extremely pleased with the performance. You can find them at www.talamontishafts.com.
I plan on sticking to the Talamonti shafts, which come spine aligned (Talamonti calls it ‘MOI Optimized’).
I’ve also been introduced to a product by Harrison called the ‘ShotMaker Insert.’
The ShotMaker Insert is designed for .335 tip graphite shafts (it works with some .350 tip shafts). It is a shaft insert that goes down into the shaft, all the way down to about 6 inches from the tip end of the shaft. The idea is that it stabilizes the tip end better to produce a slightly lower launch and slightly lower spin, but provide for a much more accurate result. They are becoming quite the rave already on the internet despite being only on the market for less than 2 months. The insert itself goes for $99, but the installation tools and the insert cost about $140.
Here’s the neat thing about it. It’s got a 30-day, money back guarantee. Furthermore, if you like it and want to change the shaft that you use, you can do that. You can practically have it for life if you want. I think it’s interesting because I think it makes graphite shafts, across the board, better.
I’ve also got a Wishon golf account and just purchased a Wishon Golf 919THI driver head, with 9* of loft.
The basic thoughts I’ve received about 919THI head is that they launch a little high for their loft (that’s why I got a 9* loft) and that they perform just as long on sweetspot strikes as any other OEM, but the real advantage is on mis-hits. Combine that with the Talamonti shaft and the Harrison Shotmaker insert, this is becoming a very exciting club for me to make and hopefully put in my bag permanently.
FAIRWAY WOOD & HYBRID
Currently I’m gaming an Adams Fast10 3-wood with a Talamonti PD-70 shaft in it. It was a pretty fast and cheap alternative for me, although I think I will probably switch to a Titleist 910F-d and install a Talamonti PD-80 (just a slightly heavier shaft). I would also put a Harrison Shotmaker insert in there if I like what I have in the driver.
For the hybrid, I am looking at the Titleist 910H with a 19* loft. I would probably install their hybrid shaft, the Talamonti H-85.
Unfortunately, the Shotmaker insert will not fit as the Talamonti H-85 is a .370 tip. I am leaning towards getting these after the FSGA Mid-Am qualifier.
Currently, I have been using the Titleist 690MB irons because I had that set already and they had +1/2” shafts that I was looking for (although they are DG S300 shafts and not KBS Tour shafts).
I am still considering the Taylor Made Tour Preferred MB irons, but first I will be testing out a Wishon Golf 555M 7-iron with the KBS Tour shaft and the GripMaster USA grip.
Again, I keep hearing great reviews about the 555M irons and I’m interested in seeing for myself. I would probably not get these until after the FSGA Mid-Am qualifier, unless I fall in love with the 7-iron. I can get the KBS shafts spine aligned and installed myself and save a significant amount of money over getting the Taylor Made irons.
SWING CHANGE AND CLUBS
Part of what has to be taken into consideration is how future changes (hopefully improvements) in my swing will affect the clubs that best fit me. In my last time using Trackman, I was getting my driver speed in the 107-110 mph range. I ended the session by flattening out my downswing plane and that got my 8-iron clubhead speed to 87 mph, which is currently the PGA Tour average swingspeed for an 8-iron (according to Trackman). My feeling is that when my swing gets more to where I want it, I should be able to get my driver speed up to the PGA Tour average, which is currently 112 mph. I think that those improvements in the swing not only will affect swing speed, but will affect how I load the shaft.
However, the loading of the shaft has more of an affect on what type of shaft a golfer needs than swing speed. Swing speed, IMO, gives a bit of a ballpark for the fitter to work with. And to be honest, I believe I can get an even better ballpark by looking at a golfer’s swing from the caddy view as to how they load and unload the club.
The question is ‘how much will that affect the equipment that will suit me best?’
My guess at this time…probably not a whole bunch. That’s why I feel comfortable in putting together the Wishon 919THI driver with the Shotmaker Insert and Talamonti Shaft. And like I said, I can keep the ShotMaker insert if I decide to install a different shaft. And with the irons I can always take out the KBS Tour shafts. Same with the 3-wood and hybrid. Hopefully this will all work out well.