Titleist have never been known for the most forgiving irons in the world but after their recent AP1, AP2 and AP3 irons, they moved into the everyday golfer market instead of being the niche for advanced players.
The T-range consists of T100, T200 and T300 which is in reverse order of forgiveness. The T300 are the game improvement irons for players who need maximum forgiveness and the T200 range is for the slightly more consistent player looking for some forgiveness but without the big clubhead.
In both these clubs you'll find forgiveness but it just depends on your skill level. The T300 mainly for high handicappers while the T200 is mainly for mid to lower handicappers. The AP1 is the prior model of the Titleist range which was also loaded with forgiveness if you can find a set.
It's probably one of the most forgiving Titleist irons ever.
The forgiveness of the T300 is something most people will not associate with Titleist. Due to Max Impact design and stronger lofts, distances on the same as a lot of new game improvement irons. Any mid to high handicapper would be happy to game these without fear of pain in the fingers and hard impact.
Higher lofted irons in the set are stronger than any other irons in the Titleist range so you'll see distance gains if you're playing a very old set of clubs. Traditional lofts are only found in the pro-level irons in the Titleist range.
What does that mean? Well it means if the loft numbers are lower for the same club, then you'll hit it further.
T300 is a mid-low spinning iron. Of course this can mean sometimes it is harder to hold a green but when we're talking forgiveness, we have to make some sacrifices. So if you can roll the ball up or have big enough greens, the lower spin shouldn't concern you much. The big advantage of lower spin means that you'll A) hit it further and B) have less dispersion left and right!
Titleist made a silicone-polymer core and put it behind the face so they could make the face thinner, so the ball pops off the face instead of feeling like it mushes into the face like on forged clubs. That means higher balls speeds and more distance.
The prior model which this one replaces, the AP1 was a hollow body construction but Titleist have used a genuine cavity back in the irons this time. As I always say on this website throughout, cavity backs are always the most forgiving.
The irons have a wide sole and large face so you have plenty of margin for error. The club prevents digging and also keeps mis-hits online, as well as reducing the losses of distance.
The top line at address when you look down at the club, you notice the T300 is much thicker than the T200 model, but the length of the clubface is about the same. A bit unexpected is that the T300 seems to have less offset than the T200.
In the T200 irons, you get a game improvement iron that looks more classic and as the successor to the AP3, is starting to look closer to a players iron, but not quite.
What you'll notice between the T100 which is the pro level club, and the T200 is the offset and that definitely defines it more toward the game improvement. Offset is used to prevent the slice and fades.
Where the T200 is just a little in a class of its own is that it really doesn't look clunky and chunky at address. When you look down at the club, it's got a thick top line but it's not chunky and it when in the bag, they look really slick.
Another aspect of the club that defines it in the more forgiving section, but for lower to lower-mid handicaps is the loft. Basically, the 9 iron in this set is the same loft as the 8 iron in the more advanced player iron, the T100.
The point is, they may look and appear as advanced players irons, but these are very much forgiving Titleist irons. But having them in your bag would look good and perform well whether you're trying to break 90 or you're on the cusp of breaking 80.
Why fight your equipment by going for the player iron if you can get super performance form an iron like the T200? It has an appearance that better players will like and performs in ways that help you maximize distance and forgiveness.
The T200 (unlike the T300 which has a cast head) has a forged face which wraps around a portion of the sole to create more rebound. They put 90g of Tungsten in both the toe and the heel of the club to stabilize the head at impact for solid strikes.
Titleist made a silicone-polymer core and put it behind the face of this club, similarly to the T300, so they could make the face thinner, and increase speeds on the face while the forged face gives you a slightly softer impact feeling. That means higher balls speeds and more distance.
it all depends on your priorities. If I were looking to get from an 18 handicapper or more, so let's say shooting over 90 every round, I'd go T300. If I were a golfer shooting under 90 every now and then and wanted to start moving toward the low 80's and the 70's I would try the T200.
YOU give me the handicap YOU THINK I should have, and then let's play a match - stroke play. What do you reckon? Give me a handicap somewhere between 10 and 16?
Stakes: $5,000 US dullahs
Course: Any course with water on at least 15 holes, 6000-8000-yard-tees; up to you I don't mind. You pick it, we play it, but there must be 15 holes at least with water bordering the green or fairway.
Tee time: Only between 10:30am and midday, no earlier than that.
Stipulations: We both carry a camera on a tripod for all 18 holes and film each others shots as well as our own shots. Every shot anyone misses filming is one stroke penalty. Walk the entire round, no golf carts. If you hold up play while filming, you get a one stroke penalty. Your claimed handicap must be independently verified officially beforehand. Video to be posted on Youtube.
Come on then big boy....
If you do not respond via my email MATT at GOLFSIDEKICK dot COM within 7 days, I will assume you don't know anything about the handicap system and have no confidence in your assertion. Hope to hear from you soon, Karen.
Running my Youtube channel has shown me it's crystal clear that there are large populations of people who have no idea how the handicap system works.
That's fine but talking about handicaps or other peoples handicaps makes you look like a dummy if you don't know how it works in the first place.
A handicap is just something that we use to play stroke play or match play games against people of differing handicap levels. It is not some reflection of self worth. People get so caught up in the handicap as if being higher than someone else means you're less of a person.
Here's a video of me - a 4 handicapper - and a pro friend of mine. Whether you believe I am a 4 handicapper is up to you. This course was from the back tees, which in general on most courses will increase the course rating by a stroke or two. The slope rating I am unsure of but the slope rating can range from usually around 118 up to crazy difficult courses like Bethpage Black and Pinehurst No 2 over 150. That's tough.
The last 20 rounds you play go toward your handicap. They count your best 8 out of those 20. That is why they say, the handicap system is a measure of your POTENTIAL.
This does not merely mean they count your strokes and minus par and that's your handicap.
The DIFFERENTIAL is the difference between your score and the stroke rating and slope rating for that day on the golf course.
These ratings can change depending on the tee, distance, flag positions, weather conditions, turf conditions...everything. Here's an example of someone shooting a score of 80 six times in a row. Now with only 6 scores, the system counts the 2 best.
But more importantly, note how he shot 80 with different COURSE RATINGS and SLOPE RATINGS. These are measures of difficulty and so the differential ranges from 2.6 to 8.1. He didn't even shoot 2.5 over par once, but that's his handicap index.
The ignorant person would say "he is an 8 handicap". Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Do not assume someone's handicap based on a shot here or there. Don't judge a person's handicap after one round. If you do, you put yourself in the same position to be judged by the very same people.
The thing with a handicap is that because there are 20 scores, and only 8 counting at any one time, the other 12 mean nothing, until you start replacing your scores with higher scores. So it's easier to go DOWN in handicap than it is to go UP.
A scratch handicapper can shoot a 90 or a few scores in the high 80's and it's not going to make a difference to his handicap, because his handicap will be calculated from the 8 best differentials.
Here's a bigger example of a 4 handicap golfer.
The non-ignorant and educated among us would know that only the best 8 differentials here would be counted, and look at that...
Round 2 is a 76 and round 4 is a 75. Yet the 76 counts as lower than the 75. This guy shot 84, 86 and 88 in his 20 scores above. They were not counted toward his handicap though, but I bet the guy playing with this 4 handicapper though "no way he's a 4 handicapper shooting 86". Wrong.
His best scores were 76, 75, 74, 76, 80, 75, 77, 77. An 80 and he's a 4 handicap? Yes because the course rating was 75 and slope rating 140 in Round 18.
The ignorant would add up all these scores (1,586) and then divide that number by 20 and get an answer of 79.3 average...and if you subtract par 72 from 79.3 you get 7.3 - people will say this is a 7 or 8 handicap golfer . Wrong.
Best 8 differentials out of the last 20.
The way pro's hit the ball on television is the top 0.01% of golfers in the world. This is not amateur handicap golf filled with people who work office jobs, trucking jobs, manual labor jobs, and play once or twice a week. Resist the delusion of the PGA Tour that that may be normal in any realm.
Why would you call someone out for having a handicap lower than what you think they should have?
In competitions, they will never win. In matchplay against you, they will never win. Right? So why would it be an issue for you if they claim their handicap is lower? Is your ego in the way? See through the ego and you will see they are cheating themselves and so you should beat them...
The only time you should really make a fuss is when someone claims a handicap much higher than it should be, otherwise known as a sand bagger. These guys use a higher handicap to win in competitions and it's not fair. They should be banned from competitions.
Now that you know how the handicap system works, you can understand that it's merely a measure of someone's potential. It is not an attack on your person or your character to have someone announce their handicap is lower than yours.
The coolest golf headcovers need to be cool but they also need to be top quality. If there's anything that turns me off, it's a low quality gimmick. But what turns me on, is a high quality
Ripping the headcover off the big dog has to fill you with desire and pump before the big tee ball. Pulling off some cheap junk that rips or feels like crap is not allowed here.
The best of the best high quality yet coolest golf headcovers detailed below.
Through my Youtube channel, I've learned a lot about good and bad quality products. Which is why I designed my own headcovers. The stuff I have been sent by some manufacturers was never good enough to make it onto my channel.
At the same time, there are some brands I would love to try out myself. I've listed not only my intensely high quality and cool headcovers in the Waddaplaya range, but also some brands I think would legit fit into any true playas bag. including mine.
New designs for the 2021 season in blue, white and black. These have been sourced by only the finest producer in the world.
I stand behind this product 100% and turned a headcover into something that actually adds something to your round. There is simply no better feeling in golf, and I mean this, as taking this supreme quality sensual headcover off your driver or fairway wood.
It's the start of a great shot. It's the first trigger move that gets you in the zone, and with the soft, silky touch of the inner of the headcover, to the solid stitching and delicious colors, it's frankly impossible to hit a shit shot.
These are produced in batches and sell out fast! Be sure to sign up to be notified of when they arrive in stock on waddaplayagolf.com
I really wanted to do a collaboration with Sandy Golf Co and Mark is a great cheerful chill guy. I love the designs he pumps out. Due to COVID and other unforeseen issues in my own life, I was unable to follow through on the collab but let's hope so in future!
You can contact Mark through Instagram for orders but due to the current situation, production may be slowed or ceased until the crisis lifts.
The rooster is an animal full of color, full of pride and full of BDE. Using this in conjunction with the Kochenbolz golf polo at Waddaplayagolf will guarantee the cockiest round of golf, but you'll need a stick to defend against all the hens trying to get your attention.
One of the coolest golf headcovers on the internet. Loads of color, and the color scheme will complement your Waddaplaya golf headcover perfectly.
This was a design I was looking at creating in the Waddaplaya line for putters. I didn't go with it though because this one is just what I like. The detail is perfect and the quality is superb.
Another design idea I thought would be a great addition. I just couldn't get it to work in my favor and found this to be a decent vintage looking driver headcover.
I like novelty items but I like things I will use for a long time. Waddplaya Golf is the culmination of all my experience with accessories in golf and the solution I created is the best, coolest and highest quality headcovers in the game
Nothing feels like a Mizuno they say. That's somewhat true to this day and it's the reason Mizuno are still some of the most popular irons for mid and high handicap golfers at every golf club in the world.
Mizuno have a wide range of clubs that suit low, mid and high handicappers, but what makes them so good is that no matter which "level" of club you purchase, when you get down to a low handicap, you can still keep playing even their most forgiving clubs without that feeling that you need to upgrade.
It's what makes Mizuno some of the best irons for amateur golfers who want to feel like true playas. Their clubs look stylish and always look like they are for more advanced players than they are.
The Hot Metal range is the forgiving iron, cast and not forged, cavity backs. The elite cavity back and muscle back range is the MP range and they are buttery soft. The in between seems to be the cavity backed JPX range to give you the best of both worlds.
I started using Mizuno irons when I replaced my hand-me-down Spalding cavity backs. I got to about a 7 or 8 handicap with those cast metal cavity backs.
I made the switch to my first ever FORGED club, a Mizuno Pro II muscle back blade. I really had no idea what I was buying back then, but they were second hand and cheap, and looked damn good.
I got down to scratch with those irons. But my point is not that you need to wait that long to move to a forged club or a Mizuno club at all. You can go to Mizuno at any time because there is such a wide range of irons now - not just blades or forged clubs.
Mizuno make cavity backs which will be the most forgiving. They also make a muscle back which is a more forgiving "kind-of" blade. Then they make pure blades which are of course, the clubs more advanced players like to use.
You can even blend sets nowadays to have cavity backs in your long irons and blades or muscle backs in your short irons for precision.
Another thing to consider is how cult like Mizuno is. A lot of people once they go Mizuno, they never play another iron. I've moved onto Srixon myself, but Steve, from my channel has had the same set of Mizunos for 20 years.
He loves his Mizuno set so much that he has a back-up set in case this one gets lost or breaks.
If you like the look of the heads behind the ball, and you can hit the sweet spot, yes. Nothing gives you a better start on your shot than LOVING the look of the club behind the ball. If you love it, the ball will go where you want it.
Keep in mind that Mizuno are not as big on making their lofts much stronger like a lot of manufacturers. You might think you're losing distance, but you're merely using higher loft for the same number iron as your buddies.
I found this out when I started playing again with my Mizuno MP33 irons about 3 years ago. Everyone was hitting 8 iron when I was hitting a 6 or 7. I never realized that the lofts had decreased by 4-6 degrees on any given club!
If your handicap is over 16 and you want to get the dispersion a bit tighter when approaching greens, the Hot Metals are a forgiving and high flying option.
The perimeter weighting hold a toe bias to help increase ball speeds on off center hits, but help to keep the ball online. This is going to be the biggest difference for someone upgrading from an old set of irons to something produced in the last 3-4 years.
Technology in modern irons has optimized lofts and launch angles plus increased ball speeds to assist you in launching the ball higher with less loft, while tightening dispersion of the shots left and right.
The soles of these irons get progressively thicker as your iron gets longer. That is where the irons fall short but for most high handicappers, I suggest a 5 and 4 hybrid or driving iron instead of the longer irons.
Thicker soles on the 4 or 5 iron in this set will be GREAT off the tee, but from a tight fairway, I think most high handicappers will struggle to get it airborne. Keep that in mind as you will more than likely be using the long irons mainly on short par 4's or par 3's anyway. You could go for a set of Mizunos from 6 iron to wedge.
Mizuno Hot Metals are not forged clubs so the feeling is not going to be buttery. This is not really an issue if you're not striking the center of the face as much. The cast Hot Metals will give you that softer feeling on those mishits instead as the perimeter weighting forces more speed into the strike across the face.
The feel of a forged iron is quite different to a cast iron. Cast, deep cavity backed irons are often incredibly forgiving to the point where you may barely notice you mis-hit an iron.
With forged irons, you'll feel it in your hands more when you hit it poorly. But if you, like I did, find that you actually hit the sweet spot well enough, these MMC irons will give you that added consistency in distance control.
This is a tough recommendation but I would suggest if you're a mid handicapper more toward the 9-14 range, this is the club for you. You'll need to have a pretty consistent strike and be comfortable with smaller faces on the clubs.
While the cast irons are always going to be marketed as fast and long clubs with hot club faces, the MP20 style of iron is much softer and more consistent with improved feeling off the club face.
Where you'll notice a MASSIVE difference in performance is around the greens. Your chipping with an MP20 short iron, will be far more consistent than the hot faces of the cavity back, cast clubs. There's much less "spring" off the faces of a forged MP20 MMC.
The Mp20 MMC is labeled as an elite cavity back so it's not like this is a blade iron for only advanced players. It's a step up from the cavity backs and one step behind a muscle back. This is really the best of both worlds and the irons will last you well into the low handicap.
These JPX 850 Forged irons are a great value buy that will be in your bag for years. The reason i put them on this list is because the improvements on the current models, while evident, are not so extreme as to rule out using a prior model iron.
The 850 came before the 900's, the 919's and the 921's. The Forged nature of the clubs mean they are able to be bent to your specs easily. It's the traditional Mizuno shape and feel in a very budget friendly package.
I'm a big fan of purchasing clubs that are 3-4 models old. That's easy to do with Mizuno because you'll squeeze out great performance from any of their iron models going back 30 years.
If you're looking for long, accurate forged irons, these will do well for you.
Look for blended sets where they combine the more advanced irons in the short irons with the easier to hit higher handicap clubs in the long irons.
But if the thought of hitting a long irons sends shivers up your spine, feel free to look into hybrids from 5 iron up and start your set at 6 iron down to pitching wedge. Mizuno also offer the Fli Hi long irons which are supremely easy to hit especially of a tee.
Mizuno is a tough one, but their latest models always come in different skill level irons.
You'll find the Hot Metal range in your category if you're a high handicapper and the MMC ranges in the mid handicap range. You'll find a good balance between the two in the JPX range.
Whatever you choose, with the correct shaft, you'll probably be a fanboy in no time.
Low spinning golf balls are touted to go further because every ball spins backward, regardless of what people say. To become airborne, the ball NEEDS to have backspin.
Too much back spin and the ball goes less distance so inversely, reducing that backspin makes it go further. This is helpful on the drive or the tee shot on par 4 and par 5 holes to get longer off the tee.
On approach shots as well as chip and pitch shots, you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of lower spinning golf balls for YOUR game. If you're comfortable with longer rollout on the greens and more of a chip-and-run style of chipping, you'll enjoy the best low spin golf balls.
If you hit a low ball, you'll get extra run out as well and the ball will run a lot more on the greens. If you hit a high ball, the angle of descent alone will allow the low spinning ball to stop.
Think carefully about the decision to play low spin golf balls, and consider the game beyond just the tee shot.
Surlyn: If you need more distance off the tee and shape the ball a big way left or right, the low spin golf balls may be for you. If you prefer a chip and run style of chipping instead of floating high shots, you'll like a low spinning ball. Perhaps you can roll the ball up to the greens and in that case, your approach game will like less spin - these will be the surlyn covered golf balls.
Urethane: But if you prefer to have some spin around the greens, you'll want a ball that spins more on the wedges and chip shots. These will generally be 3-5 layer golf balls with a urethane cover. The manufacturers have engineered them to the point that they have similar low spin on drivers but significantly more spin on wedges and chip shots.
Didi, on my channel, plays to an 8.6 handicap and plays low spinning 2 piece, surlyn golf balls. That's correct, at an 8.6 handicap, he isn't playing a premium urethane high spinning ball.
His game has developed in a way that he wants more distance off the tee as he hits a fade and prefers the lower spin for more rollout and carry. On his approaches, he is often hitting 7 iron and longer into the greens so he play for the extra rollout.
Around the greens, he plays the chip and run exclusively and that means he never needs a high spin golf ball to rip back because at his swing speed, and ball flight, he can hardly take advantage of the extra spin.
Personally, I can play 2 piece golf balls no problem tee to green. With the spin I can generate with the swing speed, the balls stick where they land. The place where I see a clear difference between the urethane multilayer balls and the 2-piece surlyns, is inside 80 yards on partial shots and around the greens, especially bunker shots and floating chips. The low spin balls don't sit as quickly. So I prefer a low-spin ball with a urethane cover off the tee, but by default, the ball will spin more on irons and wedges because of the urethane cover.
I will show you five surlyn covered golf balls and three urethane covered golf balls that fit into the low spin golf ball concept.
They offer similar performance, but the urethane will be less durable. The covers scratch easily as they are softer than the surlyn. Surlyn balls can last 4 or 5 rounds while a urethane cover can be wrecked after 18 holes.
Surlyn golf balls are made of a one or two piece core covered in a layer of surlyn which is the cover. Urethane balls are made of 2-4 layers on the inside, with a urethane cover to produce some of the highest spinning golf balls.
The Vice Drive ball is specifically targeted at low to mid swing speed golfers, with the soft Energy Speed core. It's a great option for these swing speeds which means a lot fo senior golfers can also benefit from this golf ball in the same category as the all-time favorite Srixon Soft Feel.
The cut-resistant Surlyn cover boosts durability, while wedge spin rates are higher in the latest Drive model for improved control from closer range.
Srixon Soft Feel has been on the market for so many years, it's one of the stalwarts of mid handicap golf. This ball is featured in a lot of places on my website and there is a reason for that. I played this ball all the way down to a single figure handicap and I recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap, good golf ball and is always the first ball I suggest when a mid handicapper wants to break into buying new golf balls.
Tons of colors available and will always be the go-to ball I suggest to most golfers. I would rate this and the Inesis Soft 500 on equal playing field.
The Mizuno RB 566V is a 3 piece golf ball, wrapped in ionomer. A unique 566 dimple pattern which has micro-dimples means there is less drag on the ball for the correct level of spin for your needs.
With the dimple pattern and micro-dimples, the balls launch and descend at a higher angle and makes them more stoppable on the greens. Around the greens, the balls perform well without feeling like they're made of marshmallow or soap. They have a firmer feel but work surprisingly well on the greens with very predictable results which is what you need.
Bridgestone make another 3-piece surlyn golf ball to feature on this list. The e12 Soft is said to reduce sidespin properties which means less dispersion left and right. In the 3 piece surlyn balls, the softer core is not making contact with the cover and in between the core and the cover is now a mantle which is a firmer layer to produce better energy transfer instead of letting the impact all be absorbed by the soft core. This is a recipe for slow golf balls. Not with the e12 soft.
Bridgestone use an Active Acceleration Mantle as an important part of the 3-piece construction. This mantle is made up of a composite material that transfers the power of the shot into the ball and creates a higher initial speed at impact.
Because Bridgestone doesn't rely on the core for the speed, they were able to soften the core to allow for softer response around the greens than most distance golf balls. Remember to separate the spin performance of urethane balls and surlyn balls. This Bridgestone e12 Soft may be a soft and long golf ball with a nice touch, it won't spin as much as a urethane ball.
This ball is for the player who understands their swing and game is not suited to a urethane golf ball.
Wilson DUO ranges of golf balls are extremely popular and before JMac on my channel was a single figure handicap, he only played Wilson DUO's. He's now onto TP5 and Inesis Tour 900 but these Wilsons were his starting point of new golf balls. And the loved them.
The DUO Soft Spin is a low compression ball that spins nicely on approaches and has a nice soapy soft feel on the wedges and putter. It feels like a Tour ball off the face but of course, the spin is much less than that. For the price, there is not much better out there.
A weird sensation is the matte colored golf balls. They are the same as the normal balls but for some reason - maybe placebo - they FEEL like they spin more on chips and approaches, as if the cover grips onto the clubface more.
This is one of my favorite balls despite being much maligned lately by My Golf Spy for the issues with the core. In any one of my videos, I may be playing this ball as it's always in my bag.
A soft inner core slowly gets firmer as we move toward the outer edge. The new urethane covering is called Spin Skin and is supposed to grab onto the grooves of your club like velcro and I agree, i get great spin with this ball. Even at a 4 handicap, I can't tell the difference between these and more expensive premium balls.
The new side stamp is excellent with a solid black line with white font inside so you can align your golf ball to your putting line much easier. The ball has a medium 72 compression.
While faster soft balls are very popular now, In some cases, the lower spin properties of soft balls can compensate for the loss of speed. The flip side is, the lower spin balls do supply much lower spin, which is what we want to often avoid with the iron game.
High speed, high spin players won't worry about lower spinning soft balls because the increase in distance will offset the reduction in spin because they already hit it high and full of spin.
The urethane covered Tour Response also has the firmer mantle like the surlyn balls above. The low compression core covered in a much firmer mantle, means the soft, slow ball, turns into a quick, long ball that sits down thanks to the cover.
That's basically how the Taylormade Tour Response works. On a budget too.
Hit it high, full of spin but want longer tee shots and confident your ball will sit down regardless of the ball? Use the surlyn.
Hit it low, slow speed on the irons? Think about the urethane covered low spin golf balls.
Your chips not stopping? Your pitches rolling through the green? Urethane can help.
Low ball hitter with lots of spin? Ball not rolling out on tee shots? Prefer to hit bump and run shots? Surlyn low spin golf balls are fine for you!
There is a budget category for golf clubs that include the best budget golf driver, but I have a better idea for you.
My idea is that you take a look at the cheaper end, yes. But also the higher end, perhaps a second hand model of a driver that is 4-5 years old. The drivers made in the last 4 or 5 years have no changed much and you can pick up a steal on either a new or used one.
Of course, if you want to spend as little as possible, I have a couple of options in this guide, but if I can give you one piece of advice it's to spend as much as you can afford on your equipment. It does make a massive difference to play premium materials instead of the composites that the budget manufacturers make.
How do I know that? I grew up with not much money to spend on golf clubs and so I always played equipment that was WAY inferior to everyone else. My driver was for the longest time some kind of titanium alloy, Taylormade Burner knockoff. It did not perform as well as stuff made just 3 or 4 years prior.
The Cleveland HB Launcher has a very tall dominating face and setting up to the ball, it looks like a traditional Cleveland. Classic shape and tall face with a massive sweet spot, especially forgiving on toe hits. Used or new, it's a bargain and one of unsung heroes of amateur golf when ti comes to accessibility to good equipment at decent prices.
The club is light and by light, I mean REALLY light. That might not appeal to everyone but it can definitely help pick up an extra couple mph in your swing. If you're hovering around 85 mph, this little beauty can bring you up to 90 mph and give you a few yards more off the tee.
On the crown, the detailing is similar to PING with cool shapes that make the driver look streamlined and powerful over the ball.
The 460CC head can be adjusted to lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees. Whether you swing it fast, slow or medium, you can adjust it to create more height and carry.
Wilson's Launch Pad driver has an ultra-thin face to generate much faster ball speeds for which in turn produces longer carries for more distance. They've expanded the sweet-spot for greater forgiveness but don't think that just because it's a budget golf driver, that it's no good.
Wilson have been around for years, only being overtaken in the modern era similar to Nokia being overtaken by Apple and Samsung. They still make great phones, but people just focused their attention onto the shinier objects. Wilson are always a sleeper pick but currently also produce some of the nicest putters and wedges I have tried.
The best part of these drivers is how SIMPLE they look at address. There is almost nothing on the crown except a little mark to show the center of the face.
The stock shaft is a Project X HZRDS which is a high quality shaft indeed. The shaft really is the powerhouse of the club and these come fit with a very strong engine.
What I've noticed the most about this club is how on toe hits, the ball actually goes AS FAR AS solid strikes which is perfect for someone like me who hits it toward the toe more often.
The face has no fancy graphics on it. The crown is super simple and the sweet spot sends feedback up your arms, knowing you've hit it in the pantie.
Looking down at this club is not distracting at all and the top of the crown makes it easy to line the ball up to the sweet spot and with minimal decal and lines on the face, it looks classic and not full of gimmicks. A real simple point and shoot.
The Epic Flash driver is one of the best Callaway have produced. The Jail Break technology in the crown and head makes it difficult to beat in terms of distance and sweet spot extension.
Callaway put a technology called Flash Face into the driver to help you get more ball speed off the face to gain more distance. In other words, they made a bigger sweet spot on the driver and in the center of the sweet spot, it's even bouncier.
The computers Callaway used cycled through different 15,000 face iterations, learning from each iteration to finally settle on the best option being the technology they call Flash Face.
Jailbreak bars inside the head near the face stiffen and stabilize the crown plus the sole, so when you hit the ball it places the impact load in the right places for more consistent and long ball flight.
You do not need the latest driver if you want to have a nice one. Didi on my channel has recently "upgraded" to this driver because it's 3 models old!
He was using an RBZ driver prior to this and has seen a massive improvement in drives into the wind. The shape is much more penetrating and his big fade is reduced to a small fade.
I do not recommend really cheap drivers because they stunt your enjoyment of the game whether you're a new player or been playing a while. If you're not playing something in the last 4,5 or 6 years, you're missing out on a lot of fun and a lot of enjoyment of the game.
How I know this, is that my sister took up golf only after she realized that she could finally afford decent equipment. When she was young, she couldn't have nice clubs and so she never got into golf because it was so difficult to play the cheaper, less effective clubs we could afford.
It changes your whole outlook on the game when you have a decent driver not just a junky one that is cheap.
You can go for the ultra budget stuff, or you can settle for a new or even USED item from recent years. I would suggest a second hand driver to extract max value on the best budget golf drivers out there.
You want a golf bag to travel with, but every website you find shows you travel bags that go AROUND your golf bag. In THIS article, I'll show you the best golf bags for travel - not the best travel cases for your golf bag.
For travel cases to keep your golf bag safe, you can click here on this guide.
I travel a lot between countries in South East Asia as well as between Asia and South Africa. I've never had a single breakage and 9 out of 10 flights is on a low cost airline. You can use a travel case to put around your clubs, but you can also just use a strong golf bag and learn to pack it effectively for travel.
STRONG BASE AND TOP: The best golf bags for traveling with have a strong top and base of the bag. This is essential so the base is not bent or misshapen from the pressure of other bags being placed on top of it.
When heavy objects are placed on a weak base, the golf bag won't stand and will keep falling over once you retrieve it at baggage reclaim. This is the one thing I have experienced while traveling. No club breakages, but the base of the bag can be warped easily.
LIGHTWEIGHT: We want a bag that will weigh as little as possible, taking into account our other criteria. A set of clubs, I usually calculate at about 10-15 lbs (5-7kg). Depending on your airline, you may need to specially select SPORTING GOODS when purchasing the ticket as part of your luggage allowance. Other airlines include it as part of your overall luggage. So as light as possible is the best bet without sacrificing strength.
FLEXIBLE SIDES: The sides of the bag need to be strong but not brittle. They should be able to adapt in shape and size without setting permanently like that. If a bag is compressed in the middle while traveling, it will create a lopsided bag where the top and bottom of the bag are no longer aligned.
STAND BAG LEGS THAT FASTEN SECURELY WHEN FOLDED IN: Having a stray stand bag leg loose means it will get caught on any number of things as your stuff is thrown around by the beloved baggage handlers. There's nothing quite as fun as arriving at your destination with a stand bag that can't stand anymore because a leg is bent.
I've had these things happen and I've found in my travels, the best golf bags for travel are the cart bags that have twisty, bendy sides, with thick and heavy bases and also, high quality stand bags where the legs fold away easily without poking out.
If you're a walker, and you carry the bag, I've included some strong stand bags for you as well as some budget options for traveling with only.
If you use a cart when you arrive, and you won't be pushing or carrying your golf bag, I've included some great cart bags that are strong and sturdy that you can use every day and not have to pack anything special for your travels.
The Sun mountain C130 has a perfect top of the bag where you can see the handles cover 75% of the entrance to the bag. This will protect your wedges and putter for the trip by blocking impact from other bags.
On the base, the bag is strong and sturdy. It's divided by a 14 way divider to protect clubs from one another. The bag weighs 6.6 lbs and combined with clubs should come to about 18 lbs. keep in mind you want to throw your golf balls, rangefinder, shoes etc into the golf bag too if you have a decent weight limit for the clubs.
The C130 has tons of pockets and storage space for this purpose and is one of the best golf bags for travel.
The Datrek Transit Cart Bag is a little heavier at 7.4 lbs but it includes a handle that retracts just like your hand luggage bag. There are two large roller blade wheels in the base for easy wheeling through the airport.
Traveling with clubs is a pain not because of the fragility, but getting it to and from the car, into the airport and through the scanners, on trolleys that they never fit on. Mission!
Datrek takes care of that mission, making it easy to wheel the bag through the airport, and on the other end, you can wheel it through the clubhouse straight to your cart. Push the handle back in and strap it to the cart - you're ready to go.
13 pockets and 14 way divider seal the deal on this convenient golf bag for traveling.
If you're traveling, you're having a good time where ever you're landing. This bag is not only strong to protect your clubs, but loaded with storage pockets including a cooler pocket to hold a six back of brews.
The Category Fore has a 14 way top with liners all the way to the bottom of the bag. With carbon fiber legs for support, we're not losing this bag to a breakage. They have funky and fun colors and this bag is not just for traveling but can be your every day golf bag for push carts or riding on a buggy.
This bag is waterproof, making it an excellent choice for traveling and when traveling to any climate that may be rainy.
The Izzo Ultra Lite Stand bag is only 3.2 lbs and because the top of the bag only has 4 slots to insert clubs, it makes it easier to bunch them together. In the 14 way divider golf bags, it is a lot harder to bunch clubs together because of all the hardware between the clubs.
The legs fold up well in the Izzo Ultra Lite. But take precautions and have your bag wrapped at the airport with some cellophane wrap to guarantee no stray legs are poking out or things in the pockets get stolen.
The lightweight golf bag is ideal for people who have limited luggage available. If your airline includes your sports equipment as part of your overall baggage and you take this bag with you, you're going to be happy to waste only 3lbs on the bag.
I currently use this golf bag for my golf and travels between countries. The base is very sturdy and reinforced with a flexible twisty body of the bag which doesn't permanently deform.
.I've travelled between Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar with this bag and it stands perfectly unassisted despite being based around on budget airlines. There is ample storage for everything including a large cooler pocket.
I jam this bag and have no problem recommending it whole heartedly. It works fantastically on golf carts as well as push carts. of course, with a single strap, this bag is not designed to be carried for very long but will protect your clubs and be a solid performer.
If I have a short haul flight of 45 minutes or so, I'll take the heads off my fairway and driver woods. I'll turn the shafts upside down and put them butt-end up into the bag.
I'll put the driver and fairway wood head into my carry on and then screw the shaft back into the head when I arrive.
Back to the bag. Your fairway wood and driver shafts are now sticking out the top of your bag, grip end up. You then take your irons and putter and bunch them together around the grip of the wood shafts. Wrap a few shirts and towels around this collection and tape it up with some box or masking tape.
Once you pad your clubs enough, just be sure to leave enough space to put the rain hood one. You can put the rain hood on top and before zipping up the whole mess, you can stuff a few shirts or more clothing items to give it a nice, firm padded feel where the clubs won't move around.
I have had zero breakages remember, and I do this often.
Check out my guide here on the travel cases/travel bags.
But if you are in a rush, here's an option and my current selection. The best part of this solution is that, once you get to the other side, or even when you store it in your house, the bag part folds back into the hard top section. I advice getting a long stick they sell, to keep the top of the bag from being pushed down into your clubs.
Whichever bag you choose, be sure to protect your clubs first and foremost because the airlines don't care. If you don't have your own private insurance on your golf clubs, and any of your stuff breaks, the airline will pay you peanuts.
They'll work out the weight and pay you per weight of the item and your $500 driver will be worth $40 to them. Protect the top of the club the most and combining my method above, with a hard case golf bag travel cover, you're not going to have any breakages!
The Garmin S40 vs S60 debate is a common one when looking for a golf GPS watch. We want accurate info and we don't need extra features that we won't use.
It's a toss-up between features and price. Are the features worth the extra cash? Is the extra cash such a worry long term? What's the reason i'm buying this thing? Is my wife going to still talk to me when it arrives in the mail?
I know, I had the same thoughts before I settled on the Garmin S40 when comparing the two and below, I'll do a comparison review between the Garmin Approach S40 and S60.
The flagship watch for Garmin has been the S40 for a long time.
The Approach S40 has a 1.2” diameter color TOUCHSCREEN display. It's full color and provides distances to the back, middle and front of the greens on the default screen when you're out on the course.
When you first get the watch, you have to set some basic information about the distances you hit so the watch will know what to suggest when tracking your swings. Yep! The watch tracks when you hit the ball via the feedback of the jarring nature of hitting a ball.
By preprogramming your distances, after your shot, the watch will ask which club you hit, trying to match the closest one to your distance you had to the green. This is amazing tech and it's always within 1 club up or down from what i actually hit.
When you play, it will automatically select the course you're closest to via the satellite system, with some other courses listed nearby. You select your course and get going.
You get the option of keeping score and this also tracks fairways, which side of the fairway you missed, if you hit the green, number of putts and penalties.
The watch does not show you the overall layout of the hole, but only the green shape. You can click and drag the pin to wherever it is on the green, using the touch screen on the watch. It provides carry over bunkers, and the distance to the 100, 150, 200 yard layups which is incredibly valuable info.
The watch will last 3 rounds on a full charge as it's never below 75% after one round of use. I have never used it without charging, as I charge it after every round.
The entire watch including the silicone band doesn't weight much and it isn’t very bulky so it won't interfere with your swing. I hate wearing jewellery and it does not bother me one bit while swinging.
You can look back at your performance and stats after the round via the phone app. The watch automatically records your swings, you input the details on the course, and when keeping score, the phone holds the info until you transfer it to the phone using the VERY easy to use app.
The Garmin Approach S60 is the same size as the S40.
But the biggest difference is that the course maps on the S60 Garmin have aerial shots of the holes you're playing. On the S40, you only have a very flat drawing with some arrows to push to get to different readings to those hazards.
The full color aerial view of the holes means you can see the shape of the hole, and you can use the same click and drag with your finger, to move your target point on the map. This allows you to know distances to literally anywhere you want on the given map. You can only do this on the green in the S40 version.
The S60 watch also compensates for slope when considering the distances to your selected areas. There are more features geared toward other sports in the S60 which i didn't really care much about, but maybe you do participate in these and they may be helpful for you.
I use a rangefinder already. I prefer a rangefinder for truly accurate distances. I wanted a watch that would keep track of my club distances automatically and store my scores and stats. I use the front middle and back of the green distances to know how much green I have to work with on approaches. I don't need aerial views of the holes and even the touch and drag nature of the green view isn't important to me. i play off a low handicap and also do not use fitness watches.
If I did not have a rangefinder, and wanted a truly full-function golf watch, I would buy the S60. I would use the aerial view of the holes, and pinpoint distances to things on the course. I knew I wouldn't need these features and I don't like needing to charge things all the time because I forget. The S60 lasts a lot shorter with the battery life in golf mode and I don't want to feel pressured if I forgot to charge it once. I needed low maintenance vibes. If I were a fitness guru, I would also take the S60.
Same size touchscreen
Same in both
S60 kicks ass with this feature
Drag and Drop: on the green
You can move the pin on the green in both models
Drag and Drop: on the hole
S60 lets you choose any target on the hole by dragging on screen
Both last 10 days in smartwatch mode
Auto Detect Shots
Both watches feel when you've hit a shot
'Plays Like' Distance
Both watches feel when you've hit a shot
Stat Tracking in App
Great for keeping track of your stats
No subscription fee
These don't interest me unfortunately. I use this for golf only.
Who is it for??
Golfer with low maintenance needs and wants to track stats and distances of clubs easily. Probably uses a rangefinder already or is a mid handicapper.
Golfer who plays other sports and is into fitness. Prefers to use a GPS device and doesn't own a rangefinder. Will rely heavily on the watch for distances. Probably mid to low handicapper.
The S40 and the S60 are both fantastic - they're just for different people. It depends on what you want it for.
If you're like me and want to keep track of your club distances, and know a few things like distances to 100, 150 and 200 yard layups but at the same time you use a rangefinder, then the S40 is a way better purchase. You can use the basic front, middle and back of the green measurements to get around, especially if you're a double digit handicapper.
The S40 is low maintenance because you only have to charge it every 2-3 rounds and it doesn't have all sorts of other fancy fitness and sports features that you'll never use. Bloat. It was not about the money as I could have afforded either. It was about simplifying my life while adding complications.
I'd recommend the Garmin Approach S60 to the player who wants to exclusively use the GPS watch for their distances. I mean, no rangefinder. If you have a rangefinder, the S60 will just be a higher maintenance stats-tracker.
But if you don't use a rangefinder and want quick reference to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as being able to work out exactly how far it is to specific locations on the course, the S60 is perfect for you. Spend the extra cash that you wouldn't spend on the rangefinder if you are looking for a distance finder. You'll have to keep it fully charged after every round.
Also, if you're a fitness nut as well as a golfer, you'll prefer the S60.
Is the S60 worth the 20-25% higher price?
If you want aerial views of the holes and drag and drop targeting on any area of the course, yes. If you want to track fitness markers and are into that, then yes.
But if you want to use it purely for middle, back and front of green measurements, and track your club distances, and scores, then no, the S40 is a lower maintenance, less charging, easier device. If you own a rangefinder already, and use it a lot, the S40 will not add anything to your life except stats tracking.
Is it uncomfortable to wear and swing?
I do not wear jewellery and I have no problem and don't notice it after the first ever hole of wearing it.
How long does the battery last?
The Garmin S60 will last 30 holes and in smartwatch mode, it will last 10 days. The S40 lasts 54 holes and 10 days in smartwatch mode.
What if you sweat? Won't it destroy the charging port?
That is exactly what I wondered about, and so far after a good 20-30 usages, there is no effect on the charging, despite sweating profusely int eh tropical heat.
How long to charge the battery?
I have never measured, but I just leave it on overnight. Easy life.