Q: PING i59 irons: Why aren’t staff players gaming these in the bag? Feels like a majority are going towards either,
a) i-series (ex: i230)
b) Older models (ex: S55)
Seems a bit odd that staff aren’t using the “newest technology” that their company has to offer for player’s irons. – @TheColbyWatson
It’s not unusual for PGA TOUR pros to play older models and some brands (PING, for example) are less aggressive than others when it comes to pushing new stuff into their bags.
That helps to explain the older stuff.
With respect to the i59, it’s not something I tend to think of as a true “Tour” iron. The design is more along the lines of a compact, weak-lofted player’s distance iron. To reference another manufacturer’s lineup, it’s more Mizuno Pro 225 than JPX Tour.
While those types of hollow-body constructions have become popular with amateurs of varying skill levels, when they’re found on Tour, it’s typically limited to the longer irons in blended sets.
By contrast, the i-series (currently the i230) is a cavity-back design. While I wouldn’t call it a 1-for-1 with the Titleist T100, it does seem to have carved out a similar niche as an iron that satisfies both the best players in the world and average golfers within the low- to mid-handicap range.
Q: Best affordable ball (less than $40/dozen) similar to Pro V? – PeteyPotter
My first thought whenever I’m asked this question is the Maxfli Tour. It’s frequently on sale for $35 or less. Unfortunately, if you’re not in the U.S., they are hard to get.
Alternatives include Snell balls (though we’ve just started testing the new line) and the VICE urethane lineup (other than the Pro Zero). Generally, when it comes to the value-priced stuff, we tend to favor balls manufactured by Foremost in Taiwan.
I’ll also throw Seed on the list as a might be worth a look. We have samples in for Ball Lab and two Seed balls in our upcoming robot test. It will be our first experience with them but the company certainly has a following, especially in the UK.
Q: Best club to have in the bag for a mid to low handicapper. Driving iron (2-iron), hybrid, 5-wood? – drewy1717
With allowances for the reality that a good bit of this is golfer-dependent, my feeling is too many average to good golfers carry utility irons, way too many still have conventional long irons in the bag, not enough choose hybrids (many better players avoid them like the plague) and, when it comes to lofts around 18 degrees, the fairway wood is still likely the best option.
More compact designs like the COBRA Aerojet LS, for example, still allow for some workability/trajectory control while maintaining some of the forgiveness that nearly every golfer would benefit from.
Why have a harder-to-hit club in the bag if you don’t absolutely need it?
All of that said, I think it makes sense to keep a utility around for windy days and firmer conditions. I took a 5-wood to Bandon once. I won’t do it again.
Q: What would your ultimate putter collaboration be? Mine would be a @labgolfputters with @SikGolf face technology and @SeeMorePutters rifle scope alignment. – @RandallSiedsch1
In the interest of trying to aggravate as many brands as possible and limiting my answer to stuff I’ve played, I’m going to say my current gamer (PXG Battle Ready Blackjack) with the original PING TR grooves.
My hunch is your combination of L.A.B. and SIK would be popular with the MGS staff. I think I’m the last guy who hasn’t played with a L.A.B. putter. The other guys love them.
As a barely related aside, I recently played with a guy who ditched his L.A.B. Directed Force because he got tired of his playing partners making fun of it. He replaced it with a LINK.1 which I suppose is a validation of sorts.
Q: When are you guys getting the new Titleist T Series irons for testing? – @andyGerard100
We (well, Titleist’s release schedule) missed the window for 2023 Most Wanted testing, so we won’t have our full body of data on them for another year.
That’s obviously not ideal for everyone (or anyone) so some of us will be writing up “We Tried It” reviews on the new stuff we were fitted into. They won’t be as data-driven as Most Wanted but that should hold us over.
Be sure to let us know if you’d like to see us do more of that type of write-ups throughout the year.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Takomo 201 irons? – @TaylorSchwanke
Full disclosure: I don’t have any personal hands-on experience with them (and yeah, that’s a 301 pictured above). That said, some of the Takomo stuff has tested well for us and I’d certainly consider them a serious option in the DTC/value space alongside New Level, Sub 70 and, to an extent, PXG (it’s still weird to write that).
Secondhand and anecdotally, we’ve heard that the customer service isn’t always the best but otherwise it’s hard to deny the value proposition. Oh, and they look pretty good too.
Q: Thinking about changing from a blade putter to something else. My stroke has a slight arc. Suggestions?
In general, I support the idea of trying a mallet. I was a longtime blade guy but I’ve come to appreciate the added forgiveness. Beyond that, my advice is always to get fitted. Failing that, I suppose you should try and get one of those new Limited Edition Odyssey Jailbirds. I mean, anything that wins three straight weeks on Tour has to work for absolutely everyone, right?