Showing posts with label bob novotney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bob novotney. Show all posts

Friday, August 20, 2021

New Clubs!


Well, I went and did it! Back in  May of this year, I bought a new set of irons. The new irons were not bought out of need - they were bought more out of curiosity with a bit of desire for something new and different. I must say that I am pleasantly surprised with how much I truly like the new iron set, especially since they didn't set me back a ton of money. This fact kept me out of the dog house with the spousal unit as well!

So what did I buy? 

After reading a bunch of reviews and examining the cost of new irons, I discovered a little company called "Sub 70." Through my investigation of the company, they were reported to be building custom-fitted clubs that were selling at about half the cost of the name-brand companies, with great performance. Everything I watched and read stoked my curiosity... Since I had just sold my old muscle-back (MBs) irons, I thought this just might be a place to find a replacement set at a reasonable price. 

The model I selected was the 639 MB/CB Black combo set which allows you to select how far into the set you want to play MBs before transitioning into a more forgiving cavity-back (CB). I chose to go Pitching Wedge through 7 iron in the MBs and 6 through 4 iron in the CBs (more on what I'd do differently in just a bit). 

Since I am not exactly a spring chicken anymore, I decided to change a couple things in my specs. I chose to go with a regular shaft for stiffness with a different kick point as well. The shafts on my new clubs are the "KBS Tour V-90." I have got to tell you, I love these shafts for a couple different reasons: First off, they are produced up in Boulder, Colorado (a somewhat local company), and second, they are light and feel amazing. I actually picked up a couple of miles per hour in clubhead speed with this transition. Everything else stayed pretty much the same with my spec - plus 1/2 inch in shaft length and plus 2 degrees upright. I told you Sub 70 customizes to customer's wants, needs, and desires! They even have a demo program if you want to try them out before buying. I kind of wish I had demoed the set before buying them, but I just went with what I knew and trusted that I would like the results (more on this in a bit...). 

I ordered the clubs in black because they just look so great in black! I have never owned a set of black irons and this was a great opportunity to right the ship on that account. The MBs are absolutely stunning in black! The CBs look great as well, but they are not my favorite part of the set, and here comes what I wanted to discuss about what I would have done differently... but before I go there, let me tell you about the ordering process and customer service.

It could not have been any easier to order a set of golf clubs. If you know your fitting specs, just log into Sub 70s website, read through their list of clubs to find the type and style of club you like to play. Once you have made this decision select the shafts and grips that you want and place your order. Bam, you are done! Mine delivered in about 21 days! One more comment on the ordering process... If you think you need help with something, definitely call Sub 70's customer support, they are more than happy to put you in the right club for your game, with the right fit. 

Ok, here it comes... What I would have done differently and why? 

Let me start by saying this - This is a great set of irons! They actually feel as good and approach exceeding my old set of Mizuno irons. The 639s are forged irons and this should be expected of forged irons. What I really like about the set is the PW thru 7 iron MBs. They are workable, forgiving for an MB, and they are long. The MBs gap perfectly at 10 to 15 yards between clubs and I couldn't be happier with this portion of the set. The CBs are a bit different for me and my game... The gap between my 7 iron and 6 iron (the transition from MB to CB) turns out to be a bit different, more like 15 to 20+ yards with the occasional explosive - "Where did that come from shot?" The CBs are hot, to say the least!

Additionally, the CBs are a bit bigger than the MBs. If you are a CB player and you like a bit larger head in your irons, these will fit the bill. To me, they remind me of an oversized Taylormade 300 from the early 2000s. A club that I loved because of the scale of the clubhead size (smaller). In retrospect, I wish I had demoed the CBs before going with the combo set... I think I overthought where I was in my game, thinking that I was getting a bit older and could use the help of the CB. I really am an MB player and should probably stick with that style of iron. Yes, while the Sub 70 CB iron is a great club, if I had it to do all over again, I would have just ordered the 639 MB set through 4 iron. 

Now, for the final thing I would have done differently... I would not have ordered the clubs in black! The black is not wearing well. My go-to iron, the 7 iron is beginning to look a bit tattered after five months of play. While the black finish is awesome at first, you'll find that scuffs and face marks become noticeable fairly quickly. While the finish deterioration is a fact of life, the clubs still perform fantastically!  You could do a lot worse than buy a set of Sub 70 irons! And pay a lot more for them as well! I'm keeping mine! However, I probably will be putting in an order for the 6 thru 4 iron in the MB soon to replace the CBs. 

To sum up my experience... I would highly recommend that you give Sub 70 a look if you are in the market for a great set of clubs that won't set you back a ton of money! Use their demo program to get things correct, and have no buyer's remorse - You will be getting a great playable set of irons! Ciao!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Trust But Verify


Ok, here's a funny story for you...

Every new golf season I take my own advice and get the loft and lies checked on my forged Mizuno irons. Like clockwork! Well, this year was no exception only this year has a twist. 

After having my lofts and lies done I began playing fairly regularly. I noticed that I began to pull hook the ball or I would end up hitting the ball out of the toe that went nowhere! It wasn't every shot but on occasion, this was definitely occurring. I started thinking that maybe during the long layoff I had from the game over the winter, I just needed more practice or a tune-up lesson from the local pro. And indeed I did begin a more regimented practice routine to fix the problem. I even had the local pro take a look at my delivery, which was of no help! 

During my third round of league play, everything seemed to be going great. I was on track to shoot par when on two back-to-back holes I managed to find the club's toe. I'm talking toe when I say toe! Two shots that went straight down the middle of the fairway and very short of my intended target. I looked over at one of my playing partners on the second occurrence and asked if I did something different in my swing. He said no, but when was the last time I had my forged iron's loft and lies checked. I told him about three weeks ago. He said really? How were you hitting your clubs before you got them re-lofted? Straight down the middle with a slight draw was my response. Hum, is all he said in response. This definitely got me thinking about what was done to my clubs in the Pro Shop. 

Now here's the twist... 

I took my clubs to a trusted friend that happens to work in the golf department at Dick's Sporting Goods. I told him what was happening with the toe strikes and also told him that I had just had my clubs checked to be two degrees up, which is my spec. When we got the clubs on the machine and started measuring them, to my surprise, every club was two degrees flat. When I went in to get my clubs adjusted the last time I just dropped them off and then went in and picked them up afterward. I thought I was in good hands with the Pro Shop Wrench. Big mistake! I didn't ask any questions. I didn't go to the range to test them out. I just trusted that the guy would perform the task as required. Never again! I chalk this up as my mistake! 

The moral of this story is as the title of the post suggests - "Trust But Verify" that you are getting what you requested done to your clubs. Don't take for granted that the guy who's been repairing clubs for forty years always gets it right. People have been known to make mistakes no matter what their level of proficiency is. I'm sure he made a simple mistake when he read the service order. This is another lesson learned in my golf adventures. Next time I'll definitely make sure that what I requested to have done is done correctly. After spending money and time figuring all this out, my clubs are in great shape for the new season. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Purchased With Skepticism - My New Launch Monitor

 Well, I finally did it! I bought myself a new launch monitor. The reason is simple, I needed something to train with. It seems that the old swing has been slowing down a bit. I've noticed that I've been losing a bit of distance lately and I needed a way to monitor a couple things like swing speed, ball speed, distance info, and smash factor (swing efficiency). 

I know the things that I listed are fairly basic but if you don't have access to a home simulator or GC Quad, these are the basic bits of information you need to work on improving your game. The other factor for my buying the device I bought, with just the basics, is the old home front budget. I don't think the spousal unit would be up for me spending thousands of dollars on a simulator or a very expensive launch monitor. 

After reading several reviews and pricing out different devices, I came across just what I was looking for... for the best price I could find. What I settled on was the PRGR Portable Launch Monitor. It sells for under 200 dollars! I got a really great price, well below the number I just mentioned through my search efforts. Drop me a line and I'll tell you where I got it. 

Now, I can't tell you how happy I am with the PRGR. It does exactly what I was hoping it would do and it does it very well with a couple of exceptions. The exceptions are minor but they do exist. While hitting into my home net, to get an accurate distance measurement I find I must be hitting at least 10 to 15 feet from the net. I don't know why, but that is the way it works. The other glaring shortcoming of the device is on the short end of the bag. It does not cope well with full wedge shorts. I don't know if it has to do with launch angles or what but it just doesn't cope well with full wedge shots. Other than these two items, I can't say anything truly bad about the device. It does what it was built to do and does it very well. 

One of the things I like most about the devices is that it is compact, lightweight, and it fits nicely in my golf bag or my pants pocket. It's about the size of my iPhone SE which is very compact. Another thing I like about the PRGR is the fact that I don't need to be hitting golf balls to work on my swing speed. It reads the speed of the clubface using Doppler radar and provides the actual speed of the club. I find this to be very cool and convenient!  I can work on swing speed without ever reaching for a golf ball. 

The PRGR is not just a one-trick pony. You can use it to provide speed measurement for sports other than golf. It has a baseball mode as well. You can measure the speed of a baseball bat, a pitch, or even the speed of a soccer ball if you like. For my purposes though, I think it will be primarily for golf, but you never know! 

To sum things up, if you are looking for a portable launch monitor that you can take with you to the course, the practice range, or your home training net - I highly recommend you give the PRGR a try! For the price, you just can't beat it! Thanks and happy fairways! 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

An Affordable Laser Range Finder


Well, I finally found what I was looking for - An affordable golf laser range finder and I think I've fallen in love with it! I've always relied on GPS data from the likes of Golfshot and Garmen to give me my yardages. However, I've always admired the range finders that my playing partners were using, along with the fact they could nail down yardages a bit more precise than my GPS device. The biggest drawback in my acquiring a range finder is the fact that I had already invested in GPS and that they appeared to be a bit pricy for my liking. So, I went on a search for a highly recommended device at an affordable price for under $150 US. To my amazement, I found what I was looking for, a simple yet very highly rated device.

During my search, I shopped just about all the big box stores and almost pulled the trigger at a couple of them, to buy what they had, but I was on a quest. I was on a quest to find the best laser range finder I could get that had great reviews as well as a couple of features that I felt I couldn't live without. Let me explain...

I needed something with a minimum of 4x magnification and stabilization. Since I tend to play golf in any kind of weather and any time of the year, I needed it to be water-resistant and have vibration control, especially for those cold days that I'm freezing with hypothermia and shaking all over the place. I didn't care if it displayed slop or not because I think most golfers, or at least, I can tell if I'm dealing with any slope, the degree well that's another matter. I simply add or subtract a couple yards using the TLAR method (that looks about right!) when dealing with slope. As long as I know the front, back, and middle distances I feel fairly comfortable. 

Here's what I found:

  • A premium product, measuring up to 650 yards.
  • Premium, ultra-clear, easy read, through the lens display with distance and low battery indicator, and continuous measurement mode for fast and convenient measurements.
  • Lightweight, portable, and durable, weighing just 1lb with a rain-resistant, durable body, perfect for carrying while golfing or hunting or for measuring and surveying without extra weight or bulk.
  • Full package, Complete rangefinder package for quick setup, including premium carrying pouch, wrist strap, microfiber cleaning cloth, and an additional magnetic strap to attach to any buggy, and an easy-to-read quick start guide. Note: uses two AAA batteries that you can get easily at any shopping center.
  • Two years VIP warranty and lifetime customer support
  • I found nothing but positive reviews on the device.

Below is a picture of the device:

DNC Golf Laser Rangefinder, 6X Magnification, 650 Yards, Target Lock, Continuous Scan,Vibration Alert, Noise Filtration, IPX5 Water Resistance

Since acquiring my range finder I have used it on multiple outings and I'm very happy to say, it works great! I verified all my measurements the first couple of times out by comparing them with GPS data. It seems to be tight! The thing I like best about the device is its size and the way it feels in the hand. I love the adjustable viewfinder which allows me to correct for my vision, as do I wear glasses. All in all, I would rate this little device very high, especially for the price. Oh yes, the price, I haven't told you what I paid for it have I? Well standby, and don't fall over! I paid $69.99 for it over on Amazon. 

If you are looking for a nice very affordable laser range finder to help you improve your golfing performance, you need not look any further than the DNC Golf Laser Rangefinder. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Make Your Clubs Feel New Again!

Since my last trip to the golf course, the weather has been rather cold and snowy. With not much to do because of Covid, one spends a great deal of time online visiting club reviews and researching new equipment. There sure is a lot of eye candy out there! 

Well, I keep my clubs back in our home office... I just appreciate having them around. The old blades are starting to look a little tattered with the worn grips from hours of time at the practice range and my net setup outback. Even my newer set of clubs are starting to look a little tired. And yes, I started thinking about replacing one or the other set of clubs, all because they aren't new any longer. They still perform well however and I think I was just looking at all the nice neat new stuff! Not because any new equipment is really going to improve my game much. So, I got to thinking about why I was even looking at new equipment. "Isn't there something I could do to make the equipment that I currently own new and exciting again?" The answer is certainly yes... So I began a quest to make my old stuff look and feel new again! 

The first thing I did was give all of my clubs a thorough cleaning. I'm not talking about setting my clubs in a bucket of water and hoping they come clean. I'm talking toothbrush clean! This gave me a chance to really examine my clubs up close and personal to make sure every grove looks its best and is its sharpest. I even polished them for the first time in some time. Then I set them aside for a day or two... Mistake. I went right back to club reviews... 

This time however I started watching reviews on club refreshing, including grip maintenance and replacement. Grip replacement is something I use to do religiously! Yearly as a matter of fact. Easy enough, I ordered new grips, not just any grips, grips that I had wished I'd bought when I originally ordered my clubs and never had put on even with other grip changes (I'm a bit cheap at times I guess). I've always loved cords and that's what I ordered. 

It took a better part of a week for the new grips to get here and this gave me a chance to get all my regripping equipment put together, including a new hook-bladed razor knife for cutting the grips off my clubs Be careful with razors my mother use to tell me! There's a story here that I might share in a moment... 

The day the new grips arrived was like Christmas! Twenty-six new grips, a thirty pack of grip tapes, and some solvent - what more could a boy ask for! Now it's been a while since I've done my own regripping, done lots in the past but it's been a while. I still have my technique and everything, but it's been a while... and my new hook-bladed razor knife, well it's new. The last thing my wife said to me before I got started was and quote "Bob, you should wear gloves while working with that knife!", to which I totally ignored. Bad mistake, I should have listened. With the first cut to remove the first grip, I managed to slice my finger to the bone. I totally don't know how my finger got in the way of that knife? Anyway, the next thing I did was to humbly run into my wife's women's cave with my hand spewing blood and politely asked if she could help me out with a couple bandaids!

The moral of the story is - always listen to your wife and, always wear gloves when cutting off grips!

Once I got patched up, I continued and think I regrip every club we own. Yes, including the wife's clubs and yes, with a sliced-up finger. 

So, where was I? Oh yes, making my clubs feel fresh and new again... I can honestly say that all the work and enjoyment of refreshing my golf clubs have worked in giving me a fresh opinion of the equipment I already own. I don't think either set of my clubs is going anywhere except the golf course for some time to come. The look and feel of my equipment are great. I saved a ton of money and appreciate what I already have more than ever. Until next time... Don't attempt to cut your finger off and try a refresh instead of giving in to that urge to buy new equipment.