OT: An unofficial hole in one

I’m testing new irons right now. I was hopeful of going to a Calloway demo today at Big Creek, where I’m a member. It’s washed out. The range is pretty much under an inch of water. The practice tees are fine, but it just wouldn’t be right to make the club workers dig practice balls out of the mud.

Our pro, Todd Dunnaway, is awesome and has put me in different demo 7-irons for the last 10 days. This started when I ventured from the putting green to a PING demo.

I have dumped my old driver (for a Callaway Mavrik), my 3-iron for a Mizuo 19 degree hybrid, and my old PING Anser (vintage 1974) for a Scotty Camron Newport Special.

My idea on stopping by the PING demo was to see if I would like one of their new 3-woods over my Calloway Big Bertha 2-wood that’s 20 years old. Of course, I was delighted to learn that the new stuff was tons better than my old fairway and driving club.

I was about to walk away when the PING rep asked about my irons. I told him I wasn’t changing from my PING Eye-2 that are still considered among the best clubs ever made. Shafts are old, but the heads are still great.

He laughed and said, “So, you are one of those! Bring your 7-iron and let me show you the difference.” He pointed to his Track Man device and so I knew I’d get more than ball flight as feedback.

It was a wow moment. All new irons have been delofted, so you are going to add distance if you compare new 7-iron to your old 7-iron. But this was a lot more dramatic than I expected.

Trajectory was great. Some shafts better than others. Nothing like getting a good fit from a pro who knows your game and the difference in equipment. Todd is that.

I thought he was going to give me deep cavity back forgiving clubs, but he handed me their top end Tour stuff, the same i210 irons the college players are hitting at Arkansas. I crushed them dead straight.

We also figured out that I was ready to go from stiff shaft to regular shaft. The other revelation was that I need 2 degrees upright on irons. My bad shot has been a little heavy and this change eliminated the toe ever hitting the ground early. Oh boy.

I was close to pulling the trigger when my pro mentioned that more Demo days were coming with Calloway, PXG, Mizuno, TaylorMade and maybe more. He also said he had a full chest of all the Mizuo club heads and several of the latest Nippon shafts, including those in his bag.

I perked up on the thought of trying Mizuno. I’ve long felt they were among the best irons made, although my brother Butch insists that TaylorMade Sim2 are outstanding, too. He loves his, but didn’t argue that Mizuno’s irons are probably just as good with huge advancement in ball speed for both.

Tiger played Mizuno irons (with a different name on the back) for many years. They make stellar irons. Great ball speed.

So he rigged up two 7-irons and I hit the course the next day. Couldn’t go to range because it was closed because it was too wet. I played six balls off the tee and the fairway. I played three shots on the par fives. Fixed a lot of ball marks.

I figured out that I hit roughly 130 7-iron shots with five heads, some
Mizuno and some Callaway.

When I got to the 13th, I aced the 160-yard hole with the Mizuno. Can’t count an ace with that many practice shot. Interestingly, Todd was in a cart nearby bringing me some other options from Mizuno. Needless to say, I am ordering the one that I made the ace with, a forged JPX921 performance iron. It’s not the Tour blades. I did hit the three different Tour blades. They were great clubs, but I’m more consistent with the 921.


All my clubs are afflicted with a LOFT problem.

Absolutely love my i700 ping irons. They were not cheap but worth every penny. I hit with loft and distance. I’m 76 years old and hit my irons as far as I ever could.

The dance of a golfer’s life: The joy and excitement of discovering equipment fixes to the problems of your game, the rational inter discussion that price is not that bad and I am worthy of a better game, to be followed by why didn’t I do this sooner and why didn’t my pals tell me about the real improvements. Been there and done that a few times when I played pasture pool on full time basis. Great to hear this again.

I just got fitted with new Ping irons as well…G710 with regular shafts and bit longer than standard. I was reaching over too much at impact and they changed my lie angle. It’s amazing how much difference this all made to ball striking. Golf is fun again bc I’m hitting purer shots that carry like they should.

Good stuff. I loved the line “crushed them dead straight! .then you ordered something else! True golf.

I ordered sim2 woods and Taylor made 770 irons. They haven’t come in yet but I assure you that I am going to keep them if I crush them dead straight.

Time for you to come to Utopia.

Congrats on the Ace! It certainly is a counter for your personally tally!

You’re gonna love the hybrid.

I play 2 degrees upright also… it will make a huge difference since you say you have been digging the toe.

I am thinking about going regular graphite shafts now… swing speed is showing my age :wink: and I tore the muscle on the inside of my right elbow 2 years ago playing. I wear one of those elbow straps now, like Scott McCarron wears on the Champions Tour.

You sound like a kid in a candy store! If I was not working so dang much, I would be fully in for new irons too.

My Cleveland TA2’s are about 25 yrs old, although I still love them.

Got all new clubs a month ago. Was fitted. I could represent one of 4 manufacturers. Told myself I was going to buy club I hit best, that felt best. And was forgiving.

Driver: Taylor Made sim 2 max, more forgiving than my old ping which I thought to be impossible.

3 and 7 wood: new Callaway epic

4 and 5 hybrid: Titleist TSI 2. Hottest hybrids I’ve ever hit.

Irons: Callaway apex , 3 rd set ive had. Different shaft. 1 degree upright

Wedges: titleist volleys. Don’t have as high of spin as my old Callaway but easier to chip with Flat 1 degree

Putter: titleist Cameron Newport ( brand new but stole the club w a trade in.

Almost 67 years of age and love my new clubs

A lot of Greek being spewed here.

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Before taking what I hope is a short leave of absence from golf because of back issues our club pro told me I needed 2 deg upright on my irons (not wedges). It was amazing the difference this made. I went from struggling with distance to hitting my 7 iron consistency 155 yards. My distance (+12 - 15 yds) and direction improved on all my irons. I was 72 yrs old when I had to shut it down.

Does anyone have any ideas to help with arthritis back issues. I have tried most home remedies known to man and taking acetaminophen/codeine (300/30), nothing works. Getting old is not for wimps.

I was scheduled for a procedure (when COVID kicked in gear) where the pain Dr would deaden the nerves in the back, saying it should offer comfort for a year then do it again. Anyone have any experience with this type of procedure?

Your procedure to deaden the nerves will work for awhile and it’s going to give you some more days on the golf. I know two who have done that. Not sure where they got it done, but it worked.

Hoginstein, I crushed all of the new clubs. It’s amazing. the difference between them is trajectory and maybe which way they fall.

I will say that Todd Dunnaway told me they are like my fly rods, probably all of them are good, much better than the 20-year-old stuff. But some fit your eye better. If you like the way they look, there is something to it. Of course, how the ball acts in the air is the most important look. A couple of them fell to the right. A couple went to high. A couple went just right. I liked the look of the blades, but I probably shouldn’t go that direction. I’m almost 67. I figure I’ve had two sets in 50 years. This will be my third and last and should have some qualities of forgiveness.

If the procedure is what I think it is, I used to run the machine that did it while the doctor placed the probes. It can work wonders. It can also not help at all, although I’m sure the technology and technique have improved in the 20 years since I was doing that.


This is exactly why I should be in the market for new irons too. Although my Cleveland’s are not classic blades, they play very close to that. As little as I play and as seldom as I hit that dime-sized sweet spot these days, the more I realize I need to return to something more forgiving. I still carry my old Ping Eye2 4 iron for this very reason.

Confidence in any sport is important. Looking down at your club should make you feel good. You sure don’t want to see something sitting behind the ball that does not look good.

There are some clubs that are supposed to be great that are just plain ugly.

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I’m not one to change clubs often. I bought my Ping Eye 2 Irons in 2003. It was the first time I was fitted. I still love them but realize there are better options now. I have Taylor made woods that are probably 8 years old. But they have stiff shafts. I know those need replacing since I’m about to turn 70. We lived next to our club for years and could just drive over on our cart. Moved into our condo almost 3 years ago. Don’t play often enough to invest a lot in new clubs.

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I bought my current irons when I lived in Tulsa in 1986 or 87. They were okay for my game at the time. Of course I really haven’t used them in 15 years, but since I plan to pick up the game again, some lessons and new clubs are in order. At this point I don’t need anything longer than a 4 wood anyway; I can’t hit it. Maybe after lessons that will change. But I definitely need senior shafts on whatever I get.

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Great article today, Clay.

It may just be me, but I have hit thousands of practice shots and not aced a hole (yet). I would count the bejesus out of that shot! You didn’t ace the others…

Clay you are a fantastic writer. Your Razorback columns are the archive of our era in Razorback history just like your Dad’s were the archive for his era. That said, your off topic columns are your best. This one is no exception. Bravo, one shot shooter!

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The modern equipment has changed the game of golf, and that includes the clubs and the ball. Today’s physically fit players have taken the great equipment and just about made all the great courses obsolete. I think we are just going to have to get used to a guy like Dustin Johnson or Brooks Koepka or Bryson DeChambeau hitting a driver and 7-8 iron on par 5’s and a wedge on par 4s. When small men like Justin Thomas can drive it 320 yard, you know it is over for the guys who don’t bomb the ball. That is why you see a Justin Leonard not even trying to play anymore. He just can’t compete. Golf is a long hitters game, now.

Guys like Kevin Kisner and other short players have to pick their spots on where to compete because these great players don’t hit it far enough to be consistently competitive.

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