Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What's in the bag? What's your handicap?

So, I have had a few questions emailed to me and thought I would answer them in one post.  First, I am currently a 16 handicap. When I started playing again on March 29, 2013, after nearly two years away from the game, my handicap was right around a 22. I am proud of the accomplishment of dropping 6 full strokes on my handicap in 9 months. Lessons from Golftec Training Center have certainly helped.Also, playing 81 rounds of golf from March to December also helped a good deal. There is nothing like real experiences and situations on the course. Oh, and I was away from golf for almost two years due to some injuries to my back, knees and ankles that I sustained when I was a police officer and detective. I needed to let those heal properly and forced myself to take a 22 month break.

As for what's in my bag, mostly what I hear called "game improvement" equipment. I am not shy about the fact that I am not the greatest golfer out there. Realistically, I feel I am average at best.  But, the golf gods keep rewarding me with at least one memorable, very good shot every round I play. This keeps the passion burning that the next round I will have two or three of those kind of shots. 

My driver is my least favorite club in my bag currently. It is a Nike Covert VRS Driver. I bought it back in March when I got back into the game, to upgrade from my old Ping G10. I got pulled into the sales pitch of "you can adjust it 10 different ways to Sunday" spiel and so I bought it. I hit it just as far as the Ping G25, but I let the salesman talk me into buying the Nike. I kind of regret that decision now and am watching eBay to try to find a discounted Ping G25 or possibly a Callaway X2 Hot. I have hit both drivers at the pro shop and like both. I do want to try out Titleist 913 D2 and the new Ping i25 Driver before I make a final decision on what will replace the Nike.

One smart thing I did when I got back into the game in March was to get fitted at Puetz Golf Superstore here in Seattle. They have a phenomenal range and fitting system, as well as a huge selection of just about every piece of golf equipment and clothing you could ever want. I highly suggest checking it out if you are in the Seattle area. I had previously had Ping G10s with a yellow dot, but when I took them to my first round back at Flinders Golf Club in Australia, it just didn't feel like I was hitting them well. At my fitting, we narrowed down the irons to Ping G25 Irons and Mizuno JPX-825. I really liked both sets of irons, but I have been playing Pings for as long as I can remember, so I went with what I was comfortable with.  It's a good thing I was fitted also because my color code had changed from yellow dot to green. 

I also was fitted for and purchased Ping K15 Fariway Woods and Ping G25 20 and 23 degree Hybrids. I grew tired of the high loft of the K15 fairway woods and have since sold them. I have replaced them with a Ping Anser 3W and a Ping G25 5W.

One thing I noticed over the next few months and 20 or so rounds was that I have lost some distance. I believe it is due to several factors including age, lingering mental stuff with my injuries, and an extra 15 pounds. I am working to get rid of the extra weight. The more I play, the more comfortable I am with the fact I am not going to re injure anything again. The age, well, I guess I am stuck with it :-)   I have also decided my golf ball of choice is the Bridgestone e7 ballThey have a nice feel and they do help add a little extra distance to all my shots than what I was getting from other balls I have tried.

I also found I REALLY liked the feel of my hybrids so took out my 5 and 6 irons and put in a 27 and 31 degree hybrid.

During my fitting, we also decided on the normal Ping G25 wedges, except for the SW. It is a Ping Tour Gorge 54 degree Wedge.  I liked the Tour Gorge so much, I have since sold off my other wedges and replaced them all with the Ping Tour Gorge set. 

After 80 rounds and much improvement in my game, and since I only was using the 7, 8 and 9 iron from the Ping G25 set, I decided to sell the irons as a set.  I like the look of the Ping i25 Irons so will be putting the 7, 8 and 9 irons from that set into my bag.

Finally, to round out my bag, I purchased the Odyssey White Ice Sabertooth Putter. I have always preferred a mallet to a blade putter because it is easier for me to align.  The Odyssey was great for the 80 rounds I played in 2013, but about a month ago, while killing time in a local proshop, I tested a few Scotty Cameron Putters and absolutely fell in love with them. But man are they expensive. I got lucky with eBay just this past week and was able to pick up a store display test model of the Titleist Scotty Cameron Select GoLo S5 for $150! It has a few dings on the top, and slight paint wear from normal use from in-store demos, but it still rolls the ball very nicely and there doesn't appear to be any diminished performance.I am excited to get out on the course with the new putter.

So, going into 2014 and the real start of this quest to play the top 100 courses in the World and in the U.S., my bag is made up with the following:

Ping G25 Driver (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 5 shaft)
Ping G25 3W (Graphite Design G-Series Silver 60 R)
Ping G25 20* Hybrid (Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 75g shaft)
Ping G25 23* Hybrid (Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 75g shaft)
Ping G25 27* Hybrid (Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 75g shaft)
Ping G25 31* Hybrid (Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 75g shaft)
Ping i25 7 iron
Ping i25 8 iron
Ping i25 9 iron
Ping Tour Gorge 47* Wedge
Ping Tour Gorge 52* Wedge
Ping Tour Gorge 54* Wedge 
Ping Tour Gorge 56* Wedge
Ping Tour Gorge 60* Wedge
Titleist Scotty Cameron Select GoLo 5

(I either choose 3 or 4 of the wedges for each round depending on weather and the course).


  1. New Driver and new 3W secured. I will be shifting my putter to a heel mounted GoLo 5 and trading in the GoLo S5. I do not like center mounted putters.

  2. The G25 driver has now been replaced with a G30 driver. I am much, more happy with it.