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April 22, 2013
I am looking for a new driver, so I spent the afternoon at Carl's Golfland in Plymouth Michigan today.
I initially went to the store with a Ping I20 in mind, because I am not a big fan of all of the adjustable gadgetry the new clubs are pushing. My concern is that all of these bolts, screws, and weights will fall off in the middle of a round and won't have my toolbox with me along with replacement parts!
I recall a few years back that actually happened to a guy I played with - he lost a weight a few holes in, and it screwed him up for a few days until a replacement came in the mail.
Going to Carl's, I didn't necessarily have my heart set on a Ping club. I am currently hitting an old Callaway Fusion with a head that I think is around 440cc's, and a loft of 8.5 degrees. I have a stiff 65 G shaft, and it's 45" long. When I bought that from Edwin Watts in Orlando seven years ago, I think I was down to the Ping G10 at that time, or the Callaway. I went with the Callaway because it came with a 3-wood for free. By the way, that 3-wood is the best club I've ever owned in my 44 years. You can't have it. There is no amount of money that I'd sell it for.
But back to the Ping Anser. As I said, I didn't want a gadgety club, and I wanted to take advantage of the new technology.
The guy at Carl's gave me two I-20's - one with the Project X shaft and the other with the Standard Ping stiff shaft. Before I walked out to the range, he pleaded with me to try the Anser, the G25, and the Taylor Made R1 in a variety of shafts, but I wanted nothing higher than a 9.5 degree loft. So I walked out with a handful of drivers and a bucket of balls.
First, I hit the I-20 with the ProjectX shaft because I saw some English dude raving about it on YouTube. I hit four straight duck-hooks. So I tried the standard stiff shaft and drilled four straight that carried about 260 yards. I was pumped up - thinkng that my initial pick was right! I'm 44 and that's been about the standard carry I've been used to for many years now.
However, that's where things changed.
Next, I tried the adjustable Anser with a "diamante whiteboard shaft". I think it was a 70 gram 45"+ shaft, the club was 9.5 degrees which I was skeptical about. Teed up the ball and swung. HO...LEE...CRAP! The ball flew high and carried easily 280 yards....That was 20 yards of noticeable carry. The guy from Carl's actually remarked "THAT's the one!". It was smooth. I hit four more and tried to hook and slice it.....I could hook it a little, but could not work the ball to the right. If there is one complaint I have it is that.
I tried the G-25 and could not get that club dialed in. I had five swings...All were terrible....Put it down and tried the Taylor Made R-1.
The thing looks terrible at address compared to the R11. I don't know what Taylor Made was thinking. The results though were ridiculous. I absolutely crushed that club. Again the 9.5 setup with a "Rip" shaft. I have to do more research on what that was. The guy said "Oh Man!" six straight swings.
I then asked what else they've got. I tried a Callaway Razr Fit Xtreme, a Titleist D913, and the Adams club with the white-ish head. As a current callaway owner, I have to say I was disappointed. I almost bought a Razr Hawk last year (2012) but just didn't pull the trigger. Perhaps I missed that one, but this new Xtreme looked, felt, and hit terribly. Same with the D913. At that point it could have been because I was getting tired, but I couldn't get those three clubs to do anything.
I told the guy to get me a few more golf balls and let me try the Anser again. He did and I kept on swinging. The Anser hit flawlessly again! Carrying farther than I've ever hit before. I don't get it, but the results were crazy. The loft angle was very high. The reason I didn't want a 9.5-degree driver. But according to the sales guy, there is much less spin off the faces now, so he claims i WANT to go back to the higher lauch angle. Makes sense. I went with an 7-dgree many years ago because the 9.5's put so much spin on the ball that they wouldn't get any roll. In Michigan there are so many clay-fairways that you don't get a lot of roll, so you need every advantage you can get.
After today, I am down to the Ping Anser and the Taylor Made R-1.
The thing about the R-1 is that I think anyone can hit it. I could NOT hook it, or fade it intentionally just like the Anser. I'm not sure that's a good thing. I've always prided myself on my (limited) abilities to hook and fade whenever I need to. One other thing about the R-1. The clubs I was hitting were Demo clubs. The R-1 has a goofy dial on the bottom of it. ALLLLL of the dials on these Demo clubs were scratched up. I can just imagine in a few years how scratched up this will get. Most of us want to buy a club that will last more than a couple of years. With all of the gadgetry, I'm not a believer that these clubs have a longevity factor, but the short term results were just too amazing.
At address, the Ping Anser just look like it's going to kill it. And it does. In a nutshell, I was shocked. I still can't get over the difference in the results.
Before I pull the trigger, I'm going to get checked out on their video & shot tracker at a different store....I'll let you know what I choose, but I'm going to be hard-pressed to be swayed away from the Anser!
August 7, 2012
Can't wait to give this big boy a try!