New equipment debut: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Christmas came early this year as I put my new set of irons and wedges through a full game practice yesterday and battle tested with a round at Poolsville this morning.  Let’s look at the Good, Bad, and Ugly.The Good Bad and Ugly

The Good:

Most noticeable change with the JPX 825 Pro irons and the H4 hybrid irons is the ability to attack the ball with confidence.  I was able to swing hard and not have to worry about hitting the big push.  I love hitting knock down shots into the wind and pulled off a beauty with the 6-iron from light rough on my third hole today.  Then I played an awesome 3/4 recovery swing from under a tree with the 3-hybrid from about 175 yards on #4.  These clubs hit the ball where you aim them and that is huge for me.

Big plus on the new 50, 54, and 58 degree Cleveland wedges especially around the green.  I hit the 54 and 58 from the practice bunker yesterday and both proved more than capable.  I’m looking forward to controlling distance out of the bunkers by having two go-to clubs.  Today I tried a lower running pitch with the 54 and got plenty of check on the ball.  Previously I would have played that shot with my old 56 and tried to carry it farther which is harder to judge because of the added air time.  Another plus is the crisp contact and straight direction chipping with the JPX 8-iron.  The low leading edge and classic look builds confidence and promotes crisp contact.  I’m absolutely giddy about building a new short shot repertoire with the Cleveland trio.

The bad:

Absolutely no complaints with any of the new equipment.  I will need to get used to the Cleveland 50 on full swings.  I reliably hit my old Cleveland 49 gap wedge 100 yards and the new 50 seemed a little hard to control trajectory and distance reliably.  Again, the sample size was limited to 15 swings on the range and one shot in play today so no worries other than the obvious lack of available practice time with winter fast approaching.

The ugly:

The dirty little secret about good scoring is that it’s set up by good driving and mine is a mess.  Over Thanksgiving and again yesterday, I spent time on the range trying to straighten out my driver and couldn’t.  I was all over the place today and finally pulled three wood on my last five tee shots to keep the ball in play.  The iron club fitting has opened my eyes about playing with properly fit equipment.  Everyone has got swing deficiencies but mine cannot be as bad as the results I was getting with the driver.  To capitalize on these new irons I need to be straighter off the tee and am going to get fit for a driver during the winter and make the purchase before the 2013 season starts.

Final verdict:

The jury is still out on full swing distances and yardage adjustments as one round in moderately cold weather is not enough time to make a judgement.  But playing any golf in December is a big plus 🙂

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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4 Responses to New equipment debut: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

  1. Nice to hear your development program is working out well. December golf here in New Zealand is great, its summer.

  2. Brian Penn says:

    The new equipment is serving as a bit of a teaser heading into the winter months. I guess I need to be patient on this one. Thanks!

  3. I love the comments about the fitting. I’m a huge fan of getting properly fit and the only clubs left in my bag that I haven’t been fit for are my woods. I have had a dozen of my friends go through the same fitting I went through and the one thing that I tell them all is to go into it brand blind. One of them even went so far as to have the fitter tape the backs of the clubs so he wouldn’t know the brand and decide purely on results. I did something similar and ended up buying a set of Adams. Going into the fitting I was positive I would hit the AP1s or AP2s the best. Enjoy the new clubs and looking forward to seeing what driver you add to the bag.

  4. Brian Penn says:

    I’m a bit perplexed about my current driver because I wasn’t hitting it bad in the spring. After i slowed / stopped on the conditioning program, my driving got worse to the point where it is now. Carpenter or tool? I think I’m going to take a lesson with the driver first and determine if it’s me and / or if I’m misfit with the current stick. Then make a decision when fully informed. Thanks!

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