Putters


Black or White – Taylormade Raylor Ghost Corza Review

Its true we can all be obsessed about swing speed and distance and how far that little white ball goes. But at the end of it all we need to putt it into a cup on the green and it doesn’t matter what our swing speed is or how far we can hit the ball. It all comes down to the club that accounts for the most strokes in our score, our putter. Of all our clubs in the bag, the putter is probably the one we rely on the most for feel. I know I certainly do. I always hear customers say they want the softest feeling putter, and I have to agree to a certain extent. I like soft but not to the point where I cannot feel the putter and get the feedback I like at impact. Many brands have experimented with all kinds of inserts from all different materials and at some point I felt the inserts may have gotten too soft. A couple of years back, I played the Japan only Corza with RSI insert which was touted as one of the softest inserts TM Japan had ever made. While it was undoubtedly soft, I felt as if I got virtually no feedback at impact, in other words when the ball struck the putter face I felt nothing.  I found this very disadvantageous when it came to control and direction.

Some people certainly like it soft and feel is very subjective, we all perceive feel differently, but for me I want to feel something when putting. So for a while I went to a non insert putter which gave soft feel but crisp feedback as well. When Odyssey released their iX putters for Japan, touting a firmer tour prototype insert, I jumped at the chance to play the ever popular #9 (probably the most popular shape in Japan due to Ryo Ishikawa’s popularity) by getting the White Ice iX #9. The #9 is a beautiful putter, it feels like having a wedge in your hands and its heavy head and offset shaft with L shaped head allow for a smooth arching putter stroke.  I like this putter a lot and the newer firmer insert gives good feedback and the putter is very accurate with a good balance distance and direction control.  However, using an arching stoke can result in a larger margin of error and on the days when your putting stroke and timing are off, this can result in a lot of 3 putts.

This certainly can happen to everyone, myself included so I decided to look for something a little more forgiving and easier to use. Typically mallets or neo-mallets as many of the modern designs are called these days, offer more MOI and more forgiveness and many promote a straight back and forth stroke which can be perceived by some average golfers an easier stroke to replicate on a consistent basis.  So I decided for this season, I’d look for a new mallet or neo-mallet putter to game. With white putters, and clubs for that matter, supposedly all the craze these days, I thought I would give one of TM Japan’s Ghost models a try. This was a good chance to not only try out the white putters alignment but also the new Surlyn Pure Roll insert found in the Raylor Ghost putters.

The Raylor Ghost CO-72 is based on Taylormade’s very popular Corza shape.  Taylormade promotes the Ghost putters with the following features:

– The ‘Golf Ball White’ colour stands out beautifully from the green grass, making it much easier for your eyes to focus on the topline of the putter for ease of alignment.
– The Taylor Made Corza Ghost’s high-MOI mallet head design is extremely stable on off-center hits and feels extremely solid at impact.
– The three alignment lines on the crown not only to help aim the face accurately, but also to frame the ball in the middle of the face, which promotes solid, centre-face contact on every stroke.
– The Pure Roll CNC-milled grooves help to promote forward spin and reduce skid and bounce for superior distance-control and accuracy.
– Each groove is filled with a soft polymer that absorbs unwanted impact vibration and contributes to an extraordinarily satisfying feel at impact.

The new pure roll insert is made of Surlyn a type of resin that can be molded and have its hardness properties controlled.  In the case of the Raylor Ghost the Pure Roll SU insert feels soft but does relay feedback at impact.  The feel for me was in fact very similar to the iX Tour Prototype in the Odyssey #9.  The insert does put pretty good forward roll on the ball. The strongest attribute of the Raylor Ghost though has to be its alignment system. The contrasting Black sight lines on white body make it very easy to align to the hole and to keep this alignment through a back to forward stroke. The Raylor Ghost is very easy to hit straight and is pretty forgiving as its hollow sides allow for weight to be put towards the perimeter of the putter increasing the MOI.

I took the Raylor Ghost CO-72 out for 18 holes on Monday at Katsuura Country Club.  When I arrived at the course I realized I didn’t put my #9 in the bag meaning I’d have to go with the Raylor Ghost no matter how it performed for me. Being used to the #9 and more of an arching putter stroke, I was quite alarmed on the practice greens as I seemed to be pulling all my putts left of the hole.  My stroke was obviously still in arching mode. The first 9 holes was a definite adjustment to the putter and a challenge to straighten out my stroke. I had a 3 putt within the first 3 holes putting the ball again left of the hole and quite a bit past the hole. My Raylor Ghost CO-72 is 33″ and I have to say at this length, the swing weight is too low because the head is too light. When this is the case it can be hard to keep the head online and also develop momentum. Because of this I was forcing the putter along and using too much speed in my stroke which resulted in a pull and over distance.  As the day went on and I got more used to the putter, I focused on keeping the head aligned with the black sight lines and got used to the lighter feel. In my afternoon 9, this resulted in very straight putts including a couple made from 10 feet+ which is usually a trouble area for me.  The lightweight probably is not an issue at 34 or 35″ lengths. I am assuming that unlike Odyssey, TM Japan is using the same head regardless of length meaning that the 33″ model is 6 swing weight points lower than the 34″. This in my mind is a very noticeable difference and certainly noticeable compared to my iX #9 which has a 355g head (TM does not mark or release official head weights).

The bottom line is I will keep this putter. Will I get rid of my #9? At this point I’ll keep both. Choosing a putter is not easy. So many shapes, sizes, technologies, many golfers don’t know where to start and many aren’t even sure what to look for. In the end it may come down to what feels right and sometimes you just have to try a lot of putters to find the right one.  Every player is different and that’s why there are so many choices out there. In conclusion, the Raylor Ghost Corza provides forgiveness and a very easy alignment system. Feel is soft but with feedback and roll is pretty good. My main gripe is the head weight at 33″, I really wish the head was heavier. In the meantime I will have to stick 10g of ugly lead tape on the sole. At the end of the day the putter is a tool you need to use to put the ball in the hole. The Raylor Ghost certainly has the potential to do a good job of that.

Pros:
Contrasting White color and Black sight lines make for easy aligment
Relatively good feeling insert with good forward roll
I like the grip
Forgiving and very straight

Cons:
Some people may just not like white
Head weight is too light for 33″ (probably okay though at 34 and 35″)

The Raylor Ghost has been quite popular and  is available in 3 head shapes, the  Daytona DA-12, Fontana FO-72 and the Corza CO-72 I tested here. You can get them in the TSG Pro Shop .

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TourSpecGolfer’s 2011 Club Setting!

TourSpecGolf.com GolfToImpress.com

It’s my turn to post my most recent WITB “What’s in the Bag” Episode.  First a little info on my game.  I’ve been playing since a child but never really cared about my score until around 10 years ago.  Growing up my father would take me to the driving range and Pearl Country Club in Aiea Hawaii.  My first set of clubs outside of a toddler or borrowed sticks were a set of Tommy Armor 845’s and the Biggest Big Bertha driver.  My last 3 rounds were 81 – 87 – 92, hows that for steady!  The foursome I last played with at Industry Hills golf club in L.A  finished 35 coor’s light’s in a drinking game, It was 41 on the front nine and a complete disaster on the back. I’ve got video that I’m not willing to post.

Ryoma V-Spec Driver

So enough of that, let’s get on to my specs then bag.  My swing speed averages around 100.  I can crank it up to 108 and lose all control. When I swing smooth I slice the ball.  What’s recently been working for me is a happy medium of being aggressive and composed.  A good drive starts to the left and fades to center while a bad drive is a pull or a slice.  I hit the ball medium high and my lowest score was 76 4 years ago.  I don’t hit the ball very far, my averages are  +/- 5-10 yds Driver = 240-250, #3 = 225, 19* UT = 205, 21* UT = 190, #5 = 175, #6 = 165, #7 150, #8 = 135, #9 = 120,  PW = 115, 52* = 95, 58* = 80.  With my irons a bad shot is fat, I have a naturally steep swing that produces nice divots and lots of spin.  As many of you have seen in the video reviews my backswing with woods is rather flat,  My buddies call me Helicopter sometimes,  My irons are level with my right shoulder and my wedge shots have a backswing that’s way too long.

Yururi Wedges

Driver: Ryoma V-Spec 9.5 w/ Muziik BangVoo Premium S-Flex
3 Wood: PRGR Egg Spoon 15* Stock M46 Shaft  (Awaiting Crazy Evolution )
Utility: 19* & 21* 2011 TourStage X-UT w/NS950 Stiff
Irons: 5-PW Yururi KM-0107 Black Forged CB’s w/ Crazy CBI-80 Limited R-Flex
Wedges: Crazy Prototype’s 52/58* w/ Crazy 100 Wedge Shafts
Putter: Odyssey 2-Ball Center Shaft w/370g weight & Muziik Grip

There are a few adjustments I’m making soon.  I plan to introduce a PRGR R35 chipping wedge and  some sort of driving iron  to replace the 5 iron. I’ve got a huge arsenal of clubs to pull from when something is being naughty and can never leave things alone.  I also plan on testing the Yonex, Royal Collection, and Yamaha utility woods head to head against my X-UT’s.  In the future I would also like to try these Crazy shaft’s in the Limited TourStage 905 CB’s.

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TourSpecGirl’s 2011 Club Setting!

TourSpecGolf.com

It’s been a while since I have posted bag pics. It’s also been a long time since I was proud of my club setting.  A little bit about me Jacque aka TourSpecGirl.  I’ve grown up playing the game of golf and Wailua GC on the lovely isle of Kauai in Hawaii will always be my home course. My dad is still a crazed golf fanatic playing a good 4+ rounds per week back at home, my brother loves the sport yet has little time to play since becoming a doctor and my other brother is a manager at TPC Summerlin Vegas.

In the family we also have my uncle David Ishii who has 14 pro wins including JPGA major  under his belt and even won the 1990 U.S PGA Sony Open.   As an adult my passion for the game was reborn just before moving to Japan back in 2001, Chris aka TourSpecGolfer was still new to the game and I loved giving him the beat down.  I still do now days…:)

TourSpecGirl's Club Setting

My previous clubs were a full set of Lepon by Endo 1 thru LW,  it’s the womens version of Epon quite old but still a very forgiving set.    In 2010 we visited Japan and I didn’t bring clubs Tario aka Gocchin was kind enough to lend me his wife Koko’s clubs and she was gaming the PRGR women’s eggs.  I fell in love and had to have them.  Back in late February, Ryoma sent us all drivers and I put it into play at Hirakawa GC a famous Japanese golf course where they hold senior JPGA events.  I loved the Ryoma so much I had to have that exact driver sent to me 11.5 men’s R2 flex which I think is a bit too soft for me as I’m producing too large of a draw at times.

Muziik Golf

Here’s the breakdown of my set, I have space for a couple more clubs to fill the gaps, I’m still deciding what clubs those will be and when I do I will update this blog post:

Driver: Ryoma 11.5* R2 flex
FW: PRGR 17* Egg Spoon ladies flex
FW: PRGR Egg PX-03 #9 Wood
Irons: 6-PW PRGR ladies Egg irons
Wedges: AW+SW PRGR ladies Egg
Putter: Odyssey Marxman 33″ w/ Muziik Grip

I haven’t had an official handicap in years but my last several scores were 84 – 87 -87. I plan to go into the low 80’s be the end of the season.  Below I have a short video Chris (TourSpecGolfer) made that shows my swing during a round a couple months ago in Japan at Hirakawa GC in Chiba.

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Gold’s Factory Reopens after Quake and Launches Trinity Series!

Trinity Series Arc ReactorGold’s Factory stopped all “domestic” orders since the earthquake and tsunami impacted Japan.  April 1st they will resume business as usual within Japan. (international orders were not affected) . Master Sasaya will also be  announcing a completely new series called “The Trinity”.  It’s composed of 3 different models the Arc Reactor, SEAL, and Orbit around G. Interesting names huh.   The Arc-Reactor features colored inserts produced using vibration absorbing aluminum. Usually its done by coloring anodized aluminum but these were done in a translucent material and color.  “The Orbit Around G” design uses a different insert one with the famous circle G inside and 5 holes in orbit,  The SEAL aka bulls eye insert will feature a  bulls eye tungsten style.  Just about every color can be ordered.

Pray For Japan Edition? I  Noticed an ingot produced although nothing much was said about it,  It say’s “PRAY FOR JAPAN” on it and I think it would be an awesome idea to auction off one of these  for charity.  It could be a one of a kind model with the entire proceeds going to a Japan Relief charity.

Would you like to chip toward the expense of the putter?  We can have it produced and then auctioned off on the bay?  I think I could get Master Sasaya to provide it at a charitable price.  If you are interested in taking part of this please email me at [email protected], Any sized donation is appreciated even a dollar and this is a way for all of us to be involved with the creation of a very special one of a kind putter. Sound off in the comments section so I can count those interested, I’ll enroll Master Sasaya then and after making a donation please sound off in the comments section again to help me design it.


New Distribution Program at Tourspecgolf!

Tourspecgolf is proud to introduce their new distribution program for qualifying retailers.  Retailers who have an established golf business, that is selling and building clubs can apply for a retailer account with Tourspecgolf.  We will begin small by offering a handful of brands like Crazy and Quadra shafts, Yururi, Geotech, Kenmochi, Muziik/Bangvoo.  Hopefully this can grow to encompass more mainstream brands as well.

If you think you can sell high end Japan market golf gear and currently run a golf shop and/or club making business, please email me at gocchin @ tourspecgolf.com (without the spaces) and I will provide you with information on how the wholesale program works. I’ll also ask for background  information/qualifications from interested parties so that Tourspecgolfer/Chris approve each account.

It’s our goal to make top notch JDM gear available worldwide and through a larger network and distribution channel more golfers globally can get exposed to and have access to cool Japanese golf gear. We look forward to those interested in joining TSGDN, the Tourspecgolf Distribution Network!



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