Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Vokeys in my bag!

For my 22nd birthday, I got the best birthday present ever.  My college friends and golfing buddies got me two barely used Taylormade Rac wedges.  They were black, a 54 degree and a 60 degree wedge.  And I loved them.  I still feel that adding those two clubs to my bag changed my game more than any new club, lesson, or intense practice session ever has.

But, after five years of faithul service, they have retired to my closet.

Why? Last week I won a bet, against my old man.  At stake were two brand spankin new wedges of choice.

I had been in the market for about 6 months and had narrowed the choices down... a bit.  Under consideration were:  Taylormade xFT (the exchangable face wedge), Cleveland CG 15, Mizuno MPT-10, and the gun metal Vokeys.

I spent about an hour at my my local Golf Galaxy and hit each of the wedges.  Mostly I was just trying to get a feel for the club-- so I was seeing how various chips, pitches, lobs, and full shots felt off the club.  Given more time and resources it would have been ideal to take a wedge or two out on a course, but as a true blue amateur I didnt have that luxury.

After hitting about twenty shots with each I eliminated the Taylormade and the Mizuno.  The Mizuno was just too small.  Although I am confident in my short game, standing over the club I kept thinking, "man thats a small head." I assumed that I didnt want to think that every time I have to hit a flop shot from a tight lie, so I put it back on the shelf.  As for the Taylormade, even as a "Taylormade guy" coming from Taylormade wedges, I just didn't like the way the xFT felt.  I thought it was a little dead in the face, and that the feedback that I got from my old RAC's just wasnt there.  It killed me a little to turn my back on my company, but too much was at stake...

So the CG15 vs. the Vokey.  There has been significant buzz about the CG15 and its "laser milled" grooves, but Vokey has been a staple in pros bags for years.  A classic case of the new thing vs. the traditional. 

I hit 60 or 70 balls with each and both felt excellent and produced more spin (as judged by the machine at the store) than my old wedges, and I felt like I could really get the desired ball flight with both clubs.

So really it came down to the two most basic questions: how does it feel, and how does it look?

The Vokey had a bit larger profile, it looked like it had more forgiveness in the hitting area, and I preferred the gun metal color to the black CG15 look.  Advantage Vokey.

For feel, the Vokey was a bit heavier, and the blade was a bit thicker.  This muted the feed back a little, but on mishits it seemed a bit more forgiving.  Advantage Vokey. 

So there we had it folks, there are now two new Vokeys in my bag.  A 60 degree lob wedge and a 56 degree sand wedge. 
The decision to move from a 54 degree to a 56 degree was a concious one.  There had just been too many times when I couldnt take enough off of my 54 degree wedge to hit that dead-on 100 yard shot that comes up so often.  It was more like a 110 yard club which I was forced to hit 100 yards more often than 110 yards.  So with the two extra degrees loft, 100 yards is my wheelhouse and I can jump on the ball if I need the extra yards.

So far the clubs have played great.  I've notice the additional spin more on chip shots than anything else.  they all of a sudden check up, and I've left four of five chips well short of my target for this reason.  But not to worry, I can adjust to that and use the extra spin to control distance on down hill chips which have been so tough for me in the past.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what these puppies can do, hopefully they will bring about as much improvement as my last set of wedges!

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