Equipment

Review: GolfJet

Well, I know it’s been quite a while since my last post. But, better late than never. Right?

golfjet, jetpack,

When is the last time you tried a new golf ball? When did you last step into the vast world of compression, cover softness, spin numbers, branding …?

I was contacted some months ago by a new company called GolfJet. A fledgling Australian business entering the very competitive market of golf balls. They were interested in hearing my opinion on their product.

After receiving one of their JetPacks (which included nine of their Jet 4 balls, a glove, tees and a ball marker) I headed out with a few mates of ranging ability over the next few weeks to conduct some completely non-scientific, albeit fun, tests.

The first thing I noticed was the extreme softness of the ball. It produced a very high flight off my club with a ridiculous amount of spin. I tend to hit the ball very hard and generate lots of spin anyway so the ball was spinning off the front of greens and falling short due to the ballooned flight. Most of the other players in the low to mid handicap range saw similar results too, noting high flight and heaps of spin. The short game feel and performance, however, was incredible. Heaps of check and spin control. The ball performed very well with the putter too. The higher handicap players, who played longer irons into the green, tended to love the ball as it gave them good distance and control.

After playing with the Jet 4 for a few weeks and with many different players, the verdict was quite clear; the Jet 4 was not for me (or my fellow power players). I suspected this from the start as the Titleist Pro V1 is too soft also. I often try to play a slightly harder ball (Bridgestone B330) to avoid generating too much spin and bring the ball flight down a bit.

golfjet, jetpack, golfballs, golf gift set

After this period I had the privilege of meeting-up with Brad, a founding member (of two) of GolfJet for a few drinks and a chat. Brad is a super keen and obviously intelligent man with a passion for golf. He’s an engineer by trade and, along with a long-standing friend, developed the idea of starting a company to deliver high-quality balls to players using a unique marketing approach. Brad told me they have spent years in research and development to finally get to this point. Sourcing, testing and comparing products from the world’s leaders to develop a ball with comparable characteristics and performance. Brad’s own ethics clearly come through the GolfJet philosophy; a very customer focused, quality experience and product. He ensures he is approachable and listens carefully to feedback. I guess that’s the great thing about a personal business, you can make a choice to focus on what really matters. I thank Brad for his time in answering all of my questions about his ball and other products.

A week following our meet-up, a package of Jet 3 balls turned-up in the mail. When talking with Brad he informed me that their Jet 3 golf ball is a lower flighted and less spinning model which would probably suit my game better. True to Brad’s information, the Jet 3 suited my game very well. A much lower, penetrating flight with controllable spin characteristics. This ball is a real treat to play with. Not only is it good with the driver and long irons, it had the same (slightly less) spinning nature around the greens as the Jet 4. The Jet 3 would have to be up there with the best balls I’ve used.

To ensure consistency in my completely non-scientific tests, after some time I managed to wrangle the same group of players who tried the Jet 4 and, surprise, surprise, they liked the Jet 3. Saying things like, “it’s the same as the ball I play now” and “I really like this one, it’s quite different to the Jet 4”. I have to say this came as a bit of a surprise to me because I know some of these guys are die-hard brand players. Same club, clothing and ball brand. They generally don’t sway too far from their comfort zone. They know the feel they love, the look and flight of the ball and spin they generate. The trust they’ve built over many, many years. I’ll be the first to admit I can be the same too. But the Jet 3 won me over. I’m happy playing it and trust it will do what I want.

golfjet, jetpack, golfballs, golf gift set

I’m not saying everyone will love these balls. They are a premium ball and do spin like you would expect a premium ball to. What I am saying is that you couldn’t go too far wrong giving them a go and supporting a wonderful growing Australian company.

Visit GolfJet to learn more about their company and products.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

All opinions expressed are my own. Information accurate at time of publication.

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Review: Cobra Fly Z Plus Driver

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

If you are looking for a new driver, now is a very exciting time to go shopping. With all the major brands releasing their 2015 models the choices are almost endless and extremely confusing.

After a great run with my Taylormade R11 it was time for an upgrade (well, not really time, but I was looking). I went looking for a driver that would be as long and hopefully more forgiving. I’ve never had a problem with distance, so this wasn’t a real factor in the search. I guess I was looking for something that looked good, felt and sounded good and maybe gave me more accuracy. I know accuracy has more to do with face and path angles but I do get a lot of spin which can turn the ball further than some low spin drivers. Almost all of these brands advertise lower spin and lower center of gravity. I went shopping and came home with the Cobra Fly Z Plus. When I say came home, I had to wait for it to be built.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Appearance

It’s hard to know where to start. It is a great looking club with a huge, square-ish black face. At address it is confidence inspiring and gives me the feeling that I just couldn’t miss. The face is surrounded by a ‘speed channel’ which looks like a recessed slot running around the perimeter of the face. You can not see it at address and it really looks quite different. I chose the black version (it comes in 5 colours with a green reported to come). The top is a speckled shiny colour and looks really nice. The head shape is not to drawn back and looks quite compact, definitely the shape I was looking for. On the sole of the club there is a deep channel with a gold movable weight. This weight can be moved forward or back depending on the flight you are after. All-in-all a fantastic looking club. No surprises there, I have always loved Cobra’s design and attention to detail.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Performance

Firstly it must be said that I am a huge believer that the right shaft or type of shaft in the driver can make a huge difference in the overall performance of a club. Cobra have done something here that amazed me and bought a smile to my face. They offer 6 shaft options at no extra cost! Yes, 6. The stock shaft is a Matrix VLCT ST which is a nice shaft. Plus 5 other shaft options! As soon as I saw the Aldila Tour Green X flex (I currently play the Aldila RIP Alpha and love it)  I was very interested. Let’s put it into perspective, I could get a nearly $200 shaft that I trust will do the right thing for my swing for free. Huge selling point. At the time the Cobra cost $499 (6 shaft options) compared to the new R15 at $540 with no shaft options and the Titleist was more again. Master stroke Cobra. Had me in almost immediately.

I have used the club for about a month now and I must say that I’m very impressed. The ball flight is low and penetrating. It carries a long way and rolls out nicely for me. My misses are no where near as bad, showing that I am indeed getting low spin and the shaft and head combination is indeed working well. I have played around with the settings and moving weights does effect the flight higher and lower. The loft is also very easy to adjust via the MyFly8 adapter. It can be adjusted 8.5 to 11 degrees with some draw options as well. The smart pad ensures that the club looks nice and square at address no matter the loft.

When hit it has a loud(ish) noise. It feels solid but not harsh. The ball really flies out off the face and feels hot. There just is nothing better than a well hit driver, is there? This driver is quite workable too. I can work it both ways and control the flight quite well.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Specifications

The marketing around this driver is really very good. If you would like to learn more about flip zones, speed channels, smartpads, lofts, composite materials, lower center of gravity etc. please refer to the Cobra website, they will do a better job than me. And let’s be honest, you’re here to hear my thoughts on the driver, not theirs. From what I’ve been able to do so far, I believe all of the marketing. Obviously you do need to put a good swing on it, it won’t hit the ball for you.

Cobra Fly Z + Website

Recommendation

Yes. Huge yes. Just love it. The right looks and performance for me. Free premium shafts are a huge plus. Another fantastic product from Cobra. If you’re in the market, go and find one to try, you won’t be disappointed.

Oh, and on a side note, I just won the Club Championships with it. A bit brave given I’d only had it for two weeks but it just felt really comfortable in my hands from day 1 and performed very well.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

The Grip Master Putter Grip

I bought a new putter a few weeks ago and really love it.

It was second-hand, and although in pretty great overall condition, the grip was a little worn and old. I wanted to update it and make it a bit less, well, bright. The original grip was embellished with the Australian flag and whilst I’m as patriotic as the average golfer (I’ll cheer for the Aussies watching the golf on TV and will even jump up and down about the Olympics) for me the grip was just a bit too much.

I wanted something a little blacker!

The Grip Master, putter grip

Along with neutralising the colour, I was also looking for something that would be long-lasting, soft-feeling and amazing-looking.

And I actually managed to tick all the boxes here!

The Grip Master, putter grip

The Grip Master Grips are fantastic. You can really feel the quality. They are soft yet firm, if you know what I mean, and incredibly good-looking with their stitched backs and embossed markings. I must say, I’m in love…with the feel, look, smell. Everything about these grips just oozes class.

The Grip Master, putter grip

I went for The Grip Master Mid Size Putter. They have an extensive range and the choice was hard. I have been using a mid-size for some time and love the slightly larger size. I’m sure no matter what you are looking for you’ll find it. Take a look at The Grip Master.

Another really cool thing about The Grip Master is that they’re Australian. I always love to buy Australian when I can to support local businesses. Their website also contains some great info about company history, grip fitting and other general information. Click here to read more from The Grip Master.

I’m not too sure where the company is located in Australia, but I do know that I bought direct from their website and the order was delivered within three days. Great shipping, great price and great quality.

Thanks to The Grip Master I’m now putting well and looking great!

The Grip Master, putter grip

The Grip Master, putter grip

Luke @ golf blog australia

Custom Club Fitting

As you probably know technology has really changed the way we select golf clubs. I know of many golfers who play regularly, who have simply walked into a shop and bought a set of clubs off the rack without being fitted. This seems mad to me. Golf is a difficult sport anyway, why not give yourself the best chance of playing well?

As I already know the advantages to getting fitted properly, I thought I would take a trip to one of my local golf stores to have a chat and do a fitting to show you how it works and see if I could learn something new.  I contacted House Of Golf (Epping) where I spoke to a Matt, a great salesman who was more than happy to oblige in helping with the process.

I must admit, the thought of getting a full fitting scared me a bit. Will I be hitting it well? Will the results I see reflect what I see on the course? How much will it really help my game? So, let’s find out what it’s all about.

The first thing that struck me was the personal nature of the fitting. It started with a lot of questions about me and my game. In particular what I was trying to achieve. This gave Matt a good idea of my attitude and the direction I wanted to take my game. I was quite clearly looking for a ‘players’ club that offered some help. Their range is very extensive so narrowing the choices down quickly is a really good thing.

A quick measure of my height and arm length established the correct length of shaft I should be playing.

He then went on to look at my swing and assess the type of club that would suit me. I was given quite a few practice swings to warm up and when I felt like I was swinging okay he gave me a club with a funny looking blue box on it. This would measure the swing speed, tempo and flex in the shaft. As I have covered before, the shaft can have a real impact on the flight of the ball.  I personally feel that this is the most important factor for your new set. After measuring a few swings he entered the results into the computer program and found my ideal shaft options.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

This process also gave Matt a chance to see my swing and think about head options to match all the things we had discussed. The computer also gave its suggestion and that is where we started. After hitting a few models that we thought would be the best options, we made a decision on the head.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

The next thing to see was the lie angle. He placed a white strip on the bottom of the club. I proceeded to hit a few shots off a hard plate. This measures the lie of the club at the point which I strike the ball. Clubs can be adjusted ‘flat’ or ‘upright’ to match the players swing.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

Matt then went on to measure my grip size. He stated that too many golfers don’t even consider this as a factor.

After hitting a heap of balls with the chosen club the computer analysed my distances, spin rates and smash factor. The computer program then suggested full club options from 3 iron to wedges. Giving us some choices of the wedge gapping. I chose my wedges on a distance factor rather then a loft factor. This would involve ordering my wedges to be custom bent to the angles that suit my swing. These clubs can then be equally spaced leaving me no awkward distance gaps in my set.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

After all of that the irons and wedges were decided upon and I thought we were done. Wrong. Matt was very keen to look at putters. He says that custom fitting a putter is really important. As we all know almost half of our shots are on the green so getting the right putter is vitally important. Now, I must admit, I have never considered this before. I’ve always just used one straight off the rack. We went over and had some further discussion about my putting and chose a few models that I preferred. We used a board to see where my eyes were lining up and the data told us that some putters would be a better option than others.

Next we went back to the launch monitor and Matt fitted me up for a driver. This was relatively straight forward because we already had so much information about my swing and because the adjustable nature of drivers makes them very accommodating. Matt selected a few drivers and we adjusted them to match my swing to get the optimal launch angle and spin rates. After hitting a few, I decided on the driver that felt, sounded and performed to my liking.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

Matt was leaving nothing to chance. We then discussed the importance of balls and which models might suit my game and preferences.

All in all, Matt was very thorough. What I really liked about this fitting is the time he took to understand me and my game – not just look at the computer generated numbers and make recommendations based on them alone. He showed a genuine interest in me and helping to find the clubs that will improve my performance.

Based on my experience, I would recommend any golfer get a custom fitting when buying a new set of clubs. I found it insightful and interesting.

Of course, if you’re local to Melbourne, then be sure to visit Matt at House of Golf (Epping).

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

This is Matt. Go and see him for a fitting on your next new set of clubs.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

Review: Cobra AMP Forged Irons

Cobra AMP Forged Irons, Cobra Irons

Appearance
A very classic looking club with a splash of colour. The finish on the face is matte where the grooves are and polished everywhere else. 3-7 irons have visible weighting on the bottom of the club and 8-G have no extra weighting. All the clubs have a really nice AMP forged stamp on the back which exudes class. 3-9 irons have a pocket cavity which is filled with rubber and is stamped ‘Cobra’. These pockets look really nice and let you know you’ve got some help out there. PW and GW have no pocket or weighting and look like traditional forged wedges.  The cavity on the rear of the face has an aluminium back-plate which is a striking orange colour and features the Cobra logo. The grips are also made to match in the orange.

As a better player I don’t like looking down and seeing a huge topline. It just doesn’t suit my eye. They have done a few very clever things with these clubs and the most striking is the bevelled topline. It has had some material taken away and gives you the illusion of a thin precise topline without losing the benefits of having more perimeter weighting. The other is that at address you can not see the pocket. They almost look like blades which I really like, as that’s what I have mostly played with.

Put these next to the Titliest 712 AP2’s and at address they look almost the same! Turn them up and look at the sole and you’ll notice that the soles on the Cobra AMP Forged are slightly wider and the visual weighting can be seen on the Cobra 3-7 irons.

This club really inspires confidence. I just felt like I was always going to hit them well.

Cobra Irons, Cobra AMP Forged Irons

Cobra Irons, Cobra AMP Forged Irons

Performance
The first thing that struck me was the feel. The forged face is soft and the ball just springs off. The clubs are weighted well and the KBS S+ shafts react just like you would expect for premium shafts.

The wider sole definitely helps out with turf interaction, allowing the club to slide through and catch the ball cleanly. I’ve only played pocket cavity irons a few times and I really like the feel of these clubs. The vibration dampeners must really work because shots feel extremely smooth yet crisp. When I middle a shot, I can really feel where the ball left the face. However, when I hit one off the toe or heel it isn’t too smooth though by no means harsh. I can still feel where it came off. This is really important to me. I like to know when I’ve hit a bad one and I also like to feel where the miss was. You can tell with these clubs.

These clubs do fly a little further than my previous clubs but I think this is more to do with the strong lofts in the Cobra AMP forged (see Specifications below). I can easily work the ball left to right, high and low. Definitely a club that will do what it’s told.

All in all they are forgiving, accurate and sweet feeling. They provide the right amount of feedback for the player seeking to improve their game and combine advanced club construction methods to give the player every advantage you can get.

Cobra Irons, Cobra AMP Forged Irons

Specifications
All clubs are 1 degree strong. 3 iron come in at 20 degrees through to PW at 45 degrees.

For more information see link below.

Recommendation
A huge yes! I just love them. They are in the bag and staying there for sure.

For better to mid players seeking some advantages in control and feel. Very consistent distance control with the ability to work the ball.

Cobra Irons, Cobra AMP Forged Irons

For more information on these clubs visit Cobra Golf.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

All opinions expressed are my own. Information accurate at time of publication.

 

Does the Golf Club Shaft Really Effect Your Shots?

Aldila RIP, Fujikura BLUR, Golf Shafts

To all those golfers out there who wonder about their equipment and whether it is right for them.

I have been playing a Taylormade R11 driver for the past few years and I love it. The driver has a standard (stock) Fujikura Blur 60 stiff flex shaft. For quite a while now I’ve been wondering whether this stock shaft really works for my swing. I have a reasonably fast swing and can really move the ball out there at times. Sometimes when driving I can feel the club head lagging or maybe twisting as I transition into my down-swing.  I know this sounds a bit funny, but I felt like some of my good swings were getting more off-line than they should have.

After much deliberation and research (there is a fantastic series of articles on GolfWRX), I decided I would try a new shaft. Looking at all the manufacturer websites it was recommended to get an x flex shaft but I really didn’t want to change too much. I really wanted to get a shaft that might be a bit stiffer and have a lot less torque.

I decided to buy an Aldila RIP Alpha 70S, as it was described as quite stiff with low torque. It is a low launching, low spin shaft.

Four rounds of golf in and, WOW! What a difference.  I must say I have probably lost about 10 meters from my average drive but the accuracy is well up. When I say “well” I’m talking four or five more fairways a round! The feeling during the swing and at impact is just what I was looking for. Stiff, but still with a feeling of loading the club properly. No sloppy or lagging feeling at all. My misses are much tighter and nowhere near as bad as they have been. Even when I miss I’m still a good chance of making par, not 20 meters in the trees!

I guess just working off feel and websites was a bit of a gamble for me (which has thankfully paid off). It may not be the best for everyone. Most golf stores and manufactures have advanced technologies that could probably match your swing characteristics to an appropriate shaft. It would be interesting to go and get fitted and see if the technology gives me the same or similar shaft options.

Buying an after market shaft is a bit of an investment, sometimes costing as much as the original purchase price for the whole club! In no way am I saying that stock shafts are no good. I do believe that they are, but swings are so different and dynamic that a stock shaft just can’t be right for everyone.

In my opinion, if your stock shaft just feels like it might be doing something undesirable in your swing get a fitting and see. Really think about upgrading. It could be well worth it.

I’ll be sure to let you know how the driver is going over the next few months!

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

 

Review: Cobra Tour Trusty Wedges

Cobra Wedge, Cobra Golf

Appearance
A very nice looking club with a traditional shape. They are a good size and looking down at them they instil a feeling of confidence.
Putting the clubs down at address they have a very straight leading edge with minimal to no offset. They look like precision clubs that are aggressive and ready to tackle any challenge.
The top line is not too thin and the club sits squarely on the ground making it easy to get your alignment right.
The clubs are a matte silver colour which reduces glare and the back K Notch section is polished to a shiny silver. They have a nice orange printed name on the back with great branding and graphics which gives the clubs a prestigious look – you know that the designers have thought about both performance and aesthetics. You have a real feeling that you’re playing with some very special clubs.

Tour Trusty, Cobra, Cobra Golf

Tour Trusty, Cobra, Cobra Golf

Performance
Before I talk too much about performance let’s look at some of the technology in these clubs. Cobra says their “15% larger and wider cnc milled grooves create more spin and control trajectory on even the shortest wedge shots”, that the “Notch K-Grind Sole optimises performance and versatility” and their “Proprietary Variable feed Rate (VfR) milling delivers optimised surface roughness across the face to maximise spin on all shots”.
These clubs perform very well from tight fairway lies, thick rough and also from the sand. There is no doubt that these clubs are designed to spin. They rip the ball and I found myself being able to spin the ball back on full shots, sometimes too far, coming off the green. There is no doubt that the larger grooves and milling works based on the fact I managed to control spin from even long rough! After about two months of use the spin is still good and I find the spin a bit more controllable now. I guess the milling is a bit duller. All this extra spin is great when it comes to shorter chip shots, I am really able to control the ball when I make an aggressive downward strike.
The thing that I love most about these wedges is the K-Grind Sole. I often find myself in tricky positions around greens and need to open the club up to play flop shots. This club, while feeling a bit larger and heavier in my hands (which I like because it gives me a good feeling of where the club head is during the swing), seems to be able to open up with the leading edge very flat to the ground. This ensures you are able to slide through the turf and pick the ball up nice and clean – no chance of a thin (unless you get it wrong)!
The shaft and grip are amazing. They feel great in the hands and the shaft is well suited to the club, giving it a responsive, positive and solid feel at impact. Even shots that find the toe and heel feel pretty good and travel well through the air. I find that I hit these clubs fairly high and they land very soft with plenty of spin to stop the ball.

Tour Trusty, Cobra, Cobra Golf

Price
At around $135 AUD these wedges are great value.

Specifications
These wedges come in two degree increments. They are available in 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 degree options. The 56 and 60 degree models come in two bounce options.
All wedges come with Dynamic Gold S200 shafts and Golf Pride New Decade Multicompound grips.

Cobra Tour Trusty, Cobra, Wedges

Recommendation
I would recommend these wedges to just about anyone from low markers to mid to high handicappers. If you are in the market for new wedges then do yourself a favour and try these out.

The clubs tested were: 56° with 12° of bounce and 60° with 6° of bounce.

For more information on these wedges visit Cobra Tour Trusty.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

All opinions expressed are my own. Information accurate at time of publication.