Archive for the ‘Golf Gear’ Category

Another Birthday (and New Stuff!)

Posted by cjsharp1 on August 26, 2010 in Golf Gear, News 0 Comments

Yup. It’s that time of the year again! This time around, I only got two golf-related items… but they are substantial items!

First, Beth got me a TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider putter. I’ve been eyeing this putter for a while now, and I figured it could be a nice addition to my set of TaylorMade clubs. I really like the feel and weight distribution of mallet-style putters. This putter allows you to move around the weights, which adjusts the center of gravity to increase stability of the putter. I don’t necessarily think I’ll need to mess with this, but it’s nice option to have.

Second, with some “birthday card cash” (and a couple of Golfsmith coupons that I luckily found), I bought a new golf bag: a Sun Mountain Four 5 stand bag. I chose this bag mainly because it was one of the few stand bags with a 14-way divider. I’ve heard a lot of good opinions and bad opinions about 14-way dividers. Obviously, this is all down to personal preference, but I think the bag will satisfy a bit of organization OCD I might have. The bag also has an easily accessible water bottle pouch, which will be nice when I have to walk 18 holes again. And, best of all, the bag only weighs 4.5 lbs (hence the name “Four 5″), without clubs, of course.

Once again, thanks to all that helped contribute to this!

Getting a new set of golf clubs was my first goal of the 2010 season. My first set of golf clubs (the set I received for my birthday in 2008) were OK… good enough for a brand new golfer trying to learn how to hit a ball, but as I played more and practiced more, I felt like a new set of clubs could help my game. Also, when I played the rounds, I tended to only use my driver, my putter, and my even-numbered irons (on top of that, my 6-iron was starting to split). I never had much luck with my fairway woods or my other irons, so I just stayed away from them.

So I started my search for new clubs, and it turned out to be a pretty short search. First, I was limited by a budget, and for my budget, there’s not much out there. I wanted to get a set of clubs that could last me a couple of years. I knew there was a couple brands I wanted to stay away from, and a couple brands I wanted to try out.

I decided to check out a couple sets of clubs at Golfsmith in Downers Grove, and I took Adam and Beth along for the ride (Adam was also looking into new clubs). I chose this location because it recently re-opened with an indoor driving range, a swing analysis system, and a custom fitting studio. They also charge a very cheap fee for golf fitting: $20, unless you buy a club from them, then it’s free. The prices for golf fittings is one thing that turned me away from purchasing from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Sports Authority, which both charge up near $80. I knew I wanted clubs and I knew I should get fitted, so I figured it would be best to get them at the same place.

Once we got to Golfsmith, one of their employees directed us to look around and find a couple of iron sets to try out. They had a pretty decent selection… if you aren’t on a budget. For my budget, I had 3-4 sets of clubs to choose from: a set from Callaway, a set from TaylorMade, and two sets from Lynx (Golfsmith’s house brand). I tried out the sets from TaylorMade and Lynx, and decided to go with the set from TaylorMade: TaylorMade Burner Plus. The Burner Plus irons are a bit longer than normal, which should help out my game, where I tend to top the ball a lot.

I also tried out the matching drivers from TaylorMade and Lynx. The both felt pretty good (for a noob), but I also ended up going with the TaylorMade: TaylorMade Burner.

As far as the hybrids and fairway woods, I decided to wait to purchase those, but I’ll probably end up getting a Burner 3 wood and a Burner Rescue 3 hybrid. And for my putter, I like the one I have now, so I’m just going to use that.

After I decided on my irons and my driver, the only other information that was needed from the guy helping us was my arm length, and then we were done. That’s it!

Really? That’s it? I kinda expected more out of this. I expected more of a custom fitting, which would leave me with a set of clubs that’s perfect for my height, arm length, play style, strengths, weaknesses, and so on. But it turns out that while I was testing the clubs, the guy helping me found out all he needed to know: I was a noob that needed a regular flex shaft. Fair enough, I guess. Maybe once I actually have a game then I’ll need clubs that are actually fitted to me.

So I’m pretty happy with my clubs, even if my budget was stretched a little bit. Of course, two days later, I see that Sports Authority has a sale on the exact same driver I bought. So I called up Golfsmith, and put their 115% Low Price Guarantee to the test. It only took about 15-20 minutes to get everything sorted out, and they told me I would get a refund for the difference, plus an extra 15%. A couple days later, I got $25 deposited back into my account. Nice!

So I’m all set for the new season, minus my hybrid and my fairway wood, but it’ll get me started.

Steve LaPorte Indoor Putting Green

Posted by cjsharp1 on January 10, 2009 in Golf Gear 1 Comment

Steve LaPorte Indoor Putting GreenWinter is in full-force here in Chicago. Instead of practicing your putting in 3″ of snow, check out this top-of-the-line indoor putting green by Steve LaPorte.

This indoor putting green features a 5′ x 11′ “high density non-directional, top quality nylon surface”, a mock water hazard and mock bunkers, and a tapered contour pad for adjustable breaks. With the tapered contour pad, you can “create endless break combinations, eliminating the chance of ever mastering the same hole”.

The cost of this putting green is $896, which may be a little pricey for a golf noob, but may be the perfect practice tool for the professional golfer. Also be sure to check out the other indoor putting greens that Steve LaPorte offers.

Notes: Cheap, Used Golf Balls

Posted by cjsharp1 on December 13, 2008 in Golf Gear, Notes 0 Comments

I didn’t have many golf-related items on my Christmas list this year, mainly because there are other things I needed. The two golf-related items that were on my list were golf head covers (just because I want some) and used golf balls. I specifically requested used golf balls, because what is the point of asking for new golf balls if all I’m going to do is lose them in the trees or in a lake.

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend about these two items on my list and I was asked “You know you can get cheap, used golf balls online, right?” Of course, I said “Ya”, but in my mind I was really saying “Really? That’s possible?” I honestly never thought about this before. Buying used golf balls online must be cheaper than at a sporting goods store or resale shop.

To find out if they are cheaper, let’s set a baseline. Back in September, I went to Sports Authority and picked up a bag of used (technically, they are called “recycled”) golf balls. The bag came with 50 balls from various manufacturers, and I paid $20, which boils down to $0.40 per ball. I’ll consider this a good baseline, since the bag included a mixed quantity from different manufacturers, as well as a mix in quality/wear of the golf ball.

First, let’s go online and check some prices for the local sporting goods stores:

  • Sports Authority – I was unable to find the same product that I originally purchased, but they do have some other options. The best price-per-ball value I found was the Reload 75 Pack Nike or Titleist Golf Balls” for $29.99, which is $0.40 per ball.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods – They also have the “Reload 75 Pack Nike or Titleist Golf Balls” for $29.99, making their best price-per-ball value at $0.40 per ball.
  • Modell’s Sporting Goods – For you northeast coast readers, you can grab the exact same “Reload 75 Pack Nike or Titleist Golf Balls” for $29.99. Once again, $0.40 per ball.
  • Golf Galaxy – Not really a sporting goods store, but a golf store (of course). They have “Recycled Proline 75 Pack Golf Balls” for $29.99, which is again $0.40 per ball.
  • Academy Sports & Outdoors – If you’re lucky enough to live in the south near Texas and Louisiana, head to Academy Sports & Outdoors, where they have “Reload Recycled Golf Balls with Shag Bag” for $14.99. This is a bag of 75 balls, which makes it $0.20 per ball. (They also have a couple locations in the surrounding states, as well as in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.)

Next, let’s check the prices for some online retailers. Since I don’t know of any popular online golf retailers, I’m just going to use Google, and search for “recycled golf balls” (searching for “used golf balls” will bring up pretty much the same results).

  • (also known as – UGBD offers a large selection of used golf balls, and sells them in packs based on brand and type of golf ball. The best price-per-ball value I found was “Player’s Choice 100 Pack” for $17.95, which is $0.18 per ball. This pack is not sorted by brand or type. The cheapest shipping I could get for this item was nearly $9.50, which brings the price-per-ball up to $0.28 per ball. Be sure to check both sites, because there seems to be some differences in prices and products.
  • – They also specialized in selling new & used golf balls in packs based on brand and type. I was unable to find a “grab bag” product as the previous stores, but I did find “500 Cuts and Cracks Golf Balls” (update: This options appears to be gone now) for $8.00 (and a flat-rate shipping cost of $50.00). Of course, these are not really meant to be played and “are perfect for hitting in to lakes, fields or helicopter drops for charity golf tournaments”. But hey, if you are desperate for a good price-per-ball value, you can pick this up for $0.12 per ball.
  • – They also sells used golf balls in packs based on brand and type. There are many products under the “Assorted Golf Balls” category, each product based on the quality of the ball. If you pick up the “Assorted All Brands MIX: Grade A – 1 dozen” for $3.99, you’ll be paying $0.33 per ball before shipping (note: this is based on a sale price). If you don’t care about the quality, pick up the “Assorted Hit Away Shag Quality: Grade C – 20 dozen” for $29.99, and pay approximately $0.18 per ball after shipping.
  • – Another retailer that primarily sells used golf balls pack based on brand and type. They do offer “Value Ball Bags” though, which include 72 or 300 new golf balls that have an over-run logo. Before shipping, you can get the 72 ball pack for $19.99 ($0.28 per ball) or the 300 ball pack for $69.99 ($0.23 per ball). Not a bad price at all considering they are new balls with just an over-run logo.

These are just a few of the online retailers that I came across that sell used, recycled golf balls. Most of them will sell packs based on brand and type, so if you are set on using a specific ball, you can purchase recycled versions of that ball. Otherwise, if you don’t mind the brand and type, just pick up an assorted pack.

The main thing to do when purchasing used golf balls online is to research the stores and calculate the price per ball. Each store will sell certain (if not all) brands of golf balls. They might also have a wide range of ball types for each brand. Next, keep in mind that each store has their own grading system, and, as expected, the better the grade, the more expensive the price per ball. If you don’t mind a couple of scuffs or some discoloration, you can pick up used golf balls online for pretty cheap. Finally, look at the shipping for the ball pack/quantity you are planning on purchasing. Shipping alone could easily add 5 to 10 cents per ball. Luckily, many of the online retailers offer free shipping on orders of $50, $75, or $100 or more.

So, yes… it is cheaper to get used golf balls online. Plus, you can be a little more picky on the brand and type of used ball you are purchasing. In my opinion, the best value I came across while researching, considering price-per-ball, quality, and quantity, was the logo over-run bag of new golf balls at

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