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At The Turn

At The Turn - 2nd Swing's Newsletter

Volume 34: December 05, 2019

We’ve flipped the calendar to December, which means holiday shopping time is here. In this edition of At The Turn, we’ve included our list of the five best holiday gift ideas you can find at 2nd Swing. You’ll also find a sneak peek at Cobra’s new SpeedZone drivers, which will be available to golfers in early 2020. Additionally, staff writer Drew Mahowald used Trackman to compare two highly praised TaylorMade driver models from the past decade, the 2016 M2 and the SLDR 460. We also included a couple of videos from our YouTube channel: a Trackman comparison of the Mizuno MP-20 and PING Blueprint irons starring master fitter Thomas Campbell and a discussion about driver shaft length with master fitter James Tracy.


2nd Swing News

2nd Swing’s top-5 can’t-miss golf holiday gift ideas

By 2nd Swing Staff

Almost every golfer is fastidious about his or her equipment, from the clubs to the clothing and everything in between. At 2nd Swing, we’re all golfers, so we understand that we can be difficult to shop for during the holiday season.

With that said, we also have a good understanding of the items that can make excellent gifts for golfers of all skill and experience levels, and we’ve laid out a few of those items for you.

Below, you’ll find our five favorite gift ideas for this holiday season that will cover almost any budget and satisfy any golfer.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Trackman Test: Blueprint vs. MP-20

When it comes to irons, there’s nothing sexier than a classic blade design, and two of the best musclebacks to hit the market in 2019 are the Mizuno MP-20 and the PING Blueprint, both of which were created to provide precision, control, workability, and superior feel for the better player. So how do these two aesthetically stunning irons compare to each other? To find out, we decided to test them head-to-head using Trackman 4 technology.

Club Review

Cobra SpeedZone drivers set to build on F9’s success

By Chris Wallace -- 2nd Swing staff writer

Cobra has made really good drivers for a number of years now and those efforts have created a loyal following for the company.

That said, in terms of mainstream popularity, Cobra still found itself lagging behind companies like TaylorMade, PING, and Callaway in the driver category.

In January of 2019, however, that reality began to shift in a major way following the release of the KING F9 Speedback driver, which was immediately showered with accolades from industry experts.

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Club Fitting Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

What you need to know about driver shaft length

A crucial element when it comes to finding the right driver for your game is picking the correct shaft length. Many players can benefit by going with a slightly shorter shaft to improve contact and dispersion, but there are pitfalls to avoid if you plan on going shorter in length. In this exclusive video, 2nd Swing’s James Tracy and Drew Mahowald discuss driver shaft length and tell you everything you need to know about that aspect of club fitting.

Club Test

Comparing classics: TaylorMade 2016 M2 vs. SLDR 460

By Drew Mahowald -- 2nd Swing staff writer

2nd Swing’s massive selection of used clubs provides the opportunity for us to dive into some of the top older golf club models from the past few years.

TaylorMade has been highly successful in producing drivers over the past couple of decades, and this is still true with the M5 and M6 drivers in 2019. However, several of its past models are still competing with, and in the right hands sometimes exceeding, the performance of newer models.

Two models in particular that have received praise throughout the industry are the 2016 M2 and the SLDR 460. Each model was highly successful for TaylorMade when new, and both still can go head-to-head with some of the more recent models that are available.

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At The Turn - 2nd Swing's Newsletter

Volume 33: November 21, 2019

2nd Swing’s bi-monthly newsletter At The Turn is back with a brand new installment featuring new, unique content. Most notably in this edition, we want to see what our readers have to say about our favorite game, so we’ve included the first annual 2nd Swing Golfers Survey. Additionally, staff writer Drew Mahowald compiled a list of steps to follow when buying a driver, and master fitter Thomas Campbell debuts his new column Campbell’s Corner with advice about how often golfers should replace their wedges. And finally, we’ve included a couple of videos: one comparing the new Callaway Super Hybrid to the Epic Flash hybrid and Epic Flash 5-wood, and the other breaking down Attack Angle, which is one of the most important launch monitor data points.


2nd Swing News

The First Annual 2nd Swing Golfers Survey

By 2nd Swing Staff

If you’re a regular reader of our At The Turn newsletter, then there’s a good chance that you, like us, love golf.

And if you love golf, you’re probably curious about what other golfers like you think about various golf-related topics.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Does the Callaway Super Hybrid deliver on its performance promise?

Callaway made some strong statements with the release of its new Super Hybrid, most notably saying that the new club would offer fairway wood performance in a more playable hybrid shape. So does the Super Hybrid deliver on that promise? To find out, 2nd Swing staff members Thomas Campbell and Drew Mahowald decided to put the Super Hybrid up against an Epic Flash hybrid and an Epic Flash 5-wood using Trackman 4 technology.

Club Fitting

Five keys to buying the right driver for your game

By Drew Mahowald -- 2nd Swing staff writer

Now is perhaps the best time of the year to buy a driver.

In colder climates where the winter season is playing through, prices on drivers will drop, creating increased value for the consumer. Meanwhile, the prime golf season is on the horizon for those living in warm climates.

In any case, buying a driver isn’t a simple task if you’re committed to fitting your unique swing. Some golfers purchase the newest model of a particular brand every year, while others simply look for the best bargain. Others will buy based on the recommendations of a friend.

None of these purchasing avenues are bad necessarily, but several factors need to be considered when purchasing a driver to obtain the optimal performance gains.

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Club Fitting Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Understanding the importance of the Attack Angle metric

Golfers have more access to launch monitors like Trackman than ever before, and the data they provide can be incredibly valuable in terms of picking the right clubs and playing better golf. But if you don’t understand the data and why it’s important, the information loses its value. In this exclusive video, we talk about one of the most crucial launch monitor data points, which is Attack Angle, and explain what type of numbers you should be looking for.

Club Fitting

Campbell’s Corner: When to replace your wedges

By Thomas Campbell -- 2nd Swing master fitter

There is no doubt that an old wedge with worn-out grooves will spin less than a wedge with fresh grooves.

More specifically, fresh grooves provide more friction and produce more grip on the ball, while grooves that are worn will result in the ball rolling up the clubface, which leads to less backspin.

Those realities create two questions that you should be asking: What are the differences in performance? And when should I replace my wedges?

or the latter question, the short answer is as often as you can afford to.

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At The Turn - 2nd Swing's Newsletter

Volume 32: November 7, 2019

Winter might be on the way in many locations but 2nd Swing’s bi-monthly At The Turn newsletter rolls on with more equipment insight and knowledge from industry experts. In this edition, we’ve ranked the top five player-club combinations in modern professional golf. Additionally, we’ve included a video comparison of the Titleist T200 irons and the 718 AP3 irons, as well as a video test of the Cleveland CBX 2 wedges. We’ve also provided an in-depth review of the new Callaway Super Hybrid and explored the differences between the new Cobra KING Forged Tec irons and their One Length counterparts.


Golf Club Rankings

Top 5 player-club combinations in professional golf

By 2nd Swing Staff

Professional golfers competing at the highest level for millions of dollars every week have the option to equip their bags with the latest technology.

However, in many cases, the latest technology isn’t what performs the best. Several of the most successful tour professionals have used the same club or clubs for decades, passing over many newer models, to stick with what works for their games.

Our staff compiled a list of our five favorite player-club combinations in professional golf.

In total, our top five player-club combos have won over 100 tournaments on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and PGA Tour Champions.

Here’s a look at our list:

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Trackman Iron Test: Titleist T200 vs. 718 AP3

Titleist’s first two entries into the increasingly popular players distance iron category have been the 718 AP3s and the new T200s. While each iron was designed to offer distance and forgiveness in a clean, classic shape, they feature completely different construction approaches. But how different are they in terms of look, sound, feel, and performance? 2nd Swing’s Thomas Campbell and Drew Mahowald tested both to find out.

Golf Club Review

Callaway bringing fairway performance to the hybrid category

By Chris Wallace — 2nd Swing Staff Writer

The objective set forth by Callaway CEO Chip Brewer for his R&D team was clear: do whatever it takes to create a hybrid that performs like a fairway wood.

While that might sound simple enough, especially for a company that has had incredible success in both the fairway wood and hybrid categories, there was nothing simple about the development process for this task, as several strategies needed to be explored.

In the end, a multi-material construction approach that brought titanium back into a Callaway hybrid for the first time in years, a design strategy that also allowed for a highly aggressive CG position, proved to be the winning formula in creating a hybrid that will offer fairway-like ball speed, as well as launch and spin numbers more typical of a fairway wood.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

CBX 2 wedges deliver exceptional forgiveness

Cleveland’s CBX wedge franchise, including the new CBX 2, was created to provide golfers who play cavity back irons, a number that exceeds 80 percent, with a wedge option that would better align with their iron sets while still providing tour-caliber spin and clubface technologies. To see if the CBX 2 wedges delivered on their promise of forgiveness and high-level performance, we took them out on the golf course to give them a try.

Club Test

Cobra KING Forged Tec vs. Forged Tec One Length

By Drew Mahowald — 2nd Swing Staff Writer

The year 2019 may be remembered by many in the golf industry as the year of the players distance iron. Seemingly every manufacturer has released a hollow-body iron with the goal of providing golfers with more distance, more forgiveness, and the ability to hit more greens in regulation.

Cobra recently joined the players distance iron category with the release of the Cobra KING Forged Tec irons and the Cobra KING Forged Tec One Length irons, both of which feature a classic, forged design with added mass toward the lower and outside portions of the club to deliver added launch and forgiveness.

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At The Turn - 2nd Swing's Newsletter

Volume 31: October 24, 2019

2nd Swing’s bimonthly newsletter, At The Turn, returns with more insight and knowledge from industry experts. In this installment, we’ve ranked the top five Mizuno blades of all time. We’ve also included two in-depth video product comparisons: one comparing the TaylorMade M5 and PING G410 LST drivers, and the other breaking down the Callaway Chrome Soft X and Srixon Z-Star XV golf balls. This edition also includes a deep dive on the illustrious career of Larry Bobka, who joins 2nd Swing as an advisor and master club fitter. And lastly, we review Cleveland’s new Frontline putters.


Golf Club Rankings

2nd Swing’s top five Mizuno blade irons

By 2nd Swing Staff

It’s not a secret that Mizuno builds some of the best players irons in golf, if not the best. They introduced golf sales divisions in the U.S. and U.K. in the 1980s and instantly became a hit. That reputation has been maintained ever since through the company’s unique and highly effective forging process.

Over the years, Mizuno has released several muscle-back blade iron models that have fit the needs of elite ball-strikers. The most recent of these models is the MP-20, made available to the public in September 2020.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Trackman Driver Testing: TaylorMade M5 vs. PING G410 LST

If you’re in the market for a new driver this fall and ball speed, lower spin rates, and customization options are high on your wish list, then it’s probably pretty much a lock that the TaylorMade M5 and the PING G410 LST will be among the drivers you’re considering. That being the case, 2nd Swing’s Thomas Campbell and Drew Mahowald decided to match those two drivers against each other using Trackman 4 to see how they compared.

2nd Swing News

Bobka brings illustrious golf background to 2nd Swing

By Drew Mahowald -- 2nd Swing Staff Writer

Larry Bobka has been building and fixing golf clubs for nearly 45 years. And during that time, he has worked with thousands of golfers, ranging from beginners to -- quite literally -- the best golfers in the world.

Throughout his illustrious career, Bobka has served as a golf club professional, teacher, advisor, club designer, and club fitter. He has made several stops during his journey through the golf industry, and his successes at each have earned the respect of the most recognizable figures in the sport.

During the summer of 2019, Bobka joined 2nd Swing Golf as an advisor and master club fitter, bringing his world-class experience, knowledge, and service to the award-winning club-fitting staff at 2nd Swing.

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Ball Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Comparing Chrome Soft X and Z-Star XV

Two of the premium golf balls on the market today that have seen their presence in professional golf and popularity with amateur players on the rise are the Srixon Z-Star XV and the Callaway Chrome Soft X. To get a feel for how these two balls perform, where each excels, and how they’re different, we took them out on the golf course for a variety of tests, including tee shots, approach shots, and shots played from on and around the greens.

Club Test

Cleveland ramps up its putter game with Frontline

By Chris Wallace -- 2nd Swing staff writer

Over the course of the last decade or so, Cleveland has certainly been best known for its wedges, but in the last couple of years the company has also taken steps toward carving out a niche in the putter space.

Cleveland enjoyed moderate success with its TFi 2135 putters and their unique alignment aids, and the Huntington Beach lineups also have been well received.

That said, new this fall from Cleveland is the Frontline range of putters, which appear to be the company’s best entry into the putter market to date in terms of technology and performance.

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At The Turn - 2nd Swing's Newsletter

Volume 30: October 10, 2019

The At The Turn newsletter is back with more in-depth breakdowns and expert insight on both new equipment releases and prior-generation golf clubs. Below you’ll find our staff’s detailed ranking of the top five used drivers of the past decade. Additionally, you’ll see two videos from our YouTube page: one comparing the new Titleist U-500 and U-510 utility irons, and the other reviewing the new Cleveland Launcher iron models. We also tested out the new Callaway Jaws MD5 wedges and compared the Mizuno JPX-919 Tour and MP-20 irons with one another to find the similarities and differences between the most recent Mizuno players iron sets.


Golf Club Rankings

2nd Swing’s top-five used drivers of the past decade

By 2nd Swing Staff

With 2019 flying by quickly, not only will a new year be upon us soon but a new decade as well. In looking back, it’s pretty amazing to consider the number and quality of advancements that have taken place in golf clubs since 2010, especially when it comes to drivers.

Over the course of the past decade, golf manufacturers have excelled with each passing year in terms of giving players more forgiveness, ball speed gains, and increased customization options, and the driver choices on the market today are simply incredible.

That said, the past decade also saw plenty of tremendous drivers come to market, some of which can absolutely still hold their own when matched up against newer releases, especially when properly fit for a player.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Trackman Testing: Titleist U-500, U-510 utility clubs

As utility clubs have grown in popularity in recent years, golf club manufacturers have increasingly devoted added resources to the category, with the end result being golf clubs that offer the performance of hybrids with the versatility of long irons. Out with new utility irons this fall is Titleist, and to get a feel for the differences between the U-500 and U-510 in terms of performance, look, sound, and feel, we decided to test both using Trackman 4.

Club Test

Callaway Jaws MD5 wedges provide extra bite

By Drew Mahowald -- 2nd Swing Staff Writer

It happens far too often during a round of golf. You’re faced with a short approach shot to the hole and anticipate that, with good contact, your ball will check up near the hole and give you a good chance at successfully getting up and down.

However, instead of checking up near the hole, your ball instead scoots several feet past the hole, and you’re faced with a lengthy putt.

Callaway Golf has attempted to solve this issue with its creation and release of the Jaws Mack Daddy 5 (MD5) wedges. Master wedge designer Roger Cleveland made some major adjustments to his construction method, particularly with the grooves, while maintaining the same classic look and feel that have made Callaway wedges so popular.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Cleveland out with new game-improvement irons

Several companies have brought out new irons in recent weeks, including Cleveland, which recently released its Launcher UHX and HB Turbo irons. While the two models look very different, each was designed to offer players higher launch conditions, significant forgiveness, and more distance. In an effort to learn more about the UHX and HB Turbo irons, 2nd Swing’s Drew Mahowald and Thomas Campbell took them out for a testing session.

Club Test

Comparing Mizuno JPX-919 Tour and MP-20 irons

By Drew Mahowald -- 2nd Swing Staff Writer

It’s no secret that Mizuno has been very successful in the golf equipment marketplace, specifically when it comes to producing players iron sets.

Several of the best players in the world have employed Mizuno’s classic performance and feel en route to finding success on tour. Look no further than world No. 1 player Brooks Koepka, who has used a set of Mizuno irons for all four of the major championships he has won in the last few years.

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At The Turn - 2nd Swing's Newsletter

Volume 29: September 26, 2019

At The Turn, 2nd Swing’s bimonthly newsletter covering the latest in golf equipment and industry trends is back with more insights and knowledge from experts. In this edition, we’ve included a test of the new Titleist 620 CB irons and an in-depth review of the new Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo woods. We also compared TaylorMade’s 2019 P790 irons to the 2017 version using Trackman technology. Plus, staff writer Chris Wallace had the opportunity to test and provide feedback on each of the 2019 Titleist irons and hybrids. And finally, we had the chance to chat with 2nd Swing Scottsdale fitter Bradley Harrelson to get his fitting insights and the trends he’s noticed in his fittings.


Club TEST

620 CB irons offer balance of control and forgiveness

By Drew Mahowald -- 2nd Swing Staff Writer

Titleist’s most recent launch of new irons and hybrids provides options for all skill levels. From the T300 irons to the 620 MB irons and the U500 utility iron to the TS2 hybrid, and everything in between, Titleist has covered all bases

The new series of players irons in the most recent Titleist launch features the 620 MBs, the 620 CBs, and the T100s. The 620 MB irons are a muscle back design catered toward the most skilled ball-strikers, while the T100s are the most compact and workable offering in the T-Series and include a spring steel body and additional tungsten weighting in the 3-iron through 6-iron for added forgiveness on longer shots.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Trackman Test: TaylorMade 2019 P790 vs. 2017 P790

One of the most anticipated golf club releases of 2019 has been the new TaylorMade P790, which was unveiled to the public in late August. Of course, the original P790, which was released in 2017, was a huge success for TaylorMade, as it basically set the bar for the players distance iron category. So how do the new version and old version stack up? To find out, we tested both using Trackman 4, and the results proved to be quite interesting.

Golf Club Review

Hit it longer, straighter with new Launcher Turbo woods

By Chris Wallace -- 2nd Swing Staff Writer

With the exception of its always-popular wedges, Cleveland took a hiatus from the golf equipment game for a few years before returning in 2017 with new woods and irons and a clearer picture of the market it wanted to go after.

And the goal for Cleveland was simple when it introduced its new Launcher irons and woods two years ago: to make the game easier for the average player or the golfer who maybe only plays a handful of times each year.

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Club Test Video

Exclusive 2nd Swing Video

Exploring each of the new fall releases from Titleist

With new T-Series and 620 irons, TS hybrids, and U-Series utility clubs out on the market in the last few weeks, Titleist has captured the majority of headlines when it comes to recent equipment releases. That being the case, 2nd Swing headed to the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, California, where staff writer Chris Wallace had the chance to test each of the new products, as well as get fit for the perfect options for his game.

Club Fitting

Inside the Tour Van: Bradley Harrelson fitting Q&A

By Drew Mahowald -- 2nd Swing Staff Writer

2nd Swing’s Tour-level club fitting process is among the best in the golf industry, and yearly recognitions on the Golf Digest Top 100 Fitter list give support to this claim. To get to this level, 2nd Swing has built a staff of knowledgeable, experienced, and friendly club fitters that are able to help provide the same fitting experience the pros get.

Bradley Harrelson is one of the exceptional fitters at 2nd Swing’s Scottsdale, Arizona location. He started playing golf competitively at 11 years old and competed for four years at Montana State University. He then turned professional shortly after college and has played on several mini tours in Arizona over the past few years.

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AT THE TURN ARCHIVE:
Current Volumes, Volumes 1-16, Volumes 17-28

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