Phoenix Golf Fest At ASU Karsten Golf Course


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , | Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I had a chance to go to Phoenix Golf Fest this past weekend with Bryce. The event was held at ASU Karsten Golf Course, home of the Sundevils golf team. Basically it was a huge demo day. Most of the major manufacturers were in attendance showing off their latest equipment and technology. The only dealers that I didn't see were Titleist and Ping. I was surprised that Ping wasn't there seeing as how the course is named after Karsten Solheim, founder of the Ping brand.

This is the first time that I had ever been to a demo day, so I was excited to try out a bunch of different clubs to see if there is really a difference in performance. Seeing as how I have TaylorMade irons and wedges, I headed over to their tent first.

I had to try out the new R11. I tried one with a 9 degree loft and that didn't work out to well. I have trouble getting height on my ball as it is, so I quickly switched to club head with 10.5 degrees of loft. Much better trajectory, but I didn't hit it as well as my Ping G10.

Next I tried the TaylorMade Burner Superfast 2.0. This club suited my swing much better. The instructor told me that since my swing speed isn't super fast, the lighter weight is to my advantage because it helps increase my clubhead speed.

The Doctor is a Callaway guy so I had to try out a few of their items just to see what they were working with. I was impressed with the Razr irons. I hit the ball really well with these clubs. It felt like I hit the sweet spot every time. Great feel off the clubface. I was told that they are very forgiving. The way my swing is sometimes, that's a good thing.

I moved over to the Cleveland tent because I wanted to try out their wedges. I really wanted to see how they performed around the greens, but they didn't have a set up for pitching and chipping. They felt pretty good on the range though, but like I said I wanted to see how the ball would react on those short chip shots.

I also tried out the Cleveland Mashie that they are advertising all over The Golf Channel. These are their version of a hybrid club. I didn't hit these that well. I've find that I hit clubs that "look right" to me, if that makes sense. For example I hate hitting the Nike Sasquatch driver because of the way it looks. It just doesn't look right behind the ball, therefore there is a mental block which keeps me from hitting his club well. This is the case with the Mashie.

Going back to Nike, I tried my first set of blade irons. I use irons with a big cavity back for that extra forgiveness I was talking about earlier. I hit a few that were beautiful. I can definitely see the advantage to using these irons, but I soon found out that I am not consistent enough to use them. Give me a few more months and I will be there.

After I hit the irons, I picked up the Victory Red VR Pro driver and I hated it. It just felt all wrong. The sound, the feel. I wasn't impressed...Until the Nike rep came over and switched the shaft. I never realized that the shaft can make such a huge difference. He changed it to a Fubuki Shaft and it was like night and day. I began to hit the ball a lot straighter and further. Again, I think it was a feel thing. The first shaft sounded like I was hitting a tin can. The second shaft felt a lot more solid.

Since May is free lesson month, they also had a few instructors giving 10 minute lessons. Unfortunately, I had a tee time for that afternoon at Longbow Golf Club and I had to leave before I could get my lesson. This is probably a good thing because I probably would have been thinking to much about changes instead of just playing.

If you ever get a chance, check out a demo day when it rolls through your town. I learned the importance of getting fitted for the right club. It really makes a huge difference. I know it's easy to just buy a set of clubs off the rack, but if you want to play your best, properly fitted clubs are the way to go. Have a great round and always hit your target.

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