Regular Guy Reviews: Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero Fairway Wood

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Our Regular Guy Reviews the Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero Fairway Wood

The Callaway GBB Epic line may have been the most hyped woods lineup for 2017, and I can’t deny that I bought into it.  I loved the driver (although it’s not in my bag…yet), so I was anxious to try the fairway woods as well.  Being the average joe that I am, I was nervous to try the Sub Zero version, but I hadn’t found a mainstay fairway wood for my bag, so I wanted to give it a shot.

Find the Callaway Great Big Berth Epic Sub Zero Fairway Wood HERE.

Joe Pro’s Original Review

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The Vibe:

One thing that really drew me in to the Epic lineup was the original lime green and black color scheme.  I’m a sucker for that color combo, and the looks of the Sub Zero don’t disappoint.  The smaller head has a sweet carbon fiber look, but the smaller head size is a little intimidating, especially for a guy who hasn’t always hit fairway woods all that great.

The feel of the club was solid when well struck, but for most of us Regular Guys, we don’t always hit it right on the sweet spot.  I found the Epic Sub Zero to not be as punishing as expected.  Off-center shots still felt fairly solid, and Callaway claims it’s due to the Hyper Speed Cup Face that Joe Pro mentions in his review.  All-in-all, I was pleasantly surprised with the overall feel of the Epic Sub Zero, being that it is a marketed as the “players” version of the Epic Fairway Wood.

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On Course:

I really wanted to love the Epic Sub Zero, because it’s always nice to have a “Tour Level” players club in the bag, and I really wanted to make it work on the course.  However, being the players club that it is, there were definitely some highs and lows with this club for a guy like me.  That’s not to say that it’s not for any level of player, but I’ll give you my thoughts how it went on the course.

The weight configuration of the Epic Sub Zero allows a setup for a lower or higher ball flight by moving the CG of the club.  With the weights in the low ball flight position, it was very hard for me to elevate off of the deck, and forget about out of the rough.  Off the tee, I had a nice, penetrating ball flight when I hit it well, but outside of that, didn’t see great results (and I typically have a high ball flight).  With the weight in the back position, I did see better results off of the deck, and it was much easier to elevate the ball.  The Epic Sub Zero did lack the bit of forgiveness that I would typically hope for off of the deck, and it was still very difficult to hit out of the rough.  The distance was there on well struck shots, but again, anything fractionally off center hurt me.  My biggest gripe, though, was still the difficulty getting the ball in the air.

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The Verdict:

Overall, I can see how some will find the Epic Sub Zero to be a great fairway metal that can go in the bag immediately.  When struck well, the club is a straight bomber.  Unfortunately, Regular Guys like me are looking for a little more forgiveness, and a little more ease elevating the ball.  Where was I able to find this?  In the regular GBB Epic.  I found the standard fairway wood to be incredibly easy to elevate, and the distance was INSANE.

My Verdict: The GBB Epic Sub Zero is a great club for the right person.  If you have a solid fairway metal game, and don’t have any issues with elevating the ball, it’s worth taking a look at, whatever your handicap may be.

Regular Guy Reviews: Cobra King F7+ Driver

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Our Regular Guy Reviews the Cobra King F7+ Driver

Cobra has recently stepped their game up in the driver department.  While the Amp Cell and Bio Cell lines were quality clubs, last year’s LTD was really something to look at (in fact, it made it in my bag and is still there).  While the LTD was an awesome driver, Tour pros are even making the switch to the King F7+.  Let’s see how it fairs for us “regular guys”.

Find the Cobra King F7+ Driver HERE.

Joe Pro’s Original Review

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The Vibe:

With the original release of the LTD, Cobra went with their standard Black and Orange color scheme, ala Rickie Fowler.  Fowler is their poster-boy, so I imagine they will ride that for awhile.  The F7+ still offers that color scheme, but also adds a blue option to the lineup as well, which we were fortunate enough to review here at Swing Juice.

In regards to looks, the matte finish was the biggest change for me.  The glossy, checkerboard finish on the LTD looked cool in the sunlight, but it scratched too easily.  The F7+ offers a matte crown that appeared much more durable because let’s face it, us regular guys pop one up every once in awhile, which is still gonna leave a mark…such is life.  They did keep the checkerboard pattern.

I found the F7+ lets out a really solid sound when struck properly.  It definitely lets you hear and feel it when it’s struck well.  Heel and toe shots let out a much more muffled sound, while shots high off of the face seem to let out a much louder “crack”.  The sound from those shots higher on the face might leave you feeling like you cracked the face of the club.  If you do catch one high and hear that sound, don’t worry, the driver is just fine.

The feel is very solid, and the forgiveness is there as well for the regular dudes.  The forged TI-811 E9 face Cobra touts in the F7+ is supposed to add a larger sweet spot with more forgiveness than the F7+, and that’s exactly what the weekend warrior needs.  I found that balls off of the toe produced a solid ball flight without a ton of distance loss.  Off of the heel, there was a little bit less forgiveness in my opinion.

Overall, the F7+ is an extremely good driver in the Vibe department, and will be at the top of my list of drivers for 2017.

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On Course:

The biggest performance component with this year’s F7+ is the additional adjustability.  The movable weights allowed me to tinker with my ball flight, depending on if you need a low spin/launch for the high-ball hitter like myself, or need to help getting the ball in the air.  A third heel-heavy setup option helps promote more of a draw flight.  The biggest thing for me is that like Joe Pro, these adjustments actually changed my ball flight.  Thanks, Cobra.

The loft adjustability from the previous Cobra models is also back in the F7+, giving you a variety of combinations to get the perfect ball flight off of the tee.  Dialing the club in with the right adjustments make the F7+ that much better.  While it’s fun to tinker on the range, I still recommend using the help of a professional with any adjustments.

As an added bonus, Cobra’s partnership with Arccos Golf allows you to analyze your driver swing and stats right from your smartphone.  That’s a pretty damn cool bonus if you ask me.

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The Verdict:

Yet again, Cobra produced another tee box monster that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re searching for a new driver in 2017.  While a ton of other OEMs are producing great products this year (see the other reviews for our thoughts on those!), I wouldn’t skip testing out the Cobra F7+ if you’re a Regular Guy like me.  I would also make sure to hit the regular F7 as well which has higher loft options.

My Verdict: A Cobra driver was in my bag last year, and I don’t see that changing in 2017.  It has the forgiveness I need, with the looks and distance to go with it.

Meurig Morgan – The Resident Swing Juice Golf Expert

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As Swing Juice tries to find more ways to engage our audience over the web, we thought it would be a good idea to help our fellow golf fanatics get better at this silly game.  To do so, we’ve hooked up with Welshman Meurig Morgan of Dragon Golf Instruction based out of Lake Oswego Golf Course in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  Meurig’s endearing personality, lighthearted approach to the game, and passion for helping people make him a great fit in the Swing Juice machine and we look forward to creating content with him as we move forward.

Meurig’s love of golf started over 20 years ago in Wales, where he played on the Junior National Team and had the opportunity to become an instructor at the Wernddu Golf Center near Abergavenny. Since then, he played on various professional tours around the globe and discovered his true passion is helping others improve their game. Over his teaching career he has taught over 10,000 lessons and has helped a number of his students win both amateur and professional events across the US and Europe.

Meurig was awarded the nationally accredited Outstanding Achievement in Instruction award in 2013 and 2014.
Only 30 instructors out of 600 were award this in the US.

Stay tuned for new content from Meurig each week.

BREAKING: Phil and Bones Split after 25 Years

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To quote the great Boys II Men (yes they are great), “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”.  Big News coming from the golf universe today as long time player/caddie duo Phil Mickelson and Jim “Bones” Mackay have decided to mutually go their separate ways.  The news just broke so I’m sure more details will emerge, but I have to admit it will be weird seeing one without the other on the golf course going forward.  Also seems like odd timing given the fact that Bones was walking Erin Hills alone last week scouting the US Open course while “GraduationGate” was going on.  Oh well, no doubt both will be fine (combined as a duo 42 Career PGA Tour victories, 186 Top 10′s, and $83 Million in earnings).

Full Story via Golf Digest Here

Cue the Boys..

 

On The Bench with Jacob and Olly – My Favorite Thing on the Internet

On The Bench

My true love in life before I got old and out of shape was hockey.  It’s still in my blood.  As I was doing my usual social media rounds, I one day stumbled upon these caricatures of Canadian stereotypes making videos to teach the “fundies” of hockey to attract the attention of all the scouts and “rockets.”  Every time I see one of these videos from Olly Postanin and Jacob Bardownpop up on my timeline, the excitement I feel is somewhat embarrassing.  You can find the boys’ Youtube page here and their Facebook here where they post the most frequently.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Review: 2017 TaylorMade M1 Driver

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2017 TaylorMade M1 Driver

The TaylorMade M1 is easily one of the most recognizable and sought after drivers in the golf industry.  A large part of this is because of TaylorMade’s decades long rule at the top of the gear pyramid and a large part is from recognizable star players like Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods playing their clubs.  After watching Dustin Johnson bomb the ball around the course, who wouldn’t want to try the same driver to try and find similar magic?

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The Highlights:

  • The 2017 M1 has 43% more carbon than 2016′s model to enable lower CG for better launch
  • Redesigned T-Track for improved adjustability
  • Maximum distance and forgiveness through multi-material construction
  • 64% more front-to-back CG adjustability
  • 4° aluminum Loft Sleeve features 12 adjustable settings
  • Three stock shaft choices: Fujikura Pro XLR8 56, Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60, Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65

Find the TaylorMade M1 driver HERE.

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The Vibe:

I’m not sure it gets much cooler than the TaylorMade M1 driver.  The black carbon fiber crown set against the white topline is so smooth and looks great sitting behind the ball.  Much to TaylorMade’s credit too, that color scheme is impossible to miss on the TV broadcasts.  It just jumps out at you.  Then when you have the likes of Dustin Johnson hitting million yard tee shots with it, it only adds to the cool factor.

Let’s cover the basics a bit.  The M1′s head shape could be the industry standard for drivers.  There’s nothing too extreme about it, it’s simple, and it really is perfect.  Aside from looking cool, the new M1 driver feels and sounds amazing.  TaylorMade has always had one of the more lively faces on the market and the new M1 driver lives up to this reputation.

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On Course:

First and foremost, this review was conducted with the standard 460cc version of the M1.  The 2017 driver lineup also includes a smaller 440cc M1.

The most important part of hitting a golf shot as long as you possibly can is finding the dead center of the face.  In the modern era of golf, clubs have become more and more configurable making it easier for golfers to consistently hit the center of the face.  Of course, amateur golfers that spend less time on their game need want something that makes this easier to do with less practice.  This may be the greatest defining quality of the new TaylorMade M1 driver.  A couple tweaks of the T-Track make it easy to get the club to feel right in your hands as well as get the ball flight you’re looking for.  Once I found the right settings on the M1 it seemed nearly impossible to miss the sweet spot.  I promise you I don’t mean that as any testament to my own game, but rather how solid the M1 driver is.

Once I had the M1 driver dialed in, I was hitting some effortlessly long bombs.  Not only was I hitting it longer but it felt like I could drop the ball on any target at will.  I mean, it was like I didn’t even have to try.  I am totally willing to be my own devil’s advocate and admit others will experience different results, but I was really pleased with my experience.  TaylorMade always carries a lot of hype, but I have to tell you, this M1 lives up to it.  It’s really hard to argue with premium performance and consistency.

For players that want to be able to do more than just hit a straight ball, there’s plenty of shot maneuverability in the M1 driver.  Going back to the adjustability of the M1, if you’re looking to add a little bit more movement for shot shaping or help with your trajectory, the M1′s adjustability does the trick.  There’s enough range in the T-Track to make small minor adjustments for just a hair of change (ok, relatively speaking, don’t nit-pick) or you can make significant tweaks to greatly alter the performance of the driver.  I’m not discrediting any other brand’s “adjustment capabilities”, but I believe TaylorMade has the best functional adjustment system in the game.

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The Verdict:

The $500 price tag on the 2017 TalyorMade M1 driver is a little steep, but you get what you pay for.  If you’re like most average golfers you’re likely going to keep this club in your bag for more than one season which makes it a perfectly sound investment.  It’s a lot like buying a performance car.  Sure, you can buy a perfectly fine Honda Civic for $20,000 but if you want to keep up with a Lamborghini you’re going to have to spend a few more dollars.  If you’re a serious golfer, it pays massive dividends to invest in a good driver which the M1 is about as good as it gets.  True, you could buy last year’s model cheaper, but I would argue the 2017 version is 100% worth the upgrade.

My Verdict: The 2017 M1 driver is very forgiving, as long as they get, and has the high-performance looks to match.  A very worthwhile investment in your golf game.

The Aftershow:

The Aftershow is where we talk about aspects of the equipment that’s of interest but didn’t necessarily make the review.

We didn’t really dive into any comparisons between 2017′s M1 driver and 2016′s.  What I can tell you is that I think the 2017 version is significantly better.  I thought the 2016 model was fine, but the 2017 model is exceptional.  It’s hard to explain, but I feel like the 2017 version is more ‘polished’ and to some degree better in many areas.  Obviously guys on the Tours got along just fine with the 2016 version, but for the average person making the investment in a quality club, the 2017 model is a no-brainer.  I applaud TaylorMade’s efforts to refine a good golf club from last year and really make it a great club this year.

Have a Drink Friday – The Original 19th Hole

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I was struggling to come up with this week’s #HADF so I Googled “US Open cocktails” given it’s US Open week.  This took me down a nice rabbit hole where I stumbled upon the Grey Goose recipe for the Original 19th Hole, a sweet vodka-based (obviously) cocktail that’s perfect for after…or even during…a round.

Ingredients Per Drink:
  • 2 parts vodka
  • 2 parts orange juice
  • 2 parts pineapple juice
  • 1 part lemon-lime soda
  • Garnish: lemon wheel Ice cubes
Preparation:
  1. MIX vodka with pineapple and orange juices. Pour over ice in a tall glass.
  2. TOP with lemon-lime soda and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Get your Golf & Vodka gear here.

Golf.Show with Special Guest Matt Ginella

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This week on Golf.Show, Matty and I had Special Guest Matt Ginella from Golf Channel on the program and we did a Deep Dive into the US Open. We talked Erin Hills, Golf Buddies trips, Phil, Picks for the US Open and much more.  Is the Rough too Rough?  We Discuss…

Follow Matt Ginella HERE and HERE.  Matt has the Greatest Job in the Game of Golf and is an even better guy.  Thanks so much Matt for coming on, we had a Blast!

On Me (Golf Flag tee)

On Matty (USDJ tee)

Kevin Na Complains About The Fescue At Erin Hills, Rory Thinks It’s a Non-Issue

Erin Hills US Open

Last year’s US Open at Oakmont drew a ton of videos on social media to show exactly how deep and thick the rough was for the players that week.  This year, Kevin Na took to the realms of social media to voice his displeasure with the difficulty of the fescue shaping the holes at Erin Hills.  Check out Kevin’s Instagram video here:

 

To be fair, the fescue is definitely thick, but the USGA hinted all along that it would mow the fescue before the tournament, and did so on Tuesday due to a good amount of rain Monday night.

Enter Rory McIlroy.  In McIlroy’s presser today, he stated that he felt the fescue shouldn’t be an issue.  Here’s what the Northern Irishman had to say:

Rory US Open

 

I have to agree with Rory here: it’s the freakin’ US Open, it’s supposed to be tough.  I can’t personally attest to how wide the fairways really are, but if they’re that big, these guys should be able to hit them.  It seems there should be bigger things to worry about for the pros out there, but what do I know?