THE GOG BLOG SPEAKS OUT-FALL GOLF AND NEWLY FITTED CLUBS

   THE BOYNE MOUNTAIN LODGE in Boyne Falls Michigan, part of the Boyne Resorts portfolio has 36 holes of golf, and two of Boyne’s 10 golf courses, for more details see Boynegolf.com. (R) Bay Harbor’s Links course is one of the three nine’s by Arthur Hills.  ______________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Editor and Director of Content. The Gog Blog is an extension of Golfers on Golf Radio Am 750 WNDZ Chicago. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. On the 7th hole of the Links Course at Bay Harbor Golf Club in Petoskey Michigan. Rory’s shirt by Antigua apparel.

It’s nice to be back putting out the content on Golfers on Golf Dot com.

I have a stock pile of things to write about so stay clicked in, there will be plenty of golf stuff for you to catch up on.

The radio show is done for the year as summer has already passed us by. 23 weeks went by real quickly, and I’m already thinking about how to be better in 2018. Stay tuned.

With the daily grind of baseball now ending, and the golf tournaments of the summer behind us, I plan to be out on the course a little more, and checking out some renovation projects in the area. Most courses are finding ways to get better and offer more, if your not. You are falling behind the competition. Whether your next improvement project is the golf course, the practice area, the clubhouse, or something else. It’s time to improve, somewhere on your property. Show your customers and potential new customers that you care, and your not afraid to invest back into them and the golf experience they get when they come to your golf facility. Both rounds of golf and F&B dollars are up, at facilities that have made improvements.

In the fitting bay at True Spec Golf in Highland Park.

A FEW WEEKS back I went to the new True Spec Golf Fitting lab in Highland Park.

I elected to have their team investigate my issues with fairway woods on the golf course.

They put me through tests with Titleist clubs, my original Titleist’s, new model Titleist woods, Callaway, Taylor Made and Ping products.

In the end it was the Callaway Steelhead fairway woods that tested out the best for me. As a result I now have a Steelhead 3 wood and 5 wood in the bag. When I headed to Northern Michigan for my golf getaway at the new Stoatin Brae golf course and Boyne golf properties last week, before making a final stop at the historic Belvedere golf course, I put both new woods to the test.

At Boyne Mountain with my Callaway Epic Driver, and two Callaway Steelhead woods.

First up my Epic Driver with the new Fujikura Speeder is locking in, over seven rounds I hit a solid majority of fairways. At least 70% except for one round, where a majority of my drives hit the fairway, but didn’t end up in the fairway.

The fairway 5 wood Steelhead was solid from the get-go. Not only did I get a distance increase over my old 5 wood, but it held the line better. The changes on the new five wood, was a half degree of loft added, and a minor change in the swing weight. I found I don’t need to swing as hard with this club to get the results I’m looking for. The fitting process on the 5 Wood was a solid home run.

My 3 Wood is a different story. It started off very slow. I topped the first shot I hit with it and the ball only went 135 yards. The second swing saw the ball travel about 210, and go left into a short grass fescue area. What I took into account is that the lies I had were not the greatest, on the new Stoatin Brae Course that is in it’s first year of being open. My full story on that course (which I like) is coming soon.

The tenth hole at the new Stoatin Brae golf course part of the Gull Lake Resort, in Augusta Michigan. (near Kalamazoo)

When I got the nerve up to try the 3 Wood again at Bay Harbor, the first shot was not what I was looking for. But at first if you don’t succeed….etc.

On the seventh hole of the Bay Harbor Links course that runs along the water, I decided the time was right to go for the green in two on this par 5 from 244 yards out.

Well I got there, except the ball didn’t stay there. It ran over the corner of the green, and along side the leftside of the green. But now this was still something I had not had in a while. A 50 foot pitch on a 535 yard par 5, for Eagle. The next day I used the club only twice. On a par 5 at the Boyne-Crooked Tree Golf Club, the result from 260 was an easy pitch on my third shot, and a good par on a long par 5.

The fitting lab at True Spec Golf in Highland Park.

That afternoon back on the Links 9 at Bay Harbor, on the same seventh hole, got home from 247 and had an Eagle putt. Okay, almost a 100 footer, but still I do like eagle putts.  The 3 wood survived a test at Belvedere in my final round, coming up just short of a par 5 green from 260. I still might need to hit the three wood a little more to be totally comfortable pulling it more often, but it is moving into a comfort zone I no longer had with my old 3 wood.

Regardless of the brand of clubs you are playing, the bottom line is that fitted golf clubs make a difference. My fairway wood game is back in the bag again, and the results show on the course and most importantly on the scorecard.

The results I got were also consistent no matter what golf ball I played during the trip. I did play the Titleist Pro V1 the Pro V1x, and the Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X. As for golf balls, I have played the Titleist Pro V1 and mostly the Pro V1x golf ball since they hit the market, the Callaway Chrome ball might not be a better ball than the Pro V, but it no longer trails the Titleist Pro V models by a wide margin. It’s in the back seat of the car, looking over the Pro V’s shoulder. If Callaway brings the Chrome golf ball to the market for a better price than the Pro V’s, the average golf consumer will have a decision to make.

The biggest question I have now, is about my wedges. Have my older Titleist Vokey’s seen their best days, and is it time for Vokey SM-6 models, or the new Mack Daddy by designer Roger Cleveland at Callaway. I hear my self being called back to the fitting room, to correct another phase of my game. Truespecgolf.com in Highland Park.

KUDO’s to Captain Steve Stricker and Team USA, there will be no protests, or kneeling during the anthem’s during this weeks Presidents Cup Matches.

FALL GOLF IS HERE and the time frame is about 5 more weeks of good weather to enjoy the nice fall golf season. It’s a nice time of the year to play, courses can be less crowded but not always. Cooler temps, and the colors shine through. Yes, too many leaves on the ground, but the best courses suck them up and grind them up, instead of just blowing them around.

Plenty more golf news ahead, so stay clicked in. RS

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.