A continuing look at the cool things in golf that I get to take for a test drive…
Callaway Razr X: I’ve never really played Callaway irons — at least not in recent years. So when Scott Reid, the head of Callaway in Canada, contacted me and asked if I’d try out the clubmaker’s latest irons, I was skeptical. I’ve always seen Callaway as a game improvement company, and I thought of myself as a good player (at least in my own mind). Scott sent me to Barry Wallis to be fit at a time when I’ve been making some adjustments to my swing, trying to make my ball spin and balloon less. We settled on Callaway’s Razr X irons with Project X shafts. I took them to Tarandowah to work out on the range and was immediately struck my the flight — lower and more boring — and the fact I was longer with them than the AP2s I’d been playing. So I took them out for my next round and they’ve been in the bag since. I’ve since added a RAZR Fit driver and found it to spin less than the Ping G20 I’d been hitting. I’m impressed. Though the feel isn’t quite as soft as my AP2s, I don’t think I’ve lost much in that area with the change, though I’ve continued to keep my Vokey wedges in my bag. Overall, it is a real eye opener, and makes me wonder why Callaway has been struggling if its clubs are this good.
FootJoy XPS-1: I have ad admission to make — I have more golf shoes than my wife has shoes. Full stop. It is a bad scene. So it took my four months to crack open the box on the XPS-1 shoes that were sent from FootJoy earlier this year. SCOREGolf equipment guru Rick Young had praised the shoes during a round we played together, so I felt the need to try them. The shoes are designed to add stability to your swing, and for a guy that’s always had a lot of lateral movement, they seem to do the trick. Beyond that, they were super comfortable, with no break-in time. I simply wore them for a round and since then they’ve been my gamers. Another great FooyJoy product, though if I’m wearing pants when I play, I’ll still break out my MyJoy Icons.
St. Thomas Golf and Country Club: Yes, St. Thomas has had a tough year with its greens — but what a great course. I played it last week with a friend from out of town after not having been out to the course this year. Heat stress had hurt three or four greens, but that’s easy to overlook when a course is as good as St. Thomas. The best holes — 3, 8, 14, 15, 16, and 18 — are among some of the finest in the country. Membership, which was a struggle last year, has rebounded somewhat, largely based on the fact that the course is just that good. St. Thomas is classic parkland — built on meandering land with rugged valleys and interesting contour. There are few better courses in Canada. The club plans on undertaking significant tree reductions this fall, which will help the turf quality and playability. St. Thomas getting better? That’ll be interesting to see.