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BIRDIE TESTED ON THE COURSE. TESTED BY YOU.

P L AY E R R E V I E W S

SPIN BACK

Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges make a welcome return.

P L AY E R R E V I E W S

THINGS WE LIKE

ON COURSE PLAYER REVIEWS!

HATS OFF!

Golfers, like you, give their opinions on the latest equipment, tested under game conditions.

14 of the best looking noggin protectors on, and off, the course.

ROOKIE ISSUE P L AY E R R E V I E W S

DOWN & DIRTY WITH

THE PING G30 CORE BLIMEY!

GOLF BALL 101 - Half a dozen under the Birdie spotlight Journey to the centre of the golf ball.


CONTENTS P RO D U C T Golf hats. Tons of ‘em! - p6 ON COURSE TESTING Ping G30 driver - p10 Taylormade Speedblade irons - p18 Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges - p32 Ping Ketsch putter - p40 I N N OVAT I O N Biion golf shoes. One-piece comfort - p16 OFF THE GREEN Journey to the centre of the golf ball - p26 Phot ograph y

by

Jim Friedman

WHIMSY The lure of the do-over - p35 by

John Harris

GOLF COURSE REVIEW Deer Creek Golf and Banqueting - p46


ABOUT U S Birdie Golf Magazine is a golf buyer’s guide. Readers review equipment on the course, then we collate their opinions to produce a digital magazine with accompanying videos. We believe that the best place to review a golf club is where you play – on the golf course. Wind, differing lies, humidity levels and alternating clubs all create unique playing conditions that are best experienced in live play. All reviews are entirely independent. We create fair reviews of golf equipment, by real users, without bias – the way it should be. If you like what Birdie is doing, please let friends, family, and anyone else that loves golf, know about this project by sharing content and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 3


GRE AT P R QUAL I T Y S EX P E RT F GRE E NF I E VI S IT U S


RIC ES. SE RV I C E . I TT ING S. E L D G O L F. H E RE


GOLF HELMETS We scoured the web for the best looking golf caps around. Protect your noggin from the sun with one of these beauties.

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P H OTO S : © O F M A N U FA C T U R E R

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REVIEWS • DRIVERS

AL L ABI L I TI ES

ON COU RSE TES T IN G

T U R B U L AT O R

P H OTO S : © P I N G G O L F

Bubba’s longest weapon, the Ping G30 driver, is a forgiving, long-hitting beast, at least that’s the promise. We put the club through its paces out on the golf course.

1 0 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


REVIEWS • DRIVERS

HOVER & CLICK LINK

P R O D U C T P H OTO S : © P I N G G O L F

TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

1 2 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


“Pretty far and pretty straight.” Chris ‘CJ’

CHRIS ‘CJ’ Registered Nurse Age: 34 Handicap: 10 Current: Callaway Optiforce 440

LO O K S : “It actually looks pretty good because of the non-glossy finish. The turbulators may be something to get used to.” F E E L : “Just like any driver that is 460cc, it feels hollow, though at the same time plays good.” P L AY: “I was hitting the ball well even though it didn’t feel the best.” F O RG I V E N E S S : “It’s forgiving so I can’t complain about all the other things that I just mentioned. A good driver, actually goes pretty far and pretty straight.”

LOOKS

8.5

FEEL

8.0

PLAY

8.5

FORGIVENESS

9.0

OVERALL SCORE

8.5


REVIEWS • DRIVERS

Ping G30 in the DON Graphic Designer Age: 60 Handicap: 28 Current: Ping G25

LO O K S : “Good looking club. Super-matte finish nothing distracting on the top.” F E E L : “Feels quite light when you’re taking a few waggles with it.” P L AY: “Played well. Very light, but I found that it sounded a bit “tinny” off the face compared to, say, the G25.”

P R O D U C T P H OTO S / V I D E O : © P I N G G O L F

F O RG I V E N E S S : “Because of the depth of the face it’s a pretty forgiving club.”

LOOKS

9.0

FEEL

7.5

PLAY

7.5

FORGIVENESS

7.0

OVERALL SCORE

7.8


“Played well, very light.”

e wind tunnel.

Don

HOVER & CLICK LINK TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 1 3


I N N O VA TION

BIRDIE OUR PICK 2015

P H OTO S © B I I O N

ht g i e w t h g i ultra-l m o r f piece e e n o Mad ’s n r, Biio e b b u r d re not a s e molde o h s l golf a i r e t c a b ese h antiT . t r a e nt of h i a f e h t ngs i r r e fo f f o g abbin r g n o i t n cturer atte a f u n a m shoe f l o g m o t you fr e g y l n i a t l cer Biion wil t tee. s r fi e h t n noticed o rom f o f n i e r Mo r.com a e w t o o f n www.biio


B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 1 5


REVIEWS • IRONS

P H OTO S © TAY L O R M A D E G O L F

HTEHTEH ENEED NE ED OFRO FRO P SEPESED PE 1 6 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


HTEH E EDNE EDE D O FRO R ESEDPE EDE I can’t deny it, I’m a fan. But how did Chris and Don make out with Taylormade’s Speedblade irons? Read on to find out...

BIRDIE

BRONZE

INT ERM EDIAT E

ON COURS E T EST ING

IRONS

These we re a silve r award fo r me. I fo und them light , long an d straight Editor.


REVIEWS • IRONS

“A long, long, long club.” Chris ‘CJ’

CHRIS ‘CJ’ Registered Nurse Age: 34 Handicap: 10 Current: Mizuno MP-53

LO O K S : “Grey, silverish, blue colours, which are actually pretty neat. A little thicker on the top.” F E E L : “On address, you can see a little bit of the slot. The feel of it comes off pretty soft, softer than I thought it would be.”

P R O D U C T P H OTO S © TAY L O R M A D E G O L F

P L AY: “Pretty straight and forgiving.” F O RG I V E N E S S : “A forgiving club. Very surprising and actually really, really good irons.”

LOOKS

8.5

FEEL

9.0

PLAY

9.0

FORGIVENESS

9.0

OVERALL SCORE

8.9


HOVER & CLICK LINK TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 1 9


P R O D U C T P H OTO S / V I D E O Š TAY L O R M A D E G O L F

TaylorMade explain their Speed Pocket tech


REVIEWS • IRONS

“A little lighter than I thought.” Don

DON Graphic Designer Age: 60 Handicap: 28 Current: Mizuno JPX EZ Forged

LO O K S : “Matte finish. Camouflaged top-line.” F E E L : “Played nice, surprisingly well... a little lighter than I thought it would be for an improvement iron.” P L AY: “I think the slot technology and the weighting in the back has really helped the ball get up in the air quite well.” F O RG I V E N E S S : “The middle irons were impressively well hit which is an improvement for me!”

HOVER & CLICK LINK TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

LOOKS

8.5

FEEL

8.5

PLAY

8.5

FORGIVENESS

8.5

OVERALL SCORE

8.5

B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 2 1


JOUR TO T CENTR THE G BA

Photographer Jim Friedman sliced discover an intergalactic corn

P H O T O G R A P H S CO U RT ES Y O F JA M E 2 2 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


RNEY THE RE OF GOLF ALL

d his golf ball collection in half to nucopia of colour and texture.

ES F R I ED M A N P H O T O G R A P H ER . CO M


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Visit jamesfriedmanphotographer.com to see more of James’ inspiring photography


REVIEWS • WEDGE

ALL AB ILITIE S

ON COURS E T EST ING

RETURN of the

P H OTO © C A L L AWAY G O L F

MACK Following the wild success of the original wedge, the new Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind wedges are a great looking update. Birdie takes them out for a spin.


BIRDIE S I LV E R WEDGES

B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 3 1


P R O D U C T P H OTO © C A L L AWAY G O L F

REVIEWS • WEDGE

HOVER & CLICK LINK TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

3 2 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


“...almost like sandpaper.” Chris ‘CJ’

CHRIS ‘CJ’ Registered Nurse Age: 34 Handicap: 10 Current: Mizuno MP T-11

LO O K S : “Pretty sharp looking, it’s got a funky yellow lettering that matches with the grip which is actually pretty nice. It has a gritty face to it.” F E E L : “Felt pretty good... the grooves were gripping on the ball.” P L AY: “Played well from different lies, from the rough, from the fairway and from the bunker. A really, really nice wedge.” S P I N : “It felt almost like sandpaper. It made the ball spin a little bit more, and added a little more check to it.”

LOOKS

9.5

FEEL

9.5

PLAY

9.5

SPIN

9.0

OVERALL SCORE

9.5


REVIEWS • WEDGE

“A lot of feel around the greens.” Don

DON Graphic Designer Age: 60 Handicap: 28 Current: Srixon WG 504

LO O K S : “Bright satin finish... it’s been dampened. They’ve added this funky fluorescent colour to add some character to it.” F E E L : “These clubs are forged which really adds to the feel. They’re super-soft. A lot of feel around the greens.”

P R O D U C T P H OTO / V I D E O © C A L L AWAY G O L F

P L AY: “Interesting, they’ve cut the soles back to lay down the club pretty flat.” S P I N : “Pretty impressive. Pretty well stops on the green more than most wedges I’ve played.”

LOOKS

9.0

FEEL

9.0

PLAY

9.0

SPIN

9.0

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OVERALL SCORE

9.0

HOVER & CLICK LINK TO WATCH THIS VIDEO


Roger Cleveland takes us through the Tour grind for the Mac Daddy 2.


WHIMSY

THE LURE OF THE DOOVER BY JOHN HARRIS

3 5 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


Disclaimer: the following is almost entirely self-indulgent, extremely long, and may be of little interest to many...

However, it might be of some interest to those who are losing some distance and finesse with age, or to those who are interested in understanding the mental game a little better. It’s also worth noting that I didn’t play according to the Rules of Golf, not even close. Pre-game BS: Schmoozing with pro-shop James (who admits to 56 years old) prior to my round, I find myself monologuing about the effects of age (I’m 66) on my once-fabulous golfing skills. Like any sensible person, James suggests moving up a set of tee blocks. But I already did that two years ago, I say, to which he answers “so do it again.” This inspires nothing but stubbornness and adolescent rebellion in me. I’m not liking the conversation at all, so I go play. Alone. From my usual white tees.


WHIMSY

Hole 2, white, 327 yds, par 4 An unexpected lawnmower starts up during my backswing, resulting in him cutting grass and me hitting a fat shot that barely gets over the creek. It went slightly farther than my divot, but still only about halfway there. “Screw it.” I say. “It was the damned lawnmower going off ”. I drop another ball and try again. Result is not great, but not fat and quite acceptable – about what I expected the first time. It occurs to me that golf is a lot easier when it doesn’t matter. Hole 7, white, 115 yds, par 3 Pin is front right, and I drop an 8 iron just short of the green but on line. Pretty good shot actually, but I’m left with having to semiflop a shot onto the first flat area of the green and letting it roll the remaining 10ft or so to the cup. Margin of error is minuscule; if I land short it’ll roll back at me, long will go 10ft past, and a skull shot will end up in 6 inch high, gnarly rough. So I land it short, of course, no more than 3 inches short but... short. “Screw it.” I say out loud, “I can do this”. I drop another ball and execute perfectly, ending up 1 inch short of the hole, dead on line. Proving once again that it’s easier when it doesn’t matter.

3 6 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


Hole 15, gold, 428 yds, par 4 Even from the white tees, on this hole I might reach the green once in 10 tries, regardless of how good my tee shot was. I consider bogey acceptable, and par exceptional. At this point in the round, headed for my usual 90-95 with occasional moments of mediocrity, pro-shop James’ words come back to me. Since no one is looking and fewer care, I give in to the reality of creeping decrepitude and move up to the gold tees. Boom. Nice tee shot but I’m still a bunch away from the green. I hope this doesn’t mean I have to move up to the green tees. With all this in mind, I smother-hook my approach, ending up about 100 yds short left, semi-stymied by a tree branch. What I need to do is punch a pitching wedge under the branch and hope the backspin stops it on the green. Good plan, except I shank it into the pond on the right. You may have guessed by now that I said, “Screw it I can do this.” By now I’m saying it without the period. I drop another, execute the originally intended PW punch, and the ball ends up 1 foot from the hole. One foot. Did I mention golf is way easier when it doesn’t matter?


WHIMSY

Hole 16, gold, 132 yds, par 3 I see where they put the gold tees (two clubs closer to the green than what I’m used to) and think this’ll be way too easy, especially for a golfer of my calibre. My usual miss from the white tees is a big high block to the right (having hooked so many into the woods/pond to the left back in the day), but I figure with the higher-lofted club that’ll be unlikely. Astute readers will now correctly guess that I then hit a big high block to the right with the higher-lofted club. The ball had good hang-time but dropped right into the pond, vertically, kerfreaking-plunk. My “screw-this-I-can-do-it” shot is not great but serviceable – inside 15ft and makeable (by a good putter). But guess what? It was easy. Hole 17, gold, 432 yds, par 5 Third shot hits the green pin high but rolls into the bunker on the left. I’m shortsided with maybe 6ft of green to work with. Difficult but not impossible. I baby-blast a lob wedge to a landing spot that was, unfortunately, about 6 inches short of what I wanted. “Screw it.” I said, dropped another, and holed it. By “holed it” I mean it went in the hole. This game’s easy. (To be fair, and in case any golf gods are reading, it’s even easier when you don’t shortside yourself into greenside bunkers.) 3 8 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


Hole 18, gold, 340 yds, par 4 By now I’m a dedicated gold-tee lover and I stripe one down the middle. I’m left with an 8 iron, much less club than I’m used to. I’m conscious that this may turn out to be my last shot of the year, but wary about attaching any particular significance to it. After all, I’ve seen on three occasions today how pretending it doesn’t matter, well, matters. On the other hand it’d be nice to end well, wouldn’t it? Two maintenance guys are on the green but clear to the side when they see me. My 8 iron goes high and handsome with a 5ft-10ft draw, just the way I like it. The ball hits and checks, then rolls toward the pin. The maintenance guys start whooping it up and I figure it’s going in. Okay, it turns out it didn’t, but it almost did. It was a foot past the hole. In summary, on four holes I either holed it or put it a foot away. Unfortunately only the last one counted. If only I could bottle this “doesn’t matter” attitude and take a sip as needed.


REVIEWS • PUTTER

ALL ABILIT IES

ON COURS E TES T ING

P H OTO © P I N G G O L F

Ping have always been known for their classic putters but the Ketsch is a new direction. Popular on the Tour, Ping have created a new breed of classic.

NICE KETSC

4 0 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


H

BIRDIE BRONZE PUT TER


HOVER & CLICK LINK

P H OTO © P I N G G O L F

TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

4 2 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M


REVIEWS • PUTTER

CHRIS ‘CJ’ Registered Nurse Age: 34 Handicap: 10 Current: Mizuno MP T-105

LO O K S : “Fairly large, it’s almost the size of my palm. The face is pretty interesting... it’s just a bunch of grooves.” F E E L : “Pretty good putter, I usually use a mallet myself. [the ball] came off the face pretty soft probably because of the insert and the material. Ping went with a thicker grip... it helped it a little bit. The thing I didn’t like, was more so, the weight.” A L I G N M E N T: “Three alignment lines... one long one and two shorter ones. It was pretty easy to align.” C O N T RO L : “Nothing to worry about if you actually hit off-centre. It was easy to gauge the distance. The grooves were all the same depth. I found my strokes were just straight back and forth”

LOOKS

9.0

FEEL

9.0

ALIGNMENT

9.5

CONTROL

9.0

OVERALL SCORE

9.0


“Alignment is quite the strong point for this putter.” Don

P H OTO © P I N G G O L F

weight of this Due to the lighter needs to be putter, it certainly which will suit hit a little firmer, than others. some players more

4 4 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M

The long groo ves help on mis-hit s.


REVIEWS • PUTTER

DON Graphic Designer Age: 60 Handicap: 28 Current: Ping B60

LO O K S : “Matte black finish. Ping have added a new grip... last year’s was a cord, this one has a flat contour.” F E E L : “I found this putter a bit light. The ball comes off very soft on the stroke.” A L I G N M E N T: “Alignment is quite the strong point for this putter.” C O N T RO L : “Its forgiveness is good because of the true-roll technology on the insert.”

LOOKS

8.5

FEEL

7.5

ALIGNMENT

8.5

CONTROL

7.5

OVERALL SCORE

8.0


REVIEWS • GOLF COURSE


BIRDIE S I LV E R GOLF COURSE

DEER CREEK Now in its 25th year, Deer Creek Golf is celebrating. Chris and Don put the course through its paces to discover a tough challenge set in the beautiful Ontario landscape.

B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 4 7


REVIEWS • GOLF COURSE

CHRIS ‘CJ’ Registered Nurse Age: 34 Handicap: 10

L AYO U T: “A very difficult layout, you have to be smart about it, it is more of a shotmaker’s course. I found the Ruby and Diamond courses were not particularly too, too long but at the same time you have to think about where you’re putting your shots.” C O N D I T I O N S : “Overall, the North Course was in great shape. You can see people upkeeping the course. A really nice place.” G R E E N S : “The greens were rolling very well, cut very well.” FAC I L I T I E S : “Really great facilities. The driving range, which is about five minutes drive away, is huge. Alongside, they have a par three course. The pro shop is good, the staff very friendly.”

LAYOUT

8.5

CONDITIONS

9.5

GREENS

9.0

FACILITIES

9.5

4 8 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M

OVERALL SCORE

9.1


HOVER & CLICK LINK TO WATCH THIS VIDEO

lly are There rea e! deer her


DON Graphic Designer Age: 60 Handicap: 28

L AYO U T: “A tough course, a shotmaker’s course.” C O N D I T I O N S : “All day we’ve seen people working on the grounds, maintenance staff all over the place, so they obviously take pride in what they’re doing.” G R E E N S : “The greens, in good shape.” FAC I L I T I E S : “Seriously, I’m blown away at how big this place is, It’s enormous! The banquet facilities here and the main building itself... it’s quite a showcase, actually.”

LAYOUT

9.0

CONDITIONS

9.0

GREENS

9.0

FACILITIES

9.5

5 0 | B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M

OVERALL SCORE

9.1


REVIEWS • GOLF COURSE

C O U R S E D E TA I L S Name: Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Address: 2700 Audley Road North, Ajax, Ontario, Canada L1Z 1T7. Phone: +1 905 427 7737 Email: info@golfdeercreek.com Web: golfdeercreek.com Holes: 45 Length: North: 4944 – 6620 yards. South: 4886 – 6045 yards Course Architect: Rene Muylaert & Jerry Coughlan Facilities: Driving range, executive course, lessons, restaurant, patio, locker room, banquet/conference rooms, electric carts, proshop.


This Issue of Birdie Golf Magazine could not have been created without the help of... Nino Azurin - Photography/Videography. Don and Chris - Reviewers/Testers. Mark Saunders - Online. Francis Tanaka at Greenfield Golf. Josie Naccaratto at Deer Creek Golf. Tom Arnott at Deer Creek Golf. Lending me their ear - Geoff Burpee, Hugo Croft-Levesque, Nino Di Cara, Ryan McCambridge, Marcus Vichert, David Zivot. Photos and videos of products are the copyright of the manufacturers. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the views of Birdie Golf Magazine. Š 2015 Flying Divot Media. No part of this magazine should be reproduced without permission from Flying Divot Media.


Published by Flying Divot Media, Toronto, Canada. Design by HandsDesign.ca If you have a golf related product that you would like us to review on a golf course, please contact Kerrin Hands at info@birdiegolfmag.com. birdiegolfmag.com

B I R D I E G O L F M AG . C O M | 5 3

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Birdie Golf Magazine - Pilot Issue  

Golf gear buyer’s guide. Regular golfers review equipment on the course, we collate their opinions to produce a digital magazine with accomp...

Birdie Golf Magazine - Pilot Issue  

Golf gear buyer’s guide. Regular golfers review equipment on the course, we collate their opinions to produce a digital magazine with accomp...

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