One of the other 13

mchacker

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
315
Visit site
Very long, probably boring post warning :blah:

So I was lucky enough to be one of the 20, although I didn't get the glamour of being one of the forum 7, but that's more than fine by me. It's been quite nice knowing this was coming but not letting it out of the bag till late on.

Seeing some of the forum posting on Friday that their new toy had arrived, I nearly made excuses to get out of the works night out. Hangover aside, I'm glad I went as most services take an extra day to my postcode. And so it was that while sitting feeling sorry for myself at work on Saturday morning that a text arrived from the wife with a picture attached. Between reading that and getting home my hangover seemed to fade at record speed, maybe that's the therapy another forum member was looking for.

To the box!!
First impressions lived up to everything I had read, the colours and shapes are nice, everything looks and feels solid, and the temptation to play with all of those adjustable features will live forever more. My previous driver was a TM burner 2.0, this has served me well for a couple of years but as time has gone on I've started to feel the field was gaining on me as features are integrated into newer designs. The JPX has a 1" shorter shaft (perfect, I'm only 5'8) than the burner and the head is 20CC smaller, and a more classic head shape rather than the stretched back design of the burner which helps throw the ball up in the air.

To the range!!
Down by the ball the slight reduction in volume doesn't make a huge visual difference, the ball still looks like it will lose the fight. Many comments have been made on whether the face sits open/closed, personally I find it a little open but this could be caused by me being rather short, and is a moot point anyway as I take my grip with the club in the air so by the time the sole hits the ground the face angle is set.

Initially I hit two marked balls with the burner as a baseline, however I lost sight of both early in their flight so had no idea where that baseline sat. As I later found out, both hits were pretty weak.

To the JPX!!
I'd set up a camera with the intention of vlogging my findings, and I think this caused some of the early problems I had. Almost all of my early strikes were low out of the heel, which may or may not have been caused by paying more attention to the camera than proper alignment, the camera was in the youtubers favourite position slightly in front of square and I'd never tried vlogging before.



The strong wind c. 25mph running approximately 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock, combined with the fade I normally hit with a driver was causing a lot of sideways movement. When I could hit the ball. I have to be honest here, I was really struggling to get any kind of strike that wasn't low and heely, and the few strikes that were closer to the middle flew high and with a lot of left to right. All thoughts of this being the miracle club that would transform my game evaporated and left me with a slightly hollow feeling that perhaps the easier to hit burner was more my level, and that wasn't a feeling I liked. I turned the camera off, the loft down to 8.5 and moved the rear weight into the heel port. This produced one shot with the flight I was looking for but all others still followed the pattern of low pull fades out of the heel or high push fades out of the middle.

By now snippets of other reviews were bouncing about my head, shaft too whippy, too much torque, was I leaving the head behind with a brisk tempo? I was desperate to get along with this club, but the love felt one way. The fade shape didn't worry me as that was always going to be governed by the strong wind. It was the inconsistent strikes and high flights that were cause for concern. I decided to take all the height out of the club, I screwed the loft right down to 7.5 and moved the weights to the low launch low spin position(heel/toe ports). Golf science tells us that less loft will be less forgiving, so was I about to reach an emotional point of no return?

To the point of no return!!
Of course I wasn't. This actually worked! I started finding the middle of the face more often and when I did the flight was (more) controllable. Still left to right on the wind, but definitely lower and more penetrating. I could predict the horizontal deviation and felt confident enough to put the camera back on. The next strike came clean out the bottom of the face, the camera must be at fault. I hit one more for the camera that flew as the few previous had then made the decision to move to the far end of the range, hitting back into the wind to really test the low spinning reputation.

To the far end!!
This was the main reason I wanted to test this club on a windy day. I have long struggled hitting drivers into a strong wind. The high launch design of the burner doesn't help, the cut flight doesn't help, playing a links(ish) course doesn't help. In recent times I have fashioned a workaround that involves playing the ball very far inside my stance, gripped down the shaft and on a much lower tee than normal. This works to a degree but as well as losing a lot of distance it requires backing a long way off full swing speed otherwise the spin rates get silly as I'm hitting a lot down, it's not unheard of to take a divot hitting drivers in this fashion.

I didn't want to keep repeating this action, I want to be able to carry the ball into the wind, I will keep the ball forward and high and let the head design take care of the flight.



Of course there was some difference to the flight, 25 mph helping to 25 mph hurting is a big change to a car let alone a tiny little golf ball. But on the whole it was a good result, there was still some roll on landing and good strikes weren't spinning offline nearly as much as I'm used to. The bad ones were still bad but that's up to the fleshy idiot holding the handle to fix those.

To the course!!
As the range was now populated by a large number of juniors I went for plan B and played the last three holes on the way in. Nothing spectacular to report here, 5 drives hit, 4 fairways found. All without being overly special hits, solid enough but without any real wow factor. I could have persevered and played a few more holes but the looming rain cloud was rather large and not the first I'd seen that day. Play called on account of (impending) rain.

To the house!!
Safely tucked up at home I checked a few things over, firstly the face as this has been reported to mark badly when hitting range balls. These guys must be hitting gravel. In the right light there is a subtle colour change, nothing I wouldn't expect after hitting 50-60 balls in quick succession, some with dried dirt from their last use. I had a look around other reviews and videos, many of which commented on the volume, Not something I found a bad thing, if anything it's quieter than the burner. The note isn't what I'm used to but I can live with that. They also acknowledged the need to tweak settings to get the most out of the JPX, which I also found.

I checked video I'd collected, why were my strikes so bad? Turns out since I last recorded my swing I've got very flat, think Kuchar swinging through his chest plane instead of Luke swinging through his shoulders. Unfortunately I'm not Kuch, in fact here's the evidence



So it's not like I can get away with a flat swing, even on plane the handle isn't far off the ground. This is something I'm going to focus on for the new few weeks/months and will pay close attention to how as my plane & path control improves if the strikes improve and if the loft will need turned back up which I suspect it will.

To the few still reading!!
Thanks, you really must have a lot of time to spare or a borderline obsessive interest in the JPX850. Me too:thup:

TBC...
 

chrisd

Major Champion
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
24,806
Location
Kent
Visit site
I wasn't lucky enough to come out of the hat but still found the write up interesting enough to read top to bottom !

I hope it eventually works properly for you
 

FairwayDodger

Money List Winner
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
9,622
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
Nice write up, I made it all the way through as well! :)

Your driving sounds a bit like mine a couple of years ago, high fade, goes nowhere into the wind. You can adjust the hell out of the JPX to compensate but changing your technique is the way to achieve a more dramatic improvement!
 

patricks148

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
24,522
Location
Highlands
Visit site
Very long, probably boring post warning :blah:

So I was lucky enough to be one of the 20, although I didn't get the glamour of being one of the forum 7, but that's more than fine by me. It's been quite nice knowing this was coming but not letting it out of the bag till late on.

Seeing some of the forum posting on Friday that their new toy had arrived, I nearly made excuses to get out of the works night out. Hangover aside, I'm glad I went as most services take an extra day to my postcode. And so it was that while sitting feeling sorry for myself at work on Saturday morning that a text arrived from the wife with a picture attached. Between reading that and getting home my hangover seemed to fade at record speed, maybe that's the therapy another forum member was looking for.

To the box!!
First impressions lived up to everything I had read, the colours and shapes are nice, everything looks and feels solid, and the temptation to play with all of those adjustable features will live forever more. My previous driver was a TM burner 2.0, this has served me well for a couple of years but as time has gone on I've started to feel the field was gaining on me as features are integrated into newer designs. The JPX has a 1" shorter shaft (perfect, I'm only 5'8) than the burner and the head is 20CC smaller, and a more classic head shape rather than the stretched back design of the burner which helps throw the ball up in the air.

To the range!!
Down by the ball the slight reduction in volume doesn't make a huge visual difference, the ball still looks like it will lose the fight. Many comments have been made on whether the face sits open/closed, personally I find it a little open but this could be caused by me being rather short, and is a moot point anyway as I take my grip with the club in the air so by the time the sole hits the ground the face angle is set.

Initially I hit two marked balls with the burner as a baseline, however I lost sight of both early in their flight so had no idea where that baseline sat. As I later found out, both hits were pretty weak.

To the JPX!!
I'd set up a camera with the intention of vlogging my findings, and I think this caused some of the early problems I had. Almost all of my early strikes were low out of the heel, which may or may not have been caused by paying more attention to the camera than proper alignment, the camera was in the youtubers favourite position slightly in front of square and I'd never tried vlogging before.



The strong wind c. 25mph running approximately 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock, combined with the fade I normally hit with a driver was causing a lot of sideways movement. When I could hit the ball. I have to be honest here, I was really struggling to get any kind of strike that wasn't low and heely, and the few strikes that were closer to the middle flew high and with a lot of left to right. All thoughts of this being the miracle club that would transform my game evaporated and left me with a slightly hollow feeling that perhaps the easier to hit burner was more my level, and that wasn't a feeling I liked. I turned the camera off, the loft down to 8.5 and moved the rear weight into the heel port. This produced one shot with the flight I was looking for but all others still followed the pattern of low pull fades out of the heel or high push fades out of the middle.

By now snippets of other reviews were bouncing about my head, shaft too whippy, too much torque, was I leaving the head behind with a brisk tempo? I was desperate to get along with this club, but the love felt one way. The fade shape didn't worry me as that was always going to be governed by the strong wind. It was the inconsistent strikes and high flights that were cause for concern. I decided to take all the height out of the club, I screwed the loft right down to 7.5 and moved the weights to the low launch low spin position(heel/toe ports). Golf science tells us that less loft will be less forgiving, so was I about to reach an emotional point of no return?

To the point of no return!!
Of course I wasn't. This actually worked! I started finding the middle of the face more often and when I did the flight was (more) controllable. Still left to right on the wind, but definitely lower and more penetrating. I could predict the horizontal deviation and felt confident enough to put the camera back on. The next strike came clean out the bottom of the face, the camera must be at fault. I hit one more for the camera that flew as the few previous had then made the decision to move to the far end of the range, hitting back into the wind to really test the low spinning reputation.

To the far end!!
This was the main reason I wanted to test this club on a windy day. I have long struggled hitting drivers into a strong wind. The high launch design of the burner doesn't help, the cut flight doesn't help, playing a links(ish) course doesn't help. In recent times I have fashioned a workaround that involves playing the ball very far inside my stance, gripped down the shaft and on a much lower tee than normal. This works to a degree but as well as losing a lot of distance it requires backing a long way off full swing speed otherwise the spin rates get silly as I'm hitting a lot down, it's not unheard of to take a divot hitting drivers in this fashion.

I didn't want to keep repeating this action, I want to be able to carry the ball into the wind, I will keep the ball forward and high and let the head design take care of the flight.



Of course there was some difference to the flight, 25 mph helping to 25 mph hurting is a big change to a car let alone a tiny little golf ball. But on the whole it was a good result, there was still some roll on landing and good strikes weren't spinning offline nearly as much as I'm used to. The bad ones were still bad but that's up to the fleshy idiot holding the handle to fix those.

To the course!!
As the range was now populated by a large number of juniors I went for plan B and played the last three holes on the way in. Nothing spectacular to report here, 5 drives hit, 4 fairways found. All without being overly special hits, solid enough but without any real wow factor. I could have persevered and played a few more holes but the looming rain cloud was rather large and not the first I'd seen that day. Play called on account of (impending) rain.

To the house!!
Safely tucked up at home I checked a few things over, firstly the face as this has been reported to mark badly when hitting range balls. These guys must be hitting gravel. In the right light there is a subtle colour change, nothing I wouldn't expect after hitting 50-60 balls in quick succession, some with dried dirt from their last use. I had a look around other reviews and videos, many of which commented on the volume, Not something I found a bad thing, if anything it's quieter than the burner. The note isn't what I'm used to but I can live with that. They also acknowledged the need to tweak settings to get the most out of the JPX, which I also found.

I checked video I'd collected, why were my strikes so bad? Turns out since I last recorded my swing I've got very flat, think Kuchar swinging through his chest plane instead of Luke swinging through his shoulders. Unfortunately I'm not Kuch, in fact here's the evidence



So it's not like I can get away with a flat swing, even on plane the handle isn't far off the ground. This is something I'm going to focus on for the new few weeks/months and will pay close attention to how as my plane & path control improves if the strikes improve and if the loft will need turned back up which I suspect it will.

To the few still reading!!
Thanks, you really must have a lot of time to spare or a borderline obsessive interest in the JPX850. Me too:thup:

TBC...

You need to go and get some lessons from DT, that will give you a nice slinging hook you won't be able to control;)
 

Junior

Tour Winner
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,039
Visit site
Great review, thanks for sharing.

One thing I realised with my sldr (another low spinning headed driver) was that it performed best with the ball tee'd a lot lower. Usually, I'd have half the ball above the face of the driver like all the manuals say, however now, it's pretty much all below the face.

Just an observation that helped me so I thought id share.
 

patricks148

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
24,522
Location
Highlands
Visit site
Great review, thanks for sharing.

One thing I realised with my sldr (another low spinning headed driver) was that it performed best with the ball tee'd a lot lower. Usually, I'd have half the ball above the face of the driver like all the manuals say, however now, it's pretty much all below the face.

Just an observation that helped me so I thought id share.

Im the opposite, i used to tee the ball lower, now with the SLDR i tee the ball much higher by at least an inch.
 

mchacker

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
315
Visit site
I wasn't lucky enough to come out of the hat but still found the write up interesting enough to read top to bottom !

I hope it eventually works properly for you

thanks Chris, I'm sure it will I just need to fix me and trust Mizuno :D
 

mchacker

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
315
Visit site
Nice write up, I made it all the way through as well! :)

Your driving sounds a bit like mine a couple of years ago, high fade, goes nowhere into the wind. You can adjust the hell out of the JPX to compensate but changing your technique is the way to achieve a more dramatic improvement!

Thanks FD, there seems to be a lot of similarities in our experiences with these. I've spent the last two days working on my backswing at home and work(at lunch obviously;)) and I'm starting to feel the difference between the bad and good quite clearly so it shouldn't take too long to fix. Then it's on! Perservere with yours, I'm sure it'll click soon :thup:
 

mchacker

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
315
Visit site
You need to go and get some lessons from DT, that will give you a nice slinging hook you won't be able to control;)

Been through the hooks, not doing that again, cost me a fortune in lost matches two summers ago :(

DT basically built my swing when I started a few years ago but as time goes by I get more reluctant to get lessons when I know I'm probably not doing the things he's already taught me. So I bought a tripod and use the slowmo on my phone, then when I get back where it should be I go for a lesson. I know he's not everyones cup of earl grey though, just about every time I play I get recommended to see the guy at fairways.
 

mchacker

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
315
Visit site
Great review, thanks for sharing.

One thing I realised with my sldr (another low spinning headed driver) was that it performed best with the ball tee'd a lot lower. Usually, I'd have half the ball above the face of the driver like all the manuals say, however now, it's pretty much all below the face.

Just an observation that helped me so I thought id share.

Thanks for the kind words, and the tip:cool:

Tee height is something I'll experiment with once I start to show more consistency, it's easy to listen to the "experts" who say it has to be half ball above the face but everyone swings it different so there can't be one constant for all. And I'd guess if you're slinging an X-flex you give it a fair clout up to help it up in the air.
 

patricks148

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
24,522
Location
Highlands
Visit site
Been through the hooks, not doing that again, cost me a fortune in lost matches two summers ago :(

DT basically built my swing when I started a few years ago but as time goes by I get more reluctant to get lessons when I know I'm probably not doing the things he's already taught me. So I bought a tripod and use the slowmo on my phone, then when I get back where it should be I go for a lesson. I know he's not everyones cup of earl grey though, just about every time I play I get recommended to see the guy at fairways.

Martin Piggot?

That's who i go to. When i went to DT last year, it was like i was just turning up and giving him £40 just to tell me everything about the game. All he was interested in doing was giving me Big Erns Swing.... PS Im not Big Ern.

Martin works with what you have and builds on that. All got out of DT was a slinging hook that had no control.
 

Liverbirdie

Ryder Cup Winner
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Messages
13,148
Location
liverpool
Visit site
Good pace, I wrote the first 3 paragraphs on the first day then the rest...

Good review, I'm the same so far, haven't found anywhere close to an ideal flight, although have had two good rounds with it.

I just stubbed my thumb at footy last night, so the range session due for tomorrow is now cancelled. I hope it gets better quickly as I'm off for two weeks, so can get lots of golf in.

You know way more about technical things than me.
 

mchacker

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
315
Visit site
Martin Piggot?

That's who i go to. When i went to DT last year, it was like i was just turning up and giving him £40 just to tell me everything about the game. All he was interested in doing was giving me Big Erns Swing.... PS Im not Big Ern.

Martin works with what you have and builds on that. All got out of DT was a slinging hook that had no control.

That's him, most tell me they had a bad experience with Dave but get along Martin. I guess it's a styles thing, Dave talks a lot but I find his mental images stick. Plus I knew him from when I worked in the bar so he's always been good to me. Do feel a little bad though as if this driver hadn't come through I was buying something next spring :)
 

mchacker

Head Pro
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
315
Visit site
Good review, I'm the same so far, haven't found anywhere close to an ideal flight, although have had two good rounds with it.

I just stubbed my thumb at footy last night, so the range session due for tomorrow is now cancelled. I hope it gets better quickly as I'm off for two weeks, so can get lots of golf in.

You know way more about technical things than me.

Thanks, hopefully I'll start seeing improvements this weekend, the wife's already said she's out on Saturday so that's a full day at the range for me:fore: Two good rounds is about all I've had this year.

Stubbed thumb, you in goals or giving it the old defenders trick of thumb into the base of the spine to stop the forward stepping into you?;)

Don't worry about the tech stuff, there are plenty out there who can't spell technical yet play better golf than me, I just talk a good game.
 

fundy

Ryder Cup Winner
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
27,053
Location
Herts/Beds border
Visit site
Great review, thanks for sharing.

One thing I realised with my sldr (another low spinning headed driver) was that it performed best with the ball tee'd a lot lower. Usually, I'd have half the ball above the face of the driver like all the manuals say, however now, it's pretty much all below the face.

Just an observation that helped me so I thought id share.

Complete opposite of what we were advised by the TM tour fitter at the Belfry, the design means you should be able to tee it much higher
 

patricks148

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
24,522
Location
Highlands
Visit site
That's him, most tell me they had a bad experience with Dave but get along Martin. I guess it's a styles thing, Dave talks a lot but I find his mental images stick. Plus I knew him from when I worked in the bar so he's always been good to me. Do feel a little bad though as if this driver hadn't come through I was buying something next spring :)

He would have been your best customer:)

If you don't get on with it we may have to talk i was going to buy one anyway.
 

pbrown7582

Money List Winner
Joined
Feb 4, 2010
Messages
9,050
Location
north yorks
Visit site
Stubbed thumb, you in goals or giving it the old defenders trick of thumb into the base of the spine to stop the forward stepping into you?;)
QUOTE]

Just the old knackered defender going in goal for 5 minutes for a rest, I knew I shouldn't have saved that one.....:)

good job raheem found his shooting boots at the other end.......
 
Top