skip nav

Forums

The thrifty newbie upgrade path - first wedges & woods

Wed, May 6 2020 8:36 AM by Robert1893. 41 replies.
  • KennyDC70 Canada
    20 Posts
    Mon, Apr 6 2020 6:15 PM

    Hey all,

    Another new player here, driven to the screen instead of the local range by recent events. I'm a shade under a week in, and I've been progressing decently through the levels and getting a vague grasp on the game's mechanics, what it takes to be a decent player and thoroughly loving the game so far. However, and as expected, I'm finding frustration in both my wedge game and driving distances with the starter equipment. I've earned some credits through the videos and surveys, nearly 3000 so far as my immediate budget. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to try any of the free rentals yet at all (mobile issue posted elsewhere) so I don't have any experience with the clubs in question yet, but I'd like some general pointers.

    From my research, I know the wedges are known as the starter worst clubs and badly need supplementing/replacing, commonly at the cost of the 3H. I'd buy 1-2 wedges to begin with, though  one would add a little to the wood budget. For the first upgrade, how would the L38-39 TM Milled Grind wedges compare to the L26-L31 TM Vokeys? Mostly in terms of meter speed of 3 vs 4.5, am I looking at a significant change to my swing timing with starter balls? Is the high trajectory/meter worth that credit difference? Is the 64 deg still the one to pick up first?

    As for woods, a bit more general - I've read that a good inexpensive upgrade path is to get a 3W first, then driver later on (L51+ or so, unless there's a nice bargain available earlier in the L40's) and have the 3W serve double-duty. Is this still sound advice, and is there any 3W that you might recommend for such a step? When the time comes (which is pretty quickly under this isolation) to upgrade the driver, what's the 2020 equivalent to the highly-recommended L48 R1 of a few years ago?

    Many thanks to those who've gotten through this barrage from an enthusiastic newbie, and I understand if the answers to most of my questions are a flat 'it depends', but I appreciate any advice or pointers you can share!

     

    E: I tried out the L28 56 TM MG as a rental, holy moly that meter speed is much quicker than I'm used to, though it was more accurate than my starter and seemed to have a much more reliable amount of spin

  • ZirjoGondar United States
    68 Posts
    Tue, Apr 7 2020 2:42 PM

    If I had it to do all over again, I would get the Vokey wedges in 56° (90yd) and 64° (60yd) first.  That will eat up 2/3 of your credits, but they're worth it.  They're a little slower (3.5) than the TMs you rented.  You won't have to replace them until you get to the end game wedges.  If you upgrade to the high level Vokeys when you get there, you'll have the meter speed dialled in already.

    I would then save up credits until L59 and get the PING clubset Dr/3W/Hy/Irons (all 4.0 MS, a little slower than the Vokeys).  That's about 4x the amount of time you've played so far.

    The high trajectory of the irons is the gateway to the advanced level game.  You won't need to replace the irons until you get to L85 or L97.

    I would replace the driver with the L74 TM, which should get you all the way through to Legend and the King Kong drivers.

    I would keep the 3W until L86 and get the Cally.

    I would keep the Hybrid in my bag until ditching it for a third high level Vokey wedge (100yd/80yd/60yd).

    I would keep the starter putter all the way to L70, and then get the Phantom.  I have the L98 version, and it isn't measurably better.  The L70 is good enough to last you forever.

    I think that's about the cheapest way to keep you in good, solid, proven clubs from when it starts to matter all the way to the end game.

  • ZirjoGondar United States
    68 Posts
    Tue, Apr 7 2020 3:14 PM

    Also consider switching to the WGT GI-S or GI2-S ball. They'll tame the meter speed a little,  but won't break the bank at 49cr and 64cr respectively.  If those aren't slow enough, try the GI3-S for 99cr.

    I wouldn't spend any more than that on balls until you get to much better clubs at the highest levels 90+.  More spin at this point will just make it more confusing, IMO.  And you'll need to conserve those 150 free credits per day to afford the club progression I laid out above.

    Search the web for Drop Zone Country Club's page.  They have great formulas for all types of shots.  It will save a lot of time trying to work it out for yourself, and it won't take too long before you'll be able to do the math in your head.  

  • ZirjoGondar United States
    68 Posts
    Tue, Apr 7 2020 4:05 PM

    Also make sure to play at least one round a day to keep your consecutive days played xp bonus streak going.  It will help you level up much more quickly than without it.  Even if you can't play on any given gay, take two minutes to start a game, hit one shot, and then back out.  You'll still keep the streak alive this way if you can't play a whole game.

    And don't forget about the free credit ads.  If you do all those (25-40 minutes/day) every day, it adds up to 4500 credits per month.  You should be able to easily afford all the clubs I recommend this way without spending any cash money.

  • KennyDC70 Canada
    20 Posts
    Tue, Apr 7 2020 6:35 PM

    Awesome, thanks so much for the detailed replies!

    ZirjoGondar:
    If I had it to do all over again, I would get the Vokey wedges in 56° (90yd) and 64° (60yd) first.


    Done and (nearly) done! I've been pretty set on the 64° since posting, but wasn't sure what the better pairing for it would be. Should I still go for the 90yd 56° when my starter PW is also a 90yd club?

    ZirjoGondar:
    I would then save up credits until L59 and get the PING clubset Dr/3W/Hy/Irons

    Quite the wait to a wood upgrade - aren't I going to be at the back tees before L59 and suffering with the starter driver? Though, I do like the specs of the Ping set and at 150 credits + a few surveys (and ongoing isolation), I'm pretty well set to save up for it by then (~3-400 credits/day total), if perhaps not something else in-between, but I'll try and take advantage of rentals in the meantime.

    ZirjoGondar:
    Also consider switching to the WGT GI-S or GI2-S ball. They'll tame the meter speed a little,  but won't break the bank at 49cr and 64cr respectively.  If those aren't slow enough, try the GI3-S for 99cr.

    The GI2-S were the ones I was looking at, is there much a difference that I'll see from the GI-S? Is either a smart purchase at this point (~L40) performance-wise with just the wedges as an upgrade?

    ZirjoGondar:
    Search the web for Drop Zone Country Club's page.  They have great formulas for all types of shots.  It will save a lot of time trying to work it out for yourself, and it won't take too long before you'll be able to do the math in your head. 

    Excellent, I'll start reviewing that tonight! I've been going through some of 'WGT Young46's videos on youtube already, it's been a big help for tuning my chip and learning punch shots, though I have a ways to go across the board anyway. Thanks again for all the info, I greatly appreciate it.

  • SamSpayed United States
    1,872 Posts
    Tue, Apr 7 2020 9:00 PM

    Welcome to WGT, Kenny!

    ZirjoGondar:
    Also consider switching to the WGT GI-S or GI2-S ball. They'll tame the meter speed a little,  but won't break the bank at 49cr and 64cr respectively.  If those aren't slow enough, try the GI3-S for 99cr.

    Zirjo is a member of my CC (The Peoples Club) and gives excellent advice on both clubs and balls above.  Also, one of the Directors of our club, EasyEdward, has written something he calls The Frugal Player's WGT Club Upgrade Approach.  I'm sure if you send him a friend request and ask him about it, he'll be happy to share it with you.

    I've sent you a sleeve of the GI2-S balls that Zirjo recommends.  Give them a try and see what you think.

  • KennyDC70 Canada
    20 Posts
    Tue, Apr 7 2020 11:29 PM

    SamSpayed:

    Welcome to WGT, Kenny!

    Thanks, Sam! I definitely do feel welcomed

    SamSpayed:

    Zirjo is a member of my CC (The Peoples Club) and gives excellent advice on both clubs and balls above.  Also, one of the Directors of our club, EasyEdward, has written something he calls The Frugal Player's WGT Club Upgrade Approach.  I'm sure if you send him a friend request and ask him about it, he'll be happy to share it with you.

    I've sent you a sleeve of the GI2-S balls that Zirjo recommends.  Give them a try and see what you think.

    Friend request sent! That resource sounds perfect, it's certainly been an adventure trying to piece together and transfer largely decade-old forum posts to apply new clubs thus far (on the basis of more being more re-skins than re-specs along the way), and I'm a bit hesitant of choosing poorly matched equipment.

    Thank you very much for the sleeve of GI2-S's, I'll give them a shot on St. Andrews and see if I can best my current best score - I know I barely missed a good few birdie putts, besides my still-terrible GIR%. My wedge distances have been pretty true-to life (a good swing looks 'right' for the shot vs. how I'd hit irl), so if I can roll and stop the ball anything near what my real wedges do or closer to I've seen some WGT players manage I'll be over the moon. I'll report back after a few rounds!

     

  • ZirjoGondar United States
    68 Posts
    Wed, Apr 8 2020 5:01 PM

    KennyDC70:

    Should I still go for the 90yd 56° when my starter PW is also a 90yd 

    The key is to space the wedges so that you don't have to go below 85% power or so.  You'll see less variation/more consistency with higher power levels.  The 90y punches 75/74(?).  You can squeeze 62 yards out of the 64° by applying topspin.  They mesh perfectly.  You can ignore the PW for now; the Vokey 90y is much more accurate.  When/if you get the L59 PINGs, the 90yd Vokey will fit perfectly with the PING PW, which goes 115y full and (about) 98y punched.  Use those punch shots liberally; they're like having an extra club.

    KennyDC70:

    Quite the wait to a wood upgrade - aren't I going to be at the back tees before L59 and suffering with the starter driver? Though, I do like the specs of the Ping set and at 150 credits + a few surveys (and ongoing isolation), I'm pretty well set to save up for it by then (~3-400 credits/day total), if perhaps not something else in-between, but I'll try and take advantage of rentals in the meantime. 

    Believe me, I know the urge to upgrade is strong.  When I started out, the free credit videos were unlimited.  So I went hog wild on club upgrades and even bought the PLUS membership to level up even faster.  You don't have that luxury.  But if you're at L39 after a week, you should get to L59 in about another 3 weeks.  It'll probably take you closer to a year before you get to the levels required to replace that whole PING set.  I would just tough it out with the starters for a few more weeks.  Concentrate on punching, pitching, chipping, and flopping those wedges (and putting) until then.  Youll be using those clubs for a lot longer than your current woods, and it will serve you better in the long run than getting 30 more yards out of your drives for 3 weeks.  The wedges and the putter impact your score much more than the woods.  But if you're comfortable with the cost, it won't hurt anything to buy a wood before then.  I was just thinking in terms of total cost efficiency over your first year.  I had forgotten about EasyEdward's guide that Sam mentioned.  He may have some different recommendations.  It's been over a year since I read it!

    KennyDC70:

    The GI2-S were the ones I was looking at, is there much a difference that I'll see from the GI-S? Is either a smart purchase at this point (~L40) performance-wise with just the wedges as an upgrade?

    I recommended those balls because you mentioned meter speed might be a problem.  They both play about the same; the GI-S having a faster meter is the only difference.  TBH, I don't remember if they take a noticeable amount of spin from the starter clubs.  Try the ball Sam sent you with the new wedges to see if it's worth the cost.  You will definitely see an improvement in stopping power with them across the whole PING set.  If you can handle the speed of the starter ball for now, though, you could just roll with it until L59.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide, Kenny.  Obviously,  it's your call.  Most importantly, have fun with it.  I'm still learning after almost 14 months...and it's still a lot of fun.

     

    Thanks for the endorsement, Sam.  Very kind of you to have donated some balls to our  new project here. 😄

  • KennyDC70 Canada
    20 Posts
    Wed, Apr 8 2020 9:06 PM

    Disregard my previous comment wondering if spending a little on balls like the GI2-S was worth it at my level/experience (L40 shortly) - the answer is a definite yes! The meter is very noticeably more forgiving. I've gone around St. Andrews once with them, striking pretty poorly for too many shots as I adjusted to the new meter, lipping out a few birdie putts as usual, leaving more 6" to either side, and a mis-tap on a 1ft putt that added an annoying 'thumb fumble penalty'. I still beat my previous round by 5 strokes and finished at 73, the lip-outs were all over 15' and the ball bit and rolled a lot more (to me) predictably, aggressively and controllably than the starter.

    Similar feelings towards the new wedge, I need to take a little time to gap it for all the shots, but I can say it's much more consistent. On a short uphill hole at CTTH event  with it I was able to land within a few inches reliably and make small adjustments with more confidence. Barely noticed the meter speed difference of 0.5 with the ball meter improvement. Still haven't hit the button on the 56 deg wedge yet due to matching yardage with my starter PW, but I'm thinking that better clubs at 60 and 90 yards are more effective than the starter PW + just the 60yd wedge.

     

     

  • el3n1 United States
    3,145 Posts
    Thu, Apr 9 2020 1:09 PM

    No one appears to have mentioned it (coin rentals), but I took a rather frugal approach myself.  To help me do so, I used some of my coins on coin rental gear (if link doesn't work search -coin club rental specs) … the yardages are not a big change from starter gear but the coin rental sets start to offer higher trajectory on some clubs.  That does make them play better than starters. 

    Eventually people feel coins become relatively worthless, but it is something you can use coins for to help delay club purchases on items you would quickly replace.  Provided you have coins to spare.

    I waited until L51 for a 3wd,  L55 for a driver, and the L59 Ping irons.  I did so because I like the meter speeds of the driver and 3wd better and it allowed me to space out my purchases.  I don't regret any of those items.  

    The L59 Ping set is the best overall value but I liked the L55 driver.  It remains one of my favorite and only started seeing it's limitations on the back tees and heavier wind conditions.

     

RSS