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  1. Lucky Money aka Lai See aka Red Envelope I've been meaning to do a write up on my first experience with a new love affair my custom Golds Factory putter, fondly named, Lucky Money. Let me back up a bit since I've not really given a formal introduction of myself since I joined the site. I'm relatively new to JDM, as this year marked my first year with this new obsession, but my, has it been a crazy ride since I jumped in the deep end...and I havent looked back since! It started with some Miura wedges, then Miura irons, then my first Epon set (AF Tours), and now its hard to count the stuff that's been in/out of the stable and all the new directions Ive headed with such amazing quality gear. Ive pretty much abandoned all USDM clubs (some old stuff still in the corners of the garage but will need to make an exodus at some point) and have no regrets of all the clubs Ive tried and the experiences I've had thus far being a part of this awesome site and getting to know some of the great members here. One of the early members who befriended me, Stew, warned me at the onset that the addiction would spread like wild fire. He told me that while the iron sets, drivers and wedges may all seem pricy compared to their USDM counterparts, they are well worth their value in the quality and fun I would have with them. I have to agree, I've never had better equipment in my life and Im always thirsting for the next opportunity to try some more JDM, whether old or new. I dunno, call me a club ho, but that's pretty much the state of affairs when it comes to my outlook on all things golf-related at this point. He did warn me, however, about avoiding the putter threads as the potential craze may severely impact my pocket book.. (ominous, I know! ;) Well, it was that one fateful night after putting the kids to sleep when I was sitting on the "throne," and starting browsing the putter threads on my phone...finally. I went from thread to thread looking at all the amazing pics of all your putters that had been through Gold's, and I literally stood no chance!! There was one putter though, that really struck me and sent me over the proverbial edge. Let me take pause and give credit where credit is due...tokidoki1986's Soft Black Inner Gold 1st Edition Seven Putter did me in -- what a beauty! After I handled my "business," I hit the computer and looked at as many pics and read as much as I could on everyone's experience with Golds, the prototype first edition Seven putter and TSG's handling of it all. I was hooked and there was nothing I could do to stop the urge to get one of my own. Weeks later, after unsuccessfully trying to suppress this urge, I contacted Chris to start the discussion about potentially starting a project at some point. Well, the conditional statements were short-lived and days later I was already working on designing my putter with Chris. I like to think of myself as a creative individual with a good sense of design aesthetics, but if I'm being honest, I had no freakin clue about what I wanted. I liked tokidoki1986's putter, and everything I could think of was based off his putter. Chris basically put together a itemized quote for a putter that would match toki's, but somewhere along the way, his encouragement gave me some confidence to start personalizing and making things more custom to me. Before I knew it, I was starting to make small adjustments, which lead to major personalizations and I ended up with something that is definitely somewhat of an homage to tokis original putter, but has my personality written all over it. The entire process was so exciting, working with Chris and going back and forth on email. He was very patient with me as I was making the slightest tweaks and sending new mockups, and he would do his best to either re-quote the changes, or just encouraged me to continue personalizing and designing until I was completely satisfied. I am truly happy with the end result (I'll post my mockups to show how closely everything matched, which is so crazy how precise the craftsmanship is at Gold's!), and I could not say better things about the entire process, especially it being my first experience with anything this custom, and working with a master of his craft, Sasaya-San. Thank you, Chris (and the TSG team), for helping this beauty come to life! I urge anyone that is considering this type of custom work to pull the trigger, as the level of service from TSG cannot be beat and we all know how amazing the flatsticks that come out of Golds Factory always are THE BEST! So, without further ado, let me introduce you all to Lucky Money 1. Seven prototype first generation SM490A putter head 2. Black Boron finish 3. 2 Dark Tungsten weights in the face with milled dots/red paint fill and Chinese characters engraved - toe weight "RED - 利" and heel weight "Envelope - 是" 4. Horizontal PZ Milling on face 5. 5 Overlapping Cavity Inserts with the middle one being larger and my last name engraved w/ red paint fill - 3 copper (main circle has a smaller milled inner circle), 2 tungsten (2 smaller milled inner circles w/ red paint fill) 6 Orbit G weights on sole - otherwise clean on the sole 7. Orichulum site dot 8. Site line 9. 4 Red Aluminum inserts in the bumpers w/ smaller milled inner circles 10. Seven logo milled on toe in red paint fill 11. Shimada Black Shaft 12. Superstroke Mid Slim 2.0 grip This putter might be over the top to some, but for me, it was just such an eye-opening experience to the endless possibilities and the level of quality things can be done by those that are truly passionate about their craft. I definitely think this will be my "busiest" creation, but this first one is something that helps me identify with some important roots, and hopefully that will translate to some much needed zen with the flatstick!! =) One last thing, I must warn those that are not already lucky owners of a Golds putter, it definitely raises the bar for every putter that you will ever encounter, and there is an incessant itch to potentially send in whatever flat stick is currently in your hands to get a Gold's tune up, no matter how amazing it already is!! Thank you all for the inspiration! ;)
  2. Hi guys! Have here a set of PRGR Egg woods that I recently purchased used and tried to see how it works out for me. They are all the latest models of their Egg lineup. They are all great clubs, very forgiving and Looooooong! but unfortunately a bit too light for me overall. Rather than disassembling and reconfiguring an already great setup, I thought it might make more sense to sell them as they are to someone who prefers a lighter set up. Also have a couple of great Odyssey putters as well. So here they are 1. SOLD! PRGR Egg 1 Driver 7.5* / Diamana W 60 Stiff 46" Factory installed custom shaft. Crown has some rub marks and hairline scratch which you can see if you look closely. Sole has some light marks from usage. but minimal. Hardly any marks on the face. Comes with Headcover One of the hottest in the JP market currently. Don't be intimidated by the 7.5* loft. It is rather easy to launch. The head is designed so that really the trajectory is as high as any 9.5 or 10deg out in the market. Kind of the opposite of the SLDR loft up idea. Retails new for around $800 with this shaft. I am selling this one for $450 $400 Net PP shipped in U.S. 2. SOLD!! PRGR Egg Spoon 15* / Diamana Thump FW 65 Stiff 42.5" Factory installed shaft. Top line has a tiny scratch which I tried to capture in a pic but honestly hard to see at address Face and Sole has no noticeable marks. Comes with Headcover No additional explanation needed here. :) Combined with a Diamana Thump FW ! Ball really goes forward with a strong trajectory! 3. SOLD!! PRGR Egg i+ 4 UT 21* / Fujikura MCH 60 Stiff 40.5" Factory installed shaft. Face and sole has very faint marks if you look hard enough. Other than that, looks close to new. Comes with Headcover One of the most forgiving utilities I have tried. Fujikura MCH shaft has great stable feel to it. 4. SOLD!! Gold's Factory Custom Odyssey Black Series Tour Design #2 34" 592g overall weight Some hairline scuffs on the sole. but overall in excellent condition. No dings or noticeable marks from address. Comes with Gold's Headcover Gold's Factory Modified with SUS303 PZ milling face insert. Beautiful Satin finish. Bought it from a member here in this BST a couple of months ago. Heavy head and heavy shaft. Unbelievably stable for a blade. PZ milling provides amazing roll and feel of the face. Hate to let this one go as it is probably one of the softest feeling putters I have ever owned. Unfortunately, I am not a blade putter player as my stroke needs a face balanced putter. It was definitely still worth the try! 5. JDM Odyssey White Rize ix V-line #5 / 35" Sole has a couple of hairline scratches. Looks great other than that. Super Strike 2.0 grip Still in great condition. Missing original headcover. Will include a Como Come mallet cover. Easy to align with the Hi-Def Liner ix insert has great feel slightly firmer than White Hot insert. Not as firm as White Ice insert. $125 $110 Net PP shipped in U.S.
  3. Thinning the herd. I have a few JDM items from a large stash of clubs I would like to part with - 1. Kail'li 80 in stiff flex. It currently has a tourstage tip. The length is 43 7/16 with tip. The shaft will be 43" without tip. It was in a tourstage 909 driver head that played 44.25" for reference. $90 2. Srixon Z-TX II 3 wood (head only) This is a sleeper of a 3 wood. It has been my gamer for a year and a half. It has been hot melted and currently weighs 220 grams. Club is in good shape and has no skymarks. It does have a smudge in the paint on the middle top of the club. $100 3. This is a BB26 Bettinardi putter I sent of to Golds Factory a few years ago. Sasaya-san added two extra sight lines bringing the total to 3. He also added silver ingots bringing the weight to 348 to the putter head. I added a bit of lead tape to the rear for feel which is easily removable if you desire. Putter is 34" length and has a Cameron Baby-t grip. Finish is starting to wear on the bottom of the putter. slight blemish in finish on topline towards toe of putter. This is very hard to see. I have the counter-balance bug at the moment, and this is on the bench, but I won't be too upset if this doesn't sell as I have a lot invested and putt well with it. Oh and the BB26 is getting hard to find. $375 4. Fourteen MT28 V5 forged wedge. This has a leading edge and trailing edge grind done by Joe Kwok, and is currently shafted with a DG spinner shaft at 35.5". Grooves still sharp but finish is wearing. $70 5. Tourstage x-ut. This is an awesome hybrid. One of the first x-ut's but still as good as anythng out there IMHO. Shafted with Rombax Prototype in X flex at 40.25". Club is in good shape for its age. No skymarks, but there is a scratch toward the back of the hybrid. $80 Might be open to trades on players type clubs with x flex (JDM & USDM) Thanks and don't hesitate to ask questions. If I'm out of line on price make an offer.
  4. Selling a Gold's Factory Tuned George Spirits Mono 3 RIGHT handed putter. The Tune-Up done by GF include the following: 1. Remilling of the face to the Premium Zone Horizontal Face Mill 2. Face remilled to 3* real loft 3. Head weight increased to 356 grams via 2 tungsten face weights with G logos 4. Flange sight line refinished in matching red. 5. "GF TUNED" engraved on the bumpers 6. Lie adjusted to 71.5* This is a SUS 303 and not carbon steel putter and has a sound slot. Condition of the sole is very good and has some slight signs of having been on course. Rest of the putter is near mint if not mint. Pics are very representative. Comes with an original white George Spirits head cover that is used only for storage and has never seen the course. Selling HEAD and HEADCOVER ONLY. $690 airpost with track and paypaled. Insurance extra. Thanks for looking.
  5. Just got this in. My second GF PS2 but this time with a sound slot, tungsten weights in the face, a bit of bling in the cavity back and what looks to be a light pz mill. I've put in a spare pulled NS PRO XXIP-C2 shaft which needed a shim due to the smaller diameter and my normal Iomic Absolute grip. The NSPro heavy shafts by the way are what I think to be the best putter shafts around. Great feel and feedback at the hands. Only wish they had black versions for my Machine and incoming Nead Damascus. On the putting mat, feel and roll is good enough. Let's hope it stays this time round.
  6. The following for sale and all are HEADS ONLY and putter HEADCOVERS ONLY. All prices are shipped airpost with track and paypaled. Insurance extra. 1. Gold's Factory pair of Wedge heads. 53* and 58*. These are RAW heads and meant to rust. Grooves are still in very good condition. No rock dents etc. $old 2. Sky Dream Jump TB-D Tour Pro Groove pair of Wedge Heads. 51* and 58*. These heads are meant to rust. Grooves still in very good condition. No rock dents. $old 3. New Lajosi Didge Gun Metal finish carbon steel putter head and head cover. Deep face mill. This is brand new and shaft was removed by Kari to help me save o international shipping. 353 gram head weight, 3* loft and 71.5* lie with white flange slight line. NO personalized stamping. Has only Lajosi logo ENGRAVED (not hand stamped) in the cavity back. $old 4, Byron 612 SUS 303 stainless steel putter head in matte but oil finish and head cover. Light Tuna Face Mill. Has "spurl" stamped on bumper. All other stampings (coyote, HB, Byron, California Flatsticks etc) are generic byron stampings. Putter has only been on course for 2 rounds. Headcover has not seen the course. Approx 347 gram head weight, 3* loft and 71.5* lie. $old Thanks for looking.
  7. Recently bought a used Gold's Factory Private Stock #2 finished in what looks close to GF's Soft Black finish with matte finish on all areas the eye sees at address and with the face,sole and sides in a polished finish. Looks wise, this original Private Stock #2 (which I am told is maybe 4-5 years old) is the antithesis of what we see of many current day Gold's Factory putters. No bling at all! This is as plain as Jane gets! Engravings are all in rather plain type face and some too big. Aesthetics is definiely not its calling although the finish is very nice I think (and the previous owner, whoever it is in Japan, has kept it in fantastic condition). The face has a very shallow mill compared to the original PZ horizontal mill on my GF Tuned GS Mono3. Not surprising then that the PS2 has a firmer feel and clickier note. I've only had 18 holes in with it and apart from the firmer feel and clickier note, the skidding while not bad, is evident. I've set up the PS2 to be as close to exact head specs wise as my other putters. 3* loft, 71.5* lie and with the lighter head weight of 345 grams, I'm put a 12 gram tungsten weight in the tip of the Shimada 120 gram stepped putter shaft playing to 34 like all my other putters. Because the tungsten weight is 1 gram more than I would have liked, I have 5 inches of high density lead tape just under the grip to counter balance that. There is a difference in feel let me tell you. We digress though... the skidding... so all this talk that different mill patterns do not have any effect on roll but only feel dictated by the depth of the mill... I don't know.. I'm still not convinced either way. However, it's only 18 holes so still early days. Let's see if this persists or maybe I just had a bad putting round.... or did I? Maiden 18 holes, the PS2 with Shimada shaft came in with 28 putts.. only 1 more than my best ever putting round of 27. 2 birdies and lots of one putts (although 3 were literally tap-ins due to a hot Crazy wedge). Distance control was good and the ball definitely does not feel like it comes off the face the fastest. Despite the skidding, distance control on mid speed greens was good and putts seemed to hold the line well enough. Despite a hot 28 putt round, she had her 3 putt blemish on the last par 5. All in all however, a great maiden performance. When I got the PS2, it was with the intention to send it in for GF pimping. I've been going back and forth with T on this and almost driving him crazy if not already. With how PS2 performed though, I'm now not so sure if I should. I'm still inclined to, just not as sure as before the round. I'm just thinking that with a horizontal PZ mill which perhaps can be a tad shallower in depth than then the mill on my GS Mono3, that may take care of the firmer feel and clicky note and more importantly, the slight skidding which should then give an even better roll... or maybe just leave good as good....hmmm...
  8. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3721.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23717" alt="DSCF3721" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3721.jpg"></a> It has admittedly been too long since we have blogged. These last months have been busier than ever and it will only get busier with many new releases on the horizon. I will try my best to blog as much as I can over the coming months to introduce all the new products for 2014. I was at Gold's Factory in Tokyo yesterday to take care of some custom jobs we are doing for TSG customers. I decided to take the opportunity to snap some photos of the weights and inserts that Gold's Factory provides. Many times when helping a customer create their custom master piece, they are confused over all the different type of insert options that Gold's offers. Master Sasasya has created names for these inserts but when I tell a customer they can put Orbit around G in the sole and Arc Reactors in the cavity, they usually have no idea what I am talking about. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3712.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23720" alt="DSCF3712" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3712.jpg"></a> So I thought snapping some photos would help people visually identify with these weights and inserts. I will also do a post in the future about face millings and face insert options from Gold's Factory. Its important to know that every single insert used by Gold's Factory and that you see in these photos are machined from scratch by Gold's factory. Because of this, they can control quality and vary the size, weight, and colors of all the inserts they do. (as I have mentioned before as well, Gold's even machines their own tools!) Many of the weights are of course for practical purposes, ie in order to bring head weight up or shift the COG/bias of the putter. Some of these inserts are of course more for aesthetics and really help each custom job look very cool. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3707.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23722" alt="DSCF3707" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3707.jpg"></a> For those of you who own a Gold's Factory or have seen one in person, you can attest to the top notch work Master Sasaya does from perfectly cut holes on putters to perfectly machined weights and inserts that seamlessly fit them. For those who have not seen my previous posts on visits to the Factory they can see some of the machinery and staff in action in these posts: <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/craigs-excellent-japan-adventure-part-1-golds-factory/">Craig's Excellent Adventure: Gold's Factory</a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/a-day-in-tokyo-and-golds-factory-photo-blog/">A Day in Tokyo and Gold's Factory</a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/visiting-golds-factory-new-hand-grind-wedge/">Visiting Gold's Factory - New Hand Grind Wedge</a> So read on and I can go over some of the weights and inserts. <!--more--> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3666.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23725" alt="DSCF3666" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3666.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3611.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23728" alt="DSCF3611" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3611.jpg"></a> The most popular modification for putters is to increase the head weight and many like to use Gold's Factory's "Orbit Around G" weight. As you can see from the photo above, it looks like small moons orbiting around a G mark. Since Orbit around G weights are tungsten weights machined from scratch, Gold's can control the size (diameter), thickness (depth or height of the weight) and in turn how heavy the weight is. The size and depth of the weight is not really a choice of the customer. The customer typically gives a target head weight, ie he wants his head to go from 340g to 358g and depending on the style of the head as the space and depth allowed for drilling holes varies on every putter which limits the max size and weight to be used. So if its a head like the Anser No 2 or a Newport style head, the flange area and bumpers are thicker and have more mass and allow for larger and deeper tungsten weights to be used. We also have to consider that while adding tungsten weights to the head, there is also weight lost from the material that is machined out for the holes. Typically depending on the size and depth of the inserts, gains range from 12g to 25g overall. And after that Gold's can always add some nice touches with a variety of paintfill or custom colors to suit each person's tastes. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3677.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23730" alt="DSCF3677" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3677.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3679.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23731" alt="DSCF3679" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3679.jpg"></a> While the Orbit around G weights are the most popular these days, Gold's also offers more basic type tungsten weights that can come in all different sizes. Because these weights can be made so small, they can also fit on top blades of putters, in bumpers and are quite versatile for fitting. The photo directly above shows what Gold's Factory calls Orichalum weights. "Orichalcum is a metal mentioned in several ancient writings, including the story of Atlantis as recounted in the Critias dialogue, recorded by Plato. According to Critias, orichalcum was considered second only to gold in value, and was found and mined in many parts of Atlantis in ancient times. By the time of Critias, however, it was known only by name. In numismatics, orichalcum is the golden-colored bronze alloy used for the sestertius and dupondius coins. In many sources of pop culture, such as novels and video games, orichalcum is presented as a valuable ore that can be mined and crafted into powerful armor and weapons. It is also mentioned several times in Japanese anime . Several anime use it such as "Slayers" (Lina Inverse has to fight a golem in one episode that is made of it), "Saint Seiya" (gold saint, Aries Mu uses Orichalcum to recreate bronze saints' cloths), Black Cat" (all Chronos Numbers weapons are made of Orihalcum), and "Hyper Police" (Sasahara Natsuki's dagger [tanto] was cut down from a broken sword [katana]). In each case, the metal is akin to a steel alloy that is much stronger, and almost indestructible." Yes got the above from Wikipedia. So what Orichalum is for Gold's Factory are tungsten weights with 8 holes drilled around the edges. These edges are then filled with either copper or GSS (SUS303) "rods" and machined smooth to give the appearance you see above. These are a very classy looking weights and you can see some examples of how Gold's uses Orichalum below. In the first photo it is used in the face overlapping with plain tungsten. There is a lot of very fine machining going on to match the cut tungsten perfectly. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF9573.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23734" alt="DSCF9573" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF9573.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF9570.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23736" alt="DSCF9570" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF9570.jpg"></a> The photo above shows how the Orichalum weight has been inserted into the heel of the putter. There is also a smaller tungsten weight on the shoulder. If the balance and bias of the head is towards the toe, Gold's can move the COG ever so slightly with weights in certain positions like what you see above. As you saw in my blog post <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/craigs-excellent-japan-adventure-part-1-golds-factory/">Craig's Excellent Adventure: Gold's Factory</a>, the sweet spot or CG of the putter is not always in the center as we found on the Epon Zen. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3670.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23738" alt="DSCF3670" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3670.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3701.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23739" alt="DSCF3701" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3701.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3684.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23742" alt="DSCF3684" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3684.jpg"></a> Next up we have some inserts that don't really alter the weight in any way but look great for a visual upgrade. The first photo is what Gold's calls the Arc Reactor. It is a machined aluminum disc with a beveled edge and convex point in the center. The Arc Reactor can also be made in several sizes and placed in quite a few locations for a very nice visual impact. The Arc Reactor can also be filled with any type of paint fill color. The second photo above shows what Gold's calls the Bulls Eye. It is a 3 piece specially machined insert featuring a Tungsten outer ring, aluminum colored center ring with Gold's Factory engraving and a tungsten center piece. The most popular spot for the Bulls Eye is usually on the face in the heel but again it can be placed anywhere. The last photo above shows us what Gold's calls Alumite discs. They are machined aluminum discs made mostly for dress up and added style. Keep in mind though while the Bulls Eye does not change the weight of the putter, both the Arc Reactor and Alumite discs result in a net loss of weight after drilling and insertion. The weight is minor at a gram or 2 per disc, but it is still a calculation that needs be considered when working with a target weight. Below are examples of the Arc Reactor in the cavity, the Bulls Eye in the face heel and Alumite discs mixed with tungsten discs and an array of tunsten weighting below. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3614.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23744" alt="DSCF3614" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3614.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSC_3221.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23747" alt="DSC_3221" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSC_3221.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF9568.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23748" alt="DSCF9568" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF9568.jpg"></a> Recently popular as well have been brass inserts, which Gold's can also machine in in different sizes and doing alumite and weights in black color which look very stealth on Teflon black putters or produce a bold contrast on SUS303 or any satin putter. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3692.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23750" alt="DSCF3692" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3692.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3685.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23751" alt="DSCF3685" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3685.jpg"></a> Here are a few more closeups of different inserts including heel inserted Arc Reactor before color and a sneak peak of the much anticipated Damascus face insert... <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3657.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23753" alt="DSCF3657" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3657.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3696.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23754" alt="DSCF3696" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3696.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3722.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23755" alt="DSCF3722" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3722.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3691.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23756" alt="DSCF3691" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3691.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3709.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23757" alt="DSCF3709" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3709.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3715.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23760" alt="DSCF3715" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3715.jpg"></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3658.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-23759" alt="DSCF3658" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DSCF3658.jpg"></a> So there you have a quick look at some of the machined inserts and weights that Gold's can do. These are just examples and Gold's can always tweak each weight differently and they seem to come up with new ones all the time. Hopefully this will help a lot of customers looking for a custom Gold's putter but had no idea what an Arc Reactor or Orichalum was. As always we are here to help with your master piece! <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/contact"><strong>Just give us a shout!</strong></a>
  9. Well, I wasn't sure I could like the feel of my old Yamada 85029 putter any more than I already did, but it was getting pretty old and I had to admit there were a couple of nicks in the face that were affecting putts. And then I saw Tario's article about the work Master Sasaya was doing at Gold's Factory, and a few TSG'ers who had sent putters in encouraged me to try it. So I sent my baby across the Pacific. And all I can say is, wow, it's now the Yamada, only better! My request to Tario was a little unusual, I guess. As much I thought the look of many of the Gold's refinishes was stunning, I wanted to try and keep the look of my 85029's burning copper and possibly play up the antiqued quality it had developed over time. So, between Tario and Master Sasaya, they went to work. And for me, the result is not only stunningly beautiful, but the feel with the new milling is somehow even better. The putter always felt like butter to me, but if possible, it now feels even richer. All I can say is, the ball seems to sink into the face until I just about feel the dimples. And most importantly, when I took it out to the club this week, I had two of my best putting rounds of the year. Yesterday I had 4 one-putts alone on some pretty tricky greens! So.. my thanks to Master Sasaya, to Tario, and to Stew, Craig, and others here who reassured me about taking the opportunity to have this work done. Below are a couple of pics, too. my thanks again to all involved, --Richard
  10. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/slide.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/slide.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21639" title="slide" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/slide.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="248" /></a> It's been a while since I have dropped by Gold's Factory and in the mean time, Gold's has grown more popular than ever, especially here in Japan where their brand has received major publicity in most major golf magazines. Being featured in Golf Digest Japan, Alba, Even Golf, Waggle as well as top enthusiast magazine Choice, has really enhanced Gold's Factory and Master Sasaya's reputation as savvy putter and wedge creator and modifier. So when Sasaya-san contacted me last week asking me to drop by to talk about his new wedge and to grind a set based on my feedback I was very happy to oblige. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5304.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5304.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21641" title="DSCF5304" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5304.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="972" /></a> As you all know I get to take lots of pictures and test golf clubs mostly at home here in Kiminomori so it was nice to be able to pack up the camera and head out to Tokyo to shoot some pictures in a work shop rather than my backyard or at the range/golf course. I arrived at Gold's Factory located deep in the heart of Nakajuku in Itabashi just after 10am and right away Sasaya-san pulled out a box of raw forged heads to show me. We talked a bit about wedge manufacturing and how a hand grind wedge from Gold's Factory differs from a mass produced wedge which most mainstream brands produce. Sasaya-san explained to me this new hand grind wedge is forged from JIS SS400 in Himeji and is now being produced by Gold's Factory with CNC machined conforming R&A grooves. For those not familiar with SS400, its equivalent hardness is about S18C. Raw heads are delivered at heavy 338g weights allowing for major customized grinding to each customer specifications. The new hand grind wedge also features a very fine CNC machined face milling, this milling can be varied from fine to deep. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5362.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5362.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21675" title="DSCF5362" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5362.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5302.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5302.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21643" title="DSCF5302" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5302.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="465" /></a> Unlike mass produced wedges many of which are rolled in a barrel, Gold's Factory grinds and sands and polishes from start to finish. They do send the wedge off for plating if that is required by the customer otherwise they finish the raw wedges themselves. The hand grind process is a tedious one but even before that, the planning of the wedges design must be considered. Sasaya-san and I talked about differences between preferred shapes and styles of wedges from Japanese golfers to American or overseas golfers. In Japan, many golfers prefer wider soles and more bounce due to the lusher and softer courses and bunkers. As Sasaya-san put it, the big round head with goose neck was made popular by Jumbo Ozaki and it has stuck. I told him this is not the wedge TSG customers overseas really want and he agreed that this was probably the case. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5303.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5303.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21646" title="DSCF5303" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5303.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> Breaking the wedge into various sections, we talked about the sole grind, the neck, including the back of the neck and how it flows to the top line as well as the front of the neck and how it flows to the leading edge. The neck is a sensitive part of the wedge and even the inner neck, or curve connecting the neck to the face and scorelines must be considered. A artfully ground neck will allow for the lines of the head to flow and for the design to balance. We talked about the top line as well as the head shape and leading edge and Sasaya-san explained he typically grinds the leading edge last in order to have it flow with the neck. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5305.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5305.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21647" title="DSCF5305" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5305.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="411" /></a> Based on popular feedback from customers I suggested to Sasaya-san we do an M style grind as its versatile and while not ultra thin it gives the appearance of a thinner sole. The trailing edge relief as well as the toe and heel relief allow for versatility in various lies and conditions and not to mention it looks good. (^_^) <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5306.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5306.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21649" title="DSCF5306" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5306.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="473" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5311.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5311.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21652" title="DSCF5311" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5311.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="483" /></a> Most better players and TSG Customers seem to prefer less offset or a very straight neck so I requested this from Sasaya-san. He explained this would be the first thing he grind as its quite a bit of work to get the neck very straight and flat all around so that it flows into the blade of the wedge. In order to get that very straight neck, Sasaya-san spent quite some time grinding the neck portion by portion and closely inspecting its "lines" throughout the process. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5312.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5312.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21654" title="DSCF5312" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5312.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5313.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5313.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21656" title="DSCF5313" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5313.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> Next Sasaya-san moved to the sole. He has done the M grind quite a few times and quickly shaped the sole grind matching the trailing edge relief to flow into the straight neck. The heel relief will also allow the player to open up the wedge more easily and still point the leading edge at the target and keep it close to the ground for better contact. The initial grinding is actually the easy part and as an experienced master grinder, Sasaya-san can shape the wedge quite quickly. Its the fine tuning of the shape on the sand belt and much tighter parts like the curved inner neck that take more care. In the above picture you see the unfinished raw inner curve of the wedge and how close it comes to the face. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5317.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5317.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21657" title="DSCF5317" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5317.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5319.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5319.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21658" title="DSCF5319" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5319.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5320.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5320.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21659" title="DSCF5320" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5320.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> Many grinders grind/sand this curved portion in an up and down motion from top to bottom. Sasaya-sasn grinds the curve from neck towards the face without touching the face or scorlines. The sander is actually the most essential and most used tool in shaping and finishing the wedge even more so than the grinder which is used to get the general shape. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5321.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5321.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21661" title="DSCF5321" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5321.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5359.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5359.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21662" title="DSCF5359" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5359.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> The sander uses different sized pins in order to reach and grind different areas of the wedge and Sasaya-san goes through a very labor intensive hand polishing using 60 grit sand paper all the way up to very fine 1000 grit for a perfectly smooth finish. This hand process takes hours and is part of the reason why the wedges cost so much but because of this process you can be ensured a perfectly shaped and flat wedge unlike mass produced wedges today which can lack consistency. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5374.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5374.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21664" title="DSCF5374" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5374.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5373.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5373.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21665" title="DSCF5373" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5373.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="428" /></a> After grinding the neck and sole Sasaya-san moved on to the top line and shape of the head. We talked about how a company like Fourteen does a tapered top line and decided instead to do just a clean and simple thinner topline which gives it a nice blade like appearance at address. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5336.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5336.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21668" title="DSCF5336" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5336.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="422" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5378.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5378.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21669" title="DSCF5378" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5378.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="416" /></a> We were getting closer to the desired shape of the head but I had one request for Sasaya-san and that was grind the heel side of the wedge lower so that the shape would be much more tear drop. This also gives the illusion of a higher toe and promotes working the ball diagonally across the length of the face for added spin control. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5369.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5369.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21673" title="DSCF5369" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5369.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5379.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5379.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21672" title="DSCF5379" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5379.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> Finally Sasaya-san grinded and sanded the leading edge to match and flow into the neck. The straighter leading edge and the additional grinding I requested not only gave the wedge a very much tear drop shape but made the neck appear even straighter with the top line towards the heel being lower. It had pretty much taken the morning to create this shape which is still nowhere near done, additional touching up as well as lots of fine sanding is still required. At this point the heads were still around 314g in weight, so plenty of room for Sasasya-san to smooth out its looks and finish. <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5385.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5385.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21677" title="DSCF5385" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5385.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> I decided that we would plate this wedge to prevent rusting and finish the wedge in a soft black with 1 dot indicating the AW and 2 dots indicating the SW to to keep the sole clean and the wedge simple. In a couple of weeks I should have the finished 52 and 58* set for pictures and they will look awesome. The Hand Grind wedge is still a custom made wedge like no other in Japan. Its the only wedge available here where you can dictate all the design aspects from the original raw head to finished product. There are also a ton of finishes including raw, raw polished, raw with gun blue, raw black, chrome, chrome satin, white chrome (pearl satin like), Teflon black, Soft Black, Copper, Black Boron etc. Top that off with any engraving you want including custom logos and names all hand milled and you have your one of a kind wedge! Stay tuned for pics of the finished set and if anyone wants to make their own please feel free to <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/contact"><strong>contact us!</strong></a> While I was there I also snapped pics of the Gold's Factory workshop for your viewing pleasure! <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5356.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5356.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21680" title="DSCF5356" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5356.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5333.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5333.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21679" title="DSCF5333" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5333.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5342.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5342.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21681" title="DSCF5342" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5342.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5351.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5351.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21682" title="DSCF5351" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5351.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5352.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5352.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21683" title="DSCF5352" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5352.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5344.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5344.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21684" title="DSCF5344" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5344.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5347.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5347.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21685" title="DSCF5347" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5347.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5346.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5346.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21686" title="DSCF5346" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5346.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a><a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5363.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5363.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21687" title="DSCF5363" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5363.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5381.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5381.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21688" title="DSCF5381" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5381.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5341.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5341.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21689" title="DSCF5341" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5341.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="432" /></a> <a href="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5325.jpg"><img'>http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5325.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-21690" title="DSCF5325" src="http://www.golftoimpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSCF5325.jpg" alt="" width="648" height="972" /></a> Edit: 2 weeks later!! Got the finished wedges in today and they look amazing. Very happy with the way they turned out. As I had mentioned I decided to keep them clean with just the Gold's logo and dots to indicate the lofts. The Soft Black finish turned out better then expected! The shape I think is just perfect and the grind very handsome! These wedges have already been purchased by a lucky member!!
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