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RLL33

Fairways of (Ryoma) Heaven

33 posts in this topic

I’ve long fantasized about some day trying a completely different setup bag that would use a 2-wood in place of a driver and a 5-wd instead of a 3. Never could find anything that didn’t mean giving up all the usual (ego based...) distance suspects though. Until now.

 

I mentioned here earlier this year how much I’ve been enjoying the new Ryoma F-5 fairway wood, but now I’ve played a few weeks with the new F-2 also. And bingo, this is the combo I’ve fantasized about!

Both are incredibly long and yet easy to work due to a fairly shallow face and really appealing look at address. And both have that amazing “gunshot” sound off the face that really pops. (Not kidding -- it surprises anyone in near by range…) I guess it’s the titanium factor in whatever mix Ryoma has come up with for these babes.

The (more than) pleasant surprise is that with the 2-wd I’m getting exactly what I was looking for without giving up much distance to my driver – namely hitting more fairways off the tee than I ever have. This comes into play on my home course which is tight and a shotmaking course designed by Billy Bell. Yes, there’s an absence of the ego factor in hitting that one 300-yarder (if I’m on) in a round. But I kid no one, this 2-wd has me within 10 yards of most of my drives distance wise, but the difference is I’m in the fairway. The result has been more GIR and better scoring – more than enough to make up for the few seconds of joy felt while that one perfect drive is in the air. And I can tell by the gasp factor coming from mates that I’m not the only one who is amazed and NOT missing my driver. No more of those long pushes right for me which was my most common miss with with the big stick... 

Just like the 5-wd, the most repeatable shot shape with the F-2 is a gorgeous high draw on full swings. I find I can dial it back and hit a nice straight stinger though when I want to. But in general the high draws are what I lust after most of the time anyway, and these things seem to spit them out with no effort. I’m sure the shaft has much to do with that. I went with the Beyond Power shaft, and as I’ve told Chris, something about this shaft is unusually suited to my swing, I guess. I haven’t enjoyed a shaft this much since my first swings with the 7D’s. And that’s saying a lot for me!

In short, I can’t recommend these babies enough for anyone who has given thought to shaking up their driver/woods game.

It’s kind of an added smile for me that since I also love Ryoma’s P3 putter as the most unusual feeling putter I’ve ever come across, now the longest and shortest parts of my game have Ryoma stamped on them when, like most, my introduction to Ryoma was that old stand by quest for the Holy Grail of more distance off the tee… Feels like the best of both worlds for me on this combo. Looks to be a good summer shaping up.

 

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Glad that you've found something that keeps you in play. I assume that you've tried a shorter (in amateur terms) driver? Like 44" or less.......

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Yup, not much different for me, just shorter. Still couldn't work the ball without big effort. 

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Hey RLL what is your Billy Bell designed shotmakers' course?   I'm at one too - Virginia CC in Long Beach

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Nice review bud, thanks and congrats! Been really wanting to try the new Ryoma 2W...

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Woodland Hills CC. 

A hidden gem in LA. 

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4 hours ago, chiromikey said:

Nice review bud, thanks and congrats! Been really wanting to try the new Ryoma 2W...

Thanks, M. Think you'll like it. It's unique. And did I say "long...!"

;=]

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Richard, this makes total sense on that diabolical layout! Renaming you and your 2W 'pathfinder''

Now here's an existential question, following on this trajectory:

Does it also make sense to end up with a bunch of hybrids, all the way down to a 6 or 7 hybrid? My soul shudders at the thought, but somewhere in a dark corner of my mind, I hate it that I think it's sensible.  

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I may not be the right guy to answer that Chuck, as I still pull out a 1-iron on windy days, but no. I don't think it makes sense to have hybrids with a higher loft than 24° or so, if you have decent ball-striking abilities. Controlling trajectory, distance and curvature (can you use that word instead of draw/fade?) is so much easier with an iron in my opinion. I have a 21° hybrid and when I stand over the ball to hit it I'm never confident I'll hit the green. Long irons is different - I love hitting them and often do it quite well with a good amount of control.  

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3 hours ago, chuck4golf said:

Richard, this makes total sense on that diabolical layout! Renaming you and your 2W 'pathfinder''

Now here's an existential question, following on this trajectory:

Does it also make sense to end up with a bunch of hybrids, all the way down to a 6 or 7 hybrid? My soul shudders at the thought, but somewhere in a dark corner of my mind, I hate it that I think it's sensible.  

Makes sense to me. I'm tempted to go 4w 16° 7w 21° 9w 24° and a 5u 27°. May even try a 30° for good measure. This game's hard enough so I'm all ears to make it easier. 

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4 hours ago, RLL33 said:

Thanks, M. Think you'll like it. It's unique. And did I say "long...!"

;=]

I love my Tourstage X-FW Type T 2W and it's long too. I just didn't like the size, sound, feel, or higher trajectory of the first gen Ryoma 2W but it was easier to hit than the Tourstage. Knowing that, is this one still worth a try for me?

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2 hours ago, chiromikey said:

I love my Tourstage X-FW Type T 2W and it's long too. I just didn't like the size, sound, feel, or higher trajectory of the first gen Ryoma 2W but it was easier to hit than the Tourstage. Knowing that, is this one still worth a try for me?

Its definitely worth a try if you dont mind the similar shape but sound and feel are totally different, i also find that it launch a bit lower than the previous model, hope it help. 

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<<... Does it also make sense to end up with a bunch of hybrids ...?>>

Not for me, Chuck. I LOVE my irons, right down to the 2-iron. With the exception of the one Miura hybrid I have bagged for years because I find it's totally different from all other hybrids I've tried, I relish playing the long irons. As bn says, it's about the precision and workability and feel. Hitting a great long iron is borderline better than sex for me.  ;=]

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6 hours ago, chiromikey said:

I love my Tourstage X-FW Type T 2W and it's long too. I just didn't like the size, sound, feel, or higher trajectory of the first gen Ryoma 2W but it was easier to hit than the Tourstage. Knowing that, is this one still worth a try for me?

I haven't hit the Tourstage, so I'm sorry I can't compare directly, Mikey. But I can tell you that the Ryoma has a very quick pop into a penetrating trajectory. It goes hand in hand with the gunshot sound that I've described. For me, it's honestly unique. Even in some very strong Santa Ana winds that we've had lately, shots bore right through, well out there before I even look up. I think whatever causes the draw bias further adds to that quality. No question, some would probably find the sound... I don't know... unsettling.... But I've come to look forward to hearing it. Even have guys talking about it in the bar...  ;=]

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2 hours ago, RLL33 said:

 Hitting a great long iron is borderline better than sex for me.  ;=]

Haha! I played yesterday and was hitting my Shinigawa irons really well. After one 'better than sex' shot my younger playing partner told me to 'keep your clothes on.' It really is thrilling to hit a ball just right with a quality iron.

I understand what you're saying. But if Honma had tw hybrids that went down to 6 iron I think I'd try them. It's always the question ... what aesthetic price for functionality? I play the 'score the lowest' game a lot (there are many joys to golf and score is only one of them) and think hybrid mid irons might support that.  There is a poster on golfwrx (Obee) who plays at a high level as an amateur (state, regional usga amateur) who plays thru 7 hybrid. This gets me thinking.

Meanwhile I am chewing on a new set of 'no nonsense' blades because I am playing really well! So the inner battle rages on, probably never to be resolved until I have inventory that rivals Chris!

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Ian and bn- you guys plus Richards joy of hitting an iron define that scope of the issue. Bn my question was raised because I know a very high level golfer from golfwrx who plays hybrids. Smart guy who knows how to score. A lot of LPGA players use hybrids down thru 5 or 6 iron. 

 

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It's an interesting point, Chuck, and actually has a lot to do with my original intention in posting the review. 

I first started thinking about the 2-wd when Mickelson used that "Frankendriver" for one or two tourneys a few years ago. He could hit that thing almost as long as his driver, the difference being that he had obviously more control of where the ball would end up. And with his iron game, it was sure to lower his scores (IMO). What caused him to abandon the idea? The obvious emphasis on distance in the "new" pro game. 

Sure, distance in the pro game is about millions of bucks, whereas for am's like me we're talking in relative hacker terms. But it's really the same issue, I think, especially for us am's :  ego.

You don't want to put the driver out to pasture, even if it means lowering your scores... What's a golf bag without a driver...?

Well, playing 150 rounds of golf a year -- especially as I get older -- I find myself caring more and more about "what works." And the 2-wd experiment is an opening in that investigation for me. And I'd agree with a similar experiment with hybrids if you or anyone were so inclined. We can always go back, right...? (That JBeam with 7D is over in the corner laughing at me as I type here...) And no doubt, Chris is going to show us alternatives that prove irresistible ...!   <g> 

All part of the game and what we equipment lovers enjoy dealing with, yes? 

 

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9 hours ago, Ian-500 said:

Makes sense to me. I'm tempted to go 4w 16° 7w 21° 9w 24° and a 5u 27°. May even try a 30° for good measure. This game's hard enough so I'm all ears to make it easier. 

Very interesting Ian. In fact I'm on a quest to lower my score. It might take awhile but i have finally found that i swing woods much better than irons. 

I am re shaping my bag and i carry till 6 iron tops. I have inserted 7 wood and replace the 5 iron with a large chunky driving iron and hybrid depending on condition. So far, i have been more consistent in terms of scoring which i aim to be. 

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You play a course designed by a mad man where you have to be precise off the tee and then on approach shots so you don't have one of those nasty nasty above the hole putts. Control is such  a key to playing it! So your 2 wood makes total sense.

As to that jbeam/7 dreamer and not to forget your copper agrinds also on the bench. I am thinking it makes sense to have an inventory of clubs that match our 'moods.' 

After my shoulder froze last fall (and 110% healed) I had to rethink my swing. I had no confidence in blades so I got a set of Honma 727v. Now my swing is best ever (doing mjrd program great help!) and I am back to blades. Having both sets as a strategy for confidence ebb and flow makes sense. That's kind of where I am thinking: an inventory of differentiated clubs that mesh with the variations in what meshes with confidence and/or aesthetic moods.

So I am betting the day comes where the driver and/or agrinds call out to you and you fall in love with them again. At least that's my theory. 

 

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+1  on that, Chuck. 

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And that is what is so great hanging out gere and being addicted to the vest stuff there is. We all have a bunch of stuff that we can play around with and the bag has a different combination of sticks on different days. I dread being reborn as an everyday Joe who has 14 clubs bought at Golfsmith and never change them up. Or worse, never feel the urge to..

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I'm enjoying the read and your thoughts guys but I'm gonna bring it back to the Ryoma for a sec. I read draw bias and that's a big red flag for me. How much of a draw bias is there and do you think it's head or shaft related?

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18 hours ago, chiromikey said:

I'm enjoying the read and your thoughts guys but I'm gonna bring it back to the Ryoma for a sec. I read draw bias and that's a big red flag for me. How much of a draw bias is there and do you think it's head or shaft related?

I guess I can't be sure because I've only hit it with the Beyond Power shaft in it, but I'd guess that it's mostly the shaft, which is also unique in that it has only one flex for all. As I said though, I was able to find straight and fade, too. More time with it will tell.

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21 hours ago, bngolfer said:

And that is what is so great hanging out gere and being addicted to the vest stuff there is. We all have a bunch of stuff that we can play around with and the bag has a different combination of sticks on different days. I dread being reborn as an everyday Joe who has 14 clubs bought at Golfsmith and never change them up. Or worse, never feel the urge to..

Well said, couldn't agree more :atsg_logo_anim:

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hello 

It's a really nice read and some really interresting questions .

I'm currently thinking of replacing my 5 iron with an UT , but most of it , I played today and I really took care about the difference between my wood and my driver . 

at the end we're talking about 10 - 15 of difference vs reaching the fairway almost everytime . 

I'm seriously thinking about going in your direction . 

could you give an average distance you're doing with your driver/2w/5w/6i ? 

not to do any contest but really to compare with what I have . 

thanks 

 

stephane 

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