SCOR Golf 4161 Wedges – The Ultimate Game Changer
There are a lot of things that I get excited about when it comes to golf; new clubs, straight drives, playing new courses, dropping a thirty-footer for a par, the list could go on and on. It wasn’t until recently though that I’ve found out what gets me more excited than any of those things mentioned above, combined! It was late one evening several months ago, June to be exact and I was up late screwing around on the internet going through one of my insomnia phases when I happen to catch an ad on a golf retail site that caught my eye. FREE 30 DAY TRIAL. I’m always down for free stuff so; I clicked on the link, and that’s when I discovered the fantastic world of SCOR Golf and their fabulous wedges.
TERRY KOEHLER, PRESIDENT OF SCOR GOLF:
I bit on that offer, which was to “test drive” any one of their 4161 wedges for free, for 30 days. After the trial had passed if I wanted to I could purchase the club or return it at no cost (just shipping charges to me was all I paid). I have been playing with a 58° Callaway Wedge with 13° of bounce, and it has not been a very useful wedge for me. I was oblivious to what bounce was when I made the purchase, and that has set back my progress with my short game. Out here in the desert the less bounce, the better, so me, carrying around a wedge with a bounce of 13° hasn’t been very effective. Wanting to add a little bit more loft and still leery of a 60° (that degree just intimidates me) I chose the SCOR 59° and anxiously waited for the delivery. I played a few rounds with that 59° club, and I was so impressed with it that I sent an email off to the customer service department seeking some more information about the before.
There’s not much that can be said about Terry Koehler, the President of SCOR Golf, that hasn’t been said already. I challenge anyone out there to find a negative word that has even been written regarding Mr. Koehler and his passion for the short game. He is as genuine as they come and I found that out first hand when Mr. Kohler called me personally to talk about his wedges in response to my email.
I’ve been rather surprised by a few golf companies over the past five months, mainly dealing with The Death Valley event, with their gracious donations and willingness to help me out. It made me feel good knowing that there are companies out there that care about what they do. Terry, on the other hand, has a love of the game that to me is undefined, and he’s taken that love and created, in my opinion, the best golf club I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.
Terry is a writer himself and puts out a wonderfully written blog twice a week at The Wedge Guy, where he discusses, at will, the short game. After my conversation with him ended I immediately headed over to his blog and read literally page after page after page of story’s he has written. Each and every one had a profound effect on my thoughts of how I’ve been approaching my short game. To say his words consumed me would be an understatement, I wanted to attend a class, I felt like I had found golf’s version of Yoda and it was just a matter of time before I could call myself a short game Jedi!
It’s a simple ideology; be more accurate from 120 yards out, and you will score better. Duh right? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds, at least not for me. I’ve fallen victim to the game destroying theory that longer is better.
I admit it, I wish I hit the ball 20-30 yards further with my driver, and I wish I could launch my ball 250+ yards with my fairway woods but that’s just not in the cards for me. I’ve dramatically improved my distance off the tee with my driver over the last six months, but that has been due to proper swing mechanics and a much-improved tempo.
Doing everything, I can to not crush the ball as hard as I can with every swing. The correct speed and mechanics have taught me a valuable lesson that had I not learned; I believe the philosophy of The Wedge Guy would have gone right over my head.
We are beaten down everywhere we go with distance. Heck, TaylorMade even ran an entire sales promotion based on adding 17 yards. When I think about that campaign, now all that comes to mind is an article that Terry wrote called “What would you shoot if…” where he talks about some of the worst parts of your game. In short, the message I’m relating to was; do you wish you were longer, then the next time you play walk your ball up 12 yards further down the target line and see how you do. That’s just brilliant if you ask me. So, did it help, that added 12 yards?
The theory of longer is better has even infected our children, and I saw proof of it when I took my daughter to an open clinic put on by The First Tee of Southern Nevada. As she went through the different stations, I sat by and watched her, and I also watched and listened to a lot of the other kids in the groups. I heard more about how far “I can hit the ball further than you can” than I could take. Even these 8-12 years olds were fully enveloped in the distance diatribe.
I took some time for me, almost three years, but I have finally gotten it into my head that accuracy beats out distance without question. That’s one of the reasons the PGA guys are so incredible at what they do. They’re long and accurate. That’s a recipe for success!
What’s my point to all this, well; it’s a two-part point. I think that if I would have gotten my 30-day free trial club and went out and played without reading some of the writings of Mr. Koehler my game may have shown some modest to slight improvement down the road, just based on the clubs design and make. Lucky for me that didn’t happen. On the other hand, had I ran across The Wedge Guy blog and applied his ideology to my game with my current wedges; again, I might have shown some improvement in the long term, but would it have been worth talking about. It has been a combination of both the SCOR 4161 Wedges and Terry’s theory on the short game that has given me a complete makeover.
YOU HAVE TO LOVE TO HEAR THIS:
I remember after playing the first round with my new set of wedges my buddy Randy said to me “Man, you had me worried, I thought to myself I’m playing out of my ass, and I’m only up three at the turn, you played awesome today.” Words like that from a friend are excellent. Words like that from a friend you desperately want to beat one day are inspiring!
Then at The Death Valley Challenge I played four rounds of golf in one day with Bill and he really got to see up close how much I have improved with the Wedges and with my approach (My putting was excellent that day, and Bill is the reason behind that improvement, but that’s for another post) to the short game. He was surprised, and it felt great to hear a player that I respect give me some credit for playing well.
The best response though came a few weeks ago when I was on vacation in Idaho. I went up to Osprey Meadows where Dustin, my former and well kind of current, swing coach has relocated. I was eager to play with him and show him the improvements I’ve made.
I owe a lot to Dustin. He helped me get my head in the right place when it came down to understanding the basics of the golf swing. I felt like my daughter when she brings home a paper from school, just so eager to show me what she had done. That was me! I couldn’t wait to show him my progress, and I don’t think I disappointed at all! I even received the highly touted instructor golf clap on a few of my approach shots and even a few “smart play” comments as well! YES!
THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE:
I know what you’re thinking. It can’t just be a matter of reading some blog and getting some new wedges to show big improvements to your game. But it can, and I have to stats to prove it.
There are two key stats that I track for my short game (I track a lot more than just two, but these two are the most relevant to this post) Greens In Regulation of course and Scrambling. For any beginners or people who just don’t follow stats at all GIR or “Greens In Regulation” in short is if you’re putting tiny you have hit a green in regulation. The scrambling stat is how often you make Par after NOT hitting a green in regulation; it’s the up and down stat. How good are you when you miss the green?
Here are my numbers before adding the SCOR wedges to my bag. These are from the first eight rounds of 2012, and they are the averages over those rounds:
SCORE: 100.75, GIR: 15.3% & SCRAMBLING: 7.9%
Now compare those numbers to the last seven rounds that I’ve played with the SCOR Wedges:
SCORE: 94.00, GIR: 21.3% & SCRAMBLING: 17.1%
Those numbers don’t lie.
Apparently, something is working and let me tell you it feels GREAT!
THE SCOR 4161 WEDGES
The wedges are puts out in lofts from 41° thru 61°, yep, that’s 20 different wedges that are available. Their website has a user-friendly interface where you can input some information about your game and then they “Prescribes” for you a Wedge set based on that information. I received three different prescriptions based on the info I put in. They took into consideration that I’m playing with the TaylorMade Burner 2.0’s and made the adjustment to the lie of the clubs so that they match my other irons. That was just cool. The fact that they are willing to adjust their product to make the transition from your old wedges to the new ones that much easier.
One of the first things I noticed when I opened the box was the club heads seemed tiny. For reference, I’m comparing them to my Burner 2.0’s which are not exactly a small headed iron by any means! My initial thought was “What are you doing, this is a blade, and you can’t hit a blade.” But that notion was put to bed rather quickly after my first range session. The feeling at impact is AWESOME and chipping with the new wedges has been remarkable.
The grips have a unique feature that during the 30-day trial I wasn’t interested in at all. That was the case with the demo club, not anymore. Now that I have my complete set I often wonder why more grip manufacturers haven’t gone down this road yet. SCOR includes two circles on the top side of the grip that are spaced exactly 1” apart from one another near the bottom of the grip. You can see them from the address position if you are gripping the club. The concept is gripping down on the club will shorten the distance the ball travels and having these markers on the grip ensures you are exactly 1” down every time, consistency at its finest.
Where Terry blows all the other wedge manufacturers out of the water is on the sole of the club. He has created what he calls The V Sole, and in short, it’s two soles on the club that have two different angles (forming a V) giving the club more than just one degree of bounce. Tight lie, fluffy lie, sand lie you name it the V-Groove can handle it.
Locking in your distances is the key to success, not only with the SCOR wedges but with any wedges. SCOR did something that I found to be very informative and incredibly helpful in helping you get your wedge distances locked in. A booklet that you can download is available on their site (with an email subscription) that takes you step by step through the process of getting your distances locked in for all of your wedges. I can tell you it works. I spent a good three days at the range dialing in my clubs before I went out and played with them the first time and that takes me back to my first paragraph in this post.
So what is it that now gets me more excited than dropping that lengthy putt to save par on a hole, or smashing a 300-yard drive dead center down a fairway? Can you guess?
Here’s the scenario; I’m playing a short par 4, I hit my drive 260 yards to the right side of the fairway, and I have 98 yards to the pin. I walk over to my bag and grab my 52° without hesitation because I know that my 52° with my standard grip and the club face square is my 102-yard club. I take aim at my target and address the ball, this time though I lower my grip on the shaft one inch, taking 4 yards off the club. I swing and stick that son of a bitch pin high within 4 feet! That is an amazing feeling, and lately, it’s been happening a lot more often!
What has changed so much for me is when I’m within 120 yards I no longer debate over what I need to do. I grab my club and go. Same swing every club, bam! It has without a doubt (besides taking the lessons from Dustin) been the single most significant change to my game since starting back up in 2009.
That’s a bold statement and if you’ve read this blog for a while or from the beginning you know I’ve done A LOT to try to improve my game. This change in my approach to the short game, thanks to Mr. Koehler and his wedges, is by far the most dramatic change I have made.
I invite everyone who reads this to go to the SCOR site and check it out what Terry’s doing with his complete revamping of the way wedges have been for the past 40 years. The site goes into so much more detail than I can talk about and plus it sounds a lot better coming from the people who make the clubs than me trying to explain forged and cast and things of that nature.
And if this story didn’t resonate with you like I hoped it would take them up on their 30-day free trial and see for yourself just how incredible the SCOR Golf 4161 wedges are. I can assure you; you will not be disappointed.