Club Junkie Reviews: VA Composites Raijin 2.0 wood and hybrid shafts
VA Composites has been making premium graphite shafts since 2017 and the company’s shafts been played on professional tours as well and can be found in many amateur bags. Victor Afable has been designing shafts for a long time and brought all of that knowledge to VA when he started it. The original Raijin came out six years ago and has been one of the most popular models in the lineup.
The Raijin 2.0 is a new shaft with plenty of updates, but keeps the original Raijin DNA intact. The profile on the 2.0 stays the same as the original with a firm handle section and stiff mid and tip. The torque rating is slightly lower on the new 2.0 and they are both mid-high launching shafts. Graphics have always been something that VA has knocked out of park and the matte finish on the Raijin 2.0 is pretty cool to look at.
I was hitting the 2.0 in my Titleist TSR2 driver and was really impressed with the shaft. I think it feels a touch more stout than the original but keeps the expected smooth feel. The launch was a touch lower and had a flatter flight than the original Raijin and I would slate it as a mid/high launch for me. In the TSR2 I had an average launch of 12.4 degrees, and that was very close to the shaft I have been gaming. The flight was pretty flat and boring with no rise to the shots, even if they were a small fade.
The Raijin 2.0 has a great kick at impact and is easy to square up without having to worry about hitting a big hook. Shots missed off the toe and heel stayed online really well and had very little curve to them. I could easily see that shots struck low heel tended to go right, but without that fade curve to them.
The hybrid Raijin 2.0 was very similar in the Tour Edge Exotics C722 head. The ball was easy to launch off the deck and provided a very straight ball. Even shots struck low on the face, my miss with hybrid, the ball was still able to get in the air a good amount and add some carry. Well struck shots flew high and landed very soft. Using it off the tee was great but I didn’t get much roll, if any, off the fairway. Again the Raijin 2.0 offered very good stability on miss hits and kept the ball online consistently. The shaft was easy to square up at impact but didn’t add any left bias to the hybrid.
Overall I was really impressed with the new VA Composites Raijin 2.0 and think it is a solid upgrade. Victor and his team didn’t take anything away from the original profile and gave us a little tighter and lower launching version. Check out vashafts.com for more info on the Raijin 2.0.
To hear the full review on the Raijin 2.0 driver and hybrid shaft check the podcast links below or search GolfWRX Radio on your preferred podcast app.
Club Junkie Review: Vega Golf VDC and Mizar Tour irons
You may not have heard of Vega Golf, but the company has been making golf clubs for quite some time in Japan. Vega is known for their expertise in forging metal and the great feel their irons offer. This week I get to talk about different irons in their lineup and how they performed for me. For a more detailed review, please take a listen to the Club Junkie below or on any podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.
Star Line: Mizar Tour
The Mizar Tour is a compact players distance iron that is packed with technology. Wheres a lot of multi-piece irons just have a forged face, the entire body of the Mizar Tour is forged from S25c steel. The face is crafted from a high strength maraging steel and only 3.5mm thick for added ball speed.
Out of the box, the Mizar Tour look good with a lightly satin chrome finish and small black badge in the cavity. The irons look compact, with a thin sole, and you would not think it is made from multiple pieces. If you are a fan of less offset, the Mizar Tour is going to fit your eye really well as even the long irons have almost none. These irons might have the lest amount of offset I have seen in a retail iron that isn’t a blade. The shape is a little softer and more rounded than the VDC irons.
Hitting balls with the Mizar Tour is really pleasant, and as you would think, you get a very soft feel upon impact. Even off center shots have a good feel to them but with a little added vibration for feedback. The ball flight is mid/high and the irons are easy to launch off the turf. The long irons, like the 4, are a little intimidating because of the compact look and almost no offset. The longer irons are still pretty easy to launch and much more playable than you would expect.
The nice thing about the Mizar Tour is that when you miss that thin face allows you to still get minimal drop off in distance. Shots also stayed online better than I expected with these irons. Heel strikes and shots low on the face carried very well and online where you noticed a little more distance loss when you struck the ball on the toe. I love the players distance irons that allow players like myself to play a more compact iron without sacrificing performance.
Classic Line: VDC
The VDC shows off its fantastic milling work on the back side with dual cavities that allow Vega to adjust the CG higher on the irons for the perfect players cavity set. The irons look great with a slightly more square toe and edgier look to them than the Mizar line. The blade length is a little longer from heel to toe while still giving a traditional compact look. Faces on all the irons are micro-milled as well for precision shots and distance control. The sole is narrow and has a pre-worn leading edge for improved turf interaction. These irons again have very little offset, with maybe just a hair more than the Mizar set. Overall the shape is very proportionate and discerning players should be confident standing over them.
Feel on the VDC irons is wildly soft, making two-piece range balls feel soft. Shots struck in the center are met with a solid “thud” sound and that feeling of did you even make contact with the ball. While the face didn’t give you the sense of ball exploding off the face, the VDC provided solid distance and an ability to work the ball in any direction. The ball flight was more mid launching with a noticeably flatter trajectory than the Mizar.
If you are a player that likes to shape shots, the VDC will allow you to not only go right and left, but also allow you to pick your trajectory and really dial in those touch shots. The VDC is a little more demanding when it comes to forgiveness, and you will notice more of a distance drop off when you get away from the center of the face. The shots hit near the heel kept that solid and soft feel where the shots out on the toe and low are met with a little added vibration and click. Nothing is harsh, even in the cold weather I was hitting in and that responsiveness should help those feel players.
The VDC is a high-end players cavity iron set that offers great, soft feel that you would expect with precision shot making.
Overall, the Vega line of irons are high performance and great feeling. You can go down the Classic Line for traditional shapes and buttery soft feel or take the Star Line for technology packed irons with added firepower. Either way you go, there is probably a Vega iron that fits your game.
Club Junkie Review: Mizuno RB Tour, RB Tour X golf balls
Mizuno has long been known as an expert in forged irons, but the majority of golfers don’t realize the company makes everything a golfer needs. Mizuno woods, wedges, putters, bags, clothing, and even golf balls are extremely high quality. Golf balls might be the least known, but the new RB Tour series could change that.
Mizuno’s RB Tour and RB Tour X golf balls are both three-piece, urethane cover, golf balls that are designed for skilled players looking for precision. The RB Tour launches lower and produces less spin with driver, while the RB Tour X does the opposite and has a slightly firmer feel. Both have a glossy white finish and smaller logos and markings that should appeal to discriminating players.
For more details on the Mizuno RB Tour golf balls. make sure to check out the Club Junkie podcast below, or on any podcast platform. Just search “GolfWRX Radio.”
The RB Tour is the ball that is designed for players looking for a flatter launch, lower spin, but who still want to have a lot of green side control. Out on the course, I easily noticed that shots off the tee started out in a lower window and had a very flat trajectory. The RB Tour did offer a straighter flight with less curvature to my draw and hook while offering a soft and solid feel. Distance was good with the ball but I think the combination of lower launch and spin took a few yards from me compared to the RB Tour X.
With irons and wedges, I noticed less of a difference in launch, and I was easily able to launch the RB Tour high, and it landed softly on the green, when I hit them. Wedge shots carried a lot of spin and a fairway lie would often result in a ball that had very minimal release. I am not one to zip balls back off the green but felt like the small amount of release on the green was consistent and predictable. Shots out of the rough had a little more release after they hit the green, but again the amount was easily judged and only took a few shots to get used to.
The feel on the RB Tour is soft and solid with minimal audible click at impact. RB Tour is a soft ball, but not so soft that you lack feedback. Feel off the putter or wedge is pleasant, and you know immediately where you struck the shot.
RB Tour X
This ball fit my game a little better with the higher launch and added spin on tee shots. Driver launch was clearly higher that the RB Tour and hit my preferred trajectory. The added spin seemed to help my shots stay in the air a little longer and carry just a bit further than the RB Tour.
Like I said before, the iron launch seemed to be very similar, and the RB Tour X was easy to get up in the air from the turf and land softly on the green. The higher flight and aded spin aided in distance control on the green where there was very minimal roll out. Shots from the fairway checked up immediately while shots from the rough rolled out a shorter distance than the RB Tour.
Around the green, I felt like the RB Tour X checked up just a little bit faster for me. The shorter chip and pitch shots had a little more grab on the first hop and less roll after that. Opening the face to hit higher lofted shots resulted in soft landing ball that again wanted to stop pretty quickly. Putting with the RB Tour X yielded a slightly firmer feel, but not wildly firmer than the RB Tour.
If you weren’t really paying attention, or using a soft insert putter, I think some golfers couldn’t tell the difference between the two. The roll is good and you get a slightly more audible click at impact that can be more responsive when you miss the center of the face.
Overall, I think the new Mizuno RB Tour golf balls are solid tour-level golf balls that offer good performance. If you are looking for a new golf ball this year, I think trying the new options from Mizuno out on the course would be worth your time.
Club Junkie Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 Pro Golf Edition
Technology has been playing a larger part in golf for years and you can now integrate it like never before. I don’t need to tell you, but Samsung is a world leader in electronics and has been making smart watches for years. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is the latest Samsung wearable running Google’s Wear OS operating system and it is more than just a golf watch.
The Watch5 Golf Edition is a full function smartwatch that you can wear every day and use for everything from golf to checking your text messages. For more details on the Golf Edition made sure to check out the Club Junkie podcast below, or on any podcast platform. Just search GolfWRX Radio.
Samsung’s Watch5 Pro Golf Edition has a pretty large 45mm case that is made from titanium for reduced weight without sacrificing any durability. The titanium case is finished in a matte black and has two pushers on the right side to help with navigating the pretty extensive menu options. The case measures about 52mm from lug to lug and stands about 14mm tall, so the fit on smaller wrists could be an issue. I did notice that when wearing a few layers on colder days the extra height did have me adjusting my sleeves to ensure I could swing freely.
The sapphire crystal display is 1.4 inches in diameter, so it should be very scratch resistant, and is protected by a raised titanium bezel. The Super AMOLED display has a 450 x 450 resolution with 321ppi density for clear, crisp graphics. Inside the watch is a dual-core 1.18Ghz Cortex-A55 CPU, 16GB + 1.5GB RAM, and a Mali-G68 GPU to ensure your apps run quickly and efficiently.
I do like that the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition’s white and black rubber strap has a quick release system so you can change it out to match or contrast an outfit. The Golf Edition strap is very supple and conforms to your wrist well, holding it in place during multiple swings.
Out on the course the Watch5 Pro golf Edition is comfortable on the wrist and light enough, ~46g, where it isn’t very noticeable. I don’t usually wear a watch on the course, and it only took a few holes to get used to having it on my left wrist. Wearing a glove on the same hand as the watch doesn’t really change much, depending on the glove. If you have a model that goes a little higher on the wrist you could feel the watch and leather bunch a little bit. Some of my Kirkland Signature gloves would run into the watch case while I didn’t have an issue with my Titleist or Callaway models.
The screen is great in direct sunlight and is just as easy to read in overcast or twilight rounds. The images of holes and text for distances is crisp and has a bright contrast agains the black background. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition comes with a lifetime membership to Smart Caddie for your use on the course. Smart Caddie was developed by Golfbuddy, who has been making rangefinders and GPS units for years. I didn’t sign up for the Smart Caddie app as I did not buy the watch and have logins for multiple GPS and tracking apps. Smart Caddie looks to be extremely extensive, offering a ton of options beyond just GPS and it is one that works seamlessly with the Galaxy watches.
I ended up using The Grint as it was an app I have used in the past and was already signed up for. Getting to the app to start a round was very simple, needing one swipe up and one tap to start The Grint app. The screen is very smooth and records each swipe and tap with zero issues. I never felt like I was tapping or swiping without the Watch5 Pro acknowledging those movements and navigating the menu as I desired. The GPS worked flawlessly and the distances were accurate and consistent. With The Grint’s app you did have to keep the phone in your pocket or in the cart close enough for the Bluetooth connection. For most that is’t a big deal and the only time I noticed it was when I used my electric cart and drove it well in front of me down the fairway.
Overall the Samsung Watch5 Pro Golf Edition is a great option for golfers who want one device for everyday wear and use on the course. The Watch5 Pro Golf Edition still has all the fitness and health options as well as being able to connect to your email, text messages, and social media apps. With the Watch5 Pro Golf Edition you won’t have to worry about buying a device just for golf or forgetting to bring your GPS to the course.
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