My first one since 2010, and my third USGA event overall.
Today's #TeamTaylorMade WITB:
TaylorMade M5 9.0, Tensei Orange Prototype 70TX
TaylorMade M2 T3 (2016 deep face), Graphite Design Purple Ice 85X
TaylorMade P790 UDI 2, Steelfiber i95 S
TaylorMade 3-PW RSi TP, KBS C-Taper S+
TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw 52, DG S400 Tour Issue
TaylorMade Hi-Toe 58.10, DG S400 Tour Issue
TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto
TaylorMade TP5 (#3)
I've had a good season so far, but went away from my P7TW over the weekend and put the old RSi TP back in the bag to get some old feels back. I also borrowed the TP Soto from @TK3309 this past weekend. After 6 years with a Spider of some sort, I just needed a different look for a little bit. I'm sure I'll be back to the Spider soon, but the Soto was great today.
Thanks! I really like the TW blades, but I track my stats very closely and my strokes gained approach was down this season. Put the RSi back in the bag to see if that would help get me back to where I used to be. Just like putting on an old, comfortable pair of worn in jeans. hahaha
Good to hear, I would imagine that the forgiveness level was a factor. Although, who can resist those P7TWs? Have you put the Soto in play any rounds other than today, or just some leading up to the qualifier? I tried the Soto Copper with flow neck on the putting green at my club one day, but just couldn't get used to it. I have been a Spider guy for so many years, going back to a blade just psyched me out.
I played a Scotty Santa Fe from 1999 through 2007, so the flow neck Soto is very similar and wasn't much of an adjustment. I played 36 holes with the Soto over the weekend, plus some practice time, and decided to put it in the bag for today's event.
When I'm testing putters, I'm primarily concerned with 6 feet and in. If 4 feet and in is automatic and I'm making the right percentage of 6 footers, then I can game the putter. Distane control is never really a problem. I've found that I can use nearly any putter and have good speed.
The biggest benefit of the Spider is on those 6 feet and in putts. They feel automatic. But my setup got off over the past few weeks and I struggled to get it corrected, so I needed a change for a little while. Using something with a different look and different amount of toe hang helped.
The US Mid-Amateur started this past weekend. I flew out to Colorado on Wednesday to play practice rounds on Thursday and Friday, followed by the 36 hole stroke play portion of the event on Saturday and Sunday. After an opening round 74 (+2) on Saturday, I struggled a little on Sunday before making birdies on my final three holes to shoot 73 (+3) and finish right on the eventual cut line of +5. That meant a Monday morning playoff with eighteen guys playing for the final six match play spots
I was in the first threesome at 7 AM, and we were followed by another threesome and then three foursomes. After your group plays a hole, you have to wait for all other groups to finish to see who advanced and who was eliminated on each hole. It was an absolute grind, as you play a hole and then wait for nearly an hour to see if you're playing more golf or going home.
I survived until the fifth playoff hole, by which point it was down to a 4-for-1 situation. I was eliminated after failing to get up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker on the driveable par 4. On the previous hole, I hit a great wedge to a tucked pin and had a 7-footer for birdie to claim the final match play spot, but my putt broke a little more than expected and slid over the left edge. The playoff was the most pressure I've ever felt on a golf course, but it was extremely satisfying to play some excellent golf under those conditions.
From an equipment perspective, the only change I made leading up to the tournament was at fairway wood. I put the M5 Rocket 4 (Tensei Blue 70-X) into the bag because it launches a little higher than the 2016 M2 T3 and I wanted to get the ball airborne to maximize the distance gained at elevation.