Product Reviews

Taylor Made Ultimate Driving Iron (UDI)

For years, I have struggled with the gap in between my 3 wood and 3 iron.  With my 3 wood going about 250 and my 3 iron traveling 210, i was in need of that 220, 230 sweet spot.  I have tried just about every hybrid and 5 wood imaginable.  I was even foolish enough to put a 1 iron in play for some time.   This past summer I met Taylor Made's 2 iron or Ultimate Driving Iron, and the search has officially been called off.

Taylor Made's UDI is available in a 1, 2, or 3 iron with lofts at 16, 18, and 20 degrees respectively.  I opted to go with the 2 iron as it fit the 220-230 gap I was looking for.  The club is easy to hit, has a solid feel and is relatively forgiving on miss hits.

The look of the club from the setup position is not intimidating at all as it has some meat to it on the top line.

The look of the club from the setup position is not intimidating at all as it has some meat to it on the top line.

After putting the Taylor Made UDI into play, I told my golf buddies about it and they eventually ended up joining the 2 iron party. 

No matter how I am playing, if the fate of the free world depended on me hitting a fairway, I’d pull out my 2 iron and we’d all keep partying.
— John Kennelly - Local golf bro

The best part about having the 2 iron in the bag is it's versatility.

  • Off the tee - Got a tight par 4 that requires a shot in the fairway?  Nothing better than pulling a club that you know will get the job done
  • From the fairway - Just ripped a big drive and going for that par 5 in 2?  One of the unique aspects of the Taylor Made's UDI is the high launch you get off of the club face.  Carry that bunker, land it softly, and prepare to line up your eagle putt
  • Headed across the pond to compete in The Open?  Or maybe just a windy day at the local muni?  The UDI is also a great wind option when you need to keep it low off of the tee.
This golfball would resume it's normal shape and come to rest on the green.

This golfball would resume it's normal shape and come to rest on the green.

If you are looking for a great option off of the tee and from the fairway where accuracy is a must, this 2 iron is one option you should definitely consider.  At $99.99 you will certainly get your money's worth.  You can order them here from Taylor Made.

The Original Jones Bag

Since I always opt to carry my clubs, the sort of bag that I carry makes a serious difference.  With so many different options out there here is the main criteria that I consider.

  • Weight - Today's best carry options range from 2.5 pds to 6 pds depending on features. The trick here is to find the bag that gives you everything you need without unnecessary weight.

  • Pockets - With approximately 150,000 golf gadgets available to put in your golf bag, you need to figure out what is necessary and how many different places you need for things. Do you separate out your new balls from your used balls? Do you need a special pocket for your 1919 Buffalo Nickel ball marker? How about your phone? Maybe you plan on drinking 7 beers on the back nine?

  • Too Stand or Not too Stand - You can ditch some serious weight by going stand-less. How important is it that your club heads are within your immediate grasp?

  • Style - This one comes down to preference. For me, I like to keep it simple and clean.

  • Club sleeves - The answer here is that you DO NOT need a separate sleeve for everyone of your individual clubs. All of your golf clubs will get along fine in 3-5 different slots. The only real issue is grip wear and by the time this happens, you should change your grips anyways.

  • Durability - Will this bag be subjected to harsh weather and airport security? Is there a chance that it will be thrown into a pond? Choose accordingly.

With my main criteria established, I decided to give the Original Jones Bag a play through at Chambers Bay.  Based out of Portland, OR, Jones Golf Bags are perhaps the most iconic carry bags in the game of golf.  Known for their simplistic and classic appeal, the style of the Classic Jones has changed very little in the past 40 years.

 

Quick Facts: 

  • Weight: 3.15 pounds

  • Single carry strap, no stand

  • Pockets: 3

  • Club dividers: 3

  • Construction: Nylon, no inside structure

With the Jones Bag, you have two pockets on the front of the bag.  I found there was plenty of room for all the necessities (Balls, tees, phone, range finder).  There is also a large pocket on the back of the bag that is perfect for storing jackets and larger clothing items...  or even 7 beers.

Having used a carry bag with a stand for years, how was I going to deal with having to put my clubs down on the grass!!?? Turned out that it wasn't that big of a deal to just pull out my 6 iron before I set the bag down.  A couple of times, my club heads got sandy and dirty.  But then again, so did I.

Another perceived challenge was only having the single strap to carry.  I ended up alternating between shoulders throughout the round and although I still prefer the double strap method, I didn't mind as the load was very light.

The best part about carrying the Jones bag was the simple feeling that it gave me.  I was just some guy with a bag of sticks out in a field whacking around a ball.  It was just plain and simple golf, not a million different things to think about.

I also received several compliments and "What type of bag is that?' questions from other golfers.  For me, the style ranking of the Classic Jones Bag was a 10.  The fine folks over at Jones were also able to personalize the bag for me with @pjkoenig on the side.  

While the lack of stand and dual strap might give some golfers pause, the light load makes this bag a great selection for a day on the links.

Check out the full lineup of Jones Golf Bags here.

Overall Score: 9.1