If you have followed any of my work over the past 5 years (including my days at GolfWRX) you will know that I’m a TOUR equipment JUNKY. I live it, I breathe it and by God I make sure it lands in my bag.
However, this year’s driver journey has been an interesting one for me. When Rogue ST was first introduced to me in early November of last year, I had the TOUR only 💎💎💎LS fully cooked in my bag.
In early January, the matchup seemed to work just fine. On the course, it performed VERY well, and some good rounds followed. Then we got to around March, and the rounds became few and far between, and the misses with LS started to get a little punishing.
Then at a video shoot later that month for the Rogue ST Max D, I found a driver that REALLY worked for the one shot I consistently go to, a soft draw. It was amazing. Max D was LONG, forgiving, and eliminated many variables I could live without. The only issue at that point was on tight courses where a straight shot or cut came into play, I found myself severely limited.
I’m not LONG by today’s standards. 100-112 Swing Speed, 160-165 Ball Speed on normal days. I’m not a player that can tee up a 3-wood and whistle it out there 265 on command. The driver is HUGE as it relates to my scoring ability.
Check out the Rogue ST Max D Journey in the article and video below:
Back to the drawing board
It was a fitting I attended with Staff Member Wesley Bryan and performance Rep Kellen Watson that put the STD Rogue ST Max on my radar. Wesley had been a 💎💎💎LS player all year but came onto the trailer looking for something that he could turn over easier, launched a bit higher and was point and shoot if he wanted to hit it straight. I followed Kellen onto the trailer and watched him start to piece together a Rogue ST Max (10.5@9 w/ a Fujikura Ventus Red 7X@45 inches)
The results were amazing. Wesley was not hitting the driver well earlier in the day and once Kellen handed him the Max it was like a light switch went on and every data point spiked. Speed, dispersion, spin windows…everything.
Being the gear head that I am I asked Kellen what the deal was. His response was quite simple, Max is a very neutral head with a high MOI and for players that like to turn it over AND hit it straight its almost plug and play.
Like I do, the build in my head began and the testing commenced. This is what we landed on and why…
Rogue ST Max (firstname.lastname@example.org, 198G, Fujikura Ventus Blue 6X Tipped 1@45 inches, D3.5)
Straight (10 Shots at ECPC w/ CSX)
Ball Speed: 164
Cut (10 Shots at ECPC w/ CSX)
Ball Speed: 161
Draw (10 Shots at ECPC w/ CSX)
Ball Speed: 166
My overall performance increased, and my spin/launch/speed deltas got tight. For example, on my go-to shot, which is a draw, my spin delta was only 300RPM, ball speed 3MPH, and carry 4 yards. What that tells me is shot for shot my floor was raised pretty damn high.
The other bonus was the ability to hit an actual on-command “fairway finder.” In the past, with 💎💎💎’s and D, I didn’t have this shot due to either lack of spin or the heel weighting with the Max D.
At 45 years old and only playing 20-30 times per year, I need high MOI help and heavy-handed spin to effectively pull that shot off correctly. Now I got it.
Once again, this is why working with a top fitter can save you time and strokes. This Rogue ST Max set-up I’m now gaming is as optimized for my game as ill find at the moment. There are zero question marks. With every driver set-up I’ve ever had, there have always been one or two question marks, whether it be a spinny miss or a low spin foul ball. I only want to play my best golf, which sometimes requires a ton of trial and error, but this is an example of finding something that travels well with me. The last rounds I played in Palm Desert in early August resulted in three rounds of 70-72-72 with a VERY bulky putting stroke. I came into those rounds not having touched a club for over a month. The Rogue ST Max was the key club in those rounds; more than that, it was a scoring club as a good driver should be. Not to say I haven’t had a nice year with the Rogue ST line, I have, but this one takes the cake.