National Golf Day Celebrates Golf’s Economic Impact #NationalGolfDay

National Golf Day Celebrates Golf’s Economic Impact #NationalGolfDay

National Golf Day Celebrates Golf’s Economic Impact The golf economy totals $84 billion in direct … Read more.

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Overstock At Golf Show Signals Golf’s Weakness

Overstock At Golf Show Signals Golf’s Weakness
I had an epiphany this past weekend while wandering row after row of closeout and deep discount golf gear at the Michigan Golf Show: If the industry is suffering, it is partly because manufacturers have flooded the market with product. Everywhere I looked, there were bins of last year’s clubs, racks of clothing and piles of shoe boxes. It seems that vast majority of these were left over from last season or two.

So much product. So few buyers.

The industry’s solution was inadvisable. Instead of paring back to meet demand, it seems that manufacturers simply accelerated the product release cycle in hopes of making money off the gullible nincompoops who simply must have the latest and greatest. They’re to the golf industry what the “whales” are to casinos.

It hasn’t worked. TaylorMade, whose CEO was sounding the clarion call of impending golf doom, suffered a 28% drop in sales in 2014. I lost track of the number of new clubs they released that year.

Manufacturers ship, and golf gear piles up. Unsold merchandise has to be sold at discount to avoid a total loss.

I counted at least four large “outlets” at the Michigan Golf Show that I would say have a “national presences.” The shops either have prominent websites, or travel extensively to these golf shows. One sales staffer I spoke to said his company did eight to ten of these shows over the winter and spring months. In addition, there were several more regional shops, and a few local ones.

The business model of these outlets is easy to see. When the new clubs hit the shelves, they buy up as many as they can of the old clubs at a steep discount. Presumably warehouses and course retailers are happy to get rid of them, recouping at least some money while making way for new, higher margin products.

What golfers learn from this cycle is that you don’t need to pay full price—ever. If you are just willing to wait six months—or at worse, a season—you will find the club you wanted at a discount that makes the wait worthwhile. And therein lies the problem for manufacturers and first run retailers.  They have large stocks of new clubs, but too many people are waiting for the price to come down.

The overstock and discount cycle has got to be killing manufacturers and retailers.

It occurs to me that golf manufacturers might be better off enforcing a sort of artificial scarcity for their best products. They could both reduce the amount of gear they make and also extend the product release cycle. Players would then be willing to pay more for a new release and have the feeling that they should jump on the purchase because they might not be able to get one in six months.

I caught a glimpse of this when I recently took my Subaru in for a tuneup at the dealership. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with the gentleman who has sold our family several Subaru cars over the years. He told me that if I was thinking about a new one this year, I should put my name on the waiting list NOW because there are not enough new cars to fill all the dealership lots. At that point, he said, the dealership had only two new ones ready to go. Further, he noted, the dealership doesn’t even offer discounts at this point. People are more than willing to pay full price.

Some of that had to be a sales pitch, as he wants to get people lined up for new cars. Our salesman knows, however, that in the past we have bought our cars with a significant Subaru VIP discount that lies outside normal negotiations. We have been immune to negotiating tactics and pressure sales.

Even if it was entirely a sales pitch, however, the perception is still valid. No one worries about being able to find a Ford, so there is lots of room for negotiation. The same thinking does not apply to Subaru.

TaylorMade Drivers (just to pick on the most prominent name) are like a Fords. You don’t have to worry about finding one, and there are so many that you are insane if you pay full price. Worse, Ford generally only releases new products on a yearly basis. Golf manufacturers might release several drivers in the same year.

Based on the amount of overstock I saw at the show, the situation might be even worse in the golf apparel industry. There were literally piles of boxes full of last year’s shirts. Even THIS year’s shirts were at fifty percent off.

The only rationale I can think of for the vast supplies of unsold golf gear is that the margins on new clubs are so high that the sale of a single driver covers the cost of three unsold ones. But if that’s the case, TaylorMade could offset the 28% sales loss by lowering its initial prices across the board. A $150 dollar driver would sell much faster than a $400 one.

Below are more photos of golf show overstock:

Golf Blogger

MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Golf’s Most Wanted Driver Test – All The Details

MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Golf’s Most Wanted Driver Test – All The Details

Post image for MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Golf’s Most Wanted Driver Test – All The Details

A couple of weeks ago we let you know that invitations for the 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test had been sent.

We told you how we reached out to 16 different companies. We told you about how we worked with R&D teams at 3 different OEMs to refine our testing process. We told you that our 2015 test would be bigger and better than ever.

Now it’s time to dig into the specifics. Apart from the behind the scenes stuff (lots of spreadsheets and math), we wanted to share with you exactly how things are changing for the better, and of course, give you the list of companies who have boldly chosen to participate, and the shorter list of those who would prefer not to go head to head with their competitors.

Let’s get to it.

Significant Improvements

We’ve Partnered with Foresight Sports. Moving forward all of our Most Wanted Club Tests, and club reviews will be powered by Foresight GC2 launch monitors. We’ll have more details on this partnership in the coming weeks, but needless to say we’re incredibly excited to be using the same technology that the big golf companies rely on for their indoor testing.

We’ve Partnered with Bridgestone Golf. You guys ask us about the golf ball quite often. While we’ve always been consistent in what we use, we’ve never had the opportunity to use a true tour-quality ball before. Beginning with the 2015 Driver test, all Most Wanted tests, as well as labs and reviews that rely on a golf ball constant will leverage Bridgestone’s B330 golf balls.

We’re Separating Pro and Tour Heads. In the past we’ve combined Pro/Tour heads with their standard counterparts. Some testers hit the Tour head while others hit the standard. While this was certainly efficient, we feel there’s enough difference that each model should stand on its own. So for this year’s tests, and all future tests, each variation will be tested independently and hit by all of our testers.

We’ve Increased the Number of Testers. When we spoke with the golf companies about our testing protocols, we focused on two areas; the number of shots and the number of testers. While it might surprise you to learn that nearly everyone told us we were hitting plenty more shots than we needed in order to get valid data, it will will surprise you less to know that every company told us we needed more testers.

What’s the right number? Is it 10? 15? We asked that question to the 3 companies we worked with extensively on our testing procedures, as well as two others we had cursory conversations with. Each and every time we asked, the answer was the same: 20.

Could we really scale from 6 testers to 20? Hell yes we can.

This year’s test will feature 20 golfers of differing abilities, swing speed, etc.. As we’ve done in the past, we’ll collect, sort, and present our data to you when we announce our 2015 winners.

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Who Was Invited

We sent out invitations to the following 16 golf companies. Each was given a brief rundown of the test, and invited to send any and all models from its current lineup, and as always given the opportunity to ask any questions about the test itself.

  • Adams
  • Bombtech
  • Bridgestone
  • Callaway
  • Cleveland
  • Cobra
  • Geek
  • Mizuno
  • Nike
  • PING
  • PowerBilt
  • Srixon
  • TaylorMade
  • Titleist
  • TourEdge
  • Wilson

We’ve had a late addition. Royal Collection will also be participating in the 2015 Test.

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Declined to Participate

The good news is that 11 of the 16 (make that 12 of 17) companies almost immediately agreed to participate. As is the case every season, there are a few companies who declined to participate. And so here they are…the companies who would prefer its products not be tested by MyGolfSpy.

  • Adams
  • Bombtech
  • Callaway
  • Cleveland
  • Titleist

In fairness, two of the companies listed had specific and legitimate reasons for declining to participate:

  • Adams is in the midst of a brand transformation of sorts, and unfortunately the company’s 2015 offerings are not yet available.
  • Cleveland declined to send the new CG Black for the larger test, however; the company was more than willing to send samples for future testing among golfers within the product’s target demographic.

Bombtech has made its position clear in the past, and we want you to know that we did everything we possibly could to sway Callaway and Titleist, but in the end, each declined to provide product samples for unbiased, data-driven testing. Make of their decision to avoid our test what you will.

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We’re Not Taking No For An Answer

When we considered all factors – Callaway’s resurgence largely as a result of the rebirth of Bertha, arguably Titleist’s most innovative and certainly most exciting release in years with the 915 Series, and another season of bold claims from Bombtech, we felt we’d be doing golfers, and more specifically our readers, a tremendous disservice by excluding any of these brands from our 2015 test.

While Bombtech, Callaway and Titleist have told us they don’t want to be a part of our test, our response is – as polite as it possibly can be – we understand and respect your decision, however; this year, you don’t have a choice.

MyGolfSpy has never been about what manufacturers want. It’s about what our readers want, and we’re hearing you loud and clear. You guys want to see how the Titleist 915, Callaway Big Bertha (Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond, and V-series), and the Bombtech Grenade stack up against the competition, and so we’re going to do what we have to do to get those answers for you.

To that end, we are taking steps to procure Callaway, Titleist, and Bombtech drivers through other channels.

Bombtech, Callaway, and Titleist drivers will be part of MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test, whether those companies want them to be or not.

2015 MWD-4

Testing Starts Soon

We’re still waiting for some product to arrive, and of course, we need to survive the holidays. Our expectation is that testing will begin the week of January 5th, and will likely take 4-6 weeks to complete and process.

We’ll almost certainly have more information to share once testing gets rolling, so be sure to follow MyGolfSpy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest information on our 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test.

Support MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Testing

As you may already know, MyGolfSpy doesn’t accept advertising dollars from the biggest names in golf. We believe it’s the only way to remain above the influence while performing real tests and publishing real results based on real data. In Most Wanted Testing, there are clear winners, and not everybody gets a medal.

If you’d like to help cover the cost of the most complete and comprehensive club testing in golf (this includes the cost of testing facilities and clubs from Bombtech, Callaway, and Titleist), please consider making a donation to MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Testing Fund.

100% of donation money received will be used to offset expenses directly related to our 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test.

We accept credit cards through PayPal. A PayPal account is not required in order to donate.

Choose donation amount:
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Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

ANNOUNCEMENT: MyGolfSpy’s 2015 “Golf’s Most Wanted” Driver Test

ANNOUNCEMENT: MyGolfSpy’s 2015 “Golf’s Most Wanted” Driver Test

Post image for ANNOUNCEMENT: MyGolfSpy’s 2015 “Golf’s Most Wanted” Driver Test

A Most Exciting Time

This is it guys. The one you wait for each and every year.

Invitations for MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test have been sent. The countdown has begun.

3…2…1

For 2015, we’ve reached out to 16 different golf companies, which means this year’s test has the potential to exceed 30 individual entries. We fully expect to feature more drivers than ever before.

Although it’s still early in the process, nearly half of the companies we’ve invited have already committed to participate. We’re highly confident that number will increase significantly by the time testing begins. Of course, as is always the way of it, we’ve had one company decline to participate, and two more which I’d simply say are leaning against participating.

As we get closer to the start of actual testing, we’ll be sure to let you know which companies are eager to participate, which are avoiding the competition, and which products we’re going to test regardless.

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Better Because of You

After our 2014 test, we took your feedback to heart, and we elicited help from R&D teams at several of the biggest names in golf to help us refine our process. To those who took the time to work with us, and to help us get better; thank you. Sincerely. It’s impossible to overstate the value of the contributions our readers and the industry as a whole have made towards helping us make MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted test the absolute best in the industry today.

This year’s test will be better because of you.

Some of the improvements we’ve made will be obvious, impossible-to-miss type stuff, while additional behind the scenes enhancements will ensure that our 2015 test won’t simply be bigger and better; MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted will be the definitive guide that empowers you with the knowledge to find the right driver for your game in 2015.

You deserve nothing less from us.

More Details To Come

For now, we’re being intentionally vague about of the details. Once clubs start arriving and testing gets underway, we’ll be updating this post to:

  • Let you know which companies are in, and which are actively avoiding our test
  • Share more news about the test
  • Answer whatever questions you may have

Support MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Testing

As you may already know, MyGolfSpy doesn’t accept advertising dollars from the biggest names in golf. We believe it’s the only way to remain above the influence while performing real tests and publishing real results based on real data. In Most Wanted Testing, there are clear winners, and not everybody gets a medal.

If you’d like to help support the most complete and comprehensive club testing in golf, please consider making a donation to MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Testing Fund.

100% of donation money received will be used to offset expenses directly related to our 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test.

We accept credit cards through PayPal. A PayPal account is not required in order to donate.

Choose donation amount:
Anonymous donation

 

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart

By Dave Wolfe

Who makes the best push cart?  Which one has the features I want? Which one is the lightest? Will a cart work with my cart and my carry bag? How many steps does it take to fold and unfold? Are there differences in the brakes? Is one cart more stable than another? Which is the easiest cart to push?

That’s a whole bunch of questions.  

With that many questions, deciding which cart to buy can be a difficult task. But we have the answer:  The most comprehensive head-to-head test ever (seriously) done on push carts has been completed. We have done the testing. We’ve collected the data. We’ve compiled the values, and we know which cart is the #MostWanted.  

Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart: The Contestants

Most Wanted Group Unfolded

 

Notable Push Cart Features

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How We Tested

Comparative scoring was calculated based upon ten measured characteristics that fall under two general headings: Portability and Playability. Totals for each cart were then determined and the carts ranked on an overall 100 point scale to determine the Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart. Here are the details of how each category was assessed and scored.

Portability Scoring

portability-scoring

Most Wanted Cart Group Folded

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For a push cart to be an effective tool for the golfer, it must meet the golfer’s needs going to and from the course as well as on the course. While some may have the option of leaving their bag, and cart in a locker at their club, many golfers must transport the cart along with their bag. As such, Portability, is a key push cart component. To measure portability, we assessed the following three features.

The weight of each cart was measured directly using a digital spring scale. Carts were then ranked, and scored on a ten point scale from lightest to heaviest.
The folded volume was calculated for each cart. Measurements were taken to the furthest protrusion in length, width, and height directions. Carts were then sorted by volume, and scored on a ten-point scale based upon their relationship to the smallest volume cart.
The steps to unfold a cart to “play-ready” configuration were identified for each cart. Carts were then ranked from fewest to most steps, and that ranking was then translated into the ten-point scale for the category.

Playability Scoring

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Cart Consoles

Cart Testing Photos-3Cart Testing Photos-7

For a push cart to be Golf’s Most Wanted, it must perform on the golf course. Golfers want a cart that is easy to push, holds their bag securely, stays put when the brake is on, and has enough storage to hold their gear during play. We tested these features and more. Here is how we scored the various Playability components.

Features for each cart’s console were tallied and ranked based upon abundance and access. We recorded the number of ball holders, tee holders, cup holders, scorecard holders, and yes, pencil holders. Consoles were also scored for storage volume and ease of access. If a cart had additional storage, like a cargo net or additional cargo bag, those features were also part of the console score. Carts were ranked, and then the ranking converted to the ten-point scoring system.

Both cart and carry bags were used to assess the fit of golf bags into the different carts. For the cart bag, we used the Wilson Staff Ionix cart bag. The carry bag used was the PING Hoofer. Carts were scored based upon how secure the bag remained while traveling the terrain one would encounter during play. Points were deducted if the bag twisted, or slipped from the straps.

Straps were assessed based upon ease of adjustment and range of adjustment. How well the straps secured the bad was also assessed using the digital spring scale.

To assess the force needed to get the cart rolling, the carts were outfitted with the PING Hoofer bag, again with a full complement of golf gear and clubs. Once the bag was secure, the pounds of force needed to get the cart moving was measured. Five measurements were taken for each cart, with the average pounds of force for those measurements used as the final score for the cart.

Front wheels of the carts were positioned at the same spot on a level concrete surface for each cart and each repetition. Concrete was used for the roll tests to minimize the effect of changing grass and underlying dirt conditions as the test progressed from cart to cart.

The force to overcome the brake was assessed in the same way as the force to start rolling. The difference was that this time the force was measured with the brake engaged. If necessary, carts were rolled until the brake engaged prior to measurements being taken.

The stability score is based upon two measured components. For these measurements, carts were again equipped with the fully loaded Wilson Staff Ionix cart bag. Lateral stability was measured by recording the force needed to tip the cart sideways such that the rear wheel would lift off of the ground. The spring scale was anchored to the bag at the same position each time, with the force then applied at 90° to the bag.

The second stability measurement was recorded by hooking the digital scale to the handle and pulling straight down. Each cart was assessed for how much force was needed to lift the front wheel off the ground.

Cart maneuverability was scored based upon how well the cart performed over our test course. For this test, the carts were fitted with the Wilson Staff Ionix bag, containing a full set of fourteen clubs, a rangefinder, a dozen balls, two gloves, a towel, and a bag of tees and markers. Push handles were adjusted to the same height relative to the tester (i.e. navel height). Carts were assessed for ease of roll over various terrains and topographies. Points were deducted when a cart had difficulties turning, lost traction, or started to tip on slopes.

Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart: The Results

Cart-Data-Table2

Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart Winner

Bagboy Tri-Swivel 2

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Golf’s Most Wanted Push Cart Runner-Up

Clicgear 3.5+

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Bagboy C3

lightest-cart-final

Big Max Blade

small-trunk-final

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

First Look – Nike Golf’s Ultra-Exclusive MMProto Irons

First Look – Nike Golf’s Ultra-Exclusive MMProto Irons

Post image for First Look - Nike Golf's Ultra-Exclusive MMProto Irons

Written By: Tony Covey

A Full Set

You probably saw the Nike MM Proto 2-iron that Rory McIlroy used to win The Open Championship.

At the time, most of us assumed the MM Proto was a one-off driving iron not too dissimilar from TaylorMade’s Ultimate Driving Iron. It turns out Rory’s 2-iron was really just the beginning.

Nike staffer Thorbjorn Olesen posted a pic to Instagram yesterday which basically let anybody who was paying attention know that the Champion Golfer of the Year’s 2-iron would soon be joined by a 3, 4, 5…you get the idea. The MMProto is a full set of irons.

mmproto

Gone in 60 Seconds

The MMProto irons go on sale August 4th, and here’s my prediction, they’re going to sell out…and fast. If you want them, you better show up early because there’s not a doubt in my mind that demand will exceed supply.

That’s right…Nike…blades…sold out. FAST!

I’m calling it right now.

Only 40 Sets

Yeah, I probably should have led with the fact that only 40 sets of the MMProto irons will be available to the public.

“The Nike MM Proto Irons are a limited run of blades designed exclusively for the tour. These irons represent years of testing and development with the world’s best athletes. The prototype design and technology was developed collaboratively by Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and the engineers at The Oven, Nike Golf’s R&D Facility and Tour Shop.”

You want exactly what the pros play? Here ya go.

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Each of the 40 sets will be laser engraved with Nike’s the Oven logo, and will be individually numbered.

Buyers will be able to work one-on-one with a Nike Golf expert to get your specs dialed in, get you sorted out with the shaft and grip of your choice, and if you so choose, some custom stamping and paintfill as well.

mmproto

Your clubs will be meticulously inspected before they ship to you.

What’s the Catch?

As with all things golf industry-related, there’s sure to be some frustration. The 40 sets are all right-handed. They’re available to US residents only, and there’s a limit of one set per person.

Also, they’re $1500.

Unspecified other restrictions may apply, and Nike reserves the right to cancel or modify this offer at any time.

More to Come?

Even I’d hate to venture a guess as to whether or not Nike would release a non-Ovenized version of the MM (no longer proto) to the masses. I hear a fair amount of grumbling from guys about Nike not offering a full set of true blades, but realistically, blades are nobody’s top seller.

It’s very possible that enough for the tour guys, plus 40 sets for the rest of us is the right number, but you never know.

If nothing else, this is a clever and cool way to all but guarantee you can get people to pay a little attention to your brand, while moving product with relative ease. It’s not unrealistic to think that this small batch, super-limited, custom release thing will eventually be a part of every golf equipment manufacturers arsenal.

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Save the Date

In case you missed it the first time. Irons go on sale August 4th at 10AM Eastern Time at Nike.com only, and it’s suggested that you follow @nikgolf on Twitter for additional launch details.

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Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Golf’s Most Wanted! Laser Rangefinder

Golf’s Most Wanted! Laser Rangefinder

Post image for Golf’s Most Wanted! Laser Rangefinder

(by Dave Wolfe)

The laser rangefinder is an essential tool for the golfer wanting exact yardages. But which laser rangefinder is the best of the bunch? Which laser should you choose to be your go to measuring device. As always, MyGolfSpy is here to help.

We put eight laser rangefinders from the top manufacturers head to head to determine which one deserves the title of Golf’s Most Wanted Laser Rangefinder.

The Contestants

CaseofLasers
Invitations were sent to the major, and minor players in the laser rangefinder industry. These eight rangefinders represent the 2014 contestant field. Here they are in alphabetical order by company:

Features (Click To Enlarge)

SmallerTable1

How We Tested

testingphoto

As always, Golf’s Most Wanted! testing at MyGolfSpy is #Datacratic. We don’t base our rankings on brand names and desirability, we base our scores on data. Each of the lasers tested had an equal chance to earn the title of Most Wanted, and the laser that does, has the numbers to back up its title.

To determine Golf’s Most Wanted! Laser Rangefinder, we scored the following four categories: Accuracy, Speed, Optics and Display

General Test Parameters

Prior to measurement, our group of ten testers was given as much time as they required to become familiar with the operation of each laser. Once comfortable, testers measured distances to three targets (flags). One was close (100 yards), one was moderately distant (150 yards) , and  one was distant (200 yards). Targets were measured from the closest to the farthest for each unit; measuring all three with the same laser before moving on to the next unit.

New batteries were installed into all rangefinders prior to the first round of testing.

Measuring accurate yardages is a critical feature of any rangefinder, laser or other. As such, accuracy accounted for 30% of a given laser’s total score. Testers were told to give the number that they would enable them to confidently select a club to cover that distance. As mentioned above, the testers targeted flags without reflectors at 100/150/200 yards. Prior to the first tester and after the last tester, distances to the test flags was measured with a control laser. Accuracy values were then calculated as per deviation from the control. 

The use of a laser rangefinder, or any range-finding device, has the potential to slow down the pace of play. As such, the Most Wanted! Laser Rangefinder must be able to acquire the accurate yardage rapidly. This is very important to course usage and as such, speed to confident reading also equated to 30% of the overall score.

The unit with the fastest average measurement time for the ten testers at the three distances was awarded the maximum score of 30, with the other units scoring proportionately less relative to the degree that they were slower.

The speed to a confident number also takes into account many other aspects of laser design. Button position, eyepiece shape, case ergonomics, and other factors all influence the speed of operation. A well-weighted and balanced laser rangefinder will allow the user to acquire a confident yardage quicker than one that is hard to hold steady in your hand due to a poorly balanced design. Speed is definitely affected by design.

Testers scored the Optics of each unit as well as the Display quality for each unit using a ten point scale, with ten being the best. Testers based their Optics score on factors like lens magnification and clarity of image. Display scoring was based upon the readouts shown during operation. Size of numerical readout, display contrast, and quality of targeting reticule all factored into the display score.

The Optics and Display combined represented the remaining 40% of the overall score, though display was weighted slightly higher at 25% vs. 15% for optics. We skewed the data this way knowing that a quality display is more important to a good measurement than perfect optics. In other words, and yardage you can’t read is more of a problem than a flag that’s not quite in focus.

Golf’s Most Wanted Laser Rangefinder: Scores

LaserDataTable

Winner: Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt

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As you can see in the above table, the margin of victory for the Tour Z6 over its Tour V3 sibling was very slight. Both were equally as accurate, and the Tour V3 was even a little faster than the Z6. What pushed the Z6 to the top though was the slight edge that it had in both Optics and Display over the V3. The magnification is 1x stronger, and the fit to the eye more comfortable compared to the V3.

Testers commented that the Z6 eyepiece lens was a little easier to see through when compared to the V3, and that improved visual path also made the display even easier to read. It was a close race, but the Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt deserved the title of Golf’s Most Wanted! Laser Rangefinder.

 

Runner-Up: Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt

mwlr-2nd-bnr

As mentioned above, the Bushnell Tour V3 actually acquired targets faster than the Tour Z6. In fact, it was the fastest range reading unit that we tested. When we combine the data from all distances measured, and for all of the testers, the Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt was able to give the tester a confident distance number in an average time of 2.07 seconds, with many scores coming in under two seconds. Remember, time was recorded until the tester had a yardage that they would be confident playing to. For the Tour V3, that averaged 2.07 seconds.

Had we included a value/price score in the scoring matrix, the Bushnell Tour V3 Jolt would have possibly slipped past the Tour Z6 Jolt into first place as the V3 has a MSRP $100 below the Z6. The optics and magnification are better in the Z6, but many golfers will be very happy buying the Tour V3 and having that extra cash.

 

The Rest of the Field

Testing Notes

LASER-DATACRATIC-STATS

As the data shows, the entire test field was very accurate, and relatively fast. While the Bushnell Tour V3 was the fastest with an average time of 2.07 seconds, the slowest laser was only a few seconds behind that at 4.08 seconds.

All of the lasers tested are extremely accurate. On average each was accurate to within less than one yard of our control measurement. Many lasers hit the number exactly, with the worse reading, from all of the shots, being 2.1 yards from the control at 200 yards. Some of the lasers will take you longer to measure that number, but ultimately, all of the rangefinders have the ability to give you accurate yardage readings.

The greatest difference between the units really came down to the quality of optics. Price of the unit tested corresponds with higher scores for optics and display. The lower priced units will give you an accurate reading, but the lens clarity, magnification, and display will not be as good as the high end units.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Gloves Under $18

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Gloves Under $18

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Gloves Under $18

You didn’t really think we were going to leave our more frugal readers hanging gloveless and out to dry, did you? Given the comments on our Most Wanted Premium Glove Buyer’s Guide, some of you actually believe we wouldn’t consider your needs.

Don’t fret, my fellow penny pinchers, today I bring you the selections you’ve been waiting for, and that includes the brand you mentioned most frequently; Master Grip.

Here’s the question: Are your budget minded ways to be rewarded? Does a glove need to cost $30 to receive an A from MyGolfSpy?

HELL NO.

Once again, we’ve crunched the numbers of come out with 5 value-priced gloves that we believe you should try for yourselves. Our winner was the consistent favorite with nearly every tester in our lineup. Our runners-up make up a great collection of gloves that should leave you praising the glove gods for offering up affordable finds that will allow you to play 3-4 gloves per round without going broke.

gloves

Scoring

Gloves were all reviewed based on FitComfortFeel, and Grip. Testers with glove sizes ranging from M to XL rated for each category. Additionally each tester chose his 5 favorites. Results were averaged and placed into a sliding scale for visual representation, and a final letter grade for overall score was assigned for each glove. Price and durability were not factored in the rankings.

What we discovered during our testing is that fit is the #1 factor in determining individual preference. It has a domino effect on comfort, feel and even perceived breathability. We challenge you to compare – look higher up the list than your current gamer. Try a couple on. Pick the one you think best fits your hand and game it for a round (or 4) and tell us what you think.

The best glove for your hand should fit like a second skin. It’s really that simple.

The Contenders

asherDeath

Asher DeathGrip

asherChuck

Asher Chuck

asherBirdypremium

Asher Birdy

BionicRelax copy

Bionic Relax Grip

easy gloveEasy Glove

fjSofjoy

FootJoy SofJoy

fjGT

FootJoy GTxtreme

fjWeatherSof

FootJoy WeatherSof

hirzlSoffft copy

Hirzl Soffft

MG

Master Grip Dyna Grip

pingTech

Ping Sensor Tech

srixon

Srixon Hi-Brid

SrixonCabretta

Srixon Cabretta Leather

tattoo

Tattoo

tmStratus

TaylorMade Stratus

tmTarga

TaylorMade Targa 

Sub $18 Glove Comparison

value-glove-chart

MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Gloves Under $18 for 2014

Some might be floored/shocked/appalled that one of the major OEM’s didn’t win this category, but sometimes there really are surprises. Asher makes a great sub-$18 golf glove. Actually, they make two that really stood out. While durability is not a factor in the results, it’s worth reading notes on the first two gloves. If you’re someone who beats up on gloves, you need to work on that, but you also might want to consider a thicker glove as well.

Don’t be surprised to see more than one glove under $18 sporting the coveted Cabretta Leather (you know, from those fuzzy sheep that grow hair instead of wool).

We mentioned it in the Premium glove buyer’s guide, but it’s worth noting again here:

With fit being the single most important factor, we’d advise that you should fit yourself for a glove as carefully as you would a new set of irons. A glove should fit like a second skin, there should be no wrinkles from a glove fitting too big. If it does, your grip will suffer and the glove will wear faster. Each of our top finishers is cut a bit differently, which is why our number one piece of advice is try on the glove that you think best fits your needs. If it fits…well…like a glove (not an OJ glove), you’re in business. If not, move down this list until you find the one that offers a truly sublime fit.

The 2014 Most Wanted Golf Gloves Under $18 

asher-birdy-1st

If you don’t wear through gloves fast, Asher’s Cooltech Birdy is a GREAT starting point for your next glove purchase, especially for those of you who are budget minded. If do you wear out gloves a bit more quickly than you should, you’ll probably be happier starting your search with the TaylorMade Targa.

asher-death

Another great offering from Asher, the Cooltech Deathgrip will not only score you style points, but if you sweat, this glove might slow the tide. Again, if you tend to wear gloves out quickly, neither of the Asher entries is likely to be your best bet.

tmag-targa

An affordable take on a tour glove,  TaylorMade may have found the happy medium with the Targa, which strikes an excellent balance of comfort, performance and price. While not as budget priced as others, those not afraid of spending a few extra bucks will likely be happy they did.

mg-dyna

You raised a tremendous fuss over not seeing this glove in our Premium Glove Guide. Sorry boys, this isn’t a premium priced glove, but the number one most mentioned glove in the comments of our premium guide certainly deserves a place on this list. You guys are right, the MG Dynagrip Elite is a great glove. It does run a bit large, so you’ll likely need to order a size smaller than your normal glove. These gloves are so affordable, you can’t go wrong. $13.95 scores you TWO gloves.

srixon-cab

If we told you this was a premium glove you’d certainly believe us. For a cabretta offering, the price is more than solid. We like the addition of lycra on the back of the hand/knuckles to help this glove move with your hand better. We found that this one does fit a bit loose in the wrist, but is otherwise true to size.

ping-techhirzl-soffft

fj-sofjoyfj-gt

tmag-stratusfj-weather

srixon-hybridasher-chuck

easy-glovebionic-relax

tattoo

In Closing

If you’re like me and your wife doesn’t understand why a round of golf consistently costs $50+ on the weekends, you’re likely shopping for a golf glove that will run you less than $18. This doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice anything.

Probably the best part of gloves under $18 is that you can finally buy 3 matching gloves and switch them throughout your rounds so that you’ve always got a fresh and dry one on your hand.

And finally, I know you’re not children (well, maybe a few of your are…) but it’s worth saying AGAIN – FIT MATTERS – find the glove that properly fits, there are more than enough choices here – you can thank me later.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: Beyond The Numbers

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: Beyond The Numbers

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: Beyond The Numbers

By Dave Wolfe

On Day 1, we introduced the 2014 blade competitors, and Day 2 saw the crowning of the TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12 as the 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade.

The TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12 earned its title based upon its accuracy total, as scored by our field of ten testers. When we totaled up the miss distances for all testers, from all distances, the Daytona 12 was the clear overall winner.

Today we are going to dig a little deeper into how the blades scored from the individual distances, and also into the number of putts that were actually made by the testers. By doing this, we should be able to see how the Daytona 12 was able to capture its victory and also where some of the other putters also excelled, or came up a bit short.

How We Tested

alt-scoring-graphic-mwb-2014

SCORING SYSTEM RECAP

To assess accuracy, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet, recording the distance that each putt ended up from the edge of the cup. That means measurements were taken for 15 putts per putter with each tester, totaling 150 putts per putter!

Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted for the five and ten foot putts, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter.  Accuracy was assessed for the group of testers, not the individual testers.

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” Blade Putter should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.

Here is an example of how the final accuracy score is calculated:

EXAMPLE: Accuracy Score Calculation
:: Total Miss Distance (all testers, adjusted for distance)= 1686 inches
:: Average Miss Distance Per Tester (Total/10)= 168.6 inches
:: Percentage of Accuracy Ideal Value (127.5/Average Miss Per Tester x 100)= 76%

Test Group Averages

Overall ranking was based upon the aggregate of all the accuracy values, but as I mentioned before, we also have the scores for the individual distances to go over as well.

First, let’s take a look a the average miss from each distance (per putt):

avg-dist-miss-2

Again, the values in the figure above represent the average missed putt from each distance. While our ten testers do represent a wide range of handicaps, the data shows that these guys know their way around a green, even when you hand them thirty-one different putters to try.

Now we all know that getting the ball close to the hole is not the same as getting the ball into the hole. Yes, it’s true that the 13.1 inch putt that you take to drop the ball in the cup counts the same as the prior one that covered the remainder of the twenty feet. However, it’s also true that if you are consistently rolling your first twenty foot to about a foot away, three putts should be basically non-existent.

The number of made putts from each distance is also worth looking at though, perhaps especially so from the five foot mark. It’s probably OK to leave the ball 2.9 inches from the hole on average, but if you left every five-foot putt 2.9 inches from the hole, you’d likely be looking for a new flatstick.

We definitely need to take a look at the make percentages from each distance. Here are the numbers for the PGA guys:

PGAMAKES

And here are the numbers for our guys:

TESTERMAKES

Again, our guys put up very respectable numbers and showed a freakish level of precision from the twenty foot mark. To be fair, the pros are putting on greens with a bit more speed and slope that our test green, though the greens at Haggin Oaks GC where we tested were in especially nice condition for this trial.

 

Were there Design Advantages?

Bag and Ball

One of my favorite things to do once the scores are tallied is to look at the rankings and to try and identify any design themes that either helped or hindered putter performance. Most of the time, there is no simple solution. At first pass, and maybe second pass too, nothing really jumps out as a must have or a must avoid putter design element.

This batch of thirty-one putters definitely shared some features. Sight lines are all over the place, with just a couple of exceptions. Most of the putters had similar head weights, and relatively close toe hangs, and as such, neither one of those is likely a win defining component.

One frequent feature of the top scoring putters that I noticed was the black finish. Scroll down quickly through the photos below, and you will see that all but one of the black finished heads are in to top half of the finishers. Does dark color lead to better accuracy? That definitely warrants additional study.

Again, color may not be the key feature though. The top three putters, the TaylorMade Daytona 12, PING Karsten TR Anser 2, and the Byron Morgan 612, are not black in color. But half of the top 10 are black, and only one of the bottom 10 is black, and that one’s design is atypical. Like I just said, we will need to look into the effect of color on accuracy.

Overall, classic heel-toe weighted blade designs (i.e. PING Anser) scored better than the atypical, with one noticeable exception that we will get to in a bit. Smaller/thinner also appears to be an advantageous characteristic as the wider architectures all ended up in the bottom of the set.

Do you see any additional trends in the contestants? Please share your observations, and get a discussion going in the comment section below.

Let’s take a bit of a closer look at the individual putters and see if we can’s shed a bit more light on why they placed where they did.

1st: TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12

1-TM Daytona12 copy

TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+126%

+21%

+75%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+13%

-7%

+9%

Like last year’s winner, Nike’s Method Core MC01w, TaylorMade’s Ghost Tour Daytona 12 was a bit of a sleeper during the competition. I don’t think that any of our testers would have guessed that it was the winner based upon their individual runs. Many of the individual testers had putters that scored better than the Daytona 12 at specific distances, but the overall accuracy of the group of testers was far and away the best with the Daytona.

In many ways it was like Nike’s win last year. From combined distances, the misses were just better with the Daytona. The Daytona 12 didn’t have the freakish accuracy from 5′ like the Most Wanted PING Ketsch did (96% made), but it did separate itself from the field quite a bit from in close. Only the third place Byron Morgan 612 really gave the Daytona 12 any competition from 5′, and even then it was a 30% margin.

What pushed the score of the Daytona 12 past its peers (and the PING Ketsch) was the continued accuracy at ten and twenty feet. It was the best at 5′ and at 20′. That sounds like something that should be Most Wanted!

Most of the testers thought that the Daytona 12 initially felt light, but then later commented on how it felt overall very balanced. The weights of the head, the shaft, and the grip all merged very well together.

More than one tester was critical of the Ghost color scheme, but after rolling putts, they warmed to it. “I’m not a fan of its looks, but man does it help the ball to find the hole.” was echoed by more than one tester. Maybe the testers are finally beginning to see the disconnect between liking how a putter looks and how well it rolls the ball.

2nd: PING Karsten TR Anser 2

2-PINGAnser2 copy

PING Karsten TR Anser 2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+59%

+31%

+39%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-1%

+5%

-1%

After PING’s TR groove dominance of the 2014 Most Wanted Mallet competition, I definitely expected a strong showing from the blades. It seems fitting that an Anser 2 should come in second for some reason.

The Anser 2 was definitely not the cream of the crop in terms of makes, but when you look at the accuracy scores it becomes very apparent that the TR grooves are doing their job controlling distance. Remember, the +% value for accuracy equates to being that much closer to the hole than the average for the group.

The PING Karsten TR Anser 2 was able to put the ball close from all distances.

 

3rd: Byron Morgan 612

3-ByronMorgan612 copy

Byron Morgan 612

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+93%

+18%

+19%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+5%

-5%

+5%

Byron Morgan scores our first third place repeat in the Most Wanted! Blade competition. Last year, Byron’s 006 placed third. This year, the 612 model shares similar honors. There are some design differences between last year’s 006 and this year’s 612, but what remains the same in all of Byron’s putters is the craft of the man himself.

The 612 doesn’t have any fancy new groove technology, though the face looks like it was hand-milled by Byron himself. There’s not even a line for aiming, just a dot on the topline. It’s hard to pin down exactly why Byron’s putters are so amazing and beloved. Way out west, snuggled in between the surging HB surf and the coyotes, Byron has found a way to infuse magic in the metal.

If you love putters, and have not had a chance to roll one of Byron’s putters, you are missing out. Seriously missing out.

 

4th: PING Scottsdale TR Anser T

4-PINGAnserT copy

PING Scottsdale TR Anser T

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+19%

+17%

+24%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

-1%

-3%

I am actually a little disappointed with the Anser T coming in 4th. You see, this is the putter that the PING engineers came up with at the same time as the Nome TR and the Ketsch. Those are pretty successful siblings to live up to, and to be fair, the Anser T did very well.

The Anser T shares the alignment scheme with the Ketsch and the Nome. The engineers added a little bridge to the cavity so that the sight line could go from the rear of the putter all the way to the front edge. This gives the Anser T mallet-like alignment and blade-like performance.

The TR grooves also provided above accuracy at all distances, though one could likely argue that the full-face grooves in the Karsten TR line provide even better distance control.

 

5th:  Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB 1 Black Pearl

5-Cleveland1 copy

Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB Black Pearl 1

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+39%

+0%

+31%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+7%

+7%

+7%

The Cleveland Classic 1 rounds out the top five, and in doing so brings up a very interesting fact about this year’s top five. While there are some very pricy putters in the competition, four of the top five putters cost well under $200. In fact, they are under $150. This little Cleveland gem will probably run you about a hundred bucks, or less.

The putter snob will look down his nose at the Classic 1 and it’s cast body/skim-milled face design. Let’s be honest, it’s not the most expensive to make. But it does look pretty good, and if actually playing golf matters to you, the Classic 1 does a great job of getting the ball to the hole.

I’ll let one of the tester quotes tell the story on this one:

Now this is what a putter should feel like.

 

6th: Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2

6-CameronNP2

Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+26%

+31%

+4.5%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-7%

-5%

-7%

For any other putter, 6th would have been a solid placement in the competition. However, as I mentioned the other day, a Cameron putter is expected to come in first, and any other position is unacceptable. That is a tough standard to live up to for anyone.

The Select Newport 2 is a great putter. It’s way better than the one we had in last year’s test. It sort of goes against what we are seeing this year, but I think that the return to silver from last year’s black-paint-on-black-body design was a good move. Last year, the Newport 2 came in 17th; this year it was 6th.

6th is still not 1st, but maybe the Cameron crew will be happy with a unofficial award for Most Improved Blade.

 

7th: Piretti Potenza 2

7-Piretti

Piretti Potenza 2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+9%

+38%

+0%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-3%

+17%

+5%

This Piretti has one of the best looking black finishes that I have ever seen. It doesn’t show up that well in the photographs, but there is a whole bunch of color in the corners of the cavity. It’s a beauty.

In addition to the possible black color advantage, this Piretti could have separated itself from the pack a bit based upon its heavier head weight. While most of the other blades came in around the typical 350g head, the Potenza 2 was 365g.

Could adjusting head weight really have that much influence on accuracy? Sounds like we have another lab test to explore.

8th: Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB 4.5 Black Pearl

8-Cleveland4.5

Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB Black Pearl 4.5

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+24%

+25%

-2%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

+7%

+1%

Well look at that, another Cleveland Classic in the Top 10. This time it’s the 4.5. Though there is a little bumper morphology difference between the Classic 1 and the Classic 4.5, the real difference comes in the neck. The 4.5 has a slant neck, as compared to the more traditional plumbers neck on the model 1.

Fifth to eighth could just a matter of the slant neck playing a little less familiar than the plumbers. It’s tough to tell, and really the margin between the two was not huge. Both are solid putters.

If you are looking for a budget putter, that can drain balls on the course, look no further than the Cleveland Classic line. You need to click on the blue button below and get one now. Just skip your mocha for a week and you’ll cover the cost.

 

8th: Guerin Design GR1.1

8-GuerinProto

Guerin Design Putters Prototype

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+45%

+27%

-7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

+7%

-7%

When you click on the link to the Guerin Design page, you are in for a treat. Since I’m here to help, click this About Guerin link and tell me what you learned. How cool is that? Did you just learn something about the pedigree of Guerin Putters?

When I was initially communicating with Guerin about the competition, he was very curious about how we tested, also asking about the greens we test on. From that information, he put together a putter for the competition.

I have taken my 370g head that is for 33″ and put it on a 34″ shaft.  This specs at E-1.  While slightly heavy the extra weight in the head will make it more forgiving on mishits and therefore more accurate.
Guerin R.

How cool is that. The man is on it. I feel that this bodes very well for the future of Guerin Design. He’s going to make some pretty solid putters, perhaps even better than the amazing ones he made in the past.

 

10th: Gauge Design Hex Milled

10-Gauge HexMill

Gauge Design Hex Milled Prototype

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-8%

-5%

+37%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-17%

-5%

+5%

There must be something in the water down in Southern California that promotes putter making. There just has to be some reason that Carlsbad, CA is the HQ location for so many golf companies. Gauge Design, powered by the putter visions of David Whitlam, is another Carlsbad company making excellent golf gear. Their Year of the Dragon putter is still one of my all time favorites.

This putter has a bunch of cool aesthetic elements. The new GD Milled face pattern is visually striking and puts a nice roll on the ball. My favorite visual feature of David Whitlam’s blades is always how the top of the neck runs parallel to the putter’s body rather than with the shaft, as it does with all other manufacturers. The hex shape of the neck is added cool.

I know I am only talking aesthetics with this one, but that’s just because, one, the aesthetics are cool, and two, the numbers for performance are right there to see.

 

10th: Nike MOD-90

10-NikeMOD90

NIKE Method MOD-90

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+27%

+9%

+4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-5%

-7%

-9%

I was surprised with the performance of the Nike MOD-90. It’s not that I thought it was a bad putter and going to do poorly. I knew better than that having rolled the MOD models back when they released, with the MOD 90 really standing out as the “it” model of the class. To that point, Golfspy Tim took mine and still hasn’t given it back.

Instead, I was surprised at how quickly the testers adjusted and warmed to the non-Anser shape of the MOD-90. The MOD-90 is Nike’s modernized version of the old bullseye putter. It’s got polymetal grooves and extra weights at the tips. When I introduced the Nike Method Modern Classics back in the Club Report Article I was surprised, then really impressed with the feel of the line, the MOD-90 in particular.

Testers gave the MOD-90 a bit of a quizzical look when they first picked it up, then they just rolled solid putt after putt with it.

I agree with Tony that Nike is making huge improvements in their equipment. The MOD-90 really represents something new, yet classic, and it shows that NIke Golf is stepping up their game with golf equipment.

 

12th: Gauge Design SP-I Joseph

12-Gauge SPI

Gauge Design SP-I Joseph

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+43%

+5%

+1%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+3%

+3%

-3%

When the putters from Gauge Design hit my house, I fully expected the SP-I Joseph to be the higher scoring of the two. This model has the aluminum cavity insert that provides a striking contrast for alignment, and also allows weight to be moved to the edges, boosting the putter’s MOI.

I do think that the alignment is better with the SP-I Joseph as compared to the Hex Milled, especially when you look at the up close data. For some reason though, the Hex Milled came alive at 20 feet, and the SP-I Joseph was just average at that length.

Both scored very well though. If you are unfamiliar with Gauge Design/Whitlam Golf, you should probably take care of that. They’ve got some pretty sweet looking wedges too.

 

13th: James Ingles/Scratch Golf Handmade Prototype

13-JamesIngles

James Ingles/Scratch Golf Handmade Prototype

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-11%

+26%

+4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-11%

+1%

-3%

I think that this putter from Scratch Golf and James Ingles may be the first handmade putter that has been entered into a Most Wanted! competition. This putter is a prototype for a production run that may or may not happen in the future. How cool is that? It’s super cool, unless you want to get one today, I suppose.

Testers did struggle a bit with this putter up close, I believe due to it’s unique looks. They just didn’t really line it up very well at first. Remember, they shoot the 5′ putts first. Once they had rolled a few, and gotten a feel for the putter, accuracy jumped at 10′ and at 20′. Eight of ten testers said that they would have no problem bagging this putter for a round.

I’ve got a pair of (sadly non-conforming) Scratch wedges that I still play from time to time, and I too would have no problem bringing the Scratch club count up to three. James Ingles makes a very special, and in this case one of a kind putter.

 

14th: Bellum Winmore 747

14-BW747

Bellum Winmore 747

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+22%

-8%

+7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

-5%

+1%

Keeping with the prototype trend, Bellum Winmore entered one of the first 747 heads that they produced. The 747 has quite a touch of PING Zing in its genes, but there is more there as well. There is a more pronounced toe bumper bulge with the 747 compared to a classic Zing. Imagine if a Zing and an Odyssey #9 had a baby. That baby would be the 747, and would likely be named Karsten Mickelson.

Even with the pronounced toe hang of the 747, testers had little trouble controlling their putts. A common theme with this one was that they would like to see how they putt with it if they had a little more time to practice with it.

 

15th: Axis1 Joey-C

15-Axis1JoeyC

Axis1 Joey-C

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+19%

+0%

+1%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+5%

+3%

+7%

The Joey-C once again reenforced the the idea that you don’t have to like how a putter looks to putt well with it. There is no way to sugar coat it, the testers didn’t like the looks of this putter, scoring an average of 3.8/10 for looks. However, when you jump to Feel and Alignment scores, the averages jump to 7 and 6.5, respectively.

So, most said the Joey-C felt good, and was easy to line up. Combine that with solid accuracy and make numbers and you have a putter worth looking into. The large metal bulge at the heel was too much for some to overcome though, and I did have one tester who seemed to prefer hitting balls off that part of the head rather than the copper insert. Different strokes, I suppose.

 

16th: P&SI EGOS

16-P&SI

P&SI EGOS

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+24%

+0%

-3%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+11%

+1%

+3%

While the P&SI-EGOS put up solid accuracy numbers, especially from up close, there is more to the story of this one. The name of the company as well as the name of the putter are abbreviations that when decoded, give you a little more information about what the putter is all about.

P&SI: Putting & Surveying Instrument

EGOS: Expert Greenreading Operating System

The P&SI-EGOS putter is really a combination of putter design and green reading. The traditional-Anser design of the P&SI-EGOS has been modified by removing most of the material from the top of the heel and mounting a hosel that allows the putter to hang completely vertical when held below the grip with two fingers.

Why is hanging vertical important? Well that gets into the second part of the putter: green reading. True vertical hang allows the golfer to make accurate measurements of slope and read using the P&SI-EGOS plumb-bobbing process. Many golfers try to read this way, but according to the folk at P&SI-EGOS putters, they are not successful because the other putters are not balanced.

What did the testers think? Well, one loved the putter and actually took it home to try it on his home course. Last I heard, he was doing well with it. Others were a bit put off by the neck position. If you look back at the address photo from the Meet the Contestants post, you will see that the neck and shaft sit well behind the face at address. Visually it was tough for them to get used to.

We really don’t have any data on the green reading ability of the P&SI-EGOS, as all of our putts for testing are dead straight (i.e. flat greens). Perhaps down the road we can compare some reads from different systems and see how they compare.

 

17th: Edel Golf E-3

17-EdelE3

Edel Golf E-3

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-21%

+7%

+11%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-9%

-3%

-3%

Torque-balanced. That’s the key to the Edel Golf E-3. What is torque-balance? Basically, what you see with the E-3 and other torque-balanced putters (tested Axis1 models) is that the toe hang is straight up (12:00 “hang”). This design enables the toe of the putter to stay along the perimeter of the stroke path during putting. In other words, the head doesn’t twist/open and close. This allows the putter to return to the same address position that you started from with no wrist manipulation.

Testers took a bit to get used to this concept, but overall, they definitely warmed to the E-3. They also liked the feel that the pixel insert put on the ball. Multiple testers commented as to how much they liked the feel of the putter, and preferred the Edel method of achieving torque-balance to that of Axis1. Like the Bellum Winmore 747, the general consensus was that the E-3 was a putter that they could really dial in on the course.

 

18th: Bettinardi BB1

18-BettiBB1-CB

Bettinardi BB1

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-29%

+14%

+7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-9%

+3%

-7%

Last year, the Bettinardi BB1 came in almost at the bottom of the Most Wanted! pool. The real problem with the 2013 BB1 that the testers ran into was the inability to control distance. They were blasting 5′ putts past the hole by feet, not inches. It was not pretty.

Testers who rolled the BB1 last year were shocked at how much better the 2014 BB1 rolled the ball. As you can see from the data above, the struggle was still from 5′, but this BB1 did a much better job than it’s predecessor. Though I don’t have any basis for the belief, I believe that it is easier to work on that 5′ accuracy than it is to improve accuracy at distance. 5′ touch could be something that comes with a bit of repetition and familiarity.

 

18th: Bettinardi BB1-CB

18-BettiBB1

Bettinardi BB1-CB

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-34%

+5%

+17%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-3%

-3%

+1%

The Bettinardi BB1-CB is the heavier, counterbalanced version of the standard BB1. My hope was that there would be a huge, obvious difference between the standard and counterbalanced version so that the standard vs. counterbalanced argument could be finally solved. Obviously, this involved not being tied for 18th…

Some testers were better with the CB; others with the standard. We are going to go back through the data for the Bettinardi counterbalanced putters that have been in this test, and also the mallet test, to see if we can’t come up with some pros and cons of switching to the counterbalanced version.

 

20th: Bettinardi Signature 7

20-BettiSig7

Bettinardi Signature 7

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-15%

+4%

-1%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-3%

-7%

-3%

When one putts, all components of the putter come into the process. That is why it is so difficult to pin down the key aspect that makes a putter rise above the rest, or sink into the sea of average. Testers loved, and I mean loved, the looks of the Bettinardi Signature putters. They raved about the looks of the two heads and even about how the ball felt coming off of the faces. What they universally disliked though was the leather grips.

It’s hard to get past an issue with the part of the putter that actually makes contact with your body. While some complained about the shape and underlying construction of the grip, it was really an issue of the grip’s slick texture. Testers felt that they needed to grab the grip as hard as possible, lest it slip and spin in their hands. Without any prompting from me, every tester independently complained about the feel of the grip and how it had a negative impact on their putting. I may need to slap my go to Iomic jumbo grip on this one and see what happens.

 

20th: TaylorMade Spider Blade 12

20-TM SpiderBlade12

TyalorMade SpiderBlade 12

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+24%

-9%

-5%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+9%

+1%

-9%

It’s interesting that the very similar Daytona 12 would score so much higher than the TaylorMade Spider Blade 12. I see two primary differences between the two TaylorMade putters.

First of all, we have the difference in weighting. The Spider Blade is a counterbalanced putter, where as the Ghost Tour is not. This difference in weighting leads to a difference in feel during the swing. Counterbalanced putters may require some additional practice green time to get used to the weighting. This would explain the differences in accuracy at distance between the two putters.

At first, I also thought the weighting difference was responsible for the up close differences too. The Spider Blade did a nice job hitting the hole compared to the average, but was crushed by the Daytona 12. If you look at the two putters from address, you see a subtle alignment variation that I think is responsible for the variation.

The Spider Blade bumpers are black and white, where as the white color on the Daytona extends from face to the back edge. This means that only the cavity portion on the Daytona is black. It’s a very different look at address, and I think that the Daytona scheme makes aiming the putter easier.

22nd: Boccieri Golf Heavy Putter K4-M

22-Heavy

Boccieri Golf Heavy Putter   K4-M

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-18%

+11%

-5%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-9%

+7%

-9%

The Heavy Putter performed great for the few testers who had used one before, but was a tough mistress for those who were inexperienced with its heft. I know that I have said this with both of the other counterbalanced putters, but I think that the non-traditional weighting requires some time for a golfer to fine tune feel.

A few of the guys said that this putter felt like a weighted training club. That speaks to the unfamiliar weight sensation. With use, I know they would acclimate, and likely feel more comfortable with the heavier composition.

 

23rd: Low Tide Fin

23-LowTideFin

Low Tide Fin

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+42%

-18%

-7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+9%

-19%

-1%

The Low Tide Fin was amazing from 5′. Testers really liked how it performed (and looked). Then something got a little looser from distance.

I’m not totally sure what happened, but I have a theory. In close, exact fit to stroke is not as critical to accuracy, as the putting stroke is shorter. One of the testers claimed that 5′ putts are all mental, with the putter being almost immaterial. I don’t totally agree with that assessment, but I do think that the pairing compatibility between the putter and the golfer becomes more critical as the putt and thus the length of the swing gets longer.

 

24th: Bettinardi Signature 8

24-BettiSig8

Bettinardi Signature 8

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+11%

-11%

-8%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-1%

-5%

+1%

So I already mentioned the grip issue with the Sig 7. It was the same for the Sig 8. Near universal like for the head, and near universal concern about the grip slipping. The slant neck was also a bit distracting for one or two of the guys.

 

24th: SeeMore PTM2

24-SeeMorePTM2

SeeMore PTM2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+18%

-10%

-10%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+3%

-7%

-5%

Had you asked me how the PTM2 was doing when we were testing, I would have expected it to be toward the top of the class. Once the numbers were all complied, I was surprised that it finished so low. It was solid in close, but not so solid from distance.

Testers did prefer the straight shaft in the PTM2 as compared to the bent whistle shaft in the PTM2w version. Again, we had multiple positive comments about the feel of the putter, but the accuracy numbers just were not there.

 

26th: PING Karsten TR Anser 5

26-PINGAnser5

PING Karsten TR Anser 5

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-18%

-17%

+9%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-11%

-15%

-3%

You could push me over with a feather on this one. I did not expect that one of the PING TR groove putters would be toward the bottom of the bunch. I guess it’s not all about the grooves.

The long neck gives the Anser 5 a straight path profile as compared to the slight arc path of the Anser 2. This is what I would look to if I was to pick the one most likely thing that separated the two Karsten TR putters. The head length and bumper design are also slightly different between the two models, making it very difficult to single out one thing as being responsible.

All parties involved were surprised at how the Anser 2 could be so precise, and  the Anser 5 so sprinkler-like.

 

27th: Mantis Golf Mantis B

27-MantisB

Mantis Golf Mantis B

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-29%

-1%

-3%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-5%

-3%

+1%

The main comment from the testers about the Mantis B was that they missed the feel of the Mantis Mallet. Though the insert is the same, the differing head geometries really lead to different feels at impact.

Those who had tested both the Mantis Mallet and the Mantis B definitely preferred the mallet, with the sound and feel being the main reason for their preference.

 

28th: Nike MOD-30

38-NikeMod30

NIKE Method MOD-30

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-23%

-11%

-4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-1%

-3%

+1%

The MOD-30 vs. MOD-90 story is a lot like the Anser 2 vs. Anser 5 story. Though they share a great deal of design pedigree, they are very different in shape. No one would argue that the MOD-30 is more like the traditional Anser design than the MOD-90, but the high toe and other features that Nike modernized really push the head into non-Anser places.

Where the MOD-90 modernization worked with the testers, the MOD-30 did not.

 

29th: SeeMore PTM2w

29-SeemorePTM2w

SeeMore PTM2w

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-25%

+5%

-15%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-7%

+3%

+5%

As I mentioned before, the difference between the PTM2 and the PTM2w is the straight vs. bent shaft. This one change had a huge impact on the 5′ putt accuracy. The best shaft gives the putter some offset at address, whereas the straight does not.

It could be that the SeeMore Rifle Scope Technology works better with the straight shaft. Once you add a bend, the tester may not be as successful at truly hiding the red dot by being square to the putter head. Maybe there is some cheating with the hands or the head to hide the dot. That would explain the accuracy discrepancy.

 

30th: Axis1 Umbra

30-Axis1Umbra

Axis1 Umbra

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-5%

-13%

-16%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+5%

+7%

+1%

The Axis1 Umbra has a lot going on. It’s all there to help, but when placed side by side with the more traditional blades, the Umbra’s features proved distracting. Testers were not huge fans of the tongue-like alignment flange, finding the combination with the heel-buldge overwhelming.

The make percentages are all above average, but overall the testers struggled with figuring out where the ball was going, and how far it was going.

 

31st: Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1

31-WS Vizor2

Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-40%

-12%

-6%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-17%

-5%

-1%

If I was surprised by the Karsten TR Anser 5 finishing low, I was full-on shocked that the Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1 finished dead last. This putter uses the same I-Lock alignment system that helped the M3 model of the putter tie for second in the mallet competition.

The way that the I-Lock helps you line up the ball to the hole should have been especially lethal at close range. Obviously that was not the case. Like the Umbra, having the extra alignment system hanging off the back of the putter was distracting, not helpful. The testers liked how the insert felt, but wanted to take a saw to the I-Lock.

What worked for the Wilson Staff mallets, didn’t work for the blade. For these testers, traditional styling seemed to rule the day.

 

Conclusion

Congratulations again to the TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12 for earning the title of “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Blade Putter. Overall, this batch of blades represented the tightest range of putters to date. Our mallet test saw scores from 132-61 for accuracy, with the blade accuracy ranging from 137-72. Though it goes against the conventional wisdom, it would seem like blade putters are, on the whole, more accurate than mallets.

Yes, there were variables between the mallet and blade tests that make such a claim tough to support, but it is still interesting to ponder. Think of it this way. The last place blade, Wilson Staff’s Vizor Level 2 M1 score of 72 would have placed it ahead of ten of the mallets. The tests were run at different times of year, and had a few different testers, so we are comparing apples to giraffes. Even so, it is interesting to think about, and something that we should look into further.

Thanks to all of the testers for their time, Wilson Staff for their balls, Haggin Oaks for their greens, and the participating companies for their participation. I can’t wait to see the contestants for 2015!

 

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2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: The Results

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: The Results

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: The Results

By Dave Wolfe

Today, we award the title of “Golf’s Most Wanted!” to the blade that was more accurate than its peers. Many of our putters share the classic heel-toe-weighted design, while others push the blade envelope. We have plumbers necks, double-bend necks, and flow necks. We have contestants finished in silver, copper, black, and even one in green.

All of our contestants are on equal footing. All contestants get the same shot at the title. The Most Wanted Title must be earned though. It doesn’t matter if we love a company, or are hearing about them for the first time. Once the putter is in the hands of the tester, it’s all about the data. It’s only about the data.

From Address Collage

What data are we collecting? Remember in this competition, accuracy is everything. To win the title of “Golf’s Most Wanted!”, a putter must get the ball to the hole better than all other competitors. Price doesn’t matter. The number of stitches in the headcover doesn’t matter. If you think Desirability should be part of the formula, then you are missing the point. The desire of any golfer and his or her putter should be to get the ball to the hole. That’s why accuracy is everything.

Testing Parameters:

  •  Location of Testing:  Outdoor Practice Green at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
  •  Ball Used:  2014 Wilson Staff FG Tour
  •  Number of Testers: 10
  •  HCPs of Testers: 2-20+
  •  Putters Tested: 31
  •  Total Balls Rolled Per Putter:  150
  •  Total Balls Rolled Per Tester: 360 over two sessions
  •  Time for each tester to complete test: Approximately 4.5 hours

:: Accuracy Scoring

scoring-graphic-mwbl-2014

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” Blade Putter, should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.

EXAMPLE: Accuracy Score Calculation

:: Total Miss Distance (all testers, adjusted for distance)= 1686 inches
:: Average Miss Distance Per Tester (Total/12)= 140.5 inches
:: Percentage of Accuracy Ideal Value (127.5/Average Miss Per Tester x 100)= 91%

Extra Blade Photos-2

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” –  The Results – The Top 5

 1-First

2-Second

3-third

4-fourth

5-fifth

6-sixth7-seventh
8-eigth9-ninth_2
10-tenth11-eleventh_2

See How the Rest of the Putters Performed

More To Come

Once again, we see one putter that really separates itself from the pack. As with the mallets, the question on many of our minds is what is it about the Daytona 12 that allowed the testers to be more accurate with it compared to the other putters? Is it possible that a company known for drivers can also make an exceptional putter?

Don’t worry, we will be looking into the Daytona 12 win in much more depth.

We will also be looking at the other putters as well in Golf’s Most Wanted Blade – Beyond the Numbers.

For today though, congratulations go out to TaylorMade’s spectacular Ghost Tour Daytona 12, and the other Top 5 blade putters.

More Most Wanted Blade Coverage

2014 Most Wanted Blade: The Contenders
2014 Golfs Most Wanted Blade – The Results (This Post)
2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade – Beyond the Data (COMING SOON) 

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2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: The Contenders

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: The Contenders

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: The Contenders

By Dave Wolfe

Which blade putter in 2014 actually performs the best?

Today we take a look at the 31 competitors who will battle it out for the coveted title of  ”Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Blade Putter for 2014.

We have thirty-one putters from from twenty-one putter makers going head to head, battling to see who is the most accurate.

Remember, that’s what the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Putter competitions are all about: accuracy

You’ll get no points for aesthetics here. No points for the size of the company, or the number of pros on contract either. It’s performance, not pedigree that determines “Golf’s Most Wanted!”.

We have an amazingly diverse field this year. We have putters from most of the big players that are known to all, and also some putters from manufacturers who you may be learning about for the first time today. Again, our playing field is level. All putters have an equal shot at being the Most Wanted Blade Putter. 

The simple truth is that the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Blade Putter earns its title by being the most accurate of the group.

yardstick

  Testing Parameters:

  • Location of Testing:  Outdoor Practice Green at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
  • Ball Used:  2014 Wilson Staff FG Tour
  • Number of Testers: 10
  • HCPs of Testers: 2-20+
  • Putters Tested: 31
  • Total Balls Rolled Per Putter:  150
  • Total Balls Rolled Per Tester: 360 over two sessions
  • Time for each tester to complete test: Approximately 4.5 hours

Extra Blade Photos-1

Accuracy Scoring

Like in previous “Golf’s Most Wanted!” putter tests, blade accuracy was measured by having the testers roll five putts from three distances; five, ten, and twenty feet.  The distance from the closest edge of the cup was then recorded for each miss.  To normalize the results, all of our testers used the same ball, the 2014 Wilson Staff FG Tour.

Because we know that missing a five-footer by two feet is not the same as missing a twenty-footer by two feet, the values were adjusted for distance as follows:

:: 5-Foot Score = Miss Distance (inches) x 2.0

:: 10-Foot Score = Miss Distance (inches) x 1.5

:: 20-Foot Score = No Adjustment

Once the values were adjusted for distance, the numbers were added together to generate a putter’s Total Accuracy Score.

Example: Accuracy Scoring Protocol

PUTTER X Accuracy Scoring, Tester #1
:: 5-foot putts: (11″ miss distance  x adjustment of 2.0) = 22″ total miss distance?
:: 10-foot putts:
(16″ miss distance x adjustment of 1.5) = 24″ total miss distance?
:: 20-foot putts:
(120″ miss distance with no adjustment) = 120″ total miss distanceTotal Accuracy Score for Tester #1 with PUTTER X would be =  166″ inches (total miss distance)

scoring-graphic-mwbl-2014

2014 “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Blade Putter: The Contenders

As I mentioned earlier, this year we have a very diverse range of blade putters from twenty-one different companies. Before we take a look at the putters, let’s address a couple of questions you may be thinking.

How do you define “Blade Putter”?

The simple answer to this question is that we don’t. Instead, we let each company decide what a “blade putter” is in their shop. Though perhaps not as physically diverse as the mallets, this crop of blade putters represents quite a range of metal morphologies. Some are traditional, and some are not even on the same planet as traditional. Regardless, in the eyes of their makers, and thus in our eyes, they are all blades.

Where is “Company X”?

We know that you have your favorite golf companies and that you want to see their putters represented in the competition. We do too! We sent contacts out to far more than twenty-one companies. Some declined, others never took the time to reply. If you want to win, you gotta play, and some just didn’t want to play.

Odyssey/Callaway Golf has chosen not to participate in any putter reviews or competitions so far this year.

If you would like to see Odyssey/Callaway back in the mix, head over to Twitter and send them a message telling them so. We hear they occasionally use social media these days.

Titleist/Scotty Cameron is the other noteworthy declining company.

They sit at the top of the market, they have the most to lose and the least to gain from a competition like ours. If they win, it’s expected, and should they not win, any other place amounts to failure. We understand why they would decline, but we also believe that if you’re going to charge the consumer $350 for a putter, the cost should be justified through performance.

However, we were also curious about how a Scotty Cameron putter would stack up against the rest of the field. Do Cameron’s putters pack a special level of performance, or do (lots of) golfers just pay for the Cameron name? Yes, Scotty Cameron declined to participate, but guess what, there is a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 in the competition!

Enough about who is not here, let’s take a look at this year’s “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Blade Putter contestants:

Axis-1 Joey-C

Axis1 Joey-C-1

Axis1 Joey-C-2
Axis1 Joey-C-4
Axis1 Joey-C-5
Axis1 Joey-C-3

Axis-1 Umbra

Axis1 Umbra-1

Axis1 Umbra-2
Axis1 Umbra-4
Axis1 Umbra-5
Axis1 Umbra-3

Bellum Winmore 747

Bellum Winmore 747-1

Bellum Winmore 747-2
Bellum Winmore 747-5
Bellum Winmore 747-4
Bellum Winmore 747-3

Bettinardi BB1

Bettinardi BB1-1

Bettinardi BB1-2
Bettinardi BB1-3
Bettinardi BB1-5
Bettinardi BB1-4

Bettinardi BB1-CB

Bettinardi BB1-CB-1

Bettinardi BB1-CB-2
Bettinardi BB1-CB-5
Bettinardi BB1-CB-4
Bettinardi BB1-CB-3

Bettinardi Sig 7

Bettinardi Sig7-1

Bettinardi Sig7-2
Bettinardi Sig7-4
Bettinardi Sig7-5
Bettinardi Sig7-3

Bettinardi Sig 8

Bettinardi Sig 8-1

Bettinardi Sig 8-2
Bettinardi Sig 8-4
Bettinardi Sig 8-5
Bettinardi Sig 8-3

Byron Morgan 612

Byron Morgan 612-1

Byron Morgan 612-2
Byron Morgan 612-3
Byron Morgan 612-5
Byron Morgan 612-4

Cleveland Classic 1

Cleveland Classic 1-1

Cleveland Classic 1-2
Cleveland Classic 1-3
Cleveland Classic 1-5
Cleveland Classic 1-4

Cleveland Classic 4.5

Cleveland Classic 4.5-1

Cleveland Classic 4.5-2
Cleveland Classic 4.5-5
Cleveland Classic 4.5-4
Cleveland Classic 4.5-3

Edel E-3

Edel E3-1

Edel E3-2
Edel E3-3
Edel E3-5
Edel E3-4

Gauge Design Hex Mill

Gauge HexMill-1

Gauge HexMill-2
Gauge HexMill-3
Gauge HexMill-5
Gauge HexMill-4

Gauge Design SPI-1 Joseph

Gauge Joseph-1

Gauge Joseph-2
Gauge Joseph-3
Gauge Joseph-5
Gauge Joseph-4

Guerin Putters Prototype

Guerin Designs Proto-1

Guerin Designs Proto-2
Guerin Designs Proto-4
Guerin Designs Proto-5
Guerin Designs Proto-3

HeavyPutter K4-M Mid

Heavy Putter K4-M-1

Heavy Putter K4-M-2
Heavy Putter K4-M-4
Heavy Putter K4-M-5
Heavy Putter K4-M-3

Low Tide Fin

Low Tide Fin-1

Low Tide Fin-2
Low Tide Fin-3
Low Tide Fin-5
Low Tide Fin-4

Mantis Mantis B

Manris B-1

Manris B-2
Manris B-4
Manris B-5
Manris B-3

Nike MOD-30

Nike MOD30-1

Nike MOD30-2
Nike MOD30-3
Nike MOD30-5
Nike MOD30-4

Nike MOD-90

Nike MOD90-1

Nike MOD90-2
Nike MOD90-3
Nike MOD90-5
Nike MOD90-4

P&SI EGOS

P&SI EGOS-1

P&SI EGOS-2
P&SI EGOS-5
P&SI EGOS-4
P&SI EGOS-3

Ping Karsten TR Anser 2

PING Karsten TR Anser 2-1

PING Karsten TR Anser 2-2
PING Karsten TR Anser 2-3
PING Karsten TR Anser 2-5
PING Karsten TR Anser 2-4

Ping Karsten TR Anser 5

PING Karsten TR Anser 5-1

PING Karsten TR Anser 5-2
PING Karsten TR Anser 5-3
PING Karsten TR Anser 5-5
PING Karsten TR Anser 5-4

Ping Scottsdale TR Anser T

PING Anser T-1

PING Anser T-2
PING Anser T-3
PING Anser T-4
PING Anser T-5

Piretti Potenza 2

Piretti Potenza 2-1

Piretti Potenza 2-2
Piretti Potenza 2-5
Piretti Potenza 2-4
Piretti Potenza 2-3

Scotty Cameron Newport 2

Scotty Cameron Newport 2-2

Scotty Cameron Newport 2-3
Scotty Cameron Newport 2-1
Scotty Cameron Newport 2-4
Scotty Cameron Newport 2-5

Scratch-James Ingles Prototype

Scratch_James Ingles Proto-1

Scratch_James Ingles Proto-2
Scratch_James Ingles Proto-3
Scratch_James Ingles Proto-5
Scratch_James Ingles Proto-4

SeeMore PTM2

SeeMore PTM2-1

SeeMore PTM2-2
SeeMore PTM2-5
SeeMore PTM2-4
SeeMore PTM2-3

SeeMore PTM2w

SeeMore PTM2w-1

SeeMore PTM2w-2
SeeMore PTM2w-3
SeeMore PTM2w-4
SeeMore PTM2w-5

TaylorMade Daytona 12

TaylorMade Daytona 12-1

TaylorMade Daytona 12-2
TaylorMade Daytona 12-3
TaylorMade Daytona 12-5
TaylorMade Daytona 12-4

TaylorMade Spider Blade 12

TaylorMade SpiderBlade 12-1

TaylorMade SpiderBlade 12-2
TaylorMade SpiderBlade 12-5
TaylorMade SpiderBlade 12-4
TaylorMade SpiderBlade 12-3

Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1

Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1-1

Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1-2
Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1-3
Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1-5
Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1-4

Which will be the Most Wanted Blade?

Come back tomorrow and we will reveal which putter earned the title of “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Blade Putter. Did a little shop out work the big companies, or will one of the heavy hitters take home the title. You will know for sure tomorrow, but in the mean time, let us know who you think will win in the comment section below. Take a blind guess, or back up your guess with logic. We are all curious who you think will win the title. See you tomorrow!

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Golf’s Most Wanted – Premium Gloves

Golf’s Most Wanted – Premium Gloves

Post image for Golf’s Most Wanted – Premium Gloves

What Makes a Glove “Premium”?

The simple answer is price. It’s not wholly uncommon for a single Premium or Tour quality glove to reach and even exceed the $30 mark. For our purposes we define the premium category as nearly anything with a retail price of $18 or above.

The single biggest factor contributing to the higher price is the material. All of the gloves we tested are constructed primarily from Cabretta leather. Cabretta comes from a sheep that grows hair unlike those wooly things running around your average barnyard. Cabretta is an exceptionally soft leather that provides outstanding feel. It’s also, apparently, not cheap.

Premium gloves are often thinner and less durable than their less expensive counterparts. It may seem counterintuitive to spend more for a less durable product, but that’s the tradeoff for the softer, thinner material common to premium gloves. You’re paying for feel not durability.

If it helps, keep in mind that premium gloves are designed for tour players. We’re talking about guys who change gloves several times over the course of around, and no matter how many they blow through, never spend a dime doing it. Somebody needs to support their habits. That’s where you come in.

gloves3

Does a having a thinner, softer glove matter to you? Most golfers select a glove based on fit, feel, and almost certainly price.

For those willing to spend comparatively premium dollars for a premium glove, how do know which premium glove is the best to wrap around your sweaty palms (did you know sweat is one of the quickest ways to deteriorate your gloves?)

We took 18 of the top contenders in the premium glove market and put them head to head and let the numbers fall where they may.

Scoring

Gloves were all reviewed based on FitComfortFeel, and Grip. Testers with glove sizes ranging from M to XL rated for each category. Additionally each tester chose his 5 favorites. Results were averaged and placed into a sliding scale for visual representation, and a final letter grade for overall score was assigned for each glove. Price and durability were not factored in the rankings.

What we discovered during our testing is that fit is the #1 factor in determining individual preference. It has a domino effect on comfort, feel and even perceived breathability. We challenge you to compare – look higher up the list than your current gamer. Try a couple on. Pick the one you think best fits your hand and game it for a round (or 4) and tell us what you think.

The best glove for your hand should fit like a second skin, and we’re not talking old man baggy skin, we’re talking smooth wrinkle free baby skin. I don’t actually have a baby, so I’m not positive baby’s skin is wrinkle free, but you get the point.

The Contenders

3m

3M Gripping Material Golf Glove

AsherPremium

Asher Premium Collection

BionicStable copy

Bionic Stable Grip

bionicPerformanc copy

Bionic Performance Grip

bridgeTPBridgestone Tour Premium

titleist-pure

FootJoy Pure Touch Limited

fjSpectrum

FootJoy Spectrum

fjStaSof

FootJoy StaSof

fjSciFlexFootJoy SciFlex

GFore copy

GFORE

hirzlTrust Feel

Hirzl Trust Feel

nike Tour Classic copy

Nike Tour Classic

NikeDriFit copy

Nike Dri-Fit Tech

pingSport

Ping Sensor Sport

pingTour

Ping Sensor Tour

Puma

Puma Formation Performance 

tmTPTaylorMade Tour Preferred

wilsonTour

Wilson FG Tour Professional

Premium Glove Comparison

premium-glove-chart

MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Golf Glove of 2014

While we shied away from doing “+” and “-” grading in this lineup, one glove was rated so highly across our full compliment of testers that we felt its dominance warranted an A+. The FootJoy Pure Touch Limited is our Most Wanted Premium Golf Glove.

While our top 6 gloves stand out, there wasn’t a slouch in this lineup. 12 gloves total earned our  A rating. The premium glove market really is that tightly contended, and quality abounds.

With fit being the single most important factor, we’d advise that you should fit yourself for a glove as carefully as you would a new set of irons. A glove should fit like a second skin, there should be no wrinkles from a glove fitting too big. If it does, your grip will suffer and the glove will wear faster. Each of our top finishers is cut a bit differently, which is why our number one piece of advice is try on the glove that you think best fits your needs. If it fits…well…like a glove (not an OJ glove), you’re in business. If not, move down this list until you find the one that offers a truly sublime fit.

The 2014 Most Wanted Golf Gloves

fj-PureTouch-1st-place-3

Hands down the most wanted glove amongst our testers. The Pure Touch Limited is flawless. Feel, grip, comfort, it’s all there. If you’re not afraid of dropping $30 on a glove, we stand behind your decision (and would you pick us up a few while you’re at it?). Sure, you can pay less, but you could also do a lot worse.

asher-premium-runner-up-3

Asher is not a brand many have associated with a premium glove in the past. The premium market wasn’t a focus for Asher previously, but we can tell you they’ve jumped full canonball into the market, and made the kind of splash our testers couldn’t ignore..

ping-sport-runner-up-3

In surprising style, Ping’s own Sport Glove beat out its Tour Glove. (go figure, Ping’s own Bubba Watson wears this glove – heck, he even won the Master’s this year wearing this glove) If a Master’s win doesn’t make you believer, I’m not sure what will.

One note – this glove runs up to a size too small. Definitely try before you buy to ensure the best fit.

puma-runner-up-3

This PUMA Glove features more Lycra than nearly any other glove in our lineup. That makes for a comfortable, and extremely breathable glove. It also makes gripping your club near effortless. Even our most senior tester said he LOVED this glove for it’s loud looks. Mind you, he’s playing an orange driver, so he might be biased where color is concerned.

tmag-tour-runner-up-3

TayloreMade has a sleeper hit with their Tour Preferred model. If you like you gloves to give a little more room, or you run slightly large for your size, this might be the best pick of the bunch for you.

fj-stasof-runner-up-3

Typically our runners up would be limited to 4, but the StaSof glove from FootJoy stood out enough to warrant extending the runner-up category. When asked to pick their top 5 gloves, the Stasof was a top 3 model for several testers, but outside of the top 5 for others. If you see this glove in your local shop, give it a try and tell us if it makes your top 5.

The Rest of the List

ping-tour-runner-up-3nike-tour-3

bridgestone-3wilson-3

gfore-3fj-spectrum-3

nike-dritech-3hirzl-trust-3

fjsciflex-3bionic-performance-3

bionic-stable-33m-3

In Closing

If you’ve ever wondered why someone would spend $30 on a golf glove, the next time you have a chance to try on the FootJoy Pure Touch LimitedActually, don’t do it unless you’re ready to make it a habit. It’s that good.

The premium lineup is so hotly contended that we wouldn’t question any choice from the A-tier. Let your own fit and feel preference guide you through our list.

If you love premium gloves, let us know. If you think $35 is insanity, we’d love to hear  that too, but be sure to let us know what price point you’re comfortable with and what glove you currently wear.

We  know many of you will ask about durability. We’re in the process of implementing industry standardized testing for textiles to help us provide that information. The best advice for now,  don’t grip so tight. You’ll improve your swing, and your gloves will last significantly longer.

Finally, if you sweat a lot, buy 3 of your favorite glove and rotate them during your round. This will ensure that your sweat doesn’t start breaking down the materials as quickly as wearing just one for the entire round.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Golf’s Most Wanted – 2014 Golf Shoes

Golf’s Most Wanted – 2014 Golf Shoes

Post image for Golf’s Most Wanted – 2014 Golf Shoes

Golf shoes have come a long way over the past few years. The introduction of streetwear-inspired shoes and alternative spike-less models have ushered in the most notable shift in styles since the fading away of metal spikes. When you throw in the ever-increasing focus on new materials and technology, it’s clear that finding a new pair of golf shoes can be daunting.

When we set out to put together the New Shoe Buyer’s Guide, it became obvious that the shoe market has grown considerably. Even after restricting the field for the New Shoe Buyer’s Guide by limiting the contenders to only new shoe models or significant model modifications, there are still quite a few options competing for your dollars.

We reviewed shoes that span the spectrum from budget to luxury and posted scores spanning the spectrum of letter grades from A to F. During the testing, there were certainly plenty of surprises and a handful of shoes scored higher and some scored lower than you would probably expect. While prices are typically good indicators at the extremes, the mid-priced models scored all over the map.

Scoring

All of the shoes have been judged on the same scale for Comfort, Performance, Durability, and Style. In addition to the individual scales, a final letter grade is given for an overall score for each shoe.

The individual scales for the characteristics of the shoes are judged on a qualitative scale and are based on observations of putting the shoes to multiple rounds of golf and range sessions. While the bars show relative performance between an arbitrary minimum and maximum range, the letter grade is an overall score independent of the individual scales.

The Contenders

Small_Adidas_Adizero_One

adidas adizero One

Small_Adidas_Adizero_Sport_II

adidas adizero Sport II

Small_Adidas_Pure_360

adidas Pure 360

Small_Ashworth_Encinitas_Wingtip

Ashworth Encinitas Wingtip

 
Small_Callaway_Master_Staff_Brogue

Callaway Master Staff Brogue

Small_Callaway_X_Cage_Vibe

Callaway X Cage Vibe

Small_Callaway_X_Nitro

Callaway X Nitro

Small_ECCO_Street_EVO_One

ECCO Street EVO One

Small_ECCO_Tour_Hybrid

ECCO Tour Hybrid

Small_Footjoy_City

FootJoy FJ City

Small_Footjoy_DNA

FootJoy DNA

Small_FootJoy_DryJoy_Casual

FootJoy DryJoy Casual

Small_Footjoy_Superlites_CT

FootJoy SuperLites CT

Small_Heaven_Golf_Shoe

Heaven Golf Shoe

Small_Kikkor_Select

Kikkor Select

Small_New_Balance_574_Golf

New Balance 574 Golf

Small_New_Balance_Minimus_Sport

New Balance Minimus

Small_Nike_Golf_FI_Impact

Nike Golf FI Impact

Small_Nike_Golf_Lunar_Ascend_II

Nike Golf Lunar Ascend II

Small_Nike_Golf_Lunar_Control_II

Nike Golf Lunar Control II

Small_Nike_Golf_TW14_Mesh

Nike Golf TW14 Mesh

Small_Puma_Monolite

Puma Monolite

Small_Puma_Biofusion

Puma Biofusion

Small_Puma_Biofusion_Mesh

Puma Biofusion Spikeless Mesh

Small_Puma_Faas_Lite_Mesh

Puma Faas Lite Mesh

Small_Royal_Albartross_Club_Collection

Royal Albartross Club Collection

Small_Royal_Albartross_Grayson

Royal Albartross Grayson

Small_TRUE_Linkswear_Gent_Wingtip

TRUE Gent Wingtip

Small_TRUE_Linkswear_Lyt_Dry

TRUE Lyt Dry

 

2014 Golf Shoe Comparison

If you’re looking for comparison data at a glance, this grid will show you a variety of common information on pricing, sole style, colorways, sizing, width options, and waterproofing information.

Best New Shoe Data
*Please note that several of the shoes listed in this guide have been temporarily discounted. While we have tried to accurately represent the expected street prices. In some cases the actual purchase price will be lower than what is listed in this guide.

The Runners-Up

Admittedly our Most Wanted selections for both Spiked and Spikeless golf shoes are premium offerings that run at what many will consider the extreme end of the pricing table. While we believe those selections are a cut above in every respect, value/price were not considered as part of the overall grade, and so we felt it was necessary to give the best option for those of you not interested in spending $600 on your next pair of golf shoes.

Runner-up: Spikeless

ECCO-EVO-One-Runner-Up

It’s great when a company consistently puts out a great product and that’s been the story for ECCO. These shoes have evolved from the original spikeless model that opened up the possibility that an alternative street-inspired shoe could hold its weight in the golf world. Be sure to try on this shoe at your local retailer as the sizing tends to run a size large.

The ECCO Street EVO One golf shoes are solid all the way through and the quality of the leather is something that more manufacturers should aspire to. For those looking for a relatively mainstream alternative to our Most Wanted spikeless shoe, we can’t oversell you on the ECCO Street EVO One.

Runner-up: Traditional/Spiked

Adidas-PURE-360-Runner-Up

The PURE 360 is a no-comprise golf shoe and it scored top marks in terms of performance. The quality of the shoe can be seen throughout the overall feel and construction and it’s a shoe leaving little to be desired. When the only thing to complain about is cleaning the soles, then you know you have a good shoe.

If our Most Wanted is priced out of your range, or you’re looking for a more modern take on the traditional golf shoe, the adidas Pure 360 is a clear winners when it comes to being an all-around great golf shoe for under $300.

MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Golf Shoes of 2014

There’s little arguing that our Most Wanted selections come at anything other than a premium price, but we believe our picks for both traditional/spiked and spikeless represent the very best of what’s available for 2014.

Most Wanted (Best Overall): Spikeless

Club-Collection

The initial soft-spike option from Royal Albartross is a masterpiece. You won’t understand the difference between these shoes and the others until you see them in person. While the price is higher than most, this is still a value for the level of detail and satisfaction that you’ll get out of this excellent line of golf shoes. The Club Collection also debuts in six different color combinations – at least one of which that’s likely to appeal to almost everyone.

The Royal Albartross Club Collection is a fashion-forward quality investment that will stand the test of time.

Buy Royal Albartross Club Collection

Most Wanted (Best Overall): Traditional/Spiked

Royal-Albartross-Grayson-Winner

If you’re ready to treat yourself then this is the shoe to do it with. Classic styling and meticulous craftsmanship combine to create the ultimate traditional golf shoe. Everything from the hardware used in the eyelets to the stacked leather soles scream quality. Handcrafted in Italy says it all.

The Royal Albartross Grayson will instantly make you feel like Bobby Jones.

Buy Royal Albartross Grayson

Save Some Money: Our Value Selections

Value is about more than price. A cheap shoe is only a value if it’s comfortable and performs well. To that end, our Best Value selections are outstanding performers offered at below average prices (not exactly bargain basement). These are the shoes that offer the most bang for your buck.

Best Value: Spikeless

Nike-FI-Impact-MW

Coming in at a generous price-point and with good overall ratings — this sporty golf shoe is one that will leave you happy with your investment. A great overall fit, shape, and comfort are all standouts. The interesting sole pattern results in plenty of stability and also allows the shoe to easily transition from course to street to gym.

The Nike FI Impact is the clear overall winner for Nike this year and rivals the best new shoes of the year.

Buy Nike FI Impact

Best Value: Traditional/Spiked

Adidas-ADIZERO-One-MW

There are lots of interesting things that standout when first looking at the adizero ONE. The most interesting immediate features are the incredible lack of weight, the unique materials, and the well-contoured fit. The one downside to this shoe is the unpleasant clicking sound when walking on concrete or hard surfaces.

The adidas adizero One has a wonderful mix of technologies and innovative materials that have combined into a great performance-focused shoe.

Buy adidas adizero ONE

The Rest of the Reviews

FJ-City

This shoe is a notable new and welcome offering from FootJoy. The FJ City is a great looking shoe with performance and durability that rival any golf shoe out there. The shoes come in a plain or brogue style and in a variety of colorways.

The FootJoy FJ City is the best thing we’ve seen come out of FootJoy for quite some time.

Buy FootJoy FJ City

FootJoy DNA

DNA

FootJoy has done an incredible job with this well-executed new golf shoe. It’s rare that a mass-market golf shoe gets so many things right, but the DNA lives up to the hype. The comfort is excellent and the performance of this shoe goes beyond expectations.

If you’re a fan of traditionally-styled, spiked, and technology-rich golf shoes, this is a clear winner.

Buy FootJoy DNA

TW14-Mesh

The new Mesh version of the TW14 provides superior comfort and fit. This is a substantial shoe with a solid feel. The spikeless soles are unique and the shoe is based on the Nike Free platform that allows flexibility alongside nice traction. Despite the bright white mesh, these shoes still clean up easily.

The Nike TW14 Mesh is a great take on the TW14 and allows for additional visibility and excellent durability.

Buy Nike TW 14 Mesh

Gent-Wingtip

This new shoe takes the walkability and zero-drop nature found in all of the TRUE lineup and combines it with a wingtip styling that has given the serious walking golfer with a much-needed combination of style and comfort. The performance and durability aspects of the shoes have evolved to a level that they will handle more wear-and-tear than we’ve seen from TRUE in prior years.

The TRUE Linkswear Gent Wingtip is an excellent combination of all of the elements that are needed to be a great all-around golf shoe.

Buy TRUE Linkswear Gent

Adizero-Sport-II

With a nice mix of a traditional shape and spikeless construction, this shoe makes for a nice hybrid shoe for those looking to cross over. The shoe is more narrow than most spikeless models. Don’t let the look of the shoe fool you, this shoe isn’t just for warm weather. The construction and waterproof features of the shoe make the adizero Sport II great for any season.

While none of the characteristics were pure standouts; the Adidas Adizero Sport II is a good shoe at a value price.

Buy adidas adizero Sport II

Tour-Hybrid

ECCO has been bringing a variety of high-quality styles to the golf world year-after-year and this model is no exception. The traditional uppers and punched saddle give the shoe a classic and under-stated clean look that is backed up with excellent performance and durability with the spikeless soles.

The ECCO Tour Hybrid is a great mix of a traditional golf shoe, a timeless look, and a progressive sole.

Buy ECCO Tour Hybrid

Selects

The first thing that you’ll notice about the Kikkor Select shoes is the unique print on the outers of the shoe. While the styling will be hit-or-miss, the shoe put up respectable scores and the quality of the shoes is a noticeable improvement from the Kikkors of previous years. The lines of the shoes are simple and effective and the comfort is good enough that they’ll leave you smiling at the end of your round.

The Kikkor Selects are a good low-priced option that will resonate well for progressive and younger golfers.

Buy Kikkor Select

574-Golf

This is a great golf version of the classic New Balance 574. The quality of the shoe feels a bit off, but the classic styling and excellent comfort make up for what will likely be a good single-season golf shoe.

The New Balance 574 is lightweight and comfortable with enough retro flavor that they’ll leave your playing partners wonder why they’re torturing themselves in their over-engineered golf shoes.

Buy New Balance 574

Monolite

This is a really good budget golf shoe with respectable all-around scoring. The Monolite is minimal and understated while also being well-capable on the course. The shoe even did well in soggy and sloppy conditions and cleaned up easily. This shoe will easily last a few seasons and when it finally does wear down, it makes for a great casual shoe for around town.

The Puma Monolite is a nice low-key offering at an attractive price.

Buy PUMA Monolite

Biofusion

This is one of the shoe contenders that is obviously aiming for a highly technical tour-performance shoe — and Puma has accomplished that aim with the Biofusion. The shoe even looks technical with a mixture of unique materials, construction, and styling. While the look feels over-done, the shoe is capable of handling any terrain and conditions that you throw at it.

The Puma Biofusion is a traditional golf shoe with futuristic styling and great performance.

Buy PUMA Biofusion

Biofusion-Mesh

This shoe shares the Biofusion name with the more traditional model, but the shoes couldn’t be much different in terms of appearance and feel. The Biofusion Mesh is a really good shoe that tackles all weather conditions well and has an attractive look. The cell cage that is visible on the inner side of the shoe gives the shoe some extra flavor that adds to the understated-but-noticeable technology that exists throughout the shoe.

The Puma Biofusion Spikeless Mesh shoe is one of the best-performing shoes tested and it has a great look that works both on and off the course. This is the best performance-to-price ratio seen across all shoes tested.

Buy PUMA Biofusion Mesh

Faas-Lite-Mesh

There are plenty of lightweight shoes popping up in the golf world, but this shoe is insanely lightweight. While the extreme lightweight nature results in a very thin shoe, it also adds significantly to the comfort factor. I’m not sure you can find a better warm-weather walking shoe out there.

The Puma Faas Lite Mesh sacrifices durability for comfort — but it’s done in a thoughtful way that makes this shoe an excellent choice for a minimum price.

Buy PUMA FAAS Lite Mesh

Lyt-Dry

While scoring well, the potential of the Lyt Dry is still short of being fully realized. This is an excellent shoe, but it falls just short of excellence in a few areas. A minor discomfort on the follow-through in the heel cup of the shoe is the only thing that prohibited the comfort score from being perfect.

The Lyt Dry is a capable zero-drop shoe targeted at the walking golfer.

Buy TRUE Linkswear LYT Dry

Encinitas-WingtipMaster-Staff-Brogue

X-NitroDryJoy-Casual

Minimus-SportLunar-Ascend-II

Lunar-Control-IIX-Cage-Vibe

Superlites-CTHeaven

 

In Closing. . .

Quite a few of the new shoes made a strong showing during the rounds of testing on the range and on the course while a handful of the shoes had problems that surfaced quickly.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s likely a new 2014 shoe model that will fit your needs. Choosing from a variety of styles and prices can help you narrow the range and the comfort, performance, and durability aspects can let you dial the shoe to be perfect for your needs.

Looking for any additional information or detailed experience while testing the shoes? Feel free to post your questions in the comments and we’ll respond with our own comments and let others add their opinions as well.

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Watch and Voice GPS Devices

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Watch and Voice GPS Devices

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Watch and Voice GPS Devices

How Much Device Do You Really Need?

Choosing a watch-based, or simple small voice GPS can be a daunting task? Do you need 25,000 Pre-loaded courses or should you go for a unit that offers 30,000? Are you willing to pay a bit more to get distances to hazards or are you content to know yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green? Do you want to use your GPS to keep score?

For such a small device, there sure is a lot to consider.

While the technology is similar, the differences are significant enough that you could find a compelling reason to choose one device over another (or several others).

We’re diving into the nuts and bolts of what matters in a GPS to help you determine which is the right unit for you. By the way…25,000 or 30,000 pre-loaded courses…it really doesn’t matter.

gps4

Constant Evolution

GPS technology has advanced rapidly over the last few years. We expect that trend is going to continue in a HUGE way over the next several years as an assortment of technologies are combined to enhance your on-course experience.

We’re not there yet. So for now, let’s focus on a few of the key features found in most watch and clip-on golf GPS units.

The most important things to consider in a GPS watch or voice unit are:

1. Distance to the green (Front, Center, Back)
2. Distances to Hazards
3. Ease of use
4. Battery life

gps1

 

Every golf GPS is going to tell you green distances and everything we reviewed for this guide offers plenty of battery life. Some do run a bit longer than others, but each device in this test will get you easily through one round, even if you play at Kevin Na’s pace

All of these devices give you basic distances (front, middle, and back) too. More feature-rich models will give you distances to one or more hazards. Everything else (like a built in scorecard, for example) is a bonus. Whether those bonuses are worth the extra bucks is basically an individual decision.

Me, I’m a features guy. The more the better, but be aware, extra features don’t always improve the user experience.

Our Top Devices

Garmin S4

For those looking to be on the cutting edge of tech with all the goodies, you’ll want to pick up the Garmin Approach S4. It offers a touch screen, iPhone bluetooth connectivity, and score tracking. Add to that its exceptional ease of use that lets you take it out of the box and straight onto the first tee, and quite frankly, it doesn’t get much better than this.

esnFor those who will be satisfied with a basic feature set coupled with with great battery life and extreme precision, ESN’s newest release – the Titanium – WR72 Alpha fits the bill. An added bonus that may or may not matter to you, the WR72 Alpha even offers a standard interchangeable 20mm watch band.

Golf Buddy VoiceDo you always play the same course every day of the year? Do you already know what club to hit off the tee, and just want to know your distances to the green? If you’re looking for that and a few fun tech features then you’ll love the simplicity of the Golf Buddy VoiceYes, they have released an updated version, but for many, the upgrade to the “+” may not be worth the extra money. The two devices are near equals, but we won’t hold it against you go for the Golf Buddy Voice+.

We could stop writing right now and walk away confident that you would be happy with any of the above suggestions, but you’re an MGS reader, we know you want to know more. Read on to find out where the rest of the devices placed and see if a specific feature set might lead you in another direction.

Watch and Voice GPS Feature Comparison (click to enlarge)

gps-chart3

The Breakdown

For grading, features need to be functional. The feature set should include the basics, and those should be intuitive and easy to use. Features that doesn’t work, or that don’t serve any practical purpose bring the grade down.

Battery life is on a scale of 12 hours as that is the max available in our lineup.

Ease of use is exactly as it sounds. Open the box, walk to the first tee; can you immediately start using the device? If not, does a simple read get you 100% of the way there?

A Closer Look at Our Top 3

Overall-Garmin

  • Good – This watch led the pack by levering technology to it’s fullest. The S4 offers bluetooth connectivity for texts, call alerts and emails. The unit is incredibly simple to use. The touch screen makes sense (touch firmly) and all of the features are useful, simple to navigate. The Garmin Approach S4 offers everything you could reasonably expect or want in a watch GPS.
  • Bad – While we love the touch screen, it takes a bit of a firm touch. The white wrist band does soil easily, but so do white shirts right?
  • Notes – If you want the best tech available today, this is hands down the unit for you. We were able to open the box, charge the unit, and use 90% of the features on the course without ever reading the manual.

Runner-UP-ESN

  • Good – All of the basics are perfectly executed.
  • Bad – Lacks the ability to keep track of score/strokes
  • Notes – This unit received the most attention for it’s looks – i.e.: “I’d wear that as a normal watch. This no fuss GPS gets the job done and does so elegantly.

golf-buddy-mwwgps

  • Good – Offers the basics done right. Voice or no voice, the choice is yours.
  • Bad – Accidental touching can have the unit speaking when you’d prefer it keep it’s electronic yap shut.
  • Notes – Some will question why not the Voice+ here, but for a basics unit, this does enough and the Voice+ doesn’t do enough more.

 

The Rest of the Field

Bushnell-NeoXSGB-Voice+

GB-WT3Bushnell-NeoX
GB-VT3VC-200
VC-300VC-100
Izzo-VoiceIzzo-Watch

 

Which Device is Right for You?

Boiling down to the basics is the first step when shopping for a Golf GPS device. When shopping for smaller GPS devices you need to decide if you care about distances to hazards. You do? Congratulation, you’ve just cut the field in half.

From there, decide if you want a watch, a clip-on, or one that can be worn either way (We found wearing the watch to be ideal as distances are almost literally always at hand).

Our top three this year from Garmin, ESN and Golf Buddy break separate themselves from the pack because of their easy to use features that deliver on what they promise. While this year’s crop is unquestionably the best to date, there’s tremendous room for advancement in the category, and we’re expecting bigger and better things in the future.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet-Beyond the Numbers

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet-Beyond the Numbers

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet-Beyond the Numbers

(by Dave Wolfe)

Welcome to the third day of the 2014 MyGolfSpy’s Golf’s Most Wanted Test.

On Day 1, we introduced the 2014 competitors, and Day 2 saw the crowning of the Ping Ketsch as the 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet.

ketsch badge

Today, we are going to break down the data a bit more to see if we can’t identify some of the factors that played a role in this year’s testing. Naturally, we will be looking into the massive dominance of the Ketsch, but we will also take some time to explore the other contestants, hopefully shedding some light on the underlying factors that affected their performances relative to the others in the field.

We have a bunch of numbers to look at, and a bunch of conclusions to discuss, but first let’s reset the testing conditions.

How We Tested

scoring-graph-mwm-2014

SCORING SYSTEM RECAP

To assess accuracy, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet, recording the distance that each putt ended up from the edge of the cup. That means measurements were taken for 15 putts per putter with each tester, totaling 150 putts per putter!Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted for the five and ten foot putts, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter.  Accuracy was assessed for the group of testers, not the individual testers.

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” Mallet Putter, should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.

Based upon our years of testing & data, we selected a total miss distance of 127.5 inches from the cup as the ideal accuracy value that a putter could achieve for a given tester. This number represents the total adjusted miss score for all fifteen putts for a given tester and equates to an average miss of 8.5 inches per putt.  Individual putters were then scored against this ideal accuracy value, with the final score representing a percentage of that ideal.  All numbers were rounded off to the nearest whole number. Here is an example of how the final accuracy score is calculated:

EXAMPLE: Accuracy Score Calculation
:: Total Miss Distance (all testers, adjusted for distance)= 1686 inches
:: Average Miss Distance Per Tester (Total/10)= 168.6 inches
:: Percentage of Accuracy Ideal Value (127.5/Average Miss Per Tester x 100)= 76%

Average Accuracy Values

avg-dist-miss

After all of the data was crunched and adjusted, the above breakdown was calculated on a per putt basis. What that means is that, on average, each 5-foot putt was missed by 5.8 inches, each 10-foot putt by 10.8 inches, and each 20-foot putt by 13.4. Were some putts closer to the hole than the average value, and some more distant? Of course, that’s how averages work.

What that average value gives us though is a baseline for comparison. By setting a reference point for average accuracy performance, we now have a point to which we can compare the performance of each individual putter.

We have also broken the total accuracy data out for the three putt distances so that we can further analyze where a given putter excelled, or struggled versus the rest of the pack. Overall, this will tell a more complete story for each individual putter and for the test in its entirety.

Close Is Not In!

We all understand the game of golf enough to know that a 3″ putt after a close miss still counts as a full stroke on the card. With this in mind, total putts made for each putter from each distance was also recorded. When we look at the combination of putts made and the accuracy values, we can get an even more complete picture about putter performance, and a very clear picture regarding the Ping Ketsch’s total domination of the field.

Here are the Made Putt Percentages for our test cohort broken down by distance:
avg-made-putt-percentage
For context, let’s take a look at some 2013 PGA Tour make percentages:

avg-made-putt-pga-tour

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my testers are putting under the same conditions at the PGA guys. Last time I checked, there was no huge dollar loss or gain associated with our test putts, and that probably reduces putting stress a touch. Our test green was definitely flatter, and not as fast as the tour greens, but I think that the testers’ make percentages are pretty darn good for a group of amateur golfers.

Our testers ran the range of handicaps, and overall, I feel like they represent the caliber of guys that many of you probably play with at your home course each week. The testers’ putting abilities definitely varied, but as a group, they had some skill on the green. Our data comes from real golfers who take the game seriously.

Let’s Dig Deeper into Data

Keeping the above averages in mind, let’s look at the performances of the individual putters. For sake of comparison, we have calculated the average accuracy for each putter, from each distance, relative to the overall accuracy of the putter field. We have also included the relative make percentage versus the make percentage of the field.

Here are our twenty-four mallets in order of finish:

1st:  Ping Ketsch

Ping Ketsch

Ping Ketsch

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+352%

+38%

+57%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+19%

+11%

+4%

The Ping Ketsch didn’t just beat the competition, it slaughtered them. The runner-up Wilson Vizor Level 2 M3 carded a score that would have won the 2013 competition going away. But this is 2014, and the Ketsch was a force to be reckoned with.

How amazing was the Ketsch’s accuracy?

From 5-feet, the Ketsch was 352% more accurate than the field average. No, I didn’t forget a decimal there. It is three hundred and fifty-two percent more accurate!

That’s a crazy number. When we look at the 5-foot make percentage, it gets even scarier. If the field average was 77%, and the Ketsch was 19% above that, that means that it’s overall make percentage was 96%. Ten testers, five putts each for a total of fifty putts. To score 96% that means…

Only two of the five foot putts were missed by our testers with the Ping Ketsch.

No other putter could top that. It was as close to automatic from up close as I have seen during testing. Numbers from 10-feet and 20-feet were also well above average, but that 5-foot mark was astounding. If you want a putter that takes the knock out of the short knee-knocker, the Ping Ketsch is it.

Don’t be surprised if gaming the Ketsch causes your buddies to extend your gimmie range by a few feet, or if they are all bagging one after the Ketsch hits the market in April.

We will dissect this putter at great length in an upcoming article. It really deserves a spotlight of its own.

2nd:  Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 #3

Wilson Vizor Level2-3

Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M3

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+126%

+43%

-3%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-6%

+52%

-4%

As I mentioned above, were it not for the inhuman numbers of the Ketsch, the Wilson Staff Vizor Level2 M3 would have snatched the top honors. When I wrote the Club Report article on the Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 putters a few months back, I knew that Wilson had definitely improved on the pervious incarnation of the Vizor, but I had no idea that those improvements would translate to this level of performance.

Multiple testers commented on how easy it was to line up the putts using the I-Lock technology, and also how they liked the feel of the new insert. The Wilson M3 put the ball close from all distances, and also made more than the field, including the winning Ketsch, by a bunch at 10-feet.

If the new equipment from Wilson Staff is not on your golf gear radar for 2014, it really should be.

2nd:  Ping Nome TR

Ping Nome TR

Ping Nome TR

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+22%

+25%

+25%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-14%

0%

+4%

The first version of the Ping Nome was a tour-tested winner. Remember that Hunter Mahan won the Accenture Matchplay Tournament with the original Nome. The Nome TR definitely upholds the accuracy pedigree of the original, surpassing it when we compare the finish of the Nome TR to the finish of the aluminum Nome in the 2013 Most Wanted Mallet competition.

This year, the Nome TR’s tie-for-second finish comes from being accurate from all distances, perhaps only faltering a bit when we look at the 5-foot makes. If the Nome TR missed the hole, it didn’t miss by much.

Overall, testers had very positive comments about the alignment and feel of the Nome TR, though none were inspired enough to write a poem about it.

4th:  Ping Scottsdale TR Senita B

Ping Scottsdale TR Sentia B

Ping Senita B

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+17%

+50%

+11%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-8%

+4%

+4%

Did you notice that the Scottsdale TR Senita B is the third Ping putter that placed in the Top 5? Could there be something going on down there in Arizona these days? It would seem so.

This Senita B was interesting for a couple of reasons. First the “B” in Senita B indicates that it is the counterbalanced version of the Scottsdale TR Senita. We have had discussions before about the impact of counterbalanced putters in the golf market once the anchoring ban goes into place. The high placing of the Senita B, and the BB55-CB right behind it, gives some credence to the anchoring replacement hypothesis.

The other interesting feature about this Senita B is that it has the Slight-Arc shaft option. Ping has always been known for their colored dot fitting/customization program. What they have done for mallets with the fitted shaft options, as well as adjustable length shafts just adds to the depth of customization. There was a time when Ping was the name in putters. Maybe that time is here again.

5th:  Bettinardi BB55-CB

Bettinardi BB55

Bettinardi BB55-CB

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+49%

+27%

+8%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-2%

0%

-2%

Most of the testers made what I would call “broccoli face” when they looked at the BB55-CB. The vast majority of the testers were not fans of how the putter looked, and had real doubts about its performance until they rolled a ball with it.

Truth be told, the testers never really warmed to the looks of the BB55-CB, or to it’s shorter-shafted brother the BB-55, but they loved the feel and the alignment. Their opinions on the looks warmed after making lots of solid putts.

Looking at the accuracy, the liking of feel and alignment probably matters more than not liking the looks when it comes to making putts. We will have more on the aesthetic to performance correlation in a bit, but the Bettinardi B55-CB scored 5th for accuracy, with an aesthetic ranking of 16th.

You can make putts with an “ugly” putter.

6th:  Odyssey Tank 2-Ball

Tank 2-Ball

Odyssey Tank 2-Ball

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+70%

+30%

-1%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+8%

+4%

-4%

If any putter had an unfair advantage in the competition, it was probably this 2-Ball. I would estimate that seven or eight of the testers told me a story about how they used to game a Odyssey 2-ball at some point in the past. Lining up the two balls with the ball to be putted was not a new concept.

The TANK 2-Ball did very well from in close, but its heavy weight got a bit more unruly at distance. Most testers thought that it would take some time to get the feel for it at long range.

This TANK 2-Ball is, of course, another counterbalanced putter. That makes 4th, 5th, and 6th place so far going to counterbalanced putters. Hmmmm.

7th:  Nike  MOD-00

Nike MOD-00

Nike MOD-00

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+35%

-6%

+17%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+14%

+6%

+2%

The Nike MOD-00 was right there with the pack leaders, putting up solid numbers, just not ones epic enough to crack the Top 5.

Testers liked the alignment scheme, and the feel. The consensus was definitely “I’ll be taking this home” with many of them.

I know that I just made a little commercial for Wilson Staff above, but Nike Golf’s equipment improvements definitely warrant further consumer investigation as well. Their putters have been exceptional for the past few years now. Remember that it was a Nike putter that won Golf’s Most Wanted Blade Putter last year.

7th:  Bettinardi BB55

BB55

Bettinardi BB55

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+98%

0%

0%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+8%

-6%

-2%

The short-shafted sibling of the BB55-CB also cracks the Top 10. While watching the testers putt, I knew that both BB55 versions were scoring well, but I would have though that this standard length version was scoring higher than the counterbalanced one.

This BB55 was definitely stronger in close than the BB55-CB, but the data suggests that the counterbalance provides an edge from distance.

Look for a further dissection of the counterbalanced versus standard performance in a future MyGolfSpy article.

9th:  Ping Craz-E

Ping Craz-E

PING CRAZ-E TR

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+81%

-9%

+2%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+14%

-2%

-4%

The Ping Craz-E TR brings our Pings in the Top 10 count up to four. The Craz-E did not score as well as the other three from mid-distance, but as you can see, it was exceptional in close.

The fact that there are four putters in the top ten that share the same insert is definitely worth looking into. While Ping may not have invented the concept of the off-center correcting insert, it does seem that with these mallets, they have developed that insert concept to a new level.

I’ve sent some inquires to Ping about the TR insert and its design process. Hopefully I can sit down with their putter people and get a more complete story on it to share with you soon.

10th:  Odyssey Jailbird

Jailbird

Odyssey Jailbird

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+17%

+1%

+3%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-4%

-8%

+2%

I’ll hand it to the Odyssey guys, when they come up with a concept, they push it to its boundaries. The Odyssey Versa Jailbird takes the black-white-black, perpendicular to the target line, alignment system and adds a more common siteline. Visually, the Jailbird is very distinct.

The familiarity of the White Hot insert in the Jailbird provided the testers with decent distance control, but they generally were not fans of the alignment system. Even from 5-feet, our testers were not confident that they were on the right line. The insert got it close, but knocking it in the cup consistently was another story.

10th:  SeeMore PTM3

PTM3

SeeMore PTM3

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+17

-4%

+5%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+12%

-6%

+2%

Tied for 10th is the highest placement for a SeeMore putter in any of the Golf’s Most Wanted competitions. I have always thought that SeeMore’s greatest weapon, the Riflescope Technology alignment system, could also be their greatest liability if the person using the putter does not understand how it works.

Regardless, the SeeMore PTM3 put up very respectable scores, especially when you compare them to the other compact, round mallets coming later down the list. Maybe the testers were a little more clued in to the RST workings this time, or maybe the PTM3 was more forgiving for the SeeMore uninitiated.

Regardless, the performance of the PTM3 shows that SeeMore can be right there with the big companies.

12th:  Odyssey Havoc

Havok

Odyssey Havok

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-24%

+13%

+11%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-8%

+12%

+12%

The Odyssey White Hot Pro Havok was a “cold dead hand” putter for one of our testers. I am sure that he will ask me about it when we are testing blades. He should want the Havok, because he just ruled the green with it. However, others did not find it so welcoming.

Testers commented about alignment issues when in close with the Havok, and the numbers show this confusion. One tester said that the straight alignment lines made for confusing optics when coupled with the curved body. Compare the Havok shape and scoring to the everything is straight BB55 and maybe we can see the impact.

Accuracy and makes may have improved from distance because the testers were not as worried about pointing the face of the Havok at the cup.

13th:  TaylorMade Daddy Long Legs

DDL

TaylorMade Daddy Long Legs

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+29

+22%

-17%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+8%

-2%

-8%

The TaylorMade Daddy Long Legs was similar to the TANK 2-Ball in performance. Testers loved it in close, but felt that the swing was a bit more unreliable at twenty feet. Like the TANK, the DLL is also counterbalanced, though this one was the short version of the counterbalanced models, measuring 35″.

More than one of our testers commented that they liked this length, as opposed to the longer counterbalanced putters, because it was easier to keep the grip end clear of the belly. If you played a belly putter at 38″ and now you have a not-to-be-anchored 38″ counterbalanced putter, you are in for some adjustment.

One tester suggested sit-ups to increase belly to putter grip clearance.

14th:  Mantis Mallet

Mantis Mallet

Mantis Mallet

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-14%

-16%

+4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-4%

+6%

-4%

Mantis Golf emerging into the golf market was one of the feel good putter stories of 2013. I’m definitely a fan of this green alien ship-esq design,  but this test is all about the numbers.

Testers liked the feel, liked the looks more than I expected them too, but just didn’t really put up stellar numbers with the Mantis Mallet. Most of the testers were even familiar with the Mantis putter, having rolled it at the huge local demo day last year.

Some were put off by the looks of the Mantis Mallet. It is different. Just wait until you see the Mantis B blade. That new Mantis will take its shot at being Golf’s Most Wanted in the coming months.

15th:  Cleveland Smart Square

SmartSquare

Cleveland Smart Square

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-37%

-3%

+8%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-8%

-6%

-2%

Let’s start with a big high five to Cleveland Golf for their participation. At the time the invitations went out, Cleveland was not that happy with MyGolfSpy’s views on the Smart Square. However, rather than deciding not to participate, they believed in this putter and sent the stick to do the talking. Regardless of where the Smart Square placed, I tip my hat to Cleveland Golf and I wish that all of our non-participating companies shared your product confidence.

Unfortunately, the dual squares did not seem to assist our testers, especially in close. A couple of guys suggested independently that the alignment would improve if the lines parallel to the face were blacked out, leaving two long lines down the length of the putter. I may give that a shot and see what happens, I’ll let you know.

15th:  Tour Edge v3.2

DSC_0004

Tour Edge DG Proto v3.2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+27%

-20%

-10%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+8%

-24%

+4%

The Tour Edge Exotics DG Tour Proto v3.2 did very well in close, but accuracy fell off dramatically outside of five feet. I would be willing to bet that this represents the influence of design on the required stroke at these distances.

At 5 feet, you can overpower the natural flow of the putter, driving the ball into the hole almost by sheer force of will. However, this gets less likely when the putt is longer. The heel shaft and deep toe hang of this putter really suits a strong arcing stroke, one very different from the other mallets in the test. Maybe the testers were really grooved in on a shallower arc swing by the testing, and this one suffered as a result, but that’s just speculation.

The DG Proto v3.2 was well received for looks by the cohort, scoring 7th overall, but they just couldn’t putt well from distance with it.

17th:  Bellum Winmore Midi Proto

Bellum Winmore Midi

Bellum Winmore Midi Pro

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-28%

-5%

-2%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+2%

-2%

+2%

I am sure that the guys at Bellum Winmore wanted their putter to place a bit better than it did, and maybe that’s true for most of the putters outside of the top slots. Personally, I see their middle of the pack finish as a strong one.

You may not realize it, but this Midi is the first mallet, ok maybe mallet-ish, putter from Bellum Winmore. I don’t mean first mallet design, I mean first mallet produced. Maybe it did struggle versus the pack from 5 feet, but it held its own at distance.

If Bellum Winmore can come out the gate with a competitive putter, just imagine what the Bellum Winmore guys will be producing down the road. I’ll be keeping a close eye on them.

17th:  Wilson Staff Vizor 2 M4

Wilson Vizor Level 2 M41

Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M4

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-15%

+2%

-15%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-4%

-6%

-2%

The Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M4 did not live up to the standard set by the M3. What can we pin this on? Maybe it’s the traditional versus atypical head shape. Could be the center-shaft versus heel-shaft design. The M3′s and M4′s DNA are definitely similar, but I think that the M4′s design fits a narrower subset of golfers and as such, just won’t perform as well in the hands of a broad test pool.

If this design looks like something you would normally play, I would bet that your numbers would be higher. I have confidence in the performance of the I-Lock alignment system and the playability of the Vizor 2 insert, but this design may just be too out there for our test pool.

19th:  TaylorMade Spider Mallet

SpiderBlade

TaylorMade Spider Mallet

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-30%

-16%

-2%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-2%

+2%

-2%

When one looks at the bottom ranking end of this year’s Golf’s Most Wanted field, it is easy to spot a design trend. The small, round mallets did not do very well. With the exception of the Odyssey Metal X MIlled #7, all of the other low scoring mallets are small, round mallets.

The TaylorMade Spider Mallet scored the best of these maligned mallets, but nobody at TaylorMade is throwing high fives for a tied-for-19th finish. Testers really liked the looks of the Spider Mallet, but that, once again, demonstrates the disconnect between looks and performance. Were opinions on looks as important as we all once thought, the Spider Mallet placing 3rd in aesthetics should have produced something better than 19th.

19th:  Piretti Bosa

Bosa

Piretti Bosa

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-25%

-6%

-14%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-4%

+2%

+4%

I was very excited when we added Piretti to our testing pool this year. What a great year they had with Stenson on tour last year, except for the part when he took the big paycheck at Callaway. Stenson rocking a Piretti Cottonwood II to the PGA Championship gave small putter companies everywhere hope, and something to shoot for.

Unfortunately, Piretti is welcomed to the Golf’s Most Wanted mallet competition with a tie for 19th. That’s not a nice way to treat a new friend, but when data dictates decisions, we need to go with what the data says.

Based on our data, the only thing that hurt tester performance than being a small mallet was being a small mallet with a plumbers neck. Our testers just didn’t sync with that design.

21st:  Bettinardi BB32

BB32

Bettinardi BB32

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-40%

-2%

-9%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-6%

-6%

+2%

As I just mentioned for the Piretti Bosa, the compact, round mallets had a rough time in the competition. With the BB32, the majority of the problem from 5 feet was a combination of distance and line. Misses were typically long, both to the left and the right.

I actually found this data very interesting as it was opposite to what we saw with some of the other putters that were muscled into the hole up close, but veered off at distance. The BB32 also reenforces the disconnect between looks and performance as it was ranked aesthetically highest among the four Bettinardi entrants, but finished well behind both of the BB55s in performance.

22nd:  SeeMore X3

X3

SeeMore X3

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-27%

-21%

-9%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-2%

-6%

+4%

While the PTM3 suggested that the testers were becoming clued in to the SeeMore system, the X3 results suggest otherwise. In light of the PTM3′s performance though, it is tough to blame the X3′s score on tester ignorance of the SeeMore system. Like the others down at this end, alignment and distance were the culprits.

The insert was in the X3 was not a tester favorite. They felt that the feedback from the insert was sub-par, and more than one wished that it was an insert-free milled head.

23rd:  Bettinardi BB32-CB

BB32-CB

Bettinardi BB32-CB

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-24%

-17%

-17%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-6%

+2%

-6%

Most of what I said above for the BB32 holds true for the BB32-CB. The extra bit of story on this one is that it seems to put a wrench in the counterbalanced is better theory. The admittedly small sample size of the putters in this test suggests that counterbalancing is worth pursuing for those looking for a bit of putting assistance, but benefits of counterbalancing may be on a per model basis.

Just because a putter is counterbalanced, it may not always be more accurate compared to a non-counterbalanced version. As I said before, the counterbalanced discussion is far from finished.

24th:  Odyssey Metal X Milled #7

MxM7

Odyssey Metal X Milled #7

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-36%

-29%

-4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-2%

-2%

+2%

For many of you out there, the last in class performance of the first fully milled Odyssey #7 is tough to swallow. How could this mallet, with its tour presence and overall player love finish in the cellar? One of you even commented about how different the results were for the Metal X Milled #7 compared to the Metal X #7 from last year’s competition. Great observation and question there.

The simple answer is that this #7 is not the same as the other #7 models. While year to year versions of the Odyssey “Fang” share the same #7 denotation, they are not the same in construction. Some are physically larger or smaller, and obviously, there are different inserts in the equation.

For this #7, the milled Metal X face and the larger size proved a fatal combination. While I personally do not participate as a tester in the Most Wanted Mallet process, I did spend some time with this #7. I like the #7, gaming a Versa 90° BWB #7 for a good portion of last season. I enjoy playing with that putter, and based on my love of milled putters, I was excited to roll the MXM #7.

To put it simply, the two #7′s didn’t feel the same at all. Something just felt off with the Metal X Milled version. Maybe it’s the weight, maybe it’s the way that the size effects the optics and stroke. Whatever it is, it was off for me, and for the testers as well.

I’ve read that some have had increased success with the MXM #7 after adjusting the weights, even trying different mass weights in the heel and toe positions. I’m going to experiment with the weights before dismissing this one outright. As with the entire test though, data is data and I can only report to you the numbers that the testers generate.

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And We Are Just Getting Started

You may be finishing this read, longing for more. Rest assured, more is definitely on the way. In this article, I have mentioned a couple of the putter things that we have cooking, but the most significant thing on the horizon is the 2014 MyGolfSpy Golf’s Most Wanted Blade Putter Competition. For that one, we have 32 blade putters from a variety of companies competing to be Golf’s Most Wanted.

Is there one in that batch that can touch the performance of the Ping Ketsch? I doubt it, but I also would have doubted that what the Ketsch did was even possible. Stay tuned flatstick fans, stay tuned.

More Most Wanted Mallet Coverage

2014 Most Wanted Mallet: The Contenders
2014 Golfs Most Wanted Mallet – The Results
2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet – Beyond the Data (This Post)

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golfs Most Wanted Mallet – The Results

2014 Golfs Most Wanted Mallet – The Results

Post image for 2014 Golfs Most Wanted Mallet – The Results

(by Dave Wolfe)

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Welcome to Day 2 of the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Mallet Awards. Today we unveil the most accurate mallet putter for 2014!

Remember in this competition, accuracy is everything. Here are the testing parameters:

  •  Location of Testing:  Outdoor Practice Green at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
  •  Ball Used:  2014 Wilson Staff FG Tour
  •  Number of Testers: 10
  •  HCPs of Testers: 2-20+
  •  Putters Tested: 24
  •  Total Balls Rolled Per Putter:  150
  •  Total Balls Rolled Per Tester: 360 over two sessions
  •  Time for each tester to complete test: Approximately 4.5 hours

 

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Accuracy Scoring

Yesterday in Day 1 of the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Mallet Test, we met the 24 competitors and once again reemphasized that accuracy is the ultimate factor that matters when we have our putter on the course. To assess accuracy, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet, recording the distance that each putt ended up from the edge of the cup. That means measurements were taken for 15 putts per putter with each tester, totaling 150 putts per putter!

Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted for the five and ten foot putts, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter.  Accuracy was assessed for the group of testers, not the individual testers.

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” Mallet Putter, should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.

Based upon our years of testing & data, we selected a total miss distance of 127.5 inches from the cup as the ideal accuracy value that a putter could achieve for a given tester. This number represents the total adjusted miss score for all fifteen putts for a given tester and equates to an average miss of 8.5 inches per putt.  Individual putters were then scored against this ideal accuracy value, with the final score representing a percentage of that ideal.  All numbers were rounded off to the nearest whole number. Here is an example of how the final accuracy score is calculated:

EXAMPLE: Accuracy Score Calculation

:: Total Miss Distance (all testers, adjusted for distance)= 1686 inches
:: Average Miss Distance Per Tester (Total/12)= 140.5 inches
:: Percentage of Accuracy Ideal Value (127.5/Average Miss Per Tester x 100)= 91%

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Why Looks No Longer Matter

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Some of you bristle every time that we say that looks of a putter need not be considered when assessing the value of the putter. Our data shoes that a golfer can putt well with a putter that they really don’t like the looks of. You will tell me that liking the looks of a putter, improves your mindset, making you more confident, and thus effective when you putt. You have a strong feeling that this is the truth. We have hundreds of putts worth of data and tester putter aesthetic scores that say it is not.

A putter’s looks may motivate you to buy it in the shop, but liking how a putter looks, or being loyal to the company that made it, will not make you putt better. It will just add another unused putter to your cache in your garage.

Even the “ugliest” of putters should start to look better and better to you as you hit the cup more and more often. I bet you will find that increased accuracy will actually end up positively influencing your aesthetic opinions.

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” –  The Results

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More To Come

The margin of the Ping Ketsch’s victory, as well as the four-in-the-top-10 presence of the Ping TR insert definitely warrants further investigation. How could the Ketsch be so dominant? Is it a perfect pairing of body architecture and the TR insert technology?

Don’t worry, we will be looking into this amazing win in much more depth.

We will also be looking at the other putters as well in Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet – Beyond the Numbers.

What was it that decreased accuracy for the other putters? Did they perform well up close, only to miss more significantly from distance? Was there an alignment scheme that really worked, or one that didn’t live up to expectations? We will get into the nitty gritty of mallet data.

For today though, congratulations go out to the top 5, and especially the winning Ping Ketsch. The Ping Ketsch’s accuracy was amazing, and definitely earns the title of 2014′s Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet!

More Most Wanted Mallet Coverage

2014 Most Wanted Mallet: The Contenders
2014 Golfs Most Wanted Mallet – The Results (This Post)
2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet – Beyond the Data (Coming Soon)

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