Contest! – Win MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Most Wanted Driver ($1500 Prize Package)

Contest! – Win MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Most Wanted Driver ($1500 Prize Package)

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THE LARGEST, UNBIASED, DATA-BASED DRIVER TEST EVER PERFORMED IN THE GOLF INDUSTRY.

Launches Monday.

Monday you will get the performance you deserve.

But today, you pick who you think is going to win.  Pick all the winners and you walk away with part of a prize pack valued at over $1500.  The winner will walk away with $500 Cash + The 2015 Most Wanted Driver. So, who are you picking?

Power To The Player

Our testing procedures were significantly expanded. Our test included more golfers, more drivers, and more data than ever before.  28 drivers have been put to the ultimate test.  20 golfers just like you for spent over 150 hours in testing, over 10,000 shots calculated,  more than 250,000 data points scrutinized.

Our goal is to empower the consumer with truthful and reliable information that will help you identify the best driver for your game.

Prizes:

Entering is quick and simple.  All you need to do is post a comment with your guesses for the Most Wanted Driver in all 3 Categories we grade (Distance, Accuracy, Total Performance).

  • 1st Prize – $500 + 2015 Most Wanted Driver
  • 2nd Prize – 2015 Most Wanted Driver

In the event that multiple readers correctly identify the winning drivers, winners will be selected at random from qualified entries.

Contest ends on Monday, March 30th as soon as our Most Wanted Driver for Distance is announced.

How To Enter:

Leave a comment below with your picks for each of the following

  1. Most Wanted Driver for Distance – {PICK YOUR WINNER}
  2. Most Wanted Driver for Accuracy – {PICK YOUR WINNER}
  3. Most Wanted Driver for Best Overall – {PICK YOUR WINNER}

GOOD LUCK!

*As always, void where prohibited. Open to residents of the USA, Canada, and the rest of planet Earth.

The 2015 Most Wanted Field

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Most Wanted Driver next week. Distance, Accuracy, and Total Performance. Over 100, Below 100, and of course, overall winners.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Finally, MyGolfSpy’s real identity revealed!

Finally, MyGolfSpy’s real identity revealed!

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At long last, the founder of MyGolfSpy steps out of the shadows to reveal himself to his readership. MyGolfSpy.com is at a pivotal point in its mission and GolfSpy X wanted to personally tell you about the exciting things in store for the future.

 

Click here to see where MyGolfSpy is going.

 

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

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.

2015 MWD-5

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)

Buy the Best with MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted

Buy the Best with MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted

Post image for Buy the Best with MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted

Spring is finally here for all of us, and that means many of us are finally ready to get serious about what’s going in our bag this season.

Sure, guys like me are still dealing with a little bit of lingering snow on a fairway or two, but most of the courses are open – and that’s winning. Even if it ain’t green, at least it’s golf, right?

To help you fill your bag with only the very best gear and accessories we put many of our popular Most Wanted Test results all in one place (right here if that wasn’t clear).

Looking for a new driver or a new putter? What about a GPS and a new pair of shoes? What if before you fill your bag, you need a new bag? Stand or cart, we’ve got your back.

Will be publishing several more guides before the season starts, so stay tuned, and be sure to check with MyGolfSpy before your next golf equipment purchase.

2014 Most Wanted Driver

Who doesn’t love the big dog? Golfers buy more drivers than any other club in the bag. Why? Because drivers are awesome. This season we put 23 different drivers to the test. Whether you’re looking for extreme distance, pinpoint accuracy, or the best of both worlds, the results of our 2014 Most Wanted Driver Test will help you find a driver you won’t want to take out of the bag…until next year.

Check Out our 2014 Most Wanted Drivers 

 

2014 Most Wanted Mallet

On no other occasion has a single product we’ve tested differentiated itself from the field to the extent that one did over the course of our 2014 Most Wanted Mallet Putter test. We can talk about what suites your eye, the biggest names in golf, or the brands you love, but why haggle? We’ve found the best mallet putter of 2014, and you need to check it out.

Check Out Our Most Wanted Mallet Putter

 

2014 Most Wanted Stand Bags

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We know many of you would rather walk barefoot than spend one minute in a golf cart. We celebrate that. We want your carry experience to be everything it should be. To help make that happen we tested 27 carry bags from companies off all different sizes. Looking for the perfect blend of performance, function and comfort? We’ve got you covered.

Check Out out Most Wanted Stand & Carry Bags

 

2014 Most Wanted Cart Bags

We know not all of you carry your clubs on your bag. Many of you make use of a push cart, while others are happy to drive around the golf course. We won’t judge. Whatever your reasons, some of you (me too) just like a bigger bag. They hold more of our awesome stuff, right? Whether you’re looking for more dividers, more pockets, or just a space to stockpile your beer, we can help find you the perfect cart bag.

Check out Our Most Wanted Cart Bags

 

2014 Most Wanted Watch & Watch GPSs

Sure, you could just use your phone, but by the letter, that requires a local rule, and mobile apps aren’t always legal for tournament play. Our top picks and comparative feature guide, will help narrow down your choices so that you can find the Watch or Voice GPS that’s perfect for YOU.

Check Out our Most Wanted Watch and Voice GPS Guide

 

2014 Most Wanted Golf Shoe Guide

Recently published, our 2014 Shoe Guide tells you what you need to know about 29 different golf shoes. Whether you want spikeless or a more traditional cleat, we’ve broken down several of the most popular models in golf (and a few you may never have heard of or considered) to let you know which models can help you play your best, and which are to be avoided.

Check Out our 2014 Most Wanted Golf Shoe Guide

 

2014 Most Wanted Rain Glove

It is inevitable. Despite the warmer weather, into all of our lives (except for the Southern California and Desert crowds), some rain must fall. For those of you willing to brave the elements, our Most Wanted Rain gloves gives you all the info you need to play your best in the most unfortunate of situations.

Check Out our Most Wanted Rain Gloves

 

 2013 Most Wanted Driver

Sure, just about everybody in golf has freshened up their lineup for 2014, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find outstanding performance in our 2013 guide. The best part? Now that 2014 is here, many of the outstanding drivers on this list can be had for a fraction of their original price.

Check out the 2013 Most Wanted Drivers of 2013

 

2013 Most Wanted Mallet Putters

Just like our list of 2013s Most Wanted Drivers, many of the mallet putters on our original 2013 list remain viable…if not better than some of the newer models. While perhaps the discounts don’t cut as deep as they do with the big dog, there are still some excellent deals to be had on lasts year’s top mallet putters.

Check Our our Most Wanted Mallet Putters of 2013

 

2013 Most Wanted Blade Putters

How often do you really see something totally different enter the blade market. While our 2014 list will feature some new shooters, our 2013 list is filled with popular designs from the biggest names in golf. As with nearly anything else that’s so totally last season, there are savings to be had for those who don’t demand the latest and (not necessarily the) greatest.

Check Out our Most Wanted Blade Putters of 2013

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

CONTEST: WIN MYGOLFSPY’S MOST WANTED DRIVER AND MORE

CONTEST: WIN MYGOLFSPY’S MOST WANTED DRIVER AND MORE

Post image for CONTEST: WIN MYGOLFSPY’S MOST WANTED DRIVER AND MORE

#MYGOLFSPYMOSTWANTED – JOIN THE MANHUNT FOR THE #1 DRIVER IN GOLF

ATTENTION AGENTS OF GOLFSPY!

We are currently deep into our investigation to find the Most Wanted Driver in golf, but are having trouble pinning down a prime suspect. So we are calling on you, our “man on the street”, to help make the world aware of the largest  mandriverhunt ever in golf. 

BY ENTERING OUR CONTEST YOU CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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HOW TO ENTER:

Click on, save and then PRINT OUT the “Most Wanted” poster above in the article. Then put up that poster anywhere and everywhere possible, preferably in high traffic areas. We’re talking on the golf course, train stations, coffee shops or at a bus stop. But’s who’s gonna step it up with the coolest idea? Think BIG! Hell why not Tiger Woods front door even. C’mon it’s time to think outside the box here people. Then take a picture or video of you posting it or already posted and report back to us.

AND I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH: Winner’s will be judged on the most creative entries possible.

How and where you can submit you mission INTEL:

Each agent may submit Intel via each Social media site or by email ONCE. We will only accept ONE entry per contestant per social avenue and/or email, so make it count. These can be different locations however.

FACEBOOK:
Change your profile photo to the MOST WANTED poster and comment on our Most Wanted Facebook post letting us know you’ve done it (1 entry)

TWITTER:
Tweet a pic to @mygolfspy of your publicly displayed MOST WANTED poster and include the hash tag #mygolfspymostwanted (1 entry)

INSTAGRAM:
Insta a pic or video to @mygolfspy of your publicly displayed MOST WANTED poster and include the hash tag #mygolfspymostwanted (1 entry)

VINE:
Tag your video @mygolfspy of your publicly displayed MOST WANTED poster and include the hash tag #mygolfspymostwanted (1 entry)

EMAIL:
Send us the pic of your publicly displayed MOST WANTED poster at contact@mygolfspy.com subject: MyGolfSpy Most Wanted Contest Entry (1 entry)

 *All entries must be received by 11:59pm EST January 30, 2014
*Failure to adhere to rules such as adding hash tags or multiple entries via one social media will result in disqualification

THE PRIZES

1st Place:

The 2014 “Most Wanted” Driver + REWARD MONEY (EDITORS CREATIVE CHOICE FOR WINNER)

2nd Place:

The 2014 “Most Wanted” Driver (RANDOMLY SELECTED WINNER)

 

BLANK-prison-number-3

Good luck Agents

 

*VOID WHERE PROHIBITED

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

MyGolfSpy’s Top 13 Posts of 2013

MyGolfSpy’s Top 13 Posts of 2013

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The Year in Review

We know that even our biggest fans sometimes miss an article or two (or three or four). So just like we did last year, we thought it would be cool to round up what we think is some of our best work for the year and put it all in one place. It’s a great chance for you guys to get caught up, or maybe reread some of your favorite articles. It’s also a great chance for new readers to find out what we’re all about. Finally, it’s a great excuse for the staff at MyGolfSpy to reflect on the year that was.

Our selections include some of biggest and best reviews of the year, live event coverage, our most epic April Fool’s prank to date, and plenty of the commentary that illustrates exactly what it is that separates MyGolfSpy’s from the pack. We think these articles are some of our best work of the year.

ICYMI (For those not keeping up, that means “In case you mised it”), these are MyGolfSpy’s Top 13 posts of 2013.

 

TaylorMade CEO Mark King Delivers An Uppercut To USGA

Think there needs to be a second set of rules for amateur golfers? It’s a controversial topic for sure…and one that has been debated for years. But if you thought it was controversial before…just wait until you see what two of the top heavyweights in the game had to say.

What Taylormade Golf’s CEO (Mark King) told Score Golf’s Rick Young is potentially the biggest story to come out of this year’s PGA Show. In a nutshell King basically said that in 10 years the USGA would be a “non-entity” and also that they have become “obsolete”. Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein also weighed in with his point of view. We discuss both sides of the discussion and GolfSpy T tells you how he feels on the topic as well.

Read the Full Story

 

MyGolfSpy Labs: The Worst Kept Secret in Golf

What loft is your driver? Is it a 9.5°…maybe 10.5?

What if I told you that what you thought was a 9.5° was actually a 12°? Paying attention now? Whatever loft is written on the sole of your driver is probably wrong. To be more exact, in our study we found that 92% of the time it’s wrong!

Shocked? You shouldn’t be: the fact that most OEM drivers are stamped inaccurately is one of the worst kept secrets in golf. But why? We went straight to the biggest names in golf and asked, so check into the “MyGolfSpy Lab” to learn why your 9.5* is probably an 11*…and why that might not be a bad thing.

Read the Full Story

 

The New Callaway Golf – Things Are Different Now

Callaway Golf screwed me. I had specific expectations. That was my mistake.

Callaway wasn’t talking about making golf easy and fun, becoming the most desirable, or overthrowing The Kingdom. Instead, the Callaway guys…the ball guy, the club guy, even the PR guy – to a man they all fell back on a single word: Performance…and nothing but.

Bleh. And each and every time that word came up the confident team at Callaway spoke as if performance is the only thing that matters. They’re not new at this. They must know different, right? Maybe not.

Read the Full Story

 

The Fairway Wood is Dead

The fairway wood isn’t dead yet…but it sure as hell looks like it’s dying.

Yes, I’ve heard of RocketBallz, but in this case, Stage 2 means terminal. Never mind Speedline, Adams should call their next fairway wood the Flatline. Why call them fairway woods at all? Calling them panda woods seems more appropriate. Extinction is all but certain.

So how did we reach a point in time where the once mighty fairway wood is slowly going the way of the jigger? The way I see it, you can’t point the finger 3 places; neglect, hybrids, and the PGA Tour.

Read the Full Story

 

Callaway Golf Announces Revolutionary Versa Driver

CARLSBAD, Calif., April 1, 2013 — Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) today announced worldwide availability of the new Versa Driver. Originally codenamed “Oreo Smash” because of the distinctive black and white crown graphics and sledgehammer-like feel, the revolutionary Versa driver is designed for easy alignment, incredible control, and precise positioning at all points of the golf swing.

Read the Full Story

 

2013 “Golf’s Most Wanted” – BEST OVERALL

We’ve arrived at the moment you’ve been waiting for. After teasing you with the Longest Driver of 2013, and the Most Accurate Driver of 2013, it’s time to reveal MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Driver of 2013. Simply put, the #1 Club on this list, is the Best Driver of 2013. Period.

Read the Full Story

 

Tiger Woods is Killing Nike Golf

2013 should be a banner year for Nike. Most of the world has moved on from the scandal, Josyln James, and whatever mostly nameless Perkins waitress you want to throw in the mix. The Sergio mess aside, Tiger is healthy, he seems happy (as happy as Tiger ever seems), and most importantly for Nike, he’s not only winning again, one could make a legitimate argument that he’s playing the best golf of his life.

In any other sport this kind of success would be a slam dunk for the company in Nike’s position, but this isn’t any other sport, it’s golf, and while I’m hard-pressed to explain exactly how it’s different, I’m certain that it is.

If Nike is serious about becoming the #1 Company in Golf, and they’ve told me as much on a few occasions now, they need to realize they’ve outgrown Tiger Woods. He’s not only taken them as far as any one man could have, the company’s apparent continued reliance on him to take them even further is killing Nike Golf.

Read the Full Story

 

TaylorMade vs. Callaway: The Fight for #1 Gets Dirty

Golf companies make one ridiculous claim after another 10 more yards, 17 more yards. If even half of it were true we’d all be driving the ball 400 yards. Where’s Ralph Nadar when you need him?

Why do they even bother to put a number on it, they might as well just say “we’ve got the longest driver in golf” and be done with it.

That’s basically what Callaway did last November when they kicked off their Tweet to Unleash campaign. At the time, and for most of the spring, Callaway billed the RAZR Fit Xtreme as the longest driver in golf. They even had a hashtag (#LongestDriverinGolf).

Not surprisingly, TaylorMade had a really big problem with this…even the Twitter part.

Rather than take their dispute to court, TaylorMade filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division. The results of the action could change the future of how golf clubs are marketed.

Read the Full Story

 

2013 Swing Trainers – {Buyer’s Guide}

Last year I said that the Swing Trainer Shootout was The #1 Most Requested Review, even more than Rocketballz, and that may have been a stretch. This year, it is not a stretch to say that theSwing Trainer Buyer’s Guide is the single most in-demand review that MyGolfSpy has done. Since the PGA Show in January, not a week has gone by that I haven’t gotten a comment, email, forum post, or tweet asking when it would be done. And now, it’s finally here.

Last year we tested Golf Sense, Swing Byte, and Swing Smart. This year, the field has more than doubled to include: Swing SmartSwing ByteGolf SenseSwingTIPNoitom MySwing,SkyPro, and 3Bays GSA PUTT.

Which of this swing trainers is the best fit for you?

Read the Full Story

 

Results You Can Trust – The Best Way to Test Golf Clubs

Can You Really Have the Best Golf Club Testing System Without Using Robots?

It has been our goal from day 1 at MyGolfSpy to create the best golf club review process on the planet. We thought if we use a range of handicaps, swing speeds, and swing types, provide more data, more detail, and be more analytic than anyone else, we could do just that.

I believe we have.

Using humans, imperfect as most of you are, to test golf clubs was a no-brainer for us. We’ve put hundreds of hours into developing, tweaking, and refining our review process. We spent hours on the phone with designers, engineers, performance specialists and club fitters trying to make our process even better. At every step of the way we were certain that, despite a total lack of consistency (even the best players in the world can’t touch a robot for repeatable precision), golf clubs that are played by humans need to be tested by humans

Read the Full Story

 

Smashing the Box – TaylorMade to Buck the USGA Through Non-Conformity

The equipment world, might never be the same from this point forward.

Reputable sources are telling us in no uncertain terms that TaylorMade is planning to launch a line of non-conforming golf clubs.

That’s right. Non-conforming clubs from the #1 Company in Golf…or at least from one of the brands under the TaylorMade-adidas umbrella.

If it proves true, I don’t think it’s overstating to say that TaylorMade would be poised to flip the entire equipment industry ass-end-up, while setting up what could be a very tense showdown with the USGA over its governance of the recreational game.

This is potentially nothing less than the biggest equipment story since…well…maybe ever.

Read the Full Story

 

“2013 GOLF’S MOST WANTED – BLADE PUTTER”

Yesterday in Day 1 of the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Blade Test, we met the 28 competitors and also reemphasized that accuracy is the ultimate factor that matters when we have our putter on the course. Reviewing our trial conditions, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet. 15 putts per putter with each tester, gives us a total of 150 putts per putter.

Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted for the five and ten foot putt, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter. “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Blade Putter, should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.

Read the Full Story

 

Nike Golf Innovation Unleashed – Live Coverage

Nike held last year’s Non-Stop Innovation event was casual, informative, and for me anyway, really set the tone for Nike Golf’s 2013 equipment season. Fortunately, it also proved to be the most tweetable event anyone in the golf equipment industry put on all year.

At this years event, “Innovation Unleashed” (Nike HQ – Beaverton, Oregon), my expectation is that we’ll get our first real look at the Covert 2.0 metalwood lineup, the 3rd generation RZN golf ball, and since this is Nike, a healthy dose of 2014 footwear and apparel as well. Once again, we’ll be covering it live. Check back often to see what we’re seeing pretty much as we see it.

Perhaps this may seem like a strange choice for our Top 13 list, but live event coverage is most definitely a big part of our future plans, and it’s only going to get better.

Read the Full Story

 

As Always…There’s More to Come

We hope you enjoyed our 2013 reviews, commentary, and event coverage. We have even bigger things (HUGE things) planned for 2014.

Stay Tuned…

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Coming Soon – MyGolfSpy’s 2014 “Golf’s Most Wanted” Driver Test

Coming Soon – MyGolfSpy’s 2014 “Golf’s Most Wanted” Driver Test

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Last April we published the inaugural edition of our Golf’s Most Wanted Driver Test. Our goal was to conduct a comprehensive, data-driven test that would show how the top drivers of 2013 performed in the hands of real golfers just like you. The results speak for themselves.

For those who can’t wait for the 2014 version, I have good news. We’re going to be publishing our 2014 Driver Test much earlier this year.

Invites Have Been Sent

Invitations were sent to twenty different manufacturers early last week. Each was invited to submit anything and everything from their 2014 lineup. Our expectation is that both manufacturer and driver totals will exceed last year’s count. What that means is that once again we’ll be able to offer you the most comprehensive (#Datacratic) comparison of 2014 drivers you’ll find anywhere.

The rules for participation are the same.

Manufacturers have been invited to provide driver samples in a range of lofts and flexes so that that we best fit our pool of testers. Anything that can be purchased “off-the-rack” by the consumer is fair game. This includes  tour/pro heads and tour/tp shafts. If you can buy it, manufactures can send it.

For our part, we have 3 improvement goals for this year’s test: Test more drivers, simplify the data/scoring, and build for the future. I’ll expand on what all of that means as we get closer to publication, but sufficed to say we’re extremely confident that this year’s test is going to positively kill it. As the guys at Callaway would say…#BOOM!

Who’s In / Who’s Out

Thus far we’ve only had a few confirmed participants (these things take time…golf companies aren’t always the best at providing timely responses). That said, we’ve already received the first of the drivers for the test. I’ll be updating this post with that first entry later today (Tuesday), and will update this post continuously as more clubs arrive for testing.

Unfortunately for those of you who would like to see absolutely everything tested, we have had a few companies decline our invitation.

  • Both Tom Wishon and Geek Golf will not have new product available in time for the test. (for obvious reasons they aren’t able to participate).
  • Miura Golf  (Facebook) declined our invitation (irons remain their focus).
  • Bombtech Golf (Facebook) is a new-comer to the golf industry. They talk a good game, but apparently won’t put its product where its ever-expanding gob is. Bombtech is unwilling to “Pull the Pin”; telling us they won’t send “free drivers”. This is noteworthy considering their past willingness to provide samples to outlets whose testing standards are much less rigorous than our own. Then again…if you don’t actually believe your product can hold its own against the big boys, I suppose this is as good a way to hide as any.

We’ll also keep the list of companies who decline up to date as well, as past experience has taught us that you’re extremely interested to know who declines to have their products tested. If you want to see those products tested, we encourage you to reach out and share your passion with those companies who have chosen not to participate.

The Competitors

As drivers arrive and are formally announced as part of our test I’ll be adding photos and a brief introduction for each.

Wilson Staff FG Tour M3

Last year was a proof of concept year for Wilson Staff. With the D100 doing well at retail, former Adams designer, Michael Vrska, was given the greenlight to push ahead with the FG Tour Series. The FG Tour M3 is Wilson Staff’s first ever adjustable driver. The dark matte grey 460cc head is adjustable from 8.5° to 11.5°.

Wilson FG Tour M3-7

Wilson FG Tour M3-2
Wilson FG Tour M3-1-2
Wilson FG Tour M3-4
Wilson FG Tour M3-2-2
Wilson FG Tour M3-6
Wilson FG Tour M3-1

Stock Shafts: Aldila RIP Phenom50, Aldila RIP Phenom NL 60
Retail Price: $349.99

Please Come back

As I said, we’ll be updating this post with info and pictures as new drivers arrive for testing.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Driver Test – Beyond the Numbers

MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Driver Test – Beyond the Numbers

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When we conceived of this test we wanted it to be about one thing; performance data – and not a damn thing more. So we gathered that data. Using our launch monitors we collected a ton of data to help us determine the longest, most accurate, and best overall drivers of 2013.

That’s pretty awesome stuff, but even data-heads like us realize that some of you want us to go beyond the numbers. For those who want to know what we learned about adjustability, the impact of paint, and all of that other stuff that’s part of a golf club’s design, we put together this post to give you a bit more insight into the testing experience, and a better idea of why each club performed that way that it did.

Adjustability

While I’m certain it would be interesting to have a variety of golfers test the R1 at every conceivable setting to find out exactly what the impact of adjustability is, that was far beyond the scope of this test. We did however leverage adjustability whenever possible.

Simple face angle (I suppose some would call them ‘loft’) adjustments proved very effective in those cases where we had the need and the ability to alter where the ball would initially start.

Finding the ‘right’ setting with the 3 all-in-one models (R1, Covert, AMP Cell) proved a bit trickier as each has its own nuances (AMP Cell performed better at lofts less than what were expected, while R1 performed better at lofts greater than expected). While there were no absolutes, and we can’t be absolutely certain we nailed the ideal configuration in every case, the changes we did make, even small ones, produced appreciable differences in ball flight.

The actual benefit to the guy who buys off the rack and may not fully understand the implications of each change might be is less certain, but given that most of these models now have supporting mobile apps (making them more golfer-friendly)…all other things being largely equal, it’s hard to make a strong argument for buying a non-adjustable model.

Paint

While quite a lot gets said about paint, the reality is it is seldom an actual issue. While paint and graphics and alignment aids were a big topic of conversation during the initial round of testing – and none discussed more than the pair of TaylorMade drivers, by the time testers got to the second round, most had stopped caring.

Blake probably summed it up best when he said, “After a few shot with the drivers that have the busy graphics; white, orange, blue, red, swooshes, aiming alignments, they really become a non-factor when hitting. You stop paying attention to them”.

The Other Subjective “Stuff”

When it comes to the subjective stuff (which we don’t score any more) we’ve always believed that looks mattered above all else, but as we got deeper into our testing what we found is that, as Blake suggested, there comes a point when the golfer stops caring what the club looks like.

The closely linked qualities of sound and feel proved much more indelible. If a tester didn’t like the way a driver looked, he got over it. If he didn’t care for the sound and feel we heard about it every session, and in some cases on nearly every swing. It’s the single reason why some testers didn’t like certain clubs.

Before performance even becomes a consideration, looks are what draw you to a club, but sound and feel are what keep you there.

Being Different

I’ll touch on this a bit more when I discuss each club individually, but I think it’s worth putting up here at the top as well. If you look at the field as a whole, most of the drivers have more in common than not. Most have similar designs, shapes, swing weights, and even shaft lengths.

There’s an inherent equality to most of the designs that makes moving from club to club almost natural.

Of course, despite our best efforts to keep things level, my suspicion is that on those occasions when a club was noticeably different than what the testers hit before it, there were almost certainly performance issues that arose as a result.

The 3 clubs I suspect suffered most from our testing procedures are Wilson’s D-100, Geek’s No Brainer, and Wishon’s  919THI.

With the Wilson and Geek the issue is weight. The ultralight Wilson is unlike anything else in our test. It’s beyond ultra-lightweight, even compared to Callaway’s lighter-weight XHot.

The No Brainer is comparatively heavy…perhaps even Ultra-Heavy. We quickly learned that it simply wasn’t fair to ask our testers to hit the two back to back (a bit like moving from a pool noodle to a sledge hammer), so we did what we could to space them out. Nevertheless, transitioning to and from either after hitting anything else was clearly an issue for our testers.

Tom Wishon (who like Geek doesn’t really do “stock”) elected to send his drivers with 44” shafts. While initially the accuracy results were compelling (off-the-charts good, actually), over time our testers began to struggle a bit with the shorter shaft (which I know sounds counterintuitive).

When you consider that our Wishon samples were a full inch shorter than anything else in our test, and 1.75” to 2” shorter than the majority, it’s not unreasonable to think that being different (even to a degree that often benefits the golfer) in this case proved detrimental when hit alongside a multitude of longer models.

Tested differently, it’s likely each of the 3 could have performed better.

Beyond the Numbers

While you’ve seen the numbers, obviously they can’t tell the entire story. We thought it might be beneficial if we took you behind the numbers to hopefully give you a better idea of how our testers perceived certain clubs, and perhaps explain some of the reasons why each club performed the way that it did.

Adams (Speedline S and Speedline Super S)

In my estimation the Adams Speedline Super S was one of the bigger surprises of the test. Our slower swing speed players hit it very well, and despite a design that doesn’t allow for lofts lower than 9.5° our higher swing speed players posted better than expected numbers – and for my money, it’s one of the straightest drivers in the test, and for whatever reason it looks bigger than anything else we tested. If big gives you confidence, nothing will make you more sure of yourself than the Super S.

I’ve got an Adams-tipped Matrix 8m3 on-hand, which is all the incentive I need to see what can happen with a more customized Super S combo.

A few testers were put off by the sound (easily the loudest driver in the test), and as you might expect there were some grumblings about TaylorMade ruining Adams with white paint, but overall there’s little not to like about the Super S.

Surprisingly the Super LS didn’t fair quite as well as we expected. Like the Nike VRS Covert, and Cobra AMP Cell Pro, it’s entirely possible the LS suffered from the Kuro Kage problem (not saying it’s a bad shaft, it’s simply not a good fit for our testers).  Much to my surprise, given the proud tradition of the LS line, it turned out to be a driver that excited no one.

While not quite as loud as the Super S, it’s clear that Adams driver design has gone in a different direction the last couple of years. Guys who loved Adams drivers from previous generations may find themselves nostalgic for the good old days.

Callaway (XHot and RAZR Fit XTREME)

By now you probably know that Callaway drivers performed insanely well for us. While for other drivers we’ve spent time trying to figure out what went wrong, where Callaway is concerned, the bulk of my time has been spent trying to explain why things went so right.

For its part the RAZR Fit Extreme was an exceptional performer for the higher swing speed players. It proved insanely long for a subset of our testers, and when a driver is long, it’s almost always fun to hit. And oh man, is the RAZR Fit XTREME fun to hit.

Despite the all the positives for the higher swing speed player, it’s not a driver we’d in good faith recommend to slower swing speed players. Our testers in that category suffered a bit, and XHot left little (ZERO) argument that it’s the better choice for the sub-100 MPH crowd.

For the right golfer, however, RAZR Fit Xtreme is full-on beast mode 24/7, which is why it makes my personal Top 5.

And then, of course, there’s XHot.

One of the late arrivals to the test, XHot basically stole the show (and first place overall). Slower Swing speed players hit it really long and straight, while higher swing speed players hit it almost as long, and every bit as straight.

If you’re looking for an explanation for what separates XHot and RBZ2 (the other real star of this test) from the pack, the answer is pretty simple; they outperformed the heard at every ability level and every swing speed…and Xhot hot did it just a little bit better.

Cleveland Classic Custom XL

The Cleveland Classic XL Custom is arguably the under-appreciated workhorse of our test.  The one word description is steady. The thing is a Clydesdale (without the affiliation to lousy beer).

Apart from telling us they liked the “classic” looks (duh), the truth is there wasn’t much conversation about the Classic. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why when you look at how consistently accurate it was across the board. Everybody found fairways with Classic.

Distance didn’t prove to be in the upper echelon for our testers, but there’s definitely something here.

It’s a special driver; I just haven’t been able to prove it yet. It’s an easy lock for my personal Top 5. I just really enjoyed swinging it.

Toss the Classic in with the VRS Covert as one of the few I’d be extremely interested in putting a few different shafts in to see what improvements we can find.

Cobra AMP Cell

Cobra’s AMP Cell (and AMP Cell Pro) proved to be one of the more interesting drivers in our test. While a couple of testers asked why – if Cobra was making the driver in so many colors, why couldn’t just make it in black – most actually found something they liked among the selection (I still love the blue).

What’s probably most interesting about the initial fitting process we did was the discovery that almost to a man, our testers did better with lofts lower than that what they would normally play. 10.5 guys did better at 9.5, and 8.5 guys did better at 7.5.

While the AMP Cell was one of the top performers for accuracy, from a distance perspective it would appear to lack the pop of some of the others (the Pro model did fair slightly better than the standard). Given that the Pro model comes stock with the Kuro Kage, there’s some suspicion here that a shaft change could have a significant impact.

Geek No Brainer

Joining Wishon from the custom/component market was Geek’s No Brainer. As you might imagine, the bright orange head that our slower swing speed players tested generated a fair amount of chatter, and some of it wasn’t completely positive. Our senior tester joked, “I couldn’t play this when I wear my green outfit, it would clash”. I’m pretty sure Lou doesn’t even have a green outfit.

Most telling with the Geek is that our testers missed predominantly to the right (more so than with any other club in our test), and for some the No Brainer simply wasn’t competitive for distance.

As I mentioned previously, the bigger issue for the No Brainer is the heavier than normal weight. Transitioning from lighter weight drivers wasn’t easy for our testers, and I think it’s reasonable to speculate that the No Brainer’s numbers suffered for it.

With more time to adjust and with the right shaft we think the No Brainer could perform much better. If nothing else it offers classic driver feel and exceptional feedback. It’s definitely worth a look if you can get your hands on one.

Mizuno JPX-825

Not completely unlike the Wilson D-100, the Mizuno JPX-825 definitely suffered from a lack of fitting options. While Mizuno does offer an X-flex stock, the lack of an 8.5 head proved detrimental to what is one of the higher launcher, higher spinning drivers in our test.

This was especially true for our 2 highest swing speed players who unquestionably would have seen better results with less loft, and perhaps a second stock shaft offering to compliment Mizuno’s Orochi.

On the positive side, many testers loved the aesthetic qualities of the JPX-825, and the fastest of our sub-100MPH testers not only loved the club, he put up the numbers to back it up.

Nike VRS Covert

Expectations were high for Nike’s mystery wrapped, red enigma. It’s hard to pinpoint why the VRS Covert didn’t produce the kind of numbers many (including nearly all of our testers) expected it would.

Like the Wilson D-100 the VRS accounted for some of the longest drives in the test, but it struggled to maintain any consistency, especially among our slower swing speed players.

In all we tested 4 clubs with some variation of the Kuro Kage shaft in them; none cracked the top 10, and as we’ve hinted, the suspicion is the shaft might be the larger part of the issue.

Without question a few of our testers would love to try the Covert again, albeit with some different shaft options.

You can count me among them. As just about every Nike driver in the VR Series has, the Covert actually performed pretty well for me. It also happens to be one of my personal Top 5.

PING (Anser and G25)

Not surprisingly PING offered up a couple of very strong, well-round performers for our test. The G25 was by far the more popular of the two (and arguably the most popular driver in the entire test). While it’s not a surprise that it found its way on to all 3 of our sub-100 swing speed players’ short lists, it’s telling that our higher swing speed players also thought very highly of the G25. Despite being the highest launch, highest spinning driver in the current PING lineup, our higher swing speed players posted some absolutely monster drives with it. In my estimation, it’s the most well-rounded driver in the current PING lineup.

While it wasn’t shown the same amount of love as the G25, overall the Anser actually produced the better average result for our testing pool. Not one of the longest in the test, the Anser hovered around the top group for accuracy at every level, and was far and away the most consistent driver in the test. You might not get every bit of possible distance on a solidly struck ball, but you’re not going to lose much of anything on mis-hits either.

What always impresses me about PING is that as other manufactures continue to get mixed results out of the “designed for” shafts they put in their drivers year after year, PING engineers continue to produce homegrown TFC shaft after TFC shaft that outperforms many high-end aftermarket shafts.

PowerBilt AirForce One DF

PowerBilt’s original AirForce One is a bit of a cult classic around here and truthfully I don’t think anybody who was involved in that test would have been surprised to the see the new DF finish #1 overall. As it turns out, a couple guys did struggle with the AFO, while another (Blake) put up what were arguably his best numbers of the entire test. While PowerBilt hasn’t been on the tip of many tongues in quite some time, there’s some performance evidence that suggests that maybe it should be.

What our testers didn’t like about the AFO were some of the aesthetic choices.

“It’s named after the most important plane on the planet, and they gave it tramp stamps”?

There’s also a brandwashing/brand aversion (fallout from the infomercials for the original) that clearly impacts how some testers perceive the brand. As one tester told us, “I might play it, but I’d put a Titleist headcover on it so none of my friends would find out”.

It’s not fair to PowerBilt given how well the club performed for us, but it’s a great illustration of how far beyond performance the buying equation extends.

TaylorMade (R1 and RBZ Stage 2)

Having witnessed every moment of the test, I’m convinced the RocketBallz Stage 2 and R1 earned their respective spots in the overall Top 3. Not that one can really feel sorry for TaylorMade, but it’s a shame that there are some who believe TaylorMade is all about hype over performance. Based on our results, that’s anything but reality. The company did an absolutely outstanding job creating two well-balanced drivers that flat out perform.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns of course. Even if we now know it ultimately becomes an afterthought, the paint scheme of each generated a fair amount of grumbling. Some liked one more than other, but overall, nobody really loved either of the graphics.

Some told us they think the R1, is too complicated (hosel, weights, sole plate), and that the noise (not quite as loud, but sharper than the Super S) is distracting (and slightly obnoxious). Nevertheless, pretty much everyone hit the R1 farther than most.

For me the RBZ Stage 2 is the biggest surprise of the entire test. I went into this thinking I wanted an R1, and came out of it certain that I want a RBZ Stage 2 in my bag. My numbers were insane (short of Mark’s performance with the JPX-825, it was the best individual result of the entire test).

In fact, when you look at the numbers across the board, you can make a legitimate argument that for those who weight distance (compared to accuracy) only slightly higher than we do, that TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 was the best driver in this test.   I’m not going to lie, it’s my personal favorite of the bunch (even if I don’t love the paint), and the one that will most likely find its way into my bag this season.

Titleist (913 D-Series)

With the possible exception of the VRS Covert the 913D was the club our testers told us they were most looking forward to testing, and I think it’s safe to say it didn’t disappoint. The 913 was mentioned more than any other club when our testers discussed the drivers they’d be most inclined to put in their bags. Perhaps more surprisingly given the Titleist rep, our slower swing speed players loved it as much, if not more than the higher swing speed players.

I haven’t been a Titleist guy since the 905 series, but if you were to ask me which club in our test I felt gave me the best chance to keep the ball in play, I’d almost certainly list the 913 first. It’s perhaps the most performance-balanced driver Titleist has ever produced, and the first since that 905 series that I’ve absolutely loved.

Given the multitude of stock shaft options available, most should find it possible to find a zero additional cost offering that fits their game.

Wilson D-100

Wilson largely pushes the D-100 as a game-improvement driver, which certainly supports the notion that Game improvement can be a load of fun. The downfall of the D-100 in our tests was the lack of either an 8.5° or even an X flex in the 9.5. That certainly hurt the D-100 as spin numbers for our higher swing speed players were on average just too high.

Controlling the lightweight design is also an issue for higher tempo players. As one tester told us, “I love hitting it, but I’d never trust it on a tight fairway”.

Those issues aside, it’s a driver that several testers mentioned they really enjoyed hitting. My take on the Wilson D-100 is that it’s the perfect driver for guys who just love to hit golf balls.

Debate about light vs. heavy is going strong, but the probable reality is that light is probably good for one guy, and heavy another, but what I can say definitively is that the Wilson D-100 produced some of the longest drives in our entire test – and it’s just so damn much fun to it.

Wishon 919THI

Tom Wishon is well on the record about his belief that most golfers would benefit from playing a shorter shaft in their driver. Our own tests concluded he’s right. So how did a driver with a 44” shaft, at a minimum, not finish #1 for accuracy?

For a long while there it looked as if it would. As we got into the last rounds of testing, however, the 919THI’s numbers started to drop. My suspicion is that as our testers got more acquainted with the 45.5”+ shafts in the majority of drivers we tested, the shorter shaft in the 919THI started to feel awkward, and performance no doubt suffered as a result.

There was, however, plenty of conversation about the 919THI during the tests. Admittedly many of our testers hadn’t heard of Wishon, but most told me they were pleasantly surprised. A few mentioned that aesthetically the club looks dated, but for the other intangibles like sound and feel, the 919THI is nothing short of excellent.

Overall all it was a solid off-the-rack showing for a club that would otherwise be a custom-only build.

Thank You

I’d like to wrap this up by publicly thanking all 13 of the golf companies who agreed to participate in our test. The cooperation and support of golf companies both large and small made this massive test possible. We look forward to doing this is again next year…bigger and better.

Also we’d like to say thanks to the 10s of thousands of you who’ve come here to read the results of this test, and a special thanks to the hundreds of you who have asked questions and actively participated in the discussion.

You’ve given us all the incentive we need to move forward with our next big effort.

We’ll have some details for you very soon.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Q&A: MyGolfSpy’s 2013 Most Wanted Driver Test

Q&A: MyGolfSpy’s 2013 Most Wanted Driver Test

Post image for Q&A: MyGolfSpy’s 2013 Most Wanted Driver Test

When we published the results of the 2013 “Golf’s Most Wanted” Driver Test we knew there’d be questions. And once we had results that showed TaylorMade had produced the 2 longest drivers of 2013, and that Callaway’s Xhot was the best overall, we figured we’d get pelted with a plethora of profanity laced accusations. We’re happy to report there wasn’t much of the latter (a testament to the quality of the individuals in the MyGolfSpy Community), but there were definitely some polite questions that deserved answers.

The following questions were plucked from emails sent to mailbag@mygolfspy.com as well as from the comments section of the 3 articles in the test.

You asked, we answered.

The Mailbag

While phrased 20 different ways, the most common questions (or statements letting us know in no uncertain terms that we did everything wrong) were focused around what you might call the conditions of our test.

Much to more than a few readers’s dismay we made what I can assure you is a very well-informed decision to test 100% stock vs. stock. In almost every case that meant clubs were received as described (with respect to shaft make/model, and length) on each manufacturer’s website. Some readers don’t think it’s fair to compare a 44″ Wishon to a 45″ to a 46″ Callaway to everything in-between. It’s not a question of fair vs. unfair, it’s a simple question of reality, and that reality is two-fold.

1. Manufacturers design drivers with certain performance specifications in mind. There is a philosophy behind every club design. The engineers at Titleist chose 45″ for a reason, just as the guys at Callaway chose 46″, and every other manufacturer in this test chose their stock specification with their unique performance specifications in mind. We tested as the manufacturer intended.

2. The average consumer still buys off the rack. The conservative number being thrown around is 60%, my guess is it’s significantly higher. Why there are plenty of us who agonize over every detail, the majority of consumers don’t give a damn about shaft length, or even what the stock shaft is. We buy with certain performance characteristics in mind. For a few it’s all about accuracy. For most, it’s all about distance (which incidentally is very likely the design philosophy behind the 46″ shafts found on the XHot and Wilson D-100).

So while some would have liked to see us stick an Oban Kyoshi in everything, cut it to 44.5″ and then test, that scenario doesn’t accurately represent how the majority of consumers buy their drivers. When most attend a demo day, or simply walk into a shop to hit clubs, they test one stock model against another and make their decision. It’s almost always stock vs. stock.

If you checked drivers at any club in the country, the exception would be to find more than a handful of non-stock upgrades on any given day. The average golfer doesn’t want to spend a penny more than he has to on a driver. A $250 shaft upgrade…c’mon. The reality is it seldom happens.

That’s not to say we didn’t consider testing with a single shaft, or custom vs. custom, but in those other scenarios you end up testing something else as a consequence. Put the same shaft in every head, and what you’ve done is not only test in a way that’s not relevant to how the world buys, you’ve tested how well a certain shaft (one that might not actually be available as a factory upgrade) works in a given head. That’s great, but it doesn’t come close to giving the definitive last word on how that head will actually perform for the average guy who buys it.

Even if we did custom vs. custom, unless we used the same fitter for every club (basically impossible given the variety of clubs in the test), you’re not simply testing the club, you’re also testing the quality of the fitter, or the number of options at his disposal.

While stock vs. stock does not cover every nuance and possibility, it most represents that which the average consumer considers when making his buying decision.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the other questions…

Q: For the average golfer to get a comparison with their own ability we would need to know more about the tester. Their age and handicap etc?

A: Handicap is not a sufficient indicator of a players abilities. Handicaps are what they are for a variety of reasons. For example: Some guys can’t hit a driver, some have mediocre iron games, and for others the trouble only starts when they get near the green (2 chips and 3 putts, and we’re outta here), and all three might have the same handicap.  But since more than a few asked, here’s a little chart that might be helpful.

Q: Sorry if this has been stated or asked already. Was the testing done inside or outside?

A: All of our testing was done indoors. When you’ve got 6 guys testing 17 clubs over an average of 6 sessions, it’s imperative to keep the playing field level – especially when you’re testing primarily for distance. That means controlling the elements (temperature, humidity, wind). Indoor setups are perfect for that.

Q: What happened to the Ping I20 – #1 last year

A: Initially the plan was to limit each manufacturer to a single driver. We expanded the field to allow a 2nd driver from a few companies, but as the oldest driver in the PING lineup, the i20 wasn’t an ideal fit for a 2013 driver test.

Q: I’m curious why your top driver for “12, the Bridgestone J40 was not in the test.  I have it in my bag.

A: The J40 tested exceptionally well for us, but when we were putting together a list of drivers to include the facts are that the J40 was released more than 2 PGA Shows ago (sort of an unofficial measurement of time we use around here). While it’s still the current model for Bridgestone, a driver we reviewed in 2011 wasn’t an ideal candidate for a 2013 test.

Q: Looks like while it may be the best of 2013 it’s still not better than older technology, assuming the scoring algorithm hasn’t changed. Someone from MGS care to weigh in?

A: Fundamentally the system is largely unchanged in terms of how we look at the numbers themselves; however, there were a number of adjustments that had to be made to better allow us to compare 17 driver simultaneously. Given that each tester’s score with a given club is relative only to his own ability (not the group as a whole), and that testing spanned multiple sessions, it’s very difficult to draw a true apples to apples comparison with previous reviews.

Q: The TM Stage 2 driver, was it the reg. stock model or was the Tour or possibly the Tour TP model.

A: Sub 100 swing speed players tested with the Standard model while testers with swing speeds above 100 MPH used the Tour model. TaylorMade did not provide TP models of the RBZ for testing.

Q: Would you say that the shaft is more important than the club head?

A: There’s no question in my mind that you can impact the greatest change (increasing/decreasing loft/spin) with the head. Tom Wishon will tell you that for golfers with an early release, a shaft change (other than a switch to a heavier model) will have almost no impact on ball flight. It’s not going out on a limb to suggest he’s right. I advise golfers to start with the head, and then use the shaft to fine tune, and hopefully achieve the ideal numbers.

Q: Did testers always use the same loft and flex?

A: That was originally the plan, but we definitely did some rudimentary fitting out of the gate. While most players were fairly consistent, Blake for example migrated between flexes (and even loft) depending on what club he was testing. Blake for example saw outstanding  (near ideal) results with the PowerBilt AFO DF in 9.5S, however; with the Wishon 919THI, the 8.5 X provided better results than the 9.5 S.

Q: Were the Titleist results for this group of testers generated using Titleist’s lighter driver shafts (Bassara 50 and 55)?

A: Most of our golfers tested the 913′s with the Diamana Plus series shafts. The one exception was our most senior tester who used a 50g Bassara in regular flex.

Q: Can you give a a better explanation regarding the meaning of Global FW %; are you saying that every tester hit exactly the same number of counted shots with each of the 17 drivers? And therefore, the 7% versus 5% example you give in the current explanation means that the testers hit 40% more fairways with the 7% driver?

A: Each tester individually hit the same number of shots with each driver, however, some testers hit more shots than others (e.g. Blake hit more shots than Mark – the range was 25-35 shots per golfer per driver). It’s an issue of fatigue level coupled with the late addition of a few clubs to the test. The best way to understand the numbers is to look at the Raw Data which shows FW% for each tester in the traditional format.

Q: It would be interesting to know how effective the adjustments on adjustable drivers were. Do they really work, or are they just hype?

A: We absolutely did take advantage of adjustability. Since most agree that with the exception of Nike’s FlexLoft system (and even that has some debate surrounding it)  it’s not possible to adjust loft and face angle separately, the application of adjustability becomes almost philosophical. My approach is to find the fixed loft head that best fits the golfer (not possible with the R1 and AMP Cell models), and then use the adjustability to hopefully effect where the ball starts (face angle). Depending on the tester that might mean opening the face (reducing loft), or closing the face (adding loft). While there are few if any absolutes in golf, more often than not, the guys who benefit from opening the face, either benefit, or at least don’t suffer, from the corresponding reduction in loft.

A perfect example of this from our test would be Joe with the PING G25. After his first few swings it became apparent that he was starting (and leaving) everything out to the right. There wasn’t much curvature to the ball flight, just a straight push. A quick adjustment to the closed position (more loft) produced much more desirable results.

Interestingly, the changes weren’t universal. A guy who got his best results with a closed face in one driver, often got better results with neutral in another.

The R1 and AMP Cell provided unique challenges from a fitting perspective. While both have a mechanism to either square (Amp Cell) or Open, close, or square (R1) the face when soled, the wide range of adjustability can create issues. At the highest lofts, both appear very closed, while both are noticeably open at the lowest lofts. Compounding the issues was the tendency for our testers to need less loft with the AMP Cell (more open than some testers like), and more loft with the R1 (sometimes more closed than our testers like).

Q: Great test, well conceived and carried out. I just can’t understand why you didn’t load up with all the guys who write reviews on retail and OEM web sites detailing their “300 yard, with a slight draw” exploits… Those reviews are above reproach, right?

A: Actually every one of our testers is capable of carrying it 300 yards…maybe even 400 (even 60 year old Lou who swings in the low 80s…it’s really fast 82MPH). We wanted to make are results of this test relevant to lowly hackers, so we turned on a strong headwind, and enhanced slice spin to give the appearance that our testers aren’t actually the god-like driving machines you find elsewhere. They are. We’re talking about super-human, Hulk-Like. Iron Byron with feet and an attitude. Hell, I just hit one 500 using only my mind and a 9 year old Maxfli Noodle. My brain is the longest driver in golf. I’m that good.  There goes another one.

And finally there was this guy…

Q: Don’t agree with this at all. We’ve done hundreds and hundreds of fittings at our facility this year and this isn’t even close. Covert should be much higher, did you not test the Tour model?
The Xtreme is junk, and X-Hot is consistently longer…
How much did TaylorMade pay you for this?
Your testing is so bad, and so incorrectly done this type of crap is a disservice to people wanting information.

Mind you that in addition to completely missing the boat as far as this test not being about custom fitting, he never says where he works (even used a fake email address), but apparently he knows every detail of our testing methodology, which if his assertions are to be believed, involve little more than TaylorMade making a deposit into our bank account (I never even gave them the routing number).

The accusations are comical for several reasons (and I won’t even ask how much Nike paid him):

Firstly…there’s that crazy thing where we don’t take money from big golf companies. If anyone can find another golf site the size of MGS that doesn’t have a single big OEM advertisement anywhere on their site, then maybe we can start a conversation about the impropriety of influence, but the reality is you won’t find, and the reality is we don’t take their dollars, and that means our reality is we can print the actual results of our tests without fear of financial repercussions. And when all is said and done, sometimes the reality is that TaylorMade has a really good product.

Secondly…When these types of accusations get hurled it’s almost always TaylorMade who is paying us. Never Callaway, never Cobra, never…well basically never anyone else we’ve ever written anything positive about. TaylorMade is always the evil one. It couldn’t possibly be anyone else. And we’re the ones who supposedly have a bias.

Thirdly…and this is the real spikes-up, cleated kick in the junk. For those of you who haven’t been counting along, Callaway actually took home more awards than TaylorMade in this test. So if our friend’s logic is sound, TaylorMade paid MyGolfSpy to give more driver awards to Callaway. Makes perfect sense.

Paging loud-mouthed jackass, party of one…

Still Have Questions?

If you have any other questions, ask them in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to come back and answer each and every one of them.

Be sure to come back one more time (tomorrow) when we go beyond the data to share some inside information from MyGolfSpy’s 2013 Most Wanted Driver Test.

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)