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Tony Covey MGS

*UPDATE* - 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test

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I've seen a few questions/comments on the website post, so I wanted to give you guys a quick update on where things stand with our 2015 Most Wanted Driver Test:

 

As far as the actual testing goes, we're *likely* a little beyond halfway done. 

 

I know to some that might seem like an unimaginably slow pace. We've lost 2 days to snow storms, and one to a family emergency, but otherwise we're testing M-F from 10AM to 5 PM for the last 4 weeks. 

 

We have 20 testers total charged with creating a valid sample size with each of 30 different drivers. We had planned for 120 hours, but I think we're going to run a bit over that. We're not willing to cut corners for the sake of expediency.  Doing testing the right way, using data collection and statistical analysis techniques we've learned from R&D guys at some of the biggest names in golf takes time. We're unbelievably comfortable with that.

 

The data we're getting from our new Foresight system is absolutely incredible.

 

And speaking of the data...I haven't looked at it in any sort of analytical way. Any suggestion of relative performance at this point would be anecdotal at best.

 

Certainly there are clubs some guys like better than others. Some that are near universally liked, some that are near universally unliked, and plenty in the middle.

 

As we have seen in year's past, adjustability offers a tremendous advantage.  We generally think (and fit) in terms of face angle rather than loft, but we're also seeing benefits from being able to move weight around. Where we've had different stock shafts to choose from, as you might image, we're often able to improve results. Quite frankly - arguments against adjustability border on delusional at this point. We leverage the benefits year in and year out. Some times stock neutral works great, but adjustability opens a lot of doors when it stock/neutral won't get it done.

 

Some quick notes on the test pool:

 

Our goal this year was to represent real golfers. Robots don't play golf, and the population of golfers as a whole is a lot more diverse than scratch to low single digit golfers who generate 160 MPH ball speed. It was important to us that our test pool be both varied and well balanced.

 

Our testers range from college age to 70-something

Their handicaps range from scratch (or just about) to 18

We have a couple of guys who don't always generate 80MPH of club head speed, and one who generates over 170 MPH of ball speed.

We have guys who are able to produce near ideal launch conditions with nearly any driver in our test.

We have guys who launch too high, or too low. They spin the ball too much, and no head or shaft combo will ever get them to 14/2100 or 17/1700...they are who they are; real golfers.

They are college players, salesman, private investigators, golf professionals. Working class to country club general manager. They are just like the rest of us.

 

Any questions?

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Sounds good to me, I'm looking forward to the results, but doing it right is well worth waiting for!

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I LOVE golf and I'm sure these guys do to, but pounding balls 5 days a week for a month, indoors, has to be getting old.  That said, I can't wait to see the results.

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I LOVE golf and I'm sure these guys do to, but pounding balls 5 days a week for a month, indoors, has to be getting old.  That said, I can't wait to see the results.

 

With 20 guys in the mix, nobody hits more than 3 days a week, and most are on a 2x weekly schedule. The college kids were on Christmas break, so they got a late start. We have a couple of guys taking vacations during the test, so they'll have a couple of weeks off (while they go play golf in Florida), so nobody is really on overload...

 

except maybe the guy watching 20 guys hit 30 drivers.

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except maybe the guy watching 20 guys hit 30 drivers.

 

Yeah, thats definitely MUCH worse.

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Wow, from the diversity of testers you have assembled, you could almost start building a driver-to-golfer classification profile from the data you generate.  Most guys still won't get professionally fit, but I would bet just about everyone who buys a driver these days has spent some time at a golf store on a simulator and have a decent idea of their swing speed, spin rate, and launch angle.  And with your testing pool being as representative as it is, I have to imagine a large population of golfers could find themselves within the shoes of one or many of your testers.  I can imagine a simple system that would allow a golfer to get closer to the right driver for their specific game based on how a golfer with similar attributes tested with it.  At the very least, it would be a better place to start than advertising-based rack purchases.    Anyways, I do appreciate your efforts to keep things transparent and true to the data.

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Good. I hated golf digests panel because they always seemed to be skewed towards the 10 handicaps or less. Most golfers are 15 plus handicaps or simply just don't carry one. I'm hoping to see the results... not that I'm in the market for a new driver, but always like to see testing.

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If my driver doesn't test the longest there is something wrong...

OR, you need a new driver ;)

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As long as this test is completed before April, I'll be happy.

 

Mid-April is usually when my club has its annual demo day, and I want to be fully informed on the new drivers before I start my own tests.

 

I can't wait for your results!

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@ Double Mocha Man I'm taking your comment as Sarcasm because anyone who enjoys a double mocha must be that way. :)

 

Regardless it's a great teachable moment so I'm going for the gusto - all that matters about your driver or mine is that it is the best possible fit for you or for me - not that it finishes best in this testing or anyone else's for that matter. 

 

This testing though is far better at giving someone a starting point than the other ones.  Pick a tester or group of testers that comes closest to replicating your numbers and start there.

 

You have to love it!

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Looking forward to the results, planning on going to the big expo in Sacramento at the end of April and test some against my current gamer to see if i can self justify an update/upgrade. 

 

Also, what do you guys do with the drivers (and testing clubs in general) after the tests are complete? If the manufacturers let you, can you auction them off? could be a good fundraiser. just thinking  ;)

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Would love to see the "winner" of this year, take on the winner of last year.  IE is it worth it to pay $x more for the newest or just get last year's nicely discounted model?  Is it really "longer" "straighter" etc etc etc. 

Adjustability?  That is what lead tape is for :D Seriously, the value of adjustability is a store doesn't have to stock as many heads and they can better tweak the club to you. 

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Did Bombtech donate some drivers to this test? Sully is saying they did... After you guys bought a few

 

Yes. Sully provided several drivers, including his new 9* heads.

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Were these "fit/adjusted" to the testers or were they set at stock configurations and neutral and gripped and ripped? Just curious

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Were these "fit/adjusted" to the testers or were they set at stock configurations and neutral and gripped and ripped? Just curious

 

We describe it as a dynamic fitting process. Basically we have a good idea where the starting point for each golfer should be. As an example, For a guy who plays a 10.5 degree head with what you might call a mid/mid CG head, we can assume that he'll likely need to step up to 12° in a Tour Edge E8 beta, and there's at least a chance we'll need to drop him down to 10° in a G30 or other true low/back designs.

 

Where multiple shafts are available, we do make initial assumptions as well based on past history. Essentially, we can, to a degree, take what we learned about shaft performance in one head and use it to help us establish a starting point for another.

 

That's where we start and we tweak as we go.

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