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We've all made allusions to the Hot lists published by the two major golf publications.  In the end it is difficult to see them as anything but shills for the large OEMs.  I spent some time last night culling through the testers list for Golf.  I don't know any of those folks and certainly don't want to cast aspersions on them but the numbers that are provided as averages don't compute for me.

 

For starters there are very few launch angles above 14, in fact very few above 13 and the highest is 15.9.  If these are avid enough golfers to be involved in a test like this shouldn't they be better fit?  Perhaps the numbers came from the test itself and so they had to hit lots of head/shaft combos that weren't right.  Regardless it seemed to me that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of physics could quickly improve their driving significantly with better fitting equipment.

 

My big BS claim though is the ball flight listed.  26 of the 40, 26/40, 13/20, 65% have some sort of draw listed as their ball flight.  Be real, the only time that you find 65% of a field of amateurs hitting draws is in the championship flight of a club championship.

 

I play regularly with a large group of golfers - zero of them come to mind as players who are able to consistently hit a draw - some have a very, very nice straight ball (modern equipment) but everyone remarks when they see my draw - even when I take lessons my pro goes - "Oh yeah my one student who I don't have to work hard with to get a draw." 

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Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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I never paid much attention to these big name reviews as I assume there is a money influence. But it's interesting that you noticed this.

Launch monitors. Everyone thinks the lower the spin, the better, so they've created such drivers in response.   It's kind of like government crash test ratings for vehicles. They build the vehicles

I'm not going to push Silver and Black on this one - I get where he's coming from - it's very frustrating to get stuck behind folks who exhibit poor etiquette.   If it's hoops I want the guy on my t

Very good observation Rev.  I also peruse the staff of the "SH$#List" to see what their age, occupation & Handicaps are.  I never seem to find someone similar to me.....average joe weekly golfer.

Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft BACKUP DRIVER: Cobra F8 w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft  Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrid: Ben Hogan VKTR 3 Hybrid(18*) w/Recoil ES Hybrid(75 GM) regular shaft Irons: Wilson D7 5-PW w/Recoil 460 Regular graphite shafts Wedges: Cleveland RTX Zipcore(50*/54*/58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  Putter: 33" Evnroll ER2 Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).  Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco

 

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You're more observant than I, Rev.  I've never looked closely enough at the testers "bio's" to notice the draw bias.

What's In The Bag

Driver :titelist-small:

Titleist 913 D2 10.5* (set to 9.75* / Neutral) 46" Paderson KINETIXX Kevlar Green - R

Fairway Wood

Tom Wishon 949 MC 16.5* Fujikura Speeder 569-A

Hybrid  :cleveland-small: Hibore 22* Aldila VS Proto Blue

Irons  :ping-small: G series 5-P

Wedges :ping-small:Glide 54* SS / 60* TS - SCOR 53*

Putter     :nike-small: Nike Method 001 / P2 Reflex grip 35"

Ball

Master Grip Tour C4

Bag

Datrek DG Lite  

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Rev, so you're saying that anyone that has a fade (read slice) should look elsewhere for driver recommendations?  Just another reason to hold out for the MGS Most Wanted!!

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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This is one thing I've had to plead with some OEM's for years when doing reviews. I try to explain to them that sending me whatever stock club they have won't necessarily FIT me. All they want to know is loft and shaft flex. I had a lot of clubs over the years I pulled the stock shaft and got into something that would actually give the head a chance to perform on my own dime. It wouldn't have been fair otherwise. I would have been reviewing a shaft essentially that was all wrong for me. What good is that?

 

I thank Golf Digest in some ways, as they were my inspiration for doing my own thing in response to their advertising dollars parade. I really have wondered about the fit of these clubs for many years myself with these hot lists. Especially iron testing and wedge testing.

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"Glute Activator"

 

*Please accept my contributions of participation and intellectual property sharing as substitute for monetary renumeration.

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I never paid much attention to these big name reviews as I assume there is a money influence. But it's interesting that you noticed this.

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 Ping G410 LST 10.5 set -1* Flat Accra TZ5 65 M5

Callaway Epic Flash 15* set -1 Aldila ATX Blue 75TX

Ben Hogan FT Worth Hi 19* KBS Tour V X

Ben Hogan PTX Pro 4-P KBS Tour V X 2* Flat 4* loft increments

Hogan Equalizer 50* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 X 2* Flat

Hogan Equalizer 56* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 2* Flat

Hogan Equalizer 62* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 2* Flat

EVNROLL ER7 P2 Aware Tour
Scotty Cameron Newport2 Buttonback P2 Aware Tour Grip
Snell MTB-X

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I never paid much attention to these big name reviews as I assume there is a money influence. But it's interesting that you noticed this.

 

 

Same. Before I knew better and discovered this site, I went strictly with what was posted from these sites. MyGolfSpy opened my eyes to try anything, doesn't have to be from the big boys, which I did and now my bag has all sorts of things in it. Before, it was 14 clubs, 1 name lol

DRIVER:                  :mizuno-small:  ST190, 10.5*, Fujikura  Atmos Black Tour Spec 65g, Stiff flex, Golf Pride CP2 Wrap, midsize

HYBRIDS:    :adams-small:    Pro  2 hybrid 16*, Aldila Tour Red 75g, Stiff, Superstroke TX1 Midsize grip 

                        :mizuno-small:           JPX 850 hybrid 19*, UST Proforce V2 85g, Stiff, Superstroke TX1 Midsize grip                                  

IRONS:            :cobra-small:    King Forged Tour 4i-pw, KBS FLT, shafts, stiff,  Superstroke TX1 Midsize grips

WEDGES:        rsz_scor-golf-logo.png        50, 55, 60 degree wedges with Genius 12 stiff flex,   Superstroke TX1 Midsize grips

PUTTER:       :odyssey-small:    O-Works Marksman 33.5", Superstroke 1.0 Flatso grip w/ 50g counter core

BALL:          :bridgestone-small: Tour B X                                                     
                  
BAG:          :Ogio:              Cirrus Golf Bag 
 
Shoes:              Skechers                  Hexgo Control  Shoes

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That's some good digging.   I confess I never bothered to look at the testers' deep info before since I dismissed the whole damn test as irrelevant marketing PR from the outset.  They're probably just self reporting the numbers that they "think" they should be reporting.  

 

In my recent testing for the Paderson, I had several shafts and heads give me balloon high launchs around 20 with spins in the high 3000s.   In other words, a horrible fit.   These could be tamed, I'm sure -- after a 45 minute search PER CLUB for the setting and shaft combo that would most favor that head.    I just can't believe that these testers are able to do that for each club.   In fact, I can't believe that our own MGS test is able to do that with our test.   

 

As a result, most stock head & shaft combo's are going to crash and burn when compared to our highly tweaked custom set ups that we've compiled over the weeks and months.  Were I to be such a tester, about the best results I could report would be to separate 3 or 4 clubs from the crowd and say, "I think with work these happy few have potential to be something, the rest aren't worth fretting over."

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bag - SunMountain Synch with Ogio Synergy X4 cart
driver - :callaway-small: Optiforce 440, Paderson Kevlar Green stiff 46.5"
fwoods - :taylormade-small: Jetspeed, 3HL regular
irons - :taylormade-small:  Speedblades 3-8, 85g stiff steel, 2 up
wedges - :edilon-small: Scor 40, 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - :ping-small: Ketsch 35" slight arc, SuperStroke 2.0 mid-slim
ball - :titelist-small: ProV1x

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I agree that these had to be self reported numbers.  There's a guy on there who lists himself as a 2 and has a launch of 8.1 and an average drive of 282.  A 2, not properly fit?  Not likely and not likely that you are going to hit the ball 282 with a launch angle of 8 unless you are playing all of your golf on a runway.

 

Here's another remarkable thing - all of the listed spin rates are very low - I think there is only one over 3,000.  You know that's fooey!  High right and curving that way all the more is the order of the day for the majority of golfers.  Regardless of launch spin rates are almost always too high - they are a struggle for almost all of us.  Yet this tidy group of golfers with terrible launch angles has incredibly good spin rates.

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Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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I generally don't comment on how the testing is conducted or any of that stuff. Everyone has a business model. That's true for all of us.

 

My understanding is that most others testing only +/- 9.5 or 10.5 degree heads. Golf magazine tests the middle of the loft for any given club, which can lead to apples to bananas comparisons. 

 

Regarding launch numbers...it's next to impossible to get most people close to idea...especially when you're limited to stock options. Stock is designed to fit the middle of the bell curve (within the target market). Most of the time the target market is everybody, and that leaves a lot of us outside the curve.

 

But again, individual ideals are seldom reality. Guys deliver the club any number of ways (up, down, inside, outside...the permutations are endless). You can NEVER discount numbers because they don't look right.

 

We try and get the most out of the equipment we have at our disposal (multiple lofts, multiple flexes, and where available as stock, multiple shafts), but that still seldom gets us close to ideal.

 

Here's a bit of an average line from our test for you: 

Launch: 7.8

Spin: 2475

Carry: 283.2

Total: 303.1

 

Ideal is seldom best achievable. Same guy...

 

8.6

2111.3

283.4/305

 

By the way...he's a 2.something in the PGA program who routinely shoots even or better on one of the toughest golf courses in the area.

 

Conventional wisdom says give him more loft...what it doesn't tell you is that he's already lofted as high as he can go playing the softest shaft he can control with regularity, and whatever weights are available have been placed in either the rear or heel positions.

 

The numbers are what they are, and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. This as good as he's going to get with that club.

 

Here's another tester...same club:

11.7

5107.8

178.7/189.3

 

This is a guy who plays a VERY consistent pull fade. I could fight the spin with loft, but what the numbers don't tell you is that while this configuration may short him a few yards (his swing is the limiting factor, not the club), he's hitting balls literally on top of one another, and more often that not, is less than 10 yards off the center line. He's also playing a 9° head.

 

I'd also add that for most golfers I don't want to go above 14. If I can get to 15...16...17, it has to be without excess spin. TaylorMade's numbers (17/1700) work for distance, but almost nobody can actually get there (and you're paying a forgiveness cost to get there). Most of the rest of the industry likes 14/2100...I can get some guys close to that in some heads, but it's still a long way from a majority.

 

As for ball flight, we actually see a slight fade bias...maybe 60/40. The higher HCP guys tend to hit fades. Oddly it's the guys 5-10 who play consistent draws. The sub-5 guys...most of them can move it whatever way the want. That too can make it tough to test because they always want to 'try different things'.

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lol - I've always looking at the GD testing panel and thought to myself, "like I'm interested in your opinion anyway". I doubt that the majority of the test panel could muster up some sort of draw either, but here we are hanging on their every word in what makes something "hot".

I call BS too - but over half of the industry is driven by it anyway.

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Going back to T that's helpful in one regard.  But overall I'd expect that for every outrageously low launch low spin number I'd expect to see an offset like the one that you produced and I'd expect more - the more higher handicappers involved the more I'd expect to see the high spin and fade bias surface.  Your 40/60 seems about right there's is 65/35 draw - I don't buy it.

Additionally they aren't clear as to where the numbers are coming from.  I'm assuming these are the numbers generated from the testing but I could be wrong.  It would be nice to know up front who did what with what and for that matter what the base line might be with current equipment.

Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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I agree that these had to be self reported numbers.  There's a guy on there who lists himself as a 2 and has a launch of 8.1 and an average drive of 282.  A 2, not properly fit?  Not likely and not likely that you are going to hit the ball 282 with a launch angle of 8 unless you are playing all of your golf on a runway.

 

Here's another remarkable thing - all of the listed spin rates are very low - I think there is only one over 3,000.  You know that's fooey!  High right and curving that way all the more is the order of the day for the majority of golfers.  Regardless of launch spin rates are almost always too high - they are a struggle for almost all of us.  Yet this tidy group of golfers with terrible launch angles has incredibly good spin rates.

 

Is this because of higher spinning balls being produced to compensate for the club groove rule change?  Seriously, I don't remember OEMs specifically designing and marketing low spin drivers in the past and now almost every one has a "LS" model.  Or is some other factor driving the creation of these beasts?

What's in the Bag:

Driver: TaylorMade SLDR 10.5 (set to 11.5), Kuro Kage Aftermarket Only Blue 60S, NDMC+4

Fairway: Callaway Big Berth Alpha 815 14 (set to +2,N), Speeder 665 Stiff, NDMC

Hybrid: Adams XTD-ti 20 (set to 19.5), Matrix hQ3 Red Tie Stiff

Irons: Mizuno JPX 825 Pro 4-GW, KBS Tour Stiff, 1* flat, Blue PURE DTX

Wedges: Mizuno MP-T11, 56/13 & 60/5, DG Spinner, Blue PURE DTX

Putter: Bettinardi Studio Stock 15, 34", 5* loft, 2* flat, SuperStroke Slim LITE 3.0 

Bag: Mizuno Aerolite SPR stand bag

Ball: Wilson Staff Duo Urethane (summer), Srixon Q-STAR Yellow (winter)

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Or is some other factor driving the creation of these beasts?

Launch monitors. Everyone thinks the lower the spin, the better, so they've created such drivers in response.

 

It's kind of like government crash test ratings for vehicles. They build the vehicles around the test, rather than building what is truly safer or more sound. OEM's have built around the myth that low spin is all things for all people. Its not. Low spin is pretty hard to play, really. Pros can do it. Ams keep searching for the right new toy. It's a bit of planned obsolescense in a way. Keep the consumer confused and searching when nothing new can be built due to rules constratints. I mean, aerodynaics for instance. They did that 6-7 years ago already Its back and all new again? Whatever....

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"Glute Activator"

 

*Please accept my contributions of participation and intellectual property sharing as substitute for monetary renumeration.

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I was just looking at this:

testresutls.jpg

 

Tests like this, unless they re-shafted every single one of these to the same specs, are neigh useless.

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"Glute Activator"

 

*Please accept my contributions of participation and intellectual property sharing as substitute for monetary renumeration.

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I haven't see the ahead GD hot list, I will say for my own game that spin matters a great deal, if I hat a driver with a spin rate of 3000, the ball doesn't go anywhere, but if I can get that spin rate under 2500, the ball goes much farther. I do find it odd that non of the testers had spin rates over 3000, since almost all the drivers that I have tested have produced those number well above 3000.

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Lefties are always in their Right Mind

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I was just looking at this:

testresutls.jpg

 

Tests like this, unless they re-shafted every single one of these to the same specs, are neigh useless.

 

Re-shafting to use the same shaft and exactly the same specs in all the clubs? Do we need to accomodate testing to the 0,3% that don't buy standard equipment?

 

Regular golfers only buy standard clubs and only care about standard shafts performance. Testing standard specs is highly relevant. When we test clubs we let our readers know that they need fitting to get what's best for them, but we also declare a winner with standard specs. The most important job is to define what type of club it is. Who is it aimed at?

 

0,3% is a number I can't defend if someone disagrees :D I'm pretty sure it isn't a lot higher though.

 

You don't test golf clubs to find the perfect club for that specific player/tester. You test them to find out what type of product/club it is.

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I generally don't comment on how the testing is conducted or any of that stuff. Everyone has a business model. That's true for all of us.

 

My understanding is that most others testing only +/- 9.5 or 10.5 degree heads. Golf magazine tests the middle of the loft for any given club, which can lead to apples to bananas comparisons. 

 

Regarding launch numbers...it's next to impossible to get most people close to idea...especially when you're limited to stock options. Stock is designed to fit the middle of the bell curve (within the target market). Most of the time the target market is everybody, and that leaves a lot of us outside the curve.

 

But again, individual ideals are seldom reality. Guys deliver the club any number of ways (up, down, inside, outside...the permutations are endless). You can NEVER discount numbers because they don't look right.

 

We try and get the most out of the equipment we have at our disposal (multiple lofts, multiple flexes, and where available as stock, multiple shafts), but that still seldom gets us close to ideal.

 

Here's a bit of an average line from our test for you: 

Launch: 7.8

Spin: 2475

Carry: 283.2

Total: 303.1

 

Ideal is seldom best achievable. Same guy...

 

8.6

2111.3

283.4/305

 

By the way...he's a 2.something in the PGA program who routinely shoots even or better on one of the toughest golf courses in the area.

 

Conventional wisdom says give him more loft...what it doesn't tell you is that he's already lofted as high as he can go playing the softest shaft he can control with regularity, and whatever weights are available have been placed in either the rear or heel positions.

 

The numbers are what they are, and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. This as good as he's going to get with that club.

 

Here's another tester...same club:

11.7

5107.8

178.7/189.3

 

This is a guy who plays a VERY consistent pull fade. I could fight the spin with loft, but what the numbers don't tell you is that while this configuration may short him a few yards (his swing is the limiting factor, not the club), he's hitting balls literally on top of one another, and more often that not, is less than 10 yards off the center line. He's also playing a 9° head.

 

I'd also add that for most golfers I don't want to go above 14. If I can get to 15...16...17, it has to be without excess spin. TaylorMade's numbers (17/1700) work for distance, but almost nobody can actually get there (and you're paying a forgiveness cost to get there). Most of the rest of the industry likes 14/2100...I can get some guys close to that in some heads, but it's still a long way from a majority.

 

As for ball flight, we actually see a slight fade bias...maybe 60/40. The higher HCP guys tend to hit fades. Oddly it's the guys 5-10 who play consistent draws. The sub-5 guys...most of them can move it whatever way the want. That too can make it tough to test because they always want to 'try different things'.

What I've noticed most often is that the good golfer will consciously make a swing change if he doesn't like the ball flight of the driver you have given him. I play a 12* R11s. Love it. When I hit something else that is lower lofted, I will absolutely change the AoA to make the ballflight look better to my eye. It's not the right thing to do. It is actually harmful to the fit. But almost every 2 hdcp or better that I fit does it.

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I actually know one of the testers out of these magazines. He's the father in law of my friend. He says the testing process is not very scientific and its basically a glorified demo day. Of course these magazines are in bed with the OEMs. How do you think they really generate revenue. Look through GD or Golf magazine and you'll see they are made up of 70% ads and 30% content. 

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I actually know one of the testers out of these magazines. He's the father in law of my friend. He says the testing process is not very scientific and its basically a glorified demo day. Of course these magazines are in bed with the OEMs. How do you think they really generate revenue? Look through GD or Golf magazine and you'll see they are made up of 70% ads and 30% content. 

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