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For how long has "demand" been a rating category in Golf Digest's Hot List? The 2016 list is absurd. All the "demand" stars go to the largest brands, which make the difference between gold and silver in aggregate. 

 

I'm sorry if I am repeating what everyone already complains about here but this is my first hot list as a MGS member and am curious what the community thinks about this. 

 

Also, I'm pretty sure I'veread every single comment about every single club this year, and NONE of them were negative, none. Some were more positive than others, but every tester liked every club? Come on.... 

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There is a reason why MGS doesn't take advertising money from the big companies and why some of those companies try to avoid the most wanted testing. 

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Had a discussion with the president of a smaller OEM in Dec of 2014 -- he had no illusions about the Hot List -- advertisers get the gold. The bigger your spend, the more golds you're likely to get.  However, surprise surprise - his team did get a bunch of golds last year.  They didn't increase advertising this year and wound up with a bunch of silvers.  

 

Such is life...

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Had a discussion with the president of a smaller OEM in Dec of 2014 -- he had no illusions about the Hot List -- advertisers get the gold. The bigger your spend, the more golds you're likely to get.  However, surprise surprise - his team did get a bunch of golds last year.  They didn't increase advertising this year and wound up with a bunch of silvers.  

 

Such is life...

 

What gets me is how short-sighted the publishing business is in its desperate attempt to save itself. You would think that maybe giving the smaller guys a gold rating would result, three or four years down the road, in a manufacturer that would be large enough to advertise.... They should just come up with another section for the small-batch products. 

 

Anyway, God Save MGS. 

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I think of the hotlist as a collection of all the new clubs that came out this season. Easier to look at all the new stuff in one place than to check out each OEMs webpage.

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What gets me is how short-sighted the publishing business is in its desperate attempt to save itself. You would think that maybe giving the smaller guys a gold rating would result, three or four years down the road, in a manufacturer that would be large enough to advertise.... They should just come up with another section for the small-batch products. 

 

Anyway, God Save MGS. 

 

Gotta remember one thing - Golf Digest and Golf Magazine are basically Trade publications.  In my day job we have magazines like Plumbing & Mechanical, Contractor Magazine, AHR News, PHC News, etc. They rely on manufacturers and related business for advertising, so it is what it is.  

 

I don't really begrudge GD et al for doing what they do - everybody's gotta eat, right? But they are what they are - I like the articles, the Hot List is fun to read and at least gives you some basic info on products to get you pointed in whatever direction you want to go.  Definitive? Hardly.  Independent? Not at all.

 

I really don't mind the marketing departments, either. They have a job to do and it's not an easy one. Big budgets help - but it's still up to the consumer to wade through it all and find out what works and what doesn't -- for them.  

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I play Wishon 771csi irons and love them. (2014 Hot List Winner) They were custom fit & built for me back in Aug. 2014. Wishon makes excellent clubs of his own design. Generally you have to seek out these smaller club designers because they just don't spend much advertising. Can't blame them either. But, savvy golfers like many here at MGS know of these so call boutique brands. Doesn't mean they play these types of clubs but they are aware of them. I'm a little surprised that more guys here don't play custom brands. I suppose it's just easier to get your hands on the big OEM stuff mostly. Many think these smaller boutique brands are more expensive but I didn't find that to be the case. Mine were comparable in price to any custom fit Big OEM brand. I also enjoy playing a brand few are using. It's kind of cool. Some guys have called my clubs "clones" and I just laugh. They are ignorant. I may have strayed off topic a bit but.... I don't play-bag Big OEM equipment including balls other than my driver and don't read Golf Digest. It's a rag IMHO.

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There is a reason why MGS doesn't take advertising money from the big companies and why some of those companies try to avoid the most wanted testing. 

Dead on point well stated!

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I play Wishon 771csi irons and love them. (2014 Hot List Winner) They were custom fit & built for me back in Aug. 2014. Wishon makes excellent clubs of his own design. Generally you have to seek out these smaller club designers because they just don't spend much advertising. Can't blame them either. But, savvy golfers like many here at MGS know of these so call boutique brands. Doesn't mean they play these types of clubs but they are aware of them. I'm a little surprised that more guys here don't play custom brands. I suppose it's just easier to get your hands on the big OEM stuff mostly. Many think these smaller boutique brands are more expensive but I didn't find that to be the case. Mine were comparable in price to any custom fit Big OEM brand. I also enjoy playing a brand few are using. It's kind of cool. Some guys have called my clubs "clones" and I just laugh. They are ignorant. I may have strayed off topic a bit but.... I don't play-bag Big OEM equipment including balls other than my driver and don't read Golf Digest. It's a rag IMHO.

Heck that ain't nothing! I have seen bag drop guys refer to MIURAs as clone clubs. And these guys were going through the PGM school makes you wonder what they teach them.

I get offers through the mail from GD almost every week which I think comes from my USGA membership which will NOT be renewed this year either. 

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Gotta remember one thing - Golf Digest and Golf Magazine are basically Trade publications.  In my day job we have magazines like Plumbing & Mechanical, Contractor Magazine, AHR News, PHC News, etc. They rely on manufacturers and related business for advertising, so it is what it is.  

 

I don't really begrudge GD et al for doing what they do - everybody's gotta eat, right? But they are what they are - I like the articles, the Hot List is fun to read and at least gives you some basic info on products to get you pointed in whatever direction you want to go.  Definitive? Hardly.  Independent? Not at all.

 

I really don't mind the marketing departments, either. They have a job to do and it's not an easy one. Big budgets help - but it's still up to the consumer to wade through it all and find out what works and what doesn't -- for them.  

That last line I will add to if I may. Most average Joe Hack consumers will believe anything you tell them and either do not have the common sense or gumption to figure out things for their selves. Or maybe they are just too plain lazy

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That last line I will add to if I may. Most average Joe Hack consumers will believe anything you tell them and either do not have the common sense or gumption to figure out things for their selves. Or maybe they are just too plain lazy

I think it's a combination of all 3. They hit some irons or a driver on a golfsmith LM with balls that are crap and sometimes jacked up stats so they're hitting balls longer than ever before. So they buy them trade in when it's not the same.

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I was playing a Krank Formula 5 for awhile and a guy in my golf league wondered why I was playing a knock-off driver.

 

Tried to explain that it wasn't a knockoff, and by building my own clubs I get to use a head and a shaft of my liking, grip, length, weight, etc. Plus it is a hobby.

 

He was playing an OEM thing he bought off the rack at Dicks which he thought was a better driver because it was an OEM club and the tour pros played it too. So why didn't I buy clubs from Dicks?

 

It didn't matter that I out drove him by 50 yards.

 

So the Hot List and the PGA Tour are both in the same game, advertising.

 

As Gordon Gekko said, "The illusion becomes real, and the more real it becomes, the more they want it.

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Most of us on this forum, regardless of our handicaps, are far more "into" our hobby than the average non-professional or scholarship tournament player.  Most of us don't have endorsement deals and equipment fitted and supplied by big OEMs.

 

That's why we hang out at MGS.

 

We simply want to know more about our hobby and our equipment than "the average bear," so we learn about brands that a majority of golfers may never be aware of.  The reviews are conducted by members of the forum community with varying ages and skill levels.  We tell out buddies what we like, what we don't like, what's good or bad, what we want and what we don't.  Sometimes, we can be pretty blunt.

 

Major OEMs that want unbiased reviews provide equipment, as well as smaller companies that want to develop market share, so Wishon, KZG, Snell, MG, Edel and others are compared head to head with Taylormade, Cobra, Nike and other "Big Brands."  I can't recall ANY review where the product was universally praised, or panned, by every reviewer.  One size never fits all.

 

Most golfers, like most consumers, that just want something to go out and play a round with buddies will be satisfied with whatever they know about and can afford.  They buy what their friends have, or what the "Pro's play," because that's good enough for them.  Some buy more expensive clubs, simply because everyone will know they have expensive clubs - lol

 

Folks at MGS want to know WAY more about "golf stuff," and are open to new and little known brands, because we're "golf nuts."  We LOVE the game of golf, and when we can't play golf, we think about playing golf (a lot).  We like to think about, talk about and read about golf.  Because... GOLF!

 

Golf Digest and Golf Magazine are funded by the "Big Boys" and market to the masses, because the masses follow the herd.

 

I suspect, very few members at MGS are sheep like creatures.  If there are any, I don't find them on THIS forum! ;)

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I am guilty of being a completely naive, large OEM sheep. About five years ago I was given money for a new driver. Formerly played a Biggest Big Bertha I bought in a club bin. I went and whacked some range balls with a TM R11 (forget launch monitor or any kind of fitting). I bought the driver but ever since have never felt really comfortable with it. Last year I shot a 74 and a 93 in the same week! This very fact is what drove me to seek out equipment advice on these boards. I really haven't played more than 3 rounds/per for about 10 years, but I am now in a position to start playing a little more often. I want to improve and I want clubs I can trust. I am not scared of smaller brands. People still squint at my Maxfli's (then they see me shoot 93 and they think it makes sense).

 

 

I play Wishon 771csi irons and love them. (2014 Hot List Winner) They were custom fit & built for me back in Aug. 2014. Wishon makes excellent clubs of his own design. Generally you have to seek out these smaller club designers because they just don't spend much advertising. Can't blame them either. But, savvy golfers like many here at MGS know of these so call boutique brands. Doesn't mean they play these types of clubs but they are aware of them. I'm a little surprised that more guys here don't play custom brands. I suppose it's just easier to get your hands on the big OEM stuff mostly. Many think these smaller boutique brands are more expensive but I didn't find that to be the case. Mine were comparable in price to any custom fit Big OEM brand. I also enjoy playing a brand few are using. It's kind of cool. Some guys have called my clubs "clones" and I just laugh. They are ignorant. I may have strayed off topic a bit but.... I don't play-bag Big OEM equipment including balls other than my driver and don't read Golf Digest. It's a rag IMHO.

 

Do you think large OEM fitting is any different from smaller boutique brands? I was talking about the new Ben Hogans with a buddy and he said I should be looking at Mizuno to Titleist instead. In case you haven't already figured it out. I have not been fit for any club ever.

 

Thanks for the education guys. In hindsight, an off the rack R11 is only a minor price to pay for a lesson in proper club purchasing moving forward.

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Chem I can't speak for how large OEM do their fittings. They really don't do the actual fittings for guys like us anyway. Retailers or places like a Club Champion for example do the fittings for their brands. I have only had two fittings. My first was back in my naïve days we'll say. That one was what I call a "retail fitting". No depth to it and no launch monitor involved. Try a few heads/shafts hit off a board, stickers on the face, etc. My second fitting was deep. I purchased my Wishons from an independent club fitter. We spent several hours. It was a great experience. He only sold a few select brands. Wishon, Alpha, KZG, etc. There's nothing wrong with buying major OEM clubs. Not at all. They make great equipment. Most people play those clubs. I just chose to take a different road is all. Works for me. As far as fitting any brand of club it all boils down to who's actually doing the fitting I believe. I can't remember who exactly they are but we have a few members here that do that. Put out a new request/post here on the forum and you'll find them. I believe Mbuddy is one? Another guy works for Club Champion. In my opinion.... never buy off the rack. OTR. At a minimum get a basic fitting. That's better than nothing. Currently I'm waiting on a local guy/fitter to get 2 Cobra driver heads (2015 Fly-Z and Fly-Z+) and several shafts. Good luck with any future purchases - fittings.

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Thanks for the education guys. In hindsight, an off the rack R11 is only a minor price to pay for a lesson in proper club purchasing moving forward.

 

Call it tuition to the school of hard knocks.  

 

That said, the big OEM's do make some pretty nice equipment. It's all a matter of weeding through the marketing stuff, finding something that suits your eye and your game and, most importantly, makes you happy. Could be a set of TaylorMades or Callaways, could be a set of Hogans or Wishons - that part is up to you and my advice would be to be open to any and all possibilities. I've gamed stuff that's off the rack and stuff that's custom fit - small names, big names and no names -- have yet to stumble across crap.  

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After reading these boards I am most excited about getting fit for a new shaft in my TM R11. It is a good head. Has to be since a lot folks were playing it. I just want to get a shaft that fits my game. The more I look at my current bag the more I think it is time to overhaul the whole thing over the next few years. New job, 2 kids, new house puts me a little short on cash, but I plan on devoting some funds to a whole bag fitting. I found two recommended club fitters in Iowa (one recommended by Wishon). Is it overkill to get two fittings from separate folks just to hone in your swing characteristics? 

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After reading these boards I am most excited about getting fit for a new shaft in my TM R11. It is a good head. Has to be since a lot folks were playing it. I just want to get a shaft that fits my game. The more I look at my current bag the more I think it is time to overhaul the whole thing over the next few years. New job, 2 kids, new house puts me a little short on cash, but I plan on devoting some funds to a whole bag fitting. I found two recommended club fitters in Iowa (one recommended by Wishon). Is it overkill to get two fittings from separate folks just to hone in your swing characteristics? 

 

I don't know if it's overkill - but it's nice to have something verified.  Had two fittings last year and they both kinda backed each other up, which made me feel better about the whole thing.

 

On the other hand, if one fitting says you need shaft A in stiff and 2* up and the other says you need shaft B in regular and 2* down,  you wind up like the guy with two watches and you never know what time it is....

 

I guess this isn't helping at all!   :mellow:  :mellow:

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Here's what I did Chem. I had a face to face meeting with two different fitters and another one with a guy over the phone. I ended up selecting one of the guys I actually sat down and talked to. Why? For one he had the most experience and two because I just had a good feeling about him. My gut instinct if you will. One thing I liked and enjoyed doing prior to my fitting was he gave me a little booklet and asked me to record about 4-5 rounds in it. That included every shot from tee to green. Club selection, distances, shot patterns, FIR, GIR, ball type, etc. When the day of my fitting arrived I probably ended up spending about 4 hours with him. Could have been less but we talked a lot and I asked a lot of questions.

As far as your question about 2 separate fittings? I don't see the necessity in that. Go find a guy you like with a good credentialed reputation. Experience. And a guarantee. Worked for me.

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