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Stealth, the future, and marketing


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1 hour ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

I don't disagree that forgiveness has been a story, but I will say typically distance is the headliner and the one that is focused on more. Is that because distance is more measurable then forgiveness to the masses?

Yes, as has been stated recently, and I note in my first post, most golfers looking at drivers have drivers that are a number of years old, so they WILL see distance gains, so distance is the smart way to go for marketing. If most shopping “need”, and would see, distance gains, it’s the smart way to go.

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Driver: :cobra-small: King F9 Speedback/:callaway-small:Epic Max LS, Xphlexxx Busa 2 Liquid, XX stiff, 45”

Fwy:  :callaway-small: Epic Speed 4w, MMT 80X

Hybrid: :callaway-small: X2 Hot Pro, 20*, Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: :honma:TR20 Tour P 4-10, :Nippon: Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Wedges: :edel-golf-1: SMS 50D/54V/58D:Nippon:Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Putter:  :edel-golf-1: EAS 1.0

All but putter have Lamkin ST+2 Hybrid Calibrate midsize built to oversize +1

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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

Distance has always been the main point of golf advertising.  Search google for vintage golf advertising and you will see ads in the 50s claimed more distance.    Golf analytics has shown that more distance is a key to lower scores.   Everything being sold makes claims;  it is your responsibility to validate the claims. 

While that's all true, I think it's way more primal than that for 90%+ of players. They care way more about out driving their buddies than "analytics." All of the 41 guys I play with regularly, including some very good players, don't know or care about golf tech. None of them are even aware of MGS (and I don't recruit because data is noise to them). They go on brand, looks, feel, marketing hype and what someone else (local pro or buddies) tell them.

I am way more interested in hitting more fairways, more distance is way down my list. But I know distance is still king to most. If a driver came out that allowed me to undeniably hit more fairways, I'd buy it at almost any price. But I also know my misses are operator error, not the equipment, so I've never chased the latest club(s).

It's been a long time since OEM marketing made claims on distance only. They've been touting MOI, forgiveness, etc. for quite a while - they want to claim the "new, improved" clubs will do everything better!

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10 minutes ago, Middler said:

While that's all true, I think it's way more primal than that for 90%+ of players. They care way more about out driving their buddies than "analytics" -.......

Obviously this is not a scientific conclusion but to support your 90% number of non analytical to analytical type golfers - A certain you tube reviewer has ~2M subscribers.....TXG has ~175k.  I go both ways, I enjoy Rick's videos as entertainment and I also enjoy dissecting the data TXG videos provide.

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No matter how clubs are marketed, people will buy the newest and greatest and then immediately complain about said marketing because they still suck and their new club(s) didn’t immediately make them Tiger Woods. 

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In my  :wilson_staff_small:  carry bag:
:wilson_staff_small:  D7 
:cleveland-small: Hy-Wood
:wilson_staff_small: D200 5i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
 

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1 hour ago, Middler said:

While that's all true, I think it's way more primal than that for 90%+ of players. They care way more about out driving their buddies than "analytics." All of the 41 guys I play with regularly, including some very good players, don't know or care about golf tech. None of them are even aware of MGS (and I don't recruit because data is noise to them). They go on brand, looks, feel, marketing hype and what someone else (local pro or buddies) tell them.

I am way more interested in hitting more fairways, more distance is way down my list. But I know distance is still king to most. If a driver came out that allowed me to undeniably hit more fairways, I'd buy it at almost any price. But I also know my misses are operator error, not the equipment, so I've never chased the latest club(s).

It's been a long time since OEM marketing made claims on distance only. They've been touting MOI, forgiveness, etc. for quite a while - they want to claim the "new, improved" clubs will do everything better!

This is pretty much everyone I play with that are either in the long-standing group I know or the random ones I get paired with. Some know wrx more than they know mgs. Other than what clubs pros play they don’t know the difference in the various heads from one manufacturer and definitely not across all manufacturers. Also know idea about “high” vs “low” launch/spin heads/shafts.

all the guys in my longstanding group buy the same brands they play or periodically based on an ad. They still buy same loft they alway played and those who have switched shafts from stiff to regular or sr flex it’s based purely on the old notion of stiff is for fast swings.

The manufacturers know this and that’s who they design for and market too

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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50 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

No matter how clubs are marketed, people will buy the newest and greatest and then immediately complain about said marketing because they still suck and their new club(s) didn’t immediately make them Tiger Woods. 

I shake my head when I hear about folks just going and grabbing a new driver off the rack and then complain how it isn’t better than what they’ve been playing even if what they’ve been playing is 5 years old. Most have no clue and think what’s on the rack are all the same.

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Driver: :cobra-small: King F9 Speedback/:callaway-small:Epic Max LS, Xphlexxx Busa 2 Liquid, XX stiff, 45”

Fwy:  :callaway-small: Epic Speed 4w, MMT 80X

Hybrid: :callaway-small: X2 Hot Pro, 20*, Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: :honma:TR20 Tour P 4-10, :Nippon: Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Wedges: :edel-golf-1: SMS 50D/54V/58D:Nippon:Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Putter:  :edel-golf-1: EAS 1.0

All but putter have Lamkin ST+2 Hybrid Calibrate midsize built to oversize +1

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Just now, PMookie said:

I shake my head when I hear about folks just going and grabbing a new driver off the rack and then complain how it isn’t better than what they’ve been playing even if what they’ve been playing is 5 years old. Most have no clue and think what’s on the rack are all the same.

We see it all the time on here. Buy a shaft based on the description and concept of slower swing needs less flex or softer shaft. Or that a GI is going to make the game easier and ignore design and whether they need help with digging or getting the ball in the air and that spin is their friend. 
 

Even some that have been on here for awhile blind buy and have to keep buying shafts trying to find the magic pill

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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1 hour ago, Shapotomous said:

Obviously this is not a scientific conclusion but to support your 90% number of non analytical to analytical type golfers - A certain you tube reviewer has ~2M subscribers.....TXG has ~175k.  I go both ways, I enjoy Rick's videos as entertainment and I also enjoy dissecting the data TXG videos provide.

Not disagreeing, but Rick and all the popular YouTube golf review channels provide launch monitor data, sometimes even comparative data. But I suspect most of the viewers don't care or understand the data and they're only looking for what Rick says good or bad - so you may be right in that sense. The irony is none of those guys, Rick included, will say anything bad about any major OEMs products directly - any criticism are disguised or so nuanced most players won't pick up on it. Like others have said, I look/listen to lots of sources, and decide from there. MGS is the most influential source for me, but I don't always follow their recommendations.

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This post renewed my interest in the history of COR vs. CT.  I'm clearly behind on this not so recent change in how driver face "hotness" is measured but now have a good grasp on the reason for the newer CT method and differences.  No. Driver Distance Isn't Maxed Out | MyGolfSpy

Regarding the discussion about marketing, I absolutely see distance as king.  It's golfs equivalent of 0-60 times for sports cars. If anyone can share a golf driver ad whose headline reads "same distance as your old driver, but more accurate", please share it with us.  That said, I do suspect distance is less of an elixir to golfers who are knowledgeable about the market hype.  They know uncontrolled and/or inconsistent distance is a poor trade and keep forgiveness high on the decision tree.  

 

 

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:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:srixon-small:  ZX5 Irons 4-AW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

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I currently play a TS3. I'm good for another 3-4 years. I'm not a club changer just for the sake of having new stuff. I tend to stick with what I have for 5 years and more. Marketing people hate me. 😅

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I think marketing the forgiveness, or MOI would be the way to go makes sense as long as they can verify their claims. Unfortunately marketing length is sexier even though increases seem minimal unless you’re using really outdated equipment. 

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36 minutes ago, silver & black said:

I currently play a TS3. I'm good for another 3-4 years. I'm not a club changer just for the sake of having new stuff. I tend to stick with what I have for 5 years and more. Marketing people hate me. 😅

After my own heart! My 3 and 5 woods are 2007 TaylorMade Burner TP’s. 

 

23 minutes ago, John Bachman said:

I think marketing the forgiveness, or MOI would be the way to go makes sense as long as they can verify their claims. Unfortunately marketing length is sexier even though increases seem minimal unless you’re using really outdated equipment. 

Yes!  And I think they can.  They market distance claims each year that aren’t real for all players.  You say, “On average, our testers only lost 3mph on off center strikes compared to last year’s model of 5mph.”  And they can still push MOI closer to the limit on many drivers.  I know it influences other variables, but if you already have good speed, for a good portion of golfers the added forgiveness is worth it.

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Pre training max driver speed: 124mph

Current: 130mph

WITB:

Driver: :ping-small:G400 LST 8.5* with HZRDUS SMOKE 6.5 70g 

Woods: :taylormade-small: 2007 Burner TP 3 wood and 5 wood

Irons:  :srixon-small: Z765 4-PW (1 degree flat) with KBS $-130 shafts

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 50/12/F, 54/10/S and 58/12/D

Putter: 681811256_Odysseylogo.png.499799aea6663befa411c8db1d859702.png Stroke Lab Ten S 33"

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1 hour ago, John Bachman said:

I think marketing the forgiveness, or MOI would be the way to go makes sense as long as they can verify their claims. Unfortunately marketing length is sexier even though increases seem minimal unless you’re using really outdated equipment. 

High moi doesn’t equal more forgivness. The Ping max heads have high moi but they also have a tendency to spin more. of spin that head isn’t forgiving for them.

it’s not a cut and dry scenario.

Just like some won’t see year to year improvements in distance from a company moi can be the same way.

Its why people need to get fit and then go get fit and try the next release to see if it has any improvements.

Things like standard deviation get ignored by many and that factor alone  an make a difference in results 

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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8 hours ago, GolfSpy_CS said:

So I’ve been thinking about Driver technology, marketing, and the future of golf equipment lately.  With all of the hype and subsequent pushback on the new Stealth driver line, here are some thoughts.

1) USGA sets the limits on how hot a driver can be (see cool video on the process here):


2) Any additional gains in ball speed would come from longer and lighter shafts or anything that results in swinging the club faster.  Remember the TaylorMade Burner Superfast 2.0 drivers with the long and light shafts?  46.5” long and only 45 grams!  I had one and man that thing could hit missiles (whenever I could actually feel where it was in the backswing that is…). 
 

3) I think that as more and more golf influencers and content creators start admitting that year to year driver differences are minimal at best (if they exist at all), consumers are starting to be more critical of marketing claims.  For sure there have always been those who question the claims, but I think it feels like more consumers are catching on. 
 

4) Would OEMs be better served using their marketing dollars advertising things like forgiveness?  For example, maybe forgiveness is the new frontier that is focused on?  The USGA limit on MOI is 6,000g-cm^2.  Should OEMs say, “This year’s driver averages only 3mph of ball speed loss on toe/heel strikes compared to center strikes.”  Or, “We’ve already made the fastest face on a driver possible, now we’re giving you the most forgiveness so you can be aggressive off the tee and hit bombs with confidence.”  To me, personally, that is a much bigger selling point and tech I’d be interested in vs “This year’s driver is 10yds longer than last year’s.”

For an interesting read on CoG and MOI in drivers, MGS had an article a few years back:  https://mygolfspy.com/2019-driver-center-of-gravity-and-moi-report/

It is cool to know that moving weight low and back or forward realistically only happens within the space of a Micro SD card. 

What say you fellow spies?  What type of marketing do you think OEMs are best positioned to use?  Obviously distance promises sell, and the OEMs know this and have done their research, but perhaps there is a new frontier approach to it that could be pursued?

Watched a pretty decent video today (tough to admit that because I don't like much of his stuff) from Finch.  He did a video on the Ping, Taylor Made and new Callaway Driver.  When hitting them you could see 2 yards difference.  So that's $500 for 2 more yards, MAYBE, if you strike it properly?!  But the main take away was that Callaway's new Driver actually boasted that there was more speed across the face this year and was more forgiving.  That's the main thing for the 425 and why many have said it's the best driver going right now. 

So in essence, what you're saying there that the Marketing dollars and the research SHOULD be more focused on forgiveness.  Honestly, if you're topped out on how hot the driver can be, this only makes sense for you to be churning out new product year in and year out.  However most people mess that up cause they're right in line when that new gear comes out not so much cause they need it, but because it's NEW and they want it.  Until the consumer comes around and starts telling these big boys we ain't buying the status quo will continue as it has been. Sadly. 

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3 Wood:  TS2 14* :titelist-small:

Hybrid:  Ping 425 17* and Ping 410 22* (interchangeable with 4 iron depending on conditions)  :ping-small:

Irons:  JPX 921 Tour 4-GW :mizuno-small:

Wedges:  Jaws 54 Wedge, Jaws 58 Hi-Toe :callaway-small:

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23 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

High moi doesn’t equal more forgivness. The Ping max heads have high moi but they also have a tendency to spin more. of spin that head isn’t forgiving for them.

it’s not a cut and dry scenario.

Just like some won’t see year to year improvements in distance from a company moi can be the same way.

Its why people need to get fit and then go get fit and try the next release to see if it has any improvements.

Things like standard deviation get ignored by many and that factor alone  an make a difference in results 

For sure there are more variables.  The USGA says MOI is an “indication’ of forgiveness and seems to think it is worth putting some kind of limit on it.  And with the new rule limiting the length of the driver shaft, they sure seem to be sticklers for not making the game easier:

 https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/Equipment/Equipment Rules Final.pdf

06C7A687-6838-43CC-BFB4-E0E652333A4C.jpeg

100% agree on getting fit to see the best club for you and if it beats your current setup. Yes, Std Dev should be high on a priority list.  Yeah we might have crushed that one drive 300, but also had 10 shots that went 240-280 as well. Consistency is so important in golf.  Tighter long/short and left/right dispersion typically leads to better scores…. Unless you putt like I do…

 

Interesting article from Ralph Maltby on MOI:  https://ralphmaltby.com/how-moment-of-inertia-moi-affects-driver-playability/

He says a lot on the topic and even seems to lean toward MOI gains even being maxed out already.  
 

The concluding thoughts:

61C881FF-34C4-4F02-8184-90BEE7E2D7CD.png

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Twitter: @GolfSpy_CS

:SuperSpeed:Training

Pre training max driver speed: 124mph

Current: 130mph

WITB:

Driver: :ping-small:G400 LST 8.5* with HZRDUS SMOKE 6.5 70g 

Woods: :taylormade-small: 2007 Burner TP 3 wood and 5 wood

Irons:  :srixon-small: Z765 4-PW (1 degree flat) with KBS $-130 shafts

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM7 50/12/F, 54/10/S and 58/12/D

Putter: 681811256_Odysseylogo.png.499799aea6663befa411c8db1d859702.png Stroke Lab Ten S 33"

Ball:  :taylormade-small: 2019 TP5X

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5 hours ago, Middler said:

While that's all true, I think it's way more primal than that for 90%+ of players. They care way more about out driving their buddies than "analytics." All of the 41 guys I play with regularly, including some very good players, don't know or care about golf tech. None of them are even aware of MGS (and I don't recruit because data is noise to them). They go on brand, looks, feel, marketing hype and what someone else (local pro or buddies) tell them.

I do agree with you;  the male golfer wants to hit it farther and whether it improves their game is not a consideration.  When I talk analytics I am not even thinking MGS;  I am talking more strokes gained, Bryson, DECADE, TV commentators.    The  people in this forum that talk about shafts and fittings and data are the <1% of golf enthusiasts.  As others have said in this post, most people just want to know if you play a regular or stiff shaft and they are only interested in your equipment if you hit is farther then them 🙂

 

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype        
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 5-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :callaway-small: 54-10S   :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter:  logo-horizontal-black.svg Directed Force 2.1

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787, :seemore-small: mFGP2

 

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7 hours ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

@GolfSpy_CS I'm glad you brought this to the forum. 

I know we had some back and forth in slack, but great to hear others thoughts on it. From reading a few responses I think there are a few other questions to add with this. If drivers from 5-10 years ago are still seeing significant gains (So Epic OG to Rogue ST) at what point is that turnover irrelevant. Meaning where may be the oldest peak driver which has consistently been close to the max? Is the G400 Max a potential benchmark to be surpassed? 

I think distance will always be king. I haven't dove too much into the marketing claims this year and even if they are still claiming consistency and forgiveness the main focal point is still ball speed and therefore distance. It is interesting that most OEM's have moved on from the this crown feature will help you move the club faster (I know sim had that on the bottom). Ping seems to be the only ones featuring this. 

So I would love to see a shift as I don't know how much more we would see in distance gains that would be a drastic difference. However as a amateur I would benefit from greater forgiveness overall. This has also been touched on, but maybe I'm in a small group that is looking for this and the masses are still looking for bigger gains and that is why distance gains are still king in marketing? 

For me, being fitted with the proper shaft is the most important factor in regard to distance and accuracy!  Why don't we hear more discussions regarding shafts?

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35 minutes ago, BNewton51 said:

Watched a pretty decent video today (tough to admit that because I don't like much of his stuff) from Finch.  He did a video on the Ping, Taylor Made and new Callaway Driver.  When hitting them you could see 2 yards difference.  So that's $500 for 2 more yards, MAYBE, if you strike it properly?!  But the main take away was that Callaway's new Driver actually boasted that there was more speed across the face this year and was more forgiving.  That's the main thing for the 425 and why many have said it's the best driver going right now. 

So in essence, what you're saying there that the Marketing dollars and the research SHOULD be more focused on forgiveness.  Honestly, if you're topped out on how hot the driver can be, this only makes sense for you to be churning out new product year in and year out.  However most people mess that up cause they're right in line when that new gear comes out not so much cause they need it, but because it's NEW and they want it.  Until the consumer comes around and starts telling these big boys we ain't buying the status quo will continue as it has been. Sadly. 

I have been as guilty as most for getting something new because it’s new and probably will in the future. The last time I did it was from a F9 to a Speedzone and I got a big drop off in performance. I’d like to see more availability in outdoor testing because I think the results tend to be more accurate. I’ve hit indoors where the staff was honest enough to tell me that the numbers produced aren’t always accurate. 

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18 minutes ago, T McKinnon said:

For me, being fitted with the proper shaft is the most important factor in regard to distance and accuracy!  Why don't we hear more discussions regarding shafts?

Hear discussions where?   Read this forum or most places that talk about clubs you will hear that you should get fit for clubs.    The general reason you don't hear about shafts or fitting is because the overwhelming majority of players really don't care or just buy OTR. 

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype        
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 5-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :callaway-small: 54-10S   :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter:  logo-horizontal-black.svg Directed Force 2.1

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787, :seemore-small: mFGP2

 

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy_CS said:

For sure there are more variables.  The USGA says MOI is an “indication’ of forgiveness and seems to think it is worth putting some kind of limit on it.  And with the new rule limiting the length of the driver shaft, they sure seem to be sticklers for not making the game easier:

 https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/Equipment/Equipment Rules Final.pdf

06C7A687-6838-43CC-BFB4-E0E652333A4C.jpeg

100% agree on getting fit to see the best club for you and if it beats your current setup. Yes, Std Dev should be high on a priority list.  Yeah we might have crushed that one drive 300, but also had 10 shots that went 240-280 as well. Consistency is so important in golf.  Tighter long/short and left/right dispersion typically leads to better scores…. Unless you putt like I do…

 

Interesting article from Ralph Maltby on MOI:  https://ralphmaltby.com/how-moment-of-inertia-moi-affects-driver-playability/

He says a lot on the topic and even seems to lean toward MOI gains even being maxed out already.  
 

The concluding thoughts:

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Lots of good info there about moi and I agree about its role in forgivness. I’ve played the original cure putters because of that. They were really good at off center hits and still keeping ball on intended line and with speed. 
 

Just don’t think it’s a viable approach for marketing at least from a value perspective. Also the marketing isn’t for golfers who know what it’s about or what it does.

Saying a driver is faster, longer and lets you hit it straighter will get more attention.

These manufacturers have tons of data they analyze and use for their marketing as well as r&d. They are focused on the person who is walking into the store and buying without testing. The golfer that knows they want x loft in y flex because that’s what they play now. 

56 minutes ago, T McKinnon said:

For me, being fitted with the proper shaft is the most important factor in regard to distance and accuracy!  Why don't we hear more discussions regarding shafts?

Because the shaft isn’t nearly as important as people think. Wishon did a great article on shaft myths almost a decade ago. I posted some of them in the shaft sub forum but if you wanted to read the article you can search for wishon shaft myths 

No two people swing alike even at the same swing speed.

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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