Jump to content

MyGolfSpy's 2013 ULTIMATE Driver Test


Recommended Posts

We can always compare the average distances of the pros from a decade ago to today. But with the modern drivers of today being so technologically advanced with shafts, heads and computer design, it would be interesting to see the numbers of a couple of the top drivers of 2003 vs. the MGS top rated drivers of today when the test is complete. I know the Trackman came out about 2003 but don't know it's capabilities then. So grab a Callaway ERC Fusion, TM's 500 series driver, a Titleist 983E etc. and put them on a Trackman and have your testers see what they can do with 10 year old tech. Would be fun..I'd assume modern tech would be at least a little longer, but I'm thinking the biggest gains may be in accuracy. Might not go over with manufacturers, but would be interesting to see if the difference is minimal or drastic.

 

They did that here with clubs ranging for hickory shafted drivers from 1923 up to the TM R9. Pretty interesting. Biggest change seems to really have been in spin numbers. Way way lower now.

 

http://www.milesofgolf.com/blog/golf-clubs/vintage-vs-technology/

In Play

Driver: Cleveland Classic XL Custom 9.5*, Woods: Cobra Baffler T-Rail 5W, 7W, Hybrids:Callaway FTiz 27* Irons: Maruman Shuttle 7-S, Wedge: Cleveland Niblick 49*, Callaway Jaws CC 60*, Putter: Ping Scottsdale Wolverine

 

Warming the bench

Cleveland Classic 12*, Ping Rapture V2 10.5*, Ping K15 5, 7, Ping Rapture V2 6-S, Bobby Jones H3-H6, Cleveland Classic BRZ

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 324
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I think we're in a little bit of a lull. There was lots of excitement as clubs were being announced. Testing is now underway (so there's not a ton to talk about until we're finished). In the meantime, all are free to ask questions about the test.

So T....Bones gave his driver fitting experience inthe forum review thread. He and I both had a chance to hit the R1 both fitted to our specs. compared tothe RBZ last year I gained easy 8-10 yards..Lowered ball flight and increased ball speed=distance and now I actually get roll out too which in the summer may equate to anothe 5-7 yards. Not just distance either accuracy, when i swung like a normal perosn was amazing. Toe hits ended up at target same with heal adn low onthe face. I couldn't beleive the results and hit the RBZ time and time again to try and beat it.

 

I beleive that all the equipment this year is going to be beautiful across the board I am just hard pressed to see anything beating the R1 (no I am not drinking the cool aid). Althought I think callaway is on to something Phil's win helped spark ads but all he did was rave about that driver and its ease then the thing went bonkers again after that tourney. now he is raving about the 3 wood. It's golf some days you have it and most days you don't. Obviously he is on another level than 99.9% of the world but I am just saying the in tournament plugs are getting a bit much. I do love his interviews though.

 

Also, the airforce is going to be a club of high interest this year in the review since the last one was a beast. The Cleveland is going to be interesting for me too since you have keegan using it one of the games bombers.

 

 

Can't wait for the results..WHAT A LIST OF COMPETITION

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • SPY VIP

For the adjustable drivers, are the testers allowed to fiddle with the settings for a while to find what they like before the actual 'test'? Or do they have to pick their expected setting in advance and just use it.

 

I can see someone midway through a Covert test resetting from 9* to 11* and changing the results pretty dramatically.

 

While we're not doing comprehensive fittings (hard to do with only the stock shafts). We have made adjustments where the results suggest they should be made. In some cases that means using a different loft/flex. Where adjustability is concerned, simple tweaks have made a pretty substantial difference.

 

Obviously the R1, Covert, and AMP Cell are prime examples of where loft simply must be tuned. We've also seen pretty impressive improvements through minor tweaks with the PING drivers as well as the Callaway clubs. While it requires a little bit more reading that most, I've also come to appreciate what can be done with the Titleist clubs. For some golfers, even the R1 sole plate has produced apparent changes.

 

One philosophical note: I tend to approach *most* adjustable drivers with the minset of altering the face angle (as opposed to a loft-based approach). Short of Nike. you can't alter one without changing the other, but we've had the most success when using adjustability to alter where the ball starts (face angle), rather than focus on launch angle.

 

For example, if I guy is pulling everything (my miss), opening the face (which removes loft) sometimes improves the initial starting line of the ball. Remember, 90% of where a ball starts is determined by where the face is pointing at impact. If a guy is fighting a slice, it may make sense to close the face so he can start the ball further left (and hopefully gently fade back to the middle).

 

Of course, in any fitting scenario, even a limited one such as ours, there are no absolutes. In some cases, for a guy consistently pulling the ball left, what works is actually closing the face. On paper this should produce a more leftward starting line, however, because of what I can only assume is how the face is perceived at address, closing the face will actually cause the golfer to make a correction that results in a more rightward starting line.

 

Bottom line...with every club, and with every golfer it's not always pure science. Sometimes what works is the last thing that should.

 

Painting with a broad brush here, but...if tweaking the face angle has a measurably negative impact on other launch conditions (vertical launch, spin rates), where possible I'll put the golfer in a different loft and adjust the face accordingly. With the R1, Nike, and Cobra, obviously that's not possible.

 

Again...painting with broad strokes, based on what I've seen in our testing so far I've come to believe the following:

 

  • Unless you're getting an absolute perfect fit (and you have a perfectly repeatable (tour quality) swing), you're likely sacrificing performance and definitely sacrificing options by purchasing a traditional glued hosel driver.
  • All-lofts-in-one heads also result in an unnecessary compromise at the highest and lowest lofts. Using the R1 as an example...at 8* the club is visibly open (not horrible, but not ideal for some). at 12* it' looks WAY closed. In the middle...either direction it's not bad. Even the Nike, where loft/face angle are supposedly decoupled, at 12* the face looks closed (even in the "right" position). I don't have the tools to measure face angle, so I can't say if that's real, or just how my eyes perceive the extra face visible at address.

 

While everyone will be different, I've personally come to appreciate limited adjustability clubs. For me...ideal seems to be the 9 to 9.5 degree range that allows me to adjust the face open while keeping the loft above 8 degrees.

MyGolfSpy is only major golf site that refuses advertising from large golf companies. With your support we can keep it that way. Donate Today
 


Subscribe to the MyGolfSpy Newsletter

Link to post
Share on other sites

While everyone will be different, I've personally come to appreciate limited adjustability clubs. For me...ideal seems to be the 9 to 9.5 degree range that allows me to adjust the face open while keeping the loft above 8 degrees.

 

And here I am thinking that the limited Ping adjustability is a waste while you are finding it to be the most effective. Interesting....

In Play

Driver: Cleveland Classic XL Custom 9.5*, Woods: Cobra Baffler T-Rail 5W, 7W, Hybrids:Callaway FTiz 27* Irons: Maruman Shuttle 7-S, Wedge: Cleveland Niblick 49*, Callaway Jaws CC 60*, Putter: Ping Scottsdale Wolverine

 

Warming the bench

Cleveland Classic 12*, Ping Rapture V2 10.5*, Ping K15 5, 7, Ping Rapture V2 6-S, Bobby Jones H3-H6, Cleveland Classic BRZ

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • SPY VIP

And here I am thinking that the limited Ping adjustability is a waste while you are finding it to be the most effective. Interesting....

 

I'm not saying it's 'the most' effective, but I'm saying it accomplishes what it needs to. You could argue there's benefit in a wider range, but the PING system works with the caveat that there's less margin for error with loft. That said...if you think about it in terms of face angle, it does the job.

MyGolfSpy is only major golf site that refuses advertising from large golf companies. With your support we can keep it that way. Donate Today
 


Subscribe to the MyGolfSpy Newsletter

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Play

Driver: Cleveland Classic XL Custom 9.5*, Woods: Cobra Baffler T-Rail 5W, 7W, Hybrids:Callaway FTiz 27* Irons: Maruman Shuttle 7-S, Wedge: Cleveland Niblick 49*, Callaway Jaws CC 60*, Putter: Ping Scottsdale Wolverine

 

Warming the bench

Cleveland Classic 12*, Ping Rapture V2 10.5*, Ping K15 5, 7, Ping Rapture V2 6-S, Bobby Jones H3-H6, Cleveland Classic BRZ

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • SPY VIP

Here's a quick little update. We haven't made much progress in the last week. One of our testers has been on vacation. Two more leave for 4 days tomorrow. I've been too sick to test (I tried, but SS numbers down, and ball speed with it...basically, unfair, so I scrapped it), and today we got snowed out (which is really special for indoor testing).

 

It sucks, but we're still on schedule for an early April release.

 

What the time has allowed me to do is start building the worksheets that take the individual numbers and turn them into group averages. So far I've done it with the distance part of the scoring.

 

As it stands right now, I don't have enough data to project early distance scores on two clubs, but one of them looks to be very much in the mix near the top, but again it's way too early to say. For the others, across 15 different drivers, the current difference between #1 and #15 is all of 2.814 points. Individually the gaps are greater, but as a whole, there's not a huge difference.

 

Distance scores are derived like this:

1. We look at all shots a given tester hit during the entire test. We calculate the average of the top X number of shots to give us a reasonable approximation of what the absolute best result a given tester might be able to achieve from a distance perspective (the best of their best if you will)

2. On the other end of things, we have a proprietary formula we use to determine a legitimate average for each club a tester hits.

3. We calculate the percentage of the very best represented by the individual average for each club. A very simple example; if a tester's longest drives average 300 yards, and his average with a given club is 280, then his individual score for that club is 93.333 (280 is 93.333% of 300).

 

To determine each club's distance score we drop the lowest and calculate the average of the Top 5 testers for each club.

 

The low will be dropped for each club for all 3 categories (distance, accuracy, and consistency). When it comes time to calculate overall scores (a total value comprised of weighted distance, accuracy, and consistency scores), we'll drop the lowest total score for each club to determine overall scores.

 

As complicated as distance scoring sounds, it's actually the easiest category to score. The complexity comes into play because of the necessity to keep things in balance. What I mean by that is that the scoring system cannot give more weight to the players who hit the ball farther. We never want our results to be based on a comparison between how far our senior tester hits the ball, and how far the guy with 160+ MPH ball speed hits it. Their individual results must weigh equally on the total.

 

Another example from our accuracy category... Blake, our lowest handicap player, hits a high percentage of fairways, and keeps the ball relatively close to the target line. A good result for Blake might be something like 15 yards offline. Me...I tend to spray the ball all over the place with my driver. A good result for me (sadly) might be 25 yards offline. The scoring system has to account for the fact that while 20 yards offline might be considered a below average result for Blake, that same 20 yards represents an above average result for me. The point here is that in every case, individual scores are determined based on the tester's individual abilities, not an unfair comparison to the abilities of the other golfers in our test.

 

To that end, the scoring system was derived such that individual scores were based on how well a given tester hits a given club relative to his own abilities...not anyone else's. If it sounds complicated it's because it is, but so far, the extra work to get this as right as it can be looks to be well worth it.

MyGolfSpy is only major golf site that refuses advertising from large golf companies. With your support we can keep it that way. Donate Today
 


Subscribe to the MyGolfSpy Newsletter

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks much for the detail explanation. I for one appreciate the time and effort that goes into a test of this magnitude. I hope the others do as well. As far as selecting a new driver, I put all on hold pending the test results....

Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft  Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3-4W(16*) & 5-6W(20*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrid: Cobra F8 3 Hybrid(19*) w/Recoil ES 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 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip Bag: Vice cart bag(Black).  Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a while since I've participated on the board (hell I haven't seen a golf club in 3 months), but this thread has really got me back into a golf state of mind... I cant wait for the results... I really don't need a new driver, and can't afford one really, but I plan on going out and hitting some just so I know what my feeling are about each club when I'm reading the reviews...

 

This thread has pulled me back into the golfing world, and now I'm itching for the snow to melt... bring it on Spring...

My Bag:
Driver - 
:cobra-small:  King F6+

3 Wood -  :callaway-small: XR16
Hybrids -  :srixon-small:  ZH45
Irons -  :mizuno-small:  JPX 850 Pro

Wedges -  :callaway-small: Mac Daddy 2
Putter -   :taylormade-small: Spider Tour Red
Bag - Ogio Grom Stand

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a while since I've participated on the board (hell I haven't seen a golf club in 3 months), but this thread has really got me back into a golf state of mind... I cant wait for the results... I really don't need a new driver, and can't afford one really, but I plan on going out and hitting some just so I know what my feeling are about each club when I'm reading the reviews...

 

This thread has pulled me back into the golfing world, and now I'm itching for the snow to melt... bring it on Spring...

 

I called Rogue's Roost, asking when they were going to open and they laughed at me...

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a while since I've participated on the board (hell I haven't seen a golf club in 3 months), but this thread has really got me back into a golf state of mind... I cant wait for the results... I really don't need a new driver, and can't afford one really, but I plan on going out and hitting some just so I know what my feeling are about each club when I'm reading the reviews...

 

This thread has pulled me back into the golfing world, and now I'm itching for the snow to melt... bring it on Spring...

 

You haven't seen a club in three months??? I'm jealous!! HA!! I live in Western NY, and haven't swung a club since mid September. Not sure if global warming is real or not, but I wouldn't mind warmer winters, less snow and more golf.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You haven't seen a club in three months??? I'm jealous!! HA!! I live in Western NY, and haven't swung a club since mid September. Not sure if global warming is real or not, but I wouldn't mind warmer winters, less snow and more golf.

 

 

Sounds like you need a little golf vacation!.......come on down to Tampa bay....the golf & weather is fantastic!

Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft  Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3-4W(16*) & 5-6W(20*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrid: Cobra F8 3 Hybrid(19*) w/Recoil ES 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 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip Bag: Vice cart bag(Black).  Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • SPY VIP

After a 1 week hiatus due to a combination of vacation (3 of of my testers) and disease (me) testing resumes tomorrow. The goal is to have all testing completed by April 5th, and to begin publishing results the following week.

 

I spent most of the day Saturday cleaning up the scoring formulas, and building the tables that track our 3 scoring categories (distance, accuracy, and consistency) as well as the most important table...the one that puts it all together with the appropriate category weighting and spits out the overall winner.

 

Some things you might find interesting:

 

It's far too early to declare a winner. I could probably give you 4-5 clubs that I'm 95% certain aren't going to win...another 2-3 clubs I'm 95% certain are going to finish in the top handful, after that...it's too close to call. As you might expect, there's not a huge distinction between drivers. As much as all of us would love a runaway winner, it's not going to happen.

 

Looking at the overall scoring table (which includes a handful of clubs where we have insufficient data), based on our overall scoring methods (weighted averages of 3 categories, drop the lowest TOTAL SCORE for each club), there is a 2.64140686 point difference between 1st and last. While this supports the Golf Digest (everybody gets a medal...and then everybody pays Golf Digest to license all their medals) model; I prefer to look at individual points...even 10th of points as being significant in the big picture.

 

As testers have hit clubs a 2nd, and in some cases a 3rd time, we've seen very little movement from the results of the first 10 shots. This suggests that while individual swings may vary from day to day, on balance (meaning across all clubs), there is still a consistency of performance.

 

Clubs are excelling in different areas. For example, some clubs may be longer than average, but not as accurate. Some may be more accurate, but not as consistent, and of course, there are others that on distance alone come up short, but the results are more consistent from swing to swing.

 

We weight the categories a certain way, but because some will place a premium on accuracy over distance, for example, we do believe it's important to break it out by performance category, and theoretically give the reader the option to weight things as he sees fit.

MyGolfSpy is only major golf site that refuses advertising from large golf companies. With your support we can keep it that way. Donate Today
 


Subscribe to the MyGolfSpy Newsletter

Link to post
Share on other sites

After a 1 week hiatus due to a combination of vacation (3 of of my testers) and disease (me) testing resumes tomorrow. The goal is to have all testing completed by April 5th, and to begin publishing results the following week.

 

I spent most of the day Saturday cleaning up the scoring formulas, and building the tables that track our 3 scoring categories (distance, accuracy, and consistency) as well as the most important table...the one that puts it all together with the appropriate category weighting and spits out the overall winner.

 

Some things you might find interesting:

 

It's far too early to declare a winner. I could probably give you 4-5 clubs that I'm 95% certain aren't going to win...another 2-3 clubs I'm 95% certain are going to finish in the top handful, after that...it's too close to call. As you might expect, there's not a huge distinction between drivers. As much as all of us would love a runaway winner, it's not going to happen.

 

Looking at the overall scoring table (which includes a handful of clubs where we have insufficient data), based on our overall scoring methods (weighted averages of 3 categories, drop the lowest TOTAL SCORE for each club), there is a 2.64140686 point difference between 1st and last. While this supports the Golf Digest (everybody gets a medal...and then everybody pays Golf Digest to license all their medals) model; I prefer to look at individual points...even 10th of points as being significant in the big picture.

 

As testers have hit clubs a 2nd, and in some cases a 3rd time, we've seen very little movement from the results of the first 10 shots. This suggests that while individual swings may vary from day to day, on balance (meaning across all clubs), there is still a consistency of performance.

 

Clubs are excelling in different areas. For example, some clubs may be longer than average, but not as accurate. Some may be more accurate, but not as consistent, and of course, there are others that on distance alone come up short, but the results are more consistent from swing to swing.

 

We weight the categories a certain way, but because some will place a premium on accuracy over distance, for example, we do believe it's important to break it out by performance category, and theoretically give the reader the option to weight things as he sees fit.

 

Drooling......Drooling......we have to wait till like April 10th!!!! Depressing.........sounds like an outstanding review and well worth the wait......great job, know it is a TON of DATA and TESTING, and WORK!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • SPY VIP

3 More hours of testing are in the books. We have just over 600 shots to hit as a group before this test is complete.

 

I've made some changes to the scoring tables...instead of pure distance, we're keying off of Total Driving (distance - accuracy). This is the money stat on the PGA tour, and it make sense that we use it at the basis to trim the garbage shots and calculate our averages.

 

As original reported, we'll have 3 separate scoring categories (distance, accuracy, and consistency). The overall winner will be based on the highest score for total driving (best 5 of 6 for each club). All the underlying math remains unchanged. This puts us in better shape for building a comparative table of not only the clubs in this review, but in all the drivers we test moving forward, both as one-offs and as part of larger reviews like this one.

 

Notes from today's testing:

#1 and #2 distance leaders remain unchanged with the updated data, however, we do have one club coming out of nowhere making a very strong move up the charts so to speak.

I'd almost be comfortable picking an accuracy winner right now...but I won't. 8 clubs are basically in the mix for 2nd. With only 600 shots left to hit (it sounds like more than it actually is), it's unlikely #1 will be caught, and equally as unlikely any club outside the top 10 will sneak in.

There is a clear leader for consistency as well, however, given the number of shots still left for the leader, I expect the numbers will dip (they're ungodly high right now...I don't think they'll hold, but if they do, it will be the story of the test)

 

We had a handful of 300 yard drives today. Our biggest hitter, Brian, accounted for all but one of them.

MyGolfSpy is only major golf site that refuses advertising from large golf companies. With your support we can keep it that way. Donate Today
 


Subscribe to the MyGolfSpy Newsletter

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...