Connect with us

Equipment

2014 Gear Trials: What are the best clubs in golf?

Published

on

 

“What clubs should I buy?” is such a loaded question, but it’s something all golfers find themselves asking at some point.

Ask 10 people their opinion on the best clubs in golf and you’ll get 10 different answers. And you can’t ask anyone who works for an equipment manufacturer. We’ve encountered very few OEM employees who won’t tell you that their company’s clubs will help you hit it “longer and straighter” than any other club on the market without hesitation.

So how can anyone actually figure out what clubs to play? It starts with an understanding that there are no “best” clubs, only the best clubs for you.

Our 2014 Gear Trials Best Clubs lists cut through opinions and marketing claims to help golfers choose the best drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons for their game. We rank the best clubs in three different categories — Distance-First, Forgiveness-First and Balanced-Performance — to help golfers gain a better understanding of what clubs will actually suit their needs.

Here’s a little bit more about how we break down our categories:

  • Distance-First: What clubs go the farthest? It’s a simple question that’s answered using launch, spin and ball speed. This category is skewed toward the needs of golfers with either really fast swings or those who create a lot a spin, because they are the golfers who tend to benefit the most from the low-spinning head designs that tend to create the most distance.
  • Forgiveness-First: It’s said that golf is a game of misses. The clubs in this category help minimize distance losses when golfers do miss the sweet spot. The formula here is more moment of inertia (MOI), which is what most golfers are talking about when they say forgiveness. A higher MOI helps your mishits fly more like your good shot, which means they’ll end up closer to your intended target.
  • Balanced Performance: Having top-level distance and forgiveness is the ultimate goal of club design, but it’s no easy task. This is our most stringent category that will fit the needs of the widest variety of golfers. Know that if you buy a club from this category, it is truly one of the best models in golf.

How could we possibly develop such a list? Read on.

Who votes?

In our past best clubs list, we relied on both the feedback of our equipment editors and an elite panel of custom fitters located across North America. For this year’s list, we decided we needed another component: mass player testing of every major manufacturer’s clubs performed by fitters at Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti, Mich. Those fitters spent eight days with 33 different testers of various ability levels evaluating each club from each category.

After that, we surveyed our five other top custom fitters located across North America: Carl’s GolflandModern GolfMorton Golf and two other custom fitters who chose to remain anonymous.

The scoring process

Unlike in years past, this year’s scores were entirely based on the performance of each club, removing the subjective categories of looks, sound and feel from the equation. What was left was the votes of our custom fitters (60 percent of the club’s score), the results of our mass player test (30 percent of the club’s score) and the votes of our staff members (10 percent of a club’s score).

The scores have been tallied and winners awarded. Below are the results, with the important areas of stress for each category.

2014 Gear Trials: Best Drivers

BestDrivers

2014 Gear Trials: Best Fairway Woods

fairwayredo

2014 Gear Trials: Best Hybrids

GTnewhybrid

2014 Gear Trials: Best Players Irons

ironfeatgt

2014 Gear Trials: Best Game-Improvement Irons 

gameimprvpic2-1

Click the links above or browse below to see the winners from each category. Read all about Gear Trial FAQ’s here.

See the 2015 Gear Trail Winners here

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

Whats in the Bag

Sergio Garcia WITB 2020

Published

on

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9.0 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Rocket 3 (14 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX

Irons: Ping Blueprint (3-PW)
Shaft: Nippon NS Pro Modus 3 Tour 130 X

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (54-10, 58-8)
Shafts: Nippon NS Pro Modus 3 Tour 130 X

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Grips: SuperStroke S-Tech

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges

Published

on

What Titleist tells us:  “SM8 features a reimagined progressive center of gravity, which produces the most accurate and forgiving Vokey wedge yet. Using tungsten weights and varied hosel lengths, the Vokey R&D team has moved the CG outside of the wedge head and placed it in front of the face, resulting in increased MOI and exceptional feel.” 

“For the golfer, this means an optimized ball flight and a clubface that simply wants to square up at impact. SM8 accomplishes all of this while preserving the classic Vokey head shape players demand.”

In simple terms, what Bob Vokey and his team have done is gone even further with CG placement and dialed it in to make sure each unique wedge has its own flight DNA. Since most players go with a four wedge system—46, 52, 56, 60, for example—it is essential that full shot wedges do full shot things and higher lofted wedges do their duty around the greens. 

Spin Milled grooves to ensure maximum spin and consistency is also a trademark of Vokey wedges. All OEMs have their version of this, they all work effectively and the SM8 is no different.

Vokey SM8 wedges: Specs and grinds

The grind I was most taken with was the M Grind, which, according to Titleist, is the most versatile of all the grinds. It’s got plenty of bounce squared up and has just the right amount of heel and toe give when opened up.

Overall thoughts

I had the opportunity to test the SM8. My biggest takeaways: the feel, which is solid, the flight on the gap and sand wedges was lower with a ton of spin and the higher-lofted wedges were extremely stable on mishits, especially off of a tight lie.

Do you know that shot that comes out at the toe and floats a bit? Maybe not getting to the top of a slope or carrying some rough? Those shots hold their line a lot better which ultimately could be the difference between a six-footer for par or another chip.

In simple terms, this one was kind of a layup. Of course, Vokey is going to make a fantastic wedge line. It’s the most played wedge on Tour by a bajillion and for good reason. They always have a clean simple look, there are enough grinds to satisfy any golfer—and you can’t argue with legacy.

Truth is, there are a ridiculous amount of good wedges out there by all the big OEMs. I know. I’ve tried em all. But there is something about the golfing public and Bob Vokey that just won’t stop. That’s a great thing. 

 

Your Reaction?
  • 30
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW3
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

Equipment

Today from the Forums: “Recommend me a 14th club…”

Published

on

Today from the Forums showcases our members helping out ewe8523 who is on the hunt for a 14th club. Per ewe8523:

“My home course is fairly short 6050 yards, so I’m not really in a position where I have to hit a lot of long fairway shots. There is one par 5 on each side – 548 and 449 respectively.

Open to other options as well.

Including current specs and avg distance.

  1. Driver – Cobra F9 – 250 yards
  2. 3-Wood – Cobra F7 – 220 yards
  3. Hybrid – Callaway Epic – 200 yards
  4. 5 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 175 yards
  5. 6 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 165 yards
  6. 7 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 155 yards
  7. 8 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 145 yards
  8. 9 Iron – Callaway Apex CF16 – 130 yards
  9. PW – Callaway Apex CF16 – 115 yards
  10. 50 Degree – Vokey SM6 – 100 yards
  11. 56 Degree – Vokey SM6 – 75 yards
  12. 60 Degree – Cleveland CBX – Bunker Only
  13. Putter – Scotty Cameron Newport 2
  14. ?”

WRXers have been giving their suggestions on what could work best for ewe8523, and also discussing what they have found most useful from a 14th club standpoint.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • heathpitts: “Very similar setup and gapping to my setup. Although my wedge lofts are a bit different. I have wedges at 50, 54, 58, and 62 but generally, only carry 3 per round. I adjust the 54-62 based on where I’m gonna play. I do also have a graphite shafted 3 utility iron that I play around with as a driving iron, but I see that you haven’t really found one that you like. I adjust the 14th club based on the course or conditions or time of year (due to different wedge grinds) sometimes but try to keep it as simple as possible. I think your setup is pretty good honestly. I always seem to score better with fewer options, so I don’t try to get cute with shot selection 🙂 I play 13 clubs a lot of times.”
  • MP4444: “I agree with the others on a club to hit that 185-190yrd spot. Either a hybrid or an iron with extra help compared to the CF16s. I personally have a 4 hybrid and a more game-improvement style 5 iron that I use interchangeably for this spot in my bag depending on how I’m striking the ball. When my ball striking is on, I usually prefer an iron in this spot because my misses are smaller, but it’s nice to have the help of a hybrid when I’m not feeling so on with my game. If you go the iron route just be sure to check out the lofts to ensure the proper gapping. Some game improvement and super game improvement type irons have stronger lofts so you may need to look at a 4 or 5 iron depending on the model. I would also recommend hitting both on a launch monitor and comparing peak height and spin numbers. You are still typically looking to hold a green at this distance, so you want to make sure you are getting enough height and spin to have a chance.”
  • Z1ggy16: “The obvious choice is like a 188-yard club but if you never need that shot… Why spend the money? Other option is like a 64* wedge, but that’s probably going to get you into trouble more often than not. I’d lean toward the 185-190 yard club, probably another hybrid, gives you more flexibility if you play other courses that are longer.”
  • crapula: “Higher lofted Callaway Epic?”

Entire Thread: “Recommend me a 14th club…”

Your Reaction?
  • 8
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending