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

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“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

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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.

Equipment

ProjectX launches HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts

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Last week, at the WGC-FedEx Memphis St. Jude invitational, we got a sneak peek at the newest HZRDUS shaft from Project X, and now we have all the details on the new Smoke RDX.

To produce this shaft, Project X has teamed up with Hexcel, a global leader in composites technology for aerospace and military operations based in Stamford, Connecticut, for the purpose of utilizing their HexTow® carbon fibers to add more stability to the already extremely stable line of HZRDUS Smoke shafts.

Hexcel’s HexTow® carbon fibers represent the highest quality aerospace-grade carbon fiber and are used in the construction of some of the world’s most advanced aircraft including the Airbus A350 XWB, F18 E/F, A380, and more. I realize that sounds a bit generic, but when you consider some of the other applications for their materials and the fact Hexcel topped over 3.25 Billion dollars in sales last year – they mean serious business.

Photo by S. Ramadier – Airbus

The Project X HZRDUS line of shafts has established itself as a shaft built for golfers with aggressive swing tempos, and that continues with the new HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX. It’s the first golf shaft to utilize Hexcel’s new HexTow® HM54 high modulus carbon fiber and combines it with high tensile strength HexTow® IM2C carbon fiber to provide the ideal blend of stiffness and stability desired by engineers to build into the HZRDUS shafts.

Smoke Black RDX profile features an ultra-stiff midsection along with a stiff tip to provide low launch and low spin performance designed to keep up with aggressive swings.  Although unconfirmed we can make the possible assumption that since this shaft has been branded the “Black” RDX there may be other profiles released that utilize the same Hexcel composites.

Specs & Pricing

Right now we are waiting on confirmation on pricing but specs, and available flexes of the new Smoke Black RDX are available below.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: Brickhouze

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of WRX member: ‘Brickhouze’

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: Brickhouze

Handicap (per profile): 4

Brickhouze WITB

Driver: Titleist TS3 (8.5-degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro 76 Tour Spec X

3-wood: PXG Gen2
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 869 Evolution 8.0 S

Driving iron: Srixon U65
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 90HY TX

Irons: Miura TC 201 4-PW
Shafts: Royal P Rifle Parallel Tip 6.0 (hard step 2x)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 50.08F, 54.10S, 58.08M (stripped the black finish with vinegar)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Directed Force Reno 1

Putter Grip: Press OG

Grips: Pure Pro Midsize

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

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Equipment

GolfWRX Classifieds (08/07/20): Ping G410+, Tour Issue SIM, Ping G410 LST fairway wood

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member bleuachdu – Ping G410+ driver head

This driver head might have been photographed in the rough but with the forgiveness of the Ping G410+ you’re not likely to find yourself in it too often.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 410+ driver.

Member KC4441 – Tour Issue TaylorMade Sim Driver

At GolfWRX we thrive on Tour Issue gear and this is a prime example of what we love—a tour issue driver still in the plastic. This is a BYOS (bring your own shaft) kinda build, but one that I think might be worth it.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Sim Driver Head

Member jblough99 – Ping G410 LST fairway head

Ping drivers and fairway woods are all over the used market for the same reason Toyotas are—quality, reliability, and just the fact that they sell so darn many of them. This G410 LST is in almost new shape and a bargain.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping LST Fairway

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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