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2015 Gear Trials: The Best Clubs in Golf

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What are the best clubs? It’s a question we see asked over and over again on GolfWRX, and we’ve done our best to answer it with our 2015 Gear Trials: Best Clubs Lists.

To get the most objective information we could, we polled six of the top custom club fitters on the planet. That’s not our opinion. Four of the six are rated top-100 club fitters in America by Golf Digest, while the other two (Modern Golf and True Spec Golf) are top international club fitters.

To create each of the lists below, we asked each of the six custom-fitting teams to leave looks and feel out of the equation and rank only the drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons that they saw performing best in their fitting bays.

The 2015 Gear Trials Panel includes:

Learn more about our Gear Trials: Best Clubs Lists

If you’re in the market for new clubs, make sure you know what our hand-picked panel of experts has to say first. Enjoy these lists of what we think are the best drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons in golf.

Drivers

You could test every driver in your local golf store, but in the end, we’re confident that these seven choices (or their lower-spinning equivalents) will perform best for you.

composite_drivers

Fairway Woods

If you’re a golfer who primarily hits your fairway woods from the tee, you’ll want to look closely at the 2015 Gear Trials Winners that excel in distance. Those who mostly use their fairway woods from the fairway, on the other hand, will want to pay closer attention to those models that excel at forgiveness. If both are important to you, check out our overall ratings.

best fairway metal 2015

Hybrids

While reviewing each of the 2015 Best Hybrids below, remember the purpose of the clubs. They bridge the gap between a golfer’s shortest fairway wood and the longest iron they can hit consistently. Some golfers can make that transition without a hybrid, while others may need several hybrids. The hybrids that scored highest in our Distance Ratings tend to work best for golfers looking to shed spin, while the clubs that score high in our Forgiveness Ratings tend to be more consistent on mishits.

best hybrid 2015

Game-Improvement Irons

The largest, and most forgiving irons are most often referred to as “game-improvement” models, because they can drastically change the way a golfer navigates a course. Give a 20-handicap golfer a blade iron, and he might need to hit a 5 iron on a par-3 that measures 150 yards. But give that same golfer one of the game-improvement models below, and he may be able to hit a 7 iron to the same green. If you’re looking for more distance, accuracy and consistency from a game-improvement iron, you can’t do better than the eight models below.

best game improvement irons 2015

Players Irons

Players irons are not “game-improvement irons,” which have oversized club heads, thin faces and wide soles to help golfers hit their shots higher and farther, particularly on mishits. They are not “blades” or “blade-like irons,” either, which have small club heads, thick faces and narrow soles that better golfers often prefer because of their versatility.

Think of players irons as something in between, mixing different elements of both game-improvement and blade-like irons to give golfers a blend of distance, forgiveness and versatility.

best players irons 2015

Blade Iron Shootout

This list of the best blade irons in golf isn’t like the Gear Trials: Best Clubs Lists that we’ve published for 2015. It couldn’t be, because the type of golfers who are generally using blade or blade-like irons are generally looking for something more specific than adding distance or forgiveness to their iron game.

For that reason, we went about this story in a different way. We’re calling it our 2015 Blade Iron Shootout, and we hope it will help golfers understand the differences between some of the most popular blade irons currently available.

2015BLADE_SHOOTOUT4

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. max

    Jul 14, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Not having AP2’s in the top players irons is downright baffling. I fit a lot of players and the AP2s are consistently among the best performers.

  2. Gautama

    Jun 9, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    “The largest, and most forgiving irons are most often referred to as “game-improvement” models, because they can drastically change the way a golfer navigates a course.” As a bona fide club ho who buys irons like Imelda Marcos bought shoes, in my opinion “drastically change” is really overselling the value of GI irons. Yes, the best of them (cough, ping g series, cough) can definitely make the difference between things like hitting the green or carrying a hazard on slightly mishit shots that come up short, but but it’s not nearly as night and day as all the marketing would have us believe. Like 10 strokes a year kinda territory.

  3. Christosterone

    Jun 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    My srixon z945 never get tested….they are Japan only but played by a ton of the Cleveland/srixon guys.
    It is the most beautiful blade I’ve owned and plays really well…

  4. Rich

    Jun 7, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Please hurry up with the best blade irons list. Very keen to see what’s on that list. Cheers

    • Mike

      Jun 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Hey Rich:

      I can save you the wait. #1 – Miura MB-001.

    • ABgolfer2

      Jul 19, 2015 at 9:26 am

      20:20 hindsight. The list was littered with cavity backs.

  5. gabriel

    Jun 6, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    were the nike vapor pro…. best driver this year not because i play it but i work in a golf shop and it always win agains a lot of driver

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Swag ball markers and divot tool

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Product: Swag ball markers and divot tool

Pitch:  From Swag: “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do.”

Our take on Swag’s ball markers and divot tool

Swag Golf is creating some of the most sought after products on the market right now, with their funky headcovers and putters all being in high demand. Well, the companies ball markers and divot tool are no different, both of which are easily identifiable as coming from this emerging company who create high-quality products.

The Skull is the companies flagship symbol, and their Stainless Steel Skull Marker their most recognizable marker. The skull marker features black and fluorescent paint, with the bright sunglasses on the marker giving it a vibrant look. 100% CNC milled, the tool contains the companies name engraved on the back of the marker.

A variation on the Skull Marker is the companies Rainbow Skull Marker. Just in case the black and fluorescent paint job on the former wasn’t flashy enough for you, Swag’s Rainbow Skull Marker will make sure to get you noticed, containing the same features as their Skull Marker with a Rainbow PVD finish.

Moving away from their Skull Marker’s, Swag’s St Paddy’s Day Cap Marker is more than worthy of a mention. Identical in size to a bottle cap, the St Paddy’s Day inspired marker features a hand polished golden finish, with the word Swag in green written on the front, while on the back the words “Swag Golf Co.” as well as the company’s philosophy “Don’t give a putt” featured.

The company describe their bottle cap/marker as not being the first bottle cap/marker on the market but “the best one” out there. While I can’t confirm how true that statement is, I can certainly say it is an excellent one.

Swag’s first divot tool is the DTF Divot Tool. Get your head out of the gutter, that stands for “Down To Fix”. The device comes in a black and lime paint job, and an impressive weight of 49 Grams which should ensure that it doesn’t go missing on you.

The divot tool, like their ball markers, is 100% CNC milled and made from 303 Stainless Steel. For a Swag product, the writing and branding on the tool is quite minimalist, and it is as clean and sharp looking a divot tool as I’ve seen from the 2019 releases.

As always with Swag products, the only issue is the limited releases and how quickly the items go, which is no surprise considering the unique products as well as the quality provided. They are, however, continuing to create and release more and more products and their website, as well as their social media sites, are all well worth keeping a close eye on if you’re looking to snag some of the companies top gear in the future.

 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Etonic Stabi-Loud shoes

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Product: Etonic Stabi-Loud shoes

Pitch: From Etonic: “Throughout the years Etonic continued to achieve recognition for its footwear throughout the entire sports industry. From partnering with tennis legend Fred Perry to releasing the signature shoes of NBA All-Star Hakeem Olajuwon, Etonic has shown a passion and dedication to supplying athletes everywhere with the highest quality athletic shoes. Etonic continues to follow its commitment to athletes around the world by producing industry-leading activewear that allows you to achieve your best while feeling your best.”

Our take on the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe

If you were to think of one Tour player which you would expect to wear the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe, then who would you pick? I’m confident you all got it right. John Daly is partnered with both Etonic and Loudmouth who collaborated on this shoe, and you’d be hard pressed to find a golf shoe which represented his flamboyant style more than the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe does.

Looking to create the loudest shoe in golf, Etonic did just that, with bold colors in a zebra style pattern. According to John Holst, VP of Sales for Etonic Golf,

 “The Stabi-Loud shoe is truly one of a kind. If you’re looking for an ultra-comfortable, high performance shoe that will stand out on the course, then look no further!”

What’s more, the color sequences they’ve paired together work excellently. The classic zebra look, the black and orange and particularly the companies deep red and black pattern which looks electric.

The shoes come in four different color schemes and are fully waterproof. The shoe also features a microfiber material which makes the shoe extremely comfortable as well as durable.

The shoe hits the retail market in May, and for those who admire the styles of John Daly, Ian Poulter etc. then you’re likely to love Etonic’s Stabi-Loud Shoe. It covers all the bases in terms of comfort, and if you’re looking to stand out on the course, this shoe will undoubtedly help you achieve that.

 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Puma polos

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Product: Puma polos

Pitch:  From Puma “A world leader in high-performance sports clothing, Puma launched their first golf collection in 2004 complete with Puma golf shoes and clothing. The collection has gone from strength to strength ever since its creation, with tour pro golfers wearing the range out on the course. With bold colorful clothing to classically sporty and smart pieces, Puma golf is a versatile collection certain to appeal to golfers of all preferences.”

Our take on Puma’s polos

It’s difficult to look past Puma’s 2019 polo collection without seeing its Paradise golf shirt. Showcased by Rickie Fowler during the Island stretch of golf to begin the new year, the unconventional all button up shirt may not be to everyone’s taste, but anyone who pulls the shirt on will likely agree on its comfort. The shirt will channel your inner Ned Flanders, “feels like I’m wearing nothing at all,” and the ultra-lightweight feel combined with the looseness makes it an ideal summer shirt for swinging the club freely on the golf course.

Puma has a lot more polos on offer in 2019 than its Paradise shirt though, and one of the most visually striking shirts of theirs is the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo. The shirt comes in three vibrant colors (blue, white and green), and its camo inspired pattern is subtle and discreet which gives the shirt a cool look without being distracting. Also a lightweight polo, the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo features a clean three button look, as well as a very comfortable fit, and its dryCell technology means you won’t be drenched in sweat this summer.

Then there’s the Rotation Golf Polo which comes in both solid and stripes styles. The shirts offer a very modern feel and look, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with the selection of colors which the shirts come in, with an abundance on offer.

On the throwback front, Puma has you covered with their Nineties Golf Polo, with a striped shirt style and color. There are five different color blocks to choose from which are about as representative of spring/summer as I’ve seen, and the shirts also come with Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which is a nice summer touch.

The Faraday Polo is according to the company itself “one of our best”. Lightweight and one of the softest shirts they provide, it’s hard to disagree with them in terms of comfort level. The only off-putting feature of this shirt for me is the odd unfinished lining around the pocket.

The exhaustive selection of golf polos provided by Puma is impressive, and they’ve covered everything you’d want in a golf shirt in each of their styles. Prices range from $50-$70, and no matter what your taste, you’re bound to find a great summer golf shirt to add to your collection from their 2019 lineup.

 

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