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2015 Gear Trials: FAQ

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There’s a running joke around the GolfWRX office during the winter months. Before he goes to bed, GolfWRX Founder and President Richard Audi reviews the incoming votes from our Gear Trials Panelists. At least once.

[quote_box_center]”During the two weeks we are receiving the votes of our Gear Trials Panelists, I’m all over Zak [GolfWRX’s Editor] to send them to me ASAP,” Audi says. “I’ll open up all six on my computer so I can review them all on my screen at once. That’s where my wife says, ‘Just stop it.'”[/quote_box_center]

What our founder is in search of, like many golfers, is insight into the best-performing new clubs on the market. What new driver will be in his bag in 2015? Is it finally time to add a new fairway wood? Or a hybrid to replace that pesky long iron? Or a larger, more forgiving set of irons?

These are the questions that keep GolfWRXers up night, and the reason we created our Gear Trials Club test.

We hold Gear Trials sacred, because we understand its importance and special place in the industry. There is no shortage of best clubs lists, but Gear Trials is the only test we know of that’s 100 percent based on the feedback of the top club fitters in the world, and verified by independent Trackman testing.

Image from Cool Clubs, one of our Gear Trials Panelists.

Image from Cool Clubs, one of our Gear Trials Panelists.

The golf equipment space is more confusing now than ever, with more new club models currently in stores than at any time in the industry’s history. That’s why we designed Gear Trials to cut through the noise, and give golfers a short list of the best-performing clubs in the following categories:

  • Drivers
  • Fairway Woods
  • Hybrids
  • Players Irons
  • Game-Improvement Irons
  • Blade Irons

Armed with our Gear Trials lists, golfers can narrow their new club search to just a few top-performing models. We hope that will save them time, money and most importantly, help them play better golf… or have more fun. Preferably both.

So what else goes into our 2015 Gear Trials: Best Clubs Lists? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions.

Who votes?

Image from True Spec Golf, one of our Gear Trials Panelists.

Image from True Spec Golf, one of our Gear Trials Panelists.

Our Gear Trials: Best Clubs Lists are created with the votes of our Gear Trials Panel, which includes six of the top golf club fitters in North America. Four of the fitters are on Golf Digest’s list of the best club fitters in America, while the other two (Modern Golf and True Spec Golf) are top international club fitters.

Our Gear Trials Panel includes:

The staffs of each Gear Trials Panelist perform more than 1,000 professional fittings each year — and more than 6,000 yearly fittings between them all. That level of experience is what we feel sets Gear Trials apart from all the other best club lists.

How the voting works

Photo from Gear Trials Panelist Modern Golf.

Photo from Gear Trials Panelist Modern Golf.

Each of our Gear Trials Panelists was asked to rank the top-performing clubs in three categories, which allows us to highlight the clubs that are the best for:

  • Distance: The clubs that fly the farthest.
  • Forgiveness: The clubs that are best on off-center hits.
  • Best Overall: The clubs with the best blend distance and forgiveness.

Our editorial team tallied the votes, and the six models that received the most votes in each category made our lists. If there were ties — for example, a three-way tie for fifth place — our Gear Trials Editors acted as tie breakers.

Who are the Gear Trials Editors?

GolfWRX_Best-Drivers

GolfWRX’s Staff reviews 2015 Gear Trials testing data at company headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.

  • Richard Audi, GolfWRX Founder and President
  • Zak Kozuchowski, GolfWRX Editor
  • Andrew Tursky, GolfWRX Assistant Editor

Was a club test performed?

Gear Trials Panelist Miles of Golf performed an independent club test at its facility in Ypsilanti, Mich., for the each of the Gear Trials categories:

  • Best Drivers: 26 models tested
  • Best Fairway Woods: 20 models tested
  • Best Hybrids: 16 models tested
  • Best Players Irons: 24 models tested
  • Best Game-Improvement Irons: 14 models tested
  • Best Blade Irons: 14 models tested

The club test, which was arranged by Miles of Golf‘s team of trained club fitters, took place over the course of four weekends. It included 41 testers of different ages and ability levels, and was performed on Trackman launch monitors to verify the performance of the clubs chosen by our Gear Trials Panel.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jordan

    Sep 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the great review.. the same with bradford i want see real results during real game. Golf for me is a great sport to learn about…

  2. Chris C.

    Apr 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I agree with those who have expressed a desire to actually see the results of the extensive testing performed at Miles of Golf. All that effort spread out over the course of 4 weekends, thousands of shots and hours spent collating the myriad data points only to produce the numerical equivalent of gold and silver stars. This strikes me as a terrible waste of time and talent. You had the opportunity to actually provide details delineating distance( longest/average/mean/consistency). You had the opportunity to assess which clubs better suit different types of golfers( axis, launch angles, etc.). You had a chance to detail accuracy and consistency.Obviously, my critique applies not only to the driver tests but also to the fairway wood and hybrid tests. I spend WAY too much time reading club reviews so it frustrates me when I see such a wasted opportunity.

  3. Golfraven

    Mar 25, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    ok, so where is the data from all those test? You have it on the table so why not sharing?

    • E

      Mar 26, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Agreed no relevant information is provided, I frequent the forums to get someone’s feeling on a club. Disappointed golfwrx is seriously lacking in the testing/review department compared to some other sites…

      Non of the top 7 were close to the best preformer for me and Id like to see some numbers showing how they came to those conclusions.

      Seems this is just a re-done golf digest hot list.

      I appreciate the time and effort that went into the trials, just wish a better comparison was does with some evidence behind it.

  4. 8thehardway

    Mar 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I’ve held my own Gear Trials since 2007:
    Pre-trial goal – 10 more yards (dispersion not a problem)
    Round 1 – Hit everything
    Round 2 – Pit the best against my 2005 Ping G5
    Round 3 – Re-grip Ping G5

  5. cliche

    Mar 25, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    would like to see that with wedges

  6. bradford

    Mar 25, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Looking forward to results. They will provide a great method of determining which clubs to choose for simulator golf. Unfortunately, without actual on the course testing, none of it will be very telling- as each club will behave differently for each person, especially under “real-golf” situations.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: Jf72286

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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 Jf72286.

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

Member: Jf72286

Driver: Callaway Mavrik (9 degrees) (D setting)
Shaft:Aldila Rogue 130 MSI 60 (stiff) (-1/4 in.)

3-wood:  Titleist 909F2 (15.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Proforce V2 Black 7F4 (stiff) (-1/4 in.)

5-wood: Titleist 910F (19 degrees) (B1 setting)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Proforce V2 Black 7F4 (stiff) (-1/4 in.)

Irons: Titleist T200 (4-PW)
Shaft: True Temper AMT Black (stiff)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (48-10F, 54-10S); Callaway PM Grind 19 Chrome (60-12)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 (48, 54); True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 (60)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot #3

Putter Grip: Iomic I-Classic Putter MID

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Black (Midsize)

Golf Ball: Titleist Tour Soft

Bag: Nike Sport Lite Stand Bag (Black)

“34 years old and live in Los Angeles. Lots of new gear this year with the exception of my 3 and 5 woods as well as my putter (I’ve had that one since around the year 2000). I cleaned all the clubs just in time for this photoshoot, but they get lots of use. I’m a low 80’s golfer.”

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

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best club/clubs for a 5-year-old beginner

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In our forums, our members have been discussing club options for a 5-year-old beginner. WRXer ‘CaseJ’ reaches out to fellow members, saying:

“I’m looking for a lightweight 7 iron for my 5-year-old daughter. I purchased one of these a while ago, but it has a standard head on it and is way too heavy. For her, it’s trying to swing a sledgehammer. 

Any idea where I can find clubs specifically designed for kids?”

And WRXers have been getting involved and sharing their suggestions in our forum.

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.

  • FellaHeen51: “For a 5-year-old child? A putter. Easy for them to wield with a bit of instruction. They have fun knocking the ball around on a practice green. That’s been my experience with my grandson this summer past. Then add an appropriately sized PW. Learn from the green back.”
  • 76mpg: “US Kids clubs.”
  • Vater: “FWIW, I started my five-year-old with a hybrid that was the right length for his height. It was kind of dumb luck where it was one of the few clubs that fit him and wasn’t a toy at my local golf shop. From what he’s told me, the size of the head made him feel like he could hit better. That experiment was a success, and I quickly got him a whole set (Wilson) with a driver, short iron, wedge, and putter. Conveniently again, starting with the hybrid was a good way to go because it was a club that wasn’t also in the set. Good luck on your journey – my boy and I have been hitting the range regularly together for almost a year, and I think it’s one of the best things you can do to get your kid outside at that age.”
  • Bizzie80: “Check junior golf threads. Lots of starter info. Get her the U.S. kids yard club for her height and a putter from them to match. All you need to start her off.”

Entire Thread: “Best club/clubs for a 5-year-old beginner”

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Equipment

2020 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Golfer Looking to get Better

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to get better,” “the clothes horse,” and “the big spender.” (Editor’s note: remaining installments to publish tomorrow and Wednesday)

You know the golfer looking to get better by his/her closet full of every infomercial training aid and a pursuit of forgiveness that would put the most penitent sinner to shame.

Here are our best recommendations for “golfer looking to get better” in your life.

Get a lesson

James Oh

Former tour player and now Southern California based coach to a number of fast-rising players in college and on tour, James teaches not only the swing, short game, etc., but he is also arguably one of the best Golf IQ coaches out there.

Book a lesson here. 

George Gankas

Get on the mat with the hottest teacher in the U.S. and longtime coach to Matthew Wolff and Akshay Bhatia. In a few years, these appointments will be few and far between.

Book a lesson here. 

James Ridyard

Short game teacher to the best—notably Francisco Molinari. A private session with James is expensive, but it’s worth the investment and then some. The best way on the planet to get your short game dialed.

Book a lesson here. 

Marcus Potter

Young and nimble, Marcus Potters career has taken off via word of mouth and Instagram. Schedule an in-person or video-based session with Marcus, and you will be putting like a young Ben Crenshaw.

Book a lesson here. 

Get Better at Home

PlaneMate

The hottest training aid in 2019 continued to be fire in 2020 as players are now learning how to utilize it over the winter to hit the ground running in the spring.

Buy here. 

Gankas G Box

If you really want to learn how to rotate like the best players in the world, there is no better and easier-to-use aid in the market. Good indoors and out.

Buy here. 

Get Faster

SuperSpeed Sticks

No longer a secret tool on tour, the SuperSpeed Sticks offer adults and juniors the ability and training program to truly hit it longer. If you want to build true speed and learn how you hit it farther, the SuperSpeed Sticks are a necessity.

Buy here. 

At-home practice facility

If you’ve got the dough to do it, building a Foresight hitting bay at home is almost like cheating. Not only can you dial in your swing, your clubs, and a create sound practice routines, you can also have some fun and play multiple iconic tracks over with your friends in the comfort of your own home.

Buy here. 

Wellness

Urban Golf Performance

For the SoCal crowd, buying a membership at Urban Golf Performance in Los Angeles puts you in an all-encompassing golf ecosystem that works with your body, your game, your mind and your bag. Its Equinox for golfers—and oh yeah, Collin Morikawa works out there amongst a bunch of other PGA pros and college stars.

Book here. 

For the .com crowd

Me and My Golf online membership

It’s a rabbit hole of tips, tutorials, and insight for golfers of all levels. Arguably the biggest golf platform on YouTube now offers you the VIP experience.

Buy here (7-day free trial).

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