11 Things We Learned...

Some key dis­cov­er­ies from the big­gest equip­ment test we’ve ever done

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

1 MONEY TALKS

As much as we don’t like to ad­mit it, you do usu­ally get what you pay for when it comes to golf clubs. Our top-five Pre­mium driv­ers (in the hands of our test pro) car­ried drives – on av­er­age – 5.5m fur­ther than those in the Per­for­mance cat­e­gory, and 7.3m fur­ther than Bud­get driv­ers. Only you can de­cide if that’s a price worth pay­ing.

2 CAR­BON EQUALS DIS­TANCE

Car­bon-fi­bre is tak­ing over the driver mar­ket, as brands use it to free up weight in their lat­est models. Pit­ting car­bon-clad driv­ers against allti­ta­nium models, there was an av­er­age of 9m ex­tra carry dis­tance in favour of car­bon-fi­bre.

3 MOV­ING FROM THE CEN­TRE

Last year, two cen­tre-shafted put­ters made it into our top 10s. This year we didn’t re­ceive any to even test, which has to say the cen­tre-shaft trend is de­clin­ing. It’s a real shame, as we think a cen­tre­shaft of­fers such a sim­ple way to putt.

4 WIDE BODY = BET­TER PER­FOR­MANCE

Wider bod­ies are al­most al­ways more for­giv­ing in golf clubs. But if we told you that, on av­er­age, the for­give­ness of our wide-body hy­brids helped cre­ate higher launch, more ball speed and 8m more of carry than the nar­row bod­ies, would you re­ally want a nar­row body al­ter­na­tive in your bag?

5 16.5° LOFT SE­CRET

Faster faces mean

15° fair­way woods now de­liver al­most as much dis­tance as your driver; not ideal if you’re try­ing to lay up short of fair­way bunkers off a tee. A 16.5° loft gives bet­ter gap­ping for many of us, and they’re eas­ier to launch from the deck with a low­er­spin­ning, modern ball.

6 WANT TO HIT YOUR IRONS FUR­THER?

Ever won­dered why game im­prove­ment irons fly fur­ther than bet­ter-player models? Part of it is down to the stronger lofts. The av­er­age 7-iron loft of the su­per game im­prove­ment irons we tested was 30°, com­pared to 31° for game im­prove­ment and 33° for bet­ter-player irons. In terms of dis­tance, that equates to 169m for SGI irons, 164m for GI irons and 156m for bet­ter-player irons. For most golfers that’s over a full club of dif­fer­ence.

7 COM­PAR­ING THE BIG­GEST DRIVER LAUNCHES OF 2017...

The four most talked-about driv­ers of 2017 were in­sep­a­ra­ble when their re­sults were av­er­aged across our three testers. Call­away’s GBB Epic Sub Zero was fastest and long­est at 148.6mph/243m; Tay­lorMade’s M2 came in at 147.6mph/242m, GBB Epic 147.6mph/240m; and the M1 147mph/240m.

8 LAUNCH IT HIGHER, CARRY IT FUR­THER

Brands keep telling golfers that to hit it fur­ther, you need to hit it higher. We have to agree, es­pe­cially for the club golfer. And it was the same case whether it was driv­ers, fairways, hy­brids or irons.

9 DRAW DRIV­ERS RE­ALLY WORK

There’s never been any­thing cool or sexy about ad­mit­ting your game needs a draw driver be­fore. But Tay­lorMade have changed all that with the M2 D-Type (Ping also make a G SF-Tec). It per­forms bril­liantly not only for slicers, but also for golfers who hit shots out of the heel.

10 SLID­ING FAIR­WAY WEIGHTS HAVE A NEG­LI­GI­BLE EF­FECT ON SPIN

Move­able weights in driv­ers are the norm nowa­days and spin changes of up to 600rpm are not un­usual. Our data shows move­able weights in fairways though have a much smaller ef­fect on spin. We’d say fairways of­fer­ing shot bias weight­ing are much more use­ful to the club golfer.

11 PRICES HAVE GONE UP

Last year, the av­er­age price of a driver in our Top 10s was US$284.83 – that’s jumped to US$326.67 for 2017. The trend’s not just lim­ited to driv­ers ei­ther, it’s across the board.

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