We certainly did our testing on the TaylorMade SLDR and Callaway GBB Alpha and were impressed with the numbers. We thought we would go back and do a little further testing on a couple of other drivers that caught our eye to see how they compared. As always, we look at performance (distance, shot dispersion, launch angle and spin) and then sound and feel. The two that stand out were the Adams XTD and the Tour Edge XCG7 Beta. We tested both in a 10.5 degree and compared them to the SLDR and GBB Alpha. The Adams XTD was only a couple yards short of the “Big Two” but actually had slightly lower spin. Launch angles were pretty much the same. Smash factor was consistently in the 1.48-1.5 range (1.5 being optimum). The surprise was the Tour Edge XCG7 Beta with about 300 rpm lower spin and 3-4 yards more distance. The XCG7 Beta had the highest smash factor, averaging 1.49. Personally, I liked the sound of the XCG7 Beta and the feel was very solid, even on a few miss-hits. The Adams XTD felt a little less solid and the sound had a little more high pitch to it. ... Read More
What's New: From the Lab
Every year we hear the hype about longer, straighter …well maybe it is just longer!! So when we get all of our new drivers in the shop, we test them side by side. The tests are done by golfers with different swing styles and strength for a good comparison. But, the driver shaft used on each head is matched to the exact specifications for that golfer. This way we take out the variable of the shaft that may come in the driver. This year, the emphasis in drivers is launch and spin. You need more launch and obviously less spin. These will give you more distance. But we also are concerned about how consistent you are with your driver in terms of hitting fairways and loss of distance on miss-hits. We have not done all of the driver models yet (Tour Edge, Adams, Cobra, Titleist) but we did test out the Callaway and TaylorMade models. The distance winner is the TaylorMade SLDR, followed closely by the Callway Big Bertha Alpha, Callaway X2 Hot and TaylorMade JetSpeed. The big contributor to the distance winner was lower spin. The SLDR spin rate was 300-600 rpm’s lower than the Callaway GBB Alpha. The... Read More
We did a comparison of the four new Callaway irons, Apex, Apex Pro, X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro to get a better understanding of the differences in performance on our TrackMan launch monitor. Each 6 iron was tested with a True Temper DG PRO shaft that was built to the player’s specifications. In general, the Apex and Apex Pro were the best looking and feeling of the four clubs, with the X2 Hot Pro being the least favorite of all testers in terms of feel and sound. The favorite of all testers was the Apex Pro. Launch Angle: Launch angles followed the actual lofts of the club with the Apex Pro launching the highest and the X2 Hot launching the lowest. The real variance from lowest (X2 Hot) to highest (Apex Pro) was only 1.7 degrees. Spin: Spin rates were almost identical with the Apex and Apex Pro at roughly 5400 rpm. The X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro tested almost identical as well at roughly 4600 rpm. This 800 rpm spin differences was a direct contributor to the X2 Hot irons being roughly 9-12 yards longer ( 5%). Distance: The Apex Pro was 3- 5 yards longer than... Read More
True Temper released the Dynamic Gold PRO steel iron shafts through its authorized Performance Fitting Centers late in 2013. Everything about this shaft is progressive, meaning, the tip profiles get progressively stiffer as you go down from the 3 to the PW. This gives you a little higher ball flight with longer irons and more penetrating flight with 8,9 and PW. I also like the lighter weight than the traditional Dynamic Gold…fully 7-8 grams lighter in each shaft. I hit this shaft in a 6 iron built to my specs and was pretty amazed at the feel, even if it has a much stiffer mid-section. So if you are playing Dynamic Gold shafts and are looking for a little softer feel, lighter weight, and more progressive ball flight, you should consider the DG PRO!
MATRIX Shafts recently introduced their new VELOX St and Sp shafts. These shafts have distinctly different profiles and markets. The VELOX Sp is a back-weighted (counterbalanced) shaft that is designed for longer clubs or heavier driver heads so swing weight does not increase making clubs feel heavy. The VELOX St is designed for traditional lengths and swing weights. Overall, our testers rated these shafts 4.6 out of 5. Appearance: Cool looking blue and silver shaft graphics and silver-gray finish. Flexes Available: 50p A, R, S; 60p, 70p, 80p in R, S, X; 60t R, S, X; 70t R, S, X, XX; 80t S, X, XX MSRP: VELOX Sp – $275.00 USD; VELOX St – $375.00 USD Availability: Authorized MATRIX Shafts dealers. Weight Consistency: 4.8 out of 5. VELOX Sp weighs 9 grams heavier than the St in equivalent flexes. Butt Stiffness (CPM): Only 60 Sp and 60 St were available for testing. Consistent increase in CPM through flexes. St tests 5-6 CPM softer in the Butt section. Tip Stiffness: Sp:Mid-Soft, St: Stiff Mid Stiffness: Sp:Mid-Soft, St: Stiff Balance Point: While the Sp balance point is 53 % from the tip and the St is 50.8%, our demo club only showed... Read More
Graphite Design is introducing the Tour AD MT to its line of premium golf shafts in 2014. Designed for today’s low-spin drivers, this shaft is manufactured at the Graphite Design Japan factory headquarters. Overall, our testers rated the GD Tour AD MT 4.7 out of 5 based on the following: Appearance: Same graphics pattern as the DI and GT but a crisp lemon color with gray and blue accents in the Graphite Design band. Flexes Available: R2, R1, S in MT 5 (55 gr.), SR, S, X in MT 6 (65 gr.), S, and X in MT 7 (75 gr.) and MT 8 (83 gr.). MSRP: $500.00 USD Availability: Authorized Graphite Design fitters. Weight Consistency: 4.9 out of 5 Butt Stiffness (CPM): Consistent increase in CPM from R through S in the MT 5 and MT 6. MT 7 S and X test stiffer than the MT 6 and MT 8. Consistency is 4.5 out of 5. Tip Stiffness: Mid Mid Stiffness: Mid Balance Point: Will yield an average swing weight similar to the DI and GT series. Torque: Good transition of higher torque in MT 5 to lowest torque in the MT 8. Mid-high torque rating on MT 5,... Read More
Mizuno has always been a leader in forged iron technology and performance. Just ask Luke Donald! But, the new JPX-EZ Forged irons are a very unique iron. Forged from a single billet of carbon steel, these irons offer the incredible feel of forged irons with the speed and distance of the thin-faced cast irons that are so popular in the market today. I play the MP-59′s today and will make the switch to these irons in 2014. More forgiveness…better performance. What’s not to like! Come in and get fit for a set of these great irons and see what works best for YOUR game.
Mitsubishi Rayon released the Diamana W series as the latest upgrade to the signature Diamana Whiteboard line. We recently tested three different shaft weights, 50, 60 and 70. The biggest surprise was the stability and overall performance of the 50 for all testers. Overall, our testers rated the Diamana W 4.8 out of 5 based on the following: Appearance: Excellent graphics and high gloss finish. I actually liked the ion plating and finish on the ahina a little better. Flexes Available: R,S,X in both the 50 and 60 gram. S and X only in 70 and 80. MSRP: $400.00 USD Availability: Authorized Mitsubishi Rayon dealers. Weight Consistency: 4.8 out of 5 Butt Stiffness (CPM): Consistent increase in CPM from R through X through all weights. 50 was about 3 cpm softer in all flexes than the 60 and 70. Consistency is 4.8 out of 5. Tip Stiffness: Mid on 50 and 60, Mid-Stiff on 70 Mid Stiffness: Mid on 50, Mid-Stiff on 60 and 70 Balance Point: Will yield an average swing weight. Torque: Good transition of higher torque in R flex to lowest torque in X flex. Mid torque rating on 50 and Mid-Low on 60 and 70. SQI... Read More
In the last year, I have seen a trend towards some shafts that have a very “flat” profile, meaning the stiffness of the shaft stays pretty similar from butt to tip. I like to ask players when we fit them if they like the feel of a one-piece shaft that feels like an extension of their arm through impact, or if they like a two-piece feel with a little kick at impact. Some players know exactly what I am talking about but others just kinda scratch their heads. In our testing, the players that like the one-piece feel, and also get the best dispersion results, tend to have an aggressive transition from their back to forward swing. Having a more stable mid section will help these golfers deliver the club head more consistently. Sometimes the results are subtle, but other times it can be quite dramatic. We tested one golfer with a very firm mid-section shaft in his 3 wood against his gamer that was quite a bit softer in the mid section and his shot dispersion went from +/- 75 ft. at 230 yards to +/- 10 ft at the same distance. If you are looking for that kind... Read More
KBS will be shipping their new, lighter weight version of the KBS Tour shafts, the Tour V on November 1st. We have had a chance to test these shafts and take a look at the numbers as compared to the KBS Tour. We had three different testers using the shafts that were the closest to their specs. Launch angles were .5 to 2.0 degrees higher with the Tour V. Spin rates were 500 – 800 rpm lower with the Tour V than the Tour. Overall, there was a slight increase in distance (2 to 6 yards) while dispersion was much tighter for one tester but about the same for the other two. Overall, our testers rated the Tour V 4.4 out of 5 based on the following: Appearance: Typical KBS silver finish same as their Tour shaft. Flexes Available: R, S and X in taper tip only, 3-9 iron (use 9 iron shaft for wedges). From a design perspective, the thing we like is that the flexes will be consistent versus the Tour version, which does not always happen when you go to a lighter version of the same shaft. So, if you are playing an S in the Tour,... Read More