What's New: From the Lab

Callaway EPIC Review – Distance, Accuracy or Both?

February 16th, 2017

Callaway EPIC review – distance, accuracy or both?  By now I am sure you have heard all of the claims that the EPIC and EPIC Sub Zero are re-writing the books on driver and fairway wood performance.   The Jailbreak technology that anchors the crown and sole of the club is the first of this technology to hit the market.  But, does it work? We have a testing team that has put both the EPIC and EPIC Sub Zero driver through its paces.  Since our team has gone through our fitting process and have actually been “optimized” in terms of driver performance, we knew that this would be the ultimate test.  Using shafts that are the same as their “gamer” or very close, we tested their existing drivers with the new EPIC and EPIC Sub Zero. Our testers run the gamut from 80 to 115 mph swing speed, negative to positive attack angles, inside-out to outside-in swing paths and 1 to 13 handicap.  This makes our fittings challenging to get exactly the right shaft to optimize performance.  So, we either used the exact same shaft in our testing as our testers had in their gamers, or a shaft with very similar... Read More

Callaway EPIC Drivers

January 16th, 2017

The Callaway EPIC driver is getting a TON of hype.  So is it really all it is cracked up to be?  The only way to know is to get tested with the EPIC and the right shaft that is fit to your swing. There are a couple of tests out there that show +11 yards distance but these are all guys with 100+mph swing speeds (see GolfWRX Test here).   Just like our testing, the one I respect is the one Pete’s Golf Shop in New York did.  They had twelve of their golfers that had all been fit to there current driver.  They used the same shaft and just swapped out the heads for the EPIC.  Results were a more modest increase of 2+ yards.  As I mention below, it is not just the distance gain, but potential tighter shot dispersion that counts! First of all, the EPIC and EPIC Sub Zero (low spin version) have the highest MOI (forgiveness) of any driver in the industry.  Translation?  It is the most forgiving of any driver introduced in 2017.  So, will you gain ANY benefit from this driver?  Unless you are a +2 handicap and hit the ball “on the screws”... Read More

Project X LZ Tour 90 Graphite Shaft Review

December 8th, 2016

The Project X LZ Tour 90 graphite shaft is the next great step from the company that brought us the LZ Steel shafts.  The LZ Tour 90 comes in a taper tip (.355″) discrete length in 5.0 (Regular) and 6.0 (Stiff) flex.  While the shaft graphic says 90gr, the actual specs are 80-87, depending upon length.  In our testing, the balance point is a little towards the butt end which makes the shaft feel more like a 90 gram shaft when built to length. When we built our test clubs, we found that the 5.0 plays a little soft so you would need to hard-step (put the 5 iron shaft in the 4 iron) in order to get close to the 5.o flex.  On the other hand, the 6.0 plays pretty true to flex.  Depending upon the length and desired swing weight, we should be able to build a wide range of flex, length, and swing weight options from a mid range Senior flex (4.0) to a high end stiff flex (6.3). Dynamic testing the LZ shafts is always a treat and the LZ Tour 90 did not disappoint.  Our testers were impressed with the smooth yet explosive feel of... Read More

Which irons are best for me?

November 9th, 2016

Which irons are best is quite a question.  The answer is the ones you hit the farthest with the most accuracy and consistency!  Of course that implies you are going through a good fitting for a variety of irons and shafts.  The majority of you answering our survey said that their next purchase would be a new set of irons.  So, here are a couple of suggestions on your quest for the next set of irons. Are you looking for more distance?  If so, there are a lot of new irons that have new face technology that can get you more distance.  This is not just from the age-old trick of lowering the loft!  The hottest iron heads we have seen this fall have been the Callaway Big Bertha OS, Mizuno MP-H5, PXG 0311, Ping G30, and TaylorMade M2.  If you need more consistency.  I would argue that more consistency comes from a proper fitting with the right shaft and grip.  That being said, we have tested a lot of iron heads for consistency and what we look for is the ability of the club head to provide less loss of distance and accuracy on off-center hits.  Our top choices... Read More

Your Next Golf Equipment Purchase

October 26th, 2016

Your next golf equipment purchase will be?  Based upon surveys by Golf Digest, it will either be a driver or a set of irons.  What are your thoughts?  (Take our survey on our clubfitting page here).  If you just finished your season here in the northern hemisphere, you should seriously evaluate what equipment caused you issues in your game this season (see previous blog on fitting here).  If you are in the southern hemisphere, your season is just getting started and NOW is the time to make those equipment decisions that will shape your game this season. If you are struggling off the tee for distance, accuracy or consistency, make sure you get your driver dialed in!  The driver is arguably the toughest club in the bag to fit but it is THE club that gives you confidence for the rest of your game.  Maybe it is just a new shaft that is needed.  If your driver is over five years old, technology has changed …. a lot. Same goes for irons.  You need to be confident that your distance gaps are consistent and so are your misses.  A solid iron fitting can give you back distance you may have... Read More

The Secret of Driver Head Performance

October 7th, 2016

The secret of driver head performance?  From a design standpoint, it is all about maximizing how “hot” the face is and making sure that they are manufactured consistently to that level of performance.  Having worked with a lot of players with swing speeds from 50 mph to 145 mph (yes, 145 mph) I can tell you that driver heads designed for slower speeds have much different characteristics than those for higher swing speeds like our Long Drivers (Krank Golf).   I have included a couple of videos courtesy of Krank Golf that explain a couple of these concepts as well. The first secret is having a high COR (coefficient of restitution) or CT (characteristic time).  Both of these measure how fast a ball rebounds off the face of the driver.  The highest COR allowable by the USGA is .830.  This is tested by firing a golf ball out of an air cannon at a driver head.  The velocity of the ball hitting the head is 100 mph and the rebound velocity cannot be more than 83 mph.  A similar test is for CT or the time a steel ball stays in contact with a driver head.  If the CT is over... Read More

PXG TPE Core Technology – The Performance Difference

August 30th, 2016

The PXG TPE Core Technology is what really creates the performance difference in the PXG iron heads.  While hollow iron heads have been around for several years, this is the first head to incorporate an elastomer, TPE, filled head.  My first thought was that it would be difficult to do this without creating “hot” or “dead” spots.  Wrong on both counts.  In all of our testing and fittings, the 0311 and 0311T heads have the most consistent smash factor.  This means that ball speeds, launch angles and distances are more consistent across all levels of golfers.  Sure, some other heads may offer more distance but you have to look at the lofts and spin rates of the heads.  And yes, they are expensive but the results speak for themselves.  Coupled with the right shaft, grip and custom fit, you will have the best performing irons you have ever hit!  If you are as geeky about this as I am, continue reading about the technology…  Or better yet, schedule a fitting and come in and feel the difference yourself. Dan Sueltz TPE Core Technology The TPE used by PXG is a Japanese, high-performance anti-concussion polymer that enhances a club’s sound and... Read More

What is Your Optimum Wedge Distance From the Green?

August 2nd, 2016

What is your optimum wedge distance to the green?  You know, the distance that you have the most confidence that you will get it really close to the hole.  Some golfers like to hit relatively short shots to the green, say 50-60 yards.  Other golfers like a full wedge shot, whether it is sand wedge, gap wedge or pitching wedge.   We did a survey on the distance and here are the results: 100 – 110 yards:  34% 80 – 90 yards:  31% 50 – 60 yards:  21% 120 – 130 yards:  7% 140 – 150 yards:  2% Personally, I am the 100 – 110 yard guy as well. So, what this tells us is that if we want to lower our scores, we need to take more shots from our “safety zone”.  Under a tree 150 yards out?  You have two choices.  Punch out to your safety zone or try to run it up to the green.  Water in front of the green?  Safety zone it is!  I used to try to gouge my way to the green with a perfect shot but that just seemed to add a couple more strokes to my handicap so I started playing... Read More

OBAN CT 115 Steel Shaft Review

July 12th, 2016

OBAN CT 115 steel shafts are the first introduction of steel shafts by OBAN.  Traditionally a graphite shaft company with the Kiyoshi, Devotion, Revenge, Tour and Isawa models, OBAN has decided to go after the steel shaft market in a big way.  Their first introduction, the CT 115, looks to be a great start. The CT 115 is a taper tip shaft with a constant weight of around 115-117 grams from 36″ to 41.5″.  The absolute best thing about this shaft from a club builders perspective is that it is available in 12 different discrete lengths.  This means that I can build a softer flex, higher launch set of irons starting with the 41.5″ shaft in a 4 iron, for example, and going through the 38″ or a much stiffer set starting at the 39″ for a 4 iron and going to the 36″ in the wedges.  All this is accomplished with the same weight in each shaft.  The test clubs we have built have ranged from soft regular to extra stiff.  Based upon the testing profile of these shafts, they will perform very similar to a “flighted” set of irons, meaning the longer irons will launch slightly higher and... Read More

Project X HZRDUS Red Shaft Offers Higher Launch and Spin

June 23rd, 2016

The Project HZRDUS Red shaft offers a higher launch and spin versus the Black and Yellow shafts currently in play.  Scheduled to be released to True Temper Performance Fitting Centers July 11, 2016, these shafts will be a great addition to those golfers that need a little higher trajectory, especially with their fairway woods.  In our testing, the HZRDUS Red launches .5 to .75 degrees higher than the Black with 300 – 500 rpm more spin.  While this is not necessarily for everyone, we like to put higher launch and spin shafts in most golfers fairway woods.  The HZRDUS Red will be a great fit for that golfer.  And, there are some golfers that actually need a little more launch and spin off their driver so the HZRDUS Red will fit the bill.  Our testers think the HZRDUS Red feels more like the HZRDUS Black than the HZRDUS Yellow, so it fits a more aggressive swing.  As always, we will put the HZRDUS shafts to the test when we put our golfers through a fitting to optimize shaft performance.