We've spent 3 years building and revising what we think is the best golf club testing procedures in the industry today. The staff of MyGolfspy approached 2013 with the singular goal of publishing the most thorough and complete driver test of 2013.
Why? Because the consumer has been grossly under-served by the big magazines. Nothing is ever absolute and everyone gets a trophy. How does that help the consumer?
We think you deserve better. We think you deserve a club test where results aren't tainted by the inherent conflict of interest that comes from testing clubs from the same companies whose ad dollars pay the bills. You deserve a club test where a logo, or paint, or what some guy thinks about intangibles like looks, sound and feel holds no weight, where innovation is only recognized when it performs, and where the final results are based on performance and not a damn thing more.
You deserve a test where companies of all sizes get to compete, and where the final results, whatever they may be, are supported by actual data. We call that being Datacratic.
To make it happen, we reached out to 17 different golf companies, spent well over 30 hours testing 17 different models from 13 different golf companies. As a group our testers hit over 3000 golf shots, and MyGolfSpy collected over 41,000 distinct data points .
Today we're proud to bring you the results of the largest head to head club test we've ever conducted.
Golf’s Most Wanted Driver Results (Schedule)
Wednesday: Overall Results and crowning of - 2013 "Golf’s Most Wanted Driver"
Overall - Distance Winners
Tomorrow we will tackle accuracy, but today we're talking distance. We know that distance is, and will always be king. You show me a guy who advertises the most accurate driver on the planet, and I"ll show you a guy who doesn't sell many drivers. Show me the longest driver in golf, and I'll show you what's going to end up in a lot of golf bags this season.
With results from all of our testers taken into account, here are the MyGolfSpy rankings for the longest driver in golf.
When we crunched the numbers, we were positively shocked to find TaylorMade occupying both the #1 and #2 spots for overall distance. While we heard plenty of grumbles about paint in both cases, the performance was absolutely undeniable. While the R1 was very good, for distance alone, the new RBZ Stage 2 was the definitive standout performer. While it may not look like much of a gap between #1 and #2, it was the single biggest gap between any club and the club that finished behind it.
More surprising still, Callaway's 2 outstanding 2013 driver (RAZR Fit Xtreme, and XHot) finished 3rd and 4th respectively behind the two TaylorMade clubs.
As much as some aren't going to like to hear it, for 2013 anyway, the biggest names in golf have produced the longest drivers in golf.
2013 “Golf’s Most Wanted” - Longest Drivers
Results by Swing Speed
For those who want to drill down a bit further to get an idea how the top drivers performed for a distinct set of testers, we split players into two groups (by swing speed), and recalculated the scores for all the clubs in our test:
Our higher swing speed guys (>100 MPH) all tested with the Pro/Tour model heads stiff or x-stiff shafts.
While 2 of the 3 top finishers from the overall (TaylorMade's RBZ Stage 2 and R1) top 3 remained in the top 3 for our more aggressive swingers, Callaway's RAZR Fit XTREME proved to be the longest overall for the faster swing speed players in our test. It's joined in the top 5 by Callaway's other driver, the XHot (higher swing speed players tested with the Pro version).
Fans of smaller brands (and anything that performs) will be happy to see that the under-appreciated AirForce One DF from PowerBilt held its own against some of the industry's big dogs.
Our lower swing speed guys (low 80's to mid 90's) all hit standard heads (where applicable) and non-tour shafts. Worth noting is that the top two finishers among this group feature ultra-light shafts, which if you believe the marketing, could be enough to account for the added distance.
The standard-weight PING G25, also proved to be a serious contender for the average to below average swing speed crowd.
Perhaps the biggest surprise from these results is how well the Titleist 913 D2 performed for slower swing speeds. Titleist is generally thought of as a brand for better, higher swing speed players, but the 913's performance suggests it shouldn't be overlooked by the average golfer.
Finally, the Adams Speedline Super S that some may overlook, but never during our test was it far from the mix.
Declined to Participate
The following companies were invited, but declined to participate in the driver test:
Tour Edge - Company policy is to not participate in head to head testing until the product has been on the market for 6 months.
Hireko/Acer - New model inventory was not available in time for testing.
Krank Golf - New model inventory was not available in time for testing.
Your Questions Answered
Do you have any questions about the 2013 Golf's Most Wanted Test? We'll be answering them in an upcoming "Most Wanted Driver" mailbag post. If there's anything you'd like to know about the clubs in our test, or test test itself, send an email to [email protected].
Be Sure to Check Out all the Posts in our 2013 Most Wanted Driver Series:
:: Presenting 2013 "Golf's Most Wanted" Driver Test
:: MyGolfSpy's Golf's Most Wanted! - Longest Driver
:: MyGolfSpy's Golf's Most Wanted! - Most Accurate Driver
:: MyGolfSpy's Golf's Most Wanted! - Best Overall Driver
:: Q&A: MyGolfSpy's 2013 Most Wanted Driver Test (Your Questions Answered)
:: MyGolfSpy's Most Wanted Driver Test - Beyond the Numbers