Tomorrow, kicks off 4 days of Golf’s Most Wanted Driver coverage on MyGolfSpy.
4 Days? I know…it’s insane. Would you expect anything else from the most complete driver test in golf?
When you’re as thorough as we are, it takes nearly as long to get through a single club test as it does some others to get through an entire bag of clubs (not to mention the bag itself). Quite frankly we don’t even have time to do Morning Drive (full disclosure, they didn’t exactly invite us).
Maybe next year.
The "Most Wanted" Testing Philosophy
At MyGolfSpy our club testing is Datacratic. We don’t care about the names on the clubs. We care about performance – and performance only. The best drivers in each of our categories are determined based on the data, and not a damn thing more.
Because we refuse to accept advertising from the biggest names in golf, we don’t have to worry about keeping the golf companies happy. Nobody gets a medal just for showing up. The Most Wanted Driver Test isn’t a 3rd grade science fair. Not everybody gets a trophy.
This Year’s Test
Had Titleist, Bomtech and Miura not declined our invitation, and if Wishon, Geek, and others had new product available in time, we quite possibly could have reached 30 drivers this year.
Once again, maybe next year.
Despite those absences we still managed to amass a field of 23 drivers.
In addition to most of the top-selling brands in golf (Callaway, PING, and TaylorMade), we are extremely excited to have tested drivers from lesser-known companies like Yonex, ONOFF, Krank, Powerbilt , Sinister Golf and Tommy Armour.
Mighty Titleist declines to participate, but Tommy Armour and Sinister Golf step up. How can you not love that?
What To Expect from the Results
In a word, SURPRISES.
Certainly some of the clubs generating the buzz right now met, or even exceeded expectations. Some others fell short, and a select group of clubs many of you might never have heard of, or might never have considered, proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they deserve a seat at the grown-up’s table.
To an extent, the results are exactly what we’ve come to expect. A small number of clubs overperform. A small number underperform, while the overwhelming majority occupies the middle - separated by only tenths of yards.
Even with that said, we’re certain this year’s results are going to turn heads, ruffle feathers, and spark debate. That’s inevitably going to happen when your results are 100% Datacratic.
How We Tested
- All drivers were tested in their stock configuration (off-the-rack). Where multiple stock shafts are available, we tested with the combination that produced the best results for each individual tester.
- Prior to the start of our tests, drivers were randomly placed into 3 groups. No manufacturer had 2 clubs in the same group.
- The order that clubs were hit was determined at random, but was balanced such that a given club was hit equally in the front, middle, and end of each rotation.
- After being given sufficient time to warm up, testers hit 3 to 5 shots at a time with each club before moving to the next one. Testers hit between 60 and 90 shots during each testing session.
- Each tester hit each club in our test on 3 different occasions (each tester hit each club group on 3 different days).
- While individual numbers varied, each tester hit the same number of qualifying shots (non-misreads, solid contact) with each club in the test.
This year we’ve introduced a reference club to the scoring equation, which will drastically improve the decision making process for consumers on all drivers tested now and in the future. Both Distance and Total Driving (Best Overall) rankings are based on how many yards were gained or lost compared to the reference club.
The winners are the clubs that outperformed the reference club (and every other club in our test) by the widest margins.
For accuracy there is a complex proprietary scoring calculation, so to make it as easy to understand as it possibly can be, we’re showing you our calculated accuracy score along with the average number of yards offline and the percentage of fairways hit with each driver.
The Most Wanted Driver Schedule
Day 1 (Tuesday, February 11) - Distance
Distance Day is for those of you who either never miss a fairway, or don’t care where the ball lands so long as the ball goes far. When we look at raw distance, we do so without any regard for accuracy whatsoever.
300 yards is 300 yards. Dead straight or dead left, it doesn’t matter. Grip and rippers out there, this one is for you.
Day 2 (Wednesday, February 12) – Accuracy
Looking at accuracy in a vacuum is a challenging proposition, but for those of you willing to give up yards (and in some cases it’s more than a few) to keep the ball closer to the center of the fairway, you’ll love accuracy day.
If you’re happy to trade 230 in the fairway for 250 in the rough or worse, this one is for you.
Day 3 (Thursday, February 13) – Golf’s Most Wanted Driver
To determine Golf’s Most Wanted Driver we look at Total Driving (total distance – yards offline). The club that produced the biggest gains (compared to our reference/control club) is our best of 2014. Quite simply, it's Golf's Most Wanted Driver.
Day 4 (Next Week) – Beyond the Data
We go beyond our numbers to give you the inside scoop on why some clubs performed well, why others didn’t, and hopefully give you some additional guidance towards your 2014 driver purchase.
Full 2014 Most Wanted Driver Coverage
:: Coming Soon - MyGolfSpy's 2014 Most Wanted Driver Test
:: 2014 Golf's Most Wanted Driver - It's Go Time
:: 2014 Most Wanted Driver - Distance Awards
:: 2014 Most Wanted Driver - Accuracy Awards
:: 2014 Most Wanted Driver - Overall Winners
:: 2014 Most Wanted Driver - Tester's Pick
:: 2014 Most Wanted Driver - Beyond the Data
:: 2014 Most Wanted Driver - The Data
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- Driver: Cobra KING LTD w/ 75g Aldila Rogue Silver 125 MSI X
- Fairway: TaylorMade SLDR S Mini, 12° Fujikura Speeder X
- 3-4H: TaylorMade SLDR TP S
- 5-GW: PXG 0311 w/ KBS C-Taper S+
- SW: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF Tour Grind (54° bent to 55°)
- LW: Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind 60°
- Putter: PING Karsten TR ZING