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ULTIMATE REVIEW! – SCOR 4161 Wedges

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Based on the results of our performance tests, we believe that Terry Kohler and the team at SCORGolf have not only developed a compelling concept where the short game is concerned, they've developed a product that actually delivers as advertised.
"Best point & shoot wedge I've hit all season" - MGS Tester, Tim

SCOR4161 Wedges

(Written By: GolfSpy T) Earlier this year GolfSpy X introduced you to the SCOR4161 lineup of wedges. The SCOR brand is from the same guys that brought you Eidolon wedges, and while I'm not going to rehash the entire original piece here, I'd encourage you to read that article in order to gain a more complete idea of what SCOR wedges are all about. For for the purposes of this review, I did want to touch on a few of the details I find most interesting.

  • The SCOR brand isn't simply about wedges, it's about scoring clubs. For that reason, SCOR Wedges are available in lofts as low 41 degrees, which depending on your set, would replace either your 8 or 9 iron.
  • Each club in the 4161 series is Tru-Form forged to a specific loft. They're not simply bending the head to meet your needs, every clubs is Tru-Form Forged to the specified loft. This not only allows SCOR to provide a one-to-one direct replacement for any or all of your current scoring clubs, but it gives them the flexibility to make sure you're perfectly gapped throughout your set.
  • Because the SCOR4161 series is designed to replace irons in your current set, it gives you the flexibility to turn any iron set (even a Super Game-Improvement set) into a "combo" set that offers more control in the short irons.
  • All SCOR4161 clubs are not created equal. (1) The lower lofts have more perimeter weighting, a thicker face and a higher center of mass to keep short iron and full wedges shots driving forward. (2) The higher loft wedges have a progressively lower center of mass to give you more ball-stopping control. (3)Each and every clubhead has its own unique weight distribution for optimizing forgiveness and accuracy.  SCOR Golf calls this trio of benefits: SGC3 Progressive Weighting – Short Game Control x 3 – trajectory/distance/spin.

Specifications


SCOR 4161 Material Composition: 8620 carbon steel (Tru-Form Forged)

Normally this would also be the part where I lament the limited number of options. There's only a single bounce option for every loft, and lefties are completely out of luck until March of 2012.  The thing is, we're quickly growing accustomed to the Burger King approach to wedges where we can choose just about any combination of loft, bounce, and in some cases sole grind, that are golfing heart's desire. Customization is good right? And lack of customization...well that's bad, right? Umm...well...not so fast.

While there are plenty of companies ramping up efforts on their own custom wedgeworks, there's a less vocal, lesser known way of thinking that's starting to gain momentum. We'll no doubt be talking about it more in coming reviews, but there are some out there that believe that customization, and all this digger/slider stuff is way overblown. It might even be possible that the custom guys have it dead wrong? Guys like the team at SCOR might argue that, above anything else, great wedge design starts with versatility. And while perhaps they don't come right out and say it, the V-Sole design found on the SCOR4161 wedges has nothing to do with fitting a specific swing type. It's not about being a digger, or a slider, it's all about having the versatility to hit the shot you need to hit, regardless of what type of lie you find yourself with.

It almost makes sense, right?

How We Tested

Target greens on our 3Track Equipped simulators from aboutGolf were set at 100 yards.  After being allowed several shots to verify the appopriate club for the distance, testers took their choice of a 52°, 56°, or 60° wedge and hit a series of shots.  Our sample wedges were outfitted with Genius 12 shafts which were developed in conjunction with KBS. Testing for the SCOR4161 wedges was done at Tark's Indoor Golf, a state of the art indoor golf facility located in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Detailed data for each and every shot for which we collected is viewable in the interactive portion of this review.  This data serves as the foundation for our final performance score.  Golfers were also asked to provide feedback in our subjective categories (looks, sound &  feel, perceived forgiveness, and likelihood of purchase).  This information is used as the foundation for our total subjective score.

Radius-Based Scoring

For wedge testing, performance scores are derived using what we refer to as radius-based scoring.  Instead of simply asking our testers to hit the ball as long and as straight as they can, testers are asked to stick their shots as close as they possibly can to a pin set at an appropriate wedge distance.

75% of the total performance score is calculated based on where each shot fell in proximity to the hole.  Closer is obviously better.

Please keep in mind that this is the first wedge review conducted under the updated scoring system. Spin now accounts for the remaining 25% of the total score. Because we've increased our accuracy expectations, and have moved to MPV-based (Maximum Point Value) scoring for spin, the expectation is that overall scores will be lower.

PERFORMANCE SCORING

Accuracy

With an adjusted average result of just inside 22 feet our testers posted some very solid accuracy numbers. While not the best numbers we've seen to date, they're definitely on the higher end of average. A closer look at the data reveals that the average distance left by our least accurate tester (29.96 feet) is actually better than the overall average of other wedges we've tested recently.

That said, it's also true that we didn't have a single instance of what I might label a standout performance either. Our most accurate (and lowest handicap) golfer missed by an average of just under 18 feet. While most everyone else was averaged between 21 and 25 feet from the hole. Generally speaking, those are numbers that lead to pars, but not birdies.

MGS Accuracy Score: 86.34

Spin

We know that with the USGA placing limits on grooves, more than ever, golfers are in search of a wedge that can actually provide more stopping power around the greens. Given that this review is the first conducted under the new scoring protocols, quite frankly we really don't know what to expect from spin scores.

Our lowest handicap golfer put up an exceptional spin score. That is to say that the average spin number he produced with the SCOR wedge was better than the average spin rate he produced with his 10 highest spinning shots all season. For the rest of our golfers, the adjusted group average (9895 RPMs), reflected spin numbers between 81 and 90 percent of their previous 10 highest spinning shots.

While it's too soon to say exactly what this means, my guess is that these numbers will likely fall in line with the averages of other wedges we test over the coming months.

MGS Spin Score: 88.51

Overall Performance

As I said at the outset, this is the first review conducted under our updated scoring system. Where wedges are concerned, the old system was overly lenient both in terms of accuracy and spin. As a result every wedge we tested received an A grade. While in some cases those high scores were certainly warranted, there was little doubt that we needed to tighten things up a bit.

The unfortunate reality is that the SCOR4161 is somewhat a victim of the new scoring rules, so it will be important to compare the actual performance numbers with the numbers from the wedges we've tested in the past. Score alone (no pun intended) will not tell the complete story.

Based on the results of our performance tests, we believe that Terry Kohler and the team at SCORGolf have not only developed a compelling concept where the short game is concerned, they've developed a product that actually delivers as advertised.

"Best point & shoot wedge I've hit all season" - MGS Tester, Tim

MGS OVERALL PERFORMANCE SCORE: 86.88

The Interactive Data

The charts below show the individual and group averages (black dotted line) for each shot our golfers took during our test of the SCOR4161 wedges. If you click on the "SCOR Range" tab, you can see where each shot came to rest on our virtual driving range. Hovering over any point will give you all the details of that particular shot. You can use the filters on the right-hand side to show and hide individual golfers or shots based on handicap or distance from the hole speed.

SUBJECTIVE SCORING

Looks

Generally speaking our testers like the looks of the SCOR4161 series. The head is extremely compact and the back design is reminiscent of some of our all time favorite blade designs. One thing that does seem a bit out of place is the wider topline. While I probably wouldn't classify it as thick, it's is noticeably more so than other wedges with similarly compact heads. While there are certainly some that will find it a bit off-putting,  the flipside is that it will no doubt appeal to golfers who might otherwise be fearful of the smaller head.

The patented V-Sole is, of course, quite pronounced but certainly not distracting...and less obvious when the club is in the playing position. Other small details which I think give the club a touch of class is the Hogan-esque ringed ferrule, and the red and black, SCOR-branded multi-compound grip from UST-Mamiya.

Also worth noting is that SCOR includes covers with all of its wedges. Chances are most will take them off, and leave them off, but for those who do like to keep their clubs covered at all times, it's a nice little throw-in.

MGS Looks Score: 91.38

Sound & Feel

SCOR wedges are TruForm-Forged. In a nutshell, the heads are cast, reheated, and then struck (forged) with an 800 ton forging press. Whether it truly makes a difference or not is open for debate, but in my estimation, the SCOR wedges aren't quite as soft as some of the other wedges we've tested this season. That said, they're definitely not harsh or unpleasant either. Most swings result in soft "click".

Not a single tester had a negative word to say where sound and feel are concerned, and while I personally wouldn't rate them as best of breed, there's really nothing not to like either.


MGS Feel Score: 93.17

Perceived Forgiveness

With perhaps the lone exception of the PING K15 irons, I can't say we've tested a single club where I didn't notice an appreciable distance loss off mildly fat shots. The SCOR4161 doesn't offer anything exceptional in that respect, however, when we look at forgiveness in terms of left to right, then yeah...the SCOR wedges would seem to do a fairly amazing job at keeping the ball moving on the target line. Sometimes it comes up short, but the ball almost always flies straight.

While forgiveness is evaluated on a purely subjective level, I'd be remiss to point out that out of 60 test shots sampled during the performance portion of this review, only a single shot was more than 1o yards off the centerline, and that shot was 11 yards offline. I don't recall every seeing such a tight left to right dispersion in any of our previous reviews.

Honestly, I wasn't completely sure our testers would notice that, while they didn't always get the distance, they almost always hit the ball straight. They did.

Tester Perceived Forgiveness Score: 94.96

Likelihood of Purchase

I hate to admit it, but I found myself a bit surprised by the results of our LOP survey. The wedge game is extremely difficult. It's a world heavily dominated by two companies. Yes, there are a few niche companies who have done well for themselves, but trying to convince a guy with 3 Vokey wedges in his bag - even if those wedges are 5 years old and don't spin anymore - that maybe he should look at a wedge from a company he's probably never heard of...well, it's a tough sell.

In fact, a couple of our testers told us they were perfectly happy with what they have in their bags now, and probably wouldn't consider making the change. Another group of testers told us they'd think about it, and judging by their scores, they probably will. Two of our testers, however; absolutely said they would.

Now saying it and doing it are two completely different things, but I can tell you that one of our testers is now carrying two SCOR wedges, while another is busy trying to decide whether he's going to buy 3 of them, or go all in with a set of 5 to replace his 8 and 9-irons too.

Tester Likelihood of Purchase: 89.58

It's sometimes difficult to understand why certain clubs resonate with our testers, and why others, remarkably similar clubs don't. In the case of the SCOR4161 wedges, while the verdict wasn't unanimous, the majority of our testers found something (or everything) to like about the new wedges from the guys behind the Eidolon brand. What's perhaps more interesting is what our testers told me when I asked whether they'd consider not only replacing their wedges, but also their short irons with SCOR4161 clubs.

While a couple of testers, guys who already play smaller "players" cavity backs told me they wouldn't, the guys playing slightly larger transitional and game improvement irons told me they absolutely would consider putting SCOR short irons in their bags.

TOTAL SUBJECTIVE SCORE: 91.73


CONCLUSION

If you've ever found yourself staring at your pitching wedge or 9-iron and wondering why it bears little if any resemblance to the rest of your scoring clubs, you're the guy SCOR's 4161 wedges are designed for. If you're intrigued by offerings like Nike's VR Pro or other combo sets, but don't want to start from scratch, you're the guy SCOR4161 wedges are designed for. And if you're simply looking for some good looking, compact, and most importantly, versatile wedges, well...you're also the guy SCOR's 4161wedges are designed for.

As much as we try and help spread the word about smaller companies making great products in this industry, the harsh reality is that most of the golfers we encounter probably haven't heard of Eidolon golf. When you consider how recently the re-branding took place, it's safer still to assume that fewer still have heard of SCOR golf. My point is that SCOR's 4161 aren't for the brandwashed. They're not for the guy trying to impress his friends...at least not on brand recognition alone.

Of course, if you're looking to impress your friends with scary straight wedge shot after wedge shot (I personally witnessed this while on the course with one of our testers), then perhaps SCOR's 4161 wedges could be for you.

MGS TOTAL SCORE:  87.85


 

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Review Summary

B+
87.85

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyk November 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

I’m thinking these are going to be my next wedges, haven’t decided yet if I’m going to replace some short irons or not but I think next spring I’ll have at least one of these in the bag.

Thanks for the write up and the pics!

Reply

Damon November 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I was hoping to see some comments about the V-sole, how it works with chips around green and short lob shots (open face, close face, etc). Thoughts?

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Ryan November 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Guys I love the reviews, and these clubs look great. I have a set of the V-soles and they are amazing. But I am curious how you can do a complete wedge testing off indoor turf? The sand game, the thick grass, all the variables of the game seem to be missing. I think this has a lot to do with how a wedge works (or doesn’t work.) I love to see an on course section for wedges especially.

Reply

GolfSpy T November 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Ryan – The short answer is we do what we can. In a perfect world our wedge tests would be a bit more comprehensive (although you’d be amazed at how tough the indoor rough is to hit out of). The thing is our reviews are built around data so without a Trackman or Flightscope to give us actual numbers out of the rough, bunkers, etc., it’s not something we want to take on. If we did it that way we’d be like everyone else. If the day comes when we have our own facility with all the necessary tools then yeah…absolutely.

We had plenty of discussion around tweaking our wedge testing to include shots at awkward distances (half & three-quarter swings), but we concluded that significantly more-so than any other testing we do, we’d be testing the golfer more than the club.

We may look to supplement our reviews with “hands-on” type stuff, but with that comes a risk of subjective input (which we know is unreliable where performance is concerned) tainting a process that’s almost entirely driven by data.

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Ron November 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

not bad

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Super Tuna November 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm

T,

Late to the party but a neat little review. As a user of the SCOR’s though I do think that some of the things that make SCOR really stand out to me weren’t perhaps given the attention I think they warrant.

I think a note has to go to the grips first off. In general they’re just a UST grip. However I think this is the type of grip that more people should be using on their wedges. You don’t have to “feel” choking down an inch or two when making the shot, it’s clearly lined out for you. Perhaps it removes some the mystique of wedges with less importance on feel, but I enjoy how that can make wedge shots more mechanical and easier to learn.

You guys have been fairly complementary on the V soles but I do think it’s worth touching on them again. For most people, the selling point is likely the consistency in shot making across a variety of turfs and weather conditions. For me however it’s the first wedge where I can setup on the leading edge to get as little bounce as possible for my sweeping swing while still being able to handle opening it up for a bunker shot on the same day. For someone with a sweeping swing, getting the right bounce can be tricky, but these make it far easier.

As I said, good review T but from extended use now, I felt that those two points deserved an extra mention.

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GolfSpy T November 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

It’s always good to hear some additional feedback like this from guys who actually bag the clubs day in and day out.

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Tooler November 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

My Vokey’s are now in my shag bag. I now own the 5 pack :-) Eat your heart out the rest of the non-Scor club swinging world. My short game just got bester, hehehe.

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RHINO December 3, 2011 at 8:22 am

I too am playing the SCOR wedges. I have several buddies that asked me how good they really were. I’ve never said a word, I let the wedges do the talking for me… Now, all my buddies have them in the bag. When was the last time you opened up your pitching or gap wedge and could easily hit a flop shot with no fear of blading it? That is the beauty of the wedge and the new sole technology. I promise, you buy them, they’ll replace anything you currently have. SCOR is the new technology that will make players better.

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Mike January 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Just got a 58 from a friend. Looks too pretty to hit. Even w/ 7% bounce, leading edge looks “tall” when opened up.

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Gumby July 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Comments about my “k-mart clubs” end when I pin seek with scor/eidolon wedges and Wishon irons. I can’t drive for distance but…….

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