Golfers always want to know what tangible results they can expect from getting fit for clubs and new technology. This time of year many of the manufacturers are gearing up big marketing campaigns touting the effectiveness of their new releases.
We’re celebrating 40 years of being in business in 2019, and we have seen it all in the equipment industry. One thing we know for sure is that each golfer is unique and will respond differently to different kinds of clubs.
Recently, we ran an experiment with some of the new driver releases. Before we start fitting clients, we make sure to test out new equipment and see how it performs for different kinds of golfers. We think you’ll be interested in the results and it will help shed light on what you can reasonably expect when upgrading clubs.
The player we tested is a scratch golfer who competes in local tournaments. We have fit him with almost every club in his bag (including his driver) and have a very good understanding of his overall game and swing tendencies.
His current driver is only a few years old at this point and is from the previous product cycle of the manufacturer. It has performed very well for him and fits well with his swing profile (he tends to spin the ball very low with drivers).
We were interested to find out how all of the new driver releases for 2019 would perform. We’ve found that almost every OEM is getting better and better at delivering more ball speed, which is one of the primary components of increasing overall driver distance.
For the test, we used the same ball, matched his current driver shaft, and randomly cycled through different driver heads throughout the session. After removing extreme outliers, we were left with averages in performance for each clubhead.
If you take a look at the image, you can see the top line results from his current driver versus the 2019 models. What struck us the most throughout the session was how effective the newer drivers were at delivering more ball speed, especially on off-center strikes.
You can see that the player gained anywhere between 2-3 mph of ball speed on average. We found this to be significant since he is already a very efficient striker of the golf ball, and that his current driver was only several years old. On top of that, we found that the newer heads provided him tighter dispersion and overall accuracy.
We felt that the second driver delivered the best mix of extra ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, and accuracy. The player was so impressed with the results that he ended up ordering the new driver head because he felt the extra distance could provide him tangible results in competition.
The Brands Don’t Matter
We chose not to disclose the names of the brands because it doesn’t matter. While the second driver performed best for this player, other golfers may have found different results.
Players often wonder what results they can expect from new technology and clubfitting. We know that all of you are subject to intense marketing campaigns every year to influence your buying decisions. This test shows that OEMs are getting better at what they do. Every year we meet with almost every engineering team from the major players, and they always impress us with their new ideas.
That being said, we never recommend a golfer purchasing a club without testing it, or only because of brand loyalty. Our goal in any fitting is to establish a baseline with the current golfer’s equipment, and see if we can do better. Sometimes we can’t, and we’ll send a client out the door without anything new. Other times, we’ll see improvements even more dramatic than what we saw in this test.
After 40 years and thousands of fittings, we know for sure that there is no such thing as the right club for all golfers. There is usually the best club for your swing though, and our job is to find it!
If you are interested in booking a fitting for the upcoming season, please visit this page. We have extended our schedule in New York City at Golf & Body NYC. Additionally, we will offer fittings on Sundays at our Mineola location by appointment only.
Stay tuned for details on our 40th-anniversary golf outing on July 29th. We’re excited to celebrate with all of you and help raise money for a good cause.