A recent survey by golf-industry-researcher Golf Datatech showed that the average serious golfer spends nearly $900 a year on equipment. And a third of those spend more than $1,000. With that kind of money at stake, your search should have a guide.
That’s why, before we can start you on your quest, we embarked on a thorough search of our own to find all the clubs worthy of your attention for our annual equipment Hot List.
This included a two-week stint for the Hot List Summit at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Ariz. There we bring in experts in science because golf-equipment technology starts with a Ph.D. in "How’d they do that?" We also gathered industry experts to help us understand what golfers want. And of course, there’s the foundation of our process: Our panel of golfers who, under our watchful eyes, test every noteworthy club in the game and then some.
What we’ve found is what you see in the 2016 Hot List, clubs that are fundamentally better than what has come before in ways that neatly mix the subtle with the dramatic. In drivers, new materials and methods of design push the center of gravity more in line with the center of the face. This improves the transfer of energy and provides stability when we miss the center. In fairway woods and hybrids, new metals are thinner and lighter, making it easier to launch shots higher. Iron design is no longer a race toward pure distance, but playable distance. Shots launch so they land and stay on greens, and misses are getting closer to perfect hits. Finally, the array of choices open to us in our short game means the last shots on every hole are likely to be more dialed in than ever.
Your search for more distance, forgiveness, feel, and fun starts here.