Surviving the Hot List

What does it take to be a Hot List tester? We sent a documentary crew to the 2022 Hot List testing summit to capture the people, the drama and the secret sauce that goes into golf’s ultimate assignment.


It’s too easy to call the driver the most sophisticated and difficult-to-understand piece of equipment in the game. Consider the wedge instead. The driver might start the hole, but it’s sometimes the wedge that adds the closing exclamation point. Asked to perform an endless array of score-saving tricks, the wedge in its many lofts, sole grinds and bounce options requires more versatility and variety than a Swiss Army knife halfway up the Matterhorn. It’s not just matching up the correct mix of lofts with the short irons in your bag, or even the subtleties of sole grinds and bounce options that help move the wedge properly through the turf. Today’s wedges are full of subtle angles and curves and interior weighting that heighten the edges of grooves or shift the center of gravity to provide consistent spin and distance from fairways, bunkers and rough. Wedges are manufactured to tolerances once reserved for precision military-grade parts. And yet, to look at them, they all reflect a classic symmetry that would fit in Gene Sarazen’s bag. They hold the real key to your score. Explore their beautiful complexity.