Editors' BlogFebruary 5, 2009

Hot List Hot Stove III

Loyal Golf Digest reader Justin Blair takes exception to a a response here to one of his letters by Hot List judge Mike Johnson, aka, "Bomb", of the Bomb and Gouge team.

<blockquote>Dear Editor,

"Bomb" sure lived up to his name- he bombed his response to a letter I wrote about the "Hot List". Did he even try?

The "Hot List" still seems like a half-joke. It does have useful information on new products, but at least you guys could've tried harder than just rephrasing the exact same things you said about last years models. Did you even test them this year? Doesn't sound like it.

I still don't see what the problem is with leaving things off of the "List" that are a year old. It doesn't matter if it's going to be seen on shelves. If that was part of the criteria, I still see Nike CCI iron sets, and TaylorMade r580's on shelves. Shouldn't they be on the list as well?

I guess I was under the assumption that this was for new in '09. not new in '09 and what we liked from '08. Out of all those van-loads of clubs tested, you guys still had to use retreads from the previous year?

I still believe that instead of reiterating previous models, make more room for brands like Hireko. You always manage to find room for beautique putters, why not for every other club?

Not everyone is fortunate enough to go out a get the brand new technology every year. Or every other year, for that matter, especially due to the economy. Since we have it shoved down our throats how we're "wasting our games" by keeping our older equipment, why not devote some Hot List testing on these clubs? It's the best of both worlds: People can get updated technology at prices the average person can afford. As long as the testing is fair and unbiased (cough, cough) the consumer can make an even more thorough search for the perfect set.

Justin Blair

Cough, cough?!!! Justin, name a better, more objective new equipment guide than the Hot List? It doesn't exist. The reason some brands stay on the Hot List for a second year is because they remain a major offering of that manufacturer and one of the best products in the category. As for the call to stay current, the editors are asking you to keep up with technology not to go broke. There are a lot of ways to do one without the other: trade in old clubs for credits on new ones; purchase year-old clubs (not far from current); or, as you suggest, purchase brands that offer great technology at a lower price. There are some of those on the Hot List. The editors know that all consumers are not the same. Some "early adopters" must have the latest and greatest as soon as they're introduced; others, like you and me, can live with products that are a half-generation old. I think the Hot List helps both groups.

--Bob Carney

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