I'm frankly surprised we didn't get more letters like this one from David Marbach of Thousand Oaks, CA. We got tons of mail on how pricey some of the Hot List products are, but few commenting on the lack of "winner" in each category:
I was surprised and disappointed to see that the 2008 "Hot List" did not include an editor's choice in each of the club categories, rather ranking the top five, six or seven "gold" club choices alphabetically. This is particularly disappointing for those of us who look to your magazine for expert guidance in selecting the best of the best equipment each year.>
In this election year, I was hoping that a great magazine such as Golf Digest would be above pandering to the interests of it's benefactors.>
Please bring back the Editor's Choice Hot List clubs -- your in-depth analysis deserves a clear winner and your readers deserve clear guidance.>
Glad someone missed it, Dave. I won't argue it one way or another, but will give you our reasoning. Basically, we know that you'll probably narrow your search to 3 or 4 brands and then try those products out. Research tells us that. It also tells us that your comfort with a brand and your budget will help you do the winnowing. So will the products' scores in our various criteria--technology, value, etc. Given the closeness in score of the Gold-level products on the Hot List and the fact that most consumers are looking for a few, not just one, to test, we thought this was better way to go. But we certainly get your point of view on it.
By the way, check into the site next week for a tool that will allow you to assemble your "dream" bag. Not a bad list to send as a suggestion to your Valentine.