2019 Editor’s Choice Awards
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2019 Editor’s Choice Awards

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2019 Editor’s Choice Awards

The bedrock of MyGolfSpy is our annual Most Wanted testing. It’s entirely objective, data-driven, and values a single criterion – performance. That said, purchasing decisions often incorporate more subjective elements. So with that, our annual Editors’ Choice Awards look to honor products, technologies, and companies based on opinions of the MyGolfSpy staff, player feedback, and the likelihood a product will impact the industry landscape. It’s a chance for us to venture beyond the data and tell you about our favorite products and anecdotes from 2019.

Though we’re firmly in an era where equipment advancements are incremental and not monumental, there are always innovative ideas and difference makers to highlight. In 2019, we witnessed a number of outstanding products, several missed opportunities as well as categories where nothing piqued our interest.

If anything, perhaps the lasting legacy of 2019 will be that beauty really is only skin deep.

Here are this season’s winners:

Golf Equipment Story of the Year: Callaway Chrome Soft Quality Control Problems

The quality control problems at Callaway’s Chicopee Massachusetts golf ball manufacturing facility was hands down the biggest golf equipment story of the year, and MyGolfSpy was the only outlet to cover it. It’s one of many examples of major (and not so major) media outlets choosing advertisers over their readers.

If you missed it, here’s the brief rundown of what happened. During our 2019 Ball Test, Callaway’s Flagship golf ball (and the #2 ball on the market) had an embarrassingly poor showing. Inconsistent, occasionally wildly offline and appreciably shorter than other Tour offerings. Check, check, and check.

After some blowback from Callaway, we started cutting open balls, and we didn’t have to cut open many before we began finding visibly off-center cores, inconsistent mixing, and uneven layering. It’s the kind of thing that leads to inconsistent and sometimes unpredictable performance on the golf course. As the story spread, our inboxes were flooded with photos from golfers (including some Callaway staffers) who had cut open their Callaway golf balls and found similarly off-center cores, improperly mixed materials (swirly cores), and even the occasional patch of missing dimples.

Cutting balls across multiple generations, we found ongoing quality control issues in Callaway’s 4-piece offerings that predated HEX Black.

While Callaway initially dismissed the results of our ball test, in the wake of #FindItCutIt, it has taken a more productive approach. It has (more quietly than we’d like) admitted that quality control at the plant needs to be improved and has committed additional money above and beyond what it had initially planned to spend on upgrades to make that improvement a reality.

Over the past couple of months, Callaway is saying (and showing us) all the right things, and we expect Callaway will seek to position itself as a quality leader moving forward. It goes without saying that we’ll be looking very carefully at the next generation of Callaway balls.

Driver: COBRA F9 Speedback

Artificial Intelligence might be the future of driver design, but in the present, we won’t overlook the Cobra F9 Speedback. It missed out Most Wanted status by the slimmest of margins, and if our ranking methodologies gave the slightest allowance for looks, sound, or feel, it would have been the winner. Simply put, it was an outstanding performer that the MyGolfSpy staff and our testers, for that matter, liked better than anything else.

In an industry that’s typically afraid of anything that looks even a little bit different, we love what Cobra did with aggressively reshaping the driver to provide a low center of gravity without compromising forgiveness or aerodynamics. It’s a detail easily lost on most golfers, but we suspect you’re going to see more brands taking a similar approach (while they work to bring more computers online). And while not everyone loved Cobra’s bold use of black and yellow, it helped Cobra carve out a new identity in the driver space. That’s not to suggest that Cobra is poised to take on the market leaders at retail, but the company saw significant growth in the driver category in 2019, which isn’t something the market leaders can say.

New Club Tech: Callaway’s AI-Driven Design

As far as break-through, game-changing, or any other typically hyperbolic adjective you can come up with goes, no new technology shows more promise in the club design space than super computer-powered artificial intelligence. It was the story behind Callaway’s Flash Face technology and will likely be a hallmark of Callaway technology stories for the foreseeable future.

Whatever you can do, computers can do better…or something like that.

In its first publicized iteration, AI allowed Callaway to reshape the interior side of the driver face in such a way as to boost ball speed on center strikes while remaining under the USGA’s CT limits. As the implications for machine learning evolve and designers better understand how to program the machine to improve the quality of the results, there’s no reason to believe the use of AI won’t spread beyond the face, and perhaps even beyond the clubhead.

While Callaway was the first to make noise, they’re not the only ones relying on computing horsepower to improve the design process. As the technology progresses, it may very well be CPU cycles that separate the industry leaders from the rest of the pack.

Fairway Wood: NONE

We could all probably name a half a dozen excellent fairway woods from the 2019 crop. Callaway’s Sub Zero won 2019 Most Wanted Fairway Wood. Cobra’s F9 Speedback continued a quiet tradition of excellence. With TS, Titltiest re-emerged as a serious player. TaylorMade’s M5 brought massive adjustability paired with a high-speed titanium face. PING’s G410 SFT proved that shot shape correction with enhanced forgiveness doesn’t need to be limited to the driver category.

All of that said, we don’t believe there was anything groundbreaking in the category, and certainly, nothing that blew our minds.

Hybrid: NONE

It’s difficult to make any noise in the hybrid category. A healthy percentage of golfers won’t play them, and those that will are split between golfers looking for a more iron-like hybrid, a more fairway-like hybrid, and something in-between. Couple that with the unspoken reality that OEMs don’t put as much money into developing and marketing hybrids as they do drivers and even fairway woods, and it’s easy to understand why many golfers treat the category as an afterthought.

As with the fairway wood, all of us could make an argument for our favorites, but there isn’t enough compelling information to suggest that there’s a stand out in the category.

Super Game Improvement Iron: COBRA F-MAX

It’s easy for an outstanding super game improvement iron to fall through the cracks, and frankly, F-Max almost did. We considered some of the fall releases, but when we went back and looked at the test results, we realized we couldn’t overlook F-Max. It won its category going away, and it’s not often we see that type of separation.

Yeah, we know game improvement isn’t sexy, and a good bit of our audience would prefer we ignored the category entirely, but the reality is that we’re all getting older, and as time passes, more of us will need a little help getting the ball in the air. Couple that with the sometimes unfortunate reality that modern lofts don’t always work for slow swing speed golfers, and well, frankly, it’s actually kind of exciting to find a club that offers superior performance for the audience it was designed for. There’s no longer, faster, stuff here. The Cobra F-Max is all about making the game more enjoyable for the guy who doesn’t have the speed he used to, and for that guy, nothing does it better or at a better price than F-Max.

Game Improvement Iron: None

Mizuno’s JPX 919 Hot Metal was really good (a Most Wanted Winner), Cobra surprised us with F9 Speedback (and we remain intrigued by ONE Length), PXG’s 0311 GEN2 XP made a strong showing. You could probably make a reasonable argument for a handful of others as well. Like a few other categories, however, we can’t find a storyline we like enough to justify a winner.

Players Distance Iron: None

The players distance category is, for the most part, still in its infancy. What we saw this year was companies taking a second crack at things…evolving designs though not necessarily significantly improving them. Mizuno, TaylorMade, and Honma impressed during testing. We love the Cobra Forged Tec Offering, and for those for whom money is no concern, the PXG 0311 and Titleist CNCPT offers are plenty compelling.

It’s a category begging for a standout performer, but we didn’t find one this year.

Players Iron: Mizuno MP-20 Series

Released after Most Wanted Testing wrapped up for the season, Mizuno’s MP-20 series of players irons was an immediate hit with the MyGolfSpy staff, Mizuno loyalists, and judging by early backorders, more than a few better players.

The offering spans three distinct models, and we love all of them. That’s because the MP-20 is everything you’d expect from a Mizuno iron, but so much more. The MP-20 (no suffix) is as clean a blade as Mizuno has made in several generations. The MMC builds on the legacy of the MP-59, and the hollow body HMB, while easily mistaken for a freshening of the FLI-HI line, is like nothing we’ve seen from Mizuno before. The feel provided by the unique copper underlay common to all of the models exceeds every expectation – even if Mizuno is your baseline.

A decade or so from now, the MP-20 may very well be revered in much the same way as the MP-14 or MP-32. Let’s call it a modern classic that seems destined to become iconic.

Wedge: PING Glide 3.0

PING is easy to overlook in a market dominated by names like Vokey and Cleveland (and by extension, Callaway), but what we saw in the wet portion of our 2019 Most Wanted Wedge test made the PING Glide 3.0 and it hydrophobic Hydropearl finish an easy choice in this category.

The truth is that some companies design their wedges to spin like hell (for the first 100 shots or so), others focus on groove durability and maintaining spin for the long haul, but few take the extra step of doing everything possible to retain spin when conditions get a little bit damp. Perhaps not as sexy a story as Artificial Intelligence, PING has been working to shed moisture of its clubfaces for several years now, but with the incorporation of water into our wedge test, we’ve come to realize how impactful the technology really is.

Not every OEM is on-board (it took us a few years to get on this train too), but as the body of research continues to grow, we think moisture management stories like this one will be part and parcel of nearly every new wedge design.

Blade Putter: NONE

It should go without saying that there’s a ton of overlap in the blade (or blade-ish) putter category, which means its increasingly rare for anything to stand out from the crowd. As with several other categories, this is a case where we found plenty we liked, lots of near can’t miss products, but nothing that gets our juices flowing from a performance or price perspective.

Mallet Putter: Tommy Armour Impact Series No. 3 Alignment

We’ll be the first to acknowledge this is an odd choice, but for the 2nd year in a row, Tommy Armour’s Impact Series No. 3 Alignment Mallet finished on top in our Most Wanted Mallet Test. Everything we said last year is still true. For $99 the No. 3 continues to offer outstanding performance at a price that’s significantly lower than anything you’ll find from any of the big brand putters.

The response from golfers has been excellent as many of those bold enough to take a chance on a house brand putter have raved about the outstanding performance. The bang for the buck argument is easy to make (again, it’s $99 and sometimes goes on sale for less), but what’s most impressive is that the Impact No.3 more than holds its own against putters priced several hundred dollars more.

Golf Ball: THE INSIDE

Sometimes it’s what you can’t see that matters most. That’s especially true with the golf ball.

2019 should go down as a year where golf ball discussions took a quantum leap forward. The Ball Test, #FindItCutIt, etc.; We were able to show that soft is slow. We exposed serious quality control issues with several brands, though most notably at Callaway. We found the same ball with multiple logos and discovered that manufacturing consistency across brands (and often within the same box) can vary wildly and often absurdly.

We thought long and hard about who or what our Editor’s choice in this category should go to. We flirted with the idea of giving it to Bridgestone, Srixon, and Titleist on the basis that their quality stories – which are often dismissed as routine for the industry – were largely validated.

Ultimately, we decided that it’s The Inside of the ball was the real story this year. As we work to provide more insight into the realities of golf ball manufacturing, we hope that quality and consistency will become every bit the talking points that performance and price are in the golf ball space and that you, the golfer, will benefit because of it.

Golf Grip: Golf Pride ALIGN

Last year, the ALIGN grip showcased industry leader Golf Pride’s modernized take on the reminder grip. Initially available in the MCC and MCC Plus4, ALIGN has spread to the Tour Velvet and Z Cord Grip. ALIGN was our choice in 2018, and it’s our top choice again this year.

There’s no rule against that. We checked.

Sometimes you get to the top and stay there for a reason. Grips don’t exactly scream high-tech, and when golfers find something they like, they tend to stick with it. When there is a meaningful change in the market, you can bet it’s for something noteworthy. With that in mind, it seemed risky when Callaway chose ALIGN for its stock grip on the Epic Flash line, but the response was plenty positive, and likely convinced a healthy percentage of golfers to put ALIGN on all of their clubs. Not that it’s particularly relevant, but we’ve also heard stories of golfers requesting to have their ALIGN grips installed rib up.

Golf Shaft: Fujikura VENTUS

The Fujikura Ventus is the most significant manifestation of the research and subsequent insight gleaned from Fujikura’s proprietary ENSO system. It’s the rare product that delivers on its promise – in this case, Ventus’ VeloCore technology boosts the forgiveness of your clubhead by providing greater resistance to twisting and ultimately by delivering a more consistently centered impact.

Ventus is played by most (if not everyone) on the MyGolfSpy staff. More notably, it found its way into several Tour player’s bags, racked up 3 PGA Tour wins, and, most importantly, was a hit with average golfers as well. Despite its higher price, sales of Ventus dwarfed other Fujikura lines like Pro 2.0, ATMOS, and Speeder Evolution.

And to think, the company is just beginning to scratch the surface of what it’s learning from ENSO.

Golf Shoe of the YEAR: Adidas Tour 360XT, Tour 360XT SL

The adidas Tour 360 XT was our choice for both the best spiked & best spikeless shoe (adidas Tour 360 XT SL) of 2019. It’s the second year in a row adidas claimed the top spot on the spiked side, while the SL displaced Skechers on the spikeless side.

None of this should be particularly surprising. adidas is a household name with a reputation for making outstanding footwear for multiple sports (and recreation too). While others in the category were largely stagnant (some perhaps even took a step backward) adidas’ continued emphasis on footwear as performance gear helped cement its position as a leader in the category.

Training Aid (Full Swing): SuperSpeed

The 3-weight SuperSpeed system is incredibly easy to use, the time commitment required to see results is minimal, and most golfers see results almost immediately.

Too good to be true? Actually, no. And the reality is that most of us would benefit from more speed.

You could spend $500 on a new driver, but the easiest (on a relative basis) way to hit the ball farther, is to swing faster. That’s chapter 1, paragraph 1 golf physics stuff. And while we’re all perhaps getting a bit tired of this emphasis on speed, data presented by Golf Stats Guy, Lou Stagner, suggests that more speed leads to lower scores, and for the pros, more money.

As much as it pains me to say, there’s an abundance of data that suggests that shooting lower scores begins with increasing clubhead speed, and for that (and for the second year in a row), there’s nothing better than SuperSpeed.

One To Watch: PlaneMate – While we haven’t tested it yet, Martin Chuck’s latest training aid is picking up a lot of buzz for its ability to, as the name suggests, help golfers maintain width and swing on plane. As the inventor of the Tour Striker and Smart Ball, among others, Chuck has a solid resume in this space, so there’s reason to believe the PlaneMate might be the real deal.

Training Aid (Putting): Putt Out

Good putting is about three things; reading the line, hitting the ball on that line, and controlling the pace. While putt out can’t do much to help you with the first one (that’s on you), the simple little fold-out putting trainer teaches you to control speed while forcing you – if you hope to have any success – to hit the ball on the correct line.

What we love about PuttOUT is that it makes practice a game. And while sometimes it’s an infuriating game, you’ll likely stay more engaged for it. While I was initially dismissive, I’ve also become a big fan of the accessory putting mat. It provides a surface that rolls true with alignment lines that can help you identify small flaws in your setup.

One to Watch: Exputt – a contender in the consumer tech space as well, we need more reps with the affordably priced consumer-grade putting trainer/putting launch monitor before we declare it the next big thing in either category.

Consumer Technology: NONE

This is a category where we believe the market habitually fails to deliver. The two areas where we see enormous potential are shot tracking/analytics and personal launch monitors. In both cases, there’s plenty of evolution, but we’re still waiting for the big breakthrough.

Arccos’ continued evolution of its Caddie product is solid, and embedding sensors in grips you’d actually want to say are steps forward, but the company has been slow to market with Arccos Link (an accessory device that will remove the need to keep your phone in your pocket), and there’s still a good bit of cleanup work required during or after a round to maximize the potential of the data. It’s a similar story with Shot Scope where the need for the phone is replaced by the need to wear a bulky watch. If either system gets to the point where the user experience is such that the user doesn’t need to be so involved in the experience, we’ll have a winner.

Similarly, the personal launch monitor space shows some promise, but it’s simply not where it needs to be. It’s perhaps an antiquated analogy, but even with the best of breed devices, it’s a bit like spending big on a calculator that’s entirely incapable of doing multiplication and doesn’t always solve rudimentary addition problems correctly.

Maybe next year…

Enterprise Technology

It’s been a mostly stagnant year on the enterprise front. Foresight’s focus has primarily been on rolling out the overhead-mounted GC Hawk units and expanding its gamification offerings. Trackman has rolled out its share of updates, and past release cadence suggests Trackman 5 might not be far off, it’s possible that its partnership with Major League Baseball could push golf to the back burner for a while.

There are things we’d love to see on the enterprise front, but nothing emerged in 2019. With that said, gamification remains the buzzword in the enterprise space, so as brands continue to look for ways to leverage their technology beyond the traditional confines of golf, the proverbial game-changer could be on the horizon.

Golf Company of the Year: None

In each of the previous 4-years, we’ve chosen Callaway for this award. This time around, we couldn’t justify it. While the brand had another strong year, market share in key categories dipped a bit, there were rumblings on Wall Street related to the Jack Wolfskin acquisition, Chrome Soft got pantsed for its quality issues, and several key members of the marketing team that helped propel Callway to the top of the industry – including Harry Arnett – left the company.

So what about everyone else?

Among the smaller brands, Cleveland/Srixon was steady and dependable, though not exemplary. Wilson added another Major to its tally with Gary Woodland’s US Open, but the steep discounting of the Cortex Driver doesn’t sit well with us. Mizuno’s JPX 919 series was dominant in Most Wanted testing (it won every category where a JPX iron was in the field), and it picked up its first tour win with a driver in nearly 20 years. And yeah…we love the MP-20, but the new golf balls underwhelmed in testing, and while the drivers are solid, the rest of the metalwood lags a bit.

PXG made the Inc. 500 fastest-growing list, released its first semi-affordable iron, and produced the most forgiving new driver of 2019, but at its price point, it’s going to need to blow our minds.

TaylorMade was given some consideration as things seem to have stabilized under private equity ownership. It appears focused on sensible growth and a responsible approach to product cycles and pricing. Consider it the one to watch in 2020.

Titleist remained steady while taking more market risks than we would have expected. It, along with Bridgestone and Srixon were the big winners in our ball test.

Ultimately, while 2019 was a good year for the golf equipment industry, we didn’t feel like any brand absolutely killed it this year.

Comeback Company of the Year: Titleist Golf Club Division

It’s not lost on us that choosing part of a 1 point something billion-dollar company as our comeback company of the year is an odd choice, but hear me out on this.

2019 was a year in which Titleist almost completely reinvented itself as a golf club company. Titleist is often described as a ball company that makes clubs. On the club side, every indication is that the status quo was plenty good enough. So much so that, if I stripped away the year indicator from any Titleist iron or metalwood, nearly any golfer would be hard pressed to distinguish a 2010 model from its 2017 counterpart. And for the better part of the decade, Titleist was more or less content with that.

Maybe it was fresh blood, perhaps it became too hard to ignore the declining market share, but by the time the TS metalwoods line launched in late 2018, it was clear things were changing at Titleist. Unlike the steady series of spin machines that preceded it, TS looked different-enough and emphasized speed in a way that Titleist hadn’t in recent memory. 2019 brought two more TS drivers, and perhaps more significantly, a new T-series of irons that mercifully put an end to an AP lineup that had grown stale a revision or two ago.

It remains to be seen if Titleist can reclaim a portion of the audience it lost to stagnation, but what’s compelling is that in less than 18 months, Titleist completely transformed its iron and metalwood lineups, while at the same time finding a way to stay true to its identity a brand for serious golfers – even those who may not be elite golfers.

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      Barry R

      4 years ago

      The article that stands out the most is the Callway ball and the finditcutit movement. For a big time manufacturer to have that many problems was shocking to me. I thought they’d take more pride in their products and process. It at least seems like they took notice and time will tell if they improve.

      Reply

      Mike

      4 years ago

      All this just proves that golf is such an individual game. I tried those Mizuno 919 irons, hated them. Tried that Tommy Armour putter, didn’t work. As for balls, like Larry Bird used to say before the three-point contest, who’s playing for second place? I’ve we’ve scooped up over 8,000 balls in the past 2 years &over a thousand were pro v1’s. What does that tell you about the top dog?

      Reply

      Garry

      4 years ago

      ExPutt Review

      I started using the ExPutt right after Christmas to replace a Puttist which I used for 4 years before it broke. Puttist I used to improve first putt consistency from the 30-40 range, it dramatically improved my 1st putt distance control from the 30-40 foot range. What I didn’t expect improving was making 1-3 putts per round from the 30-40 range. Better contact, line and speed control is what improved without thinking about those concepts.

      In less time than the drive to the course I can practice 20-30-40 foot putts at home with ExPutt. Many times all I did and do was practice putting before a round to keep it in tune without any warm up putts at the course.

      ExPutt is even better than the Puttiest for 1st putt distance contact, line and speed control because it also includes path and face feedback. I also use a eyeline mirror to make sure set-up is right. I did find from not practicing on 30 foot putts I was occasion coming from out to in which I corrected with set-up.

      I also have a second 9 foot matt to practice 3, 6, and 9 foot putts. I also with found I occasionally still hit a 35-40 foot putt 6 feet short or long, so your still going to have to maintain good 6 foot putting. You can do short putts with ExPutt but I like the feedback with other approaches.

      Past improvements I’ve used make a difference fitness, trackman, fitting and so on. But for scoring you have to improve putting, and 1st putt distance control makes a huge difference. ExPutt works big time for the 30-40 foot 1st putts.

      Reply

      Ethan

      4 years ago

      Love the in depth research and just started listening to the podcast. This is definitely what I have been looking for in regards to information needed before making an expensive golf purchase

      Reply

      The Greek

      4 years ago

      “mercifully put an end to an AP lineup”?

      The AP3’s have been and will always be amazing irons in both playability and looks.

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      One curiosity of hybrids is the high percentage that aren’t adjustable. Many don’t have adjustable hosels. Loft and lie can’t be adjusted. That is a problem for tall and short golfers.. The majority also don’t have any any way to adjust the head weight/swing weight. There are some notable stand out exceptions. to all of these however.

      Reply

      scott

      5 years ago

      The problem with hybrids is I still use a 2008 Cobra DWS even Cobra hasn’t come up with a better hybrid worth buying to replace it. If you been pricing hybrids lately some are well over $200 bucks new. I’ve tried a few Callaway XR, Cobra F max, and a Taylormade AeroBurner. all okay but not better..Low tech might be the new high tech

      Reply

      David B

      5 years ago

      I believe my Cobra hybrids (4 & 5) are the generation before DWS, maybe 2006. I have never consistently hit any other hybrids higher, farther or straighter. Less is more

      Reply

      Kansas King

      5 years ago

      Hybrids are like irons in that they serve a purpose the purpose to hit the same distance with consistency and maybe hold greens if that is what you are looking for. There is no need for hybrids to be longer as they are a gap club unless you hate woods and are going for length. The only clubs in the bag that golfers will generally need longer is the driver and potentially 3 wood, again depending on if they are trying to fill a gap or not. Personally, I went with a Cobra F8 hybrid because I wanted something higher spin that could hold a green. I’ve had Titleist and Ping hybrids in the past but they were rather low spin and the Titleist had a hot face that would lead to some shots going 15 yards farther than expected.

      Reply

      bobarino

      5 years ago

      Pretty sure Snell qualifies as a golf company. I have no idea why they aren’t company of the year. Not only have they (has he) continued to provide a wold class product at 50% savings, he recognised the problem with the Snell Red last year and updated/improved with the the X. If that doesn’t qualify for best comsumer oriented golf company, I don’t know what would.

      Reply

      scott

      5 years ago

      World Class is a over statement not in the price of the ball but in it’s performance Mid to long irons hit into hard greens the ball will roll off the back side..If you lose.allot of balls then Snell is the ball for you I know I find them in the weeds, Lakes, creeks and trees all the time but not on the green.

      Reply

      bobarino

      5 years ago

      uhhhhh, ball fitting…

      Mike

      4 years ago

      I’ve found thousands of pro v 1’s in places no decent golfer should ever hiit them. Doesn’t mean something’s wrong with the balls!

      Berniez40

      5 years ago

      Great article as per usual. Maybe MGS Deserves to be winner in The Most Useful Info and Data Category. While I strongly agree with the no winners for fairways and hybrids, “I recently re-shafted my old Adams 9032 Ti Fairways, and they blow everything away distance wise (sorry Tour Edge), And I re-shafted an Adams Speedline Classic Hybrid with similar results, Ian forced to agree with your conclusions as these models are 10 and 11 years old .

      However, I have to make an argument for winners in The Golf Ball Category.. Though there are no amazing one shot wonders for the price such as the never again 4-Piece K-Sig balls, from Costco, there are a couple of contenders using the same factors as those used to post the Tommy Armour Mallet Putter as a winner, based on a similar price vs. performance ratio
      The Inesis Ball is Right up there as an all around performer based on performance vs original MSRP. If one takes into account sale prices, The Maxfli Tour, which has been on sale 2 for $50 more than it has sold at original MSRP of $34.95 is a real contender as well. Especially, based on your data tables, for us Moderate Swing Speed guys in search of an affordable tour ball. Throw in the fact that it is often the subject of $19.99 a dozen flash sales, and it really moves up the ladder quickly.
      Based on the fact hat I often get Dick’s Coupons in the mail, and I usually end up paying $16.66 a dozen for 3 Dozen at $19.99 with an additional $10 off, and it becomes a personal gold medal winner no questions asked. Between this, their mallet putter, and the performance of some of their golf clubs, and Dicks actually becomes a real contender for Golf Company Winner Status. . No I don’t work for them, but I have been reading all your articles, and I have a Golf Galaxy less than 2 Miles away which lets me test your theories and mine, as well as reshaft my clubs and stay competitive.
      KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK AND HAPPY NEW YEAR MGS.

      Reply

      Gil

      5 years ago

      Great stuff all year. Hard to believe 20 years has past Adam. I enjoy most all of your info. Have you looked into the Knuth Golf Equipment. The fairway woods are phenomenal. Keep up the great work.

      Reply

      Aaron

      5 years ago

      I switched from the Chrome Soft to Snell MTB-X this year because of your test. Driver distance has noticeably improved without any decrease of green side spin. It took a few days to get use to putting a higher compression ball, but that wasn’t that hard. Thank you!

      Reply

      Stevegp

      5 years ago

      Great article, but the work you guys did throughout the year is what made this article possible. MGS performs a valuable service for golfers who care about equipment and their game.
      Happy New Year and best wishes!

      Reply

      Mark M

      5 years ago

      SuperSpeed is the real deal, glad to see it mentioned here.

      I also have a Putt-Out but never became addicted. Maybe I need to pull it out for some indoor fun till it warms up.

      Reply

      Lance

      5 years ago

      Listened to your golf ball segment and have now gained 20 yards from swapping my golf balls, Keep up the great work, cheers

      Reply

      shepard smith

      5 years ago

      Funny you should mention putting the Align strip face up. I did it by accident on my driver and there is no turning back! Really shows you where to Align your hands on the shaft and isn’t this what the align feature should be about????? You cant see or for practical purposes feel anything when the strip is underneath.

      Reply

      Dan Corun

      5 years ago

      I enjoyed all your Most Wanted, but especially the ball one. I switched to the Srixon Z-Star from the Soft Feel after reading that soft is short. My distance is a little better off the tee, but it really shines around the greens. The find them and cut them was really something also. It uncovered some things that we as consumers should have known about for awhile. Thank you for the great job you do. NO PUTTS GIVEN! Happy New Year to all at MGS.

      Reply

      Mark

      5 years ago

      As far as the story of the year, golf ball inconsistencies, this isn’t new. If you were in the golf ball industry in the late90’s, early 2000’s, you woulr remember being at the pga show where wilson showed that every ball on the market was unbalanced and would miss a 10 foot putt if you didn’t have the center of gravity in the right position, Consumers didn’t care. They even sent us a display that had balls in saltwater to show how bad the other balls were.

      Then there was the seeming of the Pro V1, great off the tee, but what do you do putting or hitting irons where you can’t put the seem in the right place. So to act like this is something totally new and unprecedented would’t be really accurate. Chrome soft was still the number 1 selling sku in my store. I think it is great that they are investing more into having better quality control. But does the average guy who shoots a 100 or more, which is the majority of golfers really care? I mean I sell a ton of used balls with scuffs, and may have been in water for who knows how long.

      Reply

      Brian Pickton

      5 years ago

      I care. In fact I care a lot. Because I care I advocate with the gang I play with for the use of balls that do not penalize play. Playing a ball that is going to add strokes to my game is just not on. Because my average score is over 100 does not mean I am not competitive.

      Of the 14 gangsters in the group there are two who shoot in the 80’s, two who are consistently in the 90’s, a handful on the cusp of breaking a 100 and the rest are higher. For myself I have broken a hundred exactly once. My goal is to improve on that this year. That one time followed a change from playing Chrome Soft to Bridgestone Tour BX. My scores dropped by an average of 4.8 strokes from the pre-Bridgestone rounds.

      Members of the gang have taken notice, and while some remain Luddites I have noticed others declining to play just anything they find in the woods. and the top rated balls are finding their way into their bags..

      I find it difficult to express how annoyed I was to discover I had been duped by the hype. Callaway’s response to the ball test results was absolutely indefensible. I understand those that don’t care will always be with us. I understand that there’s a sucker born every minute, and when I bought into the Chrome Soft hype that was my minute. Having discovered I have been duped and squandered my hard earned brass on trash annoys me. I am just not prepared to go along with those who think this behaviour is alright, or to be counted among their number. Please excuse the passion. Apparently you observation hit a nerve with me.

      Reply

      Dea Kelly

      5 years ago

      Itd be nice of Callaway refunded every purchase of their bad ball. But I tried them & didnt like anything about them. But then Ive tried Snell(nope), Inesis(nope), Bridgestone(liked B330), Vice(liked it), Mizuno(nope), TP5/X(liked tp5 better), and some others. Ive tried the T ProV & V1 & V1 is better off tee & the V better around the green.
      Keep up the good work. Glad someone is keeping an eye on these things cause no one else related to golf is(can we say money talks).
      When you have another donation run let me know.
      Thanks

      Mike

      4 years ago

      No offense dude, but if you’re consistently shooting over a hundred, balls are the last thing I’ll be worried about. Lessons?

      mackdaddy9

      5 years ago

      I am curious how is the Align grip legal. Gloves that help you align your grip are non conforming for play.

      Reply

      Cody Reeder

      5 years ago

      Ribbed grips have been around for decades. This is just a new take on that. Nothing illegal about it. I have played a ribbed grip for 15 years.

      Reply

      Hector Cyre

      5 years ago

      Interesting. Verrrry Interesting. Apparently, I’ve had a good year. New Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metals. New Cobra F9. Switched from Chrome Soft to Snell. But the real star of my show in 2019 got no mention at all from MGS. New Titleist TS3 21 degree hybrid. Never a fan of hybrids, I always preferred a 3 iron. But the Mizunos only go down to a 5, so I went looking for an answer. Hit the TS3 during my iron fitting and it (sort of) worked. After a couple rounds I cranked the loft down, which in practical terms also flattened the lie, and reversed the weight plug to the heel to counteract my hooky tendencies, and it became one of the most reliable clubs I have ever owned. 220 yards off a tee and 195 yards carry off the deck. Not bad for a 74 year old. 2020 will be all about more lessons and course time. Have a GREAT 2020 everybody..

      Reply

      Terry Schott

      5 years ago

      Would love to see you test the Bobby Grace line of putters in your 2020 test. I’ve used a few models in the past and they always seem to put a good roll on the ball and have had the technology in place for years that the major companies are now using.

      Reply

      Rene

      5 years ago

      Please buy some Krank drivers and include them in the Most Wanted testing. Please.

      Reply

      Brooks

      5 years ago

      I am still concerned that fhere has been so much hype on hydrophobic coatings for wedges. They are interesting and undoubtedly effective, but in general they don’t last. I would caution anyone buying a wedge based on a specialized coating as it will likely wear out early in life. As of yet, i have seen no information from any reviewers on lifespan of these coatings and until i do i will still focus on wedges that provide versitility through sole design/head design not spin.

      Reply

      Erock717

      5 years ago

      Interesting that the G410 wasn’t mentioned in the hybrid space with its New flat lie option. Seems to be a hook eliminator for most. In hybrid speak that is BIG !!

      Reply

      Dave Rainone

      5 years ago

      Hard to believe you chose Titleist as company of the year. Yes, they refreshed a stale lineup but the new products aren’t generating any buzz. It’s rare that anyone thinks the new irons look better than the AP series. Compare that to excitement around the Mizuno Hot Metal 919 series and MP 20 series. And tons of buzz around Cobra Speedback Drivers and irons. I don’t have access to market share data, but I’d bet both Mizuno and Cobra moved the needle there.

      Reply

      Garwod

      5 years ago

      Another year done well and the overall best group for us the golf industry customer

      Reply

      Luis Ramirez

      5 years ago

      I should have mentioned Cobra in the race for Company of the Year. They had a product the we’re almost to the top or well performer in almost every category. But I agree with your assessment that none break the curve. Happy New Year to the MGS team and cheers for a very successful 2019.

      Reply

      Michael Hayden

      5 years ago

      Was thinking Inesis would be considered for company of year. Really intrigued by them after listening to your podcasts and reading your write up of them.

      Reply

      David B

      5 years ago

      Well done, guys! Best wishes for a great 2020!

      Reply

      Chuck Zirkle

      5 years ago

      Think that Titleist was dead on with it’s new Drivers and irons. Their R&D has worked hard. Kudos to Titleist and it’s whole team.

      Reply

      Kevin Jenkins

      5 years ago

      As always great info. Thank you all at Mygolfspy!

      Reply

      John

      5 years ago

      Cobra wasn’t company of the year? Great in every category. Or is it sales that matter most?

      Reply

      wbn

      5 years ago

      Great article. There is lots of useful information in the article. You guys put a lot of work into this. Thanks. Keep it up.

      Reply

      shortside

      5 years ago

      5 years ago I never gave Cobra a second thought. Much less a first. Then the F7 hybrid found my bag followed shortly thereafter by the F8+ driver (replaced by the F9 in due course).

      Hard to see the CF16’s getting dropped from the starting lineup anytime soon but when the time comes I’ll be looking at Cobra. And yes moving away from the “bold” colors helped in my case. That said their stuff just flat out performs.

      Reply

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