Remember the Alien Wedge?
What a joke! Right?
Well, that joke of a product and company Alien Golf, sold over $200,000,000 worth of wedges in just over 3 years. To put that in perspective, that's significantly more in US sales than some major equipment manufacturers did in all of 2016.
Golf infomercials or "AS SEEN ON TV" golf products
are were big business in the 90's and early 2000's. The Alien Wedge, Medicus, Orlimar, F2 Wedges, The Haney Blueprint, Tight Lies, Perfect Club, Jack "The Hammer" Hamm, Liquidmetal, Adams Golf, Snuggies and Sham Wow all seemed to be laughing at us (at 2 AM) all the way to the bank back in the day.
The Golf Agency was responsible for producing many of these gems, and the Golf Channel was more than happy to take its money for late night ads. That all changed when The Golf Channel decided to focus on "quality programming." The golf infomercial went into hiding for a decade or so.
But now it seems to be making a comeback.
If you've watched the Golf Channel recently - at pretty much anytime day or night - chances are you've seen the industry's latest & greatest infomercial golf club - The GX-7 X-Metal. It's the same old song dance: a one-of-a-kind club that promises straighter drives, more forgiveness, and lower scores.
In case you haven't seen the GX-7, it's time to "Throw your driver in the trash":
WATCH THE GX-7 INFOMERCIAL
In just 30 seconds Dennis Paulson (winner of the 2000 Buick Open) and "Trackman Expert" Rob Rashell lay down a few rather bold claims about the GX-7 X-Metal:
- Eliminate 3-4 bad drives per round
- Hit it as long as your driver
- Hit it as accurate as your three wood
- Spins less than a driver
- Higher smash factor than a driver
...For only $199
When something sounds this too good to be true, it usually is. To save you the risk of spending your own money and potentially wasting your own time, we got ahold of a GX-7 and put it to the test.
HOW WE TESTED
There is a slight caveat to this new infomercial club: low handicappers and fast swingers need not apply. This club is designed for those high-handicap and/or slow swing speed golfers. With that in mind, our testing pool was chosen to accurately reflect the target demographic for this club.
- Three total clubs were tested: GX-7 X-Metal, along with a 10.5° driver, and a 16° three wood from leading manufacturers.
- All clubs had the same stated flex.
- The same clubs were used in each session for every tester.
- 10 golfers with handicaps ranging from 8-18 and driver swing speeds between 70 and 90 mph participated in this test.
- Each tester hit 12-14 shots for each club from the group (frequently rotating between clubs).
- Gross mishits were eliminated and are not included in the shot counts.
- Remaining outliers were identified using Median Absolute Deviation (both distance and offline), and dropped before calculation of the final averages.
- All testers hit Bridgestone B330-RX Golf Balls.
- Ball and Head Data were recorded using a Foresight GCQuad Launch Monitor.
The table below shows launch monitor data for each of the three clubs tested.
Gx-7 Test Data
|Club||Ball Speed |
- The driver achieved, on average the highest ball speeds and longest carries. Though this is to be expected as both the GX-7 and 3-wood are 43".
- While the GX-7 produced significantly shorter in distance than the driver, it finished just under four yards closer to the target line on average.
- The driver and GX-7 X-Metal launched at nearly the same angle (15°) with the driver spinning roughly 300 RPM less.
- Using the standard deviations of ball speed and carry distance as measures of consistency, the GX-7 was less consistent across the testing pool.
When we first announced we would be testing this latest "AS SEEN ON TV" product to our readers we got some interesting feedback.
"You should test all these gimmicks."
"This is the biggest piece of s*** I've seen."
"Maybe once exposed we won't have to see these stupid commercials."
"Killing infomercial "super clubs" is far more important than comparing major brands, you guys are awesome for doing this."
"Physics is whispering in my ear and saying, Um, no."
Basically, most of you thought this was nothing more than a snake-oil dipped ShamWoW wrapped on the end of a shaft.
To our surprise though, the GX-7 was shown to be far from terrible. However, the data does not completely support the claims made in the promotional video. The results aren't likely to motivate you to lock your driver in the closet. On the other hand, those struggling to hit it straight (and I mean really struggling) - perhaps those with handicaps above 20 - could benefit from the decreased distance and increased accuracy.