We have spent countless hours refining our testing methodologies and data processing techniques. We’ve worked with R&D experts from some of the largest companies in golf with the singular goal of creating the most informative test for the golfing consumer.
The number of testers we use, the number of shots we collect, they way we analyze data, even the way we sort and randomize clubs during the test itself was directly influenced by the conversations we had with those experts.
The end result is what we believe to be the largest, independent, 100% Datacratic driver test you’ll find anywhere.
Before you can collect data you need golfers. For 2016 we recruited 20 golfers across a wide-range of ages and abilities. Our group of testers includes collegiate golfers, retirees, and average golfers just like you. Here are a few more details about our participants.
- Handicap range: +3 – 16
- Age Range: 18 – 72
- Swing Speed Range: 80MPH – 120 MPH
MyGolfSpy’s 2016 Most Wanted Driver test was conducted over the span of several weeks. In total, the 20 golfers who participated in our tests spent more than 150 hours hitting over 7,500 total shots.
In order to collect a valid sample size across all testers and all clubs, each tester participated in 6 sessions. To minimize the impact that day to day swing variances may have on the final results, club group order was randomized, as was the order in which clubs within each group were hit.
Testers were asked to take 3-4 swings with each club before moving to the next club in the rotation. The process was repeated until we achieved a sample size of 10-12 ‘good’ shots for each tester with each club.
Ball flight and clubhead data was collected with a with a Foresight GC2 launch monitor with a HMT attached. All testers hit Bridgestone B330-RX golf balls exclusively. Balls were inspected after each session. Any ball showing signs of wear was replaced.
Data was exported and checked for errors. Outliers were then identified using a statistical approach called Median Absolute Deviation. Shots identified as outliers were dropped prior to the data being aggregated and final averages calculated.
MyGolfSpy tested drivers with lofts of 9°/9.5° and 10°/10.5° in both regular and stiff flex.
As adjustability is a key part of many modern driver designs, MyGolfSpy does make use of the adjustment capabilities of each club, including loft/face angle, and any movable weight features. We make every reasonable effort to optimize each club for each individual tester.
Results and Rankings
Unlike most other large equipment tests, our awards and rankings aren’t determined inside a conference room. We don’t have a panel, and there are no votes. The launch monitor is the one and only judge. We collect a standard set of launch monitor metrics (ball speed, launch angle, spin rates, distance, etc.)
Overall winners are determined using a variation of Mark Broadie’s Strokes Gained methodology. Here’s how it works:
- A strokes gained value is determined for each shot (based the remaining distance to a theoretical pin and the resulting lie condition).
- The average strokes gained value for each club is calculated and compared to the average value for each tester.
- Overall ranking order is based on the cumulative Strokes Gained value above the average for each driver tested.
For more information about how Strokes Gained driving is calculated see the section labeled Calculating Strokes Gained for Each Shot.
To determine our Longest Drivers we calculate the average of the 3 longest drives for each test and then take the average of those distance. The goal of this method of analysis is to predict which drivers are likely to be longest on perfectly or near-perfectly stuck shots.
We do realize that data is inherently interpretive, which is why we choose to share our data with you. For those who prefer things clean and simple we have provided our data-driven rankings. For those of you who want to dig deeper, make your own interpretations, and draw your own conclusions, we share our data with you.
This is your test.
Note: This page is updated on an annual basis to reflect the latest information about how we test. As such, it may not be wholly applicable to previous tests.