New Testing Methodology for Irons
At the end of 2005 GolfTest USA partnered with Golf Illustrated, one of the top national golf publications, to provide them with the results of our standard golf equipment testing that we conduct on an ongoing basis. Golf Illustrated has agreed to publish a feature article in each issue highlighting many of the new clubs that have been introduced. In the process of explaining our testing process to GI they asked if we could expand the criteria we have the testers evaluate. We agreed and there are now 10 criteria that the testers evaluate. There is also an additional rating we list in the last column which is the combined “AVERAGE” of the first 10 criteria. We feel this “AVERAGE” gives golfers a good indication of which clubs performed the best across all the criteria.
We pick test golfers with varying skill levels based on what the manufacturer recommends that each club is best suited to. Some clubs are designed for low handicap golfers and some clubs are referred to as game improvement clubs and are designed for mid to high handicap golfers
When testing irons we use three evaluation formats. The first evaluation format is done by GolfTest USA Test Administrators and in the second evaluation format GolfTest USA asked each golfer to rate 10 criteria on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being best. GolfTest USA had 60 testers hit shots at the driving range. GolfTest USA Test Administrators rated the distance and dispersion of each shot on a scale of 1 to 10 and the “Control” and “Accuracy” they felt each golfer displayed with each iron during the test. These ratings are then combined with the second evaluation format which is the golfers own ratings to come up with the final ratings for each irons. (The “Overall” column is not an average of the other criteria. For the “Overall” criterion we ask each tester to rate the club based on how they feel the club performed overall in the test.) For the third testing format we have 15 golfers play one round of golf with a set of each of the irons and again rate all the criteria. We then take those rating which where obtained under actual playing conditions and merge them with the range test to come up with the final ratings. We have found that combining these formats gives the most comprehensive ratings.
On a scale of 1 to 10(with 10 being best) they rated each of these criteria.
Distance: Each tester rated how far they hit each irons.
Control: Testers rated how much control they felt they had while hitting each irons.
Accuracy: Testers rated how accurate they felt each irons was.
Forgiveness: Testers rated how forgiving the irons was on off center hits.
Sound: Testers rated how did they liked the sound of each club.
Appearance: Testers rated how much they liked the appearance of the club.
Feel: Testers rated the feel of the club at set up, during the swing and at impact.
Ball flight (Trajectory): Testers rated how they liked the trajectory of the ball off the club?
Recommend to others: The testers were asked to rate how strongly would they recommend to each irons to their friends or other golfers.
Overall Rating: The testers were asked to take into consideration what is important to them in a irons and give it an overall rating. (This is not an average of the other criteria).
Overall Average: A final category was added at the request of Golf Illustrated which is the average of the 10 criteria rated by the testers. We feel this average helps to give golfers an indication of how each club performed taking into account all of the criteria in the test.
Why are the test results the way they are? Click here to find out!
Let us know if there are other irons you would like us to test and we will contact the manufacturers and see if they will participate in our next testing cycle. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on the testing completed to date we have determined that any club that has an “AVERAGE” score 7.9 or better based on our scoring system is awarded the GolfTest USA “Seal of Excellence” award. Being awarded the GolfTest USA “Seal of Excellence” indicates a golf product has been tested and reviewed by our staff of golf testers and has been judged to be of superior quality, value and performance. Golfers who purchase any of these clubs can feel confident they will be obtaining a quality golf product.
Click on each column head to sort ratings by that criteria.