Blog: The 2015 NCG club tests start this week with driversFebruary, 2015 News & Tour
This week we'll finally be testing all the best drivers in the shops
It was way back in the autumn when I began thinking about how we could finesse our testing methodology for the 2015 season.
We strive to offer the most comprehensive and insightful equipment coverage in the UK and a key part of that is testing and comparing the latest gear against the competition.
I arrived at the conclusion that the fairest way to do these tests would be to aim to feature only clubs that had been custom fitted for us.
Otherwise it’s just not a level playing field – what are the chances of an off-the-shelf 9˚ stiff being as effective as a driver an expert has spent an hour fine-tuning to our individual swings?
And by the same token, if we simply called in every driver in 9˚ stiff then you could fairly assume none of the drivers would be likely to perform at optimum levels, making any criticisms we made of the performance close to pointless.
It’s impossible to do this month in, month out with a panel of readers so I decided that the only testers this season for these monthly features would be James Savage and me.
I play off four and James is a (fast-improving) 20 so we hope to offer contrasting viewpoints.
As you can perhaps imagine, it’s taken a lot of organising to arrange individual custom-fitting sessions with each and every top brand, especially when you factor in the time of the year, with new ranges arriving by the week just when we were trying to test them.
We strive to offer the most comprehensive and insightful equipment coverage in the UK and a key part of that is testing" For each company, we’ve asked them to provide through-the-bag fittings for James and me as though we were consumers wanting an entirely new set of clubs.
If they had four or five drivers in the range, we just asked them to fit us into the one they thought would perform best for us.
So for each brand, we’ll be testing a maximum of two of their drivers (in one or two cases James and I were fitted into the same head but a different shaft).
The test will take place outside (weather permitting) and with the assistance of launch monitors.
At the end of the session, I’ll tell you which ones I liked the best and James will do the same.
Watching over us throughout the day will be Moor Allerton head professional James Whitaker to add his expert insight.
We’ll then compare notes to let you know what our favourites were and why.
We’ve never been better prepared for a test so I hope you’ll find the results useful and thorough.
Make sure you follow our progress throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the test and tell us what you think.
We’ll also be more than happy to answer any question you may have about any aspect of drivers.
We can’t wait for Wednesday – bring it on.