The best golf equipment of 2017

Golf Equipment

Equipment editor James Savage looks back at a ‘year in gear’ and dishes out some awards

We’ve had some fantastic and groundbreaking gear in 2017.

Over the past five years we’ve seen less and less golf equipment which isn’t up to standard.

Across the board, the golf equipment from the main manufacturers is really solid.

We used to get the odd ‘dud’ driver or a ropey set of irons but in 2017 we genuinely can’t think of a bad product.

So it’s harder than ever to stand out from the crowd.

But after taking a look back at all the best golf equipment from 2017 we’ve dished out the following awards.

But we’ve also put it out there for debate on Twitter and have included our poll results below too.

Best golf equipment 2017: Drivers

The year kicked off with the two biggest players Callaway and TaylorMade going head to head with the GBB Epic drivers and the new M1 and M2 drivers.

Best golf equipment

From a ‘tech story’ point of view Callaway did a fantastic job with their jailbreak technology. It was something new, it made sense and it seems to have really paid off with the consumer as it was the number one driver from a sales point of view.

The M1 and M2 were updated versions of existing models and while improvements were clear to see, there wasn’t really a huge case for trading in your 2016 M1 or M2 for the 2017 products.

Best golf equipment

Saying that, the 2017 TaylorMade M2 is the best driver I have ever used. I don’t monitor my stats but I’m pretty sure I hit more fairways than ever in 2017 and hit the ball further.

For someone who struggled for confidence with the driver, the M2 actually made me look forward to my tee shots.

Ping are on different launch cycles and released their G400 driver in the middle of the year.

And what a fantastic product it was. The looks sound and feel were all right on the money. It was the best Ping driver I had ever hit.

Best golf equipment

I was fitted into the SFT model which has tungsten weighting in the heel. In testing it was giving me fantastic results but on the course it was going a bit left for me. I’m used to aiming left and playing with a fade so it just needs a bit of practice and a change of alignment for me to make it work.

A little bird has told me Ping might be launching a new driver in January and by the sounds of it, it’ll be right in my wheelhouse.

My personal awards would be:

Gold:TaylorMade M2
Silver:Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero
Bronze:Ping G400 SFT

Best golf equipment 2017: Players irons

What a year it has been for stylish bladed irons. Blades made a real comeback in 2017 after a few years with more focus on distance irons.

The first to launch were the Mizuno MP-18 which we first saw at Royal Birkdale ahead of The Open.

Best golf equipment

We had a clean muscleback, a split cavity and a multi-material MMC model. As far as looks and feel go, Mizuno are in a class of their own.

TaylorMade brought the P730 to market which were what Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson effectively put into play in 2017.

Each player had their own ‘proto’ version of the P730 but it was Dustin Johnson’s irons which are closest to what the public can buy.

Best golf equipment

The Titleist 718 irons launch saw the introduction of a new MB model which Justin Thomas used to win the PGA Championship with.

Best golf equipment

And finally we had the new Apex MB blades from Callaway towards the end of the year which Sergio Garcia has been playing since his move from TaylorMade.

Best golf equipment

As a mid-handicapper, I’m not about to comment on which performs best but I’ll give my awards based on looks alone:

Gold: Mizuno MP-18
Silver:Callaway Apex MB/Titleist 718 MB
Bronze:TaylorMade P730

Best golf equipment 2017: Distance irons

This the area which causes me the most trouble as I’ve been chopping and changing my irons far too regularly this year.

I started 2017 with the Mizuno JPX900 Hot Metal in the bag but they were launched in 2016 so are disqualified.

Best golf equipment

The Ping G400 then went straight into play after they were introduced at the back end of the summer – the best Ping irons I’d ever played with. Not overly chunky and a great sound and feel.

I was then fitted into the Titleist 718 AP1 at the brand’s launch up at Archerfield. Having played the 714 and 716 versions of AP1 I was truly impressed with how the aesthetics had got better each year.

Best golf equipment

So I’ll be practising over the winter to see which model I’ll put in play for 2018.

My awards:

Gold: Ping G400/Titleist 718 AP1
Silver: TaylorMade M2
Bronze: Callaway Steelhead XR

Best golf equipment 2017: ‘Super premium’ irons

We tested out the PXG 0311 irons at the brand’s launch event in the summer and were hugely impressed.

Best golf equipment

And it seems the other major manufacturers have attempted to get a piece of this super premium market where sets of irons are well over £1,000.

The Callaway Epic irons performed really well but were maybe a little bit too premium from a price point of view.

Best golf equipment

We were extremely impressed with the TaylorMade P790 as they seemed to be ticking all the boxes for looks, sound, feel and power.

Best golf equipment

We feel they cover a really wide range of handicaps as they aren’t intimidating at all and won’t put off ‘better’ players.

We weren’t really expecting the Titleist 718 T-MB to be available as a full set but like the P790s they offered golfers superb ball speed and distance but all in a package that looked great at address and in the bag.

Best golf equipment

Gold: TaylorMade P790
Silver: PXG 0311
Bronze: Titleist 718 T-MB/Callaway Epic

Post us a comment below if we’ve missed out any of your favourites.

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