Best Of 2016 Golf Club Guide

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Golf Discount’s Best of 2016 Golf Club Guide

author-bob-gomavitz
By Bob Gomavitz

As the winter months descend upon us, I wanted to share with you my top picks from the 2016 season. I hope that you have enjoyed my candid reviews throughout the entire 2016 season, my goal was to remain as unbiased as possible throughout the whole process. It has been an absolute pleasure to bring these reviews to you, and it has been a real treat to hit the range and links with so many different golf clubs.

In 2017, our goal is to continue bringing you the same quality testing of new products and create comprehensive guides that incorporate the current information, but also infuse more technical data to really create side by side comparisons. Let us know what you would like us to incorporate into our testing process in the comments below.

Every year there are numerous occasions where I am shocked and often pleased by the results of my testing. There are so many great products out there, so make sure you are going out to test multiple offerings when looking for an update to your set. If you missed any of the full 2016 club guides be sure to check out the Expert Review tab on product pages and the 2016 club guides for full reviews of all 2016 golf clubs I tested.

2016 Drivers Guide 2016 Fairway Woods Guide 2016 Hybrids Guide 2016 Players Irons Guide 2016 GI Irons Guide


best-of-2016-DRIVERS

TaylorMade M2 Driver Review


TaylorMade M2 Driver
TaylorMade M2 Driver Face

Club Tested: Driver Shaft: Fujikura Pro 60; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 9.5°

The Takeaway

The M2 features a multi-material construction highlighted by a proprietary 7-Layer Carbon Composite Construction Crown that allows more weight to be positioned in the bottom of the sole. Additionally, in the M2’s case, a Low-Back CG will enhance forgiveness and increase distance. The Speed Pocket provides hotter ball speeds, lower spin, and really enhances hits low on the face. Internal Acoustic Design delivers a solid hit and crisp sound at impact.

Who’s It For?

The M2, with its Low-Back CG will fit just about any player out there who just does not want to mess with an adjustable driver like the M1. Players with negative attack angles might see better numbers with the weight moved forward on the M1 over the M2. This is TaylorMade’s distance club with a longer and lighter shaft.

Final Take

Having played so many different TaylorMade drivers in the past, I was very interested in the M series but found myself waiting to hit the M2 based on the low-back CG. The head at 460cc seems a tad big to me, even though the face depth is slightly on the shallower side. The contrast of the black face against the white front crown area makes the face size look on the small side compared to past TaylorMade offerings.

I found the sound and feel were fairly muted. Both have excellent penetrating ball flights with lower spin rate. The 45.75″ stock length is way too much from most, but through TaylorMade’s Custom department you can order any length of the 30+ no up charge shafts that are offered, the most in the industry. Lots to like about this new offering.

Shop TaylorMade M2 Driver at GolfDiscount.com




best-of-2016-FAIRWAYS

Callaway XR16 Fairway Wood Review


xr16-fw
xr16-fw-face

Club Tested: 3-Wood Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 565 FW; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 15°

The Takeaway

With a bigger head shape, higher MOI, lower CG, and highest COR the new XR16 fairway wood will look easy to hit because it is. The Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup is now hotter and thinner and the cambered sole makes this larger head highly versatile and playable out of all lies. And an improved aerodynamics increases head speed through impact for ultimate ball speeds.

Who’s It For?

The larger more forgiving XR16 fairway woods will be a great fit for mid to higher handicap players who have issues getting the ball airborne from tighter fairway lies or deep lies in the rough. Slower swing speeds will also benefit from the very light shafts.

Final Take

The XR16 fairway wood is matte black and has a larger footprint than I personally prefer at address. However, the crown graphics do a great job framing the head to appear smaller than it really is. The ball flight was high, as expected from a slightly shallower face size and lighter stock shaft. The face looked slightly closed at address and my dispersion definitely confirmed this. While this wasn’t the best fit for me, golfers with slower swing speeds should enjoy the playability from these woods and possibly gain some distance at the same time.

Shop Callaway XR16 Fairway Woods at GolfDiscount.com



best-of-2016-HYBRIDS


best-of-2016-PLAYERS

Titleist 716 AP2 Irons Review


titleist-716-ap2
titleist-716-ap2-address

Club Tested: 7 Iron Shaft: KBS Tour 120; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 34°

The Takeaway

Titleist’s self-proclaimed most advanced, solid feeling and forgiving Tour players irons, the 716 AP2 irons use extreme high density tungsten weighting to position the center of gravity low and perfectly aligned at impact for more speed. A co-forged construction with tungsten weighting low and on the perimeter helps increase the moment of inertia on off-center hits.

Who’s It For?

With its design and features this is a true Players Iron. Players who demand feel and forgiveness without sacrificing distance, and want a blade look from their irons apply here!

Final Take

My first look at the new 716 AP2’s told my mind that this version looked slightly smaller than the 714 version. Also, I noticed the tungsten weight right away. Like the 714s, the 716s are again a very solid feeling club, with excellent looks and cosmetics. The 716s have a slightly higher ball flight mainly due to the weaker lofts compared to so many strong lofted versions out there these days. Definitely one of the top players irons.

Shop Titleist 716 AP2 Irons at GolfDiscount.com




best-of-2016-GAME-IMPROV

Ping G Series Irons Review


Ping G Series Irons
Ping G Series Irons Face

Club Tested: G Series 7 Iron Shaft: Nippon Modus 105; Flex: Stiff; Loft: 30.5°

The Takeaway

The brand new Ping G Series Irons have Cor-Eye Technology. This unique structure involves the entire face in flexing for consistently faster speeds across the hotter face. The increase in speed and shot height generates greater distance and a steeper landing angle for shots at the green. A large multi-material damping badge joined to the cavity works with Cor-Eye technology to prove exceptional sound and feel. Weight saved from the face is allocated to the low toe and perimeter areas creating a high MOI for extreme forgiveness. Connecting the CTP (custom tuning port) to the sole creates a deeper CG that helps elevate the launch angle while increasing MOI for greater forgiveness.

Ping’s proprietary Ascending Weight Technology should improve performance throughout an optimal combination of physics and feel. They get heavier as it progressed from a longer arms to shorter arms and wedge. Lighter longer iron shafts help square the clubface, increased speed and optimize flight for distance and accuracy. Heavier short iron/wedge shafts improve trajectory control and feel.

Who’s It For?

Typically, the G Series of irons have been geared more for the higher handicap player. However, with the new G series irons, I feel that any type of player can use these and compete at any level of golf.

Final Take

When I first researched the new G Series irons I found everything to be very spot on during my testing. Increased ball speeds, higher launch, steep landing angles, and a very hot feel. Looking down at this head, it’s really not as much of a Game Improvement look as it used to be. The wide sole cannot be detected at address, the top line looks thinner than ever, the head is not overwhelming and it looks ready to hit. Though I did not test the head with the AWT 2.0 shaft, I have used these shafts in the past with great success. I chose the Nippon shaft for testing because I like how tight they played in the I Series, and again this was true with the G head attached to them. These are one of the easiest irons that I have ever hit. Effortless towering straight shots that were repeatable. If you’re looking for a great iron, check these out!

Shop Ping G Series Irons at GolfDiscount.com



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Bob Gomavitz

Bob Gomavitz Age: 59 Handicap: 4.6 Introduced to Golf: Age 10 Years Playing: 47 Hole In Ones: 2 Double Eagles: 1 Years in the Golf Industry: 14 Rounds Per Year: Over 100 Favorite PGA Tour Course Played: TPC Sawgrass Favorite Local Course Played: Royal Colwood Victoria, B.C. Most Famous Golfer that I played with: Fred Couples Most Famous Person that I played with: Kenny G (High School Teammate) Current WITB Driver: Taylormade 2016 M2 9.5 45" D-3 Graphite Design Tour Ad 60 Stiff 3 Wood: Taylormade RBZ 13 Degree TS Oban Revenge 7 Stiff 43.25” D-3 Hybrid: Taylormade R1118 Degree Matrix Altus Stiff Hybrid: Taylormade R11 Rescue 21 Degree Matrix Altus Stiff Irons: Taylormade Burner 2.0 4-PW KBS Tour Stiff Std Lie, Lofts and Lengths Wedges: Taylormade Rac Black 54 Degree TT DG Wedge Flex Wedges: Callaway X Tour 58 Degree MD TT DG Wedge Flex Putter: Odyssey Versa 90 degree #7 Super Stroke 3.0 34” Ball: Titleist Pro V1x, Srixon Z Star XV Yellow Trackman Driver Swing Info Club Head Speed: 98-101 Ball Speed: 148-151 Angle of Attack: +1.7 to +2.6 Launch Angle: 12.7 to 14.1 Spin: 2400-2750 Angle of Descent: 39.8 to 37.3 Carry: 234-242 yards Distance: 258-272 yards Path: 0.7 to 2.4

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1 Comment

  1. Wow, what a great article. I like that I can find the best of each category all in one page. I love PING’s offerings this year!

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