Golf Club Testing and Demo Programs
High Performance Club Test
The Golf Lab Club Testing Program helps serious golfers understand differences in feel and ball flight from different set specifications. Testing a variety of iron sets is the natural next step – after an electronic fitting – for a player who wants to make his own golf club choices.
Tour players know the best way to compare club performance is on the course where feel and ball flight rule. Subtle comparisons become meaningful with hands-on testing under playing conditions. What if the six iron is fine but the wedge is goofy?
Our test clubs are the “best of the best”.
We combine the best head designs with high performance shafts. Every combination is tested for feel, ball flight and performance by Golf Lab staff.
We include “Playable Classics” – sets that have historic significance updated to compete with current models.
An electronic fitting does not determine the “best fit”. The goal of a fitting is to narrow the choices. The last step is to confirm indoor testing on the range so the player can make his own choice – based on feel and ball flight – with total confidence.
One round is enough – two is better. New clubs should be instantly better than anything you’ve ever played before. Decide for yourself if $200 Matrix Program Graphite iron shafts – engineered for the Tour – are that much better than the Aerotech 95 – already on Tour – and only $90.
Demo clubs are not only for highly skilled players looking for exotic, high performance clubs. They are also for occasional players who need to gain experience with different specifications and to develop feel for different head designs and shaft flex.
Test sets are good for juniors. There are a few shaft and head combinations that have been very successful over the years. Why not try all four on your own course for a complete round? You will know what works.
Detail on the High Performance Club Rental Pool
At the high end are the “super exotics”. There is another price level about to emerge in the custom iron market. Until now, the “sweetspot” for Japanese boutique irons in the USA has been around $225 per club. That’s not everywhere. There are plenty of places in the USA where mention of $1600 for a set of irons could cause heart attack or divorce. But American golf equipment marketers can’t be blamed for jealousy over prices for “luxury irons” that reach tens of thousands of dollars in Asia.
There is a huge push coming from Matrix, Fujikura and Mitsubishi to convince golfers that it is worth upgrading the quality of their iron shafts. We have been feeling the drumbeat for a couple of months – first of anticipation and now availability.
Here’s the problem: Our “Tour Proven” Aerotech Steel Fiber iron shafts are $85 installed at the Golf Lab. Putting $700 into a set of shafts is a pretty penny as my grandmother used to say. If $700 is a “pretty penny” what is $1500 for a set of shafts.
The Tsunami is causing a ripple effect in prices from Japanese foundries. But that’s the small stuff.
We’ve been watching the high end of the graphite iron shaft business “mature”. Actually, it might be a little closer to “rotting”.
We have never sold these well because they require a price level that Americans don’t understand. It would cost a little south of $3000 to build a set of Miura 501’s mounted with the new Matrix “Program” shafts and SST PURE ™ shaft alignment. $300 per club, easy.
Wouldn’t it be worth $75 to take that set to the course for a week? You’ll answer the key question: “Does the high price reflect the value?”
As cynical as you may be, what if it does?
Many of the other iron sets in our rental pool were built as test sets for very good players. Some are “Playable Classics” from the Golf Lab Collection. They include complete iron sets from Miura, Vega, Mizuno, Bridgestone and one-of-a-kinds.
A club testing program is the logical way to prepare to make an informed choice if you are thinking about buying an exotic or high performance set of irons. Why rely on a salesperson who doesn’t know you or a computer (no hands, no eyes, no brain) to make your choice? Test the exact clubs you are wondering about buying on your own course for a week. Take them to the range. Wear them out.
If you wondering about iron shafts and want to compare X-100’s, S-300’s, Shimada Pros, Shimada Tours, KB Tours, KB C-Tours, Scandium, Nippon and all of the graphite models – you can – in a meaningful way on the golf course.
Players of all skill levels can benefit from playing a variety of clubs on the course. There may be no performance difference you can measure between steel and graphite, but there will be a difference in feel and ball flight. Why not choose the one that feels and looks best to you? Same for head designs. Why not make the choice yourself?
The first step is always a fitting. New technology lets us “see” the movement of the shaft at impact. Subtle differences in shaft performance are uncovered. No need to worry about tedious range time to figure out which shaft performs the best. We do that indoors with radar. Players who have been fitted by older launch monitor technology will benefit from a “new look” with radar.
Your outdoor testing is focused on feel and ball flight.
With a completed fitting, we can have a close look at the test clubs and pick the most likely suspects for fitting.
High Performance, Exotic and Collector Irons Test Program
$300 Per month
“Super High End”
Rental period is one month – “Saturday to Saturday” rental period. Exchange once per week on Saturday afternoon 3-6.
Player is entitled to keep one set for the entire 30 days or exchange for a new set once each week. Rental sets are supplied with the player’s choice of grips. Exchange period is Saturday afternoons between 3 and 6 at San Carlos. Emergencies are accommodated by appointment. Dian Terova can be reached at the office between 10 and 12 weekdays. Limited weekday exchanges can be accommodated.
The sets in the “super high end” selection include the latest model Miura and Vega heads paired up with the most exotic high-performance shafts from Matrix, Fujikura and Aerotech on the market. Other sets are collectors’ items. The retail values range from $1500 to $5000.
Rent applies to purchase if player buys a set from the rental pool. Rent does not apply to new custom sets.
“Built for Feel” Irons Test Program
$200 per month
“Get Acquainted with Feel, Forgiveness and Trajectory”
“Performance Level Testing” will be interesting to any golfer who wants to know how different clubs feel. This player will be interested in comparing the feel of lightweight steel and graphite. Within graphite, he will also want to know the best shaft weight. Graphite offers wide choices in shaft weight and feel.
Irons can be exchanged for another set on Saturday afternoons between 3 and 6 PM. No walk-in exchanges.