Critical Golf: Unbiased Golf Equipment Reviews

Ship Sticks Golf Club Shipping Service Review

As nice as our ClubGlider Meridian golf travel bag is, we wouldn’t mind some hassle free travel. If someone could pick up the clubs from our house and deliver them to the course. On time. Insured. That would make my life easier. Therein lies the premise for Ship Sticks, a company that provides delivery service for your golf clubs (and skis, snowboards or other luggage).

Golf Club Fitting and Demo Days

Considering a new set of clubs? We are. Every year we do…
Most major manufacturers travel to golf ranges and courses throughout the United States and offer fitting and demo services at no cost. So if you’re looking to test out the latest equipment, check out the listings of 2014 golf equipment demo and fitting days in your area.

Airline Rules for Traveling With Golf Clubs

Wondering what the airlines rules and regulations are around traveling with golf clubs? We’ve pulled together a listing of airlines comments regarding golf clubs as of February 2013.

Golf Pet Peeves

I’m feeling a little grumpy. So here’s my list of golf-related pet peeves. It includes Poipu Bay, my Ben Sherman t-shirt, and railroad ties.

10 Best Golf Television Ads

Well, if there have to be commercials during coverage, they might as well be entertaining right? Check out our top ten golf TV ads.

The Pebble E-Paper Watch: The First Golf GPS Device of 2013?

Golf watches took the market by storm in 2012, and we quickly fell for their ease of use. There has already been an announcement of one device, the Pebble, which might prove to be the first watch with golf GPS functionality to be released in 2013.

Irons Get Longer and Longer

The Nike VR_S Forged 7-iron has a loft of 31 degrees. Doesn’t mean anything to you? To most players, it won’t (who has the lofts of their clubs memorized?). Let’s compare the this to the Nike VR Pro Blades 7-iron, which has 35 degrees of loft. To get 31 degrees of loft in the VR Pro, pull the 6-iron. You can see where we are going with this…

Why Are So Few Small Manufacturers On The Golf Digest 2012 Hot List?

Though Golf Digest Senior Editor Mike Sachura remarked in the Golf Digest 2012 Hot List podcast that “…plenty of small companies…are on the Hot List this year”, while referencing SeeMore (mSeries Private Reserve) and SCOR (SCOR4161 wedge), we would say this is a bit of a stretch. Only these 2 products from smaller manufacturers were selected out of 98 total clubs on the Hot List (see table at right), which doesn’t quality as “plenty” in our book.

Premium Golf Glove Reviews: Bionic, FootJoy, Hirzl and Titleist

The Paradox of Choice indeed. With so many gloves to choose from, where does one begin? Options are wide, ranging from inexpensive multi-packs to gloves made from the finest Corinthian – er, Premium Cabretta leather. And just what is this Cabretta leather? Well, it’s produced from the skins of sheep that have hair instead of wool (straight-haired sheepskins). And what makes them Premium? Marketing.

Spikeless Golf Shoe Reviews: ECCO Street, ECCO Street Premiere and TRUE tour

It’s been the rare instance over the last 20 years that I purchased the same golf shoe twice. I grew up wearing old school FootJoy shoes with metal spikes (translation = incredibly uncomfortable). Over time I branched out into other brands (Nike, Adidas, Oakley, ECCO) and models (both traditional styled shoes and sneaker-style), but still never found quite the right shoe. Clearly it was time to give the latest spikeless golf shoes a try.

Convertibles That Fit Golf Clubs With The Top Down

So you’ve decided to want to maximize your Vitamin D while not in your cubicle? A convertible is just what the doctor ordered. If you are having difficulty justifying this purchase to your spouse, keep in mind that auto manufacturers do indeed design these cars to work with child seats (the time to starting working on that golf scholarship is NOW!).

Best Golf Books and DVDs

Though we would rather be at the course, sadly it’s just not possible to be there 24/7. So when away from the course, it’s time to break open a good book or watch a DVD. About golf, of course. While there are hundreds of books and DVDs, we have selected a number that we enjoy in different categories – fiction/non-fiction, coffee table, classics and history, and instructional. Don’t forget, some books may be available on the Amazon Kindle.

Advice on Custom Golf Club Fittings

If you are like any of the folks we play golf with on a regular basis, you probably have a barrage of reasons why you’ve never considered being fit for clubs by a professional:
Your current clubs fit well enough that you won’t gain any performance improvements from being fit (you will). Based on testing out equipment at your local retail store or demo day you can pick out the right match for your swing (you can’t). You aren’t “good enough” for a fitting (you are). That the fittings cost too much (they don’t).

Best Golf Gifts of 2012

Our editors present a guide on the best golf gift ideas for Father’s Day, graduation, birthdays and holidays; cool golf gadgets and equipment that will appeal to golfers at a range of skill levels, and that are available at a variety of different price points. Our list of do’s and don’ts provide our thoughts on which gifts will elicit an enthusiastic “SWEET!! YOU ARE THE BEST EVER!!!”; and which will trigger an “ummmm, is there a gift receipt in the box?”

Golf Magazine ClubTest 2011

It wouldn’t be quite right for us to comment on Golf Digest’s Hot List without making a few remarks about Golf Magazine’s ClubTest at the same time. Golf Magazine’s March 2011 issue focused on drivers, and we eagerly flipped open our copy to see what insights we would find.

Golf Fitness and Exercise Equipment

You can spend a lot on exercise equipment, but you don’t have to in order to get a great workout. The items below are a select handful to get you started, and work well in conjunction with some of the golf fitness books.
It’s time to get started on your 2011 resolution to get in shape (hey, it’s only September). It’s easier to prevent an injury that to rehab from one, right?

How to Cure an Aching Back Instantly: Golf Push Carts

We once were nonbelievers…carrying our bags regardless of the length of the course, elevation changes, and temperature. But as our shoulders and back gradually feel the effects of time, and common sense starts to override whether we will take flack from our buddies, we have become push cart converts.

The Golf Digest Hot List Process

Online golf addicts have undoubtedly seen (and perhaps have been authors of) the barrage of complaints in forums and blogs about the Golf Digest Hot List. And every year you can hear many of the same criticisms: the list is based on whether the manufacturer advertises in Golf Digest, if companies have personal relationships with the Editors, a ranking process that favors larger equipment manufacturers, and panelists that don’t thoroughly test all clubs but rather gravitate to those they know best. And hey, what were each club’s numerical scores by category? Can we see the scores for all products tested, not just those that made the Hot List?

Who Determines the Golf Digest Hot List

To give a sense for the level of player evaluating equipment for the Golf Digest Hot List, we compare the handicap indexes of the judges and players in the panel against USGA handicap index statistics. Your play may not be quite the same level as the players who are ranking the clubs (who have an average handicap index of 5!), so take this into consideration when evaluating the Hot List if necessary.

Notes from a Golf Digest Hot List Panelist

We found a bit more information on the Golf Digest Hot List process to shed some additional color. Personally, we find each additional tidbit interesting as there isn’t a great amount of detail included in Golf Digest concerning details of the process. This information comes from an article on Tom Allen, a Middletown, OH resident with an 8.8 handicap index, who participated as a player in the Hot List team for 2011.

No Value in Golf Digest Hot List

For all the debating that occurs each year over the Golf Digest Hot List, one thing is for certain: there is no more Value in it. Zero. This isn’t anything new, however. “Value” as one of the Hot List criteria was removed back in 2009, with more significance given to the Look/Sound/Feel of the equipment.

iPhone Battery Packs: The Perfect Companion

So you’ve learned to live with AT&T service. But you haven’t learned to live with the short battery life of your iPhone. Well, neither have we. Since the iPhone battery hasn’t evolved to the point of being able to keep up with our needs during the day, we purchased a handful of iPhone battery packs and gave them a thorough testing. We don’t know what a mAh is, nor do we want to. All we wanted to know was which is the best.

The Best Free iPhone Golf GPS Apps: Do You Get What You Pay For?

I don’t know about you, but the last time I paid for some software for my computer or for an iPhone app was….well, I can’t remember when. We all expect to get free information from the web. For a while we were even conditioned to expect to be able to download music for free (yes, we have reformed). And as part of the growing masses that own an iPhone, we expect to download free apps. At the very least, we consider it payback for the crappy AT&T wireless service that we have to deal with on a daily basis. So for those that won’t spend one thin dime on an iPhone app, we downloaded all the free iPhone golf apps we could find and headed to the course to see how they would perform.

iPhone Golf GPS Apps: Why It’s Okay to Pay for iTunes Apps

We’ll consider paying $1.29 for a song on iTunes, and if we’re feeling flush maybe try a cheap app for $1.99. But $10 for an app for an iPhone? $30? Are you nuts? That’s a good percentage of the cost of the iPhone itself! How can that possibly be a reasonable amount to pay? That’s insane.
Well, that was before. Having bitten the bullet and sprung for a number of iPhone golf GPS apps that cost much more than $1.99, we can honestly say that many of them are worth the price of admission. These paid apps (well, the top ones at least) offer much better course coverage, support, functionality and overall quality than iPhone GPS free apps.

Who Doesn’t Love a Good (Golf GPS Device) Price War?

There isn’t anything better when a nice price ware breaks out. I sure love them. Plane fares to Vegas, cars, mattresses, or electronics. As consumers, we all win.
So those who have been holding off purchase of a dedicated golf GPS unit, cringing at the prices, will be happy to hear that the competition is heating up and prices are coming down. The combination of the economy, end of the season, and increased competition in the market has dropped both list and street prices of a number of devices considerably.

Top 10 Golf Quotes

We’ve assembled a few of the best golf quotes ever (we limited ourselves to one from Caddyshack)…Feel free to add your favorites!

Best Golf Story EVER…

One of my favorite sports writers, Bill Simmons at ESPN.com, recently wrote a column that included a funny section on how everybody loves to tell a fantasy football war story, but no one wants to listen to them. It struck me that this is EXACTLY the same in golf.

Golf Etiquette

The list of etiquette rules in golf can be painfully long – but there are some simple ones that we think are worth posting, because if just one person learns something from this, the golfing world will be a better place.

Build Your Own Home Golf Studio (on a $50,000 Budget)

All too many garages sit unused, collecting a barrage of items that you haven’t used in years (yes, including the treadmill you bought after you put on a few extra lbs in the 90s), covered with dust and spiderwebs. The good news is we consider this to be an easily fixable problem. The solution, of course, is to get rid of all that crap via freecycle, and build your very own custom residential golf swing analysis center. You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood!