GT Tech Awards 2008
Advanced golf technology and equipment design fuel the year's top gear and signal more great things to come
Top Forging Award:
It’s no surprise that Mizuno’s Grain Flow Forging process yields some beautiful works of art, but it’s the MP-57 that really steals the show in ’08. Combining a blade, a Cut-Muscle design and a cavity-back, the MP-57 manages to make an iron designed for excellent playability and forgiveness look slick, cool and streamlined. For a forged iron, it’s remarkably easy to hit and feels as good as (if not better than) any other forged iron we’ve tried all year.
Long Drive Award:
Adams Insight XTD
Any driver dubbed the official driver of the Long Drivers Association is obviously long, but what’s not as apparent is how versatile this club is as well. Featuring three models, including a Pro model (shown), each Insight XTD driver sets up to inspire confidence and an improved launch and correlating spin rate. The interesting BOXER shape helps make this driver extremely forgiving, as well.
Cleveland HiBORE XLS
Hybrids have been bailing out bad tee shots for a while now, but rarely as easily and effectively as the new HiBORE XLS. Designed to complement the driver and woods of the same name, the XLS hybrid has an inverted crown section for a lowered and rearward CG, resulting in a high ballflight with ample spin. It looks great, too, thanks to an aggressive sole design and compact shape.
Ultimate Upgrade Award:
Aldila DVS, Grafalloy ProLaunch Platinum, Fujikura Rombax Z, Graphite Design YS-Q, UST Proforce HMOI, Mitsubishi JavlnFX
In the world of golf equipment, drivers tend to get all the attention, but even the best, most technologically advanced driver in the world won’t perform well if it doesn’t have a top-notch shaft. Fortunately, today’s composite shaft designers and manufacturers are coming up with incredibly great products that have the ability to optimize launch angle, carry distance, spin rates, feel and a host of other performance characteristics. In the photo above, you can see what we think are the best of the best for ’08, any one of which might work for you. Our advice—get yourself fit on a launch monitor and see which shaft works for your swing. Then get your driver retrofitted.
Tour Edge Exotics XLD
Hitting the green in two just got a lot easier, thanks to the Exotics XLD. Featuring the “home plate” shape that popularized the XLD driver, this fairway wood helps golfers get the ball airborne in a hurry. How fast you ask? According to Tour Edge, the XLD is designed to produce a faster swing speed and ball speed, two must-haves for longer hits from the tee or fairway.
Making A Good Thing Great Award:
Callaway Tour ix
Callaway has made a name for itself in golf balls in recent years, and the Tour ix model is the company’s best yet. Featuring a tungsten-infused outer core and lower-compression inner core, the Tour ix provides an impressive combination of driver distance and greenside control and feel. When you add a seamless, cast thermoset urethane cover and unique HEX aerodynamics, it’s quite a package.
Energy Transfer Award:
PING G10 driver
For years and years, PING was primarily known for easy-to-hit irons and wedges, and gold putters that won major championships. Today, all that is still true, but PING engineers have made giant steps forward in the creation of the G10, which we can say is one of the best drivers made today. Featuring a design that was made with the help of a Cray Supercomputer, the G10 boasts a thin crown, a low and deep CG location, and a fully machined clubface for enhanced consistency.
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