Everybody in certain parts of the country always hope for a white Christmas, but Golf Tips’ 2019 Holiday Golf Gift Guide will give those desires a decidedly green hue. From new sticks and killer gadgets to gag gifts, you’re teed up to find that perfect present for your favorite fairway seeker.
KNUTH GOLF HIGH HEAT CLUBS
The High Heat story is getting told more and more these days, for good reason: The clubs do exactly what they’re purported to do, with the data to back up the assertions.
Inventor Dean Knuth had worked for years to crack the last true riddle in the modern driver and fairway metal design world: How to get the same performance on off-center strikes as on the still-too-small sweet spot (for most of us, anyway).
Knuth came up with a way to expand each club’s sweet spot to the entire face by reducing the average thickness of the toe and heel areas by 30 to 40 percent. The High Heat driver produces ball speeds of 1.41 times the average swing speed (known as the “smash factor”) compared to the major brands’ average of 1.3. That translated into more than 20 yards extra distance.
Knuth took the USGA’s changes to the “CT” rule — the amount of time a ball can stay on the face of a club, from 257 to 275 microseconds — and pushed those numbers toward the High Heat’s perimeter, to an average of 267 on the toe and 266 on the heel. That’s why Knuth has dubbed High Heat’s full-hot-face effect “257+ Technology.” The data is similar for the 3-metal too and 5-metal, too.
Our driver tests in 2018 opened our eyes about just how far technology can go, but our latest testing with the 15-degree 3-metal, in particular, took us aback; when faced with tighter driving targets and the need for less than full-on distance, pulling this handsome, larger-headed-than-usual club gave us confidence over the ball, which led to a smoother, slower swing — and explosive impact, pleasingly piercing ball flight and virtually no chance at a slice. Instead we got a dead-straight to slight draw movement. And even to a decent headwind, our tee shots cleared 220 yards; downwind, closer to 235.
For fairway strikes, the High Heat 3-metal performs beautifully, too. Again, swing easy and let Knuth’s hard work kick in.
And wait, there’s more: New fairway metal and hybrid models for 2020 (now available to order) include “Turf Slider Technology” designed to improve club-to-ground contact and reduces the risk of fat shots. Preliminary Golf Tips testing of the 3-metal and 4-hybrid support this assertion. The updated clubs move through the ball smoothly and produce high, piercing ball flight. Tasty!
Driver $499, fairways $329, hybrids $257 | www.highheatgolf.com
— Vic Williams