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Cool Clubs Robot Testing


m_w

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They do great job collecting their data. I wish they would do the same with drivers, fwy woods, and wedges as well.

Edited by hammergolf
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I posted a discussion here in equipment about fliers, got linked one YouTube vid and now I’m a fan of what they do. Great information all around for people that like doing some of their own research. +1 from me!

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50 minutes ago, North Butte said:

It seems a bit ironic that a business whose entire existence is predicated on every player's needs being different and personalized fitting being the key to performance is doing test aimed at rating the "best" irons under one of two specific robot testing conditions. 

How else would you test? Most players can be grouped into buckets. There are only so many ways to deliver a club. Still leaves plenty of room to fit shafts, swingweight, lie, loft etc for the individual player. What I like here is that they do account for the differences between an average and a good player by changing AoA and mishit 'size'.

 

I dont think this testing is against the idea of being individually fit at all.

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4 hours ago, m_w said:

Not affiliated with Cool Clubs but recently found their updated Youtube channel where they test irons (and I think they said they will start doing Drivers too) with their Robot - both at 80 Mph and elite player clubs (blades etc.) at 90 mph. Their methology seems very well thought out (i.e. AoA change, face dispersion change etc.) and the results are super interesting and take the "human element" out of the equation.


I've compiled a little overview of some tests they've done:

image.png.6afc266431ed4c39bfafefcf36c32cfe.png

Stand out to me is how well the Apex 21 performed in this test.

 

Curious what you guys think about robot testing vs. the "traditional" method that GD or MYS is deploying?

 

Also, the dispersion circle on the TC-201 is absolutely NUTS:

Miura-TC-201-REVIEW-SHEET.jpg


Where did you find the TC-201 info ? That dispersion is crazy. Only a 4.5 on the TPM also, seems interesting. Clubs with much worse dispersion scored 4.6

Edited by endy
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3 hours ago, North Butte said:

It seems a bit ironic that a business whose entire existence is predicated on every player's needs being different and personalized fitting being the key to performance is doing test aimed at rating the "best" irons under one of two specific robot testing conditions. 

The testing really only tests the forgiveness of specific off center hits.

 

Fitting will still dictate turf interaction, dynamic loft, delivered dynamics, club path, face angles, droop, spin windows, min\maxing misses, swing weight, and so much more.

 

Robot testing the head, does not replace any of the above variables of swinging a golf club.  Magnified even further by the fact that the human delivers the club in significantly different ways.  The robot is still set up with a perfect swing, with a perfectly square face, it's just adjusting the ball location by a fraction of an inch off center left\right, up\down.

 

Humans have toe misses that are combined with an open face, closed path, blah blah blah.

 

The robot testing, really only isolates the "potential" of each club head, from a manufacturing and design perspective more than anything else.

 

Just my .02.

 

I'm a huge fan of the robot testing, but I don't think it really replaces any aspect of fitting.  But it does tell me what head(s) START with the most forgiveness built into them, their distance capabilities, spin characteristics, etc.

 

I've always thought that YouTubers should database all of their swings somehow, and then compare "like shots".  Meaning, eventually you will have 2 identical strikes across multiple clubs (2mm toe, 2mm high, face\path etc) and be able to look at nearly identical human misses, and compare them side by side for all sorts of clubs.  But that's obviously a pipe dream as it would be a logistical nightmare for whoever has to input, compile, sort, and present the data.

Edited by KGrinols
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For me the idea of taking the human element out of it is not possible when it comes to “best”.  How our swing reacts to the club head is everything and robot testing doesn’t care.  
  So whether it’s the Cool Clubs rating or Maltby rating or whatever ranking how does that help the consumer?  If distance had anything to do with the ranking how does a 28° 7 iron compare to a 32° 7 iron?

 

And so on….

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8 minutes ago, Shilgy said:

For me the idea of taking the human element out of it is not possible when it comes to “best”.  How our swing reacts to the club head is everything and robot testing doesn’t care.  
  So whether it’s the Cool Clubs rating or Maltby rating or whatever ranking how does that help the consumer?  If distance had anything to do with the ranking how does a 28° 7 iron compare to a 32° 7 iron?

 

And so on….

For me, personally, nothing tells me a set of irons definitely work well except playing them under normal conditions on the golf course for 10 or 20 rounds. But it's possible to eliminate clubs that definitely will NOT work without buying them and taking them out on the course.

 

Something like robot testing (and maybe even the Maltby measurements and scoring) could certainly point out irons that were very unlikely to suit a player like me. 

 

And a club fitting or indoor demo session on a launch monitor could do a better job of narrowing down irons I don't like.

 

But really, if you're going to do a detailed club-fitting process I can't see how the robot testing result inform that for the golfer. It might be stuff fitters want to see and can use, golfers who are going to do a fitting anyway might as well find out what works for them specifically. 

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6 hours ago, m_w said:

Not affiliated with Cool Clubs but recently found their updated Youtube channel where they test irons (and I think they said they will start doing Drivers too) with their Robot - both at 80 Mph and elite player clubs (blades etc.) at 90 mph. Their methology seems very well thought out (i.e. AoA change, face dispersion change etc.) and the results are super interesting and take the "human element" out of the equation.


I've compiled a little overview of some tests they've done:

image.png.6afc266431ed4c39bfafefcf36c32cfe.png

Stand out to me is how well the Apex 21 performed in this test.

 

Curious what you guys think about robot testing vs. the "traditional" method that GD or MYS is deploying?

 

Also, the dispersion circle on the TC-201 is absolutely NUTS:

Miura-TC-201-REVIEW-SHEET.jpg


Do you have a link to the TC-201 test?  I searched everywhere and can’t seem to locate it.  Cool clubs testing showed the I230 to be the consistency king, but based on the linked photo, the Miura puts it to shame.

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So much more interesting than human testing which are always influenced by swing variables.

 

Do we know if the robot is given the same shaft for all tests?

If so these are probably the only reviews/testing worth paying attention to. 

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13 hours ago, North Butte said:

It seems a bit ironic that a business whose entire existence is predicated on every player's needs being different and personalized fitting being the key to performance is doing test aimed at rating the "best" irons under one of two specific robot testing conditions. 

It honestly should be commended. Fitters dont work for OEMs, they work for the customers. Id much prefer this over the “everyone gets a gold sticker” type deal.


I see it like consumer reports, where its just data to help customers navigate choices. Besides this already happens to a degree, its just not really publicized. Alot of places will have 2-3 choices that generally outperform for most, and will be wildly popular, and they will at a minimum start with one of those in a fitting. Sure some people will want or require something a little niche, and fitters should cater to that when that happens. 
 

9 hours ago, Shilgy said:

For me the idea of taking the human element out of it is not possible when it comes to “best”.  How our swing reacts to the club head is everything and robot testing doesn’t care.  
  So whether it’s the Cool Clubs rating or Maltby rating or whatever ranking how does that help the consumer?  If distance had anything to do with the ranking how does a 28° 7 iron compare to a 32° 7 iron?

 

And so on….

There is ALOT of value in robot testing. Is it the end all be all? No. But it can provide a ton of good info to help differentiate some products or identify some trends or characteristics that may not have been obvious.

 

Not a fan of “rankings” and should be taken with a grain of salt, but any data should be welcomed.

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Is that the same logic that leads people to pay thousands of dollars for a set of irons and wedges that were “fitted” to them by drop-kicking balls off a mat into a net indoors? Because you can’t really argue with logic like that!

 

Edited by North Butte

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Launch monitor set to 9,000’. Check.

Hard fairway. Check.

 

”Man, I’m hitting this driver 290 yards! My old driver only goes 215 yards. No wonder Rory hits it so far.”

 

”With the upgraded shaft, that’ll only be $894 plus tax. It’s on special today only.”

 

“I’ll take it!”

i don’t need no stinkin’ shift key

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I guess I am missing something. There are mostly "ratings" which are meaningless. We need real data to make sense of things. It also appears the strike locations are arbitrary rather than relative to the CG (maybe?). Robot testing is the rational way to test, but it is important to setup unambiguous scenarios relative to the iron design. The way they have done this testing, apparently, you could test an iron and never hit right on the CG.

 

Is there a write-up of their exact methodology somewhere? That might clear some things up.

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3 minutes ago, ThinkingPlus said:

I guess I am missing something. There are mostly "ratings" which are meaningless. We need real data to make sense of things. It also appears the strike locations are arbitrary rather than relative to the CG (maybe?). Robot testing is the rational way to test, but it is important to setup unambiguous scenarios relative to the iron design. The way they have done this testing, apparently, you could test an iron and never hit right on the CG.

 

Is there a write-up of their exact methodology somewhere? That might clear some things up.

I'd reckon their clubhead testing and rating is like club fittings, a highly subjective and heuristic process using information gleaned with a bunch of scientifically precise equipment.

 

In the end, any fitting process only works to the extent you trust the fitter to guide you to a subjectively satisfying outcome, using his/her experience. I'd say the same about their robot club tests.

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23 minutes ago, ThinkingPlus said:

I guess I am missing something. There are mostly "ratings" which are meaningless. We need real data to make sense of things. It also appears the strike locations are arbitrary rather than relative to the CG (maybe?). Robot testing is the rational way to test, but it is important to setup unambiguous scenarios relative to the iron design. The way they have done this testing, apparently, you could test an iron and never hit right on the CG.

 

Is there a write-up of their exact methodology somewhere? That might clear some things up.

IIRC, Their locations are made by finding a horizontal center geometrically. Then measured up from leading edge. So yes technically cog isnt taken to account but in my opinion it doesn’t invalidate their findings. No testing method is flawless, and neither is this, however it can give a decent overall “picture” of how an iron performs, when all parameters are equivalent.

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20 minutes ago, North Butte said:

I'd reckon their clubhead testing and rating is like club fittings, a highly subjective and heuristic process using information gleaned with a bunch of scientifically precise equipment.

 

In the end, any fitting process only works to the extent you trust the fitter to guide you to a subjectively satisfying outcome, using his/her experience. I'd say the same about their robot club tests.

That's sad given the equipment available today. I no longer even try to get fit for irons anymore. I work off data only. Shafts are more problematic, but heads, for me, are chosen based on CG, MOI, and bounce. To me, nothing else matters.

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4 minutes ago, Red4282 said:

IIRC, Their locations are made by finding a horizontal center geometrically. Then measured up from leading edge. So yes technically cog isnt taken to account but in my opinion it doesn’t invalidate their findings. No testing method is flawless, and neither is this, however it can give a decent overall “picture” of how an iron performs, when all parameters are equivalent.

It is a little disingenuous to say one iron is longer than another if neither is hit on the CG. Maybe close enough is good enough, but they could do a test to prove that and validate their methodology. Pretending to do science is what erodes public confidence in those who do real science.

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1 hour ago, ThinkingPlus said:

It is a little disingenuous to say one iron is longer than another if neither is hit on the CG. Maybe close enough is good enough, but they could do a test to prove that and validate their methodology. Pretending to do science is what erodes public confidence in those who do real science.

There is validity in your argument, but to say because they didnt that, the rest of the stuff is pretending to do science, is extreme. The key is nuance. Take value in what they give you but know there is still some unknowns as well. 

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2 hours ago, North Butte said:

I'd reckon their clubhead testing and rating is like club fittings, a highly subjective and heuristic process using information gleaned with a bunch of scientifically precise equipment.

 

In the end, any fitting process only works to the extent you trust the fitter to guide you to a subjectively satisfying outcome, using his/her experience. I'd say the same about their robot club tests.

Testing and rating are two different things. This is starting to feel like your favorite club didnt test so well.

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There is a video on youtube where they talk about the testing, methodology and extrapolation of the data.  It's very sound in my opinion.  Timms, the founder of Cool Clubs, is a pioneer in the custom fitting and building world, going back 30 years to his shop on Connecticut, starting HotStix in Arizona and then Cool Clubs.  Timms developed the S3 Shaft Simulation System which became the most advanced shaft profiling and testing device on the market which is now used by some shaft manufacturers in product development and testing.  They created a loft and lie machine that's now used by a bunch of OEMs.  They are heavily invested in R&D and data collection that's intended to go beyond just their fitting operation.  I suspect that's the same intent behind the club testing. Just a guess, but Timms may believe there's more money in data and technology than selling fittings and clubs. In addition to the irons being discussed, they are also testing drivers.  There is robot testing at the OEM's and testing for hire by Gene Parente at Golf Labs but as far as I know, no one else is independently testing clubs like this.  

 

Once you see the testing methodology, it's very straight forward.  Shots are hit from 6 spots on the face all using identical build specs other than the standard loft from the OEM.  Results are logged and data is processed.  The ratings are based on a performance formula.  It's not like they are rating a slice of pizza with some subjective criteria.  There's a lot of useful information for fitting.  If a player needs a head that launches and spins a little more, you have some objective data that can point you in the direction of heads that fit the bill.  If a player is looking for any sort of shot shape bias, they have objective data.  They can look at the occasional miss hit location and pick out heads that have the best performance on that miss.  

 

The player is still going to hit the clubs and see what happens but it's a great tool narrow down what now an extreme amount of combination options.

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