We explain how Golf Monthly produces the most thorough, informed and accurate product reviews to best inform your buying decisions

How Golf Monthly Tests Products

When it comes to buying new golf equipment, be it a new driver or laser rangefinder, the wealth of choice on offer makes it a bit of a minefield. Golf Monthly has proudly become your first port of call when it comes to giving you crucial insights into how the latest releases perform, how they compare to their predecessors and where they stack up in relation to the competition.

The quality of Golf Monthly’s reviews and buyers guides is built upon a rigorous testing procedure as well as the knowledge and experience of the test team that has a sterling reputation in the industry, known for delivering the key points you want to know in a concise, easy-to-digest manner.

Our commitments to you are:

  • The products we review are tested by good club golfers – we believe that’s more useful than the opinions of PGA pros or robots.
  • If we say we’ve reviewed a product, that means we’ve used it out on the golf course and hit it on a launch monitor where applicable.
  • Manufacturers can’t pay for a good review – we tell it how we see it.
  • We will always endeavour to use the latest and best equipment to assess performance.

Who tests products for Golf Monthly?

The product testing is headed up by technical editor Joel Tadman, ably assisted by digital editor Neil Tappin. Both are experienced sports journalists and presenters with handicaps of five that have been doing this for over ten years and have attended a similar number of PGA Shows. This means they are able to efficiently test the vast majority of the biggest product releases and convey the pros and cons eloquently.

Joel may also call upon other GM staff members to test products, including:

Dan Parker – a lefty and former club fitter at American Golf with a handicap of 9.
Andy Wright – a member at Royal Troon with a handicap of 1.
Sam Tremlett – a fast swinger with a handicap of 5.

Where are the products tested?

Before testing, the Golf Monthly team will usually attend product launches and meet with the manufacturer’s R&D experts to understand the new technology. The first port of call to test golf clubs is usually the indoor simulator at Foresight Sports, where the team can test in a controlled environment using premium balls and the GCQuad launch monitor.

The majority of Golf Monthly’s outdoor testing takes place at West Hill Golf Club, a stunning course in Surrey with excellent practice facilities. Joel also takes a lot of products to his home club, Burghley Park Golf Club in Lincolnshire, while Neil often tests products at the London Club and The Neville.

testing-west-hill

West Hill Golf Club has an excellent grass driving range to test on

How does Golf Monthly ranks products?

Golf Monthly reviews have a five star rating system. No product that receives less than 3 stars will be published. Golf Monthly doesn’t rank products within its buyers guides, but it will reference stand out features and link to individual reviews for those who want a deeper dive into how a product performs.

Golf Monthly Star rating guide:

5 stars – Stands out from its competitive set by tangibly looking, feeling and performing better. Has innovative new technology that delivers on all attributes a golfer looks for with no significant weakness, at a price that offers value for money.

4.5 stars – Delivers a high level of all-round performance that matches the best of its competitive set in all areas and has minimal weaknesses of relative insignificance or that are subjective to the user.

4 stars – Performs to a high standard in multiple areas of consideration but falls short against competitors in the category in areas golfers typically consider important – be it looks, feel, performance or value.

3.5 stars – Didn’t perform to the level of products that lead their respective categories. Has some plus points but enough negative points to be of concern and that need referencing around the design, how the product looks/performs or the value on offer.

3 stars – Somewhat delivers what is expected but broadly offers a disappointing user experience. Lacks modern technology and resulting performance. Questions over build quality, durability, looks and performance.