How Golf Monthly Tests Products

A look into how Golf Monthly tests the products it reviews

How Golf Monthly tests products 2022
(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

How Golf Monthly Tests Products

When it comes to buying new golf equipment, be it a new driver or a pair of the best spikeless golf shoes, the wealth of choice on offer can be overwhelming. 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.
  • From launch monitors to shot tracking technology, we will always endeavour to use the latest and best equipment to assess performance.

It's worth mentioning that everyone's golf swings and style choices are different, so a club or shoe that works for one golfer might not work for another. Please keep this in mind when reading our reviews.

We also try and verify manufacturer claims about performance details such as 'five yards longer than its predecessor' or 'improved grip', where applicable. If it's not possible, we'll refer to these features as 'manufacturer claims'.

Who tests products for Golf Monthly?

The product testing is headed up by technical editor Joel Tadman, ably assisted by digital editor Neil Tappin and in the US by Chris Wallace. They are all experienced golf writers with low single-figure handicaps and that have been doing this for over 10 years. 

However, with so much new golf equipment hitting the shelves every year, Golf Monthly has established a new category leaders approach to develop experts in different areas of the market. Each category has a small team of reviewers testing products and working under an experienced lead writer who themselves are consistently testing new products to hit the market. 

By dividing golf equipment into categories, the team are in a better position to compare between brands, identify stand-out products and trends and offer game-improving buying advice. Below is a list of categories and their leaders:

Drivers & Golf Balls: Neil Tappin
Fairway Woods & Hybrids: Matthew Moore
Utility Irons & Putters: Martin Hopley
Irons & DMDs: Joel Tadman
Wedges & Bags: Andrew Wright
Women's Golf Gear: Katie Dawkins
Shoes & Trolleys: Dan Parker
Apparel: Sam Tremlett

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 Golf Monthly team is spread around various locations in the UK and US. As such, there are a wide variety of different golf venues used for testing products. The mostly commonly used are West Hill Golf Club in Surrey, The London Club in Kent, Burghley Park in Lincolnshire and Kings Golf Studio in East Grinstead.

testing-west-hill

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

How does Golf Monthly rank 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.

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.


One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.8.


Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-7 iron, TaylorMade P7MC 8-PW 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and a Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge 

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x