Have you ever had two wedge shots in one round of the same yardage, hit with the same club, that produced dramatically different distances? You know, the 100-yard approach on the third hole that your pitching wedge sends 98, then the 100-yard approach on the 15th that the same wedge launches 120? If you’re familiar with this phenomenon, Terry Koehler has a simple explanation: perimeter-weighted, game-improvement clubs.
“We tested matching 9-irons and pitching wedges and found extraordinary dispersion patterns,” he says. “People think they’re bad short-iron players. Well, you know what? It’s not you. It’s the clubs.”
For about a decade, Koehler has run a brilliant little company called SCORGolf that makes only those clubs we lump together as 9-irons and wedges. Called SCOR4161 “precision scoring clubs”—they’re available in every loft from 41 to 61 degrees—these forgings have consistent weighting throughout the heads, which, according to company testing, produces more consistent results: 73 percent more forgiving and accurate than conventional wedges; 94 percent more forgiving and accurate than set-match short irons; and 25 to 70 feet closer on your worst shots. The numbers and much more are explained on the website, scorgolf.com.
“If you’re not a Tour pro who can spend hours learning to flight the ball with these things called wedges, you’re not going to get very good with them,” Koehler explains. Inconsistency is especially acute because amateurs hit wedge shots high in the face, where there’s no mass behind contact. “The ball is perched up, the average player doesn’t move his hands forward, so they hit much higher in the face.” And come up short.
Four SCOR clubs have been in my bag for the past five months, during which I’ve played more than a dozen rounds, and they’ve made me a believer. The distances are regular and repeatable (discounting my own errors, of course) and the feel of hitting a forged club—something I hadn’t done in years—is a revelation. I’m not saying it’s time to trade in the rest of my irons for forged, because despite what Koehler says, I’m not that good. But in the short game, where accuracy and consistency are more important than raw distance, the results are very impressive. Full shots, chips, sand play—in every short-game area, the clubs have proven themselves, which has given my confidence a big boost.
The key is figuring out which degrees fit you best. The website features an in-depth analysis tool that, based on your game characteristics, suggests the clubs that make the most sense for you. They come with a 60-day money-back guarantee, you can demo a 51-degree club if you just pay the shipping, and there’s a special summer pricing deal on now.
By the way, Koehler has recently relaunched the Ben Hogan Equipment Company, which soon will debut a new set of irons. Don't be surprised if consistency is one of their hallmarks.
By: James A. Frank