Over the past decades, hundreds of brands have released thousands of golf club models. Some of these clubs stand out against the competition.
Our favorites have helped shape the industry, while others have bankrupted unfortunate companies. Obviously, the best, worst, and weirdest clubs ever made is purely subjective, but we went ahead and made our list anyways!
Best Driver: Callaway Great Big Bertha
In 1995, Callaway released this classic. Callaway built on the success of the 1991 Callaway Big Bertha driver (the first mass-produced ‘oversized’ golf driver) with this model. Callaway produced the Great Big Bertha out of titanium. Titanium is much lighter and overall stronger than non-tempered steel. For golf, this was the perfect combination. Unfortunately, titanium is much more expensive than most grades of steel. Therefore, you can partly thank Callaway for the ever-increasing price of golf drivers these days. Nonetheless, this is without question a club that forged the way for modern drivers. Many clubs today are using carbon composites and other exotic materials, but the backbone of the modern driver is still titanium.
Best Hybrid: 1975 Cobra Baffler
Cobra created the first “hybrid” golf club called the Cobra Baffler in 1975. This unique design was utilized to replace low degree irons. The longer sole and unique channel design allowed this club to be much easier to hit than its counterparts. It would not be until the early 2000’s that hybrids truly would become mainstream. The design is still remarkably similar to cobra hybrids today. The hybrid has made golf immensely easier for many golfers. Its design is unique, innovative, and earns itself the spot on our list as the first and best hybrid created.
Best Irons: Ping Eye 2
Released in 1982, the Ping Eye 2 irons quickly established themselves as one of the best in the business. At a time when blade design irons were the norm, the Ping Eye 2 utilized a unique perimeter weighting system that made the clubs much more forgiving. Today, they are easily recognized for the unique toe design. This was advertised to increase cleaner strikes. In our opinion, the forgiving iron designs of today would not be as good if it was not for Ping pushing the boundaries back in 1982. There is a reason many golfers adamantly still play the Ping Eye 2 irons.
Best Putter: Ping Anser
I know what you’re saying. This is indeed the second Ping club on our list, but we think it is certainly deserved. The Ping Anser’s iconic silhouette is the very first thing that comes to mind when someone says “Putter”. It is the standard to which all other putters are judged. Designed in 1966 by Karsten Solheim on the back of a vinyl record cover, this putter has gone on to over 500 Tour wins. Its iconic design has remained virtually unchanged in its over 50-year lifespan. How many other clubs can say that? It’s impressive to get it so right on the first try. Ping shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon either. I’m willing to bet the Ping Anser design is going outlast any of us. It is definitely one that’ll go down as at least one of the greats.
Worst Driver: Hammer X
Our goal is never to embarrass or make fun of a company. However, sometimes you need to call a club for what it is. Terrible. The club is the brainchild of former long drive champion, Jack Hamm. The commercials for this product are iconic and a must-watch if you haven’t seen them yet. The problem is that being a good golfer does not make you a good engineer. The club’s innovative design does not stack up against the competition. In nearly every comparison you’ll find the Hammer X falls behind significantly. If you have ever hit one, this is obviously no surprise. Again, we are glad people are taking risks and pushing the boundaries of this great sport, but everyone has to be willing to admit failure.
Worst Putter: Argon Laser Putter
This one is pretty subjective. There are countless bizarre and weird putter designs out there. The problem is that it is hard to objectively analyze a golf putter. If someone finds success using something, we do not feel comfortable criticizing that. This is an exception though. Besides being wildly illegal and nonconforming, this putter makes you a worse golfer. Perhaps the laser could help a newcomer become comfortable around a green. However, it creates a reliance on technology and reduces a player’s eye for the green. This is one area, where technology should stay out.
Weirdest: Yonex Carbonex
Yonex shocked the world in 1982, by using raw carbon materials to construct golf clubs. Today carbon composites are a staple of the golf industry and we largely have Yonex to thank for that. Their design culminated in the Carbonex II which was the world’s first all-graphite golf driver. These clubs even performed well for the time. It was definitely far from a failure. However, it also was not the screaming success it could have been. The design used by Yonex was quickly abandoned and modern manufacturers implement carbon composites alongside titanium components. For these reasons, we have chosen these clubs to be the winner of our weirdest category. It was weird at the time and in some ways even more strange today.
What do you think of our list? Are there any clubs that would make your list? Let us know in the comments below!