To better represent the on-course experience in our iron tests we set our target green at 150 yards, and asked our testers to choose the appropriate club for the distance, and basically take their best shots. We thought about making it interesting and cranking up a simulated head wind (and maybe turning on some fans), but for the sake of consistency, we set the wind to calm, and went about our business.
It's worth noting that for all radius-based testing, our golfers are given the opportunity to hit several test shots in order to determine the appropriate club for the distance (we all know that distance can vary tremendously from set to set). For the actual tests, our golfer selected, a mix of 8 iron, 9 iron, and pitching wedge.
The highest percentage of the performance score was calculated based on where each shot fell in proximity to the hole. Closer is obviously better.
After testing was completed, we applied a formula to normalize the data across varying handicap levels. It stands to reason that a low handicap golfer should be more accurate than a high handicap golfer. Our scoring accounts for these differences in ability levels and makes a reasonable attempt to level the playing field (much like the Handicap system itself), so that it's possible to achieve similar scores for all golfers. As we always do, we've made the details of each test shot available to you in the interactive portion of the review.