Let's make sure we separate the two Club Classification systems used in Golfdom: The MPF system, and the Hot List system.
During the early 2000s, club designer Ralph Maltby developed the Maltby Playability Factor. The MPF arises from a six-variable equation, and rates clubheads on their user-friendliness. One variable is Vertical Center of Gravity (VCOG). The lower the VCOG, the higher the launch of the ball. Anyway, Maltby came up with seven categories of clubs, determined by an MFP number ranging from negative (some vintage blade designs) up to greater than 1000 (Big Bertha / G10 range).
Maltby cautions that the MPF rates clubheads only, and that different shafts seriously alter the performance of a given club.
- Ultra game improvement - Easiest of all to play
- Super game improvement - Extremely easy to play / Some Tour pros use
- Game improvement - All players benefit; less distance loss on off-center hits / Many Tour pros use
- Conventional - 0-14 HDCP, top half MPFs easier to play
- Classic - 0-5 HDCP + Tour pros
- Player's classic - Not recommended.
- Minus zone - History buffs only
Next came the Golf Digest Hot List categories: Player's, Game Improvement and Super Game Improvement. These are based on perceived market niche. I have sent e-mails twice to Golf Digest, asking them how their categories compare to the seven MPF categories, but I received no replies.
As for "better player's clubs," I'm not sure they're that much different than some game improvement clubs. Maltby said that iron models within 100 points of each other may not feel or play that different for a given golfer.
And, don't forget about the shaft, that tube between your grip and the clubhead. The right shaft on a player's club may fly better than the wrong shaft on a GI club.
Edited by WUTiger - 8/30/13 at 6:57pm