Review: SMT Golf

January 24, 2011

Today’s post takes a look at one of the great finds of my golfing career: SMT Golf.

I’m not sure exactly how I found SMT. I wish I could remember so I could tell you. However, what I CAN tell you is that I am very happy I found them.

Anyone who has been to a big box store knows the frustration. You go to Golfsmith or PGA Tour Superstore or Edwin Watts; you try a bunch of drivers; most of them feel the same. You like one of them maybe a little more than the others; it’s priced at $399. You try to trade in your old one and get $40 or so on your trade. Two weeks later you see your old driver on the used rack for $150 and the one you just paid $399 is on clearance for $249. You spend the rest of your time with the club avoiding any possibility of scratching it or knicking it because you spent WAY too much money on it. It’s a frustrating experience that you only have to have once to be turned away. Hence, why I was looking for something more. What I found was SMT.

SMT Golf (www.smtgolf.com/) is a component club maker in Oswego, Illinois. SMT makes an offering of driver heads, fairway wood heads, hybrids, iron heads, and wedges. They also offer shafts, grips, and other clubmaking products.

However, SMT’s bread and butter is their driver heads. SMT originally came about to serve the long-driving competition circuit. Many of their heads boast long-drive records. Even the longest driver in PGA Tour history was made using an SMT driver head (429 yards, http://www.smtgolf.com/pressAwards.asp?press=52).

Amazingly, however, although SMT heads are exceptional, they are also amazingly inexpensive. The highest-priced clubhead is the DB Plus line, pricing at a nominal $155 per head. Many club heads are near $100 each.

However, there is even more benefit to SMT. First, the stated price is not really the price. If you ask for “hobbyist” level pricing, you can buy at reduced pricing simply because you are purchasing the head in component form (just the head, no shaft) (see http://www.smtgolf.com/2009_catalog.pdf). If you have trepidation about putting a clubhead on by yourself, view my PF posting at https://thepowerfade.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/how-i-do-club-repair-and-you-can-too/ which includes instructions on shafting a club head.

More importantly, however, SMT will allow you to purchase a club head at the specs you define . For example, I have an 8 degree DB Plus. SMT allowed me to order the head at a specific lie angle, at 8.1 degrees loft angle, and at 0.5 degrees open face angle. As long as they have the requested specs in stock (and they always do), then they will hand pick a head to meet your needs.

Although SMT’s driver heads are used for long drive competitions, they make quite good clubs for use on regular courses. They are USGA conforming, but their faces are extra-thin for maximum allowable COR (coefficient of restitution–the “springboard” effect of the face. See https://thepowerfade.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/how-i-do-club-repair-and-you-can-too/). SMT pushes the edge on the COR, whereas many manufacturers fall well short.

So, the question naturally arises: why don’t other manufacturers make their driver faces to the maximum allowable COR? The answer is that thin driver faces are not as durable as thicker. It makes sense–if you’re hitting a ball at 100+ miles per hour repeatedly, the driver face takes some punishment. Many manufacturers do not provide warranties for their club heads; if the heads break, too bad; you’re stuck with the $400 bill. But SMT warrants their club heads! If one of them breaks, simply send it back to SMT for a replacement! It’s that simple!

For a person like me–a person who does his own club assembly, repair, and custom work–SMT is amazing. The clubs can be ordered almost to custom spec and assembled with your choice of shaft and grip. Moreover, if they ever break, it’s great to know that you can replace it at no cost (so long as you didn’t abuse your club). Most importantly, however, is that a new driver will cost you less than $200 soup to nuts, if you shop right.

Moreover, customer service is great. When you call, you talk to a person who will tell you whatever you want to know about the company, the clubs, and offerings they have. Once you are registered, SMT will send you (via email) special offers, sale notifications, and information regarding new clubs.

SMT’s only drawback is that, as a small company, you can’t really try them before you buy them. And, other club offerings (besides driver heads) are not as well-respected or widely used. However, I have been VERY happy with the company and the clubs. I’m sure LG will agree.

Head offerings: 8/10
Custom fitting ability: 10/10
Customer service: 8/10
Price: 9/10
Overall: 9/10

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Please note: since writing this review, SMT has changed their pricing and procedures. Please check with SMT for updated price lists and information. info@smtgolf.com

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2 Responses to “Review: SMT Golf”


  1. […] have shifted between various drivers over the last few years. First, we had SMT drivers (review at https://thepowerfade.com/2011/01/24/review-smt-golf/). We experienced some problems with our SMT drivers that we did not anticipate, so LG first […]

  2. Bobby Lee Says:

    I have to agree, SMT are very well made heads, but one inaccuracy in this `comment is “the longest driver in PGA Tour history” this is not so, this record belong to Mike Austin, of Jersey, British Channel Islands, he drove the ball in excess of 520 yards, in a PGA competition held in the USA using a persimmon driver.


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