Equipment

ClubTest: Drivers

Photo: Fred Vuich
How We Did It:
We captured testers' launch data with their current clubs using the AccuSport Vector launch monitor. Test clubs were put through a diagnostic evaluation at Hot Stix Golf headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hot Stix fitters recommended the match between test clubs and testers. Our ClubTesters evaluated the three models on the driving range and in on-course action. For a detailed description of the methodology, visit our web site at golf.com/testing.

Callaway FT-i
$625, graphite; callawaygolf.com

WE TESTED:
9.5° Neutral, 10° Neutral, 11° Neutral, 9.5° Draw, 10° Draw and 11° Draw with Fujikura Speeder 586 graphite shaft

COMPANY LINE:
"Discretionary weight is precisely positioned in the outer corners of the head to produce the highest total inertia of any driver on the market. The resistance to horizontal and vertical twisting provides unrivaled forgiveness and more distance."

TESTERS' COMMENTS:

PROS
• "Corrects mistakes better than any driver I've tried."—Michael Jo (handicap 11)
• "Ugly duckling on first tee, a swan by 18."—Lee Neisler (3)
• "Nearly impossible to miss the sweet spot."—Jack Record (15)
• "The sound takes getting used to but the result is music to my ears!"—Bud Adler (15)
• "This is the most accurate driver I've hit."—Randy Rochefort (2)
• "Side spin is history."—Roger Liau (18)
• "Long, with fine accuracy." —Jon Tate (4)

CONS
• "An annoying impact sound."—Mark Haberstroh (5)
• "Doesn't feel like anything at impact." —Joe Nagel (3)

Nike SasQuatch Sumo2
$479, graphite; nikegolf.com

WE TESTED:
8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° and Lucky 13° with Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana graphite shaft

COMPANY LINE:
"We've created a 'Super Moment' of inertia by incorporating a beta titanium face, titanium body and composite crown into a square-headed design. The result is greater distance, forgiveness and accuracy."

TESTERS' COMMENTS:
PROS
• "The large face and head let you get away with murder." —Rich Bernstein (handicap 13)
• "Good shots go long and bad shots go, well, long." —Bud Adler (15)
• "Can't miss it. No way." —Joe Nagel (3)
• "Entire face is a sweet spot." —Jim Esther (20)
• "I hit it straight, regardless of the swing."—Michael Kaye (14)
• "A big, repeatable ball crusher." —Don Ytterberg (15)
• "As large as a cruise liner so it's easy to line up." —C.J. Bush (17)

CONS
• "Sounds like a shattering light bulb." —Jeremy Ross (4)
• "Gotta be the loudest driver ever." —Jeff McKinney (15)
TaylorMade r7 SuperQuad
$499, graphite; taylormadegolf.com

WE TESTED:
9.5° with Fujikura Rombax RE•AX 65 graphite shaft

COMPANY LINE:
"Our first r7 driver to have four moveable weights (two are 12 grams each, two are 1 gram each) in a 460 cc head. Moveable weighting and inverted cone technology produce tremendous forgiveness for long, straight shots on off-center hits."

TESTERS' COMMENTS:
PROS
• "Long and straight. What more can you ask for?"—Steve Sesko (handicap 9)
• "Great look, explosive feel, penetrating flight."—Michael Kaye (14)
• "Crisp impact feel without loud noise." —Jeff McKinney (15)
• "Face feels razor thin and race-car responsive."—Joe Nagel (3)
• "Firm, stable head; little distance loss on mis-hits."—Bud Adler (15)
• "An attractive, all-black package."—Jim Esther (20)
• "Longest TaylorMade I've hit."—Jeremy Ross (4)


CONS
• "Mis-hits can stray."—Stacey Fitts (17)
• "More concerned with distance than correcting mis-hits."—Randy Rochefort (2)

Winner: TaylorMade r7 SuperQuad

• "The Mona Lisa of drivers. Subtle, powerful and historically significant."—Roger Liau (handicap 18)
• "Super stable and controllable."—George Irwin (15)
• "Consistent distance is its hallmark."—Rich Bernstein (13)
• "Impact sound won't scare your competitors; results will."—Mark Haberstroh (5)
• "Unbridled distance and control."—Don Ytterberg (15)



Test results: How they rated
Testers voted on their faves using a 100-point scale. Our star system rewards the top picks. Overall performance grade is determined by weighting equally the five categories.

There's no question that all three are excellent clubs, and both the Callaway and Nike square-headed drivers prove to be more forgiving than the TaylorMade. But r7 SuperQuad ran the table in terms of look, feel, playability and distance.










Club Callaway FT-i Nike
SasQuatch Sumo2
TaylorMade
r7 SuperQuad
Look 4 stars 3 stars 5 stars
Feel 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Playability 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Distance 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Total Performance 4 stars 3 1/2 stars 5 stars

*Ratings 5 Stars
Excellet
4 Stars
Very Good
3 Stars
Good
2 Stars
Average
1 Star
Poor

More From the Web

More Equipment