Every player wants to “let the big dog eat,” and there’s no better time to do so than now. Today’s drivers are undoubtedly the most technologically advanced, easiest to fit, and longest and most forgiving the game has ever seen. Plus, there’s now an amazing selection to choose from, which can provide just about any player with the look, feel and performance they desire. Read through the six driver technologies shown here with an eye toward finding a new model that might fit your needs. Considering the impressive options available, that shouldn’t be too difficult.
CALLAWAY ROGUE: Jailbreak with X-Face
The original Jailbreak design is now improved through the use of light, hourglass-shaped bars that stiffen the sole and crown for more energy transfer at impact. This creates more ball speed and distance while allowing weight to be repositioned to increase forgiveness and overall performance. In the new Rogue design, Jailbreak technology is combined with X-Face VFT, a design that varies the thickness of the clubface to greatly improve performance on off-center hits. For those who thought modern drivers had reached the COR and ball-speed limit and couldn’t really produce more distance, the new Rogue family will prove them wrong.
CLEVELAND LAUNCHER HB: Flex Fins
Though Cleveland drivers were always known as solid all-around performers, the latest Launcher HB (as well as the signing of Jamie Sadlowski to play it) should go a long way toward making them known for big-time distance, too. One of the most interesting technologies is the Flex Fin design, which incorporates a rib-like structure in the sole that allows the clubface to flex more at impact for higher ball speeds and extra distance. Along with the Flex Fins and the thin cup face is a new HiBore crown design, which compresses and decompresses at impact for more speed, while at the same time lowering and deepening the CG for improved launch characteristics and forgiveness.
COBRA F8: CNC Milled Face
The F8 packs a lot of tech, but the coolest and best-looking item is the CNC-milled clubface. Designed to produce a more precise face thickness, the milling process allows for more production control than can be had with standard hand polishing, yielding a thinner structure and more ball speed at impact. Not surprisingly, the face in the F8 is Cobra’s lightest and thinnest driver face ever, allowing for more weight to be distributed deep in the clubhead for a higher MOI and more forgiveness and stability at impact. And in case you’re wondering, the circular milling pattern in the center of the clubface does serve a purpose: It looks amazing, and it tells you exactly where the sweet spot is located.
PING G400 MAX: High-Density Backweight
The original G400, along with its LST and SFT brethren, are fantastic drivers that offer plenty of distance and forgiveness. But the big brother, the Max, is a step up when it comes to keePing the ball in play on mis-hits. In fact, the lightweight face and high-density backweight together produce the deepest CG location of any Ping driver yet. The result is an exceptionally high MOI and the straightest, most stable driver the company has ever produced. Part of the story is also the T9S+ forged face, which is extremely thin and light. Not only can more weight be placed rearward, but the face flexes more at impact for faster ball speeds and longer overall drives.
TAYLORMADE M3: Y-Track
The previous M1 driver featured sliding sole weights that could be moved forward (for exceptional low-spin performance) or back (for extra forgiveness, launch, and spin). The new M3 offers a number of impressive technologies, but none better than the new Y-Track, which features two 11g weights in the sole that can be moved front to back and side to side. This means that not only can the M3 be adjusted for front or back CG location, it can also be tuned to promote more stability and the desired shot shape. Move one forward and one toward the heel and you’ve got a low-spin draw. Move one back and one toward the toe and you’ve got a higher-spinning fade.
TITLEIST 917 D2: SureFit CG
Although it came out last year, the 917 D2 (and D3 for that matter) features one of the most unique driver technologies around: SureFit CG. This design places a variable-weight tube in a hollow area in the sole to create a neutral, draw or fade bias. Not only does it allow for quick and easy CG customization, it can also be used in combination with the SureFit adjustable hosel to accurately dial in launch conditions to create the optimal ball flight and shot shape for your needs. As an added bonus, the hollow area that holds the weight tube is designed to run at an angle, so that the weight can be positioned to minimize the negative spin effects of heel hits (which normally go to the right) and toe hits (which normally go to the left).