5 Things We learned during our driver test
|Driver that created
the most ball speed
|Ben Frost||274 Yards (TaylorMade M3,
|158mph Callaway Rogue|
|Chris Jones||238 Yards (Callaway Rogue)||142mph Ping G400 Max|
217 Yards (TaylorMade M4
|138mph TaylorMade M4 D-Type|
1: Set your adjustable driver up carefully
Our test pro saw a 13-yard gain going from the standard stock shaft of TaylorMade’s M4 driver to a custom option which much better suited his game. Similarly, positioning the M3’s sole weights incorrectly created either too much or too little backspin, which left unchecked could have cost 13 yards of carry distance. That’s huge.
2: Draw drivers can be a brilliant option
Comparing draw to standard models, Simon saw gains of 6mph of ball speed and 14 yards of carry distance. For us that means Draw drivers are not just for slicers. If your poor strikes come from the heel, you too can find extra ball speed and distance by having a look at the latest draw models.
3: To go long, go high toe
Our test pro hit 75% of his test shots from the high toe quadrant on the driver’s face; on average these shots flew 11 yards further than his low heel strikes. It spells out that if you want to rinse every last drop of juice from your driver, aim to impact shots above the centre and slightly towards the toe.
4: You need a choice of shaft weights
Shaft choices are nothing new, but how brands now segregate shafts into weight categories (often 40g-70g) makes it easier to find a shaft you like, and suits your game. Once you know which you like/are suited to (lighter or heavier), your choice is narrowed immediately for your next fitting, too.
5: Sacrificing speed for forgiveness isn’t a bad thing
Speed, aerodynamics and drag reduction has been at the top of the driver design agenda for several years. Ping pioneered the charge by coming up with “turbulators”. It’s interesting then to see them say that for some golfers, actually a less aerodynamic, bigger but extremely forgiving driver can just about out-perform a speedier model. The G400 MAX is particularly good if you spray shots all over the face – and at amateur level, that’s the case for many of us...