What we say...
You’ve seen counterbalanced putters, but now the theory has spread to drivers. Don’t worry, Yonex isn’t ludicrously saying they’ll help you square the clubface. Its new counterbalanced EZONE XP range is all about getting more weight behind the ball via the clubhead, while maintaining a lighter balance and swing weight.
Yonex’s reasoning is simple. Newton’s second law of motion – force = mass x acceleration – is where a lot ‘light’ drivers fall down. They claim a lighter clubhead may enable you to swing the club faster, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into more yards. In theory, a heavy clubhead will generate faster initial ball speeds than a ‘normal’ clubhead. But golfers struggle to maintain speed with a heavy head, which will reduces ball speed. To counteract this, Yonex has come up with a counterbalanced design that makes the swingweight feel light, but with a clubhead 10g heavier than it predecessor.
For starters, the shaft is 8g lighter and the balance point within it has been moved 40mm towards the butt compared to a conventional shaft. At the butt end, 20g of tungsten powder is integrated within the rubber. It weighs the same as a conventional grip, but makes the overall swingweight of the club lighter by being ‘heavier’ at both ends. Essentially, the swing balance and club weight is the same, yet the clubhead is 10g heavier. Yonex says this will equate to better energy transfer at impact.
The EZONE XP driver can be adjusted 1.5° either way in 0.75° increments and the head comes in three lofts: 9°, 10.5° and 12°. As with the i-EZONE driver, which stays in the 2014 range, a light carbon crown allows an 8g tungsten weight to be positioned in the rear of the sole to aid a high launch. Another 10g weight has been placed inside the head slightly towards the heel to create a draw bias. Sound ribs in the head strengthen the sole, dampen vibration and create a high-pitched, metallic sound.