Best New Drivers 2018

Golf Digest editors Mike Stachura and Ashley Mayo examine how companies are improving driver technology despite increased equipment regulations.

Released on 1/30/2018

Transcript

00:00
It seems like the rules of golf have
00:02
decided to pick on drivers
00:03
in controlling their design more than, say,
00:07
irons or other clubs.
00:08
Is that true? And if so, are we seeing better
00:11
drivers this year than other years?
00:14
(driving music)
00:16
Certainly from a practical standpoint, right,
00:18
the driver is the big bad cause of
00:20
distance gains and all that other stuff.
00:21
Yeah.
00:22
So there have been a lot of regulations
00:24
kinda limiting performance.
00:26
But manufacturers have said what's not limited
00:29
is things that we can do to improve
00:31
launch conditions, right?
00:32
So we can lower the center of gravity
00:34
and that's gonna help shots launch
00:36
higher with less spin.
00:37
That's a perfect recipe for distance.
00:39
Right.
00:40
So, there are all kinds of elements to helping
00:42
golfers take advantage of the technology
00:46
that have nothing to do with, say,
00:47
how fast the driver is off the robot.
00:50
So engineers are working well within the rules,
00:52
but they're still being creative.
00:53
Is there a big new design idea out there in drivers?
00:56
[Mike] I think the big idea is that
00:58
there are no compromises anymore, right?
01:00
There has certainly been this trend toward adjustability,
01:03
and whether, if there's a second trend,
01:07
it's toward forgiveness, right?
01:08
You have bigger drivers with big faces,
01:12
very stable, have very little adjustability
01:15
and then maybe more player's type drivers
01:17
have a lot of adjustability.
01:18
Well now what we're seeing is that
01:21
drivers that are super adjustable
01:22
are also forgiving,
01:25
therefore giving you this sort of
01:26
the same sort of forgiveness that you're
01:28
getting from the giant drivers,
01:29
and those giant drivers which tended to be
01:31
a little bit higher spinning,
01:32
which is not great for distance,
01:34
they've gotten better at lowering the CG,
01:36
so now you've got forgiveness and low spin.
01:39
That's a super combination for distance,
01:41
especially for people who tend to
01:43
hit it all over the face.
01:44
So adjustability has clearly evolved.
01:47
Is it necessary?
01:48
[Mike] I see players who are really,
01:50
really benefit from a lot of adjustability
01:53
because they're trying to dial in
01:54
a perfect ball flight.
01:56
Essentially that they're trying to enhance
01:57
their high skill level. Right?
01:59
The second group, which is a pretty big group, is,
02:02
Well, adjustability, not so much.
02:05
I want some, maybe, not too much.
02:07
But what I really want is the ball to go high
02:10
with less spin and maybe even a little
02:11
anti-slice in there if you wanna throw that in.
02:14
[Ashley] Yeah.
02:15
[Mike] Those are great things,
02:16
and as a matter of fact, on the hot list this year,
02:19
we have a driver that is not adjustable at all.
02:22
[Ashley] And then on the other
02:23
end of the spectrum as well, totally adjustable.
02:24
[Mike] On the other end, we have drivers
02:26
that have 13,000 settings on them.
02:28
Yeah.
02:29
Literally. I mean, the number of settings
02:31
on some of our adjustables are close to infinite.
02:33
Yeah.
02:34
And I think in addition to adjustability,
02:36
you've got really important face features
02:39
like TaylorMade's Twist Face,
02:40
which is designed to help things go
02:42
a little bit straighter.
02:43
You've got Callaway's Jailbreak,
02:45
which is sort of maximizing this ability
02:48
of the face to flex all over.
02:49
[Ashley] Yeah.
02:50
[Mike] So that you get more consistent ball speeds.
02:52
I think, at the end of the day,
02:54
whatever driver you want, you're gonna find it
02:58
in a better opportunity than you had before.
03:01
That's great. So, a lot of options out there.
03:04
What's the best way to find one,
03:05
the right one for me?
03:07
Don't go alone, right?
03:09
You need the benefit of a fitter.
03:10
[Ashley] Yeah.
03:11
[Mike] The benefit of fitting is that
03:12
with launch monitors,
03:14
you know what you have coming in
03:17
and what your options are on the other side,
03:19
and I think, in every case the other side is better.
03:22
Our testing shows that your four- or five-year-old
03:25
driver is six yards shorter on an on-center hit
03:28
and 11 yards shorter on an off-center hit.
03:31
Those are benefits that you can,
03:33
that will pay off in big time distance.
03:35
Alright. Go see a fitter.
03:37
(driving music)
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