ORLANDO, Fla. -- Lets see, there are MOIs and COGs; beta titanium and crown construction; ultra-thin faces and high-elongation inserts. Stick around for a primer of a few of the drivers on display at the years PGA Merchandise Show:
MacGregor ' They call it the MacTec NVG, MacGregors newest driver. It features a beta titanium crown insert which is ultra-thin (0.4 milimeters) fitted into its 6-4 titanium body. What this does is dramatically lower the center for gravity for higher launch, less spin and improved distance.
The club has a tungsten weighting system for optimal launch, draw bias and forgiveness characteristics. And each different loft provides a different property ' a 15-3 beta titanium face insert is used in the 7.5 and 8.5 degree lofts, resulting in increased hang time and more roll. The 9.5, 10.5 and 11.5 lofts have a high-elongation beta titanium face insert that delivers high rebound characteristics across the entire face. The result ' greater distance, even on off-center hits.
Tour Edge ' Finally, a driver thats made precisely for Mr. Average ' a 420cc head, but 16 degrees of loft. Its called the Bazooka JMAX Houdini, and has an ultralight graphite shaft which is one inch shorter than normal. And the Houdini driver has a face angle that is one degree closed to straighten out drives that most people slice.
The Houdinis super-thin Hyper-Steel face and walls allow designers to reposition weight to the sole, creating an extremely low center of gravity. And the clubface has deeper scoring lines that promote more spin for greater carry.
Mizuno ' Mizuno introduces a 460cc driver ' the largest allowed by the USGA ' when it presents its MP-001 model. The Grain Flow Forged titanium in the face of the MP-001 maximizes initial ball velocity, while a carbon fiber composite crown allows for a lower, deeper center of gravity for optimum launch angle and lower spin rate for longer distance.
When Mizuno engineers were designing the driver, they found that by using carbon fiber composite - which is one-third the weight of titanium - in the crown, they had more weight available to reposition into the sole and back of the club. This enables players to launch the ball easier. In the 460cc edition of the MP-001, Mizuno saved 21 grams of weight and repositioned it where it could optimize spin and launch angles.
Nike ' The Ignite 460cc driver is the latest behemoth of the Nike company, sporting the biggest face the USGA allows. Nike touts two milestone advances ' NexTi titanium and Around the Crown construction.
NexTi titanium is the strongest titanium ever created, says Nike, resulting in a tightly compressed metal that is thinner, stronger and lighter than beta titanium. Around-the-Crown construction provides the maximum in large hitting area.
Wilson ' Wilson makes its appeal to the recreational player with The Hyper TI, featuring a 440cc Cold Forged Titanium Matrix. This is a driver that provides maximum sweet spot for long forgiving drives and standout translucent crown and aggressive sole plate graphics. One hundred percent carbon fiber graphite wood shafts with reinforced tip compliment the club. Soft-wrap grips complete the ensemble.
Cleveland ' Cleveland calls its offering the Launcher 460 Comp. It is made with an ultra-lightweight tri-ply carbon-fiber crown, which allows for redistribution of weight to lower and deeper locations around the clubhead perimeter.
This redistribution of weight reduces the center of gravity height and moves it further away from the face, producing higher launch angles with less backspin for a more penetrating ball flight. This same weight redistribution also allows for additional weighting to critical perimeter areas, dramatically increasing moment of inertia, or resistance to twisting on off-center shots
Tiger Shark ' The Great White Titanium Driver is constructed of SP700 Super Titanium. This high strength aerospace alloy comprised of titanium, aluminum, molybdenum, vanadium and iron provides the extraordinary strength-to-weight ratio required for the large head.
The head's design features an ultra-thin face that provides the maximum rebound allowed by the USGA. This also affords an oversized sweet spot for amazing forgiveness over a large effective hitting area. The Great White's Control Sole aerodynamic technology features two unique air flow channels which stabilize the 450cc clubhead throughout the swing to promote solid consistent contact.
Srixon ' The W-403 is Srixons newest. It has a 420cc head and Impact Body Construction, where not only the face but the sole and backwall of the driver have varying thicknesses. This technology keeps the ball on the clubface just that fraction of a second longer, which helps to reduce backspin.
The thin, forged titanium face helps provide maximum allowable energy transfer for high initial velocity. The sweet spot is shaped elliptically and runs from high toe to low heel, where mis-hits actually occur.
Callaway ' The Big Bertha(R) Titanium 454 Driver is Callaways latest. It features all-titanium construction and a large effective hitting area. The 454cc clubhead provides forgiveness while maximum perimeter weighting along the back ribbon increases resistance to twisting on off-center shots. The center of gravity is placed precisely on these clubs.
Vulcan ' The Caldera Z titanium driver has an optimum center of gravity and deep-face reduced spin. The thinner beta titanium face has a higher center of gravity for improved ball speed.
The 440cc head size provides a higher moment of inertia ' meaning improved playability. And it has internal weight moved slightly toward the heel, which allows the face to close, controlling a high right miss.
Yonex ' Yonex has combined the high flexibility of carbon graphite with a high coefficient of restitution to generate extra power and distance in the Cyberstar PowerBrid. The secret to this power and distance is achieved by the whole crown flexing at impact with the golf ball.
Total crown flex affects three key elements that determine ball flight ' increased ball speed, higher launch angle, and a reduced spin rate. The overall effect is a 10-yard extra distance flight in the Cyberstar club.