Drivers Bigger Thinner in 2005

By George WhiteJanuary 27, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 PGA Merchandise ShowEditor's Note: For more on the PGA Merchandise Show read Affordale Prices of New Drivers and Irons.
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.
Related Links:
  • More on the Affordale Prices of New Drivers and Irons
  • Full Coverage - 2005 PGA Merchandise Show
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

    John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

    The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

    That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

    He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

    Getty Images

    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

    Getty Images

    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.

    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.

    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

    Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.