Skip to main content

How Do You Like Your Driver Sir

ORLANDO -- MacGregor has the V-Foil. Callaway has the ERC. Mizuno touts the MP. Srixon trumpets the W-302. So does Tommy Armour with its 845, Ram with its FX5, Dunlop with its LoCo.
Sound confusing? Each is the best driver in the world, if you would believe the publicity brochures. But obviously, there can be only one best. The exhibitors at the PGA Merchandise Show put their products out there for you to examine, and hope you will choose their warclub to play your Saturday morning scrape-arounds.
Without a doubt, all can help you. They are just a tiny portion of the improvements made on the 2004 clubs. But only a fool would assume the entire laundry list of club changes can help every player. As each individual is different, with different swing flaws, so, too, are the many different brands fully capable of best helping the individual player.
Length accuracy and precision. Every golfer wants more length. But can you get it and not sacrifice the accuracy that will leave you in the fairway? The clubs at the Show will help, though of course there never has been a club invented yet that a terrible swing couldnt foil.
Below are just a few of the myriad number on display this week:
MACGREGOR ' Heres the scoop - 62 percent more mass, low and deep below the hitting area for high launch; perimeter weighting for less twisting at impact and greater accuracy; and a deeper center of gravity for a larger effective hitting area.
The V-Foil features something called an Eye-O-Matic face, which is where the explanation gets pretty technical. Suffice it to say that it is designed to hit drives straighter and to better provide easy visual alignment.
Nike GolfNIKE ' Nikes serves up the Ignite driver for 2004, a club made of a material called NexTi Titanium. Nike touts it as the strongest titanium ever invented, and Ignites 460ccs make it one of the industrys biggest heads.
The Ignite also features Around the Crown design, a construction that actually wraps the face over the top line of the club head. And Nike has done it with a large 460cc head. The expanded sweet spot was the next logical step toward reaching peak distance and control.
CALLAWAY ' The ERC Fusion is one of many Callaway offerings this year. The company combines part forged titanium and part carbon composite to make the ERC ' properties which allow for greater swing speed and power over a larger area of the clubface.
The club has three weights inserted internally, giving it three times more discretionary weighting, Callaway says, than an all-titanium driver of the same size. The weights also make the driver more resistant to twisting.
MIZUNO ' The MP-001 driver is also a carbon fiber composite crown blended with a titanium face and body. This creates a lower, deeper center of gravity. That, in turn, optimizes launch angle and reduces spin.
Mizuno says the drivers design, utilizing the high-tech materials, will generate long, accurate drives for players of all abilities.
TOMMY ARMOUR ' Tommy Armour remembers days gone by with the 845 Forged Persimmon driver. Of course, it really isnt persimmon. But the head resembles the old persimmon clubs.
The club features a bore-through shaft to provide stability, and the center of gravity has been concentrated in the back. Of course, this provides an optimum launch angle. And the old product standby ' the Silver Scot ' has an extra-large sweet spot which better straightens out those off-center hits.
DUNLOP ' The LoCo Pro series includes a driver that has a large 450cc head and is forged construction. The TP (Total Performance) 420 set has a smaller face at 420ccs. The Motive driver has the smallest head of all at 400ccs.
SRIXON ' Srixons W-302 driver has a rather small head at 380ccs, but has an internal weighting scheme that is geared to the faster swinger. The XX10 series plays especially well for higher handicappers, possessing a very low center of gravity to get the ball up in the air quickly with reduced spin.
RAM ' The FX series is one of Rams prime offerings. The FX5 is a 400cc titanium head and has a reduced center of gravity ' of course that aids in hitting higher, longer and more accurate shots. The FX3 is engineered to square the club face every time, which leads to longer and straighter drives.
LA JOLLA ' The premium line is the LJC Titanium driver. The oversized 450cc High Launch features 14 degrees of loft, allowing for the always-elusive straighter shots. La Jolla says that every clubhead undergoes 85 quality control checks, including tests for wall thickness, co-efficient of restitution and face angle.
TOP-FLITE ' Top-Flite has a fantastic idea ' they are introducing a driver that carries a $200-or-less price range. The Top-Flite Tour titanium driver retails at only $129 and offers an optimum launch angle thanks to a low center of gravity and a deep-face design that provides faster ball speed.
ALPHA ' This company boasts a large, 460cc driver with a two-piece forged titanium head ' the C380.2 model. The sweet spot is greatly enhanced by an oval face and the thin cold-forged titanium face.
NANCY LOPEZ GOLF ' The Torri set offers every club ' all 10 of them - in a metal-wood design geared toward the woman golfer. The Ti driver has an offset hosel and a 14-degree face, providing plenty of loft that gives maximum lift. The hybrid fairway clubs-irons feature heavier heads than traditional irons. This rethinking of conventional golf logic has created clubs that are easier to hit, making golf much more fun.
Related links:
  • Full Coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show