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Is Bigger Necessarily Better

By Apryl DeLancey, Writer
Since I started playing the game four years ago, I've always gone for the biggest driver money could buy. I never bothered to try anything else. I really enjoy the look and feel of the monster-sized heads. Especially wonderful is the sound it makes when I really flush one square on the sweet spot and watch the ball travel on a beautiful arc. Of course, when I hit it off-center or in the wrong spot on the face I am quite frustrated and the ball flight reflects it.
My driver is super-sized at 460cc ' one of the larger heads out in the mainstream today. Any larger does seem a bit of an odd proposition. It would be like looking down at a bowling ball at the end of ones shaft if it got any larger. But really, how much larger would they need to be? Many golfers arent so excited about this larger size and are taking a step back to a more reasonably sized head. Bigger is not necessarily better for everyone or for many of the pros. Manufacturers today are starting to recognize that theyve likely maxed out on the socially acceptable size of a driver head and have decided to take a step back to a slighter profile.
Almost every major brand in the market today has a smaller option available ' for example, the TaylorMade R9 at 420cc is Sergios driver of choice and Tiger has been seen gaming the Nike SQ Dymo at 380cc. Kenny Perry still games a big one like me at 460cc. It seems to work for him okay.
Why the shift to the smaller designs for many of the pros? Its quite simple ' technology. OEMs have figured out how to manufacture the smaller heads to be almost as forgiving as the larger sizes. In addition, a smaller head has been noted to increase clubhead speed by a few miles an hour. No distance is lost and you have a sleeker look.
So tell me, is bigger better? Have we just been great golfers all along and technology is only now catching up? Probably not, advancements in MOI, COR, and adjustable face technology are likely shaving a few strokes off for us regular weekend hacks.
Here is a comparison picture of the 425cc R9 and the 460cc R9.

To see more Pics click here.
Back when Ping introduced a 323cc size everyone balked and thought it was an abomination where today this seems positively tiny. Other less-mainstream clubmakers have introduced 650cc heads and the like but the USGA doesnt allow this large of a head in play. They draw the line at the 460cc. That means Im safe ' not that theyll be regulating me any time soon.
Here is a picture of the Callaway Tour Authentic FT-9 which is on Tour only right now. Phil Mickelson has gamed it for months.

Click here for more pics.