8 Ways to choose a new driver

What we learnt af­ter three days and hun­dreds of shots with 2017’s new­est big sticks

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - GEARGUIDE -

1 DON’T BUY A DRIVER ON NUM­BERS

ALONE. Take an av­er­age of how far all three testers hit each club and there’s just 11m from the short­est to long­est. Yes, there were big­ger gains and loses for in­di­vid­u­als, but it wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily the out­right long­est club that won our testers over. There’s no point buy­ing a driver you don’t love the look of just be­cause you’re car­ry­ing drives a cou­ple me­tres longer than one you con­sider to be a nicer al­ter­na­tive.

2 YOU DON’T AL­WAYS NEED TO BE A HARD HIT­TER TO HIT A LOW SPIN

DRIVER. In the­ory our am­a­teur testers should have been more suited to Call­away’s Epic than the Epic Sub Zero. But the num­bers don’t lie and can’t con­ceal how well the Sub Zero per­formed at both a mid and slower swing speeds.

Just re­mem­ber if you don’t have suf­fi­cient speed, you need launch to help get shots air­borne and max­imise dis­tance. If you launch shots high any­way you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need that speed.

3 THE FU­JIKURA PRO IS A SE­RI­OUSLY

HOT SHAFT. Call­away, Tay­lorMade and Cobra all of­fer the Fu­jikura Pro as a stan­dard stock op­tion in their 2017 driv­ers. What’s so good about it? It of­fers a great blend of weight, a mid­high launch pro­file and ex­tra sta­bil­ity which suits a huge ar­ray of club golfers.

4 WITH TOP SHAFT OP­TIONS AVAIL­ABLE YOU NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT

WHAT’S ON OF­FER. The Fu­jikura Pro isn’t the only pre­mium shaft avail­able. You get a choice of stock shafts from both Call­away and Tay­lorMade like never be­fore. There’s op­tions from lighter to heav­ier weights and higher to lower launch­ing, which hasn’t al­ways been the case. So it’s im­por­tant to have an idea of which you’re be­ing sold.

5 PRICES ARE GO­ING UP, BUT THERE’S

STILL GOOD VALUE TO BE HAD. There’s no way of get­ting around it, driver prices have been pushed sky­wards for 2017. The lat­est

Call­aways and Tay­lorMades will set you back a lit­tle more than oth­ers be­cause they are so tech­ni­cally ad­vanced. But there’s still de­cent value to be had. Cobra’s F7 per­formed su­perbly, and it will set you back less than an M1 or Epic. Throw in Cobra’s Con­nect sys­tem (which re­tails sep­a­rately) and it’s great value.

6 TECH JUST KEEPS GET­TING BET­TER.

Put aside all the mar­ket­ing and these driv­ers are the most tech­ni­cally ad­vanced golf clubs ever made. Call­away’s “Jail­break” tech per­forms bril­liantly and de­liv­ers a pow­er­ful sound many golfers won’t have heard be­fore. We reckon the idea is so good other brands will al­ready be work­ing away on their own ver­sion. Also im­pres­sive is Tay­lorMade’s ded­i­ca­tion to stream­lin­ing ev­ery sin­gle com­po­nent to wring out ev­ery last drop of juice from a driver head; stats prove the new M1 and M2 are both a step up from 2016.

7 FOR­GIV­ING DRIV­ERS AREN’T JUST FOR CLUB GOLFERS. The most played driv­ers

on tour aren’t usu­ally a brand’s most for­giv­ing of­fer­ing. But Tay­lorMade’s 2016 M2 changed all that. Justin Rose, Dustin John­son, Tiger Woods and Rory McIl­roy all used the old M2 at some point last year.

8 THERE’S JUST NO SUB­STI­TUTE FOR

GET­TING PROP­ERLY FIT­TED. With so many shaft op­tions, as well as weight and hosel set-ups, the chances of find­ing your best driver on your own are slim. Just look at the Mizuno JPX900; the wrong set-up for your swing might cost you 18m in­stantly.

Fit­ting room We tested on a launch mon­i­tor in­doors us­ing a pre­mium ball.

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