Golf Asia




Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12° Stock shafts: Alta CB Black, Ping Tour 2.0 Chrome, Ping Tour 2.0 Black, Alta Quick

VERDICT: Ping G drivers have built a massive reputation for being forgiving since the very first G2 was introduced back in 2004. With an MOI of over 10K, the new G430 builds on the marque’s legacy by harnessing supreme forgivenes­s and teaming it with, thanks to a new internal rib structure, a much more pleasing impact sound than the previous G425.

Our data has the MAX down as single yard back from the very longest. It’s an excellent result (which could be reversed on another day), especially considerin­g that, due to them being so forgiving, Ping drivers are usually a fraction back from the very fastest or longest available. The MAX didn’t quite give our tightest dispersion numbers (experience says results are influenced more by tester than club), but it did give our pro his smallest drop-off in ball speed, so expect good on-course consistenc­y. All other dispersion metrics were well below our test averages.

All in, the G430 MAX is a brilliant driver option for a wide audience of golfers. A new lower launch Tour

2.0 Black shaft is good for higher speed players, while a lighter High

Launch set-up will optimise ball flight for sub

85mph swing speed players.


Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12° Stock shafts: Aldila Ascent, HZRDUS Silver, HZRDUS Black, Mitsubishi Kai’li White

VERDICT: By doing away with a titanium cage chassis structure, Callaway’s new Paradym driver eliminates a massive 20g of mass from its body. Callaway say that compared to the previous Rogue ST, which by all accounts was a forgiving driver, 11% more weight is freed up to better influence MOI and forgivenes­s. It’s an idea that gives a 30% tighter dispersion, which is huge for most club golfers.

The Paradym isn’t your usual Callaway driver. There’s a distinct Japanese feel with a funky patterned carbon sole, a bling headcover and a name many in the western world won’t quite understand. It doesn’t, however, hold the model back from being a very high performing driver.

We love the super neutral address look, the impact sound is brilliant, and our data has the model down as one of the very longest available this year. Our drop-off and dispersion stats don’t quite support Callaway’s forgivenes­s claims, but we’ve learned over the years that these numbers are heavily tester dependent. With an MOI of 9,000+g-cm², the model is getting mightily close to Ping levels of forgivenes­s.


Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12° Stock shafts: Choose from 14 premium options

VERDICT: Mizuno describe the X as a mildly draw-biased driver, so don’t expect an out and out slice buster like some, hence why we took Mizuno’s advice and asked our test pro to see how the model performed. So long as your eyes are not distracted by shiny, high-gloss finishes and prominent carbon fibre weave crowns, Mizuno drivers have been decent for a few years. And judging by our results here, the ST-X 230 will build on that rising reputation.

With 276 yards of carry distance, the X was our joint-longest forgiving driver in that category (tied with the Taylormade Stealth 2 and Yonex Ezone GS i-tech). That is seriously impressive when you realise Mizuno’s stock shaft length is 0.75in shorter than the competitio­n. The model was also third-best at protecting ball speed and ranked well within our test averages for dispersion and shot area, so mark the model down as a playable driver for the masses.


Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12° Stock shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red TR

VERDICT: The Taylormade Stealth 2 family are the first Taylormade drivers to be constructe­d from a higher percentage of carbon fibre than titanium. In a very unlike Taylormade way, the company have used the weight-saving advancemen­ts to boost forgivenes­s over claiming more ball speed and distance, which will be music to the ears of golfers who felt the first generation carbonwood wasn’t quite as forgiving as the competitio­n.

At our 10.5° test loft, the cracking looking Stealth 2 was our jointlonge­st forgiving driver of 2023 at 276 yards, alongside the Mizuno ST-X 230 and Yonex Ezone GS i-tech. Throw in a third-best left-to-right dispersion (33.8 yards), plus a slightly skewed heel sweetspot, and a picture emerges of this being a better performing driver for club golfers than its predecesso­r.

Dialling the loft down to 9°, which is where Taylormade like fitting our pro for driver loft (even though he never uses a 9° driver on the golf course), upped ball speed by 1.1mph and added an additional 7 yards of carry distance. All in, this ultra complex driver constructi­on stacks up in terms of look, sound and feel. And with its excellent distance and forgivenes­s performanc­e, it warrants a place on any golfer’s shortlist in 2023.

PXG 0211

Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12° Stock shafts: Project X Evenflow Riptide, Aldila NV Orange NXT, Mitsubishi Diamana S+, Aldila NV Green NXT, HZRDUS Smoke Yellow

VERDICT: In 2023, costs have spiralled so much that major brand driver prices have gotten quite astronomic­al, so what PXG have done in making the brand’s ‘affordable’ 0211 driver available for much less is out-of-this-world good. The full-body titanium 0211 is neither a low-spin driver nor the brand’s most forgiving model, but sits neatly between the two, and that’s a really good set-up for a wide audience of club golfers.

A hands-down winner as the most undervalue­d, the model’s super slender much less price tag is 32% less expensive per yard than its nearest rival (PXG’S own 0311 driver), and 59% cheaper than the nearest major brand model (Taylormade Stealth 2). But thanks to it also producing our smallest shot area (236yds²), the least left-toright dispersion (23.6yds), and the tiniest carry distance dropoff, the model also performs brilliantl­y for forgivenes­s. An absolute steal.

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