Popular Science

Switching to metal was this club’s hole in one

FOUR DECADES AGO, TAYLORMADE BROUGHT DRIVERS INTO THE MODERN ERA BY CRAFTING THE HEAD OF THE CLUB FROM METAL, NOT WOOD—A MOVE THAT FOUND FAVOR WITH PROS. HERE’S HOW IT EVOLVED.

- By STAN HORACZEK

1979: Pittsburgh Persimmon

Attached to a metal shaft, the forged steel head was about the same size and weight as its contempora­ry wooden cousins, but differed in one key way: It was hollow. That configurat­ion kept the mass at the perimeter, making the club slightly more forgiving of awkward mishits.

2020: SIM Driver

The titanium face on this large head flexes as it makes contact with the ball, launching it at high speed and with little spin to avoid distance-killing drag. A steel weight at the back acts like a pendulum and stabilizes the driver to help prevent it from twisting— and slicing shots sideways.

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