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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Drivers  »  Our Readers Test the Newest 2010 Drivers
Our Readers Test the Newest 2010 Drivers
By Tom Landers | Published  06/16/2010 | Drivers | Unrated
Our Readers Test the Newest 2010 Drivers

Today’s Drivers Make the Game Easier and More Fun

Customizable weighting and multiple shaft options, large clubheads with amazingly hot faces that produce crackling spring like effects, lower center of gravities to get the ball airborne, sleek profiles to allow the club to slide through the air, composite materials, variable face thickness and even nitrogen injection. Today’s equipment manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to design drivers that produce straighter, longer, more forgiving and consistent results off the tee.
Remember when all the talk was about clubhead size? Callaway’s Big Bertha began the revolution in large heads that have now reached 460 cc’s. With size maxed out because of USGA regulations, designers have in recent years turned more to the internal and external aspects of the driver to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of the club possible.
The biggest buzz the industry and in the pro shops continues to be customization, whether it is moving weight around on the clubhead to create a fade or draw bias, or adjusting the shaft to alter loft, lie and face angles, it’s all about personally creating a driver that maximizes your swing speed and shot shaping ability. The goal? To provide more distance and accuracy with perhaps the most critical club in your golf bag.
Let’s face it; you have to drive the ball well in order to score. Yeah, yeah, we know all about how big a percentage the short game makes up in our round. But you have to put the ball in play and in the proper position in the fairway to set yourself up for a sound approach shot to the green, where the putter and wedge can work their magic. Today’s drivers help you do just that with greater frequency.
Today’s big sticks have been designed with ever larger sweet spots that get the ball airborne and headed in the right direction on miss hits, which are so common for the higher, and even mid-handicap player. If you are a more accomplished golfer, you can use today’s drivers to work the golf ball with greater skill than ever before. Especially when matched with the right ball, modern drivers can produce amazing distance, control and consistency.
So, let’s take a look at what’s new and hot with the hottest club in our arsenal.

$300
Adams Speedline Fast 10
www.adamsgolf.com

Unique Features: Adams engineers studied computational fluid dynamics and used wind-tunnel testing to reshape the curves along the undercarriage of the Fast 10 for improved airflow, creating a driver that is aerodynamically efficient and forgiving. The center of gravity was pushed low and deep to improve forgiveness and to help average golfers launch the ball higher.

Tester Comments: Excellent design and works as advertised. Well balanced, easy on the eye and long .… Super easy to swing … Big sweet spot.


$399
Bridgestone J38 460 Titanium
www.bridgestonegolf.com

Unique Features: A 6-4 titanium construction with a thin crown wall section allowed discretionary weight to be moved to the perimeter for added forgiveness. Enhanced Face Thickness design provides additional forgiveness on miss hits. And an extended crown profile promotes a low and deep center of gravity for high launch and low spin for longer carry and maximum distance.

Tester Comments: Swings itself … Get balance and feel to this driver … Solid feel and best sounding driver I have hit.


$300
Cleveland Launcher DST
www.clevelandgolf.com


Unique Features: Cleveland reduced this club’s total weight to slightly less than 300 grams, or 5 to 10 percent lighter than a typical driver. Coupled with a shaft that has a lighter weight (47 grams), this helps golfers swing the club faster. A repositioned center of gravity provides a better launch angle, a higher moment of inertia and straighter, more accurate drives.

Tester Comments: I like the look of it at address and it works for me … I have not seen any additional distance, but my fairways hit increased … Very forgiving.


$300
Cobra S2
www.cobragolf.com

Unique Features: The theme for the S2 is
“customizable” distance. An all-titanium model features a 46-inch shaft and an adjustable hosel with three face-angle options to allow golfers to choose a face angle that produces their desired ball flight. A milled Dual-Rhombus face insert combined with a thin titanium perimeter area promotes faster ball speeds and more consistent flight across the entire clubface.

Tester Comments: Good distance, more roll than any driver I’ve ever hit … Solid sound and feel off the tee. As usual with Cobra great distance and accuracy


$300
Cobra ZL
www.cobragolf.com

Unique Features: Designers replaced titanium with graphite in the crown and sole sections to allow the center of gravity to be positioned low, back and slightly toward the heel. A carbon fiber sole and swing weight screw helps provide optimal center of gravity, moment of inertia and spin characteristics for high launch, maximum distance and increased control.

Tester Comments: Excellent driver both in appearance and performance … Added distance and reduced slices … High launching and flying drives, above average distance.


$279
Fister Golf Punisher 450
www.fistergolf.com

Unique Features: Sean “The Beast’’ Fister, a three-time RE/MAX world long drive champion and Long Drivers of America (LDA) Hall of Fame member, has designed the PUNISHER 450. The driver features Multiple Face Heat Treatments and an Exclusive Face Wall Design. A reduced air resistance surface combined with the high grade titanium produces greater clubhead speeds and optimal launch angles. Each club is assembled with a UST Pro LD shaft.

Tester Comments: The matte finish reduces glare at setup … Cool look, the white shaft and black head gives you confidence to hit it long.


$99
Hireko Acer XDS Thriver
www.hirekogolf.com

Unique Features: The club head weighs a full 10 grams more than a normal driver to allow for a shorter, more controllable length and the proper amount of club weight. Added weight was placed in a strategic location to produce an even higher moment of inertia. Combined the higher loft (14 percent) of a strong 3-wood, the design elements offer control off the tee.

Tester Comments: Was at first skeptical because had not heard of club, but as soon as I hit and heard that sweet sound of titanium I knew it was a quality club … Ball soared down the range past 250 yds which is great for me … Great price for a good club.


$500
Mizuno MP-630 Fast Track
www.mizunousa.com

Unique Features: New materials and the option to customize ball flight are the key highlights of Mizuno’s latest adjustable driver. The clubhead features sliding weights in the sole that golfers can move 45 different ways to alter ball flight. The face is made from a new Ti-9 titanium alloy that saves weight and increases the springlike effect of the club.

Tester Comments: Easy to adjust and customize to my preference … Great look and sound with above average distance … Clean lines, set up beautifully


$299
Nike SQ MachSpeed
www.nikegolf.com

Unique Features: This driver optimizes aerodynamics throughout the entire swing path, generating higher potential clubhead speeds than any previous Nike driver. Combined with STR8-FIT adjustable face-angle technology, the result is maximum clubhead speed and total energy delivered to the ball for explosive distance, stability and control.

Tester Comments: Nice club!! Distance is definitely greater than my old Sasquatch. Looks great as well … Overall good driver... does launch a little higher than what i am used to but i got used to it … very forgiving & easy to hit. Love the angle adjustment feature.


$400
Nike VR STR8-Fit Tour
www.nikegolf.com

Unique Features: A channel in the sole near the face of the driver is designed to improve the way the face reacts at impact, producing consistent ball speed across the entire face. A STR8-FIT shaft adapter built into the hosel gives the player access to 32 different head positions to affect face angle, loft and lie angle.

Tester Comments: Best feeling driver Nike has ever made … this club feels great off the tee..even on shots off-center towards the heel … The sound is better than any previous Nike driver … Launches straight and at a great angle.


$300
Ping G15
www.ping.com

Unique Features: A back edge external sole weight pad is designed to increase off-center hit stability. A hidden boost to a better moment of inertia comes from a lighter shaft that shifts the balance point toward the grip and allows for a heavier head and an unchanged swing weight. More mass is thus delivered to the ball at the same speed.

Tester Comments: This driver exceeded my expectations … This one is a keeper. It is long and straight, easily 20 yards longer … One of the best drivers I tested.


$349
Ping i15
www.ping.com

Unique Features: This fade-biased driver is designed for golfers who like to work their tee shots. The pear-shaped 460cc titanium head features a bulge crown design and deeper face to optimize energy transfer for greater ball speed. A titanium carbon finish provides an optically pleasing appearance.

Tester Comments: The square to slightly open face looks great. The sound off the club is also very nice … Club had a great feel … From the first time I hit the i15 driver I hit the ball straighter and longer, great driver.


$199/$299 Tour
Powerbilt Air Foil
www.powerbilt.com

Unique Features: Unique Features: Powered by pressurized nitrogen, Powerbilt’s new driver is “guaranteed” to add 10 to 20 yards to drives, regardless of swing speed. The club also provides maximum trampoline effect and a high “smash factor,” while still conforming to USGA standards. The driver comes in two shapes, one a more traditional, “Tour” model for golfers who like to work the ball; a second “MOI” model in a geometric shape to maximize MOI and forgiveness.

Tester Comments: Driver’s response off the tee is very impressive when impact is right on sweet spot. I get 15 to 20 yards more than other driver I tried … Wow is all I have to say, long and straight … Fujikura graphite shaft that it comes with this is a very good match for the club.


$499
Srixon Z-TX
www.srixon.com

Unique Features: A twin-cam sole positions 11 grams of weight to the extreme perimeter of the head, creating a high moment of inertia and making the club extremely stable through impact. A straight topline shape allows for better alignment on every shot for added consistency. A six-part bulge and roll design controls side spin and launch angle when hit outside the center of the face, resulting in controlled miss hits.

Tester Comments: Launches the ball high from tee and is easy shape shots with. … Excellent distance and ball control … I have hit many of the drivers on the market today and this is easily my favorite and most consistent.


$249
TaylorMade Burner Superfast
www.taylormadegolf.com

Unique Features: Fourteen grams of less weight than the ‘07 and ‘09 Burners allows for greater clubhead speed through the hitting zone. The clubface has been increased by 14% over last year’s Burner and the extreme MOI of this driver means that you’ll get a great deal of forgiveness across that large face. Dual-Crown technology effectively helps relocate the center of gravity low and deep, further promoting a higher launch and an increase in spin. In an effort to further reduce the overall weight of the club, TaylorMade used the ultra-light Matrix Ozik Xcon 4.8 shaft.

Tester Comments: Long does not even describe this … Straightest club I have tried, just could not hit anything but straight, makes game easier … Great sound, forgiving and it goes far.


$399
TaylorMade R9 SuperTri
www.taylormadegolf.com

Unique Features: The combination of FCT, MWT, and a 460cc head allow for a number of improvements over last year’s versions. The new SuperTri launches the ball higher, and with more spin, thanks to the center of gravity being located two millimeters further back than in last year’s model. Inverted Cone Technology is still present, expanding the hotter area of the face that will produce a fast ball speed. The face of the SuperTri is the deepest of any MWT TaylorMade driver to date, measuring a full 62mm. Head has a slick dark color scheme.

Tester Comments: Best driver on the market, long, forgiving and easy to work the ball … Love the ability to easily interchange shafts and adjust face angle … FCT has value and works as advertised.


$300
TaylorMade R9 460
www.taylormadegolf.com

Unique Features: An adjustable shaft gives golfers eight ball-flight options. Simply change the face angle from two degrees closed to two degrees open and the lie angle from one degree upright (more left) to one degree flat (more right). Inverted Cone Technology dramatically expands the portion of the clubface that delivers high center gravity for consistently longer drives.

Tester Comments: I found that slight adjustments with the R9 can make a difference. It’s not just the ball flight - but I find with the right setting, I can hit with much more consistency … Able to get just the shot shape and flight I was looking for. Great club … This driver gives me a better skill off the tee.


$400
Titleist 909 D2
www.titleist.com

Unique Features: The all-titanium line features two versions. The D2 has a shallow face and a deeper center of gravity for stability on off-center hits. The D3 has a deep face but is slightly smaller at 440 cubic centimeters, and the center of gravity is closer to the face to help golfers work the ball. Both have a milled face insert with a thick internal trapezoidal ring in the center to improve ball speed.

Tester Comments: Good, strong trajectory and solid feel … All can say is long and straight. I got 12 - 15 additional yards of the tee … Classic looks and super performance make this a great driver. The ball jumps off the face and the sound is tuned perfectly. The forgiveness is incredible for off-center hits.


$400
Titleist 909 D Comp
www.titleist.com

Unique Features: A composite piece in the crown is designed to lower the center of gravity to help golfers launch the ball high. The frame is wider heel to toe and deeper front to back than the company’s D2 and D3 drivers. The purpose is to improve stability on off-center hits. A milled face insert features a thick internal trapezoidal ring in the center to maintain velocity across the face.

Tester Comments: Offers all of the Titleist benefits of solid feel, traditional look, workability, yet most forgiving Titleist driver to date … Very solid at impact, good ball flight and stays in the short grass and also a good price for top equipment.


$349
Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour
www.exoticsgolf.com

Unique Features: The Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour driver features a one-piece titanium face and crown joined via combo-brazing to a heavy, hyper-steel sole plate. The head is 430cc in volume, slightly smaller than the maxed-out drivers on the market, a design decision aimed at boosting the driver’s workability. The Exotics CB3 Tour is geared to produce a lower, more penetrating ball flight with its higher center of gravity and Fujikura Motore Tour White low-spin shaft

Tester Comments: Very long and straight, no loss of distance on miss hits … Longest Ball Off The Tee of any I have ever tried … this club has a very forgiving sweet spot and is very very long. I’ve gained at least 15 to 20 yards. The ball jumps off the club face. You will not be disapponted.


$350
Tour Edge Exotics XCG3
www.exoticsgolf.com

Unique Features: Tour Edge’s most advanced driver yet, the XCG-3 is the world’s first combo-brazed titanium, tungsten and carbon driver. Two tungsten sole weights (17 grams in the toe and 11 grams in the heel) are joined by a weld-free brazing technique. The purpose is to deepen the center of gravity for better stability. Mass in the form of an X pattern behind the face is designed to optimize springlike effect.

Tester Comments: Nice traditional look and a very forgiving face … Great high trajectory and length … Nice swingweight and balance with a hot face.


$349
Wilson Staff Smooth
www.wilsongolf.com

Unique Features: The driver melds form with function; its smooth shape outside matched by the powerful, efficient performance on the inside. A
proprietary variable face thickness design delivers a sweet spot twice as wide as a constant thickness face. Weight was moved further back in the head as loft increases to maximize head stability and improve the launch conditions appropriate for each loft.

Tester Comments: Appearance, feel and setup are all great with this driver … Distance is very good with center hits … Best Wilson Driver in years. … The club is lightweight and promotes great rhythm in the golf swing.


$499
Williams Sports Players FW32
www.williams-sports.com

Unique Features: The Williams Players Series FW32 Driver demonstrates the advancement of Formula One design in aerodynamics and materials.  Three key aerodynamic aspects that manage airflow and reduce drag have been directly engineered into the shape of this 450 cc driver. The Trip, Winglets, and Diffuser, that are essential in managing the airflow and reducing drag in the Williams F1 cars, are also featured in this driver. Better efficiency means increased swing speed, and increased swing speed means longer distance off the tee. The FW32 Driver also features the Japanese produced line of Fujikura shafts.


Player’s Choice Awards
Players Drivers

Best Appearance
Cobra S2
Ping G15
Srixon Z-TP
Tour Edge CB3 Tour

Best Forgiveness
Cleveland Launcher
TaylorMade SuperTri
TaylorMade Superfast

Best Distance
Adams Speedline Fast 10
Cleveland DST
Ping i15
Powerbilt AirForce One
TaylorMade Superfast
Tour Edge XCG3

Best Feel
Cobra S2
Nike VR
TaylorMade Supertri
TaylorMade R9 460
Titleist 909 D2

Best Consistency
Cobra ZL
Nike VR
TaylorMade Supertri

Best Value
TaylorMade
SuperFast
Powerbilt Air Foil

 

Best Overall
Adams Speedline Fast 10
Cobra S2
Nike VR
TaylorMade Supertri
TaylorMade Superfast