Driver Shopping – Get tested!!!
Well yesterday I decided it was time to treat myself to a new Driver (1 Wood). Of to GolfTown I went with the intention of getting myself one of 3 drivers I had picked out. My short list as I went into the store was the Nike Sumo from 2007, The Callaway X460 from 2007 and the Ping G5 from 2007. I get to the store and ask my favorite dealer ( yes I said dealer, golfing is my drug and GolfTown in my dealer ) to help me select the right driver for my swing.
We head through the isles of 2007 model drivers grabbing all kinds of them. I am choosing 2007 models as they retail for around $200 instead of paying over $400 for this years model. Well after a few minutes of feeling like a kid in a candy store we head over to the launch monitor with 6 drivers in hand:
Callaway Big Bertha
Cleveland HiBore S Flex
Cleveland HiBore R Flex
Cobra Speed 460
Used Titleist 905R
There was no Nike Sumo or Ping G5 in stock so I didn’t bother looking at them.
At the launch monitor.
I begin to swing away with the drivers getting into my groove and getting my average swing speed etc. With an average swing speed of 85MPH topping at 95MPH I decided that the R flex shaft was more consistent and matched to my average swing speed. Most of the drivers were giving me a ball speed of approx 128-130MPH with 3500RPM of spin on the ball. I was now ready to put these drivers through their paces.
Callaway: Both the X460 and the Big Bertha felt much like my current Adams RPM Redline driver with a big 460cc head in the traditional round Volkswagen on the end of a stick feel. Swing speed stayed the same but the consistency of my drives and distances was weak at best. I felt like I was watering the lawn when I look at all the launch paths. These clubs really did not do anything for my striking, when I did feel a miss hit the ball flight was way off center. I was also finding that the launch angle on these clubs was inconsistent for my swing and level of skill ranging from 9″ to 16″ and not really having many consistent drives.
Down to 4
Cleveland: Ok so all my irons are Cleveland TA7, My Wedges are Cleveland reg.588, My fairway wood is Cleveland Launcher steel head 17″ so why not try the Cleveland Driver and my sales guy recommended it so lets try them out. The head on this club is very different and felt smaller than the big head drivers. The design is very aerodynamic and pleasing to the eye. My launch angle was consistently hitting 14″ with 3500-3800 spin and more often than not the ball was in the fairway. I tested both the R flex and S flex shafts but quickly put the S flex away it was not as consistent for my swing as the R. Well this is a shocker I never thought about the HiBore as being in my dwindling list of possible drivers, guess I am a little brain washed by the media for golf.
Cobra Speed: Great reviews, wonderful ad campaign and promises of longer straighter drives, I figured this was going to be a winner. I pick up the driver and OMG this is the weirdest feeling thing I have ever held. The head on the club is massive and somewhat flattened in comparison to the Callaway’s. Resembling something like a B2 Bomber I take a few swings. Ugh I feel like I can’t control the club head its massive, the sound is a dull thud and I feel totally uncomfortable swinging this mammoth. When I look at the launch monitor it says it all. Terrible across the board, in the NO WAY list you go. Sorry Cobra this is just not the driver for me.
Down to 2
Titelist 905r: This is another of the fat headed drivers that I am a little uncomfortable with but I swing it away anyway to compare with the HiBore R Flex. What a nice club to swing the 905r is, under normal swinging speeds the club is very similar to the HiBore in feel but at impact it still feels much like the Callaway’s and for my swing it does impede the follow through a little. With that said though I could be happy with this club.
Still at 2
As most purchases do it came down to price, I know the 905r is a “better” driver with a “better” name but a used 905r was over $200 and the Cleveland HiBore Brand new was $188.00 and honestly felt better in my hands. I Grabbed the HiBore and heading to the till. After getting home and unwrapping my new driver I was itching to try it out on the course. I had also just bought my daughter a new set of clubs so she itching to play as well. Of to the little nine hole course up the road we go it has 2 par 4′s that use driver on so why not. Each of these par 4′s are 265 one is straight and one is uphill. It was a windy day so once the players ahead where on the green I figured I could hit as I have never driven onto the green there before (hit the fringe a few times) I swing a nice smooth average swing, I feel a slight bump as the club head touches the ground slightly but a solid contact and the ball is off. Well half way through the ball flight I am contemplating yelling FORE its climbing and heading right for the green. It was windy and colder and the ground was wet so the ball ended up landing 10 yards short of the green. Chip and Putt for Birdy. Similar experience on the next hole. I love this new Cleveland HiBore thanks Golf Town.