So what are the hot new drivers for 2016? Well, we have pretty much tested them all and we have a short list based upon both performance and feel. Since 35% of our viewers are looking for a new driver this year, this should be helpful. In our testing, unlike ones we will mention later, we test each driver with a shaft that is fit to the golfer. This shaft is then used in each driver head. We use Callaway Chrome Soft ball for testing. Here is what we have found:
Performance (Distance and Accuracy): TaylorMade M1, Callaway XR 16, Cobra King LTD, Ping G LS TEC, Tour Edge E9, Mizuno JPX-850, Titleist 915 D3
Sound and Feel: TaylorMade M2, Cobra King LTD, PXG 0811, Mizuno JPX-850
Lowest Spin: Ping G LS TEC, PXG 0811
Best Smash Factor (Efficiency): PXG 0811, Ping G LS TEC, Cobra King LTD
Most Forgiving/Accurate: TaylorMade M2, Callaway XR 16, PXG 0811
These heads were tested by golfers with 88 to 105 mph swing speeds and the results from TrackMan we calibrated at 5,280 feet. Some observations from our driver testing are that the aerodynamic designs of the Ping G and Callaway XR heads added 1 to 1.5 mph swing speed for our testers. The hype about these designs is real!
As with all of our golfers, look, sound and feel can have an impact on how well you hit a driver, or any club for that matter. Some testers did not like the muted sound of the composite style drivers (TaylorMade M1, M2 and Cobra King LTD). Others felt that the Ping G LS TEC had a harsher feel at impact. GolfWRX did a comprehensive test using drivers with stock shafts that gave some similar results. Check out the GolfWRX link here.
As with any of these tests, they should be taken with a grain of salt. There are literally no drivers on the market in 2016 that will have poor performance as long as they fit you. And that is our job! So come in for a driver fitting and get set for the 2016 golf season.