Every year we hear the hype about longer, straighter …well maybe it is just longer!! So when we get all of our new drivers in the shop, we test them side by side. The tests are done by golfers with different swing styles and strength for a good comparison. But, the driver shaft used on each head is matched to the exact specifications for that golfer. This way we take out the variable of the shaft that may come in the driver. This year, the emphasis in drivers is launch and spin. You need more launch and obviously less spin. These will give you more distance. But we also are concerned about how consistent you are with your driver in terms of hitting fairways and loss of distance on miss-hits. We have not done all of the driver models yet (Tour Edge, Adams, Cobra, Titleist) but we did test out the Callaway and TaylorMade models. The distance winner is the TaylorMade SLDR, followed closely by the Callway Big Bertha Alpha, Callaway X2 Hot and TaylorMade JetSpeed. The big contributor to the distance winner was lower spin. The SLDR spin rate was 300-600 rpm’s lower than the Callaway GBB Alpha. The X2 Hot and JetSpeed were very close in terms of spin but still 300-400 rpm’s higher than either the SLDR or GBB Alpha. Shot dispersion was the best with the SLDR, X2 Hot and GBB Alpha. As with most drivers, miss-hits towards the heel caused a lot of loss in distance, with the most pronounced loss of distance with the SLDR. Appearance is certainly in the eye of the beholder so you will have to make that decision. All-in-all, you still have to test these drivers with the shaft that matches your swing. Stay tuned to the next blog on the other drivers we have slotted for testing!