From what I've read, one of the big advantages of a big-headed driver is that its mass helps prevent the face from deflecting when the ball is struck off center.
But there's more to creating high MOI than just size… witness the square-headed drivers from Nike and Callaway we wrote about recently that added new shapes to the mix.
Tour Edge claims they've come up with a driver with a higher MOI than the Nike SasQuatch SUMO or the Adams Insight BUL by using geometry that doesn't resort to the radical square shape of some of its competitors. Called the GeoMax, here's the story on their latest introduction…
More Numbers than You Want to Know
I'm certainly no engineer. I'm lucky I can add small sums without using my fingers and toes. So when Tour Edge claims in their press release that their new GeoMax driver has a MOI of 5,000g/cm2 I can only paraphrase Jessica Simpson's latest commercial and say, "I totally don't know what that means, but I want it."
Actually, in the release they try to explain. I'll repeat it here for those of you who can understand. According to Tour Edge, their new driver's head is at the limit of breadth ratio, meaning "the measurement of the face from heel to toe divided by the distance from face to back is as high as 0.974."
Huh? The way they've worded that it sounds like it varies. I mean, what do they mean by, "as high as?" But whatever.
Apparently it's this proportion that enables them to create their high MOI and compare their new driver's 5,000g/cm2 MOI to the Nike SasQuatch SUMO at 4,950g/cm2 and that of the Adams Insight BUL, also at 4,950.
But this comparison made me a little curious because I recalled Nike spouting some MOI figures in their launch press release. So I checked, and here's the clarification.
As you may recall, Nike launched two drivers: the conventionally shaped SUMO and the SQ SUMO2 - the square one. Well, the conventional SUMO is indeed measured at 4,950. But the SQ SUMO2 has a MOI of 5,300.
I'll leave it to professional testers, engineers, and, more importantly, someone's experience on the range with these clubs, to explain to me what a difference of 50g/cm2 or even 300g/cm2 makes in the real world.
The GeoMax Story
Tour Edge's new driver is an all titanium clubhead with a Grafalloy shaft based on the Pro Launch shaft series but with what sounds like a slightly more flexible tip for what they claim is "a quicker, hotter launch."
They're calling the shaft the Bazooka GeoMax Ultra-light by Grafalloy and it will be available in five flexes… L, A, R, S, and X. I know "L" stands for "ladies" and "R" stands for "regular." So I guess "A" stands for "AARP."
The photo reveals the 20-gram tungsten weight they've positioned in the rear of the sole to move the center of gravity as low and as far back as possible. As you can see, yellow seems to be the accent color of choice these days, showing up as it does on offerings from Nike, Adams, and others.
The club will be available in both men's and women's versions in both right and left hand. Available lofts will be 9°, 10.5°, 12°, 14° and 16°. Alas and per usual, the left hand model will be only available in 10.5°.
Interestingly, the face angle changes with the loft. The 9° head has a square face angle, the 10.5° and 12° heads are closed 1°, and the 14° and 16° heads are closed 2°
With the slightly softer shaft tip and the higher lofts in the line, this club seems to me to be a good candidate for players looking for more height with their driver or for those who generate slower swing speeds.
Perhaps the biggest story with this driver is the price. When it begins shipping January 1 it will carry a minimum advertised price of $199. That's a whole lot less than many comparably featured drivers and roughly half the price of the composite Exotics driver they introduced earlier this year. I'm sure our friends at Edwin Watts will have it when it comes out.
In the End…
I continue to have trouble adapting to club specifications expressed in a number that's been squared. It used to be you'd just pick up a club and say something like, "gosh, this feels kinda heavy."
Now there are shaft cycles per second, MOI, coefficient of restitution, volume, breadth ratios, and more specs I can't spell any better than I can understand.
So, here's my suggestion: hit the club, feel how it feels, see how it works. Then go play golf.
In the meantime, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone! We'll be back with yet another Bag Drop January 8, 2007.