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ronaldkuntoro

New vs Old Drivers?

27 posts in this topic

Are new drivers (since 2008) straighter than older drivers before that?   I haven't tried many drivers so I don't know if this is true.   Maybe golfers who switched drivers each 6 month will know the answer.

PS It's hard to type without the cursor.  This forum is new but is harder to type.


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Nope, I don't find the newer drivers to be straighter. They may fit your swing better and have a slightly bigger sweet spot which might possibly help you out a smidgen but I don't find it noticeably helping. I've gone through quite a few drivers in the last two seasons and tested out a whole bunch and I still think the 2007 Burner TP is one of the best out there. I think for the most part the driver is maxed out in technology and that is the reason why they are going with adding adjustability. The only company that's coming out with different stuff is Adams with their aerodynamic designs which adds swing speed and doesn't claim any straighter ball flights.

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One of my straightest drivers was a Callaway Big Bertha titanium, maybe 4-5 years old now. It was 330 cc I believe and I got a nice shaft put in it. The newer drivers are nice I guess, but I still find myself wanting a smaller head on a 44" shaft at times. Luckily I still have the older driver I mention. They can be bought on the Callaway Preowned site as well. "Like new" is brand new on that site for anyone that has not shopped there.

One of the straighter newer drivers I bought was the Callaway FT-i. 2-3 years old now, got it on the preowned site as well. The new version, FT-iZ is a straight shooter for sure. The driver is known for this in fact. If buying a new driver based on accuracy, this would be where my money went.

-Dan

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I was just about to post a similar thread so this is timely. A friend of mine who owns a golf shop came across a whole box full of R580 heads recently and built up a bunch of R580 drivers with different shafts.  Just yesterday he sold me one with a Grafalloy ProLite 3.5S for $29.  I took it to the range and seemed to hit it as long if not maybe a little longer than my Exotics driver. It's a 9.5 vs. the 10.5 Exotics. It's only 1 degree difference but the trajectory is quite a bit lower which should give me more roll out (couldn't tell because the range is covered in snow right now). I know the biggest difference between the two is the shafts. The Exotics has a 52g stiff, 4.5 torque, mid kick. The 580 is 65g stiff, 3.5 torque, mid kick.

All that to say, I was wondering how much different that R580 head is to today's heads in terms of its technology. Would, for example, a Burner Supertri head be much longer or straighter than the 580 with an identical shaft? Just curious mostly because based on that one range session that cheap R580 seems to hit the ball just as long and maybe a little straighter than my more modern high tech Exotics.

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I have Titleist 975D, one of the best driver they made, IMO.  I bought 909D2 a couple of years ago.  The only difference I noticed is that the newer drivers have a bigger sweet spot and you do get a little more distance out of it.

I think hitting it straighter has more to do with your swing than the club.  If you are having trouble hitting your driver straight, you should invest in a lesson rather than a new driver.

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I agree with wrx_junki on the point of driver technology being maxed out. You can pretty much be good with the technology from 2004-2005+ without really missing out on anything that comes in today's drivers (besides adjustbility). Today's drivers do have a bigger sweet spot, but, if your swing isn't consistent i.e.coming over the top, to steep, etc etc, then the ball will still slice, hook or pop up no matter what fancy driver you have.  That said, I just picked up the new 910 titlest driver and love it vs. my old 907.  Why?  Well the adjustability is the best on the market and because my swing is pretty consistent, I can get a lot out of it with adjusting lie, loft, etc.  That, plus the 910 is a bit hotter on the face than the 907 which, can only really be noticed with a consistent swing.

Conversely, I feel like shaft technology has come a long way and the ability to hit it straighter for most, lies within getting fitted with the proper shaft.

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Originally Posted by ronaldkuntoro

Are new drivers (since 2008) straighter than older drivers before that?   I haven't tried many drivers so I don't know if this is true.   Maybe golfers who switched drivers each 6 month will know the answer.

PS It's hard to type without the cursor.  This forum is new but is harder to type.

I don't know about since 2008 but I have kept an old driver (laminated wood head, steel shaft, circa 1970s).  Once in awhile I take it to the range just to remind me how difficult it was to play with such equipment.  Too bad I didn't save a set of old blade irons for the same reason.  But for sure engineering, materials and test equipment development over the years have made the game more enjoyable for those of us that are not particularly physically gifted.

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I took a couple of pictures of a few of the drivers that I had readily available that I've had over the past nearly 40 years....ugh, that really makes me feel old

From left to right , Walter Hagen, Hagen, MacGregor Eyeomatic , Spalding Tour Edtion Persimmon, Spalding Tour Edition metal, Top Flite Intimidator and a Taylormade R9

Drivers001.jpg

Drivers003.jpg

As you can see in this next picture, I was playing around with shaft length back in about 1976 with the Walter Hagen.  With the regular shaft being longer, it was one hell of a thing to try and control but it did help me out in the long run.  I had to swing smooth and easy to make the ball even consider to go in the direction I was aiming.

Drivers002.jpg

My favorite by far has been the Top Flite Intimidator.  I hit the ball real long usually with a slight draw but could work the ball very easily with it.  Since I've only played 1 round with the R9, I really can't give a good assessment although at this point, there isn't any real difference is distance over the Intimidator.  The thing about the R9, visually, I don't really like the large head....kind of reminds of a Porky Pig cartoon or something.  I'm too used to a smaller head but I did hit it pretty straight when I played it.

My other favorite out of the bunch was the persimmon Tour Edition.  At the time, I averaged around 240 with that club with a tendency to fade.  When I switched to the metal Tour Edition, I gained about 10 years on average but could muscle up and hit it much further than I could ever hit the persimmon.  I had a Top Flite Thunder Heat between the metal TE and the Intimidator that was also a pretty good club until the shaft broke out on the course one day.  I have the head around here somewhere that I had a mind to throw another shaft into.  Anyway, with the Intimidator, my average went up to around 270 without swinging nearly as hard as I was used to.  If I did decide to go after it, 300 wasn't out of the question at all.

After nearly 10 years without playing, I picked up the clubs just about 5 weeks ago and averaged about 240 with that Intimidator with a best of 270 down wind.  In the following 2 rounds with it, the average has stayed about the same but the courses I played were very wet so there wasn't much roll on the fairways.  This last round with the R9 was pretty much the same as the Intimidator and the off center hits weren't all that different either.

Once I'm able to get more rounds under my belt and get my golf muscles and flexibility back, I'm sure I'll be able to notice more differences.  I can only wish to get this kind of turn again.  This was 11 years ago -

jan2-turlock.jpg

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No driver is "straighter" than another.  The only difference is how much it will forgive you if you hit it off center.

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Originally Posted by Shanks A Million

No driver is "straighter" than another.  The only difference is how much it will forgive you if you hit it off center.



Not necessarily. Blades have been proven to have a tighter shot dispersion on center hits than cavitybacks, I suppose the same could be true for some drivers.

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The driver I use is from around 2003 and I have yet to find something that I can hit further, straighter, or more consistent.  The setup with the head and shaft and my swing is perfect for what I want to do.  Granted, I haven't looked that hard at other drivers to find something that is better.  But I have hit several and tried many different set-ups, but just can't find the same magic.

I agree with the other comments about the newer drivers may be a little more forgiving which may result in straighter shots.  Of course, if you hit the ball in the center of the clubhead, it doens't matter too much.  No driver will give you a straight shot, a good swing will.

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Originally Posted by Shanks A Million

No driver is "straighter" than another.  The only difference is how much it will forgive you if you hit it off center.

I find my manly black driver to be "straighter" than the slightly-effeminate new white ones. But that's just, like, my opinion man.

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I would guess the answer to be a big no.  You might get more distance vs. one that's more than 3 or 4 generations old, or see a bit more forgiveness on marginal shots but it won't be straighter on the whole (no matter what the manufacturers tell you).

I would say that the widespread availability of club fitting facilities has and will provide a much greater overall benefit than any advancement in clubhead technology to the average player.  A 4 year old club that compensates and allows for your individual swing characteristics will do much more to 'fix' your drives than a brand new stick with the latest technology off the rack.

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Quote:

I took a couple of pictures of a few of the drivers that I had readily available that I've had over the past nearly 40 years....ugh, that really makes me feel old

...

Great post Cas, Thanks.

My newest driver is from ~2006 (905T) so I don't have anything to contribute to the original question.  My comment would be that the swing and shaft are (by far?) the prime contributors to the shot value and should ideally be in some sort of harmony (IOW get fitted).  Heck it's even possible that the grip is above the head design in importance relative to straight shots.  Distance and forgiveness, that is a whole other discussion.

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My persimmon 2 wood is the straightest club i've ever hit. (if you classify it as a driver)

I don't think you'll find a huge difference in forgiviness between the older drivers but the newer ones are lighter, more aerodynamic and a lot of them are adjustable. If your going to invest in a newer driver I'd buy a new one.

This is kinda like laptops, is there much a difference between a laptop a couple of years ago to the newest version? They all can use the same programs and get the job done except the newer ones are slightly faster, have more memory and have free toys that come with them.

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Originally Posted by James_Black

My persimmon 2 wood is the straightest club i've ever hit. (if you classify it as a driver)

I don't think you'll find a huge difference in forgiviness between the older drivers but the newer ones are lighter, more aerodynamic and a lot of them are adjustable. If your going to invest in a newer driver I'd buy a new one.

This is kinda like laptops, is there much a difference between a laptop a couple of years ago to the newest version? They all can use the same programs and get the job done except the newer ones are slightly faster, have more memory and have free toys that come with them.

The new ones are are made of lighter less durable materials, and at the entry level, are pretty much disposable after a couple years.

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IMO, the piece of equipment that I see that doesn't fit the golfer more often than not is the type of ball.  A lot of people could shoot lower scores by using a ball that doesn't spin so much.  Not saying that the OP is included in this opinion of mine but it could be another option to try before spending a couple of C notes.

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Originally Posted by jamo

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shanks A Million

No driver is "straighter" than another.  The only difference is how much it will forgive you if you hit it off center.

Not necessarily. Blades have been proven to have a tighter shot dispersion on center hits than cavitybacks, I suppose the same could be true for some drivers.

Correct but on mishits the cavity back and the 460cc driver is going to give better results. Since the majority of players are having mishits more than center hits I'd say there's definite advantages to playing a newer driver.

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