Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!
Originally Posted by James_Black
James, I'm sure other guys can offer something a bit more scientific,
Here's a link to a website that has a ton of "useful" information: link
I'll just use my own personal experience though. Comparing 1st and 2nd generation steel heads to quality persimmon with a quality insert is purely subjective. I could crank out some great drives with older TaylorMade or Mizuno drivers, but the swingweights never felt right and they felt and sounded lifeless.
Even when the Callaway BB drivers came out, they main advantage was forgiveness. I played both persimmon and metal (steel or titanium) headed drivers until about 8 years ago when I picked up a used Callaway BB Warbird. It's maybe slightly longer than some of my better persimmon woods, but it's way more forgiving. I can really go after a drive on a tight hole, whereas with persimmon you were almost forced to work the ball and hope you didn't overcook it.
Hitting a straight shot is soooo much easier nowadays because the ball spends lesss time on the face and there's less sidespin.
A proper fitting (or experience and luck) can set a player up with a new balls, a new driver with a new shafts, that can easily driver the ball 40+ yards farther on average. My own average good drive is probably about 15 yards farther with my G10 that my older Callaway and that was about 10-15 yards farther than persimmon because there was less fear of a big bender going OB.
Playing persimmon woods is still fun and if you can consistently keep one of those between the ditches, your confidence with a modern driver will be very high.
PS. to the guy who mentioned pros playing Golden Bear or Northwestern persimmon . . . 1.) if you mean MacGregor, rather than specifically "Golden Bear" persimmons, yeah they rocked, and 2.) if you ever seen a Northwestern driver in persimmon or even one that a pro would have used, you should buy it because it's a rarity for sure.