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
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.
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 -