OK so as a basic overview I've always avoided buying a driver (in fact I believe I commented on a thread on here just a couple of days ago to that effect) but a few days ago I decided to take a look at some for my own piece of mind. I set myself a budget of £200 UKP with room to increase to £300 if something mind-blowing comes along and I browsed a few websites, narrowing my choices down to:
- Taylormade Burner Superfast (1.0, not 2.0)
- Ping G10
- Mizuno JPX800
- Cleveland Launcher DST
I knew I wanted to be fitted for a driver rather than buying off the shelf so I booked in at Silvermere golf course here in the UK for a fitting and to test the clubs above. I arrived and warmed up with my trusty Yonex Nanospeed 3i 3W hitting balls out of the fitting bay into the range for about 10 mins before the fitting and then one of the club pros arrived to do the fitting. We used FlightScope to take some readings of my 3W swing:
Carry: Highest = 188 | Lowest = 136 | Avg = 172
Total Distance: Highest = 197 | Lowest = 156 | Avg = 184 (lame and significantly less than I feel I hit it normally)
Club Speed: Highest = 90.3 MPH | Lowest = 76 MPH | Avg = 81 MPH
Smash Factor: Highest = 1.48 | Lowest = 1.29 | Avg = 1.4
According to those stats the pro recommended that I should be using a regular flex driver with a 10.5 degree loft so he set up a Ping G15 with regular flex for me to try out. The stats for the Ping G15 were:
Carry: Highest = 252 | Lowest = 200 | Avg = 218
Total Distance: Highest = 258 | Lowest = 215 | Avg = 230
Club Speed: Highest = 95.7 MPH | Lowest = 82.2 MPH | Avg = 90 MPH
Smash Factor: Highest = 1.47 | Lowest = 1.29 | Avg = 1.4
The pro then confirmed his decision on a regular flex and loft angle and gave me the Mizuno to try out.
Bang! 251 yards slight fade with a smash factor of 1.5 and back spin of 2631.
Bang! 242 yards slight fade with a smash factor of 1.5 and back spin of 2921.
Bang! 244 yards slight fade with a smash factor of 1.5 and back spin of 2974.
Bang! 258 yards "power fade" (lol) with a smash factor of 1.43 and back spin of 3122.
Bang! 228 yards slight draw with a smash factor of 1.5 and back spin of 3176.
Needless to say I was amazed, and from his comments I think the Pro was too at that point. I kept hitting the Mizuno for another 20 or so balls.
Carry: Highest = 250 | Lowest = 223 | Avg = 236
Total Distance: Highest = 258 | Lowest = 228 | Avg = 244
Club Speed: Highest = 95.6 MPH | Lowest = 83.5 MPH | Avg = 87.8 MPH
Smash Factor: Highest = 1.5 | Lowest = 1.31 | Avg = 1.46
Outstanding! My very first time hitting a driver and I'm in love with it already, even though my consistency is not great in terms of speed and distance.
"Can I try the JPX 3 wood please?"
Carry: Highest = 221 | Lowest = 159 | Avg = 188
Total Distance: Highest = 230 | Lowest = 167 | Avg = 199
Club Speed: Highest = 90.8 MPH | Lowest = 76.6 MPH | Avg = 85.8 MPH
Smash Factor: Highest = 1.51 | Lowest = 1.29 | Avg = 1.41
Every single figure is greater than or the same as my old (only 2 months) 3 wood.
Really impressed with the difference between a fitted club and not fitted club! Also astounded that the driver is so much easier to hit for me thatn the 3W; I'd always avoided drivers based on the horror stories you hear, "Once I hit this driver and it sliced so bad it came back in a circle and smashed up my car! Then it turned evil and started plotting world domination!!!!111one" etc