or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Driver Technology: Actual Results vs. Actually Hype
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Driver Technology: Actual Results vs. Actually Hype

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

New to the forum, I've been playing off and on (more off than on) since I was about 10 or 11 years old.  I never played enough to be a decent golfer until recently I've been playing more and making big improvements.  My question is in the title, how much do you think the newest (or newer) driver (or other club) technology actually helps and how much is overblown hype?  I know there is definitely hype, but I also believe that there are some results to be had.  Consider the analogy that I am also a weightlifter, and there are many supplements on the market that will help you greatly (and many that won't) but most claim far more than they deliver.

 

My current clubs I've had for about 8 years.. beginner clubs I guess and was thinking of upgrading my driver from a Big Ben Hogan CS3 9.5 'draw' club I have to one of the newer (not newest) Callaways, like the FT-Iz or FT Iq I-mix or FT-9 Fusion.. they have all of these on Rock BOttom Golf for $99... I actually think the driver I have right now does just fine.. I'm hitting it longer all the time, now I'm curious if I could start hitting 300+ by getting a new driver.. I currently hit it  260-275 or so usually.. I might have knocked one 300 or so once or twice in my life..  but not the norm.

 

Opinions from someone who has continuously upgraded their clubs throughout the years?  The Ben Hogan is really my first 'newer' driver.. with the oversized head, before that I was hitting hand-me-downs.. so I'm definitely impressed with the difference in technology from the early 90's to about 2003.. but wonder how much more progress can be made.. physics is physics.. right?

 

 

post #2 of 26

Fitting, adjustability, lightweight technology, and shaft technology have advanced, head technology hasn't done much in the last few years compared to 1995-2005. Forgiveness has also increased a lot more than distance; and ball technology was a better contributor to distance than the clubs.

 

If we really gained 10 yards every year since 2000, as manufacturers claim, we'd all be hitting 360+. 

post #3 of 26

Also bear in mind there are quite a few technology boundaries imposed by the USGA, e.g. balls not being allowed to come off the face at more than blah percent of the speed they hit the face. There are some significant advances however with things like the Harrison Shotmaker which is (apparently) the best thing since sliced bread.

post #4 of 26

 Hey there, I'm new too, so we can be noobs together and talk about new stuff (literally, in this case).

 

I have never been able to hit driver, I've struggled with other clubs too, but made immense progress, except for the driver. All I did was manage are pretty large, grotesque slice. I'd call it a power fade and try to walk down the fairway with some false sense of confidence after getting this dirty banana slice to make it out to about 220y. Then on monday, I got my Nike SQ STR8-FIT Machspeed Black (yes, I used the entire name because I'm still excited about it) and it has made a world of difference. I hit straight, maybe even get a little draw going, and am carrying anywhere from 240-260. I haven't played a course in good condition yet, seeing as it's February, but I expect my roll to add a few yards.

 

You might be thinking "Well what the heck kind of crap driver did you have before that would make such a difference? I had the standard driver that came in my Tommy Armour set, and it was very hard to hit. But I can't give every bit of my new driving success to the Nike because the day before I received it in the mail, I was watching the final round of the AT&T pro-am, and they were doing the Swing-Vision breakdowns with the celebs, and afterwards Faldo gave a tip that would change my life. It was as simple as him suggesting that on your backswing, you make a move as if you were to shake hands with someone standing directly behind you. It made a huge impact for me, and while my old driver still fades, it was a much straighter fade.

 

Nonetheless, I think the technology is obviously for real, it's just a matter of finding the right set up for you. With all this new technology, the market has become rather saturated, making it difficult to find the right piece for you game. I feel pretty lucky to have found the driver I did. Hitting from the fairway, closer to the hole, will be so much nicer than punching out from the trees.

 

Also, sorry for the very long-winded response. I just like talkin' Golf.

post #5 of 26

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealtorDC View Post

Opinions from someone who has continuously upgraded their clubs throughout the years?  The Ben Hogan is really my first 'newer' driver.. with the oversized head, before that I was hitting hand-me-downs.. so I'm definitely impressed with the difference in technology from the early 90's to about 2003.. but wonder how much more progress can be made.. physics is physics.. right?

 

 


Hi RDC... I think the golf club - and driver in particular, has definitely made significant strides over the last 10yrs and you should do yourself a favor and go out and test drive some of these new bad boys.  I would also say that golf balls and golf shafts have had nice improvements as well.  So all these things should be considered when looking at distance gains.

 

Here is my historical fingerprint...

 

In high school golf ('91 to '95) - I used the Callaway Big Bertha - Original... With a regular flex - steel shaft.  It was in my bag all  four years and at that time... It was the driver to have at least from a marketing perspective.  And it gave me confidence and I hit it well for a kid that was 125 to 130lbs soaking wet... I could hit it 220yds on a regular basis.  And you have to remember, back at that time, I was playing any hard rock ball I could get my hands on... But in the big junior tournaments, I would play the Titleist Balatas which were super soft and weren't known to fly far - but were great around the greens.

 

Then fast forward to my post college years... One of my favorite drivers I owned back in the day was the Titleist 975J which I bought back in 2001.  At the time it was all the rave on the tee as everyone would always comment on the bright yellow/purple Proforce gold stiff shaft in it.  I could hit it 245 to 250 on a regular basis... And at the time was playing a ProV type of golf ball.

 

Then I went to the R5 TP driver in 2005 and at that time - it was the best driver I ever hit... I loved it... And everything about the club was amazing - from the removable weights to the sexy head cover... I thought it was the cats meow.  I could hit it regularly 250 to 260... With an occasional smash far beyond that... In this time frame... I actually got turned onto the Hogan 'Hawk' golf ball and played it for several years.  The reason was that it was a little more durable than the ProV's, cheaper on my pocket book - and I felt like they performed 'well enough' for my weekend golf habit to not have any setbacks by moving away from a #1 ball in golf.  And the most important thing to me was how they felt off my putter, and felt they performed quite well.

 

Fast forward to 2011/2012... I'm 5'9" and 157lbs.  I'm in pretty decent shape, and playing golf almost as much as I was back in the early to mid 90's, which is great.   And Iast Spring I saw the new R11 TP driver with the white paint and was like... Hmmm, I need to go check this driver out.  The first thing I noticed was how light the club felt in my hands as I was swinging it...  A very light shaft. And hitting on the Trackman monitors I was regularly carrying the ball 250 to 260 once it was tuned to the proper loft/lie/shaft... And running out another 10 to 15yds on average.  I bought it because I wanted to get back into the game again and was able to justify the price tag.  The ball I've been playing has been the TaylorMade Penta TP (2011 model) and Penta TP5 (2012 model). These golf balls are great all around balls... And I love the feel around the greens and definitely don't notice any distance issues.

 

If you look at my fingerprint on the golf game... I've changed golf balls and drivers (and golf shafts) over the course of time.  Knowing what I know now about the game... I would never go back to the old technology I was playing back in the early to mid 2000's.  And surely would never go back to what I was gaming in high school.  Maybe it's just me... But the technology of the game has definitely helped me get better.  And the advances in golf ball technology, shafts and now with the adjustability of the club itself with loft/lie... Matched with the technology to properly fit your club to your swing mechanics... I think you would be limiting your game if you didn't go out and take advantage of what is available.  

 

I believe it was Johnny Miller who said that in the past... Golf was all about tempo and trying to shape shots.  Now with todays technology - golfers are trying to swing as hard as they can (within reason) and they just over power the golf courses with their length.  And it isn't as much about shaping shots - but hitting it straight.  This is pretty true to some extent... I rarely find myself where I'm not able to just take a healthy swing at the ball off the tee, and have to worry about it finding the junk.  It just seems like I can make big swings and have sustained success with finding the short grass given the ease of hitting the TaylorMade R11 TP.

 

Will I go to the R11s?  I doubt it... I'll probably wait another couple of years before I do something again??  But I have hit the R11s and believe it's a very solid golf club.  But I haven't tried a lot of other drivers as I'm not in the market for one at the moment.

post #6 of 26

No, I don't think you'll start hitting it 300 buying a new driver. You might gain a few yards, but not 25. I can't tell you how much I've spent over the years on driver chasing a few extra yards and I guess that's like with all my hobbies, got to have the lastest and greatest to try to stay a step ahead of guys in my group. Well, I've found that I can only hit the ball so far, and the older I get that numer is not increasing. There are some drivers that I hit "better" and because of that they are longer than other drivers, but a 95mph swing will only hit the ball so far.

 

Just because your buying newer "technology" dosen't equal a better playing club. Go hit some different models and find one that you hit good, then work on your swing.

post #7 of 26

There isn't that much difference in heads now days. They can't exceed a CORE of 0.83 or get any bigger than 460 cc's. The big difference comes in the shaft. This is where it is important to find out what degree driver loft and flex of shaft work best for YOUR swing. A launch monitor with a KNOWLEDGABLE tech would be very illuminating for you, oh btw that would not be Dick's, GG or GS cuz from what I've seen, they don't know much.

 

Now I see you are hitting your driver 250-260. Whats wrong with that? That is longer than most ppl. However, its not necessarilly about distance, its about accuracy. A 300 yd drive in the rough or OB mite impress your friends, but it will kill your score. The longer the drive the more possible trouble you will find. Heck, if I want I can rip it 280, (which isn't bad for a 63 y o guy), but I loose accuracy, so I'm happy with 260 in the fairway and I still make it home in 2 on most par 5's b/c I love my 12.5* 3 wood.

post #8 of 26

I think you will find more length on a consistent basis with the newer drivers --  newer drivers are more forgiving, you can gain more length by better fitting and driver adjustability, and having a shaft fit to you.

 

good luck

post #9 of 26

For someone who played a Titliest 975D up till 2 years ago. I hit that 975D just as far as my ping G10, when i hit it dead center in the clubface. I hit the G10, farther on average because mishits go farther. The true advancement has been in club fitting, and shaft options, that right there will help you gain more distance because it lets you make better contact. basically were increasing your smash factor, not buy increasing the ball speed, but by how often you hit the club solid. 

post #10 of 26

I'm in a similar situation right now.  I have a Dunlop driver that came in a boxed set from WalMart in 1996, the set that I'm using to this day.  My driver currently gets me about 200-215 yards on the course.  I'm evaluating new club options and I've hit a few drivers at Dick's over the last few days.  I hit the TaylorMade Burner 2.0 today, and according to their monitor I was hitting 240-250 yards.  I have a decently low swing speed (~70-80 mph) which seems to give me more consistent results.  I'm close to buying a new driver and can't wait to take it out for a round.

post #11 of 26

Newer drivers will definitely add distance. They dont spend all that money on R&D to hit the ball the same as there last driver. A mate of mine who plays off +2 upgraded his old Titleist 905 driver to a D3 and he added at least 20m on the carry. He has not problem hitting it 300m, and Im not kidding. So technology will help. I have added about 10-15m overall from my MP600 driver to the Octane Tour I have now. I actually hit it longer on some miss hits than if I flush it out of the middle. 

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Stewart View Post

I'm in a similar situation right now.  I have a Dunlop driver that came in a boxed set from WalMart in 1996, the set that I'm using to this day.  My driver currently gets me about 200-215 yards on the course.  I'm evaluating new club options and I've hit a few drivers at Dick's over the last few days.  I hit the TaylorMade Burner 2.0 today, and according to their monitor I was hitting 240-250 yards.  I have a decently low swing speed (~70-80 mph) which seems to give me more consistent results.  I'm close to buying a new driver and can't wait to take it out for a round.


If you swing a driver at 80mph then you're never going to hit it 240 yards without wind or terrain assistance. But don't worry neither do many golfers.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't get a new driver but be very wary of any launch monitor promising you those sorts of distances. Here's a chart that is a good guide to the type of carry you can expect from different swing speeds:

 

http://www.swingspeedradar.com/distancevsswingspeed.html

 

 

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordan View Post


If you swing a driver at 80mph then you're never going to hit it 240 yards without wind or terrain assistance. But don't worry neither do many golfers.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't get a new driver but be very wary of any launch monitor promising you those sorts of distances. Here's a chart that is a good guide to the type of carry you can expect from different swing speeds:

 

http://www.swingspeedradar.com/distancevsswingspeed.html

 

 


Absolutely, and I'm very skeptical of any machine like that in a store trying to sell me the product in question. :)  I do think it will add distance for me, maybe not to 240-250, but definitely better than what I'm getting now.  My ~200 with my current driver is an estimate, as I'm not entirely sure how far I'm getting with it currently.

 

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Stewart View Post


Absolutely, and I'm very skeptical of any machine like that in a store trying to sell me the product in question. :)  I do think it will add distance for me, maybe not to 240-250, but definitely better than what I'm getting now.  My ~200 with my current driver is an estimate, as I'm not entirely sure how far I'm getting with it currently.

 



I am always skeptical of those machines at like golfsmith or any other store but actually i find the guys at golftec are pretty good, they give you a good and fair feedback and allow you to make a good decision when making this kind of purchase!

post #15 of 26

It is mostly hype but things have changed and much of what is out there is probably better technology than what you are currently playing.  It still comes down to the player.  What I don't get is guys who bought the "latest and greatest" two years ago and are buying this year's new hot clubs.  I see so many guys who are playing Taylor made white drivers who had the latest Taylor made two years ago.  It's stupid.  They are not gaining anything except lining someone's pockets with their cash.  That sole plate "adjustability" is garbage.  The same effect is achieved by simply rotating the club in your hands.  The shaft does make a difference in it's adjustability but frankly, why don't we set everything up pretty much square and learn to hit it correctly.  So all these gimmicks just make the market nuts.  And guys suck it up seemingly every year or so.  I played the original Callaway Big Bertha clubs for 17 years!  I've gone through a couple of drivers since then but settled on a driver that I went through an extensive fitting to get the best, most consistent shaft for me. I'm hitting it great and the only thing that's going to make me lose yards at this point is my age.  BTW, the most useful thing about the store monitors are if you are hitting one club better than another.  Don't put stock in the numbers generated.

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mymizunosrock View Post

Newer drivers will definitely add distance. They dont spend all that money on R&D to hit the ball the same as there last driver. 

Yes they do! Of course they do!

But they spend a lot of money on advertising to make people believe that they are "longer"

Most of us buy new drivers because spending money on golf gear is a fun hobby. Anyone who seriously expects major differences is a sucker.

 

 

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Stewart View Post


Absolutely, and I'm very skeptical of any machine like that in a store trying to sell me the product in question. :)  I do think it will add distance for me, maybe not to 240-250, but definitely better than what I'm getting now.  My ~200 with my current driver is an estimate, as I'm not entirely sure how far I'm getting with it currently.

 


The trick is to swing your previous driver in the monitor too.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

Yes they do! Of course they do!

But they spend a lot of money on advertising to make people believe that they are "longer"

Most of us buy new drivers because spending money on golf gear is a fun hobby. Anyone who seriously expects major differences is a sucker.

 

 


 

Spending money on new equipment is a fun hobby, agreed. Do the OEM's spend a lot of money on advertising so we'll part with more of ours? - for sure. But they do make improvements in technology that will help an average golfer.  Not from 1 model release to the next, but over a period of time, there will be.  The cumulative changes to the technology over, say a 5 or 6 year period should be noticeable. That's not to say you'll get a ton more yardage or anything like that, but you should get better results when you don't hit it on the screws.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Driver Technology: Actual Results vs. Actually Hype