Originally Posted by RealtorDC
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.