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Thoughts on building vs. buying a new driver

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've been thumbing through the latest Golf Digest Hot List of drivers for 2014 - dangerous stuff!  My takeaway is that manufacturers are going for less/easier adjustments and promoting forgiveness and high launch.  Do we really need 86 ways to screw up a driver?  I find it frustrating how quickly the focus of new technology changes, leaving me feeling out of date.  Kind'a like Apple hyping an iProduct and then releasing a slightly better version 2 weeks later!   After reviewing the hot list, I'm developing a new thought about "custom fitting" a driver - would I be better off building a driver to my specs or getting fit (lot's of swings at golf shop into net and choosing which one I like the best) and buying off the rack?

 

Here is a list of thoughts about a driver head that would suit my needs...

 

1. minimal adjustability - I made on adjustment on my R1 - loft, everything else is stock

2. square to slightly closed at address

3. medium to large sized head for workability and some forgiveness

4. COG designed for medium ball launch and low spin

5. face construction that will last?  I'm concerned that my R1's adjustable face technology may result in the face going flat sooner than others.  As long as I have something that's "hot" and durable, I'm good.

6. prefer black in color with some alignment aid

7. feel and sound at impact is personal. I like the sound of Titleist, my R1 and my former Ping i15.  All have/had a solid feel and somewhat muted pop at impact.  

 

I purchased an R1 at the end of last year.  I don't plan to make a driver change (thoughts creeping in), but a shaft change may be in order.  Afterall, isn't it the shaft that makes the club?  I talked with a club fitter and they informed me good aftermarket shafts will easily run $300!  With new drivers costing $300-$500, how good is the shaft?  What am I paying for - the head or the shaft?  If it's the head, then how cheap is the shaft?  This particular fitter lead me to believe stock shafts are very budget oriented - maybe worth $75 - $100.  That means low tech compared to the $300 model, right?

 

Armed with this information, I'm opening myself up to considering building a driver.  Driver heads are abundant and used ones can be purchased somewhat inexpensively.  Hard part will be finding somewhere that has a large inventory of shafts.  First, the driver head... any suggestions, old or new, that would fit my specs/needs?  Thanks

 

amac

post #2 of 3

If you're going to build a driver, I would suggest you figure out your "recipe" for your ideal driver first. Then, get the components and build it.

 

Otherwise, you'll end up with a pile of parts and no driver.

 

I've thought about assembling a personal club shop, but lack of space to put the equipment is the big drawback.

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac View Post
 

I've been thumbing through the latest Golf Digest Hot List of drivers for 2014 - dangerous stuff!  

 

I purchased an R1 at the end of last year.  I don't plan to make a driver change (thoughts creeping in), but a shaft change may be in order.  Afterall, isn't it the shaft that makes the club?  I talked with a club fitter and they informed me good aftermarket shafts will easily run $300!  With new drivers costing $300-$500, how good is the shaft?  What am I paying for - the head or the shaft?  If it's the head, then how cheap is the shaft?  This particular fitter lead me to believe stock shafts are very budget oriented - maybe worth $75 - $100.  That means low tech compared to the $300 model, right?

 

Armed with this information, I'm opening myself up to considering building a driver.  Driver heads are abundant and used ones can be purchased somewhat inexpensively.  Hard part will be finding somewhere that has a large inventory of shafts.  First, the driver head... any suggestions, old or new, that would fit my specs/needs?  Thanks

 

amac

 

I honestly like golf.com more for equipment reviews, at least to see what is new. They add in a lot of other brands, and their reviews are a bit more in depth. Of course you can go to blogs as well. I think they have the best reviews overall. 

 

As for the shafts. A lot of drivers have water down versions of the original after market shafts. 

 

Its the shaft + the clubhead that make the club. I could take a shaft put two different club heads on it and get totally different results. 

 

Also shafts you pay for brand as well. Some shafts that run 75-150 dollars could fit you just as well as a 300 dollar shaft. I think the $300 dollar shaft might end up being slightly more soft in feeling (Feel better at impact), but in the numbers you wont see that big of a difference. Heck a ton of golfers still play the Proforce V2, and that is a very boardie shaft (stiff and less responsive). 

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