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My Driver Search - 2023


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As I stated elsewhere on this forum, I’ve been using Taylor Made drivers for at least the past 20 years and my M3 is five-years old so I wanted to see if there would be a notable improvement by updating so instead of hijacking someone else’s thread, I thought I’d start a new one. For those in a similar position what follows may be helpful. Or, there may be some who, like me, like to delve into the minutiae of Trackman data, so a summation of what I’ve tested so far is on the attached spreadsheet and may (or may not) be interesting. If anyone has a more in depth understanding of the relationship between clubhead speed, attack angle, launch angle and spin, feel free to comment. I learned a lot during my fitting (Golf Galaxy – the guy really knows his stuff!) and I’m not done yet.

Over the course of two sessions a couple of days apart, I hit 12 shots with each club in a different order, eliminated the two worst and averaged the rest, summarized on the spreadsheet. Sadly, my old M3 is in last place. The leader of the pack (so far) is the Titleist TSR3 with the 10-degree head on a C4 setting instead of the normal A1. I have a normal draw and the C4 setting, in addition to raising the loft ¾ of a degree, introduces a bit of a fade bias and indeed, the draw straightened out a bit and I did hit the ball a little higher.  (Another benefit of getting fitted.)

I found out a few things about my golf and my swing that sort of surprised me. I’m not done yet as there are still a couple of more shafts I want to go back and try. With the exception of the Tour Ad UB-6, all of the shafts tested were available from the various companies with no up-charge. The UB-6 is an additional $250 and based on the numbers, I don’t think it’s worth the extra bucks.

The number one thing that surprised me was that I hit my driver too low. I’ve learned that for those of us with average, or slightly below-average club-head speeds, we would benefit from hitting the ball higher and thus carry the ball a bit more. Unless we’re playing on a hot summer day or on an impeccably groomed dry fairway that will produce lots of roll-out, we, or at least I will hit the ball farther if I increase launch angle. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do - without messing up my swing. Spin factors in also and I learned that for each clubhead speed there’s an optimal launch angle and spin that we should be trying to achieve. (Easier said than done.) I’m also vacillating between a stiff and regular shaft, but since I’m 73 years old and my swing is not getting any faster, I’m leaning towards the regular flex. I think the ball will launch higher as well.

So far, I really like the TSR3, specifically the way the ball feels coming of the clubface. It’s very noticeable. The Cobra was impressive as well.  The carbon faced Stealth just feels odd. Not bad… just different, softer maybe? And by the way, I also tried (briefly) the new Ping G430 and the Callaway Paradigm, but was not particularly impressed with either and didn’t bother with testing. I’ll narrow the remaining choices down even further over the next week or so and hopefully reach a decision and place my order…soon.

To be continued…

Driver Search.pdf

Driver, 3W & 4 Hybrid: 2018 :tmade: M3 
Irons: 2020 :titleist: T300
Wedges: 2012 :callaway: XTour 56o & 2021 Jaws 60o

Putter: :odyssey: Marxman (Mallet) / :tmade: Juno (Blade) plus 7 or 8 others in a barrel in my basement

 

 

 

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The data you shared is great, but IMO it only tells part of the story. The numbers you presented for the top 10 are all very similar.

Do you have all of the Trackman data? Specifically lateral dispersion of each option and the standard deviations for each of those metrics you already included?

Averages can sometimes be deceiving, as a 204 and 206 carry will show an average of 205, but a 220 and a 190 will also show an average carry of 205.

Lateral dispersion is important too because if the first option you have listed has a lateral dispersion of say 75 yds from the furthest left to the furthest right one but that TSR2 thats in the "middle" of the pack in pure carry yards has a lateral dispersion of say 60 yds, IMO it'd be 100% worth it to have a 15 yd tighter dispersion at the expense of only 2.5 yds of carry.

Driver: :callaway: Epic Flash Sub Zero
Woods:  :ping: G425 3Wood:ping: G410 3 Hybrid
Irons: :tmade: P770 (4-PW)
Wedges: :callaway: MD3 50   MD5 54 58 degree  
Putter: :scotty_cameron:  2018 Select Fastback
Ball: :tmade: TP5x

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

Do you have all of the Trackman data? Specifically lateral dispersion of each option and the standard deviations for each of those metrics you already included?

saw all the lateral dispersion data but didn't retain it since nothing jumped out that indicated any one option resulted in a tighter dispersion than another, even when I switched between regular and stiff shafts. Keeping the ball straight has never been that much of a problem for me but when I return for round 2, I'm definitely going to be paying more attention and make sure the fitter includes all that data in the printout.

Driver, 3W & 4 Hybrid: 2018 :tmade: M3 
Irons: 2020 :titleist: T300
Wedges: 2012 :callaway: XTour 56o & 2021 Jaws 60o

Putter: :odyssey: Marxman (Mallet) / :tmade: Juno (Blade) plus 7 or 8 others in a barrel in my basement

 

 

 

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If your lateral dispersion was the same or similar between the various options then I would go with the one that you like the most, assuming that the standard deviation on it is relatively small or in line with the rest of them that you tried. The numbers you provided between the top 10 or so are so similar that much beyond that is simply going to come down to the fact that we aren't robots and there will naturally be some variation in our swing, delivery, strike, etc. I don't think you can really go wrong with any of those top 10 options

Driver: :callaway: Epic Flash Sub Zero
Woods:  :ping: G425 3Wood:ping: G410 3 Hybrid
Irons: :tmade: P770 (4-PW)
Wedges: :callaway: MD3 50   MD5 54 58 degree  
Putter: :scotty_cameron:  2018 Select Fastback
Ball: :tmade: TP5x

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With that angle of attack, and your swing speed you want to see around 15 degrees of launch, and 2400 rpm spin. Maybe look at going with more loft on the driver, but also look at a lower spinning driver. Your top one was 14 degrees of launch, but 2900 rpm. That might have included a mishit in there. 1.43 smash versus 1.47 on others. If you get that same launch, and lower the spin rate 500. You probably see a bit more out of it. 

 

 

"A good conversation is not designed to win the argument. It is designed to enjoy the exchange."

Matt "Dough", P.E.
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What's in My Bag
Driver: :callaway: GBB Epic,  3-Wood: 
:titleist: 917h3 ,  Hybrid:  :titleist: 915 2-Hybrid,  Irons: :srixon: (4-PW)
Wedges:
:edel: Trapper (52, 56, 60),  Putter: :edel:,  Ball: :snell: MTB,  Shoe: :true_linkswear:,  Rangfinder: :bushnell: Tour V2

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I did another mini-round of testing this afternoon adding the Callaway Paradym (not sure about the spelling) into the mix. The Callaway reps happened to be in the store when I was there. (What can I say, they gave me a hat!)  They took a look at my swing and maybe based on my age, set me up with a 50-gram regular shaft resulting in 92mph avg. clubhead speed, 132mph ball speed, 2765 spin and a launch angle of 14.5˚ = 206 yd carry, just slightly behind the two TSR's. Dispersion was the best of the bunch, +- 14.7 feet, again based on the 10 best shots out of 12 but in reality, the two worst weren't all that bad. I was really impressed with the club.

The best thing I was able to do today was to convince myself that spending an extra $250 for a premium shaft is probably not necessary. I could drive myself crazy doing this so to in order to avoid paralysis by analysis I'm narrowing it down to the Titleist TSR-2 & TSR-3 and adding the Paradym into the mix for the final three.

I hope to conclude this sometime next week and when I do, will publish the results and the data here.

 

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Driver, 3W & 4 Hybrid: 2018 :tmade: M3 
Irons: 2020 :titleist: T300
Wedges: 2012 :callaway: XTour 56o & 2021 Jaws 60o

Putter: :odyssey: Marxman (Mallet) / :tmade: Juno (Blade) plus 7 or 8 others in a barrel in my basement

 

 

 

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