Are New Drivers Really Better? Let´s have a closer look!
1. Pluggedin.com test
Myth #1: New drivers are longer than old drivers
Myth #2: New drivers are more accurate than old drivers
Myth #3: New drivers are more forgiving than old drivers
So what did they found…
”Unsurprisingly, we found that new drivers are significantly longer than old drivers. When looking at the group average, the modern driver was 30 yards ahead of the persimmon driver and 13 yards ahead of the driver from the 90’s”
”Interestingly, the modern driver was edged out by our 2000’s driver. There are a couple reasons for this. First, the modern driver’s average was hurt by a couple of truly awful mishits. Second, the shaft in the 2000’s driver was, overall, a better fit for our test group. Our test group had a number of very strong players who really preferred the heavier, stiffer shaft. This further evidences something we say often: if you get fit for the right club and shaft, you can keep it for years.”
”While common sense certainly tells us that modern, high MOI drivers should be substantially more accurate than older drivers, our small sample size did not provide the data to confirm this fully. Overall, the dispersion from the 2000’s and modern drivers was better than that of the 1990’s and persimmon clubs, but some of our testers showed great accuracy with the older clubs. There’s something to be said for the focus that a tiny persimmon head commands.
”Though our small sample size doesn’t provide overwhelming data, and some of our “proof” is anecdotal, we believe it’s fair to say that modern drivers are substantially more forgiving than old drivers. Of course, we know it’s fair to say this based on measurements like MOI, but we can also support it with what we saw in the testing.
”The next time you see an ad touting the latest driver as being the longest ever, remember what you’ve seen here: a driver that’s nearly 10 years old went toe-to-toe with the best driver of the year because of a well-fit shaft. It’s true that drivers do improve every year, but the improvements are gradual. If you want to really see a jump in performance, get fit for the best head and shaft combination, then play it until it falls apart.”
2. MyGolfSpy Labs: Persimmon vs. Your Titanium Driver
Written By: Andrew Rice
”What advantage does modern driver technology actually provide the golfer over a steel shafted persimmon club?”
- Driver data was collected for 8 golfers (6 males and 2 females)
- 2 golfers had swing speeds in the 70’s, 2 in the 80’s, 2 in the 90’s and 2 in the 100’s
- Each golfer hit series of shots with their own driver and another with the persimmon driver
- Any shots that had a total distance variance of greater than 25% from the norm (all shorter) were eliminated and replayed
- Golfers would hit 2 shots with their own, 2 with the persimmon, 2 with their own, until we had collected enough shots for each
- We used new Titleist NXT Tour Practice golf balls and the data was normalized
- Handicaps ranged from Professional (plus) to 15 and included a golfer that has played in the Senior US Open, a former General, a Ladies Club Champion, a girls junior golfer, a teaching pro and a former CEO
”The primary point of interest for me was that all the golfers had drivers that were, not surprisingly, physically longer than the persimmon club (yes, even the ladies) and all their shaft weights were lighter than the heavy steel shaft in the persimmon club, says Andrew.”
”Calculating yards per mile per hour – the modern drivers hit the ball 2.50 yards per mph, while the wooden club hits the ball 2.44 yards per mph. Also keep in mind that the persimmon club was not ”fitted” to any of the test subjects nor had any of them ever hit a shot with the club before.”
”In my opinion this could easily account for the relatively small differences in yards per mph. In fact if the modern titanium clubs were of similar length and weight relative to the wooden club thus resulting in the same club speed the average tee shot would have traveled 202.8 yards – less than five yards longer! Andrew Rice goes on in his article.
”So what can you take from this? No, I don’t want you digging around the garage to find that old MacGregor Tourney driver you had, but I do want to be clear on the following:
- The length of your driver should be a length that you can swing fast and control. The next time you get fitted please try shafts of different lengths.
- The weight of the shaft in your driver shouldn’t be extreme – not overly heavy (90+ grams) or overly light (less than 45 grams).
- With regard to the performance of titanium, it’s the not the material itself, but rather what that material makes possible from an engineering standpoint. Titanium allows for lighter and longer shafts and larger, more forgiving heads.
- Physics makes the ball GO! Higher launch (commensurate with your club speed) and lower spin (1900 rpm – 2400 rpm) work very well, no matter what club you’re hitting.
- A well positioned strike on the clubface will do wonders for both your distance and control.
”If you’re a competitive golfer I would encourage you to find an older, small-headed driver to practice with. Wood or metal it doesn’t matter. It will help you hone in on making a centered strike on the tee ball on a more regular basis.”
”Good driving is less about the club and more about how you deliver the club to the ball.”
”Find a club that works for you and then work towards getting the most out of it. The club – titanium or wood – makes less of a difference than you might think”, Andrew gives his tip in the end.
3. My own small driver test, year 2015 – old against new!
I have had a Cobra AMP Cell with Smart Pad for couple of years. It has been adjusted to 9,5 degrees loft with my Pro and FC2 launch monitor.
First year I used it with Cobra´s own shaft, but changed this summer to OZIK white tie (55 R).
I have never been a ”big hitter”, so this shaft gave me better launch angle, and a bit more accuracy. At October I had a chance to test Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver with OZIK red tie (65 R).
The last few rounds 2015 I played with this club (10,5 loft) and shaft – and have to admit, that I may become a Callaway fan in future – at least when it comes to drivers. This driver feels much better, has a solid launch. And what´s best, even light misshits give satisfying results. It is interesting to make hits with this to FC2 next season, and compare results to Cobra.