Drivers Buyer's Guide 2006
The modern driver can hold the contents of a 16-ounce can of soda and, with its heightened technology, offers much more pop than that. Check out the newest big sticks and find one that fits your game.
| Mizuno MX-500 |
(800) 966-1211 | $299
Stretching 460cc in total size, the MX-500 stacks up with the best drivers in the titanium/composite category.
Features: A large carbon crown and a unique carbon toe insert take perimeter weighting to the extreme while promoting a high launch with optimal spin rates not only from the sweet spot, but also from high, low and toward the left and right of the face center.
Advantages: No matter where it’s hit on the face (designed with Mizuno’s renowned CORTEC technology), expect great results.
Benefits: Billed as a game-improvement driver, the MX-500 is a solid performer for all players.
What We Like: The price—weren’t elite carbon/ti models $400 a year ago?
Lineup: F-50 fairway woods also available
Clubhead: Titanium (cast), Carbon
Clubface: Titanium (forged)
Loft(s): 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5° (9.5°, 10.5° available LH)
Shaft(s): Mizuno Exsar 50 graphite (S, R)
Nike Golf SasQuatch 460
| Perfect Club Perfect Driver|
(866) 843-0260 | $200
The Perfect Clubs represent an unconventional approach to standard equipment. The Perfect Driver is 2.5 inches shorter than a standard-length driver to help golfers hit more fairways, as well as to make the club more versatile.
Features: The high-tensile, beta-titanium crown, titanium soleplate and variable face technology produce plenty of distance and forgiveness with a high trajectory.
Advantages: The stock shaft, which is the only option available, has a low 3.2-degree torque rating to minimize excessive twisting on off-center hits. A new Ladies version as well as Perfect Spoon and fairway woods also available.
Benefits: Anyone who desires almost-automatic accuracy needs a Perfect Club.
Lineup: Perfect Driver, Perfect Ladies
Clubhead: Titanium (cast)
Clubface: Beta-Titanium (cast)
Loft(s): 11.5° (available LH)
Shaft(s): Perfect Driver graphite (S, R)
| PING G5|
(800) 4-PING-FIT | $299
The new G5 driver—easily one of our favorites.
Features: Eight grams of weight are repositioned low and away from the face to help promote a high-launch, low-spin ballflight.
Advantages: The thick/thin web pattern in the crown and internal weight pads solve the low-CG location problem. Add to that a thin, milled face that’s robotically plasma-welded to the body, and even more weight is saved and moved to the basement. It’s very impressive stuff that works.
Benefits: The G5 covers the entire spectrum of skill levels. Higher-handicap golfers take note that most lofts are available in an offset version.
What We Like: The all-around great performance.
Lineup: G5 (G5 fairway woods also available)
Clubhead: Titanium (cast)
Clubface: Titanium (milled)
Loft(s): 7.5°, 9°, 9° o/s, 10.5°, 10.5° o/s, 12°, 12° o/s, 13.5° (9°, 10.5°, 12°, 13.5° LH)
Shaft(s): PING TFC, Aldila NV or Grafalloy ProLaunch graphite (X, S, R)
(888) 4-SRIXON | $399
With the W-506, Srixon once again debuts technological breakthroughs that translate into heightened performance.
Features: Srixon varies thickness in not only the face, but the backwall and sole as well.
Advantages: The design stems from the company’s Recoil Theory, which states that deformation all around the clubhead (thanks to the thickness differences) forces the ball to remain in contact with the face for a longer period of time. The result: high launch, less spin.
Benefits: Skilled golfers will like the classy aesthetics and Tour-quality performance.
Higher-handicappers will appreciate the Autoturn feature, which promotes a squarer clubface.
What We Like: Optimal launch with a good dose of forgiveness.
Lineup: W-506, W-403AD
Clubhead: Titanium (forged)
Loft(s): 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5° (no LH)
Shaft(s): Srixon SV-3004 graphite (S, R)