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.


Step 4: Consider Offset
Most players slice or fade the ball; probably 85% or more of you fall into this category. Rather than aiming your drive down the left side of the fairway or rough and hoping that the ball will curve back 10 to 20 yards, you might want to check out an offset driver. Sure, the club will probably look “funny” to you when you first try it, but a few straight drives may make you a convert.

Most offset drivers have closed face angles to further help a slicer hit the ball straighter. Some even have added weights in the heel to help the club rotate closed toward impact. If you haven’t tried an offset club, or if you thought such clubs were for poor players, you might be pleasantly surprised. Joe Giles, a 25-year PGA Teaching Professional and co-owner of Granville Golfland in Ohio, is sold on offset clubs to help many players. “Offset drivers sell themselves,” says Giles. “Here at Golfland, offset drivers are the fastest-selling models. Once a player hits a few shots and sees the results, they’re sold! I’d highly recommend offset for most average golfers.”

Jeff Jackson Step 5: Get A Grip
When was the last time you looked at the grip on your driver? The grip is the only place you have direct contact with the club. Making sure the grip is clean, tacky and properly sized can only help improve your driving. If you weren’t fitted for your current grips, chances are they’re too small. Standard-sized grips are what most manufacturers use, but the hands of golfers aren’t necessarily “standard.” If grips are the right size, the club is less likely to twist during the swing, and less twist means better accuracy and more fairways hit. There are literally hundreds of different grips on the market, most of which can be sized to fit your hands. If you don’t like the feel of your current driver grip, be sure to check out the different compounds, colors, types and sizes as you complete your driver selection.

By thinking smarter and taking stock of your driver, your scores are sure to come down. Test-drive a few of the new clubs under the watchful eye of an equipment professional and you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. It’s then that your driving record will indeed be the envy of everyone at your club!

Jeff Jackson is the director of marketing for Tour Golf (www.tourgolfproducts.com).

Wilson Staff Dd6
www.wilsonstaff.com
(800) 469-4576 | $279

Wilson Staff dd6 Energy transfer is emphasized for more yards with the same effort.
Features: A well-shaped, all-titanium, supersized head with a unique reinforced frame to not only support the club, but to direct energy from impact back to the face for increased ball velocity. Tungsten weighting both deepens and lowers the CG to help the golfer produce the high-launch parameters needed for big drives.
Advantages: Distance-minded performance that delivers on its promise.
Benefits: Mid- to high-handicapped golfers. Skilled players are better served by the titanium/carbon and sleeker-sized Pd6.
What We Like: We’ve been big fans of the Nano Tech shaft since its debut last year.
Lineup: Dd6, Pd6 (Df5 woods also available)
Clubhead: Titanium (cast)
Clubface: Same
Volume: 460cc
Loft(s): 8.5°, 10°, 11°, 13° (no LH)
Shaft(s): Staff Nano Tech graphite (S, R, A)

Wishon 949 MC
www.twgolftech.com
(800) 470-0072 | $329

Wishon 949 MC Copper returns, this time as an added weight for optimum launch conditions and better control.
Features: The crown and skirt areas of the 949 MC are CNC-machined thinner to position weight more toward the heel, toe and rear of the clubhead. The forged variable-thickness cupface is tremendously forgiving, even of mis-hits up to an inch away from the sweet spot.
Advantages: Subtle weight-saving techniques mean not-so-subtle distance and control.
Benefits: All players on the 460cc bandwagon will appreciate one of Tom Wishon’s best drivers.
What We Like: Great looks aside, this driver has amazing feel and balance, plus it’s milled.
Lineup: 949 MC, 915CFE, 715CLC
Clubhead: Titanium (milled)
Clubface: Beta-titanium (forged)
Volume: 400cc, 460cc Loft(s): 9°, 10.5° (no LH)
Shaft(s): Wishon Series 9RT graphite (S,R)

Yonex Cyberstar Nanospeed
www.yonex.com
(800) 44-YONEX | $449

Yonex Cyberstar Nanospeed The graphite-crown driver takes a technological leap, thanks to new innovative Yonex materials.
Features: Nano-engineered carbon (Fullerene) is used for the crown.
The carbon fibers are tightly fused together with less resin, which results in a thinner and lighter—yet stronger—structure. The saved weight is gobbled up by a tungsten sole weight for a low, deep CG.
Advantages: High launch with less spin, plus a potential increase in swing speed. The unique shaft also employs Fullerene as well as Elastic Ti in the kickpoint for greater energy transfer.
Benefits: A high-performance driver for all.
What We Like: Yonex’s promise of 5% more clubhead speed.
Lineup: Cyberstar Nanospeed, Cyberstar CT
Clubhead: Titanium (cast), Fullerene (nano carbon)
Clubface: Titanium (cast)
Volume: 460cc
Loft(s): 9°, 10.5°, 12° (available LH)
Shaft(s): Yonex Nanospeed graphite (X, S, R, A, L)
 



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