2012 Buyer's Guide Drivers

This year's crop of new drivers is longer and lighter then ever

Labels: EquipmentDrivers
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VR_S Driver
Key Feature: Nike has implemented something they call NexCOR face technology in their new VR_S family. The multithickness face design in the driver helps players of all skills nuke their drives. An aerodynamic design makes the clubhead cut through the air like a knife through butter.
Who It's For: Players who want speed (hence the addition of the "S" in the name), and enjoy tinkering with Nike's adjustable STR8-FIT technology.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, 13°/HL) with a Nike Fubuki K graphite shaft.
nikegolf.com | $359
Key Feature: Are you ready to launch higher and longer tee shots? That's exactly what the G20 is made to do, with an external weight placed low in the back section of the sole. This lowers the CG tremendously, resulting in big, towering tee shots. Oh, and it's PING's most forgiving driver to boot. Thanks PING, golf just got a lot more fun! 
Who It's For: Mid- to high-handicappers who want a high trajectory and tremendous distance.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10°, 12°) with two stock PING TFC 169 graphite shaft options. (LH available)
ping.com | $299
Key Feature: Two strategically placed tungsten sole weights in the 460cc titanium head help position the club's CG low and deep and ramp up the MOI. What results is a forgiving clubface that mid- to low-handicappers can benefit from. Hey, name one good player who doesn't want to hit long, accurate drives? We sure can't.
Who It's For: Better golfers who like to hit long, workable, low-spinning shots with a penetrating trajectory.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (8.5°, 9.5° and 10°) and two stock shaft options. (LH available)
ping.com | $349
Air Force One DF
Key Feature: The only nitrogen-filled clubhead in golf. What does it do? Eliminates the need for internal bracing. That plus its extremely thin face (2.8 mm) add up to crazy long drives. Also features a face that's five millimeters taller than the previous iteration. This increase creates a more square face and reduces ball spin and produces longer drives.
Who It's For: Distance seekers who don't want to drop a ton of money on their next big stick.
Specs: comes with a proprietary Fujikura shaft.
powerbilt.com | $249
Power Play
Caiman X2 Driver
Key Feature: The second-generation Caiman driver uses an ultrathin crown and a unique shape (from behind, it actually resembles a caiman crocodile) to bolster the club's forgiveness and raw power. And by the way, it's one of the best bargains for a driver that we've ever seen. It's forgiving both off the tee, and in your wallet.
Who It's For: Average golfers who want a slick, black driver that yields high-launch/low-spin drives.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (9°, 10.5°, 12°) with a stock graphite shaft or virtually any type of custom option.
hirekogolf.com | $105
Key Feature: Changes from the first R11 include two more settings on its Adjustable Sole Plate and a 3° FCT sleeve. Last year's most-talked-about driver just became the most adjustable big stick in golf. And, yes, it's still white, still long and still very popular.
Who It's For: People who love to dial in their drivers and dig the easy-to-align white-crown/black-face combo.
Specs: Comes in 9°, 10.5° and 12° versions, 460cc and 45.75 inches. Aldila RIP Phenom 60 shaft (four flexes available). TP version available, too.
taylormadegolf.com | $399/$499


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