2012 Buyer's Guide Drivers

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

Labels: EquipmentDrivers
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Key Feature: From master marketer TaylorMade comes the latest club everybody's talking about. While you might not believe it's called RocketBallz, you may just find yourself saying the name every time you nut one deep into the fairway. Expect some huge distance, folks.
Who It's For: Budget-minded golfers who like a white, 460cc, tunable driver, but not the price of the R11S.
Specs: 300 grams but with a slightly higher swing weight. 46 inches, three lofts (9.5°, 10.5° and HL) and a Matrix Ozik Xcon-5 shaft. Comes in a Tour version, too.
taylormadegolf.com | $299
PowerPod II
Key Feature: The PowerPod II is Jim Flood's latest masterpiece, and this iteration features a unique, deep-faced design. It's designed for maximum slice removal and distance, thanks to a huge clubface, internal weighting and a more upright lie angle.
Who It's For: All types of players, especially those who struggle with hitting slices.
Specs: Comes in a 10.5° loft, with a UST Proforce V2 graphite shaft (S, R). Left-hand available.
tigersharkgolf.com | $249
Key Feature: No new drivers from Titleist this year except a loft and shaft addition to the D2 model, which is a fuller, pear-shaped driver that has an adjustable hosel for a custom fit. It also has loads of internal weighting for an optimized high-launch/low-spin ballflight. This is the most accessible, easy-to-hit driver we've seen from Titleist. The ball flies high and far, without ballooning.
Who It's For: Moderate to better players.
Specs: Four lofts, including the new 12°, and an ultralightweight Mitsubishi Bassara W shaft (50g).
titleist.com | $399
Key Feature: The slightly smaller, slightly more pear-shaped D3 produces an even more boring and penetrating flight than the D2. Otherwise, it has much of the same technology. It's the most workable of the two Titleist drivers. It's quite forgiving and long, too.
Who It's For: Golfers with faster swing speeds and who want a lower spin rate and modest trajectory.
Specs: Available in three lofts, 8.5°, 9.5° and 10.5°, with a wide variety of graphite shafts to choose from, including a new, ultralight Mitsubishi Bassara W shaft.
titleist.com | $399
Tour Edge
Exotics XCG-5
Distance DrivenKey Feature: Want a light driver? Here's one. The XCG-5 weighs a mere 271 grams. Its thin beta-titanium crown made that possible, plus it improved its sound. What we liked was its larger clubface—12% larger actually from the previous iteration. That makes for a huge sweet spot!
Who It's For: Anybody can benefit from the advancements in the XCG-5, but it's particularly beneficial for golfers who like light drivers and added clubhead speed.
Specs: Three shaft options, including ultra light or super ultra light, all at 45.75 inches! Three lofts: 9°, 10.5° and 12°.
touredge.com | $330
Tour Edge
Bazooka HT Max
Key Feature: Its sloped crown and aerodynamic shape reduce drag and improve airflow. Look for two weight cavities in the rear sole. This moves weight back to the heel and toe for stability.
Who It's For: Budget-minded weekend warriors with high handicaps and slow swing speeds. This driver has a lot of forgiveness and advantages of premium sticks, but at half the price. It's super easy to hit higher drives.
Specs: 46-inch, 50g Aldila NV shaft in standard and draw versions. Four lofts available, including HL (15°).
touredge.com | $150


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