Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Driver Tech 101
High M.O.I. Rules
For example, Callaway uses Fusion Technology—a marriage of a titanium alloy cup face, a carbon-composite body and tiny, tin-bismuth alloy weights—to create a larger MOI than you’d get in an all-titanium club. “In real physics terms, MOI has an effect on two things regarding the behavior of the golf ball: It enhances ball speed on an off-center hit and it also affects ball spin, which affects the curvature of the flight,” says Hocknell.
TaylorMade combines high MOI characteristics in its latest r7 Superquad drivers with its Inverted Cone Technology, which is essentially a thicker area CNC-milled into the clubhead’s sweet spot on the underside of the clubface. Together, the two concepts, plus the movable weights, collectively create what the company terms a higher effective MOI, which the company claims is a truer way of comparing drivers because it accounts for the combined benefits of both technologies. “Look at the ball velocity generated from off-center shots,” says Dr. Benoit Vincent, chief technical officer at TaylorMade Golf. “If the face was a constant thickness, it would deliver very little ball velocity.” But if that same driver had the Inverted Cone Technology, it would significantly increase MOI and generate extra ball speed—equating to more distance. Bottom line, says Vincent: “High MOI helps retain ball speed on mis-hits, as does our cone technology. The benefit of both combined is better than either one individually.”
Cobra Golf mills and laser welds a rhombus-shaped ring to the underside of its driver clubfaces for a similar effect. The rhombus is thicker in the center and thinner on the outside, and is angled to help fortify the contact point most golfers make with the ball at impact, according to Todd Colburn, Cobra’s director of global marketing. “It helps golfers get more ball speed,” says Colburn. “We’re focused on keeping the clubface large: The larger the face, the higher the COR across the face and the longer golfers can hit the ball from more of the face.”
There are still other ways companies are helping you get better drives: Several have built draw bias into their drivers, weighting them to help you fight slices and enhance the draw. Many drivers also have shafts specifically developed with the clubhead, to maximize performance and optimize ballflight.
So be open-minded to the latest drivers, regardless of how they look. You never know what form your personal tee box Utopia will take.
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