2008 Driver Buyer’s Guide

The driver is unquestionably the most popular club in the bag.

2008 Drivers Buyer's GuideSometimes nothing beats hitting a drive on the screws, right down the middle. For you youngsters, "hitting it on the screws" is an old, but literal saying that harkens back a whopping 20 years to when golfers used persimmon heads with screws that held the clubface together. These days, things sure have changed. Drivers don't have screws in the front, instead you'll sometimes find them in the back and to the sides. In other models, you'll find carbon, titanium, tungsten and steel, all designed to serve a particular purpose, which is to help you hit the ball farther and straighter than ever. Drivers used to be feared because they were hard to hit, and now some argue that drivers are the easiest club in the bag to hit. Either way, driver technology has soared the last couple of years, and 2008 is chock-full of options that cater to virtually anyone. Better yet, some drivers are customizable, which allows you, the golfer, to control how your club reacts to the ball and what kind of shot shape the driver will produce. Our advice is to read the following pages and be sure and try a few before you make a purchase. Having a driver that fits you will make all the difference.

Understanding Our Charts
Key Features: What distinguishes this driver from the rest.
What We Like: We have our preferences, too. Basically, what impressed us in our review.
Who It's For: The type of player this driver is made for.
Clubhead: The material used for head construction.
Clubface: Indicates the material used for the strike area.
Lofts: The lofts available in right-handed models. Left-handed models vary and can be found on each equipment manufacturer's website.
Custom Options: Whether or not custom options are available. This includes shafts, grips, weights, etc.
Shafts: The stock graphite offerings from the manufacturer. Other shafts may be available.



Adams Insight XTD Key

Feature:
The square shape comes in two models, one for golfers who want the utmost in stability and distance (a3), the other for those who want all that but are chronic slicers (a30S). Both models have a deep CG for a high, mid-spin trajectory.
What We Like: The two options are a good call, but what really sets this driver apart is the stock Aldila DVS shaft.
Who It's For: Mid- to high-handicappers.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast) " Clubface: Same (forged) " Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 (a3); 9.5, 10.5, 12.5, HL " Shafts: Aldila DVS graphite (X, S, R, A)
adamsgolf.com | $349


Bridgestone J33R 460
Key Feature: The all-titanium design features a tungsten weight low and deep in the clubhead for a higher MOI and deepened CG. The clubface is also perfectly square.
What We Like: This is an elite 460cc driver that reaps huge rewards for players who tend to fight a ballooning, high ballflight. We also dig its clean, traditional looks.
Who It's For: Players with moderate to fast swings; players who don't need a closed clubface to keep the ball in play.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast) " Clubface: Same Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 Shafts: Aldila NV graphite (X, S, R)
bridgestonegolf.com | $399


Callaway Hyper X Key

Feature: The face has a variable thickness, in the shape of an X, resulting in an enhanced sweet spot and greater distance. It has the biggest hitting area of any Callaway driver.
What We Like: By far the best-looking driver at address we've seen from Callaway. The hyperbolic face design helps where golfers miss the most: high on the toe and low on the heel.
Who It's For: All golfers. The Tour version is also available, which features a square face.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast) " Clubface: Same Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 Shafts: Tour Model: Fujikura Fit-On E-360 (S, R); Reg Model: Golf Fit-On X by Fujikura (S, R, A)
callawaygolf.com | $299



Callaway FT-5

Key Feature: This holdover from last year is among Callaway's best ever. The carbon material is paired perfectly with strategic internal weight and a titanium face.
What We Like: The OptiFit System makes finding the right driver easy; I-MIX Technology allows you to change shafts on the spot.
Who It's For: Three models (neutral, fade and draw) accommodate players across the spectrum. The Tour version is handy for better sticks.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast), carbon " Clubface: Titanium (forged) " Custom Options: Yes Lofts: 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 13 " Shafts: Fujikura E-150 graphite (S, R, A)
callawaygolf.com | $429


Callaway FT-i

Key Feature: The cubic shape positions weight as far back from the clubface and to the sides as possible, resulting in a high MOI.
What We Like: The shape, which is favorable to the eye and really helps with aiming at setup. OptiFit and I-MIX Technologies!
Who It's For: All players seeking straighter drives will appreciate the forgiveness and distance of the FT-i. Better players: go for the Tour.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast), carbon " Clubface: Titanium (forged) " Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 11, 13HT (9.5, 10, 11 available LH) " Shafts: Fujikura Speeder 586 and 686 (X, S, R, A, L)
callawaygolf.com | $499


Cleveland HiBORE XLS

Key Feature: The inverted crown has been reworked, redesigned and re-engineered, making the HiBORE XLS among the best new drivers in '08. Plus, the clubface is 17-percent bigger.
What We Like: The two shaft options, the offset version and the open-faced Tour version for better players.
Who It's For: Players of all skill levels who want to get the ball airborne in a hurry.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast) " Clubface: Titanium (forged) " Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12.5 " Shafts: Fit-On M Gold graphite (mid/high launch) & Fit-On M Red graphite (low/mid launch) (X, S, R, A). Both by Fujikura.
clevelandgolf.com | $399



Cobra Speed LD F

Key Feature: Limit Dimensions, which pushes the limits of USGA rules to produce a large clubhead with a CG that's extremely low and an MOI that's extremely high.
What We Like: The impressive combination of features, including the fastback crown, milled dual rhombus face insert and frequency tuning.
Who It's For: Those with swing speeds in the 87-108 mph range who want power, forgiveness and a slight draw bias. LD M Straight, Offset, Seniors and Women's also available.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: Dual rhombus insert (milled) " Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 9.5, 10.5 " Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD YS
cobragolf.com | $375


Hireko Power Play Caiman

Key Feature: Unique shape with elongated breadth and internal weighting for maximized stability through the hitting zone.
What We Like: Using the Amazonian Black Caiman as a design inspiration. Also, the Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating that gives the clubhead its extremely durable and lustrous black appearance.
Who It's For: Amateur players looking for a club with an appealing shape and a good measure of forgiveness and distance.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: 6-4 titanium Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 10.5, 12, " Shafts: Hireko Shadow Graphite by Apollo.
dynacraftgolf.com | $106

Hippo HEX2
Key Feature: The hexagonal shape of the HEX2 enables optimal weight distribution to the sides and rear of the clubface, allowing a greater transfer of energy through the ball.
What We Like: The super-hard titanium face is the thinnest possible for maximum COR ratings. The hexagonal design produces high MOI.
Who It's For: Mid- to high-handicappers who want longer, straighter drives.
What We Like: A radical shape at a great price.
Clubhead: Titanium (forged), carbon " Clubface: Titanium (forged) " Custom Options: No " Lofts: 9, 10, 12 " Shafts: CP4 proprietary graphite (S, R)
hippo-golf.com | $199


Infiniti KO Driver

Key Feature: Stability bars as part of the crown make this driver much more stable on off-center hits, resulting in drives that fly not only farther, but straighter as well.
What We Like: The look. The KO Driver is sleek, fast and sets up exactly how a driver should. There's no "weirdness" here. The boxing glove headcover is a lot of fun too.
Who It's For: Golfers who aren't afraid to admit they sometimes miss the sweet spot.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast) " Clubface: Same Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 9, 10.5, 10.5 Offset, PL, HL " Shafts: UST Proforce V2 graphite (X, S, R)
infinitigolf.com | $249


Innovex Type S

Key Feature: With an MOI rating at 5,300,
this driver has the characteristics of a square-shaped driver, without looking like one. The cup-face clubface design is a powerful one, helping to transfer maximum energy into the ball.
What We Like: The underside of the driver shows the square weight configuration, but the crown resembles a traditional-looking driver.
Who It's For: Those who slice, hook and everything in between. With such a high MOI, it's hard not to bust it down the middle.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast) " Clubface: Same Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12 Shafts: Innovex graphite (X, S, R, A, L)
innovexgolf.com | $299


Louisville Thumper

Key Feature: The Thumper MAX is the biggest persimmon driver ever made (at 285cc on a 325cc chassis). Due to the wood construction, the Thumper MAX has a higher natural gear effect than metal, thus making it among the most forgiving drivers on the market today.
What We Like: This driver is a work of art.
Who It's For: Those who love the look and feel of wood and who want to experience just how exhilarating hitting a persimmon wood can be.
Clubhead: Persimmon " Clubface: Cycolac Custom Options: Yes " Lofts: 11 (effective loft is 9.5) " Shafts: Louisville MFP-33 graphite
(X, S, R, A, L); Steel shafts available
louisvillegolf.com | $349



Macgregor MT 460

Key Feature: Its Cup Face 360 Technology. Rather than creating a clubface with an insert, MacGregor built the MT 460 with a cupface, making the entire face the sweet spot.
What We Like: Its classic pear shape and traditional length. Plus, the MT 460 hasn't jumped on the high-MOI bandwagon.
Who It's For: Better players who don't need MOI to control their ballflight. Distance seekers. For slice-fighters, there's an offset version.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: Same " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5; Offset Version: 11.5, 13.5 Custom Options: Yes " Shafts: Aldila DVS, Mitsubishi Bassara
macgregorgolf.com | $299


Mizuno MP-600

Key Feature: Mizuno's Fast Track Technology. The two eight-gram weights give players the options of 15 different ballflights.
What We Like: A head shape that incorporates all the latest technology without advertising it too blatantly in the design.
Who It's For: Players who like to control their ballflight by adjusting weights; traditionalists who prefer classic shapes over unorthodox ones. Anyone who wants a top-quality driver.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: CNC milled, plasma welded CORTECH face insert " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 " Custom Options: Yes Shafts: Exsar DS3 (S, R, Li, La)
mizunousa.com | $399


Mizuno MX-560

Key Feature: Its unique H.E.M.I. geometric head shape. What results is a low and deep CG and high MOI for low-spin/high-launch drives.
What We Like: Its great sound, look and feel. Also how the H.E.M.I. ramped up the club's MOI from the heel to the toe.
Who It's For: Golfers who like to see their driver shape reflect its technological advancement. Players looking to add distance and accuracy to their games.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: CNC milled, plasma welded CORTECH face insert " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 12.0 " Custom Options: Yes " Shafts: Exsar DS3 (S, R, Li, La)
mizunousa.com | $299


Nike SQ SUMO 5000

Key Feature: A new internal and external shape that ramps the MOI up to 5,000. That's a five percent increase over last year's model. Translation: drives that split the fairway.
What We Like: Nike's second-generation SQ SUMO retains the technology of a square driver, without looking boxy. Its sloping, two-tone crown is a confidence builder at address.
Who It's For: Golfers who need a club that will keep the ball in the fairway. Players who aren't ready to jump on the square-driver bandwagon.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: Same " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5, 13 " Custom Options: Yes Shafts: Diamana Yellow Board (X, S, R, A, W)
nikegolf.com | $300


Nike SQ SUMO2 5900

Key Feature: Its square shape helps the 5900 reach the USGA maximum MOI (5,900 gram-centimeters squared).
What We Like: Nike addressed the empty-beer-can-thrown-against-a- sidewalk sound of the previous SQ SUMO.
Who It's For: People who for the life of them just can't hit it straight. Trust us, this is your club. It's a great choice for players who liked last year's model but not how it sounded.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: Same " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5, 13, HL " Custom Options: Yes " Shafts: Diamana Yellow Board (X, S, R, A, W)
nikegolf.com | $400


Nickent 4DX SuperMAG

Key Feature: A super thin magnesium crown that allows a significant amount of weight to be moved low and back in the clubhead for a high MOI and lots of forgiveness.
What We Like: The proprietary XW inserts are a unique way to move weight. The innovative use of magnesium creates a solid sound.
Who It's For: Any player looking for a driver that provides confidence at setup and lots of distance and forgiveness on off-center hits.
Clubhead: Titanium (body), Magnesium (crown) Clubface: Titanium " Lofts: 8, 9, 10.5, 12 Custom Options: Yes " Shafts: UST V2 (S, R, X), UST V2 High Launch (S, R, X)
nickent.com | $379



Nickent 4DX Evolver

Key Feature: Called IST, Interchangeable Shaft Technology allows the player to change shafts, and performance, at will. An oversized titanium clubhead with a low and deep CG provides solid performance.
What We Like: Nickent designers aren't afraid to push the technology envelope to give consumers an innovative product.
Who It's For: All types of players, particularly those who like to tinker with their clubs to achieve custom performance.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: Titanium " Lofts: 8, 9, 10.5, 12 " Custom Options: Yes Shafts: UST V2, V2 High Launch (R, S, X)
nickent.com | $379


Nicklaus Dual Point

Key Feature: A four-gram internal weight plug positioned low and deep in the clubhead that allows for more power and clubhead stability.
What We Like: It's a refreshing, no-screw, no-composite, traditionally shaped driver that excels thanks to a CG and a sweet spot aligned perfectly behind the center of the clubface.
Who It's For: Players who appreciate classic design, but still want distance and accuracy.
Clubhead: Titanium (forged) " Clubface: Same Lofts: 8, 9, 10.5, 12 " Custom Options: Yes Shafts: Fujikura SG Pro 3.01 graphite (X, S, R, A); Nicklaus SG Pro 3.01 graphite (L); Custom shafts available
nicklausgolf.com | $299


Ping G10

Key Feature: A thinner crown and face that produces a larger discretionary weight budget and a lower and deeper CG.
What We Like: An optimized crown, sole and face structure that maximizes energy transfer through impact, plus the low CG for high-launch/low-spin rates.
Who It's For: All golfers. (A draw model is available for golfers prone to slicing.)
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: Same " Lofts: 7.5, 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5 (Draw Model: 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5) " Custom Options: Yes _â" Shafts: TFC 129D (X, S, R, Soft R) Also avail. in Grafalloy ProLaunch Red and UST v2 High Launch 65
pinggolf.com | $299


Ping Rapture

Key Feature: Its carbon crown with a rearward (and visible) titanium grid structure that further enhances its COR and MOI properties.
What We Like: The carbon crown enabled designers to utilize two weight pads on the sole, both positioned low and away from the clubface to reduce spin and promote a high launch.
Who It's For: Average to better players. They'll love its great acoustics and enhanced feel more than other composite-crown drivers.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast), carbon " Clubface: Titanium (milled) " Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12, 13.5 (available LH) " Custom Options: Yes " Shafts: PING TFC graphite (X, S, R, A)
pinggolf.com | $429


Srixon Z-RW

Key Feature: A super-thin crown that allows weight to be moved low and deep (aided by a tungsten weight in the rear of the clubhead).
What We Like: Its optimal flow weight design. What's that you say? The higher lofted the clubs, the more weight in the heel, making it easier to square the clubface.
Who It's For: Players who dig high-MOI drivers, but not their space-age looks. Bombers who want to bomb it even farther.
Clubhead: 6AL-4V titanium " Clubface: SP700HM titanium forged " Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 " Custom Options: No " Shafts: SV-3014 Fujikura shaft (R, S)
srixon.com | $300


Taylormade r7 CGB Max

Key Feature:TaylorMade's patented Movable Weight Technology. With three adjustable weights (one 16-gram weight and two one-gram weights), players can alter the shape of their shots by a staggering 35 yards.
What We Like: Its triangular head shape. Also, the Limited model that comes with three premium shafts that can be changed at will.
Who It's For: Players who crave adaptability in their shotshaping.
Clubhead: 6-4 titanium " Clubface: Titanium Lofts: 9.5, 10.5 HT (12) " Custom Options: Yes Shafts: TaylorMade r7 RE*AX SF 45 graphite by Mitsubishi Rayon (S, R, A)
taylormadegolf.com | $499



Taylormade Tour Burner

Key Feature: Dual Crown technology, which features a crown that's significantly smaller than the sole. The smaller crown is 17-percent lighter than the original Burner.
What We Like: A driver with the lowest CG location of any TaylorMade driver to date, making it extremely forgiving. The fact that it's also offered in a TP version ($599).
Who It's For: Players who want a club with a Tour-like appearance and lots of technology.
Clubhead: Titanium " Clubface: Titanium (rolled) " Lofts: 9.5, 10.5, 13 (9.5, 10.5 available LH) " Custom Options: Yes " Shafts: TaylorMade SuperFast 60-gram (X, S, R, A)
taylormadegolf.com | $399


Titleist 907D1

Key Feature: The triangular design boosts its MOI, and the aluminum hosel and beta-ti face really elevate its performance.
What We Like: The CG is deep and low, and the sculpted sides increase the stiffness of the sole for greater energy transfer into the golf ball.
Who It's For: Players of all skills will notice the effectiveness of the triangular shape, and better players will love the upgradable shaft options.
Clubhead: Titanium (cast) " Clubface: Beta-titanium (forged) " Lofts: 7.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 (8.5, 9.5, 10.5 available LH) " Custom Options: Yes " Shafts: Titleist Spec Grid 67 graphite (S, R); Custom shafts available
titleist.com | $500


Tour Edge XLD

Key Featu

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