2013 Buyer’s Guide Drivers

By Zach Allen, PGA

Vijay Singh does this drill before all of his tee shots, which will help ignite your kinematic chain (sequence of events in the downswing). To maximize your potential for the greatest possible clubhead speed, you must initiate your downswing with your lower body. The sequence of movement in a powerful swing is a lot like shifting gears in a race car from first to second to third, fourth and then fifth. We must do the same in the golf swing—you can’t jump gears in an effort to get to fifth gear quicker. The downswing begins with your feet, then knees, hips, shoulders, arms, hands and, finally the clubhead is given speed from the proper kinematic sequence. Most over-the-toppers do it wrong from the beginning of the downswing, initiating with a spinning of the shoulders, forcing them to swing across the ball, with nothing but weak, glancing contact. The "Step Into It" drill helps you get your sequencing correct.

To do it, take a backswing and lift your left leg as you reach the top. Then, as you start the downswing, plant it down and swing through. Do this a few times before the next tee shot that you really want to rip.

WHAT DOES 2013 HAVE IN STORE? If you thought color was just a passing fad, think again. It’s back in 2013, in greater varieties than before. Also, a hot feature in many new drivers is an adjustable hosel that accommodates not only a wide variety of face angles, but lofts, as well. It’s safe to assume that the chasm between Tour-player equipment and stuff for the rest of us is getting narrower, as these adjustable drivers show it’s possible to have one driver that fits all. Check ’em out.

Golf Tips Legend

XS Titanium

Key Feature: The aerodynamic crown and deep face combine to produce some serious forgiveness across more of the clubface. Meaning, mis-hits fly straighter and farther.
Who It’s For: Budget-minded golfers who know that you don’t have to pay big bucks for an outstanding driver. Really, this a great value for what you get.
Wow Factor: Awesome price point and solid performance.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (9.5°, 10.5°, 12°) with a stock shaft and grip, or more than 75 shafts and 100 grips to choose from.
hirekogolf.com | $109

Speedline SUPER S

Key Feature: An adjustable-loft driver with aerodynamics that prioritize distance. The matte-white crown and contrasting black face is a visual dream at address. The sweet spot? It, too, is enormous. It’s already apparent that TaylorMade is influencing its newest brand acquisition.
Who It’s For: Distance gluttons, and who want to adjust the trajectory of their tee bombs for any reason they choose.
Wow Factor: Adjustable lofts are an awesome idea. We love…
Specs: One head, three lofts (9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°) with a Matrix Radix S 50g graphite shaft.
adamsgolf.com | $350

Speedline SUPER S

Key Feature: An adjustable loft, length and lie angle lets you fine-tune your trajectory and spin, instantly. Really folks, what more do you want? Also, the low and deep CG maximized gear effect for a penetrating loft. Stop it, Adams, you’re making golf too easy! (We’re kidding, of course.)
Who It’s For: Tinkerers who are only happy with perfect tee shots that fly exactly how they want.
Wow Factor: Pretty much everything, except the bigger price.
Specs: One head, three lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°) with an MRC Kuro Kage 60g graphite shaft.
adamsgolf.com | $450

Bobby Jones
Lexus Pearl

Key Feature: A Japanese-style, Beta-Ti cupface (which is a face that isn’t an insert, but actually one piece that "cups" around the entire clubface and part of the body).
Who It’s For: If you’re a fan of innovative club design, then the latest from Jesse Ortiz will have you very pleased. The club’s face angle can be adjusted from square, to closed or extra closed.
Wow Factor: The aerodynamic crown slope looks awesome.
Specs: Comes in 9°, 10.5° or 12.75° lofts with a Graphite Design G-Series or G-Series Superlite graphite shaft.
bobbyjones.com | $349

RAZR Fit Xtreme

Key Feature: The "Speed Frame" clubface has a huge sweet spot that generates a higher ball speed across more surface area. The adjustable hosel allows you to tune shot shape and trajectory. Oh, yeah, it has a Forged Composite crown for a ridiculously low center of gravity.
Who It’s For: Everybody who wants a forgiving/long driver.
Wow Factor: Callaway has a new focus, new energy and more momentum than in previous years. This driver proves it.
Specs: Comes in a huge variety of shafts and five different lofts (8.5, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, 13.5°). Custom paint also available.
callawaygolf.com | $399-$499


Key Feature: The X HOT also has a "Speed Frame" clubface with a huge sweet spot for added forgiveness and distance. Speaking of, this club was built for distance, with its all-titanium design and Ultra Thin Wall Casting. Oh, yeah, it has OptiFit hosel for face and loft tweaking.
Who It’s For: Golfers who want a powerful, hard-hitting, maxed-out distance driver. Also available in a neutral Pro model.
Wow Factor: The longest driver from Callaway. Ever. Whoa!
Specs: Comes in a huge variety of shafts and four different lofts (9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, 13.5°).
callawaygolf.com | $299


Key Feature: With a new partnership between Callaway and the Long Drivers of America, one would expect a driver to follow suit. The X HOT LD Pro has the same performance benefits of the original X HOT, but in lower lofts. Also comes with a COG sleeve to adjust face and loft.
Who It’s For: Bombers who want a crack at becoming the next World Long Drive Champion.
Wow Factor: We always get excited about long drive competitions. Having Callaway in the mix just upped the ante.
Specs: Comes in 5° and 7°, clubhead only. (LH in 7° clubhead)
callawaygolf.com | $279

Classic XL Custom

Key Feature: The new Classic XL Custom has up to 12 different clubface angle settings, as well as a weight port for even more fine-tuning. That aside, we love the sleek black paint job (even though we miss last year’s retro looks) and the deep face clubhead design.
Who It’s For: It’s for any type of golfer looking for the optimal blend of power, forgiveness and adjustability.
Wow Factor: Top-notch aesthetics, feel and performance.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (7.5°, 9°, 10.5°) in a variety of Miyazaki shafts. Nonadjustable version also available.
clevelandgolf.com | $330

CG black

Key Feature: The sleek, ultralight CG Black driver has the makings of a top-secret weapon. Best used by swings of less than 95 mph (most of us), the all-black CG Black driver is made to increase one’s swingspeed for added distance. Heck, it only weighs 265 grams, so no wonder it’s so fast! We love those Miyazaki shafts, as well.
Who It’s For: Golfers who want more swing speed.
Wow Factor: Lightweight never looked and felt so good.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (9°, 10.5°, 12°) with a Miyazaki C. Kua 39 graphite shaft. (LH available)
clevelandgolf.com | $299

AMP Cell

Key Feature: Its loft can be adjusted to six different settings, while the sole’s SmartPad is a stationary bulge that’s shaped to square the face at address, regardless of the loft setting. Comes in four colors, too.
Who It’s For: Golfers who want Rickie Fowler-like swagger to go with their long-hitting tee shots.
Wow Factor: Blue, orange, red or silver. We like ’em all. In fact, we hope the color trend continues.
Specs: One clubhead for up to six lofts (8.5°/9.5°/9.5° Draw, 10.5°/10.5° Draw, 11.5°) with a Fujikura Fuel graphite shaft.
cobragolf.com | $375/$325 offset version

AMP Cell Pro

Key Feature: Has a slightly smaller head than the non-Pro version, and a shaft that’s a half-inch shorter. Like its sister club, its loft can be tweaked six ways, and the SmartPad sole keeps the face square at address.
Who It’s For: Better players who want forgiveness, distance and adjustability to coincide with tee-ball shotmaking.
Wow Factor: Comes in stylish white or bold orange. We only wish it came in blue and red, too!
Specs: One clubhead for up to six lofts (7.5°/8.5°/8.5°
Fade, 9.5°/9.5° Fade, 10.5°) with an MRC Kuro Kage graphite shaft.
cobragolf.com | $399

Fourteen Golf

Key Feature: The four-piece composite titanium clubhead includes a crown that’s chemically milled thin, along with a multilayered cupface. The proprietary graphite shaft is 47 inches long; however, it’s designed with extra stability to offset the added length and clubhead speed.
Who It’s For: Golfers who want serious craftsmanship.
Wow Factor: Big price, but it delivers big drives.
Specs: Two lofts (9°, 10.5°), with a proprietary CS-001d graphite shaft.
fourteengolf.com | $799


Key Feature: Designed for long drive competitors (and used by reigning world champ Ryan Winther), the Rage driver is built for pure power and stability. The deep Tri-Forged Hyper Beta Ti face is lighter and faster for LDA-like distance.
Who It’s For: Truthfully, it’s a long driver’s club, but with so many lofts and configurations, it’s actually playable for anyone, regardless of skill level. Comes in white or black.
Wow Factor: We were blown away at how forgiving it is!
Specs: Seven lofts (4°, 5°, 6°, 7.5°, 9°, 10.5°, 12°) in three different Aldila shafts, in human and superhuman flexes.
krankgolf.com | $299


Key Feature: A square face angle, deep titanium clubhead and thin crown create a low CG to help the ball launch high and spin less. Its variable CORTECH face thickness aims to boost ball speed for longer, more consistent drives.
Who It’s For: Golfers who appreciate Mizuno’s commitment to quality clubmaking, and who want a seriously straight-hitting driver.
Wow Factor: Among the most stable drivers we’ve tried.
Specs: Two lofts (9.5°, 10.5°) with a Fujikura Orochi Blue Eye 55 shaft.TS-70d shaft.
mizunousa.com | $299

VR_S Covert

Key Feature: Adjustable loft and face angle provides 15 combinations in one clubhead. "High Speed Cavity Back" technology borrowed from the company irons aims to add distance and control. Variable face thickness raises the sweet spot to high in the center, right where we like it.
Who It’s For: Everyone, however better players will like the Tour version that’s smaller and has a fixed weight screw.
Wow Factor: A cavity-back driver? That’s pretty sweet.
Specs: One clubhead for five lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, 12.5°) with an MRC Kuro Kage graphite shaft.
nikegolf.com | $299-$399


Key Feature: PING’s first-ever adjustable driver lets you tune one clubhead to three lofts to optimize your launch conditions. You can also choose one of four standard shafts that vary in weight, stiffness profile, and the ball trajectory they generate.
Who It’s For: All player types. Literally. Everyone!
Wow Factor: Adjustability and PING’s reputation for quality.
Specs: Base lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 12°), with choice of PING TFC 800D, Aldila RIP Phenom 50, Fujikura Blur Red 005 or MRC Diamana ‘ahina 70 shaft.
ping.com | $440


Key Feature: A deep and forgiving clubhead that can be adjusted to plus or minus one-half degree from the base loft. The ultrathin crown distributes weight to the perimeter, positions the CG low and deep and increases the MOI.
Who It’s For: Bubba Watson and all golfers who want serious distance and forgiveness with added adjustability.
Wow Factor: PING bills it as its largest-profile, most forgiving head design. We’re sold. Again. Kudos, PING.
Specs: Comes in four base lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10°, 12°) with PING TFC 189 graphite shaft options. (LH available)
ping.com | $385


Key Feature: Two strategically placed tungsten sole weights in the 460cc titanium head help position the CG low and deep and ramp up the MOI. It’s a forgiving clubface that mid- to low-handicappers can benefit from. Name one good player who doesn’t want to hit long, accurate drives? We can’t.
Who It’s For: Golfers who like to hit long workable drives.
Wow Factor: Not new, but it’s so good we had to include it.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (8.5°, 9.5° and 10°) and two stock shaft options. (LH available)
ping.com | $299

Air Force One

One thought on “2013 Buyer’s Guide Drivers

Leave a Reply