When Golf Tips first tested the Knuth Golf High Heat driver in early 2018, the feedback was loud, clear and long: This club was something special, especially for mid- to high-handicappers who tend to venture away from the center of the club now and again. Then we got hold of the 5-metal a couple months later and saw the same game-breaking magic in play.
Now we’re in love with the 3-metal, both off the tee and the fairway.
Especially the tee, when we absolutely, positively have to get the ball in the fairway — far, far down the fairway.
The High Heat story is getting told more and more these days, for good reason: The clubs do exactly what they’re purported to do, with the data to back up the assertsions.
Here’s the gist.
Inventor Dean Knuth had worked for years to crack the last true riddle in the modern driver and fairway metal design world: How to get the same performance on off-center strikes as on the still-too-small sweet spot (for most of us, anyway).
Knuth’s mix of focus and engineering acumen and patience, coupled with careful testing of various head and face materials, resulted in what he called “focus Optimal CG Game Changer and Fire Zone Face Technologies.”
In brief, he came up with a way to expand each club’s sweet spot to the entire face by reducing the average thickness of the toe and heel areas by 30 to 40 percent.
For instance, the Knuth Golf High Heat driver produces ball speeds of 1.41 times the average swing speed (known as the “smash factor”) compared to the major brands’ average of 1.3. That translated into more than 20 yards extra distance.
Knuth took the USGA’s changes to the “CT” rule — the amount of time a ball can stay on the face of a club, from 257 to 275 microseconds — and pushed those numbers toward the High Heat’s perimeter, to an average of 267 on the toe and 266 on the heel. That’s why Knuth has dubbed High Heat’s full-hot-face effect “257+ Technology.”
Combined with a low and deep center of gravity, the High Heat is fashioned for amateur golfers, especially those lamenting the loss of distance that has crept into their games as the decades stack up.
The data is similar for the 3-metal too and 5-metal, too, as well as Knuth Golf’s brand new hybrids.
Golf Tips testing bore that out.
With the driver, what felt like slight toe hits resulted in powerful mini-fades that landed near the 250-yard marker. Center strikes, of course, were even more impressive in impact explosion, ball flight height and carry distance.
The testing continued with one big fly after another. Even definite heel shots stayed on line — on a string with, again, solid carry and roll-out distance. With the High Heat driver, strikes went from underwhelming to overachieving, swing after swing.
When Knuth’s fairway metal and hybrid versions came out, we gave them a spin, too, and got the same sweet power-packed sensation with each swing — even those that were clearly on the toe or heel. Our latest testing with the 15-degree 3-metal, in particular, took us aback; when faced with tighter driving targets and the need for less than full-on distance, pulling this handsome, larger-headed-than-usual club gave us confidence over the ball, which led to a smoother, slower swing — and explosive impact, pleasingly piercing ball flight and virtually no chance at a slice. Instead we got a dead-straight to slight draw movement. And even to a decent headwind, our tee shots cleared 220 yards; downwind, closer to 235.
For fairway strikes, the High Heat 3-metal performs beautifully, too. Again, swing easy and let Knuth’s hard work kick in.
Driver $499, fairways $329, hybrids $257 | www.highheatgolf.com