The dog. The chief. The big stick. Just send it. Pounded. Long bombs.
A well-struck drive is one of the most exhilarating in the game – and the driver is one of the most fun clubs to work with and hit in one’s bag. No other club has such a litany of nicknames or phrases associated with it, and with that, it becomes the most talked-about club year after year.
Guys like Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau are out there every week absolutely pulverizing their tee shots and us regular guys and girls want to have just part of that same feeling.
To their credit, club manufacturers do their darnedest every year to promise more yards and straighter ball-flights. For the most part, they deliver. But, it’s up to the users (us!) to make sure that we’re swinging an optimized stick.
While we in Canada enter the dog days of summer, you’ll have had a good sense of how your game off the tee has been so far in 2020. If you’re looking to, yes, hit it longer and straighter, here are the best drivers in golf from this year (in alphabetical order).
Callaway Mavrik Driver
Callaway built on last year’s artificial-intelligence platform for the Epic Flash for this year’s three-driver Mavrik family. By incorporating machine learning, Callaway’s new supercomputer moved through more than 15,000 iterations of face designs for the Epic Flash. By comparison, a new driver has usually just 8-10 face design iterations before going to market. The Mavrik family of drivers (the low-spin Sub Zero and the draw-biased Max are also in the lineup) builds on last year’s tech to help bolster distance. The key design feature is dubbed ‘Cyclone Shaping’ to improve aerodynamics over the Epic Flash from a year ago.
Cobra SpeedZone Driver
There are two versions of Cobra’s latest driver line – the SpeedZone. The standard version has movable weights while the ‘Xtreme’ version has extra forgiveness. Both drivers, however, feature an infinity face. Cobra machine-milled it and extended the face to the perimeter. Cobra focused on shifting mass and implemented some new manufacturing techniques as well. Those new techniques help to control face thickness around the edges of the face.
PING G410 Plus
PING G410 Driver
The G410 Plus from PING features moveable weight technology and with that its adjustable centre of gravity helps retain extreme stability. In short, that means you’ll be hard-pressed to distinguish between your mishits and centre strikes. The precision-machined forged face undergoes what PING calls a patented heat-treatment process and gets thinner and hotter. The ‘creased’ crown has Dragonfly Technology that helps create an ultra-thin structure to help optimize CG and increase forgiveness.
TaylorMade SIM Driver
The SIM line from TaylorMade in 2020 features three drivers, including the SIM Max and SIM Max D, but all chalk full of new technology that builds off its successful ‘M’ line. SIM stands for Shape in Motion, and it’s a revolutionary new design with an aerodynamic asymmetric sole. The reshaped sole helps to optimize clubhead speed. The drivers all feature speed injected technology, Twist Face, sliding weight technology and loft sleeves, and multi-material construction with carbon, titanium, and steel. Developed in a wind tunnel, the SIM version has a sliding weight while the Max D version was designed to combat a slice. Drivers in the SIM line have progressively larger face sizes as well.
Titleist TS4 Driver
Titleist has four versions in its TS line of drivers but all are highlighted by the new Speed Chassis – the result of a two-year mission by Titleist engineers. The thinnest titanium crown in golf helps the weight of the club to be shifted lower and deeper while the new shape of the TS drivers help increase clubhead speed. TS1 offers maximum launch and distance for those with a lower swing speed (and for those who maybe never thought about Titleist before), TS2 provides tons of forgiveness across the face, TS3 offers big-timer performance, while TS4 lowers spin. The TS1 and TS4 are new for 2020.
Written and intended to the GlobalGolf.ca audience by Adam Stanley