By Ed Travis
Golf may not have a hot stove league like baseball but that doesn’t mean during the off season we can’t look ahead at the new equipment coming on the market and at least get an idea which of the new number one woods we want to check out.
We surveyed club companies and came up with a list of drivers worth consideration tring to cover ones for all levels of players. A caveat though, the largest club company TaylorMade Golf, as of the time this is being written has not released any information about their drivers for 2015. However, with that in mind here is the list.
Tour Edge Golf may have this year’s most attractive new driver with its Hot Launch model. Hot Launch has all the bells and whistles—adjustable hosel from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees, four piece forged clubhead and rear sole weighting but the best feature is the price, $199.99 which is half or less than most competitors. Tour Edge’s reputation is for manufacturing high quality clubs using the latest materials, design and technology at very competitive pricing but the Hot Launch takes this all to another level.
You have probably seen the pink-shafted G30 driver from Ping Golf being used by Bubba Watson on television since it was released to tour pros late last summer. Though Bubba swings the Tour Model the regular model shares the “Turbulators” on the crown for less wind resistance. The G30 ($350) has a 460cc clubhead and loft adjustments from plus 1 degree to minus 1 degree in either the 9 degree or 10.5 degree head. Ping also has moved the center of gravity towards the rear of the clubhead and a new thinner and hotter titanium face.
Being an odd-numbered year it’s time for Titleist Golf’s new drivers and the new models for 2015 won’t disappoint you. The 915 D2 (460cc $449) and D3 (440cc also $449 but for higher swing speeds) are adjustable at the hosel with 16 loft and lie combinations and in a first for Titleist a sole slot (tagged the Active Recoil Channel) behind a forged face insert.
Over at Callaway Golf we like the looks of the all three of their new model drivers but the Big Bertha V Series ($400) seems the most interesting. It’s lightweight at less than 300-grams with a big face making it a potential choice for slower swinging players such as seniors to help them generate higher clubhead speed. Adjustability comes in the form of Callaway’s hosel system with a choice of eight different loft (-1, S, +1, +2) and lie angle (Draw or Neutral) configurations to aid in matching the Big Bertha V to your needs.
Nike Golf is pushing the competition with the new Vapor Flex driver ($500) and repeats a winning feature from last season, FlyBeams to stiffen the unique cavity back in the clubhead first seen two years ago on the Covert series drivers. It is adjustable with five lofts and three face angles for 15 user-controlled settings. They also have redone a design of the sole channel and added a weighted tube at the rear of the sole that can be switched end-for-end to move the center of gravity to further adjust the Vapor Flex’s ball trajectory.