Premium price drivers: worth the money?

shandypants

Novice Member
Afternoon all :hiya:

Mate of mine (who has never spent more than 50 quid on any club - ever - and derides those who do so) yesterday turned up to play the medal with a Taylormade R7 460 that cost him £249.99!!! Ouch - he reckons he only went in to the pro store for some balls!

Well I tried it on the range and honestly I couldn't see any huge or dramatic difference to the flight or distance compared to my decidedly low tech 4 year old Nike (apart from the noise :eek: ). I play off 8.2 but don't have the most consistent of swings or flight (usually it's what I like to think of as a power fade, but most would call a borderline slice) and it did nothing for me. Now I realise that different people will experience different results, but is it really worth that sort of money to buy one of these things?

Anyone out there who has enjoyed really noticeable difference after switching to one of these wallet busters? By how much yardage / accuracy? Off what handicap?

Specifically interested in owners of the Nike Sasquatch or TM R7 425 or Callaway Fusion FT-3 or Cleveland HiBore as these seem to be the current dogs wotsits.

Cheers :smashin:

Shandy
 

spocktra

Novice Member
You can alter far more things in your ball flight by changing shafts than anything else.Todays clubheads are all fairly similar in design.If you were to go to a manufacturers demo day and try various shafts in the same head you would see what i mean.Of the all the latest drivers i would suggest the mizuno mx500.
 

shandypants

Novice Member
Spocktra
Cheers for replying - I agree that shafts are a huge factor in ball flight but I was curious if anyone has experienced the sort of "out of the box" difference in performance over other less vaunted clubs given the same swing. Sorry if I din't explain myself :oops:

Shandy
 

huntere

Well-known Member
I think marketing is a HUGE factor here.

When the R7 launched it was way more than £250 - prob double that.

I think manufacturers feed off the average club golfers obsession with drivers. How many fellow players do you see spend ££££ every year on the latest drivers and still putt with the same old thing 36 times a round? I spent £200 on a putter last year and best money I ever spent!

Shafts are indeed the biggest factor in flight and distance and of course squaring the club head up at impact, Shaft technology has improved dramatically as has head design. A quality shaft is a must for consistency and good shafts can be pricey. If the shaft is too "soft" for a fast swing then its harder for the club head to sqaure up again and can lead to slices - but this is not the only (or most probable cause).

These days they are weighting heads with bias to assist squaring at impact eg R7, FT3.

It takes hours on range trying different setups to get the best for you - ideally with a pro who can guide and advise.

PS - Not so much with drivers but changed irons a few years back and went from 12 to 6 hcp - make a difference? Oh yeah
 

dc007

Active Member
Have you heard about getting your shafts " pure'd " ? Very popular on the Tours, apparently. It seems no shaft (steel or graphite) is perfectly round in cross-section, and the standard procedure of inserting them into the clubhead so that the logo is on the front is not optimum. 'Pure-ing' the shaft involves setting it in the head at the perfect rotation to allow minimum torque and, well, blah blah blah... too technical for me but more details here

http://www.scottsdalegolf.co.uk/page.php?jssCart=5d1c042888485268d9032988a47a1960&xPage=sst-pureing.html

I just stumbled upon it. Might look into it further... not cheap, though...
 

shandypants

Novice Member
huntere
Couldn't agree more - when I had my current irons custom fitted for me I saw an immediate difference in scoring and went from 12 to 8 in one season after being stuck there for three years.

I am stuck in what I would imagine is a common situation, in that I drive the ball pretty consistently with a fade or cut, but you can almost see the side spin taking yards off its flight. I am a solid iron player from 170 yards or so in, but my drives just don't quite make that mark on some of the longer par fours and I'm left playing a utility to a small green on a hole where I don't get a shot. Many of my playing partners who have spent money on newer technology do seem to be able to knock it down to the 150 yard marker, and they are much higher handicappers with more erratic swings.

I am trying to decide whether I need to change driver completely or look into changing shaft for a different flex or kick point - I really don't think that at this point I'm going to increase my swing speed without stability problems so I don't want to go down the route of coming out of my shoes every time.

Anyhow I have a lesson specifically on driving coming up so maybe our pro will notice something more obvious and set me on a path to a neutral or draw flight.

Thanks for the input. :smashin:
 

chrisw

Well-known Member
I went from a Great Big Bertha 9 degree to a Taylor Made R5 7.5 degree with a super stiff shaft - bought it off ebay for just £95. The difference in the way the ball comes off the clubhead and the control I get with it is incredible. I play off 8 and in the last 3 weeks have been consistently hitting the ball miles, dead straight or with a slight draw (rather than a slice) and generally feeling invincible stood on the tee.

Compared to my previous woods, I would have payed £200 to get this kind of accuracy and distance. But technology has definitely improved people's ability to hit a long ball - I play with all kinds of players, and most can hit the ball a fair way in comparison to a few years ago.
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
I bought a Taylor Made Driver (R580 I think?) in Vegas a couple of years ago, it cost more than my entire set did put together but at £140 when they were £350 in the UK it was a bargain.

I drove a 370 yard Par 4 yesterday with it so it must be better than my old Dunlop £25 driver.

My problem is I'm becoming convinced Pro V1 balls fly better & further than cheap balls which could turn out to be an expensive habit...
 

chrisw

Well-known Member
DJT75 said:
My problem is I'm becoming convinced Pro V1 balls fly better & further than cheap balls which could turn out to be an expensive habit...
Snap... I've been buying them in bulk, re-furbished on ebay... costs about a third of the price.
 

shandypants

Novice Member
chrisw
7.5 degree with a super stiff shaft?? You must have some serious swing speed to keep that one square! I have a below average swing speed apparently so a Regular flex with mid kick point best suits me (as far as I can determine from some info scavenging).

DJT75
370 yards????!!! Yikes :eek: What handicap are you off - if its not single figures you should submit yourself for arbitrary reduction immediately!! On level ground with reasonable run on the turf I can drive it about 240 yards tops I think!!

Methinks I need to make a bigger shoulder turn!! :D

Thanks for the replies guys.

Shandy
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
shandypants said:
chrisw
7.5 degree with a super stiff shaft?? You must have some serious swing speed to keep that one square! I have a below average swing speed apparently so a Regular flex with mid kick point best suits me (as far as I can determine from some info scavenging).
Mines 10.5, anything lower would be disasterous

shandypants said:
DJT75
370 yards????!!! Yikes :eek: What handicap are you off - if its not single figures you should submit yourself for arbitrary reduction immediately!! On level ground with reasonable run on the turf I can drive it about 240 yards tops I think!!
I'm only off 22, I don't play enough to get it down (twice a month in the warmer months if I'm lucky). I scored 31 points yesterday so I'm on about the right handicap. I'm sure I if i played 2/3 times a week I could get down to low-mid teens but I get bored after 14 holes :)

I just have a big drive/hit. Level ground It'll come down at about 250 & on the current hard ground run another 50/60 yards. This Par 4 is downhill for 340 yards & then 30 up again to the green, she just crept on...

I'd take an 8 iron where others may take a 6, I have confidence I can reach things & would rather be short with a big swing than too long with a swing I'm not sure about...

My brother can't hit it anywhere near as far as me but still spanks me everytime off a similiar handicap - just the style of my game i suppose.
 

chrisw

Well-known Member
shandypants said:
chrisw
7.5 degree with a super stiff shaft?? You must have some serious swing speed to keep that one square! I have a below average swing speed apparently so a Regular flex with mid kick point best suits me (as far as I can determine from some info scavenging).
I've always hit the ball very high... when I was looking for a new driver, the main thing I wanted was as low a degree as possible (7.5 was the lowest I could find but I'm told you can get them as low as 6 degreee :eek: ) and a stiff shaft.

I regularly drive over 300 yards now (probably put 30 yards more on from my old driver) but more importantly, it goes v straight. Have won 2 competitions in 2 weeks, so look likely to get cut from 8 (7.5) down to 6... which I'm crapping my pants about!
 

huntere

Well-known Member
In fact, in the loft versus shaft ball flight argument, they say shaft makes more difference - not so much stiffness but kick point. That could explain a lot.

Also different heads do produce different trajectories. e.g. I use Titleist 983E much rarer than the "K" but does product a more penetrating flight - but less forgiving.

Ah decisions decisions.

Shady - I would have thought with modern equiment correctly fitted and moderate swing speed you should be able to add 20 or so yards to your quoted 240. You must have a pretty roibust swing to play off what you do - just need the right gear to get the most from it.

Interesting playing with our pro a few times, it never ceases to amaze him how many people claim long distance off the tee. In reality, there are very few club golfers who can average much more than 270-280, Yes there are those who can and at the moment distances are huge ( I hit 3 wood for safety theother day on a very tight par 4 - 325 yds later it stopped! Thanks God it was straight!) but average it. Not many.

ChrisW - thats not directed at you! Just an observation - as I said some can - sadly not me!
 

shandypants

Novice Member
huntere
Thanks for your comments. As I mentioned earlier I do feel very comfortable playing from 7iron and down (my home course has stupidly small greens and you learn to be pretty straight if you want to hit them regularly) but I haven't yet found the formula to gain sufficient yards to get into my "zone" on 400+ yard par 4's. Without shots to help it can be a scramble to make par, but if I can get a shot of 160 or less I can usually GIR it enough times to put a score together.

Sort of sums up the game doesn't it? :D

Shandy
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
Just found this on a website, it really is totally down to the individual & like huntere says, it's all about averages with drives. (ps. Many pro's says amateurs shouldn't even have Drivers in their bag - but where the fun in that :D )

The yardages listed in the chart below show a range for average male amateurs. As you'll see, the ranges are quite large, and represent short hitters, mid hitters and long hitters. (There are, of course, people who hit it longer, just as there are people who hit it shorter.)

Club
Driver 200-230-260
3-wood 180-215-235
5-wood 170-195-210
2-iron 170-195-210
3-iron 160-180-200
4-iron 150-170-185
5-iron 140-160-170
6-iron 130-150-160
7-iron 120-140-150
8-iron 110-130-140
9-iron 95-115-130
PW 80-105-120
SW 60-80-100

Now, I know I hit my 8 iron up to 170 yards easy - there's two Par 3s at my local that are around that distance & I would have no problem hitting 200 yards with my 7 iron. My 5 & 6 I'm not that comfortable with but probably hit them a normal distance. I can't use woods off a fairways without doing Sally Gunnell's all day so would always stick to a large iron. My 3 iron out hits my 3 wood most the time.

Has anyone else played a round/comp where you can only take 4 or 5 clubs? It really helps you course manager better. My local is pretty long & you can use drivers a lot & seeing as I don't get on with other woods, I took out a Driver, Putter, 7 iron & SW last time it was just 4 clubs did OK.
 

booyaka

Moderator
couple of points -

re the 4 club thing - we have a 4 club competition at new year time and last year i took out Driver, 7 iron, wedge and putter. i found very few occasions where i would need another club - makes you work on your knockdown shots.

Re the driver issue - i have a mate who has just started playing and has a donnay 3 wood (£5 from shoot soccer) that he hits for miles and miles - on average he hits it 280/300 yards. Now try telling him that he should spend £200/£300 on a driver!!!:eek: :eek:

I currently have a Ping G2 8.5 degree with graphalloy blue stiff shaft. Really easy driver to hit and even the off centre hits are good. (love the power fade myself - common term - slice!)

Cost me £179 with a choice of 3 differnet shafts, each with 3 different flex's each with 3 different lofts - fantastic offering that all models and shafts cost the same price. None of this extra cost for shafts etc.

Also since i got new irons 3 years ago come down from 19 to 11.

Also absolutely convinced that Pro v1's are the best for me!! Ebay specials all the way. Be careful - i would aviod the refurb ones as they can be very poor quality. Would be better buying the one hit wonders rather than refurbs.
 

dc007

Active Member
dc007 said:
Have you heard about getting your shafts " pure'd " ? Very popular on the Tours, apparently. It seems no shaft (steel or graphite) is perfectly round in cross-section, and the standard procedure of inserting them into the clubhead so that the logo is on the front is not optimum. 'Pure-ing' the shaft involves setting it in the head at the perfect rotation to allow minimum torque and, well, blah blah blah... too technical for me but more details here

http://www.scottsdalegolf.co.uk/page.php?jssCart=5d1c042888485268d9032988a47a1960&xPage=sst-pureing.html

I just stumbled upon it. Might look into it further... not cheap, though...
Apparently not...:blush: :rolleyes:
 

huntere

Well-known Member
dc007 said:
Apparently not...:blush: :rolleyes:
Yeah I have heard of this. Some say it falls into the category of paying £300 for a mains lead for your amplifier!

I guess there may be something in it but can we honestly say at our level we are pure enough ball strikers to appreciate a difference? I think not.

Its probably more relevant to graphite than steel where harmonics in the shaft can vary wildly and inconsistently. Steel is far more reporducible - hence pro's use steel pretty much without exception - except drivers!

On the Pro V1 debate, remember this is a performance ball and as such will react far more to the strike than a harder 2 piece ball. Now thats works for good and bad shots alike. So if you put cut spin (or draw) on a ProV the effects will be greater than a less performance ball. Me? I play Prov V1's!
 

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