Before You Buy Golf Equipment, Take A Test Drive: Part 2


June 2, 2013; Dublin, OH, USA; Matt Kuchar tees off on the 15th hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Round two of drivers.  On my second trip out to the range, I found it was much easier to adjust to different “looks” of clubs at address.  In reference to confidence boosting, I would suggest on holding off  judgement until you whip that baby around and you can hear, feel, and see your results.  SO, let’s tee it up!

Adams Speedline Super S Driver – The big suprise of the day for me.  The shape similar to my current driver (the 2nd incarnation of the Nike SQ Driver) and the white crown at address is perhaps a copy-cat to the popular Taylormade drivers.  I was blown away (and I don’t use this term loosely) at this clubs forgiveness and feel.  I only had to hit a few balls (don’t worry, I hit more to make sure) to know that at an afforadable price this driver was the real deal.  Though it didn’t have the explosiveness out of the box like the Ping or Callaway, this driver was long and straight, and highly recommended.

Taylormade R1 – A little predictable with this one.  The R1 comes with a lot of hype but in my eyes, it is worth the large price tag.  Everything you’d expect from Taylormade as far as forgiveness, distance and pop with all the bells and whistles as far as adjustability.  For me, being able to change things like face angle and head weight are a nice feature, but I”ll likely find what works and never touch it again.  Bottom line, though, this was my favorite club of the day and I’ll probably be saving up to get this driver in my bag.

Cobra ZL Encore – I can go either way with this driver.  Probably because when I swung with good tempo, I was able to get a nice fade a good distance down the fairway.  But, when I really laid into this club, it was less forgiving.  Not on the driver, most likely, but on me.  This club comes in three different colors (head and shaft) and an adjustable head for weight and loft.  If you like Cobra, there isn’t much not to like about the Encore.

Cleveland CG Black – The least impressive driver of the day, but again, just my opinion.  Not a lot going on here as far as capable adjustments, which I like, but its light weight threw me off a bit.  I like all of my clubs on the heavier side (which makes it a pain in the back on days I walk) so I am a bit bias, but my direction was inconsistent in the balls I hit with this driver.  One positive, though, was the CG Black’s forgiveness.  I always track where on the face I am hitting the ball, and though my strikes were sporadic, I was was mostly in the fairway.

Ping Anser – Second Ping driver I tried, and the second best of the two.  Not sure if it was just in my head, but everything about this club seemed to be a step behind from my favorite club of the last round drivers I tested, the Ping G25.  Still this was a solid club, with excellent forgiveness, solid sound at impact, and great distance.  If I had to pick between the G25 and this club; however, I’d chose the former.

This will conclude my two-cents on drivers for the year.  To sum it up, there are a lot of options out there, many I didn’t cover, so my best advice is to go out and find the club that makes you feel like the best you in the tee box.  Just make sure you give it a test drive before you fork over the dough.

Once you get into the fairways (or the longer grass on some occasions) that’s a different story.  So keep an eye out for my thoughts on fairway woods, hybrids and irons.