After a host of exciting launches, we look at best drivers of 2016
The best drivers of 2016
Driver innovation continues to know no limits as 2016 has already seen a host of new models boasting cutting-edge technology said to enhance speed, distance, accuracy and forgiveness.
With so much choice on the market, it can be difficult to know what path to take when choosing. As always, a custom fitting session on a reputable launch monitor with a PGA Pro will help narrow down the options, but hopefully the information below will assist your decision. In no particular order…
Callaway XR 16 £289
Having teamed up with aeroplane experts Boeing to design the new Speed Step crown, the new XR 16 is now much more aerodynamic than the previous Callaway XR driver, helping to increase club speed and distance. New weight savings in the face and crown help make the driver more forgiving. Also comes in 450cc Pro version (RRP £329) for added workability and fade bias.
RRP: £289. Callaway XR 16 driver review
A new weight saving on the crown called Dragon Fly technology has allowed Ping to move the CG lower and further back to increase launch and forgiveness. Crown turbulators and a Vortec on the back of the clubhead reduces aerodynamic drag for increased clubhead speed. Also comes in low spin LS Tec and draw-biased SF Tec versions, all with adjustable loft by +/- one degree.
RRP: £349. Ping G driver review
A lighter carbon composite crown means TaylorMade can implement two sliding weights on the sole of the driver, one to adjust launch and spin, the other to alter shot shape. The M1 also comes with a 12-way adjustable hosel for loft and a 430cc version for extra workability.
RRP £429. TaylorMade M1 driver review
Cobra King F6+
Cobra’s most adjustable driver to date features adjustable lofts on the hosel and an 18g sliding weight on the sole that can be fixed in five (nine if you include the notches in between) positions to fine tune your spin for maximum distance. It comes in blue, white and traditional black crown colour options.
RRP: £299. Cobra King F6+ driver review.
Callaway Great Big Bertha
In a sleek matt-black finish, the Great Big Bertha features an adjustable 10g sliding weight that changes the shot shape bias to increase your accuracy. There are 12 different stock shaft options at different weights to create the most optimum weight for your swing. Updated R-Moto face technology increases the forgiveness on off-centre hits.
RRP: £369. Callaway Great Big Bertha driver review
Mizuno JPX EZ
You can place a 10g sole weight in one of three positions to create draw, fade or neutral shot shape bias. An oversized head creates confidence at address while further adjustability comes from the Quick Switch hosel, which offers four degrees of loft variation as well as extra lie angle settings.
RRP: £349. Mizuno JPX EZ driver review
Nike Vapor Fly
A thinner crown that is 30 per cent lighter than the previous Vapor driver has a lower CG position for lower spin and a higher launch while also increasing forgiveness. A re-designed Compression Channel transfers more energy to the ball at impact for distance while wider, stiffer FlyBeams in the cavity enhance stability and feel. Also comes in a Pro version (£299.99) and Flex 440 (£329.99), which has an adjustable sole weight to further dial in launch and spin.
RRP: £249.99. Nike Vapor Fly driver review.
Srixon’s Action Mass Technology places more weight in the clubhead for increased ball speed and stability at impact. This weight is offset my moving the balance point of the shaft higher towards the grip, which makes the club still feel lighter. The hosel features 12 adjustable loft and face angle settings.
RRP: £279. Srixon Z355 driver review
Replacing the Aeroburner, the M2 features the same carbon composite crown as the TaylorMade M1 but instead uses this weight saving to make the clubhead more forgiving thanks to a lower and further back CG. It features a Speed Pocket for distance and forgiveness across the face and a 12-way adjustable loft sleeve.
RRP: £329. TaylorMade M2 driver review
Continuing from 2015, Titleist’s 915 drivers feature an Active Recoil Channel – a long, deep and wide slot behind the face that promotes consistently lower spin across the face and high ball speeds. The 915 D2 driver comes with a 460cc head, while the 440cc D3 provides more workability.
RRP: £379. Titleist 915 driver review
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 816 DBD
In this compact, deep-faced better player driver that’s a bit of a mouthful to say, Dual Distance Chambers house a Gravity Core weight either in the heel or toe to create draw or neutral shot shape bias. This weight has a heavier end, which can be positioned up or down to line up with your most common impact location on the face to maximise distance.
Cobra King LTD
Inspired by a trip to the International Space Station, the King LTD driver has a circular window in the sole that lets you see inside the clubhead and create an ultra-low CG position for low spin and high launch. A special crown material that is 20 per cent lighter than traditional carbon fibre allows more weight to be placed low and at the perimeter to increase forgiveness.
RRP: £349. Cobra King LTD driver review
The clubhead of the Yonex XPG driver has been made heavier through tungsten weighting on the sole and inside the head to increase ball speed, launch and forgiveness. This is combined with a lighter shaft and 20g of tungsten powder in the top of the grip, which creates a counterbalanced effect to make it feel lighter and easier to swing.
Wilson FG Tour F5
‘Green Means GO!’ Fast Fit technology lets you make quick adjustments by eliminating the need to remove the club head from the shaft when making a set-up alteration on the six-way adjustable hosel that covers loft settings from 8° to 12° in half degree increments. Three adjustable sole weights help dial in launch and spin.