The Golf Monthly test team reviews Callaway's FT Optiforce driver
1) Shaft options – There are two different stock shafts, the 43-gram Project X Velocity 43, designed to help generate faster clubhead speeds, and the 64- 67-gram (depending on flex) Diamana S+ for those who prefer a more traditional weight.
2) Grip – Any grip that Callaway stock as standard can be offered, but the very dependable Golf Pride New Decade offering will be the one for those who don’t request anything specific.
3) Adjustability – the new Advanced OptiFit Hosel allows the loft to be changed while the directional bias can be independently set to either Draw or Neutral. The 9.5° version can be set in 8.5°, 10.5° and 11.5°.
4) Head design – The head has been made more aerodynamic than previous drivers to help increase head speed without the need to swing the club harder. There is a 440cc head designed to produce a penetrating flight and the 460cc head is more forgiving.
5) Shelf Appeal The graphics, shape and colour combination make the 440cc model we tested a great-looking driver. The improved aerodynamics have been achieved without sacrificing the classic shape.
6) Address – While some 440cc models still manage to look oversized, this looks considerably smaller than the 460cc version. It’s a driver clearly designed for the better player who seeks workability.
7) Flight – There are plenty of loft settings available to control the flight, but it’s also worth noting the big difference between the flight of the 440cc and 460cc heads. Weight positioning is also different and so the smaller head produces less spin and a lower flight.
8) Distance – This is where Callaway is promising big improvements compared with the RAZR Fit Xtreme and X Hot. The flight was excellent; penetrating but not too low, with plenty of run on the ball. Distance was also impressive on shots that didn’t quite find the middle of the face.
9) Forgiveness – Although this might not be a key point in the marketing of the Optiforce driver, there was noticeably more forgiveness on offer compared to the RAZR Fit Xtreme. This broadens the appeal of the driver, particularly in the 460cc model.
10) Impact sound – The sound off the face is excellent — powerful without being overbearing. A model that signals further leaps for Callaway in the driver market after an impressive offering last year.