We at Golf Monthly are at the heart of all the latest golf equipment releases, bringing you informed and insightful product reviews with real launch monitor data before anyone else.
So to take our equipment content to the next level we are proud to bring you our first comparison video, whereby we will pick three of the clubs in a certain category that have really caught our eye and then pit them against eachother in a head-to-head-to-head trial. We will test clubs from each category, ranging from drivers to putters and everything in between, fairly and accurately on our GC2 launch monitor and then evaluate the pros and cons of each to help you make a more informed choice. To kick off this new video franchise, we have started with drivers…
How we tested them
The three models technical editor Joel Tadman selected were the Ping G LS Tec, the TaylorMade M1 and the Callaway XR16 Pro. Joel used the custom fitted spec he has for each of the drivers and tested them in one of the fitting rooms at the Belfry’s state-of-the-art Academy using real golf balls.
To create the data for comparison, he hit 16 shots with each driver. He then took the ten best from these and then removed the best and worst shots from this ten, leaving eight counting shots for each driver.
What is worth mentioning here is that what works best for Joel may not be the same for everyone else. He didn’t quite get the same yardage with the Callaway XR16 Pro as he did with the other drivers, but someone else may find it goes further than everything else. This video should hopefully give a guide as to the type of performance you’re getting for your money and where the similarities and differences lie.
Loft tested: 10.5°
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 70 x-flex
Sliding weights: Neutral shot shape, low spin setting.
Ping G LS Tec
Loft tested: 9.9°
Shaft: Ping Tour 65 stiff
Callaway XR 16 Pro
Loft tested: 9.5°
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution TS, x-flex
Average clubhead speed: 108 mph.
As you can see from the averages below, all three drivers achieved similar carry distances. The Callaway XR 16 Pro driver was just three yards behind the other two models, perhaps because it generated around 150 rpm more spin than both the M1 and Ping G LS Tec. That said, its dispersion was slightly more consistent, if missing the target a little to the left.
Both the M1 and Ping G LS Tec performed similarly, the M1 producing a higher ball flight given the higher loft tested but both producing close to optimum levels of spin given the launch angle and average club speed of around 108mph.
Below are the links to our individual reviews of the three drivers
There really was little between the TaylorMade M1 and the Ping G LS Tec. Remember the M1 provides more scope for spin and shot shape adjustability, whereas the Ping G comes in two other versions depending on your swing speed and ball flight. The XR16 Pro offers superb value for money at £329 and high levels of forgiveness and workability given the smaller size.
Both the Ping G LS Tec and TaylorMade M1 impressed on strikes away from the sweetspot, with the Ping G LS Tec perhaps just clinching it from a forgiveness standpoint but the M1 offering a more solid, powerful feel from the middle.
As always, we recommend you always get custom fitted by a PGA Pro on a launch monitor when buying a new driver but hopefully this review has helped narrow your search and should you be stuck between the three we’ve selected here, you should now know which is best suited to your game, your eye and the size of your wallet.