Real testers. Raw data. Complete Transparency.

When we were dreaming up our 2016 Gear Trials: Best Drivers Club Test we had one goal; provide golfers with the best information possible to help them make the most informed buying decisions. As you’ve heard us say before, there is no “best” driver on the market, but there certainly is a best driver for you.

We set out to prove that this year by handpicking real golfers — 15 of our top forum members with handicaps of 13 or better — for a one-of-a-kind driver test on February 6 at Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti, Michigan. At the end of the 10-hour day, each tester learned which new driver was best for their game.

With the publication of this article, our readers now have access to the raw data from the most comprehensive, transparent and credible driver test ever conducted. Before you buy your next driver, you need to read this article.

The Test

Testers arrived at 8 a.m. and were systematically placed into three groups of five players based on their swing speed and tendencies. Each group was paired with one of Miles of Golf’s expert fitters, who specialized in fitting golfers with slow, medium and fast swing speeds. A total of 30 new driver models, as well as each golfer’s “gamer driver” were in play for the test, and every shot was recorded on Trackman using new Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls.

It’s important to note that this wasn’t a “swing-until-your-hands-bleed” test. Testers hit three different batches of heads, and were given roughly 90 minutes between batches to recover so they remained fresh throughout the day. When an uncharacteristic mishit occurred, its shot data was removed in real time by fitters to ensure the performance of each driver was accurately represented in the data.

The unprecedented amount of raw data we’ve published is highly specific. When a change to a driver’s shaft, loft, lie angle or adjustable weight was made, it was tagged on Trackman and separate data was created for that specific driver setup. That’s what allowed us to create Trackman Driver Optimizer Graphics and Dispersion Charts for each tester’s top-3 drivers and gamer driver, which can be found in the Player Profiles at the bottom of this story.

After testing the three different batches of heads, the top performers were identified by the fitter through the observation of ball flight, tester feedback and Trackman data, and a top-driver “showdown” ensued. The top-3 performing drivers for each tester received awards:

  • Gold Medal: 1st Place. The winner. The best driver for each tester.
  • Silver Medal: 2nd Place.
  • Bronze Medal: 3rd place.

Top Performers

geartrials16_overallbar_7drivers_v3 333

When we tallied the results, we found that seven drivers dominated the medal count, and those models are highlighted in the chart above. The spirit of our test, however, was not seeing which driver or drivers could accumulate the most medals, but rather to learn which driver was best for each individual tester and why. For that reason, we have also highlighted the three drivers that earned Gold Medals, but did not place in the top-seven. Those drivers are shown below.

Highlighting Gold

golfwrx gear trials
Each of the three drivers above earned one medal in the test, and it was a Gold Medal.

With all the talk about driver heads, let’s not forget about shafts. To make this year’s club test the most thorough we’ve ever conducted, we did something very special. On top of Miles of Golf’s extensive selection of stock and aftermarket shafts, we sourced each tester’s “gamer shaft.” Gamer shafts were given Club Conex’s Universal Fitting Adapters so each player could test their gamer shaft (cut to their finished length and tipping preference) in any of the 30 different driver heads, if necessary.

Drivers Tested, Medals and Analysis

By clicking on the driver cards below, you can read a full analysis of each driver tested. Why did this one perform so well? Why did that one perform so poorly? We supply all those details, as well direct quotes from our testers, for each of the 30 drivers tested.

Click the images below

TaylorMade M1 460

TaylorMade M1 460

What separated the M1 460 from its competition was the combination of its low-spin design and highly adjustable features, which were most beneficial for golfers with moderate and fast swing speeds.
Ping G LS Tec

Ping G LS Tec

Like the leading low-spin drivers in our test, Ping's G LS Tec offered incredible distance on good shots. What gave it an edge, however, was how well it performed on mishits.
Cobra King LTD Pro

Cobra King LTD Pro

Cobra's King LTD Pro driver earned three Gold Medals, as well as a Silver Medal. That alone was good enough to tie for 2nd in Gold Medal wins and place 3rd in total medals, but that really only tells half the story.
Cobra King LTD

Cobra King LTD

With higher loft options and draw settings that are absent from its Pro model, Cobra's King LTD proved to be a top-performing low-spin driver for golfers of all swing speeds.
Callaway XR 16 Pro

Callaway XR 16 Pro

The XR 16 Pro worked best for golfers with medium and fast swing speeds who hit their drives relatively straight and saw increased distance through a lower-spinning trajectory, rather than increased forgiveness.
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 816 DBD

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 816 DBD

In its most fade-biased setting, the DBD arguably offered the most fade bias of any driver in the test, helping testers who fought a hook straighten out their drives.
Callaway XR 16

Callaway XR 16

The XR 16 worked best for golfers with slower swing speeds who needed a higher trajectory, more forgiveness, or more draw bias to hit longer, straighter drives.
Tilteist 915D3

Tilteist 915D3

Better players enjoyed the classic shaping and sound of the 915D3 driver, but like the 915D2 it often lagged behind competitors in ball speed.
Callaway Great Big Bertha

Callaway Great Big Bertha

The Great Big Bertha proved to be one of the most forgiving drivers in the test, helping golfers record some of the highest average ball speeds. Its heavy draw bias makes it a poor choice for golfers who fight a hook.
PXG 0811

PXG 0811

PXG's 0811 earned a Gold Medal from one tester, but most struggled to create the ball speed necessary to compete with top-performing drivers.
Srixon Z355

Srixon Z355

Gold Medal winner. The Z355 is an attractive, consistent driver that produced impressive ball speeds for slow swing speed players.
Ping G

Ping G

The G might be the most forgiving driver currently available, but its tendency to produce several hundred rpm more spin caused it to lag behind the G LS Tec in distance.
Cobra King F6

Cobra King F6

There's no question the King F6 can hold its own with top forgiveness-first drivers, especially for golfers with slow club head speeds, but it struggled to produce enough distance to beat the competition.
Tilteist 915D2

Tilteist 915D2

The 915D2 flew very straight for most testers, but it was often too high spinning and offered slower ball speeds than leading models.
Ping G SF Tec

Ping G SF Tec

The G SF Tec's added draw bias can help golfers reduce their slice, but it suffered from a tendency to spin too much, partly due to its limited adjustability and loft options.
Cobra King F6+ Pro

Cobra King F6+ Pro

While it performed similar to other low-spin drivers in the test, the King F6+ Pro was frequently passed over because of its unusual sound and feel.
Mizuno JPX-850

Mizuno JPX-850

Despite its impressive adjustability and attractive apearance, the JPX-850 suffered from a lack of consistency. Good shots were often good, but bad shots fared worse than those hit with leading drivers.
Nike Vapor Flex 440

Nike Vapor Flex 440

The Vapor Flex 440 has a lot going for it -- its low-spin design and soft feel stood out to several testers -- but it was ultimately too inconsistent to compete with leading low-spin models.
Srixon Z745

Srixon Z745

Moderate and high-speed testers enjoyed the looks and feel of the Z745, and especially in its lower lofts it was a serious threat to compete with leading low-spin drivers.
Cobra King F6+

Cobra King F6+

Like the lower-lofted King F6+ Pro, the King F6+ was frequently passed over because of its unusual sound and feel.
Mizuno JPX-EZ

Mizuno JPX-EZ

Testers commented favorably on the JPX-EZ's traditional shape and sound, but it didn't provide as much distance as leading forgiveness-first drivers.
Nike Vapor Fly

Nike Vapor Fly

While the Vapor Fly proved to be a highly forgiving driver, it tended to fly shorter than leading forgiveness-first models due to slower ball speeds, excessive spin, or both.
Nike Vapor Fly Pro

Nike Vapor Fly Pro

Our testers liked the looks and feel of the Vapor Fly Pro, but it couldn't match the distance of leading drivers.
Srixon Z545

Srixon Z545

While Srixon's Z355 and Z745 drivers earned medals in our test, the Z545 struggled to create the ball speed and low-spin performance necessary to compete.
TaylorMade M1 430

TaylorMade M1 430

Testers who tried the M1 430 generally saw slower ball speeds compared to the M1 460, which led to shorter drives.
TaylorMade M2

TaylorMade M2

The bulk of the M2's struggles were rooted in the success of TaylorMade's M1 460. When performance between the two drivers was similar, the M1 460 was favored for its wide-ranging adjustability.
Titleist 915D4

Titleist 915D4

The 915D4 proved too inconsistent to be taken seriously by most testers. On mishits, it generated some of the highest spin rates of any driver model in the test.
Tour Edge Exotics EX9

Tour Edge Exotics EX9

A solid performer on Trackman, but most testers didn't like how the EX9 or EX9 Tour drivers looked at address.
Tour Edge Exotics EX9 Tour

Tour Edge Exotics EX9 Tour

A low-spinning, 430cc driver that has the same troublesome closed look at address as Exotics' larger, more forgiving EX9 driver.
Wilson FG Tour F5

Wilson FG Tour F5

While its well-balanced performance impressed testers, the FG Tour F5's higher-spinning nature and lack of CG adjustablity kept it from earning a medal.

Complete Player Profiles

Want even more details about Gear Trials? You got it. Our editors wrote individual articles about each tester’s unique 2016 Gear Trials fitting experience. By clicking on the Player Profiles below, you can access their swing videos, detailed launch monitor data from Trackman for each of their top-3 drivers (and their gamer) and learn exactly why each tester ended up with the driver they did.

Jeff Tomaszek
Swing Speed: 90.7 mph
Handicap: 10.0
Age: 52
Stephen Gabbara
Swing Speed: 97.7 mph
Handicap: 8.3
Age: 44
Jim Wilson
Swing Speed: 89.5 mph
Handicap: 6.7
Age: 54
Brian Knudson
Swing Speed: 110.0 mph
Handicap: 9.4
Age: 34
Bob Areddy
Swing Speed: 96.5 mph
Handicap: 3.4
Age: 47
Lance Dahl
Swing Speed: 112.0 mph
Handicap: 8.6
Age: 39
Stuart Gillespie
Swing Speed: 93.9 mph
Handicap: 13.0
Age: 52
2nd: Ping G
Mike Greene
Swing Speed: 103.0 mph
Handicap: 6.0
Age: 33
Brian Vlazny
Swing Speed: 103.0 mph
Handicap: 1.0
Age: 31
Ian Walker
Swing Speed: 103.0 mph
Handicap: 7.8
Age: 33
Ryan Barath
Swing Speed: 102.7 mph
Handicap: 4.0
Age: 29
Ryan Nelson
Swing Speed: 107.2 mph
Handicap: 7.0
Age: 22
Rich Nimphie
Swing Speed: 112.7 mph
Handicap: 0.5
Age: 39
Chad Sullivan
Swing Speed: 111.0 mph
Handicap: 4.0
Age: 25
Luis Carrion
Swing Speed: 103.9 mph
Handicap: 3.3
Age: 44

Live Thread

2016_Gear_Trials_Group

On the day of the test (February 6), Gear Trials testers began documenting their experiences in real time in this forum thread. Go behind the scenes, and read the in-depth discussions between our testers and other GolfWRX Members.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Gear Trials in the thread. 

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121 COMMENTS

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  1. Here’s the problem with getting fitted: If you went to get fitted from several different sources you would get several different results/recommendations as to which driver head to use, which shaft to use and which ball to use (if that is included). On top of that add in degree of loft(s), spin, type of ball, shaft bend point and torque, shaft stiffness, etc. In my opinion “getting fitted” is all a money-making gig for the golf industry. Every year companies come out with a product that will give you more distance, more accuracy, more spin around the greens, etc., etc. There are so many variables it is impossible to get the perfect fit, which is what people think they are getting along with paying a good sum of money.
    I think what Golf WRX is doing is commendable: attempting to give the consumer a guideline as to what to look for. In this case, selecting a driver.

  2. […] As with all of our golfers, look, sound and feel can have an impact on how well you hit a driver, or any club for that matter.  Some testers did not like the muted sound of the composite style drivers (TaylorMade M1, M2 and Cobra King LTD).  Others felt that the Ping G LS TEC had a harsher feel at impact.  GolfWRX did a comprehensive test using drivers with stock shafts that gave some similar results.  Check out the GolfWRX link here. […]

  3. I agree with the comments that mention the need to see test results for lower swing speeds ( eg. below 80 mph). This is probably where most “baby boomers ” are. Right now, no representation for this group of golfers who spend a good amount of dough for equipment.

  4. It seems we are missing a big tool here. You went to all the trouble to get all of this data, and don’t get me wrong it is nice to see the breakdowns, but can we get all of the data for every shot that was recorded? I would think you should be able to put all the data into a database, and let users sort it to the specs of their game and see how each head performed with those types of swings. For example, I would like to see how the different clubs preformed when guys hit them with a 100MPH to 105MPH swing speed, and a 0 to -2 angle of attack, etc. Seems like you have all the data and could offer up this nice tool for those of us who can not or would not like to get fitted, but know their swing very well. I know the shaft would factor into it, but just seeing the results of best combo would give us a great deal of info. It is not perfect, but would give a great amount of information for which club heads fit certain types of swings.

  5. Another great review by GolfWRX, But no Bridgestone drivers is a little disappointing. I’m guessing Bridgestone is only has cult following and not marketed enough?

  6. Main thing I get from this is if you are not getting fitted for your clubs, you are doing a great disservice to your game. Everybody has a different swing i.e. swing speed, contact that affects the driver head, shaft combo. Its not just about swinging stiff or regular anymore. You have to look at swing profile and how the shaft swing profile matches up. At the end of the day the driver is a distance club with the lowest loft which for some makes it the hardest to hit so getting fitted for the right combo can help in narrowing the poor results that some players are getting from their driver. You can talk up how much more forgiving or less spin or more spin a driver can have but if the person swinging the driver has major swing flaws, their is no fix to that other than lessons.

  7. How come there’s nothing from Cleveland? I picked up the Cleveland 588 abt 2 yrs ago after reading abt it here, was hoping to see a review of the new drivers. Srixon drivers just aren’t the same.

  8. There will always be haters when you have these test but this one was BY FAR the best that GolfWRX has had in the 3+ years that I have been reading. Really informative and to the point. You can hate on TMAG all you want but they have the best performing driver year in and year out. Just wait 6 months and buy the M1 when the M3 comes out!

    • By far the best test I have read here and anywhere else. This test you can see that they didn’t protect the mighty manufactures. Bravo for the bravery and technical knowhow.

  9. While I appreciate that it would have been beneficial to many to have the higher handicapped players in this test, I can see why they were missed out. This test is all about getting accurate and consistent data demonstrating the best club heads. However if you start to weight the test with higher handicaps, the dispersion in both length and distance offline will increase due to the inconsistency of the swing, therefore meaning that removing anomalies becomes difficult as in some cases a higher handicapper may only strike one in every four or five drives. Furthermore, there is also a lack of players with higher swing speeds ie over 115, which I feel demonstrates that the test Is trying to find use participants who will give consistent enough data to create a conclusion, and represent as wide a range as possible within those boundaries. Furthermore, not to sound demoralising to anyone with a higher handicap or slower swing speed, but if a handicap is high because of inconsistency over slower swing speed lessons would provide better consistency and distance before a new driver does. As for those who simply struggle to produce speed but are consistent then fair enough, there could have been a sub section of the test to represent you, just as there could have been for people averaging 115-120+ speeds.

    • Agree +1 says it perfectly

      This test is focused on the handicap levels and swing speeds where getting fit for the best driver is going to make the most difference to your game. Slower swing speeds are going to get far more benefit out of gentle flexibility and basic speed drills (even at super senior levels) than getting the latest hot driver.

      • I believe the restriction for the trials is in no way a reflection of who can or can’t benefit from the results or even benefit from a fitting in general. The simple fact is that it was a matter of practicality and efficiency. Lots of people (relative to the number of bays and fitters available) and lots of different head and even head/shaft combinations to go through in a short period of time and also in a way that wont wear the tester out. That means one may only get 3-5 balls for each head/shaft combination tested to get a reasonably accurate sense of it’s performance for the individual. The more inconsistent the swing, the more time and effort it would likely take to get usable results for each set-up. To be honest, because of my higher handicap relative to the others, I was a bit surprised to be included.

  10. Can you do the exact same test, but with the drivers off the shelf (absolutely no fitting)?
    I know a lot of people recommend getting fit, but most people still don’t.

    • Or, you could just go get fit, a process that will likely help your game, and stop you from spending money on stuff that doesn’t work.

      That seems simpler than redoing the whole test.

  11. I guess if you are over 60 with a swing speed under 100 mph we don’t count as “real golfers”. I guess we should stick with our hickory shafted, wooden head clubs. This article might help my son, but tells me very little.

    • Totally agree . Where does the avg guy fit that is a senior that wants to play one of the super bomber drivers? I don’t find anything new in the data. I have tried the M1 and was not impressed.

      • Why would you want to play “super bomber drivers” which often feature low and forward CG placement? It’s well documented at this point that slower swing speeds benefit from more spin. So the drivers they rated lower because they produced too much spin would likely be a better fit for you. It’s not a given, but certainly would get you started in the right direction. All the data is there people.

    • I was the oldest participant and also had the lowest swing speed. My entire group was comprised of the guys under 100 MPH. As we were sitting and chatting between our turns on the mat, it was brought up that our group was sort of representing a really large subset of players out there. Not long bombers but certainly consistent and easily able to compete from the right set of tee boxes. But we also talked about how individualized this game is. Even though a member here might swing exactly 89.7 (like me) odds are they will net different results because every swing is unique. I hit a draw while many of my “A” group buddies were hitting beautiful controlled fades.

      The take home message is simple. Getting fitted for those who have a consistent swing will benefit your results and insure that you have the right equipment in your bag that fits your swing/game. But for those who hold a really high handicap it might actually be better to first invest in some lessons and then get fitted. An inconsistent swing cannot net consistent results – and inconsistent results cannot generate consistent enough data to truly lead to solid recommendations. (This statement is NOT meant to insult, please believe me. A close friend of mine is a high handicapper for many reasons not the least of which is his inconsistent swing – this sort of a trial would not net a lot of solid info because every swing would be different from the one before)

      As one of the participants I think I speak for the lot of us when I say that we all went into this trying to benefit the membership by providing results that were tangible and relatable.While no two swings are alike any member of this site can now look at the data, gather some info on various models of interest, eliminate other models, and enter their own fitting with an idea of what to expect. No such trial could ever be perfect; what about left handers? Elderly? Females? Scratch and lower? People with arthritis? This list could go on. But the trial was founded on one simple principle; let’s get some members together who have decent/consistent swings, let them hit the “latest and greatest”, and provide feedback while in the background an enormous amount of data is being collected on the true results being gained. And then, sans any biases, let’s tell the world those results. I can assure you if anyone had told me my Gold Medalist would have been the Srixon I would have said, “Wait, they make drivers?” And that is the real purpose of these trials – to let the members out there know that regular members like themselves braved the cold and spent an entire day trying to do something other periodicals have always fallen short of doing – telling “real” golfers what the new clubs with different shaft combinations can really do. No false promises. No bravado and false claims of long shot glory. Just the undeniable facts.

      Not one trial member entered this with an ego, of that I can attest. But we all entered with a mission. Let’s find out what these clubs can really do on behalf of the thousands of other members out there who aren’t here but want and deserve to know.

  12. I watched some of the tester’s swings. Sorry, but judging by looking at the swings, I don’t believe that some of them are a single handicap with 90+ swing speed.

      • I feel awkward because i lack the skill to play 7000 yard courses, but when i move up i am told to move back because i can hit it 300-340… And its going anywhere from dead straight to 40 yards right. Dead straight i can handle. Its 40 yards right that sucks. I really have to get in a groove before i start hitting 70% straight. I have put together some decent rounds teeing off with 7 irons but that sucks the fun out of it.

    • Hey, I was probably one of them! I know I have swing issues, but like others have said, we learn to work with what we have. If you saw Jim Furyk swing a club and didn’t know who he was, you’d probably think he’s a hack, but his impact position is rock solid. I know my swing isn’t perfect, but it gets the job done well enough. Plus, they only recorded one swing and I think mine was done at the very beginning of the day. Having not played a round of golf since November, there was some rust but settled in after a few more swings and things got better.

  13. the start of the article states that you wanted to test the drivers using “real golfers” but only those with handicaps of 13 or less. its nice to know that this website thinks that golfers with higher handicaps aren’t “real golfers”
    how about a test for those of us with higher handicaps?

  14. No test is perfect but this is the best, most comprehensive, and transparent mass Driver Review I’ve seen to date. Kudos to the staff and testers. Perhaps if this method is repeated again and refined it will satisfy more people. Still, there is a ton of data in the reviews and profiles that should be useful to anyone of any skill or swing speed. Bravo!

  15. Thanks WRX, this is a HUGE improvement over last year’s tests! Nice work. Two interesting results:

    1) The top three drivers dominated: #1 Cobra King LTD/LTD pro (it’s the same head), #2 Taylormade M1 460, and #3 Ping G LS Tec. Everything else lagged WAY behind.

    2) Titleist and Nike got crushed.

  16. Weather on 2/6 in Ypsilanti was 41°/ 24°
    This is not an adequate gauge for balls hit in season. I would not argue with M1 as being my top pick, however, giving no props for sound and feel in that weather does not accurately represent the clubs I hit in Orlando on the same day. I do realize that Miles of Golf is probably an indoor fitting center though to that point I would find just as much to beg to differ with. I expect your-to date- uncomparable goals of testing and providing every day golfers with real world data will benefit further when you expand to The Sunshine State and substitute algorithm ball flight for actual flight and roll. Love and Thank You All for All what You do for us!!!

    • algorithm ball flight on trackman would be better suited for these tests over outdoors where temp, wind, weather, fairway firmness, etc affect data. if first hour there is a steady wind and then afternoon testing the wind dies down, you don’t think this would be worse way to test?

      pga players do a ton of testing on trackman, not sure why amateurs don’t take the data serious

      • The tests were done in a way that the changing conditions (temp + wind) during the course of the day would not have any real impact on the results. The heads were broken down into 3 groups and each group was tested within roughly a 30 minute period of similar conditions. The heads that were selected to move on from the different groups were then retested against each other in a final separate session – again with similar conditions. Fortunately, while the temp did vary during the day, the wind was fairly light and didn’t really have a big impact on the results. I’d guess < 5mph, mostly from right to left with just a little hurt thrown in.

    • You have to realize we weren’t outdoors with 3+ layers of clothing on. The area where we hit was heated, around 60F. I didn’t wear anything but a shirt and pants when hitting. Balls were “real” balls, which were not left out in the cold.

      Granted, the air is more dense, but what would you like have happen? Can’t control the weather, esp in Michigan in Feb.

  17. I Love GLFWRX, however its the shaft, Take tech monitor on range or screen with a fitting for the real deal. Cant blame the Manufacturers or the reviewers, you have to make a living. Still fun!, none of this stuff is life or death, just fun in the sun. Welcoming a new season soon! Dave

  18. It’s interesting to me that most people saw lower ball speeds with the M1 430 compared to the 460…this is why you get fit, obviously we are all different, but I actually picked up 5mph from the 460 to the 430 and was straighter with the smaller head as well. Get fit. Get fit. Get fit.

      • Actually, yes, it does go that much further for me compared to the 460. I find the center of the club more consistently with the 430cc, resulting in higher ball speeds, straighter ball flight, and further drives. Could just be because I prefer more compact club heads and it fits me better. Now calm yourself down while you unintelligently comment on every single post on this article, trying to drum up internet arguments.

  19. Great test kudos Golf WRX. By far the best and fairest test to date with no bias towards any brand and a good mix of ages, players and abilities.
    Confirmed what I suspected that M1 is the number 1 driver on the market…. Having worked as a fitter for a number of years now in the UK, TaylorMade consistently produce the best metal woods from what I see on a day to day basis and Ping drivers best on off-center hits. Going to have to dip in to those pockets if you want the best folks!
    I don’t know why people are complaining about the test being biased towards distance…. for starters there were experienced fitters there and it comments fitters took the physical ball flight and direction in to account by eye first and foremost. But most importantly surely its all about distance!!!??? Any fitter worth his fee can tune in a driver with the multiple adjustments, shaft offerings, lengths and tipping options to get you hitting any club as strait as the next one. So once you find a club producing the best ball speed/launch characteristics simply work on dialing it in.

    • “So once you find a club producing the best ball speed/launch characteristics simply work on dialing it in.”

      You just negated everything you said in the beginning of your ramble by saying that. Because you make it sound like you can do that with ANY driver. But you know you can’t.

      • Sorry but I have no idea what you are getting at. I’m simply saying once you find a driver producing the best distance, be it by fastest ball speed or better launch conditions, you can tune that driver in to the best CG set up/length/shaft to get the player hitting it as strait as possible. With M1 I find this very easy. It consistently comes out best in performance so often its just a case of finding the set up where they are going to hit the most fairways. That’s all sorry if first comment was confusing

  20. Seems a little like splitting hairs to separate data on G LS tech from the G, given that a little loft adjustment can change the spin on either head. Seems to me they should have been lumped together which would have produced an equivalent #1 place Tie score with the m1. Btw– I have both, and the G tops the m1 in every respect: looks, forgiveness, accuracy, distance!!

  21. What I really like about the test protocol is that each tester got to test the heads with his “gamer” shaft. Major factor. Too often these tests are performed with one club and its stock shaft against the field with their stock shafts. I purchased an M1 at the end of last season because as I was browsing in my usual store I saw one with a Matrix White Tie in my preferred weight and flex. The White Tie isn’t even an option on the TMAG site so I called them and the support guy said yeah its available as an option at no upcharge. The M2 (which would be one of my favorite candidates for driver of the year-even though I’ve never hit it) has 30 standard shaft options. Allowing testers to compare competitive offerings while using a shaft that they know is comfortable for them in terms of length, flex, weight etc. is a big and welcomed change in your testing. Kudos.

  22. Oldest tester is 54 with a swing speed of 89.5. Would like to see some results from the “senior” swingers who are in the market for new equip. I play a Titleist 913D with swingspeed of 88-90 set at B2 and R Aldila Phenom. shaft. Not sure of spin rate but total carry is 220 and little roll. What combination of clubs and shafts would benefit us old&slo guys? ps: I sometimes use colored balls

  23. This test proves nothing…look at those swing speeds…so how about most of us golfers 20+caps with slower swing speeds…this test proves nothing. This is nothing but a personal preference test..need to go back to old testing a few years back.

    • Aside from being able to see ball speeds, I don’t know why swing speed is such a big deal. We have data from a range of testers with a variety of swings that produce a number of different impact positions, spin rates, etc. Looking at data from a lower or higher swing speed isn’t going to tell you how YOU will swing the club so it seems to be a moot point. All that matters is that more testers were able to achieve satisfactory numbers, looks, and feel with x,y, or z driver.

      • 101, hell no. 25+ handicaps usually have terrible swings and can’t hit the middle of face. They tend to spray the ball everywhere as well. They would never get an accurate assessment with horrid golfers.

  24. Oh boy, it’s this time of a year. At least I see the avarage Joe in the testers group so guess everyone can find their own group of folks they best associate with (be age, hcp or facial hair-growth).

  25. Was Trackman data revealed to the testers during each driver swing or only after testing was fully complete??? Showing data will impact their next swing.

    I wish you could rank every driver tested on a scale from 1-10 on distance, 1-10 on forgiveness/dispersion and 1-10 on look/feedback/tech. Then show the results for EVERY driver….and don’t show the testers their numbers until complete.

    • Yes, we saw numbers as we were hitting. I don’t think it really influenced the swings that people put on any particular shots. We were all trying to hit each shot as best we could.

      • Seeing lower carry distances or higher spin rates will subconsciously cause you to alter your swing. Seeing an unexpected poor initial number could also make a very quick bias towards a club, which could taint the rest of the clubs testing results.

  26. The two Cobra King LTDs are the same driver, just with different loft settings (and fade versus draw bias settings). For other brands, the regular and pro versions differ in important factors like head shape, size, weight distribution, stock shaft, and so on. But not so for the King LTDs.

    So, it seems to make sense to treat the Cobra King LTD and LTD pro as ONE DRIVER, in which case it wins by a nose over the TM M1: 4 gold, 3 silver, one bronze.

    • Good observation. I checked the website just to verify for my own peace of mind, and they are identical clubs. Really the only difference is the adapter sleeve. Interesting that they market them so differently.

      • The difference between the Pro and regular King LTD is the static loft of the head is less in the Pro, and the lie angle is flatter in the Pro, which is how they achieve the fade bias. The adapters are actually exactly the same, except for the numbers on them. If you put a regular adapter in a Pro head, you’d need to subtract 2 degrees from whatever number it is set to, and the draw settings on the regular adapter would be a standard setting in the Pro head. The neutral setting on the regular adapter would be the fade setting in a Pro head.

        • Yep. But otherwise they are identical, right? If the regular and pro versions are both set to, say, 10 degrees neutral, the clubs are the same.

          It seems that all Cobra has done is spread their range of adjustments over two models. Depending on your swing, you’ll fit to regular or the pro. That might be a drawback if you want ultimate adjustability, but it really is just one club type that is gaining a total of 8 medals…

  27. By far the best driver test. well done.

    But it seems like to only advocate “distance” over other important factors, such as consistency and workability during the driver ranking. I don’t think that anyone who has a handicap under 10 will just care the distance but without paying great attention to the dispersion and workability.

  28. Well this is by far the best test to date. No back alley sponsor protected awards here. Good luck getting ad dollars now. Who needs that ridiculous hotlist when you can see the Trackman information in this. I will take back all my smack talking now.

  29. Lets make it about gender to. Where are the women?
    Lets also make it about high swing speed players. Where are the 120MPH – 145MPH guys? Is this biased against them to? How about biased against veterans? Or vegetarians? Or gays, any of your testers gay? What about Muslims, is Islam represented here? Sigh. I actually hate political corectness. I am just teasing.
    I voted Legit for the first time ever for a gear trials article. Well done.

  30. “bulk of the M2’s struggles were rooted in the success of TaylorMade’s M1″ This makes no sense and is completely biased. The performance of the same vendors other product line should have no impact on your testing results…but it clearly did. This is kinda like you are saying we all know the M1 is better than the M2 so lets not worry about testing it. The M1 is also 25% more expensive which is also a factor when deciding on new equipment. Hard to believe since most of the top TMAG guys are putting the M2 in their bags.

    • Yeah I saw some other reviews saying m2 is better than the m1. Not sure why this is the opposite. I also don’t think adjust-ability is that big a deal. Does moving the weights around really affect the ball flight that much?

  31. So, no matter how “easy” a driver is to hit to help any hacker find fairways, the leading category that everybody talks about is: DISTANCE. How far is it going? That’s all anybody ever cares about, because, in the end, deep down, the player thinks the swing can be fixed to hit more fairways. And where are the colored folks in this panel of testers?

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