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Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Philip

    Jan 15, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    I picked up a King Cobra 440SZ (max .830 Sweet Zone version) and matching 3W (with Hyper Steel) – looking forward to gaming those decrepit 2003 bad boys this season against the newest blood. Given all of the increases over the last 15 years I should be given LOTs of strokes by my opponents in order to compensate for my meagre yardages :o)

  2. Joro

    Jan 4, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    I played my new Mizuno 180 Driver, 3 wood and CLK hybrids today. Very nice for not having hit them because I have been down with the flu for a week and had to get out. Outdrove a buddies Epic a couple of times which frustrated him. Should get better as I work with the adjustments and get stronger. Good stuff.

  3. sharker

    Jan 1, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Macho men will chuck the old impotent driver out of their WITB and pick up a new and improved driver…. so their manhood is strengthened.
    Get rid of that soggy floppy weak driver and put a strong stiff bouncy-faced new driver and your game experience will improve in 2018 …. guaranteed 😎

  4. Golfraven

    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:37 am

    The Titleist 919 is the next driver in my bag. 2018 is the year of my bag refresh and Titleist ist top of the list – 718 AP3, SM7s and hopefully the 919 D2. If they come up with some fresh Scotties I am switch back as well.

  5. bachvo

    Dec 27, 2017 at 3:22 am

    I got so tired of these “new” drivers coming out every year. I just got my new driver like 2 months ago after 2 years on the ping g30, gonna stick with my new stick for awhile.

  6. Crazy About Golf

    Dec 14, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Incremental gains with just about every new release. The jump from one product to the next isn’t going to be huge, but the difference between 3-4 year old clubs and what’s being offered today is likely pretty substantial. Went from Titleist 910 D3 to Titleist 915 D3 to Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero….each new driver has proven to be better performing than the last.

  7. Steve S

    Dec 14, 2017 at 10:25 am

    To everyone complaining about the new drivers and marketing claims…don’t read them and don’t buy them. I would prefer all the companies have 3 month release schedules, saturate the market so I can pick up 1 year old technology for $50

  8. DoubleMochaMan

    Dec 13, 2017 at 10:38 am

    It’s like buying a new car, for the shiny new looks and design. Except in the case of golf clubs there’s nothing new under the hood… the engine has a governor.

    As soon as they reign in the golf ball they’ll probably let the club builders go wild.

  9. Tim Stanford

    Dec 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Hey golfers… get some lessons from your local professional. Your scores will improve than buying the marketing spin.

  10. Rich

    Dec 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    It’s the ” This is the Longest Ever was or Will be ” ie until next year!!!!!

    Why not take the gloves off and have a contest between drivers “NO LIMITS”!!!!

    Anything goes !!! Who can make the longest hitting driver, classified according to swing speeds
    80 Mph,90 Mph,100 Mph, and open … These would be “OutLaw ” classified…

  11. HBO

    Dec 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Who are these companies think they are fooling? The USGA has established parameters for drivers, and companies have already gone as far as allowed. Sure you can add 3-5 yards more distance, but at what cost CAVEAT EMPTOR!

  12. bill

    Dec 12, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Aaaah, the annual love affair blossoms with the appearance of next year’s driver models.
    The only good toy is a new toy…. and my faithful old toy is now 5 years old. Sigh…
    Oh, how much do they cost now? $650??!!!

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pga tour

Zach Cabra WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Houston Open (3/27/2018).

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Max 75X

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White d+ 80X

Irons: Mizuno MP-Fli-Hi (2, 3), Piretti Limited Edition (4-PW)
Shaft: Aerotech SteelFiber hls880 (2), Aerotech SteelFiber i80 (3-PW)

Wedges: Callaway MD3 Milled (50-10S, 54-10S), Callaway Mack Daddy PM (60-10)
Shaft: KBS Tour 125 S+

Putter: Piretti 801 CU
Grip: Piretti Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Cabra with 15 clubs in the bag ahead of the 2018 Houston Open. We’ll update this post when we confirm the 14 clubs we used in competition.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Cabra’s clubs.

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Equipment

TaylorMade is releasing its TP Black Copper putters to retail

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We first spotted TaylorMade’s new TP Black Copper putters at the 2018 PGA Show, but the company wasn’t saying anything about specs, release date, pricing, technologies, nothing.

Then, we all saw Rory McIlroy switch to a TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto proto putter ahead of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won by 3 strokes. Of course, Rory’s specific Soto putter was made with a special insert. Click here for all of the info and specs on Rory’s putter.

Now, TaylorMade is releasing retail versions to the public in four models — Juno, Soto, Ardmore 3 and Mullen 2 — which will hit stores on 4/20 selling for $199 with a standard Black Lamkin Crossbone Pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke Pistol 1.0 GT grip.

The putters have a triple-plated finish; nickel, then copper, then black chrome, according to TaylorMade’s Bill Price (Senior Director of Product Creation for Wedges and Putters). They’re then hand-polished to achieve the antique and non-glare finish. Overtime, and especially on the sole, Price says the copper will tarnish or oxidize to unveil a gradually more antique and rustic look. Rory McIlroy himself actually had a hand in inspiring the new finish.

“Rory was talking about certain finishes,” Price said. “He wanted something non-glare, with an antique type finish…. he wanted to be reminded of something old school.” 

Thus, the TP Black Copper finish was born.

Also, the putters are machined from 303 stainless steel, they have adjustable sole weights and have the company’s familiar Pure Roll inserts in their faces. Check out more info about each of TaylorMade’s TP Black Copper models below.

Juno

  • Hosel: #1 L-Neck
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: 36 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 346 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Soto

  • Hosel: Long Curve
  • Dexterity: RH
  • Toe Hang: 47 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 346 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Ardmore 3

  • Hosel: #1 L-Neck
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: 12 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 350 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Mullen 3

  • Hosel: Double Bend
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: Face Balanced
  • Offset: 3/4 shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 355 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees
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Equipment

Spotted: Fourteen Golf CF218 fairway woods, and FH Forged V1 wedges

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We spotted new shallow-faced CF218 fairway woods (15 and 17 degrees) from Fourteen Golf on the range at TPC San Antonio on Tuesday at the 2018 Valero Texas Open, each equipped with Graphite Design TS918 shafts. Also on the range from the company were new FH “Future Heritage” Forged V1 wedges with a different, more raw look than the ones we saw in October at the Shriners Open.

Check out more photos below, and see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the clubs in our forums.

Fourteen Golf CF218 fairway woods

Fourteen Golf’s new FH Forged V1 wedges

Click here for more photos and discussion.

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