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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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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “New Ping G410 Driver?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from hervygolf21, and it surrounds the new G410 driver from Ping that is allegedly set for release at the beginning of 2019. Our members have found out plenty of information on the latest driver from Ping since the thread began, apparently, and here’s a quick look at some of the features you might expect from the new model (if you take forum members’ word for it).

According to the thread, the PING G410 will be black with red accents, will have a higher MOI than the current G400 model, will still contain the Ping Turbulators and will be offered in 12 degrees without draw weighting. It’s also believed that the G400 Max will remain current until July/August 2019, but at a lower price point.

Here are a few posts in the thread reflecting on the news, but make sure to check out the entire thread and join the discussion at the link below.

  • lc1342: “Love both the G400 LST and G400 Max, but if they are bringing out something better… I’ll take it!”
  • cz13x4: “This sounds like a very interesting update. Not keen on red but very interested to see what comes out.”
  • roho: “Late January?  Sounds like maybe a PGA Show unveil in Orlando.”

Entire Thread: “New PING G410 Driver”

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Ben Hogan adds Ft. Worth “White” to iron lineup

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After the launch of Diamond Black Metal finish Ft. Worth “Black” irons earlier this year, Ben Hogan’s nickel-chrome Ft. Worth irons are back…sort of. The Texas-baed company today announced the launch of Ben Hogan Ft. Worth White irons.

Now with respect to the “White” designation, If you’re skeptical/confused, well, let’s just have a look at a comment on BH’s Instagram post announcing the iron launch and the company’s response…

jonmodica: “Very unclear the changes from previous model… also… white? It’s chrome…..”

Benhogangolf: ”@jonmodica More progressive specific to each club head, a more aggressive V-Sole pattern and the ‘white’ is opposite of the popular and newly designed Ft. Worth Black.”

There you have it, folks. “White” as in contrast to the Ft. Worth Black irons, and the Ft. Worth White is not merely a re-issue of original chrome Ft. Worth, according to the company.

With respect to the changes to the V-Sole system, the company said this in its marketing materials for the Ft. Worth Black.

“Feedback from strong players and robot testing indicated that the leading edge could be increased on certain irons, and trailing edge softened … especially with less-than-full shots in the shorter irons.”

“So, in our ongoing quest to design and manufacture the best clubs in golf, we’ve modified the V-Sole Technology used on the Ben Hogan Ft. Worth BLACK slightly. The sole maintains the same basic design principles as the original V-Sole but has been optimized for each iron in the set. In effect, we’ve strengthened the leading edge from the sole to the face on some of the Ft. Worth BLACK irons, while reducing the trailing edge bounce on others.”

Obviously, the company scrapped the PreciseLoft system introduced with the original Ft. Worth irons. That system offered four loft profiles, all with consistent four-degree gaps. After finding the vast majority of players preferred the “mid-high” launch profile, the company did away with the others…and returned to tradition iron number (rather than loft) stamping on the toe.

The aforementioned lofts in the 4-PW set range from 22 degrees to 46 degrees.

“The Ft. Worth White Irons are illustrative of how Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company interacts with and listens to its customers,” said Scott White, President and CEO, Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company. “On the heels of our sales success with the Ft. Worth Black Irons, we found many ‘traditionalists’ who wanted to play this iron design with the standard nickel-chrome finish, so we accommodated them with this launch.”

Ft. Worth White irons are available for purchase on the Ben Hogan website exclusively for $700.00 per seven-piece set (4-PW).

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Equipment

Ping’s new Sigma2 putters are length-adjustable, and one of them “fetches” the ball from the hole

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We recently spotted photos of Ping’s new Sigma2 putter line in our GolfWRX forums, but what we didn’t know at the time was that there is an adjustable-length system built into their Pistol grips.

The USGA conforming, length-adjustable feature allows golfers to change lengths between 32 and 36 inches in approximately 0.25-inch increments with a turn of the small Ping wrench that fits into the butt end of the grips.

“The adjustable shaft is just a really cool technology,” said John K. Solheim, Ping President. “Our engineers took a very complex technical challenge and simplified it for the benefit of golfers. It allows you to experiment with various lengths and ultimately self-fit yourself. You’re no longer limited to a specific length measurement. You simply adjust it until you’re comfortable, ideally with your eyes directly over the ball. We call it ‘invisible’ technology but once you customize it to your length, the results will be very clear on your scorecard.”

Also, we’ve since learned that the Sigma2 Fetch putter head fits into a standard size golf hole, and the design allows golfers to simply place the bottom of the putter head into the hole to pick the golf ball out without bending over.

Each of the 9 new head models in the Sigma2 line have a new face technology as well, made to be softer and more responsive than the Sigma G putter faces. The “dual-durometer” face inserts, which are made of PEBAX material, have a softer outer layer, and a firmer inner layer, designed for greater player feedback, according to Ping.

Additionally, Ping’s familiar TR face design pattern alters in depth across the face to speed up mishits — the goal being to have greater speed consistency regardless of where the golfer strikes the ball on the face.

The Sigma2 putters, which are now available for pre-order at Ping golf shops around the world, are offered with either the PP60 (midsize and lightweight), the PP61 (inspired by the PP58), or the PP62 (larger, more rounded shape) grip, which are each equipped with the length-adjustable system.

Read below for full specs of each putter, as per Ping’s press release.

See more photos and discussion about the Sigma2 putters here.

Ping Sigma2 Anser

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum or Stealth
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/- 2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 ZB 2

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Kushin C

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Arna

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Tyne

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Tyne 4

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Wolverine H

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Valor

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Fetch

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Ping Sigma2 putters.

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