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The hottest drivers of 2019

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More than likely, it’s the most expensive club in your bag, and the one you spend the most time researching before purchasing. OEMs direct rivers of cash into developing new driver technologies, and no shortage of resources into telling the stories of the latest and greatest in the world of the big dogs.

With respect to the new technologies and the associated stories, we present, in no particular order (OK, it’s alphabetical order), these are the most buzzworthy, hottest drivers of 2019 (so far).

Callaway Epic Flash

Callaway-Epic-Flash-Sole

The lowdown: The Carlsbad-based company follows up the Epic-complementing Rogue with a driver whose story isn’t immediately visible upon a first glance at the club. Flash Face technology is the centerpiece of Callaway’s 2019 driver offering, and with it, beyond the usual distance-boosting claims, the company has done something truly interesting: leveraged artificial intelligence to create a golf club.

Cobra King F9 Speedback

cobra-king-f9-speedback-

The lowdown: Every driver company boasts a couple of technological advances with its new driver launches; maybe a new crown to save weight, an aerodynamic crown for more club head speed, a different sole design, a way to shift CG to dial in trajectory, higher MOI, or a different face technology. Cobra has thrown the kitchen sink at its new King F9 Speedback drivers, checking off all of those boxes.

Mizuno ST190G

The lowdown: Mizuno Golf is about more than just irons; that’s the message the company is keen to drive home with its launch of the Mizuno ST190 and ST190G drivers. In announcing its lowest spinning, most technology-packed driver in company history, with the 2019 Mizuno driver, the company seeks to position itself as one that has quietly innovated in the driver space for years. With respect to the specifics of the Japanese company’s most recent weaponry, the ST190 and 190G feature a forged Sp700Ti face (10 percent stronger than 6-4 titanium) with the company’s ultra-light Cortech structure, as well as a carbon composite crown.

Ping G410 Plus

ping-g410-plus-driver

The lowdown: To put into perspective what Ping is bringing to the table with its new driver, we have to think about how a driver is modified through custom fitting. The challenge presented to the design team was: how can the company bring moveable CG fitting to every golfer while also improving MOI and add ball speed? This is where all of the previous technology advances, along with the 16g of moveable mass positioned to the furtherest reaches of the perimeter to allow for a tour level fitting experience.

TaylorMade M5

taylormade-m5-driver

The lowdown: TaylorMade’s M5 driver features a Speed Injected Twist Face, building on the Twist Face technology the company debuted with the M3 and M4 drivers last year. The M5 clubface is designed to initially exceed the USGA’s COR limit. In simple terms, TaylorMade takes all of the heads they produce, pushes them past the USGA limit in regards to COR, and works backwards to ensure they fall within the parameters — the algorithm-driven process of resin injection into the clubs via the two ports on the face brings the figure just inside the acceptable range.

Titleist TS2

titleist-ts2-driver

The lowdown: TS2 and TS3 drivers have a 20 percent thinner titanium crown than the 917 drivers, allowing weight to be placed lower and deeper for lower CG (center of gravity) and higher MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness). The faces also use variable thickness for faster ball speeds across the face, and this year, the faces have been made 6 grams lighter. With the combination of weight savings from the face and crown, these drivers have the lowest CG ever for a Titleist driver, and MOI is 12 percent higher than the 917 drivers.

 

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Scott

    Mar 18, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    I was surprised to see the PXG Gen 2 driver not on the list. I really like it. I bought mine in January this year. The price point is not much more than the Taylormade M5 and I think it is a better driver. Better feeling and better performing in my opinion.

  2. john

    Mar 18, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    What people forget is the claims made about distance are based on tests done by machines where every single swing is identical to the last. In the real world, none us make the exact same swing two shots running so any potential gains are unrealised. With drivers pushing the £500 mark on a regular basis, it’s delusional to expect the club to do what the swing isn’t capable of. In my opinion, what we should be looking for from any new equipment is greater forgiveness. Better to be hitting 240 from the fairway than 250 from the rough.

  3. Michel Van Dam

    Mar 13, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    i just bay M4 driver, about 2055 i wil bay a new driver, if i still live hi hi!

  4. Morten Buckhoj

    Mar 9, 2019 at 5:50 am

    This is just the top6 brands….where is Tour Edge Exotics, Wilson, XXIO, Srixon…..??? My best guess is that they are equally good with as much tech….

  5. Birdiemachine650

    Mar 8, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Where’s th PXG love???

    • Joe

      Mar 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      Most folks ain’t gonna drop $800-1,000 on a driver… just sayin’

      • DLB

        Mar 13, 2019 at 8:51 pm

        Price point for PXG Gen2 drivers is less than what you stated.

      • JB

        Mar 15, 2019 at 8:24 am

        PXG Gen 2 driver retails at $575. The Taylormade M5 retails at $549. Just sayin’

  6. Anthony

    Mar 8, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Does anyone have any first hand experience with the Mizuno?

    • Funkaholic

      Mar 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      I haven’t hit this one yet but, I have bagged the JPX900 for a while now and I would put it up against any of the bigger names any day of the week.

  7. Jacopo Ferrero

    Mar 8, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    I own a Cortex Wilson and a Cobra F9 , same performances , same shaft , how can you leave the Wilson out of this article ?

    • N D Boondocks

      Mar 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      As long as there’s even a smell of subjectivity to ‘hottest’, I think you can be sure that there will always be excellent products that are dissed.

  8. Mike McDonald

    Mar 8, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    I lead a sheltered life. Just curious if High Heat or GX clubs have ever had reviews. I have 2 daughters and looking to put them into a driver-woods that are easy to hit with good results They do not NEED 400-600 dollar golf clubs

  9. Russell Ziskey

    Mar 7, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    I miss the official GolfWRX Gear Trials methodology of 2016 –

    http://www.golfwrx.com/352108/2016-gear-trials-best-drivers-club-test/

    I understand that the testing and evaluations done in 2016 probably were funded from revenue streams which may not exist now for GolfWRX but I echo other comments that this article just a catalogue of all the major OEMs driver offering for 2019 – having an objective and comparative ranking of the drivers is much more helpful.

  10. Ace

    Mar 7, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Im a Callaway guy (Rogue Draw currently) but boy does that Cobra F9 look sweet…On the other end of the spectrum how the mighty have fallen over at Titleist. IMO its the weakest entry on the list by far and even their long standing hold on balls is under assault by Big dogs like Callaway, small vendors
    like Snell (My fav) & Sams club of all places.

    • HDTVMAN

      Mar 8, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      I fit clubs and commented on how Titleist has been no where in sight in drivers for many years. However, I was just recently invited to Titleist in Oceanside to learn about the TS Drivers. All I can say is that these drivers are FOR REAL! We were asked to bring our current driver, and virtually every fitter in our group out-drove our driver with the TS. This included speed, distance, and dispersion. The TS is not your dad’s Titleist, anymore.

  11. JCGolf

    Mar 7, 2019 at 10:41 am

    How is this an article. “The hottest drivers of 2019” i.e. every single driver from the major companies.

  12. Dormie

    Mar 7, 2019 at 7:14 am

    So it’s just happens to be that the hottest drivers of 2019 are just the newest drivers from the leading manufacturers. They’re all the hottest drivers.

    Just title the article “newest drivers for 2019” if your concerned about pissing off advertisers.

  13. Danny Bentley

    Mar 6, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    How could you leave off the PXG Gen2 drivers ?

  14. Tom

    Mar 6, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    All sizzle, no steak. USGA equipment standards INSURE these clubs cannot perform better than previous models! Sellers be sellin! Save your money!!!

    • Alex

      Mar 6, 2019 at 7:08 pm

      Ball speeds and distance would indicate otherwise…is it worth 500 bucks every year? That’s for a consumer to decide. However making bold claims like that isn’t even close.

    • Brandon

      Mar 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      Enjoy your R7…

      • KK

        Mar 7, 2019 at 2:23 pm

        Love this comment! I was thinking 975D with the red Graffaloy shaft

    • Doug

      Mar 7, 2019 at 3:02 am

      Someone is not an engineer I hear.

    • Addison King

      Mar 7, 2019 at 11:55 pm

      Dumb, drivers are getting more aerodynamic and more forgiving every year. The COR limit is measured from a perfect hit out of the middle of the face

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: P2 putter grips

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Product: P2 putter grips

Pitch: From P2: “The patented P2 technology is based on the way the shaft is housed through the bottom of the grip. This effectively elevates the golfer’s hands at address, locks the wrists in place and creates sought after shaft-forearm symmetry.”

Our take on P2 putter grips

Putting is the one part of golf that truly levels the playing field – a sliding two-footer is worth just as many shots as a 345-yard drive, and from beginner to pro, we’ve all experienced the simple agony of missing one we know we really should have made. With so much recent focus on redefining putter technology the one part of the club that is still highly overlooked is the grip — but P2 is trying to change that.

The key part of the P2 design is the Bottom Shaft Housing that positions the grip asymmetrically around the shaft – on the vertical plane (don’t worry the grip are 100 percent symmetrical). This design, fully legal under the rules of golf, has scientifically proven through the use of Quintic, results that show both improved strike pattern on the face as well as getting more putts started on line at the intended target.

Part of the reason this design helps golfers putt more consistently is that it puts the putter more inline and on plane with the forearm to help create a single motion. As much as we would all love a putting stroke that flows as smoothly as Ben Crenshaw or Brad Faxon the amount timing needed in the hands to produce great results through these methods is often too difficult even for the better player to achieve. In a way, the P2 Grip design helps you get into an “armlock” position without fully overhauling your putting technique (and it allows you to keep your current putter).

In my personal testing, I decided to use the P2 Core Classic. This was my preferred grip since it offers the smaller width while giving the full experience of the Botton Shaft Housing tech. My putter specs are generally flatter than most with a lie angle around 68 degrees, when using a traditional grip this results in having the butt end point more towards my belly button and, as I’m fully willing to admit, a more rotational stroke. I never had to adjust any of the specs on my putter to get the grip to do exactly what it says it will. The grip plane became more aligned with my forearm and after a small adjustment period to the new shape, I was 100 percent making a more pendulum stroke with less arc. So far, results inside have proven to be a success, and I’m looking forward to taking it out to the course once the season really gets started.

Within the P2 lineup, there are four shapes and two weight categories to choose from to allow the player to find the exact fit for both grip method and balance. The original “Core” series is on the heavier side of the grip weight spectrum, but for many players using modern heavier putter heads this could be a huge advantage to help give your putter a higher balance point, and at the end of the day, produce a smoother putting stroke. As the current trend of research from multiple OEMs has proven, a higher balance point through weight distribution can lead to some big improvements in stroke consistency.

Whether its a claw, cross-handed, or more of a traditional grip method you use, there is a P2 grip that should fit your style and hopefully help you sink a few more putts.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Puma polos

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Product: Puma polos

Pitch:  From Puma “A world leader in high-performance sports clothing, Puma launched their first golf collection in 2004 complete with Puma golf shoes and clothing. The collection has gone from strength to strength ever since its creation, with tour pro golfers wearing the range out on the course. With bold colorful clothing to classically sporty and smart pieces, Puma golf is a versatile collection certain to appeal to golfers of all preferences.”

Our take on Puma’s polos

It’s difficult to look past Puma’s 2019 polo collection without seeing its Paradise golf shirt. Showcased by Rickie Fowler during the Island stretch of golf to begin the new year, the unconventional all button up shirt may not be to everyone’s taste, but anyone who pulls the shirt on will likely agree on its comfort. The shirt will channel your inner Ned Flanders, “feels like I’m wearing nothing at all,” and the ultra-lightweight feel combined with the looseness makes it an ideal summer shirt for swinging the club freely on the golf course.

Puma has a lot more polos on offer in 2019 than its Paradise shirt though, and one of the most visually striking shirts of theirs is the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo. The shirt comes in three vibrant colors (blue, white and green), and its camo inspired pattern is subtle and discreet which gives the shirt a cool look without being distracting. Also a lightweight polo, the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo features a clean three button look, as well as a very comfortable fit, and its dryCell technology means you won’t be drenched in sweat this summer.

Then there’s the Rotation Golf Polo which comes in both solid and stripes styles. The shirts offer a very modern feel and look, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with the selection of colors which the shirts come in, with an abundance on offer.

On the throwback front, Puma has you covered with their Nineties Golf Polo, with a striped shirt style and color. There are five different color blocks to choose from which are about as representative of spring/summer as I’ve seen, and the shirts also come with Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which is a nice summer touch.

The Faraday Polo is according to the company itself “one of our best”. Lightweight and one of the softest shirts they provide, it’s hard to disagree with them in terms of comfort level. The only off-putting feature of this shirt for me is the odd unfinished lining around the pocket.

The exhaustive selection of golf polos provided by Puma is impressive, and they’ve covered everything you’d want in a golf shirt in each of their styles. Prices range from $50-$70, and no matter what your taste, you’re bound to find a great summer golf shirt to add to your collection from their 2019 lineup.

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Sexy, slick, minimal irons?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Glowbal who is on the lookout for sexy, slick, minimal irons ala Scratch Golf’s old SB-1 iron set. Clean, as little branding or markings as possible and lofts instead of numbers on the club, are all the things Glowbal wants from an iron set, and our members have been on hand sharing their suggestions.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Fried Slice: “National Custom Works are Scratch. Same grinders and owners I believe. I’m sure they can hook you up. http://www.nationalcustomworks.com 
  • 11forgedblades: “When I was looking for irons without any logo, Geotech blades only had the numbers on them…completely blank.”
  • ivygynonc: “I have a set of Kyoei MB’s black.  They are nicer than my BBs as far as feel and looks.  Look great at set up.  Can’t go wrong with these.  And they are on the low end as far as costs for JDM blades, at least they were when I bought mine.”
  • kmay: “Another for National Custom works, incredible products, and from what I see watching there IG every day, they will make them to your exact requests, any stamping you want (or don’t) any shape muscle you want, sole grinds you want, seems like everything can be customized starting from forged blanks. True craftsmen.”

Entire Thread: “Sexy, slick, minimal irons?”

 

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