Modern adjustable drivers are a marvel of engineering and something we now take for granted—considering every OEM utilizes some type of adjustable system to assist with fitting and dialing in launch conditions.
However, as every WRXer knows, before we had these tools to our disposal, we had to rely on the good old-fashion glued-in shaft drivers.
These five models are among the best from the recent past.
TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP
Released in the fall of 2010, the Burner SuperFast TP was the undisputed king of ball speed for a very long time. Many will default to thinking the R510 TP was one of TaylorMade’s best, but for both the average golfer and for tour pros, this 460cc driver offered a lot more forgiveness than the R510 thanks to its size and aerodynamics. For those who had one, it stayed in the bag for a long time if you got the shaft right.
Adams Insight Tech a4 Prototype 9015D
It was a question a lot of people asked when these started showing up in golfer’s bags.
The 9015D was the brother to the original Adams 9016D, which was specifically built for the long drive circuit when Adams Golf was the official sponsor. It had a high toe profile and sat open at address—something that was often hard to come by in the glued hosel era of driver design.
One fun thing to consider when looking back at this driver is the protruding mass towards the back of the head to lower the center of gravity—vaguely similar to the TaylorMade SIM’s Inertia Generator and Cobra’s SpeedBack—minus the multi-material construction. Those Adams engineers were onto something!
Titleist’s very first 460cc driver was introduced not long after the 400cc 905S and the 905T (made famous by the notorious old-club using Steve Stricker) hit the scene.
The 905R stayed in some player’s bag for an extended period of time, including the bag of Adam Scott, who didn’t switch until the 910 came along. Many golfers referred to the 905R as a big version of the famous 975J, and from address it’s hard to argue.
Callaway FT Tour
One of Callaway’s first “tour” style drivers. The original version of the FT Tour was called the FT-9 Tour Authentic and was Callaway’s attempt to compete with the popular Tour Preferred line from TaylorMade. The price tag was high but so was the performance.
The FT Tour was a workable low spin driver and the grandchild of the FT-5 TH—a tour only driver that offered Callaway’s very first traditional-style hosel and got them away from the S2H2 designs that built the brand in the 90s. At 460cc’s, it still looks small by today’s standards, but if you can find one give it a hit.
Bridgestone J33R 460
The J33R 460 will go down as one of the all-time best drivers of its era. Its popularity even made trying to find one more difficult than it should have been at the time because Bridgestone struggled to find brick and mortar stores to carry their hard goods (beyond golf balls) at a time when big-box was the king of golf retail. The J33R was the third generation of the J33 driver line that included the J33P (375cc) and the original J33R (420cc).
Stuart Appleby famously hit a 426-yard tee shot at the 2006 Mercedes Championships (Tournament of Champions in Hawaii) that nearly went over the green of the par-4 12th hole with the J33P—now imagine the punch of the 460 version!
What do you think of these selections, WRXers? Any drivers you’d add?