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Top 5 modern glued-hosel drivers

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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

Adams. Really?

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 905R

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?

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. LoPro

    Feb 28, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Cobra S91 Pro D, best sounding, longest and original Carbon headed driver!!!
    Pity I had to replace every 3-6 months due to the cracked top of the heads near the heel……

  2. Dave

    Feb 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Ping Rapture V2 with the Diamana Blue was a game changer for me

  3. 90TforME

    Feb 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    I would’ve said 905T, not R. And the T was much closer in shape to the 975J or the 983K. I’m not sure what the author is smoking.

  4. Ryebread

    Feb 28, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    It is hard to believe the Cleveland Hibores didn’t make the list. I still see them in a lot of bags (more than anything on this list outside of possibly the TM). My testing suggests that nothing new is actually better. A certain high profile TV personality seemingly agrees as a Hibore is still their gamer.

  5. Brandon

    Feb 28, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Great reminder on what I had in my bag back then – almost all of them at one time.
    Great suggestions from the other comments as well. I’ll throw in some I liked a lot around that time that produced good results for me. Nickent 3DX and 4DX (before the revolver) and the Dot-Com-This from Geek Golf. Thoughts?

  6. Funkaholic

    Feb 28, 2020 at 9:54 am

    This is a stupid list. If you are gaming a driver more than 5 years old, you are losing distance and accuracy.

    • Philippe Longpre

      Feb 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

      Then why did you click on the link? The list is awesome and all 5 drivers would gladly find a home in my shop.

    • Michaele

      Feb 28, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Not too sure about the level of your reading comprehension skills. T/he artile makes it very clear on multiple occasions that it’s about equipment from a past era.

      Your comment is far more stupid than the list. Next time you feel the urge to comment, do us all a favor and don’t.

    • Jack Randalls

      Feb 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      How long into the “modern driver era” did Snedeker use the Burner? Guess he was stupid too. Some of his best years.

  7. Frederick

    Feb 27, 2020 at 9:44 am

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the Nike VR Tour. The first successful implementation of the compression channel still alive and well in drivers today. At 420cc it was still forgiving and very long for it’s time.

    • Joe

      Feb 28, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      I still game the VR tour. I cant find anyhting that looks better from the top, and its super long.

  8. Bobarino

    Feb 27, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Current model Srixon Z585. Excellent driver.

  9. Biblegolfer

    Feb 26, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Definitely 905R even today and Adams was ahead of the curve. Those drivers were awesome. Thanks for that article.

  10. Michael Rohmann

    Feb 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    I think I would add the Taylormade SuperQuad to this list. Especially the 282 version. They were awesome and very popilar on tour for many years

  11. Shallowface

    Feb 26, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Ping G10. I’m still using mine, and I know it took Ping a long time to get Lee Westwood to switch from his.

  12. Terry

    Feb 26, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    905R is the only 460cc that I have used and it was the best driver I ever played.

  13. Charlie Waffles

    Feb 26, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I really wonder how many people actually fiddle with an adjustable driver after it’s set?

  14. 2putttom

    Feb 26, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Honorable mention, Cleveland Classic 290.

  15. Curt

    Feb 26, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Had every one of these drivers except the 905R, and they truly are the best from the past. The 9015D being my all time favorite which is why I still own it. Don’t play it but still own it.

  16. Jason

    Feb 26, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Taylormade Burner 07 driver. Still use it. In my opinion, the sound and feel is the best.

  17. Mike

    Feb 26, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Bagged the Bridgestone J33R 460 for several years,first 460 driver I could play, hid the size well and still to me one of the best feeling of all the modern drivers. Also had the Burner SuperFast TP for a couple of years, it was a beast.

  18. martin

    Feb 26, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I think the FT Tour was 440cc. I games the FT9 tour, best driver Ive ever had. It cracked on my in the end and Cally gave me a Razr fit instead, hated that driver. haha

  19. Ryan

    Feb 26, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Nike VR Pro and Ping G20 are up there too.

    • Chris

      Feb 26, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      2nd the Ping G20

      • DH

        Feb 27, 2020 at 11:49 am

        G20 was probably one of the greatest drivers ever made!!

    • LoPro

      Feb 28, 2020 at 8:16 pm

      Very forgiving but way to much spin for the stronger player

  20. Robert

    Feb 26, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Callaway FT5 -very good distance but harsh sound.

  21. Tony Wright

    Feb 26, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for the article Ryan. You should consider adding the Wishon 919 THI driver. Fully customizable for loft lie and face angle and has a face that is as hot as another other available driver.

  22. TacklingDummy

    Feb 26, 2020 at 11:32 am

    I’m waiting for irons with removable shafts. Not necessarily for adjustment, but the ability to swap out shafts easily. Then you can change if wanting or needing different flex, flight pattern, or weight.

    • Mike

      Feb 26, 2020 at 11:37 am

      Cobra has the adjustable hosels on their urility irons; I really don’t understand why it wouldn’t be more readily available on all irons.

      • Nate

        Feb 27, 2020 at 2:15 pm

        Most likely because it increases the weight of the iron head and changes the swing weight. It typically increases by 2 swing weights. So if the glued head is a D2, then removable head is a D4.

    • gwelfgulfer

      Feb 28, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      Then set it up yourself, because the OEM’s will never do it… Or, learn to reshaft irons yourself… It’s easy…

  23. Peter Sarro

    Feb 26, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Have been looking for the Bridgestone driver for years, but I haven’t ever seen one, wish some golf shops would carry more Bridgestone equipment

    • Joe

      Feb 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Dude there’s a bunch of them on eBay right now.

  24. Yotrepo

    Feb 26, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Would love to see the years these are produced. Anyone have that info?

  25. Marty

    Feb 26, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Wishon 919THI needs to be on this list. Glued bendable hosel allows for adjustment up to 4* in any direction. Design hasn’t changed in years and still sells today.

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Whats in the Bag

Tigers Woods WITB for each Masters win

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At its core, Tiger Woods’ equipment hasn’t changed by much over the better part of the last two decades. However, Tiger Woods’ equipment is constantly evolving, and there is no better tournament to witness that evolution than to take a peek into the equipment he used to win all five of his Masters Tournaments.

A couple of major notes to consider is Tiger used a steel-shafted driver playing less than 45 inches all the way up until the 2004 season when he finally made the move from his trusted Titleist 975D long after the rest of the PGA Tour had swapped in newer technology. It was still another two years before Tiger made the move to a 460cc driver head in the pursuit of greater ball speed and forgiveness.

Tiger also held onto his 2-iron for a long time, and up until a few years ago would rotate it in and out of the bag with a 5-wood. 2019 was the first major tournament Tiger won using a 5-wood instead of his trusted 2-iron.

Masters Winning Gear from 1997 – 2019

Tiger Woods WITB 1997 Masters

Winning Score: -18 bested his next closest competitor Tom Kite by 12 shots!

5101543P BAY HILLS INVIT''L

Driver: King Cobra Deep Face (9 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

3-wood: Titleist PT (15 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 15

Irons: Mizuno MP-29 (2-4) and MP-14 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTG (Raw Tour Grind) (56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport TeI3

Ball: Titleist Professional 90

Tiger Woods WITB 2001 Masters

Winning Score: -16, beat David Duval by 2 shots and Phil Mickelson by 3.

Driver: Titleist 975D (7.5 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft

3-wood: 
Titleist 970 (15 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: 
Titleist 681 Forged (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: 
Titleist Vokey Design 200 Series (58 bent to 56 degrees, 6o degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: 
Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: 
Nike Tour Accuracy TW

6502203P THE MASTERS X

Tiger Woods WITB 2002 Masters

Winning Score: -12, was 3 shots better than Retief Goosen and 4 better than Phil Mickelson

Driver: Nike Forged Titanium (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

3-wood: Titleist 970 (15 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: Titleist 681 Forged Prototype (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design 200 Series (58 bent to 56 degrees, 6o degree)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter:
 Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball:
 Nike Tour Accuracy TW

1805138SH010_Amex_Champs

Tiger Woods WITB 2005 Masters

Winning Score: Tiger beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff after they both tied at -12. The next closest golfers were Luke Donald and Retief Goosen at -5.

Driver: Nike Ignite 460cc (8.5 degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Diamana 83 TX

3-wood: Nike T60 Ignite (15 degrees )
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 103 TX

Irons: Nike Forged Blades (2-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Nike Pro Combo (56 degrees), Nike Blade TW (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Nike One Platinum TW

Tiger Woods WITB 2019 Masters

Winning Score: -13, was one shot better than Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Xander Schauffele.

Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 60 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (13 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P-7TW irons (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

 

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Equipment

The irons GolfWRXers with a 10-18 handicap are playing

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In our forums, WRXer ‘jjfcpa’ dedicated a thread to irons that fellow members with a handicap in the 10 to 18 range play. ‘Jjfcpa’ himself currently plays Callaway Apex CF19’s, and our members have been discussing the irons they currently play and why in our forums.

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.

  • tangojay: “Ping G-700, Alta CB graphite shafts, hitting them long, high and straight. Hitting them same distance and higher than my seven-year-old G-25’s with steel shafts, am 58.”
  • SouthLand: “Right now it’s a set of Cobra Amp Cells (~2013 GI), but I am in the process of upgrading. Need more spin on the ball, as I’m way below the desired range for spin metrics mainly. Pro thinks I could pick up some distance with improvement there. Driver too.”
  • Twinsgroupie: “Coming from Cobra Tour Forged and just ordered a set of PXG 0211’s. I tend to like a little bit more of a players iron than game improvement. Ball striking of the irons is better than my handicap would lead you to believe – let please not talk about my short game and putting…”
  • pat_kato: “Was playing Nike Vapor Pro Combos then went with the Mizuno MP-20 MMC, and I love them.”
  • BPetry: “Just got a set of Cobra Forged Tec players distance irons and so far I really like them. I came from hitting Callaway Razr X MB’s or a set of MP-54’s that I still hit well when I swing well but needed the extra distance with a bit slower swing speeds as I get older.”

Entire Thread: “10-18 handicap: What irons?”

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What GolfWRXers are saying about Ping Eye 2 Berylliums

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In our forums, our members have been talking about Ping’s classic Eye 2 Berylliums after WRXer ‘mywong23’ kicked off a discussion on the irons. ‘Mywong23’, who refuses to replace them with newer technology, reaches out to fellow members who give their thoughts on the vintage clubs.

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.

  • Old Tom Morris: “I never liked the way they looked. The shape was funny, and the lack of ferrules turned me off. However, they were and still are an excellent iron that are as good as many models out now. Nothing wrong with gaming that set, not hurting you at all.”
  • need2golf: “The rich kids had the Eye 2’s back in the late ’80s, nothing wrong w/ that. I had Wilson 1200 GE’s. Years ago, I bought my very own Eye 2’s, loved them, but sold them. Just bought BeCu Eye 2’s a little while back, can’t play golf yet but dying to game them. I shot some great scores w/ the Eye 2’s several years ago, can’t go wrong.”
  • scruffynick: “No but they’re my dream irons. Used the stainless for best on two decades… They were the greatest irons ever made for me. But I’d love a set of BeCu…. Had a look while on lockdown as there’s a 6-PW in red dot and I’m so tempted but… Mrs not having it considering I’ve got brand new Mizunos in my locker.”
  • 14max: “I’ve always been partial to the steel EYE2s, but the nickel and copper ISIs have made their way into my bag on more than one occasion. The copper EYE2s are pretty special and just seeing them sitting in a bag makes me wax nostalgic…”
  • BobV56: “I played mine until 2018. Sometimes I still miss hitting them.”

Entire Thread: “Ping Eye 2 Berylliums”

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