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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.

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Project X

    Jun 5, 2020 at 11:02 am

    The Ping G15 was a really good driver that made it into a lot of bags as well.

  2. 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……

  3. Dave

    Feb 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Bobarino

    Feb 27, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Current model Srixon Z585. Excellent driver.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

  15. 2putttom

    Feb 26, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Honorable mention, Cleveland Classic 290.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. Robert

    Feb 26, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Callaway FT5 -very good distance but harsh sound.

  22. 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.

  23. 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…

  24. 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.

  25. Yotrepo

    Feb 26, 2020 at 10:26 am

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

  26. 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

Billy Horschel WITB 2021 (April)

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Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow Riptide 65 6.5 TX

3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke 70 6.5

5-wood: Titleist TSi2 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke 80 6.5

Irons: Titleist 620 CB (3), Ping Blueprint  (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-10S, 60-08V @62)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Tyne

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Jimmy Walker spotted testing L.A.B. Blade, graphite putter shaft at Valspar Championship

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The putting green at a PGA Tour event is always full of interesting things as players get ready for the week ahead, and this week at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, is no different.

One of the biggest trends in golf is technology-packed graphite shafts for putters, and we continue to see them in more players’ bags week after week. Louis Oosthuizen had a BGT Stability Tour in play last week at the Zurich Classic, and this week, we spotted 2016 PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker working with a L.A.B. Blade putter fitted with an LA Golf Shafts Prototype graphite putter shaft.

Although we don’t have the specs of the exact shaft Jimmy is using, LA Golf shafts are well recognized as being one of the leaders in creating ultra-stable graphite shafts for the tour’s biggest hitter Bryson DeChambeau, who not only uses their Texas Rebar shafts in his irons but also a specially designed shaft for hit putter too.

As for Jimmy, this is an interesting move since one of the bright spots of his 2021 stats is his putter where he currently ranks 40th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting.

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Bridgestone launches special First Tee edition e6 ball

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Bridgestone Golf has launched a special First Tee edition e6 golf ball, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to First Tee, a youth development organization that helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf.

The special First Tee edition ball is available now exclusively through PGA Tour Superstore and comes in both white and optic yellow color codes.

“We’re very pleased to offer this special First Tee edition e6, exclusively at PGA Tour Superstore. For decades, First Tee has done very fine work, helping young people learn and grow through the game of golf, building strong individuals and communities. It is an honor to create a dedicated product where the proceeds from the sales will bolster their charitable endeavors.” – Dan Murphy, President and CEO, Bridgestone Golf

As a reminder, the e6 is the longest-running model in Bridgestone’s current lineup. The latest model, new for 2021, features a larger, softer core in design for a more responsive feel added distance for moderate swing speed players.

The new design, which is specifically tailored to modern players who value a ball that provides a very soft feel at impact, retails for $21.99 per dozen.

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