AHHH You now reach the real conundrum. What is term long..... Problem is people measure their length on their LONGEST drive, or WORSE longest assumed drive....
Here is my example, I have a 102mph swing speed AVERAGE. The optimal ball speed I can get is 1.5 smash X 102 = 153mph ball speeds... That is MAX.
Now apply the best launch window I can and that would 267 carry with whatever roll.
BUT have I hit 300 yard drives absolutely, do I do it with any consistency? HECK no. But You now some people have it in their head...that they can hit 300y. FACT remaining, I Generate at max 153mph ballspeeds.
Apply reality. I DO NOT hit 1.5 smash with any consistency. I am closer to 1.45 meaning 147.9 mph ball speeds likely average AT BEST. Add in the optimal launch window (IF I get it even optimal ) we are looking at 246 carry. AGAIN if I have a launch angle and spin rate that provides it.
Now the Painful reality, after 80 rounds of collected data and all my driving stats, I have an ACTUAL driver average of 239y, this takes in ALL my drives 300+ and 200+ averages whatever they actually were..... Yet I have a 102mph driver swing speed, that should be getting 267 carry that is a 28 yard difference of optimal and reality. So what is LONGER to me....... My longest driver or my longer averages.....
I think MANY people fall in this category.... But also many people would NOT even consider this reality..... they think I hit it 280-290 thats my average.
Does my swing suck? YES, am I taking advantage of the club or better served to go get my smash factor figured out, how to deliver the head better to the ball.... Yups....The newer heads do have spin benefits, do have better retention of ball speeds... But its artificial to get you closer to your optimal. But That just means you are not hitting out of the center, and likely need work there.
Still no Bobcat...
But Rick Shiels lanch monitor numbers are averages. They're not all nutted drives. The improvements in forgiveness are marginal at best.
MrShortGame on YouTube cut open a Titleist TS3 driver with a dremel to expose the "tech" inside (and compare to a fake TS3 that he did the same thing to). Skip to 10:40 of the video to see the inside of the cut open driver head. There's no "tech" in these drivers other than the face thickness, the weight tube, and some sound-deadening material (foam or rat glue glue it looks like) stuck to the inside surface on one side. There's no "tech" in these things at all - just a hollow space.
You are basing your judgement off of someone who makes solid contact way more often than not. And when he does miss the center it is not by crazy margins. Other people in this thread are talking about average golfers with average ball striking ability. For those golfers there is a HUGE distance difference in off center strikes compared to drivers of years ago. This is one of the reasons that Callaway's "Flash Face" drivers were the number one recommended driver last year by professional fitters. And a lot of it is because they maintain more ball speed on worse than marginal strikes than any other driver out there. Which for average golfers means more consistent distance. Which for most people = longer averages. Therefore the driver is longer, because they will be further down the hole more often. So some people would say that these drivers are very "forgiving".
But some people also tout the Ping G400 max as forgiving because it had the highest MOI of any driver. Well that is great for improving on dispersion but that does not mean that it can match the ball speeds on off-center hits of the "flash face" drivers. So You may find more fairways, but your low or high strikes might be 20 to 30 yards shorter. This is why the term"forgiveness" is so polarizing. Depending on which of these factors is more important to the individual, might define how they perceive "forgiveness"
There are so many combinations and for a lot of us our swing evolves over the years, it's about finding that elusive good fit. But when you find it, ride it for as long as you want and know you likely aren't giving up much. I've had 3 drivers that I knew were 'the one, an NVS orange shafted R5, a Ping G15 and the G400 max. the first two were in my bag for 4+ years and I really had no reason to get rid of them.
I reshafted my G400Max and it was a disaster. Lesson learned. I'm leaving well enough alone and just gonna enjoy the best driver I've owned for another 2-3 years. (famous last WRX words)
But they are conducted at completely different times with different shafts. Again, extremely unscientific and I imagine filtered for good shots. Plus he does not account for dispersion, which is majority of "forgiveness"
Content like this is nice, but to draw any meaningful conclusions from it with regards to "tech" is super dubious. Of course there aren't freakin' flux capacitors and gold plated widgets in there! With the exception of the Speed Injected stuff inside the new TM heads, you likely are NOT going to see much inside, and that is completely missing the point. The Titleist T3 specifically has a WAY lower CG than any previous Titleist driver at its MOI level. That is not something you are ever going to see, but it will more easily create high launch, lower spin launch conditions which will result in longer drives for many.
Visible tech if for marketing, the meaningful things you will see like minute differences in face thickness and both horizontal and vertical center of gravity locations are invisible and far more consequential when it comes to performance.
I bought my XR on a whim of all things,,,,, I liked the looks of it, great deal so I bought it,,, my gamer before was a Cleveland 460 Classic, LOVED IT, could not get it up with a fist full of Viagra,,,, My brother-in-law could hit it a ton,,, after one round of horrible driving,,,I tossed it to him and told him it was his,,,,, 2 weeks later,,, you might off guessed it,,, HE could not hit it worth a dang,, so I also agree with a previous poster that sometimes is Psycho !!!
1 - You said new driver. Epic Flash is last year. Or did you mean new to you?
2 - Bobcat is banned? I almost miss the SLDR-C references in every equipment thread.
Last weeks Tour winner was playing a TM M2. It’s mostly all hype these days. Has been for a few years now I believe, how new is the greatest. Just a bunch of marketing hype. Get fit with the right combination and go play.
ill throw my two cents in. Have drivers improved over the last 5-10 years. Yes... but micro improvements. Is 1 yard off a mishit worth 500$? Thats in the eye of the beholder. I think the computer designed face from callaway is soooooo laughable. So we had a computer go through alllllll these different face combinations and thicknesses... and the result is we got maybe a yard on a mishit(if that) guess the human designed clubs are pretty darn good after all. And besides where do they go from there? Dont tell me they get a smarter computer and last years AI wasnt the best... sheesh. Reality says they change the sound and paint scheme and market the **** out of it.
I think it's presumptuous and even lazy to just assume new drivers are just marketing talk and BS. As a few have pointed out there are so many variations to consider and the reality is most golfers, a good 85%, have never really done a true fitting. They grab the off the rack stuff, take 5 swings, and think they got it figured out. If you're that guy, that's fine, and sure, you probably won't see much difference year over year. But you also don't know what you could be missing with other shaft and head combinations either. And to just toss that aside as marketing material is a mistake and you're completely oversimplifying everything to fit the narrative you want to believe.
while i agree about the fitting stuff, it has zero to do with the marketing and claims if technological improvements they claim. Two separate issues.
The question wasn’t raised about the tech advances that have been made. The question that was raised was if 3-4 years of advancements could be tangibly seen from hitting a head from last season and a head from 4 seasons ago using the same shaft and if the improvement is tangible enough to be worth spending an extra $500 or so on the newest heads. Now that question can’t be definitely answered for everyone because one person’s results won’t equal anyone else’s. Ultimately, we all get to decide what we want to put in the bag and how much or little we spend to do that. Yes all of us might see some tangible improvement from testing every new head and dozens of different shafts in the attempt to maximize our launch monitor numbers. Maybe that translates to improved distance and control on the course. Just remember not all of us see the benefits of squeezing every last yard from the driver every season if our existing driver is getting representative distance and control and sharpening other parts of our game will likely benefit our scores more than the extra 3 to 5 yards off the tee we might see.
What measuring device did you use for your swing speed? Many of the swing speed radards tend to overestimate club head speed by 5+ mph. Trackman shows to me consistently over 1.5 smash factor (1.5-1.53) with Pro V1 balls. If I mishit real bad the SF drops to 1.46. I trust the trackman as the industry standard for club head speed. GC4 shows around 4-5 mph more club head speed at my speeds. The SF on GC4 is barely 1.45 on a good strike
Distance is in meters
@Exactice808 "Problem is people measure their length on their LONGEST drive, or WORSE longest assumed drive...."
I see this a lot with irons, which is why many an amateur comes up short. They take their average iron distance based on that one iron shot they hit absolutely flush, and the odds of doing it again are rather slim, so on approaches many tend to take too little club.
Treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping. Jordan Peterson
Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest thing of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes
In golf, the human mind has much higher capabilities to screw things up than the physics has to make things better. Unknown
The XR16 is a great driver that I tested when it was released but I didn't buy it at that moment, hence I continued until last year with a Cleveland Classic 588 when I tested a Ping G400 SFT and a Rogue Draw. In my case there was a lot of differences. With the new drivers I can hit around 20m more easily and straight finding more fairways and getting much better scores.
RS is a better player who hits it pretty close to the same spot every time. One if the major gains in new drivers is the retention of energy across the face.
If you hit it on the screws every time then you won't notice much difference but proper fitting can make a significant difference which can be seen on any number of YouTube videos. TXG is something that everyone should watch to understand the crazy number if variables. It's not simply the shaft.
This doesn't speak to the OP's ideas, and probably confirms what a lot of posts have said throughout the thread.
I'll make three guarantees about this:
Why wouldn’t it speak to the OP’s ideas? How do you make these guarantees? I’m sure he was optimal fitted and squeezing all he can get outta the M2. I’m sure TM would love to have him in a SIM as well. Beings he’s not, should say something, even though he’s been optimal fitted. So, if all the claims being made these days by manufacturers, it should be even easier for a tour pro, with all they have at their disposal, to get optimal performance from just about anything.
Normally I agree with this statement. I played the TM Jetspeed (super underrated club), 2016 M1 and 2017 M2. I broke my M1 and Taylormade replaced it with an M3, but man did I hate that driver. So, the Jetspeed through the M2/M3 I saw no real performance boost in all my testing. In fact, I thought I was pretty optimally fit in my M2, but yesterday I got on the simulator and hit the SIM Max next to my M2 and the numbers don't lie. I thought it was a joke. Mis-hits were flying super far and center hits were carrying 15 yards further. I'm not saying this is typical with all new drivers (in fact it hasn't been), but I guess you never know until you go out and try a new combo. I also love trying new clubs on the monitor, but so far in my 20 years of playing golf have never bought a new driver before yesterday. It's just one of the matches that worked and I'll take it.
My driver. I removed one of the weights today to make the swingweight a bit lighter. :) It’s ugly, but it’s mine!
I added the weights after I shortened the shaft. Sorry for the flipped image, it’s thanks to our wonderful new editor.
I will be taking my behemoth along for a proper driver fitting and I am excited to see what comparisons I will see. I will post those results once done.
For CAD $600 or thereabouts, a new one had better be significantly better in every way.
(as in my signature) i have an XR16 Pro & a Rogue, both in TC heads + same shaft Fujikura SIX. think they are about 4± yrs apart co-incidentally.
XR16 is superior in terms of accuracy + workability. i can hit like a 3W (comparing to a driver in general).
Rogue is superior in the distance dept. same swing, same condition, it'd go at least 10 yd further. when i have a 'good' hit w XR16 it's about 240. i'm 5'08", 130lbs. a good hit with Rogue, it's at least 255 - 260.
biggest difference is feel/sound from that one is metal while the other is composite head. an obvious one.
hard to find what not to like on XR16.
biggest not-in-favor for Rogue is 1. chunkier/ballony head being 460cc (XR16's 440c, noticeably smaller with pear shape). 2. it's delicate aka not much forgiving. 250 yd to the next fairway right or left often...
if i had a competition or beer game tomorrow, i'd bag XR16. for a long drive comp, definitely Rogue.
my point being is:
Callaway XR16 Pro TC 9º + Fujikura Six Tour Spec X
Callaway Rogue TC 14.7º + Fujikura Pro Tour Spec TI 6X
Adams Super LS Speedline TI 14º + Aldila RIP'd NV 7 TX
Royal Collection 505V BBD Hybrid #2 18º + NS PRO 950W X
TM TP UDI #2 18º + DG TI X100
set1: Nike VFP 4i + HZRDUS HC Black 95 6.5, 5i + DG TI X100, VP Forged Blades 6–P + DG TI X100
set2: Nike VR Pro II Blades + DG TI X100 3-P
Scratch 8620 47º 50º 56º DG S300 / Scratch STI 60º + DG TI S400
Scotty CLN, Edel The Brick
With the release cycles of major equipment manufacturers it's pretty obvious there can't be major differences between models. The changes are mostly cosmetic and very marginal performance improvements. Over a time these marginal improvements accumulate into major improvements. I just replaced a TM R11S with Cobra Speedzone. We are talking of twenty meter distance gain on launch monitor, more on course, with very tight dispersion.
Likely a non-negligible portion of that improvement comes from the shaft being a better fit for me, but on both of my typical misses the performance difference to a good shot was very small. I doubt there would be a noticable difference to a year or two year old model that can't be attributed to the fit of the club but most people in the real world don't get new clubs every year. If you get a new driver every ten years and don't always hit the sweet spot you will see substantial improvement.
I also prefer the feel but that's too vague and not easily quantifiable so it's not really an argument.
Did you see the same distance gain on the course as you say in the simulator??
I have made upgrades to other clubs in my bag, but I still game my trusty old 910D3. Could I gain a few more yards, maybe but nothing replaces the confidence I have on the tee box.
In fact, I saw bigger gain on course. Hard to be precise but clearly more than twenty meters.
The right shaft & hosel/weight settings are key for any head. Took out my M2 & played around with 2 drivers yesterday for a casual round (XR16 SZ & 915D2) & both produced better flight & distance. Older tech can still work.
Yes the over estimation is what is potentially giving the odd smash factors. Yes TM does and can give over the 1.5 smash, but generically speaking 1.5 is the basis of measurement. Going back to my original point, CT units are truly the ONLY actual true measurement but not many people have a CT machine.
Anyways smash is a calculation of ball speed and club speed so if a measurement is off it can read skewed numbers but the point is you can get a base number of potential through estimation. If you have a swing speed of 100 the potential ball speed is 150mph. if you have a swing speed of 110 you have a potential of 165mph. we are likely not exceeding this. In other words I dont know of any human able to have a swing speed of 100mph yet produce a ball speed of 160 (1.6smash) with a confirming club 239ct units +/- 18ct units, and a calibrated launch monitor.
The conforming club cannot exceed a maximum of 257 ct units period if it exceeds this then its non confirming and your round is not a stipulated round.
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