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True Game Changing Drivers for Each Company in the Last Decade?


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I know this may be controversial but I don't think there's been any game changing tech in the last 10 years. Adjustability is convenient but it isn't really game changing. Titanium has been the biggest needle mover and the thinning of it, particularly in the face. The addition of carbon has let designers shift weight for stability, but all of this probably hasn't changed much at all in comparison to the Pro V1.

PXG PROTO 0811X 9*
CALLAWAY X2 HOT 3 DEEP 14.5*
PXG PROTO 0317X  HYBRIDS 19*, 22*

SRIXON ZX5 4-P
CLEVELAND ZIPCORE RAW 52*, 58*FF

ODYSSEY 2M CS

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Id agree with this, mostly... sldr brought low spin heads to the masses... since then, I don’t think there has been a single driver that has taken the industry by storm... now there is just more variety in club design and you can fit what works for you... I can’t think of a must have driver in the past five years... all the “famous” drivers are from decades ago... big Bertha, r9 / tp 540, Cleveland launcher... titliest had been tweaking the same driver design for years until the ts series, which is only slightly different.

As of 1/24/21

9 Callaway Mavrk Sub Zero with RipX

13 Degree Adams Speedline with Aldila Alpha 

18 Degree Adams A12 with Proforce V2

4 Utility Sub70 699u 22 degree Proforce V2

5 iron Sub70 639 CB with S400

6-GW Adams CMB with Project X 6.0

Sub70 286 54

Sub70 JB Low Bounce 58

SeeMore milled Tri-Mallet fit and built at SeeMore 

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Tm-m2 2016

Callaway-epic

Ping-g400max

Cobra-f9

Titleist-ts3

 

2018 TM M3 9.5 Accra Concept M3 tipped 1 inch
FW: Callaway Epic 3 Wood Elements Chrome 6F4
FW: Callaway Epic heavenwood Elements Chrome 6F4
Irons: 4i U45 Nippon stiff 5-aw P770 KBS TOUR FLT 110
Wed: SM5 56.14F SM 7 60.12D
PT: 2014 Scotty Newport 1/500 custom

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Agreed. I think a more notable TM thing is the sliding weights. Yeah, others have since done that, but with the exception of that one Mizuno MP driver (correct me if I’m wrong here), TM pioneered what the sliding weights can do. What twist face should’ve done is made players realize that bulge and roll are their friend on a driver face.

PING G410 9* Tour AD GP 7x
Taylormade SLDR 14* Accra Tour Proto M5-85
Taylormade SLDR 19* Accra Tour Proto M5-85
Cobra King Forged 4-P $-Taper 120 S+
Ping Glide 50* Glide Stealth 56* 60*
Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 or Toulon Atlanta

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definitely a good point, but continuous refinement is what eventually leads to breakthroughs. With limits in place, the breakthroughs/game-changers won’t be as significant, but with that said the new trend seems to be expanding the area of the face with the max COR, which is definitely a game changer for those who miss the center (myself, often, included)

PING G410 9* Tour AD GP 7x
Taylormade SLDR 14* Accra Tour Proto M5-85
Taylormade SLDR 19* Accra Tour Proto M5-85
Cobra King Forged 4-P $-Taper 120 S+
Ping Glide 50* Glide Stealth 56* 60*
Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 or Toulon Atlanta

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I know it's not really what this topic is about, but the 510TP was the ultimate game changer for me... a great driver with a true high end shaft... it introduced me into a new world, and set the bar for driver prices

WITB

Driver: Titleist TSi2 9º w/ Diamana DF 60 TX

3 Wood: Titleist 915F 16.5º w/ Diamana Blueboard

Hybrids: Callaway Super Hybrid 17º w/ Tensei Orange

Titleist 816 H1 21º w/ Diamana Blueboard

Irons (5-PW): Srixon 765 w/ KBS Tour C-Taper 120

Wedges: 48º Vokey SM6, 54º Vokey SM8 Black, 60º Hand Ground Tour Issue Vokey

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport Masterful Tourtype SSS CT A048277

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In response to the original post about drivers from companies that were "game changers", there were two drivers over my many years of golfing that stand out as drivers that made a difference in my golf life, other than the Cleveland Launcher 440, which was my first titanium driver.

1) Adams 9015d -- there is a lengthy thread about this driver buried somewhere in the archives of Golfwrx. This driver was stunningly good looking. It truly was the club that I could hit the ball the furthest with of any driver i'd ever tried. It was forgiving. It was accurate. The feel and sound were the best of any to that date.

2) Nike VR Tour. The stock shaft was the real deal original Project X Blue graphite driver shaft. Also an amazing driver at 430cc.

The technology that changed the driver forever was titanium

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TS2 driver, 9.5 - Tensei  AV Blue 55, s; or Hzrdus Smoke Black, 5.5 flex
Mavrik 4-wood, 16.5 - Evenflow Riptide 65, s
Callaway Super Hybrid, 20 - Tensei Orange 80, r


AP3, 5-48* - Steelfiber i95 r
SM8 52, F12; 58, D12 - Steelfiber i95 r
Evnroll ER2,  33"

 

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I still have my long drive heads of the 9015d and 9016d

Ping G400 Max 11.1* Project X 6A4 7.0

Ping G400 5w 16.9* Blueboard Ion 73x

Ping G400 7w 19.5* Project X 7B4 6.5

Cally Apex '19 4h PX HC-1 & 5h 26* PX HB-6

Srixon ZX7 6 - PW PX Catalyst 100 6.5 
Ping Glide 50* 54* 60* Tour W 64* TS 

Scotty GoLo 7 (35g weights)
 

 

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Adams incorporating the slots was pretty sweet. The XTD was an absolute monster. not sure how innovative the slots were but there must've been something to it because Taylormade and a few others followed suit.

SIM 2 - RDX (PVD) Blue 6.0 (tipped 1 inch) 
Adams Insight 12.5 - Tour AD YSQ 75 S (tipped 1/2 inch)
King 2 Utility - LZ 6.0
Mizuno 919 HM Pro 4&6 - DG 105 S300

MacGregor Pro C 6-P - S300

Akira H-252 S-300
Callaway PM Grind Black 56 LZ 6.0
Wilson Tour Special I
Any Tour type ball 

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The Ping TiSI was the driver that spawned the COR discussion. The ERC made noise because it exceeded the USGA limit, but it wasn't actually a game changer.

I agree with those who point to the R9. Adjustable clubheads is really the only true game changer in the recent past. Everything since then is just moving the CG around. They were all doing that anyway.

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: Original One 11.5* (tuned down), NV75 X -or- SpeedZone 10.5*, Aldila ProtoPype 80S, <44" TBD

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TaylorMade TP5

GripMaster Roo or Kidd leather grips

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The Cleveland HiBore Driver. It was innovative and a really great driver IMHO. Cleveland has always been underrated except for their wedges.

Driver - Cleveland Launcher Turbo 10.5* Miyazaki 5R
Hybrid - Cleveland Halo #2 16* Miyazaki 6R
Irons - Cleveland CBX 4-PW Miyazaki 6R
Wedges - Cleveland CBX 50* & 54* Rotex
Putter - Cleveland Frontline Elevado
Ball - Srixon Z-Star
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Turbulators baby. Lol.

+1 to TaylorMade for the white crown.

Ping G400 Max 10.5 - Fujikura Vista Pro 65 Flex-X 44.5"
TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
Ping G410 7wd 20.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (43")
Ping G410 9wd 23.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (42.5")
Ping G410 5h 26 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 70 Stiff
PXG 0311P Gen3 6-P (2 Deg Weak, 1 Deg Flat) - True Temper Elevate 95 S
Ping Glide 3.0 52-12 SS, 56-10 Eye2, and 60-10 SS Orange Dot (2 Deg Flat) - Ping Z-Z115 Wedge
PXG Blackjack 36" - SuperStroker Flatso 2.0

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To expand on what @manima1 said, spin and launch are linked when the ball is struck on the sweet spot. If you continue to strike the sweet spot, spin and launch will go up and down together. Decoupling launch and spin requires utilizing vertical gear effects e.g. striking slightly above the sweet spot which raises launch (due to the loft increasing "roll" in bulge and roll) and lowers spin (due to vertical gear effects). This is what they are referring to, and this becomes easier to accomplish with a lower CG as there is physically more area "above" a low CG on the face. This is nothing terribly new as there have been several very low CG drivers, but within the Taylormade line the CG has been rising with every M-series release, which IMO set the stage for one of the performance "gains" with the SIM series and its lower CG.

Taylormade SIM 10.5* Diamana X'17 70TX || Taylormade SIM 9* Diamana X'17 70X
Taylormade SIM Ti V2 15* Kuro Kage Proto 80TX || Taylormade SIM Ti V2 17* Kuro Kage 80XTS 
Taylormade M5 19* Tensei Pro White 90TX || TItleist TS21* Kuro Kage 100XTS 
Taylormade RSI UDI 20* Project X PXi 7.0 // Kuro Kage 100XTS 
Hybrid  
Bridgestone J40 DPC 4i-7i 23*- 35* Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0
Bridgestone J40 CB 8i-PW 39*- 48* Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0

Taylormade Milled Grind Raw 54* Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0
Vokey SM6 58* Oil Can Low Bounce K-Grind Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0
Scotty Cameron Newport Tour Red Dot || Taylormade Spider X Navy Slant

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Taylormade --- my gut says R9 as that was the first driver really to push the full scope of adjustability at the time. SLDR and 2016 M2 of course just because of their cult status, whether or not they fit you was another story but they sure sold a lot of them.Callaway --- Epic with Jailbreak. It really does work.Titleist --- meh, nothing groundbreaking here really apart from being one of the first OEMs to offer true upgraded shafts for freeCobra --- F9 for sure. Fastest ball speeds of any driver last year definitely put them on the map. However some notables are the L5V, first mass-market OEM adjustable driver on the market and the AMP was one heck of a driver too. PING --- G30 LS or G400 Max. First truly high MOI heads that were low spin.Mizuno --- ST190 line. First Mizuno line ever that has taken market share away from the big boys. Our shop sold handfuls of them.Others (PXG, XXIO, Srixon, Cleveland, etc.) --- PXG = meh, XXIO = too niche, Srixon = 745/545 were under the radar bombers, Cleveland = SL series were groundbreaking because they were so light and fast, so good for the average player who can't turn the club over and needs extra speed.

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This is probably the best list I've seen so far. I agree with most nothing completely groundbreaking, but considering the manufacturers are restricted I would say some fairly big steps with what they can do legally.

TaylorMade - 1a) SLDR just because of how low spin it was and for guys who struggled with spin. Obviously, for many it was a disaster, but it did go somewhere most brands at the time hadn't gone. It was also a disaster for some players like me who could bomb it and then mishit it and lose tons of distance or be on a part of the course that wasn't really the course (I play the ball from anywhere). 1b) The M1/M2 were there, especially M2 with being low enough spin but adding forgiveness.

Callaway - agree with above poster, epic with jailbreak started it for them

Titleist - agree again. The TS series was a big improvement, but it basically just allowed them to catch up with current OEMs. Nothing they have done with a driver has been groundbreaking.

Cobra - F9 somewhat being great, but would give a slight edge to the LTD with it being low spin and one of the most forgiving low spin drivers at the time.

Ping - G400 series, the max for being extremely forgiving and the LST for being low spin with ultimate forgiveness and still making it playable. So many low spin drivers become long on good strikes but unplayable, but Ping seemed to keep the ball in play.

MIzuno - ST190 line as above, although the new 200 line looks to be just as good if not better. Mizuno woods are very underrated.

Sleeper pick: Cobra bio cell series. The normal was very forgiving while the bio cell + was overlooked by many, but still low spin and quite forgiving at the time. Many didn't like the two tone paint, but it is interesting many praised TM when they did the same with the M1/M2.

 

 

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JPX-850 was definitely a big jump for Mizuno, launching a new era in woods for them. The adjustments made a real difference to the ball flight and it ended up in a lot of bags for its performance - 3 of the top 5 in our club championships had it in their bag over whatever Callaway, TM and others had at the time. As great drivers as the MP-650 and its predecessors were, those weren't for the masses and the JPX-800/825 were pretty much only in some ladies' bags.

Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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The ST180 replaced my 650 driver last year but I doubt I'll ever get rid of it, the fairways left my bag in 2018. The fairways were fantastic as long as you had the swing to launch them as they weren't the highest-launching ones out there.

Swing DNA: 91/4/3/6/6
D & 3W: ST 180 / 3i: MP-H5 / 4-PW: MP-4 / 50º: MP-T5 / 55º: FG Tour PMP  / 60º: Hi-Toe / Mizuno Bettinardi BC-4

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