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Help! Driver search for 2021 season begins with a premium on forgiveness


deadeye ruck
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Just a little background on me.  I am a high single digit handicap (regular rounds anywhere from 75-80 currently)  I played collegiate golf 15 years ago.  I have a relatively flat swing (irons are 2* flat) with a fast transition.  I currently have a SS in the neighborhood of 105mph.  I am coming from playing a 910D3 which was plenty long but it kills me when I don't hit it right.  I bought it back around 2012 but basically stopped playing  golf for several years as we started our family.  I am getting back to playing regularly and want to pick up a new driver.  I am looking for something reasonably long but more importantly, something that is going to help when I don't hit it on the screws.  I would choose forgiveness over distance any day.  My miss is a high dead fade (which comes from laying off, not getting through the shot). 

 

Golf equipment has changed a ton since I bought my last driver so I need your help.  I am not brand loyal, looking for a high performer.  Any extra distance is always a plus. Shaft recommendations are also needed.  

 

I should note that I am not necessarily looking for a brand new out of the plastic driver but anything within the last couple of years would suit me fine also (on a diapers and coffee budget)

 

 

Edited by deadeye ruck
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I'm guessing the main recommendations will be ping 410 plus/425 max and sim/sim 2 max based on what you're looking for. I'll throw in that I tried and had decent success with both, but the new cobra radspeed drivers are pretty forgiving too and a fantastic value with their shaft options (motore x/hzrdus rdx blue)

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I did like my 910d3 and it's look at address.  I have played a variety of drivers in the past though so I'm not too hung up on it.  

 

With that being said I did have my eye on a G400 Max or the like.  I have not seen the newest TM or Cobra offerings to compare.  

 

Thanks for the feedback guys, keep it coming!

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Cobra fan so I would recommend those first. 

 

If you haven't heard the sound of the Pings make sure you do if you are considering one. They are obnoxious.

Mizuno ST-G 220 / STZ-220 : Ventus Blue 6S @ 44.5" or KBS TD Cat 3 @ 44.5"

Cobra LTDx 3W : Oban Kiyoshi Purple 75-S

Mizuno CLK 19*: Ventus Blue 8HB-S

Srixon ZXU #2 : Nippon Modus 3 120-S

Wilson Staff CB 4-PW : Nippon Modus3 120-S

Cleveland Zipcore 50, 54: Nippon Modus3 120/125 S 

Cobra MIM Black 58 : Nippon 125 Wedge

Piretti Potenza 370g : Breakthrough Technology Stability Shaft - 34"

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If you don't mind used, G400 Max is outstanding for forgiveness and pretty darn long. 

If you want new, Ping G425 but the G400 Max is the way to go if you can find one. 

  • Like 1

 "Get dressed Spaulding, you're playing golf today."
" No I'm not Grandpa, I'm playing tennis."
 "No, you're playing golf and you're going to like it."
 

 

 

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I love my g425max. I found the same shaft from my 410 did not get along so well and had to spend a few weeks looking for something I could game well. Now that I found it I am happy. THe sound is odd and loud but I kind of enjoy it now. I also live in the high toe on the face and nothing beats ping in my testing for that .Good luck with your search!

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Ts2 is forgiving if sticking titleist but 40 max and 410 plus are very very forgiving. 

Driver: :callaway-small: Rogue ST 9 💎💎💎 Ventus Black 6TX 

Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi2 16.5 Accra RPZ TOUR 472 M5+

Hybrid: :ping-small: G410 23.5 Ventus Blue 10X

Irons: :callaway-small: Apex TCB 5-AW Modus 130X :titelist-small: T100 4 Iron Modus 130X
Wedges: :vokey-small: 54.12 60.08 Modus 125 Wedge

Putter: :ping-small: PLD Anser

:titelist-small: Pro V1 

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All good recommendations above. The one thing I would add is DON'T OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANCE OF CLUB BALANCE! If you have trouble making consistent contact, it is more often weight related than anything. Even with stock shafts, the balance of the club needs to be right for you AND your swing. A little too light or heavy on total weight or swingweight and you struggle to hit the center. But get them right, and the center can be a TON easier to find. I've hit just about everything out there and this rings true for every club!

 

Most people think just getting a lighter shaft will get you more CHS, but this is not always the case. Myself, I can attain much higher CHS with 70g+ shafts than 60g or less. I just need a certain amount of weight in the club to reach my optimum tempo.

 

There's a lot to digest out there and it WILL become confusing. Just remember to come back here and discuss things so you have all the info you can get.

 

BT

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Cobra Speedzone 9.5° HZRDUS Yellow 65 6.5 @ 46"
Cobra LTD Black 14.5° Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 43"
Cobra F6 16.5° Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 41.5"
Mizuno MP5 4-PW Aldila RIP Tour 115 R
Mizuno MP-T5 52, 56 & 60 - TT Wedge
Grips - Grip Master Master Perforated Midsize

Odyssey Stroke Lab V-Line Blk 33.5"
 

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Just about any modern driver made within the past couple years is going to be more forgiving than what you've got.  Ball speed won't drop nearly as much on mis hits and dispersion could be better for you.  The MAX versions of TM, Ping, Cally, etc. are all going to give you a little more forgiveness on top of this.  Every major OEM offers some really good drivers regardless. 

TM Stealth Plus+ 9* w/Tensei 1K Pro Orange 60TX

TM SIM ti 15* w/Diamana ZF 80TX

TM Tour Issue Rescue 11 TP Deep Face Ghost Proto 16*  w/Ventus Black HB 9TX

New Level NLU-01 21* w/KBS Proto 105X

New Level 623-M 5-PW w/MMT 125 TX

54* Miura HB w/KBS 610 S+, 58* Miura w/KBS Tour Black

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2

 

 

 

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If you want another option, I've really enjoyed my Callaway Epic Flash.  Pretty easy to hit and longest driver I've ever owned.  Of course, I'm still looking at the g425 Max because... I'm a member of golfwrx.

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Ping g425 Max 12/Tensei orange 55
Ping g410 4h & 5h hybrids/Tensei blue

Ping Eye 2+ BeCu 3-SW/KBS C-Taper Lite black

Eye 2 BeCu SW

Carbon Ringo wide-flange/TP Mills Sycamore/Spalding TPM VIII/TP Mills "mini Frankenputter"

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2 hours ago, emcnicholas said:

From my testing the new Callaway epic line is very forgiving

Completely agree.  I hadn't been fit for a driver in a long time so I decided to get fit for a driver and ended up with the Epic Speed with Mitsubishi MMT.  The past few rounds I hit some terrible balls that normally would have been off the planet, but still ended up in the fairway near my regular playing partner (we hit roughly the same distance).

 

I liked the Speed over the Max and Max LS because I thought the headshape was better.  The ONLY downsides with the driver is that the face and the top are the same color so I have trouble picking out the difference between the two (came from a Taylormade M5).  Sometimes I can't feel where I'm hitting it on the face.

Edited by CactusGolf
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Callaway Epic Speed 10* MMT 60

Callaway Mavrik 15* Project X Riptide 70
Cobra F8 17.5* Aldila NV
Taylormade PSi 4-PW KBS Tour
Callaway MD3 50*/54*/58*

Bettinardi Studio Stock 17
Bridgestone Tour B X
WITB Link

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I have a G410 Max that I find very forgiving.  I think your best bet would be to hit up a store with used drivers and hit them with a launch monitor. 

G410 10.5 Ventus VeloCore Blue 6TX - SIM2 HL 3W Ventus Blue 6S - Titleist 915 2H Red Board S - Mizuno MP 20 Proj X IO 6.0 - Clev 588 Forged Wedges - Rossie White Hot (Circa ~2002...I forget)

Indocti discant et ament meminisse periti

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Anything Ping. 

Titleist "...2" Series.

Sim2 Max. 

Cobra Speedzone. 

 

All great options IMO

Mavrik SZ (9.5), Tensei White 70TX 

King LTD (13), Tensei White 70TX

TSI2 (18), Tensei White 85TX

U85 (22), PX 6.5

i210 (5-UW) PX 7.0 (5-P), X100 (UW)

Glide 3.0 (54.12SS, 60.06TS), X100

Odyssey White Hot Rossie

Srixon Z-Star XV

Ping Hoofer

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The Radspeed XB is an awesome driver. You can get it at 44.5 length with any number of shafts plus it's a forgiving head. 

Callaway Mavrik 9 w/PX Hzrdus Smoke Black 80

Callaway Mavrik SZ 13.5 w/Aldila Rogue White 70 MSI130

PXG 0311 XP 3 Iron w/Aerotech Steelfiber 115fc

PXG 0211 ST 4-GW w/ TT Elevate Tour

PXG 0311 Forged 54 and 60 w/TT Elevate Tour

Deschamps Crisp Antique

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The "Value" darling of everyone this year that I've seen. And which I just got fitted in to. The Tour Edge Exotics C721. No joke- forgiving as a Priest with distance numbers matching or exceeding anything else on the market. The sound is tremendous. A solid "Thwack", and not the dead sounding "thud" of a full carbon crown. Without that tinny sound you can get with some (Ping, anyone?) It just feels and sounds like the ball is jumping off the face.

A 3/4" shorter shaft makes for better control and better strikes without losing SS or distance. For me, anyway.

 

Oh- and at a price at LEAST $150 less than a Sim2 Max and others. 

Edited by RayGorman
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Cobra F8+, F9 or SpeedZone or Rad - many really great models came out in a shot period of time, so you'll have a good selection of used at discount prices.  I went from F8+ to F9 and felt it was a good 'upgrade' for me...son still kills his F8+...Speedzone and Rad should be as good or maybe better.

 

Never been a Ping fan but got fitted for fairway woods, Ping 425 beat out everything else, handily.  Added their 3 and 5 woods - love them, very forgiving.  I would consider a Ping driver as others have mentioned.

 

I love Titleist equipment but other brands seem to beat them out in testing...maybe it is just me...but consider the TSi2 or Tsi3.

Driver (9.0) - Cobra F9 Aldila Rogue Silver 70 S, 44.5"
Wood (14.5) - Ping G425 MAX Alta CB 65 Slate S

Wood (17.5) - Ping G425 MAX Alta CB 65 Slate S
Driving Iron (20) - Srixon U65 Project X 5.5
Irons (5-6) - Srixon Z565 Project X 5.5
Irons (7-P) - Srixon Z765 Project X 5.5
Wedges - Vokey SM-7 Jet Black / 50.08 F / 54.08 M / 58.08 M DG S300
Putter - Edel E-1
Ball - Titleist Prov1x
ZGrip Midsized Grips

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My swing speed is close to yours and generally i am scoring about the same.  I am gaming a Taylormade M3 440cc 9° tour issue driver (actual nominal loft is 9.9° and lie is, IIRC, 59°).  It took about 1/2 season for me to fully acclimate myself to this driver (replaced a Titleist 905S 9.5°).  I am driving the ball as good now than I have in many years.  I would definitely recommend Taylormade drivers as they have really performed very well for me as of late.

Edited by RobotDoctor

Driver:  TaylorMade 300 Mini 11.5° (10.2°), Fujikura Ventus Blue 5S Velocore

3W:  TaylorMade M4 15°, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S

Hybrid:  TaylorMade Sim2 2 Iron Hybrid 17°, Mitsubishi Tensai AV Raw Blue 80 stiff

Irons:  Ben Hogan Icon blades 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

GW / SW / LW:  Scratch Golf 1018 forged 50°/ 52° (bent to 54°/58° DS, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

Putter: Byron Morgan DH89 GSS custom, Salty MidPlus cork grip

Grips: BestGrips Augusta Microperf leather slip on

 

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6 minutes ago, jjfcpa said:

Played 3 rounds with a new Epic Max and I am hitting my drives longer and straighter than I ever have.  Previously, I was playing a Mavrik and while it was very good, not as long and not as forgiving.

I'm still playing the original Callaway Epic. Is the new Epic Max that big of an improvement?

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I’m playing the Tour Edge C721. I came off of a Ping G410 LST and before that a Callaway Rogue and an X2 Hot deep. 
 

The C721 has been amazing. My driver speed is in the high teens, low twenties, I currently have just the stock HZRDUS Smoke RDX 6.5 in it and I’m hitting bombs. SUPER forgiving but also a ton of distance. I’m also a mid to upper single handicapper and while I’ve only had this a month, I’m so happy I got it. 
 

If you end up wanting to go this route reach out. I got mine for a steal. 

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