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Best driver 2024 discussion thread: Expert fitters on 3 swing speed ranges + most forgiving!


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Best Driver 2024 is live on the front page!

 

 

After you digest the results, let us know what you think in the thread below!

 

And again, below is the how and why we do Best Driver this way. 

 

We have again broken our 2024 best drivers list into four total categories. Three are swing speed-based and the other forgiveness.


We select this format because every golfer fits into one of these categories regardless of age, handicap, or gender, and for a lot of golfers, forgiveness is the number one factor when selecting a driver.

 

When we reconfigured our Best Driver process in 2021, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless head combinations available to golfers. Time after time, swing speed and forgiveness were the highest-ranked choices, after that it comes down to adjustability to fit individual players and their trends.

 

 

BEST DRIVER_Featured IMG 2024 copy.png

Edited by GolfWRX
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24 minutes ago, golfinbrad said:

No PXG Black Ops/Black Ops Tour?  That seems to be the front runner this year.

Its long, but its not very forgiving. 

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Cobra LTDx 10.5

TEE C722 16.5

TEE C722 19

Srixon ZU85 22

New Level 902 5-PW

Cleveland RTX Zipcore 50,54,58

Odyssey White Hot OG # 7

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6 hours ago, Elkhair said:

Its long, but its not very forgiving. 


On Tour-1, maybe so. Some would dispute that. But the standard Black Ops is high MOI and very forgiving, like a Ping 10K or Smoke Max in forgiveness. Those are its direct competitors. 

Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond 10.5 w/Diamana TB 60S

PXG GEN6 5 wood w/Diamana S-plus 70 stiff

Yamaha RMX VD 7 wood w/Diamana S-plus 70 stiff

Callaway Mavrik Pro hybrid (22) w/Aldila Tour Blue 85 stiff hybrid

Wilson Staff Model CB 5-G w/DG s300 shafts

Edel T grind 54 w/Nippon 125 wedge shaft

Fourteen RM-12 58 w/Dynamic Golds400

Axis1 Rose putter, 34 inches

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4 hours ago, 300_Straight said:

Lots of good options this year...

Not crazy buzz but 2024 is just stellar but also sad, end of some nice tech ala Callaway Jailbreak

 

❤️ the choices

Driver: Taylormade Stealth 2+ 9*, Proxima 5X 

Fairways: Callaway - Rogue ST LS 13.5* & Fujikura Red TR 5S // Callaway Diablo Edge Tour 15* & Miyazaki C Kua 43S

Hybrid:   Cobra Speedzone 3 hybrid 19*

Irons:       Ping i530 5-PW AWT 2.0 matte black shafts, JumboMax STR8 Ultralite grips
Wedges: Cleveland CBX2 48, Ben Hogan Equalizer 52*, Cleveland Full Face 56*, KBS TGI 100 shafts
Putter:     LAB Golf Mezz Maz Broomstick ACCRA shaft, 44"
Srixon XV 5/6 or Vice Pro Plus. JumboMax STR8 Ultralite grips

Moe Norman/Graves Single Plane Swing

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I've tested most of them minus PXG and went with the AI Smoke TD which was the winner in the 106+ category so no surprise there.  It's pretty damn forgiving compared to past TD heads especially toe side which is my miss.  The runner up and so forth are spot on IMO.  TSR3 is always solid and so is the G430 LST. 

Edited by phizzy30
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Callaway AI Smoke Paradym 💎💎💎9* - Tour AD VF-7TX

TM SIM ti 15* - Diamana GT 80TX

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

New Level NLU-01 21* - KBS Hybrid Proto 105X

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

Miura Tour 54* HB - KBS 610 125 S+, New Level SPN forged M-grind 58* - KBS Tour 130X

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2

 

 

 

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Anybody else feel like the ranges could/should be tweaked? I mean honestly a guy at 90 is looking for basically the same thing as a guy at 105. Pretty much everyone 110ish and under is looking for maximum distance so long as dispersion doesn’t take a too much of a hit. Also IMO, a guy at 106 certainly isn’t looking for the same thing as a guy who is 120+.
 

maybe <105(or 100); 105-114(100-114);115+ 

 

thoughts?

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AI Smoke Max @ 7* +8g front weight - Diamana DF 70tx(tipped 1.25”)

BRNR Mini 13.5(@12.5*) 43.25” - Diamana DF 70tx(tipped 1.75”)

TSR 3h 19* - AV Raw White 9x  -OR-  Fourteen Type 7 (19*) - $ taper black 125 s+(HS 1x)

Miura CB 1008 4-P - $ taper black 125 s+(HS 1x)

Cleveland RTX 6 50/55 - X100

Titleist SM9 60.12 D grind - S400

Piretti Savona 

 

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On 3/13/2024 at 10:42 AM, molecularman said:

Interesting that the Ping 10K isn't on the list for the higher swing speed players.    Also interesting that the TM LS is, considering guys like Rory aren't using it.

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of pros aren't looking for super low spin heads because they want their misses to be playable which is why Rory is using the Qi10 core head like a lot of the PGA Tour guys are.  Sure, 1900-2200 rpm is great when you hit one on the sweet spot with a relatively square face, however the lower the spin, the misses tend to be bigger. 

Edited by phizzy30
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Callaway AI Smoke Paradym 💎💎💎9* - Tour AD VF-7TX

TM SIM ti 15* - Diamana GT 80TX

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

New Level NLU-01 21* - KBS Hybrid Proto 105X

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

Miura Tour 54* HB - KBS 610 125 S+, New Level SPN forged M-grind 58* - KBS Tour 130X

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rosco1216 said:

Anybody else feel like the ranges could/should be tweaked? I mean honestly a guy at 90 is looking for basically the same thing as a guy at 105. Pretty much everyone 110ish and under is looking for maximum distance so long as dispersion doesn’t take a too much of a hit. Also IMO, a guy at 106 certainly isn’t looking for the same thing as a guy who is 120+.
 

maybe <105(or 100); 105-114(100-114);115+ 

 

thoughts?

I would agree.  A guy at 120+ makes plenty of speed so he's probably gonna be looking at a setup that gives him a little more back spin to keep his misses playable.  That could mean a higher spinning head or change in balls. 

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Callaway AI Smoke Paradym 💎💎💎9* - Tour AD VF-7TX

TM SIM ti 15* - Diamana GT 80TX

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

New Level NLU-01 21* - KBS Hybrid Proto 105X

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

Miura Tour 54* HB - KBS 610 125 S+, New Level SPN forged M-grind 58* - KBS Tour 130X

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, phizzy30 said:

I would agree.  A guy at 120+ makes plenty of speed so he's probably gonna be looking at a setup that gives him a little more back spin to keep his misses playable.  That could mean a higher spinning head or change in balls. 

Exactly. Even the longer tour players who’s strike consistency is exponentially more consistent aren’t going with latest uber low spin “faster” heads.

Edited by Rosco1216

AI Smoke Max @ 7* +8g front weight - Diamana DF 70tx(tipped 1.25”)

BRNR Mini 13.5(@12.5*) 43.25” - Diamana DF 70tx(tipped 1.75”)

TSR 3h 19* - AV Raw White 9x  -OR-  Fourteen Type 7 (19*) - $ taper black 125 s+(HS 1x)

Miura CB 1008 4-P - $ taper black 125 s+(HS 1x)

Cleveland RTX 6 50/55 - X100

Titleist SM9 60.12 D grind - S400

Piretti Savona 

 

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I just wish Callaway wouldn’t have stamped “Ai” all over their clubs this year, it’s atrocious and cheapens the look in my opinion. They even put it on the crown. How about Taylormade start using IBM Watson to design their clubs and they can stamp “Watson” on them. It just looks ridiculous, I understand it’s a big part of their story but it doesn’t have to be in the branding. I love Callaway drivers but I can’t get past that and I’m afraid it’s there to stay for a few releases unfortunately.

 

The TSr is my next driver.

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16 hours ago, phizzy30 said:

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of pros aren't looking for super low spin heads because they want their misses to be playable which is why Rory is using the Qi10 core head like a lot of the PGA Tour guys are.  Sure, 1900-2200 rpm is great when you hit one on the sweet spot with a relatively square face, however the lower the spin, the misses tend to be bigger. 



Yeah - I've heard a few folks mention that it's too low spin.   Which I find odd that Tiger is using it considering he says he likes a bit more spin. 

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9 hours ago, Mike412 said:

I just wish Callaway wouldn’t have stamped “Ai” all over their clubs this year, it’s atrocious and cheapens the look in my opinion. They even put it on the crown. How about Taylormade start using IBM Watson to design their clubs and they can stamp “Watson” on them. It just looks ridiculous, I understand it’s a big part of their story but it doesn’t have to be in the branding. I love Callaway drivers but I can’t get past that and I’m afraid it’s there to stay for a few releases unfortunately.

 

The TSr is my next driver.

“All over” is quite the stretch. I don’t even notice it when looking down on my max. Seems more noticeable on pics of the 💎💎💎 though. They also definitely do not look cheap and atrocious in person. 

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AI Smoke Max @ 7* +8g front weight - Diamana DF 70tx(tipped 1.25”)

BRNR Mini 13.5(@12.5*) 43.25” - Diamana DF 70tx(tipped 1.75”)

TSR 3h 19* - AV Raw White 9x  -OR-  Fourteen Type 7 (19*) - $ taper black 125 s+(HS 1x)

Miura CB 1008 4-P - $ taper black 125 s+(HS 1x)

Cleveland RTX 6 50/55 - X100

Titleist SM9 60.12 D grind - S400

Piretti Savona 

 

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2 hours ago, Rosco1216 said:

“All over” is quite the stretch. I don’t even notice it when looking down on my max. Seems more noticeable on pics of the 💎💎💎 though. They also definitely do not look cheap and atrocious in person. 


I don’t think “all over” is a stretch at all. It’s on the sole, crown, and face of the driver and in 3 different places on the headcover. Idk where else you could put it. I’m saying the “Ai” gives it a cheap, gimmicky look. I love the rest of the driver. I mean why not just call it Paradym Smoke? That’s an awesome easy name, the “Ai” is just forced and unnecessary.
 

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IMG_0906.jpeg

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IMG_0910.jpeg

Edited by Mike412
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Talked to my buddy yesterday who's an assistant manager and teaches out of the local golf store.  He has ties to certain tour pros that are on Cally staff.  He heard through the grape vine that there's a very strong possibility that the AI Smoke TD MAX will make it to retail.  However, the AI Smoke TD S may or may not make to retail. 

Edited by phizzy30
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Callaway AI Smoke Paradym 💎💎💎9* - Tour AD VF-7TX

TM SIM ti 15* - Diamana GT 80TX

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

New Level NLU-01 21* - KBS Hybrid Proto 105X

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

Miura Tour 54* HB - KBS 610 125 S+, New Level SPN forged M-grind 58* - KBS Tour 130X

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2

 

 

 

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On 3/13/2024 at 2:13 PM, Poor Mans Ty Webb said:

Srixon and Mizuno look at each other and sigh, defeatedly.  One is wearing a Bills hat.  The other wears a Lions hat.  Srixon laments, "oh well, there's always next year."  Mizuno replies, "at least we didn't get beat out by the KS1."

 

Camera pans over to Kirkland, wearing a Browns hat.

 

Edit to add: PXG stands in the background, wearing an Eagles hat, shouting obnoxiously into a megaphone, “JUST SO EVERYONE KNOWS, THIS IS BULL——! WE SHOULD’VE WON!”

 


Actually, I think Srixon is wearing a Cleveland Browns hat…and ASICS shoes….or is it Nike???…. I can’t keep up 🙃

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As a 70 year old slower swing speed guy I have liked the Taylormade Stealth 2 HD and the Stealth Gloire fixed hosel drivers. For me at least, at the range, the Qi Max is noticeably longer . 15-20 yards longer on my best drives and very forgiving will less yardage drop off on mis hits. And I used the identical shafts on the Stealth 2 HD and Qi Max . Can’t wait to get this thing on a course ! 

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