The Best Drivers of 2019
2019 has been an exciting year for new driver launches following the introduction of many fresh models boasting genuinely innovative technology, some that may prove groundbreaking in future. However, in the present, the question is will any of them benefit your game, and which specifically should interest you? We have taken a look at the releases, bringing them together into one place, sharing the key information and reviews from Ryan Rastall, to deliver the Best Drivers of 2019.
Callaway Epic Flash & Epic Flash Sub Zero
Callaway’s all new Epic Flash driver is full of never before seen technology designed to give golfers a major increase in ball speed and distance. To take Epic Flash one step above its incredibly impressive and successful predecessor, Rogue, Callaway’s engineers have worked with artificial intelligence and a super computer to design something called Flash Face. Flash Face is optimised for ball speed regardless of where the ball makes contact with the face. During the process, the super computer Callaway used cycled through 15,000 virtual prototypes learning from each one until it arrived at Flash Face. The inner side of the Flash Face and the unique topography work together to elevate the faces centre region and this is what Callaway are saying is going to help your longest drives get even longer. Epic Flash still incorporates the Jailbreak Technology that we first saw in the original Epic driver and continued on into the newer Rogue model. Jailbreak bars stiffen and stabilise the crown and the sole placing more impact load on the face to promote faster ball speed. This combined with the Flash Face has created their fastest driver to date.
Callaway have also given the Flash a new crown. Created out of a new lighter triaxial carbon fabric called T2C this new fabric has a tighter weave which saves weight, the weight it saves is redistributed within the perimeter of the head to raise MOI for exceptional forgiveness on off centre hits. So Epic Flash is not only faster but more forgiving as well. Also included in the Flash is a track and sliding 16g weight system to give golfers the power to easily promote different ball flights. Draws, fades or a straighter flight can all be achieved depending on where the weight is positioned in the track. The adjustability of the driver doesn’t end with the track weight as the Epic Flash comes equipped with the Optifit hosel which allows you to increase and decrease the loft as well as alter the lie angle.
The Sub Zero model has all the same technology including the sliding track weight to help golfers optimise shot shape, this hasn’t been included on past Sub Zero heads. However, the Sub Zero is still a powerful, extremely low-spinning, tour-level driver but if you’re someone who spins it a lot off the tee this could well be for you.
9° (Adjustable 8°- 11°)
10.5° (Adjustable 9.5°-12.5°)
12° (Adjustable 11°-14°) (not available in SUBZERO head)
Project X Even Flow Green 40 Graphite (light and regular flex)
Project X Even Flow Green 50 Graphite (light, regular and stiff flex)
Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60 Graphite (regular and stiff flex)
Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 Graphite (stiff and X-stiff flex)
Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 60 Graphite (regular, stiff and X-stiff flex)
Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 70 Graphite (stiff and X-stiff flex) (SUBZERO head only)
Project X Even Flow Green 40 Graphite (woman’s and woman’s light)
TaylorMade M5 & M6
When you look at the face of the new M5 and M6 drivers you will notice two red screws, however it’s what TaylorMade are injecting behind the screws that is taking their new drivers right up to the limit. TaylorMade have used resin previously in some of their irons and now they’ve incorporated it into the new M5 and M6. Every driver that comes off the production line is tested by a computer that tells them how much resin to inject. The resin stiffens the face to reduce its flexibility and this ensures they sit just below the legal limit. Previously manufactures have had to leave a margin for error to make sure they stay below the legal limit but with this technology TaylorMade can get their drivers right on the edge and this should give M5 and M6 a few extra miles an hour of ball speed.
Twist Face still features in both these drivers, a technology that has been engineered to reduce sidespin and deliver straighter shots on off-centre strikes. Adding the extra speed from the resin injection and keeping the stability and forgiveness of Twist Face should give golfers the best of both worlds.
Differences between these two drivers come in the weighting systems. With M5 TaylorMade have redesigned T-Track which includes two 10g movable weights that can be positioned to increase MOI and dial in your launch conditions. High-to-low bias and left-to-right bias can all be optimised as well as spin characteristics depending on where the weights are positioned. The TaylorMade M6 is more focused around forgiveness rather than all out customisation. The new aerodynamic, all-carbon sole creates discretionary weight to allow for 46 grams of mass to be placed low and back to increase MOI and lower CG. This creates more forgiveness with higher launch and lower spin.
Right Hand - 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Left Hand - 9°
Right Hand - 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Left Hand - 9°, 10.5°
M5 Shaft Options:
Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70 (stiff and X-stiff flex)
Tensei Orange (regular, stiff and X-stiff flex)
M6 Shaft Options:
Atmos Black 6 (regular, stiff and X-stiff flex)
Atmos Orange 5 (senior, regular and stiff flex)
Mizuno ST190 & ST190G
Mizuno have always been famous for their irons, world class forging has had them top of the pile when it comes to feel and quality. As successful as they are in this department though, Mizuno has never had much of a market share in the driver category. However their latest offering could change that.
Mizuno say that the ST190 and ST190G combine every known factor to deliver ball speed and driving distance aligned with their lowest ever spin rates. Both drivers have a new forged SP700 titanium face which is more than 10% stronger than 6-4 titanium. Internal testing provided higher performance than 6-4 titanium at 90, 100 and 110 mph swing speeds. Both also come with a new 12 gram composite crown that allows 7 grams of weight to be redistributed across the head resulting in higher ball speeds and reduced spin rates. The sole is also new on these drivers with Mizuno adding an Amplified Wave sole. This new sole improves ball speeds across the clubface and reduces drop off from off-centre strikes. The sound of the driver has also been changed from the previous ST180 model with Mizuno adding Harmonic Impact technology to the new ST190 heads. When studying this they identified the need for internal ribs to create a more solid and powerful impact sound. Adjustability also features heavily in these new models with a hosel that can change the loft two degrees higher and two degrees lower on each driver. Differences in the two heads are found with the ST190G’s movable weights to optimise ball flight characteristics. Two seven gram weights on external tracks can reduce spin by 200rpm and a fade or draw bias can be achieved by placing both weights in one track.
ST190 – 9.5° (can be adjusted from 7.5° up to 11.5°) & 10.5° (can be adjusted from 8.5° up to 12.5°)
ST190G – 9° (can be adjusted from 7° up to 11°)
Fujikura ATMOS Blue 6 (regular and stiff flex)
Fujikura ATMOS Blue 5 (regular and stiff flex)
Fujikura ATMOS Red 6 (regular flex)
Fujikura ATMOS Red 5 (regular flex)
Fujikura ATMOS Red 4 (regular flex)
Fujikura ATMOS Black 7 Tour Spec (stiff flex)
Fujikura ATMOS Black 6 Tour Spec (stiff and X-stiff flex)
MITSUBISHI TENSEI CK BLUE 50 (A flex)
MITSUBISHI TENSEI CK BLUE 60 (regular and stiff flex)
MITSUBISHI TENSEI CK BLUE 70 (stiff and X-stiff flex)
MITSUBISHI TENSEI CK WHITE 70 (stiff and X-stiff flex)
KURO KAGE Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60 (X-stiff flex)
KURO KAGE Silver Dual-Core TiNi 70 (stiff and X-stiff)
KURO KAGE Silver Dual-Core TiNi 80 (X-stiff flex)
MITSUBISHI TENSEI CK ORANGE 50 (regular and stiff flex)
MITSUBISHI KURO KAGE SILVER DUAL-CORE TINI 60 (stiff flex)
MITSUBISHI KURO KAGE SILVER DUAL-CORE TINI 50 (regular flex)
BASSARA E-SERIES 42 (L flex)
PING G410 Plus
For the first time PING has introduced Moveable-weight technology into one of their drivers. Now this isn’t groundbreaking technology as other manufactures have been doing this for years and PING's new system works in much the same way as the ones seen on other drivers on the market. A 16 gram tungsten weight can be unscrewed and moved from a central position around a track to the heel or the toe. When the weight it moved to the heel or toe from the centre it moves the CG 2.5mm and creates a 10 yard adjustment to the ball fight. A new light weight 8 Lobe Trajectory Tuning hosel has also been added to the G410. It provides eight positions to change the ball flight characteristics enabling you to adjust the loft by +/- 1.5° and the lie angle anywhere from standard to 3° flat. PING have also incorporated a new face to accelerate ball speed for more distance. The T9S+ precision-machined forged face undergoes a heat treating process to create a thinner impact area to maximize distance. This process also improves the sound and feel from the face. Dragonfly Technology is still included and a new creased crown stiffens the head and works along side it to create an ultra-thin crown saving weight and optimizing CG and forgiveness. Other things to note about the G410 are that the MOI is 1% higher than the G400 and the head is 10cc bigger. The colour of the head is slightly lighter and the turbulators on top of the crown are slightly bigger making them more aerodynamically efficient. Lastly PING are also offering a G410 SFT which a draw bias driver and has the 16 gram weight locked into the heel position. The weight is positioned 50% closer to the heel than the previous G400 SFT and with a lighter D1 swing weight should reduce any left to right ball flight.
G410 Plus - 9°, 10.5 ° and 12 °
G410 SFT - 10.5 °
G410 Plus and G410 SFT
PING Alta CB 55 Red (soft regular, regular, stiff and X-stiff)
PING Tour 65 (regular, stiff and X-stiff)
PING Tour 75 (regular, stiff and X-stiff)
Project X EvenFlow Black 75 (5.5, 6.0 and 6.5)
Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 60 (regular, stiff and X-stiff)
PING Alta Distanza (soft regular)
G410 Plus: £450
G410 SFT: £450
Cobra King F9 Speedback
Cobra say that their latest, very yellow offering on driver market is the first of its kind to achieve true optimisation of aerodynamics combined with a low centre or gravity. Driver design tends to focus on one or the other but Cobra are claiming that the Speedback can do both.
With the aerodynamics of the Speedback Cobra have softened the leading edges, rounded the crown and raised the skirt to reduce drag and as a result increase club head speed. In addition to this they have added a Speedback weight structure that maintains a low, deep CG that they say has never before been combined with efficient aerodynamics. Speedback still has the CNC milled face first seen on the F8 model allowing Cobra to make the face as thin as possible and a new carbon fibre wrap crown design has been added delivering a 12% larger carbon fiber area that saves 10 grams compared to titanium driver crowns. Adjustability is still a key focus in this driver though as launch conditions can be optimised by adjusting the weights in the sole. A red 14g steel weight and a 2g plastic weight can be swapped around to adjust the CG for higher or lower ball flights. The hosel is also adjustable and with this the loft can be adjusted by +/- 1.5 º. Alongside all this and as with all the new Cobra clubs, Cobra Connect is included allowing you to track your performance on the course with the sensor built into the grip that feeds data back to the Cobra Connect app on your phone.
Right Hand Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Left Hand Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
ATMOS Tour Spec Blue 6 (regular and stiff flex)
HZRDUS Smoke 60 (stiff and X-stiff flex)
ATMOS Tour Spec Black 7 (stiff and X-stiff flex)
Titleist TS2 & TS3 Drivers
Titleist are one of the few companies to have regimented product cycles so when the time of a new launch comes aroud it's highly anticipated, especially when it comes to their drivers. 917 was the previous model they launched and although very consistent it wasn’t one of the fastest models on the market. Titliest say they started from scratch with the new TS2 and TS3 and speed was high on the priority list.
The first obvious difference is that TS2 and TS3 are both 460cc heads, they do still differ in shape but in the past the 3 would have been slightly lower in cc more around the 440 mark. The next change is the crown. Titleist claim it’s the thinnest on the market and 20% thinner than 917. This obviously saves weight and the weight they saved has been moved lower and deeper in the head. The face has also been made thinner by 0.35mm. This may not sound much but it's saved six grams of weight and that’s an incredible amount in club head terms. This change has made the driver look slightly squarer at address and Titleist are saying that making the face flatter, wider and thinner not only increases ball speed but forgiveness over the 917 as well. Both of these changes have created the lowest CG ever seen on a Titleist driver resulting in higher launch and lower spin. Another difference is the SureFit CG adjustable sole weight. It was a new feature for both 917 models however its only fitted to this year’s TS3 head. The TS2 now features a single sole weight instead to move the CG back an enable higher launches. The colour has also reverted back to the traditional black instead of the 917's grey look.
TS2: 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°
TS3: 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°
TS2 & TS3
KUROKAGE BLACK DUAL CORE 50
TENSEI AV SERIESBLUE 55
HZRDUS SMOKEBLACK 60
EVEN FLOW T1100WHITE 65
Price: TS2 & TS3: £499
Driver vs Driver is a TV programme where amateur golf club designers battle against each other with the hope of taking the $250,000 prize and the opportunity to have their creation brought to market. The Wilson Staff Cortex driver was this season's winner and adjustability is the key focus in this new product.
Wilson say that the Cortex is the most adjustable driver that they’ve ever produced and with this they hope to provide golfers with as much forgiveness and control from the tee as possible. A track with an eight gram sliding weight runs through the middle of the sole and where this weight is positioned will adjust the spin rate. Two interchangeable weights are also added to each side of the sole and depending what way around you have these will change the ball flight characteristics between neutral or a draw bias. Finally, a Fast Fit hosel allows you to control the trajectory by fine tuning the loft in half degree increments with a total of six different options. The Cortex has also been fitted with Fast Cage Technology which means 44% of the body is now made up with carbon fibre leaving a titanium structure to provide stability. Fast Cage has allowed Wilson to move weight to where you want it to maximise distance and spin.
9°, 10.5°, 12°
Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec (Regular, Stiff, X Stiff)
PXG 0811 Driver
PXG have a no expense spared approach when It comes to making golf clubs and the 0811 driver is no different. As well as standing out on price it also stands out in the unique way you can adjust and customise.
There are 16 weights screwed into the sole of the club, ten of them are black and made from titanium to make them lighter and six of them silver and made from tungsten making them heavier. These can all be interchanged to move the CG to suit your swing and maximise forgiveness. The hosel is also adjustable with eight different settings and when you combine both the hosel and sole weight adjustments it gives you over 128.000 different options. The adjustable hosel is also toothless to save weight. The face is made from an 8-1-1 titanium allowing PXG to make the face as thin as possibly for maximum ball speeds. You also can’t purchase this driver without having a custom fitting first, although this sounds strange there are so many options that PXG want to make sure that its set up perfectly for each individual golfer to maximise performance.
Custom fitting only
Find out more by visiting the PXG website by clicking here.
Lynx Prowler VT
British brand Lynx has had a reboot in the last few years and their new offering in the driver market has taken nearly a decade to perfect and produce. Lynx’s new driver, the Prowler VT, is offering Switch-Face Technology and it's exactly as it sounds.
The head is constructed of two separate pieces, an 8-1-1 cast titanium head and a cast TC-4 titanium face plate which has been CNC milled to specific loft and lie angles. There are five lofts, 8-12 degrees and five lie angles from two degrees open to two degrees closed giving golfers a total of 25 options. Five screws hold the face plate onto the head and changing the face plate for a different one is as simple as it sounds. Lynx say that adjusting the loft and face angle this way is a much more accurate than the conventional adjustable hosel. Although Lynx do have drivers with adjustable hosels in their line-up they say that the Switch Plate Technology offers golfers a perfect true loft. The Prowler will be sold initially with one free face plate from the range.
Shaft: Stock UST Mamiya Recoil (custom fitting available)
Wilson D7 Driver
The D7 driver offers a lightweight head to help golfers increase swing speed and forgiveness off the tee. Advanced materials and simplified construction enabled Wilson to keep the weight as low as possible, and weighing in at just 192 grams it’s one of the lightest heads on the market. D7 also features Re-Akt technology as seen previously in the D7 irons from last year. Re-Akt combines Reactive Face Technology and the super lightweight design to increase club and ball speeds. A new three-piece crown has also been introduced. Comprised of kevlar layered between woven carbon fiber it helps neutralize the vibrations at impact for a crisper sound and enhanced feel. Wilson have also added Dynamic Launch Control to the D7 and internal weighting has been optimized depending on the loft. The ten degree head has the weight positioned in the front lowering the launch, the ten degree head has the weight in the middle, and finally the 13 degree head has it in the back towards the heel promoting a higher and more draw bias flight.
9°, 10.5°, 13°
UST-Mamiya Helium Series 9 (senior, regular or stiff flex)
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