strong>2017 saw a hoard of new drivers hit the retail shelves from all of the main manufacturers. There were some primary standouts like the improved Taylormade M1 and of course the one that took the show, the Callaway Epic.
In fact the Epic was used by Rory McIlroy in his first event of the season at the SA Open and was creating massive hype. Nick Faldo (who also played the event that week) was simply blown away at just how far Rory was hitting his drives all week long. The media attention he had around using Callaway equipment resulted in huge spikes in worldwide Callaway sales, particularly the Epic.
There’s talk of a new driver being released by Callaway early 2018 termed the ‘Rogue’ and will it be a whole lot different to that of the Epic? Or is just another sales pitch resulting in market excitement and sales longevity?
Let’s first take a look at 3 of the best drivers released in 2017 though.
Callaway took a big chance naming the driver ‘Epic’ as if it didn’t quite live up to expectations then it would be seen as a monumental failure and Callaway would likely struggle to build up their trusted reputation again.
But it wasn’t a failure. In fact, it was absolutely incredible.
The whole principle behind the success was of course the jailbreak technology that has two titanium bars either side of the sweetspot that conserves energy through impact and increasing ball speed.
This technology also improves stability through impact, which is a plus. The only thing was that these added more weight to the clubhead so Callaway made the entire crown out of carbon fiber. This also had a positive effect on the center of gravity being lowered resulting in a more powerful ball flight and added distance.
Callaway have just four shafts on offer with the Epic, which is fantastic. Less confusion for the general golfer and it’s simpler, better.
With the Rogue being released early 2018, look out for the Epic being offered at a discounted (and very reasonable) price and getting plenty of value for money. A number of online publications and websites have picked this as their best driver of the year and for very good reason.
While quite late in the year their release, the Ping G400 has set the golfing world alight the last 6 months of the year.
Center of Gravity is a massive factor in any manufacturer’s game plan and the G400 has taken that to a new level. Ping have even used Tungsten weight in the sole to help lower the CG and add more distance.
The dragonfly technology and turbulators on the crown are a funky addition to the appearance, but to be honest we’re not convinced these make any difference on performance whatsoever.
Despite our opinion here, the clubhead has actually been so well designed aerodynamically that Ping engineers have said it reduces up to 30% more drag than on the G30 driver.
The biggest thing though is the forgiveness and how it brings a huge spectrum of golfer into the mix and offers them a power pack. Most amateur golfers (anyone for that matter) struggle with consistent distance. Sure – they’ll slam one out there 275 yards, but then in between they’ll average out at 240 or 250. The G400 will definitely help.
All round thumbs up and worth every cent.
Taylormade M1 2017
The original M1 was good, but Taylormade definitely improved on the first with the M1 2017.
And it certainly got everyone’s tongues wagging wondering just how different and how much better it could get. There’s no huge difference in appearance except for on the sole, but the difference comes in the performance.
The sole and crown have been built with a more weight-saving carbon composite crown and a downward movement of the clubhead mass. One again a case of lowering the center of gravity.
The result is superb forgiveness, an unbelievable reduction of backspin through impact and plenty of distance. Not to mention the wonderful sound and feel off the clubface when striking the golf ball, or the versatility in being able to hit this with just about any shape you wish.
What I can say is the overall appearance of the M1 has always been beautiful. The original 1hite crown was a great idea by Taylormade to create hype and interest in the golfing marketplace. It worked exceptionally well! Tiger Woods has been using the M2 sibling since he signed with Taylormade.
Take the M1 2017 for a test drive and see if you can actually take it out on your home golf course. You’ll likely be wow’d by the additional distance you hit it off the tee and the shorter irons you have into the greens!
Ad mentioned earlier in the post, there will definitely be new drivers released by each of the new manufacturers – or at least variations of a current driver that will make them ‘new’.
First that comes to mind is the Rogue from Callaway and this is said not be a replacement for the Epic, but rather a more powerful sibling. This too will have Jailbreak technology. Callaway are also believed to have said that new models will be released every 18 months rather than 12 months for example.
Cobra have released the F8 already, but late in 2017 so this will be a very current driver in 2018 and fall under the newly released drivers on the market. Rickie Fowler already using and to great effect when winning the Hero World Challenge.
Mizuno are also said to be releasing a new driver in 2018 – the ST180 which is said to be in February. The biggest focus point on the ST180 will be the drop in spin rate at impact providing plenty of penetration and roll upon landing.
There will be a host of other new driver releases from manufacturers so there’s plenty to look forward to in 2018.