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Update your driver? Yes. Newer is better.

Update your driver? Yes. Newer is better.

While some clubs, might not change much annually, drivers do. They get better.

As a certified club fitter for 2nd Swing Golf here in Minnesota there are two things I hear constantly during a fitting: “Is the yardage in here accurate? I hit it way farther outside.”

That is one statement I won’t debate, maybe our launch monitors aren’t perfect, or maybe your average golfers doesn’t know his or her yardages that well. Heck, I’m a 2 handicap, and I miss at least eight greens per round on average. So, maybe no amateurs know their yardage that well.

The other statement I hear is: “I think I hit my current driver just as far as this new one.”

This is the statement I would like to debate and prove wrong with this article.

I know most golfers probably don’t update their driver on an annual basis, and I not saying that needs to be done. However, drivers are probably the one thing in the golf industry that get better and better every year.

Irons haven’t changed much since perimeter-weighted cavity backs were created. Don’t get me wrong, they are longer and more forgiving very year.

But the general design hasn’t changed because they aren’t made to hit the ball as far as possible. Drivers, though, are devised to hit the ball as far as physics, the golfer’s ability, and the United States Golf Association will allow.

I decided to do my own little test after work the other day. I did not to this with intent to persuade you to buy a new driver, but more to show that new drivers are better and longer than old one. Technology advances. The iPhone I have now is faster and brighter than my first iPhone. Golf clubs should be the same way, right?

Luckily, I happen to still be in possession of my Titleist 975J that I used the year I graduated from high school (If you are doing the math, you are correct, I just turned 30 years old.).

Titleist 913 tight

I also happen to play the new Titleist 913, so I have both ends of the spectrum covered. I was able to borrow two other Titleist drivers that were released in the mid to late 2000’s and do a comparison of all four.

Each club was hit twice and I moved to the next model, I repeated this twice so that I didn’t skew the results. Severe miss hits were deleted. All the clubs had X Flex shafts and similar lofts, to try to keep things as universal as possible.

John Simon Update the Driver nFlight Data

The testing of the four clubs by age (set out above) was done using PING’s nFlight advanced fitting system. 

As you can see, all the clubs performed relatively well. With each upgrade to a newer model, ball speed increased, launch angle increased and backspin decreased. From a fitting standpoint, those are the three biggest factors in creating an optimal ball flight.

A term you may hear a lot is “high launch and low spin” and that is exactly what these newer driver models create. That is how more distance is created these days.

Much like everything else in the world, newer technology makes things better. A wise man once said, “Newer is always better.” I feel that is true.

How could it not be?

Let me ask again. Do you really hit your current driver farther than the new one?

Physics would disagree.


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