Everybody has a vice (or vices). Mine, without question, is drivers.
I am, simply put, not the longest driver of the golf ball. Technology has certainly helped, but I know I cast the club a little bit and don’t get as much clubhead speed as I could if I held the angle a little longer.
That’s pretty much why I am addicted to drivers. I want to be able to hit the ball further. When I drive the ball well – a decent length while keeping it in play – I generally score well. I have shorter clubs into greens, which leads to more GIRs, which leads to more birdie opportunities and easy pars, which also means that I make fewer mistakes/big numbers.
I like my TaylorMade Tour Burner that I picked up in ’08. It is probably the best driver I have ever had. But it really does require a pretty good swing to get the most out of it. When I hit it good, I end up with a nice drive that goes pretty well. When I miss the center of the face with a bad swing, it goes OK, but the direction is horrible. My goal was simply to find a driver that goes straighter without being a bunt driver.
My love for gear is part of the reason why I enjoy stopping in golf stores and just checking stuff out. And it is why I spent a little more time than I should on sites such as golfwrx.com and bombsquadgolf.com. I’m not one of these super hardcore gear guys who changes out shafts all the time, but I do like hearing stories of others about what is good and what is kind of meh.
Coming into this season, it was very clear that I wanted to try two specific drivers more than others: The Ping G15 and the Callaway FT-IZ. Both have the reputation of being forgiving while also getting the ball out there in good shape. With the G15 priced $100 less than the FT-IZ, I gave the Ping the first shot.
It didn’t last long. After picking up a 9 degree with the Aldila Serrano shaft option, I took the thing out to Burl on Monday night for a quick after work nine (previously discussed). After hitting two drives on No. 10 to attempt to get used to the club, I noticed a rattle in the head as I put the headcover back on.
Long story short, I played with the driver the rest of the nine, but there was clearly something loose in the head. Throw in the fact that I was hitting this thing left on a pretty regular basis and I hated the club.
On Tuesday, I called my guy Scott at the Plymouth Golf Galaxy where I bought the club. There was never a question that they weren’t going to take the club back. The question for me was what to get now?
I ended up going with the FT-IZ. I took it out for a spin on Tuesday night and early results were pretty good. Despite cold temps and a lot of wind, I kept the thing in play and there was some pop to it. It’s also really straight. I certainly can hit it crooked, but the results from an average swing are improved. I’m still trying to figure the thing out, but I like it thus far. I am, clearly, in the honeymoon stage.
Because of the less-than-great weather, I only played nine holes. Results weren’t bad. I made one double on No. 7 when I completely made a mess around the green. Bad chip, bad first putt, difficult second putt. I did respond by going 3W, 9i to a front pin on the next hole. Left myself with about 20 feet, but poured in the putt.
April totals: 8 birdies, 3 doubles. (63 holes)
Season totals: 11 birdies, 9 doubles (114 holes)
Hoping to have a more complete idea of what this driver can do by the end of the weekend.