The Best Drivers of 2019 PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

 

The latest generation of big sticks have faster faces, higher MOI and

greater options in adjustability than ever before. So if it's been awhile

since you've been in the market for a driver upgrade - lets say 5 years

or so, then it's time go get fitted and max out your tee ball performance.

 


Truth be told, ball speed, distance, launch were so similar with each of these

drivers we reviewed (truly minimal degrees of separation between the brands)

it becomes truly about getting properly fit and within the framework of

testing new drivers a few key decisions need to be made by YOU: What is

the feel/sound at impact that you prefer, the look at address and how much

forgiveness do you consistently need (how often do you hit the center of the

face?). Perhaps the biggest obstacle to overcome for so many consumers in

today's driver marketplace is pricepoint, What are you willing to spend?

Several drivers from the leading brands have jumped into the $500+ price

range, ugh. Happily, there is one with all of the bells and whistles priced

under $300 that ticks all of the performance and technology boxes, read on...

 

 

Although distance and dispersion data is vital, so is feel/sound, aesthetics,

workability and forgiveness. After all, sometimes it's the small things that lead

to your most confident swings. So with that, we present our picks of the 4 finest

drivers of 2019 (by category).

 


 

Best Adjustability, Most Innovative Face design


CALLAWAY EPIC FLASH

 

Callaway's EPIC Flash takes the technology of their last two industry leading drivers

(EPIC and ROGUE) and offers the next phase of evolution. EPIC FLASH is available in

standard and Sub Zero models.

 

 

 


 

 

This year the Chevron brought us its 3rd generation of Jail Break

technology and introduced perhaps the most unique innovation in

several years with their new Flash Face technology created with Artificial

Intelligence. A new lighter T2C carbon crown saves weight, allowing for

higher MOI and forgiveness.

 

Testing proved the technology to be true, with ball speeds consistent

regardless of where the strike on the face occurred. Moveable weight

technology via sliding 16 gram rear weight promotes the ball flight to

whatever shot shape you desire. Tuning hosel technology allows you

to dial in the preferred lie angle and loft.

 

Aesthetics: B+

Feel/Sound: B+

Distance: A

Adjustability: A+

Forgivness: A

Value: C ($529)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higest MOI - Most Forgiving

 

PING G410 (Plus)

Ping's G410 is available in PLUS (Max Forgiveness), SFT (Square Face

Technology) and LST (Low Spin Technology). We tested the PLUS model.

The mighty distance and low spin that made the G400 such a huge success

has been genetically passed on to G410. LST and the PLUS model offer shot

shaping moveable weight technology while the SFT offers a draw bias heel

weighting set-up for those who fight a slice. The 2.0 trajectory tuning eight

position hosel sleeve allows for tuning loft and lie angles up to 3 degrees.

Dragonfly technology returns with a new "Creased Crown" design to shave

weight and increase forgiveness.

 

 

Testing: The G410 holds up nicely in the recent lineage of PING drivers.

Solid distance with the tightest dispersion results of all of the drivers we

tested in 2019 (with an average of only 9 yds off center). Picture the

G400 with greater tuning ability. The G410 will appeal to the player who

not only needs max forgiveness, but also to those who prefer the matte

black crown and don't mind a slightly higher pitch sound at impact.

 

Aesthetics: A

Feel/Sound: B-

Distance: A

Adjustability: A

Forgivness: A+

Value: C+ ($499)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Best Feel, Longest Distance Winner

 

COBRA F9 SPEEDBACK

Cobra's F9 Speedback is easily the wildcard sensation in the driver

market of 2019. Perhaps in the spot where TaylorMade may have

resided in years past, Cobra is now positioned confidently. Just as

several other prominent club fitters refer to it, the Cobra F9 Speedback

is "The Beast" of this year's drivers. With the proper fit and tuning, the

F9 is as hot as any driver we've ever tested, maybe more so. The acoustics

provide a euphoric "subdued thwack" at impact that is second to none -

leading all contenders in the sound/feel category. The F9 Speedback is a rare

combination of good looks, insane distance and two tiered adjustability. Eight

adjustable lofts and a front to back adjustable CG system allows you to tune in

loft and spin configuration.

 

 

Testing: We've already mentioned the outstanding distance and feel of the F9,

all of my numbers were personal bests using GC Quad (all drivers were tested

using Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue shafts) :

 

SS-106 / Launch-13.5/ Spin-2117/ Ball Speed-152/ Carry-254/ Total-278/ OC-16L

 

Perhaps the only criticism we have as it relates to the F9 is the need for a fade/draw

bias movable weight component. Perhaps that will come with their 2020 model, which

we are slated to get a sneak preview of at the Cobra launch event in a couple of weeks

here with Rickie Fowler and the Cobra/Puma staff in West Palm Beach. Stay Tuned...

 

Aesthetics: A

Feel/Sound: A+

Distance: A+

Adjustability: B+

Forgivness: A

Value: B ($449)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best "Bang For Your Buck" (Value and performance combined)


Tour Edge/Exotics EXS

The Tour Edge / Exotics EXS driver is another David Glod creation featuring

innovation and a plethora of performance loaded features including cup face,

moveable weight, adjustable hosel and Mitsubishi's Tensei Blue shaft all for

$249. Yep, that's not a typo - $249!

 

If you like cutting edge technology, and virtually every adjustable component

that's available in the marketplace. Than the Exotics EXS should be high on

your list. Afterall, Phillis Meti continues to dominate the Long Drive ranks with

her Exotics driver.

 

Testing: We found distance to be right there with the other 3 drivers included

here. We also found the EXS to be a bit draw bias, even when we moved the

weight into the back port the ball had tendency to turnover (Perhaps a 10.5

loft instead of our 9.5 tester would have provided a bit more relief, even when

adjusting the loft up, we found the left side of the range). EXS is a sharp and

clean looking big stick that'll keep more than a few "Benjamins" in your pocket.

 

 


Aesthetics: A

Feel/Sound: B

Distance: B+

Adjustability: B+

Forgivness: A

Value: A++ ($249)