Ping Rapture 3-Wood
Ever since Phil Mickelson won the Open by switching to a 3-Wood, manufacturers have been clambering over each other to offer handicap-cutting amateurs quality new drivers, with an increased loft. The new Rapture is a far cry from the fairway 3-Woods most are accustomed to and is aimed at those looking for more control from the tee box.
The 13 degree angle means it behaves like a 2-wood than a 3-wood, and you can actually adjust that down 0.5 degrees for a little more distance. However, unlike the classic driver it's more forgiving, offering greater loft, which can help fix that slice. Add a multi-material construction, blending a titanium face with a tungsten sole plate, and you have one incredible weapon in your arsenal.
For those low-handicapped golfers looking to shave the last shots from their game comes the Bio Cell+ from Cobra. Carrying on the theme of fully adjustable drivers, the loft can be changed between 8.0 degrees and 11.0 degrees, an eight strong setting set dubbed MyLoft8. Interestingly, the weight has been taken away from the face and moved to the back of the club, which Cobra says increased the moment of inertia (MOI) to increase distance. Its sister club, the Bio Cell, may be a better bet for those trying to break 80, with a slightly higher loft angle available for better control.
Following on from last year’s R1 driver, the SLDR is adjustable to the extreme. The nozzle at the bottom of the shaft alters your loft – up to 12 degrees, if you so choose – while the sliding mechanism underneath the head moves the centre of gravity between 21 different positions for easier draws and fades, which is ideal for trickier holes.
Nike VRS Covert 2.0
The Fuelband's founding father hasn't been left out of the new driver party, and its new VRS Covert 2.0 claims to go even longer than last year's model. The cavity underneath the club aims to make the Covert 2.0 more forgiving, yet the Fly-Brace technology reinforces the rear of the club, which the company claims will transfer the impact energy into greater ball speed. It's also hugely adjustable, allowing players to choose their loft between 8.5 degrees to 12.5 degrees.
Cleveland 588 Custom Driver
The iconic Cleveland 588 has been given a full customisation makeover, making the US brand's best driver even better. There's 12 different settings to fine tune loft, lie and face angle, and you can change the weight, too. Turn the club over and you'll see an adjustable screw, which shifts the centre of gravity back. Cleveland says this allows for a “hugh, penetrating flight”, which again helps get the ball in the air, increasing accuracy and increasing your chances of keeping it in the short stuff.
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha
Back in 1991 the first Big Bertha inspired a generation of intimidating steel and titanium lead-off clubs. Now, 23 years later, Callaway wants to make an equally big statement with the tech-tastic Alpha driver. The first club to let golfers easily adjust its centre of gravity vertically as well as horizontally, its Gravity Core tech gives massive control over flight trajectory and spin, making it easy to curb those wayward swings.
Available in multiple lofts, the G25 is designed for high handicappers and tour pros alike. The oversized head is a large part of this, and it's forgiving enough to generate real distance even when you don’t connect dead centre. You also get 0.5 degrees of tweaking room to fine tune all of that raw power.
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With 12 loft options, and seven face angles from max open to max closed, the R1 is already a very tunable driver. Add to that adjustable weights on either side of the club face, a shaft and sole that can be individually customised to make slight changes to your shots, and an accompanying iOS/Android app that helps you get your club tuned perfectly for every shot. The R1 is blazing a trail for a new era of drivers.
Callaway Razr Fit Xtreme (2013)
The first time Phil Mickelson used the new Razr Fit Xtreme, he knocked his way around TPC Scottsdale in a more than respectable 60. With lighter-than-ever composite used in the driver head, and a new 'Speed Frame Face', the Razr is designed to generate lightning fast club and ball speeds. Combine that with the Optifit tech that lets you adjust the angle of your driver face to alter your loft and trajectory, and the Razr Fit Xtreme will have you putting up serious numbers off the tee.
Cobra AMP Cell Pro (2013)
Cobra's new AMP Cell drivers for 2013 are packed to the gunnels with new tech to get your ball in the air, and keep it there. MyFly technology lets you select one of six different head alignments, to create different lofts for your tee shots, as well as adding fade for those tricky dog-legs. This years AMP Cell also has a larger sweet spot that corresponds to typical strike patterns, and is shaped to add more ball speed to slight mis-hits.