I have always said that “contentment is not a fulfillment of a want, but the realization of what one has.”
However, golfers seem to overlook or ignore this tenet when it comes to their golf game, aka, golf addiction.
The clubs below are going to be the cause célèbres at the 2014 PGA Show in Orlando, Florida, in January 2014.
Callaway Big Bertha
This year—2014—more than in past years, there are reasons that will make you consider a switch: Callaway is bringing back one of the most revered names in golf equipment: The Big Bertha. Due out on February 14, 2014, two versions will be brought to market—the Big Bertha ($399) and the Big Bertha Alpha ($499).
Its USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is that it is faster, more robust, with Callaway’s new Adjustable Perimeter Weighting for maximum distance from a total performance driver. Both these drivers are overflowing with adjustability.
The Adjustable Perimeter Weighting technology is an innovative sliding weight (5 inches) that can be moved around the perimeter of the driver head to help individuals produce longer, straighter drives.
One of these new drivers, the Big Bertha Alpha, is the first driver to enable independent adjustments of four significant performance characteristics to promote distance: loft, lie, Center of Gravity (draw) bias, and—most innovatively—Center of Gravity (height).
The driver features a unique adjustable weight pin inserted vertically in the head. This pin, called the Gravity Core, has a heavy end and a light end, and it will change the center of gravity depending on whether the heavy end is positioned up or down in the head. The Gravity Core weighs 10.5 grams and has a heavy tungsten tip on a light nylon body. It fits into a carbon fiber tube, accessible from the sole of the driver.
Loft adjustment can be made with the OptiFit hosel, creating a loft range of one degree stronger or two degrees weaker than the stock loft. Golfers can choose from 9, 10.5 and 13.5 stock lofts. The OptiFit hosel also allows a golfer to adjust the face angle between neutral and draw settings.
The Big Bertha is 45.5 inches with a D2 swing weight and a 100 gram head weight. The Big Bertha Alpha is 45.5 inches with a swing weight of D3 and a 205 gram head weight. Two lofts, 9 and 10.5 degrees, are available. Like the regular Big Bertha driver, each loft of the Big Bertha Alpha can be adjusted one degree strong or two degrees weak.
Both Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha have Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face, which is the lightest and largest face ever sold by Callaway.
Standard shafts are from Mitsubishi Rayon: Fubuki Z for Big Bertha and Fubuki ZT for Big Bertha Alpha. These two shafts are new for 2014 and replace the Fubuki Alpha that has been very popular on the PGA Tour.
In a nutshell, the Big Bertha ($399) features a sliding weight device on the back of the head. The other, the Big Bertha Alpha ($499) has four methods of adjustment for different flight patterns.
Already a two-time winner on Tour, the new VRS Covert 2.0 drivers, the Covert Tour model, and the Covert driver, deliver more forgiving distance, faster ball speed and simple, intuitive customization to meet the swing needs of every golfer.
The new VRS Covert 2.0 driver, shown in the photo, features a redesigned cavity with Fly-Brace technology that ties the sole to the crown. By stiffening the rear portion of the club, more energy is transferred to the face at impact.
The High-Speed Cavity Back technology redistributes weight to the heel and toe allowing for increased distance and more stability across the face of the driver.
The VRS Covert 2.0 drivers feature two additional proprietary technologies – a larger, re-engineered NexCOR face for increased ball speed and distance, and FlexLoft adjustability, which allows golfers to easily customize loft and face angle positions for 15 drivers in one.
The redesigned NexCOR face incorporates variable face thickness for a faster, hotter face and as a result, more speed at impact. It is 15-percent larger in the VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver and seven-percent larger in the VRS Covert 2.0 driver.
As for shafts, the second generation of Mitsubishi Rayon’s Kuro Kage shafts are the standard graphite option for both models. In the VRS Covert 2.0 Tour, the Kuro Kage Silver 60 graphite, featuring Titanium Nickel fiber in the tip section, creates more stability and lower spin. The VRS Covert 2.0 utilizes the Kuro Kage Black HBP Graphite 50 shaft with a higher balance point, allowing for higher swing speeds without adding shaft length.
The VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver and VRS Covert 2.0 driver will be available on Nike.com and at select retailers on Jan. 31, 2014, for a suggested retail price of $399 and $299, respectively.
VRS Covert 2.0 Tour Driver Specifications: 8.5-12.5º, RH/LH: R, S, X
VRS Covert 2.0 Driver Specifications: 8.5-12.5º, RH/LH: A, R, S, W
TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver
According to my questions to TaylorMade about the JetSpeed’s naming decision, their response was simply that the JetSpeed driver isn’t called JetSpeed for nothing. All elements of this club converge to promote extreme velocity, swing speed, club head speed and ball speed. “When a jet puts the pedal all the way to the metal it’s known as Full Military Power. That’s what JetSpeed delivers”.
This adjustable driver could be considered the replacement for the TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 and RBZ Stage 2 Tour drivers introduced in February 2013. The JetSpeed series of clubs are a complement to the SLDR line and not a replacement, according to TaylorMade.
The JetSpeed driver has a shallow, or short, face when measured from sole to crown and a 3-degree adjustable hosel.
JetSpeed also incorporates a low-forward CG (Center of Gravity) location, which has been proven in previous TaylorMade drivers to generate faster ball speed and lower spin compared to the low-back CG that has for years been accepted as the best location for promoting distance. Because low-forward also promotes a lower launch angle, most players will have to “loft up” to realize the full distance-enhancing benefits of JetSpeed. Its Loft-sleeve technology allows you to easily choose from one of 12 positions that give you a range of loft adjustment from ±1.5°.
Visually, the streamlined JetSpeed head features a matte black crown with a unique tonal decal that promotes accurate alignment. Imagine an F-16 that wanted to grow up to be a driver and you’ll get the picture. The stock shaft is the Matrix Velox T 49 (49 grams). A TP version is also available, the difference being the Matrix Velox 60 shaft.
The driver comes stock with a 46-inch Matrix Velox T 49 shaft in lofts of 9.5, 10.5 and 13 degrees and sells for $299. It is also available in a TP model with the beefier Matrix Velox T 60 shaft for $399.
Cobra BiO Cell Driver
According to Cobra’s testing, the BiO Cell drivers, thanks to their 50 percent lower CG, are longer than last year’s AMP Cell drivers which makes the new model launch an average of 1.2 degrees higher than the original AMP Cell with about 300 rpms less spin.
The lower CG was made possible through Cobra’s “BiO Cell” technology, changes to the walls of the 460-cubic-centimeter driver head that were inspired by strong, lightweight structures found in nature such as spider webs and beehives.
The BiO CELL+ driver with its 440cc head, available both in right-handed and left-handed models, is designed to deliver maximum distance, forgiveness and control. The driver features a new multi-material crown design (T.O.P. Technology), Cell weighting in the crown and face to optimize MOI and CG placement, and 8 loft settings that allow you to tune the driver for maximum distance to match your swing.
The new BiO CELL pockets combined with its forged E9 Face technology, remove weight from the face to deliver a larger effective Sweet Zone with faster ball speeds for longer and straighter drives – especially on off-center hits.
The BiO Cell driver also has Cobra’s new MyFly8 adjustable hosel, which adds two more settings than its predecessor. (Note: The new hosel design will not accommodate shafts with the company’s original MyFly tips).
The MyFly8 hosel gives golfers five different loft settings, 9, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 12 degrees, as well as three draw (D) settings, 9.5D, 10.5D and 11.5D, which make the club more upright to promote more draw bias. Those eight settings work with the company’s Smart Pad, a 1.5-cm strip on the sole of the driver that helps keep the driver head square throughout its 3-degree adjustable range. In its lowest loft, 9 degrees, the BiO Cell will sit about 0.5-degrees opened, while in its highest loft, 12 degrees, the driver will sit about 0.75-degrees closed.
The Cobra BiO Cell drivers ($299) will come stock with a 45.75-inch True Temper Project X PXv shaft, a co-engineered design available in lite, regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes. The stock swing weights are D3 (lite flex) D4 (regular and stiff flexes) and D4.5 (x-stiff flex). The Matrix red Tie 6Q3 shafts in X,S and R flexes are also available. The grips are the popular Lamkin Ace 3Gen 360 black grips.
Next month’s article will include fairway woods, irons, and great new products from the 2014 PGA Show in Orlando.
In the meantime, take a test drive with any of the aforementioned drivers. I am sure there is a model that will boost both your distance and self confidence.