- By Michael Chwasky, Golf Magazine
Unlike NCAA hoops, driver manufacturing doesn't tolerate "one-and-dones." To better meet the needs of players across all skill levels, brands now offer multiple variations of similar designs. Typically, they pair a standard model with a higher-spinning version designed to promote or augment a draw, and a low-spin version that doesn't. But choosing the right iteration isn't as clear-cut as the descriptions intend.
According to Hot Stix Golf general manager Chris Marsh, the best place to start is the most obvious. "A "standard" model is the most neutral, and tends to fit the widest range of players, while the low-spin model is a better match for faster swingers." As you can guess, a driver family's high-spin model would work best in the hands of a slicer, thanks to the built-in draw bias.
The multi-club system demands an honest talent self-assessment—a huge variable. It also fails to address the proverbial exceptions to the rule, such as the faster swinger who can't beat his slice or the slow-speed guy who happens to generate tons of spin.
Master fitter Matt Knitter of Club Champion comments, "If you have a 110 mph swing, it's not an automatic that you'll perform best with the lowest-spinning model. Attack angle and ballstriking consistency have a huge impact. If your impact is inconsistent, start with the most forgiving head, ignoring speed. If you're consistent but slower, I'd suggest a lower-spinning model, even though it's designed for faster swingers."
The bottom line is that the wider selection of designs is a boon to golfers who want to max out their performance, provided they take the time to get properly fit. "Don't go it alone," suggests Knitter. "With the multi-model setup and the eye of an experienced fitter, it's nearly a given that you'll drive the ball farther and straighter."