allaway have introduced their new range of drivers – all featuring AI technology in the design. But is this just a sales pitch or marketing spin?
For many years, golf club manufacturers have been using robot testing to optimize product design and performance. Data is gathered from centred and off-centre strikes from this method of testing and the products are engineered to give optimal results. However, rather than relying on robot testing, Callaway have gone back through over 250 000 shots, hit by golfers of all abilities, ages, varying techniques and swing speeds. They have then used this data through their 'super computer' to produce club head and club face designs to maximise ball speed and forgiveness through impact. The resulting “Smart Face Technology” means the clubface is supportive in the places in needs to be to give the player better results – especially for off centre strikes. Generally, as the strikegets away from the centre of the club, there is twist and gear effect which causes both a loss of ball speed and direction. The Smart Face Technology reduces the loss of ball speed on these off-centrestrikes – meaning the player doesn’t see a big drop in distance from thatstrike that wasn’t perfect but wasn’t terrible. It also assists in creating more stable launch and spin characteristics– again to narrow the difference between the centred and off-centre strikes.
The new driver comes in four different models -
· The Max which features the traditional Callaway hosel for adjustability as well as the movable perimeter weight – these features can change the shot shape by up to 18 metres.
· The Max D is for the player looking to hit a draw – with increased forgiveness due to internal weighting in the rear of the clubhead. The weight redistribution also increases launch
· The Max Fast – super lightweight with rear weighting and a fixed hosel to make launching the ball easier with greater forgiveness
· The Triple Diamond – neutral to fade bias to suit the more accomplished golfer - with hosel adjustability and a moveable weight to increase ball speed and lower spin
So which one gives the best results???? There are plenty of reviews online which talk about how good the AI Smoke Triple Diamond is but it certainly isn’t for everyone. We would only recommend this type of driver to someone with excellent clubface and launch control. For the golfer that needs a bit of forgiveness to hit more fairways, the Max would be a better option. In most cases, better launch control and a squarer clubface at impact will result in distance gains and the Max has the most adjustability in the new range.
For the player who battles the fade or slice, the Max D would be the best choice. Most players who struggle to square up the face – when they do get it right, get a much lower, straighter shot that comes off with higher ball speed. The Max D is designed to give that higher ball speed but with better launch and more carry as well as having internal weighting to get that club face back to square at impact.
If you have a slower swing and have noticed your carry distances dropping off, the Max Fast might get that distance back. It’s designed to be very light but still stable enough to give excellent ball speed from an off-centre strike.
The best way to find which model works for you is to book in for a fitting. Sometimes, golfers will buy equipment based solely on reviews and marketing – which is just an unnecessary gamble. The best way to getting better distance and dispersion with your driver is to see it for yourself in a fitting – where you find the head design and loft, the shaft that performs and feels the best and a grip type and size that suits your build and gives you comfort and control.