ClubTest 2020: These 7 drivers will help lower your spin rate
Having the correct spin rate is an essential part of the equation when it comes to optimizing launch and distance. Too much spin can lead to an inefficient flight and lost yards off the tee, while too little spin can result in an erratic dispersion pattern.
In the latest installment of GOLF’s 2020 ClubTest, we take a look at drivers that will help you shed spin. If you’re a high-ball hitter or someone who routinely watches your ball balloon once it hits the apex, targeting something with low spin can help you add yards with the driver. Based on extensive robot and player testing, these seven models stood out from the pack.
Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero$499.99
Lofts: 9 and 10.5 degrees
Our take: It’s the lowest spinning Mavrik. Depending on where you position the two adjustable sole screws (two and 14 grams), you can manipulate spin up to 200 to 300 rpm. A smaller head size (450cc) and flatter lie angle should appeal to better players.
ClubTester’s take (3-hdcp): “One knock on Sub Zero models was their lack of forgiveness, but I can miss it with this one and it still goes!”
Robot’s take: Ranked near the top in carry distance at high speed.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo$349.99
Loft: 10.5 degrees
Our take: Designed to eliminate a slice, HB Turbo Draw offers a variable cup face that expands the sweet spot and ramps up speed. A redesigned HiBore crown lowers the center of gravity for a high launch. Also comes in a standard version without the draw bias.
ClubTester’s take (13-hdcp): “Can turn the ball over on command. I love the matte finish.”
Robot’s take: The draw bias works. Heel misses mitigated across both swing speeds.
Lofts: 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees
Our take: The CNC-milled face on the SpeedZone driver has a fresh look with an Infinity design that wraps into the sole and crown to enlarge the sweet spot and boost forgiveness (something players raved about during testing). Removing unwanted titanium—50 percent of the head is comprised of carbon fiber—allowed for the addition of a 69-gram internal weight that pushes the center of gravity down and away from the strike to maximize head stability. Combine all of these attributes and you get a driver loaded with forgiveness and pinpoint accuracy. There’s a reason why Cobra staffers Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau switched to SpeedZone almost immediately after it was released. For non-pros, the driver also checks a bunch of boxes, but where it truly shines is in the ball speed retention department. Robot testing revealed a club that produces nearly identical ball speed numbers on shots struck in the center of the face and off the toe. With this and the Xtreme model finishing near the top in forgiveness tests, players have two great options based on shape and adjustability preferences.
ClubTester’s take (+1-hdcp): “Firm feel of this driver is like Led Zeppelin back in the day—it hits all the right notes and gets your attention.”
Robot’s take: For both fast and mid swing speeds, forgiveness on toe hits and in general spiked while also producing a lower peak height.
Lofts: 9.5 and 10.5 degrees
Our take: The Ti51AF cup face delivers an abundance of ball speed. A lightweight carbon composite crown positions additional discretionary weight along the perimeter, boosting forgiveness and stability.
ClubTester’s take (10-hdcp): “Profile frames the ball nicely—and, boy, does the ball go.”
Robot’s take: One of the best at reducing spin for mid-speed swingers.
TaylorMade SIM Max D$499.99
Lofts: 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees
Our take: Delivers the same forgiveness package as SIM Max, but with a built-in draw bias aimed at attacking slices. Low spin properties should help, too. Also features an 18 percent larger face than SIM.
ClubTester’s take (12-hdcp): “Haven’t hit one like this in years where my slice isn’t a problem.”
Robot’s take: Data confirms the Max D’s ability to reel in slices and reduce spin.
Lofts: 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees
Our take: When it comes to the TS4, it’s all about killing spin and dialing in launch with a low and forward CG location—made possible by a relocated SureFit weight—that lops off 300 to 400 rpm when compared to the TS3. The 430cc pear-shaped profile is more compact than many modern-day drivers, but that’s by design. The aerodynamic shape helps build speed for faster swing speed players who don’t have a problem finding the center of the springy VFT (Variable Face Thickness) face on a regular basis. As you’d expect, the driver has a massive following among the professional ranks. With a carry distance that was seven yards longer than the average for all drivers tested, it’s safe to say the TS4 put on a show during robot testing in South Korea. It received similar high marks during player testing from low handicappers—particularly those with faster swings—who previously had difficulty shedding unwanted spin.
ClubTester’s take (2-hdcp): “I love the smaller, more traditional profile. Mishits are magnified a bit, but when you hit one on the screws, it goes.”
Robot’s take: Excellent carry values for high swing speed players. Also, one of the best at promoting low spin characteristics.
Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220$349.99
Lofts: 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees
Our take: An elongated face-to-back shape, coupled with a 9-gram back weight, gives the EXS 220 a 20 percent bump in forgiveness when compared to its predecessor. Diamond face technology features 42 thick and thin diamond shapes to expand the overall sweet spot. Acoustics have been improved with the help of an internal sound diffusion bar.
ClubTester’s take (10-hdcp): “Maybe one of the best sounding drivers I tested. For someone who places a premium on feel and acoustics, this is it.”
Robot’s take: One of the best at correcting heel hits among the whole group.
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