Callaway RazrHawk Driver
The Callaway RazrHawk Driver is the newest offering from Callaway Golf (Released February 2011). The club comes in lofts ranging from 9.5 to 13 degrees and is offered in “Neutral” or “Draw” biases. The club comes stock with an Aldila R.I.P. shaft and is 46” long.
What I really like about this driver is how hot the ball comes off of the face. The face seems to be very springy and shots fly off the clubhead with a great deal of velocity right from the moment of impact. The clubhead is forgiving also, which is nice when you don’t hit that perfect shot. Toe and heel impacted shots do not lose very much distance which helps the average golfer tremendously. The club feels very solid overall, with a lower pitched sound than previous Callaway drivers. The club is also built somewhat to help players shape shots. As compared to other drivers on the market right now, this driver allows you to hit draws and fades with a little bit more ease than some of its competitors.
The main technology behind the Callaway RazrHawk driver is the “Forged Composite” construction. Callaway teamed up with Lamborghini to develop a way of forging carbon fiber to provide a very stable and light material to us in this line of drivers. This new material allows Callaway to reposition weight that would have been used in the clubhead through previous materials, into places in the clubhead that favor hitting a long and straight golf shot.
The Aldila R.I.P. shaft is a very nice shaft that complements the driver head very well. It is a lower to middle flighted shaft that is very light at about 60 grams. The weight of the shaft allows you to swing the club faster, which translates into more distance. The shaft also has some awesome graphics and designs featured on the grip and clubhead end of the shaft, which is a nice added bonus.
There are many characteristics of this driver that I do like, however there are a few that I am not too fond of and think take away from the appeal and performance of the club. The clubhead is formed by fusing two different materials together, which results in the curved seam that can be seen on the crown of the clubhead. Many people would set up to this driver at address and be disgusted at how it looks because of the seam. I am not particularly disturbed by it, but I know a lot of people who want to see a clean clubhead when they are setting up to hit a golf shot. My only other gripe about this club is its lack of personalization. Callaway’s biggest rivals in the equipment industry (Titleist and Taylormade) have systems on their premium drivers that allows the player to, with a few twists of a wrench, add or subtract loft from the club, adjust the lie angle and open or close the clubface. How has Callaway not gotten a system like this into their clubs for the masses to use? I feel as if Callaway’s competitors have a huge advantage on them in this aspect of club making. I really do hope that Callaway has something in the works to rival their competitors on this characteristic of the club, because if they don’t, they may fade lose some serious portion of the market in the near future.
Overall I give this driver for the:
Low Handicapper (0-9): 5 out of 10 Divots
Middle Handicapper (10-19): 9 out of 10 Divots
High Handicapper (20+): 8 out of 10 Divots
TaylorMade R11 Driver
The TaylorMade R11 Driver is somewhat revolutionary. The amount of options that this driver gives to the golfer in terms of different configurations of lofts, lies, face angles and shaft choices is unprecedented. It is very impressive that TaylorMade has created a fitting system like this that is easy for the average golfer to use and understand. With a few turns of a wrench that is included with every driver, and a few twists and turns of the shaft or weights, a player can have a different driver in their hands than they had just a moment ago.
Even more noticeable, is the white clubhead. No clubhead has ever been painted white and mass produced like the TaylorMade R11 has. It is a very unique concept and a genius marketing ploy from the company. They say that the white color makes the clubhead appear 2% larger, which actually seems to be true when you put the clubhead down. The club does appear to be larger than some of its competitors. The club comes with a Fujikura Blur as the stock shaft which is a decent shaft for most players. The only major downside that I see to this club is the amount of spin that this clubhead imparts on the golf ball. Spin off the driver is a great thing if you swing the club slower and do not have a lot of power, but spin will absolutely kill your distance if you are someone who swings the golf club in excess of 90 miles an hour. When you are looking to hit the golf ball 200 yards or more you need to find the right amount launch angle and the lowest amount of spin to maximize driver distance. The idea behind that is to fly the ball as far as possible with a low amount of spin so that when the ball hits the ground it keeps rolling for as long as possible and you achieve maximum distance.
In my testing with the R11 my driver shots spun significantly more than compared to other drivers, which lowered my overall distance. So, the R11 was not the right driver for me. However, if combined with the correct shaft, it is possible that the R11 will be the perfect driver that can give you the most distance. The key with this driver is to keep the spin rate as low as possible.
Overall, I give this driver for the:
Low Handicapper (0-9): 7 out of 10 Divots
Middle Handicapper (10-19): 8 out of 10 Divots
High Handicapper (20+): 6 out of 10 Divots
TaylorMade Superfast 2.0 TP Driver
The TaylorMade Superfast 2.0 TP Driver is a really nice driver geared toward lower handicapped golfers. It is designed to give players a low and penetrating ball flight that has minimal spin. The shape and setup of the driver is a bit more traditional than the R11 driver, which have made this driver fairly popular amongst better players.
The crown of the driver is painted white just like the R11 driver, which goes along with TaylorMade’s desire to separate itself from the competition with its latest line of equipment. This driver does not feature the customization options that the R11 does, which holds it back a bit from being exceptional. There is no way to change shafts easily, alter lofts, change face angles or move weights like the R11. I believe this is one of the main reasons why better players choose the R11 over the Superfast 2.0 TP.
One very positive aspect of this driver is that it tends so spin less than its competitors. This is great if you hit the ball 200+ yards and you are trying to maximize distance by combining the correct launch angle and optimum spin. The driver also comes stock with a very good Matrix shaft that if fairly light at 65 grams. It also comes slightly shorter than the non-TP version, which I like because it will give the player a bit more control over their golf ball. The club also sets up slightly open and features a weight toward the toe of the club, which helps dramatically in hitting the golf ball as straight as possible. These two characteristics discourage a player from flipping the club at impact into a closed position and hooking the ball off line. The forgiveness of the club is fairly good, but keep in mind that it is geared toward better players so there is an expectation that fewer shots will be hit off of the toe and heel.
This driver is quite good and I think it can be a great addition to anyone’s bag, especially better players who are looking for a more traditional look and lower spin from a TaylorMade driver.
Overall, I give this driver for the:
Low Handicapper (0-9): 9 out of 10 Divots
Middle Handicapper (10-19): 6 out of 10 Divots
High Handicapper (20+): 3 out of 10 Divots
Titleist AP2 Irons
The Titleist AP2 irons have been around for quite a while and for a good reason. They are a great middle of the road iron for lower handicappers. The irons offer a good amount of forgiveness for being considered a lower handicapper club. They have a fairly wide sole and a thicker topline than a lot of players clubs out on the market. This is all great for a god player who is looking for as much forgiveness as possible without losing that look of a blade type club. With that being said, many really good players find this iron unattractive because of that thicker topline. It may be harder to work the ball left to right and right to left, but that added forgiveness definitely helps on mis-hits. These irons also come with what Titleist has called the “Tuned Feel System.” This feature includes a cavity in the back of the iron that is filled with soft elastomer, which gives the iron a softer feel and a better sound. This insert really gives the AP2 iron a great feel, and allows for more forgiveness in the club because of the cavity that is created in the back of the clubhead to make room for this material.
The AP2 irons also come with a number of shaft choices, but the stock shaft is a True Temper Dynamic Gold. True Temper has been a huge name in golf shafts for many, many years and it is very fitting for them to be stock in these irons because of their tradition of excellence and performance.
These irons are widely used on professional tours around the world because their offer a tour player what they are looking for in terms of feel, looks and performance. It is not a shock that these irons have been the flagship iron model for Titleist for years now.
Overall, I give these irons for the:
Low Handicapper (0-9): 8 out of 10 Divots
Middle Handicapper (10-19): 6 out of 10 Divots
High Handicapper (20+): 2 out of 10 Divots