It’s the time of year that every golf nerd is most excited for. New woods season.
With many of the big boys in golf releasing new woods the conversation naturally becomes who has the best driver of the year? We’ve already had the new demos arrive and begun fitting with them so lets dive into first impressions.
Release 1: Ping G430
Well known for their easy to hit woods, Ping driver releases are always well anticipated as they don’t tend to flood the market with hundreds of new releases. So what is the progression with G430? On first impressions, just for my personal preferences the head sits nicer with a slightly rounder profile, but the biggest sensory note is the sound. G425 was a massively popular driver but the sound was a point of contention for many. G430 produces a more muted thud than the older model which is certainly more pleasing to the ear. In terms of tech, much of the head composition is much the same, with the carbonfly wrap saving weight in the crown and their patented “spinsistency” giving consistency on off centre strikes. From my experience the G430 is quicker off the face and spins marginally lower which will appeal to those going for an easier to hit driver that doesn’t sacrifice too many yards. The head variations are the same as the last few generations with the Max (forgiveness & adjustability), SFT (draw bias) and LST (low spinner) heads giving most golfers something to look at.
Release 2: Stealth 2
Taylormade’s last offering, the Stealth, was certainly controversial. With the addition of the carbon face, Stealth captured the imagination and was brilliant on centred strikes but could be wayward on anything that wasn’t middled. Stealth 2 from my initial fittings has already been a big jump in performance. The Carbon Twist Face has been modified to provide the speed that it did last year with more stability on off centre strikes. They’ve achieved this with a variable thickness which seems to smooth out the spinny heel strikes and nose diving toe strikes that Stealth could sometimes see. From a feel perspective the carbon face still gives a solid, muted sound and the visual is slightly modified with a shiny crown but there isn’t a gigantic visual move from last year. As with Ping the same heads are available as in the last iteration, the Stealth 2, Stealth Plus (lower spin & adjustability) and Stealth 2 HD (draw bias).
Release 3: Paradym
Following on from the success of Rogue ST, the Paradym is already garnering strong reviews. The 360 carbon chassis is a departure from the previous titanium composition which is saving weight, which allows for more accurate CG placement. This provides them with the option of making a club as forgiving or as powerful as they want. As with Rogue ST, the model contains the development of many a few concepts that have been seen in previous Callaway drivers, with Jailbreak and AI face technology taking on slightly different forms. This worked really well in Rogue ST to keep the spin down on high launching shots which is great for distance. So far Paradym provides the same type of
ball flight with some additional speed off the face. The head offerings have been slightly modified with the standard option now featuring a sliding back weight for draw or fade bias, the Paradym X offering a slightly draw bias version with a focus on launch, and the Triple Diamond head being a much more playable low spin head than its previous name sakes.
The fitting capabilities with all of these drivers really nicely allow optimisation for any style of golfer, so if your curious about any of them make sure you come down and try them out in a fitting!