The PGA Merchandise Show was an online affair this year, but club manufacturers still divulged plenty of share-worthy information about their latest offerings. And if there’s one thing that characterizes 2021’s crop of drivers, it’s variety.
The days of one-size-fits-all drivers ended years ago, but club makers have gone to even greater lengths this year to give both low- and high-handicap players options—including a broader selection of standard shaft choices than ever. And while the Rules of Golf limit how much spring-like effect (aka “coefficient of restitution,” or C.O.R.) manufacturers can build into their drivers today, club companies haven’t stopped looking for new ways to boost clubhead speed and incorporate other benefits into their new designs. Whether you’re a hacker or a scratch player, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a new driver that’s been designed to help you hit longer, more consistent tee shots.
Here are some of the new clubs you should test-drive if you’re thinking about upgrading your big stick.
Titleist TSi2 & TSi3
Titleist is building on the success of its speed-focused TS driver line with the new TSi2 and TSi3, both of which feature ATI 425 aerospace titanium—a unique alloy that the company says is exclusive to Titleist. Both are 460cc drivers, with the TSi3 having a slightly more traditional pear shape appearance at address. The TSi2 will favor players who need more forgiveness and height on their tee shots, while the TSi3 is the choice for better players. It features new SureFit track technology, which lets you fine-tune the clubhead’s center of gravity via a slider that moves weight toward the heel or toe. Golfers can also expect Titleist to introduce a new TSi for slower-swing players, and a low-spin TSi4, this spring.
Callaway Epic Speed, Epic Max, Epic Max LS
Callaway’s use of machine learning (or artificial intelligence) to create new and better driver designs goes on. This year, its new Epic series drivers feature A.I.-fueled changes to the clubs’ “jailbreak” clubhead structure, what Callaway calls their “speed frame,” and new A.I.-powered clubface flex patterns to match. The result: fast ball speeds from more points on the clubface. Players should find the Epic Max to be the most forgiving of the trio; the Epic Speed is the better player’s club. Both the Max and the Max LS offer sliding adjustable perimeter weighting to help you tune them to your usual shot shape.
PING G425 Max, G425LST, G425SFT
PING says its new G425 Max offers the highest moment of inertia (MOI) of any driver in PING history. That’s good news for any player, but especially those who need more forgiveness and generate a lot of off-center hits. The 445cc LST “low spin” model is the player’s club; the SFT model (“straight flight technology”) promotes more draw bias and is a great choice for slicers.
TaylorMade SIM2, SIM2 Max, SIM2 Max D
TaylorMade’s SIM2 line features two important changes from the original SIM—actually, three. The most obvious is the bright blue forged aluminum ring that unites the carbon sole, carbon crown, and clubface. It that saves weight vs. carbon fiber—weight that can be put to better use elsewhere. Also, the front sections of these new Sim drivers are crafted from one piece of titanium rather than being separate parts welded together, and the backs of the faces are CNC-milled now, all of which TaylorMade says leads to a 43 percent increase in C.O.R.—and results in increases in ball speed from more points on the clubface. This leads to change three—no moveable weights in the 2021 SIM2 line. The lower-launch SIM2 is the choice for better players; the SIM2 Max for higher handicappers; and the SIM2 Max D offers draw bias to fight slicing.
Cobra RADSPEED, RADSPEED XB, RADSPEED XD
Bryson Dechambeau gets a lot out of his Cobra RADSPEED driver, and you may, too. 2021 models feature radial weighting to help optimize speed, forgiveness, and ball flight. In the traditionally shaped RADSPEED model for better players, the weight is more forward. In the oversized RADSPEED XB, it’s farther back. The oversized RADSPEED XD moves weight more to the heel to help fight slicing. All three feature a CNC milled “Infinity Edge” face design that expands the milled area by 95 percent, increasing the hitting zone for maximum ball speed on off-center hits.
Mizuno ST-X and ST-Z
Mizuno may be better known for its forged irons, but its forged SAT2041 Beta Ti-faced drivers have earned acclaim, too. For 2021, Mizuno has two offerings. The ST-Z is the low-spin choice for lower handicappers. The ST-X adds more heel weighting for draw bias. Players with slower swing speeds should consider the ST-X J-Spec, which incorporates a lightweight 39-gram MFusion shaft.
Honma T//World GS
It’s time to Gain Speed.
The GS Driver features a Crank Slot Sole which maximises face flexure for fast ball speeds across the club head.
— HONMA Golf EU (@honmagolfEU) February 10, 2021
Honma’s new T//World GS driver—GS for “Gain Speed”—features a deep slot in the sole just behind the clubface that the company claims will help promote higher ball speed and reduces loss of distance on off-center hits. This is a handsome game-improvement club that complements nicely Honma’s TR21 drivers for lower-handicappers.
Tour Edge Hot Launch 521 Series
Hot Launch 521 Series is NOW AVAILABLE!
Yesterday marked the first day of the new Hot Launch 521 Series being available to the golfing public!
— Tour Edge Golf (@TourEdgeGolf) November 2, 2020
Tour Edge’s new offerings for 2021 are its E521 and C521 drivers. The E521 features a shallow, slightly offset face, a lighter and shorter (44.5”) standard shaft, heel weighting, and a new “Houdini Sole” that positions weight 10 percent farther back and 14 percent lower than Tour Edge’s previous HL4 driver—all to improve stability/M.O.I., optimize launch conditions, and add forgiveness. The C521 is a more traditional-looking club for better players. It features a cup face design and “Diamond Face Technology” that includes 39 thin diamond shapes behind the face. Tour Edge says they act like “mini trampolines” and help produce faster ball speeds, lower spin, and better performance on off-center hits.
Which new driver to you want to add to your bag in 2021?