New golf driver

I have been playing a Tour Edge driver for about 6 years. If you’ve followed the development of drivers over that time, you know that they have gotten bigger and more interactive. You can actually make adjustments to some of these drivers…interesting. I don’t quite understand why since if the driver doesn’t fit you, get a different one. Am I missing something?Golf driver adjustment

The maximum size has gone up to 460cc since 2007. Don’t you wonder what drivers might look like today if they hadn’t limited them?

Anyway, my Tour Edge Tour Edge driverhas been pretty darn good to me over the years. I have had plenty of rounds where it felt like I could pretty much call my shots and they would happen. Of course, plenty of days where I had to put it away and use the 3 wood as well…that’s golf right?

So, at the beginning of this year, my 16 year old Varsity golfer son gets a new Taylor Made R9 and what the heck, a few months ago, I give it a try.
And I’m shocked! I hit 10 perfectly straight shots in a row and then I almost TRY to make a bad shot and I can’t!

He tells me, “sorry Dad, I need it” when I ask if he would sell it to me…

I go home and I catch it, you know what I’m talking about…I catch the “new driver” bug. I start imagining what my scores will start looking like with 2 more greens in regulation than normal per round. I totally forget all of the advice I give in this website and start looking for an R7 like me son’s. I go on ebay and craigslist, I check out the used club sellers (there’s no way I’m paying full price for last year’s model).

I finally find it! It’s a 460 Taylor Made R9 and I buy it online. A couple weeks later, it shows up at my door and boy am I excited! I immediately go in my yard to take a whack at some whiffle balls with it…and it feels soooooo good.

My first holes with it are magical. I hit almost every fairway! Only problem, is, the grip is not what I’m used to and by the 12th hole, I can’t even barely hold onto it anymore as my hands are raw. (I’ve never used a glove). I think I posted an 80 and I beat my son in a little side bet where he now owes me 5 car washes. Taylor Made R9 driver

The next round with it, I get prepared and buy a glove. I do pretty well with that driver but you know what, not much different than my old driver actually. But I’m in denial about the whole thing because, dang it, I’ve got to justify that purchase. I have a really good round because I made a bunch of putts outside of 4 feet. The really funny thing, is that the magic had worn off that driver.

Where did the magic go? How can just buying a new club instantly fix my swing to perfection? Can we create that magic even if we don’t get a new club? What’s going on here?

I’m now of the belief that our body will adjust to whatever driver or other new equipment we get, according to our setpoints. That belief may change.

You know, my old driver is still there in my garage with that nice, cushy grip that doesn’t hurt my hands.
(I drove around for weeks with the new driver in my car vowing to drop it off and have it regripped but I never got around to it)

I’ve got a lot to think about and find some lessons here. What’s your experience and how can we make that magic last? Love to hear your comments below.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

  • Craig says:

    Way to go Eric! So cool when we hit the nail on the head isn’t it!?

  • Eric says:

    The Taylor Made R9 works very well with me.
    Had Double Wall driver by Pinemeadows, and never could handle it for 3 years. Went to a fitter to try different brands until we ended up with the R9.
    Since using this club my slicing is cured and most drives end up straight and on the fairways.

  • Craig says:

    Hey Leon, I hear you about the temptation! Way to go on not borrowing for indulgences! I’m with you on that one.
    Greens and fairways,
    Craig

  • Leon says:

    hmmm … well, I couldn’t resist the holiday sale temptation and sprung for a newer model from Callaway Preowned, getting a nice trade-in offer on my previous driver, even though I won’t be able to hit it for real until mid-late April here in Central NY / northern Finger Lakes area … interesting reading, though, everybody … as for labels, that’s the first thing I do after verifying they shipped me the correct club, is remove all labels and their glue residue … no waiting for the credit card statement, since I use a debit card to buy online (tired of paying interest – if I can’t take a direct hit to the checking account, I wait and save up for it)

  • John says:

    Hi Craig
    Isn’t this the same story whether it is a new wife/girlfriend/car/pair of shoes etc?

    Get used to something and then take it for granted!!! J

    A younger woman may look prettier bur may also give you more of a run around and not be so understanding. I say MAY.

    I see a lot of old (er) men taking out their big new driver like a phallic symbol for a 150 metre shot J which I guess goes to show that performance does drop with age L

    Given a coefficient of restitution of 0.83 for the same club head speed there will not be any difference in distance for any driver when hit on the sweet spot.
    However, I am sure that off centre hits will go further with a modern driver which will be generally easier to hit.
    We all have those laser focus days and others when the concentration is lacking a bit.
    I think there is also a lot of BS in advertising and design. For all those slicers I don’t see any point in a draw bias because it is not the club face direction that is the problem but rather coming across the ball from the outside.

    Best wishes
    John

  • MurrayH says:

    The “new club rule” I have experienced is…”a new club will work very well until you pay for it” Think about it: you demo the club and hit miracle shots. You buy the club and pay for it with a credit card: now, it’s in your bag and the magic continues until the first semi-missed shot. Then doubt sets it and the magic is gone. When you get the credit card statement and pay it, the club’s performance drops down another notch and the club becomes simply ordinary.

  • Cliff says:

    When we clasp the grip of a new club we are in awe of the clubs potential – we swing gently and allow the shaft and clubhead do the work. It is a relaxed, pressure free swing and the results are soooo rewarding. All too soon we decide to make the new club do some work, we take it out in competition – we revert to our old ‘killer’ swing which swamps all the advantages the new clubhead and shaft has to offer. If only we could retain that ‘gentle’ swing.

  • Debbie says:

    Change that grip. I bought a new Taylormade driver last year, 10 1/2 degrees, down from my Adams 12 degree. I get a significant, consistent 20 to 30 extra yards and had changed the grip within an hour of receiving it. I agree with those who say to have a club professionally fitted. In my area, all I hear is “This is okay—for a woman.” I would love to find an expert who would take the time with a 50+ aged female to assure correct club fitting. I’m not alone as so many of my fellow female golfers say the same thing.

  • Ken Weights says:

    I have always believed that there is something inside our Psyche which makes us succeed at first with any new club or putter – until money changes hands! Once you have paid for the club it is no longer the same. Last week, after 3 putting 9 x in the Monthly Medal ( & I usually am a good putter Avge 32/33 putts) I tried out a Heavy Putter. It was magical & I was sinking putts of 20yds 3 out of 4 with the Miss a Gimme. I couldn’t wait to buy it but the wise Pro said, leave it another day & try it again before you decide to buy it. I tried it at the week-end – it was OK but the magic had gone. Saved £125 though. Question – How can I recapture the magic?

  • fahmi says:

    I am one golfer who never improve and to this date am at handicap 24 ( the max in Malaysia),though i have played golf some 35 years back.By the way am now 65 years old. My golfing activity is averaging twice a week. Recently i went to my first driver (Cobra ) of 30 years and by joe i hit straighter and further then 3 other drivers i bought along my golfing journey, the latest being A Ena. ‘Its not the club but you the golfer’ !

  • Kalikharb says:

    Hi Craig. Thanks a lot for your advice. I do endorse the idea that new equipment makes new difference. But the Body of ours is really a new machine which adjusts to anything over a period. So club fitting is not a big deal. I agree to disagree with you here that you can improve without practice. No chance Sir. You have to till the field here. Yes your change in thinking will definitely make a difference on your score card. OK thanks again for your valuable suggestions. Regards….kali.

  • Nick says:

    Most clubs feel better but all need adjustment time especially when not fitted for length and grip change. Our body changes from day to day depending flex ability and weight.

  • Kenneth Connelly says:

    Craig,
    Thanks for being open on this question – appreciated. My wife always said, and I now believe her, that if I’d just stay with my existing equipment I’d actually get better. Getting something new, and I think she’s right, always required some adjustment. Incidentally I have a Calloway driver but miss my older R5 Taylor made . . . so if you want to sell the R9 . . . . !?!
    Find what you like, take as long as it takes to find it, and like Arnold Palmer & Nicklaus – stay with what you like forever.

    Yours,
    Ken Connelly
    Hayden, Idaho

    • Craig says:

      Very nice! I think it’s kind of fun to buy a new club once in awhile. Keeps things interesting. I’m just not going to put any real hope in a new club actually doing anything for my score and focus on what I teach instead! Hah, that’s a novel idea!

  • bob says:

    I have a friend who changes clubs so often I once said that on the backswing he had a cobra and on the downswing it was a callaway. Anyway, anything he bought I tried it against my driver( an SMT that I had custom made) and my driver won, until, he bought the new Taylor Made R7, it was noticeably longer and I had to have it. I finally ordered it through my course and paid extra to have it overnighted. It wasn’t the same. Whether it was the grip, shaft, whatever, it wasn’t the same. After awhile, I went back to my old SMT.

    • Craig says:

      That’s awesome. Probably a story that’s been told a zillion times in the golf world!

  • Simon says:

    Craig,

    I think the same thing can happen with a new swing or swing elements. I recently adopted Don Trahan’s Peak performance Golf Swing. For the first couple of weeks everyhting went great…was hearing ball compression like I’d never heard and was long and straight. Now, two months later nothing is working although I would swear I’m doing the same things.

    I believe the bottom line is our “expectations”. With new equipment, hot tip or whatever, we expect to do well…for a while. What you were alluding to in your original question was how do we continue to have the same high level of expectation (and the confidence that comes with that) and continue to get great results. As usual, it comes down to the mental game.

    • Craig says:

      That is all so true…thanks for comment

  • Walt Goshert says:

    Ah… the ‘new driver’ placebo effect.

    You play better because you ‘think’ the new driver is helping you.

    As Dr. Bob tells us, “Golf IS a Game of Confidence”.

    There are no short-cuts.

    Don’t buy off the rack… get fit by a PGA Pro on all your clubs- driver through and including putter.

    Then, work on your short game and putting.

    Simple. Not easy.

    • Craig says:

      Hi Walt,

      I’m with ya’. I still think there’s some internal “magic” for us to tap into…and I want to find it!
      Craig

  • Bob Zimmerman says:

    I went out to the garage and looked for drivers. I found a Warrior 11deg, a MasterGrip 11deg, Pat Simmons D, a Dunlop Dynasty Plus PowerBilt 10.5deg., a Ram 10.5deg Forged Titanium, a King Cobra F Speed 460cc, an MG T-ReXtreme 9.5deg, a Stilletto 10.5geg. Beta TI, a Triden 10.5deg. 280cc titanium, a King Cobra 10.5deg. SS 350, a Warrior 10deg. Driver, and finally a Power Treated Custom H & B made 1 Reg K905T6, Louisville Power Bilt, and a Louisville Power Bilt 1 Reg. W452, H & B. (Those last two clubs date are from the 1930’s)
    Now, I am 83 years old, have been playing golf since I started in 1936, and I have to say that the golfer who strives to become better will always become an acquirer of more clubs along the way if he believes that they can truly help him.

  • Bob says:

    Hi Craig:
    You can not buy a golf game. Which is what everyone does when they buy equipment of the rack based on what the manufacturers claim. When you use new equipment, and todays modern eqipment makes it more forgiving, it puts you in a more focus state of mind about your game thinking yo will play better, albeit short term. For one, if the eqipment doesn’t fit you properly, overtime it starts to show up in your game and your struggles continue again. To really improve your game with new equipment, buying it of the rack, or as in your case, on EBay, is not the way. You have to visit a professional club fitter to nail down all the specs based on your swing. Although your website is geared to “play golf without practice” , you do really have to if you want your scores to go down. If you don’t care about your score, then nothing really matters.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks Bob, I’m still living proof (and so are thousands of others) that you CAN lower scores without practice….and you just proved it by recommending we get clubs fitted to us! That’s a great tip and it doesn’t require practice and I’ll bet most golfers would realize some stroke savings in the long run!
      Craig

  • Rick says:

    My first metal driver experience was wierd!! I decided to improve my game I was going to get a metal driver and a sand wedge. The nearest place was thirty miles away. I picked out 3 Taylormade Burners and went to the range. I hit the first one about 270 with a slight draw. All the shots were the same. I tried the next one. Not near as good. Went back to the first one-same results 270, slight draw. Tried #3 but not good. Back to number one. Again 270 with a slight draw. I hit many balls with each driver to fairly test. I bought the first one and drove home for an afternoon game. I could not hit the driver on the course!! It was all over the place. It was a month before I could it 270 with a dra
    draw. To this day I have no idea what happened in 30 miles!!

    • Craig says:

      Rick,
      You made me laugh out loud…thank you!

  • Ede says:

    I am surprised you haven’t heard of the 45 day rule. For us high handicappers, any new equipment purchase will improve the score for about 45 days. At the conclusion, you are scoring the same way you did before! It’s not the club, it’s the “clubber”

    • Craig says:

      I love it…the 45 day rule 🙂
      Craig

  • Joe says:

    Could be that using the new driver diverted your mind from other aspects of your swing. By channeling your energies into swinging a different driver you were more able to rely on your subconscious to give you an effortless swing at the ball. Once you became accustomed to the new club you were then starting to think consciously about other aspects of your swing – including how the grip was giving you problems.

    • Craig says:

      Joe,
      Very good points to ponder, thanks!

  • dominic says:

    new clubs always play well …and then reality sets in. now if you can afford to play a new club every 2 or 3 rounds, then you are set. i have friends who are club junkies …. they are constantly modifying the club … grip, shaft, head, weight (if available), swingweight, shaft length … “keep it fresh” they say. and in some ways it does “keep it fresh”.

    i am injured, no amount of changing or fiddling with a club can overcome playing in pain along with the lost confidence of the body. i should know, i tried several times unsuccessfully. and there is no way you can use self-hypnosis to remove the fear of pain in the swing. works on the first tee, then every fiber of your being screams to you ‘don’t be stupid and wake up!!!!’

    • Craig says:

      Hi Dominic,
      Darn, sorry to hear that. My intentions for your health…
      Craig

  • bill says:

    don’t take the ‘demo’ label off

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