Square-headed drivers?You’re kidding, right? That’s what everyone says. It gets worse when you see them. Come on, nobody would use those. Well, guess what?K. J. Choi already won an event on the PGA Tour using one. With all that dough on the line, do you think other pros won’t try them this year?
Nike and Callaway are the first to bring the modern "geometric" drivers to market (see "Fair and Square," page 59). Without getting too technical, the idea is that the untraditional shape allows designers to redistribute weight so that off-center hits don’t go so far off-line. Does it work?Well, yes. Does that sound appealing?Well, yes. Am I going to get one?Well, why wouldn’t I?When 460cc drivers came out, I quickly got used to the size and to seeing my ball fly farther; I’m sure I could get used to seeing it land in the fairway more often, too.
Certainly, most traditions in golf are not just worth preserving, they must be preserved. The honor system, playing it as it lies, all the rules: Golf would not be golf without them. And I’m not endorsing unlimited technological advances in clubs and balls. But the shape of the driver head?It seems to me that the drivers we use today look pretty different from the ones Walter Hagen used, and I don’t hear anyone complaining about that.
I believe these new drivers are like long-shafted putters in that they might allow lesser players to enjoy the game more. For sure, long putters help keep yippers from giving up golf entirely. Maybe these new drivers will help keep incurable slicers from doing the same. (And a game that has trouble attracting and retaining players could use the help.) Yes, they look untraditional. Today. In five years, they may well look utterly normal.
Do they give some Tour players—a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the world’s golfers—an "unfair" advantage?I have no idea. But I encourage anyone who feels strongly about it to start a petition to restrict professionals from using the clubs.
Me, I’m going to give one a try. They look like fun, and that, my friends, is what we at this magazine want you to have—every time you tee it up.