The evolving shape of the modern driver is more than mere marketing: The various squares and triangles represent a search for the highest possible moment of inertia (MOI) and the forgiveness that comes with it. The USGA may have capped the trampoline effect of the clubs’ faces, but companies have now set their sights beyond the robot-tested sweet spot. Many of the following drivers employ less visible technologies—variable face thicknesses, exotic bulge-and-roll designs—to heat up the entire clubface.
Best New Drivers
TaylorMade Tour Burner
One of the most visually inspiring drivers on the market, the Tour Burner has a solid, square-faced look at address. Its black, triangular crown flows beautifully into a rounded-off lower section. TaylorMade calls this Dual Crown Technology, explaining that the second, lighter-weight crown is designed to help launch the ball higher and with less spin. The titanium clubhead features the company’s long-standing Inverted Cone Technology in the back of the face, and a 45.5-inch shaft helps increase clubhead speed. There’s no movable weight in this model, just a fixed plug on the sole to tune the swingweight. Also available is a TP version with an upgraded shaft and a face angle that’s one degree open. $499. Call 800-456-8633 or visit taylormadegolf.com.
Tour Edge Exotics XLD
Tour Edge chose this unusual design for its high-MOI model in part because of its satisfying sound at impact. Variable thicknesses on the XLD’s beta titanium face improve performance on mis-hits, and a total weight of a mere 295 grams—fifty of them in the forty-six-inch Graphite Design shaft—translates to excellent distance both in carry and roll. Golfers of moderate clubhead speed who are looking to “lighten up” for a distance boost should definitely give the XLD a test drive. $299. Call 800-515-3343 or visit exoticsgolf.com.
Bobby Jones Workshop Edition Driver by Jesse Ortiz
The latest from Bobby Jones features sophisticated styling and a unique shape. Its rounded-off triangular design aims to improve stability and bring heel and toe shots back toward the middle of the fairway. The clubface, made from super-strong Russian beta titanium, is contoured to serve the same purpose—to reduce shot deflection off to the sides. The Workshop Edition will let you know when you’ve left its forgiveness on the table: It emits a distinct ring upon pure contact. $500. Call 866-858-5522 or visit bobbyjonesgolf.com.