Rankmark Golf Driver Test 2011

A good turnout of over 150 golfers over four days of testing gave us a great sampling of handicaps, ages and swing styles. In the years we have been testing golf clubs, we have never had so many ties. 

This year's drivers have a lot new technologies that include increased adjustably, more aerodynamic designs, new colors, different weight drivers, new materials, and new contenders into the market. I'm sure this contributed to of the many ties in each group.

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    Titleist 910D3 Driver   

Titleist 910D3

Titleist makes clubs that are for low handicap players and the D3 is no exception. The D3 has extensive adjustability but all the test clubs were set as neutral as possible.   

Scratch  Finishing first in this class showed the continuing feeling that Titleist is a club for players with low handicaps.   

Low Handicap  Just missing the top spot, the Titleist D3 was virtually equal in rating with the D2 and placed second overall. The difference being looks.    

Average Handicap  The D3 had high marks for every category except for consistency which is why the D2 rated higher.

    TaylorMade R11 TP Driver   

TaylorMade R11 TP

A scratch players club with the ability to seriously adjust the club to fit the specific needs of the player. We did notice the club preformed well for a lot of testers even with the adjustments set to neutral.   
    TaylorMade Burner Superfast TP Driver   

TaylorMade Burner Superfast TP

In an interesting outcome, the TaylorMade Burner TP also received high marks similar to the R11 TP and they both tied for first place. Several of the testers said they would take the Burner over the R11.  
    Titleist 910D2 Driver   

Titleist 910D2

A players club, the Titleist D2 differs from the D3 in that it has a 460cc, pear shaped head. It has the same extensive adjustability as the D3.   

Scratch  The larger club face and head shape had this club finishing tied for second in this category, leaving the more standard shaped D3 in first.   

Low Handicap  The Titleist D2 finished one tenth lower than the D3 and barely missing out in a tie for first place. In these tests the club's only mark that was not even with the others was looks.    

Average Handicap  The D2 was tied for first in this group in accuracy, distance but again suffered from a lower mark in looks.

    Callaway Razr Hawk Driver   

Callaway Razr Hawk

The Razr Hawk, placed in all categories but strongest in the high handicap group. We noticed a distinct tendency to reduce the difference in off-center hits which would have an influence on the higher handicap golfers.   

Low Handicap  For the low handicap golfers, the Razr Hawk's characteristics were evenly divided though all scoring categories.   

Average Handicap  The average handicap golfers gave the club higher marks for feel, consistency and distance.   

High Handicap  The high handicap group put this club in first place with very high marks for sound and feel. The other categories were almost identical.

    Nike SQ Machspeed Driver   

Nike SQ Machspeed

Scratch  In a surprise outcome, the SQ Machspeed beat out the VR Pro in this class. It's strength was it's accuracy, feel and distance were next.   

High  The high handicap class liked pretty much across the board but they especially liked the looks.

    Boccieri Heavy Driver Driver   

Boccieri Heavy Driver

From the makers of the Heavy Putter, this newcomer to the market, the Heavy Driver made a respectable showing even though most testers had not heard of it. We noticed that the off-center hits were not as dramatic as other clubs.   

Low Handicap  These golfers gave the Heavy Driver good marks for feel, distance and consistency. It was one of the higher rated clubs for accuracy.   

High Handicap  An interesting note, the club did not place with the average handicap golfer but did in the high handicaps. Tied for third, it received high results for looks while getting lower marks for accuracy and the scores for feel, sound and distance were about the same.

    Cleveland Launcher TL310 Driver   

Cleveland Launcher TL310

The trio of Cleveland drivers, distinguished by different weights, were strong contenders in this test making the cut in all but one division.   

Scratch  The average golfer liked the feel, consistency and distance of the TL310.

    Ping G15 Driver   

Ping G15

One of the things we have found over the years is the Ping people are Ping people. They are a very loyal to this brand.   

High Handicap  The Ping G15 is always a contender in driver testing and it placed high in this test also. The only thing that kept it from the top was looks according to our testers.   

Average Handicap  Oddly enough, it was the sound that kept the average handicap testers from ranking this club higher.   

High Handicap  The Ping G15 results were, for the most part, even. Feel and accuracy were slightly higher.


    Mizuno JPX 800 Driver   

Mizuno JPX 800

Low Handicap  The Mizuno JPX 800 tied for third place with a strong showing across the board. All the categories were within a tenth of each other.   

High Handicap  The Mizuno driver also made the cut with the high handicap golfers. They liked the look and sound of the club but gave it low marks for feel. Consistency and distance were tied in the middle of the driver's results.


    TaylorMade R11 Driver   

TaylorMade R11

Low Handicap  Tied for third place, the R11 made the place with looks, sound and feel. Consistency and distance fell off a little. It's adjustability did not seem to effect the outcome.   

Average Handicap  Tied for first with 3 other clubs, this club's results had similar result characteristics as the low handicap group.

    TourEdge Exotics XCG4 Driver   

TourEdge Exotics XCG4

Average Handicap  The club had the distinction of being one of the clubs that surprised the members of this group - they said the club added 10 to 20 yards to their drives. This helped bring the club to the top of the list.
    Srixon Z-STAR Driver   

Srixon Z-STAR

Low Handicap  One of the top clubs for sound, the Srixon ZSTAR, is one of the more interesting of the adjustable clubs. A new fitting program is on its way for smart phones so you can adjust the club for the conditions on the day you are playing.   

Average Handicap  Looks, feel and accuracy were the strong points of this club for average handicap golfers. They also liked the sound which was the highest mark for this club.

    Nike VR Pro Driver   

Nike VR Pro

Low Handicap  The Nike VR Pro received high marks in sound and distance but looks and consistency kept the club in fourth place. On the other hand, the Nike Machspeed was considered one of the best looking clubs but did not place.
    Callaway Diablo Octane Driver   

Callaway Diablo Octane

Average Handicap  The Diablo Octane placed first in sound, feel and the golfers felt it is was the longest of the clubs tested by this group. The club's feel was its strongest feature.   

High Handicap  The Diablo did well in looks but fell short in consistency, something we did not expect in this class of golfers. The other categories were pretty equal.

    TaylorMade Burner Superfast Driver   

TaylorMade Burner Superfast

Placing in all categories, the TaylorMade Burner Superfast show it versatility and show this club to be a solid contender.   

Low Handicap  The low handicap marks were pretty even, with 4 tenths separating all categories.   

Average Handicap  This class of golfers like the look and distance versus the other categories with look being the highest.   

High Handicap  Again the look carried the Burner to a higher position. The remaining categories were very close to each other.

    Bobby Jones Workshop Superlite Driver   

Bobby Jones Workshop Superlite

 High Handicap  In observing testers using the Jesse Ortiz designed driver, we noticed that the club preformed very well for average and high handicap golfers, often adding significant consistency and distance. The Superlite worked better than the regular edition in making this club work for higher handicaps.
    Nicklaus ML4 Driver   

Nicklaus ML4

Having hit Nicklaus drivers over the years, we felt this was the best driver they have made to date. A strong showing in the average and high handicap groups seem to support that finding.   

Average Handicap  The category results for the ML4 were even with the exception of sound which lower the overall standing in the average handicap grouping.   

High Handicap  Again, for the this group was sound but it still placed well due to strong showing for feel and accuracy.

    Bobby Jones Workshop Edition Driver   

Bobby Jones Workshop Edition

 High Handicap  In observing testers using the Jesse Ortiz designed driver, we noticed that the club preformed very well for average and high handicap golfers, often adding significant consistency and distance. But look influenced the results greatly, they just did not like the look of the club. 

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