Brand-New Big Sticks: 2015's Best Drivers
Jordan Spieth may have taken the golf world by storm this year by making seemingly every important putt, but the ability to drive the ball remarkable distances is still a huge source of glory in the game. Whether on the PGA Tour (embodied by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson) or just around your home course, players love watching bombers bomb the ball almost as much as they aspire to become bombers themselves.
And so continues the cycle of research and development of the next "greatest driver ever" for the major golf equipment manufacturers.
While we wait, here are our picks for 2015's best drivers to date:
PING has long been one of the best fairway woods companies, and their latest line is a continuation of that success. The bumps—known as turbulators—on the crown of the G30 are no gimmick. By disturbing the air around the head on the downswing, they help to reduce drag on the club head and therefore increase club head and ball speeds. And for players looking for workability who previously preferred PING's I-series drivers, the G30 LS Tec version is a stellar option.
Titleist has always cultivated an image of refinement and a traditional aesthetic as brand hallmarks. When drivers swelled from 300cc to 460cc, it presented some challenges, but nevertheless Titleist continues to churn out attractive and effective equipment. The 915 comes in a more forgiving D2 version and a slightly smaller D3.
Big Bertha Alpha 815
Following on a popular re-launch of the Big Bertha name, Callaway has hit its stride with the Alpha 815 representing the option for the "everyman golfer" and the Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond as the deeper-faced, lower-launching, low-spin "player's club."
If you want to combine a high-performance driver with some pizzazz, Cobra can hook you up, as usual. The Fly-Z and Fly-Z+ drivers are available in six different colors, including Rickie Fowler's Oklahoma State orange. It would be pretty expensive to buy one of each to match your golf outfit du jour, but we're betting a few Cobra-obsessed golfers have done it.
If you're looking for the driver that's in the hands of the top-ranked golfer in the world (for now, at least), here you go. Nike offers three Vapor drivers—the Speed, Pro and Flex models—for everyone from the high-handicapper to the Rory wannabe.
A 12-foot putt from Dustin Johnson on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open separated a few thousand owners of TaylorMade's 2015 driver from being extremely excited about their new favorite weapons. Had Johnson brought home the trophy, all R15 buyers from the preceding month from PGA Tour Superstore would have received full refunds for the clubs. Alas, the R15 is still a hot ticket, representing an even more customizable successor to the wildly popular SLDR model.