The game of golf can be a pleasurable experience, but one that is impossible to master. As with anything, there must be a beginning, and golf is no different. Some people call it the most intimidating shot they will face for their entire round. It is the tee shot on a long, narrow par 4 that demands a long, straight drive. That is why today’s golf club makers are developing the most technologically advanced drivers to help you hit the ball further, and straighter than ever before. Two of the largest and most well-known club manufacturers today are Titleist, and Callaway Golf. Their best selling drivers are the Titanium 983K and the ERC Fusion respectively. I tested these two drivers with distance, accuracy and probably the most important feature, looks, in mind. After hitting each driver 100 times, I concluded that the Titleist Titanium 983K driver is superior to its Callaway counterpart because it allows players to hit the golf ball long enough and straighter while displaying an elegant style in its design.
In today’s day and age, bigger is usually considered better. This can also translate into golf terms, where longer is better. New golf courses are being built much longer today, because recent advances in technology have made clubfaces stronger than ever. Every club manufacturer says that their driver hits the ball further than any other driver on the market. I tested this theory by recording my average distance out of 100 shots with both drivers.
I tested the Titleist driver first. Most of the shots I hit, took off from the clubface with the force of a rocket ship leaving Earth’s atmosphere. I felt sorry for each and every white golf ball I had to unleash my wrath upon with this mighty mallet. Most of the balls sailed through the air gracefully. The balls had a high launch angle and a boaring ball flight, which is good for cutting through the wind. In the end my average drive out of 100 shots was 292.4 yards. This yardage is extremely acceptable and would make newer golf courses much easier to play on.
I then tested the Callaway driver. I immediately witnessed the difference between the two clubs. When I hit the Callaway, there was a moment of explosion when the smooth titanium face came in contact with the urethane covered golf ball. I felt the crack every time I hit the ball and knew that it had just been sent to another world and was probably not coming back. The ball flight with the Callaway was more of balloon shaped flight. It started off rather low and rose high into the air with a lot of spin. I calculated my drives and the results showed that I hit the Callaway 296.7 yards, only a little over 4 yards further than the Titleist. Four yards, realistically doesn’t mean much in terms of a lower score but it does a lot in proving your manhood to your friends in a friendly match.
The next attribute of the driver I tested was for accuracy. A lot of golfers like to preach about how far they can hit the ball and the shortness of the clubs they have to use into holes, but the fact of the matter is, if a long drive is not in play then it is worthless. Accuracy is a forgotten but ever so important asset when deciding what driver to put in your bag.
When testing the Titleist driver for accuracy, it performed with flying colours. Most of the shots I hit started a couple of yards right of my target and gradually came back with an easy draw (a shot that travels right to left). When I did not hit the ball on the middle of the clubface, the launch angle was slightly lower but still held its line quite well. When I was hitting each shot, it looked as if the balls were on a rope with my target, and the target was just reeling it in. The end results were above average. In a 20-yard wide fairway, I hit 76 out of the 100 shots inside the lines. I was very pleased about these results and looked forward to seeing how the Callaway would perform.
The drives with the Callaway also were primarily straight but this time I started the ball a touch left of my target and faded (when the ball turns left to right) it back into the target. The shots were very good when I hit the ball on the “sweet spot,” or the middle of the clubface. However, when I missed the sweet spot, the ball started leaking in both directions. This was a problem that could not be overlooked. We have to face it, humans are not perfect, nor will we ever be. Therefore, we cannot always expect to hit the golf ball in the center of the clubface every single time. We are just not physically able to. So, the question is, which driver would be able to hit the ball straighter on miss-hit shots. The results for the Callaway driver with respect to accuracy were as follows: out of 100 drives, I hit 59 in the 20-yard wide fairway. This dramatic decrease in accuracy percentage must be considered heavily when deciding between the two high-end golf clubs.
The last but certainly not the least important attribute in a driver is the way it looks. Golf is a game ruled by the mind. It is has been said to be 90% mental and 10% physical. Any golfer would preach that this theory is right on the mark. Confidence in yourself and your clubs is essential to make the golf ball do your bidding, and to ultimately shoot lower scores. The way the club head looks to your eye when you address the ball might be the deciding factor when using one driver over another.
The Titleist Titanium 983K driver has a large, old fashioned, pear-shaped head. The faceplate, or the top of the club is painted with a sparkling, metallic gray that you can get lost in. On the middle of the faceplate is the alignment aid, which is a dark black triangle with a solid line on the tip. The rolling curves of the head make you feel the different shots before you have even seen them. The hosel, which connects the shaft to the head, is long and blended in for a solid one-piece look.
The Callaway ERC Fusion is a little flashier than the Titleist. It has a black snake scale design on the faceplate of the head with a yellow boomerang as an alignment aid. The scales, as well as the sharp, long boomerang staring you in the face, can be a little distracting when trying to focus. The shape of the head itself is very clumpy, yet streamlined. It is more spherical than the Titleist. The hosel is very small, but wide, which can be another distraction.
Both drivers are excellent clubs, however the Titleist Titanium 983K driver beats out the Callaway in accuracy and looks. As for distance, it was only 4 yards short of the Callaway, which in a sense is not that important when you are looking at the grand scheme of things; your final score. In my opinion, the Titleist looks more pure, and crisp than the modern look of the Callaway, and therefore is considered to have a superior design. This will ultimately lead to better shots under pressure. The Titleist also performed much better than the Callaway in the accuracy department. The odds of making pars and birdies increases when the golf ball is in play, rather than being in the woods. Hence, accuracy is also one of the more important goals in driver performance. If your target is to lower your score, and to look good doing it, the Titleist is the right club for you.