Most forgiving driver of 2013
This article outlines candidates for the most forgiving driver of 2013. Hitting a bombing tee shot, epically off of the first tee, is one the best confidence boosters when you start a round of golf. Many people, including myself at times, try to make golf harder and more frustrating than it needs to be. In the last few years golf driver technology has evolved leaps and bounds in terms of driver distance and forgiveness. In this article I cover the selections for the most forgiving driver of 2013. Some of these drivers are marketed to players in the higher handicap driver category while others are geared toward lower handicap players – but all of these are forgiving and easy to hit.
Nike VRS Covert Driver:
First up we have a fairly obvious choice – the Nike VRS Cover Driver. It has generated quite a bit of buzz with its unusual head shape. The Nike VRS Covert Driver is considered as one of the most forgiving drivers of 2013 for two reasons. First, it is the only driver out on the market today that features a high speed cavity back to it. Because there is a large cavity in the back of the club, the weight has been moved to all of the corners, and this leads to more accurate and farther drives that are not hit on the sweet spot of the clubface. Think of the cavity back on this driver like you would a cavity back set of players or game improvement irons. It is there to help you on the off center hits – which happen far too frequently with most amateur golfers. The downside to the cavity back is workability. If you are searching for the most forgiving driver of 2013 I would not be concerned with workability of a driver in the slightest. When I personally am testing a driver I look at accuracy and consistency first, distance and workability second.
The second reason why the Nike VRS Covert Driver is so forgiving is the NexCOR technology that they have put into the clubface. What this basically means is that the club face features varying thickness throughout, with the bottom half of the face being thicker than the top. This leads to both added ball speed and added forgiveness with a much wider sweet spot than in previous models. The Nike VRS Covert Driver is one of boldest designs out on the market today. Though the bottom of the club head looks a bit different than the standard driver it is not noticeable when hitting off the tee and really has a great feel to it. Honestly, who cares what your driver looks like on the bottom when you are accurately outdriving everyone in your group. The candy apple red head on of the driver looks great as well. I am glad Nike did not jump on the white head bandwagon with 2013’s line.
The VRS Cover driver has 15 possible head settings with their flexiloft technology. This will allow you to change the driver settings as your game improves. The head only comes in one ‘loft’ and is adjustable from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees. The standard driver comes with a ‘Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black 50 Graphite’ while the VRS Covert tour drives ships with a ‘Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver 60 Graphite’ shaft. The Nike representative I spoke with while demoing this driver said they could not keep them on the shelves. Nike has made some bold claims with the forgiveness and ease of play with this driver and they did not disappoint. The technology and playability make the Nike VRS Covert Driver a top contender for the most forgiving driver of 2013.
Ping G25 Driver:
Ping is known for having forgiving drivers, so it should be of no surprise that the G25 is on this list of the most forgiving drivers of 2013. What makes the G25 even more forgiving than say the G20 is the deeper profile and new clubface technology that it offers. With a deeper profile the G25 is able to have the center of gravity both lower and farther back in the club, and this allows for drives that are not hit on the sweet spot every time to get great distance and accuracy. Similar to the Nike VRS Covert Driver, the Ping G25 Driver features a clubface with variable thickness which lends itself to greater contact on every shot. The large club head and perimeter weighting help promote a consistent, repeatable high launch and ball flight. The Ping G25 has a huge sweet spot which keeps even off center strikes long and straight. The one complaint I hear about the Ping G25 driver vs the 913 D2 or X-Hot is that the club head appears too large at address.
What makes the G25 different from the VRS Covert is not only the appearance (classic black) but the ultra-thin crown that is has as well. With sections of the crown thinner it allows for more weight to be redistributed, which increases forgiveness that much more. The club has a very sleek look to it and should appeal to many golfers who are looking for a driver that provides both forgiveness and is easy on the eye as well. My favorite design aspect of the Ping G25 driver is how simple the adjustable hosel looks. Most adjustable drivers have clunky hosels with an abundance of text and settings. That is not the case with this driver even though it features adjustability.
The adjustable hosel allows you to make loft adjustments in half-degree increments to really fine tune your driver. On the range it is very difficult to tell the difference between a half degree, but using a launch monitor at your local pro shop will allow you to see the ball flight and spin differences these miniscule settings makes. Ping G25 driver shaft options include the TFC 189D and the TFC 80D in a D3 swing weight. The look and feel of the G25 driver is superb. Ping does not try to sell you on gimmicks or flashy colors – just classic design and technology with work amazingly well making it a contender for the most forgiving driver of 2013.
Titleist 913 D2 Driver:
Titleist has finally made a legitimate splash into the adjustable driver market with their 913 D2 Driver, which surprisingly offers a great amount of forgiveness along with distance off the tee. What really makes the Titleist 913 D2 Driver so forgiving is the new clubface along with rear weight technology. The clubface has really become an integral part to added forgiveness in golf clubs these days, and one can easily recognize that all of the top drivers on the list feature new clubface technology. The club features a new high speed forged clubface insert, and what it basically does is that it allows for greater ball speed over a larger area of the clubface, so that if shots are not hit on the dead center of the clubface every time the golf ball still gets a great amount of distance and accuracy to it. The 913 D2 also features a rear SureFit Tour weight, which lowers the center of gravity more than previous models and allows for more distance on off-center drives. This is a great driver for those who are looking to get their feet wet into the adjustable driver market that offers both forgiveness and great distance as well.
The Titleist 913 D2 driver features three independent areas of adjustability. These include
- Adjustable Loft & Lie (similar to any number of drivers on the market today)
- Interchangeable Head Weights (technology similarly found in putters)
- Interchangeable shafts (vital to proper fitting when testing any new driver)
Of all the drivers outlined in this article the 913 D2 looks the most like a ‘players’ or tour driver. It has a very sleek and refined style without looking or feeling larger than it needs to be. Stock shafts include:
- Aldila RIP α 60 63
- Aldila RIP Phenom 70
- Diamana D+ White 72
- Diamana S+ Blue 62
- Titleist Bassara W 50
- Titleist Bassara W 40
Titleist’s focus on adjustability and playability (to include great shaft selection!) makes the 913 D3 one of the most forgiving driver of 2013. I will talk more about the importance of shaft fitting and selection at the end of this article.
Callaway X-Hot Driver:
Now we have the Callaway X Hot Driver, which has a somewhat similar appearance to the Titleist 913 D2 and Ping G25 Drivers but is more of a grayish color than black. It is also one of the least expensive new drivers out on the market today, and the features that the driver offers give golfers arguably the most bang for their buck out of all of the drivers on the list. What really makes the Callaway X Hot Driver stand out from among the other drivers mentioned is the overall lightness of the club, which is due to many new features including the Project X Velocity Shaft and ultra-thin wall casting technology. Aside from the lightness of the club, what makes it so forgiving is a combination of VFT and Hyperbolic clubface technology. Both of these allow for a larger sweet spot, more ball speed throughout the clubface, along with more weight being redistributed throughout the outer edges of the clubface. This leads not to a lower center of gravity but a higher moment of inertia as well, and both of these help to provide amazing forgiveness and distance off the tee.
The X-Hot Driver is very long and easy to hit in the right hands. My biggest hang up with this driver is the shaft selection. I could not get the feel and weight I was looking for with Callaway’s stock shaft options. That is the one major drawback to this club unlike the Titleist with myriad shaft options. The Callaway X-Hot still makes the list of most forgiving drivers of 2013 because even though I was not happy with the club I demoed I still managed to hit very long and straight shots. It is hard to argue with the results.
There are many great candidates for the most forgiving driver of 2013. The technology and fitting options ensure that you can find a club that feels great in your hands and is optimized for your swing. The key element here is to get a proper fitting and your local golf store and remember that the stock shaft may not be the best option for you. As I am sure you noticed, all of these drivers feature a high range of adjustability. If you are not playing an adjustable driver you are putting yourself at a disadvantage on the course. The advantage of the HIGHLY adjustable VRS_Covert is that you can adjust it as your swing improves but adjust it for specific playing conditions on any given day without harming the look at address (eg a lower ball flight on a windy day).
From my tests I would personally select the Nike VRS_Covert Driver as the most forgiving driver to date. The biggest difference between all of these choices is looks and feel – feel being the most important to me. VRS_Covert vs. Ping G25? Or the 913 D2 vs X-Hot Driver? As you notice in all of my reviews I highly encourage you to get your hands on these clubs to see how they feel to you. You cannot go wrong with any of them, especially if you are gaming an older driver, but I am sure one of the group will pop out during testing as your personal most forgiving driver of 2013.