Golf Digest editors picks

DRIVERS: Drivers over $350 | Drivers under $350

February 2009

CALLAWAY FT-9

STREET PRICE: $400
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS: 9, 10, 11; draw: 9, 10, 11, 13 HT; tour: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5; tour draw: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5

TECH TALK: The carbon-fiber composite frame is 7 percent longer front to back than the FT-5 and uses six materials to push the center of gravity (CG) low and deep. The titanium cupface has an internal X-pattern design to improve ball speed on off-center hits.

PLAYER COMMENTS: (M) "They've toned down the sound. It now has a more conservative 'bang.' " ... (M) "The trampoline effect feels outstanding, and at setup this lies perfectly on the ground." ... (L) "Great feel. Not too busy."

HOT: No one is better than Callaway at using multiple materials. Solid and comfortable, the FT-9 has improved weight distribution (18 percent lower CG), and OptiFit makes trying and buying almost seamless.

NOT: We like options, but 13 stock loft/weight configurations might cause confusion.

CALLAWAY FT-IQ

STREET PRICE: $500
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS: 9, 10, 11, 13 HT; tour: 8.5, 9.5

TECH TALK: The carbon-fiber shell of the FT-iQ is designed to improve overall head stability (high and low and heel to toe) by using a hyperbolic X-design in the cupface and a rear-weighted, stretched square shape that increases the moment of inertia (MOI). In addition, to help launch the ball high with low spin, the CG is half the height that it was in the previous model (the FT-i).

PLAYER COMMENTS: (M) "Very straight with a muted sound at impact. This could benefit a slicer, too, because it's almost impossible to curve to the right."... (L) "Explosive off the clubface. There's no ping or vibration." ... (T) "Saw no curve even on toe and heel mis-hits."

HOT: As sleek a square shape as there has been. The Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft is a bonus.

NOT: A closed face on all lofts in the standard version.
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