Hot List

Top Performing Drivers

In the history of the Hot List, we awarded these drivers our top ratings.

May 2011
Top Performing Drivers

Recently, players on both the Champions and PGA Tours have proven that not-so-new driver technology can still be pretty powerful stuff. Tom Lehman won twice this spring using a driver that was Editors' Choice on the 2005 Hot List, the TaylorMade r7 Quad. Lucas Glover won the Wells Fargo Champinship won with the Nike SQ Sumo2, a Gold Medal driver from the 2008 Hot List, and David Toms' victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial came with a driver that earned Gold in the 2010 Hot List, the Cleveland Launcher DST.

It's been a trend we've seen in the majors, too. Both Glover and Stewart Cink won majors in 2009 with that Nike SQ Sumo2, while Graeme McDowell's win at last year's U.S. Open came with a driver, the Callaway FT-3, that was named to the Hot List in 2006.

It got us thinking that we should take a look back at some of those drivers we awarded our top ratings. Our criterion of Performance gets the highest percentage of the total score in our Hot List formula, and we define Performance this way: "Based on interviews with our player panelists, independent robot testing and other sources, the judges assessed the utility of each product. Simply put, this is a grade for what happens to the ball when it's struck by the club."

Here are the drivers that earned our top mark in on our Hot Lists through the years, and the price you can get a used version for.

TaylorMade r7 Quad and TaylorMade r5 Dual

2005 Hot List
TaylorMade r7 Quad and TaylorMade r5 Dual

These drivers catered to two different audiences. The smaller r7 Quad (400 cubic centimeters) allowed all players to tweak trajectories (left, right, high and low) unlike any driver in history thanks to four movable weights in the sole. The r5 was TaylorMade's biggest driver at 450 cc and had the most stability on off-center hits, helped by two fixed weights in the very rear of the sole. We wrote at the time, the r7 "works regardless of whether you move the weights around," while the r5's "size gives you forgiveness and confidence." On the Value Guide, the selling price for r7 Quad hover around $58, while the r5 goes for about $39.
Jim Herity

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