Hot List 2020
February 24, 2020

There's a new driver that's perfect for your game—here's how to find it

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New drivers today aren't just massive, one-size-fits-all war clubs that pummel everything in sight regardless of whether you’re a 75-year-old former librarian or a current NFL quarterback. It’s the era of complete customization in drivers, and that’s why you need to be open to the possibilities.

That’s the message on the next episode of Golf Digest’s new video series, The Hot List (click above to watch). The series takes you on a guided journey through the ever-complex yet equally rewarding universe of the game’s best new equipment.

“These are drivers made specifically for your skill set,” as we say on the show. “That may be I want forgiveness all the time, that may be I need something that kills spin no matter what.

“You want to be open-minded in this whole process.”

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Will Fullerton

We put a low-spin driver to the test and show how it can reduce spin by several hundred RPMs and how the right driver in a fitting session isn’t just about your single best hit.

The show features advice on how to tell whether a driver leans toward a more forgiveness focus, including the tell-tale front to back measurement. The range of drivers that make up the 2020 Golf Digest Hot List include not only clubs geared to reduce spin for high speed, high spin players, but an array of models that might vary in weight by a full ounce or more.

Also up for discussion on the episode is the recent initiative by the PGA Tour to increase its on-site testing of drivers. Will that mean manufacturers might not push the envelope in their designs so they stay under the limit for spring-like effect?

“It’s like when you’re driving your car and the speed limit is 65 miles per hour and you know if you go a couple miles an hour over the limit, you’re not going to get caught speeding,” as Johnson says, referencing the tolerance zone in the rules governing how the face can flex. “There’s really no penalty for making an unintentionally hot driver.”

We even test a driver that’s a little over the limit and just under the limit to see just how many yards a “hot” driver might get you.