Adjustable Drivers - Do They Really Help?
The trend now with drivers (and irons soon see below) is to make the heads adjustable in some way shape or form however has this only served to confuse the end user or are they getting the added benfit of this new development.
Although not adjustable one of the first companies to offer some scope in manouvarbility was Ping as they had the Ping i woods which you could order with a standard, flat or upright position and although this has been done with irons it was afirst for the woods market. Strangely enough Ping who are pioneers in club fitting did not follow this through and have not entered the adjustable game yet.
The next breed of drivers came along and these had adjustable weight systems and the position you placed extra weight would change the height and direction of the shot and the first to enter the market in a big way was Taylormade and they offered a tool and instructions for the user and they have had succcess with these products.
Nike were the first company to add another element and they created a removable shaft system which adjusted the face angle and soon after this was introduced Callaway, TaylorMade and many others followed the trend shortly afterwards (I really do not know who was first but the one I saw first was the Nike STR8 Fit)
Now you would have thought that you could go no further however this season Titleist have really pulled out the stops and they have a driver The Titleist 913 and this has a dual adjustable hosel system which allows you to open and close the face however you can also adjust the lie angle to make the club either flatter or more upright and from my first view of this I must say it is pure genius. The TaylorMade R1 is another great driver
The big question is does this help the end user? Well absolutely although I have a BUT and the reason I have a but is that I have seen far too many golfers have a bad day with their driver and then look towards adjusting the head or shaft position when the problem lies with a poor technique or simply a bad day and adjusting the driver will only serve to cause more problems the next time the golfer plays.
The best advice when getting one of these drivers is to make sure you get fitted by a professional and stick with it as this new technology is fantastic and it has given club fitters like me to offer many more options to the end user.