The Most Popular Drivers of 2015 Secret CG Locations

The Most Popular Drivers of 2015 Secret CG Locations

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Written By: Tony Covey

Yesterday we gave you a primer on driver Center of Gravity; what it is and why it matters. Whether you know it or not, CG location probably influenced your last driver purchase.

Today we’re going to take things a step further. We’re going to step away from the marketing, the buzzwords, and the catch phrases. We’re going to show you reality. We’re going to show you the actual center of gravity locations for 19 of most popular drivers of 2015.

Whose CG is the lowest? Whose CG is the farthest back? Whose CG locations are so high they’re nearly off the chart?

Does anyone actually offer low spin with forgiveness?

We have the answers.

Our first chart will provide you with a better understanding of relative CG between clubs. Our second chart is not to be missed. It pulls everything we’ve discussed the last two days together, and provides the best illustration of why the top drivers of 2015 perform the way they do.

The Fine Print

Before we get to our dynamic charts, it’s important to understand that although heads were measured according to USGA standards, tolerances (both in measurement and in manufacturing) come into play. The tolerance for our measurements is approximately .7mm. To account for this we represent CG using large dots rather than a smaller absolute point.

Where the dots are touching or in close proximity to one another, it’s reasonable to assume the heads offer similar performance.

These are CG measurements only. While CG placement is the foundation of driver performance, as you’re aware, loft and shaft selection also contribute to overall driver performance.

Finally, although we’ve blown these charts up to make them a bit easier to read, every last one of the CG locations represented is within that tiny little 14mm x 12mm box we discussed yesterday.

Here’s our graphic from our previous article to remind you how CG location impacts driver performance (left is front, right is back).

CG Location Relative to Face Center

This chart shows the CG locations of 19 different drivers relative to the center of the face.

To isolate a given head, simply select it from the list on the left hand side. You can select multiple drivers using the dropdown list. Individual models are color coded.

Movable weight/adjustable CG drivers have multiple dots associated with each head to reflect the CG location for the various weight positions. Hovering over a dot will reveal the driver model and weight configuration.

The x-axis represent distance in millimeters from the driver face (a value of -36, for example, represents a CG location 36mm from the face). Basically, the face would be to the right of the chart.

Observations
  • Mizuno’s JPX-850 has the lowest CG of any driver sampled
  • TaylorMade’s AeroBurner offers the most forward CG
  • Callaway Big Bertha driver with gravity core up have the highest CG
  • PING’s G30 has the most rearward CG location
  • Among the adjustable CG drivers, it’s interesting to note which models offer the most significant CG movement

The Neutral Axis

golf-geeks-neutral-axis

Still with me? Let’s kick the geek speak up a notch.

As illustrated by the image above, the neutral axis is an imaginary line running perpendicular to the center of a lofted driver face. Before you can ask, let me tell you why that matters.

As the center of gravity moves closer to the neutral axis you get less gearing (twisting) and a more efficient transfer of energy. It’s your basic ball go far argument. As with everything else in our CG discussion, the distance from the CG to the neutral axis (or GG NA is it’s called for short) is measured in millimeters, but as we learned yesterday, those millimeters matter.

#Team_____ vs. #Team_____

As you would imagine, each golf company has its own unique CG philosophy. TaylorMade, for example, believes a low forward CG is best, while Ping is a strong proponent of rear (and also low) CG positions. Sometimes there’s a legitimate argument to be made for a given company’s philosophy, and sometimes – and this shouldn’t come as a shock – the publicly stated philosophy is developed to justify a technology that perhaps isn’t quite as compelling as we’re supposed to believe it is.

It’s also important that you understand that because of where reality dictates the CG has to be, and the front-heavy nature of a driver, it’s much easier to move the CG forward than it is to move it backwards. The farther you move CG backwards, the harder it is to keep it close to the neutral axis.

Simply put…low and forward is relatively easy to achieve. Low and back is hard, which is why you don’t see many true low/back designs.

loft-vs-cg

Allowed 5 seconds of honesty and the suspension of the immutable laws of physics most R&D guys will tell you that the farthest point away from the face, and close or on the neutral axis is the ideal CG location. But like I said, putting it there is literally impossible.

So as a substitute for perfection, golf companies strive for the best we can do. Variations of the phrase low spin with forgiveness have been tossed around quite a bit this season. So keep that in the forefront of your mind as you consider the next chart.

A comparatively rear CG location near the neutral axis is the only way to truly achieve low spin with forgiveness.

CG Location Relative to the Neutral Axis (CG NA) & MOI

As with the first chart, you can sort our CG NA/MOI chart by club model. We’ve also added the ability to filter clubs by proximity to the neutral axis and MOI.

Please Note: Because MOI is represented by a positive number, the driver face would be to the left of the chart.

Observations

  • In the previous chart we saw that the center of gravity for the majority of drivers is located below the center of the face, but none of the drivers measured has a CG on or below the neutral axis.
  • With some weight positions less than 1mm from the neutral axis, Mizuno’s JPX-850 has the lowest CG of any driver measured, and likely the lowest CG of any driver on the mainstream market.
  • The CG of Ping’s G30 is the farthest back of any tested, only Ping and Cobra offer drivers which can reasonably be described as offering low/back CG, and only Ping, Cobra, Titleist, Adams, and possibly Nike can be described as offering above average forgiveness.
  • Ping’s G30 LS and Cobra’s FLY-Z+ achieve low(ish) spin with above average forgiveness.
  • All of Nike’s current offerings can be considered high CG.
  • Most manufacturers offer a sort of linear progression between models. In many cases you can connect (or nearly connect) all of a given manufacturer’s offerings with a single straight line. I would suggest that this is the best indicator of a given company’s CG philosophy relative to an entire product line
  • The difference in CG location between FLY-Z+ weight forward and FLY-Z+ weight back, as well as Big Bertha Gravity Core Up vs. Gravity Core down is substantial, while CG movement between the various positions of the Mizuno JPX-850 is minimal.

Surprises

So, did anything here surprise you? Are there some manufacturers that aren’t exactly where they say they are? We think so.

I’d also be curious to know if you’ve observed something similar to what I have. Do you favor drivers with similar CG placements or are your preferences all over the map?

Want More from the Golf Geeks?

What other topics would you like to have our Golf Geeks tackle and simplify? Let us know.

MyGolfSpy

Contest! – Win MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Most Wanted Driver ($1500 Prize Package)

Contest! – Win MyGolfSpy’s 2015 Most Wanted Driver ($1500 Prize Package)

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THE LARGEST, UNBIASED, DATA-BASED DRIVER TEST EVER PERFORMED IN THE GOLF INDUSTRY.

Launches Monday.

Monday you will get the performance you deserve.

But today, you pick who you think is going to win.  Pick all the winners and you walk away with part of a prize pack valued at over $1500.  The winner will walk away with $500 Cash + The 2015 Most Wanted Driver. So, who are you picking?

Power To The Player

Our testing procedures were significantly expanded. Our test included more golfers, more drivers, and more data than ever before.  28 drivers have been put to the ultimate test.  20 golfers just like you for spent over 150 hours in testing, over 10,000 shots calculated,  more than 250,000 data points scrutinized.

Our goal is to empower the consumer with truthful and reliable information that will help you identify the best driver for your game.

Prizes:

Entering is quick and simple.  All you need to do is post a comment with your guesses for the Most Wanted Driver in all 3 Categories we grade (Distance, Accuracy, Total Performance).

  • 1st Prize – $500 + 2015 Most Wanted Driver
  • 2nd Prize – 2015 Most Wanted Driver

In the event that multiple readers correctly identify the winning drivers, winners will be selected at random from qualified entries.

Contest ends on Monday, March 30th as soon as our Most Wanted Driver for Distance is announced.

How To Enter:

Leave a comment below with your picks for each of the following

  1. Most Wanted Driver for Distance – {PICK YOUR WINNER}
  2. Most Wanted Driver for Accuracy – {PICK YOUR WINNER}
  3. Most Wanted Driver for Best Overall – {PICK YOUR WINNER}

GOOD LUCK!

*As always, void where prohibited. Open to residents of the USA, Canada, and the rest of planet Earth.

The 2015 Most Wanted Field

2015-mwd-contest-banner_012015-mwd-contest-banner_022015-mwd-contest-banner_032015-mwd-contest-banner_042015-mwd-contest-banner_05

Most Wanted Driver next week. Distance, Accuracy, and Total Performance. Over 100, Below 100, and of course, overall winners.

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Giveaway! – 2015 SuperStroke Grips

Giveaway! – 2015 SuperStroke Grips

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Win SuperStroke Swag

Want to win something form SuperStroke’s 2015 line? We have a couple of prize opportunities at the end of the article.

By Dave Wolfe

SuperStroke – Now Available EVERYWHERE

SuperStroke is arguably the golf equipment success story of the past five years. Sure, some other companies like Callaway and Wilson Staff have improved their position in the golf market, but nobody has basically come out of nowhere to the extent that SuperStroke has.

In the span of just a couple of years, SuperStroke has gone from a small company making a couple of oversized grips, to a company with a significant golf presence, both on tour and in the retail marketplace.

Not only is SuperStroke is the stock grip for several major putter manufacturers, but Odyssey’s new Odyssey Works Tank Versa putters feature SuperStroke grips as well.

That’s a significant number of putters outfitted with SuperStroke grips, and stock on an entire Odyssey line, well, that’s arguably the pinnacle of exposure for a putter grip manufacturer considering Odyssey’s position as the #1 putter in golf (global retail sales).

What’s a SuperStroke?

Though the golf gearhead can’t fathom that question, I’m willing to bet that some of you reading this are hearing about SuperStroke for the first time. If you’ve seen the large, coloful grips on TV, and didn’t know what they are or what they’re about, well, now you do. Those are made by SuperStroke.

Before we look at the 2015 additions, let’s take make sure the uninitiated are up to speed. Here is what Greg Sabella, SuperStroke’s Vice President of Marketing, had to say about introducing someone to the SuperStroke brand.

Let’s assume for a second that someone has never heard of SuperStroke before. How would you explain to him/her what the SuperStroke brand is all about?

SuperStroke is grip company best known for its line of non-tapered putter grips in various sizes and shapes.  They can be seen in the hands of numerous professionals every week and SuperStroke ambassadors include Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Victor Dubuisson and Dave Stockton.

Greg Sabella, SuperStroke Vice President of Marketing

That gives the SuperStroke rookie some information about what they are about. Here are two other questions answered on the SuperStroke site:

What makes SuperStroke work?

Oversized grips take away the tendency to squeeze too tightly; at the same time, most unnecessary wrist action is eliminated. In addition, the patented non-tapered grip promotes even grip pressure in both the right and left hands. Together, these characteristics contribute to create a smoother and more consistent putting stroke, a more-square putter face at impact, and a better feel for distance. Electromyographic testing of golfers at the Milwaukee School of Engineering found a 32% reduction in grip tension with the SuperStroke versus a conventional smaller putter grip.

What level of golfer can benefit from SuperStroke?

Any type of golfer, regardless of handicap, male or female, right-handed or left-handed, tall or short, amateur or professional can benefit from the SuperStroke Putter Grip. The SuperStroke Putter Grip is designed to “make any putter better.”

We could delve much deeper into what SuperStroke is all about as a company and their products, but that should be enough information to get most of you to a place where you can see why it’s worth paying attention to this year’s batch of SuperStroke products.

New For 2015

In 2015, SuperStroke has tweaked their existing lines with new graphics, materials, and textures. They have also expanded upon existing lines, like 2014’s popular Flatso. Here is a comparative shot of the Flatso 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 grips. Spieth is earning his millions with the Flatso 1.0, but you may prefer to earn your tens of dollars with a larger grip.

SuperStroke2015-18

SuperStroke2015-19
SuperStroke2015-04
SuperStroke2015-06
SS Flatso Col

While growing existing lines should keep current SuperStroke users happy, the real story here is the unique new products that SuperStroke has unveiled this year.

New to the SuperStroke line-up are the TX1 club grips, the Plus Series putter grips, and the SS2R Squared Putter grip.

TX1 Club Grips

SuperStroke2015-20

With the TX1 SuperStroke is made a play to find itself on the rest of the clubs in your. The TX1 is a multi-material grip available in five color combinations The top section of the grip is “soft, tacky cord for increased club control” while the bottom half is “soft, non-cord rubber for enhanced feel and feedback”.

Now right away, some of you (all of you?) are thinking that the TX1 looks (and sounds) a whole lot like Golf Pride’s New Decade Multi-Compound. So how exactly is the TX1 different?

I’m sure that people will compare the new TX1 grips to the New Decade Multi-Compound grips from Golf Pride. How would you convince a NDMC user that he or she should switch to your grips?

While similar in that they are multi-compound, we believe our “recipe” provides softer, better feel in the lower portion and the “soft” cord we used in the upper portion provides excellent control without feeling harsh.

Greg Sabella, SuperStroke Vice President of Marketing

SS Club Grip Col

As a long-time GP NDMC user, I was very curious about the TX1. I regripped a few clubs to find out if the TX1s should be mentioned in the same conversation as the New Decades.

Short answer, they should.

While I have not had extensive play time with the TX1 grips, I will say that they are a comfortable replacement option for the New Decade users. For me, it’s a nearly-seamless transition.

The most notable difference is that the New Decades are a bit more aggressive in the cord. Whether that’s good or bad depends almost exclusively on user preference.

SuperStroke2015-07
SuperStroke2015-09
SuperStroke2015-08

The lower section is soft and tacky, and cleans easily. Durability remains an unanswered question, but what I’ve seen suggests they’ll hold up as well as anything else.

Overall, I found that the TX1 was able to give me the play that I have come to expect from multi-material grips. If you play NDMCs, the SuperStroke TX1s may be worth exploring when next you need to regrip.

Plus Series

SuperStroke2015-17

With the Plus Series, SuperStroke brings the golfer a simple system for counterweigting his existing putter. That anchoring ban is coming fast, and for some counterweighting may be a viable post-anchoring option. If you are unfamiliar with counterweighting, you can learn more about it HERE.

Other companies such as Tour Lock, have been making weights that you can insert into your putter’s shaft for years, but to the best of my knowledge, SuperStroke is the first to pair it with a retail grip offering.

It’s a simple task to insert the 50 gram weight into the grip, requiring only the provided hex key and a bit of pressure.

SuperStroke2015-13
SuperStroke2015-14
SuperStroke2015-15
SuperStroke2015-16

Most counterweighted putters feature a longer than normal shaft. Will a player who switches to the Plus Series grip need to extend their putter shaft, or re-shaft the putter for it to be truly effective when counterweighted?  

The Counter Core Technology provides back weighting to any length putter, putting weight into the hands, and allowing larger muscles to take over.  Our research shows that consistency was greatly improved when weight was added to the hands. As for fitting a standard length putter, the grip’s internal diameter tapers, so the grip conforms to the shaft.

Greg Sabella, SuperStroke Vice President of Marketing

What I like about the Plus Series grip is that it makes it easy for someone to determine the actual impact adding the weight makes to his or her putting. It takes just a few seconds to add or remove the weight, which means it’s easy to tinker while you’re on the practice green.

SuperStroke2015-11

The Plus Series grips are a bit longer than the standard SuperStroke offerings. For example, the Flatso 2.0 is 10.50 inches long and the Plus Flatso XL is 13.75 inches. The extra length should provide a few options for finding the hand position that works best for you.

The Plus Series grips come in three different sizes: Plus 2.0 XL, Plus 3.0 XL and Plus Faltso 2.0 XL.

SS2R Squared

SuperStroke2015-02

How about a square putter grip? Yep, square. The SS2R is new SuperStroke product that I was most curious about. What could possibly be the rationale behind making a square putter grip?

Why would a golfer want to play a square putter grip?

There are lots of ways to grip a putter, but players who putt with opposing palms, or both thumbs down the grip have had very positive feedback on the square shape.  The lines are distinct and really lock into place in your hands.

Greg Sabella, SuperStroke Vice President of Marketing

SuperStroke2015-01

This SS2R Squared is an interesting grip. First, it is WAY more comfortable than I expected. Square implies harsh corners, but that’s not the case here. My rounded palms really seem to mesh well with the shape of the SS2R.

It’s funny, but what putting with the SS2R Squared grip actually reminds me of putting with a round grip. I have an Edel putter grip that is 100% round, and that is what I first thought of when I used the SS2R Squared. Maybe it’s the symmetry of the sides on the SS2R Squared, and the uniform diameter. It’s hard to say, but it’s definitely comfortable.

SS Squared Col

As for the putting benefit of the SS2R Squared, I don’t have the data to make any claims one way, or the other. I wouldn’t quickly dismiss the SS2R Squared as folly though. Lots of people did that when SuperStroke first hit the scene and I bet many of those same people are playing SuperStroke grips on their putters today.

When EF Hutton Talks…

Do you remember that old ad campaign? Some of you knew immediately that when EF Hutton talked that people listen. That’s how I feel about SuperStroke. When SuperStroke changes something, or makes a new product, it’s worth paying attention. They are a moving forward, and constantly improving type of company that puts real effort into making each year’s products better than the last’s.

Can one of these new SuperStroke products help your game?

Maybe.

They are certainly helping quite a few of your fellow readers play better golf.

Get Your Hands On A SuperStroke Contest!

Two lucky MyGolfSpy readers will have a chance to win either a set of SuperStroke TX1 club grips, or a Plus Series grip and weight. All you need to do is leave a comment below.

Are you using a SuperStroke? What model? Why do you use it?

The winners will be selected at random in a week or so. The first commenter selected will win the TX1 grips, and the second the Plus Series grip and weight. Good Luck!

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

CASE #: 2015 Most Wanted Driver

CASE #: 2015 Most Wanted Driver

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UPDATE: Our investigation to help find the suspect for the 2015 Most Wanted Driver is now 76% complete. #MostWanted #GolfCSI #YourDriverFingerPrint

Do you support unbiased equipment testing? If so, help spread the word and educate other golfers about the importance of unbiased golf equipment reviews. By doing so you will be automatically entered to win a wedge from MyGolfSpy’s #ThePimpList. All you have to do to enter is click the retweet button on the tweet embeded below.

It’s the button that looks like this: icon-retweet

“I support unbiased reviews and equipment testing.”

 
 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)