Once in a while, something special arrives on the saturated golf equipment market, this year has been no exception.
With the driver market heating up just before Christmas, it is confusing for anyone who wants to buy a "big dog", even more so now that Taylor Made have launched their new 300 series drivers.
So good are these clubs, Taylor Made are convinced that they will wrestle the number One driver spot back from Callaway with a range so diverse, it will compete with not only Callaway, but every other major manufacturer.
The 300 series launch date has been brought forward thanks to the unprecedented success it has received on the World tours. Already the driver has been responsible for 15 tour wins worldwide in the short time it has been available and on the European Tour, there is a queue to use one! Popular?…you bet it is.
|The new drivers from TaylorMade|
On the US Tour, more PGA pros have played Taylor Made drivers this year than those of any other manufacturer. The Darrell Survey report shows players have used Taylor Made drivers 342 times this season to date. That is nine more than its nearest competitor.
The new 300 Series drivers have led the charge, pushing Taylor Made to win the weekly PGA driver count eight times in a row.
There are three models in the range, the 300, 320 and the 360 and each can be fitted with a variety of shafts to suit so that the customer can get completely "dialled in" to the club he or she needs to get full distance and accuracy from their game.
GOLFmagic have done all the hard work in testing it for you and no matter what driver you use, Taylor Made have built one to suit you and not damage your pocket too much for the privilege! They will retail at £349 and are available in VERY limited quantities right now.
|Els won at Loch Lomond using the 320i|
The 300i driver is designed primarily for the better player, those who might use a Titleist 975D for example. The size is similar to the 975D with a deep face and higher centre of gravity offering a lower trajectory but still with plenty of carry and extraordinary amounts of roll on landing.
Put up against the Titleist, with a +1 handicap amateur hitting them both, the 300 series won on looks, distance and accuracy…and it was very difficult just to prize it out of his hands once he realised that he could add 15-yards to his game and still find the fairways!
The looks of the 300i are traditional and simple. The gunmetal finish is a far cry from the Copper colour Taylor Made have favoured in the past, giving the driver an all new look. The performance is pretty awesome too…unless you put it head to head against the 320I driver!
Now this baby is the "baddest" driver I have hit this year…awesome is not the word…very awesome…are the two words to use to describe the effect this club has on a 1.68 surlyn-wrapped sphere!
The 320i is used by Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Patrik Sjoland, Thomas Bjorn and a host of other Taylor Made staff professionals. Once I hit it, I immediately knew why!
The ball flight is strong, high and very penetrating. Where you might get a "ballooning" flight with other Titanium drivers, especially into a strong headwind, the 320i tends to dip at the top of its ball flight and run on landing adding yet more yardage!!! God knows how they do it, but it does it! And it works!
The 320i is a direct competitor to the Callaway Hawk Eye series and while both drivers are excellent, first impressions suggest that it will be difficult to separate them in a head to head test. Both clubs do what I want a driver to do. I play the Hawk Eye Pro Series currently, (favouring the Pro series club without the draw bias as in the standard Hawk Eye), but the 320 performs much the same and like the Callaway…and unlike many other drivers…you can hit this off the deck with apparent ease too!
|Three of a kind|
Taylor Made all but guarantee that this driver will be the most popular in the range and when fitted with the correct shaft for your specifications, which any good Taylor Made supplier can do for you, you are bound to make the decision that this will get top spot in your bag before long.
Only there is one other to try too! The 360i has been described as a "Wok on the end of a shaft". While the 360cc head is absolutely massive and also the biggest driver on the market, Taylor Made have made it light and easy to swing. It is not cumbersome, the ball goes off the face like a rocket and is so big you can't miss the sweet-spot!
You can tee it high or low and like the others, hit it off the deck too! If your current driver is a Ping ISI or the Ti-Bubble 2 you might want to try this against them.
Larry Nelson, US Senior Tour player has used this to win a tournament or two. In fact, Nelson has won five tournaments this year using all three of the new Taylor Made drivers, says it all really!
What is more, the sound off the clubface (on all of the 300 range) is not that "tinny titanium ting" (am I beginning to sound like Ali G?). In fact, get an old wood out of the garage and listen to the similarities!
In summation, Callaway and the rest of the driver manufacturers have some serious competition. Taylor Made invented the metal wood and now they want their number One spot back…and from testing these clubs and finding out exactly how good they are…a return to the Number One spot might be a gentle fade around the corner of the sales dogleg!
If you desperately want to get your hands on one of these, call the sales order hotline on 0800 389 4292
GOLFmagic rating: 9 out of 10