by Frank J. Peter
GigaGolf has recently launched a new line of drivers, namely the Verve 17 Ti, the Verve 17 Draw Ti and the Verve Pro Ion Ti. They have kindly sent us a Verve 17 Ti with their premium Pursuit Golf Technology M2T shaft and standard Sensatec VX grip.
Here's how it works
This new driver series reminds me a bit of the Cobra Golf F Speed LD-08 Driver (a previous Golf Digest Hotlist finalist) but is actually an in-house development by GigaGolf. According to Robert Wilson, President at GigaGolf, Inc, the company went thru extensive design studies, testing and re-testing until everyone was satisfied with the final product.
The new design features include a highly forgiving club face (using VFT, more about that below) and an elongated club head. The longer head improves its overall stability and markedly reduces the twisting of the club head in case you hit the ball more towards the heel or toe side of the face (also called 'Moment of Inertia', or MOI). The higher the MOI the less the head twists due to off-center hits, and the straighter the ball will fly.
VFT, or Variable Face Technology, refers to a club face that is thicker in the middle and becomes gradually thinner towards the perimeter. The process to manufacture a VFT club face is not easy to do, hence this feature is usually only found on expensive drivers. The main benefit of a VFT face is that the sweet spot in substantially enlarged, which again increases the forgiveness on off-center shots and provides some extra 'umph' to well hit shots.
In order to provide for good spin and launch angle the weight of the club head has been shifted from the crown to the bottom rear of the head. As a result the Center of Gravity (CG) of the club is further in the back, which helps to launch the ball straighter and on the desired trajectory.
The 'Pursuit Golf Technology M2T' shaft we received is an upgrade from the standard UST HDX 70 Graphite shaft and costs an extra $12.50. The M2T shaft was developed by Grafalloy based on their ProLaunch series, Grafalloy's flagship product. The ProLaunch shafts are, without a doubt, some of the favorites amongst recreational players looking for ideal launch conditions to optimize distance. The M2T, although named differently, is still a ProLaunch and provides an optimal launch angle (somewhere between 11 and 14 degrees) as well as optimized spin rates. Our recommendation is that you should upgrade and invest the additional $12.50 for this shaft, it is well worth it.
What we think
The fist thing that struck when we took the GigaGolf Verve 17 Ti out of the box was a rather large looking club head. While the clubs measures 460cc (the USGA legal limit) it actually looks bigger than that, likely because of it's elongated shape that promotes stability as mentioned above. At address the size gives a great confidence boost: 'No way I can miss that ball'.
Impact with the ball results in quite a loud sound, not unusual for a large volume driver. Ball flight is absolutely great, the Verve 17 Ti head and the M2T shaft work together like they were made for each other (maybe they were?). Spin and launch angle were the same in 'real life' as they were with the launch monitor. This club is also immensely forgiving. In fact, we have tested quite a few of GigaGolf's drivers, and the Verve 17 Ti is likely the most forgiving of them all.
In the look department this driver scores well, but of course this is a personal thing. I think it is nice to see a more classic design, and not look at 'corners' or screws for a change.
If you are a recreational player who on and off struggles with miss-hits and distance then this is your driver. The large head and forgiving design features will very likely help your game. If you tend to slice the ball you may want to consider the Verve 17 Draw Ti. This is essentially the same driver but with a built-in draw bias that will compensate for your slice to some degree. If you are a better player who likes to fade his ball you may want to consider the Verve Pro Ion Ti.
In standard configuration this driver starts from $99, but we strongly recommend the upgrade to the Pursuit Golf Technology M2T shaft for an extra $12.50.