by Frank J. Peter
Substantial current focus in driver design seems to be on the square shaped club head - all in the name of increased MOI. These 'new generation' drivers sure get a lot of attention, and rightfully so. However, from readers' feedback that we have received we can clearly see that the new square shape is not everybody's cup of tea. Many golfers prefer the traditional look, so we thought it's time to look at a new club that combines the technological advances of the 'new generation' clubs, but in a more traditional appearance. Meet the Pinemeadow Excel Strong Titanium Driver:
This new club incorporates the latest in driver technology in a shape we are familiar with. The ideas behind the driver are the same as the Tour Series BLOC 455cc Driver but the head shape is (obviously) different.
As you probably know, the USGA as regulating body in golf puts certain limitations on i.e. the size of a golf club. The design of the Excel Strong Driver stays just within these limits, thus maximizing length and width of the 460cc clubhead. This size maximization, including a face height of 6cm, results in a combination of high strength and increased MOI, which in turn will give you longer and straighter drives, even on off-center shots.
The club comes in three different lofts: 8, 9, and 10 degrees. For beginners and recreational golfers the 10 degree version should be the model of choice as it makes it a lot easier to get the ball airborne.
What we think
Our test model had a 10 degree loft and came with the standard Aldila low-torque graphite shaft. The club is nice to look at, and the orange accents bring in some refreshing color. Needless to say, the workmanship - like for all Pinemeadow clubs we've tested so far - is flawless. [As a side note: while all Pinemeadow clubs come with a 30 money back guarantee (plus a one year warranty) we have not heard of anybody sendig their club back because they were not satisfied with it].
The club head is very sleek, although this is not really obvious in the above picture. At address the club head looks huge and clearly improves convidence. As expected it performs well, even on misshits. We compared the Excel Strong Titanium Driver on the range with a Callaway Big Bertha 460 driver, a very similar club in terms of size and shape but three times the price: in performance there was no difference between these two clubs. Both send the ball long and straight, but the real benefit is the forgiveness on off-centre hits - making this club a great choice for beginners and average players.
As we usually do we asked a few strangers on the driving range to give this club a whack and let us know their thoughts: everybody liked the feel and the ease-of-play of this club, just like us. Some almost cried when they heared that this club is just $99, compared to their $400+ drivers, but that's a different story...
The Pinemeadow Excel Strong Titanium Driver is easy to hit and, given its innovative design, a very forgiving yet long hitting club. If you're struggling with off-center hits and sending your balls into the woods rather than onto the fairway this club is worth a try, especially if you can't get yourself to buy a square club and prefer a more traditional shape.