Aldila Rogue Silver 60 Graphite Wood Model #ALROGS60
Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7
Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 95
Project X Steel Golf Shaft
What is 50% tee club like a driver, 50% high-performance fairway wood and 110% extremely fun to hit? If you do that math, there is only one head on the market that adds up which is the new Acer XV Thriver Mini and it is a whole new classification of club head.
So what the HE double hockey sticks is a Thriver Mini and why do I need one?
Hireko has offered Thrivers before like the Acer XS and Acer XF versions. If you don’t know what a Thriver is, here is a brief explanation:
It is a combination of the terms Three Wood + Driver which results into Thriver. A 3 wood is more lofted and this cuts down on side spin, plus is shorter to enable one to have more control. On the other hand, a driver is approximately three times the size of a 3 wood which makes it much more forgiving on off-center shots. Plus you have the large 460cc confidence building size and thin face that produces maximum distance. The Thriver is a full 10g more than a normal driver to allow for a shorter, more controllable length that now has the proper amount of weight in the player’s hands. These are the best of both worlds when it comes to these two heads.
The Acer XV Thriver Mini is somewhat the opposite of the original Thriver concept by being more fairway wood than driver. It maintains the 3-wood loft and weight, yet is sized between the two. However, it has a far bigger footprint than a standard 3-wood (221cc) and yet shallow enough to hit from a fairway; that is something a traditional Thriver is incapable of doing efficiently. The Acer XV Thriver Mini has a face height of a standard 3-wood but one could still use it off of a short tee for added control like a fairway seeking demon.
What separates the Acer XV Thriver Mini from a normal fairway wood are several things. First, this is an all-titanium head. This is made with the same explosive thin face as a driver for added distance. Secondly, being titanium but a smaller volume or size as a modern driver allows for a much higher concentration of weight to be placed on the sole to allow it to be hit from the fairway and get the ball airborne. Plus we have added the Power Chamber sole for improved energy transfer, especially on shots struck low on the face, as well as the Gravity Port for fine-tuning swingweight.
The Acer XV Thriver Mini is a club you would stick in your bag to replace your current 3-wood, but you would still consider carrying a normal driver to give you different options off the tee depending upon the 3 C’s: circumstances, confidence and course conditions. Plus when you need that added distance for that long par 4 or trying to reach a par 5 in two, you have the Thriver Mini on hand. As you can see this is a very versatile club.
For those that really liked the Power Play Warp Speed Brassie we had last year or missed out and wanted one – don’t worry. This is very similar in terms of size and shape, but much more enhanced due to all the added features and titanium construction.
Acer XV Titanium Thriver Mini – Clubhead
Acer XV Titanium Thriver Mini – Custom Assembled
Base Price $99.95
VIDEO: ACER XV THRIVER MINI IS MASTER OFF THE TEE OR FAIRWAYS
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Rob Altomonte, Hireko’s Marketing Director sat down with Technical Director Jeff Summitt to discuss the new Acer XV Driver line that just arrived
Here are some things we are sure you would want to know as well as some things you might have been scared to ask.
- What product is the new Acer XV driver similar to?
The Acer XV was derived from our very popular Acer XF driver series. But that is where it stops because we added 3 key features to put the XF on steroids.
- What is the name XV derived from?
For those who aren’t Roman or haven’t brushed up on your Latin lately, XV is the number 15 like 2015. We didn’t call it 15 because next year and the year after that it won’t be dated as I strongly feel these most likely will be in the line for a while.
|View Tech Director Jeff Summitt’s Review of New Acer XV Titanium Drivers Below|
|Shop for Acer XV Titanium Driver here!|
- Speaking of product cycles, it seems you have been introducing a new Acer driver line every two years.
True, we introduced the Acer XF in 2011 and the Acer XS in 2013. Does that mean you can expect a new series in 2017? Not necessarily. Basically we are bringing out new product only when we have something different in terms of new technology, materials or we can introduce a product that will be better in terms of performance than a model we a retiring. With so many USGA regulations on drivers it requires a lot of thought and testing to make improvements.
- You spoke about 3 key features. Can you let us know what they are and how they will benefit potential customers?
Those are the CNC milled crown, Power Chamber Sole and Gravity port. Let’s start with the crown since that is one that will be the least visual. It is always the quest of a head designer to eliminate unwanted weight so it can be put to better use and that usually starts with the crown on a driver. The lower the center of gravity, the better the performance in terms of launch and spin you can achieve. We could have easily made a shallower face, but then you lose face area and confidence. So we have lightened the crown by CNC machining certain non-stress areas. Yes, it is more expensive to accomplish and something none of our competitors are doing, but in order to make incremental improvements you really have to go the extra steps.
- What’s up with the Power Chamber?
The Power Chamber sole is a feature that you will immediately notice. This was added to boost performance on shots hit on the lower half of the clubface. This is where excessive spin occurs and the Power Chamber sole helps neutralize the ill effect of low impacts.
- Can you tell us about the Gravity Port?
As you know screw weighting is not new, but we kind of abandoned that for a time. It is a feature the average customer never messes with, but if you are customizing clubs, you really need the ability to tweak the weight. Hey, we know that not everybody is the same height or requires the same cookie-cutter length. We also know there is more shafts that can go into these drivers than you can shake a stick at. Not all will be the same weight or have the same balance point and with the additional 2 and 12 gram screws allows the clubmaker to fine-tune the swingweight.
The position of the Gravity Port is important. It offers a higher launch and higher moment of inertia where it will benefit far more golfers than the recent trend to move weight forward. The latter may help the pros, but we are true to ourselves and cater to the other 99% of golfers out there.
Plus in the past, we have had offered standard versions, Leggera versions that were lighter and Thrivers that were heavier like we have in the Acer XF and XS lines. Well to a certain degree we can accomplish the same thing and it is not a burden on our customers to stock all those versions.
- I see these come in a lot of different options.
Yes, we always try to make the Acer lines as comprehensive as possible whenever it is economically feasible to do from a tooling standpoint. With the new XV series we have 4 lofts in right handed and 3 in left handed they should cover just about every golfer. This year we even added a left handed 9.5º after so many southpaws complained we didn’t have one in our lineup. So you can say I caved in and obliged to their wishes and coaxed the powers-to-be to add it as an option.
|View Tech Director Jeff Summitt’s Review of New Acer XV Draw Titanium Drivers Below|
|Shop for Acer XV Draw Titanium Driver here!|
- I see there is also a Draw version.
Yes, and this is an important option as so many golfers fight a slice and we want them to enjoy the game and speed up play instead of constantly searching for errant or lost balls. It is really the same as the standard model with all the features I spoke about earlier. The differences are that we have added the offset hosel and made the face angle a degree more closed. Plus as I said earlier the position of the Gravity Port was important because it will help square the face at impact so those that push, fade or slice the ball will have 3 more things going for them to help them hit more fairways – and that is the one they are aiming for.
- I have to admit, this is one good-looking driver.
Rule number 1 is if it doesn’t look good then nobody will want to give it a fair chance. I could tell you it has this feature or that feature which will help you hit longer and straighter drives, but all it takes is the wrong color or some annoying accent to turn a potential buyer from to put on their wish list. The matte black on top of the black PVD finish gives is neutral yet really high-end look. Again, I think this product line will appeal to a lot of golfers and have a long product life cycle.
- How does it compare to the all the name brand drivers out there?
I go out to a facility that I can hit the latest and greatest from all the major OEMs. You know what? They do make damn good clubs and it would be shocking if they didn’t. But when I go out with our Acer XV driver with a shaft, flex, grip, grip size, length that fits me, I see absolutely no difference in distance or accuracy. We may not have the adjustable feature for lie and face angle or what manufacturers call loft, but the average golfer is likely never to change those from the factory setting and only adds to the cost. I am not sure who said it first, but if you can’t tell the difference then why pay the difference? That’s my philosophy and I am sticking to it.
The Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index was created as a way to help you sort through the confusion of choosing the perfect shaft for your game.
One comment I often hear from customers who are aging assume that by going to a more flexible shaft will gain them some extra distance. I want to take time to dispel what could be a myth and at least give all the facts so one can make an intelligent buying decision the next time you (or one of your customers) are in need of a new club or re-shafting an existing one.
First of all, distance is a function of many things including speed, loft, direction and solidness of contact. Let’s look at the first one – speed. The components for speed are how long a club is made, how much it weighs and weight distribution. Granted, the A-flex shaft in a particular pattern of shaft is generally a little lighter than the R-flex, but it may only be a gram or two and that is spread over the entire length of the shafts. It may take in the magnitude of 7-10 gram minimal to be even felt. So that in itself would not contribute to an increase of speed or distance. Plus club length is independent from the flex.
Loft is also a major key contributor to distance. If you hit the ball too high or too low, both can rob you of distance. There is an optimal launch angle that will give you the most overall distance (carry + roll). Here is one possibility that additional flex can help increase distance. By opting for a more flexible shaft, that can change the dynamics of the club as it comes into impact. Generally a more flexible shaft will bend more forward at impact than the stiffer flex (in the same model) thus increasing the loft and providing a slightly higher ball flight. We aren’t talking about a large change, but only a small one. However, if you are one to hit the ball low compared to your playing partners, going more flexible could help optimize launch angle.
There is a caveat to that though. You still need to maintain the solidness of contact at impact. With some golfers who have an abbreviated swing or quick tempo, going more flexible (even though their swing speed is declining) may make it more difficult to square the face at impact. If you were hitting the ball straight before and now dropping down a flex you begin to hit more of a high fade because you can’t time it like you were, that could rob one of distance too. Let’s look at the other side of that argument. It is very possible one could be hitting a high fade because the shaft is too stiff for their needs and inhibiting the face from closing and squaring up at impact. In this case, the more flexible shaft could position the face in a manner to optimize loft and direction that is could result into more distance.
So there you have it, going to a more flexible shaft as you age could help or hinder your search for more distance depending upon your circumstances. The most important part is to get fit by a professional clubmaker or experiment with different shafts. Here is another point to chew on. Going from R to A-flex in the same brand and make of shaft is one thing, but if you start changing brand names and models then that opens up another can o’ worms because there is no standardization for shaft flex in the industry. Even if you drop down a flex in the exact same weight shaft, but in another model, there is a chance you might be selecting a stiffer shaft and defeating the purpose or possibly getting a shaft that is now too flexible and going from one extreme to another.
This is why we created the Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index as a way to help sort through the confusion. For those that have used this valuable resource in the past, we have an updated 2015 version. For those who want to be educated on shafts, then here is your opportunity to explore the world of shafts and shaft fitting.