Why You May Need a Square Driver but not Tiger Woods

Square or PearOne question I get from customers is “Why don’t you see more pro’s playing square golf drivers if they are supposed to be so great?” While what the pros play does help propel sales and develop trends in the golf industry, there are times when the average golfer would be better off using something different. One example of this would be the trend toward “square” clubheads.

Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghmam was a moderator at a Dec. 3, 2007 news conference to promote Nike’s new products and technology. Among the guests was Tiger Woods who was quoted when asked about changing to a square driver saying “I hit it straighter, but I enjoy working the golf ball and almost need to for the golf club length that I hit it. I just found a little bit more of a difficult time putting the ball into some of the doglegs because the ball would just go too straight, which is great for all the amateurs out there.”

The average golfer has just the opposite problem of a pro as they shape the ball without intentionally doing so. That is the amateur wants the ball to land straight ahead of them with their current driver, but they end up aiming way left for the ball to fade hard to the right and hopefully land in their own fairway. So much of the potential distance is lost in the ball curving. By using a square driver (or clubhead in general), with a higher moment of inertia (MOI), the player would not only hit with less curve, but also gain more distance by a clubhead designed to hit the ball much straighter. Remember, the longest distance is a straight line between two points.

The Square shape has proven that it is not going to be a fad as some predicted, rather something that the everyday golfer ought to pursue more so than the players they see on TV week in and week out. But even the pros are looking for any advantage they can get. With the larger 460cc golf clubheads and increased internal weighting, they can get the balance of forgiveness and workability and continue to use more traditional shapes. And yes, a small percentage of them will enjoy the same game-improvement benefits available to you and me by carrying a square driver too.

5 comments

  1. Walter says:

    I am in the process of trying the square club with a suggested shaft for a lower trajectory, hoping to gain the distance lost by the height using the standard shaft. Trajectory seems to be lower in the golf dome but only an outside range will tell the difference. Guess I’ll have to wait till spring.

  2. Martin Tanis says:

    I have made several square head drivers and also 3,5,7 woods .They sure do go down the middle.

  3. Peter Langan says:

    If you’ve been around golf for a few decades you ultimatelylearn there’s a fair bit of b.s. in the advertising. Everything is the longest, straightest, nicest; you get the picture.
    What I’d like in the advertising of golf equipement is some objective proof, like testing by Iron Byron, or some truly independent golf testing lab that supports all these claims by all club manufacturers.
    And it would be even better if the testing included really questionable swings across the board……….because most of us amateur golfers make some really questionable swings out there on the links.
    If I could draw an analogy……..when you read a wine review they often include some of the most distant flavor comparisons that zoom right over my head, and I’m interested in wines.
    I’m really interested in golf equipment, and I’m a buyer, but I need less crapolla and more factual information in the advertising.
    Thank you

  4. Walter says:

    Invited a friend to try my Acer Mantara 460. He liked it and I ordered the new Standard XL for him. It corrected his slice immediately.

  5. Jerry says:

    I tried the Mantara square 3-wood, and I found I hooked it too many times with a regular shaft installed. I replaced the reg shaft with a stiff shaft (Grafalloy) and that helped. However, my main objection to the clubhead design is that it seemed to be unfriendly regarding the big flat bottom surface and its contact with the turf. It was like towing a boat through mud flats. My many less-than-perfect swings ended up producing shots that were a bit short because of the excessive drag between the turf and the bottom of the clubhead. So I gave up on it. Now all I carry is the Power Play System Q hybrids, and I use the #2 in place of a 3-wood. It seems to work more consistently for my swing. I generally get decent contact, and it tends to head in the direction I’m looking. I’m 72, so I don’t hit it far. I get about 190 with it in standard conditions and a good swing. It’s good enough for most of my needs, playing from the senior tees.

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