Hireko Wants You To Help Design Our Next Driver From The Ground Up! Part 4

Get ready for Round 4…Please keep the comments coming!

Thank you so far for your comments in the “Hireko Wants You to Help Design Our Next Driver from the Ground Up!” campaign. As of now we have a basic shape compiled from your requests and a general design principle to guide us by so that you can not only gain more distance, but more accuracy as well. While many of the opinions are varied or diametrically opposed, we are still sifting through the response in order to incorporate the common elements into your design. But we still need your valuable input.

acer-xds-driver-mock-up-52609
We have decided to position this driver in the Acer XDS line as it will be
definitely a game-improvement model, plus we have some additional new clubs on the horizon that would be a good complement.

But we still need your input on a few more items on our house cleaning list.

Weight
The adjustable weighted screw that was shown in Part 3 is being nixed for a couple of reasons. One is the added cost as it appears it would cost in the neighborhood of a $4 add-on in the final retail price. But more importantly, the overall responses had slightly more people against adjustability compared to those in favor. See what project managers have to decide and weigh all the benefits? But this is you time to express your opinions. However, the weight will be heavier as many of you want a driver that can be made shorter (44” for men) to make more solid contact on a regular basis.

o No adjustable screw as I or my customers would never change it anyway
o Yes, I am willing to pay more for an adjustable weighted driver

Volume
The volume is a measure of club head size with the maximum limit allowed by the USGA is 460cc. The larger volume coupled with a broad footprint at address helps to create additional forgiveness or a higher moment of inertia. Golfers are looking at all the advantages they can get, so it is only natural that the vast majority of drivers on the market today go right to this limit. However, some of those that responded would like to see a smaller size. So here is your chance to answer.

o Maximum 460cc I (or my customers) need all the help possible
o 420-440 cc Big but not too big
o 400 cc I am old school

Face Construction
The only impact the golf ball should ever make on a driver is the face, so the most attention should be paid to its construction. There are two basic options to choose from. The first is the standard construction where the face is a flat sheet welded around the perimeter of the face. In tooling, this is by far the most cost effective method.

The other alternative is the Cup Face construction where the welded is several millimeter behind the face so that there is more spring action in the face around the perimeter. After all, we don’t always hit the center of the face. In addition, we can make the face variable thickness, further reducing the thickness around the perimeter like what we have done with the Acer
XK driver series
. Realize that a variable face thickness + cup face will add to the cost of the driver in the neighborhood of $10.

o Variable Face Thickness + Cup Face Construction Yes, upgrade the face, the extra $ is worth it
o Standard Forged Titanium Construction Standard face construction is just fine

Face Material
Many of you have expressed a desired for a different mace material than what we normally use, which is 6-4 Titanium (6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, 90% titanium). This is a very good, durable material for the face that allows us to push the limits on spring-like effect and go right up against the USGA limit on CT (Characteristic Time) to make sure it conforms to the Rules of Golf.

We could use one of the many more resilient beta titanium grades of titanium. But here is the skinny. We still need the club to conform otherwise sales potential is greatly diminished. Therefore we end up having to make the face thicker defeating the purpose of using the more elastic metal. The only other alternative on why to use one of the beta titanium grades is for weight savings and remember this head will be heavier than normal to allow for a shorter assembly length and the ability to achieve standard swingweights. Here is the real kicker, it will add $10 to the retail cost of the head and still not produce any additional ball speed / distance. So which material would you use?

o 6-4 Titanium Standard face material is just fine
o Beta Titanium I don’t care about cost, put the premium material in

It is you time to speak now or forever hold your peace!

31 comments

  1. Brett T says:

    Yuck! If thats the prototype head shape.

    Maybe I’m too traditional but I’m not into hitting things I can’t look at.

    I’d suggest maybe a magnesium crown if you want to push weight lower and back.

    I’m more concerned with the clubs overall “feel” I prefer a hot feeling face as opposed to some of the dead thick feeling club faces.

  2. Jack Romain says:

    If you are making a game improvement driver, then 460cc size and variable thickness cup face should be used as well as standard 6-4 titanium for the cost savings. Now if you were making MY ideal driver….

  3. Hans says:

    I like a weight screw. It makes adjusting swingweight easy and, I think, increases resale value since a buyer wouldn’t have to re-shaft to change the swingweight.

    Max volume is not necessary as long as MOI and aerodynamics aren’t compromised.

    I think the advantages of a cup face with variable thickness far outweigh the costs. Cupface all of the way.

    I makes no sense to use Beta Titanium. 6-4 Ti is fine.

    You might consider two separate designs…one value and one premium. The value design would not have the weight screw or the cupface, the premium would for an extra $14. I’m betting you’d still sell more of the premium versions if the price difference were only $14.

  4. Tony says:

    I like the design. The weight screw is worth the money becuase changing the weight screw would allow you to change the length.

    It would give you a ton of fitting options in length and shaft options.

    Are there any tests that prove advantages to cup face and Beta face usage for mid handicap golfers? This should be a premium driver. Put the money where you get the return. If cup face and Beta technology adds to performance, go for it.

    You didn’t mention face height. Other than that it looks great.

    Thanks

  5. Dave in Denver says:

    Jeff:

    That shape looks very much like the Callaway Diablo Draw.
    My Input? I’d like to see the fusion technology used in the Callaway FTIq and FT9. It seems to tame the clangy noise that the 100% Ti heads have.

    Cup face: Yes!!! ($10 is worth it)
    6-4 Ti: Yes (needs to conform)
    460 CC: Yes (it’s where the market is)
    Screw: NO. (gimmicky)
    Red racing stripe: NO

  6. chris says:

    The variable weight screws is not needed.
    460CC, but in a shape that appears bigger
    Please add the cup face technology
    face material is just fine

    In the thriver live appearence, I would prefer additional lofts besides 10.5 and 12, especially in the left hand’ers. a 14 degree would be fantastic.

  7. chris says:

    The variable weight screws is not needed.
    460CC, but in a shape that appears smaller
    Please add the cup face technology
    face material is just fine

    In the thriver live appearence, I would prefer additional lofts besides 10.5 and 12, especially in the left hand’ers. a 14 degree would be fantastic.

  8. Gary Thompson says:

    My vote is: No Weight screws
    460cc
    Standard face construction, and 6-4 Titanium face material.

  9. Dave Richards says:

    Weight: No adjustable screw as I or my friends would never change it anyway.

    Volume: Maximum 460cc (although 420-440 is acceptable … no big deal).

    Face Construction: Variable Face Thickness + Cup Face Construction

    Face Material: Beta Titanium

    Here’s some of my reasoning for these comments (I make all of my clubs):

    I’ve discovered (as has Boo Weekly and many other top, long-hitting pros) that a 44″ shaft puts the ball in the fairway much more often than a 45″ shaft with no appreciable loss of distance. I hit the fairway 75-80% of the time with a 44” –44 1/2”shaft.

    I also feel that cup face technology is necessary to boost the average golfers confidence and keep the ball in play more often.

    The only thing I disagree with is your goal to make all of your heads conforming to the .830 COR. I ONLY make .860 COR products for myself and my friends. 99% of us amateurs don’t play in PGA-sanctioned tournaments, so why wouldn’t we want to hit the ball 7-25 yards further every time? It makes no sense to use a conforming driver for most of us.

    That is why I also like beta titanium for the face (either 15-3-3-3 or SP-700).

    I have made and hit 18 different drivers in the last two years and I still prefer the elongated pear shape to the totally elongated triangular or square shape. The appearance of the club head at address is critical to me. If I don’t like it, I don’t hit the ball nearly as well … it’s that important.

    One of my favorite heads is one that you are currently closing out …the Synchron Medic. It looks good at address, has cup face technology and hits the ball a long way.

    I know that you are probably looking to create a head with some pizzazz like the Callaway FT-9 or FT-IQ, but looks alone (as I’m sure you know), don’t make the driver.

    I’d base my criteria for a new driver head on distance, accuracy and looks at address … everything else is less important.

  10. Louis Rieke says:

    Jeff,

    You are exactly on track. Frank Thomas’s Q&A today is relevant and supporting of your suggestion on adjustability. Vote for no adjustment, 400CC, upgrade to cup and forget Beta.

    Thank you.

  11. Kan says:

    o No adjustable screw as I or my customers would never change it anyway
    o Maximum 460cc
    o Variable Face Thickness + Cup Face Construction
    o 6-4 Titanium Standard

  12. Thom Higgins says:

    I vote YES to adjustable weights (it’s only $4), Face Cup.

    460 is nice, but 420 – 440 is OK too

    NO to different materials that don’t make a measurable difference

  13. Dan Kline says:

    460cc is good and cup face is desireable. Many of my associates are weekend golfers and the ability to keep the ball in play and not sacriface distance is a big selling point.

  14. C. says:

    no adjustability, 460CC,
    Variable Face Thickness + Cup Face Construction, 6-4 Titanium

    Love the new shape, and want as much forgiveness as I can get with a swing speed 90-100 mph. While I am just an amateur, and not involved with any serious tournaments that require USGA ruling, if I am competiting in a scramble or with friends, I want to compete and beat them while conforming, so there is no excuse.

  15. Kevin says:

    No weight screws
    Max volume 460 cc
    6-4 Ti Variable Face Thickness
    Cup Face Construction

  16. Dave in Denver says:

    Please make it square face. If you want to make a draw model, incorporate a closed face in that one.

    60° lie.
    Lofts 9°, 11°, 13°

  17. Dave in Denver says:

    Jeff:
    After re-reading your post concerning raising the weight so as to accommodate players wanting a 44″ length, I’d like to rescind my position on the weighting screw. I’m on the other end, wanting standard (45″) or longer lengths.

    Put the screw back in, I’ll pay the extra $4. Just be sure the screws are interchangeable with the Q2, to keep inventory costs down.

    Dave

  18. LW says:

    460cc is good and cup face is desireable. Many of my associates are weekend golfers and the ability to keep the ball in play and not sacriface distance is a big selling point.

  19. YY says:

    The elongated shape just turn me off. I am hunting used driver with pear shape just to stop using my Hibore XL.
    I don’t care what is at the sole as I cannot see them. A square face with pear shape or water droplet contour when view from the plan view helps me to address and my mind at ease.
    I think it is tough to have rearward CG at the same time but you gentlemen have to be innoviative and work harder.

  20. mark says:

    Wt. screw or heavy head, 44″ length is good. 460cc, cup face+vft, 6-4 titanium is fine if sticking to .830 core limit. Tall face or 9D-lower loft option good as I have a high trajectory. Is USGA rules .830 core in center of face? What about face design that is .830 in center and is a higher core above the center of the face?

  21. Layne Chastain says:

    this has to be one of the ugliest. If some one wants this driver design they should wait just a few months and the Callaway Diablo will be reduced to make it a saleable driver and this way Hireko can save alot of money also. DONT MAKE THIS DRIVER, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. steve j says:

    Jack Romain :If you are making a game improvement driver, then 460cc size and variable thickness cup face should be used as well as standard 6-4 titanium for the cost savings. Now if you were making MY ideal driver….

  23. steve j says:

    I agree with the the red stripe leave it off! will make it look cheap. keep it simple the weight screw idea any more is kind of a joke!! head size 440-460 ok carbon or mag top is the way to go and try not to make it look like some other companies club make it your own club not a clone type the acer xk and caiman drivers are great they look uniqe 9.5 degree to 14 would be ideal 6-4 ti is ok. nice gloss black or maybe even a deep burgandy almost black in color. catchy name to the thriver seems corny

  24. larry f says:

    Performance is just as important as appearance. Head shape is okay, but graphics are cheesy.

  25. James H says:

    I agree with Steve J. leave off the red stripe. Also, every single driver in your line-up should have a 9.5 degree because it gives you credibility…if you don’t have a 9.5, then you aren’t seen as mainstream. I believe you should have an all black driver with the pvd finish (low-handicap, as in hitting from the tips), a chrome silver “special edition”, A “white driver” – and I mean white in color or ivory, or ceramic or something (mid-handicap or hitting from white tees) and a blue for high handicap. The color scheme should be about 92% solid…with the other 8% consisting of a logo, maybe a strong graphic or something but no big freakin stripes like on your mock up….just a clean look…In fact just put an enlarged logo and maybe a couple of strips or arrows…(if you want a point of reference check my site for the nickent Special Edition Driver…it is sweet. I think having a draw model is great…Oh, check the adams golf site http://www.adamsgolf.com..they have a set of gun metal colored irons that are out of this world…not that I buy or sell them cuz I don’t but I think it is something to think about.

  26. Rich says:

    Hi Jeff

    My comments as follows,

    Cup face for sure…
    460 cc for sure…
    6/4 ti is ok as well…
    I like the screw for $4. Swingweight remains important. Custom fitting is the current theme and adjustability fits that niche
    Racing stripe… Seems to be a love it or hate it… This is a game improvement head from the specs. The racing stripe is a great visual for the proper swingpath…inside/out…. But here would be my concern… Paint quality. The metallic paint used on XK drivers is nice, but combine this with say the red paint used on the bottom of the SQ2 driver or Caiman and it would really look cheap. Maybe a more subtle Ping style of hologram or really nice quality finish will make the difference between a dud and desirable look.

    Can we have these in stock next week???? Ha!

    Best regards and nice job so far….

    Rich

  27. Tony says:

    Are you making progress on the Thriver?

    I’d love to try it out- minus the racing stripe.

  28. Andrew Wood says:

    Racing stripe – NO!
    Assymmetrical shape – NO!
    Simply, anything that is atracting attention at address is distracting. I remember this well from the insert in the crown of the Ping Rapture.
    To put it another way: go with the shape in your diagram and I wouldn’t touch it. a) I don’t like assymmetrical, and b) everyone will simply scorn it as a Diablo-clone. DON’T DO IT!

    460cc and cup face & VFT. Make this a performer! Off-centre forgiveness is a very high priority for the market this is aimed at.

    Square or round? How about squarish? ;o) By which I mean: take the line from the hosel (as looking at the crown in your diagram) to the rear corner. Repeat the same line/angle from the toe the corresponding rear corner. Then join up the two. It makes the club head distinctive in it’s own right, and retains symmetry.

    Hosel position. The diagram looks to have a slightly offset hosel. Maybe better is to have the hosel pushed right up to the corner, right on the limit of, but not, offset. The Ping Raptuure 13.5° is a perfect example of this (and one of the straightest drivers I ever played).

  29. Mark says:

    The stripe has to go.

    Cup face is good.

    A screw isn’t necessary.

    Less than 460cc is OK as long as performance isn’t compromised.

    When this discussion started I thought the head might end up similar to the Wishon 505F/D which is 200cc. Something between this and 460cc would be fine.

  30. Zane Yurkiw says:

    I would like to the study that supports cup face technology. I am a traditionalist and do not support the ‘spring-like effect’.Simply the ball is not flung from the clubface, it springs free of the clubface. Anything in the way of studies that support the spring-like theory would perhaps change my view. In addition, the people responding should indicate their credibility, i.e. engineer, weekend golfer, etc. While any and all responses are good, there has to be something more then marketing.

  31. […] out the previous “Design our next Driver” blog posts: Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part […]

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