Hey there! My name is Seki Kotaro and I am a golf coach and club fitter! I studied golf in American before mastering my craft in Japan. In cooperation with GOLF Parter, I will be comparing the newest drivers of 2022 today!
I'll be trying out the Bridgestone B2 driver first, which I actually own myself. From my experience, it catches the ball well, making it easier to hit a draw. This model is the successor to the JGR model, which targeted the average golfer. When you set up, you'll notice that the face is angled to the left and that the shaft is pretty flexible which will help catch the ball.
Let's do a test swing, here I go!
That was a really strong hook, and my cameraman thinks that hooked shots seem to go further. I swung just now with intentions of hitting a straight shot but it went 264 yards with a 28-yard hook. I think it can prevent a slice within 30 yards and it's a driver that makes really solid contact.
Let's give it another go, I'll try decreasing the head speed this time.
It was still a hooked shot. Being aware of swing control will prevent the driver from catching the ball too much. This driver will likely help prevent slices more than hit consistent straight shots.
Yamaha RMX VD59
Next up is the Yamaha RMX VD59 driver. I have previously used this before and my impression of it is that it hits far and hits very straight consistently. During setup, you'll notice it has a bit of a gooseneck, like an iron, making it a very unique driver.
Here I go!
The sound when it hits the ball is pretty loud. It has a loud and high pitched "thwack" sound, which gives it a nice feel on impact. As expected, it's very consistent and hits straight. The launch angle is stable which reduces the sidespin. Let's try again.
I tried holding back a little bit this time and hit a little lower on the face. Even when holding back a little, it still travels far thanks to the large sweet spot making it a really easy driver to use.
Next up is the very popular XXIO 12 driver. You can choose between a red or blue color head and shaft!
The shaft used is a stock SR shaft which weighs about 39 grams. 39 grams is pretty light, and for a club to be this stiff at such a light weight is thanks to modern technology. Here I go!
The shaft is pretty flexible so there's a toe down effect and I hit the ball with the toe area. Even though it wasn't the ideal way to hit the ball, it was a draw and went about 250 yards! I didn't mean to hit badly on purpose, but this demonstrated XXIO's best feature which is the large sweet spot, allowing to hit a draw and hit far.
Let's try again.
If you hit a little below the center, I believe it will go further. This club has a shallow face with a large sweet spot and a low center of gravity. Let's try another shot with the sweet spot. I took the toe-down effect into account and hit that dead center this time. It sounds great even indoors. Nowadays its really common to fine tune the sound of the hit but XXIO was the first brand that really focused on the sound of impact, similar to making a musical instrument. XXIO has been very particular about sound and the volume, quality, and length of the sound are nicely balanced. The more you use it, the better it feels!
We will test the Taylormade Stealth next! It has been the most talked about this year, have you bought it?? A lot of people have misconceptions about it, but there's not doubt that this is a really nice, innovative, and well made driver, made more for pros. Many people tend to think that Stealth and Rogue are all the same, but the Callaway Epic is more for experienced players than the Rogue is. The Stealth would be categorized as clubs for true athletes, which is why if you use a Rogue or Stealth in the same way as a XXIO or an ONOFF AKA, you won't get good results. This results in many people saying they can't catch the ball well. For people with power who are able to catch the ball, this is an amazing driver. I can hit extremely far with this driver.
Let's try it out.
I didn't hit the sweet spot and instead hit the lower part of the heel, which usually wouldn't go very far. Even so, it got a lot of distance and did not curve! Let's try again with the sweet spot.
I hit a little too close to the toe, but it went really far. This club will work very well for some people and will be unforgiving to others.
The Stealth has 3 different heads and the normal one is what would be best for many different types of golfers. Other models have features that aren't included in the normal one and are targeted towards specific golfers. If you are looking to try this club, we would recommend starting with the normal head.
Callaway Rogue ST MAX
Now let's try the Callaway Rogue ST MAX. Earlier it was stated that the Epic is a bit more difficult to use compared to the Rogue as it is less forgiving. The Epic is made for people with a head speed of 2 to 3 m/s faster than he Rogue but it also depends on what abilities the golfer is hoping for. The Rogue allows the player to hit a draw easier but if you can't catch the ball well, you'll hit the ball too far to the right.
Now for a test!
I hit higher, just like I thought I would. It's easy to hit high and catch the ball with this, it went really far! As this is an American brand, it catches the ball really well and compared to ONOFF Aka or XXIO, it hits a bit straighter. It does not slice too much, but for those who want more solid contact, this club will give you more distance. I think if you combine the Epic's ability to give more distance with a driver that catches the ball, you would get the Rogue ST MAX. Let's try once more.
I thought I may have chunked that a little but I hit a draw without any problems and it really gives more distance.
Now let's test the NEXGEN NS210 driver. This driver will be out in June 2022 and is the newest NEXGEN driver. I have experience with the NEXGEN 6 and 7 and my impression for those were that it is a driver that would suit anyone thanks to its forgiving characteristics. Let's give it a go.
Out of all the drivers I've tested, it hits very well, but the shaft is especially exceptional. It's very flexible but it's strong to whip right back which increases the head speed and launches the ball with more force, which in turn gives you more ball speed. This shaft alone gives a lot of distance. An interesting fact for this shaft is that it's famous for not having a flex rating. For the 2022 model, it has even more bend in the shaft compared to previous models which provides the power from the kickback, allowing to hit the ball even further. A flexible shaft means the club head swings more to increase the head speed and that would normally negatively impact the smash factor and launch angle, however, this shaft makes it easier to hit the center of the face. So not only does it increase your head speed, but you'll often hit the sweet spot making it a driver you'll want to keep using. It bends a lot during the transition but doesn't release too late. It gives you the distance and control like all the big name brands would, making it easier to hit a pure shot. We often hear people can't really tell how flexible a shaft is, but with this, people will feel the flex, how it stores the energy, and how the clubface launches the ball.
It's a guaranteed pure shot! I was hitting a bit off center with other clubs but I always hit the center with this and get good numbers. It has a high MOI as well.
NEXGEN NS210 with Diamana Shaft
We have another NEXGEN to test, the NS210 with the Diamana shaft. Immediately, you can tell that the shaft is heavier and stiffer, and is suitable for people with a head speed above 43 or 44 m/s. Here we go!
It has a nice sound! I think I hit a little below the center but because of its large sweet spot, it went far away. If I hit the center of the face, it could probably get another 15 to 20 yards, but even the pros barely hit the center. I think there's a common misconception amongst people that pros always hit the center, but they don't during a game. The consistency of distance and launch angle is more important than the distance you get when you hit the center. The other EI-F shaft is well suited for a large margin of head speeds between 38 to 43 m/s but cannot handle 44 to 45 m/s. For people looking for 44 to 45 m/s, the Diamana shaft is for you.
Let's try hitting the center this time!
I hit the heel but it's still very nice and hit very far. With such a firm shaft, there's a lot of power. Let's try once more.
I hit the center this time and its a very nice combination of club head and shaft!