The holiday season is almost upon us, and while that means getting ready for Thanksgiving, starting your holiday shopping, and preparing for the bombardment of Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads to hit your email box, it also means golf equipment companies are quietly making next season’s gear available to pros.
On Monday, the United States Golf Association added new drivers to its List of Conforming Driver Heads. That means the USGA has tested the heads to ensure they meet equipment standards and comply with the Rules of Golf. Once added to the list, a driver head can be used by anyone in a competitive round or official event like this week’s PGA Tour event, the RSM Classic, or the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
We don’t have official information on the drivers that were added to the conforming driver list this week, but from the images and notes published by the USGA, there are a few things we can learn.
Cobra Darkspeed X
Available as a 9-, 10.5- and 12-degree club, the Darkspeed X, the Darkspeed X appears to have two moveable weights and loads of carbon fiber on the sole. Read Full Article.
Cobra Darkspeed Max
Also available as a 9-, 10.5- and 12-degree club, the Darkspeed Max has a weight in the back and one in the heel, which should allow players to create a draw bias or boost stability. Read Full Article.
Cobra Darkspeed LS
LS has come to stand for low spin, and the Darkspeed LS appears to have 8-, 9- and 10.5-degree versions with two weights in the front and one in the back, making it likely that this is a better-player’s driver. Read Full Article.
Ping G430 Max 10K
The G430 10K has a tungsten weight in the back and Carbonfly Wrap crown. With no visible weight in the heel or toe, but extra weight in the back, this could be a max-stability driver that extends the G430 driver family released earlier in 2023. Read Full Article.
PXG 0311 Black Ops
PXG released the GEN6 family of drivers eight months ago, but this driver has a very different shape along with three interchangeable sole weights that we can presume will allow the 0311 Black Ops to have a draw, fade or high-stability setting. Read Full Article.
PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-1
This driver appears to have more of a classic, pear-shape than the standard 0311 Black Ops driver, and with two forward-positioned weights, it likely produces a lower ball flight and less spin. The USGA tested 8-, 9- and 10.5-degree heads. Read Full Article.
PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-3
It is head to tell the difference between the 0311 Black Ops Tour-3 and the Tour-1 from the USGA’s notes and images. Like the Tour-1, the Tour-3 appears to have two forward-positioned weights that could reduce spin, lower launch and create a slight draw or fade bias. The USGA tested 8-, 9- and 10.5-degree heads. Read Full Article.
TaylorMade Qi10 LS
This is the club that we can assume will take the place of this season’s Stealth 2 Plus+ driver. It has a carbon fiber face, sliding weight and, we assume, a carbon fiber crown. It sounds like Rory is planning to use it this week! Read Full Article.