Reviews of the new square golf drivers
LCG Tour Version-$529 at:
Dick's Sporting Goods
25thAnniversary Edition $499 at:
(everywhere else is selling it for $699)
Please note - this article was written in 2008. The information is valid
- but the prices have come way down. Here is what you can pay today:
Callaway FT-i Neutral Driver (2008) - $199
Callaway FT-i Draw Driver (2008) - $199
Callaway FT-i Mix driver head - $89
Callaway FT-i Mix Driver shaft - $79
These are the lowest prices on the internet for these clubs. Ignore the prices in the article.
For 2008, Callaway has expanded on the popular FT-i series square driver. The new club has a higher MOI, a smaller profile and a better sound off the clubface than last year's model. If you are looking for a high-end, top-shelf square golf driver, the FT-i driver is the club for you. Read on as we review the FT-i for features and performance.
Callaway engineers have perfected the fusion technology which allows them to blend a titanium face with a lighter carbon somposite crown. This allows more weight to be pushed to the extreme edges and bottom of the club. The results for you is an extremely forgiving club. Essentially it translates into a club that is light and easy to swing, hits the ball a long way, and is exceptionally straight.
Most amateurs lose a lot of distance and especially accuracy by not hitting the ball in the sweet spot consistently. Combine that with an out to in swing path that is prevalent among most casual golfers, and you have short drives that go to the right. Sound familiar? If so, the FT-i driver can virtually eliminate your slice. At the very least, it will turn it into a controlled fade.
Like any club, it will not fix your swing -- but it will make the most out of your present swing and give you better results, meaning longer, straighter drives that help you get to the green with shorter irons. And as you improve your swing, the Ft-i will help you even more as it delivers maximum performance for every level of golf. Even Ernie Els found it improved his driving and helped him win the 2008 Honda Classic ending a winning drought spanning over 3 years on the PGA tour.
It's one thing to hear the theory of how a club is supposed to help you or even how it helped a professional golfer. It's a whole other story when it comes to how a club helps average golfers like you.
Golfers of all calibers had mostly glowing reports for the Callaway FT-i in 2007. WIth the improvements made in the 2008 model, golfers are again lining up to sing it's praise. Here are a few comments from real golfers who tested and/or bought the new FT-i driver:
"Best Driver Ever"
"PRICEY , BUT WORTH EVER PENNY"
"Better than all the best of the market"
"Most forgiving club on the market and great noise!"
"Price is high - but you don't have to buy a new driver every year!"
"The results are always straight and with a very good distance no matter where you hit on the club face. "
"CAN THIS THING BE LEGAL?"
Regarding that last comment -- yes, the FT-i is legal, but it does stretch most of the limits the USGA and the R&A have placed on drivers in regard to MOI, clubhead volume and COR. The engineers at Callaway have really gone out of their way to produce a club that was "designed to be the world's straightest driver." Once you try one out, you will agree that long and straight has never been so easy. Your friends will all want one too after they see how long and straight you are hitting it. Our review of the FT-i revealed that every golfer saw improvement, but the biggest improvements were seen by higher hanicap golfers.
The biggest problem with the FT-i driver is the steep price tag. If money is not an object, a new model is always best. That way you can choose the loft and shaft to best match your swing type. Unfortunately, the people who could be helped the most by the Callaway Ft-i driver (casual golfers) are the ones least able to afford this technology, since they usually have a smaller golf budget. If money is a big issue, there are several options. You can get certified, pre-owned clubs at several golf outlets. These clubs were either demos or trade-ins and have been inspected, tested and graded by professionals. You can save several hundred dollars purchasing a used square driver this way.
And if you don't mind using eBay, you can often get some really great deals on golf equipment in their online auctions. Selections constantly change as new clubs become available. Note that some people sell new clubs on eBay too, so be sure to check out what you are bidding on if you go this route. You might actually be able to find a really sweet deal on a new Ft-i driver.
Here are some links to check out: