Product Review: Philosophers Half True Axioms Exposed by the Taylor Made 300 Series
By Jeffrey A. Rendall, TravelGolf.com Senior Writer
Its strange how philosophy impacts your golf game. Youre constantly reaching for the one truism that will fix everything thats wrong, and all too often, the problem stems from your first shot on every hole. Therefore, when it recently came to selecting a new driver, I took the true halves of both of the aforementioned axioms and put em together to try and achieve complete tee box enlightenment.
My problem was--Ive always been one to hit a good long ball, but Ive never marked down great scoresand a big reason for my lack of scoring prowess was poor driving accuracy. Ive been seeking a driver that would maintain my already solid distance, but also help me stay in the fairway.
Fortunately, Ive reached tee box nirvana with the Taylor Made 320 Drivera member of the fabled 300 series. Taylor Made developed the series to help golfers like me Drive For Show, and also to gain satisfaction from the balls ultimate destination--through a safe and steady journey.
I first saw the Taylor Made 300 Series while covering the Presidents Cup last October. Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Tom Lehman and several others used a 300 series member in their trips around RTJ in search of the Cup. In the times I observed them, they hit high, solid drives with it. That in itself wasnt my determining factor for wanting to try oneafter all, they should hit good drives, theyre pros. But afterwards, I thought about what makes these guys the best in the world--and its their magic combination of great length and pinpoint accuracy. It all starts from the tee.
And theres no other club in your bag with a greater effect on your overall score than the driver. Sure, you hit it only 10-14 times a round, but the results of those strikes incredibly influences the bottom line. Theres definitely a reason why the driver gets so much popular attentionit truly is the # 1 Wood in your bag. Without solid performance from it, you cant score well. You cant putt for dough if youre trying to save double bogey because of a drive out of bounds, plain and simple.
The drivers star status is even well documented in film. Is there a more famous big screen club than Kevin Costners Big Dog from Tin Cup? Could the Big Dog have been an eight iron? No way.
So I weighed all this criteria and came up with the Taylor Made 300 Series. I personally tried out the model 320 with a Taylor Made S-90 stiff shaft after answering the on-line fitting questionnaire offered on Taylor Mades website. The custom form allowed me to try on the driver thats right for me in the comfort of my own home, without prying eyes to sneak a peak at what I was looking for. Taylor Made provides for privacy as well as conveniencethe complete marketing package.
Tom Olsavsky, the 300 Series club designer, agreed with my choice: There are quite a few benefits in our 300 series for all levels of ability. Its got a little bit faster ball speed than our previous models, its more forgiving, and the fact we have three models to choose from ensures that we get the right driver for you and your swing type. A better personal fit results in better swing output and improved launch conditions. Rather than merely adjusting shafts and other criteria to fit one head, we have three different heads and a variety of shafts to precisely fit each player. When fitting a club, you look at the players ball flight as well as listen to his desires on what he wants out of his game. Then you work with his swingthats the critical factor.
Everyones swing is different, and we want our clubs to take that into account. Rather than trying to fit the player into the club, we fit the club into the players game. That way, we can make sure the player gets the most from his natural ability.
Taking Mr. Olsavskys advice to heart, I tested the TM 320 Driver in three categoriesdistance, accuracy and workability. It passed each test with flying colors.
For distance, the TM 320 rates the best Ive ever hit. The club head is a little larger than what Im used to, but after hitting it a few times the increased size led to increased confidenceand hence, longer drives. I made more confident, easier swings when I wasnt so concerned about getting that extra ten yards. I didnt need to worry--the TM 320 provided all the distance Id need.
Accuracy is where I noticed the largest deviation from my previous driver. Simply put, I spent less time in the woods. I credit my failure to commune with nature to the reduced sidespin extremes in the TM 320or at least it seems that way. There was very little unintended curvature of the ballthe slices were more like fades, and the hooks were more like draws.
On the two occasions where I did flirt with the edge of the woods, I made a couple bad swings that the TM 320 helped even out. I definitely believe if Id made those swings with my previous driverthered be no question but to hit a provisional. Thats four strokes saved right there.
Olsavsky says When you hit the ball square in the center of the clubface, youll get good results with most any driver. Its when you dont do that very often that you want the club to help you the most. Thats where we come in. Ill be the first to admit that center hits are a rarity for me. Ill take the help.
My last category is workability. Being a mid-handicapper, getting any ball to maneuver the way Id want it to is very difficult. But Im beginning to grasp the hand and forearm motions required to hit a draw or fade based on the situation. And the times I tried the swing motions with the TM 320, it worked well, especially with a fade.
I tried out a draw swing with the club while hitting balls on the range, and found success with it when my timing was right. I can only conclude that the clubs sizeable sweet spot and other player friendly attributes will lend themselves towards the high performance that low handicappers would desire. One things for sureanyone whos looking to work a ball down the center of the fairway with a high ball flight wont be disappointed with this club.
To wrap up, the Taylor Made 300 series brings the real meaning out of axiomsgolf or otherwise. It proves you must drive for show in order to putt for dough; and it demonstrates you can derive quite a lot of satisfaction from your destination, as well as the journey.
Philosophers bewareif Taylor Made designs a driver any more perfectyoull have to rewrite a bunch more truisms.
The Taylor Made 300 Series Driver