Equipment Review

Email   Print  

Callaway FT Optiforce Driver Review, Fairways Too

Pete Wlodkowski of amateurgolf.com    view bio and other articles by Pete Wlodkowski
published 24 Jul 2013

Callaway has had a great deal of success with the X Hot line of drivers, fairways and hybrids, which incorporate a number of new, dare I say "performance enhancing" technologies. (I must be watching too much Golf Channel or CNBC.)

Callaway has included these technologies in the FT Optiforce driver and fairway woods. They have, at the same time, lightened the overall weight by incorporating a lightweight composite crown and two lightweight shaft options.

The driver I tested was almost 40 grams less than my "gamer" -- pretty impressive. Such a change, if it can be managed without increasing dispersion on the course, is a great way to increase clubhead speed and get extra yardage. Noted golf club designer and fitter Tom Wishon has written a series of articles for GolfWRX called "The Most Important Fitting Elements for Distance," in which he says:

"Our years of research shows that as long as the swing weight is well matched to the golfer’s tempo and strength in the lighter

Callaway FT Optiforce Driver
The aerodynamically-shaped Callaway FT Optiforce Driver

shafted club(s), for a total weight decrease of 25 grams, an increase of 2 to 3 mph in clubhead speed can be seen. Remember, for each 1 mph increase in clubhead speed with the driver, carry distance increases by 2.8 yards. Increase your clubhead speed by 2 to 3 mph with a lighter shaft and the distance increase can be worthwhile."

In my case, I increased my swing speed by about 4-5mph with the FT Optiforce I tested, and the carry numbers were excellent. On the course, in the desert heat I loved the penetrating ball flight and the way the teardrop-shaped head looks at address. The crown is jet black, but even on a 105 degree day it produces no glare to speak of. The finish is so jewel like, as a matter of fact, that you'll want to keep a headcover on all the time.

AERODYNAMIC DESIGN

A lighter club with the wrong shape could wreak havoc with clubhead speed and accuracy (think of swinging one of those four-fin warm up clubs). So an important element of the FT Optiforce's ability to generate increased head speed is its aerodynamic shape, which Callaway says can reduce drag by up to 23%. As Wishon says, more speed equals more distance. But before you get too excited remember, it's up to you to bring the club back to the ball square and on plane!

IN THE BOX

The FT Optiforce Driver is available in two models. Both come with a new OptiFit hosel that allows the loft to be lowered by one degree or increased by up to two degrees. The lie angle can be adjusted from standard to 2 degrees upright for a draw bias. The fairway clubs have a static hosel, due to the weight trade-off that would have needed to be made to provide adjustability on a smaller clubhead, according to Callaway's head of research and development Alan Hocknell.

FT Optiforce 9.5

440cc head, standard loft 9.5 degrees, neutral weight bias, D2 swingweight, 46"

FT Optiforce 10.5
460cc head, 10.5 degrees loft, draw weight bias, D0 swingweight, 46"

Both clubs are available for right and left handed golfers, with either the Project X Velocity shaft (43 grams) or the Mitsubishi Diamana S+ (64g in R/S or 67 grams in X). The women's version comes with the Project X Velocity. A full complement of custom options can be configured.

FT Optiforce Fairways are available in 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9. (They aren't calling it the "Divine 9," but you might.)

Want one, or several? Visit amateurgolf.com's endorsed and approved retail partner Worldwide Golf Shops, home of the 90 day playability guarantee, to view current pricing and availability.



Email   Print  



More Articles by Pete Wlodkowski


Founder of amateurgolf.com. Member, Olympic Club, El Camino CC and Torrey Pines Mens Club. Always looking for a good game and love to play all types of courses, muni or private. More...
Latest Articles by Pete Wlodkowski
 FLIGHTSCOPE XI REVIEW: A VERY AFFORDABLE...
 CONCESSION CUP: PATRICK CHRISTOVICH OK W...
 CLARK COUNTY (NEVADA) AM: ANDREW CHU BY ...
 AVIARA GOLF CLUB COURSE REVIEW...
 POPPY HILLS REDESIGNED: A PEBBLE BEACH, ...
View All