Chris Stroud: Equipment - Driver (Part 1)

Chris Stroud discusses the specs of his driver, TaylorMade M2. It took a little while to get used to it due to it's advanced technology. He looks for a high smash factor with the driver.


This driver, right here. I could hit this.

That driver's amazing.

It's got this big--

That's an X, but it feels like a stiff.

Is this the leader right now out there?

I think there's two heads right now leading. The old M1, the very first M1 they made, is the hottest head. It may be illegal almost because it was so good, because it was just so fast. But, they built it so perfect.

When you say fast?

The speed. The smash factor. I mean I led the tour for two years in smash factor, which as you and I know--

The smash factor is the combination of all the great statistics on tour, which is angle of attack, path, center cut, and the computer rolls it all together and it comes out with a number called smash factor. The higher the smash factor, that means is just dead hit. Nothing's taken away from the ideal number. That number is probably up there 1.5 1.51, 1.50.

1.50 is legally supposed to be the fastest number you can hit a golf ball off a face without being a trampoline effect. I was getting 1.52. I never over 1.52, apparently the trackman doesn't calculate anything higher than that. If it does, either they've got a glitch in their system, or the faces are illegal. But, I will say, that M1, the original M1, I see a lot of guys still playing. This M2 took me a little while, like I told you today, it took me a little while.

To get used to it?

To get used to it because the technology, honestly, was so advanced, beyond what I played all my life. I played, like that 3 wood, I played a straight end neck, there was never any adjustments you could make, and It was more like hitting a 5 iron to me. It was just, you didn't have to swing up on it. I'm just trying to swing through it, have a square face and just hit this low bullet. All of a sudden, you've got these golf balls that aren't spinning anymore. You need to launch it higher. You need to add loft. Well, I wasn't used to that, well, how am I going to do that without wiping it? You've got to swing out to the right. So at our level, the trackman helped me a ton on this. Is learning how to swing two or three out to the right on the way up and through, maybe four out. And all of a sudden, you hit this high, it feels like a draw, but it's straight. It took me a few months to figure that out. But, the feedback helped. And now, this is probably one of the best drivers I've ever had.

What is the shaft in that one?

Newer shaft of Fujikura, they've been making some great speeder shafts for me, for years. Fujikura has been one of the greatest companies for me for shafts for drivers for a long time. This is an X flex, I believe it's one inch tip. This is called the Evolution 4, speeder 757, which what I've learned is--

How many grams?

I think this is 70 or 72. So, I did years ago, maybe six years ago, I went out to California, went to a lab, and I tested my golf swing with a 30 gram, 35, all the way a 100. And I swung drivers as hard as I could. I couldn't swing, it didn't matter what the swing weight was--

Process of elimination.

I could not swing a 35 gram shaft faster than a 70. It was very interesting how there was like this bell curve. You'd think a lighter shaft, you swing faster. It's not true. So 68 to 75 is my window.

There's a limited returns once you get to a certain point.

Law of diminishing returns.