2005: Features - FT-3 is Callaway’s spin doctor
Monday, September 19, 2011
In the continuing battle against the banana slice, high fade and right-field push, there may be a new sheriff in town.
Callaway’s new Big Bertha Fusion FT-3 driver, with a draw configuration, appears to provide an antidote for golfers who suffer from the terminal rights.
The FT-3 is available in neutral, draw and fade configurations, and there really are substantial differences in the trajectories produced by the three models.
This is the latest and best Callaway driver to combine titanium and graphite composite. The body of the FT-3 is made of aerospace-quality graphite, the face of forged titanium.
The discretionary weight, pegged at 44 grams by Callaway, is moved around inside the head to produce the three different trajectories.
For skilled players, the story of the FT-3 is one of spin, or lack thereof. This is a low-spinning, 460cc driver that is designed not only for additional carry, but also for additional roll. Callaway says the titanium face has been tuned to provide the maximum ball speed allowable under USGA regulations across a wider area, which adds forgiveness.
With performance limits on golf balls and drivers, how does a golfer achieve more distance? One way is to find a driver that creates less spin, and golf equipment manufacturers are focusing on a new class of low-spinning drivers. Ping, with its new G5 driver, has done this with an all-titanium head. Callaway has combined titanium and graphite.
For consumers, the biggest consideration is to find a driver with enough loft. Some golfers will need more loft than normal, because a drive must achieve an optimal height to take advantage of low-spinning characteristics.
The FT-3 is the driver used by Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson and U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell. Already it has been used in more than a dozen professional victories worldwide.
Lofts for the standard version are 9, 10, 11 and 15 degrees for right-handers and 10 and 11 degrees for left-handers.
A tour version, with a slightly open face and a higher center of gravity, comes in lofts of 8.5 and 9.5 degrees for righties, and 9.5 degrees for lefties.
Another trend is that today’s drivers are available with exceptional stock shafts (this wasn’t always the case), and the FT-3 comes with a stock Aldila NVS shaft that is a good fit for most golfers.
The NVS, a softer shaft than the better known NV from Aldila, should help most players reach the proper height and trajectory with their drives.
The suggested retail price for the FT-3 is $499, although it is widely available for $399.