For the 2024 edition of GOLF’s ClubTest, we once again teamed up with Golf Laboratories to test robot drivers. Using their swing robot, we can get a better idea of how each driver performs at the same speed (150 km/h), delivery and angle of attack in a 9-point face mapping test. The end result is an unbiased (and extremely detailed) look at where each driver model excels.
We continue with robotic insights into TaylorMade’s all-new Qi10 drivers. Pick up all your new ones TaylorMade gear at Fairway Jockey.
MORE FROM OUR 2024 CLUBTEST COVERAGE: TaylorMade Qi10 Drivers: 5 Things You Need to Know | TaylorMade Qi10 fairway woods and hybrids: 5 things you need to know | TaylorMade Qi10 irons: 4 things you need to know | Does TaylorMade’s Qi10 series live up to the hype? (ClubTest debriefing)
Looking at the recent robot test data over the past few years, TaylorMade has done an admirable job combating high toe mishaps since making the jump to a carbon composite face with Stealth. In the first iteration, high-toe misses lost an average of 12 feet (across all three models at 10.5 degrees); that number doubled last year to 6.8 meters with Stealth 2.
Losing about seven yards on a high toe attack isn’t a cause for concern, but no manufacturer wants to go backwards. Not only have TaylorMade engineers fixed the recent high toe slide, they’ve also produced a Qi10 driver setup that all but negates one of the most common mistakes.
TaylorMade Qi10 custom driver
Wrapped in a sleek and confident package, the Qi10 driver is strategically designed to help players optimize distance and increase forgiveness. THE QUEST FOR INERTIA TaylorMade’s goal with the Qi10 family is to make each driver as forgiving as possible, using advanced multi-material construction to increase inertia. Qi10 is designed for a balanced mix of distance and forgiveness. COMPLETE PERFORMANCE The Qi10 Driver features a lower center of gravity projection and a higher MOI than its predecessor, delivering balanced performance without any compromise. NEW INFINITY CARBON CROWN An Infinity Carbon Crown covers 97% of the total crown area, creating a strategic advantage for mass redistribution and improved forgiveness.
Strictly looking at 10.5 degree Qi10 heads – 2024 is the first year GOLF has tested all lofts – high toe misses actually won distance, to the tune of 2.2 meters. It’s a staggering number that highlights the significant improvements made to the carbon twistface construction.
In addition to providing superior ball speed protection on high-toe misses, the 12 degrees Qi10, Qi10 Max and 10.5 degrees Qi10 saw distance reduced by 20 feet or less at all 9 points on the face at 90 mph.
In 2022, Cobra’s LTDx Max driver (10.5 degrees) produced an average distance loss that almost seemed too good to be true. Comparing a geometric center attack to the other eight locations where the swing robot tested on the face, LTDx Max only lost 3.4 meters. It remains the best performance we’ve seen in off-center performance since GOLF began conducting robot testing.
TaylorMade’s 12-degree Qi10 Max came so close to taking the crown with a distance loss of 3.5 meters that was almost 2 meters better than the runner-up 12-degree Qi10 (5.2 meters).
For golfers who swing around 90 mph with a neutral angle of attack, the 12 degree Qi10 Max is definitely a driver that should be included in the testing discussion regardless of impact location.
Even low toe and heel errors – two locations that caused distance losses of 20 to 40 meters on other models – saw distance reduced by just 11.5 meters.
Every driver has flaws, but the 12 degree Qi10 Max is about as good as it gets when it comes to maintaining ball speed and maximizing performance on all mishit locations.
No matter how low it goes
Compared to Stealth 2, all three Qi10 models produced lower launch and spin numbers. Launch went from 10.6 degrees (Stealth 2) to 9.5 degrees (Qi10), while spin dropped from 2,836 RPM (Stealth 2) to 2,775 RPM (Qi10).
Finding ways to lower launch and improve forgiveness is generally a good recipe for better distance numbers. In particular, the 9-degree Qi10 Max produced one of the longest carry averages across all nine points.
One of the most interesting aspects of testing robot drivers is locating the ‘cheat codes’ in the data. For example, you can actually drop the spin (and probably gain distance) by simply hitting the ball with Qi10.
During testing, the Qi10’s rotation speed went from 3,000 RPM on a geometric center miss to 2,500 RPM on a higher center miss. The Qi10 LS saw similar spin reduction at the same two locations (2,700 RPM vs. 1,900 RPM).
In fact, the spin delta between mid and high mid on all Qi10 lofts ranged from 500-800 RPM. If you’re looking for ways to get rid of spin without having to change the loft sleeve or shaft, just try hitting the ball higher on the face. Yes, it really is that simple.
Do you want to refurbish your bag for 2024? Find an installation location near you at the GOLF affiliated company Real spec golf.