Gigagolf Verve Ti 17 Driver Review
Gigagolf offers the new Verve Driver for 2010
If you are in the market for a new golf driver and $400-$500 seems excessive, here's the good news. You can get brand-new, custom-fitted quality golf driver that plays as good as a name-brand driver for under $100.
The Verve 17 Ti Driver is Gigagolf's new driver offering for 2010. The Verve driver represents the next generation of technologically advanced drivers packaged up in a classic shape that doesn't flaunt it's high-tech construction. Modeled after the Ping G15 driver, but selling for only $99 nicely configured, the Verve driver from Gigagolf is 2010's best-kept secret!
The Verve driver has high MOI for maximum forgiveness on mis-hits and a variable face thickness for an expanded sweet spot. Any golfer can take advantage of the Verve's features to improve their game off the tee, and Gigagolf's custom fitting makes sure you will get a club that matches your swing and maximizes your benefits.
The Verve 17 Ti is an excellent choice for the golfer who is looking to replace an older model driver and who wants a quality driver that will provide years of use and help lower their handicap. The Verve Driver delivers. Another great aspect is that this club isn't designed for any specific type of golfer. The Verve 17 Ti Driver can be used successfully by low handicappers all the way up to 30+ handicappers.
Verve 17 Driver Materials and Specs
Like most of the new drivers on the market today, the Verve 17 Ti driver head is a composite construction. It has a lightweight carbon crown that is extra-thin to push more of the weight to the bottom of the club. The face of the club is a forged titanium insert that utilizes variable face thickness (VFT) just like the Ping G15 driver to expand the sweet spot and offer you maximum forgiveness and playability. Even drives that aren't hit in the center of the club face will travel long and straight due to this advanced VFT technology (it's almost unheard of that a golf driver using such advanced clubface technology can be found for under $300 - but the Verve has it all for around $100!)
The swingweight on all the Verve drivers is D1. You can select loft from 8° (only on the Verve Ti Ion) through 13.5°, so there is a loft available for just about everyone.
The Verve Ti Driver uses all 460cc of volume allowed by the USGA, but it also utilizes an advanced aerodynamic design to reduce drag which can limit clubhead speed with today's larger drivers. The standard length of the Verve Ti driver is 45" for men and 44" for women, but this is fully customizable (see below) using the Gigagolf Efit system.
Personal Views on the Verve Ti Driver
I received the Verve 17 Ti ion Driver in the mail last week and the first thing I thought when I took it out of the shipping box was, "This reminds me of my old Ping G10 driver." So I went out to the garage and pulled out the old Ping G10 and sure enough, the resemblance was certainly there.
That was a good boding for me, because of all the drivers I've ever owned, the Ping G10 is one of the best I've ever hit. The only reason I don't have it in my bag right now is because I got it 3 years ago when I was rehabbing from some shoulder problems. My swing speed was way down then, so I got a G10 with a regular flex shaft. It was great then, but a little too whippy for me now that I have a faster swing speed.
Nevertheless, I knew I had to take both the Ping G10 and the Verve 17 out to the range for a little side-by-side comparison.
I am happy to report that the similarities between the Ping G10 driver and the Verve 17 driver do not end with the looks. In fact, I found out later from the good folks at Gigagolf that the Verve 17 driver was designed loosely on the Ping G15 (on the 2010 Golf Digest Hot List as the best in class). The classic styling and the variable face thickness combine to make the Verve 17 driver a truly world-class driver in performance.
Testing the Verve 17 Ti Driver against the Ping G10
I was really excited to test the new Verve 17 driver against my old Ping G10 driver. Out on the range, I did my normal warm up routine first hitting some easy sand wedges and them working my way up through the irons and into the fairway woods. When I was finally warmed up, I pulled out the big dogs.
I decided to hit the G10 first and hit 5 balls with it. The regular flex makes it a little harder to control and gives me a slightly higher ball flight than I prefer. Nevertheless, I hit some solid shots. Only one was off target and the best one sailed high and straight and landed well beyond the 250 marker on the fly. I knew my swing was on, so then I picked up the Verve.
The first thing I noticed was that the look of the club at setup. When I let the G10 clubhead rest on the ground behind the ball, it has a bit of an "open" look. The Verve was much more "square" looking in the setup. I guess they call this a neutral position. It's not hooded or closed, so it wasn't a bad look - just different than the G10.
My first swing with the Verve was not my best. I hit the ball a little towards the heel and it didn't feel so great or look so great. But the next 4 drives I hit with the Verve were beauties. They flew straight as an arrow with a much more penetrating trajectory than the G10 (the Verve 17 driver I was testing had a Pursuit stiff shaft and the G10 had a stock Regular flex shaft).
Because of the shaft differences between the two drivers, this wasn't an apples to apples comparison. But it was still a good idea. The drives with the Verve didn't seem to carry quite as far - they appeared to land just past the 250 marker, but they did seem to roll pretty well.
Putting the Verve 17 Ti Driver on the Launch Monitor
It's one thing to visually look at how a club performs, but swinging on a launch monitor gives you the scientific data you need to make accurate assessments. Luckily, I was able to take the Ping G10 and the Verve 17 Ti to a local golf shop (just across the street from the driving range) and test them out on the launch monitor there (thanks, Jeff!).
The numbers confirmed what I had seen on the range, but with a little surprise. I was hitting the Ping G10 farther in the air - mostly because of the regular shaft. Out of 10 swings with the G10, the highest swing speed was 116 mph, but the launch angle and the spin rate were a little higher than I'd prefer. The result: I was averaging a carry of about 280 with the G10 and roll of 15 for 295 total.
With the Verve, my highest swing speed was 113 mph, but the launch angle was a nice 16° and the spin rate was in the low 3000 rpm. All this translated to an average ball carry of just over270 yards with the Verve, but with 25 yards of roll, the Verve actually beat out the G10 in total distance by 1.7 yards.
While that may not seem like a big deal, the big deal is that the G10 cost 3 times as much. The money you save by buying a Verve from Gigagolf allows you to play an extra 5-10 rounds of golf during the summer. That's value!
Customization Features of the Verve Ti Driver
The best part about ordering golf clubs from GigaGolf is that you get to use their easy online E-Fit system. This allows you to choose the kind of shaft you want, the proper flex and length of the shaft, and the kind of grip you want. Gigagolf will then build the driver to your specifications and ship it to you, usually within a day or two of ordering. Don't worry if you aren't sure what kind length or flex to get. The E-Fit system offers easy advice for what's best for you. Here are some of my own tips:
You can't go wrong with the standard grips and shafts Gigagolf offers (they are already premium components). But upgrading offers you some really serious shafts and high quality grips. The cool thing is that even if you choose every single upgrade, the driver would still cost 1/3 the price of brand new name-brand driver with stock shafts and grips and no customization.
I tend to hit my driver fairly high already, so I like to upgrade to one of the ultra-premium shafts that has a higher kick point and that gives me a lower, more penetrating ball flight. If you understand some of those technicalities of your swing, Gigagolf can build it for you. But don't worry if you don't understand flex and kick point.Just use the standard shaft, follow the E-Fit advice and you will end up with a great driver - often for less than $100 (the club I tested above was $126 as configured).
Also available is the Verve 17 Ti Ion Driver which comes in a black finish and the Verve 17 Ti Draw Driver is also available for those who need or prefer a draw bias on their driver. While I'm not a big fan of masking swing faults with a draw bias, I also realize some golfers don't have the time to work on their swings. So if you are a perpetual slicer who doesn't have the time to fix your swing, the draw bias model can help to reduce or eliminate your slice.
Verve 17 Ti Driver Conclusion
The Verve 17 Ti driver from Gigagolf is a serious contender for one of the best new drivers for 2010. You won't find Gigagolf clubs on Golf Digest's Hot List (yet). But even though the Verve drivers lack the brand name backing, they don't lack any of the features or benefits of the more expensive drivers from Ping, Callaway or TaylorMade.
What I really like about Gigagolf is that they aren't just some clone golf club mill that sells open mold clubs like so many other of the discount golf club makers. Gigagolf staff is passionate about golf. They designed the Verve 17 driver in house and they have excellent customer service. You save lots of money simply because they don't pay huge endorsement fees to the pros and they don't pay the huge advertising costs to be on TV or in the glossy golf magazines. But their clubs play just as good as the big names.
Give the Verve Ti driver a try. You have nothing to lose. You see, if you don't like them, Gigagolf offers a 30 day playability guarantee. You can send the driver back for a refund or have them put a different shaft on. But I'm confident that once you try out the new Verve Ti driver, you are going to want to keep this driver in your bag. The technology is fabulous, and the price is hard to beat.