The search continues...
After testing each of these drivers for 2 Weeks at a Time (At least 3-4 rounds each) the Stealth, Rouge ST Max LS, Mizuno STX-220, Mizuno STZ-220, Ping 425Max, Cobra LTDx Max, and TSi3.
I have a few thoughts and assessments to make. Now these thoughts are all based on my personal experiences and also how I was playing during that 2 week stretch when I had the club. These clubs were all brand new and I was the first person to play with the club...not that it made a difference I just wanted to clarify.
(TLDR: I really Enjoyed the Stealth and Ping 425 Max.)
This quest started the week that TaylorMade launched the new Stealth line and has continued ever since. During that 2 week period when I got the Stealth I decided to try and change my swing to get as much power out of my driver as possible. I was tired of hitting it about 255 off the tee with less than 50% FIR. Grip it and Rip it was my strategy. After about 150 practice swings with the Stealth it felt as if I was wielding Excalibur. I had the upmost confidence in the club and even my miss hits didn't slice OB as they previously did with my 915D3 Driver. I played multiple amazing rounds with the club and even took it to the local pop-stroke simulator to see how far I was hitting the club with my friends. I was averaging around 265-295 yards(with roll) depending on how much I dialed it up but at the end of the day didn't pull the trigger due to the price point and wanting to try out more clubs. This lead me to the Callaway Rouge ST Max LS
This Club was different compared to the Stealth. The sound was similar but the head felt much lighter during the swing. I noticed instantly a loss in about 10-15 yards compared to the Stealth that I was hitting just days prior. This was a little frustrating to me so I started really trying to turn up the swing speed and that lead to my massive left to right slice showing back up. Ultimately starting the demise of my swing to its current state. (Side Note...I am not a great golfer. Personal best round was a 82 and I will get to that in a minute). Back to the Driver. I really liked the clubs sound and I think I would of been better off testing out a lower flighted model (Yes, I did try to adjust the loft. Just didn't feel right). I was really getting some height on the Driver and with the SE Florida winds I was getting little to no carry/roll out. Either way I was a huge fan of the club and thought it was an upgrade from the Epic Speed I tried out the previous season. Not quite as good as the Stealth.
Next on the list was the Ping 425 Max. I personally did not thing in a million years that I would like a ping driver. I have never been a fan of their clubs and ya know what? Shame on me. I saw that this Club won best driver of 2022 on this very website and figured what the Hell lets give it a shot as well. I was not a fan of the acoustic sound that it made when striking the ball but I got over that really fast when I shot a personal best 82. The club had great feel and was long off the Tee Box. Forgiveness was everything and more you could ask for. I found myself in more fairways and consistently longer than my playing partners. Was a real confidence boost knowing that when I pulled that club out of the bag it was going to find the short grass. Testing this club and playing so well with it has made it really difficult to make my final decision on a driver. Hands down was not expecting such great results from the 425 Max. I called it my large Tuna Can but I got over the sound issue really easily. If you are a fan of Ping Drivers and have not given this club an opportunity. I would highly recommend it.
TSi3........I have played a Titleist driver for the past 8 years and thought that I would instantly fall in love with this club. I was deeply mistaken. It wasn't the club it was my swing. After I shot the 82 my swing fell apart and has not recovered since. Ugly uncontrollable slice. Not Throwing my weight, rolling my hands over...the game is just in a bad spot currently and I played my worst with this club. Except there was a stretch of holes from 9-18 where I scored Par on 9, Doubled 10, and Par'd 11-18. Shot a 38 on the back 9 to follow up my 52 on the front. I hit the club well then and it is everything you would expect from a Titleist. Sounds pure, fells good during the swing, and isn't anything too flashy when it comes to design and looks. Just your proto-typical Titleist Driver. The Club has great pop but I hated this club the most so far out of all the clubs I tested. I think this is due to how poorly I played the other 5 rounds with it. Im sure its a great club but just not right for me. Would not recommend it. (Side Note..Last week I did a fitting and the recommendation was for a TSi2. Still pondering this decision).
Mizuno STZ-220: I am a Mizuno irons guy. I don't know for how much longer due to the fact that I cant get the ball in the air and may need to revert back to player improvement irons. Maybe even super game improvement irons. This club I was only able to test out for 3 rounds. I hit the ball well with it just not as long as the TM, Rogue, Ping. Which was a little disappointing and it was not as forgiving as I would of assumed based on the review that I read. Felt great, sounded great, but just didn't really do anything to stand out to me. I was hoping that I would hit it once and it would be a match made in heaven but that just didn't happen. I continued down my path of Left to right Sliced drive after sliced Drive. Don't get me wrong its not the club its 100% me! (*Disclaimer: Always blame the equipment). Just didn't really get a big enough sample size with this driver to give any feed back. I liked the club and am contemplating buying it due to its fair pricing and its a Mizuno.
Cobra LTDxMax: Still testing this club currently. I would put it in the category right there with the Rogue ST Max LS. Club has some serious pop to it and feels very balanced. I was surprised with how well I hit the club and I really like the design and moveable weights. After the adjustments were made I noticed a real change in ball flight and distance. I am not leaning towards this club simply because I feel that there are better alternatives out there. TM and Ping which I felt more comfortable with, but between this and the Rogue its a hard tie for 3rd. Club has some serious distance when you catch it pure and is easier to control vs the TSi3 and Mizuno. Sending it back tomorrow but still wish I played my Saturday and Sunday round with it just so I could be sure. Still a solid option.
Last is the STX-220. I have played 2 rounds with this driver. I do not have an update on anything other than the shaft option that it came with was 50g S flex and it feels like orange whip during the swing. Need to see more shots with this club but when hit Pure it has a great sounds and fly's a mile. After 36 Holes with this Club I know that it isn't for me but if I was able to keep the head and get a stiffer shaft to help keep the flight down I think it would be right there with distance vs the Ping and Stealth. I am trying to purchase a driver within the next 2 weeks but am still up in the air on what I want to purchase.
Thanks for coming to my uninformative TED talk.