Adjustable drivers: Tinker, tailor, trouble, try?

At the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, one major theme was "adjustable drivers."

Nearly every company that makes a driver now has at least one version that is adjustable for loft and face angle. Depending on the maker, these drivers can offer anywhere from nine to upwards of 30 different adjustment combinations.

But this new technology begs the questions: Is this useful technology for the average player? Will it help the average golfer play better or will it simply complicate things even more?

To try to get a handle on this adjustability trend, we asked two of the top SwingFix instructors for their opinions of adjustable drivers. Tyrus York is a Class A PGA Professional at Larry Ward High Performance Golf Academy at the University Club in Lexington, Ky., and George Connor is Director of Instruction at the Academy of Golf and Gillette Ridge Golf Club in Bloomfield, Conn., and two-time CT PGA Teacher of the Year.

Here's what they had to say:

YORK: "Adjustable drivers in my opinion have more benefit for retailers and club fitters. In the past, we were required to have several fitting clubs on hand to hopefully find the right mix of loft, shaft and clubhead for each player. Adjustability allows us to cut down on that inventory and increase the options we can offer to our customers. As for players, adjustability can be a double-edged sword. It's great having the option to adjust, but for most players once their setting has been determined by a fitter, they likely need to leave it alone. Few players will benefit from changing their settings after being fit, but the temptation to change the settings when the player doesn't need to will be strong with some players."

CONNOR: "I encourage people to think of the adjustable component of the driver as part of the fitting process more than something to tinker with week to week. An adjustable driver gives a player the chance to really dial in the ball flight they are looking for. Once they have that, they can leave it on that setting. The option to adjust the head settings in the fitting process can also be a money saver. Oftentimes, a little tweak in the settings can make the ball flight exactly what we desire. Being able to do this through an adjustable head avoids the expense of fitting an exotic (and expensive) shaft in some cases."

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