When Ben Hogan Golf came to the market with its first driver in a long, long time (at least 15 years) with the GS53, it was an important moment for the company to round out its offering with a full bag of clubs. However, the driver itself wasn't optimal for every golfer. With a 445cc head and a construction designed to kill spin for better players, the GS53 needed a companion product to reach a broader spectrum of players who needed a little bigger footprint and some more forgiveness.
Now the company has come out with their answer: the GS53 Max driver.
The GS53 Max driver is a 460cc head whose face is 11 percent taller and 22 percent bigger than the GS53, with a carbon-fiber crown combining with a titanium body. The original GS53 was an all-titanium head. With the GS53 Max, there are four pieces, including the crown, body, face insert and dense tungsten, which is used to move the center of gravity to a more forgiving low-and-back position. As you've no doubt read many times, low-and-back CGs on the driver mean easier launch and more forgiveness.
Bringing in the carbon fiber for the crown opened up some discretionary weight to not only make the tungsten weighting possible but to also move weight out to the edges of the driver to increase moment of inertia.
“This is a special driver that is born off Mr. Hogan’s principles of club design,” said Scott White, Ben Hogan Golf's CEO. “Our R&D mission for the GS53 Max was to keep the center of mass as low and as far rearward as possible, which is very different when compared to the original GS53 driver which is much higher and more forward. As a result, the combination of the lightweight composite crown and tungsten sole weight allow us to position the center of mass so that we maximize launch while decreasing the amount of ball spin."
The GS53 Max has an adjustable hosel which can change loft up or down a degree, as well the lie and face angle, with a total of eight settings. The hosel system doesn't require a golfer to change the orientation of the shaft and grip, which is important for a lot of golfers.
The head is available in 9- and 10.5-degree options, with the company offering any of three aftermarket shafts in a variety of flexes: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black (low trajectory), Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue (mid trajectory) and the UST Mamiya Helium (high trajectory).
Ben Hogan Golf sells direct to the consumer through their website or through a fitting at Club Champion locations, and the GS53 Max driver retails for $355, well below a standard new driver these days.