• Welcome To ShotTalk.com!

    We are one of the oldest and largest Golf forums on the internet with golfers from around the world sharing tips, photos and planning golf outings.

    Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon!

2010 Callaway FT Tour review and comparison

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
21,796
1,072
Canada
Country
Canada Canada
With my endless passion and sickness of trying to obtain the perfect driver, chance fell in my lap (with the help of Paypal, of course) to nab one of the new Callaway FT Tour driver heads. It had a chanced to replace my beloved FT-9 Tour 8.5*, which was beyond all my expectations and was easily in the driver slot of my golf bag.

Well, until the FT Tour saddled up.

IMG_3800.jpg


Here’s some background on me, my game, my likes, and my dislikes.

I’m a Callaway fan. I just am. In my eyes, I think they’ve made a great driver ever since I bought the original Warbird back in the day. Callaway just flat out makes great woods, and I’ll defend them on it. Sure, some are square, lack hosels and don’t have Taylormade written on them, but that’s still no reason to hate. Callaway just flat out delivers solid tee clubs.

I’ve bagged just about everything in the Fusion line up at one time or another. Several FT-3’s in several configurations have graced, been praised by the author, and replaced by the next Fusion offering. My hands still remember the feel of all sorts of FT-5 Tour, FT-i Tour and FT-9 combinations before I finally settled on the longest, most forgiving offering yet for my swing – the FT-9 Tour 8.5* mated to a Matrix Ozik F6M2. I was finally hitting it past my playing partners, where I have no business doing so.

So, it was obvious that I would try something to try and unseat what just plain works, right?

Enter curtain left: the FT Tour 9.5*

So, what’s new with the FT Tour? Isn’t this thing just a small FT-9 Tour or a ripened up FT-3? Not a chance. The FT Tour is designed to deliver a flatter, boring trajectory with a centre of gravity change. And boy, does it deliver. My FT-9 was an 8.5* (measured at 9.3 in actuality) and I hit that thing like it was a 10.5*. It delivers high, low spin bombs that just get out there in a hurry. For most mere mortals who grace geographic destinations where wind is an afterthought, this might be a winner. But living in the flat prairies, you want low and long, to keep it out of the wind. This, in its essence, was the reasoning behind the FT Tour trial in the first place.

The Tour delivers a much flatter but longer launch, with that same low spin combination which my swing flat out loves. It’s easily 15 yards longer than the FT-9 (having hit both on the same course, with the same shaft, in similar conditions – each testing period was less than 3 days apart and similar wind conditions and direction). Balls fly off the face with a more muted and solid sound than any Callaway before it – much to the chagrin of those that have berated the Fusion series for sounding “hollow” in the past. This could be the ultimate driver to date from Callaway.

Now is where the eye rolling starts and I start to hear "great, another driver that's 15 yards longer". Well, the numbers might be able to be skewed and "everyone hits it 300 on the internet", but I was hitting approaches from places on the course I could only dream of being. And that is more evidence than I need to know that this thing is killer long.

The head sits at 440cc’s, but looks even smaller than that against the FT-9 footprint, with less of a “squashed” look that so many of today’s drivers seem to incorporate. It just instills confidence at address that the better player looks for. I believe this stems from drivers of yesteryear, before the 460cc rage became the norm. If you ever bagged a Hawkeye VFT or a Launcher of 400cc’s or less, you’d love this thing. It's bigger by volume, but not a lot by footprint.

Some measurements on some comparison clubs for reference:
Club – face height; Crown (front to back); face length (heel to toe)

FT-9 Tour – 2.25”; 4.75”; 4.0”
FT Tour – 2.25”; 3&7/8th”; 3.75”
FT-3 – 2.0”; 3.75”; 3.25”

IMG_3794.jpg


As you can see from the above, the FT Tour is still considerably larger than the FT-3, but is significantly smaller than its related cousin, the FT-9 Tour.

The face is a true 1.5* open, which is also beloved by the better player for the most part. It mentally eliminates the left side of the fairway using the ‘golf store waggle test’. You immediately think you could pound this thing. And you can.

The aesthetics are pretty subdued, the only real flash being the new hosel that had been lacking in almost every Callaway offering to date (save the FT5-TH, and a few others). The webbing weight on the back of the crown gets somewhat lost in the simple colour scheme and lack of hype and insane graphics that so many drivers on the market suffer from. You have to hand it to Callaway on this one, it's a great looking stick. They’ve really soiled the sheets on colours and graphics over the years. This is an extreme exception to that rule, it’s a beautiful driver.

The face of the driver is also subdued; with the traditional “X” of late Callaway drivers and a few subtle score lines for alignment. (And a lack of an alignment mark on the crown, in my opinion, is a thing of beauty.) Balls react well when hit anywhere on the face. You’d really have to swing poorly to hit this with a decrease in performance. The FT-9 reacts entirely differently, with toe hits resulting in monster hooks while the FT Tour lessens that hooking ability. You can fade or draw this head almost at will. It will hit a banana slice – if that’s your thing – but I try to not keep that shot in my repertoire. I wouldn’t say that it’s more forgiving than the FT-9, just longer on missed swings.

Having lucked out and built this driver the same day that Callaway had their demo program set up at the course, I had a chance to swing this against the “stock” offerings of the FT Tour shafts. The Voodoo feels very soft in this head, and I didn’t like it at all. I also had a chance to swing it in the Matrix XCON 6, which was also a great combo. But head to head against the Matrix F6M2, there’s no comparison – this club is built for my swing. I think mated with a Diamana Whiteboard, this could be an everyman's driver.

I have wanted one of these heads since the FT-9 Tour Authentic heads popped up late last year. The idea of a compact, solid sounding and incredible ball speed producing head from Callaway made me salivate immediately. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I’ve included a few quick and dirty pictures for comparison and will take some better outdoor ones after the rain passes. The FT-9 has a steel shaft in it only for pics. If anyone has any questions, fire away.

R35

IMG_3792.jpg
 

mddubya

Hybrid convert
Nov 6, 2007
6,029
2
Oh great, and here I had convinced myself the R9 was the driver for me, my next purchase, and along comes Rock with this, geez !!!!!!!!!
 

TheTrueReview

"Playing it straight"
Supporting Member
Jan 8, 2009
8,204
6,042
Country
Australia Australia
Thanks for going to the hard work with your post Rocky.
 
OP
Rockford35

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
21,796
1,072
Canada
Country
Canada Canada
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
No problem.

It's not very well laid out (the review) and probably could use some/lots of editing, but it gets the point across nonetheless.

The Tour is a great driver.

R35
 

bames

Purchased a better game
Supporting Member
Jan 8, 2006
1,979
315
Utah
Country
United States United States
Nice review bud. And interesting, very, very interesting.
 
OP
Rockford35

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
21,796
1,072
Canada
Country
Canada Canada
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Nice review bud. And interesting, very, very interesting.

Don't hit one. You'll want one. Especially with that FT-5 in the bag. It will hit close to home. So close, you'll want one. :D

R35
 

warbirdlover

Ender of all threads
Supporting Member
Jul 9, 2005
18,762
5,403
central Wisconsin
Country
United States United States
And pretty soon the snow will be melted up in Canada and you can play a round with it!! JK!! Good review but I have a question. I know you love your Cally's but have you ever demo'd a different brand for comparison? Like a i15 Ping or S2 Cobra? And it also sounds like that shaft in your drivers (big bucks) has alot to do with the performance, right? They probably don't even make it in "R" flex.
 
OP
Rockford35

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
21,796
1,072
Canada
Country
Canada Canada
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
And pretty soon the snow will be melted up in Canada and you can play a round with it!! JK!! Good review but I have a question. I know you love your Cally's but have you ever demo'd a different brand for comparison? Like a i15 Ping or S2 Cobra? And it also sounds like that shaft in your drivers (big bucks) has alot to do with the performance, right? They probably don't even make it in "R" flex.

I've been playing since the beginning of May. Early spring, I guess.

I have hit both the G15 and the I15, both are shorter than the FT-9 and the FT Tour for my swing. I have not hit any of the new Cobra stuff, I really don't like the look of it. Maybe the S2p driver, but that's about it. I've also hit the new Titleist 909 offerings and both were better than the Pings, IMO.

The shaft has ALOT to do with performance. Other than subtle feel differences, heads today are so close, the shaft is really important to maximizing your swing. That said, certain shafts work for certain heads, so make sure you're lining up the equivalent heads before assuming a shaft will work in it. A shaft built for an FT-IZ would like not work in an S2, as they're targeted towards totally different swings and individuals.

Do i need to find you a driver? It worked with the putter. ;)

R35
 

warbirdlover

Ender of all threads
Supporting Member
Jul 9, 2005
18,762
5,403
central Wisconsin
Country
United States United States
I'd better not fool with another driver right now. I'm hitting straight down the fairways again after fighting a nasty hook (for the first time in my life). I suppose us mortals without all the inside information would have to pay $500 for that FT Tour driver anyway, right? :emot-angel:

Just looked. $400 and it doesn't even come in regular flex!! Gorilla's only. Us Corey Pavin fans will just have to continue to puke our little drives down the center and hope for the best.... :frown:
 

TheTrueReview

"Playing it straight"
Supporting Member
Jan 8, 2009
8,204
6,042
Country
Australia Australia
....

I have hit both the G15 and the I15, both are shorter than the FT-9 and the FT Tour for my swing. I have not hit any of the new Cobra stuff, I really don't like the look of it. Maybe the S2p driver, but that's about it. I've also hit the new Titleist 909 offerings and both were better than the Pings, IMO.

....

R35

Rocky,

Have you tried the Nike VR Tour Driver yet? (not the str8fit)
 

MercMan

Active Member
Dec 28, 2010
67
0
Just purchased a Demo FT Tour 9.5/Voodoo SVS6 from Golftown, a screaming deal at $125.00 Canadian. Wanted an 8.5 but they were out, simulator had the ball speed at an average of 105-107, did crank a few out over 110 but that is going at it way too hard for someone almost 50. Launch was a little high at 17 degree's but livable. Took it to the range and was very impressed, had to put a really bad swing on it to hook or slice it. It is harder to work for me, most drivers produce a natural right to left 10 yard draw, but when I start to miss, it is usually a horrendous diving hook out about 100 yards then straight left. haven't hit 1 hook in 3 visits to the range. Hitting it dead straight with a slight push or draw 230-250 yards of carry with dead range balls in cold damp weather at sea level, can't wait to get it out on the course
 

Most reactions

Latest posts

Top