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Good Golf Drivers

On a brisk morning, four golfers met at the lakeside16th hole of Potomac’s Falls Road Golf Course. Falls Road pro John Lesage let them try more than a dozen of the season’s hottest drivers. Here’s what they liked and what they learned.

Jonathan Krinn, chef/owner of Falls Church’s 2941 Restaurant, is as sharp and intense on the fairway as in the kitchen. He likes versatility in a driver, and with the TaylorMade r7 460 ($400), Krinn got the best results for both draws and fades.

What he learned: It’s best to try at least five recommended drivers that fit your swing speed and tendencies before making an expensive buy.

When he was a Capitals goalie, Bernie Wolfe blocked lots of pucks. On the golf course, Wolfe—now a financial planner—found that the sweet spot on a Cleveland HiBore ($349) suited his swing. The driver has a lower face and calls for a lower tee, which allows him to drive the ball with more power.

What he learned: The key to a driver is finding the right shaft and loft.

At Bethesda’s Stone Ridge School and the University of Connecticut, Amy Duran  was known for poise and scoring on the basketball court. With the Ping Rapture ($399), Duran—now Stone Ridge’s head basketball coach—found a similar blend in a driver. The Ping Rapture proved more consistent and produced a more pleasant sound than the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion ($399), with which she hit the ball farther.

What she learned: After five years, it’s time for a new driver.

Kurt Newman, chief of surgery at Children’s National Medical Center, found a cure for his low, skittering drives in a Cobra M/Speed offset driver ($299). Newman, a latecomer to golf, got some height on his drive and cleared the water on 16.

What he learned: Golf is like surgery—it’s important to have the right tools.

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