The year is 2024 and TaylorMade have launched the new Qi10 driver range, engineered to help players optimise distance while providing high levels of stability from the tee.
Hence the name (Qi10 standing for "quest for 10,000 inertia") the new driver line-up is all about a lower CG and higher MOI compared to last year's Stealth 2 driver, the Qi10 driver looks to deliver golfers a blend of distance and forgiveness that hasn’t been available before.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The Qi10 is designed for golfers wanting stability and forgiveness in their driver, helping them stay on the fairway without sacrificing speed and distance.
The shape and size of this driver is great for anyone who’s either struggled with the smaller Stealth shape in the past, or who doesn’t want something too oversized like the new Qi10 Max model.
To achieve this high MOI, low CG, TaylorMade have utilised a new Infinity Carbon Crown, covering 97% of the total area, allowing mass savings that can be redistributed into different areas of the clubhead to increase the MOI and make the club easier to square up at impact.
The infinity crown helps to provide a clean address view with enhanced alignment, thanks to the high contrast topline embedded in the 60-layer Carbon Twist Face.
The Qi10 driver has a lower CG projection and higher MOI than the Stealth 2, while being slightly larger at address by 4mm - this doesn't seem like much but can make all the difference in the playing position.
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TaylorMade Qi10 Driver Review
Within the Qi10 driver range this year we’re seeing some big visual changes compared to TaylorMade’s Stealth and Stealth 2 models...
Firstly the shape is different; Qi10 driver comes in at 4mm more stretched out front to back than the Stealth 2 and looks considerably larger at address, although not as excessive as the Qi10 Max at 8mm longer.
For players who have been used to the Stealth 2 shape but are now looking for some of the ‘groundbreaking forgiveness’ that TaylorMade are claiming to have in their new range, the Qi10 driver could be a good gap between the previous shape and the oversized Qi10 Max - it definitely suited my eye nicely.
Another big visual change is the use of a blue face rather than the hugely noticeable 'Stealth red', as TaylorMade look to build a new identity for the Qi10 family, which I do like the look of.
Overall, I’d say these drivers all have a very mechanical and robotic look to them, from the letter-number naming system and sharp silver detailing on the base of the club. If you’ve been used to the more contemporary and brash Stealth or Stealth 2 drivers, the Qi10 is certainly going to take a bit of getting used to and I'm not sure it will have the same impact that its predecessors...
Straight away I felt as though the larger head shape in the Qi10 driver gave me lots of confidence standing over the ball - I'm used to large footprints with a driver so I wasn't put of at all. I found this driver easier to hit and control from the tee than previous TaylorMade drivers, however I certainly noticed a difference between the feel of the Qi10 and Qi10 Max.
Despite the somewhat misleading name, the Qi10 driver comes in with an MOI of around 8500, not that 10k seen in the Qi10 Max, which is in fact the only driver in the Qi10 family to have 10k inertia. This meant that the Qi10 did feel slightly less stable and forgiving in comparison to the Qi10 Max driver.
I felt as though I had more control over the shot shape with the Qi10 Max, whereas I had a couple of shots leaking out with the Qi10 driver, which is the shot from the tee that I personally hate to have in play.
I also felt as though the Qi10 driver was less powerful than the Qi10 LS model, leaving it to sit in-between the two other drivers, without anything in particular to make it stand out.
There didn’t seem to be too much variation in shots between the different models in the Qi10 range at first, other than sometimes seeing the Qi10 LS model either out to the right, or gaining a bit more distance on the Qi10 and Qi10 Max.
On the course I felt as though the Qi10 was reliable in helping me find the fairway, ending up mostly central but sometimes seeming to fall behind slightly in distance as it leaked out to the right, compared to the other two models in the Qi10 range.
I enjoyed testing it out on the course but couldn’t help preferring the Qi10 Max for forgiveness and shot shape, and the Qi10 LS for potential distance gains. Because of this, I was interested to get the Qi10 driver inside and onto Foresight to see what kinds of numbers we were actually producing...
Something that stood out with the Qi10 driver was the ball speed. With an average of 133, this was 2-3 mph faster than the Qi10 Max or Qi10 LS, however, that didn’t seem to translate to huge distance gains for the Qi10. Avid readers of the site will know that's not the first time this has been said about TaylorMade drivers on Golfalot.
To give a bit more meaning behind the numbers, I’d be looking for a clubhead speed of around 90-92, giving me a ball speed at around the 133 mark, for the weight of this driver. With these speeds I’d be happy to see carry distances of around 215 yards and a total at around 230-235.
This was almost exactly what I was seeing with the Qi10, at 214 yards carry and 239 total. However, I found it really interesting that the larger, more forgiving Qi10 Max driver saw a lower ball speed but carry of 216 and total of 243 yards with the same shaft weight.
In terms of spin, the Qi10 driver saw my highest spin rates of the range at 2500, and more variation in terms of the shot shape and sidespin, making it slightly less consistent and often a slight fade off the tee, which I wasn't overly happy about.
TaylorMade Qi10 Driver Verdict
The Qi10 driver is designed to give players the same speeds and distances we’ve seen from the Stealth models, but with increased forgiveness for better control and stability off the tee. Personally, I saw this the most with the Qi10 Max driver, but not really with the Qi10 unfortunately.
Both of these drivers come in with an RRP of £499, which sits below the Callaway Paradym AI Smoke drivers by a considerable amount. Although this is a hefty price tag, I feel the solid performance overall puts the Qi10 at a good value for money in today's inflated market, and the Qi10 Max model even more so.
TaylorMade are expecting most golfers to fit into the Qi10 Max model, which certainly seemed to be the case for me, however, if the slightly smaller, TaylorMade drivers of yesteryear suit your eye, this could be the model for you.
Would I Use It?
The Qi10 was a very easy driver to hit out on the course, however when we put it head-to-head against the Qi10 Max, we saw that it fell slightly short in each performance category.
It seems like the main benefit of the Qi10 is not having to see such an oversized head shape at address compared to the Qi10 Max. Personally, I don’t think the smaller head shape outweighs the benefits seen with the Qi10 Max, so I’d be more likely to put it in the bag and therefore struggle slightly with where the Qi10 sits.
TaylorMade Qi10 Driver Pros & Cons
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