Get ready to add a few more golf clubs to the bag – sort of. Callaway Golf launched its new I-MIX drivers this month which allows enterprising duffers everywhere to swap out specific heads and shafts according to course or weather conditions, or just to impress their cronies. The heads are attached to the shaft using a custom torque wrench that provides an audible click and a visual indicator suggesting when it’s safe to let the big dog bite. Two different club heads and more than 70 shafts provide enough combination options (more than 1600) for every weekend warrior to tee up with a unique combination every Sunday for nearly 30 years. While Callaway isn’t pushing such indecision, the company provides a roadmap to appropriate customization:

  • Hot: A driver clubhead with less loft and/or a stiffer shaft may improve launch conditions.
  • Windy: A driver clubhead with less loft and/or a heavier shaft can result in a more penetrating ball flight.
  • Cold: A driver clubhead with more loft and/or a lighter, more flexible shaft may improve launch conditions.
  • Wet, Soft Fairways: A driver clubhead with more loft and/or a more flexible shaft can increase carry yardage.
  • Dry, Hard Fairways: A driver clubhead with less loft and/or a stiffer shaft provides a flatter ball flight resulting in more roll.
  • Short & Tight Course Position: A shorter and/or heavier shaft offers more control.
  • Long & Open Course Position: A longer and/or lighter shaft can increase clubhead speed resulting in extra distance.

But, with great choice comes great cost. The heads are both more than $400 and shafts range between $185 and $435 each. So unless you throw your clubs into a Bentley or regularly shoot par at Pebble Beach, the 1600 options won’t likely be practical.

Phil Mickelson swapped shafts between round at the Master’s this year, ultimately tying for fifth, and Ernie Els is also a fan. The system recently became legal after a rule change by U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient, but changing the club during a round of play is still illegal. So hope that your foursome isn’t familiar with rule 4-2a or hide the wrench in your pocket. Won’t be the first time you cheated.

For more on the I-MIX, pick up the July 2008 issue of Popular Science. Callaway