Cigar Aficionado

Callaway ERC Fusion

The golf world is becoming more and more like the automotive industry; every year witnesses the introduction of a new model of golf club that sets the hackers and professionals abuzz. This year's hottest topic is the Callaway ERC Fusion Driver, a melding of what has become the standard material for clubfaces—titanium—with a high-tech carbon composite club body.

The true test of a new club always comes on the golf course. This driver has an honest combination of great distance with a lot of forgiveness. I chose a 9-degree loft with a custom shaft (the ERC comes with the Callaway RCH shaft). My first time using it on a driving range, I was astonished at the crisp feel of the ball strike, the high ball flight and, yes, how far it went. Like most mid-handicappers, I also struggle with a variety of swing faults. The most common ones lead to a big slice. Even though the ERC does not come with a closed face in the lower loft angles, I found the sweet spot to be big enough and hot enough to counter my tendency to hit the big banana ball right.

The carbon composite material does make the club feel light, but Callaway has compensated with some discretionary perimeter weighting. I never felt like I "lost" the club on the backswing. Some of you may also remember the short-lived C4 Callaway driver, which was made entirely of a carbon composite material. It had a strange sound when struck; this club sounds great at impact, albeit different than a club made entirely of metal. Overall, the club's look and feel give you a sense of confidence when you're standing over the ball on the tee.

The bottom line is this: if you're looking for a new driver, you should definitely consider the ERC Fusion. The ERC, by the way, is a reference to the initials of the Callaway Golf founder, Ely Reeves Callaway Jr., who died in 2001. It's a fitting tribute to one of the great names in golf.

Visit or call 800-588-9836.