Hippo Giant 420S Tour driver

Hippo have succeeded in designing an elegant driver that performs well

Hippo Giant 420S driver thumb

HIPPO GIANT 420-S TOUR £149

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THE LOOK

The large club head immediately gives the impression that it might be able to punch above its' weight. The look is similar to that of the more expensive drivers, admirably combining elegance and power.

THE DESIGN

The Giant Hippo 420 -S driver features a back weighted centre of gravity designed to help get the ball up into the air easily.

THE PERFORMANCE

As its name suggests the Giant Hippo is one of the heavier drivers in this feature, making it seem a little easier to control. When struck well it produces a sharp, loud noise followed by a surprisingly high, strong flight. Unfortunately, it lacks both the distance and forgiving strike of some of the more expensive drivers but at £149 that's not surprising.

THE VERDICT

Hippo have succeeded in designing an elegant driver that performs well. Any mid or high handicap golfer who strikes the ball well, should be able to hit those high impressive drivers that scream class.

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."


Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X