A new golf driver in your bag can make a significant difference in your golf game. Golf drivers are continually improving from year to year. If you have a driver in your golf bag that is several years old, chances are the technology could use an upgrade.
There are a few essential things that you should consider before making your decision to purchase a new driver. In this guide, we will help you determine if it’s time for a new driver, if you will benefit from a new one and what the real differences are between a driver today and one from ten years ago.
What Has Changed In Golf Driver Technology?
You are likely reading this article because you are wondering if it makes sense to spend $500 on a brand new golf club. If you hit your driver 250 yards and you are satisfied with that, does it make sense to spend $500 to still hit it 250? When deciding to get a new driver, its fundamental to understand the technology you have and the new technology on the market. Only then can you decide if your club is ready for a replacement.
There are 4 main categories to consider when it comes to golf drivers, they are:
Let’s get straight into it.
Many of the golf drivers on the market today are adjustable. For some products, you can adjust the loft; you may also be able to adjust weighting, and others will allow you to adjust the lie of the club as well. The combination of the loft and lie adjustments set you up for many different ball flight and launch combinations.
With all the emphasis on custom fitting and custom clubs, an adjustable driver can give you a custom fit every time you go out to play. The adjustability on drivers has changed considerably in recent years, and it has become easier to manage and keep track of the adjustments on your clubs.
The first genuinely adjustable driver heads were introduced in 2011. These heads changed the golf industry and made golf equipment much more valuable. When you can take a wrench and simply turn it a few times to fix your slice, it’s worth a great deal to a golfer.
There is no question that golf equipment has gotten more forgiving. If you are smart about what you purchase, and choose a club that is right for your game, it’s genuinely getting harder to blame the golf club for a poor shot. Some of the improvements to the forgiveness of golf clubs include much larger sweet spots and variable face thickness.
Golf manufacturers like Callaway are using artificial intelligence to determine where most golfers miss and how their golf clubs should be developed to accommodate those players. This has resulted in golf clubs having more forgiveness in the lower heel and upper toe of the clubface.
If you are playing with an older driver and tend to miss in either of these two areas, a new driver may help you improve your game.
Every year that a company releases a new Driver, they claim it is longer and better than the previous model. How does a consumer know if it is genuinely longer? It can be tough to tell from a golfers standpoint if a new technology is going to result in more yardage on the golf course. No company is going to release a driver and say, “about as long as our previous models!”
There are a few things that have been developed in the last few years that will give you an indication as to if a driver is truly going to be longer.
Faces have gotten thinner than in years past. The thinner faces help to give the golf ball a spring-like effect off the face. Drivers made six to ten years ago have much thicker faces than current technology allows.
Ball speed is another indication of distance. Current drivers claim to have much faster ball speed than models from previous years. If you can get on a launch monitor with your old driver and the driver you are considering purchasing, it’s a good idea to pay attention to that ball speed factor.
Indeed, all new drivers have new technology from year to year, but Cobra offers a unique form of technology that other brands have not followed as of yet. The Cobra Connect technology allows you to track the distances you are hitting your Cobra clubs.
You can download the Cobra Connect App on your cell phone, and it will automatically track your results with your driver. We love this when you are changing the loft or lie on your driver. If you genuinely want to know what that one-degree difference in the loft will do to your game, you can get some great results delivered to you very quickly.
This is, of course, not a necessary thing in the game of all golfers, but it is an exciting advancement that may be worth considering when you shop for a new driver.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Often Should You Replace Your Driver?
Some golfers update their drivers every year, and others wait fifteen years for an upgrade. Truly somewhere in the middle of this range is the perfect amount of time to upgrade your driver. Unless you are a lower handicap player who can feel the differences between clubs, every four-six years is a perfect amount of time to upgrade your driver.
You may feel slight differences from one release to the next, but you must ask yourself if it is enough of a difference to spend another $400-$500. If you can afford to do so, changing your driver every three-four years will keep you very up to date on all of the latest advancements.
Do Golf Drivers Lose Their Pop?
Yes, golf drivers will eventually lose their pop. It’s hard to put an exact time frame on this. Golf drivers tend to lose their pop after a certain number of hits. If you play twice a year, chances are your golf driver still has plenty of life left to it.
For golfers that play a few times a week, your driver will likely start to lose its pop after about six or seven years. You won’t see truly terrible shots or a loss in thirty yards; it’s usually just a difference of ten to fifteen yards. When you put a new club in your hand, you would notice the difference immediately. If you feel as though your driver has lost its pop and it is only two or three years old, you may want to have the manufacturer take a look as there could be a defect.
Will A New Driver Increase Distance?
Some golfers are afraid to change their drivers because they think they may end up losing distance. This is a scary factor for many players. The last thing you want to do is stand up on that tee box with your new club and not hit it as far as your last club. Whether or not your new driver will go further than your last has more to do with fitting than it does with technology.
If you want to hit a new driver further, it has to be a better fit for you. The new driver has to be better weighting, higher ball speed, and an overall better fit. Some people will go to a fitting for a new driver they have their heart set on and find they don’t hit the ball as far as their current club.
This has everything to do with shaft weighting, flexibility, torque, and kick point. If you don’t get a new driver that fits you well, you will not automatically get more distance.
If you don’t want to go for a fitting, and you like your current driver, one of the best things to do is match the shaft from your old driver to your new driver. The same shaft may not be available, but you can match the specifications of your current shaft to the new one. Pay attention to things like weight, kick point, and torque. This is a great way to ensure that your new driver will increase distance.
Deciding to buy a new driver can be difficult. Not only do you need to justify spending the money, but you will also have to choose between all of the options on the market. The best possible way to find out if it is time for an upgrade is to try out some new golf clubs. Do not forget to take your current driver with you when you test equipment.
If you are swinging in a club fitting bay and the computer says you are hitting the ball three hundred yards, you better see how far it says you are hitting your current driver as well. The general rule of thumb is that if you are serious about your golf game and your driver is more than five years old, it is probably time to start shopping around a bit.