What skill level are you
Well, it all depends on what skill level you are; a beginner, a mid handicapper or a senior – we’ll exclude Tour professionals, as I reckon they have pretty much decided what’s best for them. In each case, your requirements for a driver will be different.
There is so much choice out there, new models every year, with increasing numbers of gadgets and features, it is an extremely tough choice. Custom fitting and moveable weights are common now. However most golfers play for pleasure, amateur golfers like you and me, so our needs are probably simpler.
Here are some of the basics about drivers.
A simple example of this would be, tour players tend to use a stiff shafted driver with a low loft – loft being the angle of the club face that controls trajectory and affects the distance. Experienced golfers favor lower lofted drivers which require more skill to use, typically 10.5 degrees or less. Beginners should purchase a driver with a slightly higher loft, say 12 or 13 degrees.
The other main factor to consider is the shaft. As a simple guide, graphite shafts make a lighter and more flexible golf club; steel shafted clubs are heavier which suits most pros because it smooths out their swing tempo.
Should I buy a steel shaft driver?
The main benefit of a steel shafted club is that it delivers more vibrations to the player’s hands, more feel. Since steel shafted clubs are heavier than graphite shafted clubs, they may force players with a fast swing speed to swing with more control.
If you’ve ever mishit with a steel shafted driver, you’ll know about the unpleasant vibrations. The heavier weight will slow down your swing which may be a good thing or a bad thing.
Should I buy a graphite shaft driver?
As mentioned above, graphite shafted drivers are lighter and more flexible, resulting in increased swing speed and distance. If you have a poor swing, your problems may be exaggerated with a graphite driver. Graphite drivers are typically more expensive than steel shafted drivers.
Best Golf Drivers 2018
Here we have selected six of the most popular drivers on the market.
The TaylorMade RBZ Driver is the perfect club for players who want high forgiveness, faster swing speeds, more distance, and lots of adjustability. With a lower and further forward center of gravity, greater aerodynamics, larger club face, and high-tech crown and graphics, the TaylorMade RBZ Driver is truly an amazing club that is perfect for the mid to high handicap golfer looking to improve their performance on the tee box.
This driver features a new, aggressive style and powerful performance. The large titanium club head is 460cc for maximum playability and confidence at address. An Ultralite titanium core strategically moves weight to the perimeter of the club head for more forgiveness as well as higher launch and greater control. TaylorMade also includes their revolutionary Speed Pocket to promote higher launch and less spin to increase distance.
TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Black Drivers features: * Ultralite titanium core strategically places mass to achieve higher launch and greater trajectory control * Legendary Speed Pocket in the sole of the club to promote higher launch and reduce spin for even more distance * New satin black finish with details on crown to improve alignment * Adjustable loft sleeve lets you customize launch and trajectory to your preference * Includes head cover DetailsStock Shaft Matrix White Tie 55 Stock Grip TaylorMade Textured Black/Gold, 43 grams Length 45.5″ Head Size 460cc
- Ultralite titanium core
- Speed pocket
- Large 460cc titanium head
- Graphite shaft
- Satin black finish
- Adjustable loft sleeve
- Head cover included
Very popular, great value for money. If you are looking for a moderately priced driver that will give you the best in technology and design, with plenty of adjustability and ball flight optimization, then the TaylorMade RBZ Driver may be the club for you.
The Cobra KING F8’s the first driver to have a 100% CNC milled face. Cobra say it allows the face to be 3% thinner and 10% lighter and improves consistency between every head produced. 360deg aero trips improve aerodynamics throughout the whole swing, two sole weights dial in a neutral or draw bias shot shape. A 5-layer carbon crown helps lower and deepen the center of gravity for excellent forgiveness. Every F8 comes with an Arccos shot tracking sensor in the grip, allowing you to record and analyze where you hit every drive on the golf course.
- Precision milled face, Cobra’s first
- 360 degree trips around the clubhead
- Ultralight carbon fiber
- 2 position adjustable settings, back and heel
- 8 adjustable loft settings
- Optimized elliptical sweet zone
The F8 is a fantastic driver. It looks the business, it’s powerful and forgiving, sounds great and it’s the only driver on the market that will record where you hit every drive (to help you improve), thanks to an Arccos sensor in the grip. If you’re considering a Draw driver, the F8 should be on your shortlist, sole weight and hosel adjustability means there’s 12 yards of draw bias on offer which is every bit as good as the competition.
The Rogue employs improved Jailbreak Technology with new, hourglass-shaped titanium bars that are 25% lighter, while fulfilling their function to stiffen the crown and sole. The stiffer body allows the face to take on more impact-load to promote faster ball speed.
Callaway’s proprietary triaxial carbon composite is extraordinarily light and strong, saving substantial weight. They have redistributed that weight into the head’s perimeter to significantly increase forgiveness, which helps preserve distance and direction on off-center hits. Rogue has the largest triaxial carbon crown of any Callaway driver ever.
Boeing and Callaway collaborated to develop the Speed Step technology used in past Callaway metal woods. For the Rogue, they worked with Boeing to redefine the geometry of the leading edge to improve airflow to promote faster head speed.
- Jailbreak Effect, more ball speed
- Triaxial Carbon Crown, more forgiveness
- Boeing aerodynamics
- Premium shaft selection at multiple weights
An expensive golf club, but great value and it delivers on its distance promise. For the average club golfer the Rogue’s a leap forward in terms of forgiveness, too; just make it your business to get the right shaft as there are plenty to choose from. The Callaway Rogue Driver does what it set out to do and that was to be a bit more forgiving and confidence-inspiring.
The company famous for forgiveness keeps pushing the limits of how to make our worst misses more playable. The G400’s four models include the standard, low-spin LST, the slice-fighting SFT and the new oversize Max that sets a new standard for stability. The large front-to-back shape and thin crown work with a tungsten weight deep in the sole to make these Ping’s most forgiving heads ever, even though all but the G400 Max are a tiny bit smaller than any G-series driver in history. And each driver features those familiar drag-reducing ridges on the crown to make the large head glide through the air like a driver a third smaller.
- Faster forged face
- Tungsten back weight
- More aerodynamic shape, 15% less drag
- 3 head options
Lower, longer ball flight, very forgiving, targets all handicap players who need a little help launching the ball high and hitting it straight, even when mishit.
The Titleist 917 D2 in a very forgiving driver. The driver will be loved by old-school players. It comes with a solid yet muted sound which is highly impacted by the metallic note. If we look back at Titleist drivers we can see the drivers were not forgiving and high spinning at times.
The 917 D2 makes some upgrades to the spin and vast improvements on the forgiveness. Some users have reported 2000+ RPM spinning. The forgiveness is the total opposite. Even if you manage to hit the ball off the center point, it will still try to correct itself while in the air. Your mishits will start to improve just as the ball tries to stay in a straight line.
Regarding the SureFit center of gravity system, the D2 comes with two options which include a neutral weight and a weight which can be moved to the heel or toe. Many players ask themselves if there is any noticeable difference. You can actually feel the weight as the sweet spot moves when you flip it. Of course, there is a major impact on the shot shape, usually up to 6 yards. You can further customize your shot by slightly adjusting the loft or choosing a different shaft.
- SureFit hosel, 16 loft and lie settings
- Radial speed face, thinner perimeter face, more distance
- Active recoil channel, reduces spin, increases speed
- Interchangeable weights
You can’t fault the D2 it’s a really solid driver. Some will say it’s a bit dull and lacking excitement, and it’s head shape is pretty wide but so long as you get a proper fitting for yours its more than capable of doing a job for you. The range of premium shaft offerings at no extra charge is fantastic.
This driver will surely surprise you if you have not used an offset driver before and are desperately fighting a wicked slice. If no matter how hard you try to correct your slice, but still have not found any luck, the PGX offset driver is going to be a treat for you. The Anti-slice technology that it comes equipped with differentiates this driver from the other competitors in the market. This Anti-slice technology has existed in the market for years, but it is only recently gaining popularity with amateur and professional golfers.
The 460cc driver head is set to provide a better timeframe to square the face at impact enabling you to hit the golf ball straighter and longer. The offset head allows more accurate control of the flight of the ball. While everybody wishes to have the perfect swing, it simply is not viable for an amateur golfer to devote so much time to it. The Pinemeadow PGX offset driver is a wonderful option for such golfers. It makes the same swings much straighter and more accurate.
- Offset anti-slice technology
- 460cc clubhead
- Massive sweet spot
- Headcover included
Inexpensive, you will lose less balls, it will help your slice but give you less yardage. This driver is a bargain, best in its class.
Golf Driver Terminology
Here is a brief glossary of some of the terms and features you’ll come across when reading about drivers.
Size of the clubhead
Driver clubheads have got bigger and bigger over the last decade or so. It is measured in cubic centimeters, cc, and the limit has been set by USGA to a maximum of 460cc. Bigger clubheads are in theory more forgiving.
Years ago, persimmon wood was used to make the clubhead, these days titanium is the most common material used because of its light weight and strength. Composite clubheads combining lightweight carbon fiber and titanium are also quite common.
Loft is the angle of the clubhead face measured in degrees; the lower the angle, the lower the ball trajectory, the higher the angle, the higher the ball trajectory. It also affects spin and direction.
Shafts are made of steel but more commonly graphite because the amateur market is by far the biggest for the club manufacturers and most amateurs use graphite shafts. Graphite shafts are more flexible which can improve distance but are not the best for fast swings. The USGA have fixed the length of a shaft to a maximum of 48 inches but most manufacturers’ shafts are 46 inches.
Center of gravity (CG)
When CG of the clubhead is lower, towards the back, it increases backspin and launches the ball higher in the air. When the CG is more forward, the ball will travel further with more roll.
Moment of inertia (MOI)
This another term that you will often come across. Basically, it means forgiveness, in other words, hitting the ball on the sweet spot is difficult so the manufacturers design the clubhead to help you with those mishits.