Of the 14 clubs that you have in your golf bag, none are as sexy or more discussed than the driver. Hitting your driver long and straight while splitting fairways Is the most satisfying feeling you can get on a golf course.
Why is it that most golfers have a love-hate relationship when it comes to the driver? If you are slicing or hooking off the tee, it can quickly turn a bad day into a miserable one.
Because the driver is the longest Club in your bag with the lowest Loft, it is more difficult to hit consistently and accurately. Today we want to give you a few tips on what to look for when you buy your next driver.
This is not a review of the best drivers currently being advertised online, instead, it is a simple guide on what you should look for before you purchase one.
What to Consider When Buying a New Golf Driver
The first thing to do when choosing a driver is to decide what you want out of it. Do you want to be able to drive the ball further than ever before? Or would you rather play a more controlled game where you don’t have to worry about hitting the ball too far?
There are two types of drivers – those designed to fly farther and those designed to control distance. You will need to consider these factors when you are looking at the various models available.
Golf clubs can be pretty easy to buy online, but the driver can be challenging because there are so many options, styles, and makes from very reputable brands.
Let’s say you are a solid 10 handicap and trying to up your driving game a bit. You must first determine what you actually want to get out of the driver. Distance or control?
If you ask 100 golfers if they would give up distance for accuracy, I would venture to guess at least 90% would say they would give up that distance. But, after a few rounds of hitting a longer club into the green, many would get frustrated. You have to manage your expectations and your round.
If you are hitting the ball 10 yards shorter but are hitting double the amount of fairways that you did in the past, you will see lower scores in the near future, as long as you can still get to the green and chip and putt.
If the driver puts you back 20 yards, and you are no longer able to hit the green in two on a par 4, then you will want to find a driver that is forgiving but will still give you that distance.
There is a good chance that one of the components of the driver is not perfect for you, and you may need another fitting or to tweak your club.
What Factors Should You Be Aware of?
With so many options, colors, and styles to choose from, how do you know what to look for. According to the experts at AEC Info, the best driver for golf is the one that gives you the most confidence to stand on a tee box, swing freely, and expect to hit the fairway every time.
How Good are You?
To start, you have to seriously look at your skill level. Are you a beginner that has a hard time breaking 100? Or are you a mid-handicap golfer looking to drop your handicap closer to a 5? Be realistic about your game and find a driver that is suited for you.
Higher handicap golfers can choose offset drivers that can correct a slice or a hook, while others like an adjustable driver gives you options to change your setup as your game improves.
The Shaft Is Critical to Your Performance
The faster your swing speed, the stiffer the shaft should be in your driver. If you have a slow swing speed in the 70’s or 80’s, you would want to consider a senior shaft flex.
If you are in the 90’s, you will want a regular shaft.
If you are in the 100 mph range, you will likely be using a stiff flex shaft.
Finally, if you are 107 mph or higher, an extra-stiff flex is going to be best for you.
However, there are other factors that go into the shaft like the kick-point, the weight, as well as the manufacturer. If you already hit a lower ball off the tee, you don’t need a low-trajectory shaft in your driver.
A driver fitting from a reputable company is definitely something to consider. Professional club fitters see so much data from your swing, the launch monitors they use, and the sounds they hear as the ball flies off the driver face.
If you are going to spend $500 plus on the new Callaway Rogue driver or the Ping G425 Max, it would make sense you also spend a few hundred bucks making sure that the club is going to improve your game and not drain your wallet.
The great thing about purchasing an adjustable driver is you have so many options with modern drivers with slight adjustments.
Many of the forgiving drivers being sold have weights in the back to make your club more draw friendly or fade friendly. If you are an average golfer with a slice, you will want to set up your club with a strong draw bias in order to hit more fairways and avoid hitting a slice.
Many of the newer driver models have multiple adjustments as well so you can alter the adjustable weights and setting to help you with center hits, achieving maximum distance, and a faster swing speed and faster ball speed.
The sole weight is something you can adjust on many drivers for a more penetrating ball flight on tee shots.
The loft is critical when buying a driver to give you the maximum carry distance on tee shots. If you hit the ball high already, and then choose to get yourself a new driver with 12 degrees of loft, you will likely lose distance because you will be hitting the ball too high in the air, and not getting the roll in the fairway like you would with a 9 degree driver.
If you hit the ball high already, and then choose a new driver with 12 degrees of loft, you will likely lose distance because you will be hitting the ball too high in the air, and not getting the roll in the fairway like you would with a 9 degree driver.
Again, a professional golf fitting is going to help you understand how to get the most distance and forgiveness from your club head.
The big brands continue to innovate and create new drivers year after year. Cobra, Cleveland, Mizuno, Ping, TaylorMade, Callaway, and PXG are all big brands that continue to improve their products year after year.
While there are many other companies and brands in the golf club market, choosing a big stick from one of the major brands is going to give you the best opportunity to find a club to suit your game.