Find Out Which Golf Driver Is Best For You
Drivers are designed with one purpose in mind: to maximize distance.
To achieve that, manufacturers are looking to improve three major factors: the speed of the ball, launch angle trajectory, and spin rate.
Many manufacturers often highlight other qualities, such as spin axis, dispersion pattern, and accuracy.
However, the harsh truth remains the same: drivers are about distance, and the big three are the main factors driving it.
To improve those three major qualities, manufacturers, again, went back to two major trends : the center of gravity placement and personalization. However, we might argue that the center of gravity will affect drivers more than other club types.
Here are some quick facts you might want to know:
- The ball speed is, indeed, the most important factor for maximizing distance, yet it is limited by the golf rule. Thus, we can assume that the ball speed of drivers, especially high-end ones, are uniformed
- Placing the center of gravity low forward will increase the launch trajectory, yet lowering the spin rate.
- The lower the spin rate, the greater distance you can achieve, mainly because it lowers the drag of the rotation, which is the air pressure created behind the golf ball
With those facts in mind, we can see how a proper center of gravity placement will benefit a driver club. How about adjustability/personalization? We will discuss the issue below.
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Choosing Your Driver
There are many different clubhead sizes for drivers, but by rule, the maximum size allowed is 460 cubic centimeters (cc).
In general, the higher the cc of the head, the more forgiving it will be on mishits, and that is why the 460cc head is the most popular size.
However, the smaller the club head size, the further the maximum distance and workability will be, as well as the ability to adjust your shots. Thus, smaller heads will cater players with advanced skills better.
Modern drivers tend to benefit from increasing their loft angles, helping the overall impact, as well as helping with precision. Many new drivers also offer the ability to adjust the horizontal center of gravity, mainly using adjustable weight sliders.
This feature can greatly improve your performance by adjusting your clubhead to match your unique swing. Some high-end drivers even offer hundreds of weight-adjusting options, allowing you to fine tune your driver to your exact playstyle.
The Right Shaft
Choosing the right shaft and grip might improve your carry distance to up to 20%. Although there are many determining factors in choosing the right shaft, here are the general rule of thumbs:
- If your driver swing speed is approximately 110mph or higher, and your carry distance around 270 yards, go with X flex shafts.
- If your speed is 95 to 110mph and your carry distance 240-270 yards, go with S flex.
- If your speed is 85 to 95 mph and your carry distance is 200 to 240 yards, go with R flex.
- If your speed is 75 to 85 mph and your carry distance is 180 to 200 yards, go with A flex.
- If your speed is below 75 mph and driver distance less than 180 yards, go with L flex.
The Drivers We've Reviewed
"The R15 has incredible qualities in terms of distance and technology that make it an attractive choice at this price."
"It's ideal for golfers that are looking to take it to the next level. Most confirmed players will be able to grasp the full potential of the XR 16."
We've also just released a guide on the best golf drivers for mid handicappers if you want to know more.