“The Stealth Plus feels like a steel sword in your hand, but it strikes the ball with furious anger down the fairway.”
“The Rogue ST Max is a complete package of length, accuracy, and extended carry. Ideal for golfers who want to ramp up the MPHs of their drives.“
“The XL Driver offers a very solid experience at a very affordable price. For amateurs, it provides an upgrade over lesser drivers.“
For mid and low handicappers, playing with one of the best golf drivers can be the difference between attempting five birdies putts per round to upwards of a dozen. All golf coaches agree that more distance means lower scores.
The best golf drivers to buy in 2022 all share a similarity in innovative design and raw strength. They’re well worth your time and consideration if you want to get better off the tee box.
Last updated on 2022-09-27. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
Things to Consider When Buying Golf Drivers
The adjustable features of the driver allow the golfer to find the right loft, hosel setting, and proper weight distribution to create the ideal drive. For golfers who love to shape their drives, the adjustable features of a first-class driver can give the golfer enormous power.
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 design of the driver is crucial because it instills confidence and gives the golfer a sense of direction when they’re addressing the golf ball and helps to control ball speed. Design embodies the spirit and style of the driver.
The design of a driver also encompasses essential details such as adjustable features, feel, and response.
When you hear golfers talk about forgiveness, this is a specific discussion about how the club corrects off-center strikes.
For example, a ball that finds the middle of the club face, commonly referred to as the sweet spot, regularly flies straight. If the ball is hit either towards the toe or the hosel, that strike is called off-center.
If the driver excels with forgiveness, the ball will continue to go toward the target line despite the off-center strike.
When a golfer talks about the feel of a club, they are referring to how the driver feels from the moment it touches their hands through the moment of impact.
With a solid understanding of how the club will respond, the golfer knows what the club can and cannot do on the tee box. To trust that the ball will go in the direction they intend is a direct result of having reliance on how the club feels at all times.
The balance of the driver is significant because if the club head has too much weight pushed toward the toe or hosel, then it can become imbalanced causing the golfer to hit wicked slices or brutal duck hooks.
Too much tilting in either direction increases the chances the golfer will hit a poor drive.
But a balanced driver is adept at keeping the club even through the impact zone for crisper contact and more distance.
Club Head Size
The typical size of a driver’s club head is measured by its volume. A standard driver has roughly 460 cubic centimeters of space in the head, and this is why most manufacturers will list this measurement as a feature of their club.
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 to players with advanced skills better.
Professional golfers and low handicappers do prefer a driver with a slightly smaller size, somewhere around 450cc. The size reduction allows the golfer more control over their drives.
The oversized driver head is excellent for golfers needing more forgiveness coupled with better swing speed. Since professionals swing at incredible speeds already, they need better accuracy and control.
Club Head Weight
The club head weight of a driver can affect the drive’s height and the shot’s shape.
Most modern drivers offer either adjustable or stationary weighting in the club head. Adjustable weighting is more sophisticated than stationary and allows the golfer to customize their club to their specifications.
Since advanced golfers want more control over the shape of their shotmaking, they prefer an adjustable weighting system in their driver.
For high handicappers and beginners, the stationary weighing provides more consistency and reliability to their game. Since these golfers struggle to recreate their best swing regularly, modern equipment can fill in the gaps.
A stationary weighted driver can also reduce slices and give higher launch for better carry and more distance.
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.
As for the shaft length, the standard shaft length of a driver is 45.5 inches. Equipment manufacturers typically utilize a longer driver for amateurs. They do this because there is a common belief that a longer driver equals a longer swing for more generated club speed.
A shorter driver shaft, around 43.5 inches, has gained popularity with professionals who enjoy adding swing speed with a better ability to return the clubface to square.
Since professionals want to shape their shots with every club, a shorter shaft in the driver helps produce their preferred swing with maximum club head speed and outstanding control.
The club loft of a driver provides the degree of loft the club’s face has at address. Most amateur golfers play with a loft degree that ranges from 9-12 degrees. Better stated; the lower the loft, the lower the shot height.
For beginners and high handicappers, golf drivers starting at around 12 degrees of loft will help lift the ball in the air for more carry that equates to more distance.
If you are struggling with finding consistent ball flight on your drives, a driver with a deeper CG can dramatically improve this problem.
And by the same token, if you find your game has stalled, chances are a driver with a forward, higher CG will add distance and create shorter second shots to help lower your scores.
Center of Gravity
The center of gravity, also known as CG, is responsible for the launch angle of the resulting shot in a driver.
A lower, deeper CG helps lift the ball quickly for better distance and carry for beginners and high handicappers. In contrast, most advanced players prefer a CG located closer to the face and higher for a lower, more piercing ball flight that reduces sidespin for improved forward roll that produces maximum distance.
Golfers having problems finding a shot shape that works best for them will find help with a new driver that offers a deeper, lower CG. This rule is especially true for high handicappers and beginners.
Our Best Golf Drivers for 2022 Picks
- Best Overall: TaylorMade Stealth Plus
- Best Luxury: Cobra LTDx
- Best Draw-Bias for Mid Handicappers: Wilson Launch Pad 2
- Best Workability: Ping G425 Max
- Best Launch Angle for High Handicappers and Beginners: Tour Edge Exotics C722
- Best Value: Cleveland Launcher XL
- Most Innovative: Callaway Rogue ST Max
- Best Balanced for Low and Mid Handicappers: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
- Best Luxury for Low Handicap: Callaway Mavrik
- Best Budget: PGX Offset
TaylorMade Stealth Plus Driver
Best Golf Driver Overall
What can you say about the TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver that hasn’t been said already? Everything you’ve heard is true.
Not only does the driver feel like a steel sword in your hand, but it strikes the ball with furious anger down the fairway.
The driver looks like a cherry red Ferrari trimmed with black, and the club’s performance backs up the appearance. Simply put, if you are looking for more yardage with exciting shot shape capabilities, then this is your driver.
The difference with the Stealth Plus model, as opposed to the base Stealth and Stealth HD, is a sliding weight behind the Speed Pocket. Why do we like sliding weights? Because they offer more customization and control over your shot shape.
And for the Stealth Plus, the weight only makes a dynamic driver better. Our draws and fades continued to find the fairway with a staggering consistency we rarely see. And the distance continued to reach farther than we anticipated.
For inexperienced golfers struggling to find consistency, our testers noted a significant improvement in the length department, and they hit more fairways with the Stealth Plus.
Decades in the making, everything with the Stealth Plus has been crafted with the utmost care, and you can certainly tell when you get the driver to the course.
Cobra LTDx Driver
Best Luxury Golf Driver
Cobra’s latest driver, the LTDx, offers an exciting array of features for serious and casual players alike.
Boasting one of the only CNC Milled Faces you’ll find on the market, along with a 15-gram rear stationary weight, the LTDx keeps the ball along your target line moving with significant velocity.
During our testing, the Cobra LTDx stunned our golfers with its power and shot-shaping abilities. Made from a combination of titanium, carbon, and steel, the LTDx offers a toughness that provides a solid feel and responsiveness when you strike the ball dead center on the face.
Also worth noting, if you are a low handicapper, this driver easily moves the ball from side to side.
We found that shot dispersion remained tight with high handicappers and beginners, signaling impressive forgiveness.
Let’s be honest here. If you don’t like the look of previous Cobra drivers or fairway woods, then the LTDx won’t win you over. The combination of gold, orange, black, and white gives the club the jagged look of a street racing car.
But appearance aside, the LTDx packs some serious muscle. If you are looking for more distance and high forgiveness, this Cobra driver checks both boxes with flair.
Check our in-depth Cobra LTDx Driver Review.
Wilson Launch Pad 2 Driver
Best Draw-Bias Driver for Mid Handicappers
Wilson’s newest contribution to the driver market, the Launch Pad 2, might look like a futuristic bicycle helmet, but the performance provides a traditional experience, especially if you want to correct a slice.
During our testing, we noted that the driver offered easy distance for our high speed swingers.
For moderate speeds, the distance extension won’t blow you away, and you’ll probably find that it offers close to your current average length.
When evaluating the forgiveness provided by the LP2, our testers routinely found that strikes off the toe were redirected to the fairway with frequency.
One of the things that we weren’t crazy about with the Wilson Launch Pad 2 was the slice-fighting features. Our first complaint concerns the driver at the address as the face has a slight offset that we found distracting.
Also, the head’s design provides a draw bias internal weighting. Great if you are fighting a slice, but unlike the subtle Callaway Mavrik for example, the LP2 fights incredibly hard to get the ball straighter down the fairway.
Certainly nice for the price, the Wilson Launch Pad 2 Driver offers a modern slice-blocking option for high handicappers and beginners.
Ping G425 Max Driver
Best Workability Golf Driver
Ping’s G425 Max offers amateurs a premium driver with all the features you’d expect from a driver from the company. What puts Ping ahead of the competition is design and craftsmanship; you’ll find both here with this exceptional driver.
What’s great about the G425 Max is the profile. The hitting area isn’t as oval as most drivers. With the lower profile, you feel that you can get behind the golf ball to power it down the fairway.
The lower profile also boosts responsiveness. When you hit the sweet spot, you immediately know it.
Along with an adjustable hosel, the G425 Max also offers a unique rear weight with three settings, including positions for fades and draws.
What’s interesting about the 26-gram weight is that it does not slide, so don’t expect to find a setting that offers subtlety.
Instead, the weight anchors the club to produce the desired shot shape. While the G425 Max doesn’t push the ball extremely, the fade and draw move the ball quite a bit.
Accessible for all skill levels of golfers, the Ping driver ranks high in just about every category you can measure. Our testers loved the G425 Max, and we’re sure you will also.
Tour Edge Exotics C722 Driver
Best Launch Angle Driver for High Handicappers and Beginners
Tour Edge’s Exotics series offers their new driver, the C722, for amateurs looking to save a bit of money but not lose an ounce of performance.
Every bit as good as competitors that cost $100-200 more, the C722 might not have the look of a name-brand driver, but its performance speaks for itself.
There are many features here to list, but our favorite involve the strength the C722 delivers to the golf ball. The company’s patented Ridgeback technology garners the spotlight, providing some of the crispest feel you’ll find on a driver.
An adjustable hosel that moves the loft two degrees either up or down also finds its way to the C722, allowing you to dial in the perfect launch angle. The driver also does a great job of dampening vibration to improve the overall feel and performance of the club.
We hope you won’t disregard this driver because you aren’t familiar with the Tour Edge brand. For many, many years, the company has produced some of the best mid-tier clubs on the market and the C722 driver is no exception.
Well worth a look, the C722 delivers a comprehensively impressive experience on the links.
Cleveland Launcher XL Driver
Best Value Golf Driver
Cleveland’s latest addition to the Launcher line, the Launcher XL, provides golfers with a mid-priced driver that takes some design chances but overall delivers the performance we’ve grown accustomed to from the company.
What we’re talking about with the design is the head’s size. It’s the biggest that Cleveland has ever produced. And while it may seem like they are making a mistake, the driver doesn’t suffer from the extra size.
On the range, our testers found the Launcher XL to be pleasant to hit. And frankly, that was their biggest compliment.
You’ll definitely find solid distance and forgiveness with the Launcher XL, but if you are looking for bells to go off in your head as you strike the golf ball, you’ll end up disappointed.
The appearance of the driver remains the biggest knock on the Launcher XL. Truth be told, the driver looks plain and even cheap. But golfers feeling that the clubs are ugly has always been the chief complaint with Cleveland drivers.
If you are reading this thinking that the Launcher XL isn’t worth your consideration, then allow us to redirect and tell you that this driver offers a very solid experience at a very affordable price. For amateurs, it provides an upgrade over lesser drivers.
Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver
Most Innovative Golf Driver for Mid Handicappers
Callaway’s Rogue ST Max, new for 2022, offers a complete package of length, accuracy, and extended carry. As with every Callaway driver, there are features to burn here, most notably an update to their awesome Jailbreak technology.
If you are unfamiliar with the Jailbreak technology, Callaway places a stiffening steel frame directly behind the sweet spot. On the course, the frame transfers a juggernaut of energy to the golf ball.
In the Rogue ST Max, the redesigned frame puts amateurs behind the wheel of the company’s most powerful driver. Our testers found dramatic increases in length with this outstanding club.
For most amateurs, getting the ball into the air off the tee box remains a consistent problem.
However, drivers like the Rogue ST Max offer a deep center of gravity that effortlessly pushes the golf ball into the sky with optimum launch angle for the extended carry you need to add yards to your final distance.
If you are having issues keeping the ball in the fairway, the Rogue ST Max offers moderate forgiveness, but make no mistake. This driver is far more interested in boosting your length.
In the end, if you are looking to ramp up the MPHs of your drives, the Callaway Rogue ST Max delivers with confidence.
Here’s our in-depth Rogue ST Max Driver Review.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max Driver
Best Balanced Driver for Low and Mid Handicappers
- Twist Face technology increases forgiveness and offers better accuracy
- 24g tungsten weight offers lower center of gravity for higher launch
- Redesigned crown produces aerodynamic downswing for more speed
- Slight draw bias might annoy golfers that like to hit fades
- Expensive price point leaves it to serious golfers
The TaylorMade SIM2 Max Driver offers premium performance with outstanding balance fueled by the redesigned aerodynamic crown.
This golf driver is a race car creating outrageous ball speed that adds stunning yardage to your average drive.
Helping with the launch is the 24-gram tungsten weight at the rear of the head. The weight lowers and deepens the center of gravity in the clubhead producing a high launch that increases carry and distance.
Another worthwhile feature is the Twist Face technology along the hitting area. By twisting the face, TaylorMade increases the forgiveness and tightens shot dispersion, keeping more drives in the fairway.
Wonderfully capable for the serious mid and low handicappers looking to shorten their second shots into the green, the TaylorMade SIM2 Max delivers exceedingly long distance on drive after drive.
Callaway Mavrik Driver
Best Luxury Golf Driver for Low Handicappers
- Titanium face offers incredibly strong material that increases speed and forgiveness
- Cyclone Aero shape with decreased drag for longer distance
- Internal Jailbreak bars stiffen the head for more directed power to golf ball
- No adjustable weighting to customize shot shape
- Slight draw bias can make hooks much more severe
If you are in the market for a luxury driver that will add yards to your drive, then the Callaway Mavrik Driver is easily one of the best golf drivers to buy in 2022.
It features an incredibly strong titanium face with a wide, inviting sweet spot that keeps drives on target with maximum speed. The head utilizes the Jailbreak Technology, which is two stiff bars behind the center of the face, for increased power directed straight to the golf ball.
The Cyclone Aero head also reduces drag on the downswing for maximum speed that arrives at the ball uninterrupted for incredible clubhead velocity.
Another outstanding feature of the Mavrik is the adjustable hosel that adds offset, shot height and bias to the face of the club. For golfers that like customization, the Mavrik provides it with premium quality.
A wonderfully made driver at a luxury price point, the Callaway Mavrik will not disappoint golfers looking for more distance, accuracy, and carry in their game off the tee box.
PGX Offset Driver
Best Budget Golf Driver for Beginners
- Affordable budget that helps inexperience and beginning golfers with the slices
- Offset helps with clear view of golf ball for better alignment
- Matte black finish promotes a clean and sharp look to instill confidence in beginning golfer
- Cheaper build with limited durability
- Minimal boost in distance
The PGX Offset Driver isn’t for every golfer. The club is geared toward a narrow yet large population of golfers who are having considerable trouble keeping the ball in the fairway.
As a result of this cheaper process, the results a golfer can expect from the PGX Offset are limited. Golfers needing help with their slice will get it here, but don’t expect a bump in distance with this heavy club head.
But those warnings aside, for around the price of a green fee, you can have a driver honoree that will definitely help correct those errant shots.
Made to help inexperienced golfers get the ball into the fairway so they can enjoy the great game of golf with more enthusiasm, the PGX Offset Driver is a very solid club.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the number 1 driver in golf?
The TaylorMade Stealth Driver holds the crown for the top driver in golf. With its lightweight feel and innovative design, the Stealth has made its mark on the golfing world in both the professional and amateur ranks.
Featuring a carbon twist face, the Stealth generates more swing speed than any driver on the market, coupled with staggering forgiveness that keeps more balls in the fairway.
What’s a good driver for an average golfer?
For the average golfer, the Ping G425 Max delivers outstanding performance. Not only does the driver feature several distance-boosting benefits, but everything golfers love about Ping’s craftsmanship and innovation is on display with the Ping G425 Max.
Mid handicappers will benefit from the G425 Max’s adjustable hosel, high MOI, and Low Spin Technology to reduce the distance-killing side spin that causes slices.
We think our detailed guide on How to Clean Golf Clubs can be handy so do check it out.