Selecting the right driver helps improve your golf game, as compared to use a driver that isn’t club fitting or has no intention. It’s advisable to be aware of the components of a golf driver before going to purchase it.
This will make it easier to scrutinize the driver before purchasing it. Due to the advancement in technology, there are so many drivers in the market and you need to select them keenly.
Drivers are the most expensive, thus you don’t want to spend a lot on the wrong item. This article will provide a buying guide for golf drivers.
Considerations made before purchasing golf drivers
Head size of your golf driver
The volume of club heads is measured in cubic centimeters. The maximum limit provided is 460cc. most drivers in the market range from 440cc to 460cc. The golf players who choose 440cc like to shape the ball more in the air as different launch conditions are generated. Drivers with 460 ccc are typically designed to offer more forgiveness.
In recent times, almost all the club heads are either made of titanium or composite heads. Titanium is lightweight, strong and long-lasting. The club heads were therefore increased without the increase in weight. Lightweight drivers enable the golfers to swing faster and produce more distance.
Different types of materials are combined to produce composite drivers. Heavyweight materials such as tungsten or lightweight materials such as carbon are combined with titanium to have a composite driver in place.
The combination is aimed at improving the performance of the driver. The lighter materials are mostly used on the rear section or the crown, they help to reduce the driver’s weight and alter the center of gravity of the driver. The heavy materials help to increase the perimeter weight of the club which increases the MOI.
Moment of Inertia
It’s often referred to as MOI. It shows the forgiveness of the club in terms of its ability to resist twisting at impact. A club isn’t likely to rotate or twist when the ball is stricken at the center of the face with a high MOI.
Center of gravity
This is the single balance point of the driver. The center of gravity can be adjusted by moving them horizontally, vertically, forward and back in a club head. The fixed and adjustable heads are moved inside the head for this purpose.
The ball will launch higher when the CG is lower and further. This is because the spin is increased. More forgiveness can also be achieved in this process, as the MOI will be higher. Once the CG is moved forward, the ball speeds are increased but the MOI and the ball spin are reduced.
The loft of your golf driver
The loft is measured on a vertical axis and dictates how high or low the ball will fly from the clubface. A clubface will lay perpendicularly on the ground when its loft is at 0 degrees. Most drivers in the market have their loft ranging from 8 to 12 degrees. The loft adds the ball’s backspin that helps it generate lift and rise into the air.
More backspin is created when the loft is more. Golfers whose swing speeds are lower at around 90mph or less should consider drivers with higher lofts of 10 degrees or more. This higher loft will enable them to optimize their launch conditions.
On the other hand, players with higher swing speeds of over 90mph should consider lofts that are below 10 degrees. These lower handicap players produce more spin and distance; thus, they don’t require too much loft.
It’s however important to note that how the ball will fly is not dependent on the loft alone but also depends on the launch angle.
The loft to choose will depend on your speed;
- Speed of less than 60mph requires a loft of 14 to 15 degrees
- Speed ranging from 60 to 70mph requires a loft of 12 to 13 degrees
- Speed ranging from 70 to 80mph requires a loft of 10.5 to 11.5 degrees
- Speed ranging from 80 to 80mph requires a loft of 9 to 10.5 degrees
- The speed that is more than 90mph requires the lowest loft available.
Launch conditions are factors combined to show how the ball is struck and the expected results. This phrase is common when your driver is being custom fitted. The key factors that create launch conditions include ball spin and launch angle.
The perfect one is the combination of a launch angle of 17 degrees and a spin of 1700 rpm. This is however not possible currently at the normal swing speeds. Currently, the ideal launch conditions are when the launch angle is 10 to 12 degrees depending on the speed of your clubhead, and the spin is fewer than 300rpm.
This is an important golf club feature, but it’s often overlooked. It’s crucial to know the total weight of the driver and the head’s weight, which in this case is the swing weight. This should be considered for the improvement of the player’s driving.
The suitable head weight and the total weight is determined by your physical strength, golfing athletic ability and your swing tempo. The percentage of off-center hits increases when the total weight and swing weight is lighter.
Shafts are very important in drivers. When the shafts are lighter and less stiff, a higher right to left-biased ball flight is produced. On the contrary, when the shafts are heavier and stiff, the ball launch will be lower and the ball is shaped to the right.
This means that a player using the right shaft has a higher tendency of hitting the ball straighter, further and more consistently. The shaft flexes offered by manufacturers are usually regular (R), stiff (S) and extra stiff (XS).
Other flexes are light (L), senior (A) and more options for extra stiff (XXS, XXXS).
The legal limit of a shaft length is 48 inches; however, most drivers have 45 or 46 shaft length. This is considered an ideal length for the best balance of control and distance. Longer drivers are known for increasing the ball speed and provide extra distance, but the additional length of the driver might affect accuracy and control. Therefore, a shaft length of about 45 inches suits most of the golf players.
Feel and sound
The combination of the right shaft, wing weight, and clubhead are the key aspects that affect the driver’s feel. The feel and sound of a driver determine how a golfer sees it attractive or unattractive. It’s important to feel satisfied every time you pull the trigger as this instills confidence throughout the golf course.
In recent years, the cost of drivers has increased significantly. Drivers with titanium are more expensive than those with steel. Modern driver heads use titanium; hence the price has been pushed higher. But, considering the benefits you get from using a driver whose head is made of titanium, the cost is justifiable.
Best Drivers from Popular Brands
The most popular manufacturers of drivers include Titleist, TaylorMade, and Callaway. We will select the top two drivers of the three brands.
Titleist TS2 driver
This driver has a new face design and the crown has thinner titanium. The two features are combined to produce lower spin and higher ball speeds. Its off-center-hit stability is increased by the lighter weight thinner crown. The weight is redistributed low and deep. The face thickness and refined crown lower the CG to provide a higher launch. The shape of the driver increases the speed of the clubhead and offer more distance. TS2 offers incredible speed and forgiveness across the face.
Titleist TS3 driver
This driver has a round shape and is among the popular ones in recent times. It has a great performance and has a wide face to work with, thus instilling confidence in you. Its feel and sound are satisfying and is very responsive. The responsiveness is obtained by knowing exactly where to hit the ball. It’s not so long, but this doesn’t limit how far it flies. This is because it has an amazing low spin that gives an optimal ball flight especially for the golfers who hit a little lower.
This driver has Speed Injected Twist Face Technology that boosts the performance of the driver. It’s long and provides the ball’s flight path is straight. It also has an inverted T-Track that provides a fast and forgiving driver that boosts its speed. This explosive speed is what has made TaylorMade M5 a popular driver in both Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods. Although it’s expensive, its performance justifies the price and is rated highly.
TaylorMade M6 driver
This driver also utilizes Speed Injected Twist Face Technology that boosts its performance. The technology offers less loft in the low heel and more loft in the high toe to deliver a more consistent spin that some golfers find it difficult to achieve. It provides great forgiveness and distance. A feature that stands out in the TaylorMade M6 is its controlled trajectory. It’s fast but not as fast as the M5. It’s also quite expensive as many of the drivers in this category, but it’s definitely a worthy investment. The crown of the driver is fully carbon to optimize the MOI and CG. This enables it delivers on all fronts.
If you are not ready to buy new model drivers from TaylorMade, check out our M2 Driver Review – a great driver!
Callaway epic flash driver
The Epic driver is powered by Artificial Intelligence and is rated highly in the market. Among all the other drivers, Callaway has produced, epic flash is the fastest. The technology produces the Flash Faces. The combination of Jailbreak technology delivers great forgiveness and extra distance.
Moreover, it has an excellent head size and its color stands out from a majority of drivers in the market. The colors are green and yellow making it bright and bold. The driver also projects a higher trajectory that most players enjoy. The combination of all these factors boosts the performance of Callaway epic flash driver.
Callaway epic flash sub zero
This driver being a Callaway brand, it utilizes the new Flash Face Technology and Jailbreak Technology. The combination is aimed at providing amazing speed and distance. The ball flight control is enabled by an adjustable perimeter weighting.
The Flash Face is designed with the help of artificial intelligence and “Machine Learning.” This makes it higher tech than the previous Callaway face technology. Although the ripples have random size, height, and configuration, they are combined to increase COR in the face’s center region.
It also offers great forgiveness, but the level of forgiveness is lower than that of epic flash. It has a more compact head to address, hence you can hit the ball confidently.
You might want to take a look at an interesting Callaway Driver Buying Guide we published.
What does COR mean in relation to golf drivers?
COR has been using in the article and it’s worth highlighting what it means. It’s at times referred to as Characteristic Time (CT). COR, however, stands for Coefficient of Restitution. When the COR of a driver is 1.00, all the energy produced by the clubhead is transferred to the ball.
Nevertheless, most governing bodies of golf provides a COR limit of 0.83. This means that the energy transferred from the clubhead to the ball can’t be more than 83%.
You are now equipped with key information on golf drivers. Have the above concepts and recommendations in mind when deciding on what driver to purchase. This will eliminate disappointment and your golf performance will be enhanced.
Take a look at the other golf clubs you will need to improve your game.