Every golfer needs its own set of reliable golf clubs. When it comes down to the last putt of the game, a good set of clubs can make the difference between securing a good score and succumbing to disaster. Not only should your clubs match your size and ability, but they should also match the type of swing you are about to perform.
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you will most likely pull out a driver for your first swing from the tee box. Drivers have thicker heads, which are designed to hit golf balls long distances. Typically, the first swing off the tee box is the most powerful because the ball needs to at least make it all the way to the green, if not near the hole. A good driver can set up a golfer to accomplish a better-than-par score, but a bad driver may start a golfer out in the rough. Although drivers are a bit clunky, there is a lot of variety between the different brands and styles. Drivers are definitely one of the clubs you will want to invest time, research, and money into procuring one of a perfect fit.
What to Look for in a Driver
You don’t want your club hitting the ground in mid-swing, but you also don’t want to whiff on every other stroke, so the length is crucial when choosing a golf club set. Besides size, budget and skill are huge factors for many people picking out their clubs. If you are playing for fun, you may be fine with an affordable set with few bells and whistles. However, if you plan on entering competitions and/or playing competitively, a scientific and calculated approach may serve you best. No matter what, a fitted club will produce better results than settling for one off the rack.
When searching for a perfect driver for you, there are several factors to take into consideration: size, weight, loft, and adjustability. The margin for error is slim in golf, so your clubs need to match your measurements, skills, and goals. A golf instructor found on a website like https://golfufranchise.com/meet-our-pga-pros-founder-history/ can help you find and fit you to a driver that is best for your specific swing and skill level.
Drivers are usually the longest club in the bag. Men’s drivers will range from 45 to 48 inches and women’s will range from 43 to 44 inches. The length you choose is normally based on how much control you feel that you have with the various lengths. The driver’s head is also one of the largest in the golf bag. The largest driver heads allowed in professional competitions are 460 cubic centimeters. These are more forgiving when it comes to slicing, but the smaller sizes (420-440cc) offer more control with tricky shots such as corner angles.
Drivers usually weigh between 265 and 310 grams. The lighter the driver, the faster a golfer can swing it on the course and the further the ball can travel. Again, comfortability plays a part in what weight a golfer may choose for their driver. Some materials are naturally heavier than others. If weight plays a big part in your decision, you may want to narrow your search based on the materials that the driver head and shaft are made from.
The loft is the angle on the clubface that will affect the distance and trajectory of the ball when hit. The higher the loft angle, the greater the trajectory. However, the right loft for each golfer will depend more on the speed of their swing and their skill over what trajectory they are trying to achieve.
- <60 mph swing = 14-15 degree loft
- 60-70 mph swing = 12-13 degree loft
- 70-80 mph swing = 10.5-11.5 degree loft
- 80-90 mph swing = 9-10.5 degree loft
- >100 mph swing = below the 9-degree loft, or lowest available
Some modern drivers include a couple of points of adjustability that a golfer can change based on the situation. The hosel is one such point, located where the shaft meets the head. Adjustments to the hosel can affect the loft as well as draw and fade. Some drivers also present an option to golfers for shifting the weight in the sole of the club to affect the curve of the shot as well. While adjustability gives golfers more options with their clubs, these adjustments should be viewed as fine-tuning rather than coarse adjustments based on skill level and swing. Golfers will still need a club matched to their specific swing and skill level before adjusting the hosel or center of gravity.
Whether you are out on the course or enjoying an indoor golf franchise practice space, you will want to invest in a good driver. Here is our list of the top five drivers of 2019.
Top Five Drivers of the Year
With all of the types, brands, and price points on clubs and club sets, shopping for a driver alone can feel overwhelming. Beginners, pros, and those looking to make the most of their indoor golf franchise opportunities are all searching for drivers that will meet their needs. Whether you are looking for a high-end adjustable driver, a basic driver for learning, or a few easy drivers your customers and students can practice with, there’s a driver for you in our list of top drivers below. This list is not exhaustive and is in no specific order since the best driver for an individual depends on their specific skill set and goals.
Wilson Staff D7
If you’re ready to upgrade your practice club without breaking the bank, the Wilson Staff D7 is the perfect lightweight transitional driver to help beginners increase speed and distance. Consistency in swings is key with the Wilson Staff D7, and it does not come with an adjustable hosel. However, internal weights placed in the head allow for 9, 10.5, and 13 loft angles. The Kevlar layer also helps dampen vibrations and sound at impact. At $299, this driver is one of the better deals for what it offers, especially for beginners.
Cobra King F9
The fastest Cobra driver, the Cobra King F9 takes speed to a whole new level with its aerodynamic design and adjustable weight options. Even though the Cobra King F9 isn’t the most expensive option when it comes to premium drivers, its low spin and more forgiving characteristics are most likely what contributed to it showing up on tour with several top golfers. The built-in Arccos shot tracking technology adds to its growing list of bells and whistles. Coming in at $449, this driver is a viable option for players of all skill levels.
In the right hands, the Titleist TS3 driver can really launch the ball. With its adjustable hosel and weight system, more advanced players can fine-tune this driver for optimal performance. Low spin helps protect distance and the slimmer head is surprisingly forgiving. Even though expert golfers may get the most out of this driver, the control and forgiveness make it easy to feel comfortable with this driver over more unforgiving models. This driver is listed at $499. The TS2 model has a wider head and thus is even more forgiving for the same price point. However, speed is a bit reduced on the older TS2 model.
Callaway Epic Flash
In the world of golf tech, this driver has it all. Their AI-inspired design delivers top speeds and decent distance thanks to the unique ripple design behind the face. The 16g adjustable perimeter weight also provides the golfer with options for achieving fades, draws, or straighter flights with a simple slide. The precise and scientific details in design are too numerous to list here. However, just know that this driver is one of the most high-tech you can currently find on the market. At $530, this is a driver certainly considered a top choice by pros, but golfers of varying skill may enjoy the significant increase in speed this driver produces.
Ping G410 Plus
If you have been chomping at the bit for the newest Ping model to make an appearance, the wait is over. The Ping G410 Plus offers slight improvements over the G400, which subsequently have made a big impact on overall performance. Its 16g adjustable weight increases loft options to eight (from five on the G400). Furthermore, its DrangonFly technology is now beneath the surface of the head so nothing is distracting from your speedy hit. Its ample amount of forgiveness is a plus for beginners and pros alike. With a $540 price tag, this driver is a suitable long-term investment that can grow with the skill of its user.
Some other top models that didn’t make our list include TaylorMade M5 ($549) and M6 ($499), Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero ($530), and Mizuno ST 190 ($400). If the models on our list don’t suit your fancy, take a look at these other formidable options. Again, the type of driver you choose will largely depend on skill and swing, but these five are definitely the top drivers of 2019 for those serious about improving their golf game.