Do you have the right driver for your golf game? It’s not always about the newest model, the lowest CG or highest MOI, instead, it is about having the right series of specs that fit your game and skill level.
In fact, there are actually 7 things that you need to keep in mind when picking out a new driver to make sure that you have the perfect driver for your game.
1.) What is Your Skill level
The first thing that you need to have is a good understanding of what your skill level is as this will be the initial step to understanding what you need.
Are you a skilled golfer that likes to shape your shots and have a lot of control over the ball, are you a new golfer that is just getting started or are you somewhere in between? This will all play into the type of driver that you get.
For the sake of defining them, we will break skill levels into 3 camps.
The beginner golfer is brand new to the game or someone who hasn’t been playing long and still has a handicap over 25.
This golfer just wants to be able to make good contact with the ball and hit it straight, they want to get the ball in the hole and may not even be keeping score when they go out.
The intermediate golfer is the golfer who has been playing for a few years and gets out on the course pretty consistently. These golfers probably have a handicap of around 10 – 20 and have most likely invested in some lessons and a fitting at some point in the past year or so.
These golfers want to take their game to the next level and have the main goal of lowering their scores through big changes. They aren’t so worried about shot shaping at this point.
Advanced golfers have a handicap of under 10, are consistently getting lessons, are out on the course a few times a week and are likely playing competitively in some capacity.
These golfers like to shape shots and are very keen on the feel of their clubs. They have great control of their game and are focused on incremental improvements to help them get an edge on the competition.
Once you have an idea of what skill level you are, the next point is to figure out what head side you want.
Drivers range in size from 460cc (cubic centemeters) at the largest and 420cc at the smallest.
The 460cc club heads have larger faces, typically more weight in the back and a larger sweet spot that are perfect for beginner to intermediate golfers.
This design is meant to launch the ball into the air and give you more consistent distance.
Smaller club heads, on the other hand, have less weight around the perimeter which decreases forgiveness but gives you a more consistent ball flight.
Advanced players often prefer smaller club heads for increased control so that they can get the ball exactly where they want it to go.
Drivers are typically made of one of two materials; titanium or composite materials.
Ultimately which one you choose comes down to personal preference.
Titanium tends to be strong, long-lasting and lightweight.
This allows the drivers to have larger clubheads without making them heavier which allows players to swing faster, have more ball speed, get more distance and have more forgiveness, making this material great for beginner and intermediate golfers.
Composite clubheads combine several different materials into a single head.
They do this to be able to better distribute material around the club to have more control over weight distribution and therefore allow you to get the GC and the MOI exactly where you want them.
These drivers tend to be a bit more expensive depending on the materials and if you have the money to invest, this is typically the better materials option if you are wanting to make the investment.
The loft is the angle of the clubface on the vertical axis.
Ultimately the higher the loft the more the ball launches into the air.
Most drivers range in loft between 8 and 15 degrees depending on your swing style, swing speed, and skill level.
The most important variable in determining the ideal loft for you is in your swing speed. The slower you speed, the higher you want the loft and visa versa.
Here’s a quick breakdown to show what loft may be best for you.
- Less than 60 MPH = 14-15 degrees of loft.
- 60 to 70 MPH = 12-13 degrees of loft.
- 70 to 80 MPH = 10.5-11.5 degrees of loft.
- 80 to 90 MPH = At least 9 to 10.5 degrees of loft.
- More than 90 MPH = Lowest loft available.
If you don’t know your swing speed, the best way to find out is to get a trackman fitting so that you can get that as well as a lot more valuable data.
Golfers new to the sport looking for more flight will want to go with a loft that is higher, while a more advanced golfer may prefer a lower loft, however, this isn’t always the case if you are a newer golfer with a faster swing speed.
Beginner to intermediate players will typically want lofts between 10 and 12 degrees and more advanced golfers typically have lofts below 10 to create less launch and less spin as their swing speed creates a lot already.
5.) Shaft Flexibility
The flex of the shaft is ultimately how much it will bend on impact with the ball.
Typically those with faster swings want more stiff shafts (steel) while those with slower speeds want a more flexible shaft to get more distance and forgiveness (graphite).
Shafts are typically made of either steel or graphite.
Steel tends to be the heaviest and most stiff of the shafts but is often cheaper than graphite.
Ultimately the flex you choose can affect your shot’s trajectory, accuracy, and distance.
Flexes options that are available include extra stiff, tour, stiff, regular, senior and ladies.
The lighter, less stiff shafts, often made of graphite, will produce a higher, right-to-left biased ball flight while the heavier more stiff shafts like steel will launch the ball lower with a more left to right trajectory.
Once you know the main specs that you need on your driver and have those locked in, you may want to be able to make small adjustments as you go along.
If that is the case then an adjustable driver may be the best option for you.
Adjustable drivers allow you to make infinite tiny changes to the lie, loft, and more, as well as make tiny tweaks to how these dynamics work together.
Adjustable clubs are just for fine-tuning so any major changes would need to be made when you’re ordering the club itself.
The main areas that you can adjust on your driver are the loft and the weight placements to change the CG, MOI, launch angle and spin.
However, if you aren’t a more advanced golfer, we would typically recommend that you don’t worry too much about making many small changes on the fly.
The driver is the longest club in your bag and most people just stick with the default length of the club, however, some golfers are particular about the exact length of the club that they choose.
Men’s drivers tend to measure between 45 and 48 inches, while women’s drivers are typically between 43 or 44 inches.
The size used depends on how a golfer feels in terms of overall control as well as the overall weight of the club.
This doesn’t have much of an impact on your performance and is more of a feel based choice, however, if you are an advanced golfer you may have a specific length that you are after.
Overall, those are the points that you need to keep in mind when selecting a new driver so that you can get one that fits your skill level and style.
Want to know what drivers we think are the best on the market right now? check out The 11 Best Drivers of 2019!