All seasoned golfers know that of all the golf clubs in a set the driver is quite possibly the most important one. Your choice in a driver can either make or break your game. While teeing off, you want a scenario whereby the ball gets maximum yardage. However, this is not the only thing to look for in a driver.
With time and experience, you will come to learn that golf drivers can be very individualized rather than come in a one-fits-all kind of fit. This, therefore means that each player should look for what works for them in particular as this will not only strengthen their game but also increase their confidence on the golf course.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Golf Drivers for Beginners
Both in terms of technology as well as regarding performance, golf driver designs are evolving to incorporate aspects such as changeable weighting, the center of gravity bias, face angle, and shaft. Even the loft on the hosel has now become adjustable all in a bid to give the golfer the ideal launch, spin and shot shape.
5 Best Golf Drivers Reviews
Crown Zone Weighting: most cobra drivers come incorporated with the crown zone weighting technology aimed at making the club easy to swing by regulating the CG. The Fly-Z has a black center of gravity (CG) zone with a yellow sole that’s removable. This is positioned low and deep to make the driver more forgiving and arriving at a center of gravity that’s located deeper. This is incorporated within the 460cc head all in a bid to have the CG located as far back as possible.
Smart Pad: for many golfers, the smart pad is their favorite feature on the Fly-Z. This is a raised portion of the sole located slightly back from the face allowing the head pivot. This enables it to appear square at address thus helping the club head almost surround the ball.
Shaft Flexes and Loft: coming in four shaft flexes, the Fly-Z caters to the needs of different groups of golfers. One handy feature is the small window on the hosel which eliminates the need to unscrew the shaft so as to see the loft numbers as one rotates the shaft. There is a wide choice of loft options to choose from.
Peed Channel: Cobra has been known to pioneer in modern golfing technologies, and the speed channel face is one example of such. The speed channel is located around the outer rim of the face of the Fly-Z golf driver to thin the wall. This feature enables the driver to flex upon impact with the ball so as to generate increased ball speed.
Forged E9 Zone: the most prominent feature on any driver is the sweet spot and golfers look for drivers that have an optimum one. The Fly-Z features a forged E9 Zone which is structured in such a way as to make the important parts even more lightweight hence arriving at a huge sweet spot offering great performance even when one makes off-center hits.
- The club is aesthetically appealing coming in a variety of colors
- It has the familiar cobra crash sound upon impact
- It can work well for a variety of golfers ranging from teens to the handicap
- Offers an easy swing owing to its lightweight
- It is very forgiving hence being ideal for newbies
- There are 6 crown colors to choose from
- It has great balance and feels firm
- There are 4 shaft sizes to choose from thus offering variety and being ideal for use by different kinds of golfers
- More seasoned golfers may not agree with the workability of the Fly-Z
- It is quite expensive to purchase
- The 4 shaft flexes are rather hard to shift requiring some getting used to
- The driver may be heavier as compared to other more advanced brands
Sound and Feel: this driver incorporated very sophisticated technologies yet still resulting in a club that’s light and easy to swing. While launching, you will notice that it offers higher flight while still being more forgiving. Impressively, the sound is good and not too high-pitched as is the case with some TaylorMade drivers.
Appearance: visually, the R15 looks very much like the R11 which came before it. The former however has a white crown and a black face making it easier to align, but there is the option of a black crown too, just in case. Besides, upon adding loft, you can see the face.
New Front Track: this is located close to the face of the R15 hence acting like a speed pocket by allowing the face to flex a little more. This design results in a low and forward CG hence speed and distance even on off-center hits.
Sliding weights: the R15 460 comes with two sliding weights of 12.5g each, located on the sole. This impacts on the shape of the shot, MOI, forgiveness, as well as the distance, covered. Adjusting the weights also allows you to fine-tune the CG location arriving at a balance that’s just right for you.
- The driver can achieve impressive distances.
- It is very easy to align your ball to the face owing to the visual contrast offered.
- Hits result in balls that are low-spinning and high-flying.
- One can choose between a black crown and a white one.
- The driver is very aesthetically appealing.
- There are two adjustable weights for maximized accuracy.
- Low and forward CG favors ball speed and distance.
- Adjustable weights can be tightened in 21 different positions along the front track.
- It can give better flight without one putting much effort.
- The driver comes with a classy retro white head cover with a leather look and feel.
- Shaft flexes come in light, ladies, regular, stiff and X-stiff
- Loft and face angle are both adjustable.
- You can not necessarily curve your shots using the R15.
- Beginners may find this club a bit too demanding.
- Loft cannot be adjusted with a weight-in-draw.
- The club is quite costly to purchase.
- Owing to the low and forward CG, the driver is not very forgiving with mishits thus requiring you to be extra cautious with swings.
Shaft Material and Flex: The shaft manufactured from graphite is extremely light while still maintaining durability and comfort when held. They have three flexes to choose from namely stiff, regular & senior.
SlimTech Shaft: besides graphite, the Aldila Slimtech shaft has a tip that’s impressively .320″ Tip narrower than standard. This gives the driver a bit more kick upon impact resulting in longer distances covered upon launch.
Velocity Slot Technology: The sole of the Blue RH features Adams renowned velocity slot which extends across the width of the face. These increases flex upon impact thus making the head travel faster and as such increasing the speed of the ball. For many golfers, this is an ideal feature since it means that mishits are still useful.
Low Back CG: Owing to the large head made of titanium, this driver has the center of gravity sitting low and far back. This gives the ball more spin while providing a nice high launch angle.
Crown-Face Contrast: the face is made of brushed steel finish meant to visually contrast the dark blue crown. This eases with alignment while at address.
- Offers a very high trajectory for a relatively low loft.
- Every swing feels stable, and there is no twisting.
- Being lightweight, the club is incredibly easy to swing.
- The dark blue crown looks very attractive and stylish.
- The club has a very forgiving face catering more mishits.
- Solid hits result in very impressive distances.
- The sound produced is solid and light.
- Upon purchase, the driver comes with a stylish retro-style head cover.
- Ideal for golf players with slow swing speeds.
- The driver can be acquired at a pocket-friendly price.
- The creative Adams logo conveniently points out the sweet spot.
- The light shaft offers perfect flex.
- Being lightweight makes it hard to achieve consistent swings.
- It is not adjustable, making it quite unusual for a driver in this day and age.
- The impact may at times feel a bit hollow.
- It only offers three loft settings which are fewer than most other drivers.
Low Back CG: this driver has a head that’s not only aerodynamic but also bigger to move the center of gravity lower and back to result in a club that’s more forgiving. The fact that its head is bigger than usual makes the XR 16 standout while still keeping up in terms of performance.
Lightweight Club Head: the XR 16 is made of lighter 8-1-1 titanium which contains more aluminum in it. This is meant to reduce its weight while still maintaining strength thus resulting in a head that 5-15g lighter than that of other competitor drivers and giving this particular driver an edge in the process.
Next Generation Face Tech: the lightweight XR 16 club head has in it the R-MOTO face which is 9g lighter than that of its predecessor the XR. This face is able to flex more upon impact thus increasing ball speeds. At the same time, the overall weight of the head gets reduced by 11g resulting in better club control as well as more accurate swings.
Shaft Flex: made of graphite, the shaft of this driver comes in four different shaft flexes namely Light, Regular, Stiff and X-Stiff. This offers you flexibility while still guaranteeing durability.
Hand Orientation: in this day and age, most advanced drivers come in both right and left-hand orientations. This makes it ideal for use by different kind of golfers each being able to swing with their preferred hand, although there are more loft adjustment options for those who are right-handed.
Speed Step Crown: the key to a great driver all lies in the aerodynamics working on the club head. The raised speed step located on the edge of the XR 16s crown is meant to decrease both head drag and face drag resulting in a faster club head which in turn results in faster ball speed.
Aerodynamic Head Shape: on top of the speed step crown, the head shape of the XR 16 has been designed with incredible aerodynamic properties which make this particular golf driver very forgiving. It also grants the golfer impressive ball speed with accuracy.
Weight and Dimensions: being of the average length of just 45.75 inches, this driver weight just 2.5 pounds.
- It optimizes advanced technology to give it impressive aerodynamic properties coupled with a very lightweight head.
- Having a big head incorporated within the Deep Head Design makes it more forgiving than the XR- its predecessor.
- It produces a good sound just like all other Callaway drivers.
- It has a very stylish appearance complete with a matte finish and unequaled tribal graphics.
- There is a draw setting that allows you to close the face a little.
- Compared to the previous XR, XR 16 appears to sit less closed.
- It can achieve excellent ball speed.
- Some golfers find the spin to be a bit of a letdown thus needing some improvement in that area.
- The dramatic appearance of the sole if majorly aesthetic and this may put off some players.
- There is a head cover but no shaft cover provided.
- For some players, the club head of the XR 16 may be too broad, appearing stretched even.
- It may be too shot for some hitters thus not offering the desired long distance.
Precision Adjustability: The adjustable hosel gives a variety of settings allowing you to choose from 12 different loft angle settings alongside the adjustable weight screw located at the back of the head.
Shaft: the lightweight yet sturdy shaft manufactured from graphite` comes in a variety of flexes namely Light, Regular, Stiff and X-Stiff thus catering to the needs of a wide range of golfers.
Deep Face Design: this is meant to enhance forgiveness of the driver meaning a player can miss the sweet spot yet still achieve great flight and trajectory.
Dimension and Weight: The Cleveland 588 weighs an impressive 90 gram graphite wedge shaft and measure just 38 x 6 x 6 inches of dimension.
Max Cor Face: This design feature allows the Cleveland 588 to boost ball speeds as well as make it forgiving when making off-center hits.
- Face graphics help with ball alignment allowing one to locate the sweet spot.
- The shots sound great.
- Its capable of launching laser-straight balls with little effort.
- It is a very forgiving driver.
- Swings feel strong and powerful.
- One can choose from 12 loft settings.
- Gives consistent distance and altitude with each launch.
- The low-spinning design guarantees increased accuracy even on mishits.
- Adjustability can be a bit confusing particularly to first timers.
- The loft and face angles cannot be adjusted independently of each other.
- The club may not be ideal for shaping shots and especially for pro golfers.
- The design may be a bit too plain compared to competitors clubs.
- Rather than the gold pinstripes, a better job could have been done with the face graphics allowing better and easier ball alignment.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Golf Drivers
Keeping in mind the many golf club brands and manufacturers available in the market, shopping for a new driver may seem somewhat daunting, but this need not discourage you. The standard driver will most likely come in titanium or even at times steel, and have a shaft manufactured from graphite`. That was having been said, what else should you be on the lookout for when looking to buy a good driver?
Club Head Design
Of all the factors to take into consideration, the design of the club head is probably the most important, and it is the one area you shouldn’t compromise on. Most people believe that a bigger head is better as it will give you a long distance but this is not necessarily the case. A large head might end up getting in your way and messing with your shot. The type of club head you go for will largely be determined by your skill level which essentially informs your launch. For beginners, the 460cc driver is best recommended because it offers an ample sweet spot thus optimizing the chances of a successful tee off. For the more seasoned golfers, the 380-410cc drivers might work best. These drivers might have a smaller head, but this increases control of the club giving a better launch.
Ideally, all golfers should attempt to get a driver that has been custom fitted. This is because different models have different specs and thus gone are the days when one could simply refer to themselves as a stiff golfer.
The loft is the angle of the head of the golf club, and the key is finding a driver that has the right amount of loft. Of course, whether or not a certain loft is right for you will be determined by your experience level, i.e., whether you are a beginner or a veteran. When the loft angle is high, the trajectory will also be as high meaning your ball shall get more flight and be airborne for a more extended period.
Novices are more likely to go for a higher angle as they are interested in giving the ball maximum flight whereas pros are more inclined to the lower lofts as they equate this with yardage.
Golfers with a high swing speed of about 100mph would go for lower lofts as they produce less backspin. On the other hand, most golfers have a swing speed of less than 90mph and go for higher lofts to increase backspin thus keeping the ball aloft in the process.
When choosing a shaft, one of the things to take into consideration is the shaft flex. This will impact on your accuracy and yardage and the choice should be informed by your swing speed. Those with high swing speeds should opt for a stiff shaft as it improves ones accuracy whereas those with a relatively slower swing speed are more likely to go for a flexible shaft as it increases distance.
The length of the shaft has no impact on the yardage covered by your tee shots, but this is not to mean that one should not invest in a driver of the proper length. A good length is that which allows you to hit the ball at the center of the club every time you take a shot meaning it plays a role in the overall performance of a club.
Interestingly, most professional golfers go for drivers which are 44.5 long but in the market, you can find ranges between 44 and 46. You want a driver using which you can square the face of the club when making contact with the ball, meaning longer drivers might not be ideal. Although it might be worth mentioning that on the upside, longer shafts do generate more club speed while shorter ones are better at enhancing control and dispersion
Have you been wondering why gold clubs are that expensive? Well, a large part of this is because titanium is the major material used for manufacturing golf clubs and it is very expensive. Its preference is because it is durable and sturdy. It is also incredibly lightweight allowing for manufacturers to fit large oversized heads onto relatively slim shafts without affecting the driver’s overall weight.
Club heads are commonly made of titanium, steel, steel alloys, boron or graphite. The idea is to have them as lightweight as possible so as to achieve high club head speeds, yet at the same time allowing for a bounce off of the club face.
Shafts are normally made of graphite or titanium to arrive at different weights and flexes. There are shafts which are cast from steel alloys allowing them to achieve cavity designs with lower centers of gravity thus making them easier to control.
The grips may be made of rubber, leather or faux leather. Rubber is preferred as it deals better with moisture and offers a more consistent, firmer grip. More so, rubber grips can be better customized in terms of thickness and textures.
It would be pretentious to pretend the look of a driver won’t inform your purchase. Cosmetics play a big role when it comes to golf clubs which is why drivers with similar performances might end up having a wide price difference simply owing to the difference in appearance. Go for a set which best appeals to you. Who knows, a driver that looks good might motivate
you to improve your swing.
Good drivers are very expensive, period! However, this is not to mean that you should spend all your money on a good driver. Depending on a host of factors, the price range for drivers can vary from $50 to several hundreds of dollars. Before you embark on shopping for a new driver, set a budget.
How much you are willing to spend should be informed by:
How frequently will you be using the clubs?
How long do you intend to play golf in the long run?
Do you intend to
play as a hobby or do you intend to take it seriously?
New or Used
Now more than ever, drivers are coming with many adjustable options making it easier for those looking to improve their game or simply those who are looking for their best fit. Different models may allow you to adjust the face angle, tweak the loft and shaft, alter the lie angle or even adjust the weighting in the sole so as to achieve different ball flight. It is best to go for a driver which best suits your game as well as your skill level.
As aforementioned, weight is a major factor in golf clubs and hence why titanium is the main material of choice. You want clubs that are hardy and durable while at the same time being as light as possible with weights ranging from 275g and 310g. Finding even lighter clubs weighing about 265g or less is possible. The benefit of having a light driver is not just for increased head speed but also for increased trajectory and likewise, more distance covered.
Now more than ever, drivers are coming with many adjustable options making it easier for those looking to improve their game or simply those who are looking for their best fit. Different models may allow you to adjust the face angle, tweak the loft and shaft, alter the lie angle or even adjust the weighting in the sole to achieve different ball flight. It is best to go for a driver which best suits your game as well as your skill level.
Distance or Forgiveness?
What aspect of your game would you like to improve? The distance, forgiveness or workability? There are drivers who offer a
combination of all three while others will favor one over the other. A smaller head shape means more workability but reduced forgiveness. 460cc drivers have a maximum forgiveness rating but perhaps cannot shape as well through the air. Most golfers will go for drivers with a large head but still easy to control.
This just further emphasizes the importance of understanding
your play and skill level so that you may know which driver will be ideal for your performance.
Mistakes to Avoid While Buying the Best Golf Driver for Beginners
- Avoid buying a particular driver just because the rest of your friends are using it. As you may have discovered by now, drivers are highly dependent on the individual and what works for one may not necessarily work for the other.
- Understand what you are looking for before you run off buying a set of golf clubs. Even if you are a beginner, read and ask around to establish exactly what a good driver entails. Don’t just show up at the store asking to see their golf drivers.
- Expensive does not necessarily mean better quality. True, the best golf clubs are expensive. However, this is not to mean that all expensive clubs are the best quality and even so, the best quality may not necessarily be what agrees with you regarding ease of use, adjustability, as well as what part of your game they focus on i.e. forgiveness, workability, and distance.
- As much as the brand choice may be important, let this not be the only thing that informs your purchase. Look at the important features even before considering the brand.
- Never be in a rush when shopping for drivers. There are too many factors to take into
consideration and just picking up any driver simply won’t cut it. In fact, you might end up spending a lot of money on a driver that really doesn’t do justice to your game.
- Always test drive a driver before you buy it is this is the only way you will know which one works for you and which one doesn’t. you donâ€™t have to take it out on the golf course, just try a few swings and establish how it feels. Some drivers may feel wrong right from the grip.
- That having been said, do not rely on the grip alone. Just because the driver feels great in your hands doesn’t guarantee performance.
- Don’t solely focus on aesthetics. Whats the use of having a stylish club get your play is horrible? Once more, focus on the important features before deciding to get blinded by the features that are rather vain.
Arguably, the driver is the most important club in any setting and this is the particular club to want to pay close attention to. Make sure you know what you are looking for and when you do find whats ideal for you, be prepared to part with quite a significant amount of money. If you feel the need to hire the services of a professional well do not hesitate. In case you intend to play seriously, getting a custom fitting for your driver down the road will, in fact, prove to be one of your wisest endeavors.