How to Choose the Right Drivers
Your driver sets the tone for the rest of your game. A fairway splitting first shot puts you in position to score well, but a mis-hit off the tee can leave your game lacking and your confidence wavering. So choosing the right driver is crucial. At tgw.com, we have a wide selection of drivers, and one of them is perfect for you. But before you begin your search, it’s best to understand specific aspects of a driver so you won’t be overwhelmed and can make an informed decision.
Loft is the amount that the face of the club slopes back. Driver loft, which typically ranges from 8.5° to 15°, should match your swing speed. The slower your swing speed the more loft you should have. If your average swing speed is between 80 and 90 mph (the average for most male golfers) you should be using a driver with about 10.5° to 12° of loft. For recreational golfers, this, combined with new two-piece balls that spin at a lower rate, means your launch angle and spin rate will be optimized.
No standard length exists for a driver. Every manufacturer offers different models with varying lengths (usually 43.5” to 47”) but drivers continue to get progressively longer, with some even reaching 48” (the maximum allowable). That’s because in most cases, the longer the shaft the faster the head will travel. However, if it’s hit off-center, it may actually decrease distance. Also, the longer the shaft the harder it is to control and hit the ball squarely. So the best thing to do is choose the longest driver possible that you can still hit consistently and accurately. Remember, you’re not driving for show; you’re driving to put yourself in position to score.
MATERIALS & SIZE
You’ll find that drivers can be made of stainless steel, an alloy or forged titanium. For someone who hits the course or driving range only occasionally, a high quality alloy driver can be found at a reasonable price. A titanium driver, or multi-material driver like titanium and composite, that combines light weight and excellent strength is more expensive and for golfers who play more consistently. Stainless steel drivers will lend more weight to your swing, giving you more control on the descent. The most common size for drivers is 460cc (cubic centimeters), the maximum allowable. This size increases the moment of inertia (MOI) , providing golfers more forgiveness on off-center hits, which is another way of saying it has a larger sweetspot.
Five Questions to Ask Yourself
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to find the right driver for you, but tgw.com has so many to choose from, you might wonder where to start. The following five questions can quickly and efficiently narrow your options.
1. Do you want a driver that is adjustable?
Using only a wrench, golfers are now able to adjust the face angle, loft and lie angle without the help of their local club fitter—or having to buy a new club altogether. Golfers can alter the club dynamics to suit their desired ball flight or pick up a few additional yards of carry. Many manufacturers insist an adjustable driver gives you every advantage. However, others disagree, citing a more expensive price tag, additional weighting in less than ideal locations, and confusion about all the different setting combinations as reasons to play a traditional, non-adjustable driver.
2. Do you want a driver with an anti-slice option?
Most golfers slice the ball, especially off the tee. Manufacturers have addressed this problem in the past by introducing anti-slice, or draw versions of their standard drivers, but with adjustable drivers now so much part of the golf landscape, and the fact that you can close the face as much as 3° on some of these adjustable drivers to correct your slice, draw drivers aren’t being manufactured at the same rate. However, for those who are constantly fighting a slice, we stock many drivers that can cure this ailment.
3. Do you want a standard or tour preferred driver?
You may also run across “tour” drivers on our site, but these clubs are designed for pros or amateurs with exceptional ball-striking ability who can effectively shape their shots using clubs that are set dead square (or slightly open or closed), and are equipped with shafts that help keep the ball lower. The average golfer will be better served using standard drivers with larger sweetspots for more forgiveness, more closed faces (to combat slices) and shafts that help get the ball airborne. The idea of playing a tour club might be appealing, but unless you’re an exceptional golfer, the results won’t be.
4. Do you want a custom-fit driver?
Many golfers think they’re not good enough to get custom-fit clubs, that the flaws in their swing will override any potential benefits of clubs built just for them, but fitters say the reason many players hit it sideways is because they haven’t been custom-fit. Trying to swing golf clubs whose length, weight, lie angle, shaft flex or grip size don’t match the body encourages players to make unnatural compensations that prevent them from developing proper mechanics. Choosing this type of driver will cost you a little more time and money, but it ensures you’ll get a perfectly-fit driver.
5. How much do I want to spend?
Your budget plays a part in dictating the club you choose. The most expensive club may or may not be the right one for you. Very few golfers can fill their bags entirely with premium clubs. The goal should be finding clubs that feel the best and enable you to perform at the highest level. Remember, tgw.com extends a 30-Day Playability Guarantee on many of our clubs, so if you buy one you’re unhappy with, you can return it and select one that works for you.
Drivers are equipped with graphite shafts usually offered in different flexes. For the majority of golfers, the shaft included with the driver will work just fine. Weight is what you’ll want to pay attention to. You don’t want a shaft that’s too heavy. As far as flex, if your drives carry between 230-250 yards, a regular flex is best for your game. If your drives carry any more or any less than that yardage range, you’ll need to adjust your flex to stiff or senior/ladies, respectively.