How to Choose a New Golf Driver

From our friends at Equipio, here’s a good summary of how to choose a new golf driver.

Drivers are always the cool bit of your golf bag – the brands love to push a new driver and after all, there’s nothing more satisfying than smashing one down the middle. With so many golf drivers on the market, deciding which one to choose can be a bit of a challenge – so we’ve focused on three of the most important factors when buying a new golf club: the head, the shaft and the loft.

The Head

Round headed golf drivers continue to be the most prevalent – it is considered the best way of positioning the weight to achieve maximum performance, although Titleist favour a slightly different pear profile design – this shape is slightly more compact and favours better workability. Both Nike and Callaway also have square headed options, which are said to be straighter on off-centre strikes and a bit more forgiving. Some manufacturers bring out ‘tour version’ drivers within their ranges, such as TaylorMade with the R9 TP and Callaway with the Diablo Octane Tour – the construction is the same but with a smaller sweetspot to make ‘shaping’ the ball easier for the better player.

The Shaft

The shaft and more importantly the shaft flex, are imperative to get right; use a shaft with the wrong flex and you won’t see the improvements you’re after. Simply put, faster swing speed equates to more distance, which requires a stiffer shaft. Bubba Watson, one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour has a much faster swing speed than an amateur and in turn uses an extra stiff shaft. As a general rule, if you hit it less than 230 yards opt for a regular shaft, up to 270 yards a stiff shaft, and if you hit it longer than 270 try an extra stiff shaft. With a shaft that’s too stiff the ball flight will be very low and leak out to the right; too flexible and you’ll see the ball ‘balloon’ in the air and probably hook.

The Loft

Golf drivers are designed to be launched high, so unless you hit the ball a decent distance with a high flight, aim for a driver with 10 or 11 degrees of loft, or more if you’re new to the game. Too low a loft and the ball will fly too low and you’ll lose distance, especially with the wet ground this time of year.

Our favourite drivers at the moment are:

The Nike SQ Machspeed Black Square has been aerodynamically engineered to produce less drag and increase distance, and the Str8-Fit adjustability system enables the driver to be adapted to suit your game.

Nike Square 400 x 4001 Choosing a New Driver

The TaylorMade R9 SuperTri is the most forgiving TaylorMade driver yet. It has a deeper face which increases the launch angle to produce fantastic distance. The driver can also be adjusted and has numerous fitting options.

TaylorMade SuperTri Choosing a New Driver

The Callaway Diablo Octane Black has an extremely light titanium clubhead that is 8 yards longer than previous Callaway drivers. Fitted with an ultra-thin ‘Hyperbolic’ face, the ball comes off at a consistently high speed even on shots hit across all areas of the face.

Callaway Octane Choosing a New Driver

This guest post was written by Alex Whittet from Equipio

Images via Equipio
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Comments

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Mike Leopold March 20, 2011

Drivers today look a lot cooler than they did 20 years ago. Just when you think they are technologically tapped out, these beauties come out.

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Discover Golf March 23, 2011

Great insight into some of this year equipment. I know for me it’s always interesting to see what the right way is to choose a club, since there is so many things that are new for them

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Tommy Priest April 1, 2011

Marketing. Look at the automobile industry – planned obsolescence (spelling?). I’m always amazed to see the clubs of the pros of the past. Driving, while important for confidence is only 25% max. What is important is that it stays straight.

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Tommy Priest April 1, 2011

Thank you! We do feel that club fitting can help. The most important think is good grips. Instead of changing the grips every year, try clenaing them with normal dish detergent and water.

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