Updated: October 14, 2016
Golf Driver Reviews:Long gone are the days of a persimmon driver and drives that only go 250 yards. With modern technology, driving the golf ball has changed the game so much that almost all professional golf courses have been redone in the last decade to fight off the added length off the tees these days. Guys are hitting drives over 300 yards with no problem with advances in sweet spot technology, launch angle, composition, head size, forgiveness, ball speed and aerodynamics. Even with the advancements, golfers don't hit any more fairways than before in terms of percentages and scores are not lower on the PGA Tour (shows you that putts are what count). Even so, the weekend golfer still wants to show off to his friends that he too can drive the ball 270 yards and hit par 5's in 2 shots. That's why the latest golf drivers sell so well. It's the ego of players that make them want the newest 460cc driver heads made of titanium. Buying the right driver can fundamentally reduce your slice or hook tendencies and help you hit straighter tee shots. See below for our guide on how to pick the right driver for you.
Todays golf drivers are made mostly of steel, composite, or titanium. Steel headed drivers are cheaper than titanium drivers but are heavier. They are durable and consistent, but often the head size of the driver is smaller than titanium or compositive equivalents. Titanium drivers have revolutionized the game of golf since now golf manufacturers can make larger headed drivers (with the lightweight titanium) increasing the sweet spot for players to connect with. Titanium offers the greatest forgiveness in driver materials which is why amateur golfers have flocked to the latest technology. Titanium drivers are the most expensive on the market today. A composite driver is a combination of titanium and non-metal materials like carbon which help keep the weight of the club to a minimum. This leaves you with a lightweight head and a sturdy face producing a nice sweet spot and explosive distance. Golf driver shafts are made of steel, graphite or a combination of materials. The steel shaft is heavier than graphite shafts but more durable and less expensive. You do get more control of your drives with a steel shaft but you will have to have a faster wing to accomplish this. A graphite shaft is lighter than steel and will give you more flex in your swing. You may find that your control is sacrificed a bit with graphite if you are a bigger swinger. Lady golfers and seniors are the ideal candidates for graphite shafts since their swing speed tends to be less and it's easier to swing a graphite shafted driver. There are some driver shafts made of steel and graphite, although they are not very popular. The launch angle of a driver is critical depending on your swing path. Most drivers have a launch angle of 11 to 18 degrees and you want one that will maximize the carry and roll of the ball based on your swing pattern (a golf shop can analyze this for you). The largest head size available in legal limits is 460cc which seems massive when placed next to drivers even a few years old. The length of your driver can help get your more distance but you may give up control in achieving that longer drive. 43-47 inches is what most drivers measure at in length. We wanted to find the best reviews possible done by professionals on the latest golf drivers and we found some great results online at Golftestusa.com and Golfreview.com. Golftestusa.com studied the latest golf drivers with players of different skill levels and tested the drivers for distance, control, accuracy, forgiveness, sound, appearance, feel, and ball flight (trajectory). We combined those results with independent reviews on Golfreview.com to come up with the best golf club drivers in various categories (see below). The top brands are Callaways, Cleveland, Mizuno, Nike, Taylor Made, Nickent, Yonex, Ping, MacGregor, Cobra, and Adams.
A new driver will cost you about $300-$500 while a good used one on Ebay or in discount sporting good stores will sell for about $100-$150. Keep in mind that drivers are the clubs most examined and talked about on the course -- so whether buying for yourself or for a gift, these are the clubs that get bragging rights, so for a lot of guys, getting a well-known club is worth the extra expense. If you are a purist who doesn't care about the latest and greatest, you can probably save a lot of money by buying a lesser-named driver. You can browse the up-to-date list of best-selling golf drivers here - we'll have links below to the recommended clubs as well.
Best Golf Driver:The best golf driver based on user ratings and comparisons was actually 3 that tied at the top of the list. The (RECOMMENDED) TaylorMade RocketBallz Driver ($250) rates high for accuracy and length and comes in lofts of 9 degrees up to 12. They do offer a left handed version and users say the forgiveness is what makes this club so easy to use. The driver gets great marks for feel, ball flight, and distance. The Mizuno MX700 ($130) is another top selling golf driver with excellent feedback from golfers who say it is "consistent, long, and straight" with some mid-range handicappers gaining 40 yards off the tee. We found golfers with lower handicaps rated the Mizuno higher for feel and accuracy while higher handicappers said they got better ball flight and trajectory. You might wonder were the Nike Golf Men's VRS showed up - Nike tied for 2nd place in the survey. The Nike was good in distance, but "just average" in terms of forgiveness which kept it off our "best" list, but still a popular, good driver. The (RECOMMENDED) Callaway XHot Driver is another favorite year in and year out, and you can usually pick it up for less than $175 (you may also want to check out the new Callaway RAZR Hawk Tour Driver -- browse all Callaway drivers here). So as a general rule, you can't go wrong buying a Callaway or Taylormade driver, and specific Nike and Cleveland will also make you a happy golfer.
Moveable Weight Driver:Taylor Made makes some great golf clubs and PGA tour pros love them. We think the (RECOMMENDED) TaylorMade Men's R11 Driver is the best moveable weight driver out there. The large clubhead gives you high MOI and forgiveness which translates into long, straight drives. The TaylorMade R11 is meant for a mid to low handicapper and comes available for right or left handed players. Players will need to tinker a bit with the Flight Control Technology which is adjustable as well as the Adjustable Sole Plate which changes the face angle. I've played with both of the R7 and R11 and love their feel, though I can't swear that moving the weights around really improves my shots. These clubs are fairly expensive, but a good driver should last you for at least 5 years. Take a peak at the entire Taylormade collection here.
Best Value Golf Driver:Although the Ping G30 is more expensive than some of the models listed in the "best driver" category above, it too rates very well with professionals and amateurs and for the money, we say you get the best technology and performance. The Ping G30 ($300+) is 460cc offering you a large head which is great for forgiveness and a big sweet spot. The Ping driver is ideal for lower spin and higher launch tee shots that should equate into more distance and roll for you. The loft ranges from 7.5-12.0 degrees with a few offset models available. The milled face increases ball speed and produces better performance for all golfing abilities. Get down to your local golf shop for a free demo of any Ping club and see what you think for yourself. Feedback on Ping is high since their customer service is probably one of the best out there. Ping has been known for their putters, but we think the G30 will bring them a whole new customer base. It's doesn't hurt that Bubba Watson (the longest driver on tour) is their sponsored player.
Golf Driver Tips:If you are reading this section, perhaps you are not so quick to blame the club and you realize you might have something to do with the bad "drives". There are no cure all golf drivers to fix slices and hooks or bad swing paths. Start by taking a basic lesson with your local club pro and see what they can do for you - it's a great $60 investment that could last a lifetime. Instead of spending $300 on an expensive new driver, consider working on your swing path with a certified teacher once or twice and you will probably see the extra 30-50 yards in your drives. There are no guarantees in golf, but we have found that people shave off more strokes through practice and lessons than they do with buying new clubs that promise results but very rarely deliver.
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