Are you in the market for a new driver?
Here's a few things you might want to know before heading into a shop and spending hundreds of dollars on the wrong one.
Drivers these days are all forgiving. They are still huge at 460cc standard and all of them, from the premium brands anyway, are going to help you hit it straighter. The reason is, that all premium brands, do hundreds, if not thousands of hours testing before releasing anything. When I say a premium brand, I mean Callaway, Ping, Titleist, Taylor Made, Bridgestone, Wilson, Srixon, Exotics, Mizuno and any other big brand from overseas that promotes themselves in golf advertising. All of these premium brands spend millions of dollars researching the heads, the shafts, the weights, the swing weight, the balance, the length and the forgiveness of a prototype model before release. You can be confident in buying any of these premium models to help your game from the tee.
The question usually is, which type of model? This is the question I will help you with the answer here. Take the recent release of the Taylor Made M1 and M2 drivers. Both models were well received on tour and on golf courses around the world. You could not help but see the best players in golf using these two drivers. The difference in these drivers is the movable weights. The M1 driver is made for someone (like Jason Day) who wants to tinker with the club and move weight to help an already consistant swing and consistant ball flight. The minor changes in the movable weights will help this sort of player make minor changes to their overall tee game. The M2 is for the player (like Tiger Woods) who wants maximum forgiveness. This is a player who just wants maximum distance and maximum control. The larger head shape will help the average player just hit fairways, as well as increase their distance.
Distance is always the question. I cannot count the number of times customers ask me, "Will I hit this 20-30 meters further than my current driver?" The easy answer is, No. The more difficult answer is, what are you currently using? If you are hitting something that is 10+ years old, then the 20-30 meters is a maybe. A new driver is not always the answer to distance. Every single driver that has ever been produced says the same thing in it's media release - "It's long!" It's the same thing with golf balls. Yes, drivers these days are longer than in previous years, but we are talking about length that is hardly measurable. All a driver has to do is be half a meter longer in testing and the company will say how it's longer than their previous model. If drivers keep getting longer with every release, then we will be driving it over 400 meters in coming years surely? Surely not. A realistic increase in a new driver is somewhere between 8-15 meters, but for some people it can be longer. It makes a difference if it's a 8 iron to the green, instead of a 5, yes?
So what to buy for what sort of golfer? Here are a couple of suggestions.
1. If you are the type of golfer that always misses fairways and struggles to keep it straight, no matter what sort of driver you use, then you should be looking to gain control. The easiest way to gain control is to either cut an inch off your current driver shaft, or buy a mini driver. Lack of control is nearly always because drivers are long in length. The longer the leaver, the harder it is to control. Do not think that buying a stiffer flex driver will work. In most cases, it will not and it will lose you distance.
2. If you are a golfer that needs consistency, you should get a maximum forgiveness driver. No moving weights or different shaft options, just standard from the company's testing grounds and in their most forgiving model. Getting adjustable loft can help, but is not essential to most people.
3. If you are a very good golfer, you should be paying more attention to the shaft than the head. Good golfers and power hitters need to match the shaft on their driver to their swings. Shaft options these days will give you so much to choose from, but this is only good if you know what to look for. Many players will go for a heavier shaft, wrongly believing that it will keep them straighter and they can hit it harder and further. These players need to pay attention to the weight of a shaft, the kick point and the torque. A heavier shaft can work against you hitting it further because it may have too much weight, or a very low ball flight. This can cut down your hang time in the air and severely effect your carry distance. There are many shafts on the market that are light weight as well as low torque. This is a great combination for added distance because you can ramp up your swing speed and gain those extra meters without sacrificing shot dispersion. If you are one of these serious golfers, spend the money and get properly fitted, as a poor shaft will produce poor results. We are blessed in Australia to have many fitting centres. Callaway, Taylor Made, Titleist and Mizuno all have their own fitting centres and outdoor fittings using launch monitors are great for this as well.
4. The only play a few times a year golfer. If you only play once or twice a year and want something better to use, your local pro shop or golf store will nearly always have second hand drivers. You can pick up premium name drivers for a fraction of the cost a new one will set you back. Even if it looks a little scratchy and the paint is missing from parts of it, you are buying the better quality shaft and it will help you better than buying the $69 no name brand, still in the wrapper, driver.
Well, there you have it. Simple and easy to buy a new driver that will suit your game. Just one more thing you should consider. Hitting fairways is the way to lower scores. If there is an option to be straighter or longer, pick straighter every time. Shots are always made longer by hitting from the trees or the rough. If you would like any more advice about buying a new driver, you can email us through the Contact Page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Happy Buying!