Drivers or “woods” as these clubs are commonly called are primarily used for distance shots. Drivers generally have a larger face which makes it easier to hit the ball on the sweet spot, though it should be noted that the size of the head can vary. Clubhouse rules do restrict the size of a driver’s head to 460cc or less and there are some other factors to consider before you start choosing clubs. In this buying guide you will find informative tips that will make it easier for you to choose the right drivers for your skill level and style of playing.
Most golf bags have more than one driver, but if you are looking for a wood that is perfect for you the size of the head is an important aspect to consider. The size of the club’s head is measured in cubic centimeters, and the largest one manufactured is 460cc. This gives you plenty of forgiveness on your shot, which is always an advantage especially if you are new to the game. Drivers with heads measuring 440ccc are some of the most common, and can be used by players of all skill levels. The most important factor to remember is that as the measurements decrease so does the size of the club’s head.
Drivers are no longer constructed from wood and this has significantly improved its strength and durability. Today’s drivers are generally made from titanium or a composite material, and each has its own advantages. Titanium drivers are known for strength and durability, along with being incredibly lightweight. This lighter material also allows manufacturers to increase the size of the head for a larger sweet spot, without adding extra weight that could throw your swing off.
Clubs that are constructed from composite materials can provide golfers with a variety of options. Drivers that are constructed from carbon and titanium are lightweight, durable and can help increase the overall speed of the ball. When a heavier material such as tungsten is used with titanium it can increase the “moment of inertia” or MOI. When the MOI is higher the club is less likely to rotate, which is always an advantage if you frequently hit the ball off center.
Shaft length and flex
The shaft is another important aspect to consider, and you want the driver to do more than fit comfortably in your hand. The shaft flex will be one of the factors that determines how far and straight the ball flies, and you might need to try several different drivers before you find the right flex for you. Typically drivers that are less stiff are lightweight and capable of hitting the ball higher to the left or right. Drivers that are stiff will generally be heavier, and will hit the ball lower with a tendency to turn towards the right.
Even though you can legally play on a course with a shaft that measures 48 inches, most golfers prefer one that is slightly shorter. Shafts that are longer are capable of hitting the ball farther, but this also causes you to sacrifice control. Most players prefer using a driver with a 45 inch shaft, which gives you plenty of distance without giving up any control.
There are a few other features to consider before you run out to purchase a new driver, and one of these factors is the club’s loft. The loft determines how low or high the ball will travel, and most golf drivers have a loft that ranges from 8 to 12 degrees. If your swing is typically 90mph or less you will want to choose a driver with a loft of 10 degrees or higher. This will give the ball the backspin it needs to travel higher and farther. Players with a low handicap and golfers with swing speeds over 90mph will probably want to choose a club with a loft below 10 degrees.
Other factors to consider include launch angle which is also determined by the loft, and most experts recommend staying around 10 degrees. Drivers can also feature weights that can be adjusted, which is always an advantage if you are prone to slicing. You should also consider the COR or coefficient of restitution which refers to the amount of energy transferred when the club connects with the ball. While drivers with a higher COR will make it easier to always connect with the sweet spot, it should be noted that according to the laws set down by the USGA this cannot be higher than 83 percent.