How to Find the Right Golf Driver for You
For many, finding the right driver for their golf set can be a daunting task. Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time golfer looking to move on from an older club. Regardless of the reason, we’re here to help golfers learn how to find the right driver for them.
We broke down the selection process into five major components to guide you on what product will be best for you:
- Clubhead size
- Pre-loved or new
Having the right flex for your shaft, especially with your driver, will make a massive difference on the golf course. Using a shaft too soft for your swing will result in slices as the clubface will be open at impact. On the other hand, a shaft too stiff will push your ball to the inside of your stance as the clubface will be shut at impact.
Shaft flexes are broken down into five main categories for retail: senior (SR), ladies (L), regular (R), stiff (S), extra-stiff (XS). But how can you know which flex is right for you if you’ve never swung a club before? Fortunately, we have some solutions for you to try:
How to test your flex at home?
Try a friend’s driver
If you’re looking to get into golf, chances are it’s because you’re looking to join your friends. If that’s the case, find a moment to visit the driving range with them to try out their clubs and figure out which flex is best for you.
Test clubs on an indoor simulator
You don’t have friends who play already? Head to your nearest golf store to try some clubs out on their simulator screen. Don’t worry, trying out the clubs doesn’t force you to buy anything. We suggest you use these simulators to test out the clubs and head online afterward to find the best deal possible.
As we mentioned already, the classifications of flexes are based on norms that are determined by the standardized swing speeds. Here’s a rundown of the right flex based on swing speed:
|Flex - As shown on the club||Target Swing Speed & Average Driving Distance|
|Senior – SR, Lite, 4.5||
120 to 130 km/h
Average driving distance: < 180 yards
|Ladies – L, 5.0||
130 to 140 km/h
Average driving distance: 185 to 200 yards
|Regular – R, 5.5||
140 to 155 km/h
Average driving distance: 200 to 250 yards
|Stiff – S, 6.0||
155 to 170 km/h
Average driving distance: 250 – 275 yards
|Extra-Stiff – XS, 6.5||
Average driving distance: 280+ yards
Unlike shaft flex, driver lofts are not standardized nor are they based on any reference, except for the fact that the optimal launch angle of the golf ball off the tee should be between 15 and 17 degrees.
The loft angle of your clubface doesn’t need to be as high since you’re already hitting up on the ball with a driver. This means that depending on the angle of your golf swing and the speed of your swing, the loft of your clubface will need to be adapted as well. Here’s how you can break it down:
- Low loft angle (under 8 degrees of loft): Used by golfers who naturally swing up on the ball with a driver or golfers with a very fast swing speed.
- Standard loft angle (9 to 11 degrees): The most common loft angle found on retail drivers. Most of them will feature a 10.5 loft angle.
- High loft angle (12+ degrees): Usually found on drivers designed to have a higher loft angle, which is created to help players who have a hard time hitting up on the ball. The loft will compensate for the downward swinging motion.
Many driver models can be adjusted to better fit a player's game. These adjustments can be found under the clubhead of the driver or near the hosel where the shaft and the clubhead meet.
Loft sleeve adjustment
As we’ve established previously, the loft angle of your driver will need to fit your needs. However, most amateur golfers lack the consistency required to keep the same swing over a full season. The adjustable loft sleeve allows them to adjust the loft angle to optimize the launch off the tee.
The range of loft adjustments possible will vary from one brand to the next, but you’ll usually be able to change the loft by 2 degrees, up or down.
Adjustment weights are usually found on the sole, and sometimes, along the back edge of the sole. They usually come in two different styles, static adjustment weights, and moveable adjustment weights.
Static adjustment weights
The weights are strategically placed on the sole of the club to optimize its performance. They can usually be removed, or replaced using a torque wrench. Be sure to replace any adjustment weights you take out as they are key to the club’s performance.
If the club doesn’t include additional adjustable weights at purchase, this is a good indication that the adjustment weights featured on the club are not meant to be adjusted.
Rail-mounted adjustment weights
Some models will feature their adjustable weights on a sliding track. These weights and tracks are usually there to help golfers who are looking to correct, or even force, the desired trajectory out of their golf ball. Here again, all you need is a torque wrench to move the weights along the track.
Golf clubheads are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Drivers will stand in the biggest format range allowed by the Rules of Golf (430 to 460cc) and the size will usually vary depending on the type of golfers targeted by a specific club.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a modern driver under 430cc, which is considered a small clubhead nowadays. These drivers featuring a smaller clubhead are mostly targeted at skilled golfers who are looking for as much control over the flight of golf balls.
The vast majority of modern drivers are built on a 460cc clubhead because it allows their engineers to pack up as many tech innovations in there. These larger clubheads are targeted at golfers looking for a big contact surface off the tee with the massive clubface found on these clubs.
Pre-loved or brand-new
This last point all comes down to your budget and your needs. Pre-loved golf clubs are the preeminent option for golfers looking to score a great deal on a club that used to be the top of the line. On the other hand, brand-new clubs will feature innovations that may help some golfers take their game to the next level.
Why choose pre-loved golf clubs?
The main benefit of pre-loved golf clubs is the price. These clubs are usually a few years old, but most of them will feature technological innovations that are still staples on the newest models from the top brands in the game.
Additionally, pre-loved drivers are great as you get to try them out from the comfort of your local club, and then return the ones that don’t work for you, without having to pay a restocking fee.
Why choose brand-new golf clubs?
If budget is not an issue for you, then we understand your desire to get the latest and greatest. The great thing about these top-end drivers is that you’ll be able to count on the quality of the product for at least the next decade without having to worry about how it was previously used and stored.
Still want to get your hands on a brand-new driver, but you’re not comfortable with the price tag? Don’t worry! We’ve got a solution for you with Golf Avenue’s combined cart. A revolutionary way of getting your hands on the driver of your dreams, while knocking a lot of money off the price by trading in your old clubs. All within one single transaction!
Until next time,
The Golf Avenue team