Every golfer can use more distance. Balanced distance off the tee can create shorter irons and wedges into green and much lower scores. The advent of strokes gained is showing players in new ways just how much of an advantage hitting longer, straighter drives can be. Players can make more strides in their game by optimizing their tee shots by getting the right equipment in their hands.
We golf course tested and fully reviewed all of the drivers in these guides, and wrote them just for you. Please take a look and let us know what you think!
Top 10 Best Drivers for Distance
Modern drivers bring players more ball speed, more forgiveness, and more adjustability than ever before. The combination of this new technology and engineering means that you can get a driver built for your swing and hit longer, more consistent drives. Understanding the different parts of the driver and how these all work to help you create a more balanced golf ball flight is critical for your club fitting.
This guide will take you through the more important components of the golf driver and help outlines things that you should be getting with your new fitting. Making sure that you play what is best for your game is the best way to play better golf faster.
When Do You Use A Golf Driver?
Drivers are most often used on par-4 and par-5 golf holes. Elite players may also use their drivers from the ground to reach long par-5s with only two shots. These shots are difficult and are not recommended for many players.
Finding the Best Driver for Your Golf Game
Each swing is different. The difference between your swing and other golfers will determine which blend of equipment is best for you. Matching a club to your swing involved understanding ways that equipment can help your game and ways that it cannot. A properly fit golf club will lead to more consistent impacts, longer carry distance, and more accuracy.
The price for drivers continues to increase. This increase in price can be difficult to justify for many golfers. Great products can be found on the second-hand market or in prior generation models for much less than the price of the brand new models. Budget-conscious golfers should understand that models even two or three years old can provide massive improvements in their game.
Key Factors in Creating the Ideal Golf Shot
Your ideal golf shot will produce the maximum distance for your swing speed and stop any leaks you have from your technique. Blending parameters like ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, and shot shape all play a role in getting the most out of your golf swing.
Ball speed is a great way to assess both the efficiency of your swing and the fit of your golf club. As players swing with more club head speed, the ball speed they can produce will increase. The rules of golf regulate drivers in producing ball speeds no more than 1.5 times the amount of club head golfers can produce. That means that players swinging at 80 miles per hour with their driver should expect ball speeds near 120 miles per hour. 100 miles per hour swings will yield ball speeds around 150 miles per hour and PGA tour level swings beyond 110 miles per hour will see ball speeds into the 160’s and 170’s.
This relationship of 1.5 should be considered when evaluating the fit of your current driver and the purchase of your next one. For players getting drastically less performance than this, a change in technique or equipment is warranted. Understanding that more ball speed gives players the potential for more distance can be the secret to unlocking more yards off the tee.
Another important club fitting term that will influence both your carry and the total distance is the launch angle of your golf ball. This angle is influenced by several factors that help determine the height and arc of your golf shot.
The launch angle of your driver shots are determined by these factors:
Clubface Static Loft =The static loft of your golf driver is the number marked on the club head and ranges between 8- and 12-degrees most commonly. This number can be measured while the driver is at rest.
Dynamic Loft =Is the loft presented by the golfer at impact with the golf ball. Due to variations in your wrist angels and swing characteristics, most players present a loft that is different from the stated loft on their golf clubs. This angle is much more influential in creating the launch of your golf ball and should be the emphasis is getting you the best fit.
Angle of Attack (AoA) =The vertical angle that players use to hit their golf shots also influences the angle their golf ball launches from. This angle of attack, or AoA, is typically registered in positive, upwards angles, or negative, downward angles.
Impact Location =Where the golf ball is struck on the club face also creates a large fraction of your launch conditions. Shots struck higher in the club face tend to launch higher and spin less. Shots struck from the bottom of the club face will launch lower and spin more.
The recommended launch angle for most players is between 12- and 15- degrees. These measurements can be taken in club fitting studios in most retail and pro shop locations.
Spin rates cause the golf ball to lift into the air and curve side-to-side. The right amount of backspin and sidespin will give you longer, straighter golf shots that perform better in the wind and help you shoot better scores. Optimizing spin rates is a great way for players to find more distance from added carry numbers and more roll out.
Here are some of the ways sidespin occurs, and what it does to your golf shot
Axis tilt on the golf ball can result in shots that curve through the air. These curves have names depending on which way they begin and end. Shots that begin to the right and curve leftward are called a draw for the right-handed golfer. Left-handed players will observe their draw moving from left to right.
The opposite axis tilt on the golf ball will result in a shot called a fade. These shots begin to the left and curve rightward for the right-handed player and right to left for the left-handed player.
Topspin is observed once the golf ball has landed or in the case of extreme misstrikes with your golf clubs. Golf shots with topspin will fall rapidly out of the air and rob the player of significant distance.
Golf shots that become airborne all have an element of backspin. Getting the right amount of backspin is very important for finding your maximum distance. Too much backspin and you will get a golf shot that flies to high and stop quickly. Shots hit with too little backspin will fall out of the air quickly and fly too low.
Top Rated Golf Drivers Features
The design of modern drivers helps create different options so that each golfer can find their ideal fit. Commonalities exist between each build however that can help you decide where to start your testing. Each driver will be built with a club head, shaft, and grip that will complete your connection to your club. Getting each of these correct can ensure your ideal fit.
With so many options and different opinions of golf shafts, it can be difficult to understand which model is right for you. Most shafts are available in weight, flex, and bend point profiles that help each golfer feel comfortable and make their best swing. While there is no rule to which golf shaft you should play, faster-swinging players often find more comfort in heavier, stiffer golf shafts. Slower swing players enjoy the feel of lighter, softer shaft options.
Driver shafts often weight between 40- and 90-grams. Flexes as soft as amateur or ladies flex are available with stiffer options up to extra- and tour-extra-stiff. The only way to know what weight, flex, and bend profile is best for your game is to test different models with different combinations of club heads to find a combination that works for you.
Understand that a golf shaft that works in one club head may not work in another. Sometimes, players are able to fit one shaft into multiple models and find great success. There is no one guide that can tell you exactly how a golf shaft will perform with your swing. We recommend seeing a club fitter with various options before purchasing your next club.
Modern drivers have head sizes between 430 and 460 cubic centimeters, ccs. These sizes come in various shapes and profiles to fit player preferences and club fitting needs. Larger golf club heads can be higher launching and more forgiving but will vary drastically depending on their loft and center of gravity measurements.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is common to have questions during club buying, especially with the driver. This is a club that you will likely use more than 10 times per round and it is important that you get it right. We have provided some commonly asked questions for your reference below.
Q: How Do I Measure A Golf Driver’s Shaft Length?
A: Measuring a golf club length and the shaft length can be done using a measuring stick or tape measure. To do so, place the golf club into a playing position and measure the length from the end of the grip, butt end, to the middle of the club face. This length is the total length of that golf club. The shaft length can be found by measuring the length from the butt end of the grip to the hosel connection.
Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
A: Drivers and fairway woods can look similar and carry similar branding. The largest difference between the two is the construction of the head shape and the sole of each club. Drivers are designed to strike a golf ball from a tee. This means the club face is deeper top-to-bottom and less versatile from the ground. Conversely, fairway woods are built to hit the golf ball from a short tee or the ground. The shape of the fairway woods’ sole is crafted to glide through turf and rough to help players hit the golf ball more easily from across the golf course. While these golf clubs may feature similar lofts, your results may be better or worse with different models depending on your swing.
Q: What is an Adjustable Driver, and Does it Really Matter?
A: Adjustable drivers offer golfers and club builders more options to give you your ideal golf club. Hosels settings can be altered to give one club head several different lofts and face angle settings. This differences can have a radical effect on launch angle, start direction, and shot shapes.
Moveable weight on the rear and bottom of drivers can also help players to dial in their launch, spin, and shape preferences. The location of the center of gravity can shed spin and give drivers more draw or fade bias depending on what each player needs. Weights located nearer the club face will produce shots that launch lower and spin less. More rearward weights may produce higher launching, higher spinning golf shots.
Q: How Do You Know if a Driver is USGA Conforming?
A: Each year, as new drivers are produced, they are tested to ensure they do not give any player a playing advantage over his or her competition. The USGA is responsible for ensuring fair competition among equipment manufacturers and the list of approved products can be found at the link below.
Best Driver for Distance
TaylorMade M5 Driver
The TaylorMade M5 driver gives players the ultimate array of adjustable options for maximum distance. The brand new inverse T-track gives players more options to place weights behind their typical impact locations and get more ball speed than ever before. Injected Twist Face ensures that each golfer is getting the legal limit in ball speed to maximize efficiency and get more yards off the tee. In the bags of some of the game’s best players, the M5 driver is the go-to club for better players and elite golfers with high swing speeds. Twist Face ensures more accuracy, the legal limit of ball speed ensures more distance, and the movable weight ensures each player gets the ideal balance of launch and spin.
Callaway Flash Sub Zero Driver
Callaway has re-engineered the driver face using artificial intelligence. By simulating thousands of golf ball impact locations, Callaway engineers have built a driver face with a one-of-a-kind wave pattern to give players more ball speeds in every part. Coupled with the low spin nature of the Sub Zero center of gravity, the Epic Flash Sub Zero is perfect for players looking to maximize distance and performance off the tee. One of the most forgiving low spin drivers in history, the Epic Flash Sub Zero is an ideal blend of distance and accuracy for an even wider category of golfer. The second generation of one of the most successful drivers Callaway has ever produced, the Epic Flash is a must try for players looking to pick up any additional yards off the tee this season.
PING G410 Plus Driver
One of the most balanced drivers in 2019 is the Ping G410 Plus. The G410 Plus introduces Ping’s first movable weight technology. By placing this weight around the perimeter of the golf club, Ping has retained MOI and given players more forgiveness and distance. Ping G410 Plus helps players get consistently longer drives by giving them ball speed and more forgiveness where it matters. Players looking to pick up yards but not lose their strength in fairway hit can build the G410 Plus for their launch, spin, and shot shape preferences.
Callaway Epic Flash Driver
Used on Tour by a myriad of Callaway staff players, the Epic Flash is not only long, it is extremely forgiving. The standard model Epic Flash is still relatively low spinning for long drives but is higher in its moment of inertia characteristics than its Sub Zero counterpart. This higher MOI means more fairways hit even without your best swing every hole. Players who are looking to hit the ball longer but know they need help when they do not strike the golf ball in the middle of the golf club every time should look to the Epic Flash in 2019. Artificial intelligence inspired distance and ball speed with a carbon crown and Jailbreak forgiveness gives players the most advanced and forgiving driver Callaway has ever built.
TaylorMade M6 Driver
Often billed as the higher launching, higher spinning, more forgiving option in the TaylorMade lineup, the M6 driver is anything but short. The M6 can give players more ball speed from higher MOI and more consistent distance. Played on Tour and by many elite amateurs, the M6 driver is not to be overlooked if you are looking for more distance this year. The combination of legal limit ball speed from the Injected Twist Face and more forgiveness from an inertia generator help make M6 one of the most complete driver offerings in this year’s cycle.
Cobra F9 Speedback Driver
Cobra is taking a slightly different approach to giving players more distance this season. The F9 Speedback driver uses improved aerodynamics to give players more club head speed and the potential for more ball speed. Join that with a fully CNC milled face and speed-tuned performance from optimized weight placement and the F9 delivers longer drives and shorter irons into greens. Adjustable sole weights help players to find their ideal launch and shed excess backspin for longer drives in the air and on the ground. The F9 comes in two fast color options of yellow and red or avalanche white that are sure to make a statement in your bag and in your game.
Mizuno Golf ST190 Driver
Known for making some of the game best looking and best feeling irons, Mizuno is taking a hold on the entire golf bag in 2019. The ST190 driver introduces golfers to what Mizuno is calling the Dark Side of Distance. Shifting away from their signature blue crown, the ST190 driver is a radical departure back to traditional. The ST190 is already a winner on the PGA Tour and a first for Mizuno in a number of years. Players familiar with Mizuno irons and hybrids that have wanted to make a new driver or fairway wood a part of their bag can now do so without sacrificing performance.
Srixon Z 785 Driver
Srixon introduces golfers to their new Z 785 driver for this season. The Z 785 driver is Srixon’s fastest driver ever. The Z 785 uses a lightweight carbon crown and Ti51AF Cup Face technology to give golfers more ball speed and longer drives. Another company looking to make a name for themselves outside of the iron and golf ball market, Srixon is delivery better drivers and fairway woods than ever before. If you have never tested a Srixon driver or have shied away due to a lack of performance, the Z 785 should be on your list.
Tour Edge Exotics EXS Driver
Tour Edge makes impressive fairway wood and hybrid technology that makes their clubs easy to launch and more forgiving from a variety of lies. For their Exotics EXS driver, more of that R&D has been packed into a completely redesigned club head. Variable face thickness and a slipstream sole help make the EXS faster and longer than previous Tour Edge products. At a price point that leaves more than enough room for more new equipment or more practice and play, the EXS driver is a steal. Players wanting to improve their game by getting a better club from the tee but can’t pay top dollar can find the best of both worlds with the EXS driver from Tour Edge.
Wilson Staff Driver
Golf is a demanding game that can cost a lot of money. Wilson continues to make products that make the game easier without making people pay premium prices. The Wilson Staff driver is another example of top of the line equipment at a fraction of the price of other drivers. The Wilson Staff driver packs more technology into a simple design that gives golfers more yards off the tee and more money left to play. If you are a budget conscious player looking to pick up distance and play more golf this year, the Wilson Staff driver may be your go-to weapon this season.
What Driver Should You Buy?
Our role is to inform you of the most important things to consider when buying your next driver. Understanding how the golf club can help you play better golf is critical in getting the best equipment in your hands. Which club is best for you can is best identified by testing different models with different combinations of shafts and grips
Each company produces various driver models made to fit a wide range of different player types and swing characteristics. It is evident that no one driver is best for everyone, yet there is one driver that is best for each player. Finding that driver can mean more distance, more fairways, and much better scores.
Whether you are a weekend golfer looking to pick up the distance to get past your foursome or an elite amateur looking to create a name for yourself playing a game you love, everyone plays their best golf with equipment built for their game. Going to see your local pro and working on your technique and equipment setup are the best way to improve your game the fastest. If you are looking to find holes in your current bag or get yourself fit into better clubs this season, be sure to check out our other reviews and buying guides. Thanks for reading, and see you again soon!