Mid-handicap players are often looking for ways to make improvements to their growing game. Finding the right equipment can make a drastic difference in golfer’s performance and consistency around the golf course. If you are playing a driver that is more than five years old or you have never been custom fit for a driver, you are most likely giving up distance, forgiveness, and accuracy to your playing partners. We have created a guide tailored to the mid-handicap player that outlines the most important components of golf drivers and how to find the model best suited for your swing.
Below, we take you through different ball flight and club engineering parameters to help you upgrade your current gamer. Seeing a club fitting professional and trying different models is always the best way to know which driver is best for your swing. We arm you with the knowledge and the right questions to ask to ensure that your money isn’t wasted and you walk away from this article a better golfer.
Top 6 Best Drivers for Mid-Handicap Golfers for 2019
- Faster, streamlined design to increase distance and club head speed
- Thinner, hotter impact area for high ball speeds and distance
- Turbulators reduce aerodynamic drag and create more efficient airflow around head
- Speed Injection process is designed to maximize ball speed and distance
- New face curvature with a corrective face angle on off center hits
- Aerodynamic shaping designed to provide increased club head speed for more distance
- Flash Face to help golfers get more ball speed for more distance
- First use of AI Technology to create a radically different face
- Two internal bars that stiffen and stabilize the crown and sole
- Low, multi-material tungsten weight structure creates a low, deep CG
- Speedback Technology delivers a highly aerodynamic clubhead design
- First of its kind to achieve true optimization of aerodynamics and low CG
- Inverse T-Track enables two 10g weights to be maneuvered for optimal spin and trajectory
- New face engineered to reduce side spin and deliver straighter shots
- The Speed Injection process is designed to maximize ball speed and distance in the M6 driver
- SP700 Titanium Face for greater responsive force for increased ball speed and distance
- Carbon Composite Crown allows weight to be moved low within the clubhead
- Quick Switch Adaptor for defined loft/lie settings
Prior Generation Value Drivers
- New face curvature w/corrective face angle on off-center hits, to deliver straighter shots
- Reinforced outer portions of the slot allow for a lighter, more flexible face
- The center portion of the slot increases ball speed low on the face
- New face provides more loft in high-toe & less loft in low-heel for more consistent spin
- New sole slot implemented into our most adjustable driver for the first time
- The center portion of the slot increases ball speed low on the face
- First fully Machined driver face is CNC milled to create our thinnest, hottest, and most precise face
- Maximum club head speed from 360 Aero-Innovative Tips
- A lighter 5-ply carbon fiber crown saves weight to move the CG lower and deeper
- Exceptional Ball Speed from The Jailbreak Effect
- More MOI and Forgiveness from Our Triaxial Carbon Crown
- Industry-leading Boeing Aero Package
- Lightweight design provides exceptional ball speeds
- Thinner face and aerodynamic head allow for extra distance
- No tinkering needed to obtain great consistency
When Do You Use A Golf Driver?
Drivers are used on par-4 and par-5 golf holes where players value proximity for their approach shots. Drivers can also be used from the ground, however, many opt for more friendly fairway woods as the drivers can be a more risky choice.
Finding the Best Driver for Your Golf Game
The best driver for you is based on several factors. Price, performance, style, visual preferences, and feel all play a role in determining which golf club should go into your bag. Balancing your subjective desires with the measured performance and engineering of each golf club is an important relationship.
Drivers are the most expensive golf clubs available, apart from specialty putters. Making this large financial decision should not be done without weighing alternative options. Many great performing drivers can be found for less money on second-hand or previous generation markets. Getting a high-quality club built for your swing can save you time and money while still helping you play better golf.
Key Factors in Creating the Ideal Golf Shot
Players often swing the driver at a variety of club head speeds and with different swing characteristics. Many players are leaking distance and accuracy due to impact misstrikes or swing deficiencies. In order to get maximum distance and accuracy out of your swing, you must balance the different components of the ideal golf shot.
Ball speed is the velocity of the ball when it leaves the golf club face after impact. it makes contact with a driver’s clubface. Ball speed is produced by factors that include club head speed, impact location, club loft, center of gravity locations and others. The rules of golf limit equipment to a maximum production of ball speed. Drivers can only produce a ball speed that is 1.5 times the number of club head speed. This means that for every one mile per hour of club head speed you deliver, you can obtain 1.5 miles per hour of ball speed. For example, a player that swings his or her driver at 100 miles per hour can have a maximum ball speed of 150 miles per hour. Anything less than that is a sign of less efficiency.
Efficiency can be improved by using a driver that is fit more appropriately for your swing or by making swing changes that influence your impact conditions. Smash factor or efficiency are often used to assess players abilities to deliver the golf club to the maximum potential.
Launch angle plays an important role in determining how far your golf ball goes. The launch angle is the angle at which the golf ball leaves the golf club in relation to the ground. Golf shots that launch too high or too low will lose distance.
The launch angle of your golf shots is determined by four important factors:
Clubface Static Loft =The static loft of a golf club is the measured loft of the golf club while it is not in motion.
Dynamic Loft =As golfers swing, they deliver the golf club with more and less loft than the measured static loft. This measure is the most important loft measurement as it dictates the presenting angle of the golf club.
Angle of Attack (AoA) =The angle of attack is the arch the golf club approaches the golf ball from. Downward angles of attach are denoted with negative numbers. Upward angles of attack are denoted with positive numbers.
Impact Location =Where the golf ball is struck on the club face also influence the launch angle. Shots struck higher in the face will launch higher than shots struck from the bottom.
For the majority of golfers, a launch angle between 12- and 15-degrees gives the maximum distance and control.
Spin rates are another important consideration when determining your ideal ball flight. Distance can be lost due to too much backspin, too little backspin, or excessive side spin. Longer distances can be achieved based on your swing speed and getting the optimal amount of backspin in your new driver.
Here are some of the ways sidespin occurs, and what it does to your golf shot
A draw is the result of a golf ball with sidespin that tilts its axis right to left for the right-handed golfer and left to right for the left-handed golfer. Draws are produced by club paths that are more right than the club face at impact, for the right-handed player, and more left of the club face at impact, for the left-handed golfers. Golf shots with too much draw are termed a “hook.”
A fade is the opposite of a draw and is the result of a golf ball with sidespin that tilts its axis left to right for the right-handed golfer and right to left for the left-handed golfer. Fades are produced by club paths that are more left than the club face at impact, for the right-handed player, and more right of the club face at impact, for the left-handed golfers. Golf shots with too much fade are termed a “slice.”
Topspin is seldom created unless by extreme misstrikes unless on the greens. Topspin will cause the golf ball to fall out of the air immediately and is often misinterpreted for very little backspin.
Each shot that is sent airborne will launch with a certain degree of backspin. This spin creates a lifting effect and carries the golf ball higher into the sky. Golf shots that spin too much will lose distance due to excessive climbing. Golf shots with too little backspin become unstable and curve offline violently.
Top Rated Golf Drivers Features
Golfers are built to perform differently in each player’s hands. However, several factors remain consistent through golf models to ensure that players can find their optimal fit. Driver models will all include a club head that helps it deliver speed, launch, spin, and forgiveness profiles for different swings. A shaft will connect the club head to a grip of the player’s choosing.
Golf shafts can be thought of as devices that deliver the golf club head to the ball. A great fitting shaft will help players to deliver the golf club consistently and with the most efficiency. Golf shafts vary greatly within weight, flex, and bend profiles. Finding your ideal shaft is a process of elimination or seeing an advanced club fitter who can help you.
Shafts come in a range of lengths, weights, flexes, and bend curves that help each player match their swing and ball flights to different options. Faster swinging players tend to favor shafts that are heavier and stiffer in flex. Slower swing speed players often gravitate towards shafts that are lighter and softer. Driver shafts can weight between 40- and 90-grams and have flexes ranging through ladies up to extra-stiff.
The right shaft is an incredible addition to your golf club. The right shaft will help you strike the golf ball more consistently and help you dial in your feel and feedback preferences. The shaft should not be overlooked during your next fit and it goes far beyond matching flex to your swing speed.
Modern driver club head sizes range between 440 cubic centermeters, ccs, and 460 ccs. These differences in size can lead to varieties in ball speed, launch and spin, and forgiveness between different models. Players will need to match driver club head sizes to their swing for the best balance of speed and forgiveness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most requently asked questions associated with driver club buying.
Q: How Do I Measure A Golf Driver’s Shaft Length?
A: To measure your driver, take a 48-inch measuring stick or tape measure and set up the club as if your were addressing a golf ball. Set the measuring stick next to the club shaft and measure the club from the butt end of the grip to the bottom of the golf club. This length is your driver club length. Shaft length should be measured from grip end to the hosel.
Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
A: Drivers and fairway are very similar in their appearnace and internal constructions. The most visually apparent difference is the size of the club head and the static loft. Driver are larger in size and tend to have less loft than fairway woods. Drivers are desinged to hit the golf ball off a tee. Fairway woods are built to hit the ball from both a tee and several different ground conditions. The difference in the sole shapes of these two clubs make the better suited to different situations around the golf course.
Q: What is an Adjustable Driver, and Does it Really Matter?
A: Adjustable drivers have become more popular as movable weights and custom club fitting is advancing. Adjustable drivers allow golfers and club builders to fit golfers into their ideal setups more easily. Adjustable hosels can create an array of lofts, face angles, and shot shape biases all within a single production head. Movealbe weights can influence forgiveness, spin, and shot shapes as well. Getting the right face angle, loft, and center of gravities are critical in getting your best driver fit.
Q: How Do You Know if a Driver is USGA Conforming?
A: Drivers that are a part of the USGA conforming list can be found at the link below. Drivers are regulated so that they do not award players an advantage over the rules of golf as mandated by the USGA.
Best Driver for Mid-Handicap Golfers
1. PING G410 Plus Driver
Ping is building on the success of the G400 lineup by giving players more options than ever before. The introduction of a moveable weight on the rear of the G410 Plus driver is giving players more custom fit center of gravities and better control over their tee shots. By internalizing dragonfly, Ping engineers made G410 Plus faster and more forgiving than G400. G410 is one of the most complete drivers ever assempbled and is making a strong case for most outstanding driver of 2019. An absolute must try for any player looking to improve their game tee-to-green, the G410 Plus driver is faster and more forgiving than ever.
2. TaylorMade M6 Driver
The TaylorMade M6 is the more forgiving driver in the TaylorMade 2019 lineup. Injected Twist Face and an inertia generator makes M6 faster in both club head speed and ball speeds. The M6 is designed for simplified distance and helps make golf easier for golfers of any ability. Less adjustability in the M6 gives players a less expensive option with tour-level ball speeds. Elite golfers and handicap players can all get better by getting a driver built for them and the M6 is simplified performance in a forgiving package.
3. Callaway Epic Flash Driver
Callaway employed the use of artificial intelligence to design a driver face that gives players more speed even on mishits. By creating a variable wave pattern across the face, Callaway is giving all levels of golfers more ball speed and greater distances. The continuation of Jailbreak makes the Epic Flash the most advanced driver in Callaway’s storied history and we think it is one of the best options for pro and amateur golfers alike. A rear sliding weight helps the Epic Flash dial into your specific ball flight preferences and a large footprint helps make it easier to hit hole-after-hole.
4. Cobra F9 Speedback Driver
Cobra golf has redesigned their driver profile and aerodynamic properties to give the all-new F9 more speed and more distance. The Speedback design of F9 makes it more user-friendly and can give some players extra club head speed. More club head speed can equal longer drives and lower scores when fit to your mechanics. The precision milled face and adjustable sole weights help make F9 perfect for a wide range of golfers and the distinctive looks will help you stand out in your foursome. Cobra is touting the F9 as its best driver ever and we agree.
5. TaylorMade M5 Driver
TaylorMade markets the M5 to the world’s best player and elite amateurs. The M5 however, is a fully customizable driver that can be built for anyone’s swing and can help correct shot shape and mishit strikes. Although expensive, the M5 driver is the ultimate combination of distance and player customization. Sliding weights in the inverse T track help make the M5 one of the most changeable drivers on the market. Club fitters and golfers can use this technology to help them hit more fairways and get more distance even if their swing is changing. Injected Twist Face ensures that players are getting the most ball speed and the most forgiveness allowed by the rules of golf. Serious golfers of all abilities need to consider taking the plunge for TaylorMade’s most expensive option.
6. Mizuno Golf ST190 Driver
The ST 190 driver is the latest iteration of driver performance form Mizuno Golf. ST 190 combines an ultra-fast forged face, amplified wave sole technology, and a carbon composite crown to give players more speed and forgiveness. The introduction of the sleek all-black club head has been branded the dark side of distance by Mizuno. Optimized for distance, accuracy, and sound and feel, the ST 190 is Mizuno’s most complete driver ever. Known primarily for making the world’s best feeling irons, Mizuno is looking to get into more player’s bag in the driver and metalwood category this season.
7. Callaway Flash Sub Zero Driver
Often times, the low spin driver options are billed to the game’s better players and tour athletes. That perception is quickly being proven false and the Callaway Epic Flash Sub-Zero is quickly becoming one of the most popular low-spin drivers ever. The Epic Flash Sub-Zero is forgiving where other low-spin options have not been. The installation of a moveable weight help players correct their ball flights and dial in their big miss. No matter what your playing ability or skill level, do not be afraid to test the Sub-Zero version of the all-new Epic Flash. You may be able to put more distance in your game without subtracting any hit fairways.
8. Tour Edge Exotics EXS Driver
Tour Edge is well-known for making excellent fairway woods and hybrids. The Exotics range is looking to get more players into a Tour Edge driver than ever before. The EXS driver is a budget-friendly option that gives players a large array of custom fitting options. Changeable weight ports help make the EXS driver perfect for a wide range of players. Budget-conscious golfers can find similar performance in a driver that costs less than some premium fairway woods. The Exotics EXS is a well-priced driver that can make serious improvements in your game this season.
9. Srixon Z 785 Driver
New for 2019 is Srixon’s Z 785 driver. This lower spinning distance driver is great for players looking to improve distance off the tee box. Ti51AF Cup Face technology gives players more speed and a tour-inspired sound and feel. The compact look of the 785 makes it easy to shape shots and the quick tune system is simple for dialing in swing weights and centers of gravity. One of few Srixon drivers to win a Gold Medal by Golf Digest, the 785 is a must try for players who have never picked up a Srixon brand driver.
10. Wilson Staff Driver
The Wilson Staff driver is a budget-friendly driver option that can give players more performance off the tee. At a price point below $300, the Wilson Staff driver costs a fraction of other premium drivers. Upgrading your golf bag while leaving money left to play and practice golf is an overlooked part of making significant progress in your golf game. If you are a player looking to upgrade equipment in 2019 but do not want to spend too much money, the precision weight distribution and distinctive look of the Wilson Staff driver make it an easy choice.
What Driver Should You Buy?
All the drivers produced by all the major equipment manufacturers are great products designed to perform a particular role in different player’s hands. Finding the best driver for you involves matching these subtle differences in profiles to your swing dynamics and visual preferences. Getting the right club head matched to the best shaft and your grip of choice is the best way to build your new club from the ground up.
Understanding which questions to ask and why club fitters may push you towards certain club or shaft models over another is important as you develop your game and complete your golf bag with equipment that helps you shoot better scores. Knowing your swing is the best way to make smarter equipment choices.
Find a driver that fills you with confidence as it sits behind the golf ball. Built some of those models to fit your launch angles, spin rates, and shot shapes. Test various drivers and see how each model reacts as you hit the shots you will be playing during your rounds. Buying a new golf club should be a fun experience. It is an opportunity to learn about your game and get something that helps you play better golf. Make sure to check back often for updates about how to improve your golf and shoot your best scores ever. Thanks for reading!