Best Golf Drivers For 2018

Best Golf Drivers

 
With all the different types of drivers available, and a seemingly endless number of customization options, it is easy to be overwhelmed by which driver is the best for you. Whether you know what specific features you need for your next driver, or you just want the best overall driver, this list will help you make that decision.

The following drivers are the best overall golf drivers, but the list also includes unique strengths or characteristics of each, such as which ones include adjustable weight configurations, are great for increased forgiveness, increase swing speed, etc. It’s important to note that although a driver may have a particular feature for which it is best, manufacturers also try to make their clubs useful for everyone, so it would be a mistake to think that is only reason to choose a particular driver, so be sure to read through and study all the points below to help you decide which driver to pick up next. First, let’s take a look at some the options and considerations golfers need to be aware of when choosing a driver.
 

Our Favorites

Preview
Best Value Driver
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
EDITOR'S CHOICE
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Best New Driver
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Title
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Rating
Best Value Driver
Preview
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
Title
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
Rating
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Preview
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Title
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Rating
Best New Driver
Preview
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Title
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Rating

 
 

Our Top 5 Best Golf Drivers of 2018

 

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
TaylorMade M4 Driver

TaylorMade M4 Driver

TaylorMade

4 out of 5
Check for Price
  • New face curvature w/corrective face angle on off-center hits, to reduce side spin & deliver straighter shots. Provides more loft in high-toe & less loft in low-heel for more consistent spin
  • Hammerhead slot: the reinforced outer portions of the slot allow for a lighter, more flexible face, resulting in a larger sweet spot
  • The center portion of the slot increases ball speed low on the face and drops unwanted spin for more distance
  • GEOCOUSTIC: Shaped for a solid and explosive sound. Reduced sole volume enables a larger, more forgiving face.
GA Stamp

Our #1 Rated

4 out of 5
Our #2 Rated
TaylorMade M3 Driver 460

TaylorMade M3 Driver 460

TaylorMade

4 out of 5
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  • New face curvature w/corrective face angle on off-center hits, to reduce side spin & deliver straighter shots. 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. 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 & drops unwanted spin for more distance
  • The back y-portion provides forgiving draw and fade options. Splitting the weights provides the ultimate in forgiveness
GA Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5
Our #3 Rated

Callaway

5 out of 5
Check for Price
  • Exceptional Ball Speed from The Jailbreak Effect
  • More MOI and Forgiveness from Our Triaxial Carbon Crown
  • Industry-leading Boeing Aero Package
  • Premium Shaft Selection at Multiple Weights
GA Stamp

Our #3 Rated

5 out of 5
Our #4 Rated

Titleist

5 out of 5
Check for Price
  • SUREFIT HOSEL: Titleist's industry leading SureFit Hosel offers 16 independent loft and lie settings that help create a more consistent and optimized ball flight through precision fitting
  • RADIAL SPEED FACE 2.0: Enhanced with a thinner perimeter face width for more overall distance
  • ACTIVE RECOIL CHANNEL 2.0: Refined thickness through the channel reduces spin and increases speed
  • Interchangeable weights optimize spin and launch conditions for every player
  • The 917D2 Driver provides distance with forgiveness in a full pear, 460cc profile. It has been designed to deliver more forgiveness, a slightly higher launch and more spin versus 917D3.
GA Stamp

Our #4 Rated

5 out of 5
Our #5 Rated
Cobra 2018 King F8+ Driver Nardo

Cobra 2018 King F8+ Driver Nardo

Cobra

4 out of 5
Check for Price
  • Precision milled face-our first fully Machined driver face is CNC milled to create our thinnest, hottest, and most precise face EVER
  • 360 Aero-Innovative Polymer Aero trips positionedaround the perimeter of the clubhead improve drag reduction face-on throughthe downswing to generate maximumclubhead speed.
  • Ultralight Carbon Fiber Crown-A lighter 5-ply carbon fiber crown saves discretionaryweight to move the CG lower and deeper, producinghigher trajectories and increased forgiveness.
  • F8+ adjustable cg-2 CG positions in the front and back result in two very different ball flights to help you tune your distance and trajectory under variable conditions
  • My Fly 8 with SmartPad-8 easily adjustable loft settings help you managetrajectory and fine tune launch conditions to maximizedistance while SmartPad keeps the face square.
GA Stamp

Our #5 Rated

4 out of 5

 

When Do You Use A Golf Driver?

Always use a tee when hitting with your golf driver.

Typically, you will use a golf driver off of the tee box for holes where you have ample room to hit a shot the farthest distance possible. Good examples are par-5s and medium-to-long par-4s with relatively wide fairways. This will vary slightly depending on your confidence with a driver vs. a 3-wood or driving iron, as well as your skillset and preferences.
 

Finding the Best Driver for Your Golf Game

Honestly, choosing the right golf driver for you is dependent on your skill level, and what you are looking for in a driver. Are you a new golfer learning the game? Are you a mid-handicapper trying to break 80? Or are you a scratch golfer looking to fine tune your game? Do you like tinkering with your club, or just like simplicity? With so many aspects to consider when buying a golf driver, we wanted to help simplify the process by providing you a list of factors you should consider to help you make an informed decision.
 

Budget

Lastly, a golfer’s budget is important to consider when choosing a driver. Obviously, the price of a driver may be a limitation for some golfers. The drivers in the list below have a range of prices; however, if you are looking for budget recommendations to squeeze the most out of your new driver, then it may be better to get one of the drivers below that the manufacturer has already released a newer model. Particularly, drivers like the TaylorMade M1 and M2 could fit this role since they have been replaced by the M3 and M, but are still top drivers for 2018.
 

Key Factors in Creating the Ideal Golf Shot

If you want to drive the ball consistently 250-300 yards, then you are going to need to understand some of the key factors needed to create the ideal shot. This being Ball Speed, Launch Angle, and Spin.

Ball Speed

Ball Speed. Source adamyounggolf

Ball speed is the velocity of your ball immediately after making contact with the driver clubface. While your clubhead speed will vary between 75-100mph, the ball speed will be higher if you make proper contact. Clubhead speeds for drivers on the PGA Tour average 112 MPH while ball speeds average over 160MPH. Although most amateurs won’t reach anything near what the pros do, it’s still important to maximize ball speed for your driver.

The correlation between clubhead speed and ball speed is called Smash Factor. To calculate your Smash Factor, take the ball speed and divide it by the clubhead speed. The higher the Smash Factor, the more distance you’ll gain. If you can reach a smash factor somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5, you’ll instantly increase your distance with the driver.

Launch Angle

Launch Angle. Source adamyounggolf

If the ball comes out low, you won’t generate enough carry, which will cost you a lot of distance. The same problem occurs when you launch the ball too high, even though it looks better. Your goal for optimal ball flight is one that maximizes carry and roll when the driver is hit correctly.
 

The launch angle of your driver shots are determined by 3 factors:

    Clubface Loft = The effective loft of your clubface at address.

    Dynamic Loft =Most golfers arrive at impact with their hands behind the golf club, which adds loft. Conversely, if your hands are way ahead of the driver, you’ll decrease the effective loft at impact. Both can alter the initial launch angle.

    Angle of Attack =Steeper angles of attack tend to decrease loft, while shallower angles can increase effective loft.

According to launch monitor statistics, the optimal launch angle for a driver is about 12 degrees. This is the number you want to see whenever you are looking for the perfect driver, and the best way to achieve this number is by testing various shafts, lofts, and clubhead designs.

Ball Spin

Ball Travel.

Even if your launch angle is perfect, there’s another component to maximum distance: spin rate. Players who have a spin rate that is too low won’t maintain the proper flight, landing much sooner than what’s ideal. Although the ball will roll more once it hits, it will still be shorter than a shot with an optimal spin rate. A drive with too much spin will balloon into the sky, landing more like a wedge than a driver. An ideal spin rate is about 2700 rpm. Combined with a 12-13 degree initial launch angle, will produce the perfect flight, carry, and roll you’re looking for. Ball dispersion, also known as sidespin, can have a profound impact on your shot’s direction and overall accuracy.

Here are some of the ways sidespin occurs, and what it does to your golf shot

Draw

A draw occurs when the clubface path contacts the golf ball from the inside with a slightly open clubface relative to the target. The result is a golf ball that will start slightly right, then curves left for a right-handed golfer. The shot will fly slightly lower and roll more with a driver.

Fade

A fade happens due to a clubface that travels outside to inside and makes contact with the golf ball with a closed clubface relative to the target. The shot will start slightly left before bending to the right. With modern drivers, a fade tends to fly longer than a draw with lower spin, producing an increase in overall carry. Fades will tend to fly higher and land quicker than a normal shot.

Topspin

Unless you are purposefully blading a chip shot to get the ball rolling immediately, topspin is not a golfer’s friend. A drive hit with topspin will dive violently after a short flight in the air. It will usually roll a long way, but will still be far short of a solidly struck driver.

Backspin

Unless the ball is topped or bladed, every shot has backspin. The key is to maximize backspin when it helps and minimize backspin when it hurts. For example, you want a lot of spin from your wedges and short irons, which helps you stop the ball quickly on the greens, while less spin helps your tee shots carry farther and roll longer.
 

Top Rated Golf Drivers Features

Golfers need to consider four factors when choosing a driver – the shaft, the head, the loft, and the golfer’s budget. The first three of these factors are impacted by the speed of a golfer’s swing. There is a general guide you can use to determine swing speed that is based on which club you generally need to hit a ball 150 yards – if you use a lower iron, like a 6 iron, then you likely have a slower swing speed. If you use a higher iron, such as an 8 or 9 iron, then you likely have a higher swing speed.

Shaft

Types of Golf Shafts. Source callawaygolf

The shaft is important because links the golfer’s hands to the head and transfers all of that swing energy to the ball. Shafts vary by length, weight, and flex. Most of the drivers below come with options to customize the type of shaft when ordering the driver.

When looking at flex, be aware that stiffer shafts are generally better for those with a high swing speed. Thus, the more flexible shafts are better for golfers with slower swings. The same applies to the shaft weight – a lighter shaft increases a golfer’s swing speed, so it is better for golfers with a lower swing speed; whereas, heavier shafts slow down the swing and may be better for golfers that already have a higher swing speed. The flex of the shaft is noted by 5 different options, progressing from the stiffest to the most flexible – X, S, R, A, and L – meaning extra stiff, stiff, regular, Senior (Amateur), and ladies.

As for the shaft material, steel is generally more flexible but heavier and graphite is less flexible but lighter. Alternatively, a composite material is less common, but combines steel and graphite to be lighter in weight while still trying to maintain the benefits of a steel shaft.

Head Size

There many head sizes. Source golf.com

Generally, driver heads come in sizes between 440 cc to 460 cc. 440 cc heads are smaller and better for golfers that are more consistent and want to be able to apply small corrections to the flight of the ball; whereas, the 460 cc heads are larger and more forgiving. These larger heads are better for less consistent golfers who may want a little more forgiveness when driving the ball because they may not be hitting the ball exactly on center every drive.

Loft

A driver’s loft is also affected by relevant to a golfer’s swing speed. Generally, higher lofts are better for lower swing speeds and vice versa. Slower swings speeds (golfers that need to use a 6 iron or less to hit 150 yards) should consider lofts between 14 to 20 degrees, and faster swing speeds (golfers using 8 irons or higher to hit 150 yards) should consider 4 to 9 degrees. Golfers with mid-range speed swings would benefit from lofts between 9 to 14 degrees.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

We searched the internet to see what the most common questions for golfers were when looking to purchase their new golf club. Here are some frequently asked questions that may get you thinking about a few of your own. This is some of what people are asking when looking for the best option.
 

Q: Driver vs Woods: What is the Difference?

A: The biggest differences between a driver and a wood are its size, loft, and purpose. Drivers are almost exclusively treated like specialty clubs today. Since many of them are well over 400cc, drivers are extremely difficult to hit off the ground, even if they have close to the same loft as a fairway wood. Drivers feature large surface areas which make the sweet spot larger and provide golfers with more space to make contact with the golf ball. Fairway woods are designed similar to drivers, but have smaller heads and lower profiles, which allows players to hit the ball from a tee as well as the fairway, rough, and even fairway bunkers.

Although it is possible to hit a driver off the ground, unless you’re a very good player, it’s best to use your fairway woods instead. Conversely, your 3-wood off a tee won’t go nearly as far as your driver, so adjust your strategy accordingly. Some holes require more accuracy than distance, and that’s where a fairway wood works better than a driver.
 

Q: What is an Adjustable Driver, and Does it Really Matter?

A: Adjustable drivers feature special hosels that, when configured, can change the loft of the clubface up or down as much as two degrees. This is a great feature to configure your driver based on course and weather conditions. For example, adding loft can help you carry the ball longer when the course is wet and you won’t get much roll. However, the adjustment feature is best for those who prefer having those options, since the extra weight in the hosel alters the center-of-gravity and MOI, which can rob you of forgiveness on off-center hits. Adjustable drivers are nice, but you always have the option of getting a modern driver fully customized without ever having to adjust it.
 

Q: How Do You Know if a Driver is USGA Conforming?

A: Before a new club hits the market, the United States Golf Association tests the club to ensure that it conforms to USGA rules. To make this process easy for the consumer, the USGA has a public database that can show you if your driver conforms to the rules. You can check out this list by clicking on the link below.

http://www.usga.org/ConformingGolfClub/ConformingClubList_M.pdf
 

Q: How Do I Measure A Golf Driver’s Shaft Length?

A: Take a 48-inch metal measuring stick and set the club up as if you were addressing the golf ball. Note: if you try to do this on a table or on the ground, you won’t get an accurate measurement.

Once the club is set with the sole flush to the ground, line up the leading edge to the shaft and ensure that the edge is in line with the hosel. The measurement at the end of the shaft tip or grip is the length of the golf driver.

Our Favorites

Preview
Best Value Driver
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
EDITOR'S CHOICE
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Best New Driver
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Title
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Rating
Best Value Driver
Preview
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
Title
TaylorMade Driver-M2 2017 10.5 R Golf Driver, Right Hand
Rating
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Preview
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Title
TaylorMade M4 Driver (Stiff Flex, Right Hand, 9.5 Degrees)
Rating
Best New Driver
Preview
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Title
Cleveland Golf 2018 Men's HB Driver (Graphite, Right Hand, 10.5, Stiff)
Rating

 

Top 10 Best Golf Drivers for 2018

 

1. TayorMade M4 Driver

 


The TaylorMade M4 Driver is one of the most technologically advanced and our pick for best driver of 2018. The M4 combines an innovative new Twist Face technology, a Hammerhead slot, and Geocoustic design to provide the optimal speed, spin, and trajectory on drives. The Twist Face is useful for golfers that may have trouble hitting drives off-center on the head, as it corrects for those and provides maximum forgiveness. The new M3 also includes Twist Face, but the M4 is a little more universal for all levels of golfers because there is need to move the adjustable weights found in the M3 Driver.

The Geocoustic design found in the acclaimed M2 Driver, is improved in the M4 to provide even better sound and weight. Also, the M4 comes with an updated look, with a thin silver edge on the head instead of the white found in the M2. This provides a modern and updated look to what we consider the best driver for 2018.

TaylorMade M4 Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • One of the most technologically advanced drivers ever produced by TaylorMade
  • Off-center strikes can still result in incredible distance and accuracy off the tee
  • Costs less than the M3 Driver, it comes with the same advanced technology, just without the movable weights

Cons

  • More casual players may find the cost a little too high for their pocket books
  • The Twist Face benefits are difficult to precisely determine in testing
  • The lack of adjustability may be a negative for golfers that are more consistent and want to tinker with their club
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

2. TaylorMade M3 Driver

 


Our second pick, the TaylorMade M3 Driver, also includes the same innovative Twist Face technology and Hammerhead slot as the M4, but adds an adjustable weight system, configured in a split-weight, Y-Track design. The Y-track allows movement of 22 g (two 11g weights) from front to back and side to side, adjusting trajectory, forgiveness, and speed. This feature allows maximum customization, and a resultant benefit, for players that can hit consistently off of the tee.

The M3’s design and style are essentially the same as the M4. The noticeable exception is the visible Y-Track sliding weight system. Like the M4, the M3 also comes with the modern-looking thin silver edge styling on the head.

TaylorMade M3 Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • One of the most technologically advanced drivers ever produced by TaylorMade
  • Off-center strikes can still result in incredible distance and accuracy off the tee
  • Costs less than the M3 Driver, it comes with the same advanced technology, just without the movable weights

Cons

  • More casual players may find the cost a little too high for their pocket books
  • The Twist Face benefits are difficult to precisely determine in testing
  • The lack of adjustability may be a negative for golfers that are more consistent and want to tinker with their club
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

3. Callaway Rogue Driver

 


Our number 3 pick is the exciting new Callaway Rogue Driver, another gold medal winner in Golf Digest’s 2018 Hot List. Like the Epic Sub Zero, the Rogue also includes jailbreak technology help drivers get better ball speed. Jailbreak technology reduces flex on impact by stiffening the crown and sole behind the club face. This maximizes energy transfer to the ball, to increase distance and ball speed on drives. The Jailbreak technology has been improved in the Rogue by using new hourglass shaped titanium bars that are 25% lighter. Unlike the Sub Zero, the Rogue does not come with the adjustable weights, but it does include the improved X-Face VFT (Variable Face Thickness) plus, which works together with the jailbreak technology to lower MOI and increase ball speed by strategically altering the face thickness at over 100 unique strike points on the face to help the face flex faster. This is particularly helpful for off-center shots and makes the driver more forgiving.

Rogue Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • Forgiving of off-center hits due to the X-Face VFT
  • Jailbreak technology and X-Face VFT work tighter to achieve faster ball speeds and farther drives
  • The industry-leading Boeing Aero package helps golfers get faster head speeds

Cons

  • Lacks any ability to adjust the center of gravity and MOI
  • Does not provide the slice correction of the Rogue Draw or lower ball speeds of the Rogue Sub-Zero
  • For golfers that already have the Epic, it may not be enough of an improvement
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

4. Titleist 917 Driver

 


Our fourth pick for 2018, is the Titleist 917 Driver, which also was included in the 2017 Golf Digest Hot list. This is another adjustable driver, like the M3. Using the SureFit CG system, a golfer can create a draw bias by setting the center of gravity in the back of the 917 Driver, or heel position. If you are looking for a fade bias, then simply move the center of gravity to the front, or toe position. Neutralizing the weight is, of course, another option. The SureFit CG Technology also impacts the forgiveness on mis-hits, in addition to the spin rates. For these reasons, the Titleist 917 Driver is not only the first fully adjustable drivers by Titleist, but also one of the most innovative.

The signature 16 setting SureFit Hosel system is also present in the 917 Driver. This allows players to adjust the lie angle and face angle independently, which gives the ball greater trajectory and control. It is the ultimate in precision fitting; helping golfers maintain a more consistent and optimized ball flight.

Titleist 917 Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • One of the most forgiving driver, where mis-hits fly just as far as center strikes
  • Players have a wide variety of premium shafts options available to use
  • Wide range of loft and lie combinations available to help players fine turn their drives for greater distance

Cons

  • Some players might get overwhelmed with all the technology
  • The driver creates a high spin rate, which may hurt distance for some players
  • It would take a decoder ring to figure all the settings for the club, thus overwhelming the beginner player
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

5. Cobra King F8 Driver

 


Number 5 is all about precision. The Cobra F8 Driver, features Cobra’s first ever Precision Milled Forged face to provide the ultimate in driving performance. By milling the club face, Cobra discovered that it helps to prevent thickness inconsistencies and curvatures that are found when clubs are hand polished. Milling the club face was also found to help create greater accuracy and ball speeds even on mishits. According to Cobra, it takes about 25 minutes to complete this multi direction CNC Precision Milled Face. That’s important because it helps to not only allow the face to be thinner but also to increase ball speed and distance. This allowed Cobra to create an even larger sweet spot on the club to provide for better traction in wet conditions. If you think that’s impressive, then hold on.

A sensor in the grip of the club head talks to your phone app and automatically tracks your driving distance and accuracy. Golfers have the ability to get GPS access to more than 40,000 golf courses around the world to help them track their game through the Arccos App. Cobra believes that this technology will allow players to improve their game by 3 to 5 shots on average.

Cobra F8 Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • Impressive distance regardless of where you hit the ball
  • Very accurate and forgiving club, even on mishits
  • CNC Milled Face with 360 Aero Tips Technology expands the sweet spot

Cons

  • Some players may get overwhelmed with all the technology
  • May feel sluggish going through the air due to profile
  • May create too much spin for some players to control
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

6. Cleveland Launch HB Driver

 


Our sixth pick is the Cleveland Golf Launcher HB Driver, which blends the incredible technology available today with the classic look and functionality of the past. Golf Digest recognized the incredible features of this driver by giving it the Silver rating in the 2018 Hot List. Cleveland Golf has been a leading name in golf club manufacturing for many years, and major champions Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley have trusted them for years. The Cleveland Golf Launcher HB driver features incredible technology for as much as half the cost of some of its competitors (pretty much 1-5 on this List), giving you an optimal bang for your buck.

The Cleveland Golf Launcher HB driver utilizes an all new Flex-Fin technology. These fins act as a springboard, providing players with more pop off the clubface, and greater distance overall. The Flex-Fins also add a sleek, futuristic design feature to the club, further enhancing its visual appeal.

Along with the Flex-Fins, the Cleveland Golf Launcher HB driver has a newly redesigned Cup Face that is designed to increase the COR (Coefficient of Restitution) not only on the (much larger) sweet spot, but everywhere on the club face. This feature will make even your misses longer and straighter than ever before. If you’re a value-seeking golfer who’s looking for a driver that focuses on one thing: a long and straight tee shot, The Cleveland Golf Launcher HB Driver is just the golf club for you.

Cleveland Golf Launcher HB Driver

9.2 GolfersAuthority

Pros

  • Designed to help every player hit it longer and straighter every time
  • Very simple in design and features, which doesn’t require any tools to adjust
  • Priced with the value-conscious golfer in mind

Cons

  • Without any adjustability, you have to know your loft before purchasing
  • No adjustable weights, which may cause problems in windy conditions
  • The HiBore design may not suit everyone’s eye
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

7. Cobra F-Max Driver

 


Our 7th pick, the Cobra F-Max Driver, is another driver designed to improve swing speed; however, Cobra goes in a different direction than its Japanese counterpart, XIIO. XXIO increased the driver head weight to try to increase acceleration; whereas, Cobra went lighter to try to increase speed on the downswing. Cobra decided to go ultralight with the F-Max Driver. Their strategy was that lighter clubs must be easier to swing, so by making the driver lighter, a player would be able to increase his or her swing speed. To get faster ball speed and distance, the F-Max Driver uses Cobra’s Superlite shafts. Generally, driver shafts weigh between 60 to 90 g, but the Cobra Superlite shafts are almost half of graphite shafts on the market today – weighing between 50 g for men’s’ to 45 g for women’s shafts. These weights are almost half of most graphite shafts on the market today that normally weigh between 60 to 90 g.

Additionally, the F-Max Driver gives players a choice between a straight or an offset hosel. The correct choice depends on the desired ball flight or standard mis-hit of the golfer. A straight hosel helps players who tend to slice the ball, while an offset hosel promotes straighter and higher launch drives. The Cobra F-Max Driver also has a lower center of gravity due to an internal weight positioned in the heel of the club. This helps to create straighter and higher launches. The Cobra F-Max Driver is truly designed for an easy launch, straighter shots, and greater ball speed. It is an ideal club for players looking for ways to improve slow to moderate swing speeds.

Cobra F Max Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • Large sweet spot that helps to reduce sidespin
  • Very light weight club that helps to promote faster swing speed
  • Very forgiving driver that allows for better performance

Cons

  • The lack of adjustability can be a turn off to some players
  • The launch angle might be too steep
  • Some players may want greater feedback on misses
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

8. Callaway Epic Sub Zero

 


Number 8 is another gold-rated driver in Golf Digest’s 2017 Hot List – the Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Even more evidence of the quality of this driver, the Sub Zero became one of the most recognized clubs on the 2017 PGA tour. The reason for these accolades, is that the Epic Sub Zero creates longer drives from its Jailbreak Technology which, like our number 3 pick the Rogue, reduces flex on impact by stiffening the crown and sole behind the club face. This design maximizes energy transfer to the ball on impact, producing distance and greater ball speed on drives. The Epic Sub Zero Driver’s titanium Exo Cage and Triaxial carbon construction (lightest EVER in a Callaway driver) maximize forgiveness and provide a high launch with low spin. If that’s not enough, the Callaway Epic Sub Zero also includes two interchangeable weights (2g and 12g) that allow a golfer to adjust spin-rate and launch angle. To get a lower spin, a golfer can put the 12g weight to the front; to get a higher launch, a golfer would just set the weight to the back, which also creates a higher moment of inertia. This driver is perfect for any golfer looking to have better control over the ball, with less spin, and improved overall accuracy out of the tee box.

Callaway Epic Sub Zero Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • Impressive distance regardless of where you hit the ball on the club face
  • Sound at impact is much more muted than other drivers
  • Jailbreak Technology expands the sweet spot of the club and delivers high ball speeds

Cons

  • Some players might get overwhelmed with all the adjustability settings
  • Not much launch if you have a moderate swing speed
  • Some golfers may think that the club is a little light than what they are used to using
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

9. TaylorMade M1 Driver

 


The predecessor to our number 2 driver, the M3 is the TaylorMade M1 Driver. From the M1 to the M3, TaylorMade made significant advancement; however, the M1 Driver remains one of the most advanced drivers a solid choice for any golfer in 2018, Jason Day and Dustin John rose to Number 1 and Number 2 in the world using the TaylorMade M1 Driver, in 2017; J.B. Holmes also led the PGA Tour in driving distance using his M1. The M1 Driver accomplished these gains by using 43% more carbon than its predecessor. The M3 also has an ultra-thin and ultra-light carbon composite that creates a lower center of gravity, which improves the launch conditions while also producing a very high moment of inertia. It comes with a weight loaded sole and a revamped T-Track System. Although not as advanced as the Y-Track system in the M3, the M1 includes a T-Track System that has a total of 25 g of adjustable weights, configured in a front track with a 15 g weight to adjust draw, and a back track with a 10 g weight to adjust the launch and spin conditions of the ball. These adjustments allow golfers to adjust and optimize the flight of the ball when golfers can produce consistent drives, whether off-center or or not.. TaylorMade moved the center of gravity forward in the M1 to maintain a higher ball speed and impact across the face. This change increases the overall forgiveness of the diver. The TaylorMade M1 Driver is truly an amazing club that is perfect for any consistent golfer looking to for the ability to make adjustment and improve his or her performance out of the tee box.

TaylorMade M1 Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • When off center strikes occur, the ball will still have incredible distance
  • Very forgiving club and the spin rates are one of the lowest of any driver on the market
  • Tons of adjustability, players can choose both launch and shot settings

Cons

  • A little economically exensive, the M1 may be out of the budget of some golfers
  • Some players may be overwhelmed by all the options and complexity in the adjustability
  • On mis-hits the low spin may not provide the distance some players need
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

10. TaylorMade M2 Driver

 


Now we come to the predecessor to our number 1 driver –the TaylorMade M2 Driver. TaylorMade made significant advancements with the M4, as they did with the M1 to the M3 driver; however, the M2 Driver is still one of the most advanced drivers on the market and a solid choice for any golfer. In 2017 the M2 Driver was the driver of choice for many professionals, including Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, and Justin Rose. The M2 Driver was so well-received because of its innovative technology, which included an Inverted Cone Technology, Geocoustic Technology, and a Speed Pocket to create a huge sweet spot that maximizes forgiveness, vibration, and ball trajectory. Inverted Cone Technology and the speed pocket combined to create an enlarged sweet spot on the driver head, which gave the driver an increased moment of inertia to resist head twisting and minimize negative effects of mis-hits. The Geocoustic Technology further used a sunken sole shape to help to create a larger club face and footprint. It adds forgiveness and minimizes vibrations made on impact of drives. The TaylorMade M2 Driver is another cutting-edge club from TaylorMade that is perfect for any golfer looking to improve their drives without needing to make manual adjustments to the weight positions.

TaylorMade M2 Driver

9.2 Golfers Authority

Pros

  • When off center strikes occur, the ball will still go straight and far
  • With a low launch and spin profile the ball can pick up some serious mileage once on the ground
  • One of the most forgiving drivers made by TaylorMade to date

Cons

  • A little costly, the M2 may be out of the budget of some golfers
  • There is no center of gravity adjustability like other similar drivers available on the market
  • Some players may not like the hard and hollow feel of the club
Build Quality
Control and Performance
Design and Appearance

 
 

What Driver Should You Buy?

Any of the 10 drivers listed above would be an excellent choice for a golfer; however, each golfer should consider his or her personal strengths and weaknesses when choosing a driver to find the driver that would make the biggest improvement.

If you can consistently hit the ball on your drive and need maximum adjustability to correct for errors in your drives, then the TaylorMade M3, Titleist 917, Callaway Epic Sub-Zero, and TaylorMade M1 drivers are the best choice.

However, if you prefer a simpler, more engineered driver that doesn’t need adjustment and is easier to grab and go, then the TaylorMade M4, Callaway Rogue, Cobra King F8, and XXIO 9 drivers are your optimal choice.

Lastly, if budget is your primary factor in choosing a driver, then you would most likely benefit from one of the proven versions of drivers that are still relevant today, like the TaylorMade M1, M2, or Titleist 917 drivers.

As always, it’s best to try a club out for yourself before making your choice. If needed, you can often test these out in-person at sports stores and then find a good deal online to order the driver you like best. If you are also ready to get your new favorite driver now, then we also hope our reviews above will help you make that informed decision. You can check the current prices through our links above.

 

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