Let’s be honest, for most of us there’s nothing quite like piping a tee shot down the middle. You know the ones we’re talking about. Those occasional drives that carry your buddies’ drives by 20 yards and roll another 20.
While modern club manufacturers have done everything they can in terms of design and technology to push the USGA conforming limits on drivers, there’s still a limit on things like length and face thickness that keep a driver “legal” for play.
But what if you aren’t interested in playing tournaments or keeping a handicap? What if you’re out there just to have a good time and want to hit the ball as far as you can?
The good news is that there are plenty of drivers (illegal that is) that will help you do just that.
Best Illegal Drivers
Juggernaut Titanium Driver
If you’re looking for a driver that you can smoke down the fairway and provides maximum forgiveness, the Juggernaut is for you.
The USGA doesn’t allow drivers to be more than 460cc in size. The juggernaut is 515cc. What’s even more is that the club incorporates High COR Monster Heater B1 Cannon design that takes the COR well beyond the legal limits for explosive ball speeds.
If you’re a slicer, you’re in luck. The head’s offset design helps you square the face at impact for longer, straighter shots.
The driver comes in lengths ranging from 41” to 48” and multiple shaft options are available.
A great choice for a hot face with more customization options than most other illegal drivers.
Heater Ghost Ultralight Driver
Not everyone swings the club at 100+ mph. In fact, it’s most of us. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice distance.
The Heater Ghost Ultralight driver mirrors the TaylorMade models in its shape and look. However, the head only weighs 175 grams. Paired with a shaft that’s less than 60 grams, this driver allows golfers with slower swing speeds to generate increased clubhead speed for faster ball speeds and more distance.
What’s even more, the Heater Ghost Ultralight driver incorporates ultra-thin crown technology. This lowers the COG and creates ideal conditions for high launch and minimal spin.
For those with slower swing speeds wanting more distance, the Heater Ghost Ultralight is perfect.
Orlimar Golf Black Big Buddha Driver
If you’re looking for one of the most forgiving drivers in the game, it’s tough to beat the Black Big Buddha from Orlimar Golf.
The head measures an astounding 520cc yet is designed to be aerodynamic. This allows golfers to maximize clubhead speed for ultimate distance.
Like a lot of modern drivers, the crown in the Black Big Buddha is thin. This not only lowers the COG for better launch conditions, but it increases MOI for maximum forgiveness across the face.
Available in senior, regular, and stiff flex, this driver can benefit any golfer looking to up their game from the tee.
Pinemeadow PGX 500cc Driver
One of our writers is a Pacific Northwest native and quite familiar with the Pinemeadow brand. The company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. While the company doesn’t staff any of the best players in the world, he insists that they make some of the best budget clubs on the market.
He recently had the chance to hit the PGX 500cc driver and was blown away with its performance. The club measures 46” in length and can take a little getting used to. However, once you’ve made a few swings with this matte black driver, you’re sure to notice a significant increase in distance.
The club’s futuristic design and extremely hot face combine for a quality club that won’t break the bank.
Geek Golf Japan Hot Version Driver Head
Geek Golf has long been the driver head choice for World Long Drive Champions Jamie Sadlowski and Sandra Carlborg. That’s because their heads are arguably the hottest in the world.
This all-black driver head has additional weight low and toward the back of the clubhead. This design helps golfers of all abilities launch the ball high with minimal spin, the ideal combination for length.
Integrated power slots sit on either side of the head to help maintain stability through impact and ensure solid contact.
When you pair this driver head with the right shaft for your swing, you too will see what all the hype is about.
Money Club High Launch 520cc Driver
By now, you’ve probably noticed that size matters when it comes to illegal drivers. That’s yet again the case with the Money Club.
Available in 10.5 or 12.5 degrees of loft, this 520cc has a sweet spot like you’ve never seen. Even if you don’t catch this club dead on center, you’re sure to reap the benefits of its forgiveness across the whole face.
Even though this club is a little on the heavy side for some golfers, it’s sure to deliver in both terms of distance and forgiveness.
Intech Golf Behemoth 520cc Driver
Out of all the illegal drivers on our list, golfers say the Intech Behemoth sounds and feels the best.
The face is made of stainless steel and gives golfers a solid feel without sounding “tinny” at impact.
Better yet, the 520cc head gives you plenty of room to mishit shots without sacrificing performance.
The club is available in both 10.5 and 12.5 degrees of loft and comes with a stock shaft in either regular or senior flex.
If you’re a beginner or high handicapper and are looking for more distance, the Behemoth from Intech won’t disappoint.
When Do You Use a Driver?
For the uninitiated, drivers are designed to be an offensive weapon. They’re the club you use on par fours and fives to get the ball as far down the fairway as possible.
Drivers have the largest heads of any club and should always be hit off a tee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most asked questions associated with new driver club buying.
Q: How Do I Measure A Golf Driver’s Shaft Length?
A: To measure your golf 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 flex 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 appearance and internal constructions. The most visually apparent difference is the size of the club head and the static loft options. Driver are larger in size and tend to have less loft at lest 5 degrees and can be up to 12 degrees than fairway woods. They differ in the moment of inertia too. Drivers are designed 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 and adjustable weights 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 with adjustable hosel is advancing long time. Adjustable drivers with adjustable weights allow golfers and club builders to fit golfers into their ideal setups more easily. Adjustable hosels can create an array of change the loft, face angles, and shot shape biases all within a single production head. Moveable weights can influence forgiveness, center of gravity, sweet spot, shaft flex, swing speeds, spin, and shot shapes as well. Getting the right face angle, loft, and center of gravities and sweet spot 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.
Finding the Best Illegal Driver for Your Golf Game
When it comes to illegal drivers, fitting and customization options are somewhat limited. That’s simply because the market for such clubs is a few folks that don’t “want to play by the rules”.
With that being said, there are some things you should consider before you make a decision on an illegal driver.
Look, Feel, and Sound
No two golf clubs are the same. That’s especially true when it comes to drivers, legal or not. There are countless designs, shapes, colors, etc. to choose from. Whatever illegal driver you decide on, you need to like the way it looks, sounds, and feels.
The next important factor to consider when trying to find the best illegal driver for your game is its performance. Again, adjustability and customization options are somewhat limited compared to conforming drivers, but performance is something that can be measured and fit to your game.
We suggest testing a few different clubs before you make a final decision. This process should involve a launch monitor to give you some real time feedback on the metrics of your shots with each club.
Some key numbers to look for are launch angle, spin rate, smash factor, and carry distance to name a few.
The best driver for your game should be one that launches high and has minimal backspin.
Don’t overlook the shaft either. When it comes to shafts, there are countless options to choose from and finding the right flex, weight, kick point, and length are just a few things you should take into account.
We all want more distance. Not only is busting a drive miles past your buddies fun, it makes the game a whole lot more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, the USGA has put limits on drivers that make some legal and others not. While these restrictions help protect the integrity of the game for those that play in tournaments or keep handicaps, there’s no rule that says you can’t play with whatever clubs you want if you just want to have fun.