Choosing the Right Drivers: How to Choose the Best Golf Equipment
By: Dan Davis, PGA Professional Thousand Hills Golf Resort
The driver is the most sought after club in most pro-shops, and choosing the right drivers can be a daunting task. I believe that at least most golfers have an incredible infatuation with gaining distance. Very rarely does a company advertise accuracy only. This obsession with distance will sometimes confuse golfers on what is really wanted in a driver. In this article I will try to list a few golf equipment tips and attributes to look for when choosing the right drivers.
- Length – as opposed to a set of irons the length of a driver may vary a little more. The reason for this is due to the fact that we can use a tee. This does not mean that you cannot be fitted. When fitting a driver I usually only use face tape. This will assist in leaving a visible impact mark on the face of the club. A mark toward the toe of the club usually indicates that the club is too short. A mark toward the heel of the club indicates the club could be too long. Also remember that a shorter club may improve accuracy. A shaft that is too long, although increasing club head speed may actually decrease distance if it is an off center hit. A longer club will also promote a higher trajectory and a more flexible shaft.
- Loft – The loft of the driver usually ranges from around 8.5 to 12 degrees of loft. Some custom drivers made for long drive contests have even lower lofts near only five degrees of loft. This is due to the extra long length of the shafts causing too high of a trajectory for maximum distance. Accuracy usually improves with a higher lofted club.
- Materials & Size – Over the years we have seen many changes in the materials used to construct driver heads and shafts. Driver heads would have always been designed bigger if the strength wasn’t compromised and if the weight could have been controlled. Lightweight metal alloys now provide the strength and durability to produce heads of 460 cubic centimeters (c.c.’s). Titanium is usually the best material for a club head over 400 c.c.’s. Shafts constructed of carbon fibers also now provide a much lighter overall weight without sacrificing strength or consistency. Remember that the stiffer the flex the less shot dispersion will occur. This stiffness can however cause a sacrifice in distance. Trajectory is affected by the shafts “kick point”. The lower the kick point the higher the trajectory.
These are some of the most important points to consider when choosing the right driver. As usual, the best way to figure out which driver is right for you is to try them out. Borrow a friend’s driver or better yet, visit your local pro shop and get help from the professionals who are trained in the latest technology and are ready to fit you to your new driver with their expert golf equipment tips. With just a little effort you can choose the right driver to bring your game to the next level.