Are you a lover of golf, looking for the best driver? Join the club. If you are anything like me then the driver comes out of the bag even when you know it shouldn’t. “He who dares, wins” and all that. Too often though, “he who dares” ends up in the shrubbery on the right, 50 yards from the tee, regretting the decision not to go with the 3 wood.
But it’s those occasional, glorious blasts up the middle that make it all worthwhile and keep us regularly going against our better judgement. Those are the shots you remember. The ones you brag to your friends about. That’s why so many of us have such an obsession with the driver and the search for that magical club that will allow us to hit at least a little bit like the pros, every once in a while.
With the continuing advancements in golfing technology this is now more within reach than ever before, but choosing the best golf driver can still be a daunting task. Unless you read our handy guide to the best drivers, of course.
Get the best deals on golf drivers this Black Friday
If you are thinking of treating yourself to that new driver you’ve had your eye on all year, now is the time to do it. Check out the best Black Friday deals and shop for bargains from top brands such as Ping, Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMade and more, which will be available at knock down prices throughout the winter holiday sales period. We absolutely recommend shopping around the Black Friday sales, either online at the likes of Clubhouse Golf or Scottsdale Golf or even in store at your nearest American Golf outlet. There are bargains to be had so don’t miss out!
How to buy the best golf driver for you
Little in golf is simple, and buying the best driver it isn’t as straightforward as just going into the pro shop and buying whatever your favourite pro golfer is using. The best driver for Rory McIlroy is probably not going to be the one best for you and your swing.
One of the most important things to remember is that the higher the loft the more forgiving the club. So while the pros and low handicappers will be smashing it miles with a 7 degree loft on their driver, for the rest of us mere mortals a 10.5 or even a 13 degree club would be a more prudent choice.
Manufacturers will try to sell you on the extra distance their latest state of the art driver will give you, but be wary. It might help you if you have a swing like Dustin Johnson but there is no guarantee it will add extra yards to your game and if it comes at the cost accuracy then is it really worth it anyway? A good rule of thumb is to try it before you buy it.
The first thing you should do is to have a club fitting with an expert (your local golf club or retail outlet usually provide this service). The benefits of this are huge. For instance, if you don’t know your swing speed then how do you know what shaft is right for you? Then there are other factors, such as length, lie, loft and grip.
Matching a club to your swing gives you the best chance of improving your game and this is especially important when it comes to finding the right driver as it’s the most difficult club in the bag to master, not to mention the most expensive.
Give yourself the best chance to do it by ensuring that whichever one you choose is suited to your swing. Don’t just go and buy a club because “Tiger Woods used it to win the Masters”.
To be the best golfer you can be you need to kit yourself out with the equipment that suits you, not somebody else, especially when that somebody is better than you’ll ever be. This is especially important with the driver. So with that in mind, here are a variety of the best drivers that will help you do just that.
The best golf drivers you can buy today
Attention slicers of the golfball! What if we told you there was a driver that can help you hit more fairways without you having to change your swing? The Sim2 Max D from TaylorMade is designed specifically to aid golfers square the club face at impact and minimise those horrible left to right misses that have ruined countless rounds of golf. And it works, to some extent.
While the best fix for a slice will always be lessons and practice, there are other measures you can take to limit the damage of an errant right miss. The Sim2 Max D will give a helping hand to golfers who find it difficult to keep the ball in play due to missing shots wide right, but be warned; a draw bias driver is not a magic wand to rid you of your slice.
It can reduce it to some degree though and even if that is only by ten yards that can often be the difference between fairway and rough, or land and water.
Most of you will have seen the Sim2 driver, either in your local golf retailer or when watching the likes of Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson on TV. You may have seen the Sim2 Max too, but chances are you have not seen the Max D variant of it though, as it is the least marketed of the Sim2 variations and won’t be as widely available.
The standard Sim2 is aimed at the higher level of player, the Sim2 Max is more forgiving and suits the mid-high handicap golfer who doesn’t always catch his drive right in the sweet spot, while the Sim2 Max D provides that same level of forgiveness as the Sim2 Max but has a configuration designed to promote more of a right to left shape.
This draw bias is achieved by an internal weight that is located in the heel of the golf club. This slows the heel down in the downswing which in turn allows the toe of the club to work a fraction faster, causing the club to be more square at impact. An open face will result in a shot that leaks to the right, so by preventing that and squaring it up, it will promote straighter shots.
You won't notice massive results but a subtle difference of 5-10 yards can be enough to knock a few shots off your score if it keeps you out of fairway bunkers and the rough on the right hand side of the course.
For a more in depth look at this intriguing club, check out our full review of the TaylorMade Sim2 Max D.
Pound for pound the best driver on the market, the Cobra F9 SpeedBack feels great and sounds great. Some will say it looks great too, but that’s more down to personal preference and it won’t be to everybody’s liking. That doesn't change the fact that in terms of performance, this is a great club at a terrific price.
Cobra made a conscious decision to keep the launch price for the F9 at a much lower level than their competition. The F9 is up there with the very best drivers available but when it first hit the market it was considerably cheaper than its rivals.
The F9 was Cobras’ 2019 offering, but for 2020 they released the SZ (SpeedZone) and in 2021 came the RadSpeed. In truth the difference in quality and performance between these clubs is negligible, but by shopping around you will be able to pick the F9 up at a significantly lower cost, making it the best value high end driver out there.
The F9 doesn’t have the sliding weights that allow you to adjust for the shape of shot and this might be off-putting to some, but that option can often lead to too much second guessing and tinkering after errant shots.
There are adjustable weights at front and back to aid with higher launch, however, and the Cobra Connect shot tracking in the grip allows you to connect to your smartphone via an app and record useful data such as distances, fairways hit and more.
Ping have really hit it out of the park with their 2021 range of drivers, the G425. There's something for everyone with the Max, SFT and LST models covering golfers of all skill levels.
The Max is arguably the most forgiving driver on the market currently while the SFT offers similar level of forgiveness while also providing a draw bias due to it's extra heel weighting.
The LST is the cream of the crop, however, and for the more accomplished player this club provides the perfect combination of distance and forgiveness.
Designed with a pear shaped, 445cc head (slightly smaller than most modern drivers) to reduce spin, this club is ideal for golfers with a faster swing speed as it produces a lower, more penetrating ball flight.
Rammed with technology, including moveable weights to promote draw, fade or neutral flight, the G425 LST has a precision forged face for increased distance and an ultra thin crown which allows weight to be distributed elsewhere in the clubhead, helping with forgiveness.
Wilson's most forgiving driver ever. The Launch Pad is ideal for golfers with slow swing speeds and those who suffer from a score killing slice. The lightweight design helps golfers increase their swing speed which is the key to more distance, while the upright design and anti-slice technology should help to keep the ball on the fairway.
To further increase distance it is a good idea to pair this driver with the Wilson Staff DUO golf ball, which is the softest ball on the market and designed to help golfers with slow swings achieve maximum distance.
• In the USA, you can buy direct from Wilson.
This slightly older Callaway driver is nicely stabilised by its hourglass shape and thinner jailbreak bars, resulting in a faster ball for you. That weight distribution also makes this more forgiving so even on your off-day this could keep you firing straight and far. There are plenty of options to suit just what you need, from a maximum forgiveness Standard head to an added fade bias of the Sub Zero head or sole weight adjustable 2g and 14g Draw head versions for slicers.
This is a regular Swiss army knife of a driver, with the ability to adjust even the smallest of elements to improve your swing. With this in mind, the Titleist 917 is definitely for advanced players looking to polish the finer details of their game.