Are you a golfer looking for the best driver? Join the club. Ho ho! 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. Also on the course: our guides to the best golf watch and best golf bag plus an entire T3 Golf mini-site.
2023 has been a good year for drivers with some fine offerings from most of the usual leading brands, but it's a surprising name that tops our list this year.
How to buy the best golf driver for you
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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 of accuracy then is it really worth it anyway? A good rule of thumb is to always 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. If you want to know more on this, check out my handy guide to what to look for when choosing a new driver.
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
It’s been a long time since Wilson Staff were big players in the driver market and in recent times they’ve concentrated more on affordable drivers for mid-high handicap players. Dynapower changes that and launches the brand back into the big time as far as drivers go.
Dynapower holds its own against any 2023 driver but it comes in at a significantly lower price point. The Carbon head is £399 while the Titanium version is just £349 which means it comes it at £150 less than most of the competition. So it was an easy choice for the number one spot because while other drivers can offer a similar (or perhaps even ever so slightly better) level of performance, in terms of bang for your buck Dynapower is out there on its own.
The Dynapower driver replaces the D9 in Wilson’s line up. Personally I’m a big fan of the D9 (see below) but it was not a premium driver and it offered no adjustability.
Not only is the Dynapower Wilson’s most adjustable driver in years, offering a variety of loft combinations, it also comes in a choice of two different heads. There’s a Titanium version, which is more forgiving in nature and aimed at the average golfer, and a Carbon head offering which is said to be more suited to the better player due to its extra workability and lower spin.
The Carbon is more expensive and aimed at the lower handicap player, but in truth there is not a great deal of difference between them and at fifty quid less you can’t go wrong with the Titanium version. The Dynapower more than holds it own when it comes to distance, forgiveness and overall performance so if you are looking to upgrade your driver this year then this has to be on your shortlist of clubs to try.
Want to know more? Check out my full review of the Wilson Staff Dynapower driver.
It’s been a long time coming but Ping have finally followed up on their highly popular G425 range of drivers with its successor, the G430.
The G425 made a big splash in 2021 due its excellent forgiveness, but whereas most other major brands launch a new range of drivers every year, Ping waited until 2023.
The G430 maintains Ping’s tradition of maximum forgiveness while adding new technology which has slightly increased the distance. Forged variable face thickness delivers greater speed and forgiveness across the entire face while Ping claim to be able to deliver more consistent spin rates and carry distances due to ’Spinsistency’ technology.
As with the G425, the G430 also comes in three options. The Max, the SFT and the LST. The Max will be the most popular and is best suited to the average golfer. All three drivers come with a moveable weight in the head to help you adjust your spin rates and maximise flight and distance.
Callaway drivers have set the standard for some time now. Every year they knock it out of the park (or in my case over the out of bounds fence) and this year is no different. The Paradym looks vastly different to recent offerings from Callaway, some of which had been a little too ‘samey’ for me. This is a stunning looking driver, probably the most aesthetically appealing of all of the 2023 drivers.
There have been advancements in the technology too. Callaway have an all new Jailbreak design, an A.I. Optimised face and a Face Cup. The result of all this is faster ball speeds and greater forgiveness. Most intriguingly, Callaway have introduced a 360˚ carbon chassis. There is no titanium anywhere to be found in the body, which allows the designers to save weight which can be distributed elsewhere for added forgiveness.
Paradym comes in three models. The standard, the X and the Triple Diamond, which is a low spinning option aimed at better players. Paradym is as good as anything out there and the only downside is the price point, which is on the high side.
The TSR range includes the forgiveness-focused TSR2; the solid-contact-enhancing TSR3; and the lowest-spinning, compact TSR4. Which one you choose depends on your skill level and requirements. The more average player who needs to prioritise forgiveness should be looking at the TSR2.
The focus for the TSR range is speed, which is achieved in part by aerodynamics. So the sleek look of the TSR drivers is not about looks, it's purely about speed.
All three TSR drivers feature Titleist’s 16-way adjustable hosel and come with various premium shaft options. This is one of the finest drivers on the market but it is also one of the most expensive.
The ST- 220 range last year was a step forward from Mizuno. It never received the hype or recognition of the more recognised drivers of 2022 like the TaylorMade Stealth or Callaway Rogue ST, but there was a lot to like about it. I reviewed the ST-G 220 driver and loved it, but Mizuno's 2023 offering is a definite upgrade in terms of ball speed and distance.
The ST-230 comes in two variations, the ST-X and the ST-Z. The ST-X is aimed more at the average club golfer due to its slight draw bias but in reality there is very little difference. The ST-Z is a lower spinning option aimed at the better player, but a significant number of Mizuno’s tour professionals actually prefer the ST-X so keep an open mind and try them both to see which feels right for you.
The big advancement this year is the CORTECH Chamber which encases a stainless-steel weight with elastomeric TPU - taking stress from the clubface and creating an additional energy source. At the same time locating weight closer to the clubface to reduce spin rates and contributing to a more solid, powerful sensation at impact.
The Stealth 2 HD has a tough act to follow as its predecessor was our choice for best driver of 2022. The upgraded version hasn’t quite captured the imagination as much as the original but TaylorMade drivers always deliver and the Stealth 2 is no different. It’s an excellent driver, it’s just not that much different to last year.
Available in three variations, we recommend the HD model for mid-high handicap golfers who as a rule tend to struggle most with a left to right miss. The draw bias of the HD will help to counter that. There is also the standard Stealth 2 and the Stealth 2 Plus+.
As with the original Stealth, the face is formed by 60 layers of carbon being fused together but the face on Stealth 2 is 2 grams lighter. The Stealth 2 HD features a 15g weight at the back of the club and a ‘Speed Pocket’ at the front to increase ball speed.
You can expect a slight increase in ball speed from last year but you probably won’t see any significant overall distance gains. Where the Stealth 2 range does excel in in consistency of spin, ball speed and accuracy.
This driver is all about speed and distance. A seamless aerodynamic design delivers faster clubhead speed for maximum distance.
The AeroJet driver features an adjustable loft sleeve that offers fine tuning of both trajectory and spin. Each loft is adjustable up to +/- 1.5 degree giving the golfer a vast array of loft, trajectory, and face angle options.
AeroJet is available in three variations. The standard, the MAX (more forgiving, aimed at higher handicappers) and the LS (low spin, ideal for the more accomplished player with higher ball speed).
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.
The AeroJet family is designed to achieve the fastest clubhead speed possible by taking technology we've seen in other Cobra drivers and improving it.PWR-Bridge weighting is an innovative suspended bridge weight designed to enable unrestricted flexibility of the face and sole, and positions the CG low and forward to unleash faster ball speed.
A H.O.T Face design uses artificial intelligence to create a variable thickness pattern that delivers more efficient speed and spin across the face, while a forged PWRSHELL face insert maximises flexibility for faster ball speed and higher launch.
The irony is that Cobra have spent all this time working on ball speed and distance at mainly at the behest of big hitting Bryson DeChambeau, only for them to part ways just as AeroJet was launched.
Losing their most recognisable face is a blow to the brand and it remains to be seen what kind of impact it will have on sales of their new driver, but over recent years Cobra have built up a lot of momentum thanks to the quality and pricing of their drivers.
The prices have been creeping up slowly though and AeroJet is not hugely cheaper than the more expensive brands which might cause people to turn away to the likes of Wilson Staff.
Nevertheless, AeroJet still represents good value for money and should certainly be on your list if you are getting fitted for a driver this year.
Srixon are one of the best brands in golf but no-one really talks about them much outside of Japan. They should, because Srixon gear is as good as anything on the market.
Srixon’s profile in Japan is huge because Masters winner and national hero Hideki Matsuyama is a Srixon player, but outside of Asia the brand is very much in the shadow of ‘the big four’ when it comes to market share. That has nothing to do with the quality of their clubs.
Srixon’s 2023 drivers are the ZX5 Mk II and the ZX 7 Mk II. The ZX5 Mk II replaces the ZX5 and once again features “Rebound Frame” which is a system designed to generate enhanced ball speeds and distance. The Mk II has a 10% larger sweet spot than the previous model which means ball speeds are maintained even on off-centre hits.
Other features include Star Frame Crown and Variable Thickness Face which combine to deliver forgiveness and speed. The ZX 7 Mk II is a smaller head, designed to deliver total control and workability off the tee.
TaylorMade’s much anticipated new 2022 driver launch did not disappoint as the Stealth created quite a buzz on social media and YouTube. One thing you know with TaylorMade is they’ll absolutely smash it when it comes to hype and marketing, and the Stealth was no exception.
The Stealth could be a game changer as it’s the brand’s first carbon fibre faced driver. Others have tried and failed to use super lightweight carbon on drivers but TaylorMade have cracked it with the Stealth range.
In fact, so confident are they that they are onto a winner that TaylorMade claim they will “never make a titanium face driver ever again” which is a bold statement given that all of their rivals are still making titanium faced drivers.
There are three variations of the Stealth. The Plus+ is the direct replacement for the SIM2. It has sliding weights and is the lowest spinning model and suited to lower handicap golfers. The Stealth replaces the SIM2 Max. It is more forgiving than the Plus+ and will be the most popular among mid-high handicappers.
However, we recommend the Stealth HD because it has all of the forgiveness of the Stealth but with the added bonus of draw bias technology.
You won't notice massive results with draw bias drivers but even 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.
To find out more about our selection for the best driver of last year check out our TaylorMade Stealth HD review.
As a cheaper alternative to the more premium drivers, the Wilson Staff D9 stacks up brilliantly, although perhaps not for the more accomplished player who likes the flexibility of being able to change lofts and swap out for different shafts depending on course requirements.
For the average mid-high handicap golfer who just wants to grip it and try to rip it without getting bogged down by adjustable weights and countless loft and lie options, the D9 is an ideal solution, particularly as it comes in at a vastly lower price point than the competition.
The D9 has a very light swing weight which promotes faster swing speeds for golfers who need that bit extra without consciously having to try and swing harder. This makes it ideal for those who are new to the game, or mid-high handicap golfers who want something high end without having to spend the best part of five hundred to get it.
Whereas many other brands will bring out a new driver and offer three different heads (sometimes even four) as well as a variety of shaft options, the D9 is just one standard head and then you select the loft (a choice of 9, 10.5 or 13 degrees) and the flex of the shaft. This is handy if you want to buy online and you know your normal specifications with driver as it removes the need to get fitted.
For a lower priced driver you might expect there to be some sacrifices in the quality of shaft, but that isn’t the case. The D9 features a Tensei CK Blue shaft installed as standard stock with stiff, regular and senior flex options as well as the new Lamkin Genesis Crossline grip. Basically it’s the same kind of set up you’d get in a £450 driver. The only thing lacking is the adjustability, which will be a deal breaker for some but won’t matter to others.
Mizuno are better known for the quality of their irons but their drivers are pretty darn good too.
After successfully launching the ST-X and ST-Z 220 drivers, Mizuno followed that up with a third offering in the ST range. The ST-G 220 is probably the most versatile driver on the market right now, with tons of adjustability.
The beauty of this driver is you can set it to whatever suits your game. You can adjust for fade, draw or for higher or lower ball flight. If you need more forgiveness, you can move the sliding weight to the rear.
It isn't as long as some of its competitors, but with trial and error you will find the right weight settings for your game and you should get excellent results from this massively under-rated club.
I put this driver through its paces this summer and was mightily impressed as I explained in more detail in my full review of the Mizuno ST-G 220 driver.
Callaway went back to the future with their 2022 driver. The original Rogue was a big hit back in 2017 as Callaway first introduced Jailbreak Technology. Since then we’ve seen the Epic Flash, Mavrik and then there was the Epic 21. All were high quality drivers but they didn’t really capture the golf public’s imagination in the way the Rogue did, not least because of the colour schemes which were not to everyone’s taste.
The Rogue is back only it’s new and improved. Callaway’s use of A.I. is the thing they hang their hat on and the brand have spent fortunes on research and development to come up with Flash Face and JailBreak. The Rogue ST (Speed Tuned) range has extended its use of A.I. to improve Flash Face for a higher launch and increased ball speed.
The Rogue ST family features four models. Rogue ST Max, Rogue ST Max D, Rogue ST LS (low spin) and a new Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS, which is aimed at the higher standard player.
The Rogue ST Max looks great at address and has a nicer, duller sound to the Epic 21. It’s very forgiving on off centre hits and while not a full on draw bias driver like the Max D, it does feature semi draw bias which is an added bonus for the average golfer, out of whom are more likely to miss right than left.
An 11.5g tungsten weight positioned at the very rear of the clubhead helps with spin and consistency and the Rogue ST Max is certainly one of the nicer feeling drivers on the market.
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.