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.
2022 has been a good year for drivers with some fine offerings from most of the usual leading brands. The TaylorMade Stealth is our pick for this year but if that isn't for you fear not as we have plenty of other options to suit your eye.
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
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.
Carbon fibre is lighter than titanium so this has allowed TM to make the face bigger and push their technology right up to the very edge of the legal limit. The face on the Stealth is 11% bigger than the SIM2 and 20% bigger than the original SIM. There’s less weight located at the front and more at the back, which increases ball speed. Think of a car with weight in the boot smashing into a wall.
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. This draw bias is achieved by internal weighting which 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 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.
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.
Callaway have gone 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.
New for 2022, 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.
Cobra's main focus in recent years has been distance, which makes sense when Bryson DeChambeau is the face of your company.
Their 2019 offering was the F9 and that was many people's pick for the best driver of that year. The follow up was the Speedzone which also proved popular, but for whatever reason the 2021 release of the Radspeed didn't capture the imagination of golfers.
In 2022 Cobra launched the LTDx (range, which as the name suggests (longest total distance) with the promise that this was their longest driver to date. And it is. Not by a great deal, but there has been distance gains and Cobra also claim the LTDx has increased forgiveness.
Featuring H.O.T. Face technology and CNC Milled Infinity Face, the LTDx also has 15g of combined back weighting (10g fixed weight & 5g tungsten weight), to enhance forgiveness and promote a higher ball flight.
LTDx 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.
As with the Stealth HD, 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.
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.
For a more in depth look at this intriguing club, check out our full review of the TaylorMade Sim2 Max D.
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 (opens in new tab).
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.