In this post, we shall be looking at golf drivers and the best-rated golf driver 2020, we try to help you narrow down the choice of drivers most suitable for you.
You understand that as the game of golf evolves, so have the manufacturers of golf equipment evolved in their production of golf gear including golf drivers.
These manufacturers of golf equipment are dependent on many aspects of player selection. Every piece of equipment is suitable for all players.
Golf drivers are the most difficult club in the set to execute to their full potential. This is a result of the shaft length, the swing, and the flatter swing plane compared to most other clubs.
Quite a number of brands have revealed really amazing innovations, making it an exciting time to purchase a driver.
The most significant advancements have been achieved in face technology and testing the COR limits, fully maximizing ball speed and distance.
Going forward, let’s look at what a golf driver is.
What Is a Golf Driver?
Golf drivers are also called 1-wood clubs and are the longest and the lowest-lofted clubs.
Drivers might look big but in an actual sense, they are probably the lightest piece of clubs in the players’ bag.
Drivers are used in launching the golf ball to the longest distance, more than any golf club.
In modern golf games, the driver has become the single most expensive piece of the club and this is due to the much emphasis placed on a player’s ability to launch a long-distance drive. And of course, you know that a longer drive draws the ball closer to the green.
Things to have in mind when picking the best golf driver.
Using the right driver is the most exciting shot to hit and witness. It provides the player with a feeling of achievement and confidence that other shots can emulate.
For this one reason, manufacturers of golf equipment spend lots of money on releasing brand-new equipment.
Most players will stick to tried and tested drivers for many years; with the average number of rounds that a driver is used set at around 200 – 300. This excludes visits to the driving range.
There are many categories for comparing equipment, a few of which are mentioned in this post.
This review will focus on the category where there are the most active players; namely the most forgiving drivers for mid to high handicappers.
Although most drivers were released as pairs, for e.g. TaylorMade M5/M6, we will highlight the major differences between the clubs, but only review the one that is most applicable to the mid to high handicappers.
It is advisable to have a club fitting with your local club professional to ensure that you gain maximum benefit and consistency from your driver
• Level of Skill:
You should impact greatly the final decision on the equipment purchased.
Although the advertisers would want you to believe that the newest driver would add a major distance advantage to your game, this is not always the case.
So try and purchase the equipment that will suit your game and budget, rather than spending vast amounts on equipment that will not add value.
It is recommended that the money should subsequently be spent on arranging a fitting with a professional in order to achieve better results.
Know the category you fall into; whether a beginner, intermediate or advanced player.
You should find a piece that bests suits your skill.
Most heads released conform to the maximum of 460cc.
It is advisable to purchase a driver with the maximum size as very few players benefit from smaller-sized heads.
The loft of your driver should be in line with your assessed club-head speed.
The lighter the shaft, the faster you can swing it. Lighter shafts are a bit whippier than heavier shafts.
• Shaft Length:
The length of the shaft plays a role in the consistency of the shot and strike. Have the shaft fitted for length and you will continue to reap the benefits.
The adjustability of the driver will play a big role depending on the skill and the personal preferences of the player.
Some players prefer to tinker with the setup on a regular basis, whereas others are more inclined to take standard options and concentrate more on the workability of the ball.
It is important to note that adjustability will add weight to the driver as well as increase the cost. Not everyone needs adjustability.
If you do select a club with the adjustability, take the time to understand how it works so that it can help and not hinder your game.
• Shaft Flex:
Although there are many factors that play a role in the shaft, flex is probably the most important.
Below are the top 10 best-rated golf drivers that made our cut.
1. TaylorMade SIM Driver
The acronym ‘SIM’ simply stands for Shape In Motion.
It’s a technology designed to maximize swing speed during the part of the swing where it really counts.
TaylorMade points to the fact that most drivers aren’t optimized for this critical part of the swing, highlighting the fact that Dustin Johnson’s swing speed is just 90mph at the 9 o’clock position in his downswing, but 120mph at impact.
With SIM, TaylorMade has focused an awful lot of aerodynamic research and design on ensuring your clubhead is traveling as fast as possible at the moment of truth.
TaylorMade SIM drivers have replaced the popular M5 and M6 models that were used by some of the best players in the world, and they represent a change in focus.
Speed Injected Twist Face remains but another difference between the M-Series and SiM is the new chalk-white top-line and ultra-lightweight chromium carbon crown.
TaylorMade also introduced SiM Max and SiM Max D-Type versions to the new range of drivers.
The SIM Max driver is more forgiving, thanks to an eight percent larger face and heavier Inertia Generator in the rear of the club head.
The SIM Max D is an even more draw-biased version that has an 18 percent larger face than SIM and divergent topline masking, which makes the driver look more open at the address.
- TaylorMade SIM drivers are forgiving
- Easy swing speed.
2. Callaway Mavrik Driver
Not only has the Mavrik driver replaced the Rogue but it has a large benefit from the generation of Callaway’s Flash Face design.
Lots of brainwork was put in by the engineers to improve the acoustics of the driver and the faces of each driver as so complex that it’s now using FS2S titanium, an exotic material that is remarkably strong and light.
Also, Jailbreak technology and a T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown features Callaway drivers to promote faster ball speed and increase forgiveness.
The standard model also has an unusual headship which is said to reduce drag by up to 61% compared with the Epic Flash.
Callaway also created two other models in the Mavrik range, the Sub Zero, and the Mavrik Max.
The smaller (450cc) Mavrik Sub Zero driver doesn’t have an unusual head shape, but it does offer lower spin and two adjustable 14g and 2g front and back sole weights.
Finally, the Mavrik Max driver is suited to players that require forgiveness and slice correction.
- They are exceptionally lightweight
- Best suited for players that require forgiveness
- Can only be handled by advanced players.
3. Mizuno ST109 Driver
The most noticeable change from the 2018 model is that the blue color is replaced by black to achieve wider acceptance in a market that is returning to the conservative side.
The polished weave pattern on the crown provides a confident feel. The less pronounced sole utilizing Wave Technology has fewer ridges resulting in a stiffened sole and improved ball speed.
Here is a markable improvement in feel from its predecessor and the ST190 with a reduction in the pitch off the face compared to the ST180.
Mizuno’s use of Harmonic Impact Technology results in a fine-tuned solid sound at impact.
The improved adjustability with the Fast Track increases the workability of the club allowing for control of spin and direction.
The ST190 is a simpler, weight-back driver with the ST190G being super adjustable with two sliding weight tracks allowing for fine-tuning of spin and shaping shots.
The ST190 retains the distance of its predecessor but creates too much spin. The ST190 Cortech Face is 10% more than the rest of the head while retaining the same Forged SP700 titanium for the rest of the head.
This is a competitive driver but by no means the top amongst other drivers.
This is because the company has returned to a dark look rather than the limited appeal of the blue drivers of the old model.
- Features a Fast Track Technology for an easy launch.
- Has a quick switch adaptor for effortless adjustability.
- This driver has good speed and distance.
- Some find alignment challenging.
4. Cobra King SpeedZone Driver
With the success of the F9, Cobra has gone a step further with the Speedzone. Again the design has been influenced by fast cars, trying to combine power with speed.
Power comes from the new CNC Infinity Milled Face that further optimizes thickness as well as bulge and roll for a more consistent flight and distance.
The speed comes from the optimized aerodynamics and shaping, including a raised front and rear skirt, which help maximize clubhead speed by reducing drag.
Golfers also have two models to choose from in either yellow or white trim, and there is also a Cobra Speedzone Xtreme model which provides increased forgiveness on off-center hits via an additional 17g fixed weight.
- Aerodynamic head
- Low deep CG
- Good speed and distance
- Good adjustability options
- Buyers do not appreciate the feedback and muted sound produced
- Graphics are distracting to some golfers.
5. Ping G410 Plus Driver
The Ping Plus driver features moveable weight.
This driver has a 16g tungsten weight located to the very back of the head that can be moved toward the heel or toe to add 10 yards of a draw or fade bias whilst not compromising forgiveness.
One other obvious difference from the previous model is the change to the weight-saving Dragonfly technology which has now moved to the inside of the club head from the crown.
The Turbulators on the crown have been enlarged and the face has been through a forging and heat-treatment process to increase speed, thereby increasing adjustability.
- Great fade correcting and perfect aerodynamics
- Pleasing sound and feel
- The face-toe screw is distracting for some golfers.
6. Titleist TS Driver
The Titleist TS1 driver has been made lighter to maximize launch and distance
for golfers with slow to moderate swing speeds while maintaining the fitting
capabilities of Titleist’s SureFit Hosel and a high MOI for stability and forgiveness.
- Highly forgiving and has a low drag
- High clubhead speeds and a good distance
- Some find less control with the longer shaft.
7. Callaway Epic Flash Drivers
The main technology to talk about in the Callaway Epic Flash is the revolutionary Flash Face design.
The product of an $8m supercomputer, which used Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques
to give computer systems the ability to “learn” with data without being explicitly programmed, to cycle through 15,000 face design iterations and over 100 impact simulations.
Learning from each one, the computer then arrived at the final design when it could no longer be improved.
The resulting clubface is not like anything made before by Callaway. What appears to be a mass of subtle ripples and lines actually works together to increase COR.
Combine this with the latest iteration of Jailbreak technology, and a new tighter weaved carbon fabric, and faster ball speeds are the result.
- The Call away flash face technology has a low spin and high MOI.
- Jailbreak Technology for faster ball speeds and therefore distance.
- They are highly forgiving.
- Adjustable Perimeter Weighting allows for control and versatility.
- Some find the crown design distracting
- The sound is not to all golfers’ liking
8. Srixon Z 785 Drivers
The Srixon driver is geared at golfers seeking competitive distance and forgiveness without the premium price tag.
In terms of technology, it has a titanium Cup Face made from a premium exotic alloy, allowing Srixon to make the face 10 percent thinner and more flexible for added ball speed.
The lightweight carbon crown shifts weight to the perimeter to provide more forgiveness and a lower spine in a tour-preferred look.
The Quick Tune System means golfers can adjust loft, face, and lie angles.
We found it to be higher launching and lower spinning than its predecessor, while also feeling hotter and more stable on mishits.
- Has features that offer lots of forgiveness.
- Offers features that allow for adjustment thereby promoting low-spin and penetrating drive which obviously is the desire of every golfer.
- Price is fair compared to similar drivers on the market.
- Not a regular known name like your popular TaylorMade or Callaway drivers.
9. PXG 0811x Gen 2 Driver
This driver features a multi-level, variable thickness carbon crown, the new PXG 0811x Gen 2 driver has an array of new technology built into the head.
Chief among them is the Precision Weighting Technology in the form of differently weighted screws in the sole of the head which are designed to increase MOI and manage the launch and shot shape incrementally.
Additionally, the Honeycomb TPE Insert helps reposition weight around the head so that launch conditions are optimized while improving sound and feel.
- The price is relatively affordable.
- Adjustability features.
- Mid and low-handicapped golfers would better appreciate this club.
10. TaylorMade M6 Driver
The TaylorMade M6 is an all-around offering that is one of the easiest drivers to hit currently on the market.
The combination of soft looks, stable head, great sound, speed, and forgiveness will suit the majority of mid to high-handicapped golfers.
TaylorMade introduces new technology named speed injected twist-face in the new M6 driver pushing the boundaries at the edge of the Coefficient of restitution, yet staying within the legal limits of speed regulations.
With the technological improvements, the player still experiences more forgiveness than in previous models. More ball speed is generated by a larger sweet spot resulting from the screws in the clubface.
This driver has a sleeker aerodynamic shape than the M4 before it. The crown consists of a 6-layer carbon fiber sole allowing for weight to be applied elsewhere to improve stability.
With the weight savings, engineers were able to create a sleek, aerodynamic shape inclusive of the new ‘inertia generator.
The inertia generator houses the additional discretionary weight extremely low and back for maximum forgiveness while lowering the CG compared to previous models.
The M6 has a lower and deeper weight in the sole thanks to a carbon sole. The M5 has a moveable inverted T-track on the sole allowing for a 20-gram movable to be installed.
The matte black traditional-shaped crown inspires confidence and assists with the ease of alignment.
- Highly forgiving
- Intuitive adjustability
- Impressive ball speeds and distance
- They are expensive
- No major improvements on earlier versions.
We all have different priorities and needs. A good driver that works well with your swing style and speed is an essential piece of equipment. Here we have presented some of the best golf drivers and there is something for everyone. Consider your needs, your strengths, and weaknesses and select the best one for your game.