Golf Driver

The club in your bag that is designed to hit the ball the farthest, your driver can either be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Due to the long length of the club, the driver is also the most difficult to control and hit straight consistently. Many golfers only reach for the driver on par-5s, or particularly long par-4s, or forgo the big stick entirely. However, thanks to advances in modern driver technology, the driver is now easier to hit longer and father than ever before. By understanding and utilizing things like custom weighting, loft and face angle adjustability, as well as maxed out forgiveness and distance benefits, you'll be sure to find a driver that fits your game and shortens the course.

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Adjustability

Many club manufacturers are now releasing fully customizable clubs that allow the golfer to personally adjust a number of features. Personalized adjustment options in internal weighting, face angle, lie angle, and even loft and length give golfers the ability to finely tune their driver in order to best fit their skill level, swing characteristics, trajectory pattern, and weather conditions.

Most commonly, golfers may choose to manually open or close the clubface of their driver. This would work in promoting either a fade or draw in ball flight, or help straighten out a hook or a slice. Shot trajectory can also be affected by adjustments in weight distribution within the club. The Lie Angle, the angle between the sole of the club at address and the shaft, is another specification that can be altered to fit a golfer’s specific swing plane or ball flight preferences. More recently, many drivers now offer the ability to change the length and loft of the club. The longer the driver, the more distance that can be generated by an on-center hit, the shorter, the more control a player will have off the tee. Loft adjustments can be made to fit launch patters, or course weather conditions, or be used as an option as a golfer progresses in skill level or makes a swing adjustment down the road. Hitting the ball too low during your range session before a round? Simply add to the loft before hitting the course. Experiencing a lot of weather and want a lower trajectory to cut through the wind? Lower the loft and gain a bit more distance.

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Clubs that feature adjustable weighting come equipped with external weights that can be changed and moved in order to promote a specific ball-flight or cure an undesired one. Golfers who suffer from a slice may position the weight more towards the heel of the club, making the outer toe lighter and easier to rotate throughout the swing. This would make squaring and closing the club face much easier at impact, decreasing the chance of an open-face slice and promoting right-to-left ball flight. On the other end of the spectrum, golfers who fight a hook may concentrate the weight to the toe of the club, making a more open face at impact easier to attain. Many clubs also offer a single weight port near the back of the clubhead, giving a golfer who suffers from too low a trajectory the option of adding a heavier weight, effectively lowering the clubs center of gravity and promoting a higher ball flight. Typically, clubs with Adjustable Weighting can be utilized to help any golfer straighten out their swing, or promote a desired ball-flight. These clubs conform to all USGA rules and regulations, given that they are not just adjusted after a round of golf has started.

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Loft

Loft is the angle created by the clubface relative to a straight line going straight up and down. The lower the loft, the flatter the clubface; the higher the loft, the more the clubface is angled. Higher lofts promote a higher launch on the ball. The first two things to consider when deciding on the appropriate loft for your driver are swing speed and control. Typically, golfers with higher swing speeds are more apt to hit the ball high, and while a higher ball flight can lead to more distance for some, it can lead to a decrease in distance for others. For golfers who experience no trouble getting the ball airborne, a lower lofted club can promote a more boring, penetrating ball flight, one that slowly increases in height through the air, maximizing distance. When considering control, the golfer must take into account how consistently they are able to hit the ball on the sweet spot of the club with a square face. Inconsistent ball striking can lead to side-spin being put on the ball upon impact, creating a hook or a slice. A higher lofted club is able to decrease side-spin by promoting a greater deal of backspin than a lower lofted club. Playing a driver that is too low in loft is a common mistake amongst golfers. Most beginning or intermediate golfers will most benefit from higher lofted drivers that launch the ball high and reduce slice and hook inducing side-spin. When stuck between lofts, or in doubt about which loft best fits a golfer’s swing, it is best to err on the side of the higher lofted, more forgiving club.

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Head Size

The head size of a driver is also known as volume and is typically measured in cubic capacity (“cc”). As larger clubheads are able to promote more force at impact and result in greater distance, the USGA currently puts a limit on the volume of driver clubheads at 460cc. The vast majority of drivers are 460cc in an attempt to maximize distance as well as create as much weighting as possible to manipulate towards optimizing forgiveness. At 460cc, clubheads between manufacturers and models can vary in height, depth, and length. Deeper drivers have face areas that are higher top to bottom, with shorter, more compact lengths from the front to the back of the club. More shallow drivers will be wider on the face and longer front to back. Head size and shape can provide different benefits to different players, with the look of the club generally coming down to personal preference. If you look down at your driver and feel comfortable and confident with its shape and volume, you're more likely to swing consistently and on plane than if you were uncomfortable or feeling awkward during you backswing.

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