The first thing almost every amateur golfer looks to upgrade is their driver. And who can blame them? It’s the sexiest club in the bag because it hits the ball the longest. And if the model you’re currently playing is more than two years old, you will likely realize distance gains in a new model. Lucky for you, nearly every major manufacturer recently debuted their new models — vowing to give players more tee-shot distance, accuracy and better feel. Here are five to consider.
Callaway’s Rogue ($500) has two titanium bars right behind the thin clubface. They help to stiffen the crown and sole at impact, thus enhancing ball speed and pop. Callaway enlisted Boeing aerospace engineers to shape the leading edge geometry, thus improving airflow for more clubhead speed.
Cobra’s high-MOI, adjustable-lofted KING F8 driver ($399) has a fully CNC machine-milled clubface. This means the face is milled and shaped to precise specs. It’s light and thin, so shots leave the face with high initial velocity, while the milling pattern provides surface roughness that reduces spin for more distance.
PING bills the 460cc G400 Max ($435) as its most-forgiving driver ever — thanks to a high moment of inertia. Extreme tungsten weighting, a forged clubface, low CG and thin crown help generate long drives that more easily find the center of the fairway. Internal ribs fine-tune the impact sound.
“Power Hole” slots on the crown and sole adjacent to the clubface of Wilson’s Staff C300 ($400) help create a large sweetspot that flexes a lot at impact — generating long tee shots. The driver’s loft and sole weights are adjustable.
TaylorMade’s M4 ($429) sports a “Twist Face” clubface that helps counteract where golfers most commonly make impact on misses. It’s open with more loft on the high-toe to counter hooks, and closed in the low heel, to correct slices.
By Scott Kramer