Tips on Purchasing a Golf Driver

By Robert Preston
The driver is almost exclusively used on the tee box, so it frequently sets the tone for your first hole of the day.
The driver is almost exclusively used on the tee box, so it frequently sets the tone for your first hole of the day.

The driver is the club capable of propelling the bar farthest down the golf course, making it a very important club to be able to hit consistently. An erratic driver can mean acquiring a great deal of penalty strokes for lost balls. Choosing the right driver is essential in gaining that consistency.

The Head

Choosing the right head for your driver is the first step in figuring out just the right fit for your golfing needs. The angle of the face of the driver is important to examine before selecting a driver, as some players prefer to hit balls with a lower trajectory, while others prefer a ball which comes off higher. While the difference in faces can be as little as 1/2 degree, spread out over the length of the drive it can have a noted difference in the height of the ball. The size of the club head should also be factored in. The larger and deeper the head of the driver, the farther away from the surface of the club the sweet spot will be. A deeper sweet spot will be easier to hit.

The Shaft

When choosing a driver, a golfer must also determine if she wants to use metal shafts or graphite shafts. Metal was the standard for drivers until the popularity of graphite grew. Metal shafts are substantially less flexible and will transfer more vibrations from the club head up the shaft. Graphite shafts offer more damping of the vibrations and also allow for the club to flex slightly during the swing process. Graphite shafts first gained popularity for older players and children, who benefited from the lighter clubs and the whip added by the flex, but as the technology improved, they became more common for golfers of all skill levels. Shafts are available with varying degrees of flex, with more flexible clubs providing more whip but also potentially leading to the club over-flexing and being open at impact. Players with high club speeds would benefit from a more rigid shaft, while players who struggle with speed will enjoy a more flexible shaft.

Finding a Bargain

If you are not in need of an emergency driver to take out on to the range that day, it is best to shop around for the best results. Keeping your budget in mind, visit local shops or ranges. Many driving ranges will allow you to sample test models to get a feel for how the clubs play. Once you have decided on a driver, check the prices at local outlets, as well as online sites like Golfsmith.com, to find the best price on your driver.

Photo Credits

  • Tom Dulat/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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