Tips and Ideas for a New Driver

By Sharon Penn
Do some research and "test driving" before buying a new driver.
Do some research and "test driving" before buying a new driver.

Many golfers consider the driver to be the most important club in their golf bag. They are usually also the most expensive. When the time comes to replace your old driver, take the time to do some research. You might consider attending a “Demo Day” at a local driving range or golf course, where you can get fitted by a professional and have the opportunity to try out drivers from different manufacturers. Make sure you like the look, feel and sound of the driver as you make impact with the ball in the sweet spot.

Taking Measurements

In order to figure out which technology in a driver will work the best for you, get measured. You need to know your height and wrist-to-floor measurement. You will also need to find out your swing speed and spin ratio. These measurements can be made at the Demo Day, by your teaching professional, or at a golf retailer.

Use your statistics to purchase a club with the specifications that suit your measurements. The length of the club will vary according to your height and wrist-to-floor measurement.

High Handicappers

Beginners and golfers with a higher handicap should look for a driver with a big club head featuring a larger sweet spot. This type of club will be more forgiving of miss hits.

The loft angle should be about 10.5 to 12 degrees to help you get the ball up into the air on impact. A flexible shaft will provide more distance for the high-handicap player. Male golfers with a swing speed of less than 80 mph need a flexible shaft.

Advanced Players

A more advanced golfer can look at a driver with a loft angle of 9 to 9.5 degrees. The low handicapper with a higher swing speed can handle a stiff or extra-stiff shaft for better accuracy. Titanium shafts perform well for the advanced golfer, but they tend to be pricey. A titanium head is also recommended, as well as new composites of carbon and titanium for greater distance.

Newer Technology

Today’s larger club heads and lighter shafts are designed to get more distance by helping you produce a faster swing speed. Drivers with a high Moment of Inertia, or MOI, stabilize the club head at impact, which helps prevent a hook or a slice.

Some drivers are designed to produce a left draw by means of a closed face or weighting. If you hit a straight ball or if you have a natural draw, stick with a neutral driver. Some newer drivers have adjustable parts such as weights and adjustable shafts to allow you to customize the club.

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