After a host of new launches, we showcase the best drivers of 2018 looking to earn a spot in your golf bag.
Best Drivers 2018
It’s clear the manufacturers have been busy in coming up with new and exciting driver offerings for 2018 said to provide even more distance and accuracy than ever before.
For 2018, custom fitting and moveable weights are strong and common themes. This adjustability helps golfers adjust launch, spin and shot shape and is relatively intuitive. Combine this with adjustable loft on the hosel and you’ve got endless combinations to get the most from your latest purchase.
Be honest with yourself about what you want to get from it – do you want more distance? Do you want to find more fairways? Do you want to change your slice into a draw? Some drivers may even be able to provide a little bit of everything, but you’ll only find this out by seeking the advice of your pro and getting custom fitted.
WATCH: The Best Drivers 2018
Below are some of our favourites. With some of the products you’ll see a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item, but this doesn’t affect the amount you pay.
TaylorMade’s Twist Face is a new take on drivers’ bulge and roll properties, using human data to provide straighter drives on miss-hits with an additional reduction in distance loss. Greater adjustability comes from the Y Track system on the sole, which houses two 11g weights that can be moved independently to alter launch, spin and shot shape. A new Hammerhead Slot is supported by beams at the edges to increase the size of the sweetspot.
Updated Jailbreak bars are thinner, hourglass in shape and more efficient in stabilising the body to allow the clubface to take more of the impact loaded for added ball speed. More efficient clubhead weighting improves feel, forgiveness and launch. It comes in three versions – standard for maximum forgiveness, the Sub Zero, which has added fade bias and two adjustable 2g and 14g sole weights, and Draw version for slicers.
Ping G400 Max
Ping has created a 460cc version of its G400 driver to provide the most fairway-finding forgiveness. The added volume increases stability, helped by a heavier tungsten weight in the rear of the clubhead. A lighter face and added cosmetics should make alignment a little easier too. It sits alongside the standard G400, LST and SFT versions, which are smaller at 440cc to help increase clubhead speed, but still have higher MOI than the previous G driver.
Cobra King F8+
A new CNC Milled titanium face produces more consistent bulge and roll properties for improved distance and accuracy. 360 Aero on the front part of the crown and sole reduce aerodynamic drag for more clubhead speed while adjustable sole weights alter launch, spin and shot shape. The King F8 is aimed at a range of abilities seeking enhanced all-round performance as well as the option of a more draw-biased flight while the F8+ will suit a lower handicap range and/or faster swing speeds because of its low spin and launch setting, lower loft range and smaller address profile.
One of the newest drivers on our list, the Titleist TS3 has a glossy black crown which maintains a traditional look at address. The titanium crown means that the sound at impact is metallic – quite loud and high-pitched compared to carbon composite drivers, but it still feels very solid, stable and firm. When tested, the TS3 delivered excellent ball speed and high launch, carrying seven yards further than the 917 models. A low-lofted version gave us a more penetrating flight, plus more scope to fine-tune the weight to maximise performance. The new Speed Chassis comprises a thinner face and more streamlined crown that saves weight and improves ball speed aerodynamics by 20 per cent. It also features the SureFit CG on the sole to vary ball flight via different weight cartridges.
One of the most adjustable drivers on the market, the GT180 is built around a Forged SP700 Ti Face, a precise multi-thickness face that promotes accelerated ball speeds. There are extra draw, neutral and fade settings in low, mid and high spin flights thanks to the ability to position the twin 7g weights in more locations for greater impact on spin rates and fade or draw bias. It sits alongside the ST180 model, which is a low-spinning, non-adjustable driver offering all round performance.
The new M4 driver now features a fixed 41g back weight, which is 86 per cent heavier than on the M2. This has resulted in a 10 per cent higher MOI. The Geocoustic construction from M2 continues but has been refined, offering a larger profile and improved sound and feel. The face itself has been made larger overall and thinner in the heel and toe areas to generate more uniform performance across it. There’s also a D-Type version, which has the 41g weight positioned more in the heel of the club for extra draw bias. The paint line on the crown has also been adjusted to make the leading edge look square even though the clubface is closed compared to the standard M4.
Wilson Staff C300
Power Holes located on the sole and crown expand the sweet spot for greater ball speeds across the face. These are combined with new Reactive Face Technology to provide more uniform performance on different strikes. Green Means GO! Fast Fit Technology 3.0 allows for quick loft and lie adjustments by eliminating the need to remove the club head from the shaft. There are also two 6g and one 2g interchangeable sole weights to adjust launch conditions and shot shape.
This driver is aimed 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 per cent thinner and more flexible for added ball speed. The lightweight carbon crown shifts weight to the perimeter to provide more forgiveness and lower spin in a tour-preferred look. The Quick Tune System means golfers can adjust loft, face and lie angle. We found it to be higher-launching and lower-spinning than its predecessor, while also feeling hotter and more stable on mishits. All in all there’s an awful lot of value for the price of £349.
Cleveland Launcher HB
A redesigned HiBore Crown, which is lighter in weight, helps position the weight low and deep in the head for more launch and forgiveness while also being more convex, creating a stiffer structure for improved sound and feel. The ultra-lightweight hosel is non adjustable, which saves 15 grams of weight that can then be repositioned to make the woods more user-friendly. Flex-Fin Technology refers to the channel on the sole that flexes and returns energy at impact for distance on strikes across the face.
Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic
Sitting alongside Rogue for 2018, Epic features the original Jailbreak technology, which comprises two ultra-light (3g), strong, parallel titanium bars connecting the crown and sole behind the face to reduce their deflection, allowing the face to take more of the load created at impact for faster ball speeds. It comes in standard, with a 27-gram sliding weight in the back of the sole to adjust shot shape, or the lower spinning Sub Zero model, which has 2g and 12g interchangeable sole weights to dial in launch and spin as well as change forgiveness levels.
Lynx’s most technologically advanced driver to date has adjustable loft (8.5˚- 12.5˚), plus two 3g sole weights you can move inwards towards the centre of the sole or outward to adjust the draw or fade bias as well as launch and spin. Comes with a UST Mamiya Recoil shaft and Lamkin Crossline grip.
Related: read more Best drivers
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