After a host of exciting new launches at the start of this year, we showcase the best drivers 2019 has to offer.
Best Drivers 2019
Time doesn’t stand still. Change happens, and you don’t want to be left behind. So, what’s been happening so far as technology is concerned – specifically with the big stick and what are the best drivers 2019 has to offer?
Well, quite a lot as it happens. This year has already seen a number of brands break new ground on the innovation front, making it an exciting time to buy a new driver. Some of the most significant advancements concern face technology, getting right up to COR limits to get you more ball speed.
We’re also seeing new, intuitive ways to adjust the weighting of the clubhead… and even the clubface itself!
In relation to purchasing a new driver, 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.
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.
WATCH: Best Drivers 2019
Introduced in the M3 and M4 drivers, TaylorMade’s Twist Face returns in the M5 but on this model it is ‘Speed Injected’. This is because each club-head is made with a non-conforming clubface beyond legal COR limits. Every head is individually speed tested and then injected with a specific amount of tuning resin via two ports in the heel and toe that slows down the face to just inside the COR limit. The M5 driver offers more efficient adjustability via the new Inverted T-Track, on which two 10g weights can be manoeuvred independently in the centre and at the perimeter of the clubhead to optimise spin and ball flight while maintaining forgiveness.
Cobra King F9 Speedback
Cobra’s new King F9 Speedback once again has a CNC-milled face which was first introduced in their F8 model. As used by Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau, the yellow and black finish stands out as do the PWR ridges and carbon fibre finish on the crown of the club-head, all of which are designed to give more club speed. The low and back ‘Speedback’ position of the rear weight aids launch and forgiveness.
In terms of adjustability, you can also fine tune your ball flight through the interchangeable 14g and 2g sole weights as well as the adjustable MyFly hosel. But through a custom order, additional 6g, 10g and 18g weight options are available to produce even more optimal launch conditions and flight.
Ping G410 Plus
Ping’s first ever driver to feature moveable weight, the G410 Plus driver has a 16g tungsten weight located to the very back of the head that can be moved toward the heel or toe to add 10 yards of draw or fade bias whilst not compromising forgiveness. Another significant difference from their past model, the G400, is the change to the weight-saving Dragonfly technology which has now moved to the inside of the clubhead from the crown. The Turbulators on the crown have been enlarged and the face has been through a forging and heat-treatment process to increase speed. The loft adjustability has increased to +/- 1° or 1.5°.
One of the most popular drivers on tour, 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. 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 differently specced weight cartridges.
Callaway Epic Flash
The main technology to talk about here is the Flash Face. The product of an $8m super computer, which used Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” with data without being explicitly programmed, to cycle through 15,000 face design iterations and over 100 impact simulations. Learning from each one, the computer then arrived at the final design when it could no longer be improved.
The resulting clubface is not like anything made before by Callaway. What appears to be a mass of subtle ripples and lines actually works together to increase COR. Combine this with the latest iteration of Jailbreak technology, and a new tighter weaved carbon fabric, and faster ball speeds are the result. There’s also a lower spinning Sub Zero version, which features a fixed front weight and adjustable sliding weight for shot shape for the first time.
PXG 0811x Gen 2
Featuring a multi-level, variable thickness carbon crown, the new PXG 0811x Gen 2 driver has an array of new technology built into the head. Chief among which is the Precision Weighting Technology in the form of differently weighted screws in the sole of the head which are designed to increase MOI and manage launch and shot shape incrementally. Additionally, the Honeycomb TPE Insert helps reposition weight around the head so that launch conditions are optimised while improving sound and feel.
Offering Mizuno’s lowest spin rates, the new ST190 and ST190G drivers feature the Forged SP700 Ti face which have been improved with a lighter Cortech structure to ensure maximum ball speeds. Additionally, an updated Amplified Wave on the sole of the club remains to ensure high ball speeds are produced despite off-centre hits. The ST190G (above right) has Fast Track adjustability in the form of two 7g weights that can be moved forward and back for whatever the player desires in ball flight, spin and shot shape.
Much like the M5 above, the M6 also has the new ‘Speed Injected Twist Face’ technology along with the Hammerhead 2.0 slot which is designed to increase the size of the sweet spot and ensure your ball speeds don’t drop even on off-centre hits. Both drivers also have the new matte finish on the crown which we think is an improvement from the M3 and M4 drivers.
The main difference between the two new models is the level of adjustability in which the M6 has very little in comparison to its counterpart. It does have loft adjustability though and an ‘inertia generator’ at the rear, which raises the forgiveness significantly. It is more forgiving than most weight settings of the M5.
The TS2 features many of the same technologies of the TS3, including the Speed Chassis and adjustable hosel. It has been built to offer a little more forgiveness and should fit a wider spectrum of players. The clubface has been made thinner, saving six grams, to provide consistently faster ball speeds from varying strike points. It’s so thin, Titleist couldn’t put scorelines on the face and instead had to laser etch the lines you see and because it’s so close to the limit, Titleist CT test every driver face before it leaves the factory. The TS2 has a larger footprint at address and offers slightly higher spin than the TS3.
Wilson Staff Cortex
The ‘Cortex’ is Wilson’s most adjustable driver and is said to offer golfers ultimate forgiveness along with feel and complete control from the tee. It features a titanium structure; carbon panels; a sliding 8g weight and additional interchangeable 2g and 8g weights to provide golfers premium performance, precise weight distribution and adjustability.
The Wilson Staff Cortex driver features Fast Cage Technology, which consists of a weight-tuned titanium internal structure and 44% of its surface area is covered in Carbon Fibre Panels. This Ti-Carbon construction allows for a precise distribution of weight and frees up additional weight for maximum adjustability.
Srixon Z 785
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.
Lynx Prowler VT
Featuring ‘Switch-Face’ technology, the new Lynx Prowler VT allows golfers to remove the entire face for one with different lofts or an open/closed one. However whilst the face changes the driver head remains square at address, presenting true loft to the ball every time.
There will be at least 25 different true loft and face angle options available, meaning custom-fitters and golfers will be able to experiment with and assess an array of combinations from 8 degrees loft and 2 degrees closed, to 12 degrees loft and 2 degrees open, and everything in between.
Ping G400 Max
Remaining available for 2019, likely re-positioned at a lower price point, is the 460cc version of its G400 driver to provide the most fairway-finding forgiveness. The added volume of the G400 Max 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.
Also remaining for 2019 are the Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero drivers, which feature updated Jailbreak bars that 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.
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