After a host of exciting new launches at the start of this year, we showcase the best drivers 2020 has to offer.
Best Drivers 2020
Time doesn’t stand still. Change happens extremely quickly, 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 2020 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, aerodynamics and more options to choose from.
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 2020
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The TaylorMade SiM drivers replaced the popular M5 and M6 models that were used by some of the best players in the world, and they represent a change in focus. SiM stands for Shape In Motion and it gets its name from the asymmetric sole design said to reduce aerodynamic drag in the last three feet of the downswing to maximise clubhead speed where it is needed most – just before impact. All three drivers feature a raised crown and sole to reduce drag and the Inertia Generator then moves the CG (Centre of Gravity), low and back to optimise launch.
Speed Injected Twist Face remains but another difference between the M-Series and SiM is the new chalk white top-line and ultra-light weight chromium carbon crown.
TaylorMade also introduced a SiM Max and SiM Max D-Type versions to the new range of drivers. The SIM Max driver is more forgiving
thanks to an eight per cent larger face and heavier Inertia Generator in the rear of the clubhead. The SIM Max D is an even more draw-biased version that has an 18 per cent larger face than SIM and divergent topline masking, which makes the driver look more open at address.
Replacing the Rogue range from 2018 comes Mavrik, which benefits from the next generation of Callaway’s Flash Face designed by an even more powerful super computer. Artificial Intelligence was also used to improve the acoustics of the driver and the faces of each driver as so complex that Callaway is now using FS2S titanium – an exotic material that is remarkably strong and light.
Jailbreak technology and a T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown continue to feature to promote faster ball speed and raise forgiveness. The standard model also has an unusual headship which is said to reduce drag by up to 61% compared with the Epic Flash.
Callaway also created two other models in the Mavrik range, the Sub Zero and the Mavrik Max. The smaller (450cc) Mavrik Sub Zero driver doesn’t have the unusual head shape, but it does offer lower spin and two adjustable 14g and 2g front and back sole weights. Finally, the Mavrik Max driver is suited to players that require forgiveness and slice correction. It boasts the largest footprint, highest MOI and most draw bias as well as interchangeable 2g and 14g sole weights.
Not to be outdone Mizuno also released its ST200 range at the beginning of 2020 with three different drivers.
Delivering both low spin and significant forgiveness, the ST200 is a high-stability driver built around a resilient Beta rich forged, multi thickness Titanium face that maintains its characteristics over time. The compacted Wave Sole is used to help deliver low spin and more stability, whilst the 11.6g backweight further enhances low spin efficiency and maximises forgiveness.
The ST200G features twin 7g weights on longer external tracks for even more effective weight movement, allowing mid/low to ultra-low spin positions.
The lightweight ST200X delivers a high launch with a draw bias and has been designed to work best with Mizuno’s own Japan specification MFUSION 39g shaft to help those players with mid to lower swing speeds.
Cobra King Speedzone
With the success of the F9, Cobra has gone a step further with the Speedzone. Again the design has been influenced by fast cars, trying to combine power with speed. Power comes from the new CNC Infinity Milled Face that further optimises thickness as well as bulge and roll for a more consistent flight and distance. The speed comes from the optimised aerodynamics and shaping, including a raised front and rear skirt, help maximise clubhead speed by reducing drag.
Golfers also have two models to choose from in either yellow or white trim, and there is also a Cobra Speedzone Xtreme model which provides increased forgiveness on off-centre hits via an additional 17g fixed weight.
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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°.
Ping also released an LST version of the G410 which is designed to be a high-MOI driver and create low spin.
Featuring a comprehensive range of four drivers, the TS-Series from Titleist includes the TS1, TS2, TS3 and TS4, all of which are catered for a variety of different golfers and swing techniques.
The Titleist TS1 driver has been made lighter to maximise launch and distance for golfers with slow to moderate swing speeds, while maintaining the fitting capabilities of Titleist’s SureFit Hosel and a high MOI for stability and forgiveness.
The TS2 features many of the same technologies but has a slightly smaller footprint at address than the TS1. It has been designed to fit a wide spectrum of players with Tour players like Cameron smith even using it.
The TS3 has a slightly smaller profile again and is incredibly popular on Tour. The black, pear-shaped driver provides a classic look and it also has the SureFit CG on the sole to vary ball flight via different weight cartridges. Finally the TS4 is the smallest, and lowest spinning of the series. Given the small shape and more forward CG, the TS4 is less forgiving and better suited to accomplished ball-strikers.
New for the 2020 calendar year, Japanese manufacturer Honma have introduced an all-new range of golf clubs called Tour Release. Sitting at the top of the range are the two Honma TR20 drivers with 460cc and 440cc heads.
Both feature near-total carbon body’s and lightweight titanium frames to help deliver distance and accuracy. The Non-Rotating Hosel system remains to ensure consistency and the sole also features three strategically positioned weights, with a possible of five weight options (3, 6, 9, 12, 15g) to ensure ball speed, launch, spin and swing weight can be optimised.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
The Launcher HB Turbo driver features a Turbocharged Cup Face, which offers a unique variable thickness pattern that delivers more speed across the entire face. It stretches along the crown and sole, flexing at impact and reflecting that energy back into the ball for increased ball speeds at impact.
Wilson Staff Launch Pad
Designed to help higher-handicappers hit the ball further and straighter, the Launch Pad features a offset hosel to create tighter dispersion and at just 272 grams, the driver is very lightweight to maximise swing speed while a two degrees more upright lie angle further assists in combating a slice.
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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.
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.
Callaway also introduced 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.
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.
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