We take a look at the best golf drivers. Is now the time to upgrade? Let's see what's on the market
Best Golf Drivers
So, what’s been happening so far as technology is concerned – specifically with the big stick, and what are the best golf drivers currently on the market.?
Golf’s biggest brands continue 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 and aerodynamics – and there are even more options to choose from with every ability and swing type well catered for.
We’re also seeing new, intuitive ways to adjust the weighting of the clubhead… and even the clubface itself.
Be honest with yourself about what you want to get from your new driver. Do you want more distance? More fairways? Less of a slice, perhaps?
The best golf drivers can provide a little bit of everything, and below are some of our favourite models in this regard.
Best Golf Drivers
Titleist TSi3 Driver
+ Improved looks
+ More effective adjustability
– Some may need more alignment assistance
The best Titleist drivers are often complete packages and the TSi3 continues that trend.It features a more compact, pear-shaped profile and a new SureFit CG Track positioned around the rear skirt, allowing players to alter their shot shape and launch characteristics.
Comparing it to the outgoing TS3, we prefer the more rounded toe and the quieter thud it produces – which is closer to what you might experience with carbon fibre drivers like Callaway Mavrik and TaylorMade SIM.
We believe many golfers will also prefer how the sole weight setting is now visible – with the TS3 you had to unscrew and remove the weight to see what it was.
With the multitude of settings and shafts available, a custom fitting is a must to get the most out of it.
Gains over the TS3 will vary from player to player but we certainly got much more out of the TSi3 than we were expecting.
With its more varied adjustability and extra forgiveness on offer, it will appeal to a range of golfers, not just the better player.
TaylorMade SIM Driver
+ Modern, functional looks
+ Impressive distance
– Performance gains over M5 and M6 marginal (player dependent)
One of the best TaylorMade drivers ever made, the 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 (SIM Max and SIM Max D pictured below) feature a raised crown and sole to reduce drag and the Inertia Generator then moves the CG 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.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.
Meanwhile, the SIM Max D is an even more draw-biased version that has an 18 per cent larger face than SIM and divergent top-line masking, which makes the driver look more open at address.
These drivers come with a premium price tag but with that you do get premium performance.
In testing, we didn’t experience a massive leap forward from M5 or M6 but we did see gains in club and ball speed without sacrificing accuracy.
The Max version is straighter and positioned at a more affordable price, plus there’s the option of a D version for those who struggle with a slice.
In summary, every style and ability has been catered for with three very appealing products which are easily some of the best golf drivers on the market.
Callaway Mavrik Driver
+ User-friendly whilst producing competitive distance
+ Three models cater for different swings
– Some may say the orange cheapens the look
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 are 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 smaller (450cc) Mavrik Sub Zero driver offers lower spin and two adjustable 14g and 2g front and back sole weights.
Meanwhile, 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.
We really liked how user-friendly these drivers were and all three produced competitive distance.
Some players will experience limited gains over Rogue and Epic Flash, and there’s no ability to significantly alter shot shape, but the varying launch and spin characteristics across the three models means every skill level and swing type is well covered.
Mizuno ST200 Driver
+ Excellent value for money
+ Classic profile
– Not the easiest drivers to align at address
Delivering both low spin and significant forgiveness, Mizuno’s 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.
Meanwhile, the ST200G features twin 7g weights on longer external tracks for even more effective weight movement, allowing mid/low to ultra-low spin positions.
We gained 15 yards on the older model with the new ST200G – great performance and evidence that Mizuno’s drivers continue to get stronger and stronger and can lay claim to being some of the best golf drivers on the market.
Finally, there’s the lightweight ST200X, which 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.
We liked it so much we also featured it in our guide on the best golf drivers for mid handicappers.
Cobra King Speedzone Driver
+ Sleek looks
+ Easy to align
– High-pitched sound may not be to everyone’s taste
With the success of the F9, Cobra has gone a step further with the Speedzone, one of the best Cobra drivers in the current range.
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.
There is also a Cobra Speedzone Xtreme model which provides increased forgiveness on off-centre hits via an additional 17g fixed weight.
Golfers who bought the King F9 have no real need to upgrade to the King Speedzone, but anyone who put off buying it will be pleased with what the King SZ offers overall – a driver that competes with the very best but without the top-end price tag.
Ping G410 Plus Driver
+ Stable and solid feel
+ Improved looks
– Gathers tee marks on the sole easily
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.
The G410 has been a big success and is definitely one of the best golf drivers out there right now.
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.
Meanwhile, the loft adjustability has increased to +/- 1° or 1.5°.
We found it was faster and more forgiving than the G400 Max. In fact, it’s one of the fastest drivers we’ve tested and has the ability to suit a wide range of player types.
Ping G410 LST Driver
+ Just as impressive as the G410 Plus on centred hits
+ Fast looks
– Dispersion was noticeably more difficult to control
The Ping G410 LST model is designed to be a high-MOI driver and create low spin.
At 450cc, it’s 5cc smaller in volume compared to the G410 Plus, but this isn’t especially noticeable, and we wouldn’t say it makes it any less user-friendly.
Not everyone will like the Turbulators, although the creased hook effect at the back hides the moveable weight well and certainly makes the driver look faster.
We believe the G410 LST provides another option for faster swingers or simply anyone who would benefit from knocking spin off their drives.
It certainly looks to be one of the most forgiving ‘low spin’ drivers on the market complimenting the G410 Plus model well.
Honma TR20 440 Driver
+ Adjustability options
+ Traditional, compact driver
– 440 model lacks off-centre forgiveness
The Honma TR20 drivers feature a 440cc model (pictured above) and a 460cc version, the former of which is designed for the better player seeking workability without sacrificing distance.
The sole 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.
We enjoyed the solid feel and with a custom fitting – which we’d stress is essential – it has the potential to compete with the very best.
Those seeking more forgiveness have the option of selecting a different weight setting, or going with the 460 version instead.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Driver
+ Stable feel at impact
+ Off-the-rack performance
– No adjustability
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.
It may lack adjustability, but it certainly has the power to straighten out a slice.
Due to the new Miyazaki C. Kua shaft, which pulls weight from the length of the shaft and repositions it on the grip end, it also felt easy to swing quickly.
Wilson Staff Launch Pad Driver
+ Satisfying impact sound
+ Ample off-centre forgiveness
– Slightly unusual look at address
Designed to help higher-handicappers hit the ball further and straighter, the Launch Pad features an offset hosel to create tighter dispersion and at just 272 grams, the driver is very lightweight to maximise swing speed.
Meanwhile, a more upright lie angle further assists in combating a slice.
We found this driver really easy to hit, and it produced a ball flight which was noticeably higher than most other drivers on the market.
The lightness of the club is likely to appeal more to those golfers with slower than average swing speeds – and its price is attractive too (RRP £269). It is unquestionably one of the best golf drivers for beginners currently on the market.
Srixon ZX7 Driver
+ Solid, explosive feel
+ Appealing look at address
– Hosel adjustability system appears complicated
Srixon’s ZX7 driver feature a 15 per cent larger carbon crown the previous generation to reposition mass low, deep and around the perimeter, increasing forgiveness.
Rebound Frame Technology works by layering alternating zones of flexibility and stiffness that work in tandem to focus more energy into the ball at impact for more distance.
The ZX7 driver delivers a slightly more penetrating ball flight than the ZX5 and adjustability comprising of 4g and 8g sole weights to give any player their desired launch conditions or alter swing weight.
Meanwhile, an adjustable hosel provides variation in loft, lie, and face angle.
It wasn’t just the looks which impressed us – it combined good speed with the ability to control accuracy in a multitude of ways.
The smaller more rounded profile of the ZX7 will suit the eye of the slightly lower handicapper it has been designed for.
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver
+ Stable feel
+ Blue carbon crown and red lines add modern touch
– Appeal limited to golfers with a slice
Callaway claims its use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a new face material and Jailbreak has unlocked extra performance for the high handicapper who struggles with a slice.
The larger A.I. Designed Flash Face SS21 has been made of a super strong, heat treated TA-15 titanium, which allows for the complex face architecture required to promote optimal speed, forgiveness, and spin characteristics.
Clearly this driver is designed for golfers who tend to utilise a large portion of the face over the course of a round.
It feels light, partly down to the 55g shaft, but when you find the middle of the clubface it also feels incredibly explosive and stable, even on mis-hits.
What to consider when buying a new golf driver?
When purchasing a new big stick, it is crucial to ask yourself just what you need from it.
Is distance your main priority or are you looking for something to help you find more fairways?
We’d always recommend a custom fitting with a PGA Pro but if you know what you’re looking for you can make an informed decision.
If accuracy is what you’re after, go for something with a high MOI or adjustable weights to help alter spin and flight characteristics.
If distance is key to you, look at a low-spinning driver to help ensure your ball doesn’t balloon too much.
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