Golf Equipment: Which Driver is Best for You

Selecting the proper golf equipment for your game is tantamount to low golf scores. Ill-fitted clubs causes a loss of distance, accuracy issues, and inconsistency in your game. This is especially true for the longer clubs. Over the past 1.5 years, I have experienced the exact problem with my driver after I was fitted with my current Titleist 915 and have never hit it well. (On a side note, all my other fitted clubs are awesome) I am positive it is not a mental issue, but the fact the driver does not fit my game.

Choosing the right driver can be difficult.

When I was professionally fitted for the my new driver, my initial thoughts were that all was going well moving forward. But, after constant use, my driver has not worked out as expected. I struggle with consistency and distance, but I do have to take responsibility for the final purchase, because I was the one making the decision.

My swing is grooved and I do not expect it to change very much moving forward. As such, when being fitted I outlined my requirements for my new driver and Jeff, the Titleist rep, used these as a basis for the fitting. Here is what I wanted:

  • A driver that will fit my swing now and in the future as I age;
  • A driver that would add some distance given my current swing; and
  • A driver that would be forgiving.

Although these were great ideas and I do stick by them,but in hind sight, I think my first suggestion about buying a club to fit my current and future game is where things went off the rails.

I have always driven the ball with my driver. I do not hit the ball overly high and as I age, this swing tendency might cause me problems. So, Jeff recommended at 12.5 degree driver thinking that this club would fit my current and more importantly, future game. Unfortunately, my purchase is designed more for my future game than my current one.

When I hit the Titleist 915, the ball responds as if is going to go the extra distance I was seeking. Even my playing partners think I stripe the ball and expect to see my ball yards ahead of them on the fairway, but alas, the results tell a different story. My ball flight is higher than before and everything looks good, but at about 230 yards, my ball just falls out of the sky. Personally, I think my spin rate is too high with my new driver, but I have not had that tested to confirm.

In the past, I played a 9.5 degree driver (and  have for years) and generate enough club head speed to generate the distance needed for me to compete at most amateur levels. I like the low ball flight, for now, and know how to control the ball flight. When I decided to change equipment (a retirement gift) I should have stuck with what worked. But instead, I changed my view and as a result, ended up with a driver not suited for my current game.

My entire situation led me to a decision I was remiss to make; I decided to go back to my old driver and keep my Titleist 915 for the future. The Titleist is a great club, but it does not suit my current game. In a few years, I will likely need the extra degrees and will use it then. Nothing goes to waste when I buy golf clubs.

If I had to do the entire process again, I would change a couple of requirements for selecting my driver. Understand, I have a mature golf game and my choices might be slightly different from yours, but the questions below when selecting the right driver are universal (in my opinion) and could help in your search:

  • What is more important, distance or accuracy? This question impacts the type of shaft fitted in your driver. My current swing speed is such that I use a stiff shaft for accuracy and give up a bit of distance a regular shaft would provide.
  • Do you want hit the ball high or do you drive the ball? This question impacts the degree of the driver.
  • How does the driver look to your eye? The shape and color of drivers does make a difference to your confidence when swinging your driver.
  • How much do you want to spend on a driver? Low cost equipment may fit your requirements just as easily as the new top of the line driver. Research will help you answer that question.
  • How much do you play golf in a given year? This may seem like an odd question, but those who play golf less than 10 times a year will have a different driver requirement than those of us who strive for 80 rounds a year.

The above questions are a great start when selecting the right driver for you. Ultimately, deciding on which driver to choose is very personal and I hope you are happy with your choice. It is a challenge for most of us to fork out hundreds of dollars to new equipment, so I recommend you answer the above questions and do some research before you make your selection. Ultimately, only you can determine which driver is right for you.

Have you purchased a driver recently? What kind? Are you happy with your choice?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

10 thoughts on “Golf Equipment: Which Driver is Best for You

  1. Pingback: That Special Sound at Contact - Swing Update

  2. Pingback: That Special Sound at Contact | The Grateful Golfer

  3. Jim,

    I actually used to custom fit golf equipment in my old job. Great post, always to good to hear perspectives on club fitting. Out of curiosity, were you fitted on a driving range or was it into a net in a studio? (I think that makes a real impact)

    I always tried to gain the most out of golfers ability, and if you get the right numbers from the club then the distance and consistency should come with that. I always said to golfers when they got scared at the thought of high lofted drivers that everyone hits it different, someone can launch and 9* the same as another launches a 12*. Sometimes they get the mentality that a lower lofted club is always for better players.

    It’s an amazing process and I would recommend anyone to get it done as you learn a lot about how a golf club works and your own swing!

    If you ever want any more information or advice on club fitting then let me know!

    Conor

    Liked by 1 person

    • Conor

      Thanks for the offer of more information on club fitting. I might take you up on that in the future. I was fitted at the range. I think the numbers were off with respect to the spin rate. Regardless, I take ownership for my purchase because ultimately I was in control. My old driver is working very well.

      Cheers
      Jim

      Like

      • Yes, definitely on a range is better as you get an idea of the flight, spin rate is hard to get accurate with range balls, but launch monitors can be adjusted for that.

        Feel free to drop me a message with any questions!

        Conor

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I own 3 drivers. A 12 year old Cobra is what stays in my bag. I hit farther with the other two, but I hit that old Cobra more accurately. I loose 20-50 yards over the other two depending on the wind, but, this one goes where I aim it. The others go anywhere but.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim, good post and great decision to go back to your old driver. Sometimes the new club just doesn’t work out. I recently did the same by benching three poorly fit wedges for my old gap and sand wedges. The driver fitting is tricky because I’m guessing you were fit indoors without seeing ball flight? That’s how I was fitted for irons and they worked out well, but the wedges did not. It’s best to see ball flight whenever possible, especially with a club as important as the driver.

    I play with a Big Bertha FT3 that’s about 10 years old. A couple years ago on TaylorMade demo day at the range, the rep invited me to try their new drivers. I obliged but the two newest models couldn’t touch my FT3 in a bake off and the session ended with a “no thank you”.

    Enjoy your resurgence off the tee!

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      Actually, I was outdoors for the fitting. Unfortunately, I was convinced to change and it definitely did not work out. I take responsibility and this lesson was definitely learned. I am playing today, we shall see how it all works out.

      Cheers
      Jim

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, completely understandable. I just bought a new/used car a couple weeks ago. Loved it on the test drive. Then had it back to the dealer the next day for a new set of tires to alleviate excessive road noise. Strange how you don’t perceive certain things at first contact.

        Brian

        Liked by 1 person

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