How to Choose a Golf Driver? (8 Point Checklist!)

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The driver is one of the most important clubs in your golf bag. After all, most of us turn to the big stick on par 4s and par 5s to ensure we have a chance of making a good score when we make it down the track.

But as you will probably be aware, there are so many things you need to think about before choosing the ideal driver for your skill level.

With that in mind, we take you through our eight-point checklist and explain in detail what you need to think about before buying a driver. By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to invest in the perfect driver this golf season.

1. How Do I Choose the Right Driver for Me?

One of the most important things to think about when choosing the right driver is considering the loft of the club. Lower lofted drivers are typically more difficult for beginner golfers to hit, but they are capable of longer shots.

Callaway Golf 2022 Rogue ST Max Driver (Right Hand, Tensei Blue 55G Shaft, Regular Flex, 10.5 Degrees Loft)

For most recreational golfers, a driver with a loft of between 10 and 12 degrees is ideal for getting started. You should also look at the trajectory rating of a driver, as it can also affect the way that you strike the ball.

For more information on driver loft, watch the video: “how to pick the right driver loft”:


For instance, if you usually hit the ball relatively flat and low, a driver with a high trajectory rating is a better option. Another really important factor to think about is the forgiveness of the driver, which is essentially the club’s sweet spot.

When you’re new to the game of golf, it’s important to choose a forgiving driver with a big sweet spot, as it’s easier for you to hit the ball consistently well. While you might give up some distance, it’s definitely worth it to get the ball down there.

2. What Size Driver Do I Need for My Height?

Choosing a driver with the right shaft length for your height is incredibly important. After all, using a driver that is too long or too short will make your life so much more difficult when you’re trying to bomb your tee shots down the fairway.

The standard men’s driver shaft length is around 44-45, but if you get your clubs custom-built, you can adjust the length of the shaft to match your height. To help you, you can use the following table as a guide on how long your driver shaft should be:

HeightDriver shaft length
5’0 – 5’244.5
5’2 – 5’4 45
5’4 – 5’745.5
5’7 – 6’146
6’1+46.5

When you’re new to the game, it’s tempting to buy a driver off the rack to save yourself some money, and we completely support you in doing this.

However, if you want to give yourself the best chance of success off the tee, opting for a custom-fitted driver shaft will undoubtedly help you out.

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3. What is the Best Driver for a Beginner Golfer?

The best driver for a beginner golfer is one that has a high forgiveness rating. When you’re a beginner, consistently hitting the sweet spot of your clubs is one of the most difficult aspects of ball striking, so you need to make sure you choose a driver that isn’t too difficult to hit.

Another thing to think about is the loft of the driver as you don’t want something too low. Aim for at least 10.5 degrees of loft, so you don’t need to worry about getting the ball off the ground. The higher the loft, the easier the driver is to hit.

You can also check the cubic centimeters (CC) of a driver before choosing a suitable club for you. Most drivers fall within the 440 – 460 CC range, and a bigger clubface area typically means the sweet spot is bigger.

We’re not going to recommend one brand over another here, as you can find quality, forgiving drivers that are perfect for beginners from so many brands out there. The key is to think about your budget, as well as the tips above, before settling on the ideal driver for your game.

4. Overall, Which Driver Brand is Most Forgiving?

One of the most budget-friendly and forgiving drivers currently on the market is the Tour Edge Exotics E722 driver. It has an adjustable hosel and is available in lofts between 9.5 and 12.0 degrees, making it ideal for people who are new to the game.

Tour Edge Exotics E722 Driver (Left, Fuji Ventus Blue, Regular, 10.5)

Brands including Cobra, Wilson, and Tour Edge all have forgiving drivers that are ideal for beginner golfers. That being said, you can even find forgiving drivers from popular Tour brands like TaylorMade, Callaway, and PING, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.

It’s so easy to be influenced by the effective marketing strategies of the biggest brands in golf when you’re looking for a new driver.

Given that some of the best-known drivers from the biggest brands retail at $300+, it’s best to look a little lower down the ladder for value when you’re buying your first driver!

5. What’s a Good Driver for an Average Golfer?

As an average golfer, the chances are that you are looking for a driver that allows you to strike the ball consistently off the tee. In other words, your requirements aren’t too dissimilar to those of beginner golfers.

If you ask anyone who plays golf to a reasonable standard, the ability to hit the ball long and high off the tee is a priority. So, you should be looking for a driver that is relatively forgiving with a generous sweet spot.

Even if you lose 10-20 yards, there’s no point in struggling with a low-lofted driver that is notoriously difficult to hit. The aim is to find as many fairways as possible, so you want a driver that is easy to control.

You can find drivers from all of the biggest brands that are ideal for average recreational golfers, so start with your budget and do your research from there.

Again, don’t get duped by sassy marketing campaigns to part with $500+ for the latest Tour driver when you can buy a perfectly good club for a fraction of the price.

6. I’m a Low Handicapper – What Driver Should I Use?

As a low handicapper, it’s likely that your swing speed is faster than that of many recreational players. Therefore, you can afford to choose a driver with less loft, which means you can work the ball from side to side and generate spin if you desire.

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You can also opt for a driver with a lower moment of inertia (MOI), which means the club is less forgiving. Lower MOIs allow you to hit deliberate draws and fades, which is in keeping with your increased skill level.

Another thing you should look for in a driver is a stiffer shaft. Stiffer shafts help you to hit the ball further when you have a fast swing speed, so they’re ideal for lower handicappers.

Again, you can choose a suitable driver for your game from the biggest brands in the game, so it really just depends on your budget and preferences when you go to select the ideal club for your bag.

7. Do Golf Drivers Go Dead?

Provided there is no significant damage to the clubhead; drivers shouldn’t go dead or lose their pop. If you’ve been using the same driver for years and notice your tee shots aren’t flying as far as they once did, it’s only natural to blame the tools at your disposal.

However, if there isn’t any discernible damage to your driver, it shouldn’t cause you to lose distance. On the other hand, if you notice a crack or defect of some description on the clubhead, it could be time to invest in a new driver.

One thing to bear in mind is that if you’ve been using the same driver for several years, the technology might be a little outdated.

Companies invest millions of dollars into research and development, so you might get more out of a newer driver than your trusty old club that you’ve had for more than a decade.

8. What Should I Look for When Buying a New Driver?

The 4 main features in the golf driver you should look for before buying are head volume size (CC), loft, shaft type, and moment of inertia (MOI).

  1. Head volume (CC) – a bigger clubhead provides a larger sweet spot, making the driver easier to hit.
  2. Loft – Higher lofts are easier to hit, while lower lofts require Moree skill and faster swing speeds.
  3. Shaft – Lighter graphite shafts are better for beginners, while stiffer steel shafts are ideal for lower handicappers.
  4. MOI – The moment of inertia refers to a driver’s forgiveness. The higher the MOI, the more forgiving the driver is.

Of course, in addition to the above list, you will need to think about budget and brand. The biggest brands in golf – Callaway, TaylorMade, and Titleist are typically retail drivers that are much more expensive than other brands.

So, our best advice is to look at the specifications of a driver than merely the brand. This will save you money and ensure you buy a driver that is well suited to your skill level.

Conclusion

Choosing the right driver for your game isn’t straightforward, as there is so much to think about. However, following the advice listed above will help you select a driver that is ideal for your skill level and budget.

So, make sure you don’t rush into your decision about which driver to buy this season, and spend some time researching the market to find the perfect big stick to help improve your game.