You’ve decided that it’s finally time to bite the bullet and make an upgrade for the 2020 golf season. As you move into your more experienced years as an amateur golfer, choosing a new driver is a crucial step in your game improvement plan.
When you choose a new driver, all kinds of factors come into play. From club forgiveness and feel to your swing speed and swing plane, there is a wide array of things to research and consider as you begin the shopping process.
Best Drivers for Seniors (2020 List)
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Callaway Epic Flash | Best Overall Pick
The word “epic” is very fitting here as Callaway created a product that successfully combines added ball speed and distance with forgiveness through product developments that might reshape the way manufacturers approach club design.
Flash Face is the marquee feature of this driver, which was a groundbreaking development in the golf equipment industry. This is the first time Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used in the design of golf equipment, meaning that automated machine learning helped in determining the optimal design for what Callaway wanted to create.
Through this machine learning, Callaway was able to sample 15,000 iterations of golf club face architecture to arrive at an optimal design and achieve added ball speed and therefore, distance. Typically in the club design process, the manufacturer will sample only about eight to ten iterations. To go through 15,000 iterations would take decades if done through normal research and development methods.
The result of this detailed process was a new face that hosts subtle ripples from heel to toe on the clubface. These ripples create something called COR (or Coefficient of Restitution) that helps you achieve added reward in the form of ball speed in return for finding the sweet spot.
Flash Face could prove to be a revolutionary development in the golf industry. This club has proven that it can and will increase your distance off the tee. When you parlay Flash Face with the use of Jailbreak Technology (two internal bars that help stabilize the crown of the club), you’ve got a new beast of a driver that will be rewarding you in the form of shorter approaches into the green. Tack on some added forgiveness through improved weight distribution on the face of the club, and you’ve got your best option for a new driver.
Adjustability options with this club also allow you to change the loft 1° down and 2° up from the stock loft. The adjustable weight feature gives you the ability to align for a fade or draw bias too, depending on your preference. So plenty of customization features come with the Epic Flash and will be available as your game changes over the years.
Although the Callaway Epic Flash driver is our best overall pick, it is also the most expensive choice I have listed here. But if you’re in the market for a new driver and are looking to start out driving your buddies, this is easily the best choice.
TaylorMade SIM | Runner Up
From Flash Face to Twist Face. TaylorMade puts its own spin on innovation by designing a clubface that is designed to overcome common mishits by amateur golfers.
The larger face of the club will instill some confidence in you as you stand over the ball. Those heel and toe shots that normally get your round off to a bumpy start? Those are less of a burden with the forgiveness of the SIM and SIM Max.
This club has a high MOI (or Moment of Inertia) that allows the clubface to stay more square during the acceleration changes in a golf swing. Mishits on the toe and heel are more likely to find the fairway and with the high-speed design of this club, you shouldn’t lose too much distance on those less-than-perfect swings either. This will be a much-welcomed addition to your driving arsenal.
SIM (or Strength In Motion) is TaylorMade’s most recent effort to give you more clubhead speed and ball speed within the legal lines of the game of golf.
The aerodynamic design of the club is intended to give your clubhead a boost in speed right before impact to maximize your distance off the tee. With the TaylorMade SIM drivers, you will notice more weight down low and in the clubface, intended to lower the center of gravity for your golf swing and give you that last millisecond burst through the ball.
In terms of look and feel, Taylormade kept that same notorious sound of their drivers that you might’ve experienced with the M-series drivers. When you hit it just right, it’s an incredible feeling and you can hear that feedback in the sound of this driver.
The look of the driver has been given a slight update with a lighter looking color on the top of the club, complete with that patented TaylorMade matte finish we all know and love.
Where it comes up short of, say, the Callaway Epic Flash, is when it comes to its innovation. Don’t get me wrong, the technology that TaylorMade has implemented here is nothing short of impressive. However, you might notice minimal improvements in your game if you’ve purchased a driver in recent years. Don’t expect a massive jump in distance, but you might find an improved sense of feel.
The price is comparable to the Epic Flash. Sometimes that’s the price you have to pay for big-name brands in golf. So, if you’re going to spend the money, the Epic Flash is probably more so worth your investment.
Callaway Rogue | Best Value for Seniors
If you’re loyal to the Callaway brand, the Callaway Rogue driver is the more affordable route compared to the Epic Flash. This driver comes with fewer bells and whistles in the advanced technology department, yet it still deploys that Jailbreak Technology that is also featured in the Epic Flash.
The Jailbreak Technology implements titanium rods within the clubhead that form a stronger connection between the crown and the sole of the club. According to Callaway, this allows the club to take on nearly double the impact load and help you experience a higher ball speed than you would with older models of the Rogue.
When it comes to forgiveness, the Rogue has plenty. The triaxial carbon crown, which makes for a far lighter crown, allowed Callaway to move most of the weight on the club to the outer edges to prevent twisting of the face during the swing and give you a higher MOI. This allows you to keep the club more square through impact and find more fairways than you might normally.
In terms of bang for your buck, the Callaway Rogue definitely checks a lot of boxes while staying within a modest budget. You really can’t beat this value anywhere else on this list. So if you haven’t upgraded in a while, take the Callaway Rogue for a test drive and watch how it improves your game.
It is available in 9° and 10.5° lofts. I would recommend the 10.5° for senior golfers.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Draw | Best for High Handicap Seniors
If you’re not trying to break the bank and are simply trying to knock a few strokes off your game with a game-improvement club, this might be your best bet.
The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Draw is an excellent choice for you if you battle a slice off the tee or are simply trying to shape the ball more the other way. The draw bias of this club does the work for you and is angled in a way that will spin the ball similar to the way an in-to-out swing would, but saves you the hassle of altering your swing to make it happen.
This driver is not intended for those with higher swing speeds. Those with swing speeds 95mph and below will see improved ball speed and distance with the turbocharged cup face and low weighting that this club provides. With the COR dispersed over a larger impact area, shots on the heel and toe will be less of a disaster too.
Cleveland did an excellent job creating a product that gives higher handicap players a distance boost and turbo shot of forgiveness in the Launcher HB Turbo Draw.
For swing speeds closer to the 100mph range, the Launcher HB Turbo probably won’t do you much good. I would recommend one of the other options above if you fall into this category. But for those with slower swing speeds who are tired of finding the woods on the right, this club will do you a lot of favors.
Titleist TS1 | Best for Low Handicap Seniors
Titleist promises “effortless distance” with the TS1 driver as TS stands for “Titleist Speed” in this instance. And it delivers.
Similar to the Cleveland Launcher, this club is designed for more moderate swing speeds. However, it is tailored more to the experienced golfer who can manage their ball flight on his or her own as it has a fixed center of gravity location in the center of the club.
Like most Titleist drivers, the TS1 comes with minimal adjustability options and is instead for players who know more specifically what they want in a club. With loft options in 9.5°, 10.5° and 12.5° though, there is a good range of choices when it comes to the desired height on your ball flight.
When it comes to performance, the TS1 delivers with a low center of gravity which encourages a high launch and spin of the ball off the tee. If you have a slower swing speed, you will easily pick up extra yards with this club that is tailored to those who swing it like The Big Easy.
The look and feel of this club are impressive. The lightweight nature of it will give you plenty of confidence on those holes where the driver is necessary. And the sleek Titleist design is professional and impressive as always. Definitely a great choice for those with slow swing speeds but low handicaps.
Cobra F-Max Superlite Offset Driver | Best Women’s Driver for Seniors
Boasting Cobra’s most lightweight design at 287 grams, the Women’s 2019 F-Max Superlite Offset Driver is a great addition to your bag if you have a moderate swing speed and smooth tempo.
The clubhead is 6 grams lighter compared to previous models, and it sheds weight in other areas of the club as well totaling in at 18 grams lighter in total. This not so subtle change allows slower swingers to achieve a higher ball speed with relative ease.
For the higher handicap female players, this is a safe choice for your next driver. Not only will you see improved results in the distance department, but you’ll also find more fairways if you tend to slice the ball. The offset alignment of the hosel gives you a draw bias at address that will help you fight any of those slice or right miss tendencies.
The back heel weighting also provides advanced forgiveness with a high MOI and increased stability compared to Cobra’s previous women’s drivers.
For more experienced players, you are better off with a standard setup and should at least consider the straight neck version of this same driver. However, if your swing speed is on the higher end, it is worth exploring a different option altogether.
Golfers with a smooth and easy swing who are looking to pick up extra yards and stay out of trouble on the right side, this is an excellent pick for you. This driver is extremely affordable and available in 11.5° and 15° lofts.
What Seniors Should Look for in a Driver
The longer you play, the more your game changes. That’s why it’s important to pick the correct driver for where you are in your amateur golf lifestyle. For these changes in your game, you need flexibility (and we don’t just mean physically). Your driver needs to be molded to fit the good and bad habits that come with being a senior golfer.
Forgiving Head Design
Mishits. Everybody has them but not everybody has the time or ability to eliminate them completely from our game. Pick a driver that doesn’t punish you for missing the sweet spot. Clubs with high MOI’s will help you find more fairways on those swings that don’t go so perfectly.
Adjustability and Loft Options
As your swing changes, so does your ball flight. You’re likely choosing a club that’s meant to last you more than just a couple of years, so be sure you pick one that can be customized on the fly to suit your swing. Adjustable weight features and customizable loft alterations will allow you to do just that.
What loft driver should senior golfers use?
This comes down to where you are athletically in your golf game. You more than likely don’t have a swing speed that rivals the professionals on TOUR. Those guys can afford to use lower degree lofts because their swing speed is so high.
The slower your swing is, the more loft you’re going to need. I would say start by trying out an 11° driver and go from there. If it still feels like you’re losing distance and not getting enough height on the ball, you can go up from there.
Do I need a senior flex shaft when I pick a driver?
Once again this comes down to swing speed. That’s why it is important to have a proper club fitting prior to making a purchase. Most club professionals say that if you have a swing speed that falls in the 70-85mph range, then a senior flex is the right choice. If it’s higher than 85mph, then it might be worth exploring a regular flex.
So, that’s it. Be sure to take the time and invest in a proper club fitting to get your swing speed and a better feel for your tendencies. But this list should give you an idea of what the best choices are on the market in 2020.