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Best Drivers

The driver is the piece of golf equipment that players lust over the most.

Everyone wants those extra few yards off the tee so they can have bragging rights with their friends.

Here are some of the best drivers of 2018…

Titliest 917 D2/D3

If you love a more classic look and feel in a driver than the Titleist drivers are probably for you. I love them and still play the 913D3 but this year Titliest may have convinced me that it is time for an upgrade.

Titleist 917 D2

Titleist D2

Pros

Big Sweet Spot
Higher Launch
Adjustable Loft and Lie
Less Distance Loss On Off-Center Hits

Cons

Too Much Spin For Faster Swings
Large 460cc Clubhead May Not Appeal To Some Players

The D2 model is a little bit of a larger clubhead and is more forgiving. If you have trouble hitting it on the sweet spot consistently then the D2 should be your Titleist driver of choice. It has a 460cc head and offers a slightly higher launch and more spin to get the ball up faster compared to the D3.

The larger head and larger clubface allows for less distance loss on off-center hits.

Best For: Mid and High Handicap Players, Moderate Swing Speeds

Titliest 917 D3

Titleist D3

Pros

Lower Spin For High Speed Swings
Lower Launch (More Penetrating Ball Flight)
Adjustable Loft and Lie

Cons

Distance Loss On Miss Hits
Requires More Consistent Sweet Spot Contact
Need Higher Swing Speed To Make It Work Well

The D3 is more of a player’s club. It has a slightly smaller 440cc clubhead and offers the player more workability, less spin, and lower launch. These are all things that sound great on paper but keep in mind that more workability means that unintentional curving of the ball is amplified as well. Also, less spin and lower launch means that you’ll need a higher swing speed to get the most out of it.

However, if you’ve got the swing for it, this is a tremendous driver.

Best For: Low Handicap Players, Higher Swing Speeds

My favorite part of the D2 and the D3 drivers is a feature that has been in Titleist woods for a few years now and that is the adjustability. You can change the loft and lie of the club independently from each other, letting you dial in the exact trajectory that you want. Nowadays, I wouldn’t buy a driver that doesn’t have adjustable settings.

Check out the video below to see how it works…

Callaway Rogue

The Callaway Rogue is getting a LOT of hype this year, and rightfully so. This thing is a beast.

Last year, Callaway’s Epic driver and its “Jailbreak Technology” shot up to the #1 driver on the market. According to Callaway, despite that success, this is a departure from its previous best selling driver design from last year. However, they do claim it has a new MOI enhancing shape for maximum forgiveness.

The face makes use of what Callaway calls “The Jailbreak Effect.” They have used this technology last year but the Rogue has new, hourglass-shaped titanium bars, which is supposed to make them significantly lighter without affecting their ability to minimize crown and sole deflection at impact. That allows for a thinner face, more energy transfer, and ultimately a faster ball speed. They also use varying thickness across the face to maximize ball speed on off-center hits.

Callaway Rogue

Callaway Rogue

Pros

Off Center Hits Don’t Lose Much Distance (High MOI)
Adjustable Loft and Lie
Lot’s Of Stock Shaft Options

Cons

Large and Somewhat Odd Shape
Better Players May Like Large Clubhead

When trying out the club, off center hits were pretty close to center hits on the simulator I used. Of course that is not a scientific test at all but it seems to match what Callaway is saying about this driver.

Ok, enough of the tech, how did it feel…

It seemed huge to me! Now I am used to a smaller driver head but this seems excessive. What stood out to me immediately was how long it was from face to the back.

I will say that once I got over the size and shape, it performed quite well. I ended up with some of my longest hits on the simulator with this driver. Callaway says the Rogue has an MOI that is 6% higher than the Epic. Since owners of the Epic will probably want to hear a comparison, I tried one of those head to head with this club and I have to say the results from the Rogue were better.

The Rogue comes in standard and “draw head” options. The draw head is also 1 degree upright. Probably because over the top slice swings are also more upright. I won’t get too much into it here but this is a terrible choice if you intend on actually working to improve your swing. However, if you are happy to hack away with a steep over the top move, then this might help you a little.

Each one can be adjusted as to loft and lie, which is great.

Best For: Mid and High Handicap Players, All Swing Speeds
Customization Options:
 40g, 50g, 60g, 70g and 80g  shafts by Aldila and Project X

Cobra King F8/F8+

Cobra is touting their new milled face process that removes the person from the process to create a more precise face that is 3% thinner and 10% lighter than before. Thinner means more energy transfer from the club to the ball and lighter means more clubhead speed. Both are good things.

One of the cooler things in the new Cobra drivers is the Cobra Connect grip. It is basically a grip that lets you insert an Arccos sensor so you can track your shots with the Arccos App without having one of those big nubs at the end of the club. It’s not a huge deal since you can just buy the grip by itself, but it’s kinda cool that they made it standard.

Like most driver models today, Cobra has two versions, each for a different player profile.

F8

The F8 is for high launch and more forgiveness. It is also the larger of the two at 460cc and imparts more spin than its counterpart.

I will say that of all the 460cc models I got to try out, this one seemed to be the most visually appealing. It didn’t have that beach ball on a stick feel that a lot of larger drivers have. I felt more comfortable swinging this club than the other 460cc versions of the models above.

These drivers also have the MyFly Hosel that allows you to adjust the loft of the club. The F8 is adjustable from 9 to 12 degrees.

It also seemed to have the most control of the larger more forgiving models. It certainly was not as workable as the 440cc drivers, but it handled quite well. That can be a double edged sword like I mentioned above. However, for the player that can hit it straight, but maybe doesn’t always hit the sweet spot of the club face, this is a great option. 

Best For: Mid to High Handicap Players, Low to Moderate Swing Speeds
Customization Options:
There are a ton of shaft options…too many to list here.

F8+

The F8+ is the smaller (440cc) version that generates less spin and is more workable (and of course…less forgiving).

I really liked the looks of this club. Not quite as much as the Titliest, but still a great classic look (with a lot of tech under the hood).

The F8+ also has the MyFly Hosel but this one is adjustable from 8 to 11 degrees. As a driver that is designed with the better and faster swinging player in mind.

Best For: Mid to Low Handicap Players, Higher Swing Speeds
Customization Options: 
There are a ton of shaft options…too many to list here.

 

 

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