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.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to check out our buying guide for the Best Drivers For Beginners…
Here are our top picks for the best drivers on the market today…
Callaway Epic Flash
Callaway seems to always be at the forefront of technology. This club is no exception.
Callaway has told us that they used artificial intelligence and machine learning to run computer models of over 15,000 versions of club design and ended up with the Callaway Epic Flash. Which makes me wonder if we are reaching the point where there isn’t much room for improvement left.
The result of all that artificial intelligence is a face with a series of ridges that Callaway says maximizes ball speed all across the face. That means that the sweet spot is essentially larger than other clubs.
The Epic Flash also sports Callaway’s “Jailbreak Technology.” This is a stiffer crown on the club which also helps transfer more energy to the ball on impact, increasing ball speed.
For those of you that want to fine-tune your ball flight, the Epic Flash also contains an adjustable slider across the back of the club. Depending on whether you move it right or left, you can adjust the weight balance of the head to promote a draw or a fade. This isn’t going to correct a massive slice, but it can help you perfect the ball flight that you want.
Just remember that you can’t change it during the round!
The club also comes with an adjustable hosel for loft and lie angle adjustments. In 2020, you shouldn’t even look at a driver if it isn’t adjustable.
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 913 D3 but this year Titleist may have convinced me that it is time for an upgrade.
The Titleist TS3 is the 460cc head (the largest allowable) model by Titleist.
With these most recent models, Titleist has really upped their game when it comes to ball speed and spin reduction.
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.
The Callaway Rogue is still very popular, and rightfully so. This thing is a beast.
Best For: Mid and High Handicap Players, All Swing Speeds
Customization Options: 40g, 50g, 60g, 70g and 80g shafts by Aldila and Project X
Since it was developed, 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 thicknesses across the face to maximize ball speed on off-center hits.
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.
Cobra King F8 (Best Driver For The Money)
Cobra is touting its 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.
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.
Like most driver models today, Cobra has two versions, each for a different player profile.
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.
Cobra really focused on aerodynamics in the design of this club to allow you to generate more clubhead speed with the same effort. The same way a racecar can travel faster by reducing wind resistance, the clubhead slices through the air for more speed, and thus more distance.
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.
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.
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 it doesn’t always hit the sweet spot of the clubface, this is a great option.
Cobra King F8+
The F8+ is the smaller (440cc) version that generates less spin and is more workable (and of course…less forgiving).
Best For: Mid to Low Handicap Players, Higher Swing Speeds
Customization Options: There are a ton of shaft options…too many to list here.
I really liked the looks of this club. Not quite as much as the Titleist, 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.
What To Look For When Choosing A Driver
First and foremost, you should be looking for the right driver for you. There is no such thing as the best driver for everyone. That’s why we wanted to give you this overall guide with some different options in addition to choosing our top picks.
So when you are choosing a driver, here are some important things that you should be looking for.
No matter what your skill level, forgiveness is important in a driver. Even the pros don’t hit the center of the clubface every time.
If you are a higher handicap player or a beginner then forgiveness should be the main factor you consider when choosing a driver. The vast majority of golfers need a very forgiving driver.
As you can see in the selections above, we focused a lot on forgiveness. That’s because when you are attempting to hit driver, maximizing distance is important. You don’t want to lose a lot of distance for missing the sweet spot.
Also, the driver is the club you are probably most prone to overswing and try too hard. This leads to mistakes and off-center hits. So you want a club that doesn’t punish you much for those swings.
Your swing and skill level will change over time and buying a new driver each time is a terrible idea.
Which is why most modern drivers come with an adjustable hosel nowadays.
These clubs often let you change the loft and lie angle of the driver. In addition to being helpful if your swing changes over time, this adjustability can also help you on a day to day basis.
For example, on a wet day, you may want a little more loft for more carry, while on a dry day less loft can maximize rollout. You can even make adjustments based on the course itself. Although I would caution on doing this too much as it can often cause more harm than good by messing with your swing. But it is worth experimenting with for courses that you play regularly.
The shaft is the engine of the club. Choosing the right one can make a huge difference in both distance and control.
One of the added benefits of an adjustable club is that you can swap out the shaft very easily if you want to test new ones or your swing changes. This means that you can find a great price for a club online and then go to your local fitter to really fine-tune your club with the right shaft.
Look and Feel
Everyone has personal preferences when it comes to clubs. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a club that gives you confidence when you look down at it.
Back a few years there were a couple companies that came out with square-shaped drivers. I still don’t know if the shape was more or less beneficial because I don’t think I was ever able to put a good swing on the ball with one. The lesson…you still have to swing the club yourself no matter how good the technology.
Of course, price is important. If you spend your whole golf budget on a new driver then you can’t play as much.
That’s why we wanted to give you options at different price levels in all our buying guides. So figure out your budget and stick with it. Sometimes a model that is a couple of years old is a tremendous bargain and is maybe 95% as good as the latest and greatest.