The game of golf has changed over the years and now pros as well as recreational players want to hit the ball as far as they can off the tee with a driver and often they don't care if it stays in the fairway. I've tried dozens of drivers in my short golf career (amateur of course), and now the 460cc golf drivers are pretty much standard equipment. Long distance drives are what set most of the pros apart from the amateurs, but pros do it with synchronized swings and hours of repetition and practice that us weekend warriors don't have time for. Accuracy is definitely more important in golf than driving distance, but year after year I hear more of my friends ask which golf drivers will drive the ball the farthest. I always try to tell them forget about the distance and concentrate on accuracy. I have given in to the accuracy thing and written this article based on which golf drivers are the best in tests and player ratings.
If you are in the market to buy a new golf driver in early 2009, you should have a wide selection of quality products to choose from. The 2008 golf drivers will be discounted in most sporting goods stores and golf pro shops as they make room for the newer 2009 golf drivers. Tiger Woods uses the Nike Sasquatch Sumo 5000 Driver and Phil Mickelson uses the Callaway FT Drivers. Beyond the oversized, 460cc club heads you see no new drivers, you should be looking for ones with good control so you can keep the ball somewhat near the fairway. An accurate golf driver will help lower your scores more than long distance ones. The newer driver faces are designed to be more forgiving and allow you to not quite hit the center of the club and still get a decent shot out of your swing. Some of the new titanium golf drivers are top sellers, but you will have to deal with the noise that comes off them when you hit. When you strike the golf ball with the driver, you want the best trajectory for your ball flight. The "degree of loft" is what will determine much of your ball flight in terms of height of the tee and potentially more distance. A low degree of loft is 7.5 while many amateurs use a 9.5, 10.0, or 10.5 driver. The top brands for all golf drivers include Taylor Made, Titleist, Nike, Adams, Callaway, Cleveland (used by Vijay Singh), Adams, RAM, Wilson, Cobra (Camillo Villegas uses these), Mizuno (Luke Donald), Nickent, and Ping. Which driver is rated best? We found dozens of reviews on websites like Golfsmith.com and TGW.com. Also, Golftestusa.com recently did a new test on golf drivers and came up with their own set of results which shows models like the Nickent 4DX, Mizuno MP 600, and the Callaway FT-i as scoring very well amongst the other brands. They compare drivers on several characteristics - distance, accuracy, feel, looks, forgiveness, etc. and then rate them accordlingly. It's not easy to rate golf drivers simply because each player has slightly different swings and certainly not every ball can be struck perfectly each time. A players "feel" for a club is what really makes the different. Confidence is a huge part of golf so find a golf driver that feels comfortable in your hands and allows you to make a swing that is natural. The new drivers all cost about $400 when they are first released and prices gradually fall as the season goes by.
Best Golf Driver for Distance:
There is always going to be an argument over which driver lets you hit the ball the farthest, but from player feedback and testing, the Callaway FT-5 ($299), Nike SQ SUMO ($199), and the Cleveland HiBore XL ($250) are receive top ratings for driving distance from mid-range handicappers. You get a good balance of distance, control, and forgiveness with these 460cc drivers which allows you to swing away and relax. You can find these drivers online at TGW.com and Golfsmith.com. Check with your local golf pro shop for pricing deals as prices come down in the off-season.
Offset Golf Driver:
Cobra golf drivers are endorsed by some of the longest hitting pros on tour. JB Holmes and Camilo Villegas are currently sponsored by Cobra and they use the latest Cobra drivers on the PGA Tour. The Cobra Speed LD Offset Driver $169.99 is a great buy and will hopefully help to eliminate your slice. You can find it online at Golfsmith.com. Check out the new 2009 Cobra L5V Driver ($399.99) - this new golf club is getting excellent early reviews from all range of playing ability.
The top rated Mizuno MP 600 is not only well respected amongst the pros, but weekend golf players have come to recognize Mizuno drivers as being some of the best all-around golf drivers available. The MP600 is a 460cc titanium driver with 15 ball flight settings you can adjust with the two 8-gram weights. The price is currently $399.99 for the Mizuno golf driver but I'm sure it will come down as soon as the 2009 models are released.For those of you stuck on the "Big Bertha", you can still buy the Callaway Big Bertha driver for $199.99. It offers a 460cc head design and a shallow face meaning you will find plenty of forgiveness with this driver.
Cheap Golf Driver:
Hippo is a name I was not familiar with until recently, although I now realize they are a low end manufacturer of golf drivers. TGW.com carries several of the Hippo drivers and they are very inexpensive compared to the big name brands. Get the Hippo Golf Mens XXL Fit System Ti Drivers for just $59.99 or the Hippo Golf Mens XXL 444 Titanium Drivers for just $39.99. The Nickent Mens 3DX Square Drivers have dropped in price to $119.99 and are a solid buy as well. If you are just an amateur, there is no need to spend $200 or more on a big headed driver with a name brand. Just go with similar technology that costs less than $100 and you will still be able to hit the ball a good distance.