The Best Drivers of 2018

Published on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 in News | Slider

By Randy Williams

The driver. It is the glamour piece of equipment in golf.

Where else is more R&D, more science and technology continuously devoted to improving one’s game?

Titleist, Cobra, PING, Callaway … all the sport’s heavy hitters are big players when it comes to producing state-of-the-art drivers. Why? Because they know no other club provides such immediate gratification as a well-stroked tee shot which correspondingly sets one up for a good score on that given hole.

Sam Snead famously said, “Drive for show, putt for dough.” But, perhaps more accurate for the recreational golfer is, “If you can’t putt, you can’t score. If you can’t drive, you can’t play,” as bad driving balloons up one’s score more than any other club in the bag.

In addition to more practice, here is where club manufacturers can lend a hand. And, regardless of your handicap, it all starts with making the right choice when you purchase the club.

“The first thing every golfer should do prior to purchasing a driver – or any golf club for that matter – is to get custom-fit,” says Josh Talge, vice president of golf club marketing for Titleist, which just introduced its new TS2 and TS3 models. “It’s the quickest and easiest way to improve. Spend a half hour or 45 minutes with a good fitter and you will leave not only with a driver that will provide you more distance, accuracy and consistency, but with confidence in the fact you know you have optimized your launch conditions that will ultimately contribute to better results.”

“Fitting is huge,” concurs Callaway’s Jeff Newton, who adds, “Look for a driver that can help your big miss. If you’re a slicer, look for a draw model or a driver with a sliding weight. (And) you need to find a shaft that fits your game. Flex standards vary between shaft brands, so look for a weight class that gives you the highest swing speed with control.”

The need for speed with the driver is always in play, and the tech-led trend continues to roll along.

Jon Claffey of Tour Edge names some of those trending innovations.

“Weight movement for self-fitting, hosel adjustability for loft and lie adjustment, face technology that straightens mis-hits and lightweight speed all (are part) of the driver technology.”

The use of complex carbon composites, enhanced aerodynamic shaping to reduce drag, optimizing weight distribution — manufacturers of today’s drivers are driven by demanding pros and discerning amateurs who are looking for ways to capture that powerful combination of speed, stability and high launch with low spin, to help garner more distance.

Golf is a game of confidence, and nowhere is it more important than when you have your driver in your hands. So, as you get ready to grip it and rip it, bomb down the fairway, load and explode and drive for show – let the mad scientists at the club manufacturers help you make the most of your game.

Titleist TS2 and TS3
The key for their speed project has been streamlining. The new shape enhances the aerodynamics and reduces drag by up to 20 percent. And, the optimized weight redistribution has resulted in the lowest center of gravity Titleist has ever produced in a driver, for higher launch and lower spin.

Cobra F-Max Superlite Driver
It is the new version of the F-Max Driver, but re-engineered for increased clubhead speed by reducing the weight in the grip, shaft and head. Available in two versions — the Straight Neck and the Offset (which promotes a draw-biased ball flight) — it is targeted for players with moderate swing speeds. A thin, forged, 6-4 Titanium face insert is designed with E9 Technology, a variable thickness face structure that enhances ball speed and distance on centered and off-centered hits.

Callaway Rogue
An updated version of their very successful Epic model, promoting higher ball speed and longer distance. The Rogue uses “Jailbreak Technology,” bars joining the sole to the crown to make the structure more rigid and return more energy to the ball, increase ball speed and make it go further. The Rogue also has added stability for off-center hits and is one of the more forgiving drivers.

Wilson C300
The C300 is distinguished as the first driver head design with Power Holes placed on the crown and sole near the face, expanding the sweet spot for greater ball speeds across the entire hitting surface by flexing more at impact. More flex equals greater ball speed. More ball speed means longer drives. It also offers adjustable sole weights for custom ball flight and an adjustable hosel to fine-tune launch.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS Adjustable Driver
From a tech standpoint, this driver is loaded, including Dual Carbon Fiber placement for better weight distribution and a new SlipStream Sole for faster clubhead speed. Its Flight Tuning System (FTS) includes interchangeable weights and an adjustable hosel, providing a number of different ways to accomplish spin and ball flight adjustments. This is the most forgiving driver the company has ever produced.




Leave a Reply