What are they used for?
At the tee of every hole, every golfer has the same chance to hit a golf ball perfectly and see it launch into the air at incredible speed and travel a brilliant distance down the fairway.
Everyone starts at the same point, but having the right driver could make or break your round.
Power and distance are the two main attributes to think about when looking at a driver because the whole design of the club is to launch the golf ball as far as possible so that you can get to the green in the fewest shots possible.
This may be a major oversimplification, but a driver is a club that is used to get the ball as far up the fairway as possible.
What is MOI?
MOI is the Moment of Inertia, which refers to the amount of forgiveness that the club offers if you miss-hit the golf ball. If you read the line “this club has high MOI” it means that there is less twisting in the clubface occurring when a shot is hit off centre and so the golf ball still manages to land in the area you were aiming at rather than firing off into the rough.
For most manufacturers creating a driver that can boast high MOI is achieved by placing weights in the rear of the club. This not only stops the clubface twisting on shots so golfers at every level can create great shots, but it also allows for more spin to be created and higher launch on drives so that drives will travel further.
The amount of loft that your driver has means the amount that the face of the club is sloped back. The angle of the loft adds backspin to the ball which enables it to generate lift and rise into the air.
The higher the loft the more backspin is created. For players who have a slower swing speed, a higher loft of 11 to 12 degrees will mean that the ball will be able to gain a higher flight. Players with higher swing speeds will be going for middle to low loft settings, ranging from 8 to 10 degrees.
Centre of Gravity (CG)
For a driver, the general rule is that if the centre of gravity is lower and further to the back of the clubhead, the higher the ball will launch thanks to the increase in spin. Also, having the CG further back will offer higher MOI and so makes the driver more forgiving.
If the centre of gravity is moved further forward in the club it will increase the speed that the ball will travel, however, it will decrease the ball spin and the MOI.
If you would like to have the ability to alter the MOI and centre of gravity of your club to fine-tune your drives, you are able to thanks to weights that can be used. There are various weights that can be positioned in the sole of the driver, ranging from 1 to 20 grams for incredible customisation.
The prime reason to use different weights in your driver is to find the right centre of gravity that will create the best ball flight for your swing. By putting more weight in the heel you create a draw bias, more weight in the toe you create a fade bias and putting more weight in the back of the club you can create a much higher launch.
However, each manufacturer is different and allows for different levels of adjustment on their clubs.
Drivers usually come in two different materials, either titanium or composite head.
Titanium has been used for years by the majority of leading golf companies as it is a much stronger material than steel, which was previously used when designing drivers, while also being incredibly durable and so much lighter. Because the material is so much lighter, companies were able to increase the size of the head of the club without adding any additional weight. This means that players can swing faster, create drivers that go further and have a larger sweet spot on the face of the club.
Composite drivers are clubs that use a combination of different materials that combine together. Materials such as carbon fibre, tungsten and titanium are often combined together to improve the performance of drivers.
Carbon fibre is often used on the crown of the club, to reduce weight. This weight reduction means that the centre of gravity can be adjusted. Because it is a much heavier material, tungsten is used for perimeter weighting to increase the MOI of the driver, and titanium is used in the face to produce optimal ball speeds.
Composite drivers are becoming much more common due to the ability to use a variety of different materials to create some incredible golf clubs.
When choosing your driver, whether it be online or in a fitting centre, you will be asked about how much flex you would like in the shaft.
The flex refers to how much movement the shaft experiences while swinging, but you have to find a happy medium that works best for you.
If the shaft is too stiff, when you strike the ball it will fly too low and will have a much shorter carry distance. If the shaft is lacking stiffness the ball may generate way too much spin than you want as it launches higher into the air, as well as affecting the accuracy of your shots.