How to Choose a Driver

Find the right driver to ensure high swing speeds, longer drives and more powerful shots.


The first thing to consider is size. Many models are offered at the USGA’s legal limit for clubhead volume size (460cc). The larger head size results in a larger “sweet spot,” which promotes improved consistency for many average players. Smaller driver heads (around 380cc-410cc) allow better players with repeatable swings more control.

Golf club designers continue to design clubs with internal and external weighting to help golfers hit a fade or draw or adjust ball flight higher and lower. Whether you prefer weight screws, lightweight carbon crowns or unique head shapes, there is a high-performance driver to fit your game.


Higher loft promotes a higher launch angle and a higher launch equals greater distance. Today’s golf balls and larger clubhead sizes require higher launch angles. Currently hitting a 3-wood off the tee? It’s really time for a new driver. When in doubt, go with a higher loft to maximize your distance. For example, if you're torn between going with a 9° or 10° driver, go with the 10°.


Choosing the right shaft flex is also important to maximize distance and accuracy. In general, a slower swing speed player should use a more flexible shaft (L, A, R) to maximize distance and players with higher swing speeds should choose woods with stiffer shafts (S, X) to increase accuracy. Choose the most flexible shaft you can control. If you're in between a regular and a stiff flex, go with regular.

Use the table below to find the right flex shaft for you:

Driver Swing Speed (mph) Driver Carry Distance (yds.) Club From 150 yds. Recommended Flex
105-plus 260+ 8 or 9-iron Extra-Stiff (XS)
90-105 240-260 6 or 7-iron Stiff (S)
80-95 210-240 5 or 6-iron Regular (R)
70-85 180-210 4-iron Senior (A)
Less than 70 Less than 180 3-iron/wood Ladies (L)

Frequently Asked Questions: Golf Drivers

Q: Will I really benefit from a driver with a larger head?
A: Let’s put it this way – if the world’s best players have 460cc drivers in their bag, it may be time for you to upgrade. It may feel awkward to have a larger clubhead at the end of the shaft, but your eye will grow accustomed to it. More importantly, you will appreciate the added forgiveness and power a larger driver provides. Larger clubheads possess a higher moment of inertia (MOI) and resist twisting more than a smaller head on off-center hits resulting in straighter, more accurate shots.

Q: Are there drivers out there that can help me cure my slice or hook?
A: Some drivers have adjustable weights in the sole or internal weighting that will help you reduce your slice or hook. If you currently slice the ball, choose a driver with a draw bias and if you hook the ball choose a driver with a slice bias. Or if you want flexibility in controlling ball flight choose a club with moveable weights.

Q: How do I get my swing speed measured?
A: One of our in-store caddies can help you determine your swing speed. We have the latest technology in our full-swing areas to measure swing speed, ball speed, launch angle, spin rate and much more. This will help us find the right shaft flex, driver model and loft for your swing.


C.O.R., or Coefficient of Restitution, is the degree of the spring-like or trampoline effect when the ball strikes the clubface. The higher the C.O.R., the faster the golf ball will be propelled by the clubhead for a given impact speed. Surprisingly enough, this concept of momentum has become very important to the sport. So what's all the fuss about? The faster the ball speed, the more yards you get off your drive. But that's not all. The United States Golf Association (USGA) has put restrictions on how high the C.O.R. can be on any given clubface - 0.830 to be exact - and it's because the USGA is trying its best to limit the influence of today's ever-evolving technology. The theory being that golf should challenge the skill and savvy of the golfer rather than the technology in their bag. And since none of us hit the sweet spot on every swing, all of us benefit from a driver with an expanded C.O.R.

Launch Angle
When it comes to drivers for the average golfer, a higher launch angle will result in more distance. But let's define launch angle first. Launch angle is the initial angle at which the shot leaves the clubface. Clubhead speed, loft of the clubhead and ball spin all affect the launch angle. Yet, loft is the easiest way to affect your launch angle. Unless you're a pro, a basic rule of thumb is to choose a driver with at least 10 degrees of loft. The higher the loft, the easier it is to get the ball airborne. And that gives you more distance.

A magic element has changed the golf world forever — the Periodic Table of Elements' 22nd element — Ti. Titanium has become golf's most precious metal. But why? Very strong and very light, titanium allows manufacturers to produce oversized clubheads without changing the traditional weight of the head. And since bigger clubheads offer more forgiveness on off-center hits, the average golfer can achieve more distance. So it's not just the material itself that makes the ball go farther, it's the bigger head that makes your mis-hits go farther.

And with the use of composite materials manufacturers are able to easily shift the weight around the clubhead. The biggest advantage is a lower center of gravity. This gives the average golfer more carry and therefore more distance.

Smart Tips Main Menu
Buy Golf Drivers
Golf Tips Articles