Understanding Golf: What is a Golf Driver? The Sizes, Heads, and Brands

Golf ball on green grass ready to be struck on grass background

In the beginning, golf drivers were made of wood and they all looked pretty much the same as any other golf club. Over time, they came to resemble the fairway woods of today. But today, they are made of various materials, and come in many sizes and shapes. Many golfers gravitate to the latest one they've seen advertised instead of one that will improve their games but you should choose a driver based on a variety of factors like skill level. A driver is made up of so many components like the clubface, clubhead, driver shaft, hosel and more. So before you buy a new driver, learn some more about the biggest club in the bag.

Know The Various Materials

Shallow focus of a golf club and a ball on a lawn

A driver's head and shaft can be made from various materials, and that will affect the cost. Most drivers have steel shafts and cost the least. These club shafts are extra stiff compared to their more expensive counterparts. This is good for those with a high swing speed as it will produce less torque through your swing and produce more distance and ball speed.

On the opposite end of the scale, you can buy drivers with titanium heads and graphite shafts that are much lighter but cost a lot more money. The key with these is the golf shaft flex which leads to better accuracy. This is good for those with a slower swing speed.

Then there's a third group of drivers that have heads made of a composite of steel and titanium that cost somewhere between them. This is a good compromise between the cheap and expensive drivers that are on the marketplace.

Bigger Is Usually Better

Drivers' heads are somewhat larger than those in the past so they have an expanded so-called “sweet spot” that allows the golfer greater latitude in making good contact with the ball and creating good ball flight. Steel heads are larger than wooden ones, but because titanium weighs less than steel, the clubhead size of titanium drivers are even larger, providing a larger sweet spot. Your selection based on the size of the head should be based on your abilities. Generally, the average golfer should use the expanded sweet spot of a titanium driver, while low handicap golfers should choose one with a smaller hitting area for control.

What is a good driver loft?

Golf clubs and golf balls on a green lawn in a beautiful golf course.

Loft is the angle of the hitting area of the club, and it will affect how high you hit the ball. Tests indicate the higher degrees of loft, the farther the ball will travel. This is because a higher launch angle will put the ball higher in the air. But if you continually slice the ball, you can reduce the tendency with a driver having less loft on the face angle, although you will sacrifice some distance. Those who want more control over their slice-heavy shot shape should go with a less lofty club in their golf bag when on the golf course. Conversely, if you tend to hook the golf ball, you should choose a driver with an increased loft.

What is a good shaft?

When a golfer buys a driver, he should be aware of the flex and length of its shaft. Generally, if you are a beginner or if you have issues of strength and speed of your swing, you should choose a driver that has a lot of flex in the shaft. And most driver shafts have a standard length 44-inches or 111 cubic centimeters but some are longer. Longer shaft length usually leads to greater distance, but you probably will give up some accuracy in the process. It is recommended that you go to a custom fitting at a golf equipment store to find the best driver for you. Club fittings are usually inexpensive and helpful for your golf game.