The driver is the most commonly used wood club and it is almost exclusively used for tee shots. The driver is another name for the 1-wood and it is the longest club in a set. It also has a distinctly large head with an impressive sweet spot.
Drivers are used mostly on courses with par-4 or par-5, but it can also be used on par-3 courses. The job of a driver is to ensure that the ball lands as close to the green as possible. Drivers have relatively low lofts, varying from 8.5 to 13 degrees.
Working with tees
Drivers have a low loft but it’s not zero, so there is somewhat of an angle on the clubface. This means that they are best used with tees rather than a ball positioned on the grass. The angled clubface fits underneath the ball, thanks to the tee, and pushes it up into the air.
The ball needs to reach a certain height to travel the furthest distance as possible, which is why tees are so important. The loft of your driver will need to work perfectly with the heights of your tees, so make sure that you have the correct tees for your clubs.
The head size
When it comes to drivers, you’ll be amazed at how large the club heads can be. But don’t get caught up in choosing the largest head possible - there are restrictions that need to be followed. The current restriction states that you can only use drivers of a size up to 460cc.
The larger the head of your driver, the larger the sweet spot. Sweet spots are where you need to hit the ball to achieve a high-quality shot. Beginners prefer to opt for drivers with a larger head as the sweet spot is more forgiving. The most forgiving drivers are essential when you’re just starting out on your golf journey.
Shaft flex and length
Drivers come in varying levels of flex, so it’s down to you to decide how much flex you want your driver to have. Extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior, and ladies are all different levels of flex. Ladies is the best flex rating for people with high handicaps, but you might prefer the feel of a regular driver.
The flex of your club usually correlates with your swing speed. The faster your swing speed, the stiffer your club should be to give you more control. You can determine your swing speed by either using a swing speed measurer or asking a professional to help you get an accurate reading.
Drivers can be made from a variety of different materials. Some are better than others, but the best ones will often cost you a lot more than other materials. Steel drivers are the most common clubs found on the market and they have the lowest price point.
Titanium is a stronger material than steel but costs more to manufacture and purchase. It is also lighter in weight than steel, so your performance would benefit from using this type of club. Titanium heads are often paired with graphite shafts which are also lighter and more professional.
Finally, you can purchase a driver made from a composite of steel and titanium. This is considered better than a steel driver but slightly worse than a titanium driver. The price point is also somewhere in the middle.
Beginners prefer to start out with a steel driver as they cost less, but as your performance improves you should upgrade your driver to a titanium alternative. Your game will thank you, we can assure you that!
What about fairway woods?
Fairway woods are lesser known than the driver but they are still important for any golfer. They are excellent for gaining distance when you need an extra boost after using your driver for the tee shot. However, many fairway woods have been forgotten thanks to the newer, shinier hybrid.
The 3-wood has a loft between 15 and 18 degrees, meaning that it can give your ball a more impressive height than a driver could. This will also mean that the distance travelled is a little less, which is ideal for when you don’t want your ball to travel as far as your original hit. While the 3-wood is not a driver, it is still a very important wood that can benefit any golfer’s club set.
Overall, the driver can be considered the most important club in your carrying bag. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to choose the best driver out there for your personal style. Consider the material, flex, and tees that you’re using.
Drivers aren’t very high lofted but they will work best with a tee. Remember not to opt for a head larger than 460cc to avoid breaking restrictions! Finally, don’t neglect your other woods - they’re more handy than you might think.
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