Drivers Buyers' Guide

We filmed our very first drivers buyers guide (watch below) back in 2012. So much has changed in the last ten years; a single video is no longer enough. The series of videos below, we believe, make up the complete and ultimate drivers buyers guide.

They cover things such as how things have changed over the last decade, an explanation as to why they're so expensive, where we could be in another ten years, and finally Doc's top-5 drivers of all time!

Of course, if you still need some advice, our team of PGA Professionals is on hand to help; details can be found at the bottom of the page.

But, if you're in the market to purchase a driver, it is arguably the best time ever to do so. Everything from the top of the grip to the sole of the head has been improved to eke out every advantage and get you hitting longer and straighter than ever before.

[Episode 1] 5 Things modern golf drivers have that old ones don't

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Adjustability

TaylorMade's adjustable loft sleeve

Back in the day, there was only one choice - the driver's head was glued onto the hosel, that was it. A driver either suited you or didn't.

Then the manufacturers thought, "we'd sell more drivers if we could produce one which will suit more players". We're not all the same, we all swing a club differently, so there's no logic in assuming one fixed headed driver will suit all of us. And that is when driver adjustability was born.

Today (and for at least the last five years), drivers have featured vast amounts of adjustability - not just in the shaft and hosel but also in the head of the club too via moveable weighting.

An adjustable hosel allows you to increase or decrease loft and (sometimes) lie angle in seconds to impact the initial launch angle - either high or lower.

Then there's the modern head itself. Moveable weight technology is now so sophisticated that weight ports with as little as 2-grams of moveable mass exist to help you dial in your prefered launch and spin characteristics and levels of forgiveness.

Another option is moveable weights within channels which are a little more intuitive. Slide the weight to the heel for a draw, or toe for a fade. Or slide forward to kill spin for maximum distance or back for total forgiveness.

We have a whole encyclopedia of how to adjust your driver here.

Multi-Material Construction

Believe it or not, woods used to be made out of, well, wood. Since then, heads have evolved to metals such as steel and titanium and, more recently, carbon. Top of the line drivers now have a full suite of materials seamlessly fused and working together.

For example, the SIM2 from TaylorMade has a carbon crown and soleplate, fused with a steel face and forged aluminium ring at the back - indeed a multi-material driver! And you'll have your work cut out to find a weld or join anywhere! It's seamless.

But why multi-material? Putting carbon in the parts of the head where you don't need weight gives the engineers more mass to a position where you do, making the driver more forgiving, faster, and longer than their last release.

Artificial Intelligence

Callaway's Flash Face is created using A.I.

Have you ever heard of Iron Byron? A new prototype driver was first tested by clamping it into a big mechanical swinging arm to measure how straight and far it would hit the ball. Four or five or more prototypes might then have to be made and tested, and tweaked. Weeks, months, even years of designers work would hinge on the prototypes made and the shots that Iron Byron would hit!

But now, driver design has reached a point where Artificial Intelligence does all the heavy lifting. And it's Callaway who are at the forefront. We first saw A.I. in the Epic Flash with its Flash Face, which resulted from thousands of A.I.-generated 'prototypes'.

Supercomputers can take all the variables like materials to be used, how much of them, their physical characteristics, the weight, how thin, how to blend them together, where the weight will go, how adjustable it needs to be, how it should look, the cost, the time, the waste, the labour, and loads more and produce thousands of iterations of a driver!

Artificial Intelligence can also predict exactly which of those iterations will perform best when taken from the computer screen to the tee box.

All that work for something that we want to use to hit a ball straight down the fairway and as far away as possible. Truly mind-blowing!

Shape

We indeed have been around the houses with driver head shape over the last few years – and this is something we'll cover in much more detail further down the page – but no matter what tangent driver head has gone, it always returns to the traditional shape.

When you walk into the butchers to buy a fillet steak, you expect it to look red, juicy and fresh. Not brown and aged, even if it tastes better and is far more tender! It has to be red, that's what you, the customer, wants!

The same can be said for drivers; funny-shaped drivers work great on the course; however, golfers expect a driver head to have a rounded head, so that's where we are. That's what sells. That's what the golfing customer wants.

Manufacturer Tolerances

TaylorMade reduced tollerances with Speed Injection technology

For all the research, design and testing that goes into a new driver, there are still manufacturing tolerances that need to be taken into account. Every driver is not going to be identical when it comes off the line. When the quality controllers get their hands on a batch, they even identify the drivers closest to the limit (the 'spicy' heads) and save for the Tour Pros!

Fast forward to now, and the level of precision in manufacture compared to ten years ago is like night and day. Precision manufacturing now allows thousandths of a gram to be precisely positioned to make a driver perform better. It truly is mind-blowing!

[Episode 2] Look how much drivers have changed over the last 10 years?

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Having just had a look at what you're getting from you hard-earned cash if buying or upgrading to a modern driver, let's turn back the clock to see how thing have changed in the last ten years!

Rewinding the clock a decade, we arrive back at 2011 - Rory McIlroy is winning his first Major at Congressional, Novak Djokovic is bagging his first Wimbledon title, London is just getting ready to host the Olympic Games, and a brand new T.V. show called Game Of Thrones is premiering on T.V.

And TaylorMade has just released their Burner SuperFast 2.0 driver.

Back then, the emphasis was on a driver being light so you could swing it hard, increase clubhead speed, and hit the ball further. The head is titanium and only 0.6 of a millimetre in places! Aerodynamics were also on the mind of the engineers; the Burner SuperFast 2.0 is almost triangular with grooves and fins on the sole to help it slice through the air like butter.

Fast-forward to the present day and without any explanation, you can instantly see the difference. Year on year, the changes are subtle, but seeing ten years of design and technology advances side-by-side is mightily impressive.

But what exactly is different?

Colour

Driver crowns have been all sorts of colours

Immediately you can see a dramatic difference here! TaylorMade's change from black to white was a bold choice and has been dialled back in subsequent releases, settling on the stripe at the front of the crown.

The idea was that the white crown would contrast against the grass better to identify if you're lined up correctly or not. The now-familiar stripe on the leading edge does the same job in a less intrusive way.

Adjustability

When moveable weight technology first entered the golf industry, it was a revelation - but quickly became the clubs' focus, with the ports on the sole almost taking over due to their bulky design. The golf industry had a clear picture of where they were going. It just needed to be streamlined.

The tide turned when engineers made the breakthrough into carbon fibre. Carbon is far lighter than traditional materials opened up a world of new weighting possibilities for designers. Soon after, the TaylorMade M1 driver showed us what was possible.

Materials

The TaylorMade M1 and M2 drivers were the catalysts for carbon, becoming the blank canvas for the drivers we have today. Going back to the SuperFast 2.0 and SIM2 examples, only one part of the driver is made from the same material, the titanium face. Everything else is different.

The SIM2 is so advanced it has an extremely thin carbon crown and sole. It's an incredible feat of multi-material technology with carbon, titanium, aluminium, and steel working together in unison.

Breaking the mould

TaylorMade broke the mould with Twist Face

The few things mentioned above were all achievable in 2011 in some way or another. However, something is happening in driver design and technology that were merely pipe dreams a decade ago.

Taking the SIM2 as an example again, it has what TaylorMade calls TwistFace, where the face is ever so slightly twisted to add and remove spin to a shot depending on the impact location on the face. This new technology has replaced Bulge and Roll, which has been ever-present in golf clubs (in some form) for decades!

Another example of breaking the mould is the use of computers and A.I. Back in 2011, when Rory was winning at Congressional, his driver would have been tested and prototyped four or maybe five times before the research and design was done.

But in the EPIC driver family, the face alone has been tried and tested over 10,000 times - all thanks to A.I. and super computers. Letting a computer design, test, and try again until they land on the perfect solution - in this case, the ideal driver face.

Which leads on nicely to where are we going to be in another ten years? A topic we'll look into in another episode.

But something has not changed (much!)

However, despite all this incredible advancement in technology and design processes, there is one thing that is not changing, the price.

When released, the Big Bertha Alpha had an RRP of around £400, and the M1 and the SIM2 around £450. The golf clubs are demonstrably better, yet the manufacturers keep the price down (look at Moore's Law for a possible explanation).

And don't forget the first titanium driver from Callaway in the 90s had an RRP of around £500! So although they may seem expensive, you're getting so much for your money!! We'll explore this topic a little later in the series too.

[Episode 3] What should you look out for when buying your first driver?

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In this section of our ultimate driver buyers guide, we'll be looking at the process of buying your first driver or upgrading your current one.

If you're a seasoned golfer, then this video is going to cover everything you already know; however, if you're new to golf and want some help finding the right driver, then this is the perfect place to start! Many would argue the driver is the most important club in the golf bag, so getting the right one to suit you is essential.

What are you getting for your money?

We appreciate how daunting it can be when buying something meaningful (and usually therefore expensive). There's nothing worse than the sinking feeling of receiving something only to discover it's not the one for you.

So what are you getting when parting with your hard-earned cash? A better golf club. In episode two (above), we looked specifically at how modern drivers have changed from 10 years ago and how they are demonstrability better than their predecessors. The technology and build quality improve every year, so it will be better than the one you're replacing, even if it is not a brand new driver. And these things, in the end, will equate to more distance and more fairways.

Where should you start?

The first thing to look out for when buying your first driver is the price, as this will determine which drivers from the 1000s we have in stock you can consider.

Brand new drivers from the major manufacturers (the Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist of the world) will be more expensive - we look at the reasons behind this further down the page.

However, at Golfbidder, we're in the envious position where we're still selling drivers from two, three, and even five years ago. Drivers, which were the latest and greatest in terms of technology back then, are now available for a fraction of their 'new' price.

This is particularly relevant to beginners as you might not notice the subtle difference between a model that is three years old and one released this year. However, one thing you will notice is the price difference!

Indeed on Tour this year, several top players are still using and winning with drivers that are five years old. Richard Bland won the 2021 British Masters with a TaylorMade M2 from 2017.

Anything from the TaylorMade 'M-Series' or Callaway's EPIC, Rogue, or Mavrik' family is a great place to start as they fall into the newness versus price sweet spot (in 2021).

Browse our range

Bigger is better!

When you're looking at the drivers on Golfbidder, it's the head of the club you'll be looking at, and there's an important few considerations.

Since 2004 golf's governing bodies restricted the maximum size of the driver's head to 460cc. You can get drivers with smaller heads, and Tour players and better golfers often choose drivers that have 440cc heads, but when you're buying your first driver, go for one that is 460cc's.

The head will look big, friendly and inspire confidence when placed behind the ball; it provides more forgiveness and stability and will be easier to hit overall.

Materials

Some drivers will immediately stand out and catch the eye - especially those with carbon on the crown. Others will have a more conventional black or grey metallic look. They will both do a great job as a first driver, but it's important to note a couple of things.

As a general rule of thumb in the metal headed drivers, even though they may all look quite similar, drivers with titanium in the head and face are superior to those made of stainless steel. Titanium is lighter, stronger and more elastic than steel; it's an excellent material for a driver's head and face.

The eye-catching drivers (mentioned earlier) take this one step further and replace some titanium with carbon. Over the last five years, there have been considerable advances in carbon technology and manufacturing to the extent that carbon has taken over from titanium as the crown material in premium drivers. It allows the manufacturers to enhance the distance and forgiveness features of the driver to a level not seen before by giving them more mass to move where it's needed. Top drivers on the market now have a combination of carbon crowns with titanium faces and other metals; they are called multi-material drivers.

Adjustability

Callaway have used sliding weights in many of their drivers

Drivers used to look a bit 'samey'; now, though, they look vastly different from each other, especially if you turn them over and look at the sole.

There is two kinds of adjustability, one in the head and one in the shaft or hosel.

Movable weight changes the clubhead characteristics and how it hits the ball, impacting various metrics such as launch, spin, forgiveness, shot shape, and more.

The other kind of adjustability is in the hosel. With a simple wrench, you can change the loft and lie angle of your driver in a matter of seconds. Find out more about how these work further down the page.

However, do you need an adjustable driver? We also have a video on that, so go and check that out.

Shaft

Shafts is the proverbial minefield when it comes to golf clubs. If you want to know more about shafts, then you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place to start than with our friend Rick Shiels and this excellent video. However, we'll simplify things as best we can.

Shafts come in three basic flexes, regular flex, which suits most people, stiff for players who swing a little faster or are stronger, and light/senior for golfers with a slower swing. This view is pretty simple, and we appreciate there is a lot more going on with shafts, but this is not the forum for those conversations.

One final note on shafts that is easy to convey is the length - and it's largely down to personal preference. A little off the length for straighter but shorter tee shots. Or full length (or even over), for maximum clubhead speed and distance, be prepared to sacrifice a few fairways!

Finally, Golfbidder's 7-day trial period

Golfbidder is 100% with you in buying your first driver. The lineage of every club we sell is guaranteed, with each one photographed individually to give you the best idea of what you're buying. However, we want to make sure, when the club is in your hands and, more importantly, in your bag, that you're happy - and that's why we have a trial period on all the used golf clubs we sell. You can find more information here.

[Episode 4] How adjustable golf clubs work AND how they can improve your golf

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Whether you are an experienced golfer who knows instinctively where the ball is going, or a keen improver who worriedly watches their drive, this section of our ultimate driver guide is going to tell you why having an adjustable driver can give all golfers a huge advantage.

Whether you want to fine-tune the club to drive it further or quickly fix a fault to make the game more enjoyable, adjustable drivers are a great addition to your bag.

Data, data, data

Data can be used to dial in every club in your bag

Most of the world's best players are using adjustable drivers now, be that adjustability in the head of the driver or loft adjustability in the shaft. But given that those players can have clubs made to order, like walking into a pharmacy with a prescription, why do they still choose an adjustable driver?

Because it gives them options, and the current pro is all about the data. They can walk onto the range in Scotland, hit some drives, look at the ball flight numbers, adjust the loft down a little, and find the perfect set-up for the links test they're facing that week. Or, they could walk onto the range in Augusta, hit some drives, look at the trackman numbers, and tweak the weighting in the head to put draw-spin the ball and go out and win the Masters. They need their driver to perform; they have to trust their driver. The grip, the shaft, the head all need to be perfect.

But we're not all Pros

Take away the caddies, the coaches, the trackman, the tour truck. It's just you, out on the range, hitting a bucket of balls with your driver. The only data you're getting is what you see the ball doing in front of you.

You could be experiencing any of the following:

You're swinging it well, but the course you're going to play is very narrow, and you think adding a slight fade bias to your driver might be the way forward. Ten seconds later, it's done!

Or the fairways are as wide as an empty highway, so you choose to increase the loft a degree and have some fun; swing for the fences like Bryson. No problem, all set up in seconds and hitting is higher and longer.

Or damn it, I can't seem to shake this slice - adjust, tighten, done.

The point is the benefits of an adjustable driver are arguably more significant for the club golfer. Adjustable drivers don't begin to flex their muscles with the pros; we're the players who push them to their limits.

For the big golf manufacturers, it's also very much in their interest to have adjustable drivers; one driver will suit vastly more players, which results in more sales.

What are your options?

The most adjustable drivers have two forms of adjustability - moveable weighting in the heads and the ability to adjust loft and lie in the hosel.

Adjusting your driver - moveable weight technology

The Cobra RADSpeed driver used weight ports for adjustability

Moveable weight in the head of your driver will have the most impact on how you can change the ball flight of your drives.

The Callaway Epic Flash is an excellent example of where we are with this kind of adjustability. A sliding weight in the back of the head weighs 12-grams, which is a considerable percentage of the overall mass of the head. The movement of this mass can correct any big directional miss hit.

Moving the weight towards the heel will cause the head to shut on the downswing and help square the face. Moving it to the toe will keep the face open and can fix a hook.

Other types of adjustable heads focus more on the spin. The spin must be high enough to keep the ball in the air but low enough not to balloon up and stall.

The Cobra RAD SPEED driver has two interchangeable weights, one lighter and one heavier. Moving the heavier weight forward moves the centre of gravity forward (to just behind the face), taking spin off the ball and creating a more penetrating ball flight.

Moving the heavier weight to the back does the opposite; it'll add more spin and result in a more forgiving club head and straighter ball flight.

So in one driver, you have left to right adjustability for hooks and slices, and in the other driver, we have front-back adjustability for spin rates. There are some drivers where these exist within one club. The TaylorMade M5 has a weight track and two weights which can affect both lateral movement and spin!

Adjusting your driver - loft and lie

TaylorMade's adjustable loft sleeve

All the major brands now also have their unique version of loft and lie adjustment in the hosel. The majority have a fixed hosel with settings like numbers on a clock. Callaway goes about it differently with a very simple two-piece jigsaw that sees loft and face angle chosen independently from each other.

The science behind adjustable shafts is pretty straightforward. Depending on the setting you choose, the shaft enters the clubhead at a slightly different angle.

The adjustments made in the shaft are far more subtle than moving mass around the head. Generally, make the more significant adjustments with the moveable weight first, then fine-tune with the hosel.

It's all pretty clever stuff and brings us to the conclusion that whether you're a Tour Pro or a keen amateur, some form of adjustability in your driver, be it in the head, shaft, or both, is a valuable thing to have.

What to know more?

We have an extensive and ever-growing 'How To Adjust' library here, so make sure to look up your driver there for a more in-depth look at the adjustability.

[Episode 5] EXPLAINED: Why Are New Drivers So Expensive???

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Spoiler alert this section of the guide contains some things you're not going to like to hear, but we need to talk about why new release drivers are so expensive.

As we sit here in late 2021, prices (not just in golf) are rising. We've emerged out the other side of a pandemic where golf has emerged as a hero; it's outdoors, it's healthy, it's safe, and millions of more people are now playing it.

There's more good than bad

For those of us who play golf regularly and experience the utter frustration that comes from missing fairways, losing balls or being the shortest off the tee, we are forever looking for something better, something longer, something straighter. We take the game seriously and are willing to accept the expense that comes with having something better.

And it's the big golf manufacturers out there who are constantly trying to provide that "something better" for us. They are locked in a constant battle against each other as brands, against themselves to improve their drivers, against golf's governing bodies to push the limits on every new driver. They are entrenched in a never-ending war to capture our imagination, and our money, in exchange for a driver that will make us happy.

And it's us, the golfers, who are the ones benefitting from these wars.

So much has changed

We've already looked at "what modern drivers have that old ones don't", and "how drivers have changed in the last decade". If you've not watched these yet, they go a long way to explain why modern golf clubs are so expensive - although not much more costly considering the advances.

We talked about how carbon technology is advancing rapidly, the emergence of better materials and multi-materials for that matter in drivers, more adjustability, better manufacturing tolerances, artificial intelligence and much more. And all these things cost money, a lot of money.

The hidden costs

Bryson is both an engineer at Cobra as well as an ambassador

There are tangible costs in manufacturing a driver, but some costs also need to be worked into the pricing mechanism.

The first of these is the research and development costs. Our hat goes off to the men and women working in these departments. Constantly under pressure to find something new, something brilliant, something game-changing whilst at the same time having one hand tied behind your back by The R&A and USGA.

The best ideas come from the best minds; they all have to be paid; patents have to be filed and protected; it's really expensive!! They have to prove that their next driver performs better in testing with new or better materials. They have to find and pay the best performance partners and suppliers for things like shafts and grips.

Then there's the other second hidden cost - the convincing part - making sure your driver is in the hands of Rory, Rahm or Bryson. Having the world's best players on your book costs money. Phil Mickelson winning the PGA Championship at 50 years old could stride right into Chip Brewer in Callaway, plonk the trophy down the table, and name his price! And we all have to pay a little bit of Lefties wage if we want to hit bombs on Sunday with his Callaway driver.

It's not all doom and gloom

While we do have the latest and greatest from this year on the rack here at Golfbidder, we also got the latest and greatest from last year, and the year before that, and the year before that on the rack, too - you get the picture.

We explained earlier how advances year on year are very slight and constantly explain why used drivers are often better for the average golfer - easier on the pocket for (almost) the same technology.

We use the mobile phone example time after time because it works. You don't change your phone annually because the changes are not significant enough to justify the expense. But, leave it a few years, and you'd notice the bigger screen, sharper resolution and longer battery life. It's the same with drivers, but as we're all on different cycles, the manufacturers bring out a new model every year.

So are they that expensive?

Hopefully, we have helped explain why new golf clubs, especially drivers, are so expensive. But as a final point, expensive is often a dirty word. Driver's have been priced between £400 and £500 for a few years, yet technology is getting better and better with each new model. Our expectations are growing, and the manufacturers are designed to meet those expectations. All the time, they are fighting to keep the cost within a desirable window, which results in a trade-off like most things in life.

[Episode 6] Make sure you ask yourself these two questions before buying a new driver

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Swallowing hard here because here at Golfbidder, we champion the merits of pre-owned drivers, but the time has come; we can not put it off any longer; we need to look at how much better a brand new driver is than an old one.

THAT feeling

There's no feeling like THAT new feeling

Put new technology to the side for a moment and consider how we all feel about getting something new.

Remembering back to opening presents on Christmas morning, ripping away the wrapping paper to reveal the brand new toy you had been desperately hoping for, that feeling of excitement. Even now, it might be the same with getting something like a new mobile phone. The anticipation and wondering how much better the screen will be, the camera, the graphics for games.

It's the same feeling when a new driver is placed in your hand. We have convinced ourselves this one will be better (especially if we've parted with the guts of £500).

By looking at or holding something new, we all have a predisposition to think newer is better. And I get it; we all have a honeymoon period with a new driver.

But two important questions need answers

If you've watched the previous videos in this series, you'll know by now that the big manufacturers are working their socks off to make drivers better every time they release a new one. Better materials, more adjustability, better build quality - we've gone through it all. But two questions have to be asked:

How much better is one than the next, and are you capable of noticing?

A quick bit of myth busting

We look at Tour Pros, and they always have the latest driver, don't they? Rory, yep, a SIM2, Jon Rahm, yep, an Epic Speed. These are the guys in all the marketing material and videos.

But look a little deeper, and you'll see a different bigger picture.

So how much better is one driver than the next? According to some of the best players in the world, not good enough. And this leads on to the next question, are you capable of noticing?

A dose of reality

All those Tour professionals operate at a much higher level than most of us; they have coaches and their own launch monitor with them every day. They know by feeling and by numbers exactly how their driver is performing, the flight, the spin, the distance, everything. And they're still not using the latest model!

It's not the same for us, the average club golfers. We'll go onto the practice ground and hit some good drives, a few great long ones, a few short; we might hook one, slice another. We are in metaphorical Formula 1 cars, but we don't know how to drive them as fast they were meant to go.

The best versus the rest

Bryson has been using a Cobra driver from 2015 in 2021

The average driving distance on the PGA Tour over the 2021 season was 296.2 yards. No surprises who was top, but what might surprise you is for the majority of the 2021 season, Bryson used a Cobra King LTD Pro driver from 2015!

But what about the rest of us? How far do we amateurs drive the ball? There have been many studies, with the consensus being the average drive is 195 to 220 yards, with the latest USGA and R&A insights report stating men drive it on average 216 yards. You may well drive it further, but it's indisputable that there's no point in comparing your distances to those of the world's best golfers.

So should you change?

We've given you the distance figures amateurs hit it compared to the pros; we've told you some of the Tour winners using old drivers and Bryson hitting his 2015 driver 323 yards! If we as amateurs realise even 70% of a drivers actual capability, we are doing pretty well!

However, all the improvements in technology, materials, adjustability we've spoken about throughout this series may be a lot more beneficial to you than a Tour professional.

So before buying a brand new driver, you should always weigh up whether the additional cost compared to a pre-owned one is worth it.

New to you

So what's the perfect scenario? Loads of new technology and these benefits without the price tag! Is this combination even possible? We certainly think so as something new to you does not need to be brand new.

If you're replacing a TaylorMade M2 driver with a SIM, for example, you're probably going to be super excited as there is a massive jump in technology between the two, yet the price of a SIM is going to be far less than the price of a SIM2. Run the same scenario for upgrading a SIM into a SIM2, and you're probably not going to be as excited.

I just bought a new car, well, a used car that was new to me. It was a big upgrade; almost every aspect of it was better than what I replaced. And it's the same with a driver; if the jump is big enough, you do not need to buy brand new to get THAT feeling.

[Episode 7] Where will driver design be in 10 years time?

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We have looked in-depth at how far drivers have advanced over the last decade during this driver's buyers guide, so now it's time to grab our crystal ball and look forward to where drivers are going over the next ten years.

Where are we now?

Who would have foreseen ten years ago where we would be now? What seemed like small changes year on year by the manufacturers, when viewed as an entire decade, is mightily impressive. See episode 2 above for more on this advancement.

What do we already know?

As we head into 2022, it's evident the games governing bodies are worried about where distance, especially on Tour, is going. They are trying to stay ahead of the prominent manufacturers with new rules, but the big manufacturers will continue to find ways around any limits; they always do! It only took them a couple of years to get the spin numbers back up when the groove rule changed.

Despite curbing the COR or springiness of faces, limiting clubhead size and more, the pros keep hitting it longer. How, by finding ways around the rules, the likes of Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson used shafts on occasion this year that were 47 and 48 inches in length to increase their clubhead speed where there are no limits.

The R&A and the USGA have reacted and moved to shorten the length of drivers on Tour to 46 (from 48) inches from January 1st 2022, and while the same rule doesn't apply at club level and for retail drivers, we'll have to watch this space.

New materials and technology?

Materials used in drivers have advanced enormously over the last five years, as have the manufacturing tolerances. However fantastic we think the multi-material drivers of today are, we believe there is plenty of scope for improvement over the next ten years.

The carbon weave in the crown will get even lighter and more robust, and new metal alloys will be used in the sole in the face. Also, 3D printing in clubhead weighting is only in its infancy, with Cobra emerging as the absolute innovator. Could weighting be printed to your specs after a custom fit?

A significant breakthrough in adjustability?

The Lynx SFT driver was something totally new

One of the breakthroughs we believe will be in driver head adjustability. Looking at all the brands and their adjustable drivers, they all have their proprietary systems. Taking a step back, though, they are all pretty similar - metal weights sliding around or secured in ports.

A decade from now, we see weighting evolving to be completely different? Will one company will break the mould, and the rest follow?

How will that look? What if all the weighting is internal and manually adjusts with the wrench after data feedback from hitting shots on the range. Whatever happens, we'll evolve from the click and go weighing systems of today to a much more precise model.

And what for hosel adjustability? The present loft and lie systems are clever but straightforward - altering the shaft's angle to increase and decrease the loft. The problem with this is that the face opens and closes when you adjust.

Lynx came up with a very innovative driver called the Prowler SFT (Switch Face Technology) a few years ago, with interchangeable faces to adjust the actual loft of the driver, and it'll just take one great idea like that to move us forward.

What about the driver's head?

Will shape evolve over the next decade? This is one area we don't think will change too much. We've been here before. Over the last 20 years, we've seen everything from a square to pear, to triangular, with turbulators and aero fins. But it keeps returning to the traditional shape we expect a driver head to have.

Buzz words and features will continue - injected this, moulded that, twist the other, marketing departments will always convince us that newer is better, but in terms of rack appeal, the overall head shape will stay the same.

A hands-on approach?

Data and technology will continue to be influential in golf

Technology continues to develop rapidly and will be very much at the fore in another decade - even more than it is now!

Trackman of today will be readily available to all and offer advice on your swing and driver set up after a few swings on the range. Just imagine ten swings before your round, and your phone tells you how to set up your driver for that day!

Will there be a split?

We have already mentioned the R&A and USGA are worried heading into 2022 and trying to plug holes as drivers advance and golf enjoys renewed popularity.

Will there be a split in equipment between professional games and amateur golfers? Stripped back drivers for pros and technology-laden ones for recreational golfers? Think about how different the long drive drivers are, but that is another form of the game entirely!

It has already happened with bikes.

On holiday The Doc cycled 80 kilometres at a fast pace with some tough climbs in Austria, while his wife, who hadn't cycled in years, cycled alongside him at the same speed, no problem. How? On an electric bike.

Will the same concept happen in golf? In the next ten years, it may well do! Would you be disappointed if it did? Would it feel a bit like cheating? We always love being able to use the same equipment as the pros!

Finally, is it already under construction?

One thing is for sure though, the driver we'll be using in 2032 is already in development. From talking to the top brass in the prominent manufacturers, we know that they always have their following 3 or 4 drivers planned out. We'll just have to wait and see what they come up with!

[Episode 8] The Doc's top-5 drivers of all time

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As the last chapter of this drivers buyers guide, Donal will take you through his top-5 drivers of all time - wonder if you'll agree, or even still be playing one?

5. Callaway Big Bertha Titanium 454

The original Big Bertha was the first titanium headed golf club - and it took the world by storm! It was amazing! Callaway released this updated version in 2004, combining the best bits of the original with better manufacturing processes and better materials.

And it was long. Dave Mobley took one to the World Long Drive Championship and won with a driver of 377 yards - how times have changed!

4. Nike Vapor Fly Driver

We don't think any of us fully appreciated Nike equipment's until it was too late. Yes, they had huge budgets, but they got their clubs into the hands of the best players in the world. It's not all about money, surely?

The Nike Vapor Fly driver was the last cab off the rank and carried Tony Finau to win his first PGA Tour title as well as being used by Messrs Woods and McIlroy to name another two.

The striking blue and Volt finish highlighted the stabilising cavity back, bracing bars, seed channel, and a super-thin crown. It had all the technology of the best drivers of the era - so why did they 'fail'?

3. Ping G410

We have picked the Ping G410 driver here, but this could be any driver going back to the Ping Anser from 2012 when Ping cracked the code. Each drive since the Anser has evolved this theory - no need for carbon when nobody can match them in titanium.

The most recent Ping driver (G425, 2021) is a further evolution and is long, straight and Tour players love it.

2. Titleist 907D2

The TaylorMade M2 is Doc's favoutire driver of all time

In our opinion, this is one of the most cosmetically perfect clubs ever! An ideal marriage of titanium and aluminium.

But for us, this club holds a special memory too. In 2007 Donal and a friend played 32 rounds in 32 days - one in each county of Ireland. They raised over 100k for charity and will never forget the experience.

1. TaylorMade M2

No need for a drum roll, and regular viewers will not be surprised with this choice. We've not been shy in our love for the TaylorMade M2 driver. This club changed the game for TaylorMade after a couple of turbulent years with the Jetspeed and SLDR.

It's rumoured the M1 and M2 were still in the drawer but were brought forward to reverse the slump. If true, what a decision that was!

Gorgeous to look at, it goes a mile and delivers out the box distance and forgiveness.

[Pilot, 2012] How To Make Sure You Buy The Correct Driver For Your Golf Swing

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We hope you enjoyed this driver mini-series and found it valuable in helping you decide on which driver you are going to buy next. Of course, if you need any further help or advice, you can contact our customer services team, details below.

For more information or to speak to one of our PGA qualified customers services team call 0208 4016 901 or email info@golfbidder.co.uk. Lines and emails are open and managed from 9:00am - 5:00pm , Monday – Friday and 9:00am - 1:00pm Saturday.