What do the weights in my driver do?

Thomas Tanner
Sep 15, 2023
17 minutes
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If you are new to the game of golf and looking to upgrade your driver on the Golfbidder website, you’ll see that some have very visible weights in their heads. What are these weights in the driver head for and what do they do?

What are the different types of adjustable driver weight?

The different weighting systems in the list are most commonly found in drivers and fairway woods, but all golf clubs will have some form of special weighting. And there is a chance your driver or fairway wood might have one of, or more than one of the weight types listed below. 

There are four different types of adjustable driver head weight:
  • Sliding weights, which are in a track and are usually larger in mass
  • Moveable (or swapable) weights, which can move between set locations in the club head
  • Immovable weights, (usually the heaviest) which are set by the manufacture or club fitter and should not be touched
  • Internal weighting, which is where the engineers really earn their money by positing (usually to the gram or millimetre) the centre of gravity of a golf club

What are the weights in your driver head for?

Weights in golf clubs position the centre of gravity where it needs to be, creating an area on the clubface called the “sweet spot”. If everything is perfect, this would be where you strike the ball with everything pointing perfectly square to the target at impact.

But as we know not everything (very little in fact) in golf is perfect. 

If we miss the sweet spot at impact the club head will rotate in your hands as a result of the force. The science of this rotating and twisting motion is called inertia.

Being able to move weight in your golf club allows you to shift the centre of gravity to where it’s needed and minimise the impact of this twisting.

Luckily golf club engineers are masters of twisting and rotation and do most of the work for us. But as every golfer and golf swing is different, they have given us the tools, via moveable weighting, to tweak the centre of gravity yourselves to maximise performance of any given golf club.

What do adjustable driver head weights do?

Adjustable weights in drivers and fairway woods allow you to move the centre of gravity to behind we’re you’re hitting the ball.

If you're moving the weight into the heel, you’re most likely looking to correct a fade or slice. By placing the centre of gravity in this position you’re going to reduce the amount the club head rotates at impact and straighten up your golf shots. 

The added mass in the heel of the golf clubs will also make the head want to close fraction sooner and bring a further benefit by starting to shape the ball on a draw flight.

The opposite is true if you moved the weight into the toe location. The clubhead will rotate less on a toe strike and the face will want to stay open, promoting a fade shot shape.

We have a huge catalogue on how to adjust different golf clubs available on Golfbidder should you want some specific advice on your driver. Let’s move on to the different types of weighting in your golf clubs.

What are sliding weights in driver heads?

Sliding weights are a big weights which is housed in a track and allows the golfer to move the centre of gravity. They usually run from heel to toe to help correct a hook or slice. Sometimes they can run from font to back to affect launch and spin characteristics.

You’ll often see these weight tracks across the back of the club because this is where they’ll have the biggest impact and will have the words “Draw” and “Fade” at either end of the track. This makes sliding weights very intuitive showing to the golfer where to put the weight to achieve the desired outcome. 

Moveable weight in action: Callaway EPIC Flash driver

One of the best examples of how a sliding weight in the back of a driver head can be used is in the Callaway EPIC Flash. This driver features a channel at the back of the club head with a 16-gram sliding weight which you can move to the heel or draw position to correct a slice or promote a draw. Or you can push the weight to the toe or fade position to stop a hook or promote a fade. You can also move the weight anywhere along the channel to make the ball flight changes more subtly. We have a full guide on how to adjust your Callaway EPIC Flash driver if you want more information. 

What you’ll love about the Callaway EPIC Flash driver:

  • Hugh range of adjustability
  • A.I. designed Flash face
  • Striking green & gold decals

Get yours now from £159.99 - £248.99

What you’ll love about the Callaway EPIC Flash driver:

  • Hugh range of adjustability
  • A.I. designed Flash face
  • Striking green & gold decals

Get yours now from £159.99 - £248.99

How are moveable driver weights different to sliding weights?

Moveable weights in golf clubs are another way of changing the centre of gravity characteristics of a golf club They are a little more restricted than a sliding weight – usually only giving two options. Where they differ from sliding weights is they’re also used for moving the centre of gravity from the front to back or vice versa. 

By moving the CG location from the front or back of the club head will effect the amount of spin that goes onto the ball, changing the trajectory it launches at after being hit.

The most common type of moveable weight is a pair of weight pads – one heavy and one light. 

If the heavier weight is at the back, it’ll make the driver very stable (high resistance to twisting) hitting the ball high with lots of backspin to keep the ball straight.

The heavier weight at the front makes the ball launch lower with less spin.  Less spin means the ball will go further but as the expense of stability. With the centre of gravity closer to the face, any off-centre strikes will cause the club to twist more at impact.

For moveable weights in the heel or toe the theory is exactly the same. Put the heavier weight where you want to move the centre of gravity to and leave the rest to science!

Moveable weights in action: Cobra RADSpeed driver

The engineers at Cobra are the experts when it comes to moveable weight and their RADSpeed driver is the perfect example of how this technology works.

The RADSpeed driver from cobra has a pair of interchangeable 2- and 12-gram weights. Put the heavier weight at the back the driver if you want your driver to be in it's most forgiving setting, launch the ball high and feel extremely stable on off centre hits.

Alternatively, put the heavier weight in the front port will take spin off your golf ball, launching it on a lower on a more penetrating trajectory. This increase in speed and distance comes at the expense of forgiveness, though. The driver head will want to rotate more should you not quite strike the ball out of the sweet spot. We have a full guide on how to adjust your Cobra RADSpeed driver if you like to learn more. 

What you’ll love about the Cobra RADSpeed driver:

  • Multiple areas of adjustability
  • Infinity face for maximum ball speed
  • Forgiving 460cc profile

Get yours now from £181.99 - £248.99

What you’ll love about the Cobra RADSpeed driver:

  • Multiple areas of adjustability
  • Infinity face for maximum ball speed
  • Forgiving 460cc profile

Get yours now from £181.99 - £248.99

What about weights you cannot adjust?

Weights in your driver you cannot adjust are there because that’s there the engineers want them to be. They will precisely position the centre of gravity to give the perfect balance between distance and forgiveness. 

Modern driver frames are so light they need these big weights to govern the stability of the entire head. At the moment of impact these huge weights are working hard keeping everything square, for a super easy launch and loads of distance.

Immoveable weights in action: TaylorMade SIM driver

The best example of an immoveable weight is on recent TaylorMade drivers (SIM onwards). The aptly named Inertia Generator is made of Tungsten and is placed low and back on the club head to drive stability through the roof allowing you to swing at the ball with total confidence and commitment. Although you cannot move this weight, rest assure at the moment of impact this it is working hard to keep everything square for maximum forgiveness, high launch and loads of distance. 

You'll notice too, that the SIM driver from TaylorMade feature a sliding weight behind the face too. This combination of weight just behind the face, but also at the back starts to blur the lines between not being able to have both distance and forgiveness in a driver.

Move the weight into the heel if you want to promote a draw or fix a slice, or into the toe if you want to stop a hook or promote a fade. And although this weight is at the front (which makes the driver a little less stable) you've got the Inertia Generator at the read of the driver club head counteracting this and adding extreme levels of forgiveness.

The TayloMade SIM also has hosel adjustability which chance change loft and lie, and therefore is one of the most adjustable on the market. We've got a full guide on how to adjust your TaylorMade SIM driver which can take you through all your options, making sure you get every yard out of every drive.

What you’ll love about the TaylorMade SIM driver:

  • Still one of the best drivers of its generation
  • Multi-facet adjustability
  • TwistFace technology

Get yours now from £178.99 - £198.99

What you’ll love about the TaylorMade SIM driver:

  • Still one of the best drivers of its generation
  • Multi-facet adjustability
  • TwistFace technology

Get yours now from £178.99 - £198.99

What if my driver does not have any weighting?

Just because you cannot see any weighting on the sole of your golf clubs does not mean there is not anything working hard to help you out. The engineers will have positioned weight internally to give you the perfect combination of distance and forgiveness, all nicely packaged inside the club head leaving you to just tee it high and watch it fly! 

Internal weighting in action: Callaway Paradym X driver

An example of internal weighting in action is in the Callaway Paradym X driver. On the outside it looks like there is nothing here, but internally there is a weight pad in the heel which redistributes 5-grams of mass from the rear of the club head to the heel. Not a lot you might think but it's enough to promote a draw shot shape. The internal weight does the same job as any adjustable weight on the outside would do. So if you're looking to fix a slice, consider the Paradym X driver. 

The engineers at Callaway in particular have confidence in their positioning having use Artificial Intelligence to analyse millions of data points to make sure the centre of gravity is in the right place.

What you’ll love about the Callaway Paradym X driver:

  • Interal draw bias for straighter drives
  • Simple adjustability in the hosel
  • Designed by A.I.

Get yours now from £383.99 - £528.99

What you’ll love about the Callaway Paradym X driver:

  • Interal draw bias for straighter drives
  • Simple adjustability in the hosel
  • Designed by A.I.

Get yours now from £383.99 - £528.99

Will adjusting the weights in my driver change the golf clubs swing weight?

I short no, moving the same amount of mass around in your driver head does not change the swing weight. The swing weight of your driver would only change if you were adding or taking away mass from the total weight of the golf club.

Golf club swing weight, often referred to simply as "swing weight," is a measurement used to describe the balance or feel of a golf club during a swing. Although it's a critical factor in how a club performs and how comfortable it feels to a golfer, as we're not adding or taking weight away by moving our driver head weights, the balance point of the golf club will not change.

However, if you were taking length from (or adding length to) the shaft you would want to counter act this with more or less mass in the head. Doing this would maintain a consistent swing weight, and the club would feel the same in your hands. 

Swing weight is denoted by a letter and a number, such as C7 or D2, and it indicates the balance point of the clubhead relative to the club's grip.

Conclusion

I hope this explains simply what the weights in your driver do and allow you to choose the correct one to suit you.

If you need any more advice on clubs with adjustable weighting you can call our PGA Qualified sales team on 0208 401 6901 or email [email protected]

There is also more information on other aspect of your club head, like what all the numbers mean, in our guides and advice section. 

And remember you can buy with total confidence from Golfbidder. All our used golf clubs come with a 7-day trial, and everything you buy is back by our 12-month warranty.

Further reading

If you are new to golf and are a little bit confused about what all the numbers and letters on your golf clubs mean, that's understandable. Depending on the clubs you have, you could have two or even three #5s, others with a single-digit number, some with a double-digit number, some with numbers in various places, and even some with letters!

According to the rules of golf we are all allowed to carry a maximum of fourteen clubs in your golf bag. But what clubs do you need? What do they each do? In this article we’ll build a virtual bag of 14 clubs explaining why each one has a vital role to play.