Drivers buyers' guide

Thomas Tanner
Jan 14, 2008
9 minutes
On this page

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.

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.

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

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 another video, 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).

Bigger is better!

When you're looking at the second-hand 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

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!

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.

The OG Guide

We filmed our very first drivers buyers guide (watch below) back in 2012. So much has changed in the last ten years!

Further reading

At Golfbidder, we’re on a mission to give all golfers the best golf clubs for the best value and in this article we’ve picked the best drivers from our warehouse for under £250 - about half the RRP of a new release.

The question of how often you should change your driver is an interesting one. The way the golf companies market their new product often what came before it sounds obsolete.