With the advancements of modern day technology if you are not smacking drives over 250 yards, you are losing ground. (pun!). If you observe the modern day tours most of the older players are having a great results in the stats and victories. Kenny Perry who is in his mid to late 40's is actually a few yards longer than Tiger Woods on average. Modern technology on an older head is useful. Vijay Singh has had up to now 19 victories in his 40's. Advances in sweet spot technology, size, launch angle, composition, ball speed and aerodynamics are just some of the categories that the top manufactures now spend millions of dollars researching and developing. The result to us is the vast array of drivers on the market. The following is a description of everything you need to know about drivers, and the drivers that we think are the best under certain criteria:
Steel headed drivers are slightly less expensive but heavier than the more modern titanium drivers. More traditional looking and metallic, they have a smaller head due to the increased weight of the steel, and the relative limitation in stregth of the metal means makers had to limit the size of the head.
The titanium driver is most likely the major breakthrough in recent golf technology. The relatively lightweight head allows manufacturers to produce larger headed drivers, which consequently increases the sweet spot. Not only does the increase in size increase the sweet spot but the forgiveness as well. A spin off the lightness of the head is the opportunity to increase the length of the shaft and therefore the distance.
A composite driver combines non-metal materials with titanium. The advantage of this type of driver is that the composite part of the driver is very lightweight as it uses materials such as carbon, so reduces the weight of the driver. The face of the club will be titanium while the top will be carbon based. By reducing the overall weight of the head, club makers can centre weight of the driver nearer the face, offering more forgiveness and a larger sweet spot. The combination of the titanium core and the steel produces a great distance and more forgiveness.
The launch angle of a driver is the angle at which the ball is struck into the air from the driver, measured from the ground. Most drivers will have a launch angle of between 11 and 19 degrees. It was popular a few years ago to have 7 degree driver but they possible very extremely difficult to hit. Today the average driver is a 10 degrees.
It is measured in cubic centimetres. The legal limit for a driver is 460cc set by the R&A.
Moment Of Inertia (MOI)
Moment of Inertia is the term applied to a club head's resistance to twisting when the ball is struck. For example, your swing is a little off and you hit the ball on the toe of the club head. This is a very important fact when buying a club and the more expensive clubs should be more have a higher MOI, meaning less twisting. Cheaper clubs will not have a high MOI, therefore a bad shot be that, bad!
The COR, or Coefficient of Restitution, is the measurement of the amount of energy transferred between the clubface and the ball at impact. The higher the COR, the more energy is retained and the ball rebounds farther. “How well the ball rebounds off the club” is essentially what COR is. If it were possible to transfer all of the energy in the clubhead to the ball, the COR would be 1.00 (100%) The USGA has set a maximum COR value that a club can have at 0.83. This means that there can be no more than an 83% energy transfered from the club head to the ball. The R&A currently allow drivers with a COR of 0.86 to be used in general play by amateurs. However as of 1 January 2008 it will reduce to the USGA limnit of 0.83 but for Tour professionals and elite amateurs in the R&A jurisdiction, the 0.83 limit already applies now. So if you are buying a driver soon, especially from the bargain bin, check out its COR.
Recent technology in drivers and woods has been the addition of adjustable weights in the rear of the clubs. Probably derived from the idea of adding lead tape to the back of a club to change the centre of gravity and balance, A player who consistently hooks the ball can move a larger weight to the left side of the club and offset the hook.