10 things you NEED TO KNOW before new drivers launch in 2022

With the new year comes exciting new releases from the top brands in golf, but you need to know the facts and features of your clubs before you buy them. 

Matt Chivers's picture
Tue, 9 Nov 2021

10 things you NEED TO KNOW before new drivers launch in 2022
Buying a driver is arguably one of the most exciting things you can do in your golfing life. It is great to look at the new colours, designs and models from all of the top brands.
 
Whether it is TaylorMade, Callaway or PING, every big golf brand is raring to go for the new year and they are ready to provide you with their latest release and cutting edge technology.
 
But before you start licking your lips and wiping your brow, just take a step back and read our guide on the many features you need to consider when you purchase a driver.
 
There will be many opportunities for you to test different releases as they come into the stores and you need to choose the long stick that is going to serve your game to its greatest potential.

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Take a look below at the 10 key features you must consider when purchasing your new driver.

Clubhead Size

The size of the head of your driver is a particularly important part of the club and it should be a significant consideration when you are purchasing your new long stick. 

The maximum volume of a clubhead is 460cc (cubic centimetres). The larger the clubhead, the more likely you are to hit the ball further but the size of the head should suit your swing path and angle of attack to max out its potential.

460cc heads usually offer more forgiveness as they are larger and there is a bigger surface area for the ball to hit. Most people's drivers are usually between 440cc and 460cc.

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Materials

Over time, the materials in driver heads have evolved in production. Many driver heads used to contain steel however the game has recently gravitated towards using titanium.

Titanium allows driver heads to become bigger but also lighter. Decreasing the weight in the club makes it feel more comfortable in your hands, as it can become a chore to swing a club with a heavy head.

You also have composite heads which are usually made up of Titanium and other different material such as Carbon.

Shaft flex

The shaft is one of the most important parts of the club. If your shaft is too soft and whippy and you have a fast swing, you will struggle to find the fairway on a regular basis.

Graphite shafts are usually used in bendy clubs, while steel is a traditional choice and a solid choice. There is more weight in steel and you'll need a fast swing speed to counter this weight.

Shaft Length

Shaft lengths have been restricted to 46 inches, much to the annoyance of players like Phil Mickelson. A long shaft can help you hit the ball further, but you may end up sacrificing some control over the clubhead.

There may be clear benefits to having a longer shaft, but this is only if you can adapt to it. It is possible to feel more comfortable with a shorter shaft and this can offer more control.

Grip

Getting your clubs regripped is one of the best things you can do. They provide a fresh feel to your sticks and they will enhance the control you have over the club.

Whether it is Golf Pride or Lamkin, you need to choose a grip that feels right in your hands and that helps you to manipulate the clubface.

Regripping a golf club is a very affordable part of the purchasing process and it can invigorate your long game to no end.

Loft

Drivers can come with a loft between 8˚ and 13˚, however 13˚ is mostly rare. If your driver has a lower loft, the ball is more likely to travel further however this is only if it matches the output of your swing.

A driver with more loft will give the ball more air time, but it may not necessarily go as far. A higher loft will bring more forgiveness which suits less experienced golfers or golfers with high handicaps.

Moment of Inertia (MOI)

You may have heard this phrase in a lot of our golf club reviews and on other channels as well. The Moment of Inertia refers to how well the clubface stops itself from twisting.

If the driver has a high MOI,  this decreases the chances of off-centre strikes and reduces the negative outcomes as a result of an off-centre strike.

A shot that comes out of the heel or the toe has happened because the clubface has either opened or closed. A high MOI prevents this from happening as much as possible.

Centre of Gravity (CG)

Much like MOI, CG is another phrase you will often hear when getting a driver fitting. The Centre of Gravity refers to the point at which weight is evenly distributed across a clubface.

Weight can be manipulated in a clubface which can affect its forgiveness, spin rate and launch angle. If the weights in a clubhead are in the back of a club, this will promote higher spin and launch.

This is a department of club manipulation that your fitter will certainly walk you through when you buy a new driver.

Swingweight

This is not a feature that is discussed as much as the factors above, nonetheless, the entire weight of the driver is very important and it must match the tempo and path of your swing.

If the entire weight of the club, grip and shaft is too light for your swing speed, this will increase the chances of hitting slices and hooks.

Sound and Feel

If you are hitting a new driver or if you are hitting one during a fitting, it needs to feel right in your hand and you need to approve it when you take it at the address and look down at the head.

The club may be optimized in its MOI, CG and shaft flex, but if it doesn't feel right in your hands then back away and reassess the situation.

The ball needs to feel pure and make a sweet sound off the clubface. If it does, you have hit the jackpot. Just make sure the driver satisfies you as well as performs for you.

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