Finding the right driver to suit your game can gain you both yards and accuracy off the tee, and as the new year has arrived, so have a number of new golf drivers.
Almost all of the biggest golf brands have launched new models for 2024, with a number of them having already made their first appearances on Tour in the hands of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Tommy Fleetwood.
While all of the best golf drivers for 2024 offer performance-benefitting features, deciding which one is best for you can, at times, seem like a bit of a minefield.
From the longest drivers and most forgiving drivers to the best drivers for high handicappers and best drivers for beginners, we have rounded up and tested the latest big dogs on the market, crushing over a hundred golf balls with each.
Our mission, as always, is to help you get the most out of your golf driving and shoot lower scores at a price that is right for you.
To whet your appetite for our best golf driver test 2024 below, here's a quick look at GolfMagic Editor Alex Lodge's average numbers with each of the drivers tested.
Our expert tester Alex Lodge, a single-figure handicap golfer, has been GolfMagic's Equipment Editor for a number of years now and he has tested thousands of different golf products during his time with us now.
Alex typically averages just over 300 yards off the tee, so the above numbers give you some idea of just how impressive all the new drivers are for 2023.
He tested each driver in his preferred Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green PVD 6.5 60g shaft during testing in order to ensure each driver was measured on a level playing field.
All the new golf drivers featured in our guide have been put through their paces on the golf course and range at the La Hacienda Links Course, as well as in a studio at Custom Golf Works using a GC Quad launch monitor.
Best Golf Drivers in 2024
Some of the latest golf drivers deliver huge distance, while plenty provide forgiveness and accuracy.
But only a small selection have it all.
Let’s take a look at what we consider to be the very best drivers in 2024, starting with our favourite of the lot:
TaylorMade Qi10 Driver
- Carbon infinity crown: the new crown covers 97% of the top surface, creating a clean and elegant look
- Carbon face technology: third generation of 60X Carbon Twist Face, delivering a fast face on centre strikes, while also preserving ball speed on mis-hits.
- Optimised head shape: contributes significantly to the clubhead’s inertia by allowing mass to be placed further from the centre of the clubhead
- Advanced construction: strategic mass redistribution, enabling a deep and low Centre of Gravity (CG) for optimal launch and spin control while maintaining high MOI
- The most forgiving flagship driver of 2024
- Vastly improved feel from Stealth 2
- Outstanding stability at impact
- The white line on the top of the face looks a bit odd at address
- There are longer drivers on the market
Providing an excellent balance of distance and forgiveness, the TaylorMade Qi10 is one of the standout drivers of 2024.
Rory McIlroy is one of many PGA Tour stars using the TaylorMade Qi10 Driver this season.
Related: Rory McIlroy WITB 2024
Utilising a newly designed carbon infinity crown with a re-engineered head, TaylorMade has created a driver that offers best-in-class forgiveness without sacrifices having to be made elsewhere.
The design of the driver is one of the best of 2024, with the sleek infinity crown really boosting the premium aesthetics on offer.
The Qi10 range has already been a hit on the PGA Tour, with Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods wasting no time at all in getting fit for their respective models for the start of the 2024 season.
While there are undoubtedly longer drivers out there in 2024, in terms of all-around performance, sound, feel and looks, the Qi10 is our pick of the bunch in what has been an incredibly strong year across the board.
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max
- Ai Smart Face: optimises performance using swing dynamics from thousands of real golfers to improve launch conditions and dispersion
- Micro deflections: built into the face that activate upon impact, creating multiple sweet spots across the face
- 360 Carbon chassis: an internal titanium support structure allows the carbon chassis to be 15% lighter, so weight can be redistributed in the head to improve launch conditions and forgiveness
- Adjustable perimeter weighting: allows users to tailor shot shape
- One of the longest drivers we have tested in 2024
- Produces low spin and a high launch
- Excellent forgiveness across the face
- Smoke branding on the crown takes away from the overall finish
- Visible loft at address may not suit some golfers
Utilising artificial intelligence and real data from thousands of shots, Callaway's Paradym Ai Smoke driver has been specifically engineered to provide speed from across the face, with numerous sweet spots being tactically placed across the hitting surface.
The result of this technological development is one of the hottest drivers of the year.
The original Paradym was one of the most popular models across the PGA and DP World Tour last year, and the Ai Smoke looks like it's set to continue that hot run from what we experienced during testing.
Providing exceptional speed, relatively low spin and a high launch, the Ai Smoke Max is an absolute bomb off the tee while also providing five-star feel and sound.
While the fresh smoke grey facelift may split opinion, it's undoubtedly one of the standout designs of 2024, and Callaway should be commended for thinking outside the box with its design approach.
All in all, the Ai Smoke Max is an outstanding driver that will likely be one of the best sellers in 2024.
Cobra Darkspeed X Driver
- Refined aerodynamic design: An improved aero shape features a streamlined face to topline radius, a higher crown peak, raised skirt and reduced clubface surface area to maximize speed
- Tour inspire shaping: A refined clubhead shape features an elevated look at address that promotes workability and control with added forgiveness
- Larger PWRSHELL with A.I designed H.O.T Face: A 10% larger PWRSHELL L-cup face creates more robust distance, while an A.I. designed H.O.T. Face delivers more efficient speed & spin across the clubface
- PWR-BRIDGE: A lower and more forward positioning of the suspended weight unleashes even faster ball speeds
- The blacked-out finish looks fantastic
- Explosive ball speeds
- The longest flagship driver of 2024
- Matte sole gets marked up incredibly easily with white tees
If you're looking for a low-spinning driver that will provide best-in-class distance in a design that would have Batman knocking down the door at American Golf, then the Cobra Darkspeed X is tough to beat.
Featuring a refined aerodynamic design, an A.I designed H.O.T. face and a sleek new black-on-black design, the Darkspeed is a potent weapon off the tee that will have you hitting longer drives from the get-go.
Perhaps the best-looking driver of 2024, the Darkspeed X looks like a bullet down at address and lives up to its appearance, providing devastating levels of speed off the tee.
In terms of all-around performance, the Darkspeed X does suffer slightly in the forgiveness department when compared to other flagship models on this list; however, if distance and low spin are what you are after, this driver is certainly going to prove hard to beat in 2024.
Coming in at £429, the Darkspeed X is also the cheapest on this list, making it, in our books, the best-value premium driver on the market in 2024.
PING G430 Max 10K
- Fixed Tungsten back weight: drives mass down and back to increase forgiveness and optimise the centre of gravity position
- PING’s biggest head profile to date: larger, confidence-inspiring head helps square the golfer to the target and produces a less muted and slightly louder sound than the G430 MAX
- Forged T9S+ titanium face: variable face thickness optimised for more flexing to ensure faster ball speeds
- Carbonfly Wrap crown: lightweight composite that covers the crown and wraps into the heel/toe sections of the skirt to save weight and lower the CG for more ball speed
- Provides excellent levels of forgiveness
- Very confidence-inspiring look at address
- Slightly refined sole design looks fantastic
- Improvements across the board in terms of performance compared to G430 MAX
- Enlarged head shape may not appeal to the better golfer
- Slightly duller feel at impact compared to G430 MAX
- Very expensive
PING took the market by surprise in 2024 by releasing a new model of the highly popular G430 range.
The new Max 10k is designed to provide even more forgiveness than any driver in the PING range by achieving the mythical 10,000 MOI figure.
Featuring a larger head profile, a forged titanium face and a Carbonfly wrap crown, this driver provides outstanding levels of forgiveness from across the face.
One of the most forgiving clubs we've ever tested, the MAX 10K is a fairway-finding machine.
The drawbacks? Well, with great forgiveness comes great profile size, and this driver looks vast sat behind the ball. If you prefer a more classic design, then this model might not quite suit your eye. However, if you want a confidence-inspiring shape that's gonna really boost your self-belief on the tee, then this is without a doubt one of the best.
It's also worth noting that despite not being marketed as a draw bias club, we did find that our misses were more left than right during testing.
If you were a fan of the G430 Max, which won our Best Driver of 2023 award, then it's probably not worth parting with your hard-earned cash for an upgrade quite so soon. However, if you're looking to upgrade from an older model, then the G430 10K is certainly one to consider if you want to gain accuracy of the tee.
PXG Black Ops Driver
- Advanced Material Face Technology: a variable thickness design that helps ensure consistent and efficient energy transfer across various impact points on the clubface
- A non-uniform bulge and roll face design: supports enhanced forgiveness and improves overall performance by optimising the club's reaction to off-centre hits
- High-grade carbon fibre sole inserts: help improve weight distribution within the clubhead to increase the moment of inertia (MOI)
- Interchangeable sole weights: support preferred spin and bias settings
- Fantastic level of adjustability
- Big distance improvement from last year's model
- Updated sole design and shape both hit the mark
- High gloss finish on the crown might not suit the eye of every golfer
One of the surprise packages of 2024, the PXG Black Ops driver stunned us during testing and has rightfully earned its place as one of the best golf drivers of 2024.
Featuring variable face thickness, high-grade carbon fibre inserts and adjustable sole weights, the Black Ops can be tweaked with ease in order to manipulate launch characteristics, spin rates and trajectory.
One of the lowest-spinning drivers on this list, the Black Ops produces a piercing ball flight and was right at the top of the list in terms of distance for 2024.
While distance is key, providing a workable level of forgiveness is also a vital component of any good driver. Thankfully, the Black Ops has that base covered, too. All in all, the Black Ops was remarkably solid across the board in all of our testing parameters, making it one of the best all-around drivers of the year.
A relatively young brand in the golf equipment game, PXG has improved the quality of its products dramatically in a small space of time, and the Black Ops driver marks a noted step up in performance from previous models the brand has produced.
Things to consider when buying a new golf driver:
1. CLUBHEAD SIZE
The size of a golf driver's head is measured by volume in cubic centimetres and the maximum size allowed by golf's governing bodies is 460cc.
All of the latest golf drivers sit between 440cc (drivers suited for players who like to shape the ball more in the air) and 460cc (drivers suited for players who crave more forgiveness).
Size matters. Find the one that appeals most to you at address.
Gone are the days when we used persimmon woods or metal woods made of steel. The latest golf drivers on the market are either made of titanium or carbon heads.
Titanium has become a particularly popular choice for golf driver heads because it is a strong, light and durable material.
As a result of using either titanium or composite materials, golf companies can design 460cc drivers without increasing weight. This means players can swing the club faster and hit the ball further and more accurately because of the larger sweet spot on the face of the driver.
When used on the crown or the rear section of a clubhead, carbon can reduce the overall weight of a driver.
When it comes to the crown, you also want to not only find the right shape as you stand over the ball at address, but also the right design and colour that fits your eye.
Some crowns are shiny, others have a matte finish that reduces glare. In our personal opinion, the latter appeals more (well, certainly when the sun comes out!)
3. MOMENT OF INERTIA (MOI)
MOI is a common phrase in golf, particularly when it comes to the driver.
It refers to a club's forgiveness, specifically its resistance to twisting at impact.
A driver with a high MOI means it is less likely to twist or rotate when you strike the ball outside the centre of the face.
4. CENTRE OF GRAVITY (CG)
CG is another common phrase and it refers to the single balance point of the driver. Different brands have opposing views on where best to place the CG in their drivers.
The CG of a driver can be moved vertically, horizontally, or back and forward in a clubhead by moving fixed or adjustable weights inside the head.
It can be a bit of a minefield, so the only real way to find out which CG location works best for you is to get custom fitted.
In general, the lower and further back the CG is, the higher the ball will launch as the spin is increased. The driver will also be more forgiving as the MOI will be higher. Moving the CG forward will increase ball speeds but reduce the ball spin and the MOI.
A balance of high launch and low spin is the holy grail.
WATCH OUR LATEST VIDEO ON GOLF DRIVER CUSTOM FITTING
5. LOFT AND LIE
Driver loft refers to the angle of the face in relation to the vertical, and each model is typically available between 8 and 13 degrees.
Lower lofted clubs (e.g. 8 degrees) have a slightly lower trajectory, but go a little further in the hands of players who can generate plenty of clubhead speed.
Higher lofted clubs (e.g. 13 degrees) are better for players with slower swing speeds or players that need extra help to get the ball airborne.
Lofts in between (e.g 10.5 degrees) are for the vast majority of players who have neither particularly fast nor slow swing speeds.
With a plethora of adjustable golf drivers now available, however, it means you can tinker all day and play about with your loft. To do this, you simply remove a screw in the heel of the club, connect the shaft to the clubhead and replace it with a predetermined setting.
However, be careful when adjusting the loft of your golf driver because that will sometimes also change the lie angle - the angle of the shaft to the ground at address. A change to the lie angle will affect your ball flight horizontally left or right.
But remember, you cannot change the setup of your driver during your round.
Dialling in the correct loft and lie is a vital aspect of the custom fitting process, so we strongly recommend you opt for one, especially if you are looking to maximise your performance with the driver.
Using weights in the clubhead of a driver can have a significant impact on improving a player's ball flight as it changes the club's CG and MOI properties.
Of the drivers that feature weights, you can expect to see sliding weights or plugs from anything between one and 20 grams on the sole of the club.
The benefit of using more weight in the heel is that it will create a draw bias, while placing more weight in the toe will produce a fade bias.
And if a player craves a higher ball flight, they can simply place the weight in the back portion of the head.
This one often goes overlooked, but it's an incredibly important feature of a golf club to note.
Knowing how much your driver weighs (total weight), and of that weight, how much of it is in the head (swing weight), is becoming a critical part of improving a player's driving.
The total weight and the head weight of your driver have to be matched to your physical strength, your swing tempo and your golfing athletic ability.
Play with too light of a total weight or swing weight for your strength, tempo and ability and your percentage of off-centre hits increases.
8. SHAFT FLEX
Shafts are important in all golf clubs, but especially drivers.
Using lighter, less stiff shafts will produce a higher, right-to-left biased ball flight, while heavier, stiff shafts will launch the ball lower with a higher tendency to shape the ball to the right.
The right shaft can help players hit the ball further, straighter and more consistently. Most manufacturers will offer drivers in regular (R), stiff (S) and extra stiff (XS) shaft flexes.
Other flexes include light or ladies flex (L), senior (A) and more extra stiff options (XXS, XXXS).
Again, a custom fitting session will help find the perfect shaft flex for your game.
9. SHAFT LENGTH
Although the legal limit for the length of a driver is 48 inches, most drivers have a shaft of around 45 or 46 inches to strike the best balance of distance and control.
While longer drivers will typically increase speed and help players hit the ball further, the additional length of the driver will sacrifice an element of control and accuracy.
So unless you are a basketball player, anything around 45 inches in driver length will typically suit the vast majority of players.
10. SOUND / FEEL AT IMPACT
Yes, finding the right shaft, clubhead and swing weight combinations are all important traits to consider when it comes to the feel of a driver, but the sound at impact is also what is going to make you want to keep coming back for more.
If your driver doesn't sound and feel right to you at impact, then it's going to become pretty unattractive to you. Yes, there are no pictures or sounds on the scorecard, but this in all likelihood is an expensive purchase for you and you want to feel satisfied every time you pull the trigger.
Find yourself a driver that not only works for you off the tee peg, but also gives you a satisfying feeling at impact and makes you want to keep coming back for more.
Many of the major golf manufacturers have dramatically improved their acoustics through the years, however, so we would be surprised if you find one in the class of 2023 that fails to satisfy your needs.
How often should I change my golf driver?
A question that often warrants many different answers.
Golf driver technology is now so advanced that all changes year to year are very small, so constantly changing your golf driver is not usually necessary.
However, there are reasons why you should consider changing, as listed below:
Golf swing change - A dramatic change in your golf swing (such as a change in AOA, face angle, or swing speed) will mean your driver that was working for your old swing may not be optimal for your new swing. If this is the case then it’s best to see a local PGA Pro or a qualified golf custom fitter to determine what needs to be done. It could be an adjustment to your current driver or even a new shaft.
Shot Data - We would always recommend using a launch monitor every year to ensure that your driver is still optimal for your swing. You may find some major or minor changes have occurred. The best golf pros on the PGA Tour do this every week in order to keep on top of things. If you are serious about your golf game then we strongly recommend you check out your shot data at least once a year.
Time - Every three to five years is when we recommend you take a look at new golf driver models from the game’s biggest brands as that is how long it takes to notice significant changes in driver technology for consumers.
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