The best drivers in 2019 extend maximum ball speed to a larger section of the face
No club in golf has been more regulated than the driver, and all of those rules have been geared to rein in its performance and presumably dull our enthusiasm for making an upgrade to the most powerful club in our bag. Given the rules that govern equipment performance, the commonly held wisdom is that faces can’t get any hotter, misses can’t get any straighter and your chances of finding a little more distance since your last driver purchase five or more years ago are, well, over.
Not. By. A. Long. Shot.
Like a renegade mustang bursting through a split rail fence, the crop of 2019 drivers represent the most exciting moment in driver technology since Pittsburgh met Persimmon and Big met Bertha. Thanks to leaps in manufacturing tolerances combined with materials once reserved for rocket ships, faces are flexing closer and closer to the limits imposed by the rules in ways that weren’t possible before. Instead of conservative designs, we’re seeing more companies pursue thinner faces that break new ground when it comes to how much they flex at impact. Sure, the rules still put a limit on them, but drivers that even approached that limit used to do so in the tiniest, millimeter-sized areas that only the best players could take advantage of. Now that section of the face with maximum heat has in some cases doubled in size, allowing more impacts to blast the ball off the face like it’s late to catch a plane.
But that’s not the whole story. New, lighter structures and materials give designers more freedom to add the kind of bonus features to a driver design that cater to any personal performance desire you might have. You want mishits to still retain most of the power of a center-face bomb? Yup, more drivers are more stable than ever today—all without feeling like you’re swinging a mailbox. You want lots of adjustability to tweak ballflight and direction? No problem—weights in some cases move in infinite degrees front and back, left and right, up and down. You say your slice is so bad that bananas give you the willies? With heaps of extra mass stashed in the heel, it’ll be welcome to Main Street in Straight City.
Not sure the new drivers will make that much difference? We get it. But we don’t buy it. Take that old driver of yours to a great fitter with a launch monitor and get totally dialed in. Find out what you’ve been missing: Shorter shots into the green.