The better the driver, the further your shot will go. Well, that may be the case for the pro golfers, but for amateur golfers, you may want to think twice about breaking the bank on a costly driver.
As a whole expensive drivers can be harder to hit than mid-range clubs and price is not necessarily an indication of value, your money is better spent on golf lessons. But players wanting to break 80 can benefit from the additional length, control, and shape that an expensive driver provides.
Top-of-the-range golf gear can be very expensive. Although you may look the part with your flash new driver, it’s wise to avoid spending so much money on a club unless you know it can bring benefit to your game.
In this guide, I will examine whether an expensive driver can make a difference to your golfing game and whether you should invest in a top-of-the-range driver.
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Does A More Expensive Driver Make A Difference?
As a general rule, expensive drivers are of high quality than cheaper drivers and can add distance and provide a better connection with the ball, but they may not make a huge difference to your game. They often come with adjustable weight settings that help add a natural draw or fade to your shots.
Expensive drivers can have huge benefits for your golf game. Aside from helping you get more distance off the tee, they can also help you improve your accuracy and find more greens in regulation.
With a more expensive driver, you’re paying for a club with much better quality that will typically include all the modern bells and whistles you’d expect to find on a professional standard driver. The science and technology that goes into producing some of the world’s best drivers is astonishing and is something that shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re picking your next driver.
Although, when buying a driver, or any golf club for that matter, you need to think about your experience and abilities relative to the club you’re purchasing. As I always say, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious when you’re buying your next clubs, as you should always look to grow your skills into the standard of clubs you’re buying.
But it’s good to also be realistic about your abilities as a golfer. I always advise beginner golfers not to purchase the most expensive golf clubs on the market. Price isn’t always a good indicator of how the club will perform to your abilities.
As I discussed in my article on how much beginner golfers should spend on their clubs, it’s unwise for players who are new to the sport to purchase top-of-the-range equipment straight away.
The reason for that is because the more expensive the club is, the less forgiving it can be to use. Titleist makes some of the best and most expensive clubs on the market, but their top-of-the-range clubs are extremely difficult to use(see my post) if you’re not already an accomplished golfer.
Expensive clubs are designed for the requirements of pro-golfers who are a lot stronger and have a lot better technique than most high handicap golfers. The stock versions of the most expensive drivers available online will also come with stiff flex shafts and low angled club lofts. That’s because they are designed for golfers who can generate much faster clubhead speeds.
Unfortunately, that makes these clubs a lot less forgiving off the tee and should be avoided by high handicapped golfers or those who have a relatively slow clubhead speed.
Although if you do want to progress to using these types of clubs, I go into a lot more detail on when you should use low lofted drivers and stiff club shafts in my guide on how to hit low lofted drivers and how to get the ball up into the air with lower lofted clubs.
If you’re a beginner golfer, you should instead purchase a club like the Callaway X-Hot Driver, for a bargain on Amazon.com.
This is a great starter club with a huge club face that accommodates any off-center hits you may make off the tee. Beginner golfers should always look to use more forgiving clubs, like the X-Hot, that will help them improve and develop their golf swing and connection on the golf ball.
Once you’ve learned how to hit the ball with your driver consistently, you should start working up to more expensive golf clubs. As a beginner, you need to be a little savvier with the types of equipment you’re buying, as there is a lot to buy when you first start playing golf.
Try to avoid being lured into the lure of going after the most expensive kit because that won’t help you play any better, remember the TV commercials just want your money!
How much does a good driver cost?
New drivers from big manufacturers range from $250(£180)-$600(£433) these prices apply to the main drivers offered by the main brand companies.
Some of the most expensive drivers on the market can cost you around $700 (£500), with intermediate drivers costing around $200 (£150). But playing with the best golf clubs won’t turn you into the next Rory McIlroy overnight. Especially if you’re a beginner golfer, I urge you to proceed with caution when buying new clubs(see my article) and avoid purchasing the most expensive equipment.
But what about the benefits that these types of clubs can have for experienced golfers? The TaylorMade SIM2 driver is perhaps one of the best and most technologically advanced drivers currently available for a steal on Amazon.
Used by some of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour, including Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, TaylorMade has built a driving machine that can provide golfers with forgiveness and distance on their shots.
If your skills match this club’s attributes, you can add some distance and accuracy to your game with this club. In addition, the SIM2 includes a speed pocket and a tungsten weight located at the back of the club that is both great additions to help players generate higher clubhead speed through the golf ball.
The added weight at the back of the clubhead also helps to reduce the moment of inertia on the club, which helps to keep the face of the club flat on impact with the golf ball and prevents you from cutting or hooking your slice.
For the extra cost, you’ll also be able to use the SIM2’s customizable weight distributors to adjust the weight displacement on the shot to give a lower or higher moment of inertia, depending on your swing pattern. That can allow you to add more shape onto your shots, which can help you add distance or gain strokes from tee to fairway.
Those are all highly technical adjustments that you will typically find on the most expensive drivers and will only benefit experienced golfers who are already able to strike the ball off the tee consistently. Mid-range handicappers who are still developing their golfing abilities don’t necessarily need these gadgets on their driver.
Your money is FAR better spent on golf lessons, see my 11 ways why golf lessons are crucial for your game in my post.
It also depends on how much you play and where you play. If you play regularly in competitions, perhaps it might be worth investing a little extra to get a better driver that will help you hit the ball longer and score a lower round. If you play socially once a month, buying a top-of-the-range driver is not worth the expense. Save your money.
Are custom golf clubs worth it?
Custom golf clubs ensure your equipment is fitted for your body ensuring better contact which improves your practice leading to better scores. Once you understand your specs you’ll have an idea about length, lie, shaft, and grip for your best-fitted clubs.
Another question I’ve often been asked is whether it’s wise to spend money on getting your driver customized for your needs as a golfer. And the answer is yes, it is. Even for beginner golfers or low handicap golfers, it’s always worth getting your club shaft, club flex, and club loft customized for your skills and power.
Although paying extra for a top-of-the-range driver might not be a good idea for high handicappers, I cannot stress enough the value of paying extra to get your driver fitted properly. Sometimes club shops will fit your clubs for you for free! But having the right length driver for your size is very important and can help you lose many shots off your round.
When buying a new driver, every golfer should arrange a fitting session to trial multiple clubs and establish which length of club shaft and shaft flex is best for your abilities and power.
For more information on how a fitting session can benefit you, take a look at my article on what to expect from your fitting session and how to get the most out of it
As a general rule, expensive golf clubs are tailored towards professional golfers. They are elite equipment that is most beneficial for golfers who can consistently hit good shots off the tee and want to fine-tune their game to add more shape onto their shots or add another 50 yards.
For amateur golfers who play irregularly and beginner golfers in particular, expensive drivers are not worth the extra money that you’ll pay for them.
They will not improve your game as much as they will improve a scratch golfer’s game. In addition, these clubs are arguably a lot less forgiving than the club’s beginner golfers should be playing with, which makes it a lot harder for beginners to lift the ball off the tee with a club like the Taylormade SIM2.
It’s always good to have a go with one of these clubs, even if you just ask to have a crack at a club fitting session.
That can give you an idea of how hard they can be to use and what areas of your driving game you can improve to get to the next level where you can use these clubs efficiently. Until then, my top piece of advice is to play with a driver you’re comfortable using, and that comes at a reasonable price.
So I’ve spoken about beginners not buying expensive clubs but what about using expensive golf balls? See if the Titleist Pro V1 is a waste of cash in my article.
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