Rustington Golf Centre: blog post 2 – Equipment and technology part 1: Drivers
Technology is paramount in every aspect of day to day life, from social media, using computerised systems at work and online shopping. Its possibilities are limitless and we are heavily reliant on it.
The same principle applies to golf, as time has gone on golf has moved with the times and is becoming increasingly more modernised and leaving behind the stigma of being simply ‘a sport for old rich people’. Nowadays the game is more accessible than ever before and this is largely as a result of technology.
Technology has helped improve all elements of golf as a sport: ball tracking software such as Toptracer which is installed on our driving range which incorporates a variety of game modes, online booking systems to book rounds of golf as well as live TV coverage are all examples of just a small element of golf that technology has had a positive influence on.
Perhaps a more overlooked aspect of golf in which technology has had a big impact on is equipment. Over a relatively short space of time golf clubs have changed massively in design, in a bid to create different clubs to suit a variety of golfers and abilities. There are different types of drivers, irons, wedges and putters to suit different people. You’ve more than likely heard the terms ‘forgiving’ ‘blade’ and ‘low spinning’ as well as a whole load of other words, all of these terms refer to the build of a club and how it’s designed to suit a certain demographic of golfers. We will break down the different styles in the next section to give you a better understanding of what some of them do.
Ah the driver, the club that has evaded the likes of many golfers throughout history. It is without doubt, the most difficult club to hit consistently compared to many other clubs. There has been a huge focus from manufacturers to make drivers ‘longer & straighter’ to appeal to the average golfer. Similarly a lot of drivers now incorporate a ‘draw type/bias’ which is a swing weight added towards the toe end of the club to help prevent slices and pull/push fades which is another tendency many golfers have. Drivers nowadays are incredibly light to help golfers generate higher clubhead speed which in turn creates higher ball speed on impact and thus more distance. To put this in to comparison of how the shape and design of a driver has changed over time, in 1999 the first 300cc (cubic centimetre) driver head was released which was the biggest of its time. Fast forward to modern day where the typical driver head size measures at around 460cc which is a big increase from 20 years ago.
This is of course great for your average golfer who plays off a mid to high handicap, but what about your tour professionals, club pros and single figure handicappers? In contrast to the high spinning, high launching and forgiving drivers many higher handicappers would use, your lower handicappers prefer something very different. Typically a lower handicap golfer prefers a driver that provides less spin, more spin usually results in a much higher ball flight and less distance. A lower handicap player will generate the ample spin and launch through good technique and as a result doesn’t need added help from the club to achieve this. Less forgiving drivers also offer a lot more customisation in the form of swing weights, loft settings and face bias which is also apparent in more forgiving drivers but just not to the extent as is in a less forgiving driver. A lower handicap player will often have the skill to play a variety of different shots to suit the situation, and the adjustability of a driver is a nice bonus. A less forgiving driver is typically smaller than a more forgiving driver, the heads often referred to as ‘pro’ heads by many golfers measure around 430cc in comparison to the larger 460cc heads.
Some players prefer having their driver shaft cut down for a more controlled feel, this is often a good thing to do for anyone who struggles with consistency with their driving, the shorter shaft helps with your awareness of the position of the clubhead and can help you to deliver a more consistent strike. Likewise grips are another item to take in to consideration, given that this is your only point of contact with the club it must be comfortable. There are a variety of different materials and thicknesses you can select from, to find out more you can visit our American Golf store within the centre and find out what is the best grip to suit your game.
What should I go for?:
With so many drivers on the market, both new and used it can be hard to decide what your best options are. So below we’ve included a quick guide to help you decide what might be worth buying. All of these options are available to try at in American Golf store, and you can get custom fitted for free!
If you’re after a forgiving driver, to help straighten out your shots, hit it further and more consistently then these are some great options for you:
- Callaway XR16 – £199.00
- Cobra King SPEEDZONE – £349.00
- Callaway Epic Flash – £449.00
Alternatively for those of you who are able to generate good clubhead and ball speed, can strike the ball consistently, prefer a lower spinning and lower launching driver and who prefer more adjustability from a driver then these are some ideal options for you:
- Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero – £449.00
- Ping G410 LST – £399.00
- Cobra King F7+ – £199.00
All of these drivers, along with many more, are available to purchase in our American Golf store. Head down to Rustington Golf Centre today and try them out!