Alright, so I’m going to be real with you guys here. A lot of other golf websites probably don’t want me to tell you this because they are going to lose commissions and be angry! But I’m going to tell you anyway. Don’t buy your Driver online!
Actually, I should rephrase. Don’t buy your driver online BEFORE getting fitted for your club. I see so many new golfers just buying random drivers and expect them to improve their games. Wrong! There are many factors that go into finding the right driver that you need to know before purchasing the club. If you noticed in my Recommended Golf Equipment Page, I don’t recommend a specific driver. Why? Because I, unfortunately, cannot fit you for the correct driver over the internet. (Not yet at least)
Here’s what you need to know to find your perfect driver
What are Club Fittings
Club fittings are when certified professionals analyze your golf swing with multiple golf products to find the model that best suits your game. Price wise they typically cost $75 to $100 and typically last about an hour long, sometimes a little more.
These days, most fittings are completed in a golf simulator which gives you every metric possible to find the best club for you. Some of the metrics that they look at are:
- Clubhead Speed
- Ball Speed
- Spin Rate
- Smash Factor (Ratio between Clubhead Speed and Ball Speed)
- Launch Angle
- Centeredness of Contact
My advice would be to google places near you that do club fittings and call about finding the right driver.
Getting Fit For Your Driver
Most drivers these days will run you between $200 and $500 depending on the year that they were made. That’s a lot of money! You don’t want to make an investment that large and have the driver not even work well with your swing, do you? So, after you call and schedule your fitting appointment, how are these professionals going to find the right driver for you?
Driver shaft weight: You are going to experiment with a variety of different driver shafts to find the weight that works best with your swing. Lighter shafts will allow a faster clubhead speed, while heavier shafts will allow better control. The numbers collected from your fitting will tell you which shaft weight is needed for optimal performance.
Driver shaft flex: You probably know that driver shafts flex when you swing down at the ball. But did you know finding the right flex may add 15-20 yards to your drive? Diver flexes come in:
- Ladies flex
- Junior flex
- Senior flex
- Regular flex
- Stiff flex
- Extra stiff flex
Your club head speed and launch angle will be the two main metrics looked at to determine which driver shaft flex you require.
Launch Angle: The launch angle is the angle that the ball travels after making contact with the clubface. This is usually determined by the individuals, angle of attack, and needs to be optimized correctly to maximize distance. Ex. If your launch angle is 13 degrees with the driver, you will probably be given a lower lofted driver to try and generate a better launch to roll ratio.
Spin Rate: This is the big one. The spin rate is the amount of spin you put on the ball after contact. You can put both right and left spin on the ball which is the reason why your ball goes to the right or left. The lower the spin, the longer the distance and the straighter the shot! The higher the spin rate, the further the ball will travel either right or left(Depending on your swing). Every driver these days is trying to reduce the spin rate of the ball after contact. However, not every driver is going to give you a lower spin rate. It depends on many of the above factors on how you make contact with the golf ball. You will try many different models to find the driver that gives you the lowest spin rate for your particular swing! Pssst… Using the right golf ball for your swing speed will also decrease your spin rate! Read more here on which golf balls you may need
Benefits of Getting Fitted
The benefits of getting fitted for your driver can be extreme! I have seen some of my students increase their distance by 20 plus yards and become straighter off the tee! Obviously, that is a bit exaggerated but you will see noticeable results the moment you start using your new driver on the course. You are going to notice improvements in your:
Because you got fitted, you will likely have a custom shaft that helps maximize your clubhead speed. The added speed is going to create longer distances off the tee. In addition, your driver’s loft will be personalized so that you will have the correct ball flight to ball roll ratio, also aiding with distance.
The shaft weight will be customized for your swing which will improve your accuracy off the tee. Your driver will also produce the lowest amount of ball spin for your swing, compared to other drivers, and help keep you straighter.
Based on the metrics measured from your fitting, every aspect will increase your consistency on the course. You will start to find your rhythm off the tee and start to see patterns in your ball flight.
Your confidence is going to skyrocket from feeling uncertain to loving the tee box. You’ll be excited to hit your club as you know it was made just for you and to help your swing.
Exceptions For Buying Online
Buying a driver online without first getting fit is only going to harm your game. It can be easy to fall into the trap of finding great deals and then buying to save money.
My only exceptions for buying a driver online are:
- If you know the specs that you need in your driver
- If you are a beginning golfer
1. If You Know Your Specs
So if you know your driver flex, driver degree and weight needed, by all means, shop around and try to find the best deals. I’d still recommend going to an actual golf retail store to actually try your potential driver to be certain it is the one for you. Most of the time, your fitting fee will be waived if you purchase the club at the store so you would be saving money AND finding the best driver for you.
2.You’re A Beginning Golfer
If you are new to the sport, I wouldn’t recommend getting fitted just yet. You need to adapt to the game and improve your swing before purchasing an expensive driver. I recommend all of my beginning students to start with a player improvement set to help with ball striking and consistency. Click here to read all about my recommended golf sets for both men and women!
By now you’ve probably realized how beneficial it is to be fitted for a driver. The improvements will be noticed almost immediately and you will add a spark to your enjoyment levels out on the course!
I don’t want you to waste your time and money “guessing” on a driver that you think will help your game. You have to let a professional test out a variety of options first. Only then will you be sure that you have the perfect driver for your golf swing
So again, here’s what you do:
- Search for club fitting facility
- Call and schedule a time for your driver
- Compare your driver to many different options
- Purchase your custom club
- Hit more fairways on the course!