9 Best Golf Drivers of 2023: Which One is Right for YOU?
Ah, the visions of launching colossal, accurate drives.
We all dream of hitting bombs. Then reality sets in, and we’re generally relieved just to finally hit a fairway. So often, what starts as an optimistic dream turns to delusion and eventually frustration.
So, what’s the problem?
Well, for starters, we’re not all world-class athletes in our mid-20s or 30s with prodigious hand-eye coordination like the golfers we watch on TV.
The fact of the matter is that we’re all different. Our swings are our own and our physical (and mental) limitations are just as unique.
And yet still, even though golf club manufacturers have gotten much better at offering varieties to fit different needs, they are, on the whole, trying to sell us products as if we’re all exactly the same. These promises of more forgiveness, greater distance, and the like, tend to assume we all swing the club the same way.
Next thing you know, we’re trying to play the same driver as Rory McIlroy (TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus), and we’re somehow disgusted when it just doesn’t seem to be working out.
The best chance for success in choosing a new driver is to find the tool that fits YOU, the individual. Forget this nonsense of trying to be a carbon copy of someone you can’t realistically replicate.
If I slice it and you hook it, should we be playing the same driver with the same settings?
If my swing speed is 90 miles per hour and you’re revving it up to 120, shouldn’t we use different clubs to keep the ball in play?
And what if I like a “thwack” while you prefer a “ting”? Shouldn’t we be hitting the driver that sounds the best to our individual ears and gives us the most confidence?
This list is about cutting through all that clutter to identify the best golf driver for YOU. These are nine of the best products on the market, but there’s not one that fits every person.
The point here is to make a case for which product is right for which type of golfer. Hopefully, you’ll find what resonates as the most important for your game.
Choosing the Correct Driver Shaft
The importance of selecting the right shaft can’t be overstated.
Choosing the correct shaft flex, kick point and torque rating can tremendously affect your ball flight, spin and distance.
The same goes for choosing the correct club loft. To get the most distance and accuracy, you’ve got to find the loft that best fits your swing.
So keep those things in mind as you work through this list. The best way to ensure that you get the club and shaft that will work for you is to combine this information with a fitting. That’s going to get you closest to optimal.
If you’re someone that likes to geek out on the technical specs, then you can get a consumer launch monitor, and figure out some of these numbers for yourself. This will arm you with the information you need when you go to start fine tune your club and shaft selections.
After that… Unfortunately, you’ve still got to execute an effective golf swing. None of these drivers are magical. But we can at least give ourselves the best chance, right?
Time to find your new number one. Let’s get to it.
Longest Driver: Titleist TSR
Bombs away! Seriously, this thing is juiced.
Titleist says their “new Multi-Plateau Variable Face Thickness design” optimizes ball speed and overall distance. Whatever that means… Don’t get me started on the silliness of all these marketing terms.
In any case, this baby is hot. Like white hot.
And the best part is that Titleist has made a version of this club for each of us.
The TSR1 is for moderate swing speeds, higher launch, and middle-of-the-road spin.
The TSR2 is geared for a bit higher swing speeds and also features high launch but with low spin. It’s Titleist’s attempt at finding the middle ground between accessing higher speed without sacrificing forgiveness.
The TSR3 benefits the better player who makes consistently solid contact. It’s built for mid-launch and low spin. This model includes five adjustable CG fittings to fine-tune your ball flight.
And the TSR4 is for players who need to really limit their spin. It features the lowest spin in this line of drivers with a mid-launch ball flight. Also, you can adjust between front and back weighting options to dial in spin rates. The forward setting produces a maximum spin reduction, while the back is more moderate, making the club more like a TSR3.5.
Each TSR model is available with lofts in whole numbers from 8 to 11 degrees. And each one includes Titleist’s SureFit 16-way adjustable hosel so that you can adequately drive yourself crazy by trying every possible clubface angle.
As for the sound, I’m going to describe it as slightly “hollow” sounding, but not in any sort of bad way. It actually sounds “fast,” if that makes any sense.
Bottom line with the Titleist TSR: If you get the one that fits you correctly, you’ll pick up distance. No question!
That’s the good news. But you’ll have to pay for that yardage. The TSR models retail for $599 each!
If you're wanting driver distance, you should give a good hard look to the Titleist TSR1. There are 4 different TSR drivers each catering to a different golfer, so there's likely to be a great fit for you.
Best Driver for High Handicappers: Ping G430 Max
Ping took what was already a very forgiving driver — the G425 Max — and added a bit more sizzle to make it longer in the new G43o Max.
Pound for pound, this one gets the nod for the best option for high handicappers. You get a super forgiving club that also has a bit of pop.
It’s not the longest driver out there. And better players will be able to maximize their potential with other options. But if you’re new to the game, or if you’re not so new but still struggling off the tee (hey, no judgment!), give this one a look.
Ping has put a 25-gram moveable backweight in the club so you can set the CG to influence the shot shape you want. And you get eight adjustable hosel settings to maximize distance and accuracy.
The Ping G430 Max is available in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees.
Ping also seriously addressed the matter of sound, which is pretty cool. They conducted audio frequency and harmonics research and engineered what they call “a new internal rib structure and increased curvature (stiffness) of the crown, skirt and sole, resulting in a desirable sound and impact experience.”
This driver does sound very satisfying. Even slight miss-hits somehow sound “powerful.” It’s confidence-inspiring, which is another reason it’s an excellent option for the high handicapper.
Ping improved upon the G425 in pretty much every way. It's forgiving, it sounds great, and is a great option if you're looking to step into your first "real" driver.
BEST DRIVER VALUE: WILSON DYNAPOWER TITANIUM
At $430 retail, the Wilson Dynapower Titanium is by no means cheap. But considering that most of today’s leading drivers are listing for around $600, it is, by comparison, a steal.
But it wouldn’t be a great value if it didn’t deliver great results.
And that’s the thing. Wilson is held back a bit by their name. They’re working on it but don’t have the same brand trust with today’s golfers as some leading manufacturers. It also doesn’t help that their product quality has been a bit inconsistent over the past several years.
But they nailed it with this driver. In fact, you can get pretty much everything you get with the more expensive options with the Wilson Dynapower Titanium version. They do also sell a carbon head version, but that takes the price up to $500.
This club features a 460cc head (the largest size allowed), a very cool all-black finish and the same hosel adjustments available in most brands nowadays.
The Dynapower features a high MOI due to the weight being pushed to the far back of the club head. That makes the club less prone to twisting at impact, meaning it’s potentially more forgiving and easier to hit consistently solid.
The Dynapower titanium model features that “ting”-type of sound you get with titanium, while the carbon version sounds a bit more muted.
With the Dynapower Titanium you get the performance and tech of other major manufacturers at a much more reasonable price. As long as you're cool with the Wilson name? This is a great choice.
Best Driver for Fixing a Slice: Callaway Paradym X
This driver might not be right for the highest swing speeds, but for pretty much every other type of golfer, there’s a lot to love here. And that includes us slicers.
One thing to realize is that pretty much all of the club manufacturers now give you options when it comes to setting things like center of gravity and face angle. And even though these settings often lead to as much confusion and second-guessing as they do game improvement, if you know what you’re doing, most modern drivers can be set up to help you tame your slice. So in that regard, the Callaway Paradym X is not unique.
Without getting too deep into the engineering, Callaway is onto something with its clubface technology. By changing the geometry on the back of the clubface, they’ve figured out how to influence the start line and minimize miss-hits.
Set correctly, the X model in the Paradym series just seems to fly straighter more consistently even when you’ve got that dreaded over-the-top move that plagues so many recreational golfers.
The forged carbon head produces that kind of muted “thwack” sound that many people prefer to the ring of titanium.
Callaway has been at the forefront of driver technology for years now, and the Paradym is the latest iteration of that. If you have a slice, this is great option for taming it.
Most Underrated Driver: Srixon ZX MK II
Srixon isn’t nearly as in-your-face with its marketing and claims about cutting-edge technology and all the latest buzzwords.
Instead, they seem to be putting their efforts mostly into making really solid products for really good value. And their ZX Mk II drivers are the epitome of that approach.
And people are noticing. I’ve heard more people comment on how good Srixon’s clubs are this year than probably any other brand. Specifically, their irons are phenomenal, but their drivers are fantastic as well.
This line of drivers includes the ZX5, which is more forgiving and promotes a higher ball flight, the ZX7, which is lower-launching and generally for better players, and their new ZX5 LS, a low-spin model.
This zero-carbon fiber driver features a more muted carbon sound.
While this driver’s head is the maxed-out 460cc, the face of these new models is slightly smaller than what you’ll find in comparable products.
Basically, Srixon is narrowing the sweet spot so they can deliver even better performance when you hit the club as intended. That means this might not be a great candidate for golfers who struggle to find the middle of the clubface.
The ZX Mk II drivers each retail for $499.99. It ain’t cheap, but it is about a hundred bucks off what you’ll pay for most of the leading brands’ latest and greatest.
Bottom line: This thing works. It’s a good value. And it’s not as obvious a choice as the products from some other manufacturers.
When it comes to clubs right now, Srixon is making some of the best, and most underrated products in the business. And the ZX5 mk II driver is a perfect example of that.
Editor’s Choice: Cobra Aerojet
It’s a tough call, as there’s not a dog on this list. But, all in all, the Cobra AEROJET does the best job of combining speed and forgiveness. That means it can potentially benefit a wide range of golfers.
This carbon club has a polarizing aesthetic. The head is very stretched out from front to back and can appear a bit unusual to some golfers. Others may appreciate that it looks a bit different than other drivers.
Even if it may strike some eyes as clunky, there’s no denying that it’s fast. You can crank up the swing speed with this driver. And again, combining that with overall forgiveness is what gets it the nod in this category.
Lofts are available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees and the head is, like most new drivers, 460cc. It features eight hosel adjustments.
The sound is kind of hollow and high-pitched. It’s actually a bit loud and may be a turnoff for some or an announcement of power for others.
It's got a unique look and shape, but don't let that fool you. It's all in the name of speed. And if you're looking for a driver to help you ramp up your swing speed? This is worth a long look.
Best Driver for Women: Taylormade Stealth 2 HD
This is yet another driver that retails at that $600 price point. But for women who want the best, the Stealth 2 HD will be tough to beat.
TaylorMade came up with their catchy “FARGIVENESS” term to describe improvements they’ve made to speed and forgiveness. And all of that new engineering is packed into this club.
The new 60x Carbon Twist Face took an already fast face and added what they call Inverted Cone Technology that improves forgiveness by maintaining ball speed on off-center hits.
TaylorMade also nearly doubled the amount of carbon used to construct the Stealth 2 HD. In fact, they say this club utilizes more carbon than any driver in their history. More carbon means lighter weight, which generally translates to higher swing speeds. So, this is a great option for ladies who might be looking to add some distance.
This driver is built with an inherent draw bias, which is often a selling point for women’s clubs. Of course, if you’re already curving the ball left, this might not be the choice for you.
TaylorMade boasts about all of the engineering they put into refining the sound of the Stealth 2 HD. They tout it as “both bright and powerful,” and that’s probably a pretty dead-on description.
And while this gets our pick for “Best Driver for Women,” there’s no denying that Taylormade makes some of the best drivers in golf. So if you’re a dude looking for long and far – this one is worth checking out as well.
Looking for long and forgiving? This may be the driver for you. Let's face it, Taylormade has made some of the best drivers in golf for decades. The trend continues with the Stealth 2 HD.
Best Driver for Seniors: Cleveland Launcher XL Lite
Cleveland took their Launcher XL Driver, already noted for its forgiveness, and made it 12 grams lighter for an XL Lite version that promises more distance. This is a great option for slow-to-moderate swing speeds.
Where Cleveland did include some weight is with a counterbalance added to the butt end of the grip. This is a pretty slick solution that actually makes the club easier to swing.
The Launcher XL Lite does not include an adjustable hosel, which honestly might be a preference for many golfers who are tired of second-guessing their settings. There’s something to be said for learning how to hit what you’ve got, just like golfers did for centuries before all of these recent advancements.
That said, if you want to favor a draw, you can buy the Launcher XL Lite Draw.
The stock shaft for this driver is a quarter of an inch longer than the Launch XL model and five grams lighter.
You only get the option of 10.5 or 12.5 degrees of loft, but those are probably appropriate settings for the golfer Cleveland is targeting with this club.
As for the sound, it’s on the loud side but features more of a “thud” than a “ring.”
Best Boxed Set Driver: Stix Golf
There’s a good chance that you’re reading this as a new golfer, trying to figure out the right clubs for you.
If that’s the case? I’d consider just buying a full set from Stix Golf.
For under $1,000 you get a full set of 14 clubs that are as good as any of the major players, for a fraction of the price.
All of the clubs are biased towards golfers who have a slice. So if you’re like me and tend to slice the ball, you’ll be amazed at how well Stix clubs straighten out the ball.
The $250 driver is among the best you can buy from the price, and you can buy it on it’s own. But where you’ll get the most value from Stix is buying them as a full set.
Better yet? If you use the code “BE50” you can save $50 off a full set of clubs as well.
Here are a few reasons why Stix is the best set of golf clubs for beginners.
Stix has what we believe is the best complete set of clubs for under $1k. If you're a new golfer up to a mid-handicap - you should absolutely consider Stix for you next set of clubs.
Final Thoughts on the Best Drivers in Golf
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a new driver.
For one, it’s almost certain to be the most expensive club in your golf bag. So, there’s your budget to take into account.
And while the whole “drive for show, putt for dough” cliche is catchy, a lot of people would argue that your tee shots are, on the whole, the most important for your score improvement. So, you want to get the driver choice right.
Beyond that, aesthetics, feel, sound and setting options all factor in. This is the furthest thing from a one-size-fits-all decision.
But if you can find the category above that best describes you and your game, you should see an option that will maximize your chances of finding fairways and eeking out more yards.
All you have to do after that is hit a good golf shot. Simple, right?
Interested in Our Other “Best of” Golf Reviews?
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- Best GPS Golf Watches of 2023 – Rangefinders aren’t for everyone. A lot of golfers are finding that they prefer to get their yardages — and a lot more — from their wrists.
- Best Golf Shoes of 2023 – The right golf shoe can massively enhance your on-course comfort and enjoyment. And who doesn’t want to add a little style?
- Best Golf Bags of 2023 – Whether you carry, push or ride, we’ve got you covered with the most functional and best-looking bags of the year.
- Best golf Launch Monitors of 2023 – We are living in a golf tech renaissance, and golf launch monitors/simulators are setting the pace of innovation. Here are eight options that will blow your mind.
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