Driver Reviews Tips

What Makes a Driver Forgiving?

What Features Make a Driver Forgiving?

Every golfer knows how tricky it can be to find the right driver. With so many different clubs available, each featuring different forms of technology to suit various types of swing, finding the right driver for you can be an arduous task. In fact, it can be so hard to find the ideal driver to suit your swing, that many golfers end up giving up the search altogether and having less enjoyment when they actually do head out on the course.

This is a shame, and we’re here today to try and help remedy this problem by offering some important advice about what makes one driver more forgiving than the next. If you can find a club with the right balance of power and forgiveness, you can surely start enjoying much more success with your off the tee shots.

There are lots of different factors that can influence your drives. Your swing speed and consistency are, of course, things to take into consideration, along with the type of ball you are using. However, the most important factor of all is the driver you use. PGA professionals might be able to get great results with a wide range of clubs, but the average golfer needs to find a driver to suit his style.

Luckily, it is very possible to find the right driver for you. Nowadays, companies understand the physics of the sport better than ever and are able to respond in intelligent ways to meet the demands of the modern player. Let’s take a look at some of the aspects you’ll want to pay attention to when you go shopping for your next driver.

most forgiving drivers on the market

Club Head Size Effect on Forgiveness

First of all, let’s think about the head size. This is one of the most noticeable features of any club, particularly the driver. It’s also very easy to understand the effect of head size, as a larger head will invariably offer a stronger hit.

The golden rule here is to try and buy clubs with the biggest heads you can find. No matter what sort of swing style or speed you happen to have, a bigger head will give you more chance of making direct contact with the ball and sending it flying for several hundred yards. The biggest size of head is 460cc, and these heads offer maximum forgiveness levels. You can also find some heads with alignment arrows and other technology to help you gain consistency in your shots.

nike vapor forgiving driver

Club Loft Effect on Forgiveness

Next up, let’s talk about the loft. Drivers tend to have very low lofts, as this is how they are able to generate such big hits and give the ball so much lift. The lower the loft is, the less forgiving a club will be. When shopping for drivers, try and focus on the clubs with lofts that are higher than average, i.e. around 10-12 degrees. This way, even if your swing happens to be quite slow, you’ll still be able to get some massive launch on the ball and enjoy some solid distance off the tee.

The angle of the face can also be something to consider. If the angle is tight or closed, the club itself will have a higher level of forgiveness. More open angles can cause disastrous shots, especially in the hands of a novice. If you have an inconsistent swing or are just starting out, stick to the clubs with closed face angles.

hitting driver straight and high

Finding a Club With a Forgiving Shaft

Now we’ll move onto the shaft. It’s an unwritten rule that longer shafts result in lower levels of control for the golfer. When watching the big tournaments and the superstar players, amateur players can easily fall into the trap of thinking that long shafts will improve their game, but this really isn’t the case.

Those long, slim shafts put a greater distance between your hands and the ball, which consequently gives you a smaller margin of error in your swing. When you use a club with a short shaft length, you’ll instantly feel a much greater level of control. So stick to the shorter clubs in the early days and start expanding that length as you begin to feel more comfortable.

The following thought may never have even crossed your mind, but it’s important to remember that drivers aren’t mandatory. There are alternative clubs you could be making use of. Indeed, there are plenty of players out there today who simply don’t carry drivers in their bags, instead opting for hybrids or 3 or 5-woods.

When you look at the criteria we’ve talked about above, this actually begins to make a lot of sense. Hybrids often have short shaft lengths and high lofts, so they tick all of the forgiveness boxes and help you to hit the ball more consistently. Even some of the pros prefer using woods over drivers, so there’s no need for you to feel left out. Instead of fumbling around with your current driver, make the change today and find the right club that works for you.

About the author

Chris Lollis

Chris Lollis

Chris is the founder of Golf Tribune and avid golfer. His home course is the Bayou Country Club in Largo, Florida. He currently hits Mizuno irons, Callaway Wedges, and the TaylorMade M2 driver and fairway woods. You can contact Chris directly at chris@golftribune.com.

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