What Driver is the Best in 2015?

ping g30 driverOk, you have poured over the Golf Digest 2015 Equipment Hot List, looked at the manufacturer’s websites, checked out the GolfWRX forum, and gone to ask some questions at a big box store.  But you still aren’t sure which driver is right for you this year.  After testing the new drivers from Callaway. TaylorMade, Ping, Tour Edge Exotics, Titleist and more, we have seen two big changes from last year.  Spin rates are down…again.  Every driver we tested has lower spin than last year’s model.  Lower spin means more distance and maybe a bit more accuracy.  It is tough to really give a carte blanche recommendation to any particular drivers as every golfer needs to be fit to get the optimum spin for their swing but I will say the Ping G30 LS Tec, TaylorMade R15, Titleist 915 D3 and Callaway GBB 815 Alpha had the lowest spin in our testing followed closely by TaylorMade Aeroburner, Tour Edge Exotic 8 Beta, Callaway XR, Titleist 915 D2 and Ping G30.  Second, lofts are more true to market than last year.  So now a 10.5 degree driver in a GBB 815 Alpha will play pretty close to the same loft as the R15 10.5.  Of course all of the drivers tested were fit the golfer’s swing rather than just playing stock shafts.  Finally, forgiveness is better on miss-hits as the sweet spots are getting larger. The two biggest improvements are in the TaylorMade R15 (versus the SLDR) and Callaway GBB 815 Alpha (versus last year’s GBB Alpha).  For golfers that tend to miss-hit from heel to toe the most forgiving drivers are the Callaway XR, Ping G30 (all models), Titleist 915 D2 and TaylorMade Aeroburner.  As always, you have to like the look of the driver at address so that you have confidence in your tee shot.  And finally, get the right shaft that allows you to swing with confidence that you can hit more fairways and get the added distance you are looking for!  So which one is best?  The one YOU hit the best in your fitting session and take to the course.  Every player is different which is why we pick the shaft that works the best first and then try different heads to optimize performance.  So, if you have not had a new driver in the last 3-4 years, it is time to go get fit for more distance, accuracy and consistency off the tee!

  • matt long

    Here’s my $.02 worth. I’m 56, swing at 91-94, use a 910 D2 and go 250 with eyes closed. Tried EVERY NEW club with same shaft, loft, head…etc and ALL are within 5-6 yards. So why spend $400-500 for 5 yards? Fact is, having this swing speed, NOTHING will get me that much further. Every reviewer hits 105+ (supposedly) and ALL are withing same distance. Swing speed, not club does it.

    • Hey Matt, I agree with you on the first point. Why spend $400+ for five yards? Makes very little sense and we counsel our customers that way. On the other point, I agree that swing speed is important but SMASH FACTOR, or how you convert swing speed to BALL SPEED is the most important measure we use during a fitting. For you to get 250 out of your swing speed means your smash factor is as close to 1.5 as it gets (Smash factor = ball speed divided by club head speed). In a fitting, we concentrate on improving our customers smash factor with the goal being the magical 1.50 for a driver. To your point, every driver on the market is optimized to give a smash factor of 1.5 when you hit it on the sweet spot. If you don’t hit it on the sweet spot, or are using a shaft that is too heavy, too stiff, or the wrong tip profile, you will not optimize your performance.