Buying your first Driver…

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Common Golf Pitfalls

While the Sherpa would prefer you spend much more time thinking about learning to putt well, inevitably, as a new golfer you will have to learn how to hit fairways.

Note: I did not say “hit drivers”.  Your goal is to hit fairways, which from time to time, may require the use of a driver.  In subsequent posts the Sherpa will expand upon this idea…but I digress.

Today we are talking about Drivers.

So maybe you have been hitting your dad’s old set or a set you borrowed from a sibling or best friend.  You have not doubt already noticed that hitting the golf ball with a driver can be kind of intimidating.

Don’t feel like you are in this by yourself.  The fact is that hitting driver requires skill and in years past, used to be very difficult with older equipment. 

The good news is that golf manufacturers have spent lots of money developing golf clubs that make this much easier…even for beginners.

The other great news is that several generations of drivers have now been made and sold, which has driven the cost of these wonderful clubs down significantly.  For instance, I just bought a Callaway  FT5 (driver) from Edwin Watts (on their used rack) for $119.  This club was over $300 new.  Dick’s Sporting Goods is selling it brand new for $199!  So you won’t go broke trying to buy one.

So what driver are you looking for as a beginner golfer?

With so many drivers available, let’s approach the problem by asking “what does a beginner need in a driver”?

  1. High MOI -  In short, this is the club’s ability to keep from twisting when you don’t hit the ball in the center of the club.  All manufacturers have “High MOI” drivers and make it clear which models possess this capability.
  2. Shaft vs Swing Speed – As you swing faster, you will need a shaft with stiffer flex.  Go to any golf store that has a swing monitor and they can test your swing speed and shaft needs without spending any of your dough.
  3. Loft  – Most beginners need a driver that has a loft of at least 10.5 degrees.  This is a general rule based on the fact that most new golfers have lower swing speed and struggle to get the ball in the air consistently.  Again, any golf store with a monitor can help you with this…just go in an hour before they close and they’ll typically have plenty of time for you.
  4. Other technical junk…don’t worry about it.  You aren’t at the level you need to worry about it yet.

Bottom line:  Buy a High MOI driver for under $200 with the proper shaft flex and loft (as determined by your golf store on their launch monitor).

Not hitting it great all the time is a function of your developing golf swing that will improve with a lesson and proper practice.  A well chosen driver, however, will actually help compensate for off center hits and give your developing game more tolerance for error off the tee. 

Let me know if you are thinking about buying driver or any other club and I will gladly give you advice.  The Sherpa wants to help you make the best decision you can when it comes to your game or your hard earned dough.

Play on..

The Sherpa

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