America’s big three sports keep us watching with Hail Mary’s on the gridiron, slam dunks on the court, and home runs on the diamond. Golf’s hook, whether you are watching or playing, is the long drive by the Tour’s longest drivers. We all know what keeps us returning to the links, and it has nothing to do with two-foot putts.
We may call our short drive strategic to save face in front of our friends, but we all crave the sound and feel of crushing it off the tee.
Golf challenges the mind to overcome obstacles and physical limitations. All those aspects define the game, but we do not gather around to watch approach, chipping, or putting competitions. We want to see Tiger Woods smack another 498-yard drive at Kapalua.
Every year, top golf manufacturers tempt golfers with the latest and most significant developments. With innovations in weight distribution, adjustability, materials, and face design, this is another good year to check out the longest drivers in golf.
The following lists the 11 Best 2020 drivers with reviews and ratings from Golf Digest, GOLF.com/Golf Magazine, and Golf Monthly.
Ping moved the center of gravity forward, which reduced spin 200-400 rpm depending on swing speed. According to golf.com, the G410 rated near the top in ball speed for high-speed swings.
With weight-saving Dragonfly technology, this is Ping’s first driver with a movable weight. Golfers can move 16 grams of tungsten from heel to toe as needed to adjust for a draw or fade.
GOLF.com tests proved this club great for middle-speed swings in terms of carry and accuracy. Read more about the Ping G410 Plus here.
Golf Digest rated this driver gold as well. The SIM has the Inertia Generator in the sole of the head with Twist Face technology. These innovations helped rank this club near the top in overall and toe forgiveness, according to GOLF.com.
Drag reduction comes from an asymmetric sole, which provides an accessible route through the ball.
They also rated it near the top of the carry and forgiveness category for both mid and high-speed swingers.
Golf.com testing revealed ball-speed numbers nearly identical off the center of the face and the toe. This larger sweet spot allows for a wealth of forgiveness.
Carbon fiber makes up 50% of the head allowing engineers to move 69 grams to adjust the center of gravity as a stability improvement.
This club works nicely for both fast and middle-speed swings.
GOLF.com found the ball speed off the face of the Mavrik a mile an hour faster than the average of other drivers tested. Callaway’s Jail Break technology improved the speed while also getting it near the top of their accuracy ratings.
FS2S titanium lightened the load by six grams allowing for an ultra-forgiving, draw-biased driver.
Golfers can move 14 grams to dial into their specific swing needs.
GOLF.com states high and low-speed swings will benefit from the Mavrik driver.
The TS4 is yet another gold rating recipient from Golf Digest. Golf.com unveiled a carry distance seven yards longer than the average of all other drivers tested.
The Variable Face Thickness (VFT) and SureFit weight cut 300-400 rpm from the TS3.
This club has excellent carry value for high-speed swingers with a smaller face and pear shape to increase aerodynamics.
The aerodynamic improvements leave little room to stray from the center of the club. As a result, the TS4 should remain in the hands of the low handicappers.
Golf Digest rated the Launcher as gold. Cleveland approached the design of the Launcher HB with the goal of simplification for the average golfer.
They removed adjustability features with the belief that most golfers do not use them. Removal of adjustability features saved 35 grams, which freed engineers to move that weight to the rear to increase stability on off-center strikes.
A lighter, more flexible wrap-around, Turbocharged Cup Face with a variable thickness pattern delivers more speed across the face of the club.
The GOLF.com robot tests showed heel forgiveness for varied swing speeds and a draw bias that works.
7. PXG 0811 X Gen2/XF Gen2 Driver
PXG earned a gold rating from Golf Digest based on the placement and craftsmanship of the non-metal pieces inside and out. The titanium face certainly draws attention, but the non-metal pieces make the most significant difference.
A carbon-composite crown saves weight, which allows for an increase in adjustability options. PXG thickened and raised the crown around the face to concentrate more rebound into the ball.
They placed a layer of soft elastomer in a honeycomb pattern, which lines the sole. The elastomer controls vibration and improves the sound. Adjustability features include spin, trajectory, and direction.
It’s Beta-Rich Forged Titanium strengthened the club by 17% and allowed for more extended performance than traditional materials.
The Compacted Wave Sole allows for 11.6 grams of back weight, which equals low spin and forgiveness.
The ST200X version provides draw bias while the ST200G has an adjustable weight.
GOLF.com test proved the ST200 as the ball-speed winner for middle-speed swings.
The Z785 earned a silver rating from Golf Digest with a thinner, more flexible titanium cup face.
The lightweight carbon crown shifts weight to the perimeter for stability.
Comes with a customizable loft and swing weight allow for low spin and flatter launch. With these features GOLF.com calls the Srixon Z785 as an all-around winner for all swing speeds.
The TR20 earned a silver rating from Golf Digest as the most sophisticated modern driver.
Honma thinned the inside of the face with vertical grooves, and the body consists mainly of carbon fiber.
Three sole weights allow for less spin, extra forgiveness, and strong-draw bias.
Golf Monthly reviewed the Launch Pad as a helper for high-handicap players.
Wilson moved the center of gravity toward the heel and forward to assist a draw bias. They offset the hosel to create tighter dispersion.
The Launch Pad weighs in at a mere 272 grams and increased the upright lie angle by two degrees to combat slices.
Which of these longest drivers is right for me?
We all know our games. The more honesty we bring to the pro shop the happier we will be on the tee box. If you are a 20 handicapper who aims hard left on every tee box, pick a driver with a forgiving face and a healthy draw bias. If the face of your current driver looks like a 100-yard target for a trained sniper after a trip to the gun range, then you can ignore forgiveness and focus on ball speed. Regardless of your ability, the driver you need to give you that edge is out there waiting for you.
PGA Driver Distance Leaders
The longest drivers on PGA Tour indicate a definite leaning towards the TaylorMade SIM and the Ping G410 LST. Four of the top 10 longest drivers swing the Ping G410. TaylorMade’s SIM driver appears in the bags of three distance leaders. Bryson DeChambeau tops the list with the Cobra King SpeedZone. Sam Burns rounds out the top 10 with the Calloway Mavrik Max. All four drivers show great promise for low, middle, and high handicappers as brands seek to minimize slicing and hooking the ball.
- Bryson Dechambeau – Cobra King SpeedZone
- Cameron Champ – Ping G410 LST
- Ryan Brehm – Ping G410 LST
- Grayson Murray – TaylorMade M5
- Rory McIlroy – TaylorMade SIM
- Brandon Hagy – Ping G410 LST
- Bubba Watson – Ping G410 LST
- Matthew Wolff – TaylorMade SIM
- Jason Kokrak – TaylorMade SIM
- Sam Burns – Calloway Mavrik Max
*pgatour.com, August 4, 2020