Given the addictive nature of golf, we never outlive the thrills the game provides.
Unfortunately, nature has a way of slowing us down with age, forcing us to change the way we play the game we love.
However, just because you’ve lost some club head speed over the years doesn’t mean your days of reaching those par 4s in two are behind you.
Here are the strongest competitors vying to be the best driver for seniors. Any of these five options can help you regain some of that distance off the tee:
- Our Best Drivers for Seniors in 2017
- Quick Navigation
- Benefits of Senior Club Technology
- What to Look for in a Driver for Seniors
- Graphite makes the Difference
- Critical Factors
- The 5 Best Drivers for Seniors Currently on the Market
Benefits of Senior Club Technology
As we get older, we lose flexibility and strength. No matter how healthy you might be, this is an inescapable fact of aging. In our golf swings, this loss in flexibility and muscle results in slower club head speeds and, thus, lower distance off the tee.
Not coincidentally, this becomes especially noticeable around the age of 50, the precise age pros are eligible for the senior tour. Fortunately, thanks to the technological advances in golf club design and manufacturing, there are solutions available to those golfers who have lost distance off the tee with age. As a matter of fact, there are similar solutions for anyone searching for the best golf clubs for seniors, not just the driver.
What to Look for in a Driver for Seniors
If the primary reason for losing driving distance is the reduction in club head speed, the obvious remedy is to find a driver that can increase it. Although the club head itself is significant and plays a role in regaining that speed at the point of contact, it’s the driver’s shaft that does most of the legwork.
Using professional golfers as an example, most players on tour use either stiff shafts or tour shafts on their drivers since they have yet to experience any significant loss of flexibility or strength. In other words, generating substantial club head speed is not an issue for tour pros, so they opt for stiffer driver shafts to reduce the whipping action of the club head in their swing for added control. It’s not until the pros start entering the ranks of the senior tour that we see an influx of more flexible shafts.
Although very few of us hit the ball like the pros, the biology behind the loss of club head speed as well as the physics involved in regaining some of it is a constant no matter the caliber of the player. We all get older, lose some physical prowess on the course, and ultimately rely on club technology to counteract that loss.
Graphite makes the Difference
Just because a driver is labeled for seniors doesn’t mean it will function the way you expect. As a matter of fact, it’s important to pay attention to the details when looking for a driver and the many options available as not all graphite options are created equally.
Graphite, in of itself, does have some effect on club head speed simply because it’s a naturally lighter material than steel. Basic physics tells us the lighter material allows the player to exert more force than its heavier counterpart. However, it’s the flexibility of the graphite that differentiates the various graphite shafts from one another.
With most seniors looking to increase club head speed, it’s important to take into account a few factors when choosing between the different graphite shafts available. Variations in the flex, length and kick point will all influence distance and accuracy off the tee.
The amount of flex is determined by the rigidity of the graphite. The stiffer the composite, the less the amount of flex and, thus, lower clubhead speed and distance. Although tempting to maximize the flexibility for greater speed, remember the increase in club whip through the point of contact with the ball will also make your drives more prone to hooks and slices so proceed with caution. The best drivers for senior golfers stike that balance so that you have both speed and control over driving the ball.
The length of the driver shaft also has an impact on club head speed but to a much lesser extent. Regarding the physics, the longer length yields additional centrifugal force as the club head follows the circular path of the swing. Just as with the flexibility, however, longer shafts make it harder to control your drives. Before buying your new driver, sample shaft lengths of 43 to 45 inches on the range to see how the differences affect your control and feel. This video futher explains the process of ideal club fitting.
The final factor is the kick point of the shaft or, in different terms, the fulcrum of the shaft where the most flexing occurs. A lower kick point is usually preferred by seniors because it creates a higher trajectory on drives, alleviating the low, sluggish shots that typically accompany a loss in head speed.
When making a decision on the most appropriate shaft type for your new driver, take the different flex, length and kick point choices into account but don’t drive yourself mad with all the variations to choose from. Getting your swing analyzed to look for the combination that best suits you can go a long way in making those decisions for you. Also, each manufacturer offers a stock option on their drivers that uses the most common flex, length and kick point choices. Although every player is different, there’s a good chance those selections of stock drivers will work well for you.
This video will give you a brief synopsis of the differences between steel and graphite shafts as well as the best uses for each.
The 5 Best Drivers for Seniors Currently on the Market
As previously discussed, many different factors are involved with choosing a new driver for a senior golfer. With each manufacturer offering their models with variations of these factors, choosing a single driver can be an intimidating experience. That said, these brief reviews of the five best senior drivers will help you make an informed decision.
Callaway’s GBB Epic uses their new Jailbreak technology to maximize the sweet spot on the head, providing additional forgiveness at contact without sacrificing distance.
Callaway consulted with leading aerodynamic experts to lower the drag coefficient on the head as it approaches the bottom of the swing, thus increasing speed and distance.
Using layered carbon shells within the club head also increases speed by reducing weight while the adjustable perimeter weights allow the player to find the balance that best suits their swing.
Although the graphite shafts come in a variety of choices, the Diamana Green M+ shaft is recommended for seniors experiencing slower head speeds and looking to increase driving distance without sacrificing a significant amount of control.
The new GBB Epic is a remarkable driver and worthy newest entrant to their outstanding line of Big Bertha clubs.
What we like
- Excellent balance between speed and forgiveness.
- Adjustable weights to adapt the driver to your liking.
- Durable, light material with outstanding build quality.
What we don't like
- Not ideal if you're on a tighter budget.
With the M1 being a great driver but somewhat complicated to use with all of the different head adjustments available, the M2 shines with its relative simplicity but outstanding performance.
With a redesigned face for the 2017 model, employing principles of advanced geometry to maximize the club face and forgiveness, the M2 feels alive at impact. Despite sounding like something from a science fiction novel, Taylor Made has also integrated geoacoustic technology to utilize sound waves as a means of increasing performance.
The overall shape and balance of the head create a natural tendency for the right-handed player to put a slight draw on drives, ideal for maximizing distance.
When all of this head design technology is coupled with the Fujikura Pro 50 flex shaft, senior players looking for superior distance and feel off the tee will appreciate the Taylor Made M2s impressive performance and simplicity. The M2 is worthy of every accolade it receives.
What we like
- Simple adjustments to suit your driving style.
- Great performance regarding forgiveness and face area.
- Ideal for maximizing distance.
What we don't like
- Futuristic sound on impact may be disturbing to some.
- Potentially difficult to use left handed due to the clubhead's shape.
Touting a vast level of head customization yet in a simple and straight-forward manner, Cobra’s redesigned 2017 King F7 driver is a highly impressive club for those that are willing to take advantage of its weight technology.
The King F7 uses three separate and interchangeable weights in the head to allow the player to alter the club’s center of gravity according to their personal needs.
Tweaking the weight system can generate additional spin, height, and roll depending on how they are aligned. Finding the ideal balance in the club head can help senior players create a higher trajectory on the ball that can sometimes be lost with lower head speed.
Cobra also offers the Fujikura Pro 60 senior shaft with the King F7 to provide the additional flex seniors value off the tee.
Although Cobra as a company was in intensive care not so long ago, clubs like the King F7 show they are back in a big way and ready to retake their position towards the top of the golfing world.
What we like
- Excellent Weight adjustment options allowing fine grained control of spin, height and roll.
- Very good flex.
- Fantastic build quality.
What we don't like
- Adjustments not flexible enough to correct offset.
As strange as it might sound, Ping engineers studied the flying mechanics of a dragonfly to design the heads in their G series of drivers.
Focusing on reducing drag around the club head as it accelerates towards the ball, the lightweight titanium construction is designed to minimize weight and maximize efficiency.
The results are impressive as Ping has created a series of clubs that are simple, elegant and extremely responsive at the tee. Among the three different drivers in the series, the base G Standard model is the most appropriate for the majority of senior golfers, boasting a larger sweet spot for extra forgiveness and a natural tendency to produce higher trajectory drives.
It also offers its proprietary TFC 80D Lite flex shaft as an option to further increase clubhead speed and distance. Ping has long been known for their innovative and straightforward designs that translate to lower scores and better performance on the course.
The Men’s G Standard is no exception and an attractive choice for a senior golfer looking to regain some distance.
What we like
- Simple, elegant and very responsive.
- Great balance between forgiveness and a high trajectory drives.
- Excellent flex shaft.
What we don't like
- Busy Crown of the tee
- Not the most adjustable game improvement driver.
The Adams Men’s Blue driver is most similar to the Ping G as it revels in its simplicity and extreme functionality.
Simply put, the Adams Men’s Blue feels comfortable in your hands and is smooth throughout the swing.
Of course, given the technology that pushes all of these drivers, Adams boasts its design breakthroughs like a velocity slot for airflow and weighted club head meant to lower the center of gravity and, thus, create higher trajectory shots.
And while all of these features are useful to a senior golfer, it’s Adams’ slim tech shafts that shines with a nice balance of additional flex for enhanced speed but kick point control for the loft.
Collectively, Adams calls these features their Easy Launch System and for a good reason. While little, if anything, about driving the ball is easy, the Adams Men’s Blue at least makes it smooth and rewarding.
What we like
- Extremly simple and functional
- Very good price.
- Very smooth of the tee.
What we don't like
- No advanced adjustment options.
While all five drivers make an exceptional case for best in class, the Taylor Made M2 is a clear choice as the best driver for slow swing speed. More succinctly, the M2 is the best driver for seniors, period.
Although each of the reviewed clubs excel, the Taylor Made M2 features a unique combination of the best features found throughout the class and pulled them together into a single impactful, efficient and effective club.
The science behind the club head design packs plenty of punch and is a great selling point on its own but, when used in combination with the Fujikura Pro 50 flex shaft, if not the best driver shaft for seniors then certainly very near the top, the M2 is a powerful tool that belongs in any senior’s bag that is looking to regain some of that distance and trajectory of the past.