Given the addictive nature of golf, we never outgrow the challenge, joy and frustration the game provides.
At some point however, nature has a way of slowing us down with age, forcing us to change the way we play the game.
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. If PGA Pro Martin Kaymer is anything to go by, your senior years may just be your best ones.
In this comparison review, we'll find the best driver for seniors on the market right now and how you can choose among them.
Let's dive in.
Table of Contents
The Best Drivers for Seniors 2020
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. This also holds true for female players. For example, when you look at our selection womens golf clubs sets for beginners you will often find more flexible composites. 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.
Conclusion and Editors Choice
While all five drivers make an exceptional case for best in class, the Cobra King F7 is a clear choice as the best driver for slow swing speed. More succinctly, the F7 is the best driver for seniors, period.
Although each of the reviewed clubs excel, the Cobra King F7 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 making the F7 a powerful tool that belongs in any senior’s bag that is looking to regain some of that distance and trajectory of the past.