Driver Buying Guide

Getting the right driver in your hands will help give you higher swing speeds, longer drives and more accurate shots.  Isn’t it worth investing a little time to make sure you get the right club for your game?  Here’s our list of the key factors you need to consider when choosing your new driver:



The technological advances in clubhead design have done amazing things for golfers over the past few decades.  From lightweight carbon crowns to unique head shapes to adjustable weights, which allow you to craft your shot from the club up, driver technology has really given golfers a world of options.


Size – Most clubs on the market today feature the USGA maximum 460cc club head size.  The larger head size results in a bigger “sweet spot”, meaning that you have a bigger area with which to get the shot you need.  Smaller driver heads (380cc-430cc) are available in some models and the smaller head size allows better players the control that they crave.  For the majority of golfers though – get the maximum head size that you can find!

Adjustability – There are several clubs on the market that feature moveable weights.  These adjustable weights allow you to optimize your driver for different shots.  For solid golfers, being able to adjust the specs of your driver on the course can open up shot options that might not have been available with a more traditional club head.  Note that an adjustable driver will generally cost $100-$200 more than a non-adjustable club.  Good golfers with consistent swings will benefit most from being able to adjust their driver.



As with so many things in golf, your ideal driver loft probably isn’t what you think it should be.  With today’s ball technology and larger driver head sizes, a higher loft will actually produce a longer drive.  Higher loft helps promote a higher launch angle and a higher launch angle equals greater distance.  So if you’re torn between a 9.5 and 10.5 degree, go with the 10.5 degree.  When in doubt, loft up!


Insider Tip: If possible, getting custom fit for your driver will always produce the best results.  Every Austad’s Golf features technology to help you find the right loft for your swing.



Choosing the right shaft flex is a key factor in maximizing your distance and accuracy.  In general, a player with a higher swing speed should choose a driver with a stiffer shaft (Stiff or X-Stiff), which will help increase accuracy.  Golfers with slower swing speeds should seek a driver with a more flexible shaft (Ladies, A-Flex or Regular), which will help maximize distance.  As a rule of thumb, you should choose the most flexible shaft that you can control.


Insider Tip: During the custom fitting process, a certified fitting pro will test to find your swing speed and provide a recommendation on the best fit.  If you don’t have access to a location that provides custom club fitting services, use this handy chart to find the right shaft for your driver:


Driver Swing Speed

Driver Carry Distance

Club from 150 yds.

Recommended Flex

105+ mph

260+ yards

8 or 9 iron

Extra-stiff (XS)

90-105 mph

240-260 yards

6 or 7 iron

Stiff (S)

80-95 mph

210-240 yards

5 or 6 iron

Regular (R)

70-85 mph

180-210 yards

4 iron or hybrid

Senior (A)

Less than 70 mph

Less than 180 yards

3 iron, hybrid or fairway wood

Ladies (L)



The grip is probably one of the most overlooked components of custom club fitting, but what you should know is that it can have a huge impact on how you strike the ball.  Conventional wisdom states that unless you have exceptionally large or small hands, you can probably play with a standard grip.  That may be the case for a lot of golfers, but you should still speak to a certified club fitter to determine what size is right for you. 


Every Austad’s location has a variety of grip styles and sizes for you to test out – take some time to find a grip that not only is the right size, but has a texture and feel that you like and you’ll be hitting longer and straighter drives in no time.


Insider Tip: Again, your best option is always to have a certified club fitter walk you through the fitting process, but if there isn’t a custom fitting location near you, use this chart as a quick reference for getting the correct grip size:


Hand Size*

Glove Size

Recommended Grip Size

Less than 7 inches

Men’s Small, Ladies Medium or Small

Undersize or Ladies

7 – 8 ¾ inches

Men’s Large or Medium, Ladies Large


8 ¼ - 9 ¼ inches

Men’s Large or X-Large


9 ¼ + inches

Mens X-Large or XX-Large


*Hand size is measured from the crease of the wrist to the tip of the middle finger.



Buying a driver is a big purchase and it’s one that can make the game infinitely more enjoyable if you get the right club.  Working with a certified custom club fitter is the best way to make sure that you’re getting the right club for your game.  At Austad’s, our primary goal is to help you have more fun on the course – that’s why every staff member is a certified custom club fitter and why equip our stores with the best custom fitting technology on the market.  When making your next driver purchase, stop out and speak to one of the friendly, knowledgeable staff members at any Austad’s location – they’ll walk you through the process and find the right driver for you – guaranteed.


If you can’t get to an Austad’s store – give us a call or email us.  We’d love to talk to you and help you find  the right driver to help you hit the ball longer and with more accuracy.