‘This year’s crop of drivers seem to have more buzz than we’re used to. Even though golf’s ruling bodies capped the COR (coefficient of restitution) limit on drivers to 0.83 and club head size to 460cc more than a decade ago, manufactures have still found new ways to improve on their designs every year. This year is no exception — crazy graphics, cavity back sole designs and small tweaks to the center of gravity have made this year’s drivers better than ever before.
Late-season releases from Callaway and TaylorMade forced us to revise our original 2013 list. The TaylorMade SLDR is not only performing well in the hands of tour players, but amateurs as well. Our panel of elite club fitters have been complimentary of the driver’s looks, sound, feel and performance, enough that it bumped TaylorMade’s R1 off the list.
Callaway’s FT OptiForce drivers are the same story. They’re an improvement on Callaway’s Razr Fit Xtreme and X Hot drivers, offering a more adjustable hosel, a more pleasing head shape and improved performance for many golfers, both in the 440 and 460 heads.
The mainstays of the list: Cobra’s AMP Cell, Nike’s Covert and Covert Tour, Ping’s G25 and Titleist’s 913 D2 and D3 continue to get top marks from our club fitting panel, and offer a range of launch conditions, head shapes and adjustability options that work for a wide range of golfers.
Take a look through our updated list of the best drivers of 2013. If you’re in the market for a new driver, one of these six big sticks will probably get you some extra yards, confidence, or both.
Our testing showed that the SLDR is one of the special drivers that comes around every few years that has the potential to win over an enormous amount of golfers. The combination of the SLDR’s faster ball speed, lower spin and foolproof adjustability makes it arguably the best driver that TaylorMade has ever produced.
Nike Covert Drivers
Nike’s new VR_S Covert Performance Driver comes in two models — a 4600cc head and a Tour model that is 430cc. The eye popping red crown and white Nike Swoosh will be the first thing golfers see, but the cavity on the bottom of the head is even more significant. Like the R1, the Covert only comes in one loft and you adjust the loft and face angle independently.
With two premium stock shafts to choose from, both drivers are lighter and offer more adjustability than previous Callaway models. Most golfers will find the 460 launches higher with more forgiveness and has more consistent ball speeds across the face. Better players will favor the lower, more penetrating trajectory offered by the 440.
The new 913 driver adds more length over the older 910 Driver. That had to be hard for them to do, because the performance of the 910 D2 and D3 were so good. Titleist says the additional distance is as a result better speed, launch and spin. Winner of the GolfWRX community choice awards says that these drivers work and was the people’s choice.
PING G25 Driver
Ping’s new G25 Driver incorporates the beautiful matte black crown that debuted on the company’s i20 and Anser drivers. Ping moved the center of gravity (COG) substantially lower and further back from its previous model, the G20, to help golfers lower their spin and launch the ball higher.
Cobra AMP Cell Driver
The AMP Cell (pictured) and AMP Cell Pro Drivers feature Cobra’s new MyFly technology, allowing golfers to select from six different loft/trajectory settings. Cobra is offering the AMP Cell driver in a choice of four different colors — silver, blue, red and orange, and the AMP Cell Pro in a choice of two colors: silver and orange.