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Best driver 2021: By club fitters for you!

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Your driver is one of the most important clubs in your bag. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best driver, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of the 2021 drivers is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to impress us with their ability to utilize new technology and manufacturing methods to create drivers that offer forgiveness and faster more consistent club faces, along with better adjustability and fitting options. These fitting options are key elements because with more drivers being offered, it’s now easier than ever to find the right one for you.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal best golf driver is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you—offering recommendations for your swing speed with feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best driver of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

Best driver of 2021: The categories

We have broken our 2021 best drivers list into four total categories. Three are swing speed-based and the other forgiveness.

  1. Best driver for faster swing speeds 106+ mph
  2. Best driver for swing speeds 95-105 mph
  3. Best driver for slower swing speeds <94 mph
  4. Best driver most forgiving 

We select this format because every golfer fits into one of these categories regardless of age, handicap, or gender, and for a lot of golfers, forgiveness is the number one factor when selecting a driver.

Before we started building the survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless head combinations available to golfers. Time after time, swing speed and forgiveness were the highest-ranked choices, after that it comes down to adjustability to fit individual players and their trends.

We then worked internally to craft a survey that allowed the fitters to be honest—we want the truth just as much as you do, and to prevent anyone from feeling they couldn’t be, we allowed all of the results and quotes to remain anonymous unless otherwise stated.

We can’t thank the fitters enough for their time, and we hope that in your search for your best driver for 2021, we can help you find it!

BEST DRIVER FOR 106 MPH AND ABOVE

TaylorMade SIM2

The standard model is the lowest spinning of the three new SIM2 drivers and has the most forward CG to offer on average 250 rpm less spin than the Max, while still maintaining stability. The stock rear weight is 16 grams and it has a larger face than its predecessor to increase confidence and make the club more forgiving overall.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • For golfers who need to lower spin but still need added trajectory, the SIM2 is fantastic. The best advice I can give to any golfers looking at the SIM2 is to try different lofts and work with the adjustable hosel to fine-tune face angle and shot shape, because it’s extremely rare to have a golfer leave a fitting with a SIM2 in a standard-setting.
  • The deeper face compared to last year’s SIM is a real confidence booster for a lot of the players I have worked with and fit into this driver. If you are a golfer with a more negative angle of attack and need some spin control based on your swing dynamics this is a great driver to try.
  • The aluminum ring really does add stability to the head and from a stability and MOI standpoint, it’s an upgrade from last year’s driver.

Titleist TSi3

The new Titleist SureFit weight system makes adjusting the TSi3’s center of gravity a snap, and beyond the stock eight-gram weight, additional weights are available in two-gram increments up to 12 grams and down to four. This makes dialing in head weight and ball flight tendencies much easier than before and improves the overall fitting process.

What makes the entire TSi series drivers unique is the ATI-425 titanium face insert, allowing engineers to once again make the faces thinner to reduce weight while also increasing the overall elasticity for better ball speed retainment.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Titleist TSi3 driver launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • The TSi3 is a high-performance machine, and when you bring together the acoustics, the shaping, and the adjustability built into the head, it’s by far my driver of the year.
  • From our testing and fitting feedback, this new face material is a real-deal performance upgrade, and for those golfers who need some final tweaking to dial in flight, the new SureFit weighting system is foolproof.
  • Although this is still considered a better players-centric driver, if you are looking to nail down a shot shape, you can rely on the forgiveness and adjustability of this driver to make that happen.
  • Mid-handicap players with a higher swing speed need to try this driver because of its ability to retain speed around the face—and the forgiveness up and down helps a lot.
  • The 11-degree head is a must-try for players who create low launch and low spin dynamics and need extra height and to increase their flight apex.

Ping G425 LST

Coming in at 445 cc, 15 cc’s smaller than its big brother, the G425 Max, the LST offers a pear-shaped profile to appeal to players looking for a more traditional look. Those 15 cc’s were mostly removed from the rear of the head to shorten the driver’s front-to-back length and move the center of gravity closer to the face to lower spin without sacrificing overall MOI as much as possible.

The LST spins 500-700 rpm less than the G425, according to Ping’s internal player testing, and 200 rpm less than the previous G410 LST. The 500-700 rpm represents a much greater separation between models versus the G410 Plus driver line, which means it is easier for golfers to find their ideal fit.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 driver launch piece

Fitter notes

  • The LST performs exactly as advertised—by offering a very forgiving low spin head.
  • If you are a faster player but tend to struggle with centered face contact, the G425 LST is a must-try, and for those golfers with speed who have a tendency to miss left, the “flat” hosel setting sets all of the Ping drivers apart.
  • If you are a golfer who has a negative attack angle, the deeper face of the G425 LST combined with the lower spin performance can add some serious ball speed because the head is stable all over the face. To take that point even further, if you are a golfer who tends to miss higher on the face, this driver is going to help.
  • This is a tour-level driver with game-improvement-level forgiveness—plain and simple.
  • The added stability comes from the new weighting system and overall heavier head. The Alta CB (counterbalance shafts) is a must-try that pairs really well with what this driver is designed to do.

Callaway Epic Max LS

With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the most fade biased of the Callaway family, the new Max LS maintains a high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. In addition, the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and the new look Jailbreak Speed Frame create stiffness vertically and horizontally across the face. The result? Speed, stability, and a ton of forgiveness.
The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG, and like Epic Max, the Max LS also has a sliding weight to tune in adjustability.
For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Callaway Epic Max launch piece.
Fitter notes
  • This, to me, is Callaway’s best head shape ever—it inspires confidence by being slightly bigger from address yet still offers lower spin performance. This is a great evolution from the “Sub Zero” because misses stay in play with the Max LS, whereas you could miss big with some of the previous Sub Zero models.
  • The Epic Max LS is what I like to call a “classic dependable.” It really helps on shots missed around the face, and it works for players with all kinds of swing types thanks to the adjustability—you can open it up, close it down, add loft, and use the sliding track to help with both ball flight tweaks and improve shot dispersion.
  • For players who have an upward angle of attack, this driver produces the perfect amount of spin to hit trajectory windows and provide a very stable ball flight. For players on the opposite end that have a more negative (down) angle of attack, you can do a lot with the head to keep spin in check to control trajectory—it is unbelievably adaptable.

Cobra RadSpeed 

At 460cc’s, the new 2021 Cobra RadSpeed driver incorporates 28 grams of front weighting (16 grams fixed, 12 grams adjustable), and an additional 10 grams in the back (8 grams fixed, 2 grams adjustable). This balance, in combination with Radial Weighting technology, gives golfers a fast, stable head to ensure distance and accuracy. The other highlight of the RadSpeed is the CNC milled Infinity Face, which ensures that each face is exactly the same which allows Cobra’s quality control to be some of the best in the business.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Cobra RadSpeed launch piece.

Fitter notes 

  • The RadSpeed is the low spin driver this year for golfers that struggle with the excess spin that robs them of distance—it’s a perfect driver for the player that also tended to miss to the left (a hook for a right-handed golfer).
  • Not only does this driver perform, but it also looks awesome, comes in a number of color options, and is equipped with great stock shafts. It also happens to come in at a lower price point than most of the big players—it’s a win-win all around.
  • The heavy weight in the front configuration makes this driver one of the lowest spinning and lower launching drivers on the market but without losing stability. When you pair the proper weight configuration with the loft setting you would be shocked to see some of the gains that are possible for the faster golfer.

BEST DRIVERS FOR 95-105 MPH

TaylorMade SIM2 Max

The SIM2 Max features a massive 24-gram back weight to deepen the center of gravity and boost stability. This back weight makes up almost 12 percent of the total mass, which is what helps create stability resulting in more ball speed on shots missed around the face. And when you do miss it, TaylorMade’s Twist Face is also there to help keep shots flying straighter.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • This is my pick for the best all-around driver in this category, because it’s fast, forgiving, and the best part is TaylorMade expanded the loft options this year, meaning it’s easier for me as a fitter and for a golfer that is buying one off the rack to dial it in.
  • The ball flight window for this driver is higher than the standard SIM2 model when comparing loft to loft, but it still manages to keep spin in a very controllable window which helps those golfers that need some extra carry. I can’t stress enough to many of the golfers I fit that the proper height with a driver is key to unlocking more distance, and you shouldn’t be afraid to hit it more up in the air—you get that with the SIM2 Max.
  • If you need to maximize your carry distance based on your usual course conditions, this driver is a bomber. Be sure to use the adjustable hosel to your advantage—it can narrow dispersion in a hurry.

Ping G425 Max

The G425 Max has the highest MOI (a measurement of forgiveness) on the market, and its 460 cc head features a 26-gram moveable tungsten weight in the rear to help golfers dial in ball flight bias. This extra mass is also how the weight track can offer less movement on the exterior of the head while still creating the same level of movement inside the head to create a draw and fade bias compared to previous generations.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 driver launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • If you are a golfer who struggles with face contact and needs some directional control, this is by far the most forgiving driver I can put in your hands—it feels like point and shoot.
  • Honestly, I don’t know what else to say about the G425 Max beyond it just wants to go long and straight.
  • The big adjustable weight in the rear offers a massive amount of ball flight adjustability so make sure that you test all the settings to find out which one helps you reduces your misses. A great off-menu tip if you are going to custom order one of these drivers—you can get lighter CG shifter weights to help find just the right “feel,” and if you want to play it over length, it helps to keep the driver from feeling too heavy.

Titleist TSi2

The TSi2 has an improved high/low inertia of 13 percent over the previous generation and in the world of engineering, single-percent advancements are considered a big step.

What really makes the TSi2 along with the rest of the TSi series drivers unique is the ATI-425 titanium face insert, allowing engineers to once again make the faces thinner to reduce weight while also increasing the overall elasticity for better ball speed retainment.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Titleist TSi3 driver launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • For the golfers who want a larger confidence-inspiring look, this driver is awesome. It’s almost as stable as the G425 LST—which is saying a lot—while still offering a very traditional sound, and feel.
  • The new titanium in the face insert has allowed Titleist to be at the top in every fitting I do, and beyond the head, they offer a full spectrum of loft and shaft options to fit almost any player. To be able to go as low as 7 degreesand as high as 12.5 using the SureFit hosel and keep it in the same (model) head with the same center of gravity is a big fitting advantage.
  • As a fitter that works with a lot of golfers in this speed range, I don’t feel there is any driver out there right now that is straighter on both good hits and mishits, plus it has that great “Titleist look.”

Callaway Epic Max

After combining all the technology from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. The 17-gram rear sliding weight allows fine-tuning of launch and spin while the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Callaway Epic Max launch piece.

Fitter notes
  • Forgiving, adjustable, and fast—the Epic Max for me is a driver that is often a starting point in my fitting because of the options it creates.
  • Whether you’re a higher handicap player who struggles with contact consistency or you are just looking for a driver that is going to help maximize carry and reduce dispersion, this driver checks all the boxes. It launches high, and you can create some serious draw bias. This might sound like an oversimplification, but if you are looking for “airborn and forward,” this is a no brainer.
  • If you want maximum forgiveness and need a lower spin profile, this is a driver that you need to try. The adjustability of this club can help you lower spin with just a few clicks and makes dialing in a flight window a lot easier.

Cobra RadSpeed XB

With 28 grams of discretionary weight, the XB features 20 grams positioned in the back (14 grams of fixed weight; six interchangeable weight) and eight grams of fixed weight close to the face. This recipe is popular in high MOI drivers, but with Radial Weighting technology, it’s fine-tuned to push forgiveness to the limit.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Cobra RadSpeed launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • Cobra has separated its drivers perfectly this year, and it’s really helping golfers get into the correct configuration. The XB is up there as being one of the easier-to-hit drivers thanks to how much weight has been moved away from the face and if you put a heavier weight in the back port, it’s mega forgiving!
  • I still feel that Cobra doesn’t get the credit they deserve for building a super forgiving driver that looks and sounds really good. The adjustability is straight-forward and easy to understand, and even when it’s adjusted, it still sits neutral behind the ball.
  • If you are a neutral ball flight player who wants to get as much as you can out of your driver with some subtle draw bias, the XB is a fantastic option because you can bring it more upright with the hosel, and it’s going to help move your start line (initial launch direction) to the left without causing a big hook.
  • If you are testing this driver, 100 percent make sure to use the adjustability to your advantage, the upright setting can be a big help if you are a golfer that struggles with the occasional right miss but doesn’t want to use a “draw” type driver.

BEST DRIVERS FOR SWING SPEEDS OF 94 MPH AND BELOW

Ping G425 Max

The G425 Max has the highest MOI (a measurement of forgiveness) on the market, and its 460 cc head features a 26-gram moveable tungsten weight in the rear to help golfers dial in ball flight bias. This extra mass is also how the weight track can offer less movement on the exterior of the head while still creating the same level of movement inside the head to create a draw and fade bias compared to previous generations. It also comes in a multitude of lofts that can be further adjusted with the trajectory tuning hosel.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 driver launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • The big fitting and consumer benefit of the Ping G425 Max is how much you can get out of this head depending on the player. It used to be that drivers geared for moderate clubhead speeds sat really closed and generally only came in higher lofts. With the Max, you get all kinds of loft options and it sits really square-to-open depending on the adapter setting.
  • The one thing to keep in mind is the G425 Max has one of the heaviest driver heads on the market, so it can start to feel a bit heavy for certain players depending on the shaft that’s being tested—but all of the Ping stock shafts are counterbalanced to help with this. With that in mind, you can custom order the CG shifter in various weights to make sure you are dialed in.
  • This driver is the undefeated king of stability. If you aren’t a range rat and want to just enjoy your time on the golf course, this one is for you.
  • For any golfer on the lowest end of the swing speed spectrum, you HAVE to try this driver with the stock Ping Alta. It’s only 40 grams and just wants to launch the ball up as fast as possible.
  • If you want a draw-biased driver now and a neutral or fade-biased driver later, the functionality engineered into this head will give you just that thanks to the CG shifter and adjustable hosel. If you arent working with the adjustment features of the G425 Max you are 100 percent missing out.

Titleist TSi1

When I say lightweight, I mean lightweight! The TSi1, in a standard configuration with its featured shaft, comes in at just over 40 grams lighter than most standard drivers. This lighter package makes it easier to control and also helps the target player gain just under 2 mph on average based on Titleist’s extensive testing.

The TSi1 driver has been optimized for moderate swing speed players—to increase club speed, resulting in faster ball speeds, more distance, and greater control, thanks to an overall lightweight design.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Titleist TSi1 driver launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • This driver works exactly as advertised and helps any golfer looking for extra speed, height, and distance. For the golfer in this speed category, the stock shafts are a perfect match to the head and keep the whole driver package as light as possible.
  • The great thing about the TSi1 from a fitting and options perspective is that it comes in a 9° loft, which helps the player that already creates an effective dynamic loft but needs help to get some extra speed. On top of that, the sure-fit hosel is key to reducing dispersion and create better start lines which result in more fairways hit.
  • If you are a golfer that has lost distance and wants to get some of it back, the lightweight package of the TSi1 is going to give you one of the best opportunities. – from the head to the featured shaft options this driver has been engineered to create speed.

Callaway Epic Max

After combining all the technology from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. The 17-gram rear sliding weight allows fine-tuning of launch and spin while the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Callaway Epic Max launch piece.

Fitter notes
  • This is another one of those drivers that excels in offering mega forgiveness alongside adjustability, and it’s fast. Our testing leads me to believe that the lighter toe panel and more heel side internal weighting helps increase the closure rate leading to impact, and that helps increase clubhead speed 1-3 mph.
  • Callaway tends to engineer their driver heads just slightly lighter than others in the market which for many players is a big advantage for adding speed, while the shaping of the head maintains forgiveness. Also for those golfers that are looking to get absolutely everything they can when it comes to distance, you can get the Epic Max in an “LD” (long drive) configuration with a 47″ shaft!

Ping G425 SFT

The G425 SFT is officially Ping’s greatest slice killer to date. Thanks to the fixed heel-biased 23-gram tungsten weight and adjusted head shaping, it offers 10 yards more left bias than the previous G410 SFT and a whopping 25-plus yards more fade correction than the G425 Max.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 driver launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • If you slice the golf ball, the G425 SFT is going to help you have more fun on the course—it’s really just that easy to hit.
  • Don’t sleep on the stock Alta CB Slate shaft. Ping has taken its “whole club” design approach to the next level with their most recent stock shafts, and they pair very well with this head.
  • The SFT is a great driver for golfers at slower speeds even if you don’t always need “slice correction” because many golfers in this category have difficulty closing the face square at impact. This driver really helps with that.
  • When it comes to draw-bias, the design team at Ping didn’t mess around with this one, and when you add in the trajectory tuning hosel, you can bump the loft up an extra 1.5 degrees to really close it.

TaylorMade SIM2 Max

The SIM2 Max features a massive 24-gram back weight to deepen the center of gravity and boost stability. This back weight makes up almost 12 percent of the total mass, which is what helps create stability resulting in more ball speed on shots missed around the face. And when you do miss it, TaylorMade’s Twist-Face is also there to help keep shots flying straighter.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • If you need to maximize carry distance based on your usual course conditions, this driver is a bomber. Be sure to use the adjustable hosel to your advantage—it will narrow dispersion in a hurry.
  • The heavier inertia generator in the rear of the head really helps make this driver stable, and if you are looking to try out a slightly lighter platform, the weight in the sole can be ordered light to potentially help add some speed.
  • The important thing to note for golfers in this speed range is that TaylorMade has a lot of lighter-weight stock shaft options—including the Fujikura AirSpeeder—that can bring this club to life and help you swing it faster.
  • It’s amazing to me how well this driver works for so many golfers. The head in the stock setting is just ever so slightly draw-biased, but once you open the face and lower the loft, it becomes neutral to offer more workability.
  • Join the best driver of 2021 discussion in the forums!

MOST FORGIVING/STRAIGHTEST

Ping G425 Max

The G425 Max has the highest MOI (a measurement of forgiveness) on the market, and its 460 cc head features a 26-gram moveable tungsten weight in the rear to help golfers dial in ball flight bias. This extra mass is also how the weight track can offer less movement on the exterior of the head while still creating the same level of movement inside the head to create a draw and fade bias compared to previous generations. It also comes in a multitude of lofts that can be further adjusted with the trajectory tuning hosel.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 driver launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • If you want a big, stable, forgiving driver that’s going to allow you to quickly and easily reduce dispersion, the G425 Max is going to make golf feel a lot easier.

Callaway Epic Max

After combining all the technology from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. The 17-gram rear sliding weight allows fine-tuning of launch and spin while the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Callaway Epic Max launch piece

Fitter notes
  • If carry distance is your issue, buckle up, because the Epic Max can really help add carry and help you significantly reduce dispersion thanks to all of the adjustable features and head shape.
  • Off the rack, the driver is slightly draw-biased, but thanks to the OptiFit hosel you can fine-tune the head by going upright or flat to improve start line and then use the sliding weight to further tighten dispersion.
  • Absoutely top-notch. Even though adjustability has been around for a long time now, golfers need to get a better understanding of how the settings can have a huge impact on making a driver more forgiving for them as an individual. The Max starts off as an already forgiving head, but once you start to tweak those settings, you would be shocked with how much you can control direction and dispersion.

TaylorMade SIM2 Max

The SIM2 Max features a massive 24-gram back weight to deepen the center of gravity and boost stability. This back weight makes up almost 12 percent of the total mass, which is what helps create stability resulting in more ball speed on shots missed around the face. And when you do miss it, TaylorMade’s Twist-Face is also there to help keep shots flying straighter.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • If you are looking for a technology pushing driver that offers a higher ball flight, mid to lower spin and forgiveness, the SIM2 Max is a must-try.
  • I don’t want to make it sound like I keep saying the same thing but golfers need to use the hosel to help dial in ball flight. The SIM2 has a lot of loft options so you can pick a loft and then work with the adapter to move into your desired safe shot and miss. An example of this is to loft up the head and then use the sleeve to bring the loft back down – you want a 9.5° head that helps with your left miss, go 10.5° and open the face. Boom you’re dialed in!

Titleist TSi2

The TSi2 has an improved high/low inertia of 13 percent over the previous generation and in the world of engineering, single-percent advancements are considered a big step.

What really makes the TSi2 along with the rest of the TSi series drivers unique is the ATI-425 titanium face insert, allowing engineers to once again make the faces thinner to reduce weight while also increasing the overall elasticity for better ball speed retainment.

For the full technology break down check out our 2021 Titleist TSi3 driver launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • The TSi2 is the perfect blend of forgiveness, ball speed, and spin control in a traditionally shaped head.
  • Golfers need to take advantage of this driver’s adjustability – finding the right hosel setting can make all the difference and you can go the extra mile by fine-tuning the back sure-fit weight. Go heavier and you will gain stability and some potential extra launch or go lighter to add some speed.
  • Make sure you test all the shaft options that are available for this driver because its adds to the versatility – Titleist has one of the largest selections of no up-charge feature shafts of the major OEMs and you can build anything from a heavier fairway finder to ultralightweight club to suit your exact needs.

Cobra RadSpeed XB

With 28 grams of discretionary weight, the XB features 20 grams positioned in the back (14 grams of fixed weight; six interchangeable weight) and eight grams of fixed weight close to the face. This recipe is popular in high MOI drivers, but with Radial Weighting technology, it’s fine-tuned to push forgiveness to the limit.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Cobra RadSpeed launch piece.

Fitter notes

  • The greatest performance element of the RadSpeed XB is its ability to launch the ball higher while keeping spin down when comparing loft to loft with the standard RadSpeed. This works perfectly for golfers who tend to hit the ball through a lower launch window and lose out on potential carry distance.
  • The XB is the perfect driver for a golfer that is looking for “around the face” stability, and lower spin performance in a distance driven head/model. One thing I highly recommend players try is lofting down an extra half-degree than they are used to because that extra will help lower spin and increase ball speed without creating a big change in the overall flight window.
  • If you are looking to straighten out ball flight caused by misses around the face, playing the XB with a slightly heavier weight in the back creates one very stable head. Or you can go the other way and make it lighter allowing for a longer length and some additional speed with next to no effect on total MOI.

Conclusion

The fitters consulted for this piece have accumulated data from thousands of fittings with golfers just like you. From beginners to tour players, their feedback and information can’t be undervalued.

Now it’s your turn: Everybody swings the club differently, and everybody has their own experience. We want to hear from you. What driver are you using? What did you switch from? What performance gains did you find in your own game? Share your experience to help others!

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Equipment

Best irons in golf of 2021: Welcome to Irons Week

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring, and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player – this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

Overall Top Performer

This category is the perfect place to start if you’re not quite sure what you are looking for. Distance? Check. Forgiveness? Check. Sleek looks? Check. The top five in the “best irons overall” category are perfect for those golfers who appreciate technology and want something that is going to give them shot options.

Easiest to launch

This category of irons is aimed to help players who need height. With today’s modern golf ball, creating proper flight widows and spin can be difficult for some players- especially those at lower speeds, and this is where technology can really help. All of these irons do everything they can to create shot-stopping trajectories regardless of clubhead speed.

Pure Enjoyment

It’s no mistake that we are seeing overlap in the way the top irons are defined by fitters in this category. The most playable irons are most likely to be higher launching, and shots that fly higher make the game more enjoyable for everyone. This reiterates the point previously made that your iron selection should not be defined by your handicap but instead what gives you the greatest opportunity to play your best golf.

The Shotmakers

Each one of these irons was designed with a single purpose: to provide the ultimate shotmaking weapon. You don’t have to be a tour player to appreciate the pleasure of hitting a well-struck shot with a club engineered to offer superior feedback. This category is all about control—and that doesn’t mean it “has to be a blade.”

Most Technology Packed

This is the “give me everything you got” list. These irons are the cream of the crop for offering technology to improve feel, distance, and ball speed. The great thing about the Technology category is it’s not reserved for higher handicap golfers—it’s for anyone looking to get everything they can out of their game in an iron that also suits their eye.

Best blade

This is by far the most straightforward category because it is defined by a single style of club—the blade—AKA the muscle back or MB for short. Although modern variations offer a lot more playability than they did decades ago, blades are still defined by their workability, compact shaping, and lower ball flight. If you are looking for the ultimate test or just prefer something in the more traditional vein, these are for you.

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

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Best irons in golf of 2021: Most technology packed

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you, the reader, determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

  • Overall performance
  • Easiest to launch
  • Pure Enjoyment
  • Shotmakers
  • Most technology-packed
  • Best blade

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

Best Irons 2021_Most Technology Packed

2021 best irons: Technology packed

This is the “give me everything you got” list. These irons are the cream of the crop for offering technology to improve feel, distance, and ball speed. The great thing about the technology category is it’s not reserved for higher handicap golfers—it’s for anyone looking to get everything they can out of their game in an iron that also suits their eye.

Callaway Apex 21

Their story: The new 2021 Callaway Apex Forged irons were created with one goal in mind: optimization, not only through the set but into each specific iron. For the first time, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving.

In this newest iteration of the Apex iron, the focus was on control and “spin robustness,” which is another way to say spin optimization. Callaway was able to not only increase ball speeds and forgiveness across the face but with a new weighting configuration, also able to control and optimize spin. Each iron face is tuned to complement the loft (i.e. long irons = high launch/low spin, mid irons = mid launch/mid spin, short irons = lower launch/higher spin).

From the fitters

  • The Callaway Apex irons have been a staple in fittings since they were originally released, and golfers of all abilities can get a lot out of these irons.
  • For the 2021 version, Callaway really stepped their game up by improving the appearance, feel, and overall performance of this iron and truly packed it with technology. For its shape and size, it’s pretty amazing what they have done with this club—and the results show up in our fittings.
  • Not only is the Apex great, but it’s also a great foundation to build a set with other irons in the line including the DCB and the Apex Pro. If you are looking at the Apex, make sure to at least consider building a combo set.

Cobra King RadSpeed

Their story: The Cobra RadSpeed irons are packed with technology. They use a 3D-printed medallion comprised of nylon to increase strength while also reducing weight in the middle of the head to improve forgiveness, and just like the RadSpeed driver, the irons derive their name from newly positioned weights around the radius of the iron head designed to increase stability. By placing weight on the extreme perimeter of the head (away from the center of gravity), Cobra can both lower the CG and make the club slightly more compact while not sacrificing forgiveness.

The 7-4 iron faces also have what Cobra calls PWRShell technology, which used forged high-strength 17-4 stainless steel to increase compliance—a fancy physics term for an object’s ability to flex, which in turn increases the ball speed retention around the face to create a larger area of maximum energy transfer.

From the fitters

  • The RadSpeed is beyond easy to launch and very forgiving. I don’t think Cobra gets enough credit for how much technology they pack into their game improvement irons, and the innovations they bring to the marketplace.
  • This has been our top game improvement iron this year. It’s the highest launching and longest distance iron we have tested, and beyond that, it feels really good too.
  • I hate to make bad puns but the RadsSeed truly is “the king” right now when it comes to everything it offers to create performance for golfers.

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Callaway Apex DCB

Their story: The 2021 Apex DCB is Callaway’s most forgiving forging ever. It is specifically designed for the golfers who want the full Apex Forged experience but with a bit more forgiveness.

Just like its smaller cousin the Apex, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications, created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving. The iron offers more offset, a thicker topline, a wider sole, and a longer blade length—all with the goal of creating higher launch and top-end forgiveness.

From the fitters

  • This iron is a little rocket ship. The ball flies high, goes long, and comes off with a lot of speed—even when mis-hit.
  • You are going to have a hard time beating this iron when it comes to forgiveness. Good hits are fantastic, and misses are still great with this iron.
  • The sound is solid and the feel is pleasing. It has a much thinner look with a classic shape than I think many people expect from an iron built to maximize forgiveness. Callaway has a winner here.

Srixon ZX5

Their story:  The Srixon ZX5 iron uses what the company calls Mainframe face to optimize each club through the set based on tested strike patterns and was refined using machine learning. The face is composed of varying thickness patterns, which are all individually milled into the rear to expand the COR. The irons combine this Mainframe face made of strong and elastic SUP10 steel to the iron’s forged 1020 body to provide feel and elasticity, resulting in ball speed in an iron that appeals to a large group of golfers.

The ZX5 irons offer an extremely clean look from address, and the topline profile matches closely to the popular ZX7—square and sharp! Not only that but the blade lengths and sole widths have all been finely tuned so golfers who plan to build combo sets will see a smooth transition from one iron to the next—even into the utility.

From the fitters

  • The ZX5 is very playable and extremely good-looking. The cambered VT sole results in lovely turf interaction no matter the attack angle of the player—it’s a bit of a Swiss Army knife.
  • This iron fits a wide range of handicaps even though it looks a bit more like a players club. This iron is a chameleon because it has the look of a smaller compact club yet offers the forgiveness associated with a larger one (chef’s kiss).
  • We have been blown away by the ZX5. For the size, it sounds and looks great and has top-end ball speeds. It is our top-fitted forged cavity back iron across the board.

TaylorMade P770

Their story: The TaylorMade P770 irons bring together the distance of the extremely popular P790 with the precision of a midsized player cavity to offer distance and control to an iron unlike TaylorMade has ever produced.

The iron has a SpeedFoam-supported forged 4140 high-speed steel face attached to a soft forged 8620 carbon steel body, and a Thru Slot to help the mishits lower on the face retain ball speed in the 3-7 irons. Those same irons (3-7) have 46 grams of tungsten positioned as low and as far back as possible towards the toe to boost MOI and launch in the longer clubs while precisely locating the center of gravity.

From the fitters

  • Without a doubt, this is one of our top-selling irons. The P770 has been a go-to for a variety of golfers thanks to its easy-to-launch performance along with the distance it produces. 
  • Simply calling this iron a smaller P790 doesn’t do it justice. It has a really clean look on its own but also allows players to easily add extra forgiveness and speed to their long irons if they are combo-ing with another iron like the P7MC.

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Dustin Johnson changed putter and shaft for final round at RBC Heritage

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Dustin Johnson made the surprising choice to switch out his trusty TaylorMade Spider for the final round of the RBC Heritage and doubled down on the change by gaming a new shaft too.

On Sunday, DJ replaced his regular gamer in favor of a TaylorMade winged TP Bandon 1 Prototype putter, equipped with a multi-material LA Golf TPZ 135 shaft.

The move worked wonders for the final round, with Johnson holing over 145 feet of putts on Sunday.

Speaking after his round, Johnson told media:

“I put a new putter in today, and yeah, it felt good. It would have made a few more I feel like, just a little more speed. The first day using it, I just got it in yesterday, so rolled a few on the putting green. I really like it. It’s got a different shaft in it and a different head, but rolled good, so we’re going to keep it up.

I feel like I haven’t putted really well for the last few weeks, so that’s kind of really why I’ve just been struggling with my putter. I kept with it, kept practicing, kept grinding, but it wasn’t really getting any better, so sometimes it’s just time for a change.”

Johnson was following in the footsteps of Tommy Fleetwood, who also decided to play a TaylorMade Bandon 1 with a LA Golf TPZ 135 shaft at Harbour Town.

In his piece last week, our Ryan Barath described the putter as a “combination of the Truss TM1, along with a traditional plumbers neck hosel. It is also fitted with a Pure Roll insert.”

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