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Best driver 2023: Most forgiving driver

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At GolfWRX, to determine the 2023 best driver, we have once again compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of the 2023 drivers is best for your game.

We continue to exist in an era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player with the driver. Discretionary weight within the driver is also at an all-time high, so engineers are able to provide the widest range of performance characteristics in the metalwood era.

Custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make, and we believe the best way to find your personal best driver is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor.

The difficult part is many golfers don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders — so at GolfWRX, in addition to breaking down the best options across three swing speed ranges, we’re also presenting the most forgiving drivers for the player who preferences forgiveness above all else (meet our fitters here).

Most forgiving driver of 2023

Ping G430 Max

With a shallower and thinner VFT forged face design, Ping engineers sought to add speed and distance without undermining an element Ping drivers have been known for: forgiveness. For slower-swing-speed golfers, G430 Max can be custom built with lighter head weights. G430 Max is suitable for the widest segment of the fitting bell curve and features a 25-gram, high-density tungsten moveable back weight (±8 yards of shot shaping).

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

Fitter notes

  • If you want a forgiving driver with a back CG, this thing is great for mishits.
  • Very stable head that just hits it straight.
  • It’s Ping. For a fitter, we know what that means: It goes straight!
  • The leader in forgiveness, plus it has adjustability to help with bias.
  • Hands down the most forgiving driver on the market. Off-center hits aren’t moving offline quite as much. The handicaps that this driver can fit is so wide.
  • Ping continues to lead from the front when discussing forgiveness and dispersion. First option pulled in a fitting whenever finding the fairway is an issue.
  • Just like the G425 Max, the G430 Max goes very, very straight. The adjustable weights move CG a lot so that can make a big impact on curvature. The sweet spot has been slightly increased over the g425 max which I didn’t think was possible.
  • It’s Ping; they make one of the most forgiving driver on the market.

Callaway Paradym

An almost completely carbon fiber body is the “paradigm shift” of Callaway’s Paradym driver (360° Carbon Chassis). Eliminating titanium from the body of the club allowed engineers to distribute weight in a manner that “breaks the tradeoff between incredible distance and exceptional forgiveness,” according to the company. With high MOI and adjustable perimeter weighting, Paradym fits the largest segment of the fitting bell curve. It’s high launch, low spin, neutral ball flight driver.

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

Fitter notes

  • Forgiving, fast, but most importantly, accurate! I am seeing the gains in fits with these drivers left and right! The tech in this driver has made mishits almost as good as the good shots are! Never had better misses that went further.
  • We’re seeing that the adjustable weight can definitely help to reduce ball curvature.
  • Incredibly, incredibly forgiving on mishits.
  • Down range dispersion is something Callaway has been chatting about for a while with this driver. Long and straight won’t get you into trouble. Players who don’t strike the center are seeing more ball speed being created on mishits.
  • Mishits are still in play and not costing us penalty strokes. Callaway really has a winner this year with their entire Paradym lineup. Much more consistent to target than previous generations.
  • The Paradym is the straightest driver Callaway has ever made. I see mishits fly straight almost every time it’s tested. Not a lot of D-plane curvature so right shots don’t continue curving right and left shots don’t continue curving left. Dispersion has been cut 10-20% in a lot of fittings I’ve conducted.

Titleist TSR2

TSR is the next generation of the Titleist Speed Project that began more than six years ago with the TS series and continued with TSi models in 2020. There are three models in the TSR line, which began tour seeding in June. TSR2 is a high-launch, low-spin “max” driver, balancing speed and stability that is designed for the player who makes contact across the face.

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

Fitter notes

  • Forgiving solid driver for a wide spectrum of players who need a combo of an easy driver without too high spin.
  • A really forgiving driver with plenty of adjustability to help the player.
  • Supreme adjustability both ways and very forgiving.
  • The combination of ball speed with a mid-high trajectory and long distance down the middle of the fairway. For a player who tends to hit it all over the face, this driver doesn’t- have as much curve on the shot shape as other models do.
  • The driver just flat-out performs in every aspect. Extremely straight, but not going to be the best option for faders or slicers of the ball. If you fight an over draw or big pulls and want to hit is straighter, TSR2 is definitely going to have a chance of making it in your bag.
  • This is the straightest driver in Titleist’s lineup.

TaylorMade Stealth 2

With TaylorMade Stealth 2, engineers are bringing carbon to more of the golf club — and unveiling a new-and-improved Carbon Twist Face in the process. Stealth 2 is a mid-launch, mid-spin driver that is tailored for the widest segment of the fitting bell curve. It features a 25-gram tungsten TaylorMade Swingweight System weight on the Inertia Generator to dial in launch and spin.

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

Fitter notes

  • Twist Face reduces the penalty on off-center strikes.
  • Twist Face really helps the average player end up closer to the target on mishits.
  • Twist Face really seems to work. I’ve seen a lot of heel shots be pretty killer. Stealth 2 may not as good on the toe shots as some other drivers, but my average player misses more heel than toe.
  • All-around great performer. Shape of the Stealth 2 is much cleaner, and most people notice an increase in confidence at address almost immediately compared to the original Stealth. Increased forgiveness vs Stealth 2 Plus without seeing a huge jump in spin. For those that need a bit help on mishits but need to keep an eye on launch conditions, Stealth 2 is arguably the best all-around performer on the market.

Callaway Paradym X

An almost completely carbon fiber body is the “paradigm shift” of Callaway’s Paradym driver (360° Carbon Chassis). Eliminating titanium from the body of the club allowed engineers to distribute weight in a manner that “breaks the tradeoff between incredible distance and exceptional forgiveness,” according to the company. Paradym X is a draw-biased, high-launching, high-MOI driver. It features a larger profile and is the most forgiving driver in the lineup.

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

Fitter notes

  • It has draw bias to it, but it doesn’t look hooded or closed or anything. It’s a very easy to square up golf club. That’s a better way to describe it, for me. It spins a little more and is a little more forgiving [than Paradym]. If you put them on the ground, you can barely tell the difference between X and Paradym, but Paradym X is easier to square up. Callaway absolutely crushed it with this one.
  • CG that far back in the club produces a forgiving driver for shots across the face.
  • Callaway’s most forgiving driver. With a very slight draw bias to it, the player will get great forgiveness with all the distance that Callaway is known for.
  • Super high MOI help’s keep they face squarer on off-center hits.
  • Great club for slower-speed players looking to keep the ball in play.

Now it’s your turn: Everybody swings the club differently, and everybody has their own experience with a driver in hand. We want to hear from you. Let us know in the discussion thread linked below: What driver are you using? What did you switch from? What performance gains did you find in your own game?

RELATED: Best driver 2023

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Whats in the Bag

Xander Schauffele WITB 2024 (May)

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  • Xander Schauffele what’s in the bag accurate as of the PGA Championship. 

Driver: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees @10.1)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 70 TX (45.5 inches)

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 80 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 90 TX

Irons: Mizuno MP-20 (3), Callaway Apex TCB ’24 (4-10)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid X100 (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-10)

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52-10S), Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (56-10S @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-K @61)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Design Las Vegas Prototype 7CH
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Align

Ball: Callaway Chrome Tour

Check out more in-hand photos of Xander Schauffele’s clubs in the forums.

More Xander Schauffele WITBs

 

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Whats in the Bag

Cam Smith WITB 2024 (May)

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Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X

3-wood: Ping Max G430 Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Red 7 X

7-wood: Titleist TS2 (21 degrees, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Proto 8F5

Irons: Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi (2, 3), Titleist T100 (5-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X Custom Series

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M, 60-04T)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X (46, 52, 56, 60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Tack

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Check out more in-hand photos of Cam Smith’s gear here.

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Whats in the Bag

Patrick Reed WITB 2024 (May)

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Driver: Ping G400 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 125 MSI 70 Tour X

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 125MSI 80 Tour X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Phenom Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: Titleist 716 TMB (2), Grindworks PR-202 (4), Grindworks PR-101A (5-PW)
Shafts:  True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore (50-10 Mid), Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (56-08M @55), SM10 (60-04T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot RX Pt Customs No. 2

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

More photos of Patrick Reed’s WITB in the forums.

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