All about driver headsFebruary, 2012 Golf Equipment
Master club builder Gary Pickering reveals all...
The rules of golf state a driver head can be no larger than 460 cubic centimetres (cc), with dimensions no larger than 127mm x 127mm x 71mm.
Heads have a nominal weight of 200 grammes but many are built lighter to allow users to swing the club quicker without extra effort.
The top of a driver head is called the crown and is often made from very light material, which allows weight to be positioned in different parts of the sole to promote different flights.
For example, when it is pushed back, it launches the ball high, and when it is pushed towards the toe it promotes a fade. This is known as altering the centre of gravity.
Clubhead shapes vary for different abilities.
Heads that are larger front to back offer a deeper centre of gravity and high trajectory, as well as lots of forgiveness.
This makes them ideal for beginners who want to launch the ball as high as possible.
Taller heads launch the ball lower and are usually less forgiving.
Generally speaking, if you struggle to get the ball airborne and want maximum carry, go for low centre of gravity heads. If you frequently play in wind and want to keep it flatter, go for a deeper-faced club.
Loft is vital to the performance of a driver.
Many drivers are designed to minimise backspin so can therefore force the ball to fall out of the air quickly.
If you swing slowly or hit it low, a driver with a lot more loft – think about trying a 12 or even a 13˚model – it should maximise your carry. The stick from your playing partners will be worth it when you’re smacking it past them every hole!