Best Golf Drivers Of 2019

Posted by GolfBox on 27th Mar 2019

Drivers. They’re big, bold and brash - they’re the rock stars of the golf bag.

And every time a new one is released, it generates the sort of frenzied excitement among golfers that almost matches the hysteria a tech head experiences waiting for the latest iPhone to hit the shelves.

While GolfBox stores haven’t had any golfing diehards camping out overnight to claim first-purchased bragging rights, it doesn’t necessarily mean golfers are any less engaged.

They generally want to know two things: what’s the new tech in the driver and how will it make my drives longer and straighter?

The Top Drivers of 2019 guide will answer those questions so you can go ahead and choose the ‘D’ that’s right for you.

BEST GOLF DRIVERS OF 2019 (in no particular order)

  • TaylorMade M5
  • Callaway Epic Flash & Sub Zero
  • Cobra F9>
  • TaylorMade M6
  • Mizuno ST190 & ST190G
  • PING G410

TAYLORMADE M5 DRIVER

WHAT’S NEW

The TaylorMade M5 driver carries on TaylorMade’s Twist Face technology but has its performance fine-tuned through a new testing regime during the manufacturing process and the introduction of a tuning resin.

A new adjustable weight tracking system on the  M5’s sole has been designed in an ‘inverted T’ shape for efficiency and offers a greater number of ball flight options.

The M5 also has a re-engineered hammerhead slot as well as a lighter carbon fibre crown.

HOW IT WORKS

You’re probably wondering how some resin can make anything faster, let alone a driver constructed from speed-inducing materials like titanium and carbon fibre.

TaylorMade call the  M5 “Speed Injected” as the resin optimises the COR (coefficient of restitution) over a greater area of the clubface and is responsible for the M5’s boost in ball speed compared to its predecessor, the M3.

The  M5’s face is actually manufactured above the legal COR limit (it behaves like a trampoline more than it should) and only becomes legal when the liquid resin is injected behind the clubface to stiffen the face and lower the COR until it reaches conforming range.

And TaylorMade are keen to show off their handiwork, with two distinctive red screws near the heel and toe covering the ports through which the resin is injected.

A new testing procedure was developed to measure the COR of every  M5 on the production line, with an algorithm calculating the exact amount of resin to be injected behind the clubface so it becomes legal.

It ensures greater consistency, with every  M5 as close as possible to the maximum COR figure.

STANDARD SHAFTS AND LOFTS

Choose between a Mitsubishi Tensei CK 60 or Project X HZRDUS 70 shaft, and 9, 10.5 or 12 degree lofts.

WHO WILL LIKE IT

Players who like to tinker with ball flights and shot-shaping will appreciate the new ‘inverted-T’ track, which permits extra combinations with the two sliding weights (1770 combinations compared to the M3’s 1000).

The new resin injection achieves increased ball speeds for extra distance and makes it more forgiving; the new hammerhead slot also makes the  M5’s sweet spot 66 per cent bigger than the M3.

There is also a smaller-headed  M5 Tour.

Click HERE to see more info on the TaylorMade M5 Driver


CALLAWAY EPIC FLASH DRIVER

WHAT’S NEW

In a first for a golf club, the  Callaway Epic Flash’s face has been designed by artificial intelligence. The new Flash Face ties in with Callaway’s famous Jailbreak Technology for superior ball speeds out of the middle of the face.

A revised sliding weight system, which runs along the perimeter of the  Epic Flash’s sole, produces a draw or fade bias and a new tighter weave of carbon fibre has reduced the crown’s weight.

HOW IT WORKS

The  Callaway Epic Flash’s face was designed by machine learning, which determined the good and the bad in 15,000 simulations before achieving perfection.

The final Flash Face design appears to be a random pattern of bumps and valleys and it was so unintuitive that Callaway engineers admit they never could have created it.

But it certainly works.

The Flash Face works in conjunction with the internal Jailbreak bars, which stiffen the body of the driver, to optimise the coefficient of restitution (COR). Faster ball speeds, especially out of the centre of the face, mean that when you nail one out of the sweet spot, it’ll go further than ever before.

STANDARD SHAFTS AND LOFTS

Decide between three shafts - Project X EvenFlow, Project X HZRDUS and Mitsubishi Tensei AV – and 9, 10.5 and 13.5 degree lofts.

WHO WILL LIKE IT?

A bit of artificial input seems to have been successful in making the  Callaway Epic Flash longer than the previous Callaway Rogue driver.

And for golfers who appreciate some assistance to shape the ball, the return of an adjustment system - absent in the Rogue - is another tick of approval.

There is also a low-spin model called the  Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero that shares the same tech but has a static sole weight situated just after the Jailbreak rods to reduce spin.

Click HERE to see more info on the Callaway Epic Flash Drivers


COBRA F9 DRIVER

WHAT’S NEW

Cobra have invested a great deal of resources into the new Speedback technology in the Cobra F9 driver, which finds the perfect balance between CG and aerodynamic performance.

The  F9 has also utilised more carbon fibre in its design while the CNC milled face that debuted in the previous Cobra F8 driver has been made three per cent thinner and 10 per cent lighter.

HOW IT WORKS

The  Cobra F9’s Speedback shaping boosts club head speed by being more efficient aerodynamically, but manages to do it without affecting the all-important CG (centre of gravity).

Keeping the CG low creates the highly sought low spin/high launch characteristics.

But making a driver more efficient through the air usually results in the CG being raised into a less-than-ideal position.

The  F9’s Speedback solution streamlines the driver’s front and rear edges and introduces some new aerodynamic ridges on the crown to make the F9 slice through the air with ruthless efficiency. But to alleviate the CG concerns, Cobra have redesigned the rear assembly, which now houses a tungsten weight to keep the CG low and deep within the F9.

And while the new thinner and lighter CNC-milled clubface will boost ball speeds, a subtle curve in the heel and toe areas provides more forgiveness for heel and toe strikes through the gear effect; toe strikes will have more of a high fade bias and heel strikes will receive a low draw bias.

STANDARD SHAFTS AND LOFTS

A choice of four shafts: Helium 50, Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue 6, Project X HZRDUS Smoke 60 and Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Black 7. The  Cobra F9 comes in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees, plus a Ladies/Junior model in 12.5 degrees.

WHO WILL LIKE IT?

The  Cobra F9 is quite the package, with its slippery design achieving a 2.4km/h increase in ball speed on last year’s F8 driver.

And with two different colour schemes, it will hold wide appeal: there’s a yellow/black with gloss finish on the crown or a polar white/black featuring a matt crown.

The  Cobra F9 driver is the sort of driver that holds a tonne of new tech but retains a simple and uncluttered feel about it.

There’s no adjustable sole weighting system but there is the option of swapping the front and rear sole weights (14g and 2g) to produce a higher launching ball flight with more spin.

Click HERE to see more info on the Cobra F9 Driver


MIZUNO ST190 DRIVERS

WHAT’S NEW

The Mizuno blue has officially been given the boot and black is back for the  Mizuno ST190 driver.

The  ST190’s Amplified Wave sole has been redesigned with a larger initial ripple, while several ‘ribs’ have been added inside the clubhead to reduce energy loss and finetune the driver’s feel and sound.

A new carbon fibre crown is 7g lighter than the one used on the previous Mizuno ST180 driver and the centre of gravity (CG) has been optimised with a revamped hosel structure.

A new customisable CG model called the  ST190G is also available, which features a twin-track sole weighting system.

HOW IT WORKS

Low spin/high launch gets even more efficient in the  Mizuno ST190, with its reworked Amplified Wave sole generating a larger area of optimal COR (coefficient of restitution) on the club face.

With the COR enhanced across a greater section of the face, the  ST190 is on the whole more forgiving and boasts increased ball speeds, particularly on off-centre strikes.

The new design concentrates the CG lower, with improved launch and spin conditions achieved through the lighter carbon crown and a redesigned hosel structure.

Internal ribs reduce the energy lost at impact for greater ball speeds off the club face and also make the head of the  Mizuno ST190 reverberate with a tuned impact sound.

The  ST190’s 6g sole weight has been pushed further to the rear to increase the moment of inertia (MOI) making the driver more stable when a strike isn’t out of the sweet spot.

STANDARD SHAFTS AND LOFTS

Choose between a range of Atmos shafts: Blue 5S, Red 5R, Red 5R2, Red 6R and Black TS 6S and lofts of 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. The weight-adjustable  ST190G comes only in 9 degrees.

WHO WILL LIKE IT?

The  Mizuno ST190 driver has joined the dark side, literally, with the black finish probably less divisive than the blue heads of previous Mizuno drivers.

And with the  ST190G providing an option for players who prefer some degree of flight and shape adjustability, the ST190 range will appeal to a wide section of the golfing public.

The  ST190 is longer than its predecessor, the ST180, and has a beautiful sound at impact thanks to Mizuno’s extensive work on positioning the internal ‘ribs’ to make the driver sound and feel as first-rate as it performs.

Players who are familiar with Mizuno irons will no doubt appreciate Mizuno’s finest driver to date, but the  ST190 is certainly worth a look for players not so familiar with the Mizuno range of clubs.

Click HERE to see more info on the Mizuno ST190 Drivers


TAYLORMADE M6 DRIVERS

WHAT’S NEW

Following in the footsteps of the TaylorMade M5, the new Twist Face-enabled M6 is the more forgiving sibling which doesn’t feature any weight adjustability system on the sole.

But like the  M5, the M6 gets the speed injection resin treatment and TaylorMade’s revised hammerhead slot.

The M6 also gets a new ‘inertia generator’ and a lighter carbon fibre crown.

HOW IT WORKS

Every  TaylorMade M6 driver achieves the maximum allowable COR (coefficient of restitution) through a new manufacturing and testing process, to maximise ball speed and distance off the tee.

The face of each  TaylorMade M6 driver is actually too flexible when it is made – it exceeds the COR limit and is non-conforming.

However, a new process sees TaylorMade test each head before injecting the precise amount of resin behind the club face to stiffen it just enough until it just hits the maximum legal COR limit.

The new inertia generator is a 46g weight that sits on the rear portion of the sole to lower the  M6’s CG.

Concentrating this much weight optimally was only possible through the additional carbon fibre that is employed on the M6, with a huge 46 per cent increase of the lightweight material compared to the M4.

STANDARD SHAFTS AND LOFTS

There’s an M6 driver specced for both men and women, with lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 for men and 10.5 and 12 for women.

The men’s M6 has a choice of two shafts: Fujikura Atmos Orange 5 or Fujikura Atmos Black 6, while the women’s stock shaft is a TaylorMade Tuned Performance 45g shaft.

WHO WILL LIKE IT

The  TaylorMade M6 is suited to players who prefer forgiveness but aren’t prepared to short change themselves on distance.

The new ‘inertia generator’ beefs up the  M6’s forgiveness and makes the driver particularly user-friendly while TaylorMade’s "Speed Injected" tech gets a big tick because the M6 is longer than its predecessor, the M4.

Like the M4 versus the M3, the  M6 will be the better option than the M5 for some golfers, with its slightly different spin characteristics adding distance to those who require it most.

There is also a  TaylorMade M6 D-Type that can counteract a slice or produce the much-desired drawing ball flight off the tee.

Click HERE to see more info on the TaylorMade M6 Driver


PING G410

WHAT'S NEW

The  PING G410 Plus Driver is the first PING driver to feature an adjustable weight tracking system and has a slightly larger 455cc head than the G400.

A set of redesigned turbulators on the crown are more efficient and a new adjustable hosel featuring eight settings makes its debut, offering loft increments of plus or minus 1.5 degrees.

A new ‘creased crown’ is also introduced and successfully works in unison with PING’s Dragonfly technology.

HOW IT WORKS

PING have finally dipped their toes into the weight-adjustability water with the  G410 driver.

A 16g tungsten weight can be located in one of three positions - neutral, fade or draw – and produces 10 yards of bias either way.

With the weight tracking channel positioned along the extreme outside perimeter of the club head, the  G410 achieved a significant feat by surpassing the MOI of the previous PING G400 driver.

The new creased crown stiffens the  G410’s body to provide greater flexibility on the forged T9S+ face, elevating ball speeds across the entire width of the face, while the Dragonfly technology thins out the crown to concentrate weight lower in the driver and optimise the CG for a high launch/low spin flight.

STANDARD SHAFTS AND LOFTS

There are four standard shafts to pick from, including a new PING Alta CB Red 55 that has an 8g counterbalance in the grip end. Other options are the PING Tour 65, Project X EvenFlow Black 75 and Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 60.

The  G410 comes in lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees.

WHO WILL LIKE IT

Forgiveness has always been an important trait for a PING driver, which explains why it took so long for PING to introduce weight adjustability to their drivers.

PING weren’t prepared to sacrifice forgiveness (MOI), and performance, just to enable CG customisation.

And with PING’s proud history of upping the MOI in every new driver, the  G410 has raised the bar in the MOI department while including a weight adjustability system.

It makes the  PING G410 a very versatile driver, with forgiveness, distance and correction/shaping all available in the one package.

And there is also a PING G410 SFT driver (straight flight technology) that is draw biased.

The G410 SFT doesn’t feature adjustable weighting like the standard  G410 (which is known as the G410 PLUS) but a permanent tungsten weight on the rear produces 50 per cent more CG bias in the heel to help close the club face.