Every golfer has that dream of stepping onto the tee and bombing one straight down the fairway and 30 yards past everyone else! With the range of modern drivers bolstered by the latest technology, drivers add yards to the average player’s drive.
The latest offerings from TaylorMade, Titleist, Callaway, Cobra, and Ping, offer some of the most forgiving yet longest-hitting drivers ever made. Models like the Sim2, the Tsi 3, Epic Speed, RadSpeed, and the G425 deliver greater distance off the tee.
But which one is the longest driver depends on a few factors like the shaft, head, and the swing speed of the player. So let’s tee it up and tee off on the longest drivers for 2021.
The Fundamentals Of Distance In Golf
Outside of the swing mechanics and other related factors, the single most significant factor with golf ball distance is the speed of the clubhead at the point of impact. The faster the clubhead is moving when it hits the ball; the further the ball will go.
This is simple physics in that the greater the kinetic energy of an object at impact, the more force it will transfer to the target upon impact. If you have seen the numbers on Bryson De Chambeau’s swing, the focus is on clubhead and ball speeds.
The other influence on the distance is the clubhead’s design and the shaft’s effectiveness to deliver energy to the golf ball. This is a question of swing speed for shafts – the higher the swing speed, the less flex you need, and vice versa.
Shafts And Swing Speed – A Quick Overview.
The type of shaft you need on your driver will depend solely on your swing speed. While you can get an absolute multitude of shafts for any driver, you need to know which one to use for your swing speed.
The table below lays out the shaft choice vs swing speed.
|Swing Speed rating||Swing Speed in Mph||Shaft Choice in Flex|
|Slow||75 mph or lower||L Flex|
|Medium||75 mph – 85mph||A Flex|
|Medium Fast||85 mph – 95mph||R Flex|
|Fast||95mph -110mph||S Flex|
|Very Fast||110mph or faster||X Flex|
The next step is to know what your swing speed is, and you can easily find that out by visiting a store or using a launch monitor at your range or pro shop to measure your swing speed.
The shaft length also plays a role in driver distance as the longer the shaft, the more distance you would get, but you’d be more prone to inconsistency on those swings. The average shaft length is 45.5″ and 46.5,” and the maximum shaft length is 48″.
Most shafts are made from graphite as this material is the best for handling the forces and speeds in a driver swing. As far as the shaft weight goes, the slower the swing speed, the lighter the weight.
A breakneck swing speed with a light shaft would cause the shaft to ‘whip’ more, causing too much spin, higher launch, and a broader dispersion pattern – i.e., less consistent accuracy.
The torque on the shaft indicates how much ‘twist’ there is in the clubhead at impact, too much or too little, and the strike won’t be effective based on your swing speed. As the rule of thumb for torque, the lower the swing speed, the higher the torque.
As far as the flex-point or kick-point is concerned, this is the two inches on the shaft where the most bending occurs during the swing. The faster your swing, the higher the kick point needed to generate a controlled ball flight.
How Lofts, Launch, And Spin Affect Distance
Without getting too technical, these factors all influence how far you drive the ball. The loft and launch determine the trajectory of the ball. So the higher the loft, the higher the launch and the higher the ball flight.
When a ball is launched high, it usually has a lot of spin. For a driver, 2500rpm or less is considered optimal, while higher will cause the ball to lose distance. This is why, when looking at drivers, you take into consideration the loft and launch angles.
For the higher handicap player, getting the ball in the air and straight is the key to giving yourself a chance to score. No good hitting it 300 yards if you’re in the rough or penalty areas.
However, the lower lofted clubs require higher swing speed to generate ball speed and compression off the clubface to get it into the air and travel. So a higher handicap player with a slower swing speed should look at 10.5° lofted drivers, while a better player with higher swing speed can look at a 9° lofted club.
Most of the drivers listed below can be used by players of any skill level with shafts and lofts matched to swing speed and ability. This is precisely why it is so important to have your swing numbers and get properly fitted for your driver.
Now that we have the technical elements out of the way, let’s look at six of the longest drivers you can buy today. With an offering from all the major players, you will surely find one that works for your game.
1. The TaylorMade Sim2 Driver
Every year TaylorMade looks to deliver a more improved driver offering forgiveness and distance, and the Sim2 Drivers certainly live up to that promise.
With three models, the Sim2, Sim2 Max, and Sim2 Max D, available, they offer golfers of all skill levels the chance to hit it further off the tee with greater forgiveness. The Sim 2 Max D is the most forgiving of the three models.
On the SIM2 models, TaylorMade has introduced Speed Injected Twist Face technology, and while it sounds like a mouthful, it is about increasing spin and distance by offsetting hits on the toe or heel.
The superb stock shafts, either Tensei AV or HZRDUS Smoke, are available in the various flexes to suit swing speeds, but the standard stiff and regular flex are probably more suited to players with higher swing speed.
2. Titleist TSi3 Driver
With this driver, Titleist brings the latest technology to bear, giving more clubhead speed from the previous TS3, and testing showed a tighter dispersion even with the increased ball and clubhead speed.
The TSI is made with Aerospace Titanium, which means that even on mis-hits, you’ll get great ball speed no matter where you hit on the face. Not only that, but their higher MOI design means reduced spin, so better dispersion rates as well.
Another improvement is that players can now see where the sole weight is sitting from the address rather than unscrew and remove it as per earlier models.
The TSi3 also has an exceptional range of adjustments, and this club will deliver more distance, forgiveness, and accuracy to suit all players, not just the better player. Opting for this driver may require some adjustment settings as well.
The TSI range has an incredible offering on the stock shafts, which are the Tensei AV White, Tensei AV Blue, HZRDUS Smoke, and Kuro Kage Black,
As with any of the drivers here, getting custom-fitted in terms of shafts and lie is always a good idea so you can maximize the results from your investment. Still, this is a longer-hitting driver with a smaller, more compact head and total adjustability.
3. The Cobra RadSpeed Driver
This driver starts at a 9° degree loft, which is ideal for the players with higher swing speed. Combined with the Fujikura Motore stiff shaft, it keeps the ball launch lower, giving more distance on the drive.
With the RadSpeed, Cobra has increased the distance between the back and front weights relative to the center of gravity, and this produces a faster speed off the clubface and lowers spin, resulting in a longer distance.
The RadSpeed has three models with the RadSpeed, The RadSpeed XB, and the RadSpeed XD. The XB model is for handicaps from the 5-15 range, and the XD is the most forgiving for the higher handicap players.
This club is more suited to the better level of player as this weighting reduces the forgiveness of the club, so off-center or toe/heel hits are not going to be great.
The carbon fiber crown promotes the draw bias flight and, while not as forgiving, solid, consistent striking, will see your ball fly further with the lower spin. Should you have a higher swing speed around the 100Mph or better mark, this mid-low launch driver may well be your club of choice.
The RadSpeed comes with three shaft choices that determine the launch characteristics. The Fujikura X F3 for mid-high launch, HZRDUS Smoke Blue for mid-launch, and the Fujikura Motore X F1 for low launch and low spin.
If it’s any consolation, Bryson De Chambeau recently clocked a ball speed of 217mph with this driver – so it is most certainly built for speed!
4. Callaway 2021 Epic Speed Driver
While the RadSpeed may be better for players with faster swing speeds, the Epic is more suited to the slower end of the swing speed scale. With the standard 12° loft and 40g Cypher shaft, the Epic Speed works for players around the 80mph swing speed mark.
The Jailbreak Speed Frame allows for faster speed, and it even has speed fins installed on the club’s sole and, along with the flattened crown, cuts through the air with the aerodynamic precision of a fighter jet!
The crown is made from a triaxial carbon composite material that saves and redistributes weight, and the draw bias is generated from the toe, which is made from the same material as the crown.
Lastly, the bright green HZRDUS Smoke iM10 shaft certainly makes both a visual and distance statement, so if you are not the fastest but still want to hit it far, this driver could be the one you’ve been waiting for.
5. Ping G425 Driver LST
LST stands for Low Spin Technology, and combined with the pear-shaped design, this driver series is one of the longest hitting available. The 17g shifter allows for neutral, draw, and fade bias settings
The slightly smaller 455cc head is complimented with dragonfly technology producing more clubhead speed with less drag. It offers good forgiveness with such a low spin model producing straighter flight and dispersion.
This translates to hitting more fairways and bombing them longer, with those off-center hits being a little less offline.
6. Mizuno ST200 Series Driver
Mizuno has come to this party by successfully combining low spin and high forgiveness in this driver, giving players consistency in accuracy and distance. All the models are adjustable in the loft by four degrees and lie.
The driver’s face is made from SAT Beta Titanium, making it 17% stronger than past drivers, and this delivers high ball speed off the clubface and their Wave Sole technology that decreases drag.
This range of drivers focuses on having a low-spin high forgiveness club that specifically targets lowering the spin rate to get more distance. With three models to choose from to match skill level, the ST 200 is for the higher handicap players, with the fixed rear weight providing forgiveness and low spin.
The ST200G is designed for players with higher swing speeds and has two 7g adjustable sliding weights that can be used to adjust the fade or draw as well as the spin rate.
The ST200X has the heel weighting to encourage the draw bias and is touted as the ‘game improvement’ club promoting a high launch and a lighter grip and lighter shaft for increased swing speed.
What Is The Longest Hitting Driver Of All Time?
Well, this is more about the golfer than the driver, but you’d think that one of the modern players with all the latest technology in drivers would hold that record- and you’d be dead wrong!
The longest drive, as recognized by Guinness World Records, is held by Mike Austin and was recorded in 1974 at the US Senior National Open Qualifier! The 64-year-old golfer used a 43.5” steel shafted PERSIMMON WOOD driver and smashed it monstrous 515 yards!
The European record was achieved in 2005 with Allen Doyle hitting the ball 473 yards.
There you have it, six of the longest-hitting drivers you can buy today! Remember that you need to know your numbers before spending any money so that you get the best blast off the tee for your buck!
The great thing about buying drivers today is that there is a lot of info from players just like you and professional advice to get you properly fitted and kitted, so whichever driver you buy, you are going to bomb it!
But having seen the world record set by a persimmon wood, maybe you should dig out those dusty old steel shafted drivers and have a go with those!