Best Golf Drivers 2022

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What are the best golf drivers in 2022? Our in-depth test reveals all.

JUMP TO: Low Spin Drivers | Forgiving Drivers | Draw Drivers | How we tested | What we learned

Nearly every manufacturer has taken the approach that golfers can be split pretty neatly into three different categories of driver: low spin, maximum forgiveness, and draw-biased. So that’s how we’ve split them for the purposes of comparison in our drivers test (Read how we conducted our Drivers Test).

We tested the best golf drivers of 2022.

Golfers with above average swing speeds (usually low to mid handicappers) and those looking to cut spin to add distance to their drives will get most out of our Low Spin category comparison. If, like the majority of club golfers, you want a blend of excellent forgiveness and maximum distance, the Forgiving category is for you. Realists and slower swing speed players who appreciate a bit of help keeping a slice in check will find their best options in our Draw driver category.

This year the excitement surrounding one new driver, the TaylorMade Stealth, has been the noisiest we’ve ever heard, helped significantly by Tiger Woods declaring it the best driver he’s ever used. To say golfers are going nuts for the Stealth’s new carbon fibre face is a massive understatement.

Our drivers test puts Stealth up against the very best competition, with 32 different models involved. Our goal is not just to show how the Stealth compares to its peers, and confirm whether it does what the adverts promise, but also show how all the leading drivers out there perform, so you can buy better in 2022.

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We test 2022's drivers to find the best.

And you’re in the market for any other new clubs this year, make sure you read our guides to all of 2022’s best equipment, including fairway woodsirons and wedges, and use our recommendations to narrow your shortlist. If you can, always get fitted for your clubs, as that’s the only way to optimise new models for your game.

But without further a do, let’s delve into into the best drivers of 2022. Click any driver name to read our full review.

Best Forgiving Golf Drivers Test 2022

The head of a forgiving driver is often slightly wider from face to back, with more elongated shapes. Weight is stacked at the back of the head to aid stability, so where a low-spin driver might register 8,000 points on the MOI scale, a forgiving model will be closer to 10,000.

Forgiving models may leave a smidgen of ball speed on the table, as their weight set-up increases backspin. But we know they’re easier to live with on the course.

Who are forgiving drivers for?

These models can cover off the majority of club golfers. They are particularly well suited to golfers who spray shots around the face, and often end up in the hands of average and above swing speed players (85-100mph, with the average being 93mph). 

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The Cobra LTDx is one of the best drivers.

Cobra King LTDx driver

RRP £399 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shafts Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw White 65, Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke iM10 60, UST Helium Nanocore

What Cobra say

 The first driver to team a zero CG (a centre of gravity that falls below an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the club face through the body) along with a high MOI. The LTDx is aimed at golfers who want maximum ball speed and distance, but also value forgiveness and a straighter ball flight.

The 460cc head is slightly oversized in profile. There’s 19g of weight positioned within a ‘PWR-COR’ behind the face to lower spin and promote high launch; an additional 15g fixed back weight is there to aid balance and stability.   

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

The LTDx may be built on an improved titanium and carbon-fibre chassis, in line with the previous two Cobra drivers, but our test pro’s stats reveal it has moved on massively in terms of performance.

The LTDx was tied for second (with the Callaway Rogue ST Max) for fastest ball speed, first and second at protecting ball speed and carry (within this category) respectively, and it was also our pro’s second longest forgiving driver; an undeniably impressive performance.

To add to the cracking performance, we’re also big fans of the bullet-shaped head, which looks fast and forgiving at address, and were impressed how Cobra’s engineers have removed the ridge that ran around the perimeter of the CNC-milled face on previous models.

It’s a very sleek, attractive option – and a decent chunk cheaper than most of the competition this year.

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The Cobra LTDx is one of the best drivers.

Ping G425 Max driver

RRP £450 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shafts Ping Alta CB or Ping Tour

What Ping say 

The G425 is now into its second year, and Ping say you can expect it to remain in the family for the whole of this year.

Where others have moved into carbon-fibre for crowns, sole cut-outs and faces, Ping insist the all-titanium G425 can still compete.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Ping don’t work on a 12-month life cycle for drivers, and the G425 Max is still a current model for 2022.

We tested it last year and while its full titanium head wasn’t quite the very fastest or longest, it was our best driver at protecting carry drop off – our pro saw just seven yards between his longest and shortest shots, which makes for consistent performance on the course. That’s exactly what a lot of club golfers should be looking for, and it’s the same this year.

Our pro saw a six-yard (better than any other driver we tested this year) loss when shots were hit away from the centre of the driver face.

Considering the G425 Max was also the tied-third longest forgiving driver, it continues to offer a brilliant blend of speed, distance and forgiveness that lots of club golfers will want.

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The Cobra LTDx is one of the best drivers.

Callaway Rogue ST Max driver

RRP £479 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shafts Mitsubishi Tensei AV White 60 or Blue 50, Project X Cypher

What Callaway say 

The Max is the Rogue ST family’s most forgiving model. It has a traditional forgiving weight set-up, with a wider, more stretched body shape, and it isn’t a lower MOI driver with a forward CG for fast ball speeds as the previous Epic and Mavrik models have been.

The Max has a touch of draw bias built in (though nowhere near as much as the ST Max D), and Callaway say it’s easier to hit straight than the Ping G425 Max.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Based on the Max’s hugely impressive performance, we really shouldn’t give up on titanium faces just yet. Within this category the ST Max is outstanding.

It was our pro’s longest forgiving driver by five yards (a significant amount at his swing speed), but it’s not just raw power with no forgiveness; it also tied second-fastest in terms of ball speed and was third best at protecting carry drop off (nine yards or 3.2%), which is really beneficial when it comes to consistency. Its wide, stretched body, with new matt black crown manages to look really desirable at address.

But what’s really clever is that Callaway have built in a touch of draw bias to this model. The idea will help improve ball speeds for very slight heel strikers and give a hand to many golfers in attaining the ball flight shape they dream of.

The TaylorMade Stealth is one of the best drivers.

TaylorMade Stealth driver

RRP £469 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9º / 10.5º / 12º | Stock shaft Fujikura Ventus Red 5

What TaylorMade say

Stealth has a 60-layer carbon-fibre face to remove inefficient mass from the front of the driver. TaylorMade say it gives better energy transfer at impact and additional ball speed.

The Stealth also has a MOI 15% higher than the Stealth Plus, meaning you can expect 200-300rpm more backspin (so the Stealth is a mid to low-spin driver) than the Plus, along with a mid-high launch and ball flight.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

The best golf equipment brands make three or more different drivers for a very good reason. One model of any driver family will suit a particular golfer better than the rest, and because one stands out, the others (when hit by the same golfer) can on the surface at least appear less attractive. This is exactly the case with the Stealth in our test pro’s hands.

Because the Stealth Plus suited him so well, the standard Stealth looks an inferior choice. But be under no illusion, for the majority of club golfers that won’t be the case. The standard Stealth will offer a better combination of ball speed and backspin which will optimise carry distance, and thanks to the extra 15% MOI it will be more forgiving and easy to live with on the golf course.

For the standard Stealth’s extra forgiveness, our test pro gave up 1.8mph of ball speed (versus Stealth Plus, but back weighted forgiving drivers never generate the fastest ball speeds) and 14 yards of carry, yet it still produced the fourth fastest ball speed in this category.

By including the Stealth amongst our five best forgiving drivers of 2022 we’re saying we love and can see benefit in the better energy transfer concept of a carbon fibre face, but we’re not saying everyone needs to go buy one. But if you’re considering buying a new driver this year, the Stealth drivers have to be on your shortlist.

RELATED: We gained 65 yards with Stealth!

The Mizuno ST-Z 220 is one of the best drivers.

Mizuno ST-Z 220 driver

RRP £399 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9.5° / 10.5° | Stock shaft Choose from 14 premium options

What Mizuno say 

Brand new for 2022, the ST-Z 220 has been optimised for straight and low-spin performance. Where previous Mizuno drivers have focused on maximising ball speed through optimising launch and spin, Mizuno say the Z attacks additional consistency on off-centre strikes.

The confidence-inspiring 460cc profile will suit the eye of elite golfers who, thanks to a 20g back weight, want to keep an eye on ball speed protection and forgiveness.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Mizuno drivers have been fast, long and powerful for a few years now, but it’s worth remembering all that performance comes from their stock shaft length which tends to be 3/4” shorter (which improves confidence) than lots of the competition.

Whilst previous ST drivers have focused on optimising ball speed and spin, it’s great to hear Mizuno talk about the new ST 220 family being the final piece of the jigsaw, and going after ultimate forgiveness on off-centre strikes. It’s a big move by Mizuno – we’ve often discussed their big sticks offering offering less forgiveness in the past.

Like its predecessors the ST-Z 220 is a cracking looking driver and our test pro was a fan of the flatter look at address, which gave the impression of the driver sittng more squarely on its sole rather than the heel.

Sitting next to the Stealth the Z has a very different head shape – bigger and wider with a real stretched body footprint, and yet the driver manages to sound fantastic at impact.

The ST-Z was our 3rd longest forgiving driver of 2022 (tied with the Ping G425 Max and Titleist TSi2), its ball speed, backspin, shot height and drop-offs were all really solid right across the board, and don’t forget the Z costs a fair chunk less than most of it competitors.

Such is Mizuno’s confidence in their drivers that they now feel comfortable with just using their ‘Running Bird’ logo as an identifier of the maker, with no brand name on the club at all.

Best Forgiving Golf Drivers 2022: Also consider…

The Titleist TSi2 is one of the best golf drivers.

Titleist TSi2 driver

RRP £519 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10° / 11° | Stock shafts Offers four premium options

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

It feels like an age since the TSi family launched back in late 2020, but our test pro’s data shows the TSi2 (T3 longest with Ping G425 Max and Mizuno ST-Z 220) is still a force to be reckoned with.

We don’t love its head shape, but it does what exactly it’s supposed to. Even after two years, it’s still one of the most expensive drivers out there, and because there’s an update scheduled for later in 2022, despite the decent performance, we reckon it’s difficult to get fully behind the model right now.

The Cleveland Launcher XL is one of the best drivers.

Cleveland Launcher XL driver

RRP £379 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shaft Project X Cypher 50

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

On the surface it might seem a little unfair to put the Launcher XL, which is designed exclusively for club golfers, in the hands of our test pro. However, we did deck the model out with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke shaft that was more suited to our pro’s swing speed and launch conditions before testing commenced.

We’re a little gutted the XL’s numbers aren’t slightly better as the model is really friendly, and a model that tons of either new players or club golfers will be suited to. We love how the driver sits at address with its big but inoffensive appearance and a very square face angle, which reasonable golfers will really appreciate.

For golfers that don’t want to spend time getting fitted, and players that are more interested in getting out and having fun on the golf course than their gear, you really should have a look at the Launcher XL family (there’s also a Lite model involved in our Draw Driver category).

The Ben Hogan GS53 Max is one of the best drivers.

Ben Hogan GS53 Max driver

RRP £325 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° | Stock shafts Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black, Mitsubishi Tensei Blue, UST Helium

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Ben Hogan won’t be the first company many golfers think of when they’re thinking about a new driver in 2022, as the brand is more widely associated with brilliant forged irons and wedges. But we’ve tested the GS53 for a couple of years now and while it might lack the marketing excitement of some leading models, it really can hold its own from the tee.

Compared to the very best the GS53 doesn’t quite have the same fully optimised titanium and carbon fibre chassis (with carbon fibre panels removing all inefficient weight through lightweight sole panels), which meant our test pro gave up nine yards of carry distance against his very longest.

Remember though, at lesser speeds differences tend to be smaller, so for many the GS53 will be a decent performing model.

The PXG 0211 is one the best drivers.

PXG 0211 driver

RRP £205 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shafts Aldila NV Orange, Project X Evenflow Riptide CB, Mitsubishi Diamana S+

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

PXG expensive? Think again. Since being introduced at £325 last year, the 0211 has now dropped to £205, and this is a lot of driver for the money.

The model performed very well in our driver test last year and it’s done similarly well in 2022. PXG openly admit the 0211 isn’t their fastest or longest model, instead the driver is a brilliant all-rounder for combining speed and distance with forgiveness too.

Our data had the model down as 2nd best at preserving ball speed on off centre hits (in the forgiving category), whilst being 8 yards back from our very longest (which is also a newer model).

We love the super simple matt black head, no one can deny 0211 isn’t a brilliant all round purchase for lots of regular club golfers.

The Srixon ZX5 driver.

Srixon ZX5 driver

RRP £429 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9.5° / 10.5° | Stock shaft Project X Evenflow Riptide 50

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

2021 was a big year for Srixon drivers as not only did Hideki Matsuyama win the Masters playing his, but four-time Major champion Brooks Koepka signed to play the ZX5 too.

As much as we like the Srixon’s shape, profile and sound, our test pro didn’t post his best numbers with this model.

We’re certain with a proper fitting, as the stock Project X Evnflow Riptide shaft isn’t the perfect fit for our test pro, we could get more out of the ZX5.

Come August the ZX5 will be two year old, so it’s highly likely to be superseded with a newer model.

The Tour Edge Exotics C721 produced excellent balls speeds but a low launch and peak height.

Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver

RRP £349 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9.5° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shafts Fujikura Ventus 4T, Project HZRDUS Blue, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

We haven’t tested Tour Edge equipment for a very long time as their equipment has barely been available in the UK recently. That’s all changed now with the  brand now exclusively available from the UK’s largest golf retailer – American Golf.

On first inspection the C721 produced the fastest ball speeds of our entire test, which is a seriously impressive. But before getting too carried away, a deeper delve into the numbers shows the model also launched shots lower, with less spin and a lower peak height than any other forgiving driver. That’s not an ideal recipe for maximising carry distance.

The Tour Edge gave up 11 yards to our longest forgiving driver but our test pro commented on how fast shots catapulted off the face.

The Wilson D9 driver.

Wilson Staff D9 driver

RRP £299 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 13° | Stock shaft Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

As much as the D9 is a decent looking driver our test pro’s slightly downward attack angle isn’t the perfect marriage for a model that was developed with input from Wilson’s more upward striking tour staff. It means our test pro’s backspin was the highest in the category with this model, which robs carry distance at his speed.

The D9 is a very different beast (with a 30g heavier head weight than the D7) to previous D series drivers. Gone is the lightweight and lively feel, in its place is a much more stable traditional driver weight set-up, so the model now feels much more of a mid – low handicappers model. In the right hands the D9 will do a decent job and it won’t cost the earth.

RELATED: Most Forgiving Drivers

Data: Best Forgiving Golf Drivers 2022

The launch monitor data from our forgiving drivers test.

JUMP TO: Forgiving Drivers | Low Spin Drivers | Draw Drivers | How we tested | What we learned

Best Low Spin Golf Drivers Test 2022

Low spin drivers have been around for well over a decade. They generally position weight forward in the head, which improves ball speed and carry. And because we live in a launch monitor era, extra speed and distance is a pretty easy sell.

Until now, though, low spin drivers have been less forgiving, and it’s meant golfers have given away up to 20% of forgiveness (MOI) by opting for a low spin model. It meant their best drives were as good as could be, but their less-than-perfect drives were punished more severely. That was a big trade-off.

In 2022, new construction methods are targeting more forgiveness even in low spin models, attempting to deliver the best of both worlds.

Who are low spin drivers for?

Low spin drivers should fall into the hands of faster speed players as extra club speed naturally creates more spin.

The TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver is the best low-spin driver of 2022.

TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver

RRP £499 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 8° / 9° / 10.5° | Stock shafts Project X Hzrdus, Smoke Red RDX 60 (mid flight), Mitsubishi Kai’li White 60 (low flight) 

What TaylorMade say

The Stealth Plus+ has a 60-layer carbon fibre face, which removes inefficient mass from the driver face to improve energy transfer at impact, so golfers get extra ball speed.

A 10g sliding sole weight helps dial in shot shape or improve ball speed (when positioned behind a golfer’s typical impact location).

TaylorMade say this model will be most at home in the hands of golfers who want to chase distance through lowering spin, as well as players who like more workable drivers and those who have a particular shot shape preference. 

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Never, in 15 years of testing, have we seen a driver out-perform its peers by 12 yards of carry. Usually, once our pro’s data has been averaged, there’s rarely more than a handful of yards covering off the top models. And a performance difference that small can easily be caveated with “data can be reversed or slightly different on another day’s testing”. But double-digit carry distance gains are utterly unheard of, until this year.

We’ll admit to being pretty shocked by Stealth Plus putting in such a strong performance. We’d tested the model before (in creating our YouTube video) when it outperformed Callaway and Ping models, with tidy but not ground-breaking ball speed and carry distance gains (2.8mph of ball speed and four yards of carry distance gain over the longest). But those numbers were blitzed in our 2022 driver test. The difference in part at least can be explained in switching Neil Wain out of a recommended shaft (that to him felt hard work) and into the stock (low flight) Mitsubishi Kai’Li… and are we glad we did. 

To put the Stealth’s performance into context, the model produced a ball speed 1.1mph faster than any low-spin driver we hit. By 12 yards, it was the longest driver within the category (it was also our longest overall driver by three yards). The Plus was flat-out No.1 at protecting ball speed loss on off-centre hits and second best at minimising carry distance drop-offs (only beaten by PXG’s 0811 Gen4 X by two yards). In anybody’s book that’s an outstanding across-the-board performance.

After what we’ve seen, we’re comfortable naming the Stealth Plus as our best low-spin driver of 2022, an award we’ve never bestowed upon a single model (whether low-spin, forgiving or draw biased) before. We’re certainly not saying everyone will see a gain of 12 yards. What we are saying is that if you’re looking at buying a new low-spin driver in 2022, hit the Stealth.

To put some context around our test pro’s performance, Neil has never played a TaylorMade driver before. He’s now very excited about getting the Stealth Plus out onto the golf course, particularly because he loves the crisp sound just as much as any performance gain. In the past he has shied away from super low-spin drivers, because their forward CG is less forgiving. But we feel Stealth Plus isn’t the very lowest spinning driver out there, hence why it suits Neil so well. So a switch to this lower spinning model (even though it might not be the lowest spinning driver available) will give an immediate gain in ball speed.

Thanks to slightly less spin there will be a decent distance gain. But as it’s not super low-spin, chances are he will also hit the fairway more often than not, and that’s just the sort of equation lots of decent golfers could replicate for themselves by switching to Stealth Plus this year.

Best Low Spin Golf Drivers 2022: Also consider…

The Callaway Rogue ST Max LS driver is one of the best low-spin driver of 2022.

Callaway Rogue ST Max LS driver

RRP £479 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° | Stock shafts Mitsubishi Chemical AV White

What Callaway say

Callaway reckon the LS is a high MOI driver that’s been built to lower spin to offer above average swing speed players extra distance. Expect a strong, lower, more penetrating trajectory and a more neutral ball flight than the Rogue ST Max.

An excellent choice for bombers, who also want a degree of shot shaping capability, Callaway say the LS typically falls into the hands of mid- to low-handicap golfers.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Golf equipment has moved on massively since Callaway gave their 2013 X Hot driver a matt paintjob (it was dark grey not black), but we’re loving the return for this season’s Rogue ST. Equipment Editor Simon Daddow had the LS as his favourite looking driver in the category, with the matt black finish really inviting you to hit it.

Our test pro didn’t quite hit the same heights as he did with the standard Rogue ST Max, even though we tested both models with exactly the same shaft.

Our pro’s slightly downward attack angle saw the model giving up 2.9 mph of ball speed and 12 yards of carry distance to its more forgiving sibling. It’s highly likely that more neutral and upwards driver strikers could see these numbers reversed.

What’s certain is that the LS is one of the best low spin drivers of the year. If you’re a more consistent striker who wants to chase distance through lowering spin then it should be on your short list to try in 2022.

Our test pro worked hard to get the best out of the Cobra King LTDx LS driver.

Cobra King LTDx LS driver

RRP £399 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° | Stock shafts Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw White 65, Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke iM10 60

What Cobra say

The LS has more weight (32g) positioned towards the front of its titanium and carbon fibre head to lower spin and increase ball speeds. The 457cc head has an aggressive aerodynamic shape, which Cobra say aids faster speed players in rinsing every last yard from whatever club speed they can muster.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Having the long hitting Bryson DeChambeau on staff at Cobra must present some major issues for anyone who happens to be one of the brand’s driver engineers.

Of-course you’d always want DeChambeau playing this year’s new driver model (unfortunately DeChambeau very publicly let the brand know that he thought the previous RadSpeed driver was ‘junk’), but by making a model so tailored to his super quick speeds you end up creating a driver that’s almost unplayable for anyone else.

It seems a reasonable bet that Cobra tried to hit a sweetspot with the LTDx LS and that lays somewhere between what most low spin driver players want and what DeChambeau needs.

We can’t take anything away from the LTDx LS because its numbers are very good (tied 3rd longest). It’s also a lovely looking and great sounding driver too. But our test pro did say he felt like he had to work harder than with most other drivers to get the very best out of this model.

And when you compare it to the brilliant standard LTDx which was much more friendly and forgiving (it cut carry distance drop-off by 50% compared to the LS), it’s clear which of the models most club golfers should be choosing this year.

The Mizuno ST-G 220 driver.

Mizuno ST-G 220 driver

RRP £449 | VIEW OFFER
Loft 9° (Adjustable from 7-11°) | Stock shaft Choose from 14 premium options

What Mizuno say

Mizuno drivers have come of age in the last few years. Thanks to three sole weight tracks, the ST-G 220 can go from being an ultra low-spin bomber to a more playable mid-spin driver with either a draw or fade bias.

The G has a deeper face height and more compact front-to-back dimension, so expect a player’s profile. A very versatile driver with two 8g weights for dialling in shot shape, dialling down spin or upping forgiveness.   

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Mizuno have made some fantastic drivers over recent years, all of which have performed well for our test pro. The ST-G is the exception to that rule. Despite Mizuno insisting it’s not just for their tour staff, our pro struggled and lost a lot of shots right of his target, a ball flight he just doesn’t get with any other driver.

The driver only being available in 9º speaks volumes about who it is really aimed at – decent golfers looking for very specific launch conditions and/or a particular shot shape. If you can handle it (maybe as a good anti-left driver) the ST-G is a great looking driver at address, it sounds good and its movable sole weight tracks are super clever, as they take up the minimum amount of mass and don’t sprawl right across the sole plate.

It was our test pro’s shortest for carry distance (of any driver we tested). That’s not a huge surprise with the amount of fade spin, but more concerning for club golfers is the 25 yards of carry distance drop-off, the largest of any driver our test pro hit.

The Ping G425 LST driver.

Ping G425 LST driver

RRP £450 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° | Stock shafts Ping Tour, Ping Alta CB

What Ping say

The LST is Ping’s lowest spinning driver. A smaller, 445cc head is teamed with a 17g CG shifter to give a degree of shot shape control. The LST is usually a good match for higher swing speed players who specifically want to target lower spin for more distance.  

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

From what is a really good looking head shape and powerful profile at address, the LST was our second best low-spin driver at preserving ball speed from off-centre hits, and third best at minimising carry loss.

In terms of ball speed and carry, the LST wasn’t quite fastest or longest, but from our experience Ping drivers rarely are as their engineers tend to err on the side of slightly more forgiveness. Even though the LST is now into its second year, Ping assure us the model will comfortably see out 2022.

The PXG 0811 X Gen 4 driver.

PXG 0811 X Gen 4 driver

RRP £285 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 7.5° / 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shaft Choose from five premium options (regular flex)

What PXG say

The X is designed to be a low spinning driver. A taller face height (it’s the tallest of the three PXG Gen4 models) means the centre of gravity is lower in relation to the centre of the face.

An aggressively sloped crown from face to back helps create high launch with low spin for extra distance (usually at above average swing speeds).

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

The Gen4 X wasn’t quite our longest PXG driver in this category; the Gen4 XT (Xtreme Tour) had the upper hand on carry, by three yards. But look closer at our ball speed and carry distance drop- off comparisons.

The Gen4 X ranked third best at protecting ball speed and first for protecting carry (eight yards, where the XT gave up another 16 on top).That spells out very clearly why the X will likely be a better low-spin option for the majority of good club golfers than it’s more aerodynamic, tour-focused sibling.

The PXG 0811 XT Gen 4 driver.

PXG 0811 XT Gen 4 driver

RRP £285 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 7.5° / 9° / 10.5° | Stock shaft Choose from five premium options

What PXG say

The XT (Xtreme Tour) has a flatter head with the crown being much more parallel to the sole than most modern drivers, plus a high skirt to reduce drag.

A smaller toe-to-heel dimension specifically targets more speed for 105+mph speed players.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

When you employ big-hitting tour pros you need a driver that matches their thirst for speed and low spin. Tour player impact locations are usually much more consistent, so they can get away with using a driver like the XT that’s front weighted (for less spin and more ball speed) and specifically shaped for maximum aerodynamic performance.

This was our test pro’s second longest low-spin driver, so there’s plenty of power to unlock as long as you have the speed and launch to open up that performance. It’s a lot of driver for £285.

The Srixon ZX7 driver.

Srixon ZX7 driver

RRP £449 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9.5° / 10.5° | Stock shaft Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60

What Srixon say

Where the ZX5 has a more triangular head shape, the ZX7 is a much rounder, more traditional pear-shaped driver. Srixon say the flatter crown and higher back skirt shaping give a lower, more penetrating ball flight, which means the model is usually most at home in the hands of above average players.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

For golfers who aren’t brand-led when it comes to drivers, the ZX7 sits beautifully at address, the more pear-shaped head is very appealing and there’s nothing on the crown to draw or distract the eye; even the tiny alignment aid is very subtle – just the look really good players love.

Yes, we saw a sizeable drop-off in ball speed and carry, but those are exactly the attributes of a driver that’s designed to be more workable than just a flat-out bomber. And at the end of the day, the model was just three yards back from our second longest low-spin driver.

The Titleist TSi3 driver.

Titleist TSi3 driver

RRP £519 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 8° / 9° / 10° | Stock shafts Kuro Kage Black, Tensei AV Blue Raw, HZRDUS Smoke Black, Tensei AV White Raw

What Titleist say

The TSi3 has a more compact, traditional pear shape (than the TSi2), which Titleist say tends to be a good fit for more consistent ball strikers and golfers looking for control and influence over their driver ball flight.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

The TSi3 was among our six favourite low-spin drivers last year, but thanks to the performance of TaylorMade’s Stealth Plus it doesn’t quite replicate that in 2022. It’s still no slouch when it comes to low-spin performance, though.

Compared to our very best, the TSi3 was 14 yards back from the tee box, and thanks to 150% more drop-off distance (than our best low-spin driver) between our test pro’s longest and shortest shots, you can see why the model is more workable due to it being less forgiving. It is a cracking player’s driver, but don’t forget the model’s now into its second year, so should be scheduled for an update later this year.

Data: Best Low Spin Golf Drivers Test 2022

The launch monitor data from our low spin golf drivers test.

JUMP TO: Forgiving Drivers | Low Spin Drivers | Draw Drivers | How we tested | What we learned

Best Draw Golf Drivers Test 2022

Draw-biased drivers are designed to stop the unwanted slice that plagues the majority of amateur golfers. Different draw drivers do that in different ways, but in general they’re all trying to help you square the clubface to stop the glancing impact that causes a curved ball flight.

Who are draw drivers for? 

Around 80% of golfers are battling an unwanted left-to-right (in right-handers) shot shape with their driver.

If your swing speed is anywhere near average, and you find the right rough more often than not, a draw-biased driver will do a brilliant job of helping keep you in the fairway more often.

If you struggle with losing the ball to the right and your swing speed is on the low side, an extra light, draw-biased driver will not only keep your drives straighter, but add a little distance, too.

The TaylorMade Stealth HD is one of the best draw drivers.

TaylorMade Stealth HD driver

RRP £469 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shaft Fujikura Air Speeder 45

What TaylorMade say

HD stands for High Draw, which means the model is specifically tailored to eliminate the distance-zapping slice spin that afflicts tons of club golfer drives.

TaylorMade say some draw drivers have weight lumped in the heel, which inadvertently lowers MOI forgiveness (as the CG is closer to the face), a trap the Stealth HD doesn’t fall into.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Our test results show Stealth’s carbon fibre face doesn’t just improve energy transfer at higher swing speeds. There’s additional ball speed performance to be had here for more moderate speed players, too. And that’s really exciting.

Compared to this year’s other draw drivers, the Stealth HD was Equipment Ed Simon Daddow’s fastest in terms of ball speed. It was also his longest carrying driver over the Cobra King LTDx Max.

But what’s more impressive is how those numbers compare against his current driver (the Ping G400 SFT). Thanks to testing both we can see there’s a 1.6mph ball speed gain to be had by switching to Stealth HD, and thanks to the difference in spin, that could add up to a 21-yard carry distance gain, which of course is hugely significant. 

The Cobra King LTDx Max is one of the best draw drivers.

Cobra King LTDx Max driver

RRP £399 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shafts Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke iM10 60, UST Helium Nanocore

What Cobra say

Thanks to back and heel side weight ports, the Max can be either a very stable and forgiving driver or a very good draw-enhancing model. Cobra say that by switching the weight into the heel, golfers can expect 11 yards’ worth of draw bias, plus a further seven yards (so 18 yards in total) from the adjustable hosel’s draw settings.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Many moons ago, Cobra used to be the go-to brand for more average swing speed players. Our results highlight they could be heading back in that direction.

The Max is a really friendly driver and we love that it’s super forgiving and a draw biased option, making it a very versatile choice. If you think the Max could be right for you, make sure you choose your shaft carefully in a regular flex, as there’s a huge amount of difference in performance between the HZRDUS Smoke and UST Helium.

While we have the model in the Draw category, it can also be a super forgiving option, so we tested in that set-up with our test pro. If you happen to be an average or above speed player, our test pro’s numbers suggest (with the same stiff-flex HZRDUS Smoke shaft and weight in the back port, not the draw position) the Max gives up 3.3mph of ball speed compared to the standard King LTDx, and that equates to 11 yards of carry distance. That’s a lot and it highlights brilliantly the price paid for playing a more forgiving back weighted driver.

The Max is a lovely forgiving or draw option. There’s no longer a shot tracker in the grip, but it still represents excellent value for money in our book.

The Wilson Launch Pad driver is one of the best of 2022.

Wilson Launch Pad driver

RRP £305 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 13° | Stock shaft Project X Evenflow

What Wilson say 

Wilson’s second-generation driver goes all out to fix a slice, while also boosting ball speeds and maximising carry. A 5.2% larger face is optimised for toe strikers, and the manufacturer say 68% of all driver shots hit by average handicap players are struck from this side of the clubface.

Increased face bulge disguises the closed face angle, an upright lie angle starts shots further left and weight moves progressively more towards the heel and back, depending on which loft you choose.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

To some, the new driver will have the appearance of an offset driver from the 1990s. But if the tech works and keeps drives on the mown grass more often, then why not? It won’t win any beauty contests, but that big, friendly pan-shaped head creates the model’s forgiving traits.

We reckon a lot of moderate swing speed players, who have a tendency to swipe shots right, will benefit from this driver’s toolbox of anti-right technologies. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (draw drivers rarely are), but for those who are willing to put their hands up and say, “Just give me a driver that helps me hit it straight”, this has a lot to offer.

If you’re after the most draw-biased driver of the year on a budget, this is your model.

The Cleveland Launcher XL Lite is one of the best draw drivers..

Cleveland Launcher XL Lite driver

RRP £309 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 10.5° / 10.5° Draw / 12° | Stock shaft Project X Cypher 40

What Cleveland say

The new Launcher XL driver family targets the needs of everyday club golfers. The XL’s head size is 6.7% bigger from front to back, and Cleveland say that change alone ups MOI by 11% above the previous Launcher HB Turbo.

The Lite model is 12g lighter than the standard Launcher XL (there’s no adjustable hosel), which means the shaft can be 0.25” longer (at 46”) to boost club speed.

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Cleveland among our favourite drivers, particularly as the brand nowadays likes to work on a two-year product cycle.

For golfers with a repeatable, rhythmical golf swing under 90mph that gives a reasonably consistent impact location, the XL Lite is a top-drawer performer – and all for very sensible money.

You will of course need to like the feel of slightly lighter golf clubs generally, which means this model isn’t going to suit everyone. If you don’t like the lighter feel, Cleveland also have the similarly shaped but heavier Launcher XL. And if you like the idea but often slice your drives, there’s a Launcher XL Lite Draw, too.

The Mizuno ST-X 220 is one of the best draw drivers..

Mizuno ST-X 220 driver

RRP £399 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 10.5° / 12° | Stock shaft Choose from 14 premium options

What Mizuno say

The ST-X produces slightly higher spin rates than its lower spin, more distance focused ST-Z sibling.

At lower, more moderate speeds that extra spin helps keep shots in the air for longer to maximise carry distance. A 20g heel biased back weight creates a deeper centre of gravity to improve forgiveness and shot-to-shot consistency.

Mizuno say this is an ideal fit for players looking for a higher, right-to-left ball flight, as low-spin drivers can be a serious distance killer at more moderate swing speeds. A carbon crown and two sole panels free up weight to maximise impact efficiency.  

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

The ST-X looks nothing like a draw driver at address. The big, wide head has a lovely square face and it looks really friendly behind the ball, just begging to be hit. We reckon it is so well disguised as a draw model (there’s no mention of draw on the head) that lots of club golfers would never know they’ve got a draw bias driver in their hands.

Don’t make the mistake of writing this model off as just a performer for slower swing speeds. Yes, at slightly above average speeds you will give up a little ball speed – we had our test pro hit the ST-X alongside the slightly lower-spinning ST-Z, and he gave up just 0.1mph and four yards of carry distance, which is nothing. But the more natural right-to-left shot shape tendency is just what lots of club golfers ultimately desire. Mizuno drivers have come a very long way in just a few years.

The Ping G425 SFT is one of the best draw drivers..

Ping G425 SFT driver

RRP £450 | VIEW OFFER
Loft 10.5° | Stock shaft Ping Alta CB

What Ping say

The ultimate slice buster; 23g of draw weighting means you can dial in 10 yards more left bias than the previous G410 SFT, and 25 yards more than the G425 Max.

The SFT’s counter-balanced stock Alta CB shaft is great for many average speed players, but if you really need help rinsing extra zip from a slower swing speed, Ping’s soft, regular 40g Alta Distanza turns the SFT into a very strong, lightweight, draw-biased driver. 

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

The last two generations of SFT have seen the model morph from a cracking ‘keep-a-slice-in-check’ driver into a flat-out slice-busting machine. And Ping are happy to heap extra focus on helping golfers at this end of the scale as they know there are very good levels of draw bias available for less severe slicers from their G425 Max (with the sole weight in the draw position).

That means not all players who’ve been fitted into an SFT before will need the same model in 2022, illustrating brilliantly how the SFT is the most draw capable driver we’ve hit over the last two years.

If you want to keep a severe slice in check this year, you cannot afford to ignore this model. TG’s Equipment Editor didn’t quite hit it as well as in 2021, but the SFT still sounds louder than its rivals, and there’s no mistaking the driver’s calling card of naturally being able to turn shots over and produce that big, high, looping draw.

If your game would benefit from staying out of the right rough more often, the G425 SFT really can help you out.

Best Draw Golf Drivers 2022: Also consider…

The Callaway Rogue ST Max D Driver.

Callaway Rogue ST Max D driver

RRP £479 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9º / 10.5º / 12º Stock shafts Mitsubishi Chemical AV Blue, Project X Cypher

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Callaway are really good at setting up their driver heads differently to cater for varying target golfers. The Max D is noticeably wider from front to back than the Rogue ST Max, which will boost confidence; it’s a very good looking club.

The Max D’s performance was solidly out in front of Equipment Editor Simon’s current driver (by 0.4mph ball speed and three yards of carry), which is a solid if not spectacular result.

The Honma T//World GS driver.


Honma T//World GS driver

RRP £499 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9.5° / 10.5° / 11.5° | Stock shaft Honma Speed Tuned

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Honma have been at the forefront of the lightweight draw bias driver movement for a while now, and we rated the GS among our favourites last year. The model hasn’t changed for 2022, which means it’s just as good an option now as it was back then.

We’re not sure how they do it, but the Honma engineers have an uncanny knack for creating a cracking head set-up for slower speeds, and they’re brilliant at getting light shafts to load and release power at impact.

The MacGregor V-Foil Speed driver.

MacGregor V-Foil Speed driver

RRP £149.99 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 10.5° / 12° | Stock shaft MacGregor Dynamic Launch Technology

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

For £149.99 this is a decent driver, but be under no illusion that it benefits from the same high-tech cast titanium and carbon construction of other models.

This is a full-on forged and welded driver so there will be weight tied up in inefficient places, which of course affects overall forgiveness. It wasn’t our fastest, longest or favourite driver, but you can’t argue with a brand new club at this price.

The PXG 0811 XF Gen 4 driver.

PXG 0811 XF Gen 4 driver

RRP £285 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12° | Stock shaft Choose from five premium options

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

PXG’s previous XF driver was the highest MOI driver when it launched back in 2019, but chasing such extremes of forgiveness meant using a really big footprint (to hit the heights of forgiveness), which naturally slows the head through the air. This latest Gen4 isn’t quite as big, so speed is improved while maintaining a high MOI.

We love how it sits at address; there’s a really attractive head shape and it’s also really useful to have three sole weight ports, all for less than £300.

The XXIO 12 driver.

XXIO 12 driver

RRP £699 |  VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9.5° / 10.5° / 11.5° | Stock shaft XXIO 12 MP-1200

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

XXIO set themselves up as the ‘moderate swing speed’ brand, as nobody owns that space yet. The 12 is brand new for 2022 and there’s a new ActivWing on the crown which XXIO say improves stability to tighten a golfer’s impact position by 17%.

We can’t say the tech made much difference for us, but we can say the model was our Equipment Editor’s fourth longest draw driver in our test.

At £700, it’s a huge ask here in the UK, but there’s a much bigger market in Europe.

The XXIO X driver.

XXIO X driver

RRP £699 | VIEW OFFER
Lofts 9.5° / 10.5° | Stock shaft Miyazaki AX-11

Today’s Golfer drivers test verdict

Where the XXIO 12 is aimed at ‘swing easy’ golfers, the X has slightly stouter shafts and lower spinning heads to cater for more accomplished players who like the idea of using lightweight clubs to boost their club speed.

Obviously a £699 price tag will be a sticking point for many. For those well-heeled enough to be drawn to the model, you’ll find it really easy to launch high to maximise carry distance especially at below average speeds, which isn’t always the case with all draw drivers we hit.

Data: Best Draw Golf Drivers 2022

The launch monitor data from our draw drivers golf test.

JUMP TO: Low Spin Drivers | Forgiving Drivers | Draw Drivers | How we tested | What we learned

How we tested the 2022 golf drivers

– We created an indoor test lab at Keele Golf Centre to ensure a controlled environment

– The leading brands supplied their 2022 drivers in our Test Pro Neil Wain’s spec. Draw models and those aimed at more moderate speeds were sent in Equipment Editor Simon Daddow’s spec.

– We used premium TaylorMade TP5x golf balls and a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor to create the most reliable data possible.

– We rejected major misses but recorded how shots launched, span, peaked and dropped out of the air, before crunching the numbers to come up with our conclusions.

RELATED: Best Golf Launch Monitors

Today's Golfer test pro Neil Wain puts the drivers through their paces at Keele Golf Centre.

What we learned from our Best Golf Drivers Test 2022

Matt black is in! 

Ping have insisted matt black paint is the right finish for their drivers for a few years, but 2022 seems to be the year other brands agree. TaylorMade’s Stealth, Callaway’s Rogue ST and Cobra’s LTDx models all have matt black crowns this year. It’s a look we like, and they’re much more subtle than the chalk white, nardo grey and shiny gloss black of recent years.  

Draw bias is mass market

Lots of golfers find it tough accepting they need a draw driver, especially if their slice isn’t too severe. So we really like how Callaway built a touch of draw bias into their standard Rogue ST Max. It’s a feature few will even know is there, but the design will really help tons of golfers hit the shot shape they’ve always wanted. 

There’s no embarrassment in opting for a draw driver. Draw drivers have been alive and kicking since Ping’s G30 SFT in 2014 and in 2022 every major brand now has three (or more) drivers in their line-up.

Draw drivers are now an integral part of the driver menu and with companies saying most golfers generally fit into a low-spin, forgiving or draw category, there’s no stigma attached to using draw-biased models anymore. If the truth be known, they’re exactly the drivers the majority of club golfers should be using.

Stealth IS fast

It’s had a lot of hype, but you can’t escape TaylorMade’s Stealth being consistently at the top of our ball speed charts. A significantly lighter face means there’s more weight at the back of the head, and much like a crash when there’s a big weight in a car boot, there’s bigger impact forces at play during a collision. It tells us TaylorMade are onto something with carbon faces. 

Low-spin drivers launch faster

It’s no secret front-weighted, low-spin drivers produce faster ball speeds. But if you’re considering putting one in play, make sure you look at other metrics, and don’t just allow yourself to focus on ball speed. On average our low-spin models produced ball speeds that were 0.95mph faster. But they also cut launch angle by 0.4 degrees and flew 2.4 yards lower, which at more moderate speeds isn’t a recipe for more distance or extra consistency. Seriously, think twice before plumping for a very low-spin driver this year.

Are titanium’s days numbered in golf drivers?

Possibly. But expect them to have legs for a little while yet. Think about Ping, who traditionally are slower than most to move into trendy tech. Until now they’ve resisted using carbon in their drivers (they’re still full titanium heads), a decision which has taken away virtually nothing in terms of performance against the stiffest of competition. Who knows what’s around the corner, but it would be a huge step for other driver brands to start making carbon drivers exclusively any time soon.

Watch the weight of your driver shaft

Switching our Test Pro between 50, 60 and 70g shafts illustrated brilliantly how different weights affect performance. For our pro at least (results will be different for you), the 50g models were faster, but more inconsistent; the 70g options were slower, but more stable; and the perfect blend of speed and stability came from the 60g shafts. With so many shaft options available, it’s crucial to get the right weight and profile to suit your game. Get it wrong and you’ll give up speed and consistency. 

Our final drivers test verdict

Never buy a driver based on our data alone; a proper fitting session on a launch monitor, with a qualified fitter, will always help you better understand which models work well for you, and why. Our consistent-striking pro’s data does highlight an excellent array of top performing models, though, and also shows what’s at stake by choosing more ‘value’-led options. Only you can decide if they’re a sound investment for your game and ability.

Finally, if you really want to optimise driver distance and playability on the course, don’t just chase high launch and low spin. Brands are now talking about tour pros moving away from low-spin drivers, in favour of a more rounded approach to power and playability, and we’re very much in favour of the movement.

Looking for an older driver? Watch our 2021 test

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Today's Golfer Equipment Editor Simon Daddow.

Simon Daddow is the Equipment Editor at todaysgolfer.co.uk

Simon has worked in the golf industry for 30 years. Starting out as trainee professional at Downes Crediton GC where he learned the art of golf club making, before going onto work for Clubhaus Plc and Tony Charles Ltd as a golf club maker, and running Product Development at Benross Golf.

Joining EMAP Active (now Bauer Media) in 2006 as Equipment Editor Simon has worked for Today’s Golfer and Golf World magazines and the Today’s Golfer website.

Simon is 46 years old, he’s played golf for 40 years and plays to a handicap of 10. A lack of club speed means he’s short off the tee, but very handy from 125 yards and in.

He uses a Ping G400 SFT driver, PXG 0341 X Gen4 3-Wood, PXG 0341 X Gen4 7-wood, PXG 0317 X Gen2 hybrid, Callaway Rogue X irons (6–PW), Cleveland CBX2 wedges (52°, 58°), Bettinardi Inovai 6.0 putter and a TaylorMade Tour Response golf ball.

You can contact Simon here.

      

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.