Most needed driver in 2021
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Most wanted driver in 2021
The most comprehensive driver test of 2021 and the most robust dataset for those drivers.
This is the 2021 Most Wanted Driver review in a nutshell. We've spent nearly two months collecting data on 18,000+ golf shots to help you find the best driver for your game.
We do that.
At MyGolfSpy, our job is to conduct independent, unbiased, and objective testing so you can make safer buying decisions. Our Most Wanted Reviews are a must-have guide for off the shelf buyers or anyone who needs extra insight before your next customization.
As always, we don't recommend spending a dollar on a new club unless it improves what's already in your pocket.
If you are in the market for a driver, this test is for you. These are the best drivers for 2021.
Most wanted driver in 2021: Callaway Epic Max LS
When it comes to overall performance, this is the Callaway Epic Max LS bet on an amazing display. This driver's outstanding performance across several key metrics made him the undisputed winner of the Most Wanted Driver Test 2021. Here they are:
- 1. in strokes won
- 1. in total distance
- 6. In forgiveness
- 62% fairways hit
- 138.57 mph ball speed
If you are in the market for a driver this is the one Callaway Epic Max LS should be at the top of your demo list.
Best Distance – Callaway Epic Max LS
The most wanted driver for 2021 also landed at the top of our distance map. We can haggle over the importance of 3 feet from one trip to the next, however Callaway Epic Max LS displaced a very strong field. If Distance is your goal, Epic Max LS should be at the top of your list.
Other notable achievements
Callaway Epic max – Not far behind the Max LS, Callaway's highest MOI model finished eighth overall in strokes won and fourth in forgiveness. The Epic Max also finished fifth in ball speed, one behind the Epic Speed.
Titleist TSi2, TSi3 and TSi4 – The performance of a trio of Titleist TSi riders suggests that the times of being slow and thin are history. The Titleist TSi2 is ready Second in Strokes GainedSecond in the forgiveness and eighth in the overall distance. It also hit the field in fairways. The Titleist TSi4 and Titleist TSi3 were also strong performers and took second and third place in ball speed. They also both hit the top 5 for the overall distance.
COBRA RADSPEED and RADSPED XB – COBRA continues its strong performances. Two RADSPEED models made it into the top five Finish second (RADSPEED XB) and third (RADSPEED) in the distance. Both were also leaders in terms of accuracy. It is worth noting that COBRA is biased RADSPEED XD I just missed finishing in the top 10 too.
TaylorMade SIM2 – TaylorMade's newest flagship rider led the pack at ball speed. Had testers hit a higher percentage of fairways they would have been among the leaders.
PING G425 SFT – PING's Slice Killer once again distanced itself from the crowd in the draw bias category. The testers were on average 15.64 meters from the center.
Tour Edge EXS Pro and PXG 0211 – Two value models that have proven that good drivers don't have to cost as much as garden furniture. Despite their low prices, both ended up in the top 10 for blows won and in the top 5 for forgiveness.
Best for Slice – PING G425 SFT
If you fight a disc, the PING G425 SFT can help. Once again, the PING's SFT model took the right side out of play better than any other club in the test, and once again it wasn't particularly tight. With the G425 SFT, the drives ended 15.64 meters to the left of the center line. His closest competitor was only 8.01 from the center line.
Best forgiveness – Honma TR20 460
For years it has been preached that consistency is the name of the game. And for years (at least two in a row) that Honma TR20 460 has claimed the top spot for forgiveness. Overall a strong performer, with the TR460's bad punches they just weren't that bad.
Considerations for Buying Drivers
Performance should be your primary concern when looking for the best drivers for 2021. However, there are some additional considerations to think about before making a purchase.
The 2021 Most Wanted Driver Test features drivers from $ 229.99 to over $ 700, with no exotic shaft upgrades. The most wanted driver in 2021, Callaway Epic Max LS, You will reset $ 529.99. If that's more than you want to spend PXG 0211 ($ 249) and Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro offer tremendous value. Splitting the Difference, COBRAs RADSPEED and RADSPEED XB are outstanding artists. Their price tag of $ 449 makes them all the more fascinating.
EXPERT TIP – How to Improve Accuracy
The choice of shaft is important. Not only can it be used to optimize start and spin conditions, but it can also have a significant impact on accuracy. Key factors such as weight, stiffness, and torque can determine how the club head flexes and rotates when it is delivered to the ball. This will ultimately affect your ability to hold the club constant and get straighter shots.
Some manufacturers continue to offer inexpensive shafts for bearings as bearing options for their drivers. Performance is often reasonable (although what you get from a properly assembled aftermarket shaft is unlikely), but make no mistake that shafts are usually chosen to increase margins, not performance.
While we recommend working with a knowledgeable installer, we know many of you will buy off the shelf. With most manufacturers offering two or three shaft shafts to choose from, it is still important to find the best fit within a bearing list.
While we always recommend taking a performance-first approach, when comparing prices, golfers should understand that brands that don't dilute their manhole offerings have more value. Titleist continues to offer a robust selection of featured shafts. Mizuno and COBRA also deserve a mention for having Fujikura Motore X F1 and F3 waves among their stock offerings.
Distance versus dispersion
Distance is king. We understand the temptation to prioritize an extra yard or two, but given the similarities in distance between drivers, we believe golfers should prioritize a closer spread and greater consistency over a few yards of extra yards.
For most golfers, it can be worthwhile to forego these few meters in favor of smaller numbers (narrower standard deviations) and smaller circles (better spread).
Shot shape correction
When struggling with a slice, it is important to know that you have options. Dedicated draw bias drivers (no moving weights) are usually most effective at reducing right-hand errors. However, if you're looking for something that will work for you as you're trying to improve your swing, a rider with moveable weight might be a better option.
With each review, we look for trends that shed light on market direction as well as the notable changes manufacturers have made to improve year-over-year performance. We also ask our testers for feedback. We want to understand what they liked, what they didn't like and why. While we collect and share this subjective feedback, it is not a factor in determining the best drivers for 2021.
- While low-spin drivers continue to dominate the market, spin rates have increased a bit this year. Most notable, given the results of this test, is Callaway's decision to swap its Sub-Zero model for the more forgiving and slightly higher-revving model Epic Max LS.
- With an aging number of golfers, it's no wonder the microlight segment continues to grow. Titleist is the second generation of lightweight drivers with the TSi1. Honma kicked the crease with hers too T // World GS. XXIO continues in the room. Even most manufacturers that don't make ultra-light riders offer lightweight shafts for golfers who want to save weight and gain speed.
- While slightly undersized drivers (450-455cc) are still common, really compact heads have all but disappeared from the market. The Titleist TSi4 (430cc) and Honma TR20 440 were the only undersized heads on this year's test. While they undeniably serve a niche share of the market, smaller heads are often the best choice for golfers who need significant spin reduction.
- Loft for (stamped) loft, the PING G425 family (G425 LST, G425 max and G425 SFT) were among the lowest starting drivers in the test. It's a great example of engineers reducing static shock to compensate for the increased dynamic shock often found in back-centered designs.
2020 Most Wanted vs 2021 – PING G410 LST
This year we brought our last year's winner into the field. The PING G410 LST not disappointed. It finished 7th in Strokes Gained, 7th in Forgiveness and 6th in Total Distance. We keep seeing examples of "newer is not always better" and the PING G410 LST is further evidence of this observation.
Upright and flat settings
As with irons, your driver's lie angle is important. The lying angle has a strong influence on where the ball starts. When you find that you are really missing, something as simple as an upright reclining angle can help. Conversely, a flat reclining angle can help alleviate a left error.
Notes from the test pool
- Without question, a large majority of the testing pool were extremely happy with that Callaway Epic Max LS. Not only did the Most Wanted Driver 2021 perform well, it also received a lot of praise for its feel and consistency.
- PXG caused a sensation with their new one GEN4 driver listing. The 0811 X., 0811 XT and 0811 XF All were equipped with a gray aluminum steam crown. The color scheme caused some shock and awe among the testers. It's fair to say that it polarizes.
- The testers enjoyed the appearance of the entire TaylorMade range – SIM2, SIM2 max and SIM2 Max D..
- The head shape and the matt black finish of the PING G425 LST and G425 max were generally well received by the testers.
- Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X were praised for their acoustics. However, the testers were overwhelmed with their overall performance.
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2021 Most Wanted Driver (DATA)
This year we offer a tabular view of our data. The first of the three tabs contains the rankings for our three primary metrics. The Data tab contains the known start monitor data (along with the fairway percentage). Finally, we added a scatter plot that shows all of the recordings in our test (with no outliers).
To make things a little easier, we've colored our data with a divergent green-red gradient. The darkest green values are the highest (and highest / best rated) values. The darkest red values are the lowest.
While we've done our best to improve the mobile experience, the best way to view the data is on a desktop computer.
- Distance versus accuracy – Don't sacrifice accuracy for a few more meters. Manufacturers know you want distance and often cheat distance with longer waves. A 46-inch shaft will almost always get you more feet, but it will usually result in a loss of accuracy and increased dispersion.
- Adjustable attic – Adjusting the loft changes the angle of view. Adding Loft ↑ closes the face, while decreasing Loft ↓ opens the face. Understanding the relationship between stroke and face angle, and the influence of face angle on the starting point of your ball, can take advantage of the adjustability of the stroke to improve accuracy.
- Looks like performance – Don't overestimate looks. Golfers tell us all the time that they can't hit a club well if they don't like the look of it, but we've found very little evidence that this is true. Very often golfers get excellent results with clubs they supposedly despise. Be open to a club that you may not find optically attractive.
- Adjustable weights – Not all adjustable weighting systems are the same. You can get the most out of the moving weight by looking for systems that allow you to move a significant mass over a larger area of the club head while keeping the weight close to the perimeter of the golf club. Lighter weights that are moved over short distances or between central locations have minimal impact on ball flight.
2021 Most Wanted Driver Product Specifications
EXPERT TIP – Movable weights
Moving the weight forward can decrease take-off angle by ↓ and decrease spin by up to 250-500 rpm. Moving the weight back increases ↑ start and spin while increasing MOI (forgiveness). Heel positions are less forgiving than back positions, but help golfers tackle a disc.
Often, as you move the weight forward, there is some blending, while the backweight positions tend to be more pull-dependent (although not as much as the heel positions).
Buy a new driver
Q: How often should I buy a new driver?
ON: It usually takes three to five years for manufacturers to achieve significant increases in performance. With the USGA tightening restrictions on manufacturers, it is possible, even likely, that it will take longer in the future. We recommend buying a new driver only if it's well above what's already in your pocket.
Q: With all of the talk of new facial technology, is there a driver who can generate significantly more ball speed?
ON: No. There is definitely no driver who can generate more ball speed for everyone. We find outstanding results every year (TaylorMade SIM2 led the field at ball speed), but the average ball speeds among our top performers are usually very close. However, as you move down the ball speed rankings, you will find drivers that can reasonably be called slow.
Q: Is the wave important?
ON: Absolutely. While changes to spin and takeoff, as well as spin differences, are rarely massive, wave changes often result in improved accuracy, tighter spread, and greater overall consistency.
Q: What should I look for when testing drivers?
ON: Do not focus solely on the distance. While we all want a few feet more, don't overlook the scatter and consistency numbers (most startup monitors show standard deviations in the fine print below the averages). Smaller standard deviations correlate with greater consistency, which golfers often overlook.
Most Wanted – Identifying the Best Drivers for 2021
Q: What is your customization process?
ON: We use a customization process that we refer to as Fit From Stock. The drivers are attached to each tester using the available inventory options with no charge from either manufacturer. We test with embossed lofts between nine and 10.5 degrees and make full use of the customization options within each manufacturer's product range. This includes leverage, loft, recliner, hosel adjustability, movable weights, and available waves.
Q: How is the “Most Wanted Driver” determined?
ON: After eliminating outliers, we calculate the average stroke values for each combination of tester and golf club. The club that scores the highest hits compared to the field average is our most wanted club.
Q: How is the “longest driver” determined?
A: Our overall distance metric determines the longest rider.
Q: How is the “Most Forgiving Driver” determined?
ON: To determine our Most Forgiving driver, we compare the strokes gained for the best shots that each tester hits with each driver with the worst. The club that has the narrowest gap in strokes won is our Most Forgiving.
Q: How much influence do subjective feedback such as look, sound and feel have on your ranking?
ON: ZERO. Our ranking is based on startup monitor data and quantifiable performance metrics.
Q: As in the past, will you publish a breakdown of the results by swing speed?
ON: Yes. These results will be published in the coming weeks.