Do Golf Drivers Wear Out?
Are your buddies knocking it past you more often than they used to? Don’t feel like the ball is pinging off your driver face anymore? Well it might be because your driver is worn out!
Yes, it is possible for drivers to lose their pop over time. But before you go blaming the golf club lets look at how and why your driver might have worn out.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Golf Driver?
The lifespan of a golf driver will vary depending on how often it is used, how well it is taken care of and the swing speed of the player. However, most golf drivers will last for several years before needing to be replaced. An ordinary golfer with a swing speed in the 90mph range and below is likely to replace their driver long before the club starts to suffer from wear and tear.
Players with high swing speeds (110+ mph) who play and practice a lot may notice their drivers lose distance over time.
How Often Should You Replace Your Golf Driver?
Golf club manufacturers would love you to buy a new driver every two years, preferably with their most expensive model! However, because of the golf equipment rules there are actually very few changes that the companies can make that will significantly improve your game.
If your current driver was fitted for you in the last 3-5 years and you haven’t made any swing changes then it’s likely that even the newest driver won’t make that much difference to your performance off the tee.
If you just plucked a driver off the shelf then there is more chance that a new custom fitted club would pay dividends.
New drivers will have updated technology that can help you hit the ball better on the golf course. In reality you are more likely to replace your driver for aesthetic reasons than you are because the driver is worn out.
Will A Driver Shaft Wear Out?
Modern drivers are all graphite shafted thee days so I will only look at those.
Frank Thomas invented the graphite shaft in 1969. In this video he states that graphite shafts won’t wear out due to normal play. If you expose the shafts to significant heat then you might start to get problems however. It’s best not to leave you clubs in the trunk of your car in hot weather for example. This could also affect the glue that’s used to attach the head to the shaft. I think we all know someone that’s had a club head fly off mid swing!
One thing that graphite shafts are susceptible to is bag wear however. Small spots can be rubbed on the shaft where it is being continuously jostled against the dividers in your golf bag. Assuming these have just removed the surface coating you shouldn’t have any problems. However, if you continue to carry your clubs in a bag that causes this sort of wear then eventually you may be removing some of the structural part of the shaft.
If you have graphite shafted clubs then try to buy golf bags that are graphite friendly.
Will I Lose Distance With An Old Golf Driver?
For the majority of players I would suggest it is their technique that is costing them distance rather than using an old driver.
As golfers, we’re always looking for ways to add distance, so it’s natural to think that an old driver might not be as good as a new one. However, you shouldn’t necessarily replace your driver just because it’s getting old. While a new driver may indeed give you more distance, it’s not always the case. If your old driver is still performing well, there’s no need to replace it.
Ping produced a chart showing the optimum launch conditions for different swing speeds. If you aren’t getting the sort of length from the tee that you think you should check that you are getting the right spin rate and launch angle before changing your club.
Does A Premium Golf Driver Make A Difference?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual golfer’s swing and technique. Some golfers may find that a premium golf driver can help them add distance or accuracy to their shots, while others may not see that much of a difference. Ultimately, it is up to the golfer to experiment with different drivers to see if one works better for them than another.
Often it comes down to a boost in confidence as much as anything.
A $600 driver will certainly not be 6 times better than a $100 driver!
New Drivers Are Expensive!
Partly due to PXG and partly due to a number of inflationary issues over the past several years the cost of a driver from the top-end manufacturers is now in the region of $600.
For most of my golfing life I don’t think my whole set came to much more than $600 so that is a humungus increase.
I struggle to see how most amateur golfers can get value for money at that price point.
Do Titanium Golf Drivers Wear Out?
Modern golf drivers are built to last, but like all materials, they can succumb to metal fatigue and manufacturing defects over time. However, titanium is one of the strongest metals available, making it an ideal choice for high-performance golf drivers. When properly cared for, a titanium driver can provide years of reliable service.
The problem is in order to give the ball an extra bit of spring off the face of your driver the metal is pretty thin in places. Combine this thin face with a fast swing and sufficient repetitions and you have a recipe for the driver to wear out over time.
Primarily this is a problem for long drive contestants and tour players though. With swing speeds of 120+ mph their drivers are much more likely to fail. If you are popping it round with a 95 mph swing twice a week then you are unlikely to see a problem unless you are unlucky and get a club with a manufacturing defect.
Why Do Golf Drivers Have Covers?
To an extent they are a holdover from the days of wooden woods. Modern titanium and carbon drivers are more durable and shouldn’t be affected by the weather although they can still pick up dents and scratches from other clubs if you aren’t careful.
What Are The Reasons For Losing Distance Off The Tee?
There are many potential reasons for reduced distance off the tee with your driver. Some common causes could be a loss of flexibility or strength in your golf swing, incorrect club fitting, or simply using an outdated or poor-quality driver. It is important to consult with a professional to determine the cause of your lost distance, as this can help you take the necessary steps to correct the issue and improve your game.
Do Golf Drivers Wear Out: Conclusion
While it is possible for drivers to wear out, the overwhelming majority of golfers aren’t going to suffer from this problem. A lot of the ones that do will get their equipment free anyway!