How Often Should You Replace Your Golf Driver?
With top-end drivers costing $500 and more the question of how often should you replace your golf driver is likely to be asked by many golfers.
It’s mostly a matter of personal preference. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do you care about your golf game?
- How much money do you have?
- How old is your current driver?
- Do you practice?
- Are you enjoying using your current driver?
The answers you provide will tell you whether you should replace your driver.
If you were custom fit for a driver in the last 3 to 5 years then it may not be worth changing.
Does A Golf Driver Wear Out?
Someone who produces extreme clubhead speeds can damage the clubface over time. However, this is fairly rare. Although I personally know someone who managed to crack the face of two Adams drivers some years ago I’ve not met anyone who’s managed to do so recently. The overwhelming majority of golfers just don’t have the club head speed to cause the metal to fail during normal use anyway.
A golf driver does not necessarily wear out, but it can become less effective over time. The metal in the face is made pretty thin so if you play and practice a lot and have a fast swing then you might reach a point where the face starts to fail. The club face can become worn from hitting the ball, which can cause the ball to not travel as far. In addition, the club may not be able to generate as much speed because it’s not responding as it was designed to.
Do New Drivers Add More Distance?
If you looked back at advertising over the last 25 years or so and added up all the yardage you should have gained then you should probably be hitting it about 400 yards by now if you kept buying new clubs!
While there is little doubt that getting fit for a current driver is almost certain to see significant gains on a model from 10 years ago if you were fit for a driver in the last few years you may not see much difference, particularly on well-struck shots.
If you’ve been spending $300-$500 every couple of years on new drivers than to be honest you might have been better off putting that money towards lessons or fitness classes if you are looking to gain maximum yardage.
Of course, it’s all relative as well. If you started playing golf with an old driver you picked up off eBay that doesn’t suit your swing and then going try out the latest model from Ping including a custom fit then the distance gains could be massive!
Why Should You Replace Your Driver?
If you’re a golfer, you know that having the right golf club can make all the difference in your game. Putting a new club into play can give you a significant psychological boost. The mental side of golf is often more important than the physical side. Getting custom fit for a new driver might be all you need to see huge improvements in your performance off the tee.
If you’re using an old or outdated golf club, there will always be that nagging doubt that you’re missing out on distance and accuracy.
Driver technology has improved markedly in the last quarter century. Both the design of club heads and shafts mean that using old golf equipment is likely to be affecting your game.
Has New Driver Technology Advanced?
Golf drivers have definitely advanced in recent years. New drivers are much more forgiving, meaning that even if you don’t hit the sweet spot, you’ll still get a decent shot. This is a huge advantage for golfers of all levels, from beginners to professionals.
How Often Do Drivers Come Out?
Some manufacturers work on two-year release cycles others bring out new clubs every 12 months. While the marketing hype would have you believe you need to buy a driver every year in reality the technology doesn’t improve that much that quickly.
Limits imposed on manufacturers mean they are struggling to offer additional distance on center strikes. The main improvements going forward they making mishits perform almost as well as your good shots.
Even if you have the money to justify spending $500 on a driver I don’t think it’s worth it unless your club is at least five years old. If it was custom fit and your swing hasn’t changed then I would suggest even a 10-year-old driver is not going to be that different from the latest ones.
How To Choose A New Driver
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a new golf driver. A fitting is important to ensure the shaft, loft, and flex are suited to your game. The length and lie of the club can also be customized to fit your swing and physique.
Grip size is an often overlooked aspect of buying a new driver but it can have a profound effect on how well the driver performs.
Does A Golf Driver Lose Distance Over Time?
As you use your golf driver, the metal can start to show signs of wear and tear. This is due to metal fatigue and can cause a loss in distance. If you notice your yardage dropping, it may be time to replace your driver.
It’s fair to point out that this is really only likely to apply to people with clubhead speeds in excess of about 110 mph who play and practice a lot!
A typical average golfer with a 90 mph swing speed is extremely unlikely to wear out a titanium driver.
Are New Golf Clubs Better?
If you’re talking about the major club manufacturers then it’s unlikely they would release it unless they felt that it offered something new and better than the previous model that it replaces.
That being said club makers are not infallible and occasionally you may find a new model might not be an ideal match for your swing.
When Should I Replace My Driver?
You may not need to replace your driver as often as you think. With proper care, they can and should last for years. However, there are a few things to look for that will indicate it’s time for you to upgrade your driver.
The first thing to consider is how often you play. If you’re an avid golfer, playing several times a week, your clubs will wear out faster than someone who plays once a month. However, unless you have very high clubhead speed it’s quite unlikely that you will wear out the face of your driver.
Buying new golf clubs can be expensive, but it is important to remember that they are an investment in your game. If you take care of your clubs and replace them when necessary, you will be able to enjoy many years of fun on the golf course.
Visible Clubhead Or Shaft Damage
If there is visible clubhead or shaft damage. This can include dents, scratches, or cracks in the clubhead or shaft. This damage can affect the performance of the golf club and may need to be repaired or replaced.
When Your Golf Swing Improves
As your club head speed improves, you may find that you need a stiffer shaft flex in order to maintain consistent ball striking. You may also need a lower lofted head to achieve maximum carry distance. With modern drivers, you generally find some adjustability but if your game improves a lot then you might need to purchase a new driver.
Playing Partners Outdrive You
Being out-driven by your peers is certainly one reason why a lot of men would think about replacing their driver with a shiny new model. Especially if they have recently a new club in their golf bag.
Too Much Spin
If you’re finding that you’re getting too much spin with your driver, it might be time to switch to a low-spin model. This will help reduce spin and give you more control over your shots and add some yardage to your game.
Sometimes the head will start to rattle during the swing because a piece of glue or perhaps a weight chip has become loose. While a loose piece of glue is unlikely to affect the performance, if the rattle is caused by something more important then you may struggle to hit your best shots. Just the rattle alone may be enough to put you off your game.
What’s the Average Lifespan of Golf Grips
The typical lifespan of a golf grip is about one year. However, this can vary depending on how often you play and how well you take care of your clubs. If you are a regular player, you may need to replace your grips more often. Grip manufacturers suggest changing them every 40-50 rounds or so. Someone that plays twice a week would therefore need their clubs regripped every six months.
Personally, I tend to get the clubs I use most, such as my driver and wedges regripped every six months and the irons only get done every year.
How Often Should You Replace Your Golf Driver: Conclusion
If the driver was custom fit and your swing hasn’t changed and I wouldn’t think about replacing it until it’s about five years old.