The 10 Best Golf Drivers of Summer 2024

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Nicolas Drozdoski-Richardson
May 31, 2024
10 minutes

There’s no season like summer when it comes to golf, but having the wrong clubs in the bag can turn this into a negative experience. Especially when it comes to your driver. At Golf Avenue, we want golfers to love the sport and we care about the quality of your game, so we’ve got you covered for this summer!

In this article, our expert Nick breaks down the pros and the cons of the 10 drivers they think will take your game to the next level this summer. From budget-friendly options to the latest and greatest, they’ve got something for everyone. Let’s get into it!

The 10 best drivers for this summer:

  1. TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper – Best for golfers who prefer a smaller clubhead
  2. Ping G430 Max Driver – Go-to for golfers seeking optimal forgiveness
  3. Cobra Darkspeed Max Driver – Terrific blend of draw-bias and forgiveness
  4. TaylorMade QI10 Driver – Ideal for golfers looking to push their limits on the course
  5. Callaway Paradym Driver – Provides unmatched ball feedback at impact
  6. Titleist TSr1 Driver – Perfect for golfers with moderate or slower swing speeds
  7. TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Driver – Designed to bring an end to any slice off the tee
  8. Callaway Big Bertha 2023 Driver – Great tool for golfers struggling with confidence off the tee
  9. Cobra Aerojet Driver – Must-have for golfers looking for limited spin rates and high launches
  10. Srixon ZX5 MKII Driver – Perfectly suited to golfers with a high, double-digit handicap index

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1. TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper

The first thing that struck me about the BRNR Mini Driver is its aesthetics. The black and copper color scheme is a modern interpretation of the retro TaylorMade Ti Bubble 2 aesthetic. It's a nod to golf's past but with an updated flair. The inclusion of the retro TaylorMade logo on the headcover is a nice touch.

In terms of performance, the BRNR Mini Driver is versatile and very long. It's a middle ground between a driver and a 3W. At 304 cc, it's closer in clubhead size to the Qi10 fairway wood than the Qi10 driver. This makes it a great option for golfers seeking control and distance in their long game.

The club features two movable weights in the sole that can be switched to dial in the spin profile and overall flight. It also offers the K-shaped K-SOLE design for improved turf interaction. However, at 304cc, hitting it off the deck might present a bit of a challenge for some golfer.

One potential downside is its size. When you set down the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver to hit a ball off the turf, it looks big. This might not be an inviting look for someone who prefers a smaller fairway wood profile. But for players willing to swing away with their 3W or driver off the deck, this could be a plus.

In conclusion, the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper is a club that offers excellent control, aspirational retro aesthetics, and a powerful sound and feel. However, its size might look intimidating or baffling to some at address. It's a club that pros put in the bag, but it also fits a wide range of golfers. It's definitely a worthy upgrade over older mini driver models.

Our takeaways after testing the BRNR Mini Driver Copper:

  • Stunning retro look in the bag
  • Terrific performance both on and off the tee
  • Great feel for the ball at impact for better control of your strikes

New condition at $449.99

2. Ping G430 Max Driver

Right away, I noticed the distinctive look of the Ping G430 Max driver. The turbulators on the front edge of the matte black crown are instantly recognizable as a Ping signature. The yellow graphics on the toe and heel add a subtle touch of color, giving it a high-tech aesthetic that's sure to turn heads on the course.

In terms of performance, the Ping G430 Max driver is a powerhouse. It's hailed as one of the most forgiving drivers in golf, offering plenty of forgiveness without compromising on distance, and we’d have to agree with this sentiment. The brand's forged variable face thickness delivers more flexing for greater speed and forgiveness across the entire face.

One of the standout features of the G430 Max is the improved sound. I, and the rest of our experts, are of the opinion that Ping has addressed this concern G430 Max from the G425 Max. They've improved the sound with a new internal rib structure and an increased curvature of the crown, skirt, and sole. The result is a much more solid and quieter impact sound. It's a subtle change, but it makes a big difference.

Now, let's talk about the cons. While the G430 Max offers incremental performance improvements over the last generation, the distance gains compared to the previous generation are somewhat minimal. Also, the club's large front-to-back size might be a bit off-putting for some golfers, although this is somewhat concealed by the club's shape.

In conclusion, the Ping G430 Max driver is a superb all-rounder. It's user-friendly, powerful, and aesthetically pleasing. While it may not offer massive distance gains over the previous generation, its improved sound, forgiveness, and speed make it a worthy consideration for any golfer looking to upgrade their club. The G430 Max is so good actually, it was featured in our list of the 10 most forgiving drivers of 2024.

Our takeaways after testing the G430 Max:

  • Improves acoustics over the previous generation
  • Delivers plenty of forgiveness at impact
  • Massive clubhead that should provide extra confidence off the tee

Good condition starting at $434.99

3. Cobra Darkspeed Max Driver

As I unwrapped the Cobra Darkspeed Max driver, the first thing that struck me was its sophisticated aesthetic. The super sleek matte black finish, with just a hint of red accenting, was a sight to behold. It's a club that is sure to stand out in your bag.

The moment I placed it behind the ball, I could tell this was no ordinary driver. Despite its draw-bias design, it sat squarely at address, like most drivers in the same performance class. This was reassuring, as often manufacturers tend to toe in the face to cheat a bit with draw-bias drivers.

As I took my first swing, the club felt light and fast. The ball launched off the face with a satisfyingly soft and responsive feel. It was clear that this club was designed for golfers struggling with a slice. The Darkspeed Max made it next to impossible to produce a fade or slice, which is a huge advantage for players who tend to struggle with that shot shape.

However, it wasn't all smooth sailing. While the Darkspeed Max is a fantastic club, it does have a few drawbacks. The head shape, for instance, isn't quite as refined as its siblings, the Darkspeed LS and the Darkspeed X. This might be a turn-off for some golfers who prefer a more traditional look.

Additionally, while the club is designed to help golfers eliminate their slice, it does so to such an extent that it can be difficult to produce any other shot shape. If you're a golfer who likes to work the ball and shape your shots, this might be a limitation.

In conclusion, the Cobra Darkspeed Max driver is a high-performing club that offers a lot of benefits, particularly for golfers struggling with a slice. However, its strong draw bias and less refined head shape might not appeal to everyone. As with any club, I'd recommend trying it out for yourself to see if it fits your game. After all, the most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable with the club in your hands.

Our takeaways after testing the Cobra Darkspeed Max:

  • Powerful draw bias at impact
  • Designed to limit (or even eliminate) the chances of hitting a slice
  • Large clubhead that will provide added confidence at address

New condition at $549.99

4. TaylorMade QI10 Driver

The first thing that struck me about the Qi10 was its sleek, clean look. The switch from a dominant red color scheme to a more conservative black, silver, and blue was a welcome change. The new Infinity Carbon Crown looks elegant compared to the framework that surrounded the Stealth 2. The top edge of the face is visible and light grey, which I found to be a helpful visual element for alignment.

When it comes to performance, the Qi10 driver is engineered to help players optimize distance and enhance forgiveness. It's a wonderful blend of distance and forgiveness. Even towards the later part of my rounds, I found that the Qi10 driver produced solid ball speeds and impressive forgiveness. The consistency can be attributed to Qi10’s high MOI, which also gives the club its “10” designation, for 10,000 MOI.

However, no club is without its drawbacks. While the Qi10 driver is extremely forgiving at this spin level, it only offers loft adjustability and lacks moveable weights. This might limit the customization options for some golfers. While I found the sound satisfying, it provides little audible feedback on off-centered strikes.

In conclusion, the TaylorMade Qi10 driver is a great choice if you're looking for a blend of distance and forgiveness with a sleek, clean look. It's a club that rewards good swings and keeps you playable on poor swings or strikes. We’ve always appreciated the Qi10 Max ever since its release, so much so that it was featured in our list of the 10 best drivers to fix a slice. But remember, the best club is the one that fits your game the best.

Our takeaways after testing the TaylorMade QI10:

  • Highly impressive forgiveness levels on impact
  • Provides plenty of distance on every strike
  • The go-to driver of the best players in the world including Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and more TaylorMade-sponsored athletes

Very good condition starting at $459.99

5. Callaway Paradym Driver

The first thing that caught my eye with the Callaway Paradym driver was the blue that covers most of the head. I was initially skeptical, worried that it would be too much. But when I got it in hand, I saw that it was much more subdued. In the bright sun, the blue does pop, but it's dark enough that it doesn't look like a toy. The texture of the blue, particularly on the sole, is unique and visually engaging.

At address, the standard Paradym driver has a very nice shape. It hits a sweet spot where better players and high handicappers alike will feel confident standing over it. The matte blue front edge holds your focus right next to the ball.

The Paradym driver threads the needle by having an impact sound that’s distinctive without being obnoxious. It’s a poppy “thwack” that’s average in volume and mid-pitch. Through the hands, the Paradym’s feedback at impact is very solid, providing you with the necessary information to locate the impact spot on the club’s face.

Now, let's talk about performance. My first experience with the Callaway Paradym driver put its forgiveness to the test. Despite the deck being stacked against it, the Paradym showed off the 15% improved dispersion that Callaway is touting. I struggled to find the center of the club face, but every shot was playable and several were laser straight.

However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. While the Paradym driver is generally praised for improving in a number of areas over the previous generation, most feel that the improvements are marginal at best. Also, it's not as draw bias as other similar designs. And while it's designed for players of all skill levels, it's not a huge leap forward over the previous generation.

In conclusion, the Callaway Paradym driver is a solid choice with a balance of power and forgiveness, aspirational aesthetics, and a lively feel. It's a serious contender at the premium end of the market. But as with any golf club, it's always best to try it out for yourself to see if it fits your style and needs.

Our takeaways after testing the Callaway Paradym:

  • Terrific look at address that doesn’t distract the player
  • Off-centered strikes still produced satisfying ball flight and results
  • The club face does show a lot of wear and tear, which appears after only a few use of the club

Good condition starting at $319.99

6. Titleist TSr1 Driver

The Titleist TSR1 driver immediately struck me as a club designed specifically for golfers with moderate swing speeds. It's ultra-lightweight, which makes it effortless to swing. I was amazed by how light it felt, not only in a static hovering position but throughout the swing. This lightweight property can help generate power for high-launching drives for noticeable distance gains.

The visual appeal of the TSR1 is stunningly simple. The gloss black crown's only accent is a simple "TSR" that serves as the sweet spot alignment aid. The face of the TSR1 driver is nearly identical to the previous version, the TSi1 driver. The micro-diamond patterned contact zone is splendid and stretches to the full height of the face.

The sound and feel of the TSR1 are impressive. The muted "thwap" is mid-tone with mid-resonance. The sound is very consistent. Feedback to my hands was limited even when I was hitting proper mishits. Contact anywhere in the middle section of the face felt solid and stable.

Now, let's talk about the performance. The TSR1 provides high launch and mid-spin characteristics. The deep, face-centered center of gravity promotes a higher launch and exceptional ball speed. The TSR1 driver is designed for golfers with moderate swing speeds. It does not specifically target shot shape correction or bias, focusing instead on maximizing launch, distance, and forgiveness.

However, there are some details to consider. Due to its lightweight properties, the TSR1 does not perform well for most golfers with high swing speeds. These differences show up in the form of distance and accuracy discrepancies. So, if you're a golfer with a high swing speed, this might not be the best fit for you.

In conclusion, the Titleist TSR1 driver is an excellent choice for golfers seeking a lightweight driver that offers impressive forgiveness and distance. It's a high price point, but the results make it a worthwhile investment. Remember, the best club for you is the one that complements your swing and feels right in your hands.

Our takeaways after testing the Titleist TSr1:

  • Perfectly suited for golfers with moderate or slower swing speeds
  • Lightweight feeling club throughout the swing
  • Will help launch the ball high at impact with more ease than most drivers

Good condition starting at $339.99

7. TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Driver

The first thing that struck me was the look of the TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver. The clean, gloss black crown harkens back to the TaylorMade R7s, an all-time favorite driver amongst many golfers. The carbon fiber in the crown is visible on close inspection, but from a distance, it's just a sleek, black surface. The red ring around the back edge is a subtle touch that adds a bit of flair.

Now, let's talk about performance. The Stealth 2 HD driver is designed to do one thing: hit high-drawing ball trajectories. The high launch and mid-low spin can help you hit long draws time after time. However, it's worth noting that it’s a bit shorter than the other variations of the same model in terms of distance. It was a bit of a shock considering how the original Stealth HD performed.

The feel of the club is something to note as well. Striking a premium ball with the carbon fiber face of the Stealth 2 HD driver creates a beautiful sound. It's crisp and sizzling, a mid-pitched "snap". The feel feedback is clear but not obvious. If you're not paying some attention to your hands, you can easily think every shot is pure.

The Stealth 2 HD driver is constructed with a full-body carbon construction, giving it a lightweight yet sturdy feel. This innovative design allows for better weight distribution, resulting in a more stable and forgiving driver. The unique construction features TaylorMade’s 60x layer carbon face technology. The adjustable loft sleeve allows golfers to fine-tune their club’s for optimal performance.

In conclusion, the TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver is a high-performance golf club designed to offer golfers unparalleled accuracy and forgiveness. It's great for players with slower swing speeds who need maximum launch and forgiveness to hit more fairways. However, if you're looking for a driver that delivers exceptional distance, you might find the Stealth 2 HD a bit lacking. But overall, it's a solid choice for those looking to improve their game.

Our takeaways after testing the Stealth 2 HD:

  • Go-to option for golfers struggling with a bad slice off the tee
  • Ideal for golfers with slowing swing speeds
  • Unique feel for the ball at impact, especially on strikes that find the sweet spot

Good condition starting at $218.98*

8. Callaway Big Bertha 2023 Driver

The first thing you'll notice about the Callaway Big Bertha 2023 driver is its long, triangular footprint, a typical characteristic of many forgiving drivers. This shape leans towards the heel, hinting at the draw bias in this club. The face sits a little closed, further evidence of the club's slice-fighting capabilities. The dark grey crown is largely free of ornamentation, but it does have a glossy, reflective finish.

When you flip the club over, you'll see a sole with a bit more pop than most of this year's offerings. Two bright red elements grab your attention and outline the large Big Bertha branding. The only tech called out on the sole is a subtle "Jailbreak Technology" near the face.

Now, let's talk about the sound and feel. The large, tall face of the Big Bertha produces a powerful, appealing sound when it meets the ball. It's louder than average – a stout "crack" – but the sound is concise. True to its forgiving nature, the Big Bertha doesn't change its tune much at impact, regardless of how well you strike the ball. Through the hands, you can get a good sense of where the ball hit the club face. This driver does feel fairly stable, but the feedback is still clear. The sensation of impact is a strong pop which complements the sound well.

In terms of performance, the Big Bertha met my expectations. It's synonymous with forgiveness, and that comes through in the way this driver retains ball speed across the face. Whether you hit it pure or off-center, you're going to see a high smash factor show up on the launch monitor. You can be pretty far from perfect and still send the ball a long way.

The Big Bertha also has a lot of slice-fighting power. Callaway packed extra weight into the heel (disguised as a red stripe on the sole) to further combat the slice. It's long, forgiving, and does a great job turning slices into playable, straight drives.

However, no club is perfect. While the Big Bertha is super lightweight, has an ultra-low forward CG, and a big weight on the heel of the club, all contributing to a draw bias, easy-to-launch driver, it might lack the flat-out firepower of its more credentialled stablemate. Also, the loud sound might not be to everyone's liking.

All in all, the Callaway Big Bertha 2023 driver does everything you would expect from this classic name. It's a great choice for golfers looking for more forgiveness and wanting to rid their game of the dreaded slice.

Our takeaways after testing the Big Bertha 2023:

  • The total package driver for golfers struggling off the tee
  • Will compensate for any lack of swing speed you may be dealing with
  • Off-centered strikes will provide near identical performance to nailed strikes

Good condition starting at $246.97*

9. Cobra Aerojet Driver

I vividly remember the first I held the Cobra Aerojet driver in my hands. The club has a stretched bullet shape, extremely long from front to back, and almost the entire crown is covered in a dark grey carbon fiber save for a thin edge of matte black. It's a sight to behold, and the large patches of white set the Aerojet apart from the hordes of all-black drivers released this year.

When you strike the ball, the Cobra Aerojet driver emits a hollow, louder-than-average "pop" that's mid-high in pitch. The ball feel coming off the face is very pleasing. You can sense the ball trampolining off the face and flying downrange. The feedback through the hands allows you to pinpoint the strike location, which is a feature I found particularly useful during my rounds.

Performance-wise, the Aerojet driver is both low-spinning and forgiving. It utilizes the same trio of technologies – H.O.T. Face, PWR-BRIDGE, and PWRSHELL – that they do in their Aerojet irons and fairway woods. These work collectively to give solid consistency in ball speed, launch angle, and spin all across the face. I found the results from the Aerojet driver to be extremely predictable. I saw a modest draw bias, strong launch angles, and low spin on nearly every shot. In terms of both distance and direction, I felt like I could take the Aerojet driver to the course and know exactly where I'd be off the tee.

But as is the case with any club, here’s what you should look out for this one. While the Aerojet driver can assist with distance by producing exceptional ball speed and lower spin numbers, it does miss the mark on accuracy and forgiveness. Off-center shots can elicit high-pitched metallic tones and some dull thuds. While some of these sounds are off-putting, they all serve as clear feedback that your swing was poor.

In conclusion, the Cobra Aerojet driver is a solid choice if you're looking for a club that offers low spin, good forgiveness, and a plethora of fitting options. Actually, if you’d like to take a closer at the Aerojet’s performance, make sure to check our complete review of the 6 best Cobra of the last 10 years. However, if accuracy and forgiveness are your top priorities, you might want to explore other options.

Our takeaways after testing the Aerojet:

  • Blends impressive forgiveness with low spin rates
  • Consistent performance from one strike to the next delivering high launch angles and low spin rates
  • Terrific feel for the ball at impact on every strike

Very Good condition starting at $220.97*

10. Srixon ZX5 MKII Driver

The first thing you'll notice with the ZX5 MKII is the matte black finish, a departure from the gloss black, carbon fiber crown of its predecessor. The alignment aid is small and discreet, shaded towards the heel of the club. It's a classic look that many golfers will appreciate. The club is fairly long from front to back, slightly favoring the toe side.

When it comes to sound and feel, the Srixon ZX5 MKII driver has a dialed-down impact sound. At contact, there's a staccato "pop". This meshes well with the feel of impact which is more solid than explosive. You'll definitely feel it when you strike the heel or toe.

Performance-wise, this driver is extremely easy to hit straight. The ZX5 is Srixon’s max forgiveness driver with “low” workability. When the ball just wants to fly down the middle of the fairway, why would you want to work it? Srixon’s main focus in this driver is the Rebound Frame. They compare this technology to “a spring within a spring” that boosts ball speed across the face. From the start of my testing sessions to the end, and from poor swings to good ones, I saw very high smash factors. That kind of consistent ball speed makes distance predictable and course management easier.

However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. The Srixon ZX5 MKII driver might not be the first driver to come to mind if you buy strictly based on performance. While it does showcase potential from a distance and forgiveness standpoint, even these strengths were slightly below average compared to other models. Also, some golfers have found the sound and feel to be less than ideal.

In conclusion, the Srixon ZX5 MKII driver is a solid choice for golfers looking for a forgiving, straight option off the tee with solid adjustability options. However, players with higher spin rates should look to Srixon’s other drivers. It's a club that's worth considering, but as with any golf equipment, I'd recommend trying it out for yourself to see if it fits your game.

Our takeaways after testing the Srixon ZX5 MKII:

  • Highly forgiving regardless of impact quality
  • Deliver very straight ball flights off the tee
  • Probably best suited for golfers with a higher handicap index

Good condition starting at $384.99

We hope this list helps you find your driver for the summer. The drivers listed above cover a wide array of skill sets, so we strongly believe that one of them is perfectly suited to you. The description provided with each of these drivers should help you make up your mind, but if you need more advice, we’ve got you covered as well!

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For any additional information on any of these clubs, you can always book a call with one of our expert caddies. They’ll provide you with insightful recommendations based on your skills and needs. If you prefer to explore on your own, you can always consult our “Club Finder” tool where we provide you with recommendations based on a quick questionnaire you’ll answer. We actually put the Club Finder up the to test against an AI to see just how good its recommendations can be for you!

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue Team

Further reading

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