Although it might seem like a good idea to buy a golf driver for a buddy, there’s a lot more than shiny decals and rave reviews involved in purchasing golf clubs. For many golfers, clubs aren’t acquired in a subjective way — golfers buy clubs by feel. Like finally finding your first home or falling in love, there’s not a way to put into words what you get from the right driver. That sense of excitement, of a new challenge ahead, and even a little bit of anticipation of the looks on the faces of other golfers when they see what you just picked up at the pro shop are the kind of things that drive these decisions.
Unless you know your friend and their golf game extremely well, they may be much better served by a gift card to their favorite club shop than a shiny new driver, no matter how good your intentions. Your friend will appreciate the gift just as much and be able to build a relationship with a company where they can find quality new and used golf clubs to fit their exacting standards. If you want to give a wrap-able gift alongside a gift card, look for a snazzy new golf sweater, a good pair of golf shoes, or a dozen balls.
If you really feel that you must buy a driver for your friend, it’s a good idea to ask them what they’ve tried out in the pro shop and loved and what they didn’t. It’ll make narrowing down the potential clubs a much easier job. There are lots of great drivers out there, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.
Choosing Drivers for a Friend
Some drivers are geared more toward flexibility, like the TaylorMade R1 adjustable driver, and allow the player to adjust their settings as they dial in their swing. These can be hard for beginners to handle, though, because they’re often tempted to tweak their club too much instead of working on their actual swing.
Clubs like the Callaway RAZR Fit attempt to create clubs optimized for different players depending on the loft they select. The higher lofted drivers are better for beginners, since they have larger heads and a closed face angle to help compensate for less than consistent swings.
The Titleist 910D2 Driver splits the gap between the R1 and the RAZR Fit, with design meant to help the casual golfer, but options to adjust the loft and lie angle to allow the club to be more flexible as a player develops their game.
Make sure that the shop where you purchase your friend’s new driver has an excellent, hassle-free return policy. After all, there’s no guarantee that they’ll like their new club or that it will swing as well for them as it might have for you when you tried it in the pro shop. A new or gently used quality driver is an outstanding gift that anyone would appreciate, even if they have to send it back in exchange for a club that fits their game a little better.