Advantages of Adjustable Drivers

Dear Frank,

I recently got into a friendly argument about adjustable drivers. My stance was that fit is just as important for a driver as it is for irons and putters, and as such, the adjustability of modern drivers gives us the ability to “tweak” our drivers until they fit our swing.

My friend’s opinion is that all the adjustments are just hype, or a crutch, and that you should just learn to hit it better.

Where do you stand on adjustable drivers? Do you think they make a difference? If so, how much?

There is no doubt in my mind that the settings affect what my ball does. But I do wonder…is it all in my mind?
–Tim, TX

 

Tim,
It is not all in your mind and I think that an adjustable driver is a good thing. The only problem is that one should first know what you need, and then these adjustments can help fine tune the performance of your club reasonably well – if standard is not right for you.

One of the problems is that the average golfer is sometimes unsure of what he/she needs or how to get there – in spite of the instructions provided.

Most golfers are affected by the bells and whistles, believing the ability to make multiple adjustments – in some cases 20 or more options — will result in improving a bad swing. In many cases, without professional help most golfers are only guessing what to do and will probably do more harm than good with the adjustable tool in their hands.

One of the best things about adjustability is the ability to change shafts, allowing the golfer to get the right flex and length using the same head, which will probably help more than the other adjustments available.

With regard to irons, these should be fitted for lie angle and shaft flex. These adjustments should be done with the help of a professional fitter and are relatively simple.

As far as a putter is concerned, the two most important things to consider are:
a) the putter type – a mallet style is generally preferred and
b) the correct length – most golfers have putters which are too long.
The loft of a well-designed putter is 4-degrees so no adjustment is needed and if the putter is fitted correctly for length the lie angle will be very close to 72 degrees.

Click here to review our Frankly Frog Putter Fitting video to make sure your putter is properly fitted. 

I hope this helps, and now you can sleep a little better and play with more confidence knowing that you have the correctly fitted equipment. 

Tim, when you make good friends with your clubs, you don’t have to change them for quite a while as advances in technology are not moving very rapidly. The next move you will need to make, when your game gets rusty is to get a lesson from a qualified – qualified is very important – teacher.

Frank

Have adjustable clubs helped your game? Let us know what you think about the latest forms of adjustability in equipment now available to the golfer.

 

5 thoughts on “Advantages of Adjustable Drivers

  1. I think that if you use adjustability to fix a swing flaw, you are doing a disservice to the golfer. That person needs lessons and practice to fix the flaw, not a special club.

    Most people can be fit adequately by ensuring that the lie, length, flex, grip size, and overall club weight is correct for them.

    Since the driver is hit, at the most, 14 times a round, does all that adjustability really help that much, unless it gives the player more confidence in that club.

    Finally, if an adjustable club changes (say a weight moves) during a round, should not that club be deemed unfit for play for the remainder of the round?

    • Hi Mike,
      The endless argument drags on. Is the driver more important than the putter or reverse that? Well, for the recreational player, my opinion goes with the driver. Why? Because it sets up the hole. Decent drives from the short grass, means more GIR and putts for par instead of double bogey.
      Anything legal that helps you drive the ball better should be used. Back in the day, Pro golfers bent drivers, added lead tape and did what ever they could to get an edge. Now things are high tech, but remain much the same.

  2. Greetings from Jackson Hole.

    My new driver was born last summer and resulted from over an hour with a launch monitor, fitting various driver heads to various shafts, and then tweaking the loft of the preferred head/shaft combination. A lot of work, but a significant improvement for me. Thanks.

    C. David Clauss

  3. Hi Frank,
    I could not agree more. I bought a used driver from a friend a few years back. It has an offset face, 10.5 degrees of loft and a regular shaft. A decent drive is 215 with a high cut and acceptable from the forward tees. During demo days at our club and young women professional had me try a 12 degree driver, 1/2 degree closed face and a soft/ regular shaft. I thought “This thing will look like a big 9 iron.” Boy was I wrong! I hit it much lower, quite a bit further and nearly straight, sometimes with a tiny draw.
    If you are going to shell out big bucks for a driver, be sure to get fit. Otherwise your search for the best driver will be an endless quest.

  4. The adjustable driver is a boon to the manufacturer. Instead of having to make a large number of clubs in various lofts, draw/fade bias, weights and shafts, they could make a heads in a couple of lofts and let adjustability meet all the other considerations.

    It also helps the buyer and the golf dealer. Instead of having to stock all the possible clubs the customer might need, the fitting options can quickly translate into a club the customer can use. Over time, a 10.5 degree regular shaft can easily convert to a 12 degree senior with a few turns of the screw and a replacement shaft. A broken shaft is easily replaced.

    I also think there is a place for both instruction and fitting to improver a swing. I see pros undergoing swing changes and struggling, and these are athletes with unbelievable hand and eye coordination. Changing a swing is not easy. I had an instructor tell me it took about 1500 good swings to ingrain a change. Although I feel I sometimes swing that many times in a single round, that is a lot of swings, and the difficulty is not letting bad habits back in.

    A typical large range bucket has about 80 balls, This means 18-19 visits to the range, usually less than once a week. To keep making the right swing, some of those visits need to be under the tutelage of the instructor. You not only have the expense of the range balls, but also the cost of the teacher.

    My thinking is having your swing analyzed and coming up with a price performance plan. Correct the major problems, but overcome minor imperfections with the right fitting of clubs. The change will be quicker and easier, and the results will be longer term.

    There need to be more options in the driver fitting set. Since the manufacturers now have fewer heads to make, maybe they could add a small (+-400cc) adjustable heads to the mix, and shafts from 43.5″-46″. Jimmy Walker used a 42″ driver shaft at the SBS tournament, and he stills bombs the ball. I hear pro driver shafts average 44.5″. Shaft fitting needs to have shaft length in the mix.

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