The game of golf has an extensive and often complicated set of rules. They apply to all aspects of the game, including equipment, even down to such basics as golf tees and gloves. Some rules are so complex that even seasoned professionals have made unintentional rule transgressions that have cost them dearly. In this biggest golf driver review we’ll take a look at the biggest possible drivers that don’t (and do) pass the rules on the market today to give you a better overview of what’s out there. Let’s start with some basic rules!
Everything Comes Into Play
The rules that determine equipment standards and specifications, as well as rules of play, are established and governed by the United States Golf Association. They have specific rules regarding equipment size, length, weight, dimensions and head volume. Club material is also subject to rules to prevent giving an unfair advantage to certain players. The game is, after all, designed to provide players of all skill levels and experience an even playing field.
Sure, some of the more expensive clubs on the market have specific features and technology that will help players with various aspects of their game but there are entry level clubs that are still very good. The line has to be drawn somewhere, hence to the rules relating to equipment.
When it comes to driver head volume, the rules are pretty clear. The maximum permitted head volume on a golf driver is 460cc. That is a huge leap from early drivers and even a massive increase in the size of driver heads just a decade or so back.
The result of this rule is the vast majority of manufacturers focus most of their efforts on drivers of this size as most people appreciate the forgiveness and consistency the larger head size provides.
Only the really experienced golfer who is confident in their consistency and accuracy opt for a smaller head. This gives them more playability and shot shaping ability, obviously sacrificing forgiveness. Even then, they are only marginally smaller than the maximum permitted size and still significantly larger than older drivers.
Another area many of the non-conforming or illegal drivers step outside of the rules is not the head size but the COR rating. The maximum permitted COR under USGA rules is .830. Many 460cc sized drivers exceed this limit, putting them on the non-conforming list.
If you are playing in a USGA event you obviously have to use equipment that conforms to their specifications. In truth, any proper game of golf should be played with a legal, conforming driver. There are, however, many weekend warriors who are quite happy to play with non-conforming drivers. Many of the major manufacturers, as well as a few lesser known ones, cater to this market.
While the purists might frown on this practice, it does have some novelty value and so long as it is not competition play, well, it might be interesting to see what some of these drivers can do. There is also much debate around the opinion of many people that allowing clubs that make the game will attract more players to the sport.
Not Hard to Find
However you look at it, oversized and illegal drivers do exist and people do buy them. If you chose not do that, or take exception to playing with someone using a non-conforming driver, that is your prerogative.
A quick search on Amazon and eBay will reveal numerous illegal drivers for sale for those who want to give them a go. They are not a miracle cure that will suddenly make you into a rock star golfer but a good, non-conforming driver will most likely shave a good number of strokes off your game and probably be a whole lot of fun at the same time.
Many of the illegal drivers do not even have proper brand names but there are a good number of them around. If you want to experiment with one and see what they can do for your drive, here are a few that are currently on the market.
Biggest Golf Drivers Review
The clue to the rule transgression is in the name, 500CC. So the aptly named B52 Bomber is clearly not a legal option. It is made by Bullet Golf and, apart from the oversized head, does not have a host of other features. It has a well-weighted flex graphite shaft and has a standard length and lie. Despite the head size, it is still quite aerodynamic so you do not lose swing speed and they have kept the crown thin to lower the center of gravity.
DTG Felon Illegal Driver
The Diamond Tour Golf Felon Driver breaches the rules on both head size as well as COR. If you’re going to break the rules, you may as well go all the way and take advantage of the free sleeve of illegal golf balls that come free with this driver.
The DTG Felon has increased COR to .860 with additional spring. With a decent swing this should add noticeable distance to your drive, just don’t go entering any longest drive competitions with it.
The large size obviously provides that much more forgiveness so even what would normally be a major mishit will still travel a good distance without veering too far off the mark.
The 515CC head with a massive sweet spot will obviously give you a huge advantage in terms of forgiveness. The hot forged SP 700 beta titanium face has a huge COR and the trampoline effect should give you a significant distance advantage off the tee. The driver is customizable in terms of shaft length, shaft type, grip size and type, as well as loft.
The Juggernaut driver unashamedly breaks the rules on head size with a 515CC beta titanium head and a COR that is way over USGA limits. If you want to duck the rules, this is a good option to do that with. You will benefit from major forgiveness and explosive ball speeds.
Many of the big names such as Callaway, Mizuno, TaylorMade, and others have produced drivers that fall foul of the letter of the law. If you want to ensure that your driver is compliant you will need to do a bit of research. They all have some form of marking to distinguish them from the legal or approved drivers.
Legal or Conforming Drivers
Obviously, the mainstream manufacturers want to stay within the rules and use creative and innovative techniques, technologies, and materials to get the maximum potential from their drivers. While the maximum head size has to be adhered to, a few drivers stand out as they have managed to get the most out of the restrictions while still staying within the boundaries of the rules.
Cobra has managed to significantly increase the effective face area on the Baffler to a 5,000 sq. mm. face claiming it to be the largest (legal) face ever. Combined with the lower CG, the Baffler will give you outstanding forgiveness and great distance.
Additional features include an offset design and increased MOI. The face size and additional feature will give you additional confidence in your swing and should gain you a few additional yards on most drives, hopefully shaving a few strokes off your game.
Cleveland has used a clever design technique to create a larger head while still complying with the 460 CC limit. If you visually compare the face or hitting area of the Hibore to other 460 CC drivers, you will see a larger area that will be evident.
They achieved this by basically removing the top of the driver's head to get the maximum face area. They have combined numerous technologies, some fairly commonplace on top drivers and some a bit more unique. These combine well to produce a hard hitting and extremely forgiving driver.
You can not talk about big drivers without mentioning the infamous Big Bertha. They were largely responsible for the evolution of head size and manage to maximize the forgiveness, COR, and MOI while still staying within the rules (although a few non-conforming models have appeared from time to time).
Whatever your opinion of non-conforming drivers, they certainly do exist and there is a market for them, much like the cars we can buy that can do speeds several times faster than the highest speed limits. While I would not recommend pulling one out at the club championships, they might still be fun for a social round with a few friends. And who knows, perhaps the rules relax at some point in the future.