The 5 most efficient drivers on the PGA Tour (and the drivers they use)

rickie fowler tees off at the us open

Maximizing efficiency is key to unlocking carry distance potential. These are the drivers used by the most efficient players on the PGA Tour.

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Golf is all about optimization. From club fitting to swing dynamics, being optimized to carry the golf ball a long way with your driver helps avoid hazards off the tee. It also helps with irons and scoring clubs, allowing you to stop the ball closer to the hole.

Driver optimization chart based on ball speed and angle of attack. PING Golf

Regardless of whether you’re a moderate swing speed amateur or a tour-level golfer, we all have the ability to get ourselves optimized off the tee, and on the PGA Tour, these are the top-five most efficient drivers of the ball based on carry distance. We also included the drivers they use.

Keegan Bradley – 2.56 yards for every MPH

Keegan Bradley of the United States plays his shot from the 12th tee during the third round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 24, 2023 in Cromwell, Connecticut.
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Keegan Bradley became an instant star on the PGA Tour when he won in his major debut at the 2011 PGA Championship in a playoff over Jason Dufner. Since then he has gone on to win another five times, including the 2022 Zozo Championship.

Although he’s right around the PGA Tour average in terms of clubhead speed, he makes up for it by being extremely efficient with his driver delivery. He achieves that using a TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus with 10.5 degrees of loft.

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus+ Custom Driver

NEW 60X CARBON TWIST FACE Building on the speed producing success of the original 60X Carbon Twist Face that optimized energy transfer for fast ball speeds, the new face design in Stealth 2 features an advanced version of Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) to help maintain ball speed on off center strikes and increase forgiveness. It weighs 24g (2g lighter than the original Stealth face) and is designed to have an expanded COR area for a larger sweet spot and boosted performance across the entire face. CARBON REINFORCED COMPOSITE RING The Carbon Reinforced Composite Ring unites the driver head into a singular force and frees up additional mass that has been strategically placed to deliver more forgiveness. DESIGNED FOR SPEED AND FORGIVENESS The corrective tendencies of Twist Face™ combined with advanced ICT help maintain ball speed and accuracy on off-center strikes. A lightweight full-carbon body allows engineers to harvest mass and strategically place weight for optimal launch and forgiveness. NANOTEXTURE COVER The 60X Carbon Twist Face is encased by a polyurethane cover, featuring a revolutionary nanotexture technology. The nanotexture cover is used to fine tune launch and spin to optimize total distance regardless of playing conditions. ASYMMETRIC INERTIA GENERATOR The Inertia Generator remains the foundational source of refined aerodynamic properties. The result is a slippery-fast head shape that aids in swing speed generation on the downswing for golfers at every level. It is outfitted with a 15g rear weight to optimize MOI and forgiveness. SLIDING WEIGHT TRACK Weight savings from the 60X Carbon Twist Face and full body carbon construction allowed for the use of a 15g sliding weight. It is designed to help golfers control shot shape by shifting mass on the sole to create the desired ball flight. THRU-SLOT SPEED POCKET Our flexible Speed Pocket™ design is engineered to maximize ball speeds and produce additional forgiveness on low-face strikes.
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Austin Smotherman – 2.549 yards for every MPH

Scottie Scheffler driver stealth2

There is a very fine line between first and second on this list, but one thing that doesn’t separate Austin Smotherman from Bradley is their driver of choice, the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus.

Thanks to the low spin properties of this driver head, it’s interesting to see that two of the most efficient drivers of the ball use the same model and in a higher loft (10.5°).

Rickie Fowler – 2.546 yards for every MPH

Rickie Fowler hits tee shot during 2022 Zozo Championship
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2023 was a huge comeback year for Rickie Fowler. Between winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, to having a very close call at the U.S. Open at LACC, one of the standout parts of his return to form beyond his putting was his driving.

Like many players on this list, Fowler isn’t one of the fastest players on Tour, but he makes up for those few extra miles an hour by delivering the club into the ball very effectively with his Cobra Aerojet LS. Also, if you look at the embed above, you’ll notice the tee marks (the white markings on the driver’s face) are near the center or slightly toe-biased, which is the most effective area to use when trying to create optimal high launch and low spin conditions.

Cobra Aerojet LS Custom Driver

The Aerojet LS utilizes an advanced aerodynamic design to enable the fastest club speed possible. AERODYNAMIC SHAPING A seamless aerodynamic design is adapted to deliver faster clubhead speed for maximized distance. PWR-BRIDGE WEIGHTING An innovative suspended bridge weight design enables unrestricted flexibility of the face and sole, and positions the CG low and forward to unleash faster ball speed. PWRSHELL WITH H.O.T FACE A forged PWRSHELL face insert maximizes flexibility for faster ball speed and higher launch. A H.O.T Face design uses artificial intelligence to create a variable thickness pattern that delivers more efficient speed and spin across the face. ADJUSTABLE WEIGHTING Two adjustable weight settings in the heel and toe allow for a neutral or fade-biased ball flight. CARBON CROWN AND SOLE A carbon fiber crown and sole create a lighter and stronger chassis.
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Byeong Hun An – 2.543 yards for every MPH

Byeong Hun An tees off during 2023 Genesis Scottish Open
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Unlike the others on this list, Byeong Hun An isn’t just efficient when it comes to carry distance, he gets there by also being one of the fastest players on Tour and ranks inside the top 10 for driving distance (6th) and top 40 in driver swing speed.

With his higher swing speed, there is a requirement to better control spin, and Byeong Hun does that by using the lowest spin driver model from Titleist. The TSR4 also happens to be one of the few drivers on the market under the legal limit of 460cc.

Titleist TSR4 Custom Driver

If excess spin is the enemy, Titleist TSR4 is the answer. It offers two different spin reduction settings, improved aerodynamics and our new Multi-Plateau VFT face construction – all housed in a compact, 430cc player-preferred shape. Benefits Dual CG Design Piercing Trajectories Compact, Player-Preferred Shaping Features Multi-Plateau VFT (Variable Face Thickness) Design Adjustable Spin Control Aerospace Grade Titanium Improved Aerodynamics SureFit Adjustability
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Troy Merritt – 2.539 yards for every MPH

troy merritt
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With more than 13 years of golf on the PGA Tour, along with 169 cuts made, Troy Merritt has built himself one heck of a career despite being one of the players toward the bottom in driver swing speed rankings.

He certainly makes up for his lower swing speed with efficiency in launch, spin and accuracy, which puts him at 25th on the Tour’s 2023 rankings. He gets it done with a Titleist TSR2 driver.

Titleist TSR2 Custom Driver

Titleist TSR2 is slimmed down and ramped up. For players who make contact across the entire surface of the face, it combines our most significant CG shift with a new Multi-Plateau VFT face to boost speed across the face. All within a cleaner, refined shape that inspires total player confidence. Benefits High Launch & Low Spin Optimized Speed Increased Stability Across Face Player-Preferred Shaping Features Multi-Plateau VFT (Variable Face Thickness) Design Aerospace Grade Titanium Improved Aerodynamics SureFit Adjustability
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Want to overhaul your bag, or find your longest driver? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.

Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.