The current USGA legal limit on golf drivers is 460cc. Most companies make their equipment to get as close to these legal limits as possible. However, some golfers are still looking for smaller head drivers.
The players like the control and stability of the club head and find it to be a welcome change. Although small head drivers can be tough to find, we have a few products that may work for your game.
Ping G425 LST (Best Overall)
The Ping G425 LST is developed for low spin rates and to improve launch conditions for golfers looking for control and accuracy over pure distance.
- Adjustable hosel
- Low spin technology and performance
- Better sound and feel than previous releases
- Arccos caddie smart grip
- Not as forgiving as the Ping G425 Max
- Slightly lower ball flight
The Ping G425 LST is the best small head driver on the market. This model is based on the technology in the G425 Max, which we know to be long and forgiving. The G425 Max has the highest MOI of any Ping driver, and the LST still has plenty of built-in forgiveness.
This clubhead is 445cc, considerably smaller than the other drivers in the lineup. The real difference you will notice, however, is the spin rate. There is more than a 200rpm reduction in the spin rates when comparing the G410 LST and the G425 Max.
The entire line of Ping G425 drivers is fast, and the LST is no exception. Don’t be worried about losing out on distance because this club head is slightly smaller; it should be easy to get through the ball at top speeds.
In addition, a new internal ribbing structure significantly improves both sound and feel in the Ping G425 LST. There is also adjustability in the lie and loft, helping golfers to fine-tune their overall performance.
Titleist TSi4 (Best For Control)
The Titleist TSi4 is a driver with Aerospace Titanium incorporated into the head and some of the best aerodynamics in the Titleist lineup this year.
- Incredible feel off the clubface
- 430cc for more control
- High ball speed driver
- Stable at impact
- Slightly smaller sweet spot than other golf drivers
Titleist has done a great job branding itself as a company that now makes products for any age, handicap, and playing ability. The latest line of TSi drivers features the use of the ATI 425 Aerospace Titanium Face.
This face helps to ensure that there is incredible speed coming off the clubface. In addition, there is a different feel that this type of driver brings to the market. Titleist claims that this is the fastest driver face they have ever produced.
This material is used in jet engines and several NASA products; it’s also all obtained from the same foundry for consistency in overall feel and performance.
The TSi4 is stable at impact and features a 430cc clubhead shape that is a bit more classic looking than other drivers on the market. The smaller clubhead helps with increased swing speed and a bit more workability. This driver, similar to the Ping G425 LST, also has very low spin.
Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (Best For Distance)
The Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS is a brand new release with Jailbreak technology, lower spin, incredible forgiveness, and all of this packed into a 450cc clubhead.
- Artificial intelligence that helped to fine tune the sweet spot
- Impressive control
- Tungsten speed cartridge for even high ball speeds
- Adjustability in the club head
- New release, so the pricing is relatively high
The current USGA limit for clubhead size is 460cc. However, not all golf manufacturers find that to be necessary. The Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS is 450cc and has a neutral to fade bias. With the more compact clubhead, players with fast swing speeds and impressive consistency can control their golf shots a bit better.
Like all of the Callaway Rogue drivers, there is a Tungsten Speed Cartridge that has 20 grams of weight low and deep in the driver’s head. So if you hit an off-center shot, expect to still get some forgiveness with the Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond in play.
With the use of Artificial Intelligence, there is more launch and better spin control than we have seen in the past with the Callaway low handicap type golf drivers. The ST frame is also very good looking, it’s a bit of a mix between the Mavrik and Epic style, and it sets up with a confidence-inducing look for the better player.
What to consider when buying small head drivers?
A small head golf driver is not for every golfer. Here are some things you should consider before switching to a small head driver and ensuring that you have the right golf club.
Most golf manufacturers will make golf drivers with 460cc club heads. The larger club head is the limit set by the USGA, and most golfers like to max this out when possible. However, Ping, Titleist, and Callaway all felt that there was enough demand for a golf driver with a bit more control and a slight increase in speed.
Some off-brands make what they call a Mini Driver, but they are more like 3 woods advertised as drivers. Stick with the better brands when choosing a small head golf driver.
Adjustability is essential in any golf driver you choose. Getting to choose a loft and lie that works specifically for the needs of your swing and game is worth the money.
Many low-spin, smaller head drivers are not as forgiving as the 460cc club heads. Since this is the case, it helps to get something with slightly higher lofts that you can adjust if you find it to be a bit too unforgiving.
The three small head drivers on the market this year are all geared toward the faster swinging, lower handicap player looking for ultimate control and performance in their game. If you want forgiveness, go with something that is 460cc and stay away from these small head drivers.
Many golfers think that their distances will be impacted by switching to a small head driver. However, this should not be the case. Sometimes the small head even cuts through the air a little faster, and it can increase distance.
The 460cc clubhead helps with stability and forgiveness, but it shouldn’t impact the total distance you can hit your golf driver. If your swing speed is fast, you can get plenty of distance from 425cc or 430cc golf clubs.
Why don’t more golf manufacturers make small head drivers?
Many golf manufacturers do not make small head drivers simply because there is insufficient demand for them. Players find that using the full 460cc that the USGA allows helps to create a more consistent performance. It’s really a personal preference which driver works for you.
However, we don’t expect more companies to come out with smaller drivers. You can do a lot with a 460cc head, and they will likely continue to take advantage of this for quite some time.
What are the pros and cons of small head drivers?
A few years ago, the small head driver was a big deal when the TaylorMade Mini came to the market. However, this driver didn’t get as much attention as TaylorMade had hoped, and the concept of smaller drivers has faded a bit. Here are a few of the positives and negatives of these golf clubs.
- It can be easier to control
- Typically low spin
- It can help some players get higher ball speeds
- A more classic look to the club head.
- Typically not as forgiving
- Very few options on the market to choose from
Who should use small head drivers?
Most golfers that use small head drivers are better players looking to try and shape their shots a bit. The other subset of players that uses the small head drivers are those that can’t adjust to the new larger style club heads, and they want something that is a little less large.
There is no denying the fact looking down at a significant driver is a bit different than the drivers from 10 years ago. If you don’t like the look, a small head driver can be the solution. Some golfers go right to the 3 wood instead.
Hopefully, we have saved you some time in your search for the best small head drivers. There are not too many on the market, so finding one that is right for you can be tricky. The Ping G425 LST is our favorite option. This club has some solid performance for the golfer looking for low spin, consistency, and overall great feel.