Once upon a time, being left-handed was a bit of a handicap. That may still be true in many areas of life, but golf is now a haven of acceptance for a lefty. Your local pro shop may not have a wide selection of clubs for you, but it’s not because manufacturers don’t offer them. We’ve selected for you the best driver for left-handed golfer.
Callaway broke fresh ground some time ago in offering mirror-image clubs for the lefties out there. Incidentally, the Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero wins this shootout as well, but not solely for being offered to the southpaws. No, this is a superior weapon, the Japanese katana of drivers.
Of course, there are many fine drivers on the market. We’ll discuss more of our favorites in a bit, but first, let’s see why the Callaway Epic Flash design stands out in a sea of high-tech wizardry.
The Best Driver For Left Handed Golfer – Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero
It would be impossible to talk about left-handed golf clubs of any type and not discuss Callaway. A generation ago, the company led the way in offering lefties the same choices as right-handed golfers. Now, everyone does it. But at the time it was an oddity.
Callaway is leading the way again, this time utilizing the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence (AI) (source) and machine learning to design its newest driver – the Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero. The company created 15,000 virtual iterations of its face design in a computer, each built on the successes and failures of the last.
When all of that machine learning was finished, the result was the Epic Flash.
Noticeable Trampoline Effect
It’s important to note that the only part of the Epic Flash that Callaway designed using AI was the face. The key component that the supercomputer hit upon was the back of the Flash Face. Here, the AI created a series of seemingly random ripples that run from the heel to the toe.
To look at those ripples, one might think they were designed haphazardly, but they actually work in concert to improve ball speed. When magnified, the ridges vary in ways that seem schizophrenic, with thinner sections placed at different places around the center than we’ve ever seen before in a golf club.
Until now, the typical method for improving the trampoline effect (or COR in tech-speak) was to make the face thicker in the middle and gradually thinner at the edges. Callaway’s supercomputer turns this technology on its head.
Stability on Mis-hits
Callaway is the leader in the never-ending industry quest to improve the results of shots that miss the center of the face. The Epic Flash drivers are among the most stable drivers in golf, thanks in part to the now-well-known Jailbreak technology.
Like in a previous couple of Callaway drivers (the Epic and Rogue drivers), two internal titanium bars connect the crown to the sole behind the face. Those bars help prevent the club head from twisting on mis-hits, reserving energy so the ball flies farther and truer.
The other technology that improves MOI (source) in the Epic Flash is Callaway’s use of carbon fiber composite in the crown. Like a cavity-back iron, the weight savings from the crown are redistributed around the head to create a more stable platform.
Another benefit of saving weight in the clubhead is that it enabled Callaway’s engineers to include a sliding weight in the rear of the sole. Users can position the weight in any of the several possible positions along the track, centered or more toward the toe or the heel.
The effect of moving the weight around is that it helps control how quickly the toe closes during the downswing. Golfers who slice can move the weight toward the heel, which helps the toe close more quickly. The opposite is true for golfers who hook the ball.
Extremely Low Spin
Spin is the enemy of distance. On two shots of equal swing speed, the one with less side spin will naturally fly farther, as less of its energy is wasted on lateral movement. The regular Epic Flash addresses this with moveable weight alone, but the Sub Zero model goes further.
The Epic Flash Sub Zero is a bit shorter from toe to heel than the regular model. It also has a weight on the sole, just behind the face, that puts more weight forward. The result is a club that imparts less spin on the ball from faster swings. It’s less remedial than the regular model, but it allows the average golfer room to improve.
Drawback – Price
Callaway is well aware that it has a problem when it comes to competitive pricing on its newest flagship drivers. It is a premium product with state-of-the-art technology and components, so it would make sense that it commands a premium price. The company also needs to justify and recoup the costs of all of that research and development.
In truth, the cost of the Epic Flash and Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers are in keeping with most of the drivers from the top manufacturers. Anyone keeping up with the industry would be aware of the upward price creep in recent years. This is one club that earns those extra dollars.
Cobra King F9 Speedback
Cobra’s F9 Speedback driver bucks the tendency in modern drivers to shift weight to the crown. The reason that weight is moving up there is the addition of aerodynamic gadgets and doodads, which are intended to aid in aerodynamic flow. They work to improve clubhead speed, but often at the cost of a higher CG.
Lower Center of Gravity
To move weight lower, thereby lowering the center of gravity and helping get the ball up, Cobra used more of its carbon-composite crown material. The composite now wraps around the edges of the crown toward the heel. Lighter up top necessarily mean lighter at the bottom – and a lower CG.
The Speedback still benefits from Cobra placing an emphasis on aerodynamics. The company just put extra effort into minimizing the tradeoffs that streamlined crowns can force upon us. It all starts with the leading edge.
The top and bottom leading edges are soft and rounded, allowing them to slip through the air easier than if they were flat. Next, the crown is raised like the airfoil (source) shape of a wing. Finally, the tail of the head is raised, similar to the spoiler on a racecar.
The Speedback driver benefits from Cobra’s CNC machining process, resulting in extremely tight tolerances and precise thicknesses. The Speedback face is Cobra’s thinnest and hottest ever. The CNC machining also allows for less variance from one club to the next.
The other, less tangible benefit from the CNC machining on the milled face of the Speedback is purely aesthetic. This is one of the most elegant, beautiful faces to ever grace a driver. Some coming technology may eclipse it, but that rising-sun look will never go out of style.
Drawback – Lags in Face Flex
There really isn’t much to dislike about the new Speedback. It ticks all of the boxes and where the new Callaway driver faces not so hot, this would likely be our favorite – especially for the price. Callaway set a new bar, though, and all of the top club makers are now in catchup mode.
Srixon is keeping up with the demands and challenges of the modern driver marketplace. The Srixon Z 785 driver is neither outstanding nor an also-ran. It uses all the best materials to produce a club that matches most of its competitors in terms of performance, leaving only personal preference as a deciding factor.
The Z 785 (and its stablemate Z 585) has a competitively hot face that just seems to send the ball without announcing its presence. That hotness is the result of a cupface design, in which the face wraps around the edges of the clubhead. The edges of the face are therefore thinner, increasing the spring-like effect that aids in ball speed.
The Z 785 produces a sound at impact that most players will appreciate. While some drivers make a sound akin to the cracking of a whip, the Srixon has a sound more like the classic “pink!”. It is neither obtrusive nor gaudy, just the sound a gentleman might prefer.
While adjustability in drivers is nothing new, the execution in the Z 785 is outstanding. It shows an effort on Srixon’s part to make the tech in its clubs fade into the background. Notice that the Z 785 features an adjustable hosel and moveable weights, while the more remedial Z 585 does not.
Drawbacks – Nothing Stands Out
Titanium face, carbon fiber crown, adjustable hosel, moveable weights, etc. These are all the things the modern golfer has come to expect in driver design, and they are all present in the Z 785. You have to give Srixon credit for its execution here. This is a truly beautiful and functional club.
However, there is nothing here that pushes any envelopes. If the club speaks to you at address, you’ll likely never regret your purchase. It functions as it should and gets it done – like a well-designed tool. There’s really nothing to complain about, but Srixon isn’t moving any needles here.
You didn’t think we were going to do a driver comparison and not include a TaylorMade offering, did you? That would be sacrilege. The company that invented the metal-wood continues to drive things forward in driver design, a tradition exemplified by the new TaylorMade M5driver.
Adjustable in the Extreme
There are two tracks along the bottom of the clubhead that allows the golfer to precisely control the placement of two moveable weights. The tracks are in a T-shape, so that one weight can move from the front to back and the other from side to side.
The front-to-back weight allows weight to move closer or farther from the ball at impact. Closer reduces side spin for straighter flight, while farther away improves stability on mis-hits. Moving the rearward weight to the right helps lefties eliminate the right side if they hook it. Not many slicers will play this club (the M6 is a bit more remedial), but it can eliminate left misses as well.
Hot, Hot, Hot
TaylorMade is playing scofflaw with the M6 design. The company initially made the club to break the USGA’s ball speed rule, then dialed it back until it just barely conformed. It does this by varying the injection of resin into the clubhead after testing each club. Not every club even gets an injection (the company claims that .3 percent do not).
The result here, and of the Twist Face design that straightens ball flight on mis-hits, is that ball speeds are now as fast as the USGA will allow. Club makers – including TaylorMade – are at a point where innovation will have to come in other areas of design. The company that started it all now has to find a way to outdo itself… again.
Drawback – Most Expensive
By any reasonable standard, the M5 driver is hard to top. Each one is a finely tuned machine, more akin to a MotoGP race bike than to the old persimmon woods that TaylorMade first chased from the game. However, not even close to every golfer will be able to afford this work of art.
Is it worth the money? Sure. The materials and design are top of the heap, and TaylorMade must recoup all of the costs of design and manufacture while still making a profit. Unfortunately, it has also priced that tech so that many in the game won’t reap the benefits for years to come.
Conclusion – Best Driver For Left Handed Golfer
As a lefty, you are probably used to making compromises in life. While once that was true in golf as well, it is definitely no longer the case. Our driver comparison winner – Callaway’s Epic Flash Sub Zero – might once have been a lefty’s only option on this list. But now the options are much improved.
The Epic Flash, therefore, wins this comparison based on merit alone, and what merit there is. This club opens a doorway to design using machine learning that will lead someplace no one comprehends. Even Callaway’s engineers don’t understand how the Flash Face works, just that it does.
Where will the future lead? No one could possibly know, but where ever it might be, you can bet AI will take us there. What an exciting time to be a golfer, whether left-handed or right.