The 5 Best JDM (Japenese Domestic Market) Drivers

The Japenese Domestic Market is reputed to be the second-largest market for Golf Clubs in the world. Japenese manufacturers are generally associated with quality forged irons however many of the manufacturers are now developing Drivers that are comparable with the leaders in the field of Driver Technology.

The Driver is used on the majority of par 4 and, par 5 holes on a golf course to provide distance, trajectory, and, control of your first shot from the tee. Manufacturers spend vast amounts of money researching and developing the driver to provide you with varying driver head sizes and designs, launch angle and, improved sweet spot technology to improve ball speed, forgiveness and,  the accuracy of your drive from the tee.

Due to the vast and the varying number of drivers on the market each with its special features and, benefits, there is a lot to consider to choose the right driver for you. If you choose a driver that does not suit you and continually hit your first shot into the rough or away from where you aimed then you will struggle to make par The following are factors that will assist you in making the best choice.

Size

Club heads are measured by volume in cubic centimeters with a maximum limit of 460cc. The 460cc increases MOI (movement of inertia) that offers more forgiveness to a shot that is struck off-center and for this reason, is the most popular with the amateur or higher handicap golfer.

The smaller head sizes such as the 420cc and the 440cc tend to be preferred by the lower handicap or professional golfer as these are designed for golfers that like to shape the ball in the air enabling them to move the ball to a preferred position from the tee. ( for example ,cut corners).

Material

The main and most popular material used for a clubhead is titanium due to its strength, durability and, being lightweight enables manufacturers to increase the size of clubheads without increasing the weight that allows you to swing faster. hit the ball further and, reduce the margin for error due to a larger sweet spot.

Composite driver clubheads combine several different types of materials to improve driver performance. Lightweight carbon can be used in the rear of the clubhead to reduce the overall weight and allow the center of gravity to be altered while still having a titanium face to produce the best possible ball speeds.

Heavier materials such as tungsten in combination with titanium will help to increase a club’s perimeter weight thus increasing MOI (moment of inertia) MOI refers to a club’s resistance to twisting at impact. The higher the MOI the less the club will twist or rotate when you strike the ball, improving your chances of striking the ball on the sweet spot for optimum distance and direction.

Shaft

Shafts can be made from steel, titanium or, graphite. Steel is a cheaper option but is heavier than the other two options. Titanium or, graphite shafts are lighter and can assist in increasing clubhead speed and therefore distance achieved.

Shafts can come in a variety of flexes. Regular (R), Stiff (S) and, extra Stiff (XS). There is also a shaft flex for ladies (L) and seniors (A). Shafts that are lighter and less Stiff tend to have a flight that moves from right to left. Heavier stiffer shafts will have a lower trajectory and have a greater tendency to move to the right.

Length

The driver is the longest club in your bag with a legal limit for the length being 48 inches. The longer the shaft the further the clubhead travels during the swing. While this will produce greater distance, control. The flight of the ball will be negatively affected. Most drivers are between 45 and 48 inches in length. Woman’s drivers are normally between 43 and 44inches.

The ideal length to achieve the best balance between the distance the ball travels and controlling the flight and direction is 45 inches although the best thing to do is choose the longest driver possible that you can still hit consistently and accurately.

Weight

The weight of drivers can vary from 265 grams to 310 grams. Manufacturers are tending to go for making drivers lighter to improve clubhead speed and thus achieve further distances

Loft

The Loft of a driver is the angle of the clubface and can affect the trajectory and distance the ball travels. The loft of a driver determines the amount of backspin generated to the ball and causes the ball to lift into the air. The more loft on the clubface the more backspin you will create.

Golfers with slower swing speeds of 90mph or less will require more loft to achieve the optimum launch conditions therefore these golfers should select a loft of between 10 to 14 degrees. Lower handicap or professional golfers with clubhead speeds exceeding 90mph will be more suited to a loft of 10 degrees or lower.

Adjustability

Most drivers now being manufactured feature driver adjustability of various forms that allow you to customize your driver to suit your preferences and ability. The features that can be adjusted vary depending on the manufacturer of the driver.

The loft can be adjusted to create different launch angles. Most drivers can be adjusted by removing a screw in the heel that connects the shaft to the clubhead and replacing the screw with your desired loft setting. The degree to which the loft can be altered is dependent on the model and brand. Adjusting the loft will enable you to alter the height, spin and, carry capabilities of the driver to suit your ability and style.

Adjusting the loft will also alter the lie that is the angle of the shaft to the ground when addressing the ball.  Depending on the angle, the flight of the ball will move either to the left or the right. Some adjustable hosels allow you to change the loft without affecting the lie or change the lie without affecting the loft.

The face angle refers to the angle of the clubface when addressing the ball. If the clubface sits at right-angles to the target it is termed as being square which is the neutral driver face angle. The majority of golfers should be playing a neutral or 0.5 degrees closed face.

When you lower the loft of a driver you are going to close the face angle that will lower the trajectory and the clubface will be pointed to the left for a right-hand golfer. A closed face angle will assist golfers who slice the ball but not cure the slice completely. Increasing the loft will open the face angle of the driver that will point to the right and the flight of the ball will be higher.

The Center of Gravity of a driver can be adjusted by moving weights in the driver and can have an impact on the flight of the golf ball. If the Center of Gravity is lower and further to the back the spin of the ball is increased and the ball will have a higher trajectory. Moving the  Center of Gravity forward will increase ball speeds and distance achieved.

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for 5 Best JDM (Japenese Domestic Market) Drivers

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
gstblcr-table__imageHonma Golf – T World GS Driver
  • TW//GS driver features Flip Slot technology
  • Radial face structure to dynamically flex
  • Ultra-thin titanium crown works with Flip Slot
VIEW ON AMAZON →
gstblcr-table__imageMizuno ST – X
  • Highly resilient Forged SAT2041 Beta Ti Face
  • New Multi-thickness CORTECH Face
  • Optimized Wave Sole Plate
VIEW ON AMAZON →
gstblcr-table__imageSrixon Golf ZX 5 Driver 9.5 Regular Flex
  • Double balanced clasps
  • Great looks, feel, and sound with a forgiving launch
  • A larger footprint and flattened shape, along with a single sole weight placed low and deep
VIEW ON AMAZON →
gstblcr-table__imageXXIO Eleven Driver 460 cc RH 11.5 Graph Reg
  • Driver is a lightweight driver that benefits mid-to-high handicap golfers seeking easier distance and easier golf off the tee.
  • Premium driver that helps moderate swing speed golfers hit longer, straighter drives.
  • Driver uses a Star Frame rib structure to support a sole thickness of just .45mm
VIEW ON AMAZON →
gstblcr-table__imageBridgestone Golf Jgr 460 Driver 12 Degree Stiff
  • Get faster ball speeds and high launch angles
  • Speed arc technology provides a stable base for the fastest balls and highest launch angles we've EVER created
  • Added heel weight
VIEW ON AMAZON →

The 5 Best JDM Drivers

1. Honma Golf – T World GS Driver

The Honma Golf – T World GS Driver is a Takami Shaped driver that is backed by 60 years of craftsmanship and experience to design one of the best-looking drivers available that has been designed to achieve greater distance and a straighter flight of the ball catering to players of varying ability.

  • Hand Orientation – Right Handed
  • Length – 45.5 inches
  • Head volume – 460cc
  • Shaft – Graphite
  • Flex – Stiff
  • Loft – 10.5 degrees

The T World GS Driver is manufactured with an ultra-thin titanium crown structure that combines with Flip Slot technology   to maintain strength and rigidity of the driver’s construction while maximizing clubface flexure to reduce spin and achieve more speed and distance while providing more forgiveness.

Forgiveness is attained with a radial face structure that flexes the whole clubface ensuring that maximum distance is achieved irrespective of where you strike the ball on the clubface. The driver is shaped with a raised keel towards the heel of the driver to promote draw-based flight and increase MOI. (indicates the amount the club will twist or rotate on striking the ball).

This driver has three loft options and the lie, loft and, face angle can be changed without detaching the shaft due to the Honma non-rotating hosel technology that keeps the shaft perfectly aligned through all the adjustments.

The Honma driver line like many Japanese Domestic Market drivers is not well known to the average golfer outside of Japan but should be considered when deciding on a new driver. This driver enables you to strike the ball anywhere on the clubface and still achieve improved club speed and distance.

2. Mizuno ST – X

The Mizuno ST – X is a driver manufactured by the Japanese Domestic Market company Mizuno credited with producing high-quality forged iron sets. Mizuno is now breaking into the metal woods market and is creating high-performing drivers that show that they are dedicated to developing quality drivers comparable to the high standard of irons that they produce.

  • Color – Black
  • Golf Flex – Regular
  • Hand Orientation – Right-handed
  • Golf Club Loft – 10. 5 degrees
  • Material – Titanium
  • Shaft – Graphite

The Mizuno ST – X is constructed from Mizuno’s forged SAT2041 Beta Ti face aluminum that is very durable and can produce high ball speeds and, consistent performance that will last much longer than drivers made from a  more commonly used aluminum.

The new multi-thickness Cortex Structure has been refined to maximize the return from Mizuno’s Beta Ti face to improve the ball speeds low on the clubface. Golfers with slower swing speeds will benefit from the J -Spec that incorporates a lightweight 39g M Fusion graphite shaft.

An X-axis system is designed with an expanded carbon-composite constructed toe that combines with a weight located in the heel to promote a draw bias to assist the golfer with a tendency to slice the driver.

Overall the Mizuno ST – X is a well constructed, stronger and, very durable driver made by a respected JDM  manufacturer that will assist in improving your ball speeds off the tee and serve you for a long time.

3. Srixon Golf ZX 5 Driver 9.5 Regular Flex (HZRDUS Smoke Black 60)

The Srixon ZX 5 is designed and built to provide extra distance and forgiveness off the tee.

  • Flex – Regular
  • Hand Orientation – Right Handed
  • Loft – 9.5 degrees
  • Material – Graphite
  • Shaft Material – Graphite

A Carbon Crown combined with a Rebound Frame provides increased speed and distance and more forgiveness on off-center shots. The triangular shape and flatter clubface combined with a single sole weight that is placed low and deep make the ZX 5 ideal for straight drives that launch high and carry far.

An adjustable hosel and two rear and low places weight ports enable you to fine-tune the position of the Center of Gravity, face angle and, lie for a draw or fade shot.

The Srixon ZX 5 combines a sporty look, feel and sound with fast speed off the face and forgiveness on off-center shots.

4. XXIO Eleven Driver 460 cc RH 11.5 Graph Reg

The XXIO line prides itself on producing quality, well-designed and, manufactured products. The XXIO Eleven certainly lives up to all these parameters.

  • Head Volume – 460cc
  • Flex – Regular
  • Hand Orientation – Right Handed
  • Loft – 11.5 Degrees
  • Shaft Material – Graphite
  • Club Length – 45.75 inches

The XXIO Eleven driver is a lightweight driver designed to benefit mid to high handicap golfers with moderate golf swing speeds to hit longer and straighter drives from the tee. A Star Frame rib structure supports an ultra-thin sole with a thickness of just 0.45mm enabling the weight to be redistributed to achieve a higher launch and forgiveness.

The driver features a strong, durable cup face that strengthens the clubface to ensure that ball speed is not reduced irrespective of where the ball is struck on the clubface. Brass and rubber are inserted into the butt-end of the shaft to raise the balance point thus helping you to swing the driver easily and smoothly to achieve more power and strike the ball further.

The XXIO Eleven is worth considering especially for mid to high handicap golfers as it will assist in improving your swing.

5. Bridgestone Golf Jgr 460 Driver 12 Degree Stiff

  • Head Volume – 460cc
  • Flex – Stiff
  • Hand Orientation – Right Handed
  • Loft – 12 Degrees

The Bridgestone Golf Jgr features a F.A.S.T. ( Flex Action Speed Technology) crown that will flex at impact thus increasing the ball speed and creating higher launch angles. The Speed Arc sole provides a strong, firm, stable base for the crown to react against.

The Power Milled Face design has a rough texture and, has groove lines that tend to grip the ball more and reduce the spin. On the back of the sole, there are weight ports that can be fitted with  6g or12g weights that will allow you to change the driver from a neutral to a draw bias if the heavier weight is put in the heel of the driver that can be beneficial to a golfer that tends to slice the ball.

Bridgestone is more renowned for its golf balls but they are producing drivers of high quality that are worth considering.

Conclusion

The Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) is becoming more involved in producing well-designed, quality drivers that meet the same high standards that their irons achieve and are known for. They are now more available outside of Japan and a producing a driver that is comparable to Top Brand names in the USA or Europe.

The Honma Golf – T World GS Driver is considered to be the Top Pick of the 5 JDM Drivers reviewed for its excellent craftsmanship and design and for the potential assistance it affords to golfers of varying abilities.

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