It’s a bit later than usual, but we’ll be publishing our annual CG report next week. In the meantime, we wanted to focus on a question we get asked quite a bit.

What’s the most forgiving driver?

The answer is a bit more nuanced than you’d likely hope. Forgiveness is one of those nebulous terms that golf companies like to throw around for the purposes of making an almost indisputable claim. Don’t let ‘em fool you though, whatever it is; it’s damn near always the polar opposite of workability.

More often than not, Forgiveness is a catch-all that includes proprietary face technology and moment of inertia (MOI). The former can be difficult to describe in any quantitative terms, which gives marketing departments freedom to make of it what they will. The latter, however, we can put numbers on. It can be measured and verified. And that’s all before we get into your ability to hit any given club consistently. There’s a case to be made that the most forgiving driver for you is the one you hit in the center most often. As I said, it’s nuanced. So, with that in mind, we’re focusing on what’s concrete.

The Most Forgiving Drivers of 2018

Please note, we’ve ranked according to heel/toe (Iyy) measurements of actual retail parts. USGA rules cap Iyy MOI at 5900 g-cm2, but it’s worth noting that the USGA does not currently have a cap on top/bottom MOI (Ixx). While the industry doesn’t discuss it as much, it may be worth considering top/bottom (Ixx) MOI, particularly for its role in spin consistency.

PING G400 MAX

PING G400 MAX

MOI Iyy
5574
MOI Ixx
4121
Total MOI
9695
1

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Callaway Rogue

Callaway Rogue

MOI Iyy
5166
MOI Ixx
3587
Total MOI
8753
#2

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PING G400

PING G400

MOI Iyy
5149
MOI Ixx
3714
Total MOI
8863
#3

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TaylorMade M4

TaylorMade M4

MOI Iyy
5114
MOI Ixx
3515
Total MOI
8629
#4

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Cobra F8 (Weight Back)

Cobra F8 (Weight Back)

MOI Iyy
4991
MOI Ixx
3189
Total MOI
8180
#5

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All Model Tested

The chart below provides Iyy, Ixx, and Total MOI values for most of the drivers in our 2018 Most Wanted Driver (along with the PXG 0811X). We have left the Titleist 917 out as it has been replaced by the TS. For adjustable weight drivers, measurements were taken with the weights aligned in their highest MOI (rear) positions.

Also Consider

In addition to the Top 5, there are a couple of other drivers that those seeking maximum forgiveness may wish to consider.

While PXG didn’t provide a 0811XF for measurement purposes, the reported heel/toe MOI is said to match the G400 MAX. Ixx values are slightly lower compared to the G400 MAX.

We hope to have measurements for Titleist’s TS drivers soon. According to Titleist, the TS 2 has an MOI Iyy value of ~5250, which, if confirmed, would bump it up to #2 on this list.