Why do you think it's great that your swing speed is right around the global average?
Well sir, because at around 90 mph, your swing fits most of the drivers you see in golf shops anywhere.
And it makes it VERY simple to pick the right shaft which is even more important than the club head.
In this article I intend to show you:
The best manufacturers make drivers extremely easy to hit and each year the options get better and better. We'll look through some well-known and lesser known ones below where you can pick up a bargain to take your game to the next level.
With a 90 mph swing speed, you're around the average swing speed of golfers worldwide. That makes life incredibly easy for you! Your swing speed fits a REGULAR driver shaft perfectly and with a regular shaft, your tee shots will fly straighter and longer more often.
Stiff shafts will produce low ball flight and a lot of slices. A softer than regular shaft will cause shots to fly left and right at random. I suggest you get a driver with a REGULAR shaft.
If however, you have a very quick rhythm to your swing but the speed is still around 90 mph, there is a newer shaft introduced in the golfing world called SR - STIFF REGULAR. This is fantastic if you have a fast, jerky kind of swing to be able to actually give you more rhythm with a bit more stiffness.
The best thing you can do for your game is to get fitted for a shaft by a fitting professional if you find nothing seems to work. You can pick your favorite club online and take it to the club fitter and he'll install a shaft more appropriate for your exact swing. It's easily the best investment you can make.
Loft is the 2nd most important aspect. While 9° or 10° are good lofts for professionals or 100 mph+ swingers; at 90 mph, I strongly suggest 11° to 13° of loft in a driver. The additional loft makes the club much more forgiving and far more accurate. Increased launch angle also means you'll get more carry on your drives for more distance.
Imagine hitting a 3 iron. Ouch! Now imagine hitting the PW. Oh, that feels good right? Increased loft is evidently more forgiving just from our personal experience. The only thing keeping guys hitting low lofted drivers is ego.
Lots of guys have shafts that are too stiff, loft that is too low and clubs that are too long.
Be honest with yourself and look at your shot-shape. Are you getting a straight ball flight or a little fade or a little draw? Or are you slicing and hooking erratically? Are you using an X-stiff or stiff shaft?
Are you still totally full-strength or losing power? Perhaps a super-lite regular shaft will help you instead of the stiff one you've had for 15 years!
Paired with the right golf ball, modern drivers can add significant yardage to your long game. Some guys even notice 20 yard gains. Below are the best drivers for a 90 mph swing speed. Check out our guide on golf balls for 90 mph swings
Some drivers are also adjustable so you can change the loft of the club yourself and become your own club fitter. It all depends on how much you want to tinker.
It's important for me to note: I DO NOT advocate for drivers that adjust to infinite amount of settings. I don't mind perhaps a fixed interchangeable weight plate or the ability to adjust the loft up or down, but sliding weights and infinite settings is a surefire way to doubt yourself all the way round the course when you hit them offline.
Let's keep it simple as possible so you never have decision paralysis, and so that you an swing freely off the tee instead of worrying about your settings.
While the name Srixon isn't so visible on the PGA Tour, the brand which falls under the Dunlop/Cleveland?Srixon umbrella have released a little masterpiece in this club.
If you tend to hit the ball toward the toe or high in the face, this driver turns the directional miss and distance loss minimal. The mid-handicap players I play with who have this driver often tell me they toe'd a drive, we look at the face and yes it's high on the toe, yet the ball has gone the same distance as the middle hits.
The very same guys are golfers who couldn't keep a ball on line and a large number of them even converted to Srixon from PING.
It's a simple classic looking driver in the mould of the old Cleveland Launcher with the gold shaft with minimal decal on the crown so your eyes are focused on the shot not the alignment aid. The face has very few lines on it and there is no big ugly picture like on an Epic's face. Clean lines with a very high powerful face.
As mentioned earlier, less adjustability is better for peace of mind. This driver is non-adjustable. You get a simple point-and-shoot driver that leaves you confident over the ball without worrying about weight plates and spin rates. It's a goer.
The shaft that normally comes standard is a Project X HZRDS which is top of the range. Fit with a regular (5.0) shaft is a dream.
The Launcher HB (Hi Bore) comes standard fit with a 50g shaft that gives you a higher launch with medium amount of spin. A lightweight head coupled with the shaft mean you can generate more club head speed which translates into longer carry.
With the lightness and the deeper face of the driver, which is a Cleveland hallmark, most golfers notice a higher ball flight, needing less rollout to actually obtain any distance.
After having played with three Cleveland drivers in my life, their offerings are always near the top of my list to check out. Their drivers always look totally clean on the crown and this one is equally beautiful with an improved version of the Taylormade white concept along the top of the face on the crown.
Except Cleveland have give you a minute sliver of grey to use for lining your drives up to the fairway - less harsh on the eyes.
You won't be able to adjust the loft of the driver nor are there any weights to move around. 9° 10.5° and a 12° option are all available and with a 90 mph swing, the 9° can be excluded from the selection. Like all Cleveland clubs, they won't be as hyped as Taylormade or Callaway but this driver is the business.
The Wilson D300 has a very tall dominating face and setting up to the ball, it looks like a Cleveland of old. Classic shape and tall face with a massive sweet spot. Definitely in the sleeper category, not many guys will know about this driver and at this price, it's a best kept secret.
The club is light and by light, I mean REALLY light. That might not appeal to everyone but it can definitely help pick up an extra couple mph in your swing. If you're hovering around 85 mph, this little beauty can bring you up to 90 mph and give you a few yards more off the tee.
A 10.5° Wilson D300 means you can adjust the loft to 11.5° while the 13° version means you can adjust from 12° to 14° giving you plenty of opportunity to find the ideal ball flight for you and optimal carry. You can close the face by turning the hosel, encouraging a draw instead of a slice too. A great value driver overall. I really recommend the 13 degree option to give you the upper end of the loft for more carry distance.
In every group of golfers there is always a PING man and then there are the guys who haven't tried them. What the PING men will all attest to is just how easy it is to hit a PING. They may not be the most used on Tour but they're certainly a mainstay of amateur golf for decades.
Steve who can be seen in the Golf Sidekick videos on Youtube, just purchased himself a G400 and hasn't hit the ball as well in his life. It's a simple looking driver with simple colors and the shape is very classic-looking. A nice long and tall face with a tear drop shaped head.
The ball is flying much higher than Steve's old Taylormade driver giving him more carry. PINGs are renowned for the high and penetrating ball flight giving guys a lot more carry to get over more hazards and bunkers more confidently.
At address, the crown is a pretty matte finish but there are a few kind of spike looking things on top. They are not entirely distracting and do help with alignment but if you prefer a very clean crown, this one might not be to your liking.
A friend of mine, Jorn, plays this club and grinds down his opponents with his long straight drives. It's a real asset to have a dependable driver. It makes you feel good standing on the tee, it makes your betterball partner feel good, it makes your opponents want to kill you. I have in fact bought myself a Ping G driver with 10.5° of loft. It's available in 9 and 10.5 degrees which adjust to 10° and 11.5° respectively.
Overall, a game-changer. Simply the best driver out there for 90 mph swingers who hit it too low.
Despite the M5 and M6 being out now, there is not much difference between them and this M2 from 2017. Save your dosh and you can be confident this driver will perform no different to the new ones double the prie.
The 2017 M2 is the driver for you if you don't like to worry about the myriad of weight placements on the sole of the club to manipulate the shape and height of your shots. I'm a big fan of point-and-shoot clubs to simplify an already complicated game. The M1 provids way too many options that will eventually drive you insane worryng about settings.
You can adjust the loft up on this driver but other than that it's ready to go straight out the box. There's no need to fiddle with stuff on the range and manipulate this shape of the shot because this thing is forgiving and straight.
It blasts the ball out there and doesn't want to veer off course into the long stuff. The white and black color scheme also makes it super easy to align although the new M3 and M4 have a nicer grey color on top that is less garish than the white.
The Taylormade M2 2017 comes in 10.5° and 12° lofts and can add a new dimension to your tee game. Adjust the loft and you have a driver that can be 12.5° and 14° drivers if you please. There are no complicated set ups, just pick it up and smash.
Everything about this driver is geared toward maximizing swing speed. The shaft is lite, the head is light and the face is forgiving.
Brian, from the Golf Sidekick Youtube channel recently put one of these in his bag and can finally hit a driver.
As a stickler for alignment aids not being distracting, this one is a perfect mixture of the two. It's a very feint and subtle stripe over the top of the crown which allowed you to align the ball and face up to your target.
The ultralight construction is designed to give you more speed in the downswing but what it also does is give you the feeling of not needing to hit the ball so hard because it is just so light. This gives you rhythm and with rhythm, you increase swing speed sub-consciously.
There is an alternative to the F MAX which corrects slices and that's the F MAX offset. The hosel is set back behind the club face so you are encouraged to hit more of a draw shape than a fade.
With so many drivers out there to choose from that are designed for the average golfer with an average swing speed, it can get confusing.
Without a doubt, the best drivers for average swing speeds are the ones on this list. You don't need to splurge an insane amount of money to hit the ball well. You don't even need the latest year's models to enjoy your tee game.
PING, Taylormade, Srixon, Wilson and Cobra are definitely in the top manufacturers fo the average weekend golfer.
More distance off the tee.
More feel around the green.
Maybe less 'clunk' off the club face from those rocks you've been playing?
You're in the right place. You're going to discover which compression matches your swing speed as well as what material the cover is made of in the best golf ball for 85 mph swing speeds.
Decision time though...
It's time to decide, do you want distance, spin or feel? Or a combination of all? Let's have a look below to see which balls are best for your priorities with a swing speed of 85 mph to 90 mph with the driver.
The best golf balls for this range of swing speeds have medium compression (hardness). The latest obsession with ultra low compression balls isn't our best bet at 85-95 mph. Anything between 55 and 70 will be a good choice for your swing speed.
85-95 mph swing speed is fast enough to put a decent move on the ball so medium compression golf balls are an excellent choice. Of course, the driver swing speed is 85 mph to 95 mph but when we use irons, that speed will drop down to probably 70 to 80 mph with steel shafts and iron heads.
The only thing you need to decide is whether you want a urethane (soft and spinning) cover or a surlyn (firmer with less spin) cover.
Urethane will give you more spin around the greens and hold greens more easily and is the material on Tour golf balls. Urethane feels SO MUCH softer on the club face and grips onto the grooves much easier for more spin.
The drawback of urethane covered golf balls is that urethane is very soft and can blemish and scratch very easily. If the ball hits a cart path or tree or you rip a wedge, then the cover can scratch easily. Weigh this up versus how many balls you last the entire round with. A urethane ball will be good for one entire 18 hole round.
Urethane will hold greens really well but also remember, with more spin being generated after impact, by default, that also means the ball will spin more sideways, which can accentuate a big slice.
Surlyn is the material used on most two-piece golf balls and is durable but produces much less spin than a urethane ball. Surlyn will run out more on drives and approaches as well as needing more space to roll when chipping onto the greens.
The surlyn covered golf balls really do last longer in regards to the cover. They don't scratch easily and they don't scuff too badly from road hits. Wedge hits hardly make a difference to the cover as well. If you're skilled enough to use a ball for more than one round, you could probably get 3 rounds of 18 out of one ball before it will be too shabby.
Weigh up the options by picking your priorities: price, durability, feel on the club face, spin needed on approaches and chips, straighter ball flight or longer tee shots.
Snell MTB Black are very well priced for what you get inside them. Inside the ball, you get a three piece Tour Level golf ball which is designed for lower spin longer shots, but this distance core is wrapped in a cover of urethane which helps with green side spin and holding greens.
It's a good ball for 8 to 18 handicappers especially when it comes to getting that softer feel and more grip on your chips. You get a Titleist ProV1 level of golf ball for a much cheaper price.
The other balls on the list will require more roll-out than the Snell MTB Black so if your priority is MUCH more feel and grip around the greens, this ball is going to solve that problem. Balls flown directly onto the green will hold much more efficiently while the balls further down the list will require you to run them up or bounce them a bit short of your target.
This is neither negative nor positive, just something you should factor in when deciding on your priorities.
The DUO Pro has a 60 compression, making the ball feel like a soft marshmallow off the face and if you prefer the feeling of a softer ball, the urethane cover makes the ball spin like a boss as well. What's even nicer si that they make them in bright colors.
The ball was on the 2019 Golf Digest golf ball GOLD award winning list. That's high praise from a manufacturer on the more budget side of the spectrum.
The Tour Response is the upgrade to the Project (a) which to be fair, is a brilliant ball on its own.
The compression is slightly lower at 40 but the multilayer core coupled with the thin urethane skin makes this a lovely ball for distance and bite.
In fact, you can see in one of my videos here, I hit a 285 yard carry drive with a Project (a) to land on the green on hole 4. Te Tour response is merely a repackaged Project (a) so if you prefer a bit more friendly on the budget golf ball...check out the Project (a) too!
The Callaway SuperHot 70 is sold in packs of 15 which gives you an extra 25% bang for your buck. And bang it does. This ball is designed for distance and higher ball flight to help you hit it longer with more carry.
The SuperHot 70 is a three-piece design with a 70 compression core and I like this combination for your 85 to 90 mph swing speed.Our swing speed is fast enough to take advantage of the three-piece design by putting enough of a lick on the ball to give us the extra distance off the tee.
It's a fun ball - it goes a long way and doesn't feel like a marshmallow like the new super soft golf balls. Off the tee, I noticed the ball flying a bit higher thanks to the dimple design. The HEX dimple design reduces drag on the ball putting it higher in the air for a steeper descent into the greens for quick stopping shots. So not necessarily more spin, but a ball flight that promotes fewer big bounces on the greens which is great for us.
Around the green it's best to manage expectations as the ball does have a Surlyn cover. Urethane is always preferred for green side spin so If your main concern is spin on chips and pitches, it's best to consider other options in this guide. The price of urethane-covered balls is also a lot higher.
It's a testament to the quality of this line of golf balls; I played this ball as far back as 2006 and when I was looking for a new ball recently, I was advised to try the Srixon Soft Feel while playing off a 13 handicap. This was the gateway drug that got me looking at all these balls.
It's a two-piece construction in it's 11th version but Srixon have reduced the compression to 60. That's more moderate than the ultra low trend at the moment and great for us. The implication is that the distance from the tee with more moderate compression is more impressive than with the compressions below 50 at our average swing speeds.
Srixon have also reduced the thickness of the cover and increased the softness. This added softness is the biggest contributing factor to spin around the greens and the Soft Feel delivers with one of the better two-piece balls for holding greens. It's not going to be zipping back, let's not over-exaggerate, but they'll be streaks ahead of the HARD lake balls you've been hitting.
I play a lot of rounds with the Soft Feel and a couple sleeves are always in my bag probably because of sentimental reasons but it's a really fun ball and so well priced - I think what made it so special to me is that it was the first ball I tried. And it got my mind out of thinking about losing $4 balls and into thinking about smacking $1.50 balls smoothly.
There are two models in the Q Star range with the Q Star being for more distance and made of 2 pieces (a core and a surlyn cover) while the Q Star Tour is a bit softer for more feel with a urethane ball and I urge you to have a look at it - easily one of my favorite golf balls. Both offer comparable distance. The main difference is in the feeling of the ball, where if you prefer a softer feel ball, the Q Star Tour is good for you. If you prefer a firmer feel, choose the Q Star.
I like the Q Star as the best golf ball for 85+ mph swing speed if you're looking for straight distance. Expect longer and straighter long iron & wood shots with it. The ball definitely goes long but what's interesting is how it wants to go straight without the sideways slice or hook.
Most golfers find the feeling off the face firm and they compare it to a rock but purely in terms of accuracy and distance this golf ball will suit the majority of weekend golfers who are looking to add more fun to their game with longer straighter drives. Who doesn't want a long ball in the fairway?
I would say that this ball is a combination between a Titleist NXT Tour and Velocity - firm and long but surprises you when you chip by actually gripping on the club's grooves and on the greens.
The matte finish of the ball takes some getting used to but it gives it a distinct softer feel. That matte finish with the vivid colors these balls come in, make them practically impossible to lose while watching them in the air. The extra confidence of knowing I'll see and find my shot is the number one reason I recommend this ball - I just swing freer and easier at the ball.
Off the putter face the Vivid feels medium to hard with just the right amount of 'click' to tell you if you hit it well or not.
The first time I tried them. I was given a sleeve of the Vivids at registration for a Hooters competition. Bright orange in color. I'd heard how bright they were but wow, when you see them in person, they're BRIGHT!
I understood quickly why these are used in the World Long Drive championships - I noticed a few extra yards off the tee. But what is unique is just how easily you can track the ball for it's entire flight. This makes it easy to see where my ball ends up if not in the fairway which is great for my confidence.
Bump and run chipping is excellent - it feels a bit hard off the club face but the matte finish cover feels like it's quite tacky and actually grips on the blades of grass on the green. For a firm ball, the Volvik Vivid doesn't roll out much on the chips so I could be more aggressive. It's not a golf ball for flop shots though.
If nothing else, it's a great conversation piece! People never get tired of seeing my bright little balls. Check out the full Volvik golf ball guide here.
I can admit I was a golf ball snob for a long time and I thought I should only be playing Pro V1 and that these TOUR SOFT balls weren't good enough. Everyone knows 'Tour' in the name is just for marketing, right?
JMac (from my channel) decided to try a sleeve of the TOUR SOFT to see if they are any good. I bought the yellow ones on promotion because I just can't resist a colorful golf ball.
After the first hole he didn't even notice a difference between his normal ball (TP5) and the Tour Soft when comparing drives and holding the green.
For the rest of the round his drives went equally as long as any other ball but where he noticed a difference between this and other balls on the list without urethane covers, is the premium soft feeling off the club face. With your eyes closed, you'd think it was a $4.50 ball.
We also find that the ball holds the green similarly to a TP5 on longer approaches. Inside 130 yards though, the difference is that this ball finished ahead of the pitch mark instead of behind it like a TP5 would. The difference is clear, but when comparing oranges with oranges, in other words, TOURSOFT vs other balls in this range without a urethane cover, the TOUR SOFT is the all-round champion for distance, spin and feel.
The Tour Soft is pleasant to chip with and doesn't roll out as much as you expect. Feeling off the face is soft and with reduced roll-out, you can be more aggressive on your bump and runs.
When we talk about 85 mph or 90 mph swing speeds, we're referring to the speed of the head of the driver when swinging toward the ball.
Tour pros are averaging about 110 to 125 mph! Isn't that crazy?
So at that swing speed, they're able to take advantage of the extra tech put into those Tour balls. While these balls might not hurt your game if you're consistent, the extra spin you get with them can be to your detriment with off line shots going further....off line!
It's all about your priorities.
The latest trend in golf ball technology is an obsession with lowering the compression (hardness) as far as it can go. Wilson even makes a ball with a 29 compression. Tour balls are around 90 to 100. There are benefits to the low compression balls especially if your swing is slower but in general the best golf ball for 85 mph swing speed and up to 90 mph is going to be something in between hard and soft.
A swing speed in your range can compress the ball enough to extract maximum distance and spin from a medium compression golf ball. But when looking at medium compression golf balls, it's the cover of the ball that makes the big difference between being "hard" & "soft" feel and performance.
Urethane covers give the ball a very soft feel and provide a lot of spin as they grip the grooves in your club face. The balls with urethane covers are good for golfers looking for some extra spin and feel around the greens with some extra bite on approach shots to stick on the greens.
For golfers looking for distance, it's best to use a harder feeling ball and these balls often have Surlyn covers. They perform well in reducing spin on tee shots and long approaches, giving you the added boost in distance you're looking for but with that extra boom boom comes some sacrifice in spin around the greens. It's easy to adjust - all you need to do is hit more bump and run chips which are super easy to perfect.
So once you know your priorities, spin vs distance, you can select a golf ball quite simply.
Urethane covers are less durable and will get scuffed from hard wedge shots and hitting trees, paths and concrete. Surlyn (also known as ionomer, trionomer etc) don't scuff nearly as much and I've played with guys who've used the same surlyn covered ball for 3 rounds in a row.
The difference is in the way they make you feel. I love white and yellow golf balls. Orange is a third favorite. They perform all exactly the same if they're the same brand. The difference is how confident you feel with it.
I noticed when I played with yellow and orange balls, you can see them so easily. White balls seem to get lost in the air. The confidence I got from knowing I will see where the ball goes gave me a small boost and I looked forward to watching the ball sailing out of bounds more than usual.
Extra spin will need a urethane cover while a Surlyn cover found on most two piece balls are going to give you extra distance. The best advice I can give you for golf balls is to take two or three different kinds out on the course and test them on your drives, on the par 3 tees and with your pitching and chipping. Find one you like and stick with it. Easy life!
At 85 mph to 90 mph swing speed, there is an endless supply of great golf balls and I highlighted a few for you here. Check out my guide on breaking 90 every time you play and if you're looking to pair a ball up with a driver for more distance, check out my guide on the best drivers for 90 mph swings.