The driver is something most high handicappers and beginner golfers struggle with most. It has the most extended shaft, hits the ball the furthest, and is swing the fastest. Although no two golfers have the same traits, most newbies find slicing their driver hard. Plus, they often fail to get an adequate launch angle to increase distance.
You must remember that your golf club isn’t a magic wand; it cannot prevent your swing imperfections. For that, you have to practice. However, some drivers do better than others when avoiding common problems you may face as a high handicapper or beginner. The best golf driver for beginners will help you improve your performance while being forgiving.
We tested some of the best drivers the market has to offer and came up with our favourite top 8. Make no mistake; these drivers are suitable for golfers or handicaps, not just beginners and high handicappers.
Top 8 Best Golf Drivers For Beginners
Best Dynamic – Callaway Golf 2021 Epic Max Driver
There’s a reason we term the Callaway Epic Max as the best dynamic. If you want dynamic luxury and dynamic playability, it won’t get better than this. It’s great for newbie golfers looking to reduce the length of their learning curve.
Built For Speed and High-Paced Game
The foundation of the Epic Max is speed; this driver was made for the high-paced game. Most rookies struggle due to their slow swing speed, and despite a bit of the deficiency coming from their fundamentals, the majority of it is a result of lousy equipment. The best golf driver for beginners, such as the Epic Max, increases swing speed dramatically, thanks to its balance weighting and aerodynamic build. The brand new Jailbreak Speed Frame added also gives it a significant speed boost.
Strong Striking Zone And Sweet Spot
Artificial intelligence is used in Jailbreak Speed Frame to make the head stiffer to strengthen the striking zone. The larger sweet spot regulates the ball to speed well, even for off-center shots, while the low spin helps the ball stay with tight shot dispersion in the fairway.
Apart from the Speed Frame, the brand has also redesigned its unique Flash Face technology, ushering Epic Max into a new era of golf drivers. The Flash Face raises power, distributing strength alongside the driver’s face. The face is made of titanium and provides the highest ball speed, minimal spin, and brilliant forgiveness for straight drives.
Where the Max shines the most is its forgiving nature. A lighter frame from Callaway takes away the additional weight from the body of the drive, disbursing the weight around the perimeter of the crown for better performance. The head of the driver also offers a deeper, lower center of gravity (CG) when utilizing a higher MOI and draws bias for reduced twisting with more shot arc.
An “epic” combination of appealing features, the Callaway Epic Max brings in the jaw-dropping distance with pinpoint precision.
Customizable Weight With Yard Correction
The customizable weighting of the driver will also be helpful as the beginner golfer improves their game. The sliding back 16-gram weight, according to Callaway, integrates seamlessly with the OptiFit hosel to provide a maximum of 20 yards of correction. The Epic Max offers a mid-range spin, powerful launch, maximum face forgiveness, and customizable shot shaping. The 460cc head size is available in three loft choices: 9°, 10.5°, and 12°.
Although the Epic Max might appear to be “too much” for a novice, it can boost skillset and allow players to rapidly move up handicaps levels if they have an athletic background.
- Increased stability provided by new Jailbreak Speed Frame
- Very forgiving – The new strong and light Triaxial Carbon material reduces 19 grams of weight.
- Thin, light face raises exit speed for maximum carry and distance
- Premium adjustability offered by sliding weight in the back sole.
- Only two shaft options.
Best Value for Money – Taylormade M4 Driver
The TaylorMade M4 driver is a sophisticated and solid driver perfect for high handicappers, beginners, and players of all skill levels. This amazing model brings its A-game in various areas, from boost ball height to an adjustable loft sleeve to a Hammerhead speed slot made to deliver a hammer to the ball at collision. And its stunning performance isn’t the only thing it has to offer.
Classy Outlook With Perfect Sweet Spot
You look at the M4 and immediately know it’s the coolest thing money can get you. With a white and graphite black finish, the driver dazzles the moment it’s out of your bag.
The M4 does quite amazingly, getting you lined up properly with the club face’s center, so you don’t have to worry about not having the sweet spot close. On that note, the broad sweet spot on this thing certainly makes this driver a standout in today’s list of the best golf drivers for beginners. It’s also one of the brand’s most forgiving models to date.
Compared to an average drive, the middle part of the clubface is lower. This small change in design reduces side spin – a feature that produces draw shots and slices. We also talked briefly about the Hammerhead speed slot so let’s now discuss why this is important for golfers.
A speed slot can be found in the middle of the clubhead, right behind the clubface’s center. This makes the clubface more pliable, like a trampoline that shoots the golf ball ahead. When a ball comes off an M4, a golfer is bound to feel the power of the ball shooting down the fairway. A Hammerhead slot effect will be felt in your game, and you will know it is working to improve your performance.
Another thing we love about the M4 is that the brand offers a 12-degree variant. More loft can be added to your drive when paired with the loft sleeve – the perfect blend for a newbie golfer.
- Patented Hammerhead speed slot gives a jolt to the golf ball
- Lower center of gravity
- Adjustable loft sleeve allows more loft on clubface – a significant asset for newbies
- Lighter, flexible face
- Not the most durable
- Carbon fiber shaft prone to cracking if hit too low
Best Lightweight – Cleveland Golf Launcher Turbo Driver
The Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver will surely improve the game of any beginner golfer. If you are just starting off, a driver that generates a solid response is essential. This response can help shorten the learning curve while allowing you to hit the ball better.
Available In A Three Loft Variant
One thing we love about the Cleveland driver is the three loft variants available. Keep in mind that this driver isn’t adjustable. You cannot manipulate the weighting or the loft through a sleeve, so getting the correct loft is essential.
The three drivers are 9-degree, 10.5-degree, and 12-degree. The final driver, which is the 12-degree driver, would be our pick for best for beginners. We find it to be suitable for beginners as the club is relatively stable. Inexperienced players may find drivers with customizable features challenging to master as they might get distracted by all the options available. A reliable and stable driver offers a beginning golfer the chance to relax and focus on hitting the ball.
Helps To Make Precise Shots
On strikes where the center of the Turbo’s face meets the ball, the golf ball will fly with a sharp flight and low spin that produces remarkable distance. Granted, the lack of customizable features is disappointing, but the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver is more concerned with offering a stable game experience.
- Turbocharged Cup Face raises forgiveness and ball speed
- Three different loft options so golfers can find the correct launch angle
- Deep weighting allows for an increase in MOI
- Ultralight Hosel and iBore Crown: The redesigned crown lowers the CG placement by 2.2mm, making the sweet spot larger. The Ultralight Hosel disburses weight deep and low for a higher launch and increased forgiveness.
- Not offset like many others on this list
- No loft options
Best Adjustable – Cobra Golf 2021 Men’s Radspeed Draw Driver
Radspeed from Cobra allows you to fine-tune the loft and lie angle according to your slow swing speed. This is among the best golf drivers for beginners that money can buy.
The club’s revolutionary new Radial Weighting is precisely what beginners and high handicappers need because it reduces the CG of the club driver to change everything. It’s very forgiving, so the ball speed is regulated well to launch the ball higher and straighter.
Less Chance Of Misses
Ever noticed how you end up hitting those HUGE misses, even though you tried your best to avoid them? Cobra has included a CNC-milled infinity clubface for those low-face and off-center strikes. The whole clubface of the Cobra Radspeed is a big-hitting area to make sure your offline-biased strikes don’t stray too far.
- Anti-slice performance plus amazing draw weighting
- Lighter and thinner carbon crown adds forgiveness
- Expanded hitting/milled surface to reduce mishit drives
- Interesting weight placement that always makes the ball’s speed higher than expected
- ● An advanced design that takes time getting used to
- Color choices would not match everyone’s tastes
Most Forgiving – Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver
Big Bertha is sold with a unique tagline, and we think it describes this driver perfectly. There’s no other way to describe Big Bertha rather than “Any Way You Swing It.”
Performing exactly as stated, this driver from Callaway will go 10 to 15 yards farther and straighter. On the offset model, the offset design integrates with the higher loft (if you select a higher loft which would be 12.5-degrees – a given if you have a high handicap) to reduce the number of hit slices ruining your game.
Artificial Intelligence was used to create the clubface, and it increases the ball speed, a contributing factor to the launch of a ball with minimal unwanted spin. For longer carry, the one thing that has to be strictly avoided is big slices. You need to score for those higher launches.
You also get an oversized club head (460cc). Now that the head is larger, the chances of you not hitting the sweet spot are greatly eliminated, thus, increasing forgiveness.
You might have found the best golf driver for beginners with high handicaps and/or slow swing speed.
- No more misses or slices thanks to the huge sweet spot
- Lighter than previous models
- Larger club head for straight drives
- Red lines and blue carbon crown add an elegant touch
- Limited delivery at impact
- Works best on golfers with slice
Best Premium Driver – Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Driver
The Callaway Mavrik Driver is a new weapon for players on the tee box, giving outstanding distance, prolonged, high launch, and brilliant distance that consistently hits the fairway.
The Mavrik driver has some of Callaway’s greatest innovations, including the Flash Face SS20 with enhanced flexibility, the two-bar Jailbreak Technology, and the Cyclone Aero head shape, which minimizes drag for greater swing speed.
This driver excels at extracting every last yard from a swing with its mid-range ball flight. The key ingredient in the distance boost is the club’s Jailbreak bars, which stiffen the head for more power and energy channelled to the golf ball.
With a bit of draw bias, the Callaway Mavrik Max generates the most magnificent draws on the market, making it ideal for golfers who want to eliminate a nagging fade from their game.
While the Sub Zero version of the Mavrik driver has the least spin in this range, the ordinary Mavrik does decrease side spin for narrower shot dispersion with remarkable precision. You get a customizable loft sleeve with the club to modify the loft, but there is no sliding weight to change the launch or side-spin. Instead, the club’s fixed weight aids in lowering CG and increasing the previously indicated draw-bias.
We think the Mavrik Max is an outstanding pick for mid handicappers. It offers power to your game alongside the sophistication one would expect of a first-rate driver.
- Jailbreak technology helps the ball reach newer heights
- Incredible response and feel with titanium rib system
- Triaxial Carbon Crown generates greater speed with lesser weight overall
- F2S2 titanium has been used in the new face architecture. This incredibly strong material is six grams lighter than regular titanium to increase speed, spin robustness, and forgiveness.
- Can be too light for some golfers’ preference
- Tricky to adjust to perfection
Best Budget Friendly – Wilson Staff Launch Pad Golf Driver
So, here’s the deal with the Wilson Staff LaunchPad – many claims that it takes a while to achieve distance gains here as the angles on this one are slightly different. But there have also been golfers who were able to start hitting pretty incredible shots in the very first round. We believe it depends greatly on the way you swing. However, we can confidently say that the LaunchPad is certainly one of those golf drivers that work best in the long run, so think of a long-game development tool.
Not everyone can afford to spend a fortune on golf drivers. Wilson Staff has brought to you a golf driver within an affordable price range so that you don’t go broke to buy one. This is among the budget-friendly options in the market that you can find.
Each shot you make with this beauty will surely get extended by 10 to 15 yards at the very least. And we think it’s the clubface’s forgiving aspect that can be attributed to the greater launch and speed.
We were somewhat disappointed upon realizing that this one lacks hosel adjustability. Then again, as long as you pick the right loft angle that compliments your swing and ball launch- the flight will not be a big area of concern for you.
- Commanding sound produced at the impact
- Bigger impact surface for increase ball speed
- A lightweight shaft is perfect for players with a slow swing
- Slice-fighting upright angle
- No hosel adjustability
Mizuno ST-Z Driver
Are you done struggling with the golf ball to bounce off the driver? If yes, you cannot go wrong with the Mizuno ST-Z Driver. With this one, we found that we felt the good shots.
This is definitely one of the best golf drivers for beginners who have minimal skill in the game. Even the price isn’t something that would give you an issue, at least in contrast to the likes of other models manufactured by more reputed brands like TaylorMade, Callaways, and so on. And in comparison to Mizuno’s ST2000 and ST-X, the ST-Z hits slightly longer.
The CORTECH clubface adds to the thickness and resilience while increasing ball speed. Its maximum Wave Sole Plate and Quick Switch loft customization alongside adjustable trajectory make it an excellent option for golf newbies. These are innovative, game-changing technologies and features Mizuno is known and loved for.
- Four-degree loft adjustability – better spin and launch
- With CORTECH Face, drives are longer
- The deep central sole weight keeps drives straighter
- Low-face shots fixed by Wave Sole Plate
- Other models on this list are more sought-after
How To Choose The Best Golf Driver For Beginners?
For novice golfers, having a well-constructed and forgiving driver is critical for long-term development. Amateur golfers must be certain that their clubs will not fail them, especially the driver.
Every year, golf firms develop innovative techniques to minimize resistance on the clubhead while increasing swing speed. Many beginners believe that the best approach to construct a set is to pick clubs between the ages of seven to 10. But while this may be cheaper at first, it might hamper your game’s progress.
In conclusion, selecting a driver that will get the ball up in the air and across the fairway is essential for high handicappers. Improved swing speed and loft help you achieve these two easy rules. Always keep in mind that longer drives result in smaller second shots.
Proper driver design is vital when the rookie golfer considers the full swing.
Whenever a novice golfer takes a drive, he or she may initially be unable to determine in which direction the ball is heading. You develop a sense of feel as you grow more accustomed to hitting the ball, but the instance of impact will also tell.
On weekends, the top professional golfers exude confidence after hitting shots off the tee box. It’s like they know they’ve hit an amazing drive! How do they tell? It’s a combination of sight and feeling. When we discuss the “feel” of a driver, we are referring to how the ball responds to the clubface.
Experienced golfers have taken hundreds and thousands of strokes throughout their lives, and they instantly know if they hit the ball in the middle of the clubface as their trustworthy driver offers that information.
A new driver offering a great feel throughout the stroke is a tool that you can slowly gain confidence in. Beginning golfers, unlike professional golfers, do not yet have faith in their clubs or swings, but they may save time by discovering equipment that can help them.
Forgiveness is the perfect balance a driver achieves when it is both accurate and long. You can expect a lower side-spin, a generous sweet spot, and the power to strike the ball with absolute ease when you have a forgiving golf driver. So, assuming the sweet spot of your club and the golf ball does not come in contact, that’s not the worst. The best golf driver for beginners will help you get away with it.
To better explain the topic of forgiveness, we will make it simpler for you.
The maximum legal limit approved by the USGA for driver club heads is 460cc.
A larger head equals a larger sweet spot which also means you have increased space for the ball to come in contact with the designated sweet spot. When you add these, the result is an extended carry distance. Do not go smaller than this size if you have a below-average swing speed.
In simplest terms, a higher loft (10.5° or higher) gives less side-spin and more backspin. This forgiving mix is what puts the golf ball up in the air without fuss. On the other hand, a lower loft minimizes backspin and increases side-spin – something you would not benefit from as a beginner.
There are also drivers with adjustable lofts (generally between 9° to 13°), and they work fine.
When a mishit occurs, the clubhead bends even further. And this is when the speed and accuracy suffer. However, as this clubhead doesn’t twist, its MOI rises. Thus, off-center strikes can retain increased ball speed, allowing them to fly straighter and longer.
But how is MOI rating determined? It is the golf club’s Center of Gravity or CG placement. Also known as the point of balanced weight, a CG positioned at the back raises MOI. That results in a higher launch by default, allowing the golf ball to go straighter and longer.
Club shaft can also be categorized into three sections:
Options for shaft flex include Stiff, Regular, and Xtra Stiff, plus Ladies and Senior. Ladies and seniors are more limber than Regular, while Regular is more workable than Stiff and Xtra Stiff.
When you select Stiff, it reduces the launch and makes the strikes travel a bit toward the right. The golfers that can turn this around are the ones who are skilled with the ball and have a fast swing speed. As for high handicappers and beginners, Regular is best suited for their reduced swing speed.
For slow swing speeds, a shaft has to flex to its highest capacity so it can produce the wanted outcome – both for distance and trajectory.
The same idea applies to shaft material (greater flex for lower swing speed). Spinning the club becomes considerably simpler with lightweight graphite shafts compared to steel shafts, which are generally reserved for pro athletes.
Moving on to shaft length, should you choose a longer shaft simply because it offers more distance? It surely does that, but the extra length takes a hit on the control. Not to mention the issue of being unable to strike the sweet spot.
The normal driver shaft length for males is 45″ and 44″ for women.
How Do I Choose The Right Shaft?
Shafts feature varying flexibility and stiffness. The need for a stiffer shaft increases with rising swing speed so that you can hit the ball in the middle with precision. Before we start, you may want to understand the various labelling for flexibility of a shaft:
1) L – Ladies
2) A or M – Senior Flex, often designated as Senior or AM, A/M. May also refer to Amateur
3) R – Regular
4) S – Stiff (Firm is also a term used for this)
5) X – Extra Stiff (Another name: Tour)
If you have a shaft that is way too stiff for your present swing speed, know the shaft will be incapable of flexing to its maximum capacity. As a result, even a shot well-struck will not reach its maximum launch trajectory or distance. Compared to a shaft that flexes too much, understand it’s too weak for your current swing speed. Since it will be inconsistent, the shots will produce excess spin. In most scenarios, the ball will curve right to left.
In addition, the launch trajectory will be very high, reducing the overall distance travelled. These are the factors that will depend on the flexibility and stiffness of the shaft:
- Horizontal launch angle
- Vertical launch angle
- Ball speed
- Spin rate
- Smash factor
Keeping this in mind, having the appropriate shaft will undoubtedly be one of, if not the, most determining attributes for distance.
So, how do you pick the best shaft for you?
You can certainly choose a great shaft if you employ a launch monitor and/or a professional fitter.
Modern golf club makers are always on the lookout for ways to make the game easier for you. These two great adjustability features are what will give you a superior golfing experience.
The concept is to simply slide the weights attached to the clubhead base into a new position to modify them. However, if you’re new to the game, tweaking and sliding about the weights to find a zone that compliments your handicap and swing speed might get confusing.
What mix of MOI, CG, and so on to pick is certainly difficult for a newbie who may not even understand what these jargons entail; making them work to their advantage is a long shot.
What about using set weights? These are moved or replaced to a set spot, making things much easier.
We already discussed the appropriate loft length for a club to be forgiving. The latest addition to this section is a flexible loft. You don’t really have to fixate on a specific number but rather unscrew the shaft and rotate it to decrease or increase the loft angle.
Slice has to be the most common mistake on a high handicapper or new golfer’s part. It’s difficult to recover from a slice as it moves considerably to the right. Drivers with offset or draw bias models will be better for the newbie players since they are very much forgiving.
Courtesy of the draw bias, the clubface closes just enough for you to hit the ball straight and solid. Draw bias technology works very similarly to offset, and it assists players in shutting down the clubface at impact and hitting the ball straight.
No, the best value for your money isn’t ensured when you go ahead and just by the “best” golf driver. Generally, the best the market has to offer is a premium, high-end piece of equipment made specifically with advanced golfers in mind. So why spend extra money on something that you won’t be able to mould to your style as you are a high handicapper or beginner?
Instead, select the most forgiving driver because it will make hitting easier and allow you to find more fairways. Buying the newest, best golf driver can be a complete waste of money for you. We suggest going for older models as they are significantly cheaper and work fine.
These were our picks for best golf driver for beginners. All of them are excellent picks that are sure to elevate your game and help you grow. With the right techniques and the proper tools, you can slowly but surely turn into a master of the game. Make sure you do some market research before purchasing so you don’t end up buying an overpowered or underpowered item.
Yes. The 1-wood or driver is simply amongst the most popular and most important clubs for a golfer. Yet somehow, they are the most obsolete in a golfer’s kit.
The market gets a bit more saturated every year as every other major manufacturer comes out with a new driver. Each time, the new edition features new technologies, new designs, etc. Keeping up with the trend on top of finding the right one for you can be a daunting task, especially for rookies.
Drivers are designed primarily to increase the range of off-the-tee strokes.
With this in mind, the designs strongly emphasize three primary factors: spin, launch trajectory, and ball speed. As stated before, you can easily be deluded into believing that any high-end driver club featuring the newest technology and a regular on PGA tours is meant to be the best option for you. That is, of course, not the case.
High-end drivers are meant to appeal to professional players and single-digit handicappers. They are made to fully take advantage of the high swing speed (over 100mph) and impact accuracy. When novices with inadequate swing speed utilize them, their performance in the ball-speed department and launch trajectory suffers considerably.
Off-center shots on these drivers, on the other hand, will generate a substantial amount of side-spin, resulting in bent shots known as slices, compromising both accuracy and distance.
With this in mind, beginning golfers should choose driver clubs better suited to their present precision and swing speed.
Do I Need The Newest Technology?
As GolfDigest discussed a few years back, drivers are probably the most technologically advanced parts as they are updated the most regularly. However, not every piece of new technology is aimed toward beginners, and therefore, as a new player, you should tune out the types of technology that will not serve you any purpose.
Newer driver technology can be divided into two categories, and both of them we have discussed at length in previous sections.
1) Center Of Gravity Placement
CG placement can affect two things:
- Generating less or more spin, thus less or more distance
- Forgiveness in off-center strokes
As a novice, owning a forgiving club is undoubtedly advantageous, as you may exercise to improve your precision while fostering enough performance. In terms of spin, lower spin is preferable for a rookie golfer since it translates to less slice and greater control.
Adjustability or personalization of a driver will make any driver’s center of gravity placement adjustable.
Will it be beneficial to a newbie? Certainly.
By using the greatest stability level, the driver’s forgiveness will be boosted even further. The ability to modify the loft angle is another important adjustability feature of newer drivers. A greater loft angle would also help newer players achieve the proper height trajectory upon launch.
So, do you need the newest technology? If you understand its basics and apply said technology to elevate your game, yes. Choosing the correct shaft will be quite beneficial to you as a beginner.
A professional rule limits you to only taking 14 clubs in one bag, so carrying one reliable driver should be more than enough. Albeit rare, some professional golfers carry two drivers: one for shot-shaping and the other for maximum distance. But, you don’t have to practice this as a beginner. On the other hand, newer drivers’ adjustability will let you customize your driver.
How Frequently Should I Buy A Driver?
This is a difficult topic to address, particularly for rookies and aspiring golfers, because playing level and skill can change considerably in a short period.
Most respectable manufacturers come out with new drivers annually, and some even launch them every couple of months.
However, as a rule of thumb, your driver can be expected to last 2 to 4 years, given it is an ideal match. The answer will be different for everyone, based on skill growth, budget, and whether or not your playstyle changes.
What Can Be Considered a Decent Distance For High Handicappers And Beginners Alike?
A rookie who can hit the driver over 200 yards is well on their road to a successful career in golf. Golfers who can hit the 200-yard line have shorter lines into the hole and score easier. As a novice, make sure you’re playing from the right tees.
Should I Use A Driver As A High Handicapper Or Beginner?
Learning how to utilize a driver is a good idea for a new golfer. People will often say that a driver is hard and that fairway woods can be easier for a while. This is partially true because it will be best to learn to use a driver properly. You have to make it work at some point.