Best Overall: TaylorMade Stealth HD Driver (click to see)
“The Stealth HD delivers superior performance with a subtle but very effective draw bias that corrects slices.”
Best Premium: Callaway Rogue ST Max D (click to see)
“The ST Max D reduces side spin for straighter shots that find the fairway while boosting launch to help you get every yard possible from your drive.“
Best Distance: Cobra LTDx Max Black (click to see)
“The LTDx Max Black offers outstanding overall performance with long flying distance and adjustable features that can help you grow your game. “
Golf drivers are a tricky club to master for beginners.
There are several shortcuts and features to look for in a driver that will certainly help shorten the beginner’s learning curve.
From drivers with tons of adjustable features to drivers with fixed hosels and strong construction, we’ve got clubs that will enhance your game and drop your scores.
Here’s our list of the best golf drivers for beginners.
Last updated on 2022-09-27. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Golf Drivers for Beginners
For beginning golfers, owning a forgiving yet well-constructed driver is incredibly important for long-term growth. In addition, beginning golfers need to have confidence that their clubs won’t let them down, especially for the driver.
Golf companies are finding new ways to reduce drag on the clubhead and maximize swing speed every year.
However, some beginners feel like the best way to build a set is by finding clubs that are seven to ten years old, and why that may be cheaper initially, it can harm the improvement of your game.
In the end, for high handicappers, finding a driver that gets the ball into the air and down the fairway is paramount. These two simple guidelines are accomplished with loft and increased swing speed. Always remember: Longer drives mean shorter second shots.
Great driver design is crucial when the beginning golfer considers the entire swing, from lining the ball up at address to drawing the club back and coiling the swing, all the way through the downswing and impact.
When a beginning golfer hits a drive, they might not tell where the ball is going initially. Feel comes with an increased experience of hitting the golf ball, but it also occurs at the moment of impact.
On Sundays, the best professional golfers display a sense of confidence at times after they hit drives off the tee box. So how do they know they have hit an incredible drive? It’s a combination of feel and sight.
When we talk about the “feel” a driver has, we are talking about the response the ball gives off the clubface.
Professional golfers have hit hundreds of thousands of shots in their careers, and they know immediately if they’ve struck the golf ball in the center of the clubface because their trusted driver provides that feedback.
A new driver that produces an exceptional feel throughout the swing is a club that you can gain confidence in over time. Unlike professional golfers, beginning golfers don’t trust their swing or clubs just yet but find equipment that can shave time on that endeavor.
For beginning golfers struggling with a high handicap, a driver’s forgiveness can help keep the ball straight and long off the tee box.
Unfortunately, most beginning golfers who have difficulty shaving strokes off their handicaps cannot routinely strike the ball on the center of the clubface.
Since golf equipment manufacturers understand this problem, they build golf drivers with larger sweet spots that help reduce the sidespin that creates slices and hooks.
This wonderful advancement in golf technology has been advanced to assist the beginner in hitting the ball straighter on off-center strikes. Beginning golfers who swing their driver slowly will also appreciate the technology because it maximizes distance while reducing the shot-killing side spin.
Forgiveness in a driver comes in two different varieties the golfer must choose from. The first feature is via the construction of the driver, this is especially true if you find a driver with a fixed clubhead with no adjustable features.
The other feature that can help a high handicapper improve is a driver’s adjustable features. Moving weights, for example, spreading them farther apart behind a clubface, can help the driver stay more square during the impact, therefore limiting side spin.
One of the most significant errors that beginning golfers make when choosing a new driver for their bag is purchasing a club that fails to have enough loft.
Too many beginners see that Tiger Woods has an 8.5-degree driver and sadly assume they should do the same. But they fail to understand that a professional golfer’s swing speed is one of the highest ever recorded.
Beginning golfers should never forget that the loft of a driver equals ball height, and it is crucial to maximizing the height of your drives while you are swinging at a slower speed.
Hitting the ball harder equates to boosted exit velocity. When coupled with proper shot height, you can maximize your driving ability during these initial days of your golfing journey.
As a high handicapper, you are looking to maximize each swing, especially off the tee. When searching for this magic formula, it helps if you have a driver with options.
Golf manufacturers have discovered numerous ways to help the amateur tinker with their clubs to dial in the right specifications that will allow them to fine-tune their game, whether it be on the course or during practice sessions.
There are two ways that manufacturers have helped beginning golfers. The first is through adjustable weights that can alter shot shape and increase forgiveness. The second is with an adjustable hosel that can reduce or increase the loft on the clubface for more height on the ball at impact.
For the beginning golfer that loves trying to dial in the best series of adjustments to boost the quality of their shots, adjustable features are an essential component for their new driver.
Our Best Golf Drivers for Beginners 2022 List
- Best Overall: TaylorMade Stealth HD Driver
- Best Premium Draw-Bias Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Max D
- Best Distance Draw-Bias Driver: Cobra LTDx Max Black
- Best Draw-Bias Value Driver: Tour Edge Hot Launch E521
- Best Premium: Callaway Mavrik Driver
- Most Affordable: TaylorMade M4 Driver
- Most Adjustable: Callaway Epic Max Driver
TaylorMade Stealth HD Driver
Best Overall Beginner Driver
The TaylorMade Stealth HD delivers superior performance with a subtle but very effective draw bias that corrects slices. Every feature that comes with the standard Stealth can be found here with the HD, with the only difference being the heel weight that creates the draw bias.
The 60x Carbon Twist Face, easily the Stealth HD’s highlight, creates a powerful hitting zone with forgiveness to burn. The Twist Face delivers a light feel with the ability to keep your drives along the target line without losing an MPH of speed.
As we tested the Stealth HD with some of our high handicappers and beginners, we immediately witnessed a change in shot shape and accuracy.
Our testers found that the Stealth HD tightened shot dispersion, allowing them to find the fairway with more regularity, a huge confidence boost for their game.
The driver also increased carry, a huge benefit for golfers struggling with distance. By adding more carry, the golfer adds more yardage to their drive, something the Stealth HD can do with ease.
Yes, the Stealth HD comes with a hefty price tag, but the money offers a premium solution to correcting a slice. Also, there’s no adjustable weighting, so the slice correction is a one-size-fits-all deal.
Featuring all the bells and whistles that make the Stealth series of drivers the most popular in America, the Stealth HD helps high handicappers and beginners recapture their love of golf.
Callaway Rogue ST Max D Driver
Best Premium Draw-Bias Golf Driver
Callaway’s Rogue ST Max D Driver offers a solid all-around package for high handicappers and beginners looking to get more off the tee box. It reduces side spin for straighter shots that find the fairway while boosting launch to help you get every yard possible from your drive.
Notable features include a stationary heel weight that anchors the club on the downswing, allowing you to keep the face square through the impact zone.
The face, designed with the help of Artificial Intelligence, dramatically reduces side spin while increasing overall forgiveness. Even on shots that find the toe, ball speeds stay up and side spin stays very low.
Another feature, the Jailbreak Speed Frame, also helps your ability to feel the ball at impact. You’ll know immediately what kind of shot you hit due to the solid construction of the club head and the Speed Frame, located right behind the hitting area.
Adjustable weighting remains one feature we would love to see with this Callaway driver, so the driver could come along as you progress in your approach to hitting the golf ball. But, sadly, that’s not the case with the Rogue ST Max D.
But with that said, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better, more dependable driver for correcting slices or beginning your golfing journey. With a modern style, the Callaway Rogue ST Max D offers exceptional performance for high handicappers and beginning golfers.
Cobra LTDx Max Black Driver
Best Distance Draw-Bias Golf Driver
Cobra’s LTDx Max Black Driver offers outstanding overall performance with long flying distance and adjustable features that can help you grow your game. The Max Black driver offers a dynamic appearance and a host of features that increase distance, accuracy, and consistency.
Our favorite feature, the CNC Milled Face, provides something that no other club manufacturer offers. The milling along the sweet spot reduces spin, minimizes slice-creating side spin, and elevates forgiveness on off-center strikes.
During our testing, the Cobra driver delivered a solid combination of reliability coupled with jaw-dropping length. This driver creates some serious MPHs with the golf ball, a feature that high handicappers can use to shorten the length of their second shots into the green.
One of our favorite features with the LTDx Max Black Driver is the interchangeable stationary weights.
As you grow in your game, you can change the settings on the Cobra driver from draw bias to a neutral setting. You may never need the neutral setting, but it helps tremendously if you are working on your fundamentals to flatten your approach to the golf ball.
Even if you are on the verge of making the leap to becoming a mid handicapper, the LTDx Max Black won’t become obsolete.
We noted that the LTDx Max Black comes with a serious price tag, but due to the driver’s ability to adjust as you grow with your game, we think the Cobra driver is well worth your consideration.
Tour Edge Hot Launch E521 Driver
Best Draw-Bias Value Golf Driver
Tour Edge’s latest slice correcting driver, the Hot Launch E521, offers high handicappers a low cost alternative to the big ticket drivers that dominate the market today. A mainstay on Golf Digest’s Hot List, Tour Edge clubs offer affordability coupled with premium performance.
The E521 delivers several key features that help correct your slice, including a heel sole weight that squares the face at impact. During our testing, we were pleasantly surprised that the heel weight didn’t drag the club through the impact zone but rather routinely squared the face for a straighter shot shape.
Another feature we really loved is the shallow face design. Rather than having a bulky head with a lot of height on the face, the Hot Launch E521 offers a lower profile, similar to a fairway wood.
You’ll still find plenty of power with the E521 as the low profile helps increase the launch to get the ball into the air.
If there are some slight criticisms with the E521, it concerns the lack of adjustable features. The fixed hosel and lack of sliding weight prevent more subtle slice correction. Also, the driver offers a simple, straightforward appearance that doesn’t dazzle the bag.
But those criticisms are frankly mild when considering the consistent performance the E521 delivers for high handicappers.
Boosting distance, providing a tighter shot dispersion, and creating better opportunities from the fairway for attacking the green, the Tour Edge Hot Launch offers outstanding affordability for golfers on a budget.
Callaway Mavrik Driver
Best Premium Golf Driver for Beginners
Callaway Mavrik Driver provides golfers with a new weapon for the tee box delivering exceptional distance, high, extended launch, and dazzling distance that regularly finds the fairway.
Some of Callaway’s best features, such as the two-bar Jailbreak Technology, Flash Face SS20 with increased flexibility, and the Cyclone Aero head shape that reduces drag for increased swing speed are all included on the Mavrik driver.
With mid-range ball flight, the Mavrik does exceptionally well at getting every yard from your swing. The club’s Jailbreak bars are the secret ingredient to the distance boost, stiffening the head for increased energy and power directed to the golf ball.
With a slight draw-bias, the Mavrik produces the most majestic draws on the driver market, great for golfers with a nagging fade they would like to lose from their game.
While it does not offer the lowest spin in the Mavrik driver family, which belongs to the Sub Zero edition, the regular Mavrik does minimize side spin for tighter shot dispersion with exceptional accuracy.
The club has an adjustable loft sleeve to customize the loft and lie angle but does not provide sliding weight to increase or decrease the sidespin or launch. Instead, the club’s stationary weight helps lower CG and increase the draw-bias we mentioned earlier.
An outstanding driver for mid handicappers, the Callaway Mavrik driver delivers the muscle to your game off the tee box, along with the sophistication you expect from a first-rate driver.
TaylorMade M4 Driver
Most Affordable Golf Driver for Beginners
- Patented Hammerhead speed slot behind center of clubface packs a punch to the golf ball
- Sole weight in clubhead provides lower center of gravity for higher drives
- Adjustable loft sleeve gives beginning golfers even more loft on clubface, perfect for amateurs needing more height on drives
- Weights in clubhead are static making it more difficult to get just the right combination for shaping shots
The TaylorMade M4 driver is a very solid and sophisticated drivers, not only for beginners and high handicappers, but golfers of all skill levels.
The M4 brings the goods in various areas, from an adjustable loft sleeve to boost ball height to a Hammerhead speed slot that delivers a hammer to the ball at impact.
At first glance, the M4 is one of the coolest looking drivers on the market. With a graphite black and white finish, the driver is a dazzler in and out of your golf bag.
At address, the M4 does very well at getting you aligned properly with the center of the clubface, so you’ll never have to worry about being square with the sweet spot of the driver.
The broad sweet spot of the M4 certainly assists in making this driver one of the company’s most forgiving to date. The center portion of the clubface on the M4 is lower than your typical driver.
This slight tweak in design helps reduce side spin, creating ugly slices and drawing shots.
We’ve also mentioned the Hammerhead speed slot in the M4 a few times already, so let’s dig a little deeper into why this should be important to you, the golfer. A speed slot is located in the center of the clubhead, directly behind the clubface center.
What the Hammerhead does for the clubface makes it more pliable, almost like a trampoline that catapults the ball forward.
When the ball comes off the M4, you’ll feel that strength as the ball shoots down the fairway. That’s the effect of the Hammerhead slot and how it can play a huge part in improving your game.
One of the other options of the M4 that we adore is that the company offers it in a 12-degree edition.
When coupled with the loft sleeve you can add even more loft to your drives, a perfect combination for the beginning golfer.
Check our in-depth TaylorMade M4 Driver Review.
Callaway Epic Max Driver
Most Adjustable Golf Driver for Beginners
- New Jailbreak Speed Frame increases stability for better accuracy
- Light, thin face increases exit velocity for maximum distance and carry
- Sliding weight in rear sole offers premium adjustability for shaping shots
- A bit on the expensive side but for beginners serious about the game, this is a high performance driver
The Callaway Epic Max offers dynamic playability and provides dynamic luxury, great for beginning golfers looking to shorten their learning curve.
At its foundation, the Epic Max is built for speed. Most beginners suffer from slow swing speed, and while some of that deficiency comes from fundamentals, most of that fault comes from lousy equipment.
Drivers like the Epic Max fuel a dramatic increase in swing speed due to its aerodynamic design and balanced weighting. The club’s brand new Jailbreak Speed Frame also helps boost club speed.
The Jailbreak Speed Frame utilizes artificial intelligence to stiffen the head to strengthen the hitting zone. The increased sweet spot maintains ball speed, even on off-center strikes, and the low spin keeps the ball in the fairway with tight shot dispersion.
Along with the Speed Frame, Callaway also has redesigned their Flash Face technology, instilling the new version on the Epic Max. The Flash Face increases power, expanding strength across the face of the driver.
The face, made from titanium, provides maximum ball speed, incredible forgiveness, and minimal spin for straighter drives.
The Epic Max delivers the most benefits for beginning golfers through the club’s forgiving nature. Callaway redesigned their latest driver with a lighter frame, taking the extra weight and redistributing around the crown’s perimeter for better, more forgiving performance.
The driver’s head also offers a lower, deeper center of gravity (CG) when using a draw bias and higher MOI for less twisting with a higher shot arc. The Epic Max dials in the jaw-dropping distance with outstanding accuracy with this combination of enticing features.
As the beginning golfer grows in their game, the adjustable weighting of the Epic Max will also come in very handy. According to Callaway, the sliding rear 16-gram weight works in unison with the OptiFit hosel for up to 20 yards of shot-shaping correction.
The Epic Max features high launch, mid-range spin, adjustable shot shaping, along with maximum forgiveness across the face. The head size of 460cc comes with three different loft options of 9, 10.5, and 12 degrees.
While the Epic Max may seem like too much club for a beginning golfer, for players with an athletic background, this Callaway driver can increase skill level and allow individuals to make the jump to the next handicap more quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do beginners need specific golf drivers?
The driver or 1-wood is one of the most essential and popular clubs for any golfer, yet arguably the most obsolete in any golfer’s bag.
With almost every major manufacturer releasing a new driver every single year with new technologies, keeping up with the current driver trends, as well as finding the one most suited for you, can be the most challenging task for any golfers, and especially beginners, and our aim with this article is to help with that fact.
Drivers are built mainly with a single purpose, distance of your off-the-tee shots. With that in mind, three main factors emphasize the designs: ball speed, launch trajectory, and spin.
It is easy to assume that high-end driver clubs with the newest technologies used frequently in PGA Tours will be the best choice for any player. However, that is certainly not the case.
High-end golf drivers are built to cater to professional players and high-level amateurs with single-digit handicaps. They are designed to fully utilize the high swing speed (above 100mph) and hit precision.
When used by beginners with insufficient swing speed, the performance will diminish dramatically in the launch trajectory and ball-speed department.
On the other hand, off-center hits on these drivers will produce a significant amount of side-spin, producing curved shots we often deem as slices, which will sacrifice both distance and accuracy.
With that in mind, beginner golfers are better off using driver clubs more suited to their current swing speed and precision.
Do I need the latest technology?
Drivers, arguably, are the most regularly updated, technology-wise, among all the other golf clubs, as discussed by GolfDigest a few years back.
Although this GolfDigest article is a bit old, it stays relevant, or even more relevant today, with the rapid advancements in technology regarding drivers.
However, not all new technologies are designated for newer players. Thus, as a beginner, you should filter the technology that might benefit you as an aspiring player.
The driver’s newer technologies are boiled down to just two: adjustability and center of gravity placement. Let us discuss briefly whether these two will be beneficial for beginners:
New Technology 1: Center of Gravity Placement
Center of gravity placement in a driver club can affect two things:
1) Producing more or less spin, hence more or less distance
2) Forgiveness during off-center hits
As a beginner, having a forgiving club will undoubtedly benefit you, as you can train to build your accuracy while still promoting satisfactory performance.
Less spin will benefit a beginner golfer better since it will translate to easier control and less slice.
New Technology 2: Adjustability
Again, the personalization or adjustability of a driver is geared towards an adjustable center of gravity placement in the form of movable weights.
Will it help a beginner? Certainly.
Using a maximum stability setting will improve the driver’s forgiveness even more.
Another notable adjustability feature of newer golf drivers is adjusting loft angles. A higher loft angle will also benefit newer players to produce desired height trajectory during launch.
To answer the question, will you need the newest technology? Yes, provided you understood the basics behind it and how to apply the technology to improve your game.
One thing that might help you tremendously as a beginner is choosing the right shaft. Let us discuss how shafts affect your game and how to choose the right one.
How do I choose the right shaft?
Why is the shaft of any club so important?
Shafts have different kinds of stiffness or flexibility. The higher your swing speed, the stiffer you would want your shaft to be so that you can hit the ball in the center with accuracy.
Before we begin, you might want to learn about the different labeling for shaft flexibility:
1) L stands for Ladies
2) A or M stands for Senior Flex, often designated as AM, A/M, or Senior. It can also stand for Amateur
3) R for Regular
4) S denotes Stiff, also often designated as Firm
5) X stands for Extra Stiff, also often called Tour
If you use a too stiff shaft for your current swing speed, the shaft will not flex to its full capacity. Meaning even a well-struck shot will not produce its maximum distance and launch trajectory.
On the other hand, if the shaft flexes too much because it is too weak for your swing speed, it will be inconsistent in its release point.
As a result, the shot will produce too much spin, and in most situations, the ball will draw (curving right to the left for right-handed golfers).
The launch trajectory will also be very high, causing the loss of overall distance.
To summarize, here are the factors that will be determined by the stiffness or the flexibility of the shaft:
1) Ball Speed
2) Vertical Launch Angle
3) Horizontal Launch Angle
4) Smash Factor
5) Spin rate
With that in mind, having the right shaft will undoubtedly be one of, if not the most deciding factor for distance. In that sense, shafts will affect drivers more than the other clubs.
How then to choose the right shaft for you?
If you have the luxury of using a launch monitor and, even more, a professional fitter, they can certainly help you choose your shafts.
How many drivers should I own?
With the professional rule limiting you only to carry 14 clubs in your bag, carrying just one driver you trust will be more than sufficient.
Some professional golfers, albeit rare, carry two drivers: one for maximum distance and one for shot-shaping.
However, such practice will not be necessary for beginners, and on the other hand, the adjustability of newer drivers will allow you to fine-tune your driver for both functions.
How often should I purchase a driver?
This is a tricky question, especially for beginners and aspiring players, since the playing level and ability might evolve dramatically in a very short period.
Most reputable manufacturers release new drivers yearly, and some even release more than one in a year.
However, as a general guideline, your driver, provided it is a good fit for you, can last two to four years before having a new one will show a significant upgrade. After that, it will be different for everyone, depending on budget, skill development, and whether there’s any playstyle change.
Major golf sites, such as Golf Digest, often release their Obsolete List, listing the equipment that is too old for today.
How do I know that a driver is intended for beginners?
Admittedly, many manufacturers released misleading information regarding their clubs, often confusing buyers in purchasing decisions.
We filled in, and below, we will discuss some of the best driver clubs available in the market suitable for beginners.
Although, again, the criteria for a perfect driver will differ with each individual, here are some of the considerations you should look for in a beginner’s driver:
Off-center hits will be a significant issue in any beginner’s game and the one thing you should improve upon.
The best golf drivers with excellent forgiveness levels will undoubtedly help a beginner in their journey towards the top, building confidence by promoting performance while teaching the beginner the difference in feeling between mishits and well-struck ones.
It is essential to have a shaft with proper flexibility to support your current swing speed. It will help with the straightness. In addition, having proper flexibility in a shaft will help in carrying distance.
The rule of golf dictates that the maximum size be 460cc, and by all means, that size is the one you should aim for. With the bigger sweet spot, a bigger clubhead will certainly help with forgiveness.
If the driver you’re looking at doesn’t match these criteria, it could be suitable for intermediate golfers instead.