Best Overall Driver: TaylorMade Stealth HD Driver (click to see)
“The Stealth HD’s clubhead, built from an innovative carbon composite material, makes it incredibly lightweight and easy to swing, which is perfect for beginning golfers.”
Best Value for Money: Cobra AIR-X Straight Neck Driver (click to see)
“The Cobra AIR-X driver delivers smooth performance for beginning golfers, helping them build their fundamentals without worrying about their equipment.”
Best Accuracy Driver: Callaway Mavrik Driver (click to see)
“The Callaway Mavrik Driver is specifically designed to help golfers of all skill levels achieve consistent, powerful shots that routinely find the fairway.”
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 9 best drivers for beginners.
Top Rated Drivers for Beginners in 2023
Last updated on 2023-01-17. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- The Rundown:
- Top Rated Drivers for Beginners in 2023
- Things to Consider When Choosing Beginner Golf Drivers
- Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers
- Frequently Asked Questions
Things to Consider When Choosing Beginner Golf Drivers
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 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.
Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers
TaylorMade Stealth HD Driver
Best Overall Driver for Beginners
- 60x Carbon Twist Face delivers premium forgiveness
- High launch with easy distance and extended carry
- Maximizes ball speed across the entire face
- Expensive driver for beginners
- Draw-biased reduces slice but may penalize overall swing growth
The TaylorMade Stealth HD driver is an excellent option for beginning golfers looking to improve their game. The driver’s futuristic design with a red and black color scheme turns heads on the golf course.
The clubhead, built from an innovative carbon composite material, makes it incredibly lightweight and easy to swing, which is perfect for beginning golfers.
In fact, our testers registered their highest swing speed with the Stealth HD model, making it an easy choice for the best overall driver for golfers just starting their golfing career.
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Cobra AIR-X Straight Neck Driver
Best Value for Money
- Incredibly lightweight for maximum swing speed
- Offset design helps reduce side spin
- Heel weighted stabilizes face through the impact zone
- No adjustable features
- Plain appearance when compared to other top-flight drivers
The Cobra AIR-X Straight Neck driver delivers smooth performance for beginning golfers, helping them build their fundamentals without worrying about their equipment.
One of the top features of the AIR-X driver is its straight neck design, which helps to promote a straighter and more accurate ball flight. The club’s lightweight construction makes generating higher swing speed easy.
During our testing, our golfers noted that the Cobra AIR-X Straight Neck driver also features a large sweet spot helping increase its forgiveness on off-center strikes. The size of the generous sweet spot is great for beginners who may not have the most consistent swing yet.
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Callaway Mavrik Driver
Best Accuracy Driver for Beginners
- Solidly built driver with exceptional distance
- Adjustable loft sleeve to increase loft on the club face
- Clean indicator on the crown helps line up shots at address
- Lacks adjustable weighting for customization
- Doesn’t have a draw-bias setting for correcting slice
We highly recommend the Callaway Mavrik 2022 driver for beginning golfers wanting to purchase a dependable driver that delivers results. This club is specifically designed to help golfers of all skill levels achieve consistent, powerful shots that routinely find the fairway.
The Callaway Mavrik driver’s best feature is its advanced and innovative design. The club is powered by the Flash Face SS20 architecture, which helps to increase ball speed and distance on your tee shots.
Additionally, the club has a low and deep center of gravity, which helps to promote a higher launch angle to help produce more distance.
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PXG 2022 0211 Driver
Best High Launch Driver for Beginners
- High speed face produces tall launch with maximum speed
- Clean appearance with a modern look
- Low CG offers an easy lift to the golf ball
- Thin grip might be small for golfers with large hands
- Shaft offers too much whip for faster swing speeds
The PXG 0211 driver is a top-of-the-line club designed for golfers of all skill levels, but it is particularly well-suited for beginners.
The driver, known for its exceptional accuracy and extended length, offers beginning golfers a solid foundational driver that will definitely help improve their overall game.
One of the top design features of the PXG 0211 driver is its high-grade construction. Available in 9-, 10.5-, and 12-degree loft, the PXG 0211 offers a nice combination of design features that emphasize producing more ball speed.
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Cobra LTDX Max Driver
Best Premium Driver for Beginners
- Adjustable weighting allows the driver to grow with your game
- Milled face reduces side spin and improves contact quality
- Hot face produces staggering ball speed, even for beginners
- Colorful appearance may turn away golfers that want a traditional look
- Needs time to master all of the adjustability options
The LTDx Max driver from Cobra offers beginning golfers an exciting combination of power and speed to produce exceptional drives that reduce the length of second shots into the green.
Most importantly, Cobra’s LTDx Max driver utilizes a dual-weight to produce a draw bias that fights against hitting slices, an outstanding feature for beginning golfers.
The weights are adjustable, allowing golfers to swap out the weights to create a more subtle draw bias as they improve their golf game.
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Callaway Rogue ST MAX D Driver
Best Distance Driver for Beginners
- Offers multiple shaft and loft options to help you find the perfect mix
- Stable and very long off the tee box
- Provides subtle draw-bias setup to help tighten shot dispersion
- One of the highest priced draw-biased drivers
- May be too much club for most beginners
The draw version of the Callaway Rogue ST Max offers a delightful mixture of raw power coupled with technology that minimizes side spin to help beginners find the fairway with higher regularity.
As with all Callaway drivers, the Rogue ST Max D edition features are too numerous to mention, but there are a couple that will certainly help beginners find more consistency in their game off the tee box.
It utilizes Callaway’s Jailbreak Technology, which is a patented design that enhances the stability and power of the clubhead. The Jailbreak Technology helps to increase ball speed and improve accuracy for longer and straighter drives, a huge weapon for beginning golfers.
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Cleveland Launcher XL Lite Driver
Best Lightweight Driver for Beginners
- Outstanding lightweight driver works great for slow swing speeds
- High-grade forgiveness keeps the ball in the fairway
- Affordable price makes XL Lite an excellent entry driver
- No adjustable loft sleeve
- Plain appearance
The Cleveland Launcher XL Lite driver features an ultralight design, which helps reduce the club’s overall weight. The lightweight feel makes it easier for beginning golfers to swing the club with greater speed.
The HiBore Crown of the Cleveland Launcher XL Lite driver repositions the center of gravity low and deep in the clubhead, which helps to increase the launch angle and reduce spin.
Our testers felt the low, deep CG helped produce longer and straighter drives, an obvious by-product of the HiBore Crown.
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Wilson Staff Launch Pad 2 Driver
Best Slow Swing Speed Driver
- Built like a missile, it delivers high speed shotmaking
- Subtle draw bias minimizes side spin
- Aerodynamic club head produces top speed to golf ball
- No adjustable features
- Offers a rather plain appearance
The Wilson Staff Launch Pad driver, built like a heat-seeking missile, produces jaw-dropping drives for beginning golfers. Incredibly affordable, it is as good as advertised, producing a simple lift with extended carry that boosts driving distance with relative ease.
The club features a sleek, rounded design and cuts through the air without too much drag, helping golfers increase their swing speed to generate more distance.
Our testers unanimously agreed the highlight of the Wilson Staff Launch Pad driver is its unique sole design with heel weighting. The combination of the rounded sole and weight position creates a natural draw bias that reduces the penalty of hitting a slice.
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Titleist TSi2 Driver
Best Feel and Responsiveness Driver
- Built for distance and increasing ball speed
- Exceptional feel and responsiveness
- Wonderful driver to build strong fundamentals
- Expensive driver might be too pricey for beginners
- No draw bias or adjustable weighting to correct side spin
The Titleist TSi2 is a top-performing driver perfect for beginning golfers looking to increase their distance.
It carries many features, including an aerodynamic design that boosts stability, improves performance, and generates some truly beautiful drives, even for golfers just starting their golfing journey.
The club also offers a lightweight design and an oversized head, which helps to increase forgiveness on off-center hits. The Titleist driver has a low and deep center of gravity, which also helps to promote a higher launch angle, lower spin, and more distance on your shots.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What type of driver should a beginner use?
For golfers that struggle with a slice, a draw-biased driver helps minimize side spin to help keep the ball on the fairway. These drivers place a weight near the heel to help square the face as it reaches the ball to reduce side spin and tighten shot dispersion.
A beginner should also seek a higher loft on their driver to help them get the ball into the air. Since most beginners haven’t maximized swing speed, their distance suffers because they cannot maximize the length of the carry.
For most beginners, finding a loft around 12 degrees will help reduce the growing pains associated with learning how to strike the golf ball consistently.
What’s a good driver for a beginner golfer?
The Cleveland Launcher XL offers a 10.5-and 12-degree loft option for beginners at an affordable price, making it one of the best drivers for beginners.
What’s great about the Launcher XL is that it provides a solid feel and responsiveness with high-grade forgiveness. The driver also offers extended carry from its easy launch.
A rear stationary weight anchors the club head and delivers a lower CG to help power the golf ball into the air with relative ease. Also, the driver features an oversized head to help maintain ball speed on shots that miss toward the toe.
Why do beginners need specific golf drivers?
The driver or 1-wood is simply one of the most important and most 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 hardest task for any golfers, and especially beginners, and our aim with this article is simply 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 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?
Although this GolfDigest article is a bit old, it stays relevant, or yet, even more, relevant today with the rapid advancements in technology regarding drivers.
However, not all the new technologies are designated toward newer players. Thus, as a beginner, you should filter the kinds of technology that might benefit you as an aspiring player.
The driver’s newer technologies are boiled down towards 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, as you can train to build your accuracy while still promoting sufficient 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 drivers is adjusting loft angles. 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.
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 shaft that is too stiff 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).
How do I know that a driver is intended for beginners?
Admittedly, many manufacturers released misleading information regarding their clubs, often confusing buyers to make a purchase decision.
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 club:
Forgiveness: Off-center hits will be a major issue in any beginner’s game and also the one thing you should improve upon.
A driver club with an excellent forgiveness level will undoubtedly help a beginner in their journey towards the top, building confidence by promoting performance while teaching the said beginner the difference in feeling between mishits and well-struck ones.
Shaft Flexibility: it is significantly important to have a shaft with a proper amount of 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.
Clubhead Size: The rule of golf dictates that the maximum size be 460cc, and by all means, that size is the one you should aim for. Bigger clubhead will certainly help with forgiveness, with the bigger sweet spot.
If the driver you’re looking at doesn’t match these criteria, it could be suitable for intermediate golfers instead.
Our choice for the best driver for beginners, the TaylorMade Stealth HD, delivers an exciting punch off the tee box for new golfers. With draw-bias weighting, the Stealth HD keeps the ball in the fairway, a significant benefit for beginners that struggle with slicing their shots.
The Stealth HD also benefits greatly from its lightweight feel and top-tier forgiveness to help beginners create more consistency in their game off the tee box.
Although the Stealth HD holds a price at the upper end of the market, the driver delivers unmistakable performance that can significantly reduce the learning curve of your average beginning golfer.