Best Driver For Beginners: TaylorMade M4 Driver
“The M4 comes with Twist Face Technology for extra forgiveness, a Geocoustic Sole Design that provides excellent feel and response to get you to hit the ball further – you won’t be disappointed.”
Best Premium Option: Callaway Mavrik Max Driver
“The Mavrik Max is a premium driver with the highest MOI & is the easiest to launch. This is a great pick if you are a high-handicapper and want to get better fast – you can’t go wrong with this driver.”
Most Adjustable: Callaway Epic Max Driver
“Featuring a sliding weight in the rear sole, a light & thin face, and a new Jailbreak Speed Frame, the Epic Max increases stability & distance, while offering premium adjustability for shaping shots.”
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 learning curve of the beginner.
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 nine best drivers on the market for beginning golfers.
Top Rated Drivers For Beginners In 2021
Last updated on 2021-09-17. 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 2021
- 9 Best Golf Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2021
- Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
- Questions & Answers
- Why Do Beginners Need Specific Golf Drivers?
- Do I Need The Latest Technology?
- How Do I Choose The Right Shaft?
- How Many Drivers Should I Own?
- How Often Should I Purchase A Driver?
- How Do I Know That A Driver Is Intended For Beginners?
- Why Do Beginners Need Specific Golf Drivers?
9 Best Golf Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2021
Here are the best golf drivers for beginners and high handicappers:
- Most Affordable Driver: TaylorMade M4 Driver
- Best Premium Option: Callaway Mavrik Max Driver
- Most Adjustable: Callaway Epic Max
- Runner-up Choice: Callaway Rogue
- Fabulous Adjustable Features: Callaway X-Hot Driver
- Runner-up Choice: Cobra F-Max Superlite
- Best Driver for Increasing Swing Speed: Cobra King F8 Driver
- Best Lightweight Driver: Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver
- Best Low Cost Driver for Beginners: Mazel Titanium Driver
1. TaylorMade M6 Driver
Best for Beginners: Excellent Driver for High Handicappers Looking to Lower Scores
The TaylorMade M6 is another elite tier driver that doesn’t shut the door to high handicappers looking to make the jump to mid-level status.
Preferred by golfers like Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, the M6 has several adjustable features that helps the beginning golfer and can be purchased in a higher loft for maximum height and distance on drives.
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2. TaylorMade M4 Driver
Most Affordable Driver: For golfers who don’t want to break the bank & love adjustable features
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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 a variety of areas from an adjustable loft sleeve to boost ball height to a Hammerhead speed slot that delivers a hammer to the golf ball at impact.
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3. Callaway Epic Max
Most Adjustable Driver: Great Driver for High Handicappers Looking for Adjustable Features
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.
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4. Callaway Rogue Driver
Affordable Alternative: For Feature-Seeking High Handicappers
Callaway has created an extraordinary driver for golfers of all skill levels, that would certainly help the struggling beginner looking to make the leap to double-digit scores, in the Rogue.
With a loft sleeve, stationary sole weight for increasing shot height and the company’s beloved Jailbreak technology behind the clubface, the Rogue is another driver that’s worthy of the Callaway name.
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5. Callaway X-Hot Driver
Fabulous Adjustable Features Driver for Beginning Golfers
Callaway has long made drivers that accommodate various golfers, from experienced low handicappers to those just starting their golfing journey. One of their latest entry-level models, the Callaway X-Hot Driver steps up the game by providing an easy-to-hit driver with adjustable features to help create even more launch angle at impact.
For the X-Hot Driver, it all begins with the sleek clubhead. The aerodynamic shape reduces drag on the downswing for maximum swing speed to the golf ball. The head’s rounded back end, a form commonly found with Callaway’s drivers, packs a balanced punch throughout the impact zone.
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6. Cobra F-Max Superlite
Runner-up Choice: Great Driver for Correcting Slice Problems
The Cobra F-Max Superlite driver is a great option for the beginning golfer that just can’t seem to hit the ball straight.
It is common for high handicappers to struggle when developing their swing to square the clubface at impact, so golf equipment creators have built a series of exceptional drivers to help correct this nagging issue.
The F-Max Superlite driver is one of the best at helping with this problem due to its superior construction and lightweight feel.
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7. Cobra King F8 Driver
Best Driver for Increasing Swing Speed and Distance
This Swiss Army Knife of a driver can create different launch angles and shot shapes with minimal hassle, providing a wonderful tool for high handicappers looking for a driver to grow into as they increase their golf knowledge.
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8. Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver
Best Lightweight Driver: Great Driver for Creating Higher Swing Speeds
The Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver is a terrific driver that certainly can improve the game of the inexperienced golfer. For beginners that are just learning the game, a driver that provides solid feel and response, the club can help reduce the learning curve and get them hitting the ball better.
One of our favorite perks of the Cleveland driver is the three loft options available with the club. Remember, this is not an adjustable driver. You can’t mess with the loft through a sleeve or adjust the weighting, so finding the right loft is important.
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9. Mazel Titanium Driver
Best Low Cost Driver for Beginners: If You’re Just Starting Out And Not Sure About The Game Just Yet
The Mazel Titanium Driver may look like an incapable knockoff from the outside, but when used on the course, the club does a really nice job at getting the ball into the air and down the fairway.
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Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria 1 – Design
For beginning golfers, owning a driver that is forgiving yet well-constructed is incredibly important for long term growth. Beginning golfers need to have confidence that their clubs won’t let them down and this is especially true of the driver.
Every year, golf companies are finding new ways to reduce drag on the clubhead and maximize swing speed. 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 means shorter second shots.
Great driver design is crucial when the beginning golfer takes into account the entire swing. From lining the ball up at address to draw the club back and coiling the swing, all the way through the downswing and impact.
Criteria 2 – Feel
When a beginning golfer hits a drive, they might not be able to 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. How do they know they have hit a great 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 club face. 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 club face because their trusted driver provides that feedback.
For beginning drivers, a new driver that produces exceptional feel throughout the swing is a club that you can gain confidence in over time. Unlike professional golfers, beginning golfers don’t have the trust in their swing or their clubs just yet, but finding equipment that can shave time on that endeavor.
Criteria 3 – Forgiveness
For beginning golfers struggling with a high handicap, a driver’s forgiveness can help keep the ball straight and long off the tee box. Most beginning golfers who are having difficulty shaving strokes off their handicap cannot routinely strike the ball on the center of the club face. Since golf equipment manufacturers understand this problem, they build drivers with larger sweet spots that help reduce the side spin 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 that has a fixed clubhead with no adjustable features.
The other feature that can help a high handicapper improve is through a driver’s adjustable features. With 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.
Criteria 4 – Loft Options
One of the biggest 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 assumes that they should do the same. But they fail to understand that his swing speed is one of the highest ever recorded by a professional golfer.
Beginning golfers should always remember that the loft of a driver equals ball height, and it is important to maximize the height of your drives while you are swing at a slower speed. Hitting the ball harder equates into boosted exit velocity. When coupled with proper shot height, you can maximize your driving ability during these initial days of your golfing journey.
Criteria 5 – Adjustable Features
As a high handicapper, you are looking to maximize each swing, especially off the tee. When searching for this magic formula, it definitely 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.
Questions & Answers
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, and yet arguably the most obsolete in any golfer’s bag.
With almost every major manufacturers 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 are the emphasis of the designs: ball speed, launch trajectory, and spin.
It is easy to assume that high-end driver clubs with newest technologies that are used frequently in PGA Tours will be the best choice for any players. However, that is certainly not the case.
High-end drivers are built to cater professional players and high-level amateurs with single-digit handicap and is 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 deemed as slice, 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, and thus, as a beginner, you should filter the kinds of technology that might benefit you as an aspiring player.
Newer technologies surrounding the driver 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:
- Producing more or less spin, hence more or less distance
- Forgiveness during off-center hits
As a beginner, having a forgiving club will certainly be a benefit, as you can train to build your accuracy while still promoting a sufficient performance.
Regarding spin, less spin will benefit a beginner golfer better, since it will translate to an easier control and less slice.
New Technology 2: Adjustability
Personalization or adjustability of a driver, again, 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 forgiveness of the driver even more.
Other notable adjustability features of newer drivers are the ability to adjust loft angle. 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 how 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 a bit regarding how shafts will 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:
- L stands for Ladies
- A or M stands for Senior Flex, often designated as AM, A/M, or Senior. Can also stand for Amateur
- R for Regular
- S denotes Stiff, also often designated as Firm
- X stands for Extra Stiff, also often called Tour
If you are using 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 flex 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 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:
- Ball Speed
- Vertical Launch Angle
- Horizontal Launch Angle
- Smash Factor
- Spin rate
With that in mind, having the right shaft will certainly 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 with choosing your shafts.
If not, in our drivers page we’ve outlined the exact flex you’ll need to use depending on your swing speed and distance.
How Many Drivers Should I Own?
With the professional rule limiting you to only be able 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 the other 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 hard question to answer, especially for beginners and aspiring players, since the playing level and ability might evolve dramatically in a very short span of time.
Most reputable manufacturers release new drivers every year, and some even release more than one in one 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. It will be different for everyone, depending on budget, skill development, and whether there’s any change of playstyle.
The Golf section of eBay has recently outlined a few reasons why you may need new golf clubs. I recommend you check it out to get feel for whether or not you may need to purchase new clubs.
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 to make a purchase decision.
This is where 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 great forgiveness level will certainly 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. Not only it will help with the straightness, having a proper flexibility in a shaft will help in carry distance.
- Clubhead Size: The rule of golf dictates that the maximum size of a driver to be 460cc, and by all means, that size is the one you should aim for. Bigger clubhead will certainly help with forgiveness, with the obviously bigger sweet spot.
If the driver you’re looking at doesn’t match these criteria, it could be suitable for intermediate golfers instead.