9 Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers: 2022 Buying Guide

Your golf experts: Jordan Fuller & John Marshall.
Updated January 27, 2022. This article was thoroughly audited by multiple golf experts and coaches for its accuracy. You can read more about our rigorous testing protocol here.

The Rundown:

Best Premium Driver: Callaway Mavrik Driver
“The Mavrik 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.”

Best Value For Money: 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.”

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.”


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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 nine best drivers on the market for beginning golfers.

Sources researched
20
Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
35
Hours spent testing
Products tested
9
Products tested

Top Rated Drivers for Beginners in 2022

Product Name
Best Driver For Beginners
Best Value For Money
Best Premium Driver
Ranked
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Our Rating
Our Rating: 99/100
Our Rating: 98/100
Our Rating: 97/100
Pro 1
Jailbreak technology to increase ball speed
Patented Hammerhead speed slot behind center of clubface packs a punch to the golf ball
New Jailbreak Speed Frame increases stability for better accuracy
Pro 2
Adjustable sleeve loft and sleek design
Sole weight in clubhead provides lower center of gravity for higher drives
Light, thin face increases exit velocity for maximum distance and carry
Best Driver For Beginners
Product Name
Ranked
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Our Rating
Our Rating: 99/100
Pro 1
Jailbreak technology to increase ball speed
Pro 2
Adjustable sleeve loft and sleek design
Best Value For Money
Product Name
Ranked
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Our Rating
Our Rating: 98/100
Pro 1
Patented Hammerhead speed slot behind center of clubface packs a punch to the golf ball
Pro 2
Sole weight in clubhead provides lower center of gravity for higher drives
Best Premium Driver
Ranked
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Our Rating
Our Rating: 97/100
Pro 1
New Jailbreak Speed Frame increases stability for better accuracy
Pro 2
Light, thin face increases exit velocity for maximum distance and carry

Last updated on 2022-07-03. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

9 Best Golf Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2022

Here are the best golf drivers for beginners and high handicappers:

  1. Best Premium Driver: Callaway Mavrik Driver
  2. Best Value for Money: TaylorMade M4 Driver
  3. Most Adjustable: Callaway Epic Max
  4. Runner-up Choice: Cobra F-Max Superlite
  5. Affordable Alternative: Callaway Rogue
  6. Fabulous Adjustable Features: Callaway X-Hot Driver
  7. Best Driver for Increasing Swing Speed: Cobra King F8 Driver
  8. Best Lightweight Driver: Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver
  9. Best Low Cost Driver for Beginners: Mazel Titanium Driver

Callaway Mavrik Driver

Best Premium Golf Driver

Callaway Mavrik

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Overall Grade96%
Design95%
Feel100%
Loft Options95%
Forgiveness95%
Adjustable Features95%

Pros

  • Jailbreak Technology increases energy to golf ball for more distance
  • Triaxial Carbon Crown delivers faster ball speed with lighter overall weight
  • Incredible feel and response with titanium rib system

Cons

  • No interchangeable weight
  • More expensive than other options

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.

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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 golfers who don’t want to break the bank & love adjustable features

m4 driver


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Overall Grade96%
Design95%
Feel100%
Loft Options95%
Forgiveness95%
Adjustable Features95%

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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 golf ball at impact.

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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 golf 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.

Callaway Epic Max

Most Adjustable Golf Driver: Great Driver for High Handicappers Looking for Adjustable Features

Callaway Epic MAX

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Overall Grade100%
Design100%
Feel100%
Loft Options100%
Forgiveness100%
Adjustable Features100%

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

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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.

Cobra F-Max Superlite

Runner-up Choice: Great Driver for Correcting Slice Problems

F-Max Superlite

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Overall Grade96%
Design98%
Feel98%
Loft Options96%
Forgiveness98%
Adjustable Features88%

Pros

  • If you are consistently hitting slices, this club can help correct that with large sweet spot and offset club face
  • Lightweight design helps with generating additional swing speed for struggling beginner
  • Crown alignment helps keep the clubface square at address for center contact with golf ball

Cons

  • No adjustable features on the F-Max Superlite but that is expected with offset driver

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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Cobra has designed the F-Max Superlite with a lighter clubhead, lighter grip, and lighter shaft for a small reduction in club weight that brings a huge difference when the golfer strikes the ball.

As you take the F-Max Superlite in your hands you’ll be impressed at how solid the club feels.

Once we took the driver onto the range and started putting it through the motions, Superlite responded admirably due to its Titanium face insert that improves ball speed and distance.

A feature that we loved for beginners with the F-Max Superlite was the alignment design on the driver’s crown.

Most companies have a small icon or something similar to indicate the center of the club, but the Cobra club has the company’s name surrounded by a wide band in white stripes that goes across the top to the back end of the driver.

We’d like to dig into one more detail about the Superlite more thoroughly.

The offset design of the club does bring an extreme correction to the golfer who is having problems slicing the golf ball.

So, if you are a beginning golfer showing signs of hitting the ball straighter with each practice session, it might be wiser to find a club that you can adjust as your game grows.

For beginning golfers, the game changes so much over time as the amateur works through swing changes and if they get a coach, perhaps a fundamental overhaul.

Finding a driver to bridge the gap between those early days of golf infancy to the period of solid play is important.

Callaway Rogue Driver

Affordable Golf Driver Alternative: For Feature-Seeking High Handicappers

rogue driver

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Overall Grade97%
Design100%
Feel95%
Loft Options100%
Forgiveness95%
Adjustable Features95%

Pros

  • The Rogue features Jailbreak technology to increase ball speed off the clubface
  • An easy-to-use adjustable loft sleeve provides several alterations to the club for custom fit
  • Sleek design does a remarkable job of sliding effortlessly through the impact zone for exceptional contact

Cons

  • Does not have moveable weight system in the sole of the club, just stationery weight

As one of the best golf brands today, Callaway has created an extraordinary driver for golfers of all skill levels, that would certainly help the struggling beginner looking to leap 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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Beginning with the club’s design, Callaway brought in some true experts in aerodynamic technology by joining up with the engineering team at Boeing to create one of the sleekest club heads on the market with the Rogue.

The collaboration between the golf and aeronautical company produced groundbreaking technology in the driver that provides exceptional ball speed after impact.

The Rogue also benefits from the company’s largest surface area on a driver’s head in history. The advanced carbon composite head gives the golfer an enormous sweet spot that works to propel the golf ball with startling velocity. This benefit is something that all beginning golfers could undoubtedly use to cut a few corners on their development.

Behind the clubface is the company’s revolutionary Jailbreak technology. The technology promotes distance and exit velocity by centering the energy of the clubhead directly behind the sweet spot for a greater transfer of power to the golf ball. As a result, golfers see more accurate drives with additional speed.

If we had a chief complaint about the Rogue, the weight is stationary, only helping produce higher drives and not to alter the shape of your shots. That said, the loft sleeve can offset the club slightly to help with your slice if that is what ails you on the tee box.

For the high handicapper looking to take their game to a new level, drivers like the Rogue can bring focus and intensity to practice sessions that spill over onto the course.

The Rogue produces jaw-dropping drives that had our heads turning on the tee box as we watched gorgeous drive after gorgeous drive leave the clubhead.

Callaway X-Hot Driver

Fabulous Adjustable Features Driver for Beginning Golfers

Callaway X HOT Driver
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Overall Grade97%
Design98%
Feel96%
Loft Options96%
Forgiveness100%
Adjustable Features98%

Pros

  • Exceptionally fast driver with long distance and fabulous response and feel
  • VFT face provides outstanding forgiveness on off-center strikes to keep balls in fairway
  • Tri-level loft sleeve helps with adjust loft and lie for customized launch angle on drives

Cons

  • No adjustable weighting, but for beginning golfers, not an essential feature

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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The adjustable loft sleeve comes in handy for beginners that need more loft on their driver. The X-Hot Driver offers a simple remedy with incredible forgiveness and extra distance if you struggle to find a consistent ball flight. Take note; although there is a loft sleeve, there is no adjustable weighting on the X-Hot Driver.

The company’s technology also plays a considerable role in the club’s face. The VFT face technology on the X-Hot Driver actually flexes the face at impact to help reduce spin for a straighter ball flight with maximum ball speed. The feature also increases forgiveness, great for beginning golfers, by taking off-center strikes and reducing the sidespin that causes slices and hooks.

For beginning golfers ready to attack their learning curve, grabbing equipment that allows them to grow into their game is an excellent investment. The Callaway X-Hot Driver certainly falls under that heading and promises to give you long yardage off the tee box.

Cobra King F8 Driver

Best Golf Driver for Increasing Swing Speed and Distance

king f8

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Overall Grade97%
Design95%
Feel95%
Loft Options100%
Forgiveness95%
Adjustable Features100%

Pros

  • Large sweet spot delivers the goods with each drive and maximum forgiveness
  • Adjustable loft sleeve gives the beginning golfer more flexibility with their launch angle
  • Weighting on the sole of the clubhead provides adjustable shot shape as the beginner advances

Cons

  • A small complaint we have for the F8 is that the weighting is stationary and not moveable

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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A worthy update to the adored F6 model, the F8 driver maintains everything golfers have loved about the Cobra King line of drivers.

From superb feel and balance to punishing strength, the F8 is a whopper of a driver that should be considered by any golfer looking to upgrade their tee box game.

Starting with the redesigned clubface, the F8 sparkles in all aspects of its look.

The clubface is one of the more unique designs you’ll see on a driver, as it has been milled to give beginning golfers one of the thinnest and lightest faces you’ll see on the market today. This feature of the F8 promotes swing speed and compression at impact, giving you more distance with every drive.

When we hit the F8, we were immediately smitten with how the driver felt at the moment of contact. This driver ages well as you get more and more time with it on the range and golf course.

You’ll fall in love with how straight and long the F8 is off the tee box.

A carbon fiber crown is one of the new features of the F8 that helps provide the lightweight swing that we’ve been promoting with this review.

When we hooked our testers up with a TrackMan monitor, we instantly saw an increase in swing speed and distance from our golfers. We certainly subscribe to the theory that new equipment makes you better, but seeing it firsthand with the F8 was eye-opening.

If we had a major disappointment with the F8, the weights were sole-centered and fixed.

We like our drivers to get out of the way and allow us to fine-tune the features to our liking. Regardless, the adjustable loft sleeve certainly helped increase our loft on the clubface to help get the ball into the air easily.

A dynamic driver with a terrific feel, this Cobra driver should be near the top of your shopping list when it comes time to pull the trigger on an upgrade.

Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver

Best Lightweight Golf Driver: Great Driver for Creating Higher Swing Speeds

launcher hb turbo

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Overall Grade96%
Design98%
Feel96%
Loft Options96%
Forgiveness96%
Adjustable Features92%

Pros

  • Turbocharged Cup Face increases ball speed and forgiveness
  • Deep weighting provides significant increase in MOI for more ball speed after impact
  • Three different loft options help golfers find the right launch angle for their game

Cons

  • No adjustable features, but not disqualifying for beginners and high handicappers who need stability

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 a 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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The three drivers start with a 9-degree option, a 10.5-degree model, and a 12-degree option. The last driver, the 12-degree driver, is the best option for beginners.

For beginners, drivers, like the Launcher HB Turbo are great because the hosel is fixed, and the club is relatively stable. Inexperienced golfers can find drivers with adjustable features challenging to master because they might be distracted by the ability to tinker with the club. A stable and reliable driver provides the beginning golfer the opportunity to relax and worry only about hitting the golf ball.

On swings where the ball meets the center of the face on the Turbo, the ball flies with low spin and a piercing flight that produces outstanding distance.

Although the lack of adjustable features is slightly disappointing, the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver is far more concerned with providing a stable experience that allows you to grow into the game.

Mazel Titanium Driver

Best Low Cost Golf Driver for Beginners: If You’re Just Starting Out And Not Sure About The Game Just Yet

MAZEL Titanium Golf Driver for Men,Right Handed,460CC (Right, Graphite(Golden Head), Regular (R), 9.5)
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Overall Grade83%
Design80%
Feel85%
Loft Options85%
Forgiveness80%
Adjustable Features85%

Pros

  • Very affordable driver for golfers just beginning their golfing career
  • Sole-weighted driver that promotes launch angle with ease
  • Compact head design keeps energy behind the golf ball to increase ball speed

Cons

  • Not as finely crafted as other drivers on this list, but performs admirably at price point

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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Yes, it doesn’t sparkle like some of the other drivers on this list such as the Callaway Epic Flash or the TaylorMade M6, but for a quarter of the cost of those drivers, you get something that can really perform admirably for the true beginning golfer just finding their balance in the great game.

The design of the Mazel Titanium is a sharp black look that gives the golf a clear contrast with the golf ball at address.

An arrow indicator helps the golfer find the center of the strike area for easy alignment.

When you take a closer look at the Mazel, you’ll notice that the club has a tall face. It is a boxier driver in shape and that certainly helps focus the energy of the clubhead to the golf ball on well-struck hits.

The face of the driver also has a high rebound compression rate for a strong trampoline effect upon impact.

The company has reduced the weight in the Titanium model to increase swing speed to boost exit velocity on those drives when you reach back, searching for a little bit extra.

The tall face of the Mazel Titanium invites one of the largest sweet spots that you’ll find on a driver in this price range.

A larger surface area on the driver does help keep the spin to a low level to promote accuracy. A low center of gravity in the sweet spot also assists in getting the ball into the air for maximum distance.

You may never see the Mazel Titanium on Sundays when you are watching the PGA Tour but if you are a high handicapper on a budget, this driver is worth your consideration.


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – Design

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.

Criteria 2 – Feel

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.

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. 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.

Criteria 4 – Loft Options

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.

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 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, 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?

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 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. Let us discuss 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:

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).

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.

If not, on 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 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 hard question to answer, 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 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. After that, it will be different for everyone, depending on budget, skill development, and whether there’s any playstyle change.

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 a 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.

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:

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.