The great thing about new golf technology is that it helps the golfer correct their flaws. On the tee box, having a new driver with better forgiveness eliminates the ugly slices that cause most golfers to quit the game.
Instead of hitting weak drives on your off-center strikes, a forgiving driver can help keep your shot along your target line.
In our tests, the most forgiving driver is the TaylorMade M2. This driver delivers fantastic swing speeds to the golf ball while providing a blend of distance and forgiveness that remains unmistakably impressive.
In our review of the 10 Most Forgiving Drivers of 2020, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how a well-balanced driver with exciting features can help correct your slice and get you hitting the best drives of your life.
Last updated on 2020-07-07. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- Featured Recommendations
- Most Forgiving Drivers
- Most Forgiving Draw-Bias Drivers
- Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
- Questions & Answers
Most Forgiving Drivers
TaylorMade M2 Driver
Best overall: Reliable and Forgiving Driver for Mid Handicappers
For mid handicappers, the TaylorMade M2 Driver provides a blend of distance and forgiveness that remains unmistakably impressive. The driver, with a crown made from ultralight Titanium, delivers fantastic swing speeds to the golf ball.
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TaylorMade RBZ Driver
Best Premium Option: High-Quality Forgiving Driver for Mid Handicappers
Another TaylorMade driver, the RBZ Black model, makes our list as its forgiving face and dynamic speed make this club one of the best for beginning golfers.
This driver carries a 460cc Titanium club head, a lower center of gravity for higher launch, and a black satin finish for outstanding contrast with the golf ball at address. The company’s patented Speed Pocket technology also enhances launch while keeping the spin low for reliable shot flight.
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Cobra King F9 Speedback Driver
Outstanding Adjustable Features Driver for Mid Handicappers with High Forgiveness
Cobra’s line of drivers has been underrated for far too long, and their latest, the King F9 Speedback, commands the attention of all serious golfers. Not only does the King F9 create tremendous distance, but the club’s design provides unbelievable forgiveness.
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TaylorMade M6 Driver
Most Forgiving Driver for Low Handicappers
The TaylorMade M6 Driver produces staggering drives with unreal distance and unmatched control.
The company’s Twist Face Technology fuels the M6’s high level of forgiveness. The face of the driver is molded to redirect off-center hits while reducing side spin and enhancing accuracy.
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Callaway Rogue Driver
Driver for Adding Distance and Maximum Forgiveness for Low Handicappers
Callaway’s Rogue Driver makes our list as the club’s adjustable loft sleeve, and the outstanding Jailbreak Technology feature produces astonishingly precise drives. Advanced golfers will find little to complain about with the Rogue as the driver provides long distance off the tee box without sacrificing accuracy.
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Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Driver
Most Forgiving Driver for High Handicappers
Widely considered one of the best manufacturers for wedges, the club designers at Cleveland have outdone themselves with the Launcher HB Turbo Driver. This driver remains one of the hottest clubs among weekend warriors in 2020 as its new features create stunning distance and forgiveness.
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Most Forgiving Draw-Bias Drivers
If you are looking for a more permanent solution to correcting a slice, then golf manufacturers have invented the draw-bias driver to help you. These drivers already have a draw-bias on the clubface to help fix the sidespin that causes those ugly slices. Instead of spraying golf ball to the right of the fairway, you’ll find yourself reaching the fairway with more regularity.
The draw-bias drivers remain prevalent due to their outstanding construction and quality performance. If you are struggling to correct your slice and don’t have time for a teacher, a draw-bias driver might be the answer to your troubles off the tee box.
Cobra F-Max Superlite Offset Driver
Best Draw-Bias Driver: Improves Forgiveness for Beginning Golfers
The Cobra F-Max Superlite Offset Driver rewards the beginning golfer with a club that produces reliable results. Perhaps this driver isn’t ideal for advanced golfers, but the fixed hosel and large sweet spot along the face equip the beginner with everything they need to improve.
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TaylorMade SIM MAX-D Driver
Most Forgiving Draw-Bias Driver for Senior Golfers
TaylorMade’s newest driver, the SIM MAX-D, raises the game for golfers with slower swings. This monster of a driver furnishes golfers with a new weapon to attack a fairway without worrying about losing their drives to a slice.
Everything you’d expect from a TaylorMade driver is here in the SIM MAX-D. From the Twist Face Technology that powers the driver’s outstanding forgiveness to the unique sole design that redirects energy to the golf ball, all of the company’s patented enhancements continue to live in the SIM MAX-D.
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TaylorMade M6 D-Type Driver
Excellent Distance and Forgiveness in Driver for High Handicappers
The TaylorMade M6 D-Type Driver places significant power and control in the bag of a golfer struggling with a slice. The driver’s excellent features include the forgiving Twist Face Technology along the face, Speed Injected Insert that increases ball speed, and the aerodynamic club head that reduces drag for optimal swing speed.
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Pinemeadow PGX Offset Driver
Best Draw-Bias Budget Driver For Beginning Golfers
Pinemeadow’s PGX Offset Driver gives the beginning golfer a reliable budget option for correcting their slice. The club won’t win any awards for material quality or performance. But if you are looking for a dependable, low-cost draw-bias driver, you could certainly play with worse.
The driver features a 460cc head, clear offset for better sightline to the golf ball, and a large sweet spot that helps when your drive drifts toward the toe of the club.
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Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria #1: Forgiveness
Forgiveness comes from either the club’s settings or the technology embedded on the face of the driver. On off-center strikes, a forgiving driver can power the golf ball with low spin and high launch. That magical combination provides the golfer with more reached fairways over the course of their day on the links.
Sidespin is the culprit that creates those nasty hooks and slices all golfers want to avoid. While having strong fundamentals helps most golfers, some need assistance from their equipment. Manufacturers have invented ways to help, such as twisting the club face to help minimize sidespin at impact.
Criteria #2: Distance
Every amateur golfer needs more distance from their driver. Reducing the length of entry shots into the green is proven to lower scores. Finding a driver that produces outstanding forgiveness without sacrificing distance is key to creating better looks into the green.
Increasing distance comes from three areas; the golf ball, the driver, and the strength of the golfer.
For mid and high handicappers who are reaching for that next level, increasing distance motivates the golfer to work harder. Yes, the physical condition and fundamental approach of a golfer dramatically affects the length of drives, but they can help their game with the right driver.
Criteria #3: Feel
Feel encompasses everything from how the driver contacts the golf ball to how the club feels throughout the swing. A golfer must have faith and belief in their equipment, especially their driver. It doesn’t matter if they are a professional or a two times a year player, confidence in the driver when standing over the ball on the tee box is crucial to performing well.
Most golfers want a driver that feels solid in their hands. While that sensation provides confidence, the driver must perform on the course to create trust. When a golfer believes the driver provides feel and response, they can entirely rely on reaching back and taking a full swing.
Criteria #4: Adjustable Features
Adjustable features don’t necessarily make or break the driver’s quality, but they do provide customization to the golfer. Beginning golfers need stability, more than versatility, in their drivers. Advanced golfers, on the other hand, want more control, and adjustable features give them this freedom.
Most current drivers offer an adjustable loft sleeve to increase or decrease the loft. This feature helps keep the ball lower or raise it higher after impact, while adjustable weighting allows the golfer to tailor the driver’s shot shape to ideal height and direction.
Criteria #5: Balance
Balance keeps the driver’s head level through the impact zone. Poorly made equipment can produce awful balance that reduces distance, accuracy, and control of the golf ball. While most amateurs need to factor cost into their decision-making on a driver, the quality of the club is the most important choice.
The reason balance is so vital to producing good drives is that quality drivers help keep the club steady. Rather than reaching the golf ball with a raised toe or lowered hosel, the club maintains a flat plane. This balanced entry into the impact zone helps with forgiveness by providing more club face to the ball.
Questions & Answers
What are the characteristics of a forgiving driver?
When you miss-hit a ball, two bad things tend to happen: the ball doesn’t fly as far as you want it to, and the ball tends to fly offline. The farther away from the sweet spot the strike occurs, the more offline it tends to fly and the more distance is lost.
When a ball is struck towards the heel of the driver (where the shaft enters the clubhead), the twisting of the driver tends to impart side spin on the ball and send it slicing off to the right for right-handed players. A ball struck towards the toe will do the opposite, hooking violently to the left.
Striking a ball at the center of the clubface but lower or higher than the sweet spot is generally the “preferred” miss. Low on the clubface is called a “thin” strike, and usually results only in a loss of distance as the ball usually flies fairly straight. Striking the ball high on the clubface can sometimes even produce more distance than a sweet spot strike, as it reduces the amount of backspin on the ball and may result in a surprisingly long drive.
However, hit the too high on the clubface and you’ve hit the dreaded pop-up: the ball flies straight up into the air, goes nowhere, and you’re left with an unsightly “sky mark” on the top of your driver.
So what does a forgiving driver do? Some driver manufacturers focus on minimizing distance loss on mis-hits; that is, they try to ensure that hitting the ball anywhere on the clubface will result in distance as close to a sweet spot strike as possible. Others will do their best to ensure that heel and toe strikes fly as straight as possible instead of flying way offline and leaving you in the trees.
The best drivers will accomplish both of these feats. Off-center hits will simply curve back towards the target line and fly distances that are comparable to perfect smashes. Of course, no driver is so well-engineered that it will correct all bad shots. Make a really bad swing and you’ll probably have to spend some time trudging through the rough looking for your ball.
But today’s oversized drivers are remarkably adept at minimizing the punitive effects of a bad swing. The small, persimmon headed and steel shafted drivers that Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer used had zero forgiveness: any ball not hit “on the screws” was sure to cost you a few strokes. Nowadays players look up from bad swings and are often pleasantly surprised to see their drives landing in the fairway.
How do drivers achieve forgiveness?
Every year golf club manufacturers move forward with technology and materials, moving the center of gravity around and increasing the Moment of Inertia to try to stabilize the clubhead and maximize forgiveness. Today’s extreme levels of forgiveness started in the early 1990s with the introduction of oversized titanium drivers. Manufacturers now utilize titanium, carbon fiber, tungsten, polymer foams, and moveable weights to offer various weighting options.
Some drivers are made with adjustability options so you can fine tune the center of gravity to account for your most common mis-hits. Others simply offer a center of gravity that’s low and towards the rear of the club to help the ball get into the air fast with a good amount of error-correcting backspin.
This year, manufacturers are playing with face thickness and adjusting the traditional “bulge and roll” of the clubface to help offline shots. “Bulge and roll” refers to the curvature of the clubface. A flat clubface would result in toe hits going way right and heel shots flying way left. However, driver faces are curved in a convex fashion to help impart sidespin and bring the ball back towards the fairway.
Varying face thickness can help optimize the springiness of the clubface so mis-hits will still compress and shoot off the clubface with good distance. The rules of golf limit the “coefficient of restitution” of the clubface (basically, how thin and springy the face can be), but manufacturers are still finding ways to provide that maximum allowed CoR across the whole clubface instead of just in the sweet spot.
What if even my sweet spot hits slice offline?
If you find that your shots slice offline no matter how good your impact is, there are still options for forgiving drivers. I do have to recommend finding a PGA teaching professional to work on your swing to correct the slice, but in the meantime, you can look into an offset driver.
Offset drivers are engineered with a slightly closed clubface to help slicers get the clubface squared and hit the ball straighter. The clubface is also set slightly back from the shaft (hence the term “offset”), which provides a tiny extra bit of time to get the hands through the ball and the clubface squared up.
That extra time can be the difference between slicing the ball out of bounds and sending it flying down the fairway.
How do I pick the right forgiving driver for me?
When you’re looking at all the different driver options, you’ll need to make an honest self-assessment of your game. Do you tend to hit the ball fairly straight and need to maximize your distance? Then you should be looking at drivers that have optimized face thinness for better distance on mis-hits.
Is your miss consistently left or consistently right? You may want to look at an adjustable driver that will let you fine tune the weighting of the driver to correct your predominant miss. Or, if you slice it every time, you might look at an offset driver.
Do you hit the ball all over the place with no consistency? You’ll probably want to find a driver that corrects for both distance and direction. You’d also want to look for high launch and low center of gravity to create extra backspin. The spin will help straighten out your shot. It might cost you a few yards of distance but playing more consistently from the fairway will more than make up for any distance lost.