Being a beginner in the game of golf is tremendously overwhelming.
It’s not like taking up baseball, or tennis or soccer. The game in and of itself is complicated, the conditions are ever-changing and the equipment options seem endless.
Honestly, the equipment options are not as diverse as you think. We will help break some of that down for you in this review of the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers.
Our Best Drivers For Beginners & High Handicappers In 2023
- TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Driver (Best Driver for Beginners)
- Cleveland Turbo Launcher HB Driver (Runner Up 1) (Best Lightweight Driver)
- Callaway Epic Max Driver (Runner Up 2) (Best Golf Driver For Distance)
- Callaway Big Bertha B21 (Best Beginner Driver for Fixing a Slice)
- Cobra Radspeed Driver (Best Adjustable Driver for Beginners)
- Callaway X Hot Driver (Best Affordable Beginner Driver)
- Cobra Golf Speedzone Women’s Driver (Best Beginner Driver for Women)
- Cobra F Max Superlite Driver (Best Beginner Driver for Seniors)
There will be a few deciding factors for all players.
- Skill Level
- Goals for the Game
If you plan on knocking 15 strokes off your game in one summer, the driver you need will be different than the guy who took 15 strokes to get to the first green earlier today. There are specifically designed golf clubs for beginners and high handicappers.
You could spend days reading all the latest and greatest information from each of the top companies. Fill your brain with things like Jailbreak Bars and Flash Face and E9 technology, but why.
None of this will do you any good. You will just be left confused. Let us break this all down for you.
Now we know how important you think that driver is right now, and don’t get us wrong, it is important.
If you stick with this game and get the golf bug you will be spending much more time researching putters than drivers!
Why Is A Good Driver Important For Your Game?
To get off the tee box and start the hole properly you are going to need a great drive. With the proper driver in your hands, you will have confidence that you can get the distance and accuracy that you need to succeed in the game. Golf drivers give players more confidence and make it much easier to shoot lower golf scores.
Best Driver For Beginners: TaylorMade 2 Max Driver
- Speed injected twist face
- Thru slot speed pocket
- Forged ring construction
- Increased forgiveness
- Priced at the top of the market
TaylorMade is a name that beginner or not you have probably heard of. It’s one of the largest (if not the largest) golf manufacturers out there. TaylorMade makes clubs for golfers of all types.
You can turn on the PGA Tournament any Sunday and there will be several guys hitting TaylorMade golf clubs.
Don’t let this steer you away, TaylorMade makes plenty of models for beginner golfers as well. These models feature maximum forgiveness, and increased distance and will provide a result that you are no doubt looking for.
As a beginner or a high handicapper, you don’t want to get too set on brand names. There will likely be options across several brands that can work for you.
The best driver for the beginner golfer is the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max.
Although this driver comes at a premium price, it will last you a very long time and help you improve your drives for years to come. Since the SIM 2 Max is adjustable, it can be changed to set up and adjust with you as you become a better player.
The newest technology on the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max has a brand new forged ring construction. The forged ring construction helped to create a more lightweight club head to give players extra distance.
TaylorMade has been focused on high speed clubs for many years. This SIM 2 takes speed to an entirely new level.
The same speed injected twist face and speed pocket technology have also been incorporated into the new SIM 2 Max. If you are new to golf, you will need a club that is both high launching and long. The SIM 2 Max will satisfy both of these needs and make hitting off the tee much more fun.
Runner Up 1: Cleveland Turbo Launcher HB Driver
- Higher launching
- Simple non adjustable design
- High quality shaft custom built for the driver
- Hibore crown for increased forgiveness
- No adjustability means you could end up having to replace when your game progresses.
The Cleveland Turbo Launcher Driver is a brand new release with brand new technology. It is a much newer driver than the M4 that we had previously talked about.
The Cleveland Launcher Turbo HB Driver has some key increases in technology from previous models. Most importantly Cleveleand redesigned the crown of the club from the original Hibore crown.
The Hibore crown is something that Cleveland released years ago, and was known for being forgiving. What this did was make the clubhead a little bit lighter and lower the center of gravity. Lowering the center of gravity increases launch angle and ball speed.
Most companies make a clubhead and then look for shaft options that will have it perform to optimal levels. Cleveland did something a little different. They had a shaft designed specifically for this club.
So while you don’t get to choose a shaft option that you may like, you can have complete confidence that this clubhead/shaft combination is giving you maximum distance and ball speeds.
The Moment of Inertia in this club was increased by making it just a bit heavier in the grip than in the clubhead.
The bottom line with the Cleveland Turbo Launcher HB is that it is an easy to hit club making it an ideal best driver for beginners.
Runner Up 2: Callaway Epic Max Driver
- High speed driver
- Created with artificial intelligence
- Impressive results
- Works well for a variety of handicaps
- High priced driver
The Callaway Epix Max Driver is another premium choice similar to the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max. Callaway has now been using Artificial Intelligence to create their drivers for several years.
This type of technology has led to very impressive results that are helping beginners, high handicappers, and mid handicappers get even more results from the tee.
The Epic Max driver has a 17gram sliding weight that gives you plenty of adjustability in your game. For beginners, adjustability can be pretty important.
Since your game will change from one week to the next, you can use the sliding weight to adjust and change how the Epic Max Driver plays. Since the weight is 17g, the impact can be as large as a 20 yard swing.
The Triaxial Carbon material used in the head of the new Epic is much lighter than previous models. With the lightweight feel, you will be able to get much more distance, regardless of your swing speed.
Now that we covered our best drivers for high handicappers and beginners we want to break it down a bit more with some other specific options.
These options will likely apply to the high handicappers a bit more than the beginners as they may have some idea of what they need in a club.
Callaway Big Bertha B21
Best Beginner Driver For Fixing A Slice
- Built to help golfers that slice the ball
- High MOI
- Draw Bias
- Lower in price
- High ball speeds
- Feel is not as good as the newer Mavrik line of drivers
New golfer or not, the name Callaway is a strong one. Callaway has been known for making golf clubs for beginners and amateurs since the beginning. Almost every garage in America has a Big Bertha in it somewhere.
With the new Big Bertha B21, you will get some extreme advances in technology that will compare to the original Big Bertha but completely change the functionality and technology overall.
The Callaway Big Bertha B21 was designed to be long and forgiving. Callaway’s idea was to design a driver that is not actually for pros and more for the mid to high handicapper.
They wanted it to have the same feel and ball speed as the pro drivers but offer more forgiveness and potentially a higher flight than the Tour models.
Many golfers that slice the ball will choose a golf driver that has a very large draw bias and an offset clubhead. The great thing about the B21 is that the draw bias is internal. This means that inside the club head, the technology is in place to work for you to improve your golf game.
You will still get to look down at an impressive and large sweet spot, but let the driver do the work for you. If you are tired of seeing the ball fan out to the right, this is a club that could help make that disappear. The Callaway Big Bertha B21 is one of the most forgiving drivers on the market, but it will not sacrifice distance in any way.
Cobra Radspeed Driver
Best Adjustable Driver For Beginners
- Strategically placed center of gravity
- Extreme front weighting
- CNC Milled Infinity face
- Modern design and look takes a bit to get used to
One of the things that Cobra golf is known for is adding adjustability to their drivers. The adjustability helps golfers to change the loft and lie of the club to better suit their individual swing.
With the new Cobra Radspeed Driver, you are going to have no issues getting this club set to work for your needs.
The new radial weighting technology has helped to place the center of gravity in the club strategically. With the center of gravity in the exact location necessary, the ball flight, speed, and forgiveness on this club are much improved.
The Cobra Radspeed features the CNC milled infinity face that Cobra has found great success with. With the CNC face, the entire face of the driver is built to help recover a missed shot.
If you miss the center of the clubface for some reason, the CNC face helps make sure the distance and ball flight are still online.
Callaway X Hot Driver
Best Affordable Driver For Beginners
- Low in price
- Easy to hit
- Higher ball speed for lower swing speed players
- Large and forgiving head is perfect for beginners
- Doesn’t have the same distance technology as a new driver on the market
In this review for the best driver for beginners, we have already touched on a few very budget-friendly options. The TaylorMade M2 and the M4 are sold for under $300, which in today’s golf world is considered affordable.
This Callaway X Hot Driver is not very heavily marketed by Callaway but it is a great beginner and high handicapper option and comes at a good value.
The Callaway X Hot Driver is a golf club that is worth trying. It’s designed for medium to slower swing speeds and offers plenty of ball speed. If you find yourself looking for a good value option with an adjustable hosel this is a good choice.
Many beginners and high handicappers struggle with one part of their game and then two weeks later something else is a problem.
This driver is equipped with the OptiFit Technology by Callaway and it will allow you to open and close the face and adjust the loft a bit. This is a good thing when one week a slice is an issue and the next week you are hitting a draw. (This happens to all of us!)
Beginners need something with a clean look, large head and plenty of forgiveness. This Callaway X Hot Driver offers all of those.
It is not available stock in an Extra Stiff Shaft like some of the other options are, again if you think your swing speed is fast enough for an extra stiff graphite shaft the Epic Flash is going to give you best result.
Some beginners will progress very fast and be looking for new equipment within a year and others will be fine with their original purchase for years to come.
Golf is a time game, it’s going to take lots of time to get a golf ball to perform the way you want it to. If you know you will be playing once a month, choose an affordable driver and when the time comes replace it with what you like at that point.
This Driver will work well for the average beginners for many years.
Read our Callaway X Hot Driver review.
Cobra Golf Speedzone Driver
Best Beginner Driver For Women
- CNC Milled infinity face
- Low center of gravity
- Speedback shaping for more speed
- Only sold in the one loft, although it is adjustable
Women beginners need to be very careful to purchase a lightweight golf driver and easy to increase ball speed. Women golfers tend to have a hard time getting distance and ball speed from their driver.
With the Cobra Golf Speedzone women’s driver, you can get plenty of distance and forgiveness all at the same time.
The Speedzone driver was built with a 360 Carbon Wrap Crown to be one of the lightest drivers for women on the market.
In addition, there is a very low center of gravity that increases the ball flight that golfers are capable of getting with a club like this in their hands.
The new Speedback shape is streamlined and makes it so that golfers can get the club through the air quite a bit faster. Most women are finding that they get quite a bit more distance with this club than with previous Cobra models.
Cobra F Max Superlite Driver
Best Beginner Driver For Seniors
- Very lightweight driver
- Easy to launch
- Perfect grip size for senior golfers
- Not good for those with slightly faster swing speeds
Seniors taking up the game of golf is quite common. Most of the time it’s their wives signing them up a few weeks after they retire!
The good news about taking up the game as a Senior is that many of the driver options for you are already built to accommodate both a senior and a beginner.
The Cobra F Max Superlite Driver is one of the lightest clubs on the market. Not only did Cobra adjust the clubhead to make it lighter but they also adjusted the grip and the shaft.
As a senior golfer, it is difficult to have a ton of clubhead speed. This driver (even in the Regular Shaft) makes it much easier to swing the club faster, therefore resulting in more distance. Making it one of the best drivers for senior golfers.
The Cobra Superlite Driver also comes in an offset option. If you are a beginner who has been known to have issues with a slice, try the offset option which will help you square up the clubface at impact.
What to look for when Picking The Best Driver For Beginners & High Handicappers?
As we mentioned earlier choosing a gold driver for beginners can be very overwhelming.
It seems like every driver has tons of features and they all should result in great shots for you. You are not wrong, they all should, but some are better than others.
We have created a guide to help you realize what the current day drivers offer, what matters to you and which ones can lead you to hit longer straighter drives.
Club Head Size and Weight
The best driver for beginners is almost always going to have a 460 cc limit. This is the current legal limit on a driver and you are going to want all 460 cc to get that golf ball long and straight down the fairway.
The weight of the perfect driver for you is going to depend greatly on what type of beginner you are.
- Are you a former college baseball player looking for a new sport on the weekends now that your college career is over? (You don’t need something light)
- Are you a newly retired person who is looking for something to do once a month and see if it sticks? (Lightweight would make sense for you)
- Have you had some health issues and need to switch from more rigorous sports to something more leisurely like golf? (Lightweight would work as well)
As you can see the weight of the perfect beginner driver is largely dependent on your physical ability to swing a club fast. If you are highly capable of swinging the club fast you don’t need to worry if the club has a little extra weight
For High Handicap golfers, the same rules apply. If you struggle with distance you need to be able to swing faster so a lighter club will make more sense for you.
Most of the drivers that we included in this review have at the very least an adjustable hosel. As a beginner or high handicap golfer adjustability can be very important.
You are not only going to need adjustability in the beginning when you are trying to correct your misses but you need it as you improve.
Buying a driver with adjustability is like buying several drivers at the same time. You truly get the best of both worlds when you have both adjustable weights and adjustable lofts.
A good tip is to set the driver for something that you think could work for you and then let it sit there for a while. Changing the driver from one round to the next might be difficult on your mental game.
Should you choose a driver that has NO adjustability at all, make sure you hit this club first. With no way to adjust or change the club at all, it would be terrible to figure it out after the fact that this is the wrong club for you.
Forgiveness: The Most Important Aspect
There are very few golfers on this planet that don’t want forgiveness. Unfortunately, we can’t all swing like Iron Byron so don’t be afraid to shop for a driver with high levels of forgiveness.
Are there any downsides to forgiveness? This is a common question from beginners and the answer is yes and no. There are no downsides to a beginner golfer getting a driver with lots of forgiveness.
For scratch golfers and very low handicap golfers, when they use a highly forgiving driver it can sometimes lack feel. They use this feedback and the feel to intentionally hit a fade or a draw from time to time. It will take beginners a long time to be comfortable hitting shots like this, your first driver should be forgiving.
Some of the keywords to look for in a forgiving driver are a low center of gravity, draw bias and offset. If you see something about a Tour Model or open or square club head, expect that the club is built for the lower handicap player. All golfers can adjust but a difficult-to-hit clubhead makes it hard to succeed long term.
Somethings that increase forgiveness are higher loft, higher launch, lower center of gravity and large sweet spots. Look for drivers (like the ones we mentioned earlier) that are more forgiving in the high toe and low heel. These are the most common places for mishits.
The good news is that some of the best drivers for beginners only come with one shaft option in a few different flexes. There are other drivers on the market though that come with many shaft options.
For instance, the Cobra King F9 Speedback Driver comes with many graphite stock shaft options it can become confusing. Here are a few key pointers.
- If you hit the ball high, choose a heavier shaft.
- If you struggle to get the ball up in the air, choose a lighter shaft.
- If you are hitting a 7 iron less than 155 yards choose a Regular Shaft, if you are hitting a 7 iron more than 155 yards choose a Stiff shaft.
- It is ok to have a Stiff Flex in your Driver and Regular in your irons this happens to many golfers.
Keep in mind that a big key to your success early on is having a club that makes this game less of a struggle. If your friends all think your swing speed is very high, don’t let that make you think you need an Extra Stiff shaft right from the start.
The majority of Beginner golfers need a Regular Flex, Mid Kick Shaft to get them started. Most still choose stiff for some reason!
Choosing the correct loft on a new driver has gotten much easier in recent years with the introduction of the hosel that can adjust to change the loft. These features have helped so many people who otherwise would have had to go buy a new driver. Now it’s just simply a few turns of a wrench and you are ready to play again.
The best loft for beginners or high handicappers driver is going to be around 10.5.
If the club is also adjustable and you can end up going up or down one to two degrees that is an added benefit.
Remember that with the loft angle you want something that makes the golf ball fly for as long as possible. People used to believe that the lower shots had more roll and were, therefore, longer but it’s just not the case. Loft and carry are a good thing if you like a lot of long drives!
Normally cost is a very personal thing when it comes to choosing golf clubs.
How much is it worth to you?
In the case of the beginner golfer, we felt as though it was necessary to mention a few tips about cost.
Choosing something that is a few years old but still new is probably a really good idea. Notice our list has many drivers that are not the latest releases, yet they still have all the great features and plenty of ball speed.
Almost all drivers on the market today will claim they are the best for something. Most will claim they are the best for both distance and forgiveness.
Keep in mind that if you are using something from your Grandfather’s attic to get started, the $500 driver and the $200 driver will both do the trick to get you going.
Feel is a golf club fitting aspect or factor that most lower handicap golfers focus on. However, even high handicappers and beginners need to trust the feeling that their golf driver has. When the ball comes off the club face does it feel great, or does it feel hard and unworkable? Feel is an important fitting factor that you will also want to consider when purchasing a driver.
Center of Gravity (CG)
The lower the center of gravity the easier it is going to be for you to get the results that you need. With a low center of gravity, you can get a higher ball flight, more penetrating launch, and overall forgiveness.
Draw Bias / Offset
The draw bias of a golf driver will help ensure that you are getting the straight ball flight that you need. Draw bias helps players that cannot square the club face up and need help hitting the ball straighter. A draw bias golf club may look a bit closed at impact, but it should not cause the ball to go to the left.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is special about beginner golf drivers?
Beginner golf drivers have more forgiveness than standard golf drivers. If a beginner puts a driver built to their needs into play, the overall results are going to be greatly improved. Beginner golf drivers make the game more enjoyable and easier to play.
Should I buy the latest technology drivers?
Beginners and high handicappers do not need the latest release to the market, but it does make sense to get something that is less than five years old. Within the last five years, you will be able to have some great technology and results.
How often should I upgrade my drivers?
Beginners and high handicappers should look for new golf drivers approximately every five years. In this period of time, the advances in technology will be so apparent that it will make sense to find something new. The dangers of not upgrading your golf driver are rather simple and include missing out on distance or making the game a bit harder because of a lack of forgiveness.
How to check that a driver is intended for beginners?
A golf driver for beginners will have a large sweet spot, some offset, a low center of gravity, and a lightweight and flexible golf shaft. In addition, it can make sense for a beginner golf driver to have a bit of adjustability. As a player improves, the adjustability can be set to ensure the club is still a great fit.
We covered a lot of information on a lot of different clubs but even after all of that, we still believe the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max is the best driver for beginners and high handicappers.
You have to weigh the good with the bad when picking out a new golf club, and there is just no bad when it comes to this M4. It has all the speed, distance and forgiveness you could ever ask for and it will work for you for years to come.
If the M4 doesn’t feel like the best fit for you, don’t forget our Runner Ups the Cleveland Turbo Launcher, and the Callaway Mavrik Max. These drivers also have features that will send you down the center of the fairway.
Still looking for more information ? Refer to our guide on the best golf drivers of all time.