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 driver for beginners.
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.
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!
Our Top Drivers for Beginners & High Handicappers
Best Overall Driver Winner: TaylorMade M4
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.
Our best driver for high handicapper and beginners is the TaylorMade M4 Driver.
Although this Driver is not a brand new release it has some amazing features and benefits that made it one of the best golf drivers 2018. The sales on this club did not slow in 2019, in fact, they may have potentially increased.
This Driver was designed with a new face curvature to help with off-center hits. As a beginner golfer or a high handicapper, there are going to be times that you will not hit the ball on the center of the clubface.
When this happens you will not only hit drives at the wrong angle and direction but they will likely not go as far. Choosing a club with a corrective face angle is very important.
The M4 driver utilized the HammerHead 2.0 combined with Geocoustic tuning to create a sweet spot that is 67 percent larger than it was on previous models. The result is that you get more consistent ball speed across the face of the driver, even when you miss it a little.
As far as golf drivers for beginners are concerned some adjustability can be a good thing. It’s hard to tell if you are going to want a 9.5 or a 10.5 etc. Most beginners and high handicappers are going to want a higher loft but it can vary from player to player.
The M4 comes equipped with what TaylorMade calls a loft sleeve (installed in the hosel). This allows you to choose your loft within a few degrees. It’s really like getting a few drivers for the price of one.
Although the M4 does not come with a variety of shaft options, the stock shaft that is used in this club is perfect for beginners. It is available in Stiff, Regular or Senior Flex, it has mid-launch and mid torque.
Since the M4 is not TaylorMades latest release (the M6 is), the pricing has come down considerably.
Runner Up 1: Cleveland Turbo Launcher HB
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 driver for beginners.
Runner Up 2: TaylorMade M2
While we hate to go back to TaylorMade after telling you to keep an open mind about manufacturers, this is a Driver that is worth mentioning.
The M2 was released before the M4 but it is still being sold. Anytime a company releases new models but still keeps the old models in stock you know you are getting a quality product.
TaylorMade put out two M2 Drivers. The first was released in 2016 and the second in 2017. The model we are talking about is the 2017 release. There were quite a few improvements on this driver that makes it one of the best options for beginner golfers.
The center of Gravity was repositioned to an area low and in the back, resulting in a higher launch angle and maximum distance.
The carbon crown and titanium body freed up quite a bit of weight on this club, allowing the addition of that back weight to change the center of gravity.
This club comes with that TaylorMade loft sleeve in the hosel so the loft is completely adjustable. We still recommend going with something around 10.5 degrees as a starting point and then adjusting the loft angle from that point.
Other features that this club has are the Speed Pocket being improved from the previous models. It is larger and therefore the result was a more forgiving clubhead.
The key thing to remember about this M2 Driver is that is is easy to hit, it’s forgiving on off-center hits, the ball speeds are strong and considering the model is a few years old you can get this club for a great price.
Read our TaylorMade M2 Driver review.
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.
Best for fixing a slice: Callaway Rogue Draw
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.
Callaway has come a long way since the original Big Bertha releases. They are currently leading the race as far as ball speed is concerned and this Callaway Rogue Draw is no exception.
The Rogue Driver 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.
This club was designed with Jailbreak Technology, this is what Callaway did to increase the MOI in all of their Driver releases this year.
There are essentially “Jail bars” installed inside the club head to increase the load on the club at impact.
The Rogue Draw is specifically designed to correct a slice. Slicing the ball is very common in both high handicappers and beginner golfers.
It takes some time and some skill to learn to release the ball and hit it straight. In the meantime this driver has you covered. The club is built to help the face square up at impact.
The Callaway Rogue Draw offers several graphite shaft options from Extra Stiff, Stiff, Regular and down to a Light flex shaft as well. Make sure to choose something that is a good fit for your swing speed.
When this Driver was first released it was close to $500, luckily it has come down quite a bit since then and it is a good value considering the features that it has.
Interesting fact here, Callaway paired up with Boeing to help design this driver. Pretty genius way of making sure you have top of the line speed technology in your drivers.
Best adjustable driver: Callaway Epic Flash
Callaway won the contest for the best Driver for fixing a slice but they are also going to come out on top again for the best adjustable driver.
This Driver is not just for beginners and high handicappers it is one of the best and most forgiving driver on the market currently. This all comes at a price.
The Epic Flash has so many features, Callaway left no stone unturned when developing this club. This Titanium Driver comes with a new and improved, lighter triaxial carbon crown. The changes from previous models allowed weight to be redistributed to other areas.
One of the best things about the Callaway Epic Flash is that it’s not going to just be the driver you use as a beginner, it will be the Driver you use for quite some time. It’s not a “starters” driver by any means and it gives you all the technology and tools out there to succeed.
The Callaway Epic Flash Driver features a sliding weight on the clubhead that allows you to adjust the center of gravity for maximum results. The Driver is also equipped with loft and lie angle adjustments.
As a beginner, it’s best to set these to neutral and then every few weeks review and see if you need to adjust it at all. If you are a high handicapper looking to get rid of your trouble shots make sure to read the fitting guide and set the Driver for exactly what you need.
The Epic Flash comes with a 16-gram sliding weight, this is one of the heaviest on the market and it is done so that you will see the most change.
As an example, if you have a 30 plus yard slice and you change your driver by 1 gram, it’s not going to touch that slice. The Epic Flash gives you this advantage.
There are several graphite shaft options with the Epic Flash in varying weights and flexes. Again, as a beginner with a Driver like this, choose something mid launch, mid flex, mid torque.
As a high handicapper if you are trying to get the ball down a little choose something with a bit heavier shaft.
The price on this one is still holding pretty high.
Read our Callaway Epic Flash Driver review.
Best affordable driver: Callaway X Hot Driver
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.
Best Driver for women: Women’s RBZ Driver
Although it is very common for a woman to buy a pre-packaged complete set to start this game, sometimes you may be more comfortable putting a set together a few clubs at a time. This Women’s RBZ Driver is a great choice for a beginner or high handicapper.
The TaylorMade Women’s RBZ Driver is a premium option that TaylorMade put out featuring both the Speed Pocket Technology and the adjustable loft sleeve.
This Driver is available in a High Launch version which makes it very forgiving and helps reduce poor shots. However, since it is adjustable, as you improve you can pick a lower loft and potentially see a bit more distance off the tee.
The color of the RBZ driver is very eye-pleasing, it’s got the black crown and reduces glare quite a bit when playing on a sunny day.
The Driver is forgiving and produces great ball speed as well. I like this option for a woman who is already a bit of an athlete and doesn’t want a true beginner set.
Sometimes the beginner’s sets come with a Driver that is sort of weak and will need to be replaced within the first year of learning the game. This Driver has technology that can bring you to a completely different level.
For the High Handicappers looking for a lot more distance and forgiveness without having to break the bank, this is a great option to consider.
Best for Seniors: Cobra F Max Superlite
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.
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 a High Handicap/Beginner Golf Driver?
As we mentioned earlier choosing a Driver option 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.
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.
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.
We covered a lot of information on a lot of different clubs but even after all of that, we still believe the TaylorMade M4 is the best driver for both 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 TaylorMade M2. These drivers also have features that will send you down the center of the fairway.