All golfers, even the great ones, have to start small. This begins with choosing the right set of clubs. If you’re serious about playing golf or improving your game, you need to pick appropriate clubs for beginners.
Since every hole starts with a drive, you need to select the right driver. This is no time to pick one that’s aimed at people who regularly score well under par. You need one that works for you, helping you gradually improve your game and increase your confidence. We’ve made this guide to show you the best beginner drivers. That way, you’ll only be comparing yourself to yourself, not to the pros competing in the Master’s.
Keep in mind that all golfers have their strengths and weaknesses, and that goes for beginners. However, most beginners should find success with these clubs. If you have some golf experience, you should factor that in as you mull over these clubs.
Key Considerations for Choosing a Driver
Some people say you don’t need a driver if you’re a beginner golfer. While there’s no rule saying that you have to use a driver when golfing, and other clubs can undoubtedly come in handy. However, drivers give you a significant advantage thanks to their power. It’s entirely within your right to want as much performance from your golf clubs as possible, and drivers certainly deliver it.
When you go bowling, the lanes aren’t oiled exactly the same as they are for professional bowling contests. However, if you get a strike, no one could argue that you don’t have skills.
The same goes for using a driver. You may want to reach the point where you can get an eagle or albatross with only irons, but a driver doesn’t negate your skills in any way.
Improvements in driver technology have led to more golfers achieving major liftoff at tee time. However, not all drivers are made alike, nor are they all made for the same golfers. If you’re not getting anywhere with a driver, you don’t need to put up with it any longer. Try out a different one and see how your game improves.
You don’t need to waste your time fruitlessly grabbing at clubs until you find the right one. We’ve made this guide to help you understand the most important parts of selecting a driver: the shaft material, its size, and the clubhead shape, along with the degree of loft.
Golf club shafts come in multiple materials. These are metals, typically graphite, titanium, and steel. Steel shafts are stronger than other ones, and they have greater resistance levels.
However, if you’re a new or relatively novice golfer, you’ll likely find steel shafts harder to handle than graphite ones.
Since graphite is lighter, you’ll have a lot easier time moving the club and getting distance on your shots.
You don’t have to feel like you’re taking baby steps, either. There are lots of professional golfers who prefer to use clubs with graphite shafts.
Club Head Shape and Size
Your club needs to be in a manageable size for you. The bigger the club is, the bigger its volume is. Cubic centimeters are used to measure golf club volume.
A clubhead’s volume is in the range of 440 to 460 cubic centimeters.
You want to get a club with a large clubhead if you’re a new golfer. There’s greater surface area, which means you significantly improve your odds of hitting the ball on your swing.
When you swing, you don’t have to worry about being precise as much as you would with a smaller clubhead.
Clubheads can come in many shapes, including square and pear-shaped. This is not incidental, as the clubhead shape can affect the club's general performance and the trajectory of the ball.
A clubhead’s face degree of angle is known as the loft. This is a significant influence on your ball’s trajectory and general distance, so you need to make sure you consider this.
The speed of your swing can be impacted immensely by your club’s loft size.
This is a broad range for the speed of your swing based on different lofts.
60 to 70 MPH - 13 to 15-degree driver
70 to 80 MPH - 12 to 14-degree driver
80 to 90 MPH - 11 to 13-degree driver
90 to 10 MPH - 10 to 12-degree driver
100 MPH or more - 9 to 11-degree driver
You need a large loft if you want to get serious distance as a beginner. Unless you’re a complete prodigy, that’s just the truth. However, as you improve your game, you can adjust to clubs without as much loft.
Some clubs let you adjust the loft in case you want to experiment with different styles.
Best Drivers for High Handicappers
1. Cobra King F9 Speedback - Best overall
Rickie Fowler has been a big proponent of Cobra, but they had lots of cloud before his endorsements. The King F9 is a great driver that can help you go from bogeys to brilliance.
You’ll need to choose the proper settings first, but you can expect to see some clear improvements in your game after you do. People who’ve used the King F9 Speedback regularly remark on how much stronger it is than other drivers they’ve used.
The club's sound hitting the ball off the tee is like music to many a golfer’s ears. Your handicap can go down quite a few digits with the King F9 Speedback.
- Great color design that helps this stand out in your golf bag
- Hosel adjustment and weight system
- Very fair price, since a more recent model is out
- Amazing sound when hitting the ball
- Doesn’t have a center of gravity adjustability
- Not a great choice if you want to shape your shots
2. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver - Best for slower swings
Cleveland customers know how good their clubs are. The likes of Shane Lowry and Jamie Sadlowski can attest to their power. If you’re trying to lower your handicap with a powerful driver, check out the Launcher HB Turbo. Your ball can go so much higher and further with this driver.
A Cleveland driver helped me get to reach a scratch handicap. Their clubs have straightforward designs, which include plenty of surface area. You can also get some great shafts on your Cleveland clubs and find one that works with your swinging abilities.
These clubs also have some resemblance to PING clubs due to their crown spines and matte design. You should get this club if you practice slow singers. A rushed and choppy swinging style means you’re not going to get a lot from this club.
- Simple to swing and observe, resembles PING clubs
- Very tasteful design due to matte finish and crown lines
- Doesn’t work very well if you don’t have a slow swing speed
3. Taylormade M4 Driver - Best overall value for your money
While Taylormade’s M range has reached M6 levels, it doesn’t mean the M4 isn’t viable any longer. If you’re trying to get out of the rough, metaphorically, the M4 Driver may feel like it’s made for you. Since Taylormade isn’t shy about dropping new clubs, you can get a great deal on this, an older club that can still give you plenty of new tricks.
If your swing is imperfect, the Taylormade M4 keeps you from embarrassing yourself. It has a twist-face design, and that comes through on the course.
This design is meant to lessen toe and heel strike action. It makes the ball fly in a straighter direction while maintaining a high speed.
The sole has a weight in its back, which you’ll be unable to move. Since your focus needs to reduce your handicap, it’s good not to worry about fidgeting around with weights. The face is in front of a Hammerhead slot, which means more significant flexibility potential for the face.
- Crown offers simple alignment
- Easy to direct your shots without having to adjust the weight
- Constructive Twistface design
- Newer Taylormade models are available
- Can’t take weight out of sole
In this section, we’re going to talk about common questions that come up when driver shopping. We can’t address every single question, but we’ll cover the most important ones. Let us know if you have any other questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them.
What is forgiveness?
You don’t need to go to confession if you’re having issues with your golf game. Forgiveness refers to drivers that allow the ball to maintain a straightforward trajectory despite not hitting the clubface center directly.
What are the easiest drivers to hit for beginners?
Every driver in this article is meant to provide forgiveness. If you want the forgiveness levels to be as high as possible, your drive’s degree of loft should be between 10.5 and 12 degrees. The additional backspin can also improve the straightness even further.
Do you want the forgiveness levels to improve even more? I like to buy drivers that are one inch below standard length. While this can mean a bit of a sacrifice on distance, there’s a lot more hitting power and overall consistency.
To get your length reduced, you’ll need to get directly in touch with the club manufacturer. For instance, if you want your Callaway Mavrik to be shortened, you’ll need to talk to the good people at Callaway yourself.
What are the most forgiving drivers for beginners?
There’s no driver that’s regarded as being the most forgiving for beginners. This is all dependent on what kind of golfer you are and what your swing is like. You can deduce what kind of driver to get based on the aspect we’ve discussed earlier.
The bigger your clubhead is, the more surface area you’ll have. A good starting clubhead size is 460 cubic centimeters. A strong loft can also improve your shots with improved backspin.
What loft driver should I buy as a beginning golfer?
A good loft for inexperienced golfers is 10.5 degrees. However, if you can’t get any further than 210 yards, and your drives aren’t going as high as they need to, try out a 12-degree driver. This can be easier to handle and make your balls go further.
Your swing speed is also important when considering your loft. If your drives go further than 260 yards, a 9 or 9.5-degree loft could prove beneficial. Keep in mind that reduced loft can also mean reduced backspin, meaning you’re at risk for more hooking and slicing.
Is a higher loft driver easier to hit?
Yes, having a higher loft means a driver can give your shots more backspin and straighter trajectory.
Do I need a beginning driver with adjustable loft?
There’s no need for your driver to have an adjustable loft if you’re not interested in it. A 10.5-degree loft is great for newcomers, and you may only need to adjust it if your swing speed is particularly fast or slow.
If you have an adjustable loft on your driver, you can try out more swinging methods, which is really nice if you’re trying to track your progress.
How do I measure the speed of my swing?
You can assess your swing speed by the yardages you reach. Go to a testing center to see what your swing speed is exactly.
You can also get an affordable launch monitor. This measures your clubhead speed as well as the speed of the ball.
What degree drivers hit the farthest?
A driver that can hit a ball in the vicinity of 11 degrees and 2,500 RPM spin has the best distance. This can require different ranges for different golfers.
What is center of gravity (CoG) in a driver?
A driver’s center of gravity is an area with even mass distribution. If you find the center of gravity, you can balance the clubhead on an object.
Great drivers for beginners have low centers of gravity, removed from the club’s face. This is so the risk of off-center hits is as lowered significantly. It can also make hitting the ball a whole lot easier.
If your driver has adjustable weights or lofts, you can change the center of gravity yourself. This can also impact your club’s rotation and the trajectory of your club.
What is Moment of Inertia (MoI)?
Moment of Inertia, or MoI, is what happens when force is placed on a change-resistant object. With drivers, the center of gravity is kept in the back for an improved MoI at the point of contact between the club and the ball.
A driver with high MoI tends to have a more solid feel and doesn’t twist as much. Conversely, ones with low MoI have more twisting. This means your drives might not be as accurate and not achieve as much distance. Be sure you get a driver with a high MoI.
Should I buy an adjustable driver?
One of the best drivers available is the TaylorMade SIM Max Driver. Two great things about it are its forgiveness and its adjustment levels.
You don’t have to get an adjustable driver, but you might outgrow your non-adjustable driver pretty quickly. Buying an adjustable driver helps you level up as a golfer without having to buy a brand-new driver.
These drivers tend to cost a bit more than non-adjustable ones, but you can save more money in the long run by being able to stick with one club for longer.
How long will a driver last me?
Golf rules dictate certain guidelines regarding driver size. The ones being made now are skirting the line a bit, but they’re all admissible and are greatly increasing the possibilities for beginning drivers.
However, it’s not like they’re coming out at a completely ridiculous rate and going out of date within months. A driver that’s five-years-old could be as good as one that’s five months old.
Get a new driver when you need to further your game. If your swing speed has become too fast for your club, it’s time to say goodbye.
It can take years to need to move on from your driver. Don’t just go through clubs willy-nilly as you try in vain to find a magic solution to make you a better golfer.
Get a driver that works for the golfer you are now, not the one you want to be. It’s going to take time to become really good, let alone good. Buying a driver that’s too advanced can make you look like the skinny guy at the gym who tries to impress people by attempting to bench 200 pounds without any self-awareness.
You know who’s impressed by that? Absolutely no one is.
A golfer’s drive sets the tone for their performance on the rest of the hole and for the rest of the course. You need a driver that aligns with your needs, and as a beginner, you’ll have quite a few needs.
None of the drivers we’ve highlighted have some kind of magic “hole-in-one formula,” because that’s an impossible ideal to live up to. However, they are all great in different ways. The most important thing is choosing a club that works with your skill levels and only tracking your progress, not anyone else’s.