The driver is one of the most important clubs in the golfer’s bag. There is no game of golf possible without it. But ironically enough, the first shot in golf (driving off the tee) is one of the most difficult to master.
If you are a beginner yourself, then you have likely had problems with achieving desired distance or keeping the ball flight straight.
No doubt that your skills need improving but choosing the best driver for beginners is equally as important.
In This Article
In this article, we are going to focus on the main considerations you might have as a beginner to improve your drive and have your ball flying straight off the tee.
We will start with a buyer’s guide where we look at the best drivers on the market for beginners. Then, we will consider the main factors in making your decision about the best golf set for you, including some other pieces of equipment which can help you take your game to the next level.
Our aim of this buyer’s guide is to help you fight gravity and send your drives further and straighter than ever before!
Looking for the best driver for beginners? Check our Rankings from 2020 and the past 5 years!
Best Drivers for Beginners in 2020
1. TaylorMade SIM MAX Driver
Lofts: 8° 9° 10.5° (All Adjustable)
TaylorMade have been the self-professed ‘king’ of drivers for a number of years, and they certainly boast the most star power in terms of professionals with a TaylorMade contract.
They have had a recent downturn in regards to the quality of the M5 and M6 for higher handicappers however, so their new releases are being scrutinised heavily. The SIM MAX has delivered in every way.
SIM, meaning ‘Shape in Motion’, is a return to form for the classic TaylorMade formula of easy-to-hit distance clubs that suit the higher handicapper so well. The SIM MAX club is also a throwback in terms of looks, and is sure to win over nostalgic hearts with its Burner style head.
The Final Word: The SIM MAX is very expensive, but if you can get performance then that’s all that matters. The SIM MAX is a very good club and can really help your game.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price:2/5 – Looks:4/5 – Performance:4/5 – Overall:10/15
2. Cobra SpeedZone Xtreme Driver
Lofts: 9° 10.5° 12° (All Adjustable)
Cobra struck gold with the F9 last year. After continuously producing good quality drivers, some even being great, the brand created a bold looking, incredibly well performing club that took the golf equipment world by storm and firmly established Cobra as one of the best, if not the best, driver brands in the world.
So what would they do this year? The Cobra SpeedZone, the hotly anticipated follow up to one of the best drivers in recent memory, has not disappointed. Offering players a very similar club to the brilliant F9 is a good idea for the company and not too bad for customers themselves.
The SpeedZone offers beginners great performance and forgiveness, and shows the new golfer what it means to ‘crush’ a drive. The face is so hot and it feels great to hit one well with this club.
The Final Word: While the SpeedZone may not outperform the F9, it still performs brilliantly and looks unbelievable. And it’s much cheaper than the TaylorMade and Titleist options too.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price:3/5 – Looks:5/5 – Performance:4/5 – Overall:12/15
3. Tour Edge Golf – Exotics EXS 220 Driver
Lofts: 9° 10.5° 12° (All Adjustable)
Tour Edge has been making big moves in the equipment market in recent years, and 2020 is no different. The Exotics EXS 220 range offers golfers of all abilities, but especially those with a higher handicap or beginners, a slightly cheaper option of high-quality products.
The EXS220 Driver is a very exciting club that offers long distance and increased forgiveness. The key behind these elements are the diamond patterns behind the clubface and the sound noise bar on the base of the clubhead.
This means that golfers will be able to hit shots that not only look good, but sound good too. What more could a beginner want from a driver?
The Final Word: The EXS 220 offers good value for money and an excellent looking club that performs very well. Tour Edge is worth trying for any golfer looking to get a great start within the game.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price:4/5 – Looks:4/5 – Performance:4/5 – Overall:12/15
4. Titleist TS1 Driver
Lofts: 12.5° (Adjustable)
Titleist have always been a favourite brand for better players, and have a certain type of brand loyalty that few other equipment manufacturers possess. Top players have always used the AP irons for instance, and many players love the 917 drivers, although they rarely appealed to the higher handicapper.
With the TS1 however, that’s all changed. The TS1 is one of the first clubs Titleist have ever offered tailored exclusively to higher handicappers who may have lower swing speeds and a struggle to make great contact with the driver.
The TS1 is Titleist’s lightest ever driver, featuring a bold design and 40g shafts. The TS1 is a superb club in every way, with immense distance and great forgiveness. As a product however, the price is a bit steep. If you love the Titleist brand however, you will love this club as a higher-handicapper.
The Final Word: The TS1 is a bit pricey but has everything you could ever want from a club, with the special customisation to help beginners hit the ball better.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price:2/5 – Looks:4/5 – Performance:5/5 – Overall:11/15
5. Callaway Mavrik Max Driver
Lofts: 10.5° (Adjustable)
Callaway have been moving more and more ‘out there’ in terms of design in recent years, moving from the sleek Rogue to the slightly more garish Epic to the now incredibly garish Mavrik. The design of this club looks a little amateurish, at least to this writer, but will certainly be to some people’s liking.
The club’s performance however, is not really in question. Callaway have drawn on the Epic Flash from last year to produce a super-fast club that is very long indeed.
Utlising artificial intelligence to perfectly and precisely manufacture clubs to suit individuals, Callway have created the Mavrik Max. Alongside the standard and Sub-Zero Mavrik designs, with an aerodynamic head, a contoured face and an awful lot of power.
The Final Word: The Mavrik Max driver is a very powerful club, and may be magical as its name denotes (surely others will see this as a wizarding name too). The price is steep, but the performance speaks for itself. If you like the name and looks, then this club may well be for you.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 2/5 – Looks:3/5 – Performance:5/5 – Overall:10/15
Best Drivers for Beginners from the last 5 Years
1. TaylorMade 2017 M2 Men’s Driver 460cc
The M2 is an absolutely classic club that is perfect for beginners and high handicappers that want more forgiveness and massive distance. It was game-changing when it came out in 2017 and remains so to this day, as the design and sheer power that the club had were a force to be reckoned with.
The club has a deeper, more active speed pocket than its predecessors that is more active to increase flexion & forgiveness across the clubface and generate high launch and low spin shots. This will help beginner golfers achieve massive distance, which is something everybody want/
Overall, this is an excellent driver for beginner golfers. It is a very forgiving club and it allows golfers to generate a great launch speed and launch angle.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 3/5 – Looks:5/5 – Performance:5/5 – Overall:13/15
2. TaylorMade Men’s R15 460 Black Driver
BEST FOR: BEGINNERS WHO TEND TO SLICE
Yet another classic driver from TaylorMade. The brand, who have always liked to go for distance over accuracy, hit the jackpot with the R15. Following on from the R1 and R9, classic clubs that experienced huge hype thanks to their unique look and distance ability, the R15 delivered in a big way.
Designed with the Front Track system, this driver performs like a Speed Pocket and has new sliding split weights that offer superb adjustability.
The centre of gravity is lower and more forward in this club which will help beginners promote higher launch & lower spin. This will reduce the amount of spin should you be slicing the ball all over the place, with the adjustability options there to help you achieve lower dispersion.
This driver also has a Fujikura Speeder 57 Evolution shaft, and a Lamkin UTx grip.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 3/5 – Looks:4/5 – Performance:4/5 – Overall:11/15
3. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Black Driver
Beginner golfers will get incredible performance with the TaylorMade RBZ Black driver. Known as one of TaylorMade’s classic drivers, players can get optimized launch and trajectory, maximum distance and smooth feel with this club.
Launch and trajectory are huge for beginner golfers and the RBZ offers that in abundance. This club gets some serious hangtime, no matter how you hit it.
The Speed pocket performance technology in this club for high launch & low spin will help beginners get more distance too.
Overall, the design of this club is excellent for beginners. This will fit right into your golf club set to give you the full arsenal to improve your skills.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 3/5 – Looks:3/5 – Performance:5/5 – Overall:11/15
4. Cobra Men’s KING F6 Driver
Cobra have long created excellent clubs, and the Cobra F6 is a great example of quality golf club manufacturing.
This driver is designed as the most forgiving adjustable driver around, and when it was released it most certainly was.
Eight easily adjustable loft settings to manage trajectory and fine tune launch conditions have helped beginners maximize distance on any course and for any swing.
The KING F6 also offers 2 distinct CG settings that impact spin:
- The front setting that helps beginner golfers in getting a lower ball flight with more roll.
- The back setting that helps beginners in achieving a higher ball flight with more carry.
Overall, another great beginner club if you are looking for something that is adjustable with dialing technology.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 4/5 – Looks:4/5 – Performance:4/5 – Overall:12/15
5. Cobra Men’s F9 Speedback
We mentioned the F9 briefly earlier on in this article when discussing the Cobra SpeedZone, and this might be the best driver on the entire list.
When it came out in 2019, golfers couldn’t believe the quality that Cobra had produced with a driver, taking the standard form the previously excellent ‘F’ range and expanding it to the max.
This driver looks incredible, although some prefer it in white or black than yellow, and it performs so well. It has the best performance consistently of any driver arguably in the past 10 years.
This driver will help beginners reach new heights with their golf and will ensure that new players keep coming back for more.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 4/5 – Looks:5/5 – Performance:5/5 – Overall:14/15
6. TaylorMade Men’s M1 460cc Driver
BEST FOR: INCREDIBLE DISTANCE
Designed for incredible distance and feel with customization options that allow beginner golfers to set up their drivers with the same precision that Tour players would seek in a driver.
In this case, that adjustability is a good thing, as the lightweight crown allows additional weight to be utilized on the bottom of the club to help beginners achieve preferred trajectory and ball flight. That is what makes this driver stand out from the crowd.
Overall, this is a great driver if you are looking for several options which allow for great distance. If you are a beginner who wants to see the ball flying off the tee, then this driver would make a great choice.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 3/5 – Looks:4/5 – Performance:4/5 – Overall:11/15
7. Callaway Men’s X2 Hot Driver
BEST FOR: MORE BALL SPEED
Callaway Men’s X2 Hot is a brilliant driver for beginners that want better performance on shots hit on the centre of the face and on off-center shots as well.
With the Hyper Speed Face feature, as the name suggests, it will add to the speed of the ball and the overall distance of your hits. The advanced adjustable hosel technology will allow fine adjustments of the loft angle, making it ultra-versatile for every swing angle and power.
Extra light graphite shaft lets you retain control even with the variation of the highest loft. A variation with incredible 13.5 degrees of loft to send those balls flying in a perfectly straight trajectory.
This model has internal club weights that can help with starter mistakes such as hooks or slices. This means your swings will be improved with the X2 Hot Driver.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 4/5 – Looks:3/5 – Performance:4/5 – Overall:11/15
8. Callaway Men’s Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver
BEST FOR: POWER & BALANCE
A modern play on one of the most famous clubs in history, and it certainly does it justice. With the Big Bertha Alpha, your swing will be improved significantly, making it a perfect driver for a beginner. The Big Bertha driver is a popular choice among many golfers, and for good reason.
The quality and range of possibilities that it brings, alongside the power and balance, is remarkable.
The R*MOTO technology in this club features sequences of inner struts that connect the face to the crown and sole, which provides better stiffness in the clubhead face while achieving a thinner structure.
The Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver is the latest from this popular series of clubs from Callaway. This model continues the famous line of products and goes one step beyond.
The Big Bertha is one of the most popular drivers on the market. Although it is popular among more experienced golfers, its wealth of features will also make it more than acceptable for beginners.
Longest Shot Golf Rating Price 3/5 – Looks:4/5 – Performance:5/5 – Overall:12/15
If you are a senior and want to find more about senior golf clubs, please check best golf clubs for seniors, and best drivers for seniors.
What to keep in mind when purchasing a driver?
In recent years we have all been witnesses to an unprecedented influence that technology is having on golf. Every day manufacturers are inventing new ways to improve the game for both professionals and beginners. The technology has changed clubs drastically in everything from driver to putter, so much so that there is potentially talk of reducing distance ability for professionals.
Amateurs need not worry about that for the moment however, and there are indeed certain factors that remain the same. These are the things you need to keep in mind when buying a driver. We have narrowed it down to three essentials: Shaft material, size and shape of the club head, and loft.
By being familiar with each of these elements of a driver, you will understand how each effects a driver’s performance. Then, you can take these factors and compare them to your own needs when it comes to a driver. The key is picking the driver that best matches your skill set and tackles the areas that you are most set on improving.
As you might imagine, the shaft is a very important component in a driver. It can determine many things about your swing – including swing speed, power, moment of inertia, level of control, and more. Let’s take a look at some different types of shafts to see which are most appropriate for beginner golfers.
Steel can be considered a basic material when it comes to shafts. Generally speaking, they are more resistant and tougher than other materials and are often less expensive.
Steel shafts are predominantly used for control and accuracy rather than distance so they should not be the first option for drivers especially when it comes to beginners.
If you would like to hit the ball the same distance as, per se, with a graphite shaft, you would need to generate a much higher swing speed, which is not advisable or achievable for most amateurs. There is also less forgiveness in a steel shaft and the shaft lends itself to people who swing faster.
Therefore, depending on what you are looking for, this is probably not the best option for beginners.
Graphite is simply put the best option for novices in golf since its light weight and allows you to bring more power to your swing, therefore increasing the distance.
Graphite has also proven to be very popular with lady golfers and seniors, weighing between 50-85 grams only.
Professionals are also using graphite shafts because the material itself allows a variety of flexes and their ability can make up for lack of control.
On the downside, graphite shafts require a lot more looking after than steel and tend to be more expensive. So if you are willing to make the investment, this might be the best choice for improving your golf game.
The latest word of technology when it comes to shaft material, nanofuse shafts are actually a combination of the previous two materials.
By fusing metal and carbon fibres, you can get the best of both worlds.
It is said that this material has durability and precision of steel but lightness of a graphite shaft.
However, nanofuse shafts are yet to be globally tested, especially with the professional community.
Their price is expected to be the highest, but we are yet to see if it will prove itself on the golf course.
Size and shape of the club head
Club head size (measured in cubic centimeters – cc) is a major factor, namely for new and average players. USGA legal limit is 460cc, so most of the drivers that you can find in stores have the volume between 440 and 460cc.
The larger the size of the club head, the easier it gets to achieve a decent, straight hit.
The greater area of impact increases the power of your shot thus increasing the distance.
Moreover, large club heads are more “forgiving” of the angle and don’t involve as much twisting.
Smaller heads are mainly reserved for players that have a solid, secure swing, so that they don’t have to worry about power.
It is, in fact, the smaller heads that allow them to have more control and extended air time of the ball.
The USGA has a set of rules and regulations for the shape of a driver’s head, but certain aspects have made room for variations.
There are four distinct types of driver’s heads: round head, pear head, extended back head and the square head.
To keep things simple, the main difference is the bulge on the surface that is not hitting the ball so you will find a difference in control rather than power.
However, the bulge that is actually hitting the ball is crucial and manufacturers have made slight differences in their club heads.
Too much bulge and you will get more spin, and the ball might sway off the target, the same way too little of a bulge will decrease power as the ball won’t be getting enough momentum.
The loft is perhaps the most important thing for drivers. It is the angle of the club head face at address in relation to the flat ground and has a significant impact on the trajectory and distance of the golf ball.
Of all the clubs, drivers have the lowest loft other than putters by design, while the wedges have the highest loft. As you can imagine, higher angles of loft generate a higher trajectory for the ball over a shorter distance.
For a driver, the angles of loft vary anywhere between 7 and 12 degrees, so as you can imagine, there is a lot that can change with your tee shots depending on the loft you have on your driver.
Having a one-digit loft on a driver is often coveted by casual players, but requires a significant amount of swing speed to cover any kind of distances. If you don’t possess that swing speed, the lower loft can also leave you struggling to get the ball airborne and with lower spin rates can hurt you from finding the fairway.
Professionals generate 115 mph in their swing, while the average male player can only generate 85 mph. If you are a beginner in golf, your swing speed will be even less, so it’s important to use a driver with more loft. This will help to increase your power, and most crucially, accuracy.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that novice players have a tendency of using their 3-wood off the tee to acquire enough distance in their shots.
The reason why professional golfers don’t use higher lofted drivers is actually because of their swing. With having such power in their swing, they would get too much backspin and less distance with 12 degrees of loft on their driver. This is hence why casual players crave the ability to hit the lower lofted driver.
Your best bet as a beginner however would be to assume that your swing speed is somewhere around 75 mph. Therefore, getting as much loft as you can on your driver would be highly recommendable.
Golf swing training aids for improving a beginner’s swing to get better results
Swinging a golf club properly is essential to improving your score. Having the proper tools and the right mentality when approaching your shot will make your experience with the game more successful and enjoyable.
With that said, we’ve listed below the very best swing training aids for improving your score.
SKLZ Gold Flex – Golf Training Aid for Strength and Tempo Training
The SKLZ Gold Flex Trainer is a great tool to perfect your swing so you can get the score you want. This trainer is excellent for players who want to improve swing tempo, strength, and flexibility.
Use it when warming up before a game and get a low-impact stretch for easier mobility.
This tool is very easy to use. Simply ‘swing’ the gold flex back and forth continually without stopping at the impact position.
The extra flex in the shaft helps lengthen your swing, giving you more power and better control.
Accessories to help beginner golfers get better result
While you’re using the best driver for beginners / high handicappers to get the best result, it’s a great idea to use extra accessories to get even better scores.
PUMA Men’s Ignite Pwradapt Leather Golf Shoe
Designed to oﬀer sophisticated style & help beginner golfers feel crazy comfort. This is achieved through a premium leather upper combined with a mesh hybrid bootie lining for excellent ﬁt.
Ultra-premium, full-grain leather upper provides soft feel too. Essentially, these shoes help golfers feel confident on the fairways and greens.
The ultra-thin TPU frame encases the EVA midsole for lightweight strength and durability, increased flexibility and superior traction.
This shoe can easily be expected to be completely waterproof for at least 2 years.
TaylorMade Golf 2017 TM Stand Golf Bag 5.0
The TaylorMade 5.0 stand bag is designed to provide ample storage for all your golfing needs. It helps beginner golfers feel comfortable when carrying around their clubs, which is extremely important.
The automatic, anti-slit stand system with non-slip foot pads provide convenience and security. This golf bag is extremely light, and has a comfort shoulder strap system.
We hope you have enjoyed our buyer’s guide for the best golf drivers for beginners. As you can see, there are many factors which determine what will make a great driver for beginners. Take the time to evaluate what it is you want out of a golf club, particularly the driver, and then try to match this with our choices above.
We are confident you will make a choice that will have you driving the ball better than ever before.