Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers

Everyone likes to say that short game shots are the most important for beginners and high handicappers.

We can completely agree with this. However, nobody wants to dribble a ball off the tee box, pop a drive up, or leave one out of bounds to the right.

The best drivers for beginners and high handicappers offer a mix of technology that makes getting off the tee box much easier.

When testing the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers, we looked for things like maximum forgiveness, long distance, and even some draw bias. 

The Best Drivers For Beginners and High Handicappers 

Our testing process left us with 7 of the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers. Each of these clubs has a unique set of benefits, but they are all good for beginners and high handicappers. 

Cleveland Launcher XL 

The Cleveland Launcher XL is for golfers who need forgiveness. However, we called it the best value golf driver for beginners and high handicappers because it comes at a fair price compared to the competition. 

For that fair price, you’ll get a straighter tee shot and good (not the longest) distance. Keep in mind a straight 220-yard drive is better than a 225-yard slice. 

Pros

  • High MOI design 
  • Plenty of stability at impact 
  • Straight shots, even when the face isn’t struck perfectly 
  • Not as expensive as other driver 

Cons 

  • Won’t be the longest driver you hit in 2024 
  • The club head is not as sleek as some other choices 
  • Sound is a little more hollow 

Technology 

If you have been around the game of golf a while, you likely remember the Cleveland HiBore technology. The concept was to move the center of gravity and optimize the face. The results gave you a higher launch and more distance. 

However, it looked a little funny. 

The new Cleveland Launcher XL is a little more traditional looking, but it does feature Rebound Frame Technology. This technology optimizes the face to increase ball speed and make the club more forgiving. 

In addition, Draw Tuned weighting helps if you struggle with the slice. A really unique part of the Cleveland Launcher XL is this Action Mass CB (or Counter Balance) technology in the shaft. 

Essentially, you can increase clubhead speed and keep the head more stable at the same time. 

Value (Is it worth it?) 

The Cleveland Launcher XL Is probably one of the best values you can find for the high handicap or beginner golfer.

If you want a reliable club you can trust that will help with confidence off the tee, this is it. 

TaylorMade Qi10 Max

TaylorMade Qi10 MAX

One of the newest releases to the market is the TaylorMade Qi10 Max. This driver is as advanced as you are going to get from a technology standpoint.

The concept here was to achieve a high moment of inertia which leads to incredible forgiveness and stability in the head of the club. So far it seemed to have worked! 

Pros

  • A very forgiving driver, making it easier to hit straight golf shots 
  • Top of the line technology just released 
  • High launch and easily repeatable swing 
  • Elongated clubhead shape gives golfers more confidence

Cons

  • It’s expensive because of the new technology 
  • Forgiveness and stability are impressive, but distance is not better than other drivers 

Technology 

TaylorMade changed up some of its technology with the Qi10 Max, but it also brought back some of the best features it has had in the last few years. The 60x Carbon Twist Face has 60 layers of carbon sheets to help maximize energy transfer. 

As a beginner or high handicapper, it makes sense to maximize any distance you can get, and the Qi10 Max ensures that happens for you. 

The Thru Slot Speed Pocket increases ball speed and adds even more forgiveness. TaylorMade thought of every possible aspect when creating this club to be incredibly forgiving for the amateur player. 

Value 

The TaylorMade Qi10 Max is expensive. If money is not a concern for you and you don’t mind purchasing at top dollar, then it won’t be a problem.

However, if a nearly $600 driver means you have to skip a few rounds of golf, there are others on this list that will work quite well as an alternative. 

Read our full Review of TaylorMade Qi10 Max

Mizuno ST Max-230 

If you thought that Mizuno was only known for its blade irons, think again. Mizuno has come a long way when it comes to forgiving clubs for amateur players and the ST Max 230 driver is certainly no exception. 

Pros

  • High MOI with more weight in the back of the club head will increase the launch 
  • Stable at impact
  • Spin reducing face 
  • Loft adjustability 

Cons

  • Clubface doesn’t feel quite as hot as the TaylorMade or Ping. 

Technology 

The Mizuno ST-Max 230 driver is the most forgiving and stable driver of the Mizuno lineup. This is exactly why we chose it as one of the best for the higher handicappers and beginners. 

The key piece of technology found in the Mizuo driver is the CORTECH Chamber technology. There is essentially a stainless steel weight near the face of the club that reduces spin and increases ball speed at the same time. 

The result is a drive that won’t slice as much but also goes considerably further. The stock shafts in the Mizuno ST-Max 230 include the Mitsubishi Kai’li or UST Lin Q. There are options for both high and low swing speed players. 

Value 

The Mizuno ST-Max 230 flies under the radar. This isn’t a club that you hear about nearly as much as you do with TaylorMade or Callaway.

Do yourself a favor and try this one out. It may stand out as a great option for your game; it’s certainly worth the price. 

Cobra AeroJet LS

The Cobra AeroJet LS is our favorite adjustable driver for beginners and high handicappers.

Adjustability is actually a great benefit when your handicap is high because as it lowers, you can adjust the clubs you are playing with. Cobra offers great forgiveness and plenty of distance in the Aerojet LS. 

Pros

  • Adjustable club head that can work for years to come 
  • Higher launching with low spin 
  • Solid feel coming off the clubface 

Cons

  • Test this one on a launch monitor to make sure the low spin is not detrimental to your game 
  • It is not the best choice for the slowest swing speed beginner and high handicappers because of the lower spin 
  • For golfers with a severe slice, try the Cobra AeroJet Max 

Technology 

The Cobra AeroJet LS has an adjustable hosel, so you can play around with the loft. In addition, the adjustable weights help you customize your flight and trajectory. 

I won’t tell you that a change of weight or loft in a driver can fix all of your problems, but it certainly has a big impact. This is especially the case for players who struggle with slices. 

The Cobra AeroJet LS is the low spin version. With lower spin, you will get extra roll on your drives and keep the ball from slicing or hooking quite as much. In addition, the club is designed to launch higher. A combination of higher launch and low spin truly improves the experience off the tee for the higher handicap player. 

Value 

Pricing has dropped a little on these Cobra AeroJet LS drivers. In addition, Cobra usually starts their driver pricing a little lower than other brands.

You really get what you pay for here, and it’s a smart addition to the golf bag. 

Callaway Paradym

Callaway Paradym X - Forged Carbon

Callaway was the first to head down the road of Artificial Intelligence used in golf clubs. This decision has paid off.

The Paradym is a really impressive club that recently dropped in price, and it’s one of the most consistent performers on this list. You’ll get a really great feel, distance, and forgiveness from a club that also looks great. 

Pros

  • Impressive distance with enhancements in face technology 
  • A versatile club that will grow with you 
  • Top of the line AI technology enhances overall performance 

Cons

  • If you have a Callaway driver that is 1-3 years old, the performance differences from one model to the next can be small 
  • The new AI Smoke has been released if you want the latest technology (for a lot more money) 

Technology

The Callaway Paradym was designed with an AI clubface that helps reduce dispersion. So, instead of hitting one drive 15 yards to the right and the next 30 yards to the left, you hit them all within a tighter circle. 

The Paradym driver allows for loft and lie adjustments so that you can fine-tune the shot shape you are looking for. TaylorMade created the carbon face Stealth, but Callaway went with a 360-degree carbon chassis. 

With a carbon chassis, the weight of the clubhead can be completely redistributed to help increase forgiveness and MOI. Callaway put a lot of time and effort into the face of the Paradym in combination with the adjustable rear weight track to add draw or fade bias. 

The result is a driver you can control. 

Value 

Now’s the time to grab a Callaway Paradym driver. There is plenty of stock left, and the Paradym AI Smoke has hit the market, so pricing has come down on this original release.

You can have the Paradym in your bag for years to come. It offers great value. 

Check out our Full Review of Callaway Paradym Driver

Ping G425 Max Driver 

The Ping G425 Max driver has been rated as one of the best all around golf drivers in the last few years. We have to agree. Technology used in this golf club can work for any golfer from a 5 handicap to a 35, and we love that.

The Ping G425 Max also offers an impressive feel making it a club that you will want to practice with. 

Pros

  • Exceptional forgiveness
  • Customizable trajectory and exceptional ball speeds 
  • Improved aerodynamics make it easier to swing faster 

Cons

  • Ping golf clubs are always priced high and stay there for a few years 
  • Customization of the movable weight takes a little bit of time to learn to achieve the desired ball flight 

Technology 

The most notable technology found in the Ping G425 Max are the Trubulators. Essentially, these reduce drag and increase club head speed. The Turbulators are combined with the Dragonfly Crown Technology that, makes it easier for Ping to redistribute weight and get the driver more forgiving. 

We liked the look of the Ping G425. It’s not quite as sleek as the new TaylorMade and Callaway, but the turbulators don’t interfere with the overall look. 

Another thing you will notice here is the extra distance you get. Ping really did a great job with aerodynamics. If you struggle to get the distance you want, give this one a try. 

Value 

Pricing of the Ping G425 Max driver has come down a bit. However, it took a few years. The good news is the Ping drivers hold their value. If you plan on selling this one at some point you can get good money for it.

Overall the performance offered for the price makes the Ping G425 Max a great option for any golfer. 

Titleist TSR2

Most golfers are surprised to see a Titleist driver on the list of best drivers for beginners and high handicappers.

However, this TSR2 is truly made for any player. If you want a really great feel, a classic-looking driver head, and plenty of adjustability, the TSR2 is a perfect choice.

In addition, getting a Titleist driver in a custom shaft is a breeze, so if you want some customization, this is a smart one to consider. 

Pros

  • Great feel when it comes off the face
  • Very consistent performance 
  • High ball speeds with Cortech Chamber Technology 
  • Highly adjustable 

Cons

  • A little expensive 
  • Not as lightweight feeling as other drivers on the market 

Technology

Titleist spends a lot of time and money making sure they have the most advanced golf drivers in the world. This 460cc head is specifically designed for golfers who would benefit from more forgiveness. 

When I hit the TSR2, I could almost instantly notice how large the sweet spot was and the positive impact it had on my ability to hit the center of the face. 

The TSR2 is a bit of an investment. However, you can use this as your handicap goes from the 30s to the 20s to the teens, and it still has relevant technology to help you succeed. The adjustability in the Quick Switch hosel makes it easy to fine tune the ball flight to your needs. 

Value 

Every Titleist driver I have had held its value for quite some time.

You are getting really impressive technology here, and the club is designed to take you through the next few years with top-of-the-line performance.

This one is best if you are serious about the game and you want to invest in your equipment. 

What To Look For In The Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers 

Now that you have our top 7 picks for the best drivers for beginner and high handicappers, it’s time to give you our secrets and how we chose these golf clubs.

There are certain technologies and features that all high handicappers and beginners need to look for in the best golf drivers on the market. 

Offset Technology 

A slightly offset driver clubhead can help to reduce a slice. 

However, what we often see in drivers that are marketed towards beginner and high handicappers is a very offset driver head. This is not necessary. 

With all of the adjustability that you can get in a driver clubhead, the extensive offset is not something that you really need.

Also, if you end up being a golfer who hooks the ball, the offset is going to hurt your game! 

Adjustability 

Adjustability is a really good feature to consider in a golf driver for beginners and high handicappers. Yes, adjustability can add a little weight to the clubhead. However, it’s not enough to make a significant difference, even for the slow swing speed players. 

The benefit of adjustability is that it will help you keep the driver you currently have for years to 

come. As a new player you may not know exactly what technology is best for your game. If you have an adjustable driver you can make adjustments and tweaks to fit your needs through the years. 

Some beginners do well with 11.5 degrees of loft but as your game improves 9.5 could be better. Buying a $500 driver with adjustability can save you from having to buy three $500 drivers over the next few years. 

Loft 

Most amateur golfers do well with about 10.5 degrees of loft in a driver. If you are purchasing something adjustable, make sure you can get to at least 10.5 degrees of loft. 

The more loft a driver has, the more forgiving it is. 

However, when you increase the driver’s loft, you also decrease the total distance capability. Again, hitting a golf shot 230 yards straight is a lot better than a 235 yard slice. 

Shaft 

The only way to determine what golf shaft you need in a driver is to know your swing speed. If you know how fast you swing the club, you’ll have a much easier time determining the flex of the shaft. 

All driver shafts are graphite, so that part is figured out for you. This chart with common golf swing speeds for beginners should help you narrow down the flex of the golf shaft that you need. 

Swing Speed (mph)Shaft FlexTypical Distance for DriverRecommended for
< 75L (Ladies)< 180 yardsGolfers with the slowest swing speeds and lower strength.
75-85A (Senior/Amateur)180-200 yardsSenior golfers or those with below-average swing speeds.
85-95R (Regular)200-240 yardsAverage male golfers with moderate swing speeds.
95-105S (Stiff)240-275 yardsGolfers with above-average swing speeds.
105+X (Extra Stiff)275+ yardsGolfers with very high swing speeds, typically professional level.

Pricing 

New golf drivers usually have a price tag in the $399 to $599 range. If you are concerned with price, try to look back one model year and you will see a price reduction in the $100 to $150 range. 

The newest releases to the market will always be the most expensive, and it takes a year or so before the pricing starts to drop. 

If you plan on investing a lot into a driver, always be sure you are getting fitted for a club that will last you more than just a few months.

The driver is a club that is used often, and it will have a major impact on your score. 

Longevity 

We are well aware that there are knockoffs and cheap drivers out there for beginner golfers. However, if you are serious about the game, these are not worth your money. 

You’ll play with it for a year or so and then realize you are 15 to 20 yards behind your competitors. In addition, you may make the game more frustrating for yourself because of the lack of forgiveness. 

A driver is an investment, but you should plan to get about 5-8 years out of being a great golf driver.

Cheap vs. Expensive Drivers: What Is The Difference? 

One of the questions we are most frequently asked is about the differences between cheap and expensive drivers. Of course, there are some marketing dollars at play in this situation, but the biggest difference you will find is the feel and the performance. 

Premium drivers tend to fly further, stay straighter, and have a better feel coming off the clubface. 

Here’s the secret. 

Even a golf driver priced at $399 is a premium driver. You don’t have to purchase a $599 club with a $300 shaft upgrade to put yourself in that premium category. 

Beginner vs. High Handicapper Drivers: Are They The Same? 

Beginners and high handicappers often get lumped into the same category when it comes to finding the right equipment. There are two things to be aware of here. 

Beginners don’t really know what they need just yet, so purchasing an all-around club that’s good for distance, forgiveness, and accuracy is a good choice. 

However, high handicappers may have been playing their entire lives. At this point, you should know if you struggle with a slice, a hook, a low spin, or a high spin, etc. 

High handicappers have a little more direction in which driver would be the best for their game. However, the type of technology that beginners and high handicappers benefit from is the same. 

How Do I Know It’s Time To Upgrade My Driver? 

If you are reading this you likely have some interest in upgrading your golf driver technology. Here are a few tips to help you know that it is a good time for an upgrade. 

  • You are not getting as much distance as you once did 
  • All of your friends (with similar handicaps and speeds) are hitting the driver past you 
  • It’s been more than 7 years since you last updated 
  • Your swing speed has slowed or gotten faster recently, and your current club is no longer a match 
  • Despite making swing changes, you still can’t seem to straighten out your ball flight 

FAQ’s

What is the most forgiving driver for a high handicap golfer? 

The Mizuno ST-230 and the TaylorMade Qi10 Max are two very forgiving drivers geared at the high handicap golfer. Each of these clubs offers distance, but the main benefit is more forgiveness. 

How do I choose a driver for beginners? 

The best driver for beginners is often a mix between your budget and your typical ball flight. Choose something with adjustability that can adapt to your game as you get better. 

What is the best driver shaft for beginners? 

The best driver shaft for most beginners is a regular flex shaft. However, if you want to be sure you end up with a club that is specifically built for your needs, go for a fitting and have your driver swing speed measured. 

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, you now feel a bit clearer about the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers. With how good golf technology has become through the years, there is no driver on this list that stands out as a wrong choice. 

Take a look at each of the positives we mentioned and what our experience was. From there, look at the budget and how it plays into your decision. Finally, just make sure to get a golf shaft that matches your swing speed needs. 

Good luck, and when you need the article featuring the best drivers for mid handicappers, you know where to find us! 

The Golf Bandit
The Golf Bandit

Hi, I'm Jan. I love golf and I have been playing for a while now. I really enjoy trying out new golf clubs and equipment, and like to review them on my blog. I consider myself lucky as I have access to the latest clubs and gadgets, so I can get a feel for how they perform on the golf course. I also like to share my tips and tricks on how to improve your game, so if you're looking for help with that then look no further! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find something useful here.

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