If you are new to golf, you want a driver that is dependable, easy to hit, and one that gives you long distance. In this guide, we go over the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers who want to get serious distance off the tee.
If you are in a rush, the best golf driver for beginners is the Callaway Rogue ST MAX D. It is super forgiving and packed with the latest technology so that you can hit longer and straighter than ever before.
Below, I’ll specifically go over:
- Key features in beginner drivers that help you get more distance
- The best golf brands selling drivers for high handicappers
- How to buy a new driver today
If you are a new golfer and just recently tried out some beginner drivers, we want to hear from you. Comment down at the bottom of this guide and let us know which club worked best for you.
The Best Drivers for Beginner Golfers
The top 10 drivers for beginner golfers are:
- Callaway Rogue ST MAX D (Best Overall)
- Callaway Great Big Bertha (Most Forgiving Driver)
- Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme (Easiest to Hit)
- TaylorMade SIM2 MAX D (Highest Quality)
- Callaway Big Bertha B21 (Most Forgiving Last Years Model)
- TaylorMade M4 (Best Driver for Slow Swing Speeds)
- Callaway Epic MAX Star (Best Lightweight Options)
- Cobra King Radspeed (Best for High Handicappers)
- Titleist TSi1 (Basic Option)
- Wilson Launchpad (Budget Option)
- Callaway Mavrik MAX (Best Draw Bias)
Underneath our review for the list of the best drivers for beginner golfers, we have the answers to some of the most common questions that we get from beginners:
- What driver loft should a beginner golfer hit?
- What driver is most forgiving?
- How often should a beginner golfer replace their driver?
- What technology should I look for in a driver if I am a beginner golfer?
The Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers
Callaway Rogue ST MAX D
Best Overall Driver for a Beginner
- Tungsten weighted “speed cartridge” which increases your club speed
- Jailbreak technology designed with AI to make the whole club face forgiving
- Natural draw bias to combat your annoying slice
- High price for a beginner golfer
For new golfers who don’t mind spending some money, the Callaway Rogue ST MAX D is one of the most forgiving and easiest drivers to hit a golf ball with.
The MAX D model is designed for golfers who want high launch angles, as well as maximum forgiveness off the tee. When I hit this club, you could almost not hit a bad shot off of the face of this club.
The ST MAX D has internal and external draw weighting that aims to help golfers hit a high draw shape off the tee rather than the very common slice that most amateur golfers have. The MAX D is also larger than other Rogue ST models. Having such a big head does inspire some confidence off the tee, as it should give you distance even on those mis-hits.
One other big feature in this driver is the huge MOI, which stands for moment of inertia. MOI is a measure of how stable the golf club is at impact. A high MOI means that a club is more forgiving, allowing you to hit the ball straighter and longer.
The Rogue ST is fully customizable, with different driver shafts and grip options. You can also try out longer or shorter shafts in order to improve your performance. A lot of new golfers find that a shorter driver can be beneficial to their game.
Brand new golfers may not want to spend $600 on their driver, but high handicap players may find themselves rewarded by buying the Rogue ST MAX D.
- Rogue ST MAX D is built for a high level of draw bias, with high MOI, a more upright lie, reduced face progression, and a stretched profile. All these features promote maximum shot shape correction for players who tend to slice the ball.
- The groundbreaking new Tungsten Speed Cartridge structure places up to 20 grams low and deep in the driver head. This increases speed on off-center hits and provides more forgiveness through high MOI.
- Their patented A.I. designed Jailbreak Speed Frame provides stability in the horizontal and torsional direction. Callaway has speed tuned the construction, shaping, and positioning to deliver even more speed across the face.
- As the industry leader in Artificial Intelligence, Callaway added launch and spin to ball speed in our optimization formula. This new formula lowers spin on the face, allowing us to add forgiveness to the driver.
- Titanium unibody construction provides stability and lowers center of gravity, while our proprietary Triaxial Carbon crown and sole allow us to save weight. This weight is redistributed to increase forgiveness with high launch and a slight draw bias.
Callaway Great Big Bertha
Most Forgiving river
- 30 grams lighter than the standard driver
- Maximum forgiveness
- Premium features packed into a beginners driver
- AI flash face for maximum MOI
- No ‘beginners’ price savings
The Callaway Great Big Bertha is the 2022 version of the popular line of drivers. In 2022, Callaway has rebuilt the Great Big Bertha from the ground up and considers it one of the most technologically-advanced drivers they have ever created. It is incredibly lightweight and easy to swing and will have you crushing the ball off the tee.
The driver’s head is excellent, and the forged patch of carbon fiber on the sole gives it a cool marbled look. The club face is clean, and the pre-installed shaft and grip are also great. The head is also packed with performance technology to ensure the ball is launching off the face.
What I liked most about the Great Big Bertha was the distance I got while hitting balls with it. I consistently hit it 10 yards further than with the Big Bertha B21. The performance was very similar to the Rogue ST for me. The balls seem to launch off the club’s face quickly and should be the same for anyone who picks up this club and uses it.
Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme
Easiest for New Golfers to Hit
- Oversized club head is easier to swing
- Maximum forgiveness
- Premium features packed into a beginners driver
- Adjustable lofts
Like the Radspeed below, the Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme is a previous generation club that I think caters a bit more towards the high handicapper golfer. The club head on the Speedzone is a little bit larger which looks less intimidating.
This is great news for off-centre hits and will ensure your drives stay straighter and lose less distance when you miss the sweet spot.
It still has a number of the same features as the Radspeed though which are made for beginners:
- Dual weights in the sole and the back that ensure a heavier club head
- Titanium speed chassis that is stable on impact
- A carbon wrap crown which saves weight in places that don’t matter
One of the nice things is that if you adjust your loft, you can track your swings in the Cobra Connect companion app and look at statistics on which loft is actually better for you.
The Speedzone Xtreme is also more forgiving than the Radspeed. Cobra markets this driver for the 10 to 25 handicap range but I disagree. High handicappers should all be able to use this club.
- CNC Milled Infinity Face-The Power Zone-The face is the engine of the driver and foundation for speed.
- Titanium Speed Chassis-The Strength Zone-A Newly designed T-Bar Speed Chassis is lighter and stronger to withstand high speed collisions and deliver excellent stability and feel.
- 360 Carbon Wrap Crown-The Light Zone-A 360 Carbon wrap crown covers 50% of the club body, adding stiffness to the chassis while saving 25 grams of discretionary weight that we moved low, back, and to the perimeter.
- Speed back Weighting-The LOW CG Zone-69 grams of mass is positioned as low as possible, creating the most efficient transfer of energy to the ball and speed that you can relish every time you step on the tee.
- Speed back Shape-The Aero Zone-A streamlined shape with milled perimeter leading edges harness airflow with ultimate precision for maximum acceleration power.
TaylorMade SIM2 MAX D
Highest Quality Beginner Golf Driver
- Oversized club head
- Split mass weighting which increases the head weight and promotes faster ball speeds
- Aerodynamic design promotes faster club speed and optimal launch
- Higher price for a previous year model driver
The TaylorMade SIM2 MAX D, like the Rogue ST MAX D above, has draw bias which combats your natural slice. TaylorMade is also known for packing a lot of technology into their golf clubs and making modern drivers. The biggest difference in the SIM2 is that it is last year’s model. This means that you’ll save a few hundred dollars and still get a high quality golf driver.
The SIM2 features a forged ring construction that is made from high strength aluminum. It promotes an easy transfer of energy to the golf ball when you hit it. The SIM2 is also one of the most popular adjustable drivers. With the adjustable loft sleeve, you can fine tune the driver to find the right loft.
The SIM2 has a thru-slot speed pocket, which gives you maximum distance even for those with a slower swing speed. The amount of distance you get comes mostly from your clubhead speed, which is an important fact that not all beginners know. The actual clubhead itself is also 5% larger than the original SIM driver.
There are a ton of other features and buzzwords that make the SIM 2 sound good but just take our word for it. This club is a great beginner golf driver that will improve your game on the course. It is made for fast or moderate swing speeds.
- New Forged Ring Construction. Forged from a lightweight and high strength aluminum that is milled to an exacting shape, it unites a massive rear weight, a full carbon sole, crown and a new milled back cup face.
- SIM Inertia Generator. The asymmetric Inertia Generator is designed to provide faster club head speed through advancedgeometry and aerodynamic analytics.
- Speed Injected Twist Face. Improves ball speed by calibrating each head to the threshold of the legal speed limit with corrective face curvature also protecting against heel and toe mis-hits.
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket. Our most flexible Speed Pocket design engineered to maximize ball speeds and produce additional forgiveness on low face strikes.
- Draw bias designs promote a right-to-left ball flight at the expense of forgiveness. By reconstructing the driver head and shifting the asymmetric Inertia Generator closer to the heel, we're able to maintain forgiveness while enhancing draw-bias.
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver
Most Forgiving Driver
- Lightweight design
- Made for beginners and high handicappers
- Adjustable loft
- Some complaints about the stock shaft being weak
The Callaway Big Bertha B21 is built for distance no matter if you have a fast or slow swing speed. It has a low and forward center of gravity for low spin. This is a feature found in a lot of more expensive modern drivers, so it’s nice to see it in the budget-friendly Big Bertha lineup.
The B21 has built-in draw bias weighting in the face so that you can hit a straight ball. Hint – this is a feature found in a lot of of beginner drivers on this list.
Another feature I like in the B21 is the jailbreak frame. These are two bars which connect the sole of the club to the crown to keep it solid at impact. This should give you spend of ball speed.
Even though the Big Bertha is catered for high handicap golfers, the price is a big drawback to us. The Rogue ST is only $50 more and is just a little bit more forgiving. The only drawback is that the Rogue ST is a bit heavier, which is only a problem for younger golfers or those with who swing slower.
- The Big Bertha B-21 Driver is designed for distance any way you swing it.
- To help eliminate your slice or big miss, we’ve created our first high launch driver with an ultra-low forward CG for low spin.
- The large Big Bertha head is specifically engineered with internal draw bias weighting to help improve your launch angles and promote a straighter, longer ball flight.
- We’ve advanced our A.I. designed Flash Face to promote fast ball speeds across a more expansive area.
- This face architecture requires extremely strong materials that are lighter and stronger than traditional titanium to promote optimal speed, forgiveness, and spin characteristics.
Best Beginner Driver for Slow Swing Speeds
- Twist face design helps you hit the golf ball further and straighter
- Solid and explosive sound
- 67% larger sweet spot than the last generation
- Light shaft is made for golfers with a slower swing speed
The TaylorMade M4 is the brand’s beginner driver, with extra bias added in to the club to help you hit the ball straighter. You won’t see any many new features on this club vs the new Stealth or SIM2 drivers, but this is still a strongly made club.
The M4 has a hammerhead slot on it that is designed to increase ball speed and decrease spin. This should help you dd more weight for less effort.
The whole club is made for those with a lower swing speed, less than 90 miles per hour. The stock shaft has a lot of flex in it to help you out.
If sound is important to you, the M4 has deep acoustics when it is hit. It is a great introductory driver for your golf game with plenty of forgiveness.
- New face curvature w/corrective face angle on off center hits, to reduce side spin & deliver straighter shots. Provides more loft in high toe & less loft in low heel for more consistent spin
- Hammerhead slot: the reinforced outer portions of the slot allow for a lighter, more flexible face, resulting in a larger sweet spot
- The center portion of the slot increases ball speed low on the face and drops unwanted spin for more distance
- GEOCOUSTIC: Shaped for a solid and explosive sound. Reduced sole volume enables a larger, more forgiving face. Volume is 460CC
Callaway Epic MAX Star
Best Lightweight Driver
- Super lightweight grip, shaft, and club head
- Jailbreak speed frame still promotes good ball speed
- Low spin at a wide range of swing speeds
- Movable weights
- Faster swingers will want to look at the Mavrik or Rogue ST MAX models
- Expensive for the market it sells to
For those looking for a really lightweight design, the Callaway Epic MAX Star is a real winner. The driver is over 50 grams lighter than others on this list, but with some of Callaway’s top-end features still.
The Epic MAX Star still features the Callaway Jailbreak speed frame in the driver head, which a lot of players love. It also has the AI flash face too. These two features should give you plenty of clubhead speed. even at the lower weight.
One of the ways that Callaway saves weight with this driver is the use of carbon in the crown over traditional titanium. It also has a really lightweight shaft from ATTAS and a lightweight Winn Dri-Tec grip.
Despite these savings, the Epic MAX Star still has a 9 gram adjustable weight so that you can add draw bias if you need. It also still has an OptiFit Hosel so that you can adjust your loft angle and draw bias by up to 20 yards..
The MAX Star only features 10.5 or 12 degree loft options to keep it a nice and simpler driver for beginners.
- Callaway Epic Max Star
- Exceptionally high forgiveness, starting with a lighter, stronger Triaxial Carbon material that saves significant weight vs. titanium. Our engineers redistributed that saved weight to promote high launch and more forgiveness. An additional Triaxial Carbon toe patch adds draw bias while saving weight for a powerful shot shape.
- With a 9g adjustable sliding rear weight, golfers have the ability to promote the ball flight that they want to play.
- The ultra-premium ATTAS Speed Series Shaft is just 36 grams, combined with a Winn Dri-Tac Lite Grip that�s just 25 grams, and a D1 swingweight.
Cobra King Radspeed
Best for High Handicappers
- Carbon wrap crown, featured in premium drivers
- Strategic weight placement for faster club speed
- Nice design that stands out
- Integrates with the Arccos Smart Caddie
- Lower launch angles
The Cobra King Radspeed is the last year’s model of Cobra’s flagship driver. Therefore, this club is made for those high handicappers who have been golfing for a while and are now looking to invest in some quality clubs.
The Radspeed features 28 grams of forward-biased tungsten extra weight which helps you get more distance and less spin. An additional 8 gram back weight adds stability to your swing and promotes straighter shots. The result is one of the heaviest clubs on this list for best beginner drivers.
One other premium feature on this drier is the carbon crown. This keeps the whole thing stable on impact. It’s something found on the new TaylorMade Stealth and Cobra LTDx drivers. To get it here at an extreme discount in price is a big win.
- Radial Weighting Technology-Radial Weighting is the strategic placement of weight relative to the CG to optimize speed, forgiveness, and flight direction from the fairway or off the tee
- CNC Milled Infinity Face-An infinity edge face design expands the milled area by 95% to increase the zone of maximum ball speed
- Thin-Ply Carbon Crown-The Carbon Wrap Crown system features a new carbon fiber material that is 30% thinner which creates another 6 grams of discretionary weight
- Lighter T-Bar Chassis-A refined T-Bar speed chassis design is 7 grams lighter, giving us even more discretionary weight to position mass within the frame to optimize performance
- Extreme Front Weighting-The Radspeed Driver frame features 28g positioned as forward as possible (16 g of fixed weight and 12 g adjustable to deliver ultra low spin and our fastest ball speeds
Best Basic Beginner Driver
- Very lightweight
- The face is very forgiving
- High launch with a slight draw bias
- Golfers with a swing speed over 90 MPH should look elsewhere
The Titleist TSi1 is the introduction driver in the TSi lineup, made for those new golfers with a slower swing speed. Titleist is one of the most popular golf ball brands, but they hold their own here with this driver.
The TSi1 isn’t as flashy as others on this list and Titleist doesn’t do as good of a job selling it. However, the whole head is designed very solid and has a bunch of features to help lower speeds get lots of distance.
One of those features is 425 titanium metal used in the frame of the club, which gives a lot of distance. Another is the huge moment of inertia that spreads through the entire face of the club. This makes this driver very forgiving to use.
Overall, Titleist accomplishes this despite the TSi1 being over 50 grams lighter than some of the other drivers on this list. Side-by-side, it is really noticeable how light this driver is.
- For moderate swing players looking for speed and ball control.
- Super light components and a deep, face-centered centre of gravity for greater casting and exceptional ball speed.
- From the head of the club to the grip, TSi1 drivers have been strategically designed and weighted to offer maximum release and distance for players with moderate swing speeds.
Best Budget Option
- Lower price point
- Very forgiving driver face
- Loud impact sound
- Favors very new players
Wilson isn’t as flashy as some of the big golf brands, but it doesn’t need to be. It caters to new and beginner golfers who don’t want to spend a ton of money on a good driver and are just getting into the game of golf.
The Wilson Launchpad is a game improvement beginner golf driver that is designed to be as easy to hit as possible. It features a large sweet spot on the face that favors the toe half of it, which Wilson claims is where 68% of new golfers hit the ball.
The Launchpad has some extra weighting in the heel to give the club a draw bias and keep your ball straight. The overall club is still lighter than most on this list. I would say that the Launchpad is perfect for a swing speed in the 90 miles per hour or less range. Faster swing golfers will see more spin on their ball and will lose some distance.
The other thing you’ll notice about the Launchpad is how loud it sounds on impact. There is a noticeable pop on this club that will satisfy new golfers. The price point is also a good selling point.
- Wilson Staff 2022 Launch Pad Driver Golf Club - Men's Right Handed, Graphite, Regular Flex, 10.5 Loft
- SOLVE THE SLICE: An inherent draw bias helps players overcome one of the most frustrating problems in golf, so shots fly straighter and with more accuracy.
- FORGIVING YET FAST: Advanced computer modeling results in a tour-proven face geometry that delivers faster ball speeds, everywhere.
- DISTANCE MADE EASY: One of the lightest drivers on the market, coupled with a lightweight Evenflow shaft means effortless swing speed for all types of players.
Callaway Mavrik MAX
Best Draw Bias
- Adjustable weighting to fine tune your swing
- SS20 Flash Face to increase ball speed
- High technology
- May be harder to find (replaced by the Rogue ST)
The Callaway Mavrik MAX is the previous generation flagship model. If you can get your hands on a good deal, this is a great driver for high handicappers who want good quality.
The Mavrik has an enormous clubhead. You will get a much larger sweet spot and a higher moment of inertia as well. The Mavrik has plenty of launch for those golfers that feel as though their launch angle is not ideal.
One of the other reasons I consider the Mavrik the most forgiving is the fact that it is slightly draw bias. A draw bias driver helps golfers who slice the ball. The draw bias is created using internal weighting. In addition to the internal weighting that initially makes this club draw bias, it also has two adjustable weights that you can use to increase the draw spin on the ball.
There is a new 2022 Mavrik model, but that’s not the one we would recommend for beginners. The Mavrik MAX is a 2020 model that is an ultra forgiving beginner driver.
Should a Beginner Golfer Use 9, 10.5 or 12 Degree Loft?
One of the main questions that new golfers have is whether they should hit a 9 degree, 10.5 degree, or 12 degree driver loft. There are pros and cons to each option.
For the most part, a new golfer wants to hit a driver with a higher loft. This will allow your ball to rise up in the air more naturally, giving you some good natural distance. A loft also adds more backward spin to your ball, which counterbalances against any natural swing or slice. For that reason, 12 degree lofts were very popular ten years ago for new golfers.
However, new advancements in technology have allows you to get a similar ball height with a lower loft club. A lot of drivers now only come in 9 or 10.5 degree lofts and do not sell the 12 degree at all.
New drivers also place a tungsten weight bar across the bottom of your club face. This weight applies force to the lower half of the golf ball, assisting with launch and distance.
Finally, a lot of tour pros use 9 degree driver lofts. This reduces spin and allows them to control the shape of their shot. A 9 degree loft doesn’t travel as far in the air, but the momentum and power of a professional golf swing still gives it a lot of distance, plus travel on the ground.
Overall, a beginner golfer should use a 10.5 degree loft. It is a happy medium and will be sufficient for most.
If you want to learn more, here is a really good demo video that illustrates the different in using a 9 vs 10.5 vs 12 degree driver loft.
How to Choose a Golf Driver for Beginners
If you are new to golf, here are the 3 main criteria you should look for when buying a new driver.
- Club Weight
Club weight is often overlooked as a factor when new golfers are looking for a driver, but it is very important. Drivers used by PGA professionals are often heavier overall. These clubs require a faster swing speed in order turn the driver over on the downslope of your swing and hit a straighter driver. New golfers do not generate enough swing speed to utilize this weight effectively.
For beginners, it is recommended that you look for a lighter driver instead. These are easier to control during your swing and you will find yourself getting more consistent results. A lot of drivers have tungsten weighting strategically placed in the head to help new golfers get more distance.
Forgiveness is a measure of how easy a driver is to hit. If a driver has high forgiveness, you can get acceptable distance even if you don’t hit the exact center of the sweet spot. This is important when you are still figuring out how to swing consistently.
A lot of drivers that are more forgiving have a bigger club head size, so look for this. Tour players prefer a smaller club head with more concentrated weighting instead.
Golf can be an expensive sport to play, with green fees and cart fees every time you go out to the course. You don’t want to spend a ton of money on a beginner golf driver that you may not use in the future if you quit the game. Luckily, price is often correlated to the latest technology and new golfers can keep it nice and simple.
If you are a new golfer, there are a few key terms that you will see pop up while you are researching for drivers.
Center of Gravity
The Center of gravity is the point where the mass of the club head is balanced. It is usually located in the middle of the club head. The location of the CG determines the overall feel of the club.
Moment of Inertia
Moment of Inertia is the resistance of a golf club to twisting and rotation. Clubs with a high moment of inertia are more forgiving for new players.
Tungsten weighting in a golf driver helps transfer energy from the face of the club into the golf ball. Tungsten is used because it does not rust like other metals. Most drivers have tungsten strategically placed across the bottom of the club.
And that’s it! We’ve gone over 10 awesome drivers for beginners that can instantly help you improve your game today.
The good thing is that there are a lot of new features designed to help you hit straighter drives with a lot of distance. This means that there are plenty of clubs for beginners to try out.
From my testing, I really like the work that Cobra has put into their Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme. With a larger clubhead, awesome weighting, and premium sound at impact, it’s the first club I recommend to beginners.
If you are not so much a beginner but still a high handicapper, take a look at the Callaway Rogue ST. It’s packed with the latest technology, a huge sweet spot, and fully customizable driver design.
If you want a more affordable driver, the Wilson LaunchPad and Callaway Mavrik Driver (the MAX model) can be purchased for cheap today.
If you want to learn more about the easiest to hit and most forgiving driver for beginner and high handicap golfers, here is a feature on the Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Which driver is most forgiving?How often should a beginner golfer replace their driver?
Most golf drivers are available to purchase on a five year cycle. After five years, technology advances, material is better, and you will see a lot of players upgrade. Beginner golfers could follow a similar five year cycle if they are serious about improving, or stretch it to ten years (two cycles worth) if they are more casual..
What is the easiest driver to hit for a beginner?
The easiest golf club to hit for a beginner is the Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme. It has a number of premium features that cater to new golfers, including a sole weight and back weight, a stable titanium speed chassis, and a carbon warp crown. The club head is also oversized and larger than normal.
What degree driver should a beginner golfer use?
A new golfer will find that they get maximum distance with a higher loft driver that is either 10.5 degrees or 12 degrees. This will allow you to get more height off of each tee shot and extra distance.
Which driver is most forgiving?
The most forgiving golf driver we found is the Callaway Big Bertha B21 driver. It has a bunch of weight savings in strategic spots, but a low and forward centre of gravity for low spin. Draw bias is heavy on the Big Bertha B21, which gives you straight drives no matter where ball contact is made with your clubface at impact. Off-center hits still get a lot of good distance with the B21.
What is the Best Driver for High Handicappers?
If you are more familiar with the game of golf and your club head speed is average or better, I recommend the Callaway Rogue ST MAX D. It’s the perfect driver for the average golfer, high quality and forgiving. The price can be a turn off for some, but it is worth every penny.
What is a good golf drive distance for a beginner?
The distance you get on your drive is a factor of your swing speed and contact efficiency with the golf ball. New golfers should not be too concerned with how far they can hit the ball. What is more important is that you practice good technique, centre strikes, and a straight shot.
Can a new driver really add distance?
If you haven’t upgraded your driver in more than 5 years, technology in a new driver can certainly add distance to your golf shots. Modern features such as additional weight in the club, different shaft flex options, and new materials can really improve your golf game.
Last update on 2023-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API