The 14 Best Golf Drivers for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

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Embarking on your golf journey can feel as daunting as a pro golfer’s swing – but fear not, we’ve got you covered with the best golf drivers for beginners!

Picture this: you step up to the tee, ready to conquer the course, armed with the Callaway Paradym AI Smoke – the ultimate beginner’s driver.

Why is it the best?

Stick around, and we’ll unveil the secrets behind this and other top-notch golf drivers that’ll help you hit powerful drives down the fairway.

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

We want to hear from you if you are a new golfer and just recently tried out some beginner drivers. Comment at the bottom of this guide and let us know which club worked best for you.

What are the Best Golf Drivers for Beginner Golfers?

The top 14 drivers for beginner golfers are:

  1. Callaway Paradym AI Smoke (Best Overall)
  2. TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD (Most Premium)
  3. Cobra Darkspeed Max (Underrated Option)
  4. Ping G430 SFT (Best Draw Bias)
  5. Callaway Rogue ST MAX D (Last Years Callaway)
  6. Callaway Great Big Bertha (Most Forgiving Driver)
  7. Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme (Easiest to Hit)
  8. TaylorMade SIM2 MAX D (Highest Quality)
  9. Callaway Big Bertha B21 (Most Forgiving Last Years Model)
  10. TaylorMade M4 (Best Driver for Slow Swing Speeds)
  11. Callaway Epic MAX Star (Best Lightweight Options)
  12. Titleist TSi1 (Basic Option)
  13. Wilson Launchpad (Budget Option)
  14. Callaway Mavrik MAX (Best Value)

Callaway Paradym AI Smoke (Best Overall Golf Driver for Beginners)

callaway paradym ai smoke vs paradym 2023 model

Key Features

  • Looks premium and unique
  • AI smart face is extremely easy to hit
  • Carbon chassis with titanium frame

Key Drawback

  • Price

Review

The Callaway Paradym AI Smoke Driver is my favorite premium golf driver this year. At the heart of this driver lies the AI Smart Face, a marvel of artificial intelligence that tailors launch conditions, spin rates, and sweet spot precision to each golfer’s unique swing.

This feature alone propels the Paradym AI Smoke into a league of its own, promising unmatched forgiveness on off-center hits.

The chassis on the AI Smke is crafted from a 360° Carbon matrix, a 15% reduction in weight compared to the first Paradym.

The Callaway Paradym AI Smoke is not just a tool but a statement piece. Its blue accents appeal to me, though some golfers will probably find it tacky.

In this era of golfing excellence, the Callaway Paradym AI Smoke stands as a monument to progress, blending the art of design with the science of performance to offer an unrivaled driving experience. For those ready to embrace the future of golf, the Paradym AI Smoke is a great choice!

Click here to read our full Callaway Paradym AI Smoke review.

TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD (Most Premium)

Key Features

  • Tungsten weighted “speed cartridge” for increased club speed
  • Carbon face technology for lighter, more efficient performance
  • Natural draw bias to help correct slices

Key Drawbacks

  • High price for a beginner golfer

REVIEW

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD is a fantastic option for beginners willing to invest in their game. Boasting a lighter carbon fiber face for better ball speed and a tungsten-weighted “speed cartridge” for increased club speed, this driver is designed to help you launch the ball further and with greater accuracy.

The Stealth 2 HD’s natural draw bias is perfect for those struggling with a pesky slice, making it easier to hit straighter shots. It is packed with all of TaylorMade’s top new technology.

This driver is highly customizable, with various shaft and grip options and adjustable weight and loft settings. You can even experiment with different shaft lengths to find the perfect fit for your game.

While the TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD may be on the pricier side for a beginner golfer, its cutting-edge technology and high levels of forgiveness make it a worthy investment for those looking to improve their skills on the course rapidly.

Ping G430 SFT (Best Draw Bias)

Key Features

  • Straight Flight Technology with moveable tungsten weight for maximum draw bias
  • T9S+ Forged Face for increased ball speeds
  • Spinsistency technology for optimized face curvature and reduced spin
  • Crown Turbulators for improved aerodynamics and increased swing speed

Key Drawbacks

  • High price for beginner golfers
  • Less appealing if you don’t struggle with a slice

Review

The PING G430 SFT is one of the market’s most effective and forgiving options this year.

The G430 SFT is designed for golfers who desire a draw bias, faster ball speeds, and maximum forgiveness off the tee. Thanks to the Straight Flight Technology, when hitting this club, it’s hard to produce a bad shot. A moveable tungsten weight in the heel also encourages a draw shape.

In addition to the draw bias, the G430 SFT features a T9S+ Forged Face for increased ball speeds, Spinsistency technology for optimized face curvature and reduced spin, and Crown Turbulators for improved aerodynamics and increased swing speed. These features work together to provide impressive performance and forgiveness, even on mishits.

The G430 SFT has a high moment of inertia (MOI), which measures how stable the golf club is at impact. A high MOI means the club is more forgiving, allowing you to hit the ball straighter and longer.

This driver is fully customizable, with various shaft and grip options and an adjustable hosel for fine-tuning loft and lie combinations. Experimenting with different shaft lengths may help improve your performance, as some golfers find that a shorter driver can benefit their game.

Beginner golfers may be hesitant to spend a significant amount on their driver, but high handicap players struggling with a slice will likely find the investment in the PING G430 SFT worthwhile.

ping g430 sft best golf driver for beginners

Cobra Darkspeed Max (Underrated Option)

Key Features

  • Adjustable weights to fine-tune your swing
  • Extremely lightweight and easy to swing
  • Matte-black finish

Key Drawback

  • Unique shape compared to other drivers

Review

The Cobra Darkspeed Driver family is my pick for the most underrated golf driver for beginners. Specifically, the Darkspeed Max is extremely easy to hit and generate swing speed with. Engineered with space-grade materials and cutting-edge aerodynamic shaping, the Darkspeed series stands as Cobra’s fastest drivers to date.

The Darkspeed Max is ideal for the casual golfer desiring higher launches and straighter flights. It features adjustable weights inside of it, which ensures stability and draw-tuning for unmatched accuracy.

The Darkspeed boasts a streamlined face, raised skirt, and minimized clubface area, enhancing speed. The A.I.-designed H.O.T. Face ensures efficient performance across the clubface. Adjustable loft settings and draw-biased controls offer the flexibility to fine-tune your game.

Beyond performance, the Darkspeed’s aesthetics captivate with a sleek, matte black finish, eliminating distractions and focusing on the game. The premium feel, confidence-inspiring massive face, and superior sound and feel on impact distinguish the Darkspeed from its predecessors.

Callaway Rogue ST MAX D (Last Years Callaway Driver)

Key Features

  • 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

Key Drawbacks

  • High price for a beginner golfer

Review

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.

Callaway Great Big Bertha (Most Forgiving Driver)

Key Features

  • 30 grams lighter than the standard driver
  • Maximum Forgiveness
  • Premium features packed into a beginners driver
  • AI flash face for maximum MOI

Key Drawbacks

  • No ‘beginners’ price savings

Review

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 carbon fiber patch 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 launches off the face.

What I liked most about the Great Big Bertha was the distance I got while hitting balls. 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)

Key Features

  • Oversized club head is easier to swing
  • Maximum forgiveness
  • Premium features packed into a beginners driver
  • Adjustable lofts

Key Drawbacks

  • None!

Review

Like the Radspeed, the Cobra King Speedzone Xtreme is a previous-generation club that caters to 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-center hits and will ensure your drives stay straighter and lose less distance when you miss the sweet spot.

It still has a number of features that are made for beginners:

  • Dual weights in the sole and the back ensure a heavier club head
  • Titanium speed chassis that is stable on impact
  • A carbon wrap crown 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.

TaylorMade SIM2 MAX D (Highest Quality Beginner Golf Driver)

Key Features

  • 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

Key Drawbacks 

  • Higher price for a previous year model driver

Review

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 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 distance you get comes mostly from your clubhead speed, which is an important fact not all beginners know. The actual clubhead is also 5% larger than the original SIM driver.

There are many 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.

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver (Most Forgiving Driver)

Key Features

  • Lightweight design
  • Made for beginners and high handicappers
  • Adjustable loft

Key Drawbacks

  • Some complaints about the stock shaft being weak

Review

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 feature is found in many 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 two bars connect the club’s sole to the crown to keep it solid at impact. This should give you a 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 slightly 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.

TaylorMade M4 (Best Beginner Driver for Slow Swing Speeds)

Key Features

  • Twist face design helps you hit the golf ball further and straighter
  • Solid and explosive sound
  • 67% larger sweet spot than the last generation

Key Drawbacks

  • Light shaft is made for golfers with a slower swing speed

Review

The TaylorMade M4 is the brand’s beginner driver, with an extra bias added into the club to help you hit the ball straighter. You won’t see 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 add more weight with less effort.

The club is made for those with a lower swing speed, less than 90 miles per hour. The stock shaft has a lot of flex to help you out.

If the 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.

Callaway Epic MAX Star (Best Lightweight Driver)

Key Features

  • 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

Key Drawbacks

  • Faster swingers will want to look at the Mavrik or Rogue ST MAX models
  • Expensive for the market it sells to

Review

The Callaway Epic MAX Star is a real winner for those looking for a lightweight design. The driver is over 50 grams lighter than others on this list but still has some of Callaway’s top-end features.

The Epic MAX Star still features the Callaway Jailbreak speed frame in the driver’s head, which many players love. It also has the AI flash face too. These two features should give you plenty of clubhead speed. even at a 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 you can add draw bias if needed. 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 features 10.5 or 12-degree loft options to keep it a simpler driver for beginners.

Titleist TSi1 (Best Basic Beginner Driver)

Key Features

  • Very lightweight
  • The face is very forgiving
  • High launch with a slight draw bias

Key Drawbacks

  • Golfers with a swing speed over 90 MPH should look elsewhere

Review

The Titleist TSi1 is the introduction driver in the TSi lineup for new golfers with a slower swing speed. Titleist is among 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 market it as well. However, the whole head is designed very solid and has many 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 other drivers on this list. Side-by-side, it is really noticeable how light this driver is. 

Wilson Launchpad (Best Budget Option)

Key Features

  • Lower price point
  • Very forgiving driver face
  • Loud impact sound

Key Drawbacks

  • Favors very new players

Review

Wilson isn’t as flashy as some 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 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 lose some distance.

The other thing you’ll notice about the Launchpad is its loud sound on impact. There is a noticeable pop on this club that will satisfy new golfers. The price point is also a good selling point.

Callaway Mavrik MAX (Best Value)

Key Features

  • Adjustable weighting to fine-tune your swing
  • SS20 Flash Face to increase ball speed
  • Available for a good price if you can still find it

Key Drawbacks

  • May be harder to find (replaced by the Rogue ST)

Review

The Callaway Mavrik MAX is the previous generation’s flagship model. This is a great driver for high handicappers who want good quality if you can get a good deal. 

The Mavrik has an enormous clubhead. You will also get a much larger sweet spot and a higher moment of inertia. The Mavrik has plenty of launch for golfers who feel 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 technological advancements have allowed you to get a similar ball height with a lower loft club. Many drivers now only come in 9 or 10.5-degree lofts and do not sell the 12-degree.

New drivers also place a tungsten weight bar across the bottom of their club face. This weight applies force to the lower half of the golf ball, assisting with launch and distance.

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 difference in using a 9 vs 10.5 vs 12-degree driver loft.

LET LOFT HELP YOU!! Whats the difference between 9, 11 & 13 degree driver lofts?

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.

  1. Budget
  2. Design
  3. Feel
  4. Driver Shaft
  5. Forgiveness

Budget

When shopping for a driver, consider your budget and look for a club that offers the best value for money. Plenty of high-quality drivers are available at various price points, so choose one that fits your needs and budget.

Design of Beginner Drivers

Beginner drivers often feature larger clubheads and higher MOI for added forgiveness. Look for a driver with a larger sweet spot and features that promote stability and control.

The Feel of Beginner Drivers

Select a driver that feels comfortable and well-balanced in your hands. A good driver should inspire confidence and help you develop a consistent, repeatable swing.

Golf Shaft Selection

Choose the appropriate shaft flex based on your swing speed, which will help you maximize distance and accuracy. If you’re unsure about your swing speed, consider getting fitted for a driver at a local golf store or fitting center.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a measure of how easy a driver is to hit. If a driver has high forgiveness, you can get an 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 more forgiving drivers have a bigger club head size, so look for this. Tour players prefer a smaller club head with more concentrated weighting instead.

Key Terms

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 club head’s mass 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

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.

Professional Driver Fittings for Beginners

One of the best ways to ensure you choose the right driver for your game is to get professionally fitted. A professional club fitting considers your swing speed, launch angle, and other swing characteristics to help you find the best driver for your skill level and preferences.

A proper fitting can significantly improve your performance on the course, making it a worthwhile investment for beginner golfers looking to progress in the sport.

Conclusion

As a beginner golfer, finding the right driver can make all the difference in your game. With a driver that is forgiving, easy to hit, and designed to help you achieve maximum distance, you’ll be well on your way to improving your skills and enjoying your time on the golf course.

Remember, the Callaway Rogue ST MAX D is our top pick for the best golf driver for beginners, offering a perfect blend of forgiveness and cutting-edge technology. However, don’t hesitate to explore the other options on our list, as they cater to various needs and preferences.

When choosing a driver, consider factors like budget, design, feel, and forgiveness, and always consult a professional for a proper club fitting. By following the advice in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision and find the perfect driver to help you elevate your golf game.

Share your experiences with beginner drivers in the comments section below, and let us know which club worked best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Moment of Inertia?

Moment of Inertia (MOI) is a term used in golf to describe a club’s resistance to twisting upon impact with the ball. A higher MOI means the club is more stable and forgiving, making it ideal for beginner golfers who are still perfecting their swing.

What loft driver should I buy as a beginner golfer?

As a beginner golfer, starting with a driver with a higher loft, usually between 10.5 and 12 degrees, is recommended. This will help you get the ball airborne more easily and achieve a better trajectory.

Is a higher loft driver easier to hit?

Yes, a higher loft driver is generally easier to hit for beginners. Higher loft drivers help get the ball airborne with less effort, promoting a higher trajectory and longer carry distance.

What golf shaft do I need in my golf driver?

As a beginner, you’ll want to choose a golf shaft that complements your swing speed. Typically, golfers with slower swing speeds should opt for a more flexible shaft, while those with faster swing speeds should choose a stiffer shaft.

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.

How can I measure my swing speed?

You can measure your swing speed using a launch monitor or radar-based device at a local golf store or fitting center. This will help you determine the appropriate shaft flex for your driver.

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.

What is forgiveness on a golf driver?

In golf, forgiveness refers to a club’s ability to produce consistent results despite imperfect swings or off-center strikes. A forgiving driver helps minimize the negative effects of mishits, making it an excellent choice for beginner golfers.

What is the sweet spot on a golf driver?

The sweet spot on a golf driver is the area on the clubface where optimal ball contact occurs, resulting in maximum distance and accuracy. Hitting the sweet spot consistently can be challenging, especially for beginners.

Denny Putsh
Denny Putsh

With over 25 years experience in the world of golf, I've dedicated a significant portion of my life to appreciating this sport. From my early days swinging a club at 12 years old to now, my passion has only grown. While I avidly follow the PGA Tour, what truly captivates me is the evolution of golf equipment and technology. Over the years, I've familiarized myself with the latest gadgets, training aids, and golf accessories that enhance the golfing experience. My mission is to share this knowledge and enthusiasm with fellow golf aficionados, ensuring they have access to the best insights and recommendations. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, I'm here to guide you through the dynamic world of golf innovation.

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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