Best Driver For Beginners and High Handicappers: 2022 Buyer’s Guide

Even for a beginner golfer, not being able to get off the tee is embarrassing.

We have all been there:

You don’t want to slow down your group and you don’t want to lose another ball, but it seems impossible to hit a fairway (or even hit a ball that’s playable). This scenario plagues novice golfers.

Hitting a straight and consistent drive is hard for beginners, but having the wrong driver can make it impossible. 

Fortunately, our team tested 20 of the top beginner drivers on the market and put them in the hands of beginner golfers to determine which ones helped them hit better tee shots.

Whether you can hit it far and need the ball to go straight, or if you just need help getting the ball in the air, our buying guide will help you find the perfect driver for your game. 

Below you will find our top picks, followed by our full report containing not only info on drivers themselves, but some key tips to help your game.

Ready to start getting off the tee with ease?

Let’s dive in.

Best Driver for Beginners

Editor’s Choice
Rating: 9.2/10
Callaway XR Driver

Unique ‘Speed Step’ design helps increase swing speed.

Large driver head allows for increased forgiveness.

“8-1-1” titanium provides significant driving distance boost.

Best Driver For The Money
Rating: 8.8/10
Pinemeadow Offset Driver

Best combination of value and driver technology.

Offset clubhead designed to help slice.

Very lightweight but balanced driver.

Best For Distance
Rating: 9.1/10
Taylormade M1 Driver

One of the biggest hitting drivers out there.

Driver settings can be changed to suit your style through adjustable weights.

Carbon fiber design for a light feel.

Best For Slice
Rating: 9.0/10
Cobra F-Max Offset Driver

Lightweight driver for increased swing speed.

Hosel design allows you set up club for a maximum draw bias.

Mid-range price option.

Best For Control
Rating: 8.9/10
Cleveland Launcher HB Driver

HiBore technology for reduced spin rates and higher launches.

‘Flex fins’ feature help increase ball speed.

Large sweet spot provides more forgiveness.

Runner Up For Distance
Rating: 9.2/10
Taylormade RBZ Driver

‘Speed Pocket’ technology helps swings speeds.

Low centre of gravity helps driver launches.

Great distance for a reasonable price.

Driver NameCallaway XRPinemeadow OffsetTaylormade M1Cobra F-Max OffsetCleveland Launcher HBTaylormade RBZ Driver
Our Rating9.2/10
Editor’s Choice
8.8/10
Best Driver For The Money
9.1/10
Best For Distance
9.0/10
Best For Distance
8.9/10
Best For Control
9.2/10
Runner Up For Distance
PricingJump To Pricing SectionJump To Pricing SectionJump To Pricing SectionJump To Pricing SectionJump To Pricing SectionJump To Pricing Section
Head Size460cc460cc460cc460cc460cc460cc
GripCallaway Standard GripPinemeadow Standard GripTM Lamkin Performance 360Lamkin REL 360 MidsizeLamkin Cleveland Blue Cap GripLamkin Black 0.620 Grip
Face AngleAdjustableDraw BiasAdjustableDraw Bias (Offset Model) Or Neutral Bias (Straight Neck Hosel Model)Draw BiasAdjustable
Loft AngleAdjustable10.5 degreesAdjustable9.5 degrees, 10.5 degrees, 11.5 degrees9 degrees, 10.5 degrees, 12 degreesAdjustable
Golf ShaftProject X LZ 50 BluePinemeadow Limited GraphiteFujikura Pro XLR8 56/Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60/ Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65Cobra Airspeed 40Miyazaki C. Kua 50Matrix White Tie 55
Shaft Length46″46″45.5″46″45.5″45.5″
Shaft MaterialGraphiteGraphiteGraphiteGraphiteGraphiteGraphite
Shaft FlexSenior/Regular/StiffSenior/Regular/Stiff/Extra-StiffSenior/Regular/Stiff/Extra-StiffStiff/Regular/SeniorStiff/Regular/SeniorStiff/Senior/Regular/Ladies
Read ReviewJump To Callaway XR ReviewJump To Pinemeadow Offset ReviewJump To Taylormade M1 ReviewJump To Cobra F-Max Offset ReviewJump To Cleveland Launcher HB ReviewJump To Taylormade RBZ Driver Review

How To Pick Out The Right Driver?

Club Head Size

The first thing to consider is the club head size and material. The USGA has rules regarding how large the clubhead can be on a driver and they’ve set the maximum size currently at 460 cubic centimeters (CC). When reviewing most drivers, you’ll see they fall between 440cc and 460cc.

Larger clubheads are better for beginners because they’re more forgiving and give a bigger area to make contact with the golf ball. More skilled golfers prefer a smaller clubhead for shot shaping draws and fades.

Club Head Material

Material is another factor. Titanium is most commonly used as the club head material type but it’s also common to find stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, or other alloys.

Material is important because it can affect how much the clubhead weighs and how fast the clubhead can swing. 

Titanium is the best material for performance but is more expensive. Stainless steel is the cheapest and could be ideal for beginners.

Weight

Club manufacturers work hard to optimize the weight distribution of the driver to create the optimal launch angle and optimal spin rate. 

Drivers can also be built with offsets making them prone to draw the ball or fade the ball to help “off-set” a golfer’s swing fault tendency.

This is done by changing the center of gravity position on the club head, which sometimes can be done manually if it’s an adjustable driver with a changing weight or adjustable hosel.

Higher Loft

As a beginner, you’ll likely benefit more from a higher lofted driver. 

The added loft can help you hit further by increasing your overall carry distance (the time the ball flies in the air before landing on the ground).

Degrees loft is what helps launch your golf ball into the air and since drivers have the lowest loft of all clubs in your bag, you should look for a 10.5 or 12 degree lofted driver.

For comparison, professional golfers play with 8.0 to 9.5 degree lofted drivers.

Shaft Considerations

Did you know choosing the right golf shaft can help you hit better drives? There are two components to choosing the proper shaft; length and flex.

The typical driver shaft length is 45 inches, but for taller players you may need to add a few inches to your shafts.

Shorter players should be okay with the standard 45-inch driver shaft length but it also may be more comfortable with a 43.5-inch shaft.

For shaft flex, you’ll want to measure your golf swing speed. Golfers with slower swing speeds will benefit from a more flexible shaft which helps the club rebound faster after making contact with the golf ball. 

For golfers with faster swing speeds (in excess of 95-100 mph) you should consider a stiffer golf shaft.

The most flexible shafts are a senior shaft (A) or a women’s/amateur shaft (A).

The Regular Flex (R) is usually the standard shaft that fits most golfer’s swing speeds. Stiff (S) and Extra-Stiff (X) are additional options if you swing in excess of 100 mph.

Forgiveness

Certain drivers today are designed for maximum forgiveness while others are built for maximum distance.

Some of the more expensive drivers are built with a combination of the two so keep this in mind when picking out the driver that suits your game best.

If you’re a beginner and struggle to make consistent contact in the center of the club face, then you’re going to benefit more from a more forgiving driver.

It’s built with a larger sweet spot so that off-center hits still maintain as much ball speed as possible to help you avoid major losses in distance.

Custom Fitting

Lastly, you should consider getting custom fitted for a driver. Most club retail stores have a staff member on-sight who can connect you to a golf simulator to learn more about your golf swing.

You’ll get feedback on your launch angle, face angle, ball speed, swing speed, and other important data.

Then the club pro can help adjust driver settings, lofts, shaft flex, shaft length to optimize the driver for your golf swing.

Considering the price of golf drivers today, you should consider getting club fitted to maximize the value you’re getting for the money spent on your driver.

Ready to dive into the reviews of the best golf drivers for beginners now? Let’s get started.


Callaway XR Driver

Editor’s Choice

Rating: 9.2 /10

Callaway XR Driver
usa suppliers

uSA Suppliers (some deliver to Canada)

uK Suppliers

Pros

  • Strong fast flexing face which helps increase ball speed.
  • More aerodynamic headshape for increased MOI.
  • Higher launch, lower spin.
  • Head designed for maximum forgiveness.
  • Consistenly highly rated by users.

Cons

  • Premium price.
  • Head set up with a slight draw bias meaning it helps with slicing. May need adjust if you drive straight using the hosel

Our choice today for the best beginner golf driver is the Callaway XR.

One of the major features of the Callaway XR driver is the Speed Step crown. Callaway worked with engineer experts at Boeing to design a more aerodynamic driver head that can move faster against wind resistance.

The result they came up with is the double ridge that is embossed on the crown of the driver, known as the “speed step.” This could help you see faster numbers on a swing speed monitor which can translate to longer drives.

Another feature is the R-MOTO face technology which helps the face flex more to create faster ball speeds. It also expands the hitting zone across the face so that ball speeds remain high even on slightly off center hits.

The driver head was redesigned with a larger shape for increased MOI, which makes the driver more forgiving. MOI stands for Moment of Inertia and it measures the resistance level of face twisting on shots not struck in the center of the face.

Higher MOI means less face twisting and thus straighter golf shots on mishits.

The weight savings from the face technology and crown design helped Callaway position the center of gravity lower and deeper in the driver head to help optimize launch on your drives.

The XR face material is Callaway’s “8-1-1 titanium” which is even stronger than before to help you hit drives with more power and feel more solid at impact.

All of these features and technologies combine to make the Callaway XR driver our favorite choice for the best driver for beginners award.


Pinemeadow Offset Driver

Budget Option

Rating: 8.8 /10

Pinemeadow Offset Driver
usa suppliers

uSA Suppliers (some deliver to Canada)

amazon.com Amazon.com $56.17
2 new from $56.17
10 used from $47.50
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Last Amazon price update was: December 5, 2022 3:17 pm

Canada Suppliers

uK Suppliers

Pros

  • Very affordable especially for beginners who don’t want spend significant money when starting out.
  • Offset helps to square face at impact.
  • Large sweet spot.
  • Balanced lightweight feel.

Cons

  • Entry level driver with less features.
  • Smaller sweet spot than other drivers on the list.
  • Less durable than other selected drivers.

The Pinemeadow Offset is our choice for best golf driver for the money. Even though it’s one of the more affordable drivers, it still packs a lot of technology that can help your golf swing.

For example, most beginner players struggle with a slice as their golf swing shot shape. This driver features an offset club head to help counter the slice golf swing by promoting draw spin on the golf ball.

It also features a 460cc club head size which gives you a larger sweet spot and helps this driver produce more forgiveness on golf shots that aren’t struck in the center of the face.

Design is professional and sleek with a matte black finish and lime green/white accents. The top of the crown has an alignment arrow to help you center the golf ball at address.

It’s also a lightweight driver, only weighing 200g but the weight is distributed to feel balanced in your hands.


Taylormade M1

Best For Distance

Rating: 9.1 /10

Pros

  • Adjustable weights to suit your golf swing.
  • Lower, deeper center of gravity helps beginners at impact.
  • One of the longest drivers on the market.
  • Carbon fiber crown techology helps maximise power on impact.

Cons

  • Older model.
  • Adjustability feature can be too technical for newcomers.

TaylorMade is one of the top golf club manufactures in the driver market and the M1 is no exception. It’s built for distance to help you hit longer drives off the tee.

TaylorMade used Carbon Fiber for the crown of the driver which is a feature that added many benefits.

First, it made the clubhead lighter as compared to other materials they could have chosen. This allows the club to feel lighter and swing faster.

Additionally, the weight saved from the carbon fiber crown was re-positioned deeper into the sole of the driver head to help increase launch and reduce spin. This combination can help you hit longer drives.

The M1 driver also features two adjustable/moveable weights allowing you to customize the driver settings to one that fits your golf swing. There are a possible 270 different adjustable position combinations between the two weights.

The 10 gram weight can be moved from toe to heel in 15 different positions to help promote draw or fade bias depending on your preference. The 15 gram sliding weight can move from left to right, below the face in 18 different positions.

Design wise, the white and black color scheme is professional and sleek to make this club attractive visually. The contrasting color scheme also helps with your alignment.

Overall, this is one of the longer drivers on the market that can help you shorten your approach shot distances from the fairway.


Cobra F-Max Offset Driver

Best For Slices

Rating: 9.0 /10

Pros

  • Offset hosel design for better launch
  • Ultralight shafts for faster swing speeds
  • Back, heel center of gravity to promote forgiveness
  • Good mid price range alternative.

Cons

  • Club is too light for some players.
  • Offset driver so not made for those of you who are straight hitters

According to Cobra, the F Max driver is designed for moderate swing speed golfers and built for more forgiveness. The feature I like about it most is the offset design to help produce counter spin that reduces the slice most beginner golfers suffer from.

The hosel is designed with offset to create maximum draw bias but you also have the option of a straight hosel design for minimal draw bias.

The shafts were constructed with lighter weight material to help you swing the club faster. Swing weights were strategically placed in the driver head to help you see improvements in launch and spin.

Overall, it’s a solid driver option for beginners with features that help make it more forgiving while still producing distance on your drives.


Cleveland Launcher HB Driver

Best For Control

Rating: 8.9 /10

Pros

  • HiBore Technology for more forgiveness.
  • Flex Fins for faster face flex and ball speed.
  • Launcher Cup Face to increase sweet spot.

Cons

  • Long shaft reduces control for less experienced players.
  • Not as high-tech as other selected clubs.

The Cleveland Launcher may be right for you if you’re looking for a forgiving driver.

Cleveland used HiBore Technology to move the center of gravity lower and deeper in the driver head to promote higher launch, and lower spin rates. This helps control trajectory so the driver produces straighter shots and less severe curves on mishits.

The HiBore technology also works to increase your ball speed off the driver’s face. The crown compresses at impact and then decompresses at launch to transfer more energy and thus faster ball speeds.

Another feature is the Flex fins that are added to the driver to promote faster face flex and ball speeds. They assist the face in compressing and decompressing when contact is made with the golf ball, to generate more energy transfer to the ball.

Lastly, the launcher cup face technology strategically shapes the face of the driver to promote more forgiveness on mishits by expanding the sweet spot of the driver’s face. While these are not new cutting edge technological features, they are reliable and have been successful for many years.


Taylormade RBZ Driver

Runner Up For Distance

Rating: 9.2 /10

Pros

  • Adjustable loft to optimize trajectory.
  • Speed pocket for improved launch and spin.
  • Sleek satin black finish with detailing to aid alignment.
  • Large sweet spot.
  • Good value for money.

Cons

  • Pretty cheap headcover.
  • Built for distance more than forgiveness.

One of the first things you’ll enjoy is the club feels lighter than most drivers which gives you added confidence in producing faster swings.

To help aid is club speed, the RBZ uses TaylorMades Speed Pocket technology which is a slot in the sole that sits just behind the clubface. The Speed Pocket improves the driver head’s aerodynamics helping the club to swing faster with less wind resistance.

It also features a lower center of gravity to improve launch on drives of amateur and mid-handicap golfers. You can adjust the driver by 1.5 degrees to 12 different positions to suit your golf swing. The RBZ driver comes standard with the Matrix White Tie 55 shaft, which TaylorMade claims can help your shot shaping control and help produce longer distances on drives.

To cap off today’s review of the best drivers for beginners, I’d recommend the Callaway XR driver as your most our most balanced choice. It has a larger head size which is ideal for beginners who need more forgiveness and a larger sweet spot to hit the golf ball.

Its face technology is stronger and faster to create fast ball speeds which are needed to hit longer drives.

Probably most importantly, it is one of the easiest drivers to connect with which is half the battle for newcomers to the sport.

FAQ

What type of driver should a beginner use?

A beginner should use a regular flex, 10.5-degree driver. It’s ultimately up to the beginner to choose what club they are comfortable with but a 10.5 degree is standard. The loft isn’t too low to where its difficult to hit and it isn’t too high to where distance is lost. The regular flex shaft also allows beginners to gather more swing speed versus a heavier stiff shaft. 

What flex should your driver be if you are a beginner?

If you are a beginner golfer you should be using a regular flex shaft. Regular flex shafts are more forgiving and increase swing speed. Using a stiff flex will be more difficult and decrease swing speed in some scenarios. If you can shoot in the mid to high 80s and strike the ball solidly, it might be time to upgrade to a stiff shaft. 

Should a beginner use a driver?

Yes, a beginner should use a driver. Drivers are imperative to the game of golf due to the distance they provide off the tee. Drivers make the ball go further than any other club in the bag. They help set up second shots that are used for scoring on the course.

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Author

Charl is a full-time writer who has been with Golfible since 2019. He is an avid golfer and tech enthusiast. When not writing, he tries to squeeze in a round of golf or escape to the mountains. Learn more about the Golfible team on our About Us page.

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