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: Taylormade Stealth Driver (click to see)
Best Driver For The Money: Cleveland Launcher XL Driver (click to see)
Best For Distance: Taylormade M1 Driver (click to see)
Drivers For Beginners Specification Table Comparison
|Driver Name||Taylormade Stealth Driver||Cleveland Launcher XL Driver||Taylormade M1 Driver||Cobra F-Max Offset Driver||Cleveland Launcher HB Driver||Taylormade RBZ Driver|
|Our Rating||9.2/10 |
Best Driver For The Money
Best For Distance
Best For Distance
Best For Control
Runner Up For Distance
|Pricing||Jump To Pricing Section||Jump To Pricing Section||Jump To Pricing Section||Jump To Pricing Section||Jump To Pricing Section||Jump To Pricing Section|
|Grip||Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red Grip||Golf Pride Pure Velvet 360||TM Lamkin Performance 360||Lamkin REL 360 Midsize||Lamkin Cleveland Blue Cap Grip||Lamkin Black 0.620 Grip|
|Face Angle||Draw Bias||Adjustable||Adjustable||Draw Bias (Offset Model) Or Neutral Bias (Straight Neck Hosel Model)||Draw Bias||Adjustable|
|Loft Angle||9°,10.5°,12°||Adjustable||Adjustable||9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°||9 degrees, 10.5 degrees, 12 degrees||Adjustable|
|Golf Shaft||Aldila Ascent Red, Ventus Red 5, Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6,Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60||Project X Cypher 50||Fujikura Pro XLR8 56/Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60/ Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65||Cobra Airspeed 40||Miyazaki C. Kua 50||Matrix White Tie 55|
|Shaft Flex||Senior/Regular/Stiff/Extra Stiff||Senior/Regular/Stiff/Extra-Stiff||Senior/Regular/Stiff/Extra-Stiff||Stiff/Regular/Senior||Stiff/Regular/Senior||Stiff/Senior/Regular/Ladies|
|Read Review||Jump To Taylormade Stealth Driver Review||Jump To Cleveland Laucnehr XL Review||Jump To Taylormade M1 Review||Jump To Cobra F-Max Offset Review||Jump To Cleveland Launcher HB Review||Jump To Taylormade RBZ Driver Review|
Taylormade Stealth Driver
Rating: 9.2 /10
The Taylormade Stealth driver beat all the competition in our testing as the best driver for beginners (and high handicappers).
If you are starting out and feeling self-conscious about getting distance or hitting straighter off the golf tee, this is the beginner driver for you.
The Stealth driver (specially designed for new golfers) uses all-new tech to help beginners hit the ball straighter and longer. No competitor has this tech yet! Mis-hits with this driver is less punishing than other drivers too as it’s so forgiving.
It’s like using a ‘get out of jail free’ card on the golf course!.
So what exactly is this new tech?
Taylormade has revolutionized the golf driver market by introducing carbon into the Stealth driver. This 60X Carbon Twist Face weighs less than the standard titanium driver.
WAY less. 40% less to be exact.
To get slightly techy for a second: The lighter Carbon fiber face material creates a better energy transfer at impact as it has less resistance and is less dense than titanium. Better energy transfer equals better ball speed for your drive.
The end result for you is a longer and more consistent drive when you smack the ball off the tee. Perfect for any of you with slow or kinda slow swing speeds.
For one reviewer, he increased his swing speed from 80 to 87mph in a 2 week period. SERIOUS gains.
This carbon has other magic qualities to make your driving easier..
The weight saving from the lighter carbon material means Taylormade can place more mass lower in the head of the Stealth driver.
Ok….What does this mean? By placing weight further away from the face of the driver, the club will reduce twisting at impact.
For you, this means less club rotation when you strike the ball which, in theory, means fewer balls in the trees and more on the fairway. This design cheat code also means you get higher launches from your drives. Win-win for any off-centre shots!
What We Loved About The Taylormade Stealth Driver
- New Carbonwood technology increases distance and forgiveness: the new carbon face material drastically reduces mishits and adds much-needed yards to your drives. As a beginner, these are the key features you need in your driver.
- Increased clubhead speed from tech means even more distance: Taylormade uses a design called asymmetric Inertia Generator which jacks up your clubhead speed on the downswing using advanced geometry and aerodynamics. More clubhead speed means more ball speed and this leads to longer drives. Yes, it’s techy but if it means your drive is longer than the father in law it’s worth it!
- All-weather consistency and durability: Polyurethane covers the driver’s face and ensures that you can hit consistent drives in all types of weather. This means your drives will fly the same distance in rain or shine. This extra layer also means the driver is more durable to wear and tear..
- Sweet Sound: Cracking your drive down the fairway is all the sweeter when it lets you know you’ve made a sweet connection and it also lets everyone in earshot too which is a confidence booster. The Stealth has some seriously powerful acoustics which will get attention on good strikes.
- Worried about a really big slice? You can also use the Taylormade Stealth HD (High Draw) driver which has stronger forgiveness than the Taylormade Stealth.
No Adjustable hosel: You cannot change the loft or lie angle on these drivers so you need to ensure you get the correct angles for your swing before you buy. You can get an adjustable hosel in the Taylormade Stealth Plus which will suit you if you’ve got a fast swing speed.
Price: The Taylormade Stealth is in the mid to high price range for drivers. If you only plan to rarely then look elsewhere. If you actually use the driver it’s worth the price, especially with its durability. Given how cutting-edge the tech is the price could be higher.
If you want the most advanced design for beginner golfers with distance and accuracy as core features you will be suited to the Taylormade Stealth driver.
Just be aware: Don’t buy this club if you plan to only play once a year, it won’t be worth it.
If you need to go the budget route, keep reading to our next club. If you want the best overall driver for beginners on the market today, go for the Taylormade Stealth.
cleveland Launcher XL Driver
Rating: 9.1 /10
Up next we have the Cleveland Launcher XL Driver; our budget-friendly alternative to the Taylormade Stealth.
It stacks up against the Taylormade Stealth driver in most areas and it’s over $100 cheaper.
For one thing, you get an adjustable hosel with the Cleveland Launcher XL. This is missing from the Taylormade Stealth. With the hosel, you can change the loft and launch angle of the driver whenever you feel like it.
How will that help you?
As your golf game improves, your swing naturally changes and with that comes changes to your preferred loft angle and lie angle.
The Cleveland Launcher XL hosel means you can change the launch angle to match your improving swing over time.
You don’t have to change drivers when your loft needs change. This is a big money saver!
Much like the Taylormade Stealth, it has cutting edge forgiveness technology. In fact, it has the most MOI ever in a Cleveland Golf drive (its giant head has an MOI of 5,200 g-cm² to be exact).
Ok…who is our life saver MOI friend again?
MOI or Moment of inertia measures how resistant a clubhead is to twisting. The higher it is the more resistant. This means less club rotation when you strike the ball. For you, this means straighter drives as the driver won’t easily be twisted off center on your downswing.
One area where Taylormade Stealth beats the Launcher XL in testing is distance. Launcher XL main focus is on creating a forgiving club so some distance has been sacrificed.
Just remember – the Launcher XL won’t fix your bad swing….it will make shots from your bad swing more playable though.
If increased distance is your main goal, go for the Stealth. If you need your driver to be more forgiving because you slice often, go for the Launcher XL.
What We Love About The Cleveland Launcher XL Driver
- Stops you casting the club – Cleveland have added a sneaky little counterbalanced 8 gram weight in the grip of the driver. This will you from casting the club in your downswing. Casting is when you throw the club forward putting it out of alignment with the golf ball. The result? Some very ugly mishits. Avoiding these is very welcomed.
- Massive MOI (forgiveness) – The extra large head on this driver and tech called the Rebound Frame means you hit the ball off center and still end up on the fairway. For you, this means more comfort standing over the tee as there’s less pressure to hit the ball dead centre.
- Save some $$$ – Most drivers at this price are missing some fundamentals. Cleveland have packed everything into driver which makes it a steal.
What We Don’t Love About The Cleveland Launcher XL Driver
Lacking Taylormade Stealth’s distance – You can’t get everything in life right! The Launcher is built more for forgiveness than pure distance. I know…with a name like ‘Launcher’ you would think it really launches golf balls. It gets decent length but not a patch on the Stealth.
Best For Distance
Rating: 9.1 /10
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- HiBore Technology for more forgiveness.
- Flex Fins for faster face flex and ball speed.
- Launcher Cup Face to increase sweet spot.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.