This is our review of the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers in 2024.

I’m an avid golfer, with an 8ish handicap on my way to a 2 (been a 5.6), and a frequent tester of golf clubs and equipment since 2015.

I’ve hit at least a couple hundred balls with every driver on this list, and I consider ALL of them worthy of your attention. 

Our Top 3 Recommendations for 2024(so far)

Best of 2024
Most Forgiving
Best Bargain
5.0
4.9
5.0
~$599
~$549 new
~$299 new
Pros:
  • Exceptional Forgiveness & Distance
  • Great Sound & Feel
  • Premium Looks
  • Great Launch & Trajectory
Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Premium Looks
  • Improved Sound & Feel
  • Improved shaft selection
Pros:
  • Exceptional Distance & Forgiveness
  • Best Sound & Feel
  • Now at a Bargain Price
Cons:
  • Pricey
Cons:
  • Nada
Cons:
  • Nada
Best of 2024
5.0
~$599
Pros:
  • Exceptional Forgiveness & Distance
  • Great Sound & Feel
  • Premium Looks
  • Great Launch & Trajectory
Cons:
  • Pricey
Most Forgiving
4.9
~$549 new
Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Premium Looks
  • Improved Sound & Feel
  • Improved shaft selection
Cons:
  • Nada
Best Bargain
5.0
~$299 new
Pros:
  • Exceptional Distance & Forgiveness
  • Best Sound & Feel
  • Now at a Bargain Price
Cons:
  • Nada

I would put any driver on this list in play tomorrow – they wouldn’t be on this page otherwise.  

  • ALL these drivers are Neck & Neck with each other. Much of this will come down to your personal preferences, not performance. 
  • DO NOT sleep on older models. However, you may have issues getting your preferred specs or with customization. 

The best drivers for beginners and high-handicap golfers need to do 2 things:

  1. Get the golf ball in the air easily. 
  2. TONS of forgiveness. 

No more…No less 

In this review of the best drivers for beginners and high handicap golfers, we discuss the benefits and features of each, our recommendations, and we share any discounts we’ve scared up.

Rest of the Best Drivers for Beginners & High Handicappers (2024 Updates coming soon)

  1. PING G430 Max (Most Forgiving Ping)
  2. Callaway Paradym X (Most Forgiving Callaway Driver)
  3. Cobra LTDx Max
  4. Taylormade Stealth 2
  5. Cobra LTDx
  6. Callaway Rogue ST Max
  7. Taylormade Stealth 

Drivers for Beginners & High Handicaps Reviewed

#1 Taylormade Qi10 Max

Best of 2024
Taylormade Qi10 Max Driver
4.8
Pros:
  • Exceptional Forgiveness & Distance
  • Great Sound & Feel
  • Premium Looks
  • Great Launch & Trajectory
Cons:
  • Not a significant upgrade over Stealth 2 drivers
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The brand new for 2024 Taylormade Qi10 Max driver is our new #1 recommendation for beginners and higher handicaps.

What we like:

  • Superb forgiveness and distance across the face.
  • Excellent feel and sound.
  • Premium cosmetics and looks great at address.
  • Launches your golf ball quickly and carries on a nice high trajectory.

What we don’t like:

  • Still not in love with $600 drivers.

Our expert tester Wes, put the Qi10 Max through its paces and came away more than impressed. Center contact was heavenly, as you would expect. But, the Qi10 really makes it money when you miss the sweet spot.

Heel and toe strikes loss maybe 5 yards or so – basically nothing when talking about a driver. Even Wes’s funkiest swings left his drives just off the fairway.

The Qi10 Max delivers on its promise. All we ask for from a driver…especially at $600.

Customer Reviews: Average rating of 4.7 out of 51 reviews at taylormadegolf.com.

  • The 4-star reviews didn’t offer any complaints and were complimentary.
  • The less than 4-star reviews basically said they haven’t noticed a big improvement over whatever they had before.

Recommendation: Give this driver a try if you struggle with contact off the tee, regardless of handicap. You’ll likely have found your next driver.


#2 Ping G430 Max

Highly Recommended
Ping G430 MAX Driver
4.9
Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Premium Looks
  • Improved Sound & Feel
  • Improved shaft selection
Cons:
  • Nada
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The Ping G430 Max driver is the best driver for beginners and high handicaps from Ping. (The SFT ain’t bad either)

What we like:

  • Launches high, carries well, and goooos.
  • Nice distance over much of the face.
  • Much improved sound and feel over the G425 series.
  • Much improved cosmetics.
  • Better shaft options.

What we don’t like:

  • Nada

It’s as forgiving as the G425 Max we tested in June of 2022, but with improved sound and feel and a better shaft selection. Oh, it looks a lot better too.

Time and again, the G430 Max converted my mediocre swings into drives either in the fairway or just off the fairway with a good or reasonable shot into the green.

This is ALL I want from my driver. Especially early in the year. The G430 is a driver I would own if I was in the market.

Customer Reviews: Average rating of 4.7 out of 110 reviews at pinggolf.com.

Recommendation: Any golfer who wants less stress off the tee should give the Ping G430 Max a try. It works hard to keep you playable with a nice boost in distance.

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#2 Callaway Paradym X

Highly Recommended
Callaway Paradym X Driver
5.0
Pros:
  • Premium Distance & Forgiveness
  • Excellent Sound & Feel
  • Best Looking Driver of the Year(s)
Cons:
  • Nada
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The new Paradym X driver is best driver for beginners and high handicap golfers from Callaway.

What we like:

  1. Largest sweet spot in the Callaway driver lineup.
  2. Superb distance on center contact and great distance with minor mishits.
  3. Superb sound & feel (just like the Paradym)
  4. THE best looking driver I’ve seen in years (also just like the Paradym).

What we don’t like:

  • Nada

The Paradym X is the Paradym but with more distance away from the sweet spot. I really enjoy playing and hitting the Paradym. But…

I love playing with the Paradym X even more because I still get good distance and playable drives when my swing is off.

Hitting the sweet spot is awesome and all. But, I don’t get to do it too often. I hit some truly great and beautiful drives with the Paradym X during my rounds with it.

I think it’s an exceptional driver for those of us who are mediocre off the tee.

Customer Reviews97% of reviewers would recommend it to a friend. (I have no idea what the 3% were smoking)

Recommendation: Premium driver and premium forgiveness at a premium price. Needs to be on your list to test if you’re in the market.


#3 Cobra LTDx Max 

Editor's Pick
Cobra LTDx Max Driver
5.0
Pros:
  • Exceptional Distance & Forgiveness
  • Best Sound & Feel
  • Now at a Bargain Price
Cons:
  • Nada
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The Cobra LTDx Max driver is next on our list of best driver for beginners & high handicap golfers. (And one of my very favorite drivers of the last 3 or 4 years)

What we like:

  • Launched high with great carry and fights to keep you in play.
  • Beaucoup distance & forgiveness all over the face.
  • Best in class feel and sound.

What we don’t like:

  • Nada.

The Cobra LTDx Max is even more forgiving than the LTDx (which is mucho forgiving & awesome).

I had to put a pretty bad swing on it to not be playable with decent distance. My good swings were richly rewarded.

They both have great feel, great sound, excellent forgiveness, & distance.

The LTDx Max made me look like a good driver – which is not easy.

Customer Reviews: 16 reviews with a 4.9 average rating on cobragolf.com. (I concur)

Recommendation: MUST test. You will like. Guaranteed you won’t return it because of performance. 


#4 Taylormade Stealth 2

Highly Recommended
Taylormade Stealth 2 Driver
5.0
Pros:
  • Superb Sound & Feel
  • Solid, Long & Forgiving
  • Great looking driver
Cons:
  • Pricey
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The Taylormade Stealth 2 Driver is next on our list of best drivers for beginners and high handicappers.

What we like:

  1. Superb distance and most forgiving driver tested in 2023.
  2. Superb sound & feel. Nice improvement over last year’s Stealth.
  3. Improved cosmetics. They’ve gone from a flat finish to gloss and it works well.
  4. I love the muted sound on impact.

What we don’t like:

  • Nada

I’m still an inconsistent driver – this year more than last – but I was able to connect on quite a few drives with the Stealth 2 on the course. (Not so much on the range or on my practice mat.)

Good swings and solid contact yield bombs. Mediocre swings will still get you good distance and a good shot into the green. All you can ask of a driver.

Taylormade made actual improvements with the Stealth 2 line of drivers. That’s not something I can say often. Good on them.

Most negative reviews center around quality control – The head – or pieces of the head – are just breaking. Specifically, the red carbon ring that goes around the rear of the sole.

  • I’ve seen no sign of this.
    • I’ve had mine a couple of months and it’s in perfect condition. I’ll keep an eye out and report back here on what I see.

Customer Reviews95.28% would recommend to a friend. Average 4.7 rating out of 5 from 331 reviews. 

Recommendation: Premium driver at a premium price. Needs to be on your list to test if you’re in the market..


#5 Cobra LTDx 

Highly Recommended
Cobra LTDx Driver
5.0
Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving as any
  • Superb Feel & Sound
  • Playable by any handicap
Cons:
  • Large head may turn off some low single digit handicaps
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The Cobra LTDx driver is another great driver for beginners & high handicappers. (and has been on our list since it come out in 2022)

What we like:

  • Easy to hit
  • It’s long and forgiving
  • Best in class feel and sound

What we don’t like:

  • Nada.

The Cobra LTDx was a large surprise for me. I’d never hit a Cobra driver before and didn’t know quite what to expect. Now I do. Great feel, great sound, excellent forgiveness and distance. 

I’m a mediocre driver – as I’ve said countless times on this website. My driving became a weapon with the LTDx in my hands. I don’t know how else to put it. 

The graphics and looks of the club don’t quite match it’s elite performance. That’s my only gripe. 

Customer Reviews: 27 reviews and 27 5-star reviews at cobragolf.com. (I concur)

Recommendation: The LTDx needs to be on your list of drivers to test if you’re in the market. Guaranteed you won’t return it because of performance. 


#6 Taylormade Stealth

Editor's Pick
Taylormade Stealth Driver
5.0
Pros:
  • Stellar Feel & Sound
  • Tons of Forgiveness & Distance
  • Looks great behind the ball
  • Playable by any handicap
Cons:
  • Nada
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The Taylormade Stealth Driver remains on our list of the best drivers for beginner and high handicap golfers for a few reasons. (Or any handicap)

What we like:

  • The Stealth is forgiving all over the face. I was minimally punished for off-center contact
  • It feels easy to control and keep playable. 
  • I consistently carried the ball as for or farther than I have in years. 
  • I love the muted sound on impact.

What we don’t like:

  • Not much.

I’m not a good driver most days (though I’ve been working on this… Hard). And I never hit standard length drivers. My driver is cut down to 44.25 inches so I can control it better. 

Still, I was able to hit a ton of good drives with the Stealth. 1) My hard work is paying off. 2) This is a great driver that rewards decent swings. 

I’m not an advocate for forking out this much for a driver. But if you’re gonna do it, the Stealth is a worthy investment. 

Customer Reviews94% would recommend to a friend. Average 4.8 rating out of 5 from 511 reviews. 

Recommendation: Getting over sticker shock will be your biggest hurdle. Give it a test if you’re in the market. 


#7 Callaway Rogue ST Max

Highly Recommended
Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver
4.8
Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Premium Looks
  • Great Sound & Feel
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • Not a big improvement over Epic Max
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The Callaway Rogue ST Max is an excellent driver and makes our list for a couple reasons

  1. Easy to hit and works hard to keep drives playable
  2. Plenty long with loads of forgiveness
  3. Nice sound and solid feel on impact
  4. Best looking of the 2022 bunch

Callaway has produced killer drivers since the intro of the original Rouge in 2018 or so. The Rogue ST Max has a lot of that DNA, but is more forgiving, easier to hit, and longer. 

I hit a ton of rockets during testing and dispersion was outstanding for me. Not normally my strong-suit. 

You don’t need center contact for good results. I consistently hit off-center shots towards the toe and got more than enough distance and a shot at the green. That’s all I ask of a driver.

Customer Reviews: 96% of reviewers recommend the Rogue ST Max. 

Recommendation: Put this one on your list to test if you’re in the market.


#8 Taylormade SIM2 

Editor's Pick - 2021
Taylormade SIM2 Driver
5.0
Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Great Sound & Feel
Cons:
  • Nada
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The Taylormade SIM2 driver made our list of best beginner drivers for a couple reasons

  1. It is so, so easy to hit
  2. It’s long and forgiving
  3. It feels great and sounds better
  4. You’ll start seeing pretty good deals now that the STEALTH is out.

The Taylormade SIM2 is an outstanding driver and performed exceptionally well for me. I hit tons of solid drivers with it and would gladly own this driver if I was in the market.

Taylormade drivers live up to the hype and more. I don’t believe you can find a bad one these days. 

Customer Reviews99% of reviewers would recommend the SIM2. It’s got 342 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 out of 5

Recommendation: Buy this driver in a heart beat if you can get your specs or close to them.


FAQs

How To Choose The Best Driver for high handicap & beginner golfers

There’s one performance characteristic beginners and high handicaps should place as their top priority when choosing their best driver…Forgiveness

  • Not distance
  • Not shaping shots
  • Not trajectory (though this plays a part in forgiveness)

Golf is a miserable game if you are constantly hitting from the junk or re-teeing because of lost golf balls. Even the best drivers for high handicappers won’t prevent this for you 100%, but there is help out there. Why not take advantage of it?

I’m more of a low-handicap and I still play plenty from the junk and lose more golf balls from the tee than I’d like to admit. Forgiveness is definitely a factor when I’m selecting a driver. 

Which Brand of Golf Driver Should I Choose?

All the major brands produce excellent drivers for beginners and every handicap level. Titleist used to be the exception but they’ve been producing drivers for beginners and handicap golfers for a few years now.

I personally trust the major brands such as Taylormade, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, etc. They all have a long-established track record of quality clubs.

Callaway produced the best drivers for beginners and all handicaps for a long time, then Taylormade came along around 2006-2007 and started producing the best drivers in the game. I think it’s a real competition again with Callaway coming on strong

I played Callaway for years and I’m now playing Taylormade. I wager I could easily choose another brand that fits my eye and be fine. All comes down to preference in the end.

What degree driver should beginners use?

Higher loft = more forgiveness. The best drivers for beginners will have lofts of 11,12, or 13 degrees for higher launch. Especially since many beginners or handicap golfers hit down on their drivers creating extra spin and inconsistent launch angle.

With modern driver design, it also equals more distance- up to a point.

Higher loft = increased backspin and decreased sidespin. This makes it a touch harder to slice your drives out of play.

Of course, increased loft also means getting the golf ball airborne easier. Which remember…is job one for a beginner or high handicap golfers driver.

How To Pick The Best Shaft For Your Driver

In general…

Most beginners and high-handicappers have slower swing speeds, so should be looking for a little more flex.

There’s no governing body that monitors the accuracy of the stated flex on a given shaft, so here’s where a little testing will help.

With time and testing, you’ll learn the equipment of the different manufacturers and you will get a sense of what works for you.

In times past you also had to choose between a metal and a graphite shaft. Metal shafted drivers are pretty much gone forever and you’d be hard-pressed to find a driver without a graphite shaft. 

**In my review of mid-handicap drivers I give a little better treatment of swing-speed and shaft options.

  • A weaker flex shaft will favor slower swing speed 
  • A stiffer flex shaft will favor faster swing speed

Here’s my brief guide on swing speed and shaft flex. The last two will apply to the beginner or high handicapper…usually. 

  • Swing your driver over 105 mph? You can probably start thinking about an X-stiff shaft.
  • Swing your driver in the 95 – 105 mph range? A stock stiff shaft will likely work fine for you.
  • Swing your driver 80 – 90ish mph? A regular shaft is likely your best bet.
  • Swing your driver < 80 mph? A Senior flex shaft should do the trick.

Clubhead speed is only one of the factors used to decide which shaft you should be using. This is a very basic and general guide to shaft selection, but I think this is more than adequate for the beginner or high-handicap golfer. 

Should a Beginner get a Professional Fitting for their driver?

The vast, vast, vast majority of recreational golfers do NOT get a professional fitting…and enjoy the game just fine.

Here are my thoughts: Not gospel, by any means and feel free to disagree.

  • TRUE BEGINNER: DO NOT get fit for clubs. DO get lessons–>Buy something with a regular shaft off the rack. You have no idea what you are doing in your golf swing and the swing you have now is not the swing you need to get fit for.
  • HIGH HANDICAPPER (Been playing for a couple or few years and want to get a lot better): Get Lessons 1st!
  • HIGH HANDICAPPER (Been playing for a while and just looking for a little help and more enjoyment from playing): Don’t get fit.

I’m competitive and always looking to improve, so I got fit for my driver and my irons years ago. 

Verdict on the Best Drivers for Beginners & High Handicappers in 2024

The best driver for beginners & high handicappers in 2024…is the new Taylormade Qi10 Max. It blew away our expert tester.

My #1 suggestion is to test before you buy. Either at your local golf store or take advantage of Global Golf’s Utry trial program. I use it and recommend it.

Thanks for checking out our review. Check back often as we test new drivers for 2024 and beyond.

Best of 2024
Taylormade Qi10 Max Driver
4.8
Pros:
  • Exceptional Forgiveness & Distance
  • Great Sound & Feel
  • Premium Looks
  • Great Launch & Trajectory
Cons:
  • Not a significant upgrade over Stealth 2 drivers
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