By Jamie Boudreaux
Last Update August 2, 2022

Best Drivers For Beginners & High Handicappers 

Drivers for high handicap golfers and beginners: Callaway Epic Max & Callaway Rogue ST Max

This is our review of the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers in 2022.

I'm an avid golfer, a 9.2 7 handicap on my way to a 2 (been a 5.6) and 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. 

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, benefits and features of each, our recommendations, and we share any discounts we've scared up.

Our #1 Recommendation for 2022: The Ping G425 Max Driver

Editor's Pick - Most Forgiving
Ping G425 MAX Driver
4.8

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Pros:
  • Great for mediocre drivers (like me)
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Med-high penetrating ball flight
Cons:
  • Not the best looking driver of 2022
  • Not cheap
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Rest of the Best Drivers for Beginners & High Handicappers in 2022

  1. Cobra LTDx (1st Runner Up)
  2. Taylormade Stealth (Best All Around)
  3. Cobra Radspeed XB (Best Value)
  4. Callaway Rogue ST Max
  5. Taylormade SIM2

Drivers for Beginners & High Handicaps Reviewed

#1 Ping G425 Max 

Editor's Pick - Most Forgiving
Ping G425 MAX Driver
4.8

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Pros:
  • Great for mediocre drivers (like me)
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Med-high penetrating ball flight
Cons:
  • Not the best looking driver of 2022
  • Not cheap
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The G425 Max driver is our #1 recommendation for best beginner & high handicap drivers for a couple reasons.

  1. Most forgiving of the bunch by just a hair
  2. Springy face and beaucoup distance
  3. Good feel & sound

Ping's been making great drivers for a while, but I hadn't put my hands on one in years. The G400  & G410 are well-known to be great drivers and I'd heard and read nothing but good things about the G425 Max.

All the great things were validated on the first swing. Long high draw down the middle and it felt great coming off the face. I hit a bunch of good drivers during my round and I could see myself owning the G425 Max, no problem. 

My biggest gripe is the looks are pretty plain for a premium driver and I couldn't get a shaft close to my specs. 

Customer Reviews: 96% of reviewers would recommend the G425 Max. It has 225 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: If you need help with your driving (like me), you gotta give the Ping G425 Max driver a try.

Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek

#2 Cobra LTDx  (Runner Up)

Runner Up
Cobra LTDx Driver
5.0

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Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Awesome Feel & Sound
  • Keeps you in play for better scoring
Cons:
  • Good, but not great looks
  • Pricey
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The Cobra LTDx driver is our Runner Up best driver for beginners & high handicap golfers for a couple reasons.

  1. Easy to hit
  2. Beaucoup distance & forgiveness
  3. Best in class feel and sound

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. 

Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek

#3 Taylormade Stealth 

Best Driver for All Handicaps
TaylorMade Stealth Driver
5.0

8% OFF w/ Code: GolferGeek



Pros:
  • Stellar Feel & Sound
  • Tons of Forgiveness & Distance
  • Looks great behind the ball
Cons:
  • Pricey
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The Taylormade Stealth Driver makes is in out top three for best drivers for beginner golfers for a few reasons. (Or any handicap)

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

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. 

Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek

#4 Cobra Radspeed XB

Best Driver Value
Cobra Radspeed XB Driver Matte Peacoat-Red
5.0

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Pros:
  • Stellar forgiveness & distance
  • Great feel & sound
  • Best bargain in premium drivers
Cons:
  • Nada
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The Cobra Radspeed XB driver is our Best Value for mid handicap drivers for a couple reasons

  1. Superb forgiveness & distance
  2. Easy to hit
  3. Premium feel & sound
  4. Covers nicely for marginal swings
  5. Best deal on a new premium driver on the market

Cobra drivers take a back seat to no manufacturers in performance, feel, and sound. They don't have the rep yet, but they'll get there.

I love the XB. I'm new to Cobra drivers and I had no idea how good they were until a few months ago. I just never took them seriously. Do now...and you should too. 

The XB was a dream to hit and play. A LOT of comments from playing partners about how well I hit this driver.

Make sure you try the "XB". The regular Radspeed is harder to hit - straight up. 

Customer Reviews: Mostly 5-star and some 4-star reviews at cobragolf.com (they don't aggregate reviews)

Recommendation: This one's for the bargain hunters that don't want to budge on performance. Give the XB a try. You'll see.

Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek

#5 Callaway Rogue ST Max

Best Looking Driver of 2022
Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver
5.0

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Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Premium Looks
  • Great Sound & Feel
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • 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.

Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek

#6 Taylormade SIM2  

Best Driver of 2021
TaylorMade SIM2 Driver
5.0

Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek

Pros:
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Great Sound & Feel
Cons:
  • Cheaper than last year, but still not cheap
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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 Reviews: 99% 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.

Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek

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. 

When it comes to shaft flex, there is no industry standard and manufacturers can label their shafts whatever flex they want.

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. 

Bottom Line: What are your goals and how serious are you about playing better golf? Let that be your guide.


Verdict: Our favorite Beginner & high handicap driver is...

The best driver for beginners & high handicappers is the Ping G425 Max.

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 2022 and beyond. 

Editor's Pick
Ping G425 MAX Driver
4.8

Get 8% off from Global Golf with Code: GolferGeek

Pros:
  • Great for mediocre drivers (like me)
  • Long & Forgiving
  • Med-high penetrating ball flight
Cons:
  • Not the best looking driver of 2022
  • Not cheap
New or Used Global Golf Read Our Review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

About the author 

Jamie Boudreaux

Okayist golfer I know. On a quest to get down to a 2 and take you along for the ride. 

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