Thanks for checking out Golfer Geeks’ review of the best drivers for mid handicappers & average golfers. Updated for 2023.
I’m an avid golfer, a
n 8ish handicap on my way to a 2 (been a 5.6), and frequent tester of golf clubs and equipment since 2015.
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 last year’s models. Though you may have issues getting your preferred specs or with customization.
In this review of the best drivers for mid handicap & intermediate golfers we discuss, benefits and features of each, our recommendations, and we share any discounts we’ve scared up.
Our #1 Recommendation for 2023: The Taylormade Stealth 2 Driver
Rest of the Best Mid Handicap Drivers (Updated for 2023)
- #1 Taylormade Stealth (Editor’s Pick)
- #2 Cobra LTDx
- #3 Cobra LTDx Max
- #4 Ping G430 Max
- #5 Ping G425 Max
- #6 Callaway Rogue ST Max D
- #7 Callaway Rogue ST Max
- #8 Taylormade SIM2
- #9 Cobra Radspeed XB
- How to choose the best driver for a mid handicap golfer?
- What is the best driver shaft for a mid handicapper?
- What is the best driver loft for a mid handicapper?
- Should I Get A Professional Fitting?
- What is the best driver for a mid handicapper or average golfer?
- What is considered mid handicap in golf?
- How do I know which driver is right for me?
- What are the easiest drivers to hit?
Best Drivers For Mid Handicappers & Average Players Reviewed
#1 Taylormade Stealth 2 (Editor’s Pick)
The Taylormade Stealth 2 Driver is #1 Recommendation for mid handicap golfers for a few reasons.
- Superb distance and most forgiving driver tested in 2023.
- Superb sound & feel. Nice improvement over last year’s Stealth.
- Improved cosmetics. They’ve gone from a flat finish to gloss and it works well.
- I love the muted sound on impact.
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 Reviews: 95.28% 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..
#2 Callaway Paradym (New Editor’s Pick)
The new Callaway Paradym driver is our Runner Up for mid handicap golfers for a few reasons.
- Large sweet spot for great forgiveness and loads of distance.
- It keeps you in play when you aren’t swinging your best.
- Superb sound & feel – reminiscent of the Mavrik driver from a couple years ago (the gold standard)
- Best looking driver I’ve seen in years.
The Paradym is a joy to hit and turns my mediocre swings into fairways hit or at least a decent shot into the green. Which, is all I ask of a driver.
My driver swing has been more sporadic this year than last, so I really need help off the tee. When I manage a good swing, the Paradym sends it. When not so good, I still have a play into the green.
It didn’t save my worst swings, but that’s not reasonable.
Customer Reviews: 98% of reviewers would recommend to a friend.
Recommendation: Premium driver at a premium price. Needs to be on your list to test if you’re in the market.
#3 Taylormade Stealth (Former Editor’s Pick)
We highly recommend the
- It’s forgiving all over the face. I was minimally punished for off-center contact.
- It keeps marginal swings playable for better looks at the green.
- I consistently carried the ball as for or farther than I have in years.
- I love the muted sound on impact.
I’m an inconsistent driver most days (though I’ve been working on this… Hard). And I never hit standard length drivers. The Stealth and most modern drivers weigh in at 45.75 inches out of the box. (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 on the range and on the course with the Stealth for a couple reasons: 1) My hard work is paying off. 2) This is a great driver that rewards decent swings.
It’s one of the easiest drivers to hit I’ve ever tested.
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 Reviews: 94% would recommend to a friend. Average 4.8 rating out of 5 from 511 reviews.
Recommendation: Last year’s Editor’s Pick. Now on sale. Still worth a look.
#4 Cobra LTDx Max
The Cobra LTDx Max driver ranks high on our list for a couple of reasons.
- Easy to hit
- Beaucoup distance & forgiveness
- Best in class feel and sound
The Cobra LTDx Max is even more forgiving than the LTDx (which is mucho forgiving & awesome).
They both have great feel, great sound, excellent forgiveness, & distance.
The LTDx Max made me look like a good driver – which is not easy.
It has more customization options than the Ping G425 Max, too.
Customer Reviews: 16 reviews with a 4.9 average rating on cobragolf.com. (I concur)
Recommendation: One of my favorite drivers ever. MUST test. You will like. Guaranteed you won’t return it because of performance.
#5 Cobra LTDx
The Cobra LTDx driver makes our list for best driver for mid handicaps for a couple reasons.
- Easy to hit.
- It’s long and forgiving.
- 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.
#4 Ping G430 Max
The Ping G430 Max driver is 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: Early days, but all 5 reviews at pinggolf.com are 5 stars for the G430 Max.
Recommendation: Any golfer that 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.
Get 8% OFF with Coupon Code: GolferGeek
#5 Ping G425 Max
New & Used Clubs Available
Get 8% off from Global Golf with Code: GolferGeek
- Great for mediocre drivers (like me)
- Long & Forgiving
- Med-high penetrating ball flight
- Not the best-looking driver of 2022
The G425 Max driver is on our list for best beginner & high-handicap drivers for a couple reasons.
- As forgiving as our Editor’s Pick
- Springy face and beaucoup distance
- 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
#6 Callaway Rogue ST Max D
The Rogue ST Max D driver is our 3rd place finisher for best mid-handicap driver for a couple reasons.
- Consistently easy to hit drives straight or with a slight draw – my preferred.
- Good distance & accuracy without center contact.
- Great feel & sound.
I’m a natural drawer of the ball with irons and fairway woods. I prefer a draw with my driver too, but it’s harder for. So, I was curious to see what the Max D would do for me.
I played 3 rounds with the Rogue ST Max D. My swing was sideways for the first 2. I’m already an inconsistent driver, but this was worse. I was determined to give the Max D another try – Glad I did.
My swing was good to go and hitting the Max D was glorious. Long high draws. Long straight shots. Long slight pushes. Never a snap hook or close to it.
Customer Reviews: 92% of reviewers would recommend the Callaway Rogue ST Max D. (That number should be 98% or more. Some reviewers said all positive things, then gave 4-stars. Or, hadn’t hit the club, but gave it 4 stars. WIERD)
Recommendation: Don’t sleep on the Max D. It’s a serious performer or it wouldn’t be on this list.
#7 Callaway Rogue ST Max
The Callaway Rogue ST Max is an excellent driver and makes our list for a couple reasons
- Easy to hit and works hard to keep drives playable
- Plenty long
- Nice sound and solid feel on impact
- 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.
Note: Sleep not on the Rogue ST Max D version – I tested it and it’s killer
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
The Taylormade SIM2 driver made our list of best mid handicap drivers for a couple reasons
- It is so, so easy to hit
- It’s long and forgiving
- It feels great and sounds better
- 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 heartbeat if you can get your specs or close to them.
#9 Cobra Radspeed XB
The Cobra Radspeed XB driver is our Best Value for mid handicap drivers for a couple reasons
- Premium feel & sound
- Superb forgiveness & distance
- Covers nicely for marginal swings
- 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.
How to choose the best driver for a mid handicap golfer?
Even the best golf drivers for mid-handicaps won’t work for every mid handicapper.
Let me explain…
Just because a driver works well for a couple of your golf buddies doesn’t necessarily mean it will work the same way for you. (I know from Very personal experience)
Everyone has their favorite brands. I was a Callaway guy forever and a day. But the fact is, it’s the Taylormade R7 460 that allowed me to put a driver back in my bag about 15 years ago after being unable to hit a driver for about 5 years.
All top manufacturers are producing better drivers for mid-handicappers than ever before. When you’re choosing your best golf driver, everyone knows about club head loft and shaft flex. What about kick point, or shaft length, or grip size, or…?
You get the picture. There are many variables. And, they aren’t exactly giving away the best golf drivers for mid handicappers these days. You might also wonder whether a professional fitting is necessary. I’ll cover that in this section too.
What is the best driver shaft for a mid handicapper?
General Guidelines: That are in no way set in stone.
- Swing your driver over 105 mph? You can probably start thinking about an X- stiff shaft.
- Swing your driver in the 90 – 100 mph range? A stock stiff shaft will likely work fine for you.
- Swing your driver 80 – 90 mph? A regular shaft is likely your best bet.
- Swing your driver < 80 mph? A Senior flex shaft should do the trick.
- The shaft is responsible for transferring the power from your swing through the clubhead and into your ball.
We mid handicappers hit our drives powerfully and with better distance and trajectory when we marry up the proper shaft flex with our swing characteristics.
- Generally speaking, softer flex shafts go with slower speed swings. Softer flex means more flex and gives you the “potential” for more distance.
- Generally speaking, stiffer flex shafts go with faster speed swings. Stiffer flex means less flex and gives you the “potential” for more control at the cost of “some” distance.
Mid handicappers often have a wide range of swing speeds and ball speeds. The faster you swing, the stiffer your shaft may need to be. But not in all cases. That will depend on the fitter and their theory of club fitting.
What is the best driver loft for a mid handicapper?
The best loft for a mid-handicapper is 9 to 10.5 degrees, usually.
More Loft = More Forgiveness
Even the best players in the world are using higher lofts these days. 7-degree and 8-degree golf drivers were the norm on tour not too long ago.
Your swing speed partially determines the loft you need. Faster swings generally get the ball airborne easier, so “may” require less loft than those of us with slower swing speeds.
Also, more loft equals more forgiveness because sidespin is reduced and backspin is enhanced.
For example, a reasonably skilled driver with fast clubhead speed may choose a driver with a loft of 9 to 10.5 degrees to add in the forgiveness factor. Those of us with swing speeds under the century mark should look into the higher loft ranges.
Luckily for us, the best golf drivers for mid-handicappers or any handicaps have adjustable lofts.
Should I Get A Professional Fitting?
Is a fitting by a professional fitter absolutely necessary? No.
Will getting fit for your driver help you play better? Yes.
So, the choice is ultimately up to you. What’s your priority?
The average new driver costs >
$400$500. Getting fit by a qualified fitter will cost in the neighborhood of $100.
I tend to keep my driver for a long time, so I figure I may as well get fitted for it. Not a very hard call for me.
My suggestion for mid-handicappers: Get Fitted
What is the best driver for a mid handicapper or average golfer?
Our #1 pick for best driver for mid-handicap golfers is the Taylormade
Stealth. It’s good at everything
What is considered mid handicap in golf?
A handicap between 20ish and 8ish is considered to be a mid handicap. There are NO hard and fast rules on this.
How do I know which driver is right for me?
Testing on the range and on the course is the only way to know which driver is right for you. You need to feel comfortable looking down at it at address and you have to be confident you can hit it in play with a shot at the green most of the time.
What are the easiest drivers to hit?
The easiest drivers for mid handicappers to hit have a high COR and MOI with at least 10.5 degrees of loft. In English – They are forgiving and have a large sweet spot to keep you in play, help you with launch, and help you with hitting the ball farther.
Verdict on the Best Drivers for Mid Handicappers in 2023
We’re going with the
Premium performance. Premium looks. Premium price.
Our #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 of the best drivers for mid handicappers & average golfers on the market in 2023.
I hope whichever one you buy works as well for you as all of these worked for me.