Reviews of The Best Golf Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers
Table Of Contents
- 1 Reviews of The Best Golf Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers
- 1.1 How to Choose the Best Driver for Me
- 1.2 Best Golf Drivers For Mid Handicappers: Reviews
Are you Interested in Driving the ball with more Power…Better Accuracy…Less Effort…and have more fun while doing it?
Good…I’ve personally reviewed the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers on the market today and put together a super-helpful little guide on how to choose the best golf driver for you. I hope you Love it.
As a long-suffering golf addict, I know how sucky it is to be a poor driver of the golf ball.
I went on about a 5-year run where I did not hit the driver even once! It was no use. I just settled for using a 3-wood off the tee.
The saints at Taylormade came out with the R7 460 driver…My life changed…at least on the tee box
**Spoiler Alert: I’m not here to tell you-you can buy a better game. I put in a lot of practice time with the R7
But what I swear by…is that finding a driver that fits your eye and is set up for your skill set has the “potential” to massively improve your driving performance and your enjoyment of the game.
My hope is, with a few bits of knowledge, you can go into your purchasing journey feeling informed and ready to improve your golf game like never before. We’ll set you up with the know-how you need and then introduce you to some of the best golf drivers for the beginner or high handicapper available today.
How to Choose the Best Driver for Me
There’s one performance characteristic beginners and high handicappers 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 balls. Even the MOST forgiving driver won’t prevent this for you 100%, but there is help out there. Why not take advantage of it?
Even the best players are looking for some measure of forgiveness. I’m more of a low-handicap and I still play plenty from the junk and lose more balls from the tee than I’d like. Forgiveness is definitely a factor when I’m selecting a driver.
Which Brand of Driver Should I Choose?
All the major brands produce excellent drivers for every handicap level these days. Titleist used to be the exception but they’ve been producing game-improvement equipment for a few years now.
Personally, I trust the major brands such as Taylormade, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, etc. They all have a long-established track record of quality clubs.
I played Callaway for years and I’m now playing Taylormade. I could easily choose another brand and be fine. All comes down to preference in the end.
What is the best loft for me?
More loft (10,11,12 degrees) equals more forgiveness and with the modern driver design, it also equals more distance- up to a point.
Increased loft leads to increased backspin and decreased sidespin. Of course, increased loft also means getting the ball airborne easier.
How To Pick The Best Shaft For Your Driver
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 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 speeds
- A stiffer flex shaft will favor faster swing speeds
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 I get a professional fitting?
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 want to get fit for.
- HIGH HANDICAPPER (Been playing for a couple or few years and want to get a lot better): SEE ABOVE
- HIGH HANDICAPPER (Been playing for a while and just looking for a little help and more enjoyment from playing): 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.
Best Golf Drivers For Mid Handicappers: Reviews
Ping G 400
Specifications: Standard version offers 10.5° or 9° loft with Ping Alta CB55, Flex options, Aldila X-Torsion Copper, Ping Tour 65 and 75, option between Mitusbishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi or Project X HZRDUS Yellow shafts.
Recommended For: Golfers looking for a good blend of forgiveness and a little performance
Key Technologies: There’s a forged T9S+ face to increase speed and flex, a high MOI that offers great forgiveness on hits off-center, high-density backweight, Dragonfly Technology for weight savings and a thin crown, Vortex Technology and turbulators for better aerodynamics and a bit less drag.
Our Take: Lively face will help increase your ball speed and distance off the tee. You will launch your drives higher and straighter without perfect contact.
- Keeps your ball playable thanks to added forgiveness on off-center hits
- Hit the ball higher with less effort
- Lighter weight helps you swing faster and hit it longer
- Not any really. A great driver for the beginner or high handicap golfer
- Not the most forgiving Ping G400
Ping G400 Max
Specifications: Standard version offers 9° or 10.5° loft with Ping Alta CB, various shaft options including Ping Tour, Mitsubishi Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNI 60, Aldila X-Torsion Copper or the Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75.
Recommended For: Those that want even more forgiveness than the G400
Key Technologies: Much like the G400, G400 Max has forged T9s+ face to increase speed and flex, back weight with high density for a deeper CG, MOI that’s high for superior forgiveness when a hit’s off-center. Dragonfly Technology makes the crown thinner and saves more weight. Vortec Technology and turbulators reduce drag and pump up aerodynamics of the clubhead and your swing
Our Take: Probably the best combo of performance and forgiveness in the bunch. Ping drivers are wildly popular for a reason.
- Long and forgiving–>ball go far
- Highly customizable
- Larger profile for added confidence
Ping G400 SFT
Specifications: Higher lofts available at 10 or 12° with options of Ping Tour, Ping Alta CB, and other aftermarket shafts.
Recommended For: Targets both mid-and high-handicappers who find themselves regularly fighting banana balls from the tee box.
Key Technologies: Similar to the other two drivers from Ping in this review. The SFT has high-density back weight for a deeper center of gravity. It also has T9S+ face to improve speed and flex. High MOI and off-center forgiveness are also key, along with Dragonfly Technology making the crown thinner and lighter. Finally, Vortec Technology keeps the drag light and aerodynamics efficient
Our Take: The purest slice-fighter of the Ping G400 bunch thanks to the tungsten weight in the heel, which promotes releasing of the toe. Many people find straighter shots and more accuracy with it.
- Extra slice-prevention measures even above and beyond its Very forgiving G400 siblings
- Same great features as other Ping G400 models
- None, considering the target audience
Specifications: Loft options- 8.5, 9.5 10.5, and 12 – Shaft options- Many shaft and manufacturer options when purchased directly from Taylormade
Recommended For: Great for beginners and high handicaps, but can be and is used by some of the top pros on the PGA TOUR. (Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm)
Key Technologies: Twist face for more forgiveness. Hammerhead for higher MOI over a larger portion of the face leading to increased distance. Geoacoustic cone for better feel and sound, There’s also 86% more weight at the back of the head of the club for more forgiveness and MOI.
Our Take: Seriously good driver if you simply want better distance and forgiveness. All the tech you could want without all the tinkering. I’m calling this one the best Taylormade driver for beginners.
- Higher MOI and forgiveness for longer and straighter drives
- None really
Specifications: Loft options- 9, 10.5 or 13.5 – Shaft Options- Stock graphite shafts are from Aldila. Near-endless customization options with a fat little upcharge of $150 and up.
Recommended For: We recommend this driver for mid-to-high handicappers who are looking for something a bit lighter that will boost ball speed and distance
Key Technologies: Jailbreak with X-Face and VFT gets you a higher COR across the whole club face which results in increased ball speed and distance. The Triaxial Carbon Crown saves weight, keeping things light and forgiving. Finally, the Boeing Speed Step improves your swing speed with improved aerodynamics.
Our Take: This Callaway Rogue features some serious technological enhancements that trickle into performance. Increased forgiveness makes it a great choice for the beginner or high handicapper. Not as adjustable as some on the market
To learn more, check out our full review of the Callaway Rogue.
- Super lightweight for faster swing speeds and more distance
- Super forgiving
- Not the most adjustable club on the market
Titleist 917 D2
Specifications: Loft choices- 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° and 12°. Shaft options: Aldila, Fujikura, Mitsubishi.
Recommended For: Those of us looking for more forgiveness, distance, and adjustability.
Key Technologies: Thinner face for increased ball speed on off-center strikes. Highly adjustable weight system to move CG to perfect launch and spin. Channel in the sole for increased ball speed and distance.
Our Take: The most forgiving driver from Titleist yet. A true offering for the higher handicappers out there.
- Optimize your launch and trajectory with the interchangeable weights
- Get the ball airborne with ease due to higher spin rates
- Increased forgiveness with the thinner face and adjustable weights.
- Not the most forgiving driver on the market, but it doesn’t have to be.
I sincerely hope you found real value from reading my review of the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers. But, the true test will come from doing your own test with a few of these clubs.