Best Driver for New Golfer

Best Driver for New Golfer – If you’re new to golf…welcome, you’re going to have a great time. By now you’ve probably realised that the golf equipment market is vast with huge array of different brands and fully dictionary worth of technical jargon to wade through. We’re here to help though and this guide on the best golf drivers for beginners aims to be a helpful, jargon-less guide to point you in the right direction of which driver is best for your game.

The golf driver is probably one of the most fun clubs in the bag to use, but it is also one of the most difficult to master consistently. If you’ve borrowed a friends or rented one at the driving range you’ll know how much fun they are to hit when it goes right, but how frustrating it can be to strike well.

Beginners especially will take some time to learn how to master the longest club in the bag. It’s also one of the most expensive single clubs you can buy, so finding one at the right price is key too. Price doesn’t mean exclusivity though, and even the more expensive drivers in this list are made with beginners in mind, not just lower handicap golfers. In short, even the most expensive drivers can suit your game and this list covers an array of drivers from across all price points.

That should be the only piece of jargon in this guide, but look out for it as a key feature of some of the drivers listed below.

There are still a number of drivers that have been announced that aren’t yet available at retails, so check out our list of the drivers we’re most excited about for 2022 at the bottom of this guide. Once they become available, we’ll add them to our main list, so keep a close eye on this guide to see when you’ll be able to get your hands on some of the most exciting drivers coming this year.

So without further ado let’s take a look at some of the best golf drivers for beginners. We also recommend taking a look at our guides on the most forgiving drivers, best high handicap drivers, and the best golf drivers for distance.

ROUND UP

1.HONMA XP-1

GS stands for ‘Gain Speed’, which gives away immediately how the GS is aimed at boosting mph.

A sole slot and radially-weighted face structure help preserve ball speed for typical low face and high toe misses, which are the common misses for typical club golfers.

Nine grams of mass are located on the sole towards the heel to promote additional stability and aid consistency. 

 Leading golf companies have learned a thing or two over the last few years about how brands like Honma get draw drivers to perform in the hands of very average swing speed players.

Japanese golfers regularly have long, flowing swings and getting a driver to add speed and square up the face for that sort of motion has meant their draw drivers have traditionally been very different to ours in Europe.

Honma are at the forefront of the lightweight and draw bias movement, and last year’s XP-1 was a top performer. The GS is brand new for 2021 and if you’re a fan of traditional pear-shaped heads, you’re guaranteed to warm to it.

The Speed Tuned shaft is very lively, which means you’ll need to ‘time’ shots  to get the best from it. If you can do that, it’s a really friendly driver for reasonably consistent players who like the feel of a lightweight set up.

Pros & Cons



2.TaylorMade SIM 2

Thanks to the new carbon fibre, aluminium construction, along with 22g of backweight, TaylorMade reckon the Max D has 15% more MOI than last year’s original, which means it will be one of the highest MOI draw drivers on the market.

A new AirSpeeder 45 shaft is light and will suit typical mid-slow speed golfers who buy off the rack, while other shafts can be combined with this head for stronger players.

We’ve been big fans of TaylorMade’s D drivers ever since the first M2 D-Type back in 2017.

We love how the engineers have come up with some clever paintwork to beautifully disguise how the face sits a little closed at address.

It means the TaylorMade SIM2 MAX-D is a serious proposition for any slicer (with a proper shaft fitting), not just slower speed players who struggle with a slice.

If you’re looking for a draw-biased driver, the TaylorMade SIM2 MAX-D must on your shortlist

Pros & Cons



3.Callaway Golf Epic Max LS

The Epic Max is Callaway’s mass-market driver for 2021. Not only does it have the most draw capability of the three 2021 Epic models, it’s the highest launching and the most forgiving too, which means it’s very versatile.

There’s 17g of backweight to dial in up to 20 yards of shot bias and because the new Project X Cypher 40 is a stock option shaft it can also be a brilliant lightweight performer for those needing to add swing speed.

The Callaway Epic Max made an appearance in our best forgiving drivers category, but thanks to the way you can set up the head’s back weight, the ability to choose a more upright lie angle and the shaft options available, it can also be a brilliant draw driver.

The Callaway Epic Max has an elongated head but it’s a lot nicer shape than the Mavrik Max, which was Callaway’s top performing draw model in 2020.

What really makes the Epic Max stand out this year is the excellent array of shaft options available. Simon’s best numbers came from the new 40g Project X Cypher, but we only found that set-up after trying the regular flex and light flex HZRDUS at 50g. That just reinforced the importance of a proper driver fitting to get the most from your swing.

That said, it’s worth remembering that at lower swing speeds, the carry difference from one driver to the next tends to be smaller, so personal preference and how each driver makes you feel at address should also play a role in your decision.

Pros & Cons



4.Mizuno ST-X DRIVER

The ST-X is not your traditional draw-biased driver. The head’s a little more compact from face to back, and it’s a little deeper, which has meant big-hitting Mizuno staffer Keith Mitchell now prefers it over the Z.

The ST-X seriously challenges what golfers traditionally think of as a draw driver and blows the category wide open to more golfers than ever before. If you’re thinking about a Mizuno driver in 2021, you have to try the X head as well as the Z. The X head is a slightly nicer shape than the Z. It sits beautifully at address and the impact sound is fantastic. 

Our test sample was set-up with the lighter 4g sole weight and a cracking Even Flow Riptide counter-balanced shaft. And that for us is the beauty of this driver: how it can set up to suit so many different players. And for those who struggle for speed, the ‘J’ spec (Japan set-up) is a very credible lightweight option. A driver that has to be tried alongside the very best before you make any decision.

Pros & Cons



5.Cobra Golf F Max

With the average age of golfers creeping up year after year, golf brands have started taking slower swing speed players very seriously. Just a few years ago, low speed models had less built-in technology and were much more about hitting a certain price point than genuinely helping the golfers they were designed for.

Today, though, things have changed. Golfers with slow swings have more choice than ever, and if you’re a Cobra fan you really are spoilt for choice. The RAD Speed XD is their headlining draw model, but there’s also a F-Max Airspeed which is lightweight and draw-biased. And the F-Max Airspeed offers a choice of offset hosel (which is easier to launch) or straight neck.

Big, friendly and forgiving drivers are where Cobra built their reputation back in the 1990s. And thanks to the Cobra F-Max Airspeed’s wide and shallow head profile, lightweight shaft and offset hosel, we don’t think you’ll find another driver that’s easier to launch.

If you swing the driver around 80mph mark, you really should be looking at drivers like this in 2021.

Pros & Cons



6.Wilson Staff Launch

The Wilson Launch Pad is an all-out assault on the common slice. A shallow face, offset hosel, upright lie angle and bulbous head shape, plus plenty of heel weighting, are all classic slice-busting tricks.

The Wilson Launch Pad is also a very lightweight option (13g lighter than Cobra’s equivalent F-Max Airspeed) which makes it an excellent choice for slower swing speed golfers who also need help keeping shots away from the right rough.

Pros & Cons



What makes the best driver for beginners and high handicappers?

FORGIVENESS

What makes a driver forgiving?

Forgiveness refers to how much or little a driver punishes a bad strike. If you miss the sweet spot of the club, there’ll be a loss of distance and direction. Forgiving clubs lose much less distance and promote straighter ball flights on mishits than tour spec drivers.

Luckily, modern drivers aimed at the casual golfer are the most forgiving ever made. Mishits are very common for new golfers. Older drivers used to punish mishits with pain in your fingers, shots that went nowhere and lost balls. Mishits now go further and straighter than ever before making it easier to find the best driver for beginners and high handicaps.

Higher loft means more forgiveness

A driver has the lowest loft in the bag. Automatically that makes it harder to hit in the air and keep straight. An easy analogy is the difference between a 3 iron and a 9 iron. The 3 iron (24° loft) is difficult to control while a 9 iron (44° loft) is very easy to hit high and straight due to higher loft.

Pros use lower lofted drivers (7°-10°) and because their swings speeds are incredibly fast (110+mph), they are able to get the ball flying 280+ yards.

Amateurs generally swing at 80-90 mph and require much more loft to make up for the slower swing speed. The additional loft also creates more back-spin which prevents too much movement left or right in the air.

For maximum forgiveness for a beginner, we recommend loft of 10.5° to 14°

Softer shafts for slower swings

The shaft is the most important part of the driver. It will determine how the ball flies through the air and consistency of your shots. Shafts in the driver are all graphite now and steel is used only in irons and putters.

Shaft flexibilities are labelled in the following ways:

  • L for Ladies
  • A or M for Senior FLex
  • R for Regular
  • S for Stiff
  • X for Extra Stiff also called Tour

The faster your swing, the stiffer you need the shaft to be, so you can hit a consistent ball flight. A shaft that is too stiff for your swing produces a ball flight that goes low and to the right. A shaft too flexible for your swing causes an inconsistent shape on your shots

2020 MOST WANTED - THE BEST DRIVERS FOR MID SWING SPEEDS | MyGolfSpy

In general, beginners’ swing speeds are between 80 and 90mph so we recommend a Regular ( R ) flex shaft to help promote a straighter, consistent ball flight.

Big club heads for big forgiveness

Nowadays, all drivers’ heads are between 440 and 460 cubic centimeters (cc). This has increased the club face size and with it, the sweet spot. It is always advisable for newer golfers to go with a 460cc driver head because well, it’s the maximum!

Adjustability technology increases options

Adjustable & Fixed Weights

In the latest drivers there are weights attached to the sole of the club head that can be adjusted by sliding them around into different positions to alter the shape of the shot. This technology sounds good, but it can be highly confusing for a new player to grasp all the combinations and effects on center of gravity and MOI and all the other jargon terms used to market the clubs. We don’t recommend these expensive drivers for new golfers.

On the other hand there are weights that can be replaced or moved to fixed locations which are much easier to play.

Adjustable Lofts

For the purpose of this guide, which is to find you a simple-to-hit and forgiving driver, this is the technology that can help you most. Some of the recommendations here have this technology.

The shafts can be unscrewed from the head and rotated to increase or decrease the loft of the driver from 9° to 14°. This is very valuable tech for a new player to adjust the loft to their preferred number.

HOW WE TEST FOR THE BEST GOLF DRIVERS

When it comes to product testing, our reviews and buyers’ guides are built upon a rigorous testing procedure as well as the knowledge and experience of the test team. Headed up by technical editor Joel Tadman, and assisted by Neil Tappin, both have been testing golf clubs for years and both play to a handicap of 5. Both are also able to efficiently test the vast majority of the biggest product releases and convey the pros and cons eloquently.

Getting into specifics for drivers, we first attend product launches and speak to manufacturers to understand the technology. We then hit the golf clubs indoors, usually at Foresight Sports and test the products with premium golf balls on a launch monitor.

Best Driver For Beginners & High Handicappers In 2022

Outdoor testing is the next port of call and this usually takes place at West Hill Golf Club, a course in Surrey with top-notch practice facilities. Ultimately, we aim to be as insightful and honest as possible in our reviews so it is important to acknowledge that no manufacturer can buy a good review. This is because our team tells it how it is.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A NEW GOLF DRIVER

You’ve probably already asked yourself whether you need to buy a new driver in 2022, but there’s a few key things to consider when investing in a new driver, especially as a beginner. Hopefully answering these questions will narrow your search down slightly and make comparing between various models much easier.

When purchasing a new big stick, it is crucial to ask yourself just what you need from it. Is distance your main priority or are you looking for something to help you find more fairways? We’d always recommend a custom fitting with a PGA Pro but if you know what you’re looking for you can make an informed decision. As a beginner, we’d recommend going down the forgiving route to start as drivers that are built to produce out-and-out distance can be harder to hit consistency well. Our guide on the most forgiving drivers has an extensive list of drivers made for just that.

WHAT IS THE BEST DRIVER FOR A BEGINNER GOLFER?

We are confident that all the drivers in our guide will suit a wide range of beginner golfers. The best driver for a beginner golfer will have a large head and face – making them more forgiving – whilst also inspiring confidence at address. They will also tend to be

WHAT DEGREE DRIVER SHOULD A BEGINNER USE?

The driver is one of the hardest clubs for beginners to hit so getting the right loft is essential. The rule of thumb is that more loft means more forgiveness, making the driver a bit easier to hit. With that in mind we recommend a beginner using a 10.5° or 12° driver. Many drivers have adjustable loft sleeves too which will allow you to change the loft as you see fit.

WHAT IS THE MOST FORGIVING DRIVER TO HIT?

You can find a great selection of forgiving drivers in our most forgiving golf drivers guide, but there are a few key things to look out for.Of course you can get around the course and shoot brilliant scores using your irons and hybrids. The short game is equally important with good course management but getting into more advantageous positions off the tee will help you to get into better positions near the green.

Introducing the driver on wide open holes is a great way to break it out on the course with minimal frustration. Once you’re confident with a good driver for high handicappers, you can start slashing that score down further.

Drivers have advanced so much in the last 20 years that big and straight bombs off the tee are accessible to everyone. But always remember, if you have trouble and the club costs you more strokes than it helps you, do not be afraid to put it back in the bag and use something else until you can figure out the problem!

When considering a new driver and introducing it into the bag, see a pro for a lesson and then decide on your new driver. I want you to have the best time on the course!

2 Main Benefits Of A 12-Degree Driver (Who Should Play With Them)

They’re easier to hit than ever but selecting the best driver for beginners and high handicappers can be confusing. I hope this guide helps you select the best, most forgiving driver possible. 

No golf club is a magic wand that can overcome your swing flaws – lessons and practice are what you need for that – but some drivers are better than others when it comes to mitigating the common problems beginners and high handicappers face with their driver.

We test every driver that comes to market, and have picked 10 specific models as being best at helping beginner golfers and high handicappers. We’ve also highlighted the five best older models if you’re looking for a great performing club with a lower price tag.

It’s also worth noting that these drivers aren’t only good for beginner or high-handicap golfers. They can help golfers of varying handicaps, and, importantly, will continue to serve you well as your golf game improves.

If you’re in the market for any more new equipment this year, make sure you read our guides to the best drivers, most forgiving drivers, hybrids, irons, mid-handicap irons, wedges and putters and use our recommendations to narrow your shortlist. And, if you can, get fitted for your clubs, as that’s the only way to optimise new models for your game.

What are the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers?

The driver is the club the majority of beginner golfers and high handicappers struggle with the most, so we’ve picked out the best options that offer plenty of forgiveness.

The driver has the longest shaft, is swung at the highest speeds, and (should) hit the ball further than any other golf club in your bag.

Whilst no two golfers are the same, most new golfers struggle with slicing their driver and/or failing to get enough launch angle to maximise distance.

2020 Golf Drivers: 28 new drivers tested and reviewed - ClubTest

There will be a few deciding factors for all players.

  • Skill Level
  • Budget
  • Goals for the Game

If you plan on knocking 15 strokes off your game in one summer, the driver you need will be different than the guy who took 15 strokes to get to the first green earlier today. There are specifically designed golf clubs for beginners and high handicappers.

You could spend days reading all the latest and greatest information from each of the top companies. Fill your brain with things like Jailbreak Bars and Flash Face and E9 technology, but why.

None of this will do you any good. You will just be left confused. Let us break this all down for you.

Now we know how important you think that driver is right now, and don’t get us wrong, it is important.

If you stick with this game and get the golf bug you will be spending much more time researching putters than drivers!

Why Is A Good Driver Important For Your Game?

To get off the tee box and start the hole properly you are going to need a great drive. With the proper driver in your hands, you will have confidence that you can get the distance and accuracy that you need to succeed in the game. Golf drivers give players more confidence and make it much easier to shoot lower golf scores.

WRAP UP

Best Driver for New Golfer – Most new golfers have a tendency to slice the ball – that’s a shot shape that goes left-to-right if you’re right handed. Beginners, too, will often struggle to to get enough launch angle to maximise distance. These models – which vary in price but are mostly towards the lower end – won’t save the poorest of swings, but they are designed to help; they will certainly give you a little more margin for error – plus a confidence boost standing on the tee.

Look out for drivers with adjustable hosels too. The hosel is the part of the club that connects the shaft to the head and drivers have developed over time to allow this part of the club to be adjusted. This functionality allows you to adjust the loft of your club higher or lower. Having this means you can tinker to find just the right set up for your swing while also increasing the lifespan of your driver as you get better.

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