Best Golf Drivers For Beginners
If you’re new to golf…welcome, you’re going to have a great time. By now you’ve probably realized 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.
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 maximize 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. 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.
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 (opens in new tab), best high handicap drivers (opens in new tab), and the best golf drivers for distance (opens in new tab).
Best Golf Drivers For Beginners
Over the last few years, golfers have become used to seeing TaylorMade introduce new driver technologies in a bid to unlock more distance off the tee. For 2022, this promise comes in the shape of an all new carbon fibre face. To highlight this new technology, the face of the Stealth driver is red. Whilst this might not be to everyone’s taste, the chosen color is not too bright and down behind the ball is fairly recessive. We liked it.
The version we have highlighted here is the Stealth HD, with HD standing for high draw. Beginner golfers have a tendency to slice the ball with their driver (that’s a left to right shot shape if you’re right handed and the other way if you’re a lefty) so this driver has a built in draw-bias to help encourage a draw shape off the tee. During our testing we found that the majority of our shots finished left of target, which is ideal for a right handed golfer struggling with a slice. While it may be a little more high pitched than the outgoing SIM2 driver, it still sounds great in our opinion. In testing, we managed to deliver an extra three miles per hour in clubhead speed with the Stealth compared to the SIM2. As you’d expect, this (along with a reduction in spin versus the original SIM) translated into more distance.
We think the Stealth HD will suit the broadest range of beginner golfers as the slice shot is most common amongst those who have just taken up the game. Whichever head you go for, we are seriously impressed with the aesthetics, performance and feel of this revolutionary new driver.
Callaway claims its use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a new face material, and Jailbreak has unlocked extra performance for the high handicappers who struggle with a slice. The larger A.I. Designed Flash Face SS21 has been made of a super strong, heat treated TA-15 titanium, which allows for the complex face architecture required to promote optimal speed, forgiveness, and spin characteristics.
But how did it test? Well clearly this driver is designed for golfers who tend to utilize a large portion of the face over the course of a round. It feels light, partly down to the 55g shaft, but when you find the middle of the clubface it also feels incredibly explosive and stable, even on mishits.
At address, the generous amount of offset and large club head inspires confidence and the loft adjustment in the hosel allows you to add or take away loft depending on your preference.
Launched right at the start of 2022 to replace the Radspeed range of the clubs, the new Cobra range of drivers features three heads: the LTDx Max we’ve featured here for beginners as well as the standard LTDx and LTDx LS, both draw bias and lower spinning models respectively.
We’ve highlighted the Max here as it will suit beginner golfers the most. It features a 3g weight positioned toward the heel of the head to help encourage a draw shape. The LTDx Max sits less closed behind the ball than some other draw-biased drivers you’ll find this year. For us, that meant we were able to swing confidently at the ball without worrying about hitting a hook and ultimately, we were pleased by how consistent it was.
The aesthetics have become more refined – this year’s LTDx features a very similar-looking matte black carbon crown to last year’s Radspeed (why change it – for us it was one of the best looking drivers of 2021). The LTDx has a much lower pitched, quieter impact sound than the Radspeed. For us, it was significantly better – creating a satisfying ‘crack’ through impact that felt very powerful.
To achieve the new performance levels in the G425 Max, Ping has implemented a new 26-gram tungsten movable weight called a CG Shifter, which is made possible by weight savings from advancements in the driver’s dragonfly crown design.
The weight can be secured in one of three settings – neutral, draw or fade – to influence forgiveness and shot shape. The average MOI increase is 14 per cent across the three weight positions compared to the G410 Plus.
There are two other heads available in the range alongside the Max. The LST head will no doubt the slightly better drivers of the ball looking for a low spin option whist the SFT head will undoubtedly suit a beginner golfer who tends to slice the ball off the tee. So while we’d recommend either the Max or SFT head for beginners, Ping has created a range of drivers that can fit for every player type to maintain distance while finding more fairways. Ask yourself what is more important to you – distance or accuracy – and the G425 will likely become an enticing prospect.
Also if you do slice the ball, we have also created a guide on the best drivers for slicers (opens in new tab) as well so why not check that out.
Wilson’s D9 is one of the most forgiving drivers for golfers who are looking for more consistency off the tee. It performs very well on off-center strikes while launching the ball high with ease, helping recreational players find more fairways and improve their carry numbers.
The design of the D9 driver comes from computer modeling software used to simulate hundreds of different clubhead variations to find the most effective design. It also features a three-layer composite crown which helps deal with vibration and reduce the weight of the club. A 10-gram sole weight comes as standard or there is the option for a super-lightweight 3-gram weight, giving the player the ability to fine-tune the moment of inertia and forgiveness on offer.
The Tour Edge (opens in new tab) C522 driver has been one of our biggest surprises of the year in testing. It’s available at an incredibly competitive price point but delivers all of the performance that golfers would expect from more expensive drivers. Most notably in our testing, it proved to be highly forgiving on off-center strikes but also long and consistent in terms of ball flight.
The C522 also looks very good at address, with a profile that inspires confidence without sacrificing the traditional shape that most golfers want to see. Its aesthetics also offer more of a premium look than one might expect at this cost. The C522’s impact sound is a bit on the louder side but in an explosive way as opposed to being off putting.
It is worth noting that the C522 does not have an adjustable loft sleeve and it’s only offered with one stock shaft option. But for a retail price of $249, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. That said, while the C522 won’t fit everyone for those reasons, it will fit the vast majority of golfers just fine, and at its price it should be a consideration for any golfer who’s looking for a solid all-around driver without having to break the bank.
Sporting a stylish matte black 460cc full titanium head with elegant lines, the V Foil Speed sits perfectly behind the ball, inspiring confidence at address. The ultra-thin face delivers significant ball speed and distance gains while the expanded sweet spot, bespoke premium lightweight graphite shaft and high MOI design add in the perfect combination of distance, control and forgiveness off the tee.
Finished off with a soft compound MacGregor grip that has been designed to provide the perfect combination of comfort and secure connection to the club, the V Foil Speed driver is packed with performance features perfectly suited to the high handicap golfer.
The Yonex Ezone Elite 3.0 driver uses In-Core Groove technology, which is designed to improve the flex of the face, crown and sole of the golf club, creating faster ball speeds across the face with lower spin rates. Updated Octoforce technology in the driver removes weight from the crown and upper face of the driver, lowering the centre of gravity to promote a high, forgiving launch and maximum carry for high handicap golfers.
The metallic blue isn’t going to appeal so much to those who like a classic, black crown, yet it does have a way of helping you to focus on the ball at address, as do the two alignment arrows. In fact, the blue ‘glow’ actually starts a few centimeters back on the crown as you look down, which – and whether this was the idea we’re not sure – actually frames the ball nicely.
We’re highlighting the Rogue ST Max D head here as this is the option we think will suit beginner golfers the most thanks to its in-built draw bias weighting. For 2022, Callaway’s new driver range has extended its use of A.I. to optimize its Flash Face for launch and spin as well as ball speed. So while this is still a forgiving driver, it goes a long way too.
Down at address, the Rogue ST Max D has a new matte crown which we really liked, although we didn’t care much for the clock-style graphics at the rear. The face looks flatter and is lighter in color, making it more visible and therefore easier to align. The Rogue ST Max D has the longest profile from front to back to inspire maximum confidence and the draw bias will help beginners who tend the slice the ball avoid the right side of the course. If you’re a beginner who doesn’t slice the ball, we’d recommend the Rogue ST Max from this range to get you started.
Aimed at mid handicap golfers and higher, the Launcher XL will definitely suit the true beginner golfer too. The drive-benefits from a larger driver head and an incredibly confidence inspiring look at address. The length of the head from front to back has increased by 6% and the contrasting crown and face finishes mean you can see all of the loft from address. Performance wise, the Launcher XL gave solid carry distance on an easy swing. For the wide range of players this driver is aimed at, the spin rates created with this driver will help keep the ball in the air and provide good carry distance.
With a recommended retail price of $399, the Cleveland Launcher XL offers a significant saving over what you’ll find from the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist this year. But it still has plenty of competition from the likes of Cobra with its LTDx range of drivers.
How we test for the best golf drivers
When it comes to product testing (opens in new tab), 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 Neil Tappin, and assisted by Joel Tadman, both have been testing golf clubs for years and both play to a handicap of around 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.
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 and we recommend this because when you first start playing golf consistency of strike is one of the big issues, and a forgiving driver could limit this variety somewhat.
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.
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. The most forgiving drivers combat the effect of mishits in terms of limiting drops in ball speed and reducing curvature through the air. Additionally they will have very high MOI and large heads in order to maximize forgiveness across the face.