The Best Drivers for Beginners – How To Choose The Right Driver

Selecting the best drivers for beginners is no walk in the park. There are multiple factors and aspects to consider.

This guide will take you through the important points to think about and show you some of the best drivers for beginners available right now.

What To Consider When Selecting A Driver

Here are a few important factors to consider when making your selection:

Do I Really Need A Driver?

Many beginners are intimidated by drivers and believe they are hard to hit. Some might be tempted to get around with a hybrid or a fairway wood.

While drivers a few decades ago were indeed rather scary, modern drivers are a pleasure to hit and relatively easy to get reasonably right. Provided, of course, you get the correct drivers for your game.

Getting to green on a par 5 or even many par 4s will take some time without a decent driver. While your drive is only one aspect of your game it is an extremely important one.

The distance and quality of your drive will, to a large extent, set the tone for the rest of the hole. A quality driver is, without a doubt, is something every beginner needs.

Fortunately, modern drivers are relatively easy to swing, rather forgiving and will give you a good distance when you hit reasonably well. The key is to find the right driver for your skills, swing speed and style.

Do I need a specific driver as a beginner?

Many modern drivers are highly versatile but you certainly want one that accommodates a beginner. You want something with a lot of forgiveness that allows generating a good swing speed.

The drivers designed for professionals tend to have smaller heads, less forgiveness, and more playability. They are designed for ultra-fast swing speeds which most beginners do not have.

Go for something that will work for a beginner but still benefit you as your skills improve.

What should beginners look for in a driver?

There are several specifics beginners want to look out for when selecting a driver. Given that it is such an important decision, they are all worth thinking about before making a selection. Let’s take a look.

Head shape and size

These days you get a dazzling array of head shapes. There is no best shape, it is all about what works for you, gives you confidence and feels right. Round shapes tend to be easier for beginners and aerodynamics are important to help you generate clubhead speed.

Bigger is better and current rules allow for a head up to 460cc. As a beginner, you should take full advantage of this. It will have a large sweet spot, be more forgiving and easier to loft.

Modern materials and design will still make a large head relatively easy to swing.

Shaft Length

A driver will generally be the longest club in your bag. Do not be intimidated by the length of the driver but it is important to get the correct length for your height.

The incorrect shaft length will increase the difficulty of using your driver effectively. Your swing style and speed are also factors that need to be considered. If you have the opportunity and budget, professional fitting is a great idea.

Shaft material and flex

This is critical if you want to get a decent drive. Steel shafts are less expensive but heavier and have less flex. Ideally, you want a graphite shaft that is lighter with more flex.

Most beginners should be fine with a regular flex. Basically, the slower your swing speed, the more flex you want.

Material

Material has advanced in recent years and there is a range of options available. The durability, weight and how they work together is all that really matters.

The type and quality of the material will have a major impact on the cost of the driver but many modern materials are lighter and perform better. You will have to balance your needs with your budget.

Loft

This is an important aspect to consider and something many beginners have difficulty with. Absolute beginners will generally be better off with a higher loft.

As your skills develop and your swing speed increases you can go down a bit. It is certainly easier for beginners to hit a higher lofted driver.

Adjustability

This is a great feature to have provided you know how to use it. As a beginner, there are many things to think about and adjustability could well add this.

It will add weight and cost to the driver do unless you have a good understanding of the intricacies of adjustability do not let it be a big concern.

Budget

This is a tricky one. What is important to remember is that good quality design, materials and engineering will cost money.

There are many ‘value for money options’ if you are on a really tight budget but it is worth investing in a quality driver that will help you off the tee and give you a good start on most holes. A good driver will last you a long time and will work with you as your game improves.

This video will give you some additional advice:

6 of The Best Drivers for Beginners – Reviews

1. Callaway Men’s XR 16 Driver

Pros:

  • Superb distance
  • Highly forgiving
  • Lightweight
  • Good aerodynamics
  • Attractive appearance

Cons:

  • Some players do not enjoy the spin
  • The graphics do not appeal to all golfers
  • Relatively expensive for beginners

Distance and forgiveness are, in most cases, the two most important things a beginner wants from their driver. Often one has to choose between the two are they are seldom both good on one driver. This is not the case with the Callaway Men’s XR 16.

Thanks to extensive research and development and clever design, materials, and engineering, Callaway confidently boast that the XR16 offers both and plenty of both.

They even went as far as to work with Boeing to refine the aerodynamics.

They managed to make a head that is large and forgiving yet light and aerodynamic. It has a large MOI, large sweet spot, and a low and deep COG. These features combine well to make this highly forgiving.

The Speed Step that has been successful for Callaway was re-engineered to minimize drag and make it uber-aerodynamic. The RMOTO face, another trademark Callaway feature, has also been upgraded for high ball speeds.

This consists of internal ribs that allow for a strong but ultra-thin face with great flex. The energy transfer is phenomenal. Combined with the light head and aerodynamics, you will get high balls speeds and great distance from the XR 16.

The face is made from a strong and durable 8-1-1 titanium.

Loft is another aspect many beginners have difficulty and Callaway did not ignore this. There are 3 loft options to choose from according to your swing speed and style.

This will allow you to get the ideal setup for your drive for an easy and effective launch. Without the right loft, you will not be able to get the full advantage of the speed and distance benefits the XR16 has to offer.

The shaft is lightweight graphite and is available in stiff, regular or senior flex. Be sure to match the flex to your swing speed for best results.

This durable driver will serve you well for a long time. You will not have to replace it in a hurry as your game improves.

2. Cobra Men’s Fly Z Driver

Pros:

  • Impressive distance
  • Highly forgiving
  • Attractive design
  • Multiple options

Cons:

  • Better players might find too much spin
  • Some players will find the head too large
  • As your game improves you might want more workability

If you are starting out there is a lot of equipment to pay for. You want a quality driver with a good distance that won’t break the bank. The Cobra Men’s Fly Z Driver might well be the answer.

It has some outstanding technology that will help you achieve a good distance while still giving you accuracy and forgiveness. It is not the cheapest driver but you will get a lot of bang for your buck.

Here is a bit of detail on some of the main technologies that make the Fly Z such a great driver for beginners.

The Speed Channel Face is a feature unique to Cobra although other drivers employ a similar technology. What the speed channel is is a trench that follows the perimeter of the face to allow for a thinner wall.

This delivers impressive power on impact leading to good speed and distance.

Then there is the forged E9 Zone Face Structure. This allows Cobra to remove and reposition the face and hosel weight to create a larger and more effective sweet spot for more power and forgiveness across the face.

Slight mishits will still travel a good distance and not stay too far off course.

The forgiveness is further enhanced by the Crown Zone Weighting Technology. This means that the crown weight is repositioned for a low back CG and therefore more forgiveness.

The SmartPad Technology is what really makes this appealing to beginners. It keeps the driver square at address and (hopefully) impact, something many beginners will battle with.

You will find a lot more fairways striking the ball correctly and the SmartPad can help achieve this.

Most golfers find the look of the Fly-Z to be sleek and impressive. There are a few head color options. The graphite shaft options range from X-Stiff, Stiff, Regular to Senior.

Select the flex that compliments your swing speed. The MyFly8 Loft adjustable hosel offers 5 loft options and 3 draw options.

3. TaylorMade Men’s M2 460cc Driver

Pros:

  • Highly versatile
  • Good distance
  • Extremely forgiving
  • Adjustable loft

Cons:

  • A significant investment, the driver is fairly expensive
  • Not suitable for low handicappers

TaylorMade has a reputation for powerful drivers and is very popular with professionals. They feature significantly on the PGA. Don’t let that fact scare you away if you are a beginner.

This is a highly versatile driver with plenty of benefits to offer new golfers. The one thing that might put you off is the price tag but this is a long term investment that can do a lot for your driving ability.

This is an upgrade of earlier M2 models and TaylorMade have made some significant upgrades and improvements on what was already an awesome driver.

The distinctive two-tone black and white 460cc head has a crown constructed from a six-layer carbon composite. The sole is thin and made from strong 9-1-1 titanium.

This driver will suit golfers across the spectrum but beginners will enjoy the distance and forgiveness. It has a great Moment of Inertia (MOI) which means it is less likely to twist on impact.

t offers good control as your skills improve and it is particularly helpful for those that tend to slice their drives.

The multi-material build allows TaylorMade to include their GeocousticTM technology. This delivers responsive feedback, a great feel, and an awesome sound.

Another trademark of TaylorMade driver is their impressive speed pocket. The new M2 drivers have triple the flexibility of earlier models. This delivers more speed on impact which translates into greater distance off the tee.

It has a high-quality shaft and is available in four flex options, regular, senior, stiff and X-stiff. This is not a cheap driver for beginners but if you are serious about your game it is a worthwhile investment.

It will do wonders for your swing and grow with you as you style develops and you swing speed improves. It is durable and will last many years.

4. Cleveland Golf Classic XL Driver

Pros:

  • Deep face inspires confidence at address
  • Quality shaft
  • Decent distance
  • Highly forgiving
  • Adjustable hosel
  • Offers a fair amount of playability

Cons:

  • Some players may find it too light

Beginners will appreciate a larger deep face. This will give you forgiveness across the face. When starting out, we do not always strike the ball dead center, try as we might. With a Classic XL Driver, your off-center hits will still go far and relatively straight. That is the forgiveness of the XL Driver.

The truth is that if you hit almost any decent driver spot on you will achieve a good distance. Cleveland has tried to maximize those occasions when you hit slightly off-center, as beginners often do. Like it or not, it happens. With the Cleveland Golf Classic XL Driver will still deliver distance and reasonable accuracy.  Cleveland claims this to be the “largest and deepest club face of any driver in golf”.

What this means for the beginner is a large sweet spot and uber-forgiveness as well as power and accuracy across the face of the driver. The performance will give you confidence in your drive which will add to your performance.

This is a 285-gram 460cc driver and the result of Cleveland refining and optimizing the technology and materials that were successful in earlier drivers. They have employed variable face thickness. This technology allows for great ball speeds and good distance off the tee.

It sports a quality Miyazaki shaft which is light and effective. This is popular and highly rated shaft that delivers a good trajectory and good speed for most golfers. The grip has also been optimized for peak performance. Other shaft options are the Matrix Radix 6s shaft. The shafts not only play well but look great at the same time.

The weighting has been optimized for a good Center of Gravity (COG). It is very deep and low for an effortless launch and piercing flight.  Weight has been repositioned from the shaft for a high balance point. This delivers additional speed while offering a good feeling that most golfers will enjoy.

The hosel is adjustable according to your requirements. It has 12 settings to fine-tune your driver according to your game.

5. Wilson Staff Golf Men’s D7 Driver

Pros:

  • Ultra-light and easy to swing
  • Generates good speed and distance
  • Durable
  • Good sightlines

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No adjustability

One of the outstanding features of this driver and something that makes it ideal for beginners is the Superlight Design. Wilson used a combination of crafty engineering and advanced materials to achieve this. The head weighs a mere 192g. They have also kept the shaft weight down.

This will allow golfers with a slow to moderate swing speed achieve higher speeds and therefore greater distance. Speed is further enhanced by a streamlined aerodynamic design. The D in D7 stands for distance and that is what you can expect from this driver.

It has a pleasing sound and good feedback and feel. This is primarily due to the [K]opposite Crown. Wilson has crafted the 3-piece crown from Kevlar sandwiched between woven carbon fiber. This dampens vibrations and delivers a fulfilling sound on impact.

The D7 has a feature Wilson call Dynamic Launch Control. This refers to the positioning of internal weighting according to the different lofts. So the weight is forward on the 9.0º Driver, midsole on the 10.5º and low and back on the 13º Driver. This optimizes the weight on each option for improved performance and optimal launch.

Most players enjoy the appearance of the driver and the sleek crown. There are 3 shaft options, stiff, regular and senior flex.

Some golfers are not impressed that a club in this price range lacks adjustability. Unless you really know what you are doing, as a beginner, adjustability can be more of a distraction than a benefit. It would also add additional weight to the driver and make it more expensive. The way the D7 is designed and setup make it ideal for beginners.

Final Thoughts

While all of these drivers are great for beginners, the Cleveland Golf Classic XL Driver is our top pick. It has a deep face that will give you huge confidence when you address the ball. It is highly forgiving and will deliver a decent distance.

The adjustable hosel is an added bonus that will allow you to set the driver up for your swing speed and style and allow you to adapt the drives as you improve. Added to that, it even offers good playability so you will not grow out of the driver too quickly.

Look at your skills, weaknesses, swing speed and budget in order to find the best driver for your needs.

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