- What To Consider When Selecting A Driver
- What should beginners look for in a driver?
- 5 of The Best Drivers for Beginners – Reviews
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Best Drivers For Beginners
|Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|TaylorMade Men's M2 460cc Driver||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Wilson Staff Golf Men's D7 Driver||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Cobra King F9 Speedback||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Callaway Men's XR 16 Driver||VIEW LATEST PRICE →|
5 of The Best Drivers for Beginners – Reviews
Although Cleveland, and by association Srixon, may not be the most used clubs on the professional tours, they have produced great clubs for the high handicapper. Their drivers are also in the game improvement category to help launch it higher and longer.
The Hibore crown has a lighter and lower the center of gravity and is known for its forgiving nature. The lower center of gravity increases launch angle and ball speed.
The Moment of Inertia (MoI) was increased by increasing the weight in the grip and making the clubhead lighter.
An aesthetically pleasing view faces you when looking down on the crown. It comes with a matte finish with spines running across the crown.
Loft is available in in 9°, 10°, and 12° degree. The Launche HB turbo is aimed at golfers with lower swing speed therefor the highest loft will be most suitable.
Cleveland had a shaft designed specifically for the HB Turbo which is different from the standard shafts that is designed to fit the clubface. Although you don’t get to select a shaft option, you can be confident that the clubhead/shaft combination provides maximum distance and ball speed.
Advanced golfers with high swing speed will not achieve the full benefit of using the HB Turbo. The offset on this driver may not suit some of the better golfers.
Cleveland Turbo Launcher HB is an easy to hit club making it an ideal driver for beginners.
2. TaylorMade Men’s M2 460cc Driver
- Highly versatile
- Good distance
- Extremely forgiving
- Adjustable loft
- 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.
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.
Cobra is a premium manufacturer that has been supplying drivers, woods, and irons for many years. They are known for drivers that maximize speed and distance for golfers of all abilities.
The main color of the F9 range is a yellow and black colour scheme with a secondary option called Avalanche color of snow which is not quite pure white.
The Cobra King F9 Speedback continues this tradition of providing straight shooting, long bombers for higher handicappers. “Aeroficiency” is an aero package that was inspired by supercars and incorporated into the Cobram design philosophy.
Loft of the driver can be set between 9° and 12° degrees at increments of 0.5°.
A highly aerodynamic clubhead design using aero design-Speedback technology, combined with a raised skirt, rounded crown, and rounded leading edge promotes improved airflow for maximum speed and stability.
This release of the Cobra King F9 Speedback has made great strides in creating a low Centre of Gravity (CoG), efficient aerodynamics, low spin, and thinnest, hottest precision CNC milled face technology that delivers the ultimate formula for speed and distance. The CNC milling process is up to 5 times more precise than conventional hand-polished driver faces.
Improvements in the rigidity of the carbon crown is attained through the tactically placed PWR Ridges thus maximising speed and distance. Drag reduction is achieved by using lightweight polymer crown trips and titanium sole trips positioned relative to the direction of airflow.
It may take some tinkering to the settings to find the most suitable combination for your swing. Once you find the perfect combination you will bomb the drive straight down the middle of the fairway. Even mishits on the toe-end of the clubface will produce acceptable results.
Ball trajectory can be adjusted by switching the heavier weight on the sole. Positioning the weight at the rear will produce a higher ball flight while putting it in the front will lower the ball flight.
Dual roll technology increase your driving distance by reducing the gear effect that negatively impacts launch and spin on high and low bombs.
Impact between golf bal and clubfaces releases a pleasant pop sound.
5. Callaway Men’s XR 16 Driver
- Superb distance
- Highly forgiving
- Good aerodynamics
- Attractive appearance
- 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.
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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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.