According to USGA statistics, only 43% of golfers qualify in this category. As a mid-handicap golfer, you will still hit your share of bad shots but the number of good shots is equal to or more than your bad shots.
In reaching this status you opened up a new level of equipment at your disposal. Your selection of drivers does not get smaller but it is different. You may have been proactive and selected a driver while learning that you can continue to use with your improved capability, however, there comes a time in every golfer’s career that you look around at what is available on the market to eek out a little bit of distance or to help out in fine-tuning your swing.
Manufacturers of golf equipment identified this category to develop what they call game improvement clubs which are a bit less forgiving than the high-handicap clubs but not quite in the players club category. Continue to improve and that will be your next step.
Buying A Driver – What You Need To Know
Mid handicap golfers are in the enviable position where they have probably the largest range of drivers available. Where high handicap golfers have a limited selection available until they have fine-tuned their swing into a repeatable and consistent swing while single handicap golfers prefer not to play with game improvement clubs.
At this stage of your game, you want a driver that will produce long, straight drives with a little bit of workability included in the arsenal. A big forgiving face with a high MoI creating a trampoline effect will be to your greatest benefit.
Equipment manufacturers spend a fortune on research and development and release new equipment regularly. However, some all-time favorite drivers stay popular and produce the required results.
To enhance your use of your soon to be purchased driver a visit to your nearest professional golfer for a club fitting would not be out of place and highly recommended. You are investing in your game and it would be a good investment policy to make sure that you buy what will suit you best
Mid handicappers have achieved a level where the number of good shots exceeds the number of bad shots and can now invest in equipment that will complement their hard-earned skill level and improve aiming to become a single handicap golfer.
The size of the head plays a big role in the amount of forgiveness that manufacturers can build into the face. More space leads to a bigger sweet spot and enhanced MoI. Not only is it more effective but it provides you with more confidence at address.
The loft of your driver will determine your launch angle and manufacturers have made it a priority to make this as flexible as possible. The Majority of drivers will allow extensive setting changes for enhanced performance and distance. They have taken into account that club-head speed varies between golfers produced a setup to suit every swing.
The adjustability of your chosen driver will allow you to turn into a golfer that can shape your shots rather than be a straight shooter only. There is nothing wrong with a straight shooter but on occasion, you will find yourself in a position where you need to shape the ball.
Take special care in selecting a shaft that has the right fit in terms of flex, weight, and length for your specific conditions.
The incorrect selection of shaft can cause you to have erratic results causing you to visit your professional regularly to iron out these deficiencies. Your swing speed will ultimately determine the shaft flex.
Lighter shafts tend to be whippier as a result of a faster swing.
The longer the shaft the more inconsistent the wing will be. A fitted shaft will produce more consistency and accuracy off the tee.
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Best Drivers For Mid Handicappers
|Callaway Golf Epic Flash Driver||VIEW LATEST PRICE →|
|Cleveland Launcher HB||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|PING G410 SFT Driver||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Callaway Big Bertha||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Cobra F9 Speedback||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Best Drivers for Mid Handicappers Reviews
1. TaylorMade SIM MAX Driver
- Relatively affordable
- Draw bias
- Consistent accuracy
- Higher spin and MOI for higher handicaps
- The draw bias can make shaping shots difficult.
- Not advisable for skilled players
TaylorMade has produced an impressive array of drivers in the last decade and has moved away from the M series into the new SIM (Shape in Motion) series.
SIM Max is aimed at providing you with the most forgiveness in the SIM family consisting of 3 drivers SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D.
Shaft and grip
The standard issue on the SIM Max is the Ventus Blue 6 (mid-launch) and Ventus Red 5 (mid-high
launch) shafts and a Golf Pride Z-Grip.
A maximum allowable head of 460cc designed for speed is the key to this driver consisting of a face that is 8% larger than the SIM.
MOI is 70 points higher than the SIM due to a 20g weight positioned back on the tip of the inertia generator in the sole.
Corrective angles across the face of the SIM Max using TaylorMade’s twist face technology results in a straighter ball trajectory.
A new asymmetrical sole aids in the aerodynamically head rotation through 45° at impact.
Loft and adjustability
Standard lofts on the SIM Max driver is 9°, 10.5°, and 12°. The loft sleeve allows for 12 possible sleeve variations that can increase or decrease the loft and lie angle by ±2°, and the face angle by ±4°
Taking its lead from the automotive industry, TaylorMade’s raised chromium carbon-fiber crown and grey-tinged chalk paint give a sleek appearance.
Combined with a raised sole TaylorMade achieved a significant drag reduction without sacrificing the center of gravity. The Inertia Generator is located low and towards the back with relatively heavy steel weight at the rear
The SIM Max produces the same pitch as the SIM but sounds slightly louder at impact. Mishits feel reasonably constant. The feedback on where the golf ball made contact with the driver's face is instant-felt in your hands.
The white/silver crown and blue accents found on the SIM Max looks similar to the SIM. The differences are more remarkable on the sole of the club. There is no adjustable weight on the Max’s
sole but a larger Inertia Generator area.
The SIM Max is designed for maximum forgiveness. The Inertia Generator with extra weight at the back provides the forgiveness you require, marginally
higher launch condition, a little more spin, and a higher ball flight.
Distances achieved are consistent and are comparable to most high-end drivers. The forgiveness of the Max will let your mishits fly roughly to the same distance as a pure strike, to a limit though.
The SIM Max is distinct in looks to what you may have become accustomed to with TaylorMade drivers in the past, especially when you look at the sole.
Technological advances are to be expected in every new release from TaylorMade and the SIM Max does not disappoint in this aspect.
You can expect the SIM Max to cater to all your requirements as a mid-range handicap golfer
2. Cleveland Launcher HB
- The performance is impressive given the modest price tag
- High, low-spinning flight with a touch of draw bias and a powerful, solid feel
- It comes with a light, low torque shaft to help you get maximum clubhead speed
- Simple design
- Confidence boosting looks
- Good overall performance
- Extended length standard shaft could impact on control
- No adjustability
Cleveland is a manufacturer more renowned for the wedges and putters that they produce but have not left the iron and driver market completely. There was a period of inactivity when the company was sold to Srixon but now they are back in full force launching the HB (HiBore) driver.
It will suit mid handicappers that are not overly concerned about the adjustability offered by the driver and prefer to buy a stock standard driver off the shelf that will perform adequately.
The Launcher comes standard with a light and stable high-quality Miyazaki C.Kua shaft measuring in at 45.5 inches. The high balance point of the shaft has a low torque design aimed at a faster swing with minimum effort.
The clubhead is made from titanium and the same 460cc size as most of the competitors. The Face Cup design from Cleveland maximizes ball speed off the face and provides sufficient forgiveness
There are three loft options, 10.5 degrees and 12 degrees for golfers with slower swing speeds and 9 degrees for the faster swingers in this category.
A redesigned Crown positions the weight low and to the back of the crown aiding the golfer in a higher launch. Moving the weight to the perimeter provides much more forgiveness.
The silver line that is visible on the crown curves away from the leading edge moving out to the toe section creating the visual effect of an open face although it is square.
On the sole of the Launcher, you will find the Flex-Fin Technology, the thinner grey section of the sole, that enables the channel that helps in creating more of a trampoline effect on the face for higher ball speed.
Although the sound is slightly tinny, every shot will sound like the shot of the day even when you mishit it slightly.
The confidence-inspiring look on the tee box from a fairly rounded shaped crown backed up by a large profile head ensures that you will believe you can hit long and straight drives.
The Launcher performs remarkably well considering that it is not adjustable like the competition but rather aimed at golfers that want to grip and rip without all the technological assistance.
This, in turn, impacts the workability of shots that require some draw or fade. It will be easier to achieve some draw than fading it around an obstacle.
This is a very good product for golfers that have a good swing and can hit the ball straight without extreme workability. The lack of adjustability has allowed Cleveland to position the weight where they believe it adds the most value and the results do not disappoint. This should be on the test list for golfers that require less fuss and is more budget-conscious
The Ping G400 Max Driver is one of a long line of successful drivers providing more forgiveness than its predecessors. The head size was increased to the legal 460 cc limit providing the basis for the extra forgiveness.
There is a wide range of shafts available for the G400 Max ranging from soft regular to extra stiff or professional. The variety extends to the weight of the shaft ensuring that you will find a shaft to your liking.
Ping moved away from the 445 cc head to the maximum allowable 460 cc and have been able to reap the benefits of introducing a confidence-inspiring head with loads of forgiveness. The increased head size impacts slightly on the speed due to additional wind resistance but ultimately it promotes more consistent and accurate shot-making.
The center of gravity moved lower as a result of the high-density back-weight and tungsten weights providing that extra forgiveness golfers dream of.
The standard lofts available are 9.0 degrees and 10.5 degrees with an adjustable hosel that can be set upwards or downwards by 1.
Ping managed to save weight by producing a thinner crown and clubface. The Ping Dragonfly technology used on the crown is a thing of beauty and not only looks great but is extremely effective.
The increased size of the head led to an increase in the size of the Turbulator on the crown for enhanced aerodynamics.
By implementing the thinner TS9+ titanium face Ping shaved nine percent off the weight and adding texture to the face Ping achieved a reduction in the spin rate. The weight saved through the thin face, crown and thinner sole helped to produce a bigger surface for enhanced forgiveness. This allowed Ping to add is a 15-gram tungsten weight moving the center of gravity lower and further back.
Ping did not ignore the impact of a great good drive on the psyche of the golfer. After extensive research using computer simulations, they designed a club that resulted in a very satisfying deep muted sound at the time of impact.
There can be no complaints related to the performance of the G400 Max. It produces long straight shots at a great launch angle.
You will be able to shape shots to your preference and situation without too much effort.
The bigger head may cause a loss in speed but the technology advances around the crown, sole and face will reduce the impact of the speed loss with additional forgiveness and accuracy. Golfers that sprays the ball around are sure to close the dispersion of shots using the G400 Max.
The Callaway Big Bertha has been a favorite for many generations of golfers and looking at the current generation this is not going to stop at the current generation. It is said that you will never choose the right Callaway driver, the driver will choose the right player.
As the driver has so many adjustments that can be made most golfers will be able to relate to it. It comes in varying weights to suit every golfer from 295g up to 325g in 10g variations.
The standard shaft is manufactured from graphite weighing in at 40g to 50g with a length of 44.5 inches. The 60Gg options shaft is a bit longer measuring in at 45.5 inches. The flex options are (Regular) and A (Senior).
Predictably, the clubhead size is very much in line with most of the competition coming in at 460 cc. There is a removable weight attached to the end of the sliding track on the head. This enables the adjustment of the Moment of Inertia (MOI) and adjusts the driver into a draw, fade or neutral bias. The dispersion achievable with the adjustable weight spans up to 18 yards.
In addition to the lightweight chassis, you will find the R-Moto face assisting with ball speed. Retention is high no matter the area of impact.
As with most other areas, there are options in the loft department where you can choose between 9, 10.5, and 13.5-degrees
Callaway used forged composite materials to produce the dark crown with a Callaway chevron on top of the crown assisting in your alignment efforts.
The silver face contrasts well against the darker crown and is visually extremely pleasing.
Loved by many golfers, the head still produces the classic solid titanium thump sound that comes through generations of Big Berthas.
- You will not be disappointed in the distance that you will achieve from hitting a flush shot with this driver and mishits will not be too far behind due to the forgiving face.
- Spin and direction are easily some of the best of all mid handicap drivers and will allow you to achieve maximum accuracy to go with the forgiveness.
- The feel of the contact between ball and clubface is so effortless and will encourage you to swing with a little more passion on your next drive.
- This is an extremely versatile club and you can adjust it to produce a very workable performance or straight hitting depending on your requirements. Straight, draw or fade, you choose and the club will perform.
An allrounder driver that is very well balanced and excels in all departments except possibly on the pricing side. The lightweight construction and adjustability will allow you to set it up for your exact requirements to achieve accuracy and distance with consistency. This is a viable option for any mid handicap golfer.
The Speedback is loaded with technology to assist golfers at all levels to optimize their golf game. Cobra has found a solution to the optimum clubhead speed and low center of gravity combination that eluded so many manufacturers for a long time.
There is a huge selection of shafts available in varying weights and flex designed for every loft combination.
Lofts available vary between 9º, 10.5º and 12º and can be adjusted upwards and downwards on the hosel by 1.5º.
Cobra designed the large carbon fiber crown head that wraps onto the body with improved aerodynamics. This carbon fiber design saved 10 grams on the titanium drivers. By making the crown flatter and creating a “tail” that protrudes at the back of the head, Cobra moved the center of gravity right to the back of the head. Although this impacts on the aerodynamics it can be offset against the improvement of the center of gravity and overall performance.
At the front of the head, you will find a circular CNC precision milled face with a tilted bulge and roll axis. The precision milling creates a face that is up to 5 times more precise than a hand-polished face. The face utilizes the Dual Roll design providing more curvature on the upper face reducing spin and promoting a higher launch while the curvature on the lower end of the face results in the opposite.
The sound produced by the Speedback will put a smile even the most grumpy golfer.
The Speedback was designed to incorporate a vast amount of different technologies to optimize performance and forgiveness.
Cobra’s Speedback Technology made great strides in revolutionizing the way drivers can create additional speed combining acronymically shaped head but retaining a low center of gravity accelerating your clubhead speed and ultimately increasing the distance that the ball travels.
Dual Roll technology
Using CNC milling combined 3D CAD design Cobra produced a 5mm thin face with Dual Roll technology. The top roll is more curved than the bottom reducing spin and create a high launch angle. The bottom roll curvature is set up to achieve optimum spin and launch angle depending on the loft and swing speed of the golfer.
The combinations of materials, design features, and construction of this club make it a great option for wide range of golfers. It offers pretty much everything the average golfer will need in a driver.
The Speedback is loaded with technology options and extremely adjustable and there will be a setting that will suit every golfer’s requirement. It may take some time to work your way through all the options and technology to achieve perfection
We have covered some of the leading driver options for the mid-handicap golfer. While they are all viable options the Callaway Big Bertha stands out as our top choice. It ticks all the boxes as the best driver for mid-handicap golfers.
The Big Bertha looks good and sounds excellent. It delivers powerful distance while remaining extremely forgiving. This popular driver is easy to launch and has helped many golfers improve their game off the tee.
Consider your needs and select the best option for your game.
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.