The 5 Best Golf Drivers For Mid Handicappers [MUST READ]

Congratulations!!! You are one of a very select club of experienced and capable golfers that reached the status of a mid-handicap golfer. This is quite an achievement as many golfers struggle to reach this level.

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

Skill Level

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.

Head

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.

Loft

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.

Adjustability

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.

Shaft

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.

Best Drivers for Mid Handicappers Reviews

1. Mizuno Golf JPX 900

Pros:

  • Technologically extremely versatile
  • The large sweet spot for extra distance and enhanced forgiveness.
  • The lovely sound of the ball on the face.

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Marginally less distance than some other options

Mizuno is not always at the top of the list when you are looking for a driver even though they have produced some marvels over the years. This is another excellent model to be reckoned with.

Shaft

The standard shaft on the JPX900 is a high quality 45” orange Fujikura Evolution II shaft.

Clubhead

It is rather surprising that the JPX900 is only 440cc as it looks similar to a 460cc head found on most drivers. This was achieved by making the head deep and shallow.  There are four positions marked for placement of the two 8g weights.

Loft

The standard loft is set at 9.5 degrees and can be adjusted upwards and downwards by 2 degrees. At the standard setting of 9.5 degrees, you will find a square face at address.

The loft and face angle can be adjusted via the VFA Slider. The face opens and closes by 2 degrees either way from square depending on whether you change the loft upwards or downwards.

Crown

Callaway managed to shave 5g off the face compared to previous models allowing an extra weight that is moveable which optimizes launch conditions, The weight saved allows the CORtech face to repositioned the weight and resulting in a larger sweet spot and increased forgiveness.

The sole features of the Fast Track design promoting a wider dispersion between draw and fade and a minimalistic rib structure reducing the loss of energy and providing consistent results.

Sound

The large chamber in the head generates a high pitched but powerful sound that will please even the most ordinary golfer into believing that they have produced a world-class drive.

Look

The clubhead that is now 460 cc as opposed to the 440 cc from previous models looks large behind the ball and inspires confidence that you will be able to find the center of the face on every shot.

The crown is now a matt royal blue compared to the glossy colors from previous models and the Mizuno Roadrunner retains its position to assist you with alignment and great orientation off the tee. The thin white stripes along the top edges of the crown is a welcome distraction from the royal blue.

Adjustability

The JPX900 is a very versatile club and can be adjusted to a variety of lofts ranging from 7.5 degrees to 11.5 degrees while adjusting the clubface for optimum results depending on the chosen loft. This provides you with a fantastically forgiving face.

Performance

There can be no complaints regarding the performance of the JPX900. You get what you set the driver to do. Straight settings provide straight shots, draw bias produces a draw and then if you set it to fade, that’s exactly what you will get.

It may not travel as far as the competition but is not exactly short and you will benefit from the accuracy and consistency gained.

Final verdict

This is not a driver aimed at golfers that want distance at all cost but more aimed at golfers that want to play off the short grass the majority of the time. Once you have conquered all the available settings and found the one that suits you to a tee, pun intended, it will stay in your bag into your single handicap days.

2. Cleveland Launcher HB

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

Shaft

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.

Clubhead

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

Loft

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.

Crown

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.

Sound

Although the sound is slightly tinny, every shot will sound like the shot of the day even when you mishit it slightly.

Looks

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.

Performance

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.

The Verdict:

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

3. PING G400 Max

Pros:

  • Large confidence-inspiring shaped head
  • Variety of shafts available
  • Awesome launch angles

Cons:

  • High spin rate

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.

Shaft

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.

Clubhead

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.

Loft

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.

Crown:

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.

Sound

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.

Performance

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.

Final Verdict

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.

4. Callaway Big Bertha

Pros:

  • Very confidence-inspiring look and feel
  • Very adjustable head
  • Extremely workable

Cons:

  • Head shape may not suit everyone but hey you can’t have it all.
  • Expensive

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.

Shaft

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).

Clubhead

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.

Loft

As with most other areas, there are options in the loft department where you can choose between 9, 10.5, and 13.5-degrees

Crown

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.

Sound

Loved by many golfers, the head still produces the classic solid titanium thump sound that comes through generations of Big Berthas.

Performance

  • 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.

The Verdict:

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.

5. Cobra F9 Speedback

Pros:

  • Extremely adjustable
  • Technology laden
  • Designed for speeds and distance
  • Good forgiveness

Cons:

  • Some will find the look at address a but too busy
  • Not all will appreciate the muted sound and feedback

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.

Shaft

There is a huge selection of shafts available in varying weights and flex designed for every loft combination.

Loft

Lofts available vary between 9º, 10.5º and 12º and can be adjusted upwards and downwards on the hosel by 1.5º.

Crown:

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.

Sound

The sound produced by the Speedback will put a smile even the most grumpy golfer.

Technology

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.

Performance

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 Verdict:

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

Final Thoughts

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.

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