- What To Look For in a Forgiving Driver
- Benefits of Using a Forgiving Driver
- The Most Forgiving Drivers Are:
- Most forgiving driver for slow swing speeds
This is what so many golfers experience hitting drivers that are not the right fit for them even though there is a myriad of drivers to choose from. Let the technology improvements, that manufacturers have spent millions on, help you to get more satisfaction out of your drives and put back the enjoyment into your round.
The Most Forgiving Drivers Are:
What To Look For in a Forgiving Driver
Every golfer doesn’t need to carry a driver in his/her bag but you would take a lot of enjoyment out of the game by excluding this club from your bag.
Although it is one of the most difficult clubs to hit consistently, a well-struck drive soaring like an eagle down the fairway will make your chest swell with pride and your playing partners praise you for the rest of the round.
To achieve consistency in your golf driving abilities you might need to spend hours on the driving range and a substantial amount with a professional.
It is not a bad idea to go for a fitting and a few basic lessons but fortunately, there are alternatives.
In this review, we will provide some feedback on the drivers that are available in the market to assist you in overcoming some of your shortcomings and make the game of golf enjoyable rather than a pure frustration.
In deciding on your next driver it would be advisable to do a self-assessment on the driving range with your current driver to determine your most prominent mishit tally, your swing speed, and your flight path.
Then you will be able to select the driver that will allow you to fulfill your potential and put a smile on your face, and your whole family’s face when you return happy after your round.
Characteristics of a forgiving driver are that it offers maximum forgiveness across the whole face producing longer drivers even on off-center hits.
This must occur while the coefficient of restitution (CoR) remains within the legal limit as set out by the golfing authorities. Manufacturers achieve this by creating varying thicknesses across the face and shaping the face optimally change the direction of every shot.
The adjustability of the launch angle and center of gravity (CoG) will also help. This is achieved by adding weights and sliders to the club head allowing golfers to have their preferred settings dialed in and set.
When the golfer’s swing changes all he, or she, has to do is change the settings and everything is set again. You can even set the amount of spin generated to optimize the distance that you can drive the ball.
Benefits of Using a Forgiving Driver
Forgiving drivers will optimize the distance you drive the ball even on mishits. The technology built into drivers are top-notch and allows most players to have an opportunity to go for the green with shorter irons. Some drivers even allow slower swing speeds to achieve previously unthinkable distances.
Improved technology allows golfers to counter their swing faults to a certain extent and still achieve sufficient control to land most of their drives on the short stuff thus making golf a much more enjoyable sport.
Confidence and Enjoyment
As you hit more consistent drives your confidence will improve and your ability as a golfer will grow. This enables you to enjoy the game and want to return more often.
The Most Forgiving Drivers Are:
One of the swing paths that most newer and intermediate golfers experience is the left to the right path. We are not talking a fade here that travels a few meters left to right, we talk about the wild left to right slice that ends up under the trees or in the water. Well, The F-Max Offset Driver could be the answer to your prayers.
The F-MAX Offset Driver is aimed at golfers with a moderate swing speed that yearns to hit a draw after fighting a slice forever.
Larger, midsize grips have been fitted to F-Max Offset for improved comfort and consistency. Having larger grips lessens the tension in your setup creating higher swing speeds.
The shaft is lighter and that will help golfers with moderate swing speeds to generate increased clubhead for maximum distance. The shaft is available in Senior, Regular and Stiff flex.
In addition to the offset, you will find a draw-biased weight inserted in the sole, towards the heel and rear, fighting the slice by promoting right-to-left (draw) sidespin.
This weight has an added advantage in that it promotes roll on the fairway for increased distance. The loft is available in 9.5 degrees, 10.5 degrees, and 11.5 degrees and is not adjustable due to the offset on the hosel
The offset hosel promotes the face to close at impact to assist the ball in traveling straighter and minimize the left to right curve.
The offset can be intimidating and distracting initially, but Cobra strategically placed two parallel alignment graphics on the crown together with an alignment improving V, to counter this effect. Mishits are mitigated by the titanium face that should produce excellent distance on all shots.
Even the most critical eye will appreciate the gloss black crown with the faded alignment stripe for better alignment and the sole is finished in polished black and metallic gold accents for a high-class presentation.
The F-Max produces a slightly tinny sound but this is by no means offensive to the ears.
The F-Max delivers on the claims that you will achieve less of a slice using this driver. There is a definite right to left shape on any semi decently struck shot. The club cannot be blamed for exaggerated swing issues but will address most issues.
This club is aimed at golfers that are fighting a slice. If you miss on either side of the fairway this is not for you as it will exaggerate the draw and hooks.
The increased backspin may impact the distance achieved but it’s better to sacrifice some distance for accuracy.
Tour Edge is not a marquee manufacturer but based in Batavia, Illinois, and has quietly been around since the late 1980s. More renowned for their fairway woods and hybrids, they are rarely seen in the bags of sponsored professional players.
Don’t let this discourage you from trying out the Hot Launch L3 driver. It is a very competitive driver at a low budget cost. Although not one that will raise the eyebrows in your group for its reputation, it will not let you down and may surprise many.
The fact that Tour Edge does not sponsor professional players does not mean that there are no professionals that use their equipment. It only means that you benefit as the money saved can be utilized to keep prices down, while building excellent equipment.
The “Power Channel” that you can find right behind the clubface pushes the coefficient of restitution to the maximum allowed and helps low struck shots.
The center of gravity is moved to the back through a weight that is located at the back. The technology allows even shots that are hit thinly to achieve similar distances as well-struck shots.
Variable thicknesses found in the face of the Hot Launch HL3 offers extra forgiveness in the areas where golfers tend to strike their mishits.
There are only two lofts available, 9 degrees and 10.5 degrees. This may not be suitable for golfers with slower swing speeds.
The Tour Edge crown lacks the flamboyant colors and markings found on the premium brands but its classic pear-shaped clubhead shape and simple spot that indicates where you can find the sweet should suffice for most golfers looking for value rather than flash.
Shots that hit the sweet spot are not far off the distance that you will achieve with the more popular drivers, but mishits are where you will experience the difference.
Manufacturers spend millions on mitigating those mishits and achieving the most distance possible. This is where the Tour Edge Hot Launch HL3 came to its rightful place as a competitor. The low-face impact creates a fantastic roll-out that ends up very near the shots struck in the sweet spot.
Shots struck on the heel do not veer way off the short grass as will be expected and will be very unlikely to end up under bushes on the outer perimeters of the fairway or in the out of bounds section.
Toe shots, on the other hand, tend to come back to the fairway and produce the run associated with a draw that will end up surprising most by the distance that they achieve.
Don’t expect too much fancy in-your-face technology and adjustability when you evaluate this driver. The money invested in this driver will allow you to move straight to the course yet be forgiving enough to mitigate the shots struck on either the toe or on the heel.
This is a solid performer at a price that most golfers or aspirant golfers can afford. Even without the fancy technology, you can expect respectable performance.
If it is the highest-ranked driver manufacturer name that you want to see on your driver, Cleveland will not be on the top of your list.
However, if you are looking for a driver that will perform well at a very competitive price, the Golf Launcher HB Driver is forgiving and will complete its task with great honor. You should continue looking at this review to see why.
The standard Miyazaki C.Kua shaft measures in at 45.5 inches with a high balance point and a low torque design. This is aimed at higher swing speeds from the reduced effort.
The Launcher HB (Hi Bore”) comes in a 460cc titanium clubhead with one of the largest sweet spots in the industry. The extremely thin crown has allowed Cleveland to move the weight to the bottom and the back of the head. Even more of a weight reduction was achieved by adding a lightweight bonded hosel.
Cleveland’s “Cup Face” technology in conjunction with the ultra-thin crown allows the face to compress thus producing high trajectory shots with impressive distance from strikes in the sweet spot.
Slight mishits still produce good distances but the forgiveness built into the face will tend to bring the shots back to the straight and narrow. This is specifically important for golfers who still do not have a consistently accurate swing and strike.
Add the Flex-Fin sole technology to the “cup face” technology and you have a large sweet spot for maximum forgiveness. .The “fin” technology distributes the energy throughout the clubhead and returns the energy to the face for increased power even on mishits.
Golfers with slower swing speeds can rely upon the 10.5 degrees and 12 degrees loft options while there is a 9-degree loft for faster swingers.
Even the tinny sound cannot disguise the fact that even mishits will be pleasing on the hearing senses.
There is no arguing that the Launcher will inspire confidence on the tee box. The round shape and large profile will inspire confidence that you cannot mishit this driver.
There is no reason to distrust the performance garnered from the Launcher. It is a grip and rip driver with all the workability that you require, just as it comes out of the box without all the, sometimes confusing, technology.
Cleveland produced a club with great technology without the adjustability of most other manufacturers. This does not mean the Launcher HB is an inferior product by any means.
If you are looking for a cost-effective driver without the fuss of changing the settings every so often, this is a driver that you can take off the shelf and go straight to the course.
Most forgiving driver for slow swing speeds
The G410 Plus is the first time that Ping placed movable weight on a driver with their new G410 SFT (Straight Flight Technology). This is a driver that is claimed to be their most fade correcting driver to date. Not only will it fight your slice but it is built on a draw bias
There are multiple shaft options available such as the Alta CB Red 55, Mitsibushi Tensei CK Orange, and the Evenflow Black from Project X.
The precision-forged face that is created through the Ping patented heat treatment results in a thinner but hotter impact due to the increase in flexing.
There are three bias setting that can be achieved by moving the 16-gram tungsten weight. Center for neutral, towards the toe for fade, and towards the heel for a draw. The lie angle can be adjusted by +/-1.5° for improved adjustability.
The forging process has resulted in a well-accepted sound that will please even the most critical golfer
The crown is slightly lighter in color than its predecessor but this is hardly noticeable unless the clubs are placed next to each other.
Alignment assistance is achieved by the long white grooved Turbulators on the face.
Clubhead speed is optimized by the lighter swing weight and the face returns to square at impact. The distance and accuracy together with the forgiveness ensure that this club will perform as it specifies on the box.
Even though this is Ping’s first attempt of building sliding weights into their driver, they must be congratulated. It is a great success and will not disappoint most players.
TaylorMade is one of the big names in the golf industry and is always associated with quality products that deliver for years. Even though TaylorMade releases new products every year as technology advances, most of their equipment still provides great value for money even years later.
The TaylorMade R15 460 Driver is a perfect example of such a driver. It is a driver that inherited the sliding weight technology form the SLDR driver and the technology is still in use in several TaylorMade drivers in an advanced form.
The standard shaft that you can expect on the R15 460 is the Fujikura Speeder 57 Evolution shaft with a Lamkin UTX Grip
A larger sweet spot on the large 460 cc head is thanks to the use of the inverted cone technology resulting in a larger sweet spot and offers maximum forgiveness.
The weight distribution in the head moved the center of gravity for a higher launch angle and reduced spin rate for more carry and distance. The low center of gravity is possible through the sliding spin weights in the sole. Besides, the sliding weights enable you to fine-tune the driver into a draw or fade bias.
The adjustable hosel provides for loft changes upwards 2 degrees and downwards 2 degrees.
You are spoilt for selection as the R15 460 comes in either a white or black crown, with the standard TaylorMade underwhelming but not boring design. The gray ‘T’ logo for alignment is the only distraction you will encounter on the crown.
Although not the latest available model on offer it still provides great value and would not be inappropriate to put it in your bag. You will get forgiveness and distance from high from and impressive launching trajectories that will make any golfer proud. This is not a driver that will stand back much for the later models in the TaylorMade stable.
1. Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver
- Lightweight and smooth swinging
- Easy to adjust
- RMOTO technology
- Adjust your spin rate with Gravity Core
- Very forgiving
- Solid metallic feel
- OptiFit technology makes the club very versatile
- Finding the correct setting to suit your swing could be time-consuming.
Smooth, lightweight and in control, that is what you will experience with the Alpha 815. The lightweight 460 cc clubhead is constructed from 8 different composite materials and provides the adjustability required for drivers at this level.
With the ability to reduce the spin generated by the Alpha 815, you can expect to get the best distances possible when finding the setting that suits you the best.
The selection of shafts available is more than sufficient to ensure that every golfer will find one that suits their style and swing speed.
The modified Alpha 815 Diamond Driver core is longer than its predecessor with the standard Callaway pointer to show you where the middle of the face is. RMOTO is a series of ribs that connect the face to the crown and the sole. This strengthens the outer boundaries of the face and promotes faster ball speeds off the face, especially on mishits.
Gravity Core technology enables you to adjust the club’s center of gravity vertically to adjust the 10.5-gram tungsten weight higher in the club to reduce the spin rate or place the 1.5-gram nylon weight at the bottom for increased spin rate. To enable you to identify what setting is in place, the sole screw is either silver for weight on top or a darker gray for weight at the bottom.
OptiFit adjustable hosel technology allows you to adjust the loft and lie angles. The loft is adjustable downwards by 1 degree and upwards by 2 degrees from the standard 10-degree loft providing for 4 different settings. Add the two weight ports (one is 7g and the other is 1g) and you can change the bias from draw to neutral bias in seconds.
The default setting places the 7g weight in the heel but can easily be changed if your mishits are more towards the toe. This adds up quickly to eight different possibilities for truly great adjustability.
Acoustics are good without being dull. The sound produced when ball meets clubface is muffled like that of a solid club striking the ball.
The Big Bertha Alpha 815 has a glossy black, pear-shaped head, that’s wide from the clubface to the back of the club. The crown has a small silver Callaway chevron for alignment to the sweet spot.
The adjustability of this club allows you to set it up to your strengths and will perform the way you have set it up. In this case, you cannot blame your tools for deficient results.
The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver provides technology and good looks into a lightweight smooth swinging masterpiece. One of the top forgiving clubs available on the market.
It is always a difficult task to find the driver that will suit you down to a T in the myriad of available options. Every golfer has different requirements and wants to tweak the driver ever so slightly to get the most out of it. In some cases though, golfers want a stock standard option that will work for them and they don’t have to concern themselves with the technical detail involved in setting up the club.
We have reviewed both options and found that the competition is stiff in both categories but manufacturers have made the options as flexible as possible to cater to a wide spectrum of golfers.
- The Cobra F-Max Offset Driver is our pick for fighting your slice
A golfer that has a problem slicing the ball will do well trying the Cobra F-Max Offset to get their ball back in play closer to the fairway.
- The TaylorMade R15 460 is our pick as the most forgiving Driver
For adjustability and reliability, the older but still excellent TaylorMade R15 presents fantastic value. It’s a reliable brand and you will have years of fun with this club without having to upgrade every year.
- The Tour Edge Hot Launch HL3 Driver is our pick for best budget forgiving driver
Tour Edge produces excellent value without having the overheads of sponsoring professional players. You can rely on good technology at an excellent price
- The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Runner up in the affordability category.
Good looking, lightweight, smooth swinging and forgiving. Not much more than you can ask for. A close second to the overall winner and will remain extremely popular in this highly competitive market.
- The Cleveland Golf Launcher HB Driver is our pick as the overall winner
Distance and forgiveness without the bells and whistles that go with adjusting the setup. Grip and rip, smile and walk off the tee, that’s what’s on offer with the Cleveland Launcher HB Driver.
Give some thought to your specific needs in order to select the perfect driver for your game.