Beginning golfers can improve quickly by getting equipment that helps them get off the tee and in-play. Forgiving options with higher MOIs are a great place to start. Getting something that helps with a slice can be a good idea as well as many beginning players struggle with slices that can rob them of distance and cost them penalty shots.
We golf course tested and fully reviewed all of the drivers in these guides, and wrote them just for you. Please take a look and let us know what you think!
Top 10 Best Drivers for Beginners
This article is a holistic guide to what makes golf drivers unique and what you should be thinking about when it comes time to purchase your new club. While there is no one driver that is best for every golfer, there is most likely a driver that is best for you and this guide is created to help you find it. Having the information to understand why drivers are built to perform the way they are can make a huge difference in your performance and enjoyment.
When buying your first driver or your next replacement, keep in mind that getting fit and testing each piece of equipment is the best way to know which model will be right for you. Narrowing your choices for your feel and visual preferences can be a great place to start. Below we take you through each of the design and engineering principles to help you decide what is best for your game.
When Do You Use A Golf Driver?
Drivers are most often used from the tee box on holes denoted par-4 or par-5. The driver is the longest club in your bag and typically goes the farthest in distance. Rarely, golfers may use their driver from the fairways to attempt to reach par-5’s in two shots, but this is a lower percentage shot that even advanced players opt to avoid most often.
Finding the Best Driver for Your Golf Game
Finding the best driver for you is a combination of a club that makes you feel comfortable standing over the golf ball and that provides the right ball flight conditions to get the most out of your swing. Matching the correct ball flight to your swing involves balancing a properly fit club to your developing swing. As you learn more about your golf swing and as it changes over time, your needs in a club will change as well.
Golf is an expensive hobby and for players looking to balance performance and cost, getting the best driver may mean buying older models that fit your swing. Driver technology moves along slowly at times and great products can be found at large discounts that are only two or three cycles old.
Key Factors in Creating the Ideal Golf Shot
The ideal golf shot is different for each player. Some player like to see the ball curve left to right, some feel more comfortable with golf shots curving right to left. There is no perfect formula and golf is about balancing these curves with your desired outcomes. Maximizing your efforts are the best way to get your golf shots flying further and hitting the target more often. Getting the most out of your swing, no matter how good you believe it is, can be achieved by balancing a few important factors we explain below.
Ball speed is the term used for the speed of the golf ball as it leaves the club face. This number is often the highest coming from a driver due to the lower lofts and larger club heads. More club head speed will lead to more ball speeds with the same impact conditions. However, many golfers leak power with their club head speeds due to imperfect delivery conditions. As a general rule, the maximum allowed ball speeds per club head speed is 1.5x. This means that for every one mile per hour of club head speed you produce, you can create a maximum of 1.5 miles per hour of ball speed. As your golf swing becomes less efficient this ratio decreases and power and distance are lost.
Launch angle is the angle the golf ball leaves the golf club face at relative to the ground. Golf shots that launch too low will fall short of their maximum distance. Golf shots that launch too high will lose energy traveling upward and rob the player of driving yardage. Your individual swing deliveries and speeds will dictate what launch angle is best for you.
Spin rates are another important consideration when determining which driver is best for you. Driver models are created to give different golfers different spin profiles based on their internal configurations. Golf shots that spin too much will fly short and stop immediately upon hitting the ground. Golf shots that spin too little can fall out of the air quickly and cost the player a significant amount of distance and control.
Here are some of the ways sidespin occurs, and what it does to your golf shot
A draw is commonly referred to as a shot that curves left for the right-handed golfer and left for the left-handed golfer. A draw is created by sidespin of the golf ball that tilts it in the air resulting from the golf club and swing conditions during impact. For right-handed golfers, a draw is obtained by creating a golf swing that delivers a swing path that is more to the right than the golf club face. Left-handed players must deliver a golf club path more left of their club face to hit a draw.
A fade refers to golf shots that spin the opposite way of draws. Right-handed players must swing their clubs more left of the club face to create a shot that curves left to right. Left-handed players swing their clubs more right of the club face to create the right to left fade.
Topspin is very rare and difficult to create in golf. Topspin is commonly misappropriated to a severe decrease in backspin. Shots that are hit with topspin will fall out of the air after only a few yards and are often the sign of a very severe miss strike.
Backspin is created by the majority of golf shots. Each golf club creates different amounts of backspin relative to the amount of loft, speed, and strike of each swing. Different factors around the golf course such as the rough, sand, or wind can also affect the backspin of golf shots.
Top Rated Golf Drivers Features
Each driver model is created with similar features that can be matched to the swing styles of each player. Choosing a driver that matches your swing is the best way to make golf easier and more fun during your practice and play. Each club is built with a club head, shaft, and grip that help make the driver unique to the player and swing characteristics. Balancing all three are important when making your purchase decision.
The golf shaft is the toll that golfers use to deliver their club heads to the golf ball in a repeatable and consistent fashion. Getting the right golf shaft for you can mean better, more accurate drives. Shafts are timing devices that help players vary swing speed, impact locations, and delivery conditions.
Choosing the right shaft for your game can be difficult. Each shaft is built with a bend profile that helps them perform differently in each player’s hands. Loosely, shaft weight and flex can be correlated to swing speeds. Faster swinging golfers often prefer the feel of heavier, stiffer shafts. Slower swinging players may benefit from lighter weight, softer flex options. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to shaft fitting, getting the shaft that makes you the most comfortable is best.
Driver shafts range in weight from 40- to 90-grams. Flexes vary from ladies, amateur, and senior flexes through regular, stiff, and extra-stiff options. Seeing a club fitter and testing different weights and flexes is the best way to know which shaft model and options are best for your swing.
Driver head sizes vary in volume measures. The smallest modern driver sits around 440 cubic centimeters, ccs, while the largest are capped at 460 ccs. These volumes can be stretched into different shapes, heights, and profiles to help fit the visual preferences of different players. The distribution of weight around the head sizes can help drivers to vary in their spin and forgiveness profiles as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Club buying can be confusing. We provide some commonly asked questions about buying drivers directed at the beginning golfer.
Q: How Do I Measure A Golf Driver’s Shaft Length?
A: To measure a driver club length, use a 48-inch measuring stick or tape measure and set up the club in a playing position as if it was behind a golf ball. Measure the length of the shaft from the end of the grip to the bottom of the golf club face. That measure measurement is the length of your driver.
Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
A: Drivers and fairway woods differ in several key characteristics. In general, drivers have larger club heads, longer shafts, and propel the golf ball further. Fairway woods have soles that are designed to play the golf ball from the tee or the ground more easily. Drivers have lower lofts but this can be adjusted depending on the player’s needs.
Q: What is an Adjustable Driver, and Does it Really Matter?
A: Adjustable drivers allow golfers and club fitters to build a golf club that is truly fit for each player’s swing. The adjustable hosel on golf drivers allow the face angle and loft to be manipulate. Moveable weights on the sole or rear of the driver help individuals to fine tune their launch, spin, and forgiveness profiles.
Q: How Do You Know if a Driver is USGA Conforming?
A: Golf clubs that are released are evaluated by the USGA to ensure that they do not give players an artificial advantage over other products. Information about driver models can be found on the USGA website at the link provided below:
Best Drivers for Beginners
Ping G410 SFT Driver
The go-to club this year for players looking to cure their slice is the Ping G410 SFT. We cannot recommend this club enough if you simply cannot seem to hit your driver without a dreaded slice. Ping has packed more forgiveness and more draw bias into a beautiful profile. The SFT or Straight Flight Technology driver from Ping constantly does more for golfers to reduce excessive curavture and bring their golf balls back into play. The same forged face and interanlized Dragonfly of the standard G410 Plus help make the SFT longer and more aerodynamic than other drivers. More club head speed for you unlocks the potential for more distance and the heel weighting keep that distance closer to the fairway more often. If you find yourself losing too many golf balls per round as they slice out of play, the G410 SFT driver is the best in all our tests.
Ping G410 Plus Driver
The G410 Plus driver from Ping is their first driver with adjustable weight technology. The ability to move the heavy perimeter around the very back of the driver helps make the G410 easier to fit to your swing without diminishing its forgiveness. By moving the weight into the heel section of the golf club, the G410 Plus can become draw-bias and help remove your slicing golf shot. G410 Plus gives players more club head speed through optimized Dragonfly aerodynamics and better ball speeds from a thinner forged face. The G410 Plus driver can be made to fit the needs of golfers of all abilities and can be adjusted as your swing changes over time.
Callaway Mavrik Max Driver
Experience maximum playability with the Callaway MAVRIK MAX Driver. Engineered with improved technologies, the long, easy-to-hit driver gives golfers the ability to reduce slices off the tee. A larger footprint in the 460cc head combines with an interchangeable 14g and 2g weight to promote improved forgiveness and draw. New A.I. designed Flash Face SS20 is constructed with high-strength FS2S Titanium for optimal ball speed, forgiveness and spin performance. Two internal Jailbreak bars connect the sole and crown to promote fast ball speed, and the significantly lighter carbon crown allows us to redistribute weight for higher MOI.
Titleist TS2 Driver
After an underwhelming 917 driver release, Titleist set out to change everything about their driver technology. The TS2 driver from Titleist sheds the short and spinny narrative that has held Titleist back in recent years. TS2 combines ultra-thin titanium, a thinner, faster face, and optimized weight to give players more distance and more accuracy from the tee. TS2 is an excellent choice for players that love traditional looks and sound but need modern performance.
TaylorMade SIM Max D Driver
Lock in top-level distance and forgiveness when you play the TaylorMade SIM Max-D Driver. The Speed Injection process is designed to maximize ball speed and distance to performance at or near the legal limit. Revolutionary Twist Face technology utilizes face curvature with corrective face angle on off-center hits for side spin reduction and straighter shots. A 2-degree Loft Sleeve™ enables optimized face angle, loft and lie customization for ideal spin and trajectory.
Cobra SpeedZone Xtreme Driver
A revolutionary advancement, the Cobra KING Speedzone Driver is the Ultimate Formula for Speed. Cobra’s most forgiving driver utilizes a larger shape with more perimeter weighting and a tungsten back weight to help accomplish the highest level of MOI. A CNC Milled Infinity Face helps to ensure the face is machined to precise specs for optimal performance. Cobra’s 360 Carbon Wrap Crown wraps around the body to save 25g of weight for enhanced stability.
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Driver
Power up your swing while playing the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Driver. Designed to attain more speed off the tee, the Launcher HB Turbo helps avid golfers make high, long and straight drives. A Turbocharged Cup Face, featuring a variable thickness pattern, allows for increased ball speed and explosive distance on every shot. The redesigned HiBore Crown combined with an ultralight hosel features low, deep weighting, so you can achieve easy and high ball flight from anywhere on the course. Deep weighting enhances MOI and forgiveness for incredible stability on off-center impacts.
TaylorMade SIM Max Driver
In our limitless pursuit to help golfers improve, we’ve discovered the new shape of driver performance. An asymmetric sole design and powerful new Inertia Generator combine to optimize aerodynamics and speed at the most critical stage of the swing.
The reshaped sole design optimizes clubhead speed and enhanced aerodynamics at the most critical stage of the swing. The Inertia Generator positions weight at the extreme rear for increased forgiveness and is strategically angled to reduce drag on the downswing. Provides adjustability and personalization to optimize the club to individual trajectory and face angle preferences, up to +/-2° loft change.
We pride ourselves on pushing the boundaries of golf club design so that you may find greater joy in the game and better on-course performance. After all, we’re golfers just like you.
Ping G410 LST Driver
This high-MOI model is engineered to produce low, stable spin with the shot-shaping control provided by the G410 driver family’s innovative movable-weight technology. The compact, multi-material 450cc head combines a fast, forged T9S+ face, improved aerodynamics, and a MOI 3% higher than the G400 LST. Trajectory Tuning 2.0 expands your loft and lie adjustability utilizing a patented eight-setting, lightweight hosel.
LST’s profile is smaller, more rounded and pear shaped to promote clubhead speed. Its “Tour Square” face sits slightly open and the score-line pattern frames the impact area to aid in alignment. The creased crown design has stiffening properties and provides a clean and powerful look at address.
Patented Dragonfly Technology on the inside of the 450cc head creates an ultra-thin crown structure, saving weight, which is moved to the extreme boundary of the clubhead to increase the MOI by 3% (compared to the G400 LST) for added ball speed and forgiveness.
PXG 0811 XF Gen2 Driver
Introducing the PXG 0811XF Gen2 Driver. Brand new for 2019, this driver will supercharge your drive. Also featuring Hot Rod Technology inspired by the look and extreme performance of American muscle cars, the PXG 0811 XF GEN2 Golf Driver is designed for out-and-out forgiveness and raw power.
The 0811 XF GEN2 Driver presents the same performance-enhancing technology as the 0811 X GEN2 Driver, with a deeper CG location and a weight back design. This promotes mid-spin performance and increases the MOI.
What Driver Should You Buy?
As we stated before, there is no one driver that is best for every golfer. However, finding the driver that is best for your game can lead to longer, more accurate drives, and more fun playing golf. Buying your first driver or purchasing an upgrade can be intimidating with so many options and different opinion out there. Understanding what makes each driver model unique and how that can help or harm your game is the best way to begin your shopping.
Finding club(s) that you love the look of and that gives you confidence behind the golf ball is a great place to start. After that, matching some of those models to your swing characteristics to give you the ideal balance of speed, launch, and spin will give you the longest and most accurate drives. Marrying a shaft to that club head will then allow you to deliver your best swing and make a predictable golf shot appear more often. Finally, choose a grip that is comfortable in your hands and gives you a solid connection to your new club of choice.
It is common to have more questions than answers at this point in your growing golf game. We are here to make the equipment buying experience easy and helpful for the consumer. Please check out our other equipment reviews and buying guides to ensure that you have the best equipment for your whole bag. Thanks for reading and happy testing!