High handicap golfers struggle off the tee. Getting a properly fit driver can mean better distance and more accuracy even if your struggle with major swing flaws. Surprisingly, even high handicap players are consistent swingers of golf clubs, they just often need a bit of help stabilizing mis hits and optimizing their launch and golf ball flight characteristics. These drivers will help golfers launch the golf ball higher and hopefully find more fairways and areas in-play.
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 High Handicap Golfers
Understanding how a driver fit should be done, and what the most important factors are in your ideal driver is the best way to identify what new club is best for you. Many players that choose off-the-rack golf club options are leaving distance and accuracy on the table by not having that golf club built for their swing. Below, we take you through each of the components of the driver fitting process and detail how your new club can be built for your game.
We have also included a list of great drivers for this year’s lineup to help you narrow your choice before you see your fitting professional. Armed with knowledge and more understanding of golf drivers, you can make a better choice for your game this year.
When Do You Use A Golf Driver?
Drivers are most often used from the tee box when the ball can be placed upon a tee. High handicap players are discouraged from hitting their drivers from the ground as this shot has a lower chance of success and requires precision ball striking.
Finding the Best Driver for Your Golf Game
Drivers have to balance several factors to truly suit a player’s needs. The club head should be shaped to fit your eyes, the head and swing weight should allow you to maximize your club head speed and ball speed, and the center of gravity and loft should give you the ideal balance of launch and spin. Match all these up with a grip and a shaft that helps you deliver the club more consistently and you will find instant improvements in your game and your confidence. Understand that there is no one driver perfect for every golfer, however, each golfer does have one driver that is best for their swing.
As the prices of modern drivers continue to climb, it is important that you understand what you are paying for. Price typically goes up as more expensive materials and movable weights are used in a driver’s head. Budget-conscious players can get a driver built for them even in the second-hand market or from prior generation models. The key is understanding how different models may or may not help your game. Be aware that paying more does not necessarily mean getting more and the best club for you may be a fraction of the $500 price tag on the shop floor.
Key Factors in Creating the Ideal Golf Shot
Each player balances their swing characteristics differently. There is no one right way to hit a golf shot. Some players enjoy seeing the golf ball curve right to left, others want to see it curve from left to right. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the shots you are trying to hit is the best way to get better. No matter what shot style or ball flight you are looking for, there are some benchmarks that you need to be aware of. Below we take you through some common terms and how these can be used to analyze your swing and equipment fit.
Ball speed is one of the best indicators of how well your golf driver is performing. The rules of golf limit the ball speed to 1.5 times the amount of club head speed that a golfer can produce. That means that for every one mile per hour of club head speed you can make, you should be getting around 1.5 miles per hour. For handicap players swinging around 90 to 100 miles per hour, your ball speed should be between 130 and 150 miles per hour. If it is less than this, either your equipment or your swing technique is letting your down.
This relationship between your club head speed and ball speed is given in either efficiency or smash factor numbers on current launch monitors. Your club fitter should be working to get your more ball speed through your equipment and swing. Ball speed is not the only important parameter to consider when purchasing a new driver however, the club with the highest ball speed may note give you the best results. The other aspects of the golf ball’s flight are outlined below.
The launch angle of your golf ball is the angle it leaves the golf club after impact. This angle is responsible for the initial height of your golf shot. Drivers that launch the golf ball too low will not stay in the air long enough and rob the player of distance. Golf shots that fly too high will stay in the air too long and stop quickly once they have landed.
The spin rate of your golf shot will also affect how it flies and how far it travels, both in the air and on the ground. Spin creates lift, so more spin equals higher golf shots. Loo little spin and golf shots will fall quickly out of the air and leave players very short of their intended targets. Golf balls also possess an element of sidespin that will dictate how much each shot curves right or left.
Top Rated Golf Drivers Features
Every driver model is different. Even similar branded products made by the same company all hold subtle design differences that make them better suited for various golfers. Identifying the similarities between each of these complex models is the best way to understand how to build a club for your game. Each driver will be built using your club head of choice, a shaft, and a grip that helps you shoot your best scores..
Shafts in general and especially driver shafts are a topic of much debate. Do they matter, if so, how much, and is a shaft really worth $400 or $500 more than another? The answer to each one of these questions depends on who is swinging the club and their comfort level within their swing. Shafts are made from a variety of different materials that all fluctuate in price and strength densities. These variances are the reason we see so many prices among similar labeled options.
Common misconceptions in shaft fitting exist that make it difficult to understand which model is best for you. Without hitting a shaft in your preferred driver head, you will not know how it performs for you. Long gone are the days of reputable club fitters giving players a shaft designed to go further right or further left. Shafts come in a wide range of weights, flexes, and bend profiles and testing each is the only way to know what is best for you.
Weights between driver shafts range from 40-gram to 90-gram options. Flexes range between amateur or ladies flex up to extra-stiff and tour-extra-stiff variations. As a general rule, heavier and stiffer shafts will fit with the swing profiles of faster swing speed players. Slower swing speeds may enjoy the feel of lighter, softer options. These are just guides, however, and finding the ideal balance for you is always recommended.
Most modern driver heads vary from 440 cubic centimeters, or cc, to 460 cc in size. These differences in size create many shapes and ball flight characteristics among driver productions. Manufacturers use these club head sizes to give more players more options in centers of gravity, distance, accuracy, and forgiveness profiles. Typically, larger head shapes will be higher launching and higher spinning, more compact head shapes may offer lower launches and lower spinning shots.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have provided some of the most common questions for golfers looking to purchase a new driver in 2020.
Q: How Do I Measure A Golf Driver Length?
A: By using a 48-inch measuring stick or tape measure, set up the club similar to if you were approaching the golf ball. Once the sole of the club is set squarely with the ground, line up the leading edge of the measuring device to the shaft and ensure that it’s in line with the hosel. The measurement from the butt end of the grip to the hosel is the length of the driver’s shaft. The length from the butt end of the grip to the middle of the club face is the total length of the driver.
Q: Driver vs Woods: What is the Difference?
A: While drivers and fairway woods may have similar names and loft, the construction of these clubs make them unique to different playing positions on the golf course. Drivers are designed with deeper club faces that make them ideal for hitting a golf ball from a tee. Fairway woods have a curved sole that makes them more playable from a short tee or the ground. Drivers are created to give players maximum distance while fairway woods are built to hit specific yardage markers like irons or hybrids. Depending on your swing, you may find more success with hitting your fairway wood instead of your driver in terms of distance and accuracy.
Q: What is an Adjustable Driver, and Does it Really Matter?
A: Adjustable drivers give players more options and club fitters more ways of helping golfers hit better shots. Torque wrench hosels create an array of loft and face angle positions for each driver model. This means that one club head can have several different configurations that can help individuals in several ways.
Moveable weights can adjust centers of gravity. This movement gives players an ability to adjust their ball flight shape and backspins to get more distance and help them find more fairways. Players struggling with slices or hooks can benefit greatly from finding a loft, spin, and center of gravity that helps them eliminate their big miss and keep them in play more often.
Q: How Do You Know if a Driver is USGA Conforming?
A: Whenvever a new golf club is introduced, the USGA measure it to ensure that it does not award golfers an advantage over the golf course or their competition. The complete list of all club made acceptable for competition can be found below at the link provided.
Best Driver for High Handicap Golfers
PING G410 Plus Driver
Ping has introduced golfers to their first movable weight ever in a driver. The G410 Plus driver gives players and club fitters more options to dial in their swing and help improve their game this season. The Ping G410 Plus driver uses internalized dragonfly patterns and a fast forged face to give you more distance from more ball speed and more club head speed. Being able to get a club that is built to give you more ball speed when you need it and eliminate your big miss has made the Ping G410 Plus one of the longest and most forgiving drivers ever built. If you are looking to improve your game tee-to-green this season, the G410 is a great place to start.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Titleist TS1 Driver
Engineered to blend maximum launch and moderate swing speed, Titleist TS1 Drivers deliver effortless distance. Beginning with a challenge from golf’s greatest athletes, the Titleist Speed (TS) Project is a peerless pursuit of speed where every micron and milligram matter. The new Speed Chassis is the result of a two-year mission to deconstruct the driver and then design greater speed into every detail. Two letters – TS – mark the way to the future of Titleist speed. Titleist’s new Speed Chassis is the result of a two-year mission to deconstruct the driver and then design greater speed into every detail. Titleist TS Drivers – born to bring the future of Titleist speed to your game.
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.
What Driver Should You Buy?
The best driver for you gives you more distance, more accuracy, and more consistency off the tee. Many modern driver models allow club fitters and coaches to work with player’s techniques and swings to help them play better golf and enjoy the game more immediately. Optimizing your swing to the proper ball speed, launch angle, and spin rates can give you an instant boost.
Testing different club heads, shafts, and grip combinations is the best way to identify which golf driver can give you the best fit. Handicap golfers especially can benefit from playing properly fit equipment that helps make the game easier for them. No matter if you fight a slice or just need more distance to get to par-4s and par-5s in two, a better fitting driver can unlock an easier game of golf.
As always, thank you so much for reading. Be sure to head over to our other buying guides and reviews to make sure you have the best golf gear in your bag for this season. Taking the information you have learned, go test different clubs and find something that is best in your hands. Happy testing!