The

Best Golf Drivers 

for Beginners

And High Handicappers

Last updated: September 17, 2019


What are the best golf drivers for beginners?


That’s a good question…


Because most beginners HATE drivers…


I know I used to as a beginner.


Yes, drivers are hard to hit. I used to hit my 3-wood even on par 5s because I was afraid to mess up! The 3-wood is just way easier to use.


On the other hand, some beginners (particularly guys) insist on using the driver, even though they can’t control it.


Which begs the following questions:

  • Why are drivers so hard to play for beginners?

  • What are the best drivers for beginners?

These are the questions we’ll be digging into in this article.


Are you in a rush? Here are the best drivers for beginners:

Do beginners need special drivers?

men preparing to play golf

“Normal” drivers have features that have been included with intermediate to advanced players in mind. As a beginner, you can certainly buy these drivers and have decent results, but there are 2 issues:

  1. You will be playing more money for features that you won’t be able to use

  2. You will be missing on features designed specifically for beginners like you 

The name of the game for beginners is to find a “forgiving” driver. By having a forgiving” driver, you are guaranteeing that your mishits will still be ok in terms of trajectory and distance.

forgiveness


The drivers made for more advanced players will not allow you to mess up!


There is another advantage to buying a driver specifically for beginners: you won’t need the latest shiny model. Indeed, brand new models that equipment manufacturers announce every year tend to have “fancy” new features.


But you don’t have any use for these. And you will be saving a lot of money by skipping on the latest model.


Instead, you can buy excellent drivers from 2 years ago (new or used, that’s your call) and save a bunch of money.


But you shouldn’t just buy any driver.


Let me show you the things you should look for.


Get a big clubhead


There is just something attractive about a driver with a huge head. I have always loved huge clubheads with my drivers because they look so extreme!


However, there is another advantage for beginners. With a bigger head, you are more likely to hit the ball in the “sweet spot” of the face. The sweet spot is the area where you ideally want to hit the ball to get the most distance and the best trajectory.

sweet spot

By having a big clubhead and hitting the sweet spot more often, you will become more consistent on your drives.


This is a quick win.


Is there a downside to having a big head? Yes. It’s harder to have good control of the ball.


Professionals want smaller heads that can give them more accurate feedback and good control. 


But as a beginner, you should be willing to give up a little bit of control to get as many yards as possible.


All the drivers selected in this article have larger heads than normal.


Center of gravity (CG)

selanee henderon

The CG (center of gravity) of a club is the area in the head where the gravity is centered (duh).


Why would this be important for beginners?


Well, the quality of your shots depend on where your CG is. Specifically:

  • If the CG of your club is more toward the face of the driver, then the loft is going to be lower. As a consequence there will be less spin

  • When the CG is situated toward the heel of the driver, there will be more loft and spin. The club will also be easier to hit and beginners will get more distance.

As a beginner, it is better to get a driver with a higher loft. These drivers are easier to hit.


Fortunately, the majority of manufacturers offer the same club with different lofts. Go for the highest loft possible if you are a beginner.


Moment of inertia (MOI)

tiger woods drive

MOI is a measure of resistance. 

  • A driver with a low MOI tends to get twisted a lot at impact with the ball. This can result in lower control of the trajectory and lower ball speed.

  • A driver with a high MOI is very resistant to impact.

All golf players should try to find clubs (not only drivers) with a high MOI.


But here is the issue: since a high MOI is a desirable trait for a golf club, all manufacturers now claim that their clubs are high MOI…


So how do you know who’s right?


Well, the only way to find out is to ask people who have already bought and used the clubs. I have taken comments from customers into account (with other criteria as well) when selecting drivers for this article.


Loft


Here is an illustration showing what the loft is.

loft

Keep in mind that the loft of a club is usually between 8 to 13 degrees.


Unsurprisingly, a larger loft angle will get your ball higher up in the air. In addition, clubs with higher lofts are also much easier to play. This is essential for beginners. 


There are advantages to a lower loft angle, but only advanced players are able to take advantage of these features.


Indeed, as a beginner, your swing speed isn’t as fast as professional or advanced golfers.


Because of this low swing speed, your drives will tend to be lower, giving you less distance. A higher loft can partially make up for this (but you still have to improve your swing).


As a beginner, you should go for a loft angle of at least 10 degrees. In general, it doesn’t hurt to go for the highest loft possible.


Which shaft should I choose?

golf bags

Most beginners tend to focus on the features offered by the clubhead. But the shaft is also important.


Most online retailers will allow you to customize the shaft for the driver you want to buy.


But what kind of shaft should you go for?


Shafts come with different levels of stiffness.


shaft stiffness



Typically, online retailers will give you the following options:

  • X: extra stiff

  • S: stiff

  • R: regular

  • A/M: senior

Which one should you choose as a beginner?


Well, beginners tend to have slower swings. This means that they should go for more flexible shafts that can help get more distance. 


It is true that stiffer shafts tend to give better feedback. This is useful for advanced players, but not for beginners.


Don’t go for X or S, always go for R (regular), at least at the beginning.


The 5 best golf drivers for beginners 

epic star

#1 Best driver for beginners 

The “Big Bertha” family is one of the most popular in the world of golf.


When Callaway first developed the Big Bertha woods, it was a wild success among golfers of all levels.


The Callaway “Great” Big Bertha is very similar but with some added features.


1. Increased ball speed and forgiveness


Callaway used its R•MOTO technology to create a thinner face. But why would a thinner face be better?


Well, a thick face tends to absorb some of the energy at impact, like a pillow. A thinner space does not absorb as much energy and transfers the momentum to the ball. This means greater ball speed.


2. Enhanced swing speed


As a beginner, your swing is likely slower than that of an intermediate player, and much slower than that of a pro. 


Unfortunately, getting a higher swing speed takes years of practice. There is no way around it… Right?


Well, actually, there is.


Callaway designed an aerodynamic clubhead that moves faster through the air. In addition, the Great Big Bertha is also made of multiple lightweight materials. 


head airflow


The combination of an aerodynamic clubhead and a light club makes it easier for beginners to swing faster.


Don’t get me wrong, this is not a “holy grail” that will allow you to swing like a pro next Tuesday. In fact, a lighter club comes with some drawbacks, like a less accurate feedback when you mishit. 


But overall, these features will enable you to make up for your lack of experience, at least for a few years.


3. Adjustable settings


Eventually, the Great Big Bertha comes with an adjustable hosel. This hosel has 8 different settings, but you should go for the one with the highest loft.

club anatomy


This will make your shots cover more distance and more consistent.


There is also a little bonus feature.


Callaway added a sliding weight on the clubhead. This adjustable weight allows you to shape your shots (draw or fade).


Note that this is an advanced feature. You won’t be using it at the beginning. But it’s nice to know that it is here for you to explore after a few months of golfing.


Value


The Great Big Bertha is not the cheapest driver. However, considering the success and the features of the Great Big Bertha, the price is fair. Its price is about the same as other similar drivers.


The investment may not be worth it for golfers who play once a month or less. But for golfers planning on purchasing a driver for the years to come, the Great Big


Bertha provides great value.


Pros:

  • More ball speed due to the thinner face 

  • Increased swing speed due to the aerodynamic clubhead

  • Increased swing speed due to the light materials 

  • More consistency by changing the loft with the adjustable hosel

  • Great value

Cons:

  • Golfers who play once a month may want to go for a cheaper option

Click for price

epic flash callaway

Best beginner driver for distance

Callaway is a well-known brand in the world of golf. The Epic Flash is a driver from Callaway that is particularly attractive for beginners.


More distance due to the long shaft


First of all, the shaft is longer than average. 


Why is this important?


A short shaft can give you more control. Think about it. A ping pong racket is really easy to control. A tennis racket is longer and harder to control. 


But here is the thing: a tennis racket has much more power. 


Of course, there are other reasons why a tennis racket is more powerful than a ping pong racket. It is bigger, heavier, …


But in the case of golf shafts, the longer, the more powerful. And, yeah, you may be losing some control by choosing a longer shaft. But hey, with drivers, you should try to get as much distance as possible, even if your shots are slightly to the side.


More consistency


The Epic Flash has an adjustable hosel. 


By adjusting the hosel, you are effectively changing the loft of the driver.


Why is this important?


Beginners tend to have slower swing speed than more advanced players. It’s normal. But because they have a slower swing, the ball tends to fly lower and go less far.


Changing the loft of your driver allows you to hit the ball much higher and further. 


It’s also worth noting that a higher loft will make your driver much easier to hit.


You will be more consistent with a higher loft.


Great value


If you are looking for the cheapest of the cheapest, then this driver is not for you. 


But if you are looking for value, then this may be a match. The price is interesting compared to other brands.


Pros:

  • Great distance due to the longer than average shaft

  • More consistency thanks to the adjustable hosel 

  • The price is better than other brands

Cons:

  • The sound this driver produces is not very pleasant. This may be an issue if you like a “clean” sound at impact.

Click for price

rogue driver

Best beginner driver for ball speed

The Rogue driver has made countless appearances on TV commercials.


Callaway is marketing this driver very heavily. Indeed, it is one of their most advanced products. And as we are about to see, it has a lot of interesting features for beginners.


More ball speed with the Jailbreak technology


One of the main limitations that beginners have is that their ball speed is too slow. It’s a normal thing, but it is costing them some distance.


Callaway uses the “Jailbreak” technology to give your ball more speed. “Jailbreak” sounds fancy, but it simply means that Callaway made sure to manufacture a driver head that is much more resistant to impact.


The Jailbreak technology is meant to increase the MOI (moment of inertia) of the driver (see the MOI section for more info).


Why does this matter?


Well, the head of the Callaway Rogue stays almost the same when hitting the ball. Because the head is so compact, little force gets lost during the impact. 


And this increases the speed of your ball.


More swing speed due to better airflow


Ok, we talked about how the Jailbreak technology increased the ball speed by making the clubhead more compact.


The thing is, ball speed doesn’t only depend on how compact the head is. In essence, ball speed depends on 2 factors:

  1. The quality of impact
  2. The quality of your swing

The Jailbreak technology enhances number 1. But what about number 2?


Obviously, increasing the quality of your swing requires many years of training. But Callaway found another way to make your swing faster.


Callaway actually cooperates with Boeing. Yes. The airplane company.


As it turns out, when you design airplanes for a living, you become an expert in airflow. 


Boeing tries to make their planes as fast as possible. And part of this involves optimizing the airflow around the plane.


Boeing took the same concepts and applied them to the Rogue driver. The result is better airflow and increased swing speed.


Pros:

  • The clubhead is more compact with the Jailbreak technology, which means more ball speed
  • The airflow of the club has been optimized which means more swing speed
  • Great design

Cons:

  • Not necessarily the best in terms of forgiveness


Click for price

cobra f9

Best driver for total beginners

The Cobra F9 might be your best choice if you are a total beginner.


Remember how I told you that beginners have a slower swing? Well, because of this, beginners are not able to give their ball a lot of speed.


The F9 SpeedBack was engineered with ball speed in mind. Yes, this driver may not perform as well as other drivers in terms of feedback (the vibrations you get after a bad shot). But in return, you get much more raw distance.


Pros:

  • More ball speed 

  • More distance

Cons:

  • Feedback isn’t very accurate

Click for price

m6

The TaylorMade M6 has been out for a few years. It is still a best-selling item, but because it has been around for some time, you can get it online for a great price.


You are going to miss out on the latest technologies. But this isn’t so important if you don’t play golf too often.


The M6 is all about forgiveness. The distance and overall consistency that you get on mishits is impressive.


This ad advantageous for you if you are a beginner and you want to improve your consistency.


The combination of a low CG (center of gravity) and the Twist Face technology (the head of the club is very compact) makes this driver more forgiving. 


Pros:

  • It has been out for a few years, so you can get it for cheap

  • Improved consistency thanks to the lower CG and the Twist Face technology

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have adjustable settings

  • Doesn’t have the latest technologies

Click for price

Takeaway 


As a beginner, you can buy special drivers that can enhance your game. There are many factors you should be considering such as forgiveness, loft, size of the head, adjustable settings…


Hopefully, the information in this article helped you make a decision.


Still don’t know which driver to choose?

 

The Callaway Great Big Bertha is the best driver for beginners. It will help you in many aspects:

  1. It has a thinner face, which means more ball speed 

  2. The head is aerodynamic, which means better swing speed

  3. This driver is made out of light materials, which means better swing speed

  4. It has an adjustable hosel, which allows you to change the loft, resulting in a more consistent swing

  5. The price is interesting compared to other drivers with similar features

mark howard
Mark Howard

Hi, my name is Mark Howard. I am a freelance writer and golf enthusiast!