As a beginner, the big stick can be a challenging club to play, as it can land you in all kinds of predicaments. This post intends to help you find the best driver for beginners to keep you in play and enjoying the game.
I will discuss the features and benefits of various beginner golf driver options to help you understand what to consider the next time you are in the market for one. By the end of this post, you will still have a high handicap. But you will possess expert-level knowledge of beginner golf drivers.
Callaway Epic Max – The Best Overall Driver For Beginners
|Value for Money||6|
|Overall Score /100||91|
After assessing and testing the qualities of various drivers for beginners, the Callaway Epic Max topped the pile as the overall best driver for beginners. Although it is not the most affordable option, it produces exceptional distance, forgiveness, and ball speed.
The Epic Max features a Jailbreak A.I. Speed frame, which pairs with an SS21 Flash Face to enhance the driver’s stability at impact. That generates explosive ball speed throughout the face, which means that even if you mishit your ball, you will enjoy consistent carry and total distance.
Callaway’s engineers felt that beginners need versatility in a driver as you attempt to figure out what loft and shot shape works best for you. As a result, they fitted the Epic Max with a 17-gram sliding rear weight, which allows you to correct your shot shape by up to 20-yards.
Added to its explosive ball speed are maximum forgiveness, high launch, and moderate spin. These features are beneficial for players who struggle to achieve optimal launch off the tee.
Often, the best products are not the cheapest. And that is the case with the Callaway Epic Max. However, the premium-priced product delivers a well rounded performance for a beginner golfer looking to optimize their distance, forgiveness, and shot shape.
- The drivers’ high launch qualities make it easier for slower swinging golfers to hit
- It offers maximum forgiveness
- It generates explosive ball speed across the face
- The sliding weight allows you to set up for your preferred shot shape to limit hooks and slices
- Its mid-level of backspin gives generates sufficient rpm to get your ball in the air to maximize carry distance
- Premium priced driver
- The high launch of the driver may cause faster swingers to balloon their tee shots and lose total distance
Cobra F-Max Driver – The Lightest Driver For Beginners
|Value for Money||6|
|Overall Score /100||88|
Topping my list for the lightest best beginner drivers is the Cobra F-Max. Its light construction promotes accelerated swing speed, straighter shots, and optimal forgiveness.
The engineers at Cobra shaved 50-grams off of a standard driver to produce a 285-gram model that helps you increase your moment of inertia (MOI) at impact. According to Golf Magazine’s Andrew Tursky, MOI refers to the clubs’ ability to resist twisting during impact.
The higher the MOI of a driver, the more it resists twisting, which is ideal for beginners who are yet to master the art of striking the ball in the middle of the face. As a result, you enjoy straighter shots, even on off-center mishits.
Another nifty feature on the Cobra F-Max Offset driver is the presence of PWR Ridges. A visual alignment aid to ensure that you are clubhead is aiming at your intended target.
Finally, the offset hosel of the driver limits the sidespin that causes slices. It helps high handicappers and beginners hit straighter tee shots to spend more time on the fairway.
Overall the Cobra F-Max may not feature as much revolutionary technology found in other modern drivers. However, it is well suited to those of you who struggle to generate sufficient swing speed and are losing out on distance as a result.
- The light design helps you to increase swing speed
- It produces high MOI to maximize forgiveness on heel and toe mishits
- The PWR Ridges alignment aid ensures that your driver’s head is aiming at your desired target
- The back heel weighting makes it easier for you to get your ball in the air
- Weaker lofts best suit moderate to slow swinging players.
- The weaker lofted driver head options may cause those with faster swing speeds to balloon their shots
- It does not include adjustable weights
TaylorMade M6 – The Straightest Beginner Golf Driver
|Value for Money||7|
|Overall Score /100||87|
Although we all strive to bomb our drives as far as possible, the exercise is futile if you are not accurate. Hitting a 250-yard drive in the wrong direction will finish your hole before it begins. That is where the TaylorMade M6 comes into play.
The M6 earns my nomination for the straightest of all the beginner golf drivers. All thanks to its Twist Face technology.
The technology works to limit the sidespin that you generate when catching your ball in the heel or toe of your driver. As a result, you produce straighter shots that stay in play and give you the chance of making a par.
Furthermore, the Twist Face technology partners with speed-injected resin that ensures you maintain your ball speed on off-center strikes. Therefore you enjoy a powerful launch and optimal distance even when you mishit your drive.
TaylorMade’s engineers were not done yet, they felt that a beginner cannot unlock maximum speed and distance without rapid clubhead and swing speed. So, they crafted an aerodynamic sole that helps slower swingers unlock increased speed.
The high launch and low spin of the TaylorMade M6, are ideal features for beginners to unlock exceptional distance. Plus, the presence of Twist Face technology allows you to spend more time playing and less time searching for your ball in the woods.
- Encourages straighter flight
- Restricts side spin that leads to hooks and slices
- It helps you increase your clubhead speed for more power at impact
- Promotes maximum distance off the tee
- Produces explosive ball speed on off-center strikes for consistent distance
- It does not include adjustable weights to set up for your preferred shot shape.
Wilson D9 – The Easiest Launching Beginner Driver
|Value for Money||6|
|Overall Score /100||85|
As a beginner golfer, you may find it impossible to consistently launch your drives high and long. You need to generate the perfect balance of spin and ball speed to achieve this. Beginners who face this challenge might appreciate the Wilson D9 driver, which is easy to launch and delivers rapid ball speed off the face.
The D9 is a superior product in the easiest launching category, thanks to the fractal zone construction. Especially the 13-degree driver. Each zone is tuned to promote accelerated ball speed on all areas of the face, which helps you achieve optimal ball speed to maximize your distance.
Furthermore, the Peak Kinetic Response face increases forgiveness and encourages straight, long drives, even on low face mishits. That means that you enjoy the perk of consistent distance and accuracy, even when you do not strike it out of the middle.
Unlike other game improvement drivers, the Wilson D9 provides a solid feel and muted acoustics for a pleasant experience at impact. The superior feel of the driver eradicates unwanted vibrations that are felt on mishits with other drivers.
In conclusion, the Wilson D9 does not possess the revolutionary technology of some of its competitors. But it is an easy launching, long driver, at a moderate price point. If you lack ball speed and struggle to smash your drives, the D9 is worth testing on a launch monitor.
- The Peak Kinetic Response produces accelerated ball speed on all areas of the face.
- The superior feel eradicates unwanted vibrations on off-center strikes
- Muted acoustics
- Delivers consistent distance
- It does not include adjustable weights to set up for your preferred shot shape
- It is not fitted with an adjustable hosel to alter the lie and angle of the face for an easier launch.
Macgregor V-Foil Speed – The Most Affordable Beginners Driver
|Value for Money||8|
|Overall Score /100||83|
When it comes to affordability and value for money, Macgregor golf is a top contender. That is why it beat its competitors to the crown as my most affordable beginners driver.
Macgregor’s engineers designed the V-Foil speed to deliver a high level of MOI, which helps it resist twisting during your swing and at impact. The high MOI maintains ball speed and promotes straighter shots, even on off-center shots.
Added to the optimal MOI produced by this driver, is the expanded sweet spot to allow more room for error at impact. The sweet spot reduces side spin and promotes explosive ball speed to produce consistent accuracy and distance.
As you would expect from an affordable driver, it does not possess the advanced technology included in other game improvement drivers. However, it is forgiving and produces explosive ball speed across the face to keep you long and straight off the tee.
If you are a beginner on a budget, then the Macgregor V-Foil Speed is worth testing out on the range.
- Restricts twisting to promote straighter shots
- Affordable price tag
- Stable at impact to induce rapid ball speed
- Delivers increased ball speed
- It does not feature advanced technology
- It is not fitted with moveable weights or an adjustable hosel
As a newcomer to the sport, the number of driver options can quickly overwhelm you. To overcome this worry, I suggest setting a budget. Drivers can range from $100 for an entry-level model up to $600 for premium construction.
Setting a budget saves you time and prevents you from looking at options well over your budget.
The USGA rules dictate that the maximum permitted driver head size is 460cc, precisely what you as a beginner need. A 460cc driver head provides an expanded sweet spot to maintain ball speed on heel and toe mishits, leading to consistent distance.
The downside of a 460cc head is that it reduces workability. But, at this stage, you only need to worry about getting your ball on the fairway.
As a beginner, I do not expect you to be hitting a controlled draw or fade. In fact, if you are gaining any shape, I suspect it is unintentional. Golf Magazine’s Desi Isaacson explains that most beginners are susceptible to slicing their shots while others hook their drives.
If you are a victim of these struggles, it is worth looking at a driver that combats your hook or slice and promotes a straighter drive. Those who struggle with a slice may consider a draw bias driver like the Cobra F-Max. While a hook can be fixed with an adjustable driver, set to a fade bias, like the Callaway Epic Max.
According to Golf.com’s Zephyr Melton, your swing speed can be used as a guideline to determine your ideal shaft flex. If your shaft is too stiff for your swing, you will struggle to get the ball in the air and lose significant carry distance.
Conversely, if your shaft is too flexible for your swing, you will generate excessive spin and balloon your shots. Leading to a loss of roll, forward momentum, and total distance.
Other than your putter, your driver is the strongest lofted club in your bag, which poses a challenge to beginners to consistently launch. I advise starting out with a weaker lofted driver to make it easier to generate enough spin and ball speed for a high launch.
From personal experience, I have found weaker lofted drivers to perform best for beginners. These are drivers with a loft that exceeds 12-degrees. They are better because they provide a balance of spin and ball speed to give you a longer carry distance off the tee.
However, beginners with faster swing speeds might find that a low launching 9.5-degree driver gives them increased yardage.
The answer to this question depends on the golfer in question and their swing speed. Golfweek’s Jackson Lewis suggests that players with a faster swing speed exceeding 105 mph, should play with a 7 to 9-degree driver.
Conversely, those of you with swing speeds between 95 mph and 104 mph will extract the most value from a 10.5 degree.
The point of my answer is to demonstrate the players with faster swing speeds best suit a 9.5-degree driver. Whereas those with moderate speed will perform the best with a 10.5-degree big stick.
The weaker the loft of your driver is, the higher your spin rate will be. Generating a moderate amount of spin will set you up to get your ball airborne and traveling to maximize your carry distance.
However, the more backspin you create, the less forward momentum your ball has, which reduces your roll and total distance. Overall, a 12-degree driver makes it easier to get your ball in the air, but it might not be the best option with which to increase your distance.
There you have my picks for the best driver for beginners. Before I wrap up, let me recap the star performers.
The Cobra F-Max draw driver earned top honors for the lightest construction. And, the TaylorMade M6 won the race for the straightest beginner golf driver.
Wilson made an appearance on the list with their D9 Driver for its easy launchpad. But the Callaway Epic Max topped the overall standings. The Epic Max demonstrated superior ball speed, launch, distance, and forgiveness, which is why it triumphed.
If you are a beginner looking for a new driver, you can look at the specs of the Epic Max driver here.