Best Driver For Beginners And High Handicappers In 2024

Written by Michael VanDerLaan 

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The vast majority of golfers are high-handicap golfers (75% of players are unable to break 90 regularly) and therefore the lion’s share of the golf equipment marketplace actually caters to beginners and the high handicap golfer. And, other than the putter there’s no club in the bag more important, or used more often than the driver! So then what is the best driver for high handicappers and beginners?

The last 10 years have brought a lot of innovation to the driver sphere. In some sense it is trying to squeeze more from a 460cc head as manufacturers bump up against limitations set by governing bodies or the physics of the available materials. In this article we’ll look to highlight, evaluate, and review some of those newest features and de-code the marketing lingo to simplify the experience of finding the right driver for you!

Best overall

Performance Golf SF1 Driver


best game improvement

Callaway Rogue ST Max D Driver

callaway rogue st max driver

best budget

Pinemeadow PGX 500cc Illegal:Non-Conforming Golf Driver

pinemeadow pgx 500cc driver

Best Drivers For Beginners And High Handicappers: Reviews And Recommendations

Performance Golf SF1 Driver

If you are a beginner or you struggle to hit the golf ball well off the tee, then the Performance golf SF1 driver is our top pick for you. The SF1 utilizes the most advanced technology to help struggling golfers hit the ball longer and straighter off the tee.

Here is some of the technology that you will find in the Performance Golf SF1 driver.

 The AeroSquare Crown - Designed to increase toe speed during the downswing to help you square the face automatically.

The Anti-Slice Face Curvature - Produces a guaranteed draw-spin — even when you miss the center of the face.

The Visual Feedback Takeaway Tracks - Designed to insure that you get the club started STRAIGHT BACK… and put you on the perfect path from the START.

The Fixed Counter-Slice Weights - Placed PRECISELY to dynamically square your face, without affecting the sweet spot.

The Draw-Calibrated Face Angle - Provides the squaring effect of an offset design, FORCING you to stripe higher, longer, straighter drives.

The Counterbalanced SF1 Shaft -Gives your clubhead more lag, more speed and the ultimate control needed to square the face to your path at impact.

This is the first driver that actually helps your golf swing, similar to a golf swing training aid, but it is completely USGA approved and legal.

What We Like

  • We love the face curvature, which brings your ball back to the middle of the fairway, even on off center strikes
  • The visual takeaway tracks help you with a proper takeaway that keeps your swing path on plane
  • We love the counterbalanced shaft. It gives you more of that lag that you see from the best players
  • The counter slice weights help to automatically square the clubface for more accurate golf shots

What We Don't Like

  • It doesn't have a Golf Pride grip

Beginner golfers need a forgiving driver that will help them get off the tee and in the fairway. The SF1 is a confidence inspiring, very easy to hit driver that will benefit beginners and the average golfer.

After testing the SF1 driver, we are very confident to recommend this to you and every beginner and high handicap player out there today. It is an ideal beginner driver at a very reasonable price.

Click here to see the results of our testing and reviewing the Performance Golf SF1 Driver

Best Callaway: Callaway Paradym X Driver 

Callaway Paradym X Driver

Callaway pushes the limits, especially when designing clubs for the average consumer. Starting with their Big Bertha series in the 1990s, they have been pioneers of maxing out the clubhead parameters to promote speed and forgiveness for the average golfer.

This club is designed not only for maximum speed and forgiveness, but also comes pre-set with a draw bias due to the (non-changeable) weight distribution in the head. In addition, it also launches higher, not just because of the face loft but again due to the placement of weight in the club head, with this design “stretching” farther back off of the ball than some other 460cc heads. 

RELATED: Callaway Paradym Driver Review

What We Like

  • The AI designed face is geared for maximum forgiveness and ball speed
  • Most beginners tend to hit a slice, so the draw bias of this driver can help straighten out your ball flight
  • Low center of gravity helps you launch the ball higher more consistently

What We Don't Like

  • There are no adjustable weights to help perfect your performance
  • Extra launch height may be excessive for some people
  • Top tier driver with a top tier price tag

The Paradym X is their draw-biased and max-forgiveness version of their latest driver line. That makes it the choice that is suited for by far the broadest swath of average golfers as well as the coveted high-handicapper segment of the population. However, the things that make this driver suitable for a high handicapper (max club head size, high launch angle, draw bias) could also be useful for beginner golfers

Despite not having adjustability in the head weighting, it remains a versatile option that doesn’t need to be adjusted for the average golfer who wants to get the absolute most performance at any cost.

Best Titleist: Titleist TSR1 Driver

Titleist TSR1 Driver

The Titleist TSR1 Driver enters the scene here with a penchant for eliminating one of the biggest gaps between high handicappers and low handicappers: club head speed. While we cannot expect any miracles, there are definitely tweaks that can allow 1, 3, or even 5mph extra to come out, which really adds up to an advantage over the course of the round.

The TSR1 focuses on adding speed by first building an ultra lightweight design - both in the club head as well as the shaft and grip, and then combining that with some aerodynamics in the head design to make this massively forgiving 460cc club head able to fly as fast as any on the planet.

RELATED: Titleist TSR Driver Review

What We Like

  • Titleist is one of the most reliable manufacturers out there, and have made massive jumps in design over the last few years
  • The TSR1 is a lightweight, high speed, high launch driver made for maximizing distance
  • It's a forgiving club head with an incredibly high MOI rating

What We Don't Like

  • May be too lightweight for stronger players with more speed
  • Head weights are not adjustable
  • One of the more expensive drivers on the market

Titleist delivers a very sleek, very sexy game-improvement club here. They are able to reduce the overall weight of the club by 40 grams compared to their TSR2 model. This allows the beginner golfer to swing it faster and gain distance, plain and simple. However, for a high-handicap golfer who already swings it fast, this club might be too light to control. It is, however, ideal for the “average-speed” or slower-swinging golfer who wants to take a big, forgiving driver and is confident in their shot shape but wants help getting every single MPH they can spare.

Best PXG: PXG 0211 Driver 

PXG 0211 Driver

The 0211 line from PXG represents their attempt to capture some of the “everyman” market while concentrating the bulk of their R&D on fine tuning TOUR-level performance equipment. PXG prides itself on straightforward designs that are backed by quality materials and craftsmanship to get the most out of their clubs possible without using gimmicks or compromising on quality.

What We Like

  • Lower price than other premium drivers puts money back in your pocket
  • PXG takes a simple approach to optimizing technology and performance
  • Neutral setup works well as your game improves and evolves

What We Don't Like

  • No adjustable weights to aid ball flight
  • There is no technology built in to correct a slice

PXG shows us exactly how clean a modern golf club can be, with this straightforward design to produce high and straight shots. It boasts creative use of titanium alloys to redistribute weight and keeps it simple unlike some other of the newest game-improvement options.

Still, in that model there is a ton of technology in the face and setup of the CG of this club to provide a very neutral, very forgiving, high-launch, high-speed driver that is going to pinch the pockets a lot less than other name-brand drivers, so it is a fantastic option for any high handicapper.

Best Stealth: Taylormade Stealth 2 HD 

Taylormade Stealth 2 HD Driver

The Stealth 2 “HD” is the best version for beginners and high-handicappers. It is the “high draw” model and like we’ve seen with other models marketed towards the average golfer it distinguishes itself by setting the club up to produce maximum swing speeds as well as a draw bias, aiming to help golfers who hit the slice and also struggle with height and distance.

What We Like

  • The forward thinking, high carbon crown design moves weight around to improve forgiveness
  • Lightweight design is made to promote faster swing speed and help you hit the ball farther
  • The club head is built with a draw bias to reduce slice tendencies

What We Don't Like

  • Could launch too high for strong players
  • Beginners with an athletic background may find the TSR1 too light
  • High price due to Titleist brand

The Taylormade Stealth 2 HD an incredibly forgiving driver and is ideal for beginners and high handicap players who want more distance, the most forgiveness, and a higher launch angle.

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver

The Big Bertha B21 features a max size club head, draw biased interior weighting, and an ultra-forward COG. This creates an incredibly forgiving driver that gets the ball airborne. The forward-CG of this club is going to produce even higher launch and even more speed and even lower spin. This truly optimizes distance and height over control or forgiveness, although there is still plenty of that in this size of a driver head.

What We Like

  • We love a top brand driver with a lower price tag
  • The club head is designed to be high launch and low spin for maximum distance
  • Internal draw bias makes it hard to slice

What We Don't Like

  • Draw bias is not adjustable, so if you start hooking it you are stuck
  • Geared for distance, so it may be hard to control

The Callaway Big Bertha series is one of the most iconic in the sport, and there’s a legacy to live up to with the namesake of this B21 version. It answers the calling by providing a max size club head, and the highest launch, lowest spin, maximum distance setup possible.

Cobra Aerojet Max Driver

The Cobra driver models have somewhat lagged behind the competition in recent years, with their star signee Bryson DeCheambeau struggling to find the right fit for his blast-first-ask-questions-last approach off the tee while he was partnered with them. 

So in that regard, Cobra brings the full heat and features all of the game improvement design qualities that we’d find in other “Max” driver heads. This includes an emphasis on aerodynamics, draw-bias weighting, and a deep COG for maximum sweet spot size and ball speeds.

RELATED: Cobra Aerojet Driver Review

What We Like

  • Lower price than competitors for a comparable product
  • Draw biased weighting makes it harder to slice
  • Top line aerodynamics maximize efficiency of your swing for more distance

What We Don't Like

  • Limited choices for loft
  • Cannot be set to a neutral bias - draw only

Cobra has honestly felt like it’s fallen away from the pack slightly with its last few years of releases, but that may just be due to a limited exposure on the PGA TOUR. Or maybe TOUR players aren’t jumping to their equipment because of performance concerns.

There’s really nothing not to like about this driver, even if it’s flying a little bit more under the radar than the other top brands.

RELATED: Best Small Head Drivers

Best For Slow Swing Speed: Cleveland Launcher XL Light Driver 

Cleveland Launcher XL LIte Driver

The Cleveland Launcher XL Light driver represents a little bit of a departure or a little bit more of an extreme from what we’ve seen in our other drivers that continually promise more forgiveness and more distance with each model year release.

Cleveland loves making clubs based on the same quality standards as the big-boys, but with specs to match the weekend golfer and usually a price break to go along with it. That’s the first thing to notice about this Cleveland Launcher XL Light driver is that while you won’t see anybody on TOUR gaming it, you also don’t have to pay for anyone’s yacht fuel when you go to purchase it.

Aside from a HUGE cost-savings over the best-of-the-best from the household names, you’re also going to get an ultra-lightweight head, ultra-lightweight hosel, ¼” of extra length and a tiny counterbalance weight from this club all of which are working in favor of the highest launching, fastest swinging driver they can make.

RELATED: Best Driver For Seniors

What We Like

  • Ultra lightweight for increased club head speed
  • Incredible price tag that is perfect for those just getting started
  • Professional quality materials and build with the average golfer in mind

What We Don't Like

  • The hosel sleeve is not adjustable
  • Potentially too lightweight for some golfer
  • No adjustability for either draw or fade

Cleveland has the player with a slower swing speed covered here. This driver comes with the option of ¼” extra length and ultra light weight with a one-piece hosel OR an adjustable hosel option that features ½” less length for more control and adjustability.

This is a great driver. It also is unique in offering a neutral setup and a very light counterbalance weight, which aren’t seen in other game improvement models featured.

Best Game Improvement: Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver

Callaway Rogue ST Max D Driver

The Callaway Rogue ST Max provides a fully game-improvement option from a prior model year for anyone who loves Callaway or loves the distance and forgiveness that they stand for.

This model features many of the same settings we’ve seen from other game improvement and “MAX” setups: a low CG for high launch / low spin, weight-saving carbon that redistributes material for more forgiveness, and a slightly draw biased weighting.

RELATED: Best Left Handed Drivers

What We Like

  • The slight draw bias of the Rogue is perfect for golfers looking to reduce their slice
  • You will save money over competitors with this driver
  • High launch/Low spin combination maximizes distance

What We Don't Like

  • No ability to remove draw bias
  • May launch too high for players with faster swing speeds

This Rogue ST Max driver from Callaway really presents a full list of features compared to their newest models. This includes jailbreak technology, and a setup that has been just slightly tweaked to max out forgiveness, height, and speed in order to put the average golfer in a better position off of the tee. This makes for a fantastic choice for any high handicap golfer and despite being from a previous year, this is a club that is built to last in anyone’s bag.

Best Budget Driver For High Handicappers With A Slice: PGX Offset Driver 

PGX Offset Driver

As we’ve seen with many of the clubs in our feature, it is common for drivers that target high-handicappers to feature a little bit of “slice-fixing” or “draw-bias” in their setup. Usually this is done through moving around internal (fixed) or external (sometimes adjustable) weighting in the club head to change the tendency of the impact conditions to produce a draw (or less of a cut).

With the Pinemeadow PGX Offset driver you get another little nudge in the right direction in the form of a healthy dose of offset. This is one of the tricks that club makers have in the bag to get a player to line up with a more shut face and also create a more square face at impact, encouraging a ball that starts on-line or left and slices less.

What We Like

  • This is the lowest price you will find on a driver
  • Simple and straightforward build
  • The offset design is a great tool for minimizing a slice

What We Don't Like

  • Build quality not as good as top tier brands. May start to break down over time
  • Limited customization options
  • No adjustability

The typical ball flight of the vast majority of beginner golfers and high handicap players is a slice. Our top pick above is the best at curing this ball flight, but if you are looking for a cheap solution, this driver is it.

The PGX Offset Driver from Pinemeadow fills a niche here that is seen in other clubs on the market, but is less common. This is a perfect club to get at a discount and give a trial to an offset driver and see if it makes a difference in your game!

If you're miss is a banana ball, but you're looking for something a little more mainstream to help you out, check out what we found in our search for the best driver for a slice!

Pinemeadow PGX 500cc Illegal:Non-Conforming Golf Driver

Pinemeadow is a go-to brand for ultra-budget golf equipment. The necessary trade-off here is in durability as well as performance. However, all mass produced golf clubs have issues, and Pinemeadow is no exception in easily backing up their product by replacing clubs that break quickly during normal use.

As far as performance goes, this club has one advantage that none of its competitors can match: an illegal club head! Measuring in at 500cc (compared to the max allowable by-rule 460cc) this theoretically provides even more forgiveness and even more pop than its competitors. And the logic is that not many of us are going to play in a USGA sanctioned event pretty soon, so we can play with whatever our playing partners will let us! 

What We Like

  • 500cc head dramatically increases the size of the sweet spot and overall forgiveness
  • It is super affordable, making it a great option for the pure beginner
  • A sleek, modern design looks great from every angle

What We Don't Like

  • The non-conforming design is illegal for use in any formal competition
  • We observed some durability issues with this driver

The reality is that 500cc is not actually that much bigger than 460cc! It’s not like this club is comically large or like it has a sweet spot that is impossible to miss. On the contrary, you will probably only see a difference on a low percentage of shots. It also doesn’t necessarily hit the ball any farther and might be prone to endurance issues with the metal being stretched thinner to create the oversize head. 

However it is a very unique offering and at the end of the day even if the extra CC’s aren’t going to revolutionize your game, this club from Pinemeadow is a great starter club.

Best Used Golf Drivers For High Handicappers: Ping G430 Max

Ping G430 Max Driver

Maybe our favorite pick is one of the best all-around drivers on the planet right now: the PING G430 Max. You’ll see this club used quite often on the PGA Tour, with various configurations, but its versatility in design makes it the go-to for the biggest segment of high-handicap golfers, as well.

PING differentiates itself by not using as much carbon in the club head, and this club head is a slightly higher weight than other MAX clubs from other manufacturers (possibly also why it is gamed by more TOUR pros with faster swing speeds). You don’t have to be swinging it 120mph in order to benefit from this G430 MAX, however, as it is geared to provide a high launch and deep carry with a lot of forgiveness for any golfer.

RELATED: Best Ping Drivers For Distance And Forgiveness

What We Like

  • This Ping driver has adjustable weights for both a draw and fade bias
  • It is adaptable for a game that improves over time
  • High, flat ball flight is ideal for creating more distance

What We Don't Like

  • Hefty price tag for a used club
  • Not a good option if you are looking to fix a slice

This is one of the best all-around clubs on the market right now. One thing we love is that this club suits a high-handicapper but the overall build of it as well as the moveable head weights means you can keep this same club as your game and your ball flights evolve, making it a fine investment for years to come. 

RELATED: Ping G425 Driver Review

Best Driver Loft For High Handicappers And Beginners

A higher lofted driver is typically a good choice for high handicap golfers

Once again when we talk about a beginner golfer and high handicappers, there are definitely some trends. Many beginner golfers don't have enough loft on their driver.

The best driver loft for beginners and hoigh handicap players is 10.5 to 15 degrees.

So this is another case where following the conventional wisdom might lead you astray in golf. If you are struggling with contact, it can be good to start with a 12-13 degree driver or better yet learn to hit a 3-wood and tee off with that before moving to driver.

Using the proper loft for your game will also promote all kinds of good swing habits, allowing you to stop topping the ball, hit more fairways, and outdrive your buddies on occasion!

RELATED: The Lower The Loft On Your Driver, The Farther The Ball Will Go

What Beginners And High Handicap Golfers Should look For In A Driver

Following are a few basic guidelines of what a high handicap golfer should be looking for in a driver. For a more complete picture to aid your search for your next driver, check out our golf driver buying guide!


Jailbreak technology is a good example of increased forgiveness

Most forgiving drivers feature a bulge and roll face, as well as perimeter weighting to achieve the maximum distance and accuracy on off center hits.

The driver is a punishing club even for the best, and “forgiveness” is fleeting even with the most futuristic designs. However it is still one of the most sought-after attributes of a driver. Beginners should look for clubs that are less than 10 years old (preferably 5) and have a full 460cc head, as these clubs are astronomically easier to hit than something from the 1990s. 

RELATED: Best Irons For Beginners And High Handicappers


Drivers with adjustability can help you hit the ball better

Beginners and some high-handicappers are always changing and evolving their swing. Buying a driver with adjustable head weights can be a huge advantage when it comes to keeping a club in the bag, or not having to buy a new driver just because they want to try a different configuration for a few weeks.

Even if you’re not a tinkerer, being able to start with some draw bias (slice correction) and then set the club back to neutral down the line if your swing changes can help keep a club in your bag for years to come, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

RELATED: Driver Ball Speed To Distance


Golfer hitting a driver

Almost all forgiving drivers are geared to focus either 100% on distance or about 95% on distance, so there’s not a ton to worry about here. The main thing a beginner can assess is whether or not they need help from their equipment when it comes to swing speed. If you do, look for lighter weight drivers.

If you do not, try to avoid an ultralight model, as it will be harder to control and result in diminishing returns on ball speeds in most cases if you are trying to play on a course and not entering a long-drive competition.

RELATED: Does The Golf Ball Make A Difference

Look and Feel

Having a driver you love makes a huge difference in your game

One of the most underrated aspects of golf club selection - and one that might seem a little whimsical for the uninitiated - is the psychological components. Many average golfers keep clubs that just look or feel comfortable to them for years over newer options that perform better on-paper.

This is mostly a confidence thing.

RELATED: Proper Golf Swing Sequence

Some people look down at a club and it doesn’t look aimed properly just because of the head shape or paint job. Other clubs might fly just the same but they don’t give as rewarding of a sound when hit pure. These things might seem silly but in a world where there are so many really amazing club options, there’s literally no reason to put a club in the bag that you aren’t absolutely in love with.

RELATED: How To Spot Counterfeit Golf Clubs

Shaft Flex

The chart below is intended to help you find the right shaft flex based on your swing speed and carry distance with the driver:

Swing Speed

carry distance

shaft flex

<75 mph

<150 yards


75-85 mph

150-190 yards


86-104 mph

191-230 yards


105-115 mph

231-270 yards


>115 mph

>270 yards


RELATED: What Shaft Should I Use In My Golf Clubs

A beginner or high handicapper can really play any shaft flex. As long as you are within one “flex” of your actual ideal, you will be fine. Somebody who should be playing stiff can “get away” with an x-stiff or a regular flex even if it’s not ideal, especially while learning, but could develop some bad habits playing with a senior flex club.

People obsess over shaft flex a lot, but ultimately it’s just one factor in club fitting, and since there are absolutely no standards in the industry most of the labels aren’t even really meaningful (i.e. one company’s stiff could be another company’s regular or x-stiff). Just make sure you’re in the ballpark and get fitted once your handicap starts to come down or you hit a plateau in your development.

RELATED: Correct Tee Height For Driver


Honestly, the driver is one place that it’s good to make a moderate investment for a high handicapper. It’s good to have a club that you like, that you like practicing with, and will be able to use for a few seasons at least. There is a bigger drop off than in other clubs if you try to go cheap with your driver.

That said, one of the best buys in golf is a used driver that is not very old. Companies release so many new clubs, often something that is 2-3 years old will still be an extremely useful golf club for the next several years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a draw driver help my slice?

A draw driver will likely help your slice, but it will not necessarily cure it. Draw drivers are set up with internal (fixed) or external (sometimes adjustable) weighting that puts more weight in the heel of the club than the toe. This causes the face to dynamically “close down” faster through impact and create a “draw bias.”

This helps with a slice because the ball will start more left and stay straighter. Even if you don’t end up playing a draw with this club, it can help you play less of a slice just as easily. 

Our advice is to look for a driver with an adjustable draw bias. You want to be able to neutralize it as you improve your game to avoid hitting a hook!

RELATED: Golf Slice vs Hook: Causes And How To Fix Them

How do I know if I need a draw driver?

You know you need a draw driver when you hit a cut or slice nearly every single time. If most of your shots are straight, but the occasional mis-hit is a slice, you might just be frustrated by a draw driver and would be better off figuring out what is different about your swing mechanics on the misses.

Before making the move to a draw driver, we highly encourage that you check to make sure you are using the proper golf grip. Believe it or not, something as simple as a minor adjustment to the way you are holding the club can go a long way towards curing your slice without spending any money on a driver or taking lessons.

However if you are the guy who ALWAYS aims down the left and is known for playing a reliable fade that loses distance, a “draw” driver could be ideal for you. Many draw biased drivers are not adjustable so you want to make sure you are fairly set in your slicing ways before investing in one.

RELATED: How To Get Better At Golf Without Lessons

Final Thoughts

Golf is hard and as a beginner, it is essential to get a driver that is easy to hit and allows you to get off the tee and into play with as few missed fairways as possible.

We have rated and reviewed all of the current best drivers for high handicappers and beginners so that you can start with the right equipment and begin to improve your golf game.

Pick your favorite from the list above and start hitting it long and straight!

Photo of author

Michael VanDerLaan

Michael is an Associate Editor here at Golf Gear Advisor. He is a playing professional with a passion for finding the best equipment through product testing and evaluation. He has an intimate knowledge of the golf swing and a very effective way of communicating his knowledge to those that are interested in learning more. As an Associate Editor at Golf Gear Advisor, Michael shares his knowledge about the golf swing, fitness and finding the right equipment for your game.

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