Playing at a professional level and then also coaching to a certain extent has surely given me a more comprehensive view and understanding of how golf drivers actually work. Trust me when I say this, the best drivers for beginners & high handicappers, even though all sparkly and shiny, are not going to eliminate your swing and/or distance issues completely.
I’m not trying to discourage you from buying a brand new driver; what I’m getting at is that a good golf driver, even though not all-problem-solving, one that is well-suited to your particular swing speed, does make the goal of improving your long-game performance much, much easier.
And now here are some really exceptional recommendations that golfers with a slow swing speed and/or high handicap have lavished with nothing but praises and compliments.
Most Forgiving Drivers In Golf for Beginners/High Handicappers
1. Callaway Golf 2021 Epic Max Driver
For things like adjustability and performance across the clubface, Callaway Epix Max is the driver to buy. Its progressive playability fits in perfectly if you’re a beginner just learning the ropes of the game of golf. You know this Callaway driver (the latest 2021 model) is engineered for speed because of the addition of Artificial Intelligence.
Jailbreak SpeedFrame and Flash Face – these two technologies are heavily supported by A.I. to increase ball speed (no matter where on the clubface you strike). And with a more expansive, forgiving hitting area, don’t be surprised if your drives go straight and long even when not struck “ideally” or solidly.
More and more beginners are now starting to realize that it’s not just their below-average swing speed that’s the culprit but also that the deficiency in performance stems from using wrong, lousy golf equipment as well. A driver like this, with its balanced weighting and aerodynamic design, is the solution to not just distance concerns but also shot shape correction.
- Long, straight drives with Jailbreak SpeedFrame
- More expansive hitting area
- Lighter yet stronger triaxial carbon for easy swing
- Extensive adjustability of OptiFit hosel lets you shape shots
- Headcover and wrench for adjustability not included
2. Cleveland Golf Launcher Turbo Driver
One swing with Cleveland Launcher Turbo and you know it’s built for crushing your every golf swing movement. Straight down that fairway – that’s the kind of driving performance you’re most likely to experience with this revolutionary Cleveland handiwork. 260 yards – not the most unrealistic goal to achieve at last!
The response and feel of the golf club are also impressive given how much easier they make it for you, a beginner and/or high handicapper, to hit the ball with considerable success.
Unfortunately, adjustability is not something Cleveland thought fit to include. So make sure you get the most suitable loft based on your swing speed (10.5 degrees or 12 degrees is perfect).
Worth mentioning is also the fact that Cleveland Launcher Turbo is designed with a counter-balanced shaft to boost the factor of power in your every shot (and this happens through high MOI).
Since we’re talking about weight, you might also want to know that there’s internal/external weight reduction. So the ‘saved’ weight is repositioned evenly deeper and lower just to make the driver more forgiving and capable of producing a higher launch.
- Larger impact surface = more distance
- Launch can be optimized through low CG placement
- Super-light hosel and counter-balanced shaft (enhanced forgiveness)
- Too loud (high-pitched) at impact
- Lack of loft adjustability is a letdown
3. TaylorMade SIM 2 MAX Driver
The list of top TaylorMade drivers includes SIM 2 MAX for the very reason that, after you adjust it to your swing speed, it performs like an extremely forgiving golf club. The adjusting bit might take some time, but that effort is totally worthwhile once you see your drives traveling longer by 20-30 yards, and straighter too.
It is especially the best golf driver for high handicappers because of its strategic aerodynamic shaping. There’s also the company’s phenomenal Thru-Slot Speed Pocket and Twist Face technologies. They combine to turn your misses into solid shots!
And with tungsten weighting, getting your golf ball to launch higher is also possible. It is very much like the original SIM driver but with a lot more forgiveness that actually works in the favor of high-handicap players.
- Extremely forgiving with Speed Injected Twist Face
- Speed Pocket gives even low-face shots more ball speed
- Solid sound at impact
- You can be aggressive with your swing when hitting SIM 2 MAX
- Not for fast-swing golfers
- Adjusting it to suit your swing speed might take time
4. Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver
Big Bertha is advertised as ‘DISTANCE – Any Way You Swing It’ and I don’t think there’s anything more accurate than that to describe this Callaway golf club. It performs exactly as described – 10-15 yards extra farther and also straighter.
The offset design (of the offset model of course) combines with the higher loft (if you choose a higher loft (12.5 degrees), which you must since you have a high handicap) to stop those frequently hit slices that are just ruining your game.
The clubface is created by the use of Artificial Intelligence to increase the ball speed, which also contributes a great deal to launch the ball higher with minimal unwanted spin. Because, for longer carry, what needs to be avoided stringently is big slices and what needs to be achieved consistently is a higher launch.
Moreover, you also get the oversized 460cc clubhead. Forgiveness, this way, is enhanced for sure because now you have a head that’s larger, so the possibility of not hitting the ‘sweet spot’ is almost entirely eliminated.
You may have just found the perfect game improvement driver for your slow swing speed and/or high handicap!
- More lightweight than before to be highly forgiving
- No more slices or misses, only high launch and low spin
- Larger clubhead (draw-biased) for straighter drives
- Very limited feedback at impact
5. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Driver
One person I know made the switch from Callaway Big Bertha (reviewed above) to Callaway Mavrik Max, not because of anything other than he used the former for several years and had to replace old with new.
About Callaway Mavrik Max, he admitted without the least bit of hesitation that this driver was also the easiest to hit in terms of finding the sweet spot every single time. Plus, the adjustment fits the loft of your choice and you can adjust the driver to fit a draw as well.
In the Mavrik range of drivers designed by Callaway, it’s Mavrik Max that is the most fitting choice for a beginner whose only aim is to hit the driver easily to increase carry distance. This is all due to the volatile clubface thickness that focuses not just on boosting distance but also on doing the same for accuracy. So don’t be afraid of those off-center shots anymore!
There’s additional mass positioned at the back, which results in a higher launch to carry the golf ball even farther. The interchangeable tungsten weights, in fact, allow your drives to go straighter and they can also make the ball flight more or less draw-biased.
- Speed and forgiveness benefit more from the lighter clubface
- Jailbreak technology also increases ball speed
- Sound at impact is reassuringly deep (natural metallic)
- Wrench included to make loft adjustments
- Not suited for all swing styles
- Doesn’t completely eliminate slices
6. Cobra Golf 2021 Men’s Radspeed Draw Driver
It’s not just Radspeed but Cobra as a brand itself that’s very popular for including tons of adjustability into their golf clubs. With Cobra Radspeed, you can fine-tune both the lie and loft angle based on your slow swing speed.
The brand new Radial Weighting of the club is just what high handicappers and beginners need because that’s what lowers the CG of the driver to transform everything from ball speed and forgiveness to launch and ball flight.
And how about those BIG misses you end up hitting, no matter how much you try to avoid them? For those off-center or low-face strikes, Cobra has incorporated a CNC-milled infinity clubface. The entire clubface of this incredibly forgiving golf driver is a large hitting area to keep your offline-biased shots still online.
- Weight placement is such that speed inevitably increases
- Expanded milled/hitting surface, so no more mis-hit drives
- Thinner and lighter carbon crown adds more forgiveness
- Anti-slice performance with extreme draw weighting
- Too advanced/modern design – not easy to get used to
7. Wilson Staff Launch Pad Golf Driver
So here’s the thing with Wilson Staff Launch Pad – some have said that it takes a little bit of practice to knuckle down on distance gains with this driver because of the slightly different angles while there have been players who started to hit pretty solid drives in the first round itself. I think it ALL depends on how you swing.
But I hope you believe me when I say that Launch Pad here is the most certainly a golf driver that works as the best long-game improvement tool. Every shot you take with it is sure to get longer by at least 10-15 yards. And I reckon it’s the forgiving clubface design that’s responsible for the higher ball speed and launch.
Although it’s a disappointment to find out that hosel adjustability is lacking. But then as long as you choose the correct loft angle for your swing, you don’t have to concern yourself with ball flight and launch.
- Larger impact surface for more ball speed
- Slice-fighting upright angle of lie
- Lightweight shaft made for slow-swing players
- Very commanding sound at impact
- No adjustable hosel
8. Mizuno ST-Z Driver
If you’ve struggled long enough with getting the golf ball to come off the clubface, then the Mizuno ST-Z Driver is for you. With this club, you can actually feel good shots, where on that face your mis-hits take form, and things like that. So it’s definitely a great choice for players with weaker or less experienced skills a.k.a. beginners and high handicappers.
Even the pricing factor is not something you may find too exorbitant, at least not in comparison to golf drivers manufactured by other brands like Callaway, TaylorMade, etc. And when compared to the same brand’s ST-X and ST2000, ST-Z is a slightly longer-hitting golf club.
Forged, CORTECH clubface with high resilience and multi-thickness – more ball speed. Quick Switch loft adjustability – customizable trajectory. Wave Sole Plate – max. forgiveness. And more straight-flight-biased weighting. These are all unique, game-changing features and technologies you can only expect from Mizuno.
- Keeps drives longer with CORTECH Face (high-strength)
- Keep drives straighter with deep, central sole weight
- Low-face shots corrected by well-optimized Wave Sole Plate
- 4-degree loft adjustability – control launch and spin
- Not as sought-after as other drivers
All That REALLY Matters with Drivers for Beginners/High Handicappers
The goal here is for your golf driver to maximize your swing speed, which carries your shots longer and straighter even when those shots are hit off-center.
With a driver, you know it’s a good choice for you if it also gets the ball airborne and then down that fairway easily. But this only happens when the sweet spot is enhanced, meaning a larger clubhead size.
I’d also like to mention that reduced clubhead drag is also tantamount when it comes to driving LONG. And all these targets can be met with the help of a higher loft, along with a larger clubhead of course (more on clubhead size and loft below).
Forgiveness takes form when your drives are both LONG and, at the same time, ACCURATE. With a forgiving golf driver, you can actually expect a grand-sized sweet spot, lower sidespin, and the ability to hit the ball the most easily with the club.
So even if the golf ball and the sweet spot of your golf club do not make contact, it’s not such a big deal (frequently produced mis-hits are indeed forgiven).
To make the concept of forgiveness loud and clear, I’m going to break it down for you. This way, I hope to explain more specifically what forgiveness in a driver looks like…
1. Clubhead Size
460cc – the max. legal limit approved by the USGA for a driver clubhead.
A bigger head = a bigger sweet spot = more literal space for the golf ball to make contact with that sweet spot. And all of this simply means a longer carry distance. So don’t even think of going smaller than the 460cc clubhead size if your swing speed is below average.
Simply put, a higher loft (at least 10.5 degrees or higher) produces more backspin and less sidespin. And it’s this extremely forgiving combination itself that gets the golf ball up in the air easily, so it can find that fairway also rather easily.
A lower loft, on the other hand, increases sidespin and minimizes backspin – something that beginners do not benefit from.
And then there are drivers with an adjustable loft (mostly, this is between 9 degrees and 13 degrees), which also works by the way.
3. MOI, CG, and Launch (all linked together!)
Learn all about MOI in detail if you want to know more than what’s discussed below.
Whenever a mis-hit is produced, the clubhead automatically twists more. And that’s how accuracy and ball speed take a hit. But when this clubhead resists twisting, its MOI shoots up. And as a result of this, off-center strikes are able to retain more ball speed to fly longer and straighter.
But then what is it that determines the MOI rating? It’s the CG, Center of Gravity placement (point of balanced weight) of the golf club. When CG is positioned at the back, it increases MOI. And that, by default, gives you a higher launch for making the ball go longer and straighter.
Now this, club shaft is also divided into three different parts…
1. Shaft Flex
Shaft flex options include Regular, Stiff, and Xtra Stiff, along with Senior and Ladies. Senior and Ladies are more flexible than Regular, and Regular is more flexible than Stiff and Xtra Stiff.
Now if you choose very stiff, it will reduce launch and push your shots to travel slightly toward the right. Only experienced golfers with a fast swing speed are able to turn that around in their favor. As for beginners and even high handicappers, Regular is perfect for their slower swing speed.
You have to understand that, for a slow swing speed, the shaft MUST flex to its maximum capacity in order to produce the desired outcome in terms of both trajectory and distance.
2. Shaft Material
The same rule (more flex for slower swing speed) applies to the shaft material. With lightweight graphite, swinging the golf club becomes much easier, as opposed to steel shafts that are mainly reserved for professional golfers.
3. Shaft Length
Moving on to the length of the shaft, should you go with a longer shaft just because it gives you more distance? Well, that it surely does BUT, at the same time, the added length equals less control. And then there’s the whole disadvantage of not being able to hit the sweet spot with a longer shaft.
The standard driver shaft length for men is 45 inches and for women 44 inches.
Modern golf club manufacturers are constantly making the game of golf easier for you. And the proof of that – these two phenomenal adjustability features…
1. Adjustable/Fixed Weights
The idea is to adjust the weights that are connected to the clubhead sole by simply sliding them into a different position. However, this adjusting and sliding around the weights into a position that works for YOUR swing speed and handicap is a bit confusing if you’re new to the game.
I mean what combination of MOI, CG, etc. to choose is undeniably confusing for a beginner who may not even know what such jargons mean, let alone try to make each one of them work in your favor.
Then how about fixed weights instead? These you move or replace to a fixed location, which certainly makes things easier.
2. Adjustable Loft
For your driver to be a highly forgiving golf club, the loft must be higher (10.5 degrees or more). And the latest technology in this arena is an adjustable loft. So you don’t really have to settle with any particular number; merely just unscrew the shaft from the clubhead and rotate it for increasing or decreasing the loft angle (between 9 degrees and 13 degrees).
You can’t possibly think you’ve made the right decision by just buying the BEST golf driver. Because this “best” golf driver is actually a high-end, premium piece of equipment curated only for golfers with advanced skills. So why spend all that extra money on a club you won’t even be able to use to your advantage since you’re a beginner and/or high handicapper!
Rather, choose the most forgiving driver since it’s the easiest to hit and will help you find more fairways for sure.
It would be a complete waste of money to purchase the latest, best golf driver. Rather opt for older models, partly because they’re also comparatively much cheaper than the new ones.
All FAQs Answered Below!
Do I Really Need A Good Golf Driver?
Drivers are often sources of intimidation. And this is mainly because of their longer length that, even though adds extra distance, makes it extremely difficult to hit. So if a beginner or high handicapper instead goes for a fairway wood or hybrid, it’s very well justified.
But then modern-day drivers are so much easier to hit, even with flaws and faults from your side. So YES, you do really need a good golf driver if you feel intimidated by their design, for whatever reasons (slow swing speed, high handicap, and other such common causes of mis-hits).
As A Beginner, Do I Then Need to Get A Specific Golf Driver?
Your priority should be to get the most forgiving driver. Because only this kind can compensate for your slow swing speed. Most forgiving in the sense a golf driver with a large clubhead, flexible shaft, high loft, and back and low CG.
How Many Drivers Should I Own?
Based on USGA rules, 14 golf clubs is the limit. Tour players carry one driver for shaping their shots and one for distance. In that case, you, as a beginner only need a single driver. And if this is also an adjustable driver, then even better since you’ll be able to fine-tune it to serve both purposes.
What Is the Most Forgiving Driver for Beginners?
TaylorMade SIM 2 MAX Driver is the best choice for someone new to the sport. Because of its Twist Face technology (longer, straighter shots on mis-hits). And because of the high-strength, lightweight, precision-milled, forged aluminum construction that boosts forgiveness and power.
What Is the Most Forgiving Driver for High Handicappers?
Cleveland Golf Launcher Turbo Driver, unquestionably. Because, while its bigger impact surface takes care of boosting ball speed, the redesigned crown with its lower CG placement creates a higher launch for increased carry distance.
High-handicap golfers also benefit more from its counter-balanced shaft and ultra-lightweight hosel (both make the golf driver even more forgiving).
Do I Need A Driver With An Adjustable Loft?
If the loft angle is 10.5 degrees or higher, then that’s perfect for you as a beginner and/or high handicapper. But if the loft is lower than 10.5 degrees with the adjustability, then you can surely buy that driver.
With loft adjustability on drivers, you gain more flexibility in terms of increasing or decreasing the angle of loft based on your swing speed, handicap, etc.
This Round of Golf Is Done!
It would be naïve to think that all golf drivers are built for distance and just distance alone. The ones that are such are labeled as forgiving drivers, which is exactly what beginners and high handicappers should get.
Swinging this big stick hard only to feel and hear its greatness when you strike dead-center is on every golfer’s goals-to-be-achieved list. It’s easier said than done of course. But with the right driver at your disposal, getting there surely becomes less and less improbable.