As a beginner golf player, you’re probably trying to figure out what driver to add to your golf arsenal. Depending on who you ask for advice, there’ll be varying opinions on the best golf drivers for beginners.
It doesn’t get any easier when there are a variety of golf drivers available in the market.
Obviously, a golf driver is an essential club to have because it’s used exclusively to hit the ball off the tee.
It’s easily identifiable due to its length and size. A driver is the longest club in your golf bag measured from the top of the shaft to the bottom of the clubhead. It is designed that way so that it can hit the golf ball farther down the fairway.
While there is a standard length for drivers, it doesn’t mean you have to adjust your game with what’s available to you. The driver must possess the qualities that will complement your playing style. There are several factors to consider when choosing the best driver to suit your needs as a new golfer.
You have to take into account the head size, the loft, shaft flex, weight, materials used, adjustability, and of course, budget. If you are able to identify your requirements and preferences, it would be much easier to find the driver that will help improve your game.
The Forgiveness Factor
The easiest golf driver to hit depends on the skill level of the golfer. For a high handicapper, the “forgiveness” factor matters.
This means that a forgiving driver is designed and constructed in such a way that its features minimize the effects of poor ball contact and terrible swing speed. It’s safe to say that the higher the handicap, the more forgiveness golfers want in their golf drivers.
Golf driver design elements take into account off-center strikes by improving some of the technical features like moment of inertia (MOI). This means there’s more perimeter weighting which minimizes loss of distance on mishits.
Typically, the easiest golf driver to hit is one that has a larger clubhead and clubface, cavity backs, wider soles, thicker toplines, high MOI, and low center of gravity. While a forgiving driver helps a bad game look less horrible, it is definitely not a cure for a bad swing.
2020 – Top Rated 5 Golf Drivers
Let’s get started on what we think are the best drivers in 2020, starting with the legendary TM M6…
TaylorMade M6 Driver (460cc)
There’s a lot to like about the TaylorMade M6 Driver and the highlight is the speed-injected Twist Face technology. It essentially optimizes ball speed to address the typical off-center hits of beginners.
New golfers tend to hit the ball with less conviction and less precision so the M6 helps to maximize ball speed and distance.
The driver’s face curvature comes with a corrective face angle designed to lessen side spin so that shots are straighter and can reach maximum distance.
The TaylorMade M6 driver is made with more carbon fiber to position its weight so that it generates inertia for high launch, low spin result that allows for some serious yardage. With the M6, it’s possible to improve launch even from various lies.
The M6 utilizes the larger Hammerhead 2.0 in the sole which results in more ball speed even when it is hit very low on the face. This upgrade works in tandem with the Twist Face to achieve a larger sweet spot for increased speed on off-center strikes.
The larger head typically gives a higher MOI resulting in straighter shots even on mishits. This may convince golfers with a preference for smaller drivers to make the switch.
Check out Rick Shields as he looks in depth at the M5 and M6 Driver…
Needless to say, it’s one of the most forgiving golf drivers around because it does not only assist with average golfer swings but it also results in markedly improved ball trajectory. High handicappers can easily transition to mid-level because of the forgiving nature of the M6 driver.
- The larger 460cc head consistently produces more ball speed and more distance.
- Much easier to achieve improved accuracy with the reduced side spin.
- Twist Face technology gives maximum speed upon impact but within the regulatory limit.
- Provides balance and stability on off-center hits.
- The lack of adjustable weights makes launch and spin more unpredictable.
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Cobra Golf Men’s 2019 F-Max Superlite Offset Driver
Everything is lighter with the Cobra F-Max Superlite Offset Driver. The svelte overall weight is achieved by taking a few grams off the clubhead, grip, and shaft with the sole purpose of generating speed and maximizing distance.
The Cobra F-Max’s forgiving design and construction allows beginners to deliver straighter and more accurate trajectories following the high-launch, low spin principle. Its forged titanium face insert allows a larger area of face that contributes to enhanced ball speed and maximum distance.
It provides more speed without having to strain yourself to swing faster. The 45-gram graphite shaft is optimal for making swing speed a little bit faster without having to hit harder.
The lighter shaft mixed with the off-set head design makes it easy to hit and is perfect for beginners and high handicapper who want to achieve more consistency in getting the ball in the air and towards a more desirable trajectory.
Lady golfers who are struggling to get more power and more distance will find the Women’s Cobra F-Max a suitable driver that can improve swings and overall performance off the tee.
Swing speed matters a lot when you’re trying to get the golf ball farther in the fairway, but you must also take into account how hard you hit and where you’re hitting the ball.
If you’re not hitting at the sweet spot, all the energy and momentum will be lost on the transfer and it would be difficult to get the maximum distance on your shots. With the forgiving Cobra F-max, it will help correct mishits without feeling that you need to hit the ball faster and harder than necessary.
- Suitable for seniors who want more speed and distance without having to swing harder or faster.
- A minimalist crown alignment design assists with accuracy and precision without distracting colors or logos.
- Feels sturdy and stable even with a lighter weight.
- Lack of adjustability features.
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Cleveland Golf Launcher Turbo Driver
Cleveland comes across as an unlikely choice for a driver for beginners for the simple reason that it doesn’t get a lot of buzz that is until the Cleveland Golf Launcher Turbo Driver started impressing scratch golfers and average golfers alike.
With its revamped turbocharged variable cup face, the driver provides a higher Coefficient of Restitution (COR) on a bigger impact area. What that does is to increase ball speeds to reach greater distance on tee off.
Designed and constructed with beginner golfers in mind, the Launcher Turbo has a HIBore Crown that reduces the center of gravity by 2.2mm which enables optimal launch. The center of gravity’s repositioning towards the grip adds head mass which in turn increases MOI.
This counterbalanced shaft design provides stability during swings that allow a straighter ball flight and trajectory.
What’s great about Cleveland’s Launcher HB Turbo is makes launches easier which adds more ball speed. Even with off-center strikes, the driver makes some adjustments to produce more distance. Its ultralight hosel keeps the weight low and deep to create a higher launch even without hitting too hard.
The Cleveland Launcher Turbo is clearly designed for new golfers who are struggling with their launch and slice. It is optimized for those who swing the driver at a slower speed (around 90 mph or less).
The stiff flex shaft makes the driver very light so it makes swinging the club a lot easier, which results in better launch and high ball path. This gets a lot of distance because the driver delivers more ball speed upon launch.
- Weight redistribution adds stability and greater forgiveness to increase speed and distance.
- More speed off the tee gives longer and straighter drives.
- Great quality at a budget-friendly price point.
- Loud and very pingy when it hits the ball.
- Lack of moveable weights and no adjustability on the hosels.
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TaylorMade Golf M5 Driver (460cc)
TaylorMade has had tremendous success with its M series, largely due to its technology that allows beginners and high handicappers to have improved accuracy even on off-center strikes.
With the speed injection technology of the M5 and the M6, speed is added to center strikes as well as mishits. This means that accuracy and speed can be achieved off the tee.
While the TaylorMade M5 and M6 are almost identical in features, M5 offers more flexibility and maneuverability because of its inverse T-Track. Two 10g weights can be adjusted to give optimal spin and ball path for every strike.
These movable weights increase the MOI to dial in the best launch conditions as well as correct or improve ball spin tendencies. When the spin rate is reduced, it almost always guarantees you to hit more fairways and longer distances in the process.
The M5 is engineered to make ball speed faster but keeping within the maximum threshold allowed by the USGA and R&A. This added ball speed equates to longer yardage, which is always a good thing. Touted as the markedly improved upgrade to the M3, the M5 delivers on its promise of better speed and accuracy.
More speed and more distance are two of the desired outcomes when using the M5. TaylorMade’s new-generation drivers are designed and constructed to get as close as possible to the regulation limit. This means that the M5 should be able to deliver more ball speed.
What’s particularly interesting is that the driver is created “illegally” but the two little red screws in the face are the ports where manufacturers can inject resin to make adjustments until the driver is at the fastest as it can possibly be while working within the COR limit of 0.830.
When combined with the carbon fiber sole, it increases the overall forgiveness of the M5 driver, which makes it arguably one of the best golf drivers for beginners.
- Intuitive adjustability using movable weights makes it suitable to a variety of swings.
- Added forgiveness results in faster ball speeds and greater distances.
- A little pricey driver for a beginner.
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Cobra Golf 2019 F9 Speedback Driver
The Cobra F9 Speedback Driver combines low center of gravity and aerodynamic head to deliver faster ball speed and greater distance—a first of its kind in achieving true optimization. It’s quite the claim and the best way to know if it delivers is to test it on the green.
Right off the bat, the design and construction are unlike any driver you’ll see in its class. It has a raised skirt, rounded leading edge, and rounded carbon wrapped crown to improve airflow which then provides better stability and maximum speed.
The larger carbon fiber area makes it lighter than drivers with titanium crowns. The added multi-material tungsten weight structure gives a low and deep center of gravity that combines low spin and high ball speed to achieve more distance in the fairway.
Appearance-wise, the Cobra 2019 F9 Speedback Driver is aesthetically appealing with its satin black-yellow finish with its noticeably thin CNC-milled elliptical face which is designed for consistency and precision.
It’s a busy-looking driver that lets everyone know that there’s a lot going on with it. It has the look of a cutting-edge driver packed with premium features. It’s quite long from front to back and definitely oversized. But you’ll soon find out that they are designed that way to give optimum performance.
With its dual-roll technology, Cobra F9 offers a longer and more forgiving driver for beginners and high handicappers because it gives more distance when the ball is hit below or above the center. Even on mishits, the launch and spin are optimized.
The result is quite impressive and the numbers are on the high side in terms of ball speed and distance in different settings.
- Best value driver for the features it has.
- Movable weight technology gives low spin and fast ball speed to achieve greater distance.
- Busy-looking graphics on the crown can be distracting.
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Mastering the Driver for Long Term Success
As a beginner and high handicapper, you need all the help you can get to improve your game. Drivers are not easy to master but with cutting edge technology, they are now making headway when it comes to shortening the learning curve.
Since there are a lot of options in the market, it’s difficult to choose the right one for your needs. But it doesn’t have to be complicated: the goal is to improve your game by getting more distance off the tee and lower your scores.
Golf skills and giftedness aside, the best golf driver for a handicapper is the one that will improve ball speed, accuracy, and distance. Other factors to consider are your play style, swing speed, skill level, and tendencies.
It will take trial and error to find the one that’s suitable to your level but once you find it, you’ll be able to transition from beginner to mid-level status in no time.