The driver is the longest, most expensive club in any golfer’s bag. Sounds daunting? You’re not alone. But the driver is the most important for a reason. Its length allows you to hit the ball far, which is why you take your first shot with it.
As a beginner, you may not know what works for you yet, which makes purchasing a driver difficult. That’s why I’ve rounded up the best drivers for beginners so you can learn to swing the longest club comfortably and safely.
If you want to cut to the chase, these are my top picks for best beginner driver:
- TaylorMade RBZ Driver
- Cobra KING F8 Driver
- Callaway XR 16 Driver
- Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver
- TaylorMade M2 Driver
Regular Drivers Versus Beginner-Friendly Drivers
Even seasoned golfers struggle to hit their drivers sometimes. Beginners and high handicappers often struggle more since they’re not used to the long shaft and large head. That’s why it’s worth looking into a driver designed with beginners in mind.
A golf driver for beginners will usually have a smaller head, making it easier for beginners to handle. Unlike regular drivers, you don’t need a fast swing to generate distance. You can even hit a beginner-friendly driver slightly off-center and get the same results.
What to Look for When Choosing a Driver for Beginners
Hitting a driver takes skill and practice, so don’t run out and buy one before you’re ready. Hybrid or 3-wood clubs make great alternatives for beginners as they give you distance and comfort at the same time.
When you’re ready to upgrade to a driver, I recommend considering the following elements to ensure you’re working with the best beginner driver for your skills.
Head Size and Forgiveness
Drivers already have large heads, but the best driver for beginners will always go as big as possible. A large head means a larger sweet spot—that exact area of the head that should make contact with the ball for the best results. When you miss this spot, you risk shorter distances and more spin, often resulting in a hook or slice.
I recommend choosing a head size close to the official maximum of 460 cubic centimeters (460cc). This provides more forgiveness if you miss the sweet spot, allowing you to increase your distance and accuracy as you practice.
Although a longer shaft generates more speed, a shorter shaft will give you more control over your swing. The United States Golf Association (USGA) states that clubs must be between 18 and 48 inches.
Starting with a length of around 43 inches and increasing gradually to see what’s comfortable for you is a good option for most beginners. As you’re learning, this allows you to perfect your swing and improve your speed safely.
Shafts made of graphite are an excellent choice for beginners as they offer greater flex. Flex is all about how much your club can bend on impact. While this might not sound ideal, higher flex can lead to higher shots and prevent them from curving to the right.
As your skill improves, you can invest in a driver with a steel shaft which offers more control and precision.
Titanium or stainless steel heads are both great options for beginners. Titanium heads are lighter and usually perform better, but they are more expensive. If you’re on a budget, opt for a stainless steel head instead.
A higher loft leads to less side-spin and more backspin, making it easier to hit the ball high and straight. This will make up for a slower swing which will improve as you practice. I recommend beginners choose a driver with a loft of between 10 and 14 degrees.
A good golf driver is an investment, but beginners can get away with choosing a more affordable option since they’re still learning.
As long as you opt for a high-quality, comfortable driver it’s perfectly fine to shop around for the best deal. You’ll want to save your money for a standard driver when you’re ready anyway!
Top 5 Golf Drivers for Beginners
To help you find the best driver for beginners, I’ve put five of the top-rated drivers to the test. To decide, I relied upon countless reviews from users and my own research and experience.
The TaylorMade RBZ is a lightweight club with a large, forgiving sweet spot. At 460cc, the titanium head is the largest you can get while complying with the national golfing standards.
With an adjustable loft, beginners can practice with a range of loft angles as their skill increases. The titanium core is designed to maximize launch and control. Some users disliked the lack of adjustable weighting in the clubhead which doesn’t allow you to grow with the driver.
This is one of the easiest drivers to hit and is a reliable addition to your bag that allows you to practice and build confidence.
- Lightweight so ideal for beginners to practice their swing speed
- Large clubhead with a forgiving sweet spot
- The adjustable loft allows players to practice with different loft angles
- No adjustable weighting in the clubhead
If you’re willing to stretch your budget a bit, the Cobra KING F8 is a great driver to practice with to build your speed and distance. The large sweet spot allows for a highly forgiving swing.
This driver boasts a carbon fiber crown and two extra weights at the base and heel of the clubhead. This combination creates high launches with low spin and helps to keep the driver stable if you happen to hit off-center.
If you tend to hit your balls high already, you may want to opt for a different driver, however.
While the weighting is a great function, some users found that it would be more effective if it wasn’t stationary. This may be a small gripe for experienced players, but beginners should still get a lot out of this club.
The Cobra F8 offers more adaptability with its adjustable loft and choice of three shafts. A 2.1-ounce shaft is a great option for beginners as it offers a balance of flex and control.
- Large clubhead and sweet spot
- Adjustable loft to create different launch angles
- Choice of three lightweight shafts
- Additional weights in the clubhead
- Some users disliked the stationary weighting
- A little bit pricier than other beginner options
The Callaway XR 16 Driver is all about speed. Callaway worked with aerodynamics experts at Boeing to create a club that delivers high speeds and long distances. The lightweight, thin clubface offers fast speeds and is perfect for beginner golfers wanting to increase their speed and distance.
Although some players find the clubhead to be too wide, its high MOI creates a deep center of gravity that rivals its competitors. Callaway redistributed weight from the club body to the face to create this high MOI. This allows for more forgiveness and creates more precise, controlled shots for beginners and handicappers.
- High MOI for precise, controlled shots
- Lightweight and thin, making it ideal for increasing speed swing
- Aerodynamically designed for maximum speed and distance
- Some users find the clubhead to be too wide
The Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver uses a unique clubhead design to offer maximum forgiveness. With a titanium exo-cage and triaxial carbon crown, this is one of the thinnest and lightest clubheads on the market.
An easily-adjustable weight allows you to experiment with different shot shapes. You can also choose from four different shaft weights (between 1.4 and 2.5 ounces) based on your swing speed, power, and control.
One thing to consider is the standard shaft length of 45.5 inches, which some users found to be on the longer side.
- Innovative, lightweight materials
- Choose between four different shaft weights based on your swing speed, power, and control
- Adjustable weight allows you to experiment with loft angles
- Some users found the standard shaft length to be quite long
The TaylorMade M2 offers a high moment of inertia (MOI), giving you more stability and control over your swing. It’s ideal for players who have a bit of experience or those that are returning to the tee after several years.
The graphite shaft comes in a range of flexes so you can choose the one that works best for your playing level. If distance is an issue, consider the senior shaft which is lighter and has more flex. Otherwise, the regular flex is a great option for beginners.
Players can adjust the loft up to 12 degrees. I recommend starting on a higher loft; as your swing speed increases you can test out lower lofts to improve your game. If high loft is your main priority, you might want to consider a driver that goes up to 14 degrees.
- A large, forgiving sweet spot for maximum chances of a good shot
- Range of shaft flexes for players of all abilities
- The adjustable loft allows for experimentation with loft angles
- Low to mid handicappers found this club unsuitable
- Doesn’t have adjustable weights in the clubhead
These are just five of the best drivers for beginners. Your choice will depend on your experience level, swing speed, and goals.
For me, the best beginner drivers are the TaylorMade M2 Driver and TaylorMade RBZ thanks to their lightweight design and huge clubhead. These are perfect for beginners looking to practice their swing and increase their speed and distance. The adjustable loft allows you to experiment with different loft angles as you improve.
Have you used any of the beginners’ drivers we reviewed? If so, we’d love to hear from you so drop us a comment below and let us know your thoughts!