8 Best Drivers For Beginners & High Handicappers in 2023

golfer with driver about to hit the golf ball

One of the most challenging aspects of learning to be a great golfer is hitting a driver long and straight. Most high handicappers and beginners struggle with the dreaded slice. Through the years, equipment manufacturers have made it much easier to hit a driver straight. 

The key to finding the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers is understanding what to look for. Although all drivers may say they are long and forgiving, there are specific differences that you should understand. 

Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: TaylorMade Stealth
Best For High Launch: Cleveland Launcher XL
Best Value: Callaway Mavrik Driver
Premium Pick: Callaway Rogue ST Max Draw
Best For Distance: Cobra LTDx
Best For Slice: TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Draw
Best For Forgiveness: Callaway Big Bertha B21
Best For The Undecided Golfer: Cobra King Radspeed XD

Best Overall: TaylorMade Stealth 

Best Overall
TaylorMade Stealth Driver

A Carbon Fiber Twist Face offers a more efficient energy transfer at impact. That gives you increased ball speeds. The carbon face feels differently but super solid.

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TaylorMade really changed things up when they decided to introduce a golf driver with a carbon face. Titanium has been the material of choice for many years, but it was time to try something out and see how it worked. Not to spoil the surprise, but it worked. 

stealth driver face

The new TaylorMade Stealth driver is our favorite choice for beginners and high handicappers. The Stealth will be in your golf bag for the next 5-10 years because of how advanced the technology in the club head is. Even if you become a mid-handicap golfer, Stealth technology is still relevant. 

Carbon adds a unique feel, but there is also plenty of forgiveness and distance. The inertia Generator helps golfers get more speed. The Speed Pocket design we have seen in several previous models is still included in this technology. 

Essentially if you want a solid foundation to hit long and straight golf shots, the TaylorMade Stealth can do the trick. 

Best For High Launch: Cleveland Launcher XL 

Best For High Launch
Cleveland Launcher XL Driver

The Cleveland Launcher XL has a very large head, adjustable hosel, and tons of forgiveness built in. 

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The Cleveland Launcher XL Driver is our favorite choice for a golfer that struggles to get their driver consistently into the air. The problem that many beginner and high handicappers struggle with is that they hit more of a line drive than a high-lofted golf shot. 

Line drives are costing you the distance. However, with the extra large head and tons of forgiveness, it’s much easier to get this driver up into the air. In addition, this is one of the first drivers that Cleveland has made with an adjustable loft. 

Cleveland usually leaves the adjustable loft out of their golf clubs as they try to save weight in the club head. With the new Action Mass CB, they were able to balance out the weight in the head with a weight in the grip and help increase overall ball speed and extra distance. 

One of the things that Cleveland has struggled with in the past is making a driver that competes from a distance standpoint. We won’t tell you this Launcher XL is quite as long as the Stealth, but Cleveland is starting to bridge that distance gap. 

Best Value: Callaway Mavrik Driver

Best Value
Callaway Mavrik Driver

The Callaway Mavrik features a Cyclone Aero Shape clubhead, Jailbreak technology, and the classic carbon crown; expect plenty of distance and forgiveness built in. 

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The Callaway Mavrik driver has been on the market for a few years and is starting to drop in price. However, this drop in price does not mean that the technology is no longer relevant. In fact, this is the best value driver for beginners and high handicappers. 

When you stand over the Callaway Mavrik Driver, it has a very approachable look. You will feel confident in your ability to get the ball up in the air, keep it rolling and ensure it is straight down the center of the fairway. 

As we can always expect, Callaway has some of the most impressive technologies on the market. These include a Titanium face, an internal rib system for a bit more distance, and of course, the adjustability to set this driver to whatever specifications you need. 

Although purchasing a Callaway Mavrik driver custom to your needs may be a little more difficult at this point, chances are you won’t mind when you compare the pricing of this club to others on the market. 

Premium Pick: Callaway Rogue ST Max Draw

Premium Pick
Callaway Rogue ST Max Draw Driver

This driver has internal and external draw weighting to counter a slice. A reduced face progression and stretched profile at address helps with that. It was also designed for maximum levels of forgiveness.

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Although the Callaway Mavrik driver is our favorite value driver for beginners and high handicappers, it does not quite match the technology you can find in the Callaway Rogue ST Max Draw. This club will cost you more than most of the other drivers on this list, but it’s a good trade-off for the performance you get. 

The anti-slice technology is quite impressive with the Callaway Rogue ST Max D. The internal draw bias makes it easier to hit a straight shot without having to do all that much. However, golfers that hook the ball may want to look elsewhere. 

One of the things that set the Callaway Rogue ST Max D apart is the new Tungsten Speed Cartridge. Tungsten weighting is big in 2023, whether you are purchasing irons or a driver. The extra weight low and deep in the driver’s head will increase speed and give you more forgiveness. 

Callaway uses a patented AI-designed Jailbreak Speed Frame to keep the club more stable and impact while increasing launch. Essentially if you can develop a somewhat consistent golf swing, this driver handles the rest. 

For golfers that don’t struggle with the slice, the Rogue ST Max could be an excellent option to consider. It won’t have the draw bias, but it still has impressive ball flight. 

Best For Distance: Cobra LTDx 

Best For Distance
Cobra LTDx Driver

The Cobra LTDx features Hot Face Technology designed to increase distance and give golfers a greatly increased smash factor. 

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We have to give Cobra some credit here. This was not always the longest driver on the market. In fact, Cobra had created a name for themselves as being forgiving, but they struggled to keep up with forgiveness. Golfers quickly realized this was a driver built for high handicappers and beginners. 

However, high handicappers and beginners also want to get distance themselves from their golf drivers. Therefore Cobra introduced a combination of its Pwr-Cor Technology and the HOT Face. The two combine to give high handicappers and beginners everything they need from a golf club. 

Cobra included the CNC Milled Infinity Face to help improve overall ball speed regardless of where you make contact. In addition, a 15g back weight built into this club is fixed in place. This gives you that extra jump at impact to get the ball moving faster than you have seen in the past. 

Golfers love the stable feel of the Cobra LTDx at impact. It also has a pleasing sound. If you want to invest in your game that could last more than just a few years, this is it. 

Best For Slice: TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Draw Driver 

Best For Slice
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Draw Driver

With the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Draw Driver, you'll get a draw-biased setup that helps you fight a slice and excellent forgiveness without sacrificing distance.

Specs:
  • Lofts: 10.5° & 12°
  • Flex: Regular, Stiff, Senior
  • Left Handed Option: Yes, in 10.5°
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The TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Draw Driver gives players new to the game or with a higher handicap everything they need to succeed. This is not the latest release on the market, but it has fair pricing and tons of relevant technology. 

If you want power and distance, TaylorMade is the company to consider. Golfers with slower swing speeds can easily use this TaylorMade technology to hit the ball quite a bit further than they are used to. If you are a golfer who has worked through several ways of fixing a slice but still struggles, a draw bias driver is the way to go. 

When you look at the differences between the TaylorMade SIM Max 2 Draw and the new TaylorMade Stealth, you will see that quite a bit of the same technology was incorporated into this club head. 

The TaylorMade Speed Pocket, Inertia Generator, and Twist Face Technology all come into play with the new SIM 2 Max model. Essentially you see everything that we have looked at in previous driver releases from TaylorMade yet with a new head design and a bit more power.

Best For Forgiveness: Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver

Best For Forgiveness
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver

The Callaway Big Bertha B21 has an AI Designed Flash Face, high ball speeds, and impressive low spin characteristics. 

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The most forgiving driver for beginners and high handicappers is the Callaway Big Bertha B21 driver. The great thing about the B21 is that it was built specifically with this player in mind. At no point does Callaway try to claim this to be a players club or have workability; everything about the B21 is done for forgiveness. 

Callaway used artificial intelligence again to ensure that the golf driver has plenty of speed from the Flash Face technology and some of the lowest spin on the market. 

Low spin in a beginner’s driver will help to ensure that the ball does not head too far right or left of the target line. Overall the look and feel of the club will be very appealing to the higher handicap player. The draw bias is mostly internal so when you look down at the club head, expect that it will still have a square look to it. 

Best For The Undecided Golfer: Cobra King Radspeed XD Driver

The best driver for beginner and high handicappers who can’t sort through all of this technology and information is the Cobra King Radspeed XD Driver. We get it; there is a lot of tech out there, and it isn’t easy to decide which of these clubs is for you. 

However, with the adjustability built into the Cobra King Radspeed XD Driver, you can fine-tune this driver’s performance to fit your needs as a player.

The great thing about the adjustability in this club is that you will get quite a bit of value from it. As a new player, your swing will change quite often; having a club that can adjust with you as your game changes will only further your development in the game. 

The Cobra Radspeed XD comes equipped with new Radial Weighting technology to help golfers that tend to miss the center of the clubface from time to time. If you want optimized speed, forgiveness, and flight direction, this is the option to consider. Extreme draw weighting also helps straighten out the ball flight that many new golfers struggle with. 

The Radspeed XD has a modern look, modern technology, and impressive results for high handicappers and beginners.


What to Consider When Buying a Driver as a Beginner or High Handicap

Most golfers want to understand how to narrow down which golf drivers, high handicappers, and beginners should be playing with. A few distinguishing factors will help the best golf drivers on the market stand out. 

Loft Selection

The loft for a new golfer or a higher handicapper should be at least 10.5. Golf drivers below 10.5 degrees of loft don’t have enough forgiveness to work for the higher handicap players. These drivers make it more challenging to hit the ball straight and keep it in a straight line. 

Some beginner golf drivers have 12 to 15 degrees of loft, which is acceptable. However, at some point, you will lose a bit of distance if your golf driver has too much loft. So the 10.5 to 12-degree range is where most beginners will want to keep their equipment. 

Related: What Loft Should My Driver Be?

Draw Bias/Offset

The most common mistake for a new golfer or high handicapper is a slice. The slice is difficult to recover from because it tends to trail off quite considerably to the right. Drivers that are considered a draw bias model or have offset to them will be much more forgiving and better for the newer player. 

The draw bias driver helps to close the clubface just enough to hit the ball solid and straight. Offset technology will work very similarly to draw bias, and it helps players shut the club face down at impact and hit the golf ball straight. 

Related: 7 Best Drivers for a Slice

Shaft Selection

The shaft you choose to put in your new golf driver is a significant consideration. The golf shaft has to be flexible enough that you can release it and hit a long drive, yet still sufficient to help you control the shots. 

Most players will need something like a regular graphite shaft when they first start playing with a golf driver. The stiff shaft tends to be a better fit as the club head speed increases to more than 100 mph. 

It makes sense to have a fitting done for a golf shaft before purchasing your new golf driver. However, if you have average swing speeds and average launch angles, then a fitting may not be necessary. 

Related: What Shaft Flex Should You Be Playing? It may surprise you

Pricing

As you likely noticed, the pricing for a new golf driver for beginners and high handicappers ranges from around $250 to more than $500. If you are going to invest in a high-priced driver, ensure you are getting something that will last for years. 

A $500 driver that lasts you for 5 to 7 years is better than a $300 driver that you get rid of after a year. If you are on a budget, take a look at the equipment that was released last year. Golf manufacturers lower pricing, but the technology is still relevant. 

Related: 7 Best Drivers for the Money in 2023

Brand/Manufacturer

Almost every major golf brand offers a golf driver designed for beginners and high handicappers. Cobra, Cleveland, and Callaway often lead the way with forgiveness. However, TaylorMade has made a jump in the overall performance of their driver. In years past, TaylorMade focused almost entirely on speed, but things are changing. 

Adjustability 

We recommend adjustability in a golf driver for beginners and high handicappers. Adjustability is critical because it allows you to change the club as your game changes. As a beginner and a high handicapper, chances are your game changes fairly often. 

If you tweak your golf swing and notice that your ball flight has changed, you can simply adjust the golf driver to work for your needs. 

Adjustability in a golf driver typically makes it just a little heavier, but this is not something to shy away from for fast swing speed players. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a driver as a high handicapper or beginner can be a little stressful. There are many different components to consider, and it’s wise to ask questions before you finalize your purchase.  

What is the best driver for a beginner golfer?

The best driver for a beginner golfer is the TaylorMade Stealth driver. Not only will this driver work well in the beginning stages, but you also won’t have to upgrade the technology for years to come. All preliminary testing and results from TaylorMade show that the Stealth helps the highest handicapped golfers the most. 

What is the most forgiving driver to hit?

The most forgiving driver to hit is the Cleveland Launcher XL or the Callaway Big Bertha B21. These clubs have a large club head and a massive sweet spot, giving golfers a big jump off the clubface. 

What is the easiest driver to hit for a beginner or high handicap?

The easiest driver to hit for a beginner or high handicapper is the Callaway Rogue ST Max Draw. Even if you struggle with a large slice in your golf ball flight, the Callaway can help you correct the ball flight. 

What type of driver should a beginner or high handicap use?

Beginners and high handicappers need to look for golf drivers with a large sweet spot, a low center of gravity, and sometimes even draw bias technology. The draw bias golf club allows for an easy correction of a slice, something that most beginner and high handicappers struggle with. 

What degree driver should a beginner or high handicap use?

Beginners and high handicappers should start with a golf driver with 10.5 degrees of loft. If this is not forgiving enough, switching to something with 12 degrees or more may be necessary. Keep in mind that distance may be impacted as the loft goes up. 

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, you now feel more confident about which golf driver is the best for your game. The TaylorMade Stealth took the top spot as the best driver for beginners and high handicappers. This new Carbon technology in the Stealth really took the market by surprise, and it has greatly improved the overall distance capability of the golf club.

When purchasing a driver, try not to think about today but also about what golf club will work for you five years from now. 

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli is the founder of TopRankGolf, a passionate golfer with decades of experience playing this amazing sport. He's dedicated to helping golfers learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf.