The game of golf is a fascinating sport with a lot of challenges along the way. You are supposed to hit a small white golf ball around 18 challenging holes. The course sets an “average” score, also called a “par”, that you must try to beat. No two golf courses are exactly the same.
The are so many hazards along your 18 hole journey that it can seem a little overwhelming. The driver is probably going to be your most versatile club in your bag. This is the club that you will go to most often and will put you in a great position for your 2nd and 3rd shots.
If you are a golfing beginner then picking the right driver might be a little bit of a challenge. In this article I will highlight the best drivers for beginners so you can start your golf career off the right way.
My Top 5 Drivers For Beginners
Before I go into the nitty gritty for these drivers let me briefly touch upon what you should be looking for in a driver if you are new to the sport of golf.
Club Head Size Is Everything
If you are just starting out then the bigger the club head the better it is going to be for your drives. Club head sizes are measured in cubic centimeters or cc’s. The USGA states that 460cc is the largest size a club head can be. Anything above that size is considered illegal and you won’t be allowed to play with it on the course or in a tournament.
As a beginner golfer you should try to find a driver that has a club head size as close to 460cc. This larger club head size will give you a much larger sweet spot on the face of the club. Having this larger spot to aim for will really make the golf ball fly off the driver. Professionals on the PGA tour prefer a smaller club head because it is much easier to change their ball flight. As far as a beginner goes though, you want the largest club head you can buy because it will get the ball up in the air quick and allow it to travel farther down the fairway.
What Is A Good Price Point To Look For?
Drivers are one of the more expensive clubs you will purchase for your bag. As a beginner it may feel a little intimidating to buy a driver if you’re going to just outgrow it in a year or two. What I always suggest to people is to purchase a driver that fits into your budget. If you’re budget is $500 then don’t buy anything over that price point.
If the new drivers are way out of your budget point then there is always a good second hand market online. You could check sites like eBay or craigslist for used drivers. These clubs will be significantly discounted and usually still in good shape. This might be better if you’re a beginner because you can perfect your swing before going out and buying the biggest and best model.
I would also try to ask around your friend circle. You may know some golfers that have bought new clubs and their old clubs are just collecting dust. They may lend you a driver until you have enough money or are certain that golf is the sport you want to play. There’s nothing worse than buying a driver and then figuring out a year later that you actually hate playing golf! Check out all your options before splurging on the most expensive model. This guide will highlight affordable drivers so you aren’t breaking the bank.
Make Sure You’re Buying The Best Club Head
As I mentioned earlier on, golf club technology has come a very long way. We are way more advanced now than we were hundreds of years ago. Drivers have come a long way from the old wooden club heads first designed. Now you can buy drivers with all different head types.
There are three major metals that are used in the overall design of drivers. Titanium, Stainless Steel, and Composite/Alloy. Titanium is definitely the best choice if you are a beginner. Although this metal is the most expensive out of the three options, it is by far the best performing metal for beginners. This metal is very lightweight and club manufacturers can design a bigger club face which allows the driver to be very forgiving. Beginners should always try to find a club that is very forgiving on the course because your swing is not at its full potential yet and any additional club help you can get is ideal.
Stainless steel and composite drivers are cheaper but they don’t have the peak performance that the titanium drivers have. If titanium drivers are not in your set budget then a stainless steel or composite driver would be a solid second choice.
Driver Shafts Also Make A Huge Difference
Driver shafts are just another feature you should look for when making your first driver purchase. The shaft can either improve your ball flight or really hurt it. There are two main types of materials being used in driver shafts. You have the option to choose from graphite or steel as your shaft material.
If you are just starting out in golf then you should 100% stay away from steel shafts. The shafts don’t give a lot of flex and takes a lot of practice to get the hang of controlling your ball. Professional players on tour prefer the steel shafts because you get incredible control but that is because their swings are almost perfect.
Beginners should opt in for a graphite shaft with their new driver. Graphite shafts are meant to flex during your whole swing. This flex gives your club more of a snap so you can really get that golf ball moving down the fairway. Even I still use a graphite shaft on my driver because I am able to get a little bit more distance as compared to a steel shaft. If you watch a PGA tournament you will also see the pros using graphite because it makes your ball do incredible things in the air. So save yourself the headache and get a driver with a graphite shaft.
Adjustable Weights And Loft
I would have to say that most drivers on the market now sport some kind of customization. Whether it is movable weights or an adjustable loft, you can fine tune the performance for your playing ability. As a good reminder though, as a beginner I would try to hold off on tweaking your drivers until you get a good grasp on your swing and can pinpoint what needs to be tweaked on the actual club.
Driver loft is usually always measured in degrees. The average loft range for drivers is between 8 and 12 degrees. Beginners should select a higher lofted club because it will get your ball higher in the air and allow it to travel greater distances. As you get better at the game of golf then you should try lower lofted clubs for more control and accuracy.
The new age drivers on the market now have the ability to adjust the center of gravity weights on the bottom of the club head. If you want to alter your ball flight then you can do this by simply moving the weights instead of completely changing your swing. This is a great option for medium to high skill set golfers. Beginners should hold off on adjusting these weights until they are comfortable with their overall swing mechanics. Adjusting the weights as well as adjusting your swing can cause a lot of headaches for yourself.
Perfect Mechanics For Driving The Ball Straight
Choosing your driver is highly dependent on your overall skill set as a golfer. Professionals usually prefer a smaller more compact club while beginners should try to score a larger but lighter club. If you are just starting out, don’t try to use what the pros are using on tour because they actually know how to manipulate and tweak the equipment. Stick to forgiving drivers that are easy to swing. Here is an awesome instructional video I found online that outlines the perfect mechanics for a straight on driver shot each and every time. Master this first before tweaking the driver itself.
Best Drivers For Beginners (My Top 5)
With some information you should look for when buying a driver, let’s take a look at my top 5 favorite drivers for beginners with a very high handicap.
Cobra Fly-Z Driver
The Fly-Z driver by Cobra is a wonderful driver for mid to high handicappers as well as beginners. This amazing driver from Cobra is very forgiving off the tee and packs a powerful punch in the air. This club is very user friendly and perfect for anyone looking to outdrive their competition. You will put yourself in a great position for your second shot with this driver in your bag.
Taylormade R1 Driver
The Taylormade R1 driver can fit any skilled player in golf. The adjustability and forgiveness of this driver is well worth the price tag. This driver is one of the top rated clubs on tour and is very favorable with many different players. The playability and forgiveness this club has outscores much of its competition.
Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver
This club is by far the best driver for beginners all the way up to professionals. This driver is simple but packs a very powerful punch off the tee. Callaway has done a magnificent job with this driver and it shows in their ratings. The golf ball flies dead straight and surprisingly very long off the tee. Definitely a club you should consider.
Cleveland Classic XL Driver
The classic XL driver by Cleveland is a solid driver for beginners. There isn’t much on this club as far as customizations go but that is ok if you are just starting out. Cleveland is known for their drivers so it’s no surprise that that XL driver can compete with other companies. This driver is very good looking and gives you a solid distance off the tee.
Callaway XR Driver
The XR driver by Callaway is a solid follow up to their Big Bertha line of drivers. If the Big Bertha clubs don’t fit your standards then you should definitely consider the Callaway XR. This driver produces a medium ball flight and feels solid all around. You will be able to control the golf ball throughout the whole swing and keep it down the center of the fairway.
Many companies are able to design their drivers to appeal to a wide variety of skill sets in the game of golf. I highlighted 5 clubs that I think are the best drivers for beginners or someone with a very high handicap. Don’t be nervous to try a different club because you may be surprised at how well it makes you perform on the golf course.
If I had to pick a driver out of that list it would be the Callaway Great Big Bertha. I think that this driver is the perfect combination of feel and power for anyone looking to just get the ball in the middle of the fairway. With a quality driver and a little bit of knowledge you can make a huge difference at your next tee time.