Most Forgiving (Best) Driver for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2020

golf club driver sitting behind a teed up golf ball

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find the Most Forgiving (Best) Driver for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2020, then we recommend the Cobra King SpeedZone Xtreme.

Very few golfers will argue this; there’s almost no better feeling than ripping your first shot on a hole down the center of the fairway. On the same side, very few people will argue there’s no more frustrating of a feeling than spraying your tee shot to the right with no hope of finding it.

There’s an old saying, “Drive for Show and Putt for Dough” but let’s be totally honest; driving the ball is the most important part to starting a hole (or even a round) off right!

We all know how difficult the game is and sometimes we can’t put in the practice we need in order to improve. We also know that getting in better shape can improve our game as well.  So why wouldn’t we want to take advantage of the latest technology to give us an edge and help us play our very best?

In our quest to provide you with the best information to make a good decision, we wanted to create this article to help you find the best driver for beginners and high handicappers.

In this article, we’re going to be reviewing the following drivers:

What To Consider When Choosing The Most Forgiving (Best) Driver for Beginners and High Handicappers

 

More Forgiveness

Beginners and those with high handicaps have one thing in common (no it’s not a loving the game 1 minute than absolutely hating it 30 seconds later), it’s not making solid contact with the center of the clubface aka “the sweet spot”.

Without being an MIT graduate, the easiest way to explain the sweet spot is that’s in the place on the clubface that transfers the maximum amount of energy to the ball.

The primary goal of a golf swing is to hit the sweet spot with the highest swing speed along the ideal swing path. If you can do those things correctly, you’re guaranteed to hit an amazing golf shot (unlike this guy below)!

While making solid contact is hard enough, the biggest challenge lies on being able to do that consistently.

Unless you’re an elite level athlete, producing a consistent swing that produces consistent results can take years to develop.

As a beginner, you don’t have that time available. In order to produce good golf shots on off-center hits and still be able to shoot a decent score, forgiveness is crucial.

Link To Most Forgiving (Best) Irons For Beginners and High Handicappers

The good thing is that with today’s technology, driver club heads sizes are much larger (almost 2.5x) than the old wooden drivers first used. On modern drivers, the sweet spot is larger than the ball itself, where the sweet spot on old wooden drivers was about the size of a pea.

Vintage Golf Clubs on Wood Background

As a result of drivers getting bigger and bigger, in 2004, the USGA decided to limit the maximum size of a driver to 460cc’s.

In a nutshell, larger clubhead = larger sweet spot = more forgiveness.

More Loft

One of the keys to getting maximum distance out of a tee shot with a driver is getting the ideal launch angle or the upward angle at which the ball leaves the clubface upon impact. Too high or too low and you’re not getting maximum distance.

The problem with beginners and high handicappers is that their swing speed tends to be a little slower and with a slower swing speed, the more difficult it becomes to get the ball in the air at the ideal launch angle.

One of the easiest ways to get the ball in the air is to select a driver with more loft.

A beginner golfer shouldn’t be using a driver with less than 10.5 degrees of loft.

Another benefit of more loft is that your shots will have a tendency to stray less off the target line. Think about this for a second, compare hitting a pitching wedge (48 degrees of loft) to a 5 iron (28 degrees of loft), which one when poorly struck tends go further off line? A 5 iron of course!

The exact same principle applies to your driver; more loft = less dispersion from the target line.

More Shaft Flex

Similar to loft, shaft flex plays a significant factor on creating the ideal upward angle at which the ball leaves the clubface on impact (launch angle).

Now shaft flex also affects the face angle at which the clubface impacts the ball, but that’s a topic for another discussion.

Too much flex and your ball is possibly going too high or too far left (right handed golfer). Too little flex and your ball is going too low or too far right (right handed golfer). Either way you’re not getting maximum distance with your drives.

Again, since beginners and high handicappers normally have slower swing speeds, having more shaft flex will generally help create the ideal launch angle.

Unless you’re consistently striping the ball straight and over 250 yards, it’s best to stay with a regular or even senior flex.

Adjustability

One of the cool things about modern drivers is the ability to adjust them as your swing changes.

Before, you would have to go to a golf club repair shop and have them make a shaft change. Today, many of the modern drivers have a easy sleeve that allows you to swap out the shaft yourself with a simple torque wrench.

Another cool thing about these sleeves is that they can let you adjust the loft of the club as well

Finally, many drivers have adjustable weights around the clubhead that when placed in certain areas, allows the golfer to adjust their shot shape to hit draws or fades.

Cost

With modern golf technology, it makes the game much easier to hit good drives, the bad thing is that it’s expensive.

When you add in all the equipment costs, the initial investment to pick up the game can easily set you back $2,000. By far the most expensive single piece of equipment you’ll buy will probably be a driver.

Now there’s a couple ways you can approach buying a driver; buy new or buy used.

When you buy used you’ll definitely pay less but a drawback is that you won’t be certain of the overall condition of the clubs. In addition, you won’t be getting the latest and greatest technology.

The good news though is that there’s a large second hand market for used clubs so you’ll always be able to get something for that old set of clubs if you decide to upgrade.

Whatever way you decide to go, pick something that can fit within your budget but prepared to fork out the most for a driver.

Most Forgiving (Best) Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers 2020 Reviewed

 

TaylorMade SIM MAX D

In an effort to help golfers improve, TaylorMade has discovered a new shape of driver performance.

According to their website the “asymmetric sole design and powerful new Inertia Generator combine to increase aerodynamics and speed at the most critical stage of the swing.”

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the design but I do love the aesthetics sitting behind the ball.  As far as the claim for being the fastest driver, it came through pretty clear as it measured the longest of the drivers we reviewed!

TaylorMade’s patented Loft Sleeve technology allows for a variety of lie and loft combinations and ease of swapping out shafts.

Finally, the adjustable weight allows you to dial in your shot shape preference for a draw or fade bias.

Pros

  • Longest total distance of the drivers we reviewed
  • Beautiful topline aesthetics when resting behind the ball
  • TaylorMade reputation of great craftsmanship and cutting edge technology

Cons

  • Widest shot dispersion of the drivers we reviewed
  • On the higher end of the cost range
  • The design when looking at the sole of the club may turn some off

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Callaway Mavrik Max

Leveraging it’s JailBreak technology and Artificial Intelligence design from last year’s Epic series, Callaway launched the Mavrik series with 3 different varieties; a standard version, a Max version, and a Sub Zero version.

The biggest change to this series of driver’s is the Cyclone Aero Shape design but is unfortunately only available in the standard Mavrik driver and not the Max or Sub Zero versions.

In addition, if there were any complaints about last year’s Epic drivers, it was the sound of the driver which were resolved in the Mavrik series by using it’s Acoustic AI.

Finally the adjustable shaft sleeve and weights in the sole allows for customization to achieve your desired results.

Pros

  • Solid performance in both shot dispersion and distance
  • Improved acoustics from last year’s Epic series
  • Beautiful all black crown with subtle design elements

Cons

  • A good all around performer but doesn’t appear to be significant improvements from last year’s Epic series
  • On the higher end of the cost range

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Cobra King SpeedZone Xtreme

Cobra came through last year with it’s F9 Speedback as our 2019 choice, so could they improve on last year’s model?  It appears so!

Boasting golf’s first CNC Milled Infinity Face (the same tech from the 2019 F9 version), this feature expands the zone of maximum ball speed providing for the most forgiveness.

The 2020 updated clubhead frame with 10% more carbon fiber allows for more weight to be moved lower and farther from the clubface to provide a higher launch and less spin.

The adjustable sleeve allows for customization of loft and lie while the lack of weight adjustability limits the ability to customize shot shape.

Pros

  • The 2nd lowest shot dispersion of the drivers reviewed
  • Solid distance on off center strikes
  • Matte black design looks beautiful
  • Offered in both a Black/Yellow and Black/White version
  • Include Arccos swing technology in grip

Cons

  • No adjustable weights to customize shot shape
  • On the higher end of the cost range

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Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

The 2020 Launcher HB Turbo Driver features a Turbocharged Cup Face for larger sweet spot for increased ball speeds and more distance on off center hits.

The simple matte black design with grey accents is probably our favorite looking driver.

The HiBore crown and ultra light hosel allow for weight to be located lower and farther form the clubface to maximize MOI and increased forgiveness.

A lack of customization leaves something to be desired as more and more club makers are going this direction.

Pros

  • Tied for 2nd longest of the drivers reviewed 
  • In the middle of the cost range
  • Matted black/grey design is subtle and unique

Cons

  • Lack of adjustability for both loft/lie and shot shape
  • Higher shot dispersion on off center strikes

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Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220

This non big name club manufacturer boasts to have the most technology in this year’s driver including Diamond Face Technology, Sound Difusion Bar, Max MOI Design, Titanium Face, Triple Carbon Tech, and Adjustable Hosel.

I actually played a set of Tour Edge irons back in the late 90’s so I’m pretty familiar with these guys.

Without all the dollars being spent on marketing this underdog is able to put more into R&D and offer great value for it’s clubs.  Don’t be fooled though, these guys definitely compete with the big boys like TaylorMade and Callaway.

With this driver, the one feature that stood out to me was the Diamond Face Technology. This feature created 42 different thick and thin diamond shapes, producing a hotter face with faster ball speeds and was proven in its tie for 2nd longest driver we reviewed.

While it is one of the longest drivers we reviewed, one flaw was it’s wider shot dispersion on off center strikes.

Pros

  • Tied for 2nd longest of the drivers reviewed 
  • In the middle of the cost range
  • Adjustable hosel allows for a variety of loft options

Cons

  • Higher shot dispersion on off center strikes
  • Not a big name, well known brand

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Wilson Staff Launch Pad

A long trusted name in the sports business, Wilson has built a reputation for building solid, no frills sporting goods.  When it comes to golf, it’s no different.

Not boasting much tech like the other clubs we reviewed, Wilson made a driver that will keep your ball in the fairway (albeit not very far in the fairway) as evidenced by having one of the tightest shot dispersions we reviewed but also the shortest distance.

The one thing we can say about this club is that it’s designed for slicers. With an upright lie and high offset, this club should definitely keep the right side of the fairway out of play.

If you’re looking for a budget driver and just want to keep your ball in play, then the Wilson Launch Pad is a solid choice.

Pros

  • Tightest shot dispersion of the drivers reviewed
  • Designed for beginners with a strong draw bias shot shape
  • On the lower end of the cost range

Cons

  • Shortest total distance of drivers reviewed
  • Lack of adjustability for both loft/lie and shot shape
  • Not known for making high end golf equipment

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Our Choice

When it comes to the most forgiving (best) driver for beginners and high handicappers, there are wide range of options available from multiple manufacturers. The six reviewed above are some of the best options available on the market in 2020.

Since every golfer’s ability is on a wide spectrum, we feel that for beginners, the single most important feature is forgiveness on off center shots.

After that, the ability to customize comes in a close second. As we mentioned earlier, golf is a difficult game that can take years to create a consistent, repeatable swing.

Selecting a driver that has some customization is a wise purchase since you will be able to make adjustments in the early years and can grow with your swing.

With all this being said, we decided the best choice is the Cobra King SpeedZone Xtreme.

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Although the SpeedZone Xtreme was limited in its customization for adjusting weights, it did have some customization for adjusting the loft. The narrower dispersion on sweet spot contact and overall forgiveness on off center hits, combined with its slightly lower cost point, made the Cobra King SpeedZone Xtreme the clear winner.

Link To Most Forgiving (Best) Irons For Beginners and High Handicappers

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