Most Forgiving (Best) Driver for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2019

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 2019, then we recommend the Cobra F9 Speedback.

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 a 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. 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.

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 Reviewed

 

Callaway Epic Flash

When designing this club, engineers used artificial intelligence to create a completely different face design called Flash Face Technology.

Combined with their signature Jailbreak Technology, Callaway created a club that generates more ball speed and distance. In addition, the adjustable perimeter weighting allows you to change your ball flight to hit straight shots, draws, or fades.

Pros

  • This club has a beautiful and premium design that breeds confidence when setting it up behind the ball
  • Amazing distance when solid contact is made and the ball explodes off the face
  • Highly adjustable perimeter weighting to create the ideal shot type
  • 5 different standard shaft options available to customize for your swing

Cons

  • A bit more pricey than other drivers
  • Wider shot dispersion on solidly struck shots

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Cobra F9 Speedback

By optimizing aerodynamics and low center of gravity, Cobra was able to create their longest driver ever.

The ultralight carbon wrapped crown (as opposed to titanium) allows for a lighter overall weight for increased speed. Optimized Sweet Zone with E9 Technology creates a larger sweet spot to improve forgiveness on off center hits.

Pros

  • A bit less costly than other drivers
  • Narrower shot dispersion on solidly struck shots
  • 5 different standard shaft options available to customize for your swing
  • Very forgiving on less than perfect shots
  • Includes Cobra Connect sensor technology and automatic shot tracking Powered by Arccos

Cons

  • Limited adjustability to create preferred shot shape
  • Slightly less distance compared to other drivers

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Ping G410 Plus

This is the first sliding weight driver from PING, created for speed, distance, and customizable performance.

A movable 16-gram tungsten weight adjusts on the clubhead to three different positions: middle for neutral shots, closer to the toe for fades, and closer to the heel for draws. An adjustable hosel lets you change the lie +/-1.5° as well as choose neutral or flatter lie angles for customized performance.

Pros

  • Sleek, all black head design
  • Highly adjustable to create ideal shot type
  • Multiple shaft options to customize for swing

Cons

  • Wider shot dispersion on solidly struck shots
  • Slightly less distance compared to other drivers

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TaylorMade M6

Every head is speed tested and injected with tuning resin to optimize COR (coefficient of restitution) in order to maximize ball speed and distance.

The Twist Face Technology is back and corrects face angle on off center hits, in order to reduce side spin and deliver straighter shots. Finally, a carbon sole allows for a sleek, aerodynamic design to provide increased clubhead speed for more distance.

Pros

  • Excellent distance on sweet spot contact
  • Premium quality and design aesthetics

Cons

  • Limited adjustability to create ideal shot type
  • Only 2 standard shaft options to customize for your swing
  • Wider shot dispersion on solidly struck shots

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TourEdge Exotics EXS

A lesser known brand that still produces good quality golf clubs.

This driver is designed for customizability. Interchangeable weights on the sole and an adjustable hosel allow you to create your preferred launch, spin conditions, and shot shape for your game. Since the majority of driver mis-hits are struck on the toe, the New RollFace Technology uses modified bulge and roll on the toe to expand the sweet spot and create straighter shots.

Pros

  • Significantly less costly than other drivers
  • Consistent distance on well struck shots

Cons

  • Plain clubhead design
  • Wider shot dispersion
  • Slightly less distance compared to other drivers

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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 five reviewed above are some of the best options available on the market in 2019.

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 F9 Speedback.

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Although the F9 Speedback was limited in its customization for shot shape, 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 F9 Speedback the clear winner.

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