The best driver for beginners and high handicappers is one that can help them make picture-perfect opening and long-distance shots as well as improve their golfing skills. Choosing the best driver can be challenging whether you’re completely new to golf or struggling to lower your handicap. We rounded up 3 drivers for beginner golfers and put them up against each other to see which one emerged the victor. Don’t have the time to read the whole article? Click here to see the winner
If you want to take another step towards lowering your scores then you might want to invest in a rangefinder. It doesn’t have to break the bank – read our budget rangefinders article to see what are the best affordable rangefinders on the market.
What Should Beginners and High Handicappers Look Out for When Buying a Driver?
Golf may look like a straightforward sport from a naïve spectator’s perspective: You hit the ball with a club until it goes straight into a hole, and that’s it. But when you’re the one hitting the ball, making it shoot into a hole can become challenging as the typical golf course has various turfs and hazards that make the game more worth playing, not to mention the varying outdoor weather conditions that can affect your entire gameplay.
Choosing the right club to use during the game is also a huge factor to consider when playing golf. Most golfers adhere to a rule of thumb that when making your first stroke from the teeing ground, or taking a shot with a distance of at least 175 yards or more from the green where the hole is, you have to use a driver.
If you’re entirely new to golf or have been playing it for a while but unfortunately coming out as a high handicapper, a good driver can make you hit those opening and long-distance shots effortlessly. A burning question that you may ask though is what you should look for when buying a driver. To help you get the best out of a driver you’ll be using on the golf course, here are some things you should factor in when looking to buy a driver.
1. Head size
The United States Golf Association rules state that the maximum volume of a club head should not exceed 460 cubic centimeters (with a tolerance of 10 cubic centimeters).
- Most drivers that you can find in a sports shop nearest you have heads whose volumes range from 440 to 460 cubic centimeters.
- If you’re a beginner who’s looking to shape the golf ball more while it’s airborne, you can buy a driver with a head volume of 440 cubic centimeters.
- On the other hand, if you’re a high handicapper with a handicap greater than 20, you should stick to buying a driver with a head volume of precisely 460 cubic centimeters as it allows for more forgiveness.
2. Head shape
Just as important as the size of the driver’s head is its shape, which affects the ability to control the golf ball. A driver’s head comes in any of these four shapes:
- Extended back
3. Head material
Club heads have come a very long way from being made of wood as used in the first few documented golf matches throughout its entire history. Almost all drivers available in the market have heads made of either titanium or composite alloy.
- Most golf club manufacturers use titanium to increase the size of a club head without making it too heavy.
- A driver with a titanium head allows you to swing faster and cover more distance.
- Other golf club manufacturers mix titanium with either carbon or tungsten to create a composite club head.
4. Shaft material
Aside from the head, another significant component of a driver that you should check before buying is its shaft.
- Since you’re either a beginner or a high handicapper, the shaft of the driver you’ll be buying should be made of graphite.
- A driver with a graphite shaft covers more distance and has different flex options.
- You might want to steer clear of drivers with steel shafts for the time being as they’re heavier and cover less distance.
5. Shaft flex grade
A driver with a graphite shaft is flexible enough that it has different flex grades.
- Flex refers to the ability of the shaft to bend as a considerable amount of force is applied after you swing the driver.
- A simple way of illustrating flex involves waggling your driver a little to see how much its shaft bends.
- The flex grade of a driver’s shaft depends on the golfer’s swing speed and driving distance.
- Most beginners and high handicappers with a swing speed of 85 to 95 miles per hour who can cover a driving distance of 230 to 250 yards after hitting the golf ball go for a driver with a shaft labeled R (as in regular).
- If you’re a beginner or high handicapper who can cover a driving distance of 230 yards or less after hitting the golf ball, you should buy a driver with a shaft labeled either L (as in ladies) or A (as in amateur, though most commonly referred to as senior).
In its most basic definition, loft refers to the angle between the shaft and face of a club.
- The part of a club head referred to as the face is the side that comes into contact with the golf ball when you hit it with a club.
- The loft of a club has a significant impact on the trajectory and distance that the golf ball will cover after hitting it.
- A driver has a loft of 7 to 12 degrees by design.
- It is recommended for beginners and high handicappers to buy a driver with a loft of 10 to 12 degrees.
A Roundup of Three of the Most Popular Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2018
With a lot of drivers in the market right now, choosing the best one for beginners and high handicappers proves to be a challenge. For the purchasing process to be more straightforward on your end, three of the most popular drivers for beginners and high handicappers have been rounded up below and reviewed to help you decide which driver you should buy right away.
Cobra Fly Z Driver
Often credited as the originator of the hybrid golf club, Cobra Golf had also done well with putting out drivers, the most successful of which is their Fly Z Driver.
- The Fly Z Driver claims to deliver the ultimate blend of maximum distance and increased forgiveness.
- Cobra Golf had designed the Fly Z Driver with the majority of golf players in mind.
- Loft can be adjusted between 9 and 12 degrees.
- SmartPad technology.
- Both head and grip come in these colors: white, orange, black, blue, green, and red.
- While its degree range may look like it offers only four possible lofts, the Fly Z Driver comes equipped with MyFly8 technology that provides you with eight different lofts.
- The Fly Z Driver’s face doesn’t open up when you want to increase the loft, thanks to its patented SmartPad technology.
- If you’re a bit picky about the overall look of your driver, you can choose from any of the six available color options for both its head and grip.
- The Fly Z Driver’s head can feel a bit too big to make a good swing.
- Muted sound upon impact isn’t memorable at all.
Cleveland Golf Classic XL Driver
- Released in 2013, the Classic XL Driver is a slightly improved take on the Classic Driver put out a year before.
- The Classic XL Driver’s selling point is its face, which Cleveland Golf claims is the largest ever made.
- Largest and deepest face out of all other drivers currently available in the market.
- Lightweight grip.
- Comes with a head cover.
- The Classic XL Driver’s black and gold design gives off a classy, elegant look.
- A tangible effect of having the deepest face out of any other driver currently being sold is that it provides a larger effective hitting area that makes for a higher forgiveness.
- Several levels of customization but without any instructions on how to do so it can confuse beginners and high handicappers.
- The sound generated upon impact of the face with golf ball can get a bit harsh.
Callaway Big Bertha Driver
- The Callaway Golf Company’s very own flagship brand of drivers known as the Big Bertha became a game changer in the world of golf itself.
- The original run of the Big Bertha driver was launched in 1991 until it was temporarily put out of commission in 2007.
- In 2014, Callaway brought back the Big Bertha driver, albeit with a new design and some enhancements to make it more suitable for beginners and high handicappers.
- Loft can be adjusted between 8 and 11 degrees.
- 8% larger and 0.032 inches thinner titanium face for increased ball speed.
- Graphite shaft with a weight of fewer than 60 grams.
- The Big Bertha driver’s blue and white design combines both classic and modern looks.
- If most of your hits are off-center, the Big Bertha driver’s wide face can be very forgiving about it.
- A loud and firm sound is generated once the face hits the golf ball.
- The sheer amount of adjustability options that can be done with it may leave beginners and high handicappers baffled.
And the Best Driver for Beginners and High Handicappers Is…
It’s important to remember that every golfer has a unique set of skill-sets, attributes, and skill progression, which means their growth likely depends on how they get to explore these areas. The three drivers reviewed above are already some of the best for beginners and high handicappers in the market, but the Cobra Men’s Fly Z Driver definitely meets standards of what we consider the most highly-recommended driver for this category. The Cleveland Classic XL has proved a worthy competition for our top spot, but the Cobra Men’s Fly Z Driver and its patented SmartPad technology clearly outclasses the former in terms of maneuverability and better customization options. Beginners and high handicappers can greatly benefit from the Fly Z’s user-friendliness and relative ease of use, which proves yet again that Cobra Men still has that “wow” factor that impressed enthusiasts in the sport when it arrived with the first hybrid golf club.