This article was originally published by nationalclubgolfer.com
The 2023 season is here, which means there’s a whole host of new drivers out, but with so many iterations and models, which models are the best for beginners?
We’ve hit them in the sun, in the rain, abroad, at home, in the heat, in the snow, on the course and in a simulator room with TaylorMade TP5 golf balls using TrackMan to create honest reviews you can actually trust.
We’ve taken a deep dive into the data and the new technology to provide you with a list of the best drivers for beginners 2023 that you should consider if you’re a beginner golfer starting out in the game and want a mixture of forgiveness, distance and control.
On top of that, we’ll also be discussing the best budget golf drivers for beginners to make sure new golfers are getting the best deals possible.
With that in mind, let’s dig in to find out what the best beginner driver for golf is, shall we?
Best golf drivers for Beginners 2023
Callaway Paradym X Driver
As with the rest of the Paradym range, this is a great-looking driver. At address, the club head is more elongated than the rest of the family. This is to allow Callaway to get more weight low and back, so this club is easier to launch and is more forgiving.
Callaway has really changed how their drivers look in address position compared to last year’s Rogue ST. The first big change is that the crown now has a gloss finish. I love this change and think a dark glossy crown looks great behind the golf ball. The shaping is much more compact which I massively prefer, and I also like the new matt alignment feature on the front of the crown.
I loved how easy-to-hit this model felt, and I think this would really suit mid to high-handicap golfers, but personally, for my game, it launched too high and spun too much to put in play. I do think this could be dialed in with a proper custom fitting, though.
- Great dispersion
- Very consistent carry distances
- A forgiving driver on off-center strikes
- Ball flight may be too high for some
Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Stock shafts: MCA Aldila Ascent PL Blue, Project X Hzrdus Silver
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 or WMS Lamkin ST Soft Undersized
Cobra Aerojet Max Driver
The crown is much simpler than the sole and I think this sits great behind the golf ball. I love the classic gloss finish but with the Cobra touches of colors swirls at the back of the head and a solid black alignment visual at the front.
Straight away, it was clear just how much more draw bias this was than the Aerojet or the Aerojet LS models. I didn’t have one ball finish to the right of the target line which is perfect for players who lose the ball to the right and want to straighten out their ball flight.
Overall this is another great driver from Cobra, and undoubtedly one of the best drivers for golf beginners. It is seriously worth checking out if you are fed up with missing the fairway to the right and also if you want something easy to hit high and need a driver that spins more.
- Great distance
- Will suit lots of golfers
- Very draw bias
- One of the best drivers for beginners in golf
- Some players may spin too much
Lofts: 9°, 10.5° & 12°
Stock shafts: MCA Kai’li Blue 60, UST Helium Nanocore
Grip: Lamkin Crossline
Wilson Dynapwr Driver
Straight away, the shaping is very different; it’s now much more pear-shaped than before and looks solid behind the ball. The red detailing is subtle but frames the head nicely. The head feels quite light in the swing, which encourages you to swing hard, which I really like.
On average, I carried this 262.4 yards, with my longest at 271. This is exceedingly long as I tested this club on a frosty morning at 29 degrees, so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of distance and speed.
The 156.4 mph average ball speed is pretty good, with my fastest at 162.6 mph probably one of the fastest ball speeds I’ve seen on test this year, so huge props to Wilson for that.
We can thank artificial intelligence for this impressive speed. Wilson, like many other brands this year, has enlisted the help of computers and A.I. to run thousands of calculations to produce a club face with variable thickness to maximize ball and clubhead speeds.
Forgiveness is a huge factor when it comes to picking the right driver, and this has to be one of the most forgiving out available at the moment. It is also incredibly adjustable, which we didn’t see in last year’s driver, but this is a huge win for golfers who can now really customize their shot shape.
- Smaller, more classic shape
- One of the most forgiving drivers on the market
- Will suit slower swing speeds
- Non-centered center of gravity won’t suit players who hook the ball
Lofts: 9˚, 10.5˚, 13˚
Featured shafts: Fujkura Ventus Blue & Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX
Grips: Lamkin Crossline 360
Ping G430 Max driver
Initial shots felt like they were going further from the same club head speed, which is always a good sign. My average carry distance was 233.4 yards, which is the distance I would want to see from my driver, and my longest shots were getting out at just under 240 yards.
Clearly, the most consistent thing about this data though is the dispersion. Both the front-to-back and left-to-right dispersion is ridiculously small. I’m honestly not even really sure how I generated such consistent data.
In terms of ease of use, this felt exceptionally easy to launch and get down the fairway even with the 9° club head I tested.
Spinsistency is a huge story in this range and it was really interesting looking at the consistency of the data here. The spin rate only varied by 350 rpm across all my shots which is very consistent.
- Excellent carry distances
- Really consistent data
- Forgiving on off-center strikes
- Bigger club head than some other brands
Right-handed lofts: 8°, 9°, 10°, 11°
Ping stock shafts: ALTA CB BLACK 55 / 65 / 70, PING TOUR 2.0 CHROME 65 / 75 / 85, PING TOUR 2.0 BLACK 65 / 75, ALTA QUICK 35 / 45
Optional shafts (no upcharge): PROJECT X HZRDUS SMOKE RED RDX 50/60/70, MITSUBISHI KAI’LI WHITE 60/70,
Cleveland Launcher XL Driver
I really like this driver. As a fan of an underdog and a huge proponent of keeping the price of playing golf down, I am always hopeful that less expensive drivers made by someone other than one of the big brands will perform well. The Cleveland Launcher XL did not let me down.
The Launcher XL driver has a couple of features that result in high long drives. The first is 2 rebound frames that flex on impact which gives more ball speed. The other is that because the head is so big, they can move the center of gravity lower and deeper to give high launch angles and low spin.
I also must talk about how forgiving the Cleveland Launcher XL driver is. Those recorded shots in my Flightscope were certainly not all out of the center of the face and there really wasn’t much drop-off in distance. This forgiveness is probably down to the size of the head and the massive MOI it provides.
This driver is a great performer and should be tested by all golfers looking for more yards and increased forgiveness. Its low price is a draw but it’s not what you will end up buying it for!
- Huge sweet spot
- impressively long
- Great adjustability
- The elongated head could be off-putting if you’re used to something more traditionally shaped
Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Shafts: Project X Cypher 50 Shaft – A, R, S
Best Golf Drivers For Beginners: FAQs
How do we test drivers?
Each driver is hit with TP5 golf balls to allow us to collect launch monitor data with our in-house TrackMan and Flightscope. After this, it is time to head out onto the golf course and test the clubs in practice and competition play.
What is important when buying a new driver?
When buying a new driver it is important to know what you want from that club to help you improve.
Most people are looking for more distance and increased ball speeds, each driver model is optimized for different things. Depending on your swing and your impact conditions, you may not actually hit the model that is advertised as the longest, the furthest. So if you want more distance it is always worth giving different models a hit before you make a decision.
For most golfers, especially high handicappers, something that is more forgiving is going to yield the best performance. Most forgiving golf drivers have a slightly bigger club head with perimeter weighting for high MOI. They also have a center of gravity that is further back to help players get more height on their shots.
Do you want something that is draw bias? There are so many models out there to help with slice correction, it would be silly not to take a look if you see your ball disappearing into the right trees too often. Modern drivers have adjustable hosels that allow you to close the dace and moveable draw bias weighting can get you hitting straighter shots in no time at all.
Don’t forget about the shaft either. Getting the correct graphite shaft can help dial in your spin, and launch angle and can also give you some extra distance. Having a club fitting or trying different options with your local pro can really improve the performance of your new driver.
How To Use A Golf Driver
Driving the ball well is one of the most difficult skills in golf to master, but it’s a vital ingredient to improving your golf and being a good player. After the basics of tee the ball up high enough, widening your stance, and moving the ball forward in your stance, how do you go about improving?
Check out this video where Equipment Editor Hannah Holden and PGA Professional Jack Backhouse go through some drills you can do to start getting better.