Best Golf Clubs For High Handicappers 2024

Our look at the best golf clubs for high handicappers worth considering this season

Best Golf Clubs For High Handicappers
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Best Golf Clubs For High Handicappers

In case you didn't already know, you're spoilt for choice, particularly as a high handicap golfer, when it comes to some of the excellent golf clubs that are currently on the market. That's because golf club technology has grown leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, meaning there are a ton of excellent golf clubs out there that will help you improve as a golfer. Typically, the best golf clubs for high handicappers are more forgiving, which means mis-hits aren't so severely punished. 

So, no matter what club you're hitting, there's a little more margin for error, something less experienced golfers need, given that their strike pattern isn't usually so consistent. If you've ever played with one of the best blade irons you'll know these clubs are very hard to hit consistently in comparison to many of the clubs we'll be highlighting below. With the drivers and fairways, slice-correcting technology is often at the heart of the clubs' design, which is really helpful for those high handicappers who tend to suffer with a left-to-right shot shape.

Putters and wedges tend to be a little more chunky, helping to alleviate miss-hits around the greens and allow players to be more accurate and clinical when looking to hole out. Acknowledging all of this, we put together a list of some of the best golf clubs we feel high handicap golfers will benefit from. We've also got a few club-specific guides if you'd like to take a more in-depth look at some of the top models on offer, including the best high handicap drivers, the best fairway woods for high handicappers, and the most forgiving irons.

The Quick List

Best Golf Clubs For High Handicappers

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Drivers

Photo of the Cobra Darkspeed Max Driver

(Image credit: Future)
One of the best draw-bias drivers we have tested

Specifications

Lofts: 9°, 10.5° and 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: 2 Options (Project X HZRDUS Red CB, UST LIN-Q M40X Red 5)
Left Handed Option: Yes in 10.5° and 12°(Custom Only) Not in 9°

Reasons to buy

+
Seriously difficult to slice
+
Exceptional looks
+
Strong ball speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Head shape not as refined as the other two models in the range

In terms of looks, along with the rest of the Darkspeed family, the draw-biased Max is straight out of the top drawer. Taking the “dark” theme to the extreme, Cobra has almost entirely done away with any color here. Down behind the ball the Darkspeed Max delivers again. Whilst the head shape isn’t quite as refined as its siblings, the Darkspeed LS and the Darkspeed X, the carbon effect crown and minimalist Cobra logo give a very sophisticated look.

With regard to performance, the Darkspeed Max delivered strong results for me across the board. We tested the Darkspeed Max both on the golf course and indoors, using Trackman 4 launch monitor and Titleist Pro V1x golf balls.

Ball speed was strong, producing some very pleasing carry distances. Launch and spin were predictably a little higher than the other two drivers in the Darkspeed family but far from excessive. Cobra has really struck a great balance here of adding some spin and launch to help the intended market for this type of driver, but not too much so as to alienate higher speed players that might be entertaining a draw bias option.

PING G430 SFT driver resting on the fairway showing off its charcoal clubhead and the green and white detailing on that head

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
An all-around winner that offers excellent forgiveness

Specifications

Lofts: 10.5°
Adjustable hosel: Yes
Stock shaft: Ping Alta CB Black 55 (5 other options available)
Left handed option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Very broad appeal
+
Head sits fairly square at address
+
Surprisingly long

Reasons to avoid

-
Some fighting a slice may prefer more of a closed look at address

Ping are without a doubt one of the best manufacturers when it comes to producing high-quality golf clubs. You only have to look at our lists on the best Ping putters and best Ping drivers to see the pedigree products that this brand produce. In fact, Ping produce some of the most playable clubs on the market, evidenced by their new G430 range, with the SFT the most forgiving in the trio of new clubs released to the market, G430 Max and G430 LST. In this model, the brand promise a forgiving and easy to play club, and having taken it out for a spin, we certainly feel it lives up to that. 

Most high-handicap players will suffer from the dreaded slice and Ping have gone to great lengths in this club to add a lot of draw-bias. The brand promises extra distance here too, which is achieved through a shallower face that is six percent thinner than the face on its predecessor, the G425. One thing we really liked here though was the variable thickness on the clubface, which delivers more flexing and allowed for greater ball speed on shots struck across the entire clubface. We really enjoyed this level of playability out on the course and think less experienced players will really benefit from this feature. 

Within our testing, we found it to be the highest spinning model of the range, something which will benefit slow swing speeds as it keeps it airborne and travelling straighter for longer. Certainly it is one of the best drivers for slicers anywhere on the market, but looks-wise it oozes a premium image that puts it on par with some of the best golf drivers on the market.

Photo of the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D Driver

(Image credit: Future)
One of the most user-friendly models we have tested

Specifications

Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: 2 options (MCA Tensei Blue, Project X Cypher)
Left Handed Option: Yes - in all available lofts

Reasons to buy

+
New color looks great
+
Incredibly easy to launch
+
Sound and feel is superb

Reasons to avoid

-
Mainly only aesthetic improvements from predecessor

The Max D in the latest Ai Smoke range from Callaway is most comparable with the Paradym X from last year with its high MOI and slight draw bias, but there are some clear alterations the brand has made to improve the head. 

Starting with the looks, the grey finish and cool, pattern design on the sole aids shelf appeal a lot in our opinion. The head is also extremely confidence-inspiring with a very large overall footprint which Callaway has achieved by stretching it outwards in all the right places. This presents a genuinely larger looking head than the 460cc it actually is, and the stretching backwards has allowed Callaway to increase the MOI in the quest for stability.

The Ai technology continues here and along with the stretching of the club head, a rear weight has also been strategically placed to further increase MOI and create a draw bias. What were the results of this in testing? Well the forgiveness of this model is off-the-charts good. Rarely have we found a driver so extremely easy to get off the ground. 

For the right category of player, we think this could be an absolute game-changer. One of the most user-friendly drivers we have ever picked up, if you struggle with launch and spin then this is a must try. 

Photo of Taylormade Qi10 Max Driver

(Image credit: Future)
A stunning driver with launch and stability at its core

Specifications

Lofts: 9.0°, 10.5°, 12.0°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: 2 options (Fujikura Speeder NX TCS 50 & Mitsubishi Diamana T+ 60)
Left Handed Option: Yes - 9.0°, 10.5°, 12.0°

Reasons to buy

+
Massively stable at impact
+
Very easy to launch
+
New head shape is excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as draw biased as some in this category

Having been fortunate enough to receive a full product briefing by the TaylorMade team, it's very apparent that the Qi10 Max is very much the hero product of this particular family, so much so, the whole series was named after this model. The quest for 10K MOI was what the TaylorMade engineers set out to do, hence the ‘Q’ for quest, the ‘i’ for inertia and the ‘10’ for 10k, giving us the Qi10.

Stretching out the head shape to create an 8mm longer profile from the front to the back has allowed the CG to be moved deeper and into a more MOI friendly location. In testing, this was certainly the case, as the Qi10 Max is astonishingly forgiving. Some of the poorer strikes our tester administered to the ball were hugely flattered by the high MOI of the driver. 

What's more, the ball speed remained pretty constant no matter where the ball was struck on the face and dispersion was pleasingly tight both from a length and directional perspective. It's worth noting that the spin was on the slightly high side, but the whole point of this driver is to get the ball airborne. Overall, we think the Qi10 Max justifies its position as the hero product of this range, with it delivering incredible levels of forgiveness and stability without compromising speed.

Fairways

Ping G430 MAX Fairway Wood held aloft on the golf course showing off its green and white detailling

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
Stunning aesthetics and excellent playability

Specifications

Lofts: 15°, 18°, 21°, 24°
Adjustable hosel: Yes
Stock shaft: Ping Tour 2.0 Chrome
Left handed option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional forgiveness
+
Versatile from different lies
+
Consistently fast ball speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the easiest to flight low into the wind

An upgrade on the impressive G425 fairway wood, the G430 Max offers new visuals, enhanced feel and several new features that aim to make this a more reliable golf club. The first thing to note is Ping have implemented a stunning carbon matte finish on this club, implementing a new Carbonfly Wrap that is designed to save 10g of weight and lower the club's center of gravity. The new carbon finish also helps to reduce spin and increase ball speeds coming off the face. It gives the club a very premium look and that is combined with the fantastic green and white detailing on the sole of this club which adds to its smart look. 

The Max also comes in a variety of lofts, ranging from a 3-wood all the way to a 9-wood, which means there's a lot of versatility on offer depending on the type of club you're looking to add to your bag. Combine that with Ping's Facewrap Technology, which is designed to provide a stable connection between sole and crown, as well as allow for more consistent ball speeds regardless of strike location, and you have a club which will appeal to a broad range of players.

During testing, thinly-struck shots popped up and flew just shy of a desired ball flight, a great sign that this club offers bags of forgiveness. On centered strikes, the G430 packed a lot of power, and we were very impressed with the distances we were getting both on the range and on the course. Ultimately, this is a very impressive club that combines a fantastic aesthetic with even better performance attributes, to produce what is one of the most forgiving fairway woods on the market.

A golfer swings the Titleist TSR2 Fairway Wood on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)
Easy to launch and aesthetically pleasing

Specifications

Lofts: 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°
Adjustable hosel: Yes
Stock shaft: Tensei Blue 65
Left handed option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Aspirational aesthetic that is compact yet confidence-inspiring
+
Easy to launch
+
Impressive distance

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a huge upgrade over the previous generation

The Titleist TSR2 strikes the balance between the TSR3 and TRS2+, with it providing a mixture of distance and forgiveness. Featuring Titleist's plain and simple aesthetics, the fairway wood now has white groove lines that span the whole width of the face. You might think this is a small, and fairly inconsequential detail, but for us it worked to highlight the loft on offer and keep the face open at address. That was a really handy addition, helping to instil a lot of confidence in the player that you don't need to swing at a million miles an hour to get the ball up and away. 

The TSR2 has a slightly lower pitched impact sound that we really enjoyed. It offers up quite a satisfying 'crack' through each shot and is right up there as one of the best fairway woods for feel on the market. On testing, we found this model is very easy to launch and offers a lot of carry distance. The consistency of ball flight was also noticeable with this club producing very reliable and repeatable flights. It is another top-performing model that a wide range of golfers could benefit from using. The simple, sleek aesthetics and solid feel through impact, also make this one of the most aspirational models on the market.

Srixon ZX Mk II Fairway showing its very sleek sole plate

(Image credit: Future)
Fast ball speed and sleek looks combined

Specifications

Lofts: 13.5º, 15º, 18º, 21º
Adjustable hosel: No
Stock shaft: Project X Cypher 40
Left handed option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile sole sits well at address
+
Generous sized head improves forgiveness

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks of step in crown may not be for all

An excellent fairway wood if you're looking for something that is easy to hit from a variety of lies, the Srixon ZX Mk II is a fantastic club that will appeal to a range of golfers. It is an upgrade on the previous Srixon ZX fairway and boasts a new Cannon Sole that shifts the weight more towards the front of the club to improve the center of gravity and the forgiveness on offer. Combine this in your bag with a set of the excellent Srixon ZX7 Mk II or ZX5 Mk II irons (or even a selection of both... if you're feelling adventurous) and you'll have a pretty excellent, easy to use suite of clubs. 

Let's focus a little more on the aesthetics on offer here, and during testing we were pretty excited to see how big the clubhead came up behind the golf ball. Its matte black finish is a nice touch, that is combined with some cool white detailing that shows off the curves of the club very subtly. That combined made it feel like this club inspired a lot of confidence when you're stood behind the ball. This certainly appeals to those looking for more forgiveness in their fairway wood game, but there's more! The Mk II comes with several contours on its sole plate, which have been redesigned to center the weight and work with the club's higher trailing edge to create a squarer face angle at impact. That helps to generate straighter ball flights and get the ball up from difficult lies on the course. 

On testing, we really enjoyed the forgiveness and speed the face offered. That is down to a Rebound Frame and Dual Flex Zones that are found on the face of the clubm, which help to promote faster ball speeds off the face of the club. We loved the yardages and stability the club offered on the course. In our view, we think inconsistent golfers will really benefit from the consistency this club offers, delivering great accuracy to attack greens on longer par fours and par fives, with this being one of the best fairway woods for high handicappers.

Hybrids

Callaway Apex UW

(Image credit: Matthew Moore)
A very playable golf club

Specifications

Lofts: 17º, 19º, 21º
Adjustable hosel: No
Stock shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX
Left handed option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Can do the job of a higher lofted fairway wood and a strong hybrid
+
Longer than a five wood, easier to hit than a 2-iron or utility iron

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks are plain for such a high-tech club

This model featured in our Editors Choice Awards and it's hard to see it falling out of favor any time soon! Callaway has regularly sought to think outside the box when it comes to golf club design and the latest attempt is the Apex UW (Utility Wood) - a club that looks and flies like a fairway wood but offers the versatility and precision of the best hybrids. Visually, this is a stunning golf club that comes with a sleek design and black carbon fiber detailing that make it one of the most aesthetically pleasing fairway woods on the market right now. 

The forged face, made from C300 Maraging Steel, was a pleasure to hit and the feel is responsive and energetic. The Jailbreak A.I blades provide vertical stiffness near the sole, which helped keep ball speed up when hitting a touch low on the face. When inconsistency of strike is a common issue for higher handicap players, this technology helps a lot and we really enjoyed the usability this offered.

On testing, it was exceptionally long, around 25 yards past similarly struck shots with other leading brand hybrids tested the same round. Additionally it seemed to perform very well in the wind as well with performance more akin to a fairway wood than a hybrid. The forged face, made from C300 Maraging Steel, was a pleasure to hit and the feel is responsive and energetic. The Jailbreak A.I blades provide vertical stiffness near the sole, which helps keep ball speed up when a player hits it too low in the face, a common problem with hybrids and fairway woods.

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Hybrid Review held aloft to show its blue speed pocket

(Image credit: Future)
Fantastic from tighter lies thanks to its club face technology

Specifications

Lofts: 16º, 19º, 22º, 25º
Adjustable hosel: Yes
Stock shaft: Aldila Ascent Ultralite 50
Left handed option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Very consistent speed and spin
+
Extremely versatile
+
Classic sleek looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Long blade length may not suit everyone's eye

Another forgiving and versatile club that we really enjoyed testing, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 hybrids deliver a playable and versatile feel off the tee and the ground. Akin to some of the best Mizuno golf irons, this is a fantastic hybrid are fantastic too, with Mizuno opting for a gloss black crown here which looks very compact at address but comes with a very long-looking face that looks great when squared up to the golf ball.

It also comes with a Cortech Chamber inside the clubhead that has been given an icy blue look on the sole of the club. That moves the weight closer to the face of the club and lowers the center of gravity to help control the launch and spin of the ball, making it an excellent club if you're looking to produce longer and more consistent ball flights that most importantly, travel straight. 

The sweet spot of the club has also been lowered, making the club even easier to hit, especially when playing off tighter lies on the fairway. That also meant that the ST-Z 230 performed incredibly well out of the rough with the ball launching high and sitting up softly on greens. The club produced excellent ball speeds of 144mph and a carry distance of 226 years which are great numbers for any kind of hybrid. While this is a very good looking hybrid, why not twin it up with one of the excellent Mizuno golf bags found on our guide to the best golf stand bags.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Hybrid Review

(Image credit: Future)
A stunning hybrid that offers outstanding performance

Specifications

Lofts: 18º, 21º, 24º, 27º
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shafts: 1 option (Project X Cypher)
Left Handed Options: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Produces a strong, powerful ball flight
+
Modern, compact looking head
+
Glided through rough exceptionally well

Reasons to avoid

-
The matte black crown won’t suit everyone

When last year's Paradym hybrid was launched, we were instantly impressed with the performance on offer so we expected big things from the Paradym Ai Smoke models like the standard head above.

Starting with the aesthetics Callaway has moved away from the gloss black crown and has returned to the matte black crown that we saw on the Rogue ST hybrids. The head profile itself has been designed a little larger to inspire confidence and provide the user friendliness to compete with the most forgiving hybrids. No crushed carbon as seen on the likes of the Ai Smoke driver and fairway, but instead there is a steel finish to the sole. 

The club sat flush to the turf and even glided through the first cut of rough spectacularly when called upon. But the club really separated itself from the previous years model when it came to forgiveness though. We struck countless shots when testing both out the heel and the toe and saw remarkably consistent ball flights and spin patterns when doing so. This is testament to the new Ai Smart Face implemented into the whole Ai Smoke family.

Irons

The Wilson Dynapower iron showing off their grey and red colorway on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)
One of the longest irons worth trying right now