Best Golf Drivers For Beginners 2024

We take a closer look at some of the best golf drivers for beginners that offer all-round performance and value

Best Golf Drivers For Beginners
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

When you are new to golf it can be a minefield when picking from the many drivers available on the market. You firstly need to work out what driver is going to be best for you, with different brands offering different models that can help with different aspects of the game, then there are different shafts available etc. So it really can be tough to know exactly what to look out for.

Ideally, a beginner golfer needs as much help as possible when it comes to hitting the ball off the tee, with one of the most forgiving drivers a good starting point for when you need to make a selection. The golf driver is probably one of the most fun clubs in the bag to use, but it is also one of the most difficult to master consistently. If you've borrowed a friend's or rented one at the driving range you'll know how much fun they are to hit when it goes right, but how frustrating it can be to strike well. 

This is just one of the many reasons that a beginner may need a driver that is best suited to them, specifically models that help them get the ball in the air easier, further, and straighter. This leads us to this guide in which we have tested a lot of models out there and collated the top models for beginners. We also recommend taking a look at our guides on the best high handicap drivers and the best golf drivers for distance.

WATCH: We run through the performance of the best drivers in 2024

The Quick List

Best Golf Drivers For Beginners

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Top pick

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

The looks of the Darkspeed Max are just like the rest of the Darkspeed family, and we think they all look great. The overall darker theme that Cobra has gone down, and this range looks beautiful with them basically being fully blacked out. The only color on the Max is the bit on the sole, and this driver looks amazing behind the ball. The Max has a less compact head than the other models, giving it a more confidence inspiring look at address. The Carbon crown looks nice with minimal logos giving it a more sophisticated look.

For the performance of this driver, we found it delivered very well in testing across the board. In testing, the ball speeds came in very strong with great carry distances. We expected this driver, when compared to the other models, to have higher spin rates and higher launch, and this is exactly what we found. This higher launch and spin rate though fits the demographic that Cobra is going for with this driver, but they have managed to do this without putting off the higher swing speed players. This driver has also been set up with a draw bias to help those that hit more of a slice and help correct that. Overall, this driver is a great option for beginners looking to improve their game off the tee.

Most accurate

Photo of Taylormade Qi10 Max Driver

(Image credit: Future)

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

A new addition for TaylorMade in 2024 is the Qi10 Max, which we were fortunate enough to get a full briefing on from TaylorMade themselves. They made it very apparent to us that this model is all about the 10K MOI and an increased overall forgiveness.

They were able to achieve this by stretching out the head shape to give it an 8mm longer profile from front to back. This then allows the CG to be moved deeper to a more MOI friendly position. When we tested this driver we could see these changes clear as day with great forgiveness coming from the Qi10 Max with some of the poor strikes made a lot better when looking at the data.

Even with these off center strikes, we found that the ball speeds stayed consistent, and the overall dispersion remained nice and tight. With the Max the spin was higher than other models, which was to be expected with the higher launching driver. Overall TaylorMade have really delivered a highly forgiving, and yet stable driver, which is great for beginners of the game.

Best for launch

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

Callaway did rather well with the release of the Paradym range, but they were not content and have now released the Paradym AI Smoke. The Max D is their high launch, high MOI driver for 2024 which is a draw bias model. 

One of the first things to notice compared to 2023 is the change of style, as Callaway have now gone for a gray finish with a smokey pattern. The Max D is set up with a bigger footprint to inspire confidence at address, the head is still 460cc but with it now being slightly stretched out, it really has a bigger look than that. This has allowed Callaway to create a driver with higher MOI, leading to more forgiveness.

As the name would suggest the overall build of the AI Smoke range has had an input from AI, which was used to create the face. Callaway took the swing data of 1000s of regular golfers and inputted into their AI system which then built up the perfect face for them to put in the driver. With the AI face, higher MOI and a draw bias weighting this high launching, very forgiving driver is perfect for those just taking up golf and looking for some help off the tee. 

Best value

PXG 0211 2022 Driver Review

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 9°, 10.5° & 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: Multiple
Left Handed Option: Yes, available in all lofts

Reasons to buy

+
Simple but attractive aesthetics
+
Improved acoustics and distance
+
Excellent value

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited adjustability

When it comes to PXG they are mainly linked to highly priced clubs but with the 0211 from 2022 this driver is more suitably priced. The 0211 is one of the best budget drivers on the market and appeals to many beginners because of this and the performance you get for that price too. 

When testing this driver, we were really impressed by the playability of this driver and the fact it was able to perform so similarly to the more expensive models on the market. We saw plenty of distance with this driver, however if offers more than enough control and forgiveness as well. It has a strong ball flight, but it remained stable, which is great for beginners in all conditions. 

Most forgiving

PING G430 SFT driver review

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Specifications

Lofts: 10.5°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: Ping Alta CB Black 55 (5 other options available at no upcharge)
Left Handed Option: Yes, in all available lofts

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

If you are a slicer of the ball then the G430 SFT from Ping is the driver for you. The SFT is the draw bias option in the G430 range with a moveable weight where you can choose draw or draw+ to increase the overall bias of the driver. This driver comes with a bias of 7 yards when you compare it to the Max in the range at neutral, so this driver will really help you straighten your shots out. 

The SFT model still gets all the other tech you see in the Max driver and they have also made it so that the driver sits flush behind the ball at address. We think this is better as with some draw bias drivers they toe the head in and this can look off putting to some.

When we tested this driver we could really notice the draw bias which is great, we found our dispersion to be left of center as you would want by a good few yards. We think this driver is perfect for a beginner as it allows you to swing more freely thanks to that square clubface while still straightening out the slice or giving you a draw. Not to mention it is arguably the most forgiving driver in this list as well.

Best for slicers

Wilson Launch Pad 2022 Driver Review

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 9°, 10.5° & 13°
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft: Project X Evenflow
Left Handed Option : No

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to flight
+
Excellent draw-bias performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Spun more than we'd want

Released back in 2022 the Wilson Launch Pad still is up there as a great driver for the slicer. This club has been created to be a game improvement driver, which is mainly in part to the design of the club face. With research, Wilson have found that the average golfers hit 68% of shots from the toe half of the face. They have now made the PKR face geometry, this is to make the striking area on the face 5% bigger when compared to their previous model. 

Should you be a player with a slower swing speed, then this driver would be great for you, as it has a lightweight head and shaft to help give you a bit more speed in your swing. When we tested this driver we found it hard to lose a ball out to the right, we also saw a good launch with this easy to hit driver, making it great for beginners and slicers. 

Best looking

Cleveland Launcher XL Driver outdoors

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 9°, 10.5° & 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft : Project X Cypher 50
Left Handed Option: Yes, in all available lofts

Reasons to buy

+
Very generous head size inspires confidence 
+
Modern, premium finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite high pitched through impact

The Launcher XL from Cleveland is more steered towards the mid to high handicappers, making it a great option for those just taking up the sport. With a larger head when set behind the ball it inspires great confidence and looks easy to hit. 

The length of the head has been increased by 6%, which, combined with the finish on the face and crown, really allows you to see the loft on the driver when at address. We found this driver performed well when we put it through its paces, we had solid carry distances even with a slower swing speed. The overall spin rate was increased for this driver, which is to promote a longer ball flight which in turn will increase carry distances. 

The overall price of the Launcher XL really undercuts the bigger brands, and pair that with a solid performance in testing, makes this a great option for those just starting out in golf. 

Best simple model

Inesis 900 Driver Review

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 10°
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft: UST Mamiya LIN-Q 6F3, 6F4, 6F5
Left Handed Option: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Simple, smart aesthetics
+
Strong ball flight
+
Impressively forgiving

Reasons to avoid

-
Feel is not as powerful as the premium drivers

Inesis brought out the more expensive model they have to offer the 900, but when compared to the more premium brands on the market it still offers great value. 

But when it comes to performance does this driver live up to the value? When we tested it we think that the 900 kept some kind of pace with the more premium models. Especially, when it comes to ball flight this was consistent no matter where on the face it was struck. If we did strike the ball off center the ball span up to help keep carry distances more consistent. 

When it comes to the look of this driver we think it looks very clean and comes with moveable weights which helps you to adjust this driver. The weights front and back of the head can be swapped around to help change the spin you input on the ball to help the driver suit your game better. The driver face is made from a bee's nest structural design which helps to improve the trampoline effect which you could notice when we were testing it. All in all this driver is a great option for a new golfer or someone that is looking for an effective driver without breaking the bank. 

Best for distance

Tour Edge C522 Driver Review

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications

Lofts: 10.5°, 12° & 15°
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki 45-55
Left Handed Option: No

Reasons to buy

+
Long and forgiving
+
Exceptional value at its price point

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited stock shaft options

When testing the Tour Edge C522 we were very surprised, nicely, by how this driver performed. Firstly, this driver is set at a very good price, but it has not suffered in performance. When we tested this driver the main thing we saw was just how forgiving this driver really is, when we had off center hits, the strong ball flight and carry was very solid. 

We also thought that this driver looked great when behind the ball, and the overall footprint of the driver head inspired confidence. The overall aesthetics give off a premium look, which at the price point it is was surprising to us. One thing we did notice was the overall noise off the face was loud, not in an off-putting way but a more explosive, powerful sound. 

One thing you should bear in mind when buying this driver is the lack of adjustability, it is a fixed head and there are no adjustable weights. This means should you outgrow the driver you cannot adjust it with your game you will need to upgrade. However, at such a good price this isn't the end of the world and is a great starter driver to help you improve before moving to a more premium driver. 

How we test for the best golf drivers

All our product testing whether for reviews or buying guides is done by a team that is packed with knowledge and experience. With our testing we can build up our content help you the consumer to make a more informed decision when it comes to picking your next driver. All our testers are passionate when it comes to golf and come from a variety of backgrounds, whether they are ex pros or high handicappers, they all bring a different knowledge and understanding when it comes to golf. 

With our driver testing, we are lucky enough to get invited to product launches and discussions with the manufacturers. It is with this initial research we can start to build an understanding of the drivers we are testing. After this, we get hold of the gear and get to testing out, first indoors using premium balls and launch monitors to get valuable data. This allows us to compare data on the day to see where these clubs stack up against each other.

We then move on to the all-important outdoor testing, this could be on the range, or the course. Which ever it is, it is important to get these drivers out into the elements and get some real-world feedback on how they react on the course and when in real conditions. 

How to choose a new driver

When it comes to investing in a driver there are a few things to take into consideration, especially at the beginner level, where you want something to help your game. With the questions answered below, we hope we can make sure you go into purchasing a new driver making an informed decision that will benefit you long term as well as short term.

You need to ask yourself why do you need to upgrade or get this driver specifically. Are you looking for more distance, something to correct a slice, or something that could find more fairways? One thing we would recommend is getting a fitting from a trained fitter, however, if you know what you need and you are informed enough then you should be fine. 

As you are likely a beginner or shopping for a beginner, hence why you are reading this, then we would advise going for something forgiving. Some drivers that tend to be long-distance drivers can be unforgiving a detrimental on off-center strikes. We have a guide on the most forgiving drivers that will help you if you are stuck for ideas.

FAQs

How do I choose a golf driver?

There are a lot of factors that will influence your decision, such as looks, feel and your swing. If you swing it slow, then a more flexible shaft will work but, if you swing fast, then a stiffer shaft will suit. Also, you may need a driver with more loft or adjustability so, overall, it's crucial that you get fitted for your driver.

What is the best driver for a beginner?

Obviously this will vary but, if you are starting out fresh with the game of golf, then we would say a driver that provides forgiveness in the face is needed. Ideally, the driver will have a large head and face which will also inspire confidence at address. 

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