On the lookout for a new driver? Here, we examine the best golf drivers for mid handicappers
Best Golf Drivers For Mid Handicappers
There’s nothing more exciting than getting a new driver – they’re the glamour purchases that help us hit it longer and straighter.
If you’re a mid-handicap player, the chances are you’re going to benefit from a more forgiving driver; not necessarily a game-improver, but one that gives you a little more margin for error.
Right now we’re seeing a slight shift away from complicated adjustability on the sole to more models within the range.
It’s a crowded market, but hopefully this guide will to help narrow down the search for the mid handicap golfers out there – those golfers with a handicap somewhere in the low to mid teens, although that’s not to say they won’t appeal to some single figure players.
Best Golf Drivers for Mid Handicappers
Ping G425 Max Driver
+ Increased forgiveness and accuracy over G410
+ Better fitting options across three models
– No obvious gains in distance over G410 on centred hits.
To achieve the new performance levels in the G425 Max, Ping has implemented a new 26-gram tungsten movable weight called a CG Shifter, which is made possible by weight savings from advancements in the driver’s dragonfly crown design.
The weight can be secured in one of three settings – neutral, draw or fade – to influence forgiveness and shot shape. The average MOI increase is 14 per cent across the three weight positions compared to the G410 Plus.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max Driver
+ Easy to align
+ Larger face increases margin for error
– No moveable sole weight
The best TaylorMade drivers can compete with any model in terms of forgiveness and the new SIM2 Max is no exception.
The SIM2 Max has a 24g back weight for even more forgiveness and a five per cent larger face than the SIM Max. We found it to be noticeably straight and consistent on slight mishits, helping us find more fairways than the SIM2 driver. It also launches the ball higher with a touch more spin, which for slower swingers should increase carry distance.
Titleist TSi2 Driver
+ Excellent off-centre forgiveness
+ Suitable for a wide range of player types
– No moveable weight on the sole
Titleist also offers the option of the TSi2 driver, which we found to launch a little higher and give us a straighter, more stable ball flight – especially on off-centre hits.
If you aren’t fussed about having moveable weight and want a higher ball flight but still with low spin, it could be a good driver to explore further – especially if you already know your spec.
Callaway Epic Max LS Driver
+ Surprisingly high off-centre forgiveness
+ Large profile inspires confidence at address
– Low spin won’t suit everyone
The Epic Max LS is the better player model within the new driver range offering with low spin but higher MOI than the Mavrik Sub Zero. It is also the most fade capable thanks to the 13g sliding weight providing 14 yards of shot shape correction.
We found this driver to be the longest and most playable of the three models with the sliding weight allowing us to fine-tune shot shape, so is certainly one to consider if you’re thinking about an upgrade in 2021.
Cobra Radspeed XB Driver
+ Cobra Connect can track performance
+ Excellent value for money
– Limited gains over previous model
The Radspeed XB (Xtreme Back) is for players who want distance through consistency across the face in the form forgiveness and stability. It features an oversized address profile and 20g of weight positioned in the back (14g fixed and a 6g interchangeable weight) and 8g of fixed weight in the front, making it arguably Cobra’s most forgiving driver to date.
It’s arguably the best of the three drivers in the range because of how forgiving it manages to be while still offering relatively low spin. Not everyone will enjoy the glossy finish on the crown, but in terms of all round playability at a reasonable price the Radspeed XB is hard to beat.
Mizuno ST-Z Driver
+ Very good value for money
+ Better differentiation between the models
– No moveable weight
The Mizuno ST-Z driver, which is already in the bag of staff player Keith Mitchell, has been designed to be ultra-stable but still offer low spin. It has a balanced toe/heel carbon composite construction with deep central 11g back weight for a spin efficient, straight-line ball flights.
It has a wide, low footprint, with a neutral visual lie angle and comes with four degrees of Quick Switch adjustability to fine-tune look and trajectory.
It offers a more compact profile, a slightly deeper back portion and more upright visual lie angle and boasts the same Quick Switch adjustability.
Those with mid-lower swing speeds will benefit from the J-Spec (Japan Specification), incorporating a lightweight 39g MFUSION graphite shaft and lighter 4g sole weight.
Honma T//World GS Driver
+ Stunning looks from every angle
+ Noticeably forgiving on off-centre hits
This draw-biased option features a crank-shaped slot on the sole to maintain fast ball speeds across the face and reduce loss of distance on off-centre strikes.
The variable thickness of the face helps to reduce spin on strikes low and out of the toe, both of which are common amongst mid and high handicap players.
The Non-Rotating System in the hosel promotes consistency of strike and flight by ensuring the spine of the shaft remains in the six o’clock position when loft and lie are adjusted.
Yonex Ezone Elite 3.0
+ Solid, powerful feel off the face
+ Wide-ranging adjustability
– Not the easiest to align
Yonex is a brand that sneaks under the radar but makes some impressive kit, especially in its graphite shafts for the mid handicapper and slower swinger. This new range looks great and forgiveness levels look to have been taken up a notch too.
The new Ezone Elite 3.0 driver uses In-Core Groove technology which is designed to improve the flex of the face, crown and sole of the golf club, creating faster ball speeds across the face with lower spin rates.
Updated Octoforce technology in the driver removes weight from the crown and upper face of the driver, lowering the centre of gravity to promote a high, forgiving launch and maximum carry for mid-handicap golfers.
Srixon ZX5 Driver
+ Solid, explosive feel
+ Pleasing sound at impact
– Not the easiest to align
The ZX drivers were designed to help generate more speed and distance thanks to the brand’s new Rebound Frame Technology.
It works by layering alternating zones of flexibility and stiffness that work in tandem to focus more energy into the ball at impact for more distance.
Meanwhile, a strong but lightweight carbon crown repositions mass low, deep, and around the perimeter, increasing MOI and forgiveness on every drive.
Mid handicap golfers are more likely to lean towards using the ZX5 than the ZX7 because of its larger footprint, plus it features a single weight placed low and deep to help make it ideal for straight drives that launch high and carry far.
Wilson Staff D9 Driver
+ Satisfying impact sound
+ Ample off-centre forgiveness
– Limited shaft options
The design of the D9 driver comes from computer modelling software used to simulate hundreds of different club head variations to find the most effective design.
It also features a three-layer composite crown which helps deal with vibration and reduce the weight of the club.
A 10-gram sole weight comes as standard or a super-lightweight 3-gram weight giving the player the option of adjusting and fine-tuning the moment of inertia and forgiveness on offer.
Ben Hogan GS53 Driver
+ Superb value for money
+ Classic looks
– Not as premium as others on this list
The Ben Hogan GS53 driver is a traditional and classic-looking model that sets up beautifully behind the ball – and it delivers a solid strike.
The clubhead is made using two separate pieces of titanium to optimise both distance and forgiveness.
Engineers also used a design feature called Face Flex to maximise response at impact, which helps with off-centre strikes – something plenty of mid handicap golfers will appreciate.
Meanwhile, an easy-to-use adjustable hosel allows users to alter loft, lie and face angle.
It may lack the premium looks compared to some models, but for those on a strict budget, this driver doesn’t come with a hefty price tag.
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PXG 0211 Driver
+ Improved consistency of ball speeds
+ More affordable price point
– Looks at address may put off some golfers
The PXG 0211 driver is said to be designed for all player types thanks to a new head construction optimised for both distance and forgiveness.
You’ll notice the hybrid crown design with a carbon fibre centre section surrounded by a titanium skeleton to prevent energy loss while optimising the CG to enhance ball speeds.
A special Ti412 face material is both strong and flexible, increasing face deflection. There’s also a Honeycomb TPU Insert located low and back in the head that improves forgiveness, sound and feel assisted by the railed sole geometry.
A 10g weight comes as standard but there are lots of options from 2.5g up to 20g to fine tune head weight and launch conditions via a fitting.