Best Budget Golf Drivers 2024

Buying one of the best budget golf drivers doesn't mean you'll lose out on performance

Best Budget Golf Drivers
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

It's no secret that buying a new driver has become even more expensive over the past decade or so. As manufacturers have started to invest more into new technology, new materials and all-out marketing strategies, golfers have seen the average price of the best golf drivers begin to reach the heights of $600. For some golfers, this investment is well worth it as the new technology allows them to get the best out of their long game on course. It must also be said, that recent testing of the best new drivers has shown increases in performance every three or four years.

For others, however, these higher prices are too much money to invest in one club in the bag. However, having a driver that works well for your swing is essential to playing your best golf, so an investment needs to be made somewhere. That's why we've come up with this list of the best budget golf drivers on the market right now. Our aim in this guide is to collate a group high-performing, new drivers that won't break the bank. For this list of the best budget golf drivers, we've set ourselves the challenge of testing and finding the drivers that represent excellent value for money. 

Speaking more generally, a crucial tip is to keep an eye out for some models that are one or two years old, as these have come down drastically in price and are still packed with modern technology. There's plenty of other equipment that has gone down in price in 2024 for example. Alternatively, check out our guides on the best drivers for slicers, best drivers for beginners or best drivers for seniors if you're after something even more specific for your game.

The Quick List

Best Budget Golf Drivers

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Top pick

PXG 0211 2022 Driver Review

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited adjustability

You might be as surprised as we are that a PXG driver has made our best budget list. Despite PXG's notoriously premium prices when it comes to its product line, the 0211 2022 driver is available at a fairly compelling price which makes it easily one of the best budget drivers on the market right now. 

There are countless shaft options, in five different flexes, as well as three stock loft options for both right and left handers. However, just because this driver has a cut price, doesn't mean you lose out on any performance. 

The aesthetics of the driver have been refined from the previous model, and there is no doubt this is an aspirational, inviting-looking driver. In testing, it was also keeping up with premium models that cost $300 more! Along with the distance, there is also a huge amount of control to be had, with the strong flight excelling in windy conditions.

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

The Wilson Launch Pad 2022 offers superb value for money at under $300, with it not only being one of the most forgiving drivers on the market, but also one of the best drivers for slow swing speeds.

As you can probably guess, it is designed to be an all-out game-improvement offering, and it has been developed much further compared to the previous generation. One of the main aspects is the face design. Through research, Wilson says that average handicap players hit 68% of their shots out of the toe half of the face. So, in the Launch Pad, they’ve introduced their PKR face geometry that actually makes the striking area 5% bigger than the previous Launch Pad.

Along with the technology, it also has a very appealing aesthetic. It has a mid-sized profile down behind the ball and, whilst we personally weren’t too keen on the off-set look, there will be plenty of golfers who will benefit from the confidence this inspires. 

Best looking

Cleveland Launcher XL Driver

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite high pitched through impact

We believe this is one of the best golf drivers for mid handicappers as the Launcher XL benefits from a larger driver head and an incredibly confidence- inspiring look at address. The length of the head from front to back has increased by 6% and the contrasting crown and face finishes mean you can see all of the loft from address. 

Performance wise, the Launcher XL gave solid carry distance on an easy swing. For the wide range of players this driver is aimed at, the spin rates created with this driver will help keep the ball in the air and provide good carry distance. What's more, its RRP sits well below the offerings from brands like Callaway or TaylorMade.

Best for distance

Tour Edge C522 Driver

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications

Lofts: 9.5°, 10.5° & 12°
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki HL
Left Handed Option: No

Reasons to buy

+
Highly forgiving on mis-hits
+
Longer than expected in testing

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited stock shaft options

The Tour Edge C522 driver has been one of the biggest surprises when it was released. It's available at an incredibly competitive price point while delivering performance on par with what golfers would expect from far more expensive drivers. In our testing, the C522 proved to be highly forgiving on mis-hits but also quite long and very consistent in terms of the ball flight it delivered.

The C522 also looks good at address. It has a larger profile that inspires confidence without sacrificing the traditional, rounded shape that most golfers like. Its aesthetics also offer a premium look that one might not expect at this cost. It is worth noting that the C522's impact sound is a bit on the louder side but in an explosive way as opposed to being distracting or bothersome.

Additionally, the C522 does not have an adjustable hosel and is only offered with one stock shaft choice but, for around the $200 - $250 range, that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The C522 won't fit everyone for those reasons, but it will fit the vast majority of golfers just fine, and at its price it should be a consideration for any golfer who's looking for a solid all-around driver without having to break the bank.

Best simple model

Inesis 900 Driver Review

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: Low, Medium, High
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft: LinQ M40X
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

The 900 model is the most expensive Inesis driver but in comparison to the premium market with the likes of the Callaway ParadymTaylorMade Stealth 2 and PING G430, it still represents a significant saving. In terms of the looks, the Inesis has a glossy black crown and a dark face. It’s a very clean aesthetic that smartly highlights the simple arrow-style alignment aid.

Whilst the ball speed was slightly down versus the TaylorMade Stealth, the launch and spin were both in the right window for us in testing. This delivered a strong flight that may have lacked a little carry but ran out well to deliver a good overall distance. The strength of the flight was something we noticed on the course too.

It does also have quite a high-pitched sound to it but this is only a minor point when you consider the overall value on offer with this driver.

Best value

MacGregor V Foil Speed driver

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications

Lofts: 10.5 and 12°
Adjustable Hosel: No
Stock Shaft : MacGregor Lightweight Graphite
Left Handed Option: No

Reasons to buy

+
Stretched-out look inspires confidence
+
Cutting edge looks from every angle

Reasons to avoid

-
Other drivers feel more solid

Sporting a stylish matte black 460cc full titanium head with elegant lines, the V Foil Speed sits perfectly behind the ball, inspiring confidence at address. The ultra-thin face delivers significant ball speed and distance gains while the expanded sweet spot, bespoke premium lightweight graphite shaft and high MOI design add in the perfect combination of distance, control and forgiveness off the tee.

Finished off with a soft compound MacGregor grip that has been designed to provide the perfect combination of comfort and secure connection to the club, the V Foil Speed driver is packed with performance features perfectly suited to the high handicap golfer.

How We Test Drivers

The first thing we should mention is our overall testing ethos at Golf Monthly which is to put all products through a rigorous testing procedure to give you crucial insights into how they perform, how they compare to their predecessors and where they stack up in relation to the competition. As such we regularly attend product launches and meet with the manufacturer’s R&D experts to understand the new technology.

Then the first port of call to test golf clubs is usually the indoor simulator at Foresight Sports, where the team can test in a controlled environment using premium balls and the GCQuad launch monitor. We then do outdoor testing mainly at West Hill Golf Club, a course in Surrey with excellent practice facilities.

Getting more specific, our equipment specialists have hit most drivers out on the market, in testing, practice and competition play, and deduced the above models are our top picks for budget models. 

How to choose a new driver

When it comes to making sure you get the right driver for your game, there are several factors to consider, chief among which is the size.

Size - The larger the clubhead, the more forgiving it tends to be. When hitting, try and take note of where you are striking the golf ball with the face of the club and see if there is any performance drops. Many drivers these days are designed to perform regardless of where you strike them off the face and you being able to see and understand that in person will help you be more confident with one model over another.

The other thing to acknowledge when looking at the size is also the looks. It is important you get a driver that suits your eye especially when it is down behind the golf ball. If it is too big, that may put you off, but if it is too small this may dampen confidence. 

Draw-biased? - If you are a slicer of the golf ball then a forgiving, draw-biased driver could be the way to go to eradicate the big slices. These types of drivers won't all of a sudden have you hitting roping draws down the fairway, but they'll do a lot to encourage a draw shape or at least a little but less slice.

Weight - Weight has become a big factor when it comes to drivers, with most brands making models that have a weight towards the back of the head to aid forgiveness and launch. When it comes to whether you want a forgiving driver, it is worth acknowledging whether this is important to you because if not then manufacturers usually make a model without a weight there.

Adjustability - Often, the weights in drivers are moveable and adjustability of drivers has become a huge part of modern golf. Being able to tinker and change loft, lie, and many other factors, has become all the rage and if you like to try new things then a model with adjustability is worth considering.

Shaft - Some shafts have been designed to help players get as much distance as possible so it is worth thinking about which models will help you achieve those extra yards. Also check out our guide on the best driver shafts too.

Budget - Price is obviously an important factor and thankfully there are lots of drivers coming in at different price points. As you have seen in this piece, there are some great drivers out there for well under $300. 

If you want to invest in the best drivers from 2022 though, you'll be looking at around 450-500 units of your local currency. There are benefits to be had from investing this extra cash, but setting yourself an initial budget will make the search much easier.

FAQs

What is a good cheap driver?

A good cheap driver should cost you no more than $300. For this price you can still get high quality performance and a high quality look and feel. All the drivers in our guide should cross each of those factors off.  

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